Saturday, April 28, 2012

OUCH!! What I've Learned!

What a beautiful day to vault and I felt spectacular.  Made 12 (3.66m)', 12' 6" (3.81m), and 13' (3.97m) on consecutive jumps in warm up on my #2 14' 7" pole (15.8 on a 4.30m span).  I jumped that about 12:10 before the zoo got on the runway at 12:30.  As I began to get loose again before my first meet jump I noticed the underside of my LEFT groin was a little sore.  It's been the right one bothering me so I had no idea what this was.  As I continued to warm up I felt good running so I thought nothing of it.

I made 12' easy from 10 steps (5 lefts/strides) and moved up a pole for 12' 6".  I haven't been on this pole from this run since National Senior Games in June of last year.  As you can see I made it easy - and the pole was too small.  I moved to 12 steps and skipped a pole.  Just as I left the ground I felt a big grab in my left groin and aborted the jump and withdrew injured.  This is not a ding but a full strain that will take 6-8 weeks to heal.  That said I haven't been on this poles since March of last year so I was pumped that even though I bailed on the jump that the pole moved easily.

I'm sorry I'm hurt but this year is about learning what it takes for my body to step up a level.  My bigger poles need to feel smaller and they are.  A couple of weeks ago I had a logical discussion with myself about needing to run faster on my hills so I could condition my hamstrings to faster running.  That worked really well as I am clearly moving better on the runway.  Now that I have added squats and serious leg presses, by groins can't take the explosion of slamming my feet down to jump up.  First is was my right groin and now it's my left.  This means that as soon as I am well enough I'll add back in my lunges and bench steps ups.  The sad but funny part is I dropped these out because they were irritating my right groin to the point that I didn't think I can jump.  Now I can't jump because I DID NOT do them.  Lesson learned.

As bad as this sounds it is really a clear sign that I am inching toward my goal.  I'm on big poles again and my technique is clean, so the program is working.  The bad new yet good news is that my remaining weaknesses are stepping forward and now I can address them.  So far every similar adjustment has worked and made me better. 

This year is about next year.  Having already made 13' in January, it doesn't bother me that I'm not jumping higher because the level and quality of what I'm doing is far better than a year ago.  So now I can't jump for 6-8 weeks, I will continue to blast my body's weaknesses and continue to step up a level. 

Remember the single age 58 American Record is 13' 1" and the World Record is 4m (13' 1 1/2").  These are easily in my reach today but I'm going to get hurt until I learn what it takes to hold my body together at this next level.  Sure it's a misstep but at least what I'm doing is working.  Thanks for your support.  Bubba

Friday, April 27, 2012


Should be fun.  Nice tailwind and warm today.  We will see.  Bubba

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vacation? Hardly!

The Bobcat Invitational at Texas State University begins tomorrow and has 17 schools participating including Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, University of Houston, etc.  There are 24 vaulters and I am the only "Alumni" at our "Alumni Vault".  What happened to all of those younger/older vaulters who were going to jump?  Of course I'm first on the start list -  I think I'll probably warm up and do the first part of my meet during warm up and be ready to try and start at 13' if needed.  Not like I'll be waiting around long to jump.  This will be hairy.  I guess the good news is that they flopped us with the girls to jump at 1:30 instead of 10 AM so that should give us a tailwind.  Oh man!!!  At 58 I'm jumping in a college invitational?!  It was supposed to be a fun little meet of alumni in a separate division.  As they say in Texas, "Oil Well".  Bubba
Ozzy - "Mama I'm Coming Home" -
Event 28  Men Pole Vault
     Name                        Year School                               
Flight 1  Finals
  1  Sparks, Doug                     Alumni                     
  2  Marvin, Ben                      Texas State                
  3  Rich, Matt                       Tamu-Commerc               
  4  Lewandowski, Seth                Oklahoma                   
  5  Nell, Carter                     Texas State                
  6  Lantelme, Cody                   Texas State                
  7  Leon, Francisco                  Unattached                 
  8  Sandman, Colton                  Texas A&M                  
  9  Ardoin, Lance                    McNeese Stat               
10  Harlin, Clifton                  Texas A&M                  
11  Tomasini, Kyle                   Utsa                       
12  Huddleston, Jake                 Oklahoma                   
13  Ferguson, Landon                 Texas State                
14  Phillips, Dustin                 Texas A&M                  
15  Reiter, Keith                    Unattached                 
16  Wicker, Casey                    Texas                      
17  Reed, Taylor                     Utsa                       
18  Clark, Hayden                    Texas                      
19  Mahnke, Michael                  Houston                    
20  Brown, Bryan                     Houston                    
21  Wehr, Jordan                     Unat-North T               
22  Thomas, Mark                     Texas                      
23  Bentley, Alex                    Team Elite A               
24  Cunningham, Logan                Texas State

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Should Be Interesting!!

