Maybe I’d have given myself a week off if I’d have managed to finish this year’s marathon in less than four hours, but since that wasn’t the case, the next run was on October 13, when the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but I was awake a couple of minutes earlier, so I turned it off and got up. And I was out of one of the kinds of tea that I drink when I go out and decided to not put the other in either, so I drank a different kind of tea, but otherwise had the usual stuff, which should be understood to also include almonds, so I’ll stop mentioning that from now on. As for the sweet thing, I had regular biscuits, with added honey, and then left at 4:20 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 20°C, and it pretty much held steady.
The time was 48:02.92, with sector times of 4:23.23, 5:11.16, 5:58.59, 4:33 (4:32.19), 5:02.78, 5:54 (5:53.94), 4:28 (4:27.81), 4:59 (4:58.78), 5:50 (5:49.72) and 1:44.72, making for lap times of 15:32.98, 15:29 (15:28.91) and 15:17 (15:16.31). I wanted to stay under 48 minutes, but the first sector felt slow and actually was, and the second was even worse, so I feared that I’ll go over six minutes on sector three, and while I just managed to avoid that, the first lap made me think that I’ll struggle to even stay under 49 minutes, the first sector of lap two seeming to confirm that concern. But the next two sectors were better, and the lap made me think that I could get below 48:30 if I pushed, so I did, which showed, lap three, as well as its sectors two and three, clearly being the best ones of the day, and then I managed a great time on the final sector. It wasn’t quite good enough, however, because after three laps I realized that I might just squeeze under 48 minutes if I’ll manage an outstanding final sector and did my best, but fell just about three seconds short. Of course, such a time on that sector was highly unlikely.
Some parts of the lane were still wet and there were some people as well, but the one notable problem was a little silly dance with a cyclist, maybe halting for just a moment, at the start of sector two of lap one, and that was my fault, since I was looking at the time, wasn’t on the lane and just suddenly realized that he was coming. And I likely slowed and moved first to one side and then to the other on sector two of lap three, because two guys were moving a kayak and blocking the entire path as I approached, though they moved just enough to leave a little space on one side by the time I got there. Otherwise, there were some small warnings from that spot on the left thigh muscle at the start, but they went away after a while. And I started feeling a certain pressing need early on, though it remained faint until sector three of lap three, when it became quite noticeable. But what actually made me worry for a while was an odd feeling in the left side of my abdomen which appeared at least on sector two of lap two, if not even on sector one, since I don’t recall having felt quite like that before. But that also lessened as time passed.
I had a look behind the building when I got back, searching for any apples which might have fallen from that tree, but I didn’t see any. Then I had a banana, took out a small bag of trash… And realized that I had apparently forgot to turn off the monitor before leaving. Otherwise, my nose was a little irritated again, but that problem went away quickly and nothing else seemed wrong that evening, yet the next day I was woken up by my right hip hurting badly, the pain not letting go for quite a while, though I eventually managed to fall asleep again and, even though I didn’t sleep for too long, by the time I woke up again it wasn’t hurting anymore. But the worst part came in the evening, when I was at the computer and all of a sudden my back started hurting badly in that spot, so I crawled in bed and had fallen asleep when dad called me over to ask whether I could transcribe something… And my reflex was to jump out of bed, which hurt really badly and the pain wouldn’t let go, so I was again moving like a tank and really struggling to sit or get up.
That pain followed the usual pattern, gradually lessening over the next few days, so I decided to run again on October 18, though in that day’s early hours, close to 2 AM, just when I was about to start working on the salad, I realized that I had forgotten to bake beets. So I peeled and boiled some carrots instead, and while that still led to starting to eat dinner at 3:05 AM, I still finished at 3:40 AM and then even shaved. But then I slept poorly, waking up several times and having a hard time getting back to sleep, especially after 11:30 AM. Dad left and got back, I went to pee twice, there was a fair bit of noise from above, and it was the second time this autumn when I was cold and at that point I still only had the sheet to cover myself with, wanting to clean my room before taking the blanket and being yet to get myself to do that. So the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but I got little sleep during those last two and a half hours, and was in fact up a few minutes before 2 PM, turning off the alarm at that point. Then I had the usual stuff, mixing the last of the muesli in a nicer yogurt, though the tea was more concentrated, since I accidentally put in two teabags of one kind. And, just like four days earlier, after also having some regular biscuits, with added honey, I left at 4:20 PM, wearing the full running gear, though I likely started running a little later, since I stopped on the stairs to the path around the lake, to get something out of my right shoe. The weather was great, with a reported temperature of 20°C when I left, and 19°C when I finished, and hardly any wind.
