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Another Half Marathon Distance, Concerned About How Slow I’m Getting

Sunday there were no visits recorded again, and Liza behaved even more oddly as I was eating at night. Had left the door open and at one point she just came in and curled up next to me, being really calm and quiet, and after a bit seemed to ask to be scratched. Hissed at me when I sat back down after getting up at one point, but then was nice again, and when I finished eating I did scratch her for a while and she let me. After that, saw another one of those black cockroaches, albeit one of a more normal size, this time on the hallway, in front of the bathroom, and could kill it.

Monday I was worried that the woman who was to come to get the jars and bottles will wake me earlier, since I said it could be at 1 PM and she said she’ll call in the morning to settle any details, but she called some ten minutes after I got up, which was around 11:45 AM, after it sounded like dad dropped or knocked something down just before getting the key in the door when he returned after buying some things before going to my mother. Not that I hadn’t woken up a couple of times before that too, but then that happened and it was another rough awakening, and when I saw the time I decided to get up after a few minutes. So I was already up and dad had already left when that woman called, and I told her she could even come in about a quarter of an hour, which she did, calling again when she was in front of the building. I took the bags down at that point, spotted a car on the other side of the street and assumed that was her, but wasn’t sure, so I was still looking around when a man came out of said car and waved to me, and I crossed the street and handed him the bags. Meant to just give him two and take the other two there myself, but he said he’ll take all of them, so I handed them over and crossed back, and she just called out to me from the car to wave, and possibly make sure I knew I had given them to her and not some random man. Didn’t get anything in return, but at least I got rid of all those things and gave them to someone who’s likely to actually reuse them, or at least most of them.

Tuesday dad again got back and turned on his computer, being connected, without me realizing it, saying he thought I was asleep even though I told him I’ll get in bed after he gets back. And when I asked how long ago that was, he said he had arrived some seven or eight minutes earlier, but ate something and fed Liza first, so must have turned it on only some three minutes before, yet when I checked the logs after he left I saw it had been on for a good ten minutes at the time I asked. And this coming soon after I had again reminded him that the router’s in his room, so he can see if I’m connected at all times, and he again asked how and said he’ll know from then on after again I told him, not that I had any reason to believe he’d still remember even moments later…
On that note, he didn’t even remember that I had told him multiple times that I was going to rest, whether I’ll actually manage to sleep or not, until he’ll leave that evening. So I dropped the connection matter at the time, got in bed, actually managed to fall asleep, woke up to pee after about an hour, managed to fall asleep again, yet again woke up to pee about an hour later, yet again got back in bed, most likely didn’t manage to fall asleep again, but meant to stay there until 9 PM… Only to hear him leaving and jumping out of bed, assuming I had somehow fallen asleep again and it was past 9 PM already, only to see that it was in fact 8:59 PM and yet he was just walking out the door when I rushed out of my room, completely ignoring me when I tried to say something even if he only had a foot out at first… And then sending me an e-mail from work asking whether he imagined it or I came out just as he was leaving, and complaining that he didn’t even eat or shave so he won’t make noise while I was apparently awake, and saying that he kept telling me to come out of my room if I’m awake, so he’ll know he doesn’t have to be quiet. This, again, after I had just told him, repeatedly, that I was going to rest, whether I’ll manage to sleep or not, until he’ll leave that evening. But at least I did manage to sleep a bit, and then stuffed myself later, taking it slowly, eating most of it in my room, while spending some more time on-line, only finishing, with quite a lot of jam, around 2:15 AM. Also made the tea I was going to need in the morning, and eventually got back in bed at 3:30 AM.

Rather surprisingly, managed to fall asleep that morning, and rather quickly too. And when I did wake up a while later, it wasn’t because I needed to pee, despite the salad that included tomatoes eaten at night. And then I got back to sleep, again quickly, and while I did wake up when dad got back, I still didn’t need to pee and yet again got back to sleep, albeit for a very short time, until the alarm rang, at 6 AM. Then had an orange, since I didn’t have apples anymore, but the usual stuff plus almonds otherwise, and the last of some old raisins in chocolate as something sweet. Just wasted time on the toilet twice though, despite feeling like I should have managed something, and also drank all the tea before leaving, so there was a fair bit of additional weight to carry around. But there was nothing to do about it, and I left at 8 AM, wearing the full running gear but being somewhat uncertain about the temperature, though it might be relatively safe to list something averaging around 24°C, give or take, over the duration of the run.
The problem is, I have a rather hard time even calling this a run. To think that I took money with me and had plans to get myself a little something if I’ll manage to at least stay under 1:45, something more if I’ll stay under 1:45, and actually look for something specific and ask dad for the money for it if I’ll find it if I’ll get under 1:43, and even more so if it won’t be just barely under 1:43 but actually manage a new record. These last targets seemed quite impossible to begin with, but I did actually think I had a shot at staying under 1:45 even when I started, and maybe to some extent even after the first sector time, thinking I should be able to do a little better after that. However, after the second sector it was clear that the best I could hope for was 1:50, and if at first I was saying that I’ll decide after lap four whether that remains a realistic target or not, at the start of lap two I was already calculating the targets for what worked out to 1:54. At the time I was still thinking of it as a worst case scenario, but after lap three it clearly remained the only realistic one, and towards the end I even found myself needing to allow for 1:55, though that turned out to not be necessary, albeit only barely. To list numbers, the time was an awful 1:53:56, with sector times of 4:31, 5:14, 6:09, 4:39, 5:21, 6:14, 4:48, 5:30, 6:29, 4:59, 5:43, 6:44, 5:05, 5:50, 6:52, 5:19, 6:05, 7:03, 2:07, 7:07 and 2:07, making for lap times of 15:54, 16:14, 16:47, 17:26, 17:47 and 18:27, plus 11:21 for the final portion.
Seeing how much I was slowing each lap, and in fact each sector, makes it clear I wasn’t holding anything back, giving it whatever I had at every point and being left with less and less all the time. And you can say I was exhausted from the beginning, since normally over six minutes on sector three means I’m clearly tired and I had 6:09 on the very first lap. And then I found myself forced to slow down so much that I ended up with a lap six that was the third slowest lap I ever ran through the park, not counting the later laps when I ran 11, in September of 2018. In fact, lap six was a few seconds faster even then, only the following five being slower, while otherwise the only slower ones were also the last full laps, the first two times I ran a half marathon distance through the park, in April of 2016 and March of 2017. Those are also the only slower runs over this distance through the park, though I otherwise was also slower the first two times I took part in the Bucharest Half Marathon, so in May of 2016 and 2017. What’s more, that first lap six was a mere second slower, and not having exact times means it might not have in fact been slower after all. And I was already faster the third time I ran this distance through the park, in April of 2017, so before that year’s Bucharest Half Marathon.
I saw a few people just finishing their runs as I entered the park, and otherwise the first lap seemed somewhat similar to the second half of the marathon I ran in terms of the number of runners I was seeing. It’s likely an exaggeration, but that was the thought I had, and there really were a lot of them. Their numbers dropped a fair bit after that, but there probably were more than I’m normally used to all the way to the end… And, surprisingly, considering how slow I was, a single one of those going in the same direction passed me. That guy went past me and got lost in the distance so quickly it felt I was barely walking, if not standing, and seemed to be sustaining that pace completely effortlessly, without even trying, but otherwise there was another guy who was slightly faster than me but stopped after a few hundred meters, and other than that I was still passing people even on that final portion, when I felt I was barely moving.
In terms of problems, some areas were quite windy, but what I definitely felt right away was all the food eaten the night before and the fact that I hadn’t taken a shit in the morning, and that held me back a fair bit on the first lap, though that feeling of being full lessened after that. Did feel the need to take a shit, at the start of laps three, possibly five, and six, as well as that final portion, but even if those last two times it seemed to become quite an emergency for a little while, it always went away quickly. As for physical issues, there was a little knee pain, I believe on sector one of lap three, but that went away quickly, multiple things seeming to fail only on sector one of lap six, when both calves were threatening with cramps and I felt a sharp pain under my ribs, on the left, probably caused by that bone spur. This was hard to push through for a moment, but on the next sector I managed to snap my back in a way that lessened it and I could continue. Going up the stairs on that final portion was hard though, even if I couldn’t really say that anything was still hurting at that point, and I pretty much walked while doing so both times, unable to even really try to run anymore.
Other than that, the number of runners didn’t mean that the park was crowded in general, people causing few problems. There was a moment, on sector two of lap one, when I had to squeeze past one of those trucks just when another runner was doing the same, coming from the opposite direction, so we both had to slow down a little. Then, if I remember correctly, it was only on sector two of lap five that a kid on a bicycle was staring at his front wheel and weaving all over the place, almost running right into me despite the path being almost completely clear otherwise, forcing me to briefly stop and step aside, and I saw that kid and the other one who was following him a few more times until the end, always behaving in the same manner, though I managed to avoid any further problems caused by them. Past that, on the next sector, a little girl, also on a bicycle, seemed uncertain whether to follow her mother or go around me on the other side and I had to slow down a little until she made up her mind, and on sector one of lap six there was what I believe was the only roadblock. This actually involved two runners, who noticed that I was approaching from behind and tried to clear the way, but didn’t exactly have anywhere to go, so I had to slow and eventually get around them on the grass.

