CrossFit Open 17.5: The Best for Last

CrossFit Open 17.5: The Best for Last

So here we are, wrapping up the 2017 CrossFit Open with a recap of 17.5.  Heading to Nashville to celebrate Ashley’s birthday Friday morning meant I had to either do the workout Thursday evening right after the official announcement OR wait until Monday evening right before the submission deadline.  I chose Thursday evening to get it over with! Here’s what Dave Castro threw at us for the last workout of this year’s Open:

Initial Thoughts

It was probably a good thing that I didn’t have much time to think between the announcement and completing the WOD myself. I watched the Open announcement with some members at the gym and even tried to wrangle someone (anyone) to do it with me that night. Seeing Katrin and Sara (top CrossFit athletes) complete the workout in 8:xx minutes meant I knew I was in for at least a 16-24 minute workout, as I always double or triple elite times/scores!

Thrusters always suck, and 90 reps is A LOT…but 65 pounds is doable for me now and I knew I would break them up early. On top of that, I was honestly excited to finally see double unders! I have been working so hard on them and am finally able to string about 30-40 together during workouts, so I was pumped about them being in 17.5. 

The Workout

Coach Alex judged me for this workout and was on top of me to keep moving the entire time. I broke the thrusters up into sets of 3 immediately and it was the perfect strategy for me. I could have started earlier rounds with 5 and 4, but probably would have blown up in the later rounds.  

For double unders, I went in with a plan to do 20 then take a quick break and finish with the last 15.  Some rounds that worked out, some it didn’t.  Overall, the double unders felt great and I was able to string together big chunks before tripping or needing to rest. 

During the workout, I tried to not look at the clock. I knew I had a good pace going in the earlier rounds and at one point Alex told me I was on track to finish around 16 minutes. Those thrusters caught up to me in the last few rounds though and I needed much more rest between my sets of 3. I was just tired and didn’t want to pick that bar up anymore. Coach told me to push for an unbroken set of thrusters in round 10, but I just couldn’t muster it and kept at 3 sets of 3. 

After dropping the barbell after the 90th thruster, I grabbed my rope to bang out the final set of double unders. The 16 minute mark had come and gone, but my DU felt so good in that last round.  I strung together 34 before tripping up! THIRTY FOUR. Just one rep short of finishing. Coach immediately yelled “one more!” and I quickly reset to finish the WOD in 17:23.  

Final Thoughts

Having been one of the first people to complete this workout, I had no idea how my score would measure up, but I knew I had done the very best that I could have. I was thrilled to be done, both with those 10 rounds and the 2017 Open in general. Mostly I was excited to have killed it with my double unders!

It turns out that the average score for Rx women was 20:54, which means I did pretty dang well. This one was easily my favorite workout of the entire Open and the one I’m most proud of. While there is always more to improve upon, I’m excited about all of my CrossFit and strength progress this year.  Bring on all the double under WODs! 😉

17.4: Small Progress is Still Progress

Historically in the CrossFit Open there is always a repeat workout from a previous year.  This year that repeat came during 17.4, which turned out to be a repeat of 16.4, last year’s chipper style AMRAP. A perk of blogging about the Open workouts is having my past recaps to reflect on and learn from, not just my score logged in an app somewhere. Here’s the workout: 

Initial Thoughts

My experience with 16.4 wasn’t terrible–I completed it scaled last year and definitely struggled with the hand-release pushups. There could have been so many worse WODs to repeat, so I wasn’t upset at this announcement. I also didn’t mind that it was a repeat, because it’s kind of fun to compare year to year.  So many people get caught up in the crazy competitive nature of the Open and forget that what we’re really striving for is progress in ourselves. As Nicole Carroll of CrossFit HQ put it:

“Repeat workouts give us the opportunity to shift away from focusing on ourselves relative to others and instead focus on where we are relative to our own performance, effort and progress.”


Amen, sister. For me, there has been a lot of progress in terms of my weightlifting this year. When it comes to 17.4/16.4, 155-lb deadlifts in the workout are much more reasonable for me now.  I’m also good with all of the movements except the handstand push-ups, but likely wouldn’t get to those within the 13 minutes anyway. That all said, I decided to go the scaled route again this go-round. My back has been acting up a little bit and high rep deadlifts just wouldn’t have been smart. Plus redoing this workout scaled is a more accurate measure of progress–comparing apples to apples.

The workout

The deadlifts at 95-lb were fairly light, but 55 reps are a lot…so I broke them into sets of 10, then 8 and 7.  I finished the deadlifts in just over 2 minutes and moved onto the wall balls. The 10-lb ball (vs. 14-lb in the Rx workout) was a blessing and even though I still had to break them up, I felt pretty good during wall balls.  My legs started feeling fatigued on the rower, but I settled in on a sustainable pace and held on.  At 9:33, I rolled myself off the rower and onto the floor to start hand-release pushups.  

Early into the pushups I was doing sets of 2 and 3, feeling completely shot. Without compromising form (aka worming), I was struggling. Somewhere in the 20s, I grunted at boyfriend that I needed to get at least 38 push-ups to tie my score from last year. It honestly wasn’t looking good. While I’m definitely a stronger athlete overall this year, pushups are not my strong suit and we don’t do them all that often. Boyfriend (and others in the gym) were encouraging me in the last minute and I managed to get to 42 of the 55 pushups in the time cap.

I took a little rest, grabbed a Guinness (it was St. Patrick’s Day, after all!) and judged Boyfriend in his heat. He also chose to go scaled as he eases back into CrossFit WODs and manages some shoulder pain. He’s a smart guy! 

Final Thoughts

To be honest, at first I was pretty bummed that I only improved by 4 reps from last year. As usual, boyfriend slapped some sense into me by reminding me that I haven’t spent any time on improving my pushups, so I shouldn’t expect to be all that much better at them. Again, I’ve got a smart guy who helps my negativity in check. Progress is progress…no matter how small. I still did 4 reps better than last year and I’m proud of that. I’ve improved in many other ways this year…especially weightlifting and double unders. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually hoping for dubs in the last workout! 

What do you think? Will we see double unders in 17.5?