Maybe I should have skipped the week after the half marathon, especially after achieving the result I wanted, but I nevertheless decided to run on May 11. That was in part because my mother wanted to come then, which was obviously infuriating, since dad was away that week and she meant to not only reduce that alone time, but also split it, leaving even fewer consecutive days, so I wanted to at least be gone as much as possible on that first day and was also relying on the run to calm myself down to some extent. But she said that she was going to arrive at 1 PM, which was a problem, and after telling her that and also to not touch the things and areas that I deal with, we had a harsh exchange by e-mail, with her doing that aggressive whining, and she eventually said that she won’t come if she’s not wanted, as if that was news. That did make for a somewhat awkward moment, however, seeing as, knowing that she was going to come and could look through the mugs and glasses and cutlery and decide what to donate, I had asked the NGO that I had taken the dishes to whether they also wanted some of those things and they said that they did, so I had to pretty much drop the matter… Though dad went there after he got back, taking what he decided to donate and some more things my mother gave him, after he went there to pick up what she had set aside from there as well.
Back to May 11, since I had decided to run, I stuck to that plan, and the fact that my mother didn’t come meant that I could get up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM. Then I had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being a slice of cozonac, with added honey. And no, I didn’t forget to mention almonds, but actually forgot to add them, only realizing it after I had finished the yogurt and cereals, and I didn’t care to just eat them on their own. Either way, I left just after 4:20 PM, wearing the full running gear, with some things in the pocket of my tights. The reported temperature was about 25°C, holding steady, but there were some threatening clouds, and some forecasts listed a risk of brief storms, though that fortunately didn’t materialize.
The time was 47:16.36, with sector times of 4:15.80, 4:57.06, 5:47 (5:46.34), 4:27.47, 4:55.09, 5:46 (5:45.66), 4:26.00, 5:02.41, 5:49 (5:48.50) and 1:52.03, making for lap times of 14:59.20, 15:08.22 and 15:17 (15:16.91). I just aimed to stay under 48 minutes and was thinking that sector one was close to a sustainable pace, the fact that I could do a fast sector two of lap one as well proving that. After those first two sectors, I wondered whether I wanted to try to complete the lap in less than 15 minutes and decided that I didn’t… Only to surprise myself by managing it anyway. However, the target remained to just stay under 48 minutes, the thought of staying under 47:30 only entering my mind after lap two, and after lap three it was clear that I was going to manage it, not needing to push on the final sector.
The wind was most noticeable early on sector three, around the start of that long turn, but it was only on lap two that I felt that I really had to fight it. Otherwise, the lane was still badly damaged in some areas, including quite a few spots on the long sector one straight and on that paved part in sector three, and one on the long sector two straight, and it was also soaked in a couple of areas. On the other hand, the number of people was manageable, so besides having to weave or go the long way around there were a couple of small issues, but not anything notable. And the warnings my right knee started giving on sector two of lap three lessened after that sector. Oh, and a guy asked me which lap that was when I was on sector two of lap two, and it took me a moment to “process” that, so I ended up shouting that it was the second after passing him.
After walking for just a few steps, to regain my breath, I ran, as in not just jogging, to that Carrefour, but I was mainly looking for some expiring yogurt and there was none, so I didn’t get anything, jogged for the first part of the way back as well, and then just walked. Then I ate the banana which I had grabbed after the half marathon, changed, and went back out a little before 7:25 PM.
After having a quick look in the newer bakery on the way, I went to the nearest Penny and got what I meant to get from there, then continued to Kaufland. However, I didn’t enter the store at that point, just dropping off the purchases in a cabinet and then going to Mega Mall and first checking that Hervis, actually trying on a GT-1000 10… And getting stopped by the guard when I wanted to leave, being asked to empty the jacket’s pockets, where I had empty bags and that old notebook. It’s possible that he had been told to check me, since he was talking to someone and saying that he wasn’t asleep. And the guard from Carrefour also came after me after I just went in and out of there as well, the only expiring yogurt being imported. I had even taken the bags and notebook out of the jacket’s pockets and held them in my hands, spread out, but he still asked me to show him the inside of my jacket…
I finally went back to Kaufland after that, washed my hands and grabbed some things, but decided against also getting some more of that bread, since the price had increased yet again, so even though it was discounted by 50% I left it for another time. I was mainly looking for the cabbage that was supposed to be on a limited sale as of that day, but saw none and when I asked an employee he said that they didn’t have it. So I just waited for 9:45 PM, in case any discounts would increase, which didn’t happen, then I used the self-checkout, having no problems with the machine but having an old woman start placing her things next to mine almost as soon as I started scanning. I told her that we should take care to not mix our things, as a way to tell her that she shouldn’t really do what she was doing, but she didn’t care… And that ended up being her loss, because two employees came and apparently had something to do with that machine, so after I was done they told her to go to another and she had to pick everything back up and move there. Either way, I then retrieved my things from the cabinet, arranged everything in the bags and walked away just before 10 PM, being back here at 10:30 PM.
On May 13, I left a little before 7:35 PM, but spent a couple of minutes checking the Kaufland catalog found in the mailbox before exiting the building, also opening the door for someone since the intercom didn’t seem to be doing so. I had also taken the recyclables, so I first went to drop them off in a bin and then used that slightly longer route to the metro station, and on the way I spotted an interesting car and was taking a picture when a guy walked past me and through the gate it was parked in front of. Since that’s a house, the car was probably either his or belonged to someone from his family, but he didn’t say anything.
