From #goals2015 To #cultureyear2016

img_2959I started last year with my first ever goals that I was adamant in actually doing and finishing. So I wanted something for this year that would fulfil me in that same way, even though they have nothing with each other. At all.

My last year was all about running until the last months. I was about running, my being was about it, it gave me the escape and therapy for all those things I was running away from and trying to deal at the same time. I had lost my Granma few months before the year ended and just in the start of the year a long relationship ended. I felt that running was the thing I could deal and heal from those. I felt strong and free and like I can go on, when I ran. I might have been broken and ripped open but when I ran I was okay, or maybe not always okay at all but I was moving and believing in myself even if I didn’t believe in many others at all. I felt so alone but so fucking capable and like a warrior queen at the same time. Weird combination but it made me do things I’ve never done before.

In the first months, actually three, I ran my longest run 30km, then the next month my first Marathon distance and the third my first Ultra. Alone, one Sunday, just running 50km because I wanted to show myself that I can. And I did it. On my own, like I felt that I need to. And then just couple of weeks later I ran my first official Ultra and it went so wrong haha. I still remember how I cried on this cliff next to the sea and was so miserable because all of my big dreams of that one went so sour. But I didn’t quit. That was then and still is the biggest thing for me. I have always been a quitter but I didn’t then and haven’t after that.

My original plan and goal for 2015 was to run three trail Ultras, I did that! I actually completed something I set out to do! Still pretty damn amazed and proud of myself!

Now that my few last months have been all about something else than running, I felt that I want to find my old passions again, some things that I’ve always loved but haven’t done in so long.

Because of my job, I got the opportunity to remember my other, long lost passions and interests again. When I was doing the styling for one music video, I remembered why I loved doing exactly that few years before. But I also wasn’t ready to do that kind of visual and creative work, I wasn’t sure and comfortable enough with myself. Now with more confidence I am able to trust that feeling I have about certain looks and feels about them. But I also felt that I need more inspiration and food for my creativity.

Little over a month ago I felt that I knew exactly what my “goal” for 2016 would be. It would be about concerts, exhibitions, shows, museums, movies, magazines, books, music. Anything that will feed my mind.

I already have two really amazing concerts lined up, Seinabo Sey in February and Adele in April. Both my favorite ladies, Adele is something that I can not describe my love for, because it’s HUGE! I also got one of the best christmas gifts ever from my parents, a museumcard, it allows you to go to any museum they are part of in Finland for free. Pretty damn stoked about that! Over 200 museums to visit :).

I spend the last week of 2015 in Stockholm, possibly my favorite city in the world. I needed and wanted to be alone and remember some things about myself. In that city I always find myself, and once more I made the promise to myself that one day I will live there. It’s where I’ve born and I just feel free and like it’s easier to breath for me there. But I also went to see these amazing exhibitions at the Fotografiska Museet that completely blew my mind. I love love loved all of them and highly recommend checking them out. What Stockholm also did for my hunger for inspiration, was to give me so many different visuals and smells and feels and just everything that I’m used to, as I haven’t been there for over a year. So it has this familiar but unknown quality to it for me. I got to run with a dear person in Djurgården, that was just amazing. Need to definitely go back to there, with all the time in the world, just wonder.

My goal, if that’s what it has to be called is to feed my all with culture. I want to see things that I wouldn’t normally see. I want to hear things I wouldn’t normally hear. I want to feed my hunger with things that I wouldn’t normally eat.

So, 2016, will be about culture! There will be running too but mostly about culture. Need to feed this system of mine as a whole, find new sides of me, find that thing that makes me the happiest, take days off from those that I knew already and find the passion for them again, in a different way.

MORE LOVE. MORE CULTURE. MORE VISUAL FOOD. MORE EAR CANDY. MORE PMA ❤img_2887

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Samsø Ultra – When Running Is Just Running With A Side Of What Happened?

IMG_8193Sunburned skin, legs filled with scratches from knee deep wild rose bushes, body feeling like it’s really worked hard for something that means so much, head feeling tired and humbly proud.

I’ve never really raced in my life, never really put my body to a test like I did last Saturday at Samsø Ultra.

I’m writing this all through a haze of after race blues, that funny feeling that doesn’t make any sense, but is still there. But after that race I’m not even surprised, because I went to a whole new level of myself there. I wasn’t that nervous the days before, a bit the evening before but slept good, and then the start line was in front of me with all the people and me alone. And that was the moment when I realized that my friend, who was supposed to run the race too wasn’t going to be next to me. I wanted so badly to get his legs good before the race, not because I thought that I might need to run alone, just the fact that I really didn’t want him to hurt and be injured. And then it hit me, I’m going to run a race alone for the first time, I’ve always had friends around me. And I was so insanely afraid. IMG_8182

The first 5km or so, I was in pretty dark place, I kind of wanted to stop running, I was afraid that I’m going to be last, AGAIN, my legs felt like led and like there’s nothing in them to push on.

And then the route just went over this huge grass hill and on top of that all I could do was look around and feel so small in the best possible way, and then it hit me, goddamned I’m lucky to be here. I was just smiling like an idiot, thinking that I need to go on because I wanted to run the race for my friend.

