Category: Race

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The Spartan Race has come and gone, and I wasn’t part of it. My ankle was simply not healed enough. Many told me of the steep muddy hills that were on the course, so that might’ve actually broken it.

I could say this was wasted, but it’S not really. I learned a lot about myself while training and writing this blog. It has been an interesting journey, one that I will continue.

Well, this is it. I think this might be my last post. I’m not sure if I should go on writing posts, now.

It’s been fun, thank you all for reading (thus far, maybe) and sharing my travels on the road to Sparta(n). Keep training, have fun and never let go.





Pick you poison Friday has come around again, but matters are a little bit  complicated by the ankle. Many WODs require ankle mobility, and those that do not, I’ve done already.

A few days ago, I saw a tweet from Pat Sherwood, one of the Crossfit Games Show anchor, saying that the first time he did Diane, a dirty benchmark girl, it took him 15min, and then he spent months training for hand stand pushups, which brought his time down to some 5min. Diane does not require that much ankle mobility… so here we go.

For time: 21-15-9 of deadlift 225lbs and HSPU. It took me 12:57 to do it; I beat Pat Sherwood! Well, not really, mine was not Rx, as I couldn’t quite lock my elbows on every rep… lousy not-locking elbows! Still, my HSPU kip is progressing nicely and I’m  improving. Deadlift is ok at 225lbs – it’s a heavier work weight, but I can do my reps without burning myself out.

9 days until the Spartan Race, 8 days to heal the ankle.


As the swelling in my ankle didn’t go down as much as I thought it would, and because a bruise appeared yesterday, I went to see a doctor to see what’s the story. Seems I have a slight sprain. Ice, elevation and compression are prescribed… and obviously no running or activities that involve impact on the ankle. I can still lift, but no double unders, burpees or box jumps. It should heal on its own.

I did ask about running – I have the Spartan Race in 2 weeks. Doctor told me to use my judgement. That means that, in a week, I’ll have to assess my situation and see if I run or not.

You know, I’m getting sick and tired f this. Every time there’s a competition coming up, I seem to injure myself and miss it. I want to do those competitions! It stinks. This one most of all, as it’s the very reason behind this blog.

‘Guess we’ll see in a week how things stand.


Well this sucks. I was having a great WOD and I hurt my anle.

We started out with deadlifts 10-8-6-8-10, going progressively heavier up to 6 and lightening the load, but still keeping it heavier then the first similar set.. so my second set of 8 was heavier than the first one. I started at 135lbs, went up to 235lbs and down again. I was good – it’s hot and humid out so I like it. I pushed myself, but didn’t go overboard and then be gassed for the WOD.

The WOD was quick and good. 4 rounds for time – 2 rope climbs (13-15ft) and 4 squat cleans 185lbs. With the deadlift done previously, the squat cleans could be a nasty thing. As my max clean is around 170lbs, there was no way in hell I could Rx the damn thing. I scaled it to 135lbs. I gave it a try, but I felt a sharp twinge on the side of my deltoid. I’m told by my physio I should roll my bicep. I’ll heed her advice, but that also means I have to scale down some more. I went down to 95lbs. It worked out well. I’m sure I could’ve pushed it,but risk busting the shoulder? No.

When the time started I went up and down that rope like the devil was after me – 7s! By the 19th second, I was at my bar for the lifts. I felt good, things were going great and in my last rope descent in the 3rd round, I went down way too fast and landed on one of my ankle. It hurt – no snap -but pain. I wasn’t sure if I had sprained it or not. My coach got me some ice just in case. After some times, the pain was mostly gone. It felt more like when you miss a step going down the sidewalk and roll on your ankle… that’s how it felt. So I went back to the WOD. I figured I’d do a squat clean, see how that went, and move on. At the first sign of pain, I’d quit. I managed to finish the WOD in 5:59, having “lost” about 1:30 to check if my ankle was ok.

At the moment, the bony part on the outside is slightly swollen and there’s a dull ache, but I can walk and put my weight on it. I’ll know tomorrow for sure how things are. My coach also checked up on me to make sure I was ok. 🙂

It’s one of those thing that differentiate crossfit from many sports or physical activities – the caring.

I just hope the ankle will be healed by June 16- for the Spartan Race.


At last, the long-awaited fifth Open WOD came out. And once again, Dave Castro, the cruel insane genius behind the WODs, didn’t disappoint.

Last year’s 12.5 was a Fran ladder. This year, we got a Super Fran, or Frankenstein. It’s a 4 min AMRAP of 15 thrusters 100lbs and 15 chest to bar pull-ups – chest MUST touch the bar. You’re probably thinking “huh, fast paced, but not too bad”.

But wait! There’s more! If you managed to do 90 reps in the 4 minutes (so 3 full rounds), you earn an extra 4 minutes of time! That’s right, you’ve now 8 minutes to get AMRAP. Now you thinking “ok, it’s nasty, because endurance kicks in now”.

But wait! We’re not done! If you manage to do ANOTHER 90 reps in the now 8 minutes, you earn another 4 minutes to do more reps. And it goes on and on until time runs out or your body gives out. That’s where the mental games kicks in. How much will you push, knowing you’ll have more pain coming as you perform.

