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Last Two Runs Before the 2019 Bucharest Half Marathon and Other Stuff

There will be some computer stuff to deal with after the half marathon, Monday actually being the last day when I can do some of it, but I’d rather not think about it until then. And, since I hadn’t noticed it happening again pretty much since I first mentioned it, my mouse had helped me not think about its middle button double clicking and needing to take it to, I hope, be fixed under warranty, but Tuesday I just noticed it again, more than once, so the problem definitely exists and I definitely need to decide what to do about it. Not an emergency though, and I tended not to trust clicking on the wheel before getting this mouse, which was why I really wanted a button above it, which this model no longer has. Could use the one below it though, but would still rather have it fixed, of course… Just as long as it will be fixed and I won’t end up losing it, as getting the money I spent back instead won’t help.

But let me move on and say that yesterday I went out to buy what I still needed. Did sort of have a route in mind, but that’d have required using the metro and dad said he needed his card when I asked, so I wasn’t even sure where I meant to go first when I walked out of the building, deciding on the farmers’ market after having a quick look at the prices of vegetables at this store nearby. Then, after just checking prices there, I went to the Kaufland from that area, also only checking prices, and then got back to go to that Carrefour too. The kind of peppers I wanted were way too expensive everywhere, and from Turkey, and I kept thinking that if I’ll pay that much I should at least get some from the European Union, if Romanian ones don’t exist at all, but that option didn’t exist and I decided to just get everything from that area instead of wandering around more with no guarantee that I’ll find anything better, so I ended up getting some from that Carrefour, as they were slightly cheaper than elsewhere, along with a few other things.
Had ended up spending just a little bit more than I meant to, but on the way back to the market I decided to not get lettuce and just get more green onions and green garlic than I had intended at first, to make it work out. So I looked again for those I had made a mental note of the first time and got that. It was odd when I got that green garlic though, since nobody was there until I picked those I wanted, at which point an older woman came, picked up those I had selected as I was taking out the money, asked whether I wanted a bag, then just tore away a large part of the leaves, making me ask what that was about and why did she do it. Wondered for a moment whether I should pick different ones or even walk away, but she said they were ugly, which definitely wasn’t the case, and I just grabbed the leaves she had torn and set aside, saying I’ll manage to use them too and throwing them in my bag along with the rest. I mean, if you’re buying green garlic, aren’t you buying it mainly for, well, the green part?

As for the squats, yesterday I did them in 2:38, but this was as a result of trying to do them more correctly again, because the new best time is 2:21, managed Monday. Probably didn’t do them too correctly then, but I really just pushed from the beginning, specifically aiming for a new best time in order to have a clear one, after managing perhaps 2:29 the day before, with a replay starting and the time vanishing from the screen at 2:28, as I was at 99. Also managed 2:26 Tuesday and, despite my left hip complaining, even 2:23 this evening, a bit after first posting this, but Monday I really gave it everything, and various parts seemed to be failing after 80 or so, but somehow managed to do all 100 in that extremely fast time.

To finally get to the main point of this post, ran twice last week, and the first time, Monday, I managed a new record for 16 kilometers: 1:15:10, with sector times of 4:08, 4:56, 5:40, 4:18, 4:50, 5:43, 4:17, 4:55, 5:43, 4:31, 5:02, 5:50, 4:27, 5:01 and 5:49, making for lap times of 14:44, 14:51, 14:55, 15:23 and 15:17. And I actually remembered every single exact time my stopwatch listed, those being 4:08.99, 4:55.09, 5:40.73, 4:17.75, 4:50.01, 5:42.69, 4:17.55, 4:54.50, 5:43.30, 4:30.59, 5:01.99 and 5:49.99, making for lap times of 14:44.81, 14:50.45, 14:55.35 and 15:22.57. After getting to one hour, my stopwatch displays hours, minutes and seconds instead of minutes, seconds and hundredths, not having more space, so I could see no exact times on lap five, the first four being covered in 59:53.18, this also marking the first time I cover four laps in less than one hour. What’s more, I quite obviously have a new record for ten kilometers made on the way, but I don’t have the exact time, since the final sector when I run ten kilometers goes to the park exit. What’s certain is that I covered three laps 14 seconds faster than when I set the current record, but past that I can only estimate, comparing the length of the first sector of a lap and that of that final sector and using the time for lap four’s first sector. Doing it that way, it works out to 46:24, but that may well be a few seconds off.
Set the alarm to 9 AM, couldn’t manage anything at the toilet despite trying twice, and was feeling sleepy and a bit weak, some leg muscles weren’t too happy either, and also expected quite a lot of people in the park, being a free day, so I definitely didn’t expect anything like this when I started running, at 11 AM. As I was about halfway through the first sector, remember thinking that I’ll probably only manage 1:18 or so and in that case I might as well give up on aiming for anything in the race, at least spare myself even more pointless effort and expenses. But then I saw that great time on that first sector, second fastest so far, and was also noticing that there weren’t many people at that hour, that only becoming more of a problem from sector three of lap three, and remaining quite manageable even then. Think I’d have managed to get under 1:15 on a clear track, but that’s not exactly relevant when Sunday it’ll be a whole lot worse.
Felt a few drops of rain on sector one of lap two, but that didn’t last long and it was sunny after that, so I just kept pushing, having the lap times from what was at the time the fastest such run in mind and aiming to beat as many as I could, and actually ending up beating all of them, despite my liver starting to hurt from sector two of lap four, my right knee giving me some warnings as well and my attempts to snap my back and change my posture not seeming to have the desired effect until sector two of lap five, and even then only partially for the liver and slightly, if at all, for the knee. But it was enough to still gain one second on each of those last two laps, after having gained six on the first, three on the second and, most importantly, 16 on the third.
Still not a pace I could sustain for more than five kilometers more, but at the same time it did give me something even better to work with… And I’ll need to if I’m to have any chance Sunday, because I’ll need to find a way to stay very close to this pace, starting two hours earlier, on very little, if any, sleep, with a whole lot more people all around me, on a route including climbing, including two quite steep slopes, and also considering the time lost at refreshment points, plus perhaps when eating what I’ll take with me, and any loss caused simply by having a few things in my pockets.

