Fat Girl is back! And better than ever. Sort of.

fullsizerenderA friend told me the other day she really missed reading my blog posts and it really resonated with me because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and how I’ve been slacking. So much has happened since the last time I wrote a post so it’s too much to go into. I’ll start with the overview of where I am at today.  Yesterday I ran my first half marathon of the year.  It was slow, but I did it.  This race meant more to me than any other halves because this is after doctors discovered I had a pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. More simply, I had blood clots.  That could have killed me. I was not supposed to run for three months and this devastated me.  I had so many races planned, a full year of them including running 5 half marathons 5 days in a row. My training was going great for it too. Against doctors orders I started running again because I soon ‘felt fine’ and was in a deep depression from not being able to run. Until one of my doctor’s actually yelled at me, scaring the shit out of me that I could have died if a piece of the clot broke off. It was scary to think I loved and missed running so much that I actually put my life on the line for it.

February 27 was the day I landed in the ER and hospital for the clots.  Exactly 3 months later, May 27 I got the word the PE & DVT were gone! I still have to this day a superficial clot in my lower right calf, but my doctor says it poses no danger. I ran the Baltimore 10 miler a week later after being cleared for running.  This was the first race I ever ran back in 2013 and felt this need to continue the tradition. Plus this year they were actually giving medals too! I sure as hell couldn’t miss that.  It took me 2:21 to run 10 miles (I used to do it in 1:37). But I did it! Next up I did Quadzilla in July and only missed my time from last year by 3 minutes. That showed me how far I started to come.  August 1 I started marathon training for the Philly marathon on November 20. And looking at my schedule I got this crazy notion to do the Baltimore marathon first on October 15.

Butvia yesterdays VIA half marathon was a ‘training run’. And it scared the shit out of me. I ran it slower than my 16 miler the week before, although the temps yesterday started hot & humid and then turned into what was a beautiful day. Wish the entire race was like that.  But I looked at my accomplishment first as ‘man, my time really sucked’ and I ‘only’ did the half marathon.  Are you kidding me? This is what I was concerned about? My stats are to the right. And let me point out that I turn 40 in November and cannot wait to be in the 40-44 age bracket.  Sick almost. HA!

But if I am really looking at ‘time’ there are some major components I need to observe. 1) Yes, I am that Fat Girl Running.  Since dealing with ED, I put on close to 45 pounds of weight I’d lost. I’m down 20 pounds now over a six month period while staying clean. It hasn’t been easy.  This was the blubber from back in January! fullsizerender-1I have about 20 more to go to put me back at a better racing weight. You can see the difference the most in my face.  I’ll always have the large stomach which is actually sagging skin from losing the weight over the years. More importantly though, I need to actually just stop thinking about time and weight and enjoying the runs like I used to.  I started running for the freedom it gave me.  The feel of that high when I had finished. That “runner’s high”.  Somewhere along the line, I lost that a bit as I became consumed with running for training and time and not fun.  It took me halfway through yesterday’s race to remember a conversation I had with a fellow friend and runner Tracy over lunch at Subway one day.  Time doesn’t matter she said.  Look at what you are accomplishing. Be a #goaldigger.  Here words stung me at about mile 6 yesterday and I finally started taking in the scenery around me and enjoying my run. Who cared what my watch said!  I was having fun (which hopefully when the pictures come back, they captured some of those moments).

This weekend I gave up going to see Adele to run a half marathon. Many people would think that was crazy. Why the hell would someone that loves Adele and could actually get tickets to her concert do that?  Because I needed to prove something to myself. I needed the race environment. I needed to run in the heat (so when I run in cooler weather it feels so much better) and I needed to remind myself that nothing can hold me back.  I am a Fat Girl Running but not even a Pulmonary Embolism can kill me.   I have a lot of miles left to run in my lifetime!



Running, anxiety and depression

imageSo today was a bad day. A really bad day. I started feeling low last night and this morning when I woke up couldn’t even get out of bed to go to work. It was night three of waking up in my new apartment, my new bed, my new place – alone. I layed in bed, didn’t cry for a while, just looking towards the window. I tried mustering the strength to go for a run. Before I knew it, it was noon. I finally convinced myself to pull off the covers and get my ass out of bed. I had found old photo albums during the move of my first true love, Chris. And tears eventually came. I thought about when and why I started running. It was actually a lot longer ago than I thought it was.

