Obtaining the fastest time over 16 kilometers on the way to covering a half marathon distance and not even having a picture of it as proof couldn’t stand, right? So, the goal of yesterday’s run was to improve, the target times adding up to 1:16:40, though I also allowed for 1:16:45 and would have even been content with 1:16:46, just to squeeze under that previous record by any margin. Yet I managed 1:15:37, slashing 1:10 off that previous time! Sector times were 4:13, 4:55, 5:42, 4:21, 4:49, 5:44, 4:22, 4:59, 5:50, 4:26, 5:06, 5:52, 4:30, 4:59 and 5:49, making for lap times of 14:50, 14:54, 15:11, 15:24 and 15:18. Have the exact times for the first two laps too, and those were 4:13.06, 4:55.13 and 5:42.54, adding up to 14:50.73, and 4:21.01, 4:48.72 and 5:43.98, adding up to 14:53.71. So I have a new record for sector two, obtained on lap two, and also very good times on the first lap’s first sector and on that first lap overall. This is not a pace I could have maintained for another 5.1 km, but it’s again something I can definitely work with next month, and I even think that I’d have probably lost less than this 1:10 if I’d have tried to keep going, so I’d have likely beaten that time from two weeks ago, even if not by much.
Things didn’t look so good when I woke up, having set the alarm to 1:30 PM, because my right calf muscle and knee didn’t seem too happy, probably as a result of pushing like crazy after seeing that I had done the first 30 squats the previous evening in 50 seconds and finishing all 100 in 2:35, which is a new best time by far, after having matched that 2:46 two days before. But I had a plan to stick to and the forecast didn’t exactly give me any other options this week anyway, so I went out around 3:15 PM, after having milk instead of yogurt with my cereals and without adding the cocoa I tend to add when I specifically aim for a new record or go for a half marathon distance or more. And yes, my right leg held, the knee, that muscle and even that bone giving me a few warnings, especially over the last two laps in case of the knee, but nothing serious. I did try to spare it more on the last lap, but that was mainly because my liver started hurting around the time I started that lap, probably after pushing a bit on sector three of lap four, as after that lap’s first two sectors was the only time when I was a bit worried I could fall behind the target time for the lap, though clearly not also at the end. So I had to change my posture and snap my back the right way anyway, and had spared my left knee a fair bit until then, so I thought it should be all right to make it take the worst of it from then on, which proved to be the case.
The reported temperature was 14-15°C and there should have been little wind, but there was actually a fair bit of it and there were a few areas on each lap where it was a problem while I ran. But at least there was no rain, as there was some risk of a few drops but, while the sky went from partly to fully cloudy around the time I started lap four, nothing else followed, so it was just fine to stick to the t-shirt I run in lately and an undershirt, without having the jacket with me for the walk there and back. Otherwise, there weren’t many people, but they did still make me lose a bit of time, making me go the long way around or, quite a few times, having their dogs on long leashes and not following them when they went across the path, letting those leashes block the way as a result. Plus one particular group of parents with babies in prams that I had to get past multiple times as they walked very slowly and almost as much in a line as the width of the path allowed, only leaving one spot for others and therefore making it a problem if someone else was trying to get past them at the same time.
What was a bit weird, or at least awkward, was at the start of lap five, when three cyclists, which I at first assumed were mother and sons, overtook me as I was passing under the bridge. I thought they’ll be targets to aim for, helping me push harder as they’ll move away, but instead the woman told the boys to not pedal where the path slopes down for a bit, after the bridge, and then kept being quite slow, so I actually felt a bit held back as I stayed next to them, not able to get ahead and being blocked from going to the other side of the path as I’d normally do in that place. The boys glanced at me and tried to go faster, one went in front of me, but held back again after getting alongside the woman, seeming torn between wanting to be faster than me and not wanting to get ahead of her. But when the bike lane moves away from the path around the lake, going to an exit, the woman went that way while the boys continued, seeming released to be faster and finally starting to move away from me… For a few seconds, because just a bit later one of them couldn’t decide which way to go around someone, almost stopped and cut right in front of me as we both went around that person on the same side, making me tell him to make up his mind. Then the other one told him something I didn’t catch and they dropped back, and I think I noticed out of the corner of my eye that they turned on another path. They definitely weren’t behind me anymore a bit later, at least.
There was a potentially dangerous moment as I got out of the park, when I saw the light being green and meant to run to catch it before it changed only to notice that cars kept passing and realize just in time that the stoplight was malfunctioning, matching the one for cars instead of being the opposite of it. Meant to see how to notify someone about it when I got back, a few minutes before 5 PM, but it slipped my mind as I focused on ensuring that I wrote down all the times correctly and then changed and left again, around 5:40 PM, since I had to return that book dad asked me to get for him and the movie I also grabbed at the time. Knew I didn’t need to rush, that location being open until 7 PM that day, but I did anyway, in part because I was still worried about rain, so it took me half an hour to get there and another half an hour to get back, my calf muscles hurting a fair bit. It was only then that I sent an e-mail about that stoplight, though by then I’m quite sure somebody was well aware of it, if it hadn’t been fixed already.
