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New Shoes and the Runs Between the Long One and the Series of Three

The awful long practice run made it clear that I was going to need every bit of help for the marathon, so I finally pulled the trigger and bought new running shoes, going all the way when I saw that a store had a discount on a model of ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 that was also available in my size. I didn’t like the color, and I had noticed some that I liked much more at another store, for a slightly higher price, but by the time I really decided to go through with it, they were no longer available in my size in any of their locations from Bucharest either, while this model that I ended up ordering was listed as available in one location of yet another store. So what I ended up doing was order them on-line from that store that had the discount, even if I always said that I’d never buy clothes or shoes without trying them on first and the running shoes are the item for which the right fit is the most important, and then I went to this other store and tried on that exact same model, finding that the one pair of that size that was left was among their discounted products and the price was only marginally higher than the other store’s, but they had quite clearly been returned and actually looked like they had been used a fair bit, so I wouldn’t have wanted to buy those anyway. And, while they did seem rather hard at the back and my concerns regarding that issue were proven justified since then, I hoped, and still hope, that they’ll give before the marathon, and otherwise they seemed good, so I put those back and waited for the delivery. And I’ll also mention here that the other model showed up in my size once again at that other store, at a different location from Bucharest, but I had already ordered those and I left things as they were.
The delivery came on the morning of September 7, when I received the SMS a little after 9:30 AM, stating that the shoes will be delivered between 9 AM and noon. So I changed, turned on the intercom and got back in bed, but the delivery guy came soon after that, without even calling first, so I jumped out of bed again and I’m not even sure that it was 9:50 AM when I received the parcel. And after taking the box out of the bag, I saw that I really had received what wasn’t just the last pair in this size, but probably a pair that was put together, the serial numbers being very different, the left shoe having clearly been a display model, since it had the sticker with the information and price on the inside and some small signs of wear and a little dirt on it, and the box had been marked as missing something. The writing had been scribbled over quite thoroughly, so it was hard to tell what had been missing, but it probably said that it was missing the left shoe, leading me to believe that they had paired that shoe which had been on display with a right shoe that had somehow been “orphaned”. But I tried them on and they felt just like those which I had tried on at that other store, so the size was definitely right but that problem remained at the back, and it did show that the left one had been tried on before, because it seemed like it was going to give sooner, which was also proven correct since then. Either way, at 11:10 AM I got back in bed and actually fell asleep again, and I managed to do so yet again after waking up when dad left, only getting up for good when it was almost 4:10 PM, though I had been awake for a while at that point. And I started cooking way too late, so I ate a combined lunch and dinner between 3:35 AM and 4:30 AM, and got in bed at 5:30 AM.

I got to really test the new shoes right away, since I ran on September 8, getting up after the alarm rang, at 2 PM, though I had woken up some 35 minutes earlier, when dad was getting ready to leave, and then pretty much remained awake. I might have fallen asleep just before the alarm rang, and possibly once more before that, but those naps, if they existed at all, lasted mere moments. Either way, I then had the usual stuff, though the yogurt was a bio (organic) one and I again replaced three almonds with apricot pits, and the sweet thing consisted of two more of those somewhat nicer biscuits of a different kind, which had expired far more recently than those other ones, of course with added honey. I left at 4:45 PM, wearing the full running gear, obviously including the new shoes. The reported temperature was 28-29°C at that point, and about 28°C when I finished.
The time was 49:07.01, with sector times of 4:19.83, 5:08.09, 6:02 (6:01.34), 4:34.60, 5:18 (5:17.18), 6:05.25, 4:37.15, 5:13.07, 5:58.29 and 1:53 (1:52.21), making for lap times of 15:29.26, 15:57.03 and 15:48.51. I obviously aimed to stay under 48 minutes, and I was wondering whether the new shoes would help and result in a surprisingly good time or hold me back, especially since at first I felt like I was barely touching the pavement and couldn’t really judge my pace. Still, I thought that I had been faster than that on the first sector, and the second sector wasn’t good enough either, and when I was hoping for a good third sector but ended up going over six minutes, and with a lap time that was well over what would be required in order to stay under 48 minutes, I knew that there was little hope left. And each sector of lap two made it clear that the only realistic goal was to stay under 16 minutes per lap, and I barely managed even that on that lap. And then, even though the numbers clearly added up to 49:30, over the course of lap three I found myself thinking that I was looking at 48:30, and after sector two I wondered whether I could manage a great sector three and still get under 48 minutes after all. And that sector three was the fastest of the day, and a decent one for lap three, but it and the final sector weren’t enough to even get too close to 49 minutes, as I realized with some dismay at the end. This was definitely not what I needed after that awful long run…
There were a fair number of people, including some large groups, and many seemed to be teens, maybe because school was about to start. So I slowed a lot because of two roadblocks on sector two of lap two, maybe briefly stopping because of the second, then took to the grass, albeit cutting the turn in the process, on sector one of lap three, I think I might have once again slowed because of another momentary roadblock on that same sector, then slowed a lot and maybe even stopped for just an instant when three men were walking on the lane, two probably heard me coming and moved aside, but the third used the space to gesture more widely while talking and almost slapped me. That was on sector two, but I seem to have made a mistake while writing the notes, since I wrote that it was sector two of lap two, which seems highly unlikely, since I otherwise wrote them in order and I also remember the moment as coming rather late during the run, so it was almost certainly on lap three… Either way, I also slowed and almost stopped, or even did stop for just an instant, on the final sector, at the top of the stairs, because of another group of teens. Otherwise, there was some wind, and while it was mostly manageable, there was a spot, at the start of lap three, where I felt that I was barely moving against it. And there were still a few spots where the lane was clearly damaged, including one, close to the end of the lap, where it was damaged in a dangerous way. As for physical issues, my right knee started giving warnings from sector two of lap two, and from the next sector that hip joined it, but those warnings from the hip didn’t last long, and those from the knee also faded, gradually. Other than that, I just felt that I couldn’t go any faster. And my right nostril was once again badly irritated after the run.
As for the shoes, they hurt a little at the back at first, but I was only about halfway through when they seemed mostly fine, and there weren’t even red marks at the back of my feet after the run. Something felt strange with the right heel at the start of lap three, however. And, on the other hand, my small toes were a little red, and they had felt a little pressed while I ran. And the cushioning felt uneven, but it was slowly settling into a better position. Just having so much cushioning, and having it everywhere, not mainly for the heel, is something that I knew I’ll need some time to get used to, however.

