Hair Scrunchy with Ruffle Style yarn

A loomy friend asked me to come up with a way to do a scrunchy with ruffle style yarn. She sent me a picture and from it, I came up with the following video. I don't have a pattern per say, other than my visual presentation, if I could write one up, I would but my crochet terminology skills are terribly lacking. However, I hope you are able to create many scrunchies using this visual aid.

Scrunchy fb


My favorite races of 2013: Bolder Boulder

One of my favorite races in 2012: Bolder Boulder 10K

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We went to visit our dear friends in Denver and it happened to be the weekend of Bolder Boulder. We went without any running gear and as we arrived my friend told us all about the race and was showing us his race packet, I couldn't resist but run it. Last minute decision, we went to TJMax and picked up some running clothes and some shoes to run with. Love last minute decisions, flying by the seat of my pants, hahaha. Registered the day before and picked up a cute visor that reads "Sea Level is for Sissies" :).

The race was awesome. Tons of people, as in 40,000 people! The course was very nice and it was the perfect temperature. The best part--finishing inside the stadium, I felt like a rockstar! hahaha! At the end of the race, we were able to see some of the elites run, and boy that was exciting! Not my best time but surely had the best "running time" of any 10K race. We are planning on going in 2013.

Boulder Bolder


300

300MoviePoster3

Wanna feel like a beast? Do any of the benchmarks and it makes you feel like a rockstar for the duration.  Just like when I run, I go to a special place in my head, I really don't know what happens but I lose myself in the process.

Last time we did this, back in January, and my time was 30:14.

“300″
25 Pull ups
50 Deadlift (95/135)
50 Push ups
50 Box Jumps (20/24)
50 Floor Wipers (95/135)
50 KB Clean and Press (26/35)
25 Pull ups

New time: 20:01. Yeah, I was 2 seconds off from breaking 20 minutes, it is okay. I am still happy with the time :). Shaved 10 minutes and 13 seconds.

And I got me a nice souvenier from it...my new wings. These are going to hurt in a bit when I go in the shower.

Wings


Mimirose Scarf

Dominee 1

A stunning and elegant scarf that will have everyone turning around just to look at it again and again. Knit with Circulo Renda Trico yarn this scarf knits up in just a few hours making it the perfect "gift" for the holiday season. Gather up your materials and let's get started.

*A special thank you to model, Dominee Rose.

Materials

Knitting Loom: All-n-One Loom, set with the knitting board 1-inch spacer.

Yarn: 1 skein of Circulo Renda Trico Margarida or similar style yarn.

Notions: knitting tool, tapestry needle.

Size: 34 inches x 5 inches

Pattern notes: This yarn is very similar to the ruffle style yarn that we have used previously in many of the scarf projects. This particular yarn looks like lace and it has small orifices that are used to knit. We will place those small holes on the pegs and knit with the "yarn"

We will be using the loom in a special way, set it up as if using it as a knitting board with the 1-inch spacer. We won't be knitting as a knitting board, rather, we will use first the front rail, then we will switch the loops to the back rail and knit there, then we will switch them back to the front rail and knit there. We will repeat this process so that the ruffles go on the front and back of the piece and not just on the front side.

Directions Dominee 2

Step 1: Place a loop on 6 pegs of the front rail of the loom.

Step 2: Place a second row of loops on the pegs.

Step 3: Knit off (Lift the bottom most loop up and off the peg).

Step 4: Move the loops from the front rail to the opposite 6 pegs on the back rail.

Step 5: Place a second row of loops on the pegs.

Step 6: Knit off (Lift the bottom most loop up and off the peg).

Step 7: Move the loops from the back rail to the front rail.

Repeat Steps 2-7 until item reaches desired length.

Bind off with basic bind off method. At the end, thread the end through a large eye needle, pass it through the last stitch that was on the loom. Pull gently on the yarn until all the slack has come through. Tie it securely with two knots.

Weave in the ends as invisibly as you possibly can.

Wash it in Eucalan woolwash to soften up the fabric, I recommend let it soak for about 15-20 minutes, soak it in cold water as warm water can make the color run.        


Box Stitch Washcloth

Loom: AllnOne Loom

Yarn: 60 yards of worsted weight cotton

Notions: Knitting tool

Size: 8 inches x 8.5 inches

ABBREVIATIONS

  • k=knit stitch
  • p=purl stitch
  • CO= Cast on
  • BBO=Basic Bind Off
  • sts= stitches
  • Rep= repeat

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 38 sts.

Border

Row 1: k.

Row 2: p.

Row 3: k.

Row 4: k.

BODY

Row 1: k2, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, k2.

Row 2: p2, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p2.

Row 3: k2, *p2, k2; rep from * to last 4 sts, p2, k2.

Row 4: p2, *p2, k2; rep from * to last 4 sts, p2, p2.

