Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunday - Post 3

A Race From My Window

I see a trend here. I have predicted times that I am available to reflect on thoughts for the day, throughout the day. I just got back from watching the W50+ vault. Of course Phil Raschker won and stopped so she could get off to her next event. That said she looked much better vaulting than I have seen her in years. She said she was on a small pole where she felt confident and it showed. I was sitting next to Warren Hill who coached the runner up, so when she went out Phil stopped. The highlight was a Japanese lady in the W75 setting a world record (WR) at 1.91m and then 2m (6' 6 3/4"). American Becky Sisley also looked very good in winning her division.

Talking to Warren, who will officiate the women tomorrow, he says they will follow IAAF rules so there will be no run throughs. A run through is a warm up jump without the bar given to an athlete who has passed previous heights for more than one hour. It's hard enough to get going again period much less to go from sitting to all out in one jump. To do this I will have to start at a lower height and on a smaller pole, and in essence, warm up during the meet. I can do it but it's not optimal.

Here's how the competition goes for us. Tomorrow we must sign in and "Declare" our intent to compete and pick up our number that goes on our back to identify us to the officials. No earlier than 90 minutes and no later than 70 minutes before our scheduled start time we have to report to the "Call Room". In this holding area they count you as present, check the contents of your gym bag and make sure that your equipment is compliant. Then they walk the group in front of the stands and everyone cheers as you walk by like warriors taking the field. Pretty cool actually. I'm guessing my poles will already be on the field but I'll find out tomorrow. On the field we are given a 45 minute warm up and then the competition starts at a height that the lowest vaulter selects. You may vault or "Pass" these attempts. There are 18 vaulters in our group - 10 in my group (M55) and 8 in the M60 group. Medals are awarded by your age group only but sometimes they consolidate groups together to save time. SO, the bar may start as low as 8' and it will go up 4" (10 cm) at a time. Each vaulter has three attempts at each height. Three consecutive misses and your out. So with 18 vaulters, if everyone no heights (nhs) then that took 48 jumps already so you can see this will be a long day. I start at 12' so it could easily be two hours before I vault after I have warmed up - hence the desire for a run through. We'll see because I WILL plead my case. My point is that they are combining groups and that makes the top jumpers wait too long so either break us up or give us a run through.

Alan Launder Has Arrived
I talked to Alan Launder today and we will go to lunch tomorrow and then over to watch the top girls. I'm sure we will strategize my situation but if I had to guess I will start from my 54' run on my 17.0 at 11' 6" or 11' 10" and just jog down the runway and not risk jerking something without the warm up run through. Alan is one of the world's best known coaches and the author of the pole vaulters bible, "From Beginner to Bubka". He visits The Woodlands once or twice a year and teaches our kids and works with me. He also goes to my coach, Kris Allison's place in New Braunfels. Between Kris and Alan I've got two of the top minds keeping me on track and eliminating the need for second guessing - hence less stress. So by the time lunch is over tomorrow I'll be dialed in.

Today I was watching a video special with a band called "Wolfmother". They are a young Australian band that really rocks it old school style. Check them out Dean. Anyway they had a song picked up for the world famous game, "Guitar Hero". During the promo for that edition I saw about six of their songs live. I'm always looking for music to help me survive and drive may way through training. So, remember the name, "Woflmother". I say this half in jest because on my way to the track I could hear the rehearsals going on for the Opening Ceremonies. They were playing some rock songs by Kiss and others and then here comes Wolfmother's song "Woman". I'm thinking that's pretty cool since I had never heard of them a hour ago. Fifteen minutes later I walk in the track stadium and over the speaker, here comes Wolfmother. Can't get away from these guys. NONE of them is particularly special but the way they play together reminds me of the way it used to be done with rocking simplicity. Very cool new find for me from downunder.

Warren, who lives in Melbourne, was telling me today that there is no Ozone level over most of Australia so even on overcast days you have no protection. That's good to know. My buddy Tom Rauscher immediately got out his sunscreen since he is a little fair skinned. I only bring it up because I noticed yesterday that I looked more tan all of the sudden and knew I hadn't really been in the sun. Well I guess I have. The sun produces a super intense heat but when the clouds come over it feels 10 degrees cooler. Even when it feels hit the breeze is cool so its a little misleading. In any case, it was another beautiful day.

That's it for today. I know you are all sleeping but wanted to get these thoughts out before I get too busy. All the best! Bubba


  1. Great report, Bubba! But the real world record in the W75 vault belongs to Flo Meiler, who went 6-7 at National Senior Games:

    After you event, tell the officials to start posting results. Haven't seen any yet!

  2. Bubba,

    I would certainly expect that you could do a pole run or two to re-warm up in an area adjacent to the runway. I know you can't do it on the runway. For me, the key is to practice a couple of 'starts' (the first 3 lefts with a pole). That is where most of my problems occur if I haven't gotten properly loosened up after waiting.

    It sounds like you've got things well under control. You'll have the Zen to keep the focus when you need to. There isn't anything they can throw at you that you can't accommodate.

    - John