Monday, November 8, 2010

9 for 9: The Nitty Gritty

Saturday morning was weigh-in. Got there at 7:30 and hopped on the scale to see 144.2, solidly within the bounds of my weight class. About 5lbs heavier than average from all prior meets, but solidly within the bounds nonetheless.

I spoke with Raphael before leaving about my food before the meet. I needed to do the weigh-in on Saturday and then nail the food to be at my best. We talked about not being afraid to eat for strength and energy, good choices of food, really taking advantage of food to go in as strong as possible on Sunday. All things I knew, but maybe I just needed to hear that I knew what to do and could trust that. Here's what he wrote, "basically just hearty food spread through the day. No macros or any of that stuff. Foods like pancakes for breakfast with eggs, a huge burger with fries or big steak with fries, maybe a big muffin at some point in the day. Just eating for strength and energy but not too the point of stuffing it down. This will have Cooth like a superwoman at the meet and probably give her a sound night of sleep too."

And so I ate. A lot. And I did it guilt and worry-free, and knowing it was going to help me on Sunday and I felt good about that :) Careful not to just load up and feel lethargic and gross, but I ate a ton. Pancakes, eggs, turkey sausage, breakfast potatoes for breakfast, a half pound burger with cheese and sweet potato fries, a 7oz steak with mashed potatoes, a VPX bar, and a big chocolate chip cookie from starbucks. Saturday night I got my foods together for what I would eat to keep me going through the day at the meet. I packed 3 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, a banana, a chocolate bar, a sliced up apple, and 2 VPX bars (Roasted Coconut, yum), plus 2 Spike Shooters and some xTend. That night I did sleep much more soundly..I woke up a lot, but the time I spent asleep was solid and restful.

Sunday morning - it was time. I started out with a SOLID breakfast of eggs, breakfast potatoes, a muffin, and a bagel. I got there a little early knowing I needed to register my first attempts and rack heights, and be on time for the rules meeting that started at 9. I registered all my first attempts as I had planned before the meet...Squat 170, Bench 100, Deads 270, but after the rules meeting I panicked a little and dropped my squat opener to 160. It's just the first lift of the meet, I needed to know I'd nail it no questions asked, and in the Rules meeting the meet director explained that 3 people bombed out on squats the day before - that was NOT going to be me!

He also explained that he re-arranged the flights to be 2 instead of 3, but they would be large. He wasn't kidding! I'd say each had 18 lifters. That makes for a LONG day (10 - 4), and a LOT of time between lifts...IMO too long, but you adapt or you don't - so I adapted.

I was a little worried about how things would go down in the warm-up room, since I was the only chick and they were all starting their warm-ups where I was ENDING...hahah..but they were really cool, they all helped me strip down the bar when I needed, gave me tips, etc. Pretty awesome, way friendlier than a lot of the women I've met in PL so far!

Here's how the day went down:

Opening Squat @ 49:50 (160)
Down and up, easy! Got some comments from Myles and Dave that I went "excessively" deep. The rule is the hip joint needs to be below the top surface of the knee...I didn't want to leave anything open to interpretation I guess, so I was sure to nail depth on my opener. First lift of the day done, and I knew it was going to be a good day - I felt real strong.

2nd Attempt Squat @ 1:09:00 (180)
Wellllll ok then...this one almost went wrong. I got too far back on my heels and my knees came in and I started down that "pancake" road, where I just fall forward and can't stand up out of the hole...this one was a battle, but it wasn't because of the weight, it was because I compromised my form. I was able to fight through it and get it back, and I came up strong - but I could feel them moving in to grab it! Again Dave and Myles said I went "excessively deep" and they blamed the form issues on that and a too fast descent. Based on the 180 being a struggle, they were concerned about the plan to go for 195 or 200 on the 3rd. Even though I stated multiple times that it wasn't the weight that was the issue, that it was my form and I would be sure to nail it on the 3rd, I almost let Dave talk me into just going for 190 on the 3rd, which would have tied my PR. Thankfully Myles very forcefully said, " do you WANT?" I said, "what do I WANT? I WANT at least 195!" And with that, I entered my 3rd attempt at 195 :)

3rd Attempt Squat @ 1:29:00 (195)
Ahead of this squat, I visualized the descent and the pop up out of the hole. I visualized how it would feel to stand up with it on my back and knowing how it would feel when I nailed it. Myles focused my attention further on the squat I had done a few weeks earlier with him in the gym during an evaluation...more controlled descent, not as deep...*deep breath* I can DO this! I unracked, waited for my command...down....UP! I was unsure about my depth as I rose, but there was nothing I could do at that point - just needed to finish it! In my head it was a combination of "OMG it's going up! and OMG it wasn't deep enough, was it?!" In the auditorium the judge yelled "RACK!" I racked it and I heard, "and it's good!" and I knew I got it! I couldn't believe I got it! YES!

