It’s taken me ages to get round to writing this post and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d even bother. But actually, last Sunday’s competition was probably the most important competition I’ve ever done (and today is 12 months since I did my first Strongwoman competition: Britain’s Strongest Woman), so as I’ve bored you with all the training logs and mediocre competition performances over the last year, I really should celebrate my big achievement!!
Unlike any of the other competitions I’ve done, this one had a 24 hour weigh in, so Tara and I jumped on as early a train to Birmingham as we could face on Saturday morning. I weighed in at a svelte 65kg and then went about eating as much as I possibly could. Thankfully, I hadn’t had to kill myself to make weight this time, although I did avoid starchy carbs after lunch and didn’t allow myself any sweet treats during that last week, which was a bit miserable. By the time I’d weighed in, I was ready for burgers and cake!
First stop on the Road To 70kg By Morning mission was Starbucks at our hotel.
Once the sugar had taken effect, we headed to the shops to keep ourselves occupied before Burger Time. I’ve been to Brum a few times for work and always thought it was a bit of a dive, but the walk from our hotel was really pretty and the Bullring was full of shops you would’ve only seen in London five years ago.
I only had one thing on the shopping list though: Reese’s Peanut Butter-filled Krispy Kremes for post-deadlift, erm, recovery. As amazing as they sound!
Once we’d had enough of the shops and my sugar high had resulted in an epic crash, we headed to Handmade Burger Co. for a late lunch/early dinner. It was epic.
A double-patty peanut butter, bacon and chilli jam burger with sweet potato fries. It was messy but totally worth it. And it had me bouncing off the walls by the time I’d finished it. I tried to convince Tara to have a sharing dessert EACH but she talked me out of it, so I only had a small dessert. Sad times.
I bounced back to the hotel in hysterics – had someone spiked my food? Because it was like I was drugs! It took a long time for me to stop bouncing (and miming to Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal) and eventually I got to sleep. I’d been pretty calm about the comp up until this point, but the nerves had really started to affect me.
The day of the comp arrived and I was in bits!
GPC-GB have two qualifying standards: B Standard for National competitions and A Standard for International competitions. I’d stupidly set my sights on achieving A Standard, which meant I would need a 32.5kg increase on my last competition total. Some of that would come from using knee wraps for squats, but putting this amount of pressure on myself probably wasn’t a good idea, and nerves really took their toll on me on the day! Having a pretty crappy last few weeks’ training didn’t help.
Anyway, here’s the run down.
I warmed up to 95kg, only wearing my wraps for the last one. Then it was time. There were 6 women (and 2 men) in my flight and I was fourth to go. I tried to distract myself by concentrating on Tara’s lift, but I was a bit all over the place. I was hoping and praying that once I got this first squat out of the way, the nerves would settle down.
I opened with 100kg and didn’t go as deep as I would normally go on purpose: I didn’t want to sacrifice any power. I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d gone deep enough and was relieved when the three white lights lit up (and I was told that from the refs’ points of view, I had depth to spare!). And yeah, I felt a bit more settled.
I decided, as 100kg felt super speedy, I’d skip 105kg and go straight for a PB at 110kg. And BOOM! Three white lights!
I went for 115kg on my third attempt and I really should’ve got it, but, alas, I got stuck just above parallel. Still, nothing to turn my nose up about: that’s a 20kg comp PB, and a 5kg PB on anything I’ve done in the gym.
All the flights were run back-to-back so there was about a three hour wait before bench pressing. Of course, that was plenty of time for me to get myself into a tizz and force-feeding myself was painful. Plus, it was fucking freezing. Not even coffee warmed my bones.
I warmed up to 50kg, and opened on 60kg. The fact that I had the heaviest opener freaked me out slightly, and I started to doubt my ability to do it. But I got it. Three white lights.
My second and third attempts didn’t go very well at all. Despite ‘repping’ 62.5kg in my last week of training, I couldn’t even manage it for one, which caused me a great deal of frustration and I swore. A lot. I was politely asked by one of the refs not to swear on the platform…I didn’t even realise I’d done it, but the videos were embarrassing to watch. Time to work on my potty mouth.
I had hoped to bench 65kg and squat 115kg so that I’d only need a 130kg deadlift to get the total I needed, something I knew I could do! But now I needed 140kg. I’ve never attempted anything close to that and I was fucking scared! So scared, in fact, that I threw up before my first attempt.
Warm ups felt heavy and slow. And I completed them too quickly because I thought the big boys had finished benching about ten minutes before they actually did. My last warm up was meant to be 115kg, but I ended up doing another at 105kg so that I hadn’t just stood around getting cold in the gym that is also a freezer.
I opened on 125kg and it was smooth! And I felt confident!
I decided to go for 140kg on my second attempt because it’s what I needed. If I missed the total by 5kg or 15kg made no difference, so I just went for it! And got it!!! I was so fucking happy! I’m going to the European and World Championships!!!!
I still had another attempt to go, so I decided to go for an epic PB: 150kg, 20kg more than last comp and what I’d done in the gym.
It was so close, but it felt like I was hanging there just above the knees for ages and I just couldn’t get my hips through! The fact that I got it off the floor and above my knees surprised the fuck out of me!!
So that’s 5/9 good lifts, a 20kg squat PB, a 2.5kg bench PB, a 10kg deadlift PB and a 32.5kg total PB. The 110kg/60kg/140kg lifts meant I got exactly 310kg and I am going to compete in international competitions. Look:
Training for Euros starts tomorrow. I’m excited and scared, and I’ve already (rather stupidly) set targets for myself for June! It hasn’t really sunk in yet!!!!!