Most Crossfit workouts take 10-25 minutes. You work really, really hard for a short amount of time and then you're done. What gets me through most workouts is knowing that it will be over soon. So why is my favorite Crossfit workout the one that can take almost an hour?
Murph is a hero workout named after "Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is." (Crossfit.com)
Run 1 mile
Run 1 mile
You can do the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats in any order you want, but you have to do the mile run first and last. To truly RX it, you should wear a 20 pound weight vest.
We did this WOD back in April. It looks pretty impossible when you read it, but you can do it. It's a workout where you have a lot of time to think. You're out there running on your own, then you get back in the box and you have to think about how you can best get all these reps done, and while you do that you think about how much your quads burn and the push-ups hurt, and then you have to go run again. In April, I did the workout with a blue band for pull-ups and knee push-ups. I finished in 50 minutes. That's a long time to be working hard, but I finished.
I knew this was coming up again this week.I got really excited because it's such a challenge. I was hoping I could do it with real push-ups this time, but I'm just not there yet. 200 is a lot of push-ups to do. I also wanted to use a red band for pull-ups. My pull-ups are getting better and I'm so close to RXing them during a WOD. But not this one. I had a tan band on hand just in case I couldn't handle the red, but I really, really wanted to stick with the red. I was also thinking of trying 10 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, and 30 squats. This changed at the last minute.
Wednesday was a very cold night. I was in a 5:30pm class with 6 other women. We were all at different levels. We had to bundle up for the first run, since we weren't quite warm yet. When I got back inside, I decided to do 20 sets of 5-10-15. Although it would take more time to get in and out of the pull-up band, I wasn't too confident with my push-ups. For Murph, you just keep on going. I ran the first mile in 9 minutes and left for my last mile around 34 minutes. That's 25 minutes of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. That's a lot of time to think about those moves and why you're doing them. But I kept marking my rounds and they kept piling up. After round 13, I decided to try a longer round. That worked that time, but it wasn't going to work the rest of the time. I must work on my push-ups. Also, I didn't stretch out enough beforehand and my quads started burning after a few squats. But I kept on going.
That last run was one of the hardest runs of my life. It had gotten colder and I had been working hard for 35 minutes. My lungs felt like they couldn't handle the work. I was short of breath, but I had to keep going. My body wanted to walk, but my mind wanted to finish. As I rounded the corner after 800 meters, I looked at the clock and saw that I was still under 40 minutes. I could do this. I could make my goal of 45 minutes. I wanted to walk so badly, my breathing was so strained, but I kept running. It helped to run past the other women who were finishing, knowing that we were all trying to get this thing done and finish. I came in at 44:31. I beat my previous time by 6 minutes using a lighter band. I could hardly breathe at first, but I finished.
Murph is a marathon WOD. You have to battle with yourself to finish. This is what I love about Crossfit. In our regular lives, we make decisions every day and choose our battles. In Crossfit, someone else chooses our battles, but we have to decide how to get them done. It's physical and mental. Finishing is all that matters.