The time was 47:03.27, with sector times of 4:19.58, 5:03.09, 5:51 (5:50.88), 4:26 (4:25.47), 4:56.62, 5:46 (5:45.88), 4:22 (4:21.50), 4:52.25, 5:42 (5:41.81) and 1:46.19, making for lap times of 15:13.55, 15:08 (15:07.97) and 14:56 (14:55.56). I started by hoping to get back under 48 minutes, but that first sector was slower than I thought it’d be and the second didn’t make up for it, so even staying under 48:30 was in question, and the better sector three just made that 48:30 a clearer goal. But sector two of lap two made me hope again, at the end of the lap I was once again aiming to get under 48 minutes, and each sector of lap three was better than expected, so after the first I was wondering about getting under 47:30 but thinking that it wasn’t likely, after the second that 47:30 became the clear target, and at the end of the lap I realized that I might actually be frustratingly close to 47 minutes, since I wasn’t going to cover that last sector in the outstanding time needed to get below that threshold. And that ended up being the case.
My right ankle hurt a little on the way to the park, but the pain went away when I started running, the only physical issues that appeared after that being some warnings from my right thigh, which started early on lap two, but never got worse. On the other hand, parts of the path around the lake were starting to be lined with small bushes, some already being planted and holes waiting for others, which means that taking to the grass in those areas won’t be an option anymore, and the bushes that were already planted had also been watered, the water soaking the lane and making it worse in those spots. But at least it wasn’t crowded, and while I still had to sometimes weave and go the long way around, the notable issues were only on lap three. The first was a little misunderstanding with a cyclist as we both tried to get around someone on the long straight of sector one, but there was still some distance between us at that point, so I just hesitated a little. And then, later on that same sector, I slowed a lot in order to decide how to get past some people. And on sector two I probably briefly stopped at one point, when the space that I was aiming for closed just in front of me and I had to quickly avoid running into someone.
After getting back, I ate an apple and the last slice of cake from my mother, even did the day’s squats, changed, and left again at 7:30 PM, deciding to go to Unirii and walking there even if I had dad’s metro card, to also go to the Penny that’s on the way and get more food for Liza, ending up getting a box with all four kinds, since the only kind that was available separately was the one with beef. Then, even though I was already starting to need to pee by the time I left Penny, when I got to Unirii I decided to go to Carrefour before using the toilet from that shopping center, not bothering to put the cat food in a cabinet. And an employee came to arrange the egg cartons while I was looking through the eggs sold by piece, asking me to move just a little, then saying that I didn’t bother her otherwise and could stay there, but at one point telling me that all of those eggs had the same date, which wasn’t true, and I was looking for bio (organic) ones anyway. When I told her that, she said that they don’t usually have those there, so I said that I can sometimes find some, but she said that I probably won’t find any then and was right. So, after looking through all of those eggs, I walked away and just got some peanuts, but then I realized that dad would be eating eggs, since he was making spinach when I left, so I went back and grabbed six with code one… And the cashier asked whether I’ll be upset because she couldn’t give me 0.10 RON as change. Well, I was, but I shrugged it off, having found one such coin when I left Penny, and at least I had remembered to use the voucher received for some previous purchases, and the cashier just crossed that bar code with a pen, so I could keep the receipt.
I then meant to check that Mega Image as well, wanting to make use of some discounts that applied that day and the next in order to get some biscuits, but when I saw a note stating that it will be closed for the following period, without listing any reason or a date when it was going to reopen, I went straight to the metro station, so I still didn’t go to the toilet. And I didn’t have any better luck after getting off at Dristor either, the same note being in the window of the Mega Image that’s near the farmers’ market. And the one next to Tei was also closed, though at least that one had a note mentioning the Consumer Protection Authority, which the cashier and the guard who were outside when I got there pointed to, even though they said that they didn’t know the exact reason why they had been closed. And another man who got there just after me said that he was coming from that Carrefour, which had also been closed. But I thought that I still had some options, the first one being a Shop & Go that I was going to pass by on the way back… Only for that one to also be closed, though employees were inside and the note stated that it had closed at 9 PM that evening for inventory. So I made a detour, to also check the Shop & Go that I otherwise pass by on the way to the park, but while that one was open and even had those biscuits, the price was higher than the one listed on the site, which tends to be the case for products that aren’t in the catalog, so I didn’t get them from there… And couldn’t get them from this nearby Mega Image either, even though it was open, because I could only find the small packages, not the larger bags, and I even asked an employee and she said that they didn’t have the bags, even though I clearly recall seeing some in that location before.
