Hey hey! So it’s Thursday, but for the first time in 5 weeks I won’t be anxiously awaiting 8pm to hear the announcement of the CrossFit Open workout. It’s over, friends! 5 weeks, 5 workouts and we survived!
I’ll share a post on my overall Open experience, but for now let’s talk 15.5! I think the whole CF world anticipated burpees in this workout, but when Castro made his announcement, burpees were missing. Thank goodness! 15.5 was a 27-21-15-9 rep scheme of rowing and thrusters.
I’m super comfortable with rowing and pacing myself on the erg, so I was fine seeing that…but thrusters just plain suck. The Rx version for women called for 65lb thrusters, which I can physically do but knew it would be close to impossible for 72 reps. The 45lb would totally smoke me anyway, so I stuck with the scaled workout on this one!
After a solid warm-up and some shoulder mobility, we got to the workout. I had read some tips on how to approach 15.5, mostly discussing pacing, but with these movements, pacing means something different for each athlete. There was a comfortable calorie range I knew I wanted to see on the rower and I had a plan to break up the thrusters into manageable chunks. For the workout, my goal was to come in under 20 minutes, though I didn’t really have any reasoning behind it. I had only seen the elite women kill the workout in 6-7 minutes, so my estimate was that I could finish in 2-3 times that long.
When the clock started, I was amped up and got off to a fast start on the erg. I had a mental check-in with myself and managed to slow it down. I meant to peek at the clock when I jumped off the rower, but ultimately forgot. I got right to my bar and started with 7 reps. My legs already felt shot and I started to get nervous that this workout was going to be even harder than I’d originally thought! 6 reps, then 5, 5 and 4 to finish my first round. Yikes! I already had to break up the reps a lot and I was sucking wind each time I dropped the bar.
Back on the rower, it was time to get myself back together. I slowed my pace a teensy bit, keeping things on the slower end of my goal calorie range. I focused on a steady stroke and tried to catch my breath. The second round went much more smoothly and I broke up the thrusters in three sets of 7 reps. Walking the few steps back to the erg for the third rounds, my legs felt like jello. Rather than freak out, I remembered reading that the workout was already halfway over after 18 calories into the second round. That boosted me a bit and I knew I was much closer to the finish than I felt. The row seemed to go by quickly and I made a plan to break the thrusters up evenly into sets of 5. Again, I was absolutely sucking wind each time I dropped that bar. My mouth was dry and I found myself longing for my water bottle. But the sooner I got to the rower, the sooner I would be done. My quads were absolutely burning during each stroke, but I got through it and the finish line was in sight. For the sake of consistency, I performed the last set of thrusters in 3 sets of 3. Looking back, I probably should’ve just pushed through and done 5 and 4…but I can’t (or won’t) try it again.
After 11 minutes and 42 second, I collapsed onto the floor…where I stayed for a long time, creating one of my best sweat angels yet:
I grabbed some water and sat back down to cheer CF buddy Liz on as she finished. Home girl absolutely killed it. Liz and another guy got back to their bars for the last set of thrusters at the same time and we all encouraged them not to drop that bar. And they didn’t! Liz pushed through and finished that last set unbroken. So amazing!
After they finished, the guy next to Liz leaned over and said “if you weren’t putting that bar down, I wasn’t putting it down either.” This is what CrossFit is all about, people! Pushing yourself (and others) just a little bit harder than you want to. Acheiving things you think you can’t. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
That super uncomfortable 15.5 workout left my legs sore for days. Holy quads! So many funny memes popped up in my social media feeds, but this one is my fave: