Posts Tagged by competition

Disney Fit Challenge – The Competition

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It’s amazing how 10 hours of sleep can make any anticipatory anxiety I was having the day before seem non-existent.  I felt well rested, fueled from a ham sandwich I bought the night before and ready to take on the events.  I knew that I was going to have trouble with the wall balls in the first challenge, but I think excitement was taking over and I was feeling pumped.  

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Nice tote bag full of water I got there…geez!

After arriving at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, we headed back to the HP Field House assuming that was where we had to go to check in for the day.  Like the night before, there wasn’t any information on where to go.  So we headed to the registration area and found the table where we had our competitor numbers written on our arms.  I was C1101, which stood for Female Scaled Division (C), 11th heat (11), station 1 (01).  While inside the Field House we watched some of the teams competing in their first division, then headed to the fields out back to check out the girls in our division competing in the first challenge, Clusters!

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The 8th heat was going which meant we had about 30 minutes to warm up and get ready. We had figured out by watching that there was in fact a 10 minute time cap on all events with a 5 minute break in between heats.  Again, it was quite a shame this information wasn’t relayed to the athletes in advance.  

Kat and I headed to the warm-up area and were kind of shocked by what we found.  It was a large space, completely in the sun with a gravel-like black surface to work on.  There were only about 4 barbells available to use, a few kettlebells and that was it.  Seriously? Not even a single rower.  This made me a bit apprehensive, but we made the best of it. We jogged around the complex a bit, did some stretches and warmed up with some light front squats and clusters. Considering that it was over 85+ degress with 1000% humidity, we were sufficiently warmed up and sweaty within a few minutes.  If the challenges weren’t going to be hard enough, this heat was going to make them even more interesting.  The mantra for the day became: STAY HYDRATED!  Here we go!

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Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

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If you’re wondering what a cluster is, it’s a squat clean into a thruster and at 65# that isn’t a big deal for me.  Well they wouldn’t have been a big deal if I actually got to do them.  Standing in my way were the wall balls…ugh.  I knew these were going to be tough, but I had no idea how discouragingly hard they were going to be.  

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Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

I usually use a 14# wall ball at the gym, but only go to an 8 ft. target on the wall.  These targets were tiny Mickey heads (which were super cute btw!) and they were 10 ft. high. That extra two feet might not seem like a lot, but it makes a HUGE difference when you’re only 5’3″ tall.  You can see in this video that I am clearly struggling in the back.

I probably missed the target just as many times as I hit it, so that first round of 30 wall balls was really like 60 and I think it took me around 6 minutes to complete.  I already felt defeated.  I only got through the first round of 8 clusters, which is a shame because I enjoy anything that involves a barbell.  I would’ve liked to get my hands on that thing a few more times.

I finished with a not so impressive score of 10:40 (meaning I only completed 50 of the 90 reps in the workout) that put me in 97th place out of 113 for the event.  Kat on the other hand kicked ass and took names in this event, finishing 81 reps and in 43rd place.  Look at this badass go!

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Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

Since we were already hot and sweaty, we decided to head over to the Floater Performance Challenges.  These were two challenges that could be completed at any point throughout the first day of competition.  Kat called this the feats of strength portion of the competition, which we both actually found to be rather enjoyable.  Not only did we get to throw some weight around, but it was under a large covered tent with the most amazing fans I have ever seen šŸ™‚

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HAHAHAHA! I really just had to laugh about the broad jump.  This is something we VERY RARELY do at my gym and the one time we did it during a warm up, I immediately knew this was not for me.  My short and stocky stature does not make a graceful jumper.  But here I went, swinging my arms and hoping to not trip and fall on my face when I landed.

Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

Out of the 3 attempts, I think my max distance was 4’7″ or somewhere around that. Highly comical next to the guys jumping 6’+ next to me.  Whatever, moving on…now let me lift some things!  Max repetition bench press was next and I was excited to see what I could do…I’d actually never tried for max reps before!

Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

I was really happy with 24 reps total…just couldn’t squeeze out that 25th one.  The girl before me (who flew like a bird in the broad jump) struggled to get 20, so I felt slightly redeemed.

But the best part was watching Kat go in this!  I know she’s strong…I work out with her everyday, but to see her bang out 44 reps with no problem was AWESOME!  Everyone around us was VERY impressed.  

