Season 2018

It’s taken me a long time to write this. After the season I was so exhausted I was too tired to do almost anything. Finally I’m feeling normal again. I’m very happy with how the season ended, even the preparation all last year was not good at all. I finished the season with a PB of 13.14, which is all-time sixth best time in Finland, and over 30-year-old’s national record! 😀 The best accomplishments were silver at Finnish national championships, second place at Finnkampen (Finland vs Sweden) and European Championships selection. I fulfilled all my other goals, expect the time goal.

13 seconds

I wanted to run under 13 seconds, and I think I could’ve done it with a little more luck. After my 13.14 which I ran basically alone, I didn’t have great conditions in any races. I ran 13.15 in quite cold and with no wind, and multiple times around those times, so with another good tailwind and warmer weather, I should’ve been able to run much faster. But that’s the sport, conditions play a big part and you’re not always lucky. My ten best times were 13.14, 13.15, 13.16, 13.16, 13.17, 13.18, 13.21, 13.23, 13.29, so it was an incredibly even season. My worst time in a race that I didn’t almost fall in was 13.31.

Happiest moments

The happiest moments of the season to me were running the European Championships standard for the first time, and my second place at Finnkampen. In Finnkampen we got the only sweep on the women’s side with the Finnish hurdlers; Neziri won, I was second and Hurske third. All three Swedes behind us. The atmosphere was unbelievable even the weather was terrible, and our victory lap really topped off the great season. The Finnish team performed well until the end and the fans were amazing! It really was my favorite competition I’ve ever been to!

Best accomplishments

What should have been my best accomplishments, silver at Finnish nationals and European Championships, were more than I could’ve hoped for, but there was so much stress about them, that for some reason it was hard to really be extremely happy about them. After the nationals I was just exhausted, and it was hard for me to be happy about what I just accomplished, and this lasted thorough the European Championships.

In March I quit my job and moved to Valencia. From this moment on, all I had in my mind was getting a medal at nationals and making the team to Europeans. Finland has the sixth highest level of women’s hurdles in the world, so we were one of the few countries who needed to have ”trials” even to Europeans. And when I was injured almost all the time until the nationals, it just increased the stress. I had no back up plan if I didn’t run well. Luckily, I was able to run better than my mind was telling I’m capable of, and at the end it was all more than worth it.


To be honest, I was surprised how well I handled the most difficult races of the season. I think you have to believe you can do something to be able to do it. You have to believe in yourself, and there’s nothing wrong in doing so. I found myself being very Finnish and too humble many times this summer, before the blocks I always doubted myself and thought I will lose this, but somehow during the races I always got the confidence back. Every time I was supposed to beat someone for example, I did it. Even when I was clearly losing, I just decided I will not lose this (whatever the battle might have been), and never did. I learned that my mind is a lot stronger than I give it credit for! 😀

This promises a lot for next year. Now I know what I’m capable of even with so bad preparation, so I know I’m capable of a lot better times with good preparation. I also know if the race is about the mind and not the legs, I can win it. I have never been confident, so this is important for me to realize. I also learned to pull motivation from many different things, so even some bad things have given me lessons for even better next year.

New training season

Last year I trained after 9h workdays until March, and from March until June, I only had three healthy training weeks. Now I have started the training season healthy and in better shape than ever. I rested for three weeks after Finnkampen and slowly started training. Four weeks of training is behind now, and it’s gone better than I could’ve hoped for. It’s the first time in my life I’m healthy and able to train twice a day. Training without full-time work makes a huge difference to both the quality of training and to recovery.

I’m already hurdling quicker than ever. I have no injuries and I’m technically a better runner. It’s a little scary how well things are going for me for once. Now just have to stay healthy and me and my coach are expecting a huge PB already in indoor season. I have never been a good 60m hurdler, but my coach thinks that now I will be. Running good times requires staying healthy, and that’s the biggest goal now. I have good confidence it will happen too, as without extra stress, being healthy and no more work, I’m recovering much better than before and also progressing a lot faster. I also started from completely different level than ever before.


