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The Last Two Runs from May and the First One from June

In the early hours of May 24, I washed the other things that were in the sink, including another pot, and also tried to wash the cast iron one, but only did so partially, seeing that the burned area couldn’t be cleaned as easily as that pot had been to clean until then. Then I sliced another bread for dad and also dealt with one of mine, made a salad mostly out of lettuce leaves, and then I took the ends of another bread which I had bought for dad, since those pieces weren’t sliced and that bread seemed quite interesting. After weighing those ends and seeing that it’d have been too much for one night, I sliced off two slices from one of the ends, adding them to the rest of that bread, which I left for dad, and then took a while to slice the rest for myself, since that bread was so soft. As a result, I ended up eating dinner between 3:20 AM and 4 AM. And then I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, had the usual stuff, and for the sweet thing I went back to two of those nicer biscuits, expired long ago, with added honey. I left at 4:15 PM, wearing the full running gear, with some things in the pocket of my tights. The reported temperature was 26-27°C, holding steady.
The time was 47:12.54, with sector times of 4:22.01, 4:59.47, 5:46.50, 4:25 (4:24.03), 4:54.12, 5:50 (5:49.94), 4:22.91, 4:56 (4:55.37), 5:50 (5:49.66) and 1:48.53, making for lap times of 15:07.98, 15:09 (15:08.09) and 15:08 (15:07.94). I hoped to get back under 48 minutes, but I felt tired at first and that first sector didn’t look good. However, after it I pushed and was surprised by pretty much everything that followed, each sector being faster than I thought it’d be. I was still only aiming to stay under 48 minutes after the first lap, but after the second it seemed like getting under 47:30 was likely, and I even had a passing thought of getting under 47 minutes, though that really didn’t seem likely. Either way, I pushed even more from the start of lap three and after sector two I wondered about getting under 47:15, and while at the time that seemed impossible, at the end of the lap there seemed to be a chance, and I made it despite thinking that I was too tired to obtain the required time on the final sector. And that was the first good time in two months.
There were some windy areas, but it wasn’t that bad. And that tiredness that I felt at first quickly went away and I felt just fine until the long straight of sector two of lap three, when my body seemed to want me to stop, but I pushed through it. Otherwise, the pressing need that seemed to appear towards the end of sector two of lap two turned out to be just gas, but then the need did appear on the long straight of sector one of lap three and seemed like it could be a problem, and even if it lessened after a while, it remained something to manage to some extent all the way to the end.
There were a fair number of people, which meant plenty of weaving and going the long way around, plus a few more notable problems that were mostly caused by cyclists. On the first sector, around the boat dock area, I’m not sure what was going on, but there was a “convoy” of vehicles with the brand of an ice cream producer that moved slowly and blocked the rest of the path, next to the lane, so a cyclist who was coming from the opposite direction had to use the lane and another person was blocking the small remaining space just when we’d have met, and he also seemed to get a little unbalanced, so I had to stop for a moment. I briefly stopped again on the next sector, barely managing to avoid a crash with a guy on a bicycle who was chasing two girls with a water gun, not looking where he was going and coming right at me. I cursed him for that, out loud. And on that same sector I hesitated for an instant when a guy stopped and got off his bicycle just as I was getting there. On sector one of lap two, a kid on a scooter came from a side path and almost reached the lane right in front of me, so I stopped for an instant, though he also managed to stop right before the lane. Another brief stop was on sector three of lap two, when I caught some people with a dog right when a ball fell from that ice cream and toys place that’s in that spot, making the dog jump in front of me and causing the cyclists who were coming from the opposite direction to first swerve away from it and then quickly swerve back in order to avoid the person who was on the other side of the lane, completely blocking my way.
There were also two moments when I had to step off the path, one being on the long straight of sector one of lap three, when cyclists coming from the opposite direction again had to use the lane, since the rest of the path was blocked, including by a woman with a stroller who had stopped on the inside, where I also was, so I had to put one foot off the path in order to get around her. And my notes state that the other moment was on sector two of lap two, but since it’s the last thing I wrote, I wonder if I didn’t actually mean sector two of lap three, and by now I definitely can’t remember when it happened, though I still remember the moment. Either way, I briefly stepped off the path in order to avoid a guy who was on the lane and stepped back instead of forward when I yelled at him to make way, going towards the woman who was with him and blocking me even more.

