Monday, November 22, 2010


My recovery from Javelina 100M was amazing. I wasn't sore, no swelling and my muscles rebounded fast. Why? Because I chose to do a bodybuilding show. I have experienced 2 of the 3 contests held at a physique competition. I have competed in figure twice and bikini twice. I have never done bodybuilding. I have always loved the required poses for bodybuilding but was never really ready to dive in. First, I don't have much muscle and second you need to be very lean. For woman I would say you need to be in the 6-8% max. Since I chose such a late 100M race the only show I would be able to do is the NW Championships in Olympia or my desire to try it would have to wait. I said, "What the hell". I can change my fueling, learn the poses and create a 60 second routine in 17 days. Crazy, not at all recommended but I really wanted to try it so I did. When I got home I got my menu on Monday mid-day. That gave me 17 days to cut as much fat off my body as I could. I started eating the plan that day. 7 meals, every 2-3 hours containing protein, carbs and good fats. One of the misconceptions I heard a lot was, "You must be starving". Actually, it's quite the opposite. Post 100M I am generally not that hungry and what I want to eat is not all that healthy. With this plan I had to eat lots of lean protein, clean carbs and healthy fats whether or not I was hungry. I was pretty much force feeding myself for at least 3 days. This is why my recovery from Javelina was so great. Mark has always told me it would be best for me to eat every 2 hours post race to refuel my muscles and crank up the repair process. Well, it's easier said than done. When you look at yams and chicken after running 100 miles it isn't very appetizing. I wasn't really convinced it would make much difference but now I am certain it does. Along with the eating I had to do 1.5-2.0 hours of low level cardio a day. Broken up into 3 sessions. When I say low level I mean really low, barely breaking a sweat and certainly not breathing hard. I needed to do it this way because I needed to burn only fat! No muscle could be sacrificed. I have very little muscle mass at the end of a running season. Especially in my upper body.

This first 6 days were easy. I had no distractions, was super satisfied and not bored. By the first Sunday I had a rough patch. I questioned why I was doing this. The ridiculous notion that I could run a 100M and 17 days later compete in bodybuilding competition was an easy out. I had a pouting moment, complained to Bill but continued eating like I was supposed to. Bill was awesome. I tried to get him to take me out to dinner and in his sweet way said, "No". He was no fun so the day went on and by 8 p.m. I was in bed. I woke up the following day with new resolve. There's something very satisfying about self control. I always tell Alex self confidence and self esteem are two different things. Self confidence is taught. It's something your parents and people who are integrated in your life almost give you. The people close to you shape your self confidence is many ways. That's why is incredibly important to choose your partners and friends wisely. Listen to them, monitor how you feel when they talk with you about you. All those things play a role in having self confidence because it's how you feel about yourself. Self esteem on the other hand is earned. No one can build your self esteem. At least that's how I see it. You earn it through your accomplishments. How you choose to fulfill your life will either enhance or rob you of your self esteem. All the obstacles you overcome to achieve or have an experience give you resolve. How many times you have trudged forward feeling scared, not worthy or embarrassed because you don't know what you're doing? Each and every time you push yourself you build self esteem. This was one of those moments. Everyone thought I was nuts, stupid or just crazy. All those words played to my weak days but chose to ignore and do what I wanted.

Besides gaining a bit of esteem I gained awareness. Dropping weight is hard. It's takes discipline and self control. I probably heard the phrase "I would like to lose some weight but I can't be that rigid". Well, then don't spend any ounce of mental energy talking about what you would like to do. Not that I am trying to put anyone down but let's face it. It takes energy to get results. It takes some suffering either physical or mental to achieve a goal. Many of us can over train ourselves into becoming sick so clearly we can push ourselves. It seems like there is this brewing notion that if we are ever hungry we have an eating disorder. The only eating disorder I seem to see is over eating. I found it interesting and enlightening to hear and experience peoples reaction about rigid eating. I wonder why? Ask yourself what your initial reaction or emotion is when someone tells you they are eating a certain way to cut fat. Especially if they are not fat in YOUR eyes. I suspect most of us react based on how we feel about our own ideas about our OWN weight. Many times there is a very negative reaction, a lot comparing and justifying right off the bat. I wonder why that is? It's as if planning your food intake whether it be eat more, eat less or simply eat differently as seen as taboo. It's really no different than then planning your day, keeping your house or car very neat, or planning and being diligent about working out. It's all the same. During this 17 days I got the opportunity to experience the feeling of wanting to eat stuff I can't. I have never really needed to lose much weight in my 43 years. With the exception of dropping post baby weight I have never been over weight. The only body changes I have really ever had to make are because I want and like a leaner body. I eat clean because I like to feel good. I like good energy, good skin and I like the taste of clean healthy food. I also, do not like feeling like I have a food hangover. I like to cook and use lots of fresh spices and experiment with clean recipes. All that and my love for physical challenges has helped me stay steady. I do like to eat so I eat a lot and often. For 17 days I got a really restricted menu. Not a lot of tastes and certainly no deviations. There were times when a piece of chocolate or a good coffee drink called me. I had to practice self control but now with food. It was interesting and enlightening. It's hard but if you really want something it's easy. A curious study.

The outcome was a bit leaner Ronda. 17 days only got me about 2.5 lbs of fat loss but I was able to maintain my muscle mass. Since endurance athletes are like glycogen camels it takes a bit for our bodies to burn up the already plump glycogen stores. Along with all that much needed, hard earned glycogen storage comes water. So with all that depletion I dropped at least 5-6 pounds. I will count the 2.5 lbs of fat as real loss. It was crazy to watch my body change daily. When it was competition day I was nervous and anxious knowing I only gave this 17 days. I am also very small and wasn't super lean. I had to disassociate myself with those thoughts because the worst thing I could do was let them see me sweat so to speak. J I needed to project confidence that I belonged there. I think I did a good job and definitely didn't look how I felt inside. The best part was my 60 second routine. I chose the music from the Leadville 100M mountain bike movie, "The Race Across The Sky". The song is, Electric Worry, by Clutch. Very fun. I had a blast with the routine. It was the perfect motivator of my next adventure which is the 2011 Leadwoman.