Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Murph

For weeks, I'd been looking forward to revisiting Murph, the CrossFit "Hero" WOD named for a Navy lieutenant killed in Afghanistan. I've done Murph twice before -- on New Year's Day and Memorial Day this year -- and developed a special love for this grinder of a WOD:

For time:
  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 mile run
The one-mile runs must bookend the workout, but the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats can be broken up in whatever manner you choose. I've typically done 20 rounds of Cindy -- 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats -- and intended to do the same today.

CrossFit Palo Alto was packed this morning for New Year's Murph -- so much so that the 9 a.m. session had to be split into two heats so that there'd be enough pull-up bar space for everyone. I was in the second heat, and paced impatiently while the first wave took off running.

When I finally got going, I took off on a dead sprint. The first mile felt great; I hadn't exercised in a few days, and I enjoyed stretching my legs. Likewise, my six or seven rounds of Cindy flew by without any problems. My pull-ups and push-ups were fast and fluid, and I was cranking out air squats as fast as I could.

My pull-ups and squats remained strong throughout the workout, but my push-ups broke down sooner than expected. I'm used to being able to get through a good 10 to 12 rounds of Cindy before my arms turn to jelly, but before I was halfway through the WOD, I hit a wall. Suddenly, I couldn't perform more than a handful of push-ups at a time, so I ended up changing my approach. Instead of doing 10 consecutive push-ups in Cindy-like fashion, I started breaking them up: 5 push-ups, then 15 air squats, then back on the ground to finish the push-ups.

I need to be more like this little guy:

When I got back on my feet to complete my final one-mile run, my dead arms dangled loosely at my sides. The last half-mile was painful -- I had a side stitch (which I never, ever get), and stopped to double over a few times. Ugh.

Result: 41:30 as RXed -- three minutes slower than my previous effort. I still love Murph for its bodyweight-focused movements, and I had a fantastic time working out with some of my favorite people at CrossFit Palo Alto -- but I'm a bit disappointed in my time.

Thankfully, there's always next year. And next year starts tomorrow.