A few changes happening

After a too-long hiatus, I’ve decided to resurrect BecsBits.  There’s going to be some dust as remodeling comes about, but I’m looking forward to the changes:

A new name – As soon as I can find where Word Press will let me, the URL is moving, and the title (accordingly) changing. This is to reflect:

A narrower focus – rather than trying to cover dieting, cooking, family, quilting, food, and running, the focus is going to be running.  A good number of my previous posts have been toward that topic anyway so I feel the shift isn’t too big.  I’m looking toward BecsKix (as that ties my Runner’s World Online Forum ID in) but am not exactly sure.

My second running life began Fall of 2008 (I’d have to dig up a log to find a date), and this blog in 2009.  2010 was an awesome year as I was able to focus my training better, and 2011 is sure to be a roller-coaster as we are expecting a daughter in June.  I’m laying plans for 2011 and 2012, and with any luck my first marathon will be Fall of 2012.

Until I’m back on the roads and trails, I’m planning on posting what I’m learning about training, cycles, nutrition (can’t leave food totally out of the picture!) and how all that is shaping my plans for training this year, next, and beyond.  It’s sure to be an adventure!

Merry Christmas!

How is your family, fun, and food going?

Last night I went to Christmas for my side of the family.  Mom is still recovering from her trip to the hospital from earlier this year, so we played it low-key with the food fixin’s this year.   I brought some chili, sis brought sandwich stuff including the 1 Point Arnold Sandwich Rounds, Mom made oyster stew.  I’m excited about these sandwich rounds – instead of 2-3 points per slice of bread, the whole bun is 1 point!  I digress…  The food was good and I don’t think anyone really overindulged like what we usually do with the turkey and tons of sides.  It was really nice.

We’re relaxing here at home after helping the Toddler open all of his presents. :)  Christmas is really sweet through the eyes of a child.

Merry Christmas!

What’s a Magic Mile?

As I’m reading more about running, I came across this really interesting concept from McMillian running.  (Turns out other trainers use similar tables, Jeff Galloway calls it the Magic Mile.)  If you take your race time, or if you race a mile, that time and distance can be used to figure out how you would run at another distance.  (Of course, the bigger the difference the more skewed the prediction.)  Even more, you can use the result to figure out how fast you should be working out to get the most out of your workout, to improve your fitness.

The data geek in me loves this.

Since I’ve been pretty inconsistent lately with working out, I don’t know how fast I should be pushing, or rather, what I should be dreaming about when distracted at work. ;)  (I still need to beat Eric’s 22 minute 5k, which I’m sure I can do.)  So last night, I went to the gym, set to run a Magic Mile.  I guess part of me needs a line in the sand to compete against myself. 

I got to the gym and found the indoor track was 10 laps to the mile.  10 laps?  20 turns seemed like it would be awfully hard on the legs, so I ended up on a treadmill.  I didn’t want the treadmill to pace me, but it seemed the bette alternative.  The treadmill and my Nike+ read two different distances, so I’m guessing at my Magic Mile time.  But it’s a close guess, and it gives me a place to start.  \cheer!

I’m not making the 22:00 5k time, but with a little direction in my training, I might be able to hit it by May.  Maybe.

Just. Not. Moving.

Running plan I’m having a hard time getting out the door lately.  It’s not that I don’t want to, and it’s not that I don’t have a plan.  I’ve hammered out how bridge from a Couch to 5k program to a half marathon training plan, and I’m excited about it.  I just can’t find the bloomin’ time!  And that is frustrating.

With the weather getting cold and it raining for what seems like a week, I can’t just hop out the door, run for 25 minutes and be done.  I wasn’t stretching when I did that (which was bad) but I was getting out (which was good).  With it being dark and my subdivision being a construction zone, it makes for a run that is at best creepy and at worst dangerous.  Which means I’m relegated to the gym… which usually means at least an hour commitment, and that’s tough right now.

Last night I thought I would spend some time with the Wii Fit Plus instead of going to the gym… and I still spent over an hour to get a workout that wasn’t quite what I need.  The good news is that I got some movement in! :)

Soooo… I’m discouraged.  Time and sunlight are low.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to get some mileage when it’s o-dark-thirty (either AM or PM after work, hah!) I’d love to hear how you work around that wintery stuff.  Maybe I need to be told “suck it up and go?”  How do you change your running when time is short and so is daylight?

Do You Love Your Body?

I don’t know about you, but for me that really cuts to the quick of things.  Yes, I like my body, but there are parts I long to change… and it’s probably not the same parts as what someone else would say.  Take, for example, my ‘baby belly.’  I affectionately dubbed it my mommy muffin before I knew what a muffin top was.  (Doh!)  I wouldn’t wish away my mommy tummy for the world, I am proud to have borne such a healthy, wonderful son.  On the other hand, my mommy tummy came with some mommy hips.  How I long to run off those mommy hips… they’re not too bad.  I don’t hate them.  But it’s hard for me to love them.

I just learned that today is National Love Your Body Day.  Body image is influenced by so many things, and the media is a powerful machine.  I love this Dove Evolution video that’s been out for some time – if we all had hours in makeup, and hours in hair, and hours of Photoshop, we’d all be ad queens!  But we’re not, and my mommy hips are going to take more than Photoshop to work out. ;)  It’s positively refreshing to see some honesty trickling into the media.

Speaking of honesty… there are some bloggers taking a crazy leap that I admire them for.  As best as I can tell, it started with Mish on her blog.  These ladies are taking pictures of themselves and writing wonderful affirmations on them.  I found out through Roni, who has been my inspiration for maybe a year and a half, now.   Her honesty and authenticity was just what I needed to help my on my own weight loss journey.  I’m still not quite where I want to be – with my body-love or my weight loss journey –  but her post from today is a bit… (dare I say it?) ballsy in a most wonderful way.  Kudos, ladies!

Food Website Link Love

I’ve got to spread some link love, here…

DH had some surgury done this month, making it a tight month for the grocery budget.  I’ve been learning some new tricks from Erin at $5 Dinners.  She feeds her family of four (DH, and two boys 4 and 2) for under $5 a night.  Crazy!  It’s made me a lot more aware of how much I’m spending per meal.  She has the cool tip of writing the price she paid for items, on their boxes – not a new idea for us WW’ers who write the Points “price” of food on the box.  When I did that with WW, it made it a whole lot easier to learn values, and I look forward to becoming more aware of costs as well.

I’ve also been spending some time over at A Year of Slow Cooking. It’s a blog written by Stephanie, who in 2008 made the resolution to slow cook for a year and blog about it.  One distinct catch – her youngest is celiac, so everything is gluten free, and has notes to make milk-free as well.  It has reinspired me to cook better and more often for my family with my slow cooker.  It is such a lovely thought to be driving home from work and have a hot lovely meal waiting!  Although her challenge is over, she’s got some great information about slow cooking that I haven’t bumped into elsewhere.

One last link, to the heavyweight of my online recipes: All Recipes.  I absolutely love that they allow ratings and comments on the recipes.  I have yet to cook a 4- or 5-star recipe that my family didn’t like.  I also like the free online recipe box, it makes it easy to dig up old favorites instead of printing or re-searching.  If I’m hungry for something, this is my first line of searching.  I’ll read the reviews for tips to figure if/how to tweak the recipe, and so far it’s been great!

Good luck in the kitchen!

30 Day Shredded

jillianSometime back I bought a copy of 30 Day Shred.  I’ve been a little slow in actually breaking it out, and the cooling Illinois weather has finally driven me to it.  It’s been a great workout!  It’s kind of funny, I didn’t realize my 3 pound hand weights were actually 5 pounds until about 3/4 of the way through!  I thought my arms were burning a lot… and no, I didn’t make it all the way through with those puppies, I had to cut a rep or three, lol!

I’ve seen comments (maybe on Amazon?) that the stretching post-workout isn’t quite enough, and I tend to agree.  Personally, I’m willing to trade an extra circuit for stretching on my own after.  My arms and back are definitely feeling it, and I’m looking forward to more. :)

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