Monday, November 30, 2009

Rain, Rain!!

It's winter in Texas when the temps stay in the 50s and it rains for a few days straight, then clears and goes cold and windy, and then repeats until late March. I lifted in the gym today so this doesn't really affect me. Don and I usually wait until the temps get past 45 to go out on jump days. To me this just means better quality of training and smaller poles because it's not worth forcing anything in bad weather. And we WILL have bad weather for the next few months. Many view this as a reason not to train but I view it as a chance to get ahead. If it were that easy every one would do it. It's not fun but it comes with the territory just like the heat in the summer.

Training felt good today, partly because I know I'm now on a schedule. Typically we don't have a meet until early January but this year my third meet will be January 2, so it makes it easier to train harder earlier. The key to progressing at our age is consistent effort on a scheduled program over a long time period. Because I "trained through" for Australia in mid October, I entered this part of the year in the best shape ever. Because World Indoors are March 5, we will all be at a higher level sooner. Our National Masters Indoor meet is always at the end of March so we target that as our "launch" to be prepared for the outdoor season, but this year we will be ready before that because of Kamloops.

I guess my point is I feel like this year will be my best chance to step up a level physically because I have and will continue to have big meets along the path that normally represents rest or lower level training. I like that. It feels good. It doesn't mean I'll jump higher but it means I should have better tools to apply toward jumping higher. Talking to Kris after Sydney, I told him that last season I won nationals and won the World Masters Games, so this year is about jumping higher. I'll stick to that and if that happens then I'll probably get a few more medals. As I approach the middle of my age group the younger guys coming in will make that more difficult.

Have a great day!! Bubba

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Back!

First, some clarifications. I vaulted Tuesday/Friday not Wednesday/Friday like I originally thought, as my blog showed me. Therefore I did not lift yesterday so I could make an attempt to vault again today (Sunday) on only one day rest. I normally wouldn't attempt this (jumping 3 times in one week) but it's 72 degrees out this morning and it's supposed to be cold (40s-50s) and rainy the rest of the week. My general rule is I can jump three days and do no other training or I can jump two days and do all of the other training components.

I went out after breakfast this morning so I felt slovenly heavy and sloshy because I drink so much tea. Nonetheless I thought I would give it a shot and worse case I would stop if things didn't feel right. I was a little fatigued but warmed up pretty quickly. I decided to start on the 4m/13'/14.7/176, the pole I ended on last time. I went from 33' since this is my standard baseline set up. Again, the baseline is something to progress from, not a goal to get too. But this time of the year it serves both.

Since I was a little beat up I started at 11' and made it the first jump and then made 12' on the first jump, so I'm back at the baseline. YEAH!! I tried a couple of jumps on the 14.3/180 but it felt weak in my hands so I decided to move back to 44' and go to my smallest 14' pole/17.5. Made 12' twice very easily from there but that pole was also very small. Uninjured and pleased to be back at my baseline and back on my 14' poles all in the same day, I stopped - 8 vaults. Hooray for small victories!!

These are the two things I wanted to happen before I jumped at a meet so I feel good going into the meet at Kris indoor place next Saturday. That day is the 5th or exactly three months from World Indoors in Kamloops, BC, Canada - March 5th. I'll lift in the gym tomorrow, run Tuesday, lift in the garage Wednesday, and then stretch on Thursday and Friday. NOW I'm back on a schedule I can live with.

I rarely jump during the week of a meet so today was it but I'll have two more weeks after next Saturday before my next meet. Again, I'm in good shape so it shouldn't be such a big deal that I have all of these changes in my daily schedule. That said, I HATE not having a schedule. Typically I have a "training" schedule and a "meet" schedule. I will now be back on that system.

I have booked hotels and paid for flights for Reno and Kamloops but have yet to find a decent deal on flights for Boston. I usually get my flight before I enter the meet but yesterday I went ahead and entered National Masters Indoors in Boston. I'm always one of the first entries but for me, that makes it "real" and I adapt accordingly with my training. I can't explain it but even though I can embrace the grind, it's just easier to train at this level if there is some definitive event and date. Whatever works.

Hope you have a great day. Thanks for being here. Bubba

Reflection - I guess any time I can vault three times in a week it's good; especially if each of the three days was better than the one before.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Meet December 5

I'm sure you have noticed that plans change often around here. This is my "put it out there and see what makes sense" outlet. Many changes come based on how my body feels after the last workout, our how I am progressing in any particular area. That said, because I jumped well yesterday, considering I only had one day off between jump sessions, I'm going to go and jump in the meet at Kris' place next Saturday. I'm only one pole away from my 14' poles so I'll take this week to resume the other training components and then get to Kris and start on my smaller 14's.

A few years ago I got sick of making 11' 6" (3.51m) so I quit jumping at it and began starting at 12' (3.66m). If I can't start at that level I shouldn't be at a meet. Besides, that's where I normally start my practices from only 33'. I feel I'm ready to do that.

At Sydney I started warm up on my 17.2 from 44' and then went to the 17.0 from 55' and it was real comfortable in horrible winds. If I only got through those poles and maybe my 16.5, I should be able to at least make 12' 6" (3.81m). If not then I will have something specific to work on before my next meet on 12/19.

I'm excited to have a definitive starting point because jumping in meets requires a pretty fixed training schedule so I can predict how I will feel. Preparing for meets also makes me focus on my eating. I normally jump at about 171 but lately I've been 173-4. That may not sound like much but it makes a difference ion your timing. In any case, I'm looking forward to it.

Today is our end of the month All Comers meet at 10. I'll go out and watch that and then I will go to the gym and lift. The key for me is stretching. When I am on my regular stretching routine and frequency, my legs feel good on the runway. I stretch when I lift so that's a big piece to get back in. Also, I feel fast but not powerful when I run on the runway and do not lift. Glad to get back to reality. More later. Bubba

Friday, November 27, 2009


At this point I will take baby steps and be happy. My legs felt much better and the right hamstring was very close to a nonfactor. I was able to use the cut 4m-13'/167/16.3 from 22' 6" today and easily made 11'. It felt too small but I didn't think I could get on on the full length 4m/15.9/171 so I moved back to 33', skipped the 15.9 and made 11' 6" on my first jump on the 15.5. It too felt small so things are starting to get back toward normal. It should feel small as I have jumped on my 2nd 14' pole from that run before - that's seven poles up from where I was on that jump.

