Monday, May 31, 2010

Nøklevann - statusrapport

Jeg sykla opp til Nøklevann i går og målte temperaturen. Det er 13 grader i vannet!
Det er vel kun fuglene som syntes dette er varmt nok, så vi får vel vente litt til før vi begynner med svømmetreningen?

Friday, May 28, 2010

triathlon training camp: denmark - day 4

Monday: «Take the long way home.»

It turned out that it wasn´t me who would collapse after a 3-day training camp... it was my Honda Civic!

The little yellow light came on when I was driving home from Casa Grande on Sunday. There is an oil leak somewhere, and it is not recommended that I drive it for a long distance. Hmmm... I´m in Denmark!

I called the NAF people (Norway´s AAA) to find out my options. I don´t have a local number, so I have to call the number in Norway. They service all of Europe. Good news for me. I try to explain to her that I´m taking the ferry back to Norway on Monday. She will relay this info to her people in Denmark.

Good, I think... so I wait for a phone call.
3 hours later a guy from NAF is outside my room ready to pick up my car!
He wonders why I have not been answering my calls. He had been calling my home phone number in Oslo. How intelligent is that?
He looks at my car and agrees with me that it should not be driven very far. I ask if he can come back tomorrow, but he says I have to call NAF to place an order. But... you are here now! You see me stranded here... just come back tomorrow.
So I call back NAF to explain my situation again. She says that I need to call back in the morning to order a car.
But... I know that I need a tow tomorrow! And I know that it is an hour to drive, and that the ferry leaves at 12:45!
Well, we can´t take a reservation... you need to call back in the morning. I recommend you call early.
Thank you!

Monday morning:
I call NAF at 6:45 and explain the whole story again, this time to a guy who is not that pleasant.
«I see that you have already used your 2 free pickups this year»
«No, I have only used 1 this year back in January»
«I dont have the dates here... I just see that you have used our services twice»
«If you count yesterdays little mishap then it does not count since I did not order it»
«Ok? Hmm...»

I finally convince him, and he says he will send the info back to Denmark so they can send a car. I have no idea when he will get there, so I skip the swim practice in order to empty my room and pack up my car.
At 8:00 there is still no car, so I join the others for breakfast.
At 9:00 there is still no car, so I call back to make sure the order went through. I get the classic «I´m sure he will be there soon».
«Well, can´t you check? Is there a way you can find out where he is?»
«No, but I see that you called us a little before 7 this morning so I´m sure he will be there soon»
«Thank you»

I need to leave no later than 10:30 in order to make the ferry, so at this point the other people in my group are starting to figure out other solutions. We put my bike and my bag in one of the other cars. Also, Kristoffer´s stuff (the guy who rode with me) was put in yet another car. Trond suggested that he could tow me to the ferry since we were taking the same ferry back, which was incredibly nice of him. I even had an elastic rope in my car!

We roll out my car and start hooking up the rope. It is now 10:00.
At 10:05 the NAF car arrives!
I am very relieved! Now my car can sit on a bed instead of being towed at a much slower speed.

So... car is on the bed, and we are finally off! I´m in the NAF car while Trond is driving Andreas and Kristoffer.

We get to the ferry at 11:00. Plenty of time to load the cars. The ferry people are obviously used to this scenario and just tow me onto the ferry. There´s even another guy in the same predicament with a broken car. I´m just relieved that I made the ferry. The next one doesn´t leave until 8 pm, and I´m not even sure that the tickets can be transferred.

While on the ferry the four of us (Trond, Andreas, Kristoffer and I) were able to talk some more triathlon stuff before getting back to the real world.  Trond is explaining the "handicap" test that you can take in the pool. Something I haven´t talked about in years.

Back to the Honda situation:
Half-way over to Norway I start calling NAF again, explaining that I need someone to pull me out of the ferry and to a local mechanics place.

«When do you arrive in Larvik?»
«In about an hour»
«Well you have to call back when you dock. We cant risk you being late»
«But the ferry arrives at 4:30! The weather is perfect and there is no reason for delay»
«You have to call back when you arrive»
«Thank you»

4:15 pm. I call back, getting yet another new teller on the phone, explaining the situation again. She says that I have used up my 2 freebies and that I will have to pay a small fee. This time she is sort of right, except that it is still the same day and I was hoping that all of this would count as one service.


It was worth a try.

Thank you though!

I send Kristoffer, and the stuff that he had in my car, into the other car so that he could at least get back to Oslo.
As the gate opens, and the cars drive out, I am left behind in a now very large and empty car ferry. A sort of surreal feeling.

A few minutes later a big NAF car drives in, towards my car... passes my car and goes straight to the other car to pick him up. I guess he picked the longest straw.

I wait some more.

