Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Cavity, A Redemption Run, And New-To-Me Running Gear

My tooth hurts. I believe, at the ripe old age of 29, I've just gotten my first cavity. Ugh! I've been grinding and flicking my teeth all day to try to pin-point exactly which one it is. I'm sure by the time my Monday appointment rolls around, I will have aggravated my TMJ issue (self-diagnosed) as well. Good ... two birds, one stone, right?


On a much more positive note. I just ran a wonderfully redeeming run this evening. I've been itching to get out since I saw the forecast for a "heat wave" a few days ago. My car's thermometer read a whopping 40 degrees on the way home! Granted, my car's thermometer is usually a few degrees off, but STILL! 40 degrees, give or take a few, is still better than 23 degrees with a windchill of -18, amiright?

Besides, 40 degrees, give or take, is enough for me to be confident my footfalls aren't happening on black ice. What ice there was, I could see plainly as it crept out from a parking lot glacier (iced-over snow plow pile), and those spots are easy to dodge.

Plus, I got to run in my new-to-me pullover jacket. Back in my Kings Island days (somewhere between May 2001 and July 2003), a friend of mine, Eddy, insisted that I keep his Adidas pullover windbreaker. I don't know what he was thinking, but I was thinking "score!" I've had it this whole time and never wore it. Well, when I was getting ready to head out this evening, I spotted the jacket in my closet and did a little happy dance.

Wicking/compression undershirt + Adidas pullover windbreaker = perfect (okay maybe a little warm) for this weather.

Plus I felt like an Adidas spokesperson in both the windbreaker and my Adidas running pants. Die Weltmarke mit den drei Streifen! (The brand with the three stripes. Yes, I remembered that from some dude's shirt/hat/whatever in my high school German class.)

I also got to wear my brand new reflective vest. (Thank Santa/Mom!) I never felt unsafe in my parking lot, but I definitely felt safer tonight. And, honestly, a bit geeky. All I need now is a fanny pack with water bottles strapped to it and a few sweat bands and my runner image is complete. =)

Oh, the run was so nice! I ran around my apartment complex's parking lot, just like the good ol' days (two or three weeks ago). I hurt a little more than I did last time I did that route, but I'm just so happy to have completed the 30-minute run without stopping (minus the three times I had to take about 5 walking steps to make way for cars). My recent runs have been brutal on my confidence and morale, so I needed this "win" so badly. I think I can get two more outdoor runs in this week and that is so exciting. If I have to get through two or three more months of cold, I at least need little weather breaks like this to relieve the treadmill humdrums.

Thanks for reading. Wish me luck for my dentist appointment Monday. I have a feeling I'm going to meet my first dental drill very soon. Help!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Inspired By A Stranger

I don't know if this will help me through the winter, but I'm sure hoping it does. Liz, who often comments on my blog posts, forwarded me an email from From that email I found my way to a 200+ pounds message board (more on that later) and then to a blog. The blog is Finally Airborne and it follows the running/fitness/weight loss adventures of a fellow who managed to lose more than 100 pounds in less than a year AND run a marathon.

I'm still reading a bit of his back story, and I hope he doesn't mind me promoting him here on my blog, but I just have to. Now, I'm a little skeptical that the female body can transform as vastly as the male body, but that isn't based on any sort of scientific fact (if you have notes on that topic, please share).

Anyway, check his story out. I'm inspired.

I just watched the slide show he posted on YouTube and, while I usually find this kind of stuff cheesy and ridiculous, I was just nearly moved to tears.

Here it is:

I think his tipping point, a too-fat incident at an amusement park, just really struck home for me. I've been experiencing that pain since I was probably 10 - 12 years old, but it didn't really start to hit me until the number of rides I couldn't fit on was passing up the number of rides I could fit on.

