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The Runs from the Second Half of November

On November 18, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1:30 PM, after actually waking up on my own just a few seconds earlier. Then I had all of the usual stuff, with the sweet thing again being two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, and I left at 3:25 PM, wearing the full running gear. It was very cloudy and the reported temperature was 11-12°C, holding steady.
The time was 46:22.35, with sector times of 4:14.45, 4:58.37, 5:49 (5:48.72), 4:24 (4:23.84), 4:51 (4:50.97), 5:41.00, 4:14.06, 4:52.07, 5:34.31 and 1:45 (1:44.56), making for lap times of 15:01.54, 14:56 (14:55.81) and 14:40.44. I again initially just aimed to stay under 48 minutes, and the first sector seemed slower than it should have been, since I was pushing, so I pushed harder and the first lap’s time made me wonder about being faster, even thinking of getting under 47 minutes. That didn’t seem possible at the time, but after sector one of lap two I again pushed hard and the result were great sector times and a lap covered in less than 15 minutes, so I just went for it, giving everything in an attempt to get under 47 minutes. It still seemed unlikely at first, but the sector times were once again great, sector three really standing out, and the lap was clearly the fastest of the day, so at the end of it I knew that I should even be able to get under 46:30, which I managed by some margin. The total time is tied for fourth fastest if I just look at the seconds, but almost half a second faster than the other 46:22 if I take the exact time into account. And that lap three was the fourth fastest lap, and the fastest lap three, not just the three lap times before it, but also what at the time were the next five after it, all being obtained on lap one. And that sector three was also the fifth fastest sector three.
Some parts of the lane had been repaired and three areas were fenced off because of that, all of them being in front of stalls, and while there was some more room around one of them, the other two led to slowing because of women with babies in strollers, once on sector two of lap one, right on the long straight, and once on sector three of lap two. And on sector one of lap three I had to quickly avoid two kids who were wrestling and moved in my way when I was about to go around them. Otherwise, there were some windy areas, mainly that one at the start of sector three, which was getting worse with each lap, and on lap three I was also fighting the wind to some extent on the first straight. But at least there were no physical problems, as a time like that should prove.

After very quickly checking the nearby Mega Image on the way, I got back, eventually had lunch, changed and left again at 7:40 PM. I had reserved something for dad from a pharmacy before leaving, to make sure that I’ll find it, but I first went to Penny, getting what I wanted and also being fair and pointing out to the cashier that she had entered four bags of peas instead of five. Then I took some time to arrange the purchases in the backpack and a bag, putting them in a cabinet when I reached Kaufland and also washing my hands, albeit only with water, since there was no soap. But I didn’t enter Kaufland at that point, instead going to Mega Mall, to pick up that order from that pharmacy. I didn’t get a receipt, but that might have been my fault, since I asked whether I should take the paper that the cashier had scanned, but realized that it was for their own use and said that I didn’t need it before she could answer, which might have led her to believe that I was referring to the receipt which she might have been about to give me, especially since she then asked whether I wanted to leave and came with me when I said yes, to tell the guard to let me out, since in that location you need to scan a receipt in order to be able to leave on your own.
After a quick look in a bookstore, I went to that Carrefour, grabbing a muffin that was among the expiring products on my way to the bakery area. At that hour, the 50% discount was going to apply to those taken from the bakery area as well, but that one was in a little plastic bag and wouldn’t smear anything else, so I preferred it… Only to lose it after placing it among the bagged bread while grabbing some other bakery products, since an employee checked for discarded products as I was doing that and took it away. Still, after also getting a bag of almonds that were actually still on sale even though that sale should have ended, I once again grabbed a muffin that was among the expiring products. Maybe it wasn’t the same one, but it was still in one of those little bags, so it was what I wanted. Either way, an employee came to stand next to me while I was using the self-checkout, after I had entered the two other bakery products as one, in order to get the evening discount on my own, so when I wasn’t sure what to select for the bread and asked for her help, I also pretended to just notice that I had entered one instead of two for the other products and she corrected that and applied the discount, and then did the same for the bread, without commenting anything. Not that there was any difference between doing it that way and simply entering one instead of two.
Adding the new purchases in the cabinet after getting back to Kaufland took a little while, then I washed my hands again and it was close to 9:40 PM when I entered the store, but I still found a few products to grab from the bakery area. I also took two labels to a price checker, but those products had a regular discount those days and no additional one, so I didn’t take any of them. But I added a few beets and, since it had an evening discount, also a lettuce, and I was just looking through the non-refrigerated expiring products, which are close to the checkouts, when it was announced that the store had closed. Then, after having no problems with the self-checkout and retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I took my time to arrange everything. And I also had a quick look in that Mega Image, but didn’t find anything to get and also saw that the price of those snacks for dad had increased by exactly 30%, so I just wasted some time, also putting the bags in a cabinet and then retrieving them, though at least I entered with the backpack.
After getting back a little before 10:50 PM, I put the purchases in their place, with the exception of the bakery products, washed what I had to wash, ate some walnuts and the sweet pastry from Kaufland, and it was 12:05 AM when I went to the toilet and to shower. That wasn’t exactly comfortable, since the water temperature was dropping, but at least it made me finish faster, so I was back in the kitchen at 12:45 AM. However, I still had the lettuce to deal with, and also dealt with one of my breads, so I still ended up starting to eat dinner at 3:15 AM, finishing at 3:50 AM.

