My First Murph at Crossfit

My First Murph at Crossfit

Today, I completed my first Murph, a well known hero Crossfit WOD. Murph is a special WOD that a lot (almost all?) crossfitters do on Memorial Day which consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, 1 mile run.  It is named so in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan. You can read about the story behind Murph here.

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Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. Only 29 when he was killed in Afghanistan.

My box, Crossfit East Cobb had a huge turnout for the 9:00am session of Murph. And inspite of being nervous, I was convinced to join in by some of my best running/CF buddy cheerleaders!

We started out with the warmup and the coach talking about Murph and his sacrifice. And then it was go time.

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38 people strong for 9:00am Murph

I was toying around with different ways of splitting the 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 squats. But decided to stick to the recommended 20 rounds of 5, 10, 15 just because it was easier to keep count. (Umm… yes, I did research beforehand on the different ways to get through Murph for beginners. Nerd/Type A alert!). And my “strategy” was to get through this nice and steady; and hopefully finish before the next class got there! So I had about 90 minutes to complete it.

I took the first mile easy and even took some walk breaks. It was blazing hot already and my HR was up. I was thinking I’d be somewhere in the 12-12:30 range for a mile, but it turned out to be 11:32 (Clock time, not Garmin time). The mile warmed me up for the main exercises.

Slowly but steadily, I kept chipping way at the 5, 10 , 15. Yes, I used the max resistance ‘blue’ band. I did kneeling pushups and even those weren’t the perfect ones (I can lower myself to the ground, but can’t raise up. Yet.). I suppose the air squats weren’t scaled, even though I suspect I didn’t go below hip crease at times. Remembering horror stories of Rhabdo caused by Murph, I remembered to keep drinking after every round. (And I was hydrating a lot for the past 2-3 days).

When I started out for the mile run after the other stuff, I knew I made it. I wasn’t afraid of the run and I wasn’t going to break now.

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Sweaty bunch all done with Murph!

The best part about the WOD was finishing strong. I did not despair at the 20 rounds, mentally or physically. I paced myself so that I didn’t have to take extra breaks or despair the next set. And I could’ve done 5 more rounds if I had to (Thank God I didn’t need to!!). My 2nd mile time was within 20-30 seconds of the first mile time and I know that I actually picked up pace during the last 1/3 of the mile after the first 1/3 was shuffling to get moving.

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Post Murph. Finished strong and with a smile 🙂
And yes, I did wear a camo skirt to the Memorial Day WOD

Of all the choices I had today, Long run or long bike with buddies (who did go the longest ride yet) and Murph, I’m glad I chose to do the WOD. This is a once/year event that I’m honored to have been able to complete.


From the cross fit website


For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

“In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.”


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