Thursday, October 04, 2012

The aftermath of 8 laps around Christ Church Meadow

"Oh my god! You're covered in mud! What happened?"

(it was true)

"Well, I ran through a puddle, and then I ran through it again, and then I ran through it again and again and again."

"Sounds like a psychological issue to me."

The plan was repeats of some distance like 2k or 1.5 miles, so I chose to run around the perimeter of Christ Church Meadow (1.33 miles, as it turned out). I like running around Christ Church Meadow because it's a dirt path, it's a beautiful place to run, and there aren't too many people (especially when it's raining). I put off my interval workout until the afternoon, conveniently after a few short rain showers had turned the dirt path into a long ribbon of yellow puddles.

Puddles don't really bother me. I noticed that my feet occasionally got wet, but it did not occur to me to check my legs and back for mud. As it turned out, I was covered in yellow mud, which turned into caked-on dried yellow mud. It must have some special properties, because it stuck on pretty well. When I took a shower after the run, the washed-off mud in the bottom of the shower was approximately 3 inches deep. (I actually got stuck in it and I am writing this post from the shower.)

Let me tell you a funny story about Christ Church Meadow. I ran in it one of the first days I was in Oxford, and found it to be a lovely shady park. I ran along the river, beneath a canopy of trees the whole way. I thought it was a great park full of trees.

Then I looked at the satellite image later, and discovered that the park actually has barely any trees:

The blue marker is the garden where Lewis Carroll told fanciful stories to young Alice.

As it turns out, Christ Church Meadow is a meadow. They graze longhorn cattle in the middle of it. English longhorn cattle, not Texas longhorn cattle, if you were wondering.

There is another lovely park in Oxford, whose perimeter is coincidentally exactly the same 1.33 miles. The experience of running there is also of a tree-filled park. In fact, it also has barely any trees. It boasts a cricket pitch and multiple rugby fields. However, all the paths are lined with trees. Very misleading.

The park is called "University Parks." When people refer to it, they use the plural. "Let's meet at Parks." "I did some lovely loops around Parks." "Parks is good if you want to run on the dirt."

No dodo birds were created or destroyed in this Parks

See you all later. I'm going to go run around a Parks.

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