Although it was always walk/run. But that’s okay, it started to help me lose weight. But losing weight also became an obsession. I remember when I first met Chris , I had already lost a lot of weight but he liked to lift and got me into that. I can remember now our first place together on Margate Road where I used to do crazy jump roping (up to 1000) and crazy lifting and some treadmill. And I saw myself marrying Chris and having a family with him. But things just never got to that point and i started to develop habits that I’m not gonna go into detail about, but just weren’t good. Eventually we got a house in Northampton and before I knew it were together like 7 years. And then 10. And then 13. And now, he’s found a new love. It hits me every so often and it’s hard. He wasn’t just my boyfriend, he was my best friend, and the man I wanted to be with forever. And I would run to forget my problems. I’d started at the Northampton Canal and then moved to IRT. Eventually I ran as far as Baltimore. I’ve been doing the ‘what if’ a lot lately. What if I was a better girlfriend? What if I got help earlier with my anxiety issues? What if I’d stayed on the birth control pill and not gotten so fucking moody all the time. We can ask ourselves a million what ifs. What if I didn’t move to Baltimore? What if I started seeing a therapist sooner? What if I wasn’t so fat growing up? What if… What if… What if…


We can drive ourselves crazy! Which is exactly what I did last night! I’ve been fortunate that when I moved back to PA from Baltimore I found a great job where they treat me great. I can’t wear jeans, there’s no FSA, I only get a week vacation even Though I started in February, and I have a high health deductible, but I’m respected and am told ‘thank you’ more in a day than some jobs in a year! And I never thought I’d be that girl that had anxiety or depression issues. The more I talk to my therapist I realize how for so long I hid behind a mask. No one knew the real pain behind my eyes. I was this huge fat girl. People I meet now for the first time never even knew. But they also don’t know the pain and abuse I went through. Getting made fun of in middle school by so many people including family members of family. And I hid it. I hid behind drama and chorus and SADD and national honor society and getting into college.

But it I never had a boyfriend. Boys weren’t interested in the 200 pound fat girl. By high school, most became cordial and nice and I didn’t have as many issues being made fun of. So I got fatter.

But this past Saturday I made a huge change in my life. I moved into my own place again and as I was getting settled in I THREW AWAY MY SCALE. What????!!!! Yup! I always tell people that a number is not important and now I’m trying to live by that. It’s more important about how I feel, not a number. So I run. I lift. I’m in therapy. I take medications. I’ve been reading tons on Buddhism, meditation, doing yoga, burning incense.

And then I think about my second love Gary. Who ironically I met and knew before Chris. Maybe it’s because the new place I moved into my neighbors names are Gary and the other is Chris. Find any irony in this? And Gary was the complete opposite of Chris. He had so many different characteristics and things about him that I fell in love with. Things that when I read back in my diary reminded me why I was attracted to him 17 years ago.

Ok, so this post ended up kind of all over the place… But here’s my words of thoughts… I was lucky to find two true lives in my life Chris & Gary-both of who I lost because of different circumstances, but in the end, both times I ran away instead of facing things. But I’m learning with my Buddhism that most often I bring more suffering to myself. But without suffering we also don’t have love and happiness. But today I caused myself so much pain. And maybe I needed it to wake me up and get out of that ‘What if?’

But I did run today. Not run away from things, but ran the IRT.

But depression is ugly. And i used to have an attitude that depression to the point of suicide is wrong. But when you really start to experience depression and anxiety, it changes things. And maybe one day I’ll fix my problems. And I’ll find someone that can accept what I’ve been through, what I’m dealing with now, and maybe that can help hold me up at times. It’s so hard for me to ever ask for help.


So here’s some words of wisdom… Be true to yourself! Love yourself! Know that people are there for you! Know that there’s a higher purpose for you, whether you personally believe it to be religious, spiritual, anything… There is hope. There are people to listen. There are people that love you. And we may not think we are currently where we thought we’d be. I never imagined my life the way it currently is. But there’s a reason for it and one day maybe I’ll see it. But maybe I won’t because according to Buddha and karma, you may not know until another lifetime!

So Always live life to be fullest!!! Because you may not have tomorrow!! 

