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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Progress is My Friend

That was more a reminder to myself than to anyone else, because hey…progress isn’t easy. It’s slow…unsexy…and really tests your determination. But, it’s so very necessary if you’re going to meet your goals, so everyday…progress.

These past couple of weeks have been some of that very same slow and unsexy progress. I’ve been running more consistently and thinking about what I eat (good and bad), as well as tracking my food (sporadically, but tracking nonetheless). My marathon training has been plodding along, though I gotta tell ya – something about running 3-5 miles really kinda irks me sometimes. Like…I want to run longer. I can’t remember the last time I ran 10+ miles…oh wait, that was in May at my last half marathon.

*sigh*

But progress…slow, steady, unsexy, and at times exhaustive. I’ve been trying to stick to my training, down to the running pace, as faithfully as I can and let me tell you it is not always easy. I missed a few days of running this week, but today took on 5 miles worth of hills and heinous inclines…I kinda loved it, I won’t lie. For my marathon training this time around I’ve chosen to try the Hanson training method (click here for free basic version) of basically learning to run on tired legs by running 6 days a week. I’ve modified it a lil bit by planning 5 runs a week, but I’ve left the 6th day open for a fun run or something of that nature. I’ve also tried to pay attention to my paces by taking a hint from the McMillan Training Pace Calculator, and apparently my easy run pace needed to slow down a LOT. That’s been a big adjustment for me, but again…that slow and steady, unsexy kinda progress. You wouldn’t think running slower than you know you can run, slower than you’re used to running, would be harder…but oh boy it has most certainly been more difficult.

Progress, though…right? Right.

Till next time! 🙂

Janathon: Days 2 & 3

Yesterday I kept the running indoors since I decided to listen to the voices of reason (thank you Once and Future Runner and Halfathoner) and risk getting sick again by running outdoors before I completely recovered. It was a decent 3.3 miles on the treadmill, followed by some much needed gentle yoga. My day was off to a super healthy start…

Until Happy Hour.

Then, my loves, I got a little too happy and had too much to drink…and wound up flat on my bottom for the rest of the night into this morning. Day 3 of the Janathon wound up being a recovery day, lol, so there was very little activity going on.

Saturdays I usually will use as a rest day, so I doubt I will do anything majorly active tomorrow.

For my fellow Janathoners out there…hope you guys are faring better than I’ve been! 🙂

Stress Eating is a B*TCH

Hello loves,

I know it’s been a LONG time since my last post, but a lot has been going on – not particularly good stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Work has been crazy, I’ve been super stressed, and life all around has been leaving these lovely large boot marks in my back. Yea…it’s been like that. Between not getting enough sleep, getting next to no exercise, and putting all the yummy but yucky foods in my mouth I’ve managed to pack on the pounds.

Right now I have gained about 15 lbs in the past 2 weeks alone and I have zero doubt as to how it got to be this bad…

So, let’s talk about stress/emotional eating…it is only too easy to go to that favorite treat or fast food joint when the day has been tough or something is bothering you. In our minds, those few seconds of pleasure we get from indulging will somehow make the misery go away. The escapism doesn’t help though…it really does more harm than anything else. Take myself for example…I’ve been so busy/stressed from work that I have no energy to do the things I love to do…the things that coincidentally are healthy for me. Soooooo I’ve been spending most of my time at McDonald’s and Auntie Annes…like, way too much time there, and it is most assuredly showing. I am getting so few (if any) of the nutrients that my body needs to function, that on top of the stress and exhaustion from work, I’m not getting any kind of energy boost from the foods I’m eating.

Silly girl that I am.

It’s funny when you know better, yet you still behave in the same non-productive pattern. I know what’s been going on with me…I know why it’s been happening.

And I know how to reverse it.

That’s the lovely thing about changing our habits – it can really happen whenever we decide to take that first step. My first step has been to start a cleanse. I went to GNC today and got some cleansing (read: laxative) tea to get some of this crap out of my system (literally, lol – sorry). Bit by bit I’m going to have to forge some time for my exercise routine. I know I’m not going to be able to get out there and run 10 miles right of the back, but I figure I’ll take an easy 3 miles a few times a week to get my cardio back up to snuff. Then I’m going to have to get this eating thing back on track. Realistically speaking, that might prove a bit of a challenge…and by challenge I mean it will take more of my time and some advance planning, but it’s gotta be done because that’s how it should be anyway. When I get to the point where I can eat on the go and still make healthy choices…that will be a day of days. But for now? We plan. 🙂

My objective is simple enough: Get myself back into shape, and lose all this extra stress weight that I’ve put on.

