We Love Skiing Slopes
Two weeks and counting. 14 days to get every single race detail just right. Friday 27th June at 23.00, Jakob and I will start Lavaredo Ultra Trail from Corso Italia in Cortina d’Ampezzo and head for the first peak Son Forca at around 2 100 metres. A few hours later, at 09.00 on Saturday morning, dad will follow suit, heading for the same peak in the ultrarace Cortina Trail. With only a few days left, the training has settled into a calmer rhythm, and the many kilometres and extreme climbing sessions are over. For now. It’s only a matter of keeping our legs and feet fresh. I still feel some pain in my heel from time to time, especially when I push it during tempo increases at our interval sessions with Urban Tribes. But I’m not worried. It’ll hold up just fine, I’m sure.
The last month has progressed pretty well with regards to training, especially considering the fact that I was injured for two weeks a mere month ago. My heel didn’t take kindly to long runs on asphalt, and – curiously – liked trail runs even less. I was at a loss and had some trouble planning my training sessions. Running on my old friend the treadmill has, a bit surprisingly, worked just fine. It’s been the only “ground” I have been able to run on where my heel hasn’t given me any trouble whatsoever. I have been dreaming about green and lovely forest trails all winter, longing for the days when I’d be able to leave the air conditioned gym behind, but alas. But at least the cloud had another silver lining, apart from helping me train up my heel again: I’ve been listening to Antony Beevor’s The Second World War and am finally almost finished. The book itself is a brick and the audio book, read by the brilliant Sean Barrett, is a whopping 39 hours and 19 minutes long. That’s a lot of running.
Last week during my top training period I managed to run 118 km and 2 300 vertical metres in seven days, stepping it down to around 70 km and 1 800 vertical metres for this week. I’ve been inspired by Jakob who’s working from Malta at the moment, and who’s told me about this stretch of road that climbs 200 metres in only 2 kilometres, and where he’s spent his long runs during the last month. The best place to do proper hill training here in Oslo is the skiing slope Wyllerløype in Sørkedalen, the venue for Oslos Bratteste in September. Since I wasn’t sure that my heel would survive four and five hours of planned long runs last week and this week, respectively, I decided to spend those long runs climbing the slope up and (trying to) run down as many times I could manage. The four-hour session started out with a less than inviting torrent of rain pounding the windshield of my car while driving into Sørkedalen. And then it got worse. It rained non-stop the entire evening and I was soaked even before I made it halfway for the first climb. Good training. You can never know how the weather will be in the Alps, and it could rain during the race as well. Even snow, in fact.
Logging 1 750 vertical metres and 22 km during 4 hours, I managed to climb the slope four times in those slippery conditions. This week, I had hoped to climb it five times in as many hours, but the conditions couldn’t have been more different with 25°C and a merciless sun trying to boil me alive. This time, I was soaked with sweat and had emptied half of my Camelpak before I even got to the top for the first time. Clearly, I would have to fill it up with more water after climb number two, and I hadn’t brought any extra water. Fortunately, I convinced the personnel at the ski/bike rental a few hundred metres from the top of the slope to fill her up. And then I promptly managed to overdose my salt tablets, forgetting for a moment that I was in Norway and not in the Sahara (happens all the time). Instead of the single tablet every one to two hours, I popped two at the same time. Not even three minutes later, I started salivating and suddenly felt nauseous, finally managing to throw up on the side of the trail. Taking a while to compose myself, I simply sat by one of the tall sprayhoses for artificial snow and enjoyed the view of the setting sun over the valley. Simply marvellous.
As all of you know, we are raising money for Reece’s Rainbow during this race, and you lovely, generous people have already donated $ 1 105! Let all of your friends and families know and encourage them to visit our charity site to donate! My cousin Maria, her husband Nic and their two beautiful daughters managed to raise € 350 for their own charity during a market day in their village of Leynes, France, last week, so take up the gauntlet and help us reach $ 2 000 before race day!!!