Sunday, March 30, 2014


It's a week later, four weeks since my injury in Colorado Springs, and though I feel overall better and stronger, my hamstring is more achy and stingy.  HUH?!  Then it hit me; there have been workers at my house from the end of last week through this week and it's always a challenge to get my lifts and stretching done before they get there.  Guess what part has been missing?  The end of the stretching.

I stretch between every set while lifting, but at the end I have about a 20 minute separate session specifically for my lower back and hamstrings.  I've been cutting that out to clear the way for the workers.  At least I now know this and also they are now done.  Good lesson though.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Ten Years After - "I'd Love to Change the World (studio)" -

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Tomorrow will be four weeks since my injury.  For the most part I see no reason I couldn't do a little low level vaulting tomorrow, but the other part of me says no way.  I feel great, and then out of the blue I feel some type of pain or tightness in the lower hamstring, even though I hurt it a little higher the last time. 

To add to the confusion, my three new little poles will arrive on Wednesday or Thursday and I am home the entire following week.  This tells me I could get 4-5 easy jump days in between next Thursday and the time I leave town again.  My gut says to wait a week but then I burn and lose the only full week I have at home. 

The probable outcome is that I will do takeoffs and maybe swing ups on Thursday and maybe Sunday, then try to get some real jumps during my home week. It's never an easy decision, especially when you really don't want that rehab clock to start over at day 1 when you are approaching day 42.  Oh well, we will see.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Van Halen - "5150" -  Because I am!

Friday, March 28, 2014

World Indoors!!

Obviously I am hurt and wasn't going anyway, but 11' 3 3/4" was 2nd, and 11' was 3rd.  OUCH!!

 WMA Championship Meet                    28/03/2014 - 16:25 PM
2014 WMA World Indoor Championships - 25/03/2014 to 30/03/2014
                       Budapest, Hungary                      

Event 333  M60 Pole Vault
    Name                     Age Team                    Finals
  1 Ritte, Wolfgang          M61 Germany                  4.00m
  2 Hadinger, Antonin        M62 Czech Republic           3.45m
  3 Blunt, David             M60 Great Britain             3.35m
  4 van Vliet, Marc          M62 Netherlands              3.25m
  5 Rappo, Francesco         M63 Italy                    3.15m
  6 Weires, Winfried         M61 Germany                  2.95m
  7 Plotnikov, Valeriy       M63 Russia                  J2.95m
  8 Oidermaa, Elmo           M64 Estonia                  2.75m
  9 Giorgetti, Carlo Andrea  M60 Denmark                  2.65m
10 Miihkkinen, Jouko        M62 Finland                 J2.65m
11 Klimov, Sergey           M60 Kazakhstan               2.45m
12 Soffientini, Virginio    M60 Italy                    2.15m
-- Williams, Allan          M60 Great Britai                NH
-- Fiedler, Karel           M64 Czech Republic              NH

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Almost There?!

This morning I was able to run my stadium ramps very fast with no issues.  My body says I'm ready to vault, but my gut says I'm almost there.  I got to the gym and felt it quite a bit less on my hamstring curls but it's there.  I'll wait.

Sunday will be four weeks since my injury and yes I could probably jump, but I'll wait. I'm supposed to get those three new start poles, and at this point it looks like I will get them next week.  Again I feel like I would have no issues jumping low level even this week but I'm to afraid to start that injury/heal clock over.  If I did what I should do I would wait for six weeks but I don't think I can do that.

At this point I trust my gut far more than my intellect (or lack of).  But sometimes I want to overrule them both.  Like the guy with the angel on one shoulder saying I should wait until six weeks, and the devil on the other telling me I'm OK to start today.  I think I'll listen to the guy in the middle (me) and start next week.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Van Halen - "I'll Wait" -

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Amost There?!

I guess this depends on who you ask; my body or me.  I ran again today with no limitation.  I'm doing 10X50m incline bleacher ramps with 2 lb./1kg. ankle weights.  I was easily 80%+ and felt no issues.  Off to the gym where I continue to feel very strong again.  However, I could feel the hamstring a tiny bit on leg extensions and more than I would like on leg curls near the end of each set.  That is that conditioning phase that's needed.

