Every runner has some superstition which he thinks makes him run long and hard. I used to credit my prowess on the road to the spent green tea-leaves which I used to tuck into my mouth before I started for my run. Today when I started my run it felt a bit different (it could not have been the absence of the spinning of charkha before the run, which happened because of a mechanical breakdown!). I was almost at the end of the Sterling road, when it struck me that my mouth was drying up, I had forgotten to tuck the wad of tea leaves. Anyway, it was too late to return for that and to wake up the house at that ungodly hour would have been unpardonable.
My mouth used to cud-chewing on the run was feeling orphaned, like the tongue encountering gaping holes in the gums after one loses a tooth. I consciously tried working up saliva for keeping the throat wet! I reached the Gandhi statue in my usual time. I was tempted to declare that there was no magic ingredient! While it is liberating on one hand, it is also saddening. It is like the loss of innocence which makes one realize that there is no tooth fairy/Santa Claus! These constructs keeps one interested and, I believe, makes one go the extra mile!
Today Harishankari accompanied me on the return leg from Gandhi statue to Alwarpet junction. It was nice to have the security of the strong arm of the law when running in the middle of the road. It is a different matter that he needed my assurance to face the honking water-lorry instead! We had an interesting discussion on the efficacy of setting stiff goals for improving performance. We concluded that real running free needs a certain retirement age which he is yet to reach and which I had reached already. He tried interesting me in a few events which were coming up, but, I guess I have become too lazy for travelling for run. If I have any bucket list of run I would like to participate still, it shall be the ‘Narmada Parikrama’ and the Comrades!
The weather was kinder today and I had Sundar’s company for the last part of the run from the Uttamar Gandhi Salai to my home. While the cheers from the schoolkids in the auto were unconditional, an auto driver decided to greet me only after getting my age. I trust runners mature like wine with age! I guess people get disappointed when they hear my age, as they expect me to be older going by my white beard and hair (or whatever is left of it!). There is a good business model for make-up for runners to make them look older! The time for the run from start to finish by the wall clock in our drawing room was a little less than 3:30, the absence of magic ingredient more than made up by the magic weather!