Friday, September 6, 2013

The Games Week, Saturday...

As the journey continues...

Saturday - July 27th, 2013
Naughty Nancy
Saturday was our earliest day, reporting at 7am for an athlete briefing, but it was another day filled with challenging events for everyone at the Games. The first event looked exciting as it had more running, but the run was up a big hill with lots of stairs and then lots of squats... hello quads. 

Looking back at this workout, I would actually like to try it again and see how I would do. It would definitely be hard to replicate unless I'm in the Stub Hub Center again, but to approach the workout with a different plan and see how it would unfold is enticing to me. 

The runs were challenging but I was able to be consistent with my pace and move through the course relatively well. The overhead squats were broken into three sets of different reps to make sure I didn't blow up, but as I approached the final round, I completed 22 overhead squats in a row as the buzzer went off, signaling the cut off time. It brought a question to my mind, would I have been able to complete the workout if I had done larger sets?

As I reflect back, it might have been possible to do larger sets of the squats, which in turn might have allowed me to finish the workout underneath the time cap. But how do I really know this? You cannot go back and say, oh if I would have done this, or if I would have done that, I could have finished... I did what I did, I followed my plan and did the event. Another workout under my belt. I finished with a tie for 26th place. 

1RM Clean & Jerk
The Clean & Jerk, one of my favorite lifts. This was another event that I was really looking forward to. In one of our athlete briefings, we were informed that we needed to provide our opening lift. The options were to start at 145, 165, 185 or 205. 

Right off the bat, I thought I could start at 185, as my max Clean & Jerk was 200. Alex and I talked about it and we were discussing how opening at 165 would be a better plan. At first my ego kicked in, start at 165 when I have been hitting over 185? I felt that I could start at 185, complete that lift and then move forward from there. But Alex knew what he was talking about, it was my ego that was getting in my way. My heavier lifts (185 and plus) had not been very consistent in the past couple of weeks to put it all on the line and risk missing my opening lift. 

There was a rule that stated if you didn't complete your opening lift, you were finished with the competition. So, with this in place the best plan was to open with 165 and have a few additional lifts to warm up and be ready for the heavier weight. A great plan. Thank you Alex for all your guidance and coaching, I couldn't have done it without you. 

We were all lined up and were called out to our starting weight. I approached each bar and lifted the weight, resting after the completion of each lift. I worked up to 190, hit the lift and then moved on to 195. I cleaned the bar, but missed the jerk so I rested and then reattempted the weight. I was able to clean it, but again, missed the jerk. So close. 

I was happy that I hit 95% of my max Clean and Jerk, and almost completed the 195 lift. I finished with a tie for 27th place. This event ignited my fire to get back to training after the Games. But until then, we focused on the next event.

Looking back this event, it was one of the most memorable workouts of the entire competition. I remember walking out onto the stadium floor, seeing the bright lights fill the arena, waving to all the fans in the crowd and smile as I jogged to my rower. While they called the other athletes onto the field, I set up my rower and got ready. Alex and I knew that this workout was all about the pull-ups for me.  Going into this workout I had both my plan and a back up plan that would allow me to complete all 125 pull-ups.

As we got ready and the horn blew, we started to row the 1000 meters. The 1k felt like no big deal compared to the half marathon a few days earlier. As soon as I completed my row, I walked straight to my bar and did butterfly pull-ups. I broke the 25 up into small sets and then moved on to the Push Jerks, completing all 7 in a row. As I continued on to the following rounds of pull-ups and Jerks, I could feel the intensity of the workout set it. My arms started to fatigue, my breathing got heavier, but I focused. I took deep breaths, shook out my arms and continued to move through the reps, one at a time.

As I approached that final set of Jerks, I finished the 7th rep, dropped the bar and jumped onto the finishing mat waving to the crowd and camera. Looking up to the crowd filled with family, friends and other Crossfitters, I blew kisses and waved because it was their support, their cheering that made it all worth it. With the contrast of the dark skies, the bright lights lit up the crowd, illuminating the arena and stands. This was a very memorable moment for me.

I walked up to my fellow competitors and cheered them on, encouraging them to keep going and keep fighting. One more rep, one more pull-up. It was an amazing feeling to be out there and cheer for them. Once our heat was finished, we gave each other high fives and hugged one another, congratulating them on their hard work.

Looking around and taking it all in, I smiled, feeling great about accomplishing something amazing. This accomplishment was doing butterfly pull-ups for the entire workout. For some Crossfitters, it might not be a big accomplishment, but for me, this was huge! A couple months prior at the NorCal Regionals, I had a hard time doing butterfly pull-ups in Jackie, I was able to complete about 10 reps, then I went to kipping pull-ups to finish the workout. Butterfly pull-ups were a hit-and-miss, but after all of Alex's programming and working on the butterfly pull-up, I was able to complete 125 reps. Again, this was a huge step for me and I was proud of myself. I finished that workout with a time of 11:59.7 for a 20th place finish.

My friend Hollee took a video of the end of the workout. She posted it to my wall after the Games and it brought tears to my eyes hearing all the support from everyone in the stands... thank you all for cheering me on and supporting me reach my goals!

As our Saturday came a close, Alex and I looked back on the day and talked about what we learned. Day two was in the books. We prepped for Sunday and turned in for the night.


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