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December’s Runs: No Longer Taking Iron Means Going from Great to Bad Again

The first run I’m yet to write about was on December 2, when I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, though that was after waking up multiple times from 10:30 AM or so, because of my mother cleaning and cooking and dad also leaving for a while at one point. Then I had the usual stuff plus pumpkin, with a large doughnut with added honey as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear, with a few things in the pocket of my tights, also took the jacket to wear on the way, tying it around my waist as I ran, and left at 3:30 PM, when the reported temperature was 11-12°C, supposed to drop by a couple of degrees by the time I’ll finish.
The time was 46:54.44, with sector times of 4:14.95, 5:01 (5:00.68), 5:46 (5:45.72), 4:28 (4:27.78), 4:53.85, 5:44 (5:43.12), 4:23.50, 5:04.35, 5:32 (5:31.37) and 1:49.12, making for lap times of 15:01.35, 15:05 (15:04.75) and 14:59.22. I just aimed to stay under 48 minutes at first, but after the first lap I rather switched to 47:30, even briefly considering 47 minutes but deciding that it was impossible. However, sector two of lap two made me wonder whether it was possible after all, and at the end of the lap I decided to go for it. The target times I had set were still for 47:30 though, and after sector two I knew I needed outstanding times on sector three and the final one to get under 47 minutes, but I felt I could push harder and did so, not thinking it’d work but realizing at the end of the lap that it had, not even requiring such a mighty push on the last sector anymore. So this was the first time I got back under 47 minutes since September of 2020… And, seeing as that evening I took the last of the iron, quite clearly the last at least for now, and possibly or even probably not only.
Pushing that hard did lead to feeling a certain pressing need even early on and on lap three it became quite an issue, but I managed… And I also had to manage all the work still being done. The scraped area still started after the bridge on sector one, though at least that part wasn’t fenced off yet, while at the end of sector two, under the bridge, it wasn’t fenced off anymore. It was fenced off earlier on sector two, however, on that long straight and not only there… And it also seems like they had removed the fence too early on an area, as you approach the bridge, since there are many foot and paw prints, and even a cyclist seemed to have ended up there for a couple of meters before turning away, and they didn’t bother to fix it. Back to what was fenced off, that was again the case for most of sector three, where they were painting the edges of the new surface. So I managed that time despite going the long way around a lot and being careful on sector one… And despite a number of issues caused by people, mainly on the long straight of sector two.
On lap one, a guy was barely moving and I reached him right when he was next to that stall that’s there, so I had no way to go on the grass either, and another person was just ahead of me as well, but I just managed to squeeze past them while just slowing, without actually stopping. And I managed to squeeze through without quite stopping a little later as well, a roadblock forming when I was almost at the bridge. Back to that straight, on lap two this time, a couple was ahead, holding hands and the guy also holding a bicycle, and someone else who came from the opposite direction barely squeezed through because they seemed to pull each other in opposite directions and therefore blocked even more of the path… And the girl seemed to have been amused by the moment and started slightly pushing and pulling the guy as she moved in the opposite direction to the pushing and pulling, so I shouted at them to make way and he apologized, twice, also pulling her visibly before the second time, maybe as a way to say that he was apologizing for her as well. Then, on lap three, several people formed a full roadblock on that same straight, so I took to the grass, going quite wide in order to be fully on it, not just with one foot, which also meant going behind a few things. I can’t recall whether the things were benches, trees or both, but I clearly was on the grass for a few seconds. And the last issue was on sector three of lap three, when a guy had left his large dog off the leash and it came running, having spotted another dog I had just passed, so I avoided it while the guy apologized to me in passing and then shouted at the owners of the other dog that his was well behaved… As if that even mattered when it was large enough to knock over even a grown adult…

