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New ID Card, No Third Pizza, Protest in the Rain and Two Runs

Did manage to get my new ID card last Thursday, actually getting there a few minutes early because I had misread the schedule, thinking it was between 5 PM and 6 PM instead of 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. But several others were there before me anyway, one waving all the rest past him once things actually got going, some ten minutes later than the listed time, as he said what he had to do will take longer while ID cards, which everyone else seemed to be there for, were handed in probably less than a minute per person.
After that, I tried to do the same thing I did the last two times I had to deal with the authorities and get myself a pizza, especially since I had dad’s metro card again and had just read something about another small place which was supposed to be good and quite cheap. However, this time it didn’t work anymore, as I didn’t even get inside due to their dog, which was lying right behind the glass door and suddenly sat up and started barking at me as I moved to open it. I was even more startled because I had somehow failed to notice it until that very moment, so I immediately stood back, raised my hands and walked away. Crossed the street at the next crossing and returned on the other side, glancing towards the place when I passed by it again to see the door open and someone outside and looking in every direction, but I wasn’t about to return.
Actually, I wasn’t about to try again anywhere, as I then passed by another one of the places I was considering trying, which is in the same area, but realized I won’t be able to say a word before taking as much as a step towards the door. Did send the people from the first place a message after returning, however, to tell them they sure have a nice system to chase away potential customers and I hope nothing bad will happen to it as a result of this, but maybe they shouldn’t let it so close to the door from now on. They replied to apologize, say they hope I wasn’t too upset and assure me it won’t happen again, and also that the dog is “part of the scenery” and there’s no reason to worry that something will happen to it either, but that was pretty much it. Not sure I’d care to try again, however, though I guess it’s possible.

Then Friday came the protest, which as I said was hampered by rain. Worse, while that rain admittedly only got heavier during the actual protest, it had clearly started by 5 PM, when I got to the area. That was an hour early, but that’s an area I don’t really have any reason to go to otherwise, so I thought I’d explore for a while, also still somewhat thinking of finding some other pizza place and perhaps even ordering one while waiting for the protest to start. All I managed was to get rather lost, however, and just as I was making my way back I had to pass by a guy who had obviously lost it, sitting on the sidewalk and punching the air around a traffic sign, repeating that nobody should curse about children and the dead in a few different ways. Stared straight ahead and walked firmly past him, not turning for another glance until I was a safe distance away, and he thankfully left me alone.
But back to the rain, during the protest I also “managed” to get dad’s metro card wet when it ended up on the pavement after falling out of the small notebook I tend to keep these cards in, when I took it out of my jacket to read the song’s lyrics, which I had simply written there instead of printing. That made me worry it won’t work anymore, as these tend to be extremely sensitive to getting wet and I’ve had some of mine stop working in the past after only briefly taking them out of a pocket in the rain, but that one seemed to be fine when I got to the station. Then again, being a monthly permit, I guess that even if it gets damaged and the system won’t read it anymore, you can simply show it to a guard and be waved through as long as the date it expires on is still easily readable, but I of course preferred not to need to do that.
Either way, with everything being fine, I hopped off the metro at the next stop from mine and went to a hypermarket to grab some things while I was out anyway. That meant walking for a fair bit longer, but the rain had mostly stopped by then, so that wasn’t a problem anymore. What was odd was when I got back out and the area was almost completely deserted as I went around the stadium and through the park. Reached the back entrance of the stadium area, saw three police cars with people inside and another car coming to park there, but nobody out of a car. Then went through the gate and didn’t see any guard nor as much as a single other person in that large, wide area around the stadium until I went around and could see the other road taking me out of that area and to the park, where I noticed a woman also walking through. Nobody else on that road either, however, and again no guard at the gate. Behind the park, a man in a car and a woman coming out of it and possibly heading to her own, but then nobody else until I almost exited the park, when I saw a few people coming out of what I think is a swimming and tennis area and a few more on the last bench. In between, the stand near the back gate was closed and there was not a single other person on that main alley. Sure felt odd.

As for running, last week’s was Thursday, before going to get my new ID card, and since it was colder I was quite sure it’ll get harder to breathe later and I didn’t care to let myself breathe through the mouth again, so I pushed for records at the first two intermediate points, mainly aiming to correct that 10:01 at the bridge, which was set when the record for the full route was some two minutes slower than it is now. And I managed that, with 4:30 at the first intermediate point and 9:56 at the second, then getting slower towards the end, with the full lap being done in 16:07 and the time at the end being 20:50. Actually, the stopwatch said 20:51.02, but I was out of breath and my fingers were getting numb, so I actually looked down at it to be sure I hit the stop button after crossing what I take as the finish line, which obviously took far longer than two hundredths of a second.
This week’s run was Monday, as it was warmer and, with the exception of the wind which was still a bit too strong, the weather was nearly perfect for this. I could go wearing just a t-shirt again and maintained a completely natural pace, without trying to chase anyone else or checking the time at any spot other than the intermediate points I have set for myself. Still, I was once again slower, the total time being 20:55 and intermediate times being 4:46, 10:07 and 16:17, respectively, but what’s interesting is that not that long ago managing about 22 minutes on this route meant cramps from my chest to my feet and now I’m under 21 and it pretty much doesn’t hurt anymore. Breathing’s still the issue, as I run out of it and get lightheaded towards the end, but once I regain my breath after I stop I just walk off and it’s almost like I didn’t do much of anything. Not that it matters much when I’m about to drop at the end of the run due to that issue…
Still, the goal was 26 runs between mid-April and mid-October, to make for half the weeks of the year, and I managed 30 in 29 weeks, since there were two in one, and also already did the ten kilometer run which I planned to do no later than a year after properly starting. So that’s nice. Now idea how it’ll work from now on, however, as it’ll get harder as it gets colder and I probably will stop for the winter at some point. On the other hand, I walked past the track again yesterday and the work seemed nearly complete, so maybe I’ll be able to use that again, though it remains to be seen whether the access will continue to be free when they’ll reopen it.

And since I wrote all of that, let me also mention that Tuesday I finally received the copy of the court’s decision to reject the Gendarmerie’s appeal. A lot later than it should have arrived, but at least it’s finally here and I have more than a few words on a site to assure me that the entire mess is finally over, as this decision is final.


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