Monday, March 31, 2014

Burpees are always the problem......

The final workout. I KNEW it would be thrusters and burpees - they hadn't shown up yet and I'm not that lucky for burpees to not make an appearance.

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters

I didn't give the burpees much thought, they always suck - no matter what. I was worried about the thrusters getting heavy. So, I got my plan and started wrapping my brain around this hell. I wanted to finish under 20:00, no reason other than I didn't want to have to keep working after that. :) I also wanted needed to follow the plan. 100%.

Of course, these guys made it look like a walk in the park.

I'm not even sure Froning broke a sweat. I'm pretty sure he is a cyborg. 

I warmed up, put on my Oly shoes and my wrist wraps and got ready to die. My plan was to break the round of 21, 18, 15, and 12 into two sets so I didn't burn out my shoulders or my brain. Then I was going to do 9, 6, 3 unbroken. The burpee plan was to just keep moving. All sets unbroken, but steady. Active recovery. On a burpee. Right. I realized with my first burpee (don't worry, it was a no rep) that I had been practicing these all wrong. I typically do them in a WOD by skipping over the bar one foot at a time - get nervous I'm going to trip. Well, you play like you practice and that's what I did for burpee #1. No rep. I spent the rest of the 20 minutes over thinking "feet together. ready. jump!" It helped me keep a steady and SLOW pace, but I wanted to die. 

Shit got real during the round of 15's. It was never the thrusters. It's always the burpees. At one point I was laying on the ground and I thought "I'm an adult. I can do what I want. I'm going to lay here." Nope. I got up. I kept getting up. This was mentally the most difficult workout I've done in a while. I did not walk away from the bar. I did not spend time catching my breath.....I just kept moving. Not fast. But moving. I couldn't even talk during this. There were no words. My husband would cheer some encouraging thing and all I could do was look (ok, glare) at him. He tore his rotator cuff. He doesn't have to do this workout. He just doesn't understand my pain - dramatic enough? I did apologize for giving him the finger, ok BOTH fingers. I cannot be held responsible when burpees are paired with thrusters. 

So what now? Well, naturally I stay fit and ready in case a huge measles or chicken pox epidemic takes out the top 1000 ladies. Then I'm off to regionals! Otherwise I will be sitting here compiling my list of what I need to work on thanks to the ever watchful eye of The Open.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Open experience!

Monday, March 24, 2014

My 14.4 and a chat with Stacie Tovar

 Well, there you have it. 14.4. Row, Toes to Bar, wall balls, cleans, muscle ups. Whew. That's intense. I am not a professional rower (what?), but I have never rowed for calories. 60 calories? Not so bad. Right? Right guys? I found out it's a decent row....about 1000 meters. It took me 4 minutes. Not a sprint. At all. Get off the rower and go hang on the bar and throw your feet up. Tap that bar. Each. Time. I was VERY happy to only have 3 no reps on 50 toes to bar. My strategy was small sets. DO NOT FAIL. I needed to save my grip and not rip my hands. Success! I did sets of two and then quick sets of one. No hand ripping. Winning.

Now. Those wall balls. Ugh. I hate them. I need to learn to be ok with them, but now I just hate them. Those were mentally tough. I was tired. I wanted to stop. I wanted to just stand there. I wanted my wall ball to some how magically roll away and then I could just say "Well, I guess I'm done". The plan was to do a set of 12, 8, then 5's. I did all sets of 5 and then the last set was 2 then 3. It was hard. Breathing was hard. Arms were dead. Legs were burning.

My whole goal was to finish the cleans. All 30. 95# is not heavy for me - after everything else it's heavy - but I was not worried about my ability to lift it. I just needed to get there. I did singles and squeaked out 9 cleans. I wish I could have gotten a few more - but it would have been tough. I worked hard. I kept moving. I did not waste time (other than a moment taping my hand). It took me a day or two, but I'm very happy with my score of 159. I did play with a muscle up - disclaimer: I have NEVER even come close, this was just for fun!

Photo: 14.4 The Open can produce magic....but I did NOT get my first muscle up. Had fun trying
I really just like my socks. They rock. I'm pretty sure they loved flying through the air.

Today I am sore. My abs are dying (stupid toes to bar) - laughing hurts. A sneeze? Forget about it. I might die. My upper body is sore too. Feeling more and more comfortable with that score - no redoes for me this time.

Now. Our favorite white shorts wearing crossfitter. Stacie Tovar.

