For whatever reason, I have a really hard time writing my Murph recaps. Y’all remember what happened last year, right?
Well, I don’t have much of an excuse for this year. But hey, better late than never, right? Especially when I actually have photos taken with a REAL camera! Hooray photos!
You know the drill. Read on and see how it went!
Murph is a Hero WOD that CrossFit does to honor fallen soldiers. Given the nature of Murph and his story, a Memorial Day Murph is a very popular event in the CrossFit community. And make no mistake; it truly is an event.
The workout is run 1 mile, then 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, then another 1 mile run. You may partition the 600 reps however you’d like, but they must be bookended by the mile runs. The truly badass are to wear a 20-lb weighted vest during the WOD.
Last year, I completed my first Murph in a little over 56 minutes. I performed all the movements Rx (as in full pull-ups, push-ups, and squats) but did not wear a vest. My goal for this year was to finish in less than 50 minutes.
Push-ups are by far my limiting movement. I fatigue so dang quickly on them! Last year I did 20 rounds of 5-5-5-15, meaning I would do 5 push-ups, 5 pull-ups, 5 push-ups, 15 squats. This allowed me to complete the 5 push-ups (most of the time) in one group before standing up to tackle another movement… but I lost a lot of time with transitions.
This year, I planned for 20 rounds of 5-10-15. I figured I would still be breaking my latter rounds of push-ups into 5-5, but assumed that rest time would still be faster than multiple transitions.
3… 2… 1… Murph!
I went pretty hard on that first mile. I started off way too fast, and by the last quarter mile, I was being passed by others. Still, I made it back to CrossFit 865 in 7 something and decided to wait until the 8 minute mark to begin my pull-ups. And yes, those are Lulu shorts.
I had the idea to treat Murph as an EMOM as long as I could, meaning to do my 5-10-15 and then rest for as many seconds as I had left until the next minute mark.
Well… that didn’t last very long! Combine the elevated heartrate from the beginning run and the fact that my push-ups started to get tough quickly, I think I only lasted 3 rounds before I needed more than a minute to finish. However, I did my first 5 rounds of 20 in 6 minutes. Good start.
For those keeping score at home, that takes us to about 15 minutes into the workout. That’s when the suck really started to manifest. My first line of defense, of course, was to remove my shirt.
Didn’t help much.
My push-ups pushed up and left the building. I was already at 5-5 for my push-ups and my form was suffering. Not good.
Soon this digressed into 5-3-2 or something similar. On the bright side, my pull-ups stayed strong with 5 at a time and my squats, while burning, stayed steady. Those dang push-ups though… eww.
Though the workout was getting hard and I was having to stop and rest, it was due to muscular endurance and not cardio holy-crap-I-can’t-breathe-I’m-going-to-die reasons. Therefore, I didn’t experience the dark place like in last year’s CrossFit Open 14.5 workout. In a sense, my push-ups breaking down provided a necessary rest period that kept me from totally redlining.
You see, I care about my reps. I don’t want any bro reps, I don’t want any no reps. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist by nature and that applies to my CrossFitting as well. Sure, push-up form was breaking down but I only allowed it go to a certain point. I was still doing a push-up, and when I couldn’t do any more, I stopped.
Whatever. I totally am NOT making excuses!! Shut up.
When I got through 18 of my 20 rounds, I had the bright idea to combine my last two rounds into one big sprint to the finish round.
That was the biggest mistake of my WOD. Oops.
I thought I could bookend the push-ups, going 10 and 10 before running out the door. Nope. I managed 7 push-ups, then did 15 squats, jumped up and did 10 pull-ups… and then totally lost track of where I was. I figured it out (I think) and got all my reps in, struggling on those last few push-ups pretty severely!
And then… that last mile run.
Good lord. That was the toughest run of my life.
I headed outside probably somewhere around the 37 minute mark. I don’t recall my exact time but let’s go with 37. Before I made it 100 meters I was already ready to collapse.
There were box members outside cheering us on for that final run, which was a blessing and a curse. The blessing, of course, was the encouragement and drive to finish. The curse was I had to keep running and couldn’t stop like I wanted to!
That was such a slow, painful run. I could barely breathe at this point and my energy reserves were depleted. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that all I had to do was make it back to the box and I would be done with the workout.
Well, somehow I didn’t stop, and as I fell to the ground I managed to glance up at the clock and see precisely 49:00.
The next time I saw the clock, it was past 51 minutes. I had floundered on the floor for over two minutes!
Eventually I scraped myself off the floor and grabbed some water and went to cheer on others that were finishing up, aka cursing them with also having to keep going!
It then dawned on me that I had exceeded my goal for the WOD and had improved over 7 minutes from 2014. Not bad for a average-at-best CrossFitter!
Afterwards I made sure I found a nice cold beer to drink and then found my comfy bed at home and took a nap.
And there you have it. Murph 2015.
Was Murph more mental or physical for me? I don’t know. Obviously the physical challenge of the push-ups inhibited me from going as fast as I would’ve liked… and I feel like I could go faster had my muscles not been fatigued. Honestly, usually, it is more mental fatigue that holds me back in a WOD! That last run though, definitely a dirty combo of both physical and mental anguish!
What’s next? I’m already looking forward to next year. I think my goal will be to do it with a vest and finish under an hour. Either that or go for sub 45… but I like the thought of the vest challenge.
Your turn -> Did you do Murph on Memorial Day? How did it go? What was the toughest run you’ve ever been on?