I kept running after finishing, glanced at a store that’s across the road from the park and then continued to the farmers’ market, having a look through it and then checking Supeco. They were out of cabbage, however, and I even asked the guard and he said so. But I had seen someone in the farmers’ market with two cabbages at the price that it was supposed to have at Supeco, since otherwise the price of cabbage had increased sharply those days, so after also having a quick look in that Mega Image, I went back there and had a better look, seeing that they were somewhat bad but still acceptable under those circumstances… And finding myself saying yes when I was asked whether I wanted both, though I really should have just bought one, since by the time I finished the first one I could once again find good cabbage for less. And if they’d have been just a little larger I wouldn’t have been able to buy them both, but the price for both of them turned out to be exactly what I had on me in bills, so I was just left with a few coins. Either way, the woman who was there had placed them in a bag even though I had mine in my hand, and hers was flimsy and looked like it wasn’t going to hold that weight anyway, so I first moved them into my bag, then stopped again after a little while and separated them, to hold one in each hand. I didn’t wear a mask.
After getting back, I ate the banana which I had kept since after the half marathon and the apple pastry which I had grabbed two days earlier, then went to the toilet and washed, after which I also ate one of those small bags of bagels which I had also bought two days earlier. Then I made mamaliga, after taking a long time to scrub the tiny remaining burn off the cast iron pot. At one point, I hesitatingly tried to use the harder scrubber, but I quickly saw that it was obviously scratching the enamel, so I stuck to using the softer one and kept at it, occasionally also using my nails a little, gently, and eventually got most of it out, albeit not quite every last trace. And scrubbing that enamel that’s obviously of such poor quality that much did have consequences, almost the entire bottom of the pot ending up burned after I used it that night, and that’s been pretty much the rule since then. However, that burn cleaned pretty easily, though I saw a fair amount of damage to at least a layer of the enamel, so it’ll obviously only get worse.

On May 31, I was still tired after wandering around a lot and even running part of the way, while carrying purchases, two days earlier, and I also kept waking up more and more often. The last time I checked, the time was 12:44 PM, and I was just drifting in and out of sleep after that. The alarm was set to ring at 1:30 PM and the last time I woke up I was really sure that it was about to ring, so I was just getting up, sitting on the side of the bed, when it did ring. I felt so weak, even shaking, but the plan was to cover a half marathon distance, so I had the usual stuff, with the yogurt being the protein one received after the half marathon and the sweet thing being a slice of cozonac, with added honey. I also drank most of the tea and left just before 3:45 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 27-28°C, holding steady.
The time was 1:44:29, with sector times of 4:22, 5:02, 5:52, 4:24, 5:02, 5:51, 5:08, 5:03, 5:56, 4:33, 5:02, 5:56, 4:30, 5:07, 6:08, 4:38, 5:18, 6:14, 1:55, 6:21 and 2:07, making for lap times of 15:16, 15:17, 16:07, 15:31, 15:45 and 16:10, plus 10:23 for that final portion. I aimed to get under 1:45 again, starting with a moderately controlled pace but still wanting to be fast on the first laps, and I was quite pleased with the first sector and even more so with the second, wondering if I could cover the lap in less than 15:30 before that second sector and in less than 15:20 after it, and I pushed and managed that. And I was also really pleased with each sector of lap two, and obviously with the lap as a whole, once again managing to stay under 15:20 even though I was wondering whether I’ll manage to average that time over the first two laps. But a shoelace cost me some 45 seconds at the start of lap three, though I pushed and the actual running time on that first sector was about the same as on the first two laps. That meant that the rest of that lap was a matter of damage limitation and things looked bad, so I was thinking to set 1:45:45 as the target, to account for that loss. But I still needed to gain something on lap four and I somehow did. I didn’t believe it after sector one, but then things got better.
