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!

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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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Robbery and broken foot

This past week has honestly been quite horrible. First I lost an important race, then I was robbed, then my motorcycle was broken, and finally I find out my foot is broken.

Let’s go through all of them…

The race

In Valencia last Saturday me and Caridad Jerez (Spanish champion and Olympian) were competing for a spot to represent Barça in Copa del Reina (The Spanish clubs championships). I’ve been in a really good shape but my foot that I thought I just twisted in the first race has been hurting and I haven’t been able to train too well nor wear shoes. It was hurting a lot on Saturday also. I still ran easy 8.41 in the semifinals without trying hard at all. Caridad ran 8.42. In the final she took a great start, and I took an absolutely horrible one, so I was just catching up the whole race and with just couple more meters I would’ve probably caught her. She won by 0.02 seconds and we ran 8.38 and 8.40. I went to get the finish line picture and our butts were equal, she just leaned better with her shoulder. In a sense this was the most important indoor race for me as truthfully there was a lot of money involved for this and the next weekend’s races. Well, I lost to a great athlete. On the other hand, 8.40 is not bad with a broken foot and a terrible start.

Robbery

On Sunday I was going to eat to a restaurant I was invited to, Taperia Princesa. I was outside the restaurant with my manager Rafal from work waiting for other friends when two men robbed my purse. Rafal started running after the robber before I even had time to realize what had just happened and I was so sure he was gonna catch them that I didn’t even start crying until he called that he lost them. We obviously called the police right away and we called my banks to close my cards and had to call insurance company for a locksmith. We sat down to eat a little (the food and drinks were great, I really recommend it!) and to gather myself to be ready to go to the police station to make a police report. My friend Mari headed to my house to wait for the locksmith and me and Rafal went to the police station. The police told us to go get a medical report first as it was a robbery with force and I went to wait for 4 hours at an emergency room to get a report that said I have a little red mark on my shoulder. The police luckily took me in for the report right away (last time I waited 4 hours) and I managed to handle the whole thing in Spanish. The robbers got a pretty nice catch as I had two Michael Kors purses, iPhone, four credit/debit cards, new Nike shoes, a shirt, Spanish drivers license, Spanish ID, Finnish ID, all my two internet banks information and codes, my house/gates/mailbox keys, motorcycle’s and motorcycle’s box keys, lots of make up and a few other things with me.

Broken motorcycle

I was a bit worried about my house at first but my insurance locksmiths came within an hour, but also I was worried about my motorcycle as the purse had my address in there. When I returned from the police station at 2am I went to check on my motorcycle and all was well. At 11am I went to see it again and I see the bike has been pushed over and the brake and gas handles are broken and the whole side is scratched. I get a new key to the motorcycle and I see the bike has been put on and gears have been switched, but apparently the robbers have been missing one extra brake lock’s key to actually steal the bike so they’ve just pushed it over then.

I was feeling fine after the robbery in the evening until I returned home. When I returned home I started to realize what has happened. I was already upset about the race and then everything valuable I own was robbed. I had a panic attack and seeing the bike the next morning made them worse so I have been on sick leave this week. I knew I had a Barça doctor’s appointment on Thursday but didn’t think this week could get any worse so I even said to someone “I can’t imagine this week could be any worse unless I find out my food is broken.”

Broken foot

I went to Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper hoping to find out I have no fracture even I knew the pain is as bad as fractures, but I thought maybe it’s something else. I was surprised I finished the race (the first real race of the season) after twisting my ankle, but I didn’t think I could’ve finished a hurdles race after breaking a foot in middle of it. The doctor sent me straight to an X-ray and said we’ll get MRI if there’s nothing in the X-ray. Well the X-ray showed a clear fracture in the foot. The doctor said I need to avoid all impact for three months. I said “ok great thanks” smiling and walked out. As soon as I get out of the Barça buildings I completely break down. This was the last thing I wanted to hear after having had a horrible week already.

If you have read my whole story you know I’ve been through a lot and a broken foot is quite minor thing for me. But finally everything has been great in my life and then I get setbacks back to back like this. People rarely see me upset and even when I cry I’m often smiling, but most of the time I don’t show how I’m really feeling. I can be completely broken inside and look very happy outside. At the moment it’s honestly very difficult time for me and I am struggling with my panic attacks (which I will will probably write another post about as I’ve never talked about them), but I am trying to stay as positive as I can.

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Catalan Clubs Indoor Championships

Last Sunday was my first race of 2018, Catalan Clubs Championships. In Catalan Clubs Championships (Campionat de Catalunya de Clubs) the top 8 clubs in Catalonia compete and one athlete represents each club in all events. I was a little tired all week from training in the past weeks and traveling home to Finland for Christmas, but on the competition day I felt good and was hoping to run a good time.

