Social experiment while Running.

One of the most exciting things to start a morning when you are travelling is by going for a good run in the vicinity of around 6-10 km from where you are staying. The excitement of exploring the country side on foot and that too while running is just immeasurable. I had the opportunity to visit Goa in the first week of March this year on pleasure. The last time I had gone to Goa was in decemeber 2012 and that was to participate in a marathon. It was a half marathon. The days after the marathon when I was in Goa were spent in Sight seeing and running was completely stopped as I was taking time to recover from the run.

But this time it was different. One of the most exciting things I was planning to do in Goa this time was to run on the beach. Though staying in Mumbai, I have never run on the beach as the nearest beach is around 15 km. So every night before going to bed I used to set an alarm for 6:30 am for the following morning. I also used to ensure that I did not get sloshed the previous night. So on my first day I woke up at around 7 went to do about my morning rituals and reached beach at around 7:00. Now let me also tell you that I stayed at Colmar beach resort which was right on the beach so accessing the beach was never a problem.I went to the beach and did my pre run exercises and started to run. I did not have GPS on me so I was running time based. I decided to start running on the beach parallel to the shore and run for 20 mins and turn and come back so effectively running 40 mins or around 6.5 km. I was slightly apprehensive about running on the beach as I did not knew how my feet would take it up. I started to run and within 2 mins I was feeling very nice. The wind was blowing on my face. The sun was shining on my left side. I was running south. The sweat was almost absent.

I was constantly looking at the various shacks which bordered the shore. There were foreigners getting ready to spend the day on the beach. The shack boys had just woken up and were cleaning the shack. The para sailing team and the adventure sport team was getting their equipment’s ready. They had put a board giving details of the charges. A part of their marketing team were soliciting beach goers for rides and there was this crazy Indian running on the beach.

I reached the next beach after 20 mins. The beach was Benaulim beach. It was a beach which me and my wife fell in love when we went there last December. This time the beach was more crowded. I turned at the beach and started my return lef. All my apprehensions on running on the beach were gone. The pain was not there. Neither in the knee nor in the sheen. I guess the wet hard sand was giving a good cushion to my feet.

During the run I decided to do a social experiment. I decided to greet foreigners as well as Indians with warm good morning and see how many would respond me back. I had never done anything like that on my runs back home. I saw a couple walking towards me and I felt a little shy to greet them. I let them go but I felt angry on me to have felt shy. I then saw a guy running towards me and I greeted him. He responded back. I felt good. After that I greeted each person irrespective of their gender or nationality and who were within a radius of 10-15 meters from me with a good morning. This went on for good 30 mins. The result of this social experiment was as expected. In terms of percentage close to 90% percent of foreigners responded back to my greeting and close to 10% of Indians responded back to me. Overall the result was really disappointing. Indians in general are not very good in Social etiquette and this social experiment proved it.

I finished my run and did post run stretches. I was feeling hungry by this time. I went back to my hotel room, took a shower and had a good heavy breakfast of Dosa and Idli. I finished my breakfast with a strong cup of tea and it set tone for my day in Goa. t


Travelling and running.

Last December I had been to Goa for running my first half marathon in Goa. Though I had planned the marathon last year too, but could not go due to the reason best known to me. The excitement of going to Goa was doubled due to the fact that I would be running a grueling 21.1 km there.  The humidity was something which was worrying me as Goa is a coastal state. But guess what  I got my personal best there.  I clocked 2:13 which was an improvement of over 20 mins from my last half marathon which was almost 2  months earlier. I remember my wife who was standing  to cheer me and give me high five as I neared the finish line. It was one of the happiest moment of my life. The adrenaline rush it gives you when you cross the finish line with a personal best after running your heart out for 21.1 km is just indescribable.

The best part about going to different and exciting places for marathon is that it gives you a chance to explore that part of the world. As a person who resides in Mumbai, I thought sea would never excite me. I was a bit apprehensive about travelling much in Goa.  I thought, “what the heck”, Goa is also going to be like Mumbai. Its the same salty water after all. But the first view of Baina beach (from where the marathon started) put rest to all the apprehension I had. As soon as I had finished the marathon (my wife ran her first 10k), I ran towards the water. It was one of the most thrilling experience to enter the cold water after you had tested your limbs to its limits. The cold water soothed my body like a whiff of fresh air after you spend hours in your cramped office space. It was just divine.ImageImage