Training 2020 totals – A very different year

No doubt year 2020 was very different to me and not only because of covid-19 but also because I climbed to Kilimanjaro and after that didn’t climb or run for the next 8 months. My IT band inflammation was a complete surprise to me and extremely hard mentally to cope with.

I am used to exercising and that being taken away suddenly in addition to home schooling, working from home and covid restrictions I admit I was not coping well. I tried to psyche myself by putting my energy to something else and that is when modelling /tv/movie extra roles came into play. They have saved many days when you want to do something, but cannot run or even go to the gym. At least you can act!

Nevertheless I have been able to do quite a lot of training, but it’s just been a bit different kind than before and there has not been any kind of goals this time. After my injury and verdict from the doctor finally early spring I at least knew what was wrong and could plan on how to get better.

Naturally in this case less is more so had to cut back on training extensively and concentrate on handling the inflammation. Took the inflammation pills I got from the doctor, but they had pretty bad side effects and practically my heart was pounding and blood pressure went suddenly up and then down. They just did not agree with my body.

So grateful to be able to train again

I did take the prescribed amount, but decided that I cannot risk being forced to take them again or at least would have to find another brand. Anyway luckily I then discovered ginger and turmeric and took capsules meant for joints that contained those for a few months and also drank shots of them regularly and still do every now and then. Late summer I didn’t feel the pain anymore and by September I wasn’t constantly watching out the leg and thinking about the pain and could slowly start running again.

At the same time I also started doing light exercises for hamstrings and glutes to get strength back which tshould support running. Apparently loosing significant amount of weight (16 kilos read more in ”My Weight Loss Journey” -series) and all that training caused the center of gravity to change and imbalance on the muscles. So more training to the butt that is!

I also found softer sports like Yoga which has been a life saver. It has helped me to keep myself flexible and also grow overall strength with movements based on my own body weight. It has definitely helped with getting the center of gravity back to where it should and my posture has improved so much! Four babies definitely caused changes to my body and I am glad I noticed now that I need to do something and not when it’s too late.

Anyways so year full of resting and softer sports with a bit of increase by the end of the year.

Let’s call year 2020 a year of mercy and recuperating <3

Total 2020

My favourite pastime, spend th
  • 2020 total 184 Activities, ascent 8927 m (2615 m was Kilimanjaro)
    • 2019 total 236 activities, ascent 18363 m (wow this was a lot..)
  • 2020 Running total 294 k’s, trail 76 k’s and basic 218 k’s
    • 2019 Running total 610 k’s, trail 307 k’s and basic 303 k’s
    • 2018 Running total 440 k’s, trail 190 k’s and basic 250 k’s.
  • 2020 total Hiking 67 k’s
    • 2019 total hiking 179 k’s (Impressive!!)
    • 2018 total hiking 56 k’s
  • Trekking 55,62 km (this was the Kilimanjaro Climb)
    • None earlier used this for Kili
  • Walking 141 km ( I had to start recording walking at some point when I could not run…)
  • 11 times weight training
  • 17 times Yoga
  • 18 Circuit training meaning different gym classes
  • 81 km of cycling

So all in all a lot more variety than 2019 which is not bad. Amounts are understandably not as high as 2019 but surprisingly not as low as I thought. There are weeks during springtime when I have 0 activities. That is unusual, but it was necessary to stop. Truly looking forward to this year and grateful that I have found softer choices and learned not to demand so much of myself. Less is more they say and I think I believe that too finally!

How about my targets for 2020?

Like said earlier I fairly quickly realised I need to throw all my targets to the bin after the IT band inflammation injury. After that my target has been to survive until I can run again or do any sport for that matter. So comparing to where I started from it was pretty good year.

I did not increase any distance goals, but I did improve my average speed from 6,5 to 7,1 km/h so even though I ran less, I did it faster.

Target for 2021

Is still to survive and put more focus on full body strength and toning.

