Wednesday, February 16, 2011

EVA - My (heavily-banded) Pullups Debut

Today was a bit of a gamble.  The pain in my left calf came back with a vengeance on Monday.  Granted I hadn't been doing any of the things I did to give it relief last week (i.e. aspirin & Advil, as well as heating pad while sleeping) for a few days.  I honestly thought it was gone by my third workout last week.  So I stayed away from Crossfit Monday and Tuesday, and I reintroduced all of the above therapies, which slowly started working again.  But I saw a glimmer of hope when the main site posted today's workout last night:

Five rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
2 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
30 Pull-ups

I figured if I could scale the running to rowing I would be able to power through everything with minimal impact on my calf. I got to the Black Box this morning and Sara didn't flinch when I told her about my leg...she was all about the rowing.  In fact she said she was impressed that I found a way to make this WOD even worse :). I was actually fine with it, as I've killed my rowing sets lately, and as it turned out today was no exception.

We discussed scaling for the WOD, and I decided to do 1/2 reps with a 1.5 pood kettlebell.  That's a 54-lb kettlebell, which is no joke and one level up from the one I used to power through last week's KBS WOD.  That plus my standard 1.5 resistance bands on the pullup bar.

WAIT...hold up...PULLUPS AS PART OF A WOD & I'M DOING PULLUPS!!!  WOO HOO!! Well I ain't tootin my horn that loud because I have a long way to go before doing them unassisted, but just hitting the pullup bar as part of a WOD feels damn good.  It took me exactly three full months of post-Elements Crossfitting to get here...what an amazing milestone!

3...2...1...Go! I was flying on the rower, but I remembered something Jeff Yan said months ago about cooking yourself too early when you have a lot of rowing to do.  I had 4000 meters ahead of me, so there was no reason to treat this like a sprint.  Still, once I got going it was tough to settle into a moderate pace.  I was crankin it and feelin great.  Here are my rowing times:

3:20 - 3:36 - 3:31 - 3:34 - 3:33

I was much more used to rowing 400 meter sets before today, so I was very conscious of my time when I hit the 1/2 way mark.  I was hovering around 1:40 to 1:48 on average.  For me that's pretty exceptional, though I'm sure many of the people at my gym are much closer to 1:30.

Not much to say about the kettle bell swings except for the fact that each set was unbroken, and once again I feel like I could have gone heavier.  As for the pullups, well things were cruising pretty well...UNTIL...

Anthony (random cool dude from the gym) has been awesome in helping me really push through the end of WODs, many times electing to do the exercises with me, even if he's not doing the WOD, or, more ridiculously, if he's already completed the WOD.  He was walking by when I had six pullups left in round 5.  I jokingly asked if he could just do them for me.  Being the saint that he is he said "no but I'll do them with you.  Then of course I had to make him regret that decision.  Somehow I got five more.  One more to go and I'm done...I wiggled a bit trying to hold my right foot in both resistance bands, got my balance back, and went for it.  I gave it everything, let out a yelp, fell short, hit the box (which was 2 feet above the ground, then fell back.  I held onto the bands to stay upright, and Anthony came down to help me steady myself.  Only then, of course, did I start falling I could be sure to take Anthony out with anything else that was unlucky enough to be behind and/or under me.  I felt horrible, but he seemed unfazed (sorry buddy).  I got back up, got on the box, stepped into the bands, and somehow got one more pullup.  The last set was ugly that's for sure, but I was DONE.

WOD Time: 46:45

I was actually shocked that I took this long because it seemed like I cruised through both the rowing and the swings.  Looks like those pullups are a major time-eater for now.  MAN...those pullups are a nasty biotch of an exercise.  But hey, my leg felt great!  I got a long way to go...but the great thing is, I've already come so far.


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