Then I went to that Carrefour and grabbed a few things, had an orange after getting back, changed and went out again at 7:10 PM, after my parents left, dad taking mother back. The first stop was the Penny that’s close to the newer Kaufland, and what I noticed was that, even though I got there at 7:40 PM, that other store that’s there, which is supposed to close at 8 PM, was already closed again. Didn’t want anything from there, but I wonder what its real closing time is.
Either way, there was supposed to be garlic on sale at Penny, but I couldn’t find any, the one thing I did spot in that area being a label that still listed the old discounted price for pumpkins. It was a bit away from the place where the remaining pumpkins actually were, but I assumed it still applied and grabbed one, plus what I thought were two bottles of tomato sauce. However, there were two kinds there, looking exactly the same with the exception of one word on the label, and one of the kinds was not on sale and twice the price of the other, and I guess I somehow mixed them up when I walked away, despite looking carefully at first, because I ended up staring in surprise at the total when I got to the checkout… Which I guess happened often enough for the cashier to know just what the problem was as soon as she saw my look, telling me that I had picked one of each, so I said I had meant to get two of the discounted kind and she called someone to void the other one and gave me the change for what was left, albeit rounding down to the nearest 0.10 RON, so being 0.06 RON less than she should have given me… And when I checked the receipt I also noticed a higher price for the pumpkin.
Since I had to go back in for the other bottle anyway, I didn’t mention anything right away… Which proved to be a good thing, because when I checked again, meaning to actually grab the price label and show it to the cashier, I saw that a label with the price I was charged was actually right where the pumpkins were, that old one that was a bit away having likely just been forgotten there. It could still be considered a trick, and it obviously had tricked me, but since the correct label was in the correct place, it was my fault for missing it, and that price was still lower than anywhere else, so I shrugged it off, took that second bottle of tomato sauce… And had to stand in a significantly longer line in order to buy it, quite a number of people having suddenly showed up there. And I would have likely held that line a little longer if the cashier would have known the regulations of the campaign they were running, offering a free drinkable yogurt in exchange for three Tetra Pack packs, but when I pulled out the three I had, from some other kind of tomato sauce, she said that they didn’t accept those, only milk or something like that, so I just left.
Then I went to that Kaufland, put the purchases in a cabinet, washed my hands, went in at 8:15 PM and saw evening discounts in the bakery area and five of those breads still there, so I grabbed four, and a couple of other things. Then I wandered around a little and eventually also got some lemons and three discounted breads for dad, adding up to almost everything I had left. Still had one more look, wondering whether I could just squeeze something else in, but eventually made my way to the self-checkout, having no problems with the machine.
Though I initially put the tomato sauce and pumpkin in the backpack, it was that torn one, so on the way back I decided that having so much weight and bottles in it was too much of a risk and I just put it in the sturdier, albeit also torn, bag I had, so I no longer had to worry about it and reached the building at 9:40 PM. Then I had the sweet pastry I had bought, put things in their place, showered, and then made mamaliga, adding quite a lot of stuff in it, so there was a whole lot of it and it was also quite watery despite boiling for a very long time. Either way, I just barely managed to start eating in my room at 3 AM, though I had been cleaning what was left on the whisk in the kitchen for a few minutes before that.

Though I obviously didn’t run again then, I’ll also add December 3 here, when I had lunch right after waking up and was leaving at 3:05 PM. I still wanted that garlic, so after having a quick look in a Mega Image on the way I went to the nearest Penny… And realized I had forgotten to take those Tetra Packs again, since I had checked the regulations, seeing that there was no restriction on the kind, so I had meant to insist if they were going to refuse me again. But at least that made things simpler, and I found the garlic, so I got some of that, and also a cabbage, since the price was lower than what I had seen on-line. Then I went to Carrefour, deciding to not also check Kaufland on the way but making the little detour to check that Mega Image instead, the fact that I couldn’t find any of that cat food there either actually proving to be a good thing, a better discount appearing at Kaufland the following week. Either way, from Carrefour I just bought some expiring flour for mother, then found that the area around the stadium was closed off, so I had to go back a little and then around, but still managed to be back a little before 5 PM. The next breakdown seemed to be getting too hard to keep pushing away that day, but I somehow struggled on. Started eating dinner at 3:30 AM, though I licked a bit of some cheese again while moving and mixing, before that hour, then got in bed at 5:20 AM. And the following night I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM.

