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Running (Marathon Maybe?) + Running Playlist


It’s the only thing I want to do right now.


While I’ve made it to my mat four times in the last two and a half weeks, I’m mostly avoiding it. I shared with my class tonight all the things that my practice is bringing up for me. I’m just not ready yet.


And while I set intentions to get to the gym to lift more this week, I’ve made it…zero times.

My alarm is set for 4:30 a.m. tomorrow morning to run before I teach at 6 a.m. I can’t wait. I’m getting my hair cut and colored at 10 and I also teach at 8:15 a.m. So if I want to soak up the amazingness of a fresh cut and color and not ruin it with working out later in the day, my only option is early morning workout. (Today was a rest day…I thought would lift but then I just couldn’t get myself there.) Tell me I’m not the only one who milks a blow out for as many days as possible. πŸ˜‰

I’m so excited to run in the morning darkness with Zoey and 57 degree temperatures.

Which leads me to my next running related thought…


I can’t stop thinking about registering for the Kiawah Marathon. One of my friends told me yesterday she’s registered for the half and just the day before we had this conversation I was casually Googling December and January marathons and considering Kiawah.

I swore I would never (ever, ever, ever) do it again but with how good running has been feeling this fall combined with my overwhelming desire to run, run and run some more, I am extremely tempted.

Current plan is to attempt a couple of runs in the 15-16 mile range and see how it feels while also seeking out some consistent chiropractic/active release care combined with the massage I’m already doing to see if it’s doable for my body.

Tell me I’m crazy. (Mom.)

Tell me to go for it. (Anyone.)

Totally related note…have you ever run a flat course half or full marathon? Can you please share your experience if so? Kiawah is flat as a pancake and known for being fast but I’m nervous because I’m used to Charlotte’s hills and as I’ve shared before, I like the up and down.

Speaking of running, I put together this playlist for last Sunday’s race and I’ve been listening to it on my runs this week. I love.

I make all of my yoga and running playlists available publicly on Spotify so be sure to follow me there for new music inspiration.

Marathon…a go or no?

Flat course experience? Please share.

Any new favorite running songs? (Or share your Spotify playlists…please!)


{ 67 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Kiira October 5, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Hey Jen! Looooong time reader (like since the beginning), first time commenter. I have run the Kiawah 4 times but only ever done the half. Living in Charleston, it’s nice to not have to travel for a race, it’s usually not too cold (although it definitely has been), and it’s obviously beautiful! One of the main selling points for me is it is flat, flat, flat – like I ran it one year without training really bc you just gotta put one foot in fron of another. I know you mentioned you hated FL running bc of the flatness, so just beware (my first ever half was in Charlotte and I wanted to shoot myself the whole time bc of those damn hills!)

    Also: the full marathon is just the half marathon doubled. Like when the half marathon finishes there is a sign that says ‘Turn Right’ for the marathoners and they do the exact same loop again. its a big turn off for people.

    With allllllll that said- it is a gorgeous and fun race. I am in the camp that if you really listen to your gut, it will rarely steer you wrong (got that one from Dear Sugar), so I say GO FOR IT! As long as you don’t overtrain and avoid injury, YOLO (totally outdated saying but really applies in this case).

  • 2
    JennyV October 5, 2016, 10:27 pm

    Yay for hair cuts and colors on Thursdays πŸ’•

    I’m loving anything by Sia lately – Greatest, Unstoppable, and Bird Set Free

    I said I’d never run a marathon and to this day I’m sticking with that… But life ebbs and flows, it also jolts us from our norms and strongheld beliefs and patterns, and sometimes we just need to RUN. Run because it’s a release, nothing to prove, but time for you to heal and grieve and then feel joy with sun on your face and your heart pounding reminding you YOU are alive. Do what makes YOU feel alive. Maybe that means you start adding longer runs and training higher mileage with full intent to run that 26.2… but it might mean starting training and stopping because running doesn’t fill you but breaks you down. You’re a seasoned runner and (from what I read) giving yourself more grace and trusting your body. You’ll know if it’s right once you add in a little more mileage.

    Cheering you on always!

    • 3
      P October 7, 2016, 3:38 pm

      OH this is an incredible post and TOTALLY feel the way you do!!! Sometimes we need to NOT HAVE A PLAN for EVERYTHING.

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2016, 11:01 am

      Hi Jenny – I definitely feel like I am in a totally different place with my workouts and my body than I ever have been before in my life. I focus more on intuition and what feels “right” and “good” instead of getting attached to any one way of doing it. I love your thought of what makes me feel “full” versus “broken down.” That is a good one to keep in my pocket during training.


  • 5
    Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) October 6, 2016, 5:49 am

    yay for running :). It’s so mental. Sometimes I look forward to running just for the mental clarity and ability to think things through that can’t happen unless I am running. I love a flat course! I have run the long island marathon 4years in a row and it’s totally flat! but I am also used to running flat and don’t love hills. yes to extending those blowouts for as long as possible! I had my hair done on Tuesday and want to make this one last until Saturday! it’s not easy with sweaty runs but I have a system of putting my hair up in a tight bun and not taking it down for a few hours after my run and then usually blow it a bit to get it just right again lol

  • 6
    Sara October 6, 2016, 7:40 am

    I’ve done the Myrtle Beach full and the Nike Women’s full in San Fran. I hurt more after MB. In fairness, it was also my first full, so I don’t think I totally understood the toll it takes on the body. I prefer some hills, though. Good luck!

  • 7
    Jill October 6, 2016, 8:00 am

    Hi Jen!
    Love your playlists as always!

    Living and training in Charlotte makes the flat courses a challenge because your body is so used to the hills. People say that flat courses are easier and a good way to get a PR, but Some of my best times have been on hilly courses.

    I’ve run Myrtle Beach Half and it was a great race. Perfect weather (February) and the flat course was mind numbing but at least I knew what to expect.

    I have also run a full marathon in Arizona and I had a huge mental breakdown at mile 17, I was craving a hill of some sort to break up the monotony.

    Every race is different! Running is such a mind game!! 26.2 is hard no matter what the course. If you get your mind right and focused on the race, the course becomes irrelevant.

    So bottom line is go for it- if you have been thinking about it so much, it must mean something.

  • 8
    Allison October 6, 2016, 8:29 am

    I ran the Oak Island Half a couple years ago, it was completely flat except for a bridge that goes over the intercoastal waterway. I thought it would be easy, since I train in a hilly area, and I was wrong!! I really missed the rolling hills and it was my worst race to date. Of course, it didn’t help that it rained the whole time either. That being said, Kiawah is so beautiful, I’m sure you would enjoy the course scenery no matter what!

  • 9
    Lesq October 6, 2016, 8:30 am

    Follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong❀️

  • 10
    Erin October 6, 2016, 8:35 am

    First, I am so very sorry about your brother. I’m glad you have a strong community of family and friends to help through this. I lost mine one year ago this month and also couldn’t make it through savasana for a while without breaking down in tears. Maybe do some light yoga practices at home until you feel more ready? Running is so cathartic and it sounds like it is helping you work through things. Training for Kiawah might be a great distraction for you right now. I hope you go for it! It is very flat (bonus in my opinion), very beautiful and pretty low-key. It would be a nice weekend getaway! I am also glad to know that I’m not the only one who plans workouts around a new color and blow out : )

  • 11
    Anne October 6, 2016, 8:58 am

    Long time reader and you have been in my thoughts lately! Big hugs! I’m a distance runner (that also finds comfort in the road during difficult times in my life) who has 30+ marathons including Kiawah, and it is one of my favorites! I’m from North Alabama which gives you the ups and downs on your training runs, but the scenery of kiawah took my mind off the flatness. I know that they have changed the course so it’s not so many out and backs and loops, so I can only imagine it would be even better. It’s a great race, just plan for extra travel time race morning if you don’t stay on the island. Good luck and enjoy! The Huntsville marathon is also in December and is a good one with rollers if you decide that you’d rather go that route!

  • 12
    Annie October 6, 2016, 9:03 am

    I can’t tell you not to go for it because if it’s something you want to do, you need to do it!! I’ve only run flat marathons, but I am someone who enjoys the up and down of a hilly (ish, hillyish….I’m not a total nutcase) course. I think the change in elevation eases up the tension in certain muscles while allowing you to keep moving, but you can mimic that with quick bursts of speed during a flat course in my experience. Either way, Kiawah is on my bucket list of places to visit so do it for the instagrams! πŸ™‚

  • 13
    kelly October 6, 2016, 9:04 am

    Do it! πŸ™‚
    I just wanted to say I love your playlist. “Motorcycle Driveby” is one of my all-time favorite songs. Check out “Shipboard Cook” by Third Eye Blind on their latest album. When I saw them last year, Stephan Jenkins joked that he basically re-wrote Motorcycle Driveby as Shipboard Cook. I look forward to following your training!

  • 14
    Katie H October 6, 2016, 9:10 am

    Jen – Go for it!!!!

  • 15
    Jamie October 6, 2016, 9:34 am

    Hi Jen,

    Long time reader, first time commenter here! πŸ™‚

    I’ve ran the Kiawah full twice and it’s a great race – gorgeous scenery, awesome medals (which we all know is important!), good water stops, etc. The course’s flat-ness is definitely tough on the joints, but it makes for a fast race for sure. I trained in Columbia, SC and it’s really hilly (surprisingly), so the Kiawah course is definitely different, but in a good way! I did run it twice – so that’s saying something. πŸ™‚

    Not sure if this helps at all, but wanted to chime in. Been thinking about you – sending lots of prayers and good thoughts your way.