  • I will keep running, but it will probably never be a thing I can do as much as I did.
  • I also want to focus on trail running rather than basic running. I love nature and my legs can handle that better.
  • I would very much like to get back to orienteering again this year. Need to wait for a few months for the snow to melt.
  • I have also started new hobby pole dancing, It’s very good whole body strength training and perfect support for running!

So still alive and kicking just not as hard as before but definitely with more determination and mercy on myself!

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Training Nov/Dec 20 – I can run! (and Yoga…)

It doesn’t sound a lot when you put my monthly exercise into stats, but compared to previous months things have improved a lot. I am now able to train without constant fear of pain and have managed to find some sort of balance.

I have done a lot of stretching, increased the amount of running and more importantly I’ve gone back to the forest. Trail running is back in my training regime which makes me very happy. This re-found joy of running in the forest has saved my days and kept me sane(r). I have even dared to run in the dark again.

Earlier I felt uncomfortable and afraid that I would trip . I did not trust my legs or agility at all a few months back, but now I am more confident and have dared to increase speed a bit.

We finally got some snow also late December which always lifts the spirits and what funny things you can come across on your trail run in the dark and snowy forest. For example my size big snowman!

Strangest things you find on your trail run 😃

In addition to running I have been doing yoga poses on my own and have done a lot of stretching. I have tried to avoid sitting too much and made sure I move enough during the workdays so I won’t be stuck on my work chair for too long. Not sure what causes what anymore, but have talked to other people ”my age” and physical changes seems to play a part in some of the symptoms . So this is a bit of trial and error so that I will learn to live with this ”new body” which is 17 kilos thinner and a lot older than before kids 😉

I also joined LesMills On demand service to get some training classes online which has been a really good idea. I have tried it now a few times and love the Yoga, Taichi, CXwork and stretching classes. I have not even logged all stretching and yoga with my sports watch but try to do them regularly so I won’t end up in the same situation (IT Band inflammation) as I did earlier this year.

November 2020 – 13 activities

  • Running 39,8 km total of which 9 times basic running 39 km and twice trail running 8 km
  • Hiking 14 km
  • Yoga once

December 2020 – 14 activities

  • Running 56 km total of which 8 times basic running 39 km and twice trail running 17 km, Trail running
  • Yoga 2 times
  • Circuit training 1 time

Now it’s new year and new tricks. Time to forget about 2020 and injuries. Just concentrate on the future and be happy that you can keep doing the things you love. Life is too short to get stuck on the obstacles of your own mind. Just do it!

Stay safe everyone!

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The Virus Diary – Month 11 – Second wave

”As of 22 November there have been over 57.8 million cases and 1.3 million deaths reported globally since the start of the pandemic”

Source: WHO weekly report

And now 5th of January 2021 there has been 84,2 million cases and 1,8 million deaths (source WHO)

The amount sounds huge and is huge. I stopped thinking in days a while ago and so has WHO and everyone else. Let’s talk about months. How many more months? We had a nice summer break and everything was ”almost normal”. Then schools started and slowly the cases have been rising also here in Finland. Officially the southern part hit the ”third” phase, where the we are not able to track all the infections again. New restriction were put in place. All government public places are closed and private sector places suggestion is to do the same. No functions more than 10 people and if possible avoid even those.

So do not meet anyone, go anywhere or do anything. Simple huh?

Nowadays I feel like I live with headphones on all the time during the day…

It sounds easy when you put it like that, but being an extrovert like me (well at least most of the times… I got my ”I don’t want to see anyone” – moments too and that is what the forest is for) it’s hard having been working at home for 11 months and not really going anywhere or seeing anyone. They say live in the moment. Well this particular moment (or year 2020) I could skip as this seems to last forever. Then again it seems like it never happened which is strange.

The concept of time has definitely been different past year. It’s funny how you get used to certain things and expect them to happen in the same sequence, but disruption (like covid-19) puts everything in different perspective. It’s been hard to put things in line, side by side or right in front of you. Nothing is like it seems. Nothing happens like it used to. Nothing is predictable. Life is a continuous change.

