Quick Rewind

Well. It’s been quite a long time since my last post. As you can probably guess, work got really busy. Overtime, late nights, angry phone calls from customers, stress. The whole deal. But you just gotta do what you can, and hope it gets easier after a while. Of course, after 6 months of applications after applications, seeing the end gets harder and harder while the pile of certificate applications only seems to rise higher and higher. Hopefully we will have a normal situation by March, haha! Just in time for spring rush.

Luckily I’ve had time to enjoy 2 weeks of summer vacation, as well as going out for cycling rides after work. Lately I haven’t even gone out riding so much, as I had a flat on my mountain bike twice in a week a while ago, and haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. I’ve also worked late nights, getting home after 9pm and then going almost straight to bed.

The days I’ve managed to cycle to work or gone to the gym for indoor cycling sessions, have been heaven. Next month I will start a ‘new’ sport as well, so that is something to look forward to.

My new sport? Not so new, really – swimming. I’ve been meaning so start swimming again, mostly during the mornings for a while now, but I’m a terrible morning person. I just can’t wake myself up early enough, haha. Maybe if I just can try long enough it will get easier? But I doubt it. I love my snooze button too much, haha.

That is why I will go to the swimming hall during the evening, to start with. I just need to see if it’s really crowded there during the evenings, and then try to find the best evening hour to swim. But I think I might need to start waking up early, and go in for a morning swim. It just might be so popular a place during the evenings that I would lose my mind trying to swim there then, haha. Swimming in a full lane is horrible. It doesn’t help that the one I’m going to is a really popular swimming hall in Helsinki. But we’ll see! I’ve even signed up for a beginner’s course in freestyle swimming, but at the moment it is full. I’m hoping someone will cancel and I manage to sign up before anyone else. This course starts during March, so it’s quite a while still. But I couldn’t take the earlier courses, because I’m traveling to Iceland again for a little over a week in January, and I would miss a class because of it. Also, those classes are also full. Why is freestyle so popular? 😀

After I get used to swimming again, it is time to try running properly. (I’m guessing you can see where this is going, haha?) I’ve always said that I’m just not made for running, but I need to eat my words. I just need to train for it properly. Running a few times on a treadmill before killing yourself on a 10 km run is not training, haha. Running would also help me get in better shape, so that’s a bonus. You can never know unless you tri (no, can’t believe I went there, haha!).

What else has happened, other than my not-so-newfound interest in triathlons? Well, I got eyeglasses again. And contacts for the first time ever. It’s taken some time to get used to my glasses again, and I still have some days that I forget to put them on, haha. For those who don’t know, I had glasses from age 4, I think, until I turned 20. I had a lasik surgery during October 2008 because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to continue my studies in maritime technology (had a sight too bad for deck service), so surgery it was. During the last year or so I’ve noticed some difficulties during meetings while trying to read the board. I finally went to see an ophthalmologist, and left with a new prescription for glasses, haha. I also made another appointment to see an optician so that I would get contact lenses as well. I do not want to be wearing glasses when I go cycling/do other sports 😀

Other than that, nothing worth mentioning has really happened. Christmas came and went, I ate too much as always, and the presents I received were lovely (yay for a gift card to help me buy Garmin’s Forerunner 920XT!). I will write a separate post about my short trip to Italy soon. I will also try to be a more active blogger in general, but I make no promises 😀

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Midnight Mass about to start on Christmas Eve

Keys100

Dad is crazy. He must be. What other reason would a person have to enter a 161 kilometer running event? Crazy that is.

Alright. That’s it for the jokes, I promise! The point still remains that the above mentioned is what people outside of our family think, and it gets old very quickly. Who cares? If it’s something he enjoys, let him. We certainly will, and what’s more: we help him do it.

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Dad after the Channel 5 Bridge

Dad started talking about the Keys100 a long time ago. He and Mom asked me tentatively about my plans for the May 20th-22nd weekend during winter, but I said I had Giro d’Espoo on that weekend, so no, I wouldn’t be going to Florida during it. Well. At the end of March we started talking about it again, and let’s just say that the promise of sun and warmth was very attractive when it was still dark and snowy outside 😀 The fact that I wasn’t sure if I would be ready for the ride was also a factor in why I said yes to going. It helped that it seemed that they would really need a second support member if Dad needed a pacer at some point. It was also easier to find the support locations if the driver wouldn’t also need to read the map at the same time.

This was my first time in Florida, so yay for another visited state! I arrived in the evening on the 19th. After a late dinner, we went to see the beach and to try the warm water before getting some much needed sleep.

The next day we made our way to Key Largo for the pre-race orientation. The road there was already very interesting, and I could hardly wait for the rest of it! The 7 Mile Bridge was something I was really excited to see. Sadly, it was already after sunset that we arrived there during the run, so I had to wait until Sunday and the way back to Miami to see it during daylight (and of course I was so tired by then, that I kept nodding off while we were on it, haha!).