Moving on to the early hours of November 23, I once again started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, but still managed to finish at 3:40 AM. Then I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, had the usual stuff, again with two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, and left at 3:10 PM, wearing the full running gear and one of those armbands. The reported temperature was 10-11°C and it held steady. It had rained and it was overcast and humid, so it was chilly on the way to the park, but once I started running it was fine.
The time was 46:41.98, with sector times of 4:15.92, 5:04 (5:03.78), 5:50 (5:49.50), 4:22.25, 4:55.03, 5:44.12, 4:16.00, 4:50 (4:49.60), 5:35 (5:34.97) and 1:50.81, making for lap times of 15:09.20, 15:01.40 and 14:41 (14.40.57). I was just aiming to stay under 48 minutes at first, and the first sector didn’t quite seem good enough, so I pushed a little more, the first lap’s time being pretty much what I wanted. But, after being pleasantly surprised by sector two of lap two, I pushed even harder, and after the end of that lap it seemed that I was quite clearly going to stay under 47:30 and might just have a chance to even get under 47 minutes if I pushed really hard. So I did, managing great times on sectors two and three of lap three, and on the lap as a whole. In fact, the exact lap time was so close to the previous lap three time that I’m not even sure that it really was slower, the difference possibly being made by the exact moment when I pressed the button, and for sector three it was also a matter of tenths, also compared to the previous sector three of lap three. And sector two was even better, that time being the fourth fastest sector two if I just look at the seconds, albeit tied with several others, and the fifth fastest if I look at the exact time, only one of those others being faster, by a couple of tenths.
A certain pressing need appeared right from the start of lap two, if not the very end of lap one, and while it lessened on the first two sectors of lap three, it was worse when it returned, on sector three of lap three. Otherwise, the few drops that fell while I was on the first two sectors of lap two were barely noticeable, but the lane was pretty soaked, so I often avoided it, though there were moments when I stayed on it more than I’d have wanted to. As for people, there weren’t many and they didn’t cause notable problems, with the possible exception of two moments when I had to be more careful while weaving my way through.

