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Rib, Crash and Being Proud of a Bad Time

Last Saturday I did get that lower end of the usual amount for myself after all, so I should be able to save a bit more than planned, since the concerns I mentioned at the end of the previous personal post had made me assume a very restricted budget when I planned my purchases. On the other hand, still on the matter of expenses, dad was again infuriating when he got one of the medicines he had told me he wanted to get, and for which I had given him links with lower prices, for two thirds more than that amount, since one of the pharmacies didn’t have it and he didn’t wait for me to order one from the other, at the same price, just grabbing it from another one that was on his way. Wonder if he even asked about it at that second place, since he didn’t say, only saying that he asked about the FFP2 masks there and, as I had assumed, the price listed on the site was just for orders, and at least that time he did listen, not buying them at the higher price just to get them right away and letting me order them, since from that pharmacy you can order and then pick up the products once they’re ready for no additional charge.
Still on the topic of dad being infuriating last Saturday, that evening he made himself some more soup before napping for a while, and when I went to the kitchen I found something sticky all over the faucet, and on one of the things we use to clean dishes, and on some of the things in the sink, and water all over, so instead of just rushing there to grab something to eat and then get back to my room, I spent over an hour struggling to clean and get the crap off my hands. I still wasn’t done when he woke up, and when I asked what that was he said he had tried to clean the stove a bit… And couldn’t understand how the crap got on the faucet since he had supposedly never touched it… Right… Either way, that night I actually started eating dinner at 2:55 AM, which was good, because starting at 3 AM would have meant starting at 4 AM, seeing as the clock went forward that night.

Last Sunday I wanted to watch ski jumping, so the alarm was set to ring at 10 AM, but after first waking up at 9:20 AM, I managed to nap a little more, woke up again at 9:55 AM and turned off the alarm, getting back under the blanket and staying there during the team competition. Had gas and my stomach was hurting, the peppers eaten in the evening possibly having something to do with that, but worse was that my left thumb and index finger were stinging and red and I even saw a bit of blistering, so I guess I burned myself while rushing to get the food out of the microwave the previous evening, after dad woke up, and holding those peppers, and all the rubbing to get rid of that sticky stuff, might have made it worse. Had felt it a bit at night, didn’t think it was anything serious, but by the time I woke up it was… And that tooth on the right side has been hurting again as well, and apparently something on the bottom too, also on that side, though staying with the window open in the kitchen at night might have something to do with that.
Either way, with no message from the pharmacy, not that I expected it on a Sunday, when I left at 1:25 PM I headed to Obor. Was considering going to Unirii, but dad asked for caraway before I left, and while I told him I’ll grab some of the cheap kind from Kaufland Monday or Tuesday, I decided to go there and also check that off the list, finding a shorter route between that mall and Kaufland and also getting some pepper and basil, a couple of other things for dad and apples and oranges for myself, seeing a really good price for oranges and a fair one for apples of that kind and not caring to pass through that farmers’ market to see whether I’d find some for a bit less. And yes, I mentioned that shorter route before the purchases because I first went in that mall, having a quick look in a bookstore and then checking that Carrefour. Was mainly looking for that bread that I get from there, but while they didn’t seem to have any, they had another kind that I also thought I could get, at the same price, so I got one of those. Could have also gotten eggs, since they were very cheap again, but now we have a whole lot, dad only yesterday touching those he had me order… And he’s yet to touch the frozen peas or one of the two overpriced bags of frozen spinach.
To get back on topic, also grabbed a pretzel from that place that’s also where that Kaufland is, then left everything in a cabinet and searched for the Penny from that area, getting one of the two lettuces that were left, since it seemed good enough at that price, and the few onions that still seemed more or less all right. Then I went to the Shop & Go I had spotted nearby and grabbed a bag of the raw sugar that was on sale those days, after which I retrieved my stuff from Kaufland. Felt quite embarrassed when, after thinking that one might tear, I took a moment to rearrange the bags and a woman who was working at one of the stores that’s also there offered to help, so I hastened away after refusing and was back here just before 5:10 PM, after at times needing to find the best ways to push against the wind, and choose between holding the bags properly and holding on to my cap. And, to finish with that day, I’ll also mention here that I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM that night, after only having some popcorn earlier, during the second half of the match, but it wasn’t even 5:10 AM when I got in bed.

Monday I finally ran again, after two weeks, so the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM but my internal clock worked well again and I got up at 1:58 PM, had the usual stuff, considering the raisins in dark chocolate mixed with the yogurt and cereals as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear, with an undershirt underneath, and went out at 4:15 PM, when the reported temperature was about 15°C, maybe dropping just a bit by the time I’ll finish. It was rather windy though.
The time was 1:19:58, with sector times of 4:13.90, 5:14 (5:13.44), 6:02.41, 4:35 (4:34.29), 5:14.07, 6:04 (6:03.92), 4:33.45, 5:12.30, 6:07.10, 4:42, 5:22, 6:12, 4:43, 5:27 and 6:18, making for lap times of 15:29.75, 15:53 (15:52.28), 15:52.85, 16:16 and 16:28. Have the exact times for the first three laps since I wasn’t quite sure of the distance I was going to cover, the idea indeed being 16 km, to prepare for the half marathon distance normally planned for this week, but stopping after ten kilometers also being an option if necessary. So I was just hoping for a first lap in less than 16 minutes, aiming for 1:22, but when I stayed under 15:30 I briefly wondered whether I’ll manage ten kilometers in less than 49 minutes, and if so perhaps aim only for that not because I’d be too exhausted, but actually because I’d be fast enough under those circumstances. But that was just a thought, the actual next goal being a second lap in less than 16 minutes, which I also managed. Then I realized that ten kilometers in less than 49 minutes won’t be possible anyway, but the thought of 16 in 1:20 was starting to enter my mind, so I hoped to at least average less than 16 minutes on laps two and three, less than 16 minutes on lap three being a stretch goal, yet I achieved even that, actually obtaining nearly identical times on laps two and three. Then I hoped for 16:15 on lap four, to allow for 16:30 on lap five, really pushing when I saw myself falling behind, and even so I was just a second short of the goal. That meant I didn’t believe I’ll manage it in the end, but I just gave it everything on lap five and it somehow just worked out. By then the thought of continuing to the half marathon distance then and there had also crossed my mind, but I didn’t exactly want to keep pushing right away like that, and also knew it’d be a struggle to even match the previous time, which didn’t seem a goal worth aiming for.
As I already mentioned, it was quite windy, and there were places where I had to fight it, including straights, mainly those on sector two. But much more of a concern, since then as well, was that, just before starting to run, I tried to pop my back, probably in order to dislodge that bone spur again, while being gentler with my spine, which means getting my arms under my ribs and pushing up… And something gave, hurting quite badly at first. The pain subsided after a moment and I could start running, and after I warmed up it bothered me less than I initially feared, but something definitely wasn’t right. Other than that, there were plenty of people, yet I was lucky to just avoid actual roadblocks, so I just needed to weave and go the long way around quite a lot, slow a little a few times, just take a step on the grass once or twice, and run on wet grass for some meters on sector two of lap five, because of a large crowd gathered in front of a stall. It is possible that the other runner who showed up ahead of me shortly before the last straight, and the one who came down the stairs and fell in behind her a little before what for me was the finish line, helped me just manage to squeeze under 1:20, but at the same time maybe they almost caused me to fail to do so, because at first I aimed to catch at least one of them and got a bit disheartened when I realized I had no chance to do so before finishing, possibly slowing a little before recovering to sprint on those last few meters.

Went out again that evening, a bit before 6:50 PM. Had that order to pick up from the pharmacy, so I went there, but first had a look through that larger Mega Image, then had to search for the pharmacy for a bit, not realizing I had passed it. Either way, it seemed deserted, the cashiers being in the back, but one came up after I entered, so I said I was there for an order and handed the money over some ads that I guess were there to act as a barrier in the space between the screens, as I hadn’t noticed the space at the bottom of the screens, so the cashier asked if it wasn’t easier to hand her the money through that space instead of “breaking bones” to do it over those ads. She also asked for 26.20 RON when the price was 26.16 RON and I had given her 56.16 RON, to get exactly 30 RON back, but she gave me the 0.01 RON coin back, saying that’s not enough, and as I dug through my pockets for another 0.05 RON one and couldn’t find it, later remembering that I didn’t even have one, having prepared just enough to give her the exact amount in coins, she grabbed a few coins stacked on the counter and I guess made up for the difference that way, though there shouldn’t have been a difference in the first place.
