Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day of the Year

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year. For my last day I got over to the track early and packed up the poles for tomorrow as it is supposed to rain soon. Gary will meet me at 5:30 AM and we will pick up Don at 6 and be on the runway for warm-up by 9.

This morning was 71 again but we're expecting more rain and some cooler weather. Nice long stretch again. Sweating during the stretch session on New Years Eve is a great way to spend the winter. I know many of you are buried in snow, but most of you also have indoor places to train. For the next few months we expect the usual mid 30' to mid 40's and rain or 20s and clear with high winds. Not very fun for vaulting.

I bring this up because I have not jumped in practice except for once since this little chain of meets that started on November 20. It's been too cold or wet outside to practice yet these are all indoor meets. The fact that they are all spaced two weeks apart is the other reason. Of course I would rather jump once in between but it won't kill my technique not to.

PLEASE be careful and enjoy your weekend. Four weeks from today we are in Reno!! Bubba

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weird Weather

Supposed to clear up but it never did. The overcast left it wet but the hills weren't flooded. Ran 4 X 50m sleds and felt decent considering I'm a day late. Built up slow and was at a decent speed on the last one. Long stretch felt good too. I think the high today was 70 with a low of 64 so I'm digging that for nearly January 1.

I know a lot of people have this as a pretty easy week but I work with a lot of doctors and financial people in my business and this week they actually have time to talk so I've been a little swamped. Sorry for my delays posting here but I should get back to reality.

Hope you have a safe and happy new years eve. More soon. Bubba

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Trying

I've waited the entire day out to try and get my 6 X 50m hill/sleds in but the rain won't stop. Hate to do it tomorrow but I have no choice or I will come into Saturday's meet flat. I guess I'll run 4-5 at a slower pace and do a real long stretch. I sat out there for a long time waiting for a break but right before I would get out of the car there would be a huge crack of thunder. Oh well. Have a great day!! Bubba

Monday, December 27, 2010

Preparation Continues

I saw the start list today for the masters division at Belton (near Austin) this Saturday. We have 10 guys and we start at 10 AM. The good news is that I don't have to get on the road to driving there until about 5:30 AM. Some of these meets closer to Dallas we have gone up on the night before because we would have to leave at 2 AM for a 9 AM start. SO, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Good lift and stretch this morning. Supposed to have rain for part of the next three days. Of course I only care about Wednesday when I need to run my hill/sleds. Hopefully it will be warm and dry in the afternoon when I get back from my local/regional travel day.

Not much else to report. I feel good so that's a good sign. I'm working through what I need to change technically and feel I will be able to do that too. More as we go. Thanks for being here! Bubba

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tough Lift Day - Crossed 17 Million Pounds Lifted

Since January 1, 2005 through today I have lifted 17,032,599 and done 11,413 high bar exercises with ankle weights. WOW - apparently the days you just show up will add up just like the days we miss.

Being five weeks out from Reno I'm cycling back around to strength endurance and MAN that sucks more than a little after you have gotten away from it. On my long day I lift 18 reps and on my short day I lift 12. So at this stage that can be 1 X 18 (like today) or 1 X 12 + 1 X 6. In the heavier days I'll go 8,6,4 and maybe before that I was at 3 X 6. In any case it sucked on one hand but felt good to be working that way on the other.

My legs feels pretty fresh and I was strong on my lifts. After 8 X 50m hill/sleds on Wednesday I skipped yesterday because I didn't want a relapse of my cold. I feel better today and will hit 6 X 50m hill/sled on Wednesday and be ready for Belton on Saturday. When I'm in the middle of hardcore training I still feel pretty beat up through Wednesday before the meet so I'm happy to feel decent today. NOW - STRETCH and don't skimp on it!!

It's 29 this morning and tomorrow is supposed to be a little colder. This year I've figured out the garage heating situation so it's tolerable. Good thing because that's where I am in the morning.

Hope you have a great Sunday. I sincerely want to thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to have you here and as my sounding board. All the best to you!! Bubba

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you have all had a great day with your families!! Be happy, warm and safe!!

WOW!! Got a lot of feedback yesterday about my health situation. Thanks so much!! YES, it's VERY hard to train this hard knowing it only goes so far and it will only get worse. I'm fine with it. You get what you come with and do the best with what you have.

In a rare strike of maturity I decided not to work out today. I was supposed to do 10 X 50m hill/sleds and an upper lift in my garage. I was really torn but came to the conclusion I didn't need to get sick again. I was just telling Nancy how run down I have been this whole week from jumping sick last weekend, and then sure enough, I started coughing again and feeling my throat. It was 40 and drizzling so I decided to bail. HATE that but I think it's in my best short term interest with a meet next Saturday.

