Monday, May 31, 2010
I had a guy ask me yesterday when I thought I would be able to jump. The truth is I can jump today but six jumps later my healing clock starts over. I had this same problem when I strained my tricep. Rest two weeks, jump in a meet or practice, rest three weeks, jump again and start the healing over. So I guess the good news is that YES I can jump. The bad news is that it won't get well until I don't at all for 4-6 weeks. That said I can do every single bit of my training without limitation except for vaulting so I might as well use the time to get in better shape.
Off to a movie with Nancy. Have a great Memorial Day and to those service men and women, including my brother Bill - THANK YOU!! Bubba
Sunday, May 30, 2010
For June I'll stick to what I'm doing. In July I will make half of my running with a heavy pole. In August I'll start jumping from only 2 steps. "Beginner to Bubka" author and friend, Alan Launder thinks every year you should push for a 2, 4 and 6 step PR in the early going of each year. Physically I will get better but the idea is to also have a ton of lower level jumps to refine technique for better efficiency.
Let's be clear; if I haven't jumped 14' (4.27m) the World Championships in Sacramento next year are a waste of time. Too many really good guys turn 55 on top of the good ones who are already here. Though our present M55 American Record is 13' 6 1/2" (4.13m), I fully expect that not to be good enough to get a medal at Worlds next year. This means I've got to step my game up, hence my injuries. I WILL find the balance between aggressive training and safety but right now I will keep on pushing because I'm not missing anything anyway since my season is over.
Re-thinking my weight. When I came back in 2005 after two Achilles surgeries I was very concerned about my weight. I wasn't too heavy but I was horribly out of shape. Now that I'm in shape, muscle mass is an issue, or is it? In 2005 I tried to jump between 162-165 and I was weak and lightheaded. A few years later I let my weight come up to a point where I felt strong so that meant I was around 170 for meets. With all of the lifting I do to protect my body and improve my conditioning, I'm thinking I may settle in around 175 this year.
What does this mean? When I was in my prime I jumped between 168-171. In 1997 I jumped 14' 7 1/4" (4.45m) at 178. I have jumped 14' (4.27m) at 186 in 1998. I have to find the balance between feeling powerful yet fast and agile. Too much weight means a sluggish jump and more wear and tear on the body. So I'm guessing 175 but I think it will probably end up about 173. In any case I'll go with what feels best. Most of the time I train 3-4 pounds heavier than I compete so I'm sure I will have to take a look at that too. All I know is right now it is too big of a struggle to be healthy to stay at 170 on an daily basis.
It already feels like and off season and I HATE that. But the good news is that I can go and watch MANY meets over the next few months that remind me why I'm training. As previously stated, I was going to go through a seven month training grind anyway, I've just started it early because of these little injuries.
Have a great Sunday and thanks for your support. I will assure that my effort will be full speed in every session no matter what time of year. BTW - my gut feeling is that weighing 175 will make it easier for me to roll the big 14' 7" poles (4.45m). Bubba
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I'm not jumping until Gettysburg on June 10 and that may be limited. My forearm feels worse and I have done nothing so that bothers me of course. I need to come back from our Alaska cruise on 8/1 completely healthy and in top shape. It won't bother me not to jump in Gettysburg as I am mainly going as a show of support for my buddy Steve Gorman who lost his brother a couple of years ago. This event is in his honor as a fellow masters vaulter. Two of the top masters vaulters in the world, Gary Hunter and Joe Johnston will join us there.
Small world - the lady hooking up my IV line in my hand said my veins were easy to hit and that I have "runner's veins". I told her I was a pole vaulter and train at The Woodlands High School. She told me her son ran track there and had gotten a scholarship to one of the top US track schools, Arkansas. Turns out her son is Drew Butler who is one of our school's top runners in history - and that is saying A LOT considering our history. Needless to say we talked track whenever she had a break.
