Not while it’s happening of course, not per the idiom. And no, not while running either. The worst that can happen uphill is you’d be slowed to a walk. The downhill however is a harbinger of guilt at not being able to ‘use’ the incline, and of sore, purple-nailed toes. What then is great about a downhill?
Saturday of the Independence Day weekend. 16km on Kanakapura Road, not a first-time distance. Even the dreaded incline on the earlier route was now replaced by a meek stretch on the other side. Nothing to indicate that this would be a ‘bad run.’
For no apparent reason, I started fast (well, fast for me) and at 2km, I was already seeing mirages of the water-stop. Stopping for water at 4km on a long run isn’t a usual for me, a sign I should’ve listened to.
Next came stressing out the barely-lucid mind. At the end of 5k, I figured I’d repeat the 2k loop at the end 4 times so that when I got to the main road, I could just head back for good. I was to stop for water at the end of 2 repeats. This was when the water-stop moved a km ahead on the road so as to make it easy for the sane ones who weren’t looping unneeded. I decided to stick to 4 loops with or without water-stop. Aka, end of lucidity.
And I would have done so if Santhosh hadn’t said that I continue on the main road where there’d be more company and thus saved me from me on the 3rd loop. By then, the damage was already done. Sustenance doesn’t help immediately when you’re hungry.
The main road had a fair share of nincompoops. The driving school instructor who went, “bega oda beku!BEGA oda beku!”. Ignore the tone and leer, and you have a good cheer there. Then came the bald headed man on bike who from a fair distance on, kept signalling like a cop would to a suspect waiting his turn to be questioned. Thankfully further down the stretch there were folks still running and some in a car, who brought some respite.
I finished and gulped down water at the starting point.
I had walked more than I ever had on a run, taken longer. I had learnt that while running, Math is a bad, bad thing - distances, loops, even ‘thinking about’ anything instead of just ‘being’ are a strict no, more so when ‘malnutrition’d’ (you’d think this would be obvious.) But I think I hit this downhill at the right time. For the next Saturday was the 22km run, the longest distance this season.