• LIFE
  • November Skies

    Tiina Kivelä

    It’s been a while and I thought I’d come to say brief hi with these snaps. I’m now a bit busy with work, training and plans for next year. One move also ahead next week, and since the lenght of day is just a bit over 4h, I can’t really do much with this blog than just say hi, I’m alive, and coming back with better time.

    Now I’m going to get some sleepzZzZZZzzzZZzzzz

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Lapland, sunrise today at 9:42. Sunset today at 14:11. Length of day: 4 h 29 min.

  • BLOG
  • Running Girl

    Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

    Last week I promised you more training and prep. stories, and apparently that also means more intentional training for me. In the aftermath of the post on Saturday, I decided to create a new habit for this winter prep. season – long run & audiobook, at least once a week.

    The idea really came up just like that, after realizing I missed the better outdoor options for the weekend, like nordic skiing. Also, I don’t have enough time to read all the books I’d like, and since I also can’t read or use my time any other wise way in the long buss commute I have few days per week, I’ve though that running, while “reading” = listening audiobooks, would be an excellent solution.

    Tiina Kivelä

    I had previously signed in Strava for the November half-marathon challenge, as well as the 10k (maybe one day I should also write how much I like combining technology and sports). Then on Saturday, true to my habits, I started my run with the intention of running at least the 10k. I knew that most likely I’d run more, but setting up that minimum goal helped me to win myself with every step after the 10k.

    First I did the 10k, and yes I almost finished there already, but then I realized that if I just kept going the 12k more, I wouldn’t need to stress about the challenge for rest of the month. And now the November half-marathon is done. Well done me.

    Legs really didn’t like the last 10k in semi-slippery asphalt, but the mind could have kept going hours more. The book I picked for company, Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant, is so good (for a person who’s had her share of adversity the past years) that because of it I even had to choose active rest day for Sunday, to listen one more chapter while walking in more snowy and pretty setting (the snow comes and goes these weeks).

    The best outcome of the run and the book so far is btw the same: it could always be worse. This autumn and early winter has been an option B for me in many ways, and it helps to think in how many ways think could be worse, to get through this.

    When it comes to my running philosophy or training schedule, the recipe only says this: Don’t take things too seriously. I don’t have a schedule, nor training plan, and I don’t measure my heart rate with a Suunto watch  (though I’d really need one of those sport watches for many other purposes).  I just run because I know sitting all day is lethal and the exercise is good for me. It’s also not too of an expensive sport and it can be done quite freely whenever and whatever time I feel like it.

    I’ve also realized that running is one of those personal projects I do just for myself, to feel accomplished and capable. Therefore, I have to end this with a quote from climber Sasha Digiulian. Because even though I do things like running purely for personal reasons, which sounds selfish, they make me a better person and help me grow. And that, in the end, is good for others too.

    But what I have learned is that the challenges that fire me up don’t need to have significance to anyone but myself.

    Oh and if you want to have more badass inspiration, see this. Afghan girls and women running in mixed-gender Bamiyan Marathon. It could definitely be worse.

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Lapland

    Resources & data: Strava


    ps. featured pic doesn’t have nothing to do with the story – stock photo from unplash 

  • LIFE
  • Honestly, I’m A Finn And I Need My Solitude

    Tiina Kivelä

    November is really November these days. Monday too. With rain and around 6h daylight – basically, it’s just a loooong and dark night followed with 50 shades of grey before another looooong and dark night. And over again. Calls for a badass attitude and not just in Helsinki.

    For a while it was nice. There was snow and I could go skiing even, the Nordic style – 1,5 year break made me feel a bit like Bambi on ice though. But I’m getting there – and whatever the style, it’s one of the best and most effective training methods ever, let me tell you. Watch out skimo and skitouring season, this year I’m really training for you…

    And then there were these extremely beautiful and cold days fairytale-like days with frost and all the muted shades of care bears. No wonder Frozen is my favorite Disney film – the one I can really relate to. There was well needed light, sunny (although cold) days and beautiful hikes.

    Tiina Kivelä

    And it’s been so quiet and empty. No wonder solitude has been another thing in my mind and agenda these weeks. It has felt a bit that I’ve been paying the bills from last winter still, the bills from when I for a while forgot what I need to keep it all together. In the end, I survived, and it was the best winter I’ve ever had. But honestly, I was too close to exhaustion with all the work, long mountain days in the weekends, shared flat, etc. There were good things, but there was something important missing. And things didn’t really go as I hoped them to go. Luckily though, life is a journey in which I don’t need to repeat the same mistakes all over again. And when stepping into another ski season, I do make sure I do things better this time and after.

    Last winter, solitude was missing, while some other shitty things were taking it’s place, like the pitfalls of bad management. I still do love most of the firm and it has been the best learning experience I’ve ever had. But it had it’s flaws, like any organization. On my freetime, I did some solo hikes, and took my time alone, but not enough. And now, it’s not just my freetime into which I try to squeeze better practices and the solitude. It’s also the work part of my life for which I try to invent better practices. And in which I hope to be able to focus on the really important things and do them better.

    Now when I read and hear how good solitude does, I’ve understood that it’s clearly one of the secrets for my success too. The thing I can do to ease the pain. In the best case, it also makes me a better team member. At work and at home.

    So, to not repeat the same mistakes again, it’s been sauna almost every day now. The real Finnish one – alone, quiet, naked, veeery hot one. I guess it works like bath for Emma Watson. And then there’s these moments in the nature, almost like Thoreau. And all this skiing and running and reading, and knitting, etc. Yeah I know, I sound like a grandma. But please, just let me take my time and see you in (Verbier) afterski with all the energy gained these months. Darling, it will be wild, I promise.

    And for the work I have new calendar and scheduling practices, as well as new confidence to do things my way, the way I know works best for me and for the goals of whatever project I’m on.

    If you want to read more about why solitude is good, you may start from this. Or this. Or maybe this. One of them tells you that solitude is even a competitive advantage! Who knew – it’s not just for us introverts to curl up in our comfort zone.

    Oh and if you want to come up here too, I may tell that my Lapland guide is almost finished (working on this site and menus this month). And to give a tip from here already, I may recommend the place offering that risotto (Restaurant Roka, Rovaniemi, Lapland Finland) which I enjoyed in solitude – comfort food, alone or made with love and enjoyed in good company, it’s an excellent self care ritual too. Especially after exercising out in the cold, which makes a girl hungry. Veeery hungy.

    With these words and pics, let’s survive now (and hopefully enjoy too) November.  See you later!

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä