Masters Nationals 2015 – Passover, PRs and PMS

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Despite it’s being over a week past, I am just now sitting down to write up my experience at this year’s masters national championships.  I apologize for the delay, but I went straight from nationals to a week long trauma job (hooray!) which kept me too busy to contemplate lifting (gasp!).

So many things were challenging going into this year’s meet.  Passover started 7 days before.  For those of you not familiar with the Jewish holiday, it celebrates the exodus from slavery in Egypt.  Which is lovely except it’s celebrated by NOT eating leavened bread.  Fleeing pharoah’s wrath meant grabbing dough before it had a chance to rise and getting the hell out of Dodge. Or Cairo as the case may be.

Lovely, but anybody who knows me knows I eat a lot of leavened stuff.  Donuts.  Fig Newtons.  PB&J sandwiches.  This holds especially true after weigh-in.  I don’t live very much above my weight class, maybe a kg or two, so making weight means cutting back salt and carbs for a few days and limiting water the day before competition.  Right after weigh-in, the re-feed begins with lots of simple carbs (Newtons!) and Monster.

But what was different on this day vs. all other days (you’ll get the reference if you’ve ever been to a seder)?  No Newtons.  No Lenny&Larry cookies.  No Pop Tarts.  And none of those yummy carby treats to fuel up after the preceding week’s workouts.  Ugh.  I think I ate my weight in matzah brie and matzah cashew butter and jelly sandwiches.

Now add challenge #2.  This was PMS week.  So I retained water like a sea sponge on Mercury.  Not good for making weight.  It also meant that forgoing the donuts was extra hard because donuts and PMS go together like, well, donuts and PMS.

Challenge #3.  I wafted into Monrovia on a cloud of Advil and Aleve trying to nurse what I could out of an extremely painful shoulder injury.

All in all, I was nervous.

But guess what? I won.  By 1kg, but I won.  And I did well-ish.

I missed my first snatch for a little re-bending of my inured arm (I can hear Nick Horton yelling at me to LOCK OUT even as I write this).  So I went out and locked the living shit out of snatches two and three.  But alas that meant re-trying my opener which meant I didn’t get to try my super big third attempt.  No biggie, went into cleans 3kg ahead.  And I hit my 40kg snatch which was my dream lift not that long ago.


We went lift for lift in the clean and jerk though, with her opening bigger than I did.  So it came down to each of our last lifts.  I had wanted to do and think I could have jerked 53kg.  But to be safe I needed to make  54kg so that’s what I tried.  The clean was kind of ugly, but I made it.  But then missed the jerk.  She went out to do 54kg, made the clean (prettier than I did truth be told) then missed the jerk.

clean at nationals

And that’s the moment that I became a two-time Masters National Champion.

I PRed my total.  I beat last year’s total by 14kg.  FOURTEEN KG!!! I PRed my competition snatch, although I’ve done better in training.  I PRed my competition clean.  I matched my recent competition jerk.  And my singlet totally rocked.

I’m pretty ecstatic really.  And now I’m all kinds of fired up to go to Dallas in August for the Masters World Cup and see if I can hit a triple digit total.  I have amazing coaches, I have a super supportive team and I have goals.

And I once again have donuts.  Yee haw!!!

Next year…… threepeat.

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8 Responses to “Masters Nationals 2015 – Passover, PRs and PMS”

  1. MichaelApril 20, 2015 at 8:17 PM #

    Awesome job,

    • Rachael KeilinApril 20, 2015 at 10:06 PM #

      Thanks so much!!!!

  2. LouieApril 21, 2015 at 8:53 AM #

    Congratulations on your back to back Masters National Championships. As I go into my first competition this coming Sunday, (Texas Barbell Spring Classic) I feel even more encouraged as a masters lifter after reading your post. Ugh… The dreaded lock out! Good luck at the Master World Cup.

    • Rachael KeilinApril 22, 2015 at 9:05 PM #

      Yay Louie for going to your first competition!!! It’s nerve wracking but a little addictive (in a good way). I went to my first competition at 44. We can’t lift like the kiddos, but we can still set goals for ourselves and test what we can do. And yeah, stooooooopid lockout!! I get so focused on hitting my positions that I forget that wee detail. Which of course is in the end the only thing that actually matters 🙁 Let me know how you did! I’d love to post pics of another master kicking butt and taking names!

      • LouieApril 23, 2015 at 8:12 AM #

        Thank you! I sure will…

      • LouieApril 27, 2015 at 9:03 AM #

        Good morning Rachael. Update on competition in San Antonio:

        Warm up room I was spot on and didn’t miss a lift. Time for my snatch opener at 77 and I bomb out. I couldn’t believe it! C&J I open with 100 and make it. Next two at 105 and I get stuck on the clean on the 1st and 2nd I clean only to run out of legs with the jerk. I do have to say it’s an experience I’ll never forget. So, I made it home, licked my wounds and signing up for comp in June in Austin. Now I know what to expect.

        • Rachael KeilinApril 27, 2015 at 8:09 PM #

          Ugh! I’m so sorry about the snatches but I will say this: it takes a lot of character to bomb out on the snatches and then come back and make a clean and jerk. So congrats for that! And happy you’re already signing up for your next comp. Now that you know what to expect and how to proceed I bet this one goes much better.

          • LouieApril 28, 2015 at 7:11 AM #

            Just realized I hijacked your thread. Sorry about that. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will NOT FAIL next competition.

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