Meet this month’s featured Texas Beef Team member, Vickie McCombs from De Leon, a small town about 90 miles southwest of Fort Worth. She’s a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and constant source of inspiration for us all to get healthy, stay healthy and find the joy outside the comfort zone.
Vickie says her motivation to get and stay moving is two-fold, first to outrun a family history of heart disease and, second, “not to die sitting on the couch.” She’s been doing anything BUT sitting on the couch since taking up running 10 years ago, including accomplishing fitness goals she never imagined possible including participating in 4 full marathons, 21 half marathons, and countless other race distances including track events, indoor and outdoor triathlons, a bike-run duathlon and more.
What you might not know about this active lady is that after struggling with weight issues for her entire life, Vickie had surgery in 2005 and lost 130 pounds. Back in 2009, prior to even the formation of Texas Beef Team, Vickie connected with Ruth Tippie who encouraged to her to run her first half marathon, Dallas White Rock. She kept up with the running and a couple years later found herself on a “run squad” that also included Cindy Gibson and Nancy Abbey – the four of them participated in the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k. How special that they are all now Beef Team members.
With the encouragement of these running friends, especially Cindy Gibson, Vickie was inspired and encouraged to take on more runs and set her sights on bigger goals, including finishing a marathon before she turned 60 years old. In 2014, she checked off that goal, completing her first 26.2-mile race at the Cowtown Marathon. “I did a lot of power walking,” Vickie recalls of that first marathon, “but, oh what a feeling I had when I crossed the finish line. I was hooked!”
“Many races later Cindy encouraged me to buy a bike and a bathing suit, in spite of being scared of the water,” Vickie shares. Never say never, Vickie faced her fears and completed a triathlon that included an open water swim. “I dog paddled the whole way, but I did it … and remember hearing my daughter and granddaughter cheering me on!”
Currently Vickie is training for the Caribou (Maine) Marathon in September and also the National Senior Games in June where she’s qualified to compete in track events. The Senior Games adventure started back in 2017 at a regional Senior Games event in San Antonio, and of course Cindy was involved. Vickie remembers, “We laughed so much, had so much fun, and came away with lots of medals. But the best part was watching all the seniors in their 70’s and 80’s and even 90’s kicking our butts. I want be one of them!”
“It’s been 14 years since my weight lost and for the first time in my life, I can truly say I love being me! I am very grateful to my family, friends and the Beef Team who have encouraged and inspired me along the way. I have so much more on my bucket list.”
Read on to learn more about Vickie, an amazing lady we are proud to have on the team:
Three Things You Might Not Know: 1) I used to weigh 245; 2) I was never previously athletic; and 3) I have two children (both married), eight grandchildren, four step grandchildren, one great granddaughter and seven step great grandchildren!
Favorite Beef Team Memories: Running across the finish line at the Rookie Tri last year after saying I would NEVER do an open water swim. Also, I have a great memory of running track with Cindy Gibson at the Senior Games three years ago. Never have I laughed so much and been so amazed by all the much older people doing all various the events.
Favorite Races: As for a Beef Team-sponsored race, I’d say Cowtown Marathon in Ft. Worth – they always put on an amazing race weekend. I have many other favorites races around the country, including the Big Sur Marathon. It was very hard and I got to mile 21, 10 minutes too late to be allowed to finish… so I want to go back someday! Other favorites include the Boston 5k run the day before friend Cindy ran the Boston Marathon and the Caribou Marathon in Maine for its beautiful scenery – this was my third year to run it! And, of course, my favorite race run with my husband Jack, was a 5k two years ago not long after his recovery from open heart surgery.
Two Beef Cuts I Eat Most: Hamburger and roast.
Favorite Beef Recipe: Pot roast with potatoes and carrots can’t be beat.
What I’ve Learned: How important it is to check the meat’s temperature when grilling.
Inspired By: Cindy Gibson because, no matter what, she gets out there and even though I am slower she just comes back and circles me.
Post-Race Reward: Scheduling another race!
Race Mantra: “It’s all about starting and finishing!”
Dream Celebrity Running Partner: Well, I am not sure if he’s a runner but Sam Elliott – I just love his sexy deep voice.
Pre-Run Fuel: One of Cindy Gibson’s homemade bars, it has everything you need.
Best Running Advice: Rolling and stretching is a must!