Last week

I received the new shipment of backing fabric last week for the tshirt quilt but I haven’t pieced it yet…so no progress to show on that project.

I’ve finally started working on the wedding dress project…I sat on the floor one evening and deconstructed the dress!! I held my breath doing that first seam but once that was done I was a seam ripping fool!!

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I’ve cut a few blocks 12.5 and 6.5 and now I need to decide what layout I’m going to use…start & stop, start & stop…ugh! No clue what I’m going to do with that bodice!?!

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I got a new kitchen gadget – an air fryer. I’ve been researching these things for about six months and I finally pulled the trigger. I purchased the GoWISE 3.7-Quart Air Fryer, model #GW22639 (I am not an Amazon affiliate but probably should be with all the plugs I give them!).

airfryer

Our first use was to make chicken tenders and french fries – ha, real healthy! But at least they weren’t cooked in grease :-p  I cooked the french fries first and was quite pleasantly surprised how nicely they browned and crisped up. I put them in a warm oven to stay hot while I cooked the frozen chicken tenders. They turned out just as good, except I probably would reduce the cooking time by a minute or 2 because they were a little too crunchy 😉 When I pulled the fries out of the oven they had lost some crisp so I popped them back in the air fryer for 2 mins and – voila – they were crunchy again!

airfryer food

For my second time I decided on something a bit more healthy – boneless, skinless chicken breast. I brushed each breast with olive oil and sprinkled them with seasoned salt. I followed cooking times I found through Pinterest (380 for 15 min and 350 for 10 min). The outside was nice and brown although a little chewy but the inside was cooked perfectly. I’ll probably just do 350 for 25 mins next time. I didn’t even think to take a picture until AFTER we had eaten – ‘doh! – but this is all that was left.

airfryer food2

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I haven’t talked much about running because I haven’t done any – ugh! I experienced some side affects from antibiotics I took back in January and my ankles are just now feeling better (look up Levaquin if you’re interested). Now I’m struggling with motivation…which is no big surprise!! LOL I’ve signed up for a Half Marathon in October so I’ve got a little time to get back in to the swing…I’ve just got to get started!

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The builder is FINALLY starting to make some good progress on our house in Myrtle Beach. DH went down a few weeks ago to have a very strong chat with the fellow…and it seems to have done the trick. In the last two weeks all the lighting has been installed, the driveway has been poured and the plumber has installed the faucets and toilets. The appliances are scheduled for delivery March 28 and as of last week the builder said he would be ready for them (ha, they’ve only been rescheduled 4 times already.), so fingers crossed! The next big hurdle is installing the heat pump outside and then the hardwoods and carpeting…no timeline on that just yet.

 

That’s about all for this week. I’ll be watching the ATP Finals at Indian Wells today…Go Roger!!

ttfn…

Dasani Half Marathon recap

Oh boy, where do I start? How about at the end…I had a great race!! Now for the details:

The race started at 6:30 am on Saturday, March 5th in Myrtle Beach. The weather was a bit on the chilly side at 39 degrees but the forecast called for sunshine and upper 40s by the end and no rain!

I was signed up for the Half Marathon but my running buddies, Kitty & Laura, had signed up for the full Marathon – their FIRST! (more on that later). The race had two starting chutes, the left side for the Half and the right for the Full. We took a pre-race selfie and went to our respective sides.

prereace selfie

I had already set my C25K app for 40 intervals of 3 min run/1.5 min walk; I wore my Garmin GPS watch so I could track my pace at each mile and I had my Vivofit2 on to calculate steps…needless to say I was well monitored!! LOL

My goal for this Half was to beat my time from my first Half which was 3:01…anything under 3 hours and I would be a happy camper!

Once we were all lined up they had a local resident/business owner sing the National Anthem – wow, what a great voice! And then the cannon sounded the start of the race. If you’ve ever been at a large race and you are a slower runner you know that it takes a few minutes to actually cross the starting line. Once I did, I started my app and my Garmin…yay, I didn’t forget!

I chose to run without music for most of the race, I did the same for the 10 miler run a few weeks ago and it was quite refreshing. I kept myself occupied with the runners around me and my surroundings – it really did make the miles fly by.

I tried to take some pictures along the way but I must admit I’m not really good at it! Here’s a shot I took after I passed mile 4 – yeah, not so interesting…LOL

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I had plenty of fuel with me, GU packs and Cliff Shot Bloks, and I refueled every 40 minutes (that was a key learning from my first Half where I stopped taking fuel after the first hour…big mistake!).

I took another picture after mile 6 when I recognized a restaurant we’d eaten at with friends last year – Gordon Biersch at Market Commons.

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The first part of the course took us down Business 17 and into the Market Commons neighborhood – all relatively flat. On the way out of that neighborhood I passed the 7 mile mark – oh yeah, more than half way done!

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The second part of the course took us down Ocean Blvd, still flat but that’s where the head winds started to kick up and cause some issues. It was feeling quite chilly when passing the high-rise hotels because they blocked the sun and runners never like running into the wind. I got a little ‘pick-me-up’ around mile 10 when I passed on of our friends that was supposed to run the full marathon. She injured her knee a few weeks ago and had to drop out but she still made the trip to Myrtle Beach to cheer us on – WOW!!! She even made signs for each of us with our names and bib numbers…I just wish I had stopped to get a picture…boohoo 😦

Once we passed 11 miles and the infamous Skywheel, we made a left turn to head back to the area where we started. The full Marathoners kept going straight for another 7+ miles…into the head winds…yuck!

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I turned on my music to give me another pick-me-up and some rhythm to run to. The last water station was crowded with lots of cheering people and I was so moved by all that support from strangers, I got a little choked up. But I told myself “hold it together, you’ve still got another mile and a half to go”!

Of course I was doing the math in my head and barring any injury or unforeseen mishap I was going to make my goal. This spurred me on to pick up my pace a little in that last mile – I wanted to be sure I made it with time to spare.

AND I DID IT!!  Woohoo…I not only came in under 3 hours but I beat it by almost 8 minutes!! I was so danged excited and I wanted to share it with someone…but my running buddies were still out there running! I got a little choked up after I got my medal but that made it hard to breath so I pulled myself together. I made my way through the finishing area to the food & beer section – which line did I get into first? the BEER of course!! I got two cups of Michelob Ultra and then went in search of nourishment :p

Here’s the results from the website…2:52…hot damn!!!!!!!!

 

3.5.16 Official time Its Your Race

And look at these splits…

3.5.16 Dasani Half garmin

And here’s my medal, or as Paula from Never a Dull Bling puts it, my BLING!! I just love these flip-flops!!

3.5.16 medal

 

My day did not end after the race – I still had two running buddies to cheer across the finish line of their FIRST EVER MARATHON! After I filled my goodie bag with all kinds of snacks and drinks, I took the shuttle back to the hotel to change clothes. Once there I checked the race app that estimated where the runners where based on the last check point they passed and when I looked up Kitty – who is the fastest runner among us – she was only 4 miles from the finish – woah. This meant I couldn’t wait for the shuttle to take me back – I had to walk it (ugh!). Luckily it was only a little more than a mile so I put on different shoes and hit the pavement. I reached the finish line with about 15 minutes to spare and I cheered her all the way in 😀

I can’t even fathom what 26.2 miles feels like other than to double what I felt like after 13.1…but I’m sure that doesn’t even do it justice. She was beaming with pride and satisfaction and I was over the moon happy for her!

Unfortunately my other running buddy Laura didn’t have such a good day. She made it to the 22 mile marker and had to drop out. She pulled a groin muscle and could barely move let alone walk or run. She didn’t let it get her down – she was extremely proud of those 22 miles and I was super happy for her as well.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and a great race event. I would HIGHLY recommend the Myrtle Beach Marathon & Half Marathon race – it’s a great course and the whole event is extremely well managed.

ttfn…

 

Last run

According to the Half Marathon training plan I’m following, my last run before the race was today and it’s only 2 miles – nice! Since the distance was so short I figured I’d try to push my pace a little to see what I could do.

The weather here today was superb – low 70s with a good breeze and by the time I got out the door it was cloudy. I didn’t wear my pouch or take any water with me; just my phone and ear buds. After the warm up I started running at a comfortably fast pace (for me) and I kept that up on each run segment. During the walk segments I tried to keep it at a brisk pace.

I felt good the whole way through and my overall average pace was one of my fastest in a long, long time…under 12 min/mile…woohoo!

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I know I can’t keep this pace for a HM but it’s nice to know I can do it…and if I’m not too tired maybe I can kick a little at the end of the race…??

