The Abbey Dash

After the race...

After the race…

As I’m composing this blog entry, it’s a very early Monday morning on November 18. But yesterday was fun. First, I competed in the Leeds Abbey Dash. It was my first non-Park Run competition (I actually didn’t do the Park Run the day before as I wanted to conserve energy), and I was really looking forward to it. I think a lot of other people were too – around 12,000 runners took part and the race sold out.

Rebecca, Ghazala and Allison before going down to the start

Rebecca, Ghazala and Allison before going down to the start

I met up with several members of the Hyde Park Harriers on the campus of Leeds Uni before the race, and I looked a little different. Mainly because I was one of the few runners who trains with the club who wasn’t wearing the customary red singlet. Anyway, Allison did notice I was rocking the 2010 Tokyo Marathon tee-shirt.

I obviously expected to see a lot of Hyde Park Harriers taking place, but I got one big surprise: One of my module leaders (i.e. professors), Simon, immediately recognized me as I was making my way to the start. I had no idea he was taking part as I haven’t spoken to him in a while. Actually, I see him on Wednesday as he’s teaching my first lesson that day. He told me he hadn’t trained for the Abbey Dash. Then again, that was the case for him last year and that didn’t stop him from taking part.

Me before the Abbey Dash

Me before the Abbey Dash

The Abbey Dash benefited a charity named AgeUK

The Abbey Dash benefited a charity named AgeUK

Other runners before the start

Other runners before the start

As for the actual race, my official gun time was 34:15 and my official chip time (There was a magnetic chip attached to the inside of my bib number) was 34:01. In short, I’m happy with my time as I would have been happy with anything under 35 minutes. I actually ran faster per km in the Abbey Dash than I usually do in the Park Run. I just wish I hadn’t kind of slowed down while approaching the finish line. It would look so much better if my official chip time was under 34 minutes. Anyway, I had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to my next non-Park Run race. Whenever that will be.

Me after the Abbey Dash

Me after the Abbey Dash

After the Park Run, I spent a lot of doing working on an assignment but last night (Sunday, November 18), I went to the movies. The Leeds Film Festival is taking place now, and so many interesting films have been screened. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to see any of them but I figured I could make some time to head to the Leeds Town Hall (one of the venues) to watch a film named Akira. It’s supposedly a landmark film in Japanese cinema and the program made it seem interesting. I’m trying to get into Japanese cinema more, and I do like anime.

I sent a text to Satoshi, asking if he was interested in coming along and he was (He had never seen Akira). And well… the movie was difficult to understand. What I knew about the read beforehand was the one paragraph I read in the official program but that in no way really hinted what would happen. I can’t say I disliked the movie as I would like to see it again. But if I see it again, I would really like to read up on the plot.

(Not to spoil the plot but in Akira, the year is 2019 and the city is scheduled to host the next Olympics. And – in the film – the Olympic Stadium is damaged. Interestingly enough, in real life, Tokyo will host the Olympics in 2020.)

Phil, Ben and Jess at the pub

Phil, Ben and Jess at the pub

Because I’ve drowned myself in studies more recently, I haven’t had much of a social life. But last Friday, I did go to the nearby pub with flatmates Phil, Jess, Harry and Ben to watch the England football match – which I thought would be quite fun. Until I realized I didn’t have much of an interest in the match because (a) it was a friendly and (b) England was only playing Chile. England ended up losing 2-0.

(Interestingly enough, the same night, the U.S. played Scotland in a friendly. But no bar in England was going to show the U.S.-Scotland friendly and from what I’ve read about that match, I didn’t miss a whole lot).

England actually plays Germany in a friendly on Tuesday night, which should be worth watching. But I’m a lot more interested in (a) the second leg of the Ronaldo-Zlatan duel and (b) whether the Les Bleus will fall flat on their faces – or rise to the occasion.

As for my classwork, I won’t bore you with the particulars but I learned the results of my second assignment recently. It wasn’t good as I had hoped but it wasn’t terrible. The good thing is I know how I can improve my writing. Writing for a master’s program is a bit different from writing for… anything else. I’m a bit peeved that it does take a while for me to receive feedback about my assignments. I’m also peeved at myself when I make stupid grammatical mistakes. I know I’ve made some in a couple of assignments. Everyone makes grammatical errors but I hate it when I spot them too late. Especially since I’ve done some editorial work. In part, I enjoyed the work I did for my first assignment in Communities, Culture and Heritage – obviously not the couple of stupid grammatical errors.

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