Wednesday I got up at 1:40 PM, though I had been awake for a while by then, and left a bit after 4:05 PM, first going to the Carrefour from the park. Forgot the burned LED tubes, but otherwise finally took all the burned light bulbs which had gathered and a few other things that could also be dropped off there and dropped them off at the bins in that mall, then just checked prices at that Carrefour, since I didn’t find cheap eggs and all the bread of the kind I get from there was sliced, those being the only two things I intended to grab right away. Then I kept going, heading for that Kaufland that was opened more recently but meaning to make a couple of other stops on the way, the first being at a Mega Image that should have been very close to an intersection. I didn’t immediately see it when I got there, however, and I couldn’t remember which side it was supposed to be on, and of course I chose the wrong one at first, walking that way for a couple of minutes before turning around and finally finding it on the other side… And finding that it was both small and crowded, with the lines going around the store, inside, and little room to move, and the biscuits I wanted to get didn’t have the discount listed either, so I just left, not caring to stay there too long, especially when I risked doing so for nothing.
Made the first purchase when I reached the Penny that I knew was close to that Kaufland, getting lemons. Then got to that Kaufland just after 6 PM, which was unfortunate, because the President’s press conference started just then and I had my phone on radio, wanting to listen, but it gets pretty much no reception inside, at least not more than a couple of meters away from the outer wall, so I put the lemons in a cabinet, went to pee and wash my hands, then got back outside for a while, wasting time in order to listen. I was wasting too much time, however, so I eventually got back inside and tried to look at what was near the entrance, searching for positions where I still had some reception, keeping the phone in my hand and holding it in a suitable spot when I found one, moving between such spots when I thought I didn’t care for what was being said just then… It still meant a lot of wasted time though, and what made it worse was that, when I finally moved away from that area, I found that I had pretty good reception in the dairy area, where the expiring products also are, since that’s next to the emergency exit, so I could have moved on much earlier and spent much of that time perhaps looking through those. And another pretty serious problem was that I somehow lost my shopping list during that time, and couldn’t find it again even though, after the press conference ended and I noticed that I no longer had it, I tried searching the areas I had been in. And it was a pretty long list, so I was worried I was going to forget things. But I didn’t, so at least that went well.
Either way, there were more things to get from there, but since I was going to return anyway, I just grabbed what was urgent, the toilet paper and one bread, plus three of the remaining five bundles of green onions, someone else getting the last two moments later, used the self-checkout without problems and put everything in that same cabinet, next to the lemons. Then I continued on my way, to the Auchan at Vitan, but with the route connecting the two being one I had never used before, I didn’t follow it, being unable to even find the planned starting point right away, so instead of losing even more time searching around that area, I just headed in the general direction taking me to an area I knew… And finding myself getting there next to the Mega Image from that street, so I went in there as well, finally getting those biscuits. The discount still wasn’t listed, but I had taken one of their catalogs and mentioned the issue to an employee who was just in that area, showing her the catalog when she initially said that the new discounts hadn’t applied yet, though I was referring to the old discounts, the ones ending that day. So I went to the checkout, keeping the catalog in hand in case I’ll be asked for the full price, but the discount was applied there, so there were no issues.
With Auchan starting their anniversary sales that day, there were more things to get from there than I had initially planned. There’d have likely been even more if I’d have looked through more areas, or just more carefully, but I was running out of time, so I got what was planned, starting with a lot of cat food, and what I quickly spotted out of the other things, including another pack of two of those better yogurts that I had gotten Sunday from Mega Image, Auchan also selling two for the price of one and at a significantly lower price, so I shouldn’t have gotten any from there, since I was yet to eat any at that point. But I couldn’t have known that… And I also didn’t know that I was going to find the kind of bread I had so far only seen at the Titan location, unsliced. Though the listed ingredients are exactly the same, it felt slightly different and now that I also ate some of it I can say that it also seems to taste a bit different, but it still seems better than what I get from the other places, so not finding any I could get from Carrefour turned out to be a good thing in the end, even more so considering the fact that I have this planned series of runs and getting back to this kind of bread during this period is likely to help.
