This weekend we moved to a new apartment in the Heidelberg Altstadt, which affords us views of both the Neckar river and the Heidelberg castle (a rough life). Moving on this occasion wasn’t nearly as bad as our previous moves this year, as we weren’t moving all of our furniture and belongings to a new house, or moving to a new country across an ocean. But moving, even a small distance, always has its stresses and challenges. Perhaps I’m just getting old and set in my ways, but it takes time to adjust to new routines and routes, even new vistas (however pleasant those are). Yet, if we’re increasingly creatures of habit as we get older, KT and I have observed over the past days that we’re certainly also creatures of habit when we’re very young. NP has been wide-eyed since we arrived in our new surroundings, constantly à la découverte de l’appartement. And only tonight did she go to bed more easily in her new room. All in all, we’re starting to feel settled in our new place, and enjoying it immensely. It’s nice to be close to the centre of the town with quick access to most everything.
This is my low-volume week in my training schedule, designed to keep up my fitness but give my body a bit of a rest. I must admit that after three solid weeks of longer workouts, I’m really enjoying the rest this time, both mentally and physically. I feel like I’ve made a lot of good progress in the past three weeks and hope that I’ll feel fresh at the end of this week to push ahead with my training.
One thing about this move is that KT and I have been sleeping horribly since arriving at our new place. It is a beautiful flat and for the most part well outfitted, but the bed is less a bed than a low-lying tree fort built by a crowd of unskilled ten-year-old boys and covered with burlap sacks filled with stones (I honestly believe that it would be more comfortable to sleep on the floor, which is what we are doing for the moment). As sleep is important, KT and I have reduced our financial security by ordering a basic mattress for the next five months, which is due to arrive March 1 – this is, I admit, one of the few times in my life when I have been obsessively checking the on-line tracking of a shipment (so far so good). Otherwise the week has been relaxing.
On the shorter training sessions this week, I’m including at least one section which is high tempo or high resistance. Yesterday in the pool I pushed the tempo on a 1000m section (at least I was working hard – without a watch, I still have no idea of exact times. Obtaining a basic waterproof watch for the pool is one of my goals this week). This evening, I started my run with a steep climb up from the river to the castle. This would better have been attempted in the daylight, as I took an unlit footpath up in the dark, which I did not know well. Half way up, I encountered a woman walking a small white dog with a fluorescent-light collar: at first, I could only see the brightly lit white dog, apparently floating in the darkness, and I reflected that I might have chosen too steep a climb and succumbed rapidly to hallucinations, but I soon spotted the woman and managed not to step on the dog on my way by.
I was working pretty hard by the time I got to the top, and was by no means moving quickly, but was rewarded with a magnificent view of Heidelberg on a clear night. I then managed to settle into a reasonable but relaxed pace for the rest of the run, which included a short downhill section, then a route across the bridge and along the side of the river. It was a warm night, veering towards spring, with the smell of gardens in the air, and I must admit that the run tonight left me feeling very optimistic about most things.