Not every race is going to be your best – but who gives a shit!


So yesterday I ran the Runner’s World Half Marathon.  I knew going into the race that with all the issues I have been having with my breathing, that I knew going into it there would be no PR and there was a good chance it would be my slowest one to date.  My best time was 2:01 last year at the Diva race in Florida (which I am doing again this December) and my worst was 2:11.  And my worst I still consider to be pretty good.  Well I finished yesterday’s Half Marathon right around what I expected – 2:35.  But, it is with complete irony that my breathing actually was more controlled since being on the Nebulizer and it was pretty cold temperatures in the AM.  My hills workouts definitely paid off and I made great strides on them, even running some of them all the way (just taking it slow).  The irony came a little after mile 8 when I only had 5 miles to go (downhill too!) and since I was feeling great thought hey I can pick up this pace and actually get a decent time.  Now, keep in mind, I should have been under 2:30 because I did take a 5 minute stop to get a free skirt on Main Street from @runningskirts, come on, who could pass that up? Okay, so now to my mile 8 dilemma. I woke up in the am with some calf tightness in my left calf (the first in like 3 weeks, but nothing too major).  But, I also forgot to put my KT tape on.  I always forget something!  But at around mile 8 I started getting this crazy hip pain on my right side, which then proceeded to move down my leg. Are you kidding me?  results

But you know what, it’s okay! Normally I would have beaten myself up.  And for days.  But I am going to relax tonight, and then hit some yoga, triceps/shoulders and biceps/back workouts for a few days and then hit up a flat run on IRT to see how I feel. I definitely feel like I am growing a lot with my running.  I did two marathons this year, not fast, but I did it!  And despite some health issues, I am not backing down.  Who cares if I am not running an 8:30 minute mile anymore. I am still running.  And it makes me feel good. So who gives a rats ass if I have a slow or bad run.  We ALL do.  And you are always going to end up with a run like that at some point.  We have off days.  Our bodies get tired. We cannot always be ‘the best’.

For those that don’t know, I have been doing a lot of reading on Buddhism and suffering lately and it really has made a huge difference in my life.  Things that I used to take on as the most stressful things in the world, I now let roll off my shoulder.  For example, those that have ever driven in a car with me know I’ve had excessive road rage in the past.  Learning that suffering is vital but measuring the level of suffering you are dealing with is important.  Someone cutting me off (without causing an accident), or driving too slow, or not using a turn signal – this kind of stuff I took on as suffering that I would get outraged and make it a crazy big deal.  It’s not.  It’s not worth the suffering you bring upon yourself.  I am not laying in a hospital bed, or was in an accident, or really need to take on that form of stress.  So I let it go now.

Meditating has made an amazing difference too.  There are a lot of different forms and beliefs and ways to practice, but for me it’s about letting go.  Letting go of everything that may have caused me pain that day.  Again, it’s about limiting the suffering that we take on.  It’s about realizing that the people that surround you, you take on their suffering as well.  Suffering is the first noble truth of Buddhism. When we can finally recognize suffering for what it is as the Buddha did, then we can find the causes.  This is different for everyone.  What I normally would have deemed as ‘suffering’ yesterday in my race because I didn’t run really fast, or I had pain, was not suffering to me anymore.  In fact, it gave me strength. I finished my 8th Half Marathon and that is something to be proud of.  At one point in my life, I could barely walk a half mile.  So suffering is how we perceive it.

runners-worldHere’s a pic with me with my race medal ( a very nice one too!).  And I am smiling, because I feel good about myself.  I truly feel happy.  I have a lot of personal issues I am going through that those very close to me know about.  Things I am not ready to share with the world.  And it’s not an easy battle.  But every day is a new day.  And every day I get a little stronger.  I will have set backs, but I believe with my family, friends, and running and my new found love for Buddhism, my enlightenment will shine on! The real me is slowly coming through.






It’s Official, I’m back…


Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve blogged and a lot has happened in my life. I decided for me, my blogging is therapeutic in a way, so guess what, I am back baby! Now, I want to preface with something.  There have been some major things that I have been dealing with, some things that I am not ready to expose to the world and not sure if I ever will.  A small handful of you know and for now, I have chosen to keep it that way.  However, on that note, there are tons of things I am going to expose and talk about.  None of it is meant to hurt anyone, it is just my way to let people know, ‘you are not alone‘.