Since it was getting close to 9 PM when I got out of there, I didn’t even arrange the purchases properly in my bags, hurrying back to Kaufland and that time finding the intended route right away. However, with both closing at 10 PM, it was clear that I couldn’t get what was left to get from Kaufland and then also return to Carrefour in time, and with that day being the first with those prices at Kaufland and the last at Carrefour, the choice was obvious, so I only got back there to retrieve what I had left in that cabinet, being on my way back to Carrefour at 9:10 PM and getting there at 9:30 PM. It still meant needing to hurry, but I could get what was left to get, plus one of those apple cakes I kept thinking of getting from there for years, needing to wave and call out to the employee from the bakery and pastry area for that, since there was nobody left at the confectionery counter, nor at the cooked food one that’s next to it, so she was the only one who could come over and sell me one.
I was done in time to get checked out and retrieve what I had stuffed in the cabinet, but it was 9:55 PM when I had everything out and it was going to take me quite a while to arrange everything properly in the bags and backpack, so I just pushed everything a short distance away… And noticed the gate starting to close over my things just after the announcement that it was 10 PM and the store had closed. I’m not entirely sure anything would have been caught under it, but I had at least one bag in that area, and I was probably also right under the gate at that moment, so whoever started closing it did so slowly and stopped after a few seconds, and I took the warning for what it was and hurried to move everything a bit farther away, to allow the employees to close and leave while I just got the stuff in the bags in a manner that allowed me to at least carry everything outside, where I stopped again in order to arrange everything much better, finally walking away from there just before 10:10 PM and getting back here just before 10:30 PM, having carried a total of 25.5 kg.
Had some of that watermelon and that apple cake after getting back, but then, after cleaning what dad had left in the kitchen, putting most of the things away and taking a shower, I only started eating dinner at 3:45 AM, though at least I did so in my room, and finished at 4:50 AM, getting in bed at 5:25 AM. And that’s despite not going out again, because that had been my original plan, another argument in favor of getting straight back to Carrefour having been the fact that I knew that this other Kaufland closed at midnight, so I meant to just drop things off and rush there as well. However, I quickly checked again on-line and saw that the hours had changed and it also closed at 10 PM, so that was no longer an option. It also proved to be a good thing, but I’ll get to that later, what I’m going to add here being that not going out again did end up causing a bit of an issue that night, since I had left the door unlocked and forgot about it. I so often think I forgot to lock the door and it’s never the case, but that time I was certain I had locked it and hadn’t, laughing incredulously when dad reminded me to lock it when he called, just before I went to take a shower, but eventually deciding to check after all, just in case, and finding that I had stayed with it unlocked until then.
Moving on to Friday, after managing, for the only time these days, to get in bed seconds before 5:15 AM that morning, I got up just after 1 PM, when dad left and woke me up, deciding to stay up even though I meant to get up at 2 PM and had set the alarm to ring then. Had the usual stuff plus almonds, the yogurt being one of those better ones, and some of those nicer biscuits brought by dad, with added honey, as something sweet. Also drank most of the tea, stuffed a few things in my tights and went out at 3:30 PM, the temperature being supposed to stay around 24°C.
After all the walking and carrying just two days earlier, I again only really meant to stay under 1:20, but of course still entertained the thought of normal times, meaning under 1:18. Didn’t manage that, but I was closer to it than to 1:20, the time being 1:18:41, with sector times of 4:26, 5:07, 5:54, something around 4:30, something around 5:04, 5:59, 4:36, 5:16, 6:03, 4:42, 5:20, 6:05, 4:39, 5:11 and 5:49, making for lap times of 15:27, 15:33, 15:55, 16:07 and 15:39. Those estimated times for sectors one and two of lap two are there because I somehow just forgot to check the time after sector one of lap two, having a look quite some time later and then trying to estimate based on when I got to that point on the following lap. However, with 9:34 for the first two sectors of lap two and 9:52 for the first two of lap three, that didn’t really work, and estimating based on the first lap, when I had 9:33 for the first two sectors, seemed better at first glance. At the same time, I knew I pushed harder on the first lap’s first sector and the second lap’s second sector, and the first lap’s first sector is usually the fastest while the first lap’s second one may often be slower, so while an estimate of 4:28 and 5:06 would seem more appropriate according to some calculations, I decided to go with 4:30 and 5:04 in the end. It may be up to a few seconds off, of course.
