Friday, July 6, 2012

Going Underground!!

I've made a decision that I'm going underground with my blog as of Monday.  I have two major championships next year and more than a few people have told me I need to stop posting the details of my training, progress and/or lack of.  I'm not clear on the details yet except that it will be up by Sunday night and this one will stop.  I have a lot of new things that are underway and my insights on what's going on need to be kept private.

Invitation Only!!
If you are a reader or follower of this blog and would like to continue on this journey with me, please email me at polevaulter@msn.com and I will give you the new link.  I can't think of anyone I would refuse, especially my vaulting buddies, Kirk, Dan, etc.  I'll explain my reasoning on the new blog.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Jeff Beck's, "I'm Going Down" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmzv5xJ4wE4

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Box!!


Coach Craig Dunn at Dana Hills High School called today to say that the new plant box has been installed. We have two but he had a new one installed so that the pit would not hang over onto the football field and therefore can stay out all year long!! YES!! Thanks Coach!!

Coach Dunn was an outstanding distance runner at DHHS when he decided he wanted to try the pole vault. He jumped 10' 6" (3.20m) his first day and 13' 6" (4.12m) by the end of the year. In college he jumped 15' 1" (4.60m). Pretty special considering he is maybe 5' 6" tall.

NOW, as an often recognized and awarded coach at the high school where he competed, he has left a mark in another way. If you Google Earth Dana Hills High School you will see that he has two PV runways in the end zone curve of the track. What makes this special is that they are not in the crappy wind direction, but rather run diagonally so we always have a tailwind. He told the district when they balked that it took up the same amount of room and they would still have room for the high jump. As the head coach he would quit if they said no.

Long story short, I'm thrilled and honored to be allowed to help out in a program with a rich history and three great vault coaches already! Thank you!! Bubba

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Making Progress Little by Little!!

Today was another "jump day" where the kids were coming out. I meant to get there a little earlier but decided that if I jumped with the kids, I would jump less and probably not make my leg any worse. If you remember, I'm going on the assumption that I can very slowly ramp up vaulting activity. So far that seems to be working. Since my birthday 10 days ago, this was my 4th day to vault. I took the same three vaults, on the same pole from the same run, BUT, today was the first day that I felt like I could have safely taken a few more jumps before stopping. Next time I will start a bit earlier and try to get five jumps.

The two biggest differences right now are that I'm not as sore from jumping as I was after the first couple of days, and I am also doing my most of other training components along with vaulting. That said, I'm out of town Thursday and Friday so that means my next practice will also be a vault day.

If I can get past the next two weeks getting in a few more jumps in, then I can start thinking about moving up poles a bit or moving my run back. IF I can get through July on all of my 4m/13' 1", poles then August I should be able to start in on my 4.30m/14' 1" poles.  The difference then will be obvious as my practice start height will be 12’ (3.66m) instead of 10’ (3.05m).

Not massive improvement but it's some momentum I can build off of. Jumping four times in 10 days is what I'm looking for. Have a great holiday and thanks for your support. Bubba

I Can See For Miles, by The Who - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hje28F-IhLo&feature=related

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mission Impossible

Next year is a big year for me so now is when I try to learn to hold my body together. Yesterday my leg was very sore and today it's barely noticeable. I don't know what I consider to be the "Mission Impossible; being healthy continuously or getting a medal in my two World Championship competitions. I need them all to happen. Message to self - practice what you preach.

Down to 173.4 this morning. Need to be no higher than 171. Getting closer. That certainly helps. For every 1 lb (1/2kg) you have your body has 40 lbs. more impact just walking and up to 400 lbs. running.

Got up at 4 AM to take my niece to the airport. Lifted when I got home at 6. Now off to watch the kids practice. Nap needed. Have a great day! Bubba

Limp Bizkit's theme from the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq9R65fXDKQ 
My Mission Impossible 2 is Italy/Brazil.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Touch Too Much!!


Always looking for this!

Hard double leg lift this morning with my garage squats and then my gym machines with high and low bars. My leg is pretty sore but doesn't feel injured. I DID jump three days out of seven (YEAH!!) with last Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. Probably a touch too much. I'm happy.

I'll stay after it and hope to keep getting two jump sessions a week and try not to get hurt. Even if I only get 3-5 jumps before I stop that will be progress. I'm excited at that prospect; probably a touch too much!! ;-)

Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

AC/DC's, "Touch Too Much" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5soFkGX250&feature=related

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunburn Confirmed! YES!!


It didn't take long or many jumps for me to confirm my hopes that my little pain during my last vault session was in fact a little adhesion breaking free, or the remaining "sunburn". You may remember my MD says that when you do too much too soon you can expect to need a longer break before resuming. He compared it to the sunburn you get on the first day of vacation and how you have to go back out slowly after that. He was right about this one - thankfully.

Rather than wait for tomorrow, I decided to take a few jumps with the kids today. I figure I'm in LA on business Tuesday so I need to lift tomorrow and Monday. Also I needed to show them that you CAN complete a full vault on a bending pole from 4 steps (23'/7m for me).

I took only three jumps because I needed to coach more than jump, but in those three jumps I felt like I will be able to move forward and slowly add reps. I made 10' (3.05m), 10' 6" (3.20m) and 11' (3.35m) easily and stopped with no new pain or irritations.

YES!! RELIEF!! I quit while I was ahead and next time maybe I get 4-5 jumps. But at least I'm jumping!! Thanks for being here and have a great day! Bubba

John Mayer - "Waiting on the World to Change" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBIxScJ5rlY

Friday, June 29, 2012

And a 1, and a 2 and a 3!!

HERE is a great take off!!  Click to enlarge.
As Lawrence Welk used to conduct and Jack LaLane used to instruct, this count means basically "here we go, try and keep up". That's pretty much my story. I'm taking yesterday, today and tomorrow off (1,2,3) in order to come out fresh Sunday and see if my leg is dinged or "sunburned". Based on how it feels today it's sunburned because the hot spot has diminished a lot. As mentioned yesterday, it really doesn't matter as I will continue my regular plan to the point that I feel anything and then I'll stop.

Several years ago when learning this drill - http://www.bubbapv.com/Pages/drill.htm I overdid it by trying to see how high I could grip on a non-bending pole. The result was that when my leg snapped straight it caused a hyperextension of my left knee that sent a signal to the nerve saying I was about to hurt my hamstring; hence my white knee brace in every video. I screwed around with this thing for several months treating it like a hamstring injury and it never was. What I finally decided to do was to jump on a really tiny pole until I felt it and then stop. After two weeks I could jump on my regular poles and not feel it at all. Now I had tried this earlier but I tried to use big poles from the start rather than ramp up so that triggered the nerve. Anyway, my under leg ding thing I think will respond the same way. Keep it light and easy and stop when I feel it. I should be able to do a little more each time f that is the answer. Hey, it worked before Reno this year for the same injury.