I jogged back, quickly checked the nearby Mega Image, ate quite a lot of watermelon, changed, and went out again at 7:20 PM, rushing to a store where I had seen a a desk chair at a noticeably lower price than elsewhere those days, and my old one had cracked even more, so I wanted a replacement. That store’s site did list that chair as only available for ordering on-line, but I wanted to check, so I got there close to 7:45 PM, a little more than 15 minutes before closing time, spotted the furniture area right away, but went in every wrong direction once I reached it, so it’s a good thing that it’s not that large of an area and I could look through all of it once and then check about half of it a second time before spotting the desk chairs. And that model was, in fact, there, though the prices, or at least the labels, seemed rather mixed between the basic model and the one with armrests, and the only blue one on display had armrests and I wanted one without them. But, after a quick look, I decided that if I had to I could accept any of the other colors except, obviously, black, and that sale was about to end, so I sat on one for a few seconds, looked around to see if I could spot a boxed one, and when I didn’t I went to ask the closest employee. However, he said that he dealt with carpets and sent me to the desk from the area with floor and wall tiles.
After going there and asking about chairs, two employees came with me and I exchanged a few rushed words with one of them, trying to make sense of the mixed prices. He asked whether I wanted a gray one, since I had pointed to that one because it had the correct price, and I said that blue would be ideal but I only see the more expensive model in blue, so I’ll take anything except black, and he asked his coworker to give him the product code and then spotted a box above and went back to get the forklift. So I followed him, we went back together, and he got a gray one down, telling me to hurry to get to the checkout. I wonder if a blue one couldn’t have also been found, if I’d have asked them to really look whether they had any left, but with so little time left, I couldn’t get myself to do so… Especially after the guard’s comments, since a guard was also at that desk when I got there and at one point, I’m not sure whether it was when the other two first followed me or when I went back with that guy to actually get the chair, he called after me to hurry up because he had to screw his woman at home. I muttered that in that case she could wait a little, while the guy in the forklift muttered that she could wait even longer, but it was quite unpleasant.
Either way, I bought that chair a few minutes before closing time, carried the box outside, set it on a small bench, and the guard who was there asked whether I was wondering how to carry it. And when I tried to put the box in the “shopping backpack”, he said that it couldn’t possibly fit, and he was right. So I said that it had to fit in the large bag that I also had with me, but he said that it won’t, telling me to look at its volume, and after I nevertheless made an attempt he told me to just put the bag over the box and even helped me with that, proving that it was impossible. It was close, but still not large enough. So I said that in that case I’ll just carry it in my arms, but he told me to get it out of the box, since it will fit that way, and I followed his advice and put the large parts in the bag and the few other components in the backpack, and then I even took the box, opening it up, folding it and managing to get it in the backpack as well, poking out through the top. Quite a contrast between how helpful this guard was and the other one’s attitude…
After that, I had a quick look in that Mega Image, entering with everything, then went to Kaufland, struggled for a while but eventually managed to get the bag into a large cabinet, then washed my hands and entered with the backpack. I think it was only a little after 8:20 PM, but I already saw evening discounts for fruits and vegetables, and some of them increased at 8:30 PM, so I got two a number of things. The label printed when I weighed the red cabbage and the Bianca peppers listed a higher price, but I scanned it at a price checker and confirmed that the correct price should, in fact, apply. And then bakery discounts of 50% were announced and I went there, took a glove, since my hands were dirty by then and I had therefore washed for no reason, and I saw that the discount also applied to that bread and three were left, so I took two, and two sweet pastries, and after thinking about it for a while I added two buns and another pastry, but put them a separate bag, which at that point I meant to give to a homeless person. Then I wandered around… Only to realize after a while that I no longer had the bag with the vegetables. But I knew where I must have left it, and it was still there when I rushed back. And then I kept wandering around, searching for some things and occasionally checking to see whether any discounts had increased, but none did even though I waited for 9:45 PM. So I finally made my way to the self-checkout, and after the machine initially accepted the Bianca peppers, it then said that I had picked a product off the scales, even though I hadn’t, so I had to call an employee to override the error. And I weighed those peppers again on my way out, confirming that the weight was correct. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and left a couple of minutes before closing.
On the way back, I also checked that Mega Image that closes at 11 PM, putting the purchases from Kaufland in a cabinet, leaving the large bag next to the cabinets, and entering with the backpack… And I had just about finished looking around, without finding anything to get, when the guard came after me and told me to leave the backpack at the cabinets because I was going to catch things from the shelves and bring them down. But I was already on my way out, so I just retrieved my things and left. And on the way back I used a route which should have given me better chances to find homeless people, initially meaning to cut through the farmers’ market and being able to enter it but having someone call after me to tell me that the other entrances were closed, so I had to go back out and around. And then I stopped on a bench and added the bag I had been carrying in my hand into the backpack, over those chair parts. As for the homeless people, I was actually looking for one or two from a certain area that I hadn’t given anything to before, but I didn’t see them. I did see another one, but it was probably one whom I had given something to before and he was before that area, so I didn’t yet know that I wasn’t going to find the others and ended up just keeping what I had in that bag for myself.
It was past 10:50 PM when I got back, with close to 16 kg, and I found that dad was taking a bath… And had put a pair of shoes right on my house slippers! I snapped at him over it and he said that if it bothered me I could just clean my slippers and keep them in my room from then on, and then kept ironically asking if I don’t touch my face or anything else with anything from outside and so on. So I washed my slippers and then pulled out the old ones which I still have under my bed even though they’re falling apart, and used them after just wiping them a little with my wet hands, even though they actually were far dirtier than those would have been even after having his shoes on them, after having been under the bed for so long.
Either way, I then put the purchases, with the exception of my bread, in their place, took the chair parts to my room, washed what was in the kitchen and also moved something, ate lunch and a sweet pastry, talked to dad a little, having to just get over the issue with the slippers, and it was past 1:20 AM when I went to the bathroom. I had felt that I had to go when I got back, but at that point I pretty much ended up wasting time on the toilet, then I washed. I was done just after 2 AM, then also dealt with one of my breads, noticing that the crust was really hard, washed a few more things, and ate dinner in the kitchen, between 3:55 AM and 4:25 AM. And when I was struggling to make that bread fit in the freezer, after dinner, something cracked, so I still hope that it wasn’t the inner wall of the freezer, since I didn’t take everything out to actually look since then. Either way, I then put together the chair as well, so I didn’t get on-line at all that night and only got in bed at 6:20 AM, after washing my feet a little, since they had been in those old slippers and I hadn’t even worn socks.

On September 11, the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but it wasn’t even 1:40 PM when I woke up, whether because I needed to pee again or because of the noise made by dad, but I did need to pee and there was some more noise for the next few minutes, so I just stayed in bed a little longer and eventually got up a couple of minutes before 2 PM, turning off the alarm. Then I had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being a large doughnut, with added honey, and left close to 4:15 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 28°C, holding steady.
The time was 1:17:20, with sector times of 4:25, 5:04, 5:51, 4:26, 4:59, 5:54, 4:29, 5:03, 5:54, 4:32, 5:07, 5:59, 4:37, 5:09 and 5:51, making for lap times of 15:20, 15:19, 15:26, 15:38 and 15:37. I was thinking that staying under 1:20 would be nice, but wondering whether a realistic target would be 1:21 or 1:22. And I wasn’t sure what I wanted on the first sector, so that time seemed slow but I didn’t really know how much I pushed. I did push more after that and the times showed it, and the first lap was better than I thought it’d be, and so was the next, actually being marginally faster, and with a nice sector two. At that point, I was thinking to aim for 1:19, only wanting to stay under 16 minutes on lap three, but after two sectors I wondered whether I’ll be able to stay on the 1:18 pace, so 15:36, and actually did noticeably better than that. So the target became 1:18, which I hadn’t even dared to really think about until then, and I wanted 15:45 or 15:50 on lap four, but once again managed to be a fair bit faster. And after two sectors of lap five I saw that I needed exactly six minutes on sector three to just get under 1:17:30, so that became the target and I really gave it everything on that sector, ending up with a time that was tied for the fastest sector three of the day despite two moments when I lost focus. The time was an otherwise normal one, but much better than expected, especially after the previous week’s bad run, so it really helped my morale.
I felt tired at the start, but the feeling seemed to soon go away. And the pain which I had been feeling for the past couple of days in my left lower calf and ankle, probably caused by how I was sitting on the new chair at first, also gradually faded as I ran. But there were some warnings from my right leg over the course of the first lap, probably caused by the fact that I was sparing the left one, and while they also faded after that, on sector three of lap four they reappeared, albeit only from the knee and, to a lesser extent, hip, lessening but not going away over the course of lap five. And my nose was really irritated after the run. Otherwise, I still avoided a good part of the lane, which was either soggy, too uneven or damaged, but there were no notable problems caused by people, only some weaving and needing to go the long way around. It was sunny and quite hot, however, and I was feeling that heat when I wasn’t in the shade. And, as something of a curiosity, I was on sector one of lap four when an apple fell from a tree right in front of me, and I thought to pick it up but didn’t, thinking that I will do so if it’ll still be there the next lap, but it wasn’t.
As for the shoes, something seemed to bother me at the front of the right one, in the sole, as if the cushioning was uneven. And later during the run that heel started to bother me again, and it was also bothering me more and more at the back, but I saw after I got back that the reason, or at least the main one, was the sock, since I was wearing some old ones, the left one being sewn in that spot and that seam was digging into my foot. What I’m uncertain about is whether the fact that I slipped on that paved area of sector two where there’s no lane at all had to do with the shoes or there was something on the pavement in that spot, but it happened twice, I think on laps one and two, though there’s also a chance that it was on laps two and three. Either way, I was even more careful when I passed through that area after that.

