Had a date with the benchmark WOD Jackie today. For those that are not familiar with the workout, it consists of::

1000M row
50 Thrusters (45# bar)
30 pull ups

The WOD had a 12 miute cap today. I had to review my old notebook to check past times. I completed this workout in July of 2016 and did it Rx in 12:12. So in order to improve today, I just needed to get the workout in under the prescribed time cap. That kind of became my mantra throughout the WOD.

Today’s WOD wasn’t a strict apples to apples comparison. We had one more athlete than rowers at the 7:15 session today. Coach Doug offered two possibilities. One, one person could ride a bike for a fixed time rather than row. This way we could run a singe heat. Option Two: we could run two heats of five.

I’m the rare person who prefers the bike over the rower. I also know my 1000M row times pretty well. So I asked the all important question, “How long do we have to bike?”

Doug said, “3 minutes, 45 seconds.”

There was no hesitation. I told him, “I’ll take that deal.” I walked to the bikes and started setting it up for my height.

The substitution was, in my estimation, very fair. In that 3:45, I pedaled 1.17 KM. My goal, if I had rowed, would have been to bring that 1000M in around 3:50-3:55. So you could make the case that I gained some advantage. I wouldn’t debate it. But if so, it was minimal. I didn’t bike as long as I would have expected to row, but I went a bit further in terms of meters. So who knows?

I have mixed feelings about how the thrusters went. Doug was emphatic about moving right to our bars and doing long sets. I rattled off 25 to start. I was very pleased with this, but it may have been overly ambitious. I finished the remaining 25 in sets of 10, 9 and six. That should not have happened. I should have endured and gotten through the remaining reps in two sets max. I gave in to the pain too quickly. On the flip side, I was pleased that when I rested, I rested the bare bar on my shoulders in a back rack position, rather than setting it down.I feel this was a bit more efficient as I never set the bar down.

As I finished the thrusters and headed to the rig, I checked the clock. I don’t recall the precise time now, but I do recall that it was well under 6 minutes.

Pull ups have been a real challenge lately. I’m not certain if it’s a mobility issue, a timing issue, a mental issue; or a combination of all three. But much the same way that double unders tend to come and go for athletes, I’m experiencing a similar challenge with kipping pull ups right now. Particularly, I’m having a difficult time really extending into the Superman position on the front end of my kip. This lack of extension means it feels like I have to ‘pop’ and pull that much harder through my reps. A ‘good’ string of kipping pull ups is three reps right now. That’s frustrating, but today felt a bit more fluid than some days last week. So I’m focusing on that.

Knowing pull ups would be the biggest challenge of the WOD, I worked very hard to stay calm, embrace the challenge and just continue to move forward. It took well over 5 minutes to complete the pull ups, and the 12 minute cap was creeping ever closer, but I did it.

Finished the final rep at 11:18! Very pleased and very satisfied with that result. I won’t call it a PR because I didn’t do all the same exercises as the previous run. I am however comfortable classifying the work out as an improvement and a step forward. With the Crossfit Open 10 days away, that’s a win in my book.