After pushing so hard on the final straight to just barely manage to stay under 1:54, I felt I could barely walk anymore, and my left hip and right knee were hurting quite badly. But I had money with me and wanted the trip to at least be of some use, so I went to the farmers’ market, even if I didn’t have bags as well. Stopped on two benches on the way, first to write down the times and then what I could remember about the issues I had during the run, then got to that market, starting to feel somewhat better on the way.
First looked for apples, actually finding a person selling some quite sour ones, which I wouldn’t have bought otherwise and which were twice the price that kind used to be, and also twice the price I’d care to pay for apples, but I got some anyway. Also saw cheap green onions, tomatoes and cucumbers and got some of each, as well as some cheese. Was mainly looking for cheap stuff, but in a way it was also a way to punish myself, that cheese in particular not being something I’d get out of money I mean to spend for myself, and dad’s usually the one getting tomatoes and cucumbers too. In case of the tomatoes, bought the entire pile of the cheapest kind an old woman had and only noticed after asking for all of them that she had one of those old scales, with weights, and was wondering if I’ll get tricked, but after she placed all of that pile on the scales, she said a little more was needed to reach 1.5 kg, added one or two more from a pile of, I guess, somewhat better ones, and when I went to the scales set there just as a way to verify, saw 1.515 kg.
In terms of masks, hardly any in sight, and while that farmers’ market is outdoors, they would be recommended at least for those selling, and there are some small shops as well, including the one I bought the cheese from, and those serving there didn’t have masks either and, while they’re selling to customers who stay outside, they are inside, so masks would be mandatory. And it was quite crowded too. And I’ll also add here that I witnessed a weird moment as I was wandering around, an older woman being asked by a young man what could he serve her with as she walked past his stall, showing no interest whatsoever, and when she said she didn’t want anything he shouted after her, asking why was she in a market if not to purchase, just taking a walk, why be there if not to buy things, and a couple of others from nearby stalls started laughing. What the fuck was that?
Got back here at 11:35 AM. Made some more tea, put the purchases in their place, ate one of those apples, some watermelon and something sweet, and then got myself some of that food cooked by dad as well, using a bag of those little bagels bought from Kaufland instead of bread, after he left to bring my mother here until the next day, to clean the bathroom that I honestly keep being too afraid to do anything about, considering the huge amount of mold everywhere, and also bring back Micky, who doesn’t seem to manage to deal with Bella either after all, still being bothered and running and hiding and eating poorly because of that, though she clearly won’t do any better here with Liza either. However, as I got on the computer and on-line, I suddenly felt that I was about to shit myself, and my attempts to hold it were clearly about to fail, so I left the food here, grabbed my towel and underwear and rushed to the bathroom, to also take a shower after using the toilet. Then I finished eating, also grabbed a few of the sweet things from a bag dad had bought for my mother, and later some chocolate as well, after she asked if I didn’t like it, seeing it untouched after she had sent it to me quite a long time ago. So I was at some four times the amount of sweets I’d like to stick to in a day, and about twice that I really don’t want to allow myself to exceed, which isn’t good, and it also came after all that jam the night before, but I guess I could allow it on that particular day. Also napped a little in the evening, but only for about one hour… And then spent an embarrassingly long time struggling with a sudoku which shouldn’t even have been one of the supposedly hard ones, my brain seeming just unable to wrap itself around it, despite having easily completed another before that nap. Did another one after that though, and that went well enough.

Meant to sleep more today, obviously, but woke up when dad went out to buy the other things my mother wanted before going back to my grandmother’s. Tried to get back to sleep, but I was sort of in that state, between asleep and awake, when he got back and I fully woke up again, deciding to go to the toilet and then try again… Only for them to start talking while in different rooms and then my mother going to continue cleaning the bathroom, having him help for a bit as well, leading to quite a lot of noise, so I was in bed for about another hour or so, but there was no chance to sleep and I eventually got up, I think at about 1:40 PM, or maybe a bit before that time. Quite annoyed, obviously, and exhausted, and after I got to the kitchen dad came and said it was good he saw me there because he didn’t know whether I was awake or not. Well, I was hoping to not be awake, but there’s no chance of that, is there?

Written by Cavalary on July 2, 2020 at 2:56 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Jars and Bottles, Carrying Even More, Receiving the Replacement Phone

I’ll start by saying that this week I finally managed to persuade myself to get all the jars and bottles in one place, take a picture and send it to the woman who had said she’ll take all of those anyone has to give back when I first went to help with those recycling kits, back in September. Had asked Olga for her e-mail address after the second time I helped with those and she had sent an e-mail to both of us in order to share the address, but I hadn’t sent anything in all this time, which made this even more awkward. But she answered Wednesday to say that she could even come the next day, around noon, though the fact that I only saw that reply at night and told her it should be after 3 PM made the idea fall through. Still, she then said she’ll try Friday, or if not then Monday, and will call first. So, after the extra day meant dad also had the time to get those we had stored elsewhere back in, so I could add them to the bags, yesterday I waited for that call, or even for someone to come directly, around 3 PM. But nothing happened, and since my plan was to go out after handing those over, I left at 4:20 PM, and at the moment it seems the whole thing was rescheduled for Monday. It is of some concern that she said she didn’t give any sign yesterday because she didn’t feel well, so I said we may leave it for another time in that case, but she said she has some business in the area Monday anyway, though she’d prefer an earlier time, so let’s see what will happen.

