Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best vault practice in a while!!!

Alright well its about time i got my head out of my butt.  I had vault practice today and the only thinking i had was that i had to attack the box and not look back.  I started from 5 lefts and killed the 15'7" 195 i was jumping on, no hesitation, no looking back, just pure focus on putting as much power into the pole as i could.  Now that hasnt been too difficult for me in the past, jumping from 5 lefts, the issue has been running from 9 and doing the same thing.

I moved back to 9 with the same tenacity as i had put in at 5 and had a great first jump, attacking the last 3 steps and no hesitation at takeoff.  I moved up to my 5m 205lb which is usually my first pole in competition, but ive had trouble jumping on it at all in practice lately.  I came down the runway, took off and FINALLY put a great jump together!  I cant tell you just how happy i was with my self, I had finally made some progress in practice.  I continued to get better and better with each jump, easily clearing a 5.50m (18ft) bungee each time. 

If you read my last post you know that this has been something ive been struggling with for quite a while, so to finally have a great practice together in which i finished every jump and didnt bail on any of them was so big for me.  Like ive said before confidence in this sport is probably the biggest advantage you can have, and the way you build that confidence is by having great practices like this. 

I head to New York this weekend and then next week for Drake relays, Im hoping to keep this rolling as I go into Drake and hopefully get some good jumps at 19'.  Ill try to keep you posted. 


Always Pursuing
-Mark-

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sea Ray Relays 5.35m Yes!!!! Wait What...?

Sorry its been so long since my last real post, Ive been on the road a lot lately and havent had the chance to write.  Amanda and I went to New York to spend some time with her family since it was her spring break.  We had a great time with them and we got back just in time for me to leave and head down to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Sea Ray Relays. 

I have to tell you that the last month or so has been a little bit frustrating as far as vaulting has been going.  Lately Ive been kind of hesitant on my jumps, mostly from long run, in that I start to leave the ground and for whatever reason instead of finishing my vault I will bail and not finish my jump.  Its been something that has been creeping up on me for the last 3 months and was part of why i didnt jump as well as i should have at Nationals.  Weve been trying a lot of different things to fix it but mostly its in my head.  Its really frustrating when im trying to work on things in practice and get some good jumps in but i cant even finish a jump to work on them. 

So after traveling to New York and back I was kind of out of my rhythm anyway and then with all the other things that have been going on with my jumping I wasnt feeling over confident going into Sea Rays.  My body was sluggish from being on the road and I was letting negative thoughts get the best of me.

As warmups started on saturday i wasnt feeling bad, but i wasnt feeling that good either.  I was kind of just in the mode of whatever happens happens.  My short run vaults went well but as soon as i went back to my long run i was starting to feel hesistant again.  I wasnt attacking my run like i usually do and so at takeoff i was leaning back and not in a good position to jump.  I ended up bailing on all of my warmup jumps, I either ran through or didnt swing up on any jumps.  I wasnt too happy with my self after that, but i had a little time before i came in to get ready to go.  As i layed there for around an hour before i entered the competition there was a battle going on in my mind.  I was trying to psyche myself up and think positively but i could tell it just wasnt working and i was falling into this hole of negativity.  I finally slowed myself down and said "you have to come out on top of this." 

I drank the rest of my Red Bull, put on some music and got pumped up and ready to go.  I came in at 5.35m(17'6"), a height i can make very easily.  My first time down the runway i bailed but my run was so much better, i was running my butt off and attacking the box.  My second time down i finished the jump but i was about a foot under since my run was so much better.  By my third attempt I had made the adjustments needed, came down and made the bar!  I dont think i had ever been that happy to make 5.35m in my life since college.  I could have just stopped competing right there, i had accomplished something i didnt think was even remotely possible that day.  I had overcome my thoughts and emotions, and that was a victory in itself.  I ended up going for 5.55m and finally put a good jump together on my last attempt but the pole was too small.  

This sport is the most frustrating thing i have done in my entire life.  Im supposed to be a top vaulter in the nation, even the world, and Im having problems jumping a bar that is a foot and a half lower than my best.  It really starts to eat at me and I wonder what Im doing wrong, or what did I do before that im not doing now.  Anyway its something im trying to work out. 

Im going back to New York this weekend for my sister-in-laws wedding, then off to Drake Relays in Des Moine, Iowa.  Then I think i will be either at University of Illinois or Indiana State for a meet on the 1st of May.  I think after that Im going to try to change it up and either visit Jonesboro or somewhere else and get some good training and jumping in with some of those guys. 

Always Pursuing
-Mark-

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sea Ray Relays

After a 8 hour drive from South Bend I am now in Knoxville Tennessee for the Sea Ray relays at the University of Tennessee. I've never jumped here before but after going to the track today I have high expectations for myself. I found out today that 2 American records have been set here! What's even better is they were set at opposite ends so no matter the wind or direction of the pit the conditions are good enough for 2 guys to jump over 19 and a half feet!

Mary made the trip with me and jumps tomorrow at 1pm. She has been looking really good in practice and hopefully with the kickin tailwind they're supposed to have tomorrow shell be able to jump really high.

I jump on Saturday at 230pm, weather looks good at 70 degrees and a wind of about 3mph out of the east. I brought along a few of the 5.10m poles I've been jumping a little bit on in practice and am hoping to get some good results out of those.

Well time for bed, wish us luck and ill have results up for you guys saturday.

Always Pursuing,
Mark
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
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