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September 2009

August 2009

Red & Black Polka Dots Bracelet

I couldn't stay away from the beads for too long, this time around, I created a colorful and cheerful watch bracelet. The red and black polka dotted were the focus of this bracelet. Once I picked up a light blue, I knew that I wanted the red and blue to sit next to each other for a bright, eye-catching combo. I am in love with this watch--the cheerfulness of it makes me want to wear it all the time to bring some color to my drabby clothes.

Black and Red Watch Bracelet


TOU 1/2 Marathon Quick Update

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Left my heart, my lungs and my legs on the course. I gave it my all. I can surely say that I did not hold anything back. At the end of it all, I felt great and the sense of accomplishment was tremendous. I have accomplished a great dream today: to finish in 1:45...actually less, 1:43. I am stoked and extremely exhausted. Thank you to my dear hubby and my children who are always out there cheering for me. They are a great motivation to me and they keep me going when I think I am ready to give up.  I am going to go find something to eat and a couch and perhaps a good movie.

BTW: I was scheduled to run 20miles today in preparation for my marathon, do you think the half counts instead of it?

ps: I'll come back later with a longer story and mile splits. Hugs to all!

pps: My garmin clocked 13.2 in 1:43:11. The millisecond time chip clocked in 13.1 in 1:43:07


Up Coming: A vest pattern

Vest

A little something I have been working on for the past two days. Since Sam started school I have had a bit of time in the afternoons with nothing to do, so a little loom knitting has been going on.

Little Nyah had a lot of fun posing for these pictures. She really loves the camera, I just wished I had better lighting for her.

Watch for the pattern over at LoomKnit.com in September for the free monthly pattern.  

What you will need:

  • Loom: Knifty Knitter Long Blue Loom or any other loom with a peg gauge of 1/2" from center of peg to center of peg. 
  • Yarn: 200 grams of bulky weight yarn. Sample was knit using KnitPicks Swish Bulky in Flamingo

Little Vest

Help me choose a name for the little vest. I am thinking something cute and child-friendly. Do you have a suggestion? Drop it in the comments :).


Retouch me to Perfection

I came across this video on youTube about Photoshop enhancement/retouching. The model already looks fantastic and I would say that digital retouch is not necessary but our media believes otherwise. The video is about 5minutes long but it is worth watching. I bust my butt each day exercising and I do it not only to look good but to feel good. I have come to the realization that I feel much better after I have burned a few hundred calories and my adrenaline is pumping through my system. However, even if I spent all day long working out and eating properly (which I don't because I love carbs and I love protein and I occasionally indulge in eating pastries and cakes) I don't think I would ever achieve the smooth look that magazines portray, but I am okay with that. I have finally realized that photos in mags are not real--maybe just the ones the Enquirer prints (ha!). Enjoy the video and pass it along, our youth needs it.


Phelps Family Reunion/Camp Out

Just the word "reunion" sends chills down my back. I am not one that likes to be around a lot of people, despite my loud disposition, I prefer smaller gatherings. However, Phelps Family reunion is anything but small! With 45 grandkids ranging from 6months to 19 years of age and then all the adults thrown in, you have about 67 people...this is just immediate family! Big is an understatement. Then you throw in the word Camp and I am ready to run away. I dislike camping. I really, really do. I don't like the clean up afterwards and I don't like how dirty I get during. Plus, it gets in the way of my training, LOL.

Alright, despite my whining about it, it wasn't so bad this time around. My friend Amber lend us her camp trailer and having a "real" roof over my head made it all seem much better. Having a potty right there for the kids to use during the night made the entire experience 80% better. Having a shower with hot water available made the experience 95% better! So overall, it wasn't bad at all. 

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Best Hubby and Me time: we took a short bike ride on the mountain bikes. It was scary going downhill, I think I rode the brakes down each of the hills. I got so scared at one point when my hands just started vibrating like crazy and the only thing I could think about was--I am going to fall and get a terrible roadrash and I won't be able to run for weeks! Also no matter how much I pedaled, I went nowhere compared to my road bike. All the while, downhill hubby was nowhere to be seen. He loves downhill and he just ripped down those hills. Mid-ride, we stopped at one small bridge and hubby and I talked for a little bit. It was the only alone time we had during the entire three days. I love doing things with him and hanging out just the two of us.

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Best family time: hanging at the lake with my sister-in-laws. My SIL from Texas was here and she is a riot. She can make anyone laugh and her personality and mine are a bit alike. We took pictures together and pictures of the kids. She told me about her life in Texas and how it differs from Mormon life here in Cache Valley. It made me yearn for NY and a life in the suburbs of NY.

