The Virus diary – Day 152 – Holiday season

The situation here in Finland is so much better than it was the last time I wrote. The government decided to lift the restriction in early June for the first time and have since done some more changes to them. Now we are allowed to eat in a restaurant (with restrictions… 50% capacity inside and so on) and go to gym and other places. Practically almost everything is now open. Not that it means that they are doing well. The restrictions do require some ingenuity and extra work. Nevertheless I am happy that we are getting back to some sort of ”normal” finally. and the ”exception law” hasn’t been applied since 16th of June. The amount of new cases is close to nothing and even though the first restrictions were lifted already earlier this month new cases amount has not increased, so we are in a good situation it seems.

Camping fun

Enjoying the sunshine after long dark winter <3

Since it’s looking generally better here, the number of new cases is going down to less than 5 in the whole country, we also decided to go for a short ”family getaway” camping with the kids. If a teenagers asks ”Mom, can we go camping ?”, I will head packing straight away. It is such a rare occasion nowadays that they actually want to do something together. Decided to go fairly close here to a campsite that has both a water park and an amusement park next to it to avoid too much hassle with travelling and knowing that it had just opened up for the summer (normally they would have been open from May) thought it would be fairly empty anyway and I was right.

They had taken all precautions and naturally we also did our part and kept washing our hands and waited patiently for the ”clean-up” breaks in the amusement park. Camping itself was fun and it was great to see the kids getting along so well. They sometimes keep bickering around constantly and then suddenly get along so well. Today was a good day in that sense so camping turned out to be a success.

Next day we went to the water park which was rare luxury that we had such perfect weather. It was closer to +26 which is a lot here in Finland and it was so hot ! Sliding down into cool water including a bit of sunshine was perfect a way to spend the day. In the water park they also had two ”shifts” for customers, morning and evening ticket. This was their way to limit the amount of people coming in so we would not be all full packed next to each other. Apart from the mosquitoes and black flies it was a perfect and much needed holiday.

YES I did go on that crazy swing high up!

Working from home continues

Although the situation if better everywhere in Europe our company has taken the approach to keep all offices closed until the end of the year. This means that I won’t be returning to our office in the city centre for a while yet, but at least I can go and eat lunch outside somewhere if nothing else ,since the restaurants are now open again.

I have done some changes now to my ”home workplace” to accommodate this change. Got a proper office chair and will most likely use a small chest height cabinet as a table and stand every now and then. Holiday is now over and it’s back to the grind again on Monday. Luckily weather will be warm enough to work outside for a few months more so I will take advantage of that and change spots a bit around the house and terraces. If I will be able to get my leg back in shape again maybe do some shorts walks during the day to get some every day exercise that I lack now without commuting (walking to metro, walking to office, walking to lunch and so on). Physiotherapist might disagree, let’s see once I get my first appointment.

How will choir singing continue?

Most choirs are on summer holiday ,at least more amateur ones, so there is no practising anyway during June-July. What will happen in August is still a bit open to many of us. Some have started practising with the whole choir, some in smaller groups, some through zoom, some not at all. If the situation continues to be this good then maybe we can get back to some sort of arrangement on live rehearsals, but since singing (and shouting) have been proven to spread the virus through aerosols we are being cautious for a reason.

I am still taking part in various different virtual choir projects and love them all but I do miss the live situations and singing, not to mention actual performing. BUT this is now and who knows how the situation changes in the next few months. Hopefully to the best and we can get together again without fear of infecting anyone with our lively singing. Gospel singing has never been a very ”inconspicuous” type of singing and performance 😀

Who knows what the rest of the year looks like. We just need to wait and see just like until now. One day at a time.

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Getting old(er) – Part I – Recognise these symptoms?

They say that women were not designed to live much past 40 years from evolution point of view (hunter/gatherer era, more interesting hypothesis and research here) which makes sense as otherwise you would think that women would have eggs for reproduction enough to last 80+ years when the life expectancy for women in Finland is for example 85,1 years according to Worldometer. Now our storage is depleted by the time we are around the age of 50 and last egg specimens before that are virtually unusable and defective anyway.

So I don’t think our ancestors had to worry so much about this topic of getting older or the symptoms of it as they never reached the age that we now call ”middle age” for women. This topic has though become very apparently a permanent part of my life so I thought I’d share my thoughts and notes on the jolly progress.

