Tag Archives: DNF

Lost the Mental Battle Today

Some days you’re the bug. And some days you’re the windshield. Today I was a bit of both.

Two Bugs Outstanding in their Field

Woke up this morning, my head full of crud from allergies and all the smoke in the air. Took some allergy meds and shuffled off to the 8:30 workout with Ev & AJ. We were far from alone – this was one of the most crowded classes I’ve seen in quite a while. Todd, Melissa, and their daughter; Dave; KB; Sarah; and a bunch of other folks. It was busy!

EMOMCoach Drea had us start quickly with a warm-up that was a workout in and of itself…

  • EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 6 minutes
    • Odd Minutes: 10 band pull-aparts + 10 push-ups
    • Even Minutes: 10 Russian kettlebell swings + 10 goblet squats
  • Equipment used: thin blue band, regular push-ups, and 35# kettlebell for swings and squats

It was the push-ups that got me by the 5th minute. And then we went from there straight into trying to figure out how to structure the workout with so many people. I worked with Todd. Ev worked with KB. And AJ worked with two other kids.

The workout? Linda:

  • linda-wodScore Type:: Total Time
  • Competitor:
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • 1½-body-weight deadlift
    • Body-weight bench press
    • ¾-body-weight clean
  • Performance:
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • 1¼-body-weight deadlift
    • ¾-body-weight bench press
    • ½-body-weight clean
  • Fitness:
    • 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
    • ¾-body-weight deadlift
    • ½-body-weight bench press
    • ⅓-body-weight clean

Todd and I set up with:

  • 225# deadlifts
  • 135# bench press
  • 115# squat cleans

First of all, everything felt heavy today. Second of all, I knew breathing was going to be a challenge due to conditions outside. And third, I couldn’t get my head in the game.

Todd started with squat cleans. I started on deadlifts.

DNF!-!-I got through my round of 9 and quit the workout. Body-wise it didn’t feel good. Breathing-wise it didn’t feel good. I felt like I was slowing down Todd (and I was). And I think there was so much going on everywhere that I was just mentally blitzed.

Instead, I chose to bow out of the workout, let Todd do his thing, and just spotted for him, Melissa, and Dave as needed. Honestly I wasn’t needed. They all kicked butt.

Physically, the warm-up today added more stress to my body than it felt prepared to take after three workouts in a row. And afterwards, I was definitely wondering if we should have knocked down the deadlift weight a bit.

Last time we did Linda was a few years ago… And I did 275# deadlifts, 165# bench, and 155# cleans in 55 minutes. Damn I’ve lost some lifting strength somewhere.

Today, weight-wise, I probably should have done:

  • 212# body weight
  • Performance:
    • 265# deadlift (1.25x weight) – would not have happened, since 225# felt heavy
    • 160# bench press (.75x weight) – also would not have happened
    • 105# squat cleans (.5x weight) – sounds awesome
  • Fitness
    • 160# deadlift (.75x weight) – probably too light, might have done 195#
    • 105# bench press (.5x weight) – might have been better
    • 70# squat cleans (.33x weight) – probably too light, might have done 95# or 105#

Rather than beat myself up over it, I’m just accepting it and moving on. I didn’t inconvenience anybody but myself, so no harm no foul.


Todd did awesome. Sounds like Ev got pushed by KB a bit and did awesome. And AJ was doing great as well. Life is good.

Great work everybody!


How far to push? Shoulders DNF

How far is too far when you choose to push through a workout? That’s the question that came into my head tonight when I was weighing my options. Do I continue to scale or do I stop the madness before the damage is irreparable?

Wednesdays are hit and miss for me. Sometimes it’s a rest day. Sometimes I can squeak into an evening class. Today was such that I was wound pretty tight and needed the release I get from going to the box, so I went at 4:45 despite what my body was telling me.

things-that-make-you-go-hmmSo let’s go through the first part of the week…

  • Monday’s workout, Havana, was a good push. But it definitely fried my shoulders with push-ups.
  • Then Tuesday’s workout, which was running but we turned into a rowing endurance workout, stressed out my left knee pretty solidly.
  • Today, I was definitely feeling my shoulders.

Despite all of that, I decided to head in to hang with the folks at the box.

The 4:45 class is always fun. Coach Isaac had a great crew, as always: Marino, Shaun, Karen, Dan, Steve, Nancy, and Drea. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to work out with our coaches (usually they’re coaching, duh!) so it is always nice to get one in.

kangaroo-warm-upWe started with an interesting warm-up.

