Hello Winter

Very rarely do we make it into mid/late October in Calgary without seeing a build up of snow.  Typically we’ll get a day or two early in the month that melts right away but by month’s end, winter usually makes itself very well known.  Most of us grew up planning for our Halloween costumes to fit over snowsuits and parkas and this year it’s no different at all.

Though the last week has been pretty chilly, it was on Sunday that the roads reminded us to drive careful and watch our step so we don’t injure ourselves.  Falling on ice can hurt a lot and missing CrossFit time because you fell on your butt outside isn’t fun at all.  Here’s what I was met with when I finally got to work on Tuesday AM!

Speaking of missing CrossFit time, I did.  Two weeks ago I injured my lower back and was forced to take some time off.  I still went in to stretch and help coach, but I was restricted to mobility for 5-7 days.  I fought the urge to workout heavily and am glad I did because the time off forced me to rethink my dietary intake habits and also gave time to refocus on what I am trying to do with my life.  Back on track, I hit CrossFit 403 on Monday afternoon for a really fun workout.

I went in at about 430 or so, planning to work on my strength program (Wendler 5/3/1) with the focus for this workout on Back Squats.  I did my own warm-up in the corner while the Teen’s Class did its thing and then set up a back squat station.  My task yesterday was

5 x 100lbs
5 x 125lbs
5 x 150lbs

3 x 175lbs
3 x 200lbs
3+ x 225lbs

The (3+) means do at least three reps at that weight, but do as many as you can in the final set.

I powered through the warm-up and felt really great, so onto the workout we go.  The sets at 175 and 200lbs went well but on my third set I started coming forward in my chest.  I HAVE to break my habit of looking down—LOOK AHEAD!  Where your eyes go, your head will follow so when I’m looking at the floor, my upper body is going to start leaning towards the floor.  Not good.  I know I need to work on this but even so I felt pretty good finishing 5 reps at 225lbs.  I’ve done a set of 10 there before but with the recent injury and form breaking down, the smart move was to stop.

By this point, the 515pm class had started trickling in and knowing what the WOD was, I had to partake.

I’m sorry, but I forgot to snap a picture of the WOD Board 😦

The WOD was:
4 minutes, find your one rep max for the Squat Clean
row 800m
4 minutes, find your max consecutive set of double-unders
row 800m
4 minutes, find your one rep max for the Squat Snatch

My goal for the 1 rep max sets was to attempt the squat as part of the lift but if it was messing with me too much, I would perform the lift and then do a squat with the barbell in it’s final position—in a clean, I would be doing a front squat, in a snatch I’d be doing an overhead squat.

I set up my bar with 145lbs, knowing I could do that easily–accomplishing your first rep really helps your state of mind going forward.  3…2…1…GO! My first lift went perfect, I was really happy with it and my squat felt awesome so I knew I could step it up.  I added 10’s to the bar, for 165lbs–knowing I had done 166lbs for 5 reps at the BCBD in September made me feel pretty confident but again, I’m coming off an injury so I would have been content here.  Done…now for 185?  The weight got into my head I think, and I failed my lift.  I only had about 30 seconds left so I reset the bar with 175lbs and let ‘er fly, SUCCESS!  I do believe the 185 could have happened with more time but this wasn’t a strength session, it was a timed WOD and I felt pretty good about what I had done.

Onto the rower, I know that if I maintain a pace of 1:52 per 500m, I will finish 800m in 3:00.  I am happy to report that I did maintain that pace or better through both rowing sections!

Onto double-unders.  One of my first posted goals on this blog was to do 10 consecutive DU’s and I’ve Never done more than 15 to my recollection.  The “20” number has haunted me but I knew it would come with time.  With a max set as part of last night’s WOD, I knew I had to PR this to be happy so I aimed for 15.  By my second attempt I had done 13 and more 4th set saw 15–but I had almost 2 minutes left so the new goal became 20.  It’s always funny to me how goals can change mid WOD…

I took a 15 second break, set my rope and got into it.  It took a couple tries but all of  a sudden I realized I had done it, for a max set of 22 straight!  I was stoked about this and hit the rower hard again finishing 800m just under 3 minutes, adrenaline pumping no doubt.

Last set, the snatch.
This lift has been dogging me since February.  In the 2012 CrossFit Open I failed my attempts to snatch 135lbs overhead after doing 30 reps at 75lbs and this has bugged me since March 3rd.  I hadn’t gotten past this yet and for the last 7 months I had been limiting myself, for some reason scared to try again.  Last night, I fixed that.  I set up for my snatch attempts at 105lbs, feeling very confident there.  With the first lift out of the way quickly, the bar went up to 115lbs, again handled well.  I added 10 more pounds to the bar to try 125 and I said to myself “no, just frickin do it, grab another 10”.  135lbs it is.

With the bar set (literally and figuratively), I stepped up and set my feet.  I said out loud “this is yours, pick that shit up and explode. Get it.”

I could get all artsy here and talk about things going in slow-mo, feeling how the weight went up, yada yada…but I don’t need to.  Quite simply, I had probably the best snatch pull I’ve ever had and 135lbs went over my head with relative ease.  I stood there for a second with the bar overhead, realizing that I had broken my mark, I did an overhead squat to complete the movement and threw the bar to the ground.  My 4 minute mark was up, my WOD was over, and I was elated.  The funniest thing about it for me is that now that I’m becoming more comfortable about myself and my abilities, I’m becoming a lot more animated with my celebrations—I’m not at the Terrell Owens level yet (I’d probably get in shit for pulling out a sharpie and autographing a med ball), but there are obvious fist pumps!

So in twenty minutes of work, I PR’d my consecutive double-unders and cleared my 135lb Snatch hurdle.  To do that lift after the previous 16 minutes of work felt so awesome, so so awesome.

My night only got better too because after my WOD, I was slated to coach at 630 and 730–and both groups came with their game faces on.

-Kari PR’d with 25 consecutive double-unders
-Lindsay matched a PR with a 100lb clean
-Sheena, I’m not sure if she PR’d, but she had absolutely perfect form squat cleans
-and my proudest moment was watching my mom do both her cleans and her snatch lifts, then ADDING weight!  She did both with “just” a women’s bar (35lbs) after me suggesting a technique bar (15lbs), already saying “no no, I can do this”, and then she ended up doing a 65lb clean and a 45lb snatch.  Simply awesome.

That was a fan-freakin-tastic night at CrossFit 403, I’m so proud to be a part of this crew it’s ridiculous.  There’s nothing that beats the winter traffic blues quite like kicking ass with bars and weights.  See you tonight.

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