Everyone is different and things happen in different time to us due to that fact. They say your body has ”chronological age” (from when you were born to what age you are now) and ”biological age” (what age you seem to be) and to the latter one you can make a difference with your life style. Anyway whatever way you calculate it, the clock is ticking and aging will catch up with all of us eventually sooner or later and it definitely has caught up with me!

How do I know it?

Hmm well let’s start with a list. Recognize any of these symptoms?

  • Your brain is continuously stuck in a fog as if you had a few too many glasses of Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz (and you haven’t had a drop!)
  • You start avoiding looking at your mobile phone in public places because you don’t want to dig out your reading glasses from your hand bag. You’d rather skip it than dig it…
  • When listening to young adults talking about how their mother did ”this and that” you realize you could be the mother they are talking about!
  • Everyone with a pram or a baby look young enough to be your child…
  • Trampoline and you simply do not get along anymore
  • Stepping on an ant will make you dig out a tissue
  • Sleeping in the fridge could be an option

Accepting the fact that I am getting closer to 50 than 40 has been hard and since this topic is not that much discussed in general I decided to share my thoughts, findings and solutions on the matter that have worked for me. Besides it’s so much more fun to grow old(er) together than alone! The more the merrier so let’s share our ideas and thoughts on the matter <3

Stay tuned and join the journey in Getting old(er) part II – Help me, I can’t see!

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Training – W20-22 Slowly does it

I’ve been thinking how to finally get back to training so I would not overdo it again. Decided to try cycling a bit first and then walking and add slowly a bit of running with max two times a week and max 3 kilometers at a time. I clearly have lately had the need to get more exercise and exhaustive enough to actually sweat properly. Never thought I would say that, but yes I miss sweating like a pig!

Thought that maybe if I go cycling I might get enough speed to get a bit of heat up but no, with my old granny bicycle the only time I got a bit warm was this one small hill I found. On the contrary I was freezing because with my luck it had been sunny the whole day, but when I left for my ride a storm came with first hail and then sleet. I had my rainproof gear on so I wasn’t really wet (apart from my ankles and shoes as naturally the water and sleet kept dripping down when I cycled), but it was freezing cold… So much for spring…That was though three weeks ago. We got a bit better weather now.

Two weeks ago I thought I’d be brave enough and do a good warm up with 4.9 kilometer walk and the run a bit. I also stopped over at the gym on the way back to check it out since it had just been opened after covid-19. Lots of stretching on top and lots of foam rolling few days afterwards and it was OK so decided to try some more running the following week.

Bought new running shoes too as the old ones were way too old and had seen over a thousand kilometers already. First run of the week 3 kilometers was fine. Went for another run 4 kilometers and still fine. Decided that no more running that week, but the weather was so beautiful that I felt like I needed to get out so went for a bike ride again. Accidentally it became 21,3 kilometers because I got a bit lost which was apparently too much. My leg did not agree and got that numbing feeling on it later in the afternoon, but went quickly inside and did some foam rolling and stretching and it actually passed so not really sure what is causing what anymore.

Three week total

  • Cycling 60,3 kilometers
  • Walking 16,9 kilometers
  • Running 8 kilometers

Week 20

  • Cycling twice altogether 22,3 kilometers. One 13 kilometers and one 9 kilometers
  • Walking twice altogether 8 kilometers. One 3 kilometers and one 4,9 kilometers

Week 21

  • Cycling once 16,7 kilometers
  • Walking once 4,9 kilometers
  • Running once 1 kilometers
  • Quick visit to the gym…

Week 22

  • Cycling once 21,3 kilometers
  • Running twice altogether 7 kilometers. Once 4 kilometers and once 3 kilometers
  • Walking twice altogether 4,1 kilometers Once 1,6 kilometers and once 2,4 kilometers

Am I better now?

Continuously there seems to be pinching, numbing and strange sensations on the leg which come and go so I am pretty sure it’s not caused by any inflammation anymore but some sort of entrapment on my left glute or thigh/calf muscle. We shall see if it gets worse or does not pass with foam rolling/stretching and even if it does I might need to call the doctor again. This is clearly not ”normal” and prohibiting me from exercising the way I wanted to.

