On June 30, I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, and had the usual stuff… It seems that I didn’t write down what I had as the sweet thing, however, so I almost certainly added honey on whatever it was, but whether that was a slice of cozonac, a large doughnut brought by dad, two of those nicer but expired biscuits, or even something else, though that seems highly unlikely, I don’t know. Either way, I left at 4:25 PM, wearing the full running gear and one armband. The reported temperature was 29-30°C, holding steady, but it was sunny and it was rather burning.
The time was 48:16.35, with sector times of 4:30.45, 5:05.40, 6:02 (6:01.69), 4:29 (4:28.47), 5:03.12, 5:54.38, 4:29 (4:28.66), 5:06.78, 5:48 (5:47.18) and 1:50.22, making for lap times of 15:37.54, 15:26 (15:25.97) and 15:23 (15:22.62). I hoped to get back under 48 minutes, but it seemed highly unlikely, so I was really thinking to avoid embarrassing myself completely and at least stay under 50 minutes, and that first sector made me wonder whether I’ll even manage that. So I pushed more and sector two was better, but going over six minutes on sector three was not a good sign and the lap time made it seem like I will indeed need to fight to stay under 50 minutes. But each sector of lap two was faster than on lap one, more notably the third, so I thought of getting under 49 minutes more and more and at the end of the lap that was the clear target and seemed quite manageable if there won’t be problems. And after two sectors of lap three I wondered about getting under 48:30, really pushing hard on sector three and being surprised at how good the time was, already being safe at the end of the lap. It was still a poor time, but far less so than I feared.
It was rather hot and the lane had several newly repaired patches on sector one, a couple of them fenced off while others just had bands on them, held down by rocks, and there were a couple more like that at the end of sector three. And there were also some wet areas, including quite a puddle all over the turn that’s at the bottom of the slope that comes after the bridge, on sector one, so I had to slow in that area. I also had to slow at some point on sector two or three of lap two, when a larger group was ahead of me and a girl broke off and got in front of me just as I was reaching them. And I briefly stopped on sector three of lap three, when a group was once again ahead, a girl from it being right on the lane, and a cyclist who was coming from the opposite direction, alongside the lane, reached them just when I also did, so I had nowhere to go. But otherwise there were relatively few people, some stretches even being pretty much clear. As for physical issues, there was just a slight warning from the right knee from sector two of lap two, and a slight pressing need might have also appeared then, but both faded after that.
After getting back, I ate a banana, finished the tea and made another, leaving again at 7:15 PM, with 15 bottles in the “shopping backpack” and a bag of trash, which I threw in a bin. Though he was going to need it, dad had left his metro card, so I took it but didn’t use it on the way to Obor, wanting to try a shorter and nicer route which I had just learned and getting there in 35 minutes, without getting confused on the way and also spotting what seemed to be a cheap confectionery that I considered trying someday, until I saw the awful reviews.
I went straight to the recycling machine from Kaufland, to put in the bottles, but there was once again no way to make it accept those brown beer ones, though it did accept one with a similar shape from another brand, which was green. And I had six of those brown ones, so I put in five of the others, then went to look for one more, coming back when I had it to put in five more and get another raffle ticket. Then I made a few more attempts with those brown ones, eventually throwing one in, but the machine didn’t register it, so I came back with the other five.
Dad was supposed to buy something from another Carrefour location, if he’ll find it there, and call to let me know whether he did or didn’t, because there was just one more location where that product was listed as available on the site and, while I had never been there, I could walk there from where I was, though I was going to need to hurry in that case. And he hadn’t called by that point, so I was thinking to get going in that direction, but I decided to first check that Penny after all, entering with the backpack, grabbing a few things and being just about to get in line when he did call, saying that he did find that product and also telling me to get something else from Penny, so I did. And as I went past Kaufland on my way back, I saw a small tree of life on the pavement, maybe from a necklace or bracelet. I don’t know whether it was silver or just had that color, but I put it on the curb, in case the owner would come back and look for it. It was still there when I got back, however.
