Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tucson Elite- Finally learned how to defy gravity.

The hammer sector~

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.

Hammer cage~

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!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oregon Twilight - Gravity was a little stronger than normal ; )

The legendary Hayward Field

I love going back to Eugene, Oregon! The main reason is I get to see Lance Deal and get some one-on-one coaching before the 2010 Oregon Twilight meet.

But I also get to see all my old friends! It was almost like a mini-reunion. It is great to see them and re-live the past and all the great times that we had together. The best part of the trip was seeing my folks! I have to give it to my parents, the 7 hour drive from Spokane to Eugene has to be one of the worst. There are some pretty parts, but most of the time its farm fields, and that makes for a long drive.

When one of my old co-workers invited me to the Eugene Tattoo convention, I figured I should probably go. The day before the meet I try to find something to distract me from over-thinking my throws. I had nothing else to do, and I wanted to see my old friend, so I went. I dragged my friend, Sarah Malone, along too. I hadn't seen her in a while either, plus I didn't want to go by myself. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There were lots of great tattoos to look at and it was a great place for people watching.

One day I plan on getting a tattoo, the Olympic Rings, but I sometimes think that I want to get sometime else. There was some great artwork to choose from, but seeing the pain on some of the faces made me re-think my idea.

After the pain convention...I mean the tattoo convention, Sarah and I headed over to the Electric Station for some din-din. I got the usual, steak, potatoes and a delicious beverage.

The Electric Station!

After the meal, we headed to the Highland to meet up with coach and a couple of my old training partners, Brian Richotte and Adam Midles. About 3 hours later, after reminiscing past track trips and athletes, it was time for bed. After a great night of sleep, I figured I better get some good food into the tummy and do a quick little shake out. I threw at 5pm, so I had a while. My parents got into town around noon, so we hung out for a bit, but I had to get back to coaches to get ready for the meet.

Going into the meet, I really didn't know what to expect. I know I said that about the last meet at Drake, but I had the same feeling here. Practice had been going great, and I had been doing what coach wanted me to do. But I just started mastering those techniques. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to get new techniques to translate into a meet.

Warm-ups were great, and my technique was there during the meet. I just couldn't put it together the way I wanted to. I was fouling far throws and being too timid on one that I was saving. I ended up throwing 65.13, 223 feet and placing second to Loree Smith.

Needless to say, I was pissed after the meet. I figured that my technique sucked. After my coaches review, I learn my technique really wasn't that bad. I just had to fix one thing. I don't feel as bad now, and am pretty excited about how close I am to the throw that I want.

Now you may ask, why didn't your coach tell you to change that one little thing before the meet? Coach was down in Berkeley helping the Heps and Decs out. I knew beforehand that he wasn't going to be in Eugene for the Oregon Twilight. If I would have just added ʻsit harderʼ on my note card, then I would be a happy camper right now. But I didn't, so what do you do.

My next meet is going to be in Tucson, Arizona! I really don't know why, but I love this meet. I am pretty sure it is the ring. It is the only fast ring that I like, and the weather should be nice and toasty!

I am going into a rest week, so my body will be able to recover and I can focus on the hammer and getting my body ready to throw far!

Hope everyone had a great Motherʼs Day weekend!


Makes me smile every time! Rennie's landing~


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