Monday, June 3, 2013

Sognefjell Norway

I have successfully made it to the Sognefjell snowfield for another week of training on snow! I flew after our Bend camp ended and met up with Astrid Jacobsen who picked me up from the bus station and brought me to her house to spend the night. It was really nice to stay with Astrid, as she made me feel right at home immediately, and after going to a run in the forest we went to her parents home for a delicious dinner of salmon, potatoes and salad followed by Norwegian ice cream and "American" blueberries. Apparently the blueberries that are grown in Norway are wild and are blue in the middle as well, but "American" blueberries have white flesh in the middle. I think they are most used to the ones that grow wild in the forest and look much like wild blueberries that you find in Maine. After a night of sleeping hard, as the jet lag is in full effect, we headed out for a run in the forest and bogs with a junior ski camp that was going on. You may know this about me already, but big running is my favorite kind of training. It is like running on a spongy, damp or wet mattress  for 3 hours. Your knees and feet and quads feel almost as fresh when you finish as they did when you stared. It's really amazing training. A couple of hours into the run, we stopped at a cabin in the middle of the woods and I began to smell a delicious sweet smell of baking bread and sugar, and when we stepped inside I realized why. On Sundays in Norway, it is very common for families to take a walk in the woods together and stop at one of these cabins to eat a sweet bread, what they call a skollebulle, or "school bun". It is a sweet roll with some sort of vanilla cream and frosting on the top and let me tell you, it is super tasty 2 hours into a wet, rainy run. Just enough taste to get you home!  I rode up to sognefjell with one of the Norwegian male skiers, Oeystein Pettersen, who was very friendly and we listened to some awesome music and talked. It's really fun to get to know more skiers a bit, and I'm settling into life with the Norwegian ski team quite well. They are all really nice and speak amazing English which makes me want to learn Norwegian or or any other language really so that I am able to speak with others so they do not always have to switch to English for me to understand. The skiing here is good, skate skiing this morning on salted tracks, so hard and fast for much of the ski. Now I am heading out to do some classic skiing this afternoon in probably fairly slushy conditions, but still great to be on snow!

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