Rep BODY rows 1-4 until piece measures 8 inches.

Rep BORDER rows.

BBO.

Weave ends in


Lily's Pixie Hat

Hello my loomy knitters,

 

I bring you a new pattern for your AllnOne knitting loom, the whimsical pixie hat! I loved knitting this precious little hat and I was so excited when I finished it to find a little someone to wear it for me so I could take pictures. I looked and looked for about two weeks and I couldn’t find a little girl model, then came to the rescue little Lily, she is precious and so sweet and she has the perfect little face for this little hat. Thank you to the Pace family for letting me model my little hat on their beautiful daughter and to Wendell Pace from PacePhoto.com for taking the pictures for me. I hope you all enjoy knitting the little pixie hat!

Loom: AllnOne Loom
Yarn: 120 yards of DK weight bamboo/nylon yarn. Lion Brand Casey was used in sample in colorway Pink Spots.
Notions: Knitting tool, safety pins, tapestry needle

Gauge: 10.5 sts x 15.5 rows

Size: 3-6 (6-9, 9-12, 12-18, 18-24) months. Sample shows 12-18 months.

Abbreviations:

  • CO=Cast on
  • BO=Bind off
  • k=knit stitch (may use the flat stitch)
  • p=purl stitch
  • sts=stitches

 

DIRECTIONS

CO 65 (71, 75, 81, 85) sts.
Row 1: k.
Rep Row 1 until piece measures 5 (5.5, 5.5, 6, 7) inches from CO edge.
Next row: *k1, p1; rep from * to last st, k1.
Next row: *p1, k1; rep from * to last st, p1.
Rep last 2 rows, 2x.
BO

Cord
CO 4 sts.
Work a 4-stitch i-cord, 18 (20, 22, 24, 26) inches long.

Weave ends in and block lightly.

Assembly
Fold the rectangle in half, mattress stitch seam along the back side (see picture).

Use pins to set the i-cord in place along the bottom section of the piece, making sure to leave long tails of i-cord to use to tie a small bow at the front. Mattress stitch seam the i-cord in place, remove safety pins.

 

PixieCollage


Storybrooke Cloche Pattern

Cloche 005 croppedI have to admit that I am a lover of all accessories, if I have a choice of an item to knit, it will most likely fall in the range of scarves, mitts, hats, socks, or something “chic” to enhace the wardrobe. The Storybrook cloche was inspired by one of my latest show-series obsessions, Once Upon a Time, the actresses are always wearing gorgeous hats! Choose any episode and they have a new hat, I want to have a wardrobe full of hats, one for each day of the year, or at least a full month’s worth! The lace section is only 8 rounds, after that it is just a matter of knitting and purling to the very end! Go ahead, give it a try!

Materials

Knitting Loom: All-n-one-Loom

Yarn: 130-150 yards of worsted weight yarn. Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Galapagos color was used in sample.

Notions: Knitting tool, tapestry needle.

Gauge: 9.5sts x 12 rows= 2 inches in stockinette

Size: Sample fits a head that measures up to 21 inches.

Stitches:

K: Knit Stitch

P: Purl Stitch

k2tog: knit two stitches together (to decrease)

ssk: slip, slip, knit (to decrease)

psso: pass slip stitch over

sts: stitches

rnd: round

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 80 sts, join to work in the rnd .
Rnd 1: p to the end of rnd.
Rnd 2: *yo, k3, sl1-k2tog-psso, k3, yo, k1; rep from * .
Rnd 3: k to the end of rnd.
Rnd 4: *k1, yo, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, k1, yo, k2, p1; rep from *.
Rnd 5 and 7: *k9, p1; rep from *.
Rnd 6: *k3, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso, yo, k3, p1; rep from *
Rnd 8: *k9, p1; rep from *.
Repeat Rnd 8 until cloche measures 8 inches from cast on edge.

Crown Decrease

Next rnd: *k2tog; rep from *. (40sts rem).
Next rnd: k to the end of rnd.
Rep last two rnds (20sts remain).

Bind off with gather removal method. Weave ends in. Steam block to make the scallops more prominent. Tip: Pin down each scallop at the center point then steam down.


Felted Slippers Pattern

Slip into a pair of cozy, warm, and super soft handmade slippers.

Knitting Loom: All-n-One Loom
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Sable. (2 skeins).
Notions: Tapestry needle, knitting tool, safety pin to mark row.
Other: 2 buttons, size 1 3/8″ (34mm). Puff paint or fabric glue to make the bottom of the slippers less slippery

Gauge: 8 sts x 11 rows= 2 inches in e-wrap knit.