  • Two rounds
  • 200m run
  • 15 dumbbell shoulder presses, each side
  • 5 pike push-ups
  • 10 moves on the rig from active to passive shoulders and back

And then we started talking about the workout. Lots of handstand push-ups and some interesting pull-ups where you kip into an L-sit. But of course, we couldn’t just start the workout — we had to work on some skill work first.

1tjdsfI’m going to be missing some of this sequence, but it was:

  • pike push-ups
  • headstands on the wall
  • handstand hold, then a kip
  • strict handstand push-ups
  • kipping handstand push-ups


  • kipping on the rig
  • strict pull-ups
  • kipping pull-ups
  • L-pull-ups

You get the idea… it went on for a looooong time. To the point where my shoulders were already fired up before we got started with the actual workout.

  • For time:
  • Performance —
    • 18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
    • Handstand push-ups
    • Kipping L pull-ups

Um, ok. I was already trying to figure out scaling options during the warm-up. I set up my handstand push-up area with a 25# plate and an abmat on the wall. And though I did get a few kipping L-sit pull-ups, I knew they were going to become knee tucks pretty quickly.

shoulder-on-fireI want to say it took me about 15 minutes to get through:

  • 18 HSPUs (mix of strict and kipping)
  • 18 pull-ups (a handful of L-sits and then a bunch of knee tucks)
  • 15 HSPUs (again, mix of strict and kipping)
  • 15 pull-ups (some knee tucks and then just plain kipping pull-ups)
  • 5 pike push-ups
  • (pause for chat with Isaac regarding my left shoulder, which was out to the point where I could no longer do a push-up)
  • 12 dumbbell push presses
  • 2 normal push-up attempts (no go)
  • (done)

I didn’t even get through the round of 12. But the combination of pulling through the pull-ups and pushing through the HSPUs, plus the soreness I had from Monday’s 120+ push-ups, just killed me.  That left shoulder wasn’t having anything. I probably could have done sit-ups but that would have been about it.

dnf-trumps-dnsSo Isaac had me grab a yoga block and a lacrosse ball to try and work into the soft tissue on the inside of the shoulder capsule itself. And, amazingly, that popped it back to where it needed to be pretty nicely. I even tested a couple of regular push-ups and I was able to do them without any trouble.

Unfortunately this means it was a DNF for me, though I did what I could. I had to make the call that it simply wasn’t going to happen today.

That did not mean that everybody else didn’t kill this workout. 🙂 So great work everybody! And I’ll be back at it tomorrow, potentially scaling again until my shoulders feel like they’re back up to snuff.

Thanks Isaac!


Oh My Quad, I DNF

Some days you kick the workout’s ass. Other days, it kicks yours. Today I was in the latter camp.

Apparently I have a severe deficiency with doing dozens of reps of a single movement quickly. This is not a shock. It appears from time to time in workouts like Karen (150 wall balls for time) or Murph (good old Murph).

no-no-no-noAnd as I recover from today’s butt kicking, I’m writing things up and wondering exactly where I went wrong.

I arrived for the 8:30 class today and we had Coach Bill. Carrie & Jenny, Todd & Melissa, Logan, and Sarah were among today’s sacrificial victims for this WOD. We started with a new series of movements, and I was left wondering what I had gotten myself into today. At least the last few weeks I was able to feel like I could “Rx the Warm-up.” Today I felt like my normal old uncoordinated self.

  • 30 seconds of single-under jumps (awesome) followed by 30 seconds of “running single unders” where you alternate legs — sort of Rocky-ish
  • 10 reps active standing pike (toes on a 10# plate where you straighten out your knees)
  • 15 hip external “presses” — I can’t even describe these yet
  • 20 reps (10 per leg, consecutive) – single leg glute bridge (squeeze your glute!)
  • 10 total twisting squats (hahahahahahaha)
  • 10 weighted (2.5# plate) pass-thrus (ok, got this one)

Twisting one way and then another? Doing single leg jump ropes? Twisting while standing? Ugh.

Then there was a bit of PVC work with thrusters, a refresher on ring dips, some rope climb work, and then some OHS with an empty barbell.

1whvn0I found myself saying “no” or “nope” or “um” a lot just warming up today. Bill had me work on a “Spanish wrap” on the rope a few times and I really just need to go in and do a million of them to get my feet right at some point.

What was today’s workout?

