Monday, October 6, 2008

The Home Stretch

No, it's not my Halloween costume it's my makeup! Today Gretchen came over and did my stage makeup and it's awful but that's what it needs to be. Layers and layers of very dark foundation and dramatic eyes. I still don't have the false eyelashes on and my body gets painted on Friday. They call the tan competition's not a tan...okie dokie. The idea is to have your face match your skin, wow.

They eye shadow will match my suit. :0 It's hard for me to believe I need to look like this but I have put myself in the hands of serious professionals and am just going along for the ride so bring on the eyeliner baby!

Only a few days left and I am getting excited to do the competition and get back to running. Weeks 3 & 4 were fairly uneventful. I didn't have any menu changes and my exercises schedule stayed the same. What I noticed is by Wednesday after 4 solid days of 3X30 min. of cardio and lifting hard everyday I was dead. Thursday's were an off day and seemed to bounce back really nice but Wednesday's were hell day. I did finally get my suits and here they are! They are amazing in an odd sort of way. As I said before they are extremely uncomfortable and the blue one is super scratchy. All my posing sessions are now done in full dress absent the gotty makeup that's required to help your face show up under the lights. I am super lean but am disappointed in my muscle bellies. I always felt like I had pretty good sized muscles until they were unearthed and what laid under the fat is tiny little muscles. So to put it mildly I look really small, sort of like a 12 year old girl with wrinkles. It seems that every day as I work the necessities of this process I get my mind blown. I love to have my mind blown and I have gotten a complete eruption by dropping myself head first into this world of bodies. EVERYTHING is about the body, shaping it, flexing it, forcing air into it and it's a wild ride.

When I went to pick up my suits from the gal who makes them she of course had me try them on and do my poses. She tweaked the fit, shoved things around and studied the look. The conversation that proceeded went something like this: She says, "Your a beautiful girl with a great shape and you should go into this show and think of it as a great experience then work really hard for your next one......I think you have the potential to go pro". I look at her and assure her I won't be doing another show any time soon as I am going to get back to running. She then says, "Well then just enjoy the process and don't expect to much". Hmmm I think she has more to say but won't. I tell her, "Do you see a problem?....If so, give it to me I can take it and would love to hear what you have to say". She says, "Okay I will give it to you straight, your simply not lean enough"! She proceeds to tell me there will be at least one other girl in my height class that is shredded and is that way all year around and she will most likely win. I assure her I am fine with it and I have never looked this good with only 11 pounds of fat on my body I can go into this feeling fine....I have already won in my mind.

As I drove home (55 minutes) I almost started laughing. I am not sure if it's the lack of abundant glucose or that I have totally evolved. The long journey home was awesome because I found myself completely un-phased by her opinion and the realization that my self esteem is obviously not tied to my body was awesome. As someone who has always kept a check on her weight because at 5"1" it doesn't take much before you find yourself round I felt I was obsessed with my body. Well, maybe I was at one time but I am certainly over it and that makes this one week of suffering worth it. Maybe the freedom comes from now knowing that within 5 short weeks I can change my body completely and it's really not that hard. Whatever it is I am taking it to the bank.
That brings me to this final week and I have to admit it sucks! The biggest issue I am having is NO CAFFEINE! That is right down evil and wrong in my opinion. I am not a huge coffee drinker but I have my ritual in the morning and I love that ritual. I can have de-caf but really?!!! My macro nutrients changed big time pumping up the proteins and robbing my carbs. I need to drink 150 oz of water each day. My workouts stay the same so you can imagine the lows I feel. It's kind of like heading for mile 75 and a mild bonk. The only difference is I don't get to shove gels down, chug coke, eat a banana and chase it with a Red Bull. This process lasts for 4 days then we start loading the body with carbs. It's actually just like carbo loading but everything is on smaller scale. If you carb load for a running event properly you are supposed to slow your carb intake for a few days before you load. Most runners forget that process which then leaves them feeling bloated in the end. The idea is to have the muscles hungry for glucose so when it comes in on Thurs., Fri., and Sat. the muscles gobble it up and then look very very full and strong. Attached is a table of my menus macro nutrient breakdown. Everyone seems to think I am on a low carb diet but definately not for the first 4 weeks. This last week is low for 4 days then it bumps up. I put my running menu breakdown on the table for comparison. To view the table you will need to click it open. do I feel???? Comfortably numb! That is the only way to describe it. I am not cranky or irritable but quite the opposite. Not much can phase me right now and I am low on energy at certain points during the day. I think by Wednesday I will be among the walking dead. But....on the bright side I will really appreciate those carbs a lot more now.
Another amazing discovery is feeling how my body reacts to food and the lack of certain foods. I have had ah ha moments for the last three weeks. I have FELT a lot of parallels to my training and racing. The low moments I have been having are not unlike the ones I have had while training and racing. I find this to be curious. Why? Because how we fuel while training has a great impact on our performances during training. During racing it's obvious and we are much more "on it" meaning during an event fueling is everything. But.....during training fueling is everything as well. The flat feeling I have had during my walking sessions, the puffiness in my muscles which in the body world they call a "flat" look. Those are all from low glucose in the muscles which in never good. Since I am not in any over training or overly fatigued state the only variable is food. What this tells me is I need to pay attention to these kinds of feeling when I start training again because it may be due to low glucose in the muscles and I need to fuel them better. I don't know if this holds water but I am going to test it.

