Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Missed From Yesterday

Today was my travel day so not much to report. Hoping Hurricane Alex doesn't rain out my running in the AM.

I did see that my "PS" comments from yesterday barely showed up with tiny text so I will put it here. Have a great day! Bubba

PS - I keep forgetting to say that when I talked to Essx owner/manufacturer, Bruce Caldwell at the San Marcos River Vault, he told me he put my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles on 15' 1" (4.60m) sailpieces. Because I jump up well at the take off I should be fine with this. I remember that my first 13' (3.97m) jump, right before I turned 55, was on a 14' 1" (4.30m) pole that was actually a little weaker than the 13' 1" (4m) pole I came off of. But because of the longer sailpiece it picked me up so much better. Two weeks later I jumped 13' 5 1/4" (4.10m). Super excited to get to those before the first big indoor meet.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Talked to Don last night and it seems we crossed wires. He retired at the end of last week but his wife retires at the end of this week. He takes her to work because she has a brain tumor and cannot drive. So starting next week he will be on schedule. As it turns out, I will coach him but not vault with him. My days are Sunday/Thursday and his best days are Tuesday/Friday. I'm cool with that as I really like to jump alone. I've got portable speakers so I just plug in my MP3 and relax and enjoy the session. He likes country and I like rock so that helps too.

Don did get in touch with the owner of the trampoline/gymnastics place. It's about 20 minutes from me and 10 minutes from Don. The owner is at trampoline nationals but the manager felt we would be able to work something out to come out 90 minutes two days a week. Before my junior year of college my mom had introduced me to a guy she used to work with who had been a world class trampolinist. He hooked me up with a club/coach (like our PV club) with the intention to learn so tricks for spatial awareness. By the end of the summer we could do multi twisting double somersaults as well as many scary things on the diving board such as spotters - a back flip (or two) with or without twists, LAND BACK ON THE DIVING BOARD with our feet and then do the next trick into the water. You should have heard the screams from the people at the pool who thought you didn't mean to come back down on the board.

Spatial awareness? That's what we're after. Why? After three months of this, when Don and I went back to vaulting the vault felt like super slow motion and the vision was like a HUGE screen TV. We just saw and felt things much easier. So I'm pumped to start back toward that. BTW - at our peak we used to do trampoline shows during halftime at our university's basketball games. Too much fun!! Besides - it's our speed endurance, so would I rather run 150s and 200s or do trampoline and high bar for 90 minutes?

I noticed that I rarely mention the heat anymore. In Texas you go from Spring and pleasant to HOT almost overnight. What I am remembering is that you get used to it pretty quickly and get in shape quickly because of it. Sunday I did 10 X 50m hill/sleds and wasn't even sweating until the 8th one even though it was over 90 degrees. Today I did six and never sweat until I was done. I'm also not nearly as out of breath as I was the first month. So right now I'm torn whether I might wait until 10 or 11 to go out next year so it will be hot, since National Senior Games are in Houston and Worlds in Sacramento will be even hotter but less humid. Might make sense to train in the heat since I know I will adapt in about a month anyway.

I went through Ashley's lower body DVD last night and started doing the exercises today in order to gain hip strength and stability. It requires some thinking to engage your abs and neutralize your back first, but I can feel the difference between when I do and don't. At least I've started.

Overall I'm extremely optimistic and confident that I will be 100% healthy and fit for my August 5 start day, five weeks from Thursday. Everything is really coming around. It's as excited as I can be without jumping. Have a great day and all the best! Bubba

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don Is MIA

Well, I guess retirement has already gotten Don sidetracked as he was a no show at this morning's 7 AM session. Good thing I invited Kara or I would have nothing to do while I was delaying my lifting until the heat of the day. Actually Sunday works best for me so I will stick with Sunday/Thursday and he can go alone and jump with me Thursdays. The problem is I'm trying to teach him a new way to jump so he can make up for some lost time. We will figure it out.

Saw Sakina today and she gave me a hard core digging and got my hip lose. Feeling pretty good actually but I knew she would have a real solution. I'm to watch the lower body section of Ashley's DVD and get started immediately. She says 2-3 weeks should get me back where I need to be. Since I have six weeks before I jump I'm pleased with that outlook.

