OC Throwdown Day 1 Recap

This past weekend I competed in the 2013 OC Throwdown. To get into the competition I completed 3 online qualifier workouts that I had to submit over a month ago. They took the top 60 athletes that qualified and in addition to the qualified athletes they offered invitation spots to some of the best athletes in our sport. In total there were about 75 male athletes that competed in my division this weekend.

Heading into the weekend my competitive CrossFit experience has been predominantly team oriented. I’ve done one competition as an individual and it was 3 years ago. Since that time I’ve had the good fortune of being part of a great team at TJ’s gym that has made 3 games appearances. But my resume as an individual competitor is short. With my goal to compete in regionals as an individual competitor this year I knew as did my coach that I need more experience. So the goal was just that. Head down to Costa Mesa and gain some experience. See how you carry yourself during a weekend full of big names and celebrities.

The results were great. I won’t spoil this two part blog post by telling you how things wrapped up with placings. However, I will say that I learned so much over the past 48 hours. I had opportunities to succeed and to fail and I saw how I responded to both. I stood next to some big names in the sport and didn’t waiver from my plan. I faced all the doubts and questions alone for the first time in a long time and had just one person to look to for answers each workout, me. In the end I was pleased with what I did and hungry to move forward and grow more towards the competitor I know I can be.

Workout 1 – 8am

7K Run with undisclosed Sandbag Carry Distance

When we arrived for briefing we found out that the 7k run was going to be 3 laps around the fairgrounds. Turns out it was an out and back run three times. It was chilly outside. I felt unprepared as I looked around at all the athletes with their gloves, ear warmers, tights, etc. I was just standing there in t shirt, shorts, and shoes. The sandbag we were to carry was 70lbs and we had to carry it for the 2nd lap only. We gathered for the start and they sent out the men in groups of 10. I was in a group with all my friends. Danny, Moses, Colin, Mike, and a few others. Somehow I got elected as the pace setter on the run. Talk about pressure. First lap went great. I was running well I felt. Not too fast, not too slow. Then the sandbag. Unrelenting. It was gigantic, floppy, unevenly balanced, no handles, a pain in the ass. My first mistake at the pick up part was that I rushed to get the bag on my shoulders. I should have taken more time and placed it in a better position. Once that thing was on my neck it was there to stay and I had to awkwardly cradled it with my arms on either side of my neck causing my arms to really fatigue for the next 18mins. Sandbag portion was over and I was thrilled. I did my best to push on the edge of uncomfortable the rest of the way but my shoulders and upper back were torched and my breathing was affected. Crossed the finish line. Yuck. Over, move on.

42:01.39 (37th Place)

Workout 2 – 11:00 am

10 Muscle Ups

4 Rounds
12 Chest 2 Bar Pull Ups
8 Box Jumps 30″

10 Muscle Ups

One of the unfortunate outcomes of the run was that my sandbag needed to be supported by my arms much of the way and it totally crushed my biceps. I was cramping in them before this workout. I was concerned about the effect it would have on my pull ups and muscle ups. I therefore took a conservative approach. At one point I had considered doing the first 10 muscle ups unbroken without much of a thought but reconsidered given the conditions of my arms. With such a short workout I knew there would be no room for error. So I played it a little safe and result was no failed reps. Calves were a problem on the jumps. They cramped ont he first jump up to the rings at 3-2-1… GO!.

5:37.77 (9th Place)

Workout 3 – 4pm

3 Rounds
8 Shoulder to Overhead 190#
14 Pistols

3 Rounds
8 Front Squats 190#
16 GHD Sit Ups

3 Rounds
4 Clean and Jerks 190#
2 Rope Climbs 20′

My strategy with this workout was to move at a steady pace on the first two couplets and not break up any of the weighted movements. Unbroken jerks and unbroken front squats were going to be important to me mentally. From there it was going to be about getting up that rope as fast as possible. Success! I felt awesome during this workout. My motor felt good and the movements went as planned. Rope climbs to 20′ are a monster when you are tired. Finished 2nd in my heat and it felt good to get out in front a bit of the pack. My training as of lately seemed to shine through on this workout.

13:41.89 (4th Place)

Day 1 was filled with nerves and happiness. Highs and a couple lows. Lessons learned. Eager for day 2 ahead. So thrilled that I was able to stay in the game when the running hurt and also thrilled that I finished with such a slam dunk on WOD 3.