Friday, April 29, 2011

Crossfit Games Open 6

The end of sectionals has arrived at last!  Week 6 of 6 WOD:

Ladder by 3's
Thrusters @ 65#
Chest to Bar pullups
(3 of each, 6 of each, 9 of each.... you get the idea)

Background:  I took off last Wednesday, leaving the concerns of the world for the concerns of the soul, through Sunday.  After 5 days of rest, and a Sunday of M&M's and Icecream, I arrived to this week's workout posted as the gym WOD on Monday. 

Seriously? Casey assured me that everyone should do it, including me.  No excuses to put it off.  I am immensely grateful.

Setting:  Two girls greet me as I walk in.  They tell me how fun it is, how much fun I will have.
No one is making a big deal of this work out right now.  Just do it. 

15's + 13 Thrusters = 103 reps!

Fun, right??? It was a good workout for me. 
I pretty much hate thrusters, but kind of like chest to bar pullups. The standard was lucky  for me! I can't do butterfly kipping, which are wicked fast.  If the workout were regular (not chest to bar) pullups I would have been at a disadvantage for speed without the butterfly kip.  But butterfly kipping does not help this work out since the chest must actually make contact with the bar.  This made my way of kipping pullups perfect.

There was a time however, in which I was very close to flipping out on my judge.  I get so mad at people telling me what to do as they stand by comfortably observing.  If you are working out beside me and tell me to keep going and try to encourage me, and I see how much you are suffering too, great!  Thanks, I'll appreciate it! Otherwise, bugger off!  Really I wonder sometimes if I've been injected with what this guy got.

"You won't like me when I'm angry. "
Any one feel strangely understanding of this plight?
Well, until the antidote is officially secured - remedy is patience in suffering, direct my anger at the barbell, not people, and hey, I'll take this score :)  I am most grateful that I can, that it must be good enough at this point for me not to have to try again. THAT is the most exhausting part of all of this.
Whew!! So will life be back to crossfit as usual, "fun" and less pressure, or will it be a new chapter in the competitive journey on the road to regionals?  TBA. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crossfit Games Open 5

So... surprises!  The 5th week workout was announced Tuesday evening and I got to go for it about an hour later. Ready or not, there was no putting it off, because it was the only time I could do it.
dum. dum. dum.
Week 5
AMRAP in 20min.
5 power cleans 100#
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall Balls 14# to 9 ft. 

Blah.  Wall balls are NOT my forte; I had a few rounds of unbroken sets, but mostly several of dropping the ball and hitting myself in the face. 20 minutes can be a very long time.  The trick is just not to think about it and keep moving.  God bless Casey for being so patient with me, and Brittany for soothingly coaxing me through it.  I am learning that there are prompts that are great for me, such as:

You are doing so good.
Just keep moving.
This is a good pace.
Calm your breathing and begin again. 
Rhythm and calm.
You are strong. You can do this.

And ones that are not as well received.
Push Harder.
Agh... I freak out. HARDER?  FASTER?  Are you kidding me? I can't!! I don't want to!!

But Casey found one that was a little softer. 
"You're going to have to push a littler harder than you want to these last five minutes."
wimper.  I almost cried. and I certainly yelled on the last rounds of cleans.  but then. it's done!

10 rounds + 1 clean.

I love and hate crossfit, but I mostly love it. It can be so miserable, but then you push through it and you realize how much you are capable of.  You can do things you never thought possible.  You are stronger than you ever knew.  That is an incredible thing.   I say "you" because really YOU if you have done you've experienced this I'm sure of it.  If you haven't tried it on for a while then YOU would experience this if you did try. 

I find so many parallels for the life of virtue in crossfit.  Pursuing virtue is hard.  It is contrary to our fallen nature - we prefer to be led by our passions and comforts than reason and right judgement.  I know I do any way.  It is hard to choose to pray and choose silence when I'd rather watch mindless television or listen to Mumford & Sons or Dramarama yeah!  I know what is right of course, but I've always been more of a learning by doing kind of girl.  Crossfit is all about doing.  I feel it when I make bad choices.  I feel it when I make good choices. I feel the result of trying and failing and trying and triumphing.  I face my limitations directly. I tangibly experience what it takes to grow and improve.  It is a process. a journey. a discipline of life.   I love this.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crossfit Games Open 4

Week 4
AMRAP 10 min.
60 Burpees facing bar (jumping over the barbell b/t reps)
30 Overhead Squats @90#
10 muscle ups

Background: 6am Monday morning presented me with a workout, seemingly harmless enough, but as the day wore on I felt certain I'd re-injured my lower back.  The drama grew in my mind.  I was hurt. That was it.  I would take care of myself and do what I could to recover, but I had little hope that I would be able to continue in this competition and contribute any more.
I emailed Coach who responded, "Are you sure it's hurt and not just really sore?"
1st small miracle of the week: I did not rebel at these words.  Instead, I let them have their place amidst the toxic thoughts and conceded, maybe it's REALLY sore.
Smart coach.  I ended up having to take two rest days.  One planned and the other due to a sudden illness.
Thursday, still exhausted and still sore, I returned to the gym with my box of tissues in hand.
It turns out everyone had the pain of walking and sitting and general misery that I had.  It was a brutal workout for backs gym wide, not just mine. 
Still my week felt 'wasted' in recovery and virtually the whole week passed with me barely working out at all.  The reality is, I was sore and sick and I took two rest days.
Amazing contrast.

