Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good & Safe Day - Poles/Tracking

Well today was my last best chance to get hurt as I was to vault on my only 14' pole left in my bag as the rest have been sent to Australia. I've jumped on the 14/169/17.5 several times over the past few weeks but not from 33' since about this time last year. I need to be in a position where if I don't hit my positions I won't penetrate enough to complete the vault. Since you can't run very fast from 33' it comes down to technique and timing of forces. If I push the run too hard I get a hamstring strain and it's over - don't even bother going on the trip because you can't jump 12 days after a hamstring strain. So there was HUGE fear and caution going into today.

That said I made 12' on my second attempt, 12' 6" on my first and had one really nice vault at 13' before stopping. So four jumps total to meet the goals I had set out for the day. I've made 12' 6" from 33' several times but have never tried 13' from there. Today I only took one jump at 13' but had about 4" of height and hit it on the way down. At that point I decided to leave well enough alone and stop while healthy. WHEW!!!!!

Sunday will be my last vault day as I'll start on my smaller 13' poles and work my way through a bunch of "fun" low intensity jumps trying to refine my technique. I will still need to lift upper on Monday and run on Tuesday before I fly out on Wednesday, but at this point the hard and risky stuff is over. I'm very pleased with the ramp up and also relieved to remain very healthy with no dings or annoyances.

Pole Tracking
The poles are in transit and are supposed to be received on 10/3. The website to track their progress is here - and the tracking number is 52056587. Why not? We'll find out together if they actually make it. I understand there are a few levels of "made it". One is to the airport in Sydney, then through customs and then to the stadium. I'm sure we will all learn about this process as we go. They have to be through customs by 10/8 so we should be fine. Since I leave on 10/7 it would be great if they are through all of this by then. I am assured they will be. We'll see.

To Blog or Not to Blog From Oz
My friend of nearly 30 years, Dean "The Machine" Gregory asked me yesterday if I will go to "radio silence" until after I vault or if I will continue this blog. Great question. I assured him that as soon as I get my Internet connection at my hotel that I will resume my daily reports. If anything I will need the outlet more then so you're along for the whole bumpy ride.

I'm starting to feel reasonably confident that our plan should culiminate in me arriving healthy and fresh. That being the case I can only fail if I get the Swine Flu on the plane or get hurt during the warm-up or meet, OR have a big lapse in mental focus. Of course I'm hoping and planning that these are not factors. Success is relative but the main goal is to get a medal in these World Championships. I got the bronze in South Africa in 1997 so it's been a long time in between and I don't want to waste this opportunity. I told Nancy this morning that as of today, this is the best I have ever been prepared physically, technically and mentally for a competition. Again, this means absolutely nothing. The ONLY thing that matters is what happens on that day. I told my partner at lunch today that the moment you step on that runway in a huge meet like this, that the feeling is nearly heart stopping. The nerves are wild and it's no longer six months, six weeks or six days away - IT IS NOW and that urgency just slams all of your senses. It's at this time that my focus on only doing one thing per jump and doing it perfectly will help me off that hook with the nerves. Then it's like football - you get that first big hit and now you're in the game. So I'm scared yet excited but at this point the plan has been excellent as have the tests along the way.

Thanks again for your invaluable support! Bubba

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