Either way, I then took the metro, using dad’s card, and went to Obor, first going straight to Kaufland in order to look for that cabbage. When I still didn’t find any, I went right back out, bought the newspapers from a store from there, since dad wasn’t here but was likely to want to take the TV schedule to my mother after he’ll get back, then went to Carrefour, left the newspapers in a cabinet, and bought teas and an expiring cake, using the 10 RON voucher I had. Then I retrieved the newspapers, but somehow forgot about a small bag as I tried to arrange the purchases on my way out of that mall, apparently just letting it drop out of my hand, though I realized it before walking out, went back and found it on the floor.
Then I rushed back to the metro and went to the Kaufland from Basarab, since it’s next to a station and I still wanted to look for that cabbage. And the fact that the ad for that sale was right on the cabinets gave me some hope, so after trying several cabinets before finding one that worked and leaving my purchases in it, I went in and started looking… Only to still not find any. I did, however, find green onions, radishes and lettuce for next to nothing, so I got some of those, had no problems with the self-checkout and finished using the machine just before 10 PM. That confectionery that’s there was closed by then, but the cakes were left in the display case, and when I had a look I saw that they also had a “Meringue” cake! It wasn’t quite like what I remembered from when I was little, but it was close enough, and I’d been searching for a long time for that kind of cake and hadn’t seen anything like it anywhere else, so I wished that I’d have known about that place after the half marathon and kept it in mind, for the next time when I’ll have a reason to reward myself in such a manner and also have the metro card… And that moment came yesterday, so while I have no idea when I’ll get to write about that day otherwise, I will add here that the cake’s really good, and actually better than I expected.
Either way, after retrieving my things from the cabinet, I got back on the metro… And when I got back here I found that I should have paid more attention to that problem with the building’s door, since the lock seemed stuck and I struggled for a couple of minutes to unlock it, starting to fear that I might end up needing to wait for someone to come out and wondering about the odds of that happening at that hour. But it eventually worked and I was back a little before 10:40 PM. I ended up only getting in bed at 5:20 AM, however, though there was no particular reason for the delay.
The next run was on May 16, when I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM… And rushed to clean some of the mess left by dad in the kitchen, since he had gotten back that night. While it’d have been even better without the cats to take care of either, it had certainly been nice to not have all that mess to deal with while he was gone… Either way, I then had the usual stuff plus almonds, with the sweet thing again being a slice of cozonac, with added honey, and left a little before 4:15 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 26°C, holding steady.
The time was 1:17:25, with sector times of 4:23, 4:59, 5:52, 4:30, 4:58, 5:50, 4:29, 5:07, 5:47, 4:36, 5:14, 5:58, 4:38, 5:10 and 5:54, making for lap times of 15:14, 15:18, 15:23, 15:48 and 15:42. I aimed to stay under 1:18 and started with a controlled first sector, but it seemed a little slow when I saw the time, so I pushed a little on sector two and then actually wanted 15:15 for the lap, just managing to stay under that time by fractions of a second. I then aimed to still gain compared to the 1:18 pace on lap two and actually gained more than I hoped, but what probably made me keep pushing harder than I’d have otherwise done was that I was thinking of the previous 16 km run and not remembering the times correctly, thinking that I was three seconds behind after two laps, though I was actually nine seconds ahead. Either way, I wanted to gain those three seconds compared to the 1:18 pace on lap three, and when I saw that I had gained 13 I knew that I could afford even 16 minutes per lap from then on. But I wanted to be faster than I had been that previous time, so I did what I could on lap four and it seemed that I was safe at the end of it. However, just to be sure, I pushed a little more on lap five and after sector two I realized that I could get under 1:17:30, so I gave it everything on sector three and managed that as well. I must have been really exhausted though, since I thought that I’d be faster on that last sector.
While not a major problem, it was odd that there was a windy area later on sector three, not at the start of it, where it usually is windy. But I was starting to feel the heat, though it was fine in the shade, and the clouds that appeared towards the end of sector one of lap four and didn’t clear until I finished definitely helped. The poplar fluff remained annoying from start to end, however, and there were a few annoying bugs as well. As for physical issues, I noticed my hands starting to go numb quite early, and there were brief moments when a certain pressing need appeared, on sector two of laps three and four, but then it went away. And my right knee started to give some warnings from the end of sector one of lap three, and that hip joined it, along with a spot on the thigh, from sector two of lap five, but it was never bad. On the other hand, they had fixed the lane, patching those spots on the long straight of sector one with a somewhat harder mix, though the different materials and the way they were joined made it clear that it wasn’t going to last, plus that more damage was starting to appear. And on that paved part of sector three they gave up on this mix, pouring some kind of cement and painting it instead, though I have doubts about that as well, since it seems softer, like what’s used when something is being covered temporarily.
As for people, there weren’t many, but they caused a few notable issues. One was at the end of sector two and start of sector three of lap one, when some were almost creating a roadblock under the bridge, just moving away in haste when I shouted at them to make way, and when I got out from under the bridge another runner was just coming down the stairs, yet another was coming from the opposite direction, and a woman was just starting to walk across the path with an eager dog and a reluctant one. At first she wanted to hurry the reluctant dog, after seeing this last runner, then spotted me and the other guy coming from this direction and we all had a moment of trying to decide what to do, so I briefly stopped, but eventually we all got through. Then, though I couldn’t quite remember it even then, there might have been another brief stop on lap two, because of a misunderstanding. But there definitely was one more at the end of sector two of lap three, just as I was about to check the time. Someone was coming from the opposite direction, on the lane, I think on roller skates, if not on a scooter, a girl on roller skates was also coming, next to the lane, and another was walking, and we all met there and I had to stop for a moment and squeeze through.
The last paragraph above was actually added a little after midnight, since I had only gotten as far as the end of the one before it at that point, so that was what I had to post at first. And at least this does cover the two runs that I wanted to cover in this post, so I eventually decided to leave it like this, though the original plan was to edit it later in order to also add what I did after this run, and also a few things about the next day and the following morning.