This weekend was my last hard training weekend before the Ultrabirken 60km race June 14. My goal was to run a total of 50 km, and I was ready for long hours in the forest alone. But all of a sudden, I had company. My friend Vibeke is training for Swissman on June 21 - and I'm actually going to Switzerland to crew for her! (we often argue about what will be most painful - running 60 km or a mountainous Ironman at altitude. I vote for the latter.) She decided to join for my runs me at the last minute.
Saturday was May 17, which is Norway's national day. This year we're celebrating 200 years of independence. I don't like crowds, and I'm not particularly nationalistic (not being Norwegian), so I thought disappearing into the woods was a good way to celebrate.
We started our run from Sognsvann, and took a path-less-walked in to Ullevålseter, a café in Nordmarka forest. Despite the sunny weather, there were only a few people out front. Everyone else was downtown, sporting their bunad or other finery, downing ice cream and hot dogs like there's no tomorrow.
|Leg selfie on a dying patch of snow|
|Vibeke ran the whole way back with her wrist held up like that :)|
On Sunday, we ran everything that was runnable. Hard. I remembering looking at my heart rate, thinking "this probably isn't sustainable", and then keeping pushing. There's nothing like a good, sustained push up a big hill. Luckily, I didn't kill my legs and we made it up to Fagervann in record time.
|Vibeke at Fagervann|
Instead of covered in grey ice and surrounded by snow, the lake was now a sparkling blue and practically inviting us to swim. "I have to come back here to camp!" I commented. We decided we would save the swim for Sognsvann again and pushed on. There were many miles to go.
In easy (read: no potholing because there was no snow) running conditions, the technical trails past Fagervann passed quickly. Before I knew it, we were grinding the dirt road up to Ullevålseter. The café was markedly different from the previous. Everyone seemed to have realised their mistakes in not enjoying the forest on Saturday, and they had all hiked to Ullevålseter to make up for it.
|Outside Ullevålseter with the crowds|
After Ullevålseter, we jogged to 6 km out to Sognsvann chanting "Swim. Swim. Swim." It felt, if possible, even better than the previous day. The last couple of kms to the metro felt like a lap of victory.
Stats day 2: 26.7km, 684moa, elapsed time 3:35 (including a stop to swim)
I don't know quite what it takes to be ready to run 60 km, but I'm starting to feel ready. And I think feeling ready might be the most important thing.
- The Wild Bazilchuk