Once I’m back to that baseline level, I’m going to just keep going towards I reach a new level and eventually my ultimate goal. I’ve been playing around when it comes to my consistency in working towards that goal. I think I’ve had enough of the back and forth, up and down. I’m giving myself until August 1st to hit my goal. I hate the idea of having a ‘goal weight,’ because a couple of years ago when I first started on the journey I knew I wanted to be healthy – regardless of what weight that was. And I found that even when I hit what I thought would be a cool weight for myself, I was surprised to see that I could go further – I just didn’t. I’m not going to say what the numerical weight will be, but suffice to say that the plan itself is to see what I would look like 50+ lbs lighter. Maybe I’ll like it…maybe I’ll love it…maybe I won’t. But I won’t know until I stop the unhealthy patterns that I’ve recently fallen back into.

Why wait until a New Year to make a change that can start right now?

And so it begins.

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Marine Corps Marathon: Race Recap

At the start line

Yesterday I stepped up to the plate to take on the Marine Corp Marathon. 26.2 miles through VA into DC and back again. And it is with some rather bittersweet feelings that I am writing this post.

I won’t give a mile by mile recap, but I will simply say this…running this race was the singular most difficult thing I have ever done. Physically, mentally, and emotionally I was just tapped out. I felt like I really put myself through the ringer in running this race. And the icing on the cake?

Technically, I didn’t even finish.

Did I cross the finish line? Yes.

Did I get a finisher’s medal? Yes.

But I did not run 26.2 miles. I ran 23.2. What wound up happening was rather simple – I was moving too slow to be able to keep up with the course time limit.

Right after I hit mile 17 they were going to re-open the roads. Instead of the sweep van coming to get us stragglers, the Marines directed us to a shortcut that allowed us to catch up with folks at mile 20 and cross the 14th st bridge in time to finish with everyone else. So, that’s what I did. And I finished the race with a strange feeling…one that still kinda sits with me. I feel like I didn’t earn the medal…that I didn’t finish a marathon, because in all actuality I didn’t. I wouldn’t have been able to within the mandated time frame given. It’s hard for me now to even look at photos of get the praise and admiration from friends and family about yesterday because I don’t think I deserve it. I set a goal, and I failed at accomplishing it. Yes, the 26.2 got me good…but in spite of not being able to finish the way I wanted, I will say that I learned a lot about myself, running, and other people yesterday.

I have such respect and admiration for those who run marathons. I always have, but now as one who gave it a shot herself…it is a daunting task to cover that many miles. It takes a lot of heart, guts, and physical ability to be able to conquer 26.2. Now having been in a marathon, I can say with certainty that I am in no way interested in running for that length of time (my unofficial time was 6:51:09). I love running, believe me I do, but I have zero interest in running for that long. If you were to ask me yesterday, would I ever participate in a marathon again I would have given you a resounding NO. But really, what I am saying is that I would never want to be running for that long of an amount of time again. As I continue to run, I am sure I will continue to improve, and should I ever reach the point where my half marathon time is somewhere close to the 2 hr mark, then yes, I would be open to the idea of attempting a marathon again. Running for about 4.5 – 5 hrs doesn’t bother me that much…but yesterday I learned that anything beyond that is beyond anything I am willing to mentally tolerate.

A marathon can be a very lonely race to run, especially if you are a back of the pack kinda runner. There weren’t many people out to cheer for us slow pokes as we made our way through the race. I didn’t have family in the stands to cheer for me or waiting for me at the finish line. And even the finish line itself was being disassembled as I made my way across it. But…strangely enough, yesterday I felt as though I was never alone at any point during that race. I truly believe that sometimes people can be angels too…and that sometimes as we go through various things in life you have to keep an eye out for the angels that tend to cross your path. At several points throughout my run yesterday I felt like quitting and giving up. And at those times an angel met me.

The first one’s name was Leigh and she was a participant who, like myself was experiencing some serious leg pains very early on in the race. I slowed my run down to walk with her and talk to her about races she’s run in the past, where we were both from, and just regular chit chat. Just when I was beginning to really feel alone – there she was. We walked for about 2-3 miles together before her leg pain got the best of her and she had to seek care at a medical aid station.

