Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 2b

I am so excited today about marathon training.  I had a breakthrough during my long run over the weekend and today I accomplished a goal I'd been working on for weeks now.  It's all very encouraging.

So first off I'm calling this week 2b because I am repeating last week's training.  My chosen marathon is three weeks after I am scheduled to finish the training, allowing me to build those extra weeks into the training and use them where I need.  I was able to find a couple of running buddies (WOOHOO!) and I'm thinking it will be best if we start with six miles instead of seven for our first run together, as one is just getting over being very sick and the other had to take a break for a while.  It all works out perfectly.  I think we will even be able to keep the same kind of pace.  It's so excited to be able to run outside with other people for support and the extra push I need.  And, of course, because I'm afraid to run outside by myself.  Their original plan was to train for a half, but at least one of them is starting to think about training for a full marathon.  Yay for running buddies!

Now for the breakthrough.  Every Saturday I run more than I have ever run before.  That means it's always kind of hard for me because, well, I've never done it before.  This past Saturday was six miles.  Once I had finished the first four miles I thought, "There's only two more miles to go.  I got this."  Only two more miles?  Only?  Since when have I ever though that anything could be "only" two miles? Along with that, the Hubs came downstairs to put away his camping things and was super impressed when I told him I had a mile left and that I could tell him that without panting.  There's a lot to be said for moving at a comfortable pace.  Anyway, between those two things, I realized that I don't hate running anymore.  That's a first.  Now that my body is conditioned to run it's not the horror show of trauma and fatigue it once was.  It's the first time I've ever not hated running.  In the past I've tolerated it for weight loss purposes and hated every moment of it.  Even on my mission when I ran with one of my companions as a way to serve her I wished I was doing pretty much anything else.  Anyway, I'm not to the point that I love it, but I don't hate it like I did.

Today's big accomplishment was running 3 non-stop miles on the treadmill at 6 mph.  That's only a 10 minute mile, but it's not something I've been able to do in the past.  I also feel good about my pace knowing that, in the past, I've run faster outside than on the treadmill.  I'm still not fast, but the goal is to finish, not to meet a time goal.

It's really great to meet the goals I've set out for myself and to keep up with the training.  I realize that I am in the early phases and that it will only get harder.  That's why it's called training.  As my body gets more used to the miles I am confident that I will be able to keep up and keep going.  The time will pass whether I am training or not, so why not make the most of it?  The most motivating things for me are looking back at both building a house and having babies (especially the one labor and delivery that I did without medication).  The house was built over the course of seven months, not a week.  Gestating my babies takes 40 weeks.  Making it through "natural" labor and delivery required preparation and a full day (well, about 13 hours) of pain and concentration.  If I can do those things then what's to stop me  from training for a marathon?  Only me.  And I've got this.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Marathon Day Six

Today was rough.  The run nearly killed me.  Okay, it was the first ten minutes that nearly did me in, but that's ALWAYS the worst.  It was a four-miler today so I didn't expect it to be too hard.  I should have known better.  For the past two or three weeks I've had some kind of upper respiratory crud.  It won't go away.  I just want it to GO AWAY!  It leaves me coughing in the morning and evening, as well as waking me up several times during the night between 1 and 3.  Not cool.  Last night was particularly bad because I felt like my airway was constricted and I couldn't take a deep breath.  Great for running, right?
image via kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com
The good part is that I completed the run.  I ran at 6 mph for the first two miles, then knocked it down to 5.5 for the next mile and then to a 5 for the last mile.  That made the last mile fairly doable.  It was just the first mile that made me question why I'm doing this and whether I really want to continue.  I'm hoping it's the breathing thing that is making running so difficult right now.  I'm set to run six miles on Saturday and I really want to be successful with that.  I try to remind myself that when I was getting ready to do 5k races I had the same trouble with wondering if it was worth it and why I wanted to do it.  I completed that training so I tell myself it's the same thing with marathon training.

