Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jelly Roll Quilts of 2013! Quilt #3

Hey everyone!

So, in addition to running the half marathon this year I'm also making 12 jelly roll quilts!

I haven't been as religious about completing my quilts, but I finished the third one yesterday!! Woo Hoo!!

This is by far my least favorite jelly roll that I have received from my Jelly Roll of the Month Club.  It's very kid-centric, and I don't know a lot of kids.  I do like the way the scrappy pattern turned out, though!!  I used a technique from a YouTube video.  Here it is:

Obviously, I did mine on a HUGE scale using 10 strips per square.  I like the results, and It was fast and easy to put together.  Here are my pics:

The main block of the quilt.

These were super easy to make, and a lot of fun.

The quilt center

With Borders!

I really like how this turned out.  I need to get a picture of the crazy backing!  I like to scrap together crazy scraps for backing quilts, and this one has some of the leftovers from the top, some space fabric, some ugly black with yellow polka dot, etc, etc, etc... I LOVE IT!

I have another Jelly Roll Quilt in the works, but I'm stitching it using my treadle sewing machine, which takes some extra time.  I've also got a back log of jelly rolls.  I might do another Jelly roll race with one of them.  I absolutely love the fabrics for the Jelly roll from the "Noteworthy" collection.  The Jelly Roll race might be the best option for highlighting those fabrics... We'll see... :)

This project is so fun!  I'm glad that I'm doing these quilts.  It sort of forces me to think outside of my normal inclinations.  I like the forced creativity of limits.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Salute, Inc "Got Freedom?" 10k Race Recap!

The Salute Inc "Got Freedom?" 10k race was on Sunday out in Arlington Heights, IL.  It was a great race, and very well put together.  Kevin and I got up at 6am so that we could leave his apartment by 6:30.  It's about a 45 minute trip, and we learned the hard way that parking can be difficult at these events.  We actually got up on time and hit the road with enough time to spare so that I could get my cup of coffee at 7eleven.

We made great time, and as we pulled up to The Miner School (the race's starting point) there were already people lined up and "Start Me Up" blasting out of giant speakers (thrilling the neighbors, I'm sure...)  We got there by 7:30 and I warmed up a bit.  By far the best part of the pre-race festivities was the BAGPIPERS!

Pre-race it was a little bit chilly, but I prefer running in the cold.  It was a big blessing for this race.
The tiny hat!

Lucky Number 821!

The Start Line

As the race was getting geared up to start there were a few speakers.  There were a few disabled veterans running in the event (which was inspiring), and a few others that were recognized.  The National Anthem was sung, and the gun was fired and we were OFF!

I found it was pretty easy for me to find and keep my pace.  I maintained a pretty easy 11:40 mile the whole time.

Around mile 4, it started to get toasty, so I made a brief stop for a wardrobe change.  I switched my number from my hoodie to the tank top underneath, and kept on going.  Lesson learned:  put your race number on your BOTTOM LAYER.  I lost about 2 minutes to fumbling with safety pins.

The one tough part was that there were a few hills in the last third of the race.  The first 2/3, no hills, but just as I was starting to feel a little bit fatigued, hills.

Around mile five it did get a little bit tougher to keep going, but not "I'm going to quit."tough.  Just tough. I had my good running mix on and then I rounded a corner, and I saw KEVIN waiting at one of the intersections for me!  It was amazing to see him and have someone cheering me on.  It really gave me the boost I needed to power through the last mile and a half.  

I had a bit of an internal debate before this race as to whether I should try to run through, or if I should take walk breaks.  I had a difficult training week last week, and the heat and humidity really had me doubting my running abilities.  On the day, it was so mild and lovely that I just decided to run it.  If I needed to walk, I was allowed, but running was the objective.  I ran it with no walk breaks, just 2 water stops, and a wardrobe change.  

I maintained my 11:40min/mile pace pretty well, and actually got faster as I ran more.  I finished the race in 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 2 seconds.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bark in the Park, Maintenence, and 13.1 start

I know it has been a long time since I posted an update, but I haven't stopped training.  It's been a crazy few weeks, and I haven't had a lot of time to write.

After the Rave Run, I had a great week.  I ran over 4 miles both training days before the big Bark in the Park!!

Oxford and I had a great time at the Bark in the Park!

