Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The 2012 CrossFit Games Open

2012 CrossFit Games Open

This year I signed up to participate in the CrossFit Games Open!  It is the first step on the journey to the CrossFit Games.  You do not have to be a fire-breather to participate; anyone can sign up!  The open consisted of five workouts.  The top 60 men, 60 women, and 30 teams in each region are invited to the regional competition in May.  The top 1-3 athletes in each category (men, women, team) at each region are invited to participate in the 2012 CrossFit Games in July, where the fittest man, women, and team are crowned.

Last year I did not sign up for the open because I saw that the first WOD had double unders and at that time I could barely do singles, haha.   A 55# snatch was my PR snatch at the time.  This year, my goals were to be able to do all the workouts as prescribed (not drop out), be in the top 200 in Northern California, and make it onto the NorCal CrossFit team for regionals.

First off, I am so glad the open is over!  Though I did not decrease volume, I planned my training, supplemental lifting, and rest days around the open.  My methodology was try to get my Hatch work (post to come soon) done by Tuesday, take it easy on Wednesday, hit the open WOD on Thursday, full rest day on Friday, and redo the open WOD on Saturday.  Unfortunately, this usually meant I was pretty sore by Thursday, because I would do the week's worth of Hatch work for back squat, front squat, shoulder press, and bench press, in additional to Barbell Club on Monday and Wednesday nights.  I also skipped skills practice and supplemental Hatch work during the open because I did not have time.

Insanity.  I went through a roller coaster of emotions and probably added a lot of unnecessary stress to my life.  But that's just how I am when I'm really into something.  In the past I've had shingles and thyroid issues from stressing myself out.  Anyway, I was really happy after hitting a top 10 score in the region on the fourth workout and could not be more pissed at myself the second time I did the snatch ladder workout.  I did the each workout twice, and the snatch ladder three times!  After, the first couple WODs, I adjusted my goals.  Instead of wanting to be in the top 200 in Northern California, I changed it to wanting to be in the top 100.  I was never really 100% satisfied.  Sometimes  it was because I felt weak compared to the other ladies at the gym, leaderboard-ing, and sometimes it was just to eliminate other's doubts about me.  Ultimately, I think that is what drove me crazy.

The workouts:  There were five workouts in the Open.  The first workout, and apparently the fourth, played well to my strengths.  These were the workouts:

WOD 12.1 - 7min AMRAP: Burpees.
I was very happy about the first workout; it was nice to sit at 18th place in Northern California!  Clearly this was a little people workout.  I did this workout twice, once at my affiliate and the second time at CrossFit Oahu, hungover because I wanted to workout with friends.  It is amazing how much most people's scores would change if they did one more burpee.  Also the stationary target helped so much.  When I had the rings as my target, I missed a bunch of reps until someone stuck a PVC pipe through the rings to keep them still.

2. Leslie and I after the burpee workout at CrossFit Oahu.

WOD 12.2 - Snatch Ladder.  10min AMRAP:
  • 30 Snatches 75#/45#
  • 30 Snatches 135#/75#
  • 30 Snatches 165#/100#
  • Snatches 210#/120#, as many reps as possible
When this workout was announced, my snatch PR was 93#, and I knew I had to get that 100# snatch to stay competitive, in the running for the team.  On Thursday morning, the day after the workout was announced, I PRed my snatch to 98#, which gave me hope... except then I would have to hit my snatch PR after doing 60 snatches beforehand and within 10 minutes.  I did this workout three times!  The first two times I got 60 reps, with ample time to try for reps at 100#.  On the second try, I hit an all time workout low.  I have never been so upset at myself over a workout.  I tried multiple times and just could not make the lift.  I really wanted 61 reps!  I was so disappointed in myself when in reality, I should have been happy.  I just PRed my snatch by 5# and I gave it my all.  I let the pressure from the Open overwhelm me.  At that point, I took a step back and walked down memory lane.  I CrossFit to stay physically active, healthy, mentally sane, and just because I have fun doing it.  After rationalizing to cool myself down, I was good to go again.  On Sunday, I gave it one last attempt and got 62 reps!  Unlike for most, each additional rep on this workout would have made a huge difference in standings for me.  That being said, I busted my ass off on this workout.

WOD 12.3 - 18min AMRAP:
  • 15 Box Jumps 24"/20"
  • 12 Push Presses (more like Shoulder to Overhead) 115#/75#
  • 9 Toes-to-Bar
I did not do as well as I wanted to on this workout.  75# for twelve reps is heavy for me and I have a really hard time kipping toes-to-bar.  Long WODs are normally my thing, but in this case it was not since my strength limited me on the push presses and skills on the toes-to-bar.  The second time I did it, I got more than a full round more!  It is amazing how much better I can preform under a normal setting.  The first time I did this workout, I got pretty angry, not because of how I did, but because of the environment I was in.  Negative energy (i.e. speaking over me while I workout on how to no-rep me next) can suck the fun out of any workout, regardless of whether or not the workout was for a competition.  It is one thing to keep the standards legit, and another thing to discourage someone before he/she even starts moving.

WOD 12.4 - 12min AMRAP:
  • 150 Wall Ball Shots (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')
  • 90 Double Unders
  • 30 Muscle Ups
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to do this workout with our awesome NorCal CrossFit trainers, Neal Maddox, Miranda Oldroyd, and other Northern California badasses.  It was so inspiring to watch Jason, Neal and Pat all complete one round of this workout and for the top scores in the world!  Super impressive!  Initially, I was worried about not being able to complete all the wall ball shots in 12 minutes.  After my wrist injury, wall ball shots became very difficult for me.  Earlier in the week we had a workout with 40 wall ball shots, and I could not string 20, haha.  But I came up with a plan of attack: no more than a 3-second break on wall balls and I had my judge count in sets of 20 up to 100, then sets of 10 to 150 to play mental games with my head.  I knew I would be okay after wall balls.  Our team, NorCal CrossFit placed first in this workout worldwide and I got 8th place on this workout in Northern California!  This was my best performance in the open this year.

3. Neal Maddox, Jason Khalipa, Miranda Oldroyd, and Pat Barber on 12.4.  I'm not actually working out in the video, but you can see my in the background.  Maybe next time, haha.

WOD 12.5 - Thruster/Chest-to-Bar Ladder (same as 11.6).  7min AMRAP:
  • 3 Barbell Thrusters 100#/65#
  • 3 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 6 Barbell Thrusters 100#/65#
  • 6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 9 Barbell Thrusters 100#/65#
  • 9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • ... continue to increment reps by 3 (i.e. 12, 15, 18, 21, ...) until time runs out.
For the final WOD in the Open, Cheryl, Hillary, Liz, Sally and I redid the workout together.  For the past five weeks, we were all literally neck-to-neck in the standings.  It was really great to finally do a workout (actually any workout) all together!  Afterwards, we all went out for lunch and drinks to celebrate the end of the open.  For next year, I should remember to take advantage of the rules.  For example, I think putting a box below the pull-up bar so I did not have to jump 6+ inches each time I got off the bar would have made a big difference... especially since near the end I was doing singles on the chest-to-bar.

4. Sally, Hillary, Liz, and I.

Overall, I am very happy I signed up.  After a little over a year of CrossFit, I finished the Open in 73rd place in Northern California and had three of my scores contribute to the team total!  I know I accomplished two of my goals: being able to do all the workouts as prescribed and being in the top 100 in the NorCal region.  It was interesting to see where I stand in my gym, region, and worldwide.  But best of all, it was nice to see how far I have come along since starting CrossFit last year.  The CrossFit Games Open is not just for elite athletes.  Because of the open, I PRed my snatch (almost double my PR from last year), just to give an example.  It was also nice to always be chasing after people.  Keeping up with some of the ladies was really challenging!  Definitely kept me motivated!

I hope I make the team!  Looks like I will find out later this week.  As for next year, I hope to make top 60.  The Open exposed a lot of my weaknesses.  Some of the movements I need to work on include toes to bar, wall ball shots, chest-to-bar pull-ups, just to name a few.  I also need to work on strength, as that was the limiting factor in WOD 2 and 3.  I am proud of how I did this year, and I am optimistic for next year.  What another year of training will bring!

Update, 4/2:  I found out on my birthday that I made the team!

Related Posts:
2013 CrossFit Games NorCal Regionals
2013 CrossFit Games Open
2012 CrossFit Games Congratulations Jason | Summary
NorCal Regionals: TeamSummary | Individual | Pre
2012 CrossFit Games Open
2011 CrossFit Games: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Other Comps I Participated In: 2013 CrossFit Games Open | 2013 Sac Town Throwdown | Occupy Strength NorCal | NorCal Regionals -Team2012 Sac Town Throwdown | 2011 OktoberFit  
Other Oly Comps I Participated In: 2014 Cal Strength Meet2014 Senior National Championships2014 Hassle Free Open & Invitational2013 American Open Championships | 2013 Ensign Gray Invitational | 2013 Fall Classic | 2013 Senior National Championships | 2013 PWA Senior Open | 2012 Redwood Empire Championships