27 January 2011

London Loves

To whoever signed me up for eHarmony, London Loves, and Active Singles: I don't quite know whether to be flattered that you believe my emotional fortitude so strong that I am ready to enter into another relationship or insulted that you doubt my ability to actually meet someone in real life. Perhaps a bit of both? Either way, thanks but no thanks. I'm not interested, not ready, and most definitely do not want. Check back in 2012 because at the moment I'm still a-hurtin'. (Also: you are sooo dead when I find out who did this. Revenge will be sweet.)

In other news: the London weather seems to have heard that MD was getting snow and felt obliged to mimic the conditions. Of course, all of this was on a much lesser scale (as in zero accumulation) than in the States, but it was still pleasant while it lasted. Much less pleasant was the fact that the temperature dropped about fifteen degrees overnight (which meant that my head felt like it was about to explode for half the day) and the wind gusts over the bridges became absolutely ridiculous.

Yesterday was the fifth London Colleges League race at Prospect Park in Reading. Since the course was only 2 miles (essentially a sprint), I ran 6.5 miles in the morning to keep on my marathon training plan. By the time I got back from the run, it was time to meet my team mates at Paddington Station where we took the mainland train to Reading. After a walk of a mile to Prospect Park, we were still really early for the race. We had a look at the course, essentially a giant football pitch, which was dominated by a rather steep hill. Perched at the top was a rather posh-looking pub that we were supposed to run to the left of before heading up another hill, dropping down a very steep incline, and then running around the long length of the park to the finish line. Since the race was quite far out (by London standards -- in reality it took about 40 minutes to get there), not many teams showed up. There were only about 35 women participating, although it was hard to tell since both women and men race together, and the mass of bodies at the start line makes acquiring an accurate estimate quite difficult.

For me the race went ok. I finished 15th (out of that unknown number of women) and was 2nd on my team. I went out quite slow at the start as I got blocked in by some slower runners and entered into a brief right with some low-hanging tree limbs that delayed me for a few seconds. The giant hill was the worst part since by the time I arrived at it, rain had started to fall and enough runners had gone before me that the ground had been churned to mud. Even with spikes on, I struggled to find my footing and almost went down on several occasions. Luckily I was able to recover some ground on the downhill, especially on the steep drop, since I am not one for 'playing it safe' in terms of slowing down to prevent injury. I attribute my ability to stay upright on these harrowing plunges and bouts of speed to my larger than average feet (size 11's...GAH) which, if they are not good for this, are good for nothing at all. After the race, I cheered in my team mates and then made the long trip back to London (made a bit more exciting by the fact that we arrived at Reading Central station only to find that we had 3 minutes to catch a London train located on the other side of the station).

This weekend will include a 12 mile run and then next weekend is BUCS!

For your viewing & auditory pleasure:
I made this video in February 2009 when I was studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh. My friend Elysa was celebrating her 22nd birthday and I wanted to make her a present that would commemorate our shared time at Oxford. What a blast from the past!

Adele's cover of 'Promise This' by Cheryl Cole. She is such a wonderful singer.

How are these two videos linked? Adele (the singer in the second video) also sings the first song featured in my Oxford video.

Upcoming: (More for my benefit than anyone else's)
Thur, Feb 3: Middle East paper #1 due (3000 words)
Friday, Feb 4-Sun, Feb 6: British Universities Cross Country Championships in Birmingham
Fri, Feb. 11: OSINT seminar presentation of collection strategy, analysis, and budgetary requirements in Democratic Republic of Congo crisis
Wed., Feb. 23: Last LCL XC race in Uxbridge
Fri, Feb. 25: OSINT paper #2 due (3250 words)
Sat, Feb. 26: Hyde Park Relays!
Thur, Mar. 3: Middle East seminar presentation on economic liberalization
Wed, Mar. 9: Teddy Hall relays in Oxford
Sun, Mar 13- Sat. Mar 19: Possible visit by my Dad
Mar. 23: Exam schedule released (I find out when I can come home!)
Thurs, Mar. 25: Middle East paper #2 due (3000 words)
Fri, Apr. 1: Concepts and Methods paper due (3000 words)
Apr. 25: OSINT paper #3 (3250 words) due
Apri. 26: Middle East paper #3 (3000 words) due

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