Saturday, October 11, 2008 by Rebecca

Running Ladder - DNF

Warmup: Mobility Exercises, 10 Rock n roll, 10 CFEB sun salutations, 10 situps, 10 pushups, run prep

Run 1000 meters in 10 minutes
Run 900 meters in 9 minutes
Run 800 meters in 8 minutes
Run 700 meters in 7 minutes
Run 600 meters in 6 minutes
Run 500 meters in 5 minutes
Run 400 meters in 4 minutes
Run 300 meters in 3 minutes
Run 200 meters in 2 minutes
Run 100 meters

1000: 6:14
900: 5:50
800: 5:49
700: 5:56
600: 4:39
500: 3:46

Yuck. This workout sucked. It sucked for a lot of reasons, but it was a struggle right from the get go. I'm trying to retain the fact that I have never run more than a mile, consecutively, ever. And that the most I've run in a single workout, is 1.75 miles in the before and after runs for Murph. So by those standards, running (and walking) the 4500m I got through is a pretty significant achievement.

Still, it does not stop me from feeling that, on a better day, i could have completed this workout, or at least performed better on the parts i did complete.

In hindsight - i was probably doomed to poor performance (i won't say failure) on anything I was going to try to do yesterday - it was the first day of my period, my work situation is looking more and more precarious so my stress levels are high, and I was also apparently fighting a bug since I woke up this morning with a sore throat. I should have known that something was not right when I felt tears of frustration forming just a few meters into round 900. I tend to get excessively emotional when I'm getting sick - it should be an immediate red flag for me - but i frequently don't recognize the signs until after i get sick. I thought it was just stress and hormones. So, I tried to power through it. Dumb.

I was fighting a side-stitch from step one. I had to stop and walk for increasingly long intervals starting in round 800. it was only a little walking at first - my 800 time is nearly identical to my 900 time. Things really started to go downhill in round 700 - my time was even longer than for 800. I don't think i actually ran the full 600m for round 600 - I wasn't quite able to make it all the way to the starting line by the starting time (a minute to stumble 200m is not quite long enough), so i just started where i was and guestimated the 'right' distance.

By round 700-600, in addition to continually being right on the edge of a horrible side-stitch, my right hip flexor was really beginning to hurt. That's usually the first thing to give out on long hikes or when we're snowshoeing. By round 500 my feet were really hurting, too. I started round 400, but about 10 strides in - as badly as i wanted to- I decided it just wasn't worth possibly doing real injury to myself to try to finish ( i was also a weepy mess at this point).

I know I've come a really long way since I started this in May. And I know that the stars were very badly aligned, and I should not be discouraged. But workout's like this one make me feel like I haven't progressed at all. Fortunately, it just makes me want to work harder.


Maximus Lewin said...

A few comments about this:

One of the original CF credos is "Check Your Ego At The Door". To do otherwise is to invite injury, overtraining and a general lack of fun-ness.

You REALLY should not beat yourself up about this: you have never run more than a mile, but you ran 4500 K, that is almost a 300% improvement!

If you suddenly Deadlifted 165# and the RX was 175# would you be similarly frustrated?

CrossFit is AT LEAST as 3-5 year journey towards optimum performance, and probably more like 10 years. That's good news because that means you can be fitter at 40 than you were at 30.

You really have just begun, you are doing all the right things, and you are making amazing gains.

Because you have some deficits, your perfomance gains are going to be slow compared to some people, but trust me, you are, by far, one of my best athletes in terms of improvement. I put you right up there with Evelyn and Elaine in terms of most performance increase.

Finally: you may have heard me say "don't panic, it does not help". Part of CF is developing mental strength. This shit is fucking hard, and sometimes (a lot of times) it SUCKS. Just focus on the moment and try not to think about the mountain of work in front of you. Break up the workouts into chunks and just think about that: If the 900 is bumming you out, just think about the next 200 meters and how fast you can do that, then move on to the next chunk.

Finally, like I always say, don't insist on working through a possible injury just to make sure it becomes a definite injury!

Rebecca said...

Wow Max. Thank you :) I do recognize that I've made some pretty incredible gains in a pretty short time frame. I did Linda tonight with weights that would have been too difficult for me even a month ago - and I think they were probably a little too light(!). I would not put myself on par with Elaine or Evelyn (yet!) but I really appreciate the comparison.

I try not to get too frustrated when, despite my gains in strength and endurance, even first time CFers are stronger and faster than I am, but I am competitive by nature (I wouldn't be doing as well if I wasn't) and it's easy to fall into the trap of comparing my performance to others.

It's really only a problem when there are external factors at play - stress, hormones, bad diet, and/or illness - any or all of which can seriously effect my performance and my mood. This workout got a triple whammy of three of the four - which is really at the root of why I think i could have done better.

Maximus Lewin said...

In terms of improvement, you are right up there with the best, and, in my humble opinion, improvement counts for a LOT.

Jason K. The winner of this year's CF Games is an amazing athlete and he leaves it all on the training floor (I've seen him literally collapse in the street after a WOD), but the fact is he did Fran in 3:30 in his very first CF workout, so you just cannot compare yourself to him or his peers, but you CAN strive to have the kind of heart he does, and you are well on your way.

Bekka, stick with it for a while, and many CF first-timers won't be faster or stronger than you, but there will always be those Jasons who come to the game with gifts (and prior training experience) most of us don't have.

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