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Being Seconds Faster Over a Half Marathon Distance and the Rest of the Week

To continue from the end of the previous personal post, I’ll actually need to start with Sunday, when I managed to complete Her Story, unlocking all remaining videos. Haven’t played anything else since, but at least Tuesday I wrote the review for Her Story as well, even though it’s rather difficult to talk, or in this case to write, about that as one would about a game.

Something weird happened that night, when my computer decided to set the clock forward by another hour. According to logs, that happened at 2:13 AM and I didn’t realize it when I got back after eating, only noticing after 3:03 AM, when it synchronized with a time server, for some reason for the first time since March 12, and my connection reset twice as the time was set back to what it should have been. Or perhaps my connection reset first and that prompted it to synchronize, but the times are weird either way, though the logs state that this happened last year as well, also at odd times.
It actually took me a moment to realize the time issue even then, because Micky had slipped into my room again earlier, when I left the door open a crack behind me because I wanted to go back to the kitchen for something and she ran past me, again heading straight for the desk, as I tried to make her go back by walking to her, so I thought she might have gotten behind the computer and moved that cable again, and the effect only appeared later. But I did handle things differently then, walking slowly out, getting what I had to get from the kitchen, then slowly coming back and finding her trying to get under everything on my bed again, not under the desk or behind the computer, so I could pick her up easily.
Either way, once I realized what had happened and checked the logs, I pretty much shrugged and assumed that was the end of it… Only to check running processes some 45 or 50 minutes later and find that my CPU was not at 100% and only one SETI@home work unit was running. Checked BOINC Manager and it showed two as running, but it looked as if it was making no progress. Suspended them, they showed up as suspended, but no others started, nothing was logged, in fact nothing but two connection attempts being logged between the time the clock was moved forward and when I restarted the Manager, and checking running processes revealed no change. Tried to close BOINC Manager, also telling it to stop work, and while the Manager itself closed, the other processes, including the one started then, remained there, and later I saw a timeout in system logs. So I forced them all, including the work unit, closed, then started it all up again, starting boinctray.exe manually since that didn’t start on its own, but I saw the tray icon anyway, so not sure what that does.
After all of that, I saw one work unit, not sure whether the one I forced closed or the one which I guess should have finished before I noticed the issue, immediately quit with an error, but otherwise it seemed to work fine, though I also rebooted before going to bed, things seeming fine after that as well. And there was no repeat of the issue since, the only somewhat odd thing being that it reports my CPU being nearly 2% slower than it should be with integer operations, telling it to run benchmarks a few times producing results within a few points of each other. Reported floating point speed is normal though, and in fact at the high end of the normal range of results.
One more thing I’ll add here is that all of this meant that Monday morning marked probably the first time when my daily backup script had nothing to do. There have been a number of times, since giving up on writing my story, when I realized I hadn’t done anything in any of the folders it checks and made a quick edit in the text file I use for all sorts of notes, or deleted some file I no longer needed but still had lying around, or played a game of Minesweeper, or did some other such little thing just so it’ll have something to do and the log won’t look as if I hadn’t really used the computer that day, but that mess made me no longer think about it in time. I remembered when I was already in bed, but didn’t feel like getting up and turning the monitor back on just to do something for that reason.

Moving on to Monday night, I was actually getting worried about my LAN chipset, because my connection reset several times, but maybe those resets are caused by it detecting that there’s a problem with the data received and trying to reset to see whether that fixes anything. And I’m saying that because there were some windy days then and Tuesday, minutes after I got on the computer, I lost Internet access and was told a cable was torn, so it’s possible that the wind had damaged it and that was when it failed completely, but the damage would have caused issues before that moment as well. And the fact that it didn’t happen again after it got fixed that evening would seem to support this idea as well.

