Open 17.4 Intro
I have a confession to make. I love the repeat Open WODs. When Dave Castro says something like, “CrossFit Open 17.4 will be 16.4!”, a part of me gets excited.
That is not to be confused with me saying I like the workout. Last year, when he said “16.5 will be 14.5” I groaned. Though these workouts often suck, I love the fact that I have a benchmark and that I have typically documented the workout in the pages of this blog.
So I often know exactly where I faltered a year or two ago. I may have worked on my goats, or I may simply need to revisit my strategy.
As most of you know (because we discussed it before the workout) we finish the Open with personal resolutions that this will be the last Open we do, where we cannot do Hand Stand Push Ups, or Double-Unders, or fill in the blank. Many of us have said it in 2014, 2015, and 2016. And we still couldn’t, cuz we didn’t.
This year I am enjoying myself much more, because I decided to just enjoy the camaraderie. At 66 years old, I don’t think getting a HSPU is a priority for me. I’d be thrilled just to get a hand stand some day. No rush, I’m not going anywhere.
Masters 60+ Scaled M/W
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
- 55 deadlifts, 135/95
- 55 wall-ball shots, 14/10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target
- 55-calorie row
- 55 push presses, 65/45 lb.
Showtime – my performance in CrossFit Open 17.4
Last year these ground me down. 135 pounds isn’t particularly heavy for me, but 55 reps is a lot. So I thought of taking them as singles. But when the WOD began, I cranked out about 20 reps. Then I was concerned I’d gas myself prematurely like last year, so I went to singles. Lift, drop, lift, drop. I did that for 20 more reps. Then I was concerned about the time, so I cranked out 8, then 7 and I was onto WallBalls.
OK, I am fortunate to be 6’1″ tall, so a 14 pound med ball and a 9 foot target is a gift for which I am grateful. That is not to say 55 reps won’t take a toll, but it sure beat the heck out of a 20# ball. I knocked out a two sets of 10, then I went to sets of 5. When I hit 40, again I went 8 and 7 and done.
The Rower is the worst part of this entire workout. Last year I ran out of time at 44 Calories into the Row. My goal was to get through the row and onto the barbell. FYI I have had respiratory issues for a good part of the winter, so I have been avoiding metcons like the plague. Generally, I like the Erg, but I know that the glutes and hammies are already toasted from DLs and WBs before you place your keester on the seat.
It seemed like the counter was broken on the rower. I’d have to remind myself that your pull is different with calories than it is with meters, and there is no resting. When I hit 25 Cals, and I realized I wasn’t even half way, and my heart was pounding through my ribcage, and my lungs were exploding, I wanted to just stop and get off the contraption. What kept me in the saddle? 1) Shame – I am frequently last, but I have never quit a WOD, and 2) the realization that a Re-Do would mean I have to pass through these reps again. So I persevered.
When I hit 44 Calories, I asked my judge for the time. I had three minutes left! This is where I finished last year. I was three minutes ahead of schedule from 12 months ago. On the outside I was dying, but inside I was elated. The next 11 Cals seemed to take forever.
I finished the row at 11:43, I had 77 seconds to get on the barbell. I had set up a second barbell at 65 pounds for my Push Presses. I stood doubled over the bar for what seemed like an eternity before I was able to bring myself to grab the bar. I was gasping for air. I cleaned the bar and knocked off four push presses but I was spent, the bar crashed to the ground. My judge Dana and my friend Susan were yelling at me, encouraging me to get back on the bar. There was only 15 seconds left on the clock. I knocked out six quick presses, to finish this set at 10.
For a while, I pondered where I “slacked off” during this workout. I had to give myself some grace. The only time I really rested was for several long seconds where I was trying to breathe. Thirteen minutes is not a lot of time, though it seems like a small eternity when you are in the middle of this event.
Yes, I could have picked up the pace earlier in the Deadlifts, but then I may have fatigued early in the workout, and paid for it during the Wall Balls. The fact is, you can second guess yourself until the cows come home, but you will never know for sure how decisions would have impacted you further down the line.
But here is what I do know. I passed last year’s finish with three minutes still on the clock. I finished the Row. I made it to the barbell and got in 10 reps. My score was 175. 21 more reps than a year ago. So I am delighted that I am stronger and faster than I was a year ago. I am a happy man.
Note: These photos are not from my Open 17.4, they are from a Masters Partners Comp at CrossFit 2a in Acton, MA. My partner was Matt Kerr (aka KerrDogWoof). Brandon Mui at Rx Photography is an amazing CrossFit photographer.