The next angel that crossed my path was actually one of my lovely blog readers and fellow BGR sisters. I didn’t get her name, but she knew mine and shouted out to me as I was trudging along. Her timing was so divinely perfect, because at that moment I really needed some kind of encouragement, so much so that I had to stop running and go give her a hug. And to that woman, if you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there to encourage runners like me on. It really meant a lot.

Shortly after that I met another angel whose name I didn’t get. She was keeping a mean walking pace, so mean that it was hard for me to keep up with her. With her I was able to talk a little about why I run and what got me into running in the first place. It was nice to be able to share that with someone, and talking about it aloud really helped to remind myself of why I was there in the first place. Eventually she got ahead of me, but I was very thankful of the reminder that came my way via meeting her.

Then there was the elderly gentleman I met along mile 16 or so. We were hobbling together, side by side, keeping one another company. Even when I would start to fall behind a little, he would look back to see if I was there – that gave me all the more reason to dig a little deeper and stay with him. We kept up with each other through the rest of mile 16 through 17, and even the redirection to get to the bridge. I stayed with him for a good while until I caught a second wind and began to tear across the bridge. Having a buddy to navigate through the course when there was no clear direction really helped me to feel grounded and kept me from panicking or falling into despair. And for that I am thankful.

In the last 2 miles…when I really had no run left in me…as I was cursing the idea of a marathon, and in immense pain, I came across an angel named Nancy. A local woman form the area who has used running to transform her life, much like I am trying to do, she and I conversed about our love for running and the challenges that sometimes come from making a positive lifestyle change when those around you are not the most supportive. Talking to her made me feel very thankful for the people that I have in my life – all of whom have celebrated and congratulated and otherwise support me in my efforts to be a better me. It also made me thankful to know that I have so many personal angels in my life on a daily basis that push and challenge me to continue to do more and go further, like the ladies of my running group Black Girls Run, who were also angels all along the course at much needed points to encourage and support me as I tried my hardest to push through. *smile*

Then, in between meeting all of those great people…I had an outpouring of support, love, and encouragement coming by way of FaceBook, text messages, and phone calls. From friends, family, my awesome readers, and other members of the running community. Whenever I was feeling alone…whenever I started to feel a little down…or began to tear up…seeing those messages from all of you kept me going. You were all my life lines, and I am truly humbled by the amount of love and support I have found coming from all of you.

Yesterday was hard…one of the hardest things I have ever done. But it was so beautiful and I feel so very much blessed to know that in all things we are never alone. There is never a time when you have to walk (or run) the marathon that is life by yourself. Be ever on the lookout for the smallest of blessings that may come your way in the form of other people. The Marine Corps Marathon was as much a spiritual experience for me as it was a physical one. And I will proudly sport the 26.2 bumper sticker on my car and the medal on my wall as a reminder that…sometimes in life we are faced with obstacles that seem greater than us, but the amazing thing about it all is that we are and will always be supported, uplifted, and encouraged by the Divine.

And to always be on the lookout for the angels in our midst.

Till next time. 🙂

A day I shall not soon forget…

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

And Then Reality Hits…

Oh darlings.. I feel like such a slacker right now. My running this summer has been terrible, and what makes it worse is that I have this lil thing called a marathon that I’m supposed to run in less than 3 months.

only 83 days away…sheesh!

Can we say unprepared?

Lots of things have been going on lately, some not so great, others still so so, and then there were the bright spots, but I wish that I could say that in spite of it all my running never skipped a beat. Indeed…it skipped several. I don’t know what the next couple of months are going to have in store for me, but I can tell you with all honesty that I am hoping that when September hits and all of my races start to come up (I’ve got a couple of half marathons and 10ks sprinkled in there) that I will find my groove again. In the meantime, since I really do feel myself getting tired of not running, I may just adjust my August running plan to a point where I am reacquainting myself with getting back out on the road. My longest run this summer was last week and that was a torturous 5 miles. Yea…5 miles

*insert face of mild disapproval here*

That said, I guess August should be the time to build, and build slowly. Then by September I should be building bigger with the races I have in store, and come October…well let’s just say that I do have a back up Marathon in mind in the event that the MCM does not pan out the way I’d imagined…as in I DNF (do not finish).