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Over 35 Km in Less than 3:20 and State Bonds

On top of the days spent in hospital, for which I only have some handwritten notes I’m not even sure I’ll be able to fully read, I have things not added to posts going all the way back to that first visit to Coltea, on August 9, and that will remain the case, since I’m leaving that day aside now as well. But I guess I can get August 10 out of the way, since that day I just exchanged some messages with my mother about a possible hospitalization, after having sent her a first e-mail asking for advice and information the previous night, and in the evening I also sent a message to someone I thought was the one who had been nicer and said she hoped I’ll change my mind about the hospitalization. Still about that day, that neighbor woke me a little after 8:30 AM by starting to drill again and kept at it, on and off, until after 2 PM, so I stayed in bed and caught a few brief naps until I got up around 1:15 PM, but that hardly counted as sleep, and a nap I managed to catch in the afternoon didn’t make up for it.

But this post is mainly about the runs I’m yet to write about, so now I’ll jump straight to September 7, when, after getting in bed at 5:20 AM, I got up at 2:45 PM, without an alarm. That meant I had to really rush, yet it actually worked out, since I had the usual stuff, with a slice of cozonac, with added honey, as the sweet thing, put on the running t-shirt and shoes but the old running pants instead of the tights, which I had just washed the previous evening, and left a couple of minutes after 4:30 PM, when the reported temperature was 24°C.
What definitely didn’t work out was the time, which was an awful 52:22.64, the worst since I ran while still recovering from that bad flu, in January of 2019, being two seconds worse than on July 19, when I had just gotten back from getting new shoes and tried running in them, messing up my feet since it was before replacing them with slightly larger ones and they were way too tight, and I didn’t get those shoes for running anyway. And the thing is that, considering how hard it felt from the start, 52 minutes was what I initially thought I had to aim for, but after the first sector 53 minutes seemed more realistic, though lap two made me hope to at least stay under 52:30, which I did, as awful as it is to even have that as a goal. Either way, the sector times were 4:36, 5:22, 6:21, 4:51, 5:34, 6:26, 5:00, 5:38, 6:35 and 1:59.59, making for lap times of 16:19, 16:51 and 17:13. It was pointless to memorize the exact times, so I didn’t even look.
It was rather windy, in a few areas at first, but from sector three of lap two it seemed to get worse and I also felt it more often. As for people, on the long straight of sector one of lap one I heard cyclists behind me and cleared the lane, but they apparently also meant to go around me that way, so when I heard them right behind me I went back on the lane, but they were blocked on that side anyway, someone else having been in front of me, and had to squeeze through, which probably made me slow a bit more, to make way. And on sector three of lap three I slowed a lot and might have stopped for an instant when cyclists and people on scooters were coming from the opposite direction through the gap between walkers. Heard heavy braking right behind me after that, so those behind me probably didn’t make way, but didn’t turn to look. Otherwise, my nose and eyes were awfully irritated at the end, and the nose remained quite an issue even at night.

After getting back, had cake and watermelon and eventually left again at 7:55 PM, taking the recyclables… And forgetting to make that little detour to drop them off in a bin. Also forgot about that new bakery I wanted to check out, so I crossed the road, then saw it, and that it was still open, went back to the crossing to cross back and went in for a quick look. The only employee who was there didn’t give me any confidence in terms of safety, at first being outside and on her phone, walking in after me and going behind the counter, but not bothering with a mask even then. So I continued on my way, and as I was going around the stadium some guys were chasing a ball, one more went after them after a moment, rather cutting in front of a runner, I dodged a bit and pulled my arm in front of me to make a little more room for her to squeeze through… And that was quite fortunate, because one of those guys kicked the ball hard, back in the general direction of the others, and it hit me, but since I had moved my arm like that, it hit my fist instead of my abdomen, so I just glared at him for several seconds and he kept apologizing while the others laughed.
Then I went to Carrefour, first dropping off the recyclables in a bin in that mall, then getting bread for dad and some Bianca peppers that were discounted because they were going bad, not being charged for the bag they were in. Also saw some of those raw vegan cakes that were expiring that day, and it was already evening, but they had no discount, so I considered mentioning it, but eventually just moved on. Then I peed before leaving that mall and also went to Kaufland, walking in right at 9 PM and going straight to the bakery area, where I saw three breads of the kind I get from there and the evening discounts already applied, so I grabbed two, then got the other things I wanted, including some more yogurt, though I wasn’t sure about that at first. Made sure it was past 9:30 PM when I went to the self-checkout, but there was no additional discount for the bread. Couldn’t also get National Geographic from Kaufland though, since they still only had the previous issue, and quite a pile of them, so I bought it from that store that’s there… And I was almost outside when I realized I had left the purchases from Carrefour in the cabinet, so I went back for them.
