Don’t Call it a Comeback…yet

Yeah, it’s an LL Cool J kind of morning. You’re welcome for the earworm!

This week, I restarted C25K in preparation of a race next month and eventual half marathon training (11 months, holy…). Typically, my C25K starting point is actually the C/couch, where I have been perched for several months. And it’s hard. It’s so, SO hard. That first one minute run feels like an hour.

This time around, I had only been out of commission for 2-3 weeks, so that first one felt… good. And the pace was… pretty decent, actually. And immediately upon finishing, I made plans with my running pal, Sara, to go running again.

And then we did! Last night, I did my Day 2 run and it was still good. Pace was slightly slower, but still well below my usually Week 1 pace. And yeah, I was out of breath. And yeah, my calves hurt (I blame the wedges I was rocking at work yesterday). But it was just… good.

I like good. I would like to keep having it feel good. Because good feels good!

Here’s the thing. I’ve never made it past Week 6. I think this is because Week 6 sucks, but it could be because I am a habitual non finisher*.

And this time, week 6 coincides with my first race since the October, in which I finished last in my age group.



That was not a great feeling.

This journey has been full of plenty of great feelings (the first time I ran a full mile) and a whole lot of not so great feelings (last year’s Diva Dash). But it is always full of feelings. Always.

Right now, the feeling is anxiety. Not a lot, but I can feel it growing. I get ridiculous race-day anxiety, every time, to the point where I panic as soon as I start running and can’t continue (I can walk, and I always finish the course, but I CANNOT run). And it happens most days when I run at all, although not at the same level. I’m always anxious that I’m not going to be able to do it. (I’m not sure what my brain thinks happens if I can’t do it, but it is definitely scared).

Clearly, anxiety does NOT feel good. And I need to learn how to work around it. Which, in fact, is actually the point of the race I booked next month – to start getting used to it again so that next April, I don’t have a heart attack on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and run into a casino to hide.

I haven’t really found a way to get rid of the anxiety yet. Maybe there isn’t one, but I have to believe there are at least ways to make it more manageable. And once I get that under control?

I’m gonna knock you out 😉 **

*Please note my not using the word quitter. I don’t want Meri to give me the look.

** Please pardon the cheese. It’s early and I’ve given up coffee. And cheese.

So, help a girl out? Tell Bec she’s not alone in the race anxiety. Tell her how you work through it. Tell her to suck it up and stop crying like a little girl with a skinned knee.

Couch to Spring

YOU GUYS, IT’S SPRING. I seriously could not be happier. This was a long, LONG winter. Between snowstorms and colds (and my crazy schedule the last few weeks), I’m not quite as far along as I thought I’d be. Well, my week off for illness turned into two weeks off (mostly illness, a little bit of lazy thrown in for good measure). But this week, it was time to get back on the horse. Or my feet.

C25K, Week 3, Day 1

Time 28:00 minutes, Distance 1.44 miles, Pace 19:27

Having taken two full weeks off, I was seriously scared to get back on the treadmill. I contemplated going back a week because, as those of us that C25K know, Week 3 means a 3 minute run. YIKES. But, I decided to just pick up where I left off and do what I could.

And it was good! Hit the gym with my daughter after her modeling class. I was tired and could have easily bailed, but Kay is my little Jillian and she was having none of that. While my pace wasn’t my best so far (about 20 seconds more per mile than where I left off), it was a good run. And I even pushed myself a little. Towards the end, I felt like I had some more run in me, so I did an extra two minutes!


My beautiful (hardass) baby girl.

C25K, Week 3, Day 2

Time 28:00 minutes, Distance 1.50 miles, Pace 18:40

God, I love when my pace number goes down. I really do. Before I started running, I didn’t even know what a ‘good’ pace was, much less that I would grow to care about my own and want to better it. I bumped up my treadmill pace and did the extra two minutes again, just to see it go down a little.

The feeling of being ‘a runner’ as opposed to someone who runs is starting to come back. And I’m not going to lie…


C25K, Week 3, Day 3

Time 28:08 minutes, Distance 1.69 miles, Pace 16:37

Yeah, I'm just a little proud.

Yeah, I’m just a little proud.

16:37! Picture me doing a little happy dance on the track. Because that’s a big drop from 18:40 just a few days before.

This was my first outdoor run of the year. I looked out the window and say the shining sun and the clear blue sky and thought ‘why on Earth would I want to go into the gym on a day like this?’

Of course, this being New England, it wasn’t quite as warm as it looked. But it was warm. 44 degrees warm.


The sky has gotten the message that Spring is here, and so have I. The trees, not so much.

I headed down to the local track and took off. I’d forgotten how much more I enjoy running outside. No ‘hamster on a wheel’ feeling. Even though a track is a big circle, I feel like I’m going somewhere. And I don’t get any funny looks from fellow treadmillers when my Pandora starts blasting the dirty version of What’s Your Fantasy (which, btw, is an excellent running song).

But, I had also forgotten that I’m a faster runner outside. When I run on the treadmill, it paces me. I get all worked up by the speed and think ‘I can’t increase it, I’m not ready yet’.  Outside, I pace me. I run as fast as I am comfortable with, and I don’t look at the number on my phone.

I just run.

I’m certainly not alone out there, either. There was a little old woman running in pink sweats and a sunhat, a couple of teenage boys, some families out for a walk. And more so than when I run at the gym, I feel like part of something bigger when I run outside.


My local track.

See that track? This is where I run. This is where I better myself, as a runner and as a person. This is where I become the athlete I want to be.

So, tomorrow, I start Week 4. Which includes a 5 minute run. I’m scared, but excited. And I’ll tell you all about it next Saturday 🙂

<3 Bec

P.S. On the Dietbet front, I’m down 10 pounds in just under two weeks, which means unless I get assaulted by Ben & Jerry, I should make it!

Couch to Getting It Done

Part of being a runner means planning. When to run, where to run, making time in your chaotic schedule for your run. This week’s schedule was even more chaotic than usual (and by that, I mean the kind of schedule that makes mere women weep. And I am mere women).

C25K, Week 2, Day 1

Time 31:25 minutes, Distance 1.50 miles, Pace 20:57

Sunday morning dawned again. My son had a gym appointment (rescheduled from last week) and this time, we were making it. My daughter’s swim was at the same time. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

I hopped on the treadmill and was grooving out to my Pitbull mix on Pandora. I was totally rocking this run. It felt so fast. There was a guy on the treadmill in front of me and he was running too, and he looked like he was going pretty fast too, and we’re running and we’re fast and HEY LOOK AT US, WE’RE RUNNERS.

Then, my son jumped on the treadmill next to me and started walking. Not super fast. Just walking.

And he was going faster than my run.

What the HELL?

For reference, my treadmill ‘run’ is about 3.4. My son was walking at 3.5.

Then I caught a glimpse of the screen of the guy in front of me, the one that I just bonded with in the glory of running a few sentences ago.


Apparently, I was not as fast as I thought. Or as fast as a ten year old walks. Or as fast as your gramma, most likely.

BUT… I was faster than I was the run before. And I have no desire to indulge in pace shame. I’m doing what I can, when I can, as fast as I can.

So dude with the 7.7, you were totally running faster. But we’re still both runners.

C25K, Week 2, Day 2

31.25 minutes, Distance 1.61 miles, Pace 19:31

And then I got faster.

Day 1 and Day 2 were back to back days. I never do this. But with the aforementioned crazy schedule, I knew running time was going to be hard to come by. So Monday night it was. My daughter came with me and she was totally faster than me, even walking, but she’s a 15 year old athlete, so whatever.


This run actually felt amazing. I was totally sore from the day before, but a good sore (the ‘good gawd, what was I thinking’ sore would come the next day).

And then I saw my pace under 20:00 and I was ridiculously happy I’d run back to back days.

And happy I started this.

And just plain happy.

C25K, Week 2, Day 3

Time 0:00 minutes, Distance 0 miles, Pace 00:00

It was supposed to be Thursday night. Mother Nature had other ideas (she and I are in such a fight).

Then, it was supposed to be Friday night. But it was still SNOWING. (I’m totally taking a hit out on her).

Okay, so Saturday, somewhere between brunch and my daughter’s modeling class at 2:00… oh wait, it’s at 1:00? Oh fabulous. Drive there, drive back, eat lunch. And I’ve got a date tonight with my husband, so I’ve got to get ready. Movie starts at 6:20 and it’s 3:20 and there is just no way I can pretend I don’t have time for this run.

Even though I kind of want to right now. That’s right, I’m typing up this post as part of my procrastination tactic.

But it’s not working. So I’ll be back…


C25K, Week 2, Day 3

Time 31:00 minutes, Distance 1.62 miles, Pace 19.08

Sometimes you plan and schedule and move things around and when that all goes to hell? You just get it done.

P.S. Next week includes a three minute run. If I die, it’s been nice blogging with you.

Couch to Carbs

And so it begins…

C25K, Week 1, Day 1

Time 30 Minutes, Distance 1.30 miles, Pace 23:05

Sunday mornings in New England have recently been a complete snowfest. If you don’t live in a snowy area, you should know it makes a handy dandy excuse for not doing what you’re supposed to do. On Saturday, the forecast was calling for overnight snowfall. Yet, when I awoke Sunday morning, the roads were clear and my car did not resemble a small, white ski slope.

My reaction? ‘Quick, find another excuse!’

The original plan had been to get my run in while my daughter was volunteering for Special Olympics (9:00 AM). This made sense, since it’s AT MY GYM. BUT… I needed to get a few things at the store and I desperately needed a Starbucks Vanilla Blonde and I needed a few minutes to sit in my car and play Ruzzle (i.e. lose at Ruzzle). So, I moved running to the afternoon, while my son was at swimming lessons (1:00 PM).

This was fine, and equally convenient, since swimming lessons are also at my gym. SCORE. Did my errands, brought my daughter home, picked my son up from his sleepover. He said he had an upset stomach and I could see the beginnings of a cold. No matter, I’d go a bit later after I did my grocery pick-up (between 2:00-3:00 PM). Score.

My husband and daughter had an errand to run, so I was going to bring my son with me to the gym (to read in the ‘chill out, kids’ area). But his cold kept getting worse, so scratch that, I’d start dinner and then head to the gym once my husband was home (somewhere between 4:00-5:00). Score?

Dinner started, everyone’s home, I’m dressed in running clothes (which feelsl odd, since it’s been so long) and I head out the door to find… it’s snowing. Of course it is.

And that was when it hit me. I’d procrastinated this all day because I was nervous. Now, it was my last chance for the day and New England had handed me the perfect excuse. It was snowing! I couldn’t be expected to risk my life just to get this run in, could I? It was already after 5:00, and getting dark fast, and…and…and…

Screw that.

It was barely snowing, and even as nervous as I was, this was a commitment I made and some part of me knew that if I took this one excuse, I’d find a million others the next time.

Fast forward one hour and I left the gym. Sweaty, disgusting, already a little achy, and pleased as punch. My pace was worse than ever and I smelled like a camel, but I did it. Couch to 5K, Week 1, Day 1 was in the bag.


C25K, Week 1, Day 2
Time 30 Minutes 26 Seconds, Distance 1.50, Pace 20:17

Lawd, I did not want to run Tuesday. Like, at all. Nor did I want to stick to South Beach. Lots going on and emotions at an all time high made me want to dive headlong into a container of ice cream and my couch cushions.

I was trolling Twitter, which is always a good place to find excuses. Instead, I found this post by Holly, a woman who has lost over 200 pounds and just ran her first 5K.

You guys, I was SO inspired.

I read a few more posts, crying more than once, and continued to feel more and more inspired as I read. Holly’s story is amazing.

Then, I did something I’ve never done before. I sent off an email to a perfect stranger. Because I wanted Holly to know that not only had her story touched me so deeply, but that it had made it easy to make the choice I needed to make. (She answered too! Such a sweetheart!)

I hit send and headed to the gym. Because, as I said in my email, food wasn’t going to make this bad day better and exercise wasn’t going to make it worse.

It was a good run. A damn good run, for me, for Week 1 Day 2. I let my natural inclination to push a little more take over, increasing both my run and walk speeds.

And it felt…good. Really good. I remembered that running does something for me, something other than making me stronger and fitter. It makes me a little saner. That mindless focus on propelling my own body forward gives me a much needed break from the constant THINKING I do the other 23.5 hours a day (yes, even when I sleep).

Some days, I’m not going to make that choice. Some days, I’m going to opt for the oh-so-alluring ice cream/couch combo. Some days, I’m going to let the emotional rollercoaster plummet me into a black hole of blankets and a bag of Cheetos.

And some days, I’m going to say screw it all and just run.

C25K, Week 1 Day 3
Time 30 minutes, Distance 1.38 miles, Pace 21:44

And some days, it’s just a run. No magic, no epiphanies. It’s just a run. And that’s okay.

Tell me about your first C25K week?? Pretty please?

In non-running news, my relationship with South Beach Diet has proven, once again, to be a three night stand as opposed to a lifetime love affair. Not really shocking. I did make some amazing recipes (Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, White Chicken Chili) that I will add to my healthy meals arsenal.

Here’s the thing. I like carbs. Not just the horrible, bad-for-me, empty carbs, but the good, healthy, complex carbs too. Can I handle a meal without carbs? Sure. And I do, regularly. Can I handle weeks or months without carbs?

