Yesterday was the 5Ton / 5k in Columbia, MD. It is a crossfit competition event that combines running with lifting. You know you are going to run 5k and lift 5 tons, but you do not know the rep scheme, movements, or rounds until the day of.
Here is the rep scheme they announced:
That seemed different than last year when they went with lighter weights and higher reps. This was harder and the winning times were 20% slower than last year.
So why did I enter. Right here – My Frankenfoot:
Just 10 weeks ago I had elective surgery to repair this old thing. I had broken it years back, and my body responded by growing a bone spur and severely limiting the flexibility of my toe joint - to nil. It affected the way I walked, ran, jumped, and hurt – a lot. Nowadays they fix this by peeling your foot open like a banana, shaving off the extra bone, and inserting two titanium screws in the foot to pull the last foot bone backwards away from the toe – in order to create some space and restore some flexibility.
But recovery has been slow. I started on crutches, then a walking boot, then a hospital boot, and ice, lots of ice. After 4 weeks it was much better, but since then improvements have been slow and incremental. I would say that I am now better than pre-surgery with regards to pain and flexibility, but not much. Another 6 months and I should be almost as good as new. (Just in time for the CF Open? )
Of course my doctor, or any rational care provider would not think competing in the 5 ton 5k was a wise idea. That assumes I asked him, which I did not. But he told me at my last visit that my toe was safe and I could not damage it – it was all a matter of backing off when it hurt. A month back, I decided that this event would be a great way to test that theory and push it to the complete limit. And while it hurt a good bit on the running, it did not fail, break or otherwise.
So while my time was slower than molasses, I learned a few things.
1 – I am a slow runner anyway, and the pain and swelling in my foot is not helping. So I need to start adding some mile loops.
2 – My conditioning/stamina on longer workouts is the pits. 5 minutes or less and my power compares well with anyone. After than, I am the slow, old guy. In this workout, the first round of lifits punched me in the face and I never recovered. I was doing well on the cleans until rep 9 when I lost my grip and dropped the bar. There I was 20 seconds in, gassed and I realized that this was going to be a long day. So First Friday's now = long wods for me.
3 – I have at least some mental toughness. I was considering DNF’ing a couple of times early on. I was not enjoying it at all. I could have said my toe hurt too much and no one would have cared. But I just kept going and at the end actually cranked out that final lifts unbroken for a brief moment of glory. Never quit, just focus on the moment and keep going.
4 – Competing outside of your friendly CF box is good for you. Have someone else count and judge for you. It is better. It is also good to meet others. I had nice chats with Christy Phillips, Steve Dumaine, and the coaches at CF Diesel. No surprise, they are great people. Christy is flat out amazing, but that is obvious.
5 - I love my Crossfit Oldtown crew. I competed in the last heat, so I missed this group shot - as did Erin and Laura. Laura, Erin and Nicole hung around to cheer for me, and I loved that support.
6 – I look forward to doing this again. Cause my time was atrocious, and I have no choice but to redeem myself.