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May 2009

Scrubbies Pattern

Picture 004 A money saving project coming your way.

Awhile ago, a neighbor gifted me with some of the best scrubbies ever. Soon after she gifted them to me, I asked her to share the instructions. She wasn't unable to teach me as she had barely learned from her Mom, so her Mom came over to my house one day for about fifteen minutes and she showed me how to crochet one. I love it when others take the time to sit down to share their craft with me. I know the basics of crochet but for the life of me, I cannot read the instructions (I guess, I haven't dedicated a chunk of my life to learning that aspect yet), but I am very good at duplicating an item, as long as I have a model to follow (yeah, my brain works in weird ways). The teaching went swift, about 10 minutes and we had one scrubbie done. She called me a model student and went home (I felt like a good dog and if I had a tail it would have been wagging).

I love my scrubbies! I can make 3 of them out of 1 yard of netting, the cost, about .99 cents! They last a very long time too and just like the other commercial scrubbies, this one can be thrown in the dishwasher for a quick sterilizing too. However, unlike commercial scrubbies, you can customize the color of your scrubbie to match your kitchen decor or the upcoming holiday.

They are really wonderful scrubbies and I hope that you have a chance to try them out. With permission from my teacher, I wrote the basic instructions for them. I would like to thank my teacher for taking the time to show me how to create such a useful item, it will save me loads of cash in the future. Also, I would like to thank my friend Jenny Stark for helping me clean up and organize the pattern. She is a crochet expert and I could not have put this one together without her help.

BTW: I crochet slow and I can crochet 3 of these little scrubbies in about 20 minutes.

Get your Scrubbies Pattern...if you get a chance to try it out, let me know your thoughts on it.

PS: This is my very first crochet pattern...I am eager to know your thoughts.

Edit: I have found netting at Joanns. It is similar to Tulle, except a little rougher and cheaper.


An Action Shot

Momruns2 Me wearing my sweet, hot, tights!!! Alright, so not really hot, but it is of me during the half marathon, an action shot! This picture was taken by the area where my right quad was complaining, I was probably concentrating on not crying or probably thinking, "crap, I should stop and sit down".

Wardrobe talk:planning for a race is an important part of my pre-run preparation. I have to pack everything in advance to make sure I don't  forget something important. A brief on my favorites.

Tights: I do love my tights. They are CW-X Stabilyx tights. They are snug, really snug. I have found that compression tights provides my legs with enough support and after the run my legs do not feel as tired (compared to when I run with regular running shorts). They are flashy looking but the stability they provide my lower back and around my knees make me forget completely about how tight they are and how "exposed" I may look with them on. Definitely, my favorite pair of running tights. Tip: commando is the word. 

Ball cap: my new hat made by Under Armour. I have a small head, it measures a little over 18 inches in circumference and finding a hat that fits me properly is a difficult task. I had another one that I liked but the fit was not right, I had to secure the strap at the back with a few bobby pins. A few days before the Ogden Half, I stopped by a local sports store and I decided to look at the caps. I tried a few and even at their smallest setting, they were too big. I grabbed the Under Armour one and set it to the smallest it could go, it fit! Not only that, I could wear it and the strap would stay secure in the small opening at the back of the cap. Why a ball cap? It keeps the sun from my eyes. The band around the head keeps the sweat away from my eyes and face. When running long distances, I take a sip of water and then dump a bit of water on my head soaking my hat. By soaking the hat, I stay cooler longer.

Socks Socks: I have a problem with my smallest toes, they are very close together and when running long distances, they rub, sometimes the rub is so bad that I end up with blisters. I used to have to wear moleskin to keep them from rubbing but it was uncomfortable. Then, I found the pair socks for me, Injinji socks. I love them. If I could have a pair for each day of the week, I would be a happy camper. They keep my toes separated and provide me with a blister free run. They also have no seams...anywhere! They are truly the most comfortable socks I have ever worn while running.

Shirt: just a nice tech shirt. No cotton shirts for my running. Also, I have learned that a bit of Glide on the back/inside triceps aka chubs on my arms keeps me from rubbing them row against my shirt. I prefer to use a shirt with no sleeves and with very nice sewn seams--the smaller and neater the better to avoid any chaffing.

Sports Bra: The wrong one can provide you with the worst running experience ever. No one likes anythingMomruns bouncing around. Being in the C/D of the spectrum, it is difficult to find a supportive bra, however, I have found a great supportive bra in the Fiona by Moving Comfort brand. Great support, breathable, and soft fabric that does not chaff anywhere. Tip: if you sweat copiously, I suggest putting a little dab of Glide on the n!pples to prevent chaffing.

