Last week was full of training with whopping 9 activities and 7 hours of training in total. No wonder my arm disagreed and I ended up having a nerve entrapment that caused intense pain that just got worse by time. I had to go to the ER in the end as I could not have slept and felt like I was about to faint with the pain.
Well no pain no gain, so what can you do but wait until the pain subsides and continue.
Other than that I was on the roll and loved every minute of it. Got to go indoor climbing without kids so I was able to actually climb as much as I wanted. Hmm..This might have had something to do with the nerve entrapment… Still a good week in all and nice Christmas break.
Looking forward to new coming year and approaching Kilimanjaro challenge. It’s getting very real now with only 5 weeks to go!
Two times to gym
One indoor climbing
One Zumba dance class
Two runs. One 3,2 kilometers and one 7,2 kilometers
End of the year is approaching fast and I’ve been able to train fairly well lately. I am trying to go to the gym twice a week to either classes or just generally to train. Running on the treadmill makes it easier to do HIIT training and I have managed to run at max 11.5 km/h speed without getting too exhausted which is again something I never could have dreamed of before.
I have found nice routes around the new neighborhood and a new favorite spot at the top of a cliff at the end of a trail which is even higher than around my previous house. The feature photo is from the other side where the ”new favorite spot” cliff is. It is in the middle of the forest and you can hardly hear the highway there although it is near, but in the city it’s hard to find spots where there is no lights or no sounds no matter how small the city. All in all we are really happy about the move and beginning to settle in nicely finding our way around everything.
With end of the year around the corner I have also had to start thinking about preparations to be ready for Kilimanjaro like the doctors approval letter, vaccinations, things for the kit list and visa. It seems like there was a lot of time and now suddenly there is no time to make huge differences. Surely I could improve my oxygen intake even more but reality is that there is only a little over a month to go. It is starting to get real.
I will try to make the best of the remaining time concentrating on HIIT training, running and doing simply what ever sport I like the most and trying to relax before the big climb.
It’s been a while since my last post about something else than weekly training. Moving house caused a total chaos for our household that has lasted for a few months. There is really nothing you can do about, you just need to unpack one box at a time and get used to the new neighborhood. I really love the new house as we have much more space than before.
At the same time the choir end of year concerts have taken quite a significant amount of time during the evenings. We have had multiple performances. One was for the Finnish National Broadcasting channel Yle at the after party of the Finnish Independence day which is a really big thing here with about 2,5 million viewers. All the singing during the week concluded in the biggest concert of the year for us last weekend.
It’s clear the end of the year hassle is full on and it seems like the holidays are coming way too quickly! Prioritizing has been the word of the month and training has been first and simply no time for blogging as much as before.
In spite of all this hassle I have been able to keep up with my training pretty good and I can see progress both in speed and strength.
I have also started to dream about hiking, mountaineering and climbing so my mind seems to be set for the climb already 🙂
Wishing everyone a quiet and nice Christmas break and please keep following my blog I am hoping to have some time to update it during the break. I have so many ideas and posts ”almost ready”!
Finally temperature dropped below zero and we got a bit of frost and snow. You might think we are crazy being happy about snow and weather turning colder but the reality is when it gets colder everything is frozen and water turns to snow so it’s brighter and cleaner outside. Strange as it sounds it is also ”warmer”. Worst is the rainy, ”close to zero”, windy season, but when it gets below zero the air turns dry and crispy.
It usually does not last so expecting it to get warm next week again, but anyway nice to see the change in climate happening as it also changes my training schedule and activities a bit.
So I joined the local gym which also gives me the variety of different classes and a great gym with lots of space and all possible equipment you could think of. Best of all a treadmill and ”stair climber” and cross trainers. These will need to mimic the lack of proper hiking and running sometimes too when it’s just pouring close to zero. I have no desire to get soaking wet and cold so rather train inside on those days.
