[ View menu ]

Runs Keep Getting Worse, Yet I’m Having a Go at Dream Trek Again

Saturday I timed the squats again, for the first time in a long time, and I did them surprisingly quickly, in 2:08! On the other hand, had a lot of those CPU warnings, and have been having many of them recently in general, including seeing a notification about one when I turn the monitor back on. Yes, that string of dozens of them that I got Saturday evening was caused by the YouTube tabs that were open, and they stopped coming after I closed those, but add that to the loss of performance and it makes me even more worried, even if at the moment I’m working on the assumption that Emsisoft Anti-Malware is actually causing that. Reboots seem to fix it so far though, as I saw the problem reappear Sunday night and it seemed to have even worsened by the time I had BOINC run CPU benchmarks again, Monday afternoon, so I rebooted again to return to normal, but I definitely don’t want to keep having to do that!

It will be harder to determine what’s going on with the performance while I’m using the computer now, however, since Sunday I sorted my game kits locally as well and decided to start going through some that may allow me to save some relevant space after either finishing or abandoning the games in a reasonable amount of time. Was thinking to just make sure to get rid of some I list as not being interested in, installing, starting, poking around a bit, calling them abandoned and deleting, but I couldn’t persuade myself to start doing that for games I know will be a chore to even try, so I started looking through those I’m uncertain about and eventually installed and started Grim Fandango Remastered, and the CPU goes down to 800 MHz while playing that, to put all power into the integrated graphics, so the processing times for those work units will get very long while I play…
On the other hand, an odd issue that was caused, albeit indirectly, by starting that game was that Comodo Firewall forgot its older HIPS rules while I was trying to make it remember to block certain actions that game’s executable may try, creating the rule before starting it the first time and then reversing the changes it automatically made in order to allow it to do everything, because it recognizes it as trusted. It didn’t forget all of them, but only those for files that were added a longer time ago, and it wasn’t after a reboot, but apparently when I exited the game, so I wonder if it happened because I tried to change the rule back before it finished saving its automatic changes, or it tried changing it before finishing saving mine, and that messed something up. But everything seemed fine again after I imported the settings saved before the previous reboot, and I decided to just allow it to do what it wanted, since it seemed more trouble than it was worth.

Tuesday I kept waking up, last time being at 12:59 PM, with the alarm set at 1 PM, so I just managed to turn it off before it rang and got up. Had the usual stuff plus almonds, and oat biscuits with honey and jam as something sweet, put on the full running gear, also taking a little money, bags, a pencil and a slip of paper and stuffing them in the back pocket, since the plan was to also go to the farmers’ market after the run, and went out at 2:55 PM. The reported temperature was about 25°C and there were some clouds, with chances of rain listed after 5 PM, but while the wind really picked up for a while just when I got back the first time, just before 5:50 PM, and some threatening clouds appeared, things eventually calmed down even then and it was fine even when I went out again later that evening.
What is most definitely not fine is my shape, as I ran 16 kilometers and, while I was rather concerned about what I’ll manage, staying under 1:18 was the conservative scenario when I started, yet it took everything to just stay under 1:20, the time being 1:19:52, and the conditions were definitely not to blame anymore, the weather being good, if a bit warm, the park not crowded for once, and my calf fine at first and staying that way for two and a half laps. But the sector times were 4:30, 5:10, 5:59, 4:30, 5:11, 5:59, 4:38, 5:15, 6:07, 4:44, 5:24, 6:16, 4:45, 5:21 and 6:03, making for lap times of 15:39, 15:40, 16:00, 16:24 and 16:09, so I was never on target even for that 1:18, being off that pace from the very first sector. Or, all right, I was barely on pace for it on sector three of laps one and two, but that didn’t make up for what I had already lost by then. And I had to give it absolutely everything on the final lap, and on the last sector in particular, to just somehow manage to stay under 1:20. Had to approach that last lap quite tactically, giving everything where I could but also doing my best to calculate where I should push and where I could allow myself to recover just a bit, the best paths, everything…
Granted, I did start at a conservative pace, and then there was a truck in front of me, going slightly slower than me, and I caught up to it right at the turn, where other paths split off, one leading to an exit. Since someone with a dog was coming towards me on one side and the driver was hugging the other side of the path to leave room for them, I couldn’t try to overtake on the path and tried to go on the grass, but couldn’t really squeeze through in that spot, and was thinking that it was going to follow the path and I won’t be able to get off the grass for a while, so I changed my mind, went back behind it and then on the other side once the person with the dog passed, which already caused me to lose a fair bit of time… And then the driver went straight ahead, towards that exit, just when I was about to get in front of the truck, blocking my way until it passed at that slow speed. So I would have been safely on pace on that first sector without this problem, but that was about it. Maybe the loss on sector two of one of the first two laps was similar to what I’d have needed to stay on pace, but on the other one it was definitely less than that, and from lap three I was too far off pace for any excuses.
I’m saying one of the first two laps because things are less clear in my mind, and while I sat on a bench and wrote down the times after finishing, though I remembered all of them just fine when I finally wrote them in a file, late that evening, I only made some very quick notes on that same slip of paper about the problems faced, without any details. Still, even at that point I was mixing up the issues I had on sector two of laps one and two, and just wrote a question mark for lap three, meaning that I only remembered that something happened during it as well, but couldn’t recall what at all. And seeing as I only actually sat down, tried to recall as much as I could and write it in a file Wednesday night, I’m sure I’m mixing up some things and possibly forgetting others.
What I know is that on a sector two I had to briefly stop because of a misunderstanding with a girl on a scooter, coming from the opposite direction, and another one was really compromised, first by a lot of headwind on its first straight even though there wasn’t much wind otherwise, making me feel that I could barely keep pushing forward by the time I reached the end of said straight, and then by needing to slow, take to the grass and stay on it for several meters on the second straight, a group blocking everything but the cycling lane and two groups of cyclists coming from opposite directions trying to squeeze past each other on it just when I also reached that spot. But I can’t remember which of these was on lap one and which on lap two, and keep thinking that the one with the compromised straights was on lap two, but what I wrote on the slip of paper says that at the time I was guessing otherwise, though I made it clear that it was just a guess and I couldn’t remember anymore. I do believe that the issue with the girl on the scooter was caused by trying to clear the way for another woman who seemed to be about to pass me again after I had just passed her, before she just dropped away behind me, but I’m far from certain of that either.
Moving on, close to the end of sector two of lap three that calf did start hurting again, albeit in that spot that’s higher and on the right, so not what I used to feel at first, and on laps four and five both hips and eventually also my right knee started giving me some warnings as well. There was some more wind as well, even if nothing like on that straight, on that long turn in sector three of two laps, probably either three and four or two and three, and it’s possible that there was a little more on that sector two straight one or two more times, on lap four, five or both, though again nothing like that first time. Lap five was otherwise clear of trouble, however, yet right at the end of sector one of lap four I had to suddenly stop for a moment when a kid on a bicycle peeled away from his friends and stopped right in front of me, and on sector two I had to pick my way through a pretty large group of children and parents who were clearly ignoring the regulations as they were getting ready for rowing training and I mentioned a second roadblock on that little slip of paper as well, though I really can’t recall what it was. Think it was on that sector that a woman passed me and cleared away easily, and making way for her might have led me into the roadblock, and I remember two more moments that I can’t place, one where I had to slow and wait for a way through and another where I did a bit of a silly dance with a man, though we sorted it out before I actually had to stop, so it’s possible that one of them happened then. But I seem to remember those as being on a sector three, so it’s also possible that something else happened then and I forgot it completely, or that nothing did and I’m confusing it with what possibly happened with that other woman and the girl on the scooter.

