Throwaways: the good, the bad and the really ugly

I have a stash of old sweatshirts and hats in the corner of our guest room.

Of course, they’ll go to charity. But first, they get one last use – as early morning road race throwaways!

IMG_1497It’s overflowing

Since the days are growing colder, and I’ve started to actually wear long sleeves while running on crisp mornings (gasp!) so I thought I’d share some tips on throwaways – including a how-to manual to create my infamous tube sock mittens!


Most race organizers have volunteers collect discarded clothing at the starting line and along the course. Those items are then donated to charity. I love this. It’s such a smart form of recycling and giving an item a second – and third – life.

Typically, I scavenge my house looking for clothing (read: warm outerwear) I don’t mind parting with. I typically don old sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts and knit caps.

If I forget or can’t find what I am looking for, I head to the Dollar Store or a second-hand store to find what I need. I even found a $5 fleece at Target in a pinch.

A Mylar blanket – the kind you receive at the finish of most large races – or a garbage bag – with a hole for your head – will also do the trick.

vic throwawayMe and my many layers before the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010.

 For my first marathon, I was overdressed with throwaways.  Sweatshirt, sweatpants, mittens and knit cap. I had it all. I also tossed it all before I started running. That taught me that its sometimes smart to hold onto mittens and hats until I warm up, typically a mile or two into my race.

nwh5The chicks and friends in a few throwaway tops before a 2014 race in D.C. Note how Meri dons a fancy shrug. (yeah, its really a ripped Lululemon shirt)

The key is to wear something that will A.) keep you warm and B.) you don’t mind discarding.

I struggle with this. I want everything to have a second life. And I hold onto some clothing for far too long. What’s that? You want an example? Well, ok.

Nov13 to May14 079See these duds? They are hideous and I couldn’t part with the 17-year-old fleece for about 15 years too many. That and my hubby’s torn-on-the-behind sweatpants have me looking voluminous pre-NYC Marathon in 2013. But hey, Christy Turlington Burns complimented them as we waited to start the race.

Brooke is fantastic about tossing unwanted or damaged clothes. We’ve traded throwaway layers at more than one race.

bthrowawyBefore the 2012 Princess Half Marathon, Brooke tossed these layers.

Sometimes, I really don’t want to part with an item.

In March, I passed on a favorite pair of warm up pants I’d had for years. They were ratty, but fit over my sneakers so became my go-to pants for regattas and road races.

Nov13 to May14 1601I memorialized these pants before I discarded them before a race in March.

Good bye, old friend.

The key with throwaway pants is the ability to take them off in a rush – without having to untie your shoes.

Most warmup pants don’t fit over my sneakers, so I make them fit. I take a pair of scissors and cut up the seam of the pants, starting at the ankle. I make the opening large enough for my show to fit through. (If you look closely at the first pic in this post, you can see my handiwork)

And yes, this is why a supermodel/runner told me I was brilliant before we both ran NYC last fall.

How to make your own tube sock mittens:

It’s easy. Place tube socks over your hands and push your thumb through the heel area of the sock.

IMG_1499So simple, so stylish

If you’re like me, your socks are well worn and might even already have a hole in your heel.

If you don’t wear your socks to threads, you can opt to use scissors.

Presto change-o! Done! Tube sock mittens.

wineglassmittensTube sock mittens paired with an old sweatshirt. These mittens lived to see another race day.

Now that you’ve seen my hideous throwaways, I want to hear what YOU do! Share pics of you in your discard layers with us on social media! – We’re ScootaDoot on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Where My (Curvy) Girls At?

If you follow me on Twitter (@bec2point0), you’ve likely seen one of my recent rants about the lack of availability of cute, functional, plus-sized athletic wear. When I tell you it’s slim pickins, I promise you, I’m not lying. If you are an athlete of the plus-size variety (guess what, retailers? WE EXIST!), I know you feel me.

Finding any sort of workout clothes in a size 3X is a challenge. And if you want it to be cute? Even more so. And if you’d like to not have to sell a vital organ to afford them? Be prepared to do some hard looking!

Hint: Don’t bother looking in a certain fruity sounding yoga wear proprietor. Their largest size is a 12.

And sadly, they are not alone. I’ve visited several sites that carry size ‘XL’, but if you read the fine print, that XL is equal to a 12.

Size 12 is not extra large, kids. It’s just not. According to this Jezebel article from last June, the average American woman wears a size 14. So calling your size 12 items ‘extra large’ is both rude, and inaccurate. 

Being thin has not been synonymous with being an athlete for quite some time. Go to your local walking track. Go to any ‘fun run’. Go to your local Zumba studio. And look. What you will see is women of ALL shapes and sizes getting their workout on.

Sadly, what you will probably also see is that the larger women rarely have anything remotely equivalent in cuteness to the adorable outfits that the smaller women are wearing.

So, what is the message I’m to take from this? That if larger women want to exercise, they shouldn’t bother looking for cute workout clothes? Should we just pull on a baggy men’s t-shirt and stretchy pants and sweat to the oldies in our living rooms as to not offend the general population with our jiggling?

I say screw that. (And I say it a lot. And usually I replace the word screw with its much more colorful, starts with F, buddy).

Wake up, retailers. There are plenty of curvy, plus-size women that want to buy athletic wear. We’ve got boobs, and hips and disposable income.

BUT… this is not just a rant. After numerous angry twitter venting sessions, I decided to get off my sizeable ass and start really looking. And because we fathletes have to stick together, I will now share with you the fruits of my searching.

Lola Get Active – I ordered this adorable top a couple of weeks ago. It’s stylish, well-made and is available up to a size 22/24. (P.S. It’s also on sale right now!) This site has many more great items, and I will definitely be giving them more of my business.

Photo from

Bare Plus – This is the plus size of the house for Bare Essentials. While this site is primarily lingerie, they do have a workout section. Yes, even on the plus side. Lots of sports bra selection for us busty girls, but some cute tops as well. Including this one, which I bought and am currently in love with.

Moving Comfort Endurance Activewear Tee Photo from

Moving Comfort Endurance Activewear Tee
Photo from

JCP – I’ll be honest, the stuff on the JCP website leans a bit more towards ‘sportswear’ than true ‘activewear’, but there are some performance items. Their prices are very reasonable, and if you have a local store, you can have it shipped there for FREE. I like free.

Old Navy – I’ll be honest. I haven’t ordered anything from ON. Yet. Most of their tops are of the sleeveless variety and it’s COLD where I am. But believe you me, I will be just as soon as it warms up. I can’t speak to their quality, but their prices are good. I’m going to guess this is a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation. As in, it will be cute and functional, but it’s not going to last forever. But you know what? For $24.94, it doesn’t have to.

So, curvy friends, don’t despair. Cute activewear for larger women is not just a myth. You can find it! And if you find it, please support it. Speak with your wallet. It’s really the only thing corporations listen to.

And as for those companies that call their size 12 an ‘XL’, and the ones who cap their sizes below that of the average American woman? I can promise them this. Once all of this working out pays off, and I am a woman of ‘average’ size, they will still not see a dime of my money. Because no. And screw that.

Do you have any great recs for places to shop for plus-size activewear? Please share! Bec really likes to shop. A lot. Like, it’s a problem.