No. No I can’t. Nor do I want to.

So new plan this week. I’ve got so much going on at home and the next few weeks are going to be more emotionally draining than any I’ve had; I think I’m going to employ some ‘do what you can’ mentality. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to make the best choice every second. I just need to do what I can and let that be enough.

Or, I’ll start doing Weight Watchers again because it’s my default. I just know that eventually I’m going to show up at a meeting and confetti is going to rain from the sky when they say “Bec, you have signed up for Weight Watchers more times than anyone on Earth” and then they will hand me a free toaster.

And I will use it to make toast. With carbs. Because I can.

See you guys next week!

Couch to 40

Saturday mornings are my happy place. My husband is off at work (hug your mailman!), my teenage daughter is sound asleep and my ten year old son is watching something that makes me ponder if wine can be considered a breakfast food. Even that cats are napping. All of this adds up to me having a little bit of what every mom I know craves.

Quiet time.

Saturday mornings are when I prep for the upcoming week, do laundry, grocery shop (online – Peapod pick-up, you are my life now), and get mentally ready for what’s to come. And now, I’m adding something back into the mix.

Blogging! And talking to you guys! *pats lap* *passes out cups of coffee*

Last year, I was going to Weight Watchers on Saturday mornings, and after my meetings, I would come home and blog on my personal health blog (insert shameless plug – Weight watchers has long since been abandoned, but when Meri asked me to be part of Scoot a Doot, I was hit by just how much I’ve been missing the opportunity to pour my thoughts into a blog post and clear the clutter in my head.

So, here we are!

And what will this Saturday morning posts consist of, you might ask?


Okay, well not everything, but lots of things. Couch to 5K, first and foremost. And cooking (South Beach Diet friendly, at least until I tire of that). And Zumba. And what it’s like to be a healthy person trapped in a morbidly obese body. And my overall plan for the next 650 days.

Wanna get started? Let’s do it!

Couch to 5K – If you’ve never heard of Couch to 5K, it is a training program intended to get you ready to run a 5K in 9 weeks, even if you’re currently a couch potato (which I am, once again). You start out slow, running a minute at a stretch and then walking in between the runs. I almost said ‘running only a minute’ but if you’re fairly sedentary, running for a minute is no joke. When I first started C25K last year, I couldn’t run a minute. I had to start at running 30 seconds and work my way up. But that’s kind of the best part of the program. You make it your own. So whatever you can do, you do. And you push yourself, but not the point of injury. It’s a fantastic way to build up your endurance and show you just how much you are capable of.

I’m starting again tomorrow. Last year’s efforts were met with success, and then success met with me, and the end result was…not what I had hoped. But I did get things out of that experience. I found out that I can run, and that I actually enjoy it. I found out that I prefer running outside, unless it’s disgustingly hot and humid. I found out that when I stopped running, I missed it. So, for at least the next nine weeks, I’ll be doing a weekly recap. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday are my running days, and I’ll be throwing in a couple Zumba classes during the week.

FOOD – I’m such a foodie. I really do love food. Good-for-me food, bad-for-me food, you name it. I love to cook, especially for other people, and I have a collection of cookbooks that could land me on Hoarders in a hot second. I’ve tried a lot of diets, and I tend to get bored rather easily. For now, I’m doing South Beach (low carb, low fat). When I get tired of that, you guys can help me pick something new, deal?

650 Days – And then I’ll be 40 years old (hold me?). I’ve made a commitment to use the time between now and then to really transform myself, physically, and to make sure I am the best damn 40 year old I can be. Because if I have to turn 40, and it turns out I do, I think I should at least get to be a hot, fit, fabulous 40.

While the plan to get there is definitely a work in progress, I’ve got a goal. Under 200 pounds by my 40th birthday. It’s achievable, which is key. Most of the time, my goals fall along the lines of ‘to fit into the pants I wore as a high school freshman (150 pounds difference) in the next six weeks’. This time, I’m going for realistic. I’ve got a lot of weight to lose to get there, but I can get there. The other part of the goal is to run a half marathon on or before my 40th. I think that achievable, too. But since I’ve yet to RUN a full 5K, this may be slightly cart before the horse. Still, having things to strive for is never a bad thing. And, at some point, time TBD, I plan to do a SheRox triathlon. Preferably in Bermuda with a bunch of my girlfriends (ladies, who’s with me??)

So that’s a lot of talk about where I’m going. But, I think what’s even more important than knowing where you’re going is knowing where you are.

Where am I?

I’m in my happy place. Which, at least for today, because we have to start somewhere, is the couch.

<3 Bec