I've been hearing form a few friends who are vaulting at the Texas State Invitational this weekend, which will include alumni vaulting with the college / open guys.  Of the people I have heard from they are all between 17' and 18'.  What have I gotten myself into?  I just figured they would have a masters/alumni division, or even let us jump with the girls, but NO: we jump with guys who can vault really well.  Somehow I'll find a way not to embarrass my 58 year old ass.  I can only hope for a few decathletes in the mix.  Just kidding of course.  I'm sure I'm not the only older guy but I'm probably the oldest.  That said my body feels pretty good.  I leave tomorrow and will update you along the way.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

PS - woke up at 4:30 AM this morning to head to the Denver airport to come home. Tomorrow morning I leave at 4:30 AM to go to Austin.

Metallica - "Sad But True" -

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Feels Like Work!

My training right now is supposed to be to sharpen.  Running on Thursday was good but very hard.  Today was supposed to be a quick quality bleacher ramp set.  Considering how hard I ran Thursday, and how hard I lifted legs Friday and Saturday, I was shocked that my legs responded quickly and I actually felt fast.  Somewhere around #5 of 8 it started to feel like I workout so I shut it down after 7.  Same story on lifting as I felt like I could lift the garage.  BUT, it started to feel like a workout too so I backed out of that slowly.  Instead I spent a little longer stretching.  As of today, I'm ready.  But we will see how the week goes.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

UFO - "Rock Bottom" -

Saturday, April 21, 2012

For Your Love?

I know that we all pole vault for the love of sport.  After all, no one pays us for the physical, mental, emotional and financial sacrifices. Like surfing, we would do it whether anyone even came out to see us.  In fact, almost all of my training is alone and I like the solitude of getting myself to do something for a greater benefit that I usually don't feel like doing.

Like any "addiction", it's tough to take a break.  So here I am waiting for Superman.  I call it that because when you go through a training grind and back off to feel good, you are physically capable of performing at a much higher level than you could ever attain in practice.  Add to that the emotion that my next meet is at my Alma Mater where I was a five time All American and three time National Champion, at 58 jumping with the college kids, then you can imagine the wait is that much stressful.

Good hard gym lift and bars today.  Tomorrow is 10 X bleacher ramps and a hard garage lift and stretch.  Then off to Denver for Monday and Tuesday, returning Wednesday in time for my Beverly Hills meeting, then of to get my 5 X bleacher ramps and stretch.  Thursday I'm on a plane to Austin.  Friday I'll drive to my coach, Kris Allison's in New Braunfels to pick up my poles. 

The work is almost done for this round, but the waiting is just beginning.  Fortunately I have enough work to distract me.  Thanks for your support and have a great evening!  Bubba

Yardbirds - "For Your Love" -

Friday, April 20, 2012

Challenges Ahead!

I may not feel completely ready for this adventure to Texas but my poles left today.  Chris at Flyaway poles had them picked up from Dana Hills High School coach, Craig Dunn this afternoon.  I haven't shipped poles to a meet since Reno but it seems longer than that. 

In any case, good lifting and stretching today.  My mind is getting ready for the higher level jumps I hope and need to get.  The little hamstring thing is not noticeable and I still have eight days so I'm glad I stopped when I did at the last meet.  Feeling optimistic.  At least I think so since I'm already planning on starting on bigger poles and skipping over the one I should use at 13' to go to the one I KNOW I can make it on if I hit it.  If not I won't get in.  I guess with that type of mentality I'm not expecting the hammy to be an issue.

I'm going to Denver again Monday and get home Wednesday and leave for Texas on Thursday. Of course I have business at both places.  On Sunday I fly to Houston, have breakfast with my dad, stay one last night at our old house in Texas, and then load up Monday morning for a three day drive to California with the last of our stuff.  I normally take a one rotation break after a big meet anyway so this will fit perfect for me to return to training on Thursday.

I often question this "train through" this year mentality but until my business life settles in, caused by my upgraded efforts associated with the move to California, I have no choice.  Seems like I'm doing OK, but I can't wait to get through the summer and stabilize into some overpowering training.  I've gotten better at making the time and being accountable to my training, but I have to be careful not to get distracted or sidetracked.  I always feel so much better when I train so that is becoming my refuge from the hectic work pace.

Have a great evening and thank you for your support!  Bubba
AC/DC - Thunderstruck -

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oops!!!!!!!!!!! Jumping With the College Kids?