Since it was almost 10 PM when I walked out, I wasn’t sure I’ll still be able to pass through that mall and, either way, quite sure I won’t be able to enter the area around the stadium, so after a few steps I turned around and went the other way, even if the walk would have likely still been a bit shorter even if I had to go around both times. As it was, I was back just before 10:35 PM, had a banana and a very late lunch, finished after 1 AM, then showered and only got back in the kitchen after 2 AM. Still had plenty to do even then, however, so I only started eating dinner at 4:20 AM, which has to be the latest time so far. Got in bed at 5:30 AM.

Now I’ll skip to the next run, which for obvious reasons was only on September 21. The alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but I woke up at 1:50 PM and obviously stayed up. My right knee was numb, or at least a part of it was, and I didn’t think I had slept on that side and with the left leg over it, but that’s what must have happened, since it recovered soon enough. Either way, I had the usual stuff plus almonds, and also boiled corn, and doughnuts, with added honey, as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear, also took that running belt, and left a bit after 4:15 PM, when the reported temperature was 16°C, supposed to hold steady or maybe increase by 1°C by the time I’ll finish. Two weeks after the previous run and with the days spent in hospital in between, but on the other hand with iron in me, I had no idea what to expect and, while the plan was for 16, I even considered stopping after ten kilometers if necessary.
Well, it wasn’t necessary, and the time was 1:19:38, with sector times of 4:23, 5:18, 6:15, 4:39, 5:08, 5:59, 4:40, 5:14, 6:07, 4:45, 5:23, 6:09, 4:35, 5:07 and 5:56, making for lap times of 15:56, 15:46, 16:01, 16:17 and 15:38. Hoped for a first lap in less than 15:30 and a target of 1:22, or possibly even 1:21, but that first sector time, obtained despite pushing hard, put that first lap target in serious doubt, sector two made it impossible, and barely staying under 16 minutes at the end of the lap made me think I was looking at just staying under 1:24, with 1:23 the best I could hope for. But the better lap two, after sector one, made me hope for 1:22 again. So I also pushed on lap three, hoping to still be on the 1:20 pace at the end of it, and when I managed that by some margin I was disappointed to just miss also staying under 16 minutes again. At that point I started thinking of 1:21, but when I just fell behind the 1:20 pace after sector two of lap four, I wondered whether I’ll be able to get back on it at the end of the lap… And I was just there. Not under, but exactly there, so I just kept pushing on lap five, thinking I won’t be able to maintain that pace but wondering what pace it was, and when I saw that first sector time that was again exactly on target, I just continued, wondering how long I’ll be able to keep it up. That resulted in the fastest sector two of the day, at which point I seemed to be safely under 1:20, but that likely made me push even harder, also ending up with the fastest sector three and fastest lap of the day, the fastest lap five since that last good half marathon run, after the state of emergency, and the least slow time over this distance since March.
It was cloudy at first, but it only remained so on sector one of lap one and most of sectors one and two of lap four. As for people, there weren’t many, some areas being almost strangely empty, but there was a roadblock, on sector two of lap two, when I meant to pass between a group and a store sign and they moved that way just as I reached them, so I had to go around the other way, while on the long straight of sector one of lap four a kid on a scooter cut me off. There was also a misunderstanding with a cyclist between those two moments, on the long straight of sector two, but while I think it was on lap three there’s also a chance it was on lap two. On the other hand, a girl on roller skates who was in front of me on sector two and part of sector three of lap two helped me push, trying to keep up and eventually, on sector three, overtake her. Otherwise, the right ankle started to bother me on that same sector two of lap two, and later, maybe from lap four, though it might have been even earlier, my right knee did as well, though it wasn’t too bad. And a certain rather pressing need appeared even on lap two, when I was pushing, and became quite an issue on lap five, when I gave it everything. And both shoelaces were loose at the end, but they didn’t actually untie and I only noticed after I got back.

