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Published on June 25, 2021

On the Run: What have I done?

If you asked me 20 years ago if I ever thought I’d be a runner, I would have said that you must be crazy. Me? A runner? I’m the girl who tried everything she could in high school to get out of running a mile. But little did I know that at some point, that would all change.

I can’t quite remember where my desire to start running began, but it’s steadily increased over the last decade. Sure, it’s gone through stops and starts but I’m still plugging along, trying to make it over that next hill. I’m not particularly fast – I think a turtle may move more quickly than I do – but a mile is a mile, no matter how quickly you go.

I’d run a few 5K and 10K races and even joined the Galloway running class at a local running store, but it was the COVID-19 pandemic that really changed my outlook on running. When I couldn’t go to the gym and get a couple of miles in on the treadmill, that – along with the desire to recover from a back injury - is what really fueled my desire to lace up my shoes and move.

In-person races that I took for granted were gone and in their place, virtual races sprung up. No one could see me walk or run, so I was all in and signing up for everything under the sun. The Humana Rock & Roll Virtual Running Club is where I thrived for months, regularly participating in challenges from a mile to a 10K. I signed up for virtual races at the BMO Vancouver Marathon International, Pat’s Run and the 10K at the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend.

Longer and longer distances began to creep into my mind. The idea of running a half marathon or even a – gasp – marathon seemed like they might even be attainable. Enter an email I received in early 2021 with the opportunity to run the Virtual Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon. If ever there was a marathon I would run, this would be it.

To qualify to run Boston in person, I’d have to be able to run 26.2 miles in less than 3 hours and 40 minutes for my age group. That’s just over an 8-minute mile. So let’s go back to where I mentioned that I am not quick, not by any stretch of the imagination. The virtual marathon doesn’t require you to qualify – all you have to do is register, pay your fee and you’re in! And on March 30, that’s exactly what I did.

As soon as I hit the enter button and got the email that my entry into the Virtual 125th Boston Marathon was accepted, that’s where the panic began to set in. What was I thinking? I’ve never run that far before. I’ve never walked that far before!

So now, I’m training for the Boston Marathon. Kind of.

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Autumn BishopStory by Autumn Bishop

Autumn is the marketing manager and content strategist at LMH Health.