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Dream Trek Summer Edition 2024

To start with the early hours of June 22, the ideal plan would have been to shave, then still manage to finish working on dinner a little earlier, so I’ll also have time to put some essential oil in and light the little aromatherapy lamp that I haven’t used in who knows how long and still eat at the usual time… However, I ended up only getting on-line for a little while, to check what was posted and sent about the Dream Trek, in that time that I should have spent shaving, so I then went straight to the kitchen, but there were a fair number of things to wash, I also arranged some things that dad had left lying around and exchanged a few words with him, dealt with the bread which I had bought for myself the previous day as well… And I was also bitten by something on my left leg, a little above the ankle. And it was something large enough to feel, but I so often think that I feel something and when I check I realize that it’s just a hair that moved, so that time I didn’t bother until the feeling persisted for too long, at which point I initially just brushed off that part of the leg, only looking after that, at which point I saw a few reddish marks, with a border around them where the skin was whiter than it otherwise is. After putting medicinal alcohol on them, the marks mostly faded by the time I was finally done working on dinner, but it was a concern, especially considering the location. Either way, all of that meant that I only ended up eating dinner between 3:55 AM and 4:30 AM, putting peanut butter on all of the bread… And I even forgot that I had meant to eat an orange before starting to work on dinner. So there was obviously no time to shave before going to bed either, as even so I got in bed at 5:25 AM, without getting back on-line, since dad was still up and working.
Well, even though I hadn’t eaten anything new, even the ingredients of the salad being things that I had also eaten at least once over the previous few days, I had a lot of gas by the time I went to bed, and a couple of minutes before 9 AM things got worse, because I woke up and had to go to the toilet, the result being rather explosive, so things really didn’t look good. And then it also took me a long time to get back to sleep, though I eventually did, and at least it was easier to get back to sleep after the next two times when I woke up, when I just went to pee. But I had weird dreams that left quite a mark all morning, and the most intense one came after the last time I got back to sleep, resulting in waking up once more after only some 20 minutes. I still hoped to get some more sleep, so at that point, a little after 2:30 PM, I set the alarm to ring at 3:45 PM, to be safe… But, while I think I was in that state that’s between being asleep and awake a few times, there was no way to fall asleep again, so I eventually checked the time again, saw that it was a couple of minutes before 3:30 PM, and decided to get up, immediately going to shave.
After shaving, I had a small lunch, consisting of what was probably about half a serving of pasta and a small salad, between 4:50 PM and 5:10 PM. Then I also wrote a quick post, basically wasted time that I didn’t have on the toilet, so the fact that I had needed to go in the morning turned out to be a very good thing, took a quick shower, so I won’t stink right away, ate two apples, since they were small, a nice yogurt, with cereals, baked almonds with Himalayan salt and raisins in dark chocolate mixed in, and the last two of those wheat things, with honey and jam, took the last of those supplement samples, one of those pills against gas and a Smecta, mixed with some of the tea, putting the rest in a reusable bottle from a tree planting event and taking it with me, sprayed myself against bugs, even if that spray expired a long time ago, and left at 8:15 PM, wearing the full running gear, still using the old shoes but once again choosing that more visible t-shirt from the half marathon from 2022, plus one armband and the running belt, splitting the other things that I took with me between it and the pocket of my tights.
I reached that store from Mega Mall where we had been told to meet at 8:35 PM and immediately sat down, took off my shoes and put them on more properly, since I had done so in a hurry before leaving. Since there were two raffles, but one was for those who made purchases from that store that evening and another for those who registered for store cards until the end of the next day, there was nothing for me to do there, so even arriving that late still meant that I stood around for a little while, until Radu started the speech, when it was almost 8:50 PM. And during the speech he said that he wanted to know the score of Romania’s match on the way, and if we’ll have reason to celebrate the route will change so we’ll join the crowd after it ends. And quite a few participants were wearing the yellow t-shirt from last year’s marathon, and I had actually glanced at it as well before leaving, but the fact that it’d have been quite appropriate, yellow being the national team’s equipment color, hadn’t crossed my mind until then, when I couldn’t do anything about it anymore. Either way, after the first group picture was taken, it was 8:55 PM when the call to walk out was made, at which point I rushed to pee, catching up to the others at the escalator.
With sunset being at 9:04 PM, we were obviously running late, but there was still a brief warm up, starting a few minutes after 9 PM… And moments later a guard from that mall came to tell us to leave because we were blocking the entrance, immediately saying that he was going to call the police and doing so after Radu told him to go ahead while continuing to lead the warm up a little longer before calling us to move towards the sidewalk and ironically telling that guard that he had won… And I clearly remember that another group picture was taken at that point, but it doesn’t seem to have been posted, which seems weird… Though, unless my memory is really playing tricks, the reason might just be that guard’s attitude, which likely made them want to avoid advertising that mall. Either way, on top of the fact that we were already quite a few minutes late by then, we also waited a little longer for the live tracking to start.

