Writing About Two More Runs Instead of About Planting Trees Again Yesterday
Since I didn’t even manage to write some quick notes yesterday and today it was a little after 5:30 PM when I got up and I didn’t even open the file until after this evening’s race, it was clear that this post couldn’t be about planting trees again yesterday, because even if I was again going to add more later, I was unlikely to even finish a first part by midnight. So I decided to write about the two runs I’m yet to write about, though I’ll actually start with the early hours of March 14, when I was taking the dishes back to the kitchen after eating dinner in my room and saw one of those black cockroaches. It had been under the door, so it was revealed when I opened it, but it was a rather small one and it stayed there, so I couldn’t step on it because of the threshold, at least not with these slippers, and the dishes I was carrying didn’t really allow me to make sudden moves and I clearly couldn’t remove a slipper and put it on a hand and try that way, so it escaped.
Either way, even though I had worked a lot in order to clean the fridge two days earlier, when we finally defrosted it again, which led to being exhausted and out of it the day before, and the temperature was also supposed to be a fair bit higher the next day, it was also supposed to be cloudy and more windy, so I decided to run that day and set the alarm to wake me at 2 PM. It didn’t get to ring, however, because I kept waking up, a number of times to pee, then even if I didn’t need to anymore, and after being awake just after 1:40 PM, deciding to try to nap a little more and maybe just managing to fall asleep again, there was some noise and I woke up yet again, seeing 1:57 PM when I checked the time, so I turned off the alarm and got up. Then I had the usual stuff plus almonds, but the sweet thing was much larger than usual, in the form of a mucenic, or I guess a sfintisor, with plenty of walnuts and added honey. I left a little before 4:35 PM, wearing the full running gear, an undershirt underneath, that thing around my neck and the gloves, plus the jacket on the way, tied around my waist as I ran, the reported temperature being 8°C, supposed to drop by 1-2°C by the time I’ll finish, but it was sunny and there was little wind, so it didn’t feel cold at all.
The time was 47:49.42, with sector times of 4:07.14, 5:16 (5:15.88), 5:51.00, 4:29.84, 5:08 (5:07.31), 5:53.81, 4:24 (4:23.50), 5:11.32, 5:46 (5:45.22) and 1:44.40, making for lap times of 15:14.02, 15:30.96 and 15:21 (15:20.04). I couldn’t really say what my initial target was, maybe to at least stay under 49 minutes and hope for something better, but I started by giving everything on the first sector and managing that great time, which would have actually been the second 4:06 I ever managed if not for what was almost a roadblock forcing me to take the last turn all the way on the outside before going again across the path and getting back on the inside just as I crossed the line that marks the end of the sector. Then I took it easier on sector two, needing to recover, but that time was too bad, so I pushed again on sector three, albeit obviously not to the same extent as on sector one, and after the end of the lap I thought I was aiming for 48:30, since I wasn’t going to maintain that pace, which in itself would have allowed me to stay under 48 minutes. But lap two, when I maintained a sustainable pace, not sparing myself but not pushing either, made me wonder whether staying under 48 minutes was in fact possible. I didn’t think so, but nevertheless pushed from the start of lap three and after sector one thought that I might fail by a matter of seconds and end up blaming it on the fenced area and needing to take to the grass. Then, after sector two, I was even thinking that 48:15 was more likely, but I just gave it everything on sector three and at the end of the lap was surprised to see that I had a good chance of staying under 48 minutes after all. I felt tired, however, so I thought that I was going to have to dig deep for that 1:54 I needed… Only to be ten seconds faster, managing a great final sector!
There were fences on much of sector two again, starting early on the long straight and ending close to the end of the sector, when I was approaching the bridge, and that caused me to have to take to the grass a couple of times on each lap on that long straight, and on laps one and three I even went behind that stall that’s there. I also slowed a lot in order to squeeze through a roadblock on the long straight of sector one of lap two, then other roadblocks caused me to slow twice more on sector two of lap two, and again when two guys went towards me as I was staying on the lane, I’m pretty sure on sector three of lap three, though there’s a chance that it was actually on sector two. And on sector three of lap two there was some pain in my right knee and ankle, though it got better after that. Otherwise, my eyes were really tearing up after that very fast first sector, with tears running down my cheek…
After getting back, I had lunch and changed, and at 7:40 PM I was leaving again, also taking the vegetable pâté and instant coffee and tea we had and never used, to drop off at one of the stores gathering products donated for the Ukrainian refugees. I also wanted to donate that 1 RON I had decided to donate after being charged less at Carrefour on March 10, but while I seemed to remember that Mega Image took donations for refugees, when I just stepped inside this one that’s across the road and glanced at the donation box, it seemed to be for something else, so I kept going to the Carrefour from the park… Only for the box meant for donations of food from there to still only say Food Bank and Red Cross, so while I thought I recalled reading that all the donations received during this period will be directed to Ukrainian refugees, which I confirmed after getting back, at that point I was uncertain and didn’t drop anything off, just entering the store with those things in my pockets and only buying a tea. At least I finally remembered to use the discount ticket received for the snacks and popcorn bought from there after the half marathon run, having forgotten about it the other two times I had been to Carrefour in between. But what was unpleasant was that, since these discount codes are just printed on the receipt and I therefore had to give it to the cashier, she just took it and, after first seeming to mean to give it back after scanning it, suddenly changed her mind and threw it away. And I couldn’t get myself to say anything…
Either way, I then also went to the newer Kaufland. Thought about checking that Penny as well, but after changing my mind a few times on the way, I eventually went straight there… And saw that the box which should have been for food donations for the Ukrainian refugees was empty and had no sign on or around it, and I couldn’t get myself to ask an employee, so I didn’t leave anything there either, washing my hands and walking in with everything still on me once again. It was just after 9 PM, but bakery discounts of 50% were already listed and as I was trying to decide what to get I heard the announcement stating 75%, so I ended up grabbing a number of things, most of them for my mother. Then I also took a lettuce that had a good evening discount and one more thing for dad, after which I wandered around for a while, checked for expiring products and other evening discounts and looked for that pack of four yogurts for the price of three that I was used to buying, after having been unable to find it in Carrefour, but I couldn’t find it there either, nor anything else that I’d be interested in, so I eventually made my way to the self-checkout and had no problems with the machine. Then I used the scales that are close to the bathrooms in order to get a label that I used to keep the bag with my pastries closed, and on the way I saw that some products had appeared in that donation box, but there was still no sign, so I still left it for another time.