On December 6, the alarm woke me at noon, and that was after sleeping quite poorly in the first part of the morning, until the second time I went to pee, at 9:15 AM. Didn’t really need to go then, but decided to and it seemed to help, since I finally slept well after that. Then I had the usual stuff plus pumpkin, and a large doughnut with added honey as the sweet thing, and put on the full running gear, with the undershirt underneath and some things in the pocket of my tights. Also spent quite some time trying to figure out how to wear the thin thing received in the kit for the marathon, which I thought could go around my neck, since I still hadn’t washed those better ones, but I ended up just rolling it, so it wasn’t on my neck but at the base of it. Maybe that’s the point, so cold air won’t get under the t-shirt so easily, or maybe I’m missing something, but that was the only use I could find for it. Either way, I also took my gloves and jacket, tying the jacket around my waist as I ran but keeping the gloves on, since when I left, a bit after 2:45 PM, it was overcast and even a bit foggy and the reported temperature was 4°C, albeit supposed to increase by 1-2°C.
The time was 47:09.67, with sector times of 4:15.39, 5:05 (5:04.81), 5:47.25, 4:27 (4:26.63), 4:58.03, 5:42.84, 4:25 (4:24.13), 5:00.16, 5:41.00 and 1:49.43, making for lap times of 15:07.45, 15:07.50 and 15:06 (15:05.29). The initial target was again just staying under 48 minutes, and that didn’t change after lap one, but after lap two I started thinking of 47:30 and pushed all the way to the end. Had actually felt like I was exhausting myself on sector three of lap two, which made me worry about lap three, but when I saw the time I realized I had been pushing harder than I thought, so it was fine, and in the end lap three was the fastest.
Thought I’d be cold, even more so after seeing a couple on the way to the park who had quite clearly been running and their noses and faces were all red, their fists were clenched and they were walking like they were frozen from head to toe, but I didn’t quite freeze even when I took the jacket off before starting, and once I got going it was all right, remaining so even as the fog fell even more towards the end. Taking the left glove off to properly push the button each time and then putting it back on likely caused a small loss of time, but that shouldn’t be something significant, and while at first I was also worried because there were wet areas and even puddles, that proved to not be much of an issue either. However, on the long straight of sector one of lap one I slowed a lot because of a guy, and also had to go over the scraped part a couple more times, while on the long straight of sector two of lap one I had to take a few steps on the grass. And there were several other issues caused by people, but while a few came close, none were quite as bad as those. Otherwise, my right knee gave a few warnings on sector two of lap one, and on sector one of lap two there were some warnings from something that seemed to be below my left knee and I also felt the need to snap my back, the pain going to my right shoulder. There was also some pain around my appendix on sector two of lap two, but that was likely just gas, though for a little while on sector one of lap three my liver also gave some warnings.

After the run, I went to that Carrefour and grabbed two expiring yogurts, a bio (organic) one and a protein one, and something for dad. Then I also went to Kaufland, and on the way I saw a cart on the sidewalk, with the coin in it, but I didn’t take it back to the store, despite considering it for a moment. So I just bought some more things for dad, the only thing I’d have gotten for myself being some tea, after seeing that the price listed on the label was a bit lower than elsewhere, but when I scanned it I found that the real price was the same old one, slightly higher than elsewhere, so I mentioned it in passing to an employee working in that area and obviously left it there. Then, after also having a quick look in the Mega Image that’s next to the pharmacy on the way back, I got back a bit before 6 PM, grated two apples, with sugar, showered and had a sizable lunch. And at night I just managed to start eating dinner at 3 AM.

On December 16, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, had the usual stuff plus pumpkin, with the last slice of the old cozonac, with added honey, as the sweet thing, but then I finished the transcript dad needed that day before leaving, at 3:30 PM, wearing the old running suit, which I had been wearing inside, also with the running t-shirt underneath the shirt and that thinner thing at the base of my neck. It was overcast, and in fact quite dark, and the reported temperature was 3-4°C, supposed to hold steady, so I obviously also kept the gloves on, and wore the jacket on the way, tying it around my waist as I ran.
The time was 47:43.13, with sector times of 4:19.13, 5:02.75, 5:59 (5:58.16), 4:27.66, 4:58 (4:57.72), 5:52 (5:51.81), 4:27.44, 4:56.22, 5:51 (5:50.34) and 1:52 (1:51.90), making for lap times of 15:20.04, 15:17.19 and 15:14.00. Considering the cold and the added clothing, I again just aimed to stay under 48 minutes, realizing even more clearly that it was the only realistic target after I saw that they had scraped pretty much everything and then also noticed that the fence started on the long sector one straight. I still hoped to surprise myself by doing better, of course, but got worried after seeing a sector one time that was slower than I thought it’d be. Then, after a sector two time that was fine, I was thinking that going over 5:50 on sector three would mean trouble, so when I saw that I didn’t just go over that target but in fact barely managed to stay under six minutes, I was thinking that it was the result of having stopped taking that iron two weeks earlier. So I knew I had to push and did so from lap two, being pleased with the first sector and even more so with the second, and the third allowed for a lap that was faster than the first, so I was hoping again, and then I ended up being even faster on lap three, so it worked out. It required pushing like crazy, however, and the sector three times were way worse than they had been recently, so I was still thinking that it might end up being the last time I’ll manage to stay under 48 minutes, my times being about to become awful again.
Then again, I doubt I’d have managed it even then if there would have been many people, especially considering that fence on the long sector one straight. But there weren’t, the one notable issue being a roadblock that caused me to slow a lot on sector three of lap three, since it seemed like something had been partially poured on the scraped area and I didn’t want to step in that. And there were a few other places where I had to carefully step on the scraped area, but I probably lost more because I kept going the long way around and avoiding the new surface more than I had to, since fences seemed to start and stop and the new surface didn’t inspire confidence when I glanced at it in some of the places that weren’t fenced off. There was also that tiny loss caused by taking the glove off and putting it back on to press the button at the end of each sector, but the more significant loss was caused by slowing to better see the time, a little at the start of sector two of lap one and more at the start of sector one of lap two, and then I even stopped for a couple of seconds for that same reason early on sector three of lap three. Otherwise, my right hip gave some warnings from the start, though it soon stopped, and that knee and ankle followed around the halfway point, though that wasn’t much of an issue either.

