March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!


Happy first day of Spring! I'm really excited about spring this year. I've already got a jump on my garden and have a few more ideas that I'm looking forward to doing this year garden wise. Today is also the first run of week 2 of my Parkway Half Training Group...easy fiver, no sweat. Going out to lunch today with my team and one long lost member of my team. I'm looking forward to seeing my girl!

What are you plans for the first day of spring?

March 19, 2012

Weekend Recap & Training Update for the Week of 3/12 – 3/18/12…

First off, weekend recap…Saturday was very chill around my house. Never got dressed, never left the house, never did anything but hang out all day, take a nap and knit. I’m still working on Lustro Cardigan. I have finished the back and right front and am working on the left front. Let me say that I really like Berroco Ultra Alpaca, it’s soft and lovely but it sheds like a mother. It leaves little bits of, what I’m assuming is alpaca all over me. Not really a deal breaker. But I chose black to knit this cardigan…I need a black cardigan and I haven’t been able to find one to purchase that I like. So being a knitter I figured I just knit one…of course. But black’s hard to knit with, it’s hard to see…in case you need the obvious stated for you. But I’m determined to finish this sucker and I really do need a black cardigan.

Training update…I took Monday & Tuesday completely off from running. I was so sore from my Half on Sunday that I wasn’t moving too good. Wednesday was my first run with my new American River Parkway Half training group (now known as the Parkway Half because American River Parkway Half if just too long). I ran 4.85 miles in 49:56 with a 10:17 pace. I keep checking to see if my stats are right because I struggled so hard for this run and it seems like a 10:17 pace is way too low. But I had a couple of very fast miles in under 10 and two slow miles at about 10:30 so it’s right. But it was a hard run for me. I had pain in one of my hamstrings and just a general feeling of yucky which comes with getting the migraine earlier in the day

I took Thursday as a rest day and ran on Friday…ran 4.01 mile in 40:50 at a 10:11 average pace. Again, I keep checking the stats because this was a tough run for me. I struggled and had to walk at least once that I remember but maybe it was a struggle because I was running to fast.

Saturday was either a 4 mile run or a rest day according to the training schedule. Since Sunday was a long run with the group and I’m still recovering from my Half I decided to take it as a rest day. I really wanted to be fresh for the long run with the group. Sunday we met at 7:30am on the American River Parkway, ran 7.15 miles in 1:18:14 at an average 10:56 pace. Not bad really. I was nervous about the long run since it was 7 miles but I ran with three other ladies, one of which works with a very good friend of mine, and it really made the miles tick by. It was nice to run with other people, it helped me do an actual slow warm up, but it didn’t help me with a slow cool down. The last mile was supposed to be slower for cool down but I just kept speeding up. I tried to slow down but every time I checked my Garmin, I was going faster. But I was really glad to be done when it was over.

So far I’m really liking the training group. I am meeting some really nice people and I’m more motivated for the long runs. It’s not as boring for those long miles when you’re in a group, even if you’re not talking, versus running alone. I was surprised at how fast this first week of training went. Today is rest, which is good. After the long run yesterday we stretched out and then did some core workout that included pushups and planks. My arms hurt today! Ouch. I already know I have no upper body strength, it’s not news…I’m built like Olive Oyl.

No kidding. String like arms, no muscle. Serious. I hate it but there is just no bulking up the noodles. I couldn’t plank for 30 seconds, I couldn’t do pushups for 30 seconds…I couldn’t do much for 30 seconds. But that’s ok, in 6 weeks I’ll be stronger then I was last week. Looking forward to that part. I really need to find a core workout that I can do at home to help build the upper body and my core.

March 15, 2012

First Training Group....

My first training group meet up/run was yesterday...and look at this weather! It started raining Tuesday and hasn't quit yet.

Tuesday didn't not start off good...I got all the way to work fine but once there I went to the ladies room and realized that I couldn't see out of my right eye. I had a blind spot. Generally this is a precursor to a migraine so I took my migraine meds and hoped for the best. About 30 minutes later the blind spot was gone. About 30 minutes after that, I had to tell the big boss that I needed to leave. My head hurt so bad that I could barely think. I got home and went straight to bed. I slept for a couple of hours and then finally was able to get up. The migraine was gone but I still had a lingering headache.

