Yesterday was the obvious day to run this week, so I did, and can finally say that I regained my speed. Interestingly, the time was the exact same one I managed when I said this last year, but while the weather was also good, this time around the park was anything but clear, in fact being quite crowded and forcing me to weave around people, keep looking for spots to get through, and slow and even stop quite a few times. In spite of all of that, the time was indeed 47:39, with sector times of 4:18, 5:03, 5:48, 4:28, 5:00, 5:49, 4:23, 5:03, 5:56 and 1:51, making for lap times of 15:09, 15:17 and 15:22. So, yes, unlike last year, when each lap was faster than the one before it, now each one was slower, but the real time for lap two should be about the same as that for the first, if not even slightly faster, considering the roadblocks. Lap three did seem somewhat clearer though, so the slower time is really due to me getting tired, but not by much, and the fact that I likely left a second or so at the end wasn’t because I was completely out of energy. Can’t quite say why I slowed down just then, with the finish line in sight, but I noticed myself doing it and didn’t really care enough to do anything about it on those final meters, being so pleased with my time already.
All the way, even just before going to bed in the morning, the forecast stated that the high will be 13-14°C, with little wind, 5-6 km/h, and a partly cloudy sky, which was to get even more cloudy around 5 PM. However, when I woke up and looked outside, I saw that it was really sunny, and when I opened the window it definitely seemed warmer than it should have been, so I checked the weather then and saw 19°C! The wind was listed as around 10 km/h, but it didn’t seem like it when I looked from inside. What this meant was that I went out just in a t-shirt, since there was definitely no reason to take the jacket anymore, which I had planned to do at first, according to the forecast. So no additional weight to carry at all, barely faint traces left of the symptoms left after the flu, and the rib was much better as well, in fact that day being the first when I noticed I could get up normally after waking up, without needing to find a “good” way to move. There was, and still is, some pain, but nothing like it used to be, though that spot is definitely swollen. And I finally took my running shoes again too, which obviously helped as well.
Did feel a bit of wind at the start, but can’t say I noticed it anymore after a while. The people, on the other hand, were a serious problem, many not even caring to leave some room when they were just walking from the opposite direction and seeing that I was running and trying to hold a certain line, and I was trying to prepare myself mentally for failing to get under 48:30 once again. Even after those first two sectors that were faster than expected I only just started to hope to get there again, not for anything better, even getting back to thinking I won’t make it after the roadblocks on lap two. It was only at the end of lap two that getting under 48 minutes started seeming possible, yet even then I thought it was going to be very hard, and it obviously wasn’t. With a clear path, I’d have quite clearly been looking at a top three time, possibly even a new second best, though at the same time I’m not sure I’d have pushed so hard in such a scenario, since now I knew I had to give it absolutely everything whenever I had a bit of space and did so.
For once, dogs seemed more of a problem than children, and mothers who have eyes only for them and get in the way. There were still plenty of them not looking, or the children not coordinating their movements either, and getting in the way, but women pushing prams even cleared the way, being ahead of me, through the crowd that was in front of one of the food stalls on the first two laps, and without a similar “service” on the third I had to go around the bench on the inside of that curve, not really cutting the curve since I went right back on the path after the bench. On the other hand, definitely noticed the issues caused by dogs stretching leashes and barring the way through the already narrow spots between people, and not just in the area around the entrance of the area meant for dogs. On sector two of lap two it was first a situation created by dogs that caused me to have to stop for a moment, though a child probably trying to get a little bit away from the dogs and people coming from opposite directions were the other “ingredients”. And the second issue on that sector had to do with four or so people with dogs coming one after the other and me just barely managing to weave my way around all but the last one, when the stretched leash completely blocked my way and I had to stop and step to the side to get around the guy holding it. On the other hand, there was even an issue with another runner, who was admittedly running in the same direction but should have been aware that I was just about to pass her when she just stopped in front of me and turned to hug another woman, with a baby, that she obviously knew. Almost ran right into them, and probably should have done so, on purpose.
The worst moment was at the start of lap two though, under the bridge. One of those maintenance trucks was just getting under the bridge, driving very slowly, and a guy was walking in front of it, apparently unaware until he noticed the two women pushing prams in the opposite direction stopping next to the wall and me trying to get as close to the wall as I could too, at which point he suddenly looked around and stepped aside, seeming a bit startled. However, that left me completely stuck behind those women, since the truck’s mirror was pretty much just above their shoulders, there was absolutely no way through until at least the mirror cleared them, at which point I also somehow just squeezed through. Likely lost some five seconds just there.
Didn’t feel tired after the run, but I guess I was, since this morning I had one of those dreams within dreams to a quite extreme extent, four or five “layers” of it, with just the first one seeming a regular dream. After that, it seemed that I had woken up, but was in fact still dreaming, seeing myself here and now but with something not quite right, as it tends to happen in such cases, the unusual elements being less obvious each time. The last time I “woke up” without actually waking up, I was getting quite desperate, and was also for some reason really sad because I had heard dad making pancakes in the previous dream and the fact that it had been just a dream meant that after all that mess I didn’t have pancakes either, and curled in a ball and cried, possibly screamed as well, not sure anymore, but of course that was also a dream, and I then woke up from that as well. Was rather surprisingly calm when I was actually awake though, just waiting for it all to settle. Did wonder what was real and what had been a dream about a few things for some hours though.
As for Sunday, grabbed two very short “games” from itch.io, No Response and Causeway, since they were again free at the time and at least No Response seems to be appreciated if taken for what it is, a very short experience, a “walking simulator” meant to just put the player in a certain state. In a way, grabbed them because they’re not on MobyGames and I thought it’d be something relatively easy to submit too, but couldn’t do that since they seem to be 64-bit only, though I definitely see no reason why they’d need that, so I couldn’t play them. But at least I managed to do the usual 100 squats in a very fast time again that day, since I timed myself again, pushed hard and finished in 2:49, so just three seconds slower than what is likely my fastest time, since I highly doubt I do them so quickly when I don’t time myself.
However, things got interesting, in a bad way, at night. Dad had taken a bath, finishing around midnight, I went to the kitchen at 1 AM, got some things ready, then went to pee at 1:20 AM… And stepped right into quite a puddle. He didn’t tell me or ask me to do something about it if he didn’t manage to sort it out, didn’t even leave a note for me to find after he went to bed, but he had somehow managed to leave a few millimeters of water on the bathroom floor, likely even one centimeter in the corner. One of the rugs, the one with the rubber back, was set to dry, but the other, smaller, one, made out of a part of a carpet, was right in the puddle, completely soaked, the two little things I had placed in the corner to catch the moisture dripping off the cold water pipe when it’s cold outside and that gets really cold were floating freely, one of them a good half a meter away from its place, and the mop was just left in the middle of the puddle, with the handle discarded somewhere. Not its actual handle, as dad broke that one apparently opening or closing the window with it, so this one doesn’t fit it properly and it’ll keep coming off. There is a handle from something else that does fit, but he won’t remember what it is even when just told, so he told me yesterday that he just got annoyed by it coming away and left the mop there to just soak up the water on its own, which of course couldn’t happen with such a quantity. Managed to clean up well enough, but it took me 20 minutes, and with the water having been there for well over one hour to begin with, maybe even two hours, depending on exactly when it ended up on the floor, I definitely worried that we had flooded the downstairs neighbor… But maybe we didn’t, since I didn’t hear anything about that.