Stitches used: E-wrap knit

Size: 6-7 (8-9, 9-10). Sample shown 6-7 US Women

Abbreviations:

k=E=wrap knit
CO=Cast On
BBO= Basic Bind Off
GBO=Gather Bind Off Method
sts=stitches

DIRECTIONS

CO 36 (38, 40) sts, leaving a 10 inch tail.
Next:  k until piece measures: 8 (8.5, 9) inches from CO edge.  (Place marker on row)
Next two rows: CO 3 sts at beg of row and k to end of row (42, 44, 46  sts total).
Next : knit 3 (3.5, 4) inches from increase point.
Next row: *k2tog; rep from * to the end of row. (21, 22, 23 sts total)
Next row: k
Next row: Size 6-7: *k2tog; rep from * to the last st, k1. Size 8-9: *k2tog, rep from * to the end. Size 9-10: *k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1.
GBO leaving a 15 inch yarn tail. Use tail to mattress stitch seam up the center in the toe area (Red to Blue). Weave tails in.
At the CO edge, mattress stitch the Heel area (Red to Blue)

Strap
(make 2)

CO 8 sts.
Next: k until piece measures 4.5 (5, 5.5) inches from CO edge.
BBO.

FELTING INSTRUCTIONS

Items needed:

Top Load Washer
Zippered pillow case
1 tsp of Eucalan Wool Wash or baby shampoo
Pair of jeans
2 towels

How to:
Insert felted pieces inside zippered pillow case. Set Washer to: Hot and Small cycle. Place 1 tsp of Eucalan Wool Wash or Baby Shampoo in the wash. Place the pair of jeans in the wash. Place the zippered pillow case in the wash. Allow the wash to start its cycle. Pause the wash before it goes into the Rinse cycle. Take out the zippered pillow case and check the felting process of the slippers. The slippers need to shrink to the desired size. If the slippers are not the desired size, repeat the wash cycle from the start. Make sure to remove the felted fabric before the Spin cycle. Leaving it in the spin cycle will create wrinkles. When item has reached desired size, remove items from the zippered pillow case, place them in between both towels and squeeze out as much water as you can.

To mold the slippers, have the recipient wear them for a few minutes. Once they have the foot shape, allow them to dry completely, away from the sun.

When slippers are completely dry, sew the buttons to both straps, one button on each strap. Sew the strap to the toe area of the slippers.

Puff Paint or glue: place small dots on the bottom of the sole to make the slippers less slippery.
Enjoy :).


Kaylinn Cluth

It is ready!!! I hope you all like it :). I am in love with the clutch and I am looking forward to getting a chance to try it out.

Materials

Knitting Loom: 52 peg small gauge knitting loom. All n One Loom by KnittingBoard.com

Yarn: Approx  80 yards of worsted weight yarn. Martha Stewart  Extra Soft Wool Blend in Bakery Box White was used in sample

Notions: Tapestry needle, curved sewing needle, cable needle, clutch handles (7.5 inches in length).

Size: 7.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches in length.

DIRECTIONS

CO 52 sts, prepare to work a flat panel. Written instructions below, chart instructions also included for all 52 sts.

R1 : p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R2 : p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R3: p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1

R4: p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1

R5: p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R6: p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R7: p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1

R8: p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1

R9: p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R10: p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p4, k2, p1

R11: p1, k8, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k8, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k8, p1, 4-st LC, p1, k8, p1

R12: p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1, k4, p1, k8, p1

Rep R1-R12: 5 more times or until piece measures 11 inches from cast on edge or desired length.

BO, leave a 20 inch yarn tail.

Fold the panel in half.  Using the yarn tail, mattress stitch seam along the sides, leaving a 1 inch opening at the top.

FINISHING

Thread the curved needle with yarn; sew the top edge of the panel onto the handle. Tip: Use a pointy object, like a pair of blunt scissors (kid’s scissors) to insert the knitted fabric’s edge inside the small metal lip of the clutch handle. Weave all ends in and steam block.

4-st LC=4 Stitch Left Cross Cable

Completed over 4 pegs, numbered 1-4 from right to left.

Step 1: Skip pegs 1 and 2.

Step 2: knit pegs 3 and 4.

Step 3: Place stitches from pegs 3 and 4 onto a cable needle and place the cable needle towards the center of the loom.

Step 4: Knit pegs 1 and 2.

Step 5: Move the stitches from pegs 1 and 2 as follows: loop from peg 2 onto peg 4, loop from peg 1 onto peg 3.

Step 6: Place the loops waiting on the cable needle onto pegs 1 and 2 (be sure that the loop that was on peg 4 originally ends on peg 2 and loop that was on peg 3 ends on peg 2).

Cable completed.


Hostess Gift: Washcloth & Towel Set

I have to admit that the only reason this set made it into “real life” was because of the color of the yarn-HOT GREEN, or as I like to call it “Zumba Hawt” It is the color of many of my Zumba clothes…hey I should probably take it as my new towel during class. I saw it at the store and it was an impulse purchase. I had to get the yarn and knit something with it, it didn’t matter what, just something. Then it occurred to me, my bathroom downstairs could use a splash of color and voila the little set was born. I hope you enjoy knitting it and gifting it or keeping it :).

