Monday, September 24, 2012

Third time's a charm?

I ran my third half-marathon yesterday.  The Quad Cities Marathon started when I was in high school.  The inaugural year, some of the girls cross country team and I ran the 5 person relay.  15 years later, I was back to run half of it.

The weather was cool and brisk, my favorite running weather.  The course was scenic, right long the Mississippi River for a good majority.  The amenities along the race course and volunteers were great (except for the one water/Gatorade station that was out, that sucked).

The morning started out okay.  I didn't feel as crappy as I did the night before.  After battling some bridge traffic and trying to find parking, I parked (next to my childhood dentist, she recognized me before I recognized her) and made it to the starting area with enough time to work almost up to my pace group and hear the national anthem.  The starting cannon went off and we were running. Yes, not a starting gun, a cannon.  It was loud and surprising.  My beginning mile times were not bad, I reached the first mile in 9:12, but by then I had also stepped in two potholes and hence twisted my ankle twice.  I skipped the first water station and when I got water at the second, I choked on it.  Then around the 4 mile mark my foot went numb.  And on it went for 9 more miles, weird running problems, one after another.  I didn't have to stop to go to the bathroom or throw up, though, so maybe I should just focus on those positives.

I ran 13.1 miles in 2:07:50 which is about 9:46/mile.  Not my best, in fact it is my worst, but I finished.  I did finish before the first marathon finisher so that is something. I was the 975th person to cross the line.

From the beginning this race seemed doomed.  My training was poor.  I had random bouts of illness.  I was  home sick from work last Friday.  So all in all, I gave it a good effort for what I had and finished.

Today I am sore head-to-toe.  But I am moving and that is what matters.

Friday, September 21, 2012

TV Creations

This week is going by way to fast for me.  I barely have time to tell you all about the great things I made during my TV binge over last weekend.

I crocheted two baby blankets:

Yes, two whole blankets done.  They are both about 30" X30".   They are the same exact pattern.  Just a big granny square until you run out of yarn.  My type of pattern.  I love how they both turned out.  I did not plan for the second one to look like a watermelon, but it does!  Very cool random occurrence.  Now I have to ship them off to the pretty babies I have never met.

I knitted several bibs:

Two are not pictured.  I sometimes forget to take pictures of what I make. Bad blogger.

And I finished my second waldo stocking:

(This photo will not rotate and I am too tired to keep working on it, argh.)
I also finished making a pretty purple yarn, but more on that later.

Also, happy 30th birthday to my husband!!!!

I am running my third half-marathon this weekend so I will tell you all about it next week.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TVD + Yarn

Do you watch The Vampire Diaries?  No?  I do.  I love it.  I randomly picked it out on Netflix earlier this year and got hooked.  I quickly watched the first two season and then all summer I had to wait for the next season to become available.  Season three just became available last week and I had to watch the whole season before season four starts on October 11.  So naturally, I just finished a three day bender of watching all 22 episodes of the third season.  I am discovering that the CM is like YA books on TV.  Love it!

Image via TVD's Pinterest

It was an amazing season--lots of action and unexpected plot twists.  I cried through most of episodes 21 and 22. Why am I so emotionally attached to fantasy characters?  Nothing that happens in any episode could possibly ever be true, but I still feel emotionally attached.  Worried. Gripped.  Maybe it is because I always hoped for supernatural things as a child and never really grew out of that.

Also, I have to admit, I love a love triangle.  I am rooting for Damon because he is much more interesting, amazing and of course attractive.  Ian Somerhalder is amazing!  Who wouldn't root for him as Damon, even if he is technically playing a villain.

Image via Wikipedia

Such a good looking man and I love his acting.  My inner-14-year-old-girl wants posters of him all over my bedroom.  I was am so crushed that his character Damon and Elena (played by Nina Dobrev) are not a couple (yet????) in TVD.  But I found out, in real life, they are a couple and that makes me happy. I rooting for you Ian and Nina!  

The librarian in me thinks I need to read the books the series is based on (The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith), but I am not sure.  I have so much to read as it is.  I think I will just love the show for what it is for now, but I have suspicion I will end up reading the books.

With my watching bender comes a whole host of finished objects.  I crocheted two baby blankets.  Knitted a few baby bibs and finished another Waldo stocking. Not too shabby.  More to to share with you all throughout the week.

Who is your TV heart-throb? Any other great shows I should be watching?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I am a knitting machine.

Here is yet another finished project....

Gaptastic Cowl in Cascade Pacific Chunky.  Lovely and quick.  I highly recommend the pattern and the yarn.

This too is for my co-worker.  I also made another scarf for her, but forgot to take photos before sending it off.  Such a rookie blogger mistake.  Well maybe just a blogger mistake, I think I will forever be a rookie at this blogging thing.

I am making good progress on the stocking too so I have almost completed her order.  The order that I thought would take me months not a few weeks to fulfill.  I guess you don't know until you try and are motivated by actually making money.