The first thing needed yesterday was food for Liza again, since dad is letting her stuff herself like this, but with the price having increased at Auchan, I still had no reason to go back there and instead meant to go to that pet shop near that other Kaufland, also get to that pharmacy for dental floss on the way, and also check out the Carrefour from that area… But then I decided to do things the other way around, going to that Carrefour first in order to keep going after that and check out that recycling center I took plastic bottles and aluminum cans to back in September, to see whether it’s open again. After that, meant to also have a look at the new Kaufland which recently opened just there, then go to the other one and that pet shop, meaning that I was going to get back late, likely too late to even catch that pharmacy still open on my way back.
That proved to be a very good idea, because that kind of cat food was actually on sale at Carrefour, even though the on-line catalog didn’t mention it. The discount was small, only meaning that it was at what used to be the regular price at Auchan, but anything helps, and there were exactly 50, so I got all of them, though we’d normally get 20 to 30 at once. And that meant I no longer needed to go to that pet shop, so I had more time, and I got what I wanted to get from there first. Dad had also mentioned eggs, and I saw some with a big discount, so I got 20 of those as well, also another bag of cat litter, since that was also still on sale, the discounted peppers I had mainly gone there for, dad wanting some, some onions, which I knew should also be discounted now, some garlic, which wasn’t discounted but which dad had asked me to get anyway… And dental floss, which was also at a significant discount, also unannounced in the on-line catalog, so I had no need to go to that pharmacy either. Also got two cabbages, which were discounted, also without the discount having been announced, but which showed up at a higher price when I placed them on the scales. Asked an employee and he didn’t seem to know what was going on, tried it himself, checked, eventually asked another one over and was told the updated price will be applied at checkout, and that did indeed happened, and I also checked the price before that myself and saw that the scanner showed the lower price, even if the higher one was actually printed on the receipt. Then I also added a pack of those wheat things I hadn’t bought in a long time, since those were also discounted, even if the discount meant a price that was still higher than they used to be back when I was buying them, and some expiring biscuits, so it’ll all add up to a certain amount.
The problem I had at that point was that I hadn’t planned to stay there so long, and after drinking two cups of tea before leaving, I was just about to piss myself. Fortunately, didn’t have to wait at checkout, though I made myself wait after being checked out in order to put the stuff in bags and then drop it all in the one cabinet of the largest size that actually had a key, and then also returned to get the boxes the cat food had been in, since I had left them there after putting it all in a bag, and drop them off in a recycling bin. I didn’t even try to make it to a toilet stall after that, using a urinal because it was a few steps closer, and it sure was a relief that I even made it that far.
After that, left everything in that cabinet, went out, tried to see whether there was a more direct way to get around that mall… And caught a spiderweb. Since I’m trying to not touch my face, and also obviously had a mask on, even if nearly everyone else was keeping theirs off outside, that made it harder to even try to get rid of it, or to try to check whether the spider had ended up on me as well, but I just kept going, realized I couldn’t go through there, turned around and went the way I knew, reaching that Kaufland without any other issues. The one problem was that, other than just to check out the relatively new location, I had no reason to go there anymore, since spending all that time at Carrefour meant it was about 6:30 PM or so when I passed by that recycling center and it closes at 6 PM, so I couldn’t figure out whether it had opened again at all by now or not.
Either way, I was there, so I had a look through that new place and got frustrated with the large touchscreen things they have instead of the regular price checkers, since when I tried to use one to check the store map it took it about a minute to display it and then a similar amount of time, if not even more, to switch back to price checking mode, and it still takes several seconds for a price to show up, which seems to be the rule with Kaufland’s price checkers. But I was mainly there for the particularly cheap cornmeal, even if it’s not a good kind, so I got four bags of that, some bagels, some batteries for the kitchen remote, since we recently noticed that the ones in it are leaking, a bucket of yogurt which had an unannounced discount, and one bread. That kind of bread that I get from Carrefour was again at half price over there, but all of it was also again sliced, so I couldn’t get any and there were two of those that I can get from Kaufland left, and I just got one. That was a bit awkward though, since a while ago they gave up on the idea of keeping people away from the bakery area and having employees serve them, the person before me had just told the employee that there were no gloves left and she had placed some more there, but I didn’t use one, trying to just grab the bread with the paper bag directly, without actually touching it, which was obviously difficult, and the employee noticed me and told me to stop doing that with my bare hands and use a glove.
Just had two pretty small bags left, one of them already quite torn and the other flimsy, and the cloth one I use for bread, and just put the bread in that one and kept being worried that the cornmeal will tear the one I had it in on the way back, but it fortunately didn’t. So I got back to that Carrefour, but decided to first put the new purchases in that same cabinet and have another look inside, to see whether any unsliced bread had appeared, or whether anything interesting showed up among the expiring things. But there was no more of that bread at all at that hour, nor anything else interesting in that spot, yet I was just over 2 RON short of 100 RON spent on the things not purchased for myself, and dad had mentioned considering adding squash to what he means to cook tomorrow, so I got two small ones as well, then finally grabbed everything out of that cabinet, spent some time trying to figure out how to carry everything and arranging the stuff better, then finally made my way out. Meant to use one of those dispensers placed near the mall’s exit to rub some disinfectant on my hands before leaving, but it didn’t seem to work, so I just checked the time, seeing 8:31 PM, and started on my way back.
I had managed to stuff the cornmeal in that cloth bag, and since I also had the bagels and bread in there, it meant I kept a good five kilograms off my hands. Then tried to balance everything else, at first leaving that mall with the bags held in my hands, but quickly stopping to do what I did last time, hanging some from my wrists. The problem was that, in order to balance the weight easily, I needed the bucket of yogurt to be in the same hand with the eggs and cat litter, and hanging it on my wrist alongside the eggs meant I risked crushing the eggs with it, so I stopped again, at the first free bench after getting back to the actual park, stuffed a few small things in my pockets or that cloth bag and moved the yogurt to the other arm, keeping the eggs safe but ending up with an unbalanced weight. Eventually moved the yogurt off my wrist as well, since the handle was too tight on it, but then I took it slowly and got back here relatively well, a little after 9 PM, despite carrying what when I got back I saw was a total of 23 kg, actually only stopping one more time, after crossing the road after exiting the park, using the opportunity to switch bags around so they’ll hit my leg a little less. There was a somewhat awkward moment when I was close to the end of the trip though, since I heard someone behind me as I was about to pass in front of this Mega Image and slowed and stepped aside to let her pass, since the bags might have blocked the sidewalk otherwise, and she asked if what I was carrying wasn’t too heavy and whether I wanted her to help me, then saying that she really would help me when I refused, and again if I was sure I didn’t need help. I was almost here at that point, of course, and she looked to be just as thin as I am too, but it was nice of her to offer.

Otherwise, Tuesday morning I again kept waking up, and at 10:37 AM I received a message notifying me that the replacement phone will arrive that day. Went back to bed after that and thought I was still awake at 12:50 PM, this being the second time I had woken up again after that message, but that was when I thought I heard the UPS activate, which I assumed was for a battery test, since the sound seemed to last for more than a couple of seconds and it wasn’t beeping. But that sound wasn’t going away after ten seconds either, so I turned the monitor back on to check and saw that it wasn’t active at all, making me think that perhaps I had fallen asleep yet again, or was about to, and in that state between asleep and awake I thought I heard things that weren’t really happening.
Either way, it meant I hadn’t fallen asleep again yet when, a bit after 1 PM, there was a call, the delivery guy telling me to open because he had already rang the intercom. I told him I expected to be called before he showed up and to give me a moment, hung up, threw the pajama top off, ran to turn the intercom on and open the building door just as it was no longer ringing, saw dad with his pants down as well, just changing, and trying to hide himself in the living room, but I unlocked one of the locks, told him to unlock the other if it’s still locked and ran back to my room, to change my pants as well, throwing them on without underwear before the guy got to the door and I went there to open it. What’s odd is that this new phone’s screen seems to have a smudge in the same spot the old one did, and I’m also seeing that the last few digits of the serial number listed in the service document differ from those listed on the store’s site. I actually haven’t yet checked which, if any, is the correct one, and I really should, but at least so far it’s working, and it also deals much better with the SIM card. It’s the exact same model and the old one had supposedly had its software updated as well, but it had always required importing contacts from the SIM card, never reading them directly or saving to it, while this one does that just fine.

Wednesday I had a really hard time falling asleep in the morning, possibly after the nap taken Tuesday evening, but I finally managed to at some point after 7 AM, maybe around 7:30 AM, woke up to pee at 11:25 AM, got back to sleep… And was woken up with a start by dad clinking things in the kitchen while making a salad, just after 1 PM, and when I drowsily made my way there he shouted a hello right in my face that made me freeze. Wanted to tell him to choke on it but couldn’t, couldn’t even move for several seconds, while he was saying that’s how you do it, not sneaking in or being quiet, but making sure you’re heard, that your presence is known. And then, when I could move again and picked up the bag with Liza’s food from where he had left it, he also told me to stop putting things right and in their place, so he’ll be able to just grab them again when needed. I just wandered away to the bathroom, wondering what the fuck had just happened. Then, in the evening, barely managed another brief nap, of less than half an hour, while he kept making noise in the kitchen while cooking something else. Was already awake again when he called me to find some receipts for him though.

I guess that already falls under odds and ends, but there are others as well. There’s the huge black cockroach I saw in the kitchen when I went back there after eating Tuesday night, losing it under the cabinet. Then there’s the fact that I timed the squats again Thursday, the time being 2:16, and that I finally played some more Lionheart before eating that night and used an autosave after forgetting to enable searching again after selling stuff, so I hit traps a pretty nasty battle plus the slow trip back to sell and return after the previous save and didn’t feel like doing all of that again, so I hope nothing got messed up, since I tend to never trust autosaves. And the last thing is that, after carrying so much in the evening, last night I only got in bed at 5:20 AM and was up before 1 PM today, likely awake for the last time around 12:30 PM, and didn’t sleep well in between either.

Written by Cavalary on June 27, 2020 at 10:36 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Dream Trek Summer Edition 2020

Dad was saying the daughter of the woman living above us should come Saturday morning, between 11 AM and noon, to have a look at the damage caused by the flooding, and then he’ll leave to go to my grandmother’s, so when I woke up at 11:50 AM I waited, even if it was quiet. But when it remained quiet for a quarter of an hour, I checked and found a note on the kitchen table saying the woman didn’t know when her daughter will be able to come, so he didn’t wait and left earlier. So I went to the toilet while the water boiled to make the tea I was going to take with me, and after that was done I got back in bed, yet an hour later I was up to pee again. Got back in bed after that, but I guess that woman’s daughter had arrived, since I was just about to fall asleep again when something fell, and more noise followed from above, like furniture being moved, and while the noise did stop after a while, waking up with a start had made me too jumpy to fall asleep again and I eventually cut my losses and at 2:40 PM was quickly checking what the organizers of Dream Trek had posted in the morning, then did the other things I had to do.
Eventually got back in bed at 5:45 PM and managed to nap for likely less than half an hour, before I think the rain woke me up, though I stayed in bed until the alarm rang at 7 PM. Then I tried to take a crap again, but even though I seemed to need to, I was just wasting time, so I gave up, thinking that at least I had managed it when I first woke up, finished getting ready and left with dad, at 8:05 PM, getting there at 8:20 PM, though we stayed in the car until 8:35 PM. I wanted to go out at least at 8:30 PM, but he said I should wait at least that long, before realizing that arriving later, even if the meeting time was 8:45 PM, may put me at a disadvantage in terms of choosing teams. But it was already almost 8:35 PM at that point, so there was nothing to do about it.

