Twenty-One Point One Kilometers


21.1 kilometers. What is the significance of 21.1 kilometers?

Well, for anyone who is not aware, this is the distance for a half marathon and equates to 13.1 miles.

Recently, I completed my first half marathon training run as I prepare for my first half marathon event at the Disney Marathon Weekend and I feel like I really need to share some insights about this accomplishment so here goes.

The Battle

A lot of people ask me if I like to run, and the answer is always a smile with a simple NO!

I do it because it helps me to balance my Type II Diabetes and I get a lot of enjoyment from earning event awards. What people don’t realize is that I battle with running every day and my first half marathon run was no different.

I woke up at 6:00 AM on a Saturday, got out of bed to turn off my alarm clock (this is a motivation technique, to put my alarm far enough away from the bed side to force me to get out of bed to turn it off) but on this day, the alarm was not far enough away from the bed, so naturally back to bed I went.

For the next hour I argued with myself. I have already ran 25 kilometers this week, I don’t feel the need to go run a half marathon. For me, a half marathon is so long that it does not feel like “half” of anything at all. Save it for the event in two weeks on, and on it went.

I fight with myself like this all the time. Is it exhausting? Yes! Do I win? Well, in a battle where you are both the champion and the villain, you win either way.

My subconscious wants me to stay in bed, relax, enjoy. I think of all the advantages like the fact that I get to avoid the stress, the pain, and the exhaustion of exercise.

After an hour, my wife’s alarm went off and as she gets out of bed I hear, “No run today?”

My wife is sort of my personal mirror so her three words acted as the ultimate encouragement. It stirred up emotions of disappointment, anger and motivation.

So, yes, it was time to get out of bed.

The Beginning

As I started to run, my subconscious started up again saying “don’t run the full half marathon, you got up late, you don’t have enough time, the sun is up and it’s getting hotter”. These thoughts all begin to flood my mind.

I make the decision to just start running and see where I go when I get there. I knew the course I had mapped out for the half marathon and there were several opportunities for me to make a choice to make the run shorter or do the full half marathon as I planned.

Side note: If you need a great resource to map out a run/race to get a rough idea of distances and options, check out this website at:

I found it very useful.

This is the United States version, but they have other country version, I tried (for Canada) and it changed, so try your country code and see if it works.

The Route

Well as you can guess, my subconscious was relentless. All the way to the 10.5 kilometer mark, it was still questioning my actuons.

At this point, I was as far away from my home as I could be and had completed a little over a 10 K, which isn’t that bad for me, but I realized that the only way to get home was to finish the half marathon all the way back to my house. So, I really have no choice in it.

Looking back, this was probably the best decision I could have made. It basically forced me to make the commitment to the full half marathon distance and gave me no other choice.

In the end, I finished the full distance, even with my legs feeling like lead weights for the last 2 kilometers and wanting to die or pass out as my tracking application announced 21.1 kilometers completed. I have to admit, I literally cried, not from pain but from joy of accomplishment.

Have you ever done something that took all the will power you could get to complete? Share your experience in the comments below.


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