After getting back, I ate something sweet and some walnuts, watched something and left again a bit after 7:10 PM, taking the things I take to Kaufland. However, I first went to the larger Mega Image from the area to grab a catalog, since I hadn’t checked on-line, staying there to have a look through it before deciding I had no reason to actually enter the store and continuing on my way. I was mainly looking for food for Liza, which was on sale, but I grabbed a few other things as well… And meant to grab one more, but scanned the price and found that it was much higher than the listed one, and when I went back there, meaning to find an employee and complain, I saw that the price label had been removed, so they had likely been made aware of the problem and I just gave up on that product, eventually making my way to the self-checkout after waiting to see whether the bakery discounts would start at 8:30 PM but still seeing no sign that the bakery employee was about to place those labels when I passed by that area at 8:38 PM, and I had no intention to wait until 9 PM. However, scanning those 30 pieces of cat food one by one took a while and the announcement about bakery discounts came while I was doing that, maybe at 8:45 PM, so I put the purchases in a cabinet, washed my hands, went back and grabbed a number of things, most of them to be taken to my mother… Only for the self-checkout to run out of paper and fail to print the receipt. It actually listed an “unexpected” error, but I figured out what the likely cause was and told the employee when I called him over, and he put a new roll in. On the other hand, I couldn’t find the bin for masks, so I ended up coming back with the ones I had meant to throw away there, and got back a bit after 9:50 PM. And at night, though dad was here, working on the computer, I made mamaliga again.

On December 20, I woke up just after 12:40 PM, saw the time, decided against going to pee and might have managed to nap just a little bit more before the alarm rang, at 1 PM, and I got up. It soon started snowing quite heavily, but the forecast stating that it was going to stop by 3 PM seemed to have been proven correct when it did even before that time… But then it started again, albeit lightly and mixed, so it was sleet. Nevertheless, I had the usual stuff plus a small piece of pumpkin and also almonds, with regular biscuits with added honey as the sweet thing, put on the old running gear, with some things in the shirt’s pockets and both the running t-shirt and another old one under it, and also that thinner thing at the base of my neck, and left just after 3:30 PM. With a reported temperature of 1°C, supposed to hold steady or maybe drop to zero by the time I’ll finish, I obviously also wore the jacket on the way, though it was still tied around my waist as I ran… But just as I got to the stairs I realized I didn’t have the gloves, so I had to turn back and grab them.
The time was 47:24.01, with sector times of 4:20.42, 5:01.43, 5:49.13, 4:27 (4:26.41), 4:59 (4:58.65), 5:49 (5:48.97), 4:25.38, 5:00.00, 5:44.18 and 1:50 (1:49.44), making for lap times of 15:10.98, 15:15 (15:14.03) and 15:09.56. Considering the previous run, I didn’t really know what time to aim for at first, and I started a bit slower than I normally do, probably being a little confused by the big pile of some material, not sure if gravel or the new surface, which was there and meant that I couldn’t quite use the exact path I normally use for those first few steps. But sector two of lap one was all right, making me have hope for that lap again, and when sector three was also good I could start to actually calculate the times needed to stay under 48 minutes one more time. And from then on I pushed, managing nice times and even getting back under 47:30 at the end.
I quite clearly felt that I was no longer taking that iron, however, seeing as I again found myself unable to quite keep sprinting all the way to the end of the long straights, and I was also running out of energy on the second half of sector three of lap three and also the second half of the final straight. Then again, that was likely also caused by running out of breath, just the fact that my nose was running keeping my nostrils from sticking together at that point. Otherwise, my left hip started bothering me on the long straight of sector two of lap one and, while it never became a serious issue, it remained something I had to manage from then on. And my fingers and toes were freezing, but at least the sleet seemed to stop around the time I started running and there were even breaks in the clouds, so the light was good, and I also could avoid the puddles well enough. Likely slowed a little a few times to check that what I had in the shirt’s pockets was still there, however. As for problems caused by others, the fenced off area started right after the bridge on sector one, and in two spots the remaining room was so tight that I had to be careful to not trip over the fence on my own, so it was a relief that there were few people, only finding some ahead of me in that area on lap three, needing to take to the grass twice as a result. And I used that new surface in more places, though at least where it replaces a part of the paved area it’s better to stay off it, since it’s way too uneven and seems to give under your feet.