My fear now is that one of my two big obstacles will get in the way of finishing the training and completing the marathon.  The first is my heel.  It's been sore for quite a while and I'm not entirely sure about how to fix it.  Sometimes I think it's a heel spur and other times it acts like the Achilles tendon is causing the problem.  I don't know.  The best I can do right now is gently stretch it out after warming up and then again after I finish the run.  It hasn't gotten better but it hasn't gotten worse, either.
image via capilano.com.au
The other obstacle is a running buddy.  The long training runs I'll be doing on Saturdays would be much better done outside than on the treadmill.  I'm not comfortable with the idea of running outside all by my lonesome.  I don't feel safe and it makes me nervous.  Maybe it shouldn't, but it does.  That's just how it is.  I'm unwilling to run outside by myself, particularly at the distances I'll be going.  The real trouble is that I don't want to run a marathon badly enough to suck it up and run alone.  If I can't find someone to run with me...well, that'll be the end of it and I'll have to figure out something else.  I think there's one more person I'll try.  If that doesn't work I suppose I could run around the block in my neighborhood.  Over and over and over and over... you get the idea.  The longest training runs are 18 miles and that would be 36 times around.  Fun, huh?  I suppose it's better than nothing.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Baby Contest 2013

Okay, how have I not blogged this little bit of goodness yet?  Every year I make a costume for the Freedom Festival Baby Contest.  It was really early this year.  Usually it's more toward the end of June than the beginning.  Anyway.  This little Uncle Sam costume was just begging to be made.  It's the same pattern that I used for Q-ball's leprechaun costume, but this time I followed the pattern almost exactly.
image via betsyvintage.com
The picture's a little fuzzy, but you get the idea.  I also really love the little policeman uniform on the top left.  It's pretty adorable.  Maybe next year...hmm...
I started with the idea of making it look identical to the pattern.  But when you want fabric that is simple red and white stripes or blue with white stars then it will be impossible to find.  I had some solid red fabric that I cut out for the overalls, intending to print with white stripes.  As I was getting ready to start drawing lines on freezer paper to make the template I realized that it would be too time (and sanity) consuming.  So I made a run to JoAnn's and got the closest I could find.  I'm not disappointed with the results.
The only real change I made to the pattern was adding piping.  I just like the extra touch and definition it gives the jacket.  The collar would have gotten lost without it.
I modified and cut out a pattern for the hat.  After the first seam I saw that it wasn't going to work as I'd hoped.  Rather than spend the time tweaking and adjusting I decided to take a little shopping trip to a place I was confident would have something I could work with.  It's all about the dollar store hat, baby.  He hates it but the photographer was able to get in a couple of shots where he doesn't look like somebody has just questioned his sister's honor.
The bow tie was one I improvised.  It was a piece about 10" x 6".  Then I folded it lengthwise (hot dog) and sewed down the side.  After a turn and press I folded it widthwise (hamburger) to form a loop and sewed down the side.  I made the center section the same as the bow, just smaller.  Then the bow was pinched in the middle and slid into the center section loop.  The whole thing was attached to some elastic so it would stretch over his head.  I'm all about easy right now.
Q-ball was entered into the age category and the costume category.  There is a rule that the same child cannot win in two different categories.  Last year he got first place in costume and second in age.  There were no other 0-3 month boys in the costume category so he won by default.  In the age category there was only one other boy entered.  Not exactly a lot of competition.  This year they added superlatives (best smile, cutest hair, etc.) in each age group and the costume category included both boys and girls of the same age.  In the age category he got biggest eyes.  That made me laugh, as I don't think his eyes are particularly big.  I was surprised there was any prize at all, as Q-ball wasn't especially friendly with the judges and that is a big part of the criteria they list online.
The costume judge was super impressed with his costume.  She totally loved it, maybe even as much as I do.  When it came time to announce the costume winners I was a bit disappointed when his name wasn't called for second or third place, but two little girl names were called.  Girl costumes are always so much more fun than boy costumes.  I was sure that with the combination of boys and girls that he hadn't won anything.  That left me really surprised when they called his name for first!  Woohoo!  I know it's shallow and petty, but I felt particularly accomplished knowing that he got first place in a field of more than one.
So now I'll be deciding whether or not to dress him up in his costume again for the 4th of July.  Probably not because it'll be too hot with the jacket.  But I'll probably put on a onesie under the overalls so he gets another wearing out of it.  There is also a little children's parade the weekend before the 4th that I'm hoping we'll attend.  It could be fun for the girls.  I'll put them in the shirts they got from the scraps leftover from Q-ball's costume.  I over-estimated my fabric amounts.  Score for the girls!  And here's one last peek at the world's cutest Uncle Sam.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Five Mile Run

