Monday, March 28, 2016

Crossfit Games 2016 WOD 16.5

Coming off the high from 16.4 was a pretty lengthy process.  I was so proud/happy of myself for finishing the row and attempting the HSPUs.  But I knew the honeymoon would soon be over when 16.5 was announced.  The last workout of the Crossfit Open, and there was one glaring thing missing so far:  Thrusters. 

Thrusters are like Crossfit's most infamous movements.  They are awful, just plan out awful.  

So come Thursday night, I once again was only semi interested in the announcement and there it was:

The most frightening thing about this WOD was the fact that it was "FOR TIME" rather than within a certain amount of time (no time cap).  I have never done a For Time WOD in the open so that added a slight amount of dread.  And then things pretty much just got worse from there. 

Hydraulic decided to do Friday Night Lights this week followed by an after party so I had a little less than 24 hours to figure out a game plan and mentally prepare myself.  What I did basically, was think about the damn workout all day and worry.  

Due to my aggressive running schedule, Friday I was required to run 3 miles so Adam and myself planned on meeting at H at 6am to bang that out, however he overslept and I ended up (reluctantly) running around my neighborhood alone.  I wasn't worried that the run would affect my performance later that night, the more pressing issue was this annoying cough/cold that I've been battling for what feels like forever.  

Dennis was having some of his friends down for a visit so he wasn't working and planned on doing the WOD at 9:30am.  He said he would Periscope me in so I could watch and this is pretty much something I regret doing.  Dennis and E both went at the same time, and both of their faces showed the same thing....complete misery.  E finishing in about 15 minutes and Dennis finishing in just under 19 had the freaking wheels in my head spinning in overdrive. 

It got so bad to the point that I actually made an excel chart as to how many reps per second I needed to get a certain time.  Needless to say, I was freaking out. 

After work I had to rush home, get changed, grab my prepared food for the party, grab the kids, bring them to kid care, and then there I was, watching a heat of H members doing the WOD, and oddly enough they all had the same look of death on their faces. 

I was abruptly placed into the next heat and before I knew it, the clock was counting down from 10 and I began.  

The game plan, breaking the Thrusters into 3 sets, until I got to the 6's and then pushing through, which by the way, I did beautifully.  The issue?  The burpees.  COMPLETELY under estimated those and honestly that is where I lost most of my time.  

I trucked through and when I got in my last rep, I quickly looked at the clock and saw that I was sub 20, (19:14 to be exact).  I was STOKED!  Goal set, Goal achieved!!  I did a little celebratory point and jump and was just so freaking happy it was over. 

I was super sad that Dennis wasn't there to see me, but Shawn did an excellent job judging/coaching me and keeping me in check.  

Once I was done there were a few more heats to go and once everybody that was going went, we had a little End of the Open party and it was so fun!  It was a good chance to mingle with members that I don't get to see often and funny enough I even met one for the first time that only goes to noon classes.

I was running on endorphins because I was so animated for the party!  It was quite amusing.  

So that's a wrap folks, after a couple years hiatus, I have completed another Open Season.  I am super proud of myself and everybody else that stepped out of their comfort zone and did this.  I am excited and looking forward (and dreading at the same time) next year's Open and to see what gains I make in the coming year!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Crossfit Games 2016 WOD 16.4

With my spirits pretty low from the previous Open workout, I was pretty uninterested in hearing what the next workout was because most likely it was something I'd be unable to do.  Then the CrossFit gods smiled down on me. 

I knew that I didn't have Handstand Push-Ups, but my goal was to get there and at least try.  

The time cap wasn't announced until after all the movements and reps were and I think I was holding my breath until he finally said 13 minutes.  I wasn't 100% sure that I could make it there in 13, but lofty or not, that was my goal.  

Again due to Dennis and I's busy schedule, we worked our week to do the Open WOD on Friday evening (rather than the normal Saturday morning).  This was a LOT of fun!  Hydraulic had a good turn out and the energy was awesome.  The weather was so nice so we opened the bay door and the 1st heat was ready to go. 

Word to the wise: Don't watch other people do this work out.  The looks on their faces say it all in combo with the collapsing after the 13 minutes was up.  Gah.  

I was a little nervous about the condition of my hands and knees (I took a bad fall yesterday running which I will blog about soon) but I really didn't want to make any types of excuses.  I did a few practice DL's, Row Strokes, and Wall Balls and it seemed as if my cuts were not going to play much of a role.