A while later I meant to take a bath, but ended up mostly showering, just sitting in what water accumulated as I washed my hair, since the water wasn’t hot enough for a bath and it even seemed to be getting worse. However, after I rushed to finish once I noticed that, worried that it’ll actually get cold, just as I was about done it suddenly got much hotter, making me spend some more time just letting it run on me to warm up a bit more, if it was too late for that bath. And then I made myself something to eat and really stuffed myself, using a larger pot than I normally would, since it was already out and I had just washed it. But that meant I couldn’t quite judge quantities and time and ended up burning it quite a bit, so I’ll need to try to clean it up now, somehow, since it’s old but had so far pretty much escaped such a fate.
Otherwise, a protest for clean air was announced for Saturday, taking place in Bucharest, Iasi, Timisoara and Brasov. Saw the event when one of the “old guard” activists posted it and Demos announced that they support it as well, but the organizers were some NGOs I never heard of, which are apparently working together for this, and I didn’t see anyone from said “old guard” there, nor anyone else I’d recognize as a Demos member. Then again, it was early, people being supposed to start gathering at 10 AM and the march starting at 11 AM, and it was raining quite badly, so there were few participants, maybe just over 30. The Sector 1 mayor took part though, which could have created some tension, but the organizers were quick to point out that polluted air sickens everyone and garbage stinks for everyone just the same, regardless of their political affiliation, and a member of another NGO who started questioning said mayor at the end of the march, somewhat aggressively at first, seemed to nevertheless agree that he had at least tried to do something about the matter, unlike others.
Either way, I had set my alarm for 9 AM, but woke up earlier, rather confused, and despite waiting a few minutes I was still in that state between dream and “reality” when I checked the time and saw 8:50 AM. Got back in bed for a few more minutes, but hadn’t quite managed to get myself out of that state when I got up again and stopped the alarm before it rang. Definitely had no intention to be there earlier and wait in that rain, so I left at 10:10 AM and was at the Unirii metro station 10:35 AM, then waited five more minutes before I went out… And didn’t cross the street where I should have, so ended up having to go around, behind the National Library and back on the other side, which also meant I stumbled upon some Sector 4 workers hacking some trees until they were little more than bare trunks even though they’re not allowed to do so anymore as of this month. Also saw that some sort of classic car event was also taking place at the National Library that morning, which struck me as quite ironic, and I pointed it out to one of the organizers when I reached the location, at 10:55 AM. Then I put on one of the vests they were offering and eventually also grabbed a sign and we got going at 11:10 AM, reaching the Ministry of Environment half an hour later and people scattering minutes later, after just taking a picture and shouting a few times, the march having otherwise been silent. The organizers didn’t want their vests or signs back, but I insisted to give the sign back and I think everyone else did as well. Most kept their vests though, but I gave that back as well.
After that, went to that science fiction and fantasy fair too, getting there at 12:05 PM and again looking for that series by that Romanian author Alma knows and got me interested in. And, after having likely been able to purchase the first two books for a very low price two years ago but not realizing it in time, since I was so sleepy, and deciding not to go back once I did, and then finding the publisher but none of the books last year, now I finally got all three of them. The discount was lower, 40% when every year so far that publisher had everything 50% off at that fair, and the starting price was also significantly higher, but they’re also new editions, released some months ago, and I could afford them, so I purchased them. The guy actually first rounded up the price and I shrugged it off, but after I refused the paper bag he wanted to put them in and put them in the plastic one I had, saying that it’s better that way, considering the weather, he suddenly changed his mind and gave me 1 RON as change, therefore rounding down instead.
Otherwise, also saw that “old guard” activist who no longer seems involved in activism or politics but keeps having a stand at such fairs, but while he and those from another stand close to his had books in English, I didn’t find anything interesting, so I got out of there at 12:35 PM and, after meaning to give up on the thought, eventually decided to also check out that Carrefour at Obor one more time, going through the market just to get some more shelter from the rain and buying some bread that was on sale and some organic milk that was discounted due to expiring soon. Was eventually back here, with everything, at 2:05 PM.
