On Friday, the day before the Birkebeiner, we didn’t want to do too hard of a workout. Some people did a short run and others planned to go for a short ski. We hoped to get on the trails right by our apartments, but the trail we had planned to go up was all ice so we hiked up a road instead. The road kept switchbacking back and forth and we got very tired of walking. Eventually we reached a ski trail and decided to go right. The snow was really beautiful and the sun was out. There were tracks set and the trail was pretty narrow so we had to go back and forth between double poling and striding, but eventually we came to a wider section of trail. I recognized where we were as I had skied there before on Tuesday. We were 6km from the finish on the Birkebeiner trail. From this point, I double poled since I wanted to see how the finish would feel when I raced it the next day.
We skied as a group into the stadium and met up to try to find a way down. Eventually we made it to the top of the ski jump. The lift was running, so half of our group tried to go down that and the other half (including me) decided to ski a little longer, we did a fun loop with a bunch of S-turns where I drafted Jørgen and worked on my V2 alternate and free skate. When we got back to the top of the jump the lift had stopped so we had to make our way down the steps on the side of the jump. The World record for ski jumping distance is currently held on the Lillehammer jump and in order to truly appreciate its scale you have to be on it. We started down the metal stairs and I gripped the handrail firmly, not wanting to fall to my demise. The stairs got steep enough that they disappeared from view. My legs started to get tired from walking down stairs and my arms from holding skis. Eventually we reached the bottom of the jump after what felt like countless stairs and marveled at its huge scale. At this point, We crust skied down to our apartments and ended the workout for the day which although longer, was more exciting than expected.