Friday, March 29, 2013

Open WOD 13.3/Chelsea Girl WOD (Workout Recap Week of 3/18)

Monday - Wendler's Week 3 (Back Squat and Bench Press)
Monday was a kick-butt lifting kinda day!  Makes me SO glad I resisted the urge to retest 13.2 on Sunday and just took a rest day.
Got a huge compliment at the gym.  Apparently another trainer told Jared he saw me doing my back squats next to a high school guy. "They loaded the same amount of weight on their bars, and your wife was totally showing him up.  Her form is great!"
My "heavy" sets for back squats just didn't feel too tough.  My improved mobility is totally paying off and I'm pumped to hit my goal of #185 by the end of the month!
My bench press was even better!  I was feeling so strong and ended up scaling most of my lifts up a little.  I did two separate lifts at my old on rep max!  Hoping to crush it and break #100 when I retest in two weeks.
Was in way too much of a hurry in the morning and didn't bring my Progenex, so I settled for the best thing on hand at the gym.
Tuesday - CrossFit
Got to class early and worked my double unders and chest to bar pullups.

We did snatch balance work...I went up to 6 reps at #33.

The WOD was Fight Gone Bad style:
3 rounds
(1 minute each station)
Row for Cal
Push Press #65/45
Walking Lunges
Weighted Sit ups #45/25

I really pushed myself - I am working on my mental game and being okay with discomfort.  I scored a total of 240!

Wednesday - Rest/active recovery
Took it easy with 4 x 400 meter repeats on the rower, resting 2 minutes between each.  Great to get the blood flowing and get in 15 minutes of mobility.

Also...Jared bought me tea!!!

I got to choose some free stuff from course I maxed out on designer bandaids!  I'm always hurting my

Thursday - CrossFit

Skill work was butterfly or kipping practice.  Since my kip is not totally solid yet, there was no reason to try butterfly pullups...but it was fun watching some other athletes taking a stab at the technique!

We got to choose a make-up WOD from Monday thru Wednesday.  I went with Wednesday (Monday included thrusters which seemed like a bad idea to do right before 13.3).  


Scaled kettlebell swings from #35 to #26 and did 800m rows instead of runs.  First four burpees were horribly slow and felt so tough...I was stepping each foot back and then dropping down.  Decided to amp up my mental game and did almost all the sets of kettlebell swings unbroken and almost all the burpee sets unbroken.
Friday - CrossFit Open 13.3
My best mental approach to an Open WOD this year!  My goal was to do a few double-unders (last year I only got through 90 wall balls before the time cut-off.

This was also my first time at one of our Friday throwdowns - everyone brought their game and we had a blast!!!  (Thanks to Kristi for the awesome photos!)
Kristi (blue) didn't get no repped ONCE on her wall balls!
I made it through all 150 wallballs AND 18 double unders!
Saturday - Olympic Lifting/Girl WOD
So sore I could barely walk in to class from the parking lot.
Of course we were doing squat snatches and Chelsea.
I LOVE EMOM workouts so I can't complain too much.  Worked up during the 10 minutes from #35 to #65!
Chelsea is like Cindy's bossy older sister:
30 minute EMOM of pullups, pushups, and squats.  The highest score you can get is 30. 
You lose one point for every time you don't finish a round in time to start a new one on the next minute.  For example, in the first minute you finish a full round.  In the second minute, you get through 12 air squats before the third minute starts.  You finish your last 3 air squats, deduct a point from 30, and rest until the fourth minute starts and you start a new round!
I was doing great until my right hand tore open about 9 rounds in.  Hadn't taped well enough.  Lost at least two points while Jared fixed me up...and two rounds later tore my left hand!  Yikes.

I only lost 13 points, so a score of 17 seemed pretty good all things considered!  Finished up my "workout" with an almost two hour massage.  SO needed it.
Sunday - REST

Still hardly walking from extra soreness from Chelsea and my torn hands.  Spent a ton of time reading and chilling.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The CrossFit Blues

We're about halfway through the CrossFit Open of 2013.  We've all completed at least two workouts, and we're getting to watch the elite fight for the top scores in the world.