I stayed at 33' and moved to the 15.0/176 for two jumps at 12' and it was too small also. I took two on the 14.7/176 and was close. The 14.7 is the pole I usually make 12' on from 33' for my baseline. I'm guessing I'm back to that on Monday. I resisted the urge to move my run back to 44' and go to the next pole just to make 12'. My baseline is 12' from 33' and I've done that countless times so it makes no sense to get impatient.

A couple of illustrations as to how my thinking played out in real life today. The first premise is that I can jump 6" higher for every stride added. Today I made 11' from 22' 6" and then easily made 11' 6" from 33'. The other premise is that for every stride in on a particular pole you can jump 6" higher. I made 10' 6" from 32' at my last practice and 11' today on the same pole from one stride in. These two premises are why I work off of my baselines. I have made 12' 6" from 33', 13' from 44' and 13' 5 1/4" from 55' but not with the frequency that they could be called a baseline. They are predictable and dependable. That's the next goal - increase the baselines.

Running afterwards was better even though I still only ran 10-20%. The hamstring didn't have much of a catch left on the extension so that will continue to get better. I will continue vaulting every third day until next Saturday when I vault and add all of my lifting back in. Right now I am doing my running and bars on jumps days - just no lifting at all. As my ortho used to say, "if your training is injuring you and your event is not then you need to change your training". So I've dropped out the lifting until I reach my baseline comfortably.

I feel close to being back in a groove as I had pretty good control of most of my eight jumps today. I used a big pole from 22' so now I'm done with that run. That means I will start at 33' and be allowed to move to 44' if needed with the understanding that the next time I take the pole from 44' and use it at 33'. Hope that makes sense. Have a great day! Bubba

PS - as of today I only have three more 13' poles to get through so hopefully I'll be back on 14's in a week or two.

UPDATE - I just realized that I vaulted on Wednesday. I went out today thinking it was Tuesday that I had jumped. I guess I will try again on Sunday since we have rain on Monday and Tuesday. That will put me back to regular full training on Wednesday. This makes me feel better to have a decent day on only one day of rest. COOL!! Bubba

More Thanks

I'm hanging out waiting for it to get warm enough to jump so I thought I would add a few thoughts. Today is my mom's birthday. Of course she passed away on April 19, of this year but she is still with me. Her birthday fell on Thanksgiving many times. I think what I'm going to do is each year on her birthday I'll write her a little letter and tell her what I'm thinking. Upon her death I wrote a "Tribute" to her so I think I will add on to it with these letters.

Her mother died when she was young and she told us at a very early age that her greatest regret in life was not ever telling her mother she loved her. We never had that problem of course. Though I do miss her I'm pleased for her to be gone and be out of the suffering she experienced over the past three years. Like all of our mom's, she was a great lady. Be sure and tell yours (and your dad) that you love them while they are still here. If they aren't then you know exactly what I mean.

My friend from Sydney, Phillip Carrero, emailed today to say that he recently vaulted 4m (13' 1 1/2") in practice as he awaits the start of their summer meets. You may remember that he got 3rd at the World Masters Games with a strained hamstring. I could tell by watching his vaults that he has very good technique. This is a HUGE breakthrough for him and well above his National Record. I'm so excited for him, and it couldn't happen to a better guy!!

I'm not going to any meets at Kris' place. I'd love to but the first is next Saturday and even if I hit my baseline today or Monday I'm not prepared to be on 14' poles yet. His next one is 12/26, which I was all excited about until I noticed that if I went it would be the first of three consecutive weekends for meets. I try to never do more than two consecutive weekends to avoid injury. I have meets on 1/2 and1/9 so his is out. The meet I have on 12/19 I plan to withdraw from because it is too late in the day or evening for a 4.5 hour drive. IF they don't have a lot of jumpers I may go anyway. We'll see.

That Time of the Year
I got more emails from vaulters yesterday (20+) than at any time since I returned from Sydney? Why? We're all restless and bored with no meets. Thanksgiving? Too much home time and no vaulting I guess.

That said, I'm off to vault. More later. Bubba

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It's been a wonderful year and like you, I'm grateful for many blessings. Thank you all so much for following this insane old man pole vaulter's diary. It means a lot to me that you are there and that you can relate. Most of my training is alone so this is the only place I really have to share with like minded people. So thank you and have a great Thanksgiving!!

Today the right hamstring feels good again so I'm sure it's just a little glitch that will work its way out. I was telling my training partner, Don Curry, that I don't feel it when I jump but only when I'm doing my running. He said that sounds perfect - now I don't have to run. HaHa!! Fortunately or unfortunately, my running workouts produce my best chance to improve. We're jumping together tomorrow morning.

Don and I grew up jumping in each other's back yards when we were kids so we've been best friends for over 40 years. I talked him into starting to jump again in 2006 so I would have a training partner. He promptly got 2nd at Indoor Nationals in Boston and has since won many medals at the national level including the 2007 National Senior Games in Louisville where he was first and I was 2nd. Fortunately he won't grow into my age group again until 2011.

Over the past 20 months Don has been battling doctors to cure his osteitis pubis; an inflammation of the abdominal attachments to the pubic bone. I've had this and gotten it shot with cortisone and it's been fine for years. Don will get shot next week or the next and he too should be back on the road to success. A shot in the pubic symphasis is the most painful thing I have ever endured, but like my doc says, the more it hurts the better we got the right spot.

All the best and thanks again! Bubba

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Jumping = Rehab

My right hamstring was a little sore this morning yet I can vault. Mystery to me. Therefore I will drop all other training for the next week or so and just vault every third day. The objective is to get back to my baseline of 12' from 33'. If I can do that then I can jump 12' 6" from 44' and 13' from 55'. If I can't hit my baseline it's not worth going to a meet because I'm not ready.

Here ares some photos I got from a photographer in Sydney from the World Masters Games. Thanks to Geoff Jones of Sydney! The first jump is my opening height of 3.60m (11' 9 3/4") and the last two are from the 3.90m (12' 9 1/2") clearance. How do I know? The color of the tape on the end of pole. Click to enlarge. Have a great day! Bubba

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meet Planning

You can tell the season is starting to get closer as I'm sometimes posting more than once a day. I found out today that the Masters will vault last at the Altius Seasons Greeter outside of Dallas. No way I'm waiting all day and then driving home after midnight. Usually we go first because kids don't like to jump early and we like it. It's four hours each way.

SO, I will jump at my coach, Kris Allison's meets on 12/5 and 12/26. If I find out the meet north of Austin is jumping late I'll bail on that one too. It's just not worth the drive/fatigue level and a waste of a whole day and night away from home.

