Monday, 30 March 2015

The troubled weekend

            Never outrun the joy of running;
            The run on Saturday was sheer bullheadedness to continue the running streak of more than two weeks. The only saving grace was that there was no pressure of time. I started the run at 4:23 AM. I was ambling along and reached Lighthouse after the break for feeding a cow. I was asked by a middle aged person stretching near Lighthouse about my age. He seemed satisfied with just that statistic, not surprising in a country where everybody seems to swear by GDP growth rate. We sure are given to over simplification (My own organization has its gold standard called the Operating Ratio!). Wish life could be so simple! The clock was showing ten minutes past five AM when I crossed Gandhi statue.
            I was surprised by Kakinada express coming from the opposite direction on Sivananda road. The Doctor joined me from there on. He informed me that he was away on official work. In the next instant onwards without exchange of another word we fell into a rhythm and ran. I was reminded of the song ‘Tere Bina Zindagi se…’ of the movie Aandhi where one song bridges years of absence! We did three loops of the Island ground. Today the greetings were distributed with the bulk going to the Doctor. I also seemed to be getting a share of the Army brothers affections!
            We did one loop from Napier bridge to Lighthouse and back before he parted taking leave of absence for Sunday for his cycling expedition.
            As I returned back for the second loop, @Ram coming from opposite direction turned around and joined me. We had had a steady run and he informed me that he is planning to do an Ultra 75K. He broke off at Lighthouse, leaving me to the grind of facing the wrath of the Sun in the last loop.
            I was deadbeat when I reached the Gandhi statue. None of the water sprinklers were working on the way and at one place where it was working there were a Corporation employee and some elderly morning walkers in whose presence I did not feel confident of dunking my head in the spray. I lived to regret that during the run from Gandhi statue to my water point.
            I had an interesting discussion with the Auto driver who was filling his supplies of water from the tap next to mine. He asked me how much I ran and why. I could tell him the ‘how much’ part, but, as I was struggling for the why part, he said that he used to think of me as mad and now has immense respect. I asked him if it was my attire which put me in the mad category, he sheepishly said ‘Yes’. I have a new friend in the Auto wallah community!
            I had to take a stretching break after the TTK flyover as my left thigh was playing up. Thankfully it held for the rest of the run. I reached home deadbeat at 8:52 AM and the Sun would have me believe it was mid-day. Must prepone my start if I plan a full in Chennai!

            The Black Sunday
            The combined tiredness of the last two weeks and my rigidity of nothing less than a full marathon if it’s a holiday made me take a break on Sunday. After the usual hour of spinning, Biscuit was told to go back and continue sleep and the morning walk was rescheduled to 5:30 AM. The onslaught of mosquitoes in the stolen extra time in bed made me wish I was out running.
            I gave Biscuit a leisurely walk. I dutifully settled before the TV in time for the match to cheer for the black caps! The only good news was their winning the toss. McCullum, the hopes of all Anti Aussie forces fell before we could say Jack Robbins! Three wickets in a tumble and my misery was complete. I did not feel so much even when the Aussies took us to the cleaners in our Semi final match (in some corner of my heart, I was hoping we would chase it down!). Hats off to the indomitable Elliot.
            It took the combined heroics of Saina and Srikant in the evening to lift my spirits. The clinical performance from Saina against a visibly tired opponent and the fearless and aggressive display by Srikant warmed our hearts. The behavior of the crowd was very immature and they displayed total lack of knowledge of the game or any etiquette while raising ken even when play was on. We must seriously think of keeping audience in a sound proof cage lest players refuse to play in India.

            Runs resume
            Suitably chastised after the bunk and the guilt, Biscuit and I were before time for the walk today, like two drunkards outside the TASMAC (the State liquor vend!) before opening of the same after a dry day. I was therefore at the start point at 4:07 AM.
            I was surprised by a rough voice calling out to me from the shadows within a few hundred meters into my run. I went bubbling with anger to confront the person. His tone was of a policeman quizzing a culprit. After patiently listening to him, I realized that even though he was rough in his tone, his intent was to tell me to be careful of the traffic. It sure broke my rhythm.
            Today seemed to be a day of counseling. The policemen usually napping at the entrance of Poes garden road, were up and I overheard one of them loudly complaining about my running in the middle. I took a break and put him wise about the reason. He was not fully convinced, but, preferred to give up and get back to getting his full quota of beauty sleep rather than extending the argument.
            There were few more mumbles from people waiting at bus-shelters about my regular running and I decided to stop convincing them of my ways. The only soul who seemed to accept me as normal was the weather vane Dog, who went past with his tongue fully out. He seemed to be sympathising with my effort!

            The break which came on the return trip at the water point was taken out of habit rather than any physical distress. I was also accosted by a motorcyclist who slowed next to me and the usual routine of my age, run distance was enacted. He announced this to his team of riders in Telugu. This does buoy up one’s spirit. This was a fitting finale to doubters who seemed to dot my onward run today. I finished at 7:29AM. Considering the number of ‘run pe charcha’ on why I run, the timing should be taken as decent! I must remember to give some more footage to Biscuit in my tomorrow’s post, he must be feeling low!

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