Monday, August 15, 2011

Knee bands, sport beans, and another long run...

Coming soon!

Whitten...aka, "That totally sucked!"

As CrossFitters, we all know that hero wod's are intended to be longer, harder, and full of even more suck than our usual wods.  But after doing this with the 0800 class, and then staying around to hang out for the 0900 class, I have to say, I heard this phrase come out of the mouth of everyone who finished this wod....."That totally sucked!"

Whitten is for all intensive purposes, one of the worst wods I have ever done.  I have never come so close to completely DNF'ing a hero wod in my life.  By a round and a half in, I had convinced myself that at three rounds, I was stopping.  I was not going to go any further than that.  I had worked a double the day before, had eaten at the wrong times, and had slept fitfully.  I was not really in any place to get in a hero wod, but I needed another wod this week and honestly, it's a hero.  I can't back down from that.  If you've never done "Whitten" it looks like this:

22 KB swings 53lbs
22 box jumps 24"
400M run
22 burpees
22 wall ball 14lbs

Total time: 64:24

By the time I was at round 2, I wanted to just write it off and call it a day.  Honestly, there is only one thing that made me finish this wod.  I shut the clock off and said that if the guys at the MATC don't quit then I can't either.  For those of you who have never been on Walter Reed's campus, the MATC is where wounded warriors learn to walk, run, row, bike, climb, and do all sorts of other things with their new arms and legs.  Those guys have a lot more to complain about than I do, and for all intensive purposes, I could not in good faith quit that wod. I wanted to, lord did I ever, but I didn't.  I dug in as far as I could, took it one rep at a time, and finished the wod. 

I wasn't pleased with the time, but I knew that the effort I gave was all I had on that day.  Now, had I done this on another day, I may have had more to give, but I didn't, so, it is what it is.  It's a hero wod.  It kicked my ass significantly.  Rest in peace soldier.  Your brothers in arms will take it from here.

"It's only 4 minutes!"

Ah, but yes.  Who knew 4 minutes could suck so badly? On Thursday we hit a team wod that they had done at the SuperFit competition a few weekends ago.  The wod looked like this:

4 minutes
Max thrusters (rotate as needed)
4 minutes
Max C2B pull-ups
4 minutes
Max lateral burpees

For this wod, there were a few caveats. The clock never stopped, so there was no time to allow for rest or rotation.  Your rest was when your partner was moving.  The other caveat was the burpees.  Under normal circumstances you must open your hips at the top before moving laterally over the bar for a lateral burpee.  In the case of the SuperFit competition, you had to release your hands at the bottom of the burpee as in a hand release push-up but you did not have to open your hips completely at the top before you moved laterally.  Both feet did need to take off at the same time though as to avoid sloppy jumping on the burpees. 

Honestly, I have to say, for the second time this week I felt like a rockstar, well almost.  I felt great on the thrusters, and also on the burpees.  Normally burpees train wreck me, but I felt like I was flying without having to stand all the way up.  The C2B pull-ups definitely slowed me down a bit.  I was doing sets of 4 but felt like I should have been doing more. Since this was a partner wod, we totaled our reps at the end of the 12 minutes and Anne Marie did awesome.  Together we totaled 179 reps.  That was a pretty good score on the day. 

Afterwards, we got to take our kettlebells for a walk.  We did an 800M waiter's walk.  Similar to doing farmer's walks, but all done overhead.  Women's prescribed weight was 35 so Anne Marie and I went for it.  It was challenging to walk 800M with a kettlebell, but with the trade off's Anne Marie and I did this in under 12 minutes.  It was a good finisher.  It was a pretty day outside, not too hot, and all the people who were headed to lunch were staring at us like we had lost our ever-loving minds.  I like it when people think I'm crazy! :) It makes things more fun! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If you can squat it, FLAUNT IT!

So, today was heavy backsquats X 5.  We had 15 minutes to work up to a heavy set of 5 backsquats.  I have to say that backsquats are not my favorite lift.  I am very quad dominate, and to be honest, I don't do anything that involves hammies well.  Having said that, that's precisely why I SHOULD do more deadlifts, backsquats, etc, but nonetheless, they are still not my fave. 

I did feel sort of like a rockstar on my sets today though because of the sets I did, none of them really just gassed me.  Normally with backsquats my last set always just leaves me feeling like, ugh.  I'm dead and done.  Today I really didn't feel that way when I finished.  I think this may be because due to our time limit, I took larger jumps, and I did not work up bit by bit by bit.  I normally only make 10 pound jumps, and I think that over the course of time, this wears me out.  I think by making larger jumps, I was able to maintain and not fall apart as I finished up.  My sets were as follows:

85 X 5
115 X 5
135 X 5
155 X 5
175 X 5
200 X 5

I think doing these weights as opposed to what I would normally do, which is get to about 125 and then jump by 10, really helped me hit 200 X 5.  I feel like I definitely could have done more, and when we do this again, I'll probably jump to 155 from 115 and then try to go higher.  The sets felt good though so that was definitely a positive thing. 