Since those 16 km should have been the previous week’s run, on September 23 the alarm woke me at 2 PM, I had the usual stuff plus boiled corn, with doughnuts, with added honey, as the sweet thing again, put on the full running gear, with a few things in the pocket of my tights, and again left a bit after 4:15 PM, the reported temperature also again being about 16°C, supposed to hold quite steady. It was cloudy though, so it felt quite chilly on the way to the park.
The time was the least slow since May, 49:14.95, with sector times of 4:19.51, 5:16.13, 6:05.25, 4:41 (4:40.22), 5:08.78, 6:13 (6:12.62), 4:34.22, 5:09 (5:08.56), 5:56.10 and 1:53.56, making for lap times of 15:40.89, 16:02 (16:01.62) and 15:39 (15:38.88). I just went for it, aiming to stay under 50 minutes and hoping to have a better time on the three laps than on the first three laps from two days earlier. I did also wonder about getting under 49 minutes, but didn’t think it was at all possible, and sector two of lap one made that quite clear. It might seem that it’d have been possible if my right shoelace wouldn’t have gotten untied on sector three of lap two, costing me a good 20 seconds, maybe more, but I just pushed like crazy after that and doubt I’d have pushed quite that hard otherwise.
It was cloudy except from the end of sector one of lap one to the start of sector three of lap one, but the temperature was definitely good for running, and the conditions were good in general. There was some wind during that sunny period, and from sector two of lap three until the end, but it wasn’t that much of a problem. And there were few people, which of course still meant some weaving and going the long way around but no notable issues. The one unpleasant moment was when a bug flew right in my eye on sector three of lap one and trying to get it out probably cost me a couple of seconds on that sector and maybe a tiny bit of time on the following one as well.

After the run, I jogged to Carrefour and grabbed two expiring things, using the self-checkout since I had only my card to pay with anyway. What I didn’t know was that it printed the receipt as it went along, so when I saw a partial receipt there as I meant to pay, I thought it was someone else’s and pulled and ripped it out, and the guard came and told me to not do that and explained that it was mine, so I apologized and took both pieces of it at the end. Then I withdrew a part of the money from my bank’s ATM, that being the reason I had the card with me, and jogged back, having watermelon and the “soup” left after something I had cooked the day before. Later I had lunch, then started eating dinner at 3:10 AM and got in bed at 5:20 AM. My foot was burning again though, and I continued to feel that over the next few days.

And now I’m getting to what made me finally manage to get myself to at least post about the runs. I’m referring to the long run I already mentioned, taking place on September 27, even if the day started badly. After getting in bed at 5:20 AM, the plan was to sleep late, thinking of setting the alarm to ring at 3:30 PM, to be safe, but not even doing that at that point. However, a bit after I think my bookcase cracked and woke me at 12:30 PM and I went to pee, my UPS kicked in briefly, apparently just for electrical noise, and after that it beeped continuously, so I rushed to the computer and saw it report that the battery had been disconnected, though when I turned on the monitor it reported it as connected again and stopped beeping. The problem didn’t repeat itself when it briefly kicked in again close to an hour later, but it seems that the battery needs to be replaced, which I had been expecting for a while, but it definitely picked a bad time, just when I can no longer temporarily make use of the amount set aside.
Since I was worried about it, I had barely managed to nap a little before the sound of it kicking in again woke me, and then I was woken up yet again by an SMS with an ad from my operator, and there was some drilling as well, albeit faint, probably from outside, so instead of sleeping late, after 12:30 PM I just got a few brief naps. At some point during that time I did set that alarm for 3:30 PM, but when I woke up yet again, a bit before 3 PM, and needed to pee again, I decided to get up. Then I reduced the sensitivity of the UPS, first to medium and then to low, and slightly increased the acceptable voltage range as well, to 190V to 260V, so it’ll be less likely to kick in unless there’s an actual power failure, and I’m not aware of it having kicked in again since then. And I also backed up the “safe” partition before leaving.
