Monday, March 28, 2011

First meet jitters

I'm not sure why I couldn't hit my goals at Sunday's Bay Area Senior Games, but I had a lackluster performance at the Stanford University track. This was the first meet of the season, and I think I was not mentally prepared as I got into the throwing ring. This will be a learning experience for future meets.

The meet, which doubled as the California Seniors State Championships, was held at Stanford's Cobb Track & Angell Field. This is a world-class facility that has hosted numerous NCAA Championships, the U.S. Open and U.S. Nationals. So I can't blame the facilities for my performance.

My goal for the meet in the discus was 90 feet and I hit 76 feet. I was hitting 90 in practice and was looking forward to the competition. But I just couldn't seem to get a good release and 76 feet was my best of four throws.

In the shot put, my goal was 26-6 and I could only toss it 25-4 -- more than a foot off my goal and 18 inches short of my best throw in competition.

I understand the discus marks. You have to do so many things right in the discus so the throws can have varying degrees of success. Technique is crucial. But in the shot put, the margin for error is much smaller. Strength is the key, although your technique is important. But I'm so far off last year that I must be getting weaker as I get a year older. I need more time in the gym with heavier weights.

At age 61, I'm competing in the 60-64 category, so I'm at the younger end of the age group. The one thing I will say is I never picked up a discus or shot put until last year. Most of the competitors have been throwing since high school and there techniques are much better than mine.

I'm a beginner and on Sunday I sure threw like one.

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