There are many many reasons I dig Stacie. First, she always has a smile and seems to be having a great time. She has a signature hairstyle - the side swoop. She has fun with it. I like that. She kills a pair of white shorts. That is pretty amazing - and don't worry, I will be purchasing this shirt when it comes out. Obvi

She is more than a side swoop and white shorts. Promise. She has been to The Games 5 times. That's some serious training, passion, and drive that she has and can execute. She is currently in 2nd place in the North Central Region and 14th Worldwide (when I hit submit on this old blog of mine). Stacie swears by journaling her workouts, food, and sleep (gets a solid 9 hours every night!). I wish I could say "I sat down with Stacie to chat......" but she is busy. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Oh, and it's The Open - she is all over the map! So we did this little interview over the computer. I was so stoked to get in touch with her.  Here it goes:

1. What do you like to do in your free time - Crossfit free?
I love to sit in the sun, hang at the lake in the summer, garden, and play with my dog Louden.

2. What is your ultimate comfort food?
My Granny J's homemade eats, or my Daddy's famous grilled steak, chicken in foil, farm grown sweet corn, and mashed potatoes!

3. Is there anything about The Games at The Ranch that you miss?
Not really :)

CrossFit Games 2008

4. What is the hardest Crossfit move for you to master?
The Snatch. Still trying to figure that one out.

5. First thing that went through your mind when you heard 14.1?
I remembered this one and it's a lung burner!

6. Do you and your husband workout together?

Thanks Stacie and GOOD LUCK!!!!

I've tried the side swoop. It's not easy - she has clearly mastered this. We all know white shorts are not easy to pull off. Stacie has put in hard work and has zeroed in on her nutrition to make those shorts possible and drool worthy. I may have tried the swoop but I know better than to try white booty shorts. Yet. Maybe one day. :) 

Cracks me up. Every.Time.

This one is my favorite

Monday, March 17, 2014

Redo, Repeat, Do Over, Rerun, Replicate, Rehash, Again Again Again......and a little Beast Mode

The Open. 14.3. Whew. A doozie for sure. Here's the workout:

Not terrible, right? Deadlifts start at 95 pounds. I got that. Box jumps (bleh) - oh say I can step up? Killin it. I watched the cool kids do it online:

Of course Tovar nailed it in her white shorty shorts. Man, those legs......killer. So, watching them I realized perhaps this will more difficult in reality than it sounds on paper. Weird. That's almost every WOD of my life. When they sound easy/do-able you need to RUN. It's going to suck. Bad. And this one did.

The worst parts? My grip started to go towards the end. It got heavy. My lower back was on fire. There was no time to catch your breath. I didn't wear a belt (stupid and it was part of my plan). AH! 8 minutes of hell. I got 113 reps, almost cried out of frustration, and was hurting for two days. I seriously thought I would do this one again. Get a few more reps - every rep counts. I did it originally Friday night. I spent all day Saturday stretching, doing mobility, staying warm, etc. Sunday morning rolled around and I had to text my coach "Not gonna happen. Still too sore. 113 is fine with me". He said that was the right choice and let's focus on 14.4. Not all workouts are made to repeat. This summer? Sure, I'll give it a go. This week? Nope. I did do 14.1 and 14.2 twice, but I was not sore, I did not have injuries, ripped hands, etc. Honestly, I'm not sure at this point how many more I could get after 113. A belt - might add a few. Quicker transition times with weight changes - maybe a few more. Not enough to make killing my back worth it.

Here's the first two rounds of 14.3 - deadlifts only.

I know what your thinking...."Tovar wore her white shorts......Ann, what were you wearing?" Glad you asked. My favorite Reebok nano speed shorts (I'm obsessed. I love them so much). My favorite knee socks - skull on back. My new Reebok Nano 2.0's (the hubs designed them for me!). My new t-shirt from I Am Beast Mode.  I love this thing. First of all the length is perfect for me. I do NOT like shirts that ride up. This is a good length, I didn't have to mess with it once. It's super soft. I mean, SUPER soft. I dig the logo on the front. Clean. Black and white. Perfect. The back?

How do you NOT love the back? People were reading it and commenting on it all night. Pretty great. 

I also got the tank. Also SUPER soft. Who doesn't love a wolf? A kettlebell? A wolf biting a kettlebell? Nailed it. The cut on this is great - not so narrow that a side boob pops out (I hate that) and again, the length is awesome. Best way to test length? Thrusters. I was in thruster hell for this WOD. Do you see it? Of course you don't! No belly hanging out. None. I'm officially in love with this one. 

I Am Beastmode is a company in California that was founded by athletes for athletes. They have a bunch of great stuff up on the website - I've been hearing talk of a commercial and a new Spring line coming soon too!
Check them out on instagram (@iambeastmodeusa) and facebook

Hope everyone is recovering for 14.3 and is making awesome guesses about what might be in store for 14.4. Muscle ups???? Will burpees appear? Where are those wall balls???

