Alright Ive had 2 meets since my last post on Greece, one went really well and the other not so much, but sometimes thats the way it goes, and all you can do is try to learn from both the good and the bad.
We arrived in Rottach-Egern, Germany on the 2nd of July, Rottach is one of about 4 villages that surround a lake deep in the heart of Bavarian Germany. There was a mountain stream running through our hotel that was probably around 45 degrees that we got in everyday we were there to ice our legs and help them recover, it was awesome, colder than anything else ive ever been in. The day before the meet we went up on the side of this moutain and had a tradition bavarian meal, which included music, sausage and cheese, and those riccola guys with the huge horns. All of this while looking over the lake and the villages below, just beautiful.
We vaulted on the 4th of July, right in the middle of this town, it was one of the best set up street vaults ive done, the runway was great, the wind was at our backs the whole time we jumped and the crowd was pretty awesome. I might also just be saying this because it was the best meet of my life. The whole day leading up to the competition i had a good feeling about the meet and how i was going to jump. Like i said in my last post, i used the meet in greece to try out the longer poles and try to get a feel for them. Well i went into this meet knowing i could jump on the 5.10m poles i just didnt really know when. So i started warmups on my regular poles, and was feeling awesome! I was getting thrown off the tops of every pole i was jumping on, so by the end of warmups i had jumped on the 5.10m 13.5flex and even taken up the 13.2 once.
The meet started at about 5.10m 16'9" I think, because warmups went so well i passed to 5.45m 17'9" my first jump I made the bar by about a foot and a half. Since that went so well and i knew i was going up a pole i decided to pass to 5.65m 18'6" to conserve energy to try and vault a personal best. I made 5.65 by about a foot, and decided to jump at 5.70m 18'8" since i hadnt jumped it this year and I was going up to the 5.10 13.2 and wasnt too sure where to put the standards. First one i had lots of height but went off to the right and missed, second was pretty good i just came down on the bar. So its down to third attempt at 5.70m at this point i think 3 guys had already made it so i was sitting in 4th or so, I was standing on the back off the runway trying to get pumped up and the DJ puts on this Bavarian song with horns and accordions HAHA. I got the crowd going clapping it up, came down the runway and had just a perfect jump, came a little off the pole but got it right back under me and had a clean clearance. It always feels good to jump a season best but the thing i really wanted was that personal best.
The bar goes up to 5.75m 18'10" which is my current PB which i jumped in 2008 at the university of Illinois, so its been a little while since i had been back up there, and to tell you the truth it was starting to eat at me. I knew i was capable of jumping higher but the results had just not come. So first attempt i come down with the 5.10m 13.2 and its way to small, i nail the bar on the way up. I have one more pole in my bag, a 5.10m 12.8flex which is a pretty big pole. I grab it, tape it up, get on the runway come screaming down the runway, probably faster than i ever have and make the bar cleanly!!!!!!!!!!! Pandemonium breaks out, not only from me screaming and nearly crying from the relief of finally jumping it again but i had just broke the meet record! Noone else had jumped the bar, 2 guys passed the height and went up to 5.80m 19ft and the others went out. So the bar goes up to 5.80m and Rafael Holdzeppe comes down and makes the bar first attempt, what a jerk haha, I had 3 really good tries at it and had about 6 inches over the bar but just came down on it. So i was kinda bummed i didnt make that next bar but still happy with the way i jumped.
We left Rottach the next day and traveled to Munich where we spent 5 days with Jeff Ryan, and American vaulter who is living and training in Munich for the summer. We had a great time filled with training at the German Olympic training center, which was pretty cool. We were also able to go to the public viewing of the semifinal World Cup game between Germany and Spain in the Olympic Stadium. There were about 40,000 people there to see it, and even tho Germany lost it was still a great time.
Friday we took the train from Munich to Hasselt, Belgium which took around 8 hours. We jumped in Heusden, Belgium the next day. The track was nice the pits were nice and runway felt pretty good. There was a headwind the entire competition that really starts to mess with your run, I came in at 5.30m 17"5 and was able to make it easy 2nd attempt. I passes to 5.50m 18ft and just wasnt hitting the takeoff very well and ended up coming down on the bar 3 times. So i was pretty dissapointed with how i jumped, but i realize thats how things go, the best can jump well no matter the conditions so i know that i still have work to do. I did get a spasm in my back in Munich on Wednesday so that probably had something to do with it as well.
Now were here in Liege, Belgium for my final meet of this trip. It could be tricky the wind looks pretty strong, and yesterday the winds were swirling in the stadium a bit, but hopefully they wont affect us too much. we vault at 7:50pm local time, 1:50pm eastern time. My back is still bothering me a bit but hopefully when i start moving around it will loosen up. Im excited for the meet but im more excited about coming home to see my wife who i havent seen in over 2 weeks and our first anniversary is on Sunday. Alright i will have a long plane ride home tomorrow to blog so im gonna do it, I will have something on here that says how i did.
Always Pursuing -Mark-