Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Getting my butt kicked

Last night at CrossFit, I was reduced to a sweaty mass of cramping muscles by the end of the workout.  I knew going into the workout that it would be tough, but I had no idea how much it would take out of me.

The first part of the workout was heavy back squats.  Based on my max squat from last summer, I was supposed to do 5 reps at 245, 3 at 280, and max reps at 315.  After a warm-up, I got through the first set just fine.  The second set was tolerable because the reps were decreased.  I was hoping I could get at least 3 reps in the last set.  I focused on getting good depth, so every rep would be legit, but at the heavier weight, my form just fell apart.  I struggled to keep my chest up and my torso vertical.  It was more like I was doing a limited range-of-motion good morning.  I did manage to get 4 reps, and they were legal, but they were ugly.

Next, we had 3 sets of Bulgarian Split Squats - 8 reps per leg in each set.  The plan was to do them with a barbell, but because my form had deteriorated in the squats, I held kettlebells in my hands instead.  The third set was really hard, but I managed to finish.

All that remained was this:

Run 400m
30 x 225# Deadlift
20 Burpee Box Jumps
Run 400m

I had run intervals on Sunday.  I had run on Saturday.  I had done some running interval work (low volume) last Thursday, Wednesday, and Tuesday.  My legs were shot and I knew it.  This was going to hurt a lot.

On the first 400m run, I was dead last in the class.  In the "old days", when I was a runner and not a has-been, I was fast enough that I would have been at the front of the pack.  Now, with my high volume running days in the past, I tend to be in the second half of the pack, but not at the back.  But last night, I was dead last on the first run.

I started the deadlifts.  The coach wanted us to go heavy enough that it would take 4-6 sets to get through the reps.  I started with 5 reps and dropped the bar.  This is not a heavy amount for me to deadlift, but there was just nothing in the tank.  I was afraid I'd fall apart more and take 8-10 sets to finish.  By the second set, after a brief rest, I did 7 reps.  Then, 7 more.  I finished with a 6 and a 5, for only 5 sets.  On to the burpee box jumps.

I think the prescribed height for the box jumps for my workout level was 24".  I never do box jumps that high.  Normally, I do them at 18" and sometimes, 20".  After my surgery in January, box jumps were the last CrossFit movement I added back in to my training.  So, I haven't done them much in the past 4+ months.  Twice, I think.  I selected a 15" box, knowing I'd be exhausted after the running and deadlifts.

I started the burpee box jumps.  I was in pain.  My burpees were pathetic.  I basically threw myself to the ground and then stood back up, rather than jumping back to a squat position and then standing up.  What I did was legal for a competition, but not really a true burpee.  And then, I jumped onto the 15" box.  I barely made it.  After one more burpee box jump, I knew I had to revert to step-ups on this minuscule box, or I would miss a rep and hurt myself.  By the time I got to my 5th rep, the first person had finished.  By my 10th, every other person except one had left for the last 400m run.  That other person left for his run while I was on my 14th rep.

Finally, I got to 20 and headed out to run.  My legs were gone.  I somehow managed to get to 200m without falling over.  I walked for a bit.  Finally, I got it together and ran the last 150 meters or so.  Dead last.  DFL!

I hadn't even done the workout well.  I had increased the deadlifts from the recommended 205 to 225, but mostly because that lift is one of my better lifts.  But, I had to scale down on the burpee box jumps to a truly pathetic level.

Luckily, today is a planned rest day.  I'm about to go out for a lunchtime walk to see if I can stretch out my aching legs a bit.  Workouts like this are why I renamed my blog to its current title.  I am aging (rapidly, it seems) and it's hard to call myself a true athlete these days.

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