March 19 (Day 195) – what a week I had . . .

It’s been a week since I wrote – wow! That’s crazy.

So what happened in this past week? Well – 14.3 was announced – Deadlifts and Box Jumps. That was right in my wheelhouse. I quite like Deadlifts. Why? Because they don’t involve squatting! And the box jumps could be step ups, so I was back in the Rx camp.

Because the WOD was ascending deadlift weights and reps (the box jumps stayed as a “palate cleanser” of 15 in between), I spent the evening before figuring out how to do it with Kilogram plates, which is what we have at the box. Then, when I got in to do it at 9:00 on Friday, I wrote it on the groundin chalk.

NASCAR Kilogram-plate progression. Vrrrooom Vrrrooom!
NASCAR Kilogram-plate progression. Vrrrooom Vrrrooom!

You may not be able to see it in this picture, so I’ll explain how it works:

The very top of the chart is a barbell that says “20” on it and L (for left) and R (for right). The 20 kg bar is the men’s blue bar. For some reason, I had just made up in my head that the bigger (red) women’s bar was 20k – in fact, orange is 10k, red is 15k. (Just typing this now, I know I KNOW that, but of course we all have our delusions when doing pound-to-kilogram conversions…)

The first set was at 43k. So that meant I loaded 10kg plates on L and R, then 2 1-k plates on the L and 1 1-k on the R for a total of 43. Yes, that meant that I was “unbalanced” by 1 kg, but as I generally pull harder on the left, I figured that was okay – and it’s only 2.2 pounds anyway.

You had to do 10 at that weight, then the 15 box jumps. Tracy (tennis playing Tracy) was my judge, which was great. She was really supportive and it was fun. She wasn’t doing the WOD herself, because her back and her elbow are bad – she actually did box jumps and then weighted lunges.

I lifted the bar a few times before 3-2-1-GO, and was trying to figure out “Why it felt so heavy” when in my “perception” as I looked down on the bar, it “only had” 2 10-kg plates. on it. The 1 kg plates are small so you can’t see them when you’re lifting – they are the red ones in the picture above – so it looked like a bar with 2 measly 10-kg plates. Then of course I remembered I was on the men’s bar – right there a 11.5 pound differential from when I am “usually” lifting a bar with 2 10-kg plates on it. Oops!

The second round was 61k. So that meant I had to take all 3 kg weights off, slam on a 10 kg plate on each side, then slide 1 kg plate back on, on the left. This was where it got funny. Sheri (one of our Really Good athletes) was judging right next to me, squatting basically over the 10 kg plate I had set up and needed. I slammed the 2 kgs off onto the ground and just about upended her to get to the 10k plate, which surprised her and made Tracy laugh out loud. (That’s when the NASCAR tire changing comments started.) I was focused on “not messing up,” especially as the gal from Diablo Crossfit had messed up on TV doing the weight change the night before at the Announcement in NOLA! (She actually wound up winning anyway – Go Diablo! Carol Wu’s box.)

I got the 15 reps out on the 61kg, but it was getting heavy. Anthony kept sharking over and reminding me to keep my back straight and to lift by pushing down on my heels. Then I had the 15 step up “palate cleanser,” then the next round.

This one was 70 kg, so I just had to take the 1 kg plate off and slam on 2 5s. I had a minute to go, but 70 kg is my 1 rep max. I got it up, but really dropped it. As I wasn’t using clips, Tracy actually clipped the weights on while I rested. It was obvious I wasn’t going to add any more weight! I wanted to get to 3 – I got to 3 and still had 30 seconds. I went for 4, and wound up “roaring” the weight up, just as the music went silent – so there I am, “RAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWR” over in my corner of the box. Karen (one of our Superstars) looks up from all the way across the box and yells (I can hear the laugh in her voice as she’s yelling) “GO Sandy!” I got 5 total that that weight, for a score of 60, which I thought was fabulous.

Most of the folks that were doing the first go were doing some form of Scaling – I was the only Rx. I think that’s why both Sheri and Karen were surprised, Sheri by my NASCAR tire changes and Karen by my “roar lifting.” :-) Karen gave me a High 5 afterwards, and she said she’d looked over and seen how much weight I had on, then realizing that though I was doing it with the Scalers I was doing the Rx. I felt proud to be noticed ;-)

I “judged” Tracy, then was about to leave, but Mikaela came up to me. She’d been looking at my chart on the floor, and wanted me to walk her through it. Then, she asked if I would stay and coach her through the round, because she hadn’t thought to map them out the night before. She smoked all the way through to the 84kg set – where she had to add 5 more on each side and the 2 kgs back on each side. Because she’d arrived late, she was doing it outside of the actual “rounds” so we got a bunch of comments about my “NASCAR weight change routine.” (The folks who are going for Regionals seriously actually all brought their own pound weights, and did it that way. I think it was easier, frankly, to do the kg weights because you never had to take anything big off and then put something else on – which was where the Diablo gal went wrong on TV.)

Saturday was a POSE run clinic. I did that one with the other Tracy (runner Tracy). We spent 4 hours learning how everything we were doing to run was basically wrong (laugh). But it was amazing, honestly amazing. The biggest take-aways involved running with a metronome app (180 minimum), lifting your knees up but your sole facing backwards (as if you are kicking not your butt, but where your hamstring attaches) so that you are making a smooth ROUND motion under you not reaching forward or back with your foot (oval), leaning forward from the hips not the shoulders, “triangle arms,” etc. As an exercise to get the “lean,” we had to hold each other back like sled dogs with a jump rope at the hips until the person was REALLY leaning/trusting us (they would fall if we let go), then they started walking, then running (with us still giving resistance) until we ultimately would let go and let them “fly.”

