|The PIT set up pre-race|
[Side note: As many people know, I resisted Crossfit for over a year, hemming and hawing at the perceived cult-like nature and exorbitant membership fees. I finally caved about two and a half months ago, and haven't looked back since. The Kool-Aid is excellent and mighty tasty.]
So I'll admit I was a bit skeptical with the race format. 6 mins, and then only a 5 and a half mile course? How hard can that really be? (says the "too big for my britches Death Racer") A workout followed by...a workout? With your score being weighted evenly between your number of reps in the pit and your time on the course? Intriguing format, though quite unknown. The concept, when you think of it, is ingenious: it's a way to even out the field, and find the best of both the strength and the endurance worlds. To win, you have to dominate both.
The first time I looked at the 4 90-second AMRAP's that made up the PIT -- kb swings, box jumps, burpees, and thrusters -- I was less than enthused. I mean, how hard can 6 minutes of work really be?
Fucking hard. Seriously.
Many of the hardcore Crossfitters I told about the PIT in the weeks leading up to the event scoffed at the weights and the exercises. Too easy. Too weenie. Meh. And I'll admit, I happened to agree with them. I mean, I had done 3000 burpees a few months ago, what's 90 seconds of them?
|KB swings were my|
Smart move. Because I definitely wouldn't have wanted that feeling again. I was a bit intimidated before the PIT watching the other racers--there were some serious hardcore Crossfitters here. Super strong women, ripped men, and tons of boxes that all came out as teams. So it made me feel mildly less like a weenie when they were all wrecked post PIT as well.
Lesson: the PIT's no joke. As Crossfitters know, some of the most brutal WOD's are the shortest (e.g., Fran, Grace). And while the PIT was all body weight exercises, 6 minutes will smoke you when you are under the gun. But if it was just a WOD, life wouldn't have been too bad.
Oh wait--I have to go run up a mountain now? Shit.
Post PIT, you have 3 minutes of recovery and transition time to the starting line for the course. I frantically threw off my F-lites and threw on my Speedcross, grabbed a drink of water, and headed for the start. All I knew was that my calves and quads were burning. And that double-black diamond ahead of me didn't look so awesome.
But I'm a runner and endurance athlete by nature, and the one advantage I have is quick recovery time (well, and also that most Crossfitters can't run worth shit). So I shook it off, and set out at a clip ahead of the pack. The course was sprinkled with military style obstacles. These aren't your Tough Mudder or Spartan gimmicky obstacles: you won't find electric wires, spear throws, or ice baths. What you will find are walls, ladders, ropes, sandbags, and low crawls. Nothing "hard," but taxing, especially when you consider the terrain.
|It may not look that steep...but it is|
The course had us running up two double black diamonds, the first of which was steep, but still manageable at a slow jog. The Asp, or the second, was manageable at...a crawl. Yup, people crawling up on their hands and knees. I broke down and bear crawled for a few, and then actually walked up sideways for a bit as well. Apparently I do need to work on my hills still...
I was told post-race that the official mileage was 5.4 miles and close to 2000 feet of elevation change. Alright, CMC course, I'm sorry I prejudged you. For 5.4 miles, you destroyed me. As I mentioned to others post-race, I ran a Tough Mudder in PA a few weeks earlier that measured 13 miles, and that was a BREEZE compared to this course.*
CMC, you made a believer out of me. I never knew a race that lasted less than 2 hours could prove to be one of the hardest I've run in recent memory. And just ridiculously fun.
|We aren't douches. We just mock them.|
Til next time (meaning: CMC, get your ass to Chicago! I've got teams lined up!)
*In fact, the TM bored the hell out of me. Are they making them easier to appeal to the masses? Do I really want to subject myself to another WTM when it's going to be a snooze fest? More on that in another post.
**Let's be honest: if it's not fun, why are you doing it?