I decided I will not doubt anymore if I can complete the marathon or drop midway. I have survived 2 weeks and I have run 86kms in 2 weeks - something I take 2 months or more to do.
I have to be distracted when I run - either by a podcast or music or a good audio book. Sunday evening I was hunting for a good audio book. I discovered 7 years in Tibet - set against World War II. Had seen this movie long back - Brad Pitt was in it. Downloaded it and was looking forward for the morning run.
Also, a friend of mine advised me to not run on concrete too much - I run around the parking lots - the hard concrete surface damages the knees in the long run ( hehe - unintentional pun ). So I moved to a nearby park - it was completely deserted because of the rain and the track was a mud track and was wet slippery and soggy at lot of places. Not sure if this will still be runnable after the Mumbai Rain comes in full force.
This autobiography starts with the narration of German mountaineer, Heinrich, is part of a mountain expedition and is waiting to take a ship back to Germany. It is the beginning of World War II and immediately after Britain declares war on Germany - his team is arrested by British Indian soldiers in Karachi and is deported to Dehradun POW camp. There he plans his escape. He knows no knowledge of English or Hindustani ( thats how he says Hindi ) and tries to learn as much as possible and plans the route to Tibet - which is a neutral country and he can apply for an asylum.
6.4kms passed away on a strong note.
Tuesday - June 16
It was sunny and no rain. Weird. It is a 11km run - and I went to the muddy track to run.
The story was engrossing. Heinrich and his friend escape and travel quite a distance on foot. English Saahibs never carry anything except a rifle, and all their belongings are carried by Indian servants. So these 2 if spotted will be in trouble. So they travel in the night and hide behind trees or boulders during the day.
They make quite a good progress before they get captured. They are then sent back to the Pow camp and get 26 day solitary confinement. And again they start planning for the escape during the summer of 1939.
This time 7 others join him - but 4 were going to Burma, and 3 along with him to Tibet - which is a neutral country and hopefully they will get asylum there.
The 11km run today was a bit difficult. Managed to finish it keeping under 7 pace. This has become my goal nowadays - to keep the pace hovering around 6:56 or so.
Wednesday - June 17
Today it is a 8km run. It was drizzling and it was gloomy.
I started with the This week in tech podcast - learnt about Apple Music - which I am looking forward to launch in India - and generally the panel was in negative mood. So I switched to 7 years in Tibet book.
The fugitives make good progress. They enter Tibet and keep making their way to Lhasa - passing one village to another - and being mesmerised by Himalayas. The author takes time to describe Himalayas, Manasoravar lake etc. and I am jealous of him. How beautiful it would have been at that time - untouched by humans and pristine.
Things finally look up for the fugitives and they might be granted a pass to go to Lhasa. I end the run just a little shy of 7 pace. Give a pat to myself for having finished the run for the 3rd successive day and earned a rest day tomorrow.
Today my legs were both tired. I figured, even if my legs are tired I can run at this gentle pace - perhaps this week long run I have to run this way only.
Thursday - June 18
The beauty of a shade is only appreciated after standing in the sun for hours. Today is rest day - and I am loving it.
Friday - June 19
Mumbai is getting heavy rains. Schools and most of the offices are closed today. Local trains which never stop were stopped because the tracks were all flooded. And in this weather I ran. I wore a cap, a rain jacket and regretted immediately as it got really hot - not a good idea. It is better to run drenched.
The park I run was unrunnable. Ran on the roads and felt my pace getting hammered. Let go of the under 7 pace goal. Had to run into many a puddles, wait at intersections, and water got into the shoe. It was fun. Not sure if it will dry by tomorrow for the long run.
6.4kms was completed in a gentle pace.
Saturday - June 20
It was as if a big bucket of water got dumped on Mumbai. 1/10th of the annual rain fall came in just one day.
Throughout the previous day was wondering where to run? Was tempted to ask this question on twitter - but it would have raised a storm - when the city is flooded is this your biggest concern @venkat2? Ideal topic for trolls. Kept my peace.
And today is the mega run - 16kms.
I started the run today and decided to stick to roads - no parks. I did not listen to the book - had to be alert to listen to the vehicles. If I was listening to the audio book or music, I will get prompts every 1 km. But today I had to run without these alerts. I ran for quite some time and thought - I should have run some 10kms. I took a walk break and that time checked my phone and saw I had covered just 5kms. Man this is going to be tough.
I took a deep breathe and again started. This time I discovered a new park behind our Apartment Complex - a larger one - has a mud track and was slippery in patches. It was deserted. Running in roads did not excite me - I like the parks. Did a couple of rounds, and ran through the parking lots once again. Had kept a water bottle before the run with the security guard of our Apartment Complex - took a break to drink and checked the distance. It was 12kms. Phoo - just 4 more kms.
I switched on the audio book and decided to run within the parking lot. Our hero is stuck in a village - has made friends with the locals and celebrates Tibetan New Year. A young girl dies of chicken pox and observes their rituals. 3 men carry the dead body to a place of burial marked by lot of vultures and birds. Here one of the men chop the body into many pieces and even break the bones for the birds to consume. The other men keep the birds away.
In Tibetan culture - the soul has gone on its journey of reincarnation. They do not want any part of the body left behind and they let it get consumed by the earth. Sounded barbaric but natural.
Having signed up as an organ donor it resonated with me. Each human being can give an eye sight, or even more precious - life - to 9 other people - by donating organs.
Anyway 1 km was left, and I have run more than 2hours. World record for marathon is 2:03:02. And here I am still struggling to finish a 16km run. I am in awe of the super humans who can run a marathon in 2 hours time.
I completed the 16km distance and heaved a sigh of relief. Week 3 conquered. My legs were done. My pace was 8mins.
Coming back to the story. The war is over but he is still a fugitive. Tibet has not given asylum and they are urging him to go to Nepal - where he is sure he will get arrested and sent to the camp.
So our hero plans an escape. Does all the preparations and sets off in the night - the villagers even though they protest - because they will get punished by their higher authorities, do not stop him. I am eagerly waiting when he will reach Lhasa and meet Dalai Llama who was a kid that time - the exchanges between them was very interesting in the movie.
|My pace went downhill|
|Current week torture report|
|Next week torture plan|
Here is what I did on Week 4.