[ View menu ]

An Outstanding First Sector and Two Poor Runs, Plus Washing Machine Problems

In the salad made in the early hours of March 4, I once again used a regular onion, this time not even one that was starting to sprout, since I yet again didn’t have green onions. And I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, but still managed to finish at 3:40 AM. Then I got up when the alarm rang, at 2 PM, but it was at least half an hour before I could actually start getting ready to run, because dad had also just woken up and was in a hurry to leave, so he asked me to help him with what he wanted to take. But I eventually had the usual stuff, the yogurt being another “creamy” one with 4.6% protein and 5% fat, the almonds being those baked ones with Himalayan salt, and the apple quite certainly the last one from Carrefour’s campaign. I mean, it was a smaller Red Delicious one, which was actually still good, only then starting to spoil in a few spots on the surface, unlike those large ones which had spoiled so badly and so quickly, and it quite clearly couldn’t have been from anywhere else, and I’m also certain that there were no others that remained since then. Either way, for the sweet thing I had some nicer biscuits, with added honey, and I left at 4:35 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was about 16°C, holding steady. There was some wind, however, which made it feel surprisingly chilly on the way to the park.
The time was 48:40.26, with sector times of 4:00.44, 5:24.07, 6:04 (6:03.87), 4:40.48, 5:12 (5:11.36), 6:01.48, 4:32.22, 5:06 (5:05.91), 5:50 (5:49.18) and 1:51.25, making for lap times of 15:28.38, 15:53.32 and 15:28 (15:27.31). I might have pressed the button just after passing what I consider to be the start line, but the seconds are certainly correct, whether for the first sector, the first lap, or the total time. And I didn’t actually mean to push that hard on the first sector right away, but decided to do so seconds later. It was rather crowded and I also almost collided with another runner, so I feared that I was losing time and would just exhaust myself for no reason, but I just kept it up, and on the long straight there were two moments when I felt that I had to dig one more level deeper, and when I saw that time I was just blown away. So I didn’t just finally knock all of those with 4:08 out of the top ten, but managed the second fastest first sector! But, of course, it utterly exhausted me and I immediately dropped to what I thought was closer to a marathon pace, and that time on sector two proved it, and my back wasn’t at all happy either, so the remaining distance was a daunting prospect and I was thinking that it’ll be acceptable to just stay under 50 minutes, and I’ll be quite content with 49:30. At the end of the lap, I was hoping to stay under 16 minutes on the next two laps as well and sector one of lap two didn’t look good, but I started to recover after that and at the end of the lap I wondered whether I could actually get under 49 minutes and started pushing again, putting more into it on each sector, and the times showed that I had more left than I thought, and lap three was even a second faster than lap one, looking at the exact time. So, yes, the total time was pretty bad, but far better than expected after exhausting myself for that stunning first sector.
While the number of people dropped after that and the only other notable problem was on sector three of lap three, when some women walked onto the lane just as I was getting there and I had to react quickly and squeeze around them, the first sector was quite crowded, as I already said, so I had to keep weaving and going the long way around, and there was also that moment, in that blind turn that’s just before the long straight, when I found myself face to face with another runner and we just managed to avoid running into each other, the moment probably costing me a second or so, which makes that sector’s time even more amazing. But I actually made a note of how many runners there were, and some of them also helped, becoming targets for a little while. Otherwise, just as I had slowed down after that first sector and was trying to figure out how to recover enough to be able to cover the remaining nine or so kilometers, I stepped in a hole that was under the lane, with my right foot, and the ankle did need to take quite a lot, but it was fortunately fine. And there were still damaged spots on the lane, of course, including that one that created a risk of tripping. But a big problem was the pain radiating from my back after that first sector, at least from my teeth to my bladder, or throughout everything between my nose and, shall we say, the other “nose”. After a while, I was even considering stopping for a moment, to try to snap, straighten or stretch my back a little better, but I didn’t, just pushing through it and trying to make things a little better in any way I could while running, and the pain did gradually lessen, which eventually also allowed me to push more.
On the way back, I had a quick look in the nearby Mega Image, without a mask, and that was it, since I wasn’t going to go out again, so I then had lunch, did the day’s squats, and went to the bathroom, to use the toilet and wash. And later that evening dad called to tell me to open for him, since he had lost his keys, so he’d have been waiting at the door if I would have gone out again. Then I ate another apple and some biscuits, and at night I ended up eating dinner between 3:30 AM and 4:10 AM. I might have actually been able to stick to the dinner schedule if I’d have eaten in the kitchen, since I microwaved the slices again, in four batches, three with more of that kashkaval and one with something else, but I decided to take everything to my room and eat here.

