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Another Half Marathon Distance, Concerned About How Slow I’m Getting

Sunday there were no visits recorded again, and Liza behaved even more oddly as I was eating at night. Had left the door open and at one point she just came in and curled up next to me, being really calm and quiet, and after a bit seemed to ask to be scratched. Hissed at me when I sat back down after getting up at one point, but then was nice again, and when I finished eating I did scratch her for a while and she let me. After that, saw another one of those black cockroaches, albeit one of a more normal size, this time on the hallway, in front of the bathroom, and could kill it.

Monday I was worried that the woman who was to come to get the jars and bottles will wake me earlier, since I said it could be at 1 PM and she said she’ll call in the morning to settle any details, but she called some ten minutes after I got up, which was around 11:45 AM, after it sounded like dad dropped or knocked something down just before getting the key in the door when he returned after buying some things before going to my mother. Not that I hadn’t woken up a couple of times before that too, but then that happened and it was another rough awakening, and when I saw the time I decided to get up after a few minutes. So I was already up and dad had already left when that woman called, and I told her she could even come in about a quarter of an hour, which she did, calling again when she was in front of the building. I took the bags down at that point, spotted a car on the other side of the street and assumed that was her, but wasn’t sure, so I was still looking around when a man came out of said car and waved to me, and I crossed the street and handed him the bags. Meant to just give him two and take the other two there myself, but he said he’ll take all of them, so I handed them over and crossed back, and she just called out to me from the car to wave, and possibly make sure I knew I had given them to her and not some random man. Didn’t get anything in return, but at least I got rid of all those things and gave them to someone who’s likely to actually reuse them, or at least most of them.

Tuesday dad again got back and turned on his computer, being connected, without me realizing it, saying he thought I was asleep even though I told him I’ll get in bed after he gets back. And when I asked how long ago that was, he said he had arrived some seven or eight minutes earlier, but ate something and fed Liza first, so must have turned it on only some three minutes before, yet when I checked the logs after he left I saw it had been on for a good ten minutes at the time I asked. And this coming soon after I had again reminded him that the router’s in his room, so he can see if I’m connected at all times, and he again asked how and said he’ll know from then on after again I told him, not that I had any reason to believe he’d still remember even moments later…
On that note, he didn’t even remember that I had told him multiple times that I was going to rest, whether I’ll actually manage to sleep or not, until he’ll leave that evening. So I dropped the connection matter at the time, got in bed, actually managed to fall asleep, woke up to pee after about an hour, managed to fall asleep again, yet again woke up to pee about an hour later, yet again got back in bed, most likely didn’t manage to fall asleep again, but meant to stay there until 9 PM… Only to hear him leaving and jumping out of bed, assuming I had somehow fallen asleep again and it was past 9 PM already, only to see that it was in fact 8:59 PM and yet he was just walking out the door when I rushed out of my room, completely ignoring me when I tried to say something even if he only had a foot out at first… And then sending me an e-mail from work asking whether he imagined it or I came out just as he was leaving, and complaining that he didn’t even eat or shave so he won’t make noise while I was apparently awake, and saying that he kept telling me to come out of my room if I’m awake, so he’ll know he doesn’t have to be quiet. This, again, after I had just told him, repeatedly, that I was going to rest, whether I’ll manage to sleep or not, until he’ll leave that evening. But at least I did manage to sleep a bit, and then stuffed myself later, taking it slowly, eating most of it in my room, while spending some more time on-line, only finishing, with quite a lot of jam, around 2:15 AM. Also made the tea I was going to need in the morning, and eventually got back in bed at 3:30 AM.