The start was given at 9:11 PM, but I just started moving, quite slowly, since I was trying to pace myself and stay farther back this time around, and it was almost a minute later when I realized that I hadn’t started the stopwatch, so I slowed even further, to a walk, and did so, trying to remember just how much time had passed and then making up for it as closely as possible by waiting more or less that same time before pausing the stopwatch when we stopped at the first stoplight. And there were a couple of other moments over the course of the run when I didn’t press the button at the proper time, but I did so after a matter of seconds and compensated well enough at the first opportunity, so what still makes me say that the total running time is only a rough estimate is that I wonder what should really count, since there were also moments when I was just walking.
To get back to the early part of the run, after the usual group picture from that tram station marking the eastern point of the route, we continued to that new park which had been added on the route last year, and this time I knew to expect those paths covered in pebbles and the slopes, so it wasn’t a problem. And of course there was a group picture taken on that bridge, and since we left that park by climbing some steep stairs, there was a brief rest at that point, at least for those of us who kept up, since we got going again when the last ones made their way up.
Morarilor Park was the next destination, but the first unpleasant moment came on the way, when someone fell. Since I was still staying farther back, she was ahead of me and what I saw when I reached her seemed to be limited to scrapes and bruises, but there were quite a few of them and she was obviously hurting, and I guess that she abandoned after that. But, after a brief stop to make sure that she hadn’t hurt herself in some serious way, the rest of us obviously continued, and when we reached that park and ran a lap on the running lane from there, I saw how much better it is compared to the one from the park that I usually run in. I mean, it was pretty much flawless! Either way, there was a group picture on the bridge from that park as well, and that was just when the match began, so a few of the participants were starting to watch on their phones and the pause might have threatened to stretch a little longer if Belgium wouldn’t have scored the first goal right away. But they did and we got going, though it was a little awkward at first, with plenty, myself included, trying to gather around those who could watch and see the replay of the goal.
The next destination was just this park that I run in, and I was wondering what we were going to find, since one of the islands was set up for the matches, with a large screen and seating, but for example the portable toilets weren’t also on the island, but next to the bridge that leads to it, placed right next to the running lane… But, while there were also quite a number of people in the park, the route didn’t actually take us right past that island, so the bigger problem was, as expected, the state of the lane, with its unevenness, all of the damaged spots and the recently repaired patches, so it’s a good thing that it didn’t result in more injuries. On the other hand, I had been noticing that a few participants were wearing glow sticks and even ran past one or two which had fallen and considered picking them up, but while I hadn’t done so at that point, when we stopped on the bridge for another group picture and I saw who was handing them out, I decided to ask for one as well… Only to change my mind again after waiting too long, since plenty seemed to want to form the national flag with them and the girl who was handing them out ended up assuming that everyone wanted that, and selecting those three colors and putting them on each person’s wrist was obviously taking a while. And I’d have just wanted one, and would have preferred a green one, which were obviously getting ignored anyway, but when it took too long for her to get to me I just gave up and picked up one which had fallen. It was purple, if I remember correctly, which meant another color that was being ignored, and it also didn’t have the cap, so I couldn’t put it around my wrist, but I just stuck it under the stopwatch and ran with it like that all the way.
Either way, after we got moving again, we went back in the park and to the lane, but only for a little longer, since when we reached the area that I usually start running from, so just before getting to that island and the crowd that had probably gathered even around it, we went up the stairs and to the exit, stopping again when we got there. I also drank a part of the tea at that point, and Radu said that we were going to reconfigure the route, supposedly because we had to reach that store where we were going to have the first planned refreshment stop sooner, since the guy who was there had to close up and leave earlier. But Radu had also said from the beginning that he didn’t exactly care to go to the planned southern end of the route, and later he even explained the reason, which had to do with someone having injured themselves quite badly in that area at some point, so I guess that he was looking for a reason to make that change anyway… And the way he explained the new route did leave quite a few confused, but at least I got the general idea well enough, especially after realizing that the gas station that he mentioned was the one where I used the toilet during the marathon of 2021.

I didn’t even get this far before midnight, the last paragraph above and the end of the one that’s before it being added when I edited the post minutes later, to at least finish what was considered to be the eastern section of the route, but at least I managed to force myself to finally post some part of this, and now it remains to be seen when I’ll edit this post and continue.

Written by Cavalary on July 21, 2024 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: The Bone Season

When the other characters tend to have such a hard time, and when it may even be said to be a good thing that it’s hard to keep track of the minor ones, considering what happens to plenty of them, the amount of hero’s luck that Paige has seems inexcusable. And when plenty of flashbacks do exist later, when they also break up the action and rhythm, it would have made more sense to use one to explain how it all began as well, letting her be imprisoned for some time instead of being captured just before an event that happens once per decade. And then you have the antagonists that seem to be such fools, allowing so much to happen right under their noses, and those final chapters, shrouded in the haze of Paige’s dimmed awareness, where so much is left unexplained, all the right things just happening to, well, happen. And all of the preparations for such an undertaking, which could and probably should have filled a book on their own, were largely skipped over, being summarized in a few pages.
That said, I’m tempted to consider Arcturus as the most important, and best, character. The fact that Paige takes so long to realize what he is and what he’s planning makes her a fool as well, but their interactions do have good moments, possibly the better ones for most of the book, and there is something to be said about how the bond between them develops. That and their powers would have been a great opportunity to display a deep understanding of people, and that’s not the case, but I’ll nevertheless say that, despite all of the above criticisms, this is not a bad book. It has some thrilling action scenes, most notably in the last two chapters, some characters are worth supporting and caring for, some even develop in a noticeable way, there are some good moments of interaction, and it depicts an unusual dystopian version of this world in a manner that didn’t drive me away… Which, in itself, is quite an accomplishment.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on July 17, 2024 at 3:47 PM in Books | 0 Comments

