Athlete Journal: Ingrid Kantola, Entry 11 – 4/30/12

Ingrid gives a detailed wrap-up of her weekend at the CrossFit Games South Central Regional. She finished in 5th place – find out what went well and where she feels she can improve.

Schedule of CrossFit Athlete Journals:

Mondays – Ingrid Kantola

Wednesdays – Travis Holley

Sundays – Michael Winchester

Ingrid Kantola – Athlete Journal 4/30/12

(Read Ingrid’s Bio here)

My run at the 2012 CrossFit Games has come to a close with my fifth place finish at the South Central CrossFit Games Regional. It seems like just yesterday was the first day of the Open! I can’t believe how fast it all went by. I came two spots shy of making it to The Games. As you will read, day two was rough for me and that dropped me out of the running.

Here is a recap of my weekend:

Thursday April 26th

We departed Austin around noon after a morning of mailing my Regionals supporter shirts and making sure the CrossFit Central supporters had their wristbands for access to the event. We drove straight to check-in at our hotel, rested for an hour, and then went to the Freeman Coliseum for athlete check-in. We received our Reebok swag and attended the athlete briefing.

I got to meet The Boz, the event head judge, who is as awesome as his name sounds. We kicked around for a bit then battled “Fiesta” traffic for a steak dinner downtown. A quick team meeting before bed got everyone focused and on the same page for the weekend ahead. The “team” included our six affiliate team members, me, and Karen Pierce our other individual competitor.

Friday April 27th

Headed to the venue after a leisurely morning for a start time of 10:00am. The teams went first and I was anxious all morning. I loved leaning over the rails to cheer on our team! I was honored the team members all wore my “Heart CCs” shirt while competing! A lot of our devoted fans wore my shirt as well and it was amazing to have such great support, including my sister who came out for the whole weekend.

The first workout was “Diane” – 21 reps of deadlifts, then handstand push ups, then 15, then 9 of the same. I planned to do all the sets without putting the bar down or coming off the wall. I kept to that plan, though I did rest at the bottom position of the handstand push ups a few times. I got a time of 2:55, a personal best, which put me in fifth place.

The second workout was a 2,000m row, follow by 50 1-legged squats, then 30 hang power cleans. I set the straps on the rower too tight and lost about 10 seconds getting on the darn thing! I kept my pace between around 2:08-2:14 for the row and tried to save my legs towards the end by only doing 1/4 squat pulls for the last 100m or so. I then did the 50 pistols unbroken, but I think I got “no-repped” a few times. It was VERY loud in the Coliseum and my judge was hard to hear. I stuck with sets of 5 hang power cleans and finished the workout in 14:10, again, good enough for fifth place. I ended the day ranked 3rd overall.

I took a redneck ice bath in a cooler in the back of a truck in the parking lot, then headed to the CrossFit grocery mecca – Whole Foods – for dinner. I took a more efficient ice bath at the hotel and we had another team meeting before bed. Jeremy Thiel reminded us not to get stuck in the venue for too long. It was loud, the air conditioning was really blasting, and the seats were uncomfortable. He suggested we head outside for some vitamin D every once in a while to escape the noise and stretch our hip flexors.

Saturday April 28th

I woke up a little sore on Saturday, with my glutes and hammies tired from Friday. We had another leisurely morning and arrived at the venue for the dumbbell snatch workout. I had practiced these a few times, but knew I wasn’t great at them. When my heat was up, I made sure I used good form for every rep, going with an alternating split snatch. I had only 3 “no reps” and finished just under the time cap in 9:32, for 10th place. I was still in 3rd place overall, but lost some ground.

After another ice bath and a long break, we were up for the long squat, pull up, shoulder-to-overhead workout. I was very anxious going into this one, and did not set a solid plan for myself. I had considered going for sets of 10, but lost focus and ended up floundering in this workout. I did not have a good pace and found myself putting the bar down more than necessary. I couldn’t keep my butterfly kip going and did some sets of 2’s and 3’s on the pull ups. I got through 14 pull ups on my final round and placed 13th. This dropped me down to 7th place overall after two days. My teammate Karen Pierce crushed both workouts and sat solidly in 2nd going into day 3. Her performances over the first two days were incredibly inspiring – watch out for this lady in the future!

I took another ice bath and we headed to the hotel for dinner. Our team meeting was brief, as we all knew what we had to do to execute and reach our goals on day three.

Sunday April 29th

We actually had to get up early on Sunday as the event started two hours earlier than on Friday. I got in a great warm-up in the parking lot and got quite a few good snatch reps before heading out to the floor. I did not miss a single double under and tied my personal best snatch at 140 pounds. I took one decent attempt at 145, then quickly grabbed my rope and got 33 extra double unders. I placed 4th on event 5 and moved into a tie for 5th with Karen. Azadeh Bouromand snatched 170 and was perfect on her double unders as well. Azadeh took 1st place five times, and 2nd place once time over the weekend. She is on another level and I think she has what it takes to go top ten at the Games. She an athletic specimen and will represent the South Central Region well!

The final event was “in my wheelhouse.” Muscle ups, toes to bar, manageable rep sets, and a good variety of activity. I was excited to give the top three a run for their money! I finished the MU/DL combo and got to the wall balls first, however, Azadeh caught me and pulled ahead. I chased her on the farmer’s carry and burpee/box jump, but she pulled ahead and Candice Ruiz was closing on me! I started my farmer’s carry back, but ended in a tied with Candice for second place. I definitely made the top three work for it, but in the end I had 39 points and third place had 36.

Overall Suggestions for Competitors

  1. Fish oil. Take it – after every workout. I drank Stronger Faster Healthier straight from the bottle after every workout, usually with an SFH shake, while in the ice bath! This combination left me feeling fresh for the snatches on day three and recovery is KEY for this kind of weekend.
  2. Watch the workouts. Learn from what others do well and avoid their disasters. Watch the workouts with other fans. It’s way more fun to have other people to talk to and to be closer to the action, except for the snatch ladder, where you want to have a view of the whole floor so you don’t miss anything.
  3. Stick to your game plan. Strategize and come up with a plan and do it. Yes, there will be small variations as fatigue sets in, but limit your rest and do work.
  4. Thank the staff/judges/volunteers. They are the truly devoted ones. They are probably bigger fans than the people in the stands. They absolutely love being up close and personal to the athletes and they did an amazing job of holding the standards and making the event run smoothly.
  5. Enjoy the moment. Take a look around while you are on the competition floor. Look at your friends in the stands and thank them for their presence. Thank your friends for sending their positive thoughts through the universe, Facebook, Twitter, and text. It is a strangely fun thing we do, competing in brutal workouts, and don’t forget to love it and live in it!

What’s Next

I am probably going to take a week or two off from training. I am finishing up grad school in the next three weeks and I will be on board to support our Affiliate Team as they prepare for the Games. I am going to be the best Affiliate Team Manager you ever saw! Congratulations to all the competitors in the South Central, South East, and Canada West Regions this weekend! We made it! And good luck to all the Games qualifiers – see you in Carson!!

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