Sunday, December 16, 2007

India and running

* A marathon 33 hour-36 hour journey to get to and from Kolkata via Seoul and Bangkok (including the transit times).

* Finding a gym with a treadmill near home was non-trivial. A couple of places had "manual" treadmills. I guess it would have been an adventure to try them out but I really did not want do anything that would get me injured.

* After five days of not running I pined to just put on my shoes and run on the roads. However, there were at least 3 stray dogs per block. I would have really needed the whole set of rabies vaccines if any of them bit me. Moreover apart from mad people folks don't run on the streets there :)

* Finally, I found a gym with a couple of automatic treadmills. I had to pay as much as I would have at a US gym for far less amenities. I now can appreciate having access to the pro-club.

* I had to run in the afternoon if I wanted to have access to the TM for more than 15-20 minutes!* The "fitness trainer" at the gym was impressed when he saw me run for over an hour at a decent clip. His first question - "How many calories did you burn?" Me - "I don't know". It's such a different mindset there. Some people there referred to the TM as a "walker" :)

* It was so HOT in the gym. I'd estimate at least 90-100F. I found myself struggling after just 30 minutes on the first day. Gradually, I adjusted to the heat and tried to drink some water during the run.

* It was odd measuring my run in kms. I ran about 12km on most days.

* The TMs had such a lack of traction it was just difficult to run fast in the beginning. It just felt weird.

* Right outside the gym I'd always encounter some people smoking. Ugh - inhaling smoke after an uplifting activity like running.

* I ate everything I wanted to. After all I don't get to visit India often.

* Runners are ubiquitous. I saw folks getting in a run in Bangkok. Aside: I got to eat some authentic Thai food in Bangkok. It's so much more flavoury than the Thai food we get to eat here.



* Uthnau: I visited a few remote Indian villages. I'm a volunteer for Asha for Education which supports their education projects. Getting to the villages took 5-7 hours each way, the last parts on dirt roads...

* There's a sweet store at almost every block in Kolkata. Think delicious and calories :)

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