Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Laces And Leashes

Tonight, just for you, I have both a question and a rant, both involving strings. You're welcome.

Also, because of the continuing and escalating drama with my personal laptop, I am posting this from my iPhone Blogger app. Therefore, this post will potentially riddled with mis-taps/typos. Forgive me.


How tight do you tie your running shoe laces? Super tight, tight, loose, or slip-on/off loose? Why? What's the proper tightness? What happens to you personally if you tie your shoes the "wrong" way?

I can't pick a tightness! Too loose and I slide and get leg cramps. Too tight and I get top-of-foot cramps and sometimes shin splints. What gives? What's the science?

Please speak up regardless of your experience level.


I may or may not have lashed out at a couple this evening while on my jog. Yelling doesn't count if your headphones are too loud for you to hear yourself, right?

Whatever, it was warranted.

Dog people, I may offend you. Consider yourself warned.

You MUST share the path. Your dogs do NOT have the right of way.

If you cannot control your 10-pound rat-dogs who are running wild at the end of their 30-foot extendable leashes, you should not bring them on the run/walk path.

Extendable leashes should not be permitted in a run/walk path or within 50 feet of other people.

Not everyone likes dogs. Do not assume everyone likes dogs. Just because your heart melts at the sign of a slobbering, bounding puppy-wuppy, it does not mean the runner trying to get around you enjoys doggie claws and tongues and barks.

If said runner is trying to get around you, do your part. This is especially true if you looked back and saw that runner approaching 20 yards away. And when that runner is slow and gives you plenty if time to do so. And when you're on a hill. And when the path only fits two people (minus rat dogs). I'm certainly not asking you to dive aside and clear the whole path (though some very polite folks do that), but you shouldn't expect me to have to do that to get around you and your posse either. Please reel in your mutts and pretend to respect those around you. There are many responsible dog owners in the world. Join the ranks. I bet you don't even scoop poop. Shame.

Rant complete. Bring on the repercussions! And please comment on the laces. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Cincinnati

Hey all! Sorry for the delay on reporting my results. I'm experiencing home computer drama.

This will be a short update.

Exhibit A: Two different race paths. The official map differed slightly from the actual course. Please examine the following two links:
Course map

What we actually did

Exhibit B: My finish time was approximately 42:06. I say approximately because, despite electing to be a "competitive runner" during registration, there was no official timing device. Looking back, I can see how it might be impossible to chip time all 18,000 participants. That's like Cincinnati's Oktoberfest taking a jog at the same time. A lot of people. A lot of pink. I wore a blue long-sleeved tshirt. Oops!

I'm not thrilled with the time. If you use the official course map as a distance judge, my pace was nearly 14 minutes/mile. Boo! That number drops with the actual course map since it's a hair longer.

Exhibit C: The finish line was extremely anti-climactic. For non-survivors, there wasn't even a line to cross. They just ushered you off to the side. I know this run was for one very important cause, but couldn't they have put some kind of line on the ground? Meh.

I think that's all the exhibits I have. I'm in a bit of a running slump. I'm kind of discouraged at my lack of progress and the return of my leg pains. I ran yesterday evening, however, and returned to Week 4 of C25K; that went well. Whew. If it hadn't, there's a chance I would have pooped out on running for a while.

Okay, sorry for the poorly constructed post. I'm off to work!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pink Ribbon Jitters

Tomorrow is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and I'm oddly nervous.
Lovingly borrowed from the RFC website.

I think I'm mostly intimidated by the huge number of participants. Plus I'm getting to the point that I expect something of myself in these runs. My goals have expanded beyond "I just want to finish on my feet." Now that I've officially been disappointed in my 5K results, I'm worried about failure. (The Anderson Run to Remember ... I forgot to share the results but they weren't awesome. I didn't go above a 14 minute per mile pace, but I didn't improve either.) Stupid expectations.

Despite my fear of not meeting my own expectations and not improving, I'm going to set a goal. My BigK 5K pace was about 13:40. I'd love to hit 13 minutes per mile or less. It's kind of a big jump, especially considering my recent runs haven't been great. (I'm officially blaming the new shoes.)