Salute for my return to Texas, or what I felt when I found out
 I'm jumping with the college kids?!
Careful what you wish for.  I found out today that the alumni vault at Texas State University next weekend will have us jumping with the college guys.  Fortunately because of decathletes they will start around 12'.  Still I will be up immediately and be done shortly thereafter.  That said it will be pretty cool to jump in a college meet again.  I remember when I was younger and we did that at UC Irvine and Long Beach State.  The goal for us was not to get last and for the college kids not to get beaten by a fossil.  Of course in pole vaulting no one beats anyone and we all cheer for each other.  At least I hope so.  Stepping onto the field at 58 years old will be quite intimidating for me but I'm sure I will ignore it and do my best anyway.

Speaking of back to work, bleacher ramps felt very good today.  I'll see if I still feel that good by Sunday.  HARD four days of training coming up starting today.  Excited to engage again.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Men At Work -  One of their guys died today.  I'm getting old!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back From Denver

NEED SLEEP!!  Tomorrow is back to running, lifting bars, etc. for the next four days!  Yahooooo!!  Texas next Saturday!  More soon.  Bubba

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Making Progress

I had my little test meet today at the John Ward Masters Games at Santa Ana College today.  Weird winds made it interesting but it still turned out to be an OK day.  I decided to only take my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles so I was really afraid with the wind squirrely that I wouldn't be able to jump.  Much to my shock I was able to turn up and complete a jump on my smallest pole from eight steps, or 43'.  NEVER have I done that. In fact last year at nationals I had to jump on it from 64', and the only time I used it this year I barely got in from 53'.  So to comfortably complete a jump from 43' is a huge deal.

That said I moved back a stride so to 10 steps so I could really just relax on the pole and you know what that means.  YEP, too little.  I made 12' (3.66m) easy in warm up but the pole was too little and I stopped.  As predicted, when I entered the meet at 11' 6" (3.51m), I had a scare just like Palo Alto where the pole was so small it was useless.  Somehow I made 11' 6" on my first and moved on.

At 12' I was on my next pole from 53'.  I haven't been on this pole from this run since last July.  Made 12' by a mile but didn't really move the pole as much as I thought I should so I moved back to 64' (12 steps) for 12' 7" (3.84m) and up another pole.  Though I made it fairly easy the pole was tiny from that run.  I think I can now use it from 10 steps again which would put me back on track for when I was jumping my best.  BTW - I told the official I had made 12' 6" already this year and wanted 12' 7" so that's how we got the weird height.  It was just me and Charlie Brown by that point.  He beat me on a miss as neither made 13' and he made 12' 7" on his first and me on my second.

At 13' I was ready to make it happen but when I bent over to move my runway marker I felt a little weakness in the hamstring area behind my left knee.  Since I have that big meet in Texas in two weeks I just stopped.  I figure I'm right where I need to be.  I'm not injured or dinged, my body is just reacting to me all of the sudden asking it to crank up about five notches. All and all a superb day.  If nothing else it shows that my plan to remain true to my stadium ramps, squats and bars will pay off in bigger poles and increased runway power and speed.  I'll get the 12' and 12' 7" video up later.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rainy Day / Stretching

Easy stretching today.  I'm feeling pretty good overall so I'm tapering down properly I guess.  When I did my bars yesterday with the ankle weights it felt WAY to easy so that's a good sign.  Bleacher ramps could have been run much faster but that didn't feel like a smart thing to do so I stayed conservative.

As I've mentioned before, it seems like a straight hard 2-3 weeks of daily training is all my body can take before it needs a rotation break.  I'll have this meet Sunday, go to Denver and then come back and hit it hard Wednesday afternoon on until I go to Texas the following Thursday.  After that I will take a phase break as I move the rest of our stuff from Texas to California. Three days in a truck right after I jump in a big meet should feel really good, huh?

The very next Monday I'm off to Denver for four days for my big deal.  While there I'll be able to ramp back up my training and establish what I will do when I'm in town.  Of course I have access to gyms but the physical therapy company I'm contracting with for these two big orthopedic groups have a sports emphasis so I'm sure they will have some decent weight training stuff.  New adventures anyway.

Have a great day and thanks for caring!  Bubba

Timbuk 3's - "My Future's So Bright I've Gotta Wear Shades" -

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wild Days - Rocky Mountain High

Well I've been swamped as I bet you guessed.  Today I got in my one set of bars and my 5 X bleacher ramps so I'm on schedule.  Two big stretch days coming up and then the meet Sunday.

