Omazing Oslo

Before you burn me at the stake for this shamelessly poor excuse for alliteration, consider this definition. Omazing: describing the unique and wonderful things in Oslo, whilst also taking into account the city’s general costliness. 

 

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I have spent most of this week in Oslo for work. Here is a summary of how it went:

  • Number of runs: 0
  • Number of stretches: 0
  • Number of Tapas dinners: 3
  • Average temperature during our stay: -8C
  • Coffees from my new favourite Norwegian coffee shop Kaffee Brenneriet: 6
  • Amount of times my suitcase broke while dragging it over snow: 2

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So my workouts didn’t exactly go to plan. I had expected that because:

1) I was sharing a room with my colleague, who I’m sure wouldn’t have appreciated waking up each morning to some high kicks from me and Cleo while I practiced the splits.

2) Did you see the average temperature above?! All my previous whinging about UK weather should be disregarded. Oslo is cold. And dark. If I wanted to run, I’d have needed my trail shoes for the snow, and to have left my colleagues at lunch to run in the daylight. No one likes that girl – and I’m going to be her when my marathon training starts next week, so no need to turn into her just yet!

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It was a good week. I’m lucky enough to work with some great people, but our team is spread throughout the world. So it was a novelty to all be in the same room as each other! And then at night, we had some omazing food. You definitely pay for quality over there, but if we hadn’t have left on Thursday, I think one or more of our credit cards would have spontaneously combusted.

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We didn’t get a chance to look much around Oslo, but I definitely picked up on the fact that Norwegians are glamorous. And the women all have nice handbags. As well as coming back with an addiction to tapas and coffee, I have decided it’s ok to buy an expensive handbag: the Norwegians do!

 

As a city, Oslo is a mix of old and new. Our offices are right by the Nobel Peace Centre, which was formerly an old train station built in 1879.

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The Nobel Peace Centre is almost opposite Oslo’s City Hall, which is a grand and modern building completed in 1950. The city seems to embrace both modern and historical architecture, which makes for a really interesting vibe and really cool views.

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I found the people to be very friendly, and I can’t get over how pretty everything when it’s covered in white. At night, the city is covered in that blanket of stillness which accompanies the falling snow – for me, it carried that same expectation of Christmas Eve!

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I got back yesterday, and today I went for a quick 5.5k run in just 27:30 to make sure that I didn’t get too used to Tapas-living. I think Strava is cheating on me: it never matches up to any official running time, nor my Garmin. It always lists me as running shorter distances for longer. I think we might be on the verge of falling out….

 

Marathon Training Weeks 5 & 6

The last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic with training, work and life in general so I am 2 weeks behind on my workout log. However you can all relax and breathe a sigh of relief as it is all below. It’s long to skim read or make a cuppa.

I found week 5 really hard. I hadn’t been taking my iron supplement – I am always low even without a lot of running – so not sure if that was the cause. Or I had my first longer mid-week run. Whatever it was, I wasn’t a happy camper in my mid-week runs last week.

Thankfully this week just gone was a bit better. Hard (as marathon training always is) but manageable. Before I go any further have you see this cartoon? It is making the rounds but worth a read. I lost about an hour to the other comics on his website also.

So without further ado I bring to you the 5th AND 6th installment of my Melbourne Marathon Program.

Week 5:

  • Monday – Rest

I was all over this rest day. Without sounding boastful, I have to say I am friggin’ awesome at rest days. I have yet to miss even one.

  • Tuesday – YASSO’s 800’s

I wrote about this training session here. It’s a tough session if you do it properly; you are essentially sprinting for 10km.

  • Wednesday – 17km

17km before work with 4 team members. A really cold dark morning but great to have the company.

We did 17.3km in 1.27 so a 5.04 pace.

  • Thursday – (4*500 +2km) * 2

These sessions are tricky little buggers. The point is that the 4 *500m sprints (with a 30 second rest in between each) really tire you out….then you do the 2km faster than your 10km pace. So it teaches your body to run when tired. And you do it all twice. It’s a hard session, which if you do properly should leave you wanting to heave at end of the 2km session. Like any session, consistency is very important.

I kept my 500’s around a 4.00min pace and the 2km around 4.20 pace.

  • Friday – Rest

Boom, nailed this.

  • Saturday – 26km with a 10km shift @ MP

I ran this with my old training partner from last year’s City 2 Surf Marathon. He has gotten super fast so I haven’t run with him in ages….so was a really nice social catch up.

We did 26km in 2.06. Our average pace was 4.51 and the 10km shift was at 4.41 pace. That is not my MP – we just agreed to meet in the middle of both of our paces!

  • Sunday – 8km Recovery Run

Oops, I skipped this! In my defence though, I was up at 7am cooking Christmas in July and didn’t take a break from cooking all day.

The many faces of running.

Week 6:

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – 3*3km with a 2 minute active recovery.

Our coach has brought in an active recovery for these sessions…so instead of standing and panting between sessions, we do a really light jog. I ran these with another guy and we managed 4.24 / 4.26 / 4.22 pace for the three laps. Not too bad but would prefer to get closer to 4.20. It’s hard though as the more training you do the more tired you are so your interval times suffer.

  • Wednesday – 17km

10km Recovery Run after work. Nothing exciting to report here.

  • Thursday – Progression Run

I went into detail on what these are here. Essentially you are getting progressively faster. I messed up my garmin on this one….but we did the same as before. Started at 5.10 for 2km then dropped to 5 / 4.50 / 4.40 / 4.30 / 4.20 for each subsequent 2km. This morning was freezing as well – I cycled to training. When I got home, my fingers were so numb I couldn’t use my key to open the door for about 6 minutes!

  • Friday – Rest

Boom, nailed this.

  • Saturday – 27km nice and slow

No MP shifts! Horray!!

Proof it gets cold in the morning in Perth 

I loved this run – despite the cold when we started. I could run long slow runs all day. You can chat and talk shit and it’s slow enough that you can run forever. I felt great at the end…could have kept going. We did 27.5km in 2.23 so a 5.13 pace.

  • Sunday – 8km Recovery Run

Heading out for this run ASAP! As soon as I finish this post! I promise.

That closes out Week 5 with 69.5km and Week 6 with 72.4Km….sounds a lot when you say it like that! Maybe that’s why I am tired? J

I have been doing my physio exercises as well and they really seem to be working……my legs haven’t gotten worse which is fantastic. It would appear I have nipped it in the bud. Considering this is what I normally do when I am sore I am super proud of myself.

And when I went to the physio on Friday he can see improvement. I am also stretching and rolling like a mofo…..and I can finally touch my toes when standing. I know for some people, Ellie, this is pathetic but for me it’s HUGE! I am always that loser in yoga who the teacher shows the modified stretches too. Franman took these of me doing my exercises without me realizing. The state of me! I also need to throw those pants out – they are so warm and comfy though!

How is your running going? Enjoy it? Or is it more like work?

Gilly