Sunday, June 3, 2012

Suffer to Honor

I am skipping ahead in my posts since I am woefully behind and I really want to write about this particular WOD.

Every Memorial Day around the country, Crossfitters honor the sacrifice of one Lieutenant Michael Murphy by putting themselves through some serious effort and pain.  Lt. Murphy loved this particular WOD, calling it "Body Armor."  After he was killed in action, the workout was renamed for him.  This is the official WOD from CFHQ.  This is more about Lt. Murphy.

Most of our coaches and several athletes as well were at the Regional competition over the holiday weekend, so our box did this WOD late.  We had 2 hours scheduled for this because it is a brutal and lengthy workout.

6/2/12 WOD #56 "Murph":

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    10 jumping lunges
                    10 clapping push ups
                    10 inchworms
                    10 pull ups
  • WOD: Murph
               1 mile run
               100 pull ups (two red bands)
               200 push ups
               300 squats
               1 mile run
               Time: 86:11
We could (thank God) partition off our marathon of pull ups, push ups, and squats however we wished.  After all, there is no point in shaking out your arms from your pull ups when you can shake out and do some squats at the same time.  I decided the easiest way to partition everything was to break it down into 20 sets of "Cindy."  Cindy is one of the mean girls of CrossFit and she consists of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats.  I know I can do all those sets unbroken so I knew that would be faster than trying to do 10, 20, 30.  

Push ups.
I won't lie: this sucked.  And it could have sucked worse.  We were also encouraged to do this with a 20# weighted flak vest.  I declined to do that because I knew darn well I would hurt quite enough, thank you, even without it.  Next year I will do the vest.  The day was quite warm, and that quickly became an issue.  I came in from my first mile and everyone else was well into their pull ups/push ups/squats...this meant the box was hot and super stuffy. I ended up using half my water bottle to splash onto my face, neck, and chest between my push ups and squats (if I did it after the squats then my hands were wet for the pull ups and that is no bueno.  Even with hurried wiping off on my shorts and application of chalk).  
Pull ups

I felt like the first half went much slower than the second half.  I needed to rest more, I overheated more, I hurt more.  The second half was easier and better. Even so I managed to do most of my sets unbroken- I had to stop mid-pull up once to kick the box out of the way cause I was hitting it, and towards the end I did stop one set of push ups to lay down on the cold cement floor.  I also had to drop to my knees for my push ups starting around the half way point (and I sacrificed several seconds to grab an abmat to pad my knees and keep me from bruising my patellas).  I am also ashamed to admit that for the first time in my CrossFit career,  I had to walk part of my run.  That last mile was a beast.  

But I finished it.  

Suffer to Honor

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Max back squat and grownup push ups

Periodically our workouts are designed to test our limits in one particular movement.  One this day, we were focusing on back squats.  The workout is to work up to a weight at which you fail and then work backward from there to find your maximum possible weight.  And the only trick is you have to do this in a total of 7 reps.  You see a workout like this on the board and you wonder how on earth it will take up a sufficient amount of time in the hour.  The answer: I actually stayed late.

Part of the time was the difficulty of barbell math (ok, so the bar plus 25 plus 25 do I get to 125 again?) and swapping things out from my partner to me.  But part of it was truly that this took some serious time.

I took this warm up very seriously because I assumed the work out was going to be quick.  So I chose this day to switch from my girly push up crutch to grown up push ups.  I also did not take breaks during the warm up (which I will admit I often do.  Especially when burpees are involved).  I treated it like its own WOD and I enjoyed it.

5/16/12 WOD #50

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    4 rounds of Cindy: 5 pull ups (2 red bands)
                                                 10 push ups (not girly anymore!)
                                                 15 squats
  • WOD: 1*1*1*1*1*1*1
Each F stands for failure- I was unable to reach depth and drive back up at that weight.  Although if you look at my results I failed and redeemed myself twice.  Unfortunately it was all about form for me.  I used to think I was good at squats.  But since I bottomed out so much, now I am reworking my squat form and it is killing me a little bit.  Now I am not reaching depth, rocking forward to my toes, leaning forward...No good. Just no good.  So I am working now on my air squats to make sure my form is good and then apply it to the darn overhead squats and back squats etc etc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Superman Socks Debut

I was pretty stoked for this workout primarily because I had broken down and ordered some amazing socks from thinkgeek.  Specifically: these ones. I am hoping they will make me faster and make my box jumps look pretty sweet.

Alas, they did not help me with overhead squats.

5/14/12 WOD #49:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 10 pass throughs
                          10 OHS
                          10 snatch balance
                          10 v-ups
  • WOD: 15 minute AMRAP
                15 OHS (35#)
                30 lateral jumps-over-bar (over and back)
                45 ab mat sit ups
I didn't realize this until just this very moment, but it turns out I didn't write down my result for this WOD.  I do know that it was not as good as I was hoping.  In fact, I think I was just short of two full rounds.  Maybe almost three rounds.  

My overhead squats were repeatedly not pretty.  I had to strip off a bunch of weight, I nearly threw myself backwards doing a snatch into position, I had to bail repeatedly.  My form was decidedly off.  And then the lateral jumps were surprisingly difficult!  I was pretty convinced that I was going to trip over the bar and crack my head open on a weight rack.  At least I am solid on the sit ups :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running and ropes

I got nearly all the way up a rope during this overtime workout.  Nearly to the top.  Not quite though.  It is super freaky swinging nearly 15 feet in the air and then looking down.  Next time I won't look down and I WILL make it to the top.

5/10/12 WOD #48:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    21 push ups
                    21 grasshoppers
                    21 back ext
                    21 seconds chin over bar (not so much)
                    21 jumping lunges
  • WOD: 3 rds for time
               800 m run
               200 flutter kicks
               Time: 22:49
I am working on my kipping pull ups and they are coming along nicely.  Hopefully sometime soon I will be doing pull ups without a band.  And my rope climb is almost to the point where I can actually say that I can climb a rope.  That means I need a new personal goal to work toward.  I think that goal is going to be: run faster.  Any WOD that involves running is abysmally slow and I would prefer for that to not be the case.

Otherwise how will I survive the zombie apocalypse?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to make burpees suck more

Burpees suck.  Everyone hates them.  But they are a full body workout and come up pretty darn often in CrossFit.  And we mix them up sometimes!  You can make them into burpee pull ups where you jump up onto the bar at the end of each burpee.  You can do what we did for the Open and have a target you hit at the end of each burpee.  Or you can do burpees-over-box and at the end of each burpee you do a box jump, then do another burpee, then do another box jump.  That's one rep.  One rep of suck.

5/9/12 WOD #47:

  • Warm up: Run 400 m
                    25 burpees
                    50 2ct mountain climbers
  • WOD: 5 rds for time
               10 box over burpees (20")
               20 hollow rocks
               10 alternating one-armed push ups
               Time: 35:32
For those counting at home, that comes out to 100 burpees and 100 box jumps.  Which explains how close I came to biffing it on the box jumps- Twice!  I just caught the edge with my toe as I jumped up and landed on my knees on the box.  No injuries, no bruises, but it made me go even more slowly as I continued: gathering myself mentally and physically before each jump.  And yes, I was going slowly.  Some people were finishing their 5 rounds before I started on round 3.  Depressing.

