Thursday, March 8, 2012

US Nationals and a week off

Yes I know its been over a week since Indoor Nationals and almost a month since my last post, Yes I know.  This is how this all works, If I am happy about a meet, I going to be happy and excited about writing a blog and telling you all about it.  Well as you have guessed if you didnt already know I wasnt too excited about how the meet went and wasnt super excited to get on here and relive it.

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-
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