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Seven Seconds Faster Over Ten Kilometers

This week’s run was Wednesday, and the time was 46:32, beating the previous record for ten kilometers by seven seconds! Sector times were 4:12, 4:58, 5:36, 4:22, 4:53, 5:41, 4:23, 4:53, 5:46 and 1:48, making for lap times of 14:46, 14:56 and 15:02. But this time around I actually have every single exact time as well. Of course, all of these have to do with the exact moment when I happened to press that button on my stopwatch, so I’ll keep listing just the minutes and seconds normally, but if I remembered all of them like this, I’ll add them like this here too. So, the exact time was 46:32.60, with exact sector times of 4:12.23, 4:58.10, 5:35.89, 4:22.52, 4:52.66, 5:41.35, 4:22.34, 4:53.50, 5:46.21 and 1:47.80, making for exact lap times of 14:46.22, 14:56.53 and 15:02.05.
Didn’t think I’ll ever manage to beat that 46:39, but there it is, and I even did it with the jacket tied around my waist, which doesn’t just add a bit of weight but also restricts breathing a bit. Had an undershirt on too. The reported temperature may have been 17°C and the cloudy sky and the wind I felt on the way to the park, and which I can’t say I really noticed anymore after I started running, wouldn’t have been an issue, but the forecast stated that it might rain and it actually did, some light rain starting as I was starting sector three of lap three. Also meant to go to the farmers’ market after running too, and did so, which meant I also had two bags and a little money, though I made sure I won’t have to worry about losing any of that. Another issue was that I still had some crap in my nose, so had to mitigate the effects of that while running. And, while the path was pretty clear most of the time, I did need to go the long way around people a few times and there were two spots where others got in my way. The first time it was a boy walking slowly across the path, likely seeing me approach and stopping suddenly to let me pass in front of him, but doing so just when I was a step or two away and turning to pass behind him. And the second time it was a woman with a baby in a pram, who quite clearly heard me, but for some reason assumed I’ll pass her on the outside of the curve, so suddenly turned to the inside just as I was trying to get past her on the inside. Not quite sure how I still managed to avoid running into her there, actually.
The forecast I had seen before going to bed listed rain in the morning and evening, with no risk during the afternoon, so I initially meant to go a bit later, but when I checked again after waking up I saw rain from 5 PM, and since I was up in time, I left around 3:15 PM and was starting to run at 3:30 PM. Didn’t know what I meant to aim for even then though, and hadn’t even eaten quite what I normally do before a run. Was thinking to just aim for a normal time, under 48:30, but also realized that I’m in a surprisingly good form right now and the challenge is to keep it up, because if I don’t it’ll be harder to get back to it in a month. So, just as I started running, I decided to see how fast I could be over a lap, and then see what I’ll still manage after that, and that was the result. Must say that I managed no sector or lap records though, but do have second bests, the first lap being the second fastest lap and its first and third sectors also being second fastest. But what mattered the most and made that difference was the fact that I maintained this kind of pace on lap three, even if I caught myself starting to lose focus on its third sector. After two laps I was 21 seconds behind that previous record, but gained 28 over lap three, as that previous time I was quite out of it on the third lap. Covered the final sector in 1:48 both times, so no difference there.

After that, put my jacket back on and went straight to the market, constantly running the times through my mind, to make sure I won’t forget. And it was during that time that I realized that I had calculated the time for sector two of lap three wrong, having been convinced it was a new record as I ran, thinking it had been 4:49.50 instead of 4:53.50, since it had slipped my mind that I was remembering exact times and therefore, since I just tend to keep the last number in mind, what was actually 34:05.09 became “something ending in nine seconds”. But I sorted that out, then had a look around the market and decided to also get a certain kind of lettuce and some green garlic, on top of the apples I definitely needed. Saw two people selling that sort of lettuce, and since one had no price listed, I asked… And jumped away as if burned when she said 5 RON, when the other one was selling it for 2 RON each. Then also grabbed two cheap bunches of green garlic, which didn’t look too good but were definitely good enough for that price, and the two kilograms of cheap apples I had gone there for in the first place. Quite wrinkled, spotted, but usually not spoiled otherwise, tasty and, judging by how they look, less likely to be covered in all sorts of crap. Heard some more rain as I was there, but not an issue in the market, the rain being light and the market mostly covered, and it didn’t really rain as I made my way back. What worried me, on the other hand, was seeing work starting on the part facing the street of the building next to the one I’m in, so I wonder what this will mean about my Internet access, whether cables will get cut again.

