Judging and Some Snatch Work

So this video I’m about to post has nothing to do with Crossfit, but it’s really embarrassing for this dog and I felt compelled to share:

Anyway, some good news to share. As mentioned in my previous posts, I’ve been judging like a crazy woman at Craic to get credit and standing in order to judge at the Northeast Regionals  this year.  I knew I would be stoked if I actually got selected to judge, but also I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t get in this year – as I went to the Regionals last year and it was blast to just watch the competition and cheer people on (and that would afford me more free time and flexibility over the weekend).  But I got the email yesterday and I was accepted as a judge at the Northeast Regionals!  I’m super excited and nervous all at the same time.  While I take judging seriously all the time, this is on such a larger stage!  I’ll be sure to blog about my experience when they come around (in May).

Today went in for the workout and Glen was coaching.  Sometimes when I’m in a class, one of the coaches will say the littlest thing and it makes things just click!  This morning before the workout, we did some snatch skill work.  I opted to use the PVC pipe since snatches are a little tricky for me and Glen took us through.  We were working on the hang power snatch and instead of the usual cues like “Bend your knees” Glen said “Slide your knees forward” and something just clicked about my initial dip before the lift.  Loved that cue.

After the skill work, we had 20 minutes to get to a heavy 3 reps of hang power snatch.  I opted to do hang power cleans instead to not aggravate my shoulder.  I managed to get to 105# but when I went to 110#, I failed twice on the third rep.  Blargh.  Frustrating.  Glen said my first two reps looked good, I guess I just didn’t have it in me for the third.  Oh well, another day!

Then we did 5 rounds for time of (with my revisions):

  • 5 deadlifts with snatch grip clean grip
  • 7 hang power snatch cleans
  • 9 burpees

Rx weight was 55#.  Since I was doing hang power cleans, I did 65#. The first set was a breeze, I was able to do everything (yes, including the burpees!) unbroken.   Then second set the deads and the cleans were unbroken but I had to break up the burpees.  The third round is when things started going off the rails and I had to break up the cleans and the burpees.  The fourth round was a mess, the burpees were really slow and it took me a little too long to start that fifth round.  I had to break up the cleans into 4 and 3, but I managed to do all the burpees unbroken for the last set.  Final time was 8:11.


Fear and Ankles

Today’s WoD:

  • 50-40-30-20-10 Double Unders
  • 20-15-10-5 burpees

We started the hour with some barbell snatch work.  Moved our way through it and then went into snatch drops.  I’ve really got to overcome my fear of snatch drops.  Even with the 45# bar, they are a psychological block for me.  As we were doing them as a class, my pal Leila didn’t complete her snatch drop and the bar fell on her head.  This freaked me out and I was paralyzed.  Jarrod would yell “Drop!” and the whole class would drop under the bar and I just stood there with the bar on my shoulders unable to move.  Logically, I know that this is something that should be no problem to me.  I just need to move through the fear.  Not sure how to do that yet.  Leila, to her credit, jumped right back on it and did her remaining snatch drops.  I need to find a way to get over this.  I know that I could snatch 100+ if I could just get under the damn bar.

After the barbell work we started the WoD.  I went into it knowing that I would scale the double unders to 1/2 of the amount. The DUs started out strong, I actually PR’d with 22 unbroken.  I finished my last three and my ankle got a lovely sharp pain on the side.  I moved on and did my 20 burpees, which actually weren’t too terrible.  Then I started the DUs again and my ankle was in a pain.  I didn’t want to DNF the WoD, so I went over, grabbed an abmat and did sit-ups in place of DUs.  So, my workout looked like this:

  • 25 double unders, 20 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups, 15 burpees
  • 15 sit-ups, 10 burpees
  • 10 sit-ups, 5 burpees
  • 5 sit-ups

Overall time: 9:11

So a note about my ankle.  I’ve struggled for over a decade with my right ankle.  After multiple severe sprains in college (soccer), the ligaments are all stretched out and essentially useless.  In the past five years, I have fractured my ankle twice and sprained my ankle severely 3 times.  The last doctor I spoke to indicated that I would likely have to have surgery in the next 10 years to fix it. It was so problematic that when I would walk and sometimes my ankle would just flop out and I would sprain it.  For example, in 2010, I was in Marrakech, Morocco (celebrating the wedding of my friend, Adam and his wife Wendy).  I had just spent a lovely time at the spa with some friends.  I was walking in flip flops and my ankle just collapsed and went out on me.  I did a full on Superman fall flat onto the street.  I spent the rest of the time in Marrakech and our time in Paris with a bum, swollen ankle.  As you can see from my lovely ankle accessory in the picture below.  

