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 season started, after three weeks in Muonio, the darkness was setting in, and I was ready for a change of scenery.
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 tunnel in Torsby where they are currently training and they 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 (soft boiled eggs, toast, brown cheese, yogurt, cereal, keifer, 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 the 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.