The Bucket List

Now that Anna has emigrated from Oxford back to home for the summer, Melissa and I are truly on our own.  A while back, we created a “summer bucket list” of activities to do in Oxford for when we get bored (which is often).  Some are more realistic than others, some involve running, some involve cooking/shopping, some involve fun and/or ridiculous things.  So far, our accolades include running to Indiana, although not seeing the “Welcome to Indiana” sign, even though we had run over a half a mile into Indiana.  Apparently those signs are only on major roads… Well it was a good run nonetheless, ending up being an 11 miler that we found out was run at an average of 7:15 pace, thanks to my Garmin.  And we passed some new friends, including some cows, some horses that wouldn’t stop staring us down as we ran by, and a little girl who “liked our shorts and our shoes, and would like our shirts…if we were wearing any.”  Other list items we have checked off are eating at Oxford restaurants, such as Quarter Barrel, and Melissa sympathizing with the waiter and leaving him a nice note with his generous tip.

There are 21 items on the bucket list, and 3 and 2/3 are accomplished so far.  Hopefully it will keep us entertained in these next few months, between working, running 50+ miles per week, volunteering (Melissa) and napping (me).

Here’s to staying cool in the midst of this heat flash, and to running inside- I’m a wimp!

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The Running Begins

You know that feeling, at the beginning of coming back from a couple weeks off, when you feel like you’re dying for every single run?  Well, that feeling is finally gone.  The first week was kind of rough, and 3 miles felt like death, but after that stressful week ended, I finally felt like a runner again!  It’s funny how stressful things going on can affect your running so much.  WIth like 4 projects due on the same day in my summer class, and then a big project due the next day, I was feeling subconsciously stressed out.  The day that the big project was over (don’t ask how it went), Melissa, Anna, and I went on a celebratory house run, and it was like a turning point.  I finally started to feel good as we ran through random cornfields, excitedly talking about running, summer, and that night’s plans.  It was only Thursday, but for us, it was the start of a great weekend.

Somehow, we didn’t take any pictures of our weekend, but as is my regular fashion, here are a couple quotes from various people that describe the night.  Sooo much housemate bonding.

“Quick, make it look like we’re having a party!”

“I wonder who drew the cats everywhere…”

“OMG you go to Harvard…wanna date?”

“Come out with us! It doesn’t matter that you’re in sweats; come out with us!”

“Anna, go slap some makeup on and go meet those boys!”

“You do know we inherited that, right?”

“We have mono!”

“Wait, why are you in Oxford? I’m confused.”

“Can we get pizza?  We need to order pizza.  Promise we’re going to order pizza.”

“Can I have your credit card?”

“Is your house as jank as ours?”

“Why are you singing show tunes?”

“Where’s my phone?”

“Why did I download a compass and a ‘brightest flashlight’ app last night?”

And so many more.

Saturday, I began running for real, with the onset of my adventure running in Oxford.  I said so long to the days of 3 mile, 20 minute runs, and started using my running time to explore.  I will say that the trails are looking great this time of year, now that they trimmed the grass by the horse stables, and that the new cross country course is going to be pretty sweet.  Apparently Peffer Park has a high ropes course hidden up behind that hill that we run all the time during cross country, and running the course we ran for the time trial still brings back memories of coach yelling out her car window as we struggled up the Campus Ave hill.  All of these cross country memories are just making me really excited for the upcoming season, and making me realize that I am missing my teammates like crazy!

Pictures are coming soon, I promise.  🙂  But for now, I’m just working on my sports bra and shorts tans.  Cute, right?

An Ode to Mornings

Now, I am one of those rare breeds who, get this, actually enjoys the mornings.  I’m not the type of person who dreads the sound of an alarm at 7 AM and subsequently drags herself out of bed, rushes out the door, and unwittingly starts the day.  I am, on the other hand, enamored with the daybreak; smitten with the sunrise; captivated by the break of dawn.

Trying to explain the magic of the morning to a non-morning person can be nearly impossible.  It simply does not make sense to them why anyone would want to wake up before 11 on a weekend.  These are the people for which the 11 AM college brunches were made; the same brunch times that drove me crazy freshman year.  Here I was, 7 or 8 AM on a Sunday, ready to get my day going, and the dining hall is not open for hours.  Why would people want to start their days at 11 AM?  Half the day is already gone!  Or should I say, the best part of the day is already gone.

Here’s my theory about morning people: we like the feeling of opportunity; that the day is not yet started and the best is yet to come.  The world is sleepy, allowing time to wake up slowly and thoughtfully meditate on breakfast before entering the busy world.  Waking up and running in the morning has a calming, almost spiritual feel to it, the bustling world transforming into a peaceful escape for a few hours.  There’s nothing better than waking up, clearing my head with a nice long run on the quiet trails, kept company by the occasional deer here or there, and coming back to my whole day ahead of me.  Or better yet, going out for a pre-dawn jaunt, catching the sunrise while doing a couple laps on the track.  The best part about running in the morning?  If it’s my only run of the day: wearing real clothes.

