Monday, January 30, 2012

A Step in the Right Direction

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past few weeks. I have finally started making some progress in the right direction, and I couldn't have gotten back on track without you.
As you know my first meet was a bit of a learning experience. After a very rough week reaching my breaking point with injuries, I refocused and was finally able to relax and enjoy my vaulting. We returned to Virginia Tech for a second weekend. This time around they had odd bar progressions, so instead of opening at 4.00m like we had planned I entered at 3.96m (12'11.75). It was also my first day jumping on the 14' poles. And I was switching brand of poles, which to be honest was unknown territory. I had no idea how they would feel. I ended up taking 5 jumps in warm ups, at least twice as many as I would prefer to take. But I made huge strides in my ability to embrace the technique that we are training. And I ended up clearing 3.96m on my second attempt. Here is a video of that jump:

video

By the time the bar moved to 4.11m, I was already at 7 full vaults for the day. Given my injuries, my fitness level isn't what I would like it to be. I am pretty exhausted by 6 or 7 jumps. But I gave a good go at 4.11m (13'5). Here is video of my best attempt:

video

Needless to say I was happy with the clearance. It was a PR for me, even though it was only by 6cm. But it felt great to clear a bar finally. And I felt like I was able to work around the injuries, and make progress on the technical aspects of the jump.

This past weekend we headed to my old home track, ETSU. The facility is great for track meets, and typically the meet is pretty good. This year opening height was a little lower, 10 ft. I wasn't too stressed out about it though. I have had a long wait in meets before. Last week was the first week where I really took the whole week to recover, and get my feet under me for competition day. And it totally worked! My feet felt the best they have in months when I was warming up. Here is my first warm up jump (the bungee is at 4.00m):

video

If you have ever dealt with plantar faciitis, you know that your feet are ok once you warmed them up. But once you stop and sit for a while, they tighten up again. Well, we definitely had to sit for a while. It was 2.5 HOURS before we came into the competition. I did my best to warm my feet up again, but they were hurting a lot, particularly my jump foot. My first competition jump I took off from about a foot too close to the box. So we moved back for the second one. When I jumped off the ground on the second attempt, I felt a pop in my foot. It was so painful that I didn't even finish that jump. On my third attempt I was struggling so much to get down the runway that my run was way off. I was really disappointed that I had another meet without a clearance, and I was really worried that I had done some serious damage in my foot. It hurt to put any pressure on my heel all night. When I woke up on Saturday morning my foot was a little more sore than normal, but thankfully (and surprisingly!) it loosened up throughout the day. It now feels like it will be able to recover and be ready to jump again this weekend.
With that scare behind me, and great jumping in warmups to build off of, I am looking forward to competing at Virginia Tech again. I will be sure to post an update on my next PR! :)

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