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I spent a little time in the sewing room tonight putting a few more sashing strips on the memory quilt rows…I didn’t make any significant progress so no new pictures. I do have a picture of a cute notion I picked up, it’s a magnet to help keep my straight pins from falling on the floor as I transport them from sewing machine back to cutting/pinning table.

Paw magnet

I got it from a website that raises money for animal rescues…it’s supposed to be a paper clip holder but it works great for pins -isn’t it so cute!! I also bought some sandals with adorable dogs on them; lots of great stuff available and the proceeds go to a great cause – win, win!!

ttfn and…G’night!

Back to the Plan

This weekend the South got a little bad weather in the form of freezing rain, sleet and snow. Our area got about 3 inches which basically shut everything down for a day or so until the temps recovered enough to melt most of it.

Of course this ruined plans for my 8 mile long run on Saturday and although the temps were in the upper 40s on Sunday a lot of my neighborhood streets were still a bit dicey – yes, I could’ve gone to Anytime Fitness and hopped on the treadmill but the thought of doing 8 miles made my stomach turn – long story short: no long run.

The plan this week calls for two, 4 mile runs and 9 miles this weekend; so I got out there today and I did a little extra – 5 miles!! And it didn’t hurt that temps were in the upper 50s – woohoo! I put on a tank top with a long sleeve shirt and wore my long pants. I started out with a jacket over all of that and was fine until 3 miles; then the jacket came off until I was finished.

I decided to change my intervals a little – I had been programming intervals as 8 min run, 2 min walk but most of the time I break up the 8 mins into 3 min run, 2 min walk, 3 min run so I just reprogrammed the whole run as 3 min run, 2 min walk. I was interested to see what this would do to my overall pace and time…I was pleasantly surprised!

Oh, and I finally got around to customizing my VivoFit2 for my running steps and it looks like it’s much more accurate now! Yay!

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Most of the run segments I was able to keep below 11:30 pace and even some in the 10’s…I did take an extended walk break in segment 10 but it doesn’t seem to have hurt my overall pace. Hmmm, I think I may try 3 min run, 1.5 min walk next time and see what happens.

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I did use the time this weekend to work on some sewing projects, I’ll post pictures of all that tomorrow…

ttfn…G’night 😀

 

 

HM Week 5, Day 2

So, you may notice that I didn’t post anything for Week 5, Day 1…well…that’s cuz I didn’t run earlier this week. No specific reason – I just didn’t feel like it.

It’s ok to skip a run now & then…or, I should say it’s ok for me! As long as I get right back to the plan then no harm is done. That’s what I did today… I picked up where I should be and completed 3 miles today. And wouldn’t you know it, I felt better running today and my average pace improved a little too! Win/Win!

The weather was much more desirable today too…upper 50’s, lots of sunshine…who wouldn’t want to run!!

I still haven’t customized my running stride on my Vivofit2…I keep forgetting about it until I’m ready to go for a run, ugh. Oh well, maybe I’ll fix it this weekend, in the mean time I’ll just use the C25K app as my guide.

I’m quite encouraged that my last run segment was faster than my first…what???

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1.14.16 vivofit

ttfn and…G’night.

Long run

As I continue with the Half Marathon training my weekend runs will get longer and longer. Today was 6 miles and as luck would have it my running buddies (who are training for a full Marathon) had 6 on their plan today too! I was so excited because we haven’t run together in months and I’ve really missed it.

Unfortunately, one of the girls has come down with a pretty nasty head cold so she didn’t run today but I picked up Laura this morning and we went to a local park to run the 1 mile lap, six times. The weather was pretty dreary, mid 40’s and overcast. The air was so moist it felt like it was raining even though it wasn’t. We did our warm up walk on one of the shorter paths and then we were off.

I set my app for 8 repetitions of 8 min run/2 min walk and started my Vivofit right on time. After the first two run segments I changed to 3 min run/2 min walk/3 min run and continued that until the end. I had my Salted Caramel Gu at 45 mins which gave me a little lift but that last mile was still pretty hard.

My overall pace dropped a little which is unfortunate but hopefully I can get back on track during the week.

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The distance is off again between the two devices but I think I’ve figured out what I need to do. There’s a User setting on the Vivofit2 that will allow me to customize the step length for walking or running. The step count is fine when walking so I’ll have to follow the directions and customize it for running – hopefully that will fix it.

