Home / Coaches Blog / Athlete Spotlight – Gretchen Fathauer

Gretchen has been at Birdtown since 2013.  She’s a veteran CrossFitter and a data nerd #spreadsheetqueen.  When I thought about stressing the importance of tracking data (read: progress) and learning from your experiences, I immediately knew Gretchen would have words of wisdom to share.  She’s tenacious and persistent and goal-oriented and we love her!

Gretchen on Progress

It’s really easy to get in your head in a workout or a run and get frustrated that so-and-so is a round ahead of you or passing you. Friendly competition or competition that pushes you a little harder is one thing, but ultimately we all know we are competing against ourselves. That’s why I’m such a big nerd about tracking data for all my runs and workouts!

This year, I decided to track all my workouts in my planner (yes, I’m old school). Every day after CrossFit, I’ll write down the workout, my score, weights, any after parties or accessory work that I completed, what I should have done differently, etc. (examples: legs felt like cement from squat cleans yesterday. Smaller sets on HSPU next time.) I do the same after my runs – I track my distance and split times, whether it was a new PR, how I felt…(most recent examples: Sprints felt awesome; Carl said I ran like a damn gazelle. Ran like shit because I went HAM on Fireworks Oreos yesterday.). I wouldn’t have known I PRed every run during marathon training had I not tracked all this information! One of the PRs I’m most excited about achieving during this training was for the 10 miler. I knew at the start of my 12-week program that I’d be running this distance three times, so I was looking forward to tracking time/weather/injured parts and seeing the progression. 3/26/17 – time of 1:44:18. 4/16/17 – time of 1:40:09. 5/14/17 – time of 1:39:54. Having the data and knowing that I can physically show that my running has improved over the past twelve weeks (numbers don’t lie, y’all)…it’s a great feeling.

Sometimes when I get really in my head for a week or month or months at CrossFit, I have to remind myself I’m playing the long game — benchmark WODs and 1RMs may not change significantly from retest to retest, but it’s pretty incredible to go back and see that my first 1RM deadlift was 175 (in 2014) and now I’m at 325. Same goes for Grace time, Fight Gone Bad, the CrossFit Total, and all of the Open WODs. Even during the duration of the six week summer after-party bonanza, I know that my reps have increased from the first week for the “Back to Basics” four minute session. Being able to look back in my training notes after having a particularly disappointing day at the gym reminds me of exactly that – it was just a bad day. We all have them. I have them every year when we test the Total.
Progress not perfection, right?!

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