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  • Arjun Khemani

How I Ran A Half-Marathon

I ran a half marathon on June 19, 2021. That day is forever imprinted in my memory now. Whenever I do something remarkable or achieve one of my goals, I tend to remember small things like the day and date, and then, next year on the same day, I celebrate some sort of a one year anniversary of it. It’s a big deal for me, no matter how significant or small the achievement is. I ran half a marathon a little before the end of the first half of 2021. But the journey had started well before the beginning of 2021.

For those who don’t know what a half marathon is, it’s basically running a distance of 21.1 kilometres. And it’s not easy! I’ve been running long distances ever since I was 9 years old. My father used to run so I’d tag along with him sometimes, starting with 3 kilometres, gradually working up to 10 kilometres. I had many long breaks in between and really didn’t love the sport until the end of 2020. Then too, I could only run 10 kilometres non-stop.

So I created a goal for myself: “I will run a half marathon (21.1K) by the end of the year (2021).” Twelve months to get from 10 to 21K. It was possible, but I knew I had to be consistent if I wanted to achieve it. Gradually increasing my early morning long runs from 10 to 13, to 15 many times, then 16 kilometres once, I felt ready to attempt running a half marathon on June 19.

I was excited, confident and overwhelmed the night before. I had to wake up at 5:15 AM the next morning, so I slept early, only to find that I couldn’t sleep due to the nervousness of the situation. Year-to-date (on June 18th) I had done 99 total runs out of 169 days of the year, 800+ kilometres, and put in 80+ hours into running. It all came down to tomorrow. All that hard work manifested the next day.

I felt great when I woke up. I started my run at 5:45, my father would join me at 6:45 where I’d run the final half with him. I ran 10K, my father joined me, I was feeling all good. I felt that I could actually do it. I ran the first 10K in 54 minutes. 11.1K left. By kilometer-15, I got that feeling. 6.1K later I was done. I did it! My target had been to complete the distance in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes, and guess what? I completed it in 1 hour 53 minutes and 54 seconds! I had completed my goal with half a year to spare! I was so proud of myself, I can’t express it in words. It all began from one self-imposed goal.

And now, I look forward to reaching my next big goal.

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