This week’s run was yesterday and it was a bad one, the time being 49:55, with sector times of 4:32, 5:20, 6:08, 4:42, 5:13, 6:02, 4:42, 5:17, 6:10 and 1:49, making for lap times of 16:00, 15:57 and 16:09. That’s the slowest I’ve been since that first run after the flu, in March, and other than that I actually got exactly this same time in August of 2017, while the last time I was even slower, not counting that run back in March, was a month before that, when it says in that post that I had to tie my shoelaces back twice, though I guess I’d have still been just a little bit slower even without that. Still, at -3°C, with ice in some parts of the route and considering the fact that my times haven’t been good for a while anyway, it can be tolerable… Barely.
Went out wearing the thinner training suit I wear around the house under the running one, plus obviously undershirt, t-shirt and boxers, two pairs of socks, gloves, my woolen cap and the promotional cap received when I last planted trees on top of it, and my regular shoes instead of the running ones. And the two pairs of socks and pants were useful on the way to the park, since when I tried to jump over a large puddle that I couldn’t go around due to parked cars I did touch it a little, a bit of water splashing on me but not really getting through both layers. Otherwise, jacket still tied around my waist while I ran, of course, and in the pockets of my pants I had some tissues and a mint and eucalyptus candy, though I didn’t need either, and my keys in the pocket I’m not used to have them in, because before leaving I noticed a hole in that one, probably created just by them over time. Not big enough for them to fall through it yet, but I’d have been worried about it, while as it was I only even quickly checked that I still had them in that pocket on sector three of lap three. The cap could have caused me to lose time, since it almost flew off my head, I think close to the end of lap two, but I caught it in time. Not sure of the effects of deciding not to take the glove off when hitting the button to mark an intermediate time on my stopwatch, since I had to be more careful and also turn the stopwatch to see it better, to be sure I hit that button, and that might have slowed me a bit more than taking the glove off and putting it back on. And not having it off also meant not wiping my nose, but it was actually a lot less runny than I thought anyway.
There was hardly any wind and, dressed like that, the cold wasn’t a problem either, and in fact I started sweating a bit towards the end of the first lap and was even starting to overheat early on lap two, but later it was fine again, possibly meaning that the temperature had dropped another degree or so. The ice, on the other hand, definitely was an issue. Some areas were cleaned well, though most of that long left turn was among them and that meant I couldn’t exactly take advantage of it and push there, but there were also patches or even whole areas with ice, including spots where the layer was very thin and I couldn’t see it at first, needing to learn where it was after noticing where I was slipping on the first lap. In addition to that, it seemed that in the areas where the path wasn’t completely cleaned of ice, most turns were cleaned better on the outside, forcing me to take the long way around.
Though there weren’t actually that many people, everybody obviously tended to stay on the cleaned parts, and therefore even one person could mean time lost if the clean part was narrow. One guy annoyed me, walking towards me close to the end of the first lap and staying firmly on the clean part, which oddly enough was on the inside of the turn in that spot, forcing me to go both the long way around and on ice. On the other hand, it was funny just after I started, when a couple was walking ahead of me just as I was going under the bridge, this time in the same direction, and she went right just as I was about to go around them on that side, which would have resulted in us slamming into each other, the wall not leaving me anywhere else to go, if he wouldn’t have just grabbed her and yanked her towards him at the last moment, I guess being able to better determine where I was by the sound, since neither of them turned.
Interestingly, my knee was quite fine, though I feared that needing to correct so much when I was slipping was going to make it hurt badly. Maybe it was thanks to the slower speed, maybe the two pairs of pants also had something to do with it, possibly providing just a little bit more support, but it actually surprised me… Though it was still the left leg that I had some other issues with, in the form of a cramp, albeit a faint one, that I had there for most of the time. And then about halfway through lap three I started feeling something jabbing into that big toe too, stinging quite badly, so I had to run a bit oddly in order to reduce the pain. Still don’t know what it was though, since it seemed to have moved out of that spot around the end, not bothering me on the way back anymore, and when I took my shoe off after getting back here I couldn’t find anything.
