Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back and on track to better than ever...

So first and foremost, I need to apologize for my lapse in blogging.  I managed to hurt myself pretty badly and hostly, the past few weeks I haven't been in the best headspace with regard to sharing my thoughts.

As many of you know from my previous entries, 14.5 was a pretty challenging workout for me.  As it turns on, pushing through that workout gave me a moderate case of rhabdomyolysis (aka rhabdo), a rare condition that's prevalent in crossfitters and marathon runners where you over stress a muscle group and the proteins begin to breakdown into your blood stream.  A normal person at rest has a protein count of around 100 units at any given time, by the time I got tested over a week after the workout, mine was around 3,000 units.

While the experience was far from enjoyable and I'm still slowly ramping back into my regular workouts and weights, I'm just thankful it wasn't worse.  Severe cases of rhabdo can lead to kidney and liver failure, as well as a host of other unpleasant long term side effects.

One thing I've definitely taken away from this, is to really listen to my body.  There's a pretty substantial difference between "I want to stop because this workout sucks but I can push through" and "I need to stop because my body is telling me something is wrong."  Being that CrossFit is a community full of people who love pushing their limits, myself being no exception, the idea of tapping out on a workout isn't an idea I love but I do see the necessity of listening to my body.  During 14.5, I remember hitting a point where I just started crying, not sobbing, but just uncontrollably tearing.  In the future, I've accepted that signs like that are things I need to actually pay attention to.

Lessons learned and moving forward, I know what to look for to prevent ever pushing myself past my body's capabilities again.  I've used my recovery time to work on some things that don't require weights and I must say, my handstands and pistols are looking much better.  Silver linings...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Down... But Never Out

Did anyone get the license plate of that truck that hit me?  CF 14.5... got it.  It's been a while since I was this sore from a workout.  Standing hurts, sitting hurts, breathing hurts... you get the idea.  It's also kind of funny how a little time (in this case, about a day) can change my perspective on things.

I completed workout 14.5 on Monday night, after procrastinating it as long as humanly possible, with less than stellar results.  The workout itself was an awful experience for me and literally brought me to involuntary tears part of the way through.  Once I collapsed after finishing (literally), I remember thinking, "you never, ever have to do that again... silver lining."  Yesterday, while I maintained my fervor that 14.5 was a one time thing, I started thinking about my thrusters.  

I've hated thrusters since I started CrossFit.  I know my form isn't ideal - okay, let's be honest, my thruster form is typically a front squat followed by a strict press - my form sucks.  During the workout, one of my coaches started breaking down what I was doing wrong and how to fix it.  Okay, when i do them right - as in, using your whole lower body to "thrust" the bar up - they're not so bad.  Granted of the 82 reps I preformed on Monday, around 70 of them were still awful, but the 12 or so I managed to clean up actually didn't feel that bad.  

So after another night to sleep on the pain and anguish that was 14.5, my mindset has transitioned from "never again" to "I can do better."  Maybe it's the ibuprofen talking (yep, I'm hardcore), but I see no reason I can't work on my cardio endurance and lifting form to improve this workout.  So, in order to hold myself accountable, here it goes - I'm giving myself six months (that will bring us to the end of September) and I'm doing it again.  This time, my thrusters will be thrusters, my burpees will not be me collapsing in a pile of goo 82 times.  14.5 won this round, but I'll be back.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

14.5... a.k.a. Fran's Drunk Sister

Last night, I completed my first CrossFit Open.  I also engaged in a workout that made me cry, throw up and question my sanity.  For the first time in over a year now, a workout has made me, albeit for a brief moment, consider quitting CrossFit.

14.5 was a descending rep ladder of 65# thrusters and bar facing burpees, starting at a round of 21 and decreasing by 3 reps each time until you reach the final round of 3.  At first glance, I thought the workout looked challenging but not crippling.  I was wrong.  Thrusters have never been a strong movement for me - although they're a work in progress, they tend to be more of a front squat followed by a push press rather than a true thruster per se.  Burpees are well, burpees.  Nothing I can't do, but definitely a movement that slows down drastically once I get tired.  After my first round of 21 thrusters, I was tired.

Usually, I can find a point in a workout where I'm proud I accomplished something, a silver lining if you will.  I'm at a loss here.  It did eventually end.... I suppose that's a positive note.  This was far and away the hardest, most painful workout I've done in my CrossFitting experience thus far.  Well done Dave Castro, well done.  Please don't ever make this a throwback workout in future opens, okay?

On the whole, I'm glad I participated in the open but I'm also glad it's come to a close.  I'm ready to get back to a solid blend of lifting heavy weights, skill work and metcons, which we needed to step away from during open programming.  The open did teach me a lot about my abilities and how far I've come in the past year - I can do chest to bar pull-ups and double unders gosh darn it - but it also brought to light a lot of movements I want to work on more intensively (cough, cough, thrusters cough, cough).  While I'm no where near ready to think about next year's open, I am glad to have the experience of my first one under my belt and I'm excited to see what I can do in the coming year.

I am actually excited for the rest and rehab week we have programmed at our gym prior to jumping back into a strength cycle next week.