Our Olympic team was set yesterday with a series of very pedestrian vaults due partly to bad weather. Fortunately there will probably be rain in London so I guess that is good prep work. Our girls also had unremarkable performances. Now this doesn't take away from the joy and pride of making the Olympic team, but overall as a country we are now far from the dominant force who won the silver and bronze in 2000 and 2004 with four different vaulters. On the girls side, Stacy won the gold in the first ever vault in gold medal in 2000, and Jenn got the silver last time.


At this point the only athlete who can compete at the 5.90m (19' 4 1/2") mark is the winner Brad Walker, who jumped a foot below his AR to make the team. No one in the world fears the Americans. Why? I think there is too much emphasis on the grip and size of pole and not enough time spent on technical improvements. When is the last time you saw a take off like the girl above and I have never heard of her.  Of course soon we all will know her because with this type of technique she WILL improve. 

I see a lot of athletes saving jumps out of bad to average positions rather than making jumps with technical prowess and awareness. My 2 cents. Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Robin Trower's, "Too Rolling Stoned" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBoq8aoWB4E Working on this song on guitar.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today I Know Less!!

The mystery continues as my leg felt pretty good today. I've pretty much decided that I don't care. Since my heel doesn't hurt anymore I'll do my two days of shorter sprints at a low level and do my hard hill on my bike two days. On the run days I'll do my heavy pole drills and get on the runway until I get a hint I may not be OK and then stop.

My guess is that my body will let me get a little further each week since this has worked on other issues before. My current feeling is that my touch of pain yesterday was an adhesion breaking loose or what my orthopedic surgeon calls "sunburn". That means if you haven't done something for a while and get it sore, you can't go right back out and do it again. I'll go with that for now.

Today is the 2nd day I have been under 175. It's taken me a month to get back to there. I never got over 180 but I felt like crap. My metabolism is speeding up again plus I'm used to the training enough that I'm not always starving. If I can get back in the 170 range over the next couple of weeks I may just start feeling like an athlete again. Have a great night and thanks for caring! Bubba

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Don't Know Day!!


I went out to vault this morning and noticed that the underside of my right leg was sore. I feel this from time to time but figure it's no big deal. I'm probably just sore from jumping on Sunday and then today. Nevertheless I stuck with my plan to use my first 4m pole from 4 steps. I made 11' (3.35m) but felt my leg a little on that last take off. I can only hope it is an adhesion or just general soreness and will be gone when I go out on Sunday.

In any case I'll just go out and see how far it lets me go and then stop if I feel it. I did this exact same thing before Reno and it slowly went away. Here’s to high hopes. If not then I won't jump for 8 weeks or so. It really is Russian roulette right now but I feel a bit more like 55/45 or 60/40 that it will be OK because this is what happened before Reno. Give me a break - it's been a couple of days short of four weeks. It SHOULD be better. Have a great day! Bubba

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Recognize This!


Today when I went to lift I felt a little stiff and pretty beat up. Since I'm going to try and vault a little tomorrow morning I cut my lifts in half but completed my stretching. My gut tells me that since I am a pole vaulter that I should be ready to vault on vault days, even if I don't feel perfect. For that reason, I'll cut things out that might interfere with that goal. We will see tomorrow if that really works. Have a great day and thanks for being here. Bubba

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Day!!

I did a double lift today because I'm going to jump again on Wednesday rather than Thursday.  Got family coming to town so Thursday is out.  Because the kids will be jumping I'll take my 4m/16.3 for my 4 step run and my 14.7 for my 6 step run.  I think that's pretty safe.  Imagine that; jumping twice a week for fun!!  Yahooooo!!  More soon.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birthday Vault Session!!

Anatomy of my many dings - ;-)

I made a random decision last night that I would blow off my lifting today and instead go out and do a low level vaulting session to celebrate my 59th birthday. I reasoned that since I had done a couple of simple demonstrations for the kids that I could use their 1360 and 1370 and play around a little.

Since I lifted major legs Friday and secondary leg lifts yesterday, I wasn't exactly sharp on the runway. In fact I felt super awkward until I got some rhythm going. I even missed the box on my first take off from 4 steps. My mind said I was at the box but my body didn't run fast enough to get me there. Not only that, I missed it again later with the bar up. Fortunately I was holding low and was able to bail out safely but DANG: not much of a confidence booster.

So disturbed was I by this lack of snap and depth perception that I went inside to get the extenders and put the bar at 6'6 " (2m). Why? One jump I'm off the back of the pit and the next one I'm not getting in enough to turn up and complete the jump. Not sounding too promising huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Moving on, I put the bar up at 6'6" and made it by 3' (1m), took down the extenders and moved the bar to 9' 6" (2.90m), the lowest notch. I made that two times and went to 10' (3.05m) and made that twice. The 1360/18.3 was feeling real little from 4 steps so I moved back to 6 steps (33' - 10m) and attempted 10' 6" (3.20m) on the 1370/15.6. I missed the box on the first jump. So much for confidence. All of the sudden I felt relaxed and in control of what I was trying to do technically instead of paying attention to the bar. I made 10' 6" twice and then made 11' (3.35m) twice, very easily on the second.

So my low level birthday vault yielded 9 bar clearances and two times where I missed the box completely and hit the back bun of the pit. All of this said, it was fun and nothing hurt. Yahooooooooooo!!

Have a great day and thanks for your support! Bubba

Living Colour's - Cult of Personality, which I'm trying to learn on the guitar tonight
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xxgRUyzgs0

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beautiful Saturday!!

I went out with the kids this morning as they had their first meet from 2,4 & 6 steps.  Fun to see them getting a few things down and having them transfer over as their run becomes "longer".  I did a few little demonstration take offs for some new girls, just jogging in on a 1360 that was way too small.  Had a great gym/bar session before we met at 8:30 AM.

News - The Olympic Trials PV for the women was rained out last night so they will have all 26 girls vault in the final tomorrow.  That will be really strange since they were looking for a field of 12-16.  It's really tough on the top girls who now have to sit around longer.  The good news is that they have moved the start time up to 1 PM Pacific instead of 5 PM.

