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Switching to HonestGamers and a Poor Series of Three Runs in Five Days

I’ll start this post with a piece of personal news: From now on, my game reviews will be on HonestGamers. Last year’s change of ownership is a reason for concern, even if the founder is still very much involved and says that the new owner is a friend and things shouldn’t change much, but I needed a place to move to after the, to put it as mildly as humanly possible, terribly misguided redesign of MobyGames also meant throwing reviews under the bus, no longer having them go through approvals, displaying all of them at once, on one side of the screen, as on review aggregators or store sites, and not even rewarding them with contribution points anymore at the moment, with a plan to base the reward on the votes received in the future. And I remembered HonestGames from my days of submitting critic reviews on MobyGames and was relieved to see that it was still active, albeit much less so than before, and still keeping its focus on quality written reviews, including user reviews, and its old school look and functionality. So, while the reviews that I already have on MobyGames will also remain there, I started adding them on HonestGamers as well, submitting those for Venetica and Gone Home before going to bed this morning. The remaining 34 will come gradually, the vast majority of the titles not even being in the HonestGamers database at the moment, but they’ll come. And then, as long as that site won’t get messed up as well, any new game reviews will be added here and there, not on MobyGames. And maybe this will also finally get me to write that review for King of Dragon Pass, after finishing it no less than eight and a half months ago…

But this post should be about the series of three runs in five days… Though I’ll also add the evening of April 27 here, when dad said that he won’t pay the exact amount of the maintenance bill, will round up, so I said that if he’s ashamed to use small bills and coins, I’ll pay it again, and rushed up to do so. But the elevator stopped at the sixth floor, maybe because the inner door had opened a little, and after I closed it firmly and once again pressed the button for the tenth floor, I found myself going down instead, the button for the ground floor also being lit, and that was where I ended up, apparently because an older man had called the elevator while it was stopped, though when I showed my confusion and tried to tell him what happened, he said that I must have pressed the ground floor button by mistake, which I definitely hadn’t. And, after I told him where I was going, he also said that he thought that I had said that I won’t pay the bill anymore, which made me even more confused, since I had no idea who he was and definitely never said anything like that to anyone, so I guess it was a bad attempt at a joke. And he continued, asking what did my dad say about that, but by then we had arrived, since he was there for the same reason, and I could get away from him and pay… Only to have to wait for the elevator long enough for him to also pay, so we went down together as well, and he asked what dad was doing, if he still works at night, and then said that he’s doing so for the money, for the bonuses, waving it away when I said that it’s just his schedule and that’s when he’s on air. He also asked if I still worked, which made me even more confused, but after saying that I didn’t we finally arrived at my floor and I could get away, shaking quite visibly and struggling to hold it together.
Either way, after that I finished Fire and Blood, posting the quick review after eating that night, which I did between 3:15 AM and 3:50 AM, after finishing shaving around 1:10 AM and then also taking something out of the freezer and struggling to cut a part of it while it was still frozen, in order to then mix it into what I was going to eat. And I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

To finally get to the day of the first of the three runs, April 28, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, and had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being the last slice of that old panettone, with added honey. On the other hand, while sitting on the toilet I once again found myself hunting ants. I had been seeing them on the sink for a few days, but then I spotted a couple of them below it once again, and when I looked at the door I saw several, and more after opening it, making me think that they were coming in around the pipes that are on that small piece of hallway. And this probably led to not quite leaving everything in the toilet… But I put on the full running gear and left at 4:15 PM, when the reported temperature was 16°C, holding steady.