I’m usually really good with change, but I have struggled to keep up with all of this. Schedules for kids change. Distance learning, summer holiday, not distance learning, autumn holiday. Shorter day, longer day. Distance learning, not distance learning. Oops we changed it again. Sorry, did we forget to tell you? With four kids and three different schools and four different grades, they are all treated a bit different and messages from teachers keep coming and you try to keep up, but this is not working.

In all honesty. Great try, but this will not work on permanent basis. Keep it simple and let’s get back to normal!

Yet I and probably many others have found some sort of peace or calmness with all this. I have noticed that when you need to spend so much time online it’s easier to have some sort of headphones on all day to catch phone calls and join meetings. I have learned to master remote technology and take full use of this flexible working our company offers which is a great benefit itself!

Here in Finland also the restrictions are not as bad as elsewhere. We do have them and they unfortunately have hit some industries more than others. It’s not ideal and a lot of people have lost their jobs, income or a loved one, but we have managed to keep this thing under control relatively well they say. We have not been forced to go into complete lockdown and wearing a mask is now normal. You don’t really see people without one anymore which is great and no doubt has helped in stopping the virus spreading into uncontrolled chaos. So I am happy to wear the mask a few more months if that helps. Let’s hope it does!

New year, vaccination, new beginning?

Now that the year changed, did we manage to dodge the worst of the second wave? Not sure yet. It did look really good just before Christmas, but now schools will start again in a few days and people will come back from their holiday destinations (Lapland seems to have been a more popular destination than normal for Finns) and we will know for sure where we are headed.

They have started vaccinating here in Finland too, only the hospital personnel so far but apparently the vaccinations are not progressing as quickly as some would hope. I am happy to wait for mine, wear the mask and avoid people a few more months knowing there may be an end to this.

Restrictions will continue here in Finland at least until the end of January 2021, but let’s see what happens after that. They opened a covid-19 drive/walk-through test station next door to my house a few months ago and working from home I have had live feed on how the pandemic is progressing. The higher the amount of infections the longer the queue to the tests seems to correlate. Now in past days the queue has been moderate so I am slightly hopeful.

What after all this?

So we have found some sort of equilibrium with the virus now and pretty sure some habits will stick long after it’s gone, but what will be the first changes? Will we be able to keep music festivals? Go to movie theaters and opera? We got tickets to opera as a present a while ago which have been unused, we got a bunch of movie tickets unused and I would surely love to go to a concert or sing in one myself for that matter. What about flying? I’m sure flying will change and masks may be a permanent thing when travelling, but will travelling in general ever be the same? Can we trust to travel overseas as freely as we did? I do miss seeing other places as much as I love Finland and the nature here. Mostly I miss mountains and views from high above. I miss the versatile nature.

What I miss the most though is seeing family, friends and give everyone HUGS. Truly hope we can get those back soon <3 Everything else can wait <3

Stay strong, safe and healthy everyone. We are so much closer to the end of this now than a year ago! (hahaha)

(And I’m kinda hoping there won’t be too many posts to my virus diary anymore 😉 )

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Getting old(er) – Part III – Emotional roller-coaster

I should probably start this story from almost 16 years ago when I became pregnant with my second child and lost my other ovary. Long story short, it was not that easy getting pregnant the first time and second time was a bit quicker with the help of some reflexology (or just luck). Reflexology might have had something to do with why I lost the ovary in the first place, but maybe more about that later. Point being my ovary had to be removed surgically due to it getting gangrene causing immense pain. Surgery was done when I was 10 weeks pregnant and luckily all went well and she is a healthy 15 year old young lady now, but they said due to one ovary doing the job of two, I might go into menopause a bit earlier than others.

This is of course all very individual, but I think that because I only have one ovary it might have accelerated my hormonal imbalance a bit. Again I am not a doctor and am just observing my own body. Making notes and conclusions solely based on what I feel and think, what I think might be going on, what has helped me or not, but no, I am not a doctor and know only my what works for my body.

