This is about Sunday's run; the blog about Tuesday's run comes up next. And the blog about Thursday's run, thereafter.
We continued to be inundated by calls through Saturday too. Going by the number of calls received, we should have had about 80 persons at Keshavbaug on Sunday. Going by experience of the 'commitment' that is given to be there, we thought probably 15-17 persons would turn up. When we reached Keshavbaug, there were Richa, Hiren and Dhruv waiting for us. Thursday's runners were missing; either doing their own running or the enthusiasm had waned a bit or then, maybe Saturday's run had brought with it the aches and pains on Sunday morning.
We made 2 busses and began running. Lihas was the 'driver' of the first bus - going at a speed of about 2:30 for a half marathon. A 'bus' would be a group of people who run together at the same speed. The 'driver' is the pace-setter. He has the challenge of setting and continuously changing the pace in such a manner that it does not become too tough for the others who have 'boarded' this bus, nor be so lax that the 'passengers' have a leisurely walk in the park.
Lihas began with Hiren, Rohan followed and Richa and I brought up the rear. At Helmet 4 Rasta, we were joined by Atharva and Dhruv. They hopped on to Lihas' bus. A little ahead beyond the Valinath Chowk BRTS Bus Stand, another runner joined us. And another two at Naranpura. Rohit turned back here and headed to Keshavbaug to end his run.
We continued to run beyond Naranpura 4 Rasta. Richa began to get tired near the Pragatinagar BRTS Bus Stand and decided to turn back. I joined Hiren, Atharva, Dhruv and Lihas. We continued ahead. Running down the Akhbaarnagar underpass was a breeze; running up it was a breeze. The run continued. After Bhavsar Hostel we stopped for a breather. (Usually Lihas and i do not take breathers; we do not need them after so many years of distance running. But the others are new to distance running and once they get used to this, the concept of breathers can be eliminated.)
As we continued, we ran till RTO Circle and turned back. Hiren decided to check out here. He said he would prefer taking the BRTS back to Keshavbaug. Atharva and Dhruv decided to call it quits too. They headed back to Sardarnagar frm the RTO Circle. Three runners left. He decided he would walk-run to get to his house directly at Naranpura. That left just Lihas and I. From Day 1, we have been insisting that distance running should not be made into an ego issue. That the moment one feels he is not up to it, aborting the run is the best thing that can be done. That way, all of us will live to run another day. It is very satisfying that this piece of advice is being followed by everyone.
Both, Lihas and I were left alone at RTO Circle and having to run back all the way to Keshavbaug did sound boring to begin with. But then, it was also an opportunity. Neither of us had had a good hard run in the last week. This was our chance. Setting a pace of 00:05:30/km, we up to our 'water point' at Valinath Chowk 4 Rasta. Properly rehydrated, we ran past Keshavbaug, climbed the Shivranjani 4 Rasta flyover and ran down it up to Shyamal 4 Rasta. Turning back at Shyamal 4 Rasta, we sprinted back to Keshavbaug. From there we walked to our homes, exhausted yet very satisfied. The bingeing and the sleeping would be justified today...