Catch up to you soon. Thanks for being here! Bubba

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hip/Back Seems Well

After a 10 day running break I did 10 X 50m easy hill/sleds and it felt really good. Going stir crazy not being able to run, so I'm glad to get back there. A few other things have changed for the better. The last two years I had to quit starting by bar stuff with straight arms because of some calcification in my elbow. I would actually pull up a little and then complete the exercise. Now there is no inflammation there so I'm back to straight arms which is far more relevant and effective. Also for the very first time ever (in my life), I'm strong enough to do P-Bar Bubkas with completely straight arms. So I can hang in an "L" position with straight arms, and then power myself to vertical. This and the other exercise really play a big role in how I use my arms to lever the pole forward to make it roll, and bring my hips up in timing with that roll. PRETTY COOL!! If the drill does not show up in the vault then it shouldn't be a drill you do.

Right now I'm a little less than five weeks out from jumping and this Thursday will be four weeks since the injection to my forearm. I feel like I'm a football player getting ready for training camp - train hard but don't get hurt because I need to be healthy to pole vault on the first day. If I do I should have many months of great training because the level I will begin jumping at will be so low for quite awhile as I clean up all of my technical issues. I feel that Thursday I could start jumping but why risk a set back? Just keep grinding and getting better. Those one arm days were easy because I'm faster and stronger. So I'll keep doing heavy pole drills with the 1675 and wait until jump day.

USATF announced the dates for outdoor nationals in Cleveland next year - 7/28-8/1. So National Senior Games (Houston), World Masters Championships (Sacramento), and USATF Outdoor Nationals are all two weeks apart. WOW!! I personally like a two week break between meets, but that is three HUGE meets in six weeks. I'll be ready because once healthy I will be super careful to always stay within my physical; abilities and not push that until the big meets come.

Sorry I missed yesterday but somehow the day kind of got away from me. I really appreciate you all being here. Thanks so much! Bubba

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Eyes Have It - Or Not

I went in with Nancy today as she got her Lasik surgery. I was further tested to see if I was a candidate for a new type of surgery for people who only need to read. It's a new technology so if I qualified for the FDA test it would be free. I did not as both eyes were too good at a distance to justify screwing one up. I'm 20/20 in my right and 20/25 in my left so I'm out. There currently is no surgery for reading only.

My training partner and lifelong friend, Don Curry, officially became my training partner again today as he retired from the Houston Police Department as a Lieutenant after 30+ years. We've been a lot of hit and miss but now we will do a whole lot more sessions of all kinds together. With the National Senior Games in Houston we want to make a good showing. We will be in different age groups next year but in 2007 at Louisville we were gold and silver. He beat me on a big jump at 12' 6". Had he not made that I would have won and he would have gotten 4th so that was quite the clutch vault. I'm happy to take 2nd to that type of performance any day.

Nothing really new other than enjoying the grind of feeling like I am back in training. I'll probably go ahead and do a little jumping with Don on Monday but we'll see how it feels. Have a great weekend and thanks for being here. Bubba

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let Chapter 58 Begin

Today is my 57th birthday so clearly I have big plans for the 58th chapter of my life. The National Senior Games will come at this time next year in Houston between June 16-30. Then the World Masters Athletics Championships will be in Sacramento between July 6-17. Finally there will be USA Track & Field Outdoor Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, Nancy's hometown. I figure it will take me this entire year to be ready for these three challenges.

History lets you know this is amazing that these events will be near home. The last three National Seniors Games were at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California in 2009, Louisville, Kentucky in 2007 and Pittsburgh in 2005. So to be in Houston is huge.

World Masters Championships are a bigger spread. I jumped at them in 1995 in Buffalo, NY, the last time it was in the US, and got 3rd in South Africa in 1997. The last two times have been at Lahti, Finland and the time before that at Riccionne, Italy. So Sacramento sounds pretty good.

I've got a lot of work to do and even if that goes well and I show up healthy there are no guarantees. I wouldn't have it any other way. Have a great day and thanks for your support! Bubba

PS - In 2013 World Masters are in Brazil and then three weeks later the World Masters Games/Olympics (what I won in Sydney) will be in Torino, Italy. These are huge because I just turn 60 a couple of weeks before to be the youngest in my group. I'm already inquiring about how do I get my poles to Brazil and then straight to Italy in three weeks.

Another PS - the new Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz movie is very good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Plan is Final /Consistency

I went over all of the fine details with Kris last night including the change of going back to lifting six days instead of four. This past year was the first year I have lifted only four and I was hurt more. So the plan is set and final. Of course, as Tony Robbins says in his motivational speeches, "a plane on the way to Hawaii is off course 99% of the time but still gets there because of a series of small adjustments". At least we're heading the right direction.