Radu was already explaining things when I got there, and with sunset at 9:03 PM, I thought we were going to start then, but he said we’ll start around 9:30 PM, and should time it so each part of the route will take two hours, including pausing to go to the toilet and buy things, since we weren’t going to be given anything along the way, and didn’t even have a place to leave things and retrieve them later, and if possible it should take less than that, to allow for a pause when returning to University Square as well, longer than what’d be needed just to take a picture. If it’d be clear that we won’t complete a part in that time, multiple members of a team being unable to sustain the required pace, the idea was to find a suitable spot to turn around before the listed one, but if a single member was holding the others back they should be told that the team can’t wait and left behind.
The main issues at that point, however, had to do with the number of people, since five teams would have only allowed for 30 participants in order to stick to the current regulations, stating that up to six people can gather for sports, but by the time we were getting ready to leave, I counted 51 or 52, so teams had to be a fair bit larger and the one I was in was the largest, having 12 members. In addition, with five teams and four routes, they also couldn’t completely stick to the idea of each team starting on a different route and then going through them in clockwise order, two needing to share a route, and it was again the team I was in that ended up sharing with another, that other one starting first. We quickly fell well behind them, however, and after they waited for us at the far end of the first part, we used partially different routes back, so it wasn’t an issue.

Considering my current form, I had chosen my team according to which leader seemed the weakest and least social, and it was the correct choice… Or would have been if Monica would have actually led all the way. But it really was fine at first, with a slow pace and hoping to catch red lights all the time in order to stop to rest, frequent stops for pictures, especially on the first part, and a few longer stops to buy things or for those needing a toilet break on the second, saying multiple times that she had brought a friend whose longest run had been 15 km and she wanted to complete two parts of the route, so about 27 km. After reaching the far end of that second part, said friend was completely drained and we didn’t do what Radu advised, so we adjusted our pace and stopped to rest as needed in order to keep her with us, which meant that it was 1:38 AM when we all huddled in the bus stop at the start/finish location, to take shelter from the pouring rain, when we should have started the third part at 1:30 AM. By then I had already suggested to give up on the fourth part, which for us should have been the longest one and clearly impossible anyway, wait until 2 AM and take it slowly on the third part, aiming to get back around 4:30 AM and waiting for the others after that, but the guy who seemed at least a close friend of Monica’s was already starting to take over at that point and he initially rejected my idea.
Getting back to the rain, it had rained between 6:30 PM or so and about 8 PM, but wasn’t supposed to rain again after that, the risk I saw until 8 AM being 1% on one site and 5-10% on another, and the last forecast I saw on television stated that the risk of rain would keep decreasing late in the evening and through the night. But the clouds were telling a different story and there was a light rain even on the first part of the route, starting quite early on it in fact, and then it started again just as we were getting to the far end of the second part, which was also part of the reason why we didn’t look for the actual spot where Radu said we should take the picture, just taking one to prove that we had reached that area, since nobody knew exactly where that spot was and we didn’t want to be standing around under those conditions.
But it continued raining after that, and just as we got back to University Square it started really pouring, so we rushed to that shelter, joining Radu’s team, which was already there. Out of my teammates, two had announced from the beginning that they’ll stop after the first part and one at the far end of the second, but in fact one of those first two stopped after only a few kilometers, his friend catching up to us after a while to let us know he had knee problems, and there was one more who decided to stop at the far end of the second part, so we had lost four people by then, while the fact that we were 17 or 18 huddled in that bus stop and Radu’s team had been smaller to begin with meant that he had lost fewer, if any, but we nevertheless were three times more than the number allowed to gather, and we could barely fit in there, so there was no trace of distancing. And Radu asked us to rush to the street at one point, when no cars were passing, for a picture of the conditions, and a police car stopped next to us moments later, but while they had every reason to give each of us multiple fines, they just asked whether we had taken a picture or were about to start a fight, then drove away when they were told it had just been a picture.
I’m pretty sure it was a little after 2 AM when the rain finally lessened and Radu’s team left again… And we found ourselves down to a mere four. Other than Monica’s friend, one more had announced leaving at the end of the second part, but two more decided to do so while we were waiting, one saying that he had been in doubt before and didn’t want to continue in the rain, so that helped him decide. I had also started with the thought that I’ll just aim to do two parts, then assess whether my condition and remaining resources seemed to match the team’s plans for the third, but had only said at the start that I’ll stop after part three, and seeing as I was feeling just fine at that point, not even my left calf bothering me at all, I still had most of what I had taken with me, after only sipping a bit of the tea I was carrying in each hand before finishing that second part and finishing just one of the bottles while waiting in that bus stop, and not touching the protein bars, almonds or garlic at all, and the others said they’ll take it easier too, I had no reason to stop. So it was the four of us who eventually, I believe around 2:15 AM, got going again, the rain having lessened and not giving any sign that it was going to actually stop.
An annoying part was that Monica pretty much “officially” handed over the role of team leader to that guy at that point. He had started taking charge to some extent during the second part as well, but then she said she didn’t know that third route at all and we’ll have to rely on him, and he was this awfully extroverted guy who was also in very good shape, had a lot of energy to spend, and kept shouting, cheering, wanting to talk, and seemed to have taken a special interest in me even during the second part, probably just because he noticed I wasn’t really communicating otherwise and wasn’t using or buying anything. And with so few of us left, he focused on me even more and just kept pestering me, asking how I felt or if I was fine, which usually prompted Monica to ask why doesn’t he also ask her, at times seeming to just try to get me to talk, insisting for me to “vote” when he wanted us to decide on buying something, and keeping at it despite the fact that I was pretty much completely ignoring him or even pointedly looking away and huffing in annoyance, especially after I started tiring, as we were approaching the far end of that third part.
I was still quite fine when we took a detour through Carol Park, when the other remaining guy wanted to go there to pee, and I followed him, both of us actually stopping behind the toilets, since there was no light there and we couldn’t have used them anyway. Sure realized how much I actually did need to pee once I started, though I hadn’t really been aware of it before then, despite feeling that my bladder was hurting pretty much as soon as we started part three. Also used the nearby drinking fountain to wash my hands a little at that point, then ran back to the others, only to find them coming back towards me, the acting leader having decided that we needed to take a picture in front of the mausoleum, so we took it easy and walked around it to get to the front, several pictures were taken, and then we went back the same way to return outside the park and continue. At the pace we had at that moment, I could keep going a while longer, but as time passed I had to dig deeper and deeper to keep up and was more and more thankful for every stop, and for a while we didn’t really stop, so it was starting to be a problem.
Nobody seemed to know exactly where the fountain we were supposed to stop at was, but the acting leader decided to take the picture in a spot that I later noticed was just meters away from it. When we got back to the sidewalk and I said we were supposed to get to a fountain, the other guy pointed and said there was one right there, but I didn’t see it then, thinking he was pointing to some other things that were closer and wondering whether those were in fact a fountain that was turned off at that time. But those few meters definitely made no difference, while the detour to Carol Park and actually getting to the front of the mausoleum sure did, since it seems we ended up with a total of 14 km on this south route while the direct route to that fountain had six kilometers each way, the 13 km listed as the total for this south route probably assuming that the runners will take the shorter route one way and that longer one the other, since only the far end of each route was specified, nothing else, and Radu had suggested using somewhat different routes each way, so it won’t get boring.
Either way, getting back from there was hard. It wasn’t a matter of pain, and Monica actually dropped back next to me at one point to ask what was hurting and I said, with some surprise, that nothing did, but I was just drained. Kept thinking that I ran a marathon while feeling that I was about to shit myself after 15 km and hitting the wall around 25 km, so I should be able to just push through it, but there was also the fact that I wasn’t allowed to focus on that and didn’t just have my pace to focus on even if I could, with the others, and the acting leader in particular, asking me how I was feeling and whether I wanted anything more and more often, trying to push to keep up with them when they ran a bit more and then slowing or stopping completely again when they saw that I was dropping behind and waited for me, plus when we had to stop at red lights, and feeling like crap for holding them back like that. Wanted them to just go on ahead more and more, and said so a few times, both so I won’t keep holding them back and to no longer need to interact and be able to just focus on putting one foot in front of the other, but that wasn’t happening.
Then again, the most awkward moment was just after we reached the far end of this third part, when the acting leader said we’ll just walk to that nearby restaurant, or probably fast food place, I didn’t even really look, and rest for five minutes, and also kept asking whether we wanted a shawarma. Monica had mentioned that when we had passed another such place, relatively early on that third part, and he had said he’ll buy for all of us when we’ll get back there, but at that time he seemed serious and even insisted, and when the other guy said he didn’t want anything, since he won’t be able to keep running after eating, and she seemed to suddenly realize that as well and was uncertain, he kept pestering me, saying I had the deciding vote, until he finally realized he’ll get nothing from me, went back to asking her, then just put on his mask and went inside, probably to ask what was available. When he poked his head back out to ask again though, she said she really didn’t want anything either, so he apologized to the employees for wasting their time and we got back to running.
There was another moment, I think just after we started running again, when Monica and the acting leader shared most of a chocolate bar and then he told me to take what was left of it, insisting when I refused, but I just refused even more firmly. I mean, seriously? You want me to eat something you just had your mouth on? I wouldn’t have done that before, much less now! But I did end up taking half of a chocolate bar from the other guy when we later stopped close to a store and the acting leader asked what I wanted, all of them insisting that I was dehydrated. That was probably true, but I still had most of one bottle of tea, so I only drank that then and again refused anything he offered. Yet that other guy, whom I had also always refused when he had offered sweets to the others a few other times during the evening and night, offered me something again and that time I gave in, though that was awkward as well, since I thought he was going to give me all of that bar but instead he pulled the wrapping off half of it and told me to break it off from there when I was about to take it all. Didn’t really want to touch it with my hands and then eat it at all, but I just did it and then kept going.
I’m not sure it’d still be appropriate to say that we kept running though, since there were parts of that return leg that we just walked, obviously for my benefit, including the last few hundred meters and another stretch not long before that. Since I recall that, when we stopped and I accepted that half of a chocolate bar, I saw 4:19 on my stopwatch, as the time actually spent moving, and said I had completed a marathon in that time in 2018, if I also correctly remember the location, just after we got past Tineretului Park, it would mean that we averaged less than 7 km/h on the close to 2.5 km left to the end, and that’d be the average speed while moving, not including any other pauses, as I’m quite sure we caught at least one more red light. Nevertheless, I’m quite sure I correctly remember that we arrived back at the statue at 4:23 AM.

