13.16 and European Champs standard

After my proper season opener of 13.31 in Turku, I ran 13.38 in -1.2m/s headwind in Salamanca, Spain. Already before the race I felt a little twinge and pain in my quad once again and for the next week I couldn’t run properly. Even two days before Madrid World Challenge last Friday I could still feel the pain, but I was able to do couple hurdle starts.

In Madrid I for once took a good start with good reaction time (0.141) and ran great five hurdles. After five hurdles I felt my speed increasing so much I couldn’t handle it and went off balance on 6th hurdle and completely brought down 8th and 10th hurdles. We couldn’t warm up properly for hurdles and couldn’t try running them so I think this caused me not to have the good rhythm I normally have.

For next couple days I was really tired and on Tuesday went to compete in Castellon. My legs felt still tired and just too loose. I did some really bad hurdle starts before the race and felt like I’m all over the place and just slow. In the race I reacted really badly (I posted video of this; the girl next to me is 15cm in air before I start moving) and again felt like I’m slow and too loose. I even had time to think about how bad I felt and how I just have to jump over some of the hurdles to get to the finish line. After the race I was sure my time was maybe 13.3-13.4 and I was really disappointed.

I went to ask for my time upstairs anyways since they didn’t announce it, and when they told me my time was 13.16 (+1.2) I asked couple times are they sure and then just started crying of happiness. The standard to European Championships was 13.25. The time was #6 all-time in Finland.

I have watched the race a few times now, and the video confirms all that I felt. My reaction was bad, my body is twisting way more than normally when landing from the hurdles and there are at least two hurdles that I actually jump over (and not run) since after Madrid I was afraid to hit the hurdles.

The twisting after the hurdles is what I have been working on in training because it slows down the speed quite a lot for me. What I mean by twisting is that when I attack well, I stay forward and my right arm is quick and my torso doesn’t twist. In Castellon my arm was really slow and opened up way too much, my torso was twisting and I was too upright after the hurdles. When I get it right in training my best hurdle splits can be 0.96, but when I don’t get it, they can be 1.06, so it makes a lot of difference.

In Madrid I ran 0.99 splits before the hurdle hits (normally at that point I start running faster), and after the hits it went up to 1.16. In my Castellon race, no hurdle splits were below 1.00, so I never got into the rhythm I know I can have. Coach also said I was doing some weird blocking when going to the hurdles, so he found even more mistakes.

The mistakes are a great thing really! When you have mistakes, you have a lot you can improve on. Now we will try to work on those until Finnish nationals 20th of July, and hopefully we will do the right things to be in even better shape then. I trust my coach completely; three of our four girls have already made the standards to European Championships and the fourth girl in the training group is really close.

I have receive thousands of messages and congratulations, so thank you all for those! I really appreciate every message and I have attempted to reply to as many as I can. All the support makes me so happy and motivates to continue this journey! It has been quite a tough journey but all the struggle starts paying off now!

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Indoor Season 2018

Indoor season didn’t go quite as I expected. In the first race of the season on 7th of January I rolled my ankle and broke my foot. Like this wasn’t enough, I was robbed two weeks later, and now a month later I still haven’t managed to get almost anything back as insurance wasn’t helping and Spanish bureaucracy couldn’t be slower. Fortunately I have my family who have been the best supporters and help. Still, it was a very positive season and gave me a lot of motivation and expectations for the summer.

I ended up running 60m hurdles 8.29 (all-time #11 in Finland) and won in Catalan Liga, Catalan Championships and Miting Internacional de Catalunya. I can be happy with those!

8.29 I ran after two weeks of no training, many hours drive to the meet the same morning, in a lot of pain, and after gaining couple kilos as I ate liters of Nutella to feel better (since I was having panic attacks and anxiety etc. after the robbery). 8.31 I ran after five weeks of no training and maybe three extra kilos from Nutella. It was my best ever time from first round, and with a bad start, but unfortunately there was no final on that competition. So clearly those could have been better times with better preparation.

I’m very surprised I managed to run that well after not training and eating badly. Normally I eat super healthy, but the stress of the robbery was just too much, and then in addition came the broken foot which FC Barcelona doctors at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper said takes three months to get better. I was in a really good shape physically when the season started, and there was quite a big difference to the shape I was in these races (physically as well as mentally). Luckily the foot is not gonna take that long to get better, even though I still have to take it easy for a while, so preparation for the summer season can start quite soon.

I didn’t run what I wanted (the World Indoor Championships standard), but I’m running faster than ever, and because my last 40 meters of the race are always the best, I can’t wait to see what I can run outdoors! There are still five months until Finnish national championships and that much time to qualify for the European Championships.

Other positives of the season have been that I was able to see a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in years, and also I’ve gotten into some interesting projects I’m really excited about. Even I’ve been through a lot in recent years, January was extremely difficult time for me, but February has already brought some great things, so I will just assume every month this year will be better and better 😉

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