I don't like days off and I never have. I feel worse when I come back and it's hard to get back in a groove. So I'm really happy with this plan. So I have Wednesday off or the option to lift legs the day after I jump on Sunday which would give me no days off. I'll listen to my body but as of now it feels amazing to be back on strict schedule. Maybe that's a defect but I really enjoy a tight schedule on this type of thing. I'm also equally accountable on my work stuff. I feel like I always have to be something, no matter how small, that contributes to success.

Have a great day and thanks for the support. Bubba

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Start

Since the River Vault and Quintana Beach Vault are over, and I wasn't jumping in Gettysburg anyway, I really feel like I am training for next year. I know that sounds stupid but it's much easier when tempting meets aren't right in front of your face anymore. Everybody gets to go have fun but you. Our Texas Senior Games will be at the end of October and that will be a good checkpoint for me. I have the state record for M55 at 13' 1/4" (3.97m) so if I can up that I will feel like I'm ready for a good year.

The hip/back thing is again better but I'll wait a little longer to hit the hard running. Both times I have had this I had jumped pretty hard at the end of a hard sled training session. All I can think is that this fatigues my lower back and causes my glute to spasm. This is by far the lightest flare I have had of this, but I had just run HARD 8 X 50m hill/sled and then tried to see how high I could hold from 2,4,6 steps on a huge pole. I'll start using the first third of the running as a warm up and do the rest harder after I vault.

Kris is here today for the pole vault clinic at the high school and he will go to dinner and stay with us tonight. I'll finalize the game plan but right now I think we're all on the same page and very excited about all of the fine tuning adjustments. I feel 100% set for the year but we will walk through the road map tonight after dinner.

Only two weeks from Friday to Gettysburg, and then after that only two weeks to Alaska, and then only one week to vault. So as torturous as the wait has been, at least the end is in sight and in increments I can train through. All I know if that I will be in tremendous shape to vault and I plan on pushing grips and poles from day one.

Gotta head out and check on the PV clinic before going to a business lunch meeting. Have a great day! Bubba

Monday, June 21, 2010

Full Training - Almost

I'm feeling nothing in the forearm so I'm slowly introducing some stuff I was going to hold off another two weeks on. That hip/back thing is still a little sore but I got another good stretch in during this morning's lift.

After emailing back and forth with Dean "The Machine" Gregory, I've adjusted some lifting. Dean lives in Washington state but we used to be roommates and training partners in Southern California. For the better part of two years we lifted together six days a week. It was very intense and very productive so I'm very appreciative of his input. Besides being a certified genius, he has a real feel for adjustments and periodization. In fact, when Nancy and I go to Seattle to catch our ship for Alaska we will have lunch with Dean and his wife, Deb.

Tomorrow and Wednesday will be the annual pole vault clinic at The Woodlands High School. My coach, Kris Allison, will run it and TWHS coach Robbie Dueitt will assist. Famed author and coach from Australia, Alan Launder, was supposed to be here but his health has kept him home in Australia. He will of course be missed. I last saw him in Sydney when he coached me the day I won the World Masters Games. Should be a fun few days.

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My orthopedic surgeon in California once told me that most injuries could be prevented if we would treat our body's response to new activities like we treat sunburn - let the pain go away and gradually reintroduce the activity while avoiding further "sunburn".

I didn't run or jump today because I over did it on Thursday so I had "sunburn". I'm sure I could have but I was even feeling that jammed hip thing that gave me so much pain a month ago. So I just hit the gym and doubled up on the stretching. The last day I tried to jump when I felt like this I turned something small into something big. So I guess I've learned from my errors; at least this time. Have a great Father's Day! Bubba

PS - I did do 1X5 of two of my four bar exercies with no problem with my forearm.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Garage Lift in Two Weeks

I went out to watch Don have his first day jumping in months so that got me to the garage a little late (read hot) but got through it. Normally Saturday is an off day as I have a meet or go watch a meet but I'm a day off of most of my training this week because of a variety of appointments. As of tomorrow I should be back on schedule. I'm also off Wednesday which is my travel day.

Nothing special to report - still strong as I was two weeks ago so I'm looking forward to putting MANY weeks of consistent training together. I really love this time of year because I can be going at 6:30 AM before it's too hot. When it's cold I have to wait until about 11 and hope it's warmer and dry.