After getting there and taking another picture, the acting leader was saying we had seven kilometers to go to reach 50, according to his tracker, while the other guy wanted four more to get to 42 according to his, so the three of them kept going, but I obviously stopped there. The acting leader tried for a few moments to push me to continue, but there was no way that was happening, and at least he realized it soon enough and gave up. Did consider asking the other guy to let me know when we’ll cover one more kilometer and joining them just up to that point, returning on my own, probably at a walk, after that, to be sure of covering at least 40 km even according to the conservative measurement, and I should have been able to cover that distance while at least lightly jogging, but didn’t want to hold them back like that or need to argue to be allowed to get back on my own from that point, so I just stopped there and went to the underground passage after they left, waiting for them and others to return. Since I had taken the bag with some almonds and garlic out during one of the stops, close to the end, but hadn’t eaten them yet, I did that then, pouring them into one of the bottles and then using that to get them straight into my mouth, so I won’t touch them, being unable to wash my hands since the toilet wasn’t going to open until 6 AM.
The doors to the metro station were opened at 4:50 AM and, while I’m not really sure anymore, the fact that I remember thinking they’ll notice and ask why wasn’t I taking it already makes me think it was just after that when another team passed through. But the leader just asked whether we had stopped, I said I did but the others wanted some six or seven kilometers more after finishing three routes, and he said that was sort of their plan as well and kept going… Only to return, along with Monica and the acting team leader, minutes later, going back out on the other side. The other guy followed shortly, asking me where they went and saying that they had probably gone there for a picture and we should follow, but when we also went out, couldn’t see them there and I said they probably continued running, he said that’s their business and went back down with me for a little while, during which time he again offered me sweets and at first I refused, especially since I hadn’t touched the two protein bars I had taken with me, but when he insisted I gave in again and grabbed a Bounty. Then he said we should return to the statue and, while I didn’t really want to, since it was a bit warmer and also obviously not raining down there, I followed him and we found a girl from the other team waiting there alone, after having stopped as well, and waited with her for the others to return, sunrise and therefore the scheduled end being at 5:30 AM, after all.
A total of 19 were there at the end, those being the three of us, the remaining members of the two teams that held quite a number together all the way to the end, Monica and that, probably, friend of hers, who circled around the area until he said they had reached 50 km, and the sole remaining member of a fourth team, who arrived as we were about to finish the stretching exercises. Radu was saying that only two had been left in that team for some time and, according to the one who arrived, the other apparently gave up before returning to University Square. As for the fifth team, while I guess it’s also possible that it merged with another one at some earlier point or even that I missed their arrival, it was my understanding that all of its members went home earlier, none getting back there for the end. Either way, with the exception of Radu, who was taking it, you can see the rest of us in the final picture, again taken in the street.

It was some point before 6 AM when the end was called and I left, though I can’t remember the exact time anymore. I seem to remember that it was 5:55 AM, but I know I was back here at 6:40 AM and really don’t think I walked that quickly, so that makes me think that it was probably a bit earlier. Then again, I also used a slightly shorter route, was trying to rush because of the rain and was surprised that I felt just fine while walking, almost not even feeling tired except when I jogged to catch a green light, when I got to this nearby metro station, so getting here in 45 minutes is not impossible. Would have wanted to get myself a pretzel or something on the way, but nothing was open at that hour, or at least nothing was ready yet, though I saw employees working in one or two bakeries.

Considering that walk back, you could say that I covered an even greater distance, but I won’t count it, though I will count the distance walked over the route of Dream Trek itself. That other guy from my team had 38 km when I stopped, after three parts of the route, so his equipment probably only counted actual running, while the acting leader said that his was also counting his movements when he was dancing or wandering around during breaks, which was why he had 43 km at that point, but if I check on Google Maps, I see that I covered 41 km. The distances listed in the e-mail were 13 km for the north part, 14 km for the east and 13 km for the south, so a total of 40 km, but only the destinations were specified, the exact route being left to the team leaders to decide, Radu only suggesting to use at least partially different routes each way, so it won’t get boring. And, while the east part does get to 14 km if using the direct, shorter route both ways, and we did that when we ran it, different routes are needed to even approach the listed distances for the north and south, each only having 12 km if using the shorter route both ways. But we clearly got to 13 km on the north route, since Monica wanted to meet someone and get a portable speaker, so we went back the same way up to a point, then made our way to the rest of the intended return route, adding a fair bit. And then, led by that guy, we took the longer south route both ways, which in itself got us to or slightly over 13 km, and also made that detour through Carol Park, bringing that south route to 14 km and the total to 41 km.
We mostly walked through Carol Park though, with the exception of me and that other guy running to the toilet and me running back to them before seeing them in the park as well, and that was close to one kilometer. Then, as I already mentioned, we also walked from the far end of that third part to that nearby restaurant, and for a few more stretches on that return leg, including the last few hundred meters, as they were trying to not leave me behind. Those bits would likely add up to one kilometer or so more, and the remaining kilometer may be obtained from the bits we walked over the first two parts, such as when approaching red lights, crossing carefully, trying to allow Monica to take a picture or being about to stop at a store, so it does seem probable that, over the course of those three parts, we actually ran the 38 km that guy mentioned. But, again, I’ll go with that total of 41 km covered during the event itself, until I stopped, my stopwatch listing a very rough total time spent moving of 4:40:44. That’s 43 minutes more than the rough time spent running about 40 km last year, but these times obviously rely entirely on when I paused and restarted the stopwatch, and now for example I forgot to pause it when we waited at the first red light, trying to restart it a similar amount of time later after that but obviously using a very rough estimate, then there was another moment when I must have pressed a different button and it didn’t restart, so I tried to compensate by stopping it later the next time we stopped but wasn’t even sure of the time lost to even try to make a rough estimate, and then there are all the seconds that add up, stopping and restarting a little early or a little late so many other times.

