Monday 7 September 2009

Saturday’s Scottish showdown

Sami, myself and Cathal all got up at five in the morning so that we could make our flight over to Glasgow in time for the competition. I was feeling better than Wednesday and I was really looking forward to competing. I love the moments of doubt that you have to swallow down so that you are composed and relaxed enough to perform. I find that when I am nervous and even a bit jumpy, my nervous system is telling me that I am primed to go.

I weighed in at 97.5kg when I got up and for the competition, we weighed in at around twenty past nine in the morning. I had a banana and two pears with a bit of water for breakfast; I knew I would not be light enough for the 94kg class. I weighed in at 97.3kg; Sami weighed in at 85.4kg and wisely decided to leave trying to make weight as it was the total he was after, not the sinclair. Cathal weighed in at a light 73kg and Eamonn tipped a solid 88kg. Myself, Sami and Eamonn had to wait until around four to lift, so there was quite a bit of waiting around, but we were able to eat and drink without any undue worries.

Cathal lifted first, and after his 105kg opener in the Snatch, he decided that the knee that was bothering him was a bit much with his other competitions coming up. He decided to leave the rest of his Snatches, and to Power Clean and Power Jerk to his heart's content. Once his knees are not shouting at him, we will see some big lifts.

Sami then opened up with 92 in the Snatch, Squat Snatched 95 and then was startlingly close to 100kg that looked light and fast, but was not locked out. He Clean and Jerked a pb of 121 that looked very easy and then got under 125 but could not rack it properly.

Eamonn was not feeling it in the Snatch and got an easy opener with 93. He had 97 and 98 very high, but he could not quite lock them out. He Clean and Jerked 133 which looked nowhere near a limit lift and considering he has moved over to Edinburugh and his training has been severely interupted, he lifted well.

In the warm up room, my lifts were not feeling as fast and fluid as I would have liked. I was feeling fast, but the weights were falling down on me a bit and my feet were not reacting like they usually do. I had planned on opening up with 105kg, but after warming up with 97.5 and 100, I brought it down to 103. My first Snatch felt fast and comfortable, but my feet were doing weird things as you will see in the video. I had planned to lift 110 as my second attempt, but as I was not on my best form, I changed it to 108. This lift felt wrong in so many ways, but I got it. The video is gruesome viewing and shows that this and my next lift were about as attractive as a bulldog chewing a bee. My back was nowhere near locked; I was swing the bar outrageously; I needed to finish the pull; my feet were nowhere near where they needed to be and I had to do a Usain Bolt both times in order to retrieve the lifts. Basically, the way I learned to lift over the Summer was not in sight or sound. I think this was due to cns fatigue and my hips telling me to get back and improve on the flexibility I had in June.

My Clean and Jerks were pretty similar. Ugly, but brutally effective. My Cleans and Snatches would usually be my strong point, but on Saturday they were my weak points. My Jerk was the strongest it has ever been and that was quite satisfying. I warmed up with 110, 120 and 130. The Cleans never felt smooth, but I felt strong enough and the Jerks were sticking nicely. I opened with a nice 135kg that felt pretty basic. My hips were shooting up too early in the Clean and this changed my pulling trajectory. I was far too relaxed for my second attempt with 140 and I did not finish my pull. My feet also went off on a wander and all these factor meant I missed the weight. I sorted out my head for my third attempt and I got a Clean that was as ugly as sin, and a nice Jerk to follow. This was the first time I have Jerked this weight without a press out, so I was happy to get it.

Overall, I was happy with how I lifted, because I was as poor as I can be technically. My form was wincing to look at in the videos, but after how I felt in the week of, and before, the competition, I was happy for my 250 total which was a pb. I know I have a lot more speed, technique and power left to show and I am hoping the Club Championships in Cork will be the place to show it. We will see. I really enjoyed coming to this competition and it was great to get the ring rust out of the system. The video of our lifts is below, so any comments or pointers are welcome.


Franklin said...

Great lifting for you and all your comrades! Achieving PBs in competition is just as much mental focus as technique .. especially great effort to save that 110 snatch!

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