It would be awesome to have an indoor place to train when it's too hot or cold. Many gymnastic centers in these huge buildings are adding vault centers so I may look into that. U of H won't let you in and they are hard to get to and park anyway. I guess I'm on a mission but at least I have until November. Have a good one. Bubba

Our little superstar in training, Kara Zuspan jumped 10' today in a JO meet. She just finished the 8th grade and will come to The Woodlands High School next year.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lifting Upper Again - Kind Of

I've been looking forward to the gym all week because I knew I could start doing some upper lifts again. I was a little worried during the night that I might wake up and my forearm would be flared and that would derail this lift and set me back. Yesterday when I was first picking up the fat/giant Altius 1675 to do drills, I felt a little tiny little sting in the forearm. It didn't bother me anymore but you never know what you will work up with. The answer was nothing. So lifting was fun, uneventful and nothing hurts. I MIGHT just be past the worst of this.

The Quintana Beach Vault is tomorrow and I would love to go but it is too big of a risk right now. I'm going to Gettysburg in three weeks and I'm not jumping there either so that should tell you how cautious I am right now. My reasoning is that if I can just get on that cruise on 7/25 with the arm not flared, it will be nine weeks of no issues so at week 10 I will be completely well and can really vault. STILL, even then I will ramp up slow and cautious. Overcautious probably but I'm sick of setbacks so I'll wait it out twice as long as needed to assure I'm OK. The goal next year is to stay within myself, work mainly on technique and conditioning, and get NO INJURIES. It will be a long year and I want to enjoy it all.

I met a girl in the gym this morning who was lifting alongside her husband. This is strange because I never talk to anyone in the gym as I listen to LOUD music to grind through at a high level. He was a big powerlifting shaped guy but she was obviously an athlete. She had perfect form on cleans, squats, snatch, etc. and saw that she had an NCAA National Track & Field Championships shirt on so I asked her between sets what she did. Today was her 27th birthday and she misses running. BTW - my 57th is in six days so we're almost the same age - except for that 30 year difference thing. When she told me she was a 400m hurdler at Oklahoma State in college I had no idea what you could miss about that type of pain but whatever. I'm getting her together with Coaches Green and Hamilton to "give her a reason to work out". Her husband doesn't run anymore so she needs an outlet other than the gym. SO, "happy birthday Allison and nice to meet you. Now get back to work!!" "Happily" she says.

Have a great day and thanks for being here for me!! You have no idea how much that helps!! Bubba

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Great Coach!!

Well I followed Kris' idea and it took me a few jumps to "get it" for what he wanted me to do. He was right in that you can't complete the swing unless you can stop your top hand and swing without a hip break. If you can stop your top hand at the top of your jump off of the ground, your body goes stiff and it transfers far more energy into the pole. It also preserves the larger angle to the ground as opposed to losing the angle if your hand gets jerked behind your head. This has always been a key to my jump but certainly a MUST with one hand.

I was able to complete one hand vaults to my back with about an 11' 6" (3.50m) grip and a normal symmetrical bend. I think I flat out missed 2-3, half way missed another 2-3 but probably nailed 6-7. Then I did my 2,4,6 on a 16/175 - 4.90m/80kg. and again got the grip up around 11' 6" except that pole wasn't even thinking about bending. If you didn't hit a HUGE prejump on that pole it wasn't even moving at all. GREAT and fun day!! No pains anywhere. And of course I did my scheduled 8 X 50m hill/sled.

A VERY fun day that made me feel reasonably like a vaulter again. The plan is one hand jumps this week, one hand with a bungee next week and then one hand with a bar the next week before I go to Gettysburg. Once I get back from G'Burg I have two weeks before the Alaska cruise where I will jump with two hands together. Great plan and instruction Kris!! Thanks!! Bubba

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On the Road Again

Typical Wednesday as I travel the local area for business seeing my partners. I'll do some one hand jumping and my 8 X hill sleds tomorrow. I kind of have my head wrapped around how Kris wants me to do this and what the timing is. I'm thinking I will start on the cut 1362 but if that jolts my shoulder too hard I'll move down. I would rather just jump up better and make the 1362 work but we'll see. More tomorrow. Bubba

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Running

Yesterday was my scheduled run day this week but forgot the keys to the gate and shed at the high school so I just lifted legs at the gym. Today I made up the running which continues to feel remarkably good. Gotta watch the take off foot as I start adding some easy jumping on top of the running. Shouldn't be an issue but it was a little sore from Sunday's jump session. So again, forgetting my keys yesterday is another example of circumstances working out to protect me from me.

On Thursday I'll do what Kris suggested and start trying to complete one hand take offs and swing ups with a low grip. I'm kind of working through it in my mind what Kris wants me to do. I've done this before but it was very explosive. Kris says if I do it correctly that nothing will be forced and that's why he wants me to revisit this now. I'm sure it's one of those things that will work itself out over a few sessions and I will gain some new insights into a smoother take off and hopefully avoid some of these impact injuries to my upper body. It will still be explosive and there will still be HUGE impact but hopefully in a more efficient manner.

Looking forward to the learning process. BTW - THIS is why you need a coach. I felt my mission was accomplished with a high grip and bending pole from a very short run yet Kris feels that was only "Part 1" of what my goal should be. I would have been off to something else instead of fixing something that is obviously hurting me. I would not have known that this was an issue had Kris not identified it. If you have a coach, listen to him/her.

Have a great day and thanks for being here. Bubba

Monday, June 14, 2010

Change of Plans

After yesterday's post Kris sent me an email and said that if I'm going off the proper timing then there will be no cranking or jerking that would injure my right arm on one hand jumps. He encouraged me to go down to a very low grip and work the timing to swinging to vertical rather than trying it from a high grip. I will do this starting Thursday morning.

The odd thing about where I am right now is that I am 11 days since my left forearm injection yet I have pledged a very slow ram up because it can re-tweak so easily - hence the one hand take offs. My plan will give me eight full weeks of not jumping with two hands so you can see I have a very LONG time to just train with no real fun. It will be worth it to have no injuries or dings. Like Don told me, "bone heals in 8-10 weeks so if you let some little muscle thing keep you out 6-8 you're stupid". And I have been.

My "breaks" are when I go to Gettysburg on July 10, so what is that, three weeks? Two weeks after that I go to Alaska for a week on our cruise, so that after I return from there I'm jumping. I will start lifting basic upper again on Thursday (after two weeks off) and two weeks later I will add bars and other upper lifts. SUCKS but necessary. Of course if you told me that I could grip 11' 5" (3.50m) with one hand from a 12' (3.65m) 2 step run and make a pole bend, I'd say you're crazy. So obviously my other training is working. Have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back Home

Got in about 10:30 this morning and headed over to the track about 12:30. Did some one hand jumping today with take offs on a bending pole from 12' and 23' with a grip well over 11'. Pretty fun. I'm rethinking the need to take this too far because, even though I felt no pain today.

I have had bicep problems on that arm which I can see coming back if I start trying to crank to vertical with one arm. I can grip high because I stop my right hand just in front of my forehead which engages my entire body to make it stiff which moves the pole. That was the purpose of one handed jumping and today I did it as well as I ever had, which is pretty good.

I think I will get better results if I leave this and start doing all of my big pole drills. Fun to get my hand black anyway. Have a great day. Bubba

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nice Service & Lunch

The weather cooperated so we had a nice and short graveside service for Nancy's mom and then off to lunch at a small Italian restaurant that closed for us. Very nice. Nancy held up pretty well and everyone enjoyed the video tribute she made for her mom. Coming home tomorrow. Bubba

Friday, June 11, 2010

One Hand Vaulting

I was intrigued a month ago when Kris sent me a video of one of his kids doing the extension drill on a bending pole with one hand. Well, I have another month before I will vault using my left so I figured why not spend that month trying to perfect a one hand vault. My plant has to get more rigid and you naturally jump off of the ground better with one hand because it would hurt not to. So let the adventure begin. I'll start on Sunday. Bubba

PS - Cleveland is hot and humid.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heading Out

I leave in the morning for Cleveland so I have been swamped. Good running and leg lift again today and yesterday was my do nothing travel day. I'll have more to post on the trip. Take care. Doug

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh Well...

I REALLY wanted to go out and lift upper in the garage today but decided to stay away. The forearm feels good but it takes cortisone about two weeks to do all it can do so I want to give it the full amount of time. Today is only five days so I can't be stupid. The hard part is that 90%+ of my lifts and bars had no affect on it at all so I should at least be able to lift those? Not for two weeks.