With that said, I am going to get into one of my health issues I have developed and that has kind of made my life as a runner miserable.  Last year at this time I was running 9 minute miles.   Since at least this past March, I started developing sever wheezing when doing any kind of strenuous activity (i.e. fast running, long distance running, biking on hills, and even sometimes just climbing the stairs).  I’ve gone through xrays, initial pulmonary tests, EKG’s, blood work and more. But the problem still lingers and my doctors can’t figure it out. I have 3 half marathons coming up (Oct. 17, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6) and they scare the crap out of me. I was all about trying to beat my PR of 2:01 and get an under 2 hours half.  Now, the goal is to finish in maybe 2:30 with how slow I’ve been.  And as a competitive person, that sucks. I did recently at least get a 13.1 mile run in, which I was even worried if I would be able to do.  I am hoping maybe from moving back to PA somehow the humidity or allergies have hit me differently. I have doctors appointments coming up with an allergist and a pulmonologist who specializes in exercise breathing related issues. I am on 2 kinds of inhalers, tons of allergy meds as well as my five million other meds at this point, but no relief.  I was looking forward to the 50 degree weather this weekend but now it’s crappy and rainy out too. Awesome.

One big thing I did do this summer that I am really proud of is that I ran Quadzilla!  For those of you that don’t know what it is, it’s a crazy ass course with a lot of ridiculous hills that even the best runners walk.  But I finished it despite stopping a few times to wheeze going up the hills. And of course that day was one of the most hot and humid.  Same went for my second marathon in May.  Although the majority was downhill, I didn’t listen to people about how different it affects your legs.  And it was 3 weeks after running my first marathon (with uphills).  Needless to say, that day was also one of the worst hot and humidity wise.  But I finished!  And a lot of people didn’t.  So I amy not be breaking any records, but I am proud of what I have accomplished and will continue these new feets. I originally was going to train for my first triathlon next year, but although I enjoy the biking, I am not sure if it’s my thing.  There is something about my feet hitting that ground.  And even though I am having breathing issues, I have now set three running goals for next year!

The sales manager at work who has done an IronMan introduced me to Mainly Marathons. Next March, he is doing the 5 marathons in 5 days in 5 different states.  I am crazy, but not that crazy.  So, instead, I signed up in May to do 5 half-marathons in 5 days in 5 different states. It’s called the Independence Series – right in our backward.

Day 1 (May 4): Lums Pond State Park, Bear, Delaware
Day 2 (May 5): Fair Hills NRMA, Elkton, Maryland
Day 3 (May 6): Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
Day 4 (May 7): Spruce Run Recreation Area, Clinton, New Jersey
Day 5 (May 8): New Paltz, New York

So that is my challenge number 1 for next year.  After these races, I am going to take it easy for a little and then pick back up in June to train for Quadzilla again for July.  To me, I see my only beating my time from last year by improving my hills running and just getting a little faster overall ( in reality, if they find my breathing issues, this alone will give me a better time).  My third and final challenge for the year comes on November 19, 2016, exactly 10 days before my 40th birthday.  I am doing another marathon.  And this time I am beating that 5 hour mark.  And not only beating it but crushing it.  My goal is my original one I set forth on 4:20.  The difference, last time I trained through the winter and brutal cold and then was punished by hot sudden weather and I really didn’t adjust well.  And I never planned my hill training good enough for my first one.  And I started out way too fast on both.  They say 3rd time is the charm!  SO I am treating myself to an early 40th birthday present next year with the Philly marathon which I hear nothing but good things about.

So, keep any of these days open on your schedules! I would love to see you out cheering me on❤

BTW, that pic is from my record plank recently!

I’ll always be that scared little fat girl

1929836_12250627414_7302_n  It’s funny how so many people can look at you on the outside and have no clue what is really going on in your head. Maybe it’s because you’ve spent your life hiding behind a wall to avoid getting hurt. Maybe it’s because when I look in the mirror I can still see that fat girl looking back at me. Scared of what people think of her. Scared of what people are saying about here. Scared to let people know her deep, dark secrets.  It’s almost ironic that I’ve spent my entire life planning everything out, and nothing has gone according to plan.  And then I think I’ve finally found the safe safe place, the safe person that really gets me, and sees me and accepts me for everything. And I’m wrong.  This past week all the feelings of being picked on and bejng made fun of surfaced. When I was running on the trail I know people were talking about me. She’s too fat to wear tights. She has sweat stains in her crotch. She’s so ugly. She smells. She’s fat.  I learned this week what’s the point of sharing a deep dark secret – you just get hurt all over again. Is any of this even real?   Sometimes I feel like I’m just in a long dream. And then just like that, it’s over.


