Saturday, 9 August 2014

Back in Norway

I don't want to sound like that 70 year old man who is always complaining. But I'm starting to get fed up of the heat of summer. I'm secretly looking forward to the Autumn, frosty mornings, wearing tights again and not loosing 5 litres of sweat just when I stand up to walk to the kitchen. Of course Autumn brings added benefits. Like making fun of people for wearing gloves when they are rollerskiing, even though my own fingers are turning blue. And then there are wooly jumpers. Who doesn't like wearing wooly jumpers? And a hat? Sneaking out for a cheeky run with a hat on, or the first morning where you have to use a buff. Autumn is brilliant... no doubt in 6 weeks times I'll be sitting here writing a blog about how crap Autumn is and it is miserable and cold...

Anyway since I got back to Norway it has been really quite warm. Fortunately I escaped the insanely warm period in Norway. I've spoken with a few other skiers and nearly all of them have complained that it got too hot to train in the summer. But it has been really humid the past week. When it is raining but still over 20 degrees it starts to get annoying and simple tasks like drying your clothes takes 3 times as long as normal. Each training session it feels like I loose about 50% of my body weight in sweat. The only break from it is the 5mins of bliss in a cold shower after training. Fortunately the humidity subsided and now it's just warm. A little more bearable.
This summer has also see an unusual amount of thunder storms in Norway. With huge down pours and massive amounts of water. I've done quite a bit of running this past week and nearly all my running routes have been washed out over the summer. It's amazing to see how much power the water has and how much the landscape has changed from a few heavy downpours. From my house I normally run up beside a small stream into the forests. There is a bridge that crosses the stream, or I should say was. The bridge is now on it's side as the small stream turned into a raging torrent and washed away the banks. The stream bed is now as wide as a small river bed but with just a small trickle of water running down the middle. There is a work crew working on the river and fixing the banks as it had began to wash away peoples gardens.
Upp in the forest there is quite a few gravel roads and paths that have been washed out. And a few bridges that are no longer where they should be. But most of the paths are passable and it makes running a little more entertaining.

When I got back to Norway I spent a few days volunteering for my club at the Norway Cup in Oslo, a football tournament which my club hosts. It fit in quite nicely to have an easy week training and do something a bit different. And it was definitely good fun. Hopefully if it fits in next year I'll be able to do something there again. I got a chance to train a little bit and Joakim showed me some of the rollerski routes to the south of Oslo out towards Ski. We had to have a 3 hours rollerski on my first day there for the sole reason that I need 3 more hours to make the 100hour mark for July. I did my best to keep up with Joakim, and I'm pretty sure he was the one setting the pace and making it really quite fast. When we got home he didn't feel so great and had to have a few easy days afterwards because we wasn't feeling so good. I'm pretty sure it was his doing, but I feel a bit guilty that I was with him on the session and made him do 3 hours just so I could get 100 hours!

After a few days in Oslo I came back up to Lillehammer. I've been here for the week and getting back into the swing of training. The first few days after such a light week are really tough. My body gets used to resting and forgets what it's like to train lots. But I quickly got back into it and I've had a few good sessions this week. I went over to Geilo for a day to have a session with Geir Endre. I have a few technical things I want get sorted out before the winter, so we did an interval session focussing on those. Hopefully now I've got the input I needed to go away and work on it to get my technique back to where it should be. Geir is also "in charge" of my skis. This is now our 5th year of working together and he has a huge experience of working with skis. So we had a session going through my skis. Deciding which ones stay and which ones go, which ones I need to test again and what type of new skis I should be looking for this year. All in all I have 18 pairs of race skis at the moment. Most of which have been raced on in the last 2 years. The pairs that haven't got cut, and there a few pairs we weren't 100% happy with so we need to find replacements. I think it's really fun to work with skis and in away it is free speed. A little bit of time and effort now in the summer and I might have much better skis in the winter. It's also an area where I know really very little. I need to have better control over my own skis and I need to learn how different types of skis react to certain types of snow. That way on race days I can make better choices as to which pair I go on. So it was an important thing to do.

On Monday my first camp with Team Synnefjell starts. It should be a good camp and everything is looking for it. Even the weather forecast is a little bit cooler! At the end of the week we have the Tour De Synnfjell 3 day competition. The first day is a 4k skate rollerski race, the second day an 8k uphill running race with a 2.5kg rucksack and the last day is a triathlon with classic rollerskiing, mountain biking and running. I'm dreading the triathlon... my biking so far this year consists of a trip with my mum and the ming midsummer madness... both road biking. My mountain bike has a broken spoke and im pretty sure half the gears don't work. I'll just have to make up for it on the classic and the running.

I read an article online about the predicted longterm weather forecast for Norway. It said it will be warm until november. Which in some ways is perfect... as long as it cools down a little bit so I don't constantly sweat everywhere. The article also said this winter could be extremely cold ;)

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