Dusting Off the Keyboard

You know it’s been awhile when my browser history doesn’t even remember my web addy.

single tear for the forgotten blog

single tear for the forgotten blog

But I did that to myself…and to those of you who still read this – sorry y’all! To say that life has been crazy would not be an accurate enough statement…because in truth life has been LIFE. I’ve thought about writing, but then wondered what would I write about? If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve noticed a steady dwindling of fitness related posts and more of my personal self spilling over..and with it tons of selfies, lol.

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My selfie game is strong.

Let us take a walk back in time, shall we? I’ve been in this very strange place over the past year or so since I’ve stopped running regularly. Change of jobs, refocus of career, but more importantly a change in my exercise and food routine. I still haven’t quite landed into a regular pattern since I’ve stopped running. CrossFit kinda came in and with it a new community and new “norms” and apparently a new interest in lifting heavy things. How running fit into that lifestyle was quite easy…it didn’t. *shrug* Part of me felt kinda weird writing for a blog entitled TheCurvyRoadRunner, when I technically don’t really run like that, nor do I consider myself a runner. The Curvy CrossFitter or The Overweight Oly Lifter don’t really work for me either, lmao…I’m none of those things. I’m all of those things. I’m just me. I like to run…and lift weights…and these days it seems I’m gaining a new love for yoga. I just like DOING THINGS. There’s a lot the human body can do if the human mind and spirit would only endeavor to try.

My weight has fluctuated, and I’m on the heavier side of the scale…but I’m stronger than I’ve been in awhile. And I’m challenging myself to do things that I never thought I would…like handstands. Something so simple, right? Yet…here I am at 270 lbs (yea I said it) doing handstands. Who said I couldn’t do that? Apparently I did. So I’m about changing that. I’m for challenging the notion that I can’t do ______. I can. Or at least I can try, right? And with trying…you get better.

handstanding in 4 inch heels? don't mind if i do!

handstanding in 4 inch heels? don’t mind if i do!

For awhile I’d considered changing the name of this blog. I know the name I want it to be…Find Your FIt….because I think that’s what this journey has really been about for me. Figuring out what I want to do, how I want to do it, and what being fit looks and feels like to me. So I suppose you can say I’m “back” though I won’t be posting daily. For my own sake and sanity, I’ll at least try to use this space to share my own thoughts and experiences as I go about finding my own fit.

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She RETURNS!!!!!

I know…it’s been a VERY long time since my last post…like a whole month basically. Suffice to say that life has been rather busy for me. Looking to change careers, trying to figure out how to follow my dreams, and recommitting to working out without letting races and training get in the way. All in all, I can’t say if it’s been a good time or a bad time, but it has been a challenging and growing time.

In the midst of all of these challenges and growth and things…I’ve been running per usual. I’ve decided to no longer pursue the goal of completing 13 half marathons this year. Namely…it just doesn’t fit into my life right now and as much as I love to be everything and do everything…I needed to prioritize. Lucky for you all…YOU are one of my priorities!

With that said…if you haven’t already, follow me on Facebook HERE, as I’m committed to sharing more content to help you make your best life happen RIGHT NOW. I’m on Pinterest as well, and will be sharing recipes, curvy fashion, and all kinds of goodness for you guys on there.

I’m committed to living a well rounded and healthy life. I’m also committed to helping you do the same. Let’s do this!

A Slave to Technology

Yesterday, a terrible thing happened. I was on my way out the door for a run with the ladies of BGR! and as I reached for my iPod shuffle…it wasn’t there. Not under my bed, dresser, in the pocket of my running jacket. Nope. Not any of those places. Baffling wasn’t the word…it was more like frustration…then ultimate sadness as I realized I lost my iPod. I still haven’t found it…I’ve looked under sofas, in drawers, and all kinds of places where it would never be…and no luck. I’m truly at a loss on this one you guys…I ran yesterday sans iPod…but it wasn’t the same. Now, I can and have run without music before, but even then I’ve got my headphones in – just no music playing. *sigh*

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Yea…that’s me alright.

Naturally…I went out and bought another iPod shuffle – thankfully those little guys are not expensive (about $45 in most places like Walmart, Best Buy, Target). But still…last night I had to redo my running playlist all over again – so very annoying…and discouraging…YES I am whining right now because I lost my iPod. It sucks…that lil guy and I had many good runs and races together. And now…he might be gone forever. *tear* I’m secretly hoping it will turn up in a random pile of clothes or somewhere that I just didn’t think to look. But…for now I at least have music again, which is fine.

But nothing ever replaces your first.

lol, ok now that was a bit dramatic – I admit that. 🙂

I know I’m not the only one out there who gets attached to their technology in such a way. For me, the iPod was of particular importance since I do listen to music when I run or workout. I’ve got playlists that I’d built specifically for race day running…tracks carefully selected and organized to correspond to various parts of the run – the warm up, the “zone”, the cool down. But, eh…I had to do it all over again, and I suppose the blessing in disguise with losing my iPod was a chance to revisit the songs that were and were not working for my playlist. I added some new things, omitted others, and came up with a play list just for the fun/easy run days.

But still…I want my old iPod to show up. 😦

In other news, now that I’m feeling back to normal and eating again…I think I’ve gained weight? I don’t know if it’s the change from having absolutely nothing in your stomach to now having food there…but that scale went up when I did a lil spot check the other day. This weekend I’ve gotta be on top of my eating – Monday is weigh-in for the challenge at y gym and I am really not trying to see high numbers. Wish me luck!

Till next time! 🙂

Performance Anxiety

This year I have learned that perhaps one of the most distracting and useless things one can do in training for a race is to obsess over the race itself. I haven’t been running much this summer, and yes part of me hates that because I know I could, but the run snob in me refused because I knew I’d be slower than I wanted…and that slower wouldn’t do when you have 26.2 looming over your head. So I rested and just thought about running and ran when I wanted to. 

I don’t want to go through another summer like that again.

With all of the pressure I’ve silently piled upon myself to tackle a marathon, I think I psyched myself out of the positive mental state I’m usually in. My goal, instead of being something fun to try, became some large ominous obstacle to tackle. One that seemed bigger than me. One that seemed damn near impossible.

So you know what?

I’m not going to think about this MCM anymore. Don’t really want to talk about it either. I’m just going to run. Long and short. Fast and slow. Whatever. Because as I was sitting here looking at my fall race calendar, I’d forgotten all about the fun little and longer races I have planned for myself. The Rock n Roll in Philly and NYC, the Philly Half Marathon, the fun Christmas and New Year’s races I did last year…yea, this is gonna be an awesome running season, and it doesn’t stop on Oct. 28th with the MCM. I needed to remember that, and to really sit down and have a conversation with myself about things that I want to do, am doing, can do, and can not do. Sometimes we have to do a check-in with ourselves just to make sure that mind, body, spirit are all on the same page. Part of my anxiety lately has been due to the fact that I don’t think the three of us were all together when it came to this training thing. I’m trying to fix that now, and I think the first step in that is to stop talking about training…and start talking about running. Simply running.

this is how it’s going to be from now on

When Life Happens

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last blog, and it’s been a slow kinda progress back into running on a regular basis. Truthfully, I hadn’t realized that I would celebrate my accomplishment of completing my first Half for so long…or that the celebration would throw me off my game so much. I’ve spent the past two weeks running sporadically, not really on my marathon training program, and just kinda…bleh.

I’ve been telling myself that it’s just temporary, and I know that it is, since I grew sick of it last week, lol. Sometimes I feel bad about not running…as if I’ve just committed a terrible offense, and need to make it out there and run a few miles as penance.

Guilt Trips are NOT ALLOWED! 🙂

 

But then I realize how silly that sounds, lol. I love to run, but I never want to get to the point where running begins to feel like a chore. Or NOT running inspires that kinda serious guilt. I guess I wore myself out, so I guess all those extra hours in bed catching up on those ZZZZZs were just my body’s way of letting me know just how tired it was. And my mind was just too exhausted to try and tell my body otherwise.

Still, I’ve been able to put a few miles in there over the past couple of weeks. I miss the consistency of my routine though, but changes in work and my life in general are kinda forcing me to find other ways/times to get the miles in. I’m about to start running earlier in the morning to better assist me in this endeavor. Right now I usually get up for a run right around sunrise, so there’s never been a need for headlamps or other safety equipment like that. But as my runs get longer, I will need to start running earlier, though I might still end up finishing up runs after the sun is out.

For those night time/early morning runners out there…What kind of gear and gadgets do you find most useful and least cumbersome? I’ve been asking around and doing a bit of research on what’s out there, but the more opinions the better! 🙂

Channelling My Inner Energizer Bunny

The road to the Marine Corps Marathon is becoming more real with every passing day. And though registration has yet to open for civilians like myself, I’ve still remained true to my training and optimistic that I will be able to register to achieve my goal . I’ve mentioned before how intimidated I’ve been by these longer runs I have to do. The idea of going that far just weirds me out for some reason. It’s definitely unchartered territory for me. Over the past couple of years I’ve tried to keep an eye on how my body seems to handle the various distances I run. I’ve even gotten to the point where I could guess, depending on how far and fast I plan on running,  how much I would need to eat to remain energized. For the most part, I’ve been able to get by on pretty light pre-run fare…some days in the past I could run on an empty stomach – not far, but just for shorter runs (3 mi and under).

Well…now that I’ve stepped up into the big leagues of Marathon Training, running on zero or next to nothing will do me no good. After the way I felt at the end of a 14 mile run, I thought it would be quite necessary and timely to being my search for an energy supplement that would assist in my long distance dreams. When looking for the right energy supplement, I read up on a couple of runner’s websites, articles, and talked to a few runners to get their point of view.

I'm trying Bunny...don't you worry!