For the salad made in the early hours of March 15, I once again used a regular onion that wasn’t even sprouted, and I ended up eating dinner between 3:20 AM and 3:50 AM, opening a new jar of peanut butter and putting that on all of the slices of bread. Then I got up when the alarm rang, at 1:30 PM, and had the usual stuff, but the apple was a particularly nice and large one that I believe was also bio (organic), and I mixed both almonds with Himalayan salt and raisins in milk chocolate with the cereals and another “creamy” yogurt with 4.6% protein and 5% fat, and as another sweet thing I had the last of those things taken after last year’s Dream Trek, with added honey. Actually, I might have taken that one at Timpuri Noi Square, not after the end, since I took one then and another one of the same kind at the end, but it doesn’t matter, and the fact that it had expired last month shouldn’t really matter either. So I put on the full running gear and left a little after 4:10 PM, when the reported temperature was 8-9°C, basically holding steady, since it was 8°C when I finished.
The time was 1:48:26, with sector times of 4:20, 5:17, 6:08, 4:36, a total of 11:18 for sectors two and three of lap two, then 4:42, 5:20, 6:12, 4:44, 5:26, 6:19, 4:46, 5:32, 6:13, 4:55, 5:32, 6:31, 2:04, 6:35 and 1:56, making for lap times of 15:45, 15:54, 16:14, 16:29, 16:31 and 16:58, plus 10:35 for that final portion. I have no idea whether I checked the time after sector two of lap two and forgot it by the end of the lap or forgot to even check, because I realized right at the end of the lap that I didn’t know it, and I do remember my mind being elsewhere for the first part of sector three of lap two and suddenly realizing that I didn’t know what happened for the past few hundred meters. And what’s frustrating is that sectors two and three of lap two were the least poor ones. If I did check, it’s possible that sector two was 5:16, making sector three 6:02, because in that case the numbers might have easily gotten mixed up in my mind, but I really have no idea. What really matters is the actual time, however, and that was bad. Interestingly, I have another 1:48:26, and back then it was my personal best by far, but that was almost six years ago and I’ve had few worse times since then, so now it’s my worst time obtained while covering this distance through the park since the summer of 2021, before the hospitalization. Admittedly, while the 16 km run from the end of February gave me reasons to hope for 1:46, if not even 1:45, and I considered pushing early on and seeing what will happen, that day I was thinking that it’d be more realistic to think that I’ll end up closer to 1:50, and that proved true, unfortunately.
While the first sector’s time was better than I thought it’d be and I did mean to slow down a little, sector two’s time was worse than I thought it’d be and that was the rule from then on. I was actually hoping to stay under six minutes on sector three of lap one and I was far from that, and ending up fractions of a second over the 15:45 that’d be the target lap time for 1:45 even on the first lap made it quite clear that I really was looking at about 1:50. I still meant to stay under 16 minutes on as many laps as possible, wondering whether I’ll manage it on all of them and still have a time that won’t be too bad after all, but I had to push to even manage that on lap two, and sector one of lap three made it clear that I won’t manage it again. And after just barely managing to keep the average lap time under 16 minutes for the first three laps, after that it was just about limiting the loss of time, since I was worried that I might not even stay under 1:50. But after lap four the goal became to cover five laps in less than 1:21 and then stay under 1:49, so I pushed more on sector three of lap five, and that was the only time, after most probably sector three of lap two, when a sector was less slow than on the previous lap. But I paid for that on lap six, where the target was to at least stay under 17 minutes and I only barely managed it. Still, it was enough to allow me to hope to stay under 1:48:30, so that became my goal, and while going over two minutes on the first sector of that final portion was a bad sign, at least I managed that, even if it took quite a push on the final straight, though I might have lost a second at the end, since my hands were frozen and I wanted to make sure that I’ll press the button properly.
It wasn’t just chilly, but also wet, after a few rainy days, and it had rained that morning as well. And the lane was quite badly damaged, including multiple spots that created a serious risk of tripping, so I had to avoid it a good part of the time, including on the long straight of sector two. And that was probably the main reason why I weaved and went the long way around, since the number of people was low, the only notable problem caused by them being a roadblock that made me slow a little at the end of sector two of lap five, under the bridge. And I high fived a guy, probably a teen, who held out his hand when he saw me approach, on sector two of lap six. Otherwise, I did feel almost from the beginning that I hadn’t left everything in the toilet and worried that it’ll become a problem later, but a certain pressing need only actually appeared on what I think was sector two of lap four, if not even on lap five, and while it got worse on lap six, it never actually became a real problem. And my right knee started complaining at one point, I think from the start of lap six, and it definitely did on that final portion, but that wasn’t a serious problem either. And, in truth, neither was the fact that I felt like I was going to hit the wall at the end of lap six, so after 19 kilometers, because the feeling didn’t worsen after that. So the real problem was that I simply couldn’t go any faster, I kept being surprised by how slow I was and there didn’t seem to be much that I could do about it, though at the same time I was making a mental note of how calm and even my breathing was, even towards the end and when I was overtaking other runners, so I should have had much more to give, but I just couldn’t give it. The temperature and humidity definitely had something to do with it, but that can’t be an excuse.

