Rookie Rumble Crossfit Competition Recap

I mentioned in my training log earlier this week that I competed in a Crossfit Competition last weekend.  I didn’t talk much about it on my blog or on Instagram as I have had a lot going on the last few weeks.

I was however meeting with my partner Abbie several times over the last few weeks to go over strategy and complete each competition WOD at least once.  I’m grateful we did that as our strategy ended up working really well and surprisingly, we were able to stick to it.   Side note; I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.  Abbie and I have known each other for years through running, have run a few long relays together (Burning River and Ragnar) and generally have very similar strengths and weaknesses.  We knew that we weren’t going to really balance each other out (ie one of us carries the strength and one of us carries the speed) but that we’d take our strengths and really capitalize on that to do well.

Pre competition with Abbie

Competition Day: I slept in (third day in a row, thank you tapering!) and slowly got dressed, went over my competition day essentials and headed over to Chagrin Falls Crossfit.  The day was structured into 3 separate WODS, each lasting about 11-20 minutes or so.  There were 8 separate heats that needed to complete each WOD thus we had about 3 hours between events.  All told, I arrived at the gym at 9:00am and didn’t leave until after 5pm which made for a long day.  I knew the schedule in advance and planned accordingly (lots of food, extra clothes, emergency red bull, earbuds, meditation app.) The timing between the WODS didn’t end up being much of an issue.  I spent it refueling, trying to relax, and spending some time alone outside.

WOD 1: 11 minutes total.  For the first 4 minutes, each partner establishes a 1 rep max power clean and front squat while the other rows.  After 4 minutes, we transitioned to an AMRAP of 12 knees to chest, 6 35 lb goblet squats, and 3 box jumps.  One partner must be on the rower at all times.

Our strategy was to use the minimum amount of time on the weightlifting portion as we knew we’d hit our maxes quickly and then could make up some points by being fast in the AMRAP. I started us out with an 85 lb clean which came up easily. I added 10 lbs and failed right away, took a step back (and a deep breath) and got it up smooth-ish.  At that point, I didn’t think I had 100 in me so I headed over to take my place on the rower while Abbie began lifting.  I didn’t anticipate being on the rower so quickly and in retrospect, probably could have taken another minute to try and hit my max. I made a very quick decision in the moment which I’m ok with.  Once on the rower, I was so engrossed on finding a pace I could maintain that I didn’t really see what Abbie was doing but later found out that she also hit 95 which was a PR for her!

My 95 lb clean and front squat- I love this picture so so much!

We then began the AMRAP which we strategized with each of us doing 2-3 rounds before switching.  It went about as smoothly as it could go and ultimately we hit 4th place for meter’s rowed and 5th for the AMRAP portion! After WOD 1, we were in 13th place which made sense given that this completed played to our strengths as runners with huge engines!! Spoiler alert: this was our highest ranking all day!

My rower face

WOD2: 8 minute AMRAP of barbell movements

minutes 0-3-max hang cleans 65lbs

minutes 3-6-max front squats 65 lbs

minutes 6-8-max shoulder to overhead 65 lbs

At minute 8, immediately transition to Partner “Karen” which is 150 wallballs for time with a 6 minute time cap and a 1 second penalty for all unfinished reps

I was nervous going into WOD 2.  If you recall from my first competition, I failed miserably at wallballs, to the extent that my partner had to complete them for me. I’ve worked hard to get stronger in this area and Abbie and I worked out a strategy as wallballs are one of her strong suits.  So I made peace with the wallballs and found some acceptance…… until……the movement standards were announced.  We learned (immediately prior to the event starting) that the target would be 10 feet (women’s height is typically 9) and we’d be using a ball very different than what I’ve trained with for the past year.  Ok, cue immediate freak out, stomach churning and mental melt down.  With how much I struggle to hit 9 feet, 10 feet was just really unattainable. I spent some time practicing in the warm up area of the event and only managed to hit the target maybe 35% of the time.  I was fortunate to have all 3 of my coaches there to work with me on the higher target as well as to try and settle my nerves. Nonetheless, I knew this was going to be rough and tried to focus on my mantra for the day “feel the fear and do it anyways.” I told myself that worst case scenario is that I would be no repped many times and I worked to make peace with that going in to the event.

Wod 2 began and we started our barbell AMRAP.  The hang cleans went way better than anticipated.  In practice, we’d only done about 5 reps each before transitioning but during the event, the bar seemed to fly up and we did sets of 10.  The front squats went equally as well and we even managed more should to overheads than planned. 

I was feeling pretty good as we headed over to start “Karen.” And here is where the no reps for me started.  All in all, I maybe hit the target 3 out of 50 shots.  There are several good things that happened here.  One, I didn’t freak out.  Like not at all.  I had my friends and family standing to my right and I looked at them after each failed set and told them that I was ok, that I wasn’t giving up.  I went back to each set and with renewed vigor and attempted to hit the target.  My judge for this WOD could not have been more supportive.  When I finally did hit the target, everyone went wild which was incredible!  And Abbie dealt with the new target height with ease-easily managing sets of 10 and hitting most of them. After 6 minutes, we only hit 63 wall balls and I was completely ok with that.  We gave it everything.

Trying (and failing)and can we talk about how freaking high that target is!?

In the course of trying to catch all my wayward balls, I hit my hand on the rig and ended up bleeding all over my pants

WOD 3:

12 Burpees lateral over the bar

55 Deadlift 105/75

12 Burpees lateral over the bar

45 Hang Cleans 105/75

12 Burpees lateral over the bar

35 Front Squats 105/75

12 Burpees lateral over the bar

25 S2OH 105/75

12 Burpees lateral over the bar

15 Thrusters 105/75

By the time wod 3 rolled around, I felt much calmer and confident.  Karen was my big fear and now that that was out of the way, I felt free to just get into the workout and push as if it was just any day at the gym. Our strategy was for me to take the majority of the deadlifts, and front squats, with Abbie covering the burpees.  We’d share the hang cleans and shoulders to overhead.  Because we never made it to the thrusters before the time cap in practice, I assumed we wouldn’t get there during the competition and thus didn’t worry about the fact that I’d only ever done 2 total 75lb thrusters ever.

This went exactly as planned.  The weight felt heavy for the front squats and hang cleans but we powered through.  The shoulders to overhead took everything out of me (you can probably guess my weaknesses at this point!) and as expected, we hit the time cap before finishing. I felt thrilled and elated to be done and so damn proud of us for getting through!

Done and done

Overall thoughts: We finished 20 out of 26 teams.  Goal A was not to finish last.  Goal B was to have fun.  Goal C was to accept my weaknesses and be ok with that.  All three goals were met.  I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to do another competition.  In the days leading up to Straight Scaled in February, I said I’d never compete again; the anxiety is just too much and I’m just not “good enough” yet. After that event, I was so high that when Abbie mentioned the Rookie Rumble, I immediately said yes. As of right now, “maybe” is my answer to any questions about future competitions.  There is so much I enjoy about Crossfit Competitions which certainly outweighs the anxiety and self doubt that comes with it.  Much of it just comes from the fact that I truly am inexperienced which will change over time.  I will say that in looking some things up for this post, I did go down the rabbit hole of upcoming events….so we’ll end with saying, you never know!

Teams Mom Cleans and Power Jeans and Stuffed Crust Burpees…..aka the women of EpiqX

Some gratuitous bruise pics- And if you know me, you know I bruise like a peach and finally, one of my biggest fans

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