One last thing I’ll add here has to do with respecting the current measures, and I must admit that the event itself didn’t because of the size of the teams. At the same time, it’s certainly strange, to say the least, that the current regulations allow up to 50 people to gather outdoors and up to 20 indoors for “private events”, but only six for sports. Still, we were just over 50 at the start and not standing two meters from each other, though some, myself included, tried to keep some distance and Radu kept reminding people that they should do so, and also shouting when he noticed some about to shake hands or even hug, though others still did it behind his back. Past that, while running, we were no more than 12, and that was my team, and we were in the open and running, and it rained most of the time. But then there was also that moment when 17 or 18 of us gathered in that bus stop, to take shelter from the rain, and spent quite some time there. And I don’t know how it was with others, but those two from my team who left at the far end of the east route and I think at least one of those who left after we completed that east route gave high fives instead of elbow or at least fist bumps. I actually meant to leave the first guy with his hand up, but couldn’t quite get myself to ignore the high five, and then I was wiping my hand on my t-shirt, with what was probably a rather disgusted look, when the other made the same gesture and I also went through with it, probably wiping my hand even more pointedly after that, though if they even noticed, they didn’t seem to care. And we did also huddle rather close for pictures, though I usually tried to be in the back row, so others won’t breathe towards me. And there was also that half of a chocolate bar, which I had to grab with my hand like that. But now we’ll see what will happen, all that rain, dehydration and exhaustion likely being worse concerns.

Since I started this post with the morning before the run, I’ll finish with the period after it, adding that I took a bath, ate and spent some time on-line after getting back, finally getting in bed at 11:45 AM. There is some bruising under a toenail from each foot, but otherwise I felt surprisingly fine, with very little pain in either muscles or joints and not even feeling quite so exhausted, despite getting up to pee four hours after getting in bed and probably not managing to sleep any more, and certainly no more than a few minutes more, until 5:30 PM, when I got up. Wanted to order a pizza in the evening, but saw that the place I wanted to order from, the one I had ordered from after the 2018 half marathon and marathon, is now closed on Sunday, so I couldn’t.
Only got in bed again at 5:25 AM… And woke up at 10:40 AM, when I guess the plumber started working in the apartment above. Spent almost one hour trying to get back to sleep, but couldn’t, so I got up then… And dad decided to unplug the refrigerator so it’ll defrost, since the freezer was full of ice, and meant to wait until evening to really do much of anything else about it, and I doubt he’d have done much to clean it on his own even then. So I ended up taking the stuff out of it, cleaning it and putting most things back, all of this meaning four hours of effort that in some ways made me feel more tired than I felt after the run, while he just washed the removable bits and vacuumed and quickly and shallowly washed behind and under it. Only managed to nap for another hour, or maybe just a little bit more than that, in the evening.

Written by Cavalary on June 24, 2020 at 9:50 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Runs Keep Getting Worse, Yet I’m Having a Go at Dream Trek Again

Saturday I timed the squats again, for the first time in a long time, and I did them surprisingly quickly, in 2:08! On the other hand, had a lot of those CPU warnings, and have been having many of them recently in general, including seeing a notification about one when I turn the monitor back on. Yes, that string of dozens of them that I got Saturday evening was caused by the YouTube tabs that were open, and they stopped coming after I closed those, but add that to the loss of performance and it makes me even more worried, even if at the moment I’m working on the assumption that Emsisoft Anti-Malware is actually causing that. Reboots seem to fix it so far though, as I saw the problem reappear Sunday night and it seemed to have even worsened by the time I had BOINC run CPU benchmarks again, Monday afternoon, so I rebooted again to return to normal, but I definitely don’t want to keep having to do that!

It will be harder to determine what’s going on with the performance while I’m using the computer now, however, since Sunday I sorted my game kits locally as well and decided to start going through some that may allow me to save some relevant space after either finishing or abandoning the games in a reasonable amount of time. Was thinking to just make sure to get rid of some I list as not being interested in, installing, starting, poking around a bit, calling them abandoned and deleting, but I couldn’t persuade myself to start doing that for games I know will be a chore to even try, so I started looking through those I’m uncertain about and eventually installed and started Grim Fandango Remastered, and the CPU goes down to 800 MHz while playing that, to put all power into the integrated graphics, so the processing times for those work units will get very long while I play…
On the other hand, an odd issue that was caused, albeit indirectly, by starting that game was that Comodo Firewall forgot its older HIPS rules while I was trying to make it remember to block certain actions that game’s executable may try, creating the rule before starting it the first time and then reversing the changes it automatically made in order to allow it to do everything, because it recognizes it as trusted. It didn’t forget all of them, but only those for files that were added a longer time ago, and it wasn’t after a reboot, but apparently when I exited the game, so I wonder if it happened because I tried to change the rule back before it finished saving its automatic changes, or it tried changing it before finishing saving mine, and that messed something up. But everything seemed fine again after I imported the settings saved before the previous reboot, and I decided to just allow it to do what it wanted, since it seemed more trouble than it was worth.

Tuesday I kept waking up, last time being at 12:59 PM, with the alarm set at 1 PM, so I just managed to turn it off before it rang and got up. Had the usual stuff plus almonds, and oat biscuits with honey and jam as something sweet, put on the full running gear, also taking a little money, bags, a pencil and a slip of paper and stuffing them in the back pocket, since the plan was to also go to the farmers’ market after the run, and went out at 2:55 PM. The reported temperature was about 25°C and there were some clouds, with chances of rain listed after 5 PM, but while the wind really picked up for a while just when I got back the first time, just before 5:50 PM, and some threatening clouds appeared, things eventually calmed down even then and it was fine even when I went out again later that evening.
What is most definitely not fine is my shape, as I ran 16 kilometers and, while I was rather concerned about what I’ll manage, staying under 1:18 was the conservative scenario when I started, yet it took everything to just stay under 1:20, the time being 1:19:52, and the conditions were definitely not to blame anymore, the weather being good, if a bit warm, the park not crowded for once, and my calf fine at first and staying that way for two and a half laps. But the sector times were 4:30, 5:10, 5:59, 4:30, 5:11, 5:59, 4:38, 5:15, 6:07, 4:44, 5:24, 6:16, 4:45, 5:21 and 6:03, making for lap times of 15:39, 15:40, 16:00, 16:24 and 16:09, so I was never on target even for that 1:18, being off that pace from the very first sector. Or, all right, I was barely on pace for it on sector three of laps one and two, but that didn’t make up for what I had already lost by then. And I had to give it absolutely everything on the final lap, and on the last sector in particular, to just somehow manage to stay under 1:20. Had to approach that last lap quite tactically, giving everything where I could but also doing my best to calculate where I should push and where I could allow myself to recover just a bit, the best paths, everything…
Granted, I did start at a conservative pace, and then there was a truck in front of me, going slightly slower than me, and I caught up to it right at the turn, where other paths split off, one leading to an exit. Since someone with a dog was coming towards me on one side and the driver was hugging the other side of the path to leave room for them, I couldn’t try to overtake on the path and tried to go on the grass, but couldn’t really squeeze through in that spot, and was thinking that it was going to follow the path and I won’t be able to get off the grass for a while, so I changed my mind, went back behind it and then on the other side once the person with the dog passed, which already caused me to lose a fair bit of time… And then the driver went straight ahead, towards that exit, just when I was about to get in front of the truck, blocking my way until it passed at that slow speed. So I would have been safely on pace on that first sector without this problem, but that was about it. Maybe the loss on sector two of one of the first two laps was similar to what I’d have needed to stay on pace, but on the other one it was definitely less than that, and from lap three I was too far off pace for any excuses.
I’m saying one of the first two laps because things are less clear in my mind, and while I sat on a bench and wrote down the times after finishing, though I remembered all of them just fine when I finally wrote them in a file, late that evening, I only made some very quick notes on that same slip of paper about the problems faced, without any details. Still, even at that point I was mixing up the issues I had on sector two of laps one and two, and just wrote a question mark for lap three, meaning that I only remembered that something happened during it as well, but couldn’t recall what at all. And seeing as I only actually sat down, tried to recall as much as I could and write it in a file Wednesday night, I’m sure I’m mixing up some things and possibly forgetting others.
What I know is that on a sector two I had to briefly stop because of a misunderstanding with a girl on a scooter, coming from the opposite direction, and another one was really compromised, first by a lot of headwind on its first straight even though there wasn’t much wind otherwise, making me feel that I could barely keep pushing forward by the time I reached the end of said straight, and then by needing to slow, take to the grass and stay on it for several meters on the second straight, a group blocking everything but the cycling lane and two groups of cyclists coming from opposite directions trying to squeeze past each other on it just when I also reached that spot. But I can’t remember which of these was on lap one and which on lap two, and keep thinking that the one with the compromised straights was on lap two, but what I wrote on the slip of paper says that at the time I was guessing otherwise, though I made it clear that it was just a guess and I couldn’t remember anymore. I do believe that the issue with the girl on the scooter was caused by trying to clear the way for another woman who seemed to be about to pass me again after I had just passed her, before she just dropped away behind me, but I’m far from certain of that either.
Moving on, close to the end of sector two of lap three that calf did start hurting again, albeit in that spot that’s higher and on the right, so not what I used to feel at first, and on laps four and five both hips and eventually also my right knee started giving me some warnings as well. There was some more wind as well, even if nothing like on that straight, on that long turn in sector three of two laps, probably either three and four or two and three, and it’s possible that there was a little more on that sector two straight one or two more times, on lap four, five or both, though again nothing like that first time. Lap five was otherwise clear of trouble, however, yet right at the end of sector one of lap four I had to suddenly stop for a moment when a kid on a bicycle peeled away from his friends and stopped right in front of me, and on sector two I had to pick my way through a pretty large group of children and parents who were clearly ignoring the regulations as they were getting ready for rowing training and I mentioned a second roadblock on that little slip of paper as well, though I really can’t recall what it was. Think it was on that sector that a woman passed me and cleared away easily, and making way for her might have led me into the roadblock, and I remember two more moments that I can’t place, one where I had to slow and wait for a way through and another where I did a bit of a silly dance with a man, though we sorted it out before I actually had to stop, so it’s possible that one of them happened then. But I seem to remember those as being on a sector three, so it’s also possible that something else happened then and I forgot it completely, or that nothing did and I’m confusing it with what possibly happened with that other woman and the girl on the scooter.

