I did manage to getup early enough to manage an early start, which was suppose to be 7am, but it did not take place and I finally got out at 7.45am. Sometimes I just feel extremely lazy to get ready and get out of the house. This made the run even more difficult (plus the fact that I was not really in great shape over the last few days) as the heat and humidity really took a toll after the first 11kms of the run. I decided to walk for about a kilometer, just to let my body rest and get back to normal temperature and then followed it up with a good 7.5km run after that. Actually the break makes it (mentally) tougher to get back to running again. But, that is the challenge, which I tend to enjoy and it will actually help me for my Leh run, as I might have to walk after every 8-10kms, just to catch my breath (with avg altitude of over 3500meters that is very likely) and then start running again. So in all I managed to do about 19.5km in about 2hours 3minutes.
The highlight of the run was a conversation I had with a milkman (who was on a bicycle delivering milk to his regular customers in traditional milk jars/cans, they actually have their own cows/bufallos & deliver fresh milk) during the last couple of kilometers, of my first 11km run. He obviously saw me quite exhausted & advised me that I needed to breathe only through my nose to avoid exhaustion (and I was trying to explain to him, that I was breathing in through my nose and breathing out through my mouth). And then he started a string of questions, why was I running in the sun, why was I running at all, was it something to do with school competition (school & me, now?), and then he went on to explain that he used to run during his younger days for a good 3-4kms at a stretch (and he was actually all of 24years). It was difficult for me to explain to him, why I was running, I tried to explain to him that running was a hobby and that I participate in different marathons, in different parts. But what really caught his attention was that today I was planning to do a 20km run today and the fact that I was a lot older than he was.
It is these conversations or incidents which makes running in the outdoors great fun. It could be anything - running with a total stranger, meeting someone at a crossing and exchanging a few words, or just some passing comments from people who see you running (and react in totally unexpected manner). But, what really gets the maximum reaction from me, is when I have some runner appearing out of nowhere and trying to overtake me during my practice runs, it happened to me again after a long time during this Thursday run, when someone came from behind and tried to overtake me and immediately the competitive spirit kicked in and I overtook him in the next few minutes. On my return from the half way mark, I found him walking after being totally exhausted trying to match my pace, the expression on his face was very satisfying for me.