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Second Official Half Marathon – I

Guess I’ll start with a few more details about Friday, since I didn’t mention in my previous personal post that I tried to get some more sleep after getting my race kit but hardly managed anything, at first because my mother had started vacuuming. Did fall asleep after it got quiet enough, but only briefly, and after waking up I couldn’t fall asleep again, so I eventually got up and made myself the food I had planned to make, which I actually did mention in that previous post. Didn’t mention what it was though, so I’ll say now that it was pasta with a lot of other stuff mixed in, and it definitely was my best attempt yet by far.

Then came Saturday, when after watching the qualifying for the next day’s Formula 1 race I shaved and then meant to get back in bed, only to find that my mother had started the washing machine while I was shaving, and it’s close to my room and on top of parts of the washing cycle being loud, they also cause my door to vibrate a whole lot and my head’s very close to the door when I’m in bed, so there’s no way to sleep while it’s running. Asked her what that was about and she said she saw me around and assumed I was up, but then didn’t say anything else when I pretty much repeated what I had said the previous evening, which was that I needed to use that time left until the race to rest and sleep as much as I could, so unless they see me doing something outside my room, it should be enough indication that they should probably be quiet. Also mentioned that at 8 PM I will get up and wanted the kitchen clear, as I meant to slowly make myself a salad while watching the matches from the last round of our championship play-off, making it clear there was nothing to discuss about that when she said dad may get back around that time.
In the end, he got back some time after 7 PM, quite sure it was before 7:30 PM, slamming the door after walking in. So between having to wait for the washing machine to stop and that, I didn’t sleep much that evening either. Got back in bed after quickly going to the bathroom then, but didn’t fall asleep again before 8 PM, and I guess it wouldn’t have lasted long if I had, since at some point during those minutes he also allowed the door to the other bedroom to slam shut after going there for some reason, windows being open. But at least they were both in the living room when I went to the kitchen and didn’t bother me for the two hours I stayed there, making the salad, the pile of toast, on which I put a bit of butter and some kashkaval, and the tea, most of which to be left for the next day.
Took all that, along with a serving of the pasta made the previous evening that was at least twice as large as I’d otherwise have, to my room just as the Eurovision final was starting, at 10 PM, and slowly ate while watching, actually only finishing around or maybe even slightly after 1:30 AM, so around the same time the show did. Then I quickly wrote and posted the first post about the competition, finished getting almost everything ready for the morning, struggled for quite some time in the bathroom without managing to get much out, leaving me quite worried since I knew I’ll manage even less in the morning and there may be trouble while running because of it, quickly added just another tiny pointless thing in my story, and finally managed to get in bed when it was past 4 AM. Earlier than the usual 5 AM, sure, but I meant to do better than that, even hoping for 3 AM, and didn’t manage it.

The alarm rang at 7 AM, but I think I had woken up before then and can’t remember whether I managed to get back to sleep by then, probably because I was never sure to begin with. Either way, got up, went again to the toilet to struggle some more, as expected managed little more than farts, grabbed a little more to eat, mixing the magnesium and vitamin B complex powder that was part of the race kit into my cereal as well, and also put an apple, washed and cut in half, in a bag to take with me, added a few last things in my bag and pockets and left, around 8:05 AM or so.
On my way, I saw that work had started on this nearby road that’s part of the half marathon’s route, with the top layer being scraped off, which was definitely going to make this section quite unpleasant. And then I also confirmed something I thought I had spotted on Friday, which was that the entrance to the nearby metro station that I normally use was closed, work being done there as well, but I had already made sure on Friday that at least the other one was still open, and with the road already closed for the race, it was simply a matter of walking right across… And then waiting for about nine minutes for a train to come, so the fact that I had left just about that much earlier than planned didn’t help in any way. But I had to switch after one stop and the next one arrived very quickly, so in the end, after getting off at Izvor and glancing at the start area on the way while eating the apple, it wasn’t even 8:55 AM when I arrived in Constitution Square.
What I gather was the last round of the warmup was already taking place then, so I didn’t bother to jump in and take part in what was left, instead dropping off my bag, being pleased to see that the bag storage area was now organized, with volunteers taking the bags and only returning them if the person’s race number matched that on the sticker on the bag, and then wandering around for a while, also eating the energy bar that was also part of the race kit at some point while doing that. Pretty sure that some were offering apples there as well, but had already eaten mine so didn’t approach, though the fact that I didn’t approach them didn’t stop someone offering a free gym session and someone else offering a bottle of radler from approaching me. Refused both, the radler because I wasn’t going to drink it myself and didn’t feel like going back to the storage area to ask for my bag back just to put it in it and bring it to dad, as I did with the one I was offered when picking up my race kit on Friday.
After ignoring the first couple of announcements that those taking part in the half marathon should start making their way to the start area, I eventually went to the toilet, being pleased to see just a few people standing in line and, more importantly, that it was now possible to wash hands as well, unlike last year, even if the system was uncomfortable to use. Then, with that out of the way, I slowly made my way back to the start area, found the entrance to sector D after initially accidentally entering sector C and being confused for a moment, and carefully made my way forward through the crowd, the entrances being at the back of each sector, so by the time the start was given I was just a little behind the 2:00 pacemakers, who were at the front of that sector. And, even though this time around there was no timer above the start line, being a sector farther ahead than last year and with the start area now being in a straight line, I could know just when the start was given and start my stopwatch exactly on time.

Meant to put it all in a single post, but after giving up on even trying to start writing yesterday and struggling for quite a few hours to get this far today, guess I’ll do the same thing I did last year and split it in two, just that this time I’ll stop when the start was given and not when I actually crossed the start line. In a way, this makes it even weirder to include those parts about the days before here, but I’m not going to split it in even more parts. Now I can only hope it won’t be too long before I’ll manage to add the second part too, and that I’ll somehow also manage to include what I did after the race in it, since last year there was supposed to be a third post with that and it never got written. Maybe I’ll manage to add a few lines about that in this second post now as well, to allow for a quick comparison…

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