Thursday, January 21, 2010

Double duty

Yesterday I ended up rowing twice. First thing in the morning I did an easy 4K row to get some distance in (I keep wanting to say "get some miles in"... triathlon/biking lingo kicking in!) Then last night at CrossFit Rochester we did one of the "Hero" workouts: Murph.

A bit of background, in case you aren't familiar with CrossFit.   CrossFit has roots in the military and in particular, the Navy SEALS.   There are a number of workouts done by CrossFit'ers everywhere that are named after veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were killed in the line of duty.  These are called the "Hero" WODs (Workout Of the Day).  Yesterday's workout was "Murph", and it is one of the hardest of the Hero WODs.

Murph is named after Lt. Michael P. Murphy (you can read a bio of Lt. Murphy here).   Murph was a fellow Penn State grad, Navy SEAL, and a man who showed incredible courage in the face of certain death.  He was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.  The biography I linked to above gives an account of his actions that lead to the rescue of the lone survivor of his SEAL team.

To honor the memory of Lt. Murphy, the "Murph" was created.   It consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run.   Ideally, this is to be performed with a 25 pound weight vest on!   It is a brutal workout.    Living in upstate NY, the winter weather typically does not allow for a lot of outdoor running at CrossFit, so we will often substitute rowing for the running in WODs.   So, yesterday our Murph substituted a 2K row for each of the runs.    And while the "Murph" as prescribed allows you to partition the pullups, pushups, and squats any way you want, at CrossFit Rochester, we always do them serially.  So rather than doing, for example, 20 sets of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats, we do all 100 pull ups, followed by all 200 push ups, followed by all 300 squats.  Oh yeah... with the row or run sandwiched on either end.

Today I'm feeling a bit chewed up and spit out by Murph, but somehow, in spite of coming off surgery a few weeks ago, and having been away from CrossFit for three weeks, I managed to be within 5 seconds of my previous PR (personal record).  So I'm feeling pretty good about that.

So I find myself thinking about Lt. Murphy today.  And I am reminded that the aches I am feeling in my upper body and legs today are nothing compared to the sacrifice of Murph and his family.  I am also reminded of a quote by George Orwell (that is on one of my favorite Forged t-shirts):
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Total Meters
Murph first 2k
Murph second 2K
Total for Day

Meters to go


  1. Try wearing wearable weights like “Body Togs” anatomically designed weighted sleeves worn on your arms & legs under your clothes. Put them on in the morning and you literally forget you have them on while increasing your calorie burn, muscle tone & bone density! Also wear while exercising to increase workout. Weighted vests work great too! Go to:

  2. A good weight vest has been on my wish list for a while now. Thanks for the link to another source.