Wasn’t motivated to write this weekend. Now I’m behind. So we’ll try to keep this succinct and stick to the highlights. Yeah, who am I kidding.

Open WOD 13.1 — So I’m registered in the Crossfit Games Open, along with roughly 138,000 other crossfitters globally. The first qualifying WOD took place this weekend.

Here’s the assigned workout.

17 minute AMRAP of:
40 Burpees
30 Snatch, 75#
30 Burpees
30 Snatch, 135#
20 Burpees
30 Snatch, 165#
10 burpees
Max rep Snatch, 210#

If you’ve read here before, you know this workout was inside my head. Here’s why: most days in the Crossfit world, you scale/modify weights and activities to your individual ability/strength level. During the Open, scaling is not permitted. In order for scores to be considered valid the workouts have to be completed as prescribed at the assigned weights. As a result, I was dreading that middle round of snatches at 135#. That’s my one rep max for a snatch. I tried a couple “test reps” at that weight on Thursday and failed in a dramatic fashion. This did not inspire confidence going into Saturday morning.

Still, I tried to approach the workout with a solid attitude. I told Erin the night before, if I walked out of the gym having completed 5 snatches at 135# for a total score of 105, I’d consider that very successful.

Burpees went about as expected. First time through I did them in 4 sets of 10, forcing myself to stop and take 5 quick breaths before continuing.

I used the same tactic for the 75# snatches.

Next time through the burpees, I believe I did 6, 4, then 5’s to completion.

Then it was snatch time again. Before the WOD, a few of us discussed that the split snatch, as opposed to a squat or power snatch was legal. In 18 mos of Crossfit training, I can count on one hand the number of reps I’ve attempted as a split snatch and none of those were at a weight close to a 1RM. Still, I thought, “I know the squat snatch is bound to be frustrating, so why not experiment?”

As I was loading the bar with the 135#, I finally committed to split snatching. To my great surprise, I was able to do it! It wasn’t pretty. No one was going to make a training video of my technique, but the bar went from ground to overhead in one movement not once, not 5 times, but 8 TIMES! No one was more surprised than I was.

As I was resting between reps, my friend Craig came by to cheer me on. I could tell by the look on his face, he was wondering what the hell I was doing. Though he didn’t say it out loud, I could read his expression. He was looking at me and saying, “but you don’t split snatch.”

I just smiled and said, “Picked a hell of a day to learn the split snatch, huh?” We all had a good laugh before I started again. To walk out of the gym at the end of the day with a 108 felt freakin’ great.

I’ve been wondering what kind of goals I should have for the Open. I was looking at the posted results on the games site last night. If I’m understanding the website correctly, my score Saturday currently has me in 345th place out of 7200 registered male masters athletes (ages 40-44). That means I’m in the top 5%. That blows my mind. Granted, it’s only one workout and it appears that close to 1000 folks that registered, failed to submit their scores, or they have posted scores of 1.

I don’t put that out there to brag. I share it simply to say that it’s helped me crystalize a quantifiable goal. I want to finish the Open in the top 10% for my division. I’m presuming that there are going to be WODs in the remaining 4 that will eat my lunch, but if April 7 comes around and I’m in the top 10% for this age bracket, I’d consider that a significant accomplishment. What do folks think? Does it sound on target? Is it overly optimistic, or does it sound like I’m sandbagging?

So here’s what was on the docket today
Monday 3/11 WOD
WOD for Monday 031113

5 Rounds:
5 sec on/5 sec off x 3 kipping swing (no pullup, just swing)
Rest 30 seconds after each round

I jokingly refered to this as the callous strengthening portion of today’s WOD. But in seriousness, I really enjoyed it. I was able to stay on the bar all the way through each round, so that was an accomplishment. I also really enjoyed just working on controlling the kipping swing and focusing on stopping cold when Coach Rachel called out “Hang.”

Singles @60-70-75-85-90-95% 1RM
Establish 1RM (no more than 5 attempts)

So based on the assigned percentages, I was to do single at 120, 140, 150, 170, 180, 190, then test for a new 1RM. Didn’t happen.

First two rounds were uneventful. I was a bit dissatisfied with the 140 rep, so I repeated it. I didn’t want to move on to a new weight until I was confident. For that reason I did two reps at 150 as well. At 170 things came unglued. I hit it once, but my elbows were very low. Dangerously close to getting pinched against my thighs. I’ve spent time in a splint because of that, so I was determined to get a better rep before adding more weight.

The first “do-over” my right hand came free of the bar at the top of the pull. A one-handed 170# clean seemed reckless so I let the bar drop.

The second do-over I was too focused on extending up and paying attention to my hands and basically everything above my waist. I didn’t drop fast enough or deep enough to catch the bar.

Third time through I was tired. I didn’t generate enough speed on the lift to even attempt a drop. I told Rachel at that point, “Three strikes. I’m out.” Before breaking down and moving onto the METCON, I did one more solid lift at 135#, just to end with a hit.

If you read last week, you know I was pretty frustrated on the heavy days because I felt like I failed. I’m in a much better head space about events today. I figured out a few things recently that help me accept today and even last week’s results.

First, I realized I’m working out more. My normal workout cycle up until the first of the year has been exercise Monday and Tuesday, rest Wednesday, exercise Thursday and Friday. But since the first of the year, I’ve been getting in some sort of 5th workout every weekend. Last weekend it was Open 13.1 on Saturday. The week before it was a 16 minute Tabata workout on Sunday. When I’m getting to the gym on Mondays, I’m just not as rested as I’ve been in the past. That’s not an excuse, but it does make the results an easier pill to swallow.

Plus this week, I’m in a better space in terms of remembering “Consistency, Form, then Intensity.” Let’s get the lifts right, then we’ll continue to get them heavy.

3 Rounds For Time:
Run 200m
10 Burpees
10 Ball slams (40/30)

Time Cap: 6 minutes

This was a mad dash workout and it was a blast. I couldn’t finish all three rounds in the time allotted, but there weren’t many folks who did, so no big deal. I used a 30# slam ball rather than 40#. Last time I tried a 40 it left me with lower back pain for days. I’m not monkeying around with that sort of thing during the Open.

There really wasn’t much strategy for this one. It was pretty much, “Go fast. Don’t stop.” I completed the first round in exactly 2 minutes and knew that completing the WOD was unlikely, but kept at it. Ultimately, I finished 2 rounds and 7 burpees when Rachel called time. I was going to quit and started to mark down my results when I realized that everyone else around me that failed to meet the time cap were still working. So I knocked out the 3 remaining burpees and the 10 ball slams. Kudos to the 6:15 crew for seeing the WOD through and dragging me along with them. It was the right answer.

I added 3 rounds of 5 reps of Toes to Bar concentrating on strict form with a minimal back swing on the drop. Those went pretty well. Was nice to feel them coming together.

There’s a bunch on my mind regarding the Paleo challenge and recipes the family enjoyed last week, but this post has gotten silly long already. Guess I’ll need to draft another post tonight.