One-armed push ups are tricksy.  I was having some serious trouble with them as I kept torquing my knee wrong while trying to position myself correctly.  So I modified them to doing them from my knees and suddenly I was doing one-armed push ups, by God!  And I have to say, that is a pretty good feeling.  ...unlike burpees.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another day, another mile

For reasons that are unclear, I have been suffering from shin splints since the Open.  Which probably everyone is tired of hearing about because I think I moan about it every time we run for a WOD.  But in spite of this and also in spite of the fact that we are now forbidden from running around both buildings thanks to cranky neighbors, I still managed to cut down my mile time again.  For those counting, that means that instead of 4 laps around 2 buildings for your mile, it is 8 laps around one building which is harder to keep track of when you are trying not to throw up.

5/7/12 WOD #46:

  • Warm up: 500 m Row
                    3 min jump rope work
                    10 pass throughs
                    10 pull ups
                    10 back ext
                    10 sit ups
  • WOD #1: 1 mile run for time.  10:41 (13 seconds off!)
  • WOD #2: 20 minute AMRAP
                    5 push ups
                    10 pull ups
                    20 sit ups
                    40 DU (120 singles)
                    Total: 4 rounds + 15 reps
Actually, this workout was an awesome cluster of awesomeness because not only did I shave 13 seconds off my mile (that much closer to a sub-10 minutes baby!) BUT I went down several bands on my pull ups!  I have been sitting on green for a while (the second heaviest band) but Lori saw me on my first round and declared that I was more than ready to move down a band.  The next band is purple, followed by black, followed by red.  The purple and black bands were in use so Lori grabbed two reds for me to use together (we think that is somewhere between purple and black). And although it was WAY harder to fling myself up with those bands than it was with the green, I could still do it.  Of course, I had to stop between every other pull up to shake out my arms.  But still.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Following the example of Regionals

Everyone is watching the highlights from the Regionals which are happening right now.  One of the surprising events for the athletes was dumbbell snatches: 100# for men, 70# for women.  One arm at a time, going from the ground to overhead in a smooth motion. Pretty friggin' beastly.

So we got to do it too!  Of course, the heaviest dumb bell we have is 55# so rumor has it we will be getting some new weights soon.  Prescribed weight for women was 35# and 55# for men during our workout.  I did it lighter, but I still felt like a bad ass while I was hauling that weight up in the air!

5/3/12 WOD #45

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    3 min jump rope work
                    2x: 10 OHS
                          10 Push ups
                          10 Back extension
                          10 second HS hold
  • WOD: 4 minute row for distance: 768
               4 minute AMRAP 5 HSPU, 5 strict pull ups (green band): 3 rds + 6 reps
               4 minute AMRAP 20 m farmer's carry (started with 20# and switched to 35#), 20 DU: 3 rds
               4 minute AMRAP DB snatch (20#): 16 snatches each arm
For some reason, the snatches made my feet cramp up.  Ah well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scaled bad-assery

The warm up for this WOD involved doing rope climbs.  I have not done a rope climb successfully before but I figured a warm up was a great opportunity to give it a shot.  I managed to get myself halfway up a rope!  ...I don't know how it looked from the ground, but I am sticking with halfway.

5/2/12 WOD #44

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 7 strict pull ups
                          7 jumping lunges
                          7 burpees
                          7 HSPU (scaled)
                    1/2 rope climb
  • WOD: AMRAP 12 minutes
               15 ft rope climb (scaled)
               15 push ups (girly)
               9 rounds + 1 rope climb + 7 push ups

Scaled rope climbs are lowering yourself down to the ground and back up to standing three times for every prescribed rope climb.  Normally this takes me a little bit of time, as I slowly lower myself down and come back up.  For some reason I started this workout with a sense of urgency- I wanted a lot of reps and a lot of rounds.  I move fast at push ups anyway (note to self: I should probably switch to non-girly push ups soon) and I just attacked the scaled rope climbs as fast as possible.  I felt like I was finally in beast mode!  It was sweet!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Manion was a marine killed by sniper fire in Iraq on April 29th, 2007.  He was 26. This workout was created in honor of him.

5/1/12 WOD #43: Manion

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    3 minute jump rope work (perfect!  This gave me a set time to just practice my double unders.  I didn't get any, but I feel like I am getting close.  The rope hits my toes on the second round so I either need to jump higher or spin faster.)
                    Bear crawl
                    Crab walk
  • WOD: 7 rounds for time (30 minute cap)
               400 m run
               29 back squats (55#)
               3 rounds + 400 m run + 6 squats
My squats have a problem that is not common.  I am too flexible.  I drop down into my squats fast and hard and bottom out.  Then it is hard to come back up- I pull my knees in and tip slightly forward onto my toes in order to complete the movement. None of of this is good for my knees, or likely the rest of me either.  So thanks to two very good coaches I worked on my form.  

I think I made some improvement, but it is a lot to concentrate on all at once: elbows back, shoulders strong, butt out, don't bottom out, knees forced out, keep everything tight, chest up, don't collapse on the get the picture.  

The runs rather quickly became staggers after the first round.  Squatting with weight 29 times makes your legs all wibbly wobbly so I had some trouble forcing them into normal movement for a run.  I kept myself going on the run, honestly, by remembering that scene in Forrest Gump where he is carrying his entire injured platoon out of the jungle one by one.  Sorry guys, I just watched that movie the other day and it became my mental military reference for the work out.  Don't hate me.  And don't hate Tom Hanks- he is the nicest guy in Hollywood from what I hear.  And he loves his volleyball very much.

Nooners are fun!

Yup.  Dirty jokes abound in CrossFit.  Snatches, nooners, and yesterday we had a discussion about squat form that degenerated into poop references.  I promise we are, most of us, adults.  At least physically.

This particular workout was on my Thursday off so I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in and hit the noon class instead of the 6 am.  I enjoy hanging out with a different group of people- each class has it's own personality and it is nice to mix it up.  This time I got in early enough that I got to watch one of my friends finish the workout- always dangerous because I got to see how hellish it looked before I even started.

4/26/12 WOD #42:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    50 m: high knees
                             butt kickers
                             lateral shuffle
                             broad jump
                   10 pass throughs
                   10 OHS
  • WOD: 3 rounds for time
               400 m run
               15 OHS (35#)
               30 weighted sit ups (25#)
               Time: 21:13
  • OT: Max overhead hold 25#: 2:30
For the sit ups you grabbed an appropriate weight plate and held onto it while going through the sit up motion, bonking the weight against the ground both when your hands go back and when you sit back up.  And yes, they suck as much as you would think.  By the end I was having to do them in sets of 10 to get through them.  I was the final finisher in my class, BUT I actually beat the time of two of my friends in other classes that day, so I felt pretty good about that.  

I don't always do the overtime, but since it was my day off and peer pressure had everyone doing it, I sucked it up and held another 25# plate over my head.  My goal was to not drop first and I accomplished that goal.  I actually think I was the 4th or 5th to drop, and it was more because my arms were going numb either from lack of circulation or a grumpy nerve in my shoulder or something.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great burning thighs of fire

After Tabata hell my thighs were killing me.  Resting in squat position made my legs practically cramp up with death.  So imagine the joy in my soul when the workout two days later was all about lunges.  ...reading that back to myself makes me sound a little bitter.  But in truth, I love this stuff and my butt is going to look AWESOME because of it.