I got back a little after 6:20 PM, had lunch, changed, and left again at 8:10 PM, with some more recyclables with the deposit paid. I went to what used to be the nearer Penny, but the recycling machine wasn’t working, so I entered with those recyclables and got what I wanted, then raised the bag with the recyclables when I was about to pay and the cashier immediately told me to not leave them with her. I said that I was hoping that she could deduct what I should receive from what I had to pay, but she said that she couldn’t do that, I had to get the voucher from the machine, and when I said that it didn’t work she said that there were plenty of other stores… So I quickly put the purchases in a bag and continued on my way.
I again entered Mega Mall through the parking lot, meaning to search for the recycling machine before going to Carrefour, but after looking on two levels of that parking lot I couldn’t find it, so I put the purchases in a cabinet and asked the guard from the entrance to Carrefour, and she told me where it was. She then called after me to explain how to get the money in exchange for the voucher, but I told her that I knew how it worked and was going to use the voucher when I’ll pay, then went where she had told me and used the recycling machine before entering the store. There were products that I was interested in that had good discounts while also being included in the categories that those vouchers were offered for, so I started by getting a large pot, to move that yucca after all, though I’m yet to actually do so. Then I took ten bottles of tomato puree, plus a few other things, and struggled to carry them as I wandered around the store until closing time approached. Then I split the purchases at the self-checkout, leaving the tomato puree aside at first and also using that voucher received for the recyclables when I paid for the other purchases… And when I then also entered the tomato puree, I saw an additional discount, so there were three kinds of discounts that stacked, but while I did figure out that this last one was most likely that 10% discount that applies if you buy three pieces of certain products, I wasn’t absolutely certain, didn’t want to call an employee to remove one, and simply didn’t think to dash back and get two more, so the tenth bottle didn’t have that 10% discount and it was my fault, so I decided to count that difference as being from “my” money. And when I accidentally tried to scan the voucher’s bar code instead of the receipt’s in order to leave the checkout area while struggling to carry everything, an employee just took the receipt from me and scanned it correctly before handing it back.
Since the closing announcement came while I arranged the purchases, Kaufland was obviously also closed by then, so I retrieved what I had in the cabinet and went straight to that Mega Image, putting everything except the pot and the backpack in a cabinet and getting some bread for dad that was discounted by 90%. However, at the checkout I was told a total that was slightly higher than what it should have been, so I mentioned that it should have been lower but paid it, then checked the receipt and pointed out that one of the breads had been entered as something else. The cashier said that she hadn’t entered anything, had just scanned the labels, and even though I placed the four identical breads back on the counter in order to show her that they were the same while one of them was different on the receipt, she didn’t offer to remove that one that had a wrong label and scan one of the other identical ones again, nor even to do so if I returned that one and grabbed another one with the correct label, since more of those were left. And I said that the difference was too low to matter, and picked up a coin from the floor that covered more than half of it, actually saying so when I did it, so I counted that difference as being from “my” money as well. But I still wonder how come I didn’t notice that wrong label despite looking over those breads a couple of times… And also whether it was the one which had been placed separately, among the bread that wasn’t expiring, next to the basket with the expiring bread, and which I also took, but I have absolutely no idea. Either way, I then retrieved what I had in the cabinet and took my time to arrange everything.
It was close to 11:15 PM when I got back, with 21.5 kg, but after cleaning the litter box I went to throw a bag of trash down the chute. Then I ate half of a large sweet pastry made by that friend of my mother’s, put most of the purchases in their place, except what I had to put on the balcony, and went to wash at 12:30 AM. I was done just before 1:20 AM, after which I also dealt with what I had to put on the balcony, needing to rearrange most of what’s in that cabinet in order to do so. So it was already late when I started working on dinner, and I also ate some peanuts while doing that, putting the last few in the salad, so there were 950 calories just from that. And I ate dinner between 3:25 AM and 4:05 AM, and got in bed at 5:20 AM, though I was still awake when dad got back, and probably only managed to fall asleep after he went to bed. I’m not entirely certain, but it must have been after 6 AM. And I’ll also mention here that no visits were recorded on March 15… Nor on March 16, March 21, or today.