Setting:  Sunday morning (this offends me on multiple levels as Sunday and Morning should have me no where but home in my PJ's)
It's the  last chance to post a time for the workout, and I have bided my time all week trying to get fit to perform my best.  The girls have all done worse than hoped for,  and two of them were redoing it with me.

3-2-1 Go!
I plugged away through the burpees. Not so bad.  Thank God now for those 100 burpees for time WOD's, and all the burpee's Brian had us do at CFBD.  All three of us girls finished the burpees in the 4 min range.
That left over half my time for 30 overhead squats.  Breathe and go.
snatch 11.... clean and jerk  10.... 8.... 2....  and done.  I had 90seconds to try to get a muscle up! and.... FAIL ;) 

60 burpees
30 Overhead Squats
= 90 reps and 1st place girl score for the gym.

Something happened this week.  I think it was SURRENDER.  Not resignation. 
1st.  Despair and resignation knocked.
2nd. I accepted my limitations. I was disappointed, but I did not resign myself to being defined by the injury or illness.  I persevered, which meant stepping back, taking a break, taking care of myself and putting myself back out there to be tested.  It could have gone differently.  I could have been truly injured.  I could have needed more rest, or irritated the injury, but it didn't go that way.  Each step I submitted to letting things be what they were AT THAT MOMENT.  one step at a time.
3rd.  The purpose of this competition changed for me.  I think I started with my own worth to prove.  My own competitive appetite to feed.  It tore me apart that first week, because I felt that I was not enough.
Over the weeks, it has become less about me and more about the team. 
Somewhere along the line the need to prove something got shut out.  It's still present in me. I know it.  I feel it, but it has no power.   I can't explain it.
I want to do well, because I want the team to do well.
If at the end of these 6 weeks, I did not go onto regionals and the team did.   I think I would be perfectly pleased. 

Maybe I'm just tired.  This has been hard and long.  I mean, really, are you tired of hearing about it yet?  Because I am a little tired of it being my life (well that and work... but we don't talk about that.)

Whatever the factors that led to this point, it's a pretty amazing place to me.  It's a simple place.  It's a humble place.  I wouldn't call it a relaxed or entirely free place, but it seems good.

And a side note cool thing is that each week I have done better.  The first week I didn't make the top three for our girls.  The second I pulled the 3rd highest score, and the last two weeks I have managed the highest score.  It doesn't mean much except these last two weeks were strong points for me and weaker points for our other girls.  This week and next are bound to present my weaker points and the challenge remains: Let things be what they are at this moment and persevere.

No rest for the weary.  Tomorrow without any prep or planning I'll have to face Week 5.  Ready or not. 
Thanks for all the support!!  Don't worry guys. It'll be over soon and then we can be friends again right?

Did someone say M&M's?

I love love love M&M's!  not the plain ones. Boring!   I love peanut m&m's and peanut butter m&m's and even pretzel m&m's and coconut m&m's....
actually I had a little binder and ate one four bags of the little devils the other weekend.  
This got me thinking.  How bad are they really? (well ... I did come down with a fever and cold and general misery. ahem. but I'm sure that's another story.)
Why don't I compare them to raisins and walnuts, on which I munch all day when I'm being 'good'?
Did you know???

one cup of raisins has 98g of sugar while a cup (8oz) of peanut M&M's has 112g
one cup of walnuts has 76 g of fat while a cup of peanut M&M's has 64g 
one cup of walnuts has 18g of protein while a cup of peanut M&M's has 27g protein

Roughly speaking in six handfuls of raisins/walnuts I'm getting 50g sugar, 40g fat, 20g protein. 
While two bags of peanut M&M's will give me 50g sugar, 26g fat, 10g protein.

That is crazy.  
so walnuts and raisins are:
1) natural and relatively unprocessed
2) higher in protein

But if I'm going to get all that fat and sugar, why not eat peanut M&M's??!!  They are so delightful right??
Until my performance in the gym declines, I get sick, and I start bringing back the winter layer... BOO!

So If I'm being "good", aka eating clean, my muchy indulgence is raisins and nuts, and if I'm not... well peanut M&M's are on the list.  What's your weakness? Do you avoid it?  What's something delightful you've found that's still good for you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crossfit Games Open 3

Dearest Friends,
Your prayers are working.  Thank you so much.
It may seem silly or superstitious to pray for performance, games, sports, and competitions, but prayer is a powerful thing I will always take it!  I don't pray to win or be the best.  I pray to be my best.
Throwing tantrums, crying, and quitting are ... well, ridiculous.  Yet this is the side of me roused by competition. I don't even like me sometimes, so I am hoping for transformation - grace. composure. humility. and perseverance.
hmm... well. I am happy to put off the character building bits and just keep it fun. Thank God that's what this week brought.

