Ruth Anderson Horrell: My First Week in LA

ruth anderson horrell

What a challenging first 5 days in LA!

I arrived Sunday and had the day off training on Monday. Tuesday I worked out at at DogTown with Lindsey Valenzuela and Sam Briggs.

Wednesday we travelled out to Venice and Santa Monica, which was a rest day. We did a light ocean swim and a light run on the boardwalk then played at Muscle Beach working through a short obstacle course on the outdoor bars and rings. 

On Thursday, it was July 4th holiday, and we were back at DogTown. Our wod was 21-15-9 snatch (43kg), handstand walk in meters. It was a great WOD, but, with my body still being a bit out of wack from flying, I ended up popping a few ribs out during this workout. I finished the WOD and felt discomfort in my upper thoracic area and that was followed by a hot flushing feeling and pain when moved. At the time I thought I had slipped a disc!

Fortunately I was able to be seen by Dr. Lindsey Mathews, who was able to settle my mind at ease that I had just shunted some ribs out of place. My thoracic spine has had it’s issues. Moving ribs have been an issue for me for a while, since I first injured them rolling a large stone up my rib cage. My thoracic extension is limited and something I have to constantly work on.

Me and Dr. Lindsey Matthews

Me and Dr. Lindsey Matthews

I was able to work out Friday with plenty of icing and some anti-inflammatories, but the enjoyment was short lived as we did a hero WOD. But I was confident of the workout “Bulger” ( 10 rounds of: Run 150 meters, 7 Chest-to-bar pull-ups, 135 pound Front squat- 7 reps, 7 Handstand push-ups). However, once I took off, something was going wrong. Each round, the discomfort increased and I decided I couldn’t wait I until the end of the WOD to have a drink. In fact, I just wanted to jump in a pool! So I had Dusty grab me a drink.

Then all of a sudden, by the 7th round I started feeling disoriented, I was extremely hot and I started losing control of my body. Confused by my inability to jog the 150m run, I was overheating. I finished the WOD after taking what seemed like eternity to finish the last 3 rounds. I felt better as I cooled down, rested and drank some electrolytes. So I had lunch before completing a short aerodyne WOD.

DogTown CrossFit

DogTown CrossFit

I have experienced heat stroke before, but this seemed quite dramatic compared to previous times.

Challenging is really an under statement this week. The shock to the system has been huge. Jetlag, sore joints from flying, training in temperatures 25 degrees Celsius hotter than what I have been in, with some of the best athletes in the world.

But this is why I am here. The CrossFit Games should be a breeze after this!

Ruth Anderson Horrell
Ruth is a 28 year old CrossFit athlete from New Zealand and competed at the 2011 and 2012 CrossFit Games (placing 31st and 17th respectively). Ruth is also an Olympic Weightlifter for NZ, representing her country in the 2012 Oceania and Trans Tasman Champs. When she is not competing, Ruth spends her time coaching at her affiliate CrossFit Wild South, working as a sheep farmer and building a career as a Locum small animal veterinarian.
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  • T W

    Wow, tough week! Just a random suggestion I once used when travelling across hemispheres that really helped with jetlag/orientation is getting someone to check that your chakras are all flowing as theyre meant to. Apparently a lot of people spin one way in NZ and then go all outta wack when they fly to another country, especially if its across hemispheres. Only takes 5-10 mins to do, Im sure there must be a yoga teacher somewhere close by who could sort it for you. Good luck with the rest of your build up!

  • Prim

    I hate being hot during a workout, so you have my complete sympathy. I remember the University of Otago doing some work with heat and high performance athletes around the time of the Beijing Olympics (I think!). Many of the athletes chose to wear cooling vests in the lead-up to their events, cooling their core to help prevent heat stroke. Perhaps frozen towels around your mid-section in the lead up to training/events might help? Enyhoo, best of luck from Down Under.

  • Dave Webber

    lucky you have some time to get used to the weather over there, that would be terrible if it was your games experience

  • Philip

    Yikes! It took be about a week to completely get over the jet lag. Its no joke.

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