After four days of regular running, even if only a Half marathon, coupled with Gabbaresque roads after the incessant rains, my soles, particularly the recovering left one were a bad mess today. Had it not been for the sentimental reason of signing off the year in style, I would have given in to Biscuit’s invitation of getting into bed after his morning walk. Sundar Purush had his own personal battle with year end work pressure, but, he too sacrificed sleep for ceremony. Our tribe is growing, DrAvk Mohan, had fixed up for rendezvous at Lighthouse at 5:45 AM today!
So I was like the brave Basanti marching off to dance on broken glass, but, to make the impact easier, I taped the left toe portion and hoped that it would hold. We started the run at 5:02 AM with Sundar clucking over my left foot with tape showing on top. I told him that I feel like a junkie who after repeatedly injecting himself does not mind the prick for getting his fix, only my brand of the drug is Endorphins! It was a drier day and I hoped a less pebbly road.
There were many places where we walked and timing was not an issue. We met lot of runners as we entered the Kamarajar Salai on their way back. We reached Lighthouse at 5:46 AM to find the good Doctor already there stretching himself on the railings. The drier pavement meant a better grip and the plaster was still on. Sundar being back in the fold meant cow spotting was perfect (yesterday I could spot one only on the way back!). The fair one who was looking regally chewing her cud was the first choice for all of us, but, she had other plans. We settled for a less sophisticated one who was munching away at a distance. She obliged!
We met a lot of boys and girls practicing skating on Sivananda Salai. Their perseverance and their coach/parents dedication makes one feel good. I was reminded of children practicing on the road around Nehru Park in Delhi in peak winter. Today army men were in full strength probably trying to impress the Doctor. Readers will be impressed to note that the case of the missing ‘O’ in the Officer’s colony has been solved by the good Doctor and the fair name of Army restored!
We reached the Gandhi statue at the stroke of 6:45 PM (yes it strikes every quarter of an hour at Gandhi statue and I learnt it today!). We parted with the Doctor with promise of another run same time same place as today. Return journey was not too bad and we were ahead of Venky (he followed us on his cycle, bells blaring!) till he reached his post. I walked most of the bad stretch and limped back outside the colony gates at 7:25 AM and as Sundar said, the Doctor did hustle us today! An idea has been mooted to save my foot till it heals that I take the bicycle upto and from Venky’s ATM and make up the 8 odd Kms lost by doing a extra loop. Let me see how my foot holds tomorrow.
I thought a summary of the year that went by is in order;
1. Stopped participating in regular events from Auroville this year, did slip up to run the 50K Ultra and Sohar marathon.
2. Participated in Mysore to Bangalore run and two 12 hour runs at Bangalore and Mumbai and had my first brush with cramps.
3. ‘Run pe charcha’ , informal runs in various cities, including Kakinada, Mysore, Bangalore and Pune whenever I went there on official or personal work, better one to one interaction and bonding with runners.
4. Stayed Vegan the whole year without any major health issue, became closer to cows.
5. Switched from Dailymile and stopped counting my kilometers logged.
6. Brush with media with a few newspaper reports and a movie debut thanks to Ash Nath
7. Heart wrenching break from my affair at Hubli and its highway NH-218, still coming to grips with this mega city. Loving the running community and thir attention though missing the leisurely long runs.
Watch out for tomorrows dispatch for the New year resolutions!