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! 😉

CrossFit Open 17.3: The Magic and a Mess Up

CrossFit Open 17.3: The Magic and a Mess Up

Aaaand I’m back with a recap of my Open workout 17.3. If you missed the first two workouts, read all about 17.1 and 17.2 first and I’ll meet ya back here for even more fitness.This latest Open workout is a little confusing at first glance, but essentially is an ascending ladder of pull-ups and a descending ladder of squat snatches with time caps that if met, “unlock” another time cap to continue the workout.  Here’s the official workout, Rx and scaled:

initial thoughts

Woof. Thumbs up for no dumbbells, at least?! This girl is still working on regular pull-ups, so chest-to-bars were out for me. Also, the Rx snatches are heavy for me. Unfortunately, the scaled version of 17.3 offered my least favorite way to scale pull-ups: jumping pull-ups. Could I have tried for that Rx score and yanked myself up there for a chest-to-bar? A few even? Probably…but y’all know my thoughts on scaling. So jumping pull-ups it was, but man I hate those.  It always feel like more of a workout for my legs than it is for my lats/arms/shoulders. 

I definitely scoffed at the 35-lb starting weight for the snatches (which I later regretted), and with my current snatch PR of 95-lb, my goal was just to get to that round. What I didn’t put together before doing this WOD was the total number of reps that had to be completed before I even got to 95-lb. Fifty four to be exact.  

the workout

3, 2, 1…I got right to work on the stupid jumping pull-ups and 35-lb snatches. The barbell by itself felt light and awkward, but by the rounds of 55-lb snatches my legs started fatiguing. I had totally underestimated this workout. 

I finished the first 6 rounds well within the 8 minute time cap and as such, earned the additional 4 minutes for the next 3 rounds (65-lb). Between reps, I tried really hard not to walk away from the barbell and just take a few deep breaths. 

The snatches were taking a toll on my quads, but also on my back. I don’t share much about it here (mostly because it doesn’t usually bother me), but I have a partially herniated disc in my lower back. The high volume of snatches wasn’t irritating that specifically, but I was definitely fatigued and my back felt tight. When I got to the round of 95-lb snatches, I took some rest, given that 95-lb is my current 1 rep max. My first attempt was a failure, but I was pulling it high enough to get under. I caught the next lift, but too far forward and I couldn’t stand up.

Here’s where the magic of CrossFit (and the Open) comes into play. After those failures, I started getting more of an audience.The coaches and other members gathered around me and wouldn’t let me give up on that barbell. The coaches and people I workout with day after day know what I am capable of and gave me the confidence to keep trying. This is one of my favorite things about CrossFit as a culture…the encouragement from people who know you can do something even when you aren’t completely sure of that yourself. And so, after a few more fails, I got one 95-lb snatch and then another.  

The snatch is still uncomfortable for me and I’ve been playing around with my hook-grip and widening my arms, so it’s a work in progress for sure. I finished with an official scaled score of 159 reps and am super happy about getting those two snatches at my previous 1 rep-max weight. If it wasn’t for the support around me, I know I would’ve just given up.

final thoughts

As I was typing this recap, I realized I screwed up and shorted myself on time for this WOD.  I finished the rounds of 75-lb snatches well under the 16-minute mark, so I should have had up to 20:00 on the clock to get through the round of 95-lb. Instead, I ended my workout at 16:00 on the clock, with no one realizing I had banked that much time. This is such a bummer because I could have taken much more time to rest between my attempts at 95-lb. Don’t get me wrong–I’m still happy with my score, but I probably could have successfully hit a few more. Dang it! I also screwed up a workout last year during the Open and it was one with jumping pull-ups. Confirmation that jumping pull-ups are not my friend!

Despite my mess up, I really enjoyed 17.3 and liked this format where you have to hit certain targets or times in order to keep going. If my back wasn’t being cranky, I may have considered redoing it but overall I’m happy with my performance! More importantly, I’m so glad the “magic” of the Open not only allowed me to hit my PR twice, but brought the fun community vibes of CrossFit back for me this week. It was definitely a welcome reminder!

Stay tuned for the last two workouts. Here’s hoping for no more dumbbells and definitely no repeats of 15.5 or 16.5!