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!