But the most notable thing I did this week was Wednesday, when I covered the distance of a half marathon through the park again, and despite skipping all those runs lately and the fact that there were plenty of people in the park and it was also rather windy at times, I actually managed 1:53:11, beating the previous record, set on the previous such run, which was last April, by all of eight seconds. Sector times were 4:34, 5:23, 6:20, 4:50, 5:25, 6:33, 4:54, 5:34, 6:25, 5:07, 5:37, 6:35, 5:06, 5:40, 6:36, 5:12, 5:49, 6:46, 1:59, 6:47 and 1:59, making for lap times of 16:17, 16:48, 16:53, 17:19, 17:22 and 17:47, plus 10:45 for the final part. So, compared to a year ago, I gained 18 seconds over the first lap and five over the third, but lost three over the second, 13 over the fourth, one over the fifth and six over the sixth, getting to the end of the six full laps in exactly the same time as back then… And then gaining those eight seconds over that last part, six of them over its first sector and one over each of the next two. Since I was in damage limitation mode since lap four, having the lap times from a year ago memorized and seeing how much I had lost then and that I kept losing time after that as well, that seemed rather unlikely at that point, but I just pushed and it happened.
Felt quite good from start to end though, and also after, when I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be and my legs and joints didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would. Did do a few things to prepare for this run, but in the end it was a matter of getting out there and just running 21.1 kilometers after having my running schedule get so messed up lately, managing it without hitting a wall or noticing any problems. Again didn’t even feel like I was about to shit myself either, and that’s a good thing, because I didn’t even take garlic with me again. Had two of those mint and eucalyptus candies, but felt no need for those either, so just took one after I was done, as I was walking back and going through all the times in my mind, to make sure I was remembering them correctly.

I did something to a muscle that night though. And it didn’t have to do with my legs, but with my left upper arm, where I felt like something tore a bit as I stretched to the bathroom window and pulled it back open, when I went there before eating and saw that dad had closed it even though we had both had a bath that evening and there was still a lot of moisture all over the walls and mirror. Think I even noticed a little purple line forming, but it was very faint and went away the next day, though moving in certain ways or holding the arm in certain positions still caused that spot to sting a bit. There may actually be a trace of that sensation left even now, sometimes, but only notice it if I specifically pay attention, so it wasn’t anything bad, at least.

In spite of the previous day’s run and the arm issue, Thursday I went out again, to buy some things, checking out three hypermarkets and two farmers’ markets… And “managing” to trick myself out of two apples, or maybe three if I’d have added some of another kind, as those are smaller, in the first market. The person selling them “helped” me do so, but whether she did it on purpose or simply followed my lead and didn’t realize it, I don’t know, because I first stopped adding apples on the scale when I got to about 1.2 kg, which would have been 3 RON, then muttered that I’ll add some more and stopped again when I went just over 1.4 kg, somehow thinking that it’ll cost 4 RON and meaning to replace one with a smaller one, so I won’t go over. At that point she said it’s all right to leave it as it is and asked for 4 RON, which I already thought I had to pay, after actually looking at the price tag again, so I paid, took the apples and only realized that I should have gotten 1.6 kg instead of 1.4 after going around the corner and arranging my money back in my pocket. Did consider going right back and seeing whether I could add the few more apples I had actually paid for, but decided against it.
Another issue that day was that I tried to get a code to recharge my phone card, so it’ll be active when I’ll go to plant trees, but I first tried to do that at the store next to Auchan and was told their printer didn’t work, so they could either charge my number directly, which I didn’t want because I didn’t want to start the active period then, or I could take a picture of the code with my phone, which didn’t exactly strike me as a reliable solution, so I just said “another time” and left. But then eventually did get the code from the store in the mall that’s close to the other farmers’ market, so I sorted that out as well. And also got some cheap lettuce from that second market, which means I’ll take even longer to make a salad these days, but I should be able to spend even more hours in the kitchen, so I guess it’s fine for a while, and I hope the prices for cabbage will go back down soon, because the new one just appeared, the year’s first harvest I guess, and this is what’s now available everywhere, at about double the price I was buying cabbage at before. Found some at a somewhat lower price in a small shop I passed by on the way back, but they were all nasty.

And this morning I went out again, going to the farmers’ market again and checking a couple more small shops for cabbage on the way, plus the Carrefour from that mall. Found one shop where it seemed really nice and considered at least getting one on my way back, but eventually decided against it, since I got another lettuce from the market and these go bad quickly, so I’ll need to use them these next few days, and by the time I’ll need something else I should see the next offers from the hypermarkets, after the (Orthodox) Easter days. If there will be nothing interesting and it’ll still look just as nice and the price won’t get even higher, I guess I’ll get one from there next week, when I think I’ll go to that farmers’ market again.

Not sure how many times I’ll manage to go to such markets… When I tried it in previous years I didn’t manage to keep it up for long, considering that the people selling things keep asking what I want or offering things and if I’m to actually buy something I need to stand there, with the person right in front of me and maybe trying to help, or hurry me along, or who knows what, while I pick stuff, which means I’m not thinking anymore and all sorts of stuff may happen, including tricking myself, as I did on Thursday, or worse. But I’ll see how it goes.

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