I was really looking forward to my first competition of the year and it did not disappoint. It was a very small affair with only ten lifters, but everyone enjoyed it and generally lifted well for the time of year.
Sami came down to coach for two reasons: the competition did not fit into his training schedule and he also had to coach four lifters through the competition--I was one of them. There were some great performances: Byrdie hit a big pr total with 114/152 at 81kg bodyweight. Sinead Ryan hit 50/70 in a great six for six performance and Gillian Roddie hit three sweet Snatches with 52/55/57, but still felt the after effects of the Irish women's training camp, succeeding with an easy 70kg Clean and Jerk. The Reverend hit 95/115 weighing in at a svelt 73kg and this competition coincided with the end of his general preparation phase, so there is far more to come from him. Stephen Kinsella got fantastic pr's with 73/98 in only his second competition. He is rapidly improving in strength and skill and his work ethic is an example for others to follow. Paudie Roche also competed well considering he is coming back from a hip injury.
As for my own lifting, I am relatively happy with my five out of six performance. I had a quick twenty minute warm up after the weigh in--I was 96.2kg--in order to get the car journey out of my system. I worked up to a double with 80kg in Snatch and left it there. This was badly needed and meant that when I began my actual competition warm up forty five minutes later I was already feeling loose and ready to go. I did two doubles with 50 and a double with 60 and 70. I then hit singles with 80, 90, 100 and 105kg.
All my warm ups felt pretty good, so out I went with 108kg as my opener. It flew up and the lift was successful, but I made it harder than it should have been because I underpulled it quite a bit. I then went to 111kg and this was a far better lift and felt great. Sami then made the call for me to stick to 114kg for my final attempt and even though I could feel that I messed up my first pull, I just cranked that bit harder and got it overhead. Sami made the right call staying conservative, because it is the first competition of the season and I have not Snatched this much since last May when I hit 118kg. I also had a month of lifting 20 reps in 20 minutes in both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk which is not that conducive to max single attempts. I am capable of lifting more but I need to be patient in my build up.
I chilled out for ten or fifteen minutes and then started my warm up for the Clean and Jerk. I felt great and my final two warm ups were a Power Clean and Jerk with 120kg and a single Clean and Jerk with 130kg. These all felt very easy and in the groove so I opened up with 138kg which I made. My balance on the platform felt quite strange though and something felt different. With my second attempt, I went up to 143kg and my left foot slipped back a few inches, which was weird. I ended up not pulling the weight over my waist. I retook it and got a shaky final lift. It felt like I massively overpulled it and the weight fell down on me, causing me to stall in the bottom of the Clean. All my Jerks felt very solid though and I knew I would not miss them.
I finished off with a nice stretch and after helping Murph and Byrdie clear away the platforms and weights, myself and Murph had a short swim and sauna; I felt far better after this and it will definitely help speed up my recovery. I am still focusing on improving my hip flexibility but instead of doing what I usually do, I am working on one stretch and that is it. This stretch is my nemesis and my number one weakness, so I work on it everday on at least five seperate occasions. Here is one example of how I stretch my piriformus out; I actually use a variety of surfaces:
As a result, my flexibility is improving rapidly like never before and even though I am still pathetic in the stretch, I am now able to get into this pathetic position when before I was unable. I have been stretching like this for the last three weeks and I have seen major improvements so when I get my flexibility in that position to a decent standard, I will focus on my next weakest area while maintaining the previous one.
I have another competition in four weeks time and one a month after that. This suits me really well because I know that in each competition I will raise my game and continue lifting heavier weights. My training is going well and the next few months is vital: I need to stay focused on getting stronger and more consistent with my lifts. That is all I need to in order to get my 272kg total.