Then I went to Kaufland, dad asking for some oats while I was looking for the carrots that were on sale. Well, I saw that those carrots were from Turkey and looked all over and couldn’t find their brand of oats, just a couple of other more expensive ones, so I didn’t get either, but was there after 8 PM, so evening discounts were being applied. Oddly, there didn’t seem to be any for vegetables, but most of the bakery products left were half off, and there were quite a lot of them, so after the employee replaced the labels I took a glove, grabbed four of those breads I get from there, then joined a few other people in taking turns to mostly clear much of the other things left, getting four pretzels, two chocolate and butter croissants, the last cheese and spinach roll, after a guy who was just a step ahead of me in getting to that spot, since I had gotten other things first, grabbed the other two, and after thinking it over for a while decided to get one more thing, a variety of doughnut with chocolate, this being the most expensive item. Put together, all of these, except the bread, were less than the typical price of a cake from a confectionery, and I had meant to ask dad whether I could buy myself one, as in not considering it as being purchased from “my” money, and I guess I got all of that for the price of it, thinking I’ll save him that amount on the oats and whatever he’ll ask for next.
There were problems with the self-checkout, however, since those things need to be entered manually, so I entered the croissants, placed them on the scales, it seemed to accept them, but after a couple of seconds it asked me to scan the product before placing it. Removed and put them back down a couple of times and it finally worked, but then the same thing happened for the doughnut variety, an employee came to help but the machine again seemed to fix itself after a bit and I said I could handle it when she asked what I had and whether I could enter everything properly, so she told me to ask for her if I’ll need her, moved to help others… And I had to ask for her seconds later, because the machine did the same thing with the pretzels and didn’t seem to care to fix itself anymore, so I selected “Help” and at that point an employee had to log on, so she came and did so, asking what I had, saying that the machine didn’t seem to have registered the pretzels, though they had showed up on the screen after I had entered them, and then she entered the roll and bread while logged on, to override any more errors.
After finally being done, also got dad a bottle of kefir from another store that’s there, just as the employees were getting ready to close. It also seemed to be the last bottle, the guy at first telling a coworker that he was out, until I pointed it to him. He didn’t give me a receipt though, and I couldn’t get myself to ask for one, but he put the bottle in a bag even though I told him I didn’t want one, so I took it out and left the bag there… And then read the label and realized that, while at first I had thought that the price was fair enough, only the label was different and gave the impression of a smaller producer, when in fact it was produced by a firm that sells very cheap dairy products, and when I later checked I saw their own large bottles of kefir for about a third less in Auchan! But what was done was done, so I then also looked for the place to throw away masks, found it, threw away the two I had, went back to the other side to also properly throw away the paper bag they had been in… And then panicked for a moment, unable to recall exactly what cabinet I had placed the masks in and not seeing them in any from that area. But I eventually found them, and was back a bit after 9:20 PM.
Weighed myself after getting back, getting quite worried when I saw less than 45 kg… And that, on top of running that day, made me want to stuff myself that night, so I asked dad, who was obviously still working from home, whether I could have the kitchen to make mamaliga, and then did so. Speaking of dad, he did another quick test, a cheaper one, that day and said it was negative, going out and meeting people right away as a result, though a negative result at such a test doesn’t have to actually mean anything. But I guess that’s his, and their, problem, so I’ll get back to what I did that evening, when I spent three and a half hours in the kitchen and even so the salad I made was small and I didn’t wash everything, seeing how I need to be even more careful to keep clean and safe, and also lost some time with Micky’s food, and a lot more with taking care of half the bread I had bought and finally placing the fruits purchased the day before in the fridge as well. Started eating at 3:30 AM, getting to the kitchen around 5:10 AM to scrape and finish the last bits left in the pot, so without a mask, meaning that it was 5:15 AM when I really finished eating, and I got in bed at 5:35 AM. As for that rib, once I cooled off it started hurting a fair bit…

To quickly go through the next two days, Tuesday I woke up to pee a bit after 9:30 AM and, between my rib hurting, my mind racing and the effects of having finished dinner just before getting in bed, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so at 10:30 AM I got up and on the computer for a while, then just wasted time in bed in the afternoon, still unable to sleep. At least I had a fair lunch in the evening, but then I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM and only got in bed again at 5:20 AM. As for Wednesday, after admittedly taking some time to go through part of a newspaper while in the kitchen, started eating dinner at 3:10 AM, the salad being quite large, and got in bed at 5:15 AM.

