Friday, 14 August 2015

Dress rehearsal

                The mandatory Biscuit Puranam first! All this pampering is getting to his head. Today he refused to come out of bed for his morning walk despite calling twice. Third time just before giving up like the third and final boarding call when I entered at 4:10 AM, he deigned to look up at me and showed no intent of coming out with me. This must be the only second time in his whole life that he has done this. For the record, he is perfectly okay, had his normal meal and is behaving as if nothing has happened. Maybe, he has taken Dr. Kalam’s (or was it Chetan Bhagat’s!) advice not to take life seriously and that it is okay to bunk classes once in a while!
                Biscuit’s bunk made me feel uncomfortable, I am not much of a warm up guy, and the missed walk made me feel at the beginning of my run like a cold start. Added to this my right thigh has been playing up. Both yesterday and today, I was hell bent that slow run it shall be before the right leg agreed to co-operate and pull its weight. The engine started operating twin stroke somewhere before Gemini flyover.
                After reading Scott Jurek’s book, Eat and Run, I learnt that even though it is okay to breathe through nose/mouth or both, but, for a truly relaxed run, one must attempt while breathing through the nose only. Having decided to run only 32K and the starts of 4:26AM yesterday and 4:12 AM today meant, I could have a real relaxed run!
                I had the company of my RPF (Railway Protection Force) constable for my run from Lighthouse to Labour statue. He enquired about my absence the previous week and I was able to boast to him about my 24 Hour run in Bangalore. He was suitably impressed and there was no attempt by him to race me. As a result both of us had a steady but relaxed run.
There was heavy mobilization of Traffic policemen on the Rajaji salai opposite Fort St. George, the seat of power till the RBI. Today one half of the road was neatly stripped of the top layer, much like Hanuman with his chest torn open to show its devotion for the popular CM. At the RBI end, one of the traffic policeman came up to me and after the usual questions about age, mileage, tried to advise me to run on the edge of the road. Before I could give him the reply, his senior came up and gave the answer (that I usually give, it must have now been included in their training school!) and said that everyone knows me and it is okay as long as I keep close to the divider. I hope he does not get in trouble with his seniors!
As I was about to get on to the Napier bridge after my second loop yesterday, a policeman asked if I would come for one more loop. He was relieved when I said that I was done for the day, as CM was expected any time, so I can claim that Amma cut my run short yesterday.
Today after a long time I took the island ground loop including Sivananda road thereby avoiding the dug up Rajaji salai on the second loop from Napier bridge to RBI and back. The Sivananda Road stretch has been well laid out and is very pleasant to the feet.
I have been thinking to write about these two people one lady runner and another one a cyclist for a long time. The lady runs dressed from head to toe in the Muslim attire and effortlessly, the guy wears the saffron dhoti and rides equally comfortably. They seem to make a statement that we all are united in our quest for the morning dose of endorphins together. She definitely makes me feel very under-dressed!
Yesterday, the BPCL outlet on Cathedral Road had gotten into I-day mode with instrumental music playing softly. Today, the music had fallen silent. I hope we get good patriotic songs to run on!
If I had thought I had befriended the traffic policemen ilk, I was mistaken. I was pulled up before Gemini flyover with the insistent guardian of law asking me to take the edge of the road yesterday. It was like a punishment for my then tired soles. The argument continues…

If I took 3:21 hours yesterday, I really had an easy one at 3:33 hours today. Looking forward to the I-day run tomorrow, hope the Khaas Aadmis leave some room on the Marina for us Aam runners. I shall be running thinking of the blast my runner friends would be having at the 12 hour run in Mumbai! All the best, Mumbai 12 hour runners!

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