It's been almost two weeks since the Ultra; that also makes it almost two weeks since I've run. There is this restlessness that is quite reassuring; maybe running will become a habit after all. Ultra turned out to be really good, it wasn't easy and on the last leg, I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that I had entertained notions of running a marathon sometime soon-how naïve of me-42km?!-haha-25 was more than adequate, thankyou. In this it was very different from KTM, right at the end of which for the first time a longer distance seemed possible. Why this difference? The heat, terrain for one; and secondly as I realised at the finish, I had pushed at ultra. The satisfaction after a run is proportional to how you've pushed yourself to get there, no matter what the distance.
I hardly think in the true sense while running; after a point I actually find it hard to think. Sometimes I do think of people; at KTM, having just started raising funds for Asha, I remembered folks who had supported my effort. At Ultra, I thought about my kid bro who had turned all of 20 the previous week; it's been a testing year, especially for him, and he's one of the toughest people I know. But mostly I just stick to being in the Now, look around a bit, and just put one foot in front of the other. This is a real break from the rest of the time when I catch myself wondering about something gone by, or fretting over things yet to come. Being in the present moment is, I think, one of the best things about running.
The way you feel when you run is different from how you run in the conventional sense. And while speed hasn't dictated how I feel about any particular run, a faster run without consciously keeping watch over the time does add to the sense of achievement.
Sometimes you just have to start - maybe with hardly any sleep after a tiring day, when you don't even want to think of the distance you'd run that morn, you just have to be up and find out what you're capable of. It's surprising how we do much more than we think we can.
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