Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's Workout: Get Off The Floor

With M at work and no available babysitters, I wasn't able join the rest of the 5 a.m. crew at the gym this morning. (I suppose I could've snuck out of the house and left the kids unattended for an hour. So long as they remained asleep in bed, no one would have been the wiser! But I'm not that bad of a dad.)

Our garage has no room for cars.

I hate missing class. My garage is stocked with just about everything I need (except maybe a 2-pood kettlebell) to tackle a WOD, and I don't mind working out in my PJ-pants, but it's just not the same as kick-starting the week alongside the other early-morning nutjobs at CrossFit Palo Alto.

As soon as I realized I was going to be stuck at home on Monday morning, I sighed and shot Tim a text message asking what he had in mind for today's WOD. 

He responded last night via Twitter. "Ready?" he asked.

"Always," I responded, eager to find out what was in store for the morning.

"Row 2K."

I stared at the words on my iPhone screen, slack-jawed. Rowing is -- to put it mildly -- not my favorite thing in the world. My thumbs hovered over the keyboard; I couldn't think of an appropriate response that didn't include foul language.

"Get off the floor," Tim wrote a minute later. I'm not on the floor, I thought. Not yet.

But hey: I asked for it. So I hustled off to bed, determined to rest up for the morning shenanigans in my garage.

Strength Skill:
  • Snatch to Overhead Squats (2 sets of 5, 3 sets of 3)
My three-year-old cried out at 4:20 this morning, frantic because he couldn't find his stuffed cat. I located his fuzzy toy (it was right next to him) and tucked him back in bed, but I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. Might as well get up and exercise at the same time as my 5 a.m. compatriots, if not in the same place.

After warming up, I eased into my snatches and overhead squats. It's been a few months since I last practiced snatches as a strength skill, and my first few awkward reps showed me just how rusty I'd gotten. Without the benefit of Tim coaching and cues, I took a short break to re-read skim the snatch chapter in Greg Everett's book and study a few videos on YouTube before continuing.

Resisting the temptation to go heavy, I managed to get into a groove after a couple of sets. Most of my reps felt solid (with the exception of a couple towards the end, when I failed to keep my chest up and ended up stumbling). I suspect I was distracted by the knowledge that it was almost time to mount the erg.

  • Row 2K
I have bad news and good news about today's workout. (Yes, believe it or not, there's actually some good news.)

The bad news first: My goal was to finish sub-8 minutes, but I finished in 8:07 -- 3 seconds slower than the last time I attempted this workout (and 22 seconds slower than the first time I pulled 2K). By this objective measure, I'm moving in the entirely wrong direction. Plus, immediately post-WOD, I was flat on the floor for a good few minutes, panting and leaking fluids. (From my pores, people. My pores.)

I know exactly why I didn't beat my previous times. For the first 1000 meters, I deliberately kept a slower-than-usual pace in an attempt to conserve energy for the back half -- and it was a spectacularly dumb idea. At the 1K mark, I'd already let 3:57 slip by, and yet dialing back my speed hadn't stopped my legs from burning like crazy. At the midpoint of the workout, I realized my plan to save some gas in the tank had backfired. Try as I might to speed up and make up some time in the last 1000 meters, I couldn't. Live and learn.

But here's the good news: This time, after completing the 2K, I did not topple off the erg and curl up into a fetal position. My thighs did not clench up so hard that I had to pound on my quads to make them release. I did not roll around on the floor with my face contorted in a rictus of agony. My butt cheeks were Charley-horse-free. And I did not feel like barfing all over myself.

Instead, after a minute or two, I picked myself off the floor, walked into the kitchen, and ate a sweet potato.


I dropped by the gym in the afternoon and watched Tim and Paul row 2K. This was the aftermath.