Saturday, March 29, 2014

Texas Relays

I just drove back into Colorado Springs after spending two weeks in Austin, Texas in preparation for the 87th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays!  Yes, I drove down there because a) plane tickets were super expensive, b) oversize baggage fees for my javelins are super expensive (now more than ever) and c) I wanted to.  I listened to Divergent by Veronica Roth on the way down and Insurgent, the second of the three-part series, on the way home today.  Books for fun, YAY!  I also refuse to see movies before I've read the books, and I'm going to see it next week.

Anyway, I competed yesterday!  My two weeks of practice with Ty leading up to this meet were good, but like I said already, I was nervous.  Just like the one time I got to see him last year, I showed up in Austin and was really tight in my upper body: I short-armed the throw a lot and just got away from the pressure too quickly.  I've known for a while that this is a problem, but struggled to fix it on my own.  I focused on my arm instead of keeping a big chest, lengthening my left arm and initiating the throw with my legs.  To fix a technical issue, the majority of the time you need to figure out the cause rather than just address the symptom!  I always know what I feel, but visiting Ty helps me figure out why I feel those things.  So important.

So, because of what we worked on in practice, my two main technical cues going into competition were keeping my entire left side solid (related to initiating the throw with my legs) and keeping a big chest at the front of the throw.  My other goal was to enjoy myself!!  I talked to Wendy on Thursday about how to do that: I had some pictures that make me happy printed and stuck them in my binder as a reminder to smile.  Nervous energy+happiness+solid technical cues (that I had been visualizing like crazy)?  Good stuff.

My warm-ups felt nice and relaxed, but weren't awesome, which I love.  I like to feel connection, but I'm not a big fan of perfect warm-ups.  On my first attempt, I was as relaxed as I could be with all those first-meet jitters, led the throw with my legs okay, and remembered to keep a big chest!  All of those things could have been executed better and I didn't have much speed on the throw since my approach was a bit short for this meet, but when I looked up, the javelin was invisible.  I love those throws, and it has been a long time since I've seen one of mine fly that way!
That first attempt was 60.45m, which I am thrilled with for a meet that is a month earlier than I would normally open a season, and especially after 18 months of rehab and climbing my way back to throwing confidence.  After throw number 1, shaking hands and a congratulatory hug from Ty, my nerves dissipated a little too much, and I didn't have a whole lot of energy for the rest of the meet!  My series suffered from a lack of competition mental endurance I think, and even though I know my knee is strong and sturdy, it still hurts a little when I throw hard on it.  I'm excited to build that competition experience back up! 

I'll compete again at Drake Relays, and I can't wait to see my family (both ASICS and biological, haha)!  I'd love to see you there if you can make it. :) Until then, I'm focusing on having a strong left side and nice big chest in practice.  So pumped about the next few years!

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