Crossfit has changed all this.  Since the rest of my body is now stronger, the muscles around my ankle are basically compensating now more effectively for my shitty ankle ligaments.  I’ve turned my ankle coming down on a box (from jumping pull-ups) and in the past, an event like this would cause a severe roll out and turn into a sprain.  Now it just rolls out and bounces back.  The only effect that I’m seeing is that high impact (jumping, running) tends to bother it.  The DU’s today were no exception, but the pain was more severe than normal.  I think that this stems from a small roll I had a couple of weeks ago.  I’m going to take these next couple of weeks working on mobility, stretching, etc. to see if I can get it to cooperate and not hate impact events so much.  

Mayorship Lost, Soul Crushed

Today I checked my email right before I was going to leave for a workout with Jarrod and found that my biggest rival, Johnny D, stole my mayorship of Craic.  So, he’s not my biggest Crossfit rival (see below, he is wearing a 35# weight vest for Sonia’s Run)…he’s my biggest Foursquare rival, specifically for Crossfit Craic.  He was one of the founding members of Craic, lives right around the corner and has had his eye on re-gaining the mayorship ever since I originally stole it from him.  I guess he deserves it.  He did run a 5K with a weight vest yesterday.  

I grabbed my keys and my bag and headed into Craic.  Knowing he would be there to rub it in my face.  Before I arrived and he found out that he got the mayorship, he told Jarrod and his wife Susie.  Jarrod’s reply was “That’s okay.  I’m about to crush her soul anyway with this workout.”  Very comforting.  Just remember people, every check-in counts.  John is traveling on business this next week so I’ll hopefully get it back sometime soon 😉 

I bought some OLY lifting shoes since I’m focusing on getting stronger and lifting better.  I chose the Reebok Crossfit OLY shoes because most times I am not going to use them only for lifting, likely there will be other crossfit elements put into a normal workout.  Here are the ones that I got:

So onto that exciting soul crushing workout.  Started with the Burgener warm up and then did some drop/balance snatches. That’s putting the bar in the back rack position, dropping into a squat and throwing the bar up in the air.  The shoes totally throw off your balance at first until you get used to them and I failed a couple of the attempts.  I finally started using them to my advantage and felt pretty good about it.  Onto the snatches.

The goal was to do a progression to my 1RM just to test me.  It went like this:

  • 55#x5
  • 65#x3
  • 75#x1
  • 80#x1
  • 85#x1 (failed first attempt)
  • 90#x1 (failed first two attempts)
  • 92.5# failed three attempts

SO FRUSTRATING.  It’s frustrating because it’s all form that’s keeping me from putting up higher weights. Jarrod kept on telling me to get under the bar and every time I dipped like two inches.  I just couldn’t connect and put my head under the bar.  I’m not sure why and I need to work on it…It’s a mental block that I need to push through…it just wasn’t happening today.  I’m at least happy that I was able to repeat my 1RM and the time I did it, it wasn’t a fluke.  But seriously –  2.5# and I couldn’t get the frakking bar up.  Argh!  But wait, that’s not the soul crushing workout!  Nope, that was just the beginning.

The workout, which I got a glimpse of was 3 rounds, with two minutes rest in between rounds.

