I actually did it! Last Friday (because yes, that actually is how far behind I am in updating) I chugged around just over 5 miles slowly but very happily. I'd had a crazy night before, where my drunken friends had decided to come and wake up a very much not drunk and happily asleep me at 2:45 and proceeded to be convinced that this was an ideal time to hang out... for 2 and a half hours. So, my 8:30 run the next morning felt pretty darn early! The lack of sleep definitely made me feel a little flatter I think than usual, but I was still quite pleased with how painless it was. A good omen for the coming weeks! I've since done an easy 3-miler to round out the week and today will start Week 2 with a nice 4-miler. Exciting!
I've just discovered the glory that is the "My Maps" feature of Google Maps, and so have spent an inordinate amount of time and gotten an inordinate amount of pleasure from mapping out my current running routes at Oxford. Here they are:
The blue marker is the Stanford House, where the runs begin and end. The biggish loops to the north of the map are the University Parks, which I'm currently obsessed with as there are duck ponds to skirt and all the paths are lined with beds and beds of spring crocuses. The loop to the south is Christ Church Meadow, where I did a lot of my very first runs at Oxford because it is literally right out the back door from the house. I've gotten a little sick of it at the moment, but hopefully will be refreshed by the time I get back from break. The big straight line out to the east is Headington Hill, a very gradual 3/4 mile uphill slog that I haven't actually used yet but am definitely planning on incorporating later when I want to get some hillwork in, as both University Park and Christ Church Meadow are remarkably flat. There are also some more parks in the Headington Hill area which I'm looking forward to explore starting in April.
For fun, here's a map for Aiken, where I'll be running starting this Friday!! These are the dirt roads that we hack the horses out on, so except for the occasional presence of too-friendly neighborhood dogs, I think they should be perfect for jogging:
The scale is way different in this map; where the long arm up Headington hill on the Oxford map is 1.2 miles, here the route down John Scott Road (the western most route) is over 3 miles one way! There aren't any good loops, unfortunately, but since my marathon is an out and back route, I should probably get used to it.
In just 24 hours, I'll be heading to the airport to come home!! I still have a 15 page paper to write before then (whoops) and my entire life to pack up (double whoops), but it's hard to get stressed when the weather is this good and the prospects of being with Ringo and Kiki are so close =)