Shoes: my shoes are the first to be packed. I am an overpronator and I have found my perfect pair of shoes in the Mizuno Wave. They provide me with a comfortable ride and with enough stability. They have now over 500 miles on them and they are looking a bit sad. I have a new pair of Brooks and a new pair of Mizunos that I have to break in and mold to my feet. Note: don't wear new shoes when doing a race/event, break them in first on a shorter runs. 

Glide: I have mentioned it a couple of times. What is it? Glide is a lubricant that prevents chaffing. It is my miracle on a stick. Let me tell you a little story, last year, when I was a *ahem* a bit chubby (okay, shut up, a lot chubby), I went out for a run in the middle of a summer day. I was happily running a 10 miler. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, my arms kept rubbing my sides and I didn't think much of it. At mile 8, I noticed a burning on my inside arm chubs, I stopped and inspected closely, the sweat and the motion of my arms swinging were rubbing me raw. It hurt, especially with my sweat. I got home and I started searching for a way to prevent this, one way was to *ahem* lose the chub, another way was to wear a lubricant. I didn't want to wear vaseline as the stuff is a little messy and sticky and get all over the clothing, then I found Glide. I love the stuff. It works wonders. I wear it when I bike, when I run, and when I do triathlons. It is not messy, not sticky and it doesn't go all over the clothes. Perfect stuff.

Garmin Forerunner 305 or short Mr. G: It is my pace keeper, my trainer-on-demand who is always there to go with me on a run. I love seeing my performance on the go and being able to see my previous workouts.

Well, these are my favorites and what I usually pack in my running bag. What's in your running bag?


1:47:05

Picture 001 A very important number in my life right now. It signifies not only a running time, but my best running time for a half marathon up to date! 13.1 miles in 1:47:05 (actually, the course was 13.19). The excitement of completing the Ogden Half in 13 minutes less than last year was amazing.

The first 5 Miles

The course is all downhill for the first 10 miles then it flattens out for the last 3. In a sense, it is a very hard course, if you fly too fast down those hills, the next day your quads will scream in pain and you will be unable to move for the next week.

Sam stayed by me for the first three miles, seeing him just a few steps ahead, gave me the courage to keep a nice 8:30 pace for the first 3 miles. I knew that if I was next to him that I was running a bit faster than in my training sessions, getting me closer to my goal.

Many runners dropped between the 1st and 2nd mile due to a little uphill section. Sam went to the far left side and climbed the hill with ease by going by the shoulder. I followed suit and climbed behind him. Nice, easy, short steps up the hill. I train on gradual hills all the time so my legs knew exactly what to do and having Sam in front of me to pace me helped greatly. The hill was conquered and I knew that the next 7 miles would be easy, downhill section.

Picture 002 After mile 3, I told Sam to go, not to wait for me, I was holding him back so he sprinted ahead and I kept running at the pace that he had already set for me. As I passed mile 4, I saw my spinning instructor (this was his first half ever) and I waved hello and told him he was doing a great job. I kept running and looking for Sam, seeing him gave me each time and extra boost of energy. I saw him, he was waiting by the toilets and I smiled, I thought to myself that this would be a great time to be ahead of him for just a little bit. It didn't take him long and he caught up to me. He smiled and told me I was doing a great job and I told him to keep going.

As I hit mile 5, I looked down at my G and it told me 40 minutes had passed. I was elated. I was running at an 8 minute pace. I was extremely happy.

Miles 5-10
The next 5 miles really flew by...or I flew down the hills. I took a couple of sips of water from the aid stations (nasty water, from now on, I'll bring my own). I had trained to go 8 miles without any water or nutrition aid so didn't need much until mile 9. At mile 9, about 48 minutes into the run, I took a GU and another sip of water to help the GU go down.

Although, I went into the event hoping for a time of 1:45, I knew that it would have been a complete and absolute miracle if I could complete it in that time. I knew that if I wanted to hit 1:45 that I need to have the first 10 miles done in 1:10-1:15 and that would leave me with 30-35 minutes or so for the last 3 miles.

