Saturday, November 26, 2011

“Success demands singleness of purpose.” ~ Vincent Lombardi

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 129:

Holy OWWWWW, BlogLand. It was a CrossFit morning today - Yep, 7am WOD on a Saturday morning. This is an interesting process in redefining myself; I never thought I'd say that I was willingly (and almost enthusiastically) headed to a raging workout at that time of day on a weekend morning. Wow. However, as today's title quote says, "Success demands a singleness of purpose." I am determined that by the summer, I will be at a healthy place in my life, fit enough to successfully complete a Spartan Sprint (and hopefully, a Super and the Beast. Oh yeah, people. I'm dreaming big!). Singleness of purpose: achieve the goal. In that light, one must do what it takes to get there... in my case, it happens to be really regular, hard workouts... 50 days of No Bread... conquering my mental blocks around running... tuning out the negative/defeatist voices... 7am Saturday WOD's. Eyes on the Prize, baby.

So, I arrive at the gym this morning, wrapped up in my new Spartan Race hoodie (seriously, people. This thing is worthy of a Spartan. It is heavy, warm and amazing. Perfect for winter-morning get-to-the-gym!), mostly awake and ready to go. I got warmed up with a 400m ski, just to get my body moving, while class gathered.

Then on to the Official Warm-Up:
10-15 minutes of partner medicine ball drills, 10# ball. 
Yes, this sounds like fun... throwing from each side, throwing up (like a wall ball), etc... Then, Katy (today's instructor) put my still slightly zombie-brain to the test. Stand with your back to your partner. They call out a direction (left, right) as they throw the med ball... you register that direction, turn around fast in that direction, catch the ball, and throw back...and turn back around to start again.  WHOA that will wake up your brain. haha... AND your abs.

Then, it was on to today's WOD... I turned around to look at it on the board, and I'm sure my face went momentarily pale. It looked horrifically daunting. Like, I did have a brief moment where I thought OMFG... I can't do this!??! Then I had to mentally bitch-slap myself a bit and look at the individual parts. The funny part was when I was looking at the "prescribed" WOD, and then the scaled version, slated for CF beginners. I debated... what to do...!? I had to discuss with the instructor, because: As I looked at the prescribed WOD, I was pretty sure I could get through it - it would just take me a lot longer, and be challenging. If I did CF Beginner version, I could get through it, no issue, much faster... but would I be pushing myself enough? In the end, my Instructor of the Day imparted some wisdom - Do the prescribed version, as much as you can. If you just can't quite finish the number of reps, or with the weight, scale it as you do it, and just record the modifications that you make. That way, you're challenging yourself more than the Crossfit Beginner, but if you can't quite get to the as written version, no worries.

Accepting this approach, I set up my station to do it "As Written" and was determined to get through this set at all costs, unless I really physically failed.

Today's WOD (brace yourself...):

  • 25 Hand Stand Push-Ups (Modified: Off 20" box)
  • 50 Wall Balls (10# Ball)
  • 150 Push Ups (on Knees)
  • 75 KB Swings (16#)
  • 150 Weighted Step-Ups (16" Box, 15# Weight Plate)
  • 600 Single Jump-Ropes
  • 1 mile run
..... Yep. You read that right. Although you could break it up, or modify it as much as you needed/wanted, the idea was to go through the list, as written - thus completely exhausting one muscle group before moving to the next. I was determined to give this a shot. Slow and steady, I decided, and I could do this..... Just so long as I could get past the first exercise: Hand Stand Push Ups. This is a new kind of evil, my friends. If you have no upper body strength, this particular exercise makes you VERY aware of that fact. I'd never tried these before, so I decided I would give the modified version (knees on a tall box to lessen the weight supported) a go. I was more than moderately terrified, but I tried to swallow that fear and ante up. I will start by saying that this is the ONLY movement today that I could NOT complete in its entirety. I tried. I swear I gave it ALL I had... I just don't have the upper body strength to do that, yet. I did get to 20 (with 2-3 breaks), which was close enough to the written version that I was happy with it. Granted, they were NOT pretty, and I was practically crying on the last two or three before I had to call it done... but I did 20 of something really hard that I'd never done before. Good times. It is pretty tricky, though, as all the blood rushes to your head, then gravity is with you and helps you "down".... and then suddenly, you have to get back up. My T-rex arms were REALLY protesting this idea. But when you get fatigued, it's not like you can just pause in the middle of the exercise, as you're upside down, with your legs on a tall box. You HAVE to complete one more rep in order to take a break. THAT was the worst part. Ultimately, I was proud of getting through 20. It may have been the most difficult exercise I've ever attempted.

Wall Balls and Push ups were pretty straight forward. They were challenging due to the number that we had to do... but I just kept breathing and pushing forward. Again, my T-rex arms rejected the concept of 150 pushups... and for the last 75, I had to do them in sets of 3-5 to get through them.... BUT, I finished. THAT was what was important to me. KB swings, also not a problem. Definitely kept my heart rate up, but was a familiar, do-able movement.

Weighted step ups brought an interesting revelation. I was doing the step ups holding a 15# plate. As I got a little tired (somewhere about halfway through), I reminded myself that I used to have no choice but to heft around that much "extra" weight - and a whole lot more. If I got through this exercise, I could put DOWN that 15# weight, and be that much lighter. That visual of how far I had come helped propel me through those step ups. Plus, not for nothin', but all the running and squatting I've been doing really helped here - my legs were pumping right through this, tired, but with good staying power. It was this exercise that allowed me to mini-Chick the two other dudes in my class - they had pumped out the push ups a bit easier, but they just couldn't keep up the pace on the weighted step-ups. I just zoned in, and kept pace with the rockin' Black Eyed Peas song that was blaring, and tried to have fun with it. 

This is where the WOD became a little bit more of a Push. The "as-written" here would've been 200 Double Under jump ropes. I can't do that, yet. It is a skill that I just haven't mastered. The modification: 3x the number, if you're going to do singles. Yes, that's right, 600 jumps. Although, I knew that I could perform this movement... it was just a whole lot of it. I chose to just think of it in chunks.... I did 200, took a break, 200 more and so on, until I busted through it. Considering it was toward the end of the WOD, I think I even looked pretty competent doing it. LOL. 

Last but not least was an entirely mental exercise... run 1 mile. I routinely run 3+ miles regularly... but typically not after that kind of a WOD. As I trotted out the door (yep, OUTside... the cold air felt AWESOME at this point), happy to give my legs something they knew how to do and just sort of stretch them out, I was doing well - steady pace - at first.... then, I rounded the corner in the road and saw the HILL. Yep. Just about half a mile uphill. THAT was how we were going to finish up this WOD. I wanted to die right then, yep I did. However, the two other people (two dudes) in my class were still powering forward.... I was NOT about to be left behind. (Sometimes, your weaknesses - like extreme competitiveness - can become strengths!).  I did have to take a tiny walk break mid long-ass hill, but I kept trucking... that was what was most important to me. I did get to the top, take a second to reflect on that, and then had a nice, long-strided, run down the hill... I was exhausted, true story. But, I was focused on finishing strong. As I got in the door of the gym, I saw one of the guys totally down and in the starfish pose on the floor, and the other was totally hands on knees. WAHA. I wanted to, but on principle, I stayed head up (panting and sweating like crazy), but TRIUMPHANT. Totally finished.

I felt moderately better at the end, when one of the guys (who is my usual CF instructor during the week) said to me, "Woooo boy! We haven't done a long WOD like that in a while... I'm DONE." It felt good to know that it wasn't just me. haha

That said.... I am now feeling the hurting setting in.... LOL. My shoulders and back are completely spent. Completely. I think now it's time for some ice packs, heat and rest. OW. 

However, it's a good hurt. I am on a mission to conquer the T-rex arms. WAHAHAHA. 

With that... It's just 258 days until my goal Spartan Sprint. Yeehaw! Eyes forward, one foot in front of the other. 

No comments:

Post a Comment