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Covering Three More Runs, Getting Halfway Through December

On December 8, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, but it took me half an hour to clean up what dad had left in the kitchen, and the smell left from what he had fixed himself to eat in the morning was making me nauseous. Then I had all of the usual stuff, again with two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, and I went out at 3:25 PM, wearing the full running gear and an undershirt underneath, plus the jacket on the way to the park, tied around my waist while I ran. The reported temperature was 6-7°C, holding steady.
The time was 47:31.51, with sector times of 4:17.79, 5:06.19, 5:54 (5:53.75), 4:30.06, 5:05 (5:04.51), 5:51.00, 4:23 (4:22.71), 4:54.16, 5:42.78 and 1:49 (1:48.56), making for lap times of 15:17.73, 15:26 (15:25.57) and 14:59.65. I aimed to stay under 48 minutes and the first two sectors didn’t exactly look good, and the first lap was barely on target if I was going to pretty much maintain that pace, which seemed unlikely. But I tried, and after lap two I still had a chance, so I really pushed from the start of lap three, and even more after the first sector, since I was thinking that if I’ll make it, it’ll be by the slimmest margin. That resulted in a sector two that was much better than expected, and while on sector three I was running out of breath and the fact that my nostrils were constricting because of the cold only made it worse, I kept it up and even managed to just squeeze under 15 minutes on that lap. That even gave me a small chance to stay under 47:30, but I was too tired to take advantage of it, which was frustrating, though in the end it was still much better than I thought.
Despite wearing the jacket, I was shivering on the way to the park, but it was fine while running, the lack of wind obviously helping. The humidity didn’t, on the other hand, and it was also pretty wet, though much of the lane was just moist, only some areas being soggy, and even those weren’t really bad, with the exception of one where there were puddles as well. But I avoided what I could, and since there were few people, I probably ended up going the long way around in order to avoid the wetter parts of the lane more than because of them. As for physical issues, I felt the need to snap my back almost right away, but I eventually managed to do so and it was fine after that.

After having lunch, changing and even doing the day’s squats, I went back out at 7:20 PM, taking some trash, which I dropped off in a bin, and the paper and cardboard, for which I made a little detour, in order to get to a recycling bin. Then I went to the metro station, since I had dad’s pass, got off at Basarab… And wasted time by walking straight to Carrefour Orhideea and not finding any of that cheap bread for dad, nor any expiring products that I’d have cared to buy. So I went back, washed my hands when I got to Kaufland and entered the store before 9 PM, so the discount labels weren’t yet placed in the bakery area. But the employee started doing so just as I was about to walk away from there, so I ended up standing around while she did that and getting a few products, including two of those breads for myself. Then I added a number of other things, finishing with a banana that I grabbed just when it was announced that the store had closed. At the self-checkout, however, I accidentally placed my bread on the scales after selecting the other bakery products, which were in another bag, and while the machine accepted that even though the bread weighed at least twice as much as those other products should have weighed, it strangely did not accept the other, much lighter, products when I selected the bread. So I had to call an employee, but in order to avoid explaining the entire situation, I just told her that the machine wasn’t accepting the bread, and she logged on to override that error. Then I arranged the purchases in the bags and went back to the metro.
I got back here a little before 10:50 PM, washed what was in the kitchen, put the purchases in their place, ate the banana and the sweet pastry which I had grabbed, and went to the bathroom when it was almost 12:10 AM, after waiting for dad to shave. After using the toilet and washing, I was out at 1:15 AM, and dealing with my bread and also slicing one of dad’s meant that I couldn’t recover that time, so I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM and finished at 3:50 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

On December 10, I got up when the alarm rang, at 1 PM, had all of the usual stuff, but pretty much only wasted time on the toilet, feeling that I really had to go only for the feeling to completely go away moments later. Not that it was surprising that there wasn’t actually much left, after going twice on each of the previous two days, and once again clogging the toilet on the previous day. That happened the first time I went on that day… And instead of just reaching in and dealing with it right away, when the water was still draining, I hoped that it’ll soften if I’ll leave it there for a while, then I decided to try to use a stick when I saw that the water was draining more slowly, and when that only clogged it completely I ended up having to reach into what at that point was plenty of very shitty water and struggle to deal with it, though I at least wore a glove on that hand. But, again, that happened on the previous day, so I’ll now return to December 10 and add that I also had two more of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, and left at 3:25 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was about 14°C, dropping by 1-2°C by the time I finished.
The time was 47:46.10, with sector times of 4:20.38, 5:08.00, 5:58 (5:57.69), 4:32 (4:31.94), 5:01.68, 5:51 (5:50.97), 4:24.16, 4:58 (4:57.66), 5:46.00 and 1:48 (1:47.62), making for lap times of 15:26.07, 15:24.59 and 15:08 (15:07.82). The initial target of staying under 48 minutes seemed to drift increasingly out of reach as time passed, so I was thinking that I’ll have to settle for just staying under 49 minutes, and that even that won’t be easy, but sector two of lap two got my attention and made me aim to stay under 48:30. However, after the end of the lap I wondered whether I might just somehow manage to squeeze under 48 minutes after all, and while it seemed very unlikely, I pushed hard, each sector looked good and, while I never thought that it could be possible, I was actually already safe after the end of the lap, so the final sector only added to the margin.
I had no real physical problems, even a certain pressing need that appeared at the start of lap three lessening after that first sector, but it was crowded, as expected, being Saturday. So there was a notable problem caused by people on each of the first four sectors, and while sector two of lap two and sectors one and two of lap three were better, sector three of laps two and three “featured” two such problems each, and those were also the worst, clearly causing me to briefly stop, usually because of kids that were riding something and swerving in front of me, a girl who was on a bicycle that was too big for her being particularly annoying. She had actually also just managed to stop herself from falling right in front of or even into me at the start of sector two of lap one, but that didn’t cost me any time because I had no time to react, in fact only realizing what had almost happened after passing her, but on sector three of laps two and three she was riding, still very unsteadily, towards me and seemed to have fixed me while she was still a short distance away, so you could see that she was getting increasingly confused and scared as she meant to avoid me but instead found herself coming straight towards me, and she ended up cutting me off both times. Otherwise, I had to wait for an opening in order to squeeze through some roadblocks, including on the long straight of sector two of lap one, a kid on a scooter also cut me off, and a cyclist who was on the lane and going in the same direction checked her phone and ended up swerving towards me just as I was passing her.