It's getting hot so I will try and get out a little earlier. Last night at 8 PM it was 95 and still 80 when we got up this morning. That's OK as I get used to it reasonably fast. Starting early is the key in the beginning. Have a great day! Bubba
PS - tomorrow - rethinking my weight.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
My feet are a different story. Nothing major there but when you jump back into running, especially hills/sleds, you can flare up a plantar fascitis (heel pain) or Achilles. I had a very small hint of heel pain last Sunday so I'm going to rest that too. Both are really doing well but since I'm having my procedures at the hospital tomorrow anyway, my training would get broken up. I'd rather go in fresh and recover faster.
If you couldn't get the link to work properly yesterday, here is a CNN link on 87 year old Adolph Hoffman which also includes my coach, Kris Allison. Enjoy!! Bubba
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The other is the AMAZING 87 year old Adolf Hoffman, shown in part with my coach, Kris Allison at practice at Kris' place getting ready for the Senior Olympics. This was on the CBS evening news. Pretty cool. Bubba
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This morning I did yet another blood test for Friday morning's procedure. But in my follow up with my PCP he noted that iron capacity is very available so that part will be fixed pretty quickly. The strange thing is that my total testosterone is only 287 and normal for my age is 550. He hopes part of this drop off is the iron issue but we will keep an eye on it. He thinks this could explain the rash of little injuries. I can take a non-steroid medication that will trigger me to make more of my own testosterone but he's hesitant to commit to that until after Friday's procedures. I cannot take testosterone without a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) which we don't see the need to seek at this point. It would be nice to at least be at a "normal" level of 550 like everyone else. Until then I'll just keep training my butt off six days a week.
I'm getting ready to got to lunch with Ryan Hodges. He was vaulter at The Woodlands High School who now goes to the University of Texas. He was a 10' 6" jumper the summer of his sophomore year and ended up making our state meet and jumping 15' 7". GREAT guy!
Have a wonderful day and thanks for the support! Bubba
Monday, May 24, 2010
Yesterday I got an email that Joe Summerlin's wife died. Not only is Joe Summerlin considered one of the greatest masters sprinters in history at 75, but his son went to high school and ran track with me, and my dad went to high school with his dad. After 57 years of marriage our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe and his family.
Today I get my crown on my back left molar. Good thing since the temporary fell off during dinner last night. WOW - VERY sensitive to cold as I accidentally found out.
Today I also see the doc who will do the colonoscopy. Looking forward to putting this behind me; pun intended. No really, when two physicians in the same day say, "we just want to make sure you don't have colon cancer based on these hemoglobin levels", you become a little attentive. So today is step one and I will report what I learn. Have a great day and thank you for being here! Bubba
Sunday, May 23, 2010
It was hot and I had 10 X 50m sled/hills to do. I decided that since the doctor said I could use my forearm as long as it didn't flare, that I would try to vault on my very smallest pole. So I did seven of my sleds and the warmed up on a cut off Essx 13/4m/162/73 kg and it felt too small from two steps or 12' (3.65m). Still I walked back to 23'/8m and took one jump at 9' 6" (2.90). The pole was so tiny that I was over the bar cycling my legs like a long jumper and hoping I wasn't going to bounce off the back of the pit. Really pretty funny considering my PR on that pole is 10' 6" (3.20m) from the same run. I forget that I have lifted and run nonstop for months since I have used this pole and now it's useless. The next two poles were gone to a meet with Max so I guess next time I will try and go on it from two steps.
The forearm is sore but not further strained nor did the tendon flare. I can do all of my training components without limitation so this too will take care of itself. So maybe next time I can live up to being a single snowflake with integrity; OR maybe even get 2-3 jumps. Whatever - I've started jumping.
I finished my bars and headed for the gym where I had my hard lift day. Other than being a little wrung out from the heat blast it too was a good practice. I could do lateral flys as well as the exercises Dr. Rand gave me to do last week. Sore not injured is the verdict.
