18.2 Accomplished

Photo cred: Thanks to Laura for playing paparazzi 📸

18.2 was more in my wheelhouse than 18.1, and it flew by so fast! Oddly – despite the fact that I prefer the movements in 18.2 – I was way more nervous for the workout than the previous week.  18.2 was:

12 min AMRAP:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Dumbbell squats (35/50#)

Burpees over the bar

Then with any time remaining:

1 RM clean

Because I was slow on the uptake and missed signing Dana and I up for heat times for Friday Night Lights, we ended up with heats at 7:15 pm. I went home after work first to eat, and then we headed back to CrossFit Sunalta around 6:45.  The warm-up flew by, and I was thankful for the support of my friends Ruth, Laura, and Dena (among others!) who had lots of advice having done the workout earlier in the evening, including:

  • Rounds 8, 9, & 10 were where things got interesting
  • Don’t look at the clock
  • The first lift would feel very heavy
  • Swing the dumbbells like a kettlebell swing to get them up to your shoulders

3, 2, 1, go! With an ascending ladder, you do one rep of each movement, then two of each, and so on up until you hit 10 reps of each.  I just focused on moving consistently through the burpees, and not setting the dumbbells down during the squats.  I really focused on using my glutes, instead of my quads, as I’ve had a ton of chiro/active release technique (ART) done this year and my biggest issue is engaging my glutes.  Thanks Dr. Brad!

I finished the metcon in 8:06, landing on all fours to breath heavily for a few moments. When I got my breathing under control, I approached the barbell for the cleans.

The first clean really did feel heavy, but I had loaded 115# on the bar knowing that I can always hit that lift, rain or shine. Then 125 pounds, and then 135.  135# is in the neighbourhood of my one rep max, but with my back so sore the past few months, I’ve really avoided anything heavy.  My back did feel a bit sore after the dumbbell squats so I didn’t want to push my luck.

I tried 140# twice but no dice.

All in all, I liked 18.2 and it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.  Thanks Dave Castro.

I feel like 18.3 is going to feature something technical like muscle-ups and/or snatches. And maybe double unders just for funzies.

Any guesses? How was 18.2 for you?

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18.1 Accomplished

Hi everyone!

I’m taking a different approach to the 2018 CrossFit Open as my box is doing the workouts on Friday nights, instead of Sunday afternoons like last year. While I’m definitely glad to do the workouts earlier in the weekend so I don’t have time to nervously dwell on them, writing a Tips & Tricks blog post like past years on Thursday night seems redundant.

Perhaps because I’ve been slowly recovering from two different injuries (a strained low back and tricep) since December, my enthusiasm for the Open is slightly lower than normal. I actually didn’t pay my dues for the Open until the announcement of 18.1 because I wanted to be sure my body was up to the challenge.  Although last year I did all the Open workouts RX, I am open to doing the scaled workouts this year if needed because – let’s face it – I’m not going to the CrossFit Games one way or another, and I’d like my body to stay healthy and well for a long time.

First impressions on 18.1? To be honest, I got distracted after work and tuned into the announcement as the athletes were already chipping away.  So I didn’t even know what the workout was!  18.1 was:

20 min AMRAP

8 toes-to-bar (T2B)

10 dumbbell (DB) hang clean & jerks (35/50#) [5 reps/side]

12/14 calorie row

I really like that the quantity of reps for the movements was relatively low. I can usually string together 8 T2B consistently, and 5 DB clean & jerks didn’t sound too bad (although I had never done the movement in a workout before).  And only 12 calories for ladies?  That’s nothing!  (Classic CrossFit – if you find yourself thinking something is * only * anything… you’re screwed.)

Coach JP briefed us all about movement standards and then I judged a couple heats before I warmed up myself. The clean and jerks felt a little awkward, and with my left tricep blown up the past two months, I wasn’t sure about the jerk/push press portion of the movement.  I grabbed the ladies’ scaled weight, as well as the RX, when I set up my station for the workout – just in case I needed to change mid-workout to the scaled version.

18.1 surprised me. In past years, the hardest element would have been the T2B for sure!  This year, I think the T2B were the easiest movement for me.  The row was deceptively gassy, and to my surprise, the clean and jerks were definitely the toughest part of the workout.  I found myself resting the dumbbell on my chest after the first five reps so I could finish the other side’s five reps unbroken.

I had hoped to finish somewhere between 8 and 10 rounds, and happily finished the 8th row in time for a few T2B for a finishing score of 242 RX.  The best part of all is that my tricep felt fine throughout the workout and I didn’t need to use the lighter dumbbell.  All that physio has paid off!

