The more observant of our readers have probably noticed a steady decline in the number of new posts on our blog. Apart from the more obvious reasons for this – i.e. diaper changes, cleaning up baby porridge from all over the floor and inventing new and silly sing-song-dances for our daughter – the sad fact is that we suddenly found ourselves without a big specific goal for the year. As you know, we were applying for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, but even with our seven qualifying points, we failed the draw (apparently, there was a fifty-fifty chance we’d get a spot). So what to do now? We have considered our options and come to the conclusion that we would like to give the UTMB-draw one more go in 2015. That means that we have to re-qualify some points that we will be losing due to old races.
With that in mind, January has been a somewhat uncertain month in terms of proper training. After an unusually wet and mild December, January initially started in the same way up here in Norway. Not until a couple of weeks ago did the regular snowy blanket normally covering Oslo at this time of year, arrive. And now we are knee-deep in the stuff! It’s absolutely awesome! Every morning, I shuffle through new and pristine drifts of snow on my way to work. It must have easily snowed a good metre and a half during the last ten days. Thanks to the Upphill Princess, I even spent a lovely day off-piste skiing at Hemsedal a few weekends ago. No cross-country skiing yet, but we’ll probably get around to it sooner or later. Snow-covered pavements are excellent for balance training and coping with uneven surfaces. I haven’t bought myself a pair of spiked shoes yet (miss H has threatened all of my running shoes with swift and merciless defenestration if I dare buy another pair. According to her, my running shoe-budget equals the GNP of a small country), but I prefer the slightly unsure grip my regular terrainers give me. You don’t want too much in the way of support wheels. You become lazy as a runner if the technology of your equipment always saves you. “If it ain’t rainin’, you ain’t trainin’ [properly]”, as a character – in a book I’m currently reading – eloquently puts it. Ever been out running in heavy snowfall? Or rain? It’s fabulous!
Most of my training this year has unfortunately been indoors, on the treadmill. 212 km in 30 days is pretty decent, but I should – and will – do better throughout the season. It would be fun to hit 3 000 km on New Year’s Eve. Boring, boring, boring. But it’s good mental training. And since I discovered the audio book last fall, the treadmill longruns haven’t been half as mindnumbingly boring as before. I can highly recommend high-adrenaline books, like Tom Clancy. Funny books, like Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods, are hilarious but it’s easy to fall out of stride when you suddenly burst out with a loud guffaw that makes you drop the rhythm and stumble. Which is always a bad idea on a treadmill since the ground keeps moving even if you are not. Luckily, all my teeth are still intact after my latest cartwheel close contact with the rubber.