Ran the Open WOD 16.2 this weekend. Pretty pleased with the results.

Coaching intermittently across Saturday mornings while so many people are doing the Open is proving to be a weird dynamic. I’m finding it difficult to get fully committed to participating in the Open WODs. I’m not certain why.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the camaraderie, the bantering, the shenanigans associated with the Intramural competition. I’m more than glad to jump in and score heats for other athletes. Yet when it comes time to lace up my shoes, tape up my wrists and go to work, I’m struggling with a big ol’ steaming case of the “don’ wanna’s.” This week was another prime example.

Our son ran a 5K with friends from school. I didn’t participate partly because of the Open and partly because running is consistently the most painful activity for my knee. But spectating at the event meant I was standing around outdoors in the mid-thirties temperatures for the over an hour. Once we arrived at the gym I got into coaching the kids class.

By the time that was over I had once again convinced myself that I wasn’t going to participate on Saturday. I knew I would be coming back Sunday to help some other athletes. So I could do it then. But then a funny thing happened.

There were so many people setting personal records and ringing the gym’s over-sized PR cow bell. Multiple people were ringing the bell every heat. Also, it was one of those days where so many people were challenging themselves to new heights. You could tell that the air was electric and the mojo was just flowing everywhere. I got a bit angry with myself for wanting to sit it out and decided that I had to take a shot at the WOD.

I ran the scaled version of the WOD. Some long time readers might be saying, “But wait, Paul. You’re a CF coach. You’ve got toes to bar and double unders. Why wouldn’t you go Rx?”

Fair questions and I deliberated quite a bit about what was the ‘right’ answer there. It’s true that I can do toes to bar. On my best day I can get about 5 reps per set. My double unders range from sets of 3 to 30 at any given moment.

I tested myself Friday night and it took me 3:30 to complete the requisite toes to bar. I would not have completed 50 double unders in the remaining 30 seconds meaning, I competed Rx, I would never have touched a barbell. I wanted to know exactly how much work I could do inside that full 20 minute cap. So I chose the scaled version.

If you’re not familiar with the workout, here it is:

Open 16.2 (Scaled)
Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
15 squat cleans, 95 / 55 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
13 squat cleans, 115 / 75 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
11 squat cleans, 135 / 95 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
9 squat cleans, 155 / 115 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
25 hanging knee raises
50 single-unders
7 squat cleans, 185 / 135 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

I scored a 346. I came up just two reps short of completing the fourth round and making it to the final round with the seven 185# cleans and I’m very satisfied with that. If I had run the table and completed the entire scaled WOD in some ridiculously low time, I would accept the idea that I probably should have gone Rx and that I didn’t choose appropriately. As it is, I stand by my decision.

Part of what was most satisfying was the fact that all of my practice and experimentation with my gimpy knee over the past few weeks has been paying off. When my knee popped during a 135# squat clean because I was rushing and star-fished my feet, I lost the lift. But I didn’t panic. I knew what went wrong. I knew that I was strong enough to continue to power clean the weight without moving my feet. I just needed to reset myself, refocus and go back to work.

Another very satisfying aspect of running in that particular heat was that Erin ran her event in the lane right next to me. Holy smokes that woman can turn over single unders in a hurry! A friend posted a video of us doing side by side cleans later in the day. That was pretty fun to see.

How does that score stack up? Well, there are 505 men, age 45-49 in the Mid-Atlantic region who rank ahead of me, as they should, because they all did the Rx WOD. Of the 324 men in my age and geographic region who entered scaled WOD scores, I came in 50th. I’m pretty proud of that.

Looking forward to seeing what CF HQ throws at all of us in the coming week. My prediction is that Open 16.3 will be the redo week and we’re going to revisit Open WOD 14.3 8 minutes of deadlifts and box jumps.