Moving on to the final run before the race, last week’s second one, that was Thursday, and I obviously tried to more or less rehearse for Sunday morning. Also tried to get to bed a bit earlier, aiming for 4 AM and not quite managing that but nevertheless being in bed by 4:10 AM and actually falling asleep quite quickly. Didn’t sleep for long though, since I woke up as soon as dad turned the key in the door when he came back from work. Had told him what I meant to do and asked him to be quiet, but I often wake up when I hear the key in the door and at that exact moment I was also dreaming that I was reading something that I guess I shouldn’t have been reading, so that sound also made me think, in my dream, that I had been discovered, so I was wide awake instantly and the fact that he tried to very slowly unlock the door just made it all take longer. Admittedly, I heard pretty much nothing else after that, so he really did his best to be quiet, but it was too late by then, and in fact not knowing what he was doing and whether he was still awake made me delay going to pee again, which I thought might help, until it seemed that too much time had passed and I worried that if I’ll go out then and he’ll still be around he’ll get upset when he’ll realize I was awake and he didn’t need to be that quiet but I didn’t let him know right away. It is possible that I fell asleep again during this time, but it was very briefly if so, and when I did eventually get up to check the time it was just 5:59 AM. But I thought I saw light on the hallway when I did so, which led to me just crawling back in bed, to wait out the remaining hour. It is, again, possible that I very briefly fell asleep again during that time, but I mostly tossed and turned, my back was bothering me as well, and it was quite a relief when the alarm finally rang, at 7 AM.
From that point, things went pretty much as expected, which unfortunately included the fact that there was again no chance of anything happening when I tried to take a shit. Could have left around 8:40 AM, but waited a bit more and did so at 8:44 AM. Then waited a bit more in the park, since I could have started running at 8:55 AM but meant to do so exactly at 9 AM, which I did. Did slip a little at first, since it was wet after having rained during the night, but got used to it after that, though there were a few puddles to go around. Still on the topic of the weather, it was sunny when I ran, with a reported temperature around 14°C when I started, and obviously getting warmer after that, but the wind bothered me a bit in some places. There were some workers and trucks there as well, which I also had to go around in a few places, though they were not much of a problem, and neither were the other people in general, since there weren’t many of them, though a few did make me go the long way around.
Still, there were plenty of runners, and I think I noticed a few trying to do the same thing, starting around 9 AM, these including one guy I saw plenty of times and know to be very fast, as he runs in the opposite direction and seems to me to usually do three laps at about 14 minutes per lap. But those I noticed even more were the two that were faster than me and going the same way, though the first didn’t seem to last long, starting as I was nearing the end of sector one of lap three, just as I was getting to where he was, and actually glancing back at me at first, before slowly pulling ahead… Until he stopped to go to one of the toilets that’s just before the bridge, so just before the end of what for me is sector two. The other one passed me soon after that, on the next sector, wearing a t-shirt from the 2017 half marathon and being a fair bit faster.
The time was 46:54, with sector times of 4:12, 4:54, 5:47, 4:21, 4:55, 5:48, 4:25, 4:57, 5:50 and 1:45, making for lap times of 14:53, 15:04 and 15:12. And since I again have all the exact times, those were 46:54.93, with sector times of 4:12.46, 4:54.08, 5:46.84, 4:21.19, 4:54.54, 5:47.99, 4:25.15, 4:56.79, 5:50.31 and 1:45.58, making for lap times of 14:53.38, 15:03.72 and 15:12.25. It would have been an amazing time not long ago, but at that point it wasn’t good enough anymore, especially considering the amount of effort it required, needing to use every shred of energy I could find. Breathed out through my mouth almost always, quickly running out of breath when I tried to breathe out normally, my left calf wasn’t happy, my right knee was mostly fine but did give me a couple of small warnings, and I’d say the most concerning moment was on sector three of lap three, when something seemed to snap, possibly even having to do with my heart, and I thought I got a bit dizzy for a moment, though that might have been caused by being scared, and it passed quickly either way.

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