Yesterday turned out to be one of the best gym days I’ve had in a long time.
I started with Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai classes in the morning before going home to eat lunch and mentally prepare to go back to the gym and participate in the Competition Team tryouts. The only real information I’d received about what would go on during tryouts is that we’d have to run a mile(ish) in <7 minutes, that there would be more running on Green Mountain, more conditioning, and that the sparring to follow would be intense and long lasting.
I planned for it as if it were going to be a three hour cross country race. Since the 18 of us (me being the only lady) were to be outside on a mild 60 something degree day and inside with the heat on (for extra slipperiness), I packed a cooler with two bottles of Gu Roctane drink, two bottles of water, and a baggie full of Roctane Gels and chews.
First off was the run test. Everyone is required to be able to run four laps of the office complex in which the gym resides in under 7 minutes. I was able to pace myself really well, and I could tell that the trainer intervals and singlespeed laps up Lookout I’ve been doing on the bike paid off in dividends. My laps splits were super consistent, and my time was 6 minutes, 10 seconds, with energy to spare.
I downed half a bottle of Roctane while everyone was finishing up, and we continued our jog upwards towards Green Mountain. There, we did a couple of conditioning laps up a short hill and then moved onward to the final “outside” running test, which was three laps up a bigger, steeper hill to a telephone pole and back. I reverted back to my trail running days for this one… the first 100 yards or so was a gradual slope before the next 50-70 yards pitched up steeper. I jogged the lower half then powerwalked the steep part. I also had a pretty good edge at running downhill because I’ve had a lot of practice. Lap one… Everyone took off full gas. I was someplace in the middle of the group. By the end of Lap 2, I was persistence hunting the only two or three dudes ahead of me. I passed them someplace before the summit of Lap 3 and never looked back. Nick, the Coach who was directing the test, actually told me to go out for another lap because he thought I’d only done two. I asked him, “Oh, I thought it was just three. It’s Four?” It took him a fraction of a second to figure out that I’d caught the dudes he thought were leading the pack.
These dudes are legit. Even I was surprised by that one.
When we arrived back at the gym, I had a Roctane gel and most of a bottle of water. Next, we made a lap of a conditioning circuit- various exercises like battle ropes, tire jumps, agility ladders, and a heavy bag flip/drag. That was followed up by a partner drill. You paired up with someone similar to your size and had to shoot a double leg take down on them, but, instead of taking them down, pick them up over your shoulder and run to the other end of the gym, set them down, shoot again/carry them back, and repeat 4 more times before switching places. I paired up with fighter Nicholas Clem. We beat everyone.
More gel, Roctane, and water, and it was time for the hard part… the Sparring.
I went two rounds with a couple of the guys and did pretty well. Then, Kirsten Runstrom, a really badass Muay Thai fighter/coach geared up, and we sparred a 5 minute round. That was, by far, the hardest 5 minutes of the day. She’s fast, accurate, and any time I’d drop a hand, she’d take full advantage of it and flurry me backwards across the full length of the short side of the gym. Her teep kicks to the body were vicious as well. I kept my shit together, though. I used some of the fakes and feigns we’ve been drilling in class (along with some head/body combos and angles that I learned back in Memphis) and landed a decent number of kicks and combinations. She was probably taking it easy on me.
Those three rounds were followed up by a Jiu Jitsu roll with another white belt (landed a triangle and a guillotine), then one more round of Muay Thai with Kirsten and one more round with a guy who is an excellent wrestler. I was holding my own with him standing, but had to play all defense once we went to the ground.
I should mention, I splurged on a new set of headgear, and it makes sparring feel like a very aggressive pillow fight.
But wait, there’s more!
Everyone thought it was over, but we did one more bout of conditioning with several minutes of fast feet/sprawls/pushups. Then, we high-fived, bowed out, and ate cookies. Yeah… I made cookies for everyone.
So, I’m on the competition team! First competition? One week from tryouts- Tournament of Champions 18. I signed up for the following divisions: White Belt BJJ 121-140, NoGi intermediate 121-140, and all weights/belts submission-only both Gi and NoGi.
The first two, I hope to do well. The two “all-belts/all-weights”, I hope to learn something. For my bike racing readers not privy to what that means, that’s basically like entering two “you versus other beginners” races and two “all categories race together” races.
I need to cut a very tiny amount of weight. The weigh-ins are Friday night. Since I started adding the intense bike workouts to my training, I’ve had a hard time keeping my weight up to its happy place of 142 pounds (I’ve been fluctuating around 141). To make sure I don’t have any sort of “oh sh*t” moment on weigh in day, I’m going to do a water-manipulation cut only… basically, while maintaining the same normal eating routine (minus the cookies, maybe), I’ll overhydrate for a few days in order to stimulate aldosterone hormone production by my body, then Thursday and Friday, cut water consumption way back. The elevated aldosterone level will make my kidneys continue to remove extra water from my blood during the time that I’m not drinking a lot of water. Friday morning, I’ll figure out if I need to leave work early to ride the trainer for a hot minute to sweat anything off before weigh-ins. My guess is that I won’t need to. My weight has been very willing to stay off as of late. By not changing anything about my normal eating habits, my energy level and mood should remain intact.
I’m stoked. The Competition Team is like a family. It’s a really great, talented, and supportive group of people to work with, and we all want to see each other succeed.