Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Aint No Rest For The Wicked

Someone asked me this weekend at the 2012 American Open why I don't do my blog anymore. The simple answer is A) I kind of forgot it existed and B) It's a lot of work to actually keep up. As a gym owner, private softball coach, high school softball coach, competitive national level athlete, wife and mother of a large Bernese mountain dog (which may as well be a child) these things can get backed way up and even dropped off the list of priorities all together.

 But then I thought about it. I am completely obsessed with weightlifting.  And I want to be a champion. Every living, breathing moment of every day revolves around my desire to be a champion. If you asked my husband Kyle he would tell you. Every morning I wake up and I check my weight on the scale to be sure it is within 1 kg of my weight class so when it's time to cut all I have to do is skip a meal and a liter of water and I'm there. Then I get up and cook all of my clean meals for the day, weigh out the protein (exactly 150g per day), cook a variety of veggies and add healthy fats and put them in containers for the day. 

I check my journal for the day's workout which I have entered 1 week in advance (and have set goals for each day) along with my short term and long term goals, my food log, daily weight, a counter at the top of the page for how many days/weeks it is until the next big meet. I plan how I will fit in my four hours of training for the day into the various windows of time I have between classes I teach and private clients. If it appears that I'm not going to have time to get it in I may even cancel someone or ask Kyle to cover my class.

 I take video of all my training sessions and study it both during the training session and later in the evening, pausing my lifts frame by frame, so I can make adjustments to my positions, my feet, my head, etc.

Then, at night before I go to bed I watch training and competition videos of the greatest weightlifters in the world- Klokov, Ilyn, Takola, etc,. I read forums and try to learn about what the best coaches are teaching. I watch MDUSA videos and Cal Strength Videos and anything I can get my eyes on.   I've grown particularly fond of watching foreign weightlifting documentaries that DON'T have English subtitles. This may sounds Santa Cruz hippy of me but I feel like even though I don't understand what they are saying, I really do understand what they are saying.  You know what I mean?

Then, I usually end up taking an extra hour to fall asleep because the lifts, or training, or weightlifting epiphanies run through my mind keeping me from my slumber.

So I figured, if I'm already spending my time doing all of these things, I may as well have some fun with it and add the blog back into the mix.  Plus, if it helps anyone else stay motived in their own training then that's pretty cool too.


This weekend I competed at the American Open.  I walked away with a Silver Medal.  Yes, congrats to me, is what my friends and family say and I am thankful for the support.  But the fact of the matter is that I am terribly disappointed.   I wanted GOLD.  To be honest, I see my performance as an absolute disaster. And it's no one else's fault but my own.  Kyle, my husband and co-owner of our gym Santa Cruz Strength, has been coaching me for the past five months and has done an amazing job.   He has taken me from being a soft 69kg lifter who on a good day could maybe hit 75-80kg in the snatch/100kg in the CJ to a lean 63kg lifter (actually lost 14lbs to move down) who regularly breaks 80kg Snatch and hits 105kgCJ consistently.  I've acquired a fantastic track coach John Rembao (just Google this guy) who I work with twice per week and have learned all sorts of great things about how to use my feet, apply force against the ground, perform plyos/skips/bounds/short sprints, and various power movements.  I've got an AWESOME gym and support system, great people to train with- people who get it, people who are serious about their own training.  When I had my last heavy day of training before Americans I totaled a whopping 192 in the gym matching my best snatch at 85kg and PR'ing my CJ at 107kg.  I WAS READY.  

But when the big dance came, I blew it.  It doesn't seem like anyone else realizes that.  Everyone thinks Silver is good.  But in my mind Gold was right there for the taking and I did things like miss my opener at just 78kg and press out a 103kg jerk that would have giving me gold.  I mean, I NEVER press out jerks!  My best jerk is 114.  I regularly hit 110+ in the gym.  If there was a competition in just the jerk I would win almost every time.  But not this time.   And then, on my next chance I pulled the crap out of 103 so hard anticipating it to be heavy, but it wasn't, and the result was that it knocked me on my butt and just like that the game was over.

But alas, it is still just building time.  I did learn a lot that I will write about in my journal, learn from it, and store away for future training and competition.

Here's a few thing that I learned from Americans 2012:

A.The National stage is completely different from local meets and from training in the gym.    You don't get to go after numbers that you have in your mind just because they are the numbers you think you can or want to hit.  Your competition dictates what numbers you have to go after.  If she hits 100 you have to go for 101.

B. If you cut too much weight in the final days you will be screwed with your leg function on meet day.  Keep an eye on the scale and if you are already under weight 2 days out eat and drink some extra water.  You should be almost a kilo over the night before.  You will sweat it/breath it off over night when you sleep.  I weighed in at 61.7kg when I usually walk around and train at about 63-64kg.  I needed to weigh in at like 62.9kg.  I saw I was way under 2 days out but was afraid that if I ate or drank too much that my body would suck it up and it would stick for weigh in.  I was wrong.  Ironically though I did take 2nd place on bodyweight over the 3rd place girl.  And A WIN IS A WIN so I will take it.  

C.  Adrenalin can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.  Learn how to control it!  I always have adrenalin and excitement when I compete but this was the first time I really felt I had a chance to win so it was seriously extra out of control.  I was shaking so bad and I could hardly feel anything from the waist down.  It felt like I had been given a epidural.  The weight wasn't too heavy but I couldn't feel it either and because I was so shaky and amped up-I was of all over the place.  On my jerk press out, go figure, I said to myself, "Don't be crazy Joc, don't over drive it.  It's only 103."  Then I ended up under shooting it and pressing it out.

In any case, their ain't no rest for the wicked.  Coming in 2nd place did one great thing for me- it made me hungrier.  So instead of taking a week to rest, I came right back in to the gym today to hit it hard again.  It is, afteral, only 11 weeks to Arnolds:)

Today's training:

My American Open Silver Medal Lifts:

 My journey getting there:

Joc Road to Americans 2012 from Santa Cruz Strength on Vimeo.

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