The time was 1:17:46, with sector times of 4:20, 5:08, 5:56, 4:29, 5:04, 5:52, 4:37, 5:08, 6:02, 4:37, 5:13, 6:04, 4:28, 5:03 and 5:45, making for lap times of 15:24, 15:25, 15:47, 15:54 and 15:16. I hoped to stay under 1:18, but feared that I’ll embarrass myself and not even stay under 1:20. Still, I wanted a first lap on the pace needed to stay under 1:17, so under 15:24, and I fell just short of that. At that point I was thinking that I should realistically aim to stay under 1:19, and I settled more firmly on that target after lap two was only a second slower than lap one, with sectors two and three being faster than the first lap’s. Sector one of lap three was bad, but not as bad as the time would seem to indicate, considering the problems I had on it. However, trying but failing to stay under six minutes on sector three was a bad sign. But I still aimed to stay under 16 minutes on lap four as well, managing it despite getting slower, which was already obvious from sector one, since I obtained the same time as on lap three, but without the problems. Either way, staying under 16 minutes on lap five as well would have meant getting under 1:18:30, so I really pushed from the start of the lap and the first sector made me wonder if I couldn’t somehow get under 1:18 after all. I really doubted it, but I gave it everything and when the fastest sector two of the day meant that I needed 5:58 on sector three, I was thinking of each moment when I had lost time. But I did my best to focus and also managed the fastest sector three and lap of the day, getting under 1:18 by quite some margin.
There were some soggy parts of the lane, and some new damage, so I avoided what I could. And while there was also some wind, mainly on the first three laps, it was only really bad on the first part of sector one of lap three, which was also when people caused the worst problems. Not that there weren’t some issues on sector three of lap one as well, and on sectors one and two of lap two, and there might have also been a little hesitation on sector three of lap two, but sector one of lap three started with a brief stop because of a kid who was getting in front of me, immediately followed by needing to avoid another, then fighting a gust of wind, and then needing to avoid a guy with a small kid. By then I had decided that it’d be easier to keep in mind when I didn’t have problems caused by people and no longer trying to remember the details meant that they pretty much went away from my mind, but I’m pretty sure that there were some issues on the next two sectors as well, or at least on one of them, and sector one of lap four was also still rather crowded. However, the crowd mostly cleared after that and I just had to squeeze through another roadblock on sector one of lap five, at the boat dock, and briefly step on the grass on sector three of lap five.
Otherwise, there were some warnings from my left ankle on sector two of lap one, which quickly went away, I started feeling rather out of it on sector three of lap three, and on sector three of lap four all of the joints of my right leg started giving warnings, though they diminished after that. Still, that last lap showed that I was physically able to do better, the bigger problem being that I couldn’t focus, because of what I still can’t get myself to write about. I tried to put everything into that last lap, focusing more as I went along, but that was the best that I could do, and even then there were still moments when I found my mind slipping away.

After jogging back, I had lunch and went out again at 7:50 PM, taking the recyclables, minus a cardboard box that I forgot, and dropping them off in a bin. I first went to Tei, buying an iron supplement that you can get without a prescription, with a much lower amount than what I had been prescribed before and which quite clearly proved of no use, and also deciding to get toothpaste, putting the purchases in the backpack before exiting. Then I wasted a little time by quickly checking the Mega Image that’s next to the farmers’ market and having a look from the door in that Supeco, deciding to turn around without actually entering, before going to Carrefour, still not bothering to use a cabinet, and getting an expiring cozonac and a carton of eggs that were also expiring, plus beer for dad. I used the 10 RON voucher that I had at that point, having to tell the cashier what to enter it as…
After arranging everything in the backpack, being careful with the eggs, it was clear that I had no more time to go to both Penny and Kaufland, so I went to the other Kaufland, getting there at 9:35 PM, still not bothering to use a cabinet, washing my hands just with water, since there was no soap… And finding the bakery area completely cleared and the employee cleaning. But I got some red onions and saw plenty of leaves which had been torn off kohlrabies and left in the crate, and since they were going to be thrown away, I stuffed some in a pocket and zipped the pocket. I also wanted olives, but you need to ask for those and the employees seemed to be ignoring me, probably since they were getting ready to close, so I checked the area where some of those products may also be packaged and found one last shrink-wrapped pack of the olives that were on sale, grabbing it even though it contained over 300 grams and I had meant to ask for 200. Either way, I also grabbed a yogurt, and the line at the self-checkouts wasn’t that terrible that evening, though I also didn’t wait for the closing announcement before going there, only hearing it after I was done, having no problems with the machine, and had placed everything on the cabinets, in order to arrange the purchases into the backpack.
After walking away from there at 10:05 PM, I decided to also check that Mega Image that closes at 11 PM, for some reason wasting a little time by going around Kaufland instead of straight in that direction… And then just wasting more time by entering the store, at least without bothering to put the backpack in a cabinet, since I saw discounted products in the bakery area, but none of that bread was left and, while something else that I could use as bread was available and in a bag, there was no discount sticker on that bag and I didn’t ask, and I also found it among the packaged bread, so I didn’t know how it had ended up there, nor for how long it had been there.
Either way, I also went to Auchan, again entering with everything and having a quick look through the carts of bread which had been taken off the shelves, as usual… But I couldn’t find anything to get in there, so I just bought water for dad, and while now all of the checkouts are machines there, all of those that were still working and accepted cash were manned, so I had to go to a cashier after all, though at least there were no problems. Then I split the water into two bags before leaving and stopped again after crossing the road in order to place the bags on a bench and do a better job of arranging the bottles that were in one of them. And I made one more detour, in order to also check that non-stop Mega Image that does have evening discounts for bakery products, but that was just one more waste of time, as I left the bags with the water next to the cabinets, found nothing that I cared to get and left again, retrieving the bags.
I finally got back a few minutes before midnight, with 21 kg. Then I ate an expired but really nice bar that I already had and an orange and put the purchases in their place, and it was 12:40 AM when I went to wash. After that, I sprayed the bathroom again, using an old bug spray that I had noticed we still had, even though it expired long ago. Then I gathered my clothes from the balcony, also putting the sturdy bags and dad’s water there while I was at it, and took care of a few more things, so I only got back in the kitchen at 1:45 AM… And there were some more things to take care of even after that, including some things to wash, so I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, using bread that I’d normally want to keep for the nights that come before runs, since it was the only kind that I had left. But I had started that series of three runs in five days, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. Either way, since I wrote some notes about the day and also sent dad an e-mail while eating, I finished at 4:10 AM… And two hours after getting in bed, a little more than one hour after falling asleep, my body decided to clean the plumbing, which hadn’t happened in a long time. Also, since I got to April 29, there were no visits recorded in either view that day.

Moving on to the early hours of April 30, I’d have still managed to start eating dinner before 3 AM despite getting to the kitchen when it was past 1:10 AM and then also exchanging a few words with dad, but I decided to move and mix some more of what I was going to eat, even though it wasn’t needed, and ended up starting to eat at 3:05 AM, though I still finished at 3:40 AM. But I kept wondering when to get up in order to be able to run and still watch the race and the handball matches, and also considering the fact that it wasn’t just Sunday, but just before May 1, so there could be events taking place in the park in the evening. And when I also saw some risk of rain in the evening, I decided to sacrifice sleep and go early after all, setting the alarm to ring at 10:30 AM but waking up a couple of minutes earlier, turning it off and getting up at that point… Which also meant that I wasn’t startled awake by the series of awfully loud firecrackers that were thrown a little after 11 AM. Either way, I then had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being a slice of that cozonac bought two days earlier, with added honey, put on the full running gear and left at 12:45 PM, when the reported temperature was 18-19°C, increasing by 1°C by the time I finished.
The time was 49:23.58, with sector times of 4:31.01, 5:09.79, 6:06 (6:05.36), 4:36.03, 5:06 (5:05.82), 6:06.06, 4:37.22, 5:10.60, 6:07 (6:06.81) and 1:55 (1:54.88), making for lap times of 15:46.16, 15:48 (15:47.91) and 15:54.63. I couldn’t hope to get back under 48 minutes when it was so crowded, but I’m not sure that I had any chance of managing it even without the crowds, considering my state of mind and the lack of sleep, and the fact that I might have also still been tired after wandering around and carrying all of that weight two days earlier, in the evening. Either way, after the first sector I was already wondering whether I’ll even stay under 50 minutes, and while sector two wasn’t that bad, sector three and the lap told me that staying under 50 minutes was the best that I could hope for. But the lane being clearer on the first two sectors of lap two helped, and a lap that was only a little slower than the first made me wonder about getting under 49:30, so I pushed wherever I could on lap three and each sector seemed good enough, meaning that the lap also was. However, at that point I thought of the previous week’s run, so I kept pushing on the final sector and just managed to be a second less slow than then. Not that the time isn’t awful anyway…
There was some wind, but there was no room to really notice it, the park being awfully crowded, as expected. I was looking for a way through most of the time, there were several brief stops, times when I stepped off the path, even more when I slowed, had to weave all over… However, the lane was mostly clear on sectors one and two of lap two, and it showed, and sectors one and two of lap three didn’t seem as bad as lap one either, though it’s possible that it was because I was more used to picking my way through by then. But there were a few near misses, most notably on sector three of lap two, when a kid on a tricycle was called by his father to come along just as I was returning to the lane behind said father, so the kid suddenly came out from behind the other people who were walking next to the lane and I have no idea how I managed to avoid him. I was so sure that he was going to run into my ankle that I actually felt it, but it didn’t really happen. And on the final sector an older kid started running across the path from behind some other people just as I got there, there was no way we could have seen each other, and we barely managed to avoid running into each other. But there were many other moments when I just made it through, mixed with doing my best to take advantage of the clearer areas.
Otherwise, at the start my legs left heavy and there was some pain as well, and it seemed that I wasn’t breathing well enough either, but as time passed I seemed to get better, at least physically… Though there was a scary moment from this point of view as well, on sector three of lap one, when I stepped in another hole that’s under the lane, that spot being hard to remember, being right before that area where the lane is just painted and I’m focusing on the change, and my ankle really strained at that point, I had the feeling that I was close to an injury, but I managed to hold it just firm enough, or step off it just fast enough.

I once again jogged back, but also had a very quick look in the nearby Mega Image, probably out of habit, since I had no mask, no money and no time. And after getting back I even did 200 squats and eventually had something to count as lunch while watching the second handball match, or in fact its second half, since during the first half I fried those things. And I also started taking the supplements that I meant to take for 15 days, until the half marathon… But I forgot about the one with potassium and magnesium, which at least made things simple, since I had been thinking of just taking that one for ten days, so that became the plan.
I went out again a couple of minutes after 7:30 PM, and since I had seen before leaving that Penny’s campaign had been extended for another month, when I saw one of those bottles that go towards the 10 RON voucher I grabbed it and put it in a bag and then in the backpack. Then I went straight through the park, directly to Penny, and got something for dad and also some expiring mozzarella, even if I had to get two, since they were bundled, two for the price of one. And I rushed to Kaufland with the mozzarella in a pocket and the other things in one hand, putting them in a cabinet after getting there.
After washing my hands, it was past 8:15 PM when I entered the store and there was no more of that bread, but I saw one of each of two other kinds, scanned the label of the one that just had its regular discount from those days listed and saw a 75% discount applied to that listed price, so I got both, only confirming that the second one also had a 75% evening discount when I later also scanned its label, since the discounts that were listed at the time were of 50%, except a few products that had no evening discount listed, which included one sweet pastry that I was interested in, and I scanned that label and confirmed that it had no discount at all. But I got some other things, after scanning and confirming that the 75% evening discount applied to them. And dad called just after I was done with the bakery area, saying that mother wanted a certain kind of coffee, but despite searching carefully I couldn’t find it… Not that I’d have had the money for it, and I later saw that it was discounted at Carrefour anyway… Either way, I also got a few bananas, which also had an evening discount, plus two small yogurts and an expiring product, then kept searching for the non-refrigerated expiring products, since they had been moved, until it was announced that the store had closed, at which point I rushed to the self-checkouts… And found those products right there. And they included those caramelized walnuts, discounted by 60%, so I initially grabbed one box, but after scanning the other products and seeing the total I rushed back to grab one more. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and wanted to leave, knowing that I had to use the emergency door but being unable to push it open, not even after trying again after the employee who was outside told me to push harder, so he opened it and then I used one of those tables to arrange everything except what I had in the bag that hangs from my neck in the backpack.
