Finale in the Mile-High City: CrossFit Open Workout 20.5 Recap

Every Open workout feels like a grind and it always feels like the fourth workout is the hardest.  If not physically then certainly mentally because by this point in time, the whole weekly process has begun to take a toll.  The fifth and final workout is always a mixed bag of emotions and gauging what is left in the tank physically.  Ahead of the 20.5 announcement, I was exhausted but post announcement the adrenaline and excitement of the final workout was somewhat off-setting.  CrossFit Open workout 20.5 was as follows:

For time, work partitioned in any way:

40 ring muscle-ups

80 calorie row

150 wall balls 20/14 lbs.

Time cap:  20 minutes

I spent the days leading up to this workout visiting a friend in the Denver area and training at her home gym Prospect CrossFit (  Training in Colorado always involves the element of elevation.  My home elevation near Iowa City is 668 feet.  Elevation at Prospect CrossFit is 5,443 feet: BIG difference, right?  The first training session on Thursday (AMRAP18 of 10 bar over burpees, 20 American kettlebells 16 kg, 10 clean and jerks 95 lbs.) left my lungs burning and me feeling a bit dizzy.  However, during Friday’s session (3 RFT:  400m run, 10 pull-ups) I was feeling good!  Our plan was to test 20.5 on Saturday, so by Friday afternoon I felt good about giving a max effort at elevation and was mostly concerned about strategizing the best way to complete the high volume of wall balls.  Following discussion with PCF’s head coach and my friend, I decided to tackle 20.5 as:  4 rounds of 30 wall balls and 20 calorie row.  Oh?  Did I not mention the muscle ups were a non-factor for me?  Yeah, I have zero muscle ups!  I often hear that performing as a Rx athlete is something to be earned.  I agree to an extent and I use the Open Rx workouts to challenge myself mentally and physically but also to own up to the things (mostly gymnastics) that I cannot yet perform.  When these movements come up, such as muscle ups, handstand walks, chest to bar, they are reminders of the things I still need to earn; what and where I need to continue to put in the hard work.  I’m still working on multiple pull ups and dips.  Therefore, I wasn’t going anywhere near the rings for this workout; leaving just rowing and wall balling.  Overall, my strategy worked out well.  I was able to complete my work well under the time cap and I had a great time completing the work with my friend and about half a dozen other athletes in her gym.  Then, just like that, I was back in my home gym and another Open was over!  Overall, I thought CrossFit Open 2020 was awesome.  The Rx workouts were challenging testing aerobic capacity (three times with 20-minute time domains), strength and gymnastic abilities.  This was my first year in a new age group Master’s Women 40-44.  I finished in the top 40% world-wide which only motivates me to keep putting in the work.  Now, it’s time to take a little bit of time to rest and strategize on a new training plan before CrossFit Open 2021 rolls around.



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