Along those same lines, USATF decided not to accept a few qualifying marks from the last weekend before the Trials.  Then changed their mind about two of the girls but not the other two.  Then one of the two was told not to come, but did and was going to be allowed to jump but it was rained out.  The one girl left at home appears on the start list for the final even though they told her not to come, because she did not show up for prelims, which were rained out.  My guess is that she's on her way.  We had a couple of Facebook exchanges today because I posted that I saw her on the start list.  She's like, "HUH?  WHERE?".  Right there on the USATF website.  My guess is that she is in the air as we speak.  Good luck to them all!!

Tomorrow I turn 59 so I'm looking around for the "Single Age" world and American record for 59.  We have 55-59 records but there are also single age records.  The single age WR for 58 was 4m (13' 1 1/2") and the AR was 13' 1".  I made 13' in Reno and just didn't really have much interest in pursuing those records as getting more fit was my goal for this year.

I'm in a good place with a good routine where I continue to gain momentum and even look forward to training each morning.  I feel like I'm back in my element.  In all likelyhood I will fart around and vault with the kids a little next Thursday as that will be just two days shy of four weeks since I ALMOST, but didn't, ding my leg again.  Should be fun.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Friday, June 22, 2012

Two Worlds Apart - One Date!


Next year as you know I will be competing in two types of World Championships in two different worlds.  In Torino, Italy in August I will compete in the World Masters Games (Olympics - 28 sports), and in October I will be in Porto Alegre, Brazil for World Masters Atheletics (Track & Field Only).  I got a huge surprise today when I was notified that the schedule for Brazil is already up and that I will vault on October 19, 2013.  Yahoooooooo!!

As hoped and predicted I had minimal heel pain this morning and enjoyed another good and hard lifting session.  Looking forward to my July 8, vault start date!!

Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Van Halen's Best of Both Worlds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfQDn5BU0bQ

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Foot Issue?!

I mentioned a while back that my left heel was a little sore after a long hard running session.  Last week it was better on Sunday and today it wasn't bad when I was running.  Later in the day though I got up and it hurt.  I took an antiinflammatory and will stick to shorter running, which is feeling very good.  I'll start jumping on the Sunday after the 4th of July.  I feel very confdent that all of my body parts will be 100% by then.  From tme to time I've gotten this little heel pain deal and was quickly able to dispose of it.  Why? Because about 15 years ago I did not and screwed it up so bad I actually popped the tendon under there.  SO, like my Achilles, after two surgeries, I've pretty much got it dialed in how to minimize the issue.  Have a great day and thanks for following this journey!  Bubba

System of a Down - Aerials - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-iepu3EtyE

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back From Denver & Ready!!

I got this photo sent to me yesterday by Denver orthopedic surgeon, Mike Hewitt.  Mike was the very first kid I coached at UC Irvine back in 1989. He took this at a park near his house last night after we got together for the first time in 12 years!!

Good work week so far so back to work tomorrow.  Looking forward to it!!  Bubba

Sunday, June 17, 2012

No Man's Land is OK!?

I ran my speed endurance section today with 3X200m, 2X150m and 1X100m and felt pretty good.  One week ago I flared up my heel just a little doing the full warm up and speed session of my workout.  So it took me 8 days to run one rotation.  I'm being cautious but that's what I mean by "No Man's Land".  Who knows how long it will take me to get to the point of two speed sessions and two speed endurance sessions per week?  What I do know is that I will not jump until then. 

Both speed and speed endurance programs are 14 weeks and I won't advance from week one until I can hit all four rotations.  Sure, I can vault low level today but that's not what I'm after.  I MUST raise my running level before starting.  These aren't tough workouts but my body is not used to them at all, which I think is a great sign.

Enjoy Father's Day for all who that applies to!  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

UFO - "Rock Bottom" -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpUsULr_uLw

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Baby Steps!!

Please click to enlarge
I went out with the Dana Hills kids this morning for our third session this week.  It came to the point it was easier to demonstrate than to explain, so I did some little take offs without incident - thankfully.  I also just got a message and a photo from My friend Phil Bisson of Kirk Bentz's winning jump today at the Southern California Masters Championships at 12' 6" (3.81m).  My gut feeling is that I absolutely would have gotten injured had I went so I'm glad I passed.  I learned a couple of years ago when I drove three hours to the San Marcos River Vault that spectating was not for me.  Sure I like to go watch a good meet but not when I'm hurt.  It reminds me of watching World Indoors in 2010 in Canada.  I'm glad my friends did well but it sucked for me.

Yesterday I went to watch the new movie, "Rock of Ages" with Tom Cruise.  Except for that whole "musical aspect", Tom Cruise was outstanding.  Here he is singing Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuxdZqZ3egE

A word about my music.  I have heard a few times that my varied music tastes don't seem like something I would listen to.  My response is that I coach kids and some of their music appeals to me as far as beat and drive.  All I know is that when I'm grinding through a tough workout I'm not dialing up the Carpenters or John Denver.  Admittedly when I go to look for the video for a song that drove me that day, I'm sometimes a little shocked by the video.  My only connection is that when I was suffering and wanted to quit, they got me through.  Have a great day and thanks for following my journey!  Bubba

PS - Late Add - Today I finally have arrived.  After 14 years at UC Irvine and 9 years at The Wooldands High School, today I finally got a bathroom key to a stadium where I coach. Old guy thing.  ;-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Paradise or Pair of Dice?

When I chose to move back to Southern California I had a huge project to work on.  Though I have plenty to do here that project is just coming out of some bureaucratic delays. It will be better than was anticipated, but it had to make some changes to position itself to move forward more effectively.  In the interim I got a couple of huge deals in Denver that have settled into being there Monday/Tuesday every other week.  Financially I'm in the same place I expected to be, but from a different source.  Now the one deal I came here for will come online and the upside is even greater. 

ALL of this was a calculated gamble to make the move, but I can do what I do no matter where I live.  I lived in Texas and do deals in 49 states, mostly with people I've never met.  I figured even if I had no business here I could still financially make the move so why not go for it.  The Beverly Hills deal was as much of an excuse as an opportunity and I'm glad I took it.  I love living in paradise but it took a roll of the dice to make it happen.  Well, kind of.

That's how I feel about my training right now.  Tomorrow is the Southern California Masters Championships and I won't jump.  My leg is feeling great but that whole "insanity" definition keeps going through my head and it says NO!!  Insanity is expecting a different result by doing the same things.  So I won't.

I'm in a comfortable position right now in that I feel totally confident in my plan for this/next year and feel no need to rush through certain parts to get to other parts.  If I have learned anything it is that you need to get the most out of every level before you move on.  Like my running - I have run one day this week when normally I will run four.  So I won't move to week #2 of my 14 week running program until I complete a full week one.  It may take me a few weeks to ramp up to that, and that's cool.  Until I can do that it makes no sense to vault, but doing big pole drills right now is perfect. 

