It seems I’m always making excuses for not blogging more frequently. I know that there are those bloggers out there who would fight through natural disaster, power loss, or even temporary dactylic paralysis (with effort, it is possible to type with the nose) to keep churning out regular posts. I, on the other hand, am without doubt at this point in my life a medium-core blogger. Not that I couldn’t be hard core – it’s just that, for the moment, I’ve got my hard core placed elsewhere (and no MB, I didn’t intend for that sentence to be taken in the rude sense that just flashed through your mind!).
That said, I think that this time I’ve got a particularly good excuse. Since my last race and blog, KT, NP and I packed our bags once again and made our move back to Canada from Germany. Making an international move, especially with an 18-month old, is a lot of work, between packing, jet-lag, unpacking, getting settled back in at work, and getting a home set up again. On our first night back, NP went to sleep finally at 9 p.m. (3 a.m. German time) and woke up cranky but bushy-tailed at 1 a.m., bang on her usual 7 a.m. wake-up time in Germany! As my eyelids were unwillingly pried open by NP’s plaintive wailing (it was as if there really were a creaky lever connecting my ear drums and eye lids), I experienced that all too familiar feeling brought on by excessive travel and limited sleep of having no idea where in the world I was. Only pity righted my senses, as I considered how very lost poor NP must have been feeling.
With that, and at that hour, we arose for our first full (oh so very full) day in Canada and have been going at full-speed ever since. In my life thus far, I’ve been resident in 6 countries (7 if you separate Scotland and England) and had extended stays in many more, so I’m familiar with the ambiguous feelings of the leaving process: in a move there’s always something to be lost and at the same time always something to be gained. The hardest part, of course, is leaving behind good friends, even when this time we were also looking forward to seeing old friends once more. I’ve really been missing all the friends I trained with and got to know through triathlon, as well as other friends and colleagues, but then there are also lots of opportunities to keep in touch these days and I hope they will.
NP also had to say goodbye to good friends. Now, perhaps it’s easier to say goodbye to friends when you’re at an age of parallel play rather than interactive play, but she still did seem a bit wistful when she got together with her best friend AN for a parallel reading party (a toddlers book club) just a few days before we left. As you can see from this photo, AN was carefully engrossing himself in his book in order to mask his underlying emotion at losing his first girlfriend to a distant land, while NP, having exhausted her interest in duck and spider narratives (incidentally, she takes a firmly post-structuralist reading of The Very Busy Spider in her toddler thesis entitled ‘Duk, Spida’), was wondering when he was going to start paying attention to her:
In the end, however, they said a fond (parallel) goodbye and agreed to keep in touch on IBabble.
The first weeks after my move took a toll on my training. With everything we had to do to get settled, I simply couldn’t keep up the intensity of training I had been doing since March. For one thing, I didn’t have a bike when we first got back – I left my road bike in Germany and had to purchase a new (to me) one upon getting back, which I did a week ago (more on that soon). But I also just didn’t have the time. I decided, therefore, that the first three weeks after getting back would have to be about basic maintenance rather than serious training – I got in a number of runs when I could and a bit of swimming.
This past week then has been my first full week back to steady training. I’m still working with my coach Katja Schumacher, who has been sending my programme from Germany, and who is getting me back in shape. As a first week back after three off, I’ve been quite pleased with how I feel – in some ways, the break seems to have done me good, as I’ve had a lot of energy when training and I haven’t felt unduly tired or sore (in fact, I’ve been feeling really great on my runs). But it’s also been strange getting used to training in a new place – new run routes, new bike routes, a new bike, and even new pools take a while to feel comfortable, and I’ve frequently found myself missing the ideal training terrain and scenery I had in Heidelberg.
Moving always exposes my roots and shows just how much I am a creature of habit.