For some, this is a really exciting and motivating season.

For me, it's kind of been a discouraging one:

1. I was sick with flu right before 13.1, which would have been a really awesome workout for me.  I love burpees and am fairly efficient with my technique, and I've also put in a ton of time on my Olympic lifts.  My score was still alright, but not what I know it could have been if I did the WOD healthy.

2. I didn't push nearly as hard as I could have on 13.2 Most people were on the floor when they finished and I wasn't even that tired.  I had enough in me to work on strength and skills for an HOUR later that day.  I didn't take a bunch of breaks on 13.2, I guess I just moved slowly on my deadlifts especially...which stinks because deadlifts are a great movement for me and those were light.

13.2 Scoresheet

3. I lost sight of my original goal for the OpenLast year in 2012, there were some workouts where I couldn't even get a score of 1 due to limitations in strength or skill.  My goal this year was to get a score of at least 1 on every workout.  So far I have crushed that, but instead of being proud of myself, I've compared myself to the other athletes at my box and felt jealous of them if they beat me.

I was so upset with myself on Saturday morning (after 13.2) that I could hardly think anything except "I suck at CrossFit."  I had to fight myself to work on my skills.  I kept thinking, "Why bother?  I suck at this, too, even after working on it for months."  I actually cried on the way to the grocery store!!!

From talking to a few other CrossFit athletes, it seems I may not be the only one having a "Woe Is Me" season.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a few tips that are helping me work through my frustration with my limitations.
  • Talk to your coach.  I spent a while sobbing my broken little CrossFit heart out to Jared on Saturday.  He had some really good insight, reminding me what my strengths are in the gym, and helping me to refocus on the fact that ultimately I am only competing against myself, and when it comes to that, I have beat my old self pretty handily!
I love this guy
  • Keep your goals realistic.  You should definitely see improvement from last year or even a couple months ago, but chances are your body is not going to do any magic for you in five short weeks.  Don't set yourself up for disappointment - if you aren't even one of the best athletes at your probably aren't gonna make top 100 in the region.  Tailor the goals to what YOU can do (don't make your placement the only goal).  For me I need to stick with my first goal of a score of "1."  Everything else this year is icing on the cake!
7 minutes of burpees in 12.1 last year

  • Focus on how you've improved since the previous Open.  For me, one of my biggest areas of improvement is my pullups.  Last year, I couldn't do ONE without a band.  In the summer I got my first dead-hang pullup, followed shortly by my first kipping pullup.  Recently I performed a WOD that included 39 kipping pullups!  Make a list for yourself comparing "Where I Was" to "Where I Am."

  • Remember that CrossFit is not the be all and end all of life.  Chances are you have a few other interests and talents in your life.  Think outside The Box!!!  Don't spend every free moment reading about the Games and tips to do better and obsessing about your diet and strategizing your reps.  Read a book!  Hang out with a non-CrossFitting friend (these people are so sane and fun)!  Eat a doughnut!  Catch up on your favorite TV show! 
  • Continue training and stick to your OTHER CrossFit goals throughout the Open season.  Chances are you had something you were working on before the Open (double-unders, a power clean PR, your first muscle-up).  Since most of us aren't going to the Games, or even Regionals, we shouldn't ignore all the other work we want to do in favor of totally zeroing in on the five workouts of the Open.  If you were coming to class early to work on skills or strength, keep it up and track your progress!
Working on my strict press

You tell me - what are your goals for the 2013 CrossFit Open?  Are you totally pumped and inspired this year, or struggling with comparisons and discouragement like me?  How do you stay sane and not let CrossFit doubts crush you?

Monday, March 18, 2013

CrossFit Open 13.2 (Workout Recap Week of 3/11)

Monday - Back Squat and Bench Press
Week 2 of my Wendler's Lifts.  Made all the lifts I was hoping for and saw a lot of improvement in my form in both my back squat and my bench press.  Probably the 20 minutes of mobility before lifting really helped.
Tuesday - CrossFit
Showed up early to get in at least 5 minutes of work on my double unders.
Dude.  I was tanked from the Open on Sunday and from lifting on Monday.  I was really pleased with my front squats but decided to scale weight and reps on the WOD.