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Best evening: The best evening was spent with a bunch of adults chatting about our younger days. Getting to know them more was fun and Sam and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The party ended when one of my SIL's came out at 1:30am to tell us we were being loud....blah!

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Worst moment: when I lost Nyah for about 30minutes and I couldn't find her. I went all around the campground calling her name and I couldn't find her. My BIL from Texas started searching for her too, and my Mom and then Sam joined us. I was getting hysterical and I started imagining the worst, cussing the person who ever invented "camping" as an outdoor activity to take kids along. Finally, Sam and my BIL found her. She was hiding with one of my nieces. I asked her why she didn't respond when I called her name. She said that her cousin told her not to answer, that it was a game and the point of the game was to stay hidden. I was furious! I could have eaten that little niece alive if I had been a bear. 

I am glad the trip is over and we are safe from camping for another year, perhaps two.


Week's Training

Fell off the wagon at the beginning of the week. It happens to me each time after my Mom leaves. I was quite depressed on Monday about her leaving and coupled with life's worries, my life just wanted to shut down. So I let Monday just be an off day and I cleaned the house and putter along the house.

Tuesday, I got off my duff and decided to go out for a run. With the Marathon around the corner, training cannot be put off for long. I went out for run and ended up running 8.5 miles. It felt fabulous to be out there by myself. Sometimes I think that I have decided to take up running just to run away from home and have a place of my own to think, to work things out in my head before I explode. 

IMG_0363 217Wednesday, I hit the gym and the weights. Working the Dino arms is a constant struggle. I don't want Dino arms and I definitely do not want the jiggles. I kept to the routine and changed a couple of exercises. I saw that I was a bit stronger in some exercises such as the Shoulder Press so I made a note of that for the next time. Here is a picture of my Dino arms...see how much my Mom is laughing about them, yeah, you can laugh too :)

In addition to lifting some iron, I had a dip in the pool. It has been 3 weeks since I last swam and I knew that coming back to it was going to be painful. 2000 yards and I was done for! Swimming is not a forgiving sport, you leave it for a week and you have to work from the start again.

Thursday, I hit the road again and ran 7 miles. These 7 miles were my very first where I used my Garmin to track mile by mile. It was great to see my performance mile by mile and where I can improve the most. I want to train so that my body gets used to running the last mile the fastest of them all and having my Garmin programmed to track mile by mile allows me to see if I am accomplishing this task.

Friday, I hit the gym again for the Dino arms workout. This particular workout was a bit gruesome, not on my part but the other gym members. I forgot my iPod, therefore, I was able to hear everything and anything the monkeys at the gym did. A group of them in particular kept grunting and talking quite loudly as they did each rep. Seriously, I was afraid to go near them in fear that they would drop the weight on my foot! I can see grunting a bit at the end of a set but if you are grunting from the beginning then maybe a lower weight is better. Anyways, I will make sure that I don't forget my iPod from now on as I don't want a repeat of this again. Also, I was the only gal using the free weights during this time. I felt awkward as if I was intruding in an all "manly club". They had weights all over the place, benches all occupied and when finally I saw one empty I went to it only to find it dripping with sweat--yuck! Clean up after yourselves monkeys!  

After the weights, I went for a quick swim, 1200 yards. It felt good to be back in the water. On this particular day, the water was superb. The temperature was great, the pool was empty, except for two kids who kept climbing over the lap dividers. At one point, they crossed my lane and I almost hit one of them, lucky him that I was able to stop in time before I hit him. The parents were nowhere around and no lifeguard so I gave them my stern-mom-look and told them to be careful and not to cross the lane I was using. They were good kiddos and stayed on the other side of the pool.

Today was a short 5 mile run. I was supposed to run 14miles but with the TOU 1/2 being next week, I improvised and lessened the mileage. It was a terrific run that saw my last mile at a 7:34 pace. My fastest mile yet. I was impressed and love my Garmin even more than ever.

Next week is looking bright and I am looking forward to training and the TOU 1/2!


Tinsel is Coming Off!

It has been just a year but what a difference a year has made. My tinsel is coming off!!! I am so thrilled. Come this Tuesday, I will be without my braces. I will have 2 bonded retainers (for about 3yrs) but they won't show like the braces. I am so happy about the changes. I have always wanted braces and never had the guts to go for it but now that I went through it, I recognize that it was definitely worth the pain, the no-apple, no-carrot eating, and the money. Since I was always smiling, I always felt self-conscious about my crooked teeth, not anymore! I can smile to my hearts content!

BracesUpdate
 


Back to School!