After having lunch and some walnuts, I changed and left again when it was close to 7:20 PM, going to Obor. I first checked Auchan, getting tea and all of the snacks for dad that I found, four of one kind, none of the other being left, since Auchan hadn’t increased their price and it became the cheapest place to get them. Cabbage was also cheap, but it was quite bad, so even though I’d have wanted two, after looking through it I ended up just getting one.
Then I went to Carrefour, putting the purchases in a cabinet… And seeing that the price of the eggs sold by piece had increased sharply. I even checked at a self-checkout, since such a sharp increase was hard to believe, and since I didn’t even find any bio (organic) ones while looking through them, I decided against buying any. But I saw some expiring roes of a more expensive kind with a discount label for the cheaper kind, so I grabbed them, plus a bag of those snacks which I hadn’t found in Auchan, since they were only marginally more expensive in Carrefour and I wanted to eat the one bag of that kind that was left when I got back, so I wanted to replace it. On the other hand, no bakery discounts appeared after 9 PM.
After using the self-checkout, retrieving my things from the cabinet, putting everything back in one when I got to Kaufland and washing my hands, I entered Kaufland a little after 9:20 PM and grabbed a number of things from the bakery area, including two of those breads. I was also looking at the last remaining bun of one kind, but it had no discount label and when I asked an employee she said that it wasn’t discounted, so I obviously didn’t get it. But green onions did have an evening discount, so I grabbed a bundle, then also got some garlic and some regular onions… And then I saw that an employee had grabbed the remaining green onions and was bagging them and placing them among the spoiling products, with a 75% discount compared to the listed price, as in the one with the evening discount already applied, so I grabbed three of those and gave her the one that I already had. After that, I also grabbed a handful of scattered grapes, since those also had a good evening discount, but the store should have closed, so I didn’t try to look through all of them and get every single one that was still good. Even so, it was past 10:05 PM when I got to the self-checkout, being surprised that there had been no announcement about the store closing. And, after retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking my time to arrange everything, it was 10:20 PM when I finally walked away.
I got back at 11:10 PM, put all of the purchases with the exception of the green onions in their place, ate a sweet pastry and those snacks, and it was past 12:10 AM when I went to the toilet and to wash. I did manage to get out just before 1 AM, but I had something else to do first, so I only actually got back to the kitchen a couple of minutes before 1:30 AM… And dad had cooked, so there was a lot to wash and clean, I also moved one of the dishes to a smaller pot and washed the large one, albeit not that well on the outside, and dealt with one of my breads as well, so it was 3:45 AM when I finally started eating dinner and 4:15 AM when I finished. I still got in bed at the usual time, but that was only because I didn’t floss and left a plate and a knife in the sink, taking care of all of that when I woke up to pee, just after 8:30 AM.

Since I already got to November 24, I’ll also add here that I went to pay the maintenance bill that evening, so dad won’t keep paying on-line, since there’s an additional fee for that. And then, despite not wearing a mask, I also went outside a little, checking the price of eggs at this nearby shop and seeing that it had increased even more, and then also having a look in Mega Image and grabbing an expiring pack of gum for dad.

In the early hours of November 28, I started eating dinner at 3:10 AM, but still managed to finish at 3:40 AM. On the other hand, the fridge started making weird noises, some loud cracking, before I went to bed, but that was probably caused by switching straight from running to defrosting, since everything seemed fine when I got up, at 1 PM, after the alarm rang. Then I had the usual stuff, again with two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, and left at 3:25 PM. The reported temperature was 5°C, holding steady, so I wore the running gear but also an old training shirt, not the one that I used to run in, and the gloves, and also the jacket on the way, tied around my waist as I ran.
The time was 47:24, with sector times of 4:18.17, 5:09 (5:08.85), 5:57.21, 4:29 (4:28.94), 5:09.00, 5:48.44, 4:19.03, 4:55 (4:54.53), 5:35 (5:34.88) and 1:45, making for lap times of 15:24.23, 15:26.38 and 14:49 (14:48.44). I didn’t list the exact time at the end and that for the final sector because I don’t have them, since I didn’t manage to press the button. I had kept my gloves on while running and that didn’t cause me to miss pressing the interval button, so even though I thought about removing them at the end of lap three, I decided against it and that caused that problem. I even slowed a little at the end, trying to make sure that I will manage to press that button, but I somehow still failed to do so. Still, I was looking at the time, so I’m quite sure that it was 47:24 and will leave it like that, without a question mark, even though there might be a chance that it was just a little less, if my eyes took a little longer to focus properly than I thought. Either way, I was initially thinking that getting under 48 minutes would be awesome, after planting trees two days earlier, being ready to even accept just staying under 50 minutes, and the first lap seemed to make the latter scenario more likely. But I tried to encourage myself to at least stay under 49 minutes, and sector two of lap two gave me hope… And sector three of lap two made me almost certain that I’ll get under 48:30 and even give a passing thought to getting under 48 minutes after all. That seemed very unlikely, but I pushed from the start of lap three, sector one seemed to just give me a small chance, and that chance suddenly grew a lot after sector two. But I kept pushing hard and, after a third great, and almost identical, sector three of lap three in a row, I realized that I might even squeeze under 47:30, which I managed to do quite safely.
About halfway through the run, I found myself thinking that I should have just been wearing the t-shirt at that point. But it’d have been too cold to do so on the first lap, and the cold was also making it somewhat hard to breathe, the problem mostly being notable on sector three of lap three and on the final sector, when I was pushing so hard. And it was also windy at times, though the forecast had stated that it was going to get worse as time passed and it actually seemed to lessen to some extent, which was quite a relief. Otherwise, there were few people and they didn’t cause notable problems, but I did have some physical ones, unsurprisingly. The slight pressing need that appeared from sector three of lap two wasn’t related to planting trees, and it wasn’t notable anyway, and the same probably goes for the pain that I felt in my abdomen early on, which got better after a while anyway. But there was some pain in my back as well, also from the start, and while that also got better in time, it never actually went away. And the pain that I felt in my right leg on the way to the park was quite clearly caused by the effort made two days earlier, though that actually went away soon after I started running, which was a nice surprise.

I’m quite pleased to have managed to write about the three runs that I wanted to cover in this post before midnight, so just the remaining odds and ends from November 28, plus a few more things that I also decided to add here, in order to finish with November, were left to add when I edited this post, in the early hours of Tuesday, before going to bed. Of course, I still have odds and ends going back to September 9 that I’m yet to put in a post, and I wonder if I ever will… Not to mention the hospitalization from September of 2021, but I quite clearly will not write about that.

To return to November 28, after getting back I had a banana and lunch, did a load of laundry, just changed my pants and eventually went out again, at 8:05 PM, wearing the nicer jacket for the first time during this colder season. I first went to Park Lake, putting the money spent two days earlier from the card back into the account, withdrawing the difference and then depositing 100 RON, and then entering Carrefour and getting a few things, including two of those bags of bagels that were indeed two for the price of one even though there was no sign stating that in the store, so I mentioned it to the cashier and she checked first, showing me that the discount did apply.
After also checking Penny, putting my things in a cabinet, grabbing some hummus after checking the ingredients and not seeing anything that I’d want to avoid, retrieving my things, putting them once again in a cabinet when I reached Kaufland, and peeing and washing my hands, I entered Kaufland a couple of minutes before 9:30 PM. The bakery area was quite empty, however, and all the products that had good evening discounts listed were gone, plus that the price of some buns had increased so much that they had become too expensive even at half price, but I could grab a couple of things, and then I also got some more food for Liza, since it was on sale and dad’s stuffing her. Since it also had an evening discount, I initially also grabbed the last remaining bundle of green onions, even though it looked bad, but then I saw an evening discount for carrots as well and grabbed all of the better ones, plus a parsnip for dad, since that was also discounted, and at that point I decided to put that bundle of green onions back. Then I made my way to the self-checkout… And saw that the discount for bakery products was actually 75%, even though both the labels and the announcements which had been made were for 50%. If I’d have known, I’d have gotten some more things, maybe for my mother as well, but as it was, I finished using the machine a couple of minutes before closing time and rushed to retrieve my things from the cabinet and leave before they closed the main doors, only taking a little time to arrange the purchases in the bags after I got outside, using one of those tables, and walking away at 10:05 PM.
I got back a little after 10:40 PM, ate a bag of snacks and some more of the pancakes bought after planting trees, put all of the purchases with the exception of the carrots and the parsnip in their place, cleaned a part of what was in the kitchen, and finally went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and shower, just after 12:25 AM. It was past 1:10 AM when I was done, and then I finished putting the purchases in their place, washed what was in the kitchen, sliced the remaining two breads for dad, also moved and mixed something even though I didn’t really need to do so, and only started to work on the salad at 2:40 AM, so I ended up starting to eat dinner at 3:55 AM and finishing at 4:35 AM. I got in bed at 5:30 AM.

The following night I started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and finished a couple of minutes before 4 AM. And the night after that I cleaned up after dad fried fish and made mamaliga, which resulted in starting to eat dinner at 3:25 AM and finishing at 4 AM, though it was past 5 AM when I moved and licked something greasy and unhealthy in order to finish cleaning and putting away what dad had left, and I got in bed at 5:30 AM… And when I woke up to pee, I wanted to quickly check that everything was fine on the computer, since I had turned the monitor off in a hurry before going to bed, and when I noticed something that made me curious, I meant to have a look in the registry… Only to somehow make the system reboot. I wasn’t looking at the monitor while bringing up the Start menu and typing regedit, and when I did look I saw that the Start menu was no longer up, and when I opened it again, I saw “egedit” in that text box, so I must have been holding some other key down when I typed the R, but I’m not sure what that was, since there doesn’t seem to be a direct shortcut for rebooting the system that includes the R key. Either way, I then had to wait for the system to restart and then check that it had done so properly and there were no problems.


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