I didn't have much of a plan going into it so when the timer was counting down 3...2....1 GO! I picked up my bar and just went with it.  The heat I was in was only myself and a fellow member and I could hear the clicks of his (faster) DL reps, keeping me aware of my speed.  I *believe* I did a couple sets of 10s, then 8s then 3s, then 2s, and then finally singles.  I typically don't make nosies when I work out, but with this many reps of heavy-ish Deadlifts I couldn't help but grunt.  LOL.  

I walked straight to the Med Ball and wanted to do at least 10 at a time to chip away at the 55.  Again, not 100% sure how many I was doing per set, but at the end I was doing short sets of 5 and once I was done with those it was time to row for calories.  

This. was. hard.  I put the damper on 10 and just tried to keep rowing.  There were two moments where I wanted to stop completley (and pretty much took a quick 1 second break) but I finished up as strong as I could and got off the rower at 11:37.  Leaving me about 20 seconds to rest and set up for the HSPUs.  
At 12 minutes I attempted 3 HSPUs without any success, which was expected.  Immediately after the WOD I had a terrible headache, but it left as quickly as it came on.  Dennis competed in the next heat, but I will let him blog about his take on 16.4 once he redoes it on Monday.

Onward to 16.5!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Year of Cardio - Crossfit Sound Beach + Karen's 5 Miler

With the CrossFit Open more than halfway over, Dennis and I were still keeping true to our Year of Cardio Training and Races, which took a bit of planning ahead.  

This weekend Seth, our youngest child, turned 1 and since my parents (who live in Connecticut) traveled down to VA to watch the kids while we were in Iceland, we decided to travel to them to celebrate Seth's birthday.

As I blogged before, I got 16.3 out of the way Thursday night following the announcement so I didn't have to worry about only performing it once if it was something I was able to do.  Dennis would do 16.3 Friday afternoon and hopefully that blog is coming soon. 

We hit the road at about 3pm on Friday and arrived in Connecticut at about 10:30pm.  We immediately dropped the kids off to the parentals and headed to our hotel.  I was supposed to run 3 miles that morning, but I over slept (intentionally) and it was far to late to run when we got in so I chalked it up as a rest day. 

Saturday morning we woke up and were heading out to do one of my favorite things to do when we travel, drop into a new CrossFit box.  As you can see by the list on my blog, I've dropped in to MANY and with each WOD I take away something new.  Today's Box = CrossFit Sound Beach.  I was especially excited to go to this one because I miss Long Island Sound terribly and was anxious to WOD by the water.  Except they moved locations and it wasn't near the water at all.  hahaha.  Oh well. 

We had checked the website the night before and I'm not sure why I'm surprised but it was Wall Balls.  Not only Wall Balls, but a version of my least favorite WOD, this one in the form of "Clean Karen."  Which I will explain in a minute.  It just seemed to me that since I pretty much avoid wall balls at my home box, I pay for it when I travel.

We arrived to the facitity and it was quite large!  There was a lounge area in the front, a room with just rowers, lines of assault bikes, and rigs with plenty of open space.  Also, two locker rooms were there and they had towel service.  Oh how I miss Connecticut!  

The class size was decent for a Saturday 9am class and our coach, apparently has been to the games as his name was up on display for all to see.  Doug Cahill.  Super jacked (and may I add attractive) guy who was very nice and very welcoming to myself and Dennis.  

We started the class with 2 rounds of a 200 meter run, pigeon stretches, and scorpion stretches.  

Then we huddled up to talk about the WOD.  
"Clean Karen"
15 Rounds (25 Minute Time Cap)
10 Wall Balls (20/14)
1 Power Clean (205/135)

He went over the standards for the wall balls, dispensing some good advice on how to hold and receive the ball, and how to manage the reps. 

The cool thing about doing this WOD, they had targets!  I've never used targets for Wall Balls and I was excited to test them out.

He then went over the clean explaining that he did not want us to be failing the 1 rep, but it should be a weight that is challenging.  He said we'd have some time to build up to a heavy weight (even set a 1 rep max if we wanted) and then back down to the weight we'll use in the work out about 80% of our 1 rep max.  Absolutely perfect way to run a class. 

In the 10 or so minutes we had to set up the equipment and find a weight Doug patrolled the class making sure people were using good form and technique and giving suggestions as needed.  

I decided on 14lb Wall Ball and 105 Clean.  Challenging, but manageable with all the Wall Balls I had to do.  3....2...1....Go!  

The WOD wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I did 10 Wall Balls each round unbroken and only giving myself a few seconds to catch my breath to prep for the heavy clean.  I couldn't believe how fast the rounds were going and I never felt just quite how I feel when doing Karen straight.  My Karen time is 11:08 and this version took me 15:09, not too bad considering I added 15 heavy cleans to it.  I was very very very very happy with this work out, and Hydraulic Members, don't be surprised if you see this WOD on a Saturday at some point.  

After the work out we grabbed some CFSB shirts and headed to a hometown staple Stew Leonards for lunch and their must have ice cream.  We stopped by to check on the kids and then headed back to the hotel for some relaxation time before the birthday party.  I immediately fell alseep and after a quick nap I decided to take a quick run since I was feeling guilty I missed yesterday.  I hadn't run all week and I was getting nervous for tomorrow's race. 

I did a quick 2 miles on the treadmill and it actually helped my legs un-stiffen from that mornings workout.  I felt confident about the next day and I'm glad I squeezed it in.  

We celebrated Seth's 1st birthday with my side of the family and it was really nice seeing family I hadn't seen since Christmas.  After the party, Dennis and I decided to go out for dinner without the kids (this happens pretty much never) and it was very nice to have a relaxed dinner with Dennis and then we headed back to the hotel. 

The next morning we got up and then promptly headed up to the start line of my race.  The morning couldn't have been more gorgeous!  The race was near the water and we had plenty of time before it started to just sit and gaze at the water.  It made me so happy and relaxed and of course made me sad that I no longer had access to such a place.  

Finally it was time to start running and I was as ready as I was going to be!  I crossed the start line, pressed play on my runkeeper and BAM, just like that, my phone decided to restart.  Too late to stop now, so for the first mile I was running in silence and obviously frustrated.  

I tried to navigate through my phone while running (I was NOT going to stop for this) and the best I could do was get some bizzarro radio station that was playing acoustic show tunes?  Is that even a thing?  In any case, I needed to just get through the race.  

Without my pace reminder, I was paranoid that I was slowing down.  Once I made the loop and go to 3 miles in, I found a person to "chase" and he kept me going for a while.  I past the 4 mile marker and all I wanted was to be done with the race.  I picked up my pace and ended it! 

Dennis was waiting for me at the finish line and was practically stunned at the time I finished.  The clock read 44:15 (unofficial) but nothing short of a huge Personal Record.  He was incredibly happy for me and at the same time threatened that I was becoming a faster runner than him :).  

We didn't have time to stick around so we promptly left to scoop up the kids and make our way to PA to see Dennis' family.  I pretty much sat in the car and my legs just stiffened up immediately.  This was going to be rough.  

I eagerly kept checking the website to see my official results and when they populated I was pretty happy.  I came in 98th overall (out of 300) and 18th out of 49 in my age group.  My time was 44:05 giving me an 8:50 pace, which is pretty fast for me.  Overall a huge success and another race checked off in the Year of Cardio.  

We got to Dennis' dad's where we had cake and did presents for Seth and then at about 7pm we headed home to VA.  We walked into our house at about 10:30pm and we all pretty much just collapsed into our respective beds.  

Our eating over the weekend was "ok" given the circumstances, I am sure I will see a blip on the scale, but we did our best to make good choices and we treated ourselves when given the opportunity.  I'm not feeling my best today (Monday) but nothing that Dennis and I cannot quickly recover from.  

The weekend was just so fun!  I'm so happy that Dennis and I have embraced CrossFit (and fitness really) together and it's an interest we both share.  Traveling can be hard on the waistline but there really isn't an excuse why you can't fit some fitness in here and there regardless of the type!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Crossfit Games 2016 WOD 16.3

With a busy weekend and an even busier week ahead, I was again finding myself anxious about the 16.3 WOD announcement.  I typically like to have 2 opportunities to do the workout (assuming I'm able to complete it) so my only option for that was to do the WOD immediately following the announcement on Thursday and then again on Monday morning.

So at 7:45pm on Thursday night I found myself alone at Hydraulic waiting for the announcement.  Trainer Matt had agreed to meet me there to judge me (if needed) and funny enough, Travis came wondering in and so the three of us watched the announcement together.  

First movement - Snatch (so far so good!)
Second movement - Bar Muscle Ups (Ugh!!!)

Since I can't do Bar Muscle Ups (or regular muscle ups for that matter) all I had to do was 10 light snatches to get a RX'd score of 10, which took about 20 seconds to complete.  

Another disappointing WOD, but that's the way the Open works for me.  The good news was it relieved a ton of stress and logistics for the weekend.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Crossfit Games 2016 WOD 16.2

With 16.1 behind us I was eager to hear what the next WOD was going to be.  I thought it would be funny to record Dennis and I's reaction and the 15 minute video I ended up with is pretty amusing.  

I will spare you the 15 minutes of hilarity and give you the last few minutes of when they actually announce the workout:

You can see my excitment pretty much go out the window when he mentions that the 25 T2B, 50 DUBs, and 15 Squat Cleans have be done in 4 minutes in order to make it to the next part of the work out.  Once again I had half of the equation.  I could DO all the required movements, just not at the speed they were asking. 

Towards the end of the video Dennis says he thinks I could get out of the first round, but I am more realistic than him!  

Fast Forward to Saturday and the moment of truth.  I was as ready as I was ever going to be.  3...2...1...GO!

Toes to bar weren't a huge problem for me.  I could GET them, I just couldn't get them fast.  I did as many as I could before I had to break them down into smaller sets.  Not a huge issue, but time was ticking down fast. 

Onto the jump rope.  My double unders are not terrible, as long as I didn't get tripped up.  I predicted it would take me 3 "sets" to get to 50, (2 if I was lucky) and with about 1 minute and 20 seconds left it was me and the bar. 

An 85lb Squat Clean was completely manageable but for whatever reason I decided to do singles and when 4 minutes hit, I had gotten 6.  At first I felt like that was a crappy score and I was kinda pissed about it.  But as per usual it takes me a while to warm up to things and I decided that it was an ok score.  

I knew that I would be opening Hydraulic the next day for others to do the WOD (and for some to redo it) so I figured that I'd give it a whirl if time permitted, but without too much expectation of making it through the 15 cleans.  I really WANTED to, but if I didn't shave off at least 30 seconds of my time, it wasn't going to happen. 

Let's not forget the year or cardio is still going on and I have certain mileage requirements each week to run.  Sunday's are typically my long runs and this day was no exception.  I went to Hydraulic an hour and a half earlier than I needed to be there to bang out my run when I learned something.  The fitness center doesn't open until 1pm and I needed to open Hydraulic at 1:30pm, not enough time for me to wait for the gym to open to run 4.5 miles.  So as much as I DIDN'T want to, I started to run outside. 

Luckily there is a new running/biking path along 50 that I decided to test out and let me say it's pretty nice!  I'd like to eventually start biking to CrossFit but that will have to wait until the weather is a tad warmer and I am a bit more in shape.

So anyways, instead of giving myself allllllllllllllll the excuses not to run, I just bucked up and ran.  And ran, and ran!  I ran the whole 4.5 miles (except when I had to wait for the crosswalk light to turn) and I ran it in slightly under 45 minutes.  What a HUGE confidence booster for my upcoming 5 mile race in CT!  

With the running endorphins already setting I had about 30 minutes before people were going to show up so I did want any other normal CrossFitter would do.  I did a 20 minute ROMWOD (I will explain want this is later, but it's basically Yoga for CrossFit) and it was so nice to be doing these stretches alone in the empty gym.

At about 1:30, people started trickling in and it was time to start!  I always get so nervous/excited and when it was my turn to go, I knew what I had to do.  I had to improve my score by 1 at the least.  

Off I went!  Toes to Bar no problem, Double Unders as expected.  Now for the cleans.  1st go around I did singles, but this time I did 2 before I took a rest and That made all the difference.  When time expired I got through 9 (a three rep improvement) and I must have been on endorphin overload because I was bouncing off the walls with happiness!  

I wanted more reps, but I wasn't sad about it at all.  I immediately thought that I would give it another try Monday morning and was dead set on doing so.

When it was my turn to go this morning, my mine was already made up.  My forearms were toast and this was not going to go well.  I did 10 Toes to Bar and called it.  I was already doing singles after about 5 in a row and that's good for nobody. 

So, I have to be grateful that I was actually ABLE to participate in all the movements of 16.2, and hopefully next year my T2Bs are faster than this year, something I will add to the list of things to work on.  So with 2 WODs behind and 3 WODS ahead, I am back to being eager and excited to see what 16.3 ends up being!