Provincials. I don’t even know where to begin this post. Just a few days ago, I felt like my head was a million miles away from being ready for Provincials, for competition, and now here I sit the day after competing, tired and sore but happy.
My day started earlier than I would have preferred. Although my alarm was set for 7:00, I was wide awake by at least 5:00, probably a bit earlier. Attempts to fall back asleep were futile. I am used to being up that early, working a full day and then training at the end of the day, so I knew that I’d be okay for energy. The equipment check and weigh-in went smoothly. No big surprise with the scale, although I did surprise both my coach and husband by telling them that I was overweight. I wasn’t. It was actually rather nice to not need to water-load or worry about making weight this time. 70.5kg was my weight which put me comfortably in my 72kg weight class.
As always, squats were up first. My warm ups felt good, so good in fact that we bumped up my opener just a little. My first attempt was 97.5kg (214.9 lbs) and easy. The second attempt was 105kg (231.5 lbs), and that felt easier than the same weight on my third attempt 6 weeks ago! It wasn’t a PR weight, but it felt good and helped me to feel more confident about attempting to break the Provincial record on my final attempt. I set the existing record last October, which was also the last time I have squatted that much weight. I wanted to break my own record. I wanted a new personal record. Although I knew that I had the physical strength to do that, there was still a bit of doubt. As much as I love the squat, I always have a bit of doubt and fear as I approach the unknown weights. My third attempt was 112.5kg (248 lbs). There was a small sticking point, but then I pushed through it, gaining speed and finished the lift with three white lights! I was so excited that I actually displayed my excitement and emotion on the platform, which is something that is so typically unlike me. A new personal record and Provincial record!
On to the bench press and the lift that I feel the least confident about. I’m sure my eyebrows were hitting the ceiling when my coach said that my opener should be 55kg (121.3 lbs). It’s not that I’ve never done that weight, because I have; however, my bench can be so erratic that I am not confident that I can nail a 120 pounds every single time. But I trusted my coach. The hand-off wasn’t the greatest; it was a little too forceful and brought too far forward, but I managed to recover and make the lift. My second attempt was 57.5kg (126.8 lbs). This time the hand-off was better, and I’d say this attempt felt easier than the first one. My final attempt was 60kg (132.3 lbs) which would also break the Provincial record; however, it would not be a personal record. It was a little slow, but I made the lift and claimed the record. This was the same weight that I missed on my final attempt 6 weeks ago, so I’m glad about that.
Last up were deadlifts. Unlike the squat and bench, I always feel confident in my ability to make a deadlift attempt, even though I may not always be successful. Is that strange? First attempt was an easy 120kg (264.6 lbs). It’s funny that I can call my opener an easy lift, when that same weight in training feels incredibly heavy and difficult! I suppose that plays a big part in why I can approach the deadlift bar in competition feeling complete confidence that I will pull it. My competition deadlifts are always easier, better than in the gym. Second attempt was 130kg (286.6 lbs) and was still rather easy. My third attempt was 140kg (308.6 lbs) and potentially a new Provincial record and personal record. Unfortunately, I started pulling with my back which brought my shoulders behind the bar and I got stuck with nowhere to go. At that point there was no way I could even keep pulling with my back and I had to let go. I was disappointed, actually rather quite upset with myself, after that missed opportunity but only for a few minutes. I know I had the strength and ability to pull that weight, but there will be opportunity to try again at Westerns in August.
Missing my final deadlift also left some weight on the platform in terms of my total, so I fell a little short of breaking, or even tying, my Provincial record for total; however, my 302.5kg total is still better than my total from 6 weeks ago! While not an overall improvement, it is an improvement between competitions for this year. I’ll take it.
Obviously there is so much more that I can say about Provincials, and I will undoubtedly post more about the experience at some point this week as I continue to decompress and process. Right now, I think I’m still in the shell-shocked stage. It was a good day and successful, even if not everything I might have hoped for, but it was a long day. My coach won’t let me train today, for which I am both sad and glad.