Rather surprisingly, managed to fall asleep that morning, and rather quickly too. And when I did wake up a while later, it wasn’t because I needed to pee, despite the salad that included tomatoes eaten at night. And then I got back to sleep, again quickly, and while I did wake up when dad got back, I still didn’t need to pee and yet again got back to sleep, albeit for a very short time, until the alarm rang, at 6 AM. Then had an orange, since I didn’t have apples anymore, but the usual stuff plus almonds otherwise, and the last of some old raisins in chocolate as something sweet. Just wasted time on the toilet twice though, despite feeling like I should have managed something, and also drank all the tea before leaving, so there was a fair bit of additional weight to carry around. But there was nothing to do about it, and I left at 8 AM, wearing the full running gear but being somewhat uncertain about the temperature, though it might be relatively safe to list something averaging around 24°C, give or take, over the duration of the run.
The problem is, I have a rather hard time even calling this a run. To think that I took money with me and had plans to get myself a little something if I’ll manage to at least stay under 1:45, something more if I’ll stay under 1:44, and actually look for something specific and ask dad for the money for it if I’ll find it if I’ll get under 1:43, and even more so if it won’t be just barely under 1:43 but actually a new record. These last targets seemed quite impossible to begin with, but I did actually think I had a shot at staying under 1:45 even when I started, and maybe to some extent even after the first sector time, thinking I should be able to do a little better after that. However, after the second sector it was clear that the best I could hope for was 1:50, and if at first I was saying that I’ll decide after lap four whether that remains a realistic target or not, at the start of lap two I was already calculating the targets for what worked out to 1:54. At the time I was still thinking of it as a worst case scenario, but after lap three it clearly remained the only realistic one, and towards the end I even found myself needing to allow for 1:55, though that turned out to not be necessary, albeit only barely. To list numbers, the time was an awful 1:53:56, with sector times of 4:31, 5:14, 6:09, 4:39, 5:21, 6:14, 4:48, 5:30, 6:29, 4:59, 5:43, 6:44, 5:05, 5:50, 6:52, 5:19, 6:05, 7:03, 2:07, 7:07 and 2:07, making for lap times of 15:54, 16:14, 16:47, 17:26, 17:47 and 18:27, plus 11:21 for the final portion.
Seeing how much I was slowing each lap, and in fact each sector, makes it clear I wasn’t holding anything back, giving it whatever I had at every point and being left with less and less all the time. And you can say I was exhausted from the beginning, since normally over six minutes on sector three means I’m clearly tired and I had 6:09 on the very first lap. And then I found myself forced to slow down so much that I ended up with a lap six that was the third slowest lap I ever ran through the park, not counting the later laps when I ran 11, in September of 2018. In fact, lap six was a few seconds faster even then, only the following five being slower, while otherwise the only slower ones were also the last full laps, the first two times I ran a half marathon distance through the park, in April of 2016 and March of 2017. Those are also the only slower runs over this distance through the park, though I otherwise was also slower the first two times I took part in the Bucharest Half Marathon, so in May of 2016 and 2017. What’s more, that first lap six was a mere second slower, and not having exact times means it might not have in fact been slower after all. And I was already faster the third time I ran this distance through the park, in April of 2017, so before that year’s Bucharest Half Marathon.
I saw a few people just finishing their runs as I entered the park, and otherwise the first lap seemed somewhat similar to the second half of the marathon I ran in terms of the number of runners I was seeing. It’s likely an exaggeration, but that was the thought I had, and there really were a lot of them. Their numbers dropped a fair bit after that, but there probably were more than I’m normally used to all the way to the end… And, surprisingly, considering how slow I was, a single one of those going in the same direction passed me. That guy went past me and got lost in the distance so quickly it felt I was barely walking, if not standing, and seemed to be sustaining that pace completely effortlessly, without even trying, but otherwise there was another guy who was slightly faster than me but stopped after a few hundred meters, and other than that I was still passing people even on that final portion, when I felt I was barely moving.
In terms of problems, some areas were quite windy, but what I definitely felt right away was all the food eaten the night before and the fact that I hadn’t taken a shit in the morning, and that held me back a fair bit on the first lap, though that feeling of being full lessened after that. Did feel the need to take a shit, at the start of laps three, possibly five, and six, as well as that final portion, but even if those last two times it seemed to become quite an emergency for a little while, it always went away quickly. As for physical issues, there was a little knee pain, I believe on sector one of lap three, but that went away quickly, multiple things seeming to fail only on sector one of lap six, when both calves were threatening with cramps and I felt a sharp pain under my ribs, on the left, probably caused by that bone spur. This was hard to push through for a moment, but on the next sector I managed to snap my back in a way that lessened it and I could continue. Going up the stairs on that final portion was hard though, even if I couldn’t really say that anything was still hurting at that point, and I pretty much walked while doing so both times, unable to even really try to run anymore.
Other than that, the number of runners didn’t mean that the park was crowded in general, people causing few problems. There was a moment, on sector two of lap one, when I had to squeeze past one of those trucks just when another runner was doing the same, coming from the opposite direction, so we both had to slow down a little. Then, if I remember correctly, it was only on sector two of lap five that a kid on a bicycle was staring at his front wheel and weaving all over the place, almost running right into me despite the path being almost completely clear otherwise, forcing me to briefly stop and step aside, and I saw that kid and the other one who was following him a few more times until the end, always behaving in the same manner, though I managed to avoid any further problems caused by them. Past that, on the next sector, a little girl, also on a bicycle, seemed uncertain whether to follow her mother or go around me on the other side and I had to slow down a little until she made up her mind, and on sector one of lap six there was what I believe was the only roadblock. This actually involved two runners, who noticed that I was approaching from behind and tried to clear the way, but didn’t exactly have anywhere to go, so I had to slow and eventually get around them on the grass.

