Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer fun...just enough to feel like a “normal” person! : )

Ahh, rest and recovery. Just what my body needed.

After the last meet, I was a little hesitant on taking a WHOLE week off. I had just started to really feel the new position I had been working on, and I wanted to get back into the ring and keep hammering at it . : ) But once again, my coaches were right, my body needed the rest and recovery.

Recovery week consisted of time in the sauna, massage, hot tub and lots of stretching. I worked enough to keep my body from going stir crazy at the house. I also did some much needed cleaning and organizing of my room.

Out to see La Roux with friends and family :)

To add to my productive week, I finally figured out when and where I will be staying in Europe. I am going over to Europe on August 6th and will be back home on September 11th. I will be staying in Loughborough, UK with Shaun Pickering. He has been gracious enough to let me stay at his place and train at the training center near by. I am super excited to get to the UK. I love new adventures and I am super excited to compete internationally!

I have 2 hammer meets lined up in Europe, and I am waiting to hear back on a few others. Hans Uurick has been a great help talking to the meet directors for me.

Now some of you may be asking “ Why are you going to Europe?”. Well here is the shortest answer I can give. First, I am not ready to stop competing yet! I feel that I have a few more positions to figure out in the ring this year. Secondly, competing in Europe adds a whole new element to my throwing ability. I have to learn how to adapt! I need to learn how to throw far with no sleep, little food and compete in other types of track venues. I am not saying that I will experience all of these problems at the same time, but I look forward to overcoming any obstacles I may encounter. Being able to adapt to these situations will only add to my “tool belt”, and make me stronger as a thrower. Lastly, I get to see the WORLD. One of the best parts about being a professional athlete is that I get to travel the world. I get to see how the rest of the world lives. I get to eat different food, shop in new stores and see the sights. Now, I am not sure how much I will be able to do of this, but I will try to do as much as I can. I am over there to compete and kick some tail, but I also need some fun time, too.

Until I leave for the other side of the pond, I will be training and working.

This was my first week back and my body feels great. At this point of the season, everything is about quality and not quantity. I am making 20 throws a day. I am lifting twice a week and other than that, I am just staying in shape.

My main focus right now is what I am doing in the ring. I am figuring out what cue will trigger the right position. My coach and his wife will be coming down at the end of the month for a mini- vacation. Lance will also be able to watch me throw before I head off to Europe! I am super excited about that! He has yet to come down and see where I train.

Chloe Rose McCarthy!

Outside of of my sport, life has been pretty simple. Today was a great day for our family. My cousin Shawna had a little girl today! Chole Rose McCarthy! Everyone in the family is super excited and we all look forward to babysitting duties. : )

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Anybody doing anything fun? Any trips planned? Road trip? Enjoy all the adventures that you all may par-take in! Donʼt forget to stop and smell the roses:)

Until next time,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Prefontaine Classic was pretty classic!

Wish I didn't look cross eyed :)

There are not enough words to describe the Prefontaine Classic.

The enthusiasm the crowd possessed for each event made the stadium feel like it was on fire.

A big thanks to all the fans who were able to attend one of the best tracks and for hosting the women's hammer. : )

I arrived to Eugene, Oregon to compete in the 2010 Prefontaine Classic on the July 1st with my best buddy Kara Patterson. It is always fun to travel with someone you know, because then you have someone to wonder around the airport with, and you always have an eating buddy! We took advance of the delicious choices that the San Francisco airport had to offer. Kara ordered the clam chowder bowl from San Francisco Soup Company and I ordered one of my favorite sandwiches from Boudins- turkey and avocado!

We arrived to the Valley River Inn and it immediately felt like an international track meet. Athletes from all over the world were everywhere we walked. The Prefontaine Classic is part of the Diamond League series. That means the meet features some of the best athletes in the events that are being contested. The Women's hammer was no different. We had some of the best hammer throwers in the world; Betty Heidler from Germany, Tatyana Lysenko from Russia and Sultana Frizell from Canada. Amber Campbell, Jessica Cosby and Loree Smith were competing also for USA, so it made for a great competition.

After packet pick-up and a quick change into practice clothes, Kara and I were off to the track. I had a few throws with coach, and Kara had to practice her skills on beating the Prince of Persia game:) Practice felt awesome! My left heel felt like it was working and the hammers were flying. After a short throws session, it was off Lance’s house for some yummy dinner.

Friday, I awoke to rainy skies. I usually prefer to wake up to sunny skies, but I also understand that my body does not like the pollen in Eugene. I hoped that the rain would knock down some of the pollen from the air and my allergies wouldn't bother me too much on Saturday.

I had a little shake out to do at the track and a quick massage back at the hotel. My parents and grandmother also arrived! I am always excited when my family is able to make it to my track meets. It is always nice to hear their cheers from the stands. After dinner at the hotel, we headed down to 6th Street Bar and Grill for some tasty beverages. We told some fun family stories and has many laughs, then it was back to the hotel for a restful night sleep.

Saturday morning finally arrived! I could not wait until I could get to the track. After a great practice on Thursday, I felt confident in what I needed to do in the ring; keep the left heel on the ground. My warm-up throws felt great. I felt like I had lots of energy going into the hammer and my heel felt like it was working. As we lined up for introductions I looked out into the crowd and was amazed at how many people came to watch the hammer. Not only were there fans seated around the hammer ring, fans were lined up outside the hammer areas and the fans in the stands were watching as well. After the meet, coach told me he thought there were about 2,000 people watching the hammer!

View from the East Grandstand~

Once the meet started, I was ready to go. I felt like this was the day that I was finally going to get this whole heel thing figured out. My first 3 throws were average - 67 ish on my first throw, then two fouls. Going into my 4th throw I knew that I was going down the right road and I just had to keep trying. I threw 68.94 meter/ 226.1 feet but it felt like it went a mile. It was my best throw of the meet and put me into 5th place. My 5th and 6th were close, but the left heel was still slipping.

After the meet I was a little frustrated. Sometimes no matter how focused and confident I am in my cues, my body something does wants it wants to. I knew that I could keep my heel down, since I did it on Thursday. But, I also had to remember that I had just started to feel it, and that it takes a little while before I can do it at meet speed.

After a few tears, I was back to being excited, because I threw the farthest I had ever thrown at the Prefontaine and it was my highest finish!

The hammer meet was pretty exciting, Tatyana threw the farthest throw on American soil and Betty Heidler was not far behind. The rest of the meet was the same story. Meet records were being broken, world fastest times were ran, and farther throws were recorded.

Kara did an amazing job in the javelin, throwing 65.90, beating the Olympic Champion and World Record Holder Barbora Špotáková.

The fans did a great job cheering for everybody and putting that Hayward energy into the air!

Javelin and shot put warm ups~

After a great meet it was off to the post-meet dinner at the hotel. It was an amazing dinner and it was great to chat with everyone. The rest of the night I hung out with my family and enjoyed family time.

Sunday, it was back to San Diego and away from the allergies. : ) After I landed, I drove over to some friends house for a great 4th of July BBQ and fireworks! Thanks Graham and Dawn, the food was amazing!

This week is going to be filled with rest and recovery. My body deserves it. I have had a great season thus far and I can't wait to see what is next. My plan is to head over to Europe in mid-August for some more hammer meets. Until then I will be working on feeling my left heel on the ground, every throw, with speed!

Hope you all had a great 4th! Have a great week :)



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