Before starting, I was saying that just covering the distance was going to be an achievement and time won’t really matter, but what I actually thought was that managing to stay under 48:30 under those conditions would be extraordinary, yet going over 50 minutes was still intolerable, so tried to see what I could do on the first sectors and when I noticed that I was off the 50-minute pace after the second one and still not quite back there after the third, the exact first lap time being 16:00.30, I definitely got worried… And that bad first sector of lap two just made it even worse, and on the second sector I didn’t recover much, yet on the third I finally did enough and knew I even had a few seconds to spare… Which seconds I lost right away on lap three though, so I started it thinking I’ll need no worse than 16:07, since 1:55 on that final sector should be all right if I won’t slow down, and ended up being two seconds over that and after pushing on sector three, leaving me tired and with plenty to do on that short final sector. But I just managed it, and without breathing through my mouth either, even if I was really out of breath for that final bit.
After the run, ate the last of the baked pumpkin I had, spent a bit more time on-line, then took the recyclables too and went right back out, to Carrefour and Kaufland, mainly because dad had said he wanted something found at Carrefour. Had initially meant to do this after the free shop I planned to check out that day, but then noticed that it was going to start at 8 PM, so that wouldn’t have really worked, making me change the plan and intend to go there on the way, then change it again to avoid carrying the purchases with me all the way, and having to worry about going in with the stuff I was taking with me in order to possibly drop off at the free shop. So I just went there first, not finding what dad wanted and deciding to not get anything else from Carrefour then either, since it means I’ll have to check out others these days anyway, but getting a few things from Kaufland instead. The queues were really long, but I still managed to be back at 7:55 PM, so it was quite fine.
After peeing, I threw the book I had just finished, the issues of National Geographic which had gathered since I last dropped some off at the previous such event, and the disk with Two Worlds II I still had from that gaming magazine in a backpack and left again, getting there just after 8:40 PM. Since they had specified that this was for presents, not clothes unless they’re really good or in some way special, there were few things there and few people in that area too. Of course, when everyone brings clothes, I definitely don’t care, so now there was at least the chance to find something interesting, but didn’t spot anything at first and was wondering whether to even drop anything off, since the magazines didn’t exactly fit the theme and, after initially meaning to drop off the book either way, I had decided to keep it for the next book exchange, since that’s where I got it in the first place, unless I’ll take another book from there, and there was none that I wanted. Plus, those packs of cards and maybe even that old clock which I dropped off last time would have been better suited for this event, and I never took anything so far, so it could be said that I gave my share anyway.
Still, sat down and wrote a little note about the game, mentioning that it activates on-line and I don’t know whether it’ll still work, but at first I just put it and the note back in the backpack and wandered around a little longer, just leaving it after it seemed that I had wasted too much time and it was getting really obvious that I was just waiting to see whether anything more interesting would be brought. After leaving it, thought that “bought” me a bit more time, so looked through a book for a while, then had another look around and spotted a scented candle, very slightly used, and eventually decided to take it and walk out… Only to see others just coming in then and bringing a number of things, which made me turn around, waste a bit more time having another quick look through the part of the “alternative library” that’s also there that I could see, the table that’s in front of that area being full, and then have another look at the new items, again taking as long as I felt I could before leaving again, this time for good, and getting back here at 9:55 PM. At least one person was definitely looking at me suspiciously, but they tend to know each other over there, kept chatting, and I was obviously not one of them anyway. Plus that I wonder whether she wasn’t someone I had a few heated discussions with on-line…
Speaking of things received for free, Sunday I won another game in a giveaway on the GOG.com forum. This time it was Mount & Blade: Warband, and it surprised me, since it had been the only one I entered for and was by far the most requested in that thread. Then again, since not many entered, that still meant good odds, but it really did surprise me… And then I felt even more awkward when, after asking about the odd code, being told that it had been a bonus code for the boxed copy and wondering whether it was all right for someone other than the buyer to redeem it, the person who had organized the giveaway offered to buy another copy and gift it to me if I was uncomfortable with the situation. Of course, I had already redeemed and downloaded it by then, so nothing else to do, and I wouldn’t have accepted such an offer either way, but it was awkward and then I was wondering how to avoid digging myself even deeper and likely failing. Either way, now I have another game, and this time one I can actually play, and I’m thinking I’ll try to do so next year, which will sure drastically lower the chances of finishing others…
Moving on, Monday I left dad a long note about problems around the apartment, and with him. Nobody to talk to, of course, he won’t care, mostly won’t even believe they’re problems, but did what I could and at least there don’t seem to be negative consequences. As for that night, it marked the first time this winter when I was cold enough to actually want to turn on the heater in my room, but when I did so I found that it once again didn’t work and didn’t feel like grabbing a tool from the balcony to try to fix it again. Had fixed it once a bit ago, checking that it seemed to work and turning it right back off after that, but I guess it’ll keep getting stuck from now on, so I’ll need a tool here if I’ll want to be able to turn it on when really needed. But that night I managed without it, just shivering here and then curling in a tight ball and wrapping myself well in the blanket when I went to bed, and it didn’t seem that bad since then, so it’s still off.
