My accidental longest barefoot run

Maamara Ilai mele aa ~~~ aaa ~~~~
Maamara Ilai mele, maarghazhi pani pole ~~~

I got woken out of my reverie. Last I heard some other Ilayaraja number ( Idayil Kai… – from Unnal Mudiyum Thambi) inside my head, and this rude interruption drew my brain into a tizzy, trying to make sense out of my immediate surroundings. The next realization was that this sound was coming through a wire that attached itself to an earpiece which was belting it out (or rather in) to my ear. The other end of the wire was connected to my cell phone. Now I realized what was happenning. Somebody was calling me in the middle of a run. And I had set this unique ringtone for my wife, so it had to be her. My 1st instinct was to ignore it, figured I’d call her back,but she normally doesn’t call me while I am on the run, so I figured it might be something important like one of my sons deciding that this was his day to go on a 20km solo ride without informing his parents. But the green light in front of me was going to last for a few more seconds, so decided to cross the road before picking up the phone. So I dashed off to the other side of the traffic light ( any speed counts as a dash when done on legs that feel like logs) Anything where the weekly GoGreen ride starts (The RIS junction), and pick the call (Endomondo goes on auto-pause)
Me : Hello.
M’lady : Where are you?
Me : Running
M’lady : Thats a really long run. you have been away for a while
Me : Yes, I decided to keep going , so it has taken time.
She : You have to drop Vaibhav to his class. That starts at 10am sharp. So you have to leave by 9:45
Me : (Looking at my mobile, that said 9:23) Hmmm, I can’t do that today, I don’t think I can make it by that time. My legs are pretty tired.
She : (Sounding a little Aghast at my disturbing piece of information) You mean you can’t drop him today.
Me : Yes.
==End of Conversation=====
I continued running but spotted a 215C coming my way. Ran to the bus stop and decided to take the bus. Took it and sat inside. After it travelled a couple of blocks, figured I might reach by around 9:45, called home and told my wife I should be there by 9:45. Okay, she said, but please don’t make him ride today, he’ll be late , you guys won’t have enough time. Okay , I say.
I start reminiscing about the events of the day ( and immediate past) that led to this unusual situation. For the past few days, I have been unsuccessfully trying to increase my running distance from a measly 2-3km. I was doing multiple laps of my apartment Given that I was focusing on increasing my speed, and was failing miserably, I ended up calling off all attempted runs at about 2-3km. So in an attempt to at least push it to 5-6km if not 10 I decided to hit the road (after nearly a month). I decided to head to Puttenahalli lake. As I came close to the 1km mark, I realized I had marked the workout as a ‘riding workout’. Promptly stopped marking it at 950 meters and restarted from one end of the lake. I managed to do this distance at about 5:45/km so decided to do a few km going towards JP Nagar. One adv of running on the raods is that if you decide to call off a run, you need to run homewards using the shortest route, adding up precious distance to the workout. So off I went past the OnMobile office , crossing the 2km mark and decided to run towards Delmia circle. Once I reached the area close to JPNagar ring road, decided to at least try to run the mini-forest stretch. In the middle of this stretch, I completed 4km. If I returned at this point via 24th main, I would have made it 10km at least. I decided to run towards 4th block via East End main road and then take a call. I was finding it difficult to do better than 6min/km , having started the day with a bit of chest discomfort, and I did not really want to exhaust myself during the ride. As I neared 4th block, I crossed the 7th km mark. I decided to head towards the 3rd block swimming pool and Madhavan park. Once I reached Madhavan park, it felt like a travesty not going upto Lalbagh.So I duly went towards Lalbagh. It helped that the distance crossed 9km by the time I reached Siddapura gate. Since it was around 8:20 when I reached there, I decided to enter the park, and find a way to the West gate. I decide to explore a running route inside the park. By the time I got out I had crossed 11km. Crossed 8th main, and found a tender coconut vendor. Took my only break. Only when I stopped did I realize that I was quite exhausted.
Not finding any coconut with a little kernel, I settled for 100% Coconut water. After downing one tender Coconut , I started to pay up, when the vendor told me ‘ You should have one more , Sir ‘. That sounded like the cheesiest sales pitch I had heard for a long time – but – it worked! I asked him to give me another. After 2 TCs I started running again, and suddenly found it tough to run. I decided to try and ensure i did not cross the 7min/km mark. This of course was a massive climb-down from my goal of trying to achieve a 5min/km speed. Took the diagonal road towards Basavangudi, and then headed through PT road to South End Circle and then 4th block. From here, I reached 11th Main, Jayanagar 5th block and went towards the Apple iStore circle. I barely managed to hold on to this limit when I crossed the Raghavendra Math and the phone call came.
Once I decided to call off the run and took the bus, exhaustion overcame me. Once I reached home , Vaibhav was ready, and I dropped him off on the scooter.
As we waited for the elevator, I started asking him questions.
Me : Son, do you know the way to the class?
Son: Yes
Me : Can you bike there , alone?
Son : Yes

P a u s e

Son : But Appa
Me : Yes

P a u s e

Son : Amma won’t allow it
Me : I know that, but you tell me if you are confident of doing the distance alone.
Son : But the traffic?
Me : What about it?
Son : I am not confident about handling the traffic.
Me : Okay

Dropped him and came back, and the next question to me was whether I ran with a group. My wife continued to be an avowed barefoot skeptic , and still was afraid of suffering cuts from random glass pieces strewn across town. A few more questions about barefoot running, and about the glass piece searching for my sole.

At the end, I was happy that I did a 16km ride without planning, marginally boosting my confidence of doing a decent job of the SCMM HM, which is what I am gunning for. Though the stark realization that I needed to train, also remains. Post this ride, my better half managed to run her 1st sub-1 hour 10k, so she’s less of a barefoot skeptic and more of an enthusiast.

Link to the actual workout.

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