Happy looming!

Materials:

Loom: AIO loom

Yarn: Sugar and Cream in Hot Green

Tools: knitting tool, tapestry needle, measuring tape (or simply eye ball it).

Other: 2 cute small buttons (for towel)

Size: 8 x 8 inches (washcloth); 8 x 10 inches.

Gauge: 9 sts x 14.5 rows= 2 inches in Welted Rib stitch pattern

Stitch Pattern

Welted Rib (multiple of 4 + 2)

Row 1: k2, *p2, k2; rep from *

Row 2: k to the end of the row.

Abbreviations

approx=approximate

CO=Cast on

BBO=Basic Bind Off

Cont=continue

k=knit stitch (not flat stitch or u-wrap or e-wrap).

p=purl stitch

yo=yarn over (either e-wrap the peg, or take the working yarn in front of the empty peg)

sts=stitches

k2tog=knit two stitches together (a decrease)

p2tog=purl two stitches together (a decrease)

DIRECTIONS

CO 40 sts, prepare to knit a flat panel.

Row 1: (Going from left to right). k to the end.

Row 2: p to the end.

Row 3: k to the end.

Row 4: p to the end.

Row 5: k3, Welted Rib to last 3 sts, k3

Row 6: p3, Welted Rib to last 3 sts, p3

Rep Row 5 and Row 6: until item measures 7.5 inches. End on a Row 6.

Cont with instructions for either Washcloth or Towel

Washcloth Only

Next row: k to the end.

Next row: p to the end.

Next row: k to the end.

Next row: p to the end.

BBO

Weave ends in. Block lightly.

Towel Only

Next row: p2tog, p to the last 2 sts, p2tog.

Next row: k2tog, k to the last 2 sts, k2tog.

Rep last two rows until 20 sts rem on the loom. Cont in this garter stitch pattern (purl one row, knit the next row) for approx. 2.5 inches. End on the second row.

Next row: p6, yo, p2tog, p to last 8 sts, p2tog, yo, p6.

Next row: k to the end.

Next row: p to the end.

Rep last two rows two more times.

BBO.

Weave ends in. Block lightly.

Sew to buttons on the opposite side the buttonholes–be sure they line up with the buttonholes.

PS: if the towel feels a bit stiff at first, it is normal, soak it in some shampoo and it softens right up and the stitches become a bit more uniform.


Runner Down!

XrayAlmost to the end of the running season and I go and do something completely stupid. I injured my right knee.

How did it happen? Well, I went to a Zumba class where they have a spring board, a gymnastics place. I have never done gymnastics and have never been on a spring board so to tell you the truth, I had no idea what to expect. I went to the front to dance and of course, I like to jump and when I jumped, my leg was prepared for the first landing, however, I didn't realized that there would be a second jump produced by the spring floor, on the second jump, my knee/leg was not prepared for it and it went under me and to the side. It hurt. I felt the pain hit through the knee and up my  leg but I continued and finished the song. As the song ended, I went to the back of the room to check my knee. It wasn't swollen and it looked "in place". I hobbled around and then left to go home.

As I got home, I inspected the knee closer and it was getting swollen. Pain from 1-10 was about a 8 when I walked and a 10 if I touched the knee.  I decided to massage it and stretch it. I rolled it and it hurt. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't my IT band so I rolled the band and it hurt but not badly, just regular IT band tightness.  But there was something wrong with my knee, pain is not normal, hahaha.

Next day, I made an appointment to see my A.R.T doctor, he worked wonders on my achilles and was hoping that he would be able to see if was my ACL. He massaged the area and worked some knots out but he couldn't tell for sure if it was my ACL or not.  So off to another doctor I went.

Today, I went to see the orthopedic and had X-rays done and a complete examination of my knee. Diagnosis without MRI: Patella Tendon strain/sprain. What happened: The pulling force from my femur and tibia pulled the tendon on that second jump when the leg wasn't prepared and it pulled the tendon too much. Then the force of the femur and the tibia colliding together squished my meniscus and thus the pain in that area.

At this point, rest, compression, ice, and more rest. I will go in later today for steroid to bring the swelling down to gain more mobility in my knee. If I am good and stay off of it, and if the swelling is down I *may* be allowed to run on it next Friday and if everything feels good, I *may, may* be allowed to run the Halloween Half on the 27th. If there is any indication of swelling, I can kiss the Halloween Half good bye too.

Despite all that, I am very HAPPY that it is not my ACL and that none of my tendons are torn. I was very lucky that everything was strong enough to sustain the force of the impact.

Now, I just need to take it slow and rest my knee for a bit. 
What I learned: no more jumping on springy floors, at least not until I learn how to use them.