I ran the hurdles for FC Barcelona, and I knew if I just finished the race, I should win quite easily. Well, it turned out to be a bit toughter as I rolled my foot/ankle before the 4th hurdle (there are five hurdles in 60m hurdles race), something that’s never happened to me before while running hurdles even in training.

I took a good start and the race was going as normal, until I don’t know how, when stepping to attack the 4th hurdle, my foot/ankle rolled and I just crashed through the hurdle. I screamed out loud at the moment and thought it’s gonna be a miracle if I make it to the finish. But as I was running for points for FC Barcelona, I could not stop so somehow I managed to stumble three steps (before seeing the video I thought I took five steps before the last hurdle) and to take a huge jump over the last hurdle (it must’ve been about four meters, normal hurdle pass is about three meters). Somehow I made it past the last hurdle and just tried to finish at the point when my speed had drastically decreased.

At the line I looked to the side to see if someone had passed me. I saw another girl on my side and wasn’t sure I won, but somehow I ended up winning by 0.04 seconds. I didn’t believe it and everyone at the track said they don’t understand how did I manage to even finish and also win after that fall.

Normally in training a little hurdle hit is ok and you manage to keep going, but hitting a hurdle badly will stop the run. I have never hit a hurdle like this, nor rolled my ankle, and managed to keep running. Have to thank coach Sevi for making me do a lot of balance, ankle, core and hip stability training. This race definitely proved we have worked hard on those aspects as you can see from the video below. Have to see something positive in it 🙂

I wanted to run a good time, but the most important was to win to get the full points for FC Barcelona. I managed to do that and FC Barcelona ended up winning the whole Catalan Clubs Championships.

As can be seen, the race video has over 250,000 views at the moment. I have no idea what happened, how did it go viral like that! But I’ve received nice and encouraging messages from all over the world, and I really appreciate them all! Some of the best athletes in the world from different sports have sent me messages of support and it’s been great to see people notice and respect my little battles 🙂

Other video that went a bit viral over the Christmas was my frozen lake swim video. Winter swimming is completely normal in Finland, and I have went to swim to a frozen lake close to my parents house once a year now. Normally you go to the lake from sauna, but I have just went into the lake from the car and went straight back to the car and driven home. It was -5 degrees outside and the water was +1. It doesn’t even feel that bad, except it feels like you can’t breath when you go in! This video and a story of me ended up on Mundo Deportivo, which is one of the biggest sports newspapers in Spain. They also appreciated my 220kg hip thrusts, and called me more brutal than Rambo 😀

It was so nice to be at home for Christmas and I had a lovely time with my family, friends, training and eating good food. My dogs loved running free at my parents and grandmom’s houses and yards. Finnish grocery stores are a paradise for someone with some limits on diet. You can find so many gluten-free things and I was in awe of all the protein puddings and glutenfree cakes, pastries etc. My dad knows me well and had already got me my favorite Finnish energy drinks (my only bad habit), and at Christmas I baked a lot of gluten-free pastries and ate tons of amazing Finnish chocolate. I might have overeaten quite a bit over the Christmas, but I gave myself a permission to eat a kilo of chocolate every day as long as I stop as soon as my plane takes off from Finland. Luckily I had somehow lost a kilo of weight while in Finland, not sure how did that happen.

Now I’m back in Barcelona and back in the routine of working 8-16 and training 16-20 or 17-21. My foot/ankle still hurts quite a lot from rolling it, and yesterday I was limping all day, but managed to do a decent training session. I still plan on racing again on Friday, just to get more races in, as I need them since I continue running very differently in training and in competition after such a long break. A little rest and I’m sure it will be just fine 🙂

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2017 – what a great year!

Year 2017 really was one of the best years of my life, despite some crazy things happening to me. I moved to Barcelona a year ago before New Year just because I wanted to move to another city with a beach after living in Lisbon for nearly a year. Never would I have guessed what a great decision it was.

I have a nice job in Barcelona, a nice apartment, and two crazy dogs that I love, but the best part has been that I have been healthy and I am back competing. When I moved to Barcelona I had no idea I would ever compete again. All changed in March after couple people without realizing it got me back to training.

At the end of February, Dutch decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas was in Barcelona for a training camp and asked me to come run hurdles for fun. It turned out to be a lot of fun and even I was extremely slow, my hurdling technique wasn’t that bad, and I really enjoyed it. I went back by myself a week later. This time an athlete Udy Erete saw me and said I should join their training group. Coach Sevi took me into the group and just two months later I already ran my first race for FC Barcelona. Clearly a big coincidence, but Sevi’s way of training really works for me and focuses on the things I need to focus on. My times last summer and PBs in everything in training this fall really have proven this.

I competed most of the summer and much better than I was expecting, but ended the season early to pneumonia. Being back on the track was much more fun than I even remembered, maybe because I didn’t have such high expectations and stress as when I was younger. I was just enjoying being able to run and have fun. The good times gave me a lot of motivation for the training season and I’ve never trained as healthy as I have now for the whole fall. During the year the goals have changed from competing at nationals to competing at European and World champs.

I have been working full-time at the same place all year, and only have had to change apartments and buy a motorcycle to be able to train better. In the spring I used to bike 12km every day to work and training, but clearly that’s not good for a sprinter. Now with the motorcycle it takes me 10 minutes to go to work and 5 minutes to go to practice. I can get so much more out of myself in training as I am not tired already when arriving. I used to live in a really busy area by the beach and only had a small balcony, so I had to go take my dogs out right after work and right after training. Now I’ve moved to a quieter area still in the center of Barcelona, and I have a yard, so I can go straight to training or a physio from work instead of always going home to walk the dogs so the new apartment makes the work and training manageable. And I can actually sleep there. It’s probably one of the only blocks in the center of Barcelona where it’s quiet at night. I do pay a lot for it, but it does allow me to train and sleep much better, so it’s worth it.

Those are the only changes I’ve had to do to be able to really focus on training while working full-time. My days are long with 8h of work and 3-4 (sometimes 5) hours of training, and I really don’t have time for anything else, but if I didn’t try to fulfill the potential at track that I know I have, I would always regret it.

Moving to Barcelona has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It changed my life after years of being sick to doing what I love and being happier than I’ve ever been. I am so thankful for the people who have anyhow contributed to this change and for me being back competing. Now let’s hope 2018 will be even a better year!

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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 🙂

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Hurdle training

I started running hurdles when I was 14-years-old. I ran them couple times at age 13, but then I was a high jumper. At age 14, I ran the national indoor record for 14-year-olds and realized I might have some talent for this. Hurdles always came really naturally for me, and I love hurdle training, so after that age I only focused on hurdles. When I ran well in World Youth Championships at age 17, I started taking it more seriously. Still, when I was asked why do I run hurdles, I said: “I’m too slow to be a sprinter.” 😀

I have been training in Finland with multiple coaches, in the US with multiple coaches and some of the world’s best hurdlers, in London with multiple coaches, and also seen hurdle training in many other countries. Now I’m training in Spain. It has been very interesting, everyone works different way, and you just have to find the way that works for you. I believe I have now found the best training for me.

What makes you a good hurdler?

I have always been good at hurdle drills and hurdle technique, but have been lacking power, explosivity and speed. The best hurdlers are really fast and powerful. This does not mean you have to lift 100kg power cleans, but you have to be able to use the power at the track and be explosive. This is a thing that we have been focusing on this year, and it has been working really well. At the moment I am faster than I’ve ever been. For hurdles the main focus has been rhythm.

Frequency

In hurdles your step length doesn’t matter the same way it does in sprinting. There are only 8.5 meters between the hurdles, and it’s all about who can take the three steps between the hurdles fastest. I have been quite good at this before, but the lack of explosivity and speed has made the space between the hurdles a little long for me especially at the end of the race, and I haven’t been able to utilize the quick steps I can take. Also my trail leg (the leg coming over the hurdle from the side) has been slow, so that’s been another main focus in training.

Good exercise for trail leg

Hurdles with one step is one of my favorite exercises for the trail leg. You really have to get the leg around quick as the next hurdles comes up so fast. I normally do 5×8 hurdles with 14 feet spacing (this is 12 my coach’s feet). Sometimes I do this with 84cm hurdles, but mostly with the lower 76cm hurdles.

My favorite hurdle workout

In the video there are pretty much all the exercises I do on my favorite hurdle workout. It’s all about rhythm and frequency. First is little hurdles with one step, with seven feet spacing. Then three steps with ten feet spacing. The short spacing makes you really have to be quick and move your feet fast.

Then it’s time for higher hurdles with normal 13 meters start, but 7-7.75 meters distance between the hurdles. This is a great way to work on the rhythm and also to bring the trail leg around quickly.

Normal training week

I train six days a week and on two to four of these days I do some hurdles. Normally once a week just the one step drill, once a week a workout focusing on the rhythm, and once a week hurdles with more regular distance and with more hurdles. I haven’t done any starts yet at this point in training, but this will soon be done at least one or two days a week.

My first hurdle race indoors is already 7th of January, and I hope to be ready to run fast. You never know what to expect in the first race of the season, but I hope it will be as happy surprise as my first race outdoors. It’s looking great right now! 🙂

Liga Catalana hurdle

Warming up for my first hurdle race in 5 years, May 2017.

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New wardrobe

Got Nike gear, happy days! 😀 When I wasn’t training for a few years I really didn’t buy almost any new workout clothes. As I wasn’t able to go to gym or do anything more than couple times a week, it felt pointless to waste money on workout clothes. Only reason I bought some pants was because none of my older ones fit. When I was sick I gained over 10 kilos so clearly the S size clothes were way too small. Now I’ve lost that 10kg (will write more about that later) and all those pants are too big.

FC Barcelona

Barca gear

Last spring I got new gear from FC Barcelona and was still training mostly in clothes I got when Puma was sponsoring me 2012-2014. So all of my training clothes were about five years old. The lifespan of training clothes probably isn’t meant to be even five years…

FC Barcelona gear
We also got new gear couple weeks ago as I wrote, so now there’s no lack of Barça gear for me 😀 A big winter jacket was probably the best part, since even it would be 20 degrees during the day, the mornings are freezing in Barcelona.

Nike

Nike outfit

Now I’ve been fortunate enough to get new gear also from Nike (all thanks to manager Juan Pineda). Last weekend I put in place my new Nike gear and threw to trash all the five year old worn out clothes. I hate throwing away anything (even old socks, luckily I got so many pairs of Nike socks that I managed to throw away about half of the old broken socks 😀 ), but it was their time to go!

Nike gear package

New shoes

Last spring I was also training in old Puma shoes from maybe 2013. I only bought new Nike shoes because my training partner’s shop had 50% discount. But those already have holes also, so new Nike shoes came at a perfect time.
Nike actually accidentally sent a wrong size at first, but luckily I was able to give them to my training partner Adelina who happened to be the right size! 🙂

Nike Pegasus 34

Why I don’t just buy more?

The struggles of athletes, training clothes and shoes are so expensive, and they’re worn out in a few months! Good spikes and trainers cost over 150 euros, tights 80 and even shirts 50. They are so overly priced. You buy one set of clothes and shoes and spend 1000 euros. Think how many thousands that is in a year if you need training clothes for every day of a week at least, and have to buy new shoes every few months.

So next time you’re looking at someone’s old shoes thinking why they use such old shoes, trust me, I’m sure they would get new ones if they could! 🙂

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Barça doctors, gear and stuff

One of the biggest benefits of being a Barça athlete is that we get to use the medical facilities. The medical center is located in Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, same place where the FC Barcelona football team trains. If you are a football fan (which I’m definitely not) and lucky, you might see some players around.Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Normally you can call there and get an appointment to the doctor the same day, for MRI maybe the next day, and physiotherapy you can start right away and go every day if needed.

(Not) an injury

On Saturday I felt sharp pain in my psoas tendon on the last set of hurdles, had difficulty walking for the whole weekend and there was a little swollen and bruised area. I tried to take care of it well (ice, compression, anti-imflammatories, rest and eat healthy), and went to see a doctor yesterday. The doctor did an ultrasound and said there is nothing visible so it was likely just a micro-rupture and should be better in just a few days. So nothing to worry about, I am just having an easy week of training this week and back to hard training next week.

It’s such a relief that you can see a doctor so quickly and at least for my mind it helps a lot to know what is wrong, and in this case that there is no real injury. After the doctor I already went to the gym yesterday, so I have been so lucky to only have missed one and half days of training in the past two months.

Podologist

Podologist's test

At the medical center they also have podologists and make insoles for shoes. It was interesting to see the podologist’s study of my feet and what could cause my ankle being locked all the time. This has been happening for years now. I also got an MRI of my ankle in August, but there was only a thickened tendon from spraining it previously, and instability. The Barça physios showed me exercises I should be doing every day and I have been working on it a lot. The ankle is already much more stable and less painful.

New gear

Last week was great despite this little scare as we got new Barça gear. I think majority of Barça athletes choose to represent them just for the gear 😀 We had been guessing that the new gear was black as the football team has already been wearing black clothes for a while. Black it is, and I love it.Barça gear

Camp Nou

As me and my training partner Adelina were looking for the place to collect the gear at Camp Nou, we somehow got lost inside the stadium, and ended up to the football field. No one was asking what we are doing there, but as we headed back inside the tunnels of the stadium, someone nicely came to escort us out.

Team transfers

I ended up getting a last minute offer from another Spanish club. The offer involved a lot more money, but I should have given up the clothes and the medical benefits, so I ended up turning it down even I’m sure the team would’ve been great also. But knowing me, the medical benefits are the most important.

Anything else you would like to know about being a Barça athlete?

Camp Nou

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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

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