Anyway I am back to doing something which is so much better than doing nothing. I have been very exhausted after each exercise which is not what normally has happened after only three kilometer run so clearly I am recovering from ”something”. There is a long way back to 10 k runs, but it feels good to exercise and I’m looking forward to being able to increase the distances hopefully. I have missed it so much!

Aiming to do two more 3-4 kilometer runs next week and then maybe increase the length by one kilometer per week for two week at a time gradually. Let’s see, wish me luck!

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Kilimanjaro Day 9/10 – Horombo camp to Marangu gate

Sunburn on my lower lip!

I could not sleep. I had this weird tingling feeling on my lower lip. I kept on putting lip balm on it, but it just did not go away. I finally fell asleep though only to wake up later with my lower lip completely swollen. It felt like an allergic reaction, but I could not figure out what had caused. Managed to sleep until the morning somehow and remembered that Christine, on of our guides from Maximum Adventures, had some antihistamin still left so asked if she has one hoping it would help.

During breakfast I found a soul mate James who had similar issue. We came to the conclusion it was not an allergic reaction (or it kind of was…) but we had sunburn on our lip! The one day I did not have my sunhat on as it was too cold when we left and naturally that was the cause. I had sunscreen on my face but not on my lips. I kept on putting lip balm on and it helped a little during the day, but I did not look pretty as you can see! Not to mention it was rather painful.

Anyway after the nights absolutely gorgeous ”view from space” it was a bit cloudy and all we could see were the clouds beneath us although we were sort on on a cliff with perfect view down. Packed everything for the final time and had breakfast. Then one more dance and sharing of the tips. It was a special moment and we all felt a bit sad that it was coming to an end.

Downhill… a long way!

Our guide told us it’s 18 kilometers to Marangu gate so I packed enough snacks and water to last me that distance. As we were descending now I was sure our pace would be much quicker and was looking forward to going downhill finally. I have always been really fast at going downhill and even beat my husband in that although he keeps on beating me going up so I suppose we got a good combination there and room for improvement for both. So I felt good despite the sun burned lip because I thought that I can finally get some proper exercise and sweat a bit maybe. I missed exercising although it sounds funny having just climbed to the 4700+ meters, but you know what I mean. Proper sweating and getting exhausted with heart rate up, that’s what I missed.

The path was really good, wide and very busy. People were going up and coming down constantly. It was hot, sunny and our pace was a bit too slow to my liking. There was not much vegetation yet but some nice looking plants. Since the pace was a bit slow tried to entertain myself with taking photos of the plants. I have a whole album of just photos of plants and will create a gallery of them at some point. We also saw some giraffes, or that’s what we were told they were. Can you spot the yellow dots? I helped you out a bit 😉 Without anyone telling I would not had any idea what to look for they were that far. Apparently usually they don’t wander this high they said.


Through the rain forest in rain naturally

Looking at my sports watch I could already predict that no way would we be at the gate around the time they had calculated as we were not even halfway (9k’s) by the time we got to Mandara hut.

We had our second snack break there and I had already run out of my water and food by that time. I did not really want to stop but wanted to keep going so we can get ”on the ground” again. For some reason the journey seemed to last forever. It’s probably all the waiting and excitement of getting back to hotel and then home that caused it. Maybe the exhaustion of the whole climb and your body accommodating to it. There was also constant worry what we would face on the ground with covid-19 situation and what other news there is. What has happened in the world in past few days?

It started raining just before we left Mandara hut, but I didn’t bother putting full gear on yet. Then after a few kilometers it was clear it’s not going to stop so we stopped to put on full waterproof gear. I am so happy I had those all the way up zip pants as it was pouring on and off until we got to the gate and it’s so much easier to open the zippers than to take off and put on the pants all the time. Saves so much time and hassle so highly recommend getting that kind of pants for any long hikes!

Suddenly I noticed being all alone with the guide at the front and the rest of the team was nowhere in sight and could not hear them anymore either. The guide at the front kept going and going and even me being quick at descent felt like he was going a bit too fast. Then again I had no choice but to keep up with him as I had no idea how far the others were and did not fancy standing in the rain in rain forest all by myself. Since it was raining there is no photos of that part of the trail either. My camera and mobile phone would have been soaking wet if I had tried.