  • Performance, for time:
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • 75 thrusters, 55/35 lb.
  • 30 dips
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
  • 50 overhead squats, 55/35 lb.
  • 75 sit-ups
  • 3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope

My workout was:

  • 3 floor-to-stand rope climbs
  • 75 thrusters, 55#
  • 3 f2s rope climbs
  • 30 ring dips (a handful without a band, then 25 with a band)
  • 3 f2s rope climbs
  • 35 OHS (first 10 at 55#, next 25# at 45#)
  • DNF

We had a 22 minute time cap today. I didn’t even get close to finishing. It really wouldn’t have mattered if I had actually read the workout and not inserted the extra rope climbs after the thrusters.


My quads were screaming at me about 45 thrusters in. And when the shoulders started yelling, I knew I was done for. My goal was to keep moving, but damn I was standing there for a minute at a time at a couple of points wondering what the hell I was doing.

Not my finest hour. And I watched Sarah, who competed with a good number of our coaches and kick-ass female athletes, just keep chugging through. So I really didn’t have any excuse. I just could not push through the damn pain wall today.

Yes, I know that DFL > DNF > DNS, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a DNF and it is not sitting well with me.

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill. I know you were trying to motivate me — and I was apparently not having any part of that.

Today I Quit Helen

Today was a failure for me on many levels. And I could explain it all away with excuses like the fact that I haven’t slept well the last few nights and last night was the worst yet or the fact that I am coming down with a cold ahead of a business trip. But in reality today’s DNF is worse than that because I essentially quit.

dnfThere are those workouts that haunt me. I had one from the Open a few years ago that I walked out of and finally conquered two years later. Murph is one that kills me every year and I still haven’t really overcome in any meaningful way.

And now… Helen is on the list.

I couldn’t get in for a morning workout, so it was me, Lorelei, and John for the noon class with Coach Drea. We did a lot of warming up, first with some mobility, then with running drills, and finally with some kipping and kettle bells. None of it helped me get the pit that was forming in the back of my head out of my head.

So when we started Helen and the clock was running, I started like always with the best of intentions. Intentions didn’t help the pit in the back of my head.

helen-workout-of-the-day-wodHelen is:

  • 3 rounds for time
  • 400m run
  • 21 kettle-bell swings (53/35#)
  • 12 pull-ups

Um yeah. You see the “run” part in there? The critical part of my brain told me (and I believed it) that I was going to suck at today’s workout before it ever began. Earlier this week I knew Helen was coming, so the critic has been building a case.

I made it through the 400m run in 2:09. It took me far too long to get 21 KBS done. And by the time I was to the pull-ups I could hardly breathe. I think I was done with that first round in a bit more than 6 minutes.

I walked the second 400m and sat down when I got in the door. I was done. I gave up.

wxs81I quit.

Those two words piss me off, but that’s what happened. Nobody did this to me. I could have kept going, albeit slowly. But no, I quit.

So I cleaned up a couple of kettle bells, grabbed my stuff, and left.

I swore at myself the whole way home in the car. And inwardly I’m still swearing. There would be swear word captions above my head if you could see me now.

Not a good way to end the week. I’m likely not going to get in tomorrow. Saturday is probably out. And I leave Sunday for a week.

Great way to leave things today. Not.

Great work Lorelei & John! Sorry I left Drea, but I wasn’t really in a “dealing with humankind” mood after that.

Have a great week, folks.

Don’t want to hurl

Yeah, you read that right. I don’t want to hurl. Not a shocking sentiment I know, but today… Ugh.

This past weekend I did not do well on the “fooding” thing. Ate crap. Drank crap. Knew I was going to have to pay the piper eventually. But again… ugh.

18m7ugLooked at the website last night to see what the WOD would be and it didn’t post before we went to bed (early because we’d been up for soccer at 4:30am). Got up this morning and registered but didn’t look at the workout itself. That is until my friend Jonathan pinged me via FB and said “Don’t look at the workout. Just go.” Um. Not a good sign.

So of course I had to look. And it was the CrossFit main site workout from a week or so ago that he and I chatted about and said “I hope that doesn’t show up at Continuum.” Guess what? It did.