Frenemies

You work hard to learn and become the best that you can be. You, like everyone else start at the bottom and work and work to better yourself. One day, you look around and you are there. You made it. You accomplished your goal.

However, instead of rejoicing about reaching your goal, you spend half the time worrying because others see you as a threat. Even if you don't see them as a threat they see you as such. No matter how friendly you are or that you try to be helpful, it doesn't changes things.

The question is: is it worth working so hard to be the very best if while doing it, you make frenemies all around? Perhaps it is the industry? Maybe that is the reason why I am moving away from what I "love". I am tired of competing in something that really doesn't mean that much in life. At least not in the long run.


Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

Big logo

Zazoosh_990161737-1800

On Saturday, Sept 22, hubby and I had the chance to participate in the newest half marathon/marathon in Utah. We were a bit skeptical at first about the entire thing, it was completely new so we had our doubts that it would run smoothly. However, we were proven completely wrong! It was one of the best organized events we have been to.  I just found one thing that was odd but I am sure they will get it under control-there was no water or any type of nutrition (bananas) at the start of the race, usually there is at least water/gatorade along with some first aid stuff-vaseline. Everything else was top notch! Packet pick up was a breeze, bus load up-the easiest ever, volunteers at aid stations-the best (all running events have the best volunteers ever!), post race nutrition-sandwiches, medals-bling, bling, free photos from Zazoosh.com (what race does that, none, ever, this was my ultimate fav part!), and an awesome/fun announcer at the end :).

Zazoosh_990161762-1800On to the race report: the race was scheduled to start at 6:30am which called for an extra early wake up time. The alarm sounded at 4:30am, a total insult to my ears and my little eyes. Seriously, the only reason I would ever back out from a race is the early wake up times--can't I just get my beauty sleep, promise that I am a much agreeable person if I sleep at least 8 hours. We got up and got ready for the race. I was concerned about my back as I threw it out on Wednesday doing "regular" stuff at work. I had gone to the chiropractor both Wednesday and Thursday and even took 2 days off from crossfit to allow my back to heal. Saturday morning, it was still bugging me, especially my right side on my lower back. I took 2 ibuprofen and hoped for the best.

Bus load up was smooth, one of the smoothest bus load ups ever. Usually, we have to wait forever to load up, not this time. We got out of our car, parked about 100 meters away from bus load up, and were almost instantly loaded onto a bus! Nice! The ride up was alright. There are always people talking loudly, either from excitement or fear. It is a bit annoying at times as I have a different way of preparing for the race,  I like to meditate and go into "my quiet" spot and prepare mentally for the race to come.  We arrived to the start line in about 30 minutes and quickly made our way to the porta-johny, another ritual, better go before you have to go-go. Hubby always seems to need it so we just automatically make our way there. After doing the business, we moved down to where all the space blankets were located, I was trying to find water for my little handheld bottle, but like I mentioned above, no water was found :/, sad, thankfully, my friend Bianca had water with her and she shared with me.

Hubby and II have to mention though that the race did go out of their way to provide us with space blankets and gloves for the start of the race. Never have I seen this, at least not for everyone in the race. It was quite outstanding of them to do that for us. Thank you! It means the world to us, being pampered is the number one way to get us, runners, into your good graces ;).

We made our way to the start line, I had a dream goal for this race, didn't know if I could achieve it with my hurt back but I still made my way to the front, next to the 1:30 pacers. Hubby wanted to come in in about 1:25 so he also went to the front. I had no chance of running that fast so I wished him good luck and let him be at the front.

The gun went off at exactly 6:30am. The sky was still lit by stars and the ground was still dark, the shadows from the runners played tricks on my head, putting potholes where there were none and making me run like an idiot, raising my feet high off the ground. As we took off, I saw hubby take off and silently wished him the best. I love this man of mine. He wants to qualify for Boston so badly and the only thing holding him back are cramp issues with his calves. He is fast and he is usually ahead of me on all the races, until we reach mile 18-20, then the cramps come and he has to walk the rest of the race. I secretly wish every marathon race that he will finish in the 3:05 that he needs, eventhough, I know that a 3:05 will put me 30 minutes behind, but he deserves it. He does so much for me and our family. Anways, I am getting all sappy on ya, we took off and off we went down the canyon.

Big Cottonwood Splits
My first mile was super speedy, despite the darkness, my garmin says I did a 6:12, that is super fast for me. I paid for it on the next two miles as my back reminded me that it was out. The pain was harsh, from a 1-10, it was about a 7. I wanted to stop and just cry. It reminded me of the Ogden Marathon in May when my hip was out and it made my entire left leg hurt. I gave myself a pep-talk and addressed my pain level. As I talked myself into continuing with the race, I was being passed by a bunch of girls and guys, I kept saying, there goes 2nd place, there goes 3rd, there goes 1st in AG, there goes 2nd in AG, etc. I was feeling low, I wanted to quit, I considered it for about a minute, until I saw my kids' faces in my mind, especially my boy, I imagined myself telling him that I had quit and I imagined his disappointment. I couldn't. I couldn't do it. I put on my big girl panties and on I went. I wasn't going to quit. I had already ran 3 miles, I only had 10 left. I had suffered more pain in my life before than what I was going through at that moment, I could endure 10 more miles, if I ran fast enough, it would be even a shorter period of time to endure.