Finally a car comes to pull me out. This was not a NAF guy, just a guy from the ferry crew.

He pulls me out to the parking lot where I wait some more.
Finally I see the NAF guy again. He drives towards me... and then passes me. Again!?
Does this town only have one NAF guy?
5 minutes later he calls me up and explains that he has to drive that car to Sandefjord and was wondering where I was headed.
«I was hoping you could drive me to the train station after getting my car to a mechanic»
«I can drive you to the train station right now, then come back for your car after this delivery»
«Ok, thank you»

Turns out there were 3 cars on the ferry that needed towing! Is this normal? No, it is quite rare that we even have 1 car. Great, just my luck.
He also thought it was strange that the NAF people kept making me wait in order to put in the order. If he had gotten it earlier, he might have picked me up first.
Oh well... either way, I make it to the station at 6 pm. The train to Oslo leaves at 6:20. Very nice. But I did not exactly enjoy having to leave my car on the dock, and hand my keys over to this guy who promises to drive it to the mechanic. But I really did not have a choice, unless I wanted to wait another couple of hours.

Luckily I had brought with me a couple of sandwiches from breakfast. It´s a 2 hour train ride to Oslo. Then I have a 30 minute ride with the subway before I can finally get home!

There were quite a lot of people who were helping me out through all of this. Several of the guys were helping me with the car Sunday evening, trying to figure out the problem with my car. On Monday, Marit put my bike and bag in her car, and Espen offered to have it at his place since he lives closest to me. Lars Arvid took Kristoffers bike in his car. Trond offered to tow me to the ferry, plus he took Kristoffer in his car back to Oslo. I felt really bad that I had to involve all of these people, my friends. I´ve been so used to trying to solve all of my problems by myself lately that I´ve almost forgotten how to ask for help. But suddenly they were just offering to help me. I am really grateful for their help, and all of the others who were helping me along the way.

Back in Oslo it is raining and cold again. The sunny days in Sæby, Denmark went over way too fast. But again, for the 3rd year in a row, I have a ton of great memories, plus a funny story to tell about the really long trip home.

Well... maybe tomorrow it will be funny.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

triathlon training camp: denmark - day 3

Sunday: Triple Brick Day!
We´ve all been waiting for this day.
But first we had to have our morning swim. And as per usual... 6 am came even earlier today. I was tired and was hurting in new places.
Normal routine... the alarm went off, got some coffee and a banana, shuffled over to the pool. Today I even made it in the pool by 6:40.
And strangely enough I managed to swim 2800 meters in a little over an hour.

After a well needed breakfast we met up at 9:15 to gather everyone together. At exactly 9:29 we all headed out in our cars, stacked with bikes and gear, over to Casa Grande.
Mr and Mrs Grande were waiting for us so we could have our base camp there, just like the past 2 years. Extremely nice of them to let a bunch of triathletes invade their lawn.

So here´s the game plan.
We cycle for x amount of time or distance, then run x amount of time or distance. Repeat 2 times. I opted for the nice version: 1 round of cycling 18 km, then 1 round of running 2.7 km.
Goldie and a couple of others, who are on a whole different planet, went for 2 rounds of cycling and 2,5 rounds of running. Oh, and the whole idea here is that each brick is supposed to be done faster than the last... a negative split.
So after a quick debriefing by Goldie we set out for 1 master round of cycling so that everyone would know the route. When we came back we just headed out for our individual triple brick.

I started out pretty good, except that it hurt even more sitting on the bike. Did my seat get harder and smaller?
The winds were not giving us any mercy today... and again it seemed like we were getting a head wind from every angle. There was only a small stretch of road, on the way back, where we got a tail wind. But I felt pretty good and did the first round in 38 minutes. The first running was done in 14 minutes.
But then I felt really slow. The second round seemed very tough, and I did it in 40 minutes. Not good. But I managed to do the second run in exactly the same time as the first.
Third and last round seemed lighter suddenly. I managed to get energy from somewhere and did it in 36 minutes! Very nice :-)
The last running round was done in 12:40! So even though my second round was the slowest, I managed to come back in the third. (not sure if this is approved by Mr Goldie though).

At this point we were all coming in, one by one, tired and hungry. The sun was out, and Mrs Grande was serving us home made cakes and juice and even beer! Their lawn was simply covered with bicycles and triathletes. As a thank you we gave them 3 bottles of wine, one of which even had a bicycle on the label.

When we were all done we headed back to our base to get some dinner. There was not much activities after this, and we were all pretty much in bed by 9 pm.
BUT! My car acted up on the way back from Casa Grande. This would be a bigger problem than I first anticipated... but more on that later.
Day 3 was a success! Again! And a huge thank you to the Grande family who graciously took us in.