Just as I started running, I felt like sneezing and felt something in my right nostril that worried me, but it seemed fine after a little while, though later in the evening something felt a bit odd there again. The knee started giving me some warnings from sector three of lap one, but not more than that as I ran, though it was hurting the next day. Also from that sector, started feeling like I hadn’t emptied enough before leaving, and the feeling got worse as I continued, but it didn’t really get too bad. And felt a mix of exhaustion and runner’s high starting early on lap three, that feeling pretty much staying with me all the way to the end. Otherwise, felt some headwind on the last sector, but it wasn’t too bad and the wind wasn’t an issue the rest of the time, and while there were a fair number of people, it wasn’t actually crowded, so there was plenty of weaving or going the long way around and I also had to squeeze through in a few places, but there were no major problems, only having to slow to wait for an opening through a roadblock that formed ahead of me on a sector three, but I’m not sure whether that was on lap two or three.
Considering the effort made on the first sector and the resulting time, it was already quite clear that 1:18 was out of the question, but I meant to stay under 15:30 on that lap and under 31 minutes for the first two laps, just failing by fractions of a second when it came to that second target. After that, I was thinking of target times for 1:19 and 1:20, hoping only to stay under 16 minutes on lap three and keep the chance to stay under 1:19 in the end. Managing that didn’t seem enough, however, considering how the first two sectors of lap four went, so I was thinking of 1:19:30 at that point, but nevertheless pushed somewhat harder on sector three, ending up with less of a loss than I feared. That made me think of 1:19 again and, though it seemed highly unlikely, I just gave it everything on lap five, pushing hard from the beginning, not caring to keep anything in reserve, and still managing to push even harder on the last sector, which ended up being clearly the fastest sector three. The fact that I was already quite certain of staying under 1:19 after sector two probably gave me the peace of mind needed to do that.
Had a pencil and a slip of paper with me, but knew I’ll remember the times and had already forgotten which lap that roadblock had been on, so I didn’t stop to write anything before putting on my mask and going to that Carrefour again. The plan was to just look for cheap eggs once again, and maybe some more beets, and then get back, change, quickly eat something and leave again, to also go to Kaufland. However, the main things left to get from Kaufland were cucumbers and a certain kind of cheese, and I found both among the expiring things in Carrefour. The discounted price of the cucumbers wasn’t much lower than the current one at Kaufland, especially since I was again charged for the bag as well, and Kaufland might have applied a further discount in the evening, but it was nevertheless somewhat lower and what I saw in two of the three bags that were there seemed good enough, actually making me wonder why were they placed among the fruits and vegetables that were starting to spoil, so I grabbed one of those and one of those cheeses. It is expiring soon and also one of Carrefour’s brands, while the plan was to get four of another brand from Kaufland, but that’d have also involved getting one other product for either dad or my mother in order to get a discount voucher for later and I just mean to eat that kind of cheese these days, so that one was enough and meant I didn’t need to leave again. And yes, I also found cheap eggs, a large pile of them in fact, spending quite a while going through it and selecting those of a certain kind, since they were mixed. Then also got two beets and hurried to the checkout.
The problem was that I didn’t take a moment to calculate the total, so I didn’t notice right away that the cashier had forgotten to apply the discount for that cheese. When I did, after stopping a few steps away to arrange the purchases in the couple of small bags I had taken with me, I went back there, waited for her to pause for a moment, which actually happened before finishing with the next customer, as she needed to call for the price of an item that didn’t have a bar code, and told her what happened, reminding her that I had told her right away that the first two things I had placed on the belt were discounted but she still didn’t enter the discount for the cheese. She looked surprised, checking the product for the discount sticker and the receipt, but apologized when she saw that I was right, and then once again for needing to send me to the service desk, being unable to pay me back the difference herself. I asked if she couldn’t write something on the receipt, so I’ll have proof that I needed to receive that difference, but she said the product and the receipt itself will be enough, which proved to be the case, the matter being sorted out right away.