Have a good one. Bubba

Got Tired of Waiting

Well, I was coming back from a breakfast meeting and noticed that the drizzle had given way to 65 degrees and sunny so I changed and headed to the track to vault. Tomorrow's high is 60 with a low of 44 so since I have had extended rest I figured I might as well get the vault, run, bars components of tomorrow's workout done.

Not surprisingly I felt horribly flat since I've basically done nothing since last Thursday; not even stretched. I started on a cut 4m/16.3 that belongs to Don. A cut pole is simply a little weaker than the full length pole of the same flex. I could not even think of jumping on this pole from 21' so I moved to 32' and ran easy. Made 10' (3.06m) and 10' 6" (3.21m) on first attempts. I tried 11' (3.36m) twice but the pole was too small. I can usually make 11' on that pole with a good jump. I moved up to the full length series of mine and on to the 15.9/171 and made 11' easy on the second attempt but that pole felt too small. I moved to the 15.5/173.6 and went to 11' 6" (3.51m) and had three close jumps and stopped. So I got nine jumps today. Physically I felt flat but technically I wasn't that far off. A lot of rhythm on the runway is flexibility and I had less from no stretching. Not to mention that I've been sick.

I considered moving up to the next pole and going to 43' but I have a rule about moving back. Part of my baseline is that I have to be able to jump on at least the 16.3 and hopefully the 15.9 from 22' before I move the run back more than one stride. I'm sure I will be able to do this within the next two practices. Sometimes a pole that is a little too big from one run proves to be too small on the next one and that's what happened today. At least I've started.

I would say the right hamstring thing is probably 80% better but still there a little when I run so I ran at only about 20-30% in order to nurture a full range of motion without the grabbing - 4X40; 1X20+2X40; 20, 30, 40. Again I never felt that leg during my run or jump because the right leg is rarely injured on a right handed vaulter. Everything else feels fine.

I'll lift legs at the gym tomorrow and then get back on schedule with my garage lift on Thanksgiving with the next jump day being Saturday. Have a great day!! Bubba

OK - I'm Ready

Things always seem to work out to protect me from myself. And many times that's not enough. I thought about jumping with our Jr./Sr. High kids last night at the monthly All Comers Meet but a last minute lunch meeting made me feel too heavy. Today it's overcast and drizzly and yet another lunch meeting came up. Tomorrow, the day I'm supposed to restart, is predicted to be nice weather and I have no business obligations scheduled.

The bottom line is that I am ready to start. I wasn't planning on having a "phase break" with the limited activity from my sore right hamstring, or getting a bad cold, but at least nothing hurts now and mentally I can't wait to start either.

Unlike Sydney where I was coming off on an injury, I'm healthy now and have over a month longer to prepare for Kamloops. I will have six indoor meets on my schedule so the rule will be "patience". The week of meets will provide rest breaks along the way and the rest will be my normal training grind. Let the fun begin! Bubba

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moving On

I feel much better today but have no scheduled training. Normally I would run speed endurance but I'll skip that since I would like to start back fresh with my vaulting on Wednesday. Though it seems like a lot of starts and stops in my training the numbers don't lie. Since my return from Sydney I have manged to lift 354,193 pounds and done 168 bar exercises with 5 lb. ankle weights. I need to make this check every now and then to determine if I am truly moving forward as sometimes at this stage of the year it's hard to tell because of all of the changes. As of this past Friday I've only been home for six weeks.

The purpose of this overview is to demonstrate to myself that I am ready to jump well today. Yes, I will ramp back up through my small 13' poles starting Wednesday but that is for technical refinement issues and not because I'm coming off of an injury. If I chose I'm sure I could start on my smallest 14' pole and have a decent day, but that's not part of the big game plan. My rule is don't move up poles in practice just to make a bar, but rather stay on the smaller pole and figure out how to get more out of it, and then move up. We call it "facing your demons" because you have very little room for error on a smaller pole so you have to be able to make minute changes during the jump. This pays off in the long run.

My first meet is four weeks from this past Saturday. To put it in perspective, I had longer to train for Sydney after getting home from the National Masters Games, than I do since my return from Sydney to my first indoor meet. During that time period most would focus on "base training" but I've already done this.

I don't expect a 4m jump at the first meet but it could happen. I'll need a first jump 4m to get a medal in Kamloops so that is the consistency that I am working toward. The higher your consistent baseline the more upside potential there is.

BTW - World Indoors is over three months away and I expect to get much better between now and then. The rules are the same - DON'T GET HURT!! The poles I jumped on in Sydney are MUCH bigger than I use at practice so that is my guide. Get more out of small poles so that I can get more vaults in and refine the technique with less chance of injury, especially in the cold. The big poles magnify the technical progress with higher heights.

That's it for today. Still coughing but I don't feel like roadkill so that's a start. Have a fun day! Bubba

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I don't get sick often but when I do it's usually pretty bad. Though this is just a cold I'm benched. It's beautiful fall day and I'm supposed to be jumping but it ain't happening. I probably could but it would be foolish. I'll skip this rotation completely and pick it up Wednesday. The good news is that absolutely nothing on my body hurts. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Have a great Sunday! Bubba

PS - This just in - Parade Magazine says that to prevent colds we should get out and exercise.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm Entered!

The weather has not cooperated this morning plus I have a cold so I guess that means I wait until tomorrow whether I prefer to or not. It's 54 degrees and drizzly so there's nothing to be gained by fighting mother nature. I'll go out tomorrow and switch over to the Sunday/Thursday jump rotation. I can always lift legs in my garage on Thanksgiving so that's not such a big deal. OR, I could skip lifting this rotation, just vault and run, and then stay on my Wednesday/Saturday rotation. I'll play it by ear.

I filled out all of the World Indoors entry paperwork and sent it away to USA Track & Field in Indianapolis this morning. That's as official and committed as I can be since I have bought my air ticket, reserved my room and mailed my entry. Now I need to focus on a plan.

My biggest concern has been answered in that I need to jump well in Reno the last week of January but I can't take risks since it is only five weeks from Worlds. This usually means I will try to get more out of small poles and not push to use big ones like I will at Worlds.

Reality - getting a medal will be tough. It always is but especially when you have the meet near the US for the first time ever. Some very good vaulters pick and choose what International meets they vault in but when it's close to home they come out of the woodwork. My only prediction is that Kirk wins.

