Oxford Half Marathon 2013

Me coming into the finish line
 The Oxford half marathon was held on the 13th of October, it was a good course, starting at the mini plant in Cowley, and going all around Oxford including along the river, through the city centre, through Iffley and seeing all the sites of Oxford. The route was almost completely flat, with no noticeable hills at all.

Although 22km isn't a particularly far distance to run, I reckon it's the furthest I've gone without walking, and I really enjoyed it!! There was a great atmosphere around, everyone was cheering on everyone, and a real sense of accomplishment at the end. It was a shame about the weather (torrential freezing rain all day) - but at least we didn't get too hot while running :)

One slight mistake I did make though was not warming up, cooling down or stretching. I really felt that when I was running for the bus the next morning, was so stiff!

I completed is in 2hrs 10 minits - so lots of room for improvement for next time :)

Finished working on an Oxford University research project involving antimalarial resistance

I have finished a 3 month temporary contract working for the University of Oxford on a project called WWARN, which is the World Wide Antimalarial Research Network, they are a Bill and Malinder Gates funded project, which provides high-quality data resources along with customised research tools as well as a global platform for exchanging scientific and public health information on malaria drug resistance.

I was programming in Java, and my job involved a LOT of data! I was mainly focused on writing a module of a program to calculate the mili-gram of effective active ingredient per kilogram or patient body weight - sounds easy? Think again. There were literally millions of records spread across about 10 different databases, all with different available data, in completely different formats, and some of it (most of it) was incredibly messy - I'm talking 16 layers of nesting in an XML database, and dates written sometimes in words!

Anyway, I learnt a lot, defiantly more that I've learnt at university so far, and I hope I contributed something positive to such a good cause.

My Summer read

Just bought the book, How Google Tests Software (by James Whittaker, Jason Arbon and Jeff Carollo) really excited to read it, as I'm lacking software testing skills and I am a big admirer of Google and the software they produce. It would be my dream to work for them some day.

I'll post back with a review of the book after I've read it


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Triathlon Done!

Today I did my first triathlon :) I did it with 4 friends, and it was a good day out. Got to say I genuinely enjoyed pretty much every moment of it, (despite being near the back most the way round!).
That's me on the far left, with the rest of the team   

The swim was 1.5 km, in a lake, (and the first time I've done an open water swim), followed by a 40 km cycle ride, which was fast and fun, then finally running 3 laps of the lake, which was about 10 km. I did it in about 3 and a half hours, which isn't amazing, but I was happy with it because it was so much faster than I would have done it a year ago.

If your considering doing one, I'd say definitely go for it! 

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So I decided to start a blog....

I'm not sure what it'll be about yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something sooner or later....

In the meantime, my Twitter is @Lissy_Sykes, follow me ;) 

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