People have complemented me, asked me for advice, been amazed at what I’ve accomplished. But what does any of it matter on the outside when I’m still crying on the inside.  Remember what I said from day one? Losing weight doesn’t solve all your problems!! You may think it will, but it won’t.

So I’m starting over again. Maybe one day I’ll get this right.  Maybe one day I can accept who I’ve become.  Maybe one day I’ll look in the mirror and the smile will be real. Until then, I run. Running is the only thing I can count on to not judge me and not be disappointed in me.


This post is not for the faint hearted!


Today it is exactly one month until my first Marathon.  Yes, that is 26.2 miles.  And I am starting to freak out.

Training has had its highs and lows.  Last Saturday was my determining factor of the red light or green light.  And after two weeks of shitty long runs, I managed to do a 20 miler, at MP+30 (marathon pace plus 30 seconds).  And I sustained this the entire 20 miles.  I have a million things going through my head of why this Saturday was successful.  And it’s kind of making me crazier than ever!

Maybe it was the change of scenery.  I went down to the Ironton Rail Trail where I used to run before I moved to Baltimore.

Maybe it was the nostalgia from not running there in a while. I can’t remember my last run on that trail.

Maybe it was the time of day.  I ran at a totally different time of day.  I went to see my man race his ass off in a 5k in the morning and took the dog which exhausted me.  I layed down at noon, figuring I wasn’t going to run because I just didn’t feel it.  I took a 2 hour nap and than got up and said screw it, I am running.  I started running at 3pm in the afternoon.

Maybe it was my stress and anxiety.  I was having a lot of extra stress and anxiety going on in my life and not dealing with it well.

Maybe it was my new bluetooth headphones.  I finally found a pair I love and didn’t have my stupid cord flying all over.

Maybe it was my new music station.  Instead of one of my running Spotify playlists, I listened to a station called Totally Stress Free music.

Maybe it was wearing my original running sneakers.  They got me through my last 3 half marathons, were the most comfortable, but have had their miles so I don’t wear them for really long distance anymore.  My toes are still killing me though from rubbing on the front of the shoes.  Probably going to rule this one out.

Or maybe it was just me.  Maybe I don’t give myself enough credit.  Maybe I don’t believe in myself enough.  Maybe I have a hard time believing that this Fat Girl Running can complete a marathon.  I have so many people that have supported me in this journey – Words of encouragement, strength, prayers, advice, and love really mean a lot.  And I do know I can do this.  My only goal is to finish.  Ya right!  We all know my competitive side has that magic number in my head that if I finish in that time will be the ultimate accomplishment.  I know there’s a really good chance I won’t make that my first try, at least not on the hilly Gettysburg course (what was I thinking not picking a flat course?)  But, I also know myself too well, and already have a second marathon lined up to reach that time goal.  And yes, that means giving up a lot of my weekends again for long runs, going to bed at 8pm to get up at the crack of dawn, and doing wash every other day from all the sweaty clothing.

But in the end, is it all worth it?  HELLS YA!

FatGirlRunning ~ JRC


The Highs and Lows of Marathon Training

Training for my marathon was going right on track… until 2 weeks ago.  After I hit my first 20 miler, I got a bad head cold.  I missed my speed run that week.  Okay, that wasn’t so bad I know.  But, I’ve also been battling a twang of pain in my left ankle for a while now.  To add to it, now I have a sharp pain that runs up my left leg every once in a while when I walk on it at a certain spot.  This is where putting my body through the ringer to run a damn marathon is starting to take its toll.  I don’t want to miss any of my training.  I don’t want to skip a single workout.