Not sure what the migraine was about since I generally only get them when I'm under tons of stress. Right now work is slow, home is good. Stress is not really an issue. I have no idea. Maybe I was just over due.

So anyway, training group. Got there early, the rain had slacked some so it was cold and wet but not raining. Got my packet with my training plan and my $20 Fleet Feet gift card. We had an orientation meeting and then split off into groups; Runners, Run/Walkers and Walkers. Got an additional orientation for our groups and headed off for the workout. The workout was a 45 minute easy run. I made three loops of the course which was on the levy behind Sac State and along the American River and actually ran for 50 minutes, did 4.85 miles at a 10:17 pace. I went out way too fast for a 9:35 mile and finally had to reign it in. I was pretty tired and I think, still under fueled and I had some pain that was left over from Shamrock’n in my right thigh. Afterward there was a group cool down/stretch and next time there will be some core exercises to do also. Not looking forward to that part but I know that I needed.

All and all the group was good and I think I’ll get a lot out of it. Hopefully I make some cool friends.

March 13, 2012

Yes, I do need therapy. Why do you ask?

Since my Shamrock'n 1/2 wasn't all I wanted it to be I decided today to sign up for a 1/2 marathon training group that will be training for the Parkway Half Marathon. The Half is coming up on April 28...about a month and a half away. The group is through my local Fleetfeet store and meets twice a week. It meets Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sundays at 7:30am.

I really want to kill this marathon since Shamrock'n didn't go exactly as planned due to being sick and being unable to sleep the night before. Hopefully I'm doing the right thing here. I don't want to wait to try to race again either in the fall or next spring. I don't want to race in the summer because me and the heat don't get a long. The end of April is really pushing it for me in terms of how hot it's going to be the day of the race.

I'm really hoping that I will meet some cool runner people in this group. I don't know anyone else in real life that runs and all my friends swear up and down that they only run if they're being chased. Plus I'm hoping that with the training group it will help keep up my motivation to train. Last time I crapped out twice and had a really hard time getting going again. Fingers crossed this goes well.

March 12, 2012

Shamrockin' 1/2 Marathon...

I ran my 1/2 Marathon yesterday morning and boy am I sore this morning. I got sick last week and I never really recovered before the race but I ran it anyway. I finished in 2:29:29 with an average 11:25 mile. Obviously it wasn't what I thought I would do but my goal was to finish in under 2:30 so I did make my goal.
That's me in the raspberry shirt, I was nervous.
After I crossed the finish line. I couldn't find Hubbs anywhere but it turns out (he took the picture) that he was just a few rows up from where I was standing but I couldn't hear him yelling over all the people.
After...I was so sore I could barely walk back to the car. But I finished. Now I have to decide if I want to try to run another one so I can get a better time.

March 8, 2012

New York Cardigan...One Last Time...

Last pictures I swear of New York Cardigan, I swear...Unless I'm wearing it for something else other then to pose in it.
I love it!!! Perfect length. Perfect color with my "new" red hair. It turned out soooo great! This was a fabulous pattern that was really fun to knit...even if I did knit it twice.

I knit the body of this (the whole thing) and then tried it on and realized it was way, way too big. It was so big I think that Hubbs and I could have worn this at the same time. So I frogged it and went down a needle size and ended up making something between the extra small and the small in the top. And then I did some extra waist shaping to make the lace portion in the extra small. It was all luck that this ended up so perfect.

I'm still working on Lustro Cardigan. I finished the back and have started on the right front. I've worked up to and started the cabled portion of it. I'm looking forward to finishing this because I really need a black cardigan.

March 7, 2012

New York Cardigan is done...

New York Cardigan is done and I'm super happy with the way it turned out. I decided to go ahead and do an applied i-cord around the fronts and neck area to finish off the edging because I didn't like the way the edges blocked out. I wanted a more finished look.

I love the lace pattern. It was super easy to memorize and made for fun knitting.