My baby boy is in second grade now. It is so sad but yet I am so excited for him. I know that his future is bright and he has so many opportunities ahead of him. I hope he has a great year at school with new friends and new teachers. Good luck Boyo!

Enjoy looking at his faces...he acted scared in one picture and a little devious in the other, LOL. His teachers are in for some fun this year. He has only gotten wilder and wilder...I love you Boyo.

My creation


Abuelita Visits!

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Last week was a great week for us. My Mom and Little Brother Eddie came to visit. Despite the terrible service they received through Delta airlines, we were able to have a great family time. The week went by faster than usual and it was heart breaking to say goodbye to them. We were able to make some wonderful memories in the time they were here.

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Some random things we did: On the way home from the airport, we stopped at Texas RoadHouse in Ogden. My Mom and little Bro loved it. My bro is just like me--if there is steak on our plates, we are happy! After downing the equivalent of half a cow, we headed back home. In the evening, Grandma took the kiddos to see G-Force while my Bro, hubby and I went to see G.I. Joe.

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Sunday, we went to church and we left my Mom at home. She was exhausted and she needed the extra sleep. When we got home, she already had dinner ready for us--one of the advantages of having Mom at home, she cooks for you and does the dishes. After she leaves, it takes me a few days to get used to doing everything around the house on my own. Seriously, I don't know how I get things done without her.

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On Tuesday we got tons done, we dropped off Grandma at TJ Maxx and my Bro and I went to Best Buy and Al's (a sporting goods store). In the afternoon, we made tamales--lots of tamales! I think we made at least 100 of them! Sam was in heaven for dinner that day.

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The rest of the week, we spent it camping with my in-laws. It was time for our Phelps reunion and although my Mom dislikes camping, she came along just to spend time with us. We borrowed a camp trailer from one of my dear friends and thanks to that, my Mom survived the camping trip.

Saturday came to soon for all of us. Mom and Eddie went back home on the midnight plane. Sometimes, I wonder why I moved so far away from her. It is during these departures days when I wish I lived closer to her. Although I have many in-laws near me, it is not the same as having my "own" blood near me. I miss her and my little Bro already and the next few days are going to be tough for me. I wait for the day when we can all live within driving distance of each other. I yearn for the day when I can tell my kids to get in the car and drive for a few minutes and visit Abuelita and their Uncle Eddie.


2010 Plans

Never been one to make plans too ahead of time, however, things may start changing soon. I want to participate in a few events next year that require me to sign up as soon as possible. One of the events is a stepping stone to one of my personal goals, a full Ironman. The event in question for 2010 is the Ironman 70.3 Boise

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Although, I know that if I register I will commit and not turn back, my misconceptions lie on being fast enough to be part of it. Will I be the last one out of the water? Be the last one on the bike (most likely result)? Not finish the entire thing in the alloted time? Will I look completely stupid if I stop during the bike to take a little rest and a little drink--remember, I still don't know how to take a drink while riding. 

What should I do? Register and just give training my all and hope for the best...or wait until I am a year older and slower.

Yes, this is the point where I wish I had mentors to help me, to show me if I am doing wrong or if I should jump and test all that I am.


Cache Valley Sprint Tri Report

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The Cache Valley Sprint Tri has become one of my favorite races to participate in every year. The pool portion makes it "safe" and inviting. The ride is short and I know the route very well--unless the city decides to "re-do" the road which basically means "screw up the road for cyclists", but this year, the road was in better condition than last. The running is flat and fast and it goes through a nice shaded area through the golf course. But the best part of it all: my family can be there. My little munchkins come and cheer me on. This year, they even made a poster for me--it was so great. I still have it in my living room window as display.

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My standing is as follows:

Time Overall: 1:21:33

Women's Overall: 20th place

Age group: 5th place

Tri2

Swimming time was 10:11 

Almost an entire minute faster than last year. I would have been faster if I didn't have to wait for some people to move out of the way (more about this below). 

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Bike time was 42:14

I was slow. I was a whole minute slower on the bike than last year. I felt disappointed in my performance in this area. I slacked off cycling for a month previous to this event and it showed. Although, I was averaging close to 18mph, it wasn't good enough.

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Run time was 25:54

A whole second faster than last year, LOL. Alright so it is not stellar but I felt good throughout it and didn't feel like the effort was about to kill me like the previous year. 

T1: 1:52

T2: 1:19

Both of my transitions were faster by one minute each. Great job there! Pat on the back for learning to put my socks and shoes faster. T2 would have been faster if the road out of the transition area to the run would have been marked properly, but it wasn't and I had to ask other racers.

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Although, I enjoyed the event very much, I have two complaints about it. The race started too late--9:00am in the middle of the summer in Utah can only spell one thing H-O-T. I was dying from the heat and thirst all through out. The sun was scorching from the moment I mounted the bike.