  • 30 second plank
  • 15 dumb bell thrusters (20# each)
  • 200m 30# sandbag run

This workout SUCKED. I was dreading the plank, but that turned out to be the easy part.  A two minute break goes by fast.  Oy.  I’ve never done the sandbag carry and had no idea how to carry it.  I think the worst part of the workout was the thrusters.  My left shoulder is considerably weaker than my right shoulder.  Not having the stability of the barbell and being able to compensate with my right shoulder really affected the thrusters.  These were tough and really tiring. The last 2-3 thrusters from each set SUCKED ass.  I managed to do them unbroken but was really close to dropping the weights.  I got worse from round 1 to round 2.  And managed to do my fastest round for round 3.  It took me a full 15 minutes to catch my breath after this WoD.  Soul crushing indeed.  Final times:

  1. 2:41
  2. 2:44
  3. 2:37

15 min AMRAP – Run, Snatch, Squat

Back at Craic today.  I took yesterday off to recover from the weekend.  Going to try to go Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week and take Friday off before I go and do Sonia’s Run this Saturday.

Today’s WoD was a 15 minute AMRAP.  Run 200, 10 hang snatches, 10 overhead squats

When I was warming up, my ankle started hurting me and when I was walking across the gym to get a PVC pipe, I felt something snap.  There was no pain, but I definitely didn’t feel stable.  I asked Jarrod what a good replacement was and he suggested I try the Airdyne.  Do 10 calories.  Sounded easy enough.  For those of you who don’t know what an Airdyne is, you can look it up here.  Basically it’s a bike that uses both your hands and feet to move – using almost all your muscles to pedal and pump.  

I did the Rx weight, which was 45.  I knew I could hang snatch that weight no problem and overhead squat it no problem.  I’m trying to challenge myself to do Rx weight whenever possible and not caring so much about the reps, but trying to get through it.  When I told Jarrod that I was thinking that I was going to do Rx, he looked at me as if I was stupid to think that there was even a chance that I wasn’t doing Rx.

My goal was to get at least 4 rounds complete and anything after that would be gravy.  For most, the ones who ran, the run was to be used a rest for your arms.  For me, not so much on the Airdyne.  I have decided that I hate the Airdyne.  Not only do you look like an ass while you’re on it (my friend, John, who is an amazing Crossfitter looks very silly on it…)  but you’re sucking wind the entire time and want to die.  So first round, got off the Airdyne and managed to get through the snatches and OHS unbroken.  It broke down like this:

  1. Airdyne 10 cals, Snatches into OHS unbroken
  2. Airdyne 10 cals, snatches 5-5, dropped bar, OHS unbroken
  3. Airdyne 10 cals, snatches 5-5, dropped bar, OHS unbroken
  4. Airdyne 10 cals, snatches unbroken, dropped bar, OHS unbroken
  5. Airdyne 10 cals, snatches unbroken, dropped bar, OHS unbroken

After I finished the 4th round, I was determined to bang out an entire 5th.  I did the snatches unbroken, dropped the bar with 40 seconds left.  Picked up the bar and banged out the OHS faster than I had the entire workout.  Finished at 14:52 – didn’t have time to get some calories under my belt on the Airdyne.

Final score: 5 rounds

Run, Stina, Run!

Today I did a double.  This morning I did the regular WoD, which was 3 rounds for time of 15 snatches and 15 bar facing burpees.  I tried doing one burpee and my low back didn’t feel great, so I did sit-ups instead.  I’m going to see the massage guy again tomorrow so I’m hoping that I can do burpees again starting this weekend.  I hate burpees, but feel like an a-hole not doing them.  First it was my hand and now it’s my back.  Maybe it’s my body telling me not to do them 😉  Ha.  I did the INT weight, which was 65#.  It was really heavy do to 45 reps of them, but since I wasn’t doing burpees, I told myself to suck it up.  Final time was 9:36.  I shudder to think about the time that it would have been if I did the burpees.  I definitely would have lowered the weight.

Then, tonight brought my first time at Running Club.  It’s coached by this dude Dave Conner who’s a Team in Training running endurance coach.  The workout was 400m time trial, 10 minutes of rest, 1 mile time trial.  I was crapping my pants.  I begged my friend at work to schedule a last minute meeting so I might be able to miss it.  I showed up, bummed that I was there and being pretty fucking negative about it.  I hate running.  It’s my biggest goat.  Put me in a pool, I’m fine.  Make me run – I hate you.  Dave told me that the running club might not make me not hate running, but perhaps I will hate it a little less.  So, anyway – my friend didn’t end up scheduling the meeting for me and I showed up.  We did a warm up slow 400 and I was zonked.  I was dreading the rest of the evening’s runs planned. I felt sick.  

