Friday, September 7, 2012

Exciting Things Thursday at CrossFit

The most exciting part of my day yesterday was my afternoon CrossFit workout. And not because the workout was super amazing, either.

Ready to Crossfit in my lime green shoes.
 First things first: I got my first unassisted kipping pull up! I have been working on my pullups for such a long time and it has become so apparent how piddly (yes, that's a word in Allison language) my upper body strength is, especially my shoulder strength. I started Crossfit several months ago and was pretty much struggling to do ANY sort of pullup even with the thickest band we had at the box. I specifically remember doing a WOD that included a set of 20 pullups and I really struggled to get through it. And that would never do!

Everyday for the past 3 weeks or so, I have stayed after class to work on my pullups. Every coach seemed to have a different opinion about how to get better at pullups. Some said to work on my kipping pullups and go down a band size every time I got up to 15 reps. Other coaches said to build strength I should be doing dead hang pull ups. I kind of switched between working my kip and building strength from a dead hang.

GRRR!!! Pull up MUSCLES! Or just an awkward self photo.
 Today one of the coaches told me to just try a pull up without the band. After about 2 attempts and a short break, I GOT IT! Holy cow I was so excited I couldn't handle it! Of course, I was pretty maxed out and exhausted at that point, so I only managed one. Still, a very big milestone!

Next on my bucket list: double unders!

Before the extreme excitement of the pullups, we started the workout finding a 3 rep back squat max. I have to admit, I was insanely sore from all the deadlifts we did yesterday and my knee was being a cranky *itch, which I think is attributed to all the downhills I did while running on the trails the other day. Or it could be because I am not engaging my glute enough when I squat and the downhills aggravated it.

Anyways, the big news with my back squats is that I finally pushed myself to the point that I had to bail mid-squat. Watching other people max out at the bottom of a squat has always scared the crud out of me! When you have a huge barbell on your back, squat, and can't get back up, you are supposed to drop it behind you. My coaches have actually had me practice this, so I was lucky I already had some muscle memory for this.

This is a back squat. Source
During my last set, I got down to the bottom of my squat and literally just lost it. It happened so quickly that I'm not sure if my core crapped out on me, or I was literally just maxed out, but I felt my chest dropping and had to let go. The bar rolled down my back and hit the floor. I was startled, but more than ok. I was glad I got my first "bail" out of the way. From now on I know what to do!

I also got some help with my atrocious rowing technique last night. It's amazing to me that I can kill a running workout, but I am almost always one of the last ones off the rower.

Here are a few pointers my coach gave me:
  • Sit up straight, don't ever lose your core.
  • To recover, you want to think push arms, torso follows, then legs bend. 
  • Explode with the legs to begin stroke.
I know all those things sound very basic, but especially the sequence of recovery was opposite of what I was doing. Rowing is definitely a skill, so I am going to try to get my technique down so I can add speed correctly.

Finally, on to the WOD!

Today's was short and sweet. We did one round, all out, 500 meter row, 50 kettlebell swings and 50 wall ball. I was hurting while I was going through the workout, but after I finished I realized I probably could have pushed harder. Oh well, next time!

I've had several good runs the end of this week. Thursday was an easier 4 miles. My legs were starting to feel the deadlifts from the night before, so I just listened to my body and took it easy.

This morning I did 5 miles with 5 800 repeats. I found these lots of fun and was definitely challenged the whole time. I ran by the marina and it was pitch black across the water. I'm going to miss catching the sunrise during the winter!

Waaahhh! Why so dark?!
The run felt great and I finished in 39 minutes. And again, after I was done, I realized I probably could have pushed harder. Grrr!

This weekend I'm running the Iron Girl 10k around Green Lake. I'm excited for this run mostly because I conned a Crossfit friend to run the 5k as well! I plan to get 8-10 miles in before the race, so I'm not expecting a pr. You never know, though! Have a great weekend!

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