I definitely slept well that night, but didn’t feel too horribly sore on the weekend. In fact, I decided to go for a light run on Saturday and ended up doing 8 kms because it felt good and the sun was shining.  All in all, I didn’t mind 18.1 and am looking forward to the weeks of the Open to come.

Any guesses for 18.2? How did 18.1 go for you?

2018 is here!

Wow, you blink and suddenly the last blog post you wrote was four months ago. Whoops!

2018 is here now and I feel like I don’t even know where the time has gone. I started a new role at work two months ago, and although it’s not what I expected, I am enjoying work more now.  This year, I’m coming up on five years with my company.  I’m pretty proud of that, being a millennial and all.  Where’s my gold star?

Once a week, I’m teaching a restorative/yin yoga class for crossfitters at CrossFit Sunalta (my home away from home still). 75 minutes of glorious stretching with loads of props – I have two hockey bags full of bolsters, foam and wood blocks, blankets, and straps – and a delightfully relaxed environment.  I play random music like (too much) Jack Johnson and sometimes Simon and Garfunkel, and I tried The Piano Guys this week and they were a hit.

People chat amongst themselves, and ask me “where am I supposed to feel this stretch?”  We have some laughs, and then towards the end of class, everyone properly settles in and we do long restorative poses and just veg.  I’ve run two 6-week sessions, and I’m in the midst of teaching a 3 class session.  I still take forever to class plan, but I definitely feel more natural teaching now.  If this type of class sounds up your alley, you don’t need to be a Sunaltan to come and I would be glad to have you!  Message/email/talk to me!

On the CrossFit side of things, I’m definitely still going to class around 4x per week. That quantity seems to be ideal in terms of not being too beat up.  With that said, I strained my low back at the beginning of December so I’m seeing a chiropractor (Dr. Brad) weekly for treatment, and also seeing a physio (Gina) weekly to heal up a strained tricep.  I highly recommend them both!  So forget what I said about not being too beat up.  Clearly I need to check my ego at the door.  But I’m still going to class – just lots of modifications right now, and that’s fine.  There’s a season for everything.

The biggest bummer about being so injured right now is that the 2018 CrossFit Open is nearly upon us! Clearly I’m a bit of an enthusiast as evidenced by my weekly Open write-ups in both 2016 and 2017.  18.1 drops in about a month’s time, and I’m getting nervous that I won’t be able to participate.  Although laughably I get nervous either way – the Open is very fun and very stressful for me.  Another option could be doing the scaled division, but I may wait to see what Castro has up his sleeve.  I may heal up in time too – who knows?

What else do I usually write about? Oh, hiking!  Naturally, due to the white stuff, we haven’t been doing much hiking of late.  Penny’s cardio is shot at this point.  It’s going to take months to get her back up to our end-of-season hiking standards (let alone her poor owners…).  Dana is of course already trying to get some weekend backpacks planned for the summer months (while I’m over here like “take me on a hot holiday with some time lazing on a beach!!!”).

My sister came home from work for a month and a bit, and we had so much fun!

I’ve been hella busy every weekend meal prepping lately. It seems the only way Dana and I can eat moderately healthy food during the week, as by the time we get home from the gym and walk the dog, it’s 8:00 pm and we’re both hangry.  My two approaches are: batch cooking enormous pots of something stew-like, like chili or West African peanut chicken, and also I’ve been trying recipes out of a meal prepping cookbook this month.  I’m not 100% sold on the “Healthy Meal Prep” cookbook as far as time-saving/efficiency, but I do like the variety and emphasis on balanced meals with vegetables.

 

I’m mentally bracing myself for my usual bout of [undiagnosed] [seasonal?] depression. February and March are historically the hardest two months of the year for me.  If I can make my birthday (March 30th, don’t forget!), I’ve made it through the worst part, but until then, I’m using every tool in my box to keep my spirits up.  What’s in my mental health toolbox?

  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy
  • Supplements: vitamin D, 5-HTP, magnesium, fish oil
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Yoga/meditation
  • Time outside
  • Seeing my therapist

I don’t bring this up to make people uncomfortable, but rather, to start the discussion. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and I’ve struggled with it in spurts for the past decade.

Whew, that conversation got heavy fast. I’m not suffering right now, so don’t worry about me!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!

Hope that 2018 is off to a fun start for you, and I’ll be back sooner rather than later with another post (I promise)!

♥ Kait