We did some mobility and then it was time for the 400m sprint.  I did it in 1:26.  I felt good, as I wanted to finish in less than 1:30.  I ran fast the first 200m and then put some kick into the last 200m.  I could hear my pal Lisa coming up behind me and just tried to push through to the end.  After the 400m, I felt really dizzy and couldn’t focus.  I think I needed to snack a bit before I went to do the run.  Lesson learned.  In addition, I’m not great about hydrating and I should have drank more water throughout the day.

And then it was time for the 10 minute rest.  I talked to Dave about some pointers for running, as I missed the first run club and he told me to stay as relaxed as possible in the shoulders and also try to not heel strike.  And then we were off.  I ran with my girl Amanda.  We were both really nervous and started off on the run.  We were in the 2nd heat, 30 seconds behind the first heat.  The first 400 felt terrible and I started to think that I wasn’t going to be able to complete the next three laps.  But after the halfway mark, we hit our stride.  We ran the last lap and picked up some speed, both pushing each other to run faster we hit 200m to go and really started to pick it up.  The crew was cheering us on and we ran all out for the last 100m.  As we got close to the clock/finish line, we both saw the time 9:52 and both of us were determined to run the mile in sub-10:00.  We busted our butts and crossed the line at 9:56.  We were so happy we hugged.  This was a huge accomplishment for me because prior to Craic, I was lucky if I could break 11:00 minutes.  As we were de-constructing our run, Amanda realized that we were supposed to deduct 30 seconds from our time because we started 30 seconds behind the first wave.  Therefore…our time was 9:26.  

Yes, mother-effers.  We both ran sub 9:30 miles.  This might be slow for some, but it was a huge effing accomplishment for me and Amanda.  We were stoked.  I’m PRing my OLY lifts and stuff like that, but it wasn’t really until that moment that I realized what Crossfit has done for me.  I mean, we work on OLY lifts at Craic, so it was only natural that I will see gains in that.  I can’t really put it into words.  I shaved over 1:30 from my mile time.  I’m still in shock.  

Who has two thumbs and ran a sub-9:30 mile?

Back at it. Dragging ass.

Wowza.  Did I pick the day to come back to Craic or what?  Perhaps it was something cosmically joking with me – as I managed to dodge the running Fran. 

Today’s WOD:

5 rounds for time
10 burpee pull-ups
10 Power snatches (75,55)
10 Air squats
200m run

I scaled the burpee pull ups to 5, and did them jumping to the higher bar on plates.  So it was essentially 5 burpees into 5 step up to plates and then 5 jumping pullups.  I did the Rx weight (45#) and number of air squats. My final time was 20:17.  It was kicking my ass.  You know that the workout is a tough one for me when the RUN is the rest. I thought I was going to puke about halfway through the fourth round.  Overall, good class and great way to jumpstart back into Craic after a sporadic couple of weeks due to travel and vacation.  

We were supposed to go to Jamaica, but that got canceled due to the hurricane.  Instead, we took a last minute trip out to the Berkshires.  We drove up to the Mt. Greylock summit, which is the highest point in Massachusetts and I decided to do a handstand.  That made my feet the highest feet at the time in the state!  My form is a little wonky, but I did it!  Here’s proof!

Later today I have a session with Jarrod in which we are going to work on gymnastics.  I’m not even sure what this means, but I will post about it later.


Today’s WoD was simple enough: 30 snatches for time

I ended up doing 55#, but I think I should have gone heavier.  Meh.

Time: 3:18

Not a ton to say about today’s WoD.  My technique fell apart about half-way through, but got it back for the last 10.  I also didn’t keep the rep scheme that I was going to go with.  My left shoulder is feeling tired, so I’m definitely taking tomorrow off.  When I would go overhead, I definitely wasn’t stable on the left side. Recovery is just as an important part of training.  I need to keep reminding myself of that.

 And in full disclosure, it’s a coincidence that I’m taking tomorrow off and they’re doing Fran. I think that the thrusters and pull-ups would just make my left shoulder worse. But I’m not sad about missing it.