Have a great Christmas evening and thanks for being here! Bubba

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mini Rant!! My Health Problem

At the awards introduction at my last meet, a masters vaulter asked me something about drug testing. Then he asked me if they drug tested in Sydney. Then he asked if I was drug tested in Sydney. It didn't really bother me at the time because it wasn't like an attack but more of a question about competing in big meets. As the questions went along I understood he was basically accusing me of cheating. You will read below how preposterous that is. I was a little baffled by this but I explained the best I could;
  • As reported on my blog, the World Masters Games in Sydney required your consent to drug test as a condition of entry. All big meets do and everyone knows it. I've been in a ton of big meets and have been drug tested four times. Not a big deal.
  • When you picked up your package in Sydney you signed again saying that you agreed to be drug tested.
  • When you checked in at the venue you signed yet another form saying you agreed to be tested.
  • As you left the field you passed through drug testing where they pulled random athletes who had earned medals. I was not selected but certainly would be happy to be tested.
After I explained this I said that I more consider myself to be "desire tested". When he asked what that meant I told him that starting on January 1, 2005, I had been training 5-7 days, including 4-6 lifting days, each and every week with no off season because I wanted to be a better pole vaulter. This morning I just crossed over 17 million pounds lifted in that time frame, almost six years. I told him that even that was no guarantee I would get better but it certainly would make me look like I work out. So maybe the drug testing question is really a compliment? I doubt it. The funny thing is when I saw him I thought how good he looked; like he had really been working out. Never crossed my mind HE might be on drugs, plus I really don't care, I just take care of me.

Here's the irony and only a very few people (Nancy, Kris, Don & Dean) know this before I'm telling you. I have a low testosterone problem. The acceptable range for a total testosterone reading is 500-800 and the average for a 55 year old is 550. In 2008 I was tested at 175 and today I am at 135. So if I DON'T train they way I do, I can't even stay where I am. If I had a 550 I'd probably look like a bodybuilder and jump 15' (4.60m) but I don't and can't. That's life.

I'm currently seeking a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to supplement my testosterone to put me on a level playing field with everyone else because right now I am severely handicapped. I doubt it will be approved. A 41 year old on the PGA tour just had a suspension overturned and he was given a TUE for a similar issue. If it is approved we hope to get me to 350, still far below average, but better than where I am now. My physician team says that it is unlikely I could get above 350 and as time goes by it will continue to decrease no matter what we do. My point is that even if I was approved I can't test positive because I can't even get close to normal levels with or without help.

So think about that when you hear that I'm grinding away training. Don't think for a second that in the back of my mind I'm not being told that no matter what I do will eventually do me no good as I will be stopped by the lack of ability to grow or maintain muscle mass. I can't possibly express to you how demoralizing and hard that is to get past as I attempt to put forth my best effort each day.

I thought long and hard about bringing this up but I thought this is a good time to get it out there. The deck is truly stacked against me and getting worse, but I continue to do the best I can. Hey, it's severe male menopause; not death. I have no idea how my mind allows me to train like I do because from time to time it flat out kills my spirit. Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Goals & Mixed Signals

I had a friend a few years ago who I was helping at a meet at Texas A&M University. Huge tailwind, feels great, big pole, ties his PR of 17' 8 1/2" (5.40m) and moves to 18' 1/2" (5.50m) and up a pole. Sounds good but his year is over. Why? His standards were already at 40cm (16") and now they need to come in again. He's at the end of his present ability. He can't get in enough on the next pole to turn up to complete a jump yet everything else is perfect. Sorry but that's it for this year. Go back to work and come back next year with an upgraded body and technique because this is the end of the road for this year. Present potential reached.

I felt this way a little bit when I looked at my video from last weekend. But then it hit me, this is my 2nd meet on these poles and I have already jumped higher on smaller ones in the same series than I have in those two meets. I have tons of height on every jump and with a little clean up I will move through to the next bigger poles and start leaving higher bars up. My standards are on 80cm (31.5") and two weeks before that pole was a little too small. Basically I'm way ahead of myself by feeling discouraged. I have three more poles and another stride or two to get through, and my little technique clean ups will give me even more blow off the top of the pole.