But I did leave, after having the usual stuff, with almonds as well as peanuts in dark chocolate added in the yogurt and cereals, and also baked pumpkin, and two of those wheat things, with added honey, as another sweet thing. Had kept the last of those expired nicer biscuits just for that day, but at that point I forgot all about them. Either way, I also put the rest of the tea in the other bottle, or more exactly poured the one made at night and poured in the better bottle before going to bed in the plastic one and then poured the one made that day in that better one, then put on the full running gear and tried the running belt. However, if it seemed fine while empty, during that 16 km run, and I also thought I had found a way to tighten it more than it’d normally allow, and the bottle did fit, a full bottle added too much weight, it moved way too much and was clearly not going to stay in place. I still tried to see just how it was going to slide off, but it didn’t even get to that point, since just taking one deep breath while it was tightened in that way I thought I had discovered caused it to just snap off. There is probably a better way to do it, but I don’t think it’s worth trying, and I definitely didn’t have any more time at that point, so I didn’t even take it with me to place a bottle there after I’ll empty it, just stuffing the other things, including some garlic I again didn’t use, in the pocket of my tights, taking a bottle in each hand and leaving a little before 6:45 PM, when the reported temperature was 23°C, though it was obviously going to drop a fair bit. Started to run right at 7 PM.
Well, the time was an utterly shocking 3:18:07, with lap times of 16:44, 17:49, 18:10, 17:51, 18:54, 17:54, 17:24, 18:05, 18:41, 18:25 and 18:10. Expected something even worse than last year, and after four laps put together some target times that I assumed were safe enough, which added up to 3:48. But I did try to figure out how to gain those four minutes and at least be less slow than then… And realized I was gaining even in spite of the two minutes lost struggling to eat the first protein bar, at the start of lap five. Then, as time passed, I started to realize that I was even faster than the first time. Now that I checked, and made a chart, I see I got ahead of that time on lap seven, but at the time I was only sure of it after lap eight. Still assumed I’ll hit the wall hard and fall well behind towards the end, but I did start hoping to stay under 3:30, updating the plan accordingly, with a target for 20 minutes for lap nine… Only to be much faster than that, even in spite of losing about a minute with the second protein bar. Did hit the wall towards the end of that lap, and the target for the tenth was 22 minutes, but I nevertheless recalculated yet again and aimed to stay under 20 minutes one more time, which target I again utterly smashed. By then I had actually, finally, started to hope that I’ll be faster than the first time, but at that point, when I saw I had covered ten laps in just under three hours, 2:59:57, I also started to wonder whether I’ll be able to stay under 3:20, pushing myself almost every step, maybe with the exception of a few hundred meters towards the end, before really giving everything I had left, and this was the result: Beat the previous record by 8:31, got well under 3:20, and had the best lap times on each lap starting with the seventh.
Lap two was the only one without time lost because of, shall we say, technical matters. The main losses were caused by the protein bars, that first one in particular, since it was partially squashed and melted and I also couldn’t open the wrapping properly, maybe because I also still carried one full and one half-full bottle, but there were obvious losses when I drank as well, at the start of laps four, six, eight and ten, about half a bottle each time, again the first attempt likely causing the biggest loss, possibly up to a minute, and making me realize that pretty much stopping to drink was better than trying to do so while only slowing, the loss likely dropping to some 40 seconds after that. And I also lost a little bit of time at the start of the first lap, trying to figure out how to better hold the bottles and fix my cap better on my head, and at the start of each lap starting with the third, to get a good look at the time, since the light was only still good enough to see it normally after the first lap. And that period when I didn’t push as hard on lap eleven was because I was looking for a coin. It likely helped, allowing me to regain my breath a little and push even harder at the end, but the reason for it wasn’t something so calculated, but the fact that I recalled having first spotted a coin on one of the early laps and seeing it again later, so I thought I’ll pick it up if it was still there at that point, but couldn’t quite remember where, so I likely slowed a bit while looking for it, until I was sure I passed that spot and someone else must have finally grabbed it.
Otherwise, the forecast stated that the wind would get worse and it did, even from lap two, with moments when it bothered me even more after it really got dark, though on the last few laps it either died down or I just wasn’t feeling much of anything anymore. On the other hand, there were plenty of people during the first part of the run, but since the goal was endurance, not speed, I just recall two roadblocks on lap one and a misunderstanding and a dog getting in front of my legs on lap three. On that same lap three, my right knee started bothering me, and later there were some warnings from my ankles as well, but it never got past that level. And, despite having rather clogged the toilet before leaving, it was also on lap three when a certain pressing need first appeared, lessening on lap four but reappearing on lap five, when I pushed hard in order to make up for those lost two minutes, and becoming bad enough to make me start wondering whether I’ll need to seriously consider using a toilet. But I didn’t even eat the garlic I had taken with me, since it lessened again after that, and later seemed to go away completely. And the number of people also dropped significantly on the last few laps, and one, another runner, even helped, I think on lap eight, being in front of me and slightly faster, so I had a target and a couple of times found myself catching up before he pushed again to restore the gap, this obviously ending at the start of the next lap, when I slowed. It was also another runner who had something to do with just when I felt myself hit the wall, however. I was close to the end of lap nine, with some seven kilometers to go, and I heard someone approaching quickly from behind, sprinting, so I slowed and moved aside to make room, and when I tried to return to my previous pace after he passed it just felt like something broke. But I nevertheless kept pushing.