Either way, I then went to Carrefour, putting the bag with the purchases from Penny in a cabinet, but entering with the backpack. I got an expiring bread for dad and an interesting bar that was also among the expiring products and discounted despite being far from expiring. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and got back to Kaufland, putting the bag with the purchases in a cabinet but keeping the backpack on, with those bottles still in it after another failed attempt to get the machine to accept them. Then I used the toilet and entered the store at almost 9:25 PM, hearing an announcement that the bakery discounts were still at 50%, and only some products had discount labels, so I scanned some to check and eventually took a sweet pastry… Just before the announcement that the bakery discounts had increased to 70%, so I scanned that label to confirm the higher discount, then scanned some more, finding that some buns that had no discount label at that point were also discounted by 70%. But I stuffed the labels back rather roughly and hastily and an employee reprimanded me for it, though she started with the fact that I had put the label for that bread, which had no evening discount, in the wrong place, though I had actually moved it from the empty spot where it had been to where that bread actually was. Then I added two beers for dad and two spoiling large cucumbers, which were deeply discounted from the already deeply discounted price that all of them had that evening, and also two kohlrabies, also deeply discounted, though what was annoying was that there was an entire crate of them among the spoiling products and each was in its own plastic bag! Either way, I went to the self-checkout after the closing announcement and an employee came as soon as the machine asked for one to confirm the sale of beer.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I just figured out a way to carry everything outside and then stopped to actually arrange, placing everything except what I had in the bag that hangs from my neck rather carefully in the large backpack and walking away at 10:15 PM. But I did have that metro card, and since I was going to the metro station I decided to also check the Mega Image that closes later, putting the bag in the one cabinet that locked but still entering with the backpack that contained everything else, and getting a cabbage for dad. Interestingly, that entrance door did open to let me out after I retrieved what I had in the cabinet that time. Either way, I then just went straight to the metro station, holding the cabbage and only adding it in the backpack while waiting for the metro.
I got back a little after 11:10 PM, then I put the purchases in their place, cleaned a little of what dad had left in the kitchen, just ate a little more of that high protein chocolate that I had, and went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and wash, when it was almost 12:20 AM. I was done a few minutes after 1 AM, but I had plenty to wash and clean in the kitchen, so I started eating lunch at 2 AM, just taking occasional bites while I finished cleaning and made the salad. I finished lunch when it was past 3:20 AM and immediately continued with dinner, so I ate that between 3:25 AM and 3:50 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM, after also sorting a few things out in the bathroom, since dad had taken a bath after me.
I’ll also mention here that Matomo Analytics recorded no visits on July 2, though both versions of Google Analytics did record one, since the old version still works even now even though it was supposed to already stop by then. And, while I’m at it, I’ll add that the same situation, with Google Analytics recording one visit but Matomo Analytics seeing none, happened on July 15 and July 22, while yesterday there were no visits recorded by either Matomo Analytics or the old Google Analytics, but the new Google Analytics, which I’m only checking for such situations, because it’s so awful to use, recorded one.
Getting back to the runs, a heat wave was coming, so I had to run on July 3 even though something was wrong with my right hip for the past couple of days and I also didn’t have green onions, so I put one of the few small red ones that we had left in the salad made the previous night. Then I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, after waking up some 25 minutes earlier and needing to pee rather too badly to be able to get back to sleep, but nevertheless deciding to stay there and try to catch another nap after seeing the time, which resulted in a couple of naps that were mere moments long. Then I had the usual stuff, with the sweet thing being a slice of cozonac, with added honey, and left at 4:20 PM, wearing the full running gear and one armband. The reported temperature was about 31°C, dropping to about 29°C by the time I finished, and it was quite overcast, which really helped. On the other hand, I was worried about the garden that’s behind the building, before that fenced area, since the mayor keeps paving over everything, the work was reaching this area, the sidewalk actually getting paved in that manner since then, and that day I saw someone in that garden, apparently taking measurements. And I’m still worried, though nothing happened there so far.
