Another year, another CrossFit Open. So exciting! Five weeks of FITNESS :) Not that I don’t do fitness all year round but the 5 open workouts really push you and test you and teach you a lot about your skills, strength, pacing, attitude.
The first workout of 2017, aka 17.1 was a fun one:
When I first saw it announced early on Friday morning, I thought it’s something I probably wasn’t going to finish due to the volume so it was just going to be about getting through as many reps as possible.
The movements didn’t scare me though, they are something most Crossfitters can do. It’s always nice when the Open does not start with muscle ups or heavy squat snatches (= NOT something most everyday Crossfitters can do).
So anyhow, I watched a lot of strategy tips videos during the day and at 5pm put on my unicorn leggings and headed over to the box. Butterflies were strong in the stomach. The usual story. I begged my partner to be able to go first and after seeing me hyperventilate she agreed and told me to chill out as it’s “just exercise”. True that :)
The workout went down as follows: I settled into a rhythm for both snatches and the burpees that allowed me to keep going without taking any breaks. Coaches had emphasised that “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” so I just kept breathing and chipping away at the reps. I stepped up from the burpees and stood up on top of the box before jumping down. I looked at the clock for the first time when I had finished the round of 40 snatches and saw that I was actually probably going to finish this workout in the 20 minute time cap. When I was to my last 20 snatches of the 50 set, I think I increased my speed a bit and I also tried to speed up the last 15 burpees a bit although judging your own speed at the end of a workout is a bit difficult.
I finished in 18:43 and was super stoked to have made it and I didn’t feel like I pushed myself to the max, I had quite enjoyed it.
Because I never felt like I’d hit the wall I thought I’d give the workout another go before Monday’s deadline to see if I can speed up the burpees a bit and knock a few seconds off my time. Last year I did all Open workouts twice, improving each time, so I was going to try that again.
This morning 17.1 happened again and I started at a faster pace than on Friday, not standing up on top of the box and hopping straight down. When I got to the round of 40 snatches I was 25 seconds ahead of my Friday time. And then the next set of burpees killed me. So predictable – go out too hard and die at the 4th round of burpees. I finished in 19:01 and not before I had tripped on my 4th last burpee and almost face planted into a row of Assault bikes. I felt trashed. Not at all how I had felt on Friday.
I’m glad I repeated it though. I am not yet experienced enough in Crossfit to get my pacing spot on and I learned a lot from these two workouts – first time I paced myself too much like I usually tend to, second time I pushed the pace just to see what happens and turns out the line between pacing yourself too much and not pacing yourself enough is very freaking fine. Also, my performance could have been affected by the fact that my period had just started. Unfortunately women do have to deal with this on a regular basis and whereas in normal training I don’t feel that if affects me that much, I’ve never had a direct comparison like that before so I think it’s possible.
Anyway, whatever it was, I’ve enjoyed the ride of 17.1 (in a way that Crossfitters enjoy suffering ;) and I’ve learned a few lessons.
After the repeat workout I did a little 7km run from Canary Wharf to Elephant and Castle, the sun was shining and I had a smile on my face even though I hadn’t beaten my Friday’s time. Pacing is so hard to learn and you only learn it by trial and error like that. The more trials and errors, the quicker you get the hang of it. At least that’s what I’m telling myself :)
Over and out. And fingers crossed 17.2 is something doable as well and not handstand walks or L-sit pull ups or any other crazy stuff like that!