The sky started to light up and making the race a bit easier to do as I could actually see the road ahead of me and I could run more normal. My back also warmed up and my lower back muscles loosened up enough to almost take the pain away. As I ran down, I kept my nose down and looked at the ground the whole time, I wanted to come in under 1:30 but my back pain had made me slow down so much that I had decided that 1:35 was good enough too.

However, something happened after mile 6, my body decided to finally show up to the race. My legs started going faster, and as other runners were slowing their pace, mine was picking up. My hubby always says that I am nice and steady and if a race is long enough, I can be one of the first ones to finish as I am a consistent runner, when others are falling off, I seem to just keep going. 

My second half of the marathon was in one word: stellar! I was cranking out sub 7 minute miles. I passed a few people who had passed me on miles 2-4. I was feeling good, tired, but good. I kept telling myself to keep going, I was almost there.

At mile 11, there were a few spectators there and it was exactly what I needed. My legs wanted to just stop and my tummy wanted some real food, but the spectators smiles and applause kept me going. They would never know how much their support means to runners, it is as if with each cheer, energy is passed from their bodies to ours. Thank you, thank you for cheering for us, even if you don't know us.

At mile 12, I caught up to the 1:30 pacers, my heart was rejoicing, they even stopped and allowed me to go in front of them. In my head, I had 1 mile left. I can do 1 mile. I can crank out 1 mile in 7:30 even when I am tired, so I dug in for all I had in me. I told myself--Isela, this is a WOD, a 1 mile WOD. Show me what you got in that heart. Little did I know that the downhill was over, we were going into this small trail that looked pretty much flat and felt uphill. But, the heart can do wonderful things. I imagined myself back at the box (crossfit), and my competitive self came out, I ran, I ran as fast as I could with my tired legs, I passed 3 gals and 1 guy in this stretch. As I kept running, I wanted to look behind and see how far ahead I was from the closest gal behind me. Why? Because I was tired and I wanted to slow down, but I didn't do it. I couldn't afford to look back. Every second counted. I wanted to come in under 1:30 and at the pace I was going, I could do it, if I didn't slow down.

I reached the 13 mile marker and I could see the Finish Line, just a little longer heart, just a little longer legs, hold on. I ran. I ran with my heart. I ran for my kids. I ran for myself.  Then, as I reached the finish line and saw my husband's face, smiling and yelling my  name, I ran for him too. I ran for him, for him to feel proud of me, of us. I crossed that Finish Line at exactly 1:28:54. A dream had come a reality in that very second.

As I stopped on the other side of the Finish Line and collected my medal (awesome medal by the way!), I wanted to collapse, my back complained as I bent over. My little legs were tired, I was tired, but my heart was pounding from happiness at my achievement. Hubby came right over and we kissed, just a little kiss, too sweaty and smelly for a real kiss, hahahaha. He told me that he had reached his goal too 1:25:15. A new PR for him too.

To our great surprise, well, at least to me, we both placed in our age groups (30-34). We both got 1st place :). We came home with two little ribbons. Yay!

We made our way to the tents, expecting your regular post race "food", which typically means some fruit and bread. Not at this place, we were treated to some Jimmy Johns sandwiches, delicious raspberry bars, recovery drinks, fruit, and to top it all off massages for the half marathoners as well as the full. Heaven!!! I, of course, got a massage. I am not going to turn down a good body rub, especially when I have just finished a race.

After my little massage, we made our way to the Finish Line again to wait for our friends, Gloria, Bianca, Angie and Jason. We made it just in time to see Angie fly by through the Finish and shortly after Bianca. We missed seeing speedy Gloria come in, I was probably getting my hammy worked on when she crossed. Jason came in shortly after, Bianca. All of them PRed and we all looked so happy :). A PR is a runner's "hope" each time we cross that start line.

Cottonwood Friends

I have to say that I left my heart and soul on that canyon on Saturday. There are days where you show up to a race and you know that you will perform well, however this Saturday wasn't it. I was afraid of the pain, I was afraid of quitting, but the heart is more powerful than we ever give it credit. I have achieved one of my greatest goals in running, to finish a half marathon in under 1:30. With my new PR, I have now qualified to participate in the ING New York City Marathon--one of my dreams, to run a marathon in my hometown.

Ribbons and medals

Big Cottonwood Half--I will see you again, hopefully in 2013 :).