1.9.16 setting

After lunch I took a short nap and I’ve been pretty much reclined on the couch watching football for the rest of the day/night. I hope to get some sewing done tomorrow…ttfn and G’night 😀

Week 4, Day 2

Staying on track with the Half Marathon training plan and today calls for 4 miles. I almost didn’t get my run in today because I waited for the temps to rise a little and then my well planned day got turned upside down.

I had a small window of opportunity at 2:30 and I took it! I figured even if I had to cut the run short it would be better than skipping it all together – but luckily I got it all done.

By the time I left it was about 50 degrees with sunshine and a little bit of wind. I wore a short sleeve tech shirt with a thin sweatshirt over it – wow, by mile two I was ripping that sweatshirt off! I set the app for 5 reps of 8 min run/2 min walk which would get me exactly 4 miles if I kept an average pace of 12:30. I completed the first two run segments but after that I converted to 3 min run, 2 min walk, 3 min run. I was still able to keep my average pace so all is good!

Once again my Vivofit2 overstated my mileage and pace…hmmm, not sure what’s going on, it was calculating pretty accurately last week. I’ll have to Google it and see if anyone else has had issues.

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ttfn…

Half Marathon training begins

I’ve been following the Zero to 10K program to kick-start my half marathon training and I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve been able to maintain my average pace for the last few weeks. Now it’s time to jump off that program onto the Half training program.

I’m using a ‘beginners’ plan and if I count backwards from the Half Marathon date of March 5th (Dasani Half in Myrtle Beach), I’m at week 3. Since I ran on Friday, I saved the Saturday run for today. Beginners Half Marathon Training

The weather this morning was a little chilly – it was 39 when I left the house at 10am but thankfully it warmed up to upper 40’s while I was out. I layered up accordingly, started out wearing gloves but had to peel those off around mile 2. Since I haven’t been running anything longer than 3ish miles I haven’t been using any of my GU, but that changed today. I had forgotten how good the Salted Caramel flavor is, it was worth the longer distance!! And it gave me just the kick I needed to finish the last mile.

I programmed my app for 7 reps of 8 min running, 2 min walking which would carry me through 5 miles…and I did pretty good for the first 4 reps. After that I alternated 3 min run, 2 min walk, 3 min run until I hit 5 miles.

The only concern I had today was with my technology…there was a difference in calculation between the c25k app and my Vivofit2. Before I left the house, I mapped out my route using the MayMyRun website so I had an idea where I would finish 5 miles but the Vivofit2 hit that mark earlier than the app…weird, not sure what’s up with that. I kept running until the C25K app hit 5 miles.

Vivofit2

1.3.16 garmin

C25K

1.3.16 rd

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I didn’t do any sewing today…after lunch I planted my butt on the couch and watched football for the rest of the day. I have the HST Sampler quilt all ready for some FMQ, I guess I’ll work on that tomorrow 🙂

G’night!

Sunset Beach Half Marathon…check!

This past weekend I traveled with my running buddies (K & L) to Sunset Beach, NC to complete the Sunset Beach Half Marathon. It’s the first time we’ve traveled together…and I’m sure it won’t be the last! We had a fantastic time before and after the run. The race was on Saturday so we drove down on Friday morning. K had made arrangements to rent a house near the beach and she drove as well – lucky me! It took almost 4 hours to get there but that gave us plenty of chatting time in the car.

There were also two other ladies from Atlanta (H & E) that were friends of K who joined us at the beach. The house was great, it slept 10 so we had plenty of room. After arriving and getting settled in we went to packet pickup around 5:30. The organizers were so great, they had managed to get dinner donated by one of the local restaurants – Chicken Parm with Spaghetti and garlic bread – it was yummy! And OMG, the medals for this race are ridiculous! I kid you not, it weighs 1.5 lbs and measures 8″ x 3.5″…just HUGE!

After oooing and ahhing over the medals we ate dinner and went back to the house. We chilled out and chatted for several hours telling stories of other races we’ve completed and then called it an early night. Even though the race didn’t start until 7 am and we were only a 1/4 mile from the start line, we still got up the next morning at 5:15 am. After we were dressed and fueled, we set off for the starting area around 6:30 am.