Anyway, I'm blabbering on too much. Go. Check his blog out. I know I'm going to keep reading! Talk about inspiration. Geesh!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Love Juilfs In The Wintertime

Well folks, I don't have many positive things to say about running for the time between my last post and now. In fact, it's been pretty crappy. I'm hoping this is as low as it goes in the land of discouragement. It's cold. It's snowy. It's difficult to run outside, not enjoyable to run on the treadmill, and nearly impossible to get motivated to do any of that. All I want to do is curl up on my couch and watch movies; that's what winter is all about, right?

I clearly have some self-work to do and decisions to make about how to handle this winter issue for the next 2-3 months (!), and you may see posts about it. But for now, I'm going to share pictures of Juilfs from one of my past two runs there.

That's right! Running at a park! That's because the citizens of Anderson Township (formerly me) pay hefty property taxes so the running paths at their parks get shoveled and salted during snowy weather. Praise the citizens of Anderson Township.

I drove around to a few of my favorite outdoor running locations to see if any of them were cleared. Juilfs was my last stop, and lo and behold, it was clear and I was so happy. I drove home, geared up, and headed back to the park, home of my early days of running.

I actually did quite well on that run. I did two complete running laps, plus a few yards, including two runs up Beast Hill (check back to some of my April blogs if you need a refresher on Juilfs and Beast Hill).

I did it! I ran up that friggin' hill twice. I took the advice of one of my coworkers and just put my head down and ran. That was a little hard for me since I've been practicing keeping my head up and looking in front of me since I started this mess 10 months ago. But it worked and I'll be trying it again soon.

So, enough of that. Now for some pictures.

Not run-related, but as I was getting ready to go, someone insisted I stay at home.

She almost convinced me.

Halfway up Beast Hill, looking down the west side of the trail.

A little further up Beast Hill.

See the sledders? I almost asked if I could have a go.

Looking down the east side. Praise be to the clear paths!

Basketball and volleyball courts

More sledding and some wicked lighting!

After the run, I came home to make my carrot cake for someone else. Mmmm...

The end!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet My Treadmill

I didn't run for 32 minutes straight today, but I'm considering it a victory anyway. The fact that I actually put my running gear on, traipsed through the snow, went to (got in my car to drive 15 seconds to) the workout room at my complex, and ran is a victory in itself. The stairs leading from my second-floor apartment are covered in ice, as is my whole parking lot. I could have died, folks.

But, I risked it all and moseyed on over. I also took advantage of the sunshine and took a picture of my workout room.

See my new pants? Aren't they fabulous? LOVE THEM!
Now, to work on my posture. Hold stomach in for pictures, Beckey!
(But check out my running gams in those pants!)

So, this picture makes the room look huge. There are two treadmills, 1 elliptical, 1 stationary bike, and 1 "nautilus" all-in-one machine. If you look carefully, you can see the lines on the mirrored wall and then figure out how small the room is.

I didn't do a full 32 minutes today for several reasons:
  1. I'm having trouble finding the right speed. Today I felt like everything was too slow to feel natural. I got up to 4.7 before it even felt close. I think my legs were ready to go today.
  2. It got hot. I've lost all my tolerance for heat. Ugh, and I worked so hard to get it in the first place.
  3. The other treadmill wasn't working and a girl came in shortly after I started, wanting to use it. She got on the bike instead, but I felt bad (and wanted an excuse to stop early), so I only did 20-ish minutes of running (with a 2-ish minute walk break in there somewhere).
  4. I really, really would rather have been running outside. It's only halfway through December and I can already tell this winter thing is going to be a huge downer in the land of running. Blah.
I only got two runs in last week, too. It's been awhile since I've slacked off like that and it felt really strange. Guess that's a good feeling to have, right?

That's all I have today. Good luck to you all running in this nastiness. As always, I welcome your insight on the topic.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Got Pants With Zipper Pockets!

It's true! I'm super excited to announce that I am the proud new owner of these glorious running pants, complete with zipper pockets a-go-go. They're everywhere!