That's it for now. Have a great day! Bubba

Rain & Kamloops

While I'm waiting on the rain to try to get a jump day in, I went ahead and booked my flight to Kamloops for the World Masters Indoors - I have seen $958 for months and got an $856 this morning. There were a few that were a little cheaper but they had three stops and mine had two with only one ticket left on each leg.

I got an email last night from my friend Kirk Bentz in LA suggesting we go on this adventure together. Great idea! You may remember that it was Kirk who came out to LAX to hang out with me on my layover on the way to Sydney. He just turned 55 before the National Senior Games and has consistently jumped higher than me last year so it would be great if we could both get medals in Canada.

Kirk's plan is to fly to Seattle and drive and I would truly love to do that with him but since it's midweek and I have business responsibilities that require me to be on the phone and Internet, I'll pay extra to fly right into Kamloops. When we went to the 100th Drake Relays last year me, Don and John Altendorf flew into KC and then drove the four hours to Des Moines and had a blast. I wish I could do this with Kirk but we'll get another chance I'm sure.

My personal rule is once I've bought my plane ticket I enter the meet so I'll start filling out that paperwork this morning. I still don't understand why USA Track & Field has paper forms this time when we always enter online. I'm guessing that maybe it is the Games requirement and not theirs. Whatever - your entries are submitted by USATF as "Team USA" so we do what we are told.

I'll report back later if the weather breaks. I'm hoping it does because my next jump day would be Thursday if I wait until tomorrow. Jumping on Thanksgiving is no big deal but my lifting that day is in the gym and they are closed so I'm just trying to stay on track. More later. Bubba

PS - In case you did not know, the 2010 Winter Olympics will have just ended in Vancouver when we come through.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kamloops? Yes?

I talked to Nancy at breakfast this morning as we decided that if I want to do it that I should go to Kamloops, BC, Canada alone for the World Masters Indoor on March 5. It's tough to leave her mom that long right now. My gut feeling is that I probably will as my poles can be shipped to the Pacific Northwest and driven over to the meet by friends who are also jumping and driving. I will fly directly into Kamloops. It's got three stops and makes for a long day, but not as bad as flying to Seattle and then driving for six hours.

I've got a little bit of a sore throat today and its raining and cool out. It's supposed to clear late tonight or in the early morning so I will get a full day of training tomorrow. Looking forward to vaulting again. More later. Bubba

PS - According to their website the event is 100 days away but entries close on 1/4/10. We must submit ours through USA Track & Field by mail. Weird - we usually enter with USATF online. I'm looking into hotels and flights to see if it's really worth it considering the USA Track & Field Indoor Nationals are only two weeks later in Boston. Had I not just gotten back from Sydney this would be a no brainer. I know I should just man up and do it but Sydney took a big toll on me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Running = Jumping Higher

The goal this year is to get my run back to where it should be, about 88', while using the same technique. Two years ago I ran from 77' or 88' every meet and had a best vault of 12' 9 1/2" (3.90m). Since I changed my technique I have jumped 13' 5 1/4" (4.10m) from 55'. We figure 6" (15 cm) up per stride added. For example - from 22' I have made 12', from 33' my best is 12' 6", I've made 13' from 44' and 13' 5" from 55. Let's continue the math - I SHOULD be able to get 14' from 66', 14' 6" from 77' and 15' from 88'. BUT, the rest of my jump has to stay the same for this to happen. Conservatively I would expect to be able to jump 14' from 77' but I have to be able to run at maximum controllable speed and hit my positions - a tougher challenge.

It's not as simple as it sounds or I would just move my run back and do it. To give me a consistent, fast and powerful run, I'm running a lot. Right now the intensity is low but it will build as I go. On Saturday and Wednesday of this week I ran Set 1 - 3X30; Set 2 - 2X30-1X40; Set 3 - 20,30,40. On Monday I ran 3X200, 2X150 ans 1X100.

The running is an important component but I have to also keep the vault baselines in place. On Saturday I'll jump from 22' for my last time and hope to at least have good jumps at 12'. My main baseline for technical efficiency is 12' from 33'. I have made 12' 6" from that run several times but the baseline is 12'. Hopefully that will happen Saturday also. If so then I will try to get 12' 6" and then move back to 44'. I have to be on baseline to move back or it makes no sense to do so. At Sydney I jumped 13' 1 1/2" (4m) from 66' and had quite a bit of height, so that matches up pretty well with what I have in mind. Now it has to be able to happen every session, and when it does, move back a stride again.

After I am through these shorter runs and over 12' 6", I will not return to 13' poles. On a good day I can use my smallest 14' pole from 33' and make 12' 6". The goal is to be able to start further back on the long rest rotation and from 33' or 44' on the short rest days. Once I am only on my 14' pole series than I should be able to strengthen my vault conditioning and be able to progress through poles big enough to jump high.

So that's the plan and rationale. Hope it makes sense. Now I just have to do it and that requires patience and the intelligence to stop if I feel I'm risking injury. I would rather jump one day per week healthy than two and risk having to sit out for 4-8 weeks. I think the intelligence is a bigger challenge. Have a great day! Bubba

PS - if you go to DJ's chart - you can see that to vault 14' takes a 13' 5" grip and a "mid mark" (six steps out) of 45'. So the question becomes how much of a run up do I need to make my left foot, six steps out, hit 45', and have enough speed to cover the ground to make it to my take off mark? My grip at Sydney was 13' 2" so a 13' 5" grip one stride back should easily be manageable. This paragraph is the origin of the discussion above. Thanks! Bubba

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Night

I've been thinking a lot about training today, mainly because my body feels so different. Though I've made some changes and I'm just ramping back up, I presently have a couple of little limitations that are keeping me from breaking loose.

That said, I feel much stronger and faster than I did as I ramped up to Sydney. That's funny because I'm not running fast or lifting heavy, but the changes seem to compliment what I was doing before. All I can think is that I'm finally at the next level and prepared to step up again.

You know how you grind and grind and grind and movement is slow and then BAM - you're at another level? I think I might be just on the edge of stepping up. This doesn't mean I will jump higher, it just means I SHOULD be able to. Gotta stick to the technique progression and be patient. Thanks for listening! Bubba

PS - as you can tell I blog when something hits me as this is basically my "thoughts diary". Sometimes it's once a day and other's it's twice. Whatever it takes. Thanks again!

Getting Better

I guess I should have complained sooner as I woke up this morning with no hint of the hamstring grab. I decided to go to the gym first and then run so it could warm up. I ended up with shorts and a tank top at 10:30 instead of bundled like the Michelin Man in 35 degrees this morning. I felt the hamstring still but it was about 50% better. Strangely I felt it again in the leg curls too for the first time since I initially felt it. Who knows what's going on? Certainly not me.

