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Once Again, Mere Seconds Faster Over a Half Marathon Distance

Wanted to finish another one of those Disciples scenarios before writing this, but I still didn’t manage it and want to avoid another Sunday update, so this will be a rushed post. Not that avoiding a Sunday update is the only reason to want to write it sooner, the other one being that I don’t want to wait more before writing about yesterday’s run, since I ran again and covered another half marathon distance, the last run over this distance planned until spring. This should give me more options for the next planned runs, so I was considering it anyway, but then dad seemed to decide to insist on giving me money for a pizza a few days ago, which of course made me feel really bad. Somewhat fortunately, the place I tended to buy from before is closed these days, so I had another reason to wait before buying it, which gave me a chance to search for something to do in order to be at least somewhat able to justify buying it, which led to the decision to not only move this run forward, but also push for another record over this distance.
Yes, I managed that new record, 1:48:20, a mere six seconds faster than the previous one. Of course, the difference is that said previous record was quite accidental and I think I could have done a fair bit better if I’d have really tried, while now I did prepare a bit, actually aimed to make a new record and pushed as hard as I could all the way. But I didn’t do better last time, so this is the record, with all the time gained over the first three laps. After gaining 31 seconds over the first lap, 23 over the second and six over the third, I was exactly a minute ahead of the previous time, so after lap four marked a loss of three seconds it was a matter of controlling that loss and I just managed it, with ten seconds lost on lap five, 20 on lap six and 21 over that last portion. Sector times were 4:23, 5:14, 6:07, 4:35, 5:16, 6:08, 4:39, 5:21, 6:09, 4:42, 5:22, 6:19, 4:47, 5:28, 6:26, 4:52, 5:35, 6:26, 1:58, 6:41 and 1:52, making the actual lap times 15:44, 15:59, 16:09, 16:23, 16:41 and 16:53, plus 10:31 for that final portion.
It was pretty hot for something like this, sunny and with the reported high around 30°C, though it was 4:15 PM by the time I started, so the temperature was starting to drop a bit. It was also quite windy, the wind really being a problem in certain areas. And there were some people to go around as well, though it was rather weird, as there were areas that were almost completely empty and then suddenly I had to weave or even look for a way to squeeze through. So the conditions do make me feel better about the fact that I had to struggle so much for such a small difference, and about getting slower just about every sector, but there were moments when I was starting to think I won’t make it. Was thinking I’ll lose 30 seconds on that last portion, and possibly something similar on lap six as well, so after gaining that minute over the first three laps I was aiming to at least keep that difference over the next two, and when that didn’t happen I knew I was in trouble. Did manage to only lose 20 seconds on lap six, but that still left me less than 30 ahead, and with legs already starting to burn almost like they had over the final kilometers of the first official half marathon I ran, needing to just push through it step by step. I calculated 6:40 for that portion’s sector two, so otherwise the final sector three of a regular lap, as the worst case scenario that might still just work, with 6:35 being the safe time, and when I saw 6:41 I didn’t think I still had it in me to make up for it over that final sector. But it seems that I somehow did have it in me after all!

After getting back, I ordered that pizza from the same place I ordered from after this year’s half marathon. A regular one, but of the same kind as that large one ordered then, and this time I ordered some sauce as well, though it would seem that the kind I ordered is more expensive than the listed price for sauces on the menu, which the person who replied only told me after confirming the order, at first saying that the listed prices and therefore the total I mentioned were correct and correcting a bit later, when I had already left the computer. Admittedly, it is listed there with the correct price, but not as a “sauce”, so I thought that referred to something different. Got back and noticed that message after a few minutes, so it’s a good thing I had some coins in my pocket to have the exact amount. Would have intended to leave the delivery guy a little tip if I wouldn’t have ordered a sauce, paying the same amount as what I thought I’d have had to pay with a sauce, but when a somewhat more interesting sauce was offered among the options I decided to get that as well, and then ended up actually paying 1 RON more than I intended even without any tip anyway.
The guy came almost suspiciously quickly though, only just over 20 minutes after I was told it’ll be between 45 and 50, and seeing as I don’t quite see how it’d take less than 15 to drive here from where they are. And he was actually here a bit faster than even that, since he first called to say he was at the door without actually being here. I said I didn’t hear anything ringing, he said he only knocked, I rushed to get the keys and open, but there was nobody at the door when I did. Wondered what to do for a moment, then decided to go down to the building’s door, in case he was actually there, but that was when my phone rang again, the guy apologizing and saying he was accidentally at the next building and will get here right away. He was very apologetic once again when he did get here, but I was just slightly amused. And the pizza was again very good, even though I do still wonder how could it have been made so quickly.

Was so dehydrated though, the pizza, with two kinds of cheese, probably not helping either… Drank two liters of tea that day, and I very rarely drink more than one liter or so per day, also ate watermelon before leaving to run, and I still felt very thirsty, which again very rarely happens. That was probably at least part of the reason why I couldn’t sleep at first, so after tossing and turning for a good hour, at 6:20 AM I got up and made myself more tea, then played some more Disciples, after not playing at all the previous day. Eventually, with another half a liter of tea in me, I got back to bed a bit after 8 AM… Only for my phone to beep minutes later because the battery was almost empty, so I plugged it in to charge and then got back to bed yet again, finally managing to fall asleep a bit later. It was just 1 PM or so, maybe a few minutes after 1 PM, when I woke up again though, and got up then as well. Tried to take a nap in the evening, but dad decided to continue working on something he started to do in the bathroom yesterday just then, so I hardly got any more sleep.

And now let me get back to mention a few earlier things as well, so I won’t end up needing to catch up again later. In fact I’ll start by going just a little earlier, to the night before the run, when I was making a note of it being just a beautiful summer night. Not hot, clear starry sky, no wind to speak of, stillness and silence that the crickets only enhanced, and the orange glow of the streetlight behind the building only adding to it. I’m usually quite bothered by these lights, but these orange ones can enhance these moments… And remind me of the nights when I was living with Andra, or still there after she left, and happened to be on the balcony at a very late hour, looking down at a similar streetlight in front of the entrance of the next building and thinking the same thing.

To finish this, I’ll also mention that on August 1 I took out the recyclables, after dad had cleaned up some stuff and there ended up being a lot of boxes to throw away, among other things. Also noticed, when I put my pants on, that the pen which should have been in a pocket was no longer there, so not sure what I did with that, and while I see one like it in the kitchen I doubt I somehow left mine there. Either way, had a few bags to fill with everything dad had taken out, the plastic which had also gathered and a few old electronics he was throwing away as well, and took the opportunity to take the used batteries which had also gathered. After dropping off the paper and plastic, went to Carrefour to try to exchange those batteries for two new ones, according to the sign, but the person at customer service saw me holding them while standing in line and told me they had no batteries to give before it was my turn. So I just walked away, had a quick look inside, then went to the nearby Kaufland as well, dropped off the electronics there, put the batteries in a pocket since I no longer saw the sign advertising a similar exchange scheme there, had a quick look inside there as well, then came out and asked the person at customer service whether they still exchanged them after all. At first she told me I could go in, leaving me confused, but when I asked where should I go, and repeated the question about the batteries, she apologized and said she thought I had asked whether I could go in with the little bag I had them in, then did exchange them for two new ones.

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