Arguably the best part of the morning, in my opinion, is the food.  Now this may be because breakfast is the one meal I can say, with confidence, that I have mastered, but waking up to cook breakfast is as good a reason as any to get my butt out of bed.  Anyone that knows me knows about my religious oatmeal habit obsession.  Flexing my creative muscles each day to make a new oatmeal creation gets my brain going, and makes my breakfasts normally delicious (with a few exceptions- coffee oatmeal, not my greatest idea).  And after my morning coffee, I’m pretty sure my productivity hits its high point for the day.

Now that I have started semi-training for cross country, my normally slow-paced, relaxing mornings will be little by little transformed into productive pieces of my day, with a lot to get in before I work at 11, but for now, I am relishing my time to think, eat, and drink coffee in the sunny window in the kitchen.

Peace, love, and oatmeal.

Day 1 #realworldproblems

Waking up on the first day of our lives as real adults, we were off to a rough start.  Okay, rough is subjective.  Let’s recap.

I get back to the dorms, and Melissa starts ranting about how dehydrated she is.  She showed me this disgusting Martin coffee cup full of water next to her bed and just goes “I was going to drink out of that.  That’s how dehydrated I am right now.”  So after we had showered and become closer to looking like human beings, we get the bright idea to walk to breakfast.  Now, a little background, we had to be out of our dorms by noon.  Time check: 11:00.  By the time we walk to Morning Sun Café, this delightful little place about a mile away from the dorm, it’s around 11:20.  We order our food, down some water, down some coffee (around 3 cups each, nbd, we don’t have a problem or anything).  It’s 11:30.  We still don’t have our food.  Yikes.  We finally get our food, scarf it down (a literal feat for Melissa), and it’s almost 11:45.  Being that we were in a tired, confused state still (“Doesn’t my nail polish look like Ohio?” “No, it’s more like Wisconsin”), we have another bright idea to use our running skills to run back to the dorms.  It’s raining.  We’re also wearing flip flops.

So picture this: two girls, running down High Street, barefoot, flip flops in hand, in the rain, continuously blurting out things along the lines of “What are we doing?   We are idiots!”  As the Bell Tower chimes, Melissa spits out a gem. “I feel like Cinderella trying to get back before 12!”  Theme of the day.

We did finally make it back to good old Symmes Hall before the noon deadline, just in time to open our door before our keys stopped working.  At this point, alarms are going off all over the place, people are running around, our stuff is still not packed, and we just start throwing stuff in boxes.  Long story short, we are not out of our dorm until 1 PM.  So much for that deadline.

Now the rest of the day is spent attempting to unpack and make some sense out of our house.  After moving stuff in all day, I am exhausted.  At one point, I literally just laid on whatever I could find and just flopped down, exhausted.  All day I was just like “Why am I so tired?” and Melissa had to keep reminding me “It’s probably because you have mono…”  Whoops.  #monoproblems

On this first day, I also discovered Melissa’s impeccable sense of direction.  As we are leaving to get random stuff at WalMart (the first trip of many), she turns down Bonham road “This goes to WalMart, right?  I want to take some sweet country roads!”  I tried to tell her that it actually was the opposite direction of the way we wanted to go, but I just went with it, trusting she kind of knew what she was doing.  We ended up taking a 7 mile detour on Death Loop (a running loop  that tends to be pretty hilly) and trying to cut through some neighborhoods, running a stop sign on the way (“Townies are gonna hate me.”)  Eventually, we got to WalMart, but by then, I knew that if she turned the wrong way, it wasn’t because she knew a nifty little shortcut I wasn’t aware of, but it was because she literally didn’t know where she was going.  “Never….Eat….Soggy…Waffles…we’re going the right way!”  “…No Melissa, that’s actually West.”  And picture all of this with John Mayer playing in the background.  Yup, story of the day.

By the time we get back from WalMart, we are hungry, tired, and ready for bed (maybe that was just me).  So we hit up Fiesta Charra, usually a hoppin’ place in Oxford….at 4:30.  We are literally the only ones in the restaurant.  At least we got our food in like 10 minutes!  So over the course of the day, all we really ate was breakfast and dinner- both feasts.  Taking this rest week seriously.

We head back to our house, which still doesn’t have power (minor detail), flop down on the couches, and crack open some drinks we stole from the house next door.  Being as tired as we were, we turned in around 10:30.  But really, after about 3 hours of sleep the night before, we needed it.

That’s all for now…I’m sure we’ll eventually get the hang of this whole responsible adult thing.