Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
My first run in India! There was no way I was running in Delhi. It was just too hot and humid. I know that sounds like a cop out but me and running in heat don’t mix that well. Add in humidity and I would have been a goner. I suspect I might have collapsed. So, I had a few days rest then when I got to the mountains where it was significantly cooler I headed out for a little run.
There’s a few things I’ve figured out about running in India. It’s not really widespread as a hobby that people do for fun. Certainly not out in the smaller areas for sure. So, my main tip is to go early in the morning. Mainly because a) it avoids getting stared at any more than normal (especially as a woman in running gear) as there’s not so many people about and b) it is cooler and less humid.
So this run was at 5:30am in a foggy Shimla. I admit, it was a bit of a wrench to set my alarm that early! But, I was desperate to run. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’d ran. A week? Just under, just over? It had felt like a while; Africa was the last place I ran and that seemed a lifetime ago.
In Shimla, I stayed just off a main road called The Mall, which is the main road in the centre, where all the shops and stuff are based. So, a long road that is a bit up and down. I’d walked up and down in the previous day on a bit of an explore so it seemed a sensible choice for a run. Run out for a mile or so, then run back. My new minimum distance I’ve set myself on my travels is now 2 miles, so I knew I had to run out at least a mile. It wasn’t too bad. It felt good to be running in a straight line, rather than a circle like Africa, but the little hills were quite tough, both on my legs and lungs. But, in the strange way that only people who push themselves through exercise will know, it feels GOOD. Shimla’s got an average altitude of around 2400m so that’s not too shabby to be running around in.
And the views of the mountains in the early morning mist were pretty special (what I could actually see through the mist), and I ran past a few monkeys scrabbling around for scraps, as well as a few bemused people out on an early morning walk. I ended up doing just over 3 miles in the end, which was good enough for me. Enough to keep me in the habit and keep the muscles and lungs working until I can get to somewhere where I can either go more regularly or pick up the miles again. Unfortunately I suspect that might be a while yet.
When I got back to where I was staying I decided to go back to bed. Now that’s something I’ve never been able to do before! Normally a run at that time is followed by a day at work or a busy day at the weekend. Luxury!