Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Drake Relays

This is a belated Drake Relays wrap-up post!

I competed two Fridays ago at Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.  My family came, ASICS puts on the meet, Russ threw well, and I met some cool new friends, so the weekend was fabulous!  Unfortunately, I could have thrown better, and my knee didn't feel great.

My parents and I at the Machine Shed!

I had a really fun throwing session the Monday before this competition, and I threw pretty hard that day because it was going so well.  Surprise!  My knee was sore the next day, and it stayed sore most of the week.  When I woke up on Friday in Des Moines, it was feeling better, but not totally 100%.  "The show must go on!" I thought, and I warmed up okay.  The weather was perfect-better than I've seen it since USAs in 2010-and I felt like not taking advantage of such conditions would be a shame! 

My first throw was possibly too relaxed, and I've been pushing with my right leg a little bit again, so I landed forward and that did not feel good on my knee.  That throw traveled 56 meters, and would have been an okay start if it hadn't made me so uncomfortable.  When I'm forward (as is the case when any javelin thrower is forward!), there's too much downward pressure on my leg rather than sort of horizontal pressure that lets me move forward and out toward the sector after my block is down.  What happens is undue pressure on the leg, yes, but also pulling down on the javelin and loss of tip control, leading to not-as-good throws.  Stay back and then move forward after your left foot is down, people!

So yeah.  I threw 56 meters, tried a few more times to work through the stiffness in my knee with no improvement, and decided to pass my three finals throws.  I was disappointed to let such a perfect day slip by, but I knew that resting my leg for my next meet was more important.  Drake was only my second meet of the year, after all, and it's going to take me a bit to learn how to ride this competition bike again. 

Even though I'm now 19 months out of surgery, it will take me a while to figure out just how much my knee can handle in terms of intensity before competition and how much rest I need to get ready for meets.  My experience at Drake showed me that I'll have to be smart in how I select the meets I go to this year; it may have been naïve of me to think I could just jump back into a normal schedule in my first full season back in action.  It's important to me to use this year as a building block for the next three seasons; 2015 World Championships in Beijing and the 2016 Olympics in Rio are the shining stars in the distance, and preparing myself the best I can for those is paramount.

I'm traveling to Doha, Qatar today for the first Diamond League meet of the season!  This is my first international trip since London, OMG.  I'm excited-nervous already. :)

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