Redemption: a CrossFit Open 17.4 Story

Can we take a moment to acknowledge that the open is just one week, and one workout away from being over? CrossFit Christmas is almost over, you guys! I must admit, I’m a little sad. I’ve really gotten into the anticipation and pageantry of the Open announcements this year. It’s been super fun to race to my computer at 5:00 on Thursdays and watch Dave Castro announce the workout, then text all my CF buddies to talk about it. After this week, what will there be to talk about? I’ll have to resort back to cute kid pictures (which I’m sure Auntie ‘Manda won’t be too disappointed about).

Of course for this week’s workout we needed a repeater:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts, 95 lb.
55 wall-ball shots, 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
55-calorie row
55 hand-release push-ups

So, 17.4 is a repeat of 16.4 from last year. And 16.4 last year completely demoralized me. I didn’t even log my score for 16.4. Forgetting to log my score wasn’t intentional, I am pretty sure I just spaced it, but the fact that I wasn’t super jazzed to jump online and get it logged leads me to believe that I was sort of disappointed in my performance. I can’t recall my score exactly, but I know I never made it off of the rower. I think the time ended when I was at 35 calories. We’ll just go with that score. So last year I scored a 145.

This year was sweet, sweet redemption. 204! I made it off the rower and completed 39 push-ups before the 13 minutes was up. Woot! All I can say is what a difference a year makes!

Last year my big challenge was the wall balls. I just didn’t have enough power to keep them going, and I was no-repped a ton.

This year, the deadlifts and wall balls felt … easy. My strength has improved, so the deadlifts didn’t feel super heavy. And for the wall balls I have been choosing the 14lb ball for workouts, so using a 10lb ball was a delightful surprise. Going into the workout I knew I needed to save some power for the calorie row, so I took it easy on the deadlifts and wall balls, going in manageable sets of 5-7 reps and giving myself a couple of breaths between sets to save my legs. On the rower I just floored it, and by the time I got to the push-ups I didn’t care, I just kept moving as fast as possible (which wasn’t very fast) until time was called. I don’t think I could have put more into this one than I did, which is what it’s all about!

This workout totally lit my internal fire to step up my CrossFit game. If this is the improvement I can see in a year from my sort of tepid interest in 2-3 classes a week “when I find the time,” what can I do if I actually committed to my training? This could be a thing, and I find it really exciting!

Any-hoo, we’re on a sleigh ride to 17.5! Any guesses on what it’s going to be? I’m hoping double-unders since I’ve been doing so well on them lately, and have my fingers crossed “not thrusters, not thrusters,” so I’m pretty sure it’s going to involve thrusters 😉

Go make it a great day!

It’s Open Season!

You guys, it’s OPEN SEASON!!!

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The first CrossFit Open ’17 WOD is announced at 5:00 PST tonight. You can log in to the CrossFit Games website to live stream the coverage. I’m bringing snacks.

Lately I’ve been showing some Olympic lifts my love.

I’m still on the “baby plates” as I lovingly call them on my snatch. I’m getting much more comfortable with my form and where the bar needs to be when I catch it, and my coach says I have good flexibility, which is probably the first time in my life I’ve heard that. So it’s just a matter of doing, like, 1,000 x 1 rep scheme with just the bar until I am comfortable with throwing a heavy weight over my head and just letting it hang out there. Basically, I must deny my self-preservation instinct.

Clean and jerk is way more fun. I worked my way up to 46kg (101 lbs), which is a personal best so far. My max jerk is 50kg, so I know I can go a bit higher, but by the end of the session I was pretty toast and this was all I had in me for the day. Maybe something to do with the 1000 x 1 snatches?

And then I drive home from the gym with Kansas cranked. Loudly. Is there any other way?

Go grab your buddies to watch the open announcement, and make it a great day!

Yes, I Meal Prepped. Who Am I?

Well hello, happy people! Long time no chat!

I have so much to update on, I’m not even sure where to start.

First of all, I finished my #JanuaryWhole30. Yay! I even went over a couple of days, because I just wasn’t super interested in reintroducing anything just yet. Then one day, a cookie happened. I called it my cookie reintroduction. It was magical, and for the first time in I think my whole life, I was good with just one cookie. I enjoyed a cookie deliberately and intentionally, and after I got done licking the crumbs off my fingers, I found myself satisfied and went on with my day. Score. Since then, I’ve been slow-rolling the reintroduction by eating mostly Whole30 in my daily life but trying out foods here and there to see how they work with me. So far I’m still not a fan of sugar or gluten, and I’m still on the fence with dairy. It’s been really nice to just eat and notice and move on, instead of eat and berate and get angry with myself and binge.