It's JUNE and my big meets are in August and October of NEXT year.  I'm not interested in a meet in a meet until Reno in January.  So for the moment, I'm at peace with being "early for next year".  Currently time and health are on my side.  I'll take that and be grateful as well all know moments like this are fleeting. Thanks for being here!  Bubba

"Hold on Loosely" by 38 Special
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJtf7R_oVaw

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Off Day!!

Well, not really.  I'm supposed to run speed endurance, 3X200m, 2X150m and 1X100M.  I chose not to because I want my heel flare completely gone before I run on Sunday.  This Sunday I will do exactly what I did last Sunday and then go to Denver for M-W.  The heel feels much better than a few days ago and I'm sure it will be fine.  That said, I have had plantar fascitis before and you don't risk it; so I won't.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Of Ruts & Death!!

I do a lot of thinking these days while training.  It's kind of odd because I usually just get lost in my sessions like long distance runners or cyclists do.  I think I'm adjusting to my new life, which is really the old life that I missed; consistent training.  When you've worked as hard as I did and lost some fitness it's hard to regain the momentum necessary enough to sustain an effort to get it back.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very strong and very fast for me, but I'm fragile to a greater degree because I have only "maintained" rather than advanced my fitness.  SO, here are my random thoughts.

It has many times been said that three letters in the word "routine" are "rut", and three letters in the word "diet" are die".  Unfortunately you need some of both of these in order to gain momentum.  On the other hand, a friend used to tell me to be selective in my training thresholds with this reasoning; you can begin picking up a calf on the day it is born, and for training you can go out and pick it up every day - for awhile.  At some point you can't pick up that cow so why kill yourself and kill the fun of the process?

Along these lines, I used to time every running rep and tried to PR in some lift each day whether it was a PR for a 6 rep, a 3 rep, or whatever.  I got better real quick but I dreaded my workouts after awhile and begin getting hurt all of the time.  Now I just go with what my body gives me,  I ignore the weak mind but listen carefully to the weak body.

Today I'm Mike Myers as the "Fat Bastid", but I'm starting to feel like an athlete again.  That feeling will get me over the threshold of fighting myself to be consistent.  It also makes me more careful about what I eat. 

The moral of today's story is that I have found that without a routine and diet in the initial stages, that I will quickly get in a rut and die athletically while diffusing my internal spirit to get better.  In short - I hate myself!!  When you're feeling fat and out of shape it's easy to continue the same because you can't get it in gear to get moving all of the time.  When you start to get fit you say you're never going back. to fat  I can't wait to say that again, but unfortunately that part is required - the wait.

Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Today's music is Heart's, "Crazy on You", which I am working on with my guitar.  Bubba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpNqB4dnT4

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stopping the Slide

There is no fountain of youth nor do we seek it.  What we are really trying to do is to stop the slide.  I will be 59 in less than two weeks so I think about this stuff.  I look a lot more forward to turning 60 and being the youngest person in my age group, then I do 59 and being the oldest.  So how do I get through this when my body and mind say NO?!

Clearly if I jump 12' (3.66m) every year until I die then I improved every year.  Of course that won't happen as age assures that your capacities will be diminished.  Defying age in this manner "feels" like a fountain of youth to us othe the downswing on our abilities.  And THAT is why I continue the grind in a battle I know I will eventually lose.  The longer I can stay the same the longer I can improve.  With that said I have cleared 13' (3.97m) or higher since I've been 55, but I'm trying to keep it real.

So the longer I can hold my baseline jump to 12' from 6 steps, the more likely I can remain at that height even if it requires 12 steps.  To do this I must have certain lifting, running and bars benchmarks.  It's not rocket science but it works. 

Have a great day and thanks for caring enough to follow this foolhardy journey of an old man.  I see a lot of myself in this superhero from days gone by - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPU8OAjjS4k in "Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down.  Enjoy and step up to the starting line and march with me!!  Bubba

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lost My Fitness Edge

It's been said a million times that you can't hold your peak too long and that at some point you have to cycle down and ramp up all over again if you're ever going to find the next level.  You can't just continue and expect to grow from the top.  The base must be revisited.

I think this has been me since just before I moved.  I needed to be within striking distance to jump high at any point and as a result I had good residual strength and speed but my base had completely disappeared.  For example, yesterday I did what used to be my warm up and it not only felt like an endurance workout, but made my feet sore from all of the running.  I shouldn't be surprised that I keep getting these little dings.  So yesterday I began the complete regroup.  I'm sure it will take me a goo 3-4 months before I am in "worthy" physical condition again but that's where I need to go. 

My metabolism has slowed to point it's a struggle to control my weight so it's back to the grind of base work.  I'm actually relieved.  My next meet on my horizon is Reno, in January 2013.  And THAT is what it takes to get to "Higher Ground" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gs2o5T7oN8  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Poles Ready - Now Start Over



It's a long way to the top and today I start at the bottom. 

I did my first easy running today and it felt fine but strange.  I have run hills and sleds for so long that running on my own on flat ground felt foreign, but I think it's time to go back to basics and ramp back up.  Of course no sooner than I thought that than I saw a video of Brad Walker running sleds at the Olympic Training Center.  Of course he has the Olympic Trials in Two weeks. 

In fact, in two weeks I turn 59 which is a HUGE reminder that I have a busy year ahead if I want to advance my running levels enough to grip the 13' 10" (4.22m) I have taped on the biggest pole.  I remember just before Jeff Hartwig really broke out we talked and he had just finished a long stretch of power lifting and sled running.  He had a sled he called a dragster that had bungees that pulled him down while the weight also held him back.  He told me at that time he was transitioning to speed.  So here I go.  Today is speed and tomorrow is speed endurance followed by bike on the 3rd day - now repeat.  And lift on those days as well.
The new poles are taped and ready.  So I need to be.
They are 14' 1 1/4" (4.30m) 165 (75kg) to 187 (85kg) grips taped from 12' 8" (3.76m) to 13' 10" (4.22m).  BTW - I cut them off 2" (5cm) above my max grip so they don't hit the bar as I jump with my standards all of the way back.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

AC/DC - "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll)" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1iR2Wi3u5o

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm a Tortured Man!!


