Wednesday, November 5, 2014

51st Don Wilson Golden West Open

51st Don Wilson Golden West Open @ Cal Strength

Last week I competed in the 51st Don Wilson Golden West Open at Cal Strength in San Ramon.  What a drive from the Peninsula, but I'm glad I did it!  It was my first meet since Nationals and also my first weekend in the Bay Area in awhile.  I've been traveling too much recently.  

This was a two-day meet, the smaller weight classes going on Saturday, and the rest on Sunday.  Alyssa, Blake and I went on Saturday, while Danielle and Chelsea went on Sunday.  

I wanted to do this meet for a few reasons: 1, I was overdue for a meet (the last meet I did was Nationals), 2, with the Revised Qualification Procedure, I had to re-qualify for any National-level meet next year.

No 'Good Time' for Weightlifting
The second half of this year has been especially tough for me.  I travel nearly every week, usually for work.  To give you an idea, I'm about to be SPG Platinum 100, which means I've almost spent almost 1/3 of the year living in a SPG hotel, and also SPG's highest loyalty tier.  Top top things off, my personal life has been pretty rocky.  As you can imagine, all this is not ideal for training.  I go most of my weeks not even knowing when or where I'm going to train.  Some days I have to skip because I literally have no time, and other days, I have to double up.  From working out at 5am to as late as 8pm, whatever I can fit in, I've been making it happen.  So far I've been pretty lucky with finding a gym to train at, and I can't thank the gym owners enough for accommodating me. 

With all this craziness and instability going on, oddly enough, training has been going pretty well.  About a month ago, I made my lifetime goal of snatching 60kg, and I've made "beginner's" progress in the jerk, my weakest lift.  All that being said, there's no 'good time' for weightlifting for me right now, so I might as well make the best of it.  That means doing a meet if I'm in town, if anything for the practice, or for shits and giggles.

Massive Weight Cutting
After Nationals, I was surprisingly doing pretty well with weight.  Before I went home to Oahu for a few weeks, I was 48.5kg.  When I got back, about 10 days before the meet, I was 52.5... and I compete in the 48kg weight class!  That's the heaviest I've ever been in my life, and unfortunately, none of that extra weight was muscle!  While back at home, I had a steady diet of mai tai's, plate lunches for lunch and dinner (lol), and shaved ice.  When I got back from Maui, I was determined to compete in my weight class for this meet so I can re-qualify for Nationals and therefore started cutting weight.

I first took out all the alcohol, and I easily went down to 50kg in two days.  I then only allowed myself to eat sugary treats after working out, and that brought me down to 48.7kg, five days before the meet.  Feeling like I had my weight under control, I'd let myself slide on drinks and treats here and there, until last Wednesday, I realized I wasn't losing any weight.  In fact, I gained weight and was 49.4kg three days out.  Beginning to panic, I turned to my good friend Sarah Hopping, who does weight cutting all the time, for some advice.  She told me to drink 2L of water that night, and then 1L on Thursday, and no water on Friday until the meet on Saturday afternoon.  Additionally, no starchy carbs or salt.  This meant, basically all I could eat was: hard boiled eggs, unsalted meat, coconut oil, and almond butter.  But if I did all that, I'll make weight Saturday afternoon.

I can't even begin to explain how miserable I was all-day Friday and Saturday morning.  That was probably one of the worst days of my life.  That may sound ridiculous, but you have no idea how much I love food and drinking.  So as someone who really enjoys food, eating bland, unsalted, boring food without drinking water really sucked.  In fact, I started going crazy on Friday night.  It gave me more pleasure to sniff fresh mint and ginger than eat my unsalted turkey breast.  And worst of all, I was so dehydrated.  All I wanted was a large cup of cold water.  Needless to say, it worked.  On Thursday morning, I ballooned up with that 2L of water and weighed 50.5kg.  By Thursday evening, I was 49.4kg.  I woke up on Friday 48.9kg and went to bed at 48.5kg.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling like ass.  I did not want to get out of bed and I felt so weak, tired, and hangry... but I had just made weight.  I was 47.9kg on Saturday morning!  Holy shit, it worked!  At this point I was banking on the Cytomax to bring me back to life since I was feeling really crappy.  A bit worried that my scale could be off, I didn't eat and drink much before the meet.  I was counting down the minutes until weigh in so I can finally eat!  At 1:30pm, I was the first to weigh in and I made weight, weighing 47.5kg.  Apparently I dropped another 0.4kg just from nerves.