And this is how far I managed to get while I could stay on-line, before dad got back in the evening, so I posted this part then and what follows was added before I went to bed in the morning, when I also changed the time to 11:59 PM. Actually, the remaining part about December 20 was written before midnight, but the rest was written after that.

After the run I again went to that Carrefour and bought a few things, then came back, had lunch and went out again just before 7:20 PM, first going to Tei, for toothpaste and, since I was there, also another nose spray. I had checked the prices on the site, but finding no price label for that specific toothpaste and both price checkers apparently being out of order made me uneasy. It was fine in the end, however, the prices being those I had seen, so I continued to Penny, got what I meant to get, and then also went to Kaufland.
After putting my things in a cabinet, peeing and washing my hands, I found that the bakery discounts already applied and got a few things, including one bread of another kind, the evening discount not applying to the one I usually get from there, which had a regular 20% discount those days. Then I also got deeply discounted carrots and lettuce and wandered around a little, but when I couldn’t find the cheap kefir for dad, I checked the time, saw 9:11 PM and decided to hurry in order to get back to Carrefour before closing time, since I had seen one kind there that was at least cheaper than what was still available in Kaufland. Admittedly, I should have found cheaper kefir in Auchan, but I had quite a number of purchases and Auchan doesn’t have cabinets, plus that I hadn’t actually been there that day to be certain I’ll find what I wanted. But I had to leave Kaufland first and the self-checkouts were causing issues, so I first had to wait for the employees to help those who were ahead of me, then as soon as the first machine freed up another employee rushed to use it to purchase something before I could step in, and then I had problems of my own when my turn finally came. The machine didn’t like the fact that I placed the bag with all the bakery products on the scales at once, and while the guard said that the bag was the problem and told me to remove them from it, that didn’t help, so I also had to wait for an employee, the one from the information desk eventually coming, the one working in that area being busy with other customers. But at least she took care of that error and also entered the lettuce, and I saw that the discounts had increased for all of those products, and after she logged off to let me scan the carrots I could finally leave.
It was past 9:25 PM when I finally retrieved my things from the cabinet and walked out, so I didn’t have the time to arrange them better, just rushing to Carrefour… Which wasn’t easy when it was so slippery. There had been some ice on the way there as well, but on the way back it was a fair bit worse… And I also tripped when climbing stairs in the park, just as someone who was climbing down was telling someone on the phone how slippery it was. And three people climbing down the next set of stairs were stepping very carefully and tightly holding on to the railing. But I had to hurry, putting stuff in the cabinet and being in Carrefour at 9:50 PM, having just enough time to grab one of those kefirs and also two expiring bio (organic) drinkable yogurts, since those ended up being cheaper for the same quantity and dad had used that one I had eventually received for those Tetra Packs, so I thought those would also be fine, though after he used them he told me to not get any more of those for him. Either way, I was walking away from the checkout at 9:59 PM, so the store closed just as I got to the cabinet to retrieve my things. Then I could finally take some time to arrange everything a little better and was back just after 10:20 PM.
Dad was cooking at the time, annoying me with the mess. In itself, that actually wasn’t as bad as it usually is, but he hadn’t even turned the exhaust hood on and had been feeding Micky on the table again, her food ending up scattered on the table as a result. Either way, I eventually had the sweet pastry I had bought and an orange, but the water was quite cold, so I put off showering and cleaned what was in the kitchen until dad went to bed, setting a pot of water on the stove in order to wash with that. However, after leaving the water running while I cleaned the bathroom sink and bathtub and then finished in the kitchen and brought the pot, it got to a level I could have managed, even though it still felt quite cold except on my hands and feet. So I finally went to shower at 1:20 AM and in fact mostly used that water, only using maybe about a third of that from the pot from the waist up, before using soap and then for a first rinse of that area. Then I saw how much was left and used it for a first rinse of my legs as well, and another rinse of my genitals and butt, but it felt like I had rather spoiled myself with that. Either way, I was back in the kitchen at 1:40 AM and finally started making the salad at 2:15 AM, but I also dealt with the bread after that, so it was 3:50 AM when I started eating dinner, 5:25 AM when I finished and 5:50 AM when I got in bed. And I’ll also mention here that there were no visits recorded in either view that day.

