Beast Mode Battle South Recap

*Warning: CrossFit talk ahead.
I had done only one CrossFit competition before registering for the Beast Mode Battle, and it was a first-timer event... no "heavy weights," no RXer's. (For you non-CrossFitters, Rx means that the athlete does the prescribed weight for each workout. And THAT means you are competing on the same level as the CrossFit Games competitors-- the best in the world. Tough.) The following is my experience at Beast Mode Battle South...

Beast Mode Battle = 4 WODs (workouts) in one hour.
Station 1-- 12 minutes to complete.
1 rep max of ground to overhead (clean and jerk).
3 minutes to rest and travel to the next station.

Station 2-- 5 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible).
5- 75lb snatches and 20 DUs (double unders).
2 min rest.
5 min AMRAP
5- 55lb fat bar thrusters and 20 DUs.

Station 3-- 12 minute ladder.
row 15 calories, 2 KB goblet squats, 2 KB SDHP (sumo dead lift high pulls), 2 KB swings, 2 KB snatches. 15 cal row, 4 KB goblet squats, 4 KB SDHP (sumo dead lift high pulls), 4 KB swings, 4 KB snatches... etc.

Station 4-- 8 min AMRAP
6- 135lb dead lifts, 6 box jumps (20 inch).
2 min rest.
2 min extra credit AMRAP
135 lb cleans OR burpee box jump overs.

What makes this competition unique is the back to back to back to back workouts. And the gravity of that began to set in as competition day neared. I practiced individual stations at the end of my regular workouts to get used to doing the WODs while feeling fatigued. And twice I strung together multiple stations to prepare. Then I tweaked something in my knee/quad.

The Week Prior:
Due to the pressure of the competition and my own insecurities, this minor tweak became the monster under the bed. There were moments I was quite sure that surgery was absolutely needed. That pulling out of the competition was the only viable option because my leg just might fall off. And then moments of clarity, when I realized that my mobility was not at all affected, and if I wasn't thinking about it, it didn't really hurt at all (if you saw me hobbling, it was in the name of preserving the quad and resting it... and that paranoia about the leg falling off).

Well... I did a whole lot of resting it-- worked my upper body and did lots of foam rolling, frozen lacrosse ball rolling, icing and stretching. By Friday, I was beginning to embrace the fact that the whole competition would only be an hour. I also realized that my husband had in fact correctly diagnosed the problem as a tight quad (not the torn meniscus, ACL, MCL, or flesh eating bacteria that I had invented).

Well, let me just say, it completely sucked... and it was totally awesome!

Station 1-- I knew this would be my weakness. I had only ever cleaned 130 lbs. I had tried and failed many times at 135. I know my problem. It's my mind. I've filmed myself and the bar gets high enough. I'm just scared to get under it. Now, it's not like I step up to the bar thinking, "I'm afraid of this weight." No, it's just that I don't get under it, so I know that there is some fear lurking in the deep corners of my mind. But when it counted, I clean and jerked 140lbs. I was very happy with a 10 lb PR, even though my friend, Lucy, won the WOD with a C&J of 175.

Pretty much, the other stations were short trips through hell that felt like mini-eternities. It was "3-2-1-GO!" followed by a sweaty, intense, constant battle.

Station 4-- this was probably my strongest performance. Unfortunately, my judge miscounted my reps. However, my husband filmed most of the WOD, so I was able to submit the video and have my score adjusted. It was enough to move me from an original place of 16th to 9th. I am happy with my placement. Happy with the competition. It's a good starting place. Now it's back to some heavy lifting.

Lessons Learned:
Video! Having the WOD on video made a HUGE difference in my final score. And video is also a useful tool in training. My husband coaches me, corrects my form, encourages me that I have the strength to do something, but sometimes, you just have to see it.

My un-corrected scorecard.
Fans! I was extremely nervous knowing that not only were my husband and sons coming to cheer me on, but also 3 of my son's friends (my former students) who are little workout beasts themselves were coming. I debated whether I wanted to tell them all to stay home. But during station 1, after attempting and failing at 140, I began to unload the bar and call it quits. Then I realized that those kids were up there watching-- did I really want them to see me pack it in early? Call it quits without giving it everything I had? I reloaded the bar. Heard my husband yell at me to shoot my elbows through. And got it.

Since writing the original post, Beast Mode Battle has calculated the scores of all competitors in the BMB series. (They do North, Central and South events.) My final score places me at 10th in the state for the series. Not too shabby!


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