Up and down

Amusement park Tykkimäki , Kouvola, Finland

I have never had to worry about having any particular mood swings or symptoms during my normal cycle so I was not really expecting anything out of the ordinary. Yet a few years ago I noticed that I was abnormally emotional at times. Again I thought it must be just the stress or work load, or what ever, it did not cross my mind that pre-menopause could be the culprit! I thought it was something, somewhere in the future, and I don’t need to worry about it yet. It was one of those things you put somewhere in the back of your mind to ”deal with later”. I mean, I just had a baby when I was 40 years so hormones are still up and running normal right?

First I noticed some changes in my cycle. Shorter, then longer, then back to ”normal”. It was the first thing that made me think that maybe, just maybe something different is going on. Then started the massive mood swings. One day you are fine, the next your world is falling apart again. Petty things cause the floor to drop from under your feet although there is nothing wrong with the world, or your life, all is actually fine. It took a while to understand that this is not me, it’s all in your head and just the hormones talking. You will be fine again in a few days, but remember, don’t make any rash decisions during these days! I learned to live with those swings somehow.

Help, I cannot stand me anymore

But… The truth is that I started to fear those hormone swings and doubting myself and my decisions. I felt like I am not myself anymore, this is not me! What happened, where did I go? You start getting too used to the ”changed you” so much that you forget who you really are. On the ”good days” you got more speed again and get to be that ”old you” and think, ”I need to get this lady back”. You cannot stand you anymore. Your brain takes over and rationalises, analyses realising something has to be done. This ”changed you” is not ”you” anymore…

Some sort of balance

With the sweating every night, horrid PMS migraine headaches and crying like a baby due to being ”a bit emotional” I thought there has to be a way to make this transition easier, I cannot stand this for the next 5 to 10 years, or how ever long it might last. There has to be something that could make it easier. What I hated the most was the constant night sweating. It was so uncomfortable to wake up to multiple times a night.

Learning to accept this new phase in my life. Photo by Kadri Shola

So I googled, read about hormones and what you could try and not. What life hacks there are to help tackle this new era of my life post ”baby-making age”.

They say that in general healthy lifestyle and exercise helps, but since I already do eat pretty healthy, exercise regularly and do not smoke etc., those boxes were already ticked and yet I get these swings. One option would be to go to doctor and get hormone pills, but I have never been a fan of chemicals and they have never agreed  with my body so thought that there must be something natural to help out and it was was mentioned somewhere that oestrogen aka estorgen could ease the symptoms. So more research on which food substances have it and which I could add to my diet. The ones I remembered was soy beans and broccoli so went to the shop and got some soy drink and broccoli.

I started having broccoli every now and then and soy drink in my coffee always and with cereals sometimes. I quickly noticed the difference and felt much more balanced. My mind was not an emotional roller-coaster anymore and the night sweats stopped. So I think it takes the worst edge off and it’s been now almost a year since I started taking soy drink with coffee and the night sweats have not come back. So this seems to work for me and I surely will keep putting it to my coffee in the future.

Or then the worst mood swings and night sweating is at bay for some completely other reason, but when I have not taken any soy drink for a few days, the sweating has returned so I do think it has something to do with it. Again this is just my body and what it seems to like or lack.

The migraine

I have had migraine every now ad then my whole life but in the past years I have come to link it to my cycle and as a PMS symptom. It has been manageable with just Panadol so haven’t thought about it too much until (again) few years ago. They started being so horrid that I finally began to understand what other people with migraine meant when they say that they cannot work, concentrate and eyes are really sensitive to light and you feel like half paralyzed. You are in fact useless for a good while until it passes.

Eventually I went to the doctor and got migraine medicine which has luckily helped when you take it quick enough, but the reason for the attacks getting worse is for sure again the imbalance of the hormones. It always happens around the second day of my cycle when the hormonal variances become bigger. Meaning the highs are higher and lows are lower causing in general my hormones to do a continuous monthly rollercoaster. No wonder you feel a bit weird!

