Blue extra

This is my weekly adventure/training log for week 3 of 2016. You can find all of my logs here.

This week has been crazy in more ways than one, and I have two pieces of news. First off, the draw for the OCC was on Wednesday and I’M IN! That means I get to spend the summer training for a 55K race with 3300 meters of vertical. In Chamonix! I could not be more excited.

Second of all, I’m currently writing this post from Taipei, Taiwan, where I’ll be spending the next week on a business trip. Hopefully I’ll get in some fun runs as well :) One those notes, let’s move on to this week’s adventures!

I often call myself a ‘blue extra’ cross-country skier, meaning I like to cross-country ski mostly when the conditions are just right. In cross-country skiing different waxes are used in different snow conditions, and blue extra wax is what you use in the best of conditions. This week I have exclusively waxed with blue extra, and I haven’t done much else than ski.

Monday: Evening ski from Sognsvann to Ullevålseter and back, which are some of the busiest ski trails in Oslo. I was feeling sluggish, but perked up once we got going. Then there was this guy who was skiing right on my heels, and I kept thinking he would pass me, so I would ski faster to try and keep him from passing me. Probably went too hard considering the weekend we had!

Total: 10.9K,  256 vertical meters, 1h2min + 20min AM strength training 

Tuesday: Ran to work. I left the house in my studded winter running shoes, but quickly realized that the bike path was cleared and salted. Not wanting to wear out my studs, I went home and changed shoes. There was some snow on the bike path though, and it packed in the tread of my shoes and made them really slippery. Then the dirt road over Gjelleråsen was shin deep powder. All and all, not a fast effort, but I got to see the sun rise over Gjelleråsen and that made it worth it.

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Dawn at Gjelleråsen

Total: 13.7K, 236 vertical meters, 1h40min + 1h30min PM dance class.

Wednesday: Last week my friend Vibeke convinced me to sign up for one of the races in a weekly ski series, the OBIK Skikarusell. The races are short, usually around 10K, and everyone from amateurs to near pros participate. The race takes place at Holmenkollen, the stadium with the famous ski jump. On a good day, it looks like this:

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The top female skiers in Norway duke it out at Holmenkollen. This is exactly what I look like when I ski.

We were racing in the evening, so it looked more like this:

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Random guy racing the OBIK Skikarusell.

I was super nervous before start, and didn’t really think through the process of getting ready very well. I regret not warming up more for example, because the first lap felt like warm-up. The start was in waves of 4, and I started with two guys who took off immediately and one girl who set a good pace. The course was 3 loops totaling 8.6K, a little shorter than advertised. Each loop consisted of numerous short, steep climbs and equally fast descents.

The awful thing about a looped course is that you can tell how much worse you feel every time you start a new loop. I passed the girl I started with after 1.5 loops, but by the time I came into the final loop I was feeling destroyed and looking over my shoulder for pursuers. Not that no one was passing me. Many very fit men in lyrca who started after me had already whizzed by me at impossible speeds. But I wasn’t really competing them.

Somehow I made it to the finish line, the cold and my heart rate making my breathing painful. Cross-country skiing is not for the faint of heart. Just to prove that I was in true pain, here’s my heart rate graph. Ouch:



Pain from start to finish

I end up 40th out 59 woman, which isn’t too bad all things considered.

Total: 8.6K, 210 vertical meters, 38min16s + 30 min AM yoga

Thursday: Rest day, 30 minute easy AM yoga

Friday: I finally decided to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and ski to work! I took the bus up into the forest, and had 13 kilometers of divine skiing in the wee hours of the morning. Suprisingly, all of the floodlights on the ski trails were on (in Trondheim they are only on in the evenings), even though I was the only skier out. It was really cold, a colleague of mine claimed -20 C on her thermometer, but I was dressed well and constant forward motion kept me warm.

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Thrill to hit the ski trails at 7am.

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Some sunrise action towards the end of the ski.

The last 2K of the commute were less smooth. First I had to walk one kilometer up a steep, icy road, which I had anticipated. Then I planned to ski down the dirt road that was shin deep powder on Tuesday - but they had scrapped it! There was barely enough snow to ski down, and I spent the whole time dodging rocks. This was disappointing given I had expected shin deep powder.

Total: 15.5K, 332 vertical meters, 1h34min

Saturday: My flight to Taiwan was on Saturday afternoon. Despite being slightly hungover after the New Year’s Party with Audun’s work, we got up early to get in a good ski. The conditions and weather were absolutely phenomenal.

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Audun near Skytta

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Disgustingly beautiful light around Kjusltjernet

Totals: 15.7K, 334 vertical meters, 1h 35min

Sunday: This was the day that disappeared in transit. Taiwan is 7 hours ahead of Norway, so I lost 7 hours of Sunday in addition to spend 15-odd hours travelling. We got here in time to check into our hotel, eat dinner, and poke around the block. Here’s an ornate temple we stopped by on our walk:

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Also, there’s technotoilet in my hotel room.

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What to choose?!

Now I’m going to do some relaxing yoga before I call it a day!

Totals this week:

Running: 10.9K, 256 vertical meters, 1h2min

Cross-country skiing: 50.7K, 1132 vertical meters, 6h25min

Strength training/yoga/dance: 3h35min

Total: 11h2min

- The Wild Bazilchuk


  1. So cool that you could run and ski to work!

    1. Totally, I really enjoy trying to be creative about my commute! No reason to spend more time driving a car than absolutely necessary.


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