But week 6 of training and nothing is cooperating.  This past weekend was supposed to be an 18 miler.  And my body and mind fought me every single mile.  It was nice to be outside again.  I managed to run in 33 degree weather (was almost like a heat wave!)  My ankle wasn’t bugging me too much, but at mile 5 already I had hit a total mental block.  Somehow I made it to mile 14, but I felt battered.  I used to run because I thought it was fun and relaxed me.  I loved to run to forget about things.  Forget about my problems.  And sometimes even cry during the run.  With my sunglasses on, it was hard for people to see the tears rolling down my face.  Maybe it was the part of me trying to figure out my problems with my ex.  Maybe it was because I realized I couldn’t figure out how to get past our problems.  Ironically, even though I couldn’t figure out my relationship problems, I felt like I could solve world problems when I ran.

This week though, that high I always got from running turned into a mental breakdown of there is no way I can do this.  All these negative thoughts raced through my mind.

  • I can’t run these hills.” Looking at the rolling hills and course elevation gives me palpitations.  I am still breathing so hard doing any kind of hill and pretty much feel like I am going to pass out at the top of any hill.
  • I’GNCoursem too fat to run a marathon.”  (I put on 20 pounds in the last year since my first half marathon – and it’s NOT muscle, trust me).  I see some of those marathon runners and they quite frankly are skinny as shit.  I don’t have that kind of body.  You’ll never see me running in a sports bra and underwear.
  • I’m too slow to run a marathon.”  My goal time is 4 hours 20 minutes (that’s a 10 minute pace).  That seems impossible to me!
  • I’m gonna die when I cross the finish line.”  Maybe I read too many stories about this. What if I am that one that crosses the finish line then falls over, and dies?   I mean, I have no health insurance.  Sometimes I don’t think things through well enough.  I start a new job Monday, but my health benefits don’t kick in until a few days after my marathon.
  • This isn’t fun anymore.” Not that crying during a run was necessarily fun, but it was my time.  My alone time.  My time to get away from everything.  Now that I am always running with a goal, it’s taken a lot of that away.  Now, I am always thinking, I have to reach this goal, beat this one, stay at this speed, I’m running to slow, speed up… The reason I started running is no longer clear.
  • It’s getting expensive.” When I ran for ‘fun’, I owned one pair of running sneakers.  I bought the cheapest running gear I could find at Target, and I certainly never spent money on cold weather gear.  I never had to ‘pay’ to cross a finish line.  Well, it’s become a damn expensive ‘hobby’.  I now own a plethora of sneakers, real running pants and gear, outdoor clothing to run in, gadgets, new headphones, Garmin, and very high expensive race fees for a t-shirt and medal.

Okay, but there’s got to be a bright side, right?

  • I met my future husband.” Running brought me together with my boyfriend.  Although we knew each other back in 1999, things just never worked for us at that time and we went our separate ways.  When we met back up, we met back up to go for a run together…and our happily ever after began.
  • My legs have never looked this good.”  I take a lot of selfies, but I am not one to stand in front of the mirror and really examine my body.  But I got naked the other day, and really looked hard at myself.  I’ll never have nice abs from losing all the weight and have that attractive excess skin.  But, my legs, my calves, my hamstrings, my quads… Okay, they are nothing to take lightly.  Despite my legs being crazy white and yes a little hairy (come one, who really shaves everyday in the winter time?), I can see not stressing over shorts season.
  • I am healthy.” I really am.  My blood pressure and resting heart rate are at an all time low.  My anxiety still acts up, especially when I am out of my comfort zone, but it’s something I continue to deal with everyday.  Being back in PA has alleviated a lot of my stressful living situations, and I couldn’t be more excited to start working again.   Minus some of the leg pains I am experiencing, my body is healthy for this marathon.
  • I’ve met a lot of new friends.”  One thing about runners is that there is a sense of family.  I have met so many new people because of running.  A lot of them I’ve never even met in person but we have a social sharing friendship in that we support each other.  You don’t get this in many other ways.  They are like family, supporting you through the good and bad.  Helping coach you. And listening to some of my crazy running rants that only other runners can really understand.

So at thee end of the day, I weigh out my highs and lows.  There will always be highs and lows.  I’ll continue my races without a doubt.  It’s my competitive nature.  But I am also going to start taking more days where my run is ‘my run’ again.  No tracking, just a run for fun.  Maybe I’ll cry a bit or maybe I won’t