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The Time I Sucked at CrossFit (Open Workout 13.2)

I promised you weekly updates on the five CrossFit Open workouts and weekly updates I shall provide…even though this one is tough to write.

I dreaded this workout for days. I tried the 75# shoulder to overhead to test out how it felt and it felt HEAVY. I skipped the group WOD on Friday night and didn’t do it during the Saturday morning class either. I ended up doing it at the last minute on Sunday afternoon with a friend counting/scoring and one other person doing it with me so I wouldn’t be solo. Bad idea. I should have sucked it up and done it earlier so I a) had the energy of the group and b) had time to do it a second time if necessary.

I was so freaked out about the shoulder to overhead but that actually ended up being the least painful part of the workout. Adrenaline kicked in and I powered through them and push press the weight up. I just wasn’t prepared for how much this workout was going to burn. I went out too quickly (you would think I would know better after my years of road races) and was totally gassed after the first 2 minutes.

There was a lot of talk around the gym on how to approach the box jumps. After getting feedback from several other girls I decided to go with step ups. I started with stepping up and jumping down and eventually that turned into stepping up and stepping down. I was hoping it would act as active recovery but it was freaking HARD to step up and down from a 20″ box. My booty was so sore the next day. I can’t imagine having done the box jumps. There is no way my legs would have worked to jump during this workout. I was so grateful for the step up option.

I was a baby at times during this workout. I came off the bar too many times. Took too many breaks. Five minutes in I thinking I was just going to quit, CrossFit was stupid, why am I doing this to myself? Oh the mind games…To be fair, my body has been all kinds of off lately as I’ve shared with my running. Everything has felt harder than normal and has burned and winded me more than usual. Not sure what’s going on but it needs to go.

My goal was to break 200. Which wasn’t a really competitive score but something that would make me happy. I looked up to my friend Lauren who was counting for me with 2 minutes left to go with the sad realization that I wasn’t going to make it. I ended up getting 193. I was disappointed with my score and to give you full disclosure…it was the lowest score of all the girls (and guys) competing at my gym.

I wish there had been time to do it again with lessons learned but I procrastinated and there simply wasn’t. I had to swallow my pride and own coming in last. This is why I love CrossFit. It humbles me. It pushes me. It leaves me longing to become stronger, faster and better. The bitter is definitely that I wasn’t competitive in this workout. The sweet is that it motivated me to work harder and showed me all kinds of ways that I can improve.

Unfortunately, I don’t foresee 13.3 going much better given that it involves muscle ups…which I have yet to master but I’ll try regardless. That is if I even get to the muscle ups after wall balls and double unders. I am still a disaster at double unders…it has to be a very good day for me to string any together.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Courtney @ Cookin Up Life March 20, 2013, 11:05 pm

    Hey! That is a great job girl!! You should be proud of yourself for just competing… it is your first year. I always say it is like a half marathon race– always people in front of you and behind you 🙂 And beside you to push you! Good job 🙂 As for 13.3… just hoping to get to “swing” on the rings haha! Wall balls and DUs will be tough but do-able!

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:48 am

      thanks courtney! i like your analogy! i will be lucky to survive the double unders and even get to try the muscle ups! if i do i’ll be swinging with you! 😉

  • Julie March 20, 2013, 11:41 pm

    I did 165 and that was pretty good for our box. You must have one tough box, or maybe those are just the ladies competing. 13.3 looks insane because wall balls suck and I can’t do muscle ups (never before) and DUs. I can hardly jump rope!

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:47 am

      julie – it’s so interesting to me how much things differ from gym to gym. the only frame of reference that i had was that all of our girls were getting over 200…most well over 220…so i thought breaking 200 would be a good goal. i think i was overly hard on myself!

      and girl…i am a MESS with double unders. the fact that i can do unbroken singles now is a miracle of god! 🙂

  • Amy March 21, 2013, 12:13 am

    I really like your blog and I normally really like your approach to fitness, so I’m sure you didn’t mean to make anyone feel bad with your post – but with that said, it did sort of make me feel bad about my reps on 13.2 to know that I would have been the worst female by a decent margin at your gym. Anyway, I think you did great and good luck on 13.3!