Either way, the time was 48:12.92, with sector times of 4:27.04, 5:04.66, 5:54 (5:53.90), 4:26.19, 5:05 (5:04.88), 5:53 (5:52.65), 4:33.22, 5:04 (5:03.75), 5:57 (5:56.78) and 1:49.85, making for lap times of 15:25.60, 15:24 (15:23.72) and 15:34 (15:33.75). I obviously once again hoped to get back under 48 minutes, but that first sector wasn’t good enough and I had pushed far more than that time showed, and while the next two sectors weren’t bad in themselves, I couldn’t recover that time, so the lap was also not good enough. I still wondered whether I’ll do better on the following laps, and the second one was a little bit better, but definitely not enough, so I didn’t think that I had any chance and sector one of lap three made that clear. Still, at the end of the lap I saw that I had a chance to at least beat the previous week’s time, which I managed, but it remains a poor time, and what made it worse was that I had really pushed.
There weren’t many people, so there was some weaving and going the long way around, but just one moment, right after the start of lap three, when I briefly stopped because of another runner’s dog, who was running after her, without a leash, and got right in my way. Otherwise, it was windy on sector two of lap two and sector three of laps two and three, and while on sector two of lap two I liked the cooling effect, after that it seemed that needing to fight it hindered more than the cooling effect helped. As for physical issues, my right knee started giving warnings almost right away, maybe because I was sparing that hip, and while those eventually lessened, they never actually went away, and on sector three of lap three they got worse again, this being after my left hip had also started giving some towards the end of the long straight of sector two of lap three. I also felt some from the right hip at some point, maybe from sector two of lap two, but it might have been later and, either way, those faded after that. That hip did hurt a little after I got back, however.
After getting back, I finished the tea and made another, put something together and had it as lunch, and left again just before 7:50 PM, with the recyclables, which I dropped off in a bin on the way, and a handful of plastic bottle caps in a pocket, which I dropped off in the proper bin at the first Penny I checked… Which was one that I didn’t know existed, also on the way to Auchan Titan but closer and very recently opened, so I had a look through it as well before also checking the one that I knew as the newer one, after which I went to Auchan and got some things… And I again set a bag down and forgot about it. At least it was empty, but it was the sturdy one that dad likes to use, so I rushed back there when I realized it, being relieved that it was still there even though quite some time had passed. Either way, I also used the amount that was on the store card at the self-checkout, then went to that Penny as well, putting the bag with the other purchases in a cabinet but entering with the one that hangs from my neck, containing a bread which I had bought for myself. And, after wandering around for a while but still not getting anything, I retrieved what I had in the cabinet, moved the purchases into the backpack… And then realized that I hadn’t checked the bakery area, and I had previously seen that they had also introduced evening discounts in some locations, so I put the backpack back in the cabinet and dashed back in, but there was no discount sign, so I just walked out again. And it was only then, when I once again retrieved what I had in the cabinet, that the guard asked me to show her what I had in the bag that hung from my neck, since I had once again entered with it, so I did, finally leaving when it was close to 10 PM and continuing to a Kaufland that was closing at 11 PM.
In Kaufland’s parking lot I spotted a cart that had a coin in it despite being right next to two others, so I connected it to one and retrieved the coin. Then I put the backpack in a cabinet, washed my hands and entered at 10:45 PM… Only to see the bakery employees throw the pretty large number of products that were left in a cardboard box. But I found some expiring cakes that were deeply discounted, so I grabbed them, even though the box was leaking syrup and chocolate… And then I realized that my bags were still in the backpack, so I could get a few red onions, choosing to believe the label stating that they were from Romania even though it didn’t look like it and I had seen India listed elsewhere, but the cucumbers had a good evening discount and I needed some sort of bag for those, ending up grabbing a discarded plastic bag after being unable to spot anything else that I could use in that area. Then I got two more beers for dad, throwing them in the bag that hung from my neck, which I had entered with, and using their packaging to hold the cakes and onions, only later realizing that I should have thrown the other things over them instead of taking them out. Either way, the closing announcement came when I was on my way to the self-checkouts… And the handheld scanner wouldn’t scan the cakes, so I called an employee and said that I didn’t want to turn them over, but she said that I’ll have to and did so, and the other scanner worked. And the price for the cucumbers was the correct one, even though the scales had once again listed the full price and I hadn’t had time to check. And yes, I should have charged myself for that bag, but I didn’t, and the employee didn’t either, even though she had to come back and confirm the sale of beer. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and took some time to arrange everything.
I got back a little after 11:35 PM, with about 13.5 kg. Then I took way too long to crack open some walnuts, eat those and one of the cakes, and get the chocolate and syrup off the inside of the box, putting the other cake in the fridge, so it was past 1:10 AM when I went to shower and almost 1:50 AM when I was done. And I still had the other purchases, as well as some other things, to put in their place, so I ended up eating dinner between 3:25 AM and 4 AM.
As for July 10, the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM but I woke up at 1:40 PM, when dad left, and I needed to pee yet again, after doing so three times since going to bed, most probably because of all of the cucumbers from the salad, and that time I did go… And then I decided to get up, albeit taking it slowly. And I also wrote and sent a comment about an article from The Guardian, which took a while and wasn’t published. So I had the usual stuff, the yogurt being a bio (organic) “creamy” one, and the sweet thing another slice of cozonac, with added honey, but it was almost 4:40 PM when I left, wearing the full running gear and one armband. The reported temperature was about 33°C, holding steady, so it was a relief that it was mostly cloudy.
The time was 47:21.42, with sector times of 4:18.73, 4:51 (4:50.97), 5:35 (5:34.47), 4:19.68, 4:58 (4:57.63), 5:52.34, 4:32 (4:31.78), 5:11 (5:10.88), 5:56.38 and 1:49 (1:48.56), making for lap times of 14:44.17, 15:09.65 and 15:39.04. Of course, I once again aimed to get back under 48 minutes, but I feared that I won’t even stay under 49 minutes, considering the heat. But the first sector’s time was better than I expected and then I pushed even more and was amazed by the second sector’s time, so I kept pushing, aiming to cover the lap in less than 15 minutes, and I managed much more than that, a top ten lap time and the fastest lap since November. And I still had good times on the first two sectors of lap two as well, so at that point I even gave a passing thought to getting under 47 minutes. I was tiring on sector three of lap two, however, and even more so over the course of lap three, as the sector times show, but 47:30 remained a possible target, so I pushed as much as I still could throughout lap three, fighting for it, and while I still didn’t feel exactly safe at the end of the lap, I had a good chance, and the final sector was actually faster than expected. So it could have been better, and tiring so quickly was a bad sign, but at least I finally had another run that I could be pleased with, and at a very good moment, since it technically marked the start of my preparations for this year’s marathon.
Though the number was gradually increasing, there weren’t many people, so other than some weaving and going the long way around, I just had to quickly step off the path on sector one of lap three, to avoid a guy who took a step to the side that I was just about to pass him on. Otherwise, a portion of the lane, quite a few meters long, was fenced off, but it wasn’t a problem and I realized that on lap two I didn’t even notice it, being so focused that I must have gone past it without even realizing it. In terms of physical issues, however, my upper abdomen started hurting from sector two of lap one and for a while it kept getting worse, but when I saw that time I understood why, and I guess I got used to it as time passed, since it didn’t really go away but after a while I’d say that I no longer really noticed it. And from sector three of lap two I was getting too tired, starting to feel a little nauseous from sector one of lap three and something of a pressing need appearing from the end of the long straight of sector two of lap three. But I pushed through it all.
I quickly checked the nearby Mega Image on the way back, then finished the tea and made another, ate watermelon and the last piece of some ice cream cake sent by my mother, even did the day’s squats, in the kitchen, and left again at 7:50 PM, going back in that direction and finding a bag of apples among the spoiling products in Carrefour, giving the exact amount to the cashier and not being charged for the bag. The apples were imported, but I bought them because I wanted to give them away, in order to start making up for what somebody else had ended up paying for me on June 19, which is another story… Either way, I once again had the “shopping backpack”, so I put the apples in it and entered with it when I had a quick look in the Mega Image that’s next to the farmers’ market, though I still didn’t find any of that cat food. Then I also quickly passed through the market, glancing around, since a few sellers were left, but the apples had insane prices. And I once again entered with the backpack when I went to Supeco, finding that the beets still had the old price even though it had increased significantly everywhere else those days, so the full price was what I had ended up paying for the spoiling ones which I had bought from Mega Image two days earlier… And there was even a bag of beets among the spoiling products, at half of that price and seeming all right, so I grabbed it, along with one of cucumbers, being charged for both bags.
