CrossFit Open 14.5

More than halfway through the WOD and my form was still good, full depth in the squat and full lock-out with the press.

More than halfway through the WOD and my form was still good, full depth in the squat and full lock-out with the press.

I can’t believe we are already at the last event of the CrossFit 2014 Open Competition. These five weeks have flown by. I have to schedule time off for the Regionals. Oh yeah, I forgot, I’m not going to the Regionals.

Thursday Announcement Party

Let’s begin with the menu. Tonight we have Lemon Ricotta Cake, with Lemon Whipped Cream and Blueberries. It was delicious, I had seconds.

At 8 o’clock Eastern Time, we launched the Streaming Video event on the big screen. We continued to vent about Dave Castro and the girls critiqued KiKi’s bizarre fashion choices for the fifth week in a row. I have learned a great deal hanging out with the girls for the past five weeks. Much of which makes me glad I’m a guy, it’s comforting going through life being clueless.

We did a collective groan as Castro described the WOD as a descending ladder of Thrusters and Burpees. These two moves have been a staple in past CrossFit Opens, and their absence to date made it somewhat obvious that they would arise in Open 14.5, and they did.

WORKOUT 14.5

MEN – includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
95-lb. thrusters
Burpees

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters
Burpees

For Masters Men, the thrusters were 65 pounds.

The biggest surprise and the reason for our groaning is that all Open WODs to date have been AMRAPs (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible), so you suffer for 8-12 minutes and then you tally your score. The 14.5 event  is “Reps for Time”. Do it all or get no score.

Then we watched 5 CrossFit Champions do the WOD and it was quite impressive, as they came in at about 8 minutes. Over the course of the weekend, normal people were posting times of 12-25 minutes. Many had tales of pain and misery. I knew I had much to look forward to.

Last Minute WOD

For the first time this season, I had to work on Saturday. It was an eleven hour day, there was no way I was equipped to do this on Saturday night. A few of the girls suggested we do it Monday morning and I agreed. That gave me a couple days to search the web for tips and tricks for the chronologically challenged athlete. Another bonus was that the girls agreed that I could use my own playlist, so I wouldn’t be subjected to dreaded Hip-Hop music.

I was surprised, the jump over the bar after every burpee, was one of the easiest things to perform throughout the WOD. Julia and Erica kept  watchful eye on me. They never let me get away with anything.

I was surprised, the jump over the bar after every burpee, was one of the easiest things to perform throughout the WOD. Julia and Erica kept watchful eye on me. They never let me get away with anything.

So my strategy evolved. I would wear minimalist shoes to aid in performing the Burpees. I figured the weight was light enough I didn’t need lifting shoes. I wrapped my wrists tightly. I wore my heart monitor and I was near redline on several occasions. I timed a light breakfast such that I had three hours before show time.

I hit the first 21 thrusters breaking them into eleven and ten. By the time I got to the round of 18, I was down to fives or threes. It was getting very ugly, very quickly.

Burpees were bad, but I just kept my body moving. I’d get off the thrusters, grab a small sip of water, and get down on the floor. I didn’t hurry, I considered “slow” the next best thing to rest. I varied my burpees in Feet to Hands a couple different ways throughout the WOD, to keep from fatiguing any more than necessary. I’d jump to the bar and rebound over it. People thought it looked grueling, but it actually was easier.

Getting through the round of 15′s was a milestone. It’s still near the top of the ladder, but you cross the midpoint in the workout and it makes a tremendous difference in your head as you suffer through this workout.

Yes, I mean suffer. Gasping for air, dying for water, struggling to keep from vomiting, feeling your heart tripping at 150 bpm, your legs weighing what seemed to be tons and every muscle in your body screaming.

Just get back on the bar, lift one more time, keep moving, catch your breath and get back to work. Ugh!

84 Thrusters and 84 Burpees grinding you down, testing your resolve to come out on the other side a winner. Not a winner of the Open, but a winner who defeated pain and doubt and persevered. Not unlike the last person to finish the Boston Marathon. My finish line was 34 minutes and 24 seconds. This year, I am thrilled that I was able to post a score in all five events. I didn’t wash out. I look forward to seeing where I place on the leaderboard tomorrow.

I am done. That isn't a grin, it's a grimace. Ironically, today I have had the lowest blood pressure in a month. Maybe it's because I no longer have a pulse.

I am done. That isn’t a grin, it’s a grimace. Ironically, today I have had the lowest blood pressure in a month. Maybe it’s because I no longer have a pulse.

Many Thanks

I appreciate all my friends at CrossFit 2a who hung around after their Monday workout to cheer me on and encourage me. A few skipped out of work, just to watch me perform 14.5. I am moved by that. I am delighted that we have a peculiar synergy, whereby I thank you for supporting me, and you respond by telling me that seeing an old man survive, inspires you to keep pushing.

A special thanks to the girls, Julia, Tia, Jamie and Erica who have all been with me since Day One, dragging me close behind you.

Jamie – thanks for the photos

Retro WOD 13.5

CrossFit Open 13.5

Comments

  1. Jamie Wood Chiarelli says:

    Even though we cursed Dave Castro for every WOD announcement, it's fair to say that you had some major accomplishments throughout the Open. Congrats, Chuck!

  2. Jamie Wood Chiarelli , The 2014 Open was a series of highs and lows. Overall I was pleased that I overcame some challenges, both in movements and in perseverance. Many thanks to you and the members of Girls Night for keeping me encouraged to carry on.

  3. Erica Dee Puglielli says:

    This was awesome to watch! Epitome of perseverance!

  4. Thanks for the compliment Erica. That was the longest half-hour of my life.

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