New Finds – LXI

It may be terribly inappropriate to turn something like this into another rushed post from this series, but I guess it’s something I can do, and it’ll definitely serve more purpose than just forcing myself to throw a quick comment about something on here just to have a second post this week. So the following two bands aren’t just not new, or even new for me, but also no longer active… And it’s also impossible for them to return to activity, because they were small past projects of a friend of a friend… Who died last week. I didn’t know her personally, but I knew of her, knew that she was quite dedicated to animals in general and cats in particular, and I don’t just mean her own, know that for a while she had a perfume store, and know that she was in these two bands. And I actually liked how they sounded back when I first learned of them, and probably listened to the songs on a few more occasions since then, but for some reason I never even added them on the list until now.

To start with the more recent one, that’s Anima Draconis, which from what I know didn’t get past the stage of a studio project. I’ll go with When We Were Young and Fire Dragon’s Dreaming as my two picks, and I’ll say that it’s quite a pity that they only released a handful of songs, since they sounded promising. Not that something like this matters anymore, at this point, but it may still be worth mentioning, at least in such a post.

The older band, All in Green, seems to have gotten a little further, even if still not that much. The sound is more ethereal, if that may be a proper term for it, maybe soothing would be another, but what’s clear is that it was also promising, and it’s also a pity that they didn’t release more songs. I remember Flying grabbing my attention when I first heard it, but now I kept wondering about the second pick, or more exactly I was wondering whether Don’t Feel would be particularly appropriate under these circumstances or quite the contrary. But this whole thing may be particulary inappropriate anyway, so I’ll just go with it.

Well, I keep wondering whether what’s above is inappropriate or not, but I guess that now I’ll end up making sure that this post as a whole will be, because I can’t just stop at two bands, so I’ll add a third, which recently released its first album. And there is a connection, because I was saying that Monica was a friend of a friend, and after many years away from music, after The Hourglass, which I mentioned many years ago, disbanded, the friend in question was in a band again, which band is now called Nocturnal Eternity, though it was just Nocturnal while she was in it. Yes, I’m using the past tense, because she wasn’t there for long, having recently left the band, but the album was recorded, and while there are a lot of awful growls on most of the songs, Are You the One has none and it’s quite a lovely song, so that’s definitely my first pick. And, to stick to what’s posted officially, I guess that I have to go with Betrayed By His Love for the second pick, even if there are growls on that one, though still far less than on other songs. Either way, the overall sound would deserve far more attention without those growls, but I can still recognize the quality and it’s probably something that can be recommended to those who enjoy or at least can deal with such harsh vocals better than me.