Lifting was easier in some places but harder in others. Two sets felt light and then the next felt too heavy even though I only moved up 10 lbs. I guess I'm just not familiar enough with the new exercises to know what I can and can't do yet. Bubba

PS - I know I'm a wuss in the cold - MIKE. HeeHee!! Yep - you guys are WAY tougher than me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I HATE the Cold!!

I know that is a relative term but tomorrow morning I have a 7 AM business call and then it's out to train before my six other business calls begin at 11. It will be 38 in the morning and MAN do I hate the cold!!

I've had this little outside hamstring strain on my right side since I've started back and it's the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I can't run more than about 50% without feeling like it's going to grab yet I don't feel it at all when I vault. So warm up and other running is very limited yet I don't feel it at all when I get on the runway or vault. I remember getting it the first day I did leg curls. Just a twinge and a sharp pain in a very small area but I thought nothing of it. It's been almost 10 days now so I guess it will get better. Like Don says, "bone heals in 8-10 weeks so if this doesn't then you're not leaving it alone. Mystifying - ONLY hurts when I run - not lift, not vault, not stretch?! Makes it get tough to get faster.

Tomorrow is on my vault schedule but because of the previous paragraph I'm not going to do it. I'm in no rush so I'll keep giving it a try every Saturday. After this week's weather, I'll change my training schedule to wait for the warmer time of the day. Who knew it? Last week I jumped at 8 AM and was sweating. Have a great evening! Bubba

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Evening

I travel tomorrow so I thought I would catch up now as tomorrow is just a stretch day. Back to reality, I ran 3X200, 2X150 and 1X100 pretty easy today to shake out my legs. Felt pretty good. I think another couple of weeks and I'll feel great throughout my training.

On a personal note - the man who has physically and mentally abused my little sister for nearly two years finally died today at 12:15 of his self inflicted gunshot wound to his head yesterday. Sis is doing OK and relieved that the threat is finally gone. She's alive and we can all be family again. Thanks for your many prayers and support!! Bubba

Ying & Yang of Life & Vaulting

On the day I won the World Masters Games my mother in law, June, had a stroke. She is doing quite well considering so that's the good news.

Yesterday I got a call that our 9th grader, Max, PRd at a meet in Austin at 11' 6" and was good at 12'. Max started with us in the 5th grade. Great. I then got a call that my estranged sister's bipolar husband shot himself in the head in her garage.

It would be wonderful if every time something went well in the vault that it didn't include a family tragedy. I know this is ridiculous but it sure seems that way lately. Hope you have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Strength, Timing & Technique

I look at my training these days, and over the past year or so, and see how much more emphasis I place on the upper body with all kinds of bars, drills and lifts. Every since I stumbled across a way to get more pressure on the pole and keep it on, this has become key. Here's the story of that "discovery" -

I see young kids at practice and they don't really have much strength so they are totally dependent upon timing. The great coach/author, Alan Launder says, "that which is technically desirable must be physically possible". What I say to the kids is that it's easy once you learn the timing but it takes strength to learn the timing. Once THAT is easy you then move to a bigger pole and again you need to be stronger until you refine THAT timing. Or as Gary Hunter's professor used to say, "whatever you're trying to do it's easier if you are stronger".

In this photo I try to hit the pole with my hands and upper body as hard as I can to stay upright and not get knocked backward by the sheer forces of running into the pole. You can kill a fly with a flyswatter or with a sledgehammer. I prefer the sledgehammer. Too many young kids try and "meet" the expected impact of the pole. I try to annihilate it.

This shot was at 4m (13' 1 1/2") in Sydney on the biggest pole I have jumped on since my return on 2005. It's at this point where you either become the "bug" or the "windshield" as DJ says. You stay upright and the pole rolls forward like a wheel, you get knocked back or your hips get sucked in front of you and you have no control. Today my body was trashed and it was this photo on my refrigerator that got me out the door to do my work. Whatever it takes.

Bob Fraley says that once you know how to vault that 70% of your progress will come from getting stronger and faster. Not all that encouraging to those of us on the decline in those areas. It's a constant and daily battle but it must be fought. Learning to jump higher on small poles while trying to get stronger and faster seems to be working. Again, whatever it takes to get me out there each day. Have a great Sunday! Bubba

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There is NO Entitlement!!

I couldn't wait to write this today because the title hit me between the eyes several times during today's long training session. Sometimes a team wins the Super Bowl or the World Series and the following year they aren't even in the playoffs. It took SO MUCH to achieve that goal that it becomes very difficult to engage again when you get back to the grind of training. The reality is that at the highest levels the difference between 1st and 3rd, and even 4th and 5th is minuscule. You can''t just cruise along and hope to grab excellence. Excellence must me grooved in with long and consistent periods of high quality training.

Right now I suck as a pole vaulter and an athlete and I'm glad. It caused me to get pissed at myself and to engage again. NOW I'm having fun! Example - I had the temptation to move up poles today just to make the bar rather than refine the technique that will make me jump higher later. I stayed on the small poles and worked away even though my technique was off and inconsistent. Part of that is because I haven't consistently stretched, or done my strides, etc. - THERE IS NO ENTITLEMENT!! I deserve nothing and I must start over like everyone else. My slate is clean for this next year and I am nobody. I like that!

As stupid as this sounds it really turned my practice and my outlook around. I ignored the weights I used before I went to Australia and went down to the ones I could handle properly. I ran with good rhythm and form rather than trying to run fast. Attempting to run fast felt awkward because I have missed my stretching and strides. So I took what was given and made the best of it.

Suddenly I couldn't be more excited about next year. I felt the natural urge to be complacent, recognized it, and kicked myself in the butt HARD and turned around my attitude to one devoted to what got me on the awards stand in Sydney in the first place. It's a rebirth and it feels great.

FYI - my final weight training is almost identical to last year except I added front squats, deep back squats and deadlifts. I kept the machine weights because I need muscle density to prevent injury. I have a good combination of power, strength, and conditioning lifts. The only other change is I am sprinting on both vault days and doing my longer runs on Monday between the two sessions.