OK so I just wrote this and lost it.  That's always fun.  Bottom line?  It's been a week since my ding and I'll start training again tomorrow.  Absolutely HATE not training or vaulting as I'm not good at doing nothing to advance my efforts.  I did this to myself because I didn't vault in practice and my body can't tolerate my new speed and strength on big poles without a vault training ramp up.  Don't mind learning lessons but detest re-learning them.  Thanks for being here.  I'm taping up my poles today and will have some more thoughts tomorrow.  Bubba

From Howard Stern's movie, "Private Parts", he performs "I'm a Tortured Man".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XsZUtxAX9U

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stuck!!

Please click to enlarge

Contrary to what this photo implies, I DO know what I am doing but only because I have done it wrong too many times.  This under leg thing needs to be left totally alone for two weeks.  Improvement is extremely rapid if I do that, so as much as I hate it, that's the story.  There are some things I can ramp back up after tomorrow but any type of running or direct lifting trauma only delays the progress.  So I guess for right now I'm stuck in park.

Waiting to hear back on a couple of strategy issues about my training but until then I'll measure grips and tape the new poles.  It's good to at least be doing something "vaulty" as my buddy Mike Soule says.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Since we're making funny faces, here is the Digital Underground in the "Humpty Dance" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj9_yW8tZxs

Thursday, June 7, 2012

NEW POLES!!!

4.30m/14' 1 1/4" - 16.7, 16.1, 15.4, 15.0, 14.5, 14.1, 13.7 (171.6 - 188.4).  YEAH!!!  NOW GET WELL!!  Bubba

PS - I'm very close to vaulting only for training for a little bit until I start to feel beat down and then I'll mix in some other training.  I want to come up through all of my poles until I get on to my smaller 14' 1"s and then hit a regular training pattern.  Should be a fun 2-3 weeks.  NOW, when to start?  When am I healthy enough for a tiny low level session?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Enlightened!!

I woke up this morning with my solution clear in my mind.  As I worked through the details of how I would implement my revised plan, I realized it was almost the exact same program I used in 2009, except I'm starting at a much higher level as I move into it.

The plan is simple; I need to jump two days a week because I am a pole vaulter.  I can't condition the rest of my body and not condition the event.  That would be like going to weightlifting events with no practice and only attempting to max for the contests.  My two days will be Sunday/Thursday because it doesn't matter if I'm traveling or not because I am always home on these days.  The main rule is to jump two days no matter what pole I can use.

On the jump days I will lift legs because that gives me the best chance to feel fresh again before the next jump session.  The next day will be upper and bike.  I've decided that if I ride the brutal hill in front of my house while remaining seated on the bike, it will directly engage the underside of my legs much better that lunges of bench steps ups.  Normally I stand on the pedals on the difficult parts but now I will sit.  I can feel that pain right now just thinking about it.  It's going to work and it's going to suck but it's going to be the solution.

I used to tell my elite athletes that it takes about 2-3 weeks of training to adjust so that you could still jump at a pretty high level no matter what other training you are doing in conjunction with your vaulting.  Well vaulting comes first so I will slowly ramp up both the lifting running and vaulting.  The tail no longer wags the dog.  My other training now circles my vaulting efforts and goals. 

I'll start Thursday at a very low level from two steps and enjoy the process.  As for my old program, which I am very thankful for because it got me to such a higher physical level, it will now take a back seat until I can ramp it up around my vaulting.  It's in the rear view mirror and will soon again become my "partner in progress". 

Thanks for your support and encouragement.  I met a great guy in the M75 group yesterday who reads this blog.  His words are so true as I worked through yesterday's disappointment - "It's all about the process".  Ain't it the truth Brutha!  Bubba

The Guess Who - "No Time Left For You" - the seldom heard long version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqeSUAlI5uI

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DAMMIT!!! Back to the Drawing Board

Please click to enlarge - this is me today!!
Enough with the painful lessons.  Today I found out the hard way that I can't get my body to a new physical level and then think I can apply that to a vault without ramping up through my poles.  In poor wind conditions my poles were surprisingly too small from the runs I normally try to hit them from.  Good news. 

BAD news is I had to withdraw before my last attempt at 12' 6" (3.81m) because I was about to flare the underside of my right leg.  Good news - I didn't flare it, but one more jump would have.  YES - my right leg, NOT the left one that I did the same thing on in Texas just five weeks ago.  The right one; the one I originally flared in November or 2010. 

Of course I've had lots of high level jumps without this weird little injury but it is because I ramped up my jumps through all of my smaller poles over a few weeks, rather than just slamming my foot on the ground right before take off with no preconditioning of the area.  So much for thinking my lunges, bench step ups and bike would do this alone.  My last 2-3 steps to takeoff have become so powerful relative to my body's ability to withstand it, that I'm assured this will continue to flare this area unless I jump more.

This is a delicate balance because I want to keep advancing physically for speed and power.  I'm super pleased with that progress except for the fact that today I noticed both lower foot and ankles had pain and stiffness from too many stadium ramps on concrete.  Apparently doing them every other day for 11 days is too much.  When I backed off to every third day it was better.  I've got to now find that balance as well.

My very best year of vaulting was 1997 as I prepared for the World Championship in South Africa.  I vaulted two days followed by two days of grass strides and sprint drills.  That's all!  Not a single weight lifted, not a single bar exercise.  Vault and recovery runs.  I'm just too afraid to do that because I can't afford to lose the speed and strength I have built.  I guess I could just vault three days one week, two the next and one the next with no lift/run rotations in week 1, one rotation in week 2, and two rotations in week 3.  But that wouldn't jive with my Denver travel which is every other week.

What I do know is that I have to get back to jumping more if for nothing else then to fix some technical breakdowns as well a get my legs in pole vault run conditioning.  I'll work on that and report back here.  Thanks for your support.  Here's my jump at 12' (3.66m).  Good news, plenty of height on my smallest pole from 10 steps (53').  That is the only getting me through this physical setback tonight.  Bailed out really early because the pole was too small.  Jumps at 12' 6" were too stupid to keep as they were both blow throughs from the same run.
video
video
Just above is actually my first and best jump of the day.  At 12' (miss), this is why I don't feel horrible about not finishing.  Everything I've worked on is here.  I just need to adjust my training for my legs.
Bon Jovi - "Wanted Dead or Alive"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRvCvsRp5ho&ob=av2e

Friday, June 1, 2012

Meet Tomorrow!!

YEAH!  I hope!  No idea what to expect.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

Judas Priest - "You've Got Another Thing Coming"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cmefZ8aeZ8&feature=related

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blah Day!

Another stretch day.  Nothing special.  Found out for Italy that we have to have proof of a physical where we had a blood test and EKG, proof of health insurance, our USATF membership card and a passport.  Anything else?  Of course there's still no schedule but at least you can see the competitors as they enter.  Have a great night.  Bubba

John Mayer - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwMfS594qfE

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the Other Hand?!

