I am back!!! And I have completely surprised myself by being sad about it. I have never been one for “homesickness” (where is home anyway for someone who has moved around as much as me?) but it has hit me hard this time. We had an amazing week of gorgeous weather – this was Finland and the temperature was consistently above 20C, usually around 25C. It was green, lush, fresh.. The air and the lakes were clean.. The food was amazing and the sauna hot. We spent most of our time outside and the kids even went swimming.
And the runs… Oh my god, the runs. In London my route is fairly flat. I run by busy roads and around the park. It’s nice, comfortable.. and boring. I did three runs in Finland; two 20km runs and one 10.6km one. Not a lot of running but we were busy… But I think what I was lacking in quantity I was more than making up for in quality. I was running on rural roads with very little traffic. I was being kept company by cows, horses and birds. The views were of fields, meadows and lakes. There were barely any straight stretches with the undulating road weaving through the scenery. It was hard going in the heat but I was pushed by the fact that I was enjoying the sense of exploration. These were the roads of my very early childhood and I had not been “on them” like this since I was very young, riding my bike to the shop to buy sweets or going to the lake for a swim.
These pictures were taken from the car on the evening of my last long run. Would you believe it is about 8pm in these pictures? It only started to get dark just after midnight. Soon the nights will be light throughout.
It was just so green.
I had forgotten what it was like in Finland in the summer. I felt like everything was in HD.
It’s a shame the hills don’t really come through in the pictures. Some of them were pretty big and taxing but luckily always matched by a downhill of the same measure.
Not the best lake-shot but all these pictures were taken along the same route I ran during the day. I remember running past this one (about 15km into the run) thinking “I feel so sick but so good”.
Now do you see why I just want to go back? I found myself staring out of the window yesterday, across the garden into a neighbour’s terrace where they were sitting in the sun (yes, it has reached London too!). They looked so boxed in. WE are all boxed in. Living in a city we feel like having a postage stamp sized patch of back garden or a terrace is enough to give us “outside space”. But as I was watching them, my heart ached for the wide open spaces of the Finnish countryside where the horizon just rolls on with tall trees, lakes, fields..
So I have eaten a lot (of naughty things), not really done my physio or other exercises and survived on only a few runs. Now it’s back to normal and the hustle and bustle of London. I’m sure I will snap out of this nostalgia soon and settle back into my normal routine. I already did a run yesterday, followed by the usual squats etc. And tomorrow I am doing an early run as well. Maybe if I run fast enough, I won’t even notice the graffiti covered walls, soot stained cars and the diseased pigeons and can imagine I am back “home”.