Delhi prides itself in it’s historical legacy right from the Islamic citadels to the colonial flourishes of Edwin Lutyens. And what better way to explore the Capital City on foot while your body pumps endorphins!
If you love running while traveling, Delhi offers you an amazing opportunity to do so.
The Airtel sponsored Delhi Half marathon (19 November 2017) starts and ends at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which has been named after the first Prime Minister of India. The event is spread across 4 categories.
The Delhi half marathon will take your feet on incredible adventures across the India Gate, ceremonial boulevard Rajpath (which means “King’s Way”) and the Indian Parliament. Peppy Music and Cheering crowd add on to the whole jingbang.
The Day I vowed not to run
I have never been very fond of running, but being an under trainee in the Indian Naval Academy, not running is not an option.
In Academy, I WAS
RUNNING ALL THE TIME!
RUNNING AGAINST MY WISHES!
and I totally SUCKED at RUNNING!!
and so on the day of the Passing Out parade, I vowed, not to run ever EVER AGAIN!
The day I broke the VOW
Skip forward to few years of being in the 30s and believing you have been married to the right man! Right at that moment out of nowhere, the very very “supportive” husband disillusions me into believing he and I can run 21 km in Delhi.
“Wait! WHAT!? 21K? WHEN?”, I asked bewildered!
“Well, tomorrow!” he replied sheepishly, “I forgot to tell you I had registered”!!
“NO WAY!”, I cried dramatically!
“It will be fun,” he tried to convince me and like a fool I BELIEVED HIM!
This is what happens when you break a Vow
With NO PRIOR EXERCISE OR PRACTISE WHATSOEVER, the two of us set off like Proud warriors on our 21k conquest.
The run started! We ran as if to meet the sun that was now rising behind the buildings.
I felt strong, beaming with pride, running with all my might. As the morning wind brushed against my skin, I felt as if I was galloping through vast Mustard fields. My heart sang like an Asian Koel and I felt more confident than ever.
I tried to rehearse a little speech that I would give once I was back home. I felt I was born to run and wondered why I had kept myself away from this sport.
Runway or Runaway
Self-assured of my “runaway” success I peeped at my watch! All hell broke loose when I saw the time! The watch had stopped working. I yanked at the watch but the time did not change. I asked a runner who was passing by, what the time was and I couldn’t believe that the time was exactly what my watch was showing.
Which meant in spite of running through miles of imaginary fields and more than an hour long speech I had been running for all but 10 minutes. I was devastated. I had covered only 1 km by then.
I huffed and puffed my way through 10K and crawled till 15k. It felt like someone had tied rocks to my thunder thighs.
He feigned a sweaty smile and nodded.
If the stones tied to my thunder thighs were not invisible I would have most certainly been hurling them on this man who had made me break my vow and pushed me into running.
I meet Yama – The Lord of Death (…well almost!)
The last 2 km were the worst. The sweat trickled down from the brow over my eyes. Making them misty. Through my misty eyes and painful smile, I saw at a distance a black blob with red eyes. I knew it was time to say goodbye.
I knew Yama had come for me, for I had broken my vow to never ever run again. I could imagine Yama riding a buffalo moving slowly but surely and single-mindedly towards me with my karmic balance sheet in his hand.
I mentally started preparing my arguments. I wasn’t letting Yama let his noose lose on me!
I was going to tell him that I was just being a true Hindu wife (for a change) and had obediently listened to my husband when he asked me to run. I wiped my brow and rubbed my misty eyes.
Yama looked digital, very numeric.
Who knew Yama had changed with times!?
How I survived
As I drew closer Yama blinked 2:54. I blinked back.
The Yama land looked too crowded. There was a man with bleeding nipples. I knew eating sinful chocolates was way too sinful. Yama had decided Hell for me.
A sweaty hand landed on my shoulder. It was the supportive husband whose support and company I had lost sometime during running.
“Ahh, so you have landed in hell too,” I smiled half relieved!
He smiled back and said, “we bloody did it”. I hugged back wondering why the husband was so jubilant in ending up in hell.
He repeated, “we finished our first 21 km.” I couldn’t believe him. My eyes were misty again and I wanted to do a little jig. But my both legs felt heavier than my grand mom’s grinding stones.
I looked at him lovingly and I said, “Dear husband I vow to kill you if you make me run again”.
Note: This Blog Post has been reposted (after editing) from my previous WordPress Blog.
Trivia: I joined a running group post this experience and ran stronger in my next Half Marathon. Four years after I did the same mistake of running a FULL MARATHON totally unprepared and finished the distance of 42.195 kms in 6 hours 38 minutes.
Not one to give up I enrolled, practiced and did strength training and ran my first Ultra- 75 km in 13 hours from Myanmar to India.
Have you run in any city? How was your first long-distance running experience!