The gravity forecast for the 2010 Tucson Elite was just how I liked it, heavy with a chance of lightness. Before I go any further, I have to give most of the credit to my coach, Lance Deal. He used to talk about gravity when he threw, and now I carry on the tradition. But in all realness, there is something special about the Tucson Elite. This is the 3rd year that I have thrown a personal best here. I can't put a ﬁnger on it, but I believe the something special is a combination of the thrower-only atmosphere, music in the background and a fast ring. Thank you Craig Carter and the rest of his crew for putting on another awesome throwers only meet.
This meet is structured differently than the other meets that I have thrown in this year. This meet is divided into two hammer rounds, a qualifying round on Thursday and a final round on Saturday. This structure mimics the World Championships and the Olympics and helps us throwers practice the format of the big meets.
I ﬂew into Tucson on Wednesday and was welcomed with the good ole dry heat. Once I got to the hotel, I did a little shake out and was ready for bed. My sleep would have been a little more slumber, if there wasn't a 2 year old staying above me. I am pretty sure that the kid is going to be a runner some day, because that is all she did-run from one end of the room to the other.
Thursday morning. After breakfast it was off to the track to get the blood ﬂowing and then back to the hotel to rest. I threw at 4 pm, so I have lots of time to kill. I am currently reading The Breaking Dawn- (I know, I know, and yes I am still Team Jacob!) At 2:45pm, it was off the the track for day #1 of the 2010 Tucson Elite. Once I got the the track, I took shelter from the sun under the giant tree next to the hammer ring. After a quick warm-up, it was time to get the show on the road. My ﬁrst throw was my farthest of the day 68.15m/223.5'. Not a bad day, but I wasn't as deliberate with my cues as I would have liked. I knew what I wanted to do, it just wasn't quite clicking. But that is what day #2 is for, right?
Friday was meeting day. We started off with getting the mind right. Jim Reardon, a sport psychologist was the guest speaker. I work with Dr. Ross Flowers, a sport psychologist at the Olympic Training Center, so I already have a routine for getting my mind focused before a meet. But, it was great to hear what he had to say.
The next meeting was with physicians from St. Vincent Hospital in Indy. USATF and St. Vincent Hospital have a partnership. If I ever need a place to go somewhere for physical therapy or anything that sort, I could go there for little to no cost. I loved all the stretches that they showed us. They are quick ans easy, and my body thanks me afterwords.
The next meeting was more of a group forum. Lots of questions were asked and lots of answers. Last but not least, was a meeting with the bio-mechanist for his analysis of my throwing form. This was the chance to see what I looked like throwing on Thursday. After watching the hi speed video, my thoughts were confirmed, I need to keep my left heel on the ground while I turn.
After a greats night rest...(thank you Fosters), it was Day #2 of the Tucson Elite.
My Saturday was pretty much the same as my Thursday. Light breakfast, shake out at the track, few chapters from my book and a quick nap. Once I got to the track my nerves were hitting me a little harder than Thursday. I knew in the back of my mind that if I kept my heel on the ground the hammer was going to ﬂy. My warm-up throws were ok, nothing special. I remember telling myself that today was going to be a building day, I was going to build upon every throw.
My ﬁrst 3 throws were around 67 meters, not bad...but not what I wanted. My heel was still sliding and I was starting my piss myself off. Going into my 4th throw, something clicked. I don't really remember if my heels were on the ground, but my 3rd and 4th turn were a blur. After hearing 70.90, emotion overwhelmed me and tears came to my eyes...”YES....I have ﬁnally become part of the 70 meter club!"
My 5th throw was into the right cage door.
On my 6th throw, I was still thinking of my cue....feel my left heel...and once again it worked....71.27. All I ever heard was 71, because once again, emotion overwhelmed me. Wow! That is all I could think, and that I all that I can still say. I still can't come up with the right words to describe how throwing the hammer 71.27 meters, feels. I can't wait to watch the video to see how it looks. Maybe after watching the video, some words will come to me.
After the meet, it was off the Lindyʼs with my cousin and her roommate. They do live up to their reputation, they have amazing hamburgers! After the “OG” and some “water”, it was back to the track to see the rest of the throwers compete. Overall it was a great night to watch some throwing- Kara and Dana in the javelin, Russ in the shot and Adam in the discus! They all did great and I cant wait to see how they do the rest of the season:). The highlight of the night was watching Cory Martin throw 22.10 in the shot put, making him the number one shot putter in the world. It was amazing to watch, but I am pretty sure his quickness comes from the hammer:)
This is going to be a short week for me. On Friday I head up to Sac-Town for the California Invitational Relays. I am excited to see how this meet goes. I am going to go into the meet with the same cues, and like always be consistent! Other than throwing my hammer around, life is still pretty much the same. I work as much as I can with the Padres, and I am so happy for them! The Padre's are doing great this season and I look forward to see how the rest of the season goes!
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
~ As soon as I receive video from this weekend, I will post some throws!