As our time in New Zealand comes to an end—oh, wait a minute—did I mention we’ve been in New Zealand for the last six weeks? For those of you who know Nick and I well, and for those of you who stay up to date with Nick through news articles, you probably already knew that. But for those of you who depend solely on my blog for updates on our travel, you’ve probably been out of the loop. It seems my “running commentary” has slowed to a walk the last few months. Well, let’s be honest, it’s barely crawling. Though, I think that says good things about our time here in New Zealand. We’ve been busy to be sure—but not the stressful sort of busy—the exciting, fun, energizing sort.
Nick raced in Hamilton, Wellington, and Melbourne during this trip. Some races were good and some not so good, but that’s just the way this sport goes sometimes. When it’s early in Nick’s season, the truth is that sometimes his races can be rather hit-or-miss. I think most runners would agree that early season training is often the same way. Sometimes everything clicks and you feel great, and sometimes you feel stuck in fourth gear.
The indoor/Down Under racing season ended a few weeks ago, and the outdoor season won’t be in full swing until June. Since Nick hasn’t had to race, he’s been enjoying getting back into hard training the last few weeks, running the hills and beautiful trails all over the Hutt Valley with his training partners. I too have been enjoying running here. Ann Arbor has great trails, but it’s hard to beat running up the Korokoro stream trail winding through native New Zealand forest or doing strides across the perfectly manicured grass at the Hutt Recreation Ground.
We leave tomorrow morning to return to Michigan, where I’m told the snow has all melted. I’m trying to gear up for the long 24 hours of travel we’re about to experience, though I think it’s impossible to ever be fully prepared for it. We’re looking forward to seeing our puppy, Tempo, who has been staying with my parents in Kalamazoo. Nick is worried he won’t recognize us anymore after leaving him for this long, but I’m confident Tempo will remember us—especially Nick.
As we say goodbye to NZ, it seems only fitting to end this blog with a few pictures of the things I love and will miss about New Zealand.