Home > Uncategorized > May 10, 2009 – Sunday: The AU long run disaster

May 10, 2009 – Sunday: The AU long run disaster

I have been dreading this blog post and have been procrastinating this for quite a while; hopefully long enough for it to be sufficiently dimmed in my memory.

Excuses: The saturday night was an unqualified blow in my preparations towards the sunday run. I had 6 mugs of beer, a few smokes and went to bed tired out at 12:30. I woke up at 4:15 as usual arguing with myself that I am sleep deprived. I woke up and dragged myself to the bathroom to face the 1st shock – there was no water. I woke the security up, asked him to switch the motor on and used the drinking water to brush my teeth. I crapped for 15 minutes while I waited for the water to come through and almost slept in the loo. :-). Anyway, all that meant that I was late and had to rush to AU. Got there just about in time and so didn’t stretch much.

Right – I have just laid out all the possible excuses (drink, smoke, no sleep, bad start) for the following tragic events.

Runners: Shankar, Ramani, Prabhakar, Krish, Ram Prasad, Saravanan, Siva and Venkatesh. I do not know any of them except Prabhakar and Krish.

We started from the AU Canteen at 5:18 and by the time we had reached the gate, we had started to form clusters. Ramani+Siva were ahead, followed by Prabhakar + me and behind us were Krish and Shankar. I had no idea where the others were.

It was a nice steady pace to start with and we jogged along Kotturpuram road, turned right from Turnbulls into Archbishop Mathias and took the Madras club loop (unnecessarily if you ask me) and took another additional loop inside the Boat Club road and finally joined in Chamiers road. During the boatclub loop, we had caught up with Ramani and Siva and the pace was getting a little higher.

I was slowly, but surely feeling more and more ill at ease and was cursing myself for last nights fiasco. I asked Prabhakar on the potential percentage effect of a small night out and looking at his grin, I knew that he had no clue – because he has had it no other way. Ouch. I started conjuring images of the beer slowly dropping off the body and tried psyching myself into believing that it would get better through the run when the beer effect wears off. 

Anyway, I asked Prabhakar to ease off and let the Ramani-Siva duo go. Treading slowly seemed more astute. So, we followed them – but they started running slower too! and hung around in front of us like the proverbial carrot in front of the eager beaver Prabhakar, who to be really fair, never went a step quicker than my pace and I was always on his shoulder.

Turned into the beautiful Judges colony and gmap tells me that we had hardly done 6.2 kms at that time. That seems right because I recall the time to be about 6:00 am. Prabhakar felt his foot nerve tingle and said that he could do another 5-10 minutes before he would have to stop for a couple of minutes – ear manna! I almost counted down those few minutes and we finally stopped for a breather at the end of the Adayar Bridge, near Malar hospital.

According to gmap, it was 6.8 kms done – and honestly, I was finished at that point. Gone. Pooped. Once I had that stop, I just didn’t feel like starting again. From that point on, my mind was always looking for a way out – Can we go straight on through Gandhi nagar back to AU? Can we go back the same way? Shall we take an auto? Shall we wait for another couple of minutes to see if Shankar-Krish could join us… It was endless. Prabhakar knocked all of them out, but agreed to one final plea: Can we buy a bottle of water – I am parched.

So, we ran a little more till the beginning of Besant Ave and bought a bottle of chilled water. It was the best drink I’ve ever had. I poured some of it on my head and positively heard the ‘whoosh!’ normally associated with old locomotives or a sauna when water is poured on hot coal. I looked up to even see the steam blowing from the top of my head. Does exhaustion lead to hallucination?

But my partner was looking fresh a daisy and so after that 10-15 min break, we were off again. He was running a lot slower and I was really struggling through that patch. We turned into that beautiful road into THE school and that gave me a small 2nd wind. While I was focussed on reaffirming to myself that swooning and dropping would be really very embarrasing, Prabhakar was calculating the time we had lost – how much distance the old duo might have covered at that time – and which short-cut we could take so that we can still catch-up with them at some point!

Thankfully, he did not reveal this asbolutely daft idea to me because I might have passed out trying to digest that very suggestion. So, when he proposed that we turn into a lovely colony adjoining St John’s school, I was more than gratified and we went through that to join the Besent Nagar bus depot.

That was approximately 2 kms since I had touched Point Exhaustion and so I was too tired and told Prabhakar that I wanted to walk. I am sure he was a little disappointed, but it didn’t touch his expression and so we walked and we ran and we walked and ran till I just stopped.  My mind ran through a 1000 excuses again and feebly asked Prabhakar if I could hail and auto. But – No. We could walk or crawl the remaining distance, but we would have to finish it.

He also told me that it only hurts upto a point and then it doesn’t get any worse. Ow! I heard that as ‘ Lets see how much more torture you can endure’ and so we started again. Now, I wasn’t running – I was just falling forward in a hail of arms and legs.

We reached the end of the road – or so I thought. I never realised that at the Indira Nagar 2nd main road, where it turns right and goes on to join Sardar Patel road – there is a small lane that goes straight head on to Canal bank road under the railway track and across the canal! I walked through it and walked up and down the over bridge across the wide Canal bank road.

Now, Prabhakar was trying everything possible to get me to run. So, instead of the original route of taking the right on Canal Bank road to get to Madhya Kailash, we went through another beautiful tree lined avenue where the Institutes (Mathematical sciences, Hotel management, Film institute, BIS) are all located. Really nice patch and somehow mustered the last ounces of energy to run through that.

That was it. When we turned into Sriram Nagar, battery went dead. Completely drained. I walked the rest of the course. Pavam Prabhakar walked with me till past the IIT Out gate when I asked him to finish his run. I could scarcely believe my eyes, when he just shot off. Trust me – there is no more deflating sight to have a tagged a partner who you force to walk for half the way, and once let off the leash, just disappears into the distance. Within a minute, he was out of eyesight.

I continued to walk and just while I was about to cross the road, somewhere near the Cancer institute, Shankar comes whizzing past in an auto. He just thrusted a bottle of water into my arms and was gone, before I could even muster the strength to call him – I so badly wanted to jump into that auto – even though the finish was just 500 mts away!

Finally finished the run-walk. Completely exhausted. Take a look at the map – 14.5 kms.

I was too exhausted even to stretch. I just sat there while the others stretched. Krish joined us. We changed our t-shirts and had breakfast at the Anna University Canteen.

Gosh. I haven’t seen a place like that in a long time. Fantastic food at unbelievable rates and open to the Public –> Ghee roast – 7.50, Pongal – 7, Vada – 4, Grape juice – 8.50,  Coffee – 4….! Certainly unbelievable.

I had the last 4 mentioned and recharged to about 10% battery capacity. Enough to get home, feeling very lousy and constantly blaming the drinks for it. I at least have an excuse. I swore to myself that I will not drink this week.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. dnddump
    May 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Awesome writeup!! 🙂
    See – this is where carrying water will come handy and that is why u need bottles u can tie around your waist!

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