AROO! But first, let me get some zzz

As anyone who travels for events knows, one of the trickiest aspects can be finding ideal hotel accommodations. Sure, I’ve been on team sleeping in a bag on the gym floor (Oil Creek 50K 2010), and I’ve also been on team super comfy bed, maybe I don’t need to do this event (Philadelphia Marathon 2014). I think most people would try to find something in-between.

Aside from comfort, location, quietness, and all those other commodities, what else do people want? Well, if you ask me it’s rewards! I know I’m completely in love with any app or website that gives me bonuses for things I’m already doing. Heck if I had a better phone ¬†(more memory) I’d be earning cash back for groceries too. So why not earn points for your event travel?

Marriott Rewards is now the official Hotel Partner for Spartan Race and has an exclusive offer to people who join their loyalty program – 20% off races, free VIP bag check and $5 off Spartan gear at the races. Once enrolled, points are earned when you stay at any 4,500 participating hotels around the world. All the info is here:

First of all, I don’t know about all of you, but I’m used to seeing discounts of 10 or 15 percent, 20 percent is like some rare unicorn unless of course you’ve offered to volunteer or something. Second, anyone who has signed up for a Spartan race knows this isn’t a run of the mill $25-40 road race. Examples the Ohio Beast and Sprint (May 20-21) is at $200 and $150 right now. Pittsburgh Sprint which is in October (and also in Ohio for some reason) is at $90-100. Meaning we are talking $20+ off registration when you’re a Rewards member for an event you were already going to do and a hotel you were already going to need! Win-win, right?

What do you all think? Does this sound like a great program? Are you already a member? AROO!

March & April Events

Having a “successful” first two months I was headed into March on cloud 9. One reason of course was the fact I didn’t completely hate life on my new “diet”. I’ve usually jumped ship with new things about 2 months into it, the longest I went was 16 weeks when I did Weight Watchers. Perhaps it’s because this isn’t a diet so much as what I have to do the rest of my life and I do my best to take things a day at a time. Also after spending over a year as sick as I did, knowing how to avoid it provided a ton of motivation and commitment.

The first 1/2 of March was filled with appointments to SAY YES TO THE DRESS, and I’m pleased to say I did find one and it’s perfect.

Something VERY exciting happened at @abbottsbridal today! #ROJWedding #sayyestothedress

A post shared by Julie Curtis (@rojrunning) on

With a dress out of the way a trip for me, Mom, and Becky changed from a continued hunt to a girls’ weekend away and it was a blast! Of course as soon as I got back ordered the dress the reality of the fact I HAVE to lose 3 inches from my waist hit me. Why did I order a dress too small? Well first of all because it was like $100-200 more to get the bigger size because I moved into the plus size range and second because I was afraid if I continue (when I continue) to lose weight the adjustments up top would be too difficult with too much extra fabric. Being a shorty I did pay for the custom hem so I’m at least good in that department. Oh and I’ve lost another 10+ pounds since March and moved down at least 1 clothing size so I should be on the right track for October.

Given my new need for weight-loss and general lack of working out while I sorted my meals, March saw the start of me getting back into it all.

BTW for those curious here is a meal plan for me on an “average” day.

  • Breakfast : Vitamins (lots of them in chewable or liquid form) and sometimes a glass of juice or a yogurt
  • Lunch : A microwave meal
  • Snack: Some cheese or chips or rice cakes
  • Dinner: 4-5 oz of slow-cooked chicken or turkey, or a small amount of white pasta, or steamed veggies. (Please note OR not AND).

Typically I eat about 800-1000 calories a day (yes even when working out). Eating foods with more calories tends to not work because they’re types of foods I can’t process. Eating MORE food isn’t an option typically because my stomach doesn’t work and it’ll all come right back up anyway.

At the end of March I attended a trampoline fitness class, a Zumba Mardi Gras party, and a 5K in Cleveland with my sister.


April began with one of the best days of my life. As you all know Dave and I are not a typical couple. We do things in our own way and in our own time. Despite having nearly all of a wedding planned, we weren’t technically engaged. Although I continue to argue when you’re in your 30’s and buy a house together it’s an implied thing. On April Fool’s Day we attended a superhero themed 5K and dressed as Punisher. It was cold and wet and took forever, but we made it to the end and as we were leaving he asked me to take a few more pictures. I did find this odd because we didn’t get finisher medals so we wouldn’t normally take pictures, and he doesn’t usually want to do pics. So I embraced this rare chance and agreed. Well in the course of those images this happened…

How does anything compare after that for the rest of the month? Well let me tell you.

  • A glow in the dark Zumba Event
  • A Relay for Life Zumba event where I got to get on stage to be a “back up” dancer
  • An Author Meet & Greet
  • Setting up my own fitness studio (in my sun room)
  • 6th Annual Endure for the Cure obstacle course race
  • Canton Hall of Fame 5K where I kicked Dave’s butt by like 4 minutes

Yes, it’s easy to see the 3rd and 4th months of the year were also quite good to me.

January & Feburary Events

My 2017 started off with a perfect end to 2016. Some friends and I attended the Great New Year’s Eve 5K which I’ve done many, many, many years now.

Dave’s family was in town so they all went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra up in Cleveland. Then they were going to bring in the new year at a restaurant downtown. My anxiety and personal safe comfort wasn’t allowing that to happen so they went without me, I headed to the race with some friends and afterward I read and took a nap. Close to midnight he called to tell me they were on their way home. I headed to his parents’ house and well all toasted with water at midnight.

The first week in January I FINALLY completed chiropractic care (I was in a car accident at the end of November when someone rear-ended me), and at the end of that same week is when I went to my gastric empty study. At first I was entertained by eating “radioactive eggs” and seeing the movement (or apparently lack there of) through my system. However when I received a call about a week later telling me my new diagnosis I had no idea what I was in for from that point forward.

My return to the Twilight Indoor Triathlon happened the day after my study. I felt very strong while I was there, but also sick. While swimming my stomach felt too full of air and I couldn’t calm it down. Then when biking it really started to pinch and I was nauseous, by the time I was running I had to keep stopping to burp and when I finished I walked immediately to a trashcan about 5 feet from where I stood and proceeded to throw up multiple times. Some people assumed I really “pushed it”, but I knew that wasn’t true and I also had NO IDEA why it kept happening. Spoiler alert it was the the gastropersis.

The rest of January wasn’t very active as I did my best to stick to my new liquid and extremely limited diet.


Enter Feb, where right off the bat I missed a 5k with my friend Kim (The Cupid’s Undie 5K) due to feeling ill. Luckily I was back on my feet a week later and attended one of my favorite events the JCC Indoor Triathlon

I wouldn’t say my overall performance improved at all, but I do know my mental state was better. Sadly, I still threw up after the bike portion and I’ve since heard from two different people that they were not able to bike with their GP. Hopefully some of that comes back to me like running did, or if I switch to a different bike, but so far not biking is the biggest bummer of this condition.

February also saw more fun and relaxation when I joined my friends for the return of the Movie Marathon weekend. Saw Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Goodfellas, and The Great Gastby the first time.

Overall the first two months of the year were a success and I was feeling fairly certain I was on the road to improved mood, sleep, and weight-loss.