CrossFit Opens 2019

I’ve put in a ton of work this year. I’ve made progress on the peg board, gotten leg-less rope climbs, and gotten the muscle-up! So I was definitely excited to see how I would do in the Open this year. My goal is high 60th percentile (67-69%), which might be too ambitious, but gotta have goals, right? Here’s how it went:

19.1

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
19 wall-ball shots, 14lb ball, 9ft target
19-cal. row

I had attempted it three times. I didn’t feel like I did my best any time, but I did continuously do better and, in the end, I’m happy with my score. My initial submission was 216 reps, then I upped it to 217, and then I ended with 219 reps. My goal was 6 rounds and I fell 9 calories short. However, I still ended up in the 71st percentile, so goal accomplished!

19.2

Beginning on an 8-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 85 lb.
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 115 lb.

And continue… (but I didn’t)

This one was tough! 115lbs is my max squat clean, so I was really hoping to get to that round of squat cleans and get… one? My toes-to-bars and double-unders have massively improved since last year. In my first attempt, I did my dubs on the wooden platform and that was… a mistake. Did it again, but I still got in my head with the toes-to-bars and only finished the first set of dubs 30 seconds faster. But I still got 8 more TTB in my second attempt. Just not enough to get to the second set of cleans. I ended up with a score of 103 which was REALLY not where I wanted to be, but I do feel like that is my best for right now. I think, maybe if I could have done it outside, I might’ve done better because I ended up getting way too hot in the gym. Ended up in the 67th percentile, which is MUCH higher than I thought with that score.

19.3

For time:
200-ft. dumbbell overhead lunge
50 dumbbell box step-ups
50 strict handstand push-ups
200-ft. handstand walk

35-lb. dumbbell, 20-in. box 
Time cap: 10 minutes

I cannot do handstand push-ups. I am ok with this. I am never going to the games and it is ok if I have a weak spot. Last year, I tried to do the HSPU, this year I didn’t bother. I didn’t want to spend any time slamming my head on the ground. However, I did the first 90 reps in 6:59 and that got me to the 73rd percentile!

19.4

For total time:
3 rounds of:
  10 snatches
  12 bar-facing burpees
Then, rest 3 minutes before continuing with:
3 rounds of:
  10 bar muscle-ups
  12 bar-facing burpees

Women snatch 65 lb.
Time cap: 12 minutes

I barely finished the first 3 rounds. With my past shoulder issues, snatches are pretty tough and 65 is close to my max. Snatches + burpees? Definitely the worst combo possible for me. I finished the first 3 rounds in 11:40 and I had to be ok with that. It was definitely my worst performance, putting me in the 50th percentile.

19.5

33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters
Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

AHAHAHA this was a total beast. I’ve only recently gotten chest-to-bar pull-ups, so being able to finish 60 is just… incredible to me. I finished the round of 27 right within the time cap, ending in the 73rd percentile.

Overall, I ended up in 41,918/145,363, so 71st percentile. I’m really happy with my performance, definitely improved a load since last year. I’m pretty excited to keep working this year and do it again in October, which, really, is WAY too soon.

Diet Matters, Y'all

I’ve known diet matters when it comes to fitness for a long time. However, for the past few years, while I would say that I’ve been a healthy eater, I still haven’t been able to really meat my goals. As someone who is both a lifter and runner, I want to be gaining mass to make lifting gains, but I need to lose the fat at the same time to not be carrying too much weight while I run. I’ve managed to lose weight in the past, but I wasn’t hitting new gains in the gym. I looked into Renaissance Periodization this past summer, but the templates alone were a little intimidating to me. I decided to signup for coaching in November and it has been going better than I expected.

The gist of RP is basically tracking macros. But not all macros! I effectively can ignore what’s in my vegetables, I just have to have 1-2 cups of vegetables with almost every meal. Depending on the meal, I have a set amount of grams of lean protein, set amount of healthy carbs (my favorite being Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed), and a small amount of healthy fats. I eat four meals a day, not including whey protein plus gatorade before I workout in the morning and casein at night. I’m generally only hungry when it’s about time for another meal and I’ve been feeling pretty great.

Since I’ve had an injury recently, I can’t really compare how my running has been going. However, Crossfit has been going GREAT! I made a 15lb gain on my split jerk, a 20lb gain on my front squat, a 20lb gain on my deadlift (255lbs YESSS), and a two round increase on Cindy. Obviously, all these gains weren’t entirely completed in this month because I have been working consistently for a long time. However, I will give RP a fair amount of credit because only recently have I been feeling good enough to hit these. Also, with most cut diets, you end up losing muscle. As you will see next, that did not happen!

I did a bod pod test on November 9 to get my base levels and another on December 14. I was not super shocked the first time and SUPER SHOCKED the second time. Here are the numbers (with BMI added for comparison so you can extra see that it is not an accurate indicator if you have a lot of muscle!):

Date Weight (lbs) % Fat Fat Free Weight (lbs) BMI
11/9/18 141 27.7 101.9 23.49
12/14/18 137.1 20.8 108.6 22.8
Change - 3.9 - 6.9 6.7 - 0.69

I had been looking at my scale and been fairly pleased (about 4lbs lost in a month is pretty solid. But when I did the bod pod and found that it was actually about 10.6lbs of fat lost, I was astounded. In the past, when I lost fat, some muscle definitely went away with it, which was not what I wanted. This just absolutely astounded me and I am really pleased and can’t wait to see where I go next! Caveat: definitely not expecting as big a loss this month or next because women shouldn’t go below 15% body fat. I do want to make it into the ultra lean category, but I still need some fat on my body!

Participating in the CrossFit Games Open

Since this is my 10 year anniversary of starting CrossFit, I decided to actually put down $20 and participate in the CrossFit Games. I know that I am definitely not going to make it regionals or anything like that, but I did want to see how I would stack up against other athletes. So far, I'm not doing so bad! I am trying to keep in mind that I'm recovering from bursitis. This means I'm trying to push myself, but not push myself so hard that I reinjure myself. It's been an interesting experience so far, 

18.1

I ended up doing 18.1 twice. I initially did the scaled version (with a 20lb dumbbell and knee raises), but I forgot to record it. Since I don't go to an actual affiliate, I have to take video of all my workouts, with a timer visible on the screen. Scaled wasn't too bad, so I picked up one of the 35lb dumbbells, decided I could make it work and attempted it again two days later. I was able to complete 191 reps. Unfortunately, I messed up the video link, but luckily I'm so far down in the rankings no one has even looked at it!

Workout 18.1

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
8 toes-to-bars
10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks
12-cal. row

Women use 35-lb. dumbbell

Score: 191 reps, Rank: 65125, Percentile: 62

18.2

Since I did 18.1 Rx'd, I decided to go Rx'd for 18.2 too. I haven't done squats for three months, so I was thinking this might be rough. AND BOY WAS IT. I did it Friday morning, it is now Monday, and my legs are still burning. I hate burpees and the burpees were the best part. I am definitely bummed that I didn't finish and couldn't quite get to the cleans, but I haven't done cleans in about 6 months, so, really, it probably wouldn't have gone very well. I did manage to do an 85lb clean prior to starting, so that was an accomplishment in itself for me right now.

Workout 18.2

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squats
Bar-facing burpees

Women use 35-lb. dumbbells

Score: 87 reps, Rank: 97998, Percentile: 43

Workout 18.2a

1-rep-max clean

Time cap: 12 minutes to complete 18.2 AND 18.2a

Score: 0 lb, Rank: 86022, Percentile: 49

18.3

This was just a total beast of a WOD. I still haven't seen a video of anyone who actually finished it. I originally did it scaled just to see how far I could get. It went ok, but it wasn't my best day for pullups. Then I ran 20 miles on Saturday, felt ok afterwards, so I decided to try it again as prescribed on Monday morning. The weird thing with the Opens is that you score better even for just attempting Rx. My max overhead squat previously had been 75lbs, so I wasn't sure about the 80lbs. At best, I would get through to the second set of double unders and, at worst, I'd get a score of a 100. I managed to PR my overhead squat and get three of them. It was worth it to attempt because this was my second best place and helped pull me back up from a poor showing last week. I hate burpees.

Workout 18.3

2 rounds for time of:
100 double-unders
20 overhead squats
100 double-unders
12 ring muscle-ups
100 double-unders
20 dumbbell snatches
100 double-unders
12 bar muscle-ups

Women perform 80-lb. OHS, 35-lb. DB snatches

Time cap: 14 minutes

Score: 103 reps, Rank: 69761, Percentile: 59

18.4

I ended up doing this one Rx first and then scaled to get my actual workout because I absolutely cannot do handstand pushups. The 155lb deadlifts weren't that bad, but I don't know if I could've done all the deadlifts at 205lbs coming off my hip injury. However, I am definitely not alone, since I still places in the top 42% by just getting the initial 21 deadlifts. Watch near the end of the video for my hilarious attempts at handstand pushups.

Workout 18.4

For time:
21 deadlifts, 155 lb.
21 handstand push-ups
15 deadlifts, 155 lb.
15 handstand push-ups
9 deadlifts, 155 lb.
9 handstand push-ups
21 deadlifts, 205 lb.
50-ft. handstand walk
15 deadlifts, 205 lb.
50-ft. handstand walk
9 deadlifts, 205 lb.
50-ft. handstand walk

Time cap: 9 min.

