Biscuit has made his intentions clear, his younger days of night out on the streets are over. If I need his company, it better be for warm down after my run rather than before the run. I will take some adjusting with nobody to blame for my hitting the snooze button and curling back in bed. I bunked today and am man enough to take the responsibility! I must learn the maturity from Biscuit to take a break from run more stoically and not mope over it.
The lethargy today could be the after effects of back to back marathons over the weekend. The situation was compounded by the lack of rest on Sunday as I had to play chauffer for better part of the day.
I had a Eureka moment during the run this Sunday. It is normal for me to be the target of catcall by youngsters riding double/triple on their fast bikes. I respond to them either by waving/smiling or sometimes by wild gesturing in anger depending on the state of mind and body. When I was called to attention by a transgender person politely inviting me for a cup of tea, I disregarded him and continued in my run. After a few minutes it struck me that my apathy/antipathy to these people is no different from the youngsters who jeer me because of the way I dress (differently from other runners). I turned back and politely told him that I do not drink tea (did not complicate the matter with the excuse of Veganism!). I realized that tolerance or acceptance of difference is not as simple as putting up a rainbow on facebook profile photo!
Many of the runners from the city having gone to Hyderabad for the marathon, the number at Marina in their yellow top uniform were smaller than usual. I witnessed a sea of light maroon (I hope my colour blind eyes got the colour right!) dressed men and women walking on the Marina with a purpose. There was TV crew interviewing the walkers. It turns out that these are devout on their annual pilgrimage to the Velankanni church. Some of the younger ones in these troupes also sniggered at my attire and barefoot, I was more broadminded in my response to their action.
My thoughts during the run were on my decision to avoid organized and paid events. I feel goal setting or participation in such events were for me seeking validation for my commitment to running and the pleasure of meeting like minded runners. Now I find enough runners and appreciative audience in my daily runs and I find no need to travel for it. Met Venkat Venkataraghavan on my run on Sunday and our discussion (or more like my monologue!) was on the topic of participation in events only.
A regular pavement sleeper was sleeping with gay abandon with his feet pointing in the direction of the Venkateswara temple, as if, challenging the devout in us to move it to the direction where there is no Lord! M S Amma still had not decided the track for the day to be sung to awaken the Lord from his beauty sleep.
There was company all through my three loops of running with Chennai runners upping the ante for the forthcoming Chennai marathon. I met the power puff girls ( Sita Viswanathan and Harishankar Krishnaswami) twice on Saturday and from the time between the two meetings and the locations, it must have been a very long run. They were running strong!
When I was waiting for the signal to turn red at Gandhi statue, three Muslim gentlemen of middle age stopped to talk to me. After the usual questions of my age, diet and distance routine were out of the way, they asked me if I do not need to carry water on my long runs. I told them that I drink at AVM kalyana mantapam if I feel thirst, as I was that day. I told them that while it is nice of them to admire my stamina, what I found amazing was for them to be able to give up food/water completely from Sunrise to Sunset for a whole month every year. Faith is always one notch above passion! They agreed, but, said they had God on their side in support of their effort!