Thursday, October 4, 2012
Here I am at the start of another year of training, excited to pole vault again and excited to learn and improve. As I look back at the past year I examine the pros and cons, what I liked and didnt like and how to change the things that are holding me back. This past year I took major steps in the direction I want to go. Its easy to look at the year as failure because I failed to jump the A standard and I failed to make the Olympic team and that is the way I viewed it for a few months after the trials. Its hard to look forward to 4 years from now after looking at where I was 4 years ago, fresh out of college totally in awe of the people I was around,enjoying every minute. and most of all I was jumping at personal bests most of the year. So its time for a fresh start, how to I get back to the things I was doing well back then and how to integrate the things I have learned and experienced. I stepped out on a ledge this past year leaving my coach, and really going at it on my own. I believe it forced me to take full ownership of every part of my life, training, jumping, diet, and competing which maybe I had become relaxed with in the past few years. I did some things this year that I never thought I could do, I jumped on 17ft poles regularly and I was taking off from outside 14ft regularly. These things were way out of my comfort zone a year ago and to have pushed myself to make these advances I know they will pay huge benefits in the future.
Once again it comes back to putting the pieces together, I have the speed, strength, and work ethic to be among the best in the world so what is missing? This past year I spent a lot of time listening to many different coaches, traveling around the country trying to take the bits and pieces from many sources and make them into the perfect technique for me. That was great in a way because it helped me to see what works and what doesnt, the difference between doing something just because it looks good or because it makes a difference in my jump. On the other hand its hard to focus on one thing for very long when your taking in so much information. This year Im going to focus on being consistent the whole year because as long as Im confident in what Im doing I know the results will show.
I feel refreshed, I havent rested this long since college and come Monday Im starting my 2013 season. Is there anything you all would like me to talk more about on my blog? Questions you have for me? If so leave a comment or tweet me and let me know. I have a feeling this will be my best year yet!
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Friday, July 20, 2012
I guess the best place to start is always the beginning, so here it is my trip thus far. I live right smack in the middle of 3 major airports, Ohare in Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis. This is good because I always have a choice but its very bad because each one is a 3 hour drive, so you can imagine that each time I travel I need to make special arrangements to be dropped off, and I fly around 20 times a year! But on this trip Amanda was on summer break so she was able to drive me to Detroit. I've actually had really good luck flying with Delta, as long as your on a large enough plane they will take the poles and I've had several trips this year that I haven't been charged for the poles, which can cost up to $300 one way! This time I walk up to the counter and there is always a look of alarm from the person behind the counter, "oh my" or "what are you doing with those here?" This time was pretty good I was charged 150 for the poles and sent on my way.
I arrived in Amsterdam and had one of the longest walks to my next gate to catch my flight, first I get slowed at passport control costing me an extra 5 min then again going through security, they for sure thought the 2 tennis balls I had taped together, a simple tool for therapy, was a bomb! This cost me a good 10 min and even tho I was running they had closed the door to my flight about a minute before I got there, ugh. I've done this enough to just shrug it off and proceed to the desk to get a re booking, I wait about 2 hours and catch the next flight to Berlin. Now I'm wondering about my bags and if they made it on my first flight or second, I had no doubt they made it because I ended up having that long layover in Amsterdam. Arriving in Berlin and I wait and wait for both my bags, neither are coming which I'm thinking is fine, they must have just sent them on the earlier flight so I proceed to find where they are stashed. The guy tells me to go to another part of the airport for lost baggage. Now european airports aren't quite like in the states, things are never where they're supposed to be! I get lost trying to find the counter, oh also I'm supposed to be meeting my chauffeur for my meet in Hof who I didn't see as I came off the plane. I finally find the counter and realize that I have somehow lost my bag tags! So now my bags are somewhere and the only way to identify them is the black one with wheels and the huge tube, joy! The next 48 hours are just pure anxiety and phone calls that are going nowhere. Not only do they not know when my suitcase will arrive they haven't even located my poles! How is that even possible? I mean how many 17ft long tubes you got floating around that you can't locate mine? Well with thanks to my wife and brother steve getting a hold of the right people my suitcase arrives the morning of my comp, which is very good because I've been wearing the same underwear for over 3 days uhhhh, sorry for that mental picture but that's what I'm dealing with. Still no poles but at least I can compete, pole vaulters are always looking out for each other and its usually just a matter of finding someone with around the same size poles as you to borrow them. Day of the meet is very windy and on and off rain, I decide to run from a shorter run of 6 lefts because of the conditions and the poles I was borrowing were perfect for that run. Start the comp and I jump 17', 17'4, 17'9, and then I put together a great jump on my first att at 18' and made it! I was super pumped, one of the toughest things to learn in the vault is how to know if your doing something right or wrong and being able to reproduce it. I think that I'm pretty good at that so I'm excited for my meet tomorrow to try it on longer poles
So after the meet I checked with KLM for an update on my poles, now they know they are in Amsterdam,I'm thinking at least were on the same continent. I told them to send them to Cologne since that is where I was heading the next day. I wake up the next morning, get my rental car and find out the poles are in berlin and they can't deliver them so I need to pick them up. Berlin is 3 hours in the wrong direction for me but I had to get my poles. So I drive to berlin get the poles and drive another 6 hours to Cologne, finally arriving at an apartment 2 american pole vaulters are renting before the olympics. Hung out there for a day and then I was scheduled to fly out on air berlin to stockholm at 6am so I was up at 4am heading to the airport. I've flown on air berlin before and really didn't think I would have any trouble checking in the poles, oh was I wrong. I walked up to the counter and started to check in, the lady saw my poles and said "oh that will be an extra charge" I was pretty happy that that was the biggest concern here and thought I was going to be good to go. Well the lady started talking on the phone which is normal, then the manager comes over and they're talking, after about 40 minutes of this the manager tells me it is not possible, my favorite european expression. I plead and basically beg, ask them to just try it but to no avail. So now I don't know what to do, of course I don't want to go to the meet without my poles but if I have to I will. So I'm on the phone with my manager and he's going to come and pick up the poles, I ask air berlin if I can leave the poles there for 20 min until someone picks them up but of course they aren't going for that. They are reallyu going out of their way to not help me in any way. I'm down to about 30 min until my flight, so I take the poles and go down to baggage storage but I have to wait 10 min for them to even open, its only 6am. Finally they open and tell me I must wait for security to come and scan the poles. Another 10 min passes and by now I'm sure I've missed my flight, go through security and sure enough doors are closed. I go back out and tell them I need to be re booked and this lady starts literally yelling at me for thinking I can walk in here with my large luggage and expect to get it on the plane and to have the nerve to think I could get re booked because I was made to miss my flight. She went on to tell me it would be an extra 300 euros for another flight with no poles. I really was just in awe, I had kept calm thru this whole ordeal but I just couldn't take it anymore, I think I was just so overwhelmed with all the stress this early in the morning, remember its only 630am and I'm still very jet lagged. I was totally defeated, emotionally spent, and just wanted to go home.
Well I finally made it to Sweden, wow what a beautiful country! This is definitely a place I would visit on vacation. My poles are also here which I thought was a good thing. I attempted to jump yesterday and every one of us except for one person didn't make a height. Right now I just can't believe the string of events that this trip has produced. I'm on my way to my final meet of this trip in Poland, its going to be a great meet, all the top guys in the world will be there. Hoping to redeem this trip and put on a good showing.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Going into the Trials I believed that if i could make 5.72m/18'9" I would be top 3 and make the team. My plan all along was to be in the competition when the bar went up to 5.72m and give myself a chance to make the team. Warmups went better than they have been going for me in the past month or so, I was confident in my run, and knew that once the bar went up I could get in the groove. I wanted to start at 5.50m/18' but i wasnt on the pole I wanted to be on to feel confident in doing that so I opted to start at 5.40m/17'9". The wind was swirling around the majority of the comp and when I stepped on the runway it was blowing in my face. I muscled through the wind and made the bar first attempt, I was feeling good after that and knew that since i was going up a pole I could pass the next bar. When the bar went up to 5.60m/18'4" I think there were still 8 or 9 people still in the competion. My first attempt was a good jump but I barely hit the bar on the way up, I went up a pole and did the same thing on my second. I didnt want to go up to my next pole yet because it was a pole I had never jumped up and I knew if I upped my grip the pole would slow down a bit and give me more time to make the bar. I really felt no fear in not making the bar, I believed in my decisions and knew that the numbers added up to making the bar. I put a great jump together and made the bar on my last attempt! Now I was pumped, I knew that by going up to my next pole, the biggest one in my bag, if i could put a jump together like the last one I would make the next couple of bars.
I passed 5.67m/18'7" only Brad Walker made the bar which meant i was sitting in 5th place but if i made 5.72m/18'9" I would take the lead and be on my way to London. I taped up my 5.20m/17'1" 12.3flex Pacer Carbon pole and was ready to go. By now the wind had picked up and it had started to rain. There were 2 of us jumping at the bar so we had 2 minutes to start our attempt. I waited about the whole 2 min waiting for the wind to switch direction or at least die down. I started my first attempt and the wind was straight in my face, now on the size pole i was on if your not running your fastest the chance for injury is pretty high, I knew the wind was holding me back so I dropped the pole and ran onto the mat. Second attempt the wind wasnt as strong i took the jump up but got a little stood up meaning i didnt quite get the horizontal movement into the pit I needed and had to bail the jump. This left me one attempt, I was praying that I could get a good wind. The problem I had was that since I was on a new pole with one jump remaining its hard to set the standards where you need them to be. I left mine at 70cm meaning the bar was 70cm behind were we plant the pole. The wind was a little better as I started my run but at the middle of my run it switched, I left the ground and gave it a shot, had plenty of height but came down on the bar.
THat was it, the end of my pursuit for 2012, I think the worst part of it was that I knew I was deserved to be there, I was the best prepared but in pole vault sometimes it just doesnt matter.
Im starting to look forward, its pretty easy to get down and think about just how close I was. Im ready to get back on the runway and jump a personal best which I know is right around the corner. I jumping down in St. Louis on Wednesday the 4th and then in Champaign, Illinois on Saturday at the Gill Athletics Field Fest.
Thanks to everyone who supported me this year, thanks for buying a t-shirt, that helps so much. Im going to keep on pursuing and some day soon Ill start looking forward to 2016 in Rio.
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The last month or so has been exactly what I need, Ive mentioned it to a few people but it is very evident to me that this path has been marked off for me. I have been improving one step at a time, and even when I wished I could have skipped a few steps and just jumped 5.72m already I know that I have to trust the one who has set this road before me. So Im just putting this in the hands of the Lord, and whatever the outcome, I want his will to be done. And whatever happens let the glory go to Him.
Thats it, I may write again after prelims on Monday or just wait until after the finals on Thursday. Ill try to update my facebook and twitter pages you can follow me there at HollisPV.
Also I want to thank every one of you for following me, supporting me, and always being there with a kind word of encouragement. I truly couldnt do this with your support.
Monday, May 7, 2012
I knew what to expect, I jumped here 2 years ago, jumped well, cleared 5.55m/18'2" and nearly 5.70m 18'8". I knew the pit was small, apparently I forgot how small tho, the front buns came out to the end of the box and it was only as wide as the standards. I know the pits in the past were much smaller, the problem is that when you practice and compete only on bigger pits your perception can really get messed up with a much smaller one.
This meet and the last my run had been consistent, hitting my mid and takeoff marks, absolutely no reason I shouldn't have been jumping in warmups and getting on the poles I needed to. If you haven't figured it out yet, this sport is 90% mental, you can work out all day long but if your standing on the back of the runway not sure of what is going to happen all that muscle and speed isn't going to get you anywhere, believe me I know. So there's this epic battle going on, sometimes I feel as tho I have an angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. The little devil has been winning lately, saying things like; "your grips not quite right" or "the wind isn't a straight tail, its bugging you isn't it." Now when the confidence is high your not thinking about every little thing and the angel wins, she's saying things like "your running so fast, the pole feels good in your hands" or "this pole is nothing, let's grip a little higher and really go for a ride."
The battle is on, devil: "your gonna no-height this meet, you came all this way to no-height," angel: "you got this, your run is on, once the bar goes up your good to go." Devil: "that's what you said last meet and guess what you happened...NH!" Angel: "its a new day, and there's no way in hell your gonna let that happen today, now get yourself together."
I've had battles like this before, I think every vaulter deals with it, I think Steve Hooker called it the yips. I try to settle myself down and stay cool, the UV index is 11 and heat index over 100! I figure I can make 5.20m/17' on my smallest pole a 5.10m 13.8 but not much higher, what I know for sure is I'm not going to clear any bars if I don't leave the ground. My legs are feeling good as I take my first attempt, and that devil is just whispering in my ear and I run through again. I'm really not liking myself now, I'm afraid that I'm gonna take this next jump and blow thru and then be down to one attempt. Second attempt I start my run a little easier so I can try and feel myself accelerating into my last few steps. This time I'm drowning out all voices in my head with fear, fear of what my wife Amanda will say if I no-height this meet. She doesn't really like me being gone anyway especially when I don't do well. I take off! I take off and make the bar, big sigh of relief, BIG sigh of relief.
I still wasn't confident in my run or takeoff, something was off, my hands were so late in moving to takeoff. With the pit being so short I was feeling far away and so everything was happening late. I passed to 5.40m decided to stay on the small pole because I really needed to hit one good so I would feel confident going to the next pole. First 2 jumps were not good, getting a little closer but not close enough. Now each jump I'm figuring it out a little more, my acceleration is good, I'm moving my hands better but I'm still leaning back a bit at takeoff. I'm down to my final attempt and I know if I hit one good this pole is going to be too small, so I grab the next one, hit a takeoff and make the bar! Gosh, not sure if I've ever had to work this hard to make 17'9", but I'm still alive. The bar goes to 5.50m/18' and I'm feeling way more confident than I was after warmups. Angel: "now your getting it, keep those hands high and you gotta step through that takeoff, you make this and your in the lead." My 3 jumps at this height were my best of the day, on my second I did all the things I wanted and smashed the pole. I go up to the 12.8 my last 5.10 before the 5.20's, I had the standards at 55, came down and put another pretty good jump together just hitting the bar on the way up. I was bummed but proud, bummed because I felt if I had made that bar I could of made the next couple, proud because I had won the battle! I didn't give in to that voice of negativity, and I had finished in 2nd which was way more money than finishing last.
A few people were pretty surprised when I told them I was doing all these meets in such a short period of time. Sometimes you have to go through the fire to find what your made of. I can tell you that after that comp I know what I'm made of, I am ready for just about anything, I know what I need to do in the future and I am so much stronger because of it. I'm looking forward to these next few meets, Fortaleza on wednesday, Ponce, Puerto Rico on Saturday and then Shanghai, China next week. I want to increase this confidence with each meet and just get better and better, and I think I know how to deal with that little devil if he decides to show his face again.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Siena Heights was a small meet about 2 hours away from me up in Michigan. The coach texted me and invited me to jump on their brand new track with a raised runway on the infield. I was to be in a wedding the following weekend and would miss the Kansas Relays so of course I was excited about the possibility of getting a meet in. The weather held out for all the competition, it was cool around 60 degrees but a nice tailwind was blowing. I came in at 5.40m, 17'9" made it on my second attempt but was having some trouble with my approach. I was getting up to top speed too quickly and just felt out of control at take off. I went to 5.60m 18'4" and it started to drizzle rain. I was still trying to get my run under control and was coming down on the bar. I was disappointed but knew that I needed to start my run a little easier and accelerate into the take off.
I had a couple more long run practices really locking in my approach and can say that other than a few jumps in the three comps my approach has been consistent,hitting 56'6" mid and taking off at 14' which is right where I need to be.
