My son the Coach has been concerned about my heart rate since I first began doing CrossFit. First he urged me (read that as “incessantly nagged”) to get a stress test. I finally capitulated. The cardiologist not only did a stress test, but because I have a slight heart murmur, he also did an echocardiogram. I was deemed fit and was told I could continue to do what I have been doing. I should stop when my heart rate reaches mid-160s. I have never known which of those dictates to follow.

My heart rate reaches mid-160s often. And it goes soaring beyond because I want to finish whatever portion of the WOD I have deemed doable before stopping. Craig finds this somewhat disconcerting and his newest request (read that as “incessant nag”) was for a resting heart rate. I was up in the middle of the night last night and decided I could just find out what that number was. I got my heart rate monitor thing on after a trip to the bathroom. I then laid quietly in bed for several minutes. I checked my heart rate. It was 55 at the lowest point and went all the way up to 58 and then back down when I stopped holding my breath.

This puts my resting heart rate in a great place and considering that I am a 60+ woman, it would indicate I am an athlete. So nice to find out that something indicates I am an athlete.

Scott R and I were the only people there today with Kim coaching. She said she is pretty sure her heart rate goes as high as mine. Her resting heart rate is about the same as mine. We are going to try and play with this number, too.

We warmed up and then got to work because there was a lot of stuff to do today.

Today’s WOD as written:
5 minute abs-

1 minute wipers
1 min reverse crunches
1 min plank
1 min wipers
1 min ab mat sit ups
Strength
Front squat EMOM 10 min
Perform 2 FS every EMOM
85% of 1RM FS, or heavy weight if you do not have a max
WOD
21-15-9
Deadlifts 185/123
Push ups
Chest and thigh leave the ground at the same time or hand release.
Discuss with coach appropriate progression.
Cool down-hamstring mobility with the bands. Chest stretch against the wall.

I am perfectly comfortable with old lady abs, but there it was. I wimped out on the plank because I can’t hold a plank for a full minute at the best of times. I tried really hard to not count and so I have no idea how many reps of this stuff I did, but I did five minutes worth.

We warmed up for the front squats and I used 63# for the lifts. I began with a heart rate of 108 and after two front squats my heart rate was 153. I sat and did box breathing for the rest of the minute and then was down to 120s and began again. As the minutes wore on, my heart rate at the end was slightly higher and I couldn’t get it back down to quite as low before the next minute. But I never topped 160 during this whole thing.

I noticed I was holding my breath at the bottom and creating a valsalva maneuver without trying. So on the last few minutes, I made sure I took a deep breath, balanced, exhaled on the way down, and then stood back up. My heart rate still climbed, but not as steeply.

Then we were on to the WOD. I used the same bar for the deadlifts. The goal was to be able to do each set without stopping. That is an admirable goal. But one I cannot achieve. I used a raised bar for the push-ups. I also did the masters rep set of 18-12-6.

My heart rate was low enough to start and I managed all 18 deadlifts but they were getting pretty tough at the end. My heart rate was 167 and so I sat and breathed and got it down to 145 and then managed only 12 push-ups before I had to stop. My heart rate was again 167 and so I got it down and then did the last 6 push-ups and it was 159 so I thought I could at least start the deadlifts. I managed all 12 and my heart rate was 170. So I had to rest again. I got the 12 push-ups but did have to take a couple 2 second breaks instead of just pumping them out. I don’t think that counts as a stop.

My heart rate was once again too high so I paused and did box breathing and got down to 145 and then did the six deadlifts and the six push-ups with one of those 2 second pauses in there. I finished in 5.22.

The best part of the day was the temperature. It was in the 50s when I first woke up and was still just in the mid60s when I was done working out. It was so blissfully cool that I didn’t have to work against the heat as well. Although I worked hard today, I didn’t feel as beaten up as I have been in the oppressive heat and humidity. I could have days like this each and every day. It was beautiful.

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