I don’t always make the right food choices, but I’m using my mistakes as learning experiences rather than excuses to go off the rails, or beat myself up. The other night, a friend brought homemade bread pudding to our gathering. I had missed dinner and the bread pudding smelled soooooo good, so I had some. It was good, but not pay-for-the-effects-of-gluten good. I felt lousy afterword, and I’m still feeling bloated today. But now I know to evaluate better, and maybe bring have a snack on hand for those evenings I know I might miss a meal. No big deal.

Okay, what else? Oh, that’s right, the CrossFit Open is coming up! Yayyy! Here is a nifty poster from the CrossFit website that has all of the info:

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I’m signed up and will be doing the scaled division again this year. I’m still not Rx’ing the workouts consistently, so I probably need another year to get stronger. But I have my double-unders pretty consistently now, so there’s that. Woot. You should go sign up too, it’s only $20. I’ll wait here. Peer pressure. Everyone is doing it.

Finally, with my crazy hectic schedule lately (gratitude moment: I am so grateful to be busy because it’s better than being bored!) I decided to finally get on the bandwagon with weekly meal prep. I know, who am I? I do not meal prep. I hate it. But I also hate blasting out of the house in the morning with the stark realization that I have had black coffee for breakfast (fail), I have no idea where/what I’m eating for lunch (more fail), and I am probably not going to be home for dinner (fail-lines flight number crapsticks, ready for departure). But since I hate weekly meal prep, I decided to start small, by planning out my meals for just three days.

This ended up to be key. It was way less overwhelming to think about, and since I always over-plan my food requirements anyway, it’s turning out that I made enough food for 4-5 days anyway. Win. I think this will be a thing from now on.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Happy Pi Day!

It’s Pi Day!

Pi Day

Mmm, pi.

Along with 3.14, how did 16.3 go?

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That well, huh?

For the Women’s Scaled division, here was the workout for me:

WORKOUT 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches
5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

That’s it. What, like it’s hard?

Yeah, it’s hard. While warming up, I couldn’t get a single chest-to-bar. Not a one. Turns out between my stumpy legs and my complete lack of being able to generate any sort of power resulted in a weight-to-power ratio of “Well, it’s cute that she’s trying.” Whatever, I figure I’ll land a score of 10 with the power snatches and spend the rest of the time trying to land a pull-up.

The cool thing about the Open is that it doesn’t feel like a regular workout. There’s still the atmosphere that it’s a competition, and sometimes that works to your advantage. While I couldn’t land a pull-up while warming up, once the buzzer rang and the workout started, suddenly I sort of feel superhuman. While I was jumping toward the bar desperate for contact and being so close to making it, at one point I adjusted my feet and angle while I jumped, and my chest about slammed on the bar. I got my first chest-to-bar! I went from thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish a round to nearly completing three; for every C2B I succeeded, I had about 5 or 6 no-reps. But at the end with a score of 41 I was pretty happy. I am eager to see what score I can get up to once I have the technique down!

Meanwhile, children. Because I know for some of you this is the only reason you check out my blog.

Squish was getting all ‘stached up at preschool the other day.

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The other night I was participating in the rare activity of watching TV, and the characters were playing poker. Squish was interested in the game they were playing, so I decided to break out the ol’ poker set and make sure my kids know how to win their lunch money back someday.

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It will probably be a while until I post some good pictures of Buttercup. She has firmly hit the stage where 1) she doesn’t stop moving long enough to take a photo and 2) once she sees the camera/phone out, she immediately wants it. I remember this stage with Squish, too. Pretty much ever photo ends up like this:

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Precious memories.

That’s it until next time. Go make it a great day!

 

Emily’s Crossfit Open 16.2 Recap

Last Friday I participated in my gym’s group workout to crush the 16.2 workout. Otherwise known as “Emily Learns How to Squat Clean.”

The workout went like this (I did the Scaled women’s):

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
15 squat cleans, 55 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
13 squat cleans, 75 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
11 squat cleans, 95 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
9 squat cleans, 115 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
7 squat cleans, 135 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

That’s cute. They think people will make it the full 20 minutes.

So, yeah. Your reward for completing a round before the time cutoff is … more time!

