Looking back on my CrossFit Games Open 2013

The CrossFit Open is over and I’m the 26,411th fittest woman in the world! Blink. Hmmm…. yeah, that’s too many digits to have any perspective whatsoever.

Fact is, I’m actually quite proud of this and here’s why. My lofty goal for 2013 was to do all 5 workouts RX and get a ranking on the leaderboard. Any ranking. That hyphen from 2012 haunted me. I wasn’t even last place, I didn’t count…

So, I’m happy this year and have already started to work towards my goals for the next few months. The past five weeks have been an incredible experience. So, so, so much fun was had at Chikara CrossFit. Thank you all so much!

Big happy family at Chikara CrossFit
Big happy family at Chikara CrossFit

Below is a capture of my thought process for each workout. It’s a bit embarrassing to put it out there but it’s my truth in this moment of this journey 🙂

13.1

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of: 40 Burpees 45 pound Snatch, 30 reps 30 Burpees 75 pound Snatch, 30 reps 20 Burpees 100 pound Snatch, 30 reps 10 burpees 120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

The 75lbs (35kg) snatch was going to be the challenge – it was 10lbs heavier than what I knew I could handle. My strategy was to a) finish the first round of burpees and snatches at a steady clip to get a good time b) do the 30 burpees at a slightly slower pace c) work up to 75lbs for a few minutes d) give it a serious go, and try to get one or two

It might have been a bit unconventional but I think this was a good strategy for me since there was plenty of time for c) and d). Sadly, the 75lbs bar got as high as my shoulders but I couldn’t get under it. A full day later, I realized that I’d power snatched c) and maaaaybe I could have gotten under the bar for 75lbs if I had started squat cleaning with the two lighter weights that I’d chosen to add. Maybe!

Result: 100 reps, 6:55 for the first round of burpees and snatches

13.2

.... funny face [from the chikaracrossfit Flickr stream]
…. funny face [from the chikaracrossfit Flickr stream]

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of: 75 pound Shoulder to overhead, 5 reps 75 pound Deadlift, 10 reps 15 Box jumps, 20″ box

After reading a long thread on the CrossFit Forum, I went in knowing that I would step up and down for the box jumps. This was definitely the right choice as it allowed for complete focus on the shoulder to overheads. The 75lbs is just light (or heavy) enough for me to power clean and do 2-3 jerks. That’s fun!

I returned to the bar with 3-4 seconds left on the clock. In hindsight, there would have been enough time to slip in a few more shoulder to overheads if I had jumped the last few box jumps. The smart choice in the last 30 seconds would have been to use up ALL the gas left in the tank, even if it meant a possible no rep, which I had been working to avoid. This was an interesting realization because it hinted to the better judgements that could be made with more experience.

My entire collar bone area got banged up catching these jerks, and I corrected my form in the days that followed because it hurt like hell to NOT rest the bar on the shoulders. This ended up being immediately applied to 13.4.

Some of the girls at our box blew past their PRs to get the Shoulder to overheads. I’m in awe. Throughout my blink-and-you-missed-it athletic and musical career, I was told repeatedly that you’re not going to “get” something that you haven’t gotten in practice. That’s not the case for CrossFit.

Results: 150 reps (5 rounds)

13.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of: 150 Wall balls (14 lbs to 9′ target) 90 Double-unders 30 Muscle-ups

Absolute worst week out of the five.

12.4 was desperately heaving singles at the wall and no-repping for most shots in the last few minutes. 13.3 saw close to double the reps yet utter disappointment that I hadn’t gotten over the fear/dislike of WB shots in the past 12 months.

Results: 113 reps

13.4

Post-workout lunch
Post-workout lunch

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below: 95 pound Clean and jerk, 3 reps 3 Toes-to-bar 95 pound Clean and jerk, 6 reps 6 Toes-to-bar 95 pound Clean and jerk, 9 reps 9 Toes-to-bar 95 pound Clean and jerk, 12 reps 12 Toes-to-bar 95 pound Clean and jerk, 15 reps 15 Toes-to-bar 95 pound Clean and jerk, 18 reps 18 Toes-to-bar…

I was so bummed when 13.4 was announced.

No matter how many times I googled the conversion, 95lbs was 43kg, and that was 5kg over my PR. It was going to be another hyphen year.

On Thursday, I stayed after class to practice my form. I told myself that if I succeeded in cleaning 40kg that day, it might be possible to lift 43kg on Saturday. I failed to go past the usual 37kg and went home dejected. Oh, why couldn’t the TTBs be first….

On Saturday morning, Coach Otoya pulled my floundering self to warm up with Hilary, who was back in town visiting. Hilary’s much stronger than me and as Otoya took us through the paces, I cleaned 40kg before we knew what was happening. My heat came up a few minutes later, and after a careful setup, 43kg went up in the air with a roar!

Each lift felt like a triumph. Afterwards, I ran over to hug Nao (who judged and coached me through the 7 minutes with all her heart) and Otoya (who must have magical powers). On the way home, I cried a little bit. Then spent the rest of the weekend daydreaming about split jerks.

Result: 10 reps (1 round & 4 clean and jerks)

13.5

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of: 65 pound Thruster, 15 reps 15 Chest to bar Pull-ups If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes. If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes. If 270 reps (9 rounds) are completed in under 12 minutes, time extends to 16 minutes. Etc.

The 65 pound thrusters in 12.4 was where I bombed last year. Not only was it too heavy to thrust, it was too heavy to clean.

It didn’t feel like much of a challenge this year, although 15 is a lot of reps. I got through them, then “air bicycled” my way to 4 CTBs with lots of rest in between. Four minutes is an odd slice of time, and with my focus on not getting no reps, it was over before I knew it.

Results: 19 reps (15 thrusters & 4 CTBs)

And thaaaat’s that. Onward!

This post could easily be a few more thousand words, trying to capture each moment of the five roller coaster weeks and the amazing performances at Chikara that are too many to count…! I’ve finally added CrossFit as a category to this blog with the intention of writing more about daily observations 🙂