Well, the 2011 indoor season has come to an end. Though I was really happy with a lot of things in indoors, I must admit that I do it mostly to bide my time until outdoors. I really love the hammer. I think it’s a more even playing field and is a lot more fun than the weight throw for me.
A recap of things:
I had a steady build winning 3 meets and placing second in two to Ms. Campbell. I placed second at USA Championships for the 2nd year in a row, but this year with a 5 year season best. I had some steady progression of throws building on things and even got back to testing my speed again in throws. Overall, a very successful indoor season.
Please see my website for all my season results.
But anyway my thoughts on training:
The focus is 2012 and getting that medal. This year I really took a look at what I wanted to focus on and what I thought it would take to get me to the medal stand. I realize that though I’m strong, I’m not a strength athlete. I’m an explosive speed athlete. So rather than ignoring my speed to put all my effort in getting stronger to compete with the stronger girls, I decided to embrace and focus on my speed and technique.
I’m still lifting hard and heavy, not neglecting it, but really am focused on my speed and making sure my main energy focus is on quality throws.
I’ve trimmed up about 10lbs. This is the leanest, most athletic I’ve been in my professional career. I’m about 180lbs right now and still right up there with my top clean, snatch, front squat marks which is important. I want to be leaner and faster, but I don’t want to lose strength. I was a little worried with how that would play out with the weight throw. My PR from college, I was about 200lbs and a little more strength focused in lifting, not to mention a longer season by a month. However, I’m throwing right up there with some of my top marks and the furthest I’ve thrown in 5 years tells me that the things I’m working on are working.
It’s easy to muscle the weight and it not transfer into the hammer, but I feel my mark shows my speed and technique are really starting to come out and will only carry that much more so over into the hammer where speed and technique are primary.
Along with focusing on becoming more athletic, I’m really working on my confidence again.
I know, I know. We’re suppose to be robots, but some how I find myself still human. Last year was a rough year and it took a big toll on my confidence in the end. I’ve never walked away from a bad competition without the desire to throw again and kill it. Last year at the end of USA’s I remember my first thought in my head was thank god the season was over. I wanted to put it behind me, but couldn’t. It raised questions in me that I never thought about like limitations and if I had “lost it.”
I sent Coach Bedard an email and told him after moving around and making my life solely for the hammer I felt empty, I felt like I had given it all away. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or if I should even keep throwing.
He sent me an email back and said I was always welcome home. The words home stuck in my head. Home. I needed an equal balance of my life, my self, and my training.
Being back home is giving me some steady things to keep me grounded and focused. I’m learning to compete again and be myself and through that, letting the hammer fly again. I have solid training partners that care about me and my success and I care about theirs. We push and pull one another. I’m learning it’s okay to make mistakes, and occasionally, it’s okay to cry at practice and that one bad day doesn’t mean a bad season.
This indoor is just a preview of outdoors. And it feels good to have things starting to come together. Sometimes as athletes we make a lot of decisions on faith alone, faith in ourselves, our coaches, our systems. But faith doesn’t win medals, we need results. So, it’s nice to have these little victories to tell us we are on the right track.
It’s something that I needed as I move into the hammer (especially because it feels a little foreign right now.)
Not everything is perfect in my life, not yet, but I think this healthier approach to things is paying off.
I can’t wait to see what the outdoors brings!