I had the dubious distinction of a firstever DNS – 'Did Not Showup' of my running career this weekend. I had registered for the Hyderabad marathon on 30th August hoping to finish my FM streak with a 13th consecutive one in the city where I started it over a year ago. Unfortunately the flu that struck me the day before the Urban stampede 2009 on 21st August 2009 turned out to be quite severe. I do not quite remember the last time I was down with high fever like this. With temperature staying more than 102F for over 3 days and severe cold I had one of my worst weeks runningwise since mid 2003. While I was still wanting to go for the run in Hyderabad the family and several friends advised against it. On Thursday 24rth August after I had recovered form the fever I did a 6.5K run to test my stamina. It was a struggle and took me over 40 minutes and left me quite exhausted at the end of the run. That is when I made the hard decision to bail out of Hyderabad . It was not an easy call to make. There are not too many well organised road races in this part of the world. So one hand I thought it might still be worth going for the race to enjoy the atmosphere and comraderie of fellow runners and trying to do a slow finish. However, on the other hand I felt apprehensive about doing my slowest marathon finish in the very city where I did my best ever finish in India last year. I felt quite miserable throughout the day and for the next couple of days. I was missing a good marathon event and on top of that had a complete washout of a week with just one poor run in the last 8 days! Just goes to show what an equalizer life is and the role that luck plays in it. I was extremely extremely lucky to have managed 12 months of injury and illness free running and now perhaps this is a divine message that I should slow down for a while. I was anyway planning to take it easy for a couple of months from marathon running after Hyderabad . I have also decided to take a couple of months off from the strength conditioning training at Manipal Hospital. While my next 35K+ run will probably be in the second half of October in preparation for the ultra on 15th November I do hope to get back to running 3-4 days of running starting tomorrow.