Written by Cavalary on July 14, 2024 at 3:58 PM in Music | 0 Comments

Sleeping Badly But Playing and Reading on Another "Regular" July 12…

“Great” way to start this day, waking up when dad went to the bathroom, apparently falling asleep again while waiting for him to be done, waking up again when he flushed, seeing that it was just after 11 AM, going to pee, then having a hard time getting back to sleep, just managing to get a few naps that were only minutes long, and even that ending when I was woken up by a loud crack followed by what seemed like an electrical sound, so I jumped to check the computer, and also my phone, which I had plugged in to charge only some ten minutes earlier, and after that I obviously couldn’t even try to get back to sleep. And things were pretty much the same in terms of how I slept yesterday as well, since dad had that guy over for a while, so after getting up to pee at one point I was increasingly stressed, and then he also woke up and there was some noise, so I once again only got a few more naps that were only minutes long before I gave up and got on the computer. And I didn’t sleep much better two days ago either, and Monday evening I ran, on high temperatures, so I’m pretty much drained, but I can’t try to get back to sleep either.
To return to that crack that woke and worried me, it’s not the first time this happens, nothing seems obviously wrong and the bookcase is the most probable culprit, especially since the slight change in weight caused by taking my phone off it might have increased the risk of it cracking, and other options are the desk, the window or even something else that’s nevertheless still harmless, but I’m still worried, especially considering these temperatures, seeing as we’re in the longest heat wave in recorded history, with over a week of highs around 40°C and at least 35°C pretty much the entire month, and who knows what’s coming in August. But, of course, this and worse is what the whole world is facing because of what we have been doing to it, and we refuse to stop even now.
But that’s not the topic of this post, so I’ll just get back to today, yet another July 12 that’s at least not a milestone, being the 19th lonely one, which would have marked 22 years, and which is therefore the 23rd if you also include the first. And at least this time around having a free “slot” for a personal post isn’t a problem, but otherwise there are some similarities with last year, including the temperature, even if last year this period of such heat was far shorter, and the fact that I’m once again yet to write about this summer’s Dream Trek and I was still hoping to write the post directly, so while this time around I do have some notes, the more detailed ones are about what I did before and after, those about the actual run being little more than the few words I hastily scribbled on a piece of paper during some of the breaks, which include one thing that I can’t understand and which refers to something that I don’t really remember either, and other details are obviously fading from memory as well.
At least I seem to be playing games recently, since after finishing Vampires Dawn on June 26, two days later I installed and started Phoning Home, which I could play for a while even if my computer was obviously struggling with it, and after it didn’t work anymore, constantly crashing with an “out of memory” error, even at absolutely minimum settings, when passing through the portal to get to ANI, two days ago I uninstalled it and installed and started Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition. It’s been over ten years since I bought this one, but with Intel graphics listed as unsupported, I didn’t even think that I should bother trying to play it, yet now that I did, I found that it does work, and I’ve been playing it a fair bit over these past two days… Which is something of a problem, because yesterday I also started reading The Bone Season, which I borrowed from the Library and which is due to be returned on July 17… Which was a surprise, since I borrowed it and If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal on July 1 and you should normally be able to keep them for 21 days, but I didn’t ask why that wasn’t the case and now I just have to rush through it.
Speaking of that, I was considering going to read in the park these days, late in the evening, maybe even at night, and I even thought about doing so today. I probably won’t, I don’t think I can deal with much of anything today, and having people around, likely seeing couples as well, and obviously plenty of children that will just remind me even more of my worst fear, is very high on the list of what I really don’t want to put myself through at the moment… And I am still worried about that crack, and these temperatures may definitely cause problems, and things seem to malfunction around me when I’m in such a state anyway, plus that there’s the obvious risk of power failures these days, so I’ll see what I’ll end up doing. There actually were two brief power failures two days ago, and while those weren’t a problem, the plan would be to actually do the work that I have to do on the computer when one will force me to turn it off, since I really should also clean some of the dust from it, to help with the temperatures these days. But I hope it won’t happen today, because I really, really don’t want to have to deal with that as well.

As for the searches that I usually do around this time, I just found another little piece of information, but obviously it’s still just a professional matter. A friend asked how she is when I brought it up, probably thinking that I had learned something more notable, so I told her that she knows as much as I do when it comes to her personal life, all I have being some things related to her job that are just a quick search away. So I’m still pretty much where I’ve been all these years, with the same worries and fears, and the same false hopes and dreams that I just have to keep propping up and holding on to, just because I still exist and that’s the only way to… Well, to do that, since I don’t have a better term for it.

Written by Cavalary on July 12, 2024 at 5:09 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