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hard Ass Work and 14.2

So The Open has been a roller coaster of emotions for me so far. Two weeks in and I have said they are lame, awesome, too exclusionary, stupid, get the idea. The only thing I haven't said is "I wont do this again" - I love this sport, it's my crack. I'll totally sign up again next year no matter what 14.3, .4, and .5 bring us.

So, 14.1 I was unhappy about the double unders. Why? They are a weakness. Duh, of course I'm not happy to have that highlighted. So what am I working on now? DU's. Trying to hit sets of 30+ consistently. Thanks CF.

14.2: over head squats and chest to bar pull ups. What? Ok, over head squats I've been practicing. So no big whoop. Thankfully you start with that, so I knew I would get 10 points. Whew. Chest to bar? I thought MAYBE I could get one. A score of 11 would be fantastic. A score of 12? I'd cry. My coach said I should do it a second time IF I got less than 5 CTB pull ups and think I can do a few more BUT if I got 30 or more I should not (don't want to rip my hands). 30? or more? Bwahahahahahahaha. I laughed and told him if I got 30 or more then I would cry and declare myself queen of CFA.

Well? I present to you Queen Ann

33 Chest to bar pull ups!!!!!!

And my reaction?

I spent a lot of time being excited - but also being nervous. Why? I kept thinking "did I do those right?", "did I REALLY do them?", "can I ever do them again?", "how in the world was I able to do that?". To answer: yes, I did them according to the standards and had many many people watching. Yes, I really really did do them. Yes, I can do them again (did them Friday and again Sunday). How in the world did I do them? A lot of hard ass work. Prior to The Open I did 21 weeks of straight EXTRA work in addition to showing my shiny happy face at Crossfit Annandale 5-6 days a week. I recorded it all, reported it to a coach, analyzed it, and worked my butt off. Why? Because I want to get better, faster, stronger......I love this shit! When The Open is done I will be back on the extra work - working on things I learned from the open and working on things that are already planned.

Hard work, consistency, awesome support from CFA - that's how I went from a goal of 11 reps to 77 reps for 14.2.

Then I got to enjoy my boys putting in their work. They are in super speed - so pardon the blurs :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

7 year old wisdom and Patience - 14.1

As I waited for the 14.1 workout to be announced I was thinking about my back. I am not sure one thing hurt it - but more a combination of lots of clean pull drills, pull ups, and WODs. I don't do hurt well - but I'm trying to just recover. Luckily I have until Monday night to do this workout and get credit for it.

Tuesday night was my last workout. I have been taking it easy, stretching, using Biofreeze, more sucks. Each day I have felt better, which can be dangerous for me because I will jump back in too early. Luckily I have Sam and a coach that have kept me in check. Thanks guys!

10 minutes: 30 Double Unders, 15 Snatches (55#)

I went to CFA on Friday night to cheer on my friends in 14.1. It looked tough for sure. I had a game plan of "steady eddy" before watching people do it. I also had a # goal. I suck at Crossfit math, so that # goal was quickly revised when I realized I didn't do the math right. :) It was great cheering on my friends and helping them hit their goals (either getting just some double unders, unbroken snatches, or just making it 10 minutes). I walked away with a few more things to add to my list: don't walk away from the bar, it's ok to break the snatches into sets of 5, RELAX on the double unders. 

I did 14.1 on Sunday - waited for my back to feel better and it did. Whew. Still sore, but didn't feel it at all during the workout. Double unders messed me up. Snatches and cardio were good. Great even. First two rounds I did the snatches unbroken, then broke them into sets of 5.

Goals for 14.1:

1. don't pee my pants (double unders.....yeesh)
2. don't poop my pants (nervous poo reality)
3. stay at the bar - do not walk away from it
4. stay calm. stay calm.
5. keep tight. don't hurt my back

I did all these things. No pee, no poo. I did not walk away from the bar and waist time. I stayed calm. My back did not bother me at all. I did not hit the number I wanted, but I also did not do the double unders well enough to do that. I was on the phone with my husband telling him I was embarrassed, wanted to do it again, didn't like my score - you know....pitty party. My 7  year old, in the back seat, told me this:

"Mom, you did great! You worked so hard and you tried so hard. I think you are great and so strong. 190!?!? I couldn't get anything close to that! I'm proud of you!"

Yep. The 7 year old gets it. I did not hit my number BUT I tried, I gave it my all. My family is proud of me. I'm proud of me. I did 14.1. I will do the rest of the workouts and give it my all.

I went in and gave it one more shot today. I relaxed, followed the plan, and did what I know I can. I improved by 29! Day two of snatches were a little heavier - but I did it.

Hope everyone out there gave it there all this week!