5 min AMRAP
110# Squat Clean & Jerk
(110lbs for girls that is. The guys had to do 165lbs.  Holy Heavy Sh*t, Batman.)

All week I pretty much dreaded this, and put it off, refusing to think much about it until Friday.  Last week, a suspicious pain appeared in my groin region. (awesome and not at all embarassing to talk about, right?) I am a worrier. I am terrified of injuries, because I know my propensity to overdo and to get them. 

Anyway, squats hurt. So I have been scared of this workout. Scared that I would hurt myself.   After a week of being aware of the problem, and the reassurance that it is probably a knot and not a strained muscle, today I felt ready.  I didn't feel I would do great necessarily.  I just felt strong and ready. 
Easy day in the emotional stress category.  Just do it.  So I didn't really warm up that well.  I went into the gym and the workout like I was going to play.

13 rounds!

Heather Bergeron, my crossfit girl hero, got 29 rounds.  Crazy woman.  When I heard that I hoped for 20 rounds.  "If I could get 20 rounds, that would be just awesome."
I knew it was a high hope, and I am not defeated that I set it and did not reach it. (That's a minor miracle!)  I am proud of what I did, and now that I know what it feels like, and I didn't injure myself, maybe I can do a little more....

So I tried again two days (and 4 bags of peanut M&M's) later. and. fail!  10 rounds.
BOO!  diet does make a difference.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I brought our highest girl score this week, and we dropped from 7th to 20th place in the region.  This led to the resolution that we all need to lift more weight, and Monday's WOD left my back wrecked.
The next challenge - accepting my limits gracefully.  Persevering in humility and just keep going with what I can do safely.  I'm praying for prudence and healing.
Maybe I should have just prayed to win and be the best ;)
We'll see....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Crossfit Games Open 2

Sectional Competitions, week 2 of 6.
This week was a whole different experience.  The workout was published Tuesday evening, and I showed up at Crossfit 760 at 6am Wednesday morning to go for it.
I warmed up with the class but had to wait until their WOD was finished to start mine so that it could be judged.
15 min AMRAP
9 deadlifts @ 100#
12 pushups
15 box jump @ 20"

Setting:  Less new to me gym and crew.  I'm starting to get familiar there. But working out alone again! Ah well. I think at 6:40 am I was still too tired, and now starting to get too hungry, to care.

Side note:  I eat ALL. THE. TIME.  hunger is an unusual occurrence in my life lately (my endless indulgence is another story).  I know being hungry sometimes is a really good thing.  And maybe working out empty was a good thing for this WOD.

Begin WOD:  Casey warned my judge to be very mellow with me. surprise ;)  and told me it's all about keeping a steady pace.

That I (mostly) did.

Deadlifts are my nemesis.  I had a back injury in highschool soccer that just got worse over years of playing hard without proper chiropractic care in my opinion.  Now it works fine, but it's a sensitive spot. Deadlifts freak me out, because they instigate a flare up as a general rule.  Fortunately 100# @ 9 reps turned out not to be tooo much.
Pushups are chest to deck with palms lifted from the ground at every rep. no worming or snaking on the rise. (this guy's pushups would not count, for example:)

 just a nice solid traditional pushup with full arm extension is the standard.  I expected to struggle more on these, but I made it through the majority of my rounds unbroken... maybe at round 7 and 8 I rested halfway.
Box Jumps - well, I suck at these.  I don't have the rythym of them, the impact is jarring on my lower back, and well I just don't like cardio ok? This becomes cardio.   I slipped a few times but kept on going.

You guys, this week was so much better.  I was in another zone or something.  "Just keep going.  Just finish."  I could have took a tune from Nemo's Dory.

Time: 9 rounds!

And fall to the ground writhing in exhaustion & pain from my. hips? that was a surprise.  My hips were killing me, so much that my worries over my lower back had dropped to the background.  

You guys,  I did it so soon after it was announced because i wanted to give myself time to try again.  But nope. I feel like I did better than the first one.  I would like to try for 10 rounds. Maybe I could do it?  umm. no.  I don't want to.  It was... awful enough apparently.  I found a happy place to protect myself through the work out, but I'm not going there again. 

It's a little like my Friday night with Chester the Molester:  Met up with and old friend that never liked to believe me that I'm only interested in being his friend. Let's just say with a few drinks it got very ugly for me, while he seemed to persist in his fantasy that he was finally making some progress.  I got through the situation as gracefully as possible, but I will never speak to him again.  

That's pretty much how week 2's WOD went for me - except with the WOD it was something I wanted and chose, and I had the joy of seeing my name on the leaderboard for a few hours before I got dropped by everyone else getting around to doing it ;)

Wednesday morning I was 3rd in the region, today I am 40th, tomorrow who knows?  
I did the best I could do, and I have no desire to put myself through it again.
For a few days.
until the next WOD is announced.

I don't know you guys.  I have been eating crap, "in honor of my birthday" for a full week. I've had a headache for a full week.  I feel gross and fat and mildly apathetic.  Hard to say if I am moving in the right direction or if I'm just getting lazy.  Please pray for some self discipline with the emotional stability and humility for competition.  Humility!  that could be a whole new post!  Have I bantered on about that before?