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:21 am

      hey amy – it was not my intention to make anyone feel bad. i am always a proponent of physical activity pushing you and making you feel better and never tearing you down. i this is my first time doing the open workouts and the only frame of reference i had was the other athletes at my gym so i apologize if anything i said was insensitive!

      • Amy March 21, 2013, 11:27 am

        thanks for replying! I know you didn’t mean anything intentionally, I just wanted to point out how it could be read from a different perspective. and i do really appreciate the sincere response. 🙂

  • Jessica March 21, 2013, 12:26 am

    That’s a great score, and I totally get wanting to do it again but not having the time. I managed 210 reps with a combination of box jumps and step-ups on the Thursday after it was announced. After I did it, it started circulating that people were going full step-ups and getting massive gains in their second tries. I was so mad that I didn’t have the opportunity to redo. Alas, not everything is meant to be.

    Re: 13.3 – I totally get you on the muscle-ups. I just did my first a few weeks ago, but knowing how last year went, most spent the bulk of the 12 minutes just trying to get through the wall balls…

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:44 am

      jessica – that’s awesome! you got seven rounds done! i bet you would have added a lot more reps if you had done the step ups. i say that i wish i’d had a second shot but my ankles/calf muscles were pretty shot for days after…don’t think i could have relived the burn of that workout!

      and i agree – not sure that i’ll even make it to the muscle ups to try one. congratulations on getting your first!!!

  • Nicole March 21, 2013, 1:07 am

    I don’t think you really need to stress about muscle-ups… it’s going to be tough to get through Karen, plus a ton of DU in that amount of time. Good luck on 13.3!

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:41 am

      very true. i am still really hit or miss with my double unders so i probably won’t even make it to the muscle ups!

  • Gemma March 21, 2013, 5:23 am

    I got 122 for 13.3, which was good for me but not great. My weaker shoulders struggled with that weight for the overhead. I spent some time feeling really down on myself but eventually (as usual) realised that it wasn’t making me feel any better and that my thoughts are my choice. Doing a 75lbs press would’ve been impossible for me two months ago and I’m recovering from a knee injury and was able to deadlift and step up without pain – basically, it was the best I could do at that moment, on that day and I should be thrilled to just be there competing. I plan on doing it again in about three months time when my presses are a little stronger and give it everything I have. Now onto wall balls – gah!

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:39 am

      hey gemma – i really love reading about how you shifted your mindset about the workout. it sounds like you did do the very best you could. when i first started lifting regularly my shoulders were one of the weakest things on my body. i would wear out so quickly. it’s taken a lot of work but they did get stronger. i think the yoga has helped a lot too with all the chaturangas! good luck on 13.3. hope i survive those wall balls and double unders. it’s gonna burn!

  • Laura March 21, 2013, 6:55 am

    Awww, you did great! Don’t be so hard on yourself! I felt the same way a few years ago (completely BURNT OUT) I started taking a few more rest days, focused on getting enough sleep, and taking supplements to support my adrenals (which were burnt out in a major way) Take care of yourself 🙂

    • Jen March 21, 2013, 7:37 am

      thanks for the words of encouragement laura!

  • Britton March 21, 2013, 8:13 am

    Congrats on a great effort! I have been really off lately too and I am not sure what is going on so I totally feel you! I have been an avid runner/marathoner for almost 5 years and I just started CrossFit back in December. I am not doing the open but I did the 13.2 workout and it was tough! I was proud just to actually get the 75lb overhead for 5 rounds! 🙂 That’s the beauty of CrossFit though; pushing yourself each day to get better and stronger. Great job!

