Once again, I had an hour’s drive before I could do the Open workout. This time I made sure to leave the house as close to 5 pm as I could without missing any work. My husband and I managed to head out by 5 minutes after the hour, so my prep during the day was successful. We even made it to Four Rivers CrossFit before 6, so I got to attend the athlete briefing, though I was a little late for that because I was putting my contact lenses¬†on in the bathroom when they started.¬†

The coaches reviewed the movements and standards for the workout, and questions were asked and answered. This week’s theme was Barbie, but after what I felt was a flop with last week’s costume, I didn’t bother to dress up this time. I was just wearing comfortable workout clothes, my black men’s shorts and a grey short sleeve shirt (also men’s). 

24.2 was a 20 minute AMRAP of a 300 meter row, 10 deadlifts, and 50 double unders. The Rx deadlift weight was 125 pounds, something that would be heavy for me, but not impossible. There have been points in my CrossFit experience when lifting 125 would have been super easy. I mean, one year there were 155 pound deadlifts, and I did get through 21 reps of that. But this year, I haven’t been focused on strength training, especially in the last few months with my work on Move U. So I knew it would be heavy, and hard, but since I do have double unders, I figured I would give Rx a go rather than doing 95 pound deadlifts and single unders. 

I had emailed to ask to be put in the 2nd heat this time so that I wouldn’t have to stay so late. I generally go to bed around 9 (start getting ready at 8), so going in a later heat makes my evening much longer than I like. And although I didn’t get a reply to my email, I did get in the 2nd heat and got confirmation that my email was received when I got there. 

After the athlete briefing, I went to get warmed up, but I was stymied a bit by the barbells. At Arbor, it was very clear which bars were the 15 pound “training” bars, and which the 35 pound “ladies” bars and which the 45 pound “mens” bars. In fact, the ladies weight bars were painted pink to make it super obvious, though they also clearly have a smaller diameter than the mens bars. Also, each bar is stored in its own section, making it even more clear which is which. 

Not so at Four Rivers, where I absolutely cannot tell the difference between the 45 and 35 pound bars by looking. And all the bars are just put up wherever so I can’t use that to figure it out either. I copied a woman doing banded good morning’s, and then ended up tagging in to use someone else’s bar for warming up the deadlift. I got a decent set of double unders done – once I moved out from under some low hanging gymnastics rings. Then it was time to wait until it was time to warm up again just before the 2nd heat. 

I watched a bit of the 1st heat, and it was great fun to cheer on a young woman who didn’t quite have double unders yet. She was able to get enough small sets to finish a couple of rounds, but it was a struggle. Still, she never gave up. 

About halfway through the first heat, I went to do my second warm up. A few more jumps, one lift at a heavier weight than I would be doing in the workout. I figured the row didn’t really need warming up. The row wasn’t going to be the hard part of this workout. 

This time, I got to direct someone else to the other end when they thought I was in their spot. I had double and triple checked I was in the right place. I needed to get the bar set up, and that required 45 pound plates. Of course, there were only two or three of those left on the holders, which makes it extremely difficult for a short girl like myself to pull them up and off. But I got one! And I gave much thanks to the guy who got the other plate for me, at the request of my judge, because I know I looked like a total fool getting that first one. 

Barbell set, I took a moment to dump some debris out of my shoe and then sat on the rower to signify my readiness to start. Now, last week, I hadn’t really heard the starting beeps or even noticed the 10 second warning. This time, I kept my eye on the clock, saw the 10 second count-down and even heard the beeps as it went 3 – 2 – 1. But my judge didn’t! She actually tried to get me to stop rowing because she hadn’t realized the time had started, but I don’t think it materially affected my score. 

I went at a moderate 2:30-ish pace for my 300 meters, and then I discovered that 125 pounds weighs a lot more after a row. I’d had visions of doing sets of 5 on the deadlift, but that was NOT happening. What was happening was singles. All singles. Painful, straining singles, but I did not feel like I was risking injury. My judge called out a reminder to keep my knees from collapsing inwards, and I did try, but mostly didn’t succeed. How had 125 pounds gotten so heavy??

After the 10 deadlifts, I was ready for the jump rope. I forgot about the alchemy that turns legs into jello and missed my first couple of attempts, but I only needed three sets once I got going. 

At the rower again, I went very slow. I definitely used that row as recovery, because I knew I was going to be the slow and steady turtle in this race. I started at a 5 minute pace and sped up to around 3 minutes before I finished. 

The 2nd set of deadlifts was just as hard as the first. I did better on the 2nd set of double unders in that I remembered to stretch my legs to help them transition from lifting to jumping, but they still took a lot out of me. Back to the recovery row, and I knew that I could finish 3 rounds in the allotted 20 minutes if I kept this pace and didn’t mess up too many of the double unders. 

A new tactic helped me through the deadlifts – I used switch grip right, then switch grip left, then both overhand. I repeated that, and then for the last four I alternated my switch grips. 

The doubles came hard on that last round, but I finished the 50 with less than 20 seconds to go and managed to pump that rower up to just over 30 meters. 

Then, as is tradition, I collapsed on the floor, gasping for breath and feeling all my muscles just burn. 

I actually scooted myself off to the side because I was not ready to stand up and I knew they needed the space for the next heat. Again, I was very glad that Ambrose had come with me and was willing to be the driver, because I would have needed to stay a lot later to recover enough to drive myself home in the dark. As it was, we headed out pretty quickly after I was able to stand again. 

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