I had a quick look in the nearby Mega Image on the way back and spotted some expiring cheese that I was interested in, so I hid it behind the pile of expiring products, rushed to grab some money and went back, still without a mask, to buy it, along with some tea. Then I ate some walnuts and a bag of snacks, did the day’s squats, wasted even more time on the toilet despite once again feeling that I had to go until I actually got there, washed, also ate a couple of biscuits of another kind, cut my toenails, and in the evening I cooked something, eating a late lunch just before getting back to the kitchen. However, I couldn’t recover the time spent washing a part of the glass baking tray, and when I realized that I decided to also move and mix that cheese with what I already had, licking what was left, so I ended up actually starting to eat dinner at 3:20 AM, finishing at 4 AM.

On December 16, I woke up just before 12:30 PM and thought that I’ll just lie in bed a little longer, but I’m quite sure that I managed to fall asleep again just before the alarm rang, at 1 PM. Either way, I got up at that point, but after helping to make packages two days earlier and wandering around on the previous day, I was really tired, sleepy, pretty much every joint in my body was hurting, as were plenty of muscles, and my legs and back were the worst. But the plan was to run, so I had all of the usual stuff, the yogurt being a bio (organic) “Greek” one with 10% fat and the sweet thing once again two of those nicer biscuits, with added honey. And I again wasted time on the toilet, which was on the one hand once again not surprising, considering how much I had left there the previous evening, but on the other a concern, since it really felt like there was more to come. Either way, I left at 3:25 PM, when the reported temperature was about 6°C, holding steady, so I wore the tights and that old training shirt which I had also worn on November 28, without a t-shirt, plus the jacket on the way, tied around my waist while I ran. I stopped on the way to the park to sit on a bench and get something out of my left shoe.
The time was 48:10.98, with sector times of 4:20.17, 5:10 (5:09.90), 6:00.38, 4:29.31, 5:03 (5:02.56), 5:55 (5:54.69), 4:31.25, 5:00 (4:59.87), 5:51.63 and 1:51.22, making for lap times of 15:30.45, 15:27 (15:26.56) and 15:22.75. Considering how I felt, I started by thinking that I’ll try to avoid getting significantly more depressed if I’ll just stay under 50 minutes, but the first sector wasn’t as bad as I feared and after the second I was aiming to stay under 49 minutes. However, going over six minutes on sector three of lap one made me worry about that target, and it still seemed hard to make it after sector one of lap two. But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself faster on sectors two and three, and on lap two as a whole, than I had been on lap one, so after the end of the lap I was wondering about 48:30 and even gave a passing thought to staying under 48 minutes after all. That seemed really far fetched, and it was, but I gave everything on lap three and after two sectors, that second one once again being a pleasant surprise and the fastest sector two of the day, it seemed that I won’t have problems to stay under 48:30. And sector three was also faster than I thought it’d be, and also the fastest of the day, and that applied to the lap as well, so the target became to stay under 48:15, which was no problem. It’s still the first time I went over 48 minutes in two months, and the slowest run over this distance in three and a half, but it was better than expected, so I’ll take it, this once.
I tried to arrange that sleeve of that training shirt and the stopwatch, worn over it, before starting, but I failed on both counts, realizing after a few steps that the sleeve was pulled too far down and held in place by the stopwatch, so I was exposed almost to my shoulder on that side, and when I tried to pull that sleeve back up, the stopwatch was sliding. In addition, since it wasn’t tucked into the tights and the jacket was tied over it, the shirt was sticking forward at the front and allowing cold air on my abdomen. So I initially kept pulling the stopwatch up and was wondering what to do about the shirt, but around the end of the first sector the shirt seemed to have settled into an acceptable position and about halfway through the second sector I just stopped worrying about the stopwatch, since it didn’t seem like it could slide off, and while it kept moving around a little, it also pretty much found a position for itself and I left it like that.
Otherwise, there were relatively few people and they caused no notable problems, the lane was soaked in some areas and I avoided them whenever I could… But the main problem was how tired I was. I felt my leg and butt muscles contracting as soon as I started running, it seemed like my joints weren’t exactly listening to me, and from the start of lap two I was starting to overheat and sweat a little as well. But I just pushed through it and the problems seemed much less noticeable as time passed, though as I was pushing on lap three I did notice that my vision was cloudy when I was checking the time.

On the way back, there was a moment when I seemed about to get dizzy, but it passed, and while my chest was stinging, that was most likely radiating from my back, where something seemed to be stuck in a wrong position. Either way, after getting back I ate the small part of an apple from my mother that was still edible, even did the day’s squats, and then had lunch, with an entire bag of bagels instead of bread. Then I went to the toilet and washed, and in the evening I finished The Blacktongue Thief, though I only posted the quick review the next day.


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