Wednesday, 13 July 2011

On the road again

We left J's hometown behind at 8 this morning and headed for the mountains. 5 hours of driving later we were there, already dreaming about all the adventures we'd have the following days.

The landscape around our flat is breathtaking. Snow laced mountain tops disappear into the mists that hang low in the sky. A light drizzle brought the already low temperature to a wintry 9 degrees. I wolfed down a sandwich and put my running clothes on. Long tights, running jacket and gloves. I haven't had to dress so warmly in ages.

I thought I'd run a couple of kilometres on Kungsleden, scout the area, prepare for my adventure of running all the way to the first cabin and back. Even before I arrived at Kungsleden, however, I started having second thoughts. It was uphill. All the way. Seeing the start of Kungsleden gave me a kick, but it didn't last. After a (steep) kilometre I started walking. Ran some more. Walked. Alternated walking and running for a few hundred metres more before I gave up. My lungs were screaming. I had gotten stomach cramps. I stopped and tried to breathe deeply to ease the pain. Wiped my glasses so that I could see where I was going. Looked around, attempted to take in the majestic environment, hungrily inhaled the crisp, clean mountain air. I turned back.

All my troubles disappeared as the ground sloped downwards. I ran effortlessly, jumped between roots and stones, enjoyed the flow. I didn't get very long before I had to stop in my tracks. A small dog was running towards me, barking its little head off.  No matter how small a dog is, a bite is a bite and I had nothing more to protect my legs but my thin long tights. I stood still while the dog's owner shouted orders at it. Once the dog was out of sight, I ran on, giving the dog owner a look that could make milk curdle when I saw her. It is illegal to have dogs loose in nature reserves, and in general where there's likely to be wild animals around.

I will have to reconsider my adventure plans. I'm having doubts about whether or not I'm strong enough to run the 11 kilometres to the first cabin and then back, seeing as it's terrain and uphill. A run/walk strategy is not looking so bad right now. Regardless, this adventure will have to wait until Friday, when the sun will be making an appearance according to the local weather forecast.

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