Well, it really did not go the way I wanted, but there is plenty for me to take away from Saturday. It was my first Nationals and I performed nowhere near what I am capable of, but I know it will be better next week and I would rather learn these lessons now than next Saturday at the Small Nations competition in Malta.
I arrived for the weigh in 15 minutes early to check my weight. I was under weight by .6 of a kilo, and the scales were changed after I weighed in officially because of a battery problem and the scales were not official. The second set of scales were generally supposed to be more accurate and they were .8 of a kilo lighter. This means that I was 1.5 kilograms too light, which is a lot of energy that should be there. Mistake number one. Mistake number two was not eating enough after the weigh in which was ten in the morning. I was lifting at around three in the afternoon in the third group and all I ate was porridge with fruit, two shakes, a wrap and some fruit.
When I started my warm up I felt ready to go and amped to the max. Hindsight being the muse that she is, I should have left the venue for a few hours and gone somewhere to chill out and eat a nice lunch. Instead, I stayed around the venue until it was my time to lift. My warm up went swimmingly. I missed my last warm up attempt at 100, it was bit too relaxed.
1x1@100--I knew I had to speed this one up. We originally wanted to open with 102, but I missed 100 so we dropped back. This lift was very quick, but it was not controlled at all; it jarred at the bottom as you will see in the video.
1x1@105--I started my pull too early on this one instead of staying over the bar as Morgan and Harry have told me to do. I ended up behind the bar and missed it.
1x1@105--I focused on staying over the bar and finishing my pull. Again it flew up and I got the lift because I was able to get through it.
After the Snatches, my legs started to get the rubber feeling so I knew I needed to get some sugar. I had a sugar energy pouch and some fruit juice, but I was hungry ny now. I started my Clean and Jerk warm up and things were going really well until I missed my last warm up lift of 125 because I tried to Power Clean it rather than bring it down. Damn you ego! I was supposed to open with 130 but then we went down to 128 because I did not have time to repeat 125.
1x1@128--I messed this up very badly. I overpulled the Clean and my feet did not go out, so I went back on my heels. I just about made the Jerk, but I messed that one up too, pushing it out front. At this stage, I was a little frantic. Weights that were normally so basic felt very heavy and my technique had taken a back seat.
1x1@134--This clean was better but still ugly. I have no idea how I did not make the Jerk. Looking at the video I did not get through it, but what caused my technique to give me the fingers is a mystery.
1x1@134--I panicked like a lost ten year old in Tesco's. Instead of calming myself down, I got more anxious to rip the bar as hard as possible. I forgoed my usual routine and raced up to the bar. It barely got off the ground. Then came the heartbreak.
Things to learn from yesterday:
1. Buy a decent set of scales--Mine is useless and I never know what I really weigh.
2. Come prepared with more food and a pre-selected spot to go and relax in after the weigh in for a few hours.
3. Have more immediate sugar hit products ready. One is not enough.
4. It is not a question of power in my Snatch, but of control.
5. Instead of thinking I need to lift harder--which causes me to use my arms like I did in all the Clean and Jerks--I need to think smoother.
6. When something inevitably goes wrong, I cannot let instinct take over. Calm must be restored like it was after my 2nd attempt Snatch miss. I knew what I had to do and I did it.
7. Ego is the enemy. I have to stop thinking about what I should be doing and and just accept what I am currently able to do, irregardless of whatever potential there may be.
Considering I got 105/130 in October after only lifting for five months, this was a massive disappointment. But, I know I have improved in technique and power since then so I just have to learn from my mistakes and enjoy the process. I love weightlifting, even on the bad days. Those bad days are a cruel mistress though.
On a better note, well done to Gill for her 5 out of 6. She will be going to the Eiliko women's Grand Prix in a few weeks. Laura Snatched really well and Sami was smooth in his Clean and Jerks. There is a lot more in all of us it is safe to say. Cathal hit a great 142 Jerk and Kevin did a lovely 120/160 with room to spare for next week. Eamonn and Andy looked very strong as did Neil Dougan. It was great to meet Pete Stewart who I though was the best lifter there. Very fast and precise. My lifts are below, warts and all.