One interesting take away was that when you’re running to the metronome, the beat should be when your knee comes UP not your foot goes DOWN (or you “pound the ground,” which wastes energy).

Sunday was a double under clinic. I woke up and my calves were KILLING me from the run clinic – but off I went. I learned a bunch of new stuff, but I confirmed that my hands and arms were in a good place. Just have to keep at it. The double under guy made me work on looking out on the horizon instead of on the floor – also really jumping higher, but straight up (being “bouncy like a pogo stick”). The POSE running guy had suggested that we do single-leg (as in, running in place) rope work to work on getting our knees up, and the double under guy suggested that as well.

During the clinic, every time I would get a double under I would stop (the shock, you know). He helped me practice doing two slower single jumps, just to “ease out” of the double under – then we started putting those together. In other words, 2 singles, double, 2 singles, double. We did an Rx test at the end, and I got 7 in a minute, which is fabulous if you ask me. He told me to keep at it, work towards a single, double, single, double, then stringing the doubles together. We did them in the warm up today, and I got a few, but I’m STILL super sore (it’s Wednesday as I type this!)

At home, I’ve still been working on my rope climbs (mainly my hands, since I moved it to the back deck I can’t do the foot lock), double unders, situps, and handstands – all in sort of a round-robin Tabata. I’m posting those on GiveIt100 – the film is pretty funny. Today as part of the warmup we had rope climbs, and I was able to get the foot lock right away, which felt great. I didn’t actually go anywhere (laugh), but I did get the lock and push up.

Oh – almost forgot – Friday night I managed to poison myself (yes, really) with peanuts. So for the first time in probably 20 years I was off to the hospital in extremis. It was the worst one ever. The funniest part (if you can call any of this funny) is that on my 2nd date with H, I had thought I’d ingested some peanuts, and made him come home with me just in case I had a shock reaction. He, of course, always thought I just wanted to get him home with me! (Yes, really.) Back then, the offending food was a bite of apple pie where the “secret ingredient” in the crust (which was very VERY yummy, I concede!) was peanut butter. So once I could breathe and the intubation was done, etc. at the hospital, the first thing I said to H was “remember the apple pie?” He said back, “Yes, and it’s a good thing I didn’t really know how bad this was for you, because I’m not sure we would have made it on a 3rd date!” He has never in all our years together seen this happen. At least now he knows how it goes – the worst part is that it affects my brain, so I can’t make rational decisions. After throwing up quite badly, I went to bed…MISTAKE! I was upstairs, H was downstairs watching TV, and I started not being able to breathe, then had to come BACK downstairs to get him to take me to the hospital. I remember standing at the top of the stairs thinking “I am not quite sure this is possible”…. I did make him run red lights to get me there, and that was funny in its own right. Trying to make an Austrian break the law is like trying to defy gravity. At the first one, when there was NO TRAFFIC and I knew I was getting to the point where I might lose consciousness, I was gasping “Run it! Run it!” and I could see it in his face, “Break A Rule….Lose The Wife… Break A Rule….” ;-) When we got to the hospital there was no parking, so he put my driver’s license and Kaiser card in my hand and basically pushed me through the door. I went up to the receptionist who was playing Solitaire, and gasped out “Annnn…a….pha….lax….sis….” – you’ve never seen a team of people jump so fast ;-)

my sexy fighter pilot look in the hospital after the anaphylaxis...
my sexy fighter pilot look in the hospital after the anaphylaxis…

So this was Friday night – right? I woke up Saturday and wasn’t sure I could make it to the clinic, but I felt TOTALLY FINE. In fact, when I woke up, I thought “Did I even DO 14.3 yesterday?” Because I had NO pain in my back…no pain ANYWHERE. So then I’m lying there in bed thinking…”Has CROSSFIT just been a huge dream??” Because since I started doing Crossfit I don’t think ONE day has gone past where I didn’t have some ache or pain, somewhere. I mentioned it to H as I was getting ready to go to the clinic, and he said “Um, hello?! You were pumped full of steroids intravenously and through an atomizer, given Valium, and all sorts of other stuff last night, did you forget this? Of COURSE you feel no pain!”

Ohhhhhhh thaaaaaaat…..

Suffice it to say it all came slamming down on me on Saturday night – I teased H, asking him if he knew any professional baseball players or Lance Armstrong I could call…

I was pretty proud of myself for dragging my fully un-steroid-ed self to the double under clinic on Sunday!

Monday I did the WOD, plus bikram – but I could really honestly barely walk. I can still feel my Achilles’ “clicking” when I do some moves. Yesterday I did my “home WOD” of handstand/situps/etc. plus went for a VERY brisk walk with a friend out in Tennessee Valley because it was GORGEOUS (It’s in the 70s – crazy weather). Tonight Leann and Cody get here (YAY!) and so though I did the WOD today, I won’t tomorrow. I am giving him a private Parkour lesson for his birthday which will be tomorrow, plus we’ll meet Mom at the Farmer’s Market. I’ll do 14.4 on Friday, whatever it is, but then we’re going to take him to Alcatraz – and on Saturday to the USS Hornet.

I did watch TAR and have some comments about that, but I think that’s enough for now. Today’s WOD was hang-squat-clean-thrusters (did that over the corner of the 20″ box with 10 lb barbells – squats are my Waterloo…), a 4 x 400 run (used the metronome, couldn’t keep up the form from POSE), some L-hangs, and I’m sure some other things. It wasn’t a particularly long WOD, but there were a TON of us there. It makes SUCH a difference the way that they re-organized the iron in there – it’s amazing how many people can work out now.