Coach Shannon's Fantastic Wodapalooza Performance

I was going to post a competition wrap up for Shannon today, so I asked her if she would be willing to share some thoughts on the day.  Instead, she sent me an excellent play by play write up that was too good not to share (If you want the 30s version... skip to the bottom):

Before the competition

I feel ecstatic to be in Miami. It's a bit of a surreal moment receiving my athlete badge. I had always seen this competition online and it looked so fun: 1,500 athletes, representing 26 countries, competing in 40 different divisions - Insanity! When heat and lane assignments came out, it was so strange to see my name next to 5-time regional veterans and 2-time GRID MVPs. It's hard not to feel some sense of inadequacy looking at that, since I've never made it past the Open. This was not only my first individual competition, but my first 3-day competition. (Every crossfit competition I'd done prior to this one had been 1 or 2 day competitions, and partner or team style.) A slight case of imposter syndrome - that I don't belong here. But nevertheless, I keep telling myself: you did the qualifier just like they did, and you're better than you've ever been. Go out there and do your thing. This is what we've been training for!

Day 1:

Friday's workouts were:

Climb Jump Walk, 12 min cap


Rope climbs
50 Dubs
2 x 25' HSW

Assault on Fran


Thrusters (85#)
Assault Bike Cals

I wanted to get Fran out of the way. Don't get me wrong - I like Fran, but adding the bike component makes it not really Fran anymore (more than half your time is spent on the bike, and it is no longer a sprint. Totally different approach and energy system.) To add some icing on the cake, I found out while I was warming up that the Fran time cap is 8 minutes, not 12. Awesome - I got 8:54 in practice, (and that was without having to run around, move your bar etc. I made it out of Fran better than expected - placed 15th on this one. Being able to keep the CTB unbroken saved me, since my thrusters and assault bike capacity are very average for my group. Starting to gain some confidence that I can hang with these girls.

The highlight of my weekend was the next workout. I ended up getting first in my division here (what ! ) and tying Camille (Le Blanc). I ended the day looking at the leader board thinking"Am I really in 3rd? - I'll take it!"

Second Day

WOD 4/5: Beauty & The Beast

"Beauty" (Min 0:00-6:00):

Heavy Grace: 30 C&J for time (145#):

"The Beast" (Min 6:01-16:00)

36 strict HSPU
36 cal row
24 axel bar hang power snatch (75#)
24 bar facing burpees
12 OHS (145#)
12 BMU

WOD 3:

WZA Biathlon,

21 min cap

1200m True Form Run
400m Open Water Swim
1200m True Form Run



The way it was written, the run swim run was meant to be before B&B, but the way the heats worked out, the run swim run ended up being done after, which was a blessing for me - I'll get to why. I got my ass handed to me on "Beauty"/Heavy Grace, but nothing I didn't already expect. (145# is my 72%, which is a relatively high percentage compared to the other girls, and Creatine Phosphate Battery is generally not my jam - I'm working on it.)

I expected to do better on the second part "The Beast"/Chipper, since I thrive in high skill movements (HSPU, Axel HPS, OHS, BMU). I did well on this portion - (better than I did in practice) but so did the other girls[😉]  apparently we're all good at this one. Very hard to separate yourself on this one, gotta really push for every last rep - Quick transitions and quick turnover the whole time. I scored middle of the pack here - 18th. This is one I'd like to re-test eventually. 

Next up was the run swim run. (Previously swim-paddle-run but they had to change this event on the fly because of weather.) I don't generally consider myself a runner, but I'm definitely more in tune with my aerobic capacity than I've ever been before, and I'm bobbing about 14 pounds lighter than I was in the off season, which makes running feel easier, so I don't mind it as much anymore. I had to learn True Form running for this one, and I kinda like it actually! The run wasn't the issue here. I absolutely underestimated the open water swim. 400m swim, touch the buoy and come back? No problem. YES PROBLEM, SHANNON, big problem! I spent the majority of that swim sucking ocean water and literally moaning my way through it. 

The guy on the kayak asked if I needed help (I probably did) but I declined. When I got back on the True Form for the second 1.2k run, I knew I had to make up time here so I started haulin. My engine was fine, but my stomach was not. I had to slow down a couple of times because I had a stomach full of Miami Bay salt water and thought I was gonna hurl on camera. I ended up getting time capped with 0.09 km left (so close!) and cried afterward :( My salt water stomach ache continued for the next 4 hours, which is why I say it was good that this one was after Beauty and the Beast, not before.

Final Day

I was surprised how easily I put yesterday's blow behind me (compartmentalizing, most likely) and moved on to focusing on the last 2 events:

WOD 7/8/9 Triple Finale, in 12 minutes:

400m run, for time
30 squat cleans (95#) & 20 MU for time (8 min cap)
Max Snatch in remainder of time 

WOD 6:  Monkeying Around,

7 min cap

150m Sandbag carry up & down a hill (120#)
2 x 9' Monkey Bar Traverse
30-20-10 TTB

I knew I could handle the TTB, but didn't know how 120# sandbag runs up and down a hill would go, cause I only ever practiced with a 100# DBall on flat ground. It went well! My strategy for the sandbag portion was to never drop the sandbag, and I didn't :) This event went by super quick, and I ended up coming in second. Woohoo!

For the finale, I told myself to just enjoy it.  I didn't know if/when the next time I'd be back here would be, and I wanted to soak up every last moment. I had a bit of a strategy on this one: The way the points are distributed, it rewards high placements by a larger margin than lower placements (its Regionals/Games scoring). So rather than putting equal energy into the three wods, I gunned it on the run, which ended up working out for me. The muscle ups were reallyyy tough to hold on to because my grip was taxed from the TTB workout before this one (crazy how each wod affects the next one - they're definitely not independent of each other.) I finished up with 4 min to establish a max snatch. After a couple misses at 135# (that NEVER happens) I got angry and hit my last snatch at 150# to end the day. I was happy to hit 87% under fatigue :) "The best you can do is the best you can do."

30-second Timeout Version:

Overall takeaways:

  1. This was an extremely well orchestrated event. I would absolutely do it again. The programming was thoughtful and well rounded. The judges and volunteers were all knowledgeable and timely. The girls were really good competition for me. 
  2. Training wise, this was really good feedback for me leading up to the Open. Where I need work, and where I just need to maintain, leading up to March. 
  3. There were a couple moments that reminded me of why I do this: Girls didn't have to help each other onto the dock to get out of the water, but they did. Girls didn't have to let other competitors borrow their equipment, but they did. Last year's winner didn't have to come over and calm me down when she saw me cry, but she did. You guys didn't have to tune in from home, but you did.
  4. The CrossFit community is really amazing. People want to see you do well. Every time i wanted to slow down, or didn't think I could peel my body off the ground for one more burpee, I imagined the people watching at home and all of a sudden I had a little more go in me.

I totally hope I make it back next year!