Anyway, I feel really good, training is good and I have scaled up my speed and gym training a bit this week. Still need to take iron and took the last jabs for Tanzania too. The climb is getting closer by the week and I am starting to think what I still have time for, what are the essential training I need to focus on. That is one of the reasons why I have changed my training plan a bit.
So now my new training plan is as follows:
Week 48 total was impressive in the scale of number of activities because I was really keen on getting back to regular training routine after the house move so trained every chance I got pretty much.
Got some good results with best average speed on treadmill 9,3 km/h on my HIIT run. Also found some new muscles during a core class. Very much looking forward to next week now that I seem to be back on the roll again.
1 gym training. One regular gym training on my own
1 core training class 30 min
1 cardio training class 35 min
1 Basic running outside 3 kilometers
1 trail run 7,3 kilometers
1 treadmill HIIT run 41 minutes about 6,35 kilometers
Do you want to support me to get to the finish line?
Week 46 was the official ”house moving week”. We got the keys on Monday so started carrying stuff little by little during the week. I have been so busy that I have not even had time to think about training schedules. This week was purely dedicated to moving house so my training has consisted of carrying boxes of various size (yes a lot of banana boxes, we Finns move with banana boxes believe it or not) in addition to furniture of various sizes and shapes.
By the end of the week I was so tired and exhausted that there was absolutely no point in even training so concentrated on sleeping instead. Anyway if I am really nice to myself I would suppose I could say that I only missed one of my targets that being the HIIT training. Moving house should at least in my opinion count as Gym training…
Oh and if possible avoid moving house is my advice. I hope I do not have to move for the next ten years.
Next week we will clean up the old house and finally give away the keys to the new owners so easing off a bit finally. Also looking forward to getting to know my new neighborhood more closely next week. Something to definitely look forward to!
1 Trail run 3 kilometers
1 Basic run 10 kilometers
Carrying numerous amount of banana boxes from house A to B
Moving the same boxes from spot B to C in the new house
Moving the same boxes AGAIN from spot C to D
Guess what, probably moved the exact same boxes one more time from D to E
As I predicted it is not going to get any easier until all stuff is moved and the old house given to new owners. Hassle has doubled and I can feel my blood pressure getting higher as each day is so hectic. I have moved house so many times and the last few have been quite stressful and chaotic so bit of bad memories there which probably also surface.
This clearly has affected my training schedule and enthusiasm. I know I need to train to keep sane yet I got bad conscience when I spend time in the forest trail running and just listening to silence instead of packing and carrying boxes.
Have managed to keep up pretty good apart from HIIT training. I’ve been so exhausted that have not been able to push myself. Main thing I’m doing something instead of nothing and missed only one of my weekly targets.
Next week will be the ”moving house week” so not expecting a lot of training to happen.
2 runs. 10 kilometers and 4 kilometers
1 Trail run 10,5 kilometers
1 Gym training
Still not quite at my target… If you wish to support me…
One of the laziest week for a while. We were busy making deal on our house and on the new one so I’ve been running like a headless chicken from one place to another and there has been no time to exercise really.
There was no other particular reason even. Time just flies so quickly and just realized that two weeks has gone again. Anyway did go for a few runs week 44. I am definitely not happy with the result and can see that the stress of potential moving house is kicking in.
Good news is that I went for another check up on my iron levels and they have gone up to 123 so progress there. Ferritin levels are still a bit low and I need to continue on iron. I also need to book a check-up with the doctor regarding the possible vaccinations so trying schedule that in at some point in the coming weeks.
Next week is not looking too good either as if we get the house deals done we will need to start packing…sigh… Still alive and kicking. That’s the main point.
Running 6,85 kilometers
Trail running 3,6 kilometers
No particular HIIT run
HB rising, yay!
Sponsor me please, still a way to go to my target and I am getting worried!
After so many weeks of not being myself it has been good to get back to regular (almost) schedule.