Everlasting trail

They say that you need to also go down moderate pace not too fast due to the altitude because you can get symptoms also coming down. I had ran out of water a long time ago already and was really thirsty. It was hot and humid and I was tired. It felt like the trail never ends. There was nowhere else to go but straight ahead because the forest was so thick grown. The only option was the trail forward and it seemed to last forever.

Taking one step at a time and getting into the routine and flow of steps and I felt like I was in another world. I just kept going and going without thinking about anything except where I will land my next step as there was quite a few roots you could trip on. At some point I felt VERY disoriented and out of place. My mind started to wander to my youth and I just kept going and going with my legs moving in the exact same pace over and over again. It was a very strange feeling!

By the time my sports watch showed 18 kilometers and the sign at a crossroad said something like 3,4 kilometers I knew that we had been told a ”white lie” so we would not feel so stressed about the distance. I suppose anything over 20k’s they thought might be too much so they said it would be a bit less. I have learned this tactic already earlier and was suspecting it already around 15 kilometers.

Anyway like said I had no choice but to keep up with this guy and hope that one day it will end and we will get to the gate eventually. By the time we reached Marangu gate I had walked 22,63 kilometers in 6 hours and 8 minutes with approximately 1840 meters descent. My sports watch went on power save mode so did not catch all the data like exact descent. So our 18 kilometers ended up being 4,6 kilometers longer than we were told. I was starving, thirsty and so happy to see the people greeting us and yes… to get some FOOD!

I felt so accomplished having been able to keep up with the pace of this young guide so yes I did get my ”exercise” and feeling of exhaustion!

Finally at Marangu gate!!

Everyone arrived on their own time a bit after us. Our cook had prepared lunch last time to us and we all had well deserved drinks with it. For some reason nobody wanted to touch the Snickers bars. No wonder, I had had enough of Snickers bars for years to come!

Back at the hotel

At the hotel we turned on our mobiles started getting all these messages from outer world. Naturally the connection at the hotel was not able to handle all the data coming in and out as it was not too good to start with, but managed to call my husband and kids a video call quickly. After that we all head out to our rooms, had a long waited shower and yes a nap in a comfy bed!

In the evening we had a dinner and got our certificates of participating the climb with a surprise proposal by our UK guide Michael to Christine. I don’t remember being that tired many times in and did not feel too good, mostly because I ate too much probably, so head to bed before midnight. Besides the idea of your own comfy bed was very tempting after the mattress in the tent that kept sliding downhill all the time…

I was so looking forward to going home. I had enjoyed every minute of the climb but now I could hardly wait to get home. I had no idea what kind of weather it would be, maybe finally snow? Maybe not… It was hard to think of Finnish weather after Africa they are so different. We had one more day left before going home…

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The Virus Day 116 – Restrictions lifted slowly

Primary schools and kindergartens opened up again this week here in Finland. In a way it’s an end to a certain era of the fight against Covid-19. I doubt we will need to have this drastic measures again, but you never know. It has helped a little with the concentration now that there is less hassle at the house during the day. I suppose next week I will finally know the real effect of working home alone. I don’t really remember how it felt even because it feels it’s been such a long time with full house.

They will also start opening up other places slowly in the beginning of June like restaurants and the group size restrictions is increased from 10 to 50 people. Still for example many offices will stay closed, ours included, and restaurants are definitely not going to be fully operational yet, nor any other venues or shops.

Closures and empty space

After a few months I visited a shopping centre a few days ago and it was a bit eerie feeling with so many shops either closed temporarily or permanently. Quite a few had closing down sales which makes you wonder what there will be left after a few weeks? Even if there is something left, will anyone have money to spend anymore? How vulnerable our society is and how dependent on everyone spending money. We have built it around materialism maintaining the standard of living . Now that we are home we don’t buy anything ”on the way somewhere” or ”passing by”. I am actually hoping that this will be the end of the materialism in the world in a way and have noticed that I am thinking more consciously about what I put my money into, do I really need it and have found a lot of things you can actually do without!