  • Lauren K March 21, 2013, 8:27 am

    You still did awesome! Just completing that workout is an accomplishment…really, completing any CrossFit wod is because no matter what, it is always so mentally/physically challenging (for me at least). Proud of you for just charging through those 10 minutes!! You should do 13.3 with a group…it pushes you just hard enough. 🙂

  • erin March 21, 2013, 9:01 am

    Is there a reason why corssfit gives a specified weight for exercises versus a weight that is a percentage of bodyweight? I get that it may not matter for some moves, but for the bigger lifts it makes a huge difference and I can’t see how you can just give a general weight for ALL women. I mean there is a reason why there are weight classes with olympic lifts. I don’t see how you can compare someone at your weight to someone who weighs more and their ability to lift a heavy weight. Am I missing something? I’ve never done crossfit so I really don’t know a whole lot.

  • pamela March 21, 2013, 9:11 am

    Jen, do you think you could be anemic? I was feeling TERRIBLE earlier this winter. There was a week when I couldn’t even exercise, I was SO tired. I went to the dr. for a routine check up and he asked me questions and ordered blood work – apparently, I looked anemic and it turned out I really was. I was on a mostly vegan diet so I added in eggs and fish … but you could also be anemic even if you eat meat. I have been on some iron in addition to fish and eggs and I feel SO much better. I know sometimes you crave eggs, and that has B12 and folic acid and iron … so … just want you to feel better!

  • She Rocks Fitness March 21, 2013, 9:25 am

    I think it is important that we have workouts, runs, or yoga practices like this to humble us. We are always pushing and training so hard, trying to do too much, and sometimes it catches up to us. It allows us to realize that we are human and even though we didn’t reach our goal, we still showed up, gave it our best, and that is all that matters sometimes. Take a break, recharge, nourish, and get back up stronger and better. Good luck with the next round. I watched it last night and the rings made my stomach turn.

  • Tracy March 21, 2013, 10:47 am

    I appreciate your honesty with how you feel about your performance. You are an awesome athlete and encouragement to your readers. I understand your personal frustration. You muscled through and did the workout that is awesome in itself.

  • Karla @ myhighonlife March 21, 2013, 11:19 am

    This is exactly why I cannot wait to try CrossFit when I go to some army training this summer. I just wish it wasn’t so darn expensive.

    You still gave it a go and did your best..be proud of that! I can’t do a DU to save my life and I’m terrified of box jumps ever since I destroyed my shin twice (and have a solid 2+ inch scar to show for it!). 13.3 looks so tough-I wouldn’t even get to the muscle ups-not like I could do one anyways. You’re an inspiration 🙂

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run March 21, 2013, 11:22 am

    First off, love the B&W photos.

    But more importantly, what a wonderfully honest post. I heart CF for the same reasons you mentioned above. I think one of my most memorable and humbling WODs was the one when I finished dead last. The team support and challenge to improve made me forget about my slow time.

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) March 21, 2013, 1:14 pm

    As a crossfit novice… well, I’m just a crossfit ignorant having never tried it, I’m incredibly impressed by what you did! I know it’s frustrating when you really want to kick butt and don’t get exactly what you wanted to out of it, but know that I’m in awe of your strength whether you are or not 🙂

    And I love when you said ‘crossfit is stupid; I want to quit!’ – that’s exactly how I feel in the middle of almost every yoga class, then I LOVE it at the end. Haha!