The next day I finished Season of Storms, though it was one more day until I wrote the quick review. But what I definitely didn’t like on either of those days was the fact that the middle button of my mouse seems to have started double clicking. Noticed two tabs opened twice after I woke up and wasn’t sure how that happened, then had two tabs close when I just meant to close one at night, and then the next day, when I made a point of testing, I had tabs open twice when I clicked just once several times, making me start wondering when it’ll be better to take it to be fixed under warranty and deciding to wait until after the half marathon. However, can’t say I noticed that happening again since then, so I’m uncertain at the moment, and I’m also worried that, instead of fixing or replacing it, they’ll offer me a refund, especially since both the store and the importer list it as out of stock and this is the same store that did just that for my keyboard. That ended up working out in my favor, since they replaced it with another of the same kind, with the warranty starting from that day, but if that won’t be an option now, I definitely don’t want to lose this one.
Moving on, Monday I decided when I woke up to go and buy a couple of things, so eventually went out at 4:45 PM. Wanted to avoid being asked where I was going, just so I won’t be asked to buy some other things when I’m already really behind with what I want to have set aside and will be spending a fair bit next month, since it seems that, unlike last year, what I spend like this tends to reduce what I’m given for myself, dad no longer making a point of specifically adding this amount on top of that but seeming to make a total that ends up being less than the sum of its parts. However, I was unable to avoid that, since he did ask whether I was going to buy anything when he saw me putting my shoes on and then asked for some glue he saw an ad for, though I doubted there was anything more than marketing and reading the label later proved me correct. Still, I said I’m only getting something if I’ll get the money first, not after, and he just gave me a rather large amount, which made me feel really awkward, after he had seemed to have trouble even with what he had given me earlier, so I left that amount there and just took one smaller bill, which I assumed would be enough for the glue… And wasn’t.
Either way, went to Obor again, again first to that Carrefour, getting more of that bread and one little thing that was discounted due to expiring soon. Also saw that glue and checked the label, confirming that it was the same thing, having the same active ingredient and the same manufacturer, as another kind that was less than half the price, but sent dad a message to let him know of the price and he said that maybe it was better, so I decided to get it after all, since it’s his money. The problem was that it was more than the bill I had taken would have covered, so I’d have had to take more after I’ll get back anyway, which made me decide to get some other things as well, while I was there and found things for the cats that were cheaper. But I wasn’t going to get everything then, since I also wanted to check out the Kaufland from that area, so I also left the glue, and then at first also left one more thing I had initially meant to get, after realizing that the change I had was just short of what I’d have needed and I’d have needed to break a large bill if I’d have purchased that then as well. However, when I got to the checkout I spotted a 0.10 RON coin and grabbed it, then rushed back to get that thing as well, since that meant I no longer needed to break that large bill then.
After that, went to that Kaufland, looking for tofu, which was on sale. Also looked for that glue, just in case it was cheaper, but couldn’t find it at all… And at first thought I won’t be getting that tofu either, since they had every kind except smoked, which was what I wanted, and none seemed to have codes for this contest that brand has at the moment either. But I found some more in another spot and, while it was still every kind except smoked, I did find some plain ones that were at least in the contest, those not in brine being at the top and visible but boxes of the kind in brine being under them, so I dug one out and purchased it. Then back to Carrefour, got that glue, carefully calculated the other things to add up to just about all I had and got what I could, being left with just a few coins. Did find a 1 RON bill as I was getting back to the metro station though, next to a stall selling socks, but the stall was unmanned at the moment and it didn’t seem like anyone else was looking for lost money, so I took it. Was back around 7:25 PM.
As for Tuesday, no visits were recorded again, this again being true for both views, so I again can’t be really sure it wasn’t some problem with the data. But the nice, if awkward, moment happened at night, when someone gave me a code for City of Abandoned Ships, apparently just for “being nice” and explaining something to him on the Community Giveaway thread on the GOG.com forum. He seems to have trouble with English and admitted he couldn’t really understand the rules when he requested a game that someone else had been nominated for, but that’s in no way against any rule, such a request simply being next in line in case the nominee refuses the game or doesn’t reply within a week, which can and does happen. When people obviously don’t care about the rules and request games not on the list, or multiple games in one month, or are obviously ineligible, then they will get negative votes and may expect some harsher reactions from some, though even then it’s mostly ironic, if not simply pointing them to the rules they ignored, but he nevertheless seemed to expect at least negative votes for that post, and possibly also people being particularly rude, and while I definitely wasn’t polite, simply explaining without cursing or clearly being rude seems to have surprised him in a good way and he wanted to reward it this manner.
Before checking what the code he had sent was for, meant to tell him to just send it to the giveaway, but when I did check and saw that it was a game from my wishlist that I could play on this computer and which is also just $1.49 at the moment, I decided to redeem it after all, despite feeling awfully awkward about it. Think it was sent a bit before midnight, but I redeemed it after, so actually on April 17, and then also removed Caribbean Tales from my wishlist, since I gather that’s very similar but simply worse.