Thursday started with a bit of a mess, literally, my body deciding to clean the plumbing around 9:30 AM, which made it not just a bad day for this to happen, but also a bad time, as I had to wait several minutes before being able to clean up, dad getting ready to leave just then. But at least I could get back to sleep, and got up at 1:15 PM, when I woke up and checked the time, the alarm being set to ring at 1:30 PM. Then I had the usual stuff plus raisins in dark chocolate and a pretzel with added honey, put on the full running gear and left at 3:55 PM, when the reported temperature was 16°C, supposed to pretty much hold steady until I’ll finish. It sure seemed chilly on the way to the park though, the lack of an undershirt probably having a fair bit to do with that, allowing the wind to get under my t-shirt and right to my skin, but it was obviously fine while I ran.
The time was a bad 1:50:47, with sector times of 4:27, 5:17, 6:20, 4:47, 5:19, 6:13, 4:50, 5:25, 6:16, 4:52, 5:25, 6:22, 5:09, 5:35, 6:29, 5:09, 5:44, 6:47, 1:57, 6:24 and 2:00, making for lap times of 16:04, 16:19, 16:31, 16:39, 17:13 and 17:40, plus 10:21 for the final portion. So, even if I’m to just take the time into account, it’d have been much better to just continue Monday’s run, covering this distance then and not running again this week. And I realized from the beginning that I was going to have to fight to just have a chance to stay under 1:50, the times I was estimating adding up to 1:51, which led me to consider leaving it for another time and even just running ten kilometers. Pushed past that point, but kept thinking that what I was doing was terribly unwise and I should at least stop after 16 km… And then everything changed and, though it was obviously even more unwise to do so, I became determined to get to the end even if I needed to simply walk and bite my lips to stop myself from screaming in pain. It fortunately didn’t come to that, and I probably only lost about a minute over those last eight kilometers or so, but it obviously came at a cost…
The rib was a problem from the beginning, mainly keeping me from breathing in quite as deeply and as quickly as I’d have wanted, meaning that sprinting on straights was pretty much out of the question and I probably also tired more quickly. Still, by the time I pushed past the first three laps and decided to at least go for five, it seemed to hurt less… Until the crash on sector one of lap five. I had a few near misses in the past, but now it finally happened: I crashed into a cyclist. Was weaving through the crowd, trying to go faster at the start of that long straight, and couldn’t move in front of the people I had just passed before he reached that spot, coming from the opposite direction, pain in my rib likely stopping me from going left fast enough. So I froze for an instant, by which point trying to jump right wasn’t an option either, since I was unlikely to make it and that’d have meant him hitting my left side, so just where that rib is. Fortunately, with him doing his best to stop, I just had enough time to get my right arm in front of my chest and turn my body just a bit to the left, taking the hit mostly on the right side. We both fell, picked ourselves off the pavement, he asked whether I was fine, said I had jumped in his way, I agreed, saying he had been on the lane and it had been my fault, apologized, picked my cap up off the grass, put it back on and kept going, only later realizing that I should have also at least asked whether he and his bike were also fine.
I know that there was some wind to deal with while I ran, and obviously people as well, but the situation was otherwise manageable, and while I think there were a couple of issues earlier as well, I just recall needing to go around behind that stall where people often gather at the end, the details of what happened before the crash rather fading from my mind as I first focused on finishing that lap at all costs and then, when I saw that I wasn’t screaming in pain after all, on getting to the end. There was more pain to deal with, but not as much as I feared, and while I was calculating how far I had to get before being able to first jog and then even walk and still finish in less than two hours, it never came to that at all and, as I already mentioned, I probably only lost about a minute because of that crash, including the 15 seconds or so lost on the spot, before I started running again, so the chance of 1:50 was obviously gone, but I could at least stay under 1:51. That’s obviously an awful time in itself, the slowest since the 2018 half marathon with the exception of that absolutely terrible time from July, but under those circumstances I feel quite proud of it, and in fact of having finished at all… Even if it was unwise to attempt it in the first place and now there’s quite a price to pay.

That wasn’t the end of it that day, however, since I again went back out around 6:50 PM or so, taking those things I drop off at Kaufland and the paper, dad having really filled that bin. The problem was that I wanted to drop off the paper in the bin that’s in front of that mall Carrefour’s in, but it was full to begin with, the light flashing red, so I squeezed in all I could, during which time another guy pushed some of his in as well. Forced it closed a few times, wondering if it’ll press or push it down at least a little, but while it sounded as if it was trying and the light flashed green for a little while at one point, it didn’t actually do anything and I eventually had to give up and drop the rest off in the proper section of the first bin I found inside that mall. Then I stuffed the other things in a cabinet and had a look inside that Carrefour, finding an expiring bio (organic) yogurt and a bag with a few apples of a different kind that were also discounted because they were starting to go bad and hiding them before leaving to go to Kaufland, not having the time to stand in line twice.
After a few steps I realized I had forgotten those things in the cabinet, so I turned back to retrieve them, then dropped them off after getting to Kaufland, got what I had to get from there and also cabbage, which seemed to have an unannounced discount, plus some more apples that were deeply discounted. The large majority looked really bad, but even if I was in a hurry I could pick some that seemed quite all right, and they actually added up to a bit over 1.6 kg. There were lines, however, and a single self-checkout that also accepts cash was working, so I went to a regular checkout, though there were obviously lines there as well, and I guess I increased the waiting time for those behind me a little bit because the display didn’t seem to work and I was waiting for it to confirm that I had calculated the total correctly, so I didn’t react to put the products back in the bag as the cashier was scanning them, which caused her to ask for the bag after she was done and bag them herself, saying that I hadn’t done it by then when I said I meant to do that myself, and that she’ll be there until 10:30 PM, so she’s not hurrying for her own benefit.
And I did have to hurry if I was to catch Carrefour still open, so I jogged back to that mall, stuffed the purchases in a cabinet and rushed back in to retrieve the yogurt and apples from where I had hidden them, though I only kept the yogurt, returning the apples to their proper place, since I no longer needed them. Also got the last three bags of oats for dad, which included the one I had also hidden the first time around, albeit only behind the otherwise nearly empty boxes that were in that spot on the shelf, and some lemons, getting to the checkouts some ten minutes before closing time. There were lines again, however, and the one that was supposedly for those with few products didn’t seem to be moving at all, and those who were in it didn’t have few products anyway, so I moved to the one next to it, but even so my turn came seconds after the announcement that the store had closed. But, since I was there and not at the Carrefour from the park, that wasn’t a problem, as the cabinets aren’t in an area that gets closed off when the store closes, so I could retrieve everything, though I then rushed out and only stopped to even out the weight after exiting that mall.
I was back here just after 9:30 PM and, after having just one of those croissants and an apple during the evening, only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, though I at least was in bed just after 5:10 AM… Couldn’t shower, however, as there was no hot water since Tuesday and, while the problem was first supposed to be fixed Wednesday afternoon and then that afternoon, that obviously hadn’t happened. So I had to assess the “damage” while just standing in front of the mirror in this small bathroom I’m using, finding a pretty noticeable scrape around my right elbow and one of a similar size but fainter on my back. Strangely enough, it was also only then that I noticed the pretty large bruise on my right hand, and there were plenty of other small scrapes and scratches on that hand and arm as well. And that rib has obviously been hurting worse, and there’s a bit of pain in the right side of my chest as well, though that doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about and there’s no bruising to be seen. In addition, there’s a bit of pain in my left leg, mostly around the ankle and knee, but that also doesn’t seem concerning. Also noticed that my right thumb was rather numb at one point, but I can’t remember whether it was like that from the beginning or that was a result of carrying the stuff I purchased the next day, and either way it pretty much recovered by now. On the other hand, after the pain and stinging caused by that burn went away, I realized that I had reduced feeling in my left thumb and index finger, so I hope those will also recover soon enough…

Since I mentioned the next day’s purchases, yes, I did go out again on Friday, Liza being just about out of food and dad wanting more kefir as well. The thing is that, while it’s mostly fine otherwise, if I’m a little careful, that rib is a serious issue if I’m trying to sleep. It’s an even worse one when it comes to getting up, but that’s something I can deal with, while sleeping under these circumstances is much more of a problem. So I was rather surprised I slept at all that morning, and was awake at 9:25 AM, going to pee and then staying up, on the computer, waiting for dad to leave… Since the hot water had returned, I quickly washed my underarms while leaning over the side of the bathtub and eventually left as well, at 2:15 PM, also taking the plastic and metal and ending up carrying them quite a long way, since I crossed to the other side of the road here and therefore didn’t get to the bins that are on this street, and it was quite a while before I spotted another.
Kept wondering whether I should first go to Auchan or to that Penny, and I guess that was one of the reasons why, after deciding to first go to Penny after all, I ended up missing the turn… And then made it worse by trying to use another route to cut through that area and realizing that it wasn’t possible, so I lost some more time before finally getting to that Penny and just getting the canned herring I had gone there for. Then I went to Auchan and got the cat food and kefir, having gone there specifically for the one produced by the same firm that produced the one I had purchased Monday evening from that other store for that much higher price.
Was hoping to be able to get some more change from the machine, but ended up just getting back what I put in, which should have been obvious, considering the amount I had, but I guess I wasn’t thinking straight. That left me short on change and I wanted the exact amount for what I still had to purchase from Carrefour on my way back, so I meant to actively search for more after leaving the checkout area, but first wanted to count what I had, just to be sure… And ended up dropping the coins… And probably failing to retrieve a 0.05 RON one. It’s also possible that I missed my pocket with one of those I found later, but that seems much less likely. Either way, that meant that I actually found what should have been enough, but then realized I was still short, and by then I was on my way out. Still, I was just missing 0.02 RON and found a 0.01 RON coin before leaving that parking area, which I knew could actually be enough. But I wanted to be sure, so I also entered a Mega Image on the way and, while I had a quick look, I was mainly wondering whether I’ll find another coin on the way out, ending up just grabbing their catalogs and magazine when I didn’t.
Well, when I got to Carrefour I spotted a 0.01 RON coin right there, as I was going to put my stuff in a cabinet… But ended up not needing it anyway, since I was also considering getting a bundle of green onions, for 0.99 RON, on top of the frozen peas and vinegar, and did spot one that was nice and large enough. Then I spent some time calculating weights, in order to properly balance the bags… And realized on my way back that, after having hurt a fair bit earlier, that rib had pretty much stopped hurting, though I felt it again when I tried to take a few breaths the way I would while running.
I was back just before 5:35 PM… And when I eventually showered I just caught the end of the hot water. It had been fine until then, but as I started showering I felt it getting noticeably colder by the moment, so I rushed, changed the order in which I wash my body parts, and just made it, though it wasn’t comfortable towards the end. And my rib also started hurting again, as I started doing stuff and moving in ways I shouldn’t. Meant to change my sheets as well, after having slept without washing the previous night, but eventually decided against it. Even so, after having admittedly had a fair bit to eat earlier, after showering, and then also a late nap, I only started eating dinner at 3:40 AM and only got in bed again at 5:45 AM!

As for yesterday, I woke up laughing at one point, after a dream. That might just be a first, but that rib really didn’t like it. Still, it was mostly fine after getting up, with a bit of care, and the same holds true today, the main problems still being when I try to sleep or get up. But, to return to yesterday, I again had lunch in the evening, but also again took time to read in the kitchen and only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM. Still, I again managed to at least get back in bed a bit after 5:10 AM.


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