Monday, January 25, 2010

Gearing up for Sectionals: The OPT Challenge

I was happy because I was done with 50 chest to bar pull-ups and 50 burpees; I wasn't smiling as I tried to take a shower an hour later (top). The workouts and our results (bottom).

Gearing up for Sectionals

Competition has paid me a visit and I can't shake it. At night I wake up after falling from the rings in my dreams, doing muscle-ups like they were nothing. Videos of crossfit women, games competitors, Olympic lifters, and badass athletes stream on my MAC for inspiration. My toolbar bookmarks are crossfit affiliates, Robb Wolf, crossfit blogs, world news, crossfit games, and the Daily Show (gotta have some humor). My goals are taped to the wall by my door so I can physically see them each morning. Today, the countdown on my calendar is at 47 days until sectionals. It is almost too much time to wait, yet I want more time to get stronger before I see Drake Stadium.

Saturday was a good test as I gear up for Sectionals. Come high noon at Crossfit Ventura, six local crossfitters, Colin Jenkins, Matt Major, Traver Boehm, Craig Wobig, Mindith Rahmat, and I competed in the "OPT" James Fitzgerald Online Challenge. James Fitzgerald, winner of the inaugural crossfit games and a super-cool Canadian chap, programmed the workouts. This was the third "challenge" in a series of (3-4). We were to complete 3 workouts, programmed by OPT, within a five hour time limit, submit videos of ourselves completing the workouts to his website for review, and then wait to be compared to other crossfitters from all over the US and Canada.

The day went better than I thought it would. The first event was 3 attempts at 15 reps of the maximum weight that you could do for overhead squats. The standard for women was 65% of body weight. For me that standard would be 80#. Being as I had never done any lift at 15 reps before, it was hard to gauge where to start. I ended up succeeding at 60# on my third attempt. In the wide spectrum of things, strength is my biggest weakness and compared to other women this is not an impressive number. However, only about seven months ago I was using a PVC pipe with 5 pounds hanging from it for overhead squats. Thus, I am stoked about 60#.

Post-lifting, the day got interesting. The next event was the following: Complete a 2000 meter row and do as many double unders as possible in 10 minutes. The standard for women was 8:00 on the row. My previous best time was 8:02.9. For this event I focused as best I could on keeping a good pace and attempting to meet the standard. For those of you that don't know, I think crossfit HQ guy, Tony Budding, said it best when describing the rower: "this is a machine that is very effective in absolutely wrecking human beings." With 500 meters left to row, I could hear this refrain in my mind (too much crossfit games t.v.!). Closing my eyes, I pulled, grunted, and SCREAMED my way to the end of 2k. I finished at 7:51.5. But I wasn't done. I half-crawled and limped to my rope and somehow completed 55 double-unders before 10 minutes had expired. Ouch.

An hour later, Mindith and I started the last event: 50 chest to bar pull-ups and 50 burpees as fast as possible. This workout terrified me. The last time I did a pull-up workout was not pretty. 100 regular kipping pull-ups (just chin over the bar) for time took me 12:30; I can still remember how much that workout destroyed me mentally. The women's standard for this workout was 8 minutes. My goal was to complete it in under 20 minutes. Before the clock started, I warmed up with 3 chest to bar pull-ups. It was hard. The clock started. Somehow though, through blood, bruised chests, and screams, Mindith and I pull-upped and burpeed our way to sub-8 minute times. Mindith did her final burpee around 7:10, and, thank God for everyone counting, I completed the workout at 7:39.

Just six weeks away from sectionals and I am already visualizing myself doing MY best at Drake Stadium. Saturday gave me a little confidence. The weekend made me believe that I may have a chance to make Regionals if I give it my all at UCLA. But there is still so much work to be done. Each day I will try to lift more, use better form, and be a better version of me. Sectionals, here I come!

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At 3:39 PM , Blogger Katie said...

Good Job Chica!

At 6:30 PM , Blogger mb said...

Wowie! Great work. Look forward to seeing what happens in March!


At 9:36 PM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

Thanks Katie and Martha!

At 5:50 PM , Blogger Cara Deane said...

Is that blood on your hands?? You have serious issues my love. Remember you need that body when you're 70. Careful not to stress it too much. Careful there.

At 9:09 PM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

Yes, that is blood...and dirt...and dedication to my goals. My body needs to be stressed and may possibly be BETTER than it could have been at 70 because of this :). Just sayin'


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