At 5:45am today, the number of regular runners at Keshavbaug was quite low. While at the back of my mind, I wonder if it is the result of the media coverage not having appeared in Ahmedabad Mirror yet, I understand that it is probably just one of those days. Some had reported sick, some had other engagements and some gave the ditch.
The new faces were Raneesh and Pankaj, Jagat's friends and regular joggers at Rajpath Club. Another new face was Satish, a young man in his mid-fifties, who does about 7kms everyday. He had come all the way from Gandhinagar to run with us.
The target today was Akhbaarnagar Circle and back. Rohan, still needing to break the mental barriers of distance, said he would turn back after the Naranpura flyover. Not allowed, request rejected. He would need to run up to Naranpura 4 Rasta and return. We set off. All of us were doing about 00:06:00/km.
I was the driver of the bus. And surprisingly, keeping pace with me was Satish. At the Helmet 4 Rasta flyover, we did a quick stop. A suggestion to Satish to change his gait a bit, I thought, would help him go faster as also make his running more energy efficient. A little ahead, I noticed him getting a little out of breath. A conscious effort to change his breathing pattern while running would take care of that.
As we continued to run, doing doing a pace of about 00:06:00/km, we were close to Naranpura 4 Rasta. The place where Rohan and Abhilash would turn back had come. Arjav too had to turn back here. So would Satish. Even Hiren turned back. This is a quirk with Hiren. He can run 10kms one way but he cannot run 5kms to and 5kms back. We told him it was all in his mind. He agreed. This is something that will need to be worked on since Delhi is essentially and out and back route.
As the others turned back at Naranpura 4 Rasta, Jagat, Pankaj, Lihas and I continued forward. Pankaj stopped at the Akhbaarnagar underpass. Jagat, Lihas and I decided to do an additional 1km and ran up to the Akhbaarnagar Circle beyond the underpass.
A break for water there and we started to run back. Jagat suddenly rose to the ocassion and became the driver of the bus. Setting a blazing pace which would have been in the vicinity of 00:05:45/km, we ran up to Valinath Chowk where another water break was scheduled. After this, Jagat continued with his pace, with Lihas keeping him company. Pankaj and I did a more comfortable about 00:06:00/km pace. As we finished at Keshavbaug, we met Abhilash, Hiren and Satish who were waiting there. They had timed their 10kms. About 01:05:00. Our timing for the 12kms that we did was about 01:10:00. Commendable.
As we dispersed, we look forward to a long run (in the real sense) tomorrow.
And next Saturday, we look forward to running with Satish again.