30 August 2013

Something for Him

Last Friday I went over to K's house for dinner. I enjoy these evenings of us together in the kitchen. It's usually a he cooks, I clean deal, though last week I prepped most of the dinner and let him be the grill master.

I had prepared a rosemary ranch marinade for chicken (note: used a little honey in lieu of sugar and grilled them as breasts, not kabobs) and grabbed some fresh corn and zucchini from the farm stand that morning. I also made the amazing lemon basil potato salad my sister turned me on to in May, so we had helluva spread before us.

As I was setting the table, he commented that he really needed more placemats.

Well, if you date a crafty girl and say something like that, she's gonna do something about it. 

After work on Monday I stopped by the quilt store. I wanted something that complemented the paint in both his kitchen and dinning room (gold and burgundy respectively) and wasn't too feminine. I found some fabrics I liked, grabbed a bit of each and came home and got busy. 

It wasn't without issue - I made a couple of rookie mistakes and became intimately acquainted with my seam ripper (again) but eventually I finished four reversible placemats. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out and hope that he'll like them as much as I do. 


17 August 2013

Run, Marci, Run

Start of Race - What a Cutie!
Somehow this summer I got this crazy notion in my head to run. I did the All-Star 5K in Brooklyn in July which resulted in MAJOR blisters on my heels, but I finished - in less than an hour too. It was my first 5K outing in over a decade, but I decided I was doing this for me and using it as part of my get fit and lose weight project.

Since then, I have done three more 5K races in the past 3 weeks. The first was the Dirty Girl mud run which was untimed. (I roughly finished that obstacle course in about 1:10:00.)

Last Saturday, I did the Asbury Park 5K and finished in 46:12. I'm still working on being able to run the full distance, but every time I go out, I manage to run a little further and get a little faster.

Today, I ran the Bradley Beach 5K with a sorority sister. My personal goal was to finish with a sub-45 time - same as it was in the Asbury Park race, but I was determined to get it since I was relatively close to it last weekend.

When the race started, I launched my C25K app in free run mode and was off. What's this, there's no timing mat at the start? Did I miss it? No, there really isn't one. WTH? I'm not sure I like this, but whatever...

I established a comfortable pace for me, learning my lesson at the mud run not to go out too fast. As I turned the corner onto Lake Terrace, I kept my eyes peeled for a former coworker whose house I knew was on this street. I saw her, her husband and kids on their porch and shouted out to her. "Hey Marci!" she cried, "Good luck!" That gave me a boost of energy and kept me going as I turned the next corner on the course.

Once my body begged for a break, I slowed to a walk and checked my app - I'd run a half mile. Let me repeat that I ran a half mile before slowing. Go me! I'm improving. For the remainder of the race, I continued alternating walking and running - giving my body a rest when it seemed I just couldn't run any more.

Once back on Ocean Avenue, my shins started to kill me. There were times I was ready to quit - but seeing other runners (significantly older than me) plugging along was inspiration. The spectators on the course, cheering us on, reminding me how far I'd come already also motivated me to keep going. So I did. And somewhere around the 2 mile mark that shin pain was gone.
My UNOFFICIAL sub-45 time

About this time that I focused in on another woman in pink -- she and I were on a similar pace so I used her as my motivation. When she got a little too far ahead of me, I kicked it up a little. As I rounded the corner onto Ocean Avenue for the homestretch, I decided I was not going to let her beat me. I was going to cross the finish line ahead of her. I found myself a comfortable pace and settled in until I could see the corral and the finish line. At that point I kicked it up a notch and sprinted the final distance.

The clock said 47-something when I crossed the finish line. Mmm - not the sub-45 time I was aiming for but... I pulled my phone out of my bra and indicated that my run was finished.

Hey! I ran more than the 3.1 miles that make up a 5K and got a new PR and sub-45 time. I don't think I like what the race clock says, but I will have to wait for the official results.

Well, the official results are up. My official time: 47:46. WHAT!?!?! How the hell can that be an official time when there was no timing mat at the start? *grumble*  I'm not racing next week, but in 2 weeks I've got another run. That time I'm determined to get an OFFICIAL sub-45 time or die trying.