Now, I’ll get back to April 5, when the noise made by dad first woke me up I think around 8:45 AM and, after going to pee, I had a hard time falling asleep again. Still, eventually managed it and it was probably around 2:30 PM when I woke up again, and a bit before 3 PM when I got up, and quickly checked to see whether the three books I had ordered quite some time ago were finally ready to get picked up. And the site said they were, but I received no message to tell me that, so after doing a few other things for a little while I sent a message to ask and they said they were indeed ready, just that they hadn’t gotten around to notifying me yet. But they say they’re only there until 5 PM and it was getting close to 4 PM already, so I quickly got ready and ran out, at 4:05 PM… And then ran back from the corner, because I couldn’t remember whether I had locked the door and it was too windy as well, so grabbed my jacket too. Still, was there at 4:50 PM and back out, with the books, five minutes later, so they didn’t have to stay longer because of me. Then I considered having a look at the location from that area of this pharmacy, for what I was thinking of getting for the cold, but decided against it, and was left trying and failing to find a way through the fence splitting that entire area in two, eventually needing to go all the way back to the sidewalk and get back in on the other side, to get to the Kaufland from there for a couple of things. Then, after squeezing myself in the metro, since at that hour they’re obviously overcrowded, I was back at 6:25 PM.

Since dad had left his monthly pass again that day, that left me with five trips on one of those found and kept in case of need and one day to use them, since it expired on April 6. Had it with me and whenever I went in or out of a station I kept meaning to ask whether anybody wanted a free trip, meaning to give two away that way. When I got out here I even stuck around for a few minutes, trying to work up the courage, but didn’t manage it. So, while I only needed two trips for what I meant to do on April 6, I then decided to have another look at that Carrefour at Obor on the way back, then drop things off here and leave again for Cora, where I very rarely end up otherwise, just to have a look around there as well, and also see how things stand with the recycling machine that’s supposed to be there and accept a whole lot more things. At the time I hadn’t yet seen the announcement made by the company that operates these machines, stating that, due to the changes in legislation, they’re no longer able to operate in many locations, and can’t accept certain things at all anymore. They still claim that some machines will continue to operate, but what I saw seems to indicate otherwise, so I’ll see how things develop.
But I should start from the beginning, and that was waking up earlier, since the only location of the Library that has Interstellar is in the area I had to go to anyway and Saturday it closes at 1 PM. So I decided to see that, legally, as well, since I got started, and left at 11:50 AM, getting there around 12:30 PM despite having missed that street at first and needing to turn around after a little while, when I realized it. Even though there were quite a few other people there and a bit of a line was forming, I was out at 12:40 PM, so no problems about the closing time.