So, think of me tomorrow morning. Send me happy leg muscle thoughts. Hopefully it will be as nice out as they're forecasting. And yay for long downhill finish. Also, if you'd like to donate, here's the link again. My sole donor is is probably getting a little lonely on the scrolling honor roll. =)

My donation link: http://rfccin.convio.net/goto/moretoloverunning

I'll check in after the run!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Brace yourself--this blog's sole purpose is to show you how hot I am.

I'm a friggin' supermodel, people. Move over, Gabourey Sidibe! I have taken over the throne of the Blue Dress Queen!

Former Blue Dress Queen

Check ... me ... out!

Hate the shoes ... hate 'em. And who forgot to tell me to "hold it in"?

The true victory of this photo is the lack of side boob. Woot!

Me with the beautiful bride, Tara, and Mallory, my former co-workers.

Me and my plus-1, Adrienne, in the shark tunnel at the Newport Aquarium.

Okay, if you know anything about me, you know that I do not brag about photos of myself. Ever. I can find a million things wrong with each of these. In fact, I'm not a fan of the first one at all (I think most of the problems with the photo could have been fixed with better posture on my part. Ugh. And better shoes. And you can't see my legs, which actually look pretty good, when not topped with those heinous shoes.) Bah, anyway, as you can see, I pick and pick and pick.

But I'm going to look at these pictures from my friend Tara's wedding differently. I'm happy with them. I look at these--especially the headshot--and I'm happy with myself. I see a slimmer face, a more prominent neck, and slimmer arms than Gabourey Sidibe. I see the light of day coming through between my waist and my elbows. I see less side boob. I see the girls in their places and in a much trimmer fashion that before. I see that I don't look like as much of a giant next to Mal and the TINY Tara.

So, this working out thing works, it seems. I wish I was doing more than running and doing a DVD every week or two.

On that note, guess who is subjecting herself to boot camp again. No, I didn't re-up. I'm going to bring-a-friend day with my pal, Amy. I'm actually excited for a 5 a.m. jog on Wednesday. Woohoo!

Oh, and the running is going well. I ran with my running buddy, Caitlin, yesterday at Veterans. Caitlin "gave it hell" and I made my second attempt to lengthen my stride. Success for both of us! Granted, it was at a shorter running interval than Week 5 (somewhere between Week 2 and 3, actually), but it was good. I'll probably do the same tomorrow.

I'm doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this Saturday. Hopefully I've gotten enough of a taste of the longer stride to impact my run Saturday. I just want to continue improving my times.

Okay, I'm afraid I'm not paying much attention to what I'm writing, so I'm going to leave it at that.

If you haven't run a 5K yet, what will it take to get you to do one? When will you be ready?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

When The Students Beat The Teacher

Have you ever introduced someone to something, showed them the ropes, passed along your hard-earned wisdom, only to watch that someone completely surpass you? How do you usually feel about that? Jealous? Angry? Frustrated?

I'll tell you, it's happened to me before. Back in high school, for example (yes, high school again), I taught someone how to throw the discuss and shot put and he proceeded to break the school record. How did that make me feel? Well, in a word ...


(Okay, maybe a teensy jealous since I had been chasing the record for 4 years before he came along, but mostly proud.)

I'm a teacher-y kind of person. I like the challenge of taking something complicated or daunting and customizing it to my audience. This little piece of me is evident in my writing and my profession, actually. (Funny how those things pop up in your life, huh?) Some of my current co-workers would chalk it up to me being "high-helpful," as evaluated by a certain assessment we use internally.

Enough corporate talk. Blech!

I like to teach people to do stuff and then watch them kick butt. It's one reason I started and continue to use this blog. Now, we all know that I am in no way an expert runner or fitness guru. Faaaaarrrr from it, in fact. But I have learned some things along the way.

I've suffered, I've triumphed, I've been in ruts and I've been on highs. I've hurt and I've doubted, aimed high and achieved. Mostly, I've taken my experiences--good and bad--and paired them with the awesome advice some of my readers provide to me, whether it be in comments on here or discussions elsewhere. Those are the real experts, by the way.

Believe it or not, it looks like some folks have actually started running after reading about my locomotive breathing and shin splints. In a way, my trials have inspired others to get moving. "If Beckey can do it ..." is floating around the noggins of a few folks out there.

