I’m sure our coaches are not alone in scheduling longer, more challenging WODs on Saturday mornings. It’s the beginning of the weekend, and theoretically you’ve got until Monday morning to sit around on your arse and refuel with pork chops and Netflix (that’s how we do it, anyway). So why not work a little harder and earn a couple drinks while you’re at it, right? (This logic will fail dismally when I go back to work full-time in a couple weeks, because I work more weekends than I have off, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.)
I was a little apprehensive about this weekend’s WOD. I had only returned after a week off on Friday, and I felt like I’d gotten a little flat in that week. Friday’s WOD left me pretty sore in the thighs from all those lunges, and I knew Saturday wasn’t exactly going to be a leisurely stroll. I was sitting on the floor, getting my head in the game, and Coach came over to say hi. He had been traveling for work all week, so he didn’t realize I hadn’t been in at all. I told him I was feeling better, but still a little gimpy, and he told me to take it easy today.
FUNNY MAN. He hadn’t planned a WOD for us today, he had planned a vicious, painful beating. At least, that’s how I felt about it.
To start off with, he split us all into six groups of 2 men/2 women. There were 5 movement stations; half the groups went from 1 to 5, while the other half went from 5 to 1.
- Team sandbag carry–each member of the team does a 400m run with the sandbag. While each person is out running, the other three are working in rotation to accumulate as many KB swings as possible.
- Pair up within the team (boys/girls) and trade off doing 50 DU or 100 singles. 5 rounds of that.
- Each team member does 10 squat cleans, in order from least weight to most.
- Pair up boys/girls again, and trade off doing 10 ball slams, 15 pushups, and 30 air squats. 5 rounds of that.
- Team 2k row–each person rows 500m; the remaining three are accumulating plate burpees.
The kicker is that, at the end, whichever way you’re going up or down the list, your team is not finished until you’ve accumulated the same number of burpees or KB swings as the team who first used that station. Even if you’re finished with the row or run, you all still keep working until the reps are completed.
I realize that upon first reading, the WOD doesn’t look that bad. Looking back, it shouldn’t have beaten me up nearly as bad as it did. It appears that there’s a good amount of rest in there, and honestly there was. But I don’t know, maybe it was just the fact that I was coming back from a week off, and team WODs are difficult or impossible to scale without dragging everyone else down with you… but this WOD was pure hell.
Honestly, it started off okay. Coach gave us permission for one “wild card” on each team to run without the sandbag. “You don’t have to have anyone run without it, but you can choose one if you need to.” I told my team up front, I’ve been dealing with a gimpy rib, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to carry the bag. But I wanted to at least try it, so one of the guys helped me hoist it up on my shoulders. I hefted it a few times and it felt fine, so I started us off. I was also able to swing a 35# KB on that station (WOOHOO I CAN RX SOMETHING!). Our team accumulated 320 swings, and I have no idea how that compared to other teams, but it sounded respectable to me.
On to station 2. I’ll say it right now, I don’t like jumping rope in any way, shape, or form. I don’t know if it’s because I’m using the beat-up ropes that belong to the box, or if I’m just bad at jumping rope, but I’ve never gotten one DU and even singles are challenging sometimes. I plan on buying my own rope so I can practice at home (and I know it will fit me and it won’t have a giant kink in the middle), but it’s not in the budget until I go back to work. So for now, I suffer through with the provided ropes. My first 100 singles went unbroken (WT ever-loving F), but after that I could not get back into a rhythm. I was pretty frustrated by the end of it.
The ten squat-cleans weren’t too bad, although I did get a little tired of the “You got this, girl! Come on!” I just wanted to reply “OMG SHUT UP I’M TRYING TO BE CAREFUL SO I DON’T FUCK MY SHIT UP ALL OVER AGAIN I KNOW I’VE GOT THIS PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME.” Team WODs, you guys. I love ’em and I hate ’em.
Station 4 is where I really started to feel the strain. As I’ve said before, ball slams aren’t a problem for me anymore, but I still suck at pushups. Like, really bad. I kind of have a thing about range of motion; if it’s not a good, deep pushup, I feel like I’m cheating. But because I’m not strong at them, I only have about 6 or 7 reps at a time before I need a rest. So even the relatively small sets of 15 pushups needed to be broken down into sets of 5 (or less, after the first round). Mentally, that is pretty defeating. The squats were pretty sucky, too, since my quads were already fairly well-toasted after Friday’s WOD. Couple that with the fact that the other girl on the team was able to bust out her half of the round in like a minute, and I didn’t have a lot of recovery time before I had to get back to work. By the time we finished that station, I was starting to feel pretty shitty.
And we ended with the row/burpees. The team that started on our station was able to accumulate 180 burpees, and we had nothing to do but to get started. My 500m row was the worst I’ve ever done, something like 2:19. We split the burpees up into groups of 10, and on my second set, I started getting cramps.
If I have any male readers, you might want to skip this paragraph because this is where I talk about my uterus. Sorry.
This is something that has always plagued me with intense exercise–I don’t know what causes it, but occasionally during a workout, I start getting period-type cramps, especially if I’m coming back after some time off. There’s no spotting associated with it, and they usually go away quickly after I stop working. They’re not much more than an annoyance. But yesterday… OMG. It was like the worst day of my worst period. I was holding it together in front of everyone, but just barely.
Around the time we hit 100 burpees, Coach came over, crouched down next to me, and asked me how much we had left. I told him we had one more row and about 80 burpees, and after a moment’s thought, he told me after our last member finished his row, we were finished. I looked at the clock and was (and wasn’t) surprised to see it ticking over 53 minutes. I wasn’t going to argue, so as soon as I saw Mark loosen the foot straps, I stopped burpeeing and walked away. I headed straight for the bathroom, mostly just for the privacy (I didn’t really need the toilet), and in the mirror I saw a monster looking back. I mean I really looked like hell, and I could barely stand upright. After I collected myself, I walked over to the carpet where the 9:30 group was assembling, sat down on the floor and tried real hard not to betray how I really felt (which was bordering on homicidal). Jason came over to check on me, and I told him “I want to leave IMMEDIATELY.” He thought I had been in the bathroom puking, so he didn’t hesitate, he just hauled me to my feet, grabbed his keys, and we were out the door.
Anyway, we got home, I curled up in a ball for a while, Jason cooked breakfast, cramps subsided and I was fine, blah blah blah. I’m not easily discouraged, but that hour-long WOD was just AWFUL. I can honestly say I would not enjoy CrossFit Endurance. I mean, the main appeal of CrossFit, for me, is that the WOD doesn’t take forever! Warm-up, 20 or 25 minutes of hard work, cool-down, and we’re done. If I wanted to suffer for over an hour, I’d just take up running again.
I guess the upside is that it’s only once a week, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.