The run up to the Welsh champs was a lot more positive than previous competitions this month; more certainty of making weight, more kit-lifting preparation and more people coming to the competition for support.
Spent the Saturday morning and early afternoon packing and preparing food, in particular a rather delightful lemon and raspberry cheesecake ready for consumption right after my last deadlift. It was quite tough preparing and baking the whole thing without tasting any of it; weighing in at 51.7kg that morning I wasn’t taking any chances.
Left Bournemouth around 4pm, arriving in Wales about 3 hours later to an amazing choice of food laid out by our teammate’s mother who we were staying with. I weighed myself to ascertain whether or not I could eat, at 52.1kg I figured I could indulge just a little. She’s well versed with the powerlifting world, so we were spoiled with a choice of roast chickens, tikka chicken breast, an amazing green salad, fennel cauliflower, sweet potatoes and roast mixed vegetables. To play it safe I had some salad, cauliflower and chicken, but as there was so much left over we all packed ourselves a little something extra for competition day. Such a delightful dinner!
Didn’t sleep as well as I normally do, but that’s to be expected before a competition. I got about 7 hours on and off, which I’ve found to be just the right amount. Enough to function properly, but with a little lack of sleep stress to fuel the day of lifting. Weighed myself at 51.4kg but again I wasn’t taking any chances so only had a few sips of water and a couple of nuts to tide me over until weigh-in.
Weighed in at 9am on the dot, desperate for some food. Didn’t even need to strip down, I was 51.8kg with my shorts and t-shirt on, so I was right into my class. Rehydrated with a carton of coconut water and some water, and ate a banana pancake slowly so as not to shock my body. Then for a nice sit down for a while until warm up for squats.
It was nice to have my coach, a few other Bournemouth Barbell lifters and a non-competitor in the warm up room with me for support and help. Warmed up to 70kg as per usual, then put my suit on. With my weight loss it was a lot looser than it had been earlier in the week, but knew my wraps would help me out. Warmed up to 110kg just slightly above depth, but felt good about my opener of 112.5kg, which I got with ease. For my second lift of 117.5kg we wrapped a little too soon, and then there was some confusion as to whether I would need 117.5 or 118 to set a British standard so I was left standing around for longer than is comfortable in tight wraps, but then completed my lift and got it with ease though I rounded my back a little on the way up. Went to 122.5 kg for my third lift but unfortunately missed it narrowly on depth. I didn’t mind too much as I had got my record, so definitely a minimum target for my next competition.
Bench warm up was a little disheartening, with different equipment from what we were used to it was difficult to feel comfortable, especially with the added stress of a bench shirt, but we managed. I had planned to open at 62.5kg, but it felt a bit like a bad shirt day so went down to 60kg as it wasn’t going to influence my second lift and thought it best to make it a sure lift. So I got my opener of 60kg with ease, then 65kg for a British record. At first the spotters unloaded it a little high and pulled my out of shape slightly. I swore, which I will not be doing again as it could get me a failed lift, and got them to rerack so I could shape up again. Managed the lift with ease, so went to 70kg but unfortunately failed it as it descended ever so slightly on the way up. I got it up though so again another minimum aim for next competition.
Warm up for deadlift was a little tough as well, slightly fatter bars and a slightly slippy floor made things difficult, but again we managed. Warmed up to 100kg then tried my opener of 105kg, as I was considering moving it up to 107.5kg. It felt a little tough so stuck with 105kg, which I got with ease on the platform. Next lift was 110kg which was tough but not too difficult. Decided with my coach to attempt 117.5kg for my third lift, to aim for a 300kg total. There was nothing to lose as I was nowhere near a deadlift or total record, so I tried it and got it off the floor easily but had a little trouble locking out so unfortunately missed it.
I will post a video of my failed lifts at a later date, as they were all near misses I still feel like I have achieved them. While the referee’s decision is what counts in the end, with near misses it’s encouraging to know I could probably get them in future competitions.
It was a truly exhausting day, with all flights competing successively there was at least an hour between each lift. I even had to have a coffee before my deadlifts! It was great to have fellow Bournemouth Barbell lifters there to support and encourage each other, though it did mean I didn’t really speak to many of the other lifters. I especially extend my thanks to my coach as it was great to have his wisdom and support throughout the day. Finished up with a 292.5kg total, just a little way off my target of 300kg. Came first in my weight class, so my competitions this month have gone 3,2,1!
Pretty soon after finishing I tucked into my cheesecake, and shared it around. It was honestly one of the nicest things I’ve ever eaten, and I was so proud that I made it. It was nice to indulge as I am back to maintaining weight today for another competition in a few weeks.
Overall it was a great day, well organised with lots of impressive lifters, fantastic spotters, loaders and referees and a supportive crowd. It went a lot better for me than the South West competition, as I managed more of my squats, stayed relatively calm and I’m absolutely delighted that I managed to set some British records. I’m definitely hoping to break my own records at another competition sometime this year. Woke up with a fresh sense of motivation and determination this morning, but unfortunately no energy to go with it. We got back about midnight last night, and I’ve spent much of today horizontal as a consequence. With a little more experience in kit lifting, I feel I can only go up from here, and I’m very much looking forward to the next few months of lifting and competition.