There we were, waiting. Waiting for that word. That word that brings a chill down our spine and starts our stomachs churning.
We hadn’t had burpees yet in the 2015 CrossFit Open. There have, historically, always been burpees in the Open. It was just a matter of how many and what variation.
And then, as Castro ticked off a rep scheme of 27/27-21/21-15/15-9/9, we all assumed burpees were one of the movements.
And we were all wrong.
The 2015 CrossFit Open WOD 15.5 contained two movements, neither of which were burpees. We got thrusters and calories on the rower/erg.
No burpees. No box jumps. But we had another workout, just like the finale of last year’s Open, that we HAD to finish to earn a score. It was either you will finish or you will quit.
14.5 last year was the worst workout I’ve ever experienced and one of the most physically miserable feelings I’ve ever had in my entire life. This year’s 15.5 didn’t seem like it would be quite that epically dreadful.
The scaled version was the same rep scheme with rowing and thrusters at 65/45 pounds.
And… I did the scaled version.
Yes. I scaled it.
Well, perhaps a few reasons:
- 95 pound thrusters are taxing for me, as evident by my barely sub-10 Fran time.
- I had been a little sickly, and as I write this on Wednesday, I stayed home from work with a slight fever and lots of sinus nastiness.
- The intent of the workout was to be a lung burner, not a 25-minute workout with lots of rest.
- During warmup I did 4 thrusters at the 95 lbs. and I couldn’t imagine a set of 23 more of them.
- I was scared.
Probably a combination of all those reasons were what led me to my scaled option.
My barbell was all loaded and ready for all 72 thrusters and my erg was set at the proper damper level – it was go time.
3… 2… 1… let’s do this last WOD of the 2015 CrossFit Open!
This WOD was supposed to be all about pacing, from what I read and heard. I didn’t want a repeat of last week’s flame out. I had a plan in mind for my rep schemes and where I was going to rest… something that I had never done before – follow a plan.
Guys, I followed my plan for that first round!
I maintained a rowing pace that had my 27 calories burnt right at 90 seconds. I came off my rower and made the short journey over to my barbell. I cleaned all 65 lbs and proceeded to squat and press it, aka thruster it. I wanted to break my 27s up into 9-7-6-5. And would you believe it, that’s what I did!
I tried to remember to breathe and pause at the top of my press momentarily so I could remain in control. I don’t recall my split when I returned to the rower for the 21s but I felt good.
Well, the good didn’t last much longer because the WOD got spicy.
The first part of my body, outside of my lungs, to get uncomfortable was my butt. Glutes if you will, or maybe even ass if you’re into that. Rowing those last few calories, my rear started to tighten up… no idea what that was! My pace on the rower fell off a little, but I still made good time while actively resting as much as possible.
The thrusters, that’s where things started to get rough. By this time in the workout, my mouth had turned arid as the Sahara. Seriously, it was like all my mouth moisture just up and left! I had to take a quick swig of H2O during the set. I don’t recall how I broke up the 21, but it was more than I had wanted.
At this point, I guess I should address the elephant in the
room post. No photos were taken. Sorry. Here’s a painful reminder from a year ago at 14.5 instead. This workout started feeling like this about now.
The 15s were awful. No other way to say it. My mouth was no longer super dry but decided to start producing saliva at a rapid rate and I was literally spitting on the floor of the box. Sorry Jesse, I meant no disrespect!
The rower was still my friend, I was still pacing myself and catching my breathe while I watched those calories tick off. Thanks Keith for keeping me motivated on the erg!
I had to take a few moments during the thrusters. My goal time was 12 minutes and after a couple glances at the clock, I knew I’d have to really push to get that time. The 15 thrusters were the worst part of the workout. I entered that dark place and had to get myself back on the bar to finish those last remaining reps.
The 9 calorie row took no time at all and then it was back to the bar for 9 more thruster. I hoisted the bar and performed three reps before dropping it. I looked at the clock and saw that my 12 minute goal had already passed. That ignited something in me because at that point I lifted the bar for the last time and finished those last 6 thrusters.
I’m not sure what hit the ground first, me or the barbell, but my 15.5 WOD was completed at 12:23. I was in serious discomfort post workout. I remained on the floor for a bit before grabbing my water and staggering outside. Guys I was pretty close to vomiting while I was sitting outside. My mouth was in overdrive on the spit making and I could taste the bile in the back of my throat. However, I kept all my food safely in my stomach.
It took probably 15 minutes before I was cardiovascularly recovered enough to get in my car and head home. I should’ve stayed and cooled down better and stretched… a couple days later my quads are still extremely sore from all that work.
So that was it. Five workouts completed and the Open was closed. I’ll have some thoughts next week on the Open as a whole. But, as I sat on a bench outside calming myself, I reflected that I was proud of myself. I actually followed a plan I had set for myself and didn’t blow my WOD by coming out of the gate too quickly. Sure, I scaled the workout, but I’m ok with that. I’m more of a scaled athlete than an Rx one anyways.
And as I walked to my car with that final workout behind me, I dropped down and did a burpee in honor of the Open and in celebration of the past year of CrossFit.
April Fool’s. I would never do a random burpee, CrossFitter or not. That’s just craziness.