The Drake Mall vault has got to be one of my favorite comps in the world. The atmosphere is awesome, music is lound and the energy is electric. 4 years ago I jumped 8 inches higher than I ever had before at this meet jumping 5.71m 18'8" so it has always had a special place in my heart. This year I was excited again, eager to put all my hard work on display and get a big mark out there. Before most meets I take out my notebook and write down my goals for the meet. Things I want to hash out beforehand and cues I want to remember during the meet. My main cue for the drake mall was to live in the moment, embrace each jump as its the only one I get that day, not thinking about the next jump, what height im at or whats happening in the future. The meet started and as always at the mall vault it was hard for me to contain my excitement, I came in at 5.35m 17'6" made it on my first attempt with a blow through, which is a good thing. I went up to the next pole at 5.50m bailed on my first attempt, and put together one of my best jumps on my second attempt. I ran through the takeoff hit the arms and all of a sudden i ran into the bar, the pole was too small! Now usually this wouldnt be that big of a deal, i would just go to the next pole have the same jump and make the bar. What made this different is that the next pole was my first 5.20m 17' pole, I had had the 17' poles for a few months but never jumped on them, now i would have to take my final attempt on a longer pole that I had never jumped on, I was nervous. I gathered my courage, ran down as hard as I could hit the takeoff, I could feel I was under, the pole felt like a big noodle bending so much in my hands. I was caught off guard but before I knew it the bar was coming towards me so i turned up, smacked the bar on the way down and it stayed! I was pumped, not only had I taken my first jump on that pole but I made it and that meant the competition was still a go for me. I knew now that as long as I put a bit better jump together the next bar and ones after where attainable, or so I thought. The next bar was 5.62m 18'5" and that stupid run demon got a hold of me and I hit 3 different spots on my takeoff and was so out of position that I couldnt even attempt the bar, AGGHHH.
I came away from the mall vault disappointed again, knowing that I had a great chance of jumping high and couldnt put it together. But I also knew that I had that pole now, I had made 18' on a crappy jump which told me that with a good jump I could jump a whole lot higher.
Amanda and I spent the next couple of days in Des Moines enjoying the nice weather and hanging out with the other vaulters. I was anticipating the relays Saturday hoping we would have good weather and i would have another chance at jumping high. The day came and the wind held, we actually had a nice tailwind the entire comp but for some crazy reason 4 or 5 of us were really having trouble. I was hitting all the right marks on the runway but just couldnt leave the ground. I have had warmups like this before and knew that once the bar went up I would put it together. Well the bar went up and i couldnt put it together and ended up with a big fat NH or no-height. I was pissed, straight up, I never want to end up with a NH but especially when were lucky enough to have decent conditions you want to jump well.
Now Im home packing up for the start of a pretty crazy 3 weeks ahead of me. Thursday I fly to Brazil and jump in Belem and Fortaleza, I fly back to Atlanta on the 9th and catch a plane to Puerto Rico where I jump in Ponce. Then I fly home for a few days and head to Shanghai, China for a Diamond League meet. The Diamond League is the biggest series of international meets in the world other than world champs and the Olympics so it will be a great chance to jump with some great competition.
Im excited, I know that all the work Ive done is really coming around and now its time to just jump and let it all come out. Im also excited because I know theres not much else I can do, Ive put it in the Lord's hands because I know anything is possible through Him. Where really getting close people less than 2 months to the Olympic Trials and Im pumped to see what God has in store for me. Thanks for reading, Ill try to update while on the road.
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Monday, April 9, 2012
I had the chance to go to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California for a USATF workshop. USATF brought a bunch of high jump, pole vault, long jump, and steeplechase athletes to the center to do a variety of tests including high speed running analysis, nutritional analysis, functional movement screening, and bio-mechanical vault analysis. All really good stuff, I have done all these things before but wanted to see where I was in comparison to last year and was pleased to find that I am ahead of where I was a year ago!
Since I was getting a free trip to California I decided to stay around for about a week and get some good training in. I gotta give a big shout out to my buddy Jeff Coover for putting me up and putting up with me for the week that I was in San Diego. It was great we would drive to the center get a great workout in or jump session and then jump in the ocean which was awesome for recovery. I had 2 jump session at the center and Tye Sevin the vault coach at the center was nice enough to help me out and I think I really started putting some things together. Heres one video from 6 lefts on a 5m 13.8 taking off around 13ft.
After coming home from the center for about a week Amanda and I drove down to St. Louis and stayed with Jeff Hartwig for about a week during Amanda's spring break. I had 2 jump sessions down there with Jeff and Lane Lohr. Its funny how my understanding of the vault has changed this year and I think that my week down in St. Louis really opened my eyes to what Im really wanting to do in the vault, and I really think its going to have a big impact on my jump. Heres a video from the 2nd jump session even tho its a miss this is another step closer to where I want to be. Now Im going to just strengthen that jump and just try to replicate it over and over again. My schedule coming up is the Drake Mall Vault, and Drake Relays.
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I finished 3rd at USA Indoor Nationals, your all probably thinking,"Mark thats good, hundreds of people would change places with you in a second." Well it isnt good enough, maybe thats what keeps me hungry even tho Ive been vaulting for 12 years, I just always want more.
I finished 3rd with a 3rd attempt clearance of 5.60m/18'4". The bar went up to 5.72m/18'9" I was actually over the bar on my second attempt when I got a little lost in the air, opened my mouth to yell because I thought I knocked the bar off and when I yelled I hit the bar off with my teeth, Bummer!
Looking back now Im grateful for a little time off, Ive been vaulting for about a year and a half without a break so a couple of weeks will go a long way. With this little bit of time off Ive been going back and looking at my indoor season, not my best ever, but I think that Im right where I need to be. Of course I want to jump high ever time I step on the runway. I know this is a process, Ive made a lot of changes since September and I think Im a little over halfway to being where I need to be. Ive got about 4 months until the Olympic Trials and I know that I will be ready when that time comes.
The first thing Im working on is changing my grip over to glue, chalk and I have had a long fairly healthy relationship but here recently is just isnt working out. This indoor season I just wasnt confident in my grip, i would be half way down the runway trying to adjust my grip on the pole. Instead of focusing on the takeoff and what I wanted to do on the jump I was thinking about my grip and wondering if i would be able to hold on to the pole. I decided with my time off that I would try a few different set ups with my grip and really try to make it work. I asked Brad Walker and Jeff Hartwig what they used for their grip, Brad uses a glue that someone made him and cant be bought anywhere, so thats out, Jeff gave me a little bit more accessible technique. I tried it out on monday and at the end of practice, was able to use it confidently, not before the glue pulled my top layer of skin away and gave me a big blister. So now Im waiting for the blister to heal so I can get back on the runway and get back at it.
This week Ive been testing myself to see where Im at and compare that to where I was back in October. We do this so we know if the training were doing is working or not. Monday I ran through a 5m speed trap with a 35m run in and ran 10m/second, I had never done this in practice before so that was a new PB. Yesterday I did standing long jump into a sand pit and from toes to heels I jumped 10'1". Weve also changed the lifting around a little bit, which has got me good and sore, along with starting up gymnastics again.
Next weekend Im going out to Chula Vista, California to do some training at the Olympic Training Center. Im really looking forward to some great weather and outdoor training. Ill try to do better on updating this beast a little more regularly.
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
What a week it's been, forget the jumping, that wasn't so good but this week is the exact thing that I needed. Im just can't stand being indoors all the time, I like jumping indoors, competing that is, but it gets real boring real quick, training inside all the time. For the past 4 or 5 years I've really thought about getting out of the Midwest, at least while im competing and still jumping. Getting to where you can train outside and not freeze to death in the winter months. I could definitely live in Australia if it wasn't so far from everyone I know and love. Anyway let me tell you about my week and why it's been so awesome that I would consider living here.
First of all the temperature had been in the 90's all week which has allowed me to get a real nice tan. Second training has been great, the track and facilities here are great and the wind has been a nice tail everyday I've been here. Except for the day of the meet, that was a little swirling but oh well, I guess it can't be completely perfect. The hotel I've stayed at is right on the beach and I've swam in the Indian ocean almost every day. Sunday I went with Russ Winger, and Tara Patterson to this little island right off the coast called Rottnest island. We swam, snorkeled and drank Coronas all day in probably the most beautiful place I've ever been. I was finally able to try out my waterproof camera and got some really cool video underwater. I've been able to train every day at the track and today I jumped, I was really hoping to be able to train with Steve Hooker, one of the best vaulters in the world, and his coach Alex Parnov but communication has been tough and so I haven't really been able to. I jumped today really working on posture and driving off the ground into the pole, posture pressure knee, is what my mantra was today. Posture into the takeoff, pressure the pole and see the knee as I swing up. It seemed to work well, Saturday I had some trouble since it was my first outdoor meet in dealing with the conditions and was kind of leaning back a bit at takeoff. I jumped 535m/ 17'6" and had a really good jump at 555m/ 18'2" but couldn't keep it up.