My goal is to jump 14' (4.27m) this year. To do that I have to clear the lower heights by more as I progress through poles far more quickly than I do in practice. I've made 13' (3.97m) on pole #2 from 10 steps yet I was on pole #4 attempting it in the meet. Lots of height but nicked it on the way down on my best jump not on video. That means 13' 6" from 12 steps, which is clearly going to happen from the video. That gives me 14' from 14 steps but my plan is to get to 16 steps.

So, I need to show patience. I'm on track. I'm not at the end of my year in December. Back to work - I can get much more powerful and faster over the next seven months. Thanks for being here. Another odd topic for tomorrow. Bubba

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Day Back to Training

I finally felt good enough to exercise so I went to the track and did my 8 X 50m sled/hill runs. I didn't take my gym bag because I didn't want to talk myself into vaulting. I guess it is more like I didn't want to have to try and talk myself OUT of vaulting. Everything feels good and healthy but having been sick and had no activity since the meet Saturday, I thought I might be at risk trying to jump from 8 steps on the 14' 7s (4.45m), which would be my only reason to vault.

The technical things I want to change are more a state of mind and are a one session fix so I've decided that I will just do that at the meet in Belton (near Austin) on January 1. The important thing is to feel good that day. Surprisingly I was able to run the sled/hills pretty hard today without much effort. Well, except for the shortness of breath that comes with an 80 degree December day. Yep, weird weather. On Christmas, my next big running day, it will be 39-52, but this morning it was already 77 by 9 AM. I'll take that all winter but of course it will soon change to cold and wet.

More stuff soon. Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coming Around - Entered NSG

The jury will be out on jumping tomorrow until I get warmed up. My guess is 50/50 since I have been sick and have not done one thing since my meet on Saturday. I won't take a chance if it doesn't feel right.

I entered the National Senior Games today. I jump here in Houston on June 20, 2011. That will be my main target meet at this point. I have the World Masters Championships a few weeks later in Sacramento and I'm hoping for the best there. The fact is that I am in the middle of a couple of big work projects that could possibly cause a relocation about that time. I'll train like I'm going and figure it out when I get closer. These things drag out so it could be never or it could be in a month. Nevertheless, it takes up a lot of my time right now so the only one I'm positive of is the one in my own hometown.

Got a meet in Belton (near Austin) on 1/1/11 that I'm looking forward to. Last year I jumped 13' 1" (3.99m) and had a good attempt at the American Record of 13' 7" (4.14m). I feel I'm ready so it's important to be safe tomorrow and feel good for that meet.

I'll report back tomorrow and have some more info on other things that have been on my mind. Thank you for being here with me! Bubba

Monday, December 20, 2010

STILL Sick!

I knew it the night before I jumped but what are you going to do? They still have the meet and the results page doesn't say that you were weak and sick. I battled through it but I paid the price with this raging cold. Slept most of the day yesterday and feel maybe 20% better today. I sure expected to feel better than that by now.

I was going to stretch this morning just to shake off the meet but have decided that rolling around on a mat on my cold garage is probably not a wise decision so I'll pass. The plan right now is to go out Wednesday and warm up and see if I feel like vaulting. If not I'll just resume normal training and wait until me meet on January 1.

Looking back, the pole I was coming up a little short on at 13' was too small for me two weeks before, so like it or not, I guess I was weaker from the cold. Dang it! I thought I had blocked that out.

Looking at the video I can see I'm right on the edge of a breakthrough. I hate jumping under 13' and how will I get to 14' if I'm having this issue? Well, it's all in the timing. The answer is jumping on the poles one stride closer. Now that I know how they all feel that will be my mission. That's exactly how I made my last breakthrough when I got to 14' 1" (4.30m) poles. We will see how it goes but I'm real optimistic that if I can jump on Wednesday I will close the gap between where I am and where I am going. How?

Technically, I need to put more solid and dynamic pressure on my hands earlier. Next, I need to force my hands forward while NOT breaking at the hips is order to make the pole roll away. That is a one practice fix and once I have it, I can call on it any time. What I have done is depended more on a longer run and my speed, which I needed to incorporate anyway. Getting the best of both worlds will happen soon.

Thanks for being here and have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SICK!!

Paying the price for jumping yesterday as I am very sick with a horrible cold. I pretty much figured that would be the case. Obviously I'm not training today so that changes my week. I think I'll do some easy sleds tomorrow and then try and jump Wednesday. If I can start jumping on smallest 14' 7 (4.45m) poles from eight steps instead of 10, I think I will get my timing down quicker to get more out of the poles. No injuries or dings from yesterday so I'm comfortable jumping a practice this week. Plus our weather is supposed to be warm mid-week.

