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Catching Up on Runs Before Dream Trek Summer Edition 2021

On June 3 I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, but I had been dreaming crazy things since dad left, which he said was supposed to be at 11 AM, though I didn’t get up then to check. Thought I hadn’t even slept during that time, but I obviously had to sleep in order to dream, and the dreams were really messed up, and one after the other, and I woke up exhausted. Also, the forecast didn’t list much wind and stated that it was going to die down even more later, but it was quite windy outside when I got up, one site still stating that it was going to die down around 6 PM, but also that some risk of rain would appear then. Still, the plan was for a half marathon run, so I had the usual stuff, with both raisins in dark chocolate added in the yogurt and muesli and some more of those expired nicer biscuits with added honey as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear and left at 4:20 PM, when the reported temperature was about 20°C, supposed to drop by a couple of degrees by the time I’ll finish.
The time was 1:46:27, with sector times of 4:14, 5:07, 6:03, 4:34, 5:07, 6:02, 4:34, 5:12, 6:06, 4:41, 5:21, 6:16, 4:45, 5:27, 6:10, 4:49, 5:32, 6:23, 1:54, 6:14 and 1:56, making for lap times of 15:24, 15:43, 15:52, 16:18, 16:22 and 16:44, plus 10:04 for the final portion. Still well over 1:45, so it doesn’t matter, but it was the least slow time over this distance since October, so I guess I should mention this… And it was less bad than I expected, since early on I was working out times for 1:47, but also allowing for 1:48, which after lap four I thought I was going to have to settle for, 1:46:30 only becoming a possible, yet still unlikely, target after the final portion’s first sector.
Pushed at the start, but not so much, just thinking to stay safely under 4:30, so when I saw that time it gave me reasons to hope, and so did the time at the end of the lap, though I’d have hoped for a better sector three. Then I was comparing the times with those from what was at the time the last 16 km run, seeing I had gained a little on lap two as well, but lost a bit on three. Did just manage to stay under 47 minutes for the first three laps, but on sector three of lap three my body gave me multiple warnings that I had been pushing too hard and I struggled to maintain focus, and after that it was even harder to do so, lap four ending up several seconds worse than I aimed for. But I pushed on lap five and recovered that loss, falling one second behind the pace of that last 16 km run after sector two, wondering whether I’ll somehow manage to make it up on sector three and actually doing it, having the exact same time as then after five laps. Then sector one of lap six gave me some confidence, since it was just what I needed, but the time lost on sector two because of some cyclists made some doubt about staying under 1:47 return. Not much though, and sector three was good enough, so I was thinking I’ll be safe if I’ll just stay under two minutes on the first sector of the final portion. But then I saw 1:54 and started wondering about 1:46:30, thinking I may just have a shot with 6:15 on sector two, so what’s otherwise a sector three of a normal lap. Doubted I could manage that, and thought that if I somehow would, I’ll then be too exhausted on the final sector, but pushed and when I saw 6:14 I went for it, making it in the end even though some people on the final straight made me worry I’ll just miss out because of them.
There was some wind at times, but not to the point of feeling that I was fighting it, and otherwise the conditions were nice, cloudy but without any rain. Physically, a bit of pain made me need to snap my back at the start of lap two, which I managed without being too rough, then my right knee started giving some warnings from the start of lap three, and on sector three of lap three I was getting multiple signals that I was pushing too hard. The others mostly faded, but a certain need started making itself felt somewhat more notably as time passed, though never at a serious level. As for people, though some weaving and going the long way around was of course still needed, the park was relatively clear. Still, there was a roadblock at the end of sector two of lap four, under the bridge, a family on bicycles coming from the opposite direction ending up alongside the guy with a large dog I was just about to pass, then at the start of lap five I had to slow and see where to go because two kids on bicycles or scooters, can’t quite recall, weren’t making up their minds, and on sector two of lap six I had to slow several times because of other cyclists, again kids not making up their minds the first two times, but after that mostly because of a group of several young cyclists racing each other in short bursts, shouting a lot and starting, stopping and turning unpredictably, and the fact that they were going in the same direction and kept stopping and starting again meant I kept bumping into them. And then there was the issue I already mentioned, on the final sector’s straight, several people walking side by side, blocking most of it, and when I meant to squeeze through on one side the one on that side of the group moved in that direction, so I had to go to the other side of that wide path to get around them.

