On Saturday (14th February) I went to the GSU Welsh Open Championship. I was able to compete, though was nowhere near the level I would have been if I hadn’t been quite so ill. I was actually really pleased with my performance in the end; more so as I reflected on what I had achieved. Though I completely underestimated the impact it would all have on me a day later. Different muscles than I expected ached, but it was more the overall fatigue. I ended up falling asleep on Sunday afternoon, which given I had decent sleep both nights while away and it only tends to happen when I’m ill (naps make me feel worse when I’m fit and healthy) made me realise just what a beating my body has taken in the last month.
Additionally, my elbow tendonitis, whilst still showing as some swelling, settled down a lot after stretching it all out in the competition. Whether that was all the planned extra carbs I took on board in preparation for my set, going out for a few drinks after the competition or something else I have no idea. But I’ll take it as a win 🙂
Even better, I want to the Doctors today again and she asked if I lifted 😀 The less good news is that I could have this cough for another couple of weeks while everything heals up properly 🙁
I was able to weigh in on the Friday which pleased me, as I like my carb loading spread out over a period of time and given that leads to me consuming more calories impacts weight slightly. Even if it is only water weight. All of the Box Bell Fit Girevoy Sport team ended up going for the lunchtime weigh in, so met up in Cardiff in the middle of the day. I weighed in a kilogram heavier than at home (as did some others it transpired) but then I was clothed 🙂 I was still well within my category of max 63kg so it didn’t really matter.
Carb Loading and Catching Up
After the weigh in all of us wanted food. So that was carb load part one. And a lot of good chat 🙂 After spending the afternoon chilling (Steve and I had a wander around and stretched our legs) the plan was to get even more food! A local pub played host to us catching up with gireviks from Scotland, Watford, and central London areas. A great thing about Kettlebell Sport is the friendliness of most people, which naturally leads to having a laugh!
Hubby and I left early because a stressful week at work had added to my tiredness, and I knew I wanted to get some decent sleep before the competition. As I had no expectations on my performance, I was also less worried than at most other competitions leading to a nice restful nights sleep.
After a fortifying porridge (Premier Inn do a really nice bowl of this!), Steve and I headed over to the venue, meeting up with the rest of the team there. After a 9am brief (ha!) briefing the competition got under way proper at 9:30am. It was well organised with five-minute change-over which worked well all day.
As two of the team (including my coach) were doing Biathlon there were people to cheer for right from the off. Sarah and Anna did excellent jobs in their Jerk smashing their PBs and looking good doing it. Their snatch sets soon followed with more good performances. Anna was only 13 reps off Master of Sport rank in her first attempt at the 24kg Biathlon! Sarah had never competed with the 16kg bell before and put in an amazing performance.
All the while this was going on, Anna’s husband, with a bit of help from Steve, was trying to sort out the timing and count technology which allows lifters to see times and counts whilst lifting. They managed to get things working too!
Hannah and Cass were next up after lunch with the first of the BBF Long Cycle sets. They were in the same flight on platforms next to each other with 16kg bells, so it made cheering both at the same time much easier. Cass did a limited set due to a shoulder injury and a cold bug, but given those put in a decent attempt. Hannah produced some awesome numbers from somewhere to get a new PB with enough reps to see if it qualifies for rank 🙂
My set was the last flight of Female Long Cycle lifters. I am quite proud to be to the point to be scheduled in the same flight as lifters like Abigail Johnston (ignoring the fact she was lifting a 24kg bell whilst the rest of us were on the 20kg bell 😉 ). A world record holder in the sport, my coach’s coach, and a really nice person. She recorded the whole flight, so you can watch me lift for 6 minutes, and then learn from her technique. Which I plan to do as well! I’m the one on platform 2 in the green t-shirt.
I managed six minutes and got 55 reps. Nothing earth shattering perhaps, but the more I thought about it post lifting on Saturday the more pleased I was. My grip on my left arm wasn’t great because of the tendonitis. I did want longer on my right arm, but my breathing (well, lungs), had other ideas. The other great thing was the fact I felt strong. Given the almost non-existent training since 10th January (snowboarding probably doesn’t count as training 😉 ) this was a really positive thing. My technique was cleaner that it has been before (confirmed by my coach and Hannah as we help each other on technique). And to top it off my reps per minute at a comfortable level ended up being higher than I expected. My training best over ten minutes was 65 reps as I had to slow it right down. Here, with fully working lungs, I would have easily gone past that.
Straight after my set, Dave was up doing 16kg Long Cycle. He also got a new PB and looked strong in doing so.
All the team did brilliantly and got medals. A mix of gold, silver, and bronze. Silver for me 🙂 But even better was the way in which we all performed. I was really proud of all my teammates and given my low personal expectations found I was able to enjoy their performances all the more as I was not worrying about my upcoming set. It was great to watch improvements from everyone in technique or weight lifted.
Anna (my coach) was also awarded her Master of Sport for Long Cycle that she gained at the British Championships last October. Very proud of her!
The hosts did a great job in not prolonging this part of the day. Medals and awards are important, but as everyone tends to be feeling it after a long day it is good to do it efficiently.
After the results, a shower and a bit of a sit down were very much on the cards. A large bunch of us then went to Cardiff Bay and enjoyed a beverage or two, some food, and then another beverage or two! It was again great to kick back, chat with old and new friends, and above all have a good laugh and relax. Some of us (that would include Steve and I) headed home earlier than others but tiredness was starting to defeat me and more than enjoyed the evening without needing another couple of hours of it.
Planning for the Future
The next morning I was already thinking about planning the next phase of training! I was quite excited about that as often post competition I have something of a come down, and can’t face kettlebells for a few days. I think the fact the 20kg bell, and aiming for rank, is still a work in progress means that there is something specific still to focus on. I was also excited to build on what I had achieved.
I’ve not yet gone a formal plan, but have several ideas and will have a chat with Anna about them. I do plan on taking it gently (elbow wise) this week to ensure the tendonitis gets itself sorted out a bit more, but will then look to play with the 20kg bell some more.