- Quick Review: The Way of Kings » »
- « « Views on Population Following Greece’s Awful "Baby Bonus" Decision
Clean Air Protest, Starting to Prepare for the Half Marathon, Catching Something
Writing this in pieces again, and off-line, and a bigger problem is that I might have caught something, so I should probably spend more time in bed instead of doing this. Did stay there for over three and a half hours Tuesday evening, since I also felt like I had a bit of a fever, on top of my throat being sore, which could have been caused by the previous day’s run. I’m also increasingly concerned that I’m developing some allergies, possibly to something I come in contact with in here, since my nose is better when I’m outside. Wondering if it’s simply dust, and Tuesday evening I also cleaned my room a little, but I don’t think that even that plus the run would explain having some crap to cough up as well starting the next day. Everything else was better Wednesday and Thursday though, yesterday there was less crap but I felt tired and weak, and today things seem quite fine from all points of view, so I also stopped taking what I had been taking these days, sticking to natural remedies but nevertheless taking some things. I sure hope I’ll be fine from now on and that this won’t mess up my running schedule, since said schedule includes a half marathon distance the week after the next.
Since I mentioned running, last week’s run was on February 13, and the time was 47:44.76, with sector times of 4:22.89, 5:01 (5:00.67), 5:48.36, 4:30 (4:29.42), 4:57 (4:56.74), 5:47.88, 4:32 (maybe 4:31.46), maybe 5:05.29, 5:53.03 and 1:49.02, making for lap times of 15:11.92, 15:14.04 and 15:30 (15:29.78). Couldn’t remember the exact time after sector one of lap three and only realized that I probably didn’t even really look at the hundredths as I was getting under the bridge, at the end of the next sector, and it was too dark there to look then, and right at that moment I couldn’t even remember what to press to get some light on my stopwatch, not that it’d have helped much. Seem to remember a four for tenths and something made me assume that it was 42, so I based the exact times for those two sectors on that, but I’m uncertain even of the tenths. But they’re poor times, so it doesn’t matter.
Got up at 2 PM, when it was quite windy, but the forecast was saying that it’ll get better after 5 PM, so I decided to stick to the plan, especially since it was unlikely to get better over the next few days. Had the usual stuff plus pumpkin, and honeycomb as something sweet, and went out at 4:40 PM, wearing the running shirt, with just the running t-shirt underneath, and the new tights, plus the jacket for the walk. The reported temperature was 10-11°C when I left and it was sunny, so in itself that would have allowed me to run wearing just the t-shirt, but the wind changed things, and I was also going to run until sunset, with the temperature likely to drop to about 6-7°C by then.
At least the wind did die down after a while, though the gusts in some parts of sector two and at least the first half of that long left turn in sector three kept being a problem, even if less of one on laps two and three. On lap one, the wind during the first part of that long turn almost made me feel like I wasn’t going anywhere. Other than that, there were some people, but only requiring weaving, going the long way around and calculating paths, without creating real roadblocks. Interestingly, while I expected the park to get more crowded later, it seemed the worst on lap one and sector one of lap two, getting better after that. Was worried about my pace all along, only taking it a bit easier on sector one of lap two, after pushing on sector three of lap one, but after that I just gave everything, even if I risked getting tired later and failing to stay under 48 minutes after all. But it worked out in the end, even if it was the slowest time over ten kilometers since November 7, and that one was also the only slower one since summer.
As for the tights, they did feel quite nice, in fact at times causing me to check that I was actually wearing something, since it felt like I didn’t have anything at least on my lower legs. A problem is getting them on and off, the lack of a zipper making it hard for the heel to pass, so they’ll likely get damaged in time because of that. And another thing is that the little inside pocket meant for keys means you need to dig inside after getting out and before getting back in. But those things aren’t relevant while running, so they seem like a good choice from that point of view, and they were quite cheap, after all.
This week’s run was Monday, and I went for 16 kilometers, since I can say I started preparing for the half marathon. Meant to get up when I woke up at 1:40 PM, but crawled back under the blanket, thinking I’ll just stay there a little longer, and I’m quite sure I fell asleep again before the alarm rang, at 2 PM. So I got up then and left a few minutes after 4 PM. It was warm and sunny, with a reported temperature around 14°C at that time, the various sources I checked strangely listing anything between 12°C and 17°C. That obviously meant I ran with just the t-shirt on and an undershirt under it, and of course the tights, and didn’t even take the jacket for the walk, so it was a bit chilly on the way back, the temperature dropping by then, but it’d have been pointless to carry it all that way only for those few minutes. As for what I had, the usual stuff plus almonds and pumpkin, and two of those oat biscuits with jam as something sweet.
