08 Oct 15 Part 1 – Catch Up, including the Primal Games 11 and a new goal.

Hello there, my massive readership of 1, how are you all in blogoland today? All well? Lots of achievement, I do hope.

You’ll see from my last post (I say that but the stats show only 1 person read it, thank you Mrs Nomad!) that I have finally achieved my Beyond The Whiteboard goalf of hitting the 75% percentile. That places me in to the top 25% of CrossFitters worldwide, on average. I always knew the score would come and so was obviously prepared to take it further with a new set of goals. Well, that’s not strictly true in this case. The score kind of sprung out at me without me expecting it due to the way the programming at CF Plymouth works. It wasn’t until Test Week that I was able to post recognisable scores that lept me up the ladder. Still, here I am and although it took a momentary dip to 74 the very next day, I am back up to 75 and appear to be holding. We shall see.

So what next? Well, this was a 10-15% gain over 2 years. It’s now that I have to manage my expectations. Simply put, I’m not going to make another 15% gain; it’s just not going to happen. I’d be in the league of the very top in CF Plymouth and other friends of mine who spend an extreme amount of time specifically training and competing. Having said that, I don’t want to just rest on my laurels either. I do want to improve and want to see that number creep up again; it is a really good feeling, after all. Therefore, I would like to see a 2% increase by the time I leave CF Plymouth, in mid-16 (moving on to pastures new, courtesy of the British Military system). I do think it is achievable, especially if I continue to make the strength gains that I have this year. a 2% shift will solidify my 75% across the board and, with increasing age, I’ll be very happy.

So that’s my target: 77% Percentile by June 16.

Since the glory moment last week, we had the Primal Games 11. Once more, the Masters Dream Team convened and, after some rehearsal of various team-based movements (Synchro Squats with a PVC Pipe, changeovers between movements, etc) we felt we were ready to press on from our 4th place finish last time.

The first WOD was “Grace Race“. 2:30 each of Max Effort Ground to Overhead with 60kg. Knowing my pretty poor Grace score (4:17), I didn’t hold out much hope for this one. I watched the RX team members complete more than 30 reps in under the 2:30 and was feeling pretty sheepish going in to it. I was expecting a maximum of about 18 reps. So…..when I got past 20, I was feeling deliriously happy. I achieved 25 Reps in all and was gutted that there was only 2:30 on the clock to do it. I know full well that I could have had a sub 3min Grace!!!!! How amazing would that have been! The next time that Grace comes up, I am going all out for it. So happy that I was so close. After the first WOD, we were 2nd of 7!

WOD 2 consisted of an 8min AMRAP of Synchro Squats, Pull Ups and Over Partner Burpees. We had rehearsed the changeovers and movements really well and flew around the course, gaining maximum points and pushing ourselves in to 1st overall. It was a true team effort and we gave it our all…..

….because we knew that WOD 3 was going to make us suffer.

WOD 3: heavy lifting. 1RM Snatch and 1RM Clean & Jerk. Having completed a 1RM C&J of 102.5kg the previous week, I was feeling happy about this one but the Snatch was going to make me sad. Well, we warmed up well and because we went it with only 3 attempts in total, I opened at 70kg. Smash! no problem! With the crowd in front of me, I achieved that one no dramas at all. Feeling confident, I went for 75kg for my second lift. No problem again!! That’s my 1RM and I rarely manage to get that high. So, really gunning for a PR, I put 77.5 on the bar and threw it up. I got under it in the full depth catch. And I couldn’t get out of the hole. Arse. So close to a new PR that would have hugely lifted the spirits. Still, I was happy.

Straight in to the Clean & Jerk. As per the rule, the men had only 30 secs to complete the lift while the Masters Women had a full minute. Where I was second, I didn’t get my weights on the bar quick enough and scored a no-rep, at only 90kg, on my first attempt. I ran out of time and was FUMING. Second attempt – 95kg. Done. Easy. So, what to do? Do I now go for 105kg and attempt a new 1RM or stick with 102.5kg with the confidence that I’ve done it before. I feel I took the best decision and went for 102.5kg in order to secure the best outcome for the team. I threw it up, caught it and jerked it squarely, no with ease, but with spare capacity. The other two achieved 1RMs in both the Snatch and C&J, really inspiring me given that they are quite a bit older than me. Between us, we didn’t do badly and held on to 2nd, going in to the 4th and final WOD.

Unlike the last Primal Games that saw us in a final of reduced teams, every team had a 4th WOD this time. However, this one proved tricky.

WOD 4: A 14min AMRAP of 75 Hang Power Snatches (50kg), 75 x Toes to Bar, 75 x Thrusters (50kg), 75 x Kettlebell Swings (32kg) and as many rope climbs as possible to finish. Between us (reduced weight for females), we had to complete 75 of each of the movements. We knew from the rehearsal that my team mate couldn’t really do HPS at 50kg and that this was going to require me to take the reins a bit; he would then smash out the majority of the Toes to Bar. I knew, however, that I also couldn’t really do 50kg HP Snatches but that we would have to just give it our best shot. Just prior to starting, the rules changed slightly to reflect that should teams wish to scale then they could but that they would go down a category and couldn’t therefore win. Well, we were in 2nd place and there was no option but to carry on. Given that all other teams bar 1 scaled, we knew that really we only had to pick up the bar once to come 2nd. But of course, we are better than that.

The bell went and I very quickly pushed out 10 x very clean Hang Power Snatches, quite to my surprise. This was followed by 3 singles between the others before I threw up a 7, all unbroken! Well that was that, I immediately told myself that it was sets of 5 or nothing. The other two kept the scoreboard ticking over with singles, to give me a little break but for the remaining time I hit sets of 5. In total, I believe I must have scored 55-60 of the 75 and although I was tired, I was over the moon. My team mate, true to form, then racked up 30 straight Toes to Bar and I put in sets of 15. This gave me enough of a breather to get ready for the Thursters. This time, it was sets of 10 and 5 again. However, our efforts on the Hang Power Snatch had slowed us down considerably and we managed to complete the Thrusters….just….before the 14min timer rang out and it was game over.

As we had predicted, we sat 2nd on the Podium and were absolutely delighted. It’s been a long time since I won (podium’d) at any kind of sporting endeavour and this felt amazing. Sure, it’s CrossFit and it’s a local event and we’re Masters. But you know what? I don’t care. We felt amazing.

To have my family there made it all the better too. Seeing them cheer me on and keep encouraging me through some really horrible fatigue really helped and I just hope I made them even a little bit proud. My true goal in CrossFit is to inspire my family and to be fit enough at 50-60 to be able to kick balls around with my adult kids and their kids. So far, it’s looking good.

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