Originally I felt I was ready to do some very light jumping on next Thursday/Sunday.  During my run I decided to put it off another week, and after the gym yet another.  So at six weeks I should be good to go.  Of course we will see what my body has to say about that.  But at the end of week three I feel like I am almost there.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Santana/Rob Thomas - "Smooth" -

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I'm always managing my planning and strategy depending on how my body feels from day to day, hour to hour, and sometimes minute to minute.  Two days ago I ran bleacher ramps with ankle weights at 70% easily and was more surprised I felt my groin since I never felt my hamstring.  Of course that is great news but this morning my hamstring occasionally stings, yet when I press it or contract it; nothing.  Phantom pains from healing? Adhesions breaking loose?  I don't know nor really care.  I'll be extra careful when I run again tomorrow. 

All I know is that tomorrow is the end of week three out of 12.  When I start jumping is not as important to me as how good I feel when I do start.  My guess is that I will wait until my new small poles are here and that could realistically be 2-3 weeks.  This would probably be the wisest move anyway.  I already feel pretty strong and I'm becoming more fit daily, so I can't see the harm in the wait no matter how long it is.  Have a great day and thanks for supporting me!  Bubba

Rush - "Limelight" -

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Poles!!

I'm surprisingly sore from yesterday's more up-tempo running on the stadium ramps.  I guess I'm well enough to almost hurt something else as I never felt my hamstring at 70%.  That's a good problem but also a sign to be careful.

I ordered three new poles to fill out the bottom end of my short run series.  I was a little shocked that it took so much work for me to get in on my 4m/13'1/1360 from 3 lefts/6 steps or 33' in Colorado.  I have three 3.75m/12'4" poles coming that will be flexed on a 4m span so I will know their relative stiffness.

This may seem like overkill, but my best stretches of vaulting coming after I have taken an extended time to work through every pole I have from the shortest runs.  This gives me a chance to refine my technique and carry it over to the next series length. 

The last thing I want to do is to risk injury like I got in Colorado because I'm having to work too hard to get in.  Right now it's looking like I will try and do my first easy jumping session in the next two weeks.  Have a great da and thanks for your support! Bubba

Lena Lovich - "New Toy" from 1981 -

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Unexpected Benefit?!

I got back from my weekly business trip and went out to run sleds like I do every day upon my return.  My sled was missing.  No idea where it is nor why it wouldn't be in the spot it has always been.  I thought for a minute and decided to run 10 X bleacher ramps.  These are at a decent incline and about 50m long.  I figure with the incline and ankle weights I could get maybe a bit more turnover than with the sled.

As I was doing these ramps it occurred to me that I do need to run faster than I can with the sleds if I want speed endurance on the runway.  That said I still need the resistance of the incline and the ankle weights.  Before I added the ankle weights I was getting weird groin and hip dings.  Since I added them my body can take faster turnover.  Long story short, it may actually be time for me to make such a switch anyway so I can gain some additional speed.  So I think I found an unexpected benefit I would not have thought of if someone hadn't moved my sled. I'm still on a mission to find it this afternoon though.

Oh yeah; I was able to run 70-80% today and will start doing some low level jumping next Thursday.  Got hard quality lifts and bars followed so overall a very good day.  Now I wish you a great one!  Bubba

Alice in Chains - "Man in a Box" -

Sunday, March 16, 2014

YES - It's Real!!

Two days after I said I thought I was turning the corner, suddenly I can run 40-50% with no pain.  In fact, my wind was becoming a bit of a factor on my running.  Amazing!  Two weeks ago today I strained my hamstring so this is much faster than last time.  The progress also validates my belief that working it is better than resting it.

As I type my age group is jumping at nationals in Boston.  I keep going back over to check but no results are posted yet.  I'm epexcting the winning vault to be about 10'.  My best this year is 12' but if you're hurt you can't jump.  Congrats to the guys smart enough to get there in one piece.

I'm now thinking about going to worlds in Lyon, France next year, as last night I found out it's a month after the National Senior Games.  Since my friend Allan Williams will drive from Great Britain and we use the same poles, it should be less of a nightmare.  Nothing in stone but thinking about it.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

Humble Pie - "I Don't Need No Doctor" -

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pieces Are Coming Together!!

I challenged myself to lift a little heavier today with no issues.  I've been super careful since I added hang cleans and incline back in because of the little back strain that was never going away.  Everything is good at this point.  Back to my baseline of 4X205 on bench so that's a place I can grow from.  All other lifts are starting to feel stronger.

Normally I won't get an 11 day block of straight training so I'm not too worried about over doing it.  For the next five weeks I travel Monday, returning Wednesday so that will give me some hard core quality four day rotations. 

It's only 13 days out from my injury and I'm already starting to feel like I'm going to come out good after 12 weeks.  In fact I'm reassessing goals.  I think the American Record for M60 is around 13'3" so why not go after that instead of just 13'?  Have a great weekend!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Train of Consequences" from the David Letterman show -  Exactly why I'm not in Boston - the train f consequences.  Should have skipped Air Force and only taken 13'1" poles to Boston.  Two  more weeks of healing might have done it.  Anything would be better than my consequences; starting over at day 1!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Light At the End of the Tunnel?

Today at 12 days since my injury, and on my 5th running day with a sled, I was finally able to run with a rhythm instead of a limp.  Granted I'm only going maybe 20-25% but just a few days ago I was at 8-10%.  I could do leg curls with barely a notice, etc.  So apparently I'm far from well but at least at a point I'm about to turn the corner to get better.  My hope is that after four weeks I can do so running plants on the ground and then start moving through tiny poles starting with a 1330.

SO, three things are important here.  1) I was injured because I let my leg heal only, and did not rehab/condition it to be better.  I have never done that nor will I again.  Clearly my hard but cautious training is making it respond far faster.  2) I need my knee brace to keep my leg from flying into a hyperextension.  Once that happens the nerve sends a message to the hammy that it is weak and is about to go.  Since I forgot my knee brace in Colorado I believe this is part of the cause.  That said, my experience is that one you trigger this type of a strain, you have to ramp back up really slowly through small poles; hence the 1330 in a couple of weeks.  3) Though my technique has been very good, I first learned this breakthrough constant hand pressure technique on a 1330 and then progressed it to my other poles over a two week period.  This was in 2008 where I was able to move up 11 poles from the same run.  NOW I have the time to revisit and work my way back through the progression.  VERY excited and optimistic at my progress  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Def Leppard - "Bringing On the Heartbreak" - - How I felt less than two weeks ago when my leg blew up again.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rock Bottom?!

I think that is the best way to describe how I felt for the first 12 hours after my 2nd hamstring strain in six weeks.  Shocked, horrified, demoralized, and sadly emotional.  I don't know what happens to us vaulters but somehow we repeatedly seem to rise from the ashes in spirit again and again, in defiance of all sensibilities. 

Eleven days from the injury I'm really starting to gain some momentum.  Of course I'm very cautious but I'm also starting to get aggressive with my training.  Eleven days is a long way from 12 weeks.  I must maintain this focus and attention for that entire time if I'm going to prepare my body for bigger jumps and to condition it against such breakdowns. 

In the back of my mind I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode where the loveable loser George throws all caution to the wind and declares, "This is the summer of George".  I can only hope my hard work results in the summer of Bubba.  Have a great day and thanks for your support and friendship!  Bubba

UFO - "Rock Bottom" - - another fun guitar song to play.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nothing Is Easy!!

Another hard day at the grind.  Here's the overview of the training.  Today I'm on Day 3 of a four day rotation.  I train every day I am home so this time will be 11 days straight.  I just keep repeating the four day rotation.  Have a great day!  Bubba

GOAL - Lift and long stretch every day, bars, run and lift legs every other day.