Felt quite exhausted after that, but I stuck to the plan and went to that farmers’ market, looking for apples and maybe cabbage, but not finding any at a reasonable price. The cabbage had gone up in price, and instead of an entire area having mostly apples, there were just a few selling a few kinds of apples, all of them looking excellent and with a price to match, four or five times higher than I’d have been willing to pay, if not even more, since I was considering getting some of those that were partly spoiled and using the worse ones to make something. So I decided to go to the other farmers’ market as well, and after a bit also decided to jog there, since I had done so poorly on the actual run. Not that I expected to find anything better there, and my expectations were proven correct, so I just had a look and jogged back here, arriving just before 5:50 PM, as I already mentioned.
Still needed fruits though, and the cabbage was supposed to still be on sale that day at Kaufland, so I grabbed a mask, went back out at 6:30 PM and walked there, using the route that’d have taken me to this Carrefour first but going around the mall it’s in, not even through, and checking prices at Kaufland first, also seeing that they were out of cabbage. There was nobody at the information desk to open that gate when I wanted to leave, but the guard came over, asking if I didn’t get anything and motioning for me to use the entrance gate after someone else walked in, checking my jacket’s pocket after I did so. Then I went to Carrefour and saw that cat litter was on sale, so I got two bags, and some more of those things for my mother, which were also still on sale, though I again ate one entire bag myself after getting back. Hadn’t taken the new 10 RON code, but didn’t need it, so I went back to Kaufland, putting the stuff in a cabinet and getting a bunch of things from there, those treats for Liza making up more than two thirds of what I spent but only some 5% of the weight… Which seemed to be a bit of a problem for the self-checkout machine, since it kept telling me that I had removed one of them from the scales after placing it there, only allowing me to continue after I picked it up and put it back down several times. That didn’t work with the soy though, even if that bag should have weighed more than a pack of treats, and I had to call the employee over to help, and she seemed to agree when I said that they were probably too light. On the other hand, had a nice surprise at the self-checkout with the onions and both kinds of lettuce, which had, just like the potatoes, already been discounted for the evening when I grabbed them, but ended up scanning for a further 30% less in case of the onions and 60% less in case of the lettuce.
So I still couldn’t find apples or cabbage at a good price, yet had quite a weight problem, in particular because of the cat litter, and was still in front of the cabinets, trying to balance the weight, when a guy asked whether I had left anything in one. I said no, since I had taken everything out already, but then noticed that he took a couple of steps away and was telling the woman he was with that he didn’t know how to use them, so I called after him to say I have used them, if that’s what he meant, and he came to ask how to use them, so I probably looked a bit strangely at him as I quickly said less than what’s in the instructions on each cabinet, yet he seemed content to just do what I said and leave.
Checked the time when I was on the escalator and saw 8:57 PM, so it sure took me a while to get back, as it was around 9:50 PM when I got here. Used that longer route too, not getting back through that mall, but the main problem was obviously the weight, and by the time I covered half the distance I couldn’t really hold everything anymore, didn’t have strength left in my fingers, so I was even considering entering a Mega Image and leaving the cat litter in one of their cabinets in order to get back for it later, but the store I had in mind wasn’t where I thought it was, and I think that’s not a non-stop one either, and I’m not sure I’d have gotten back before 10 PM. So I had to work something else out and ended up hanging the bags with the other things on my arms, so they slid down but stopped on my wrists, and I was left to only carry the cat litter in my hands, which allowed me to walk the rest of the way with only two more stops to rest, and I even made a small detour, to check out a small store that was still open, having a quick look for cabbage and apples there too. Weighed everything at the end and saw that the total weight carried, including the jacket and what I had in my pockets, was 20.8 kg, while mine, after dropping everything, was a mere 45.6 kg! That’s probably the lowest I’ve ever seen too, so it’s even more worrying, though of course at the time it was after the run and the shopping and carrying so much.

After all of that, only got in bed at 5:20 AM, and could hardly sleep. I guess I had reached that state of being too exhausted to sleep, and some muscles were hurting too, was agitated, and definitely dehydrated. Eventually managed to get some three to three and a half hours, mainly in two parts of about one hour and a half each, with a long time spent tossing and turning and even getting up and ending up doing two more sudokus in between. That second period of sleep was abruptly cut short when I received a message that was just an ad from my operator, and after that I stayed in bed until 2 PM, but if I managed to fall asleep again at all, it was only for a matter of minutes, once or twice. On the other hand, while I’m at Wednesday, I’ll also mention here that I again saw no visits in either view that day.

Yesterday I woke up just before 11:30 AM and eventually got up, though I felt tired. The plan was to go to Obor, again mainly looking for apples, but also for a kettle, since the one dad’s been using had its enamel rubbed away by my mother insisting to clean it too much long ago and was quite rusty by now, but he wasn’t getting another. So I left at 12:45 PM, walking there and wearing the jacket, since there were a few drops at that point. The weather kept changing on the way though, and if I eventually removed the jacket some time after the clouds cleared, not long after that I had to put it on again because it suddenly started raining quite heavily, only for it to get sunny again soon after that, and there were a few more such periods of rain while I wandered around that area. I was inside much of that time, but those selling things outside that couldn’t be left out in the rain sure had their work cut out, moving, covering and uncovering so many times. It was just sunny as I walked back though.
Back to the beginning of the first leg of this walk, crossed the road when I got to the metro station, to check out the newspaper and magazine stand that’s there, and saw this sudoku magazine there. The number and price were covered by another, but I assumed the number was 6/2020 and asked for it, only seeing that it was in fact 7/2020 after being handed a copy and paying 4 RON for it, since this one apparently increased in price as well recently, seeing as I’m sure it was still 3 RON before the state of emergency. I have no idea why the issue number is a month ahead, but couldn’t get myself to give it back at that point, so after all the mess caused by trying to replace that 6/2018 one which has been on my desk all this time with 6/2020, I fucked up… And what made it even worse was that I could have gotten 6/2020 if I’d have waited, since when I later crossed the road again, in a spot where a larger stand is on the area between the sides of the road, I actually saw that one there, that stand seeming to have older issues of all sorts of magazines. Even considered buying that one as well, but gave up on the idea, so I won’t waste and spend and use even more on this.
Feeling quite down because of that, I reached Obor and started wandering around, seeing that cheap apples had indeed vanished, and that I couldn’t find cabbage that was that cheap either. Couldn’t find that kind of kettle either at first, but did find a couple of places that had some sweets I was curious about, and which I had actually searched for on-line the night before, and at a price that worked out to being a third lower than what the manufacturer’s site listed. There were two kinds I was interested in, but couldn’t find the other and didn’t get those just then either, instead going to that Carrefour first and getting a few things to use that 10 RON code, which I had remembered to take with me that day, which things also included a few peaches out of the handful of Romanian ones that were left, just to be sure that I’ll have something before returning to the market.
Made a detour before getting back there, through the other bazaar that’s in that area, wondering whether I’d find that kind of kettle there, but that’s for entirely different types of products, so I quickly left it, decided against going to that Kaufland as well and eventually got back to the market and explored some more, finding one place that seemed promising for the kettle but not seeing one that I was certain was what I wanted as I just passed by it at first. Returned there after buying some of those sweets though, and at that point I asked and the woman who was there picked up the kettle that was right in front of me in reply, so I have no idea how I missed that. But the price was good as well, so I bought it, then returned outside and checked out that alley that’s rather out of the way, where I usually know I can find cheap lemons. And there were cheap lemons there again, and I got some, but also some apricots which were listed as being Romanian, though I have my doubts about that, especially considering the price. Then again, I got them for less than the listed price, since it was 4.90 or 4.99 RON / kg, but those who sell on that alley write their prices to try to trick customers, the .90 or .99 being really tiny and in a corner of the labels, and the guy selling those seemed to have forgotten that trick himself, since I put one kilogram on the scales and he asked if I didn’t want to add a quarter more, to get to 5 RON, and I wasn’t about to correct him, so I did just that. Also saw cheap green onions, but put off getting them the first time and then forgot about them on the way out, after having another look at the cabbage that was at the price I had been looking for and deciding that it wasn’t good enough.
Another thing I forgot was to check that recycling place that used to be there, to know for sure that it closed down, but remembered it before getting too far and returned, unfortunately only to confirm that indeed it doesn’t exist anymore. So I just turned around and finally walked back, also carrying the jacket in my hand all the way, since it was sunny and too hot to keep it on at that point, which also meant that I kept worrying that some of those sweets will somehow slip out, since the fact that I had one more small bag in one of my back pockets completely slipped my mind and I thought I had nowhere else to put them except in the jacket’s inside pocket. But they were all still there when I got back here, at 5:15 PM, though it remains to be seen whether I squeezed them too hard, since I haven’t opened any yet. And yes, I also had a quick look inside a couple of other small stores I passed by on the way, even making a detour at one point, still looking for apples and still seeing those high prices. Had seen two selling some at somewhat more reasonable prices at Obor, in areas that were rather out of the way, but those are clearly just selling, it didn’t say where they were from and the prices were still higher than what I used to pay for apples anyway.