Moving on to June 9, considering the notification that gas was going to be off between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM, I expected to be woken up by the downstairs neighbor again after 8:30 AM, but it wasn’t even 8:15 AM when that happened. I was so sleepy, and it was quiet again after a while, but the plan was to run early if I’ll be woken up, considering the forecast, so I got up and stayed up, had the usual stuff and finished the pack of those expired nicer biscuits, with added honey, put on the full running gear and left at 10:25 AM, when the reported temperature was 23-24°C, supposed to hold steady or maybe increase by 1°C by the time I’ll finish. Some risk of isolated storms was listed after 11 AM, but it stayed sunny and, though a gust that hit me on the way was worrying, there was very little wind while I ran.
The time was 50:40.59, with sector times of 4:23.19, 5:17.65, 6:16 (6:15.21), 4:44.80, 5:22 (5:21.80), 6:16 (6:15.78), 4:43 (4:42.93), 5:27 (5:26.93), 6:17.02 and 1:55.28, making for lap times of 15:56.05, 16:22.38 and 16:27 (16:26.88). Considering how sleepy I was, I was thinking that 50 minutes would be a great time, and the first sector might have just given me a chance, but from the second I even had dizzy moments and it was clear that I had to fight to even stay under 51 minutes. So I settled into that, just pushing on the final sector, when I saw 48:45 after the three laps, to avoid the embarrassment of covering that sector in more than two minutes and stay under 50:45. I was disappointed when I just failed to stay under 50:40 though.
Other than being sleepy, just felt a pressing need for a while on sector two of lap three and then again right at the end. And there were few people on the path, causing only two notable issues, both of them on sector one of lap three. One was a broken attempted sprint on the long straight, a cyclist coming slowly on the lane and a guy walking next to her, on the side I was on, and since I didn’t dare to cut across the lane, we all met right where there’s a pole as well and I had to just squeeze through. And then I lost a couple of seconds towards the end of that same sector because of a misunderstanding with a girl on a scooter, the two of us doing the silly dance until we had to stop in front of each other and even then we both tried to step aside in the same direction, which at least meant that she couldn’t tilt the scooter to the other side as fast as I could sidestep the other way and we finally made it past each other.

Sunday I actually managed to get myself to finish that review for Venetica… And then I saw that the forecast for Monday would, maybe, allow me to run, so I planned accordingly, setting the alarm to 2 PM. Got up when I woke up and saw 1:30 PM, however, and had the usual stuff, for the sweet thing actually going back to what used to be normal way back, those wheat things, with added honey. Then I put on the full running gear, wanted to leave at 4 PM… And couldn’t. There were some clouds, and it had rained for a little while earlier, but just as I was about to leave there was a gust of wind and it started raining again, so I had to wait it out, since the clouds seemed to be clearing, and the forecast did list the risk as dropping as time passed. I finally left at 4:20 PM, once the rain ended, the reported temperature being about 20°C, supposed to hold quite steady.
The time was 1:19:58, with sector times of 4:17, 5:04, 6:03, 4:34, 5:15, 6:01, 4:40, 5:18, 6:10, 4:42, 5:24, 6:19, 4:45, 5:22 and 6:04, making for lap times of 15:24, 15:50, 16:08, 16:25 and 16:11. Aimed to stay under 15:20 on the first lap and thought I’ll manage it after two sectors, thinking I could stay under six minutes on sector three, but didn’t, and that made me realize it was going to be hard to stay under 1:20. Then I feared already getting to 16 minutes on lap two, so that 15:50 was a relief, but after that I was hoping for 16:05 on lap three and 16:10, or at most 16:15, on four, so I failed even on lap three, and way more on four. That meant I started lap five thinking I had no chance to stay under 1:20, but just pushed, despite that lack of a chance seeming even clearer after the first sector, and even more so after the second, just giving it everything on that last sector, my body wanting me to stop on or at least after the last straight but somehow just keeping it up and seeing that it was just enough after all. Still disappointing though, considering the conditions and the effort.
There were relatively few people, but on top of some weaving and going the long way around, and also squeezing through, there were a few notable issues. Had to slow once on the very first sector, when a guy on an electric scooter appeared in front of me in a blind turn, and then a few times on sector one of lap four, first on the long straight, two kids on scooters getting in my way after stopping and then going to an old man, and then when two others on bicycles were coming from behind and I meant to make room, but one was on the path and one on a parallel route and they seemed to want to stay level, so the one behind me took a while to get past, and when he did other kids on scooters and their parents were coming from the other direction and I had to pick my way through. Another moment was on the long straight of sector two, I think on lap five, when a woman with a pram turned said pram right in front of me after getting something from a stall, so I had to quickly avoid it and feared that the loss of time was going to put me over that target that already seemed highly unlikely. And I was worried one last time at the end, other kids on scooters turning in front of me right before what I consider to be the finish line, but I managed to calculate a good path and avoid getting blocked. Otherwise, the clouds did clear after that one bringing the rain moved away, and it was sunny while I ran, but there were some areas where I had to push against the wind. As for how I felt physically, a certain pressing need appeared on sector three of lap two and kept making itself known on and off after that. Otherwise it seemed fine until my body wanted to me stop just before the end, and my nose was irritated after I was done.
To finish with that day, there was a power failure that, according to the logs, started just before 11:20 PM, in which case it means it took me almost ten minutes to notice. That’d be odd, but not impossible at that moment, and the fact that there was a recorded message about the problem when I called, after a few minutes, seems to confirm that it hadn’t just failed at the time I noticed it. Either way, if the logs are correct, I shut down the computer after 15 minutes on battery and the power was back pretty much exactly one hour after failing, and I also started the computer again pretty much exactly one hour after shutting it down. There was another failure, at 12:56 AM, but that only lasted a little over a minute. And I started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and got in bed at 5:30 AM.