Did I have another 5lbs? I might have, I dont know...but I do know that I nailed a 5lb PR and it was time to move on and hit the bench.

It was Redemption time.

Bench 1 @ 32:00 (100)
Opened way light, because why not? Down, up, done! Smooth!

Bench 2 @ 49:40 (110)
Ahhh...110lbs. A number that has haunted me from my first powerlifting meet, and one that defeated me at my last meet. It was time to own it...110 loaded on the bar and down...wait for the command...PRESS! Up it went, no doubts, no pauses, not the slightest bit was AWESOME! I can't tell you what a relief it was to have owned it! FINALLY! And then it came time to not only own it...but to put it totally behind me...a quick conference with Dave and Myles on the 3rd attempt and in it final Bench attempt was going to be 120.

Bench 3 @ 1:06:30 (120)
I had no doubts, no trepidation...I'd done 122 in training. But I wasn't cocky...I had been confident in 110 in the previous meet and it completely defeated me, so setting it for 120 made sense. That and EVERYONE was spastic about the length of the pause at the bottom, the head judge was a stickler for a solid pause and she waited to the letter of the rule "until the bar sits motionless on the chest." So prudence was in order, otherwise I'd continue to be stuck with the 110. The bar was set and it was time...down with control...PRESS! And up it went. Fast! Are you kidding me? 10lb bench PR?! After nearly 2 years of 110 haunting me, and I put it behind me by a full 10lbs! YEAH!

Now on to my favorite lift....deads :)

Opening Deadlift @ 42:50 - 270
This went up fast and easy, but something in my initial set up (too close to the bar, we think) had me off balance at the top. I felt it at lockout and felt like I could have easily lost it and fallen forward. I didn't, but I knew I needed to watch the set up on the 2nd attempt. Still - no question on the 2nd attempt...stick with the plan, stay light/conservative on the 2nd so you've got something left for the 3rd....I entered 290.

2nd Attempt Deadlift @ 9:55 - 290
The plan here was to PR my total on the 2nd attempt and lock that in. By hitting 290, my official total would become 605 - 10lbs over my former total PR (it stood at 595). I walked up to that bar owning it..careful on the set up...up! No problem! Set up was better, I was more stable at the it was time to seal the deal...we conference...go for 315 or 320? Everyone agreed 315 felt like the right thing to do - so that's what I entered...a big lift, 5lbs over my last PR.

3rd Attempt Deadlift @ 24:00 - 315
Again I spent the time between these lifts visualizing the lockout on this lift. How will it feel to stand up with that bar in my hands, shoulders back - totally locked out with 315lbs? I was aggressive..own it! own it! I went out again, deliberate on the setup, no mistakes, solid arch, chest up and liiiiift! As usual a slight stick on the floor and the minute it broke the floor....up! YEAH!

A new total PR...from 595 now to 630 - HUGE!
A PR on every lift!
9 solid lifts! I've NEVER gone 9 for 9 in a meet!
Myles and Dave both said "you had at least 320 and I think 325 in you!" On that, I do agree!

What a day...I'm still on cloud 9. Nine for 9 lifts....

That night we had to drive back from Tampa...a minimum of 4 hour drive. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts before heading out of townand I grabbed a bottle of milk (chocolate, 1% yummmm) and a big fat blueberry muffin (and one chocolate munchkin). That held me until we got back here and we grabbed some pizza. I was pretty exhausted - dropped my folks off at their condo and came back here to crash.

My body was wiped, but my mind could not shut down (probably the caffeine from the Spike) and I didn't sleep too well - thank goodness I'm off today and tomorrow :)

Today I feel like I've been hit by a bus, but I'm happy about it. I learned that my 315 deadlift puts me in the Top 20 Female Deadlifters in my weight class...I'm now ranked 15th in the country for the Unequipped 148s! I went to the grocery store today and that's about it. Just woke up from a nap and still feeling pretty tired, so I'll continue to take it easy the next day or so.

Dave says he wants me back in the gym on Wednesday and will send me my new training program soon. I honestly can't wait :)


  1. This ROCKS, Cathy! Good for you! So happy for you and your success! Get it, lady! :)

  2. love love love this!! So insanely proud of you!

  3. Standing OVATION!!!!!

    I love seeing the look of triumph on your face!

  4. Oh, my! I was glued to every word, was with you through every moment. You OWNED it - yes, indeed you did! Wow, wow, wow! :-D

    ~ Coco

  5. What a very good day! I'm stoked just reading it!

  6. Thanks you really was an amazing day - it all came together perfectly :)

  7. So proud of you! As I'm reading I keep remembering this was miss cardio-run-'til-you-drop girl and NOW look at her! Truly amazing sistah! I love what you've accomplished, how you've shared it and how you continue to push ALL boundaries... not lying down for NOTHIN'! :) So super stoked for you! Thanks for being my role model.