Immediately after weigh in, I downed a bottle of Cytomax and oddly enough, started waking up and started feeling better.  I felt like it was reviving me.  Since Colin wasn't back from Chipotle yet, the first thing I ate was a tiramisu.  It wasn't even a very good tiramisu, but it tasted so good.... and I pretty much felt like this:

Everything is Awesome!!!..... when you can eat whatever you want!!!

Lessons learned from this: 1, don't wait until the last minute to cut weight, do it gradually, 2, my boyfriend knows best (even when I don't think so at the time), and 3, but worst case, it is possible for me to cut 4kg in 10 days if it really has to be that way (though extremely unpleasant).

My Experience at the Meet
I've been feeling pretty sassy with my snatches over the past couple months.  In fact, I've been making a 130kg total the past few Saturday's, which is 4kg more than what I need to qualify for Nationals 2015.  I was most worried about my clean and jerk, well specifically the clean, since those have been pretty tough.  My plan for the meet was to open at 56 for the snatch, and depending on how well I did on the snatch, open between 65kg - 70kg on the clean and jerk.

Unfortunately snatches didn't go as planned and I only made my opener at 56kg.  I was sad and disappointed because the snatch is my better lift.  Therefore, that meant I really had to bring my A-game for clean and jerks.  I got called out for a press out on my opener at 68kg, so I repeated and made that weight.  Then I went up to 70kg, and I had to make 70kg to total 126kg and qualify for Nationals next year.  That clean felt terrible, but I was determined to qualify and I came through!  

Final Thoughts
I went into this meet hoping to total 130kg, officially, and obviously that meant I'd be qualified for Nationals.  However, snatches didn't go as well as I hoped and that 130 total didn't happen.  Needless to say, I still had a good meet.  I just have to take a step back and lay out the facts.  It was a 2kg snatch meet PR, a 1kg clean and jerk meet PR, and a 4kg meet total PR!  On top of that, I opened at 56kg for the snatch when the highest I've opened was 53kg at Nationals, and the most I've made in competition was 54kg.  I'll come back for you at the Fake American Open, 130!

My rock, thanks for being there for me throughout my entire weightlifting journey!

Saturday lifters, and our coach Steve!

Post-Meet Ice Cream at Bi-Rite!  Unfortunately I was so full, I couldn't live up to my 7-scoop reputation.  Settled for a double.

51st Don Wilson Golden West Open: Results 20142014 Info

Overall it was a great meet for our team.  We all had PR's: from meet snatch PR to meet clean and jerk PR to total PR to lifetime PR's.  My coach, Greg couldn't make it to this meet, but I still had his support.  I was really happy Steve and Blake stayed to coach Alyssa and I.  It reminded me of the old days when I used to do the barbell class at Catalyst.  Thanks for coaching us!

I also want to thank my boyfriend for always being there for me, from the very beginning!  From CrossFit to weightlifting competitions, he was my rock and biggest fan through it all.  I know I drive him crazy, especially when I'm trying to cut weight, but thanks for putting up with me, taking care of me, and supporting me through everything.  He knows best.

We'll be competing at Kevin's meet in December instead of the American Open.  130, here I come!

Other Olympic Weightlifting Competitions: 2014 Senior National Championships | 2014 Hassle Free Open & Invitational | 2013 American Open |  Ensign Grey Invitational | 2013 Senior National Championships | 2013 Fall Classic | 2013 PWA Senior Open2012 Redwood Empire
Other Comps I Participated In: Occupy Strength NorCal | 2013 CrossFit Games Open | 2013 Sac Town Throwdown | NorCal Regionals -Team | 2012 CrossFit Games Open2012 Sac Town Throwdown | 2011 OktoberFit