2011 was not what I expected.
What I expected was to reach WKC CMS numbers in Long Cycle in the first couple months, then officially achieve that rank at the GA State Championships later in the summer.
Instead I got tendinitis in my elbows, and that sidelined me for most of the year.
I spent that "off" time running, usually three days a week. The other days I walked. The walks (and the runs) were pretty challenging, because my neighborhood and the surrounding areas are extremely hilly. A few of the hills take several minutes to climb.
But it was ok. I enjoyed it, and I worked on my general endurance 6 or 7 days a week.
Also, I confirmed what I had posted earlier in the year:
Kettlebell Sport is an endurance sport.
The proof was in how quickly my numbers rebounded after my doctor cleared me to train with kettlebells again. I am not a naturally strong or muscular person, and my upper body turned skinny and flabby while I limited my workouts to running, walking and squats.
But even with skinny, flabby arms I started setting new personal records just weeks after my return to kettlebell training in August, after months of endurance work. Those records include a 77 rep 7 minute 2x24kg set, and several 40 plus rep sets in 3 minutes. I wrote my last blog post about my 97 rep 2x24kg 10 minute set in October. That was significant to me because I felt awful that day, and I suspect on an average day, or even on a bad day when I paced myself with a timer, I would have smashed the 100 rep barrier easily.
With those results I was hoping to be the first American to crack 100 reps in competition. But the November comp I was planning to attend was cancelled. I can't blame the event planners, as several significant competitions were held within weeks (some just days) of the comp, so I did not expect attendance to be high. This was just the only comp within driving distance for the foreseeable future, and my travel budget didn't allow for farther trips this year.
After the comp was cancelled, two American lifters broke the 100 rep barrier in competition on the same day at another competition. Lee Quattrone (101 reps) and Jeff Martone (104 reps) both achieved CMS rank in Long Cycle with their 2x24kg performances at the IKFF National Championships on November 19. I would have liked to have beaten them to it, but I was happy for them both. I hope to meet them on the platform one day soon.
Later in the year my elbow tendinitis flared up again, and I was forced to turn to running and walking as my primary training exercises.
Once my elbows heal again I plan to lift again, although I may be limited to 24kg kettlebells. I'd like to best the 104 rep record that Jeff set, as the mountain climbers say, just because it is there. We'll see.
For now, I wish you all a happy and blessed 2012.