Talking to my friend Larry Bonnet this weekend he was saying how he loves lifting but hates running. I think I have to agree so that makes it even tougher not to lift. A lesson I learned from my dad as a kid is do what you hate first and use the other as a reward. So I run and lift legs. I sure wouldn't mind some lifting though.

Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Monday, June 7, 2010

We're Back

I've tried about three times today to post here but Blogger has been down. It's going to be a strange week as we go to Cleveland Friday to bury June's ashes and my dad is closing the sale of the house he and my mom lived in on Friday also. Lot of juggling going around, not to mention emotions.

I did my running and leg lifting this morning and felt spectacular. I've been grinding so long that the break between Tuesday and my shot on Thursday gave me a chance to see how I feel when I'm fresh. Not bad.

It was very hard not to lift the upper body exercises that don't bother me but I'm supposed to leave them out for two weeks. Sure enough my forearm felt a little stiff today after lifting a few 45 lb. plates for my leg lifts. I'll leave it alone.

As if I need a few more distractions this week, my CD drive went down in my computer. Normally not a problem since I download everything but we had a nice DVD made with photos of June and family to play at the luncheon after the service. So I have the joy of setting up a new computer before we leave Friday since I also live and work on my computer. Oil well as they say in Texas.

Finally, Nancy and I have been playing a little what if game about where else we may want to live after my dad dies. We're looking into the NW Florida coast. We're figuring we could get some deals there after the oil gets cleaned up. I loved living at the beach in Southern California for 24 years so that is an option. I have some business obligations with local partners plus I'd like to see Kara get through high school first too so there's no rush. But research has begun. Nancy has a great pension and I can do what I do from anywhere.

Have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, June 6, 2010

San Marcos River Vault

Below are a few photos from the San Marcos River Vault. Click to enlarge. The event had over 140 vaulters and had a unique feature about the youngest and oldest. Let's start with the oldest, 87 year old Adolf Hoffman who was captured by CNN in this special report - He vaulted well with the crowd behind him every jump. As if it weren't enough to have also appeared on Jay Leno, Adolf was most surprised when a relative visiting India saw it there. Amazing guy!!

I saw my good friend Billy Payne coaching this tiny little girl running down the runway. I asked about her and came to learn that she is his youngest daughter. This was only her 3rd time with a pole in her hand and has never gone over a bar so she has no PR. Well she does now as she made 6' 3" and almost 6' 9". Billy held the collegiate record for a long time at 19' 2 3/4" (5.85m) and his oldest daughter has the highest jump in Texas this year by a high schooler at 13' 1 1/2". It was fun watching them and catching up with a ton of good people.

I woke up this morning and decided to wait a day to do my running since I need a full three days of doing nothing after my injection before any activity. Also we're going to Cleveland, Ohio on Friday to bury Nancy's mom, June's ashes next to her dad's, so this will give me a fragmented training week anyway. In this case it's better spread out.

Feeling good though but I will remain cautious. Thanks so much for your support. I'm a weirdo I guess in that I wanted to go to the meet yesterday as a way to remind me why I'm training so hard. I felt like if I saw some friends jumping that it would bring out some more fire. It actually kind of had the opposite effect as it felt sad. Probably too dramatic but not being able to jump I felt as though I was in a wheelchair. No matter how big or small the issue, the bottom line is I'm sick of going to meets to watch. Kamloops hurt but now it's just getting ridiculous.

On the bright side I spent quite a bit of time hanging out with Bruce Caldwell of Essx, who makes my poles. He has a new pole design that uses two different types of glass. He point blank told me that he would make a special set of 4.45s (14' 7"s) for me so I should get rid of the series he just made for me. He's always tinkering with designs and materials and he's only made a cooment like this twice in the 35 years I have known him so THAT excites me. More new specially made poles. I guess I better get well.

The exception to my misery sitting out was I got to watch my coach, Kris Allison jump, as well as our 8th grade boy who PRd at 10' 3" (3.10m), and our superstar in the making 8th grade girl, Kara Zuspan. I know talent when I see it and so does Caldwell. He came over three times while she was vaulting and brought over new Essx poles for her to try. If you look at her and the other girls in that group, she is not as advanced but she's just now been going a year. But Caldwell and Kris agree with me; she's got it. The other girls may be ahead now but it won't be for long. Complicated timing moves and drills she picks up instantly, plus she looks like a vaulter already - tall and lean with great muscle base for that age. She moves with grace. It will happen - we just have to be patient. Let me correct that - SHE needs to be patient!