One more thing. A few of us headed over to the beach to cool off. The water was quite refreshing, but extremely nice after a hot day in the sun.
I already miss Denmark.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

triathlon training camp: denmark - day 2

6 am! My alarm goes off again.
I really want to sleep some more, but I need to get up.
My 2 roommates are not moving yet, but I stumble out to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and have a youghurt.
I manage to get the other 2 guys up. I am in the pool at 6:45 and join the others with todays program. After an hour I had about 2500 meters... a little bit more than yesterday.
Breakfast at 8:15.
We meet up at 9:15 to discuss todays ride. We could have called todays ride "Going west" alternate name could be "My butt hurts".
We decide to head straight west towards Løkken, on the west coast. It´s a straight shot out, and just under 60 km. Today´s ride was much more organized, and we only had one stop on the way over... and no flats! We made it in 2 hours and 15 minutes, with an average speed of about 26 km/h. Once in Løkken we pigged out on snacks. It is a beautiful little town, with cafes which served us ice cream and cakes and coffee. True triathlon diet.
Our planned 30 minute break turned into 50 minutes. We decide to head further north towards Lønstrup before turning back east. The weather was incredible all day! About 20 degrees and sunny, with very little wind considering we are in Denmark.
A couple of people struggled with knees and backs, so the speed was a little slower. But none of us really minded. We started out with about 17 in our group, but we split up a few times depending on how fast/slow they wanted to ride.
The trip back was about 76 km and took us 3 hours. Average speed was 25 km/h.
So, total actual cycling time was 5 hours 25 minutes.
People were coming back from their trips and we compared stories on the lawn before we headed in for dinner.
I even managed to squeeze in a 20 minute run right after the ride :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

triathlon training camp: denmark - day 1

For the 3rd year in a row, the Oslofjord triathlon club is in Sæby, Denmark to do their training camp. We are here from Friday to Monday with a pretty intense schedule.
Today started with 1.5 hour swim, from 6:30 am! (I have to admit, I was not in the pool until 6:50).
Breakfast was served at 8. A very good breakfast with all the trimmings.
The group, ready before todays ride.

At 9:45 we all met up for a briefing of todays cycling route. We headed off at 10.
The total distance for me was 126 km. We were out for 5.5 hours, but the actual cycling time was 4.5 hours, so we obviously had a lot of stops ;-)
Granted, we had 3 flats!
We were very lucky with the weather and its been sunny and about 18-19 degrees. BUT, after about 4 hours a heavy shower came through which lasted about 10 minutes, and I got pretty cold. Luckily we only had about an hour left before we got back to the hostel.
Dinner was served at 6 pm. Delicious!
I am now sitting comfortably in the room, and headed off to bed soon. The same routine follows tomorrow.

Drafting behind a tractor.

Trond fixing his 2nd flat of the day!
My lovely triathlon socks :-)
Stretching out in the sun after a long ride.
Helmet head.
Dinner is served!

It is now 9:45 pm. I need to go to bed!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

17. mai en vakker dag

Jeg hadde fulgt med på værmeldingen ganske nervøst de dagene før 17. mai. Kom det til å bli regn? Det ble ikke det. Det ble faktisk en ganske vakker dag. Ekstra koselig ble det når jeg fikk feire sammen med venner.
Her er jeg sammen med Ellen og Joachim på Karl Johans gate.

Sammen med oss var bl.a. Alex og Becky som aldri hadde vært i Norge før.

Som vanlig tok jeg med kameraet for å ta bilder. Det blir liksom ikke noen "blinkskudd", men heller ganske mange knipsebilder av mennesker i tog.

Men det ble jo en del bilder, og målet mitt var å få med flest mulig bunader. Ønsker meg en bunad selv. Kanskje en dag når jeg blir voksen.

English translation: the 17th of May celebration was a beautiful day, with no rain! I took plenty of pictures. I tried to get as many bunads as possible.

Photo album is here:

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

summer is cancelled

This is the view from my office window at noon. It´s been snowing continuously all day!
I checked before I left my house, and it was only supposed to be snowing for a while... so I took the skinny road bike to work.
May not have been the best decision. You can see it in the second photo, the purple Torpado, with the snow-covered seat.

snowing? again? really?

Looked out the window this morning to see snow falling again! And only 35 degrees outside.
Come on... really?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

photoshop fun: ice castle

What to do on a Saturday when its cold and raining outside? Play with my new Photoshop CS5 thats what! The 2 original shots were taken with my Canon PowerShot compact camera (1 with and 1 without flash). After a bit of layering and blending, the final result came out pretty cool.
One of the new things in CS5 is the Content-Aware Fill. It has kind of a mind of its own... but worked real nice in this shot.

The two shots below were the originals and were fused together to make the one above: