Friday, May 16, 2014

Half marathon - check!

Susan and I completed the Kirkland Mother's Day half marathon, and all went better than expected!  I had heard the hills on this half were killer, so I was expecting to be really hurting.  I did do a fair amount of hill training and for the most part I didn't mind them too much.  I walked the really steep ones, and the rest were a nice rolling up and down.

I had planned to come in around 3 hours, and beat that at 2:48.  I think that's not half bad for my first half!  I could have pushed harder, but I didn't want to risk injury or even just hobbling around sore for days.  As it was, I felt pretty wiped the rest of the day, and somewhat sore the day after.

Some notable things:

  •  I was very nauseous for the rest of the day.  This has never happened to me after a run before.  Maybe it was dehydration?  I drank a cup at every water stop, maybe I need to carry some too.  Will definitely research this more if I ever sign up for another half.
  • Towards the end I decided to try the Gu gel shot.  It was disgusting and a sticky mess, blech!!!  Why did I do that for the first time on a race?!  From now on I'm definitely sticking with the blocks.  They are actually pretty tasty.  Maybe the gel had something to do with the nausea.
  • Running sometimes takes me to a weird emotional place.  I kept thinking about a friend from my days at UW.  She died a few years back, complications from anorexia I believe.  We lost touch long before that, and I regret not keeping in contact with her.  I choked up a bit thinking about how I missed her.
  • I made a pit stop at mile 10 and my energy dropped off a cliff after that.  I knew I could finish the next 3 miles but it became much more of a slog after that point.
  • The last mile or so it hurt just as much to walk as it did to run, so that gave me a little motivation to rock it out till the end.
  • It was pretty quiet at the finish line.  I kept imagining all the cheering and celebration that would be going on.  I was somewhere in the last 1/6th of runners, so I guess they'd all packed up and left by then.
  • Training is over, yay!!! At times training was really cool and it was gratifying to be able to go on longer runs and feel great, and other times it felt like a huge burden.
  • Now that I have run the longest distance I ever care to, I want to spend some time focusing on speed.  For most of my runs I just take a leisurely pace and enjoy it.  I think it would do me some good to try track workouts or intervals and see what I can accomplish.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This mother is ready to run

The day I've been training so hard for is almost here!  By this time tomorrow it will be all over, and I'll be whining about how sore I am.  It's been hard to find time to get in training runs the past couple of weeks, with work to sell my old house and lots to do at work, something had to give.  I'm not too concerned though, I just want to finish. If that means walking a lot, so be it!  Of course, I hope we can run a good portion of it, but I'm sure the hills are going to hurt.  If the 6 mile uphill run for Mt. Si Relay a couple weeks back is any indicator, I can hack it, even if it is a lot slower pace than I'd like.

I've got all my gear stacked up and ready to go, created a playlist on my phone, and the weather forecast looks about perfect to boot!  It's supposed to be 50 and sunny as we start running (which reminds me, sunglasses and sunscreen so my weak ass pale skin doesn't fry!).  After the downpour for Mt Si, some sun will be such a relief.

I hope the mimosas at the finish line are good!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

7 miles!

Yesterday I headed out for my long run, 7 miles.  The longest distance I have ever run actually.  I was pretty nervous as the weather was not great, and I have a pretty sizable blister (which I got from wearing new, cheap shoes on my last long run, stupid stupid stupid argh!).  It ended up so much better than I had imagined though.  The rain was nice and light until the end, more of a refreshing drizzle really.  And there's so much wildlife on the Samammish river trail, it's very inspiring.  I saw two horses, a bald eagle, huge flocks of geese overhead in their vee formation, and more ducks and pretty birds than I could count.  

There also must have been an event on the trail recently, there were all sorts of inspring messages chalked on the pavement like this one:

This run I also tried Gu gels for the first time, and wow, they really make a difference!  I ate the first one at 3.5 miles, half way through, and then one every 15 minutes or so after that.  I ended up running almost the entire 7 miles!!  It was a slow pace of course, but I am totally fine with that.  If I feel that great on race day I will be overjoyed!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring fairy house

Projects like this make me want to relearn how to crochet!  Someone in craft group made this and I just can't get over how cute it is.  For now though, I am plenty busy with knitting!

Here's the project on Michael's: Spring fairy house

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Patterns Published!

The patterns for the Baby Bundler and Gauzy Baby Pants are finally published!  I am really happy with how they came out, and the pictures are just gorgeous.

Ravelry link: Baby Bundler

Ravelry link: Gauzy Baby Pants

Friday, February 28, 2014

Running tunes

I've been thinking a lot about a running playlist.  For most of my runs I just start up Pandora, but this is hit or miss.  Sometimes the choices are great and very inspiring, and other times sad songs come on and it's a total buzzkill.  For the Mother's Day half marathon I need something more reliable.  I have a few go to songs, but that's not going to last me 3+ hours.

Here's what I've got so far:
  • Simple Minds - Alive and Kicking
  • Pearl Jam - Alive
  • Katy Perry - Roar, Firework
  • Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over
  • Black Eyed Peas 
  • Techno/EDM - ATB, Tiesto
  • Swedish House Mafia - Save the world, Don't you Worry Child
  • One Republic - Good Life 
  • Beastie Boys - Hey ladies
  • Pitbull - Shake Senora (ugh, I hate Pitbull but this song is catchy)
  • Miley - Wrecking ball (I know, I can't believe I like this song, pathetic!) 
  • DaRude -Sandstorm (oldie but goodie)
  • Zendaya - Replay
  • Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
  • Lady Gaga - Just Dance
  • Flux Pavilion - I Can't Stop
  • Awolnation - Sail
  • 3-11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love (Mental Overdrive Remix)
  • Armin Van Buuren - In and Out of Love
  • Tiesto - Hide and Seek
  • Stars - Sleep Tonight
  • Natasha Bedingfield - Strip me
  • Atb- Gentle Melody
  • Deadmaus - Moar Ghosts 
  • Pantera - Walk, This Love
  • OneRepublic - All The Right Moves
  • FloRida - Wild Ones, I Cry
  • Rage against the machine - Killing In the Name Of
  • Icona pop - I love it
I've tried running podcasts as well, but nothing so far has worked well.  I might re-explore that option.  I also plan to have things like audiobooks and Radiolab, but I don't see using that much unless I decide to walk a bunch.  For running mojo I need tunes!
If you have any song suggestions, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Game over!

My first round of Game On ended this last Monday.  Our team didn't win, so I'm out $100.  I'm ok with that though, I lost 5 pounds and have finally gotten back on the calorie counting bandwagon, which I know works well for me to lose weight.  That's more than enough to count it as a win in my book!  I also found a few recipes for making healthy food ahead of time.  Why have I not done this before?!  Having a bunch of cooked chicken breasts and sweet potatoes doesn't really take that much prep time, but it's very versatile for cooking a quick weeknight dinner, or throwing together a work lunch.  In general, I'm fine eating the same thing over and over.  As long as I'm not hungry, it's all good!

A new round is starting next Monday, and this time there's a lot more people from work playing, so it would definitely make things more interesting.  I want to join, but need to think about a fitness challenge.  Each week you get a 20% bonus for losing 1% of your body weight, which for me is very challenging.  However, if you are close to goal weight you can opt to do a fitness challenge instead.  Since I'm signed up for doing the Mother's Day half marathon and I should be on week 2 of my training plan, but have not really been following it, maybe my challenge should be to do all the training runs.  I am only hesitant though because I don't want to set myself up for injury by over training.  I have struggled with plantar faciitis years aga, and tendonitis in my hips when I tried to start back up after Tilda was born, and it sucks!!!

Project updates

The New York cardigan came out lovely, wearing it now in fact!  Will get a good post blocking picture up soon.

As for the swaddle sacks, I had taken a complete guess as to how big they should be, and when I saw a comparison to a similar item it was laughable how small mine was!  It's funny how your memory messes with you.  I had an average sized newborn not all that long ago, how could I forget so quickly??  I'm gonna blame it on hormones and sleep deprivation haze.  After a reworking, it went from 14" circumference and 7.5" long to 20" circumference and 12" long and I used juuuust under one skein.  Next I need to write up a pattern and get it up on Etsy and Ravelry!  They seem to be a quite popular item, so I'm curious to see how they sell against the pants patterns.

I also need to work on my knitting design layout.  It's fine in Word, but definitely has an unfinished look. I wold love to have something more professional that I could take to the local yarn shops. Publisher seems to be the way to go, but I so far have felt pretty overwhelmed when I sit down and try to figure it out.  C'mon, I'm a techie, I can do this!!

Check out this snuggly baby in the swaddle sack, can you hear my ovaries screaming right now? So cute!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New York sweater - Almost done!

I really doubted my ability to do some resizing to a smaller size needle on this project, not sure why.  It fits exactly how I wanted it to!  Once again, I was wrong to doubt myself, silly me!  

I did swatch up a square with a size 8 needle, and I liked the drape of it, but then the stitches become inconsistent looking.  I think that would come out in blocking, but anyways I decided to stick with my original idea on size 6 needles.  I find it's usually in my best interest to stick with the original vision I have for a project.  Once I rethink it too many times the vision is lost.

I did have to shorten the sleeves and I think I like it better this way!  I'll try wearing it a few times and see what I think.  I can always attempt to order a couple more balls of yarn.  

Here's a shot before blocking.  Just have to weave in those pesky ends and cinch up the collar at the back of the neck, which I will leave for after blocking. 

Swaddle sacks

Working on a new project for my photographer friend, swaddle sacks.  It goes on just over the baby's body, over a wrap.  Really cute and I love the colors, but not sure if I got the sizing right.  The thick and thin yarn is a bit challenging to work with though, it's tough to get good tension.  Can't wait to see what they look like on a lovely little newborn!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Current project

I'm currently working on the New York Cardigan (  I had ordered 7 skeins of DK weight yarn intending to make a sweater out of it, but didn't have a pattern picked out for it.  Now I'm running out of yarn! :(  I had decided I liked the look of a tighter knit, so made it on size 6 needles instead of the size 9 the pattern called for.  Now I'm regretting that decision because a larger needle would make the yarn go a little further.  Is it totally crazy that I'm debating reworking an entire sweater so I can avoid ordering more yarn?  Gah! I'm not even sure if it would be enough to make the difference I need, but I'm still considering it anyway.  I think I will swatch up a piece tonight with size 8 or 9 need and see what I think of the drape.  As usual, I should have done that before I jumped into the project, but that's the great thing about knitting, you can almost always redo it!

Designing knitwear

In the past year I've started on a small side venture, designing knit wear.  It all started after I had Matilda and met my wonderful baby photographer.  I had brought some knit shawls in for the baby to be photographed all wrapped up in.  She later asked if I could knit her some baby items to use as props in exchange for future photo sessions.  I couldn't find a pattern for what she requested, lacy baby pants, so I designed one myself.  We were in the yarn shop and the owner was saying she could surely sell such a pattern, so I should write it up and give it a try.  So I did.  And it sold!  Ok, not a lot, but some anyway.  It's a great feeling, putting my expertise to use to create something new.

Since then I have created a few more patterns and it's interesting to see what sells and what doesn't, though I haven't put much effort into ads or self promotion.  I have a whole list of things that I want to try my hand at designing, either because it's an interesting pattern, or something I want for Matilda to wear.

Some designs that I've been thinking about:

  • Pants with patches on them, hearts and ovals.  Maybe the patches could be little pockets?
  • Entrelac heart banner.  A good way to use up odds and ends.  Could I make it all in one piece?  Most people prefer less sewing up at the end.  Another idea is to crochet the cord to desired length and add the banners every N stitches.
  • Pants with a skirt/ruffle.  Tilda inherited some RTW pants with a skirt on them and I love that look, so cute!  There are lots of possibilities here: lacy, ruffly, garter, color combos, stripes.

What I came here for

I picked the blog name Threadscapes because it relates to knitting, my favorite past time and forever obsession.  I'm not sure exactly what it is about it, but I can always find something new to excite me about knitting.  Endless colors, yarns, patterns...the choices are infinite!  I can spend an entire day knitting and not be bored.  And yet, not a single post so far about knitting.  Interesting.  There are lots of other topics I'd like to write about as well, but it's easiest to think about writing things related to knitting because I have some sense of accomplishment and mastery there.  While some may judge my style or color choices and I could give a rip about that, it's far scarier writing about real life and all it's challenges.

Anyways!  The next couple of posts I have in mind ARE knitting related, so let's get to the good stuff!

A most excellent day!

Today was amazing!  I woke up with so much energy and got a ton of stuff done.  I felt like I could just keep going and going and going...did someone put crack in my breakfast or what?  We cooked a lovely breakfast of pancakes and eggs with feta and veggies, and had some nice family time.  Tilda was so cute wandering around munching on a tiny pancake.  Rocky tried to steal it more than once, but didn't get it.

When Tilda went down for a nap (and stayed down for 3 hours, woo!) I decided it was time to do laundry and get some cooking done.  I made butternut squash soup, this time with cloves as the recipe calls for but I usually don't have.  I'm not sure I liked that addition.  I also burnt the onions just a little, so not sure which threw off the flavor.  

I also washed and chopped the rest of the veggies in the fridge, so now we have butternut squash cubes, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as all the salad veggies ready to be used.  It's nice to be prepared.  I don't mind cooking most nights, but it's tough to add all that prep time on a weeknight.  

Matt had band practice, so I took Tilda to the Wilmot gateway park.  She wasn't too into swinging today, mostly just wanted to stand and watch all the big kids playing.  She's so interested in other people, it's really cute to watch.  I took her down the slide a few times and she seemed to like it.  Then we took a nice long stroll along the Sammamish River Trail.  So pretty out there.  It was in the 50's and sunny in January, I love living in Seattle!

Next we ran a quick errand at the mall (argh, they forgot to take the security tag off my sweater) and hit the grocery store.  I dawdled there a little too long and Tilda hit meltdown city as we checked out.  Need to be packing more snacks!  Now that she's eating solids more at least we can get snacks on the go if we have to.  I got some frozen halibut filets at the store and made fish en pappillote for dinner with a salad and potatoes.

I don't know what got into me, but I like to think all this energy comes from the heathly eating and exercising lately!  It's a good reminder that taking care of yourself really does pay off.  Tomorrow I am going to take the day off for this week, so I can go to bed dreaming of what I'll have for brunch, and we're going to see a movie at the fancy iPic theater in the afternoon, popcorn time!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Game On!

Yesterday I started a competitive diet called Game On with some coworkers and their group of friends.  The idea is to give a point value to eating healthy and other good habits and keep score that way versus just pounds.  Contestants are split into teams, and the team with the most points at the end takes the winnings to split equally among members.  The buy in is $100, so it's a fair amount to lose, but not so much that it really hurts.  Just enough  to keep motivated (hopefully!).  Every day people post on the group FB board with recipes, tips, workout advice...all kinds of goodness.  So far I am really liking it!

I am also starting my food tracking again, with goal intake at 1800 calories.  That's what has worked for me in the past to lose weight, so I think that combined with additional support from my fellow Game On-er's I will finally get those last few pounds off!

One other fun feature of the game is picking a good habit you want to start, and a bad habit you want to stop to track.  It's really tough to pick something that you can do every single day for 5 weeks!  After much hemming and hawing I went with:

Good: Read at least 15 minutes a day.
Bad: Stop leaving the living room all cluttered at night, pick up baby toys before going to bed.

They are small changes but both are easily accomplished, and help me feel better about my day.  And it contributes to my goal of reading one book a month.

Now off to eat and log another snack on!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goals and Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are silly things, usually tossed away before even February arrives. But if there's one thing I'm sure of about myself, I am motivated by a goal. I always have lists. To do lists, shopping lists, things to think about for the future, recipes to try, on and on. It's my go to organization strategy for both work and personal progress. It's the only way I can keep track of all the things rattling around in my head without going crazy. And so often, nothing feels better than crossing items off those lists, so why not do it more?!

For some reason though, I have never made New Year's resolutions. Well, not since the half-hearted "this is the year I quit smoking!" from so long ago (that was so long ago, it feels like another life time). 

Lately for work we are doing the yearly review and goal setting process, and I thought that when done right, it's so helpful. Why not try something similar for personal goals? 

With that, here are my goals for 2014: 

  • Workout/run at least 3x a week. Barring sickness of course, which we have had a lot of lately. I have been doing this consistently for a few months now, so just need to stick with it. 
  • Mother's Day Half Marathon - just finish! I kind of can't believe I am really going to do this, but I think if I can follow the training plan I will be just fine. Walking is ok, just want cross that finish line.
  •  Lose the baby weight - get back to 150. I have been really slacking here. I was letting myself have whatever I wanted while breastfeeding, and now that's over I don't need all the extra calories. It's just 10 pounds. It doesn't seem like that much, but it really brings me down sometimes.
  •  Cooking - cook more meals at home and plan ahead for the week. I need to come up with a more specific goal here, but this is one that's been nagging at me bad lately so I'm including it anyway. It's even more important now that Tilda is cramming solid food in her mouth left and right. Nutrition is important, and I want to teach her healthy eating habits from the beginning. 
  • Sewing - clean and organize the craft area, finish the blanket and top in progress, start using up fabric stash, sign up for sewing classes. I think about sewing a lot, but procrastinate out of fear and laziness. Knitting is just easier so I never get up the energy to move my butt off the couch and into the craft room.
  • Reading - one book a month. I don't set aside much time for reading, so maybe I need to schedule it. 

I think all of these things are reasonable if I keep focused. The last year has been all about baby, and that's ok. It's how it should be when they are so little. Now though, it's time to get back to other things I love, that drive me and challenge me. I'm excited to see how tracking them will help!  I'm ready, let's do this 2014!!