Joy in the dark and cold

It's the in-between season in Norway to its fullest extent. Cold and dark, but still no sign of snow. In past years I've embraced rock climbing as the sport of choice in the in-between season, but this year I've only been running. In December, a time when my head is filled with exams, and, this year, work on my master's thesis, this is what I've got.

In fact, I don't think I've only run since I started mountain biking three years ago. On Sunday I had my longest run since Pic St Michel. I started at Sognsvann, a lake on the last stop of one of the metro lines here in Oslo. The whole area was crowded with Norwegian hikers out for some fresh air. The Norwegian concept of 'Søndagstur', which literally means Sunday hike, is an institution, and really reflects one of the things I find beautiful in Norwegian culture. It's Sunday, people, let's go be outside!

Obligatory trail selfie

I left the crowds walking along the dirt road around Sognsvann in favour of a small, rootier trail. I joined them againbriefly again at Ullevålseter, a cabin/cafe a few km into the forest where they serve refreshments. After purchasing a delicious cinnamon bun, I ran away again. North. North. Away.

Snow dusted trail and icicles along the trail
The trail lead me across the half frozen landscape, up hills, steeply down, winding and twisting, all the way to the dam at Bjørnholt.

Frozen over bog
Then I turned around and ran the easy dirt road all the way out to have some easier kilometers. By the time I was back, it was almost dark and my cell phone battery was dead. When I arrived at home a half an hour after that, I found a genuinely worried boyfriend, puzzled as to how I could stay out for so long and not answer my calls. Oops. At least I used all the available light.

- The Wild Bazilchuk