In other news, my little dog Tuffy had kidney stones 11 days ago and a $3,000 surgery later he came home.  Recently he hasn't been able to pee when he tries and then all of the sudden there is a trail of it down the hall.  Long story short, they missed two stones so it was back to surgery again today - no charge but I doubt he cares about that.

I go to Denver quite a bit on business and have been working on a massive deal with two huge orthopedic groups.  Today I received signed five year contracts from both and will now get to book three days in Denver every two weeks.  Not a bad place to be stuck and I can work it easily around my training schedule.  There is a lot of beauty there.  It is a great financial opportunity so that part is great.  Huh .. I moved to California for the same thing, and I have two big deals here too.  My point is that even with all of this activity I'm very comfortable with my training schedule.

In closing I'm sorry I missed a couple of days here and will do better.  Have a great evening and thank you so much for caring enough to be here!  Bubba

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Off

I took today off because of my hectic schedule but I have bleacher ramps and bars tomorrow.  Have a great night and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Queen - Tie Your Mother Down -

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another Mix Up

I got up in plenty of time to train but changed my program midstream by mixing the bigger parts of two sessions into one.  I will do the complimentary pieces that I skipped today later in the week?  Why?  I want to be fresh on Sunday so I hit the big heavy exercises today and will do the secondary exercises later.  Obviously the bigger lifts create strength, power and coordination, but it's the smaller secondary exercises that keep me conditioned and help me not to get hurt as easily.  I consider them more like "speed endurance" or short interval training as it could relate to running.  In any case, I had a great session and enjoyed the process.

Off to the school to help the kids who are on spring break.  I also need to get the info on the shipping dock here so I can send my poles to Texas in a couple of weeks. That time of year; shipping poles?  More on this later but I have a lot of thoughts about this year and how next year will be different.  I absolutely need to do what I'm doing this year to be able to "survive" what I will put myself through later.  Thanks for being here and have a great day!  Bubba

For the late Ronnie Montrose - "Space Station #5".  Of course Sammy Hagar is the better singer.  ;-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gorgeous Weekend in Southern California

Believe it or not we have had rain three of the last four weekends so it was nice to get back to "normal".  Workout went OK today but I moved the running up to today rather than tomorrow and found myself needing to cut it a little short.  Too sore and beat up from the every other day grind and all of the standing yesterday.

I'm trying to spread my work/rest this week and I felt like running tomorrow might give me a better plan rather than having to run harder later in the week.  I dd my gym lifting and bars as planned but skipped the garage lift. That will be tricky as I need to do both garage lifts tomorrow but the kids have practice at 9:30 because of spring break.

Overall my body feels pretty good but I really need to get a bunch of stretching in this week.  I'll report back tomorrow but it may be a double - Garage 1 in the AM and Garage 2 in the PM.  We will see.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Beach Boys - Wouldn't it Be Nice -

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Uncertain Path

I spent most of the day at the Arcadia Invitational, one of the most elite of the high school meets in the US.  I saw my buddy Kirk Bentz, who was officiating, Bob Olson, and Murray Mead within about three minutes.  Four of the top 6-8 M55-59 vaulters in the world on the field together helping or officiating for the high schoolers.  Cool!  Kirk gave me an official pass so I could go anywhere as long as I didn't cause trouble.  Love these guys!  I'm especially close to Kirk, who was cool enough to come hang with me at LAX on my way to Sydney for the World Masters Games. I won there and then he won World Indoors four months later.  Definitely one of my best vaulting friends.

Standing for several hours destroyed my legs and back, not to mention the one hour plus drive and the hike from the parking lot.  Because of this I bailed on today's training and will rearrange what I do tomorrow.  I was going to go to the gym today, and then lift in the garage tomorrow and run.  Today? NO WAY!!  Since the kids are on spring break next week, I'll skip running tomorrow, do a double lift instead, and run on Monday.

The meet next Sunday is not a big deal but I need it as a dress rehearsal for what I want to do as far as pole progressions in Texas.  Therefore I want to come in well rested and at the appropriate body weight.  I'm more than certain I am going to go to Denver the Monday after that meet so I will need to plan my training for there too in addition to my business needs.

Long story short, I seem to be constantly making little tweaks here and there to what I'm doing on a daily basis.  Not shocking by any stretch, but what is a surprise it that I'm very comfortable and not stressed by these sometimes major shits in the daily plan.  I guess that at this point I feel that I'm in striking distance enough that I'll be fine as long as I get my components in and stretch.  Have a great evening and thank you so much for your support!  Bubba

"Rearranged", by Limp Bizkit -

Friday, April 6, 2012


We have had a ton of whales spotted here this year.  Captain Dave from Dana Point Harbor was on the Ellen show yesterday talking about it.  Please click to enlarge.