Today was my first "long" run.  Five miles may be short to some people but it was the first time for me.  I'm really pleased with how I did.  The Hubs was really concerned about how I would do because I donated blood yesterday.  He gets weak, dizzy, and tired after giving blood.  It doesn't phase me too much.  He was worried that I would pass out and get a concussion.  I decided to run the five miles on the treadmill to make sure he could have peace of mind knowing I wasn't lying in a gutter.  That ended up being the only good option after both he and Blue Eyes started  nasty bout of puking.  I figured I should keep close by.

Anyway, the run ended up being a really good one.  I ran at 6 mph for 2.5 miles (25 min) then went to 5.5 mph for 2 miles (22 min) and finished off at 5 mph for the last half mile (6 min).  I felt energized and excited, though there was certainly a time during the run that I wanted to just quit.  The best part was that it was so encouraging.  I was really scared to try running 5 miles, but as I got closer to finishing I felt like I could have tacked on another mile.  I didn't.  There's no good in over training.

After the run I went out to pick strawberries (mmm...garden strawberries) and then cut them up to use on top of waffles as soon as everyone is all better.  While I was doing that I was overcome with dizziness and nausea to the point that I had to sit on the floor until I was stable enough to go worship the porcelain god.  Nothing came up. :)  Because that was the extent of it I'm inclined to believe that it really did come from giving blood yesterday and running five miles today.

So aside from the time in the middle when I wanted to quit (that happens every. singe. time. I run) I thought it was really great.  I sustained my fast pace for longer than I have for a while and the slower pace at the end was totally relaxing.  I'm sure that playing a couple episodes of The Office may have been good for distracting me.  I'm really excited to continue the training.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Marathon Day Two

Today was my first four mile run.  That's at least a half mile above and beyond what I've ever done before, but probably about three quarters more.  It wasn't so bad, except when it was.  I ran at a 6 for the first 5 minutes or so then scaled it back to 5.5 mph until I had about half a mile left.  I think.  Then I finished up at a 5.  I really want to be able to make it at a 6 and that's a mind set that will be difficult for me to get over.  The goal is to finish rather than to try to up my speed.  There's nothing wrong with slow.
October 13, 2012--My first 5k.  I'm in the blue shirt, just about to go around the bend.
At the beginning of the run I felt pretty cruddy and wondered why I would want to continue training for a marathon if I hated it this much at the start.  Now that the run is over I'm thinking it wasn't so bad.  Kind of like unmedicated childbirth.  I did that so I can do this, right?  And a marathon would last less than half as long as labor and delivery.

Sprinting to the finish.  I've already rounded the turn.

A close up of the last shot.  I was about ready to die here.
I can do this.  Just a few weeks ago I was skeptical about running two sets of 20 minutes each and today I ran for 44 minutes straight.  It can happen and I will make it happen.
After my second 5k, two weeks after the first one.  Can you guess my costume?
I'm glad that tomorrow is a break from running and I'm still nervous about the 5 mile run on Saturday.  But I finished my 4 mile run today.  I can do 5 on Saturday.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Move-It Monday: Journaling Announcement and Day One

So...this is pretty much a sewing blog.  But I'm going to add another element that will probably take up more space for the next few months.  I have several projects I haven't posted about yet so I have some material for when I don't get around to actually sewing anything new.  Hopefully that will work out well for me.

