Iltarastit, Tali


Still lots of snow on the ground, and a temperature just barely above freezing this evening.

The first red (slow) bit between #19 and #20 could not be avoided - just too much snow for running. A bigger mistake on the #11-#12 leg where clearly the better choice after the bridge would have been to run up the hill. Instead I continued north along the stream looking for the small and steep trail up to the control - which was of course completely covered in snow and invisible. Having not learnt much from this I then sort of repeated the same mistake on #25-#24 where my route is direct, but very slow because of snow up to knee-level or above. A small U-turn on #23-#15, but it probably did not cost much in terms of time lost.

My timing-receipt from the EMIT-system shows strange split-times. We'll see if those are corrected in the final results.

Winter running

When the going gets tough... ...the tough go running in icebugs

I've done a few 10k runs and some 1k repeats indoors on the treadmill at the gym, but for the long-slow-distance type of runs it's really much nicer to go outside. These shoes with spikes (Icebug ATTLA) provide added grip on harder snow and ice surfaces, although they are pretty slippery on an indoor stone floor. They are warm and waterproof although towards the end of today's 14k it felt a bit like running in rubber boots (there is a trade-off between waterproof and breathability I guess).

Running in loose snow is a bit  like running in loose sand on the beach. You spend a lot of effort and go almost nowhere! Today's pace was a minute or more slower per km than usual.

It's not unusual for us to have this much snow, but it is maybe a month or more earlier than normal.

Winter Wonderland

I took some astro-photos on Sat-Sun night, and then these "winter wonderland" pictures on Sunday morning. -15 C is not cold or unpleasant if you dress well and keep moving and generating heat. If you stand still or the wind is blowing then anything colder than -10 C is miserable. Shot with the 17-40/4L and a circular-polarizer(*) (from Dealextreme), which produces very nice deep blue skyes, and a gradient in the wider shots from almost white to dark blue. Something to practice with more in the future.

Astrophotos will appear when I have time to process them. Also stay tuned for "yellow submarine" fresh out of the mould!

Nerdy Physics Note:
(*) There's no such thing as a "circular-polarizer", in the sense that a single optical element would only pass circularly polarized light (AFAIK), and what they sell in stores as "circular-polarizers" should of course be called a "linear polarizer followed by a quarter-wave plate", but I guess "circular-polarizer" is just shorter and easier. The quarter-wave plate is there because the autofocus system on many cameras uses polarizing beam-splitters for different paths of the beam, so a simple linear polarizer would sometimes cause the autofocus to fail.