GBPF Women’s Classic 2014

So, I just did my second GBPF British Classic.

In the week leading up to the competition I had intended to go to Pilates twice, just for the stretch factor, but work being work, I was booked into meetings over both times I’d reserved for Pilates so I couldn’t go. I mark the time in my calendar as “Busy” but no-one ever seems to notice 😦 I guess that’s what happens when you have some sort of interlekshul job like mine where you have to sit in meetings and discuss things, meh.

Is it any wonder my desk nameplate features a picture of Grumpy Cat?

Is it any wonder my desk nameplate features a picture of Grumpy Cat?

The evening before, I managed to escape work early, got home and… had no idea what to do with myself. My boyfriend is away at the moment, I had no-one to distract me and no more Battlestar Galactica to watch. Argh! I ended up going a bit stir-crazy & put myself to bed by 9pm.

Next morning I had my alarm set for 8am and intended to get to the gym for 11-11.30. As it was, I woke up at 6.45am (my weekday alarm time) and forced myself to stay in bed reading until 8am. I hopped on the scales and I was 70.4kg, perfect (if maybe a little bit too light!). Hopped off again, then hopped on again just to be sure. 72.7kg. What?! Tried again – 70.4kg. Aaaarrrgh. My home scales aren’t super-accurate but this was crazy.

So, plans changed. I decided to get dressed & go to the gym early, so I could weigh myself on the gym scales before weigh-in, then either relax or panic as appropriate. I was only going to go even more stir-crazy at home on my own anyway.

I arrived at the gym just before 10am, and just before the first flight started lifting. Hopped on the scales there and… 70.4kg. FFS. So, off to the beigel shop for a cream cheese beigel and a coffee.

We weighed in officially at 12.30pm (70.5kg in the end) and started to wait for the morning lifters to finish. We were due to start at 2pm but I knew there’d be an overrun. And there was – we started at 4.15pm! I’d been in the sweltering-hot gym for over 5 hours by this point and I was knackered.


Ugh, finally. To be honest, by the time I’d warmed up I just wanted to go home & nap, not lift! I wasn’t even sure that 90kg was a sensible opener. But I did it, and I got it… just. My back (at the old injury site from April) really hurt, though. We decided to go to 95kg for the next. This time it was like I was lifting in a totally different body – no pain, no real difficulty. Pb at 72kg! So we decided to go all-out and try 100kg.

100kg was tough, no doubt about it – and I got a red light from the centre ref (for depth). But 2/3 is still a pass! I’m really pleased I have 100kg @ 72kg in the bag, I know I can do it now.

Fuck yeah 100kg squat face (Thanks to Rachel for the pic!)

Fuck yeah 100kg squat face (Thanks to Rachel for the pic!)


I decided last week to go conservative with my bench opener – my bench has just been going poorly for ages and I’m not sure why. And oh god am I glad I did! I would normally go for a 50kg opener but chose 47.5kg on the day, which I got… and then failed 50kg twice! Normally I can do 50kg in the gym with no problems; but this time I had no leg drive, the hand-over felt weird, everything felt wrong.

So that put a huge crimp in my ebullient mood after the squats. Fucking bench. 47.5kg at 72kg is really quite a poor show. Blah.


By this point I just wanted to go home, stupid fucking bench, stupid fucking powerlifting. But hey ho, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

110kg opener was fine – god knows it ought to be, I’ve been opening on 110kg for 18 months. Second attempt was 115kg – an equal pb, and a pb I’ve had for nearly 2 years. I knew I could get it – it’s just a case of whether or not my right hand can hold it. And…it did! Thank god.

Then the question of going for 117.5 or 120kg. I know I can theoretically pull both, but the reality of my right hand is different. I decided to go for 117.5kg – it’d be a pb & was the safer bet. And I got it!! But not without some, er, personal humiliation, in the form of peeing myself. Hurray. There’s nothing to put a dampener on your jubilant mood than seeing them get the mop out after your attempt. CRINGE.

My red face jut kinda gives it all away, doesn't it? (Thanks to Rachel for the pic!)

My red face gives it all away, doesn’t it? (Thanks to Rachel for the pic!)

I’m never going to live it down, so instead I’m just going to start telling people that if there’s no pee, poop or vomit involved, or you didn’t faint afterwards, then it wasn’t heavy enough, dammit!

(I have to say, if you don’t like reading about pee or my unhappy guts, you may be reading the wrong blog! 😉 )

So! On that lovely note – a 265kg total @ -72kg, 15kg more than 2013 and equal to my total in the 84kg class!! The full results haven’t been released yet, but I don’t think I was last (unlike last year). Doing better than 2013 was all I really wanted.

Me, coach Martin and British champion Anna!

Me, coach Martin and British champion Anna!

After the competition ended I stayed behind to help tidy up the gym, which was a mess. I finally left at 8.45pm, getting home just after 10pm. Normally the journey takes 40 minutes but I had to wait ages for a bus back from the tube station. All in all, an 11.5 hour day. Powerlifting is actually an endurance sport.

I have pretty mixed feelings about competing at the British. On the one hand, it’s brilliant that you get to see some amazingly strong women, everyone is lovely and supportive and it’s a great atmosphere. On the other hand… good god, it’s a painful reminder that I’m not a very good lifter at all. OK, so I was pretty firmly in the middle of the squats, but I was ultimately bottom of the deadlifts, and even if I hadn’t fucked up my bench I would have been near-bottom there. If it was still my first year or whatever I might feel OK about it, but I’ve been doing this for years longer than many and I’m still pretty shit. But in powerlifting, as in programming and education, I’ve always been “just good enough to get by”. And I’m still programming after 15 years, so there’s no reason I won’t be powerlifting in another 10, too…

The silver lining is that I have finally broken my deadlift plateau after TWO FUCKING YEARS (I first pulled 115kg in November 2012) and like as if the majority of lifters (or at least the vocal ones) would still be plugging away at lifting after all that time with no pb. People who whine about 2 months with no pb can kiss my giant butt. I am truly the Queen of the twin cities of Perseverance & Persistence.

Today, I feel like crap. My back hurts, I had a poor night’s sleep full of anxiety dreams, and I didn’t eat enough yesterday (I didn’t feel like my treat pizza at 10pm!). Hopefully I’ll feel more human tomorrow.

I’m going to take a week or so off and then… well, the Greater London Championships are on November 22nd…


4 thoughts on “GBPF Women’s Classic 2014

  1. G

    Wooo! Congrats on getting to and through the comp. (Even if it took a little pee to get there!) You put in so much hard work! Time for a well-deserved break before you get back to it 🙂

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