No, I didn’t actually disappear, or give up on writing here. Instead, I took a vacation (and the necessary crazy time at work beforehand), and came back home to Ireland to see my family and sort out paperwork-y stuff. Mostly fun times.
Firstly, apologies for the lack of pictures here. I am having some connection issues which means that photos aren’t necessarily making it to my laptop. Instead, you’ll have to wait until I get back to get blasted with pictures of green, greenery. Which is essentially, all Ireland is.
A wee bit of background on me: I am actually from Belfast, which is in Northern Ireland. It means we have pounds, not Euros, and are sort of British, sort of Irish. Right down to the fact we can have two passports, should we feel schizophrenic enough. I lived in Belfast until I was 19 and went to university. I usually try to get back once a year, although this year I realized that I hadn’t been back since 2010 No wonder I was so excited to get back home.
As you can imagine, the three days at work before heading home were insanely stressful. Two more people joined the project, so I had to bring them up to speed, complete all the normal work, and handover everything to them. Exhausting. On Tuesday night, I got home from work at 8pm, packed, and then went back online until about midnight wrapping things up so I could fly out Wednesday night. When the car picked me up from work to take me to the airport, I nearly passed out with sleepiness.
I was flying United. Not much to say apart from they sucked. We sat on the runway for 2hrs with no a/c or water. I tweeted. No response. Not that I expect tweeting to answer everything, but what is the point of being on twitter if you aren’t getting back to people who are upset?
Still, I couldn’t stay mad once I got home. Even though I was tired, it was so nice to be at home, and I spent time walking the dog (Jack, the most terrified springer spaniel in the world), hanging out with my mum, and getting excited about seeing my sister and my brother, his wife, and niece Daisy the next day. Daisy is 3, and her favorite color is pink. That’s really all you need to know about Daisy.
On Friday I went to the U.S. Consulate to sort out visa stuff. American consulates are the scariest places on earth. Those people should go to Vegas, their poker faces are so good. You can’t even have some nice chit-chat about the weather without getting a glare and feeling that your chances of being able to enter the U.S. again are being diminished. They still have my passport. I might not be coming back.
On Friday night the rest of the family arrived and we all doted on Daisy. She is an adorable blonde wee girl with a Glaswegian accent, and plenty of opinions, although I’ve yet to see her cry. She is fun and interesting and loves to play with everyone around her. The last time I saw her she was 18mths, so it’s so nice to hang out with her now.
Over the weekend I also managed to actually run. Now, you’d think that with the Nashville Half Marathon fast approaching, I’d be being sensible about my running training, but I hadn’t actually run in a whole week. I do not remember the last time that happened – possibly after the marathon? Maybe during the hell project around January? The five miles that I started out with were not fun in any way. Firstly, I was too warm in the sun, and too cool in the shade. Secondly, the stress from jet-lag and consular visits was manifesting in my shallow breathing, and I never felt relaxed. My pace was all over the place. I felt miserable the whole time and was literally counting the miles down until I stopped. Not really a run to be proud of. Apart from that I actually went and did it.
I have since run again, and this time it was much better. I did a pleasant 6 milers on a cool damp afternoon. Again, my pace was a little piece-y, but this time it was due to getting lost and having to go and down some rather steep hills. You would think that all those miles spent dog walking as a teenager I would know the routes around the River Lagan like the back of my hand, but even now I still get lost of the trails. Still, it was very pleasant to feel strong again, and happy to be out running. The Belfast Marathon is coming up in a couple of weeks, and the paths and trails are filled with people doing their long runs and starting to taper. I don’t think there’s going to be much of a taper for Nashville, based on the fact that you have to have been running to actually taper, but I think that the next week will be an opportunity to get a few longer miles and even a tempo or speedwork in once.
I packed my yoga stuff, but realistically, am I actually going to go? The thought of being super tight in a strange class is not appealing, to be honest. Still, you never regret a workout…
Finally, I just bought a 10 pack to Flywheel – who wants to join me when I get back next week?