I'm extremely hesitant to take any credit for these people's successes. In fact, I don't want any credit at all, but a few of you have been crediting me for getting you started.

Let's think about that though. I certainly did not help you keep running for a whole mile, even when you tripped over a garbage can. I did not sign you up for boot camp or wake you up at 4:30 a.m. to get there. I wasn't there to drag you through Week 3 of Couch to 5K nor push you up the final hill of the Cheetah Run. I didn't kidnap you to run with me at 2 p.m. on the hottest day of the summer or physically drag you to Veterans for a difficult run. It wasn't my legs that carried you around Juilfs when you joined me on a jog this spring.

You did it on your own.

You're still doing it. You're feeling the burn and the joy.

You are doing awesome. PHENOMENAL! I couldn't be prouder.

Pat yourselves on the back, all of you!

One teensy little problem ... you're all passing me up!

I'm seriously stressing here, folks. You're running longer than me and more often. You're kicking butt at boot camp AND watching what you eat (I sure didn't do the second part). You're moving through C25K like there's no tomorrow!

What the heck?

I'm just kidding. Kudos, people!

Let me tell you what has happened. You who claim to have been inspired or motivated--the students, the learners, the newbies--you have become MY inspiration and motivation. I am now your student. Teach me. How are you doing it? How did you advance so quickly through those C25K weeks? How did you overcome barriers? How did you make yourself keep running for a whole mile? What conversations are you having with yourself to keep going, to keep improving, to keep kicking my ass?

I want to know what you know, people! Share the love! Leave comments! Tell me your running stories when you see me. Remember, talk about it ... it makes it easier to keep going.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beckey's Race for the Cure

On the eve of my next 5K (the Run to Remember at Beech Acres Park tomorrow evening), I signed up for yet another run. This one's a doozy though.

On Saturday, September 25, I will be participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. You know what this means, don't you? It means I'm fundraising! Wheeee!

Truthfully, I was hesitant to go this route because I so hate the feeling of guilt that comes with someone else's fundraising efforts and I'm not a fan of bestowing that guilt upon someone else.

But, I promise--right hand raised, crossing my heart--that you should in no way shape of form feel guilty or obligated to contribute to my fundraising efforts, especially if you are in no financial place to do so.

That being said, I am going to share my personal page in case you are looking for an opportunity to give. Yes, cancer is a terrible thing and fundraising helps find a cure. But there is no one that could possibly understand more how difficult it is to make ends meet without thinking about making donations.

So, here's the link: http://rfccin.convio.net/goto/moretoloverunning

Check it out. Sign up to run! Donate if you want to. Definitely think of me (sending happy breathing and not-sore muscle thoughts my way) on September 25.

And for those of you ladies who have gone running with me at some point ... I think it may be time to sign up for a 5K! This could be the one! =)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Need To See Your Socks

Ugh, I have just finished a terrible run. Terrible. I hate when those happen, so so much. And I know they happen and happen for the strangest of reasons or no reason at all. Heck, I'm one to encourage others by saying just that.

"Don't worry. Bad runs happen. Sometimes your body just doesn't want to function and there's nothing you can do about it."

I'm not so sure I believe myself anymore. I mean, I'm sure I'll believe myself after I get out of my slump and have a good run.

But for now, I feel disgusted and angry. I have both a list of issues and a list of things to blame. Let's begin, shall we?