Have a great day! Bubba

Friday, June 4, 2010

For Tomorrow

I'm leaving early tomorrow for the San Marcos River Vault, about 170 miles away, so I thought I would post a story I read tonight. I've been reading a book called "Season of Life" about a former ball boy (turned writer) for the Baltimore Colts football team and what he found when he tracked down a big defensive player he looked up to when he was young. He had become a Reverend and coached football as a volunteer at a private school and made every effort to improve the quality of boys' upbringing. There was one quote in it that sounds like us pole vaulters so I will substitute pole vault for football;

"I don't care if you're big or small, have huge muscles or no muscles, never pole vaulted or been the national champion - I don't care about that stuff. If you're here then you're one of us and we love you".

There is such a universal support and acceptance among vaulters. When a kid tells me sheepishly that his/her PR is 8' 3" I get excited for them because I remember exactly how I felt when I was at that level. I was on cloud nine when I jumped 10' and everyone else around was too. Never have I seen a sport where we all love each other and want to see everyone do well. Gotta love it! Bubba

Rest Day

My arm was so sore last night but this morning it already feels free of pain. Of course I need to leave it alone and let the medicine do its work, but it's nice to have that type of real relief. Have a great day. Bubba

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Got the Forearm Shot

I texted Dr. Martin this morning and asked him if he would consider shooting my forearm tendon. It's been nearly seven weeks and it's really not measurably better. I was doing upright rows on Monday and I started feeling it again near the end of a set of 8. The problem is tendinitis because I have no strength deficit. Today I lifted 31,107 pounds and did 47 repetitions (4 exercises) of ankle weighted bar exercises with zero pain or issue. That's just STUPID that I can't vault. So first he shot me with a little lidocaine to see if he hit the spot. When that worked he nailed me with cortisone.

The plan is to hit running and cardio for the next two weeks HARD with no upper body lifting or bars. Then I will spend two weeks going back to lifting but no upright rows, lateral flys, etc. At that point I am at July 1 and will ease the other stuff back in for two weeks, go on vacation and come home to start jumping. The doc thinks I'll be totally well in two weeks but I'm not risking starting the clock over or needing another injection.

I read a quote today by the famous miler from the '60s, John Landy saying that, "people don't realize what goes into the grind of daily training year after year for years on end", and "though I feel I can do it another 10 years, it probably is not worth it". His PR at the time was 4:02. The next year he had the world record at 3:57. That's how I feel. It makes no sense to anyone else but every day I load up another running day into the bank, I KNOW I WILL get a return. HELL YES I want to vault but I'll keep paying my dues and SOME day, the rewards will come. It's not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up. Have a great day and thanks for the support! Bubba

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the Road Again

Today is my regular day off as I travel the area seeing my business partners. I'm also off on Saturdays so I can either watch a meet or have an extra day of rest before my own meet. Feeling pretty good but that forearm thing is still there. I picked up one of the dogs during the night and the dull pain jumped up pretty fast. I remember my bicep did the same thing so it's no big deal other than being annoying. Of course the good news is I have no events to rush to get ready for so I will let it take its course. This is June 2, and my first vault day for next year will be August 5, so there is no reason not to be totally well and in great shape.

Going to the San Marcos River Vault Saturday. I'll watch the masters early, then I have a business lunch meeting across the street, then back to watch my 8th grader Kara. Looking forward to it. Have a great day! Bubba

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer in Texas

I read several posts from Facebook friends who competed in Austin last weekend for the NCAA Regional Meet regarding the heat. We may be a little above average but I remember last May being hotter than June or July which is unusual. It is what it is. They vaulted well anyway and with Nationals in two weeks at Track City USA, Eugene, Oregon, that should provide a great setting and better weather.

I personally like to get out early before it gets too bad. This morning I finished my 6 X 50m hill/sleds and was driving away from the school at 7:15, on my way home to my garage for my stretching. That said, today is our 2nd All Comers meet at 5 PM. That too is not that bad but without a breeze it can be a killer.

So the question for the kids that I train and their parents is, "early wake up or heat?" I work for a living so early is always best for me but kids like to sleep in. I guess we'll wait and see. Of course one of our best boys broke his arm last week sliding in playing softball. Beginning with me not jumping in any meets, it already feels like it will be a strange summer. I hate to say it but I will be glad when August gets here so I'm jumping full speed again. Until then I will keep training hard.

Have a great day! Bubba