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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Olympic Trials...and more trials (Part 1)

I've been AMRAPing thing week (that means As Much Rest As Possible) and things have mostly settled down enough for me to reflect on my second Olympic Trials.

Training and competition Pre-Trials

Over the course of me being here at the OTC, I have been working on losing 10 kgs. After my suspension, I didn't have my thyroid or PCOS medications anymore (no insurance either). So my weight got really out of control. My goal was to be 140 kgs by May. I weigh in in the mornings (sans clothing/before eating) and knew I should compete at Trials at about 142-143 kgs.

My training overall was very good. I was starting to hit personal records in the Snatch and get my consistency back. I went through a snatch slump where I missed way too many of my working sets and my heavier reps as well. When I head back to Texas, I'm looking forward to getting some good technical coaching on my Snatch. I was clean and jerking 145-150 about twice a week. At the Rio Test Event, I hit 155. Three weeks before Trials I clean and jerked it pretty solidly as witnessed by the campers and coaches that were in house that week. I was intending on hitting 155 again and feeling pretty confident that I would be able to put together a 281-285 total by Trials.

Since coming back in August, I've been competing pretty hard.
August '15 (First local meet back) - 274
September '15 (National University) - 276
October '15 (Strongest Unicorn) - 266
November '15 (World Championships) - 279 6th place
February '16 (Russian President's Cup) - 278 1st Place
April '16 (Rio Test Event) - 275 1st Place
May '16 (Olympic Trials) - No total

As you can see, I've been lifting pretty hard and a lot this past year all while placing high internationally. Typically, within a year, an elite lifter competes in about four meets.

Anywho, after coming back from the Rio Test Event, I pulled or sprained my piroformis. This was something we were able to work through with modifications but, I wasn't able to squat much. This was pretty deep and I rehabbed well with various treatments in sport's med as well as doing the rehab exercises provided. Every athlete deals with nicks and dings in training, so this was just something to push through and started to heal really well.

April 22nd I clean and jerked the 155 and felt on fire! The next day, I felt like total crap. My nervous system was pretty fried. I was taking my time warming up and decided to take the day to just move around and feel better. I was front squatting 135 and felt some pain in my upper back. I've experienced this a couple of times in Texas, and knew that this would take about a week to come back from. When my back "went out" for lack of better description, I could hardly contract my back muscle to be able to pull the bar from the floor, compression on my body with the bar pained me as well as just holding the bar overhead. That close to Trials, I knew I had no time to rest, really. Also, the next week was supposed to be my last heavier week before the recovery week heading into Trials. Knowing I was in good shape, we had no choice but to flip the weeks. Injury week was spent as recovery and the next week was intended to build up to Sunday May 8th as my "heavy" day." During the "recovery" week, I was only able to lift four of those days. I decided to lift to pain tolerance. Uncomfortably, one day I did dead lift+RDL+pass bys with 65 kgs followed by very uncomfortable back squats with 95 kgs. I think the next day I did standing presses with 45 kgs, clean grip static holds (2" off ground) with 75 kgs or something. Whatever. Toward the end of that week Thursday I was able to Snatch 113 and Friday I was able to Clean and Jerk 140. Both of which were pretty sloppy because my rhythm was off. I was feeling better and more confident.

Monday the 2nd, I clean and jerked 150 and on Tuesday I Snatched 120. These were both what I was hoping to open with. The Plan A of Trials was to do something like 120, 125, 129 and 150,155,160. Realistically, with the snatch would be something more like 118,122,126. Either way, I was ready and in shape to do a 285 even though I hadn't squatted in two weeks. Wednesday we did power snatches and power clean and jerks for recovery and I had no pain.

Week of Trials

These timelines kind of blend together so bear with me. Also, there's going to be a little TMI but, bodily functions are natural, right? Wednesday evening I began to have diarrhea. I figured it was something that would pass within the day. I was going to try and squat on Thursday and take Friday off but, by Thursday, it was bad enough to make me avoid squatting for fear of "weightlifting poop accident." I did my therapy exercises and other things that didn't strike fear into my bowels Friday afternoon, I was to leave for Salt Lake. I was up late packing (I'm a horrible procrastinator) and by 1 am, I was feeling pretty nauseous. I decided to try to get to bed so I wouldn't think about it and actually make myself sick. I pretty much just tossed and turned for about an hour before I couldn't take it anymore. I took an anti-nausea tablet thing (in hindsight, I should have taken it earlier but didn't really think about it then) anywho, about ten minutes after that, I headed to the the toilet and started calling dinosaurs. I felt better, drank some water, took another anti nausea thing and tried to get to bed. I threw up/still had poopie problems twice more before having to head to the airport. I got maybe an hour or two of sleep. Miserable, I went to sport's med to get medicine and advice and then went to the airport. Whilst in Denver, I had "airport poop accident" and had to make an urgent wardrobe change. I was almost late to my flight, and we had plane trouble so we were on the ground for at least an hour before we took off. I tried to sleep as much as possible and drink as much as possible this entire time. I got to SLC almost two hours later than anticipated.

I knew I had to train. I wanted to do easy squats and  head out to rest but, after stretching and warming up, I knew we should stop. I had a pounding headache and holding my breath to perform squats was terrible. My personal coach said, "If you don't think you should do this, you don't have to, Rest is more important right now. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone." I looked at him and said, "I'm just so tired." And started crying. We took my stuff and I cried my way over to the Dr.

I was told to stay off my feet the rest of the night and drink like crazy and get some easy food (chicken, rice, crackers, etc) into me. He said it seemed like I had lost about 5 quarts of fluids. I took a shower, drank, drank, drank, picked at some noodles, went to bed and slept like a rock. 

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

I feel like this blog post is you trying to prove to everyone who thinks you don't deserve to be on the Olympic team, why you do deserve it. But at the same time, it sounds like a lot of excuses. I'll be really interested to read part too. And I hope you prove the doubters wrong at the Olympics, but reading this makes it seem like you've already let them get in your head.

Fox Hunter said...

It's not easy to be a weightlifter. So, what is your current weight ?

Cody the Clydesdale said...

Sarah, part two please!

PS, I think you should block anonymous comments. That stopped all the nasty comments people were posting on my blog. People are rarely mean when they know people know who they are.

Christina Lupro said...

Ignore the comment before mine. As a lifter and human being it is easy to see you made the cut with what you did earlier in the year. I want to know what happened and how it is going now. I also now how difficult things are when your sick and or injured in key days. You are my new inspiration.

Christina Lupro said...

The ignorant person who comment before me seems to not realize what sharing your story is. I am so impressed with your year and the numbers you put up. Being sick means that competing is not going to be your best. I want to know what happened next and how your training for Rio is going. Having #PCOS #Hypo also I know how messed up they make your body. You really are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, as someone who has previously TRAINED with Sarah, let me assure you that Sarah doesn't make excuses.

Let her tell her story.

I also look forward to part 2. :)

- Meg

Anonymous said...

As someone else who's trained with her she's the most gifted and laziest lifter I've ever encountered.