NO, this is not my hand but sometimes we overlook the obvious like the hand in front of our face; this one with six fingers.  The National Senior Games Association conducts state senior games and our Southern California version is this Saturday at the Pasadena Senior Games.  Senior Games have 18+ sports where as "Athletics" is what the rest of the world calls track & field.  These two associations could care less about each other and truly know very little about the other's plans or intentions.  SO, Saturday morning is the Pasadena Senior Games and Saturday afternoon at UCLA is the USA Track & Field Southern California Championships.  What dummy thought it would be a good idea to have these on the same day?  They probably don't even know - or care.

Today was my sprint drill/skip/stretch day and it felt OK.  Each ramp down before a meet I make the decision to run 4 X hill/stadium ramps or take the easier road and do the short sprint drills.  If my legs feel great then I'll do the stadium ramps because it is too early to feel this good for Saturday.  If I feel OK or so, so, like today, I'll take the easier path. 

Since I haven't touched a pole since Texas on April 29, who knows what will happen or how I will feel.  I should be stronger and faster but I also feel a few pounds heavier.  When you haven't trained really hard for awhile it seems like you gain a little weight at first and then it goes down.  I've had a great training run but felt heavy too.  I'll just take bigger poles I guess and be prepared to grip 2-3" lower.  Have a great evening and thanks for your support!!  Bubba

Always a fun song by Bowling for Soup - "1985" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K38xNqZvBJI&ob=av2n

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easy Stretch Day!

Another beautiful day from my back deck! Please click to enlarge.

Today was a breeze as predicted.  Tomorrow I'll go out and hit some easy strides and sprint drills and get in a long stretch.  I think Thursday I'm going to head down to Chula Vista and watch a meet at the Olympic Training Center at 1 PM.  It's only about 75 minutes.

Bruce Caldwell is shipping four poles today and three tomorrow.  All poles have a special lighter weight and more flexible carbon in them.  He has also lowered the sailpiece 2" (5cm) so I can roll the bigger ones just a little easier.  I saw a couple of shots of them and he has put some stars and stripes automotive finish wrapping on them.  Very cool.  Now I just need to jump well on them.

I was just thinking yesterday that the top three places at the World Masters Games in Tornio, Italy will obliterate the current meet record for age 60 which is either 11' (3.35m) or 11' 6" (3.50m).  Since the top three guys start at or above that it will be interesting.

That's it for this evening.  Just resting my body and clearing my mind.  have a great evening!  Bubba

The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L--cqAI3IUI

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Day In Paradise

Great shot of Renaud Lavillenie of France, the probably 2012 Olympic Champion!

Another picture perfect day at the coast.  I'm sure as soon as I say this twice in a row the fog of "June Gloom" will arrive.  Got my workout in this morning, the one I didn't finish from yesterday.  It felt pretty good and I was able to get a long stretch in.  The rest of the week I'll just tune up.  Tomorrow I'm going to Rick Foster's to get another big plant pole so I have one at home and at the school.  That's it for today.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

ACDC - "Thunderstruck" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukUetw0hAM&ob=av2e

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brain Drain!!

Today I just didn't have it physically, mentally or energy wise.  I ran my 6 X bleacher ramps really well and felt very fast again.  I do these every other day during the grind part and then stretch to every third day as I get closer to a meet.  During the grind I always do 10 reps and as I approach a meet I go 8, then 6 next time and 4 the last.  Today was 6.  All OK there.

Came home to lift and got started but felt zapped.  I lifted bench/lat supersets and bailed on the rest until tomorrow.  Because I skip the last training rotation before a meet and just stretch, it's no problem to throw in the upper body sets I missed today.  Listening to my body.  I'm trying to feel good for meet.  Grinding through is not the answer in this case.

GORGEOUS Southern California day both yesterday and today.  Of course I miss friends and family in Texas but I can handle 59 last night and 68 for the high today.  NOW - I'll try not to eat too much.  Have a wonderful day and thank you for your support!  Bubba

Pat Travers - "Crach & Burn" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-wQsbasU-E

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Stronger

What I have learned as I have been aging is that when I take a 1-2 rotation (3 training day rotation) break after 3-4 straight and hardcore rotations, I am stronger when I come back.  Probably four rotations beats me down a little too much but my schedule for this year is three rotations on and a one rotation break.  Today was day three back of a four day rotation (I have a four followed by a three) and I feel again very strong.  I'm hoping I can use this little step up ladder as a way to continue to rise to the next level.  I still feel like a fat ass but under there somewhere is starting to show signs of maybe an athlete.  ONLY if I stay consistent.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Rush - "Something for Nothing" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r24vgwySvg

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving On!!

Very good lift day.  Just trying to be careful as I bump the weights up considerably.  I was able to do bench step ups with the Olympic bar today so that's a big breakthrough.  Considering tomorrow will be four weeks since my injury and I have a meet in one week, I'm cautiously optimistic.  Body feels good but I need to not let my diet get away from me this weekend.

I've been inquiring on poles to Italy and Brazil and all of the elites say to fly to a big city and then rent a car and drive.  Hmmmmmmm - Rome to Torino is 6.5 hours and Sao Paulo, Brazil to Porto Alegre is 16+ hours.  I think I'll be shipping.

Have a great day and be safe this holiday!  Bubba

Tom Petty's, "Running Down a Dream" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1D3a5eDJIs&ob=av2n

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weird!!

OK I had my normal apathy getting going again today.  Partly because I was brain dead from my Denver trip and partly because when you've had two days off it's hard to make yourself go back to the grind.  BTW - when I go to Denver I get up at 3:15 AM Monday to get ready to get to the airport for the flight.  Tuesday starts a bit later so that's cool, but Wednesday I'm up at 4:15 AM (3:15 AM California time) to come home.  So my body is resting from the workout but my brain is busy and my sleep is limited.  No big deal; it just adds to making it hard to get going.

I go to do my stadium ramps today and I notice my left ankle has some pain when I go to stop.  Actually I had noticed it is sore for the past few days but not during my training before I left for the trip.  So here we go with weird pole vault dings. 

First the good news is that I felt quick and fast so good results from the training and rest.  The left ankle is from trying to slow down to quickly so it's getting a little jammed.  Obviously I can fix that.  What's funny is that you may remember when I was having a jammed right hip from trying to slow down too fast from the sled on my right foot.  No big deal; I just find it funny that I now have had two dings while trying to slow down either at the top of a hill or at the end of a sled run.  I must be fragile because I ain't THAT fast.  Funny!

