Playing The Leaderboard Games

Almost two years ago we found out we would be moving to Asia.  As soon as we got the news, I thought I could try to qualify for the CrossFit Regionals in Asia.  Shortly after, I found out that they had changed the regions.  Asia would be included in the Pacific Regional (a super strong region) and only the top 10 athletes from Asia would compete.  So, I adjusted my goals and hoped to qualify by my second year, in 2017.

As the year progressed, I was told that I may actually have a shot at qualifying to Regionals this year, but it still didn’t seem real.  I hired a coach from DC to write my strength and weightlifting program, and saw huge gains.  From a 215 backsquat to 265, 150 clean and jerk to 180, 95 snatch to 140, and much more. February rolled around and the CrossFit Open began.

Week 1

As Many Rounds in 20 Minutes As possible of:

25ft Overhead Walking Lunges @65lbs

8 Bar Facing Burpees

25ft Overhead Walking Lunges

8 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

I crashed and burned.  It was hot, I could hardly breath, and I felt awful the whole time.  I finished with 210 reps (each 5ft segment for OH Lunges counts as 1 rep).  I redid the workout three days later at a cooler time of day, and took it slower at the beginning.  219 reps.  I finished 20th overall in the Asia Region.

Week 2

4 minutes to complete:

25 Toes to Bar

50 Double Unders

15 Squat Cleans at 85lbs

If completed in under 4 minutes, 4 more minutes to complete:

25 Toes to Bar

50 Double Unders

13 Squat cleans at 115lbs

etc. 11 Squat cleans at 145lbs, 9 at 175lbs, 7 at 205lbs

I was able to get 2 squat cleans at 175 before I ran out of time, over 90% of my 1 rep max squat clean.  I finished 4th in Asia on this workout, 11th overall in Asia.

Week 3

As many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of

10 Power Snatches at 55lbs

3 Bar Muscle Ups

Everyone saw Muscle ups and thought I’d crush this, but the ratio of snatches to muscle ups was not in my favor.  My first attempt I got 86 total reps, or 6 rounds and 8 snatches.  I redid in air conditioning and got 91 reps, 7 rounds. I watched the scores come in on the leaderboard and knew it wasn’t good enough.  So with 13 minutes remaining to submit scores, I redid it.  I got 98 reps, 7 rounds and 6 snatches.  I placed 8th on the workout in Asia and 6th overall.

Week 4

As many rounds as possible in 13 minutes of

55 Dead lifts at 155lbs

55 wall balls to a 9ft target with a 14lb ball

55 Calorie Row

55 Handstand Pushups

I got 203 reps, 17 reps shy of finishing on round.  I wasn’t happy, and neither were my hamstrings.  I did everything I could to recover for a redo 3 days later and gave it my best shot – 209 reps.  It put me 14th in Asia for the workout, dropping me to 7th overall.

Week 5

21-18-15-12-9-6-3

Thrusters at 65lbs

Bar Facing Burpees

This was a repeat from 2014, which I never did.  I completed it in 11:27, a pretty good score, but not regional level (in my mind).  I decided to redo it, but unfortunately I didn’t get a better score.  So here we are, playing the waiting game.

It’s been a stressful 5 weeks, the saying “every rep counts” has never meant more than it does right now.  6 reps was the difference between top 10 and top 20.  Every Monday night I stressed over the leaderboard, checking the scores, seeing where I stood.  For better or worse, for the final week none of us can submit our scores.

So, wish me luck as the scores start rolling in.  If I finish in the top 10, I’ll have to send in a video of one work out, if it looks good, an invitation to Regionals will be sent.  If I finish outside of top 10, I’ll just have to train harder for next year.

 

 

Thailand Part 3: Railay

The final part of our Thailand tour was Railay. We boarded the 3:30 ferry and an hour and a half later we arrived at…another boat.  The small speedboat took us to Railay.  We booked a room at The Sunrise Tropical, a hotel on the east side of Railay. It’s not on a beach, but it’s a short walk over to the two main beaches. The room was HUGE and beautiful , plus the wifi worked. 

  

We hung out at the beach, then grabbed an amazin dinner at an Indian restaurant. It was my birthday so we finished the night off with cocktails on the second story of a bamboo bar, then wine on the patio of our room. 

For our last day in Thailand we sat on the beach. I couldn’t come back without a tan.  The beach was nice and relaxing, huge rocks to either side, and not too crowded.  There was one other beach on the island, so we walked over to catch the sunset. 

  

Phra Nang beach, where we watched the sunset had some interested pieces in the caves. Local fishermen leave phallic offerings to a goddess for safe travels at sea. 

  

Railay was exactly what I wanted, not as touristy, value for money, beaches, and if I had stayed longer I would have gone climbing up the mountain.  There is supposed to be fantastic rock climbing. 