That meant that I was actually still thinking of getting under 1:45 at that point, which meant also covering lap five in less than 16 minutes, if I was to have a chance, and I actually managed to be right on what should be the average lap time when that’s the goal. That sector three was bad news, however, so nothing seemed certain and it was harder to keep pushing, but I just kept at it, and if I had done the calculations with 16:30 on lap six, over the course of it I reduced that target and ended up with a nice enough time to make me think of getting under 1:44:30. And the first sector of the final portion seemed good, but I wasn’t sure that I’ll stay under two minutes on the last one, so I wanted a good enough time on sector two, and while I was several seconds better than expected, I was just done after pushing so hard and the final sector’s time was awful. Still just good enough, however, even if by the slimmest of margins.
On the first sector, I slowed a little on the long straight because of a roadblock, then hesitated after a guy with a water gun squirted it on me a little, without looking, and then once again hesitated when a kid started running straight towards me, on the lane, before stepping aside just in time. But that was not a sign of things to come, because after that there weren’t many people and there were even areas that were unusually clear, so there was just some weaving and going the long way around, plus needing to avoid a cyclist that was coming down from a side path at the end of sector two of lap six. And that guy who had told me that there’s a radar ahead twice before said that same thing to me three times as I passed by him that day, the second time laughing hard at his own bad joke, so I turned to shout after him that it’s old.
On the other hand, there were some windy areas, the worst being on sector three of lap one, when I had to fight a pretty bad gust for a while. And there were more gusts in that area on other laps as well, and also one or two on sector two, but those weren’t that bad. Otherwise, there was some new damage on the lane, including a couple of spots where I risked tripping, one of them on the long straight of sector two. And there were two small fenced off patches on sector three, one of them irrelevant but the other making me go the long way around on the first three laps, though on that third lap I realized that I could actually just squeeze through on the inside, so I did so from lap four. But I stepped in holes that were under the lane twice, on sector three of lap one, right after a recently repaired patch, and on sector three of lap two or three. It seems more likely that it was lap three, but I’m not certain. Either way, my ankle held.
But the big loss was, as I already mentioned, on sector one of lap three, since I noticed right after the start of the lap that my left shoelace was undone, and had knotted twice, so I lost some 45 seconds because of that, and after I resumed running it felt like I couldn’t quite get back to the pace I had before, despite pushing hard… Maybe too hard, because towards the end of the long straight of sector two of lap three I started feeling out of it. I recovered after that, but the feeling returned towards the end of the long straight of sector two of lap four and it just got worse after that, and on sector three of lap six I started feeling really drained, arms going numb, legs burning, even vision starting to be affected. But I pushed through it all. It was hard to go up the stairs at the bridge, but I managed it… But when I started the final sector I was just done, so I pretty much walked up those stairs, and it was hard to get back to running even on the straight. Otherwise, it felt like there was going to be blood from a toe from my left foot since at least some point on lap five, if not even lap four, and that was confirmed after I got back.

After getting back, I finished the tea and made another, and I weighed myself after finishing that tea and saw just over 46 kg, so I was probably just under 46 kg before that, meaning that I had lost about 1.5 kg through sweat. Either way, I also ate a banana and an entire 150 g bag of peanuts, at least unsalted and baked, not fried. And I eventually left again a couple of minutes before 8 PM… Only to realize that I had forgotten the bag with those things that I take to Kaufland, so I rushed back and grabbed it, actually leaving a couple of minutes after 8 PM.
I had dad’s metro card and wanted to go to that confectionery that’s at Kaufland Basarab, for one of those cakes, so I went there by metro… And only realized after going up the escalator that the bin for those things is at the entrance. But I didn’t want to turn around right away, so I just put that bag in a cabinet, had a look in the store and left without buying anything, the employee who was there asking me to show her what I had in my backpack, which is a first for Kaufland. But the backpack was empty, so I did that, then checked that confectionery, but I didn’t see that cake and didn’t ask about it then, since I meant to return there. And after going down the escalator I realized that I had forgotten to retrieve that bag from the cabinet, and if I didn’t want to turn around the first time, I did so the second time, retrieving that bag and finally putting those things in the bin.
