It’s time for another one of these posts, obviously just for my own use, likely including as a way to stay at least somewhat motivated. This has been a problem for quite some time, becoming worse along with my times, so while for a time, while I was taking that huge dose of iron and my times improved sharply, things were getting better, now that I’m no longer taking that and my times went from great to bad over the course of a month, it’s getting worse again and I don’t know what the future will hold… Though I am once again already signed up for both the half marathon and the marathon, so, as I was also saying a year ago, I’ll need to keep it up at least at a level which will allow me to not embarrass myself too much then.
Same as before, I didn’t copy the times for the shorter distances, so those are still in the first two such posts. And I still consider the Dream Trek Summer Edition as something different and not relevant for these purposes, so I’m still not including it here, even if I took part in it last year as well. On the other hand, with the new additions compared to the previous such post again being underlined and the usual notes being in the same format, between square brackets, with the first value representing the distance and the second the lap on which that particular time was achieved, only a few additional comments were needed. And the times still include only the seconds, ignoring the fact that I now usually have exact ones as well, especially for the 10 km runs, and those may change some things.
The title of this post mentions the beginning of 2022 instead of the end of 2021 because I pushed hard at the start of this week’s run and managed a first sector time on the first lap that tied for sixth, so I included that here… Even if the run itself is one I can’t really include anywhere otherwise, so I’ll also use this post to describe what happened that day, after I’ll go through the times. At the moment I’m writing this, I’m not even entirely sure how to list that run on the page where I list the times… Which I still won’t link to since it’s still in the temporary location it was in a year ago and still lacks many of the dates, since I only went back as far as the end of 2018, just a handful of earlier dates being added, and most of those also being from 2018.
Half Marathon (21.1 km)
I. Bucharest Half Marathon real time
II. Through the park
Lap sector one [10-1 unless otherwise specified]
3-5. 4:07 (and a second and third time)
6-11. 4:08 [16-1] (and a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth [*] time)
Note: [*] = See the run described in this post.
Lap sector two
Note: No change from a year ago, so all times from two years ago are also still here.
1. 4:32 [10-1]
2. 4:42 [10-2] (Slightly uncertain I remembered it correctly.)
3. 4:49 [16-2]
4-7. 4:50 [10-1] (and a second [10-2], third [16-2] and fourth [10-1] time)
8-9. 4:51 [10-2] (twice [10-3])
10-12. 4:52 [10-1] (and a second [10-3] and third [10-3] time)
Final sector on a 10 km run
Note: All times from one and two years ago are still here, the only new addition adding another tie for second place.
2-6. 1:42 (and a second, third, fourth and fifth time)
7-16. 1:43 (and a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth time)
And now I’ll get to that January 5 run, when I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, though I also woke up when dad received a package that morning and couldn’t get back to sleep while he made noise opening it, seeing 11:45 AM when I went to pee, though at least I managed to get back to sleep after that, albeit probably sleeping lightly and possibly being half-awake at times. Either way, I had the usual stuff plus almonds, with a slice of cozonac with added honey as the sweet thing, wasted time on the toilet twice, put on the full running gear and went out at 3:35 PM, when it was sunny and the reported temperature was 15°C, supposed to drop by a few degrees by the time I’ll finish.
So the conditions were great, I was in the proper gear and nothing else, had tried to prepare to some extent over the previous couple of days, and while I thought that the time only wasted on the toilet was going to come back and bite me when I’ll push hard, I had every intention to make it a good run, making up for the one on December 31. With both the weather and my form clearly getting much worse, it seemed to be my last chance to do so, after all… And my efforts to keep pushing away the next breakdown relied on it almost entirely.
Well, assuming I’m remembering the time when I first stopped correctly, I ended up with an actual running time that was probably 55:56, over a total distance of 10.8 km. If I’m to list the sector times, those would be 4:08.29 and maybe 6:13, if I correctly remember that 10:21 and it actually marked the time when I stopped and therefore ended that section, then 4:27.98, 5:49 (5:48.03) and, if I deduct the 1:22.38 spent waiting for the light to turn green, 6:43.40, making for a “lap” time of 16:59.41, then 4:46, followed by what I think was 13:39 for the next two sectors, since I didn’t check in between, making for a “lap” time that I think was 18:25, then I think 1:58, then 6:18 and 1:55, making for what I think was 10:11 on the route I’d normally use for the final portion of a half marathon run. While I think I remembered them correctly, it’s possible that those two sectors that I only have a total time for and therefore also the last “lap” were up to a few seconds faster, which would make the first sector of that final portion and the portion itself up to a few seconds slower, since I had until reaching the bridge, so a minute or less, to make a final decision about how I’ll continue, I focused on that at that point and then didn’t check the time again before finishing that short sector and therefore clearing the previous intermediate time. But I’m quite uncertain about that 10:21, and therefore also the 6:13, especially considering the possible confusion with a mix between the 10:16 when I stopped for that red light and the 18:21 that was actually displayed at the end of that “lap”, including the time spent waiting.