I have no idea how I managed that time, and maintaining my pace as well as I did. I guess starting to treat my anemia has plenty to do with that, but even so… No lap, regardless of the lost time, even got to 19 minutes, the difference between the fastest and the slowest was only 2:10, but in fact there was that fast first lap, which I considered too fast, making a point of controlling my pace on the next two as a result, and lap seven, when I neither drank nor ate, was the second fastest, while on the other hand there were the two slower laps when I did eat, but other than those, so for seven of the eleven laps, my times ranged between 17:49 and 18:25, and if you also eliminate lap ten, more than half the laps ranged between 17:49 and 18:10! And it also means that pushing past the wall didn’t make that much of a difference in my pace, and once I got used to the feeling I could pretty much get right back to it, even if it required pushing hard while on the early laps I had to hold myself back to obtain similar times, and actually the exact same one on laps three and eleven. There was some pain and burning sensation and pretty much everything other than my legs was going numb, even my mouth and the top of my head, and when I had to quickly move aside when someone seemed about to walk straight into me, I believe on the last lap, I almost lost my balance and had to fight to stay on my feet for the next few steps, but I could still push, could fight through it. And then, after I finished, even going up those stairs wasn’t as hard as I feared, and while it did hurt and there were cramps as I walked out of the park, it wasn’t like that first time, being entirely manageable even when I stopped to make use of a bench and, briefly, a tree for a few stretching exercises.
Even took a moment on the way back to have a quick look in this Mega Image, just pulling my t-shirt to cover my nose and mouth, since I didn’t have a mask with me, and after getting back here, around 10:35 PM, I considered grabbing some money and going back out to buy a pastry. Decided against it, however, since I had quite enough sweets that day, after all, so I ate watermelon, somehow rather clogged the toilet a second time, took a long bath, drank the protein milk I received after the half marathon and kept for this purpose, and then made mamaliga, with quite a number of things in it, even taking a picture of my dinner that night, which I started eating at 3:30 AM, finishing at 5:30 AM and getting in bed at 5:40 AM. I did feel worse as I was cooling down, starting with pain and cramps that were harder to withstand at least until the bath helped, and also feeling nauseous and dizzy, but everything was much better by the time I went to bed.

The following day I got up at 10:50 AM, the alarm being set to ring at 11 AM, but I only got half an hour or so of sleep, needing to get up to pee several times and falling asleep being next to impossible anyway, likely because I was still too full of adrenaline and whatever else my body had generated to push itself through that. I had no more time to lose, however, since that was the last day for purchasing state bonds that month, which I had decided to do after all, yet again putting off the plans for a new computer for another year, but I hadn’t managed to get there in time a few days earlier, so I wanted to go then in order to be able to take the money out before my birthday next year, even if I assumed, correctly as I now know, that the interest rate was going to increase this month. So I was out just before 12:35 PM and in the Sector 3 Treasury 20 minutes later, and since I knew just where to go and what to do, there were no lines and the employees were nice and quite efficient, everything went quickly and smoothly and at 1:05 PM I was already out.
After that, I went to the movie theater from the shopping center Auchan Titan’s in, since I saw that tickets were just 8 RON that day and I was curious about the new documentary about wildlife in Romania. And along with the ticket I was also given a scratch card, which granted me a free 0.5-liter Pepsi or 7UP. But there was still almost half an hour before the listed start time of 2:45 PM, so I had a quick look through Auchan and, on the way back to the theater, noticed that a pastry place from there offered two doughnuts for the price of one, making a mental note of that for later. Then I picked up the drink, choosing a Pepsi, even if I can’t remember the last time I drank anything of the sort, and went to watch the movie, along with only five other people. All had assigned seats behind me, but while two, a boy and probably either his quite old mother or young grandmother, stayed in their seats on the last row and were also quiet enough, with the boy only speaking up a few times and not loudly, the other three, quite obviously grandmother, mother and daughter, decided to sit on other seats, in front of me, but at least on the side, not in the middle, so the fact that the girl stood up and fussed around constantly wasn’t as annoying as it might have been. I do wonder why they came though, since I guess the idea was to have the girl see the documentary, but she was only a few years old, pretty much only sat down at the beginning, and more often than not had her back to the screen when she was up, repeatedly asking when was it going to end and at one point having her mother go out with her for several minutes, maybe to the toilet. As for me, the adrenaline finally wore off during the movie, so staying awake was becoming an issue and that Pepsi definitely helped.
