14.5 was brutal

My initial ranking shortly after finishing 14.5 last night. My top 5 worst WODs of all time:

  1. Clovis: never cramped so bad in my life
  2. Burpee mile: the mile that never ended
  3. Hotshots19 x2: I did it back-to-back because another member couldn’t make it
  4. 14.5
  5. Murph

That’s right, 84 thrusters and burpees was worse than 2 miles of running and 100 pullups, 200 pushups and 300 squats. I was in pain and almost threw up three times during 14.5. My calves started to cramp on the round of 15 (and I drank a lot of water…or so I thought) and on top of almost throwing up, rolling around on the floor for a few minutes when I was done, on my short walk to cool down my quads nearly cramped up and I almost fell over. I was in bad shape.

As long as I am ranking, here are my top 3 movements if you want to work your entire body (this was before 14.5 and remains in tact):

  1. Thrusters
  2. Burpees
  3. Turkish get-ups

Now that I have had sometime to digest, watch others and think about the WOD I think I just did it wrong.

My goal before starting was 15 minutes, but I figured under 16 for sure. I am usually pretty decent predicting my time/score, and sometimes I am off, but not usually by four minutes (I finished in 18:54). I decided I wanted to do all of the thrusters unbroken – and I knew the rounds of 18 and 15 would be tough to go unbroken – and then just go through the burpees slowly. The pace I wanted on the burpees was drop down, get up, take a step to the bar and hop. Take another step, turn around, drop and repeat. This is much slower than I would normally do burpees, but my strategy was to not have to pick up the bar much and catch my breath by taking my time on the burpees. I think that was wrong. I think I red-lined early in the WOD because of the thrusters.

Let me take a step back, and, yes, I think this IS an excuse, I was sore. My hamstrings were still sore from following up a deadlift tabata and good morning tabata day with sprints and my quads were tight with knots from squatting heavy twice in three days. Sore quads prior to do a large volume of thrusters, front squats or wall balls is not a good recipe. While I took extra time to roll out my quads and hamstrings prior to the WOD I still think it took something out of me. And don’t give me that no excuse crap, when your sore entering a WOD it’s going to affect you. The strategy isn’t an excuse, but the less than 100% legs is an excuse and I’m using it, damnit!

After doing 14.5 there was NO WAY I would ever do it again. Then I watched a few of the guys who I like to be competitive with at my gym finished 14.5 in around 17:30. Things have changed. Here I am Saturday morning and I struggled to get downstairs, but I am definitely re-doing 14.5 tomorrow morning. I hope to get someone at the gym to judge me fairly early tomorrow morning so I can workout before eating so I don’t feel sick to the stomach like I did last night. I am also changing my strategy. I will break up my thrusters. I will do the round of 21 unbroken, but the round of 18 I will break into 9 and 9, round of 15 will be 8 and 7, round of 12 6 and 6 and if I feel good then I will do 9, 6 and 3 unbroken. I hope this leaves a little more in the tank so I can do the burpees faster.

It’s going to suck, but if it didn’t suck it wouldn’t be worth doing, right?


I redid 14.5 on Sunday morning and did much, much better. And it didn’t suck as much and would no longer rank in my top 5 worst ever. I shaved nearly 3 full minutes off of my time and now can post a score of 16:10. This is much closer to what I expected. Above I said I figured 16 min or less and I was pretty close. A lot closer than my original time of nearly 19 minutes. This time I never felt like puking and didn’t cramp at all during the WOD or after. Much better.

Something must have been wrong on Friday night. I think it was probably what I ate during the day. I ate Paleo during the day and thought I drank plenty of water. I ate my last full meal at about 12:30 on Friday and hoped that I wouldn’t be too hungry prior to doing 14.5 at 4pm but when I got home I was too hungry. So at just before 3pm I had a small apple with some peanut butter on it. I thought it would be safe. Maybe it wasn’t.

It was either the food that killed me, or, maybe more likely, it was my strategy of going hard on the thrusters. This morning I went 21 unbroken, then 6-6-6 for the round of 18, 5-5-5 for the round of 15, 6-6 for the round of 12 and 6-3 for the round of 9 and unbroken for the final 2 rounds. I also tried to move a bit faster on the burpees and certainly moved faster on them until the last 3 or 4 rounds in which I needed to take my time. All in all I felt a lot better when I was done (but still wrecked) and scored a LOT better.

Lesson learned? Assess a WOD better next time and don’t be afraid to pace.

3 comments on “14.5 was brutal

  1. Lil Mama says:

    I think having a strategy for the thrusters is a great idea. I didn’t have a strategy when I broke at 18 so that set took me the longest, but after that i mentally knew what i was going to do and it helped ALOT…

  2. boxgrl81 says:

    I had the hardest time finishing this one! I agree I would NOT do this one again! I also have friends who one re did it the next morning and others who are re doing it Monday. I was just thankful to have 1st finished and 2nd to be done with it. The last 3 rounds were the worst for me. I started to feel light headed and sick. Thank god I have a amazing coach who pretty much walked me through the last 3 rounds. My time was 24:35 and I was okay with that. Felt sick the rest of the night tho. 😦

  3. traviseses says:

    I redid it this morning and shaved nearly 3 minutes off my time from Friday: 16:10. Something wasn’t right on Friday. I felt so sick doing it and cramping. I thought I was hydrated but apparently I wasn’t.

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