That's it for today. I'm very pleased at what was accomplished today both mentally and physically. I enjoy every component of my training and I'm set to move forward toward my first meet, five weeks from today. Have a great day!! Bubba

PS - we will not make the trip to Kamloops for Indoor Worlds. With June in the nursing home needing some family attention, there are just too many logistics to work out in order to make it a vacation. Remember that the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games end only two weeks before this so many people are staying over. If I hadn't gone to Australia I would be there but since it's two weeks before Nationals in Boston, I just can't swing the time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Planning the Future

Today has been delayed because I thought I might go out and jump this afternoon. Though not a great idea it was under consideration because weight training guru Dan John is doing a lecture in my neighborhood tomorrow. My coach, Kris Allison will go and I will catch up when I get done with my training.

For those of you who remember, my mother in law, June (93), had a stoke the day I jumped at Sydney. We were hopeful we could bring her home but she has since had several setbacks that will make this impossible. She's currently in the rehab wing of the nursing home where she will remain and live for however long she makes it. She has good days and bad days as far as energy and her ability to remain alert and focus. Sometimes she can speak and sometimes not.

The point is that she is now in professional hands that allows us some freedom that we haven't had. Because of this, Kamloops (World Indoors) is back on the radar. We had been very concerned about leaving her for a hour and now she has great care. This gives us some flexibility to have a life without senior babysitters being in charge of someone who may have an emergency, like when we went to California.

We will work through it over the next few days and see where we land. Have a great day! Bubba

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Program is Set

Finally - after much juggling I have completed the full rotation of all of my training components and I'm comfortable with the order and exercises. This means I'm set in my routine so I can start to make some progress. I know there are those who believe that you should change your program up often but I prefer something I believe in. I make adjustments and changes if I feel the need but not just for the sake of change. The best workout is the one you will always want to show up and do. I'm there.

Suddenly I'm feeling stronger again and my weights are starting to move up. That certainly makes it feel worth it. Hopefully I'll get a productive vault day Saturday so I can really feel good about the plan. All the best! Bubba

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still Sore

Well, I was still a little too sore to vault or seriously run this morning so I'll accept that and move on to the gym, bars and stretch. I remember feeling this way one day getting ready for Sydney and had a great vault day the next time by being smart and stopping. I've got to remember that it's not worth getting hurt. Today I actually took my poles off the rack in the shed after my warm up and started walking toward the pit before I stopped and went back. I can't be that dumb when I know it's dumb. The funny thing is that my legs are really starting to feel strong and quick so once this residual soreness clears out I should be set to begin making some vaulting progress.

The difference between where I am right now and where I was at this point before Sydney is that I am not injured in any way. I could easily go out Saturday and jump on my 14' poles whereas there's no way I could have even considered that at this point before Sydney. SO, that makes it easier to walk away today as I truly feel that I am way ahead of where I have ever been at this time of year.

My focus this year for the first time will be more geared toward vaulting rather than the other training components. I'll do everything full speed but I won't feel bad on a vault day because I overdid something on a previous day. Thanks for being there and "getting it". Bubba

PS - I just changed some lifts again
I mentioned that juggling these days puts me on the short rest cycle this week after lifting the long rest loads. So today I put the front squat jumps and the deep back squats a day ahead so I would have longer to rest. I'm guessing that this could be a recurring problem even on regular rest as the lifting intensity rises. So putting all legs on the jump day gives me more recovery time. I also added some upper conditioning lifts to the jump day as well so I wouldn't have to do those the day before I vault. I know you have heard this before but I think this about wraps up all changes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Travel Day & Schedule Change

My friend and client in College Station, TX is having a baby (his wife is) tomorrow so I went today instead of tomorrow like I usually do. We decided that this is a better day for both of us anyway so that's cool. I can get in earlier and out earlier (1:45 drive) and he's not as busy. We met almost 11 years ago when he visited a physical therapy facility I had in Southern California where I was building a pool. I've seen him one day a week for the past couple of years as he continues to expand his practice.

This means that my jump days are now Wednesday/Saturday. That's good and bad. I don't like waiting for other people to jump in practice so I'll go out before they show up on Saturday. Also I immediately do running, bars and then leave to lift right when I finish jumping so I can't really hang out and watch them or coach them. As I say in the nicest way, "when I'm jumping I don't really care about you". Sad but true. I VERY MUCH enjoy coaching and encouraging all of the vaulters but my practice is just that - my practice.

Another Saturday problem is that if I want to go watch the kids compete I'm juggling my training again. I'll figure it out. I could always later switch to Monday/Friday or even Monday/Thursday. We'll give this a try for a bit.

I'm feeling a little sore still so I will be careful tomorrow but I'm already feeling stronger again. If you remember I like to "embrace the grind". I'm very much a person who enjoys a fixed schedule. I do OK without one but I feel I'm more productive with a predictable life. Boring as that may be, Nancy is the same way which is good for us. We're basically antisocial at times because I'm constantly presenting to strangers in my job so it's nice to shut out the world and just enjoy a simpler life. Don't get me wrong, we have friends and do things but when we get a break we hide out and take it.

I'll fill you in tomorrow after I get done. I'm going to take it very easy on poles and try to get more out of the smaller ones for awhile like I did before Sydney. Have a great evening! Bubba

PS - got our air tickets to Reno today - $228 each - great deal!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

FINAL Training Program Posted

On Friday I posted what I thought was my final routine but between then and now I have had a chance to actually do all of the components in the order planned. So I juggled some stuff and also added a few things back in that I had taken out. In any case, this is it -

I didn't feel very strong today though the soreness has subsided some. My next meet is 12/19 so I see no reason to start rushing ahead. I like to get the most out of each phase during the ramp up. For example, I feel I could easily start from a longer run on my smallest 14' pole on Thursday, but I don't think my technique is clean enough to jump right into that. I don't want to use a bigger pole just to make a height. I want to get the most out of every pole technically before I move up. That thinking really paid off getting ready for Sydney. My guess is that 2-3 weeks from now I will be ready to have a long run day and a short run day. For now I'll just ramp up to that point.

You may notice that I have now broken my lifting into "Conditioning" and "Strength" whereas it was "Lower" and "Upper". I did this because Dan John says if it is important it should be done nearly every day. I was dropping some exercises because it was too much to do on one day so now it is split. I also left the 3X8 and 3X5 set/rep configurations because I didn't like it. I went back to 8,6,4 one day and 6,4,2 on the next strength day. This is more fun so I'm more likely to do it well. Dumb but that's life. I don't want to set myself up to fail because I know I don't like a component I'm going to be living with. Don't get me wrong, I HATE certain exercises but I need them and try to get better at them. Some I end up liking. I have no problem with that, but at least I get to pick the set/rep configuration.