I was going to go with my daughters but they bailed on me after looking at the workout. Of course, they’d both played soccer in a tournament the previous 3 or 4 days, so I don’t really blame them. I arrived for the 8:30 class this morning with Coach Stacy by my lonesome, but was quickly joined by a few folks: Shannon, Carrie, Suzanne, and Andrea.

grumpy-cat-wall-ballsNot to spoil the surprise, but they all kicked my ass today. 🙂

  • 40-30-20-10 reps for time of:
    • Toes-to-bars
    • Wallballs, 20/14#
  • Rest 5 minutes, then…
  • 40-30-20-10 reps for time of:
    • Good mornings 45/35# bar
    • Wallballs, 20/14#

Um. No. Just, no.

We could scale, sure. Toes to bars became knees to elbows or knee raises or eventually sit-ups.

I got through the round of 40 t2b and wall balls and wasn’t fast, but kept going. But in the middle of the round of 30 I noticed I was not feeling great. Not shocking, I know – but this kind of “not great” made me feel like I was going to spew the breakfast I did not eat all over the floor. Nobody needed that.

So I walked around, tried to shake it off, and then went back to the round of 20. Stacy had me even go down to sit-ups. Great.

Took me 21 minutes to finish the first half of this workout, scaling all the way down to sit-ups. Most folks in earlier classes were FINISHING THE WHOLE THING in 25-30 minutes. This was not a good sign that I was only half done in 20 minutes.

dnfThen we had the 5 minute rest. Now, I’ve come to realize in my time with crossfit that rests in a workout are not a good thing. They give your body time to cool down and start to recover, but that only makes it worse. It’s not a full recovery – it’s a faux recovery.

I got through 40 good mornings with an unloaded 45# barbell and then started at the wall for wall balls. I got through 10 of them and was done. Every time I dropped into the squat at the bottom, I felt like I was going to toss my cookies.

Now there are athletes at our box who are ok with the whole “vomit during a workout” thing. That’s not my schtick. If I get to the point where I’m going to throw up, something isn’t right with me and it’s time to listen to my body. I’m ok with pushing, but pushing to that level is beyond what I am willing to do.

I took a DNF and walked outside again. Why? Because after 30 minutes of work I still had another 150 reps to complete. I might have finished sometime tomorrow at the rate I was going.

So… no. That’s the word for the day. Not sure if the humidity today played a part or if it was just my crappy fooding and sleeping over the weekend, but… no. It wasn’t happening today.

I don’t want to do this

Now… I could beat myself up about this, which is my usual approach to self defeat. Bang my head on the proverbial wall until I am guilty enough to do something stupid and push harder next time. Or I can just try to do better tomorrow.

I have enough going on right now in my life that I think I’m going to try and opt for the second choice.

Great work everybody! And thanks Stacy for the encouragement. My body was not feeling it today and my brain was not pushing through. So… better luck tomorrow.

Have a great day folks!

Mondays are Rough

There are days where your body wants to move and days that it doesn’t. This is definitely one of the latter.

Made it through my two Monday meetings and headed to the 9:30 class at Crossfit Continuum. And today I got to work out with a whole mess of folks, including my wife Evelyn, plus Danielle, Monica & Kaila, Nick & Lisa, Andrea, and Isaac’s sister. And we were coached by Heather, which is always fun. Having Ev, Danielle, and Heather in the same room somehow always gets inappropriate. 🙂

7ef48039a5228f1efa37cc2bfd148471We started with a 500m row, 400m run, or 50 double-unders, then did some pigs-on-skates, a 30-second handstand hold, some marching bridges, slow HSPUs where you count to 3 slowly on the way down and then push up quickly, and a few other odds-n-ends before starting to get our equipment together. My wrists were a little fired up from the handstand work, but I was more worried about my left hip which was giving me some grief.

Today’s WOD involved two bars for everybody involved… one for deadlifts and one for snatches, plus some space on the wall or on a box for some sort of handstand push-up variation, either in pike push-ups or off a box.

The workout was 5 rounds for time of:

  • 225/155-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
  • 75/55-lb. snatches, 10 reps
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 75/55-lb. snatches, 10 reps

I set up for Rx weights, because… why not? 225# deadlifts are heavy, but not impossible. And 75# snatches aren’t bad either. So though I was concerned, I wasn’t overly so.

Got through the first round in about 6 minutes. And the second round took forever. I got through the final 5 snatches and couldn’t convince my body to squat again. Getting down into the deadlift starting position hurt. Getting into the snatch starting position hurt. Kicking up on the wall hurt. Everything hurt.

So I made a decision. I decided to walk away. And I did the mile long path we figured out for Murph. Kept me moving at least. Pain is not my thing.