Tuesday, the noise dad made just before leaving woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so it was still before noon when I eventually got up. Really needed to go to Auchan, after deciding against doing so the day before and having to halve the amount of bread I ate the previous two nights because of that, so I took it easy, but eventually took the plastic bottles which had gathered and the light bulbs which also had to be thrown away, including that one with the cracked base, which I didn’t want to keep around anymore, and went out five minutes before the free bus should have gotten here… And ended up waiting for 17, since it was 12 minutes late. But at least the recycling machine worked, though I didn’t have many bottles this time. It was the light bulbs that I had a harder time with, since I wandered around for a bit and couldn’t find any place to drop them off, so I eventually put them in my jacket and went in like that, bought a few things, then only finally found the proper place to put them when I wandered around a bit more after getting back out, since I had done so in between buses, at least if they’d have respected the schedule.
Well, they didn’t. I was at the stop six minutes before the bus I needed was supposed to be there and there were plenty of people but no buses, and that area got really crowded as more time passed and people were wondering what was happening. Eventually two other buses came, I don’t know if a few minutes early or very late, and then the one that I can take to the park also showed up, a few minutes late and coming to pick people up right after dropping off those brought there. Did consider waiting for the right one, but after seeing that the one which was just arriving wasn’t that one either I ran to that one just as it was about to leave. Would have been here a couple of minutes earlier and without needing to walk back from the park if I would have waited, since the right bus drove past me as I was walking, but I couldn’t have known that at the time.
As for Wednesday, after starting it the previous evening, finished the book and wrote the quick review for it, also translating it into Romanian and posting it in both languages on Goodreads, since it’s a Romanian book. I may be forgetting something, but it may in fact be the first book actually written in Romanian that’s not non-fiction that I read since I started having access to books in English, and likely since before getting to know Andra. Not that there were more than a handful of books of any kind, so including translations and non-fiction, that I read in Romanian since I started having access to English ones, but I seem to remember that I was still going to high school, or at least that it was around that time, when I read Maitreyi, and that it was odd for me even then, just because it was written by a Romanian author, and really don’t think there was another one after it.
Other than that, dad was making noise at night, so around 12:30 AM I went there to tell him it’s not all right, thinking of the neighbors, and saw that he had changed some furniture to make things fit again after he moved things around again, and he asked me to help him… And also showed me that he had signed up for digital TV, since they had increased the price of the analog-only subscription and with the signing of a new two-year contract the price of the basic digital one was the same, and the number of channels is about triple. Of course, that only works on the TV the box is connected to, each additional one costing a bit more, and it couldn’t be connected to my TV tuner at all, so at first I was worried that we had been switched completely to digital and I won’t be able to see anything on the computer at all anymore, but I guess it just means we get digital on one TV on top of the analog channels still on the others as before, so I guess that’s fine. Still, I was there for one hour, trying to figure things out, since he said he doesn’t have the patience for it, as usual, and having a hard time changing channels. So, even though I was even thinking of going to eat a bit earlier and try to go to sleep a bit earlier as well, hoping to get a bit more sleep before the next day’s run, it was after 1:30 AM when I could even get to the kitchen, so had to rush to even stick to the normal hours.