As for December 31, I again got up at 1 PM, when the alarm rang, had the usual stuff plus almonds, with a slice of cozonac with added honey as the sweet thing, then put on the old running suit, which I had been wearing inside, also leaving the t-shirt and undershirt under the shirt even if I knew I was going to overheat, and left at 3:35 PM. It was overcast and the reported temperature was 4°C, supposed to hold steady, so I obviously also had the gloves and wore the jacket on the way. However, I had some things in the jacket’s inside pocket and as I turned it upside down in order to roll it and tie it around my waist before starting to run, they fell out, so I had to put everything back and then took no more chances, setting the jacket down in order to roll it safely.
The time was 48:54.10, with sector times of 4:12.76, 5:09 (5:08.31), 5:57.38, 4:38 (4:37.59), 5:09.69, 6:02 (6:01.44), 4:41 (4:40.97), 5:10.06, 6:00.15 and 1:56 (1:55.75), making for lap times of 15:18.45, 15:49 (15:48.72) and 15:51.18. So I wasn’t just a full minute and a half slower than the week before, but in fact this was the worst time, and actually the first one over 48:30, in two months a half, and also marked the first time I failed to stay under six minutes on sector three since then. If you just take the seconds into account, laps two and three were also the slowest since then, but if you look at the exact time and ignore longer runs, lap three was actually the slowest lap since September. And you actually need to go to that absolutely awful run from early September to find a slower sector one time than the one on lap three, again taking the exact time into account and not counting longer distances.
In part because I didn’t want to end the year with a bad time, especially after having done so well the week before, and in part because dad had bought two Penguin cakes for me along with the sweets bought for New Year’s, I had eaten one the day before and meant to eat the other that evening and wanted to do something to feel that I deserved them, I meant to use every last shred of energy, hoping to somehow get under 47 minutes one more time, or at the very least stay well under 48 minutes again, so I gave it everything from the start. The stage was being set up for the New Year’s concert, the only one being organized in Bucharest, and there were three bumps covering cables that I had to step over on the long sector one straight, but otherwise the fences were moved aside on that sector and there weren’t as many people as I feared, in fact far from it, so I was thinking that if I won’t cover that sector in less than 4:10, I’ll be in trouble… And I definitely was, because I gave it absolutely everything, needing to slow a little on sector two in order to recover, and then all I could do on sector three was stay under six minutes. So, though I completed the lap in less than 15:20, it was clear that I won’t be able to maintain that pace, so I had to give up on any targets actually worth considering and started wondering whether I could aim for 48:30 or I’ll need to struggle to even stay under 49 minutes, the latter obviously being the case in the end, and requiring pretty much all I had even so.
I had to slow because of a roadblock just before the long straight on sector one of lap two, and a worse roadblock made me briefly stop on sector two of lap two, but otherwise the main problem caused by people was that plenty insisted on walking on that new surface, so on what should now be called the running lane, even if the rest of the path was free, so I had to keep moving off it in order to get around them. But, with only two quite small areas still fenced off and I think two tiny pieces for some reason still only scraped, I did try to use that lane much of the time, when it was free and it didn’t mean going the long way around… Though sometimes I even tried to stay on it when it did mean that, leaving my usual path just to see how it went. So I also wonder whether using it makes me force my hips in order to lift my legs more, or something like that, since it feels much softer, seeing as my left hip started hurting a little from the long straight of sector one of lap two, remaining something I had to manage all the way to the end, even though it wasn’t a serious problem, and the right hip also gave me a few warnings over the course of the run. And there was some wind on lap three as well. In the end, however, the main problem was that I once again simply lacked the energy to keep pushing, or to sprint all the way on the long straights, making it quite clear that nothing was solved and the anemia returned in force after I stopped taking that huge dose of iron.