The pimple

The other thing I have noticed is THE pimple. OMG I hate it. I have never had normally pimples not even when I was a teenager, but this ”cycle pimple” that pops to the right side of your jaw is the most annoying thing in the world and it happens always when you have a  photo shoot or an important tv/movie shoot coming up. For this I have not found a solution yet how to prevent it. So if you have any suggestions how to prevent or even ease the inflammation let me know! I am almost certain that because I mentioned it just now, it will start tingling tomorrow morning because it knows I have an important video ad recording next week 😀

Even out the line

Relaxing on my Yoga mat

I have learned that I need to even out the highs and lows so that these symptoms stay manageable. The level of estrogen is decreasing all the time and it’s fine, I accept that this now the reality and past is past. I feel that I have now found some sort of balance with this all, but must admit that in the beginning I was about to loose my mind. Not only because of the hormonal imbalance it caused, but there is also the mental and the physical side. How you feel and all the other ”exciting” (not) things that are happening to your body.

With soy drink I have managed to keep the emotions and night sweats at bay and I do like broccoli too. With migraine medicine (taken on time) I can still function if the attack hits, but for the annoying pimple I could use some advice with!

Next time we will dig deeper into the other physical changes in my body that I have noticed. I can tell you it’s not promising. I very strongly believe that my ”best before” date has passed in that sense 😉 Just joking! This is my prime time! <3

Stay tuned for next episodes the old(er) I get!

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Training Aug/Sep/Oct 20 – Something is better than nothing

So where do I start? From the fact that when schools start it’s always chaos for our family for a few weeks. This time the chaos seemed to last forever. It’s been two months and I still feel like I am in a fast spinning wheel. Blogging has been on my mind, but unfortunately I have had to prioritize. But good part is that there has finally been progress on my training. I am nowhere near to the weekly training amount prior to Kilimanjaro.

Since the verdict of IT band inflammation and covid-19 early this year life has been very different and strange as we all know.

But back to training as the headline says something is better than nothing and that is what I have been telling myself. It has been a learning curve to be not able to do ”what ever you want” exercise-wise and it has forced me to think about a lot of things like getting older. How your body just simply does not adapt, heal and recover like it used to. I have had to find the ”good feeling” from other hobbies and I have accepted that I exercise when I feel like like it or can and if my leg is not hurting. I have stopped having any kind of schedules or training plans and I am living on a daily basis not forcing my body to anything.

Luckily after 8 months some sort of change has happened and I am not hurting anymore. My leg is fine and the constant feeling like I’m ”not ok” is gone. So physically I’m fine but mentally it was a tough journey for someone who has always been very athletic and able to move.

I do my Yoga

I have learned to like Yoga. I don’t know the different names of different types of Yoga (yet…) but I know some poses and do the ones I know are good for me the healing of my leg. I do them a few times a week on my own now since the usual class timetable does not fit my weekly schedule anymore because it coincides with choir practice.

Having done ”Yoga for Athletes”, ”Bootylicious” and ”Core” classes at my local gym for about three months now there is clear progress and more strength on my legs. I can do the Yoga poses at home, but I simply cannot challenge myself enough for the ”booty” or ”core” class so a bit disappointed that schedule changed and it’s harder to find suitable time to attend. All these trainings have most likely played a huge part in my recovery. I have realized that being so obsessed with Kili training going uphill and trail run training I lost focus on strength and balance. This all resulted in me having imbalance on my body causing too much pressure on right side (I was cautious of left) which lead to loosing strength on left side which again created a snowball effect which all accumulated on the time in February when my left leg completely stopped co-operating.

Lesson learned

So I have learned my lesson. I am not invincible. I am just a human and I need to listen more to my body. It’s not just the physical balance it’s also the mental balance. Your mind can push you to do a lot of things, but sometimes it’s good to just stop and listen to your body.