I took yesterday off because I had a little twinge in my right deltoids on my last incline set on Tuesday.  It ached a TON that first night and has felt better over the past two days.  Still I wanted to be careful and go real light.  So I put on my shoes and got up to push myself off the bed and STING, there it is again.  Oh well; I'm going to find out where I am.  And I did.  Nothing!  Didn't feel it one bit on my power sets; a hellish combination of curl, upright row, overhead press, and dumbbell lateral fly.  Set one I do 8 of each of those exercises with no break so it's a set of 32 reps.  Then 6, then 4, all with heavier weights.  NEVER felt a thing.  AWESOME!!

I've been running my 10 X 50m stadium ramps every other day, knowing that at some point it will catch up to me and I will start to feel like I'm tearing down.  Not yet today.  If I get past Sunday that will give me five sessions or 50 reps over a 10 day period.  I'll do 6 on Wednesday and be ready for my meet on Sunday.

The ding under my right leg pops up every now and then but I never feel it when I'm running and certainly some of my running s very hard.  I'll just trust it and keep training without vaulting until the meet next Sunday.

I'm shipping my poles to my coach, Kris Allison's house for the Texas meet.  Right after the meet I am driving a rental truck back out with our remaining belongings.  The sale of our house will close 5/15 so I need to get the stuff out.  It will give me a chance to see my dad, but it also means I don't have to ship the poles back as they will be in the truck.

That's it for now.  pretty uneventful but a nice comfortable routine of consistent training.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Sublime - "What I've Got" -

Thursday, April 5, 2012

World Indoor Results

The M55 at the World Masters Indoors in Finland today was won by Wolfie, of course, at 4m - 13' 1 1/2".  My friend Kristian from Iceland was 2nd at 3.70m - 12' 1 1/2".

I didn't train today and will do a double tomorrow.  Felt a little twinge in a small muscle in my deltoids on Tuesday so I wanted to give it another day.  Looking forward to that tomorrow.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fun Day!

Today was my 10 X bleacher ramps day and it went well.  I'm pretty fatigued near the end but that's normal with my other training load.  But that's not the fun day part.  We had a home meet today at the high school and the other team didn't have a vault program.  Being the great guy he is, our head coach, Craig Dunn puts the word out to the other team that if they had any kids who would like to try and vault that we would teach them on the 2nd pit.  Four girls showed up.  Having never touched a pole in their lives, two of them were over 8' and another over 7' 6", and the 4th ... well 3 out of 4 ain't bad.  But these girls jumped for two hours.  Our kids who had already jumped, not only taught them, but jumped with them for another couple of hours after their event was done.  Now THAT was cool.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Guns & Roses - "Think About You" -
BTW - reading the book by Slash.  BY FAR the best of the rock and roll bios.  Much more than the crazed behind the scenes stories.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Another Day of the Grind

Gaining momentum!  Ah, consistency in training and life!!  Sucks in a very good way.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Train Kept A Rolling - Aerosmith -

Monday, April 2, 2012

Agitation to Peace

I learned a long time ago that I'm fairly easily agitated and high strung and that exercise keeps me in balance.  With all of the things I have going on right now the gym is the last thing I want to do.  Unfortunately that builds and feeds itself and then you can't make yourself go.  I went and came out a different person.  Good for me and those around me.  I try not to bother others with my issues but sometimes it bleeds over.  Long story short; great gym workout and not a moment too soon.  Bubba
Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff -

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Time Slips By

It always amazes me how much you can gain and how far you can slide when you are leading up to or coming off of a big meet.  I try to always stay within "striking distance" of a big jump - 4-8 weeks.  As masters athletes we train for meets like fighters train for fights.  We can't do it effectively week in and week out without either injury or losing conditioning so we have to pick targets on the horizon.

In four weeks I will jump at my alma mater, Texas State University, in the first alumni vault at their big invitational meet.  In two weeks I will jump at a local masters meet.  I'm in striking distance of a decent jump in two weeks and of a big jump in four weeks.  Once my jump is on, then I focus more on fitness, running, lifting and bars so that I can magnify what I am already doing correctly with my vault. 

Ten days ago I had my best practice since I arrived in California.  Six days ago I got on my 1465 from 6 steps.  Now the only thing I accomplish by jumping is the risk of injury.  So time ticks away and as I edge toward a couple of good shots to get a decent jump.  All the bets this Sunday.  Thanks for your support.  Bubba

Green Day's Good Riddance (Time of Our Lives) -