The second complaint: the waves for the swimming did not go well at all. There were people swimming in the wrong "time wave" and this really threw the entire thing off. Last year, I passed a couple of people swimming ahead of me and that was ok, there were only a couple, this year, I had to pass over 6 people, all of them too slow (and I know, because I am slow and if I was passing them, they were too slow). At points, I had to stop swimming completely to allow the person ahead of me to move a little.  She saw me behind her a few times and she just wouldn't move for me to pass her. It was only at the very last lap that I was able to move next to her and pass her. Annoying, yes! I am all for friendly and everything, but I am in a race not there to waddle along in the pool. Oh well, it is done and it is not like I was going to win anyways, but it was a bit annoying.

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Overall, I loved the race and I am looking forward to it next year, but I hope they address the two issues so the next event goes more smoothly.

Interchangeable Watch Bracelet Tutorial

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All I know from my watch bracelet making, I owe to my dear friend Sarah. I called her one morning telling her that I wanted to visit the bead store so I could make a watch bracelet. I didn't have a clue of what to do, I was just going to get there and make one. Thankfully, Sarah knew exactly what I wanted and she taught me. I will share with you the knowledge that that was passed on to me. 

You will need the following: 

Watchface

1 watch face: you can find them at the bead store or at your craft store. I also found this great online source, eWatchWholesale, I haven't purchase from them but the price seems fantastic. (Expect to pay around $14-$16 at a local store). The faces come in three sizes: small, medium and large. I have a medium sized one. My wrist is small--5.5 inches and the larger face didn't complement my small wrist.

Connectors

2-3 connectors: these serve the purpose of keeping the two sides of the bracelet connected to each other. If you have a small to medium sized wrist, use 2, if you have a larger sized wrist, use 3. 

Beads

Beads: Enough to go around your wrist twice. I prefer to have more on hand than to end up short at the end. I prefer stones, glass beads and lampwork beads, but you can use whichever beads/pearls/stones you like, the sky is the limit--or in this case, the bead store inventory.

Elastic

Elastic: There are various thickness of elastic available. I have a roll of 1mm and a roll of .75mm. The thicker the elastic the less flexible it is, however, I think it is stronger, whenever possible, I use this thickness. The aperture of some beads are quite small so you may need to use the .75mm instead. Elastic can be found at your local craft store or at the bead store.

Lobsterclaws

Lobster Claws: 4 of them in a 12mm size. These can be found at the local craft store or bead store.

Clear nail polish: to secure the elastic (optional)

Desire to create: Have fun with the project, arrange the beads in different configurations and do not be afraid to mix colors and bead shapes. 

General Directions to Create Interchangeable Watch Bracelet

1. With the elastic, wrap loosely around your wrist three times. Cut the elastic at this point. You will use this piece of elastic to thread your beads.

2. Slide one  lobster claws through the elastic. Slide 3 smaller beads. Then slide another lobster claw. These three beads will hide the elastic that sits by solid bar of the watch face. The space from lobster claw to lobster claw should be the less or the same width as the solid bar of the watch.

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At this point, pull gently on the elastic so you have the same length coming out of both sides of the lobster claws.

3. Now it is time to slide your beads for the bracelet. Place them in whatever arrangement you like best. I prefer to do both sides at the same time, so I slide some beads down one side of the elastic towards the lobster claw, then I slide some beads on the other side. Once they match about an inch of distance from the lobster claw, I slide one of the connectors in place. The connectors will keep your bracelet from dangling too much and also it will keep the weight of the bracelet from breaking the elastic.

Instructions2 

4. After placing the connector, slide more beads down each elastic. Once you have about 2 inches of beads down each side of elastic, slide the other connector in place.

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5. Once the second connector is in place, it is time to slide more beads down each of the elastics. You will need to match the same length as the other side, so you only need about 1 inch of beads. You can use the same beads as you did on the other side (by the lobster claws), or you can put a completely different configuration, whichever way you go, it will be beautiful.

6. Slide one of the lobster claws, be sure that it is facing the same direction as the previous two. Slide the three small beads that will rest along the solid bar of the watch. Slide the last lobster claw, making sure it is facing the same direction as the previous three. 

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7. Grab both ends of the elastic. Make 2 square knots or any other knot that you know will hold the elastic securely. Place a small dab of clear coat nail polish to give it extra security.

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8. Jump up and down in joy! Your watch bracelet is done! Attach it to your watch face using the lobster claws.

9. Run to the bead store and get more supplies to make another one.

10. Repeat from 1-9 :).