Thank you all so very much for all the supportive comments and wishes of luck for Raw Nationals. I was very honored to have the chance to participate in a national meet already in my very early career of powerlifting. Lifting at a national venue is an amazing experience. I had a chance to see some really awesome lifters in action... and talk training, form and strategies with some of the best lifters in the sport. How cool is that?
The internet was down at the hotel, so I had no chance to post any news from the meet. Worse, I had no opportunity to check my messages. I will give a the highlights of the weekend.
I will have to say Ellen Stein was the person I looked forward to meeting most. Ellen is a seriously strong woman, she won best lifter in the masters category. Pretty amazing lady with an awesome sense of humor. She is also an RKC...
So, I suppose I should report how it all went down for me...
I had a rocky start before I even stepped on the scale to weigh in. I knew I would be cutting it close, but I started my period on Friday. If you ever wondered what rules the world, I will tell you it is your hormones. A big hormonal fluctuation is like getting sick. I was 3 pounds over my weight class and my energy was low. I spent all day Friday just chilling out and trying to drop those last 3 pounds.
Saturday morning I was feeling strong and rested. I made weight, and had two hours to get some food and water before the meet started. Maura and I headed down to the venue to stretch out and prepare. I had my numbers in order and Aaron at my side to help me.
209lbs - easy... squat is my lift. Despite the fact that my legs were quaking and my stomach was turning from nerves, the weight flew up, no problem
225lbs - My plan was actually to jump to 231lbs, but it was period time and I wanted to go easy. Good thing, I really had to gut this one out. I have never struggled with a lift this hard.
242lbs - My plan was to go for 248lbs on my third attempt, but after almost killing myself with 225 I thought I should scale it back a little... I missed this lift. This was the first time I missed a squat ever... in training or a meet.
94lbs - This was an easy opener for me, which was fine. My plan was to go easy on the bench in order to recover from that killer 225lbs squat enough to nail a decent deadlift.
105lbs - Flew up. No problems. Felt Great!
110lbs - Again, no problems and felt great! Honestly this was my strongest lift all day, here is the one lift I could have gone heavier on, LOL!
265lbs - An easy opener, just the way it should be.
286lbs - I know it would be a challenge. I was already really pretty gassed out from period time, nerves, and the killer squats... I missed the lift. It didn't move.
286lbs - Honestly, I was totally destroyed by this time... I wanted to go home, I didn't want to go up on that platform again, but I did, and I missed the lift for the second time.
I was really planning on doing better at Raw Nationals, not worse. What went wrong? Luckily I had lots of input to help me figure this out.
- Over training. Pretty much everyone told me I was doing this. I didn't believe it, now I do.
- What happens in the gym doesn't always happen in the meet. I have never struggled with 225lbs! I buried 240lbs 8 weeks ago!
- A 3 lift meet is killer! I was gassed after that killer squat. Plus our flight was small, only 6 lifters. As soon as I took my belt off, it was time to get ready to go again! You are at the mercy of the meet director, it is like the Gym Boss... the judges don't give a shit if you need another 2 minutes to recover.
- Period time. Not at the top of my strength, in fact, I am probably at my weakest. I have to adjust my numbers for the way I feel that day.
- Nerves, they can work for you, or against you... you will always revert back to habit in the time of stress. Letting doubt creep in is a killer.
I spent some time talking over technique and form with the Gregs, both Jones and Page. Two way cool guys who really know the sport and know how to get strong. I also got a ton of advice from some really great lifters.
Shawn Friday, John Dorsher, Rich Endinger, Madvig, gave me encouragement, advice, beer and pizza. Great guys!
Angela Simons, Cathy Marksteiner (head judge) and Jim (last name unknown) gave me lots of kind words after the meet which was just what I needed after feeling so discouraged with my lifts.
Last, but not least... Maura was great, and it is always a lot of fun to pal around with a veteran like her. I would have never went without her.
Rick Fowler ran a tight meet. Everything went smoothly. I had such a great time.