After getting back, I drank the last protein milk taken after the Dream Trek, ate some slices of pizza which had been brought by dad, changed, and left again just after 7:55 PM, taking a mask with me and actually putting it on when I entered Tei. It was the one used when I had last worn one, on June 17, and which I had kept in my desk since then, until I took it with me on September 4 but ended up just carrying it around, without putting it on. Either way, I was looking for that gel, but I hadn’t checked the site before leaving and there didn’t seem to be any left, so I asked an employee, she said that she was from cosmetics and looked for another one who could help me, and he just went to a computer to check the site and told me that there was none left, and it didn’t get back in stock since then either. At least it’s still listed as available at Hervis Park Lake, but the price is a little higher.
To return to that evening, I then went to Supeco, got some coffee for my mother, and then saw watermelons at the best price which I had seen this year. I quickly realized that they were so cheap because they were huge and seemed to be going soft, but I dug through them, found one that seemed better and, after managing to get it out from under the rest, bought it as well. And it’s actually the best watermelon I bought this year, and we still have some of it. Either way, I then put the purchases in the backpack, put it in a cabinet when I got to Carrefour, and got a few things from there as well, including two apples that had an unannounced discount.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I threw the new purchases, with the exception of the chicken legs, which I left in a bag, into the backpack, and rushed to Penny, getting there at 9:45 PM, entering with everything and just getting some onions. I was out a couple of minutes before closing time, stopped only long enough to tie the bag with the onions, and then rushed to that Kaufland, holding that bag and even the receipt in my hand… However, even though I had checked on-line before leaving and saw that the closing time was still listed as 11 PM for that location, on the door it was listed as 10 PM once again, and when I made eye contact with the guard he shook his head. I said that the site still listed the closing time as 11 PM, but he said that it had changed, so I turned back, stopping again after a few steps in order to add everything into the backpack… At which point a part of the other zipper key snapped off as well, so now they’re both like that, but otherwise remain usable.
On the way back, I checked that Profi, that non-stop Mega Image and this nearby one, entering with everything each time and only buying one egg from this nearby Mega Image, since I found a bio (organic) one that wasn’t cracked among those sold by piece. None of the electronic prices were displayed at that time, the large ones displaying “TEST” over and over and the small ones either zeroes or eights, and when I mentioned that to the cashier she said that they were updating, though it was just after 11 PM and on the door it says that the checkouts are closed between 2 AM and 3 AM, so I assumed that the updates would happen during that time. Plus that Mega Image changes prices on Thursday, and it was Monday evening. But at least I could buy that egg.
I got back just after 11:05 PM, with just about 12.5 kg, and after cleaning the litter box, putting some watermelon in a plate and adding the peel into that bag, I went to throw it down the chute… And it broke and fell on the way, though at least the cat litter didn’t spill out of it that much, so I could gather everything and throw it away. Then I ate quite a lot of watermelon and a sweet pastry, put the purchases in their place, and went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and shower, at 12:30 AM. I was done just before 1:25 AM, then I washed what was to wash in the kitchen and actually managed to have dinner at a normal time. Or I almost did, since I “cheated” a little in order to take a first bite in my room just before 3 AM, though I actually started eating at 3:05 AM. But I still finished at 3:40 AM. And my nose was quite fine, so I’m thinking that wearing a mask had helped. Also, I sent a message to Kaufland that night, to say that they should update the hours on the site when they change them for a location and that I had checked before leaving, saw 11 PM, but got there just after 10 PM only to find it closed… And they didn’t just apologize, but even sent me a 30 RON voucher to make up for it! I definitely didn’t expect that! Either way, I’ll also mention here that I woke up before 8 AM, stayed in bed until I heard the computer do the daily backup, then went to pee and got on the computer for a while, going to pee one more time and getting back in bed at 8:45 AM. And that night I once again ate between 3:05 AM and 3:40 AM. And I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

There were no visits recorded by Matomo Analytics on September 18, but Google Analytics, which had actually shut down the old version by then, recorded one, though that was probably an uncaught bot. Either way, on September 19 I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, after actually forgetting to set it before going to bed and only doing so when I got up to pee, a little after 11:30 AM. Then I had the usual stuff, but I once again replaced three almonds with apricot pits. The sweet thing consisted of yet another kind of somewhat nicer biscuits, those having expired only weeks earlier, with added honey. And I must mention that this was the first run after starting to once again take the iron as well, though I decided to stick to one pill per day instead of two. Otherwise, I also did my best to remove that label from the inside of the left shoe, but a tiny piece tore from the rest and I couldn’t get it off, so I left it there and left just after 4:40 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was about 26°C and it was cloudy, and while the reported temperature dropped only marginally by the time I finished, it got even cloudier.
The time was 47:32.07, with sector times of 4:20.42, 5:02 (5:01.84), 5:52 (5:51.97), 4:27.60, 5:04 (5:03.37), 5:48 (5:47.87), 4:26.13, 4:58.63, 5:46 (5:45.81) and 1:49 (1:48.43), making for lap times of 15:14.23, 15:19 (15:18.84) and 15:10.57. I might have pressed the button a little late at the end of sector two of lap two, since I was focused on making sure that I made it through that spot before a roadblock fully formed, but I’ll go with that time. Otherwise, I meant to push from the start and that first sector time was at least ten seconds too slow, so it looked bad and I pushed harder, and sector two was better, and the lap was all right, though still worse than what I had aimed for, since I was hoping that the iron would help me get under 47 minutes. Either way, the first two sectors of lap two were all right in themselves, but after that time on lap one, I feared that I’ll even go over 48 minutes, so it was a relief that sector three saved lap two. And then I really pushed on lap three, obtaining a nice time on sector two and finally feeling that I’ll at least stay safely under 48 minutes at that point. After the end of the lap I knew that I could get frustratingly close to 47:30, but had no way to go under that time, and that was proven true.
The back of my left hip gave some warnings from the beginning, but those soon went away, returning towards the end of sector two of lap three. But the warnings from my right knee, which appeared at the start of lap two, stayed until the end. And something of a pressing need appeared on sector two of lap two, getting somewhat worse over the course of the next sector before lessening on lap three. And when I tried to sprint on the long straight of sector one of lap three, I found myself slowing almost to a jog towards the end. But otherwise there were no notable problems, only occasionally needing to weave or go the long way around, and having to go on the outside as I started climbing the stairs at the start of the last sector. I was even making a note that some parts of the lane that are usually soggy were dry that day, though there were still others that remained wet. And the two places where the lane had been damaged in a way that created a risk of tripping had also been repaired, albeit not well, so I still avoided stepping there. And the cushioning of the new shoes also seemed to settle into place, pretty much completely in case of the left one, and getting there in case of the right one as well.

I only managed to get as far as the first two paragraphs that are below this one before midnight, so I’ll be editing this post in order to add the part about the rest of September 19 at another time. It will be a while before that will happen, however…

On the way back, I picked up one of those bottles that are going to grant two products in Carrefour’s upcoming campaign, then went behind the building to see whether I could find any usable apples which had fallen from that tree, and I did… But I forgot my keys there, after having set them down while trying to retrieve an apple that was under some bushes, so I dropped the apples and the bottle in front of the door and dashed back there to recover them. And I was thinking that I might have picked up some bugs from there, and nobody was around at that moment, so I removed my t-shirt and shook it in front of the door, and after walking in I also removed my tights, opened the door again and shook those in front of it as well. Then I ate watermelon and something sweet and left again at 7:50 PM.
I just got a bag of spoiling potatoes from Carrefour, and it had holes and a potato fell from it, so I put it back after opening the bag to check its contents, but when I saw another small potato on the floor while I had another look at the other bags from that area and it easily fit through that hole as well, I added it into the bag through it, so I probably ended up taking a little more than I paid for. Either way, I also used the voucher which I had received for previous purchases at the self-checkout, and obviously didn’t charge myself for that bag which I had been forced to use. Then I put the potatoes in the backpack and had a quick look through another store before leaving that mall.

Written by Cavalary on October 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments


Last year, this day fell between the series of three runs in five days and walking the route of the marathon, and I was saying that I didn’t want to go out that day, but this year they moved the date of the marathon a week later, so I’m yet to start that series of runs… And I was just about to write that, while I still don’t want to go out on this day, this year I will. But I really don’t think I will. It’s not appropriate to get into other matters in such a post, so I’ll just say that I should go, especially since last year I missed something because I didn’t even check whether it was taking place during that period, knowing that I won’t be going anywhere else during that series of runs, and unless I’ll go today I’ll risk missing something else this year that I really can’t allow myself to miss, but now that I saw that the forcast changed and it no longer seems much better to start that series of runs on Friday instead of Thursday, it means that I can do it like that, stay in today and then see what I’ll manage to do about this other matter after the runs and, I hope, on Tuesday, since that should be the last day. This does leave me without green onions before the first run from that series, but so be it.
Other than that, the date did hit me tonight, while I was in the kitchen, and I stopped and whimpered and then pretty much forgot what I was doing for a moment, but I eventually managed to pull together again to some extent. If dad would have kept coming there, as he had started to, I’d have definitely started to really cry, but after I told him to leave me alone the second time he came back to ask whether something was wrong, and when I said that the date hit me he seemed to get it and did leave, though a moment later I also mentioned that this was a very bad night back in 2005, to make things clear.

I did manage to post what’s above right at 4 AM, and I guess it might have been enough for a quick post, but in the end I decided to also add this paragraph before going to bed, just to say that the usual search didn’t result in anything new, or even in any updates regarding what I found in July. As for the point of mentioning this… I guess it’s just a way to tell myself that, on the one hand, she seems to be fine, and on the other, there’s still no real reason to believe that my worst fear became reality. Nor any confirmation that it didn’t, of course, but I really should stop there…