A Truly Awful Final Part of My Preparation for This Year’s Dream Trek

In the early hours of June 13, I meant to shave before dinner and possibly go to the toilet one more time before going to bed, but I didn’t do either of those and still ended up eating dinner between 3:50 AM and 4:30 AM, putting peanut butter on all of the slices of bread, and going to bed at 5:30 AM. And my right eye was still bothering me and a part of it was red, which had been the case since I had gotten up that afternoon. But, in spite of that and of the heat, the plan was to do the first part of the last stage of the preparation for this year’s Dream Trek, so I set the alarm to ring at 2 PM and got up when it did, though after waking up around 1:40 PM and feeling the need to pee again but deciding to just stay in bed, I’m not sure whether I managed to fall asleep again just before the alarm rang or I remained awake. Either way, I then had the usual stuff, but the yogurt was that high protein one received after the half marathon and I also mixed raisins in milk chocolate in it, along with the cereals and the baked almonds with Himalayan salt. I also ate the last slice of the old cozonac from my mother, with added honey, and drank most of the tea. And, since I hadn’t shaved before going to bed, I did that as well, so I left a little after 5:20 PM, wearing the full running gear, with some things in the pocket of my tights, and one armband. The reported temperature was 33°C, and while it was similar when I finished this first run, it seems that it was slightly higher during it, since dad checked for me and the station inside the city reported 35°C at 6 PM.
The time was 1:19:50, with sector times of 4:27, 5:09, 6:01, 4:37, 5:07, 6:02, 4:45, 5:20, 6:07, 4:39, 5:19, 6:09, 4:46, 5:16 and 6:06, making for lap times of 15:37, 15:46, 16:12, 16:07 and 16:08. I did sort of consider trying to stay under 1:18, but it was pretty much impossible under those conditions, and when even on lap one I went over six minutes on sector three and also over that 15:36 that’d be the target lap time for 1:18, I pretty much settled on staying under 1:20. That meant staying well under 16 minutes on lap two as well, which I managed, but I was thinking that I shouldn’t go over 16 minutes on lap three either, and sector one of lap three made that pretty much impossible, and at the end of the lap staying under 1:20 also seemed impossible, because I couldn’t afford to get any slower on the last two laps and that seemed simply out of the question. Still, I tried to push and sector one of lap four gave me a shred of hope, and at the end of the lap I had just a little more… Only to lose most of the time that I could afford to lose on the last lap just on its first sector. But I just gave everything from then on, and after sector two it actually, finally, seemed that I might be able to make it, which I did.
I had considered giving up on the idea of two runs in one day and continuing to a half marathon distance if I’d have failed to stay under 1:20, in which case the plan would have been to do another half marathon run two days later, to cover the same total distance, and that might have been the better option, but at that point I was content with what I had managed, considering the circumstances. But I was also drained and very concerned about the day’s second run… Rightfully so, as it turned out…
The heat was the obvious problem and, while I saw quite a few clouds if I looked up, it mostly remained sunny, the cloud that came just after I started running moving away before I even finished the first sector, and I think that it was only noticeably cloudy again at the end, on sector three of lap five, the few other clouds that came passing quickly, so I tried to make the most of any shade that I could find. And the wind picked up on sectors two and three of lap three, but it felt hot as well, I wouldn’t say that there was any noticeable cooling effect, and I did rather have to fight it. And those new fountains that cover a part of the lake, causing all sorts of other problems as well, also increase the humidity in the air, so instead of having any cooling effect they just make it even worse when it’s hot.
However, parts of the lane were still wet, obviously because the area had been watered and the lane accumulates the water, and even worse was that plenty of spots were damaged, including some that created a risk of tripping, and work had been done in no less than five spots. Four of them were on sector one, two just being small patches that were just marked with bands placed on the lane, but one was part of that area that had been completely closed off before, the lane being cordoned off, though at least the rest of the path wasn’t, and another was in a turn and, instead of just cordoning off the small patch of the lane which had been repaired, they had tied the bands to trees that were on the side with the lake, so on the inside of that turn, meaning that I had to go on the outside. Either way, I remember that I had to step on the grass twice on sector one of lap two, the first time being on that first area where the lane was cordoned off, though whether the second was at that second spot or near the boat dock, I couldn’t say. And there were probably one or two other times when I had to step on the grass on sector one, but I couldn’t really say when. And there was another moment that clearly took place in that second spot where the lane was cordoned off, but I believe that it happened during the second run, and while I’m not entirely certain, I’ll mention it there. And on sector one of lap three I had to slow no less than three times, on one of those occasions needing to maintain that slower pace for several seconds, to stay behind a couple of cyclists who were making their way through other people and then also had to slow because a few other cyclists were coming from the opposite direction and they’d have otherwise met right in that turn where only the outside of the path was usable.
But I’m yet to say anything about the fifth place where work had been done, which was on sector two, and the area had obviously been completely blocked off before, but that day all of the space on either side of the path was blocked and so was the lane, yet the remaining part of the path wasn’t blocked off even though it looked like the concrete had been freshly poured, so on lap one I slowed when I saw what was ahead, then stopped right in front of that area, looked at the edge of the path, trying to figure out whether I could carefully walk on it, quickly decided that I wasn’t going to do that every lap unless I absolutely had to, and then carefully stepped forward with one foot, being relieved when I found that the concrete only appeared fresh, but had actually hardened. So I lost quite a few seconds because of that, meaning that the time for sector two of lap one was actually really good, if you take that into account.
Otherwise, at the end of sector two of lap one, as I passed by a group of kids, one of them spat and I felt some of it on my left hand, and I wear that armband on that arm, so I didn’t exactly want to wipe myself with it or with that hand after that, and that was most notably a problem when some bugs once again got right in my eyes. As for physical issues, other than those caused by the heat, which I definitely felt more and more as I continued, there were some occasional warnings from my right knee in the later part of the run and my legs started to burn at least from sector two of lap five, if not earlier, and they were definitely burning badly on sector three of lap five, so I was pretty much at the limit.

