Rainhill Trials WOD 1

Athlete registration

Waiting for it all to get started!

Getting good luck hugs from everyone before going to warm up

Warm up area!

Looking slightly nervous walking towards my lane

Run through of the workout with my judge. Photo by Pete Williamson Photography

Away we go! Photo by Pete Williamson Photography
Haha this photo looks so funny I think! What’s going on with my neck?! Photo by Pete Williamson Photography

Box step ups

And we’re done!

I couldn’t feel my legs at this point!

Carole’s muffins does the job!

Good morning lovelies! Hope you’ve slept well. I finally managed to get some good solid sleep after a very eventful weekend. Almost ten hours! I feel loads better for it!

I did however not sleep well the night before Rainhill. You know when you feel like you’re half awake all night? That was me. When the alarm went off I almost jumped out of bed because of my nerves. I got a quick shower, got dressed, made sure everything I needed was packed and had some breakfast. I made oats in our room with the kettle, super handy! I wanted to make sure I had a nice big breakfast at the start of the day as I knew I wouldn’t really be eating any big meals when competing, you don’t really feel like it and it’s not very pleasant having a massive lunch in your stomach whilst doing a high intensity workout. Deciding on what to wear was difficult because you do perform better when you feel good. In the end I decided for the marbled leggings with my bright pink top to start the day off with. Bring on the colour! I think I was probably one of the most colourfully dressed people there haha.

We then headed down to the hotel breakfast so everyone else could get some food before heading over to Sportcity. Pretty much everyone from the G5 cheer squad were there which was nice. We didn’t stay for very long as I had to be at the venue to get registered so Carole and Faye kindly sacrificed their chilled breakfast time to drive us all over. Faye and I got off and went straight to the registration area whilst Carole and Jamie parked the car sorted out all the bags! I had three bags with me hehe.

Faye and I arrived to a long queue of athletes waiting to be registered but it moved quickly and before I knew it I had signed in and got my wristband. There we were again, Sportcity arena. You could feel the nerves and excitement in the air. I couldn’t believe that I was competing here in front of all these people. What on earth was I doing? No idea! We walked over to the bleachers where Carol who was also competing and a couple of other G5ers were. Lou showed up as well, the Rainhill trio was united. I left my stuff before heading down with the two of them to the competition floor for the athlete briefing. We went though all the movement standards for the first three WODs we would be doing before the lunch break. It all felt pretty straight forward. Once the demo was done it was time for Lou to get warmed up. She was in Heat 1 of the Wood category. She did brilliantly!

Then Carol was in Heat 2 of the Wood category. I didn’t really get to see that much of Carol unfortunately because I was stretching and warming up. There was only one heat in between Carol and I which meant I had to focus on getting ready. I was in Heat 2 of the Rastrick category. A little bit heavier on the weights and stuff.

Carol’s heat was done I got access to the warm up area. Faye came with me and held my stuff. Just I had done for her. This role reversal was very odd. She stayed with me for a bit as I warmed up on the rower and then did some burpees. She eventually had to leave to get a spot before the workout started so then I was on my own waiting for the heat to start. I get nervous just writing about it but at the time I didn’t really feel as nervous as I thought I would be. It was a good level of nerves and I was getting to the point where I just wanted it all to start. I had been waiting so long for this moment and now I just wanted to do it. Rastrick female heat 1 finished and we went to sit in our seats to get picked up by our judges. We had to sit on the same number as our lane, I was lane 5, the same number I seeded as. That’s the order they do it in.

The workout we were doing was an AMRAP of 6 minutes: 15 burpees over erg (rower), 20 box step ups or jumps (20 inch box) and then 20 cal row. Repeat as many times as you possibly can. This was the workout I had my meltdown after a couple of weeks before. When I was super tired and everything felt so hard. It is a really tough workout.

My judge came and picked me up. I’m pretty sure he said his name was Ricky. He was a very happy chatty guy, which made me feel a lot calmer. We walked over to my lane. I could hear and see my amazing G5 cheer squad. They were just in front of my lane, I felt a lot better seeing them. I went and made all the adjustments on my rower to make sure it was ready to go when the time came. Then I was chatting to my judge, not really sure what we were talking about! Then the countdown was on. I was standing next to my rower and the MC said one minute to go. Help I thought, what is going on?! Then 30 seconds, at this point I was like wait, I don’t feel quite ready for this! 10 seconds, there’s no going back now I thought. Then 5, 3, 2, 1!! GO!!!

