XC skiing

In the days before our arrival at Dalseter, Hurricane Dagmar scoured the Norwegian landscape, leaving just the thinnest covering of snow.

Not really enough to make falling over very inviting,  thus slightly hampering our efforts to learn cross country skiing. The long skinny skis were deceptively difficult to control. Setting out from our hotel each day, I was completely enchanted by the peaceful trails; the little wooden houses up on stilts and the intense blast of bright sunshine, making a break from the long hours of darkness.

A pity I just couldn't blimmin' well ski! 

So instead (particularly with the thin covering of snow) we mostly just tramped about on skis. Up and down hills (they stick to the snow, they really do) and visiting some little huts, a frozen lake, a teepee and a biathlon range.

Occasionally I would 'run' on the skis and, over the week, this morphed into some sort of vague gliding action.

I like to think.

Eventually, 3 days of frustration with the ice and my out of control snowploughing was enough.  In a fit of stuborness, I decided I didn't care if I never learnt to snowplough, I'd just go for it as fast as I could down the hill and fall over if need be. 

Strangely enough, that's when I realised this skiing stuff was fun afterall!  And, just on queue, we had an arrival of fluffy, inviting snow.  So much, in fact, that they decided they could cut some tracks afterall.  Several inches deep, the tracks kept my skis pointing forwards, regardless of the degree of control (or lack of) that I had over my speed. I could ski - magic!

A pity it only happened on the last day.  I'm still not totally convinced about cross country.  Alpine touring seems a bit more useful so that you can properly walk up the hills then properly ski down. But, all in all, it was wonderful to get away and be outdoors everyday with beautiful sunshine.  Something to be cherished with the minging weather we're having back here. 

I'm sure the hours and hours of sleep and stretching were really good for me, alongside a rather daunting lack of chocolate and drier than normal Hogmanay (my wallet wasn't feeling ready for Norwegian booze - lucky we snuck in a bottle of bubbly from the homeland!).

All refreshed, I'm actually feeling pretty excited about getting cracking on my meticulously planned Celtman training programme.  Lets see if I can make my 'sticking to the plan' motivation last a bit longer than normal. 


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