After that first run, I went to the farmers’ market, finding cheap apples again and buying some, and then picking up two cans with the deposit symbol on the way to Park Lake, where I put them in Carrefour’s recycling machine, along with a plastic bottle which another person had discarded because the machine kept refusing it, but for me it accepted it on the first try. Then I put the apples in a cabinet, trying a few before finding one that locked, peed and washed my hands and face, and then I went out again, eating the nice but expired bar which I had taken with me on the way and stopping on a bench after returning to that part of the park to write down the times for the first run and a few notes about the problems, at least as far as I could remember at that point. And then, after using the drinking fountain that’s next to the area that I start running from to wash my hands once again but not daring to also drink, I started the second run of the day. The notes left by dad stated that the reported temperature was 32°C at the time, but it was cloudy, so it felt noticeably cooler. And the temperature probably dropped by a couple of degrees by the time I finished, though I couldn’t actually check.
The time was an utterly dreadful 54:44, with sector times of 4:51, 5:27, 6:22, 4:59, 5:44, 6:39, 5:18, 5:57, 7:08 and 2:19, making for lap times of 16:40, 17:22 and 18:23. And no, I don’t even have the exact total time, only realizing when I reset the time on the stopwatch, at the start of the following run, two days later, that I never bothered to write it down or memorize it. And it might have mattered if I’d have been at least one second less slow, but as it was, it was clearly the slowest ever 10 km run through the park, one second slower than the very first one, which also makes this the first time when the first time I covered any distance through the park except the shortest, 4.1 km, and the longest, 35.2 km, wasn’t also the time when I was the slowest. And that was also my slowest ever lap three, regardless of distance, not counting that time when I had to go over the bridge and cross the street, and even then I was probably only marginally slower, if at all. And the final sector was also the slowest one of a 10 km run by quite some margin, at least as far as I know, since I don’t have that time for that first run. And all of this happened on my 300th run over this distance, as I count them, so including the one that I cut short after three laps, because the stopwatch no longer worked, but not that one that I already mentioned, when I had to go over the bridge and cross the street, which brought the total distance closer to 11 km… So maybe I shouldn’t count either of those and consider it the 299th, to at least avoid marking such a milestone in such a dreadful manner…
And to think that when I started I was wondering whether I could stay under 52 minutes… But after the first sector that was highly doubtful, and after the second I just wondered whether I could complete the first lap in less than the 16:40 that’d be the target lap time for that. And I couldn’t even do that, failing by fractions of a second, so I then wondered about staying under 53 minutes, but that meant averaging less than 17 minutes per lap, since I knew that I was going to go over two minutes on the final sector, and after lap two I was already over that average, being quite shocked by how slow I had been on sectors two and three. So I switched to wondering whether I could at least stay under 54 minutes, but that seemed unlikely right away and after sector one of lap three it was pretty much impossible. 54:30 still seemed likely, however, and while I didn’t remember exactly what my worst time had been when I covered this distance through the park, I was sure that staying under 54:30 would at least be better than it, so that became my target as I just struggled to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and after sector two of lap three I still thought that I might just make it. However, at the end of the lap, after also having to stop for what were probably a couple of seconds, it was clear that managing that was going to require actually running all the way to the end, and as soon as I stepped on the stairs I simply couldn’t do that anymore, barely managing to walk… And then I lost a few more seconds when a guy blocked my way and my legs were simply refusing to take me around him while climbing stairs. So I could only hope that the previous worst time happened to be worse than whatever I was going to manage… And that wasn’t the case. By a mere second and after those stops, but it was nevertheless the worst time.
It was definitely more crowded than on the first run, so I had to weave and go the long way around quite a lot, and I also stepped on one of the damaged parts of the lane from sector one, I believe actually on lap one, though it might have been on lap two, and my right leg bothered me a little more after that. But the notable problems caused by people were just on lap three. What I clearly know is that right at the end of the lap I stopped for up to a couple of seconds, I think because of a kid on a bicycle who blocked my way around the roadblock that had formed, and then, at the start of the final sector, as I was struggling to even walk up the stairs, there was a silly dance with a guy who eventually stopped right in front of me, apologizing but just standing there for a moment longer, neither of us seeming to be able to decide which way to go, and I could barely move anymore, so I lost a few seconds before managing to awkwardly get around him. Otherwise, I clearly remember catching up to two guys right next to one of the cordoned off areas from sector one and having to step on the grass and also go around a pole, and I believe that it happened on sector one of lap three of this run, but I’m not even completely certain that it was on this run and not the first one, as I mentioned earlier. And, while I’m also uncertain, I believe that it was also on lap three of this run and, if so, most likely on sector two, when I had to slow a lot and maybe even briefly stop in order to squeeze through a momentary roadblock. And my legs were getting heavier, the burning sensation got worse and my right knee gave more warnings as I went along, and on sector three of lap three the pressing need really made its presence known, the burning sensation in my legs was really bad and I also felt nauseous.

What’s above this point is how far I got before midnight, but I wanted to only leave adding the part about June 15 for a later time, so I kept writing and before going to the kitchen I edited the post in order to also add this section, about the rest of June 13, starting with the fact that I went back to Park Lake after this second run, picking up two plastic bottles with the deposit symbol on the way and then digging through the bin that’s next to Carrefour’s recycling machine and finding several more, though I couldn’t get the machine to accept most of those, so I added the remaining ones in that cabinet before washing my hands and face once again, also splashing some water on my neck and even on my head, and then entering the store and getting a few things, using both of the vouchers received for previous purchases that I had as well as both of those received for the recyclables with the deposit symbol. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and took a little time to arrange everything, probably being done just before the store closed, since they were just pulling down the gate but there had been no announcement by the time I walked away. And on the way back I quickly checked the nearby Mega Image and when I walked out I saw a very clean bag containing several bottles with the deposit symbol on top of the trash can, so I grabbed it, checking the bottles and pouring out what little was left in them after entering the building, on the mat from the entrance area.
I got back a couple of minutes before 10 PM, and when I weighed myself I saw that I had less than 45 kg… Either way, I then finished the tea and made another, also finished some plum compot, put the few other purchases in the fridge, leaving the apples out, washed a few of the things that were in the kitchen, and went to the bathroom, only leaving very little in the toilet and then washing. A little later I washed the remaining things from the kitchen, including two pots, but not the grill that dad had once again used that day or two other pots, and I had lunch, with a bag of peanut snacks instead of bread, starting before and continuing while I worked on the salad. I even did the day’s squats right after starting to eat lunch, also drank that second tea, and I finally ate dinner between 3:40 AM and 4:45 AM, also writing some notes about the day during that time. And then I had to go to the toilet again, what hadn’t wanted to come out before I washed deciding that it really wanted to do so at that point, so I ended up going to bed at 5:40 AM.