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My friend Jenn was competing in the Team Division, so we headed over to see her take on their 2nd challenge of kettlebell swings and sled drags.  I have to say, they had great areas set up for the spectators.  Nice, covered bleacher seats were a welcome respite from the hot sun.

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By this point it was after noon and we still had close to 2 hours until our next event.  It was time for me to change out of my sweaty clothes (yes I brought 2 full changes of clothes with me!) and get something to eat.  The food options at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex weren’t great for athletes competing like this.  I went with the grilled chicken sandwich and was disappointed to find that is was plain on a hamburger bun…that’s it.  No lettuce or tomatoes…blech.  Lesson learned to next time bring your own food.

We sat in the stands and watched the other heats in our division compete in the 2nd event which was thankfully inside.  No one was finishing this event, not even the girls who were flying up and over the boxes.  So the game plan going in was to just get as much done as possible.  While waiting, we were also highly entertained by this fun team who were really showing their pink spirit.

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Now on to the 2nd challenge…this was a doozy…

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Going in, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the 20″ box jumps.  I’ve only just become comfortable with a 16″ box and that’s without adding burpees or rowing to the party. Both of those moves make your quads VERY tired, which in turn makes my legs feel like heavy sand bags.  There was an alternate you could take if you didn’t jump, which was step-ups, but the catch was you had to do double the amount.  So I had 28 burpee box step ups per round in my future.

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Photo Source: Jenn Lazzaro

My original thought was to pace myself, but seeing that no one was finishing and that I had double burpees in my future, I figured I would gain as much ground as I could in the row because I’m a strong rower.  I was glad to see that I was the first one off the rower, but that was about the end of my lead.  I kept a steady pace through the burpees and just trucked through the 10 minutes.  At the end, I got through 10 of the burpees in the 2nd round and surprisingly I felt good about what I accomplished. With one more event left to go for the day, the waiting game began.  

We had 3 hours to kill until our next event….that’s a LOOOOONG time!  We watched some of the teams compete, wandered around a bit and were basically chomping at the bit to just get back to the hotel and shower.  We headed towards the field where the 3rd event was taking place and again watched the earlier heats go.  We noticed that the heats seemed smaller in size with each event…were people dropping out?    

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Finally it was our turn and we knew we were cutting it close with dark clouds approaching. That day the 12 knees-to-arms part of the WOD was changed to 24 sit-ups.  We weren’t given an explanation as to why, but I was definitely happy with the change.  The bars were very thick and I knew I was going to have trouble with my grip if we were to do those.

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My “event photographer” Amanda had left before this event to go hang out with Robert Irvine in Epcot (not jealous at all!) so I don’t have any photos, but I will tell you that this was a much better event for me.  I flew through the dumbell snatches since my normal weight for those is 40#, the hurdle hops were a challenge (as all jumping things are with me!) and the sit-ups and push-ups were just going through the motions.  I didn’t complete the WOD, but I finished 190 out of the 228 reps.  

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The worst part about the WOD was the threat of lightening.  About halfway through warnings started to go off that there was lightening in the area and everyone should seek shelter, however no one stopped the event.  We could see and hear the storm which was a bit disconcerting because we were under a metal rig and hurling metal dumbells in the air….yikes!

After the event we hightailed it back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and watched the animals for a bit.  We had dinner at the hotel and crashed fairly early after our long day.

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Kat and I woke up the next morning and had a long back and forth about our lack of enthusiasm to participate in day 2.  On one side of the coin we had paid for this event and we should finish what we started.  On the other side was the prospect of 75 more of those soul crushing wall balls in challenge 5 and more jumping up and over things.  We both felt pretty discouraged after the events around the first day and decided we would be much happier if we didn’t compete.

So we decided to watch the Gibbons perform feats of strength instead!

We also spent some time among the gorillas…

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Stared at giraffe butts…

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And of course, pet some goats!

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We clearly made the right choice. 

In most things, I would be very disappointed in myself for not finishing something I started, but this was different.  The programming of this event was very strange and not the typical CrossFit style I’m used to.  When you have events that the majority of the competitors don’t finish within the 10 minute time cap, something is clearly off.  Also, when I first signed up for this event back in March, the competition was only supposed to take place over one day with the finals on Sunday.  Now I had no expectations of making it to the finals so I had planned the rest of my trip around just one day of competition. Being a Disney fan first and a CrossFitter second, the appeal of the parks was much stronger than sweating it out through 2 more frustrating workouts.  

I’ll have more on my thoughts on the event, feedback for improvement and observations from other competitors coming up.  For now, I will say that I’m glad I participated in this event as it was definitely a learning experience.  I learned a lot about myself and my abilities in that one day.  But most of all I’m happy I was able to spend that time with my friends in my favorite place.  That was the BEST part of the Disney Fit Challenge.

I would love to hear from you.  What did you think of the event?  What do you think about my choice to not compete on the second day?  Is this something you would like to do in the future?

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Disney Fit Challenge – The Anticipation

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Six months prior I signed up for the Disney Fit Challenge.  The merging of two of my favorite things, Disney and CrossFit, seemed like a dream come true!  I convinced my friend Kat to join me and then the waiting began…  We waited and waited and waited for more information to be announced.  A month prior, the event schedule completely changed and then two short weeks before the event, the workouts were announced.  To say it was a let down is an understatement and my feelings of frustration began to grow.

After following the CrossFit Games so closely for the past few years, I had come to expect a certain type of programming for these type of events and what we got did not meet those expectations.  The programming was not varied as movements such as box jumps, hurdle hops (wtf?!) and wall balls were repeated in numerous events.  The movement standards were totally out of whack across the divisions and overall there just seemed to be a lack of organization.  We had been looking forward to this for quite some time and were now filled with disappointment as to what we had gotten ourselves into.  The only saving grace was that we were going to Walt Disney World, so we just decided to make the best of our vacation and that this event was just a blip on the radar.

We arrived on the Friday before the event and our first stop was the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  I mean, how else do you prepare for a CrossFit competition than to eat and drink your way around World Showcase and walk over 2 miles in the process?! Clearly we had thrown caution to the wind and fun was in full effect.

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After a few hours, we headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to check in.  I’ve been there numerous times for runDisney race Expos which are always chaotic and full of people.  This was a different experience.  We were actually able to park close to the entrance and as we walked in it seemed down right deserted.  I wish the runDisney events were this easy!

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There weren’t any signs on where to go to check-in and I had to ask a cast member.  She pointed us to the HP Field House and to go around to the back of the upper level.

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The check-in area was deserted and we were able to get our wristbands, admission ticket to the complex, and swag bag in just a few minutes.  Is it really considered a swag bag when it is just a vinyl backpack and a tech tee?  Both are super cute though.

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We headed outside and I needed to check out the fields to see what the set up was going to look like for the event.  As I headed down behind the Field House, I was pretty impressed by everything that I saw and was actually surprised that the fields were open for me to get some close up photos.

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The rig set up from Pure Strength was awesome.  The wall ball targets are Mickey’s!!!

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I was very happy to see the hurdles in advance and know that we wouldn’t be having to jump over full size hurdles that you find on a track.  These were doable.

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Here’s my spot!

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Here were the dreaded 10 foot targets for our first event the next morning and under the tarps were the barbells staying dry.  

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So I was a bit more at ease to see everything in person, but I was still a bit hesitant about actually completing the WODs.  We still had no idea what the time cap was for the events, but it was assumed to be 10 minutes since that’s how long the heats were scheduled for. With so many questions still up in the air it was hard to feel confident.  What we did know for sure was that Kat and I were thankfully in the same heat (# 11) and that we would be starting at 10:45 am.

By the time we got back to the hotel and got a bite to eat we were exhausted from getting up at 5 am to head to the airport and our long day of walking.  We crashed by 9 and both slept for 10 hours!  This was actually great because we woke up with plenty of time to get ready (mentally and physically) and felt very well rested.  Now to take on our first official competition…stay tuned šŸ™‚

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Schedule Changes and Additional Information for the Disney Fit Challenge

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The Disney Fit Challenge is coming up in 6 short weeks (how did that happen?!?) and this week some changes were announced to the schedule.  While a big schedule change this late in the game is frustrating, hopefully it hasn’t effected too many travel/vacation plans.

When originally registering, you had the option to choice Friday or Saturday to compete. Then the top athletes in each division would go on to compete in the Finals on Sunday. Well now, there is no longer a competition on Friday and EVERYONE is competing on BOTH Saturday and Sunday.  Here is the official email from Disney Sports:

Dear Sarah,

We’re always looking for ways to ensure the best Guest experience and competitive balance at Disney Fit Challenge.  As a result, we are shifting our event dates: the first day of competition now takes place on Saturday, september 27 and concludes on Sunday, September 28.

With this change, you will now be competing on both Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28.  Your first scheduled workout will begin on Saturday.  You are now guaranteed a total of (5) workouts spread across two days.  With our prior schedule, some of our competitors would have had only (3) workouts in which to compete.  With many of our divisions at or nearing sellout, this will also allow us to add competitors.

Should you require immediate assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at…

We look forward to hosting you at the Disney Fit Challenge.

Well that is a bit vague, so thankfully I was able to speak with one of the Managers at Disney Sports to get more clarification and some additional information.  

  • There will be three (3) workouts on Saturday and two (2) on Sunday.
  • There will no longer be “Finals” to qualify for.  The top cumulative scores from both days will receive medals in each division.
  • There will be awards for age groups in each division, along with the overall top awards.
  • Heats will be announced two (2) weeks prior to the competition.  Athletes only need to arrive at the time of their heat.
  • Each day will finish by 6:00 pm.
  • All workouts will be announced two (2) weeks prior to the competition.

Some of the workouts are already being teased on the Disney Fit Challenge Facebook Event Page and they have also released the weight standards for each division.

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Seeing this made me a happy.  If you saw my recent post on my Two Year WODiversary that listed my current weights, you will see that I shouldn’t have a problem competing in the scaled division.  Hey maybe I might be able to come home with one of these!

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While this schedule chance doesn’t effect my travel and vacation plans all that much, I know there are many people out there who are frustrated with the change.  Disney Sports overestimated the number of people who thought they would make it to the final competition, so they figured most competitors blocked off all of Sunday for the competition.  However this was not the case.  

With all of the crazy planning that is involved in a trip to Walt Disney World (Advanced Dining Reservations, FastPass+, etc…), this has thrown a wrench in many people’s vacations.  I’ve also seen people who have flights that are booked to leave on Sunday evening making it impossible to participate on Sunday if they are in a later heat.  It’s unfortunate Disney did not take all of these things into consideration before changing the schedule so close to the event, especially when some of us registered back in March.

I’m still looking forward to the event and I can’t wait to see what the workouts are in the coming weeks.  Now to get down to training…where’s that 20 inch box for me to master??

Are you participating in the Disney Fit Challenge?  Have these changes effected your travel/vacation plans? 

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Events at Days 2 & 3 of the 2014 CrossFit Games Northeast Regional

The CrossFit Games Regional competitions are a grueling experience.  I know how tired and sore I get from just one WOD in a day…I can’t imagine doing multiple ones back to back over 3 days!  That’s why these athletes are so amazing to watch.  Their strength and stamina is very impressive.

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So after an exciting first day, we got up bright and early to arrive in time to watch the Teams compete and cheer for Team CrossFit Milford A!  Events 4 & 5 were back to back and consisted of 50 thrusters, 10-14ft. rope climbs, 40 thrusters, 8-14ft. rope climbs, 30 thrusters, 6-14 ft. rope climbs to be completed in a 10 minute time cap.  In event 4, the women competed with 95 pounds on the bar and the men competed in event 5 with 135 pounds on the bar.  The bar couldn’t touch the ground once a set was started, which made for some interesting pass offs between partners.

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Katie, Liz & Carolyn  of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Thrusters

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Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Rope Climb

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Matt & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A – Event 5 Thrusters

CFM did awesome in these events with the ladies finishing in 5th and the men in 13th. They seemed pretty stoked with their performance šŸ™‚

Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

Carolyn, Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

So if those 2 events didn’t wreck their shoulders enough, event 6 was going to be a true test of upper body strength. This was a relay with all team members doing 9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, hang power cleans (160# for men and 110# for women) and over the bar burpees.  It’s an interesting event because the cleans and the burpees and easy for these athletes, but the strict handstand pushups are where the separation occurs.

This is also where one of my favorite events of the day occurred.  Daniel of CrossFit Lindy was so enthusiastically cheering on his girlfriend Ricklynn in her last round of burpees that you can even see one of the coaches laughing…it was great!

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CrossFit Lindy – Event 6 Burpees

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Matt of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans

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Liz of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Handstand Pushups

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Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans

Another kickass performance from CFM coming in 5th for this event!

We hung around for the rest of the day checking out the vendors, tailgating (a story for another day) and watching the individual men and women compete in events 4 and 5. Similar to event 6 for the teams, event 4 was 21-15-9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, front squats (195# for men and 125# for women) and over the bar burpees. Event 5 was interesting consisting of 10 rounds of 1 legless rope climb followed by a 200-foot sprint.      

One of the highlights was during event 5 of the men’s competition.  All of the competitors that had finished went to cheer on the final athlete who was struggling with the rope climb.  They even ran with him to the finish!  This is what the CrossFit community is all about!    

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Big thanks to my friend Arie for capturing how impressed we all were with this!

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The third day of competition is always the most exciting.  The top heats are competing for those top 3 spots to go to the Games and it is tense!  We were ready…to cheer that is šŸ™‚

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The teams kicked off the morning again with a crazy pairs WOD!  Male/female pairs had to move through stations of 500-meter row while partner completes 125 double-unders (each), 50 deadlifts while partner holds barbell at the waist (275# for men & 185# for women), and 50 toes-to-bars while partner hangs.  The partners couldn’t move on to the next station until the pair before them were finished.  There was a lot going on here! 

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Team CFM on Deadlifts and Row/Double Unders

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Team CFM on all 3 stations

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Team CFM finishing up Deadlifts

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8th Place Finish Group Hug

The final event was a quick one.  Each team member had to complete 49 pull-ups followed by 7 overhead squats at 185# for men and 115# for women.  It was a speedy culmination to a grueling weekend!

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Team CFM finished 5th in the event and 5th overall for the weekend.  It was so impressive to see these people who I see every week at my gym give it their all and finish so strong! Big group hug šŸ™‚

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We stuck around to watch the final women compete before making the drive home.  This is where we saw one of the most performances of the weekend.  Kaleena Laderious, also a CFM athlete, who had been struggling throughout the weekend kicked some major ass in event 6.  I had been excited to see this event since it was probably the most difficult of all the WODs.  

Event 6 was a 50-calorie row, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 ring dips, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50-calorie rowwith a 21 minute time cap. WHOA.

There weren’t any women in all of the regional competitions that actually finished this event, but Kaleena came close getting to 27 calories of the final row.  Endurance events are her strength and she sure showed it here.

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Close up of Kaleena’s screen

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Kaleena killing that row!

The men and women finished the day with a similar event to the teams, but instead had 64 pull-up and 8 overhead squats at 205# for men and 135# for women.  The top male finished this WOD in 1:38…insane!

What a fun weekend!  These athletes truly inspired me to be a better athlete as well.  The next day I went to the gym and switched my membership from 3 days per week to unlimited.  My goal is to go 4-5 days a week and get in shape from my upcoming event…the Disney Fit Challenge in September!

What was your favorite event during the 2014 CrossFit Games Regionals?

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Headed to the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

Tomorrow I’m headed up to Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA for the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition!  The competition consists of 7 events (8 for teams) over 3 days.  That might not seem like a lot, but these are grueling events!  Obviously I’m not competing, but I’m going to support the team from CrossFit Milford and all of the other athletes that train there, including the number 1 female athlete Kaleena Ladeairous!

Team CrossFit Milford Photo Source

Team CrossFit Milford
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Kaleena training last weekend with Coach Jay

Kaleena training last weekend with Coach Jay

My friends and I had so much fun at the Games last year (read the recaps here: Part 1 & Part 2) that we have been so excited about going again this year!  I’ve got the air mattress ready, pop-up chairs and most importantly sustenance.  The tailgating was one of the highlights of the weekend!

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Snacks!

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Turkey & Cheese Roll Ups!

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Beer & Wine šŸ™‚

On Friday, I will be there as a FitFluential Ambassador sponsored by Reebok!  Not only will I get to cover the event, but I will get in depth information on the games from the Reebok Training team and learn about their product lines, including the all new Nano 4.0 being released in July!  The awesome folks at Reebok also sent me this rad gear to wear for the day!  I received a Reebok CrossFit Perform Tri-Blend CF 74 Short Sleeve Tee, Reebok CrossFit Skinny Capris and a pair of the new Superhero Inspired Reebok Nano 3.0

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Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all weekend to catch all of the action…it’s going to be a lot of fun!  Oh and now that you know what I’ll be wearing, make sure to say hi if you see me šŸ™‚

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