Since I mentioned March 16, I was awake again a little after 8 AM, went to pee, and then couldn’t get back to sleep, finally giving up just before 9:15 AM and getting on the computer until 10:35 AM. At least I did manage to get back to sleep after that, but still not immediately, and just after 1 PM I was awake again and didn’t get any more sleep until I got up, just over an hour later, so I only slept some four hours, and only added about one more later that afternoon, when I took a nap. And in the evening the inevitable happened, since the washing machine had been squeaking for some time and dad pretty much brushed it off, then there was one loud bang and he turned it over, had a look and said that everything seemed to be in order, and the previous time I used it, while it squeaked loudly at first, after a while it stopped doing so and seemed to work normally, but that evening, while it seemed to work normally until the end of the drying cycle, at that point there were multiple loud bangs, something had obviously broken off and was getting thrown around, and when I opened it after it was done I saw a lot of dirt and what were clearly some bits of something that had been torn apart. So I rinsed the few clothes I had in it, though dad said that he didn’t want me to do the same for his, and doing that and also washing and cleaning what was in the kitchen meant that I ended up eating dinner between 3:35 AM and 4:10 AM, and I got in bed at 5:35 AM.

On the morning of March 19, I got in bed at 5:20 AM, after having to clean up a little more after dad. And after getting up I made the first part of the dough for another attempt at making bread, leaving it in the fridge and meaning to continue the next day. However, on March 20 I ended up going out, and while that falls under odds and ends and I therefore won’t cover that day here, I will mention that I left making the bread for March 21… And I still ended up with something that had a very hard crust but was uncooked inside, even if it wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous time, back in August, and cutting it in pieces and putting it in the electric oven for just ten minutes made it a fair bit better inside… But it obviously also made the crust even harder. Either way, that day I also finally ordered a cover for the new camera, though it might have been too late, since on the site it was listed as taking up to seven days, but they called me and said that it’ll be seven to ten working days before I’ll be able to pick it up, and I signed up to plant trees once again on March 30 and I’m obviously wary of taking the new camera, so I clearly won’t if I won’t at least have a proper cover for it…