    – Jamie

  • 16
    Katie October 6, 2016, 9:48 am

    Definitely consider it! I ran Kiawah marathon two years ago. Trained in Durham so was also used to more hills. It was only my second full marathon but dropped over 10 minutes off my time. The weather was perfect, not too windy. Overall a great race. I still got a lot slower around mile 21/21 but could hold on because it was flat to the end!

  • 17
    Lisa October 6, 2016, 9:54 am

    I vote GO FOR IT!! Sounds like your body is agreeing! I have run many flat marathon courses. The one I BQ’d at twice only has one tiny little “bridge” over a creek. It gets a little boring, but some good scenery helps out.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who plans events around hair care!! I can get three days out of my blowout from the salon. πŸ™‚

  • 18
    Danielle October 6, 2016, 10:10 am

    I say if you want to do a marathon go for it! I don’t think that feeling comes around all the time and you need that gut feeling and motivation to get through marathon training and the race!

  • 19
    Sarah October 6, 2016, 10:10 am

    I hope you go for it!! I’m considering doing the Kiawah half! I’ll be doing the Savannah Rock n Roll full, which is supposed to be very flat, so I can tell you after that. Also, there’s a preview marathon run this Saturday, if you wanted to work in a long run with some others. I think I’m heading down there!

    • 20
      Sarah October 6, 2016, 10:27 am

      I meant to say the preview simulator run is in Charlotte! It’s through the Charlotte Running Group!

    • 21
      Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2016, 10:44 am

      Hi Sarah – thank you for the encouragement! Definitely check in with me after Savannah and let me know how that flat course feels for you!

  • 22
    Allie October 6, 2016, 10:19 am

    Jen, I say go for it! I’m a long time reader of yours and I think you are a completely different athlete than you were in 2010. You are much stronger and much smarter when it comes to healing your body and allowing for adequate rest. If you go into this marathon training with that mindset (no hard time goals, etc.), there’s a good chance you’ll have a positive experience. As for flat courses, I’ve run VA beach and it was fantastic! After training through the winter in DC (hills!) it was so nice to be out on a flat, fast course. Lungs and legs felt great the whole time. GO FOR IT!! Good luck!

  • 23
    Liz October 6, 2016, 10:28 am

    One of my favorite things about your blog is your focus on “you do you.” I think if you feel like a marathon is speaking to you then you should go for it. Just maybe add in some extra massages! I used to run marathons but had to stop because of an IT band injury. I do ok with a couple of half-marathons/10 milers a year, but that is my limit. Sometimes I get tired of running but keep at it because I appreciate that my body can do it and don’t want to lose that. One of the Skyfit trainers talks about running for someone who can’t — I don’t know if that is along the lines of what is speaking to you — but for some reason it makes running more meaningful to me. Whatever you decide good luck!

  • 24
    Chantalle M. October 6, 2016, 11:01 am

    Hi Jen,

    I think you should absolutely sign up! I recently ran my first marathon and have also sworn I would never do it again. But, when you mind and body tell you to do something, I think you should listen. It’s not too often those two parts of our being come together to urge us to accept a challenge we were adamant about avoiding.

    As for flat courses, I ran the Disney Marathon in January. As a Florida native, I have always loved flat courses. And while I am beginning to embrace hills, flat courses are still my go-to. I personally love them and find it easier on my joints than hillier courses. Though boredom for some is a consideration, since you’re looking to run a course with such beautiful scenery, I can’t imagine that will be a problem!

    Best of luck–and know that I have been thinking of you and your family the past few weeks.

  • 25
    Rebecca October 6, 2016, 11:15 am

    Do it! Running is a great catharsis.

    I’m not sure about really flat courses, to be honest. I’ve always trained and raced in Dallas so the terrain always feels very familiar. But if it’s a scenic race with good support, I don’t think you’ll miss the hills!

  • 26
    Teri || a foodie stays fit October 6, 2016, 11:18 am

    When I’m struggling with something heartbreaking, running is all I want to do as well.

    I SO wish I was still in Charlotte just so I could train with you! I’ve been toying with the idea of running another marathon too (it’s been 7 years since the last, and only, one I’ve run).

    I have heard GREAT things about Kiawah if you’re trying to BQ, but just to run a marathon, I’ve heard it can get kind of boring. I’ve run two marathons that are pretty darn flat – Provo River and the Moab Half, both in Utah. They both follow a river, so they’re actually a slight downhill. I didn’t mind the flatness at all, but the views were gorgeous, so maybe that’s the key to a flat half – making sure it’s beautiful!

