Thursday, July 31, 2014

Goals!? Jump Higher From All Runs!!

My overall goal is to try and jump at any level twice a week in conjunction with my other regular training.  I'm of the opinion that I need "vault conditioning", so just like you start a lifting program with light weights, I start this program with light poles. Over time you slowly raise the level and end up on bigger poles and lifting heavier weights.  Again, I'm convinced that most of my vault dings are from not enough jumping so I will "baby step" this thinking until I can do something significant.  Apparently part of that happened today.

My goal was to try and duplicate Sunday's session from my 2 lefts/4 steps/22' run, without flaring my groin.  I used my 12'4"/155 for 9"6", 10' and 10'6" again on first jumps, then decided to try my 12'4"/160.  I have never been able to go at a bar on that pole from the 2/4, hence my order of the 155.  Today it happened and I got 11' on my 2nd attempt after a wuss bailout on jump one that I should have stayed with.

So five total jumps today with four clearances and very good technique.  Previous to today I had not jumped 11'/3.36m from 2/4 in ages but it is a benchmark required for me to be able to jump 12'/3.66m again from my 3/6/33' run.  Goals?  What I did today was actually my goal in a week for next Thursday.  Sunday and Thursday I hope to get some decent shots at 12' on my 12'4"/165 & 170 from 3/6/33", then stop jumping until Ft. Collins. 

So far so good for my plan.  As stated before, I'm early for next year as this is not the type of training you would be expecting while meets are going on.  You would expect this more in September/October.  I'll take it as progress!  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Light Up the Sky" -

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pre Meet Challenge?

Today I did a little shake out and stretch before I vault tomorrow.  I've scaled back by practice goals leading up to Ft. Collins because I don't want to step over the line on my almost 100% groin.  The way these types of injuries work, is that you approach the point where you think you can almost feel it, and then stop.  If you do that it gets better every time you go out.  If not you cross the line and your healing timer starts over at zero. 

Tomorrow will be two days short of three weeks.  I got three jumps in the last time so maybe five this time.  Then try the same on Sunday.  After that I come out the following Thursday and that will be my last vaulting before the meet.  That gives me 2.5 weeks of hard sled and lifting legs without worrying about dings from vaulting.

What I haven't said is that I plan to stay on my 12'4"/3.75m poles for all of these sessions.  I think if I try to jump on them one stride closer it will resemble what a big pole feels like, but with less chance of injury. I've abandoned the idea of a session on my 13'1"/4m and another on my 13'7"/4.15m for this more conservative plan.

So how does it work to practice on 12'4" poles and then go to a meet on the same 14'1"s I haven't used since Reno?  Two years ago at Reno I had only jumped from three 3 lefts/6 steps in practice and had not tried higher than 12'.  At Reno I jumped 13' on 14'7"/4.45m poles from 6/12.  So I guess I will be alright; I hope.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Guns & Roses - "Sweet Child O Mine", Axl Rose's tribute to former girlfriend, Erin Everly, daughter of Don Everly of the Everly brothers -

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rest & Anxiety!!

I've had a number of life and business issues going on around me over the past few months.  Everything has turned the corner in a positive way, but that doesn't mean I didn't sometimes lose some sleep about it.  Got a big business call this morning, and of course that kept me awake.  I've gotten better at managing this type of stress so I can sleep, but sometime I fail to shut it down.

For the most part these issues are opportunities and not crisis, yet you can't tell my mind that when I want it to shut off.  The funny thing is that now I've turned the corner, I still have some awake time.  I have to shout at myself, "HEY - YOU'VE ALREADY FIXED THAT!!  LEAVE IT ALONE!!"

I guess my point is that sleep does effect your recovery and energy.  Training is my edge against anxiety because my mind is always running.  Like when you put your hand under hot water and realize it, you pull your hand back and wait for a few seconds for the pain to kick in.  I've successfully pulled my hand back, but there will be no pain, yet I wait for it.  Thank God for training!  Bubba

Papa Roach/Black Eyed Peas - "Anxiety" -

Monday, July 28, 2014


One year ago today I left for Italy for the World Masters Games.  In a little over a year I will leave for World Masters Athletics in Lyon, France.  Between now and then is a huge sustained climb starting at the very bottom.  Though I have already started and have very good momentum, I need to remember to keep climbing and not get comfortable with my progress.  That's my thoughts "For What It's Worth" -  Bubba

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Soul Sacrifice?!

Mixed but positive day.  I jumped on my new and smallest 3.75m/12'4" pole that Bruce Caldwell brought out for me to the Masters PV Symposium.  Of course I loved it but had a difficult time finding out what it will truly be like, because when the kids set the pit up they have the front piece over the box by 3", thus stopping the pole and causing it to straighten prematurely.  Still I jumped 9'6, 10' and 10'6 on first jumps and stopped with no groin issues.  We will fix the pit tomorrow and I'll give it another shot Thursday.

Today as I saw the Tour de France race enter Paris, it reminded me that I only have until 7/31 to get a 10% discount entering World Masters next year in Lyon, France.  So I entered.  I jump on August 15, 2015, but I am entered.  In fact I'm the only vaulter of any age or gender entered.  At least I can start off first.  ;-)

Here's a young Carlos Santana at Woodstock with his then 16 year old drummer - "Soul Sacrifice" -

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wanna Be a Mile High Cowboy!!

I was listening to my music while lifting in my garage this morning and two great sounds came on; "8 Miles High "by the Byrds, and "Cowboy" by Kid Rock -

To most people this isn't relevant, but to me it was pretty ironic.  My next meet is outside of Denver, the Mile High City, in the college and cowboy town of Ft. Collins.  What makes this meet special is that Colorado State University does not want to move their HJ and PV pits outside for this meet so we get an "indoor mark" in late August.  Not only that, it counts as a 2015 mark since 2014 technically ended on March 31.  So on December 1, of this year, when the 2015 rankings start, we will already have a mark. 

I first heard about this from Kay Glynn, many time WR holder.  I went last year and won a nice award for outstanding vaulter of the meet.  It was my very first day on my Essx Carbon Recoils and I was on the 13'7"s.  This time, unless something squirrely happens, I'm going I on 14'1"s hoping fore better things.

People ask me all of the time why people jump higher outdoors than indoors.  I explain that indoors is at the first of the year so people aren't as far along in their development.  I used to joke that if you gave us an indoor meet in August you would see some bigger marks.  So there you go.  I'll be a Mile High Cowboy on Sunday, August 24. Have a great Saturday!!  Bubba

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beast Mode?!

Today I felt very strong and powerful.  Last year in an effort to jump higher when I foolishly got down to 160 lbs., from my normal jumping weight of 168-171, I lost all power.  I could not get on any decent size poles and my grip went down.  It was a failed experiment in a world championship year.  The fact I still got 2nd in Italy is surprising.

It's taken me about a year to get back to my normal  training/vaulting weight.  Oh I could gain the weight but it needed to be muscle mass.  Just a few days over a year ago I left for Italy.  Today I think I'm much better off and with one year left before worlds in Lyon, France, I will not forget that lesson.

Beast mode to me means that even when I start to look  big and muscular that I will keep going and not back down just to stay lean.  I am lean and getting stronger.  But if bigger comes and it's effective then fine.  In my early 40s I jumped 15'1" at 189.  At 44 I jumped 14'7 1/2" at 178.  In any case, there are no preconceived ideas where I should come out as long as it's not below 165.  Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Holy Wars" -  GREAT power through your workout song!!  My favorite line in the song is in the news everyday in the middle east, "Killing for religion is something I don't understand".  Amen! These people have been fighting each other for hundreds of years.  We're not changing it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Resume Program!!

I was so  beat up I took my day off one day early, and then promptly skipped the make up session the next day.  You have to listen when your body talks or it will begin to yell.

So today I resume my regular Thursday sleds/bars/lower lift and I feel flat and lethargic.  I backed off a little and decided to totally focus on quality of effort and technique.  After a few sleds like this I suddenly felt very alive and FAST!!  ZERO sign of the groin strain. 

Afterwards my bars and lifting were very good too, SO, back to low level jumping on Sunday!!  Yahooooo!!  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Jethro Tull from 1970 - "Nothing is Easy" -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Worn Out!!

Hardcore lifting and training!!  FRIED!!  One more day until my day off Wednesday.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

Sublime - "Badfish" -

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dead Legs!!

I see I missed yesterday's post but it was more of the same with the upper body grind.  Today on my sleds and lifting I felt particularly dead legged for some reason.  Whatever - I just stay within myself.  Even as I got warmed up and was able to run faster, I barely noticed the groin issue that I stopped for last week in Gran Haven.  I haven't decided if I will try and jump next weekend or the following week yet.  Looking forward to it but right now I need the conditioning stuff.  Should be back to my regular benchmark weights on all lifts tomorrow.  Progress.

Yesterday Bob Crites won my division at nationals with 11'5/3.48m.  Second was Carl Huff at just under 11' and third was Terry Woodward, who I jumped with at Grand Haven, around 10' I think.  Congrats to these great friends of mine!  Bubba

Bouncing Souls - "Night on Earth" -

Friday, July 18, 2014

New Day; More Grind!!

As mentioned awhile back I'm in a transition mode in my business as we are retooling for a vastly different and improved model of our healthcare management, staffing and outcomes company.  Because of this my travel has been minimal, which gives me a great opportunity to make some physical progress.  And of course that requires a relentless daily grind.

This morning I have a conference call with three of our attorneys to hopefully move forward with our final structure.  From there I may be ramping up travel again fairly quickly. 

Now I'm comfortable with my four day training rotation that I have when I travel, but when I have extended times to train I MUST ignore the temptation to be lazy. Bottom line is I need to embrace the grind.  And I am.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

ACDC - For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) - the last song I play before I step onto the field for a big meet -

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hmmm! No Pain!!

I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't feel my groin today when I ran my sleds.  It was my normal full day of 2 X each 50m, 45m, 40m, 35m, and 30m.  As I warmed up and progressed I felt I could run faster and quicker but I stayed well within myself to avoid any flares.  Nothing!  Leg lifts felt decent as did my bars with ankle weights.  OK, so full three day rotation is done so time to slowly ramp the intensity back up.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "I'm No Angel" -

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to Work!!

Felt good to get back into a routine.  My body feels decent.  The groin thing is coming around but I wasn't jumping for a few weeks anyway.  Tomorrow is the first day back on sleds/leg lifts/bars.  A bit nervous but excited.  I've been doing 5-6 rotations and now it will be 10 for a bit.  Have a great day and thanks for dropping by!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Atomic Punk" -

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Return to the Ramp Up!!

After a big meet my body needs a short break and then it's time to ramp up again.  I enjoy this time of training because the weights are moderate and the technique super clean.  I've just come off of a prolonged ramp to peak where at the end EVRYTHING was challenging.  So mentally this is a nice way to get going again, as my body and mind need a break from the high intensity.

My groin thing isn't much but I won't jump anyway for the first three weeks as I ramp back up to full run/bar/sleds/lifting, etc.  Once I'm back to the base/benchmark levels there I'll spend a day going through my 12'4"/3.75m poles, another day on my 13'1"/4m poles and then a practice or two on my 13'7"/4.15m poles.

I have six weeks until my next meet at Ft. Collins, Colorado where I will only take my 14'1"/4.30m poles.  Ft. Collins is odd in a good way.  The school doesn't want to move the PV or HJ pits outside so we get an "indoor mark".  Not only is it an indoor mark when you are at a higher level, but the mark also goes on to NEXT year's rankings, so on December 1, you pop up with a decent indoor mark already.  Pretty cool!

After that I have the San Diego Senior Games on September 21, so that gets me through most of my "offseason".  As mentioned I'm "early" for next year meaning I expect my bigger marks to start coming sometime between now and Reno in January and to build from there. That's it for now.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

A great "Rush" medley -

Monday, July 14, 2014

Grand Haven Beach Vault!!

Unbelievable experience.  Meet management to the helpers to the spectators could not have been more perfect.  These guys were not only not stressed about the event, they actually had a good time making sure that we did.  Long story short, I have a new summer "home meet" - the Grand Haven Beach Vault.  HUGE thanks to Kevin Patterson, Dave Meott and Evert Geerlings!!

Before the "story", here's the result - 1st jump 12' on my biggest 13'7"/4.15m pole (173.8 lb), which was too small for 53', so I'm now out of poles since I didn't bring my 14'1"s/4.30ms.  TREMENDOUS set up and runway with a fantastic tailwind.  I stopped as I felt a little groin weakness at take off.  Not quite a ding because I stopped, and certainly not an injury.

As great as the GHBV was, the process for me getting to a from was a comedy of errors in a not always so funny way.
  1. My 11 AM flight left at 5:15 PM.  The next morning I would get a $200 credit via email.
  2. Weather forecasted rain for the entire day I would jump.  It waited until we were done.
  3. Fire alarm went off in my hotel in Chicago at 1 AM and I had to trek down and then up six flights of stairs.
  4. Couldn't check in poles until two hours before the flight (9:10 AM check in).  I found this out when I arrived at 6:30 AM, over 2,5 hours early.
  5. Couldn't return the rental car because I couldn't leave the poles.  Couldn't take the poles because I couldn't get them back after rental car return.
  6. Paid a fellow passenger $25 to babysit my poles while I took car back.
  7. When I checked bags they said I had not been ticketed, even though I had been issued a boarding pass.  Huh?
  8. At the gate I was told they couldn't take my poles.  I told them they got them here and they would have to get them back.  They did.
  9. Then I was told my boarding pass said I wasn't ticketed and can't board the plane.  I told them that was at 6:30 AM and had been resolved as their error.
  10. In Denver I got my boarding pass renewed to avoided the same hold up.
I'll trade all the bad and inconvenience for the good.  I travel all of the time and this stuff just never happens.  Grand Haven Beach Vault is the place to be.  Can't wait for next year!!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - Live in Japan -

Monday, July 7, 2014

Strange Feeling!!

Ready to go?  I think so?
I can't tell you how long it has been that I had my last running and lifting workout before a meet and knew for certain that I would feel good on Saturday, but it happened today.  Now that does not mean anything as far as vaulting and results, but I would far rather go in healthy and strong then being someplace along the rehab road.  And for that I am grateful.  Thank you for your support as always!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Desire" -

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last Leg Lift Day!!

I expected to feel weak since I lifted heavy and hard on Thursday but surprisingly I felt pretty good.  I just did 8,6 instead of 8,6,4 but everything felt strong, including my bars.

Afterwards I went over to the track to get my 4.15m/13'7" poles to take to the meet.  Haven't used them since Belton on 12/28 so I'm hoping to have some success and get through them all like I did then.  Hope you have a great Sunday and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Guns & Roses - "Think About You" -

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Winding Down!!

I had a brief but hard upper lift this morning along with abs/stretching.  Only two more days and I hit the road.  Business in Denver Tuesday and then Wednesday I head toward Grand Haven, Michigan on Lake Superior for the Grand Haven Beach Vault.  Here is a link to their helicopter tour last year.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Grand Haven Fly By

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Enough Already?

Saturday meet where I did not compete but took about eight vaults in warm up, good long vault day Wednesday, lift legs/bar Thursday and run sleds today?  Hmmm.  Sounds like that might be enough beating on my legs since I have a meet a week from tomorrow.  Actually I'll lift legs one more time on Sunday and then sleds again Monday and I should be ready. Very nice to be making these decisions uninjured.  Have a wonderful 4th!!  Bubba

Ozzy - "Crazy Train" -

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Not So Bad!!

I've been putting off lifting legs so I can feel good to vault.  Unfortunately the laws of "reversibility" of age actually make it worse when you don't lift.  So I'm anticipated a painful grind today and it was really quite easy and I felt very strong.  I guess we will see how I feel on sleds tomorrow, and another leg lift Sunday and more sleds Monday.  Embrace the grind!!  Have a great day!  Bubba

Saw this freak last night, Yngwie Malmsteen - "Far Beyond the Sun" -

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Moving Forward!!

Bigger poles?
I wasn't thrilled that I was too flat and tight to jump at our event this past Saturday, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  I had already paid in full my entire trip to the Grand Haven Beach Vault in Michigan, 10 days from today, so I couldn't risk getting hurt.

That said I was a little troubled by how my poles felt.  Then I remembered that I had only ever jumped on the first one of six. In retrospect I think I taped the grips too high and that's why they felt off.   So my plan was to go out today and try to go through all six poles and re-tape the proper grips.  Great plan and great day.  The good news besides the fact that gripping at the correct place made the poles perfect, is that the two biggest poles are bigger than my two smallest 13'7s/4.15ms.  Since I'm only taking my 13'7s to Grand Haven I needed something in that ballpark of stiffness.

Long story short, I JOGGED in from 3 lefts/6 steps for the first three poles and 4/8 for the next three.  Jumped 11'7"/3.53m easy but couldn't quite get in enough on the big one for 12'1/3.69m.  In any case I'm not hurt and I'm moving through poles nicely.  It was only two weeks ago I got through my 12'4" poles so I'll take it.
Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Time Machine" -  I saw them last week with Dean "The Machine" Gregory, Mike Soule and Bruce Caldwell.