Ugly Ass Shoes and Cold Weather Gear

First things first, I got new shoes.  Not usually a story-worthy event, but as any runner knows, shoes can be a big fuckin deal.  Lately I’ve been running in my Mizuno‘s with Dr. Scholl’s inserts.  Running with inserts changes the feel and fit of your shoe, so I decided to take my physical therapist’s advice and get motion control shoes.  The most stability money can buy.

Marathon Sports is an amazing store.  It is located at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  The salesperson (they’re so good I refuse to call them salespeople) running expert watched me walk and was reluctant to go full motion control, since they’re just not great for running.  Without getting into an argument about minimalist shoes, flexible, light weight shoes are better for racers.  I’m not a racer.  I’m a perennially injured attempt-er.  Nonetheless, she started with a more stable stability shoe and watched me run, saw my ankle be all wonky, and moved up to motion control shoes.  She also checked the fit and made me go up another half size.

I really hate my toes having all this room to move around.  I tend to curl them and tap them and stuff if they have the room…while I’m running.  I like my sneakers to be tighter than that.  But I’m no expert and listening to one can’t do any more damage than I’ve done, so 8 1/2 it is.

After my jogs around the store and a brisk jog outside in my Ann Taylor work dress, I settled on Brooks Addiction.  They’re hideous.  They look like grandma shoes.  I could fit 3 orthotic inserts in these.  Yet, she tells me they fit and my ankles don’t do wonky things when I run in them, so here I am, $119 later, with the ugliest shoes ever: 

To counteract the swampdonkey of running shoes, I went shopping for apparel.  One of the biggest things I missed about running was running clothes. They’re made from the coolest fabrics. They’re super comfortable. I look amazing in them and I feel like a badass.

Here’s my look from 6AM this morning when it was a brisk 21°F outside and pitch black.  I used to be really in tune with what I should wear in all types of weather and now, I have to consult with Runner’s World what to wear tool.  It’s especially difficult in the cold because I’m supposed to be walking 4 minutes to every 2 minutes of running.  21° is way too cold to be walking in running tights and a sweatshirt.


  • Nike Thermafit Headband ($18) – not exactly the one I’m wearing, but close.  Mine’s not reversible 😦 but it keeps my ears warm and all my short hairs out of my face.
  • Under Armour running gloves (~$30) – another thing that doesn’t exist any more.  Mine are starting to rip and I don’t really like any of the one’s UA carries now (see here).
  • L.L. Bean Trail Tech Quarter Zip in Brilliant Blue ($40) – Christmas present from the (not quite yet) in-laws
  • Salomon long sleeve shirt – They don’t have the exact one anymore.  It’s kind of like THIS ONE without the zipper.
  • The PANTS!  My favorite part of this whole outfit!  I got them at TJMaxx yesterday for $17.  They are soft, warm, comfortable, and have an awesome pattern!  They even have a tiny key pocket (although, so do my gloves, phone case, and sweatshirt).  I also got a really nice Reebok running hoodie for $20 that they don’t seem to have on their website.

Another look at the pants and hideous shoes…



Workout Wednesday 12/31

Between the holiday and an unrelenting sinus cold, this week did not turn out quite as planned.  Sunday I layed on the couch all day while my head vascillated between feeling like somebody was blowing it up like a balloon and I couldn’t release the air to feeling like an anvil was sitting on it.  My ears kept popping.  I couldn’t hear.  My nose was stuffed and runny at the same time.  And I ate SO MUCH SOUP.

Then, Monday I had cleared my schedule to get in a good gym workout.  I got to the gym at 5:15pm and was promptly informed that the gym was closing at 5:45pm.  UGH.  I go to the gym at my university and this is one of the downsides. The hours during holiday breaks are horrendous.  So, my long workout turned out to be 22 minutes on the treadmill before I was kicked out!

