Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The journey from Dream runs to Ultra

 Yesterday was the Sunday solistice for me (the longest day!), day started as chronicled earlier in detail at 1 AM for the early morning run and I got to draw stumps and call it a play at 11:45 PM after dropping my niece on her train. I had earlier in the night yesterday, bravely concurred to Sundar Purush invite for a 4AM run for today. I decided to sacrifice the spinning and Biscuit’s walk letting me wake up at 3:15 AM. It’s a different matter that at 3:45 AM, Sundar announced rescheduling the run to 5:30AM due to a late night (must be the little one!). I was far too gone and Biscuit having gotten a walk late in the evening the previous day was not pressing his case. I decided to leave at my usual time.
 I had planned a 32K today in what would have been a longer run in quite some time. I left at 4:02 AM. The pavement having been dug up to put up barricades to stop two wheelers from riding on the pavement was totally barefoot unfriendly. I took the middle of the road. No drunken revelers today and I had a good start with a smooth stretch of newly laid road to follow. A new arrival dog at the petrol bunk on entering Uttamar Gandhi Saalai did do due diligence on my reaction to his overtures before relenting and letting me go. The guards outside US consulate after Gemini Flyover initiated the introductions today. As I crossed Stella Mary’s, I remembered yesterday’s incident which I forgot to report. Four dogs, three Alsatians and one Great Dane had had a barking match yesterday (I had thought then that the residents of this all Girls institution had turned to men’s best friend for their security having no faith in human’s ability to take care of them!). I had taken a picture of the four hounds shaking up the closed gates in a bid to rattle me (I shall post it depending on disbeliefs, if any, voiced by my readers!). If this was not weird enough, I saw a young donkey tied at the bus shelter with only the smiling visage of Amma to give him company. I had recorded this also for posterity. There is never a dull moment during the morning runs. Today the college and the bus stand attached were back to business to welcome their wards at the start of a new week. Met my friend Venky at his ATM. After enquiring about my missing partner, he bid me bye after asking be to be careful of the traffic.
 I have had one more unpleasant incident during morning run which has gone unreported. There are lot of stray dogs and older vagabonds sitting under the MRTS overhead alignment. I found one of them teasing the cur and he was taking pleasure in the dog squirming in pain. I regret that that I did not have the courage to confront them. I remember this as the chief tormentor wished me as crossed him in my run today. I took the opportunity to take up the Canine right issue and he sheepishly apologized.
 Reached the Lighthouse at 4:45 AM. Given the small peelings and the impatience of the approaching cow, I served it on the grass patch in front of her, but, waited patiently till it fully finished it. People have started to stop for observing this daily morning ritual. Nobody has challenged me so far on this, but, I start revising my defence as soon as I sense an audience building up.
 Today Parle-G lady was present in person with her assistants to supervise the canine feeding operation. The stretch from War memorial to the start of the Mount road was better lighted today. I got a greeting from the armed Army guard standing outside the colony gates. I reached back to Lighthouse at 5:49 AM. Time was on my side to permit me another loop and my legs were not complaining!
 Srikumar Rangarajan joined me near Labour statue and offered to run with me for this loop. What followed was an interesting discussion on barefoot running and of quitting the Tobacco addiction. I suggested he draw on his religious faith to find strength to beat the Nicodemon. What followed was a engrossing discussion on Advaita, Vishishtadvaita and the thoughts of JK and Ramana maharishi. My unsolicited advice to him was to go for a long run whenever he felt the nicotine calling.
 We kept on about the problem of old age when we would lack company having already become nuclear families with one child. To me the entire process of growing up is like graduating from the noise and fun of a crowded Dream run to graduating to a more intense HM with lesser company. Finally, the solitude of an Ultra marathoner is what gives one the maturity of being comfortable with oneself. Isn’t life all about looking inward and finding one’s truth!
 After a small water break at Lighthouse, he joined me on the return journey. We parted at the flyover promising more such meditative runs in future. I finished my run at 7:36 AM. Hope I can keep this distance going for the week, will plan a longer run in the weekend.

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