What’s worse than fearing losing your first bit of Crossfit momentum due to travel away from the gym? Spending 10 days post-travel nearly bedridden with The Sickness (and thus banned from the gym).
A day after arriving home from Thanksgiving travel, I came down with the plague. It was just a cold, but one of the worst colds I can remember. Aches, pains, fever, exhaustion, and congestion that still hasn’t completely resolved (it’s day 12!) – it was pretty awful.
For a full week, it took all of my energy to survive work. (Bad week to have The Sickness… couldn’t call in sick). No workouts. As I shook off the zombie state, I did little things around the house, but nothing that could be considered a workout.
To say I was concerned about going back to the gym would be an understatement. I feared having to start over from square one. I barely had 3 weeks of Crossfit under my belt; to go away for 2 weeks seemed like it would doom me.
I returned to Crossfit yesterday, and I overheard a couple people (including the coach) say that it was one of the “easier” workouts. All of the names on the whiteboard from the earlier morning WODs have lovely goose eggs for their scores. Of course, it pretty well slayed me.
WOD: On the minute for 20 minutes
Minute 1 – 15/12 Calorie Row
Minute 2 – 15 Abmat Situps
Minute 3 – 15 Good Mornings (45/35)
Minute 4 – :45second Plank Hold
*Score is rounds missed*
I managed to barely sneak by the first round. Zero points, wheee!
In round 2, I realized there was no way I’d make the rowing distance. I definitely don’t feel like I’m competing against anybody but myself at this point, but to give a frame of reference, the girl next to me was finishing her 12 calorie row as I was hitting 4 calories. FOUR. In the warmup, it took me about 1:15 to do a 12 calorie row.
Because I took so long on the rower, my transition to the abmat situps ate up half of that minute, so I didn’t get all of those in. By round 3, it wouldn’t have mattered how long I had, because my abs were shot and I couldn’t manage more than 8 or 9 situps.
I was looking forward to the good mornings, as I like the strength stuff. The coach asked if I wanted to grab a training bar instead of the 35# barbell, just in case. I almost did, but decided against it. I felt like I was strong enough for the good mornings, and I did manage to finish all 5 rounds of those in time.
The only problem I had with the good mornings was that no matter what I did, the bar wanted to roll up my neck. The coach gave me tips and said my form was correct, but the bar kept rolling. As I thought about it later, I realized I have a similar neck issue in sewing. Sewing is one of my hobbies, and I always have trouble with necklines gaping at the back of my neck. In my sewing research, that typically happens with the elderly when they form a hunch back, but I don’t have a hunch back. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that this is probably related to something I was treated for at my chiropractor in Chicago. After 3 months of 3x/week treatments, I stopped going because I was moving to Virginia, and I didn’t really feel like it was helping me, so I haven’t gone since.
But they used to have me sit at a special chair with my neck hanging off the back of the chair. They’d hang weights off my forehead and I’d sit there for a while. After yesterday’s WOD, I did some googling that refreshed my memory on why I had to sit in that weird chair. It was because I’ve lost most of the curve in my neck. Now I remember! I didn’t (and still don’t) have any neck pain, but I wonder if the lack of curve in my neck results in less delineation between my neck and shoulders, making it harder to keep the bar back on my shoulder and off of my neck. Something like that?
Now, I have to be careful who I tell that yesterday’s good mornings gave me a hickie on the back of my neck. #crossfitproblems But man, it’s pretty bruised up.
Back to the workout: for rounds 3-5, I was close-but-not-quite on the 45 second plank holds. I’m pretty proud of myself for holding the first couple that long, because at home (where it’s easier to give up!) I can barely hold them for 20 seconds. By the end of the WOD, though, I was just out of gas and out of stamina and breathing so heavy that I just couldn’t hold on any longer.
My score ended up being 13 missed rounds – at least that’s what I reported. When I went back and thought about the whole workout, my score really should have been 11 missed rounds, but oh well. I’m sure I set the record for worst of the day either way! And that’s fine with me, because I showed up and I did the work, even with The Sickness hanging on.
Hooray for 70
The strength part of the day was my highlight. Before I left on my Thanksgiving trip, I had done a strength workout that saw me clean 65#. I was able to do 3 reps (kind of… really ugly, barely managed reps). I had a chance to revisit cleans in Tuesday’s strength workout. Unfortunately, I misunderstood how the workout was supposed to go, so I may have limited my results a little bit, but I’m still happy with the outcome.
We had 10 minutes to work up to a heavy clean. (Well, I think the rest of the class was doing clean and jerks, but I’m not there yet). We set up all of the weights we’d need and got to it. I took the workout to mean, do a few reps of each and then move up in weight. I started at 25#, then 35#, then 45#, 55#, and 65#. I had mentally figured I would stop there, but once I cleaned 65#, the coach said, “That looked easy! Try 70!”
I’m not going to lie… every time Coach Lauren suggests I try more weight, I’m doing this in my head:
However, she’s been right every time so far. I cleaned 70# and while it was definitely heavy, it wasn’t a struggle. For this, I was hugely excited, because after nearly 2 weeks off, I expected to do much worse than my last strength workout – not better!
Where I misunderstood the workout was in the reps. It was supposed to be one-and-done at each weight. Had I gone that route, I would have had enough time to try a few more pounds, but as it was, I was out of time. 70# would have to be it.
And seventy is fine with me! Do cleans have a 1 rep max? If so, I suppose this is my new 1 rep max!
Tomorrow’s workout will be my first named girl, assuming I survive (and I might not…). Helen is up on the board. If you never hear from me again, you know why!
Lemur image source: Tambako the Jaguar
70 image source: Matthias Ripp