  • Rachel @ For the Love of Chocolate March 21, 2013, 2:39 pm

    Jen, 193 reps is still a great score! This WOD was super hard. 75 pounds overhead was really, really heavy for me too. I loved what you wrote here: “Five minutes in I was thinking I was just going to quit, CrossFit was stupid, why am I doing this to myself?” Haha. I say that myself in the middle of a WOD at least once a week! 🙂

  • Liz N. March 21, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Yes, the beauty of CrossFit is that it constantly challenges, humbles and inspires. Your journey and transparency is refreshing because it reminds me that we ALL have our strengths and weaknesses. For me 75# ground to overhead is easy (Oly lifting is my bread & butter), but I suck at met-cons. I am constantly feeling like I am dying when I have to run, lift heavy stuff and then run some more. I am working on my weakness (running) and improving, but boy, is it every HUMBLING. It literally brings me to my knees! Thank you for sharing your journey because it does inspire and motivate many of your followers. It’s just you against you. No one else. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others at the box, but that’s self-defeating and mentally taxing. I have had to walk away from a box, just to get myself over that. I’m in a better place now, but my competitive nature often gets the best of me. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

  • erin March 21, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Could you have done that workout a year ago? You may see disappointment when you look at those photos, but I see a girl rocking it. Look at what your body was able to do. And when you think about what it couldn’t do during that workout, it sounds like you have a new goal.

    Thanks for the reminder that goals don’t come easy. Your honesty is refreshing, as always.

  • kristi Healey March 21, 2013, 9:31 pm

    you are WAY too hard on yourself. The blogs when you talk about how you had a bad day are great, because everyone has those dead legs, weak days – but please don’t beat yourself up about it! I used to do the same thing, but if I’m not feeling it, I let my body tell me what to do (rest) and my next workouts are stronger and happier. It’s so hard to not workout when you love to, but your body needs some check out time more than your mind occasionally. 🙂 So that’s when you can meditate or do some yoga :).

  • Colleen March 21, 2013, 9:37 pm

    Jen, don’t beat yourself up about this. I admire your honesty and understand the pressure you probably felt to be on your A-game when you performed this at “your” gym. I feel like I have to be 110% at all times when I work out with the ppl that typically take my classes. It’s a lot of pressure! I think that we (as full-time gym employers, trainers, and group ex instructors) never, ever get a lot of time off and I know that I never fully recover. Our “people” get time off from the gym and they don’t teach multiple group ex classes per day….they sit at desks (usually)! You reallly can’t beat yourself up about this or compare yourself to others!

  • Josefine March 22, 2013, 5:35 am

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, it was a great effort and you can’t be on top every day. As for not feeling tip top maybe you have some viral thing going on, or you could be anaemic or lacking in some vitamins or minerals. People that train hard sometimes get deficiancies despite eating well, or maybe you just need some extra rest?!

    And I can totally relate to the whole ‘why am I doing this, this is sh*t’ feeling – I was running a 20 mile race last weekend and it was raining heavily and all I could think at one point was ‘i hate running, I could be in my warm bed now but instead I’m out here, in the rain, running until my legs ache’. But as they say…. no one ever said it would be easy, but that it would be worth it.

  • Jenna @ Crazy Healthy Fit March 22, 2013, 5:36 am

    Hey, all you can do is try your best right? Keep up the great work girl. You did better then me 🙂

  • Caity @ caityworksout March 22, 2013, 10:01 am

    Thanks for sharing your workout even though you felt less than impressed with yourself. A crappy workout is so much better than no workout at all and you pulled through and did your best in the moment (judging by all that sweating going on in the photos) when you could have just given up. Next time will be better!

  • Meaghan March 22, 2013, 11:05 am

    Thanks for sharing, Jen. We have good days and bad days, and I also think that negative times like you’re experiencing come in waves. Like you said in your last post, you gotta take the bitter with the sweet. That’s been my personal mantra since you shared it and it’s been helping me tremendously. Things will turn around soon enough! This link made me think of you as well.


  • christina March 22, 2013, 7:37 pm

    i got 136 🙁 i’ve been beating myself up since.

  • lydia March 29, 2013, 2:57 pm

    Stay positive!! I’m having a hard time not giving into the temptation of skipping 13.4 after 13.3 kicked my ass…made it to the DUs with only 20 sec to go and somehow managed to get 7. Gotta TRY though!!

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