What did you see on your run today? #371 comes from the hills

Oh dearie me.

Have to start 2018 with an apology and a confession 🙁

These lovely photos from Wellington were sent to me last year by one of my lovely running girls, but I waited till this year to post them.

W-e-l-l, it’s not actually quite as damning as I make out, of course!

Deeksha Gahlaut went to Wellington in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu over the New Year, so these are actually only a few days overdue.

Such a lucky girl, to be running amidst this gorgeous scenery, which I imagine is clean and nothing like the toxic air here in Delhi.

Thanks for such envy-inducing photos, Deeksha, and #keeprunning #keepinspiring in 2018 as much as you did in 2017.

And that’s a (running) wrap of 2017

I had rather ambitiously planned a big showy-offy running goodbye to 2017, but alas, ’twas not to be 🙁

Since I have a full marathon in exactly 3 weeks and am TOTALLY under-prepared, I thought I’d aim high for today, the last LSD of the year.

30k, I told everyone.

Maybe even 35k.

A group of us from my ASICS Running Club met in the dark and the fog and the cold at 6.30am in Sanjay Van, a lovely forest here in Delhi.

Since each planned loop was about 7k, 35k was possibly within easy logical running reach.

Yeah, right 🙁

Set off in a group, and managed to fall behind & lose sight of my group within the first 10 minutes.

Pretty impressive, I agree.

Anyway, I’ve run those trails before, so wasn’t overly worried & resigned myself to a solo 30k. Or maybe even a solo 35k.

Alas ’twas SO not meant to be.

Stomach bad (I’ll spare you the details 😛 ) so I peeled off and came home, feeling very sorry for myself, with only 11.5k in the bag.

Sorted myself out and decided I’d set out and run some more.  Could NOT end the year on 11.5k + disappointment.

So, off I trotted in super thick fog to my local biodiversity park, and clocked up a s-l-o-w 14.6k, so kind of salvaged things.

And you know what, just the act of heading back out to run made me feel more in control again & less panicky.

So, there we are.

A whisker over 25k to finish the year.

And a HUGE amount of catch-up mileage for this coming week!  But that’s next year’s problem!

For now, that’s a wrap on 2017 so let me wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading my blog, for commenting, for sharing your running photos.

You are all wonderful & I wish you nothing but joy in 2018.

Here’s the oh-so-tempting fire one of the park guards had made to warm himself up in the bone-chilling cold.  I was so tempted to stop and sit there and warm myself, I tell you 🙂

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What did you see on your run today? #370 comes from Udaipur

I recently shared with you a photo taken by by running friend Ripu Daman on his run through Jodhpur, and now he sends us images from Udaipur, and how gorgeous it all looks.

This photo (below) made me think of that traditional Christmas song “On the first day of Christmas…” when they list all the birds  “3 French hens, 2 Turtle doves & a partridge etc etc…” 😛

Just LOOK at how many parakeets there are.  So pretty.

Ripu ran past Fateh Sagar lake (below) which looks so beautiful and serene:

Clearly fabulously clear skies and good light in Udaipur:

Thanks Ripu, my friend.  Enjoy your trip and keep sharing the running moments with us.

#keeprunning #keepinspiring

What did you see on your run today? #369 comes from Jodhpur

One of my friends from the ASICS Running Club, Ripu Daman, is on a 2 week cycling jaunt through Rajasthan, but still finds time to run, and he is certainly seeing some amazing sights.

Like so.

This is the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower, literally) built over a century ago by the then Maharaja.

Pretty fine looking, I must say – and beautifully lit.

Thanks, Ripu.  #keeprunning #keepinspiring

What did you see on your Xmas day run? Cuteness alert!!

One of my running friends and a regular contributor to this blog is Harminder Singh, who did the first #100daysofrunning challenge – and never stopped.  He is currently at day 970 of non-stop running.  Quite.

Harminder is a running machine.  The day after a full marathon, when the likes of me are feebly tottering along, Harminder goes out and runs.

As well as being a running machine, he is also the proud father of little Harnoor Singh.

Yesterday was Christmas Day and also Gurupurab, a major Sikh religious day, and so, says Harminder: “Yesterday we took him to Church and Gurudwara like this. And then I had my run pending, so I took him to the park near my house.”

Firstly, how lovely is this, taking a little baby Sikh to church? Love the cultural fusion.

And secondly, just look at how darling Hanoor looks, dressed up as Santa.

Did you see anything cuter in your life?

Harminder, thanks for sharing these cute photos & #keeprunning #keepinspiring.

Where to run with deer in London

On a recent rip to London I went for a run in Richmond Park, and what a joy.  The park is huge and super well-maintained, with places to park, eat and drink, with clean loos, good running and cycling trails.

Everything a runner’s heart could desire.

But what prompted me to post this today, Boxing Day, is that there are red deer & fallow deer roaming free in the park, so you can have your very own Rudolph moment 🙂

They are pretty unbothered by humans so you can get quite close, though obviously they should not be touched – doubt they’d let you.

I was a tourist in London that day, and it showed, as I ooh-ed and aah-ed every time I saw deer, unlike the regulars like this man (below)!

It is pretty exciting to see wild critters up so close and personal:

Total Rudolph moment 🙂

Thoroughly recommend at least one walk/run/cycle ride through Richmond Park –  not only for the deer but also for the lovely views over London.

Safe, clean.

And here’s my track log:

What did you see on your run today? #327 comes from Cochin

Seems like half my running group is down south in the sun, whilst most of us shiver up here in Delhi.

OK, OK, I exaggerate.  Only 2 of them are down south, but what’s a bit of poetic licence between friends?

