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The week leading up to the Intergalactic Throwdown was pretty light. Monday I rested, while Tuesday I worked on push-jerk technique and attended CrossFit 204. I was “tapering,” but with everyone around me working so hard it was difficult not to haul ass on the stairs and squats during class.

Wednesday the workouts for the competition were posted, and I was pretty excited. They were going to be challenging, but I knew I could do everything as RX’d. The jerks worried me a bit, to be honest. I knew I could power clean 125 lb. no problem, but high-rep overhead work has traditionally been a weakness for me.  It’s still a work in progress, but my confidence grows every day. The second WOD was definitely going to be a strong workout for me because of the row, and I have a decent squat. The third WOD brought back memories: sectionals last year and  7 minutes of thrusters. The outcome of that workout essentially stopped me from qualifying for regionals, and it has haunted me ever since. I placed so poorly and I could never figure out where I went wrong. They credited me with a mere 63 reps, when the top athletes were doing between 80-100. Mike and I were astonished, but who could I blame? I learned some valuable lessons that WOD, and they make me a stronger and smarter competitor.

I rested Thursday and Friday, ate a giant steak dinner Friday night, and woke up ready to rock on Saturday. It never occurred to me before I started the WOD that I wouldn’t finish Superbeast in the 17-minute time cap even once.  That wasn’t even an option on any level of my consciousness. I was matched up with Jenn Webber and Tania Tetrault-Vrga for my heat, but it ended up being just Jenn and me after Tania withdrew due to injury.

The WOD started and things were going well right away. All my double-unders were unbroken, the pull-ups were tough but manageable, and burpees are just work. However, into the third round the burpees and my nerves started to make me feel a bit ill. I had planned to do the deadlifts unbroken, but I split them into 2 sets of 5. I did my first clean and failed on the jerk. I looked at the clock. I was around 12 minutes. That was when I wondered, “Can I do this?” I managed 9 reps with an amazing crowd cheering me on.  With 1 minute remaining, I cleaned the bar twice and missed the jerk twice, not completing the WOD. It was heartbreaking. How did I not lock out that rep? All I needed was one jerk to register a time. I finished with 199 reps and a win for Event  1. Jenn put in an amazing performance, just 1 rep behind me, really showing her strength when she hit the heavy portion of the WOD.

We moved on to Event 2. My strategy was to win this on the rower. I knew that I had a competitive squat, but my rowing has been getting stronger and stronger. My goal was 1,100 meters and a 180-lb. front squat.  I almost hit those numbers with 1086 on the rower and 170-lb. front squat. It was good enough for the win in that event.

The final event was personal! I was happy to back-squat for 7 minutes just to see what I could do compared to my dismal performance at sectionals. Nicole Fillion set the pace by doing 113 back squats in 7 minutes. If I wanted to finish first overall, I needed to beat that, and Jenn. My strategy was to not put the bar down and find a nice comfortable pace. I knew I couldn’t do strict HSPUs going into this, so I had to squat. I finished the WOD with 115 reps. The energy from people cheering me on was incredible.  All of the athletes from CrossFit 204 showed up to support me, and I am so grateful. Mike did a great job of coaching me all day while running the event, and I’m lucky to have such a great coach!

The only disappointment was not finishing the first event  in order to be ranked with the other Intergalactic athletes across the country. I compared my results to the final IG results, and had I finished the first event (and been ranked last), my second WOD would have been first at the IG level, and my third event would have put me second. My overall place would have been fourth!

Of course, there very well may be other athletes in my position, so I can only make this assumption based on the rankings as they are. It just makes me want to train harder to ensure I finish the workout next time.