I was back a little after 10:05 PM and desperately needed to pee, having just about pissed myself while I was in this nearby Mega Image… And dad was on the toilet! So I rushed straight to the other bathroom, somehow unbuckled my belt and partially unbuttoned my trousers, and actually peed in the sink, really at the last possible moment. Then, after dad left, I checked some things on-line while eating some of those peanuts, then used the toilet and washed, finishing at 11:50 PM. After that, I made mamaliga, with plenty of things in it, so I stuffed myself to the point that it was hard to even breathe, somehow managing to eat all of it even though I thought that I won’t be able to. I got in bed at 5:20 AM.
As for all of those closed stores, I searched for the reason and what I could find was that our National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC) had banned Nutri-Score labels, and the store brands of both Mega Image and Carrefour display them, so I assumed that they had closed in order to figure out what to do next. That was apparently not the actual reason, the news that quite a number of Mega Image locations had been temporarily closed for various violations appearing a couple of days later, but that ban made me send an e-mail that the ANPC’s president replied to personally, this leading to a brief exchange over the next few days, as I stated in the post about this matter.
Even if it’s not directly related to running, I’ll now also mention something that happened on October 23, since I was going to run the next day, so it was obviously a cause for concern. And it’s a good thing that nobody’s reading, since it’s quite gross. Not that it’d be unusual for me to write about such matters, even the above section containing an example, but this is worse, because there was a complete block when I went to the toilet. A few tiny pieces fell out after I struggled for a while, but that was it. I was sweating and my heart was racing as I kept trying, eventually tried to use my hand to get it out, when that obviously wasn’t working either I made a brief attempt to use a toothpick left by dad in the bathroom, and after quickly realizing what a bad idea that was I grabbed the small screwdriver from my room and used it to carefully scoop it out, tiny piece by tiny piece, until I removed enough of it for the rest to come out normally… In the form of a long “sausage” with the consistency of plasticine. So the toilet got clogged again, and after flushing a few times I reached in to pull out and break up what was there, after which I obviously thoroughly washed and disinfected my hands. By that point, about an hour and a half had passed since I had gone to the toilet, and then I also washed and disinfected my face, and also the screwdriver, brushed my teeth and cut my nails. But, somehow, there was no blood, which was a huge relief!
Otherwise, the ANPC’s president replied again that evening, and that caused me to once again get in bed at 5:20 AM, despite not even flossing, and also leaving a plate unwashed. He was obviously quite bothered by the fact that I had sent him those links, and likely also by the hours at which I was sending the e-mails, saying that he thought that was quite enough with the nightly or daily lessons and sending me two links in return… Which didn’t actually support his stance. So I replied one more time, just before going to bed, to point that out, explaining exactly why, along with a few other things, but nevertheless thanking him for his time and attention and apologizing in case I upset him. He didn’t say anything else after that, and obviously didn’t care about any arguments, but it was still rather surprising that he personally replied to a random guy who sent an e-mail to the institution in the first place.
Moving on to the day of the last run from October, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, and had the usual stuff, though the yogurt was the protein one received after the marathon. Then, relieved that the previous day’s problem didn’t repeat itself, I also had the last of those old regular biscuits, with added honey, and left at 4:30 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was about 23°C, supposed to drop by a couple of degrees by the time I’ll finish.
The time was 47:28.76, with sector times of 4:19.10, 5:00.35, 5:51.43, 4:27, 5:01, 5:51 (5:50.88), 4:27 (4:26.97), 5:01 (5:00.96), 5:48.85 and 1:43 (1:42.78), making for lap times of 15:10.88, 15:19 (15:18.32) and 15:16.78. Those two missing exact times are caused by the fact that I somehow failed to press the interval button after sector one of lap two, though I was looking at the time when I crossed that line, so I know the seconds. Either way, I meant to stay under 48 minutes and that first sector told me that I needed to push a little more, so I did and the first lap’s time was pretty much what I wanted. Then, after lap two was also right on target, I just wanted to be safe at the end of the three laps, so even though after two sectors it seemed like I already was, I pushed harder on sector three of lap three, to be really sure, and at the end of the lap I realized that, if I somehow still had it in me to push at that level, a perfectly optimized final sector might just allow me to squeeze under 47:30. And that was just what happened, even though some people with a dog prevented me from switching sides on a flat part and I had to do so while climbing those stairs in order to avoid the partially broken one.
