After just one day of running on Chennai Roads I hit a road block in the form of unexplained pain on my right thigh which contrary to normal soreness seemed to aggravate with running. I had the ignominy of aborting the run on two successive days despite Sundar trying to diagnose the injury and suggest stretches for the same. It was with this backdrop that I started for Bangalore on Friday night for the preview shows of running movie made through crowd sourcing by Ash Nath. The movie ‘Two feet to fly’ is a story of six runners from across India who have battled and overcome various disabilities ranging from god given like blindness to self inflicted like smoking. Yours truly fell in the latter category. The story of my dirty divorce with Lady Nicotine and getting hooked with the mother of all addictions read ‘running’ was beautifully portrayed by the creative team. The movie was shown in previews on Saturday and Sunday last to enthusiastic response from the patrons and invitees. The feeling of seeing oneself on celluloid is indescribable. The stories of other characters in the plot were moving. I really felt humbled by the experience. Biscuit (my six year old Labrador for those of you who haven’t been introduced) had a reasonable role in the movie and his name not being in the cast was taken up with the Director who agreed to set right the grave error! Biscuit refusing food for two days during our absence could be due to the new place and our absence, but, I would believe it to be due to the omission to give him his due place in the cast! Ash Nath's belief and persistence in the project and the excellent work by the creative team truly deserve my humble respect!
Dharmender gave me a chance to run the Bengaluru marathon route along with himself, Nagraj Harsha, Saloni and Randeep Arora. The runners were well taken care by the Race director Nagraj Adiga who rode till the half way mark on a bicycle (this would be a worthy tradition for the Bengaluru marathon as Dharmender was mentioning a similar practice in NY marathon where the Race Director runs the entire course after the event!). We started at 6:20 AM ( I reached the start point at 5:45 AM on my nephew’s bicycle and this time for a change didn’t have any problem in locating the same after the run!). Dharmender wanted me to check the barefoot friendliness of the course!
The first break was taken after 10K on the perimeter of the Ulsoor lake where we stopped for a banana/water break. It was a clouded day and the weather was runner friendly and the course really flat, but, even though we had the services of a Traffic police constable accompanied us all through the route to escort us across the intersection, since we were running in traffic, I had to run on the edge of the road and soles took a beating due to pebbles there. I hope it would be better on the race day with complete traffic regulation. Pani Sir caught up with us at near KM 17 and he accompanied me all through the run and also dropped me to where my steed was tethered. Next break was stretched beyond the 20K mark and we stopped at outside the Race ambassador, Reeth Abraham’s residence, who joined us till the turning point and back to her house. The run was enjoyable despite the Sun due to such august company. Meanwhile, the pebbles took a steady toll on my soles. This combined with the heating surface made me go faster despite Dharmender constantly reminding us to be together to make the job of the Traffic constable accompanying us easy. We finished the run at 11:07 AM, a creditable 4:47 FM for the ailing Hubli Passenger!
Cut to Chennai, Biscuit eating enthusiastically on seeing us, gave us lots of pleasure, much to my daughter’s consternation who had vainly tried to feed him in the last two days. The whole of Monday was spent recovering from the FM and the heady feeling of seeing oneself on the celluloid.
Today mornings run was absolutely essential to perform on home pitch, come Tuesday, and I was at the gates of the colony. Sure as clockwork Sunday met me at 4:35 AM and we had a good run, the groin showing up again in the beginning. Sundar was kind to run to my speed without appearing condescending. We reached the half way mark at 5:42 AM. On the way back just when we were about a few hundred meters from my home, a car honked behind me. When I tiredly gave way, it drew across us and the man at the wheel gave us a slow clap of appreciation. Sundar told me that it was one Mr. Gupta of Chennai runners. The run finished at 6:50 AM, an almost even split. The plan now is to sustain this distance and conquer my pain in the leg till Friday and try some long run over the weekend!