Saturday, November 29, 2014

489 Needle Felt Fun

I finally broke out  the needle felting kit I bought a while back. I figured... why not. It isn't like I have enough craft addictions. 

The finished product..

The unboxing. It came with several molds, the felting needle, the foam you stab into (I am sure that is the technical term), and the felt.
First you fill the owl mold. You repeatedly stab the felt until it becomes flat and firm. 
Then you transfer  it to the  silicon mold to shape. And repeat. 
Then join the front and back together.
Next you are supposed to  add the white felt to make the face and chest... that was trickier  to get the solid edges.
I ended up rolling the felt between my hands to get a piece I could shape around  the edges.
Then it was on to wings and feet... and a tail.

One day I  will  remember to do these  things  during  the day so  that I can  take better pictures.  I  did make several  more pieces  that were free hand.  It really is quite addictive.

488 Tangle Foot Turkey Trot Half Marathon

My very first half marathon was on Thanksgiving morning in New Albany, MS. It was a 7am start, and almost an hour and a half from home, so I was so thankful that my in-laws came up on Wednesday and took the kids back with them after our Thanksgiving feast.

It was so hard to fall asleep the night before, and it was even harder to stay asleep. I managed to get enough sleep though, and we were able to make it in time to get my packet and to realize just how cold the wind was blowing! Soooooo cold! It was bitter, but at least it wasn't raining. Small favors.

The course opened on a hill. Hills are my nemesis. It was rough going, but eventually the course evened out for the most part. I went in planning to allow myself to walk when needed. My rule was not to walk more than a minute per mile. And I stuck to it. I tried to keep my walks in 20 second increments. Any longer and my muscles might have refrozen. 

I set a lot of small goals. "That mailbox". And "that light pole". Even "that piece of trash". Just anything to keep my legs moving. Most times I would just set another goal, but sometimes I would reward myself with a short walk.

My thighs were numb. I kept my jacket on until almost mile 9. I knew we were coming to the trail portion, and I was really expecting the trees to keep the wind off. I was wrong. So wrong. But I had already transferred my bib to my tshirt, and I just did not feel like putting it back. It just seemed like too much work at the time. I argued it out in my head for a mile or so.

I had slacked off on training at the end. Sick kids and I just let myself get discouraged, so ten miles was my longest run going in to the half. The first ten miles were not bad. They were my fastest to date... but then there were 3.1 more to go. And if you believe my MapMyRun, 3.28 miles to go. At 13 I tried to speed it up. My legs were so dead it was probably one of the saddest kicks ever. 

BUT, I did it! I finished! Official time was 2:42:43. My goal was 2:45, so I am pretty happy with it. 

Walking to the car was not the best feeling ever. Or getting out of the car when we finally got home. But after some Excedrin I really wasn't feeling too bad. Other than the hidden chafing that came to light when I stepped in the shower. Ouch!

Today (the day after) was a totally different story. I woke up with my stomach cramping, which lasted most of the day. I slept most of the day away just trying to avoid feeling all the pain and soreness. I have really been dreading the St. Jude Half that is just a week away... but I have been assured that I will be feeling awesome by then. I sure hope so. I will cross another finish line on Dec. 6th no matter what!

At the beginning of this year I couldn't run a full minute without hurting. I just ran 13.1 miles. It hurts, but I did it! So happy I started this journey.

-Mississippi Running Momma

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

487 We Have a Runner!

So... last I posted I was doing a runstreak and aiming to run a 10 mile race.

Well. Things change.

Oh, I am still running. But I called off the runstreak at day 133. More of a pause really. I knew my body needed a rest. My shins and ankles especially.

Why did I need to rest? Because I needed to be healthy... for a HALF MARATHON. And then ANOTHER HALF MARATHON just 9 days later!

HOLY WOW, Y'ALL!  I mean... I never imagined when I started running in January that I would even want to run further than a 5K. But then I saw a 10K... and then I saw a great price on a half marathon. I just can't turn down a great deal!

I signed up to run the Tangle Foot Turkey Trot in New Albany, MS on Thanksgiving morning. I also badgered my running buddy, Joe, into signing up, too. I knew a half marathon was on his bucket list, so it seemed like the perfect plan.

Then my local run shop, (Full Motion Running and Cycling in Olive Branch, MS) had a raffle for a St. Jude bib! The cost of each raffle ticket? 5 cans for the food bank. It was a win/win situation all around. Except... I didn't win. BUT a few days later I got a message on facebook from the owner of the store asking if I wanted to run the full or half marathon. I answered SO FAST! HALF!

I keep having moments when I know I must be insane. Not just to run my first half marathon, but to run my second half marathon less than two weeks later!

But I am beyond excited! I absolutely love the friends that running has brought me. And the opportunities to branch out a little bit.

If anyone is interested in helping me with my St. Jude fundraising you can hop over to my page. I would be so thankful, but not nearly as thankful as the families that St. Jude helps every single day. They are never charged a dime for their treatment thanks in large part to donations. They are able to concentrate on their fight to survive. What an amazing gift!

I am going to try to update more often... I know, you've heard it all before. The kids are old enough that I have to be selective in what I share, but I will be talking more about my training and my art. I hope you stick around!