 


TOU Marathon 2012

TOU small

What a gorgeous day for a race! Not a cloud over the sky, unlike last year, weather was a bit cool but not too bad for a race. Better to start off cool that way hot.

Hubby and I headed down to load the bus in his little green bug car, it is small enough so it fits anywhere and makes parking a breeze. We loaded up with no trouble and on our way we went. Thankfully, we got a bus that wasn't too loud. I don't like it when you have that one loud guy in the back who "knows it all" and continues either scaring the newbies or trying to impress everyone around. I take my "bus time" really seriously, it is the time I have to catch a few more zzz's or the time to look deep inside me and see what my heart is telling  me for the day.

We got up to Hardware Ranch safe and sound and we made our way to the Honey-pots. Gosh, each year I think to myself that they are going to get more Johnnny's but they never do. There is never enough honeypots for everyone, it is a ridiculous long way, ridiculous as in 30 minutes long wait-in-line-hold-your-pee/poop! One of these days, I hope they realize that they don't have enough honeypots up there and double the number. Or maybe, it is a strategy to keep the runner's minds away from the upcoming ordeal and focus on other matters.

After waiting what seemed an eternity at the honeypots, we made our way to the start line. We had about 10 minutes til the gun went off so we shed our clothes and went to line up at the start line. We met some friends/neighbors there and we made some casual conversation. We waited for the gun to go off but it didn't come, 7 rolled around, 7:05 and nothing, finally around 7:15 the gun went off and off down the canyon we went.

Hubby left me in his dust right away and I found my pace and slowly made my way down the canyon. I decided to carry my on water this time around to avoid the traffic congestion at each aid station, glad I did as I was able to save some time by having my own water.

I was very surprised about how great I was feeling during the race. My legs felt strong, my hips felt good, unlike Ogden Marathon where my hips were not cooperating and made me stop each mile to stretch and agonize about the pain. I was in a good spot!

At the halfway point, I realized that I was doing great timewise and in a little while I would be able to see my friends/cheering squad. I was looking forward to seeing them :). As I passed mile 14, I saw them up  ahead, 4 of my friends-Bianca, Josh, Gloria and Holly. They were all cheering for me and there just for me, to give me energy, to support me. Thank you guys!

The next few miles went by okay, I was getting tired by this point. The road flattens out after mile 14 and from there is pure heart that gets you through, heart and training. As I told you in my previous post, I have had very little training, so for me it was all heart.

I knew before-hand that I would need some help at mile 18 and thankfully my friend Josh volunteered to help me. He joined me at mile 18 and he is like Tiger, bouncy, positive and full of energy--exactly what I needed at this point. Miles 18-20 are usually my "doom miles" in a marathon. I was very glad he was there to pull me out of my gloom. He was cheerful and supportive yet understanding of my slowness, a great coach for sure. Thank you Josh for being there for me.

Throughout this entire time, hubby was just a few hundred meters ahead of me, I could see him, but by golly I couldn't catch him. Another good friend showed up at this point to cheer me, my friend Lee, she pointed out that Sam was just right there that I could definitely catch him. I wanted to catch him, I wanted so badly but I couldn't at this point. Lee, my friend,  I love her to pieces, she is an amazing runner and a superb role model all around.

As we entered mile 19, one of the hardest miles for me, the small uphill almost killed me. Josh kept telling me that I had it, if I just kept moving I would be done with it and I could catch Sam. Sam was getting closer and closer and it wasn't because I was speeding up. I knew he was in trouble, he usually starts cramping up around miles 18-20.  Thanks to Josh's coaching, I made it up the hill and onto the flats of Millville. I know this road, I run it all the time. I felt at home and I felt that I could do it. We kept running, I wish I could remember all the coaching Josh was doing, but all I know is that his words kept my legs moving forward.

Almost to mile 20, we caught up to Sam. He had stopped. The cramps were pounding his calves and he couldn't go on. Josh looked at me and I told him to go, go to Sam. He had done his part in helping me. He probably will never know how much his coaching meant to me that day. He helped me PR on this course. His words of encouragement and his quiet yet assuring way of believing in me helped me through my darkest miles in this marathon. As they stayed behind, I continued on, pounding the pavement, feeling my heart rejoice as I knew that the next 6 miles were the last. I  knew that even if I walked, I only had about 1 hour left in the marathon, even less if I kept running.

The next few miles went by swiftly, my cheering squad following me around, dancing to Zumba music on the streets. Each time I thought I was done for, they would be there, laughing and cheering me. What awesome friends I have!

Mile 23 showed me even more support, my FB friends, the NERCs, had an aid station there and as TOU mile splitssoon as they saw me, they started cheering for me. My friend Ann was there and ran with me for a little bit, cheering me on, telling me I had it in the bag.

Mile 24 went by in a blur, I was passing people, again, I didn't stop at the aid station as I had my own stuff with me, and as other runners stopped, I just kept going.