Wednesday 12/24 PT + Run  1.65 miles, 19:11 minutes
Thursday 12/25 Merry Christmas
Friday 12/26 PT
Saturday 12/27 PT + Arms Upper Body Burner
Sunday 12/28
Monday 12/29 PT + Gym 1.6 miles, 22 minutes
Tuesday 12/30 PT + Workout Tight Buns
Wednesday 12/31 PT + Run 1.65 miles, 21.09 minutes

I included today’s workout here because A. I already did it, so putting it in next week’s goals felt disingenuous and B. that will make my December compilation easier!

Life just keeps getting in the way of my exercise goals.  I’m flying for Texas next Wednesday AM and obviously plan on being deathbed hungover tomorrow.  Happy New Year!

Day Exercise  
Thursday 1/1 PT
Friday 1/2 PT + Gym Gym is open until 10pm this night, so I’m gonna go for 30 minutes and 2 sets of pull ups/dips.
Saturday 1/3 PT + DVD Hopefully my Jillian Michael’s DVD will finally get here!!
Sunday 1/4 PT + Abs 6 Week 6 Pack – for the third try – I seem to keep avoiding this one.
Monday 1/5 PT + Gym Going for another 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Maybe throw in a couple 3 minute runs and see how I do.
Tuesday 1/6 PT + Abs 15 minute abs
Wednesday 1/7 PT Honestly, I have to take a cab to to the airport because I have to get there before buses and trains even start running.  It will be a miracle if I even get my PT done.


Hairy Arms and Buck Teeth – The Bullying We Remember

The other day at work we were talking about being bullied as a kid and I had 3 very distinct, very clearly remembered stories to contribute to the conversation.  My memory is very fuzzy on when these happened, but I do know they were all in elementary school.  I do know the last one was towards the end of elementary school.  It was around the time we were playing Truth or Dare during recess and getting in trouble for daring each other to hug someone of the opposite sex.

Hairy Arms

I have brown hair and I have hairy arms.  They’re not the kind of hairy that you notice from a distance.  It is light brown hair.  But when you get up close, they are hairy.  Girls in my school used to shave their arms, which I find revolting (sorry if you do!).  I’d rather get comfortable with my Yeti limbs than have stubble and razor burn on my forearms every day.  Eww.

ANYWAY, some boys on the playground during recess noticed.  First they started calling me a Gorilla.  Then they got more creative:

I would NEVER let you babysit MY little sister.  Your arm hair would grow out and strangle her and she’d be dead!

Well I wouldn’t want to babysit your shit-eating brat of sister anyway.  What an asshole.


You should be Bugs Bunny for Halloween.

I had buck teeth.  There’s no denying that.  So, this insult at least made sense, even if it was completely lacking in creativity.  This kid probably grew up to be the person on the other end of a call to Comcast.  Blech.

My Name

My last name is Campbell, like the soup.  That’s what I say when I give my name.  All the time.  Somehow, everyone in America knows how to spell Campbell’s Soup.  I don’t think I would know how to spell it if it weren’t my name.  Regardless (grown up way to say …anyway…), enter a 6th grade boy, heading back into school after an outdoor gym class.  I must have been saying something about Campbell and Campbell’s Soup.

Your name shouldn’t be on a can of soup.  It should be on a TOILET BOWL!!

Cue everyone laughing at me.  I can’t decide of this one’s my favorite because it’s creative or the worst because it barely makes any fucking sense.  Where do kids come up with this shit?

The remarkable thing to me is that I still remember this.  It doesn’t faze me, now.  Kids are stupid little assholes.  But I still remember it.

And that brings to the time I remember being the bully.  This was in junior high.  8th grade, to be exact.  We  had a substitute teacher, so we could sit anywhere in the class.  My friend and I were entering last.  There was 1 seat left with our group of friends, the cool kids (the druggies) and one seat all the way on the other side of the room.  Sitting in that chair meant being ostracized for the rest of the day.  Not knowing all the inside jokes that came out of this one class.  It would be horrible.

My friend and I bee-lined for the last chair in our group and both landed on it at the same time.  We proceeded to physically shove each other off the chair, but neither one of us was giving up ground.  So, we sat in this evenly matched battle for awhile, interjecting mean things about the other and how we can’t share a chair.  I made some crack about how she was so fat that I definitely couldn’t fit on the chair with her.

She fell off in shock and went to sit in the other chair.

The worst part about this is that I didn’t actually think she was fat.  I knew that she thought she was fat.  And I knew that saying would particularly hurt her.

I wonder if she still remembers that.

A Fight About Smoking

I smoked A LOT over the holiday. I’ve pretty much always allowed myself to smoke when I visit my dad’s house. Him and his fiance smoke. Constantly. Inside the house.

I left work on Tuesday the 23rd with the sense of freedom that elementary school kids have on the last day of school. I took 3 days off from work to celebrate Christmas. It’s not many, I know, but they were the first vacation days that I’d actually be using for vacation, as opposed to studying for midterms. I felt giddy. I met a friend for dinner and enjoyed a strong drink. I started thinking about smoking with the first sip. Then I bought some on the way home. I was on vacation! And I was headed to my dad’s house the very next day, so what’s a few early ones in anticipation of that?

I smoked like a fiend for 3 days straight, finishing 2 packs. That’s more than I usually smoked when I considered myself a smoker. I had an unopened pack from my stocking that I was going to save until New Year’s Eve. That plan didn’t last long. I didn’t smoke most of the day on Saturday, but then we decided to hit up Bantam Cider’s tap room and I opened that pack on the way there, in anticipation of drinking.

I admitted that I was losing my grasp on quitting. A day or two more of this would have spelled disaster. For my lungs, at least. Three days, I would probably be a full-fledged smoker again. I admitted all this to the bf to acknowledge my failings and get some support. I asked him to remind me (really, make me) throw out the rest of the pack I had before I went to bed. If they were still around in the morning, there’s no doubt I’d enjoy one with my coffee. And finish that 3rd pack throughout the day.

On the walk home we got in quite the argument. He wanted to take a cab and I wanted to walk. He accused me of wanting to walk just so I could smoke. I was drunk. I just wanted the FitBit steps. I could smoke all I wanted when I got home. He wanted a cab, but didn’t hail one because I had already lit a cigarette. I protested that if he caught a cab, I’d put it out. But we kept walking. Stewing in anger.

I don’t know how the next bout started. He said I never quit. That “quit” has a very clear definition of not doing it anymore, and I still smoked; ergo, I never quit. That really pushes my buttons.  To me, that’s like calling me an alcoholic just because I drink alcohol. I quit being a smoker. I swear I did. And I felt diminished. I felt like I might as well smoke all the time if this is how he looks at it. If he can’t recognize my progress, commend me on my effort. He was tearing me down instead of building me up (I sincerely apologize if I lifted that from some Taylor Swift song or other nonesense).

We were drunk.  These are generalizations.  But along with the fact that I “never quit,” I also “never really try.” I don’t use Nicotine patches or gum or other substitutes.  The part of addiction that keeps me wanting to smoke at parties and when I’m drinking isn’t the chemical addiction to Nicotine.  It’s an addiction to a feeling, to a physical habit, to an “I can do what I want” freedom.  He pointed out that I don’t want to quit.  I told him he’s right.  By his (and, yes, Merriam Webster’s) definition of quitting, I don’t want to quit.  I want smoking to be a habit that I can pick up and put down.  That I don’t want all the time, but can enjoy at appropriate times.  I truly want it to be like alcohol.  That’s what I’m striving for.

However, I don’t need alcohol like I need cigarettes.  I don’t succumb to it when I don’t want to.  I’m able to say no if someone offers me a drink and I don’t feel like one.  I don’t have that control over smoking, but that’s what I’m trying for.  No patch or shot or pill or gum or shaming is going to get me there.  I need to want it enough, and find the willpower to control it better.  To stick to my words when I say, “I’ll only smoke at so-and-so time.”  I just need to follow my own rules.