Really getting to be winter here. Temperatures plunge and the days are getting shorter and shorter. Which means there is really not much time to run outside during daylight. Soon, there will pretty much be no time at all. Polar night. Meaning that the night continues for a couple of months. Not that this means that it is completely dark outside all the time but yes, the sun does not really show up at all or only peeks behind the horizon giving a couple of twilight hours during the midday. Sweet. Or not. Depending on how you feel about it. Generally, I have not been prone to feeling sad or anxious about it but many people do, and to foreigners especially who are not used to it it can come as a shock. Some can not deal with it all but it really depends on the person. To me, it has always been a sort of quiet time. Slow time.
Winter, early afternoon at Tromså Norway.
Now, however, I kind of went and did something. Call it stupid or foolish, I am inclined to do so myself but yeah, hell or high water... I enrolled myself in the Polar Night Half Marathon held at the beginning of January in Tromså Norway. Just in case you're not familiar with the geography of Norway, this is where Tromså is...
...meaning that it's that thing circled in orange at the top. And the blue squiggly line is the Arctic Circle. Weehee. It's held by the Arctic Sea! In January!! Waaaayyyyy above the Arctic Circle!!!! And it's a half marathon!!!!!
I think I am going mental.
But the reason why I did this is not that I am crazy, which I might very well be, but that the winter is indeed long here and I felt like I needed some goal midwinter to head towards. And this was pretty much the only one available. So there.
I am bit freaked out myself though. After checking out the results from a couple of past years I realised that everyone there is so much faster than I am that there's no way I am going to be anything but the last person to finish. If I finish. Husband is worried. He doesn't get why I want to do this. And I understand that. Because I think you can only understand this sort of thing if you're the kind of mind who is pulled towards testing the limits, pushing through the limits and strengthening your ability to hang around in your discomfort zone. He isn't. And that's ok. Not everyone has to be. He may not understand what I do but neither does he tell me I'm a fucking idiot for doing it. I guess he just wants me not to die. Or something. Which makes two of us.
One of the kindergarten teachers recently asked me why I don't consider trading running in the winter to cross-country skiing when it gets really cold, and I might have to partly do that, but then again, the way I see it, if it's not too cold to ski outside, why would it be too cold to run? I remember going skiing as a kid even below -20C/-4F. Also, skiing will obviously work on cross-training days but to run you really need to run. And I absolutely bloody hate threadmills. Have used them and may have to use them but hate them with vengeance. Basically they make me feel like a hamster running inside a wheel. Now, I have gotten a program which should get me through this thing in January, gods of health providing. Add gods of weather to that. I mean it is by the Arctic sea, after all. As for strategy, how's this one?
Stick to the last runner and don't freeze to death.