As for the part about June 15, I edited the post once more, Wednesday afternoon, in order to add it, and it starts from the day’s early hours, when I was yet again way too slow in the kitchen, starting to eat dinner at 3:25 AM, once again putting peanut butter on all of the slices of bread, and I checked things on the computer while eating, only finishing at 4:15 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM and after a while I kept waking up at ever shorter intervals, but I had set the alarm to ring at 2:30 PM and that’s when I got up, even though by that point I was alternating between sleeping and being awake every few minutes. Then I had the usual stuff, the sweet thing consisted of two pretty nice, albeit recently expired, biscuits, with added honey, and I also drank most of the tea. I left at 6:10 PM, wearing the full running gear, with a few things in the pocket of my tights, and one armband. The reported temperature was about 28°C, holding steady or dropping only marginally by the time I finished.
The time was 1:20:41, with sector times of 4:38, 5:11, 6:00, 4:36, 5:13, 6:06, 4:42, 5:19, 6:12, 4:46, 5:19, 6:21, 4:50, 5:20 and 6:08, making for lap times of 15:49, 15:55, 16:13, 16:26 and 16:18. Considering what had happened two days earlier, my target lap times added up to 1:24, and I definitely wanted to at least avoid a new worst time on yet another distance, so if it looked like I was going to go over that 1:24:06, I meant to continue to a half marathon distance. However, after a first sector that was close enough to the 4:35 that’s the target for a 16-minute lap, I wanted to see whether I’ll manage to stay under 16 minutes on that first lap, so I then pushed harder and made it, even with a safe margin. But that only made me feel more confident that I’ll stay under 1:24, expecting to get much slower towards the end, yet after sector one of lap two I wondered whether I could stay under 16 minutes on that lap as well, once again pushing harder and once again making it. That was finally enough to make me update my target times, but still conservatively, the new ones adding up to 1:23. However, after two sectors of lap three I wondered whether I could keep the average under 16 minutes per lap over the first three laps, and after managing that as well I got somewhat more ambitious, trying to work out whether I could stay under 1:22 and setting my mind on trying. And lap four’s time was good enough to make me think of staying under 1:21, despite a concerning time on sector three. It seemed unlikely, however, and after sector one of lap five I was willing to settle for 1:21:30, but that’d have been frustrating, and I was also thinking of the time lost because of the problems caused by people, so I just pushed, on the last sector in particular, and actually ended up closer to 1:20:30… Which is, of course, still a bad time in itself, but minutes better than I expected under those circumstances.
It was crowded and I briefly stopped at least once on the first sector, and possibly twice, though the second time I might have just slowed a lot as I squeezed through that other roadblock. And, while that first moment when I had to briefly stop was probably the one where I lost the most time, I’m pretty sure that I stopped at least very briefly on sector one of laps two and three as well, and there were various other moments when I had to slow a fair bit or quickly avoid others, some when I hesitated and a few when I had to step off the path, though I was making a mental note of the fact that just about all of those tended to be on the first two sectors of each lap and I was pretty much spared of this on sector three. Not that I didn’t have to weave, go the long way around or squeeze through on that sector as well, but I could do so without having those more notable problems.
Otherwise, while it was obviously not as bad as two days earlier, it was still quite hot, and I was trying to make the most of the shaded areas or any passing cloud. However, despite feeling just exhausted when I started, physically I felt quite fine after that. On the other hand, most of the lane was wet and there were even a few puddles, so it had been watered and the rest of the path had dried but the lane just absorbed the water, and while no more areas were cordoned off or marked, some were still damaged, including some that created quite a risk of tripping, and I stepped in such spots twice, on sector one, though I don’t really remember on which laps, the first being on lap two or three and the second on lap four or five, but I managed to keep my footing and not break or twist anything, which was fortunately also the case when I stepped in holes that are under the lane once or twice, but I really can’t recall when or where that was. And a significant problem caused by the lane was that a pretty long stretch, right on the long straight of sector two, was partially moved aside, to the left, so unless I could stay to the right of the lane I had to be very careful how and where I stepped.

The total time for the three runs was 3:35:15, making this by far the slowest of the three such series of runs, over three minutes slower than last year’s 3:32:07 and close to ten minutes slower than the 3:25:47 from 2022. And the total time for the first two runs was 2:14:34, almost four minutes worse than last year’s 2:10:41 and almost eight minutes worse than the 2:06:39 from 2022.

