Pre-race nerves

Pre-race nerves

Hello from the gorgeous hills of Himachal Pradesh, a state high in the Indian Himalayas.

We are currently staying with our friends Shefali and Christopher Mitra in the Tirthan Valley, a much-loved home from home for the last 15 years.

For context, here’s my view. Right now.

Stunning, isn’t it?

Himmat has gone out fishing, and I have decided to stay ”home” today, after a week of yomping up and down hills and muddy trails, all in the guise of preparation for my first ever trail run this Saturday.

(Though with this view, can you blame me for wanting to stay put?)

Saturday’s trail run looms large, and although looking forward to taking part in the inaugural Indrahar Summit Run, I am also feeling mighty apprehensive. And with good reason.

The last couple of months have been ridiculously hit and miss as far as training goes. It’s been one silly injury after another.

I managed to sprain/strain my back not once, but twice, which is pretty impressive, agreed??

There has been weeping ‘n wailing, and tears of frustration, and feeling-very-sorry-for-myself moments a’plenty.

There have been physio visits.

There have been many ”back to basics” sessions with my lovely, uncomplaining trainer Vijay, as we try to pick up where we were before I managed to injure and then re-injure myself.

I haven’t run “properly” in months, which is worrying, when I have not one, but 2 races in the coming week. I am a complete idiot. Freely admit it.

Through it all I have walked many a slow mile with my partner-in-crime and sounding board, Ripu. This kind young man listens to me whimpering and whingeing, and lets me vent as we walk and talk our way round Delhi.

So to say I feel apprehensive about Saturday’s 20k high altitude run is putting it mildly.

It’s my first ever trail run.

And I have NO idea, really, what I’m doing.

Two days ago, hoping to prepare a little for what lies in store, I trekked to Bashleo Top, a pass at 3279 metres.

Given the steep uphill and the thick mud (there’s been a lot of rain up here these past weeks) there is NO way I could’ve run a trail like that, so I have no illusions about Saturday’s run 😛

Anyway, at this stage, it’s all in the lap of the gods now.

The gear, the shoes, the snacks – all have been purchased and tested.

All that now remains is to put my apprehensions to one side, ask the mountain gods to be kind to me, and plod my way up to the Indrahar snow line.

Wish me luck, friends, and, most importantly, a safe run.


  1. In 1993 we climbed upto Indrahar Pass about 4340m, and at the end of it I was told if I can do it it is not difficult. So each time you feel a bit overwhelmed on the run, think about this story, smile a bit, and plod on. .

    Armin Kalyanram

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