Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And Again.

So my third NH in a row... I've never had a rough patch quite like this before. It's hard to swallow. Especially since practices have been going so well. Technically, I know I'm ready to really get some big jumps, it just seems like every meet I have things working against me. Organization at the last 3 meets has been dismal. We never know when I'll actually be jumping, how much time I'll get to warm up, how long I'll have to wait after warm ups.... It's been hard to manage, but I need to get used to it soon.
This weekend I was competing in Myrtle Beach. It was a really small meet. It wasn't horribly run, but I did only get 19 minutes on the runway to warmup. That's a lot less than the 30-60 minutes I'm used to at college meets. The wind was pretty strong too, switching from a cross wind to a tail wind. I definitely let it get into my head more than I should have. I had a hard time reading the wind and I didn't really have any good jumps all day, in the meet or in warmups. And I had way too many run thrus. But I've had a few days to think about things, and I've had some great discussions with everyone about the situation. I'm going to make some adjustments and hopefully get things sorted before I have my next meet in 2 weeks.
The bonus of the weekend was that I got to catch up with a lot of friends and family. Unfortunately I didn't put on a great showing for them, but it was amazing being able to see everyone. I wish I could have a cheering squad like that every meet!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Not what I was hoping for......

So my last two meets didn't go exactly as we had planned... Two weeks ago I competed in the NC State Games at Johnson C. Smith University. It was really my first day ever moving back to my long run. We've been trying to get back to 8 lefts for at least a year now and it's finally time to make it happen. Warmups went amazingly well. I took some of the best jumps I have ever taken, including 2 from 8 lefts on my bigger poles. I was jumping almost a foot higher than I ever have. Unfortunately I had to wait about an hour in the almost 100 degree heat before I started competing, and I ended up no-heighting. I had taken more warmup jumps than I normally do in the process of moving back to 8 lefts, and I was so excited with my jumps in warm ups. I did a very poor job of managing the long rest and let myself get mentally and physically drained. But despite the NH, there were a lot of good things that I could take from the meet.
Last Friday was a different story. I competed in a meet at UNC Charlotte, and while the facilities were better and the heat wasn't quite as stifling, I was not on form physically or mentally. I ended up having two different full warmups on the runway (neither went particularly well), and I didn't take my first competition jump until over three hours after I had initially started warming up. It's tough to manage long rests, much less two of them. I ended up with my second NH in a row. I had come into the meet with very high expectations for myself, which made the NH even tougher to swallow. But I had the opportunity to go back home to Pinehurst, NC for the remainder of the weekend. Spending time with amazing friends and family does wonders for returning some confidence.
Next on the schedule will be a meet in Myrtle Beach, SC so anyone down in the area should come check it out! This will be my last meet before heading to CA for the Club National Championships in a few weeks. Despite what the recent results would indicate, I definitely still feel like I'm making progress in the right direction. I know some big results are just around the corner!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Started...

So here it goes... I am finally starting a blog. This should be an easy way for everyone to follow my training and competitions as I do my best to follow my dreams.

For those of you that don’t know me, or are just getting to know me, here are some basics. I still feel very new to this world of pole vaulting. I grew up in gymnastics, truly my first love. I competed for 14 years, through my senior year in high school. In college I ran cross country and raced bikes in sadly misguided attempts at becoming an endurance athlete... But I’m eternally grateful to my cross country coach for finally convincing me to try vaulting my junior year. Given the laid back atmosphere of Division III athletics, my first few years of vaulting were pretty relaxed. I had some amazing help from many coaches, but it was mostly just playing around and having fun. It wasn’t until I met my current coach 2 years ago that I realized I may have a future in the sport. So I really only have 2 seasons of serious training under my belt and I know I have so much more progress to make.

So as of about 22 months ago, I have centered everything in my life around my training. It hasn’t been an easy process. Because I coached myself a lot of the time I had developed too many bad habits to count. My coach was faced with the unenviable task of reinventing my technique from the ground up. We’ve changed everything from my run, plant, and takeoff all the way to my swing and turn (which, to be honest, didn't really exist a few years ago). It has been monotonous and trying at times, and good results are often few and far between. But things finally seem like they’re starting to come together.

The last month and a half has been quite the whirlwind. Six weeks ago I was a happy homeowner, working 2 jobs, finishing grad school, and driving 1.5 hrs to practice a couple times a week, doing the rest of my training on my own. It wasn't exactly the easiest set up. But since then I’ve sold my house, graduated with my masters, finished all my jobs, and moved out of state so all I have to focus on is vaulting. It’s a huge step, and a decision I didn’t take lightly. But I really do have an awesome situation here. I’m lucky enough to have a committed coach, good places to vault, run, and lift, and at least for now nothing else to distract me from my training. I also have some amazing support behind me in my friends and family. I wouldn’t be able to follow my dreams if it wasn’t for your help, I can’t thank you enough!

In the immediate future, I have 2 meets coming up in Charlotte, NC at Johnson C. Smith University. The first will be Sunday, June 13 and the second is Saturday June 19. They are small meets, but they will a good place for me to test out all my recent progress in practice. I will be sure to update results, and anyone that is in the area should definitely stop by. The more support the better.

That’s all for now! Be sure to check back soon.