Written by Cavalary on September 27, 2023 at 4:00 AM in Personal | 0 Comments

Another Awful Long Practice Run

It felt like I was just about to have a cramp when I woke up on August 31, so I quickly stretched that left calf muscle and managed to avoid it, but doing so also had consequences and that spot bothered me more and more over the course of the day, and by night I was quite worried, wondering how that muscle was going to hold up over the course of the long practice run that was coming. And I also lost a lot of time while trying to get my bread back in the freezer, after taking out the piece that I wanted to have that night, and while that was probably not the only reason for it, it was a good part of why I ended up eating dinner, consisting of a big salad and peanut butter on most of the slices of bread, between 3:25 AM and 4 AM… And that was despite not washing everything left by dad in the kitchen before eating, and doing that and also gathering some more things that he had left in the living room before going to bed meant going at 5:25 AM.
After drinking two liters of tea over the course of the day and then eating that large salad, I kept needing to get up and pee, and I had to do that yet again when I saw that it was 3 PM and decided to get up, even though I had set the alarm to ring at 3:30 PM. Then I filled one of those bottles with the vitamin tea which I had made at night and drank the rest, then made another tea, ate a Gala apple and also mixed raisins in dark chocolate with the yogurt, cereals and almonds, and before leaving I also had the last three of those wheat things, with honey and jam between them, and filled the other bottle with the new tea and once again drank the rest. I didn’t take a cap, but I otherwise wore the full running gear, with both armbands, put the gel, ID card, emergency information, napkins and garlic in the pocket of my tights, and just the bar in the running belt, so I’ll empty it before emptying one bottle, in order to be able to then put that bottle in it. I left at 6:45 PM, when the reported temperature was about 29°C. It was probably about 23°C when I finished, but the numbers varied.
The time was 3:42:43, with lap times of 17:00, 17:45, 18:12, 19:07, 19:36, 20:52, 20:36, 21:08, 22:27, 22:44 and 23:16. Ideally, the target would have been 3:10, and my best time on such a run is 3:18:07, so that was what I was aiming for, while just staying under 3:30 was the other limit, the very worst time that I might just accept as not being a complete disaster, but the only remaining comparison is with my worst time, and I only managed to beat it because I didn’t give up, seeing as I was 7:56 behind that time after nine laps and 6:34 after ten, so if I’d have at least jogged, however lightly, the parts that I just walked back then, I’d have gained far more than this difference of 1:57 that made me avoid having a new worst time. So it wasn’t a case of hitting the wall hard, but of being far behind any potential target ever since lap four… And feeling it pretty much since the beginning. I mean, even though the first lap’s time was exactly on target, I felt slow and had to push more than I intended to for it. And while the times on laps two and three were similar to those from that best run, four seconds better on lap two and two seconds worse on lap three, that time I was really trying to hold back while this time I felt that I was going way past what could be a sustainable pace. And then things just kept getting worse, and if over laps four and five I was still thinking of at least finding a way to stay under 3:30, laps six and seven put an end to those ideas as well, and at least ever since lap eight my only goal was to somehow try to limit my losses compared to that worst time in order to be able to stay under it if I’ll manage to keep running, albeit slowly, all the way to the end.
Sure, I had to avoid the lane plenty of times, and two of the damaged spots created a serious risk of tripping, so I had to make sure that I clearly memorized those spots before it got dark and avoided all of them, while on the other hand there were quite a number of problems caused by people, including a few moments when I stopped for up to a few seconds, but even some of those stops could have been shorter if I’d have really wanted to get through as fast as possible, and even if I’d say that I lost a total of two minutes or so because of this, which is probably more than I actually did and ignores the fact that I lost time because of people on the previous long practice runs as well, it doesn’t exactly change anything. Otherwise, I lost some 40 seconds at the start of lap four, when I drank, a similar time, possibly a few seconds more, at the start of lap five, when I ate the bar, over a minute and a half, maybe approaching two minutes, at the start of lap six, when I finished the first bottle of tea, draining it more or less completely and then struggling to get it into the running belt, a few more seconds at the start of lap seven, to check the time, probably another 40 seconds or so at the start of lap eight, when I drank some of the vitamin tea, though I didn’t really check at that point, over a minute, maybe approaching one and a half, at the start of lap nine, when I ate the gel, and another minute or so at the start of lap ten, when I finished the second tea and then left the empty bottle behind a tree stump. Maybe I should have done the same thing with the first bottle, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time and, either way, the risk of losing it would have been much higher. And no, I didn’t stop when I checked the time at the start of the last lap.
Since on the first three laps I wasn’t going to drink or eat and could even still check the time without stopping, the plan was to cover the first one in 17 minutes and then stay as close as possible to that pace without tiring myself in any way over the next two, but that should have meant holding back quite a lot and that was definitely not the case, since I felt slow pretty much right away, so I gradually increased the effort I was putting into it over the course of the first two sectors and, while during this run I only want to check the time for each lap, I did have a look after sector two of lap one, seeing that I was more or less where I wanted to be. And at the end of the lap I was exactly where I wanted to be, but any excitement generated by that lasted mere moments and after the long straight of sector one of lap two I was getting increasingly concerned, feeling that I was already getting slower and clearly using far more energy than I should have been using at such an early point. And that was the problem, because I already said that the times for those first three laps weren’t bad in themselves, but instead of needing to keep holding myself back in order to obtain them, I actually had to put more and more into it. Sure, I wasn’t exactly pushing, but I was thinking that if I’d have only been running ten kilometers that evening, I probably wouldn’t have even managed to stay under 50 minutes. I did wonder how much of that was caused by carrying those bottles of tea in my hands, and whether in the future I’d dare to stop taking anything to drink with me and use the drinking fountains instead, but there was far more to it than that.
Lap four was when I should have started pushing, to make up for the time lost while drinking, but I was obviously unable to do that, and if I calculated that loss of time correctly, the actual running pace was worse than on lap three. And lap five was even worse than lap four. It’s likely that lap six was a little worse than lap five as well, but even if the actual running pace was similar and the difference was only because I lost so much time at the start of it, the problem was how I felt. I mean, I was about halfway through that lap, so also halfway through the run, when I went from being way too slow despite putting more effort into it than I should have had to at that point to actually feeling bad, and my right leg became a pretty serious concern, multiple spots starting to feel like they weren’t going to hold that much longer, probably also because I had been trying to spare the left one until then. And that also weakened my determination, since I knew that I clearly had no more chances of recovering anything from then on and it’ll only be a matter of damage limitation. I even considered stopping after a half marathon distance, and since I was pretty much at that point when I started feeling even worse, I also considered giving up after seven laps, or after 25 kilometers, if I could figure out where that imaginary line would be, or after eight laps… But it’d have been too much of a failure, and I needed to at least cover that distance and it didn’t seem likely that it’ll be better if I’ll try again the following week.
Drinking some of that vitamin tea, or probably the simple fact that I drank some more and just walked while doing so, at the start of lap eight, did seem to help quite a lot, and the bar eaten at the start of the previous lap might have had time to have an effect as well by then, since I suddenly felt much better… But I’m not sure that it even lasted half a lap, and then things suddenly became even worse than they had been before, so I was at about 24 km when I started feeling like I’d have expected to feel towards the end if I was to be sure that I’ll be able to keep running all the way. I was utterly exhausted and in pain, and my right leg was definitely getting worse, and I was estimating that, considering the pace that I was likely to have, I had about 1:20 left, which actually turned out to be a pretty accurate estimate… And that saying, “if you’re going through Hell, keep going”, came to mind at that point, and it was pretty much the only thing left to do.
I was on sector three of lap nine, so at about 28 km, when I found myself thinking that it should really be the last lap if I was to keep running to the end, but by then I was ever more desperately running the numbers through my mind, trying to see what I had to do in order to at least avoid being slower than in 2020 and finding that it didn’t really add up, so I had to just keep going, keep running, no matter how bad things were and how slow I was. And that was also why I decided to leave that bottle somewhere after I emptied it at the start of lap ten and put it behind that tree stump. I had taken the two identical ones that I have, so I wouldn’t have wanted to risk losing one, but it was dark, I didn’t think that it’d be noticed by someone who didn’t know that it was there, I needed every bit of help that I could get, and I thought that no longer having to carry it, even if it was empty, might just count as a little bit of help.
On sector three of lap ten, so with about four kilometers to go, I was just about completely done. Everything hurt, my arms and abdomen were going numb, my mind was getting cloudy, the darkness probably masked some of the effects on my vision, and my legs were beyond heavy and burning, every bit of the right one hurting and stiff, so I was pretty much throwing it forward and hoping that it won’t completely crumble and bring me down… Which also meant that I was forcing the left one, which caused that muscle to give some serious warnings, a very concerning cutting sensation starting to appear. I even found myself thinking that, if I’d be offered three wishes right at that moment, I might just waste one on turning that lap into the last one, because it was going to take everything to keep running just to the end of it. And if I then realized the absurdity of the thought and briefly occupied my mind with my actual three wishes and trying to come up with a better wording that would reduce the risk of them being turned against me, when I was yet to finish the lap and my heart also started to send some warnings and I noticed that I was getting dizzy and even felt like I might be about to faint, that thought became less absurd and my doubts about being able to keep running to the end increased. I was also wondering whether it was wise to even try, but I then remembered that, with the exception of the moments when I was living with Andra and things were really good between us, I never wanted to live in the first place, so I don’t care.
That meant that I finished lap ten thinking that I’ll only stop if I’ll die first, and as a result I didn’t even stop to make sure that I saw the time properly, especially since that last interval time was going to still be displayed at the end, and retrieving that bottle was obviously out of the question, though I did spare a glance in its direction, to check that it was still there. And I guess that mindset kept me going, somehow, though I was occasionally taking a break from forcing my clouded mind to keep working through the numbers and trying to assess the amount of light and the people who were still around at that hour in order to determine how fast I’ll be found if I’ll collapse. But I didn’t collapse, that leg as well as other more critical body parts somehow holding, and I even tried to push right at the end, to at least finish at a reasonably good pace.
The relief I felt when I finally finished and saw that, despite those three and a half laps of torture, I did at least avoid being slower than ever was almost immediately replaced by terrible disappointment, which in turn made room for serious concern and dread. I mean, my chances of finishing the marathon with an official time below four hours are quite clearly zero, and my goal for the past few years has been to do that before I turn 40, and depending on the exact date of next year’s edition, this may even be the last opportunity, and if it’s not then I’ll only have one more, and it’s not like I’ll be any younger next year. But that’s not even the worst of it, because even finishing is in doubt, seeing as I definitely couldn’t have continued for seven more kilometers that evening, and that was in the evening, not in the morning, at an hour when I don’t usually function, and on next to no sleep. And I can’t compare this situation to 2020, when I might have been in worse shape, because there was no marathon that year.
Either way, after finishing I retrieved that bottle, which was still there, and after struggling up the stairs I stopped at a bench and did a little stretching. Then I somehow made my way back, probably appearing drunk, since my right leg kept going soft, I couldn’t walk in a straight line and stumbled quite a number of times. When I saw an ambulance around the corner when I got here, I even considered asking the paramedics for a quick check, maybe to listen to my heart and take my blood pressure, even if high values are normal and not relevant right after a run, but I obviously didn’t.
I got back just before 11:10 PM, but after the pain subsided enough to allow me to do so, I cleaned the litter box and went to place a bag of trash into the overfilled chute. Then I ate watermelon and caramelized walnuts and took one of those supplements that should help the joints with a part of one of the bottles of protein milk taken after the Dream Trek. I had meant to take that supplement before the run, but since I was just starting to take them again that day, I forgot. Either way, I then even did the day’s squats, somehow, and went to the bathroom at 12:45 AM, oddly enough only leaving a little in the toilet before taking a bath. I got back in the kitchen right at 2 AM, but I had definitely given up on the idea of making pizza, since I really didn’t deserve it. Plus that I wonder when I’d have ended up eating if I would have made it, seeing as even so, after going to the toilet one more time but once again having all too little come out once I was there, I ate a combined lunch and dinner between 4 AM and 5:15 AM, also taking the second pill as I was finishing dinner, since you should take two of those per day, and also finishing that protein milk at that point. And I see the fact that I ate normally that night as quite an achievement, considering my state of mind. After a few days, even if I remain terribly disappointed, concerned and even terrified of what’s to come, I could also find some reasons to be somewhat proud of myself for pushing through all the way to the end, not giving up, but at that point I was just crushed, and I’m not referring to how I felt physically.
I’ll also mention here that no visits were recorded on September 1, except perhaps by the new Google Analytics, but I’m uncertain about that, since the entries were confusing and I didn’t care enough to dig too much into it before going to bed, at 5:50 AM, after taking the tea which I had made while I was in the kitchen to my bedroom. But, of course, I couldn’t sleep, and a little after 7 AM I drank some of that tea and got back on the computer for about an hour, then drank some more tea, peed and made another attempt to sleep, getting some three hours before waking up again when dad left. I probably got up to one more hour after that, before getting up. And I’ll also add here that on the evening of September 2 I finished Hero of the Kingdom II, so let’s see when I’ll manage to also write a review for it, since that had been the plan for this week’s non-personal post but it obviously didn’t happen, and I don’t see myself as managing anything of the sort at least for the next month or so.