Last Thursday I landed myself in the emergency room in the middle of the night with a kidney infection. I must have had a bladder infection for some time and ignored all the signs. Since I haven't had one since I was 25 years old I forgot that burning while urinating is not normal. I thought I might be using to much hot sauce on my food. I know, how stupid can one person be but truly I was not even concerned until the pain in my back got so bad I dreaded breathing. Bill was out of town so I had to wake Alex up and drive to the hospital. They wouldn't give any pain meds because I had to drive home which sucked. But, they pumped me full of antibiotics and sent me home with a bunch of stuff. I found this to be extremely ironic since that last week before a figure competition it's all about water, hyper hydrating then dropping the water. Mark and I discussed it and I know I might not come in as low as I could because the antibiotics force your body to hold water in the tissues but I am doing it anyway....bloated or not! So with just a few days left I am hoping my friends are working on their "cat calls". You know the kind of comments you might get if you run by a construction project???


  1. My favorite part of all of this is how happy you are in your own skin and how you are wise enough to know that the notion that you are not lean "enough" has no relation to reality (or health!).

    You are amazing. And I hope you're keeping enough strength to keep on winning 100 mile races :-)

  2. The Swansons are ready to yell really loud!

  3. ...'cat calls', 'dog calls', 'giraffe calls'....Whatever it takes! I can't wait to be yelling and whistling my head off. In my book you are already a winner!

  4. Holly cow on the picture!!! OK, I am all good and adjusted:) I once let my girlfriends do a "do" on me, and looked about the same, what the picture of scared the shitlife out of me. And hey, no pictures in swimsuits??? What brings me to important idea - I am in this weekend, and no soccer games, I want to come and cheer you on! Send me email, please!
    How comfortable you are in your skin is surely the biggest lesson out of the whole ordeal. That and the fact that you dropped down to 9% fat (or less by now). What mean anybody can do it - what I claimed since my fat-to-skinny transformation. I fully admit I am not that fit or firl not due to "I can't" but to "I don't". I admire you a lot for being so focused and committed, Ronda. Go for it now!
    And thanks for all your help too! Lousy excuses, but I'll get on it better soon!

  5. I will go and rooster call while you prance on the stage in your face goop and high heels. But you are gluing your own suit to your butt cheeks! I'm drawing the line. :] You give class a whole new look girl. K

    And you are on! Recovery run next week!!

  6. Good luck showing your stuff on stage. I am excited for you. I admire your courage and your ability to try something "out of the box". Have a wonderful time. Enjoy every minute! I wish I could be there to cheer you on!

  7. I am so glad you are sharing your journey with us! I love that you laughed on the way home, feeling good in your own skin and knowing that you have already won! Awesome. Yeah, decaf, why bother? Way to step out of your comfort zone and tackle this goal.