Score: 21 reps, Rank: 71273, Percentile: 58

18.5

Relative to everyone else, this was my best workout. I also did it twice. For my first attempt, I had gone climbing the nigth before so the chest-to-bars were a little rought and my grip was not my friend. I ended up with 42. I rested up during the weekend and tried again on Monday and improved by 6 thrusters and 3 chest-to-bars. Caveat: I can't do overhand grip CTB pullups. When I looked at the movement requirements, I noticed that it said underhand and mixed grip are also acceptable. I found that, with underhand grip, I could get my chin over the bar with a kip and then squeeze a bit extra to hit the bar beneath my collar bone. It got dicey for a few, but I made it and did 21 total! Plus all the thrusters. This is definitely something I want to work on for next year. I've definitely increased my upper body strength over the past year, so I think getting actual CTBs is a good goal.

Workout 18.5 = 12.5 = 11.6

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
3 thrusters
3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 thrusters
6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
9 thrusters
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
12 thrusters
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
15 thrusters
15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
18 thrusters
18 chest-to-bar pull-ups

This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

Women use 65 lb.

Score: 51 reps, Rank: 55710, Percentile: 67

End Result

Worldwide: 70,490 (out of 172,008), 59th percentile
Mid-Atlantic: 4,910 (out of 11,836), 58th percentile

Basically... much better than I could've hoped. I'm sure there are some people who just did scaled who are maybe better than me, but hey that's the way they score it! I ended up in the top 41% of female CrossFit athletes in the world. Feeling pretty good about myself!

Recovery

My blog has been pretty quiet because I haven't really had much to report. I went to Crossfit last week, but I mostly rowed a lot and did a ton of substitutions to go easy on my knees. This week, I'm trying to get back into it. Today I did the following WOD as prescribed and completed 237 total reps:

Tabata 16
(:20 on :10 off)

Box jumps (24/20)
Sit ups
Wall balls
Burpees

As for running, I've got a gait analysis scheduled for Saturday so I can make sure that I'm running correctly. I've also been reading a lot and I think I need to stop being focused on my time and just enjoy my runs. With that in mind, I went on a 6 mile run yesterday, switched up my intervals to 3:1, and slowed down significantly. It went pretty well, but my knee still started hurting around mile 4. I definitely need to get over this hump and get back into actually having enjoyable runs.

This Week In Workouts

Despite not running and overall feeling pretty off my game, this has been a good week for Crossfit PRs. On Tuesday, I did a 65# power snatch, which was a 5# PR for me. On Wendesday, I did a 15 minute AMRAP of 5 53# suitcase deadlifts (one 53# KB in each hand), 13 burpees, and 9 goblet squats with a tiny KB. I managed to get *almost* 8 rounds... two reps short! I felt pretty good during that and was able to keep at a really consistent pace that felt really good. Today was my biggest PR day and favorite weightlifting day... DEADLIFT DAY! My previous one rep max (1RM) was 215# and today I did 1x3 at 215# and then a 1RM at 225#! I've been stuck at 215 for quite a long time... I first hit it about 5 years ago? So it's really gratifying to see my work pay off and finally see a nice big increase in weight.

Camping? Plus Track + OMG SO MANY DOUBLE UNDERS

I've been out for a few days because I have been at RailsCamp, tucked away in the Catskills with little internet. Doesn't mean I didn't exercise! I ran up to the reservoir twice with two different groups of people. 3.6 miles roundtrip and about 200' of hills which I was not used to. But the end view was awesome!

View of the reservoir

View of the reservoir

I also got to do 4 miles of hiking each day, ended up getting sort lost twice, but it all ended well. Once it ended with waterfalls!

We were definitely not really supposed to be here... but the view was awesome!

We were definitely not really supposed to be here... but the view was awesome!

In the crossfit world...

Tuesday I did deadlifts and did 4x3@200#. That's definitely the most I've done at that weight and it felt pretty easy. And thanks to losing 20lbs, it's now 1.5x my body weight! We also did rowing, sandbag pulls, and ring rows. I thought the sandbag pulls would take more out of me since I picked a pretty heavy one, but it was the ring rows that really got to me.

Today (Wednesday), we just did one 15 minute WOD. It was a beast:

AMRAP 15
100 Mountain climbers
30 Sit ups
30 Kettlebell swings (1.5/1)
30 Wall ball (20/14)
100 Double unders
**Every 2:00 do 2 power cleans (185/135) starting at 0:00

I whipped through everything until I got to the double unders... then it all went to hell. I spent probably about 6 minutes or more on the double unders alone. But I did finish them all! I did single-single-double... over and over again until I got to 100. I should also note that I only did 65# on the power clean. My max is 100#, but I really wanted to keep my heart rate up and not get sloppy with a super heavy weight for me. Then around 3pm today, I did a track workout which was 7x800m w/ 1:00 rest. Kept up about an 8:30 pace, which was about what I was shooting for. Basically, it's a good day.