The original plan for this post also included the next two runs, but it was so hard to write about this one and I’m quite content that I at least managed to do so, and actually finish before midnight, even more so since it felt like another traumatic event that I couldn’t even get myself to write notes about, so at the time I only wrote the times and what I did before and after, and then posted a quick message elsewhere the following night. The next time I wrote about the matter was in an e-mail I sent two weeks later, and it was even more recently when I managed to write the notes about how much I lost when I drank and ate, so I believe that what I wrote there is accurate but there may be some errors, and any other details are either expanded from the couple of paragraphs from that post and e-mail or written just now from memory, once again meaning that there may be errors, and that various details quite certainly got lost. But, again, I’m quite content that I got this far, and I’m leaving the following runs for another time. Though, again, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do much of anything of this sort over the course of the next month or so.

Written by Cavalary on September 24, 2023 at 11:52 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Finds – XLIII

What I was saying in the previous post from this series that I’d have looked into if I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry, and the reason why I said that the potential of Aresea may be realized elsewhere, is the fact that their vocalist is the new vocalist of Elegy of Madness, and they released a song from their upcoming album, Broken Soul, so that will be my first pick. There are some growls as well, unfortunately, but they’re manageable and the song is otherwise quite nice, so I’d say that, with this sound and this vocalist, they went up a level. Not that they were bad before either, and even some of their old songs may be interesting, so I’ll go with one of those, No Names, as the second pick. But I want to get back to their recent improvement and point out that there’s actually one song, Lunacy, that has both old and new versions that can illustrate that directly.

The second band, Lost Dawning, is an actual new find, and it seems to be another project of some of the members of the band that I initially wanted to include in this post but realized that I couldn’t do so, at least at this time. They only have three songs, not counting a bad live recording of another, so I’ll just pick two, Burning Stars and Fire Alone. It’s not much, and the vocals are somewhat weak, but that album description indicates that they’re not particularly serious about this project and I’m not sure in what form or even if it will continue, seeing as the other band is about to release their first actual album, so it may end up marking a certain moment in their development. And, according to what I heard from the other band, they really are developing.

As for the third band, since I started with an Italian one, I decided to look for another one from Italy that released recent material, so I guess I’ll go with Sinheresy. I remember when I first stumbled into them and I think that I wondered whether to include them in such a post once or twice before, but the sound isn’t one that I’m exactly fond of and the male vocals really bother me, so the fact that they’re barely noticeable in one of their recent songs, The Life You Left Behind, being almost completely covered by the female ones, pretty much made this a moment of now or never in terms of including them. And this is just another rushed post, after all, so I decided to just go ahead… Even if finding a second song to pick was more of a problem. But in the end I decided to go with Out of Connection, where the male vocals are only used briefly.

Written by Cavalary on September 23, 2023 at 6:52 PM in Music | 0 Comments

The Four Runs from August

On August 1, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1:30 PM, finding that something had bitten me on the left leg… And the first attempt to update Emsisoft Anti-Malware resulted in an error, while the second seemed to work, but it asked for a reboot, apparently because they consolidated their own definitions again, moving the older ones into a single file. So I sent a message to ask about that and they didn’t comment about the need to reboot, but said that the error was very rare but may sometimes appear, and while they released a fix for it, I obviously won’t get it, being on Windows 7 and only receiving definitions updates, so the warning will go away after rebooting but this may happen again at some point. And the system uptime was at 108 days at that point, so it was really frustrating that there had been no power failure to force me to turn off the computer during the hot days that were before that point, but I ended up needing to reboot because of that.
But I had to run, so I just left it as it was at that point, without a reboot, then had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being the last slice of that old cozonac from my mother, saved just for this day, with added honey, and drank all of the tea. It felt like I didn’t leave everything in the toilet, but I had already lost too much time, so I didn’t try again and left just after 3:55 PM, wearing the full running gear and one armband. The inner lining at the back of my left shoe was coming off completely, so I had to find a way to put that shoe on without that piece ending up in a position that bothered me. As for the reported temperature, it was 29-30°C, increasing by 1°C by the time I finished.
The time was 1:46:59, with sector times of 4:16, 5:00, 5:56, 4:26, 5:01, 5:54, 4:28, 5:06, 6:01, 4:42, 5:19, 6:12, 4:51, 5:37, 6:25, 4:59, 5:37, 6:39, 1:57, 6:34 and 1:59, making for lap times of 15:12, 15:21, 15:35, 16:13, 16:53 and 17:15, plus 10:30 for the final portion. I was obviously hoping to stay under 1:45, but feared that I’ll even go over 1:50 and thought that staying under 1:47 would be good enough in those conditions. And the first lap was better than I thought, and I tried to maintain that pace on the second and it ended up being good as well, so I then meant to cover three laps as if I’d aim to run ten kilometers in less than 48 minutes and more or less managed that as well, or at least I was close enough. That did mean that I pushed too hard, too soon, however, and it showed from then on, so if at that point I was wondering whether getting under 1:45 was possible after all, I calculated that I’d have needed to stay under 16 minutes on lap four as well and have limited losses from then on, and even lap four was too slow, and after sector two of lap five I was already behind the target times, so I didn’t just put that thought out of my mind, but after lap five it seemed that I was looking at 1:48. Still, I managed to do just enough on lap six to just have a chance of staying under 1:47, so I kept calculating what I needed, gave it everything and made it by the slimmest margin.
It was cloudy at first, but it cleared towards the end of lap one, only a few occasional clouds passing after that, though one protected me just on the unshaded part of the long straight of sector one of lap three. It did get somewhat cloudier on lap five, actually being mostly cloudy on sector three and even more so on most of sector one of lap six, but at the end of that sector it got sunny again. Either way, I usually tried to look for a shaded route, since it was hot otherwise, but I also avoided much of the lane, since most of it was soggy. I still stepped in that hole that’s under the lane, on sector three, I think on lap three or four, when I was watching a girl who was coming from the opposite direction and had just stopped running and was about to step off the lane, so I wanted to see which way she’ll go. And on sector one of what I think was lap five, when I was focused on the people who were ahead of me, trying to decide which way to go around them, I stepped in another hole, one that I didn’t know was there. And there was also a moment, on sector two of lap five, when I was off the lane and a cyclist appeared from behind another person, so I hesitated and had to avoid him, while I think it was on sector three of lap six when I slowed because of some kids who were on the lane.
In terms of physical problems, my legs got heavy at the end of sector two of lap six and started to burn soon after that, halfway through sector three, while my arms started to go a little numb on the final portion. And as of a certain point I once again felt that nail piercing the toe that’s next to it, so I assumed that there will be blood, and I confirmed that when I got back. Otherwise, at first I felt the need to pee, after all of that tea, but the feeling went away on sector one of lap two. But a certain pressing need tended to appear on sector one, only to then go away until sector one of the next lap, though that mainly seemed to happen on laps two, three and four and I can’t say that I really noticed it again after that.