Tore up my right hand again on the kettlebell swings and pullups.  Annoying.

Wednesday - Rest
(Watch Iceland Annie versus Lindsey Valenzuela)
After Tuesday's WOD took me SO long even with scaling, realized I needed a total day off.  Got home and had protein/peanut butter/kale smoothies for dinner while watching the announcement for the Open 13.2

Thursday - CrossFit (Active Recovery)
Showed up early to get 50 double unders in.  It took me five minutes but I am not giving up on these!  I need to get proficient in this skill.

Worked on overhead squats, keeping inside of elbows pointing up.  Used a #15 kettlebell for the hip extensions.

Didn't want to be gassed on the Open the next day so did the recovery WOD.  Sprinting on the rower is something I rarely do so it was good to push myself and work on form.  Kept all sets within 3 seconds of each other!

Finally got my hair cut on Tuesday.  Working out so much means tons of showers and I just didn't have the time to wash my uber thick long hair.  Already so much faster with the new do!

I danced for 2.5 hours Thursday afternoon as I'm now part of a musical production going up in May.  Fun to see how CrossFit has helped me with choreography!
Friday - Racquetball
Work kept me really late and I missed both the 4pm and 5pm sections of the weekly throwdown.  Glad at least I got to move (and play pretty well) on the court.
Saturday - Open WOD 13.2
Got to take on shoulder to overhead, deadlifts, and box jumps with some of my favorite girls at the box!

Amy was retesting to beat her Friday score, and Heidi and Jess B were in for the first time, like me.  We made a fairly impressive showing:

My overall goal for the open this year was to have a score for every workout.  My goal for this WOD 13.2 was 6 rounds...I was HOPING to break 200 reps but 180 reps would have been 6 rounds so 195 wasn't too bad.

But then I had a CrossFit emotional meltdown.  I was really disappointed in myself because when I was done I had so much left in the tank and I know I could have done a lot better.  I actually was so upset with my performance at CrossFit in general that I cried to Jared later that day.  Boy this sport is so intense for me!
Sunday - Rest

We went to the box and did an hour of much needed mobility work.  I decided not to try to retest 13.2 because I had only had Wednesday off and I have learned my body needs at least 2 rest days out of every 7.

Jared was a champ and treated me to date night St. Paddy's style.  We watched an uber-fun kids movie with drinks and Irish whiskey cheese and crackers.

Then we shared a beer with Jared's awesome creation of bangers and sweet potato stew!

Kinda glad the week is over, not gonna lie.

You tell me: Is the Open fun, or stressful?  How many times do you try each WOD?  What are you hoping for in 13.3?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Superhero Wednesday

Ray: Investment
Ray is one of those guys who always puts up one of the highest scores on our whiteboard.  He's strong, fast, and rarely seems to get sidelined by injury.  I think I've found the secret to Ray's constant improvement: 
He invests.
Ray almost always shows up at least 15 minutes before class starts.  He makes use of the extra time doing mobility, strength, or skill work.  If the programming for the day is heavy on strength, he might come in extra early and swim at the gym, or stay late after class and get a quick run. 
During class he pays close attention to the coaches trying to learn something new, and never complains about the type of movements in the workout.  He comes prepared with his own Oly shoes and jump rope, and he's always refueling post-WOD with a recovery drink.
To get fit with CrossFit, you really only need some good coaching and a couple classes a week.  To get GOOD at CrossFit, you probably need to invest like Ray. 

You tell me: who's your inspiration this week?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Workout Recap (CrossFit Open WOD 13.1)

Boy what a week!  Have I been getting my WOD on?  You bet!
Monday: Lifting/CrossFit
The Mercer Island CrossFit programming for the day focused on skill work with a Tabata WOD, so I knew it would be a good day for lifting.  I went to the gym about an hour before CrossFit to do the first cycle of Wendlers for back squat and bench press.  I focused more in terms of time on my back squat, but I still got some good benching in as well.  My girl Jess came early to bench with me which was a ton of fun!  (And also nice to have such a cute spotter.)