    Can’t wait to see what race you pick! And if you decide to do Kiawah, and need a tune-up race as you taper, the Mistletoe Half in Winston is the weekend before. We could have an epic post-race brunch together. Just saying.

    xoxoxo Miss you!

  • 27
    Stephanie October 6, 2016, 11:20 am

    Hi Jen! I’ve run the Chicago marathon twice, which is also a super flat course. Personally I think it’s a little harder than running a course with rolling hills, because there is no variety in what muscles are engaged. At the end of the day though, each marathon course has its own challenges. If you are loving running right now, maybe that’s reason enough to go for it!

    Thinking of you and your family. We lost my cousin to what sounds like a similar cause a few years back. It’s so hard.

  • 28
    Bonnie October 6, 2016, 11:45 am

    Oh man! I say go for it! Why not?! Sounds like you’re in a great space mentally ad physically and like you’d really enjoy it! Thanks for sharing all parts of your journey with us, Jen… And good luck with your decision!

  • 29
    kali October 6, 2016, 11:51 am

    Hi Jen! I encourage you to run another marathon simply to have an amazingly positive marathon experience. I’ve only run 4 marathons (also saying I would NEVER run another one after Marine Corps a few years ago, and then running 2 more after that), but the feeling after completing a marathon that actually feels “good” is like no other.

    As far as the flat course goes – I live in Winston-Salem and live for the hills. My favorite marathon course so far is Richmond, which has rolling hills (not nearly as intense as Winston’s). That said, I ran the Wrightsville Beach marathon (super flat) and didn’t experience anything negative related to the flat course. I personally think the fans and scenery and on-course support is much more important.

    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide. I’m sure your heart will lead you to make a good decision and your body will let you know if it’s ready.

    p.s. Thank you for your blog! I have been following for awhile but have never commented, but thought I could relate here πŸ™‚

  • 30
    Jo // Living Mint Green October 6, 2016, 12:15 pm

    You should totally do it, Jen! Running has helped me through some incredibly dark times in my life…in a way that nothing or no one else could. I think it’s exactly what you need right now. It helps to cleanse, release, restore and rebuild. Go for it!


  • 31
    Janice October 6, 2016, 1:56 pm

    I saw go for it. It maybe just what you need, running therapy. I have heard of people dedicating (to themselves) each mile to someone they love to get them through, maybe you can do that and dedicate it to your brother, or just the last mile.

  • 32
    Joy October 6, 2016, 2:18 pm

    I say go for it! It sounds like running is what your body is craving, and having an outlet like a marathon as a goal would be a nice result of all that running. Running is my therapy so if it’s helping you at all like it helps me, the marathon will do wonders for you.
    Plus, you’ve been doing SO great at listening to your body and not overtraining and you’re recent half marathon sounded like it was a great one for you. I think you’ve totally got this!

  • 33
    Katie October 6, 2016, 8:09 pm

    Hi Jen!
    I say go for the full! Running after suffering the loss of a loved one is the best medicine in my opinion. I found it so hard to talk about my emotions as they were constantly changing and unlike anything I had experienced before. Taking it out on pavement was the best. If you were to ever train for a full again, I say now is the time πŸ™‚

  • 34
    Teri October 6, 2016, 9:35 pm

    You should totally go for it! I have run the Chicago Marathon three times and it is very flat. Elite runners love the flat course since they run much faster (as you will, too since you are used to hills). The marathon training will be very therapeutic. Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and for always being an inspiration. πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

  • 35
    Julie October 7, 2016, 3:48 pm

    I know in the end you’ll find the choice that gives you the most peace. DO NOT feel like because you questioned it and so many advising you to go for it you’d let someone or yourself down if you didn’t do it at this point. OF COURSE you “CAN” DO IT – you are incredible!
    Coming from a complete OCD girl who PLANS EVERYTHING I agree with Jennie V above (Apparently I’m the “P” who responded?! HA) … Maybe the joy in it will be NOT planning for it – run now because it is therapeutic to you – but I’m sure you’re going to wake up some days and say, “YOGA is what my soul needs most today…” Be smart and take the necessary precautions and just see where the road leads you. We will all be cheering on the sidelines no matter what!! XOXO

  • 36
    Amanda October 11, 2016, 3:57 pm

    Hi Jen,

    My name is Amanda and I am a hot yoga teacher from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I love your spotify and listen to your yoga playlists when I practice at home. I feel like I can come up with quality playlists (like yours) but it takes me forever! I was wondering if you have any advice for putting yoga playlists together quickly/more frequently than once a week.

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