* When you are away from lifting you really don't mind it. It seems like a nice break. In fact you dread starting back because you know you will be sore. But if you stay away more than two weeks you will start to lose power on the runway. It is very rare if I am ever out longer than about 10 days. That said, yesterday and today were my first days back to lifting and I can't believe how much I missed it. My breaks typically come when I back off the week before a meet, if my travel schedule becomes briefly unmanageable, or if I'm trying to vault more often. Anyway I'm back.
* With Texas Senior Games a week from Sunday, I'm going to just stick to my base training and not vault before the meet. I find that if I skip the vault when I am in this phase of my ramp up that I will feel more powerful and fast within two weeks. If I jump also I feel good but not quite as sharp. So I'll go with my gut an not vault.
* Speaking of jumping in practice, after the Texas Senior Games I have four weeks to train before I have a series of six meets where there are only two weeks between each of them. I probably will not be jumping between any of them so that means I have four weeks to get comfortable on my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles. Really looking forward to that. Hopefully it goes well and I will use them the rest of the year. If not I'll need a few bigger 14' 1" (4.30m) poles. Hear that Kris? I traded poles to get the 14' 7" series so it didn't actually cost me the $450 each for the eight poles in that series. But my gut tells me that I will be glad I stuck it out and made them work.
* I've not mentioned anything about it but I've been jumping at about 167-168 whereas last year I was about 171-173. I seem to be getting more out of my poles and still feel powerful. Many vaulters like to train a few pounds heavier than they compete in order to feel that extra snap. It can work but sometimes you could feel weaker than you should. That happened to me once and that was enough. Wasn't a big meet but it sucked to lose a meet for being stupid. On the flip side if you're light and come in heavy you feel sluggish. I'm really not concerned one way or the other as I have jumped 4m (13' 1 1/2") as heavy as 179. I just find it interesting that I seem to have settled out a little lighter than last year for whatever reason. It certainly is not an attempt to do so. OK, I told you these were random thoughts.
* The M55-59 state record at the Texas Senior Games is 3.97m (13' 1/4") which I vaulted in 2008. I was in Australia last year, but more on that in a minute. I'm hoping for 4m+ and then progress to 4.07m (13' 4 1/4") and then maybe even 4.14m (13' 7"). That's the bar progression I will be shooting for. I took out the first two 14' 7"s yesterday and put in my biggest 14' 1"s. I'm very familiar with them and comfortable no matter what the conditions. Well, within reason. Rain would not be helpful.
* Response to this blog continues to amaze me. People I have never met or heard of either email me or introduce themselves to me at meets and tell me how the read it every day and how it helps keep them in touch with their own plans. I absolutely love that and really enjoy meeting these vaulters. The first thing they always say is, "I feel like I've known you for a long time". That couldn't be a bigger compliment because I love pole vaulters and will enjoy knowing you for a long time. I have yet to meet one that I don't enjoy being around or being friends with, so thank you so much. NOW, the other side is people I know very well that don't ever read it. I'll have a relative stranger ask me how a certain plan came about but someone I know very well will say, "so have you been working out?" I guess they think since we know each other that we are connected and they would know what I'm doing. As you can see, I certainly have nothing to hide. One friend asked four Facebook friends how I've been jumping lately and he is one of my Facebook friends. Guess he forgot. BTW saw The Social Network today about the founder of Facebook. Very good movie. Anyway, thanks again for following me. This is a great outlet for thinking out loud and I tremendously appreciate your support. Bubba
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY - I called Nancy after a long day to tell her that I had just won the World Masters Games in Sydney, Australia and then went out to dinner with Alan Launder and his wife Jenny. Six hours later Nancy's mom, June had a stroke in the car on the way home from her doctor appointment which cleared her to go to Maine. She died three months and one day later. I was crushed and would have gladly traded my medal for her not to suffer.
When I went to see her in the hospital she was groggy but hugged me and clearly said, "World Champion". The next time she said something that clearly was when we brought her home and she met our new dog, Tuffy. We got Tuffy because my sister's husband committed suicide in their garage and he was his dog. June got a big smile and said, "cute". He jumped up on the bed with her and would not leave. She died about 2 AM the next morning under hospice care.
I'm am a better person and so grateful to have had her live with us for her last six years. We brought her down from Cleveland because we feared she would die alone within a year. It worked well for all of us.
Alan just had another heart issue, got a new stent and pacemaker and is home again after another scare. So the past year we have certainly seen tragedy but as always we remain hopeful and do the best we can with what we can control. Makes a blog about a pole vaulting fossil seem pretty silly but it's one of the very things that has gotten me through this year. So thank you again!! Let's all make next year a better one.