Wednesday, March 28, 2012

‎"You have an appointment with life, and that appointment is in the here and now." -Thich Nhat Hahn

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 252:
(End of week 36)

It was a nice day today, BlogLand. It's gone cold again in Vermont, so I must admit, I was happy that it was CrossFit day. By a fortuitous turn in my work schedule, I was able to hit up an afternoon CF class. These are my favorite because a) I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, and b) I enjoy the trainer who usually teaches in the afternoon. His motivational techniques are a little more my style than the laid-back morning guy. Both are excellent instructors, but afternoon guy cliques with my WOD style a little bit better. So, I was psyched to get to that class.

Yesterday, I did sprints and my legs were definitely not 100% today (definitely NO running today.), but I scoped the WOD online before I went, and it looked doable and not HUGELY quad-intensive (which seems to be where these sprints effect me most).

Here's how it went:
Warm-Up: Something we call The Confluence Warm-Up (it's the name of the gym)... x2. It's basically a series of 10 movements, that you do 10 reps of each to get the blood flowing and your muscles warmed up.

We then moved on to doing two 1-minute benchmark tests. Basically, go all out at two things from a list of 'benchmarks' for 1 minute. Record in binder. Compare to previous number.
Today I elected to do pull-ups (with a big band), as I've been avoiding it as long as possible.
1 minute: 18 pull ups (with the heavy black rubber band). I had to stop multiple times, and I can see this is still my greatest achilles heel (coincidentally, I was wearing my "T-Rex Hates Push-ups" shirt... which I felt applied here, too.)
1 minute: 51 body weight squats. My previous number was 46. YEAH. Killed that. I was particularly proud of that, considering I was working with legs at less than peak capacity. NEXT time, I'm shooting for 60.
However, I will not lie, after 51 in a minute, my quads were spent and shaking a bit. EH. Nothing I couldn't work through. (I hoped.)

Onto the main event...

Today's WOD:
(A partner WOD)
Partner 1: Deadlifts
Partner 2: Burpee Broad Jumps, the length of the gym and back.
Count lift reps and number of rounds completed.

Here's the thing about partner WODs... they can be touch and go, depending on your partner. Partners can be extremely motivational, or really frustrating. Today, I was not so thrilled with my partner (long story I won't spew to the depths of cyberspace), but I decided I would just go all in and maybe she would take the hint. (The short story: She was new to CF, but wanted to seem like she knew everything, and also still wanted to stay 'pretty' while woding. Further, she felt the need to inflate her numbers massively at the end. Insert Aja's annoyance.)

So, I start with Deadlifts, which are a pretty strong lift for me. We were supposed to be lifting at 50% of our one rep max, but for the ease of the partner wod (and the crowded class), I was only lifting 50#. However, in theory, we would be lifting a LOT of reps, so it should get heavier....

Round 1 went okay... I was deadlifting with good form and time efficiency like a champ. WAHA.
Broad Jump Burpees are a new kind of evil. Basically, do a burpee, but instead of jumping up and clapping, you jump OUT... land said long jump and right down into next burpee. And you thought regular burpees sucked.
Thankfully, it took about 8 of these things to travel the length of the gym and back. You know you are in a weird place in life when Deadlifting in your workout is the "break."

Round 2 found me still going strong. Burpee Broad jumps began sucking a little harder. We only had 12 minutes to do this thing, and I am motivated by a ticking clock. I was REALLY trying to get through these things with speed and efficiency.

Round 3 and I was definitely starting to tire. I was still keeping a consistent pace and good form while I lifted, but it was a little bit slower. Still no rest stops though - which I am happy about. I began feeling the legs a little in this round (or lack thereof...)

Round 4... this is getting ugly. Having to concentrate to maintain form on deadlifts. Keep reminding myself to utilize my legs fully to get through those deadlifts... if my partner would just burpee back a little faster...
These burpee broad jumps were hard, now. We'd been at this about 9 minutes now, going strong. I was trying to broad jump with pretty spent legs. I just kept telling myself that I only had a few more minutes to push it... and I kept picking spots on the floor that I needed to jump TO. That helped. Still pushing, still going.

Round 5. Yes, we'd entered the seventh layer of Hell, now. My legs were pulling from energy reserves... somewhere. Barely. Sweat was dripping into my eyes, and my quad would quiver every time I would momentarily touch the weight to the floor. EXCELLENT. On to the burpees. I didn't have a whole lot of jump left in me, but with some "motivational coaching" from the instructor, I kept my jumps (slow), but clean and still a good distance. I did *not* get yelled at for leaping (one foot jumping), or not jumping. WAHA. I don't stop 'til I'm DONE.

Round 6. The clock was winding down. We were in the last 2 minutes. Final push. Pick weight up, put weight down. Repeat. No thinking, just get mechanical. My body knows what to do, and I refuse to give it the chance to think about whether it can do it or not. We're just going to finish strong, whether or not my legs are shot. However, I don't know if they were, because I couldn't think about it... all I was thinking was, "Pick weight up, put weight down." (and a few pointers - eyes up, keep ass low, etc.)
Onto my last round of burpee broad jumps. I pretty much wanted to die, but I was determined this was not how I was going to go out. I did them slowly but steadily, and am happy to report that I *completed* the last round, just as the buzzer went off. I won't lie, there was a point on the way down the gym that I went down for my burpee and as I hit the floor, watching my own sweat pool on the rubber mat in front of me, I thought... it's comfortable here.... I can BREATHE if I just stay down here for a few seconds..... but then I reminded myself that "comfortable" is not what we were here for. WORK.
Up I went, to finish the round.

Total Rounds: 6. Total Lift Reps: 89 (Time: 12 min)

At the end of that, I was sweatier than I have been in quite a while, and was pretty sure that the rubber matted floor would be an excellent place to assume the starfish CrossFit-Killed-Me position... but I stayed on my feet.

However, then began the great debate. I briefly thought to myself... Self, this might be a good night for an ice bath. Then Self said to me - "Are you KIDDING? That does not sound like a good time at ALL. Just go home and make dinner and chill." But then, I had to remind myself that I did sprints yesterday, and this WOD today, and if I didn't ice bath, I probably wasn't moving tomorrow.... So, I did what I always do, when I'm in doubt (or conflict with myself): I texted the GT.

I think it was mostly to confirm what I already knew he would say. "Do it."
... so I did it.

I did have a great revelation though. When you live in Vermont, and you run your cold water out of pipes that are buried deep within the still-frozen ground and the temp outside is still only like 35 for a high.... you DO NOT need to put ice in your "ice bath." Cold water is indeed cold enough.

I made the usual plethora of dying cow, lamaze breathing, torture scream sounds, as I dropped into the water. I swear, I'm going to get a thermometer so I know just how bad this is, EXACTLY. It sucked HARD. However, I shivered and persevered, reminding myself that in the long run (no pun intended) this would be better and actually HELP me. I reminded my Quads that they better thank me for this because my Toes were certainly taking one for the team (thankfully, they went numb first).

After surviving that, I find myself spending the evening wrapped up in an excessive amount of layers and blankets, sporting perhaps one of my best looks yet (in an effort to save my cold toes!): Hot pink calf sleeves, with red fleece socks (with snowflakes on them), that go to mid-calf. Yep. Hot pink calf sleeves, showing over the top of my uber stylish red fleece socks. You KNOW you're jealous of that fashion statement.  But guess what, the tootsies are warm (finally!), and the quads are thawing and returning to functioning, as we speak.

Hopefully, I wake up tomorrow feeling no effects of my crazy workouts (Yeah...).

Thankfully, tomorrow is Complete Lower Body Rest Day. Ahhhh....

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