After that, went to the “Turkish culture” event taking place nearby, getting there at 12:50 PM. Expected some free food, but not as many different and interesting things as I got, and actually seem to have missed two other kinds of dessert. If I’d have been there later, I’d have missed a fair bit more, but while the event was supposed to start at 11 AM, those from a Turkish restaurant were just setting things up when I got there, while the man from the Turkish cuisine stand seemed to have just brought out samples, of four different dishes, and was being interviewed by a television crew. It was unpleasant that when I went to grab some of those samples, after the interview was over, I noticed a bit too late that they were still filming, just to get shots of people taking the samples, and caught me as I went for the same sample a woman was also going for, then stopping and waving her ahead. It’s likely that only my hand would have been visible, but watched the two-minute piece about the event that was on the news at that TV station and saw that they didn’t use that bit at all.
Either way, just took samples of two dishes at first, but saw that they were all being taken quickly and meant to get the other two as well, so before doing so I rushed to eat one, which I found very tasty but couldn’t identify even when I tried to look it up later, since I obviously didn’t ask. At the time rushing seemed necessary, since I just grabbed the last sample of one of the dishes, but then noticed that they kept bringing more, so running out of those didn’t seem to be an issue. On the other hand, rushing was required to get what that restaurant brought, people crowding there as soon as they finished setting things up. As such, since I first finished those first samples and then waited calmly in line, I watched one of the dishes run out right before my turn came, got the last pieces of two kinds of dessert and seem to have missed out on two more kinds completely. They were giving some decent portions of the dish I did still catch though, and which I might or might not have correctly identified, and of the salad, and they did bring some more as I ate, though this second “round” seemed to be the last. So, when I saw that, I felt less bad about the fact that, after not realizing that the line just continued and walking out of it to grab a plastic fork, I let a few people get ahead but eventually cut back in, in front of a woman who therefore missed out on those two kinds of dessert that I got the last pieces of at that time. She stared at me for a bit, but didn’t say anything, instead just asking them whether they’ll be bringing more.
Since I had two plates and things that needed to be eaten more properly, unlike those first samples, I went to one of the small tables and started eating, and while I was there I saw others come with plates including those two kinds of dessert which I hadn’t seen at all. However, I did take quite some time to eat and just about everything was gone by the time I finished and had another look, though I did see two pieces left of that dish I had just missed the first time and just stuck my fork in one to get that as well. Told the guy who was there that I had missed it the first time, but I’m actually not sure he knew Romanian. The girl did, but she was handling the desserts, and after there was nothing left for her to do she went to restock the cooler where they had drinks as well, at which point I also grabbed a bottle of some orange juice. Had been reading some more of the booklet that was being given there, being left rather on my own in the middle of that room, most people clearing away after the food was gone, and when I saw her there I actually meant to go help, but couldn’t get myself to offer, so ended up asking what they had available, since I had walked up to her obviously meaning to say something, then grabbed what I had meant to grab in the first place.
Otherwise, while eating those samples, waiting and even after that, I looked a few times at the paper marbling area, children usually giving it a go and a few actually managing to make some pretty nice things, one girl in particular making quite a work of art in a few minutes. There was a place to make little pieces of pottery too, but I just quickly glanced at that without much interest, and of course completely ignored the coffee that was also being offered. Did have a look at the stuff handed out by what I guess was a travel agency, but just put back what a guy handed me, ignored the quite large magazine they also had there and only grabbed the thing about Gobekli Tepe. However, as I was standing there, quite alone in the middle of that room, and finishing reading that booklet, a man came to me with that large magazine, saying that he enjoys seeing people who want to know everything, that I reminded him of himself in his youth, seeing me read like that, and he brought me that “very interesting” magazine which I “must have missed”. I hadn’t missed it and the interaction was rather awkward, with him also saying he doesn’t have much time left and was born in 1944 and me not quite managing to figure out even what I meant to say, much less actually say it, but I eventually just took that magazine, finished reading the booklet, had another quick look around and left, at 2:10 PM. Saw a couple of men outside, bringing a lot of what at first glance looked like wine, but could have also been coffee or who knows what else, and then some crates as well, and meant to offer to help them too, but of course I couldn’t get myself to say that either.

