A Challenger Appears

I’m icing my right knee as I type this. Hard to believe I’ve gone almost 7 months without aggravating it. My left knee’s the “bad” one, but the patella strap is helping. I bought another strap tonight. Symmetry at its best.

What did I do to bother my knee? Well! Since it’s Wednesday, it’s time to share more about Adventures in CrossFit with Ardith Laverne!

I competed in my first CrossFit competition (duh) this past weekend. The competition was held at CrossFit 45 North out in Hillsboro, OR. It was a Garage Games event, and I was nervous. (It was a week of high stakes, regardless; I presented at my very first conference on Friday, and it went incredibly well!).

Here’s how the event shook out…

I left my house around 5:45AM on Saturday and eventually made it to the venue. I checked in, prepared to put in a long day, not unlike my history with dance competitions. All athletes received documents briefing the three WODs that were programmed for Saturday, and that’s about the time my palms began to sweat.

Staring down the barrel

Staring down the barrel

I competed in the Women’s Scaled division, which means the movements were scaled down a bit in weight and technical skill. By no means was it easy.

The first WOD was an AMRAP7, consisting of a power clean and front squat complex:
1 power clean: 1 front squat
2 power cleans: 1 front squat
3 power cleans: 1 front squat
4 power cleans: 1 front squat
5 power cleans: 1 front squat

Then, add 10lbs. and repeat the set.
Starting weight: 55lbs.
Max weight: 85lbs.
Athletes completing 5 PCs: 1FS at 85lbs. were allowed to continue, 7:1, 8:1, etc.

I got held up changing the metal clamps on the barbells and lost a ton of time. However, I got 1 power clean: 1 front squat at 85lbs. right before the clock ran out. So, that was… 62 reps. Cool. I didn’t quit, even with my cruddy clamp-changing skills.

After the Rx’d Women, Scaled Men, and Rx’d Men completed their WODs–and Rx’d went to a snatch and overhead squat complex–there was Hell.

I mean, WOD #2. Double AMRAP6 with some “fun” elements thrown in.

AMRAP6 (#1)
Begin with a sprint (roughly 200m)
Then, with the remaining time, perform AMRAP of:
10KB swings (16kg.)
10 box jumps (20″)

Then, when the air horn sounds to conclude the first 6 minutes, drop to the ground for max effort burpees.

When the horn sounds again, that begins the second AMRAP6
Begin with 25 double-unders or 75 single-unders (I opted for single-unders with this environment)
Then, with the remaining time, perform AMRAP of:10 KB sumo-dead high-pulls (16kg.)
10 air squats

THEN, when the horn sounds the end of this six minutes, drop to the ground for a second max effort burpees.

I have no idea what my final count was, but it was good enough to place me 30th out of 40 for that WOD. I had the help of my judge and another CrossFit coach who just happened to be watching next to me. I may not be the most elite athlete, but I’ll be darned, I can be coached. This particular WOD ended up being my best showing place-wise, and it happened to feel the most challenging, but I completed it. And I did awesome in it.

WOD #3 was a deadlift ladder. Essentially, we all starting by filing in to the first bar one-by-one. We had 45 seconds to complete 3 hand-release push-ups and 2 deadlifts without resetting between lifts; then, 15 seconds were left to rotate to the next weight up.

The ladder begin at 125lbs. and increased by 20lbs. at each station. Prior to the event, I had only lifted 170lbs. at three reps.

When I reached 175lbs., I made it through my pushups, picked up the bar, and busted out two reps. Next up was 195lbs.

And you know what? I got it. I PR’d at the competition with a two-rep max. I was unable to move the bar at 215lbs., but I am so close to breaking 200lbs. on this lift now, it was impossible to be upset at my showing.

On Sunday, there was only one WOD to complete. I walked in, saw the barbells set up the same way as they were the day before, but without the additional weight plates.

Two things crossed my mind: 1. “No clamps to fight with!”; and 2. “Oh no. Thrusters.”

And of course, there were thrusters. And sprints. The coordinators had decided on a “Running Fran WOD. Instead of pull-ups, there were sprints.

So, we started out by sprinting the ~200m. around half of the building, and launched into 21 55lb. thrusters (which is actually 10lbs. lighter than the Rx’d weight–they upped the weigh for the Rx’d Women to 85lbs. when they competed! Cruel). We ran, performed 15 more thrusters, ran one last time, and hit 9 thrusters.

The time cap was 8 minutes, and I was somewhat worried that I would get cut-off. Luckily, my sprints were fairly fast each time, and I got through my biggest set of thrusters with little rest. I “no rep’d” my very last thruster, though, costing me several seconds as I reset and stared at the bar. I picked up the bar, squatted, then popped the bar overhead to finally finish. Overall, I finished at 6 minutes and 14 seconds, good enough for 35 out of 40.

Not bad for a rookie. Not bad for a rookie who’s been CrossFitting for right around six-and-a-half months. After all the points were calculated, I came in at 38/40, but again–that’s a victory in my books. If 2012 Ardith had been competing, none of these skills could have been performed. Period. 2012 Ardith would have stormed off and maybe flipped a table. (Just kidding–I wouldn’t have been able to flip a table back then.)

I’m already looking forward to my next competition. Twerk Team?!
In other news, I shaved a second off my best 400m run time last night. It now stands at 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Other times established last night:
800m: 3 minutes, 33 seconds
100m: 16.5 seconds

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