I was so pleased with that first sector time, even more so since I felt I hadn’t pushed as hard as the week before, but that was all I got out of that run… And I’d say the main reason why I tried to at least continue in some manner and keep timing as well, since when I stopped that first time the options that seemed available were giving up on running that day completely, giving up on running in the park and coming back here to use that street route, or staying in the park for an untimed run on some route I’ll think of on the spot, all of which would have meant not being able to list that first sector among the best times, since it wouldn’t have actually been part of the run. It’s questionable even so, seeing as I did stop and reset the stopwatch after I passed under the bridge again, and in fact don’t even know whether I did so right at that point or when I actually stopped running, a few seconds later, when I got to the turn. But then I walked back the 200 meters, if even that, to what I consider to be the start line and got back to running 15 minutes after the first start, so let’s say it can be considered acceptable… Maybe…
The reason for all the mess was that the way under the bridge was blocked off on one side. Most of sector two was fenced off again, leaving just a narrow strip for people, and the nice weather meant that the park was quite crowded, so I was trying to fix the problems caused by people in my mind, roadblocks causing me to take to the grass, slow and even briefly stop on that sector, plus that there was some pain that seemed to be below my right knee almost from the start, but then it all became irrelevant when I approached the sector’s end and saw that I couldn’t continue and a guard directed me to go over the bridge. I asked in passing how was I supposed to continue to the other side, but just ran up the stairs at first, then had a quick look around and ended up going across and back down on the other side, then under the bridge again in the other direction. But that would have taken me back to the start, which didn’t make sense, so I stopped, reset the stopwatch and had those thoughts about abandoning, using that street route or not timing. Yet that first sector time was too good and I wanted to be able to list it somehow, so I had another look around, saw the stoplight above and thought I could try to cross there.
After walking back to the start and, as I already mentioned, starting again 15 minutes after the first time, I did just that, going up the stairs again when I got there, but then going right, or pretty much straight ahead, since the stairs are to the right. The first stoplight, for that side street, was red, but there were no cars, so I just kept running in order to catch the one for the main road still green… Yet I only managed to catch the first one, the second turning red just then and making me stop in the tram station, at which point I considered sector two completed. I’m quite sure that, at full speed, I’d have had just enough time to cross before the light turned green for the cars, but I didn’t risk it, ending up waiting there for that time I mentioned above, checking exactly how long it had been when I got going again. And then I went down the stairs on the other side and continued with an almost normal sector three, as in exactly the lap sector three that’s sector two on that final portion of a half marathon run.
Since that run clearly wasn’t going to “count” overall, I didn’t care to look at the exact times anymore after finishing that “lap”, and also probably took a couple of seconds when I stopped to pick up a coin on the first sector of the next one. But, even so, I didn’t want to have to wait for the light one more time, so after going up those stairs yet again, I turned left and went back under the bridge on that side, as I had done the first time, but then went back up, to go across and then back down, continuing with that sector three one more time, adding a little distance and more stairs but no longer having to cross the road. I guess I could have added another interval time there, even if only in order to stick more closely to the usual format, but I just didn’t care anymore, plus that I was quite busy trying to decide what to do after the end of that “lap”.
Speaking of decisions, if I’d have managed to think things through on the spot, I could have run those first two sectors back and forth five times, since they have two kilometers together, so let’s say 1.95 km if you exclude going under the bridge, and then do what I did the first time but actually continue to the start, making that the finish line as well, the total in this case being 10.1 km and the sectors and “laps” also being much clearer and more equal… Though it would have been strange to alternate the direction like that, and I’m not sure how I’d have entered that in my file and on that page. And that’d have also been the problem if I’d have decided to do full laps with the exception of passing under the bridge on that side, as in turning around when I first reached that block, so after 1.95 km, then running the 3.15 km until I’ll get blocked on the other side, turning around again for another 3.15 km, and then one more time, either for all the 1.95 km, making for 10.2 km, or stopping right after the bridge in order to stick to 10 km. But those possibilities never even crossed my mind at that point, when I had a second or so to decide what to do, and once I went up those stairs I couldn’t exactly do either of these things anymore anyway.
Back to what I did decide, I was very much aware that doing so will put me well over 10 km, the calculations I was making at the time actually adding up to 11.1 km instead of the 10.8 km I now see was the actual total, and the fact that the total running time was also going to be over 55 minutes was another clear reason why I wasn’t going to list it as a 10 km run, but I wanted to at least finish with one complete section, so I decided to go for what would otherwise be the final portion of a half marathon run. That also causes problems when it comes to listing it, since at first I had entered it in the cells for such a portion but it’s not at all after the required distance and clearly can’t be taken into account and compared to my other times on it, so I’d have needed to keep remembering to exclude it when checking the times, while on the other hand, even if it’s in no way a lap four, it at least can’t be confused with a lap time, so I eventually decided to enter it in the cells for lap four because I know I’ll exclude it automatically. Besides, the first portion was in no way a lap one either, and the second and third also can’t really be compared with actual laps. So, as I said, this is a run I can’t quite count, with the exception of that first sector… Or with the exception of each sector one, I guess, since all of those were normal first sectors. But that makes little difference, and when I relied so much on managing one more, and possibly one last, good time in order to still somehow keep myself together a little longer, you can imagine the state I’m in since then…