From there, went to Cismigiu Park, since there was an event taking place there that day, people being asked to just read in the park, between 4 PM and 6 PM, the organizers stating that they will bring some books to give away too and will otherwise be walking around and maybe “bothering” the readers for a few seconds to take a picture. Of course, I was there very early, reaching the park at 2:25 PM, and later learning that, using the entrance I did, I walked right past those taking part in an “urban gardening” event I also had some interest in this spring but never took part in. Did spot a few people working in a building’s garden, but didn’t make the connection until I saw the post after coming back that evening.
Once inside the park, went to the toilet and then went around the lake once, or almost once, since I stopped a little after what I consider to be the main entrance, not getting all the way back to the one I used. That seemed like the best place to sit down, not that close to that entrance but just a bit farther on, so I did so, even though I was reconsidering it after seeing some people from an alliance of parties that I’ll grudgingly end up voting for next month, since Demos failed to gather the required signatures, and at first assuming that it was some campaign effort that I didn’t want to be bothered with. However, after rather pointedly avoiding them, I heard them say that they were doing a survey, and I wanted to answer that, so when two of them walked past me after I picked a bench and sat down, at 3 PM, I was thinking I missed my chance, since they likely noticed how I avoided them and assumed they’ll have no success. But then another guy came just as I had started reading, having taken Season of Storms with me, and I got to answer after all, albeit not without some difficulty, since he was filling it on an app on his phone and it didn’t want to accept some answers at first, forcing him to restart it after a while and then start again from the beginning. Of course I didn’t quite give the answers I’d have wanted, since it’d have required writing more in, and also missed my chance to complain about a law project that some of their members, including a leading candidate for these elections, recently put forward, but at least it was something.
That done, I got back to reading, and soon noticed a group sit on other benches nearby, which group started to seem to me to have something to do with the event, and it does seem that they actually were the organizers. I’m not certain of it, but a few things I heard there and the posts I saw later seemed to indicate that, and when I left I also saw a few books they had left behind them on the benches. Some of the others who sat on either side of me also talked about books a bit, but they didn’t read anything and eventually got up and left, but I saw plenty of others walk past with books, though it sure was weird when some were wondering out loud about the exact location of the event when the organizers had said that there won’t be a specific location and they’ll find the readers as long as they’ll just sit down and read, and in fact they were probably right there anyway. A post I saw later stated that they had first started wandering around a bit at 3 PM, and then that group that was close to me got up just after 5:10 PM, a moment before I also did. Meant to read one more chapter, but between drinking that orange juice and the strong wind, I felt like I was about to piss myself, so I looked ahead, saw that it had 21 pages and thought I won’t manage that, so I put the book away and slowly made my way out of the park, taking five more minutes to actually leave it.

Didn’t go to the toilet again in the park, or even in the underground passage where the metro station is, so it sure was a relief at 6 PM, when I finally took care of that problem after reaching that mall at Obor again. Then I bought just one little expiring thing from that Carrefour and got back here to drop everything off, at 6:45 PM, leaving again just over half an hour later, taking the recyclables as well, plus some perfume bottles which I hoped to drop off at Cora, since that recycling machine was listed as accepting glass as well. But I first passed through a fair taking place in this nearby park too, so only got back to the metro station at 7:40 PM and only actually reached Cora at 8:20 PM, after going out the wrong exit when I reached that station and needing to get my bearings in an unfamiliar area and make my way to where I should have been.
Once there, I first looked for that recycling machine, only finding some cabinets where it used to be, a long time ago, when I last saw it there. So I started wandering around, including through the parking lot, but some 20 minutes later I was back there without having found anything, not even a bin meant for glass, so I ended up just leaving those bottles on top of the one for light bulbs and hoping that somebody’ll take them to the right place. The announcement posted by that company, which I saw later, indicated that the machine from that location should still operate, but they indeed said, when replying to someone, that they’re no longer able to take glass at all, so if I’d have looked first I’d have known not to take those bottles at least. Still have no clue what happened to that machine though, where exactly it was moved, if they say it’s still there.
After that, I had a look through Cora too, but other than finding an even better discount for the cat food purchased earlier that week from Carrefour, which was of course of no use to me then, I didn’t see anything I wanted, so I was back out at 9:15 PM. Got out of the metro at Titan though, walking back from there, since I thought it’ll take me some 20 minutes to do so while otherwise it’ll take me 20 minutes plus any time spent waiting after changing trains. So I was just entering the building at 9:50 PM and had time to finally finish Sex at Dawn that evening too, so I won’t end up with a book listed as started before another was listed as finished. Did, in practice, start Season of Storms before finishing Sex at Dawn, but at least both happened on the same day.


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