Just wanted to give an update on my journey.
When I last talked to you guys, I was planning on bulking in the winter. Well, I did end up diving right in. I plugged all my info into the Scooby calculator and started out with my bulk calories at 2500/day. I stayed away from the scale and measuring tape for a month, just in case any initial weight gain would mess with my head. My workouts were amazing!! I felt like my strength was through the roof. I was hitting PRs in every workout and I loved it. I quit cardio cold turkey for bulk. Had been planning that and didn't miss it a bit. Everything felt great, I felt lean, etc. Hopped on the scale and I had lost almost a pound. Upped my bulk cals to 2700 and started in on that number.
2700 cals/day with just 3 hours of lifting/week was what worked for me to gain slowly. No cardio, stayed away from the scale. Felt great some days, felt like none of my clothes fit me other days (and they didn't). It was definitely a mind trip. I remember messaging Kiki and saying, “I'm pretty sure all I gained was fat. None of my pants fit, wahhhhh.” I hadn't been taking pictures, but one day decided to randomly take a picture of my back. I couldn't believe my eyes. Some of that “fat” I gained was starting to look like the beginning of lats. I was thrilled. I was about 10 lbs up from my starting bulk weight at that point.
Couldn't take the constant mental battle, so around the end of January I decided to go back down to maintenance (2500 cals/day). Stayed there until almost March and then started cutting at a small deficit (around 200 cals/day). It's been working well. The scale says I'm only down 2 pounds, but my pants fit again and I feel lean again. Well, most of the time. lol
Big part: In February, my sister and I started talking about running races for the upcoming season. (We ran a handful of 5ks and 3 half marathons last year.) Something that has always been on my bucket list is to run a marathon. Guess what?? I'm going for it this year. I know….I know….I just finished bulking. Now I'm running a marathon?? What's the point? Well, I did bulk, yes. And I do know that my goal of a marathon may cause me to lose muscle I gained during bulk, but I'm going for it. I plan to keep a small deficit throughout training (more food!! Yes! You will not hear any complaints from me there).
Current plan: I continue to lift heavy. I know when my long runs hit upwards of 10 miles I may not be able to do heavy squats right before. My plan is to lift following Stronglifts 5×5 two times/week, lift heavy upper body once/week, and run 4 days/week. I have to run and lift on the same day a lot, but so far it's been working well. If I feel I need an additional rest day I drop a lifting day because my goal now is to train for this marathon.
It's been a great learning experience…what with my first mini-bulk (can't wait for the next bulk). Yep, I plan to bulk again. Starting in the fall (marathon in is June, but I'm not going to be bulking in June.) hehe. Hopefully I'll be a little more prepared for all the mental games. I'm excited to see where all my running will take me. I've already logged over 50 miles. I love the runner's high. I guess I kinda missed that. Sometimes I struggle to push myself out the door and I just want to stay indoors with my weights, but I committed to this and I'm going to see it through.
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