Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bottropp and Monaco, etc.

Since I started blogging last year, I've really enjoyed reading friends' posts, writing my own as an outlet about track, and finding fun blogs to follow that have nothing to do with my day-to-day life. I've suggested that others both start and refresh blogs, and discussed with a fellow devoted blogger just how difficult some posts can be to write.

Last year, it was extremely easy to update everyone on how I was doing. I was happy to report that, for the very most part, things were great! I competed better than I ever had before, and when I didn't, I couldn't wait to get it all out in a post and move on. This year, I've been disappointed time and again because I feel awesome and end up throwing crappy. It's hard to keep coming back to the keyboard when I know I'm going to write about something that's discouraging and frustrating. I have a lot of people that I can talk to about how competition is going and how I'm feeling (Russ, my parents, Britney, Mike, Maggie, Jamie, Ty), but I guess my blog is where I put stuff to move past it.
So here we go.
I threw in Bottropp, Germany on July 15th. It was a tiny meet that was actually really cool to be a part of. Russ and I took the train up there and back in the same day (only an hour one way), and there were a lot of American athletes, plus a German teammate of Russ's that he hadn't seen in years! Cool! I was looking forward to a low-key, low-pressure situation where I could focus on positions and not worry as much about distance. Unfortunately, my competitive nature got the best of me, and once again I tried too hard, waited too long to put my left foot down at the block and lost the tip of the javelin, only throwing 57m and placing second. Russ took video though, and for the first time since like April I saw what I've been doing on film. That meant that we went to practice that Monday armed with a plan and positivity on my end; I was a lot closer than I thought!

The Herculis Meeting in Monaco came next, on July 22nd. I love Monaco!! It is gorgeous, has fabulous weather all the time, reminds me of San Diego (just fancier), and I did well there last year. I felt awesome (again) warming up for the competition, and my warm-up throws actually went way better than they had in recent meets. My first throw felt like the good ones from warm-ups and it flew pretty well, but landed way, way too close to me. I adopted the same attitude on each throw; do what I'd been focusing on in practice and the distance would come. Unfortunately, neither one of those things happened and I ended up last. Again.

I've been feeling really sorry for myself for a while now, and I wanted someone to just come along and magically fix me. There has been this desperation to figure it out right now, and I think that has been my downfall. Multiple people have advised me to just be patient, and that has been really difficult because of my own expectations, but I'm trying my best. I did have a revelation yesterday:
The season's not over yet.
Tomorrow, I'm going to practice and I will think the whole time about how I can still accomplish my biggest goals for 2011. What I need to do to get there is slow down, be more disciplined than ever in my technique, and remember why I do what I do in the first place. So here we go!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I'm embarrassed, discouraged and in awe all at the same time. I guess the emotion of being "in awe" during a competition isn't the most productive, but witnessing (and being a small part of) last Friday's Paris Areva Meeting was cool (World Lead by Christina Obergfoell, great depth of competition), and also terrible.

I warmed up okay. My body was pretty achy, which it had no reason to be after my first business-class international plane ride! The weather was fine and we were in a stadium, meaning wind wasn't really a factor.

My first throw sky-rocketed and landed at like 55-56m (as far as I could tell; it could've been more or less). I had too much pride and intentionally fouled it. My second throw went right out of the sector, but I ran through the foul line as soon as it left my hand because I could tell where it was headed. There were only 8 women in the competition, so I knew I would make finals, but figured I should have a legal mark to do it. That meant that I marked my third throw, even though I knew it was bad. To find out how bad, you can look at the results, because I'm not going to say it.

After that start, I really, really had to fight to get back up to 58-ish meters, which happened on my last throw and still meant that I was last by 3 meters. I have to take pride in the fact that I did manage to claw my way back to a distance that would not have been last in (I don't think) any other Diamond League meet except the one that I got last at in Zurich last year. And three people didn't throw over 60m in Zurich last year, whereas I was the only one to not throw over 60m in Paris (and I threw a meter farther in Zurich).

I've been in Cologne, Germany since Sunday, training at a facility in Leverkusen where I've trained for the past two summers. I'm happy here! I know the city, I'm familiar with how to get around, I'm living with a group of people I like in an awesome set of apartments that are equipped with washing machines and internet, and my little bit of German has come flying back to me! My idea of how to throw has also come back to me, and now I just need to apply it. I'm competing at a small meet in Bottropp, Germany tomorrow afternoon, and I'm looking forward to a low-key setting (with some familiar faces) where I can focus on remembering that good technique means far distances.