Monday, 9 November 2009

Crime & Punishment

The Crime: I wasted the weekend. I had the plans. I had packed the gear. I even had the weather on my side and although it wasn't perfectly crisp and clear like it had been during the week, it turned out mild, dry and perfect for a 24. So why didn't I go? I can't honestly say. I should have. I made excuses based on flimsy evidence that I regretted almost immediately. It's easy to do with the mountains on your doorstep and that is unforgivable.

The Punishment: My running program has been slowly gaining momentum and I thought I should try and push things a little bit. I made the decision to 'do Vidden', a crescent shaped route that starts on one hill above the city and ends on top of another, circling a couple of reservoirs. I'm not sure if there is an officially regarded start/finish point but as I live at the base of one of the hills I didn't think I'd be far off the course. There is a trail that leads straight up Ulriken almost outside my front door. I didn't go too balls out, I still took a small backpack and full waterproofs just in case. I even carried my camera. A quick warm up and some stretches and I was ready. Less than two minutes after leaving my house I was climbing the steep ramparts, directly under the cable cars that ferry the less energetic to the viewpoint and cafe. No cappuccino and pastry for me though, just sleeves pulled down and teeth gritted in the chilly wind that greeted everyone who made it to the top. I tried to ignore the delicious smells coming from the cafe and jogged past. With the worst of the climbing already completed at was a case of trying settling into a rhythm and enjoying the varied trail. Mud, ice, rock and grass keeps you on your toes as you slowly encircle the reservoirs fall below. The trail is a very popular day hike for many citizens and visitors and there were plenty of people out enjoying the fairly benign weather. I'll be honest, I didn't run every step. Steep, scrambly sections, bottlenecks and my attempt to pace myself made sure I sometimes slowed to a trot or fast walk. It also gave me a chance to drink and eat jelly babies. 3 hours later I arrived at the other side, Fløyen. Another 25 minutes and I was down the incredibly steep, tarmac path that burned my feet and back where I had started. I felt drained but slightly better about the weekend and less wasteful of the weather that will become a more and more precious commodity as the weeks roll on. I hope I get to have a night out in the hills next weekend. If I don't, and the weather is bad, I will only have myself to blame.

2 comments:

Dave Hanlon said...

Even the most dedicated have their moments of weakness. I dream of the hills 360 days a year and then, when I'm out, doing what I want to do, I find myself dreaming of a big steak, a cold beer and a warm bed. The last two times out I've not been able to walk past a hut. Go figure. You made good use of your weekend. It's all part of a process that gets you wound up enough to go out the next time. If It makes you feel any better, new year 2004-5, I was one of the lazy so and so's in that cable car. Didn't manage to walk past the cafe then either.

Thunder In The Night said...

Dave - Very true. I'm wound up now, just waiting for the spectacular cold, sunny weather we seem to only enjoy during the week to bleed into a weekend... it's not going to be this weekend either.

Not been up in the cable-car myself. The price and the fact that it once crashed put me off :-)