The Exploration Continues!
In the past couple weeks, while I have still run consistently, I have got into the heart of my ski training for the Finlandia-hiitho Ski Marathon which is happening on February 23rd. My long ski this weekend was 18 miles (29kms). I felt pretty good after considering my previous longest was 13 miles which I did earlier in the week.
It feels good to break your own records, building momentum towards something you have never accomplished before. It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the journey and its small successes, knowing that every one that is still to come will be increasingly challenging to attain. These inevitabilities, both conquering and difficulty, have been a part of my development as an endurance athlete, and I am blessed to experience them anew in cross-country skiing.
When I began seriously running in 2010, I was fixated on the goal, a certain amount of miles, in a certain time. While most competitive people are this way, I didn’t realize how fulfilling the experience could be when goals were more balanced with appreciation for the simple act of running. There are many people out there who are unable to run or ski, or even walk for that matter, it is a gift. I have learned along the way to cherish these simple things, to allow one’s efforts to give way to something greater. I will never stop pushing to attain new goals, and by harnessing a love and appreciation for the experience this exploration, one can tap into something profound, a strength not commonly known, or on display.
Every time I run or ski, and walk even, I use a free iPhone application called Charity Miles. This app enables you to put your efforts to work for others, as well as your own wellness. For every mile you put in Charity Miles sponsors donate to the cause of your choice, and with more than 20 non-profit organizations to choose from, I’m certain you’ll find one that resonates with you. Its simple, its free, and you’re already doing it. So do it. For more info, check out Charity Miles here.
Happy Exploring, see you next week!
(Photos from a run through paths at Suomenlinna, a group of Islands off Helsinki housing a fortress built in the mid-18th century. It is now a protected UNESCO site and one of the most fascinating places in Helsinki to explore!)
While my running has lessened as my ski training has ramped up, I am still getting out there in my Karhus for a couple runs a week. This time of year can be challenging as terrain is often inconsistent, from concrete, to hard-pack snow, trails, cobblestones- and Helsinki is no exception. My Karhu Flow Trail WP shoes have performed well, while not ideal for the street they have proven to be versatile enough to accommodate any terrain, not to mention the spectrum of weather conditions which most of us encounter throughout the winter training season.