Also finally did those last two puzzles to finish that old sudoku magazine last evening, though I’m yet to replace it on my desk. But now I should move on to today, when I kept waking up yet again, though the second time it was because somebody was insistently knocking and ringing the doorbell at 9:30 AM. Waited for a few minutes, then got up to go to the bathroom and bumped into dad, but when I asked what that was about he said he had just woken up and hadn’t heard anything, and he didn’t figure it out later either. An assumption was that it had something to do with the flooding, since some water dripping from above has been creating a slowly but steadily increasing wet patch in front of the bathroom, mold appearing there by now as well, but it seems that he learned that it had nothing to do with that when the plumber came to have a look today, and eventually turned off the water for the bathroom of the apartment that’s above ours, to stop the situation from worsening, though he’ll only get to work on it on Monday I guess.
Either way, had a hard time getting back to sleep after that, and then I woke up again a bit before 11:30 AM… Which was just as well, since there was a call at 11:35 AM, though I didn’t answer at the time, instead trying to get some more sleep and managing it to some extent, though I still woke up a couple more times before eventually getting up, at 2:30 PM. And then, when the same number called again a few minutes later, I did answer, and it was somebody from the service, informing me that my phone can’t be fixed and offering my money back. But that wouldn’t have really helped me, especially since I used a code won in a contest back then as well and I doubt that’d have also been reactivated, so I asked if it can’t be replaced and she checked and said they do have it in stock, the same model and color, and they’ll make a new order and I should hear from the delivery guy next week, so let’s see how that will work out.

The last thing to mention in this post is actually the reason why I’m posting it this evening and not tomorrow, and that’s that, a little after that call, I signed up for this summer’s Dream Trek. Didn’t think they’ll organize it, and I guess they didn’t either at first, but the new regulations allowing up to six people to gather outdoors for sports as of this week came just in time and they decided to go ahead with it after all, albeit in a very different format. There will be teams of six that will stay together and four different routes, the total distance being 56 km and each route having between 13 and 16 km, though at this point it’s unclear to me whether those covering the entire distance will cover all routes, only in a different order, or each will stick to a single route, going back and forth multiple times. What they already said is that they need more “captains”, in order to form more teams, since they had started with four, increased it to five but the e-mail I received shortly after signing up mentions that three or four more are needed, and I wonder how the groups will be kept apart if there will be two or even three on the same route and, if we’re to stick to the idea of sunset to sunrise, they should start and finish at pretty much the same time.
It’ll be very different from last year, not only because of the small groups and different routes but also because we won’t be offered anything on the way and will need to carry water and maybe snacks with us, or buy some on the way, and there won’t even be a place to leave some things and recover them when we’ll get back to the starting location, and my left calf is not fine either. So I may still change my mind yet again, possibly even after getting there, but I did run a long distance while carrying bottles once before and didn’t really feel that calf as I walked yesterday and there was only a little pain today, so at this point I want to try. I doubt I’ll cover the entire distance, even if it’ll be “only” one similar to that of a marathon, as the e-mail states, and not that total of 56 km mentioned in the post, but I would really want to at least get over 25 km, which should mean covering any route twice, or any two routes. If I’ll still be all right after that, I may continue, and if not, I may stop then and either wait or, depending on the hour, possibly walk back here and maybe even leave again in the morning, to be there for the photo at the end. But right now I need to make some pasta, and then I hope I’ll be able to sleep better tomorrow, and for most of the day… Though dad will be coming and going in the morning and someone else should be coming to have a look at the damage caused by the flooding as well…


No comments

RSS feed Comments | TrackBack URI

Write Comment

Note: Any comments that are not in English will be immediately deleted.

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>