Friday, December 29, 2017

Reaching new heights!

It’s now a week out from the Australian Masters decathlon.  Most of the events I’m familiar with, or have some confidence that I will complete.  However, there’s a couple that needed extra work.  One is the hurdles, which I did some work on a while ago, and continue with some simple drills most days.

Another event I hadn’t done any work on was the pole vault.  Two years ago, I did start to learn the basics, but due to an injury min a sprint a couple of days earlier, I had to pull out of the coaching sessions and never got back into it.

Today that all changed.  With the free weekend with no competitions, came the opportunity to learn the pole vault.  I picked up where I left off (basically halfway through “pole vault 101″ :) ) 2 years earlier and progressed through a set of drills to get the right actions happening - first on the grass, then into the practice pit.

After several successful jumps into the pit, it was time to get used to the actual vault, and the feel of planting the pole in the “box”.  By the third attempt, I was easily able to vault onto the metre high landing mat.

To finish off, we setup the practice bungee cord, initially around 1.3-1.4 metres, which I was easily able to clear.  At the end, I proved that I can easily clear 1.6 metres, with the potential to go a little higher.  But I also found that just beyond those heights is my next challenge, as I move my position further up the pole, where more speed is required during the run up.

Now, I’m really looking forward to competing in the pole vault next week.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wrapping up 2017 - last regular track meet and a pentathlon.

Last week was a regular track meet, the last one for the year.  I had entered the 100m, 400m, long jump and javelin.

In the 100m, I seem to have finally got my starts working well.  I got out ahead of a much younger field, but they got ahead early in the race.  Finished with a rather slow time of 13.86 into a 2.6m/S headwind.

Next up was the long jump, where I managed 4.02m in calm conditions.  Somewhere around that time was also the 4x100m relay.  Ran the first leg, getting off to another great start and handing the baton over in good time. 

After the relay, headed off to the javelin, but was called to the 400m before the javelin started.  After a delay, the 400m got underway.  conditions were tough with a strong headwind from the 100m to the 300m mark.  Despite a time of 1:05.28, it was technically a better run, with less fading during the second half, despite the wind.

Headed back to the javelin, but due to the delays with the 400m, the javelin was finished by the time I got back. Just one of those things that happens when events clash.

Today was the annual Bendigo Region Multis.  Like last year, I entered the pentathlon.  First up was the long jump, where I jumped 4.18m on the first jump and scored 235 points.  The javelin was next.  My first throw was about a metre short of my PB.  Second throw was 17.75m, more than 1.2m better than my old PB.  Third throw, though not quite as good, was still better than my old PB.  The 17.75m throw scored me 131 points.

Following the javelin was the 200m sprint.  As expected, this was my best event, with a time of 27.36 seconds, one of my better runs for the season, and scoring 422 points.

Next was the last of the throws - discus.  Best throw here was 16.27m, worth 203 points.

The last event of the pentathlon was the 1500m.  Conditions were hot and windy, which made for a tough run.  My time was 6:07.14, 10 seconds slower than last year.  However, it was still worth 236 points, my second highest score of the day.  My total was 1227 points, comfortably beating last year’s score of 1161 points.

Competition resumes in 2 weeks time, where I will face one of my biggest sporting challenges ever.  I’ve entered the Australian Masters Multi Championships, which is a national meet.  I will be competing in the decathlon, something which I’ve never attempted before.  Stay tuned!

- Tony via Tumblr

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Fire Brigade and a week’s rest.

Well, this week first.  Due to a forecast severe rain event this weekend, many local events were cancelled.  As for me, the first casualty was the fire brigade competition, scheduled for today, which was cancelled on Thursday night.  Because of this, I entered the track and field meet scheduled for yesterday.  However, this was cancelled late on Friday, as part of a statewide cancellation.  So, I ended up with a week’s rest from sport.  Ironically, while some parts of the state did indeed suffer record rainfall and significant flooding, the system left us virtually untouched, and rainfall figures of 26.4mm for the entire event, nothing remarkable.

Last week, our fire brigade team journeyed over 200km west to Horsham for an extra competition (given what happened this week, that was just as well!).  The meet was small, with only 3 teams, but it was good for our relatively new team to get some experience.

The program was in a traditional order, bringing back memories of competitions 30 years ago.  First up were the marshalls.  With up to 3 entries, and being one of the 50% of the team with experience in these events, I got to run them all, starting with the 1 man marshall.  Had a bad hydrant, but the rest of the run was good.  The bad hydrant put me out of contention for any placings.

In the 2 man marshall, I ended up running twice, as part of 2 different entries.  Ran a reasonable 19.62 second first run, enough for 4th place, then immediately went back to the start for the second run (in a different combination).  This one was 20.29 seconds, with a struggle to finish, because of the very limited rest.  It was good enough for 5th place.

The final dry hose event was the 4 man Y.  I ran a good left branch, but a hiccup elsewhere put us well out of contention.  Our second team did score a place.

From here it was over to the main track.  I didn’t run the hydrant race and in the ladder race, I had a slow 8.86 second run.  Not quite sure what happened, but something to work on.

As our regular latter person was unavailable for this week, I ran ladder in the hose and ladder 5s, an event I had a lot of success in C section last year.  We ran 24.42, around the time our C section team ran last year, and enough to get second place.  Although slower up the ladder, my high track speed certainly helped.  Next were the hose and ladder 8s.  This is the normal hose and ladder event for an A section team like ours, and it is highly unusual to run both.  However, this made for an interesting comparison.  The hose and ladder 8 is identical to the 5, except there are 3 extra team members who run down and raise the ladder in the 8s, while in the 5s, the ladder is fixed.  This means I can’t climb until the ladder is in position.  I took a slower approach, cruising in formation behind the 3 ladder throwers, and was able to time my approach to be ready to climb as the ladder was in position.  Our time was 26.01, scoring us second place.  My reliance on track speed, rather than climbing speed puts me at a disadvantage in this event.

Next up the pumper and ladder event.  Our regular ladder person was unavailable, so I had to run all ladder events this time around.  Had a good run myself, but a problem elsewhere cost us a lot of time.  

I sat out the pumper 4s, but the team ran a good run, winning this event.  My next event was the hose and reel 6s.  This time, I ran in a new position for me - first branch.  That has me on the back of the cart for the trip down the track, then catching my end of the first length, putting the branch on and hitting the disc for the first time.  Had a good run and we got second place.  Following the 6s were the hose and reel 8s, basically the same event with 2 extra people to assist.  I overshot my position this time, but recovered and made it to the branch line in time for a hit.

Had a run in the champion 4s on the branch.  We were the only team to field 2 entries, but while I had a good run, problems elsewhere cost a lot of time.

Final event was the Y8.  This went together well, despite a hiccup or two, and we easily won with a time of 36.87 seconds.  Again, I was back on the ladder for this one.

We finished second overall, not far behind the winning team, which was a good result for a team with so many new guys.  Looking forward to see what we can do at the business end of the season.  With today’s competition being cancelled, there’s no more until the middle of January, when the busy part of the season gets underway.

Next week, it’s back to the track for track and field.  Time to test out some technique improvements there.

- Tony via Tumblr