I am worried, like everyone is, about the future. How all this will affect us and how long will it take before we recover from this. Then again good things may happen. We travel less overseas and even to work so it must have a positive impact on the air quality and climate. Maybe more people will continue working from home and travel less in general and pollution will go down. Then again is that enough to make a real impact on the climate crisis? I for one have changed my thinking. I have no desire to travel overseas currently and even when it is possible it may take a while before I would consider doing it.

I don’t think people will stay put and never travel again, but I do think that they will travel less far and travel more domestic and shorter distances. People will continue playing it safe for a while and the further to the unknown you go, the less sure you can be that you won’t get or spread ”The virus” so it makes sense not to rush around the world.

Home sweet home

Just being home has become more and more attractive. I do still miss certain things like the salad in restaurant Teatteri in Helsinki city centre where I used to go on my lunch break. I also notice thinking more and more about ”if I ever get to do that again”, so something has changed. This current ”normal” is so stuck in your head already that you start remembering what it used to be like and reminiscing the past and ”nice” things. Even petty things that you can definitely do without.

You find yourself thinking ”that actually it’s quite vain”… Really just going to a concert or restaurant to eat out. I mean you can do without those. Then again, you can do without a lot of things, but all these ”nice things”, consuming and seek of pleasure and ”good feeling/atmosphere” is what we live for. We humans just do that naturally and I don’t think we will ever stop seeking pleasing experiences and stop doing things that make us feel good.

But for now I have learned to like just being home and when we do get to go to a restaurant or a small concert again after all this time I will embrace those moments and support the people who do them. They do make life so much more pleasurable and fun!

What I will though continue doing is evaluating everything material that I buy with the following criteria;

  • Do I really need this?
  • Can I live without this?
  • Is this a good quality product that won’t break in first use?
  • Is there a more sustainable alternative?
  • Do I really need this :)?

So at least my mind set has changed . How has yours changed?

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Training – W16-19/2020 Absolute stand still

I haven’t been able to train at all for the past weeks. I was sure that ”listen to your body and let it heal” would work, but it dd not seem to do the trick. I took it really easy for a few weeks and then went for a short walk with my daughter to the forest after which my left leg was in pain again. So went to the doctor to get a diagnosis and surprise, surprise it was ”Runner’s knee” so exactly that inflammation of the IT band as I thought in my last training post from W15/2020. I was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs (Again!! Got them in Jan 2020 too, not my favourite pills) to get rid of the inflammation and if that does not help then come back.

So ate the pills as prescribed. These also had side effects such as higher heart rate, higher blood pressure and really weird general feeling so took them only that minimum 7 days and now have not been taking them for four days. Not sure though if they helped, as out of the blue suddenly three days ago I got the same strange numb feeling on my left leg without ANY walking even, so I am puzzled.

On a 5 k slow picnic hike with my daughter
to test if I can walk / jog a few weeks ago

The doctor also mentioned there could be some other underlying issues like nerve entrapment, but the pain seemed to be exactly where it would be for the Runner’s knee issue. So have been doing loads of foam rolling and stretching as suggested and noticed that my glute muscles are actually pretty sore and not just my calves. Maybe it’s just a general ”whole leg nerve entrapment” and I am paying the price for not having stretched enough after training.

So again. My own fault probably.

But what can you do but try your best and hope that soon I will be able to go to the gym and hopefully start running slowly again. I could really use some advise if anyone has suffered of the IT band inflammation how long it took to get better and how slowly should you start training again and what gym exercises would be good?

Good news is that it seems to help. Foam rolling that is. I did go for a 9 k bike ride with my daughter yesterday and my leg did not hurt after it, but I did feel that I had done something so hoping that this was the first step to recovery finally.

BTW thanks to Covid-19 I have not been walking even to the metro and to office so my steps on average have been pathetic, not to speak of my amount of training. I was actually shocked to see how few steps I have been taking lately without the every day normal routines. I know that for some this situation has been the trigger for them to exercise and walk even more here in Finland ( we have been able to go out all the time). It is easy to notice this trend on the path next our front door, it’s more like highway nowadays! I am not one of them though and it’s getting on my nerves I can tell.

I truly hope that there won’t be yet another setback and I would be back to square one with my left leg again! Despite of everything I am feeling slightly more positive than a few days ago. I still think that healing shouldn’t be rushed, so trying to find a little more patience again for the week ahead from somewhere…

Training total for the past month

So to the exiciting part… drum rolls…. Training totals for the week… they would be so pathetic and non existent that this time I am adding monthly totals. Let’s call this the Corona month 🙂

  • 1 walk 2,5 kilometers
  • 1 circuit training 43 minutes
  • 1 hike 5 kilometers
  • 2 times cycling, one 3,25 kilometers and another 9 kilometers

Training plan

Now I understand that I need to start easy so my training plan must reflect that. If it looks like my leg is on the mend I will plan something around that thought. Good part is that gyms are open also so I will be able to go there also if needed for specific moves.

Happy training everyone,

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Kilimanjaro – Day 8/10 – From Kibo to Horombo camp

Leaving Kibo camp heading towards Mawenzi peak

Finally down hill, yay! I was so happy to go to bed knowing I would be ”getting out of here”. I was already feeling better, but still not good. Anything you did was an effort. Getting up and going to the toilet even! I had hard time falling asleep the night before because I had slept during the day while waiting for the others to return, but did manage to get some sleep. Like always I woke up with the sun and waited for the hot water to arrive so I can get my morning dose of Milo as I was SO hungry.

For the first time during the whole climb up I was actually hungry and it felt good.

The path seemed to last forever! Distances are all skewed on the mountain!

Everyone woke up in their due time. This morning we were leaving a bit later around 10 am so we had more time to get ready than normally. I was keen to leave. Not only because I knew we are heading down hill and it can only get easier from here, but also because I knew there are showers at Horombo. Cold showers, but showers nevertheless. I don’t care how cold it is. I’m going there!

Everlasting path…

We said our goodbyes to the moon-like Horombo camp and the snow capped tip of the volcano and started our ascent. Sun was shining from a cloudless sky and we got some nice shots towards Kibo camp with Ubuntu ”girl power” team! (See feature image above post). It was a bit chilly so I did not have my sun hat on, but just a normal hat and sunglasses. Big mistake I learned later!

The path was wide and very long across the saddle between Mawenzi (second highest peak in Kilimanjaro National Park ) and Kibo (highest peak). You could see the moon-like scenery lasting as far as your eyes can see. Then finally the vegetation begins to change and we can see a few bushes.There was clearly more traffic on this side of the mountain than the one we climbed up.

Finally some vegetation also! The path was more like highway! So many people coming and going.

Ubuntu and Ashanti

It didn’t feel like 9,5 kilometers and I had even a bit too much energy. We reached the camp by lunchtime and had the last of our greeting dance with the team. Now everyone was joining the dance again, but the feeling was sad. The time on this magical mountain was coming to an end.

On our team everyone was needed and we could not have done it without them. The cooks, porters, guides. It was a well organized and seamlessly working community and team. I have very high respect to these people who made it possible for us. It makes me sad that now their livelihood is gone with Kilimanjaro National park closed due to Covid-19. Then we did not know yet how bad it will get. Later we heard that we were among the last groups to go up. Team Ubuntu was indeed very lucky!

Whole Team Ubuntu crew. We could not have done it without any of them! Thank you Ashanti tours <3

S-h-o-w-e-r and SMS messages

And then… the long awaited shower! Ice cold, but who cares. Me and Kirsty were brave and went there and it was so good! I cannot overrate how great and refreshing it felt. Funny how little things make you so happy… And a flushing toilet. No more finding suitable bushes or rocks!

Mobile coverage also worked on and off as we were camped on this ridge so I managed to send and receive a few SMS messages. Getting messages from home made me realize how much I missed my children, husband and even the cat! Just normal life felt like luxury now and I could not wait to get home.

Before that we still had one very long day and 18 kilometers ahead of us (well that’s what the guide said), to get to Marangu gate out of Kilimanjaro National Park. After nice shower and hot meal we were all again pretty tired as the day had been again long with 9,5 kilometers down hill. Took a nap, read a book. Somehow the afternoon passed by and it was dinner time again. After dinner I finally watched a movie I had downloaded on my mobile. Until now I had not felt like watching anything, but now I felt better and didn’t think I could anyway fall asleep anytime soon, so watching a movie would be a good pass of time.