The primary target was only 1:18, thinking to try for 1:17 if after lap two it’ll look like I’ll manage it, but I actually ended up with a time of 1:16:17, with sector times of 4:23, 5:05, 5:48, 4:20, 4:58, 5:44, 4:26, 5:01, 5:48, 4:28, 5:04, 5:51, 4:29, 5:00 and 5:52, making for lap times of 15:16, 15:02, 15:15, 15:23 and 15:21, again making a point of not even trying to memorize exact times. Meant to just stay under 15:20 on lap one, and had to push on sector three to manage that, after being rather slow on the first two sectors, but then lap two went well, and after lap three I started thinking of 1:16:30, so I pushed on lap four and got the time I wanted to feel quite safe, despite getting rather tired at that point. The thing is that I think I could have continued to a half marathon distance and get a new record, but that wasn’t the plan and it’d have gotten dark as well, so now it remains to be seen what I’ll manage the week after the next, assuming I’ll even be able to run then.
Something felt odd on my left leg as I started running, possibly the sock not being arranged properly under the tights, or the tights not sitting well over the sock, and I rather hopped around a few times, trying to fix that, so I lost a bit of time on the first sector because of that. And those movements likely caused my left hip to bother me early on as well, and while it got better after a while, on sector three of lap three I noticed that pretty much every joint, with the exception of my right ankle, had started giving me some warnings, though most also got better after a while. Otherwise, there was some wind, not too bad but enough to be a bit of an issue in some places, and mainly on that long left turn. And there were also a fair number of people, and on top of needing to weave and go the long way around, there were two more notable issues on sector one of lap three, first ending up doing the funny dance for a moment, when two women were coming towards me while looking at the lake and the reaction one had when she noticed me as I got close caused that, and then actually needing to stop for a moment and get around a roadblock formed by a group that seemed to think that they owned the path. Bumped into them on sector one of laps four and five too, but the path was wider there and I could get through more easily. Other than that, did feel that nail jabbing the toe next to it again, and saw some blood there after I got back, but not too much and I couldn’t even see any on the sock this time around.
Only timed the squats on February 15, 2:13, and 16, 2:15. And another thing that happened twice during this period was Arcabit Antivirus messing up in that same manner, so I had to reboot to fix it. I wonder if it has to do with having little free RAM at the time of an update, since I thought I saw a pattern, but I don’t care to test it, and I’m thinking that just getting through this month with it may be more trouble than it’s worth anyway. Doing a quick scan after that second failure also caused Comodo Firewall to be busy for a while, granting permissions for access to quite a number of other system files, so I wonder what it did there. But this trial will expire in a few days, so next week I’ll need to restore from that backup, hoping it’ll work without problems, and then see what to do next.
Getting back to the beginning of the period covered by this post, February 10 was the day of deliveries. The guy bringing me back my phone woke me up when he called at 12:30 PM, saying he’ll be here in ten to 15 minutes but only coming after half an hour. Saw a call and three messages on the phone, so I guess they tested it, not that such a test is relevant when the problem seems to appear entirely randomly and may take weeks to reappear, even if at other times it affects it as soon as it’s turned on. But the bigger problem with that test of theirs is that the most recent message was incomplete, so something was wrong as they finished testing, even if what was missing was the end of the message, while when I ended up receiving incomplete messages instead of losing them completely it was the beginning that was missing. But it’s been working so far, so it remains to be seen what will happen next.
After that, that delivery from Carrefour should have arrived between 3 PM and 5 PM, but the guy only called at 4:50 PM and got here 20 minutes later. And then he did ask whether I wanted to give him the bag back, but I was moving to check that the right kind of cat food was in there at that time, so I understood his question as referring to what I was doing at that moment, saying that I was just looking, and he understood my answer as the final one and left. And the bags say to give them back on the bottom, and I remember reading something about them asking for that, albeit leaving it as the customer’s choice in the end, in order to reduce waste, and I did mean to give the bag back for that reason, but I just got confused, had to interact with someone and my brain just wanted to get rid of him as fast as possible, so when he turned to leave I locked the door and then needed a moment to be able to think again, at which point it was a done deal.
Next comes February 14, and I already wrote about the events I attended, so I won’t repeat those details here, but there are plenty of personal things to add that aren’t included in that post, starting with the fact that the alarm woke me up at 11:30 AM and I left a bit after 1:15 PM, again not taking any camera, since I didn’t intend to take any pictures. Did mean to take the mask from the previous march for clean air, but forgot, remembering it just after getting outside and deciding not to get back for it. Sort of considered taking the gloves as well and forgot those too, and obviously didn’t get back for them either. Then, as already stated, I reached the event in Cismigiu Park just before the announced start time of 2 PM, couldn’t get myself to fill one of those few remaining pledges before others did, was really put off by how “fluffy” the whole thing was and hesitantly followed the crowd at an increasing distance until they gathered in a circle close to the main entrance, when I rejoined the others who were hanging back. Then I followed them to the City Hall across the road and, despite not joining those sitting in a circle and singing there either, I stood around until just after 3:30 PM, being among the last of those outside that circle to leave, after just about all reporters and most other older adults.
