Thursday, July 06, 2006

Buggy But Good

Yesterday after the meetings Jason and I decided to do our run instead of going to the conference dinner which was from 7pm-8pm. There has been so much food here and the temps have been so high that we weren't too hungry. Plus I was really anxious to get out there and have a good run since our first attempt a couple days ago wasn't too spectacular.

We have been using Garmin here which is really nice. It took a long time to get the signal the first time and asked me some questions about if I was indoors and then if I had moved hundreds of miles....which of course I had. After getting the signal taken care of a couple days ago I had no troubles yesterday. And we were off.

There is a bike path that heads into town so we followed that again which was really nice and I already knew that I was feeling tons better. Last time we noticed a foot path that was along the canal about 2 miles into the run and so we took that this time. It was so beautiful and just about the exact opposite from our usual running in Chicago.

It was very cross countryish with hilly terain and a mixture of grass/rocks/dirt to run on. We went down this slight hill and were like in this valley with hills of pastures around us. There were horses and sheep and little houses on the hill. There were also some skinny covered boats that were hanging out on the canal which, I suppose are used for getting to and from town although I'm not sure.

After about .5 miles the path split with one side going back up to a road I am guessing and the other side staying along the canal. This part of the run was truely amazing with the trees covering the path and the canal. There was a house along the water with a little entrance way hut type thing.....well ok, I don't know what you would call it but it looked like a mini mini castle with the entrance on the canal. I am assuming that this is where the people who own the property keep boat or tools or something....I should have brought my time. I promise.

Although this run was beautiful it was REALLY buggy. I mean sure we all get the occasional bug in the mouth or eye, but this was ridiculous. Jason said that he was going to look like the grill of a car by the time we were done.

We turned around about .2 miles later when we were 3 miles from our starting point and headed back. I think that the university is somewhat on a hill because we were running mostly uphill on the way back. BUT no walking this time. We pushed through the hills and made it back to the university averaging 8:55 miles for 6 miles which we were really happy about.

I looked at Jason when we got back and he did in fact look like the car grill. He had black spots all over his neck and face. We got back at about 7:35 and decided to see if we could still get the free dinner that is offered with our registration and in fact we could although we were totally sweaty and gross, but whatever. The dinner was good consisting of turkey, potatoes, carrots and corn. We never eat real meals like this so it's been nice to have real food for most meals of the day.

After dinner we headed to the graduate student bar to see if we could watch the soccer game....I thought maybe someone would score this time :-) The bar was packed so we just got some beers and sat outside and talked to some of the other physicists that are at the conference. Lots of discussion of politics and the future....all good stuff...mostly.

Today we have the conference excursion to see a castle...and get this, The Strickland family which built the castle about 750 years ago, STILL LIVES THERE!!! I just think that's so funny because nothing in the states is nearly that old. After that we are going to a hotel for a nice dinner and then TOMORROW are our talks. I am getting really nervous and now feeling like I don't understand some of the stuff I am presenting. I am going to try and find the B-physics guy here and see if he knows what I am concerned about.

We also have a plan now for getting to London and back to Manchester for our flight on the 12th. The trains here are really expensive as are hotels in London. SO. I found out about the bus system and we got tickets on the bus on Saturday night at 11:59pm, which gets into London at 6:15am Sunday morning. Then a bus back from London at 11:30pm on Tuesday getting us into Manchester at 5:40am on Wednesday, in time for our 10am flight. For Jason and I, round trip this was only 66 pounds. So as long as we can get some shut eye on the bus we should be good to go...probably pretty tired, but so worth it from a money prespective since now we don't have to worry about hotels for two nights (saturday and tuesday) and already that price is cheaper that two train tickets one way. So hopefully we have some funny stories....but no scary ones....I am guessing there will be some characters on the bus in the wee hours of the morning.

Alright, back to the conference and working more on our talks. Hopefully I don't shake too much during my presentation because I'll have to use a laser pointer, which usually shows every nervous jiggle one has.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a beautiful run. And, I love castles. have fun.

Haight said...

I think it's kinda funny that you have to go to a 'physics' conference in England [not known for their cuisine, sorry brits :) ] for a good meal.

Any Cub fans out there?

Tara said...

You two are so dedicated...sounds like you had an amazing run (well minus the bugs part)! Good look on your presentation!! You will rock it...just like you rock running! :)

Joe said...

When I saw the headline "Buggy But Good", I assumed you were talking about software problems with your Garmin, not real bugs. LOL!

Thomas said...

I went on the Manchester to London coach once, two or three years ago. I managed about 5 hours of sleep, which was better than expected. It arrived in London 30 minutes early! It's ok, but it very much depends on your fellow passengers.

Lana said...

That sounds like an awesome run! I love it when I am out of town and get to actually experience the place while running.

Good luck with your talks - you guys are gonna do great!

Scott said...

Hey kids!
Sounds like the trip is progressing nicely. Do great on your talk tomorrow! Remember to start them off with a joke about the Queen. They LOVE that!


Kendra said...

Good luck with your talks! It sounds like you're having a great time so far.

Ryan said...

Your 6-miler sounded great. Did you pack a can off "OFF!" Still curious and looking for further explanation of the 'mini, mini hut by the river..."?

Europe in general is crazy expensive. Makes us realize how good we have it here.

Good luck on your presentation!