Faith restoration.

I ran a half marathon tonight. It wasn't organized. I had no competitors. But myself and my Garmin went out for the most perfect 13.1 miles I've ever run. So perfect, in fact, that I ran it faster than any race I've finished.

An hour and 53 minutes, a minute faster than my best half marathon time.

My faith in my abilities has been fully restored, and thank God.

My first half marathon of the season is next weekend - April 12 - and I've been stressing immensely about it. My training started off great in January, but when life and a now-lack of a fitness center got in the way, it fell to the wayside.

I had big goals for myself this year, mainly beating my race times from last year. Those goals haven't felt very promising lately.

But I felt great tonight. I intended to run only 12, but each mile got easier and my pace got quicker. So I threw my plan out the window and went for the full 13.1. A test.

It was cloudy and rainy, and I was almost too warm in shorts and long-sleeves, but it's been a long time since I've felt that good during a run. I didn't even take my iPod.

Remind me of that when it's time to run a full marathon at the end of May.

But for now, I'm relieved. And refreshed. And I've got the blisters on my feet to prove it. I think I'm finally back on track with my training, and it's going to stay that way.

To celebrate, I'm painting my nails, fingers and toes. I may have blisters in and around every curve of my feet, but dammit if my toenails won't be pretty.