After walking away from there when it was past 9:10 PM, I also went to Carrefour on the way back, putting everything in a cabinet, entering the store when it was past 9:40 PM and just getting two more beers for dad… But the cashier asked for my ID, which never happened before, and I didn’t have it, so she said that she couldn’t sell them to me. I told her that I’m 38, but then shrugged it off and walked away… Only to then check, see that I still had two minutes before closing time and deciding to rush back in, grab two more of those beers and try another cashier, who was actually the one from the “family” checkout, since she was the only one left who was behind the one who had denied me, and she checked me out without any problems. Then I retrieved everything from the cabinet and added the beers in the backpack.
I got back at almost 10:25 PM, and after putting the purchases in their place I ate one of the boxes of caramelized walnuts while writing what I managed to post before midnight of that day’s post, also writing the notes about the day before going to the bathroom at 12:15 AM, to use the toilet and wash. It was almost 1:20 AM when I got back in the kitchen, after also arranging something in my room, and after dealing with one of my breads as well I started eating dinner at 3:05 AM, though I still finished at 3:40 AM. I got in bed at 5:25 AM.

After getting in bed at 5:20 AM, on May 2 I woke up twice when dad was in the bathroom, so probably because of the noise he made. The first time it was a little after 8:30 AM, the second a little after 12:30 PM, and I waited for him to be done to also go and pee, and since he stayed up after that second time and there was some noise from the upstairs neighbor as well, after that point I only got a couple brief naps, and when I woke up after one of them and was sure that the alarm was about to ring, I checked the time, saw 1:58 PM, turned off the alarm and got up. Then I had the usual stuff, the sweet thing once again being a slice of that purchased cozonac, with added honey, put on the full running gear and left at 4:15 PM, when the reported temperature was about 23°C, holding steady.
The time was 1:19:27, with sector times of 4:29, 5:11, 5:57, 4:32, 5:10, 5:58, 4:36, 5:13, 6:01, 4:40, 5:19, 6:06, 4:41, 5:29 and 6:05, making for lap times of 15:37, 15:40, 15:50, 16:05 and 16:15. I started by thinking that I might end up struggling to even stay under 1:22 and wondering whether I’ll manage to at least stay under 16 minutes on the first two laps, but the first lap was better than expected, and staying under six minutes on sector three was nice, and the second lap was only a little slower, and I once again covered sector three in less than six minutes, so I thought that I should stay under 1:21 and hoped to stay under 16 minutes on lap three as well, to be really sure. I only started wondering about getting under 1:20 after I managed that, after initially thinking that 1:20 was the best that I could hope for but not even daring to think that it was actually possible until then. And lap four didn’t just ensure that I was going to stay under 1:20, but was actually good enough to make me wonder about 1:19:30, so I pushed on lap five, and while sector two looked like it might have destroyed my chances, I had lost quite a few seconds right at the end of it, because of the roadblock, so I really went for it on sector three, and right at the end I put everything that I had left into a sprint, and it was enough… Not that it wasn’t a poor time even so.
While I guess that it did get more so on the last two laps, I wouldn’t say that the park was that crowded, but people just met at the wrong time for me, blocking my way. I stopped for a couple of seconds on the long straight of sector two of lap one, when multiple people reached each other right in front of me and a runner who was coming from the opposite direction was also just reaching them, and she seemed determined to stay on the lane, so I tried to squeeze between the other people, around the lane, but there was no room and I had to wait for her to pass. Other momentary roadblocks caused me to briefly stop twice more on sector one of lap four, and one more time on sector one of lap five. In between, on sector two of lap four, there was another brief stop while picking my way through a large group, the only way through being the one that a cyclist coming from the opposite direction was making for himself, so I waited for him to pass and then used that opening to go through as well. And I lost quite some time at the end of sector two of lap five, under the bridge, since the way was completely blocked. Some cyclists who were coming from the opposite direction were picking their way through, so I waited for the first two to pass and used the opening they had created, but two kids who were also on bicycles and had stopped behind them were about to do the same and I ended up facing one of them just as he meant to start, so we both stopped again and I had to squeeze around him. And there might have been a couple of other issues as well, maybe on laps two and three, but that meant slowing at most, not stopping. And I also had to go on the grass a few times, at least once only being able to get back to the path after quite a few meters.
