Friday, February 28, 2014

Heading Out!!

Tomorrow morning I head to Colorado Springs for an indoor meet on Sunday.  Coincidentally I have business in the Denver area every other week and this is one of those weeks.  I've not got a clue how it will go.  I'm just going to try and stay low key and not get hurt.  More soon.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Green Day - "American Idiot" -

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Almost Ready!!

Very easy light stretch today.  Tomorrow will be a longer one and then I fly out Saturday morning and my meet is in Sunday.  Starting to feel better but I need to keep things in perspective.  With nationals two weeks from Sunday I need to just be careful and get out of Colorado unhurt.  That's exactly why I'm only taking my small 4m/13'1" poles.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Symphony of Destruction" - - about have this down on guitar now.  Lord knows I hear it enough in training.  ;-)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Run Down!!

I'm feeling a but run down but of course I guess I should based on my training.  Today was the last hard day before my meet Sunday in Colorado Springs.  I should have plenty of time to recover.

Taping my new poles yesterday I was shocked at how little and tiny my 1360/17.4 was.  It looked like a girls pole.  The series is 17.4, 16.8, 16.6, 15.8, 15.3 and 15.0.  I will start at 2 lefts/4 steps on the smallest one and go from there.  Maybe start around 9'6" and have some fun, get some jumps in and move through some poles.

I've been told that the hotel I suggested for the Masters Vault Symposium/Meet is book for the weekend of June 28.  I Googled "Dana Point California hotels" and got a big list of varied prices so be sure and try that of you're coming.  We will have a Friday evening social and the event is all day Saturday with a BBQ at my house afterwards.  Wives are invited.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Jeff Beck - "Freeway Jam" -

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm Ready?

I went out this morning and did my sleds.  I knew I would feel somewhat flat because I vaulted and did sleds Saturday and then lifted legs on Sunday.  Exactly why I didn't try to vault on my new poles today.  I did get them all cut and taped and put in their bag for the meet this weekend.  I was able to run about 90% comfortably so that's a good thing.  I love it when being out of reach is more my problem then the hamstring. 

That said I will only use the new 4m/13'1" poles in Colorado Springs this weekend.  If that goes well then I will use my 4.15ms/13'7" at Nationals and then after that get back to my 4.30m/14'1" poles that I used in Reno for the rest of the year except practice.

OK, I'm going to post this back on the original but the final date for the Masters Pole Vault Symposium/Meet is a week later, or June 28.  We had a conflict with a USATF regional qualifier so we changed our date.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Rare Earth - "Get Ready" -

Sunday, February 23, 2014

1st Annual Masters Pole Vault Symposium & Meet

Yesterday I ended that I would be making an important announcement.  On Saturday, June 28, 2014 I will host a masters only vault symposium and meet.  This is a date change as yesterday I posted 6/21.  Unfortunately I was told that conflicts with a USATF Regional Qualifier.  Here is a link with more info.  Hope to see you all!!  Bubba

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Almost There!!

Week five since my hamstring explosion and I'm starting to feel like I'm going to get there.  Took three vaults today jogging in from 31'.  Made 8'6"/2.60m, 9'6"/2.90m and 10'/3.05m on my smallest pole which got too small in a hurry. I knew I was close last week when my sleds caused me to be out of breath.  Before that I couldn't run fast enough to make that happen.  Thankful for small miracles! 

SO, off to the Air Force Academy next Sunday and then Boston for nationals two weeks later.  I will take my new 13'1" poles to Colorado Springs (they arrive Monday) and my 13'7s to Boston.  That's the plan for this minute anyway.  Thank you for being here!  Bubba

PS - Please "friend" me on Facebook under Bubba Sparks for more frequent short subject posts.  BIG announcement coming tomorrow here.

Grand Funk Railroad - 1969 - "Inside Looking Out" -

Sunday, February 16, 2014

30 Days & Jumping Again!!

Today is day 30 since my hamstring explosion in Reno.  I've come to know that this is the worst I have ever strained my hamstring.  And today I was able to get five take offs from 2 strides or 4 total steps.  It's a start.  Another good leg lift, bar and sled day as well.  New poles arrive Friday and I should be able to at least try the smallest one.  I'm very grateful!!  Have a great day!  Bubba

Took real focus to get through today as I have lifted some legs and/or run sleds each of the last three days.  Today it was Drowning Pool - "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" that got me through.  As a reminder, I don't listen to music for content, message or their video.  I listen because of the raw power and drive that helps to push me over the edge when my body and mind says STOP!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Renaud - WR - 6.16m

I had a good day training, but someone had a great day in competition.  The great Sergey Bubka's 20 year old world record of 6.15m/20'2" has been broken!!! - Congrats Renaud!  Plenty more to come!!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Dreams", with the Blue Angels -

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Know & What I Don't!!

I know that after four weeks my leg is not nearly as far along as I thought it would be.  Yes it's much better and in a position to move forward, but it's still not great.

I doubt that it will be ready for much more than my 13'1"/4m poles for the Colorado Springs meet on 3/2, but I'm pretty sure I will be good on my 13'7"/4.15m by nationals two weeks later in Boston.

Today's workout was excellent as far as effort, focus and work load.  I felt decent but not great.  That said I feel I'm ready to make some big improvements in my fitness.

I just got the flex numbers of my new 13'1" Essx Recoil poles - 15.0, 15.3, 15.8, 16.6, 16.8 and 17.4.  Not perfect but close enough considering these are my short run poles. My first 13'7" is a 15.5 equivalent so again Bruce Caldwell hits a god match for me with a 15.8, 15.3 and 15.0.  My 2nd 13'7" is the equivalent of the 15.0 so I can jump off on to them from either point.  As always thanks Bruce!!

Have a great day!!  Here's Alice Cooper's, "Poison".  Sober for over 3 years and now addicted to golf, Alice was such an alcoholic that he spent two stints in a mental hospital as he clearly had lost his mind.  Amazing recovery and a great guy!!  And now another song I heard today that gave me the title  for today's entry -

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Overcoming Inertia!!

An object at rest remains at rest until put into motion!
Over the past week to 10 days I've had a much harder time motivating myself to get moving at all; much less to the degree I need to in order to get better.  When you're hurt you need to take that time and do more, not less, but it's a constant battle with yourself.  Though I have done pretty well and gotten stronger along the way, today I felt like I took a big "Keep on Truckin" foot out of the grave of mediocrity that's been trying to pull me in.

At three weeks out from Reno/injury, I ran at 50%, bumped up all of my leg lifts weights, was finally able to do leg curls, AND kicked major butt on bars.  Take that wimpy and lazy gene!!!

Got through today with Lemmy and Motorhead - "Ace of Spades" -

Friday, February 7, 2014

Strength Test!!

Every now and then I do a random strength test.  Typically one of the components is the bench press. Why?  SO much of your ability to transfer energy to the pole comes from the lats and you can't have a strong back without a strong chest.  I test either before a big meet, a phase break, or a change in workout.  Tomorrow I will do bars and a couple of other lifts to see where I am.  I'm making some upgrades to my lifting and training, as well as about to start jumping again, so why not?

The results were 225 on the bench and 260 on my lat pull.  I feel like I'm in a pretty good place to begin my march to the summer.  I made a deal yesterday for six new 4m/13'1" poles that includes this blog being moved over to the Essx website, as well as some other promo things I will do for the company.  I'll keep you in the loop as it goes.

These poles will give me 6 X 13'1", 6 X 13'7" and 6 X 14'1", ALL of the new Essx Recoil Advanced.  These poles are super lightweight and thin with great return.  Right now if you buy two you get one for free which is how I got most of mine.  If you're interested let me know and I'll make a direct intro to the owner Bruce Caldwell.  Have a great day everyone and thanks for being here.  Bubba

POD - "Boom" -

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Return to Work!!

Click to enlarge - The new Essx Recoil poster with me on it.
After my usual travel Monday-Wednesday I got back to work this morning.  My leg is not well but feels a lot better. Today because of my later start I lifted legs in the garage.  Tomorrow I will hit legs in the gym after I run my sleds.  Today I did squats for the first time in ages, lunges and even straight leg deadlifts.  I'm just trying to slap the weak links (hamstring and back) right in the face and slowly bring them back around.

I gave a bunch of my older poles to my friend Jon Stoll this past weekend.  I now have six 13'7" and six 14'1" Essx Recoil.  Looking into doing this also for my 13'1" series and then I'm set.  Have a great day and thanks for your support.  I'm going to do a slow build up and get through all of my poles.  Bubba

Megadeth - "In My Darkest Hour" -

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Enigma of Hamstrings!!

There are a few ways/locations you can strain a hamstring, that each have their own cause, and that depending on the level of strain, require different amounts of time to heal.  My lower left strain behind the knee indicates a "turnover" issue.  Several people commented on how fast I looked on the runway at Reno.  I guess I need to reel this speed and turnover in a bit and stay more within myself. 

I haven't had this type of strain in a long time.  Typically mine is near the middle and to the outside, caused by lowering my hands and reaching the last step.  I've worked very hard not to do this.  The other is dead center in the belly of the muscle. 

In general you have more circulation in the belly of the muscle so it tends to heal faster.  That said, my lower left one this time had a huge blood ball behind it resulting in a massive bruise.  So now for the enigma.

I could run sleds yesterday at a low level without pain, and could even stretch on Friday.  But today, Sunday, I had to watch the weight on my leg extensions because it hurt to put that much direct pressure on my hamstring.  NOW, I was able to do light hamstring curls with no big issue, but the pressure of the seat against my hamstring made leg extensions tenuous at best.  Weird to me.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Oingo Boingo - "Grey Matter" -

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Running Again!!

Baby steps of course but I got in my 10 sleds today.  I think maybe top speed was 20% but I was able to do so without my hamstring grabbing.  I will get a very hard leg lift day in tomorrow and then get two running and leg lift days in next week.  So at the three week point I should be able to run safely at 50-60% ... I think! We will see.  Thanks for being here and have a great day!  Bubba

Rush - "Something for Nothing" -