To continue with the rest of June 15, I got back a little before 8 PM, picking up a plastic bottle with the deposit symbol on the way. Then I just finished the tea, changed, took the recyclables with the deposit symbol which I had gathered, leaving the ones used by dad, and left again at 8:25 PM, going to the nearest Penny… And finding the recycling machine out of order, so I left the recyclables next to the cabinets and bought a few things, then I put the purchases in the backpack, retrieved the recyclables and went to Kaufland, eventually managing to put all of them in the recycling machines, though one filled up after I had just put six in, so I had to wait my turn to use another one for the rest.
When I wanted to wash my hands, I found a cleaner in the men’s, and when I asked whether I could go in she said that I obviously couldn’t, and another guy entered the toilets for disabled people, so for a moment I was worried that I won’t be able to wash my hands there either, but he also just washed his hands, so I did the same after he was done, entering the store a little before 9:30 PM and seeing bakery discounts of 75%, at least for some products. Others had no discount labels at all, however, and the employee was saying that she hadn’t received them and had no idea what the prices were, and she even went to scan a label and the price checker listed the product as unknown, which also happened when I tried to scan one, and the lines that I saw when I meant to use a self-checkout to check made me give up on that idea, just keeping the few buns which I had taken right away, which did have the 75% discount listed, and then moving on to get something for dad and a small bag of bagels for myself. And then I saw that one of the kinds of those treats for Liza still had the previous week’s discounted price on the label, and an employee had just arranged that area, so I took one to a price checker, but the price was the full one, so I put it back and pulled out that label.
With a quarter of an hour left before closing time, I rushed to the fruits and vegetables, ending up digging through the onions, which still had a higher price than I’d care to get onions for despite having something of an evening discount, but it was a better price that they’ve been having for quite some time, so I got some, and five minutes before closing time I meant to look for a good and ripe banana, even if those just had the regular discount, but a guard came to ask me to hurry up and I ended up grabbing a green one that didn’t look very good and a ripe one that was starting to spoil, just hurrying out of there… And, after the first scales that I tried to use for the bananas didn’t print the label, the second kept varying the weight. I eventually got a label from it, but the self-checkout machine didn’t recognize the bananas as the correct product and I called over an employee, who just logged on to override the error, confirming it when I asked whether the weight was different but not correcting it. And I hadn’t calculated the total, and was also surprised to see that the additional 10% discount applied to what I had purchased for dad, the total ending up a mere 0.01 RON less than the value of the second voucher received for the recyclables, and I didn’t try to see what happened if I tried to use it, so I just used the first one, and then didn’t even think to cash in that second one, leaving it for later. Either way, after arranging some of the other purchases, I weighed the bananas on the scales that are next to the recycling bins and they weighed almost 20% more than what I had paid for, so those scales had malfunctioned in a nice way!
After arranging the purchases properly, I washed my hands again and then also checked the Mega Image that closes at 11 PM, entering with everything and getting an apple pastry, with the evening discount, after taking one of the very narrow bags that were all that they had left in that location, moving the buns to it, and then using the bag from Kaufland for the pastry, which I then added in the bag that hangs from my neck. And then I also checked the non-stop Mega Image, putting just that bag in a cabinet, without locking, since I didn’t have any more 0.50 RON coins, entering with the backpack, and getting one of those breads that I can get for myself from there, also with the evening discount. And there were no bags whatsoever left in that location, but a baguette was in a bag, so I slid it out of it and struggled to fit that bread in that bag. Then I retrieved my bag from the cabinet, added the bread in it, grabbed some more recyclables with the deposit symbol, and made my way back, an odd moment being when I heard a guy running behind me, and when I turned to look he stopped and turned around.
I got back at or just before 11:25 PM, since I didn’t check the time just then, made another tea, ate a banana and lunch, even did the day’s squats, put the purchases in their place, and went to wash a couple of minutes after 1 AM. I went back to the kitchen at 1:55 AM, ate the apple pastry, dealt with my bread, also ate some peanuts with pepper and drank the second tea while working on the salad, putting the last few peanuts in the salad, and started eating dinner at 4 AM, but I also struggled for a long time to get Emsisoft Anti-Malware (EAM) to update, wrote the notes about the day as well, and after spending quite some time gathering the seeds from the plate, it was past 5:15 AM when I finished eating.

I got in bed at 6:20 AM, but I couldn’t sleep, maybe falling asleep for just a moment when dad settled down after getting back but waking up moments later, coughing and feeling like I had choked, so after tossing and turning for quite a while longer I got back on the computer a few minutes before 8 AM, only getting back in bed at 10:50 AM and getting some three hours of sleep before getting up. And that night, after finally washing two large pots which had been in the sink for some time and also making sure that Liza ate the food that dad had given her and then left in the kitchen, so he won’t end up saying that it had been in the heat for too long and had spoiled, I ended up eating dinner between 3:25 AM and 4 AM. And then, thinking that updates are lighter on Sundays and it should therefore be easier to do one more and then possibly leave it without any more updates for a few days, to get a new uptime record and then reboot, I once again struggled to update EAM… Only for it to ask for a reboot once it did complete the update, and the uptime was just 107 days. But I still wanted a new record, so I held off rebooting until I got it. But, to return to that day, I got in bed at 5:30 AM.

Written by Cavalary on July 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments