Minttu Hukka


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Senior Year

It seems like it usually takes me about a year to update new material to my blog. I used to be so much better at updating my site, but lately writing a blog has been the least important thing in my life. My senior year went by so fast! I was busy (like always) with school and running, but also enjoying my friendships and just being in Boise. I had a decent cross country season last fall: I achieved all of my goals besides being an All-American… I had the worst race when it mattered the most, which was heartbreaking, but we got 6th in the Nation as a team and I could not be more proud of my girls! My short indoor season was not great, but I started to feel a little better during the last few weeks and ended up scoring in the conference meet. Outdoor track… I am very disappointed how it went and especially how it ended. My first steeple race since 2016 was pretty promising: 10:13 at the end of March. I felt like the European Championships standard 9:55 was within my grasp. I felt like I did not go all out in that race, but I ended up running about the same time the other two races. It did not make sense to me as my workouts were great and I was fitter than ever, but the problem was that I was not mentally in the right place. It was hard for me to believe that I belong there again after the bad years, but I also started building up more and more pressure of finally running a new PR when I should physically be able to. I qualified for the NCAA First Round (Regionals) but ended up injuring myself during the premeet workout. My calf suddenly started hurting and my ankle swell up. I was limping and there was no way I could have raced that week. It was crushing to sit there under the lights and watch a heat after another to fold out and people celebrating when they punched their tickets to Eugene. After we returned home, I got a doctor’s appointment and an xray, and it revealed a stress reaction in my fibula. I was devastated, as I had been healthy and improving since my previous injury over a year ago, but also happy that it had not yet fractured. If I had tried to race against the pain, it might have ended up being a fracture with a lot longer healing time. Now I have not run since then, which is about 2-3 weeks, and this week I should be able to start running again.

 

Confidence is my weakest point right now. I can be physically fitter than ever, but after everything I have gone through, I do not know how to get my confidence back. This spring, I felt like I was in a shape for running a 9:50-steeplechase, but when I was racing I found myself afraid and holding back. Finishing the race with a lot of energy left was disappointing. I felt like such a failure and decided that I would go for it in the Regionals and not be afraid. Well, I ended up not getting that chance, and that’s why I am even more angry at myself. I wasted so many great opportunities due to the fear. I have one more year of NCAA eligibility left, and I want to do everything I can to build myself back up again.

Here’s a quick replay of some of the high points of my senior year:

 

 

  

So much love for my team! You made this (and the other two) year so special to me. I am going to start grad school at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville this August studying Exercise Physiology, and I will also complete my eligibility running for the Volunteers. I am very thankful for my coaches, trainers, and teammates, as well as the other faculty and staff here at Boise State who have been so supportive during both the high highs and the low lows I have experienced these past three years. The people here in Boise made it all worth it, and I will always bleed blue! Leaving Boise is a tough thing to do as I have made this town my home, but I am excited for this new beginning and the opportunity to run for the Volunteers. Here’s to the new chapter in my life.

 

GO BRONCOS! GO VOLS!


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Stanford Twilight

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4.28,76 for 1500m was a disappointment, even though it was just 0.09 seconds off from my PR. Why? Because I know I could have done so much better. My workouts have been fast and I know it is inside me. But in the race, I was afraid to go for it early enough. The pace felt easy but I knew the girls I was running against had PRs so much faster than mine, so a tiny voice in my head told me I wasn’t supposed to beat them. I made a move just 500m before the finish line, but it was too late. I felt fresh after the race, and I was mad at myself… And then I did a long cool down to actually cool down my anger.. However, if I look the positive side, at this point of the season I’m running a 1500m time that has been usual in the previous seasons when I have been peaking – that means the best is yet to come!

Next weekend it’s Payton Jordan and finally I get to steeple!

♡: Minttu

Photos: Scott Elliott