As you can see we lost our way on return trip.  There's a good reason for this:  We were an hour late.  I swear I had an email that put the starting gun at 10am, and in reality they started at 9am...  We took off as soon as we got there, but we were far behind.  Many people were finishing as we took off.  It was okay.  We had a nice run and for the most part the course was open as we raced north, but on the way back they had taken down the route markers.  We went a little bit too far south, and I stopped the Garmin at the 3.11 mile mark.  We had a nice cool-down walking along the water of Montrose Harbor.  Oxford did a great job, and eventhough we were late for the race it was fun.  It wasn't a timed event anyway, so we just had our fun and ran in our own time (literally)!

The event itself was great fun.  Oxford got to do the agility course from Tucker Pup's and he jumped over a 22" hurdle!

I wore my sweat shirt on the course, and put our catch phrase, "Mark your territory!" on the back.  We had a great time, and I handed out quite a few business cards.

After the Bark, we have just been doing maintenance to keep my mileage up for the 10k.

Yesterday was one of our first hot days of the year and it was my first day of training for the 13.1.  It wrecked me.  I need to condition myself to hot weather, and I suppose this training program will do just that.  I'll be surprised if the half marathon is any cooler than that!

Here is week 1, Day 1 of the half marathon training:


Monday, May 6, 2013

Training programs...

As many of you know, I used the Zen Labs "Race for Pink" Couch to 10k program to train for my 10k race.  I absolutely adored this app, and I felt like it really exceeded my expectations.  It was always just hard enough to challenge me, and thus when I actually finished a training day, I felt amazing. I accomplished each training  without giving up, but was still challenged.

The app used a walk/run method to get you to the point where you could run for 30 minutes straight.  Then it pushed even further by having you start running for endurance.  You were still using the walk/run method, but it was longer intervals of running.  For example, you would run 14 minutes, then walk one minute, and repeat that 4 times.  You would increase the time you ran each week, and take out a walk break here or there, and then the last week, you were running for an hour straight!  It was amazing.  I couldn't believe that I did it the first time, and now after a few weeks it's something I do at least once a week.

This app was amazing.  I am injury free, the instructions were easy to follow, I could listen to Spotify while it was running, the voice was clear and easy

My trouble from here is that I want to keep going!  The program is over, and the Zen Labs 13.1 trainer is a walk/run training program.  In the end you train to walk/run the 13.1 miles of half marathon.  That's great, but the first work-out of week one was a significant step backward.  It was a 45 minute work out and the running intervals of 3 minutes and walking intervals of 2 minutes.  There were 4 running days per week, and 2 cross training days.  Also, when I charted out the week, it didn't look like the program had the recommended structure or short runs during the week and a long run on the weekend.  There was a hint of that, but it there was a push of mileage that looked fatiguing, but not challenging... does that even make sense?

I looked through the program to see if there was a week that was similar to the training I'm doing now.  To be running the amount I'm running now or close to it, I would need to start in Week 9.  Out of 13.  That's a half marathon in 4 weeks.  That seemed tough, and also like a stretch.  The longest run you do before the half is a 10 mile run the week before.  I want to train hard for 12 weeks, and I want to be challenged, but I don't want the half marathon to be a huge jump in mileage.  Grrr!

So, I've been on the hunt to find a training program that will meet my needs.  I'm a fan of the walk/run method, but I wanted a program to continue my progress, not step back significantly.  I wanted something that would get my mileage higher sooner, and let me acclimate to the high miles and have the confidence that I'm able to finish 13 miles without winging it on the last 3 miles.  I think I found a good alternative.

I downloaded the Hal Higdon 13.1 app for android.  In this training program, you must cover the miles.  I doesn't matter if you walk/run or run the whole thing.  You just cover the miles.  This I can do.  If I want to do walk/run intervals as mileage gets high, I will.  If I don't, I'll just run.  I like that freedom.

The app seems great.  There is a calendar countdown to your race day.  I tested it out, and I can listen to my Spotify playlists while I run.  I like all of these things.  My only fear with this app is that it runs the GPS.  This is a huge drain on my battery, so I'll have to have the phone fully charged when I start my workout.  We'll see if it holds up.

Week one is run 3 miles on 3 days during the week, and the long run is 4 miles over the weekend.  Sounds about right!  I'm going to run the week 1 course for the next two weeks while I wait to officially start my 13.1 training.  I am actually jazzed about starting this app!

Now all I need is an android app that will track me while I race so that Kevin can find me on a race course.  It's really hard to gauge when you are about to finish the race, and it'll be easier to meet up and find each other at the end.  Plus, maybe he can meet me at the finish line... :)  I would love that!