Friday, June 7, 2013

NorCal Regionals...

It's been about two weeks since the NorCal Regionals. Some times it feels as though it's been longer, other times it feels as though it was just the other day.

There have been so many emotions and feelings since then. First thing I want to say is thank you to all those who have supported and believed in me. To my man, Alex, who has been there every step of the way, loving and encouraging me. To my family who supported me, in person and in different states, cheering me on every day and every workout. To my friends at Diablo, who cheered me on and my friends across the states supporting me - in Boston, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Montana and other parts of California. I hope you all know how appreciative I am of your support and love!! Being able to think of you and see you in the crowd, brings a smile to my face. I love seeing you all and waving to you all, as you all mean so much to me!

This has been my goal now for two years and I have put so much blood, sweat, tears and time into this goal... and it has all been worth it. Reflecting back on the regionals, I look at each workout and see my performance. I wanted to write and share my thoughts...

Workout #1 - Jackie: 1000m row, 50 thrusters 45#, 30 pull-ups
I had performed this workout a few times before in training. Alex had programmed it for me after Craig and I were coaching one morning. The workout for the day was Jackie and it was revealed that I have not done it before, so it quickly became on the top of my workouts 'to do', haha. Thank you Craig for your encouragement. :)

So fast forward to regionals. Alex and I had prepped for this workout and I had a plan. It was a workout I was looking forward to doing, but had some nerves because it was the first workout of the competition. I focused on me and what I needed to do. The row was a steady pace but fluid, staying at a 2:00 min pace, then dropped to a 2:02 min pace. Straight to the thrusters and 50 reps unbroken, these felt good - as good as 50 unbroken thrusters will get lol. Then, the goal with the pull-ups was 10/5/5/5/5, as this was the hardest part for me. I was able to maintain that until I got to the 20th rep, and the rep scheme got a little shorter. I finished with a 6:38, a PR for me, so I was happy. This time put me in 7th place. I would have liked to stick to my plan of doing 5/5 the last 10 reps, but again, I was able to improve my time, so I was happy.

Workout #2 and #3 - 3 RM OHS; 30 Burpee Muscle-ups for time
This was a workout that made me a little nervous when it first came out, but after practicing, I felt better about it. Overhead strength and overhead movements has been something that Alex and I have been working on improving. He has done an amazing job of helping me increase my overhead strength and increase my shoulder stamina. Last year, I was not able to do any muscle ups in the regionals. I tried and gave it my all; I got on top of the rings but could not press out. I spent 17 minutes trying. This year, we hammered muscle ups and I have gotten a lot better. I still have a lot of growth and improvement, but I am happy and grateful for the success I have made.

As the second workout began, I focused on my plan again... open with 175, load the next weight, rest. Overhead squat 180 for three, add the next weight, rest and try to get as many reps with 185. The platforms weren't as stable as I had practiced on but oh well, this is our lifting platform, do your work. I hit 175 and got ready for 180. I actually hit the back of my head while jerking it up, but it didn't hurt too bad, I stayed focused and hit 180 for all three reps. I continued to 185, I was able to get it up but was not able to stabilize it. Completing 180 for three put me in 8th place with a tie. My plan was, if I missed it, stop, get ready for the next workout.

My goal was to be nice and steady for the muscle ups, as this was one of the harder workouts for me. My adrenaline got me amped up and I started out a little too fast, feeling good the first minute, but the energy started to fade as the minutes progressed. I ended up with a final score of 19 reps, with three no reps. The goal was to get 22, so I was a little shy of that but it was a learning lesson. My 19 reps placed me in another tie for 14th.

Workout #4 - 100 Wallballs, 100 C2B, 100 Pistols, 100 DB snatches
Out of all the workouts that were to be performed this weekend, workout #4 challenged me the most. Some movements were easy, others were discouraging. Not because of the volume, but because the movement in itself was hard. This movement was the chest to bar pull-up. Pull-ups and chest to bar pull-ups have been challenging for me, but I have worked on them and will continue to do so.

My plan was to break up the wallballs into sets of 10, chest to bar in sets of 2, steady on the pistols and keep moving on the snatches. I felt nervous for this workout but I kept breathing and focusing on my plan, one rep at a time, one movement at a time. The adrenaline was a factor for the wallballs, which brought me too fast out of the gate, but I stuck to my plan on the chest to bar and hammered through those 100 reps. The pistols were the easiest movement for me and I was able to flow through those at a relatively quick pace. The dumbbell snatches were another obstacle, but I tackled it, one at a time, completing 60 snatches. My goal was to get to 70 snatches, so I was 10 reps shy but again, I gave it my all and tried my hardest. I tied for 6th place with this finish.

Workout #5 - 21-15-9 DL 205# and Box Jumps 24 inches
I was looking forward to this workout, as I felt good with the deadlifts and box jumps. This was a different workout from what was programmed at the 2011 Regionals. I didn't participate in the 2011 Regionals as I had only started crossfitting 3 months prior, but I had volunteered for the SoCal Regionals so I remember seeing the original workout.

I stuck to my plan with breaking up the deadlifts and keeping the box jumps fluid. The goal was to hit a sub 4 minute time. My plan worked for me and I hit my goal, completing the workout in 3:58. This score placed me 3rd in the workout and I was very happy.

Workout #6 - 100 DU, 50 HSPU, 40 T2B, 30 Push Press, 90ft Front Rack Lunge
When I first saw this workout, I thought it would be awesome and it shouldn't be too bad. Well, it was little deceiving to say the least. After doing a run through, it was a little more challenging than I anticipated. Thinking about our plan approaching this workout, we decided to break the double unders, 50/50, handstand push-ups 10/10 and sets of 5 after. The toes to bar were going to be broken into sets of 4 and push press into sets of 5. The 90ft of lunge was going to be unbroken.

As I started this workout, I focused on my plan and breezed through my double unders, which was not the case when I first started crossfitting. The pic below was posted on the DCF blog by JJ the other day, the photo on the left is me trying to do double unders in the first Open work out in 2011, a couple weeks after starting CrossFit. The photo on the right was after the fifth regional workout 2013. A flashback for sure but a great memory.

Back to the workout... I moved on to the HSPU, doing my first two set of 10, but then had to break the reps up more as my shoulders started to fatigue. The toes to bar went as planned and moved through the rather easily. The push press was a challenge however, I had to break away from sets of 5 to sets of 3 and 4. As soon as I finished the push press, my focus was on the 90ft unbroken lunges. That was my goal and I was sticking to it. I focused on the sign in front of me and lunged out the first 45ft. The second half took a little bit longer but I kept grinding, I fought for every step and as my elbows started to drop I could feel my legs burning more, so I kept pushing. I crossed the line and jumped to the finish mat, so happy to have accomplished my goal. My legs burned and it was a challenge to walk after, but it was all worth it, as I finished 3rd place.

Workout #7 - 2 rope climbs, 100ft sprint, 4 Full Cleans 135# - Four rounds
The final workout was another one I was looking forward to at the day of competition. When the workouts were released, the rope climbs made me a little nervous as I had not practiced them regularly. With some practice, I felt good about my technique and was excited to do this workout. As the final heat of ladies lined up, I reflected back on the past couple of days, I was happy with my performance and had enjoyed each day to it's fullest. I repeated my plan inside my head and would focus only on my lane.

My goal was to get a sub 5 minute time and place first in this workout. It was one of those workouts Alex and I felt I could perform well in. I met one of my goals and finished with a time of 4:48. I finished 2nd overall in that workout, but I know there was nothing else I could of left on that field.

As soon as the work out was over we were all asked to wait in the arena until the final scores were submitted and calculated. I was unsure if I qualified for the Games at that moment, as the competition became so close. As we waited for the final results, I congratulated everyone and was talking with Amy and Rachel and we were excited for the day to be finished but happy for all the hard work we put into the weekend. I was dancing to the music, enjoying the moment and happy to be where I was, thinking, whether I qualify or not, I gave it my all. I put everything out there, I didn't hold back and didn't have any regrets.

Then, they called out the last name of the top three athletes and we were pulled to the side. We were standing next to the announcer, waiting to go on the live feed and it was so surreal for me. Did I qualify, what was the final score?

It was so surreal, I have worked so hard for this goal and here I was. I have talked about my goal since competing last year; I am going to compete as an individual again and my ultimate goal is top three at regionals. I want to qualify and compete at the CrossFit Games. I have written it down, I have repeated it numerous times. I have poured my heart into this goal of mine, putting all my energy into it and it has been well worth it!

I want to say thank you again to all of those who have supported me, believed in me and have let me do my thing to reach my goal. Knowing you are in my corner brings such happiness, I feel lucky and blessed to have so many amazing friends and such a great community by my side and in the stands. Your smiles, high fives and cheers mean so much to me. I'm going to continue to train hard and work towards my goals!!