It took the anniversary of the momentous occasion of the anniversary of the first train run in India 162 years ago to get the Hubli Passenger back on rails after a gap of nine days. The last run was a marathon squeezed in last Monday (the 6th April, 2015) before I had to move in to the hospital with wife for one of her planned surgeries. Even though we were back home last Saturday, fever contacted during the last few days of the hospital stay my run drought kept prolonging. Finally, I eked out a run today.
Frankly speaking, I never thought I would be able to stay off running for the entire hospital stay, It was like de-addiction time for me, particularly with the Internet connectivity also being on ration. The final test came when I went with my daughter for her participation in Pinkathon last Sunday. It was like a recent quitter being invited to be a part of a booze party, when so many people young and old were running on Sunday. I also cheated a bit and ran for a few stretches wherever my health permitted.
The energy and the enthusiasm of the Chennai women during the Pinkathon was infectious. The parents with toddlers in tow were on the sidelines of the holding area coaching their wards as if it were a competitive exam and their future depended on it. The real joy was seen when the kids were out of the zone of influence of the parents gaze and they ran with gay abandon like only dogs and kids know how to!
The fever continued to recur and torment me even after Sunday and the wait for a run was frustrating. So, it was with a resolution to get in a run irrespective of the length and time that I lined up at the gates of the colony at 4:17 AM.
Weather was not as good as the previous day, but, still a lot cooler than when I last ran. The body and feet were not in rhythm and the run was labored, there was some shortness of breath too. I was afraid if I would have to face the ignominy of cutting short the run and walking back. This fear slowly receded as I used the ploy of reducing the pace whenever I felt the breath going awry. A comment from a bus-shelter as to where I run every day had me retorting that I have not run for nearly ten days. I reached the Gandhi statue at 5:00 AM, a full 43 minutes.
I met Jesudas and his partner and we have been meeting after almost 2 weeks as they were out right from Good Friday. My absence was noted and speedy recovery wished by the friendly couple. Today, my target was initially kept at 12K to Gandhi statue and back, which was increased to 18K by including one loop to Napier bridge and back. Met Sundar Purush near the Perumal temple and a smile on his face was welcoming and reassuring.
Feeling good with myself, I stretched my luck and did one more loop to Napier and back, the key was a slow pace. I did not want to get back too early to wake up people at home. My return has been taken for granted and not many interruptions for enquiries were there. Familiar waves, including, from my mendicant friends meant all was well. I did not stop for water at the AVM Kalyana mantapam as I was not thirsty.
It was 6:59 AM when I reached the colony gates with both legs like jelly after a 24K run in 2:42. Trusting my body and feet to recover ad strengthen by tomorrow and more so for the weekend.