With all of this said I could easily do at least what I did at Boston (12' 1 1/2"/3.70m) as the left forearm is of considerably less consideration than the right arm. STILL, I'll follow the plan and come back in much better shape with cleaner technique. Thanks for your support and have a beautiful Sunday! Bubba
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Saw my masters teammate in the M40 group, Matt Kowalski there too. We're trying to figure out some bigger poles for him since he is through all of mine now. He will join me in Gettysburg on July 10, so we're trying to figure poles to ship, etc.
Beginner to Bubka author from Australia, Alan Launder's wife, Jenny, sent me an email this morning saying he is having some cardiac issues and may not be coming to the states in a few weeks. I have not seen him since he coached me at Sydney in the World Masters Games. We had a nice dinner and went our separate ways expecting to see each other this summer. I guess we will know more after his angiogram on Tuesday.
I first met Alan at the 1996 Olympics when I got him into the practice stadium to see Australia's Simon Arkell get his last practice in. We also saw Sergey Bubka's practice where he attempted 20' 8" several times. He's in our prayers and I hope to see him him over here soon.
It was an off day for training though I considered doing a light workout anyway. Then I got up from my chair and felt beat up from the past two days, remember the next two are my hardest and decided to take a nap, which the dogs did not allow.
Hope you have a great Saturday evening! Bubba
Friday, May 21, 2010
Anyway, LOTS of running, lifting and bars. I fully expect to grind this out for the next 6-8 months. Yesterday was a week since I dinged the forearm so I will wait another week before I start plant drills with the big pole. Each week I will do a little more until I'm tiny pole jumping at 4 weeks.
That's it for today. Have a great day! Bubba
Thursday, May 20, 2010
- 8 X 50 Hill/Sled
- High Bar Pullovers w/ankle weights - 2 X 5 + Parallel bar Bubkas w/weights - 7,3 + High Bar Swing Up w/weights 2 X 5
- Leg Press 1 X 18 @ 235
- Leg Curl/Leg Extension - 8,4
- Seated Calf Raise/Standing Heel Raise - 3 X 15 each
- Supersets - Tricep Pushdowns/Straight Arm Lat Pulldown to Waist - 8,4
- Supersets - Standing Cable Curl/Upright Row - 8,4
- Overhead Cable Tricep Press - 1 X 12
- Machine Preacher Curl/Machine Tricep Pushdown - 8,4
- Seated Dip Machine - 8,4
- Lateral Flys - Stretch
Have a great day everyone! Bubba
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
That said, back to regular training tomorrow. Can't wait. Bubba
BTW - Yesterday's post was short because I'm bummed to be sitting out again. But the reality is that I'm not doing anything stupid. I'm just trying stuff to try and get better. Five years ago at the Texas Senior Games, I vaulted 11' on a small 4m pole that I thought was big. Wow have things changed. Considering I'm five years older, I'm generally very pleased with the progress.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
And we did identify that the jump in dumbbell weights for the lateral flys is the cause. This is all good news I suppose. The mystery to me is how come the night after I flared it I couldn't squeeze toothpaste out of the tube and two days later I can't make it hurt. Dr. Rand says it is another one of those all or nothing deals where I can go back to square one easily. He said that had I stopped jumping the other day while it wasn't hurting, that I probably could have gone a little further in each successive practice. But since I flared it I get to start over. Fortunately this time I stopped far short of where I did the first time and it was almost good as new after three weeks.
So beyond the rehab I am free to do all of my training components because the only thing that hurts is vault #6 forward and lateral flys. The game plan is to skip the first meets and ramp up. My plan is to not jump at all for four weeks and focus on running and my fitness - AGAIN.
It will be interesting to see how things turn out. I had such a great year last year winning indoor nationals and then the World Masters Games in Sydney. I also had a great three meets indoors and then got 2nd at indoor nationals. So though it appears to be a lost year, I have gotten an incredible amount of running in and that was a huge part of my preparation plan for 2011 anyway. Sure I would love to jump but all of this insane base work and training will surely pay off once I can. I mean I vaulted very gingerly because of my back yet blew through two poles that used to take a miracle to use from 22' (7m). I'm gripping nearly 12' (3.66m) from that short of a run. I've also been running further so I can get back to my long runs sooner.