The movie finished right at 5 PM and after leaving the theater I noticed that just six of those doughnuts were left, so I got in line and bought four of them before going back to Auchan, also needing to reach for the receipt and feeling the need to explain myself, saying I was going to enter Auchan with them, because the employees were otherwise just throwing all of them in a basket, not seeming to hand them to customers and no other customers seeming to care to get them. Then I got a few things from Auchan and, before leaving that shopping center, I also decided to get an instant ticket from the small Lottery booth that’s there. The last time I got one of those I was probably a little kid, my parents occasionally buying them and asking me to open them, but I was wondering if my luck would hold, considering that scratch card. Well, it didn’t, so I just wasted 3 RON.
Since dad had called while I was in Auchan and asked for some more of that zacusca, on the way back I checked two Mega Image locations, getting that and cabbage for myself from the second one. But I still wanted some pizza and/or large and not sweet pastries after that run and thought I was going to get them from the Carrefour from the park… Only to not find any of the things I expected to find after I got there. But there were two remaining pieces of one kind of pizza, so after wandering around for quite a while I eventually bought those, the last remaining focaccia with cheese and the cakes I meant to fall back to if I won’t find any of those nice ones, plus a large watermelon and a couple of other things. I also asked for two pieces of pumpkin pie, but since the full ingredients for the things you have to ask for aren’t listed otherwise, but just printed on the label you only see once you get the product, I only saw then that they contained hydrogenated fats, so I left them there.
My brain tended to sort of disconnect while I was in Carrefour and I rather felt like I was falling asleep on my feet, but I eventually made my way back, getting here at 8:50 PM, having carried 22 kg, the watermelon alone weighing 11.25 kg. Then I ate one of the cakes and showered, then started the pizzas and focaccia as a late lunch, but after a while decided that I wasn’t going to have something else that night, so I stopped eating those at 1 AM, made salad and ate the rest, along with the salad, as dinner, starting at 3:25 AM. Unfortunately, as I was finishing one of the pieces, I “managed” to bite the fork, chipping at least one tooth a little. There was little damage, however, and after a couple of days I stopped noticing it. Either way, I got in bed at 5:35 AM that morning.

But I mentioned that I was unable to buy those state bonds a few days earlier, so I’ll include that day, September 24, in this post as well. The alarm actually woke me at 10:30 AM that day and I meant to leave at 12:30 PM, but I didn’t manage that, only going out at 12:50 PM. That meant I reached the location of my bank that’s on the way just after 1 PM and they close to disinfect the area between 1 PM and 1:30 PM, so I couldn’t use the machine that’s inside to withdraw the rest of the money, as initially planned, needing to use one of those that’s outside. But the real problem was that I reached the Sector 3 Treasury a bit after 1:15 PM, which I thought was still fine, seeming to recall that, while the schedule is shorter on Fridays, it’s until 1:30 PM… Only to notice the announcement stating that state bond operations end at 1 PM on Fridays. But I saw the cashiers still there, so I tried my luck, asking one about buying state bonds and being directed upstairs, which gave me hope, even if the door leading to the stairs was closed. So I opened it and went up, but the cashiers who were there told me they had closed and one said that if I’d have had the money already in my Treasury account maybe they’d have worked something out, but the schedule for cash deposits is very strict and there’s nothing they can do.
I was almost crying when I went out, uncertain what to do… And I also wanted to call the hospital to ask whether what I had been told by the clinic I had managed to schedule the MRI at was correct, which was an even more daunting prospect at that moment, yet I did try almost right away. However, perhaps fortunately, there was no answer at that time. So I started walking back, checking a Mega Image on the way, getting some spoiling peppers and paying by card, and since I didn’t know how that worked I accidentally entered my PIN too soon and part of it ended up being displayed, so I quickly pressed what I thought would make it disappear and that messed up the reader a bit, the cashier needing to do something to fix it. Then I tried to collect myself a little more and called again, and that time there was an answer and I was told that what I had been told was correct and I should go ahead and do things as I had been told by those at that clinic. After that, I checked another Mega Image, not getting anything, had a little look at some decorations in another store, and then decided to make a detour to the bigger Mega Image from this area as well, getting some more things and wondering about one more, but I couldn’t find the price for that and it wouldn’t scan, and the employee I asked told me to ask at checkout, which I didn’t care to do. What I definitely didn’t like was that, since I paid by card again, trying to get rid of the amount left in my account, the cashier told me I didn’t need to put it in the reader or enter the PIN, and that was true, and being able to make payments like that is something I definitely don’t want.
Either way, I was back around 3:05 PM… And when I undressed in my room there was a small bug on my belly and it escaped when I tried to squash it between my fingers, and I’m not sure what it was and couldn’t spot it anywhere after that, despite looking carefully on the floor and shaking the clothes thoroughly. So I had to shrug it off, had watermelon and lunch, and then went back out at 7:10 PM, taking the recyclables and some other trash, dropping each in the first appropriate bin, and also some of the things I drop off at Kaufland.
I first went to the Carrefour from the park, however, just grabbing one expiring thing and again paying by card and using the self-checkout. The machine surprised me by asking for the amount to put on the card, but after I realized that it was doing that in order to allow people to split payments between multiple cards I could continue and had no other issues, and then I used my bank’s ATM from there to make sure that the right amount was left in the account. What was quite a concern when I continued on my way, however, was that my left ankle was hurting a bit, and I definitely couldn’t afford any such issues before that planned long run, so it’s a good thing that it seems to have just been a momentary issue that sorted itself out.
Either way, I then also went to the Penny that’s close to the newer Kaufland, getting a few things from there, including this season’s first pumpkin, and then continued to that Kaufland, waiting for evening discounts and being in the cat food area when they were announced for the bakery area, though it wasn’t quite 9 PM yet. There were no evening discounts for fruits and vegetables, however, so I had to buy a bundle of green onions at the regular price, needing it for the salad made before that run. But at least there was one last bread of the kind I get from there left, so I got that and two other things, then sort of wandered around, picked up a couple of other things and was thinking to wait for 10 PM, to see whether the evening discounts would increase. However, at 9:30 PM there was an announcement that the store was going to close at 10 PM, which was surprising, since it used to close at 11 PM. That caused me to switch from wasting time to rushing, and if I grabbed the rest of the actual food for Liza I meant to buy, that announcement about bakery discounts interrupting me the first time, I forgot to grab some more of those treats for her as well, and I had told dad that I was going to get some… And her food caused me to spend quite some time at the self-checkout, needing to scan each piece, unable to ask whether an employee would be willing to log on and enter all 30 at once since only a guard was around, the employee who should have probably been there having just opened one of the regular checkouts after a kid kept grabbing things and the father asked whether they had a family checkout, even though as of some time ago I noticed that Kaufland closes the regular checkouts I think at least an hour before closing time.
I got back at 10:35 PM and, after a bath, only got back in the kitchen around 1:25 AM, started making the salad after 2 AM, started eating dinner at 3:30 AM and got in bed at 5:40 AM. And I’ll also add here that I only got to work on that pumpkin in the early moments of September 26, a bit after midnight, so that was another night when I started making the salad late, and it was once again 3:30 AM when I started eating dinner, admittedly after having lunch in the evening.

I first meant to write and post this Thursday, only including the part about the runs, but only got as far as the start of the long run that day. But after dad changed his original plan and stayed here yesterday, I meant to spend the day writing and post this last night… But between two loads of laundry, searching for something for dad, cooking myself some beans and having about half of them for lunch, and doing a few other things, I barely managed to finish the part about the long run last night, with the last paragraph written while eating dinner, which I started at 3:15 AM. And by then I had decided to include the parts about the state bonds as well, and initially meant to also write about the MRI, but I had to give up on this last part, other than mentioning that call I made, since I couldn’t even finish the rest before midnight, again needing to edit to add the previous four paragraphs and this one after posting the rest. But at least I caught up on some things… Really wonder when or if I’ll write about the time spent in hospital and the other medical matters, however.


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