Monday, July 21, 2014

Death Day (aka: Strongman Competition)

As many of you know, the strongman competition at SportsFest was yesterday.  (I'm sure those who are friends with me on facebook were well aware!)  Let me start off by saying, I was terrified.  Seriously.  The whole way over to Allentown, I felt like I was going to puke.  I think my hands were shaking while I was filling out the info for my North American Strongman membership.  (Yep.  I'm now an official member.  Not yet card-carrying, but that'll come in the mail eventually.)  I knew no one.  Well, except for Paul and Heather, who I met at the strongman training I did a couple weeks ago.  But I didn't know any of the other competitors.  I didn't know if they were douches or cool.  Hell, I've never even been to a strongman competition before.

I was so far outta my comfort zone, I might as well have been on the frozen tundras of Russia.  (Does Russia have frozen tundras?  I think so.)

My personal theme up to the start of the competition was Death.  Because I was certain I would die.

Those of you who read my blog on the strongman training I attended, you know that I was pretty apprehensive about things.  I left the training feeling mildly defeated.  Sure, I got a lot of great tips from Paul and Heather, but well, I sucked.  So I was certain I was going to make an ass out of myself at the competition.

First Event:
Max Log Press - 30 second time limit, Wessles Rule: must make an attempt to get another, max 3 attempts, miss any attempt and you're done.  10lb jumps for women.

I had talked to my trainer at WarriorFit about this one after I went to the strongman training thing.  At the training, I got 80lbs, struggled with 90, and couldn't hit 100.  We decided that since I was doing this for fun, I should take the conservative approach. 

I opened at 80, and hit it easy.  Next up was 90....cake.  On my third attempt I hit 100 easy.  I was kicking myself.  I really should have opened at 80, skipped 90 and went right to 100, then tried 110.  But, well.....I had no strategy going into this.  (This is probably the only event I wish I would have tried harder in.  But, it was the very first event.  I was terrified.  I was actually the first gal to pick up the log and lift it....mainly b/c everyone else was waiting for the heavier weights.  But for me to step up, and be the first....well, that's a pretty big deal for me.)  

Getting ready to press the 100# purdy pink log.

Oh, and if you're wondering why everyone is wearing orange shirts, it's because we were all asked to wear the event shirt for the first four events.  (The tacky used in the last event would wreck them.)  70 people signed up to participate, so seeing all of us in orange was pretty cool.

Second Event:
Conan's Wheel - two foot buffer, max distance.  Women's novice: 230lbs.

I actually ended up being 250lbs.  The wheel itself weighed 50lbs, and they threw two 100lb plates on it.  I was kind of excited about this one.  It royally sucked at the strongman training, but since I had the log press out of the way, I just wanted to get this one over with too.  In the training, I made it one time around, and about died.  

I chalked up.  Yep, for the first time ever I used chalk.  Liberally.  Hands, forearms, shirt.  I got under the bar, lifted, and went around a little shy of 2 and 3/4 times.  I was freaking thrilled!  And now I have little bruises on my forearms to remind me of this sucker.

Third Event:
Farmer's Carry - 60 second time limit, no straps, unlimited drops, 50 feet straight, no turns.  Women's novice: 135#.

I chalked up my hands.  Those two bars were awkward!  I started on my merry way, and just about turfed it halfway through.  I had so much momentum going and ended up leaning too far forward that I dropped skidded the bars.  It took me 13 seconds and change.  

Fourth Event:
Tire Flip - Max reps in 60 seconds.  Women's novice: 450#.

I was more nervous about this one than I was Conan's Wheel.  (Go figure.)  I had flipped the tire twice in the training I went to, but screwed up my back on the second flip.  So I think I was more scared about something happening with my back.  Plus, like I said in my previous blog....flipping this beast was rough, and I needed to use a different technique than what I'm used to.  I did figure out that putting my chin on the top of the tire really helped me get low enough to drive into the tire with my shoulders.

I chalked up yet again.  (Thank you to those who shared chalk with me!)  I managed to get it flipped three times in a minute.  I really battled for a fourth flip, but couldn't quite get it.  

Fifth (and final!) Event:
Atlas Stone Over 48 Inch Bar - 60 second time limit.  Women's novice: 110#.

For some reason, I felt like I would do really well in this one.  Don't ask me why.  Aside from the strongman training, I had never picked up a 110# atlas stone, let alone drop them over a bar.  I've picked up 85 pounders and walked around with them.  That's about it.

But somehow, I felt good about this one.  

I was the second gal to go, which means I was in second-to-last place in the women's novice category.  But you know what....I didn't really care about where I was placed.  Because I had done better in every single category than what I had expected.  (Well, except for the log.  I still wish I would have been more aggressive in that.)

My new-found friends taped my shirt down (so the stone wouldn't get stuck to it and pull it up), taped up my arms, and let me borrow their tacky.  (Thank you, Allie, for the how-to's on takcy use!)  

I ended up rocking the stones!  I got it over the bar 12 times in a minute!  And I have to say, the crowd was huge in this one.  As the guy was counting down the time, the crowd kept cheering "one more time" and encouraging really made me push.  

I was really happy this was the last event, because I felt like such a beast!  It was great to end on such a high note.  

I think I ended up finishing in second last in the women's novice category (unless my stone performance pushed me up one spot, but I highly doubt it.)  

Overall, I loved the whole thing!  Training-wise, I'm now at a crossroads.  I know that WarriorFit doesn't have the proper implements for me to train with if I want to continue with this strongman stuff.  But leaving the comfort of working with a trainer kind of terrifies me.  I've never put together my own strength workouts before.  (I like to say I'm lazy.)  But working out on my own, at a gym that just charges a monthly fee, would save me a ton of money.  

Today, I'm taking it easy.  Tomorrow, back to the gym.  And in two weeks, I'm starting up my third season of Couch to 5k at work....and I have quite a few new people signed up!  

1 comment:

  1. Jennie, you are awesome! I loved seeing all the videos of you doing these things! These weights are huge and I can't imagine even being lift that much, let alone carry it around in a circle, press it over my head, drop it over a bar, etc. You're my idol :)