Saturday, August 27, 2011

Uppsala Training Camp

Although I was just thinking about how our first week here in Uppsala feels like a week long orienteering training camp, I am currently sitting outside with my feet up and enjoying warm mug of coffee. There is a warm breeze blowing and not a cloud in the sky. It's autumn here already. The leaves haven't changed color yet, but the days are warm and the nights are cool. This is by far my favorite time of year and as fantastic as it is here, it makes me miss home. I love fall at home. The crisp weather, the pumpkin beer and coffee, apple picking with roommates, baking with apples and cinnamon - it's a cozy time of year, without the overwhelming darkness and coldness of winter. The fact that it's already autumn here means that winter is soon on its way. But I'm going to make the most of this weather while it's here!
First training with Ok Linné

Ross returning from training with his group.
Ross and I have continued training with the local orienteering club, OK Linné, this week. We joined a smaller group on Wednesday night to prerun their elite courses for a meet they are putting on in October. I didn't finish the 8.5k women's course, as Boris and I set a 90 minute meeting time and my legs were quite tired. It's overall very flat here, but going two steps up the small bumps over and over again is exhausting. Plus, the swamps are apparently good running, but because it's been so wet they are very squishy and energy sapping. Boris warned me beforehand to try to run with the grain of the contours instead of over them all, and that was very good advice (not that I managed to follow it well). Something to work on in the future! Ross also had a long outing and Boris and I had already made and eaten dinner by the time he arrived home after his 12.8k course. It grew dark before he finally stumbled home and Boris and I were beginning to contemplate how we would go about a rescue mission.

Ross and I borrowed the club car on Thursday and drove south to pick up some furniture from an older couple in the club. The google directions for the end of the drive looked like this:

Needless to say, I was a bit worried those directions wouldn't be quite specific enough to get us there. I therefore brought the computer with the map in the car. They in fact live off a series of dirt roads with no name. It doesn't take long to go from city to very rural. The couple was super generous and they loaded up their trailer with two armchairs, a coffee table, curtains and a sofa bed and drove it to our place. We unloaded everything and now our living room has gone from very empty:

to very full:

We did an interval training with the club in the evening, with 1 minute pickups along their test loop. It was all on trails, although most of them are small muddy single tracks. After intervals the club gathered behind the clubhouse to grill grillkorvs. They call them sausages, but they are really just hotdogs. More socializing was done and we met a few more people in the club. Then Patrick and Mari came back to our place for ice cream and games.

The next morning (Friday) we joined Patrick and Mari at Backbanan. Uppsala is very flat, so in order to work on hill climbing some members of the club made a hill course on the only (slight exaggeration) hill in Uppsala. I wanted to go try it out and learn the route, so I ran with Mari. The steep uphills were killer, even when we weren't going all out. I'm looking forward to training on this and seeing how fast I can get!

Last night was another first for us - Night Orienteering District Champs (Natt-DM)! We donned our Ok Linné outfits (there's a picture of this on Mari's camera) and drove east to Länna. Ross ran men's elite (brave soul) while I ran a 3k open course with Mari :) I borrowed a light from a local club member and headed out into the darkness. We made a few mistakes (it's hard to stay on a compass bearing in the dark!), but had lots of fun. It was a beautiful night and so waiting for the boys to finish was quite pleasant.

And now it's a beautiful Saturday morning. Ross and Boris have returned from their morning run (I opted for coffee on the balcony instead) and now we will head out into the city. We hear there's a flea market that we're going to hit up for cheap stuff :) And I need to find myself a used bike so that I can get around more efficiently. Tonight Ross also has lasertag plans with the Ok Linné boys. We hear it's quite competitive :)

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