But this should mainly be about runs, and I’ll once again say that I had no green onions for the salad made in the early hours of March 22, but at least I used those parts from two regular onions which had sprouted a little. And I ate in the kitchen, having some of the bread made that day, and finally finishing that kashkaval, microwaving the slices, in two batches, which actually also made that bread almost normal, if you don’t count the crust that was almost as a rock. But I’m not sure what I did just before going to bed, when I cleaned the litter box, started to wash my hands, then noticed something else that I wanted to put in that small bag of trash that I left for dad to take out when he’ll get back from work… And then I just found myself flossing, with no idea whether I had even washed my hands properly, and I definitely hadn’t washed above the wrists or my face, as I do after cleaning the litter box. So I hope that I at least washed my hands while my brain was obviously elsewhere…
Either way, I wanted to get back in time to watch ski jumping that day, and that was supposed to start at 4:30 PM, so I set the alarm to ring at 1 PM and got up at that point, then I had the usual stuff, the almonds obviously still being those with Himalayan salt, since that’s what I have now, and the sweet thing consisting of some nicer biscuits, with added honey. I left at 3:15 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 12-13°C, basically holding steady, since it was 13°C when I finished.
The time was 48:36.45, with sector times of 4:18.63, 5:09 (5:08.91), 6:00 (5:59.69), 4:38.65, 5:09 (5:08.88), 6:01.03, 4:35 (4:34.31), 5:01.07, 5:55.25 and 1:50.03, making for lap times of 15:27.23, 15:48.56 and 15:31 (15:30.63). Considering the effort I felt that I had made, the first sector was some five seconds slower than it should have been, and that was a sign of things to come, sector two being similar and ending up far from even managing to cover the first lap in less than the 15:20 that’d be the target lap time if I’m to stay under 48 minutes, sector three only squeezing under six minutes if you take the exact time into account. That made it clear that I had to push if I wanted to even stay under 49 minutes and sector one of lap two made me doubt that I’ll even manage that, though I had lost some time at the start of it. The following two sectors gave me some hope again, but I did end up going over six minutes on sector three of lap two and lap three needed to have pretty much the same time as lap two, so I pushed more, and really went for it from sector two of lap three, that sector and the next showing that I did have a little more in me. But at the end of the lap I couldn’t hope for anything more than to get under 48:40, so to at least avoid being slower than two weeks earlier, when I had exhausted myself so badly from the start, and I did manage that, but while back then I had been quite content with that time, under those circumstances, only being a few seconds less slow this time around is definitely concerning.
I had to stop right at the start of lap two, when a kid on something with wheels came straight towards me, after having been on the lane, albeit no longer being on it just at that moment because there is no lane in that spot. And on sector two of lap two I hesitated when a cyclist was coming in hot, having ended up on the lane because the rest of the path was blocked by people, and I didn’t know what he’ll do next, but he did get off the lane before we’d have met. And there were a couple of other moments when I hesitated because of dogs, but not something notable. Otherwise, it was somewhat windy, at least on the first two laps, but while I felt it, I wouldn’t say that I had to fight against it. And the Sun also bothered me, making me feel that I had to squint at times, though on lap three it got quite cloudy, so that problem also went away. And the damaged parts of the lane had been repaired, though it remains uneven in many places. As for physical issues, my thighs seemed tired at first, I had to try to push through it, and the feeling did go away by the end of the first lap, but on lap three my calves started complaining a little. But I guess that the main problem was that, yet again, I simply couldn’t go any faster.