For the beginning of the season, my family and coach were my biggest supporters. They believed in me all the time. My coach believed I should’ve ran even a lot better than I did. My sister and her husband were ready to book flights to Europeans after my season opener when it was nowhere close to being clear I’ll make it.. 😀 My whole family has been amazingly supportive all summer, and it’s been wonderful to see them enjoy my good moments too!

I also got supporters from elsewhere. SportLife Nutrition started supporting me after my season opener and their support has been important. Their supplements have helped me train hard and recover, and they make sure I eat healthy since I’ll have a protein pudding instead of my normal chocolate bar! 🙂

Aalto Henkilöstöpalvelut started sponsoring me this summer, and I’m so thankful for them. They helped me compete stress free for the most important races this summer, and that’s one of the most important things for a good performance. They’re also great and fun people, so it was always a pleasure to visit their offices!

My Finnish physio, Niina Saarman-Bartholdi, is one of the biggest reasons for the second half of the season going so well. She fixed me every week, often multiple times a week, and made sure I was able to finish the season. I ran the last races of the season with a small rupture in my glute, but Niina made it possible for me to run with it. She’s amazing! <3

I also need to thank my competition manager, Tuomo Salonen. He of course helped me with competitions, but he has helped me with so many other things in the past months. I know I can count on him on any situation, and he answers even my most stupid questions. 😀

After all I’ve been through in the past years, it’s incredible to be running at this level, and I’m so incredibly grateful for every healthy day and even more for every little accomplishment!

Thank you so much to all my fans and everyone else who supported me this summer. The best thing about the successful season has been all you people who have sent me amazing messages and support. I’ve attempted to respond to most messages I have received, but sometimes it’s just impossible, so I’m sorry if I have not responded. I have for sure read them all and I’m thankful for every one of them, they all have made me smile and given me more motivation to run well! I’m hoping to give you all even better moments next year!

Now I’ll go continue preparation for even better 2019 season!





New city, new coach, new times

I opened up my season properly on Tuesday at Paavo Nurmi Games World Challenge in Turku, Finland. I ran 13.31 (+0.2) which is just 0.06 seconds from European Championships standard. I won the B-final, but ended up being 5th overall in a high level competition with A-final included.

It was 11 degrees, the wind was freezing and I had a crazy headache and nose bleed that made me dizzy every time I did starts on warmup. I didn’t have a great feeling in warmup and really had no expectations for the race. In the blocks I was shaking like crazy, but despite a bad reaction time (0.213), the start was decent and rest of the race clean and even.

Watching back the race now, for me it wasn’t technically good as my arms are all over on hurdles and I’m not leaning or aggressive on the hurdles. The last 5 hurdles are clearly better than the first five. I also start looking at the clock way before the finish line. But in the freezing conditions I couldn’t have asked for a better first race!

Quad ruptures defined the training season

My whole race shape was a little surprise as I’ve only managed to run with spikes for two weeks now after tearing my quad twice this spring. And until a week ago, every day was a surprise on how much my quad will hurt, and I skipped the last rep on every training because the quad started always hurting.

The last week of training was great, and I knew I can run a good time, but first race can always be anything. I told people I just want to run under 13.5, and ended up doing it. My coach said I’ll run 13.2-13.4, guess he knows what he talks about! 😀 My previous best season opener was 13.80, so this was almost half a second faster. Now let’s hope I end the season half a second faster than ever before too!

Move from Barcelona to Valencia

There has been a lot of changes since indoors, the biggest being that I quit my full-time job and moved from Barcelona to Valencia. I have a new coach and a new training group, who are all great. There are four girls in the group full-time and more younger athletes in the evening sessions.

I do some part time work also in Valencia from home, but I wanted to really give this running a chance this summer. I chose to go to Valencia for the great weather, cheap rents, and my new coach. He had to think a little before accepting me into the group for many reasons, but I am glad he ended up taking me.

I am also very happy I didn’t give up faith in him and he didn’t give up faith in me in these past couple months. After indoors I took a little break since I had to let my broken foot heal completely. I had only trained for 1.5 weeks in Valencia when I first tore my quad. My quads were absolutely dead from previous days’ training but as I am stubborn I decided to still attempt to run 4×11 hurdles. On the first rep I felt pain in the quad but attempted to run another one anyways. Of course I tore the quad then.

The healing only took about 1.5 weeks that time, but I was able to lift weights and do jumps so I only missed running and hurdling. Well obviously those are very important parts, but at least I was able to do something. I was able to have couple good trainings and then attempted this 4×11 hurdles training again, and on the second rep again, I feel pain going through my whole leg. I knew it was bad. After two weeks of no running nor hurdling again, I was sure the leg was fine and went to a competition for FC Barcelona. There in the warm up I felt it again and I had to jog the race completely. Next day I had an ultrasound scan that showed the rupture was still 1.5cm long and 4mm wide. The physio said if we tape it well, it will only take 6 days to get better.

The next week I started running a little and the leg felt ok, but I only did very short trainings. I went to Ibiza for a competition and I don’t know if it turned to be good or bad for me, but there was storm winds and in our hurdles I fell and in -6.4m/s it was impossible to run. I ran a 300m race later there even with my bleeding knee I couldn’t run that properly either. I was happy that even I couldn’t really start the season there, I was healthy.

Well this was not quite the case. Two days after my quad was hurting so much when I attempted to run that I started crying to coach that I’m sure I tore it again and we went to have another ultrasound scan to see what’s happening. The scan showed only inflammation but not a tear, which was positive. The next 1.5 weeks I started running a little, but still not 100% and no hurdles as I had a lot of pain.

The time was really difficult mentally, as I had made a big sacrifice to leave Barcelona and my job and then I have these continuous injuries. The start of the year had already been tough for me with robbery and months long sick leave. After all, quad ruptures are very minor injuries in my scale, so no matter how frustrating and stressful it was, I was sure I’ll still be fine for the summer.

For the past week before the competition, I was finally able to run fast with spikes. I ran the best hurdles sessions I’ve ever ran, and everything felt really easy. This showed me we have done the right things and worked on improving everything else. And everything else has improved. The reason for the quad tears probably was that we completely changed the way I lift weights. I used to do heavy weights slow and now I do lighter weights a lot faster. And a lot of squats, very fast. I haven’t done squats in 10 years. But with these changes, I improved my PBs in all strength and explosivity tests.

To have ran so little and missed so much hurdles and running training before the first race was difficult mostly mentally of course, but to have started so well, I have a lot of trust and belief in my coach and myself, and I expect to keep progressing in training and in races a lot now that I’m finally able to run with spikes too. We haven’t even started speed work, so even I’ve clearly improved in that by just doing the right weights and jumps, there is so much more to improve!

European Champs and sub-13 are the 2018 goals

Next goal of course is to run the European Championships standard and then progress to the real hurdlers’ times, so under 13! Paavo Nurmi Games was an amazing competition to start the season with and all the support I’ve received in the past couple days has been unbelievable! Thank you all for the hundreds of messages and sorry if I haven’t managed to respond to everyone!

This video is definitely my favorite video of me ever!


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 😉


Indoor Season 2018 Opened

I ran my first indoor race in 6 years on Sunday. The plan was to open up the indoor season on January 7th, but couple weeks ago coach said he would like for me to run a practice race on the 17th of December in Sabadell. At first I thought it’s way too early, but said I will think about it and see how I feel after my training camp. It would be good training if nothing else.

I had a really good training camp in Egypt even I was a little sick, but felt really tired early in the week so I only made the decision to run the race after Thursday’s training. On Thursday everything finally clicked with my starting blocks and I did the best and fastest starts I have ever done. I felt really good and was ready to run on Sunday.