View from ”space”

When we got to camp (3733 meters altitude) there was quite a few clouds so you could not really see where you were at, but at night when I woke up to go to the toilet the sky was clear and you could see the lights of all the roads, cities and towns below. We were still so high that it felt like you were watching the earth from space. It was so breathtakingly beautiful that I could not go back to sleep, but had to just sit there and keep staring at it for a while with tears flowing thinking about all the lives of the people there how they do not know that I am here staring down at their city from above wondering what they are doing. Thinking how there is so much life on Earth, how these little specs of light indicate where humans wander.

I think it was a bit of unburdening the stress of the journey both physically and mentally as well as missing home. In a way the mountain was both frightening and mesmerizing at the same time. You respect it, wonder it and admire it’s beauty, but still feel like we are here just to visit, this is not our place, we are just passing through.

Finally went back to my tent to sleep being grateful that I had seen that view all alone in the middle of the night. In the morning the clouds were back and we could not see downhill clearly anymore.

Unfortunately I could not sleep too well due to strange feeling on my lower lip which just seemed to get worse and worse… To be continued 😀

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The Virus – Day 97 – How much longer?

This is now longer new and exciting. This is no longer the new normal. This is now abnormal and I would like it to end. I think that pretty much sums up the feelings of the past few weeks, but let’s dig deeper into why I feel this.

No running… no forest, so gardening!

I have been not been able to run for four weeks now and I have been indoors now for 8 weeks I think? I have lost count. It’s not easy when you are used to being outdoors and especially the forest has been my lifeline. Now I have not been able to even think about climbing a small hill let alone hike. I try to tell myself that if I just stay still, it will get better eventually and I can run again, but it’s hard. Harder than I thought.

So past two weeks has been absolute stand still exercise wise. I tried the other weekend a little bit of cross training, but no, it hurt, so decided to concentrate on gardening and music instead.

Work and home balance is complicated

Work seems to pile up as it is harder to concentrate with so many distractions at home, meetings, phone calls, skype calls, even video calls in the evenings for hobbies. Life is just pure online gala and I so miss my forest and total silence.

Also when work is so ”close” and no exercise scheduled it’s harder to keep the separation between home and the work time. You need to cook food in the middle of the day ,or go to the shop in between meetings and respond/read the ever-continuing flow of emails and messages from work, school and pre-school/Kindergarten.

Your whole entire life is just a big jumble of scheduling the day between these different medias, apps and online ”things”.

My lifeline = gardening and music

That is why I have had to figure out a bit different lifelines without running, gym or forest or even choir practise. One of them is gardening. We have been lucky with the weather so me and my youngest daughter have been digging the yard upside down since I have too much energy. It will look absolutely beautiful!

The other lifeline has been singing and playing the piano. I am grateful that I have been able to take part into so many wonderful and interesting productions, yes online! So singing into microphone or your phone with a backing track. See one of them ”Finlandia-hymn” which is one of the most important national songs for Finland published on Monday 27th of April for the Veteran’s day in Finland on the Youtube channel of the Finnish government. I have also done a lot of practising on piano. Bought new sheet music and all these things have allowed me to have a bit of break from the work and chore routines.

But still I really miss running by now and especially the forest!

Singing project for the Veteran’s day in Finland reminded me of my grandfather, a war veteran himself who passed away a long time ago <3

New interesting thoughts

I have though noticed myself thinking a bit differently about this situation than before. I used to think ”it’s fine, it won’t last, one day at a time” and so on. A bit of pep talk to myself, but now I notice I have started thinking a bit more ”negatively” I would say. The thoughts are more like ”If we ever get to go there again”, ”It would be so nice to still one time do this” and so on. You start remembering and reminiscing all these great places you have visited and nice relaxing routines and habits you had which you can no longer have.

The excitement of the ”new and interesting” situation has disappeared and you just want it to be over with. The truth though is that this will never be ”over with”. Covid-19 is here to stay and who knows how long it takes before we find a vaccine and by that time we have all probably had it anyway.

This all makes me think that I will probably need to get used to the idea that eventually no matter how I try to avoid it, I will get it and just need to hope for the best. The reason why I fear getting it a bit is that I have scarred lungs, so it might potentially be pretty bad for me, but then again I might fall ill from it without even knowing and I am generally well and have no other underlying risk factors.

Who knows how long any of us can really avoid it?

