There is nothing quite like taking up a new (healthy) activity to galvanise one’s energy and enthusiasm levels.
And that would be?
Oh, my latest obsessively favourite thing to do in Delhi.
Which is, quite simply, to run.
I am enjoying it so much so that I am starting a new section of my blog to talk about running in and around Delhi.
Talking the walk, as it were.
A quick bit of personal history, before we start.
I used to jog back in the 80s/early 90s, but aging knees took their toll. I have had a double arthroscopy x 2, and have been very nervous about putting my knees at risk, so, quite simply, I stopped running.
Whether or not that was the right decision is neither here nor there, but the fact remains that for nigh on 20 years I never ran. I walk a lot, and always have done. The prospect of hours of walking bothers me none. All those gruelling hours walking in Ladakh, for example, didn’t faze me at all.
But the idea of, say, running to my local market was just not on.
So much so that I used to worry what would happen were I called on to rescue someone (my children, for example, when they were tiny) from the jaws of death. I seriously used to worry that I would just not be able to run.
Fast forward to summer 2013.
Back from my fab climbing trip in Ladakh, complete with avulsion fractured right shoulder, I went for physio at Back2Fitness.
Wasting time on Facebook one day, as one does, I discovered that Dr. Chauhan, who runs Back2Fitness, was putting together this running programme (that’s a lot of runs in one sentence).
I signed up for it and the rest is history.
The 14 week programme called “Couch to 6km” was aimed at women, and aimed at getting them running.
Two of the country’s main health magazines, “Prevention” and “Women’s Health,” had come up with the idea, took it to Dr. Chauhan, a serious ultra marathoner in his spare time, to oversee the training, and thus it was that a group of us met once a week and started running.
Just like that.
The programme started on 14 September, and fittingly enough, we all of us, every single one of us, completed the 6km Great Delhi Run exactly 3 months later, on December 15th.
And we are all continuing, our sights set now on 10k and then, who knows….
I won’t bore non “Couch to 6km” members with a blow by blow account of how we all went from hufffng and puffing, and almost giving up because we couldn’t even manage half a km at a stretch…suffice it to say that these 3 months have been a life changer for us all.
I say that advisedly, since at our celebratory post-marathon lunch, we all had similar stories to recount. Of feeling unfit, of feeling out of breath, of never thinking we would be able to complete a 6km…and there we were, running cheerfully through the streets of Lutyens Delhi last Sunday.
And all feeling so much better for it.
I blogged a little about the marathon on Sunday night – here’s the link – so I won’t repeat myself.
What I will say is that I have a feeling that for many of us (& our poor long-suffering coach and mentor, Dr. Chauhan) the Great Delhi Run was just the start of something.
I think this enthusiasm is going to run and run.
This was my route – downloaded from my GPS.
I will see how this section of the blog evolves. There won’t be daily running updates, worry not. Well, not unless demand is high, of course…
At the moment, I envisage rather chatting about the different places where we run.
So, to kick off this new section, let me share with you a brilliant moment on Monday, the day after the Great Delhi Run. All fired up, I went for a 7k run, since that would be a kilometre in the direction of our next goal.
My two puppies ran with me, happily weaving in and out of my legs and trying their best to trip me up.
And then we saw the langur.
He was actually tied to the tree, so I imagine his owner was somewhere in the forest doing what only a bloke can do in a forest. The langur seemed quite unfazed by us, and other than trying to pee on poor inquistive Yoko, he pretty much ignored us. No sign of panic or stress, so he is obviously quite used to humans.
And this was the moment the dogs saw a langur for the first time :