After jogging back, I ate the remaining walnuts with Himalayan salt, drank one of the protein milks taken after the Dream Trek, made another tea, to have it when I’ll get back, and left again at 7:55 PM. Dad wanted a blood pressure monitor, maybe for his mother, specifying that it had to be for the arm, not the wrist, and looking for the cheapest ones but wanting to get one from a pharmacy, so he didn’t care that there had been a significantly cheaper one on sale at Kaufland not long before, but said that he was going to get one that I found at Tei the following day… And when he also said that he wasn’t going to need the metro card that evening, I decided to make use of it and offered to also pick that up on the way to the metro station, doing so after quickly checking that Mega Image. It struck me as really being at the bottom of the barrel, that one which had been at Kaufland seeming better, but if that was what he wanted, I bought it, put it in the backpack and then also bought some teas for him and another nose spray for myself from that other pharmacy from that area, adding them in the backpack before walking out. And I also quickly checked the Mega Image that’s next to that pharmacy, entering with everything.
I then took the metro to Auchan Pallady, but when I saw a large sign advertising a “grand reopening” and a 20% discount on everything between August 3 and August 8, I somehow failed to notice that it referred to another store and assumed that it was for Auchan, since it seemed to use the colors that they tend to use, so I wondered whether I’ll find that Auchan closed… Only to be quite confused when I saw that it wasn’t closed. And I didn’t ask anyone, just setting my mind on getting back there during those days, to take advantage of those discounts, and not getting anything that day as a result, though I did have a look, entering with everything.
I then continued to Kaufland, washing my hands just with water, since the soap dispensers were empty, and I even checked the women’s. There was a bottle that probably contained soap, but I was uncertain, so I didn’t try to pour from it. Either way, it was past 9:35 PM when I entered the store and it still closed at 10 PM, so I rushed, getting a few discounted bakery products and then spotting some corn that had an evening discount and getting the two that weren’t as bad as the rest. I also got a couple of other things, but I had mainly gone there because it was a location that I hadn’t checked in a while and I wanted to see whether the old kind of detergent was still available there, since it was gone from other locations, mother wanted some and dad never bought a bag when I let him know that it was still available elsewhere… And I did find one last 10 kg bag of that old kind, so I took it and then carried it in my arms for a while, which was quite a problem, so when the closing announcement came while I was checking the refrigerated expiring products, I took a moment to move what I had in the sturdy bag into another and put the detergent in that bag. That meant that I was still in that area when the closing announcement was repeated, so I rushed to also grab an ice cream, having one of the correct discount vouchers, since dad had managed to exchange those wrong ones. I had also seen some biscuits that I was interested in among the expiring products, but I hadn’t grabbed any then and didn’t want to delay even longer, so I rushed to the self-checkout, which accepted that voucher without the need to call an employee. And 0.15 RON seemed to have been in the machine, since that amount was deducted from the total when I paid.
After using the scales from the self-checkout area to confirm that the bag of detergent had the correct weight, I walked out through the emergency door, since the main ones were obviously locked by then, went to one of the tables that are outside, ate the ice cream… And, while eating, I was calculating and checking the total, since I hadn’t done that inside the store, and suddenly realized that I had once again forgotten to pay for the bakery products. And I was already outside and the store had been closed for a while by then, so I couldn’t just turn around and ask to pay for them, like the previous time, and I decided to give them to a homeless person instead. Then I rearranged the purchases, putting the detergent in the backpack and the other things in the sturdy bag, and finally walked away when it was almost 10:25 PM, getting back to the metro station.
After getting off at Dristor, I initially meant to switch, but when I saw that there were no trains waiting in the other station, I gave up on that idea and went out, having another look inside that Mega Image that closes at 11 PM and deciding to put the bag in a cabinet and enter when I saw that there were some discounted bakery products. However, there was nothing interesting among them, so I just retrieved the bag and walked back out. But I still had to give away what I had unintentionally stolen from Kaufland, so I took a longer route back, to improve my chances of finding homeless people, and dropped that bag on the bench that the first one that I saw was sleeping on.
It was almost 11:15 PM when I got back, with 14.5 kg, though I then cleaned the litter box and went to drop a bag of trash down the chute. Then I put the purchases in their place, washed and cleaned most of what was in the kitchen, ate watermelon and drank some of the tea. And then I heated the remaining tea, because the hot water had just been turned off that day, for the yearly checks, so I had to take a cold shower, going to do so when it was almost 12:20 AM and finding that, while it was difficult at first, once I decided to just go for it and also put the shower on my torso and back, it was somewhat less bad than I thought it’d be. It was almost 12:45 AM when I was done, then I also did the day’s squats, which also helped me warm up, and I ate lunch between 1:35 AM and 2:30 AM, while working on the salad. I started eating dinner at 3:05 AM, but I still finished at 3:40 AM. However, while I initially got in bed a couple of minutes after 5:15 AM, I then realized that I had forgotten to rub some cream on my feet and I wanted to do that after such a run, so I got back up and did that, after which I washed my hands again, and it was almost 5:30 AM when I really went to bed… Not that I could sleep, so a couple of minutes after 6:15 AM I got up once again and read until I finally went to pee one more time and got back in bed a couple of minutes after 7:30 AM, finally being able to sleep at that point. I was so exhausted that day, however.

I only finally rebooted the computer on August 3, so the new uptime record became 110 days, seven hours and almost 12 minutes, since I also timed how long it took until Windows actually shut down, after I took the screenshot, that time being about 1:53, possibly a second or two more, depending on my reaction time. And then I also decided to unsubscribe from the RSS feed for The Chive, since I hadn’t really cared to look at what was being posted in a long time. And just before midnight I finished The Hidden Life of Trees, writing and posting the quick review at night, also translating it in order to post in both English and Romanian on Goodreads and The StoryGraph.

On August 8, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, had a banana instead of an apple, and then forgot to add almonds into the yogurt and cereals and didn’t want to just eat them on their own when I realized it, so I didn’t have any. As for the sweet thing, that consisted of two of those nicer biscuits that expired long ago, with added honey. It was 4:30 PM when I left, wearing the full running gear, and the reported temperature was about 23°C otherwise, but the weather station that’s inside the city was reporting 26°C. Interestingly, that station was reporting 25°C when I finished, but the others were reporting about 24°C.
The time was 47:25.23, with sector times of 4:19.79, 5:04.13, 5:49 (4:48.53), 4:26 (4:25.56), 4:59.00, 5:49.28, 4:25 (4:24.85), 4:56.81, 5:52 (5:51.69) and 1:46 (1:45.59), making for lap times of 15:12.45, 15:14 (15:13.84) and 15:13.35. I pushed from the start, thinking of slowing down a little after the long straight of sector one but deciding against it, so I was thinking that I should have been some ten seconds faster than I actually was on that first sector and kept pushing, and after sector two I thought that I’ll barely stay on the pace for 48 minutes on lap one and then fall behind. However, a good sector three meant that I was safely on that pace on lap one, and then lap two was much better than expected, so it seemed like I had a chance to stay under 48 minutes after all and kept pushing, and on sector three of lap three I started to sort of think of 47:30. And, despite thinking that I hadn’t managed to maintain anything close to the level of concentration needed for that over the course of that sector, the time I saw at the end of the lap gave me a chance, so I gave it everything on the final sector and actually made it with quite a few seconds to spare.
It was rather windy at times, most noticeably on the first two sectors of lap one and on sector two and the start of sector three of lap three, and the lower temperature meant that I didn’t need the cooling effect, so the wind was a problem in those areas. But the people didn’t cause any notable problems, so there was just some weaving and going the long way around. On the other hand, while the small piece of the lane that was fenced off was also not a problem, the fact that it was still soggy in plenty of places meant that I was still trying to avoid what I could. As for physical issues, the right thigh bone seemed to give me some warnings as time passed, which felt strange, while that muscle seemed to want to cramp as I was on my way back, though it didn’t quite get there. To return to the actual run, on sector three of lap three I was hearing liquid sloshing around, I guess in my abdomen, and I had actually noticed that it had seemed swollen before going to bed in the morning, though the yogurt might have also had something to do with it, since it had seemed a little suspicious.

After eating lunch and boiled corn, I left again just after 8 PM, taking the paper and dropping it into a recycling bin on the way. I forgot my cap again, only realizing it when I left the building and not coming back for it. And, after just checking Carrefour and Penny, I washed my hands and entered Kaufland a few minutes after 9 PM, seeing many bakery products already gone and discounts of about 50% already applying even though that location closed at 11 PM, so I just grabbed the last three of some buns. I got back there a little later, when I saw an employee place another label, and scanned a couple of labels, but the one bread that I could have gotten that was left didn’t show up as being discounted, at least on that price checker, and it didn’t have a discount label either. So I went to look at detergents, found one more 10 kg bag of that old kind and got it as well, so we’ll also have one, and that time I took a basket to put it in. And beets had an evening discount, so I carefully looked through all of them and got some. At that point I saw a 67% discount label for some pastries, so I put on a glove and took them… Only to then scan that label and see the previous price, with a 50% discount, and that didn’t change when I waited until after 10 PM and tried again. I meant to ask an employee, but there were none in the bakery area and I couldn’t get myself to go to another, so I eventually checked at a self-checkout, confirming that lower price, which was strange. Either way, after pointlessly waiting until after 10:30 PM, since none of the discounts increased, I actually used the self-checkout, then arranged the purchases, putting the detergent in the backpack, and walked out just before 10:45 PM. And on the way back I checked that non-stop Mega Image, putting only the bags that I was carrying in my hands in a cabinet and then retrieving them.
I got back a couple of minutes after 11:30 PM, with about 17 kg, possibly a little more, since I didn’t weigh myself while carrying everything, weighing almost all of the things whose weight I didn’t know and calculating a probable total at a later point. And I threw my headphones in the backpack before taking it back to my room and then I forgot about them, so they fell when I turned the backpack over and shook it, on the hallway, but that doesn’t seem to have caused any problems. Either way, I ate watermelon and a piece of cake brought by dad, put some of the purchases in their place, and went to the bathroom a few minutes before 12:30 AM, to use the toilet and take another cold shower, the fact that the water coming from what should have been the hot water pipe was a few degrees above the cold water, probably thanks to the insulation, making me somehow manage to bear it. I was done at 1:10 AM, then I once again did the day’s squats, to warm up a little, and then washed what was in the sink, put the rest of the purchases in their place, also baked two beets for dad, the heat from the oven taking care of any lingering chill, and ate dinner between 3:35 AM and 4 AM. And the following night I ended up taking it too slowly and starting to eat dinner at 3:05 AM, though I still finished at 3:40 AM, despite going back to the kitchen at the end, to put a little honey on the last few slices.

On August 16, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, and had the usual stuff, though I decided to replace three of the almonds with apricot pits. The sweet thing once again consisted of two of those nicer biscuits that expired long ago, with added honey. And I left a little after 4:10 PM, wearing the full running gear and one armband. The reported temperature was 33°C, holding steady or maybe increasing just marginally by the time I finished, and it felt burning hot when I wasn’t in the shade. On the other hand, such a powerful gust of wind hit me just when I walked out that I could barely move against it, and it continued being windy.
The time was 1:19:22, with sector times of 4:20, 5:02, 5:54, 4:27, 5:06, 5:57, 4:32, 5:10, 5:58, 4:42, 5:22, 6:21, 4:48, 5:30 and 6:13, making for lap times of 15:16, 15:30, 15:40, 16:25 and 16:31. I didn’t even think of staying under 1:18, at best hoping to stay under 1:20 and doubting even that, considering those conditions. But I started at a controlled pace and the first sector was faster than I expected, and so was the second, and the lap ended up being much faster, seeing as I was just hoping to at least stay on the pace for 1:18 on that first lap. So I then wondered whether I could stay on that pace for 1:18 on the second lap as well, managing it without problems. But I wasn’t going to keep that up, so I then aimed to just stay under 16 minutes on lap three, once again ending up being much faster. I was expecting to be exhausted after that, and I did start to feel tired from sector two of lap four, so at that point I was thinking to switch modes, aiming to just make it to the end, but I still decided to at least try to aim for 16:30 on that lap, managing that as well, with quite a few seconds to spare. It was only then that I felt quite confident that I’ll stay under 1:20, at least unless I’ll have problems, but I also realized that I might even have a shot at staying under 1:19:30 and tried to push a little on lap five, without completely exhausting myself on the first two sectors and then giving everything I had left on the third, and I made it without problems. And I probably lost a second or so right at the end, after realizing that my finger wasn’t exactly in position to press the button and taking a step or two almost in place before crossing what I consider to be the finish line.
On sector two of lap one there were some warnings that seemed to come from my left butt cheek, but that pain was obviously radiating from somewhere else, though I don’t know whether from the hip or lower back, and I also needed to snap my back, but those problems faded on the next sector and only some fainter warnings, that time clearly from the left hip, appeared on sector three of lap five, when I felt some even fainter ones from the other hip as well. But something of a pressing need appeared on sector two of each of the first four laps, though on the first three it then tended to fade by the end of the lap, albeit sometimes after briefly worsening at some point over the course of sector three. However, on lap four it actually seemed to get worse over the next two sectors, so it was probably at its worst on sector one of lap five, before partially, but not completely, fading on sector two of lap five. And on sector three of lap five I misjudged the height of a branch and banged my head against it, and it was rather thick, so I felt that one… On the other hand, there weren’t many people, so there was some weaving and going the long way around, but nothing notable. But it was so windy, I kept fighting it in multiple areas, at times feeling like I was struggling not only to advance, but even to breathe, and I had to look for ways to hold my body and move that helped. I did notice that the wind was from behind at the end of a lap and took advantage of that moment, but that was the only time that happened. The time seems to indicate that it happened on lap three, but I couldn’t recall whether that was the case or it actually happened on lap two. Either way, it was also hot, and I felt quite dehydrated as time passed. And that toenail also jabbed the toe that’s next to it once again, so there was blood.

After jogging back, I finished the tea and then weighed myself, seeing just over 46 kg, so I probably had 45.5 kg or so before drinking, which meant that I had sweated some two kilograms. Then I made another tea, ate some ice cream and lunch, and left again just after 8:10 PM, finding some spoiling carrots in Carrefour and grabbing the smaller bag. I also looked at watermelons, initially seeing some really bad ones in one spot, but there was one among them that seemed quite nice and also wasn’t that large. There were once again some signs that it wasn’t fully ripe, but it seemed good enough and I tried to hide it under those bad ones, wondering what to do when I couldn’t manage it. But then I went to the large boxes that held far more watermelons, and while plenty of them also seemed better, those, or at least those that I noticed at the time, were also larger than that one, so it remained the one that I meant to buy if I won’t find cheaper ones at Kaufland and I hid it in one of the boxes, under some larger ones, just buying the carrots, obviously not charging myself at the self-checkout for the bag that I was forced to use. That still meant waiting in line for quite a while, however, because those who were ahead of me had problems and a single employee seemed to be there to help.
After putting the carrots in the backpack, I continued to Kaufland, once again washing my hands just with water, since there was no soap, and entering, with the backpack, when it was close to 9:15 PM. And, while the watermelons were slightly more expensive than at Carrefour, there was an evening discount for carrots that made the price the same as that of the spoiling ones which I had purchased, and they were also listed as being from Romania. Most were rather bad, but entire crates of them were left, so I should have been able to find some good ones. Then again, I had no time for that, so I went straight to the bakery area and saw employees just placing labels listing discounts of about 50% over the previous ones, which listed discounts of 30%. There was no bread that I’d have wanted, but I did see and get some other products that I could use instead of bread, plus two buns. A sweet pastry that I might have been interested in was left, but it had no discount label and scanning its regular label confirmed that it wasn’t discounted, so I left it there. Then I got some beer for dad and some kashkaval, returned to check for any new or higher bakery or fruit and vegetable discounts, didn’t see any, waited for 9:45 PM and then went to the self-checkout, needing to call an employee to authorize the sale of beer.
After quickly stuffing the purchases in the backpack, with the exception of the bakery products, which were in the bag that hangs from my neck, I rushed back to Carrefour, jogged in, with everything, a little more than five minutes before closing time, found that watermelon still where I had hidden it, dug it back out and bought it, the closing announcement coming while I was at the self-checkout. Then I took my time to arrange everything, still with the exception of the bakery products, in the backpack, and initially meant to also check that Mega Image, but after finding myself leaving through the wrong exit, I didn’t want to go around that mall and gave up on that idea. I did check this nearby one before getting back, but that just meant entering with everything and then quickly leaving again.
I got back at 10:35 PM, with a little over 13 kg, just put the kashkaval in the fridge and went to the bathroom when it wasn’t even 11:10 PM yet, to use the toilet and take another actual cold shower. I was noticing that it was getting easier once I accepted the situation and decided to just get it over with, but it was hard to actually wash properly that way, the dirt and sweat not coming off well enough. Either way, I was done at 11:50 PM, then I once again did the day’s squats, and then also something else that I had to do, after which I ate the last boiled corn, which was visibly going bad by then, and also peanuts, on and off, while washing dishes, putting the rest of the purchases in their place and making the salad. Just those peanuts contained 950 calories, but I obviously also ate dinner, between 3:45 AM and 5 AM, since I took it slowly and also did some other things while eating, especially when I was close to finishing. And I’ll also mention here that no visits were recorded by Matomo Analytics that day, but the old Google Analytics recorded one, and the new one actually recorded two, somehow…