 Our skill work was hard (esp after I whipped myself in the chin with a band doing assisted ring dips) but I feel like I am finally seeing some progress in my pistols!

The Tabata was not very high scoring for me...I stink at am still working on wall balls, and I decided to use a band and work on my chest to bar pullups instead of regular kipping pullups...and my double unders are not very consistent.  So my only "strong" movement this WOD was the V-ups.  Seriously I am desperately hoping for V-ups in the Open!!!


Tuesday: CrossFit

One of my new favorite breakfasts is two fried eggs with a mix of Trader Joe's liquids...100% carrot juice, 100% tangerine juice, and Zico coconut water.  Usually 8oz or so of carrot juice to 4oz each of the tangerine juice and coconut water. 
This works great for me pre-WOD and doesn't take a ton of time...especially since Jared fries the eggs for me.
Skill work was fairly straight forward.  I am now able to link 3 strict pullups...can't wait until I can do 5!

The Air Force WOD was absolutely brutal.  Having burpees (which I normally love) every minute just killed me.  The weight was pretty heavy for me so pretty soon I was only getting a few reps each minute.  I didn't finish within the time cap.  Yikes.

Our home is a disaster since we live & breathe CrossFit
It's the Open, okay?

Wednesday: CrossFit
Strength was to find your 1RM power clean.  My previous max was #110.  I am really hoping to reach #125 soon and thought I could get at least #120.  I got a little distracted with it being a full class and although I got #115, I failed #120 twice (the second one was so close!!!)  I was really disappointed...but I DID have a PR so I am at least happy with being 5 pounds closer.
I scaled the kettlebell swings from #44 to #26 on the WOD cause I felt a little deflated after the cleans.  Focused on great form with box jumps and pushups.  Wanted to finish under 15 minutes...and I did!

Thursday: Active Recovery

Strength was an EMOM (my fave!) of deadlifts and handstand pushups.  I scaled the deadlifts a ton to #95 cause I didn't want my forearms to be sore for the Open on Friday.  I've been working on Games' standard handstand pushups in case they appear in the Open.  I used plates (but not #45s) and an Abmat for my first 9 reps!!!  It is so fun to have made such progress on this movement when it was over a year of CrossFit before I could even do one handstand pushup!
For active recovery, I rowed for about 20 minutes at a chill pace.
Friday: Day of Death...AKA the Stomach Flu
Haven't been this sick in years.  Sheer misery.
Saturday: "Recovery" from puking my guts out on Friday

Sunday: CrossFit (13.1 Open WOD!)
I guess the upside of being SO sick was that I had no energy at all to worry about the Open.  Normally I get kinda dramatic about things and freak out unnecessarily, but this time I was pretty chill!  I originally hoped to get through all 30 reps of the #75 snatches, but after being so sick and hardly being able to eat for a couple days, I knew I'd feel happy with just a few reps at the #75.
Jared had done his WOD on Friday, but wanted to get at least one rep at #165.  It was awesome to watch him repeat the WOD and achieve his goal!

I went in "the second heat" - I was the only person but sometimes I like to WOD alone actually.  It helps me not worry about what other people are doing.  I felt a little light headed after the 40 burpees, but I was able to start the 30 snatches at #45 without too much rest and my form was pretty good on those.  I decided to split snatch which worked really well.
Then it was back to the burpees.  I only had a couple no-reps during my burpees which was really nice.  I tried to focus on good form and using my momentum whenever possible.
The snatches at #75 were not all I hoped they'd be.  I don't know if my brain was still fuzzy from the stomach flu, but all of a sudden it was like I couldn't remember how to do a power snatch.  I got distracted and failed several reps, but I was able to not feel too stressed or rushed and in the end I got 6 at #75.  Not what I'd originally planned, but with the flu being considered, not too bad.
Coach Jared submitting our scores!!!
Tell me: How did you do on the first workout of the CrossFit Open?  Have you ever gotten sick right before an important event?  What do you think will be in WOD 13.2?