The first 20km was so hard, so insanely hard. It was like running in some ridiculously beautiful Hobit country, with all the sheep’s and cows and horses around you, with huge hills going up and down. I got lost and was really happy that so did these amazing gentlemen that I ended up running quite a lot of the way. First pitstop I just flew past, yes I wrote flew because that’s how I felt. I started feeling strong even though my calves felt so bad with all the climbing and more to come. All the way to the third pitstop I went alone, and then I got company from Ke, the only other international runner. And we went together all the way to the last pitstop which was really nice. Huge thank you to him!IMG_8185

And then I got lost again, at least not only me! It might have been the most beautiful place in the world to get lost though, felt like a mountain goat trying to get forward through this thick wild rose spike bush hill. That was the moment I realized why the organizer wrote in the info that we should wear long pants or socks, obviously I didn’t. Bruised summer legs FTW! Thank you to that super nice gentleman to picked me over an electric fence when we realized that we are in a “bit” wrong side of it. I think after that I really started racing, no idea why, but I was going like I’ve never done before.

I was running with these nice gentlemen and thinking am I able to keep up with them, but ended up saying to myself that just keep going, you got this. And I just kept going, and started feeling stronger and stronger, which felt, to be honest, really weird. I wasn’t expecting that to happen after almost 30km. And my mind clearing from everything, it was just silent, maybe that’s runners high, no idea, but it was so nice. Silence of all the doubts that I’m so used to.

Never not time for new friends :)

Never not time for new friends 🙂

After pitstop 4 I called to my friend just to know if I could see him soon, and the idea of seeing him in some time made me just push on. And in silence we ran next to each other with Ke. The rhythm of our steps felt really good. And I just felt so strong. My belly felt super good, no problems at all.

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This is how happy you look when seeing your friend at around 35km 🙂

And then I saw my friend, the joy in me was just bursting, a hug at that point felt crazy good!

After that I felt like I’ve never felt before, I started racing for the first time in my life. I was tired and hurting a bit but I just put those on the side and kept going. The next time I saw my friend he was blasting this song from his car and let me tell you, that stuff gives you the biggest boost, even when the song is ridiculous but it made me smile so big that I didn’t know that it’s possible. And I just did my pitstops super fast and kept going with Ke. That was a huge change to my last Ultra in Bornholm, where I had to sit down and really gather some strength in myself. Now I felt like Sally Mcrae looked at last years Western States. She’s pretty great motivator on a race, I noticed, even if it’s in my mind.

I think I really started thinking that I could do a time that I had in mind in Bornholm when I got to the 42,2km pitstop. I had something like 15km to go, so I wasn’t that sure if I could do it. Not before I got to the last pitstop and heard that I have little over an hour to do a 10km. I have no idea what happened, I just charged on and left my race running buddy behind. I just went for it. I kept saying to myself that you got this, yes it will hurt but you can do it easy! Kept thinking about Sally Mcrae and just pushing on. I’ve never in my life felt that strong, ever. I’ve never pushed myself like that in my life. It felt terrible at times, my body was so tired from the heat and the fact that I had run more than ever before, continuously, in my life. But I just kept going, no matter how it felt, because I’d decided that I will get under that time. At one point I remember thinking that it’s not that bad if I can’t make that, and also remember how I almost yelled at myself that you’re not fucking doing that shit now! I was so determined! I actually used anger as my fuel, never done that before either.

Around 35km :)

Around 35km 🙂

Once I saw that I have 1km to go, I picked up my pace, which just felt so bad but still. Saw this man and just yelled at him that am I far? His answer was the best thing at that point, I just had to push on a little more and then I’m there. And that last bit was the hardest I’ve ever done and it felt like the longest road ever. That moment when I saw my friend and he said where I need to go and ran next to me and said that I’m getting under my goal, that’s my favorite. I started pushing myself even more, just wanted to get there and get it done.

The moment I got to the finish was insane, I felt like my legs are going to give up and it took me quite some time to get myself breathing at least a bit normal. And that was the moment when I realized that I did what I wanted for the last 15km. I had managed to run my race under 7 hours 30min. That meant for me that I had done over 2 and half hours better than in Bornholm.

It also meant that I was the Female Winner in my distance, and 3rd overall in it too. And my official time was 7:27!IMG_8210

I still, couple of days afterwards, feel a bit surreal about this all. I’ve never been like I was during that race. I’ve never raced in my life. I was mentally so strong, so goddamned strong. I managed to do something that I never thought I could really do. Maybe that was the moment what I knew when I started running in the first place, that I would be good at running long. Now I knew that I could be good at exactly that, if I give myself a chance. I’ve never really gave myself the chance to show what I really have inside of me. I’m so humbled by the race. It showed me that me, that I’ve wanted to believe is inside of me. I was able to just run, which I wanted to do. Because in the end, it’s just running. Something I kept saying to myself during the day. I’m also finally giving myself some credit for something I really should. I am really proud of myself, I really am. I remembered to enjoy it all and have fun and even stop if something was that amazing. And I could not done it without my friend, just the fact that someone was there for me, is insanely important. The fact that he knew how to make me smile and said just the right things to make me believe in myself more. That’s priceless! Thank you so much for that! ❤

I think I learned pretty big lesson of myself during that race. I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve gone through so much in the last year, that where I am now and what I am able to do, is pretty amazing! While I type those words I feel like I’m talking about someone else, but I just have to own this all. Because I did it!