Another thing different for me is that I have been starting at 11' 6" (3.51m) rather than 12' (3.66m). I'm doing this so that I have a chance to work my way through some poles and run approaches before the jumps really count much. So right now I go at 11' 6" from 10 steps on the 15.8; 12' from the same run on the 15.4; 12' 6" (3.81m) from 12 steps on the 15.1 and then 13' (3.96m) on the 14.9 or 14.8. That leaves me two more poles to get to from 14 steps. I think I'm set.

A couple of years ago I got tired of not jumping 12' and having my result be 11' 6" so I decided the best way to make that go away was to never jump at 11' 6", so I just pass until 12'. The problem with that is that I have been sitting around a really long time and it's hard to get going again at a high level that quickly. Even worse, the next height, 12' 6" requires an even bigger pole so I think this is a better plan for my body and a way to progress though poles and runs. Let me correct that - I could make the next height easily on almost any pole, yet I like to move up poles one height before I need to as it gives me a margin of error. In warm up yesterday I jumped 13' on my smallest pole but when I got to that height in the meet I was five poles bigger. That's OK as it is part of the fine tuning process. I can't worry about the height I am on as I need to know I can make the next height too - so I move up early.

Flex numbers on the 14' 7"s have been measured also as 14' 1" (4.30m) poles so I can equate them to the poles I jumped on before. So in Sydney I won World Masters Games on a 15.7 and in Belton I jumped 13' 1" on a 15.4. Now when I get to 13'+ I'm on at least a 14.9 or 14.8 which is a much bigger pole. Once I have the timing a little better I should start putting up bigger heights. Clearly I'm higher in the air on these poles but harnessing that energy and directing it where I want is the immediate goal.

I'm not happy being under 13' but on the other hand, it's not because I don't have the height. I just need to dial in my jump on these poles. All the best and have a fun day! Thanks for being here! Bubba

Saturday, December 18, 2010

OK Day

I'm sick as a dog with this cold but tried to block it out and jump. Physically I felt good but my head was miserable and I was a little short of breath and dizzy. I cleared 12' 6" / 3.81m as you see below. Starting to come together with the pole timing. I would like to get a practice day in this next week since nothing is hurt or dinged. I'll play it by ear but not jumping was a good plan to this meet.

A couple of jumps here but you can see four clean videos which you can pause and advance frame by frame here - http://www.bubbapv.com/Images/GBury-10/
Heights are 11' 6" (3.51m), 12' (3.66m), 12' 6" (3.81m) & 13' 1/4" (3.97m)

video

Here's is my worst attempt at 13' 1/4" / 3.97m. Missing the top a bit but once I get in a little deeper on that pole I think I will get launched. The poles react very good so I just need to get used to them.

video

Friday, December 17, 2010

Meet Tomorrow

Our indoor meet tomorrow in Granbury, Texas, near Dallas-Fort Worth, is put on by Club Altius. It's a great event and this year will have three runways with the vaulting starting at 8 AM tomorrow and probably will go until about 10 PM. Tonight there is a clinic featuring two Olympians, Erica Bartolina and April Steiner-Bennett. Super girls and athletes.

I started getting a little bit of a cold and through the night was fairly miserable through sinus and throat. I don't feel physically weak so I'm going on the assumption I'll be fine tomorrow.

It's about 4.5 hours driving and we will all see each other at the meet hotel, drop poles at the facility and get some rest. That area of Texas has a few facilities like this that are indoor football training facilities complete with padded AstroTurf. Really an awesome set up to jump at. More from the scene when we get there. Have a great day and thank you for hanging here with me. Bubba

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heading Out Tomorrow

Good stretch day today, got the poles, halfway packed and heading out in the morning. More soon. Bubba

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OUCH!! Maybe!

Yesterday I lifted arms and shoulders and it KILLED. I've just added this back in to protect against injuries as I hit bigger poles. OK strength but ZERO endurance.

And if that is not enough, I carried my guitar amp in its box from the back of Best Buy to my car, over 100 yards, and all night I could feel the throbbing in the glute/hip thing. Hopefully that passes but it certainly woke up the nerve pain.

My physician says I just need to do the stuff I do and ignore it. Last time I did that I was on big poles and it actually jerked the hip free and it was a great relief. Hoping that happens on Saturday.

