Sunday, March 1, 2009 by Daniel

To Helen with You

Crappy, rainy day today. Led the two regular CFEB classes in the morning, then rushed off to GWPC for the Firebreather WOD:

Bench Press x 1: 135-145-155-160-165(f)

And that concludes February Firebreathers. 160 is 91% of my bodyweight, and actually closer than I thought I'd be able to get. It went up fairly steadily, and I don't think 165 is far off. Hopefully this upcoming strength cycle will get me to 175, and one of my few remaining level II skills. My cumulative score for the month is 417%, and although the results are not completely tabulated yet, this should put me DFL for men. I could make excuses about tall & skinny and blah blah blah, but that's really all they'd be - excuses. The rock doesn't care about ape indexes, watts and joules or bodyweight percentages. The rock just needs to be moved (assuming a scenario in which there is a rock that needs moving, of course).

A few of us stuck around afterward to do Helen in the rain.

Three rounds for time:
  • Run 400 meters
  • 1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings
  • 12 Pull-ups

11:15 apparently not quite RX
(splits: 2:55 | 3:44 | 4:40)
(previous PR: 3:50 | 4:27 | 4:37)

I've been aiming for <11:30 on this workout for months, and was not going to be denied today. The joy over finally getting the benchmark score is somewhat blunted, however, by Rebecca's discovery that we were not running quite far enough. It's hard to tell, but it looks like I was maybe 30-40m short per round. There were a few other obstacles to slow us down, though - several corners and puddles to run around (and through), as well as a 180 turnaround.

I pushed, though. The first round was totally unbroken, the second KB swings were unbroken and pullups were 6-6, the last round was much worse. I felt truly horrible, afterwards, and it took quite a while to return to feeling human. I had a sharp, acrid metallic smell in my nostrils that I found somewhat alarming, and looked it up tonight. The internet is full of theories on this score, but a fairly common one seems to be that the alveoli in the lungs, overstrained to get the CO2 out of the blood, actually pass some number of high-iron blood cells through the membrane. These become airborne during exhaling, causing a metallic, bloody taste in the back of the throat. Ew. Diagnosis seems to be that it is relatively common during very hard anaerobic workouts, and not something to worry about overmuch.

Today was the end of my week subbing in as the CFEB trainer. I led 10 workouts and a total of 103 people (some, obviously, counting multiple times). I learned a LOT, and by and large really enjoyed myself. It is more tiring than I expected it to be, having to be "on" through the whole hour and really focused on the athletes, driving them to push harder while keeping them safe. It's also a lot lonelier than I expected - not getting to participate in class meant doing the workouts on my own, which can be nice in the not-having-to-share kind of way, but definitely is not as much fun or inspiring as doing it in class. Keeps you honest, though.

The feedback I got was universally good, which is satisfying (though I'd have to be pretty horrible for someone to actually TELL me I sucked). Many people asked when/if I would be getting a cert and if so, would that mean more classes with two trainers available to teach. That would, of course, be ideal for me - a combination of leading some classes and taking others - but the decision is ultimately up to Max and the folks who run Ironworks and GWPC. Max has said I should look at getting my cert sooner rather than later, so I'm keeping an eye on the calendar. There's one in San Diego in May that looks promising - we have friends that live down there, and maybe would be able to stay with them.

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