Some things change, some things stay the same.
I have returned to Vancouver after 2 weeks in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I had a wonderful trip with many highlights and lots of rest and relaxation. I was able to see friends from University at a wedding, spent time at a beautiful beach side cottage in PEI, saw my family, won a cross country race and was a bit of a tourist in my home town and province. All together it was a well deserved break from the city.
Change is inevitable. We are constantly changing. One of the few truths in life is that we are always changing. I returned home wondering what changes would be in store for me and I was surprised by what I observed.
Place: Home, and the Maritime Provinces, were much more beautiful then I remember. I also remember things being much bigger. The PEI to NS ferry was absolutely tiny compared to what I remember. It was strange. There were minor changes (for instance my mom had a new liner in the pool, but there was still a pool) but for the most part things were basically the same. On a good note St.F.X. is in the process of building a new rubber track. I am excited to train on it when I go home next. Fredericton was changed with quite a bit of new construction but all my old haunts were still there including the house I lived in for 3 years.
People: It is strange, my friends seem to always stay the same. Although their life situation may differ from the last time I saw them, when we meet again it is like we just walked out of class or are going for a run like in university. I have a comfort with them that cannot be described. We share a lived experience that challenged us and brought us all together. When we see each other it is with excitement, long hugs and hours spent catching up and admiring the growth we see in each other. There is comfortable silence and a knowing. It is nice to be with friends with history, something I am starting to build here in Vancouver. Although we have all changed our lives drastically, when we are together again it is like a living flashback to the best parts of our past together. I will remember these time with happiness.
Running: I went back to my old university and won a cross country race. My running has changed, for the better. I was able to win the race easily and a friend told me after wards that it looked like I was running at an 800 race pace with everyone else running 10 km race pace. The race was 5 km over a course that I have run hundreds of times. It was a tough run but good to get the heart pumping and lungs working. I was very happy to see my former coach Tim and former team captain Scott.
My training while home was satisfactory. I did not train as much as I had wanted but I did have a few good quality workouts and a monster tempo up a small mountain. A big change that has happened is my long run pace. When I think of mileage I calculate for 7 minute miles. It turns out I am running more like 6:25 minute miles. On average I have been running 5 to 10 miles more per week then I have calculated for. A 70 mile week may have been more like an 80 mile week, oops. I guess that would explain how I am getting more fit and faster off of 'less' mileage. I do not keep exact records anyways so in the end I do not think it really matters that much.
Me: I am a different person now then when I left home, over 10 years ago. When I left the tiny hamlet of Arisaig I was quiet and shy, barely able to speak up for myself. I had no confidence and was scared of my own shadow. Now I am a different person. I have a voice and feel passionately about life and the world around me. I am not afraid to speak my opinions and will not be told to shut up, nor will I back down from ignorant opinions. I believe in myself and all the life I live, those I love and those I long to love. I have accomplished a great deal over the past years, more then I ever thought possible (I still have lots of goals left though!). It was the changes in me on my return home that I felt the most. I was happy to be home yet I knew the Jay who lived there in the past is gone. I loved and was very fortunate to have a quiet and protected life but that is not a life I chose nor one I for see myself living again. I miss my family but I know my life is here now.
Today I had my first EBSC workout this morning at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. I think we swam around 3000 yards. At the hour mark I felt like my shoulders were going to rip off from all the breast stroke (I am not a breast stroker, go figure...) but I managed to swim the whole workout. This afternoon I ran my long run in the glorious sunshine and warm weather of Vancouver. I think I ran around 13 miles or so. I did not eat much for lunch after my swim and consequently I had a bit of a bonk towards the end. I made it home and that is all that matters. The run felt good considering the circumstances. I hope to adjust to the new swim/run schedule quickly.
Tomorrow is back to reality when I return to work. It ought to be a gong show.