Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And So It Begins..

Those of you who have been reading for some time won’t be surprised that I have again jumped into the bodybuilding ring; heart and soul.

To body build competitively is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now. I really enjoy lifting, watching my body change as I develop mass, getting stronger as I can lift heavier weight and more reps. I love seeing the progress. I love the challenge. I love stepping into the unknown. In the past I allowed myself to be afraid, to be paralyzed by fear. I now embrace the fear as I realize it is growth.

Last year I became serious about lifting and even set a date for a competition. I continued to run high mileage as I was planning a few 100s in addition to the show. I wanted to find out for myself if I could train for both sports. I found that I couldn’t train as hard as I wanted while training for two, extensively. Training for both sports took a toll on my body and I was left without enough energy to practice either of the sports well. I believe that I need to focus on a single sport in order to obtain the outcome I desire.

Once I put my goal of bodybuilding on hold last season I again began to focus on endurance and ran Lean Horse 100, running a PR for the distance and then Javelina 100 in the later months. As I was training for and running these races I continually checked in with myself : are you ready to put this away for a year and focus on bodybuilding? How badly do you want it? Have you had enough of the 100s for a year? Is running 50 miles a week tops enough for you, along with many other questions.

The past few months I’ve revisited that same question and scenario. When my 2010 calendar was full for the 100s I was loosely planning to run I decided to again look at bodybuilding seriously. It didn’t take long for the excitement to engulf me. I’ve now taken steps to create a successful outcome. I’ve worked out a lighter running schedule, one that I am happy with. I’ve interviewed or met with over a dozen bodybuilding coaches and I have found a coach who is a great fit for me.

My original thought was that it might be possible for me to be ready for a competition this next October/November. My coach suggests I wait until early 2011 as he would prefer more mass to my back and chest and to balance out my quads by building my inner quad and hamstring, in order be competitive. I agree. I would prefer to go into this in the best shape I can so that I can be competitive instead of just dieting down in order to get on stage before I am ready.

The past month I’ve been running with Topaz, 6-8 miles a day. No heavy training, just short nice relaxing runs. My coach states that as long as I keep my heart rate between 145-155 I will be able to continue this. I didn’t do well with giving up my daily lovely runs with Topaz last spring when I tried bodybuilding by training myself. During this off season-the muscle building time between now and when I begin to prep (16 weeks prior to the comp which will be sometime early 2011) I will maintain a 13-15% body fat so that when prep season arrives I don’t have a large percentage of body fat to lose.

He’s teaching me so much about the science of food and how it relates to my body. I learned that the female body is most anabolic when kept at 9-15% body fat. I have slowly been increasing my calorie intake and I’m not gaining fat. I am a steady 13% body fat. We’ll keep increasing the calories as time goes on so that I can continue to build and when I began the prep stage I will be able to have something to cut back upon. As it was prior to the increase I was only eating 1200-1400 calories a day, running 100 miles a week and lifting 5 times a week. There were no extra calories to cut and my body had become completely adept at eating low calories and exercising at a high rate.

I love instant gratification but this journey will not be providing much of that. This will provide a learning experience as bodybuilding is something I know nothing about, it will provide a great sense of accomplishment and a whole lot of dedication to myself in order to obtain the outcome I desire. I will be tenacious and show great perseverance.

Of course this isn’t about the comp, that will take one hour. It is about the journey to the comp. It’s about working hard, pushing myself harder than ever, learning about myself , goal setting. I’m ready.

And..I tend to become stale when I don’t have something to fuel my desire..

..And So it Begins..


Shelly said...

Good luck! I am so excited to see your progress throughout your journey. I am a runner and just began lifting- I love it! I have also become a clean eater and It is exciting to see my body change. I have never felt so good! Again, good luck!

Steve said...

Julie, you have to follow your heart and your passion. As always, I wish you the best in your endeavors!

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Ultra Sam said...

Rock on Julie.

Just stumbled onto your bog and massaively inspirational.

Salad is my choice for Brekkie and loads of Chia. Have also put down the bottle and loving life.

Keep spreading the good word and doing good things.

Running together - stride for stride on a life changing ride!