I have listened and I have no desire to be better than last time anymore. I actually enjoy being more flexible and being able to do Yoga poses well. Don’t get me wrong I still LOVE running and enjoy it even more than before and cherish the moments when I can go running in the forest, but I have learned not to push myself to the limit always.

Less is more

I do 3-4 k runs. In the forest usually I do a 6 k route. I try to do the same routes because at least then I know exactly the length and I got a few good routes. (Planning on doing a IGTV trail run route guide on one of them soon so stay tuned!). In addition to that I do at least Core or Bootylicious or similar class on a weekly basis and yes Yoga poses on my own at home. I do want to try to more of that and get some sort of regular schedule in doing Yoga. My body clearly likes that being tall and having long limbs <3

So how have the past three months been regarding exercise. Not as bad as I thought… Strange how your mind plays tricks on you. You think you haven’t really ”done much” and end up realizing you have actually done quite a lot!



I started feeling a bit better finally. The constant pain was subsiding and I was enjoying the classes I was doing. I was slightly hopeful that maybe I will run again…

Looking at the totals August was not that bad after all. Good on me!

  • 38,02 kilometers. 21 activities.
  • Yoga 6 times,
  • Other classes 5 (Booty and core)
  • Running 5 times of which one trail run. Total running 20 kilometers
  • 2 Gym trainings
  • 1 (my first ever!!) mountain biking
  • 1 dance class
  • 1 walk


Distance was less, but in general I did feel better. I was taking sports ”less seriously” and would not beat myself up for not doing what I had scheduled. I am happy with the amount and proud that I have been able to resist running ”too long” distances. All runs were almost exactly 3k

  • 22 kilometers, 13 activities
  • Yoga 4 times (at Gym… I do it at home nowadays too without putting my sports watch on…)
  • Other classes 3 (booty and core)
  • Running 4 times of which none trail running. Total running 12 kilometers
  • 1 hike 5,7 k
  • 1 walk


It’s getting darker to run in October already.
Did you see my head lamp tutorial in IGTV? Click on the image!

I have clearly upped the ante on the distance this month and I admit training has been great. No pain and I have finally started to do some weight lifting exercises for legs in the form of kettlebell class and my legs were fine with it. Squats, lunges here we go is what it means! I am so grateful that I was able to run 17 kilometers during the month and absolutely no pain anywhere. I even did a few 6 k trail runs during the month with no problems.

  • 41 kilometers, 12 activities
  • 1 Yoga class, BUT I have done it regularly at home
  • 2 other classes (booty and core or similar)
  • 5 runs distance 25 kilometers or which two trail runs
  • 1 kettle bell class
  • 2 walks
  • one run/trail run 6k


As said something is definitely better than nothing. I am non the rise slowly and surely. So great to be able to do sports without the fear of pain! So Yoga is definitely staying on my list. So are these booty/core classes. I know my body’s weak points and imbalances now and am working on them.

I was really desperate at times thinking I may never run again. Now I am slightly hopeful, but still not aiming for the kind of long distances I used to do. I am just enjoying nature and trying to keep sane in the middle of all this craziness. Being able to exercise again a bit surely plays a huge part in that.

Take care everyone and stay safe <3

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Getting older – Part II – Help me, I can’t see!

I’m serious and it’s not funny (although at times it actually is), but I really feel like I can’t see at all sometimes. It’s getting worse all the time and soon I think I may need to start wearing glasses full time. I don’t like it, I find it annoying and I want to turn back the clock. I can’t do that, so I have to learn to accept this and move on.

It has not been easy and I have struggled with the concept of getting older. It’s been controversial and the whole thing kind of sneaks up on you, but let’s start from the beginning. Why do I feel like I can’t see anymore and why I feel like it sneaks up on you…

#1 Something is different phase

I got them! Cool!

I went to the optician when I turned 40 just do a basic check up because they say that after this magical number it’s just downhill (in so many ways… keep following my blog to co-commiserate) and he said all well, eyesight is better than normal, but go and get it checked up again in two years as that is when ”it” usually starts.