Mile 25, one of the hardest ones in this course, uphill, you just want to stop and just finish it already but no, you still have to keep going and the cruel joke is that you have to pass right in front of a Burger King. Yes! I am always hungry in a race.

To the end...have you ever realized how long a mile really is. A mile for a runner doesn't seem that much really. We are used to talking in terms of double digits most of the time, when we say singles we use usually preface it with "only". Not when it comes to a marathon, that last mile is monumental, especially when you are so close to a PR. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was pretty much PRing if I didn't walk at all. I ran, I ran and I ran. I looked at my Garmin and it said 26.2 and yet I was nowhere close to the finish, I still had more than a block to go. Crap! The course was longer. I finally turned on the last corner and looked one last time at my Garmin, if I gave it all I had, I could come in under 3:33. I ran like I was being chased a dog and I crossed the Finish mat at 3:32:12. I had set a new PR by 2 minutes and 33 seconds. I was 8th in my age group and 34th in gender placing overall.

Finishers corral: I went in and right away I was congratulated by a few running friends. Our running community is tight up here and we know one another from all the different events. I got some food and stretched for a bit then I headed out to wait with my cheering squad and cheer for my hubby.

I was so proud of him as I saw him come in. I know how much it costs him to run those last few miles. It pains me to see that he is behind because of those darn cramps. He is so talented and yet those set him back a good 30-40 minutes. Yet, he still came in with a big smile on his face. I love that man! He finished in 4:02:47, not bad for walking the last 6 miles of the marathon.


TOU Marathon Countdown

TOU 002
Tomorrow marks 4 years since I began running marathons. My very first was 4 years ago, this very same event. I remember being so scared that day. As I loaded the bus by myself, I kept shaking and telling myself that I could do it, that my chubby little legs had it in them to run and walk to the very end, plus it didn't matter if I finished last, all that mattered was that I finished. I did finished and I finished about 1 hour and 10 minutes ahead of my "goal" time. I remember crossing the FINISH line and the tears just rolling down, not due to pain, but to the happiness that inundated my heart, I had accomplished one of the biggest goals in my life. My only regret that day was that my hubby couldn't be there to witness it, as he had to be at Firefighter training.

Tomorrow things are a bit different, I have 10 marathons under my belt and this will be my 4th time running TOU. I know what to expect, especially on this course, I know what I am even going to be thinking at certain points and I know that there is a certain area where I struggle the most and just want to quit every single time, and I also know where I get my second wind and where my legs want to say no more-please-no-more. And my expectations of myself are a bit different, I have a goal time now and with all my heart I hope I can make it.

Nevertheless, despite my experience in the course, I am afraid. I am afraid because I haven't trained like the previous years. My longest run in the past 2 months has been 13.1 miles. I am banking on my Crossfit training and my two marathons and the 22 miles I put in in Ragnar as my long runs, heaven help me, I am going to need all the passion from my heart to carry me through the FINISH line.

I have the heart, will my legs cooperate, we shall see.

My goal, to beat my time last year on this course: 3:36:30. My dream goal to PR in a marathon, which means I have to get better than 3:34:45.

It has become tradition that my awesome BFF does my hair before each race. She braids it nice and tight so that I don't have to deal with it coming undone during the race. Today, she did a little something different in the front and her signature snakey braid on the back.

Love my shirt by the way, it is my Crossfit USU shirt that says "FACTA NON VERBA", very appropriate for tomorrow.

TOU full hairstyle

And a very last minute change, hubby registered at the very last minute, as in day-of-registration.

TOU 004

 


Thoughts...

Had a conversation today with an athlete/crossfit trainer/runner. I was sharing my achievements in certain areas of fitness and lack of progress in my running. As we continued talking and sharing stories and tips, he said something to me that I knew but I had been putting aside because I was listening to some other type of advice. You all probably know it and I am sure that if you have been training for awhile you already live it--if you want to be good at a certain activity, you must practice that activity. Example, if I want to be a great Zumba instructor, I should go and practice dancing, especifically Latin rhytms. However, if all I do is spin, there is no way that is going to help me in my dancing choregraphy wise. The same goes for my running, if I want to be a great runner, I am going to have to RUN, lifting weights and cross training will help me become stronger and will allow time for my legs to get a break from the pounding, however, if I want to be a runner, simple, I MUST RUN.

But running for the sake of running is not going to cut it. I need to put QUALITY runs. I can go to town doing Slow Long Runs and it will make me a Slow Long Distance runner. But, I don't want to be a slow runner anymore. I want to play with the big boys/big girls and to do that, I must get off my pretty plum bum and hit the road and hit it hard and fast.

And I leave you with this picture...yep, I have a marathon in 5 days. It is going to kick my trash because I haven't done a single long run since Ogden Marathon back in May, except for half marathons.

Tou 5 days