I crossed the 10 mile marker and my G was telling me it was 1:20...my head fell and I realized that my goal of 1:45 was not going to happen this time around. I could sprint to the end but my best time for a 5K was 24 minutes last year and that was with fresh legs, I knew that my legs didn't have it in them to sprint 3.1 miles. After mile 10 when I realized that I wasn't going to make my "desired" time, I wanted to stop and just give up, but then a voice told me..1:46, or 1:47, or even 1:48 was still a personal record, to not give up, keep running...failure is already behind, just keep running.

Picture 003 The last 3.1 miles

When you hear that the last 3 miles are usually the hardest in a half marathon, they are telling the truth. It is at this point that you have do dig in and find the determination to keep going. At mile 11, I hit a wall, my right leg was tired and it hit me hard as we were climbing a small hill in the golf course area. My right quad screamed in pain and I wanted nothing else than to stop. As the pain increased, I increased my speed, I didn't want to succumb to the pain, although it hurt, I took small, fast steps up the little hill. As the pain dulled, I visualized the finish line. I pictured Sam waiting for me at the end. I looked down at my G and realized that I could come in very close to 1:47 and I dug in deeper for extra energy.

I passed the last aid station around mile 12 and as they offered drinks and smiles, I looked at the faces of the volunteers and I smiled back. I didn't take a drink, instead, I started to run a little faster. As I came out of the golf course/trail area, the end was in sight. If I looked hard enough, I could see the FINISH banner up a head. I could see the spectators lined up ahead, cheering their loved ones. As I ran, I waved at a few children who kept clapping and saying "you are doing great" or "you are almost to the finish line". As I reached the 1/2 Left marker, I looked around me and saw a couple of guys running next to me, they looked at me and we smiled, knowing that the end was so near. I sprinted to the end. I knew that I could sustain a 7 minute pace for at least 1/2 a mile so I sprinted, leaving the two runner guys behind, they must have thought me crazy. Swinging my arms towards my hips, my index and thumb almost touching my chin and then my hip, I concentrated only on the finish line. .1 mile Left marker reached and I was just a few steps away, I elongated my stride, I could hear my heart pumping in my head, and I could feel my stomach muscles tighten as I gave it the last effort I had in me.  I crossed the FINISH mark and my Garmin recorded 1:47:08. I had arrived. I had made it in 1:47. Then, I saw him. Sam was there smiling at me, hugging me, congratulating me and telling me how great I had done. The Chubbette in me had finished 13 minutes faster than the previous year!!!

Actual chip time: 1:47:05

Age Division Place: 32...32 out 240 women in my age group...not too shabby. 

Time  

Sam did fabulous. He didn't train as much...he went out and ran about 3 times, maybe 4 and despite that he still finished in 1:43:48!!! Great job my love!!!


Run Boyo Run!!!

The 1st graders, 400 meter race was this morning. Bryant has been so excited about it that you could feel it around the house. He usually doesn't wake up til about 8am, then drags his feet around, but not this morning. he woke up at 6:30am, took a shower and waited downstairs until it was time to go to school.

He loves running more than any other sport out there. He wants to be in track when he grows up and is already talking about doing marathons like his Dad.

Love you Boyo!! You did sensational! His time: 1:55...super speedy. He got third place in his heat...he was so happy and I felt so proud of him and his accomplishment.

Bryant's Race

Behind...Always Behind

So I was going to blog about my son's soccer, but I got sidetracked by Nyah's gymnastics show off, then I was going to blog about the gymnastics show off but I got sidetracked by the choir presentation, then I was going to blog about Bryant's baseball and then I got pulled into reality and reminded that a new loom knitting tutorial was needed for the new EvenKnit loom. Alas! I never have any free time. One of these days I'll get the dishes done and the laundry put away, but for now, I just have a little loom knitting tutorial to share. I'll come back later to blog about the other things: the soccer, the gymnastics, the choir, the swimming, and I guess by then I'll have to blog about my Ogden Half Marathon.
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If you download the PDF file, please let me know if you find any errors. The file makes sense to me but there may be some items that need more clarification. Hit me in the comments below. Also, if you take it...just drop a comment in case I have an updated version.

Download EvenKnit PDF file


My First Building Blocks

Picture 004
The mailman first brought me a gift certificate to Amazon.com. Although I am always thrilled when I get one, I quickly realize that the only reason they are sending it to me is because I have spent a hefty amount of money and their gimmick is to send me a little extra so I can go and spend more, alas! I always fall for it. This time, I asked Sam if there was anything he wanted, a book or something...he said no. So I went online and started looking around for something for me, nothing I needed badly enough. Then Nyah said to me that she didn't have any legos for herself...all the ones that we have are for "boys". She is a girly girl 100% and playing with non-pink stuff is not her favorite thing. I looked at the gift certificate, I looked at Nyah and the decision was made, get her a little set of Legos just for her.

