Some weird things happened on Saturday!
1. I found the only pile of ants in the whole track complex and proceeded to lay down in it to relax before the competition. Luckily, I noticed early and they were only tiny little black ones, not red and scary. I'm a disaster sometimes.
2. I forgot my back brace at the hotel. As soon as I noticed that it wasn't in my backpack, I said to myself, "Forget about it. Move on. Nothing you can do now." If I'd let myself dwell on its absence, it would've become a bigger deal than it needed to be.
3. We warmed up on the soccer field adjacent to the track complex. This was kind of cool, as throwing in a warm-up area before a competition starts is what happens at the big meets. Since Tucson tries to mimic a Worlds/Olympics qualifying and finals scenario, this deviation from the norm seemed fitting!
My warm-up went better on Thursday than it did on Saturday, and that's the way I like it sometimes. A good warm-up messes with me a little bit; I think I lose focus because it seems like I've just "got it," and then I don't hit positions as well in the competition. A shaky warm-up brings my focus right down to what I need to do. My plan going into Saturday (as previously mentioned), was to relax on the first four throws and then get after it on the last two. I also wanted to get my right leg out of the way going into my block to make the right-left transition faster than Thursday, and to control the tip of the javelin a bit better.
My first throw went 59.67m, or exactly one centimeter further than my best throw on Thursday! That made me chuckle. I had a solid block and kept my arm back, but didn't quite hold my chest up like I wanted to. My second attempt went 60.36m with a little better upper body position. Then I threw 58m and had two 57m attempts before finishing with a forced 60.03m on my final toss. Here are the results (click on "#13 Women Javelin Throw") and Paul Merca's recap.
I stuck to my plan okay! I actually stayed relaxed almost all the way through the competition, because it was going well. I had nothing to lose on my last attempt though, and the crowd clapped for me, which always pumps me up! I felt ready for that extra adrenaline, but my technique didn't quite agree, and the javelin flew pretty much sideways to 60 meters. Cool, though! The javelin flew sideways to 60 meters! Which means it might fly further if it were straight. :) My technical take-aways to work on are javelin tip control (as always), making my right-to-left transition fast (as always), and finishing the throw a little better; I felt like I let go of the javelin a millisecond too early on every attempt in Tucson.
I'm happy with two throws in a series over 60 meters at this point. I've been throwing so much in practice all year that I'm really excited to be competing now. As hard as you try to throw at a high intensity in practice, it always feels much faster in competition, and I'm looking forward to getting comfortable with that. I'm in the Czech Republic (a new country for me!) for the Ostrava Golden Spike on Friday!