On Sunday’s competition day I felt really weak, super nervous, and didn’t manage to do much correct in the warm up. In the race, the start was as bad as my usual starts have been, so I did not manage to do anything similar to what I did in training. I stood up from the blocks, accelerated badly, came too close and straight up to the first hurdle, and jumped too high. Also I was stepping across before the hurdles (which prevents proper take off and pushing to the hurdle) and twisting after the hurdles, the things I have worked on not to do, and already manage to not to do them in training. So basically, I did everything completely opposite of what I have done lately in training.

My time was 8.43. At first I was really upset about the time, as I wanted to run, and know I can run, a lot faster. I was also upset that I did so much wrong in the race, even I have just managed to fix all these issues in training. But after thinking about this, I realize I did run the best season opener ever, in December, when it’s still a month to the real competition season. I ran the best season opener ever after a really hard training camp. I ran the best season opener ever after not running indoor season for 6 years. The best part really is, that I ran the best season opener ever with all the possible mistakes I could have done.

Now I have a few weeks to become more confident with the newly learned starts and fixed technique, so I can do it in competition also. This race was perfect for training purposes and to take off the nerves from the first real indoor season competition, so that I won’t do the same mistakes again. I’m not satisfied if I do something wrong, so that’s why I’m still not happy with the outcome of the race, but I know I will run a lot faster when the real competitions come. I know I can run the goal I have set for myself.

I’m very excited to keep working to run a good time already on indoor season, even the real goals for 2018 are in the outdoor season 🙂


Team Transfers

No team transfers for me this year!

As the last team transfers for 2018 are approacing in athletics, I decided to stay with FC Barcelona in Spain and HIFK in Finland for the upcoming season. Even I compete mostly in Spain, it’s mandatory to have a club also in Finland to participate in Finnish national championships etc.

How does it work?

In athletics if you’re good enough, the clubs pay you to represent them. You must compete for them so they will get points etc, and you might be asked to appear in some events and of course wear the club’s gear. The clubs often pay a signing fee, and also bonuses based on how well you do in certain competitions.

Transfer deadlines

In Spain all club transfers must be done before the end of October, and in Finland before the end of November. You cannot switch clubs in middle of the season. Last year I was able to join both of my clubs mid-season as I had not competed in a few years at all.

My options

Just before the transfer deadlines for each country, I got a great offer from a big club in Spain and also couple good offers from big clubs in Finland. These clubs offered me much more money than my clubs.

At the end I decided to stay with FC Barcelona since the medical facilities benefits and the gear are no match to any money offered. Also, who doesn’t love Barça 🙂
In Finland the decision was a bit harder to make, but at the end we negotiated terms that I was happy with and I stayed with the club I liked the most and whose staff has been very supportived, HIFK.

I’m very thankful for the trust and faith the clubs have in me, and will do my best to represent them as well as I can 🙂

FC Barcelona



New season!

As most probably know my summer after only three months of training after five year break from hurdles competitions went much better than expected. As my goal was to run under 14, I never expected to run 13.25. Especially with pneumonia.

Of the three months of training I had a hamstring tear for a month and edema and bursitis in hamstring and hip for two months. But as my history with injuries is longer than anyone can remember, that was quite an achievement for me.

In my almost 2 months long off-season I’ve been just resting to get those injuries better and have seen FC Barcelona doctors to try to see what we can do for my ankle that has been bothering for years now.

The training season was supposed to start in beginning of last week, but I crashed my motorcycle while driving in the rain and have been recovering from the injuries a bit over a week now. My ankle looked the worst but is already almost 100% recovered, now just have to get my neck better.

The positive about this crash is that it happened off-season and I learned how careful I have to be when driving in the rain. Also, I’ll for sure wear my motorcycle gear as soon as it arrives.

I’m sure soon I’ll be training 100% again and I’ll try to keep updating this blog regularly now 🙂

FC Barcelona hurdles