 

In my search for the right kind of energy supplement I am taking several factors into account…Taste & Texture, Portability, and Effectiveness.  Immediately, I decided that GUs, gels, and bars would not be the way for me. The texture of them just weirds me out…I think it’s kinda gross really, lol. Though I’m a runner, I’m also a BIG foodie, so taste and texture are HUGE factors in what kind of supplements I’d use. With that said, I purchased Jelly Belly’s Sports Beans, Cliff Shot Blocks, and Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews. Thus far I’ve only tried the Sports Beans and the Shot Blocks, and their ratings are as follows:

Jelly Belly Sports Beans

Taste & Texture – I tried the fruit punch kind, and they were pretty good. On first bite, you could tell you weren’t eating a regular jelly bean…I think I could taste the caffeine (?), but after awhile I got used to it.The texture was like that of a jelly bean, so I loved that.

Portability – They came in these little resealable bags,which was great for me as I didn’t eat them all at once. The bags were also pretty small so that I could fit them into the little pocket of my running pants. BIG plus.

Effectiveness – Due to the size of the beans, which are normal jelly bean size, I wan’t really sure how many I should have ingested at once. The recommended serving size was one packet for every hour of activity, but that didn’t really go over that well with me, since that would mean I’d need to carry two packages when I really just wanted to carry one. I ate about 3 beans at a time while on a 10k, and I feel like they definitely did help to keep me energized, though I wonder how I would have felt if I ate more beans at once versus rationing them out over the last 1.5 miles of the run.

Overall – I like them, and would use them on some of the shorter distance runs, though I need to experiment with them a bit more to figure out the proper bean to running ratio that will maximize my energy and performance.

Clif Shot Bloks

Taste & Texture – Got them in tropical punch, and they were good! They didn’t have that same kinda aftertaste that the Jelly Belly Sports Beans had, which was a big plus. They were gooey and chewy – kinda like a gummy bear…a large gummy bear. The size of one Shot Blok is a little large, which made it a little awkward to chew at first, but I got used to it before long.

Portability – The Shot Bloks come in a wrapper kinda like a candy bar (6 bloks per package), so while there is no option to reseal the package once it’s been opened, you can twist the open part to close it. Also, you needn’t worry about the bloks falling out of the open package – they are kinda stuck together (again, just like gummy bears), so they aren’t really going anywhere.

Effectiveness – I tried these out on a 16 mile run (yea, I did 16 MILES!!! *woot*), and they definitely helped out. The size of the bloks wound up being a huge plus, since I didn’t have to count any beans or chews…I just bit one blok off and kept going until I needed/wanted another. The recommended serving was 3 bloks for every hour of activity, but I ended up eating 6 bloks for the 4 hours I was out there on my 16 mile run, which suited me just fine.

Overall – Definitely my front runner. I will be purchasing more bloks to try their different flavors, and I feel like these are probably going to be the supplement for me on my 13+ mile runs.

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

I have yet to take these for a test drive, so stay tuned for my thoughts on them. The general consensus among the runners I’ve spoken with is that they are great, but we shall see 🙂

Till next time! 🙂

On the Road to Recovery

it only FEELS like a long road...

 

Well these days I’ve been taking it easy, and it’s come at a perfect time. Work has been hectic, and I’ve needed those extra hours of sleep versus getting up to run. Sometimes in my training I get stressed or anxious about getting up the next day to do a training run. Well…with my leg still healing, I don’t have to worry about that at all. This week I’ve been walking at a brisk pace and I think that’s going to be the plan as I continue to heal.

Many thanks to my close friends and fellow runners and athletes who have given me some pretty sound advice when it came to giving myself enough time to heal. I’ve been listening to all of the feedback, which has informed the following decision:

I will not be running in the 10k I had planned for next weekend, and will instead continue to walk and slowly ease my way back into jogging.

You don’t know how hard it is for me to say that. For one, I’m never one to quit or back out of something. But realistically speaking, I have two longer races coming up in early December that I want to be fresh for. This 10k was kinda special to me since it was the 1st 10k I ever ran and I wanted to return and run it this year and beat my time. Now, of course I know I far surpass the pace I kept for that race, but the runnerd in me wants to records to show it. That’s ok…next year.

Since I won’t be doing that run, I’m opting to do the SOME Turkey Trot this year with my sister. It’s kinda cool since she’s not a runner, and admittedly she was a little hesitant when I mentioned the idea to her…but she’s game. It’d be a nice intro to running for her and a nice little return to running for me. I figure we’ll walk some jog some, which will be good for us both. I’m kinda excited about being able to share my love of running with my sis. Who knows? She might like it 😀

Oh, and since we’re on the topic of recovery…take a look at these articles and little tidbits about training:

7 Ways to Avoid Overtraining – good article…I will say that I do a decent job at respecting my rest days and doing my cross training. I need to do a better job of making sure I get enough sleep and pay more attention to the other areas mentioned as well.

5 Key Stretches for Runners – admittedly, I don’t do a whole lot of pre-run stretches, though I do try to get in my post-run stretches

Dynamic Stretching Warm Up – I’m a big fan of dynamic stretches and movements that really require a good amount of motion. I want to begin trying this routine when I hit the road.

Till next time!  🙂