Sunday, September 19, 2010

Super Meet, Kawasaki Japan

Well i just finished my final meet of the 2010 season, not gonna lie feels pretty good to be finished.  It has a been a long, but amazing season, my best ever.  So let me tell you how the meet went.

Like i said in my last couple of posts the last couple of weeks have been really low key.  Ive been really taking it easy, vaulting about once a week and just doing some light cardio to keep my legs going.  Well because of this Im not in the best shape, which i wasnt really trying to be in.  That along with the 12 hour flight here 2 days ago didnt add up to the best situation for the meet today.

I came into the meet with a very relaxed attitude.  I wasnt expecting a whole lot and so i just wanted to try and have some fun, make a few bars, and not get hurt.  Well warmups started and it quickly became evident that making a few bars wasnt going to be the easiest thing ever, and i might actually have to dig down deep just to make those couple of bars.  The wind was swirling and my legs werent feeling all that responsive, so i decided to come in to the comp at 17ft.  My first 2 attempts were pretty bad, i didnt even attempt to make the bar.  Third time i came down, had a decent takeoff and was able to make the bar pretty easily. 

I decided to pass to 17'9" because I felt like i didnt have a ton of energy, whenever the wind is bad I have to work twice as hard to make a jump.  I came down on my first attempt and had a much better run and made the bar!  I was pretty happy since i wasnt feeling great and i had struggled at 17ft. 

I knew i was going to go to the next pole, and i was kind of hoping the wind would get a bit better so i decided to pass to 18'4".  There were still 3 or 4 people in the competition and i was sitting in 2nd place.  On my 2nd attempt i got a pretty good wind and had a pretty good jump, but i just barely knicked it coming down and it fell.  Then on my 3rd attempt, I was the last in the order and noone else had made it, so if i made it I would win.  I got another decent wind, barreled down the runway, and on my 2nd to last step i got a cramp in my calf.  I finished the jump and thought for sure i was going to make it, but again i grazed it on the way over and it came down. 

So that was it, I was pretty frustrated that i couldnt make that last bar since i had 2 really good jumps at it, but still happy to make a few bars.  Im pretty sure i finished 2nd to a little Japanese guy who made 18'.  I come home tomorrow and am really looking forward to a few weeks off.  But then the real fun begins again, with fall training and all that entails.

I want to thank all of you for taking an interest in me and my journey through this year, its been a ton of fun to be able to share it with all of you, and i hope that you enjoyed it as well.  Dont worry im not going anywhere, ill still be pursuing my ultimate goal and hope to share it with all of you. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Off to Japan!

Well I'm currently in chicago, I had to go to midway airport an pick up my poles because they said there wasn't any way they could get them to me. I of course disagreed and told them I've put poles on anything and everything, I used to own a Honda CRX and would strap poles to the side, now that's something. I stayed with adam pierson last night and were currently on the way to Ohare airport for my final meet of the season in Kawasaki Japan! I've never been to Asia at all so I'm pretty excited for the chance to go. I will have my blackberry on me and will be able to chat via bbm or if you have Yahoo messenger I can chat on that as well, also through email. I will be in Japan from thursday until monday. I will try to upload lots of pictures to facebook while I'm there.

Always Pursuing,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pueblo fair vault

I had a great time at the Colorado state fair vault last night! Another just great event put on by Mark Pierson out in Pueblo, Colorado. The event was in the middle of the fair, the runway was fast and a bit downhill, I felt effortless running down the runway. The vault got started around 530, my warmups went fairly well, I was running well and my takeoff was out. The only problem was that I wasn't at all used to the altitude, it wasn't an issue with my jumps but it took me a lot longer to recover after every jump, this would come to bite me in the end.

I came into the competition at 17ft along with Rory Quiller, still in the meet were Sam Pierson, Levi Keller, and Mike Arnold, who all went to Idaho State University. I made 17 easily on my first attempt as did almost everyone else. The bar went up to 17'6", this time I came down the runway and hit the pole really good and just hit the bar off on the way up. I came down my 2nd attempt on a bigger pole and made the bar easily. Now Rory and I were the only ones to make 17'6" so we went up to 18'. Both Rory and I made the bar on our first attempts! We had quite the little competition going. Next was 18'6" and by this time I was really feeling tired and just couldn't catch my breath after every jump. I had gone up poles to my 5.10m 13.2 and I put a really solid jump together on my 2nd and just barely grazed the bar on the way over and it came down. We went to third attempts and I was really struggling now, my mouth was dry, I was breathing hard and just didn't feel like I had a lot of energy left. I ended up being under on my takeoff and couldn't finish the jump. So we went to a tie breaker, we both got another shot at 18'6". Rory missed his 4th attempt so I was excited, I had mustered up all the energy I had left, came down hit a sweet takeoff, swung up and had a ton of height on the bar but I came down it just barely and hit it off.

Rory and I continued to battle it out for first, we attempted 18'3" 18' and 17'9 with neither of us able to make the bar. I have never been more exhausted at a meet in my life. I felt like I had been running 400's and then was attempting to vault. After my last jump at 17'9" in which I rebent the pole after nearly coming down in the box, I called it a day, it was really just starting to get dangerous for both of us especially me. Rory and I decided to split the 1st and 2nd place prize money and we ended up tieing for 1st.

Overall I had a great time at my first meet in Colorado. I will definitely try to do more to counteract the altitude difference if possible next time. I'm in the car heading to the airport now, were cutting it a little close on time but hopefully. I will make it back to Elkhart tonight, if I don't Amanda will probably beat me up, so keep your fingers crossed.

Also I did sell about 10 tee-shirts, and that was about all to spectators. I was pretty happy with that since a lot of the vaulters from earlier didn't stick around. Which just blows my mind, if I had a chance to watch someone vault over 18 feet when I was in high school I would have jumped all over it. So I do have more tee-shirts left if you would like to order one. If you have alreadyu put your order in those will be in the mail Tuesday, since the post office is closed tomorrow. Again thank you all for your support, I truly would not be able to this without you.

Always Pursuing,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In Pueblo, Colorado

Alright the last few weeks have been going pretty well, nice and relaxing. I attempted to jump at a fair vault in Michigan, but my back had spasmed earlier that week and so I didn't jump well, but we still had a great time. Last weekend I went up to Chicago and visited my good friend Adam Pierson and his girlfriend Ellen. I met Adam back in college through my coach Wally. Adam was a vaulter who grew up in Bournonnais, and at the time was living in Texas as a professional vaulter. I went and visited him a few times and we soon became great friends. So Amanda and I went to Chicago and just had a great time relaxing and enjoying the great company.
My training the last couple of weeks has included vaulting about once a week, some basic endurance stuff, and I've started doing some very basic gymnastic stuff. Just trying to build up some strength and learn some new skills.
I have some great news! Boling Vision Center in Elkhart has agreed to perform Lasik vision surgery for me for free! I have been wearing contacts for about 12 years and I can't tell you how many times I have had problems with my contacts during meets. I had my first consultation last week and I have my surgery set for October 11th.

I am writing now from Pueblo, Colorado, in about 5 hours I'm gonna be jumping at the Colorado state fair. Should be a fun little competition, there are a few guys from Idaho state jumping so it should be a pretty good competition. I have been feeling good in practice lately and think I should be able to jump a pretty good bar today, hopefully even get some jumps at 19ft.
Always Pursuing,