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Recap of the Weekend, Questions about my knee, and a fair amount of self centered rambling on related topics.

September 15, 2014

Here are the event breakdowns and placements of myself, Bob and Larry from the Garage Games Masters Series event this past weekend in Concord, NC. I go on at length and in some detail about my experience during the contest, and then discuss my impaired knee. This is FAR from required reading, so if your fitness interests are not contest related, please feel free to stop reading now.

Brock: First Event- 18-12-6 Deads@275/24″step-ups 2:15/3rd place. Second Event- Amrap 10 Ascending 3’s S2O @ 135/OTB Burpees 119reps/2nd place. Third Event- Amrap 15 30 DU/20 WB/10 PS@75 270reps/7Th place. 4th of 14 Overall rxd 40-44

Larry: (EVENTS AS ABOVE) First Event 3:22 PR, Second Event 90reps, 3Rd Event, 194 Reps. 7th overall of 11(I think) rxd 45-49

Bob: First CF Competition, Scaled 40-49 (I don’t recall the specs on the weights) First Event 2:31, Second Event 97 Reps, 3rd Event 232reps. 11th of 16 BUT ( he’d never say so but I will) Bob was at the high end of a 10 year age gap.

The big takeaway was; we need to shut off the AC at the gym and get some work in the heat. The temperature took it’s toll and we need to prep for such going forward.

Personal Notes: Going in my goal was first place and this was realistic based on a few things. 1) the WODS largely played to my strengths, short to medium length couplets, with nothing I couldn’t do decently well. 2) Of all the competitors in my division, I had the highest finish in the 2014 CrossFit Open. While there were some guys my age in-state who finished the Open ahead of me, they were not participating.

First wod: the Deadlift/Step ups. I PR-ed this by 24 seconds (2:15 vs 2:39) and this score would have placed me 1st at the identical Garage Games events in CO and GA. Here I got 3rd! By 9 seconds, an enormous margin! I couldn’t even enjoy my PR for a short while because the winner (Mark Rutherford) was immediately in front of me, so I knew I had lost. Lame.

Second wod: S20/Burpee. Paced about on schedule. Aim was to get to 60 reps (end of the round of 12) at 5 minutes and got there at 4:40. So, pretty close. Started the last minute right at the beginning of the 18 burpees and sprinted! Very much in my mind is the fact that in EVERY SINGLE COMP I’ve ever been in, there are very small margins that have big impact on the scoring and placements. And indeed such was the case. I got 11 OTB burpees in the last minute to score 119 for 2nd place. Third place score was 118.

After 2 events I was in second place, but has somehow aggravated my knee significantly. Up to that point the knee had not bothered me at all. I had stepped up exclusively with the left foot on the WOD 1 step ups, and slightly altered my burpee line on WOD 2, but neither cost me any time or reps, i dont think. Now, suddenly, I could no longer straighten it and couldnt bear weight exclusively on the right foot. I had a good 3 hours before the next wod so I went back to my hotel, ice, ice, pills, pills, watched Pacific Rim (pretty bad) wrapped the F out of the knee in 3 sleeves and went back to the venue. I checked in with the Affiliate Owner and his head judge, let them know my limitations for the final wod and asked them for input. Double-unders were OK, a little pain on the first attempts until i found a rhythm, then they were fine. Snatches were light enough that I could basically 1-foot those and the judges were ok with a left leg only lockout. The wallballs were the big problem. While my left leg was clearly parallel, I’d jut my right forward like a half assed pistol to keep the knee flexion minimized, and to their eyes it was above P. I then tried an odd, wide stance with my right toe turned out which was a little unbalanced but satisfied ROM demands so we went with that.

3rd WOd- Doubles, Wallballs, Snatches. Doubles went fine, not great, knee was not a factor. On the wallballs the knee was wonky and I lost a handful of reps in the first and second rounds, but after that the joint warmed up and it was no issue in rounds 3 and 4. Snatches sometimes hurt when I’d forget to land on my left leg, but it didnt cost me any time. So on balance, I;d say the knee cost me 15 maybe 20 reps and I finished with a score of 270. My best at cfcb was 333 which would still have fallen way short of the wod winner’s 360 (Bill Woods, brother of our very own Kurt E).

So, vs pre event goal, not a good weekend. When you consider the knee complications, the question gets muddled. I have to admit that, even healthy, I would not have beaten the event winner, as he scored a first, second and 4th place across 3 wods. I would’ve had to PR the third wod to get to second place, and in the heat, I doubt I would have done so under the best of circumstances. I’d love to blame the knee, but during the adrenaline dump of 321-go I didn;t feel much pain at all, maybe here or there. The more interesting question is: If I was pain free during training in the weeks leading up, would THAT have made a difference in the standings? Hard to say. The truth is, if you wait around to feel perfect you’ll never do anything, and as far as I know, every other competitor had small injuries of their own.

The NEXt day (Sunday), the knee had flared substantially. This was not a total surprise, given the load, but the intensity was more than I expected and as I write this I’m swelled a good amount and on crutches. To that end, I’d like to discuss my knee so that people don’t think this was CAUSED by CrossFit.

When I was 16 (1987) I tore the Medial Collateral Ligament in my right knee and possibly damaged the Lateral Collateral Ligament as well. Meniscal damage was also likely, although not diagnosed (this WAS the pre-internet dark ages). I wore a brace for 6 weeks and played 4 more years of football on it, then found thai-boxing, then CrossFit, squatting, lunging and running a fair amount all the while. In the last 5/6 years I started to see small asymmetries both visually and in capacity, from my left leg to my right. One prominent example is my inability to do pistols on my right side, vs my limited and ugly but existant left leg pistols. My left quad is visibly smaller than my right and so on.

About 4 weeks ago I felt some pain and joint tension during squatting and proceeded carefully to increase weight, noting that the pain was not similarly increasing. Finally as I approached 90% intensity, sharp pain! Stopped right away. For the next several days I modified activity to keep the knee pain free and when it didn’t progress I made an appointment with a Sports Ortho Doctor.

X rays were not a huge surprise, the healthy knee has visible space between the femur and the Tibia where Cartiledge sits, the injured knee has what appears to my untrained eye to be no space at all. The Femur and the Tibia sit what looks like completely flush. Diagnosis: Deterioration of the knee Cartiledge/Osteoarthritis. Short term, cortisone shot, ice, NSaids. Longterm, TBD…

Important to note, the left knee, which did not suffer any trauma in 1987, has been subjected to the same stresses and athletic demand that the right knee has, and that one is totally fine. It’s not the activity as much as the activity ON TOP OF the damage, which has left the right knee impaired, and even then it;s been 27 years from injury to this.

I am taking steps toward a long term solution and until then I aim to become REALLY good at legless rope climbs.

See you at the gym.

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One comment

  1. “The truth is, if you wait around to feel perfect you’ll never do anything”

    Amen Brother!



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