Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elf 100 km Xmas fun run

I haven't finished a 100K in 2013. I just had to do something about that. That's how Elf 100 km Xmas fun run was born out of the blue.

There were no other runners in this event. Most convenient for me was to run a nice and easy 25 km loop around my neighbourhood four times. There would be 200m ascent per loop.

I started to run 8:00AM on Monday, December 23th. It was still dark, but I knew there would be streetlights along the way.

Almost all of the route was on dirt paths in a delightful natural setting. Less than 10% was covered with asphalt. Bicycles were the only traffic to look out for.

The weather was balmy 5˚C with lots of showers. Air humidity was around 80-90%. We haven't seen a snow-free Christmas like this for years.

The sunrise around 10AM was most welcome, but already after 3PM it got dark again. It's the darkest time of the year. Only during loop #2 I was able to enjoy full daylight.

I finished at 00:27AM on Tuesday, December 24th. Total time 16h27min. My loop times were 2:52, 3:17. 3:40 and 3:49. Total running time 13h38min. The breaks at home between loops took me 2h49min. Like a good elf, I made sure to take plenty of time stuffing my face.

After finishing I felt good, but a bit tired. Merry Christmas and happy trails 2014!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Golden Ratio Triathlon

In trying to find the sweet spot between half and full 'Ironman' triathlons, I came up with the idea of Golden Ratio Triathlon (GRT):
  • swim 2.4 km (1.5 miles)
  • bike 111.2 km (69.1 miles)
  • run 26.1 km (16.2 miles).

This new 139.7 km (86.8 miles) distance is more challenging than a half, but not as devastating as a full.

With a goal of finishing in 12 hours, I started the first GRT ever this morning at 7:45AM. I finished 7:45PM - perhaps not surprisingly in exactly 12:00 hours!

The swim was nice and relaxed. I did a couple of extra laps just in case I had miscalculated the distance. As usual, I spent some time in the sauna after the swim.

I did most of the cycling indoors on my Taxc Bushido trainer, so I had the opportunity to watch Ironman Hawaii 2013 on TV. It brought back pleasant memories from my own race in Kona 25 years ago.

My run consisted of one big loop on familiar dirt roads. It was dark but relatively warm, and almost all the snow and ice had melted away. The air was very humid with occasional rainy moments thrown in. Recent storms had caused some damage in the forests, and the streetlights were off in many places. It wasn't a problem, as I had my head torch with me. The run went smoothly, but I only carried two gels, so I was pretty hungry towards the end. 

It was a nice day, and I will probably do another GRT in the future.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Independence Day

I celebrated Finland's Independence Day today by running around Seurasaari island.

Crushed ice on the beach.
It was a balmy +1˚C day with some rain/snow falling from the sky.

The lakes on the island were covered with ice.
I spotted lots of birds, including a swan couple.

The sea and shore is still mostly ice-free.
There were some slippery places with ice, but not too many.

A swan couple feeding themselves in the sea.
I even saw the President passing by in a motorcade towards his nearby home.

The archipelago looks pretty nice even in winter.
My feet were wet when I returned home, but it sure was a nice outdoors training session!