Today’s topic: my preparation and training for the 2019 Junior Weightlifting Nationals.
Junior Nationals marked my two-year weightlifting anniversary. It was also my seventh weightlifting competition ever – four local meets and three national meets (2017 Youth Nationals and 2018 Junior Nationals).
Preparing for this competition made me a bit nervous since I now train remotely with my coach from home. Training remotely is a challenge in it of itself. It’s hard to coach without being there in person, and it’s hard to make corrections without immediate feedback.
But my competition over Thanksgiving break reminded me how much I love competing so I knew I had to go. Plus, Junior Nationals were being held so close to my hometown.
The weeks leading up to the competition I made sure to make it to the gym at least five days a week. College weekend adventures made it a little tough some times but I survived.
As Junior Nationals grew nearer, I also stopped by Nashville Weightlifting Club to lift in a real weightlifting environment with other weightlifters. Honestly, it was nice to lift with other people but I did not get much out of it. The coach did not give much insight to my lifting and the gym was so freezing cold that it made lifting heavy tough. I literally put on my winter coat in between sets.
At school, I have a lot less control over my weight and nutrition than back at home. About four weeks out, I started weighing myself at the gym before every workout. It was hard to judge my actual weight since most of the time I headed to the gym after eating a few meals. Regardless, I started weighting myself to (1) get an idea of what weight I’d been training at and (2) monitor any trends in my weight.
For the most part, my weight remained stable between 49 and 50kg. Luckily the weight class I compete in is 49kg so I did not have to stress too much. I focused on consuming mainly whole foods because that is what my body functions on best…but that is not to say I skipped out on lake night milkshake runs with my friends.
The week of the competition, dialed in on my water consumption. Normally I drink 70-80 ounce of water. Sunday-Wednesday of meet week I aimed for 100-115 ounces everyday. Then, on Thursday I cut my water intake to about half that amount. This helped me eliminate any water weight without dehydrating myself too much.
After I finished class on Thursday (yes – Valentine’s Day) my friend drove me to the airport to for my flight home to Chicago. When I got home, I went straight to bed in preparation for the big day.
Friday morning I left for the competition venue at around 6:30am.. I weighed in at 8 o’clock so I just waited to eat/drink until after weigh ins. I ended up weighing in at 47.89kg with plenty of room to spare.
After weigh ins, I had a banana and a bagel and hung around the warm up area to stretch before my session began.
I felt pretty good during warm ups. Not only did I have the adrenaline of competing, but I also felt so excited to be back lifting in person with my coach.
My entry total landed at the boarder between the A and B sessions. I ended up lifting in the B session so I was one of the last ones to lift in my session.
For snatch, I opened up with 51kg. I let the bar crash on me a bit but overall the lift felt pretty good. It is always a good feeling to make your first attempt.
Then I went for 54kg and 55kg and missed both behind me. I felt strong but I let the bar swing a bit in front of me which is why I lost it behind me. I got a pretty nasty bruise on my knee from falling forward on my last two attempts that I didn’t even notice until that night.
For clean and jerks, I opened with a conservative 61kg. Then I hit 63kg. I missed my final attempt at 65kg after rushing the pull. Originally after my second attempt I had 10+ lifts before taking my third attempt so I sat back by my warm up platform and planned on doing a pull to keep me warmed up. Just as I was about to take my pull, they called my name to take my lift. Not going to lie, it frazzled me a bit.
Overall, I did not do as well as I had hoped. I REALLY wanted to hit a 55kg snatch and a 65kg clean and jerk.
However, as much as I am upset that I did not accomplish either of those goals, I felt pretty good about how the day went. I had a smile of my face the whole time and loved every minute of it.
My mom and my aunt also came to support me at the meet which was lots of fun since they had never been to one of my competitions before. I also had a crowd in Nashville cheering me on which I could not have been more grateful for.
After competing my mom, aunt and I went out to lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery. I got the lemon salmon with veggies and cilantro rice. Oooh yes! I’ve missed my salmon.
After lunch we walked around the mall across from the competition venue for a little bit before I headed back to watch my teammate compete.
I flew back to Nashville the next day and took a few days off from lifting before heading back to the gym for high volume training.
As of right now, I am not sure what my next competition will be or when but I do know that I do want to compete again. As far as I know, I am not don’t with my weightlifting career until I hit my 55kg snatch and 65kg clean and jerk.