Soon I will have to turn my attention to baby items as I am behind in making things for the FOUR babies born to family and friends this year.

So you feel like everyone you know is pregnant or has a new born?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Hats

I made these hats sometime in the past month but forgot to show them off on the blog.

Robin's Egg Blue Hat  in Cascade Pacific Chunky


Regular Guy Beanie in Cascade Pacific.

There is a Cascade Pacific theme, if you couldn't tell.  It is such a soft and shiny yarn.  Not to say it doesn't have problems.  It tends to have knots and it splits very easily, but the more I work with it the more I am willing to forgive those faults.  I have been in a forgiving mood lately...for yarn.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things I Should Know

Today I ran my last really long run (10 miles) before my half marathon race in two weeks.  This is my third time training for a half marathon, but I think this is my worst go at it.  I just can't get a rhythm.  I am not finishing the whole distance I planned to cover or not running at all.  I feel just so pitiful.

Anyway by now I should really know some things about running.  I read three running magazines. I read running books.  I follow professional runners on Facebook and Twitter.  I have friends that are runners.  I would think I would not set myself up for pain and bad runs.  But I do.

First mistake: I slept in instead of getting a good, cool start.  It was actually nice to sleep.  I couldn't get the run in early because  my husband told me last night that he had an eye doctor appointment in the morning so that nixed my plans for an early run.

Second mistake: I went with my family to the farmer's market and then to Five Guys for lunch...followed by going to Berry Cherry for frozen yogurt.  Bad idea for running.  Such a bad idea.  I usually have to run on an empty/nearly empty stomach to not get sick. A giant burger, fries and frozen yogurt is the opposite of a empty stomach.

Third mistake: landscaping- well this actually happened first since it happened yesterday.  I volunteered with my employer to go to the United Way Day of Caring.  The ICC group went to the Urban League to paint and landscape.  I may have over done it with the weeding and mulching because my hamstrings are so, so sore today.

There is a whole host of other mistakes I have made today and in the past few days, but they all led to a pretty un-stellar run today. 1:40-10 minute miles. I felt horrible and sore and I still feel that way a few hours later. But I finished.  I am running the Pumpkin Classic 10k next weekend and the QC Half Marathon the following.  And then maybe I can rest a bit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Waldo's Stocking

I made a stocking last week.  This is for a co-worker's nephew.

It went together much faster than I thought and with less yarn.  This is my first stocking so I really didn't know what to expect. 

I use the pattern Striped Holiday Stocking by Red Heart.  I added a few rows and changed-up the color changes.  I used I Love this Yarn from Hobby Lobby.  Until I got to the heel, it had a real Where's Waldo feeling.  I still think it gives a good Waldo vibe.

I have three more stockings to make: one more for my co-worker and two for my cousin's twins.  My daughter doesn't have a handmade stocking from me so, maybe I should make one for her too.  I really like her store bought one has sparkles.

This stocking only took about a week to make. I feel I am in good shape to get the others made as long as I don't get second-sock syndrome.  What's that, you say?  Second-sock syndrome happens when a knitter makes one sock but can't find the will to finish the pair.  It is a real problem among knitters.  I am currently having some second-sock syndrome with a pair of socks I started in the spring...only I am making them two-at-a-time so, I am just stuck on the foot of both.  I think that totally counts as second-sock syndrome.

With these stockings under way, I now think I have to start thinking about Christmas knitting and what I will be making, but for now, it is the beginning of September and I am just trying to make it through the week.  This fall semester is crazy.  I have 20 students in my online class and it is so hard for me to keep up.

Have you begun to think about holiday gifts?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Matchy Sweater Complete

I finished D's sweater that "matches" mine.

It just barely fits her.  I think it should last through most of this winter.  She is growing so fast.  She isn't even 4 1/2 yet and wearing size 6 or 6x clothes.  We even bought one pair of size 7 jeans just to be prepared (and they were awesome stone wash purple jeans.).

The weather looks to be on a cooling trend this week, but it will be awhile before it is sweater season.  I have made three sweaters in the past two months and I have weeks to wait until sweater season.  I just doesn't seem fair.

Are you looking forward to a fall cool down?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


My hat was mentioned and shown on Vickie Howell's blog!!!

That is my hat!  She called me Michell523 but I am Michelle523.  Whatever, I am so excited!!!!!


Greatest Show on Earth

We took D to see the circus this weekend. 

I took D to see a small circus at Adventureland earlier this year, but it was not a very good circus so, I am going to count this as her first "real" circus experience.  The Adventureland circus didn't have animals so, I really don't think that counts. Right?

We went with D's cousins, my mom, sister and brother-in-law.  The girls got fun hair with cotton candy and my nephew was spoiled by his other Aunt and got a sword.

We saw death defying acts...

Amazing animals...

And one really cool guy on the tallest stilts ever....


It was a great show for children of all ages.

Do you like the circus?  What is your favorite part?