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After Bucharest Half Marathon 2018

For the first three days after taking part in the half marathon, I kept going out to buy a few things, Monday going to Auchan, where I also took the plastic bottles and one can which had gathered, though at first the recycling machine was open and there was no bin inside, so I thought it was broken and just took everything to the underground parking lot, only to see it closed and functional again when I got back, making me run right back to pick the stuff up again. But otherwise I just went there for bread, ending up getting the kind I usually do because they no longer seem to make the cheaper kind I was actually looking for then, having replaced it with something a bit different and also almost 50% more expensive. I also got one more big bag of corn puffs, as that worked out to a total I’d more easily get exact change for. And, since the actual price was a little bit lower than the listed one, it also proved once again that price errors really are mistakes there, going either way while in the other hypermarkets the real price is pretty much always higher than the listed one when there are such errors.
Tuesday I first checked Carrefour and Kaufland, just grabbing one thing from each, then actually checked Carrefour again on the way back, to see whether any yogurt that expires soon and is therefore deeply discounted had showed up, but there was none. Then went to the other Kaufland, since the red cabbage was listed there as just being from Romania, while at the one I usually go to it’s listed as from Romania or Poland, which I take to mean it’s actually from Poland. Sure, it’s also possible that they just “forgot” to add Poland at the other one, but I did the best I could to avoid imported things when I can, as usual. And I also went to that farmers’ market, just getting apples and some green onions. Couldn’t get what seemed to me to be the better cheap apples though, since as soon as I got close the guy selling them noticed, called me over, asked what I wanted, so I had to get away, even more so after having already had an unpleasant interaction that day, after picking up a coin I spotted behind one of the empty checkouts while I had stopped there to put the cabbage in my bag, a guard coming and calling after me when I walked away, telling me I’m not allowed there. But could pick some apples that were still all right from two others, so it worked out in the end. My mood crashed though, probably not that much due to the day’s events, but simply due to the fact that I had been on a bit of a high after the half marathon and that just went away.
Still went out again on Wednesday though, not that it helped in any way. Just checked for some of that deeply discounted yogurt in Carrefour again, twice, before and after having another quick look through Kaufland too, but again there was none. There were some things in that spot, including two kinds of milk which had been placed there quite early, as they were all expiring on May 21 and normally they put things there if they expire in no more than three days, so I guess I got there just a little too late for yogurt. Not that I needed it anyway, as I didn’t eat much yogurt lately and as a result even what I still have is expiring soon, so picking up some more that I’d have had to eat even sooner would have actually been a problem.

But the good thing that happened last week was Friday, when I ran and pretty much smashed my previous record for ten kilometers, taking it to 46:39! And since my stopwatch said 46:39.19 and I’m quite sure I started it a bit early this time, likely close to a second early, it was likely less than 46:39 and therefore something I’d have listed as 46:38, but now it is what it is. Sector times, if only taking seconds into account, as I usually do, were 4:16, 4:50, 5:25, 4:14, 4:51, 5:45, 4:29, 5:03, 5:58 and 1:48, making for lap times of 14:31, 14:50 and 15:30. However, since there are plenty of new records there, I also tried to remember the exact times, and I know the first lap time was 14:31.78, which at least makes it likely that the real time wasn’t less than 14:31, even considering the fact that I started the stopwatch early. The second lap time was less than 14:50 though, actually being 14:49.34. Also know that lap two’s first sector time was 4:14.14, while lap one’s third sector time was 5:25.08. Lap two’s third sector wasn’t bad either, the exact time actually being 5:44.33. The problem is that I don’t know the exact new sector two record, since I didn’t really look past the seconds when I saw 4:16 after the first sector, meaning that the 9:06.70 I saw after two sectors can mean anything between 4:49.71 and 4:50.70 on sector two. Do know that lap two’s sector two time was actually 4:50.87 though, so that was a tiny bit slower either way.
Still, while I wanted to list those exact times somewhere now that I know them, I’ll consider the times as if I’d just look at the seconds, as I did so far. That means a new record on ten kilometers, 46:39, a new lap record, 14:31, a 14:50 on lap two that’s not just a new lap two record but also the second fastest lap so far, a new sector three record, 5:25, a new sector two record, 4:50, and a 4:51 that’s the second fastest sector two, and something that now becomes a three-way tie for the first sector record, at 4:14. The overall, lap and third sector records were just smashed, by 43, 20 and 17 seconds, respectively, while the sector two record improved by just two seconds, but that’s something as well, as is the fact that I did that very fast first sector on lap two. Couldn’t maintain that sort of pace on lap three, but by then I could afford to lose a fair bit.
And managed that even though the wind was quite a problem at times, making me turn my head to the side and push through in some areas, there were a few people to go around as well, even if that didn’t cost me more than a few seconds in total, and I didn’t exactly prepare for this run, in fact not even as much as I usually do. Again couldn’t even take a shit before leaving, didn’t even drink anything, as the tea was still too hot, didn’t eat one of the things I usually eat before a run, and also didn’t take one of those magnesium things that I decided to make some use of before runs, after they were apparently bought for dad some time ago and allowed to expire in March without him taking them. But I just went for it, pushing every step of the way to see what will happen, and this was the result… Even if it did leave me feeling drained for the rest of the day, way more so than the half marathon did. Then again, I was a whole lot faster now, as it works out to averaging 12.86 km/h compared to 11.31, and I drank more fluids during and immediately after the half marathon itself than I normally do in an entire day, plus eating what adds up to probably about six apples, that energy bar, the energy tablet, and all the pasta the evening before, while this was done on even less “fuel” than a regular run otherwise.

