Monday, July 14, 2008

Crossfit Games: Recap

The games were a blast overall. For starters, it was funny to see all the crossfit stars out and about. Additionally, you ccould tell that they'd put a lot of thought into how to move all the athletes through the events as smoothly as possible with as little fuss as possible. I think that's ultimately why they opened up more competitor slots: when they figured out how to run it, and how many athletes they could accommodate, they probably realized how many more they could support.

It really did run well. Start times were very close to the mark of every 20 minutes (12 minute cut off, 8 minutes to prep the area again). Now at first we were confused by the run having a 20 minute cut off, but, that was simply because it's a run. If you're not finished in 20, it doesn't hold up the next batch of contestants.

The events basically consisted of a hard "Fran". Instead of the normal "chin over bar" standard, the games threw in a loop: chest to bar. I.e., chest must touch bar. I had the good fortune of being with the Brand X folks and had a bit of help on the strategy. It's funny, but Jeff Martin's experience coaching and his assessment that if my one round max shoulder press was 110, then I should be able to do 95lb thrusters was dead on. They weren't fast, but they weren't the problem. It was the ctb pullups. I missed the cutoff by 6 pullups. Even with the brand x team yelling at me to get back on the bar. One funny thing is that I could hear them yelling at me. Which meant I was slogging. Normally I don't hear folks all that well if I'm really busting out a WOD. I just get a bit of pain tunnel vision where I can't see/hear much but what's in front of me.

The run was my next WOD. To describe this run as tough isn't good enough. You need to know why it was a complete b****. Not only was it uphill (both ways!! In the snow!), but there was lots of loose and shifting sand which made you burn your quads out. Also, there was the issue of one of the worst downhills in recorded history. As steep and sandy as the up was the down was hard and dusty and good lord was it a grevious effort to keep your balance. That down was followed by a bit more up and then the finish. It was 750 meters and it took me 5:03. And I'm one of the faster (not fastest) runners at my crossfit gym. I was about middle of the pack here. My legs were complete jello by the time I was done. I've run three marathons. On one of those, I went into it knowing I was slightly undertrained due to an injury but was really more unprepared than I thought. I started fading at mile 15 and finished after a friend of mine to whom I just don't lose to. Not being arrogant, my friend has stumpy legs, and no grace, and usually outweighs me by 20lbs. He's stronger, but not as fleet. He beat me. Even after that run, where my legs would cramp whenever I stood still, I was never in danger of falling down. After I crossed the finish line of the run I sat down for a minute, then got up to go down the hill, promptly about fell on my arse three times and so went and sat back down till my legs came back.

And i still had deads to do . . .

The deadlift burpee combo went surprisingly well. I probably should have done the run last, but I mistakenly thought I was "good" at that. Ha!

The deads were surprisingly okay. Then again, I did the girl weight. Ha! So there was that. Had some touch up pointers (although Jeff may argue I needed more than that . . . ) from Jeff and Kempie the couple days before (love the fact that the Martin family has bumper plates and bars out back of the house . . . you know, like everyone does . . . ).

I sprawled out on the burpees to get down fast, but I jumped those things as high as I could back straight up. Only lost one rep to failure to fully lock back the shoulders and that was a fair enough call. At least I didn't drop the bar and have to pull more reps that way. Saw lots of that. That effort was a 6:30 or so. Still not near what the girls do nor what the big dogs did moving even more weight.

And the atmosphere was fun. I just generally like participatory events (5ks, etc.) Because they're like parties with a purpose. Not that I don't like me some full on alchohol fueled nonsense, but this was more like fitness meets a skatepunk ethic. The music was cool and rocked the house while the workouts went on. It wasn't quiet and somber, but buzzing with excitement. Most of the folks were generally good natured and were having a great time.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat but don't know if I'd do the drive over (even though my car mates were dears). Because then I'd have two more days to do something else. I'd also hope that next year they don't put the games so close to the 4th of July, but that may be the way things go.


Anonymous said...

So, they do have scaled groups? I think I'd like to go if so. I have committed several goals to paper (unassisted pullups by Nov 1, BF% in the 20s by year end etc..)

And then, you drove out there?? from here???

And finally, what exactly is a burpee deadlift combo? Are they merged together into a single excercise somehow or was it still 2 separate excercises?

Oh yeah, there has been a lot of talk around the gym about that run.. ay! caramba!!

And finally once again, I got to watch the 14 year old girl doing the c&j's... I hate it when I get choked up watching CrossFit videos....

Anonymous said...

Oops! I knew I forgot something!! congratulations!!!!

TexasPatrick said...

Hey thanks!!

re scaling: You could scale the weights. If you scaled, however, you were out of the running for top crossfitter . . . redundant but true. Because I was so close . . .

re: burpee/deadlift: It was just 5 rft of 5 heavy deads 10 burpees.

It's just that its a greviously hard workout. It's one of those simple yet brutal two exercise killers. I couldn't go fast enough on the Fran thing to really kill myself, but I could on this one.

re: driving: I met up with folks out at Brand X in Ramona (near San Diego). We drove to the games site, which was in Aromas, near Gilroy, which is about an hour from San Francisco . . . so we traveled about 3/4 of the state. A couple long days there.

Oh and that 14 year old girl? Yeah, I was about 10 feet from her. Every one of her last 10 c&js were hugely hard from the squat. She'd yell this awful grunt . . . then pop the weight up on her skinny arms like it was nothing. Beautiful split jerks. And yeah, everyone was crying there too.