I felt rather tired at first, some muscles were still complaining after the previous day’s struggles, and there was also some pain in my upper abdomen, though at least some of that was probably radiating from my back, and all of these became less noticeable as time passed. And the small warning I got from my right knee on sector three of lap two also went away after that. On the other hand, a certain pressing need that also appeared almost from the start, definitely being noticeable right after the first sector, if not even during it, got worse on lap two, though it eventually also seemed to lessen to some extent on lap three. And it was also rather crowded, so on top of quite a lot of weaving and going the long way around, the first notable problem was when I probably briefly stopped when I had to sidestep a cyclist who was on the lane, heard me coming, meant to clear the way just as I reached him, but ended up blocking me, since we both moved to the same side. I think that was on sector two of lap one, and I clearly recall wanting to keep in mind that it happened on that sector, but the mental image of the place where it happened would place it at the start of sector three. Either way, it definitely was on sector three of lap one when I had to take to the grass in a spot where the ground was uneven and sloped towards the lake, also going around a tree, because of a dog with a long leash that blocked the way. And right at the start of sector three of lap three I hesitated for an instant when I looked up after checking the time and saw a guy on a scooter coming towards me, and I was off the lane, so I cleared the way for him. In addition, on sector three of lap two I lost a couple of seconds in order to grab a coin.
After getting back, I had lunch, changed and left again a little before 7:45 PM, quickly checking the Mega Image that’s on the way to Penny, then getting frozen spinach from Penny, though I seem to have lost the receipt. Then I went to Carrefour, washing my hands when I entered that mall, putting the spinach in a cabinet and getting what I wanted, entering each pair of breads as a single piece at the self-checkout, so I won’t need to call an employee in order to get the evening discount, and also using the voucher received for some purchases made two days earlier. Then, after accidentally leaving that mall by the wrong exit and choosing to go all around it instead of turning back and cutting through, I also went to Kaufland, put the purchases in a cabinet, washed my hands again, entered the store just before 9:35 PM and only saw two discounted bakery products that I could get, doing so even though the sweet pastry looked pretty bad. There were more products there, but I took the price labels from three of them to a price checker and confirmed that they didn’t have evening discounts. Either way, I also grabbed a banana and the things that I had actually gone there to get, for dad, the announcement that the store had closed coming while I was at the self-checkout.
After retrieving my things from the cabinet and taking some time to arrange them a little in the bags, I also went to that Mega Image, put everything except the bakery products, which were in that bag that hangs on my neck, in a cabinet and found one of those apple pastries, with the 50% evening discount, so I grabbed it, along with some snacks for dad. However, the line was surprisingly long… And a guy just cut in when my turn was about to come! He asked to be allowed through, sounding as if he wanted to walk out, without purchases, but then stopped in front of me, at the checkout, and looked pointedly away while the cashier dealt with the customer who had been ahead of me, so I had to wait for her to deal with him as well. And then, since they separate those discounted products, I gave the cashier the exact amount for the snacks and took the change for the pastry from the pile of coins that was on the counter, telling the cashier that I had done so… And repeating it when she tried to hand me what I think were the two 0.01 RON coins which I had given her for the snacks, so she had probably meant to round down, since they tend to avoid using those coins, but I didn’t realize it at that time. Either way, I then really took my time to arrange everything properly in the backpack and bags, and stopped one more time after walking out, to count what I had left.
I got back a little before 11:20 PM, having carried about 13 kg. Then I had the banana and that apple pastry and finally went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and wash, at 12:40 AM. I was done just under one hour later, but I had quite a lot to do, washing and cleaning most of what dad had left in the kitchen, putting the purchases in their place after having just thrown the spinach in the freezer after getting back, slicing a bread for dad… So another full hour passed before I even started making the salad and I only started to eat dinner at 3:45 AM, finishing at 4:20 AM. Still, I managed to get to bed just about at the normal time… Though the following morning I ended up doing so at 5:20 AM again.
Maybe I’d have just managed to finish this post before midnight for once if I wouldn’t have included October 23, but it seemed relevant and it’s possible that I’d have just failed to add everything about the rest of October 24 even so. Either way, at least I managed to post about all of the three runs before midnight, and it was only about half an hour later when I added the rest, which is a whole lot better than what I’ve been doing lately… Though one thing that most definitely wasn’t better was that I somehow forgot to reschedule that post that’s scheduled to show up at 11:59 PM on Sunday if I don’t move it, so it showed up for five or so minutes, until I realized it.