Unfortunately, the next day brought the week’s bad thing, as my UPS briefly turned off my computer as I was writing the previous post. Had just finished the first paragraph of the part about picking up the race kit, was correcting a word, and suddenly my computer rebooted and the UPS started beeping continuously. Not that I’m sure why it rebooted instead of staying off, which is what it should be doing in case of a power failure, but maybe it was so brief that it didn’t “count” it as actually losing power? No idea, but I do know that I made it worse by rushing and getting the reset and power buttons confused and as a result doing I believe two or three hard resets one after the other, not knowing why it wasn’t just turning off already, before realizing what I was doing.
After turning off the computer, I looked at the UPS and saw the LED flashing red, and that and the sound should mean battery disconnected or bad battery, and after three and a half years it’s quite normal for a battery to die. But I didn’t have the data cable connected or the software installed to get any warning before it actually happened, so after getting a power strip to plug everything in and turning the computer back on, I first connected it, seeing Windows report the battery being at 8% and not charging, and then installed the software as well, which reported that the battery was disconnected. But that doesn’t really tell me whether it’s the battery, or just the battery, or there’s actually a problem with the UPS itself. I mean, I definitely am concerned by the fact that it caused my computer to lose power, however briefly, when it either tried to briefly switch to the battery after noticing a power fluctuation or started a battery self-test that obviously failed immediately.
The thing is that both this particular UPS and branded replacement batteries for it were on sale at the time at the store I bought the UPS from, but the sale for the batteries ended now, and I wasn’t sure what to order. Sent them a question about the conditions for returning a battery if it proves that I actually need the whole UPS, but obviously nobody was there to answer Saturday evening or Sunday, though the fact that I didn’t get an answer today either worries me. At the same time, while I understand that the fact that APC makes UPSs that actually last and don’t need to be replaced every two years means they need to use these rebranded replacement batteries as another source of income, you should be able to use any battery with similar characteristics and the same size, and you can find some for even a third the price of the rebranded ones. And they really are just rebranded ones, not anything that APC manufactures in any way, as you can just peel away that sticker and see what the battery actually is. So, while not keen to risk it, I looked for that as well, and actually found a store that specializes in such things, also saying that they directly import what they sell, selling one actually listed specifically as replacing this particular replacement battery, which may also last a bit longer, considering the additional 0.6 Ah, and comes with a 26-month warranty instead of the typical one-year warranty that batteries, including the rebranded APC ones, have everywhere. And it’s also less than half of even the sale price of that branded replacement battery.

All of that, coupled with being worried that losing power like that and the hard resets may have caused problems with my computer, obviously took a toll, so I slept particularly badly Sunday morning, having weird dreams, waking up plenty of times and having a hard time getting back to sleep. At one point, after one particular dream, I woke up in a fit of anger, punching the bed quite a number of times, only stopping when I was gasping for breath and my arm was starting to hurt. And that, of course, will only get worse as days pass and my computer is still plugged into a simple power strip, with nothing to protect it from power failures or fluctuations. Or, likely worst of all, any spikes.
The thing is that, Sunday afternoon, I sent an e-mail to that other store I found as well, describing the issue and asking about returns there too, and I didn’t get any reply from them yet either. But I’m uncertain about purchasing from them anyway, since they normally work with companies and actually have a message on their site stating that home users who want to go directly to their headquarters and pick up an order, since the shipping costs a fair bit, will need to have a card, as they don’t accept cash. And not accepting cash is something I definitely want to fight against either way, as a matter of principle, but in this particular case it’d also mean that dad would need to go there and pick up the battery, paying with his card, and if there will be anything to discuss he won’t know what to say, me telling him about it first being unlikely to make much of a difference. And so far I didn’t find that particular battery anywhere else, though I did find another one of that type, actually listed at 10 Ah but not “high rate”, at another store where I could pick it up and pay cash. The warranty there is listed as 24 months, not 26, and it costs just a little bit more, but it could be an option… Yet that other store seems to specialize in surveillance and security systems, and they say that battery is for alarms, while the first one, as I already stated, specifically sells that one as a replacement for this particular kind of APC replacement battery.

Considering the lack of replies, today is no different from yesterday and I’m still waiting. There are other stores that sell that branded replacement battery at a price that’s even slightly cheaper than the sale price I saw over the weekend, so I still have options if I’ll decide to go that route, but the longer warranty definitely makes me prefer this other option, though the question about how to purchase it remains. But the first question is whether I should purchase just a battery at all or I should replace the UPS instead, and unless I’ll be able to return the battery in case I notice problems, not only right away but also after testing it for a short while, I don’t exactly want to risk what may be simply wasting the money spent on a battery.
However, something that did change today is that I finally decided to pay a bit of attention to that toenail under which I have a bad bruise for quite a long time now. Being the next to last one, it’s normal for it to grow very slowly and therefore for the bruise to hardly move, but even so it seems to be taking too long for too little progress and, worse, I noticed last night when I showered that the toenail in question seems to be coming away. There is a tiny area at the base where the bruise seems to have mostly cleared away, but I’m not sure whether it’ll stop there and, even if so, whether that will be enough to prevent it from coming away completely. So I put a bit of cabbage there today, knowing that it can help in cases like this, but after largely ignoring it for so long, not even protecting it with a bandage during the half marathon and last week’s run, even though I had done so when I ran before, after noticing it there, it may be too little, too late. But I guess I just have to hope it’s not…

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