Friday, May 23, 2008

Running in Kodai - May 2008

In Milhaven, Kodaikanal, my friend Mary's house. What a place. There is a lot of history in this place. Wife and I are in the outhouse. Its cold. But its quaint and extremely other-worldly.

We've been here two days now. Arrived Saturday evening.

I went running in the morning both days. Yesterday I went out early - around 0600 - and hit the road towards Pillar Rock. That was two km away. I crossed that and went on past Guna caves - about another 2 - 3 km. Along the way I saw a gateway to a trail going into the casuarina groves. Many of the groves here are part of the National Afforestation Programme. So the trees are all planted in straight rows. But they are massive and magnificent. I took off from the road and decided to the follow the trail to see where it lead. It looked like a wood cutter's trail. There were several trees that were cut along the route and the trail itself looked like a set of wheels had been through them. I presume the wood was loaded onto a jeep of some kind to be carted out to civilisation.

The run was hard. Especially the climbs. So I did a jog-walk-run combination until I reached the trail head and started a short trek in. As always, the woods in the hills weaved their magic over me. I simply loved the feeling of being in the midst of so much nature (even though it was a planted grove).

Check out this picture of the pristine beauty of oru natural resources maintained so beautifully by our extremely eco-friendly tourists!

I spent about 30 minutes following the trail. By then it was 1hr 20 min since I started the run. So I headed back and reached Milhaven in about 30 minutes. Mostly downhill, So I was able to really run without feeling much strain.

Today I decided to do some running drills. I found a stretch of road right at the entrance of Milhaven - going past to a place called Rock of Silence. It had a good 65m downward slope before it turned into a steep climb. After a 10min warm up I completed 5 overspeed drills on that 65m stretch. I really felt my legs free up by the 3rd repeat. The 4th and 5th were blazing. After I finished that I turned my attention ot the 30 m driveway into Milhaven. It's 30 meters at an almost 20 degree angle upward. I managed to complete 4 starts up that driveway. It felt like the 100m drive phase for an extended 30m. It was a killer. After that I finished up with some light high knees up the drive (20m only, 6 repeats) and some stretching. Burnt some 900 calories. So I know I worked.

Looking forward to tomorrow. Not sure what I will do though.


Anonymous said...

Hope you don't mind my contacting you. I'm doing some family history work on the Wright family in India.
My great aunt, who was called Mildred Mary Schmidt (nee Wright) lived at Milhaven. I have a letter which she wrote to my grandfather in 1944 (her brother) in which she talks about Milhaven and her garden. Would you have any more information about the place or its present owner as I would love to be able to get in touch? Would you have any more photos of the house and surrounding area?

Sandy - Rat Race Runner said...

Hi there,

I have a lot more information about the place as told to me by the present owners. And yes I did take a lot of pictures of Milhaven.

If you can give me your contact details, I can connect you with the present owners who are very good friends of mine.