After a late arrival – plane landed in Helsinki around 11-ish pm followed by a roughly 2h drive plus some very basic grocery shopping for the first day and a midnight snack stopover – there were still a couple of things to get done at the cabin so bedtime was around 4am in the morning of the 22nd.
Nit surprisingly we felt a tad jet-lagged and lazed the day away. Perfect start of a winter vacation.
So Saturday night I bit off my freshly polished nails. Still, Sunday came and with it a glorious day with many friends and family cheering my dear runner buddy and I on and an unforgettable, long-suffering (17km of stomach pain and cramps…) 42.195km later I was accomplished: I am unofficially but beknownst to my closest people a marathoner.
I’m terribly tired from the lack of sleep the night before the race and of course from the exertion, but also proud, exhilarated, thankful, certainly stronger and – accomplished.
A big shout-out to all dear ones who have supported us by cheering and providing us with sustenance. I certainly couldn’t have done it without you!!
In school I wasn’t a big fan of running unless there was a ball involved or some other higher goal than simply running around involved.
Then, almost 20 years ago, when traveling around the world my friend declared in Australia that we’s go and buy ourselves some proper running shoes as otherwise our beer consume might turn us into proper barrels. And that’s when my running career started. Thanks to my friend back then who made me puff and swear along Bondi beach.
Over that last three years one of my very dearest friends introduced me to another long loathed category, the races. I’ve completed between 20-30 races a year over the last 3 years. Never ever thought that would happen.
And the third big thing I always denied would ever happen came to pass this year when I thought I might have to step in for mentioned dear friend and actually started training for a marathon. It’s not that I ever doubted that I could do it if I properly trained, what hindered me was my other hobbies and interests. Since I’m a slow runner it takes me well over 2h to do a 20k training run. I don’t mind, my body doesn’t mind but after 2h I do start thinking “well, what else could I do now… this running around stiff is getting lame…”.
Well, enter 2020 and watch me while away a 4h run – my very first 35k ever!! And might very well be my last. That’s why I thought this was reason to celebrate – congrats to me for this huge achievement!!
My neighbor must be somehow related to Francis of Assissi, at least all animals seem to love him. My panther cat took to him as soon as he laid eyes on him. I can confirm that he is the absolut best, he kept me stocked with the most important essentials – comfort food like Maltesers and cookies – during my self-quarantine.
Today he obviously made a new friend… I got pictures from my neighbors partner showing him with the pigeon first on his shoulder and then on his hand. Magic!
My panther can be quite a (male) diva. He loves to be served and obeyed to his every last desire. Sometimes I have the willpower or I’m simply lazy enough to withstand. But when you see this face through the tinted front door window even the strongest resolve melts away after making me smile so hard I’m certain to expect a slight muscle ache in my cheeks by tomorrow morning.
He’s just the sweetest and most stubborn little boy. and he likes his staff well trained. My neighbors know. He’s hanging out with them a lot and they don’t have a cat door so they have to wait on him all the time. But they don’t mind. They are aware the cat took over and they are simply tolerated staff by now.
While we’re sheltering in place most of the time these days the sunny yet breezy weather is drawing the health conscious and outdoorsy ones out. While I’m currently discovering all kinds of new skills such as having a very precise phone conversation in order to get work done efficiently by avoiding misunderstandings – you’d think that’s child’s play but not for everyone my friend – I’m also falling in love with old habits and make them a regular part of my week. Apart from my ever present running and yoga I re-introduced regular walking and hiking into the weekly routine. It offers me a clear end to my work day, fresh air, cross-training and gleeful conversations held at a safe distance if I’m inclined to walk with a friend.
Social distancing might suck but we’re discovering long lost ways to really talk to and be close to each other. And to slow down and reflect when we no longer can rush around and get caught up in all our social events and obligations.
Stay healthy and safe out there. And try to enjoy a walk or two once in a while. You’ll most certainly discover new, less obscured views.