Battering the body took by pursuing speed made the Hubli passenger revert to its USP. I decided to run at a leisurely pace this Friday so as to conserve for the coming weekend. I left for the run at 4:09 AM.
A Santro standing askew with its full headlights on at the Haddows Road facing a tree with a crowd of onlookers made me stop with concern. The guy who looked like the driver spoke clearly meaning it was neither a case of drunken driving nor one of sleep deprived driver. He politely refused the offer of calling an Ambulance. The verbal disagreement I had with the walker near Gemini circle (the one who addressed me as Mappilai!) which I call the Mukkalaat turned to Mulakat after the guy addressed me as ‘Partner’ today.
The next encounter of import today was when a person tried to attract my attention by calling out to me near the Subhas Chandra Bose statue on Beach Road. Stopping and retracing my steps, I realized it was a visually challenged man who wanted help to cross the busy road. I helped him cross and in the process learnt that Triplicane MRTS station opens out on Beach road there. My good deed for the day done!
It was light when I returned to the Beach road. The dog which has serious skin infection and has shed most of his fur and is so weak that he is not even able to scratch himself was standing pathetically. It makes one feel utterly helpless when one encounters so much pain.
The run was relaxed and completed at 7:28 AM.
On Friday evening, nature put up a magnificent Sound and Light show. Now I understood why ‘Mahaul banana’ is derisively called atmospherics. It had very little of water to show for all its chest beating. But, the Corporation made a decent puddle of it at most places on the route and wet roads were a comfort for the soles when I left at 4:14 AM on Saturday.
This also meant that there was enough of loose gravel on the road, the particularly bad stretch was the stretch on College road connecting Sterling Road to the Haddows College Road. I winced as I ran and would have put Basanto dancing on broken glass pieces for her Hero in the movie ‘Sholay’ to shame. The strip tease was restored to the Uttamar Gandhi Salai intersection!
When I was in my second loop of the Island ground loop on the Swami Sivananda road, I had the company of young kids warming up for their skating. It was nice to run with them and their cheering. On the Mount road, right under the nose of Munroe majestically astride his steed, when I turned right to salute Ganpati bappa, I found two Military policemen trying to awaken a prone person. Not liking the tone of it (Munroe a foreigner Civil servant who was an empathetic administrator would have winced at how today’s native police are treating their own people!) I went to enquire. One of the Policeman had passed his verdict without getting down from his steed (read motorbike), the other was trying to wake up the person. I went and tried to do an impromptu breathalyzer test on the charged person. He was not guilty, he actually pointed to his chest and that too on the left side and complained of pain. I told the policemen to leave him alone and asked the pujari of the temple to talk to him in his language and get to know his residence. We got him on to the pavement away from the harm’s way. He was not there when I came in the reverse direction for my third loop. The pujari told me that he had some water and walked off. He had no sympathy for such stragglers as they lie around the temple and defile the place.
The sick dog was looking worse today and I wished he could get run over so that his miseries could end, maybe, animals don’t take short cuts like suicide. I was confronted by a person who had met me at the Anna Nagar Tower Twisters anniversary celebration asking me about the next day’s anniversary programme of T Nagar runners. Though I had an invitation, as I was not familiar with the location, I had decided to give it a miss. I must be frank, I did not want to forego my full marathon on Sunday second week in a row. Too much exposure is also not good!
I finished my run at 8:52 AM, a 4:28 marathon!
A little sore from the previous day’s run, but, determined to get a full for the Sunday, I was at the gates at 4:26 AM. There was no rain the previous night meaning a Sun drenched final hour run was in store. This also however meant that the roads must be cleared of the loose gravel. The guard opposite the complex opposite the Regional Metrological station was enjoying his communion with Vasundhara Das seductively belting out ‘Vasigara-2’. I felt like I was intruding on his dream. He looked up to greet me.
In my first loop from Light house to Napier, I met Jhansi Rani’s husband who was returning after completing his walk (they had actually vanished after my encounter a few days back and I was worried I may have given them too much Gyan!). It seems his wife had gone to her parents place and he was hurrying back for his Sunday Mass!
Today’s highlight was when I met @Sundar Purush accompanied by a 16 year old youngster with him when I was in my second loop on the Flag staff house road. The boy it seems has been running for a year and does 30K on weekends and is going into his 12th standard. Now, that makes it two kids within the last two Sundays who are into their 12th and their parents have no issue about their taking up a strenuous sport of long distance running. I did my bit in counseling in asking him to control his mileage so that it makes him alert, but, does not put him to sleep. We ran the third loop and the stretch upto Labour statue together. It was nice to see three generations or say ‘Kal Aaj aur Kal’ running together. They took the parallel road from Labour statue. I still had two loops from Napier to Light house and back after this stretch to make my full quota.
I was accosted by another runner when I turned for my second loop opposite Queen Mary’s college. He works for Hindustan UniLever and we ran one loop together to Napier bridge and back to light house. His Garmin gave verbal update with speeds as 5:30 to 5:45 per Km during the run together. He said that he runs a half marathon on weekends. We parted at Light house.
I struggled through the last loop and I was deadbeat when I was crossing the policeman standing outside the Commissioner of Police’s office. I needed a drink of water and my system could not survive till the AVM pit stop. I asked the policeman (Mr. C Prakash!) if I could get a drink, he gave me a jug full from a well stocked can and the usual interrogation of my motive for run started. He said if I can run 42K, then I could regular marathons. I asked him what I get if I join events, he said ‘Medals’. I give him my philosophical take that a satisfying solo run in worth more than any medal and that I will get photographed with him when I meet him next with a load of all my medals! It is difficult selling running for running’s sakes to non runners.
It seems that the entire city wants to know why I run every day. I was asked the same question by the parking attendant at Saravana bhawan near the AVM kalyana mantapam pit stop. He asked me what I get by running so much and what is my aim. I told him I wanted to do back to back marathons on
weekends even after I turn 100! I know he must have taken me for a mad cap!
I finished my run at 9:03 AM with both feet crying for rest. The programme for the day was shelved and I just slept the whole day.
I woke up with a pain in both my toes today and I took a break from run and am regretting it. Will make it up tomorrow!