After the run I again went to that Carrefour, just quickly checking the expiring products and the bread area, not finding any for myself, only some white bread being unsliced, but finding a whole lot of a certain very good kind that I could get for dad, having a good discount. Considered getting four at first, but then I thought I might find some for even less in Kaufland and only got two, then jogged to the newer Kaufland, thinking I’ll have better odds of still finding what I was looking for there… Only to find the bakery area almost cleared, and definitely cleared of all bread except a few of one kind that I didn’t care to get and which was quite expensive anyway, the evening discount not applying to it. And there was no discounted bread I could get for dad either, so I just got some lemons and some more onions, plus some yogurt for myself, and then waited in line at the self-checkouts as 6 PM approached, that being when the store closed that day. I actually heard an employee ask another whether the checkouts were going to close automatically at 6 PM, but was told that they will at 6:30 PM, and either way it wasn’t my problem, since the time on my receipt was 5:50 PM and by 5:55 PM I had retrieved the bread and my gloves from the cabinet, arranged the purchases in two quite balanced bags and was walking away.
With no more reason to hurry, I took it easy on the way back, then had some walnuts, but decided against also having that second cake then, leaving it for dinner, since I definitely didn’t deserve it after the run. Then I showered and started making mamaliga again, adding quite a number of things in it again and not quite managing to finish it by midnight, so it ended up boiling for some 20 more minutes without me even stirring it anymore, since I was splitting my attention between watching some fireworks, both on TV and outside, and checking on the cats. Then again, somebody fired quite a load at 11 PM, so Liza had been hiding all the way behind the living room couch, actually going up against the wall, ever since then, and with the worst of it actually only lasting some five minutes in this area after midnight, but some people apparently waiting until around 12:20 AM and 12:40 AM, respectively, to make use of what they still had, she was there for a while, and also went right back after quickly eating what I had set out for her once things seemed to have gone quiet. Micky, on the other hand, alternated between looking curiously out the window and rushing under the living room couch, or at one point under the kitchen seat, but she wasn’t staying there for long, even ate when she was passing by her food, and returned to her normal behavior as soon as things seemed quiet again.
It’s a good thing my parents, and especially my mother, didn’t call that night, however, since I was at the very edge of a breakdown, even sort of having it in my mind, and anything of that sort would have triggered it completely. But as it was, once I knew that the cats weren’t going to die on my watch, I could focus on the mamaliga again, finishing it and then placing a plate on top of the pot, to keep it hot while also finishing the salad. Then I took those and the cake to my room and ate, being quite surprised when I finished and found only a couple of small burn marks on the bottom of the pot, since I had expected to have burned it quite badly after letting it boil for so long and not even stirring during that period, towards the end.

And now, although this is awfully long as it is, I’ll just add this part about today as well, starting with the early hours, when I started eating dinner at 3:35 AM even though dad was working, and that was after having lunch quite early in the evening. More notable, however, is that at some point in the morning I woke up screaming and whimpering, dreaming that dad was forcing me to let him buy something for me from a Mega Image, even if just a pretzel at half price, in order for him to get something for himself as well and not make it appear unfair in some way, and I just couldn’t take having more money spent or resources used for me anymore and was trying to get away, crawling away on the store floor while the employees were staring… And the dream images continued to blend with “reality” after I woke up, hence that reaction. And I also had a headache then, but actually managed to get back to sleep quickly enough… Only to still have the headache after I woke up for good, when dad left, though it had mostly gone away by the time I got up, after spending a little more time in bed. It did return, albeit at a lower intensity, after I got on the computer and resumed writing this post, but it eventually seemed to go away for good. And, to also mention these things, I had lunch after dad got back in the evening and, seeing as I’m posting this part just before getting to bed in the morning, I can also add that I just managed to start eating dinner at 3 AM.

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