Day 1 - Sleds - 2X50, 45, 40, 35, 30; High/Low P-Bars X2 to Max; Gym - All 8,6,4 - Hack Squat, Leg Press, Seated Leg Curl, Lying Leg Curl, Led Extensions, Preacher Curl, Seated Triceps Press

Day 2 - All Lifts 8,6,4 - Bench, Lat Pull Superset, Incline, Hang Clean, Overhead Straight Arm Lat Superset, Abs

Day 3 - All Lifts 8,6,4 - 6X100m + 4X50m, High P-Bars, Deep Squat, Heavy Squat to Bench, Lunge, Bench Step Up, Straight Leg Deadlifts

Day 4 - All lifts 8,6,4 - Power Sets (one set = standing curl, upright row, overhead press & lateral fly), Concentration Curl/Lying Triceps Press Superset, Alternate Dumbbell Curl (on slight incline)/Triceps Pushdown Superset, Abs

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Staying the Course!!

Yesterday I was able to do lying leg curls for the first time. Occasionally when I'm moving around I forget that I have a hamstring strain.  THEN I will make a quick move or a misstep and be reminded immediately. 

I'm pleased my leg is coming along rather rapidly compared to last time, but that doesn't change my 12 week commitment to pay some dues.  Today felt like it was going to be really hard but I turned out to be fairly strong afterwards.  I'm sure that won't last as the grind deepens, but for today and the next 12 week, I will stay the course.  have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Guns & Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine" -  - Just got down the first part of this in guitar.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hanging Tough!!

On day five some things feel better and some things feel weaker.  That's life.  It's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  That said, I strained my hamstring 8 days ago and this is my 3rd running and leg lift day.  It will get better or go down trying.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Megadeth - "She Wolf" -

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bo Knows!!

I remember several years ago reading about Bo Jackson, then at the height of his career, speaking to an elderly group of people in Birmingham, Alabama.  His message was that their perceived level of exertion was no different than his.  He is just conditioned to withstand it longer.  So for them to get up out of a chair and walk across the room, to them, was as hard as his lifting workout.  This gave perspective and hope to these people and I became a fan of Bo Jackson, "the person", as well as admired him as an athlete.

He went on to say that sometimes it takes 100% of his effort to hit a mark or weight that is only 70% of his best.  In other words, some days the work is harder and you need to adjust your expectations of reasonable effort or you are going to always be hurt.

I took this information and decided that each day, as I was just getting going in my workout, that I would simply see how I was doing and then either assign a "I" (Intensity), or a "Q" for quality to the goals for the day.  Today was my 4th consecutive day of hardcore training so I set it up as a "Q", because it would take 100% of my effort to reach 80% of my best. 

Considering I have seven more consecutive days before I leave town and get a break again, I have a feeling I will see a lot of "Q"s.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Mean Street" -

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Let the Grind Continue!!

Good hard fun day and I earned it!  YES!!  Perspective - Day 3 of 12 weeks, only 6 days after being hurt.  Yes it sucks but I'm not taking it off.  ATTACK!!  Have a great day!  Bubba

Deep Purple - "Highway Star - Live From Japan" -

Friday, March 7, 2014

More Hard Knocks!

Much to my surprise I now have a big bruise on the back of my hamstring AGAIN!!  Not quite as bad as the last one but JEEZ!!!  TWO in two months when I haven't had one in several years?!  Oh well - I will not be stopped from my mission.  Run and leg lift day #2 tomorrow morning.  Day three of 12 weeks!  Can't wait!  Have a great evening and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Offspring - "The Kids Aren't Alright" -

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm SLOW!!

Today I had the harsh reality that my walking stride with my sled is shorter than my present running stride.  Literally, walking back to start my next run had a longer and more powerful stride.  But at least I ran my 10 sleds.  I don't know what else I expected since I was injured just four days ago. 

