Thursday, May 5, 2011

Looking Back...Literally...

Some days you feel like you're running backwards.  Today is a rare exception in that, well, I was actually running backwards.  Folks, meet another of Crossfit's sadistic brethren, "Griff"...

WOD - "Griff"
For time:
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards

Um...OK...what the fuck?  Run BACKWARDS?  You want these tree trunks to run a mile forwards and a half mile BACKWARDS?  REALLY?  BACKWARDS?!?!?  Man this shit should get really interesting on the famed streets of NYC.

I was equally intrigued an terrified as I came into the box today to find Jeff, another trainer who joined Sara to teach & time today's WOD.  Jeff put me through a warmup that had me dripping.  I was all prepped to do my typical handstand pushups, ring pushups, OH squats, etc and Jeff throws this at me:

Samson Stretch (both sides) - Inch Worm* - Crab Walk*  - Twisting Lunges* - Bear Crawl*(*Length of the room)

Shit man that's a warmup?  Geesh!  I was warm, that's for sure...drenched as well.  Safe to say I was nice and warm as we hit the street.

3...2...1...go!  I was off at a comfortable pace as I felt great rounding 24th St.  Every time I come back to running I feel better and better as I still run 800m sets unbroken.  Will I do an unbroken mile?  Certainly by the summer I think that's a reality.  Granted I haven't seen a WOD with a mile run in it except for Murph, and, well, yeah let's not hope for that day to come anytime soon...

I finished the first 800 in less than seven minutes, which I thought was a great pace for me...a 12-minute mile for someone who is close to 300 lbs (though not as close as I used to be ;) isn't bad.  Now the real fun began...I didn't have to look over my shoulder nearly as much as I thought.  I think I trusted that whoever I didn't see would just get out of the way.  I turned around at the Starbuck's on 6th and got a few double takes, and a random street guy started beeping as I was going by like the sound a truck makes when you back up.  For the most part though it wasn't so bad...I turned back around for the next 800 at about 10-11 minutes and kept going.  Surprisingly I did the WOD unbroken, so technically I guess you could say this was my first unbroken mile, split into two segments and sandwiched by a half mile of backwards running craziness.  But I hit the finish line with a decent time.

WOD TIME: 20:44

I was surprisingly peppy after I finished, which turned out to be a good thing, because with time left on the clock Jeff & Sara presented the following cashout:

Run the stairs (all five flights)
3 Rounds for Time (10-minute limit)

Richard (who finished the WOD in like 1/2 the time I did) was with me for this one, and while he lapped me again (he always does), we were both slowing down bigtime getting the top couple of flights on the way up.  The way down was cake, even though I didn't know it but my calves were going to be cooked shortly thereafter.

Cashout Time: 8:48

Man that was definitely a massive day.  Between the warmup, the WOD and the cashout I'm TOAST.  Not sure if tomorrow's a reality.  If so I'll need to hit the sack super-early tonight.  We'll see.  For now I'm psyched I got through it.  It's not every day you can start off with some backwards running and keep a smile on your face.  Today was a pleasant, rare exception :).


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jeremy's Spoken

I guess if you do Crossfit long enough your expectations for intensity go through the roof. So it's no wonder that when they posted today's WOD I assumed it was 3x as brutal as it actually was going to be. Here it is as posted:

In honor of “Jeremy”
Three rounds, 21-15-and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Overhead squats

So while the 21-15-9 rep scheme is the most common (and cool I must say), I still thought by "three rounds" they meant three rounds of 21-15-9, yielding 63, 45, and 27 reps of each exercise respectively. I called Scott and told him I expected to not be able to move after this one. Lo and behold I walked into the Black Box this morning and found out that it was just straight-up 21-15-9. OK...back to reality...

I told Sara because I expected it to be so brutal I was thinking I was going to use the bar for the OH Squats.  She said "well it's good for you then, since now you're lifting 95 lbs".  I guess that settled it.  RX'ing a WOD is a ton of fun, and while this one wasn't brutally heavy I knew the burpees were going to crush me.  Sara was laughing as I put big band aids on my knees to stave off the bleeding that typically happens when i do tons of burpees, but I was sweating enough from the warmup that this was a fruitless effort.  We set up the bars and got ready to...

...3...2...1...Go!  I knew the overheads wouldn't be too bad.  I start to struggle at around 150 lbs, but 95 lbs was well within my capability.  I fired off the round of 21 unbroken and we were off to the races...the burpee races, that is.  And that is by no stretch a fun race to run.  I was sloppy by rep # 10 and just getting through them was a mess.  I really need to work on these, as brutal as they are.  Despite the tough time the burpees gave me I cranked through the sets of 15 and 9, only breaking up the overheads in the round of 15 (5-5-5), and blasting through the last set.

WOD Time: 11:12

It feels good to RX a WOD and put up a sub-15 minute time.  Granted this one is in the realm of Fran and other workouts that CF superstars can do in 5 minutes or less.  But hey this is absolute progress, and I felt great afterwards...need to work on those burpees though...sheer brutality for sure.


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Front Squat - Reunited and it Feels so...

Monday rest days simply kick ass.  Ease into the week after a weekend of recovery with some strength coaching from Kevin P.  Solid.

BLACK BOX WOD (current skill: front squat):
front squat 5-5-5-5-5

Today I reunited with the front squat for the first time on a strength day since February.  Back then I did triples and got to 200 lbs.  Today was sets of five, so I treated this like uncharted territory, not knowing or expecting where I would go with this amount of reps.  Sure I've had months of training, but every strength day is different, so I was happy to just get something on the bar and lift without expectations.

Warmup – 45×5 – 65×3 – 95×3 – 145×3

I felt pretty damn good once I got some decent weight on the bar, so I figured I would just go for it and hope for the best.  I felt like it wasn't out of the realm of possibility to hit my 3-rep max PR on my first WOD with sets of 5.  Here's how it went:

WOD (sets of 5) 145 – 165 – 175 – 185 – 200*

Fail on #5 at 200, but that was essentially the goal...reach your max set of 5, and getting four solid reps was good enough for me at 200 lbs.  I think honestly once my shoulders get more comfortable in the rack position I'll be able to really get into front squats more.  But I can't expect them to be as productive as back squats, so I feel pretty good about where I'm at.

Ready for tomorrow...