So I was playing guitar today after hearing Megadeth's, "Symphony of Destruction" and it occurred to me that this is the perfect title for my workout plan.  All of the ins and and outs and rationale of cycling does just that; creates a symphony of destruction.  My job is to be a better conductor  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z86JjfoQ_1w&feature=fvst

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CRUSHED!!

Got home from Denver today and went out to check out my new pole - CRUSHED!!!  At least is was the one test pole and not all eight. 
Click to enlarge
To add insult to injury, their truck ran over the Fragile / Handle With Care sticker!!

Have a great evening!  Bubba

Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tightrope - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ovT4g-6IM8

Monday, May 21, 2012

Laying Low in Denver!

It's my every other Monday/Tuesday trip to Denver which means lots of work and lots of rest for my body.  I'm a little beat up but I should be after 11 straight days of training.  I think it's going to be a great rotation.  Have a great evening and thank you for being here!  Bubba

Here is The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again", in honor of the London Olympic Committee who invited the long deceased drummer, Keith Moon, to the Olympic Games - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp6-wG5LLqE

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rest Sucks!!

OK, maybe not on rest sucks, but it's sure hard to get the body moving after the break.  I need to remember to stretch on the non-training days.  That's going to be a big deal as I go to Denver tomorrow.  This two week, three rotation program is going to prove about right.  Today was the last day of 11 consecutive training days and I feel that much more would start breaking me down.  My first rotation is shorter but harder/heavier, the 2nd is a medium with more volume.  The last one is the same as the first one but not being fresh I don't push the intensity so much but rather shoot for a high quality session.  All in all it's another brick in the wall.

I have the Pasadena Senior Games two weeks from yesterday and my buddy Gary Scheffe is coming in from Texas to jump with me in it.  I have no idea what to expect from me.  I think my body will be OK but I know nothing about the facility and I don't know what new poles will be here yet.  I think the best plan is just to stay on my 14'7s (4.45m) until after the Southern California Masters Championships (also in Pasadena) on June 16.

I feel like I'm gaining some momentum but I'm far from feeling like an athlete.  I'll just stay after it.  Cosnistency is everything.  Thanks for being here and have a great evening.  Bubba

Ted Nugent - "Wango Tango" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqFUEcM9wR0

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One More Day!!

I got off schedule today because we have a kid trying to qualify for the next level in the California High School system leading to the state meet.  Yesterday I was off because I did a double Thursday.  Now since I'm missing today I will need to do a double tomorrow to make up for that.  No problem.  Then I get two full rest/stretch days followed by an active rest day and then the lead up to my meet on June 2.  Speaking of which, Mark Cleary, the head of our SoCal Track Club emailed to ask me yesterday if I could vault in two meets on 6/2.  One meet is in Pasadena and the other is at UCLA.  I emailed Gary to see if he wants to give it a try but haven't hear back.  One is at 9:30 and the other is at 2:30.  Gut feeling says stick to the plan and do the 9:30.  Also found out that the Southern California Masters Champs are on June 16 in Pasadena.  All the more reason to be careful and skip the one at UCLA on 6/2.  Have a great Saturday!  Bubba



Friday, May 18, 2012

John 2

With the palm trees and ocean in the background, John Altendorf gets ready for a vault at my home field.  Please click to enlarge.

John went out for a little jump session today.  Starting with a head wind and moving through borrowed poles he had some great jumps at a tight bungee at 13'.  Fun time being out there with him.  My training resumes tomorrow.  Have a great evening.  Bubba

Thursday, May 17, 2012

John Altendorf

At World Indoors at Kamloops, BC, Canada in 2010 with his drug testing escort.  He needed to wait to pee so this is the guy they put with him.
In action getting his outdoor WR in Sacramento in 2010.  BTW - he forgot to put his helmet on indoors for the WR jump so one WR with helmet and one without.

Tonight will be short while I await the arrival of my friend John Altendorf and his wife Jodi.  John is the only man 60+ to ever vault 13' with WR indoors and out at 4.05m and 4.04m respectively.  They have a wedding in Huntington Beach Saturday so we will go out and let him vault in practice tomorrow.  I can assure you that I will bitch at him famously to make a bigger effort to be the only one to jump 13' at 65+ since he's in that group.  I've already told him that he knows a few others are going t make it at 60 but none of us will at 65 and he certainly can.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lost & Wandering!!

I'm in that kind of mindless state of training where the time and effort seems to float by with me as a passenger.  Sure I'm training hard but I get into a flow that is comfortable and just the right pace that I feel I could stay there for much longer than I should.  Like my drive from Texas to California, the miles keep rolling by and I'm along for the ride but lost in thought and barely remember the road.  If I'm going to be grinding it out anyway it's nice to get a cruise day.  For that reason I give you the Jeff Beck classic, "Freeway Jam" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFi94V3jIUg

Bruce Caldwell sent me my first pole today, a 4.30m/16.4 and will begin working on the others.  Pretty excited to get going.  I'll explain more about my vaulting plan when the poles get here and I finish my meet on 6/2.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here with me.  Bubba

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tough Times Ahead!! New Poles!!

Another grind day today.  I'm past feeling sore and weak and now I'm just executing the workout and hoping to survive it.  It's not that it's that hard but rather it's because I have lost the edge of my fitness.  Another brick in the wall I guess.

Last night I posted on Facebook that I was going to Italy and my good friend and Sydney runner up, Allan Williams of Great Britain let me know he turns 60 in May and looks forward to jumping with me.  Between him and Wolfgang Ritte (Wolfie - Masters version of Bubka), it will be very tough.  The hardest places to compete because of the depth of competition is California, Texas and Europe.  I won't be at home but will feel that way due to the toughness of the field.

Today I worked out a deal through Bruce Caldwell of Essx and my coach, Kris Allison to get eight new 4.30m (14' 1 1/4") poles for my championship year to Italy and Brazil.  I have a 17.9 and a 17.0 so I'm getting 17.5, 16.5, 16.0, 15.5, 15.0, 14.7, 14.4 and 14.1.  My goal is to only jump on these poles, one at a time until I know their feel and the optimal grip range for a couple of different run lengths.  Very excited about it.  That will give me ten 14' 1"s to go with my eight 4m (13' 1"), and my ten 4.45m (14' 7') poles.  I used to have some 14' 1s that were cut but I gave them to my buddy Dolf Berle.  My 14' 7s are flexed on a 14' 1" scale so some will fit between my new 14' 1s in case the gap feels too big.  I'm doubting that's the case but it's nice to have back up.

