“If I only could, I’d be running up that hill”

Did Kate Bush write those words just for me?  She must have.

Because I was muttering them under my breath as I huffed and puffed my way up “that hill” watching the others disappear into the distance. Seriously, at one point this morning, on the last repetition of our killer hill workout, young Ripu was so far ahead I could not see him.

No exaggeration.

Could. Not. See. Him.

We were 7 hardy souls this morning, tackling a series of longer hill repetitions than the ones we usually do in Nehru Park.

What a morning.

There’s nothing like running in a new venue, even if you do get lost on the way and delay everyone else.  We met at the Talkatora Gardens, which were a revelation, as we did our warm up jog.

Lovely, well-maintained gardens, with an old Mughal-y-looking ruin as well:

The plan today, hatched and very much driven by Navi Singh, was to do longer hills than we do in our ASICS sessions in Nehru Park.  Although the regular hill reps in the park are killer, the distance is short (but we always do w-a-y more of ’em, to compensate) so it was interesting to run up a much longer hill.

“Interesting”.

Who am I kidding?

This was serious stuff, and exhausting to boot.

We ran up and jogged back down the main road adjoining the park.

We had some company at the outset – a tired-looking group of Hindu religious pilgrims called “kanwariyas” who walk from Haridwar to their homes – often in Bihar or UP – carrying a bottle of sacred water.

As you can see, there’s a moment of “matching matching” going on here, on the shorts & T shirt front.

There were also 2 men teaching a horse pulling a “tonga” (or carriage) to turn in a circle, by making him trot repeatedly round a roundabout, the whole operation directed by a bloke on a scooter who drove slowly alongside.

As I’ve said before – there’s no such thing as a dull run in India.

We also met some of our running group out cycling – if that makes sense.

We did 7 x running up and slow jogging back down, with minimal water breaks, though I was guilt of slacking off a few times, but I have to say, the whole peer pressure effect worked.

Running with others definitely makes you push yourself that little bit more.  I know there is no way on God’s earth that I’d have done those hills without company, especially the encouraging Navi who chivvied us all along.  There was a definite sense of achievement at finishing the 7th repetition, rather than giving up at 6, which I was sorely tempted to do.

Here are Navi’s splits:

At one point as we jogged back down to the starting point, the tonga-horse-training group trotted past us, waving away.  My new pals 🙂

Back to the park to stretch and cool down and then, oh reader…oh then…I realized that in addition to everything else that needs fixing, in the quest to become a better runner, I must be THE most inflexible person on the planet.

The other 6 in our little group this morning were all ridiculously fit and supple, doing yoga “asanas” with the greatest of ease.  Like so:

Last, but not least, Ripu Daman, who sweetly took lots of photos this morning, since I didn’t run with my mobile, and let me use his phone – not that he actually needed it at this very minute (below) !!

But boy oh boy – how on earth does one get this supple quickly enough to be able to bend and stretch like this?

Clearly add a routine of stretching to the fitness régime.  Otherwise, I’ll be forever condemned to watch from the sidelines…

A great morning all round.  New venue.  Challenging workout.  Chat with a group of pilgrims.  Watching a horse being trained.

All in a morning’s run 🙂

Before I sign off, as well as being the accredited photographer for this blog today, Ripu is also a blogger, and here’s a link to his site.  Enjoy.

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