Reunited with my tribe

For those of you who don’t know me, I live in New Delhi, India, a city with the dubious reputation of being one of the most polluted cities on the planet. if not THE most polluted.

My ASICS running group meets very early in the morning, to allow people to train and then head off to work & do the school run. Unfortunately, early mornings in our cold Delhi winters are the absolute worst time for pollution.

Waking up to the cold and the dark AND sky-high pollution levels is the bitter reality for everyone who lives in Delhi and the surrounding satellite cities.

I am in a very small minority of jobless runners in my group, with the freedom to exercise when I want (By the way, I’m not really jobless! I freelance from home, so am mistress of my time…)

All of this to say that I haven’t been training much with my running group over the past few weeks, opting instead to head out and run in the middle of the day, when one hopes the noxious pollution has burned off somewhat.

Brilliant as solo running is, it was with some anticipation that I rejoined my group on Tuesday.

The pollution didn’t seem q-u-i-t-e as bad as usual (though it’s still worryingly high) and so off I went for an interval workout, after quite an interval. (Geddit?!)

It was only once I started running with my team mates that I realised quite how much I’d missed them all.

I’d missed the friendship and banter and chit-chat.

But most of all, I’d missed peer-pressure.

There is also the discipline of training with a Coach and a group of fellow athletes. I never run intervals on my own. Never. I just run.

So being forced back into structured, disciplined drills felt great.

When you run on your own, as I have been doing these last couple of months, when you feel like slowing down, or stopping, or jacking it in, you do so.

There’s no Coach telling you to move.

There’s no team mate encouraging you.

There’s no peer pressure, basically.

In other words, I LOVED being reunited with my tribe, and I know I ran better with them than without them.

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