Spartan Shape-Up, Day 299:
Urrghhhh... Morning came *really* early today, BlogLand. Despite the new schedule that my CrossFit gym has instituted, I have committed to sticking to my 3x week regime. After all, "If it is important, you will find a way... otherwise, you will find an excuse." I've decided no more excuses, no more whining. Just get up, get to Crossfit and STFU. Tackling that recent race has really got me moving again. It showed me where my weaknesses still are (helloooo upper body), and where my strengths are (yes, I'm a beast with heavy stuff). It has also distinctly reminded me WHY I was ever doing this in the first place. I've got a rigorous serious of races over the summer, so there's no time for "sleeping in" or missing WODs. Again, No. More. Excuses.
At 5:40am I put my feet on the floor. For anyone that knows me, you can attest that this is nothing short of miraculous. I fell into some spandex and got in the car (uncaffeinated. I shouldn't have been on the road. hehe). I'm not sure my eyes were fully open, or that all my neurons were adequately firing, and I SO wanted to be back in my bed. Thankfully, it was a warm, relatively pleasant morning, making my venture out into the day a little more tolerable, even though I'm pretty sure the birds were still asleep, even.
Today's WOD was a pretty straightforward one. First, we tackled our Strength section; Today, it consisted of Front Squats. Woot! This is something I can do! Tricky though, because of the size of the class (yes, it is a BIG class at 6am. WTF?! Who ARE you people?) we didn't use the squat racks, meaning we were going to clean (pick up) this bar from the ground to squat position. For those of you unfamiliar with these sorts of lifting movements, basically, "cleaning" is a way to get your big heavy weight from the ground to "rack" position at shoulder height (from which you would proceed to squat, or press overhead, etc.). Here's the thing though, cleaning a weight is a skill that you have to learn and perfect. Not to mention, it gets more challenging as your weight goes up. Thus, most people could successfully squat a significant amount more weight than they can clean. The clean would be my limiting factor today.
I started out kind of light today, as our Strength piece was labeled as: 5-3-3-1-1 (reps). I didn't have a lot of gauge about what sort of weight I could get into position to squat. Then, as we gradually added weight with each set, at some point I just said (excuse the language), "mmm... fuckit." Basically, we ran out of the weight plate combinations I was looking for, so I decided to just go for it. Upped the weight significantly, figuring that since I was here at this ungodly hour and suffering anyway, I might as well really beast something out here. You only have to do it one time for it to count. I grabbed the bar, used every ounce of technique and oomph that my body had in it, and did it - got that bar to rack position. After that, a squat was no problem. Rawwwrrrr!! Beast Mode: On.
This is weird, maybe, but lifting makes me feel strong, empowered and ready to tackle the world. I think it is because I am successful at it, and although you are met with opposition (the heaviness), I can push and overcome. Unlike, when I do pull ups, I do not feel this way. No matter how much I will myself to pull UP, my body just can't. No strong and empowering feeling there.
So, when we got to the major portion of today's WOD, I had some mixed emotions.
8 rounds of:
- 20 sec. max pull up
- 10 sec. rest
- 20 sec. max clean and jerk
- 10 sec. rest
So. I set up my pull up station. Cue the GIANT black rubber band thing, to help me accomplish this task. *sigh* I try not to perseverate on that, and just focus on getting the job done.
Also got my 65# clean and jerk ready to go. Yes, I could do a lot heavier... but could I do it for 8 fast rounds? Hmm. Not so sure. 65# seemed like a better plan (turns out, I was right).
Once the clock started, there isn't much thinking - which is great, because still, at that time of day, I have limited frontal lobe functioning capacity.
Away we went. Counting total reps. Pull ups made me want to die... I was eeking out between 3-4 per set. Maybe more towards the beginning, but I know the last round was about 4. It was ugly. I was making that face. You know the one, the teeth gritted, "I AM going to DO THIS" face. It's usually accompanied by some sort of painful to watch, slow-motion activity (such as the world's slowest pull up). Thank god my proficiency with the weight allowed me to make up the difference. I was pretty happy with my grand total of 70 reps after all was said and done.
After a bit of a cool down, I headed home to get ready for work. Less than an hour later and my back and shoulders were already protesting the pull ups. I find this frustrating to the Nth degree. Therefore, I did what I always do when I'm frustrated with some aspect of my progress/training... I texted the GT. I informed him that I needed us to focus on this, because this being ragingly sore and generally sucking at upper body stuff had to stop.
To start, I will be leaving my pull up bar at home and adding in negatives and half-pull ups several times a day. Oh yeah, T-Rex arms.... we're adding in The Thing That Shall Not Be Named.... PULL-UPS. Multiple times a day. I swear, BlogLand, I just felt my arm quiver in fear.
However, like getting up for CrossFit, No more excuses. It's gotta get done, and I'm going to do it. Even if that means I probably won't be able to lift my arms for the foreseeable future. Excellent.
With that, I take my leave... tomorrow is Sprint WOD night, and then Saturday is a big REST DAY before... *drumroll* my first straight-up 5K road race of the season. I'm looking to come in under 30 minutes, and blow my previous times out of the water. Oh yeah, I'm headed to that race hot and on a mission. (Which means, in order to be in top shape, I'm probably going to be sitting in an ice bath tomorrow night.... eeep.)