After getting back, I noticed that the ski jumping had been brought forward, starting at 4 PM, so I missed the first 25 jumpers, but at least Kasai just made it into the second round, thanks to Fettner getting disqualified, so I could see his second jump, and I could also watch Peter Prevc win on the last weekend before his announced retirement. Then I did the day’s squats, had lunch, in the form of some old slices of pizza, brought by dad almost a week before, changed, albeit leaving the running t-shirt on, and left again at 6:10 PM, with some more recyclables with the deposit paid, which I put in the “shopping backpack”.
After just wasting some time by checking Carrefour and not finding anything to get, I went to Auchan, without entering the two Penny locations that are on the way, the plan being to do so on the way back if I still had time, since I didn’t want to lose too much of the match. I was mainly going to Auchan for liquid soap, and since I was going to be there I also meant to get water for dad, and maybe also a protein bar for myself, but after using the recycling machine and entering, I saw that one of those good breads was left and picked it up, and then I also took a bundle of green onions, seeing that they were discounted if you used the store card. When I picked the bread back up after placing it on a shelf while looking through those bars, I noticed that the bag was badly torn, which might have happened when I held it under my arm, if it hadn’t somehow been like that all along, so the bread might have been in contact with my jacket and that shelf, but I still held on to it, putting it in a paper bag and placing the label on it. Then I took an expiring product that was on the shelf, since it seemed that the entire stock was expiring and the discount was actually a little over 50%, not the low ones that expiring products usually have at Auchan. I also got some tea and snacks that had nice discounts if you used the store card, even though I hadn’t seen them when I had checked on-line, added some cheap tarragon, for dad, and tried to scan some other products that didn’t have price labels, but those price checkers seemed unable to scan some of them at all and I wasn’t going to have much left anyway, so I eventually put all of them back, grabbed the water and the liquid soap, and used the voucher received for the recyclables and the small amount that was on the store card at the self-checkout.
After taking my time to arrange the purchases, I started on my way back, and the weight meant that I might not have returned in time for the start of the match even if I wouldn’t have stopped anywhere else, but I still wanted to at least get a little garlic from Penny, since it seems to be the only place that still claims to sell Romanian garlic, and the price is similar to that of Chinese garlic in Kaufland and significantly lower than elsewhere. So I stopped at the Penny from Titan, put the bags in a cabinet, left the backpack on the cabinets, and just got a little garlic… And stole one head, to finally make up for most of what they cheated me out of on January 16, when I was charged for a cabbage as if it weighed significantly more than it actually did, since the weighing that matters is done at checkout in Penny. I just pocketed that head of garlic when I walked away from that area, after repeatedly checking the weight, calculating the price, and putting the rest in a bag, so what I did might have been visible, and the cashier seemed to mean to say something, but he didn’t actually do so, and maybe it wasn’t about that anyway. Either way, the weight that showed up was once again slightly higher than what the control scales from the store had listed, albeit only by a few grams, but I paid what I had prepared, then asked whether 0.10 RON more was needed and started digging through my pocket after seeing that higher amount, but since the cashier put what I had given him in the till and closed it, I left it at that and he just gave me the receipt. And I actually took that head of garlic out of my pocket and placed it along with the others right after I retrieved my things, before walking out. And then I also checked that Mega Image, just putting the bags in a cabinet, entering with the backpack, and then retrieving the bags and leaving.
I was back a little after 10:05 PM, with over 19 kg, but at half time I cleaned the litter box and went to throw a bag of trash down the chute. Then I ate an orange, a sweet pastry that I already had and one of those bags of snacks, put the purchases in their place, and after the match I went to shower, going to the bathroom a little before 11:50 PM and being out around 12:15 AM. I didn’t deal with my bread, and it’s still in the drawer, but I did manage to stick to the dinner schedule.

As for the washing machine, dad still didn’t call anyone to look at it, just removing the side panels, once again saying that everything seemed fine, and telling me to just use it again when he’ll be around if I was worried about it. And he has hardly been home these days, but I actually did manage to use it today, before he left, and what was strange was that there were no more loud bangs. It’s obviously badly unbalanced, however, and I didn’t dare to put my clothes in it, with the exception of three old boxers, so I’ll still need to use it again soon, since I already ran out of some things, and I obviously don’t trust it in any way, but I doubt he’ll admit that something’s actually wrong unless it’ll either actually stop working or fail in some pretty spectacular way…

I couldn’t manage to write the part about yesterday before midnight, so I edited the post in order to add the part about the actual run after eating at night, and then I edited it again Sunday afternoon, in order to add the part about the rest of the day as well.


No comments

RSS feed Comments | TrackBack URI

Write Comment

Note: Any comments that are not in English will be immediately deleted.

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>