Twelve days out and today was an interesting day. In the middle of my work day, out of the blue, my mind wandered ahead to that moment when I will position myself at the bar for that all-important deadlift. I could see myself pull it, and, just like every single time I envision it, my heart began to race and tears threatened. They would have been happy tears, but I still don’t want to have an emotional breakdown at work! Then, as I was driving to the gym this afternoon, my heart began to race again, my breathing became rapid and shallow, and I could feel adrenaline pumping through my veins. I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be doing at the gym today. I knew there was the possibility that my final heavy squat would come Wednesday, but I didn’t know for certain. The “need to know” part of me considered sending my coach a text earlier in the day to inquire, but I ultimately decided to let go of my need to know and just accept whatever I was presented with when I walked in the door. Hmmm, perhaps the unknown contributed to how I was feeling as I drove to the gym. Or not.
So, Michael said we’d work our way up and see how things were feeling before making the ultimate decision. Aside from sore hamstrings, I was feeling good enough. I am routinely asked how the hip is feeling, the knee, the shoulders. The hip is good. Excellent, really. The knee is much better than it was a month ago and mostly perfectly fine, except for sporadic, mild twinges when walking. The shoulders are also generally good. The only issue with them comes when I am trying to sleep at night. Every night. I am naturally a side sleeper, but I’ve been forced to sleep on my back ever since I first had a shoulder problem two years ago. I desperately want to sleep on my side, but I can only stay in that position for a few minutes before the discomfort is too much. So, yeah! My body is feeling good enough!
1a. squats, low bar
without belt: 45 x 8, 95 x 7, 135 x 5, 165 x 3
with belt: 185 x 2, 205 x 1, 215 x 1, 225 x 1
I actually set up for the 225 pound single twice. Michael had me re-rack the bar before my first attempt, because he noticed that my feet were uneven. It seems like a minute detail, but those little details can make a big difference, especially when the weight gets heavy. So, I regrouped, reset and did my last heavy single before the competition!
205 x 3
As I took the bar out of the rack, stepped back and readied myself for the squat, I had the thought that my stance was a little narrower than normal, but I decided just to go with it. I think my coach can read my mind, because one of the first things he asked me after that set was if my stance had been narrower.
205 x 3
I made sure my stance was just slightly wider this time. I’d say that it felt slightly easier.
205 x 3
The first rep was tough, the second was better. I can’t remember how the last rep felt to be honest…I was just glad to get it done. I think I am actually looking forward to the deload this time around, although it is definitely easier to say that now. I’ll still get to do some squatting, but we’ll just be greasing the pattern more than anything.
1b. bench press, competition grip
43 x 8, 65 x 5, 85 x 5, 100 x 4, 110 x 3, 120 x 1, 125 x 1
The 120 pound single had a slight misgroove, but I recovered well and the bar moved quickly. I’d say that it was better than last week’s single at the same weight. The single at 125 was pretty good; I’m thrilled with it. It looks like we might hit the last heavy single for the bench on Friday, and I believe that would be a gym PR.