After the backsquats, we had a conditioning wod.  I did pretty well despite having just taxed my legs.
It looked like this:

15 DB thrusters 25lbs
12 KB swings 45 lbs
200 M run

Time for this was 12:45.  The inside stuff felt great.   The humidity outside for the run sucked the life out of me.  I feel like this would have been faster had the day been a bit cooler, but then, isn't that always the case? Either way, it was a good day to WOD. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just 2:30 more...

For the past few weeks, I have been putting off my long runs because it has been so freakin' hot in DC that I had no desire to be anywhere that did not involve air conditioning.  But yesterday, yesterday I decided it was high time I got off my butt and got a long run in.  This week was the first week in a few that I've managed to get in 5 days at the box, plus a run.  I have to say, I think I may have overdone things just a smidgen.  I hit the box on Monday and Tuesday but had to take a rest day Wednesday so that I could be here in the house when the professional cleaners came to clean our downstairs bathroom.  My former roommate decided to move out of our house and oh by the way, not clean anything.... including her shower and toilet which looked like they hadn't been cleaned in months, as evidenced by the mold.  For serious.  I can't make that up.  Anyway, I needed to make sure that got nice and clean before our new tenant moved in, so I missed the box on Wednesday. 

Thursday we hit a partner hero wod which was Coe.  Each person did 5 rounds of 10 thrusters and 10 ring push-ups, and runs were added before and after, just for some extra added fun.  On Friday, it was First Friday, and we got to choose our hero, girl, or benchmark wod.  I chose to do Annie because I wasn't really feeling in the mood to throw any heavy weight around.... there's a reason for that which I'll get to later, but yes, that is very out of character for me.... I have not yet "mastered" double unders per say, but I have been noticing some improvement in them, so I thought this would be a good time to get some work in.  For example, I am now able to string together 15 double unders as opposed to 2.  I call that improvement....

Saturdays, in preparation for Fight Gone Bad, we have been doing hero wods.  This week's wod was Badger, which despite feeling like utter and complete crap, I managed to PR on.  Now granted, that may also be because I haven't done Badger in over a year, but I came in on Badger in 37:30.  I think that I can actually do this faster, but my runs were VERY slow.  The humidity on Saturday morning was AWFUL.  I really felt like I couldn't breathe outside at all.... but regardless, a PR it was.....

So if you're clocking, that's 2 heros and a girl wod before deciding in the heat and humidity that it would be a GREAT idea to go for a run.  Initially I was thinking 45 minutes.  Laugh if you want, but for me, that is a long run.  For as much as I hate running, 45 minutes seems like eternity.  You may be wondering why then, if I hate running so much I signed up for a half marathon. Well, two months later I'm still trying to figure that out as well.....

Anyhoo, I went with the intention of running about 45 minutes.  Since I run for time and not distance, I am always keeping a keen eye on my watch.   Well, when I got to 20 minutes out, I told myself just to run for 2 1/2 more minutes.  Well, when I looked down and 22:30 had gone by, I said, eh what the heck.  I may as well just run for 25:00 out and then that will be a 50 minute run.  Well, then I got to 25:00 minutes out and said, eh, just run for 2 1/2 more minutes.  When I got to 27:30, I said, well I've come this far, I may as well just run the 30 minutes out.  Well, I ran 30 minutes out, and thought, well if I run 32:30 then that will be my longest run to date, so what the heck.  What's 2 1/2 more minutes? At 32:30, I decided, well heck, I may as well just run 35 minutes out and turn around, which is precisely what I wound up doing. 

There were a few, um, FLAWS, however, with this series of events.  1) I was only planning on being out for 40-45 mintues, so I took no water.  It was 80 degrees with 90%+ humidity when I started.  Oops... 2) For the half, I want to start experimenting with sport beans and see if they help me maintain my energy.  Since I was only planning on being out for 40-45 minutes, I didn't take any with me.  3) Again, since I was only planning on being out for 40-45 minutes, I didn't take anything in case of knee pain.  My knees gave me some serious throb right around 1.05:00 in. 

Now, despite the stupidity of this run (yes it was dumb because of the lack of water factor) I am proud of myself.  An hour and ten minute run is nothing to sneeze at.  I challenge you to do anything for an hour and ten minutes without stopping and see how great you feel.  Despite the heat and the humidity, I got it in and got it done.  Now, it was not super fast, but there is still time for fast.  Fast I can build up to for the next two months.  Right now, maintaining a pace and keeping my body from falling apart is key before the Baltimore half.  So, that just 2 1/2 minute more mentality really paid off.  Just next time you find yourself questioning whether or not you can finish a wod/keep running/or in general just keep going, just think of me and tell yourself to do it for 2 1/2 minutes.  It's only 2 1/2 more minutes. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Turning heartbreak into motivation...