Granted, I’m not at that stage at all. Keeping with my new-found state of mind, I went in with an achievable goal. My thrusters are not the best in the world – heck, I haven’t done Fran Rx – though this will change in two weeks. Chest to bars, weeeeelllll, I sort of could do some, that is get the required height. But they have to touch the bar, which makes things complicated. My goal was to get to the first set of 15 C2B, and get a few reps in. An awesome achievement would be for me to complete an entire round. Remember, you only have 4 minutes.

I ended up doing 37 reps, surpassing my awesome achievement by 7 reps. 🙂

I’m happy with what I did. I gave it my all, and left it all on there. No shame, just sweat and PRs. The Open pulled me in, chewed me and spat me out in the deepest corners of my mental hell, but I managed to regroup, refocus and push through to finish a better athlete than when I started. The 5 WODs have exposed big flaws – mental and physical alike – and that what I think it’s for. I know I will not win the Open, or get to the Regionals, but I still consider myself a victor after those 5 weeks – it’s the journey that matters most, not the destination or goal.

On my road to the Spartan race, I took this side path and followed it to the end. I’m now back on the main road a better man.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training


Ok, it’s been almost 24h since my meltdown. I’ve had time to rest, talk it out with the Mrs to see what the hell happened and assess the situation. Time to regroup and go forward again.

I though a lot about the issues that are hindering my performance, the sources and the consequences. I have talked to smart people, and I’m better now. I forgive you, WOD, for dragging me to hell and back, then rubbing salt in the wounds and setting me on fire. Seems I’ve taken a side street on my road to the Race, and I have to follow it to the end, until I get back on track. It’s probably not going to me pretty: I have to work on my mental game… more than I thought.

That being said, I’m not happy with my 13.3 results – I did get to learn what it was. I’m not going to publish it yet. I’ve decided to face this demon, and do it again. Next Sunday, I’ve scheduled a spot to try 13.3 again. I don’t want to, but it’s only way I’ll be able to look myself in the eye again when thinking about that WOD. Of note, it’ll be the THIRD time in two weeks that I’ll have done Karen. Sigh…

I also trained today. People seem not too have minded that I blew a gasket yesterday; happens to all of us at some point, it seems.

So today is pick you poison Friday, and I chose yesterday’s workout. Not 13.3, but the box’s WOD. 15 min AMRAP: 15 back extensions, 15 knees to elbows and 15 OH Squats 95lbs. I went with 65lbs: Still enough to constitute a good challenge. I’ve noticed I’ve gained shoulder mobility, too. I need to get some more strength to stabilize while squatting, but I’m not struggling as much to keep the bar over my head. 🙂

I ended up doing 4 rounds and 14 knees to elbows. Not too bad.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 500ml water – after training

Crossfit Open

Well, I’ve made another decision that’s either going to prove to be an awesome experience, or rank somewhere in the top 20 stupidest things – just like entering the Spartan Race. I’ve decided to register for the Crossfit Open. Each year, Crossfit Games are held for athletes worldwide – the best crossfitters; kind of like the crossfit olympics. To get there, though, you have to qualify through the Opens. Five WODs in five weeks that are judged by qualified personel or recorded and sent to the Xfit Games officials. All results and ranking are posted online. If you’re good enough, after the 5 weeks, you get to move on to the Regionals for more testing. Then, if you’re good enough, as far as I know, you get a spot in the Games. Honestly, I most likely won’t qualify to go past the Opens – not even sure I’ll Rx all the Open WODs – but it will be interesting to see how I stack against athletes from around the world. WOD 13.1 will be revealed March 6.

Because of work, I couldn’t quite go to the gym as planned, so I did the bodeefit WOD. I’ve discovered yet another way of punishing my legs. The WOD is 5 rounds for time: 20 lunges, 1 min handstand and 1 min forearm plank. It took me 15:15 to complete. I never thought handstands and planks would be so demanding on the legs! Holy gravity, that hurt… As the Mrs eloquently said: [censored!].

In about a week, my box will hold a special seminar on mental toughness; how to plough on regardless. Sadly, work is taking me to Fredericton and I will be missing it. Silver lining: there’s a crossfit gym right across the street from my hotel… small world. But the workshop made me think about motivation. What motivates me? I mean, I have goals I want to achieve and all, but what drives me to push more, to plough on during training when the weights get heavier, the body slows down and both the muscles and the mind cry in pain? I don’t know.

Whenever I’m done before others, I will go and encourage them – sadly the only way I know is from the book of military motivation: tell them to go on; rest will come later. Or some variation of this. Some need to be yelled at, others gently proded, and others ordered about. Everybody’s got a button that can be pressed, to tap into that reserve of energy and willpower and finish strong; to switch to a beast mode. I’ve never found something that works for me. Getting yelled at, ordered, cajoled; I hear it all, but the mind shields me (like in the Army, you let the words roll over you and do not get to you). Honestly, it sucks, simply because I can’t tap into that beast mode others do. Then again, that’s what I think, maybe others see me react differently. Until I find the way, I’ll keep searching.


1 scoop (10g) Beyond Yourself AMRAP (BCAA) with 12oz water – during training, 1 scoop (30g) Beyond Yourself Whey ISO in 400ml water – after training.