Spent Christmas morning on
the internet trying to find accommodation and a flight to Norway,
and ended up on Boxing Day in a hotel in Nordseter. Hundreds of
miles of tracks, and cold. The tracks cut for classic, so no skating
really, unless I double-pole over to Sjusjøen.
Yesterday went out for a long
morning's classic ski along the Birkebeiner race trail - across
a lonely, desolate plateau... What I didn't realise was that it
was -25°C, and after 3 1/2 hours I got quite cold hands and
very cold feet. My big toes puffed up like eggs and felt very peculiar.
Roller-ski race yesterday:
15km skate on the flat loop at Eelmoor. Quite a big turnout, and
as only two of us had racing roller-skis we decided to run on training
wheels, which are very much slower and require a more realistic
We set out at what felt like
a brisk pace (I haven't done much exercise lately due to some injuries),
until halfway when I decided to go faster. Having averaged about
4'45" a lap, I did one in 4'10"; another slow one, allowing
the others to catch up, and then hard again for 4'5"; easy
again, and a final lap in 3'55" - or so it turned out: having
miscounted I thought I had one more to do.
It's tempting to think you
are going fast enough when in fact there is plenty more that you
can do. That is the hardest and most important lesson to learn about
racing, and one that everyone learns to a different degree. Frode
Andrésen understands it better than anyone; Mike Dixon had
it about once a year for a while.
Just back from roller-skiing
in Richmond Park: fitted in quite nicely between the showers. A
lot of leaves and twigs on the paths now, and I tripped on a stick
once, but no blood lost.
Cycling to work to avoid travelling
on the loathsome London Tube: have had two bikes stolen since starting
my job two months ago. So I found myself doing too much running,
and ended up with a sore hip and knee. Or does that mean not enough
running? So on to beasting the upper body in the gymn, neglecting
the legs until they are better, when I will abuse them again, and
so the cycle continues.
The news from Finland, where
the Brit team is training now, is that Ian Woods has resigned as
team coach, because of disagreement with the Board over how to realise
a future for British biathlon. This is a great shame, as Ian has
the full trust of the team.