Run Information

  • Name: Sunday morning run in Versova and Juhu
  • Date: January 26th, 2020
  • Distance: 20.80 kilometres
  • Location: Mumbai, India
  • Strava Link
  • Time: 2:30:50

Goals

As I said in the previous journal, where I also ran 20 km, this year I’m giving myself bi-weekly goals. I had set the goal for this Sunday to again be 20 km. Given how much I walked last week, I didn’t want to up the distance before getting more comfortable with this distance.

Of course, part of the goal here was to run regularly during these two weeks so that I could train for 20 km and beyond

Goal Description Completed?
Distance Run for 20 km Yes
Training Run regularly No

Splits

I ran a lot, and was reasonably fast for the first half. After about 12 km (the strava splits clearly point to 14 km as the turning point), I really hit a wall and walked a lot of the time. My legs were really refusing to move, and my limited supply of will power wasn’t enough to convince them.

Split Pace
Fastest 5:02 /km
Slowest 7:42 /km
Average 7:15 /km

An improvement of all of 4 seconds per kilometre from the previous run. So, I guess I won’t be upping the goal these two weeks either.

Run

In the last run, I spoke of an injury in or around my ankle. I was scared that it would flare up again, but thankfully that didn’t happen. If you’re reading this, send a silent prayer into the void asking God to protect my ankle a bit.

For the last two weeks, I had a plan to run reasonably regularly – maybe 3 times a week. That did not happen. The reasons for this are unclear, but because of these journals, I’ve noticed something about me: if everything is in order, everything is going right, but if just one piece breaks I find myself on a slippery slope where it’s hard to recover.

There are a few things going on in my life, and at the base of it all is meditation. I continue to believe from the bottom of my heart that if you meditate every day, everything else will be okay – and more importantly the meaning of “okay” will evolve with your practice. A greater honesty, a greater awareness, a greater peace.

I don’t know what started it; maybe I was too busy at work, maybe I was frustrated that I wasn’t writing enough, maybe the moon is a harsh mistress, or maybe it was something else, but I found myself going further away from my goals. It’s like you’re on an oily slide. It’s not steep, but going down is much easier than going up. Or, like I wrote on this very blog in a burst of low-quality poetry, the sweater is unraveling.

When Sunday came around, I had already given up on running the 20 km. I was instead determined to write my next travel blog: describing my time in Uzbekistan. I went to a cafe and opened my laptop and my notes.

As my friend and great writer Amrita Mahale said in one of her talks, to become a writer you have to turn off the wifi first. I agree quite strongly with this sentiment; it has been quite effective in the past. But sometimes – maybe it’s the slippery slope and unraveling sweater – you just can’t.

I mean, it’s just a click of the mouse to turn the wifi off. How hard can it be, right? Well, it turns out it can be very hard when there’s chaos in your mind.

I should be able to write when I sit down to write. I should be able to write regularly. I should be able to say, “Let’s write”, turn off the wifi and get to work.

But I can do none of those things. I have to work toward that future, and while it may be simple for many (maybe “normal”?) people, it’s not for me. This is now a goal that I will have to work towards.

In a fit of frustration, I shut my laptop and went out to run. The run itself went quite well. It was the first time I was running my long run in the evening, and the roads were packed. Cars, autos, motorcycles, people. I had to be alert and dodging dogs and people and stones and vehicles every second. Somewhere in Juhu, there was a crowd gathered to watch a Bollywood star drive by.

The beach was crowded beyond my imagination. As I ran, I realised I didn’t mind the crowd. It was fun to see people enjoying themselves in the water and on the sand. So many groups playing football inside a boundary of sand, the smell of food everywhere, families on picnics, and walking couples, all while the sun set on the other side of the sea.

What made me sad was the trash. It was everywhere. I don’t know what else to say about it. It was just really, really sad.

On the way back from the beach, I started my usual walk-run-walk routine. If I had managed to run regularly over the last two weeks, this run would have been much easier. But you can’t change the past, eh?

This time, my breath was completely fine, and I’m sure I could easily have held a conversation if someone was talking to me. But my legs were done. It was one of those times that you knew that if you sat down or stopped moving, you wouldn’t start again. The best thing in such situations is always to keep running, but I’m not strong enough mentally to do that. My compromise was to say to myself that I would walk 400 m, then run for ten minutes. I would never make it through all of the ten minutes, of course.

But I kept moving. And in my style of running, that’s all that matters. Running for long calms my mind a lot. It’s effect was that by the end, I had made peace with not writing. I knew that I would write the post in the coming weeks. I knew that I could depend on myself somewhat. If not for staying on schedule, at least for making a sincere effort.