Friday, January 08, 2010

Running like a total tourist

I've only been able to run three times in India and each is pure cliche.

20 minutes on the treadmill at the Lalit in New Delhi. The roads surrounding this place were filled with traffic and the verges were filled with stuff (people, vendors, rubble, piles of building materials etc) Plus the air in Delhi was thick with smoke--not the kind you might think, auto pollution, but rather wood smoke. At first this was a mystery but then I paid attention and noticed that rubbish and wood fires were pretty common. The pollution was so bad that even in-doors, one could see it in large rooms and smell it everywhere. I figured that the air would be at least better inside and it wasn't practical to run out of doors either way. The health club had a treadmill so I figured I would give it a try.

It was awful! I hated that I was a slave to the machine--a half-second of running at the wrong pace and you are thrown off the back or hitting the front of it. I could stand only 20 minutes. Afterwards, it felt as if I had just smoked a whole pack of cigarettes.

The next run was in Agra. It was still polluted, but not quite as bad as Delhi. The streets were just as bad, or maybe not quite so bad, but pretty bad and the hotel sat in a multi-acre compound. I ran 6 laps through the compound in 40 lame minutes. The only thing of intrest were the shotgun toting guards walking their posts.

The last was on the beach in Goa. I ran up the beach for half an hour and then ran back for half an hour.

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