Thank you so much to my support extraordinaire Bjørn, without you it would have been boring and very hard day at the office! Thank you to all my family and friends for your words and support! Thank you to my sponsors! I hope I made all of you as proud as I’m trying to be here :).

PMA ❤IMG_8192

Almost There – Just Before My Fyr til Fyr Ultra

I’m just about to fall asleep. Tomorrow I’ll fly to Copenhagen and carry on from there to the island of Bornholm.

Just one night and my next amazing adventure begins, one that I’ve been waiting since last August.

I haven’t been crazy nervous, it comes and goes. I know that I can run that 59km, so that part is okay. The part that makes me nervous is that I am there with almost 500 of others. And I always run alone 🙂 so a different kind of challenge. I’ll take it!IMG_7317

I’ve never been this meticulous with my packing, but I’ve never packed for a Ultra either, so I don’t really have any routine with this. I just hope that I have everything I need.

I’m ready, I feel positive and good. I’m going to run my own race, enjoy everything and have all the PMA while doing it.

While I was packing, I watched my favorite Ultra videos and that really calmed me down and made me stoked even more, if you can put those two together in some way.

Okay, I’m off to bed. Feeling super blessed to have all the love and support I have, so thank you! 🙂IMG_7357

Here’s one of my favorite videos that I just found yesterday, to get in the mood of awesomeness!!

PMA ❤

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Like the book title says, even though I haven’t read that particular one.

There’s something pleasant about ultra training, not the same pressure as with big road races. In a way, no one cares what you do. You can train on your own, at your own pace.

But it also makes this all a bit more lonely. And the more I have friends all over the world, the lonelier this feels. Training alone without friends to run with is getting me down, for the first time. Before this I haven’t ever really thought about it, yes a little of course but not in a way that it’s getting me down… Now I feel that I miss all my friends like crazy.

Maybe it’s because I’m feeling more and more that I’m not supposed to live in Finland more than I need to. I’m noticing how my whole being wants to go already, though I know that I’m not yet. The next time I am leaving, I’m going to do it with a proper planning and smart approach. I’ve tried the other way of leaving and it’s not the way I want to do ever again.

I think I might be a bit depressed by my surroundings. Winter in Southern Finland isn’t that amazing, most of the time it’s just slush and ice all over the place. Trails around me are so icy that it’s almost impossible to run them and seeing photos of people running on beautiful trails around the world. I’m trying to make the best of what I have but there are moments when it’s just so bloody hard. And now is one of those days.

I’ve probably just had too rough of a week behind. Dehydrated for sure. A lot of dealing with my own fears and hurdles. Amazing moment with the longest run. Food choices that don’t make any sense. And because of them, the worst feeling ever.

I know this is a journey, and that I should try to keep my focus on the big picture but oh my it’s hard at times. I do have amazing support, but the thing is that majority of it is physically away from me and I’m really missing my support in real life. I have a major deficiency for hugs :(.

But the good thing is that I’ve been getting back to training and done way more strength training than before, and I’m feeling the benefits already. I’m getting in that training mode, even if it feels hard. It’s for the right way on my journey. I have to remember that it’s okay to feel down at times, it’s natural in this situation but I don’t need to let it eat my happiness all the way.

I saw this amazing note to self photo today…IMG_6527

Life Around Here

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Hard at work, representing Pihasali Yogastudio at Iloveme Fair in Helsinki.

Life around my new everything is looking good!

I started my new job at Pihasali Yogastudio yesterday, dived in straight away in the form of a beauty fair. I could have freaked a bit, as it’s basically at least two years since my last job. But I felt strong and confident, which helped a lot.

It felt super nice to realize that I still got it! And it was so nice to be able to help people and talk with so many different people. I remembered what I love to do, making new contacts and help people. It also gave a kick with what I want to do with my blog. New ideas, new posts!IMG_5169I feel really good about my training towards my goals. I’ve found the right ways of doing things and it’s really working. Good balance between rest and training.

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New amazing brand from Finnish Lapland, Arctic Warriors. All natural, delicious shots of goodness!

Running is going well, no injuries whatsoever. Body is feeling stronger and stronger. I have good plan that involves running, gym, yoga, foam rolling/stretching class and going to get some massages. Nutrition is on point. Plant based foods are giving me the best kind of energy and my body is just purring like a cat from happiness. I’m recovering super fast from harder workouts.And my life in general is looking really nice. I might be alone at times, as half of my family is in another country, but I have the love with me. I have insanely amazing friends around me here and all over the world. I’ve never felt this loved in my life. Thank you!

I can’t wait to keep going strong and hopefully be able to inspire, help and motivate others! PMA! 🙂IMG_5209

 

http://pihasali.fi/

http://www.arcticwarriors.fi/en/