February 07, 2014

Getting crafty

Today was... you guessed it!... another snow day. My kids only had school ONE DAY this week. I could probably count on two hands the number of days they've had school since just before Christmas. The roads were pretty clear today (other than in the neighborhoods), but the windchill was -25 degrees, which was the reason for canceling school.

Yesterday, I had 3.5 miles at half-marathon pace (8:20/mi) on the schedule. But before I got on the treadmill, I thought I might as well do my long run. So I set the treadmill at a long run pace (9:50/mi) and ran that for a little while. About halfway through, I changed my mind, and I decided to run 3.5 and call it quits. So I did 3.5, but much slower than the schedule called for.

This morning at 5:15, we got the phone calls (yes, plural) from the school to announce that school was canceled. After that, I just couldn't fall back asleep. I ended up getting up and running at 6:15, just to get my long run out of the way before breakfast. I always feel so productive when I get in a good run first thing in the morning!

I've really been wanting to get in the habit of slowing my long run pace down to the slow end of my training range. My training range for a long run is 8:48-10:07. I've always looked at the ranges and think that I need to aim for the fast end; but there really isn't a reason to do that. Running at a slower pace is much more enjoyable for me, and there is no better run to truly run for enjoyment than a weekly long run.

Like I wrote yesterday, once I see a certain pace, it's hard to be happy with anything slower than that. But there is a reason for running long runs at a slow pace, and there is a time for faster runs like speed work and tempo runs. As long as I make sure to get in 1-2 faster runs a week, then running my long runs at the slow end of the range won't make me lose the ability to run fast. I learned the reasons for all of this in my RRCA class, but I just have a hard time applying it, I guess! ;)

Today, I set the treadmill at 6.1 mph, and left it there for the entire run. I turned on Flashpoint to watch while I ran, and I felt really good the whole time. I was surprised at how low my heart rate stayed! Usually, for a long run, my average heart rate gets up to the mid- to high-140's. Today, my average was only 139. It gives me hope that all this treadmill running isn't making me lose my fitness ;)

Yesterday, I cleaned out my bedroom closet really well, and when I found a bunch of yarn, I got in the mood to make something. I used to knit and crochet all the time before I started my blog, but now it seems like I spend all my free time doing blog-related stuff. I wanted an instant-gratification project, something that I could finish in an afternoon, because I don't have any patience for longer projects anymore.

I ended up finding this pattern for an ear warmer headband, and I had some chunky yarn for it, so I worked on that while Estelle slept next to me.

It just looks like that pattern, in a long strip, and sewn together to make a loop. It fit really well, was nice and warm, and I think it turned out cute! The finished project:

The only problem with knitting is that it's so inactive. I always feel so lazy when I knit! When I was losing weight, though, it helped to keep from eating at night. My hands were too busy knitting to stuff my face ;)

When I was done with that, I started punching holes in Mark's get-well cards, to turn them into a little display book. His walls are covered in cards and post cards, so I needed another way to display them, and I think this worked out well.

I'd been meaning to do that for a long time, but I always forgot to look for those ring clips. I finally bought some, and I like how it looks with all the cards together like that (and still readable). Mark has probably about 300 more cards that I'd like to put together like this, but his nephew STILL hasn't brought them to the nursing home. I really hope he didn't throw them away. I'm going to make sure I'm the one to take care of moving the cards when Mark leaves the nursing home so it doesn't happen again. The cards really brighten up his room, and it gives the nurses something to chat about with Mark.

I really hope this cold weather goes away soon! I kind of forget what it feels like to be warm. Or see sunshine!


  1. Love the card idea. Putting Mark's Valentine's Day card in the mail in the morning :)

  2. I crochet too! I'm beginning to think me finding your blog wasn't a coincidence ;)

  3. Isn't this the worst. winter. ever!!! I'm so sick of it (and we don't have nearly as much snow as you, but still, way more than "normal" for St. Louis!).
    Love the card idea! We used to do that with our Christmas cards.

  4. I used to knit/crochet too, but it's been a while. I have a few snow days coming up, I may need to dig my stuff out. Thanks for the inspiration!!


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