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The Most Important Mile of My Life: Jayne Richards

Jayne Richards at the NYC Marathon.
Jayne Richards at the NYC Marathon.

I started running in my 30s. A late bloomer, but big dreamer, I set my sights on the NYC Marathon. Unfortunately, life intervened. A series of injuries, family duties, and managing a business brought my feet to a halt. Eventually, my family and job obligations eased, and I knew it was time to hit the road.

In a rash move in 2008, I registered for NYC. I thought I would get my name in, but actually had my eye on the fall of 2011, the year I would turn 50.
Of course, I was accepted right away. I learned I could defer and be a guaranteed entry the following year. I did, then stepped up my training. I ran several half-marathons, and felt comfortable at that distance. I ended up deferring the next two years. 2011 was my year.
I began training in January. By early summer, my legs hurt. I developed pain in my right knee, but pressed on. By mid-summer, I was really struggling. South Mississippi summers are brutal. I stubbornly kept training and decided to race and not defer. My time goal was blown, but I had come too far to turn back.
Race weekend was all I had hoped. My husband accompanied me, and my race would not have happened without him. He met me every few miles, taking pictures and encouraging me.
The first half of the race was on pace. By Queensboro Bridge, I didn’t have much left on my knee.  I jogged when I could, limped when I couldn’t, and smiled the entire way. The crowds, the bands, the city itself came alive and encouraged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
My man met me at Central Park. By then, even walking was painful. I dug deep, and managed to “woggle” to the finish.
That last mile defined me. Sometimes, you have to check your ego at the door and accept the gift for what it is.
What was (or will be) the most important mile of your life? We want to know.

This is an ongoing feature on the website. Best way to submit is to email us your story with a picture: runmother {at} gmail {dot} com with “Most Important Mile” in the subject line. Please try to keep your mile stories under 300 words. Thank you!

4 responses to “The Most Important Mile of My Life: Jayne Richards

  1. I’m excited to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new stuff
    on your site.

  2. I read this post while sitting on the toilet halfway through a 7 mile run. It definitely gave me the kick I needed to finish!

  3. Congrats on your finish and living the dream. Cheers to all those men who quietly support us when we start to question ourselves.

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