Unfortunately the trip didn’t end well, it finished with a bit of food poisoning for the plane ride back.  I’ll be more careful on my next trip…Cambodia. 

Thailand Part 2: Ko Phi Phi

Our second destination for the Thailand Trip was Ko Phi Phi.  We flew to Krabi where we took a Taxi to the pier, got tickets for a ferry, and at last landed at Ko Phi Phi.

Ko Phi Phi was hit with a Tsunami in 2004, nearly all of the buildings were knocked down.  By 2010 most of the buildings had been restored, now it’s the hot spot destination for young travelers.  The island is packed with stores, tourists, and night life.

It was low tide when we arrived so the Taxi Boat could not take us to the hotel, we got to walk along the path to the end of the beach to the Bay View Resort.  The resort was in the perfect location, walking distance to the restaurants, but away from the noise.

Unfortunately, it was overbooked and they did not have the room I had booked in advance available.  While Tory and Alex enjoyed their stay at the hotel…Mark and I had a very different experience.

On our first full day there we decided to chill on the beach.  We set out on a journey to find long beach.  We walked up through some mountains, stopped for lunch at Viking Nature Resort. Then found our way to Long Beach.  It was a bit further from the crowds with white sand, umbrella’s and beautiful water.


The next day we hopped aboard a large speedboat to go island hopping.  We hit all the famous islands, Monkey Beach, Maya Bay, etc.  It was a long day, but very beautiful.  Followed by a delicious dinner and even some beer pong.


There is only one ferry from Phi Phi Don to Railay, the next destination, so Mark and I decided to wake up early and go scuba diving.  We were paired up with a dive master who worked to get us the best day diving he could.  He took us away from the crowds, showed us the fishes, and kept us entertained.

Although the island has natural beauty, in my opinion, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  I completely understand why tourists began flocking to the Phi Phi islands, the water is amazing, the rocks are beautiful, and the beaches are fantastic.  It’s become too popular though. When they rebuilt after the tsunami, it was because they needed tourists to come back, but it was not built to match the natural beauty.  The streets were dirty, some of the beaches completely lined with boats, and the tours to the most beautiful beaches are so filled with boats and people that it takes effort to get a photo without it all.  I had a fun trip because of the company, but I don’t think I’ll be back.

Thailand Part 1: Bangkok

Two friends from DC (I may or may not have played a small role in getting them out on a first date) came to visit!  They landed in Manila after a day traveling and were happily welcomed by Xena and our newly adopted puppy, Conan.

We went to breakfast at Sofitel the next morning to eat our faces in delicious food and indulge in the cheese room.  Then headed to Wildflour for a late lunch/dinner before sending them on their way to Bangkok.

Part 1: Bangkok (hehehehe)

We booked a room at the iCheck Inn Silom, which turned out to be a perfect place to stay.  It was off the main road a bit, so didn’t have the noise of the busy street, was reasonably priced, easy to grab a cab, walking distance to lots of food, AND the bar from the Hangover!

 


We grabbed a delicious dinner for only a couple bucks and set to bed early so we could explore the temples the next day.

I woke up early to hit the gym, which was an easy 10 minute walk away.  Crossfit Ten500 had open gym from 8-10 and even let me start a little early.  They were very welcoming, I almost came back the next day for class, but I’d be cutting it close for catching my flight.

After working out I met up with Mark, Alex, and Tory at a cute coffee shop, The Hobbyest, with delicious drinks and food.  Then we set out to explore.

First Stop: Wat Phra Kaew

The temple was huge, and beautiful.  We had to be fully covered, so in the heat I threw on some pants and a sweater, but it was totally worth it.  Even with the crowd.  We wandered around enjoying the architecture, then took off our shoes to see the Emerald Buddha.

Second Stop: Wat Pho

A bit less crowded than the first temple and boasting the huge reclining Buddha. This temple felt a little more peaceful without the crowd.

 

Third Stop: Thai Massage

We went to the school of medicine for our massage.  It was a mix between the hell of myotherapy (that I endure often at Pace Prehab and Recovery) and a feel good massage.

Fourth Stop: Dinner

We found a delicious Indian restaurant and tried to figure out what we would do for the rest of the evening.  We decided on…

Fifth and Final Stop: Muay Thai

We weren’t sure what to expect, but there were fights going on at Ratchadamnoen, so we figured when in Rome…err Bangkok.  We paid for the seats right next to the ring, because we wanted to sit.  There was a Thai price and a foreigner price, but we managed to get a little bit off the foreigner price.  There was some kind of point system, 5 rounds per fight, and we stayed for 8 fights.  One which ended early because of a K.O.  I have no idea what was going on, but it was fun.

Then we headed back to the hotel for bed, early start the next day.