A couple of times this last year I felt pretty out of shape and commented that it takes about four weeks to get back into decent vault shape if I've had a break. I am considering this week one so that timing works out about right. I have to keep telling myself that I was on a huge grind getting ready for Sydney and that served as my off season training. That said, I have never been in this good of shape at this time of year. After a couple of weeks I'll feel like a decent vaulter again. Right now I feel like an out of shape slug trying to survive my workouts. Have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Welcome Return to Regular Training + Thanks!

Tuesday will be four weeks since I jumped in Sydney. Though I have worked out I have not "trained". It has been a combination of ramp up and trying new things. The effect on the body and mind is more of restoration in the way of a "phase break", and physical maintenance. I look in the mirror and I don't look like I've lost too much but my body feels a little deconditioned. That said, my first full day back in the gym was like welcoming an old friend. By the end of yesterday's vaulting and today's lifting I feel a little more fit. My body is popping the muscles back into action so I don't feel quite so flabby and lethargic. I'm thrilled to be back to work. I can see how easy it is NOT to get going again for those with nothing to train for. Again I feel lucky.

Among the many challenges of competing at our age is to constantly expand our view of what we should be doing while making sure that we are on a consistent training regimen. What I look at is this - there are sprinters my age who are much faster. What are THEY doing to get faster and what in their training can I apply to mine? There are power and Olympic lifters my age who are much stronger and more explosive. What are they doing to get better and what of that can I use? This is a constant evaluation and adjustment process.

The legendary Dan John says that everything works for 2-6 weeks. It's finding out what continues to work after that time that matters. I feel like 90% of my training is made up of components that continue to work. That said I stand ready to throw out everything one by one if I think I can have long term success with something better. But I have to be careful with that thinking. Good example - my brother, Bill, was a much better athlete and vaulter than I was but he changed his focus often. He trained long and hard but I don't think he ever stuck with one thing long enough to get real good at it before going to the next thing. He was still a 17' 4 1/2" vaulter but he could have and should have jumped much higher.

Several years ago I had a kid, Borya Celentano, who vaulted 18' 10 1/2". We got together at the end of his sophomore year of high school when he was at 13'. He spent an off season lifting with the power lifters and that year he made a huge breakthrough. The next year he spent the off season with the sprinters but lost his power on the runway. He considers that a wasted effort. He was faster but it didn't help him. So these are our challenges, besides declining overall health as we age.

Speaking of Bill and Borya, they are both currently serving us in the military in Afghanistan. Bill on the ground as a Special Forces Leader and Borya in air support as a jet pilot. Actually Borya is heading back to his home base after a long deployment. I want to thank them and every serviceman and servicewoman who is or has ever served our country. I have a tremendous respect and appreciation for them. Have a great Sunday. Bubba

PS - here is a video Borya sent me of him landing on an aircraft carrier -

ALSO - I have added a meet on 1/2/10 -

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jump Day

I jumped today and will do the running part and lift lower tomorrow. My work schedule screwed up my training order this week and it's supposed to rain tomorrow so Saturday it is for this week.

The goal was to jump on the 12'6/165 from 22'. That experiment lasted one jump as I made 10' on it but it was too small. I moved to a 13/165 for 10' 6" and made it but it was too small for 11'. Went in the shed and got my pole bag with my 13' poles (4m) in it and took out the 171/15.9 and made 11' easy from 34' (normally 33'). Tried 12' on the 15.5 and 15.0 (one each) and had easy height but the poles were way too little so I was moving through pretty fast. I was having to bail out during the extension to keep from hitting the bar on the way up.

Got a wild hair and grabbed my first 14' pole and went back to 44' but couldn't get a take off step right. I felt too far under even though 44' is pretty far back - normally 43'. I think I needed to be at 45'+ which is WAY back so I stopped rather than risk being forced to run too hard.

Common sense says that if you run the same number of steps from 43' to 45', then at 45' you're running much faster because you are covering more ground with the same number of steps. I've only been at 45' once in a meet and today it would have been too close. THAT is exciting.

Next practice I'll start again at 33' on the 4m/15.9 and work my way through poles and runs. So far, this puts me WAY ahead of where I thought I would be. What groin strain? I felt nothing in my left leg - like it never happened. Yahoooooooooo!! This should be a good week of settling into regular training. I'll be really beat up but that's OK. I'm glad to finally feel back in the program. Have a great day! Bubba

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Schedule

Sunday - Vault starting from short, speed endurance (220s, 150s, 100s), bars, lift lower -
front squat jump, squat - 8,6,4; leg press - 10,8; leg extension/leg curl - 10, 8, seated calf and standing calf - 3 X 15 each. Upper - Power Sets 10, 8 - curl, upright row, overhead press, lateral flys (all one set), preacher curl/triceps press, dips
Monday - Lift upper - 8,6,4 - bench/lat pull superset (wide away and close facing), hang clean/incline; bars, stretch
Tuesday - Run 3X100 + 3X50 hill with sled; stretch
Wednesday - Off/stretch
Thursday - Vault starting from longer, sprint (20s, 30s, 40s), bars, lift lower -
front squat jump, squat - 6,4,2; leg press - 12 X leg extension/leg curl; seated calf and standing calf - 3 X 15 each. Upper - Power Sets 12 - curl, upright row, overhead press, lateral flys (all one set), preacher curl/triceps press, dips
Friday - Lift upper - 6,4,2 - bench/lat pull superset (wide away and close facing), hang clean/incline; bars, stretch
Saturday - Off/stretch

Ready, Begin

OK, I'm feeling pretty good so I'll have another low level but progressive vault day tomorrow and then resume my normal schedules of running, bars and lifting. I've got meetings today so I'll have to skip the upper lift and start with a clean slate tomorrow.

I'm starting to feel a little more like an athlete again so that's a good sign. It just blows me away that just over three weeks ago I vaulted in Sydney and 10 days ago I cleared 12' from 32'. Just goes to show that starting a new program takes some getting used to in order to settle in. I'm pretty comfortable that all plans and systems are a go for the long haul. Looking forward to it. Bubba

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Full Circle

WELL - I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. I have determined that with the exception of going to free deep squats instead of a hack squat sled, my leg lifting will stay what it was before. A few issues have caused this.

I wanted to do front squats and deadlifts - I can't. I have a calcium build up along my left triceps tendon that forms a "hook" in my X-Ray. I also have calcium deposits growing in the tendon which I could have surgically picked out like rocks from a tennis shoe, BUT, why? My sportsmed orthopod, Scott Rand, MD told me that I can do any training as long as I don't go fully extended or fully bent with my elbow. He looked at my videos and challenged me to show him where that would be important with my left elbow. When I couldn't he said that I can avoid the surgery. That was last year and it worked well. Deadlifts cause pain during hyperextension and force the "hook" to dig into my triceps - OUCH!! The support for front squats hurts too so they are out.

