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Contest Plans for November 2008

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following message was posted in the Weight Trainer's United forum and on my MySpace page.

I contacted Greg Van Hoose, the meet director for the NASA contest I entered in June here in the Pittsburgh area. I asked him if or when there would be another contest in my area. He said there definitely would not be a contest this fall or winter, but he was hoping to have a contest in the spring of next year.

However, he is holding two contests in Ravenswood, WV, the second weekend of November (2008). Yes, two contests. On Saturday, November 8 is West Virginia Regional. Then the next day is the 100% Tested Nationals. Both contests are being held at Ravenswood High School in their new gymnasium.

It seemed rather strange having two separate contests in the same location two days in a row, so I asked Greg about it. He said the reason is to avoid confusion, since there are two important differences between the two contests.

At both contests, state and American records can be set, but only at the Nationals contest can World Records be set. But most importantly, the point of “100% Tested” is that all lifters at the Nationals contest will be drug tested. That is why the entry fee for the Nationals contest is considerably higher, to pay for the drug tests.

I broke eight NASA American records at my last contest, in the Unequipped, Pure (lifetime drug free) and the Masters (over 40) Pure divisions. For my next NASA contest, my plans have been to enter two different divisions to give me new records to go after, namely the Unequipped, Open and Masters I (40-49) divisions. I am hoping to break seven if not all eight of these records as well.

But on the world records, checking NASA’s Web site, it looks like there is only one set of world records, not separate ones for equipped and unequipped as for the American records. But I still should be able to break the DL record and maybe the total record. Also, it looks like there is currently no records in the Masters I division, so I would automatically get all four of those, as long as I don’t bomb out. So with the possibility of setting up to six world records, then it would be worth the extra expense to enter the Nationals contest.

All of this is assuming I cut to 114s as I did with my last contest. But my weight is running a little higher than it was before. If I have to, I could go 123s. I could still break up to eight American records if I do, but all of the world records at 123s are out of reach. But still, I think the Nationals contest makes more sense for me to enter due to the second difference between the two contests.

By the time of this contest, I will have been powerlifting for five and half years, entering drug free divisions and federations. But I have never actually been drug tested. So it would be nice to get drug tested to prevent any rumors that I am only able to compete at the level I do at my age due to drug use, kind of like Darra Torres, the 41 year old swimmer who won two silver medals at the recent Beijing Olympics. To put to rest to rumors of drug use, she agreed to undergo extra vigorous testing.

All of this is to say that my tentative plans are now to enter NASA’s 100% Tested Nationals, Sunday, November 9, 2008, in Ravenswood, WV. Then if there is a NASA contest in the Pittsburgh area in the spring, that will be my next contest after that.

However, my concern for this contest is that it will be the first time in three and half years that I will have to travel a significant distance to a contest. My last four contests have all been about an hour from my home, but this contest will be about a four hour drive. I know that does not sound like much to most people, but for me with my fibromyalgia, it could be very fatiguing.

Early weigh-ins for both the WV Regional and Nationals contests are 6:00-7:30 pm the evening before the respective contests. So I could drive out Saturday afternoon, check-in to my hotel, then go and weigh-in. But I am afraid that would leave me overly exhausted for the contest the next day. And the drive would be especially difficult if I am cutting to 114s, as I probably won’t be eating or drinking at all throughout the day.

So instead, I am planning on going out on Friday. That way, once I get situated in my hotel room, I can just rest the remainder of the evening. Then Saturday, if I feel up to it, I might go and watch some of the WV contest, then weigh-in that evening. Hopefully, this way I will be rested up for the contest on Sunday. I will stay at the hotel Sunday night after the contest, and then drive home on Monday.

The potential downside to this plan is if the hotel bothers me due to my multiple chemical sensitivities, then I will be stuck there for three rather than just two nights. It didn’t bother me in the hotel at my last contest, but it bothered me very much at the one before that. But going out a day early still seems like the best plan. So I already made hotel reservations for all three nights, since that could be canceled if need be.

The entry deadline for the contest is not until November 1, so I will wait unit October to send in my registration just in case something changes. But God-willing, I’ll pray my training goes well and that my health will be such that I am able to enter and manage the travel for this contest.

For details on both the 100% Tested Nationals and on the WV Regional contest, see the NASA Regional Web site.

For my workouts leading up to this contest, see my workout logs starting at Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/18/08: Rotation I.

Change of Plans

I had some setbacks health-wise and had to take over a week off of lifting, from September 11-18. And that ended my plans to enter the powerlifting contest in November discussed above. At this point, I have no idea if or when I will compete again. But I need to workout to keep in shape, so I started a new routine. For details, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 9/19/08: Off-Season: Weeks 1-5 of 10. See Contest Possibilities for my possible new plans.


Contest Plans for November 2008. Copyright 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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