Thursday, November 17, 2011


I said my goodbyes to Muonio and traveled to Norway yesterday.  While it was great to be able to do a big block of training on snow before the seasons started, after three weeks in Muonio, the darkness was setting in, and I was ready for a change of scenery.
Sunset in Muonio.  This picture was taken before 3pm.

The first World Cups of the season are this weekend in Sjusjoen, Norway.  There is not any snow here either so we will be racing on another short manmade loop of snow.  The organizing committee is doing everything they can to protect the snow so the loop is closed until the races with the exception of a three hour inspection period tomorrow.  Since there isn't any skiing here today the US team decided to stay as long as possible at the ski tunnel in Torsby, Sweden, where they are currently training and will not be arriving to Norway until later tonight.  I already had a ticket booked for yesterday and since I skied many kilometers around the track in Muonio, I knew it would be alright to have a day off from skiing and I was excited for a solo day in Lillehammer, where our team is staying for the weekend.

After eating as much delicious breakfast at the hotel buffet as I could hold this morning (soft boiled eggs, toast, brown cheese, yogurt, keifer, cereal, smoked salmon, pickled herring, crepes, and more!!) I was ready to go for a run.  By this time it was fully light outside and the sun was up and shining brightly OVER the hills.  I asked the lady at the front desk if there were running or ski trails nearby and she replied, "Of course, everywhere."  Stupid question, this is Norway.  I left the hotel, picked a random direction and didn't run more than a few hundred meters before I came across a single track path.

The trail headed uphill away from town and paralleled a rocky brook.  After being in Muonio, it felt so hilly here!  It was cold outside with a thick layer of frost but still no snow.

This pool looks a little too cold for an ice bath

It at least looks wintery

Which direction to choose?  I think I'll save Sjusjoen until tomorrow

Looking down over Lillehammer from above

I followed signs to Olympiaparken, site of the 1994 Olympics.  The building on the right is now NTG Lillehammer, one of Norway's ski academies.

They were blowing snow in the stadium and I made some fresh tracks (footprints I guess) through the "powder."

From Olympiaparken I followed signs to Sentrum and soon popped out in the center of town.  The main street was very touristy with shops, cafes, and restaurants.  There were a few vendors selling waffles which smelled delicious.

Normally I would feel weird running with poles and wearing spandex in a city center but it felt oddly normal here.

A park in town

A church I had glimpsed from above and wanted to check out.  

My camera batteries died at this point but it was also time to head back to the hotel.  

Racing gets going on Saturday with a 10km skate!