The race started very early on Saturday, so that meant a 4:30 wake up. Ugh. And not only was it early, it was also very hot and humid! Google told me it was 26 Celsius degrees at 4am. COME ON! That’s way too hot, way too early 😀

I think Dad’s start time was at 6:30am, and after that it was busy, busy for Mom and I. We had made a plan with Dad to stop every 3 miles, so almost every 5 km. After sunset we stopped more often, maybe after each mile or so, but it was needed. Dad was getting tired (we all were), so we changed the plan accordingly. After sunrise I believe Dad picked up some speed. It looked like he wanted to just finish the run, haha.  And he did wonderfully when you consider the weather conditions. Hot, hot, hot. Hot with a capital F. At least it wasn’t freezing cold and raining like in Texas when he ran the Brazos Bend! 😀

Dad’s time was 29:34:50.7. Way to go, Dad! 🙂

After we got back to Miami, it was time to relax… on the beach, before the trip home the following day. Everyone who knows me can tell you: I’m not a beach person. I just don’t have the patience to stay still for so long. And I can’t stand the heat most of the time. But this time I realized why people like it. Well, the swimming part, at least. I had a blast! So much fun to swim in the very warm ocean! I can’t wait to go on another beach vacation! 😀

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Adele in Stockholm

I’m still amazed that I managed to score a ticket to Adele Live 2016 tour. It was the first concert I traveled abroad for – if you can count hopping on a ship to Sweden “abroad” 😀

The adventure to see Adele started after work on Thursday when I made my way to the terminal with my backpack. I’m so glad I could fit everything in that small thing, haha. Because I had originally planned to travel somewhere for my birthday, which I didn’t do in the end, I had booked myself a slightly better cabin than what I usually get (the 1-2 times that I’ve gone on a cruise lately, haha). It was also for 2 people, instead of 4 people max, so I didn’t feel creepy being alone in it. I ate good food, and spent the evening planning what I would do on Friday before the concert in the evening. Finding my hotel being my biggest concern, haha.

Turned out, I had 2 friends on the same cruise, so I joined their company for most of Friday. We visited a couple bookstores and went to see the cherry blossoms at the Kungsträdgården. They were lovely, as always.

I left to my hotel around 3pm, and spent the next couple of hours getting ready. Taking a shower and looking at maps. The receptionist at the hotel was kind enough to advice me against taking the train to the Globen station, because of the amount of people that would be there. She said that the next station was only a short walk away, and that the station would have 3 trains stopping there, instead of just the one that stops at Globen. I still took the train there on the way to the Tele2 Arena. Turns out I had looked at the Google map on the wrong setting (walking), because it only took maybe 20 minutes for me to get there, and that meant I was there an hour early, haha. Well, at least I had a good spot to wait. There were maybe 50 people with me at that point, haha.

Because I was there so early, I had plenty of time to shop for some merch and look around. But only after managing to find my seat in row 8! I was very surprised how many Finns were there. I could hear Finnish everywhere! But I guess it makes sense. Because Adele’s tour didn’t take her to Finland, Finland came to Sweden to see her, haha.

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Hello. Skyfall. Someone Like You. Send My Love (To Your New Lover). Set Fire to the Rain. Rumour Has It. Rolling in the Deep. Million Years Ago. All I Ask. When We Were Young. Many others. I’m so glad I got to hear my favorite songs that night. It was an amazing night. She was amazing, and I will never forget it.

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It also turned out to be the King’s birthday weekend. The big 70. I knew there were supposed to be some events on Saturday, but I didn’t understand enough of the info on the Swedish website, so I didn’t plan to attend anything. Because of that, I had amazing luck stumbling on the Main Guard riding to meet the King, and I also heard the twenty-one gun salute while I was walking by the palace. That’s when I noticed all the people, and decided to see what was happening in the park there. Turns out we were waiting for the King and other members of the Royal family, because there was going to be some singing in a moment. I decided to stay and wait, and that is how I saw them in real life for the first time. Turns out they’re real people, and actually look like the pictures you see online everywhere, haha. Bizarre to see people you normally only read about 😀

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After that it was time to head back to the passenger ship terminal, and go home. It was a very nice long weekend trip. My first trip solo. It wasn’t so bad as I thought it would be – traveling alone. I just might like it, and need to do it again soon enough 🙂

Spring turned into summer

April was exciting, during May I traveled, and now it is already June. Wasn’t it Christmas just a moment ago? A lot has happened, and only now I have finally time to write about all the things! I don’t want to put them all in one post, so I will be writing 3 instead. This one will be for my cycling news 🙂

One of the nicest rides I did during spring was probably the one I did with Mum and Dad one Sunday. Mom and I were on bikes, while Dad ran. It was a little over 40 km in 4 hours.

Apart from that ride and commuting, I haven’t really done a lot of cycling. I try to go out for a longer ride during the weekends, but that is it. I think I did my longest ride in a while last week – 50,3 km. I’ve normally done only 40km rides, so it was a nice change. I’ve been trying to ride longer rides than that, but with little success, haha. Next week will include a big test for me, as I am participating in a 24-hour ride for Midsummer. Mom and Dad will come to support me. It was a deal I made with Dad when I agreed to skip Giro to go to Florida instead for the Keys100 ultrarun Dad participated in: I support Dad, Dad supports me, haha. But more about the run in another post! 🙂

Ratareisi will be held on the Alastaro Circuit. It is 2,7 kilometers long. The ride begins at noon on Saturday, and ends at noon the next day. I’m trying to hit at least 50 laps, but I’d prefer a 100, haha. We’ll see how many times I can last!