And I was off and from then onwards I did not hear or see anyone. The amount of focus and adrenaline pumping through you is one of the weirdest and coolest things you’ll ever experience. You don’t hear or see anyone. It’s like a bubble around you and you hear sounds and people in the far distance but it’s just you in that moment and your body is on autopilot. You don’t even really realise what you are doing, you just do it. You don’t hear anything but at the same time you hear everything. It is bizarre. I for instance couldn’t remember a single song that was played during the workouts the until I looked back on the videos even though the beats were blasting out of the speakers. The only thing I really heard was my judge counting the reps out loud and cheering for me at times. I’ve never been as present and focused as when competing.

I did my burpees at a goodpace, nice and steady and got to my box step ups. Finished them rather quickly and I think I was first back on to the rower. I could see the MC next to my judge in the corner of my eye and I sort of heard him shout out my name. Which I then saw he did in the video looking back. That was pretty cool! I knew that the row was going to be tough. 20 cals as fast as you can is tough. Luckily Stella’s last minute rowing coaching helped me save my legs a bit. I eventually got off the rower and then went  straight back into burpees. My god that was the worst part. My legs were on fire, the burpees themselves were fine but jumping over that rower you had to be determined. It’s easy to think you’ll trip over because your legs felt like jelly. The second round of burpees felt like they were taking forever but looking back on the video it actually went a lot faster than I thought. Adrenaline does that for you, it pushes you more than you ever think you could. I finished the burpees and went back onto the box step ups. Doing box step ups was a tactical move because they’re way faster and saves some energy. The first step up I wobbled loads on my leg. I actually couldn’t feel them at this point. The couple after were wobbly too and then it felt better.

I got to 20 box step ups then went back on the rower. That was my goal to get back on the rower because I managed to do that in the gym and I managed to row 9 calories. I was hoping for more. This part was painful I can tell you. So painful. Your legs just want you to stop but in my head I was just thinking keep on pushing!! There was no way I wasn’t going to keep on going. That was an interesting change because usually I say that your mind gives up before your body but here I felt so head strong and so determined to row as much as I possibly could with the energy I had left. I feel like I could’ve pulled for much longer if I had to in the headspace I was in. I was going to give this my all and there was no other option. I remember my judge was standing there shouting and cheering me on to keep on pushing. It helped a lot.

Then the MC yelled “TIME!”. The first WOD was over. I snapped back into reality and all of a sudden I noticed all the people around me and the incredible G5 crew (and Jamie of course but he’s included in the G5 crew). It felt like that workout had passed at the blink of an eye but at the same time that it wouldn’t end. It’s crazy, it’s only six minutes when you think about it but the amount of work you squeeze in is a lot! I got off the rower and wandered over to the everyone and got loads of hugs and collapsed on the ground. My legs gave up haha. Everyone was saying how well I’d done and I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea how it had gone.

Then we eagerly waited for the results to come in and it said I’d come tenth. Tenth out of over 50 competitors. I was in shock. I didn’t think that would be possible considering it was my first individual competition. I had no idea how I was going to handle the nerves and pressure I usually put on myself to do well but I felt like I handled my first WOD really well and ended up getting 6 more calories on my row than when I did it at G5. Quite a big difference. I was so happy with that but mainly I was just so proud of myself to have done it. To go out there in front of all those people and perform to the best of my abilities.

I felt so nauseous and exhausted after that WOD. I didn’t feel like eating anything but then Faye I think it was tempted me with one of Carole’s breakfast muffins and I couldn’t say no. I took one and went outside for some fresh air I think Jamie and Faye were both with me. Everything is sort of a blur. Once I’d had a couple of bites of the muffin I felt loads better. It was now time to prepare for my heavy cleans! I felt hopeful now when I had my nice new weightlifting belt from Faye. I had about 1.5 hours in between to get ready. That time went by so quickly and before I knew it it was almost time.

The magic belt

Just arrived in our room in Ashton

My major surprise

Had to get some photos of my braids. Loved them and I felt pretty badass in them. Wish I could do them on myself!
Hello guys from Glasgow! Jamie and I arrived back just before nine at Glasgow Central station last night after a very nice three hour train journey. It went by very quickly I must say. I can’t believe Rainhill was only two days ago and it already is starting to feel like a distant memory. I’ve got so much to say and share.

