Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday's Workout

For a good ten minutes after I woke up yesterday morning, I lay snug under the covers, contemplating whether to play hooky. But after missing Friday's class, there was no way I was going to skip another workout -- especially now that the fog of the past couple of weeks is finally starting to lift from my head.

By the time I pulled into CrossFit Palo Alto's parking lot, I was ready to dive into whatever WOD awaited us. The bracing chill of the pre-dawn air made me want to move. After our warmup, Tim wrote the workout on the board.

AMRAP in 20 minutes:
  • 15 wallballs (20lbs / 14lbs)
  • 30 kettlebell snatches (24kg / 16kg)
  • 60 double-unders
I can do these movements, and I can handle the RXed weights. So now that I've been injury-free for a few weeks, there's really no reason not to tackle this WOD with gusto, right?

Unfortunately, I hadn't considered:
  1. How exhausting it might be to try to string all these gut-busting exercises together for 20 minutes straight;
  2. How damned heavy a kettlebell can get after dozens and dozens of snatches; or
  3. Whether my back might seize up in the middle of launching a big iron ball above my head.
It took me 10 minutes to get through the first two rounds, but they were decent. I felt fresh at the wallball station, and the double-unders didn't give me too much trouble. The kettlebell snatches were more challenging -- especially when I used my weaker left arm -- and they took forever, but I managed to slog through them. 

The third round, however, was hell. After a sluggish set of wallball shots, I picked up the kettlebell and pounded out more snatches. The reps came slowly, and by the end, I found myself struggling to crank out more than a couple at a time. With four left reps remaining in the set, I decided to push hard and finish them all at once. But as I snatched the kettlebell up and over my head for the last rep, I felt an all-too-familiar twinge in my lower back. 

Did I re-tear my back muscle? Or was it just fatigue?

I shook it off. The double-unders didn't bother me, so I kept going. I started my fourth round at the wallball station, and felt better. But as I finished my wallball reps, the twinge came back. Uh, oh.

Tim saw the concern on my face, and asked what was up. "My back again," I mumbled as I bent down to pick up the kettlebell. 

"Then don't be an idiot," Tim cautioned.

He was right. (Obviously.) After 90 kettlebell snatches, I was done. There was still a minute-and-a-half left on the clock, but I wasn't about to risk re-injuring my back just to post a few more reps, so I stopped. Raising a white flag can be an ego blow, but sometimes, it's the only reasonable thing to do.

Result: 3 rounds + 15 reps as RXed -- but I DNFed.

Today, I feel absolutely fine. My back is sore, but so is the rest of my body -- and there's none of the telltale pain that accompanied my previous injury. Normally, I'm not a big fan of quitting, but there's no doubt in my mind that it was the best thing I could have done for myself.