Bottom line - be patient. Every injury has a cause and will not be repeated. I strained by bicep from being too under and not pre-tensing my arms. I strained my back doing heavy squats in the Smith machine, something I discontinued two years ago for risk of injury. And I strained my forearm by upping lateral flys too heavy and too fast. The rule with any injury is to come back better than when I left? There are always training items that lose focus when you're jumping and competing. NOW is when you attack those weaknesses and make them strengths.
So I'm EARLY for next year. The huge grind I had planned for the end of the summer/fall has already been well underway. This is VERY tough mentally but it WILL payoff. Thanks for the support. Bubba
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Baseline lifting felt easy today which is nice. From Sunday to Sunday I have run hill/sled five days and did some type of runway vaulting for two days including one vault day and one drill day. LOTS of bar work also. That said, I'm ready to get a cortisone shot tomorrow in the forearm tendons and then I should be good to go in about a week. So TONS of running and leg lifting this week but no upper or bars. I actually did a double today by doing tomorrow's workout also in order to to get the last hard upper lift in.
Got an email response from Ken Leventhal of the Houston JCC, who runs the local Senior Games. He says we will be at Barnett Stadium (an area high school stadium) for our Texas State Senior Games but that a decision between Rice University and the University of Houston has yet to be made for the National Senior Games next summer. In 2007, the first year I was eligible, the Games were in Louisville and in 2009 they were in California at Stanford University. Next summer it will be here at home in Houston. It's a very big deal with THOUSANDS of athletes from 50+ years old in 18 sports. Here's the link to the National Senior Games site about the event - http://www.nsga.com/summer-games/2011-summer-games
Have a great Sunday! Bubba
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Never felt the glute/back or forearm but the tennis elbow part of that left arm came up. Afterwards I felt the forearm a little. Nice to be able to get something done on the runway for two of the last three days. I'll finish up with my bars and lifting tomorrow.
Since I'm getting shot Monday, tomorrow will be the last upper lift day for a week. I'll stay after the running, legs and stretching but probably no bars either. We will see what the doc says. Have a great Saturday. Bubba
Friday, May 14, 2010
Today the forearm thing was minimal as I could do all of my lifts and bars with no issues. That definitely means a tendon is flaring the area since I have no muscle pain or strength deficits. I would occasionally feel a little bite but it's not bad. When I first felt this a month ago I couldn't squeeze toothpaste out with that hand.
I saw my partner, Sam (Fontenot, PT) today and he took a look at it and wanted to work on it in his clinic. I told him absolutely not; I want it to be as trashed as possible when I see the doc or he will send me home to "rest" for two weeks. Of course I would respond that I have just "rested" it four weeks because of this glute problem. So Monday I will get it injected with cortisone and a week later it will be good as new. I figured out that I got it from drastically bumping up my weights on lateral flys in an effort to enhance my shoulder stability.
Again this is one of those "protecting me from me" things. I FEEL very good but I have done very little for three weeks because of the glute/back/nerve pain, so that's a guarantee that I would strain a hamstring if I jumped at a high level right now. SO, I got a great week of running (four sessions) and will have another one next week and then I will be healthy and well. So the forearm ding protected me from hurting something else. They should both be ready about the same time.
I have thought many times that most of my dings have been upper body dings so I have been able to continue my lower lifting and running. This is just huge for a vaulter. For example, my four step run is usually 22' but yesterday it was 23' 6" and my 33' was 34' 6" - same steps with a longer distance means more speed, yet I hadn't vaulted in a month. No matter what little hurdle comes up, as long as I can keep running I won't really lose ground in the big picture. Actually I will gain ground. I know how to vault so that doesn't take near as long to get back or improve as gaining speed and power. BTW - tecnically I felt very good yesterday.
These upper body issues are because my runway speed and power are improving enough that I'm hitting some really big poles for me. Combine that with the fact that my new technique requires a lot of hard and constant arm pressure and it's clear that I need to bump my upper body strength and conditioning, not to mention getting a more rigid plant up earlier. I'll work on this with a long/heavy pole in drills.
