|Urd, Hanne Marthe and Fredrik enjoy a morning run on the promenade.|
Life at the training camp was very simple: run, eat, relax, repeat. Eating was easy; there was even a breakfast buffet at the hotel where we could spend an hour every morning shovelling down pancakes with dulche de leche, omelettes, fruit, pastries and bacon. I expected the whole relaxing part to be difficult, but running two-a-days is conducive to wanting to lie still. A lot. Especially when one of the runs is a track workout.
|A row of OSI runners, lying still. Photo: Fredrik|
We put in three track workouts in our 8 days there. If you had asked me before the trip if I thought I would run all three, I would have said "No way!" I would never have made it through all the tough workouts without my team mates. Being tired was no excuse; everyone was running the same amount and was just as tired as you. It helped that we were a group of 5 five girls who were fairly evenly matched and could run the workouts together. We would often plan out who would set the pace for each interval, psyching each other up as we prepared for the workout.
There was, of course, an ongoing competing to have to shortest shorts and the fastest sunglasses at the track workouts.
|The OSI Girl Power Train, Roque del Conde in the background. Photo: Fredrik|
|Beelining it for the summit.|
|Stephan, Brit Ingunn, Hanne Marthe and Fredrik on the cactus-infested trail.|
|Fredrik gazes at the ocean. Photo: Pål|
|Me, Hanne Marthe and Urd on the summit of Roque del Conde.|
We found an absolutely magnificent trail down from the summit. It was steep and technical to begin with, and gradually became more and more runnable. The group grew spread out on the descent, and I felt rather responsible for making sure everyone found the way home (since the whole expedition was my idea). After spending 20 minutes helping someone remove a thorn from their shoe, I was ready to move, fast. Luckily we were almost at the road, from whence the route finding grew easy, and I decided to book it for the last 5 K.
|Fredrik and me on the steep part of the descent. Photo: Pål|
A couple of days later, after a particularly nasty track workout of 2000 m repeats, a group of us decided to take an easier day. We decided to go for a trail run in the morning and spend the rest of the day relaxing. Once again pouring over maps on the internet, I suggested to try to pick up a trail that climb up above some cliffs along the sea and connected the towns of Las Americas and Los Cristianos.
|Pål and Hanne Marthe ascended the sea cliffs.|
We were out at sunrise, and the trail was all I hoped for and more. It climbed steeply up to the cliff edge and rolled along, providing breath-taking views as the morning rays of sun slowly illuminated the landscape around us.
|Christiane and Urd run along the cliff edge.|
|Group photo from the morning run. From the left Pål, Stephan, Urd, Christiane, Fredrik, Hanne Marthe and me.|
After the now familiar leisurely breakfast, we grabbed a taxi out of Las Americas to check out La Caleta beach a little ways down the coast. We hiked over a hill and down to the beach, and began to spot assorted colorful tents. The beach turned out to be a kind of free area of all sorts of hippies and vagrants. There was a also a strong nudist faction, but luckily nudity didn't seem to be obligatory.
The ambiance at this beach was completely different from the more groomed tourist beaches where overweight Europeans lay on tanning beds with umbrellas. We spent the day on the beach snacking and jumping in the waves and getting all of our clothes and possessions filled with sand.
|La Caleta beach and hippie camp.|
Six of us shared a taxi to the charming alpine village of Vilaflor and began the steep ascent. Pål turned early, feeling the effects of what we would call the 'Tenerife flu' that nearly everyone suffered in the weeks after the trip. Hanne Marthe had also caught Tenerife flu and turned before the summit.
|The moon landscape on the way up Guajara. Photo: Fredrik|
|Fredrik on the way up Guajara.|
|On the summit of Guajara, above Pico del Teide. Photo: Fredrik|
- The Wild Bazilchuk