Today in traveling to Sydney, it's a bit sad to leave this beautiful place and the great weather, I guess the weather hasn't been quite as nice in Sydney. I will be staying in the Olympic village in Sydney and I compete Saturday. Im looking forward to trying out my new cues and really hitting the box hard and blowing some bars up.
As beautiful as this place is and as much as im dreading coming back to winter in Indiana there's a huge part of me missing that I have to get back to. Happy Valentine's day Amanda, love you and miss you.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Training has been going well this week, I have heard from a few of you that you wanted to know what my workouts were so here they are.
3 Part Dynamic Warmup
5x50m fast 5min rest between reps
Clean and Jerk 4x3 205lbs
Speed box squat 4x3 405lbs Box Jumps in between sets
Incline Press 4x4 60lb dumbbells
Lat Pull Down 4x8
3 Part Dynamic Warmup
3 Part Dynamic Warmup
2x8x15s hard 45s easy 5 min between set
High Pulls 4x3 205lbs
RDL 4x3 185lbs
Lunge Step ups 4x3each leg 115lbs box jumps between sets
Dumbbell Row 4x6 55lb
Always Pursuing -Mark-
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The time leading up to the comp was filled with meeting people and seeing friends and fans from all over the country. I love being able to interact with the athletes and coaches and give my insight on training and vaulting. One of my favorite times of the summit is getting to sit down with about 15 high schoolers and tell them a little about myself and answer any questions they might have. Its a more personal way for the kids to get to know me and pick my brain, this year was awesome as usual.
Warmups for the elite comp went really well for me, I wanted to take as few jumps as possible because my hamstring had been bothering me. I took 3 jumps from long run and on my last one I cleared a bungee that was at 5.72m/18'9"! I decided that it was time to step it up and to enter the competition at 5.52m/18'1" which is higher than I ever have started a competition before. The comp started at 17ft and I think there were 7 people still jumping when the bar came to 18'1" and I was next to last on the order. Now the energy at the Summit is unlike anywhere else in the world, Ive always had a little trouble keeping my head and being able to relax especially on my first jump of the comp. I knew this and so I did everthing I could not to keep from getting anxious and overly excited. My first jump of the comp is the video below and as you can see I didnt clear the bar by a foot but I made it pretty easily. I wish I could of seen the video because if i had I probably would have gone up a pole right away. I stayed on the same pole at the next height 5.62m/18'5" really blew through the pole on my second attempt and went up to the biggest one in my bag and blew through that one as well! That pole was a 5.10m 12.7 flex and I was holding about 16'6" which is higher than I have ever held before! I can tell you that even though I didnt jump as high as I wanted the things I was able to do and poles I jumped on mean big things for the season to come. I ended up finishing 2nd in the comp behind the American record holder Brad Walker who jumped 19ft the easiest I have ever seen it done. Seeing that jump really pushes me to be better, knowing that he is already jumping that well means I have to be at my best to compete with him which is a great motivation.
To wrap it up I had a great time at the summit, to all those athletes, coaches, and parents I met it was an honor, keep up the great work! Next on the schedule Im planning on heading to Indiana University this weekend to jump with my buddies Jeff Coover and Dustin Deleo. Im looking forward to jumping on those big poles again and hopefully some bigger ones. Ill update how that meet goes and hopefully have a new PR to report.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Im opening my season this weekend at Grand Valley State University up in Allendale, Michigan on Friday. Im really excited to bring it full speed and see how the changes Ive been working on make a difference on some big poles.
Always Pursuing -Mark-