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Under 1:45 Over a Half Marathon Distance!

Went to the Library after waking up today, to return that movie which I had picked up for dad, walking there and back, and been trying to persuade myself to write this since I got back. Have no clue what the week’s second post will be, but I guess I’ll need to throw something on here tomorrow, when at least I won’t volunteer at the Botanical Garden again, deciding not to go on the first day this time around. But Sunday evening I guess I’ll go to drop off a few things at another “free shop”. In fact, there was another one these days too, Wednesday and yesterday, and a post stated that it was to continue today as well due to the number of things people left there, but since they’re supported by that place where Sunday’s event takes place, maybe I’ll be able to sign for Demos to take part in the elections when I’ll be there too. Not that there seems to be any chance for them to gather the required signatures, but I should at least do my little part… Even if I today I just restated my opposition to some of their values and there may well be a very cold welcome if I’m recognized there. I mean, got some bad looks even last time, from someone I had argued with over just this matter.
But to return to today, when I went to return that DVD, the woman who was there again left me alone, even leaving me alone in the room when I started looking through what else was available, going back to talk to the others who were in the other room, and just telling them to give her a moment to help me out when I went to the desk, with Underworld: Blood Wars in hand, doing what she had to do without another word except to tell me when it was due at the end. But when I passed by another location on the way back and decided to have a look in there as well, keeping my headphones on at first, I immediately had the woman who worked there come next to me and ask what I’m looking for, knocking on the bookcase to get my attention even though I had already taken one of the headphones off. Then she asked if I had a pass and asked for it to register it at that branch as well, when I said that I may not even take anything from there replying that she didn’t recognize me, I hadn’t been there before, and they wanted to know who comes to their library, and were surprised that I hadn’t even greeted them. I apologized for that last part without meaning to, surprised, then just had a quick look, already sweating quite badly and starting to feel that I had to get out of there. Still, since the movies were right in front of the entrance, I looked through those and ended up grabbing Gravity too, though I now see it was available at that other location too. At least she didn’t point that out, but did ask for my phone number, stating that it sometimes changes when I said it should be on file, and did point out that I had something from another branch too, then realizing I had just taken it minutes earlier and saying that as well.

To get the other thing unrelated to this post’s main purpose out of the way too, Tuesday I went to buy some things. First to Auchan, going out some eight minutes early and seeing that the free bus was eight minutes late. So I waited for long enough that walking probably wouldn’t have been slower, but it was very windy and I also had the plastic bottles which I had brought right back last time and the few others which had gathered since then. Unfortunately, the recycling machine still didn’t work, and an older man was waiting there as well, telling me that it wasn’t working as soon as I turned towards it. When I said I’ll leave them there anyway he said he’d wait a while longer, perhaps somebody’ll come and fix it, but I told him I doubted that and just started putting them on it, and after a while he came to help me… Which really made me feel rushed, as if he wanted me away from there so he could put the bottles in the machine as his own in case it will be fixed, not that there seemed to be any chance of that happening. There were 20 to 22 of them, couldn’t count too well anymore once he came to help, so worth between 1 and 1.1 RON, but that can matter to someone. Would have mattered to me too…
Either way, bought what I could, after a note left by my mother the night before, and including a large bag of laundry detergent, but not including one kind of cat food, which got more expensive there. Then again, most things did, in some cases by a lot, and that’s just counting the prices they increased a whole lot more than others, not the things that got a lot more expensive everywhere, referring not just to the butter which at some point made the news for pretty much doubling in price, but I also recently threw away the receipts that were more than a year old and saw that for example a year ago I was buying cabbage or onions for less than 1 RON / kg, even saw 0.79 RON / kg in January of 2018, and now you’re lucky to find any for less than 3 RON / kg, and can be significantly more if not on sale. Either way, got some slippers for myself too, the ones I had having been bought more than five years ago and being quite torn, and the other cheap ones bought at some point clearly being unusable. Since I recall those old ones costing 5 RON, I was waiting for a similar price for a similar model, but I only saw it for those unusable ones, these other ones being no less than 10 RON last year, and 15 RON ($3.58 or €3.16) now, so I should have bought them then… And there’s also the fact that the old ones had the size listed as 42-43, but these ones had only 41-42 or 43-44, so got the smaller one and I’m worried they may be small and tear sooner because of that, but the larger size seemed too large.
After getting back I noticed that one of the little bags of spices I had bought had gotten a little torn, or at least I hope that happened when I arranged them in my bag and it wasn’t like that when I bought it, but nothing to do about it then, so dropped everything off and went out again, grabbing the plastic to drop off as well on the way. Then worked out how to fit what I still had to get in the money I had, checked the prices at Carrefour, moved on to Kaufland, got a few things, and noticed that the spices were cheaper there but it was too late by then. It felt a bit odd when the old woman who was behind me in line rushed to help me bag my purchases, but I just thanked her and got back to Carrefour, putting my things in one of the cabinets and rushing in to get what was left. However, when I got back out I noticed that the key wasn’t turning all the way when I unlocked that cabinet, and then that the coin you need to use didn’t fall out, so after trying several times, hitting and poking the mechanism, I went to one of the guards and told him what was going on. He couldn’t help though, at first telling me to just keep trying, gently, because it should work, then coming to try himself, ending up hitting the mechanism as well, then saying that there’s nothing he can do and that the mechanisms are of very poor quality. So I gave it a few more tries, and hits, and then just walked away, meaning that I didn’t just not gain a little from Auchan for those plastic bottles, but even lost 0.50 RON at Carrefour due to them insisting on requiring coins to use those cabinets.

And I wrote a whole lot about irrelevant things and I’m just now getting to the important part, which is that yesterday I covered a half marathon distance through the park again, and managed to do so in less than 1:45! More exactly, the time was 1:44:04, with sector times of 4:20, 5:08, 5:55, 4:29, 5:09, 5:56, 4:30, 5:08, 6:04, 4:32, 5:07, 5:54, 4:34, 5:10, 5:59, 4:38, 5:15, 6:13, 1:51, 6:16 and 1:56, making for lap times of 15:23, 15:34, 15:42, 15:33, 15:43 and 16:06, plus 10:03 for that final portion. Of course, being so close, I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get under 1:44 as well, but that smashed my previous record, improving it by 4:16. Of course, if I aim to get an official time under 1:45 in May, it’s clearly not enough, since there’s the start time as well, there will be more people slowing me down, and there will be minutes lost at refreshment points over the course of the race. But it’s definitely something I can work with, especially when this is just the second time I cover more than ten kilometers since October, after the 16 kilometers covered two weeks ago.
Going back a bit, I ate the usual stuff and went out at 3:35 PM, wearing the t-shirt from my first half marathon, without even an undershirt, since I saw a reported temperature of around 20°C, though in another place it said 16-17°C and that seemed closer to the truth, and it was somewhat cloudy as well, plus that there was a bit of wind, which was a bit of an issue in some areas. Of course, it was nothing compared to how it had been over the previous days and I quite clearly wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near a new record without the conditions improving as they did yesterday. As it was, it was a pretty minor issue, though probably more of one than the fact that I felt just a little bit of pain, this time in my right knee, later during the run, and there also seemed to be a spot in my left thigh where the muscle was complaining a bit, in fact continuing to do so today, possibly having started after the two series of 100 squats I did Wednesday evening, so I won’t have any to do after yesterday’s run. At the start of lap five I started to feel like I needed to take a crap again, and the feeling got quite noticeable on sector two, making me think I should have taken some garlic with me, but then it just went away, so that wasn’t much of a problem either. So the main issue had to do with the other people, since there were a fair number of them in the park and some didn’t make it easy when I was trying to make my way around them.
On that topic, on top of going wide or squeezing through, even had to go on the grass a few times. Some won’t step out of the way at all even if they’re just walking towards you, so obviously see you and that you’re running and wanting to either stay on the inside or perhaps on a path that allows you to go through gaps in other groups, some going the same way and less likely to be aware of you; others just don’t seem to look where they’re going; but the most annoying such moment had to do with a woman who did look. There was quite a wall of people ahead of me, she meant to go around them as well, actually turned to look behind as I approached, then just stepped into the one spot through which one could go around that group right in front of me, forcing me to go around her, and a garbage bin, on the grass. Turned my head to frown at her after that, and made a few gestures trying to indicate that I wanted to get through when approaching others who were coming towards me and blocking the way, but the one time I said something was when a small child riding what I think was a tricycle seemed to lose control and just turn right towards me, almost running right into my legs and forcing me to quickly get out of the way, my shout prompting the man I guess was his father, who hadn’t reacted until then, to tell him to be careful. And there was another moment, with a mother walking in front of her daughter, who was on a scooter, and me just managing to squeeze between them when the girl’s scooter got stuck or something. It’s possible that she was startled by me squeezing past as well, but the path is paved with setts in that area, so it could have been caused by that. Either way, she called for her mother, who stopped and turned around just as I was squeezing past her as well, so I had to avoid running right into her.
Back to the time, I was sort of thinking to aim for 1:45 when I started, had some times worked out, but at first I was comparing to that run from two weeks ago and the second lap was slower. The third was faster, but it still left me four seconds behind. During lap four I was thinking that I’ll manage to stay under 16 minutes well enough on that one and, though there was a trace of concern, I should still manage it on the next as well, so it’ll all depend on whether I’ll also manage it on the sixth, to avoid needing an unlikely time on that final portion. But I ended up being faster than I thought on the fourth lap, that actually ending up being the second fastest and getting me 13 seconds ahead of the time from two weeks ago, the difference staying the same after five laps. That also meant that lap five was a bit faster than I thought it’d be, yet I unfortunately couldn’t keep that up for the sixth, going over 16 minutes. It was still the fastest lap six, by 27 seconds, and it was followed by the fastest final portion on such a run, albeit by just seven seconds, so it still meant that staying under 1:45 wasn’t really a concern anymore, but those seconds meant I wasn’t under 1:44.
On the way back I had a quick look through this nearby supermarket and noticed some bags of discounted apples which didn’t look quite that bad, so considered grabbing the little money I had left and getting one, but the 50% discount only made them a little cheaper than those I had purchased from Auchan Tuesday and the discount was due to the fact that they were starting to go bad, even if not that much quite yet, so I gave up on the thought after getting to my room… By which time I had given up on the thought of going to grab some pastry from somewhere too. Had first considered taking that small amount of money with me and going to the Carrefour from that area right after the run, but was already thinking to save that amount for something I won’t just eat right away when I woke up, so left it for later and then just gave up on the idea completely, instead eating a bag of small pretzels I still had, though it had expired in December, with regular food. And a while later I showered, only then noticing some blood on a toe again, possibly again due to the corner of the nail jabbing the toe next to it, but I’m not entirely certain and it wasn’t much, didn’t even go through my sock, and I definitely didn’t feel anything.


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