Petter Northug is stalking me

13 May

I’ve now seen Northug rollerskiing in my valley twice in less than 24 hours. The first time was yesterday walking home from work. He was coming back down the opposite side of Maridalsveien, just past the supermarket I shop at. Lots of people rollerski there, so I normally wouldn’t even have looked up. But there was something impressively different as he came by. As he double-poled down the road his speed, the ease with which he went and his power all stood out from the common lot.

The second time I saw him was this morning. I was walking down Maridalsveien heading to work. He was coming up and met me face-to-face on the same sidewalk. Seemed like he was taking it a little easier, but was still impressive. I was conveniently wearing my “Lætt Barneskirenn” t-shirt. He seemed very focused, so I’m not sure he noticed.

Northug is in my neighbourhood because he’s giving talks at the “BI” business school near my office. The show wraps up today at 15:00. Wonder if I’ll run into him during his afternoon training?

After yesterday’s sighting I was inspired and climbed Grefsenkollen for the first time this season. I’d forgotten how much that hill hurts. But I was dead set against taking any panting breaks and made it to the top faster than I did last season.

Here’s a plot from last year:

And here’s yesterday:

When the going got steep, the rollerskiing stayed much more over 10 km/h. This will be the hill climbing baseline for this year. Well see how much improvement the coming days’ suffering brings!

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