My computer is back, and fixed so i am getting round to writing a blog, which will actually be about 50 blogs with in a blog.
A couple of weeks ago now i had a hard week of training, really high hours and lots of intensity sessions. This also coincided with my computer breaking and our internet and tv being cut off. I pretty much ate slept and training or walked about the place like a zombie. By the end of the week it didn't matter that the tv was broken, i found my self switching it on and staring at the blank screen for 5mins before i realised there was nothing happening. It is fair to say i was tired. I also found myself sitting on the loo, in a sort of half asleep half awake daze, before asking myself what i was doing there.
And so we have established i was rather tired by the end of the week, so lets have a look why… Firstly it was the week after the team lillehammer training camp i'd been on. I had decided to just continue with hard training for the rest of the following week so it was actually an 11 day hard block instead of the usual 7. The day after the camp i headed out for an interval session, 5x7 skate level 3 with some level 4 at the end. It was a miserable morning, foggy, rainy and generally scottish. I skied up towards Lismarka, and after the first interval i escaped the fogg and popped out into a sunny autumn morning. The intervals went reasonably well, but that was besides the point. I remember thinking, this autumn has been amazing, in weather terms. Last year i was out rollerskiing in minus temperatures, in rain, in wind, in snow, in sleep and with cars obliviously rushing past me. This year had been cool and autumn like, but mostly sunny. I can count the number of days i would have rather stayed inside on one hand.
The following day had a couple of long easy sessions, and i logged over 6 hours of training. The day after i was back at it though. A sprint session with "team lillehammer". Only one member of team lillehammer could make it. The others were both away hunting. I had assembled a motley crew a few days before, sending text messages like fury, and replying at record speed. (yes with in 10mins is record speed for me). My texting in a foreign language has progressed to a level it probably exceeds my texting in english. Anyway i group of 5 guys came a long. Timo Bakken, from team lillehammer, Markus Westgård from the sprint team, team Jobzone. Sindre Palm, Svein halvor Dahl and myself.
The order of the day was to run 2 prologues, and then 3 heats. The first prologue was close with everyone with in a few seconds. The second prologue i lost the tip on my ski pole and continued to use it before managing to break it and finished with one pole. I sprinted 3k to the other side of the roller ski track where i had parked my car in the free parking (i am scottish you know), and the sprinted back with a spare pole to get ready for the first heat. I made it just as they were lining up for the start.
The heat went on the most part really badly. I ended up last out the start and last all the way round until the final up hill. Where a gap kindly opened and i took it and ended up winning the heat. So having only skied the last 30 seconds of the thing with any meaning i had ended up in a rather good position.
This was also one the days i could count on one hand that i would rather stay at home. It just so happened that the way the trail and wind and rain worked, being last out the start was really advantages and only the last hill into the stadium had any meaning.
The coach running the session changed the start, as i had one the first heat i started further back. And so i was last out the start every time, and so came last into the final hill, could pick a gap and so won every heat.
The next few days saw some more long hours and a tough strength session…. I sat and watched the Austrian Luge team training in the gym, it was tough enough just to watch them.
On the Saturday i was going out to have some bounding intervals, with my house mate Thomas, Markus and Time who had been at the sprint session. The plan was 6x5min. We arrived at Haffjell carpark to see lots of other cars there at 9 on a saturday morning. We thought it a bit strange. Got out the car to realised everybody else was a cross country skier. There where 4 or 5 groups of various numbers of people who without planning had all randomly turned up together to do the same thing. The session was changed to 7x6 so all were in agreement, with 2min breaks. It total there was about a group of 40 people ranging from 16 year old school kids to Norwegian national team members, or ex team members, such as Sjur Røthe and Roger Djupvik.
The session went ok, but it killed me off. I was finished after that. 42 is of course the answer to life the universe and everything… but i pretty much convinced it is not the answer to interval training.
The following week was really easy, and then i cam here, to Italy. To Val Senales or Maso Corto to be exact. I'm here with the British team, although there is only 3 of us, for 3 weeks. The hotel, at 2050m, provides a view down the the valley and up the cliff face to the glacier where Otzi the ice man was discovered. It is also this glacier where we go skiing most mornings.
Having arrived in a snow storm and having got out and pushed the car, with summer tyres, up the last 100m to the hotel (no british training camp is complete without pushing a van/car) the glacier provided next to perfect skiing conditions. Blue extra, in October! However this was really of no importance to me as the first few days i seemed to use all my energy chasing around the one molecule of Oxygen everybody else was chasing as well. Luckily i survived, finding just enough Oxygen to get up to the 3500m ski track, do a session/waddle on skis and back down to the hotel. Even at the hotel things like walking up the stairs hurt. I take the lift every time… probably why i don't win ski races.
There have been a bundle of other teams here, coming and going. Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, Russians, Germans, Swiss and of course the I-talians (said in a seam kelly voice). The Norwegian "recruit" or under 23 team is here. They have been kind enough to let us have a lift down the valley for roller skiing with them and i joined them for an easy classic session where games such has "predict your heart rate when we pass that car" were played. They are far better at it than me, and constantly came within 1 bmp, when i was about 10 away. Then we reached the lake. Now flat, they decided to double pole, fast. My lungs felt as if they were hanging outside my body as gasped to keep up. Then some more hill came, and remarkably i was more relieved about the uphill where there went slow and i could keep up without feeling like a 70 year old 50 a day smoker.
The cable car up to the track is pretty much stuff every morning, stuffed to the extent that i have twice seen Marit Bjørgen turn around with her ruck sack on and walk backwards into the gondola pushing her way in. It's fine for her, but for us mere mortals at the far end who get crushed with our nostrils up some sweaty old mans armpit, it's not so nice. The gondola also swings as it goes over its single support tower. In youthful terms… I brick it… every single time. I know its coming, i close my eyes, i grip my skis for grim death and i still brick it.
Having been here for over 10 days i have adjusted, ish, to the height. And so we have begun to use the snow to our advantage. Working on technique, doing some speed work, and generally make good use of being on snow. With temps around 0 on the glacier but such low humidity waxing has been straight forward. The sun gets on the track late in the session and subsequently most people and sunburned… i must have some good genes because i am just brown. By the time we get down we can hang our clothes up on the balcony in the sun and sit out in shorts enjoying the sunshine.
Until today. The weather has changed… rainy and foggy all day. Again terribly scottish. Tomorrow it should tern to snow… but with the temps set to drop i fear my sunbathing days are over until spring.
I fear i have most likely written far too much, with some awful spelling and grammar mistakes, and you are most terribly bored. And so now i shall depart for my double bed awaits with the lovely snoring silhouette of alex waiting for me. I joyously look forward to another nights sleep of being kicked in the ribs and forced off my side of the bed… in our room it really is "the little on said…"