I then walked to Carrefour, finding cabbage for slightly less than it was at Kaufland, where those days the price was the same as the one I had purchased those two from the farmers’ market at, and I got to pick, not needing to get those that were at that price because they were less good than the rest, so I really should have just gotten the smaller one then, since I hadn’t even finished that one by then. But maybe I had helped a producer a little bit through that purchase, if that really was one and not a reseller. Either way, I got a small cabbage from there as well… Which really turned out to be one that I shouldn’t have bought, since I was yet to touch it by the time cabbage got a fair bit cheaper. And I forgot to look for beets, even though the old price was still listed on-line, which was something even if we’re talking about the old full price, since elsewhere it either vanished or became significantly more expensive. And the price increased a little at Carrefour as well since then, albeit not nearly as much as elsewhere… Yet. Anyway, the two self-checkouts that accept cash once again didn’t work, so I went to a regular one, then threw the cabbage in the backpack and returned to Kaufland.
I did ask at the confectionery that time, pulling down my mask as I did so, for some reason… And I was told that they didn’t have that cake that day, and when I asked whether they still made it at all, I was told that they did, which was later proven true, but they hadn’t made it that day and possibly won’t make it the next day either. So, after washing my hands, I entered Kaufland again, with my backpack, and got one thing from the bakery area, very few products being left and the discount staying at 50%, and some mozzarella for the pizza that I wanted to make. I kept looking until it was close to closing time, but I couldn’t find anything else to get, so I eventually went to the self-checkout, put the purchases in the backpack and went back to the metro station.
I didn’t really know whether I wanted to come straight back or not, and the fact that the metro that’d have taken me straight back here was just in the station when I got there and there was no way to reach it in time helped me decide, so I ended up taking the one going in the other direction, which was going to come sooner, and went to the Mega Image from Dristor, entering with the backpack and finding three of those apple pastries, two of them in a bag that had a discount sticker. The third might have been removed by someone from another, and I’m quite sure that nobody’d have said anything if I’d have added it into that bag as well, but two was quite enough, so I just bought those and added them into the backpack.
I got back a few minutes after 11 PM, but soon after that I went to drop a bag of trash down the chute. Then I put the few purchases in their place, washed what was in the kitchen, ate the apple pastry that I already had, started working on the pizza and salad, and even did the day’s squats while watching the match, so it was almost 1:10 AM when I finally went to wash, getting back in the kitchen when it was almost 1:45 AM and only getting to eat between 4 AM and 4:55 AM. I got in bed at 5:55 AM.

I fell asleep quickly even though dad was getting ready to leave at that hour, but at 9 AM I was awake and, despite the exhaustion, it didn’t seem like I was going to get back to sleep quickly, so I went to pee, just in case, and then spent some time on the computer. I got back in bed at 9:45 AM, but I still had no chance to get back to sleep, so a little before 10:30 AM I started reading Scenes from the Heart, finishing the first part in just under an hour, then peeing one more time and once again trying to sleep, eventually managing to get another nap. But that was all the sleep I got that day, since some time after waking up again I got up and didn’t have any other nap that day. And two days later I finished the book, also writing the quick review, and after eating that night I also added the Romanian translation on Goodreads and The StoryGraph.

On June 9, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, had the usual stuff, the sweet thing being two of those expired nicer biscuits, with added honey, and left at 4:30 PM, wearing the full running gear and one of those armbands. The reported temperature was about 28°C on forecast sites and at the stations outside the city, but the weather station inside the city was listing 31°C. That one also went down to 28°C by 6 PM, however, while the rest held steady.
The time was 47:39.79, with sector times of 4:24.17, 5:02.12, 5:51.31, 4:24 (4:23.69), 5:00.69, 5:48 (5:47.68), 4:24 (4:23.60), 4:57.09, 5:54.44 and 1:55.00, making for lap times of 15:17.60, 15:12.06 and 15:15.13. Or at least I clearly remember that time for sector two of lap three, but if I add up, the hundredths don’t seem right. But, if there is a difference and it wasn’t a case of my memory playing tricks, it’s of only a few hundredths, so it doesn’t matter and I’m leaving it like that. Either way, I aimed to stay under 48 minutes and the first sector looked bad, so I pushed more and the second sector was better, but I still wondered if I’ll even manage a first lap on the pace for 48 minutes. And, while sector three was good enough to stay under that 15:20 on the first lap, I thought the realistic target was 49 minutes. But I was rather surprised by sector one of lap two, and the next two sectors were also better than on lap one, so the lap was faster and it seemed like I had a good chance to stay under 48 minutes after all. So I pushed even more on lap three, and I was again surprised by obtaining the fastest times on the first two sectors, albeit by mere hundredths in case of the first. The third sector was the slowest of the day, but the lap was definitely good enough, actually leaving the first one as the slowest. There was no point to push on final sector anymore, since I was certain to be well under 48 minutes and had no chance to get under 47:30, so I just wanted a decent time and it was all right.