Felt quite exhausted after that, but I stuck to the plan and went to that farmers’ market, looking for apples and maybe cabbage, but not finding any at a reasonable price. The cabbage had gone up in price, and instead of an entire area having mostly apples, there were just a few selling a few kinds of apples, all of them looking excellent and with a price to match, four or five times higher than I’d have been willing to pay, if not even more, since I was considering getting some of those that were partly spoiled and using the worse ones to make something. So I decided to go to the other farmers’ market as well, and after a bit also decided to jog there, since I had done so poorly on the actual run. Not that I expected to find anything better there, and my expectations were proven correct, so I just had a look and jogged back here, arriving just before 5:50 PM, as I already mentioned.
Still needed fruits though, and the cabbage was supposed to still be on sale that day at Kaufland, so I grabbed a mask, went back out at 6:30 PM and walked there, using the route that’d have taken me to this Carrefour first but going around the mall it’s in, not even through, and checking prices at Kaufland first, also seeing that they were out of cabbage. There was nobody at the information desk to open that gate when I wanted to leave, but the guard came over, asking if I didn’t get anything and motioning for me to use the entrance gate after someone else walked in, checking my jacket’s pocket after I did so. Then I went to Carrefour and saw that cat litter was on sale, so I got two bags, and some more of those things for my mother, which were also still on sale, though I again ate one entire bag myself after getting back. Hadn’t taken the new 10 RON code, but didn’t need it, so I went back to Kaufland, putting the stuff in a cabinet and getting a bunch of things from there, those treats for Liza making up more than two thirds of what I spent but only some 5% of the weight… Which seemed to be a bit of a problem for the self-checkout machine, since it kept telling me that I had removed one of them from the scales after placing it there, only allowing me to continue after I picked it up and put it back down several times. That didn’t work with the soy though, even if that bag should have weighed more than a pack of treats, and I had to call the employee over to help, and she seemed to agree when I said that they were probably too light. On the other hand, had a nice surprise at the self-checkout with the onions and both kinds of lettuce, which had, just like the potatoes, already been discounted for the evening when I grabbed them, but ended up scanning for a further 30% less in case of the onions and 60% less in case of the lettuce.
So I still couldn’t find apples or cabbage at a good price, yet had quite a weight problem, in particular because of the cat litter, and was still in front of the cabinets, trying to balance the weight, when a guy asked whether I had left anything in one. I said no, since I had taken everything out already, but then noticed that he took a couple of steps away and was telling the woman he was with that he didn’t know how to use them, so I called after him to say I have used them, if that’s what he meant, and he came to ask how to use them, so I probably looked a bit strangely at him as I quickly said less than what’s in the instructions on each cabinet, yet he seemed content to just do what I said and leave.
Checked the time when I was on the escalator and saw 8:57 PM, so it sure took me a while to get back, as it was around 9:50 PM when I got here. Used that longer route too, not getting back through that mall, but the main problem was obviously the weight, and by the time I covered half the distance I couldn’t really hold everything anymore, didn’t have strength left in my fingers, so I was even considering entering a Mega Image and leaving the cat litter in one of their cabinets in order to get back for it later, but the store I had in mind wasn’t where I thought it was, and I think that’s not a non-stop one either, and I’m not sure I’d have gotten back before 10 PM. So I had to work something else out and ended up hanging the bags with the other things on my arms, so they slid down but stopped on my wrists, and I was left to only carry the cat litter in my hands, which allowed me to walk the rest of the way with only two more stops to rest, and I even made a small detour, to check out a small store that was still open, having a quick look for cabbage and apples there too. Weighed everything at the end and saw that the total weight carried, including the jacket and what I had in my pockets, was 20.8 kg, while mine, after dropping everything, was a mere 45.6 kg! That’s probably the lowest I’ve ever seen too, so it’s even more worrying, though of course at the time it was after the run and the shopping and carrying so much.

After all of that, only got in bed at 5:20 AM, and could hardly sleep. I guess I had reached that state of being too exhausted to sleep, and some muscles were hurting too, was agitated, and definitely dehydrated. Eventually managed to get some three to three and a half hours, mainly in two parts of about one hour and a half each, with a long time spent tossing and turning and even getting up and ending up doing two more sudokus in between. That second period of sleep was abruptly cut short when I received a message that was just an ad from my operator, and after that I stayed in bed until 2 PM, but if I managed to fall asleep again at all, it was only for a matter of minutes, once or twice. On the other hand, while I’m at Wednesday, I’ll also mention here that I again saw no visits in either view that day.