Badger, or Lightening the Load When Tired

This is the workout that my gym posted today:

"Badger"
Complete three rounds for time of:
95 pound Squat clean, 30 reps
30 Pull-ups
Run 800 meters

Since I have to spend about 7 hours on buses today, I decided that, despite my long run yesterday, I should really go to the gym. Wasn't sure if I was going to run or row, so I played it by ear. Thanks to copious amounts of stretching yesterday, I actually woke up feeling ok. And after the 400m warmup run, I felt ready to go. However, I knew that it would not be smart for me to push myself on weights today. I went down to just 35lbs for the squat cleans and I have zero regrets. My quads were still pretty tired and it took me 33 minutes to finish, but I was able to complete it and the runs were no problem. I think the weirdest thing was that my arms were sore? Ended up doing 32 pullups and then the rest ring rows just so I could keep going.

Lesson: rest. It's important.

Woo TUESDAY!

I swear I worked out yesterday, but it was so unmemorable that I forgot to even write about it just a little. Today on the other hand... I felt like a total boss. I'm giving a presentation at Boston Product tonight, so I had to shift my day an hour later and go to the 6:30am class instead of my normal 5:30am (yup, I'm a morning person). This meant I was able to see how many rounds everyone in the 5:30am class got and push myself to DESTROY EVERYONE. I feel like I should make a note here: Crossfit really works for me because I am pretty competitive. Mostly with myself, but sometimes I also just really want to try to be the best. This is why running also works... am I the fastest? No. But can I constantly compete with myself and improve my times? Yes! Plus, races are awesome. Anyway, here was our WOD from this morning:

1-2-3-4-5-6… for 15 min
Box jumps (24/20)
Wall balls (20/14)
KBS (24kg/16kg)

I was wearing my sweet new Physiclo pants and my quads were burning from the lunges that I did yesterday, but I managed to get out 12 + 8 (which would be up to 12 of each + 8 box jumps), as prescribed (RX!). Beat the other highest person by 5 reps! I was super winded afterward and took a minute to stop wheezing, but all was well in the end.

Since I was having a long workday and also missing my track workout, I decided to head over to the MIT outdoor track at 2pm and just do the workout myself. I ended up doing a 9:51 average pace (including the walking rests), which ended up being my fastest pace for distances between 4-6 miles! And that was wearing my favorite new exercise pants. If you live in the Boston area, I highly recommend checking out the Somerville Road Runners Tuesday Night Track. It's really well run and the workouts have helped me increase my 5K time by minutes.

End note: just in case you were wondering, I get paid by absolutely none of the companies or organizations that I linked. I just love them.

11 Mile Run + OHS PR

Today has been pretty interesting. We've got pretty crappy weather all weekend, so I decided to do my long run today. And due to impending rain, I decided to just go this morning. Of course, first, I had some overhead squats to do. Might sound like a weird thing to do, but I've been working really hard on my shoulder positioning lately and didn't want to miss the chance for a retest. I just looked through all my old PRs and I had never gotten over 50# at my old gym. Today, I did a one rep max of 85#. Considering I had a shoulder impingement (in both my shoulders) last May, I'm feeling really great about that improvement. Obviously part of the credit is mine, but I feel like a solid amount of credit belongs to the awesome trainers at my gym, Crossfit Somerville. They, more so than any other gym of which I have been a member, have done an great job of helping me improve my form and keep me from further injuring myself (something I excel at).

Speaking of injuring myself... I made it through my 11 mile run! It got a bit rough the last two miles... my plantar fasciitis started acting up a bit, which ended up making my knee hurt a bit. Luckily, I taped it up, so I think it lasted a bit longer than it would have otherwise. I would think this would be bad news, but considering the same thing happened at mile 7.5 two weeks ago, so I'm pretty happy that I felt good up to mile 10 here.

Tons of Rowing, But Two Days Without A Run

I got these awesome pants yesterday, but Boston weather has prevented me from testing them out today. The wind is out in full force and, since I have an 11 miler tomorrow, I decided to skip it. I did get to wear them to crossfit this morning and, while I felt they were awesome for squats, they were not so great for rowing (too much chaffing).

While I missed my run, I did still get a solid workout at the gym. Today we had two 12 minute EMOMs (Every Minute On the Minute). First one was a complex of 1 power clean + 1 front squat + 1 power clean. I stayed light and did 65# across. The WOD was an EMOM with 10 calorie row + 5 pushups. Apparently everyone else had issues with the pushups, but the row was what killed me. I was able to consistently finish all the pushups no problem, but the row kept taking longer and longer. I had to skip round 6 because I went over the minute in round 5, then did 7-12 at only 8 calories. I am not a sprinter.

Further review of my Physiclo compression/resistance pants coming soon, but so far so good.