I’m sorry if there’s a lot of competition talk at the moment but I love having my blog as a place for reflection and writing down memories to look back on in the future so if it becomes too much I do apologise. I promise there’ll be other content coming up as well!

I don’t know even where to start writing about the weekend but I thought, chronological order would be the easiest 😛 Brace yourself for picture bombs!

Friday was a super hectic day. I started off with having a weightlifting belt issue. You might remember I mentioned I was going to pick up MJ’s weightlifting belt for the weekend? I got a message from her in the morning saying she had such a hectic start to her morning she forgot to leave it. I thought I would’ve panicked at this point and started worrying about my weightlifting heat, but I kept surprisingly calm. I messaged our Roadtrip group chat about it but when no one had a belt they thought would fit me and Stella wasn’t replying when I asked to borrow the gym one, I gave up. I just thought there’s nothing I could do and it was out of my control so I tried not to get worked up about it. This was quite unlike me and I was very proud I could be that rational about it considering how nervous I was getting. Jamie even pointed it out that he noticed I seemed oddly calm considering I knew the lift wanted to do would be difficult without the support of the belt. I think I already had so much on my mind I just didn’t have time to reflect further on it. Faye said when I messaged her that there would probably be stalls at Rainhill selling them too so that calmed me as well.

I tried to do as much of my packing before midday when I had a hair appointment to get braids done. I thought Faye looked so good in hers when she competed that I really wanted to get some done as well. A great way to make sure all my hair stayed out of my face. I went to the same girl as Faye to have it done, Lucie at Toni & Guy. As soon as I mentioned my hair was for a Crossfit competition she said she’d make sure it was extra tight haha. And boy did she make sure it stayed in place! The combination of salt spray and hairspray definitely does the trick because I’m sitting here on Tuesday with my braids still pretty much intact. Yes I should probably get it washed but I couldn’t be bothered to deal with it whilst I was away and there was no point showering my hair before the gym this morning. It’s been really nice to not have to think about it and not have hair everywhere.

Usually I’m not a massive fan of tight hairstyles on me as I think it makes me look a bit funny but I was super happy with the end results! The braids loosened up slightly of course over night and then during the competition so it was good they were tight to start.

For the rest of the afternoon I was running around at home hoovering, cleaning and packing the final bits. I’m glad I made a checklist because there was so much I had to remember to bring. In the end the only thing I ended up forgetting was contact lens solution. Not ideal at all but Carole kindly enough let me take one of her packs of dailies and use the solution in the packs to put my contacts in. I also had packed an extra pair of contacts so I survived until I could get to the shops to buy some solution.

Just before four we got in an Uber Jamie and I, picked up Faye on the way and headed over to Carole’s work where she had her car. We managed to squeeze in all our bags and ourselves somehow and off we went.

The journey took just over 3 hours and we stopped along the way once for a toilet break at Tebay. Apparently this service station is well known for how good it is haha. It was all everyone was talking about of the G5 Roadtrip squad and we so happened to bump into a large group of G5ers there! Tebay has got an incredible shop filled with delicious food and other things. I can see what they were getting hyped up about, it was way very nice!

We eventually got down to Manchester and checked in at our hotel. It was odd stepping into our room at Village Hotel Ashton once again, this time with Jamie. It felt like we had just been down for Faye’s Rainhill. It was even weirder thinking that I was the one that would be competing this time around. I was so nervous, not out of control nervous but really nervous. When we had settled in we met up with Faye and Carole and walked over to Nandos. Yup Nandos, becuase are you even a fitness person on social media if you don’t go to Nandos?!!! Jokes aside, it was one of the better options nearby, considering I wanted to eat something relatively healthy in preparation for the following day. I haven’t been to Nandos for like three years and just don’t really get the hype about it.

The whole gang got different forms of chicken and I had one of their salads with sweet potato wedges. It’s great that they have veggie and vegan options available. It was nice and fresh. Their hummus was lovely (apparently you can buy it in Tesco?). Nadia and Lindsey from G5 were already there having food when we arrived at the restaurant and came over to our table to have a chat when they’d finished their food. I popped to the toilet and when I came back there was a paper bag on my chair.

