NC's Strongest Man/Woman Recap
This contest was so much fun and it was definitely the largest contest I’ve ever competed in. The promoters, volunteers, helpers, loaders, judges, and everyone did SUCH a great job of making it a well run and organized show. With 120ish athletes, it’s amazing that it finished almost on time and ran smoothly so a huge THANK YOU to everyone that helped make it awesome! Performance wise: it wasn’t a good day for me, but it wasn’t my worst either. Let’s recap! (p.s. I don’t have photos from the show yet so this may be a bit word heavy!) Friday: I was sitting a bit lower on my weight cut than my last contest so I was waaay less worried about making weight this time around. My coach, his wife, and I drove down to North Carolina early to weigh in before my coach and I were attending a seminar. I weighed in at 138.5, drank some pedialyte, ate some pretzels, and we checked in to where we were staying. We ate some burgers and fries and headed off to the seminar which was really great! The seminar went from 4-8 and my coach and I left a little before that to go meet up with my other two teammates who were competing. We had some sushi and green curry (ALL THE RICE PLEASE) and called it a night.
Saturday: I woke up and felt really awful. I, TMI ALERT, had started my period that morning and felt super nauseous, had a horrible headache, and was generally dying (I’m not dramatic or anything). I took some advil, had some coffee, oatmeal, and other snacks and we made our way to the arena.
We set up camp and started getting ready for the rules meeting and such. Depending on your class, people had different event orders to help the contest not take 20 hours. After rules, I got ready for my first event.
Max log clean and press: 3 attempts on a 12inch log, Wessels rules (if you miss you’re out); I warmed up my log clean and press and it felt awful so I went with some conservative attempts. In retrospective, the log I was warming up on was heavier than my opener and I had no idea until after I was done with all of my attempts. I may have changed my strategy if I had known that, but regardless, I played it really safe. I opened with 85#, nailed it, did 95#, also smoked it, and then attempted 105#. I nearly locked it out but I started blacking out so I let it go. I cleaned it twice more but was getting very shaky/dizzy/tunnel vision so I just called it. The arena was HOT and humid and I don’t think I hydrated or ate enough that morning because of how bad I felt. I hate the log and I hate a 12inch log so I was just glad this was done.
Log pressing (and pressing in general) is my worst event in every show. The fact that I’ve done two shows in a row with a log event has meant LOTS of log training and truthfully, my press has improved immensely. I used to avoid ever competing in anything with the log but we’re getting pretty cozy now.
Truck Pull: 50 feet, 75second time cap: I couldn’t move the truck. The truck was heavy but not crazy heavy BUT I definitely needed different shoes. The concrete floor of the arena was pretty slick so everytime I felt like I was getting ready to move it, my shoes slipped and I lost all traction. This totally smoked my grip and I was disappointed since truck pulling is actually something I’m okay at. I think that with some adjustments to my start position, I could have moved it but at the time, I didn’t really think of that.
Max truck tire deadlift: 3 attempts, Wessels rules (you miss, you’re out); This event will haunt me. They had announced that we weren’t going to be able to warm up on the implement and I couldn’t warm up on a regular bar (warm up area was taken over by powerlifters competing in the powerlifting competition that was also happening in the arena) so I had planned to open conservative and make jumps based on how that felt. The judges were calling weights for warm ups on the implement when I walked over to line up and it was at my planned second attempt or higher so I didn’t bother trying it because I didn’t want to get discouraged if it was hard. I went with my conservative opener of 245# and absolutely killed it so I jumped 40# to take 285# (my gym PR) as my second attempt and it was crazy easy. I took 325# as my third attempt because #yolo and it flew up. The implement was SO MUCH easier than the implement we have at the gym - it was like night and day. I SHOULD have opened with 325# and gone up from there and I probably would have pulled 385# or 405# but I didn’t. It was pretty upsetting. I sort of felt like a kid at the adult’s table and was annoyed that I didn’t showcase anything NEAR my potential. I like competing in tough contests and challenging myself so I felt overwhelming disappointed with myself that I didn’t leave it all out there. It was a really miserable feeling.
In retrospect, even if I HAD decided to warm up with the implement, I don’t think I would have done things much differently. I didn’t expect to technically PR by 40# and wouldn’t have made bigger jumps because I didn’t know when it was going to crush me. It was pretty disheartening and I was pissed so I just changed for my next event and sat with my headphones on until it was time to line up.
Farmers walk: 145# per hand, 200 feet with turn at 100 feet, 60 second time cap: This was miserable. I’m usually pretty good at farmers and 145# is heavy but not impossible for me but my grip was so so so dead after the truck pull that I dropped the implements a good 4 or 5 times and barely made past the turn at 100 feet. This put me really behind points wise (I was in last anyways at the time) but there was nothing I could really do about it. I didn’t stop moving the entire 60 seconds, whether it was to repick the implements or to walk, so I didn’t have any regrets there. I was just glad it was over.
Stone carry and load: carry 20 feet then load over 46inch bar, 125/150/175# stone, 60 second time cap: This event is my THING. I’d done so well in this every training session so I basically told myself that I wanted to either win or be very close to winning this event. I was going to be last points wise pretty much no matter what, so I just wanted to absolutely annihilate this event. The stones were SUPER dusty which slowed me down a little on the first one, but I dominated this event. I ended up taking 2nd and was very pleased with that considering that I felt pretty slow compared to how I felt in training. It was a good note to end on. Why can’t contests just be all loading events?!
Overall, I felt pretty okay with this contest. I competed against absolutely top notch women - certainly the most talented group I’ve ever competed with - and I’m totally okay with coming in last to really good athletes. I have a VERY firm idea of what I need to work on (if you need me, I’ll be pressing. everything. all the time.) and where I want to be headed, which is pretty important to me. Competing 4 weeks apart, having to cut weight both times, and having a crazy amount of life stress happening made this a rather tough contest. On contest day, I felt a lot more even keeled - even one of my teammates commented on it. That in and of itself is a giant accomplishment since I tend to be very emotional at contests and can have a tough time coming back from a bad performance on one event. I compete again (and likely for the last time this “season”) in August and I’m REALLY looking forward to my next training cycle - it involves a lot of stuff I haven’t done all year so it should be a good time!