- Name: Sunday Morning Long Run
- Date: October 27th, 2019
- Distance: 21.02 kilometres
- Location: Mumbai, India
- Strava Link
- Time: 2:16:10
|Time||Run for 2.5 hours||No|
Last week, I set out to run half an hour, but then found myself on Juhu beach. I ran all the way to the pier at the end of the beach. By the time I got back to my apartment, two hours had passed. That run can be seen here.
I decided that my next run would be for two-and-a-half hours, and so that’s what I set out to do this Sunday.
The night before the race, I had two beers while watching Bojack Horseman. What a show. I didn’t connect as much with this season as with previous seasons, but even a disconnected season of Bojack is an awesome season.
I set my alarm for 5:30 AM, told A*** that I had to sleep early to wake up for my run. Her encouragement for the run made me sleep better, but the beer made it worse. So overall, my rest was a 6⁄10 probably.
I started running at about 6:10 AM, I think. I wasn’t feeling too good at the start. A combination of beer and my 35 years of life, I guess. But whatever, I had to run for two-and-a-half hours, so that’s what I would do.
Though a section of Versova beach was really close, I wasn’t tempted to run on it because of all the people that would be using it as a toilet at 6:20 AM. The traffic on JP Road wasn’t bad, but people were still honking for some reason. I ran past Social – a bar with amazing Khichdi and rumoured to be a money laundering front for a famous family – and then turned into the usual stretch of side roads.
I like these side roads because they’re far quieter than the main road, and lined with greenery. Today, I felt like I had to take a shit. I thought I should ask the guard of a university as I ran by it, but was too shy to do it.
Apart from the shits, the run itself was going quite well. I had started off kind of tired, but my legs were warmed up and I was feeling good. I thought of A*** and how in two weeks, we would be together. Some pleasant imaginings ensued, and my energy levels increased.
I really enjoy the rhythm of running. My feet hit the ground to a regular beat, and thoughts enter and leave at will. Nothing is off limits now, though everything is painted with a positive hue. Dark things are slightly less dark, and bright things are lovely.
This rhythm had to be reset as I reached the beach because I had to readjust to the sand. I didn’t mind though, because the noise of the road was replaced by the noise of the beach. There were kids playing football.
Should I join them? Well no. First of all, I’m too shy. And anyway, focus on the run, man.
There was a group doing gymnastics or Parkour, doing backflips over a sack of sand. Old people and young people were walking with their walking shoes and exaggerated exercise movements. The tide was quite low, so I could run on that reflective part of the beach where the sand isn’t too loose and so you’re not slipping all over the place.
There were a few fisherman in the sea standing with the water up to their waist. Close to them, a man was praying, and maybe twenty metres from them, I was running and thinking that this could make a good picture.
This stretch of the beach is about 3 kilometres long, I think. There is a pier close to the end, and after the pier, there is a small stretch of sand before the beach ends. On this stretch, as always, a few men were shitting in the open. Looking at them, I realized that I no longer needed to poop.
I also thought about how last year, the Maharashtra Government had declared the whole state open defecation free. Bullshit. I’ve run through a slum close by a few times, and there’s a public toilet on the way. People are using it, but even just passing by, I could see why many of them prefer the sea. Bangladesh apparently has done a much better and thorough job in reducing open defecation in their country, while India has done a much better job talking about it and pursuing a strategy of building toilets without proper infrastructure that hasn’t really been effective.
Anyway, at the end of the beach there is a wall. I touched it and turned around. On the way back, I got pleasantly lost again in the sound of the sea and the life of the thousands of people on the beach. I stopped for some coconut water and got some extra rest because he didn’t have change.
I ran back trying to be faster than when I came, but I don’t know if I succeeded. I reached Nana-Nani Park and looked at my watch. I had covered 18 km. I decided to run till I finished my half marathon, which would be about six rounds of the park. I waved hi to some girl I knew I had seen before, but had no idea from where. I’m sure both of us spent the next few minutes wondering who the other one was.
Six rounds later, I had a decision to make: I had finished 21 km. If I had to run for two-and-a-half hours like I had decided, I would have to run 15 more minutes. I was tired, and I felt that today a half marathon was a good milestone, so I stopped.
I did my stretches, and walked to the soup seller just outside the park. Here are the things I drank:
- Bitter Juice: Made of neem, bitter gourd, and Indian basil. It certainly lived up to its name, and tasted so bad that I was sure it was the healthiest thing I had ever had in my whole life.
- A mix of ginger-honey juice, and amla (gooseberry): Delicious. The ginger pleasantly pricked my tongue, and the sourness of the amla and the sweetness of the honey softened the impact.
- Mix-Fruit juice: I had no idea how many things were in it, but I could taste pomegranate seeds.
I got home and had more coconut water, and some leftover mint fried rice from yesterday. I had a busy day waiting for me, with lunch at my aunt’s house and a movie (Joker. It was okay) with my cousin.
I slept well at night!