• BLOG
  • FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MARATHON OF THE WORLD

    Tiina Kivelä

    About a year ago in Switzerland I hiked for the first time up to Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen, and got greeted with these views. It was a really beautiful day (those views, just look at them!) and even though I’ve got to experience the same few times more, the big dream which started to grow that day haven’t realized itself yet. But soon – the most beautiful marathon of the world.

    I’ve been thinking of running a marathon some time now – I guess it’s quite a natural development phase for an kind of an endurance athlete like me. Nevertheless, I hadn’t really heard about this one before last year, when I moved to Interlaken (of which I hadn’t really l heard before either, strange enough). In there, I learned about the Jungfrau Marathon, labeled as the most beautiful marathon of the world, and one of the toughest too – 42.195 km and 1829m altitude difference. And soon, after the first hike and winter skiing around there, I started to dream of running the marathon myself.

    The race track starts in Interlaken, my swiss “hometown”, from where it continues to Lauterbrunnen and Wengen before ending at Kleine Scheidegg, below the famous Eiger North Face. Yes, like the famous names suggest, the region is legendary, and the label is deserved. Nevertheless, you don’t need to run the marathon to enjoy the same views and lovely atmosphere in this region. It’s open for everyone. But, there’s people like me too. Who always look for new challenges. And so I found myself thinking why not try running the marathon myself this year, since I was already going to be in the region around that time, and in quite of a good shape, if I may say. Luckily enough, my friend was selling his number (next year Bryan, next  year – maybe Le Marathon Du Medoc would be better for you this year, and next year for me) and so I got my number even though missing the initial registration, just three weeks before the race. Better late than never, they say.

    Though I wouldn’t recommend this same procedure for anyone else. I’ve done the half marathon and the Lidingöloppet 30k couple of times already. But, I haven’t had any structured training plan, not to mention the training itself, this year. Nevertheless, I do wanna try how having a generally active lifestyle (and well, over 15 years of active endurance training in the past) helps me to finish a marathon (or maybe not – I promise to try but not to be too harsh on myself). Shouldn’t be impossible, though challenging for sure.

    Of course, the views motivate me a lot too, giving the extra push – this is also my happy place, which became so dear while I lived in Interlaken. It’s where I fell in love, where I’ve experienced one of the biggest challenges of my life, and it will feel home to run there. And I’m sure other people have as good personal reasons to take part or enjoy the event some other way. So see you in Interlaken, along Die Schönste Marathonstrecke Der Welt, on September 9th 2017.

    I have to say, I’m a bit nervous, even scared, and not sure how the week of surfing and yoga in Morocco (oh have I told you I’m going for a Girls Surf and Yoga Week – well now I’ve done it) next week will prepare me for this marathon… Ok, let me admit that I’m very scared and wondering why the h*ll I’m paying 100CHF for this. But like always, in the end I’ll just feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Wish me luck! I’ll tell you later how it went.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Interlaken – Kleine Scheidegg (pics from August 2017)


    FI: Hieman optimistisia urheilu-uutisia näin yleisemmin synkkien uutisaikojen keskellä: menin sitten eilen ostamaan ystävältä lähtönumeron maailman kauneimmalle maratonille eli Jungfraun vuorimaratonille. En ainakaan vielä voi suositella samaa taktiikkaa kenellekään – vajaan kolmen viikon päästä koittavalle maratonille (42.195 km ja 1829 nousuerometriä) minulla ei ole suuren unelman lisäksi ollut mitään strukturoitua harjoittelusuunnitelmaa, puhumattakaan itse harjoittelusta.

    Olen toki elänyt normaalia elämääni, eli aktiivista ja Sveitsissä jopa super-aktiivista elämää korkeanpaikan retkineen. Lisäksi entisenä kilpasuunnistajana takana on lähes 20 vuoden enemmän tai vähemmän aktiivinen kestävyysharjoitteluputki, sekä muutama läpijuostu puolimaraton ja Lidingöloppetin 30km maastojuoksukisa. Eli tavallaan menen ihan omalla parhaaksi kokemallani tyylillä – turhia stressaamatta ja luottamalla siihen että kyllä tässä iässä ja tällä kokemuksella tietää mitä ja miten tehdä. Jollekin toiselle tämä tapa ei sopisi alkuunkaan, mutta minulle tämä on taas yksi ihana uusi haaste normiarjen keskellä. Haaste, joka pistää veren virtaamaan vauhdikkaammin, ja antaa hyvän oppitunnin omista taidoista ja ruumiin ja mielen mahdollisista rajoista.

    Mielessäni ei ole oikeastaan mitään tavoiteväliaikoja tai tavoiteaikaa – tai no jos sinne alle kuuden tunnin, parhaimmillaan 5h 30min pintaan jos pääsisi, niin olisin extraonnellinen. Kuulemma ystävät, joista osa asuukin sopivasti matkan varrella, ovat äärettömän ylpeitä jos ylipäätään pääsen maaliin asti… Ja koska tämä Jungfraun alue, jolla reitti kulkee, on ns. happy placeni, alue jolla olen kokenut sekä elämäni onnellisimmat että haastavimmat hetket, oma tärkein tavoitteeni on vain nauttia. Sekä haasteeseen vastaamisesta että siitä maailman kauneimmasta maratonreitistä, koko rahan edestä. Lisäksi jo nyt hymyilyttää, että matkan saa aloittaa Sveitsin kotikaupungistani ja toivottavasti päättää Eigerin legendaarisen pohjoisseinän juurelle. Siinä tulee olemaan paljon tunnetta mukana, hyvää tunnetta. Kotiinkin kun on aina ihana palata.

    Aion myös olla itselleni armollinen – jos ei kulje ja sattuu liikaa, niin sitten keskeytän. Maratonin suorittaminenkaan kun ei ole riittävän hyvä syy terveyden riskeeraamiseen. Vaikka se olisikin kiva saada tämäkin unelma raksitettua listalta ennen kolmikymppisiä, on yksi nykyisen elämäni tärkeimmistä tavoitteista niiden “suoritusten” sijaa pitää huolta omasta kehosta ja mielestä parhaani mukaan. Siihen kuuluu että ilmoitan itseni vaikkapa maratonille ja juoksen jänniä matkoja, mutta myös se että ymmärrän ja uskallan lopettaa ajoissa, jos jokin ei tunnu oikealta.

    Ennen juoksua on vielä edessä sanoisinko hyvin mielenkiintoinen viimeistelyjakso, johon sisältyy mm. vielä muutama päivä Lappia, sitten hetki Sveitsiä, viikko Marokossa surffaten ja joogaten ja taas etätöitä Sveitsissä. Tämä matkasokkelo, ja ystävien vierashuoneet mahdollistivat osallistumiseni ylipäätään (ei olisi varaa mennä paikan päälle pakettimatkalla vain jouksua varten), vaikka eivät tietystikään ole se mikään ideaalein valmistautumistapa. Mutta girl gotta do what girl gotta do, ennen kuin sponsorit tulvivat ovista ja ikkunoista (krhm emailini on muuten: tiinaetc@gmail.com).

    Toivottakaa onnea ja pysykää aktiivisina. Tarkempaa juttua maratonista tulossa sitten kisan jälkeen.

  • BLOG
  • LOVE LETTER FOR SWISS TRAIL SIGNALIZATION

    Tiina Kivelä

    I miss you, Switzerland. I’ve been in Finland for three weeks now and even though it’s quite nice here too, I can’t help thinking of you every other minute. You had me at hello last year, and I can’t wait to get back to you. You keep me focused, and your quality of life is just awesome. No-one is perfect but for me, you are good enough. You keep me on track, you keep me fit and you make me happy. And you make exploring, a thing which makes me extra happy, so easy. 

    Up here in Lapland, I feel a bit lost without you. In a matter of fact, I’ve been literally lost a few times, missing your trail signalization. Not in a boring way, there’s still the excitement and challenges left. But you have the base set so that I can concentrate on the other things rather than keeping myself on track. You make sure I find my mountains and my way home in the evenings, without needing to think it so much. Up here, too many times it’s all about finding the start, the middle and the way home. Views come second when I need to translate the bizarre logic of Finnish trail signalization.

    In Switzerland, all I have to do it jump off the train or my house and find the first signs of by you at the corner of the station/street/condo. Compared to most of the countries, you understand that the trip starts from one’s mind and you don’t let me in trouble searching for the start point already. No, you put the sign pointing to nearest peak right there in the train station. And off I can go, conveniently and excited.

    Some times I have been a bit confused, even with you. When you haven’t been there in every crossroads and when you haven’t pointed to the destination I’ve been initially looking for. But in most cases, an additional map with all the trails (like this – you may click and view the hiking trails from the menu on the left-hand side) would have helped me to solve that little puzzle. After all, it’s good that you also remind me to trust myself and be comfortable with my insecurities. And many times, getting lost ends up being the best part of the trip. As long as it doesn’t end badly.

    I really hope you don’t forget me while I’m away. I’m more than fine sharing you with others but I can’t wait to meet you again next week and let you guide me higher.

    And I will follow you, always.

    Yours, Tiina.

    Tiina Kivelä

    SHORT GUIDE TO SWISS TRAIL SIGNALIZATION

    • Hiking trails (Wanderwege) are generally accessible trails and usually determined for foot traffic. They generally lead aside from roads carrying motorized traffic and are usually not surfaced with asphalt or concrete. Steep sections are negotiated with steps and areas with the danger of falling are protected by hand rails. Streams are crossed by catwalks or bridges. Hiking trails make no special demands upon the users. Signalization for hiking trails is yellow.
    • Mountain trails (Bergwanderwege) are hiking trails, which partly access difficult terrain. They are mostly steep, narrow and exposed in places. Particularly difficult sections are secured with ropes or chains. In certain circumstances streams can only be crossed via fords. Users must be surefooted, have a head for heights, be physically fit and have knowledge of dangers in the mountains (rock falls, danger of slipping/falling, sudden changes in the weather). Solid boots with good sole profiles, equipment appropriate to weather conditions and topographical maps are preconditions. Signalization of mountain trails is a yellow signpost with white-red-white tip. White-red-white painted stripes confirm the route.
    • Alpine routes (Alpinwanderwege) are challenging mountain trails. They sometimes lead across glaciers and scree, through rockfall areas and through rocks with short climbing sections. It can not be assumed that any structural provisions have been undertaken and these would in any case be limited to securing particularly exposed sections with a danger of falling. Users of Alpine routes must be surefooted, have a head for heights, be physically very fit and know how to use ropes and pick axe as well as being able to negotiate climbing sections with the aid of their hands. They must have knowledge of dangers in the mountains. In addition to the equipment for mountain trails, an altimeter, compass, rope and pick axe for crossing glaciers are essential. Signalization of Alpine routes is a blue signpost with white-blue-white tip, white-blue-white painted stripes confirm the route. The information panels at the beginning of Alpine routes indicate special requirements (more info here).
    • The signalization of SwitzerlandMobility routes (Die Wegweisung der Routen von SchweizMobil – you’re welcomeis standard throughout Switzerland. It is based on Swiss norms for signalization of non-motorized traffic (SN 640 829). It was revised for the realization of SwitzerlandMobility and today is the only international norm for standard signalization of non-motorized traffic. The yellow signs for hiking trails, white signs for the barrier-free routes and red for cycling, mountain biking and skating routes were supplemented for SwitzerlandMobility with the addition of route information panels including route names and numbers. One-digit numbers indicate national routes, two-digit numbers indicate regional routes and three-digit numbers indicate local routes. The route information panels are green for hikers and barrier-free routes, light blue for cyclists, ochre for mountain bikers, violet for skaters and turquoise for canoeists. These colours are also used by SwitzerlandMobility to illustrate the various routes e.g. on maps, information signs and the Internet. 

    Source & more information: Wanderland.ch / Difficulty scales by Sac.ch


    Tiina Kivelä


    FI: Puhutaanpa hetki ulkoilureittimerkinnöistä / LinkedIn Pulse

     

     

  • BLOG
  • MOVING ON : GOING ZÜRICH

    Tiina Kivelä

    New town, new rivers, same old restless feet. On Friday I said goodbye to Interlaken, for a while at least. The period between summer of ’16 and summer of ’17th was definitely one the best periods of my life, which taught me a lot and left me with many great experiences and memories.  But nothing lasts forever, and so I packed my stuff again on Friday. Parted it into storage (thanks friends for your help again) and into my loyal duffel bags, which I then carried in train to Zürich, for my July residence. Many times, people wonder why I need so many bags for different purposes. But again it proved good to have a climbing back for my mountaineering gear, a trekking bag for my trekking gear, ski bag and ski back bag for ski and avalanche security gear.  And the city handbag for urban exploration, of course. Though high heels I seem to have dropped off my wardrobe altogether. No need for them in here.

    It was an incredible, humbling and intensive year in Interlaken. I met amazing people, got an interesting start-up experience and learned that wild things should be free, always. Switzerland is a good country for me, and the Alps especially.  I fell in love, with the mountains and quality of life (cheese, you’ll not be forgotten either). There are things I would do differently now though – I’d start learning the language right away, and I’d let go easier when there’d be no good reason to hold on anymore. But I don’t regret a thing. It’s incredible what other cultures and foreign countries can teach you, but even more, it’s been the mountains and nature in general, which has impressed me the most. Teaching the best lessons and making me want to learn so much more (serious mountaineering, I’m ready).

    And yes you see right, the legs are bruised. And I have tanned skin and sun-bleached hair which hasn’t seen hairdresser in one and a half year. I have also more muscles and more strength, both mentally and physically. And again, I have my stuff all over the place, in storage in here and in Finland, in bags and friends’ place, waiting for the moment I again find a base camp to settle in, with everything I can’t let go of. It’s all messy but that’s alright. Perfect is boring.

    GOING ZÜRICH

    Even after a year in here, every time I board a train and travel somewhere in Switzerland, I’m amazed by the experience. The travel infrastructure, SBB & PostAuto, I love you for bringing me and my stuff, my skis and my bike, to the greatest adventures ever, and especially making sure the tired me makes it back home safely in the end of the day. And then there are the high mountains with their snowy peaks and glaciers and green meadows with their cows and goats. The highlands and lowlands, lush fields and the colours after rain and sky just before a storm. The gloomy foggy days, when the clouds are hugging the mountains tightly; when it seems like the fog is the way for mountains to breathe. The villages with their church towers aiming high, but never even close as high as the mountains. And the towns and cities, organised, clean and international. It’s the life in between which fascinates me most, the journey to find out what’s on the other side, and after a good amount of mountains, it’s time to try the life in destination called Zürich.

    Never lived here before, and in a matter of fact never been here longer than few hours at a time, so when the opportunity came (in a form of saved money and holiday season – no Mr. investment banker on sight still, unfortunately) I decided to try this quality of life too. In July I’ll also start working with some interesting new projects which will eventually bring be back to Lapland even (then the song, from which the name for this site comes from, will become even more accurate, heh).  Moving on, but also moving back.

    Zürich tips will follow, as well as the stories from Andalusia and Alps waiting for editing. Maybe something more about the work, in the past and in the future, and about how to keep up with this lifestyle and with as many adventures and outdoor hours without sponsors deals. Keep tuned, take care and please, be as brave as I’ve been. It’s scary to jump into something new and unfamiliar,  but after I’ve done that close to million times myself I’d say that embracing the change and freedom has been the best I’ve ever done. And there’s never anything wrong with new perspectives.

    Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit.

    Thom Yorke, Rolling Stone

    Tiina Kivelä

    I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods


    FI:  Uusi kaupunki, uusi joki, vanhat levottomat jalat. Perjantaina pakkasin tavarani kasoihin, jotka jaoin edelleen ystävien asunnon, varaston ja omissa käsissäni kantaneiden duffelbagien varaan, ja otin junan Zürichiin. Oli aika hyvästellä yksi aikakausi ja suunnata kohti heinäkuuta Zürichissä. Kesän 2016 ja 2017 välinen aika Interlakenissa oli yksi parhaista ja opettavaisimmista elämässäni; intensiivinen, haastava mutta niin ihana. Päivääkään en vaihtaisi pois, vaikkakin ehkä muutaman asian tekisin toisin (lapset, menkää sille kielikurssille heti eikä sitten joskus, ja etsikää se siisti asunto ennen kuin on liian myöhäistä).

    En ole koskaan aiemmin asunut Zürichissä, ja vieraillutkin kaupungissa vain muutaman kerran muutaman tunnin kerrallaan. Mutta olen haaveillut siitä useammin kuin kerran, ja kun tilanne säästöjen, lomakauden ja työpaikan muutoksen johdosta tuli mahdolliseksi (ei ole sitä investointipankkiirimiestä vielä näkynyt, valitettavasti tai onneksi), päätin kokeilla tätäkin maailman parhaaksi kehuttua elämänlaatua. Pikkuhiljaa sormet naputtelevat myös uusien työprojektien parissa ja yrityksenä on kokeilla todellista diginomadin elämää muutama kuukausi. Mutta ennen sitä kuukausi Zürichiä ja satunnaisia vierailuja vuorille. En ole hetkeen asunut suuressa kaupungissa ja tavoitteena on myös kokeilla miten tämä taas onnistuu; hieman aiempaa pidemmät siirtymät lenkkipoluille ja maastopyöräreiteille, puhumattakaan niistä alppien huiputuksista. Mutta sitten toisaalta, saan vuorten tilalle kahvilat, museot, kaupat ja toiset ihmiset. Uuden joen, uudet järvet ja uimapaikat, sekä asunnon ilman sotkuisia kämppiksiä.

    Tulossa on Zürich vinkkejä (kartan kokoaminen alkoi jo alla) ja editoidut jutut espanjan ja alppien kesäseikkailuista. Ehkä myös hieman enemmän juttua työkuvioista, menneistä ja nykyisistä. Siitä millaista on työskennellä kansainvälisessä startupissa Sveitsissä ja miten maksimoida aika vuorilla ja ulkona ja matkoilla ilman sponsoreita. Pysykää linjoilla siis jos nämä kiinnostavat, ja kertokaa toki jos haluatte minun kirjoittavan jostakin aiheesta tarkemmin. Kesälomia pukkaa, joten aikaa lukemiselle on varmaankin enemmän, kuten minulla kirjoittamiselle.