I wasn’t sure what it was and first thought it was a gift from Nadia and Lindsey but nope it was from Faye. I looked inside and there it was, a weightlifting belt. The same brand as the one MJ has, which I love. I was so confused and couldn’t believe it! At first I thought she’d run out and bought one during the day but I knew Unbroken Designs, as the brand is called, isn’t really available in shops and has to be ordered online. Then they all explained that Faye had ordered this a while ago for my competition and everyone else was in on it. No wonder everyone had been acting so weird about the belt situation earlier that day! I was so unbelievably happy and grateful. She really didn’t have to do that for me but she explained I needed my super belt for my lifting complex the next day. She’s too unbelievably kind and thoughtful Faye. Her and Carole had also written a lovely card wishing me good luck. I had tears in my eyes. I just love those two so much. They mean so much to me. And the fact that everyone else was in on it was so nice. It was a great surprise and made me feel a lot calmer about my heavy lifts. I don’t often wear weightlifting belts but they are helpful when it’s heavy.

Faye told me how she had struggle to message me when I was telling her about how I didn’t have a belt and what she would naturally reply so I wouldn’t be suspicious. Then she told me how she’s been chasing everyone telling them she’s got a belt for me so no one needs to lend me one. She’s too funny and sweet.

After the meal Jamie and I headed up to our room whilst Carole and Faye went for a drink. I needed to get packed and organised for the big day. Lots of shoes, accessories, food and changes of clothes needed to be organised so I wouldn’t forget anything. Once that was done, we had a cup of tea and went to sleep. I couldn’t believe when I opened my eyes in the morning it would be competition time.

Manchester Day

Hi lovelies! Jamie and I had a great day in Manchester yesterday. Our hotel is right in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations so we went to have a look. It was so amazing. It gave me major flashbacks to my childhood in Singapore and made me miss it. We celebrated Chinese New Year at my school and of course the streets all over the city were filled with lion dancers. It’s such a beautiful and colourful celebration.

The rest of the day we just wandered about and had some pretty amazing meals I’ll be sharing soon too. Yum!

Now time to get ready, get checked out and have breakfast before heading to Old Trafford to have a look before getting on the train back to Glasgow late afternoon.

Speak soon, M xxx


Stretching it out in the warm up area

Hello my lovelies! Sorry I went very quiet here on the blog but I think I needed some space to focus and get into competition mode when I got to Manchester. I can’t believe I’m lying here in bed the next day after Rainhill Trials. I did it! I can’t believe that it’s over. Everything went by at the blink of an eye.

It was a whirlwind day of so many emotions, pain and struggle in some WODs but mainly happiness and so much love and appreciation for the over 20 incredible people who had all taken the time out of their day to come down to support Lou, Carol and I who were competing. We were definitely the biggest and loudest squad there I think haha. At the beginning of the workouts when I looked up at them they were all cheering making me feel so much calmer and putting a smile on my face. What a team of people. How do people like these exist? I get tears in my eyes just writing about it. I love them all.

After a long but very fun day of competing and gradually moving from 9th place to 8th to 7th in WOD 4, I qualified in the top 15 for the final. THE FINAL. I couldn’t believe it and I ended up placing 7th in my category. I didn’t think that was going to happen with it being my first individual competition. I was just happy to be there. So incredibly grateful to be able to do something like this. It was what Jamie said. All the hard work I’ve put in since starting at G5 now being put to the test to see how far I can go. It went further than I could’ve ever wished for.

I’m going to write more about my entire Rainhill weekend very soon but for now I just wanted to stick my head in and say hi. Thank you for coming in here and reading about my journey. I’m truly hoping that this will help maybe inspire you or motivate you to do something out of your comfort zone. If you’re thinking of signing up to that race or competition whether it’s a 5k run or a swim or Crossfit or anything else you could think of that get excited about, do it. Just do it. You’ve got everything to win by putting yourself out there.

Now it’s time for breakfast because this girls is HUNGRY! By the way, after competing two times now I’ve come to the realisation that there is such a thing as a workout hangover haha. I actually feel like I have been drinking last night which I haven’t. Sore body, sore head and I feel knackered haha. Oh the beauty of Crossfit and training.

Speak to you soon my dears, M xxx