18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just More Rain and Train

Waiting for the fire.
It’s quite cold today down in the barn, the old storage shed and tool shop, I now call home and gym. More weather has come in, and this time it’s a bit colder. I curse myself once again for celebrating this climate. When the truth of the matter is that everywhere you go, there are downs and ups. It’s not the place, it’s the resident. Nowhere is perfect, if there is a true paradise that is not in danger of tornado, fire, tsunami, hurricane, etc, then I’m sure the super rich are doing an exceptional job of keeping it out of public knowledge, alongside a mass of other ‘need to know’ topics. But I digress. Peering out the cold single pain window into the grey wet gloom that is a Saturday looking extremely familiar to the previous month, I patiently wait for the fire to raise the temperature to an acceptable training level. Creating a decent atmosphere that will host the second of two short training sessions on the day. They were designed one week ago not specifically for peak physical condition, but mostly for psychological survival. Clouds and rain can be depressing, working out is always uplifting, and spreading the free joy throughout different periods of an uneventful day can prove therapeutic.

I was talking with a friend the other day regarding training, and I said “With all this rain, I’m getting plenty strong, that’s for sure. Upper body, core and stabilizer strength that is, my leg speed……I’m not so sure.” I went on to say that it doesn’t concern me, but it does at times. Almost all the data that is out there supports a technical pole vault model based on speed, and I just don’t have it anymore (you could argue, I never did, but changing such is even more difficult now). I hang onto the evidence that a few men over the years, just a few mind you, have been clocked at slower (less than 9m/s) speeds and taken some incredible jumps. These jumps are outliers. The result is most likely do to a splendid conservation of energy and high percentage of efficiency in its management throughout the jumps entirety. But this is not an invitation to start an ongoing debate on my blog or via email please, it’s just stuff I think about so save it for the message board. I have to become one of these outliers, and I will. I have an individual formula that will work. The odds are heavily against me regarding the matter, despite other issues, but maybe that is why I continue to press on through this madness, sometimes I wonder.

Seeing results around the country, and the knowledge of my friends competing and starting there outdoor seasons has made me a bit impatient to start my own. But looking at a broad picture full of goals and dreams, suddenly even April 14th seems too close. They have their thing, and I have mine. I have too keep reminding myself that I’m on the right path for me and my circumstances, and following the masses would be a grave error.

I have officially had 3 vault sessions on the backyard setup now. That makes 3 vault practices outdoors and 5 total in 2012 (not counting competition). One of which (out back) I have already shared with you. The second was forced into the middle of a tiresome training cycle do too a supposed break in the weather, and after warm up and prep, I set foot on the runway for my first jump (from a full run of course) in a headwind, and the rain started. It was fairly light at first and since I had already gone through all that effort I figured I would be tough, and give it a shot. I managed to fully complete 1 out of a total of 8 attempts, and figured if I cut myself off, I had enough energy in the reserves to possibly come back the next day (also a chance at a weather break) and try again. So I did, session 3; the next day, after morning rain, the sun broke through and the wind was polite. I started jumping from a full run, sore and tired. I managed to clear one lonely bar of 17’1” and failed to turn upside down once after. I tried and tried until I found myself further and further away from a safe landing location in such a large mat, meanwhile my boring better judgment took over and that was the end of that practice. Believe it or not, there were more positive things to take away from the day than negative. Two examples of which; Item one being a few glimpses of what felt like decent speed through a tired pair of legs. Item two being that through fatigue, I still was forced to get on my second pole again, and unlike session one, this time I made it work, instead of having to swallow my pride and demote myself to save the workout.
These are small victories, but still victories in my mind. It is important to take away the positive from a session and not to dwell on the negative, promote the good habits and don’t destroy your ego through mass concern on the bad ones. 

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