Walking the cobblestone streets of Rothenburg today with my runner’s bib in hand certainly gave me a heightened awareness of the terrain. I also wondered how exactly I would get from the starting line, all the way down the bluff, and to the river. It all looks so flat on the street map.

Instead of my two-mile run, I sprinted my heart out in swim class today. I surprised myself, and a couple other people, by moving from fifth place to second. And while I was a little shaky when it was all over, I found I had strength left to watch my kids’ lessons, rather than lay in a heap in the corner.

I have to admit, my stomach is doing some flip-flopping tonight, and it’s not because of gluten. Only 17 women have signed up–and the older women belong to running clubs. This race might be tougher than I’d expected. I’d at least hoped to finish anonymously in the middle of the pack.

Yet despite the butterflies mysteriously fluttering throughout my nervous system, I sat at a table on the Marktplatz, had dinner in the fading sunshine, and had a glass of wine with my husband.

No matter how I do, I know there will be five people at the finish line who consider me the winner.