Tuesday I left at just after 1:15 PM, when the rain, which had been rather heavy earlier, was down to just some drops, and it pretty much died out for good after that. Also took the recyclables, including the stuff I drop off at Kaufland… And somehow forgot to drop off said recyclables nearby, so I had to look for other bins on the way, crossing the road again and then crossing back when I spotted one. Either way, I then first checked the Mega Image near the farmers’ market for the butter that was on sale and bought it, then got a bundle of green onions and apples from the market. When I had pretty much decided where to buy the apples from and had stopped at that stall, the seller, who was at another stall, called to me to ask whether I wanted something, but I wasn’t prepared for that interaction and didn’t answer. She eventually came over when another man also came and started looking around, and said she had shouted at me, but I just replied that I had headphones, which was true, and I even showed her, but I wasn’t listening to anything at that point and had clearly heard her. But I was just struggling to hold it together long enough to get the apples, not even managing to get myself to give her my own bags to put the apples in.
Got to Kaufland after that, first quickly checking another store from that area, then dropping off the things I drop off there and going in, getting what I meant to get, though the emergency was food for Liza and they seemed out of the kind I was looking for, even though it’s their own brand, so I just got a few of two other kinds, so she’ll have something for the next few days. There were no issues with the self-checkout, and as I was leaving a guy using another machine walked away without taking the coins given as change, some of them having probably already been left there by previous customers, so I muttered that I thanked him for leaving them and grabbed what was almost 1 RON in coins. The move was rather too obvious, and the guard was probably looking, and the person walking behind me definitely was, but I did it anyway.
As I was leaving, it smelled like rain, but it wasn’t raining and it didn’t really look wet either. So I got to Carrefour without issues, getting what I meant to get from there as well, including something for dinner, which I had somehow forgotten to also look for in Kaufland. And I guess the time I spent looking around and deciding what to get was just long enough to spare me from coming out under a pouring rain, since it was really wet when I did, with plenty of puddles, and a storm cloud was just moving away, so I didn’t have to deal with anything more than some scattered drops until I got back here, a few minutes after 6 PM. Carried some 14 kg, including clothes and bags and the usual stuff in my pockets, but a part of that weight was just added in Carrefour and I had the backpack and sturdy bags, so it was easy.

As for Wednesday, I did the laundry, both the whites and the colored clothes, also cooked pasta in between, eating some of it after that, and then started eating dinner in the kitchen before 3 AM, though I then only continued in my room at 3:20 AM. And the reason why I cooked pasta was that, despite being in such a poor shape and the weather being as it is, with the forecast listing continued rain and storms, I signed up for Dream Trek Summer Edition this time around as well, so I’ll be going there next evening and then I’ll see what I’ll manage. The complete route supposedly has 54.6 km, but we’ll again be offered things to eat and drink and the route is again split in four loops, the first starting from this mall this Carrefour’s in, so it’s not a problem to walk there, and each ending, and all but the first obviously also starting, at University Square, so I can stop there at some point, maybe even after two parts, though if I’ll manage three it’ll mean about 40 km again, so it’ll be nice if I’ll manage that again… Just hope there are no issues with my computer though, since as I was writing this in LibreOffice, it crashed with a “Bad allocation” error, which I never experienced before, making me worry about RAM or some other problems.

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