So I was happy, all well, no need to worry, keep going. Few years later when I was almost 43 I started to feel like it’s a bit harder to read small labels on packages. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it but remembered the opticians advice to do another check up around the time of 42 years so booked a time as it was way overdue. Again eyesight still really good, but she suspects that in about 6 months to one year I will be needing reading glasses.

So I am prepared, I am monitoring my eye sight and notice that the print gets smaller and fuzzier by the month. By the time 1 year has passed I realize that the optician is actually right, I am really struggling with seeing small print. So I book a time again and now she says yes, it’s time to get them glasses. Crazy me, I am so excited because I get to wear glasses! Little did I know that it’s actually going to be a frigging permanent thing soon!

#2 New and exciting phase

Accepting the fact…

I got my first reading glasses about the time when I was almost exactly 45 years old. It also took about 3 months to get the lenses right when I got the glasses. First I could not see anything further than 2 meters which meant that for example trying to read sheet music while singing and follow up the baton of the conductor was impossible. Then there was something wrong still with the remote vision and it turned out that the lens was a bit too big for the frame and the tension kept twisting the lens and vision. So finally after few tweaks I finally got good glasses!

It was new, it was exciting, I kept wearing them just for the fun of it and then the reality strikes. As the glasses were so to speak ”computer work” glasses with the reading section at the bottom I kept taking them off and putting them on. It was very annoying and by the time about 4-5 months had passed I started to keep them less and less. That was probably a mistake. I thought that maybe my head is aching because I am wearing them and I still don’t know it might be but the truth is I cannot see any small print without them anymore.

#3 Reality strikes phase

Getting more comfortable with it

One and a half years later at Kilimanjaro I realized that I actually need the reading glasses with me all the time. Luckily Kindle print can be increased and mobile too but for example writing my diary was hard. I had to keep the notebook so far from me to be able to see what I wrote that it felt ridiculous and I had no idea anymore what I was writing. That is when I decided to go optician again after we get back and managed to book a time early this year just before Covid-19 hit Finland.

I go to the optician all in good faith that I will just swiftly change the lenses to the current frames with better reading area, but no the whole entire world of glasses, lenses, frames and reading areas is so confusing that I want to just forget about it BUT I try because I need to learn this new ”thing”, this new world of ”glasses”. He patiently explains to me how much it will cost to change the lenses to existing ones and how much to get new frames and new lenses.

It makes no sense that it is almost the same cost to get completely new frames and lenses than to change the lenses to the frames you already got. Sounds like a waste of natural resources and I had only had the frames for 1,5 years and I really loved them so why would I want to change. I thought I can keep the same frames until like…. forever if I wish.

Then it happened I felt emotions hitting in and tears coming into my eyes… Quickly said sorry and went to the back room to ”swallow them back in”. Managed to calm myself down, went back and explained something about being surprised about there being such a high cost again to replace the lenses and said that the new lenses will need to wait until I can afford them and left the shop.

I realized that what just happened there was not normal, it was not me, but something else uncontrollable had taken over me and has been doing that for a while now. It’s this emotional roller coaster that I am on where nothing seems to make sense one day and then the next day everything is fine again! Which brings me to the topic of ”Getting old(er) – Part III” which will be about emotions so get your tissues out!

Anyway now 1,5 + years later I am in a situation when the print is getting smaller and smaller. I don’t have to keep (reading) glasses all the time (yet) and luckily I got long arms so there is still a bit of leeway left, but the reality is that I cannot hide or deny it; I cannot see anymore the way I used to. This is one of the things you can’t control. It will happen to us all one day the older we get so might as well get used to it.

Oh, and reading glasses help with weight control too as you can finally see the real portion size 😂😂😂

Not sure how you are coping with aging? I am having a hard time accepting it… Read Getting olde(er) part III – Emotional roller coaster to join the ride!

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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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