Friday, January 4, 2013

1/3 - "Helen"

This seems to be the week of girls.  Going into the box today I knew we’d be doing another benchmark because of an early morning post on facebook though I didn’t know specifically which one.  I started thinking worse case – like ‘Fran’ but nope, turned out to be ‘Helen’.

My body still feels like it’s been run over by a truck so going back to Crossfit seemed like a terrible idea but had to happen at some point.  I completely forgot how much worse ‘Angie’ hurts on day two, day one was horrible enough but alas.  It was time to gear up for Helen.

It took me about 10 minutes just to get my hands ready for the workout.  They were tender and raw and torn from ‘Angie’ (still) and I knew hanging on to the bar was going to hurt.  There was a lot of tape.  There were my tape grips and there were also my cloth grips.  After a few trial attempts (still unsure if I could hold the bar for the WOD) I added a bit more tape and was ready to give it a go.

300m row
21 beat swings
21 light KB swings (Russian)
30 second plank
30 second hollow body

During the explanation Coach Tim had me demonstrate the beat swings (his shoulder is wonky at the moment) and that was a test in itself.  My hands were tender and I really just started to hook my fingers over the bar to do them.  Same for the reps in the warm up.  I actually set up a set of rings prior to the WOD in the event that my hands gave out and had I had to switch to ring rows.

The warm up was fun and light.  I use the 16kg KB for the swings which now seems ‘light’ for me.  I remember when I could barely Rx a WOD when this was the weight.  Improvement.

3 rounds
400m run
21 KB swings (16/24kg)
12 pull-ups
12:01 Rx

As usual I checked out the other girls times on the board when I got there – the usuals, Tash (10ish minutes), Kayla and Chriselle (both about 11 minutes).  I’m always chasing these girls so it’s nice to have a bit of a target to aim for.  I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be close today given how my body was feeling – sluggish, sore, tired.

The run for all the rounds was steady – I still don’t really have a sprint speed and wasn’t sure how hard to push myself on this as I didn’t want to be completely dead once I got back I the box.  I managed all three rounds of the KB swings unbroken which I was definitely happy with.  Didn’t even need chalk or rip my hands (though they were so covered up this would have been hard to do anyway).  In the last round I was struggling about halfway through but tried to keep my mental focus.  I actually thought about Coach Tim and Regionals and how it was moments like this that made the differences required to make it so I kept going.  Mental.

The pull-ups were a struggle as expected but I still managed to do them all and not do any (further) damage to my hands.  For the first two rounds and half of the last I did sets of 3 before coming off the bar.  The final six were all done as singles as I just couldn’t get a good grip on the bar – a combo of sore hands and lack of grip strength.  I managed to get them done though with some encouragement from Shannon which was most definitely needed.  I finished in just over 12 minutes and was happy with that.

I remember talking to Tim and saying how I’d never done ‘Helen’ before so this would definitely be a PR.  Looking back in the archives however it seems I did do ‘Helen’ almost a year ago when I was just starting to get my Rx pull-ups sorted out – I did 6 Rx and 6 with orange then and still managed to finish 2 minutes faster this go round.  It’s awesome to see the progress.  I think I like the benchmark WODs for this reason alone.

3 min AMRAP

I almost bailed on this one.  I know, I know… that’s not what Crossfitters do, they keep pushing… I know, I know but my body feels totally wrecked still.  I did it anyway thinking that the burpees were going to be the killer after all the push-ups in ‘Angie’… hmmm, I kind of forgot about all the squats in ‘Angie’ as well.  I pushed, I survived. Though it was tough when Coach Tim mentioned we were only 30 seconds in and I was finishing round 3/ starting round 4.  The first few went so fast though time didn’t.  Tough.

I did some rolling of my lats and delts which are the most sore part of me.
I also did some mashing with the 20kg bar on my shoulders/ biceps.  A really good hurt.

As  noted above, as usual, I was talking to myself during the workout.  I always do this as I’m sure many others do as well.  Often times I sense that it’s my mind stopping me from pushing forward rather than my body not being physically able to do something.  Obviously this restricts gains so I’m trying to recognize the difference between my mind wanting to stop and my body needing to stop, a definite difference. 

It’s the new year now and there’s a big push to refocus on nutrition, etc. but I’ve decided that I need to focus on my mind and body, more specifically how they relate to each other.  My mind is definitely still catching up with what my body can do – for example I can easily snatch more than 40kg but my mind is terrified of me actually doing it and hence holding me back.  In order to break these barriers and get stronger I need to spend time slowly down, becoming aware of my body and reestablishing this connection.  Instead of the January focus being on nutrition for me instead I’ve committed to doing yoga on the days I am not crossfitting.  Some days it may just be a longer form of svasana (corpse pose) where I solely focus on my breath through my body, bringing the awareness back, other days it will be self led Moksha practice or perhaps again yoga with Cam.  Who knows what it will look like, I will listen to my body on these days and go with it.  It’s what I need now to get better.  More clarity and confidence and belief in my physical being.  I’m excited to see the changes. 

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