Not sure if I mentioned this in my last post but I tweaked my back on my last training run Tuesday and it’s been giving me some issues for a couple of days. I first tried ice and that worked but only for a short time, so I switched to warm baths and that seemed to provide longer term relief. The night before the race, K let me use some of her pain cream (Real Time Pain Relief) and that stuff worked great! I applied a little more in the morning and I was all set.

We milled and mingled until they started the race (which by the way, 100% of the proceeds went to their designated charity Save the Sea Turtles). The weather wasn’t too bad at the start, we were really close to the beach and there was a soft breeze but the sun was pretty strong so it got warm pretty fast.

From left to right: Me, L, E, H, K
From left to right: Me, L, E, H, K

The first three miles were pretty easy running the streets on the island of Sunset Beach but then we had to cross the bridge back to the main land (cue the scary music!)

The bridge

The photographer captured me heading toward the bridge
The photographer captured me heading toward the bridge

We previewed the run the night before so we already knew this was on the course and we’d have to run it out and back but it’s pretty ominous when you see it coming up in front of you. I knew there was no way I could run over the bridge if I hoped to complete the race so I did the same as many others and walked up to the top and ran down the other side.

The rest of the course is relatively flat which was great except it was also mostly in full sun. They had water stops about every 2 miles but as I always do, I had my own bottle of water and my GU packets to get me through. Around mile 5 my body started sending me signals that I needed to use the bathroom – oh great! I ignored the signals until mile 6 when I knew I had no choice but to stop and take care of business. Luckily there was a gas station on the corner so I paused my Garmin and C25K app and made a pit stop. Unfortunately that added about 7 minutes to my overall time but when Mother Nature calls you gotta answer!

I got back on the course feeling much better and picked up my regular pace using 3-1 intervals. We finally turned into a golf community that offered some shade – yippee! I tried to keep my mind occupied with the music and the scenery and I was pretty successful. Believe it or not I was actually looking forward to crossing the bridge again because that meant there was only 2 miles left. As I did on the way out, I walked up the bridge and ran down the other side. By the time I got to the last water stop I was pretty exhausted. I gulped down two cups of Gatorade and the angel at the stop refilled my water bottle for me (all the volunteers were just so sweet and supportive).

As I made the turn to finish the last two miles I hit ‘the wall’. I started cursing the course and the heat and had an internal debate about just throwing in the towel…LOL! I recognized it for what it was and fought back with as much positive self talk as I could muster. At this point I was walking more than running but I didn’t care…all I wanted to do was just finish. There was one last turn and then I could see the finish line in the distance, it was about 1/2 mile away but it seemed much further!

Finally, FINALLY I crossed the finish – although I was pretty exhausted and a little over heated I felt MUCH better than I did at my first Half in Myrtle Beach; I’m sure it was all the GU and water I had during the course. When they handed me my medal it just about threw me off balance…seriously, I had forgotten how heavy it would be! There was no way I was putting that around my neck – not yet anyway – so I stuffed it in my fanny pack. My finish time was 3:17:15, clearly not as good as my first half but considering the pit stop and the heat I’m satisfied. All the girls were off their normal times by 10-15 minutes because of the heat.

There were all kinds of post race goodies: bananas, oranges, icees, smoothies, chicken and pork sliders, popcorn, pretzels, chips and of course plenty of water. But…no beer! That was the only let down. No worries though, K, H & E had finished about 30 mins ahead of me so one of them went back to the house and carried the cooler back to the finish line – there were Angels everywhere that day!! LOL!

After we all hobbled back to the house, we cooled off, put on our bathing suits and went to the beach. H & me could only take about an hour of that so we went back to the house to sit on the porch where we enjoyed the shade, the breeze and a few beers. The rest of the girls finally came back to the house a few hours later. After they got cleaned up, we went out for dinner and then came back to the house. We sat around looking at the race pictures and laughing like a bunch of school girls – it was great!

Here are a few post race shots:

post race medals2

post race medals

Heavy medals

So… the ‘one and done’ girl now has two Half Marathons under her belt and believe it or not I’m actually considering doing more! I can’t believe I just typed that – I must be suffering from heat stroke, LOL!!!

We’ll see how it goes, K & L are doing the Myrtle Beach Half again in October but I won’t be joining them because I’ll be in the Caribbean celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary (awww, poor me!). I think I would prefer doing my next Half in March when hopefully it will be much cooler…I’ll have to see what’s available…

That’s about it for now…