4/25/12 WOD #41:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    10 mountain climbers
                    10 sit ups
                    10 good mornings (35# bar)
                    10 HSPU
                    10 ring pullups
  • WOD: 100 overhead lunges (25# plate) for time.  Every time you drop the plate, complete 5 ring ball ups.
    Time: 8:16
  • OT: 2 minutes of kipping ring pull ups -> none completed, but I tried!
I set myself a goal for this workout: I wanted to complete 25 lunges at a time before I let myself drop the weight.  I succeeded!   By the end of each set, my quads and glutes were burning like the fire of a thousand suns.  And my shoulders were not in a very happy place either.  I should also point out that I did not actually get a ball up, I mostly just pulled my knees up as far as I could.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tabata hell

I fell a little bit in love with Tabatas when Jen came out to visit and I had my first Tabata.  I really liked the intervals and having an excuse to rest briefly.  This one may have ended my love affair...

Rather than rest during the 10 second breaks, instead we held an active position before going back to the workout.  This resulted in mild agony and less reps overall because I needed to shake out whatever body part was weeping with pain during the 20 seconds of work.

4/23/12 WOD #40: Tabata Hell

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    5 straight pull ups (2x)
                    5 turkish get ups (15# each arm)
                    5 HSPU (weight rack)
                    5 jumping squats
  • WOD: Tabata Hell
               Squats (rest at bottom)- 53 reps
               Push ups (rest in plank)- 60 reps
               Thrusters (rest with bar overhead)- 35# for three reps, then 15# for the rest- 34 reps
               Sit ups (rest with legs 6-12" above floor)- 64 reps
               KB swings (rest without putting the KB down)- 15#- 61 reps
               Total reps: 272
Poop.  I was hoping to break 300.

I really need to rest less.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My amazing bruise.

Started in the shin, moved down the ankle to the foot. It's possible there is a secondary nidus as well because there is a spot just below the ankle that is tender as well. Go me.

Deck of Death

Saturday workouts tend to be interesting and crowded.  And often painful.  This was no different!

The Deck of Death was a team workout.  Each team got a full deck of cards and had to complete the entire deck for time.  Each suit represented a movement with the number on the card dictating the number of reps.  Every member of the team had to complete the allotted movements on the card before the next card could be flipped (which ended up giving our team penalty burpees because some of the guys were getting a little gung-ho about flipping while the slower teammates were still trying to finish the movements.  And yes, I was the slower teammate.  This resulted in a lot of yelling: "NO I STILL HAVE THREE BURPEES LEFT, STOP FLIPPING THE DAMN CARDS."  But anyway...).

4/21/12 WOD #39:

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    10 walking lunges
                    10 sit ups
                    10 push ups
  • WOD: Deck of death
               Spades: squats
               Hearts: burpees
               Diamonds: push ups
               Clubs: sit ups
               Jokers: 400 m farmer's carry (35# then 20#) or fireman carry
               Face cards: 10 reps
               Ace: 11 reps
               Time: 46:42
Even though every movement had equal reps, this felt like never ending burpees.  We may have cheated the joker cards, actually.  Our team did 200 m of firemen carry (getting carried is not actually a picnic.  My sternum felt bruised from the shoulder digging into it.  On the plus side, after approximately 10,000 burpees, it was nice to be able to breathe for 200 m) then we each did the remaining 200 m with a farmer's carry.  I started with the 35# weight but that was awful and the weight kept digging into my wrists and I had to drop the dumb bells every 50 ft or so.  I switched to 20# weights for the second joker card and, while it was still hard, it didn't feel like I was dying.  

Do you want photo evidence?  For once, I have that!  

Push ups (girly style)

I am not adjusting my pants, I am just adjusting the weight.
This was my rally face as I knew I was being photographed.  Rally face fail.  I still look awful.
This is my "praying dog position of please-no-more-burpees"
The Team!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bit by the Box

I believe I have mentioned before that box jumps are notorious for causing injuries in CrossFit.  If you don't have a solid landing, you can slip off and really tear up your shins.  Well I did a bunch of 24" box jumps with no problems, and yet on this work out I managed to hurt myself on the box.  *headdesk*

4/18 WOD # 38

  • Warm up: 800 m run
                    2x: 10 walking lunges
                          10 sit ups
                          10 push ups
                          10 back extensions
  • WOD #38.1: Death by sprints
                         One minute intervals- 1st minute one 50 m sprint
                                                          2nd minute two 50 m sprints
                                                          3rd minute three 50 m sprints
                                                          ...and so on until you can't finish the allotted distance in the allotted time.
                         Result: completed round 3 and was steps away from finishing round 4 successfully.
  • WOD #38.2: 10 min AMRAP
                         10 HSPU
                         10 pistols (alternating)- I used bands as assistance
                         Total: 3 or 4 rounds (lost track) + 5 reps
So how did I hurt myself?  Well the scaled progression for HSPU is to either hook your feet up over a bar on a weight rack and get your torso as vertical as possible, or to get your knees up on a box and do the same.  I had done the bar before, but there were enough people at the bar level and few enough weight racks that I figured I would just do the box.  It happened as I was pulling myself down off of the box to head over for pistols (one-legged squats). I am not the most graceful person in the world, and having your knees up on a box and your hands down on the ground is not the most graceful position to be in, so I managed to smack my shin into the corner of the box.  I gave myself a mild scrape and then a surprisingly large goose egg.  Now, about a week later, I just have a colorful and large bruise spanning my lower shin and ankle with some nice gravity-dependent spread down to my foot.  

Smooth.  That's me.  At least I didn't need to go to the ER, like the last two box jump injuries!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In which I got what I asked for

Every day CrossFit HQ posts work outs.  Often they look insane, but one caught my eye and looked like fun.  So I tagged Lori in a comment requesting the work out and sure enough we did it!

4/16/12 WOD #37:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    25 burpees (I only did 15)
                    10 jumping squats
                    10 sit ups
                    10 grasshoppers
                    10 pull ups
                    10 jumping squats
  • WOD: For time: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
                              Chest-to-bar pull up (green band)
                              Box jumps (24")
                              GHD sit ups
                              Time: 23:35
I liked the looks of this one because it took normal movements and kicked them up a notch: instead of normal pull ups, you do chest to bar; instead of box jumps at the normal women's standard of 20", do them at the men's standards of 24" instead; instead of ab-mat sit ups, do them on the torture machine known as the GHD.  The decreasing rep count is nice because by the end you are exhausted but you only have to do 3 more of each, then 2 more, and then just one rep of each movement and you're done!

This work out sucked while I did it.  At one point on the GHD I looked up at Lori and said, "What crazy person requested this WOD?"  But as always, it was awesome, it was fun, and it felt great to get through it! This was also a milestone for me because I was nailing my taller box jumps without a problem.

Here is the official demo of this WOD:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Helen again

This was an exciting benchmark WOD, because way back in February I did Helen for the first time.  So almost exactly 2 months later, I got to see how much I improved!

4/11/12 WOD #36:

  • Warmup: 400 m run
                   50 double unders (or not)
                   5 pull ups
                  10 push ups
                  15 squats
  • WOD: Helen!
               3 rounds for time: Run 400 m
                                          21 KB swings (started with 20#, 15# on the last two rounds)
                                          12 pull ups (green band)
                                          Time: 15:34
I knocked more than a minute off my original time and did it with a green band this time rather than a blue!  I also did a heavier weight for the first round although I backed it back down.  Also exciting about this work out: I wasn't the last finisher.  It is never a thing to be ashamed of when you are the last finisher, but it is sort of nice to actually finish before someone once in a while.

I know I am woefully behind on my posts, but I will try to catch up again!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wanted: wrist straps

We do a lot of met-con style work outs at our box (and yes, I had to google met-con to make sure it meant what I thought it meant.  Metabolic conditioning with lots of cardio and body weight exercises).  So it is always a special treat when we have a weight lifting work outs!  I guess this means I should pony up my extra $20/month so I can start going to the barbell club and get in some more lifting-heavy-shit time.

4/10/12 WOD #35:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 7 squat jumps
                         7 back extension
                         7 GHD sit ups (I'll explain GHD in a later post)
  • WOD: 100 Overhead Squats for time.  Each time you drop the bar, you must do 7 over-the-bar burpees (aka your burpee ends by jumping over the bar you just dropped).
    35# to start, dropped to 15#.
    Time: 12:47

To put this WOD in perspective, this was just a portion of one of the official WODs from a previous year's Regionals competition.  That particular brand of torture involved 100 pull ups and 100 kettle bell swings and 100 double unders as well.

We do OHS a lot in warm ups, but that is usually with just a PVC pipe so the feel is very different. You get the bar up by doing a snatch so we did the Bergener's warm up to get the movements ready for that.  Then you hold that bar up over your head with your arms held wide and your head through your biceps (aka the bar is behind your head).  Then you stick your booty out and start squatting, keeping that bar in a "sweet spot" that allows perfect balance as the rest of your body is moving.

My goal was to minimize my burpees because I truly hate them.  I wanted to get through 25 squats at a time.  Well I managed the first 25, barely, but my wrists were starting to kill me from holding that heavy (for me) bar in place.  So on my next attempt at 25 I could only get through 12 before my wrists, shoulders, and elbows all rebelled on me and failed.  Then I did 12 more and had to drop again.  I was extremely frustrated.  I felt like I could do the movement, but the weight and something about my form was putting the pressure on my joints and I couldn't handle it.  I was nearly in tears as I pulled my weights off the bar so I could finish.  In penance I guess for having to drop the weight, I was determined to get through the rest of the squats in one go.  I barely did it, but I by God I did make it through without having to do more burpees.

The lessons I think I need to pull from this WOD are all about form.  I think part of my problem was I didn't get my weight in that sweet spot and that made the movement difficult and put extra pressure on my joints.  I also decided I need to get some wrist straps to help keep my wrist from hyperextending on long, weighty work outs like this- that way I can concentrate more on the rest of my form and less on how much my wrists hurt.  Finally, I don't usually get frustrated during WODs.  Exhausted, yes.  Disbelief that I might make it through, always.  But usually not near-tears-anger at myself.  So on the rare occasion that that might occur, I think I need to step back, look at what I am doing wrong, take a deep breath, and modify so that I can complete the work out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hug a twinkie!

This WOD had quite the turn out- possibly because people were hoping there may be actual twinkies involved.  Or, like me, they couldn't resist giggling when they thought of "hug the twinkie" so everyone just had to come and see what it was all about.

This was a WOD posted by CrossFit HQ and slightly modified for our box in deference to the amount of torn hands from the previous day's max pull ups.

4/6/12 WOD #34:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 10 pass throughs
                          10 burpee box jumps (because actual burpees just aren't evil enough sometimes)
                          10 good mornings
                          10 sit ups
                          10 push ups
  • WOD: for time
               800 m run
               10 rounds of: 10 tuck jumps
                                    10 hug-a-twinkie
               800 m run
               Time: 22:20
Hug a twinkie has its origins in gymnastics where a pommel horse is used (hence the twinkie reference).  To do this move you lay on a "twinkie" (aka a box or a GHD machine, or something where the crease of your waist is at the edge of the object).  Then you brace yourself and, in a controlled manner, bring your legs straight up to the point where your hips are open, then back down again.  My "twinkie" was a weight bench with a bunch of weight plates stacked up on it.  Pretty early on in this work out it became apparent that the limiting factor was not going to be my athleticism (although God knows it was a factor), but my ability to breathe while lying flat on a hard surface after a bunch of tuck jumps, and the bones of my pelvis digging into the edge of the plates.  I ended up with some impressive bruises in places that I cannot show off in public.

Here is a video of the unmodified WOD (knees-to-elbows instead of tuck jumps) that will probably explain the twinkie thing better than me:


Friday, April 6, 2012


For the first time since I had to take a week and a half off for being sick in February, I decided to skip Monday's class.  My theory was that I was still nursing some shin splints that started during those damn wall balls so an extra rest day would probably do me some good, and that I would still be able to get my three weekly WODs in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Lo and behold I ended up working the 7:30 shift at work and therefore couldn't do the 6 am class on Tuesday. Crap.  So my first work out of the week ended up being on Wednesday.  And I got to meet another one of the mean girls of crossfit: Nicole.

4/4/12 WOD #33: Nicole

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 7 turkish get ups (TGUs)
                          7 K2E
                          7 HSPU
                          7 Pull ups
  • Challenge: max one rep weight for TGU: 15# (failed twice on the 25# kettle bell)
  • WOD: 20 min AMRAP
               Run 400 m
               Max pull ups (each time you drop from the bar, you go do another 400 m)
               Reps: 38 pull ups and 5 runs
This was a great opportunity to work on my kip.  I am still on the green band which challenges my strength but not so much that I can't work on my form at the same time. I do think my kip is coming along fairly nicely.  When I actually get a good one I can string a few together with ease, although much of this work out was spent hanging from the bar, trying to breath, and gearing myself up for one more kip.  I did beat my initial "max pull up" challenge from before the Open (which was on blue band)- back then I did 11 before dropping, and during this work out I did 12 with the green.

I suppose I should explain the Turkish get-ups.  Conveniently enough, I was explaining them to Andrew the night before this work out so I nearly laughed out loud when I saw them on the board.  So a TGU starts with you on your back, holding a kettle bell up above your head.  The key is to never break eye contact with the kettle bell, or you will lose your form and possibly smash your nose.  The knee on the same side as the KB is bent and your opposite arm is thrown out.  You sit up, always with the KB straight up in the air, and plant your opposite hand so that you can get your hips underneath you, bringing the non-KB leg back so you end up in a lunge position.  Then you stand up.  Ta daa!!  But to complete the rep, you need to do the whole kit-and-caboodle in reverse so you end back on your back, dangling that KB over your breakable face.

Here is a video that will likely explain it better....although he is using a dumbell instead of the kettle bell, the motion is exactly the same.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Proof of concept

I was tempted to skip Thursday.  I was supposed to be cleaning our rental house and because I am lazy I didn't get an early start as planned so I only had a few minutes to gather some bags o' garbage at the house before I needed to leave for the WOD.  But I knew I would regret it if I skipped and would only feel better if I went to CrossFit.

And I was right.  This was a 2-part WOD with a small group of awesome athletes.  We played it Bro's vs Ho's.

3/29/12 WOD #32:

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    40 squats
                    30 sit ups
                    20 push ups
                    10 pull ups
  • WOD #1: 2k row for time
                    Time: 10:40
  • WOD #2: 1 mile run for time
                    Time: 10:53
This was a PR for me.  Perhaps my best mile time since 8th grade when I was running track (I use the word "running" fairly loosely): my first sub-10 minute mile.  

I would like to hold this mile time up as proof of concept that CrossFit works.  The last mile I ran was the very first day of CrossFit back in January.  My time that day was something over 12 minutes.  Even though I had not run a consecutive mile since then, I had participated in over 30 work outs of high intensity and become a stronger, better person.  And my mile time improved by around 2 minutes!  The proof is in the pudding, people.  Or at least, in the PR.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doc's birthday WOD

If you have such a mind and it is your birthday, you can make up your own WOD and submit it to Lori for approval.  I think we can all agree that we are glad Doc was only turning 22.  This was a long WOD that got cut off at 40 minutes for those of us who needed to run home and shower before heading off to work.

3/28/12 WOD #31:

  • Warm up: 50 DU (150 single)
                    10 burpees (actually, we were supposed to do 25, but my pants kept trying to fall down and I just was feeling grumpy so I said "fuck it" and stopped).
                    10 squats
                    10 push ups
                    10 pull ups
                    10 back extensions
  • WOD: 3 rds for time (or 40 minutes, whichever came first)
               Row 22 calories (it takes a depressingly long time to row 22 calories)
               22 wall balls
               22 box jumps
               22 back extension
               22 sit ups
               22 push ups
               22 knees-to-elbows (modified to just tucking my knees up)
               400 m run
               Completed 2 rounds and 18 calories of rowing into round 3
This was a day of wardrobe malfunctions for me.  First my pants wouldn't stay on for the burpees, then my amazing sports bra that I bought from REI YEARS ago and I just LOVE because it is the best sports bra in the world...started to fail on me. The straps are adjusted with a little velcro-style closures.  But on this day every time I jumped or ran or did anything that might be higher-impact, the left strap started coming undone. So every 3 box jumps or so I had to reattach my bra.  And on the run I had to just hold onto my strap.  So this entire work out was overlaid with irritation at everything I was wearing.  

On the plus side, my wall balls were MUCH BETTER after the agony of 12.4.  Nearly every single rep hit the 9 ft mark.  It took me a while, but that's okay because it was something of a redemption.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In which I can do nothing Rx

Many WODs are a happy combination of movements I am competent in and movements that I need to scale because I am still learning.  This WOD was not one of those.

3/26/12 WOD #30:

  • Warmup: 500 m row
                   3x: 7 pass throughs
                         7 OHS
                         7 Strict pull ups
                         7 HSPU
                         7 Squat jumps
  • WOD: For reps, 3 min each of:
                              Max rope climb (scaled this): 4 (+ 2 into climb 5)
                              Max distance HS walks: 4 feet
                              Max back squat (scaled to 65#): 25
                              Max wall climbs: 4 attempts
                              Max DU (I did singles): 140 singles = 46 doubles
                             ~84 total reps

Let's break these down.  
Rope climb: To scale a rope climb you lower yourself down to the floor and back up 3 times for each rope climb.  Your hands still hurt by the end of it and you stand a good chance of getting rope sheddings in your eyeballs if you don't keep your eyes shut as you lower down.  

HS Walk:  I actually don't suck utterly at these.  I can get my feet into the air and pause for a beat before coming back down, and occasionally I can get a step or two in there.  Now, that isn't very impressive, just not awful :)  But I have confidence that it will get better.

Back Squat: I attempted the non-scaled version of this with a higher weight and we rather quickly determined that I haven't really done back squats before and needed to work on my form before challenging myself with heavy weights.  The hardest part for me is getting that sweet spot in my squat where I have broken the horizontal plane with my quads but I am not yet literally ass-to-ankles and can't propel myself back up.

Wall Climbs: deceptively easy when watching Lori demonstrate them, diabolically difficult when attempting them yourself.  The movement here is starting in push up position flat on the ground with your feet against the wall.  Then you walk yourself all the way up the wall so that your belly is flat against the wall at the top, then walk yourself back down.  I kept slipping and sliding my feet up the wall till I was forming a weak triangle with the floor (I'm a hypotenuse!)  and then falling down.  There was a lot of swearing involved.

Double unders: we've talked a lot about these before.  My basic single jumps are improving although I am starting to be limited not by my rope handling (aka getting hit in the head or tripping on the rope and needing to start back up), but by my calves which are starting to cramp up as I do more and more jumps in a row.

Overall: It is good to be challenged by every aspect of the WOD. Not to say that other WODs are NOT a challenge (on the contrary, every single time I go to the box I get my ass kicked and love every second), but that this was more of a technique challenge and a slap in the face telling me I need to get some more techniques under my belt if I want to continue to improve.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

TABATA this!

On Saturday of the last Open WOD my amazing sister-in-law was in town so we did the morning work out together!  (I figured I didn't need to save myself for the Open since I was only going to do 3 or 4 reps.  And besides, at least I would be nice and warm for those thrusters!)

The WOD turned out to be my first tabata.  I still don't know precisely what it stands for, or if it is actually an acronym at all, but I can tell you what it means.  It is a high intensity interval work out: 8 rounds of each exercise with each round consisting of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.  You get a 1 minute rest between each exercise to move on to the next one.

3/24/12 WOD #29:

  • Warm up: 10 walking lunges
                    10 burpees
                    10 strict pull ups
                    200 m run
  • WOD: TABATA this: 8 rounds of 20 sec work, 10 s rest
                                      Squats: 88
                                      Rows: 32 calories
                                      Pull ups: 26
                                      Sit ups: 70 
                                      Push ups: 103
                                      Total: 319
Turns out, I love tabatas!  I love being able to give it my all knowing that in just a few seconds I can collapse briefly on my face and shake it out a bit.  By the end of it my arms were shaky, my legs were shaky, I was sweaty and tired and I felt awesome! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Open WOD 12.5


The final WOD was announced to the standard resounding bitching and moaning in the comments on Facebook (best comments: "Is bitching and complaining Paleo?" and "CrossFit: forging elite whiners").

The official work out was to be a 7 min AMRAP thrusters (65# for women) and chest-to-bar pull ups starting with 3 reps each and going up by 3 reps each round.  This was a bit daunting for someone who just graduated to the second-heaviest band on normal pull ups and who hadn't gotten a kip yet.

For the practice round on Thursday I used bands and tried very hard to work on my kip.  As such, I got less reps in practice than I would have if I had just used the blue band and not tried to touch my chest to the bar.  Instead of the prescribed OT of box jumps after the WOD was finished (short WOD means time for doing extra exercise!) Lori and I tried to work on my kip form.

My goal going into the actual judged WOD was 4 reps: I was confident I could do three thrusters and then I was hoping the adrenaline would carry me into a Hail Mary giant kip-of-awesomeness and get my sternum up to the bar.

I even got a morale bonus for the work out.  My husband and my sister-in-law (who is totally responsible for getting me into CrossFit) were there to cheer me on and that felt pretty awesome!

Long story short: I got 3 reps to submit online.  After my thrusters I had a good 6.5 minutes to work on that Hail Mary and although my kip timing improved as I kept going, I just didn't have the arm strength to carry me all the way up.  And as frustrating as it can be to try and try and continue to fail, I knew going in that my chances were slim.  I'm just not there yet.  But it has given me a new goal: I am going to freaking KILL the kip on band and pretty soon...I'll get off the band entirely.  I just need to give myself time!

Now, let us all bow our heads and reflect on this Open competition.  Or, at least, I will.  I don't know why a month and a half into CrossFit I decided to throw my hat into the games with no chance of making it past the Open.  Maybe it was an extra test for myself, or maybe just the allure of the community and the inclusiveness of the Open, or maybe it was the chance to compare scores with Jen (sister-in-law) long distance.  But I am 100% glad that I did it.  I learned a ton about myself thanks to this competition and I am stronger for it.  Here are my lessons from the Open:

  1. Use the adrenaline.  Don't let it use you.  Doing my burpees I got too carried away right at first and burned out.  Not doing that again!  Ancillary lesson: I still hate burpees.
  2. You can do so much more than you ever thought!  So many times during these workouts I was sure that I would fail. That certain movements or certain weights would be utterly beyond me.  And somehow I did them anyway and that is just amazing to me!
  3. Rage.  Sometimes to get a weight up, you have to get angry.  And no, I am not going to tell you what my personal rage was directed towards.  Maybe if you ask me and I like you.
  4. Form, Form, Form.  My wall balls would not have sucked balls (heh) nearly as much had my form been there.  It really nailed down for me how important your form is, not just to prevent injury, but to maximize your efforts.
  5. Finally: I love CrossFit.  I love the community, I love the challenge, I love the pain and frustration that ends in triumph.  I love it.  And I love you guys.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back to basics

This morning's WOD was a body weight work out focusing on basic movements.  It was short but intense and hopefully will leave us all ready and raring to go for the Open WOD tomorrow.

3/21/12 WOD #27:

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    3x: 7 jumping lunges
                         7 pull ups (green band!)
                         7 KB swings
                         7 push ups
  • WOD: 21-15-9 (for time)
               Pull ups
               Push ups
               Sit ups
               Time: 11:17
This WOD was not too bad for me.  I can get through sit ups and squats pretty steadily if not as quickly as some.  And the push ups I was able to get through surprisingly quickly and easily (who knew the push ups would be my strength this time??).  Oh, and a big thank you to my sister-in-law, Jen, who suggested that I grab an ab mat to set my poor knee caps on for my girly push ups after I was complaining about how they felt like they were going to pop off.  The real struggle for me today was the pull ups.  I started out on the green band for the first time in the WOD.  Not surprisingly, it is harder to manage than the blue band.  I can only do 2 or 3 pull ups at a time before I am struggling to get my chin to the bar.  When I started my second round, someone was using the green band I was using previously so I jumped back onto an open blue band and was amazed at how it practically threw me up to the bar.  I finished the WOD with the blue band.  

So excited to find out the last Open WOD at 5:00 today...!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running and freezing

Monday started too early and too cold for comfort. My car was covered in ice crystals (fortunately not blocking vision as I would have been late if I had needed to scrape my windows). I parked in back of the box and was relieved as I rounded the corner having seen no one running for warm up and that the big door was closed. All signs pointed to an inside day...
...not. Yup: the WOD involved running. Outside.
Ah well. That's why I habitually wear my ratty old UP sweatshirt.
3/19/12 WOD #26:
* warm up: 25 burpees
                   250 m row (didn't do as the rowers were full)
                   2x: 10 pull ups
                         10 pass throughs
                         10 sit ups
                         10 squats
                      Turkish get ups with a bar (technique practice)
*WOD: 3 rds for time
          400 m run
          20 sit ups
          2 rope climbs (scale: lower down and up with the rope 3x/rope climb)
            Time: 16:27
This wod actually felt pretty good (aside from the fact that we nearly froze to death when starting the first run). I run slowly but I never stop, and I can do 20 sit ups with the ab mat without wanting to cry. I did the scaled rope climb, but so did most everyone. My time would actually have been faster, but the 6am class had gotten bigger so in spite of our best efforts most of us still had to cool our heels a bit to get on a rope. And I am proud to say that I actually didn't finish last this time!
My other accomplishment for the day was to attempt some rope climb technique as overtime. The difficulty is being able to loosen the rope wrapped around your leg enough to shimmy your knees up to your chest, then tighten the wrap so you can stand up on the rope. I was actually able to do a little shimmy up so I was pretty proud. I stopped there because the tips if my fingers had gone a bit numb, but if a rope climb rears it's ugly head for the last open wod, I may actually get one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Open WOD 12.4

I was sitting down to write down today's WOD, but then I realized that I got so busy moving this weekend that I never recorded my most recent Open WOD!

The Open workouts are becoming harder and harder, designed to separate the elite from the hoi polloi.  Hint: I'm part of the hoi polloi.  But I very much appreciate that even these WODs that incorporate skills that I don't have yet at least start out with motions that even noobs like me can get through.  That way I wasn't actually disqualified because I can't do muscle ups.

This week's competition actually included one of the benchmark WODs of CrossFit: Karen.  Wherein you do 150 wall balls without dying.  My goal for this work out was to get through as many wall balls as possible without smashing my glasses or breaking my nose.  After watching one of the amazing coaches do her WOD and only get a few reps into the double unders, I modified my goal from "all the wall balls" to "some wall balls."  My additional goal was to keep my pants up for the work out.  This was accomplished thanks to some amazing fashion statements...specifically my standard knee high striped socks combined now with my short skort- super short, super classy, but by God it stayed around my waist!

12 minute AMRAP:

  • 150 wall balls (15# medicine ball, 9' target)
  • 90 double unders
  • 30 muscle ups
Total: 31 wall balls.  Glasses and face intact.

The challenge in this WOD for me became technique.  I realized pretty quickly that my wall ball technique was pretty sucky.  I need to remember the following:
  • Full squat = full power explosion for ball release.
  • Elbows up in front rack to keep the ball close to my midline.
  • Up in the air is not enough, I actually need to aim at and hit my target.
  • It's ok to take a few extra seconds to breathe because if I throw the ball in the air with less than full force, it is just wasted effort.
Suffice it to say, I had a TON of no-reps during this WOD.  I was probably two minutes in and had hurtled the ball unsuccessfully at the target approximately 100 times (it felt like.  I wasn't counting.)  and I heard Chad say, "You've got 2, Andrea!  Keep going!"  By the end of 12 minutes I had hit the target a mere 31 times, but my actual attempts were probably in the 70s.  It was hard not to get frustrated with myself, the ball, and that damn 9' mark I was trying to hit.  I feel like I gave it all, but I could have done much better if my technique was better.  Something to keep in mind as I move through the WODs now: technique, technique, technique.  

On another note, I glanced in the mirror as I was changing into pants after the WOD and realized I had streaks of black down my face.  I don't know if it was from the ball, the floor mats, or my mascara, but it was some pretty serious war paint I ended up with.  Thank heaven I did look in the mirror before going out in public....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Long haul

Today's WOD was one of the longer ones- often CrossFit WODs are fairly short with high intensity.  Today's had a cut off at 35 minutes so we could all get out of there in time for our real jobs.  And I definitely hit that cut off (thank God, because my thighs were burning with the fire of a thousand suns).

3/14/12 (pi day!) WOD #24

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    50 double unders (ha.  Again.  The rope I grabbed was bent in the middle and kept angling to the side.  And I am lame.  So I stopped.)
                    2x (actually only did 1x): 10 chest-to-bar pull ups
                                                          10 box jumps
                                                          10 HSPU
                                                          10 pistols (each legs)
  • WOD: 5 rounds for time (or 35 minutes, whichever came first)
                                         10 pull ups
                                         20 push ups
                                         30 pistols (15 each leg)
                                         40 squats
                                         50 double unders (or 150 single unders)
                                         Time: 3 rounds + 20 push ups + 14 pistols in 35 minutes
For those of you who have never done one, pistols are a one legged squat.  You grab one foot with your hand and lower down so your butt breaks the plane of your knee (ass to ankle) and then stand confidently back up with your weight through your heel.  Most people need to hang onto something for both balance and leverage, but the ultimate goal is to just do them by your onesies.  I find them to be torturous.  Although, let's be honest here: most CrossFit moves are torturous.  And yet I keep going back for more.....

And I just found out the Open WOD that I will be doing tomorrow will be wall balls!  My quads cry...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Because my shoulders were not sore enough

Wall balls are a special kind of hell.  You squat down with a heavy medicine ball in front rack, then you hurl it in a controlled manner up the wall to hit an 8 foot mark, then you catch in perfect front rack form as it hurtles back towards the earth and you drop back into a squat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.Of course if you are me your wall balls are filled with dropping the ball outright as you try to catch it, near-misses of your face, and swear words.  The good news is that I think my wall balls are actually improving somewhat.  I actually had some reps that made me feel like someone who knew what they were doing.

3/12/12 WOD #25:

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    50 double unders (ha.  I just did some jump rope until I started hitting myself in the head too much).
                    2x: 10 squats
                         10 walking lunges
                         10 push ups
                         10 grasshoppers
                         10 tuck jumps
  • WOD: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time:
               Wall Balls
               Overhead walking lunges (25# bumper plate held over the head)
               Sit ups
               Time: 24:44
I look forward to the day that I am fit enough that I don't stagger in last at every WOD.  Not that it is a race, I just think it would be refreshing to be the one clapping for a flagging team mate instead of being the one who still has three rounds to go while everyone else is finding their water bottles.  

In other news, I looked in the mirror this morning and actually saw muscle definition between my deltoids and my biceps.  I am not sure that they haven't been there all along and I only just noticed it, but it felt pretty sweet.  Also, my large thigh bruise from dropping weights on myself is coming along nicely.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Open WOD 12.3

This is a special combo post of both the practice and official WODs or I will never ever catch up with my posts.

So here we are.  12.3 was longer and included more than one type of movement.  The work out was:

18 minute AMRAP:

  • 15 box jumps (20")
  • 12 push presses (75# is the standard for women)
  • 9 T2B
For the practice on 3/8 I scaled this work out.  The box jumps I have a handle on now, although the standard for the Open was to gain control at the top instead of bouncing back to the ground, so that took a small mental adjustment.  Fortunately I have only really done box jumps once for real so I don't have a lot of habits ingrained yet.  One my first round I did my push presses at 45#, but I felt like my form was suffering so I stripped the weight down to 35#.  The toe-to-bar I have not yet conquered so I just pulled my knees up as usual.  I got 4 solid rounds during the practice (144 total reps).

The official judged work out was different.  Not just because of the crazy atmosphere of the competition, but because there was no scaling.  You either did it or you were disqualified.  I was ready to just register a 15 reps for the open- the entire 18 minutes were going to be my 15 box jumps and then maybe I would scale the rest and just not count it.  

But as with WOD 12.2, my awesome coach wanted to see me push myself and get just one more rep.  So we decided I would do my box jumps, then go over to the side away from the other competitors and work on my form for the push press.  During my warm up I managed a 55# push press and felt like I would not be able to do very many of them, so I was not feeling very confident as Lori set up a 65# bar for me to work on.

My heat started.  I got through my 15 box jumps- not with grace or style, but with success.  And my pants wanted to fall off, but they managed to stay up, so that was a success as well.

Then I headed over to the weight.  I managed to clean the bar into a front rack and then over my head.  I managed it twice.  And by God, we added those 10# back on to get me up to 75#.  Suddenly, my reps for the day were 16, not 15.  And I kept going.  More often than not I would fail part way through the motion and have to drop the bar (and twice I tried to lower it gently and managed to catch it on my leg.  I anticipate that it will soon be a bruise the size of my head).  Nearly every attempt was accompanied by my roar of pain and effort.  And every attempt was met with a chorus of shouts of encouragement and advice for my form from everyone around me.  I also managed to break two weight clips dropping the bar.  

I don't know how, but I finished 12 reps.  Every day at CrossFit, I accomplish something that I never thought was possible, and this is never more true than during the Open.  

As soon as I dropped the bar from my final rep, Lori ran me over to the bar to attempt my T2Bs.  I swung and kicked and swung and kicked, but alas, my rep count for the competition stayed at 27.  It looked pretty pathetic next to the other names on the board who were all in the triple digits.  But I am pretty damn proud that two months into this, I am somehow managing to haul weights like that over my head!  And I am sporting a pretty sweet bruise on my sternum as proof of all the times I racked that bar into my chest.

Now I just need to figure out toe-2-bars...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Double feature!

I'm still playing catch up with these posts from being gone over the weekend so this is actually about what happened several days ago... and I am actually getting further behind because we are in the process of MOVING! We just bought a house in Selah (our first house ever) and are slowly moving all our crap to our brand new home :)

Anyway, back to crossfit...

We had another double feature because one WOD was just not enough!

3/7/12 WOD #22:

  • Warmup: 400 m run
                   10 tuck jumps
                   30 m high knees
                   30 m butt kickers
                   30 m lat shuffle
                   30 m broad jump
                   30 m HS walk (or continuing to work on hand stands)
                   20 tuck jumps
                   30 m high knees
                   30 m butt kickers
  • WOD 22.1: ANNIE
                       50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of...
                       Double unders (or 150-120-90-60-30 singles)
                       Sit ups
                       Time: 20:47
  • WOD 22.2: Three rounds for time:
                       500 m row
                       10 HS Pushups
                       Time: 12:05
I am honestly still getting my technique for normal jumping rope down and efficient without hitting myself in the head too much (or doing that really cool false start where the rope catches on your foot or some other body part repeatedly).  But it is getting better so I might be able to do real double unders soon.  I also was not doing true HSPU- I had my feet hooked on a weight bar on a rack and did them from there.  I could barely bend my elbows and it was freaking HARD.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Official Open WOD 12.2

Today's blog entry is a catch up from last Thursday- I never had a chance to sit down and write about the second WOD of the Open, so here it goes!

12.2 of the Open was a bit stressful from the outset because I left this weekend on a whirlwind trip to Tuscon to see one of my best friends get married and to visit family.  We left on Thursday night to get to the airport and because the WOD is released Wednesday at 5:00 and must be submitted by 5:00 on Sunday, that meant my only time to be judged was Thursday during my lunch.  And because I was asked to work early that morning, I couldn't even go into the 6 am class to practice first.  Then I found out that the WOD was snatches.  By all accounts, a snatch is the most technical of the Olympic weight lifting lifts and if you don't do it right or get unlucky, you can injure yourself pretty terribly doing them (while I was doing my snatches, Andrew was watching you tube clips of snatches gone wrong).  A clean snatch (and yes, snatch jokes run pretty rampant) is taking your barbell from mid-shin (aka resting on the ground) and in one smooth motion lifting it above your head with your elbows locked, your shoulders active, and your hips open.  And here was the best part: I had never done a single snatch. Ever.  

So I tried to go into this WOD without shaking in my striped socks, but with the attitude that I would learn how to snatch today, by gum.  Maybe if I was lucky, I would do one rep at Rx without hurting myself and feel pretty damn good about it.  Lori knew I was coming in dangerously novice at this and that I wasn't the only one.  We went through the warm up and then she led us through the Burgener's warm up which is designed to break down the motions of the snatch so your muscles can remember them when you are doing them for real.  All during the warm ups and my practice of the motion with a 15# bar, I was feeling it in my shoulders.  My rotator cuff was making uncomfortable popping noises.  This all boded ill.  And on my first try with the Rx weight of 45#, I did the motions wrong and couldn't get it above my head.

But then we started and Lori was both judging me and coaching me through the motions.  And suddenly I was snatching!  Each time I dropped the weight  either Lori or another athlete would tell me where my form needed to be tweaked and each time I would muscle that weight into the air above my head.  It.  Was.  Awesome!!  I couldn't help but laugh as I kept going because, as it turns out, lifting heavy shit is FUN.  Someone described the snatch as "seductive," and I cannot help but agree.

OPEN WOD 12.2: 10 minutes to do the following:

  • 30 snatches at 45#
  • 30 snatches at 75#
  • 30 snatches at 100#
  • Max rep snatches at 120#

    Total: 30 reps at 45#
I will say that much to my surprise, I finished the 30 reps before the 10 minute mark, so I added weights to hit 75# and gave it a shot.  Not so much.  I could get it about to my fat roll and no further.  In fact, when I first went to try, I hauled the thing up and said something along the lines of, "Oh dear sweet God in heaven!" as I dropped it back to the floor again.  Ah well, I think going from zero to 45 is a pretty good PR for the day!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dano's farewell WOD

Every time my alarm goes off at 5:20 on a CrossFit morning, I struggle to get out of bed.  I really love sleep and my bed is pretty awesome, so it is difficult to get myself moving.  I stagger to the bathroom to dress in my tron pants, sport's bra, and shirt of the day, brush my teeth, and head out into the cold, dark streets to make it to the box just in time for the 6 am class.  As I drive there I wonder what I'm doing to myself.  But every.single.time. it is 100% worth it.  I have no regrets as I drive back home to my sweet, sweet shower.  I have fallen in love with CrossFit, and I fall a little harder every day.

Today's WOD-o-torture was brought to us by a departing member of the box.  Dano is moving across the country and wanted to give us something to remember him by...

On an unrelated note, we got several inches of snow last night.  What the hell?!  Alright, back to the WOD.

2/29/12 WOD #20: Dano's WOD

  • Warm up: 500 m row
                    20 burpees
                    10 pass throughs
                    10 pull ups
                    (there was more, but I got to this point and heard, "Everyone through the warm up?  Ok!  Let's go!" so that was where I stopped.)
  • WOD: 5 rounds for time: 10 ball ups
                                           1 rope climb (modified)
                                           10 sit ups
                                           250 m row
                                           10 box jumps (20")
                                           10 pull ups (blue band still.  Tried the green during the warm up and I can do a couple pull ups at a time, but I knew for today's total of 50 I would need more support than the green band can provide).
                                          10 double unders (or 30 singles)
                                          Time: 4 rounds completed and 36 reps into round 5 at 32:30 (aka I was 4 pull ups into round 5).  For some reason people were having trouble completing 5 rounds in a reasonable time frame, so they called us done at 7 am.
This was definitely a modified WOD for me, and actually the kind of thing I was fearing would be the first WOD of the Open.  I am not yet able to climb a rope, so the modification was to lower yourself slowly down to the floor and back up to standing using the rope (three times for each rope climb).  I believe you were actually supposed to keep your body rigid as you lowered and raised yourself, but I didn't feel like I was even cheating by lowering myself to my butt first- it was damn hard just doing that!!  I also realized again that the other day when I was kicking ass at ball ups, I was fooling myself.  With the rings hanging high enough, I can barely do the movement necessary to bring my knees to my chest.  The double unders I modified as well because I haven't done even normal jump rope in years, and I don't think I ever managed double unders even as a kid on the play ground.  I'll get there, but today I just did the 30 single jumps and got back into the rhythm of the rope.

Monday, February 27, 2012

First to get eaten by a zombie

Yesterday for the Open, I took myself on a quick run around the box as part of my warm up and it felt awesome.  It was a true run (rather than a jog or a stagger), the sun was shining, my adrenaline was up, and I just felt good.  Mind you, this was before the 7 minutes of burpees that I am sure made me look like I was being pummeled to the ground with an invisible two-by-four (the only analogy I can think of to described my repeated collapses to the ground and staggers to my feet).  But, man oh man, the warm up was SWEET.

Today's running...was not.  I don't know if it was the freezing temperatures this morning (28 when I left my house), or backlash from yesterday, or what, but this WOD involved running and the results for me were not pretty.  I realized halfway through my first lap that if we were being chased by zombies, I would be the first to die (or maybe second since my natural paranoia of the zombie apocalypse may have given me an early start on escaping while everyone else was wondering why that person was drooling blood and trying to gnaw on someone's arm).

2/27/12 WOD #19:

  • Warm up: 400 m run
                    2x: 10 pass throughs
                         10 OHS
                         10 pull ups (today's warm up became an impromptu lesson on kipping.  I still don't get it but I feel like it might be easier with a lighter band so I can get the full motion.  Soon I will switch to green, I just felt too wimpy to try it today).
                         10 push ups
                         10 back extensions
  • WOD: 3 rounds for time: 400 m run/stagger
                                           20 wall balls
                                           10 pull ups
                                          Time: 21:14
I am not going to count this as a true "milestone," but my wall balls have improved.  That is not to say that they were good (on the contrary, they sort of sucked), but that I was actually to the point that I wasn't dropping the medicine ball every time, or hitting myself in the face, or falling over.  Considering last time I did wall balls, I had to modify them to just doing the motion with a dumb bell because I came so close to breaking my glasses every time, I definitely count this as baby steps in the right direction!