They say time is a healer, which is why women decide to have another child, or someone decides to run another marathon. “It wasn’t so bad, was it?”, they muse, as their brain busily hides away the worst bits for self-preservation reasons.
As I type this, it’s actually many, many moons from the final CrossFit Open workout, and whilst the memory has faded somewhat of the actual workout, I haven’t forgotten the fact that workout 16.5 was the worst workout I’ve ever done. I knew from the moment I heard what the workout was that we wouldn’t get along well in the slightest, but after fighting a virus through the rest of the Open, I wasn’t going to give up at the last hurdle.
16.5: The Workout
|21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:|
In RX women used a 30kg barbell for thrusters, men used 42.5kg.
In scaled women used a 20kg barbell and men used 30kg.
My 16.5 Score
Score was the time finished in – I scored 26:38 RX.
How did I find 16.5?
As you can tell from my opening paragraphs, it was pretty horrendous. I’ve said that about all the Open workouts, but this was the worst by far!
First up, thrusters and burpees are my two worst movements. You just seem to give so much to them, and get so little back, so I was dreading this workout the moment I heard about it. I decided to go RX with a 30kg barbell, as I didn’t believe it would be that much easier with 20kg, and I still think that. The first lot of thrusters were alright, but as I got into the burpees everything started to become very painful. I still wasn’t fit again after the illness I’d had between 16.3 and 16.4, though if I’m honest I didn’t go into the Open as fit as I could have been anyway.
What did I learn from 16.5?
That I just wasn’t fit enough for it! Next year I’m going to work hard on my engine in the months running up to the Open to make sure it isn’t an issue. Of course I couldn’t have predicted or entirely prevented the illness I had, but I can make sure I look after myself as best as I can.
I also learned to break up reps. 21 thrusters in one go is massive, so I know now that splitting the reps down into manageable chunks is not only better physically, but mentally, too.
How did I get on overall in the Open?
At my level of athlete, I shouldn’t be pitching myself against others – it’s hardly like I narrowly missed out on a Regionals place – but I’m still pleased to say I came 46,348th in the world and 5,376th in Europe, which was just over halfway up the board. With no previous Open to compare myself to this is my benchmark for now!
Writing these posts has been really useful – the recurring theme here is that my engine just isn’t good enough. I think coming into CrossFit as a long-distance runner I depended on my fitness from that for too long, and didn’t continue working on my cardiovascular fitness, so I now know if I want to get a bit further up on the board next year what I need to work on specifically.