I am currently in Ostersund, Sweden. A pretty awesome town and basically Sweden's winter sports centre with dog sledding, xc skiing, biathlon, snowmobiling and alpine skiing all accessible within or around the town.
Im here with my sister and Posy getting in a two week training block before we head up to the frozen north of Finland for the spring races and the first ever Tour De Barents. We have been training with the gymnasium here in Ostersund which is pretty cool. They are are true crazy Swedes though. Last week i went on a 2 hours skate session on Snowmobile tracks! So it turned into a double pole session basically! and we got lost! Following a brief argument between coaches and athletes in Swedish (i speak no Swedish) it was explained to me in a very calm way that "we haven't a clue where we are". "I think maybe that way is home but the others think this way, so we will go this way and see what happens." Fortunately we did get home safely. And today we went crust skiing. My first experience of crust skiing and i can say it was eventful. After the first 10 mins i thought i was getting the hang of it and going pretty fast then we had to go into the woods to head out to some fields. as soon as we got in the woods the snow was a little bit softer and being 90kg it couldnt really support my weight. so i spent the first 40mins at threshold trying just to keep up and not get lost fighting through the snow with my poles sinking in and wondering if the crust would support my weight. eventually we got to the fields on which a rifle firing range was placed. so Ola (the coach) saw there was no red flag up to we could ski on the rifle range, perfect. Or not, 3 shots fired off and we all dived for the bushes. The a man appeared from the firing point and shouted at us in Swedish. Ola shouted some stuff back in Swedish and then explained that we had to leave but i had already gathered that from the shots being fired. We headed back down to the normal ski trails and skied back to the stadium, pretty fun session.
got intervals with the gymnasium guys tomorrow, dont really know what they are... Ola seems to be keen on the surprise element of intervals... last friday we found out about 10mins before we started what the intervals where. We do know that they are classic but thats about it.
Oh and i forgot to mention the awesome accommodation. we booked to stay in Ostersund Camping for a pretty neat rate, however on my first day here Ola said that it was no use and that he would get us into camp sodergren right beside the tracks. i explained that we had looked there but it was too expensive. "no problem" he says. we are now staying at camp sodergren for the same price as Ostersund Camping. I basically roll out of bed and onto the ski tracks, we have a pretty fast internet connection, a large apartment between 3 that we would normally share between 5 and have i mentioned its right next to the ski tracks!
i think thats all from Ostersund.
i will give another update when i get to Finland (if i have internet) and maybe i final update just before we leave here.