Saturday, May 23, 2009

The moment of truth

I may not have trained the hardest this past month, but I came to the Qualifiers fresh. Being in the first men's heat, I got a quick reintroduction to what CrossFit is all about.

12 minutes of:
    5 Thrusters, 135#
    10 Burpees
I don't know if it was not being ready for this or the combination of burpees and thrusters, but I only manged 5 rounds. I must have missed a half-dozen reps - not fouls, simply being unable to lock it out, starting in the third round. Every rep was a push jerk, and every pull was a squat clean. I was as efficient as I knew how to be and kept moving on the burpees, in no small part because I was so well rested after standing around staring at the bar for so long. I thought for sure I'd be DFL in my heat. I simply could not get those thrusters going. Most heats were won in 8 to 9 rounds. Top score was 10 plus a thruster, better than twice my output (unless you count those last three almost thrusters).

After the expectation the first ugly workout, having the row, a comfortably known workout (if not a strength) was actually a relief. After screaming some friends through the thruster-burpee workout, I settled down and took a 5-minute nap, which really helped me reset.

The atmosphere of this workout was amazing. The rowers all had coxswain/coaches urging them on, and the judge's job was simply to hold up a color-coded card when each rower got to 1500k, 1000, 500, and 250m to go. Jason Ackerman was running around with a microphone calling out the leaders distance in even finer detail. The spectators kept creeping closer and closer, shouting encouragement, and despite the open-air arena, it felt like a crowded stadium.

After watching Melissa Mulligan, whom I met at my cert, win the first heat with her boyfriend cheering her on, I decided maybe it would be best if I found a coxswain of my own. I recruited Erin Davidson of CF Tribe & Center City, who had just finished telling me about this rowing class they've been going to down there. She got me on the rower quickly, glad to see my form had improved since I posted a video to the Digital Coaching forum on the Message Boards. She also had me try the strategy that they'd been working, start hard for 10 pulls, settle in, and go hard (long, fast pulls) every 500m for 10 pulls. I figured, what the hell, it sounds better thought out than setting a pace and seeing what I had in the tank at the end.

First, I have to say that Erin is an awesome coach. It was obvious from the Message Boards that she knows her shit, but she also had the sharp eyes and toughness to not let me get away with a single short pull or loss of form by letting my chest cave and back soften. The hard (fast, long) pull worked like a charm after the first 500m, but the one at 1000m cost me pace afterwards. It wasn't until after the hard pull at 1500, where the end was in sight that I was able to get my pace back properly, and then I bombed the last 200m. I was really glad to be able to dig down and crank the pace for those last 20 pulls. Despite the morning thrusters and burpees, I managed a good time. (I thought it was a PR, but apparently I was in pretty good shape in February and pulled an even better post-workout time.)

2000K Row 7:25.5

Much more to talk about. It's a spectacular experience, but it's time to crash. Tomorrow:


    155# power clean
    C2B pullups
    1.5-pood KB swings
The kicker: there's a 15-minute cap. If I finish that puppy, I'll be beside-myself thrilled.

1 comment:

jenna said...

That WOD looks like fun! I hope you finished within the time limit. I'll be looking for results tonight!