On Thursday, I found out that my alma mater (Concordia St. Paul) was hosting a women’s meet the next day. I told Andy about it and his response was, “Go ahead.” Heat sheets were already out, but the coach put me in anyway. I was immediately in a cold sweat of nerves and excitement. I got entered in both the pole vault AND the 5,000m race. Now let me be clear: in my college days, I was not a runner. I was not a sprinter, or a distance runner. I was slow and terrible. I have come a long way, and my training over the winter has been going really well. But a race with actualcollege distance runners? Was this a stupid idea? I’ll get to that race in my next post.
There were 10 other women pole-vaulting, but all had seed heights a foot lower than me, which was a big confidence boost. My short approaches in warm ups felt good, but my take-offs struggled as my approach lengthened. When stuck in a gym, I haven’t been able to practice that. I was also getting on big poles with higher grips. This was my first time outdoors since last summer as well. While it was a tailwind during warm-ups, it would shift during competition to a crosswind or head wind at times. I came in at 10-4, as they were only going up by 10cm (4”) at that point. Opening height was at 8’, so I had some downtime before starting. My first 2 attempts at 10-4 didn’t go well. My final attempt was ugly, but I did what I had to do to make the height.
At 10-8, there were 5 of us still in. I made it on my first attempt, but no one else made the height, which meant that I not only won the meet, but that I could also pick my heights from then on. I jumped up 6” to 11-2.25, which I also cleared on my first attempt. I still wasn’t feeling good about my jumps though. We raised it to 11-8. It would be a post-collegiate PR (by 2”) and also tie my 2ndhighest jump ever. On my first failed attempt, my elbow hit the bar really hard, and my right hand went tingly. Fortunately, I had 5 minutes between attempts, and I got feeling back in my hand in that time. My second attempt was better, but not there yet. My third attempt was my best jump of the day, and I felt like I was doing what I needed to do to make the height. I had put the standards pretty deep though, and it was too much for that jump. I had a lot of height, but I came down on the bar. I had a great day overall, but I was crushed. I wanted that height so bad. I wanted to make another run at 12’. I could have made that bar with room to spare if I hadn’t had my standards so deep. I won my home meet at CSP though!Check out the video of my 11-8 attempt. Despite having a terrible take-off, I still got a lot of height out of the jump (as you can see in the picture I am far over the bar, but my legs are touching it on my way down). Stay tuned for the next post regarding that 5K…