Thursday, June 21, 2012

Best. Practice. Ever.

The official website of the Olympic Trials is  If you click that link, you'll see the TrackTown 2012 logo in the top left corner with a scrolling message that circulates between, "Best. Time. Ever," "Best. Town. Ever," and, "Best. Team. Ever."  That last one and the title of this post are all I could think about after Tuesday's throwing session!

I won't go into much detail, because I want to keep that practice's power for myself, but I wanted to write down the cues that worked so well for me the other day.  Maybe they'll help one of you, too.

1. Relax out of the back (at the start of the throw).
2. Hide the javelin behind my head once I withdraw it.
3. Tall, relaxed upper body.
4. Accelerate with a closed left side to my left foot.
5. Throw over the left foot!

I also like to pick a focal point out in the sector; typically just a little bit above eye level, and as far away as I can see clearly.  It helps me keep my chest up.

I have one more throwing session (on Monday) before I leave for the Northwest!  I'm going home for one day before I head down to Eugene on the 27th.  I get to see these babies again:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New York

I have totally slacked on writing this post!  The reason is simple; I'm home and I'm loving it.  I left for Ostrava on May 21st, and New York City was my last stop before coming home on June 10th.  It's good to be here and I've been soaking up the normalcy!!

I threw 60.33m and placed third at the adidas Grand Prix last Saturday!  That is my second best distance of the season, and I scored my first Diamond League point since 2010.  The stellar competition between Barbora Spotakova and Sunette Viljoen in NYC and the absence of some other international women highlight the fact that I have some rounding into shape to do, but I'm really happy to be where I am going into the Olympic Trials.

Stina told me the day before the competition in New York that only six athletes would get six throws, and there were nine of us.  On Saturday, I did my general warm-up slowly and thoroughly, and my body felt pretty good.  I was also in a great mood; my 3-week trip was almost over, it was a beautiful day, and I was determined to have fun at the meet!  In throwing warm-ups, I focused on relaxing my upper body, accelerating through my crossovers, and throwing the javelin over my left foot (aka having good alignment).  A few of my warm-up throws traveled probably 57-58 meters, and at one point Barbora said to me, "What are you doing in meets that you throw like this in warm-ups?" (She was in Rome the week previous, haha.)  I said,
"I know, right!?" 
I was happy to have some validation in my warm-up throws through her comment; I felt good about them, too!

After the first two rounds of competition, I was sitting in sixth, and was determined to move up in the standings before finals.  I wasn't about to take a chance that I would get knocked out of the top 6 and not get three more throws.  I accelerated a little better through my crossovers, hit a little more solid of a block, and kept my chest up way better on my third throw than the first two.  It was my best attempt of the day by about five meters, and kept me in third through rounds 4 through 6.

The rest of the day was really fun!  We threw around noon, so I got to watch women's shot and see Tyson Gay's return to the 100 meters before heading back to the hotel to get cleaned up and go to dinner.  Jill, Sarah, Julie and I wandered through Central Park and in and out of shops on 5th Avenue after eating; it was a beautiful night, and I appreciate NYC the most when there's some greenery visible.

Here's my favorite "New York Life" picture from the weekend.  I don't know who this lady is, but she's on the phone and juggling a lot of stuff while buying food from a cart on the busy streets at sunset.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


The 2011 Compeed Golden Gala was my best competition of the year.  It remains the only A standard distance I've recorded in the qualifying period (after May 1, 2011).  Rome this year was terrible, however, and I'd rather forget it.

I had been in Europe for nine days by the time competition rolled around on Thursday, and I felt pretty good.  I had a throwing session on Monday in which I focused on staying closed as I got my left foot down quickly, and it was pretty successful!  In warm-ups Thursday, I did the same things, stayed relaxed, and felt very positive walking out to the runway.  Alas, I finished seventh with an embarrassing distance that I'm choosing to ignore.  I tried too hard in the competition instead of slowing things down and hitting good positions when the first few throws didn't go well, and I'm moving on!

I spent last season wallowing in self-pity after each bad competition, and while I allowed myself about an hour on Thursday to be upset and BBM back and forth with my Mom and Russ (who are both amazingly comforting when I'm being miserable), I refuse to repeat last year's mistakes.  Rome was only one meet, and I'm better than that and will accomplish much bigger things this season!  Do I regret disappointing myself and the people who got me there?  Yes, but losing is a part of sports, and I need to be done apologizing (to others and myself) for and dwelling on things long after they are over.  My plan is simple; relax, believe in myself and get better.

I'm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this week, staying at Jeff and Elaine Gorski's house until I go to New York on the 7th.  I'm excited to be here adjusting to east coast time and working with Jeff, who has been a part of my career literally since it began eleven or so years ago.  We had a good throwing session this morning at Duke University (thanks, B.J.!) with Adam Burke, and I'm really looking forward to the massage they set up for me tomorrow. :)