It was 36 degrees when we got up but 56 as I drove to the track at 9 AM. For the past two days I've occasionally felt a weird little left hamstring twinge when bending over in certain ways. After reading my post about taking a chance and getting away with it, plus Allan Williams' booklet warning of the same, I almost didn't bother to take my gym bag so I would not have the option to vault.
I said to myself, "oh well, I'll just take it out and see how I feel after I warm up". After all, after three straight sessions on the 4.45m (14' 7") poles I was planning to go easy starting on my smallest 4.30m (14' 1"). As I warmed up I got looser but was still really on guard. I decided to just jog in and complete some jumps even if I had to run a stride further to avoid pressing on the runway. Turned out to be a good formula for today.
I made 12' (3.66m) on my first jump from 44' and promptly move back to 54' and up one pole and the bar to 12' 6" (3.81m). The pole I started on is really too small for that run and I have never used it from there. Still, I figured it would make me careful on the runway yet still get some jumps in. After three attempts, one very close, I moved up to the 17.0 and cleared it very easily on my first attempt.
I tried 13' (3.97m) twice on the 17.0 but the pole was too small and I started to finesse, and that's never good. Moved back a stride to 64' and up to the 16.5 where I made 13' on my 2nd attempt. IF I jump on the 16.5 in a meet it is only at 12' and from a stride closer at 54', so that tells you how small it really is for me. But jogging in I could time it up and catch a ride to make 13'. Next I moved to the carbon 15.9, my normal start pole for 12', and on my 2nd attempt made 13' very easily. I toyed with the idea of moving to the 14' 7" pole and/or going to 13' 6" (4.12m) but decided to stop. After all, I have just had 11 high level jumps and wasn't hurting.
This will be my normal practice style now, but I'll hit the bigger poles from where I normally do rather than baby my legs like today. Sakina beat me up pretty good the other day so I figure it's not an injury but a carryover from that. Glad I was careful. Kris and I had talked this week about getting to my longer runs sooner so I could get more high level jumps, so that fit in with today's plan. What's funny is the last time I used the 15.9 in practice was in 2008 and I made 13' 6". I really think that will become common place with this progression.
When I jump well I have practice poles and meet poles. I use the smaller glas poles in practice and the lighter yet quicker return carbons in meets. Looks like that is setting up pretty well. Less chance of getting hurt too when I use smaller poles in practice yet try to technically get more out of them.
The gym was a challenge because I felt strong so I pushed all of my weights up. So a very long, hard and good day of training. If I can be instinctive and string together more sessions like this then I'll feel pretty good about my chance to advance. You've gotta figure at some point in the near future that the 14' 7" poles will be worked into the rotation in practice. When that happens I will be starting to get near where I need to be. Until then I'm a pretender rather than a contender.
Thanks for all of your support. Have a beautiful Sunday! Bubba