Today is my road day but I will do sled/hills this afternoon and then get a big stretch in. More soon. Thank you for being here! Bubba

Late Add - This morning I had pretty bad nerve pain putting on my right sock. By the middle of the day I feel pretty normal. Never felt it on my sled/hills. Don't get it but I like it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top of This Ramp Up

Since I had that little groin deal and the glute flare I decided not to jump this week. Two weeks between jump sessions/meets is really no big deal for me as I am real comfortable with my technique. It's more important to feel good and be able to hit bigger poles while not turning a small little ding into something bigger. Because of all of this I got more sled/hill running days in as well as all of my lift sessions. Today was the strongest I have been in a while though I just told a friend yesterday that I was starting to feel beat up. That's about right - 2 to 3 weeks of the grind usually merits a break. I try to time it so my break comes before a meet. Do the meet and start over.

Nothing really new beyond that for today. Hope you have a great one! Bubba

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Busy Weekend

Once a month we do a big mailing project for the company and it is this weekend. Well, what used to be an easy weekend now starts Thursday and ends Monday. It doesn't change my workout schedule but just my ability to communicate much more than the basic.

Don had a good day at practice yesterday, getting on some poles he hasn't been on for two years. It's been a long slow process back for him as several physicians have spent the better part of those two years guessing what is going on with his groin pain. I still think it's a hernia as I have had three. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of stress to make it pop out for the doctor so they don't think it is that. STUPID!! We've all had it, just fix it. Nothing else they have tried has worked either and that would be far cheaper and a quicker recovery than this simple injection followed by a month of nothing. Anyway, the 2007 National Senior Olympics Champion is on the way back up.

We jump at 8 AM next Saturday outside of Dallas. I really like this meet and hope to come in feeling well. Yesterday's 10 X 50m sled/hills felt good and this morning I go lift legs for the last time. Hoping for the best.

Have a great day and thanks so much for your support. You are very important to me!! Bubba

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oooooooooooooppppppssssssssss!!

I missed a day yesterday somehow. It was a very nice garage lift. This morning was 10 X 50m hill/sleds. The only other thing to report is I have a hint of that hip/glute thing again. I think I got it from seated overhead press, but it could be from the way I brake when I sprint. I'll be more careful. It did not affect my ability to run today.

Today we're warm again at 75 but it's supposed to get cold again tonight. This was going to be the first indoor vault day at U of H but they have a meet so it's not available. I'd hate to drive all of that way to be inside on such a nice day, but I think in a week or two we will be thrilled to have the option.

That's it for now. Have a fun day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Stuff

  • Good strong gym lift today and a nice afternoon to go watch the kids.

  • Need to get my hotel for next Friday before the Granbury meet.

  • Ray Boyd and his daughter, Alana, from Australia are visiting and may come out on Saturday morning to vault. Ray was a two time Olympic Vaulter and three time Commonwealth Games Champion. His daughter is Australia's best vaulter. Looking forward to seeing them.

  • Got a new guitar ordered today. Talking with Rusty I'm a little limited with my "beginner" one so I stepped up a notch to an Ibanez RGD2120Z Prestige. Swamped on work stuff but thanks for being here today and every day! Bubba

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Cold Travel Day

No workout today. Decided not to skip this rotation as I won't vault again until Granbury next week. More important to feel fast and powerful on the runway than to get in a jump day with a slightly tender groin. Leave it alone. Sled/hills don't hurt it so let's run!! Have a great day!! Bubba

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Insights

I've read a few things this week that really apply. The first is that Australian Olympic and World Champion, Steve Hooker says he hasn't been vaulting, not because he is hurt, but because he wants to start the year completely healthy. If that means missing some meets then fine. I missed all of last year's outdoor meets for that very reason. I wasn't hurt but needed to get everything well and I did. My goal was to be able to have all practices on 14' 1" (4.30m) poles and I never got close - 10%. This year so far, I have been only on 14' 1" or 14' 7" (4.45m) poles for the past nearly three months, so the plan is working. Now if I can just not get hurt.

That is the other thing I've been thinking about. My training is a series of ramp ups and ramp downs. I train very consistently until I start to feel really run down (3-4 weeks) and then I skip a rotation (3 days of training) as a phase break. For a meet I miss another rotation so that brings me back to fresh. Instead of starting where I left off on my lifting/bars/running, I ramp back up again. At least so far this is proving to be an effective way to manage my training load and how I feel.

Finally I am not really running on the runway. I'm trying to come in well under control and load the pole with my body and swing. As a result I'm not having the number of leg issues yet I'm on much bigger poles - 15.7 in Sydney and a 14.8 so far this year. All of these things are, so far, knock on wood, allowing me to creep forward. I just need to keep creeping and not get in a hurry. It's much better than a long series of dings, and it has me at a much higher consistent level of training.

Have a great day and thanks for being here with me. it really does help a lot! Bubba

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Day Late This Week

Since I'm jumping one day a week during this streak of meets I will only do one rotation of all other training components. Because of that I skipped yesterday and will run a day late which I am fine with. So I lifted legs today and will run sled Wedenesday in order to feel good again on Saturday. After Reno I've got five weeks to national indoors and will ramp back up to twice a week. Everything feels good with no hint of the groin thing. I will remain cautious. Have a great day! Bubba

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Got a Pole Back

Well, Kris jumped on my "twister" pole I gave him yesterday and in five jumps it never twisted once. This means that I was holding it slightly off center on the one jump I took on it. He insists that I take it back in my series because it is such a great feeling pole. This simplifies my series because I can either stay at 12 steps on that pole, or move back a stride to the two biggest poles. I like to have the option.

My right groin is pretty sore today. Remember it bothered me a little after the last meet? That said, it is not injured and did not bother me during or after the meet yesterday. I'll go through my regular training this week and keep an eye on it but don't expect it to be an issue. It's more the result of a continued raise in pole size and intensity that my body is trying to adapt to. Saturday at the University of Houston (U of H) I will warm up and if I feel it at all I will stop and wait for the meet the following weekend.

Have a great Sunday and thanks for being here with me! Bubba

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Busy Days & A Nice First Meet

LATE ADD - On my first jump of the meet I got about six steps down the runway before I realized I still had my ankle weights on. Pretty funny. I took them off and made it but it created a little laughter and comments. I wear ankle weights between jumps because it helps me warm up more quickly after sitting around.

REPORT - Swamped on Thursday as Nancy and I went to Kris' place early Friday to have all of my poles flexed. I started with nine 14' 7"/4.45m poles, cut 5.5"/13 cm off of the bottom, and some more cut from the top so they don't hit the lower crossbars. At the end of today I have a six pole series I can count on. I gave three to Kris. Why?

When flexing the poles we found out that for the most part we only lost .1 flex points by the 3.5" cut I made last weekend. Upon re-flexing we found that two poles were identical with one being skinny and one being fat, so I gave Kris the fat one. On the top end of the scale, my biggest pole proved not only too short when cut, but it too was identical in flex to my 2nd biggest ones, so I also gave that to Kris. Down to seven poles.

At the meet today we had 16 vaulters in my division and I got 3rd overall. The second oldest guy was a college freshman so I was easily three times older than most of the field. The opening height was to be 10' 2"(3.17m) but a girl needed it start a foot lower. It was about an hour before I came in at 11' 8" 1/4 (3.57m). I made that easy on my first jump on pole #1/15.8, from 10 steps. Moved up to the 15.4 and made 12' 2 1/4"(3.72m) from the same run. Moved to 12 steps and the 15.1 and made 12' 8 1/4" (3.87m) on the first also. From the same run at 13' 2 1/2" (4.02m), I had a really good jump and the bar almost stayed up. The pole felt a bit too small so I moved up to the 14.9 and had a huge jump but brushed it on the way up. I then moved to the 14.8 for my 3rd attempt and it twisted in my hand a little at take off. I had easy height but once it twisted I lost my control a little on the top and came down on it. Since it is only .1 bigger than the one before it I gave that one to Kris also. And now there are six poles.

Considering I haven't ever jumped in a meet on any of these poles, and I vaulted on six of them today, I feel really good about where things are. Quick poles with much bigger height. I have two bigger poles I have yet to jump on and I'm about to go to a few places that are great to jump at. In the end I gave Kris back three poles which will be trade credit should I need one more bigger pole to top my series. No lose situation.

I'm tired but pleased with the progress. The more I can jump on these poles the better I will have the timing and should get more height out of each one. For tonight, I'm not hurt and I feel positive about where things are going. In Australia at Worlds I was on a 15.7 and today I was on a 14.8 - that is a MUCH bigger pole from the same run. Looking for bigger things but I will remain cautious with my body.

Thanks for hanging in here with me and sorry I was without my computer for a couple of days. have a nice Saturday night! Bubba

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Travel Day

Heading out pretty soon but will come back this afternoon and do 6 X 50m hill/sleds and have a long stretch. I told Nancy that I already felt pretty good by Monday/Tuesday so that's a good sign. Normally I'm just starting to come around on Thursday. I'm cautiously optimistic I can move through some bigger poles and put up a decent jump at Saturday's meet. Have a fun day! Bubba