There was some wind in a few spots, mainly on sector two, but mostly from the side and the cooling effect helped. And I tried to make good use of shaded areas, but in truth the heat was less of a problem than it seemed on the way to the park. Otherwise, there was more damage to the lane that I had to avoid, and a few wet areas, I guess caused by sprinklers or drinking fountains, so I avoided what I could, though I did step in a hole that I wasn’t aware was under the lane in that spot, at the start of what I think was lap two. It might have been lap three, but I’m pretty sure that it was lap two. As for physical issues, I felt rather tired at first, and for a while on sector two of lap two there was some pain in my right leg, actually at the back of the calf, though it was likely reflected from the knee, and it soon went away. And I felt better as time passed, though I was rather out of it on the final stretch, struggling to at least regain focus at the end. And, from sector two of lap two, I thought that the left shoelace was coming loose, but I didn’t stop, and at the end I saw that there had been no problem.
On the long straight of sector two of lap one, I had to quickly avoid a guy who seemed about to go across the lane, only to stop and turn around just as I had gone off the lane in order to go behind him, assuming that he’d continue moving as he had been, so I barely managed to avoid slamming into him. At the start of lap two, a few kids on bicycles, and one on a scooter, were weaving around and the one on the scooter kept asking the others to slow, so they were in my way for a while and I might have slowed on the way to the bridge, to stay just behind them, until they sped up a little, and at the start of the long straight they stopped and blocked the lane, but I had time to go around them without losing time, getting rid of them at that point. On sector two of lap two, I slowed to squeeze past a roadblock and then probably slowed a little once again, towards the end of the long straight, when some guys were shooting water guns at each other. Then I slowed a little and stepped off the path on sector three of lap two, when a small group stopped on the lane, right in front of me. I might have slowed a little at the start of sector two of lap three as well, since some people who were coming from the opposite direction on either bicycles or scooters, can’t recall, squeezed between other people and some toys placed by a woman in front of the bench that she and her kid were on, and I rather jumped over the toys, after initially meaning to go between them and the bench but being uncertain that I’d have managed that.

I gathered a few fruits from a tree on the way back, meaning to get more but shying away when someone stopped to look at me, and I looked for others but couldn’t really find more ripe ones that were within reach and without people around. I was somewhat determined, however, so after a quick check of the nearby Mega Image, without a mask, I made a detour in order to keep looking, but just the trees that are around the police station had some ripe ones within reach. There were also many on the ground, but I wanted to pick some from a tree and only got a few more until a man came to look at me and I walked away, without even glancing in his direction to see whether he was a policeman. So I gathered too few to be worth eating then and I set them aside after getting back, eating another apple instead, and then also having the apple pastry that I already had for a while. In between, I cleaned the litter box into a bag of trash and then went to throw that bag down the chute. On the other hand, it was somewhat worrying that, despite putting a medium and a small beet in the salad made the previous night, my pee wasn’t red at all before leaving to run, and even after I got back it was just orange, while normally it’d be dark red in such a situation, especially if the salad contained more than just a small beet.
Either way, I made another mamaliga in the evening, after washing away the burned area left on the cast iron pot after the one made just two days earlier as well as I could, some traces still being left. And I also did the day’s squats, in the kitchen. And, even though the mamaliga was rather watery, it ended up badly stuck to the bottom of the pot, not coming off at all, no part of it rising, after leaving the pot with a lid on for a little over an hour, while I ate. I should have probably left that lid on longer instead of pointlessly struggling for almost half an hour to peel off what was stuck and maybe damaging the enamel even more, but I eventually had to give up and put the pot in the fridge… And, after leaving it there for a few days, I was actually able to scrape almost everything off relatively easily, and then clean the pot quite nicely. And my pee was finally red before going to bed, but that was over 24 hours after eating those the beets, so it was still worrying.


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