Sunday, January 26, 2014

Yours Truly 50K

We don't have too much snow this winter and the temperature warmed up to -8°C just in time. There was no excuse for me to avoid running Yours Truly 50K today!

Participants can choose their course and starting time as they wish. I started 9:50am and headed for the asphalt-free paths in Central Park. I ran by the frozen river and also in the forest.

I had a 90-minute lunch break at home. The race clock is ticking all the time, but I wasn't aiming for a win. I finished 50km (measured by Suunto Ambit) at 5:06pm, so my total time is 7:16.

I checked the archives and discovered that I've run this race once before, in January 1996. That's 18 years ago, so I guess it was time to do it again!

Friday, January 24, 2014

GRT #4

My 4th Golden Ratio Triathlon went pretty well. Started 7:00am and finished 5:08pm = 10:08 total time.

The sequence was swim 2.4K - run 26.1K - bike 111.2K (again). All but the run was done inside. The run went well considering it was cold -18° to -20°C. I had two gels in my jacket pocket, but they got frozen.

Actually it's a wonder I didn't bonk at all as I didn't eat anything before or during the swim or during the run. I had a smoothie before the run and the bike though.

While cycling I watched Escape Plan starring Sly & Arnold. A fun action movie. "You hit like a vegetarian!" :-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

10 pics from my winter trail

After a warm beginning, this winter might end cold. We've got snow and below -10°C daily. Here's ten photos from my about 30km winter trail run on an extra cold Monday: below -18˚C/0˚F. With Mondays like this, who can resist them!

The river seems to be frozen. I stayed on the firm trail to be safe.

"OUCH it's just so helluva cold!" No I didn't do this graffiti under the bridge.

Rose hips: you can make jam, pie, soup or wine out of them.

A lonely tree and a large forest ahead.

The best winter forest trail ever in Haltiala.

Tall pines.

The trail may be hard to see sometimes.

Nice mountain pine.

Haltiavuori (Mt. Elf) rush hour. Nobody there, only tracks.

An artificial Mont Blanc at Paloheinä skiing centre.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ambitious Geocaching

Life at N60 degrees: The sun going down already after 3pm.

On Sunday afternoon we decided to team up with TPjr to try our first La Petite Trotte à Jon, as I decided to call it. The temperature outside was pleasant -10°C, so off we went. We didn't bother to carry any nutrition, as there were plenty of cafes to enjoy a quick hot drink along the way.

Suunto Ambit GPS navigation works well for geocaching!

Long before this we had registered at We had selected seven interesting caches in our neighborhood and loaded their coordinates into our Suunto Ambit GPS - a watch made in our neighborhood! (Here's some great advice on how to use Ambit for geocaching.)

With -10C it's not a good idea to get your feet wet! That couldn't stop us though :-)

The first geocache was on a hill with ruins of a century old fortress and we knew the place well. However the geocache proved to be tricky to find and challenging to open in the freezing conditions. Finally we managed to fill in the log book inside and put it back where it belongs.

No map, just an arrow and distance in meters. But that's all we needed really.

The second cache was by a familiar stream and was a quick easy find. Just when we thought we are getting good at this, the third one at a cemetery took us a lot of searching. It had such a clever camouflage that we didn't recognise it as a cache although it was right in front of us all the time.

Navigation in the winter forest with fallen trees around can be challenging.

The next three ones were close to each other in the forest. They weren't too easy and we gave up on the last one. It was getting dark and despite me eagerly testing my new Silva Trail Runner 2 headtorch, we couldn't find it this time. We'll be back though! [Edit: The cache was found later.]

We couldn't find this one, despite my Silva Trail Runner 2 headtorch.

On our way home we found our sixth cache of the day by the local church. It was skilfully hidden and we had a good laugh when we discovered where it was, because we had went right past it so many times without suspecting anything.

Geocaching with Ambit was easy and fun, even in freezing cold!

What a great training day. Who knows, we might do the real La Petite Trotte à Léon some day! :-)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Since seeing 58-year-young Marco Olmo repeat his incredible 2006 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc victory again in 2007, I knew this is something I have to try myself. I turned into a 50-something vegetarian trailrunner, much like my idol Olmo.

Fast forward seven years. Next August I'll be running 168 km around Mont Blanc with 2300 runners. I'm not likely to win, but just being able to participate means my dreams have come true.

This is it. Now I actually have to do it. See you in Chamonix!

Monday, January 13, 2014

My 3rd GRT

My Golden Ratio Triathlon today was already the third since I started doing them a month ago.

I started 7:03am. The 2.4K swim was over in 44 mins. I shared the same lane with several other triathletes.

It turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day for the 26.1K run, which I decided to do next after swim. The -10°C temperature felt refreshing.

The 111.2K bike was all on my indoor trainer. I finished at 18:50pm.

The total time for this 139.7K triathlon was 11:50. I had a good time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2nd Golden Ratio Triathlon

My second Golden Ratio Triathlon was smoother than the debut performance in December.

My GRT started 7:00am today. The 2.4 km swim was a bit faster, totalling 47 mins including a toilet break. I skipped sauna this time. The transition took a while because I decided to have a second breakfast.

After the swim I checked the weather and saw a rain storm approaching in the afternoon. So I decided  to run before cycling. I wore rain gear anyway, as the air humidity was 100%. The temperature was +4C and there wasn't much wind. The 26.1 km run on the same old course took me 2h42min - a 27 min improvement.

As last time, I did most of the 111.2 km bike on my Tacx Bushido trainer. It's a lot easier and safer to cycle indoors than outdoors. I completed the bike section at 4:06pm, which meant a new PR total time 9h6mins - 2h:54min faster than my modest 12h00mins performance three weeks ago!

I even considered trying to break 9 hours, but left it for the future attempts. Although I didn't go too fast at any point, my whole body can certainly feel the effects of 139.7 kilometers. This is a great workout and fun too!