After pushing so hard on the final straight to just barely manage to stay under 1:54, I felt I could barely walk anymore, and my left hip and right knee were hurting quite badly. But I had money with me and wanted the trip to at least be of some use, so I went to the farmers’ market, even if I didn’t have bags as well. Stopped on two benches on the way, first to write down the times and then what I could remember about the issues I had during the run, then got to that market, starting to feel somewhat better on the way.
First looked for apples, actually finding a person selling some quite sour ones, which I wouldn’t have bought otherwise and which were twice the price that kind used to be, and also twice the price I’d care to pay for apples, but I got some anyway. Also saw cheap green onions, tomatoes and cucumbers and got some of each, as well as some cheese. Was mainly looking for cheap stuff, but in a way it was also a way to punish myself, that cheese in particular not being something I’d get out of money I mean to spend for myself, and dad’s usually the one getting tomatoes and cucumbers too. In case of the tomatoes, bought the entire pile of the cheapest kind an old woman had and only noticed after asking for all of them that she had one of those old scales, with weights, and was wondering if I’ll get tricked, but after she placed all of that pile on the scales, she said a little more was needed to reach 1.5 kg, added one or two more from a pile of, I guess, somewhat better ones, and when I went to the scales set there just as a way to verify, saw 1.515 kg.
In terms of masks, hardly any in sight, and while that farmers’ market is outdoors, they would be recommended at least for those selling, and there are some small shops as well, including the one I bought the cheese from, and those serving there didn’t have masks either and, while they’re selling to customers who stay outside, they are inside, so masks would be mandatory. And it was quite crowded too. And I’ll also add here that I witnessed a weird moment as I was wandering around, an older woman being asked by a young man what could he serve her with as she walked past his stall, showing no interest whatsoever, and when she said she didn’t want anything he shouted after her, asking why was she in a market if not to purchase, just taking a walk, why be there if not to buy things, and a couple of others from nearby stalls started laughing. What the fuck was that?
Got back here at 11:35 AM. Made some more tea, put the purchases in their place, ate one of those apples, some watermelon and something sweet, and then got myself some of that food cooked by dad as well, using a bag of those little bagels bought from Kaufland instead of bread, after he left to bring my mother here until the next day, to clean the bathroom that I honestly keep being too afraid to do anything about, considering the huge amount of mold everywhere, and also bring back Micky, who doesn’t seem to manage to deal with Bella either after all, still being bothered and running and hiding and eating poorly because of that, though she clearly won’t do any better here with Liza either. However, as I got on the computer and on-line, I suddenly felt that I was about to shit myself, and my attempts to hold it were clearly about to fail, so I left the food here, grabbed my towel and underwear and rushed to the bathroom, to also take a shower after using the toilet. Then I finished eating, also grabbed a few of the sweet things from a bag dad had bought for my mother, and later some chocolate as well, after she asked if I didn’t like it, seeing it untouched after she had sent it to me quite a long time ago. So I was at some four times the amount of sweets I’d like to stick to in a day, and about twice that I really don’t want to allow myself to exceed, which isn’t good, and it also came after all that jam the night before, but I guess I could allow it on that particular day. Also napped a little in the evening, but only for about one hour… And then spent an embarrassingly long time struggling with a sudoku which shouldn’t even have been one of the supposedly hard ones, my brain seeming just unable to wrap itself around it, despite having easily completed another before that nap. Did another one after that though, and that went well enough.

Meant to sleep more today, obviously, but woke up when dad went out to buy the other things my mother wanted before going back to my grandmother’s. Tried to get back to sleep, but I was sort of in that state, between asleep and awake, when he got back and I fully woke up again, deciding to go to the toilet and then try again… Only for them to start talking while in different rooms and then my mother going to continue cleaning the bathroom, having him help for a bit as well, leading to quite a lot of noise, so I was in bed for about another hour or so, but there was no chance to sleep and I eventually got up, I think at about 1:40 PM, or maybe a bit before that time. Quite annoyed, obviously, and exhausted, and after I got to the kitchen dad came and said it was good he saw me there because he didn’t know whether I was awake or not. Well, I was hoping to not be awake, but there’s no chance of that, is there?

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