Yesterday I woke up just before 11:30 AM and eventually got up, though I felt tired. The plan was to go to Obor, again mainly looking for apples, but also for a kettle, since the one dad’s been using had its enamel rubbed away by my mother insisting to clean it too much long ago and was quite rusty by now, but he wasn’t getting another. So I left at 12:45 PM, walking there and wearing the jacket, since there were a few drops at that point. The weather kept changing on the way though, and if I eventually removed the jacket some time after the clouds cleared, not long after that I had to put it on again because it suddenly started raining quite heavily, only for it to get sunny again soon after that, and there were a few more such periods of rain while I wandered around that area. I was inside much of that time, but those selling things outside that couldn’t be left out in the rain sure had their work cut out, moving, covering and uncovering so many times. It was just sunny as I walked back though.
Back to the beginning of the first leg of this walk, crossed the road when I got to the metro station, to check out the newspaper and magazine stand that’s there, and saw this sudoku magazine there. The number and price were covered by another, but I assumed the number was 6/2020 and asked for it, only seeing that it was in fact 7/2020 after being handed a copy and paying 4 RON for it, since this one apparently increased in price as well recently, seeing as I’m sure it was still 3 RON before the state of emergency. I have no idea why the issue number is a month ahead, but couldn’t get myself to give it back at that point, so after all the mess caused by trying to replace that 6/2018 one which has been on my desk all this time with 6/2020, I fucked up… And what made it even worse was that I could have gotten 6/2020 if I’d have waited, since when I later crossed the road again, in a spot where a larger stand is on the area between the sides of the road, I actually saw that one there, that stand seeming to have older issues of all sorts of magazines. Even considered buying that one as well, but gave up on the idea, so I won’t waste and spend and use even more on this.
Feeling quite down because of that, I reached Obor and started wandering around, seeing that cheap apples had indeed vanished, and that I couldn’t find cabbage that was that cheap either. Couldn’t find that kind of kettle either at first, but did find a couple of places that had some sweets I was curious about, and which I had actually searched for on-line the night before, and at a price that worked out to being a third lower than what the manufacturer’s site listed. There were two kinds I was interested in, but couldn’t find the other and didn’t get those just then either, instead going to that Carrefour first and getting a few things to use that 10 RON code, which I had remembered to take with me that day, which things also included a few peaches out of the handful of Romanian ones that were left, just to be sure that I’ll have something before returning to the market.
Made a detour before getting back there, through the other bazaar that’s in that area, wondering whether I’d find that kind of kettle there, but that’s for entirely different types of products, so I quickly left it, decided against going to that Kaufland as well and eventually got back to the market and explored some more, finding one place that seemed promising for the kettle but not seeing one that I was certain was what I wanted as I just passed by it at first. Returned there after buying some of those sweets though, and at that point I asked and the woman who was there picked up the kettle that was right in front of me in reply, so I have no idea how I missed that. But the price was good as well, so I bought it, then returned outside and checked out that alley that’s rather out of the way, where I usually know I can find cheap lemons. And there were cheap lemons there again, and I got some, but also some apricots which were listed as being Romanian, though I have my doubts about that, especially considering the price. Then again, I got them for less than the listed price, since it was 4.90 or 4.99 RON / kg, but those who sell on that alley write their prices to try to trick customers, the .90 or .99 being really tiny and in a corner of the labels, and the guy selling those seemed to have forgotten that trick himself, since I put one kilogram on the scales and he asked if I didn’t want to add a quarter more, to get to 5 RON, and I wasn’t about to correct him, so I did just that. Also saw cheap green onions, but put off getting them the first time and then forgot about them on the way out, after having another look at the cabbage that was at the price I had been looking for and deciding that it wasn’t good enough.
Another thing I forgot was to check that recycling place that used to be there, to know for sure that it closed down, but remembered it before getting too far and returned, unfortunately only to confirm that indeed it doesn’t exist anymore. So I just turned around and finally walked back, also carrying the jacket in my hand all the way, since it was sunny and too hot to keep it on at that point, which also meant that I kept worrying that some of those sweets will somehow slip out, since the fact that I had one more small bag in one of my back pockets completely slipped my mind and I thought I had nowhere else to put them except in the jacket’s inside pocket. But they were all still there when I got back here, at 5:15 PM, though it remains to be seen whether I squeezed them too hard, since I haven’t opened any yet. And yes, I also had a quick look inside a couple of other small stores I passed by on the way, even making a detour at one point, still looking for apples and still seeing those high prices. Had seen two selling some at somewhat more reasonable prices at Obor, in areas that were rather out of the way, but those are clearly just selling, it didn’t say where they were from and the prices were still higher than what I used to pay for apples anyway.

Also finally did those last two puzzles to finish that old sudoku magazine last evening, though I’m yet to replace it on my desk. But now I should move on to today, when I kept waking up yet again, though the second time it was because somebody was insistently knocking and ringing the doorbell at 9:30 AM. Waited for a few minutes, then got up to go to the bathroom and bumped into dad, but when I asked what that was about he said he had just woken up and hadn’t heard anything, and he didn’t figure it out later either. An assumption was that it had something to do with the flooding, since some water dripping from above has been creating a slowly but steadily increasing wet patch in front of the bathroom, mold appearing there by now as well, but it seems that he learned that it had nothing to do with that when the plumber came to have a look today, and eventually turned off the water for the bathroom of the apartment that’s above ours, to stop the situation from worsening, though he’ll only get to work on it on Monday I guess.
Either way, had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, and then I woke up again a bit before 11:30 AM… Which was just as well, since there was a call at 11:35 AM, though I didn’t answer at the time, instead trying to get some more sleep and managing it to some extent, though I still woke up a couple more times before eventually getting up, at 2:30 PM. And then, when the same number called again a few minutes later, I did answer, and it was somebody from the service, informing me that my phone can’t be fixed and offering my money back. But that wouldn’t have really helped me, especially since I used a code won in a contest back then as well and I doubt that’d have also been reactivated, so I asked if it can’t be replaced and she checked and said they do have it in stock, the same model and color, and they’ll make a new order and I should hear from the delivery guy next week, so let’s see how that will work out.

The last thing to mention in this post is actually the reason why I’m posting it this evening and not tomorrow, and that’s that, a little after that call, I signed up for this summer’s Dream Trek. Didn’t think they’ll organize it, and I guess they didn’t either at first, but the new regulations allowing up to six people to gather outdoors for sports as of this week came just in time and they decided to go ahead with it after all, albeit in a very different format. There will be teams of six that will stay together and four different routes, the total distance being 56 km and each route having between 13 and 16 km, though at this point it’s unclear to me whether those covering the entire distance will cover all routes, only in a different order, or each will stick to a single route, going back and forth multiple times. What they already said is that they need more “captains”, in order to form more teams, since they had started with four, increased it to five but the e-mail I received shortly after signing up mentions that three or four more are needed, and I wonder how the groups will be kept apart if there will be two or even three on the same route and, if we’re to stick to the idea of sunset to sunrise, they should start and finish at pretty much the same time.
It’ll be very different from last year, not only because of the small groups and different routes but also because we won’t be offered anything on the way and will need to carry water and maybe snacks with us, or buy some on the way, and there won’t even be a place to leave some things and recover them when we’ll get back to the starting location, and my left calf is not fine either. So I may still change my mind yet again, possibly even after getting there, but I did run a long distance while carrying bottles once before and didn’t really feel that calf as I walked yesterday and there was only a little pain today, so at this point I want to try. I doubt I’ll cover the entire distance, even if it’ll be “only” one similar to that of a marathon, as the e-mail states, and not that total of 56 km mentioned in the post, but I would really want to at least get over 25 km, which should mean covering any route twice, or any two routes. If I’ll still be all right after that, I may continue, and if not, I may stop then and either wait or, depending on the hour, possibly walk back here and maybe even leave again in the morning, to be there for the photo at the end. But right now I need to make some pasta, and then I hope I’ll be able to sleep better tomorrow, and for most of the day… Though dad will be coming and going in the morning and someone else should be coming to have a look at the damage caused by the flooding as well…

Written by Cavalary on June 19, 2020 at 10:37 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

International Anti-Procreation Day 2020

Have only done so once before, back in 2014, but this seems like a good time to mention that June 17 is the date chosen by The Advocacy for Anti-Procreation as International Anti-Procreation Day. Of course, it’s still also the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which is recognized by the UN, and this particular June 17 is also the day when a new report and call to action, along with a message from representatives of WWF, UN and WHO, was published, pointing out the connection between pandemics and the way in which humans exploit and destroy nature and calling for measures to be taken, for this reason as well as for the broader problem of environmental degradation. But, however important, these other events and developments are being covered by many media sources today, while this little event is not, so I’ll just take this opportunity to post this reminder that it exists… And, of course, that human overpopulation is in fact the world’s biggest problem, influencing the other major environmental and social ones, many to a large extent, and making them impossible to solve without solving it first.
There actually is a brief mention of population on the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought page, but it’s again taken as a given, as if children are being born and the population increases on its own and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, so it must be mitigated by imposing changes and restrictions in pretty much all other aspects of life and society instead of gradually reducing the need for such restrictions, obviously when it comes to the actions, behaviors and practices that aren’t in themselves harmful, by severely restricting, and at this point I’d firmly say outright banning for decades to come, that one thing, having children. Yes, a lot needs to change because the practices themselves are harmful, damaging or otherwise wrong, or merely because much better ones are now possible, and the world is already so overpopulated and the environment so overexploited and damaged that, without either a significant increase in average lifespan or a definitely undesired one in mortality, it may well be that the adults, possibly even young adults, alive today won’t live to see the day when the population will be low enough and the environment restored and healthy enough to experience the full benefits of such a policy, but the benefits in all areas bar maintaining the current economic model are obvious and some will start appearing even after a few years. And discarding this economic model and replacing it with something completely different is a necessity and a benefit in itself, of course.
But I’m not saying anything new and this is just meant to be a quick post reminding people that somebody came up with this day and antinatalists, childfree people, deep ecologists or other real environmentalists, those worried about overpopulation for any other reasons, and those who in general are actually using their brains to think and not at most to rationalize their basic instincts and/or giving in to peer pressure and/or following societal norms that aren’t only no longer in any way justified but actually harmful, can make use of the opportunity to make their views and arguments heard, or even simply remind the world and each other that they exist, and perhaps also celebrate in some way. Celebrating by having sex is certainly allowed and even encouraged, but unless those involved are sterilized or definitely sterile, do make sure to take all necessary precautions… And, of course, also make sure to take all the precautions necessary to minimize the risk of contacting or spreading the virus causing the current pandemic.

Written by Cavalary on June 17, 2020 at 10:18 PM in Overpopulation | 0 Comments