The back...I like the high collar. It will keep my neck nice and warm in my office. I went with 3/4 sleeves instead of long so I could wear it more during the spring, summer and fall months.

I like the detail of the yarn over increases in the raglan shaping.

I found this belt on the super cheap at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago just for this sweater. I love that the buckle is so interesting and different from what I normally wear.

I opted to do an applied i-cord to the edges to finish off the look. My blocking wasn't great and my edges came out a bit wonky. Plus I was afraid that my edges would roll. The left side edge has the i-cord and the right doesn't.

Again, i-cord. Bottom has it attached already and the top doesn't.

I've been lusting after a pair of brown cowboy boots and I would love to wear this sweater with a white top, dark jeans and brown boots. Oh gee...guess I have to go

March 6, 2012

New York Cardigan...Blocking

Yesterday I said that New York Cardigan is blocking and here's the proof...

My mom picked up some blocking wires for me a while back and I hadn't used them so I pulled them out to block the two front lace panels. It's kind of a pain to use them but I like that I was able to get the edges uniform.

The body turned out nice. I love the lace panels.

I like the garter stitch on the bottom finished it off nicely. I'm thinking about doing an applied I-cord bind off like I did on Shalder. It finished the edges up so cleanly and since this doesn't have a button band I'm thinking that I'd like a nicer edge to finish it off. But at this point, I'm going to seam it when it's dry before I decided how I want and if I want to finish the edge.

March 5, 2012

Weekend Recap...

Most of the weekend was spent doing catch up errands. I didn't get much done last weekend after Stitches West but I did get the house cleaned up and it really needed it. But no errands got done becuase Hubbs was gone on a boys trip. So Saturday was spent catching up...we did Costco, the grocery store and a few other errands I needed to get done and few that Hubbs needed done too.

I'm now less then a week out from my Half Marathon. Yikes. And of course I'm sick. Hubbs came down with a cold last week and dispite my best efforts to avoid him, I've got it now too. So I stayed home from work today in an effort to rest and get rid of the cold.

I finished knitting up New York Cardigan and it's parts are blocking. I can't wait to seam it and try it on. I think it's going to be really cute. Filati's Yarn Store in Rocklin had a leap day sale and I ran up there last Wednesday for 20% off. Totally worth it. I picked up 6 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Black for Lustro Cardigan. I really love this yarn. 50% Alpaca and 50% wool. 100% soft.

I really need a black cardigan and I figured that since black doesn't lend itself to fancy stitch work, I wanted something that was some what plain but not entirely. Lustro Cardigan fit that bill nicely since it's mostly stockinette with just a bit of cableing near the top on the fronts.
The alpaca gives this yarn a very nice sheen.

I think this pattern is going to turn out really nice. I can't wait.

March 3, 2012

Book #25 of 2012...


A mysterious island.An abandoned orphanage.A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

My take:

5 out of 5 stars. I had read this wasn't a good book, that the story line was lacking and the only good thing was the pictures. But I didn't find this to be the case. I liked the character of Jacob very much and found the story to be very engaging. My only question is, is there going to be a second book? I haven't found anything that says there is going to be a second book but the end of this one sure seems to indicate that there is going to be one. I would read this one again.

March 2, 2012

Book #24 of 2012...


Of all the desperate women in German-occupied Paris, Gabriela Reyes is the least likely to scratch out her survival as a whore for a Gestapo agent. After fascists murdered her mother and brother and tortured her father in an insane asylum, she hates the Germans as much as she fears them. But when she discovers the man responsible for destroying her family, she decides to become his mistress to try to free her father and avenge her family.

Helmut von Cratz is a war profiteer using his wealth to undermine the Third Reich and is one meeting with an American agent away from ending the German occupation of France.

But Gabriela's sudden appearance as Colonel Hoekman's mistress jeopardizes Helmut's careful plans. Now he must decide: will he abandon his plans, or will he sacrifice yet another woman to the German war machine.

My take:

5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting reading about what life may have been like for a single woman behind the German lines in France during World War II. It was a good story line and it really made me think about what I would be willing to do in the same situation.