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My Most Important Mile: Alison Taylor


Alison (in pink) with her Personal Record medal after nailing 13.1.
Alison (in pink) with her Personal Record medal gets a congratulations hug from Catey.

Hard to say if Mile 11 of the Drop 13 Half-Marathon was the Most Important Mile of my Life, but it was certainly the most meaningful, and one I will always remember.

I started running 4 years earlier, at age 48. My goal was just to finish a 5K. Then this darn yellow book made its way into my life and convinced me I could run a half.  So I did, and clocked a 2:17 for the first one. I was hooked. 

Then I wanted PRs. After a few of those, I wanted a sub two-hour 13.1. Mind you, I'm still 20 pounds overweight, I work almost full time, I have four kids, etc.

Whatever. Before I got too dang old, I wanted sub 2:00.

Knowing I would need a "gravity assist" to accomplish this, I selected one with a 3000-foot drop down a Canyon for the attempt. During training, it was difficult to push myself harder than ever in my life, while juggling all the other "life balls" and staving off injury. I had a race plan—I had specially-designed mile times that took the course into account to get me to sub-2—but my training wasn't everything it needed to be and, during the race, my head wasn't in the game.

My mother had died unexpectedly while visiting me a year before, and my uncle had just died suddenly two weeks before the race.  At least I knew I would have angels on my shoulder.

After banking almost 3 minutes during the downhill to help me through the last two flat miles of the course, I was struggling.  "You Dropped a Bomb On Me" by The Gap Band came up—a song I remember SBS used to listen to during her rowing days—but I wasn't feeling it, so I hit the skip button. Randomly—but kind of not—"Seasons of Love” from Rent came up.

Suddenly, my mother was there with me, and so was my uncle, even my dad, who had been gone for 25+ years. It was the most amazing, powerful feeling ever. Tears poured down my face.

I heard my Garmin chirp, and I looked down. 8:52 on the flat. Plus, my overall time was 1 hour, 46 minutes—and I was just a mile from the finish line. I cried even harder, knowing I had it all: love, angels (in heaven and on earth), and my goal.


What was (or will be) the most important mile? Share it with us! 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!


6 responses to “My Most Important Mile: Alison Taylor

  1. Love this story, Allison. I have that Rent song on many of my playlists too. Way to go on the awesome time. I gotta snag that sub 2 myself.

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