That's all I really have on my mind today. Lifting and bars were awesome this morning as I could even do hang cleans with no back/glute problem. Life is joyous but will be better when I get the forearm shot and back to vaulting. My guess is I will skip the TWHS All Comers and come out at the San Marcos River Vault; or maybe not. Dr. Rand is a big believer in getting back out there and making sure what we did is working. Of course I will report more later. Have a great evening and thanks for your support! Bubba
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Of course I won't know until tomorrow where I am but the last time I left the track I was already having nerve issues and a catch in my back. No sign of any of that and I have been done for over an hour. So far, so good. Off to the gym. Have a great day! Bubba
PS - planning my bar progression for the All Comers meet. The officials and some masters jump early so we can help run off the meet, which usually has 30-40 vaulters each week. The track coaches officiate us while they are setting up. I'm thinking about 3.72 (12' 2 1/2") to 3.87m (12' 8 1/4") to 3.98m (13' 1/2") as a reasonable progression. We will see what happens as I get closer.
As a follow up to the forearm deal, I talked to my partner, Sam Fontenot, a physical therapist for 39 years, and he says this is a tendon issue (though it feels muscular) and they can hang on for a long time. Hence I made an appointment Monday morning at 8 to get it injected by my top sportsmed guy, Scott Rand, MD of Lone Star Sports Medicine. He's the genius that figured out my elbow issue that had bothered be for 8 months. Two weeks later it was well and never bothered me again. I'll report back what he says.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Considering what I just wrote, should we be surprised that one of our coaches yelled at me when he was running by and I was walking to my car, "do you realize your engine is running and the music is playing?" NO I did not but I have done this one other time. I drive a Mercedes CLK 350 convertible that foolishly lets me start the car without my key, as long as it is on my person. So I put the key in my fanny pack so I can't accidentally lock it in the car. When I got back to my car in the high school parking lot, the top is in fact down and music is playing pretty loud. What makes this stranger is that I get there about 20-30 minutes before school starts when the parking lot is empty and when I leave it is full. I'm lucky the car wasn't stolen or vandalized.
Speaking of music, I had a kid ask me the other day what the first record I ever had was. I was impressed he knew what records are considering his parents are probably too young to have had them. Cream, Disraeli Gears followed by the first Black Sabbath the next day. The first cassette was the Guess Who, American woman, which came on my MP3 on the way over and what prompted this memory. Which reminds me of an exchange I heard about 15 years ago when a teen aged girl asked her friend in amazement, "did you know that Paul McCartney was once in a band called The Beatles?" But I digress. The point is that music gets me through more workouts than you would imagine. Now if I can just remember to turn the car off.
I'm going to jump at a very low level on Thursday and shoot for jumping at our first All Comers two weeks from today. That will give me 11 days until the River Vault and almost four weeks until the Quintana Beach Vault. Today I can jump at least 12' (3.66m) based on how my body feels. The trick will be how my glute and nerve issue holds up. Only time will tell so I will try to be overcautious. But gauging by today, it will take a little more effort than usual to keep me from being stupid. Have a great day! Bubba
Monday, May 10, 2010
I may or may not jump in a meet before the San Marcos River Vault on 6/5. Right now it feels like I need training jumps but I may decide I am close enough to high level jumping that I take a meet before 6/5 just to assure I put up a decent mark at the river. We will play that one by ear.
Thanks again for hanging with me. Bubba
Late post - Through talking to fellow masters vaulter and teammate, Gary Scheffe, who has been to the first two potential meets in our series, I have decided to jump first at The Woodlands High School All Comers on May 25. We have six meets on Tuesdays with all track and field events. Beats driving 3-4 hours. Thanks Gary!!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I was going to skip leg press as it forces me really tight with my knees almost to my face with the chair all the way up. What the heck, might as well rack it with 235 lbs. I can always stop after one or two. Cranked off my regular set of 18 like it was nothing with zero pain. High bar front lever with straight body? I did 2 X 5 like it was a joke. I'm now back within striking distance (2 weeks) of jumping at a decent level.
What happened? A lot of great care, REST and caution. Not wanting to risk several set backs I cancelled this season in my mind. Being able to accept the worst case scenario and proceed with the next plan is critical in our sport at our age. So instead of my season ending, my body got a well deserved three week break and is now fresh and on the verge of being 100%. I will see Ashley tomorrow.
I will vault in the Texas Masters Championships outside of Dallas on 5/29, San Marcos River Vault on 6/5, Quintana Beach Vault on 6/19 and the Dave Gorman Memorial Vault in Gettysburg, PA with my buddy Steve Gorman at his backyard pit - http://www.bubbapv.com/Pages/BYVault-Gormo.htm The event is in honor of his brother, Dave. We jumped many times together before he tragically died a couple of years ago in a drowning.
Couldn't be more excited!!!!!!!! BUT - that means I MUST get to my 45 minute stretch routine. Have a great Sunday and thanks for the support!! Bubba
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I don't really care how slow the ramp up is as long as I start. Lots of stretching on this trip. Some things that used to cause nerve pain do not anymore but a few things still do but to a lesser degree. The faster I get back to activity the faster it will get better.
That's it for now. Have a great evening! Bubba
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Traveling - seems like we travel a lot. It's actually been just the opposite. The reality is that because Nancy's late mother, June, lived with us for six years. During that time we could never both go away unless June was with us; like our Maine vacation to see her brother and June's son. So for six years Nancy has not been able to travel with me at all. When June died, part of the agreement was to get out a little more. I think this helps Nancy past the grief a bit, as well as gives us a chance to do a few things we have wanted to do. We understood when we invited June to live with us that it would sacrifice travel and that was OK. So we're making up for some of it now.
Felt a little flare yesterday during strides but it didn't blow up into anything big. I'll get a big stretch in this afternoon and be VERY slow to ramp up my running next week. That's it for now as I've gotta run. Have a great day. Bubba
Monday, May 3, 2010
The weather is a little overcast and drizzly but the scenery is still beautiful. We will take it easy and check out some of the area's stuff. STOP - FIRE ALARM - Everyone out of the building. Back later. Hope my computer will be.
Some idiot pulled a fire alarm trying to get in the shortcut to breakfast. Here's a photo of the first group out by the pool waiting for the "All Clear".
Yesterday on the flight I listened to my MP3 which of course has all of my training music. I was getting pretty pumped up about this rebirth in training. BIG commitment to running, and technique. I HAVE to get to the next level or I will not be competitive next year at Worlds. This isn't an option. With National Senior Games in Houston and Worlds in Sacramento, I have to get so 4m (13' 1 1/2") is my opening height.
Off to town. Have a great day! Bubba
Saturday, May 1, 2010
For the next two hours I thought maybe I had made a mistake. My reasoning was that I could get in to see Ashley this morning if need be so I might as well try it. As the day went on I felt more mobile and had some relief. This morning I feel by far better than I have in the past three weeks. Not brand new but easily the best I have felt.
SO - I will repeat the process today and hope it feels even better before my eight hour plane flight to Hawaii tomorrow. Again, I'm very optimistic that I'm coming back good. In fact, since it's seven weeks away, I'm not writing off that I may jump in the Quintana Beach Vault. I'll take it slow and play it by ear.
The spasms are in the right side glute so I took a half raquet ball rubber piece and put it over a golf ball and rolled around on it really trying to break up the muscle in that area. BINGO!! Hit the spot and gave me great relief. This s certainly not an Ashley replacement but since I couldn't see her before I go it was worth the experiment. Today I will buy a raquet ball, handball, tennis ball, and golf ball for my rotation or rolling muscles around with various tensions and contact sizes. I'll take those and my stretch rope to Hawaii and use it after I come in from the pool or beach. The plan is to try and get some easy jog/skip drills in the water just to introduce mobility without impact. Should be fun.
Thanks for being here and I'll keep you posted and maybe get up some photos as well. Have a great day! Bubba