In a perfect world, Marianne Jensen would be skiing more and running less, but the winters being not what they were, she is running more and skiing less.
Cross country skiing is her passion, and before pursuing a master's degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health brought her from her native Norway to Baltimore, she could spend more time skiing.
In Baltimore, Jensen, 29, has become more involved in the running community. In the past year, she has won the St. Paul's Crusade 5K, the Cross Country 10K at Catonsville Community College, the Tom Krieger Memorial Run and the Baltimore Road Runners Club's Frozen Finger 5-Miler and is seldom out of the top five in any race. Nine days ago, she finished second to Marge Rosasco in the BRRC's Valentine's 8-Miler.
"That wasn't a particularly good race because I had done an indoor [Bare Hills] triathlon the night before," she said.
But competing in road races and the indoor triathlon has made Jensen believe in the merits of cross training even more than when she was in a more arduous training regimen in Norway.
In fact, her plans upon completion of her degree at Hopkins: "I'll play some tennis and just try to do some more cross training," she said. "At the end of May, I'll do a little bit of traveling with my fiance and then we'll head back to Norway."
In the meanwhile, cross training is serving her well.
"I did a lot of running [in Norway]," she said, "but it was basically used to build up endurance for cross country skiing because that is normally what I would be doing. When I compare the hours I train [here and in Norway], I did more running at home, but on a percentage basis, I do more now."
There is good reason she is training less. Her course of studies requires her to complete 80 credits in 11 months, but, in that respect, running has been a blessing -- a relief from her studies.
"I like school at lot, but it's so important to meet with people not associated with Hopkins," said Jensen, who has been invited to undertake a doctoral program at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, where she worked as a nurse before she came here. "It's so important to go out running to get away from the pressures at school, to meet with people and friends."
* NOTES: The BRRC will defend its title when the Maryland-District of Columbia chapters of the Road Runners Club of America hold their 10-Mile Team Challenge Sunday at Howard Community College. . . . The first of a series of independently produced races gets under way March 1 with the Myers Memorial 8K in Brooklyn. The Maryvale Rite of Spring 5K follows on March 8 and the St. Patrick's Parade Shamrock Run 5K on March 15. . . . Area marathoners take note: The Renaissance All Sports Athletic Club's Last Train to Boston Marathon is March 7 at the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the B&A Trail Marathon is March 8 at Severna Park High School. . . . Dave Holmes of Baltimore will be undertaking a 47-day bicycle trip from Los Angeles to Boston in May to benefit Sandtown Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit group that works to provide affordable housing in Baltimore. He is seeking pledges from the running community. For information, call Holmes at (410) 661-2818. . . .