Monday, August 16, 2010

Bedford~

Bedford Stadium~

I will keep this post short and sweet, just like the meet.

The 2010 Bedford International Games (BIG 2010) was held in Bedford, Great Britain, a little city about 45 minutes away from where I am staying with Jean Pickering (Shaun’s amazing mother). After a quick drive out to the Bedford International Athletics Stadium, and a nice long warm-up, I was ready for the hammer competition to start.

Going into the BIG 2010, my body felt a ton better. My body had finally adapted to the time change and I was pretty clear on my cues in the ring. As we were called to the Call Room, it looked like the meet was going to be a little shorter than normal, with only myself and two others competing. I was alright with that, because I knew that as long as I stuck to my cues, the hammer was going to fly.

On my first throw the hammer flew out to 68.83 meters/225.6 feet, that put a smile on my face.

I knew that I had more in me, so I kept at it, trying to get the hammer to fly further. I had a pretty consistent series but no throws further than the first. After the meet, I was really happy with how it went, I stuck to my cues and I threw a Euro PR (my furthest throw in Europe).

My goal is to throw as close as I can to my PR while I am in Europe. I believe that I have it in me. I just have to find some meets to do it. I was really close at the BIG 2010, I just have to clean up my fourth turn a little more. I hope to get into a meet on August 24th in France, a meet in Italy on the 29th, and the last, on September 7th, in Poland.

After the meet, I sat and listened to Vėstetinn Hefsteinsson talk about the discus throw, and about the career of one of the best discus throwers in the world, Gerd Kanter. Don Babbitt spoke after Vėstetinn about specific training in the shot put. It is great to hear about the other events and how they are developed through training.

Jean's beautiful backyard~

The day was pretty long but I did not mind, it just ment that I could sleep longer. Today has been a rest day for me, filled with laying in the sun, watching movies and working on a new blog series - where I am going to talk about a great girl that I met at a BHP bbq!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Brit

PS. Be sure to check out my fan page on Facebook, it has a ton of pictures from my travel thus far :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quick update on the past two meets!

Welwyn, GB :)


I am crossing my fingers but I think that my body has finally adjusted to the time change!!! YAY!!! 

Like I said in my last blog, jet lag is difficult! You never know how your body is going to react, at least I have yet to figure it out.

McCain Throwsfest~

My first hammer meet was this past Sunday, at the McCain UK Throwsfest. It was a small affair but a great start to my European tour. 

I ended up throwing 65.97m (216.4ft) and was pretty consistent around the 65 meter mark. My body felt pretty good, just a little tight from the plane ride.




Out and about in Gothenburg, Sweden~


The next morning I was off to Sweden for the Gothenburg Grand Prix.

The Gothenburg Grand Prix was a little larger in scale and had a few more hammer throwers in the mix. I arrived to the hotel around midnight and quickly hit the hay. On the way in, I could tell that Sweden was a beautiful country. I could see the outline of trees and the reflection of the lakes. I woke up in the morning to the surprise that I was in the middle of the city, with no trees and no lake in sight, I was surrounded by buildings!

After breakfast and a quick chat with some of my fellow track friends, I was off to explore the city and try to find the beauty I thought I had found on my way in. The city was beautiful in its own right. There were little parks all around, beautiful churches, and the buildings were so unique compared to the buildings in America. During my exploration of the city, I  found a little turf field where I did a quick little warm up to get the blood flowing in the body.

The Church right outside the hotel~

After lunch and a “quick” nap (more like 2 hours), it was time to head to the track.

Sometimes I do not pay full attention to important details, like shuttle times. The shuttles were on a rolling schedule with no set times between 4pm and 6pm. Since the hammer started at 8pm, I figured that I would head over to the track at 6:30pm. I failed to realize that the shuttles stopped at 8pm. I assumed that they were going until at least the middle of the meet since the last race was at 9:30ish. Like I said before, I did not pay attention to the details but lucky enough there was a shuttle driver that had to come back to the hotel to pick something up. He saw me standing outside the hotel looking lost, and let me know that the last shuttle was at 8pm. He ended up giving me a ride to the track. But not after letting me know over and over again that the shuttle stopped at 8pm, and that it said so on the meet info sheet. I tried to explain to him that I mis-understood the details, but he was not having it.

I got to the track I only to remember I left my phone back at the hotel. My phone acts as my watch and now I had no idea what time it was. Luckily there were clocks all around. I watched Becky Breisch throw a few throws in the discus, then it was off to warm-up for the hammer competition.

Going into the meet my body felt pretty good. I figured that I had enough explosiveness to get through the meet, but I was wrong. My warm-up throws felt great. All my throws during the competition felt amazing. But I could not for the life of me put power on the ball.

I ended up throwing 65.77m( 215.7ft) and placing 2nd. 

I was a little pissed after the meet because I could not get the hammer to flying. I then realized that it was my third day in Europe, and my body hit the dreaded “3rd-day-jet-lag-fatigue” - that is what my coach calls it, anyway. I called coach that night and let him know what had happened, he assured me that I will be fine and that the next meet will be great!

Lee Valley Athletics Centre~

So, now I am waiting until Sunday for my next meeting in Bedford, UK.

Today I am going to have a quick little practice out at Lee Valley where my coach, Dan Pfaff, coaches.

Tomorrow I plan on heading into London to do some sightseeing and hopeful meet up with some more track buddies. The London Diamond League Meet is happening this weekend, Friday and Saturday! I hope to get a ticket but my chances are looking a little slim. BBC will be televising the track meet so if all else fails, I can watch it on TV.


Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Britney

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welwyn, GB...First Stop on the tour!

Welwyn, GB

In part, I write this blog to let you all know my happening from the last month, and in part to stay awake! Jet lag is a tricky feeling, and sometimes hard to predict, but I will conquer!

I am finally in EUROPE! :)

This past month has been entirely focused on competing in Europe. I've been tuning up a few positions in my hammer throw. My coach, Lance Deal and his wife Nancy took a little vacation to San Diego. Not only to enjoy the city, but so Lance could watch me throw before my trip. It was great to finally show coach and his wife what I do day to day, both in my training and in my personal life. Throwing with Lance Deal at The Olympic Training Center was great. He gave me a few new position and cues to think about. It was long over due, I was getting a little tried of practicing the old cues. After working on few drills and a new starting position in the ring, the feeling of keeping my heel on the ground became little more familiar to my body.

Thursday and Friday were training days, but Saturday was a day to enjoy the town! We first stopped by a little breakfast place in the Gaslamp. Stuffed French Toast is the dish they are known for, but I opted for the Monte Cristo - a ham and swiss sandwich, deep fried and topped with powered sugar. It sounds not too appetizing, but it was delicious. After the amazing breakfast, we walked around the Gaslamp and onto Harbor Drive. We explored Sea Port Villagea bit and were drawn towards the U.S.S. Midway, a gigantic WWII era Aircraft Carrier.

U.S.S. Midway

Pictures of the USS Midway do no justice to how big it really is. Coach had always wanted to explore the ship. Since we had a few hours to kill before their flight took off, we got in line to see the USS Midway. I never really thought about what was on an aircraft carrier, but it is basically a city on the sea. It was great to hear all the stories in each area of the ship. From the bunk rooms, to the brig, to the engine room and to the ready room; each story was unique and very informative! I learned that the U.S.S. Midway was the ship that my Grandfather came home on after the war!

After the quick trip around the ship and up to the flight deck, it was time for coach and his wife to fly on the big bird back to Eugene.

This past week I spent most of the time preparing for my trip. Throwing went well with all my positions holding up in the ring. I backed off a little on my lifting, giving my body a little recovery time before my trip. I knew my body would be pretty stressed from traveling, and stressing it out even more by lifting heavy and going full boar would not equal throwing my farthest!

I arrived to London yesterday morning, after a night filled with packing and asking myself if I really needed “all this stuff”. I flew from San Diego to Washington Dullas. After a quick layover, I was off to London! I tried with all my might to sleep on the plane. I slept for a few hours but I could never get comfortable. Also, it was not helpful that the lady in front of me thought that she needed all three lights on while she read her book. ;)

After landing in London's Heathrow airport, I met up with Reese Hoffa, Shaun Pickering and Coach Don Babbitt. Reese and I had a few minutes to kill before Shaun and Don landed, so he put a few movies on my computer. I tried to figure out how to do it before I left, but I am not too computer savvy. Now, I know I need to download a converter. Thank you, Reese.

Once Shaun and Don arrived, we were off to the local track for a shot put demonstration by Reese and Don. It was great to see all the people out at the shot ring learning from one of the best.

I headed home to Shaun’s mum's house in Welwyn, right as the rain showers started. Shaun’s mum has been gracious enough to let me stay at her house this week.

Eventually I will be staying with Shaun in Loughborough, GB. I will be training in Loughborough because it is one of the few places I could find to throw my hammer to train. It is a little hard to find a “hammer friendly” place in Europe. Since Futbol is the nations past time, hammer holes do not make for happy ankles. I can guess I can understand their point. :)

Today, I will be throwing in the McCain UK Challenge Throwfest at Barnet Copthall, and tomorrow, I leave for a meet in Sweden.

I plan to do a little walking around before I head to the track. Shaun’s mum's house is a little north of London, in Welwyn. The town is full by gardens and little pubs and I can not wait to explore. I will post pictures on Facebook, as I take them!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far!

Britney
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