As for today, I woke up at 2 PM, when the alarm rang, though I took a while to get back to sleep after waking up to pee at 12:20 PM and hardly slept at all after waking up again at 1:20 PM, dad leaving and making noise at some point after that as well. Then I had the usual stuff plus almonds, with the yogurt being one of those better ones and again some of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as something sweet. Only wasted time on the toilet though, despite rather having to try to not get up and go after I got in bed in the morning, and just before leaving I even tried a second time, albeit only briefly, with the same result. The lost time didn’t mess up my schedule though, so I went out at 4 PM, as planned, the reported temperature being around 30°C and supposed to hold pretty steady. It was cloudy though, which definitely helped, and just as I got to the park I even felt a few drops, though that stopped almost right away.
With the park being so crowded, and with me still feeling rather tired, I was thinking that staying under 49 minutes would be quite nice, but that proved to be a far too optimistic goal, the time being 49:51.93, with sector times of 4:30.78, 5:11 (5:10.89), 6:01 (6:00.66), 4:33.27, 5:33 (5:32.60), 6:08.07, 4:31.72, 5:15 (5:14.84), 6:13 (6:12.30) and 1:56.80, making for lap times of 15:42.33, 16:14 (16:13.94) and 15:59 (15:58.86). Admittedly, I lost a good 25 seconds on sector two of lap two, when I noticed the right shoe’s shoelaces being untied again and fumbled with them for far too long, making me seriously worry about even staying under 50 minutes, but I pretty much gave it everything from then on, aiming for an actual running time that won’t exceed 49:30 in order to make up for that loss and managing it in the end.
The knee was mostly fine, which was rather surprising, considering the pain I felt the day before and all the sudden changes of direction required today, and despite that wasted time before leaving, I only started feeling a certain pressing need on sector two of lap three, and it didn’t get too bad even after that. On the other hand, there was some wind, and I felt that I was running against it on some clearer stretches where I could try to make up for some lost time. But the major problem was how crowded it was, with multiple roadblocks on just about every sector, maybe only sector three of lap one seeming somewhat clearer, so I constantly had to look for ways around or through, taking to the grass plenty of times, a few times for tens of meters, weaving from one side to the other, slowing, sidestepping, even briefly stopping a couple of times, and putting whatever energy I had left into trying to pretty much sprint whenever I saw a clearer area, to make up for what I was losing the rest of the time.
At least I could take a shower without freezing after I got back. The water was barely acceptable for a quick shower, but at least I could do that, while Friday evening I had to make do with water that was mostly cold, so I washed from the waist down and from the neck up, taking deep breaths and gritting my teeth, and then got out of the bathtub and washed my arms and armpits while leaning over the side, just taking water in my hands, so it won’t splash my torso or back, because it was just too cold for me to want to force myself through that as well. It was hot Wednesday night, so it’s still possible, but let’s see how it’ll be Tuesday, after the third and final run of this series…
Wanted to avoid a Sunday update, but didn’t care to ask whether I could get on-line earlier yesterday, so I ended up with one after all, also including today’s run. Waiting longer might have meant getting a reply to the questions sent to the organizers of the marathon and having something more to say, but it seems that they didn’t care to reply anyway, and the deadline’s at midnight, so there are no changes in my plans. Not that I’d have been likely to decide to take part, but after receiving an e-mail, Thursday, inviting me to participate in the marathon after all, I wasn’t absolutely certain that I didn’t want to make use of that offer, depending on the conditions. The e-mail did appear to be sent in error, saying that it’s sent to amateurs with “remarkable results”, which definitely can’t be my case, and based on my results from last year, when I didn’t participate in the marathon at all, and I don’t feel like I can run a marathon now and didn’t really prepare for one despite mostly sticking to the running schedule I came up with before the only one I ran so far, but I did send the organizers some questions and was definitely expecting a reply well before the deadline specified in the e-mail. But since I didn’t receive any, I’ll just assume that, as far as I’m concerned, things remain as announced, this year’s Bucharest Marathon being only for professional athletes, with an optional “virtual marathon”, tracked by some app, for those who desire to take part in something like this, which I obviously don’t, and the actual registrations otherwise being moved to next year’s edition.