I have been doing CrossFit for over six years. I started this when I was 59 and I am now 66. I often think I’m just pitiful because most of the people I work out with are young enough to be my children. But I’m not pitiful, I am old. And yet, I do amazing shit. Sometimes.

I hate thrusters. We have been doing more and more thrusters because the Open always has thrusters and we needed to be ready. So last Monday thrusters were on the menu and I did 35 of them because that was my scaling option I made up for myself.

On Friday, I was over it. I was defeated by the sheer number of reps. The 105 thrusters and 105 jumping pull-ups were beyond me. The twenty minute time cap wasn’t, but I was tired of the whole thing. And defeated. I was mostly defeated. I’m not sure what the Open is supposed to teach us, but I often learn lessons that weren’t intended. For me, the Open teaches me that I am old and feeble and should take up knitting.

I went to the gym on Saturday because that is another of my usual workout days and I already skipped Friday. I was feeling totally inept and yet, I showed up because I’m really quite awesome even when I think I’m just old and feeble. Going when you don’t want to go is a sign of superior strength even if it is just of will. And I went.

Saturdays are usually partner WODs but this was each of us on our own. It started out with a mile run. I don’t run. All running does is spike my heart rate which doesn’t really need all that much help. But … what the hell. I usually walk half the distance but I started out running. First I told myself just 100 meters but at that mark, I was still able to keep running. I made it 200 meters before I walked. My heart rate was 159 at that point. I walked to the turn around point and on the way back, I ran another 50 to 75 meters and walked the final 200 meters back to the gym.

So, I knew I could run 200 meters if I had a low enough heart rate to start and had a space to lower my heart rate when I quit running.

Today’s WOD as written:
4 RFT
400 m run
25 ABMAT sit-ups
rest 2-3 minutes

This would work for me. Sit-ups don’t spike my heart rate although I can attain impressive monkey butt if enough of them are on the menu. I could run half the distance instead of walk it, if that was okay. Laura said it was okay. I ran the 200 meters I can manage and could then immediately do the sit-ups and then rest and start again.

If you aren’t meter/mile adept, that means I ran a total of 800 meters which is a half mile. I ran a half mile. I think I was a kid the last time I ran a half mile. I don’t run. I walk faster than I can run when the distance is too great.

If we just do math, my top heart rate should be 220-66=154 and then my target heart rate would be 80% of that or 123. I get higher than that before the warm up starts for real. My resting heart rate is 55 when I’m just sitting around knitting, but as soon as I start to move, bam! It skyrockets.

My heart rate was 159 to 162 as I returned after each of my runs. This is okay with my cardiologist. The sit-ups weren’t making it go higher. I rested two minutes between rounds 1 and 2 and found that wasn’t really enough and did 2.5 minutes between the other two rounds. We then had to subtract our resting time from our working time. I ran a half mile and did 100 sit-ups in 9.01.

And now I can’t stop saying to myself, “I ran a half mile.” Because, you see, I ran a half mile.

I had to move gyms a little over a year ago because my old place closed. It closed because there simply weren’t enough members to sustain it. I worked out with one or two other people unless I was there all alone. And while my friends there were wonderful, there is something to be said for working out with a larger class. There is a bit more camaraderie and encouragement or even competition.

Whatever the reasons, and they could simply be that I’m truly getting better at this shit, I now do double unders (last week I got to my 50% mark and did 100 of them (broken into sets) along with those damn thrusters) and now I’ve run a half mile.

As my British and Australian friends might say, I’m chuffed.

Runner Fitness Female Running Long Distance

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