Walked to Unirii from there, just managing to reach a toilet in that shopping center before pissing myself, then went to that Carrefour, checking some prices and wasting some more time inside, without buying anything at the time. Got back out when I thought they should be arriving in that area for the actual march, but didn’t remember the exact location listed, so I first looked in front of that shopping center, walking to the other side and then back, then crossed to and through the park, at which point I saw a Police car with the lights flashing on the other side, assuming that it was there for the march, which assumption was proven correct after I went that way and soon saw a few cars of the Gendarmerie next to it, and then heard the protesters across the road and recognized a few others who had left before me earlier going that way as well. Finally reached the group a few minutes after 5 PM and pretty much stood around, only weakly chanting a few times, until the march started, though I joined in the chanting a little more as we marched.
Shortly after we reached the Ministry, a woman I vaguely recognized from other protests asked me to take a picture of her, but wanted it in good light and with some sign visible behind her, so after I agreed she asked me to come with her until she found a spot she liked, then fumbled with her phone for a while, as it seemed set to record video and she seemed to be really rushing and failing to change that. I guess the reason for the rush became obvious pretty much the instant she handed me the phone, since it turned itself off and when I showed her that she seemed to have expected it, so I guess the battery was very low. At that point, she asked me to take the picture with my phone and then e-mail it to her, but I said my phone’s just a regular phone, which isn’t exactly accurate but it’s definitely not one that can take a picture after dark, and she walked away. After that, I stood in the crowd gathered around the representative who came out to speak to us, obviously not asking anything and making room for those who wanted to and the reporters, but otherwise staying close enough to listen. After he stepped away from that group and spent some more time answering some other questions some participants had, I alternated a few times between checking out what was happening in the main group and what was being discussed there.
Pretty much as soon as the end was called, at 7 PM, I left, walking to Izvor and taking the metro to the bigger Carrefour, peeing again and then buying quite a few things. It’s a good thing I had my backpack as well, to split the weight, as I first walked to that Kaufland as well, getting two packs of rice from there, and then took the metro back, and even just walking back here from the station wasn’t the easiest thing when I was carrying a good 20 kg, not counting clothes and the stuff in my pockets. Was back at 9:15 PM.
The next day dad pointed out that we were running out of one kind of cat food, so Sunday I left at 3 PM, taking the recyclables out as well, walked to one of those smaller pharmacies with low prices to get another nose spray… And then just missed the free bus to the Auchan at Vitan. Looked for it at the intersection where the park entrance is, since I reached it around the right time for it, but didn’t see it when I looked and didn’t check again when the light turned green, seeing it drive right past me as I crossed. Tried to run after it and would have caught it if it’d have stopped there, but it didn’t, nobody wanting to get off and nobody who was already waiting waving for it, so I missed it. That made me decide to have a look through that Carrefour first, just checking prices… And then I missed the free bus again when I got back out. Wondered which way to cross when I reached the intersection at the farmers’ market, looked, didn’t see it coming, so decided to give up on that idea and wait to cross straight ahead first, only to see it drive past me as I did so, meaning that if I’d have rushed to get across the road before that light turned red and I’d have seen it coming, I’d have likely had a chance to catch it there.
After walking the rest of the way, I got that cat food and some other stuff, but couldn’t find those packs of two yogurts of a certain good kind at the price of one that the site stated should have still been available at that location. Wanted to get some of those for this period, it was an obvious choice at that price, but as it was, just got another pack of that cheap kind… And then again just missed the free bus, rushing to get out a minute before it should have left but not seeing it even on the street, so it either left a few minutes early or didn’t come at all at that time. But at least there’s that other one, leaving ten minutes later and getting me to that intersection at the park entrance, so I took that one… And a few minutes later received an SMS from dad, asking me to buy one more thing if I still could. Obviously couldn’t anymore, so I just got back at 5:10 PM, finding dad struggling with some things and having forgotten the small kettle on the stove while doing so, having burned it as a result. He said we’ll throw it away, and I guess it couldn’t be completely saved anymore, with all that stuff burned so badly in it, but I nevertheless tried to get the worst of it off before putting it away and ended up scratching a finger in that stuff as I did so.
As for Tuesday, went out just before 2:15 PM, this time walking to Cora, after just happening to check their site and seeing some things I wanted. Also took the smaller plastic bottles, remembering that the machine there still listed the old reward and that I actually heard that amount being announced as the reward at the other location, but I don’t know whether that only applies to that other location or the announcement just hadn’t been changed since the rewards were reduced, because at this one the rewards are these lower ones, a sheet of paper stuck to the machine stating that, though the large text remains as it was. Worse, the machine “saw” seven of the 29 as glass, therefore giving no reward at all for them. Don’t know whether it identified what bottles they actually were and that was the way it was programmed to react when it was something it couldn’t actually accept or it took a while to actually get going properly, since it seemed to have a hard time pulling in the bottles at first, rejecting them completely the first few times, since one side of the system pulling them in wouldn’t move, but most of those bottles might well have been rejected if somebody’d have actually checked them directly, so I wasn’t too bothered and just got a few things and walked back, getting here just before 4:55 PM. Wasn’t feeling well at all by that point, but nevertheless, as I already mentioned, cleaned my room a little as well before crawling in bed and deciding to pretty much take the rest of the week to recover from whatever I had caught, hoping it’ll be enough.