Monday, April 30, 2012

Running a half marathon - Tip #1 - Meet your running partner early....

This is not, as many of you know, my first half marathon.  In fact, last year my friend and I ran a full, and that was the plan for this year as well, until the universe told us otherwise.  So, my running partner and I decided we would try to beat our personal best times.  (Maybe that is tip#0, that it is ok to realize something isn't in the cards, but you can still do awesome things!)  Mind you, I am not a fast runner, but I was definitely proud of us both for running our fastest halves yet!

This is us at about mile 6.  Sadly, we had a bit of a rough start.  We were supposed to meet up 20 minutes before the race near the start, and we both got screwed up.  Thankfully, we found each other somehow in the 8,000 or so people who were at the Eugene Marathon!!  

So tip #1 - make sure to really meet your partner early!!  I think because this was our 5th big run together, we were somewhat complacent.  I thought I'd know which roads they'd close, but those changed, and my friend accidentally told me the wrong street to meet.  (Not that it mattered, since I was late!)

After that, I'd love to say it was smooth sailing, but it was not....leading me to tip #2 - really watch your diet before the run.  I was pretty good about carbo-loading, but I think I ate something that didn't quite work for me, leading to a few unexpected bathroom breaks.  Another thing that I really should know better, but was being bad about!

But, eventually things evened out and the running went well.  Tip #3 - choose a really big (as in lot's of people) run for your first half or full!  It is so much fun and so invigorating.  Having tons of people to run with (and run past....hehe) and having tons of people cheering you on is fantastic.  It make for a much more enjoyable run, even when you want to die!  We have done a couple half marathons where the crowd was much smaller, and while still good, nothing like the big runs!

And that brings me to tip #4 - have someone there to cheer you on right at the end!  My hubby and some of our friends were there right before the finish, which totally gave me the energy to sprint as hard as I could over the finish line!

My running partners' partner got this awesome shot of me sprinting the end.  (I think the first thing I said to my running partner is that I hoped someone got a shot of me sprinting! hehe)

We did it!  So happy!

Finally, tip #5 - have people there for you at the end to take pics and tell stories of the run to.  And then go get lunch with everyone!

Happy trails! 


Saturday, April 28, 2012

My new thing will be suitcases....

Oh man...I have really been M.I.A.!  So sorry....I have been working around 70hrs a week, getting ready to run a half marathon tomorrow at the Eugene Marathon, and trying to keep a house, which has been quite interesting!

Nonetheless, I have been thinking about taking a week off of work after the primary election is done.  And during that time off, I want to do some serious house/yard overhauls.  Thus, I wanted to share one of the things I think I want to do to be wonderful decorations, as well as storage/organization pieces.


I have not had much time to go scouting, but will be soon....and here are some wonderful ideas I found...

How cute is this?  And how about this?

I found both of these, and other cool suitcase and trunk storage at Lavender and Ash's post here.

I also found this one....soooo cute!

Over at WhiMSy love, she made this super, duper cute tea set, all embellished in a cute suitcase!

Not sure I need this one, but maybe when I get my own house I'd want to try this out!  

I think I would have so much fun making something like this!

Seriously cute storage.  Found it at Amy Powers' inspire co. blog!

I could keep going...but I will stop here and share more when they are my own suitcases!

Wish me luck running tomorrow!  Our goal is to finish in under 2:20!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse....a step into the past

This weekend, work called me back over to the coast....oh, darn!  My Lincoln County committee had their retreat at a beautiful house right on the coast, where we could work and watch the waves roll in.  After we feasted on yummy potluck food and did our work, I went out to see what I could see while in town on a splendid day!

First, I was excited that I just barely made it to Yaquina Bay Lighthouse before they closed for the day.  I just love houses that they show off the past.  I like to imagine me living the way they lived in times past.

This cute little lighthouse was only staffed for 3 years, because its location was not ideal for ships to actually see the light.  It was staffed in the late 1800's by one family of 9 people (mom, dad, and 7 kids!) for those three years and then they built a new lighthouse 3 miles away.  The poor little lighthouse fell into disrepair, and when it was threatened to be torn down later, the community pushed for it to become a historic center.

Just look at the way people used to live!  Believe it or not, I learned how to sew on a treadle machine.  And I loved it! 

Then I headed down to the beach to get my feet into the sand and the lapping waves....

I love the Oregon Coast.  Trees, greenery, sand, and salty sea.  

Reminds me why I do the work that I do.  As did the following things I found on the beach.  Kinda snapped me back to reality when I saw the plastics bits that never bio-degrade, the plastic bottles and the single-use plastic bags littering the coast.  These are things that I work everyday to help at least make a dent in.  As I tell folks....the earth will live on, but whether we are here to see it, well that is our choice!

Had to get a little serious there.  But sometimes it is good to remember what it is we are working towards, and that every little thing we do adds up!

(And there are my toes in all the shots! LOL)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Cute little crochet spring purse!

A friend and co-worker had mentioned before Christmas last year that she wanted a purse.  Last weekend, I finally made that happen, and man am I happy with the results!!

First, I found this awesome pattern while searching around on Ravelry.  The creator calls it the Nordstrom Crochet Hobo Bag.

I knew that she wanted something for spring, so I found a pretty purple wool yarn (Patons Classic Wool) and got to work.  I had some super cute fabric to line the bag, and I whipped this up in no time!

I just love it!  I am going to be making myself one of these for sure!

Still wishing I'd taken more pics before handing it over, but check on the pattern for other people's versions. They all come out awesome!

Happy spring!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oh sun...can you come out and play a little more?

Man...between working like crazy and the cruddy weather...I have not been super motivated.  But today, I had almost all day off of work, and the sun came to visit!

With my new found energy, and in hopes that the sun will stay out with us for more than just one day, (or at least hopeful that we can get done with this crazy hail, snow, rain, wind stuff) I decided to get out and plant some more vegis in the garden.  (The surprise snow we got massacred the yard and killed most all the plants in the garden.)

A while back I made these plant markers for for the garden.  Kinda hard to see, but they are awesome!  

The animals came out to play, too!  My kitty was following me throughout the yard...

And even took a seat to watch some of the chickens....

BW, the chicken, and Lacy, the cat, in a stare down.  The other 2 chickens, Killface and Ji Rou could care less.

(As you can tell...the yard is in quite a disarray....there is much yard work to do after the snow!)

And JB the dog takes in the sun over by Kiltro the chicken.  I love that all my animals get along!

Happy weekend!  Hope you are seeing a little sun, too!