I was walking away before closing time, and got back a little after 10:40 PM. Then I put things away and ate an orange and something sweet that was already around, leaving those pastries for other days. After that, I had a hot bath and managed to stick to the new schedule for dinner. On the other hand, though it didn’t really seem to be the case right after the run, my right nostril felt irritated again that night.
As for March 24, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM… When it seemed that I was just about to finally fall asleep again after waking up when dad had left, which should have been around 1:30 PM, though I hadn’t checked the time then. Either way, I then had the usual stuff plus almonds, but replaced the yogurt with some of dad’s kefir, since I was out of yogurt. As for the sweet thing, that was a slice of cozonac, with added honey. It was a little after 4:15 PM when I left, wearing the full running gear, the reported temperature being a nice 21-22°C, supposed to drop by a few degrees by the time I’ll finish.
The time was 1:18:41, with sector times of 4:23, 5:08, 5:54, 4:33, 5:04, 5:53, 4:36, 5:06, 6:04, 4:41, 5:18, 6:07, 4:42, 5:15 and 5:57, making for lap times of 15:25, 15:30, 15:46, 16:06 and 15:54. I was hoping to stay under 1:18 again, but at the same time the realistic goal was just staying under 1:20, especially since I didn’t feel good early on. Still, thanks to that sector three, the time on lap one was exactly the same as the previous time I ran 16 km, so I started thinking of 1:18 a little more. It seemed unlikely at that point, but after lap two was six seconds faster than then, it started to actually seem possible. However, after losing ten seconds on lap three, it was clear that it had been a wrong impression and I was just looking at staying under 1:19, and lap four meant that I actually had to push on the last lap even for that. Considering the total time at the start of that last lap, I was sort of thinking of being exactly one minute slower than then as a good target, and that was just what I managed, though it meant really giving it everything, especially on sector three.
This time around, the fenced areas were in sectors one and three, plus pieces of fence still placed in two earlier portions of sector three, before the part that was actually fenced off, but it seemed that those had simply not been moved quite yet, since they had been moved from the ends of those areas, all the ribbons between them were torn and the new surface and the paint seemed completely dry, so in those areas I just stayed on the lane. But some of the areas that were actually fenced off were on the long sector one straight, where as a result I often had to go off the path, including behind benches, garbage cans and poles, and when I tried to avoid that I kept having to squeeze through and slow, and a few times even briefly stop. And I also had to go behind that stall where people usually gather on sector three on all laps except the first, having no way through on the second, third and fourth and choosing to not risk it on the last, since there was a narrow space between the people and the fence as I approached, but if anyone’d have moved I’d have been blocked. So, while I dealt with worse, there definitely were plenty of people, dogs, children, and the fenced areas made it much worse, resulting in a lot of weaving, going the long way around, squeezing through, slowing, avoiding, and a few brief stops. And since I mentioned avoiding, there were a few times when it was a close call, the worst seeming to be on sector one of lap two, when me and a cyclist barely avoided each other. Otherwise, it was also windy in some areas, at first the worst being towards the end of sector three, but then it was mostly windy from the long sector two straight of lap four until the end. And my right knee also started hurting a little after that straight, not really getting better until the end. And my nose was also really irritated after the run, though it got better quickly.
Either way, I then jogged most of the way back, had lunch, changed and left again at 7:45 PM, taking the paper, which I dropped off in a bin. Then I went to the Carrefour from the park, but didn’t buy anything even though I considered getting a few things. I did buy one expiring thing from a Mega Image I decided to check on the way to the newer Kaufland, finding that expiring products still had the 50% discount in that location. Then I washed my hands when I got to that Kaufland, entered with that product in a pocket, not bothering to use a cabinet, and went straight to the bakery area, discounts of 70%, instead of 75%, having just been announced. The other two kinds of bread were again no longer available, but that third kind I had considered days earlier was, and had a price that made me decide to at least try it once, so I got one, as well as a sweet pastry. Then I also grabbed a kind of lettuce with root that had a good evening discount and several expiring things, most of those being some chocolate bars for dad. After that, I waited for a while for a machine to free up at the self-checkout, so I was still scanning when the store closed, but at least there were no problems. I got back a little after 10:45 PM, ate another slice of cozonac, with added jam, and an orange, and then showered. I didn’t manage to stick to the new dinner schedule, however, despite getting back in the kitchen just before 1 AM, since I still had a fair bit to do, so I ended up only starting to eat dinner at 3:20 AM and finishing a little after 3:45 AM.
Proving that I wouldn’t have managed to write any significant part of the post about planting trees again yesterday, what I posted before midnight only included the part about March 14, the one about March 24 being added just before I went to bed in the morning, at which point I also changed the time to 11:59 PM, that first part being posted at 11:56 PM. But since it initially showed up as having been posted at 10:56 PM, at least that also reminded me to change the time here as well, after the hour went forward last night.