Running feels really easy so I am sure that my hemoglobin has gone up. I did a few shorter HIIT runs and one of them was my best distance for 12 minutes so called Coopers test was 2 kilometers. To give this achievement some context I started from 1,6 kilometers around May this year so 2019.
I cannot complain and am so proud of myself. I have tried so hard to improve my stamina in the past few months and it is great that there is some clear progress.
Weather has also turned a bit colder and leaves have fallen from the trees making trail running a bit slippery. Ice bug shoes help. I did a really good 8,8 kilometers trail run in the beginning of the week after the HIIT run, but could feel that since I have not been doing it for a while I did feel it on my knees and legs a bit. It just proves that I need to keep the trail running on my regime even though the winter is coming. Just need to be careful as it will get more slippery…
I was on a such good roll with running during last week that when I left for my long (usually around 10-12 kilometers) run Saturday afternoon I pretty quickly felt that hey this could be the day to reach a bit higher. Thought maybe 14, but 14 became 17 in the end. Around 15 kilometers I admit that my legs started hurting, but not so much that I could not go on. 14 kilometers has been my longest distance in past six months.
In the end it was a really good run and recovery was really quick. My legs were killing me when I stopped, but after a few hours felt hardly anything anymore so clearly progress there too.
I ended up doing my new record for longest distance 17 kilometers and the average speed was 7,4 kilometers per hour which is really good for me. Again so proud of myself and motivation is high.
Unfortunately I have not had time to go to the gym so I need to fix that ASAP next week!
All in all looking forward to next week when I will go and check my hemoglobin and also exited as I am clearly doing the right things as the progress is this good.
Running 27, 2 kilometers. One 17 k’s (best distance)
Trail running 8,8 kilometers
Gym none. Bad me, fix this ASAP next week
HIIT run two (5,1 and 4,7 k’s) of the runs were fast, slow, fast.
Two personal records broken. Best distance for 12 minutes 2 kilometers and best total distance 17 kilometers. Awesome!! *a pat on the back* <3
Would you like to support me to achieve my target?
In Finland even in the South we live part of the year in pretty much darkness. The longest day of the year is around Midsummer June 21st. After that the days start to get shorter and by Christmas it’s the shortest day of the year 22st of December when Helsinki gets only about 5 hours of daylight.
As the sun rises only just barely above the horizon and sets pretty quickly after that you don’t really get to see it that often if there are clouds or buildings in the way. This can be a bit daunting at first but you get used to it in time and find good in every season which is truly amazing phenomenon here. You can experience the whole entire life cycle of nature in those four seasons during the year.
As BAU needs to continue, we need equipment to manage the changes in this environment and a headlight and proper clothing is a must for running in autumn/winter even if you stay on the marked and well lit paths as parts in between may be completely without light.
What the darkness feels like depends on the amount of snow and this is the reason why we Finns are always excited and happy about the first snow. A whole entire new world emerges and there suddenly light again! Running in winter/snow is completely it’s own thing again and I will definitely post about that too when the time comes.
Trail running equipment
So what do you need to head out there in the darkness? What to wear when it’s getting closer to 0 outside? What routes to choose?
If you intend to go into the forest and not run on any lit paths (usually gravel paths are well lit here) headlight is a must. The better brightness, the faster you can run. It is also a good idea to get one of those models where you can just turn a wheel at the back to adjust the brightness because the thicker the forest, the more light you need.
The other thing I have found really useful is adjustable angle of the headlight. This is really helpful when going up and down and at different speed as you can easily adjust the beam to head further of closer.
Around September we might still get some really nice and sunny days, but equally we might get first frost on the ground. By October we are well closer to 0 than +15 with the average high around +10 degrees. We will start to get cold rain which every now and then turns into wet (and cold) sleet. Add wind to that and the weather can be quite nasty at times.
Good weather proof clothing is recommended so thin windproof, water repellent and breathable jacket and pants is a good idea. Sounds like an impossible combination but there are several good Finnish outdoor clothing brands that offer these kind of clothes so you do not need to be wet or cold if you dress right.
With different layers underneath you will be fine with the jacket and pants until it gets closer to -10 degrees. Then latest you need to change the pants and jacket to warmer ones if you wish to run outside. At least for me -5 to -10 seem to be the breaking point when I need warmer clothes and more layers again.
You also need to have a hat and gloves with you. First thinner then thicker and I always also have scarf because I like to keep my neck warm. Hats and gloves should also be the kind that are windproof and rain repellent.
You are ok with normal trail running shoes until it starts to get really wet and cold then I usually swap to my ice bug shoes which have small spikes on the soles. They are a good investment since one proper slip and hitting your head might be all it takes. Very cheap life insurance!
Running in the dark forest do’s and don’ts
Needless to say look in front of you. Adjust the beam to head a bit in front of you maybe two/three meters all the time. This way you can predict what is coming and your legs will follow and dodge the obstacles by the time they get there. If you point the light too close you won’t be able to advance as fast and here the adjustable angle of the headlight becomes handy.
Start with the routes that you know from summer time when there was light as paths and trails get all mixed up when your view is limited and you can easily get lost. Use your sports watch navigation and breadcrumb functions if unsure. These help especially if you get lost to find your way back the to trail.
When you are more familiar with running in the dark just head out to new paths as you would normally, but keep in mind the tips below.
Watch out for…
Watch out for branches, rocks and especially wet darker spots. They are generally slippery and hazardous. Clean rock or gravel surface is perfect for doing a bit of spurts but branch covered paths are the most difficult ones to manage with just a small vignette like view with the beam of light.
These images are from my first run this Autumn with the headlight and I must say I was again surprised how ”awkward” it felt. Every year you look forward to the ”dark running season” to begin. It is its own thing completely, but when ”season” does start the first time you feel strangely jumpy in the forest.
It takes time to get used to the pitch dark again, and especially running there again. You start hearing things like the ”swish, swish” sound which ends up being your own jacket or pants and seeing thing in the forest which turn out to be a stump and not an animal standing.
The head light changes your view and when you cannot see as much as you have your other senses take place. Soon you will learn that there is nothing to be afraid of and the branches of trees are not animals attacking you. Still sometimes after months ”into the dark running season” I get a complete jump scare as a dog appears with their owner or another trail runner in the dark.
I highly recommend to try trail running in the dark. It’s not only darker, but also more exciting and brings a good variety to your trail running routine.
You know how it goes… what goes up must come down. Well W37 was the highlight and made my day for months to come so it was bound to change. Went to gym the next day after those two days’ of 10 k’s and did my normal workout but did notice that it felt pretty hard and exhausting.
My body was clearly tired of the running the previous week (35,2 kilometers instead of about 20…) so I had a few rest days. On Thursday went running to the forest again and did a short run.
On Friday decided to go for another trail run as I felt like I lacked trail running practice after all this basic running and record breaking so headed to another close by forest about 1,2 kilometers away.
Running there I noticed there were check points tied to trees so started looking at local orienteering schedule and noticed they have one event the next day in that area. Found 7 check points on my trail run and decided I have to do the orienteering the next day as it’s so close and besides I had found most of the check points anyway already!
It turned out not to be that easy after all although I had found them the day before as you come from different direction towards them. All went though fairly well, no major ”getting lost” events. My time was 1 hour 27 minutes for the 5 km route with actual 8,1 kilometers. BUT 20 meters before the finish line I tripped on a branch and fell down so that another branch sticking from the ground hit my right thigh pretty bad.
I bit my tongue and cycled home almost crying as my thigh was hurting so bad. Could not walk properly and the bruise was massive. So again a few days off exercise and time to lick my wounds at home.
As long as this heals by the time we go to the Lake district challenge (three peaks) in 1,5 weeks I am happy, but I have to admit it sucks. I am mad at myself for being so reckless that I did not notice the branch and only because I was trying to beat to finish line this one girl I had passed by earlier once!