One Hot Challenge

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kopparnäs coast trail run

I haven’t blogged for a while, probably because I’ve been too busy enjoying this incredible summer we’re having here in Finland – and that’s how it should be if you ask me! We’re out and about every day as it is impossible (and too hot) to be inside, so I feel like we are really making the most out of this summer. 

I have also been training in the heat, and yesterday the day for the Kopparnäs Coast Trail Run was finally here. I signed up for an 18 km trail run about 6 weeks ago, on the spur of the moment – but it wasn’t until yesterday, after the competition, that I realised what a thing trail running actually is! I completely underestimated everything about it, thinking it would be a lot easier than it was. The fact that it was hot and sunny made it twice as difficult as well.

BUT, it was a great experience, and I now know what trail running is and that it is a thing haha. I also think it might become my thing as it is a lot more varied and less boring than running a marathon and you’re using more muscles and training your balance too. Every step is different! I also love being in nature and running in constantly changing terrain, so I already have my eyes on the next event on October 7th in Nuuksio National Park near Helsinki 😀

sandviken beach kopparnäs ingå

Sandviken beach is where the trail started and ended – and where Matthew had to entertain two little girls, one with a cold…Next time I’ll probably go alone! On the other hand, I can imagine worse places to be on a hot Saturday!

metsäreitti

This is the trail card we were given. I left it with Matthew as I didn’t know how to read it and I had my phone with me with my emergency app anyway (112 Suomi). Only afterwards did I realise we ran over two ancient burial grounds!

trailrunning

We left in three groups five minutes apart. I only got nervous right before we were set to start, but that feeling passed pretty quickly. Everybody else seemed to have proper gear; trail running shoes, phone holders, bottle holders and those little backpack/vest thingys. I just held a bottle of water in one hand and my phone in the other and ran with my three year old running shoes. Two of my fellow running friends didn’t even have a water bottle…So I think we all underestimated the run!

When my group left and I ran past Matthew, Lana and Maya, Lana started crying for some reason, and was miserable for 20 minutes after according to Matthew. No idea why she reacted like that!

This is Maria right in the beginning before it got really tough haha.

The sceneries were stunning, but you had to keep your eyes peeled on the ground not to trip over and break a leg.

First we ran along the sea and then around a lake and then by the sea again. We will definitely come back to Kopparnäs area for a family day out in nature soon. It was only 45 minutes from Helsinki as well, check it out!

Oh how I wished I could’ve jumped in and cooled down a bit! There were two places along the trail, at 7 km and 14 km, where you could have a drink of water as well as some sport drinks. I also filled up my water bottle so I had water with me the whole 18 km.

Whilst I was sweating my ass off the kids were chilling and Matthew was busy making sure Lana didn’t pull up the competition markers and Maya didn’t eat too much sand and pine cones.

posttrailrun

And at 2.07.53 I crossed the finish line, beetroot-red in the face but happy and chuffed with my achievement. Two seconds later I was in the sea cooling off and three seconds after that I was feeding a crying Maya. Back to mummy duties and enough me-time she thought haha!

I finished 24th, out of 76 women, so for my first trail run (and longest run ever) I don’t think it’s that bad at all! The male winner finished at 1.16.48 and the female winner at 1.34.51. Not even sure how that is possible as the terrain was so difficult and you constantly had to jump over fallen trees and run up and down cliffs…Impressed!

I have to say that that last kilometre felt twice as long as all the others but that I had a pretty good flow and at no point was I even close to throwing in the towel.

Whilst I was getting changed I heard my name being yelled out – turned out I had won one of these superlight backpacks! I’ll take this with me on my next trail run 🙂

We had to park the car 2,3 km away from the beach, in the middle of the field – and when I saw this super-Finnish haystack view I just had to take a photo.

Hours spent on the beach and in the water meant we had two exhausted wee girls in the back of the car who fell asleep the minute we started driving. This photo pretty much sums up how I was feeling too. I didn’t sleep much the night before and I didn’t get to sleep much the night after either, thanks to a Maya who is ill…Maybe tonight!

And one last photo of my beautiful, well manicured foot with toe nails that look like they’re going to fall off. This started last week when I did a 15 km run, but I have no idea why and what will happen now. Does anyone know??

The main thing I took away from this experience is that I need to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone more often. Because the feeling afterwards is priceless.

x Nina x

PS. I’ve actually already signed up for Helsinki Midnight Run on the 1st of September. It’s only 10 km though and hopefully by then it’ll be a bit cooler, so I think it’ll feel like a walk in the park. (Famous last words haha.) Anyone else going?