Men's Adidas Astro Running Pants. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack with my fabulous Groupon, but this image is from this website, which includes an extensive product description.

They're all moisture-wicking and fancy and are actually MADE for running. Oh, and they're only XL. YAY! (As a side note, I clearly have the lower body of a man. These fit perfectly.)

I also got a technical shirt, which is what I imagine UnderArmor shirts to be like. I believe it's a "compression" shirt. Basically, I can only wear it under my long-sleeved tshirts because it's bathing-suit tight. That's okay. It's WICKING!

Oh, about that ... we had a bit of a heat wave in Cincinnati today (I think it got above 40 degrees), so I got to run outside in the new gear. I definitely experienced the cold in a new way with these new clothes. I stayed warm and felt cool all at the same time. Weird. I guess these moisture-wicking crazies know what they're talking about.

Last thing. I just did a 32-minute run through the 'hood tonight! Yay!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I can honestly say, with no exaggeration, that I never thought yesterday would have happened, especially more than 10 months ago when I started the Couch to 5K program.

Well folks, this is a picture of what victory looks like:

Well, pretend I remembered to take a screen shot of the app when I actually finished the program, instead of the next day. Elapsed would say 40:00 and Remaining would say 0:00. It happened, I promise. See the green check mark on 9.3?

On Monday, December 6, 2010 at approximately 6:45 p.m., I, Beckey, the author of More To Love Running, ran for 30 minutes straight and completed the Couch to 5K program.

Omigosh! Ahhhh!

Okay, okay, wait a minute. Not only did I finish the program, but I finished the program on a treadmill. On a treadmill running next to some dude I didn't know. Running next to some dude I didn't know who didn't have headphones on and therefore could hear me huffing and puffing and hear my thundering steps.

We're talking HUGE victories here, people!

The most amusing part to me is that I didn't even get a chance to celebrate yesterday because I was busy being a Beckey Crocker failure. I came back from the workout room to the task of making hoards of red velvet cupcakes for my work's holiday bake-off. Let me tell you now that I HATE baking on weekdays. There's a reason: if something goes wrong, there's NO recovery time.

There is, however, an extremely helpful mother. I didn't have sugar or cupcake papers. I was soaking wet with sweat, still in my running clothes, and exhausted. My loving mother rescued me, though, and delivered the sugar and papers. Whew. Thanks mom!

So, this day after my baking almost-catastrophe, and after the cupcakes are iced, I'm officially giving myself time to get excited about my accomplishment.


Er ... now what?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Irony Of Plus-Sized Active Wear

I just had a minor soap box moment on Facebook around this topic, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post about it because I might learn something and it might be helpful to others.

In case you've never shopped for plus-sized clothing before--more specifically plus-sized active wear--allow me a few moments to educate you. "Active wear" for big girls for many retailers (and the designers that provide clothing for those retailers) equates to coordinating Velour sweatsuits, overly large bedazzled t-shirts, and "lounge wear." Are you familiar with these products? Let me introduce you to one of them: the Velour sweat suit.

Here's a stunning suit from one of the most popular plus-sized retailers, Lane Bryant.

Here's another purple stunner from Avenue. Do you think Velour catches fire when introduced to extreme friction like, say, when a plus-sized gal's thighs rub together while running?

Even Macy's is in the Velour game! Wow, look how figure-flattering that fabric and cut is! And only $46 for the pants alone!

Go to any retailer's website (preferably the larger department stores or plus-sized retailers, because they're the only ones that have big girl clothes), and find the Women's Plus page. Then find the link to Activewear.

Check out that selection, huh? WOOHOO! VELOUR PARTY!

In fact, here is Kmart's ENTIRE selection of Women's Plus Activewear:

Top. Pants. Jacket. DONE! What else could fat girls possibly want? And lucky us, they match!

However, in a jaw-dropping surprise attack, the Evil Empire itself, Walmart, seems to be the leader in appropriate and practical workout gear for those of us with big bones. This is practically sacrilege if you know what company I currently work for. Whatever--their selection is HUGE and includes descriptive words like "moisture wicking" and "performance." The prices are Walmart-esqe, and to top it all off, I was just assured by an experienced Walmart active wear shopper, the quality is good.

Shock and awe, folks. Shock and awe.

Evil Empire be damned, let's look at the two items that just made my wish list.

Compare the above pants to a similar pair of performance pants at Dick's Sporting Goods. (Please take care when entering the URL. It's You'll wish you listened to me if you didn't.) Here's the link to those pants. First, they're not made in anything bigger than an XL and there are no XLs currently available (I could potentially fit into an XL at this point). Second, they're $40. And that's one of the cheaper pairs!

In all fairness, I can kind of understand what designers/retailers are thinking in offering only the most unpractical active wear for the "fluffy" population of women in the U.S. I mean, think about it.

Fat women + comfortable but impractical active wear/lounge wear = continued fatness = more sales!


Fat women + practical active wear = fat loss = more regular sized women = loss of sales!

Therefore, impractical, Velour jumpsuits become the strategy for plus-sized designers/retailers.

Oh the irony.

What does that mean for me? Three things:
  1. I will continue to wear my 14-year-old Spandex (aka "slimeys") and holey yoga pants.
  2. I will contribute to the success of the Evil Empire by purchasing the two Walmart products above in the near future.
  3. I will use my existing clothing and practical active wear from Walmart to lose weight and no longer be limited to Velour sweat suits and bedazzled workout clothes.
Happy Sunday, folks!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Warm Goopy Feelings In Week 9

I love, love, LOVE the warm goopy feeling I get after running. Actually, it sets in immediately following any physically demanding exercise. I sit down after a run and I just want to melt away. It's so relaxing.

I firmly believe that there's no better way to relax your mind AND every muscle in your body than to beat the hell out of it. Sometimes it's hard to remember this excellent side effect of running, most notably when it's 26 degrees and dark outside. I forgot about the warm-goopiness today. I was too scared of the potential for black ice in my parking lot and of the equally frightening potential for yet another running failure.

Well, good news. I'm currently in the warm, goopy post-run stage and I didn't encounter any ice to get here. Ladies and gentlemen, I just completed a Week 9 workout of Couch to 5K (run 30 minutes without stopping), and I truly did it this time--without stopping!


Thank you, thank you ...

Actually, I was seriously starting to doubt if I could do it at all, at least until the weather warmed up. My body is just not dealing with the cold very well. I feel like I've gotten used to the cold much quicker in years past, but maybe I'm getting old. Or maybe the cold just got here much faster this year? Who knows. What I do know is that I've been miserable in the mornings this week. I just can't seem to get warm, inside and out. I don't think it helps that my winter coats are like tents on me now and let all kinds of cold air up inside of them. BRRRRR!

(Who wants to buy me a new coat?)

My co-worker and fellow running newbie passed an article along to me today. The blog is for marathoners (and desperately needs to be proofread), but I think we can all find something to help us cope with the cold.

Here it is: Top Winter Marathon Training Tips

And I'll also share a link to Runner's World's website, which is FULL of info. There's so much on there that I don't think I'll ever get through it all, but it won't stop me from trying. By the way, the magazine is pretty fantastic. I recommend it. This particular page has links to all kinds of extreme weather articles/blogs, etc.

And, here's that one: Runner's World Running in Cold or Heat home page

So, that's all I have today. Don't give up through the cold stuff, and PLEASE don't let me give up either. Special thanks to the person who bargained with me this afternoon to make sure we both ran. I really truly appreciate it, and all the warm, goopy feelings I got because I took your challenge. =)

By the way, have I ever talked to you all about what happens after the warm goopy-ness goes away? No? I get absolutely freezing cold, complete with shivers. Sad, freezing Beckey. I want the warm-goopies back! And a heated blanket.