After having sacrificed several millions' worth of brain cells while concentrating hard on my Sport Psychology test yesterday, I was drained of energy. I didn't know how the test had gone, but at that moment I didn't really care. I was just glad it was behind me. I re-charged my batteries with some coffee, and a couple of hours later J and I were walking to the cinema in -24 Co to see The Hobbit. It was just as cold around midnight when it was time to walk home, and it took a long time after we got back for our legs to defrost.
We continued to choose extracurricular activities along the same theme (”Bloody freezing”) today. Although temperatures had climbed to -14, a wind which the Swedish Meteorological Institute called ”light western breeze” but which felt more like ”Arctic Hurricane”, turned the air I sent down my lungs into steel knives carving the inside of my chest. On my training schedule were 8 kilometres, and I figured I'd run west first so that I'd have the wind on my back on the way home, when I was more tired.
It hurt to breathe. I've run in -20 and it didn't hurt to breathe then. For the first time this winter I wished I'd taken my Lungplus with me. I tried breathing through my nose, but I'm not used to it and I can't draw in enough oxygen to send to my muscles. With no choice but to continue, I bit the bullet and turned my eyes to the sky instead, where shades of purple and pink made me think that the apocalypse must be coming. Oh well. If we are all going to die, at least we'll be able to look at all the pretty colours before kicking the bucket.
|Phone camera failed to capture the pretty colours|
Somehow I survived the apocalyptic cold to get home and make myself a hot cup of tea. Then it was time for training part deux. J and I drove to the forest, where last year, when I'd tried to learn how to ski on my own, I fell on the same long slope every single time. Since then I've been avoiding the forest ski track for exactly that reason. Now I was determined not to let that hill limit my skiing choices to the boring camping area any more.
|Much more beautiful than the camping area|
Someone had apparently dipped my skis into a vat of glue while we were sleeping last night, because no matter how hard I pushed with my poles, I got nowhere. To make matters worse, the forest ski track is not like the one by the camping. It's not flat. It follows the terrain's natural ups and downs. I was knackered after a hundred meters. Breathing was once again hard, as the wind had managed to find us even in the tree-thick forest. I tried to double-pole to get warmer, but it was hard work. Finally, I came to the last slope, the long one, my nemesis. I checked to see that no one was behind me except J (a precaution in case I fell) and, without giving myself time to start thinking negative thoughts, I pushed myself down the hill.
Twice I went around the 3 km track in the woods. Twice I managed to get down that hill without falling. I may have let out a triumphant ”Woo hoo!” the first time, and I may have flashed a big smile at J. The second time I just looked smug. But inside I was jumping up and down with joy. Completely exhausted, I climbed into the car and turned the heat as far up as it would go. That hot shower was long overdue.