It is her first time building with legos and she has a little bit of a hard time following the directions from the paper. She gets frustrated and cries a bit when she can do it.

Picture 005 
Big brother Bryant comes to her rescue and helps her and when he is not around she drags me to do it. We have built this little house about five times since the set arrived. Bryant built it the first time and I think I have built it the other four times. She is loving it and hopefully with time she will start seeing how things come together and be able to build stuff herself.

Picture 001


A Great Run

Today's run was phenomenal! It started as a 5 mile run but once I got to the 2.5 mile, I didn't feel like turning around. I kept going and going and finished with an 8 miler. I stopped only because I had to get home to pick up Nyah from school. It was a good day to be out there. The weather was a bit crazy but it was warm enough that I had to shed my long sleeve shirt. I came home and I even had a Garmin tan line--so cool! I have decided to make 8miles my new base run. Yes, by writing it here, I have committed to running 8 miles as my new base. It takes me about 70minutes...one day I would love to bring that down to 60minutes.

Runlog

Thoughts: I am still wondering if I have what it takes to run my first marathon this September. I know I can run 13, 14, but do I have it in me to run 26.2. Can I mentally handle the whole 26. There will be a lot of training and a lot of tears as I will have to train all alone. So far, I have run 2 hrs all by myself, but this time I would have to run 3 hrs if not more all alone while training.

The Ogden Half is in less than two weeks. I feel prepared, both mentally and physically. Right now, I am just hoping that we have good weather--I don't mind a little rain, but I do not want it too be too cold. I perform best when temperatures are a little warmer.

As a side note: yesterday while we were driving back from Choir, Nyah asked me, why I exercised. I took a moment to answer and said. Because, it is good for the body and I want to be healthy and I want to be able to run far and fast. She thought about my answer and she replied: Daddy is not healthy. He doesn't run like you do. He doesn't bike either. Is he sick Mom?


Extra! Extra! Loomy News!

EVENKFG-2
Extra! Extra! The EvenKnit Sock Loom is available for pre-order at DALooms, hurry and pre-order your very own. If you have struggled with uneven knit stitches, this loom may be the answer to your troubles. It has a row of pegs and a row pins. Combining the use of both provides the knitter with an even stitch all the time. The loom is schedule to be released on May 11th, just in time for Mother's Day. The loom will come with pattern and instructions, as well as a knitting tool/pick.
SockBlocker

Also available, sock blockers. These are not flimsy sock blockers, they are sturdy enough that if you happen to accidentally sit on them, they won't break. They are sold individually or you can buy two and have a pair. If you order a pair, you get a a mini-sock blocker key chain, free! It is so little and cute! I just want it so I can hang lots of little mini-socks around the house.
Minisockblocker


Monthly Totals: April

The end of the month arrived...way too soon. I wasn't expecting it. I am not ready for May to be here, for my Half Marathon to be here!!! I have been a slacker and haven't been training as hard as I should. I have been a wimp and stayed away from running because of the cold weather. I am going to pay for it the day after the Half, I am sure of it. The quick look for the month (as always, if you want a closer view, click on the picture to enlarge).
Aprilreport  

The numbers:

Run: 78.5 miles
Bike&Spin: 81
Swim: 20987 yds = 11.9244 mi
Strength training: mainly upper body: 17hrs 15 min
Total workout hrs: 24:11:14

Thoughts: I have picked up a few more miles running and dropped on the spinning/cycling. I am concentrating on the upcoming half and my legs need to get acquainted with the road again.
May will see more cycling as the weather starts cooperating a bit more with sunshine.

Sam and I started the 100 push up challenge this last week and so far we have week 1 behind (he is on week 3 as he was able to do more push ups than me). I was able to do 20 push ups consecutively at the end of one of the sessions (that was after doing: 10, 12, 8, 8) I felt great about that one. Unfortunately, the next day I was super sore, I guess I pushed it a bit too hard with 20 in a row but it felt great to do that. 

Another great accomplishment for the month: 8 pull ups with only 24 lbs of assisted weight! I am getting closer and closer to my goal of doing 3 pull ups without any assisted weight. Super stoked about this one also!

Overall, I am satisfied with the effort I put in during the month of April.

PS: I use Buckeye Outdoors to track my workouts. It is an easy way to track your workouts and you are able to see your work all in one table.