I was feeling really optimistic going into it. I mean, last week was 20 solid minutes of squats, burpees, and pull-ups, so this seemed like cake! Also, the last time I performed squat cleans was during my basics class. With PVC pipe. Ignorance is bliss, my friends. (For my non-Olympic lifting friends: a squat clean is when you, all in one movement, pick a bar up off the floor, bring it to shoulder height in a front rack position, and do a full squat)

I made it through the first round well before the time cutoff, so I figured this would be a cinch to make my goal of at least three rounds. Oh, so ignorant and so in denial. Because do you know how heavy 75 lbs is to squat clean? Pretty darn heavy. I just made the 11 reps right before the second time cutoff, and I thought I was going to puke. Dinner was not agreeing with me. I plowed through the third set of hanging knee raises (broken up in sets of 5 because my grip was just no longer happening) and jump rope (it’s a trip with JUMPING ROPE becomes your recovery) before the third round of cleans. And … no go. I could not get even one. Maybe fresh I could have landed a couple, but I was just too freaked out to get my body under the bar. My quads were all, “Wait, you want us to do what now?” and my brain was begging me to please not kill myself today. The cool part was through my fatigue, I could see a bunch of my gym-mates around me, cheering me on. A couple of my coaches tried to help me with my form, encouraging me to try and get one. I really thought I could do it, but my exhausted state and the clock ended up getting the best of me. I finished at 12:00 with a score of 253. While a bit frustrated I couldn’t get the last lift (I would have rather timed out than completely no-rep’ed it), I can’t be too hard on myself for failing a lift I have literally never worked on in my life! I’m still super happy about just being there, doing my thing, and enjoying the hell out of the festivities.

The best part? The kiddos were visiting Gramma and Grampa, so Hulk tagged along with me to check out the gym and cheer me on. I always love having his support (he has a very loud, distinctive voice that you can hear cheering from any sportsing crowd). When I got done, he was asking me tons of questions about the workout. When I showed him the weights the men were to do (135, 185, 225, 275, 315 lbs for Rx Men), he was basically, “Holy s**t!” followed by, “I think I’ll start in April.” I just converted Hulk to the dark side, I believe 🙂

Now I’m anxiously awaiting the announcement for 16.3 tomorrow night. What’s it going to be next?!?

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

By Special Request

I returned home late last night to the much anticipated family-bomb. Hulk and the kids picked me up from the airport all smiles and a few screams. During the drive back home from SFO, Squish filled me in about the goings-on from the week while repeatedly requesting me to sing his favorite songs (Jingle Bells and Puff the Magic Dragon); Miss Buttercup just screamed because she was restrained in her car seat, not cuddled in my lap where she wanted to be. “Get used to disappointment” is the common phrase we throw around in this situation. Once we got home she was all giggles again.

I ended up working from home to accommodate some weird meetings, and since Hulk had been single-parenting it all week he arranged the kids to go to Gramma and Grampa’s house for the weekend so he could have a breather. Gramma came to pick the kids up over lunch, and Squish was super excited he gets to use his new “going to gramma’s house” suitcase!

One exciting part about having the kids at the grandparents’ this weekend is Hulk can join me in Friday Night Lights for the Crossfit Open 16.2 tonight! Yay! Who’s ready for some double-unders?!?

Time to head to the gym, I’ll be back later with a 16.2 recap … Go make it a great day!

Back to Reality, Again

Well, bummer! I thought I had saved my post, but it somehow wandered away into the internet abyss. Sad panda.

Oh well, I was just checking in to say hi. I’m on my way back west after spending a few good days visiting with family. It was a nice trip overall, and I’m looking forward to bringing the rest of the family later this year to see everyone again. Now it’s time for the hurry-up-and-wait routine that is airline travel.

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I had intended on doing the scheduled crossfit workouts yesterday and today, but yesterday we didn’t make it back to the house until late in the evening, and then today I wandered down the rabbit hole of thinking, “I’ll work for a bit then take a break to work out later,” then several hours later I’m still working and it was time to head to the airport! Oops. Well, I guess I’ll be really refreshed and ready for 16.2!

One cool thing about this trip, I had about a bajillion miles saved, so I was able to use my miles to book a first class ticket. Flying in style, yo. I love the real glassware and fancy cloth napkins.

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(New library book. I’m geeking out on the history of beer!)

That’s it for now. Go make it a great day!