Self isolation continues

What ever the scenario, self isolation will continue for our family. We will keep following the government regulations and when we do get the lottery ticket of corona virus possibly later on we’ll deal with it then. Until that happens, I will keep avoiding it if I can, but I am more in terms with the fact that probably none of us can avoid it… In these thoughts… Take care, be safe, keep calm and avoid people ❤

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Training – W15/2020 Easter holiday and a bit of gardening

Since my leg started hurting AGAIN after quite an easy walk in my opinion It was clear I should not do any kind of training either. With Easter holiday coming up on the weekend I was a bit sad. Mostly because it would have been nice to go somewhere with the kids for example for a forest hike or something, but clearly I needed to let the leg rest a bit and avoid sideways movement.

Did a few walks and some gardening on the weekend as it was really lovely and sunny weather. We managed to do some great progress on the front yard cutting an old bush and spreading some fresh new bark cover. I suppose you could call that exercise too and at least I got outdoors.

The sad part is that this time we walked for 6,3 kilometers on Easter Sunday and that was too much also. I practically completely lost feeling to my left leg and could not put any weight on it after we got home. I felt absolutely nothing when walking, but this started when we got home.

Following the pattern, symptoms and when the leg gets aggravated finally gave me a clue on what to look for, so yes I googled my symptoms and figured out I have most probably IT band inflammation which is a common problem for serious athlete runners (so I am an athlete now?? 🙂 ). Good news is, it does heal, but tends to be a continuous problem after it. All my symptoms tick all the boxes for this exact condition. It is caused by running on uneven surfaces (the forest, tick), bad shoes (I know I need both new running and trail running shoes, tick) and going uphill and downhill (the forest and the stairs, tick).

Virtual choir project

So what now? I need to take it EVEN EASIER if that is possible. Not sure how. Then slowly back to running. First short distances and build it from there. Not sure when I can go back to the forest which makes me extremely sad, but there is nothing else I can do but wait now. Last thing I need is a broken knee with which I could never run again with. Better just to listen to your body and let it heal.

So concentrating even more on singing, piano and gardening. Luckily the weather is really beautiful and spring is a bit ahead of time. Days are longer, birds are singing and leaf buds are visible on the bushes and trees. I think I can make it.


  • Three walks; one 2,7 kilometers, one 4,9 kilometers and one 6,3 kilometers

Training plan

No physical training what so ever. I will train my vocal chords, but those are the only muscles I am allowed to train for a week now!

See our Virtual choir project which was one of my ”training” project. See if you can spot me among the 1120 singers. Ok, ok I made it easier for you and linked to the spot where you will most likely spot me 😉

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Training – W14/2020 More pain but still no gain

My leg was not still OK, so still no running. I do not want it to get worse and then I cannot run for months, so decided to not run the whole week but do a few easy online circuit training and maybe walk a bit. And hey might as well try to shed that extra 1,5 kilos I’ve been wanting to do to get to my goal weight for a while. So decided to go back to measuring what I eat since it’s much more easier to control the amounts and balance it out when you are not exercising that much. I noticed that when I lost 15 kilos! See My Weight loss journey series for more info on how I did it.

Ended up doing a few walks and a few circuit training during the week, but especially the last walk 8,9 kilometers was too much and my left leg got aggravated again and I was in pain. I had no choice but to decide on absolutely NO STRENUOUS TRAINING for a while. It is hard because I am so used to doing training. Then again in these kind of situations I tend to think this is my chance to do something else I have not had time to do… like playing the piano!

At least on my ”last walk” I got to climb on high hill and see a beautiful sunset between the trees! (See feature image above). That climbing may actually have been the cause of the pain… who knows.

Anyway, pretty measly week training wise and a bit scared also that if this is more serious. It keeps going away always after a few hours so assuming it’s nothing too bad that time won’t heal so I am not heading to a doctor until it REALLY hurts. They would only say rest and do not exercise and I can diagnose that myself. Besides they are busy as it is with covid-19 raving in the world.

So let’s see what total rest will do and how it is after a week of complete rest.


  • Three walks; one 1,8 kilometers, one 4,8 kilometers and one 8,93 kilometers
  • Two circuit training 50 min and 1h 18 min

Training plan

Learn to accompany myself on piano better since I cannot do any strenuous physical exercise 😀

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