I’ve been doing this CrossFit thing for almost a year and a half now. I’d say that I’ve definitely trained the most during the last 6 months. Because of that, I really expected to do better.
My first CrossFit event or competition was last September and it was Fight Gone Bad. I was doing physical therapy three times a week for my knee surgery so I entered in the intermediate division. My physical therapist STRONGLY suggested that I did not compete any higher with the concern that I would undo the work that I had done so far. I was really happy with my score and felt a huge feeling of accomplishment.
Fast forward to last weekend and the Iron Belle Competition. This is women’s only annual competition that is put on by CrossFit Central. I volunteered for the event last year and in the back of my mind, I thought about doing it but I still had that voice saying “But your knees!” When the announcement came out about a month ago that it was coming up, I totally got excited about it and recruited my friend Rae to be my partner. I told my bestie Kerri about it and she signed up for it along with our friend Sheri. Sheri recruited Kerri to her CF box so they work out together.
As a prep to the competition, CrossFit Central had a skills training session to go over some of the moves that we possibly could be doing in the competition. One of the moves was a clean and jerk. I felt really good about this since I had just finished Olympic lifting training the week before. Rae on the other hand, not so much. Rae is one of my clients and I train her at her house. I typically don’t haul barbells around with me so you can say that Olympic lifts have not been part of our training. A medicine ball clean is the closest she has ever gotten to doing a clean and jerk. She picked up the moves pretty quickly and I brought a barbell and weights to her house for her to practice with.
A few days before the event, we found out exactly what we would be doing. A clean and jerk ladder was one of the events. We would start at 45lbs and go up ten steps to 95. Rae’s max was 65 and mine was 90. I’ve attempted 95 but failed because I’m afraid to drop under the bar because I have this mental block about my knees. I was pretty sure that I would be able to break through it if 90 ended up being pretty easy.
The first event was a 2-mile train run with a WOD halfway through that was 100 medicine ball passes and 50 kettle bell swings between the two of us and it all had to be done in 22 minutes or less. For some reason, I always think I can run better than what I actually can. I suck at running. It’s the one thing that I really don’t like to do so I don’t do it enough to improve upon it. Rae on the other hand runs an 8-minute mile. When you do a partner competition, you are only as strong as your weakest link. The run KILLED me and we ended up with a 31 minute time. Ugh.
After the trail run, we headed to CF Central for the rest of the competition. We rocked on the ladder! Rae hit 85lbs and I got 90lb up without much problem and totally failed on 95. I did three attempts and couldn’t drop under the bar. MENTAL SCREW. I think though that the ladder was my favorite event. I really do enjoy lifting more than anything.
Next came the final WOD. In 18 minutes we had to do 60 wall ball shots, 50 burpees over the barbell, 40 65lb dead lifts, 30 partner assisted pull ups, 20 65lb push press and a 400 meter run carrying a 20lb sandbag. We did so good on everything but the stupid pull ups. They just about killed us. Our plan was to do 7-10 each and by the end, we were doing 2 each. That was a major time suck. About 30 seconds into the run, my left calf muscle completely seized up and I ran on my toes and Rae had to carry the sandbag the entire time. Our final time was 15:18 and I was really happy with that!
I probably shouldn’t have looked at the results for the entire competition because we ended up finishing in the bottom half and it made me mad. Way, way lower half. If we had finished the run 5 minutes faster, we would have finished much higher. I put a lot of pressure on myself for us to do better since I am a coach and Rae is a client. What does that say about my abilities as a coach and an athlete if we aren’t finishing in the top 10% or at least the top half? Yes, we did just do this for fun but it is a competition. Whether you are competing against yourself or other teams, it is still a competition.
Rae made a really good point. We would have done better if in fact, we trained together for it. I don’t belong to a box because I train out of my garage and I typically train by myself. Rae does CF once a week and runs the rest of the time. I’m betting that the majority of the girls take the same classes together or at least go to the same CF box. Not an excuse by any means but I think it definitely makes a difference. I also need to run more. A lot more. I can’t expect to do well in a race when I don’t even know how fast I can run a mile much less if I can even run a mile without stopping.
After it’s all said and done, I had an awesome time. I really do like competing and I love CF. I can’t wait for the next competition! I’m hitting the road running once my leg releases the hostage it has taken in my calf muscle.
Here’s a video of a clean and jerk in case you were wondering what it is.