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" -

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 - 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" - 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

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

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 -

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" -

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" -

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

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

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 - 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" -  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)" -

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".

Friday, June 8, 2012


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" -

Thursday, June 7, 2012


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


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.

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.
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"

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"