The next thing I really wanted to get back to is my lunge series which includes lunge jumps and bench step-ups. The last time I did these extensively I got a tendonitis on the top of my foot and this time I strained my other side of my groin. SO, following the golden rule of training, I'll drop them. Besides, I didn't have such a bad year last year. HaHa! Oh yeah, the golden rule is that if your event doesn't hurt you but your training does, you must not really need that exercise. I am at peace with these developments and will now feel fully committed to my training program and process.

Because of my changed work schedule I lifted legs this morning and will try and vault Saturday morning and then get the rest of the schedule on track on Sunday. I'm 10 weeks out from the Texas Pole Vault Round Up and Corral and 12 weeks from Reno. That's a lot of time to make some big improvements. Following my plan should assure this. Have fun! Bubba

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jumped the Gun

Of course my schedule got changed today and for the next few days which completely blew my training plan. Hence when I got back from my business road trip today I went out to run, vault and do bars. Of course I felt ridiculously stiff but I took it super easy. I took one jump at 9' 6" from 21' on a tiny pole and made it easy. On the take off I only had a very slight hint of the left groin so I stopped. I did my running afterward and it didn't bother me. Of course I'm running really easy but at least I've started. Leg lifting tomorrow early. Bubba

Last Day Off

The groin ding is almost non-existent at this point so I will take my last day off, the regular Wednesday day off, as I travel for business. I'll start back to training tomorrow and can't wait. I remember my vacation to the National Senior Games in Northern California that I felt like I had been off for a month and was just sick of doing nothing. I feel the same now.

I got an email from one of my best friends and superstud M55 vaulter, Kirk Bentz, about Kamloops. You may remember that Kirk came out to LAX to see me on my way to Australia. Kirk just turned 55 and he has vaulted at a very high level for the entire year. Certainly he will challenge and get a few records along the way.

Anyway, Kirk was asking about my 50/50 status on going to World Indoors in Kamloops, B.C. Canada. That reminded me that I didn't really explain why something so big on my calendar is now 50/50. When my mother in law, June, had a stroke while I was in Australia, our family vacation was canceled. We are actually supposed to be in Maine right now. Besides the stress of a medical emergency, my wife still needs and deserves a vacation since I went to Sydney alone. It seems that she is more interested in going to Reno for the USA Track & Field Pole Vault Summit rather than Kamloops. I'm fine with that.

I may still go to Kamloops but it will probably be an in and out and last minute decision. Though Canada is closer than Australia there are still three legs to flight, the hassles of the poles and the fact that the travel company that was booking the rooms went bankrupt. So that's why I'm 50/50.

You all know very well how this goes. Training resumes, things go well, and I start looking at flights and rooms in Kamloops. Until then, it's one day and one vault at a time. Have a fun day! Bubba

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pole Vacation is Over

If you remember from the other blog, I shipped my poles to Australia on September 6, five weeks before the competition on October 13. Well, at long last, I picked them up at the airport today three weeks after I competed. Other than the many shipping and customs stickers, they look great and are in perfect shape. Thanks again to Essx founder and pole maker, Bruce Caldwell, who also handled the shipping arrangements for me. Bubba

PS - Bruce I'm going to need a 4.30m/15.1 and 14.8 before Reno. Thanks!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moving On

My leg feels pretty much back to normal today but I will still wait until Thursday to resume. Unlike the groin injury that kept me out of the National Senior Games (NSG), this one is on the left side and is far less problematic. The right leg explosively drives forward and up very hard at take off while the left legs sweeps through mostly straight.

I was so pleased with the ramp up from NSG to Sydney that I'm going to duplicate that same vault/run progression. Of course I will use all of my other new training components, but the vault plan will follow what I did before Sydney. I have every confidence that this will go smoothly because it is the left leg and not the right.

My poles should finally be at the airport in Houston today so I'll go get them and take them back to the track. Of course I'm far from needing poles of that size, I need to measure some grips and re-tape some of them after the trip.

As discussed I did not jump at the Halloween Vault and it looks like I will skip the Waterloo Lions Meet on 11/15 as well. That means the first target meet will be the Seasons Greeter Indoor outside of Dallas on 12/19. Then I will have the Texas Pole Vault Round Up and Corral on 1/9 followed the USA Track & Field Pole Vault Summit in Reno at the end of January. Two months after that is our National Masters Indoors in Boston.

I'm anxious for the indoor season for a number of reasons but the first is that I can get some Personal Records (PRs). In 2008 I "discovered" a technical advantage that really ramped up my ability to jump to jump on bigger poles. In 2009 I only jumped in one indoor meet because of a triceps strain and some bone chips floating around in my elbow. The bottom line is that my indoor PR is only 12', which is my current starting height. Obviously I would like to get a 13'+ mark.

My friend from Minnesota, Mike Soule, always says that when you can't train or vault that you should find something "vaulty" or vault related to do to remind you why you train. So that's what all of these recent posts are about - staying connected when I can't train or vault. Seems to work. Have a great day! Bubba

PS -Happy birthday to my brother Bill, who turns 54 today. He is in his 3rd trip to Afghanistan with our Special Forces. Bill was also a 5.30m (17' 4 1/2") pole vaulter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Videos from Indoor Nationals 2009

I just got this video from my friend, Eric Negley from USA Track & Field Masters Indoor Nationals held last March at Landover, Maryland. It is all of the jumps between ages 30 to 59. Awesome job by Eric. Pretty nice motivation during this slow time of the year to get ready for the upcoming indoor season. I won this meet with my opening jump which begins at 4:27 into the video. Hmmmmmm - isn't 4.27, 14? Like it!!

The video starts with the young guys around 3.80m (12' 5 1/2"). If you don't know metric every 4" is about 10 cm so you can do the math. The older guys (us) pick up around 3.20m or 10' 5 1/2". I jumped at 3.65m which is about 12'. I took one at 3.80m but stopped with a lightly strained hamstring.

Today my leg has turned the corner for the good. I'll probably do a light vault session when I start back on Thursday. Can't wait!! Here's something funny - whenever I stand up from a chair, car seat, toilet, etc., I put both feet down and with no hands make a quick jump move to get up - sort of my way of doing plyos throughout the day. Turns out that this is what was irritating my leg from getting better. Bubba