I’m pissed at my body right now. I should have been able to do the workout. Apparently it thought otherwise. Getting old sucks. Not sure if this is due to the five days in a row last week or was just from not moving enough over the weekend, but either way… Not fun.

DNF. Better luck tomorrow.

Sorry folks. But thanks for cleaning up my bars while I was gone. Sorry I wasn’t all that social when I got back either…

Hope everybody has a good day!

Fear and Loathing in My Noggin’ – aka DNF

There are days I should just go back to bed and stay there. Today was one.

First day back to school for both our girls. One starting 5th grade. The other starting high school as a freshman. We had a packed summer and yet it feels like it’s over way too soon.

But I figured it was a good time to get back into the regular routine… CrossFit a few days a week by myself or with my wife when she’s off from work. Today was an alone day and I could tell as soon as the WOD began that I should have just gone home.


Warmup and WOD

Warmed up with a 500m row that felt pretty good, then did some med-ball cleans (20#), arm swings (forward and back in a few styles), one-armed kettle-bell squat cleans, PVC pipe high elbows, and so on. Then we warmed up with an empty bar and did some clean progressions…

The workout? Pretty straightforward: 5 rounds for time with each round consisting of 7 heavy squat cleans (155/105#) and 14 kettle-bell swings (53/35#). Sure. I warmed up and stood at the bar as time began and just felt the lack of enthusiasm. I stepped to the bar knowing I was going to fail. Always a great way to start.

I got through the first round with 115# on the bar. My knees are still bugging me a bit after taking a digger a week ago during a team WOD version of Murph. And I could feel my left knee “swim” under the bar on every rep.

So I lowered the weight to 95#, got through 2 full reps and stood up the third clean in power clean style. And I walked out.

Big Fat DNF

Instead of completing the workout, I walked the same mile route that I crashed and burned on just 9 days before. I hoped it would make me feel better. It didn’t. I am happy to say I didn’t fall, but I didn’t run either so there you go.

Walked back into the box and the class was doing the post-WOD mobility. Cleaned up my bar, grabbed my stuff, and walked to the car without a word. Wasn’t worth it. I was ticked at myself and nobody was going to be able to say anything to change that.

Drove home and here I am, writing. Go figure. DNF leads to writing here and a bit of analysis. (And yes, I’m aware that DNF is still better than “Did Not Start” – but not by much in this case.)

So I’ve listed off WHAT happened… let me go into a bit of detail about why I think it happened. Perhaps someone can help me get past it then.

My Analysis

Exhaustion plus Injury plus Getting Into My Head = DNF

KTnedq5EcThis past weekend my daughters both played in a soccer tournament down the road at the Air Force Academy. We had soccer Friday night (got through 20 minutes of the first half before the game was called for lightning). We had four games on Saturday (up by 5am, to bed about 10:30pm). And another two games on Sunday (up by 5am again).

Plus we had friends from out of town staying with us for a couple of days. Great folks and we had a nice visit, but it just added to the crazy.

Suffice it to say that it would have been an exhausting weekend even if I wasn’t an introverted geek. Adding in the people, parking, and madness and it took its toll quickly. I crashed hard yesterday afternoon when we got home and still managed my regular tossing and turning self to sleep through the night until about 6am today.

Let’s add in the fact that I still have dings and dents from falling badly during the first part of the mile run in a team version of the Murph WOD on Saturday, August 9. I landed hard on my left knee, so it’s cranky. That adds to the left hip, right knee, and shoulder problems I had before that. And the fact that I hate running.

I’ve been joking for the last week that I’ve been waiting to fall on every jog since starting CrossFit two and a half years ago, but it’s true. I’m a natural klutz.

And lastly, let’s throw in the fact that I overthink everything. Whether it’s my introverted or analytic nature I couldn’t tell you, but if it’s possible to psych myself out of something – damn I’m going to find a way.

I don’t like pain. So when something hurts or I feel like I’m going to hurl or even if I’m just uncomfortable, I seem to find ways to defeat myself. I’ve done it in quite a few workouts. I don’t thrive under the pressure of competition. I just get into my own head and somehow convince myself that I just can’t do it.

So I don’t.

Where Do I Go From Here?

So now what?

My knees “hurting” is just an excuse. They’re fine. Sore, but pretty much back to normal.

How the hell do I get out of my own way and just complete a damn workout? What kinds of mental games do you play with yourself?

I’m open to suggestions at this point, because it’s a problem and I need to solve it or I’m going to keep running into it again and again.