The reality is that I am just about as far along now as I was over three weeks into the last recovery.  I'm just going to go after it every day and fully expect to be at another level at 12 weeks.  In fact, during every single rep of every set, I stayed focused by simply saying to myself, "12 weeks".  This is a message to myself that, even when I start feeling better along the way, that my commitment to this insanity IS a full 12 weeks. 

As mundane as that sounds, the grind excites me because I know what it produces.  Do I want to reach my goals or do I feel stupid enough to believe they will happen by merely saying it?  I'm in a good place and gaining momentum.  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

AC/DC - "Shoot to Thrill" from Ironman -

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


After much torment and a million scattered thoughts I have a plan and thus have decided to continue.  My first instinct was to just slowly regroup and stop posting here.  Then it occurred to me that there are lessons to be learned.  So dammit if I'm going to suffer you're going to feel it too.  So here we go.

Long story short, I let my leg heal but I did nothing to further strengthen it by way of consistent rehab.  My belief was that I needed to leave it alone and let it heal.  The problem with that is that I come back with all of my body stronger except for my weakest link.  Not this time.

Yesterday I "ran" some easy little strides down the hallway and did this same this morning.  I've even done some walking and baby jogging and planting take offs on the ground.  When I get home I will blast that mother every day for the next 12 weeks until it is bullet proof.  I will stop short of feeling a grab but I will challenge my leg to respond every single day.  It's time to pay some dues again burthas and sistas!!

The report card this morning is that the leg is not injured in the same place nor nearly as bad - maybe 60%.  It's 4-6" higher, closer to the center than the outside, and away from the tendon it hit the last time.  I believe the cause is twofold. 

The first as said is that my body got stronger while I babied my leg.  Bad move.  The other is that I forgot my knee brace that I always wear.  I left it in my other gym bag.  My knee is somewhat loose so without the brace it can go into a slight hyperextension at take off, thus sending a message to my lower hamstring that it is going to strain.  Apparently without the brace that is exactly what happened.  There is good and bad news about this type of strain from the hyperextension.  Bad - it will always happen whenever I jump.  Good - if I build up slowly beginning with tiny poles it will let me do a little more each day without the chance of strain.

My goal is to be able to do jogging plants, no matter how slow, on the football field by Thursday and build from there.  Hopefully a week later I can do a two step walk up and take off into the pit.  And from there I will get back to some predictable progress.

So between this enthusiastic plan and revelation my spirit and emotions were dragged through some very low places.  Technically I have not vaulted better than I have this year but have not stayed healthy, after prolonged periods of sound body.  During the drive back to my hotel Sunday and through the evening I could have burst into tears at any moment.  Then in the middle of the night it hit me; "You healed it but you didn't rehab and condition it.  Why would you ever think it could hold up to the improved strength in the rest of my body if I neglected the weakest point?"  And that's all I needed to get my plan going.  What's my plan?

Rotate Sets/Reps Primary 8,8,6,6 - Secondary 12,8 with 8,6,4 - 10,6 on the next rotation.
Thursday – Sleds, Gym, Lift, Bars
Friday – Lift legs
Saturday – 8X100m Strides, Bars, Garage Lift 1
Sunday – Garage Lift 2
REPEAT for 12 weeks
Have a great day and thanks for hanging in there with me!  Bubba

The Who - "Won't Get Fooled Again" -

Monday, March 3, 2014


Warm up felt good, for my first two heights my technique was dead on and then BAM - hamstring goes out AGAIN!!  Six weeks and two days was not enough from 3 lefts/6 steps and 32'?!  I don't think I have ever been so distraught as I was yesterday.  I did everything perfectly.  I was patient, left it alone for two weeks, never stepped over the line to pain.  I felt like I couldn't have done anything better and yet I have my second hamstring strain in six weeks after not having n for nearly three years.  So now I'm out of nationals in Boston in two weeks.  Let's just sit with that for a day and then I'll tell you my revelation and plan.  I know that it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down but how many you get up. But just getting up is not a sustainable solution.  I have one and will share it tomorrow.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba