18.2 … or how crossfit humbled me yet again

Just last week I was discussing how good I felt about two different workouts. I was riding a crossfit high that doesn’t happen very often, except perhaps on back squat day. I even was proud of something with burpees!

And … then 18.2 was announced. Twelve minutes. Burpees, dumbbell squats and cleans. Dumbbell squats? Oh cool! Burpees? Yuck, but doable. Cleans? An opportunity to work on my form, right? So go me, something I can Rx! Assuming I can get through the burpees that is. I knew going in there was no point to scaling because it wasn’t going to be the dumbbell that was the issue.

Burpees are my nemesis (I have many crossfit nemeses, but burpees make the top of the list every time). I’m not fast, jumping over the bar will slow me down even more. I’m always worried I will trip over the bar, or hit my head on it, or my calf will hurt… or or or …

I did the workout Friday in class and managed 101 total reps. Nine shy of even getting to the cleans. I watched all these ladies in the box get through and get several cleans in. So what is wrong with me?

Pondered all weekend whether or not to go again. I’ve never repeated an Open workout because, let’s face it, I’m not and never will be a Games athlete so what does it matter? It mattered because I didn’t even finish the first workout, much less get to the second part.

Driving out of town gave me hours to think. And I basically decided I was going to do it again Monday (unless back squats were on the menu). I mentally prepped for, if not moving factor, then at least not stopping. I somehow needed to find two minutes. One would work, two would be better.

3-2-1 Go. I felt I was moving pretty well. My tests were a lot shorter, I was more efficient at getting the dumbbells to my shoulders and they were closer so I was wasting less time with them.

I’m not great at burpees, but I tried to keep moving, even though by round 7 I wanted to throw up. I also knew there was no way I was finishing at that point. I wasn’t moving fast enough. I picked up the squats, but couldn’t find the speed in the burpees.

I DID get 4 more burpees, so I did do better. But once again, I’m left feeling like a failure for not finishing, while all around me people are getting PR’s.

So I’m walking out beating myself up for not being faster, for not being stronger, for doing crossfit for 3 and a half years and still can’t do: toes to bar, pull-ups, box jumps, double unders, rope climbs, and the Olympic lifts. I know deep down I’m not a failure and I will get over this, but it’s frustrating.

My coaches are all about PMA. I get that attitude can make a difference, but I’m a realist, I know my limitations in terms of workout engine. I can be all “I can do a muscle up” all day long and it’s not going to happen as I don’t have the strength nor the coordination. Does that mean I cannot work on those things? No. But simply believing isn’t going to make that a reality.

So I will mentally beat myself up today. And tomorrow I will show up, and do my best at the workout the coaches have in mind for us, like I always do.

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The Open is Coming

Another year, another Open is upon the athletes of crossfit-Land. Once again, perhaps against my better judgement, I’ve signed up.

This past year, I’ve watched all these women move well past me in terms of abilities and skills. And here I am stuck in the same spot (I’m not really, but it often seems that way). I jokingly call that “The Overachievers Club”. I’m mostly jealous of them. Why do I have to try to find time outside of class to learn pull-ups and double unders? These ladies did it in class!!

Ok, ok… it’s possible they worked at home on these skills too.

Today we did 17.5. (10 rounds of 9 thrusters and 35 singles/double unders). My coach didn’t let me do this one last year due to my nagging calf injury. And while I wouldn’t say I’m 100%, I’m about 95%, and did the scaled version today with no issues.

That workout has a 40 min time cap. And I went in there going (please beat the cap). Then I thought, please get under 20 min. Then it was, please under 15. I did it in 14:42. Since I didn’t have a baseline, I was actually happy with this number. I was even happier that I did all the jumping and didn’t hurt afterwards.

And …. then I looked at the whiteboard. I know! Don’t remind me. I’m not supposed to compare. And my very last post was all about how happy I was with my performance! Turns out, my time really wasn’t all that good, and I find myself in a funk because I know I could have pushed harder, but I also know I wanted to make sure I paced myself due to fear of re-injury.

I guess in the end, it doesn’t matter. My score is my score and I can work to improve my mental game next time.

Bring on the open.

What is happening to me?

I started off the new year on vacation, so I missed out on the new year’s WOD and the first few. I came back to my birthday WOD, which, while it wasn’t fast, I did Rx+ BOTH workouts, I believe I was the only woman to do so.

This week, we tested 50 calories for time on the Assault Bike. I took 41 seconds off my previous time. Not only was under 5 minutes, I did it in 4:09.

Today was Karen. Again, I took time off my score. My first time I did it in 10:50. The second time in 16:41. Today was 9:56. A near minute PR off my best time.

So I’m not at the bottom of the leaderboard for two workouts that I expected to be at the bottom. Okay, okay… I know we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to everyone else, but why have a leaderboard if not for the friendly competition, and perhaps, push that comes from seeing what your fellow athletes are doing?

My point in all of this is.. I’M NOT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LEADERBOARD! What is my life? Ok … it’s not like I’m at the top, but I never expected to match or beat some of the folks in my class, much less the other classes. These are women that I look up to. These are women who are really quite good!

So I ask again… what is happening to me? Who am I? Perhaps someone who is actually getting better at this? Or at least had a couple of good days. Whatever it is, I will take it!

My partner marathon row

Things have been so busy I’ve neglected to discuss something I’m actually quite proud of! The first weekend of December, my friend (and Rx contributor), Lynette and I did a partner marathon row, switching every 1000m.

This was probably the second hardest thing I’ve ever done (the Wooster Urban Adventure Challenge being the first). Mind you, I’m not a strong rower to begin with, and cardio isn’t my thing at all. But I felt this was something I could do, even if I did it slowly.

Three hours and eighteen minutes later we were done. About 30,000m in, I did NOT want to continue. That last 10,000m seemed so daunting. My hands were shredded, my times for 1000m we’re getting much slower and around 750m in that stitch in my side started showing up, making the last 250m of each set agony.

But we kept going because at that point, what else did we have to do? Also, one doesn’t quit when one is more than 3/4 of the way there.

I was unaware that Lynette also wanted to quit (I mean not really, but it crossed her mind too). So the fact that we both just kept getting on the rower and never said anything other Han encouraging words meant that we just kept going.

My hands still haven’t recovered, but we can say we did it. Something hard, something we weren’t told to do, something not part of a WOD, special weekend, fund-raiser, or Hero WOD. We did it for “fun”.

I don’t really have a desire to do it again, but I’m proud that I did it.

Monthly Challenge

Every month our box does a challenge. Usually (in my opinion) it’s some unattainable number of something. 1000 push-ups, 1600 min of planking, 150 strict pull-ups. Ten billion double unders (jk … it just SEEMED like 10 billion). 

This month we are doing something slightly different. We are supposed to do 10-20 push-ups every day right when we get out of bed. 

Finally somethat that seems attainable! Not something that I will get 1/3 to 1/2 way through and feel bad about myself for not getting anywhere close to finishing the challenge. 

Get up. Ten push-ups. Got it.

I’m going with two caveats…

1. I’m going potty first. There is no way I could do even 1 without peeing. 

2. I’m doing them in the bathroom. My dogs do not understand people exercising on the floor and are prone to noming and humping. No thank you. 

So with those two caveats, I’m jumping into this challenge with both feet. 

Monthly Challenge

Every month our box does a challenge. Usually (in my opinion) it’s some unattainable number of something. 1000 push-ups, 1600 min of planking, 150 strict pull-ups. Ten billion double unders (jk … it just SEEMED like 10 billion). 

This month we are doing something slightly different. We are supposed to do 10-20 push-ups every day right when we get out of bed. 

Finally somethat that seems attainable! Not something that I will get 1/3 to 1/2 way through and feel bad about myself for not getting anywhere close to finishing the challenge. 

Get up. Ten push-ups. Got it.

I’m going with two caveats…

1. I’m going potty first. There is no way I could do even 1 without peeing. 

2. I’m doing them in the bathroom. My dogs do not understand people exercising on the floor and are prone to noming and humping. No thank you. 

So with those two caveats, I’m jumping into this challenge with both feet. 

Am I becoming friends with the Assault bike?

What is happening to me? I feel like a stranger in my own brain today.

Thursdays at my box we get a choice of cardio workouts that are all slightly different and all designed to make you regret your choice, no matter which one you choose.

Today we had three options:

1. Suicide sprints and bear crawls

2. Max effort rowing for 40 seconds

3. Max effort Assault Bike for 20 seconds

Each workout had its own rep scheme and its own rest built in. Lately, I have been picking the Assault Bike because I’m not good at it, it scares me, and we generally hate each other. I pick it for those very reasons. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, or something like that…right?

Sometimes (nearly all the time if I’m honest), I don’t understand how to plan to spread my limited energy out to make it through a workout. But max effort? I get that. Each round for 20 seconds, you go until you cannot move. Until your muscles scream and beg. And then you keep pushing because there are 5-7 seconds left on the clock and rest is coming. I know I have about 10-12 really great seconds in me and then it’s a mental game to get the rest of the way.

Eight rounds. Twenty seconds. Three minutes of rest.

Rounds 1 and 2 I got that bike to 97 RPM. I will repeat that: 97 RPM! TWELVE calories. This is a PR by such a long shot that it’s almost funny. And yet I cannot adequately describe how my heart filled with pride at this. I was barely able to stand, I was trying to breath out of my skin to get more oxygen, there were still 6 more rounds to go.  And yet, I felt good.

I felt good about something I did on the Assault bike? Who am I? Where was the person who wrote “the Assault Bike is my nemesis”? What was happening to me?

I got 80 calories in those 8 rounds. Yes, my performance declined in subsequent rounds, but 4 of the 8 rounds I was able to hold it over 90 RPM for 10-12 seconds before my max effort dropped into the 70’s. The other four rounds I kept in the mid -80’s for 10-12 seconds, before having to drop into the 70’s.

I know there are athletes out there who could keep that dang bike in the 90’s (or higher) for all 20 seconds. But you know what? I’m not them; I’m not comparing myself to them either. I’m comparing myself to last week, last year, 2 years ago. And today, I can proudly exclaim that I gave it my all. I am STILL feeling the pain, 5 hours later. And I’m happy with what I did today. Yes, it destroyed my ability to do pushups, but I don’t care. I am happy with an Assault Bike performance.

Are we becoming friends? Is that even possible?