Good day today. It was a confidence building sort of day inside of a really fun workout. I got to break out my mean face and just enjoy the morning. But it wasn’t without it’s challenges.

WOD for Thursday 010512
Clean
3-3-3-3-3

–Rest–
For Time:
Run 400m
100 Russian KB Swings (52/35)
Run 400m

Jack was coaching today and guided us through a warm up consisting of some bare bar lifts and some stretching. We also reviewed the clean using a bare bar. I always find that helpful. Most of the lifts are still unfamiliar enough that the review of the motions/stages is very good for me.

I reviewed my progress spreadsheet last night when the WOD was posted to get an idea of what weights I might want to work at and discovered I need to do a better job at record keeping. I’ve got multiple listings for cleans, but rarely include the number of reps in the sets for those dates. Not really sure why. I’ve got much clearer notes on other lifts. Short of it is with respect to the clean I’ve got notes that say I’ve worked with weights ranging from 105 to 165. Not real helpful in defining my goals for the day.

I made my mind up that I was going to do all reps from position 3 (from the floor), simply because in past workouts when we had the choice I’ve ignored and avoided it. It’s always been the toughest starting point for me. I just had it in my head today to challenge myself. Since I didn’t have a clear weight goal in mind, I worked today with a “don’t think about the weight, just be right” mindset. I wanted to really focus on catching the bar in a deep squat and using quick elbows to rack the bar quickly.

First set of three was done at 95#. It felt very stable and put me in a good place mentally for the rest of the morning. I moved to 115# for the second set and again felt really solid. My note to myself in my journal was “good feet.” Translated means I was able to land on my heels consistently and not jump forward. Third set at 125 also went very well. Jack observed this set and suggested that I keep my shoulders back.

I’m not sure how I drew the attention, maybe I was grunting and groaning, but a couple people watched this set and Renee told me I have a “mean face” when I lift. I laughed and made some comment about preferring to think of it as my game face. Jack added that it’s ok because the mean face is good for an additional 10lbs on any lift! I like that mindset. I don’t know. I haven’t seen any pictures of my mean face. Maybe I’m trying to intimidate the barbell.

The third set went so well that I tried to stick with the 20# increase and went to 145#. That was overly ambitious. I got the first two reps in the fourth set, but not the third. Interestingly enough, Jack said the second lift which felt questionable, and the failed third lift were the best looking of the three.

I got stubborn in the final set and left the 145 on the bar. I only got one lift that time around. Everything was just moving too slow on the second lift. I didn’t attempt a third lift. I moved down to 135 for an extra set and got two of the three lifts. They weren’t great. The third lift failed. Again, by the third lift, I just wasn’t moving my body fast enough. I wasn’t squatting fast or deep enough or shooting my elbows through fast enough.

Despite all of the missed lifts I came away feelingreally positive about my cleans today. This was the first time I felt like the clean was coming together. The biggest difference I believe was the squat. I was getting much deeper than I have previously and landing solid. That was a very good feeling. I’ve still got bunches to improve, but after today I don’t think I’ll cringe anymore when I see cleans listed as part of the WOD.

The METCON was a blast! I was looking forward to a WOD that I could do Rx. I know we’re not supposed to focus on that. In the grander scheme of things, I think I think I do a reasonable job of keeping my ego in check. Still there’s no denying that there’s an extra sense of satisfaction and accomplishment on those days when I can tag my time on the CFD whiteboard as “Rx”. Maybe it’s because I’m still new to all of this, but it just makes me feel good.

I talked with Jack before the METCON began and he asked me if I had a plan for the 100 KB swings. I told him my intent was to do 30-20-20-20-10. He mulled it over and we agreed. I’m glad to say I did the swings in sets of 30, 30, 20 and 20, so I exceeded my own goals and expectations. The second run however was VERY humbling! Check this out. I did the METCON in 8:06. Not bad. In ahead of the suggested 10 minute goal. But look at this breakdown.

As I came in from the first 400M, Jack announced “in the door at 1:45”. As I passed him after the KB swings he called out, “out the door at 5:40.” Feel free to check my math, but if I went out the door at 5:40 and finished at 8:06 that means the second 400M took me 2:26, right? Ugh!

I hit “the suck” about 25M out the gym door. I was just SLOGGING up the hill to the 200M turnaround point. I heard Renee calling me out that she was coming after me and not to let her run me down. I don’t know if she hit the same wall or what because she never caught me. I found my stride a bit on the return trip but still I should have been much better than a 2:26. That’s definitely something to improve on for next time.

In the end, I’m pleased. All in all, a very solid WOD.

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