Oh.  I said I was announcing something.  Here goes: I'm doing a marathon.  I'm using The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer as my guide.
image via Amazon
This is not the first time I've made this announcement.  It is the third.  It's not my fault.  Okay, it's half my fault.  Twice before I have been serious about doing this and thrown myself into the pre-training to get ready for the "real" training.  Both of those times I ended up pregnant before getting out of the pre-training program.  So, yeah, it kind of is my fault I've never done it yet.  The difference this time is that I have completed the pre-training.  Yay!  Mother Nature was even kind enough to give me the go-ahead by letting me know it's all clear on the baby front.  Although I'm sure that at some point in the training I will wish to be pregnant rather than running.

Until yesterday I've said to myself and others that I'm going to see how the training goes and then from there decide how far to continue and possibly sign up for a marathon.  I started researching local marathons to see what would be available around the time I complete the training.  The Provo Halloween Marathon takes place a few weeks after my training schedule ends.  That one looks like a lot of fun and I even have an idea for a costume to wear.  Adding a couple of weeks to the training will give me time to redo any particularly challenging weeks, as well as some time to find someone willing to go on the long runs with me.  I've got my eye on a couple of people who would be able to jump right in to the training program.  We'll see how that goes.

I want to run a marathon to say that I've done it.  I don't particularly like running but that's what needs to be done to complete a marathon.  So I'll do it.  I've done a lot of hard things in recent years and I like the sense of accomplishment that I get from knowing I tackled the hard thing and won.  I helped build our house (nine of them, actually), spent 18 months away from home as a missionary, and given birth without medication.  If I can do those things I can run a marathon.  I don't plan to do it super fast, or even do it all without walking, I just plan to finish it.

As I train I want to journal my experience.  It's kind of a big deal, though I'm trying to treat it like it's not.  I want to be able to look back and see the progress I've made.  So here goes the first journal entry:

Real marathon training started today.  Woot!  It's nice to have a three mile distance for the first "real" day of training.  I've been doing that for the past two weeks so I knew I would be successful.  What I really wanted was to be able to run the full three miles at a 6.  Didn't happen.  After reading the first chapter in the book I'm feeling better about that.  It seems quite likely that my heart rate at a 6 is not ideal for a sustained run.  It's too fast.  I'm thinking a 5.5 is better for my pace.  Over-training would be bad.  I have no desire to be injured.  I'm also running at a 1.5 incline on the treadmill so there's an accomplishment right there.

I've never gone more than three and a quarter miles so tomorrow's four mile run will be new territory for me.  And then my first five miler on Saturday.  I'd be lying if I said I'm 100% confident and not even a little bit nervous about all the running to come.  I get it in my mind that five miles is an easy distance.  That works great until I remember I've never gone that long.  Little by little.  Everything over about 3¼ miles is all new territory.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Glitzy Ombre Maxi Skirt

This skirt has taken me longer to make than anything else I've ever done.  Not that it was a difficult pattern or anything, it just took a long time to get around to it.  I bought the fabric at least five years ago, maybe closer to ten.  I almost gave the fabric away because I thought I'd never use it.  After finally cutting it out and sewing up the sides it sat on my to-do pile for a while before I put the facing on.  Then I waited around forever to hem it.  You get the idea.  Thank goodness I didn't give the fabric away.  I kind of love this skirt now that I've finished it.
It's comfy enough for wearing anytime and the sequins and beads add enough sparkle to dress it up and make me feel pretty.  I wish the pictures did it the justice it deserves.
The pattern I used is a simple a-line skirt.  As with most of my patterns, it is out of print.  Butterick 4233.  I cut it on the straight grain instead of on the bias as is called for on the pattern.  There are no darts and no pleats--just shaped front and back pieces with a grosgrain ribbon facing.  I do wish, however, that I had made a traditional waist facing rather than using the ribbon as the pattern suggests. With embroidered and beaded fabric there's no need for interesting lines or pattern details.  Easy and gorgeous.  :)