After adding those purchases in the backpack, I continued to Auchan, though I checked another Mega Image on the way, once again entering with the backpack, but still not finding any of that cat food. And I entered Auchan with the backpack as well, finding plenty of discounted products and ending up getting some light bulbs, all the four bags of the better cornmeal of their own brand that were left in that area, likely the result of them also trying to get rid of their own products with Nutri-Score labels, and some mustard. And since that 50% discount that applies to those pretty good sweets on Mondays if you use the store card still applied, I got the smallest box, and then also some water for dad, using the amount left on the store card at the self-checkout. Then I took my time to arrange everything else in the backpack, leaving those sweets in a bag.
I decided to use another route to get to Kaufland, so I won’t be tempted to check that Profi as well, since I’d have reached it close to 10:30 PM, when it closes for half an hour. And I made a small detour to another Mega Image on the way, putting just the bag, rather pointlessly, in a cabinet, and getting a discounted apple pastry, then retrieving the bag. But I did put everything in a cabinet at Kaufland… Only to realize as I was on my way to the toilet that I had left the door open, so I rushed back and locked it. And there was no soap, so I had to wash my hands just with water after peeing.
It was past 10:40 PM when I entered the store, seeing a good evening discount for green onions, so I grabbed two bundles and a few torn tops right away, before continuing to the bakery area… Only to see no discounts listed. An employee passed by and I asked from a distance whether there really were no discounts, but she just looked at me and then continued walking, so I took a label and scanned it, seeing a 40% discount. That was too little for those buns, but I then saw two cheaper ones left, and also five of the pretzels that my mother wants, so I scanned those labels as well and saw a 70% discount for those, so I got all of both. I only later realized that I didn’t even check whether any bread that I’d have wanted was left, and I didn’t have much bread left. But I was rushing, checking the expiring products and having a quick look through some canned products as well, since plenty of their own brand were discounted by 50% those days, since they were also trying to get rid of those with Nutri-Score labels. But I just got some more cans of mushrooms, which also had that discount, when I returned to the fruits and vegetables when it was announced that the store would close in five minutes. I had also realized by then that I should have gotten more green onions, in case I was going to give some away, but there were none were left at that point, unsurprisingly.
When I made my way to the self-checkouts, I heard an employee tell another that “he” was the only one left, quite clearly referring to me, and he rushed after me, told me to use the first machine when I meant to make my way to the last one, and rather got all over me, scanning my products, making me feel increasingly anxious and probably making the process take longer as a result. And I wasn’t the last one left, since someone else came to use a machine while he was focused on me, and then another person asked whether any regular checkouts were still open, at which point he snapped at her to pick whether she’ll use card or cash and use one of the appropriate machines, not wander around the store at that hour. Either way, there was no closing announcement, but it was 11 PM by the time I paid, and then I took my time to rearrange everything, putting what I could give away into a bag and then arranging those products a little better after passing through the first set of doors, so it was almost 11:10 PM when I walked away.
I checked the non-stop Mega Image on the way back, putting the bags in a cabinet but entering with the backpack, heavy as it was. I still didn’t find any of that cat food, however, so I just retrieved the bags and continued on my way until I saw that homeless man from this area, in the spot where I knew he used to stay those days. It did help that he was in the open, looking through the recycling bins, and not lying behind them and the pavement and sand piled up in that spot, but it still felt awkward when I gave him the apples and a bundle of green onions, so I just mumbled that it’s just in case it’ll help him in any way and rushed away.
I got back a few minutes before midnight, with just over 20 kg, so I had carried 21 kg, if you add what I gave away. And then I cleaned the litter box and went to drop a bag of trash down the chute, after which I put some of the purchases in their place, tried all of the light bulbs, to check that they turned on, and changed the one from the kitchen, since we had been left with a weaker one ever since the previous one had burned out, about a month and a half earlier. I went to wash at 12:45 AM, getting back in the kitchen when it was past 1:20 AM. Then I washed and cleaned what dad had left, put the remaining purchases in their place, eating lunch, on and off, between 2 AM and 3:40 AM, and then I moved straight to dinner, which I ate between 3:45 AM and 4:25 AM.