  • My shin muscles attacked me. This after a conversation with one of my managers today about how impossible it is to run with bad shin splints. I got them bad today, too. It's been awhile since I've had "zombie legs" from shin cramps. (Zombie legs = can't use your shin muscles to lift your feet, as is required for walking and running.)
  • The balls of my feet hurt. Ugh! It's like there are teensy pebbles or a piece of coarse sandpaper under my feet. Annoying
  • Gross alert: My "post-nasal drip" (back of throat phlegm) was super profuse, thick, and gross. It was choking me. It's kind of hard to breathe through that stuff!
  • My nose was burning. Did I discuss the post-workout sneezing issue with you all this spring? If not, it needs its own blog post. It's the strangest thing and it only seems to happen when it's not hot and humid. Great. Anyway, this phenomenon is often paired with burning nasal passages. Not comfortable. Exercise sneezes anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Things to blame:
  • New shoes. I love them, I do, but I'm still in the awful breaking-in phase. Have you ever had a smooth transition between new shoes and nice broken in shoes? If so, how did you pull that off? Anyway, I think I can blame the shoes for the shin splints.
  • Socks. I just bought new socks and I'm convinced they're terrible. For years I've been a hard core Hanes athletic socks gal, but I just bought 3 pairs of Goldtoe something somethings at Target. I don't know--they looked athletic-y. I've varied from the classic Hanes before and the results were similar to the sandpaper sensation I experienced tonight. So, do socks matter? Why? What kind of socks do you run in? Why? I need to know. I'm in the market.
  • Work shoes. I wore new work shoes yesterday and they were heels. They hurt the balls of my feet. THEN I had to pound up and down the stairs a bunch at work today and my feet hurt again. I hate shoes. You know, if everyone wore athletic shoes in a professional work environment, I'm pretty sure no one would look less professional because of it. Why can't this be a law? I'm confident that allowing athletic shoes in corporate dress codes would improve the cost of health care for that company. There, I said it. Prove me wrong.
  • Holistic health. I bought a netti pot (squeeze bottle) thingy last week and have used it a few times. I'm now convinced it has robbed me of my body's natural ability to thin out my back-of-my-throat goop. Gross, yes, but it happens. I'm sorry. I've had this phlegm issue since I was a wee one in gym class. Stupid gym teachers.
So, that's my Negative Nelly post for now. Please offer any words of wisdom you may have. Especially about the socks.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Kicks, New Connection

After a three day weekend spent trying to get my new Internet set up, I can finally say that I have reliable service--except when it decides not to work. UGH! Technology and I are not friends right now. We're usually tight, too. For now--frienemies.

But, I hope you enjoyed reading my pre-written posts. At least the one about my weight loss. I've been thinking about it more over the last week, especially after finding a dress that really slims me down, and I'm really impressed with my weight loss, y'all! 35 pounds?! That's a lot! Granted, when you take into account my starting weight, it's like an average person losing 15 pounds, but still, 15 pounds is a lot for an average sized person to lose, right? (You'll have to fill me in here because I have no idea.) So, another pat on my back, please. Thanks. =)

Moving on ... I got another new thing this weekend! NEW SHOES! I was finally able to get out to Fleet Feet and get my monstrous feet fitted for some proper running shoes.

I have nothing but good things to say about Fleet Feet at this point. My shoe fitter (I think her name was Bridget) took a great deal of time with me on a busy Saturday afternoon, all for the sake of finding the perfect fit. I tried on somewhere around 8 to 10 pairs of shoes and took 5 or 6 of them for a spin on the sidewalk outside. She videotaped my feet as I jogged on the treadmill inside and we watched the video back in slow motion to analyze my gait. (Turns out I have a neutral, healthy gait instead of the rolled-out one I thought I had.) I can't believe it; I can actually run in a straight line!

Well, my healthy stride in mind, she set out to find me a pair of really cushiony, comfy shoes. Unfortunately I still had to get dude shoes because my feet are so big and fairly wide. Bridget (I'll just assume that's her name from now on) stared at my feet longer than I did at times. She didn't let me settle for "okay" shoes, which I tend to do with everything because I hate shopping so much. She paid attention to the spots where the shoes were snug and/or loose and found me the perfect pair.

I -- LOVE -- THEM!

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my brand new size 11 2E (men's) Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 running shoes.

Yes, this is a shameless and gratuitous promotion of my calf muscles at a demi-releve. I earned those!
(Actually, I've had the calves forever. I just wanted to show them off like my friend Anne did. And my calves' northern and southern neighbors have shaped up nicely recently.)

I took the shoes for a test run on Sunday afternoon on the Five Mile Trail (I only did 1.2 miles out and back, 2.4 miles total), and they did pretty well! I had a teensy bit of the typical new shoe toe numbness, but it went away before I finished. Then I got that burning sensation on the bottom of my feet ... totally a new shoe feeling too. I'm confident these will break in in no time since they're so squishy. Uh, and they're light! The shoes I was using before are technically cross trainers, albeit lightweight ones. I'm so ready to roll in these puppies. Bring on more 5Ks!

Speaking of 5Ks, I signed up for another one last week. It's the Run to Remember in Anderson Township and it's this Saturday at a nearby park. The course is a little lame, but it's flat and it's in my part of town. Plus it's, if you couldn't tell by its name, a run to remember individuals from Anderson Township who have passed away. I actually have a bit of a distant personal connection to two of the honorees. I went to school with Erin and graduated with her sister, Liz. My mom's former co-worker, Sean, was married to honoree Marty. Their stories, along with the other honorees' stories, are just so heartbreaking. Check out the website to read about them. I'll be thinking of them and someone else during my run.
My honoree
Hopefully it's a happy atmosphere so I can keep it together enough to breathe and see straight.

So, this week I'm hoping to get out and run at least twice before Saturday. I'm glad I don't have to wait until it's late in the evening to get outside, but I'm sad the long days of summer are over. Now I actually have to start rushing home (if I'm not being attacked by a to-do list at work) in order to get out in the daylight. I'll never be happy, huh?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for bearing with me during the Internet debacle.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Weight On My Shoulders ... And Thighs, Stomach, Etc.

Pre-written blog post #2! Except for this paragraph (wrote it last night). I TOTALLY completed Day 1 of Week 5 last night. WEEEEEEK FIIIIIIVE! Yay! The jump from Week 4 to Week 5 was surprisingly gentle. Though it did take me just as long to complete it as the other weeks, which I don’t understand. Anyway, here are the intervals for Week 5 of C25K: 5-minute warm up, then alternate 5 minute jogs and 3 minute walks for 20 minutes total; cool down. Yay again! I might live on this week for a while, because Week 6 involves an 8 minute run. Uh, no thanks.

On to my weight discussion …

The largest number I remember seeing on the scale happened before I started at the gym in March 2009. I’m not sure how long before, but it couldn’t have made too much of a difference. The only thing that we need to consider here is that I used the scale while it was sitting on carpet instead of a hard, flat surface. It could have been skewed. In fact, it probably was. The scale at the gym when I first started registered me a little lower than the scale at home at that time, and for the next year of my membership. I’ll go ahead and use that number anyway, regardless of its accuracy. Besides, how do we know if scales are accurate? They all say something different and claim to be accurate.

Anyway, as I mentioned briefly in previous posts, I thought of a way to share my weight loss success without actually sharing my weight. Yes, I could have just posted “lost X pounds” or “gained Y pounds,” but I find it much more telling to have actual numbers. You may notice the below numbers are HUGE. That’s because I’ve added a huge number to my actual weight to disguise it. I think someday I’ll be able to share my real numbers, but not now. I just can’t do it. You can guess all you want, just don’t guess to my face; in doing so, you’ll either make yourself look like an ass or make me feel gross, or both. Let’s just use the pretend numbers. Oh, I’ve also recorded the magic number I added onto my weights so I can use the same one from here on out. Yay consistency!

So, here’s a little bit of a timeline for you:

Weight (lbs): 559
Time: About 1.5 years ago; potentially inaccurate because of scale/carpet factor

Weight (lbs): 553
Time: My first weigh-in at the gym, March 2009

Weight (lbs): 549
Time: January-ish; made a big push at the gym to look good for a wedding

Weight (lbs): ???
Time: I didn’t record my weight when I started running March 2010 (same as January?)

Weight (lbs): 545
Time: Late June – Pre-boot-camp; had been running regularly for nearly 4 months.

Weight (lbs): 535
Time: Late July, immediately after boot camp; was dropping 1.5 pounds every 3 days

Weight (lbs): 524
Time: Now; weight loss slowed and nearly plateau-ed after boot camp

Weight (lbs): 519
Time: Post long run, dehydrated, going to collapse; goes up 10 pounds after drinking water – science is weird.

Total weight loss from the possibly inaccurate weight 1.5 years ago and excluding my post-run dehydrated weight: 35 pounds! Now that’s a real number, folks!

So, what’s my goal? Ugh, I hate setting goals. So, I’ll set it at what I think is my fantasy weight, though I think it’s unattainable. Let’s see, shall we? Can I reach it by 30?

Goal weight: 415 pounds. 104 more to go! Totally doable, right? Pssshhh …

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone