Friday, August 30, 2013

The Games Week...

It's been awhile since my last post, Pre-Games, but life has been busy like always and I have been occupied with other events.

My mind flashes back to the Games, I think of all the memories that were created and all that unfolded. I want to go into all the details but I'm going to try and give an overview of the days and the amazing experience that I had.

Monday - July 22, 2013
I went to the check in area to get all of my athlete gear for the week. It was incredible, so many people volunteering and working to make it all happen. I met some women and men while in line and chatted with them briefly as we made our way through the line to collect everything we needed. Shirts, shorts, bathing suit, shoes, bag and accessories. It was an incredible amount of gear. A huge thanks go out to Reebok and CrossFit for making this all happen. 

As the day unfolded, Alex and I had time to relax and unwind before the athlete dinner. We soaked it up and enjoyed the moment.

Monday night dinner: There were two large buses that transported all the athletes, all the women in one bus, all the men in the other. At the beginning of the bus ride, Lindsey V. stood up and shared how we should all go around and introduce ourselves, saying our name, where we are from and share a something about yourself. I really liked this, because it made me think of all the classes I coach and all the fun and interesting things I have learned from my friends and members at the gym. It was cool to hear what everyone shared; I found out that one of the girl, Natalie, races motocross. I thought that was pretty awesome and I definitely learned more about the girls. This was a great way to break the ice.

We approached the Stub Hub Center and got seated for dinner and had some of the workouts announced. When Dave asked if anyone had ever done a half marathon, my arm shot high into the air, I was super excited... a long run!? Omg, yes, this will be great!

Then, he said, "on a rower?".  I think everyone's jaws dropped haha. It was one of those moments for me where I thought... yeah, I have never done that before. But there's a first time for everything right?

The other workout that was released while we were at dinner was Naughty Nancy. We got to stand by the edge of the balcony and watch as Pat Barber demonstrated one round of the workout; it looked like a fun but challenging one with the stairs involved, but I was looking forward to this experience.

Tuesday - July 23, 2013
This was a day to prep and run through things before the competition started. The athletes were taken to a pool to practice getting into the water and have the opportunity to try a few bar muscle ups. It was a good dry run as it allowed me to feel how the muscle ups were going to feel soaking wet.

What did I learn? Tighten my goggles and get a good grip on that bar. With every experience, you learn something new, so go into it with an open mind and see what works and what doesn't work.

Wednesday - July 24, 2012
Swim workout 
Rise and shine! Alex and I got up early, got ready and prepped for the first day of competition. All the athletes were transported by bus again to an aquatic center for the workout. The plan was to leave at 6:15am, well the buses were a little late and there was a lot of traffic, so we got to the aquatic center with very minimal time to prep.

It was a little sporadic and hectic with 44 women trying to use the restrooms and get prepped for the first workout. I was in the first heat, so we only had about 5 minutes to get ready and get lined up. We had the opportunity to hop into the pool for a 25m warm up swim then had our timer chips put on our ankles and then lined up to start exactly at 8:00am.

I understand that we had to go at a certain time, as we were going to be broadcasted on TV. I would have loved to have at least 20 minutes to warm up and practice a bar muscle up, but you cannot worry or stress about the uncontrollable factors. As Alex told me, adapt and overcome, a saying he heard in the Marine Corps.

So we got lined up and got started right on time. Being in the water offered a feeling of calmness at a certain point, as it is just you in your lane and your stroke. I focused on my stroke through the water and made sure to get to my bar quickly, dry my hands off and get prepped for the bar muscle ups. I finished in 16:30.4, second in my heat and 15th overall. I was happy with this, as the goal for this workout was top 15. I gave it my best and that was what mattered.

Row workout
After everyone completed the swim we were transported to the Stub Hub center again for the half marathon row. All athletes were going at the same time, so we all got prepped and dressed to sit and row for over an hour. Some athletes had long pants, some had shorts, some had arm sleeves, others had gloves. It was interesting to look around and see other athletes and what they were going to wear for this event.

All the athletes got seated and waited for the beep. We had a 2k row for time, then straight into the half marathon: 21,097 meters. The first 2k was ok, I believe a majority of people were all pushing to get the best time. Compared to the half marathon, the 2k went by pretty fast.

Reflecting back on this workout, it is one that I will probably not repeat, but it was a good experience. I learned what I would need or want for a workout similar to this. People would ask me, how did you do it, what did you focus on? I would focus on a few different things: my stroke rate, how my body was feeling, my support - Alex, friends, family. I would also look up into the crowd, glance from side to side, take in the moment, then back to my stroke rate.

This workout had a big mental component - you are on a rower for over an hour, moving your body, but not having different scenery. Being able to see the meters slowly count down but know that you have a good amount of distance ahead. It's funny because I remember looking the monitor and thinking, oh great, I only have 8,000 meters left. Only? Haha, but in the big picture I was almost finished.

I completed the 2k with a time of 7:42.6 and the half marathon with a time of 1:29.02, finishing 13th and 2nd respectively. It was one of the many highlights of the Games as it was one of my highest finishes in the events.

I learned a lot from this day and was looking forward to the rest of the weekend and competition. This was just the beginning but it was a great start. Alex and I focused on one workout and one day at a time. Thinking back on these memories make me smile as I had an amazing opportunity.

Thursday - July 25th, 2013
Our rest day before the big event. The athletes had some mandatory things to do, such as a press conference - first time for everyone so it was different, but again a good experience. It was the day to prep and get ready for the weekend. Alex and I enjoyed the day and soaked up it all up.

I wanted to keep things short but there were more thoughts and emotions behind my words. I will write another post to share my thoughts and experiences for the rest of the weekend. Thanks to everyone for reading my blog and supporting me, it means a lot!

~ MCA

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