After initially falling asleep quickly, just after 7:30 AM I was back on the computer, checking the next Carrefour discounts, because I found myself certain that I shouldn’t have bought that watermelon, thinking that they were going to be discounted, one way or another, over the following days. That wasn’t the case, however. Either way, I then also checked what I hadn’t checked before going to bed the first time, finally getting back in bed at 8:45 AM… Only to find myself unable to get back to sleep, so a few minutes after 9:30 AM I was yet again at the computer, only getting back in bed one more time at 11 AM… Only for a neighbor to start vacuuming soon after that, so it took me quite some time to finally get back to sleep… And a little after 1 PM I was awake again, and then I kept drifting in and out of sleep, and at times I was probably in that state that’s in between. I finally got up just after 3:15 PM, but I had been clearly awake for quite some time at that point. So I got a total five hours of sleep at the very most, if you add it all up and don’t care about the quality of it. And I’ll also mention that in the evening I dashed to pay the maintenance bill, and that the old Google Analytics recorded two visits that were quite clearly uncaught bots that day, but the others recorded no visits.

On August 24, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, and had the usual stuff, though I once again replaced three almonds with apricot pits. And the sweet thing consisted of two biscuits of another kind, but also nicer and expired, with added honey. And that day I did end up going to the toilet twice before leaving, since I initially just wasted some time, giving up when I realized that it won’t work, though at least it worked the second time. I also drank most of the tea and decided to wait even longer, hoping that the temperature would drop at least a little, so I finally left a little after 5:05 PM, wearing the full running gear, with some things in the pocket of my tights. I forgot the armband, however. The reported temperature was still about 36°C, dropping only to about 35°C when I finished, and it was sunny and so hot, it was just burning on the way to the park…
The time was 49:20.39, with sector times of 4:23.26, 5:09 (5:08.75), 6:01.72, 4:33 (4:32.53), 5:16.03, 6:03.03, 4:36.66, 5:15 (5:14.50), 6:07.09 and 1:57 (1:56.82), making for lap times of 15:33.73, 15:52 (15:51.59) and 15:58.25. I just aimed to stay under 50 minutes, not even thinking of doing any better in that heat. And I started with a somewhat controlled pace, but at the same time another runner was ahead of me and I sort of put a target on his back… Briefly, because once he reached the long straight he sped up and I had no chance to keep up, and after the end of sector one I couldn’t even see him anymore. It still meant that the first sector was a little faster than I expected, and so was the first lap, which I only wanted to be under 16 minutes by a safe margin, though it was slightly disappointing to see over six minutes on sector three. Then I wondered whether I’ll manage to stay under 16 minutes on lap two as well, which I did, and when sector one of lap three was only slightly off the pace for 16 minutes per lap, I wondered about getting under 49:30, thinking that I might just get under 16 minutes on lap three as well if I’ll push. So I did, and it worked out.
There weren’t many people, and some stretches were even quite empty, but it was pigeons that made me hesitate twice. The first time, I believe on the first sector, they did it on their own, by not getting out of my way, while the second time, on sector two of lap one, they froze in place when I came from one direction and a kid on a bicycle came from the other, so we ended up sort of facing each other, with a shocked pigeon between us, and I had to avoid him. But there was another moment, on sector three of lap one, when a guy was walking next to the lane and moved towards a garbage can, across the lane, just when I was about to pass him, so I had to stop for an instant, barely avoiding crashing into him. Also, on sector two of lap two, two guys didn’t seem to know which way to go as I came towards them, ending up blocking the lane, so I had to slow and go around them. Otherwise, the lane was still wet in some areas, and there was some damage as well, so I avoided what I could, and there were also two small fenced off patches with very little space between them, so for all practical purposes it was a single area, but while I needed to calculate which side to use whenever I had to go around that spot, I always got it right and avoided getting blocked.
However, the main problem was obviously the heat, and even the wind was hot, so even if there were some gusty areas, I can’t say that I noticed any cooling effect. But it was such a good thing that I had waited, since from sector three of lap one it got cloudy and it stayed that way all the way to the end, with the exception of a brief break in the clouds that appeared while I covered a part of sector three of lap two. It’d have been terrible if it’d have stayed sunny, and even so it was only sector two of lap two when I started feeling dehydrated. There was also a pressing need that first appeared on sector one of lap two, going away on the next sector but then returning on sector three of lap two and no longer going away, even getting worse at times, and suddenly becoming quite a problem as I climbed the stairs at the start of the final sector, so I pretty much had to clench my butt until the end. And I also really slipped on some leaves on the final straight, so I was a little more careful after that, which probably cost me a little time. But, again, the main problem was the heat.

After the run, I had a look in that Carrefour… And only then realized that the large location of the pharmacy that I wanted to get some teas for dad from was at Mega Mall, not at Park Lake. Not that I didn’t know that all too well, but I somehow got confused before leaving. They do have a small location in Park Lake as well, and I did go there to ask, but they didn’t have any of those teas, so I then wondered whether I could make it to Mega Mall and still get back by 8 PM, when I wanted to be back. I thought that I might just have a chance if I jogged both ways and didn’t lose any time while I was there, so I started to jog in that direction after walking out of that mall, but seconds later I gave up on that idea and decided to go to Tei instead, since I had checked before leaving and one of the teas was listed as being in stock in that location as well, and for the same price. However, since I was passing by it, I also had a quick look through the farmers’ market, then also checked that Mega Image, and even made a small detour to that Supeco, getting some spoiling carrots, paying what was listed and not being charged for the bag. I then set down the carrots on a trash can, wondering whether to put that bag in one of mine or just carry it as it was, and I eventually decided on the latter, even if that bag had no handles… Which probably made a guy who was standing there at the time think that I needed a bag, since he said that he had some and asked whether I wanted one, but I told him that I had some as well. And then, after initially going past it one more time, I turned around and had a quick look in the pharmacy that’s next to that Mega Image as well, still not seeing any of those teas.
Even though those teas hadn’t been listed as available on their site, I then decided to cross the street and jogged to that other pharmacy as well, at Dristor, also quickly glancing in another store on the way. But I obviously didn’t see them there either, so I then finally went to Tei, and that was the only place where I put those carrots in a cabinet. And I didn’t only find that tea, but also noticed that another one was discounted, so I grabbed some of that as well, then retrieved the carrots, put everything into a bag and jogged almost all the way back, which gave me a little time to also check the nearby Mega Image. And, oddly enough, considering the hour, all of the bakery products were discounted, and there were a lot of them. Even some of that bread was left, but the freezer was so full that I didn’t even have room for the bread which I had purchased from Kaufland two days earlier, so I ignored it and, after seeing that none of those apple pastries were left, I looked for something else that I could get and decided on another sweet pastry, even if I didn’t know the ingredients. However, I wasn’t sure which one it was and was about to walk away when an employee came and commented out loud that so many things were discounted, so I asked her and she showed me a bag with three of those pastries in it. When I said that I only wanted one, she said that they usually put two in each bag lately, only then noticing that there were actually three in that one. But I had spotted a single piece that looked similar in another bag, so I asked her whether that was the same thing and bought it after she confirmed it, making it back just one minute late. And later, before going to shower, I even did the day’s squats. I got in bed at 5:20 AM. And there were once again no visits recorded that day, except by the old Google Analytics, which recorded one.

Once again, I couldn’t sleep. I might have just dozed off for a moment, but then I woke up and that strange feeling that sometimes appears seemed to be in my entire body, so there was no way that I could get back to sleep and I cut my losses rather quickly, getting back on the computer at 6:20 AM and starting to read The Whitestar Queen. I still felt dehydrated, however, the second tea that I had made and drank in the evening having made pretty much no difference, so at 7 AM I grabbed and drank the bio (organic) carbonated tea taken after the Dream Trek. It was listed as having expired in April, but that’s most likely an error, since they gave it to us in June and the lemonade, from the same sponsor, is listed as expiring next March. Somewhat more concerning was the fact that it contained black tea, which definitely wasn’t what I needed at that point, but it seemed more important to drink some more. And then, at 7:45 AM, I finished the book, if that can even be called a book. Then I peed and got back in bed, but I only got some two more hours of sleep. And in the evening I also posted the quick review.

Written by Cavalary on September 17, 2023 at 9:18 PM in Personal | 0 Comments