11 year old Alisha Madhuvarshi shared her experience of 100 Days of Running in 2017. She was one of the younger runners who took up this challenge, and actually wrote about it sharing her journey, and hopefully inspiring more kids to take up running.

I’m sure that everybody in this world has experienced a challenge before. Whether it is a social challenge, a health challenge, or a personal challenge, there is something in life that everyone has had difficulty with. A lot of challenges have something to do with hardship, but not all challenges are like this. There are actually some challenges that you can have fun doing! When you are doing one, you feel compelled to continue and determined to never stop. I am extremely proud to say that I gone through one of these challenges, called the one hundred days of running.

This challenge commenced on my 11th birthday, April 29, 2017. My family and I had taken a trip to Galveston Beach to celebrate, and I was anticipating a long weekend of relaxation, full of days in which I could sleep in and do whatever I wanted. Boy, was I wrong! On the first day, my mom woke me up early and told me to get dressed for our very first run. I unwillingly obeyed, already dreading the next one hundred days. Then, all of us headed out to the beach and began to run.

As I was running, I thought about how much torture this was going to be. However, in the back of my mind, I was also thinking, “What if this experience turns out to actually be fun?” I wanted to see the outcome so I kept on running, which was painful at first. Every day, I would come out of the gym, wheezing and out of breath, thinking that I wouldn’t have to run for much longer. As I continued to run every day, I became more comfortable with the whole process and actually began to enjoy it. Running wasn’t torture to me anymore. Running actually became something that I could do to release all of my pent-up feelings and emotions. It became something where I could be free and just be me.

In every challenge, even if the purpose for it is to be fun, there is always some difficulty. Even though I was starting to enjoy running, there were some days where I didn’t want to go at all. On these days, I would have to be forced to go running by my parents. I would promise myself that I’d get up and go running at 5:00, but I just kept on extending the time. When I was finally ready to go, both treadmills were taken, and I’d have to run at night. Somedays, I even had to run at home because it was too late to go to the gym. Even so, I pushed myself to go running, because I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to say that I ran one hundred days nonstop?” Believe me, it was.

I never really thought about what one hundred days of running would change about my running style. At the end, I realized that everything had improved. In the very beginning, I took a break every 0.25 mile. Now, I can run 3.1 miles without stopping. This proved that my stamina increased throughout the one hundred day journey. When I looked at all of my timings, I noticed that my best timing was eleven minutes and six seconds, and my worst timing was eighteen minutes and thirty-two seconds to run two kilometers.

This information showed that my speed had increased. On the first few days, four miles per hour seemed pretty fast. Now, I run at seven miles per hour! After running on the treadmill for a few weeks, I decided to try an outside run, thinking it would be the same. I was definitely wrong! When I was running outside, I realized that I didn’t have a controlled speed, so it took me much longer to run two kilometers. However, I still preferred running outside because there was so much to see! I even completed 5k, my longest run, outside!

Overall, one hundred days of running has been a wonderful experience! At the end of the one hundred days, I completed 214 kilometers. The reason I enjoyed this experience so much is because it gave me a chance to try something new. Running has definitely changed my life, and not just in the sense of health. This challenge has made me more determined and happy. My family and I are all continuing running for a whole year, but I might just continue running for my whole life.

Written By: Alisha Madhuvarshi, age 11