Someone is dusting the whole town with glitter. It floats lazily down from an almost cloudless sky, catching the sunlight and sending it off again to coat our hearts with magic. I watch it through the living room window with eyes wide open, feeling like a little kid at Christmas Eve who's just seen Santa climb down the chimney.
J and I have just come back from an 11 km long ski session. It was cloudy when we started, a weak kind of cloudy that hangs so low in the sky that it almost becomes mist, the kind that lets the sun shine through. Up on the Vitberget mountain, up top where I've never been before on a pair of skis, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're in a bubble. But it is an eerily beautiful bubble.
I struggle to move uphill, struggle to brake downhill. I fall a few times. I'm on a more advanced ski track, me, a beginner, who can hardly plough and who can definitely not turn if the tracks are broken. But it's ok. I'm doing this. It's worth it, if only for the surroundings.
The reason I'm skiing on a Saturday instead of getting in my long run will probably come as no surprise to anyone who's been reading the blog for a while: I'm injured. It started by me getting some runner's knee signals a few weeks ago, and then my calf got all jealous that my knee was getting so much attention and stabbed itself with a knife half way into an interval training session. The next day I could neither bend the leg or extend it completely. I could hardly walk.
To this day, this is an injury that I haven't been able to find any information on, as it is almost impossible to find the source of the pain (between the calf and the back of the knee. Or maybe the back side of the thigh. No swelling. No bruising.). It's been getting better, but the single attempt I made at running (5 km last Saturday) resulted in it getting slightly worse again. So I don't run. I ski instead. And I change my plans. No Lapland Ultra for me. No race-specific training. I need to find my way back to running just for fun, running according to what I feel like on that particular day. And that's ok, too. With work and other obligations demanding more and more of my energy and time, I simply don't have the strength to commit to the enormous amount of training Lapland Ultra requires.
I am at peace with this decision. It feels right.