If you were following along with the Fight Gone Bad voting, you may have noticed at the close of the voting that Operation Ward 57 was in first place.  You may have also noticed however, I did not write a huge celebratory blog.  I'm sure you also noticed that that's because we did not win.  When they closed the voting, we were stoked! We were excited, and we were ready to celebrate and figure out what exactly we could do with such a huge donation.  The website had said that the winner would be announced on Monday.  I realized that after nominating us, I had never given them any contact information for the organization.  I emailed SportsGrants and gave them the information I assumed they would need.  Then Monday came. 

No announcement was made.  We sat on pins and needles.  Then around 3pm EST, I got the email that nearly crushed my soul.  Sportsgrants had made the decision to disqualify us from the nomination.  The explanation we received was that, essentially, people had double voted.  Due to a loophole in the system they set up, it was possible to a) use your Facebook to vote, then go register and use an email, and also b) register multiple emails.  They had indicated to us that on our behalf, multiple users had voted multiple times giving us an unfair advantage.  At no point did the organization itself encourage the double voting, but nonetheless things did not go well for us. 

Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  Our organization has lost online voting contests so many times because someone has set up a bot to continue voting, or do something that simply decimates us in the final stages.  We really felt good about this contest.  To find out the decision of Sportsgrants in the final hours was devestating.  I was so excited about possibly having our organization be the nominated one that I didn't stop to consider how I would feel if we didn't win.  I felt like I was a balloon that someone had let all of the air out of.  My initial reaction was screw Fight Gone Bad.  I don't want to do it.  I don't want to do anything that is associated with Sportsgrants or the people that did win. 

However, after the tragedy that took place today, I realize that regardless of my feelings towards Sportsgrants and the group that did get what I will always view as "our" money, there are now 31 families that are in need of our support.  Not only does Fight Gone Bad support the nominated charity, but it's also going towards The Special Operators Foundation which supports the families of fallen special operators.  In light of the tragedy that took place this morning, I'm putting aside my temper tantrum regarding the voting, and officially beginning my fundraising for Fight Gone Bad.  In addition to the Special Operators Foundation, Fight Gone Bad will also support CrossFit Kids, specifically with regards to water safety.  It will also go to support Camp Patriot, which is a small non-profit based in Montana that has a mission to support wounded veterans through outdoor recreation. 

This has not been an easy pill to swallow, and I'm not sure it ever will be.  I feel like Sportsgrants blamed us for the fact that a loophole existed. I don't quite get that.  Regardless though, life goes on.  I'm not going to stop doing what I do just because Sportsgrants doesn't want to support it.  I have been told more times in the past 3 weeks than I can count, how awesome it is that Operation Ward 57 does what it does.  We have continued to touch people and change lives, and we have continued to be changed by the people we meet.  Someone recently wrote on my Facebook wall that I'm an angel for doing what I'm doing.  I don't think that at all.  I think I'm just a normal person, but even normal people can do good things. 

Although we may not have won Fight Gone Bad, our organization is a winner in a lot of people's books.  Recently, Dominion Power based in VA donated $1,000 to support our work.  UNFI from Washington also donated $3,000 to our organization so that we can continue to do what we do.  Speakeasy, a great t-shirt company, has agreed to donate 15% of every M16 T-shirt purchase to Operation Ward 57.  Rock the Dock Pub and Grill has worked very closely with Brittney Hamilton, our Executive Director, to organize and host "Rock and Rally for the Troops" in Tacoma, Washington.  Countless new likes and supporters have come to our Facebook page, and when it comes to selflessness, there is no greater example than that of Charles Trentelmen.  A dear friend of one of our patients, Charles is a columnist for the Standard-Examiner in Utah.  In a recent article, Charles encouraged readers to donate directly to Operation Ward 57 so that we can continue to support our wounded soldiers.  His article at last update had raised over $5,000 for our organization.  It may not rival the funds from Fight Gone Bad, but the support we have been shown over the past few weeks has been phoenomenal.  This support is support that will not exist for just a one time event either.  These organizations and people have continued to help make others aware of our organization and the work that we do.  These people have been angels in themselves. 

Although it won't be going to Operation Ward 57, please follow my link below and help contribute to my Fight Gone Bad 6 Fundraising page.  It will mean so much to the families and soldiers who will receive these funds. 

Fight Gone Bad 6- Give to those who gave their all.