Yesterday, I shared with you photos from Bangalore.

Today it is the turn of sunny Cochin, from where one of the stalwarts of our ASICS Running Club, Narain Singh, sent me these photos:

Lucky fella.

The whole campus where he is based is lovely & green, he told us.

After Delhi’s noise & pollution, this must be such a joy.

#keeprunning #keepinspiring, my friend

What did you see on your run today? #326 comes from Bangalore

Well, well, well.
Queen Victoria is alive & well & living in Bangalore.
So as to speak.

Ripu Daman, a running friend from ASICS, and one of life’s permanently sunny souls, is in Banglore on work, & spotted HM as he ran through Cubbon Park this morning.

I’m glad – though secretly a little amazed –  that the old girl has survived and is still standing.  Her family members here in Delhi didn’t fare too well, having been despatched to some far-flung part of the city… 😛

Thanks Ripu for this photo & #keeprunning #keepinspiring

Here’s to running friends!

I ran a half marathon on Sunday.

Didn’t run yesterday, just took the dogs on a 5k walk through the forest.

Ran with my ASICS Running Club this morning, feeling absolutely, totally, utterly knackered and ready to wimp out.

But that’s where the importance of running mates was put into perspective.

I did my slow warm up jog – at a pace that was about as fast as it got today, if I’m being brutally honest 😛 – with the ever-helpful, ever-invested-in-other-people Navi Singh.

Navi, who is an accomplished runner and, even more importantly, a “thinking” runner, analysed my performance and gave me a pretty detailed plan of how I should prepare for the full marathon in Mumbai in 5 weeks.

Gulp.

Navi calculated at what pace I should run my tempos and intervals over the coming weeks, with a degree of detail and concern that I found quite moving, to be honest.

After years of running alone (but LOVING it, don’t get me wrong) to find myself running around a foggy track with someone who is concerned and ready and willing to help – well, yes, I felt moved.

I then ran with Sanjeev Thapa, a lovely calm runner, who gave me his assessment of how I need to tackle the next 5 weeks before Mumbai.  Sanjeev concentrated more on the importance of long runs, calculating how many hours I should do each Sunday, and – yet again – I found myself feeling unusually moved that people care so much.

I guess that’s what’s so great about runners, right?

While Sanjeev was explaining how many hours I need to be on my feet, I suddenly felt winded and out of energy, after we’d done a measly 4/10 laps.  I told him to continue while I took a breather.

No, he replied, we’ll run together at your pace.  And while I had a drink, he jogged up and down waiting for me.

It was only his firm insistence that we continue, however slow and tired I felt, that allowed me to complete the assigned 10 laps, feeling so very grateful for the kindness of my running friends.

Much as I enjoy solo runs, and I really do, there is definitely so much to be gained from running in a group.

If I’d been alone this morning, I know I’d’ve given up, feeling too tired.

As it was, I ran, I stretched out those aching muscles from Sunday, and all thanks to my running mates.

Whether you call it peer pressure, or friendship, it’s super special.

What did you see on your run today? #325 stars early morning Delhi

I am running a half marathon this coming Sunday and it’s on a new route.

It’s the 2nd edition of the Super Sikh Run, and will be my first time of running it.  I know part of the route, but even so, have only run it once, and that was nearly 2 years ago.

So I decided a little route recce was in order, and cajoled one of the nicest young men in my ASICS Running Club, the irrepressible Ripu Daman, to run with me.  I reckoned since he is one of the organisers of the race, I’d be in safe hands.

And I was.

We did a slow, chatty, gossipy 10km, stopping to chat to other runners, stopping to take slo-mos of each other, and calling into 2 churches and a gurdwara, asking for divine help on Sunday 🙂

Today was all about running as it should be.

Fun, interesting, and seeing lots of amazing things en route.

We met in the dark at the start point of Sunday’s race, the 18th century Sikh Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.

It looked amazing in the pre-dawn darkness, with music playing and volunteers sweeping the courtyard.  All wonderfully peaceful and restful.

Here’s a little bit of the history of the gurdwara, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“The Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is a historic gurdwara near Parliament House in New Delhi. It was built in 1783, after Sikh military leader Baghel Singh (1730–1802) captured Delhi, on 11 March 1783, and his brief stay in Delhi, led to the construction of several Sikh religious shrines within the city. This one marks the site of cremation of the ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, after his martyrdom in November 1675 for saving Hindu Kashmiri Pandits, under orders of Aurangzeb.”

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Off we went as the dawn broke, through sort-of-empty streets, though the traffic built up rapidly and noisily.

At one point, on Shankar Road, there was a magnificent black cow standing in the middle of the road, helping herself to the straggly, dusty municipal vegetation, and causing the rush-hour traffic to slow down. A kind soul stopped his scooter, hopped off, and steered her to the side of the road, so the traffic could flow.

On the way back, we called into a Syrian Christian Church – a first for me.  Just the name of the church is fantastic:

And this was inside:

Then it was the turn of the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral, looking pretty jolly in the sunshine:

Once back at the Gurdwara, our start point, we went inside this lovely 18th century building:

I reckon we covered quite a few bases this morning, asking the patron saint of runners to look out for us this weekend 🙂

My Garmin froze half way through the run, so these are Ripu’s stats.  We have exactly the same watch, so it’s all good.

I thought we were running painfully slowly, but it wasn’t actually too shabby:


It was fun seeing a part of Delhi I don’t know so well wake up, and the Gurdwara was a revelation.

Lovely place, and looking forward to seeing it again in a few days.

Recce-ing done right.

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