That's it for tonight except to say that my friend an M60 world record holder, John Altendorf and his wife Jodi will be here for a wedding and will visit.  John is the only 60+ year old person to ever vault 13' (3.97m) with an outdoor WR of 4.04m (13' 2 1/4") and indoor of 4.05m (13' 3 1/2").  He will jump Friday at Dana Hills High School.  Should be fun.  Have a great evening and thanks for your support.  Bubba

Motley Crue - "Wild Side" with a great series of Tommy Lee's rotating plexiglas drum cage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nm1BJPe-pg

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'd Like a Little Italy!!

Every journey begins with a single step and today I took the first big one by entering the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy to be held August 2-11, 2013, a mere five weeks after I turn 60 to be the youngster in the group.  Today was the first day you could enter.  The entry fee of 170 Euros ($218 USD) will be the least expensive part of the trip.  I can only hope shipping my poles turn out to be less that the $1,900 it took to get them to Sydney, Australia and back.

This morning when I was lifting I was thinking about just how very far I am from being ready to do what I hope to do in Italy.  Actually I started thinking during my bike ride about how we used to load up our bikes and ride across Catalina.  You would be in your smallest gear because the hills were so steep.  You might be going 1-2 miles per hour and just hoping you could keep enough momentum to go forward.  Still, within 10 minutes you would look back down on Avalon in shock that you had managed to come that far and rise that high so quickly.  Almost six hours later you would arrive at the other end of the island.  All of this felt impossible almost the entire trip but you just kept going.

I was also thinking about the first practice in 1997 when I was getting ready for Worlds in South Africa.  I wanted to jump 12' (3.66m) five times from my 12 step (6 strides) run and I only made it twice.  Sixteen years later I can easily make that height from 6 steps (3 strides) or half the run.  That year I jumped 14' 1 1/4" (4.30m), the same goal I have in mind for this year.  I'll do a TON of big pole plant drills so I can get my grip up 3-6" (7.5-15cm), and a lot more longer run vaults.

My points are that I am a person who needs purpose and consistency.  The examples I offer remind me that I must be patient but fanatically consistent.  I can't raise my body to the next level at the age and hold it together unless I go slow and consistent.  Better start early.  I started Monday with my body and mind and symbolically by entering the championships today.  Thank you for your support.  Bubba

Republica - "Ready to Go"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgffRW1fKDk&ob=av2e

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Painful Change!!

When I settle in to training I am at my happiest because I know I can gain momentum.  I've just finished my first rotation and I'm a little beat up but not too bad.  It's not like I've taken a year off.  That said, the hardest part about what I do is the familiarity.  I know it works, and understand why I've gotten away from the consistency - move, work, etc..  But it's like driving from Texas to California.  I've done it before but I know its going to be long and painful. I'm OK with it but I'm anxious to have some time under my belt.  So as much as it seems like change, it's really for the most part going back to the bulk of a routine I am familiar with.

I had a very stupid revelation today about my poles and as soon as I'm done here I will send this to Bruce and Kris.  Back in 2008 I moved to 14' 1" (4.30m) poles.  I had six of them with a 17.5 being the smallest.  The conditions had to be perfect for me to roll ANY of those poles, so we cut 5" off the bottom of them so I could use the entire series.  Now I can jump on a 17.5 from 6 steps. Me and Kris made the decision at the time that once I got to the top of that cut 14' 1" pole series that we would just order a full length 14' 1" and that should work.  I still cut the tops off so they can't come through and hit the bar, but the functional part of the pole was a 14' 1".  Here is me jumping 4m (13' 1 1/2") in Sydney, Australia on a full length 15.7 - http://www.bubbapv.com/Images/Sydney/4m.MOV, and here is me jumping 13' 1" three months later on a 15.4 - http://www.bubbapv.com/Images/Movs/13-1.MOV.

In 2009 when we got the 14' 7" poles I had the same problem so Kris and I got together and cut 5.5" (14cm) off the bottom so I could roll them. Here is me jumping 13' 6" at Reno in 2010 on a cut 14' 7" flexed to be a 14.5 on a 14' 1" span.  It's a 14.5 so I SHOULD be higher - http://www.bubbapv.com/Bubba-410m.mov  My biggest currently is a 14.3 but I'll be holding higher and running from further all year except for the first few months.

I don't know about you, but even though I have a lot of height at 13' 6" there wasn't much bend and it certainly wasn't as smooth as the 14' 1" pole jumps.  Let's see, 14' 7" pole - 6" cut = 14' 1" pole.  My best jumps are on 14' 1" poles.  I think the guess work is over - I need to overlap by cut 14' 7" poles with full length 14' 1" poles and I am home free.  Am I crazy or is it that simple?  I think it is.  Bruce and Kris?  I think I need 16.0, 15.5, 15.0, 14.7, 14.4, 14.1, and maybe later a 13.8 and 13.5.  Boys?

Have a great day and happy mother's day where it applies!  Bubba
Offspring - "Dammit I've Changed Again"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2rjbVlUKkE&feature=related

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good Hard Day / Poles Are Home

Had my first gym lift today and intentionally decided to do my bars with no ankle weights to be sure my form was perfect and to have a little more quickness.  It didn't work.  It's funny because that's how vaulters hit poles - with just enough tension you think it will take to make them move.  I bet on bars today you could have put 50 lbs. on me and I would have done fine.  But take the weight away and I lower the expectation of the force I need and thus deliver less. HATE THAT!!!  You can kill a fly with a fly swatter or with a sledgehammer and I prefer the sledgehammer.  Hit the damn pole 10 times harder than you think you need to.  Hit it so hard that the impact doesn't slow down your hands.  So I was a little pissed at myself for lowering my effort expectation.  Other than that all other lifting went well, though I was weak on the leg press.

I went over to the school and saw that my poles had arrived back from Texas.  They were in the hallway in front of the coaches' office so I grabbed them and headed home.  It was a little tricky since I drive a Mercedes convertible (not know for being good at strapping stuff down) and did not have any bungees because I had no idea the poles were back.  I put it over the top and held on to the strap and drove real slow.  Any little wind or turn would make the back end start to slide.  It's only about 2 miles but it was a scary two miles as I could just see my poles sliding off onto the Pacific Coast Highway and being run over by the traffic.

I'll leave you with a song from Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning".  This song was in Jan Johnson's Sky Systems 2 and while it was playing it was showing the tons of off season training his guy/gals did.  That's about where I am so it seemed appropriate.  Have a good day and thanks for being here.  Bubba
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejorQVy3m8E&ob=av2e