Otherwise, the lane was damaged in more places, including one section, early on sector two, where it had been usable before but that day it had simply been dragged by something. No idea what did that, but it was raised in one spot, so I had to go around it in order to avoid tripping, and a little farther on there was a hole. And the wind was also a problem, with places where I fought it, though I’d say that it lessened on the last two laps and, even before that, it wasn’t as bad as I feared after seeing the forecast, and considering the gust that hit me as soon as I stepped out. As for physical issues, I was tired at first, but I felt better as I continued, and the pressing need that appeared at the end of lap three quickly went away. There was some pain that was quite clearly reflected from my back on sector two of lap five, but I managed it and it lessened after a little while.

After yet again jogging back, I ate a banana and the apple pastry that I still had, changed and left again at 7:30 PM, still forgetting that cardboard box. But I got what I had meant to get from Carrefour, taking some time to get just the right quantity of garlic to have a relatively round amount left to pay after using the vouchers that I had. However, the sign announcing the discount for the second pack of the coffee for my mother was gone, so at the checkout I said that a discount should apply and the cashier asked what if it didn’t, at which point I said that in that case I didn’t want it. I also had the label for the garlic in my hand, saying that I wanted to use that bag again and scanning it myself while the cashier was searching for it on the bag. However, while she showed me that a discount did apply, the total was higher than what I had calculated and I said that it wasn’t right, and she seemed bothered while we checked, saying that math was hard, obviously meaning that I was wrong. But then I realized that she hadn’t applied those vouchers, so I said so and she scanned them, taking away the receipts, and the remaining amount was the correct one. But I was already shaking after that interaction, and as I struggled to put the purchases in a bag, the bag of garlic fell open and the garlic scattered, so I had to gather it piece by piece. And after putting everything in the backpack I decided to take the elevator, but a woman rushed in after me and pressed the button for the first floor, which was enough to stun me when I was in that state, so I just stood there even though she gestured for me to also press, only pressing the button for the ground floor after she walked off, by which point others had called the elevator to the third floor, so I ended up going there and then finally going down in a crowded elevator, feeling even worse.
After that, I decided to just go to that other Kaufland, having a quick look in another store that I noticed had appeared on the way, washing my hands when I got to Kaufland, not bothering to use a cabinet, entering the store just after 9 PM and finding that some of the bread that I’d usually want to get from there was left and it had a 30% evening discount applied on top of the regular discount that it had those days. It wasn’t 50%, like other bakery products had at that point, and I scanned that label and another one in order to make sure, but I took one of those breads after all. Then, after wandering around for a while, some time after 9:30 PM it was announced that bakery products were discounted by 75% and I went back there and scanned a couple more labels, confirming that some buns did have that 75% discount and getting two of them. I also scanned that bread’s label again, but its discount hadn’t increased at all. So I also waited for 9:45 PM and then I made my way to the self-checkouts, and those who were ahead of me left 0.86 RON in the change tray. I saw that they had left something there, but I didn’t know how much at first and they didn’t seem to care, taking their time to bag their purchases, and it was hard to speak anyway, so I didn’t say anything and then grabbed the coins when I went to use the machine, having no problems with it. Then I set some things down on the cabinets and took some time to check that I had everything, still feeling quite out of it when I walked away.
I got back at 10:25 PM, but after a little while I went to throw a bag of trash down the chute. Then I put the few other purchases, except the bread, in their place and had a small lunch before going to the bathroom a couple of minutes before midnight, to use the toilet and wash. I was done at 1:05 AM, but there were a few more things to do and I also dealt with the bread that I had bought and once again moved and mixed something, so I again ate dinner between 3:05 AM and 3:40 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM.


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