Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas was exhausting and I can truly say I'm glad it's over. Now we still have to tear down the decorations, so it still feels like Xmas in the house, but as far as I'm concerned, my Ho Ho Ho has become oh oh oh! Let the cleaning commence.

I was a lazy runner this week: nary a run over three miles. One day I couldn't muster more than 15 minutes. To my credit I did give blood the night before, so there's that. I didn't run either Xmas eve or Xmas day and I'm really feeling the laziness. I'm cranky, tired and just want to be left alone. Not so festive. Oh well. Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

As far as holiday gifts go, the girl got lots of toys, hubby got a few things (yes, I actually spent much less on him than he did on me - but I had to buy/make all the family gifts, so he's still on the hook for less $$ than I am). He got a book, a watch and two lenses for his iPhone. He gave me a jogbra, compression socks, tire pump, waterproof earbuds, and a jogging stroller! I guess now I have NO excuses, right?

My father is up visiting from Georgia and I gave him a Garmin GPS and a Wahl clipper set. He also got the annual Miss P picture book. The in-laws received the same book, the DVD set of The Planet Earth, and Grammy got an infinity scarf that I made Friday morning. Miss p's cousins got giftcards for food and pictures of their mother that hubby found negatives of and made prints.

We are very fortunate, no doubt.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Public Relations Win

The day before the Reindeer Run in Lakewood I had to go pick up my race packet in Rocky River. It was a Friday night, so we ended up looking for someplace different to have dinner in Rocky River. We ended up at The Pub on Detroit Ave.

The Pub is an English Pub that is situated in an old movie theatre. In our party was P, Dave and me. It was early, maybe 6-ish and there wasn't a line or a wait or anything. We entered and were ushered out to the patio. Yes, the patio. Which at any other establishment I probably wouldn't have cared, but we went to an English Pub to enjoy the atmosphere as well as the food. So much for atmosphere. At least they had heaters so it wasn't too cold. I did not, however, take my coat off because it wasn't THAT warm. I assumed we were banished to the patio due to having a child in-tow on a Friday night. Whatever.

Our service was crappy, the food was eh. I made my displeasure known to the waiter, reassuring him that I wasn't looking for anything comped, but that I thought he should know that we weren't happy. This was after dinner, but before dessert. We still ordered dessert because, hey, bread pudding! With the dessert order we also ordered coffee. On top of all the other crappy stuff that happened over the course of the meal, the coffee didn't come to the table until almost 10 minutes AFTER we finished the bread pudding. Major fail.

I would've totally given them a pass based solely on the bread pudding (it was really, really good), but then the coffee incident. And nary an apology.

So when I got home that night, I posted on their FB page about the service. (If you want to read it, check out "The Pub" Rocky River on FB).  That was on Friday night.

Monday morning I received a FB message from the marketing / PR person asking for contact info so the manager could talk to me about my experience.

I received a call from "Matt" the next morning. He apologized for the service, offered to comp us a meal, etc. I assured him it was not necessary, but he insisted that he didn't want to lose a customer and that he would send out a gift card so I could give them another chance. So I gave him my address.

Two weeks later I still had not received the gift card, so I sent a Facebook message to the marketing / PR person who contacted me initially that said essentially that while I should be surprised at the lack of follow through, I really wasn't.

Within 15 minutes I received a phone call from the PR person. She apologized profusely, said that that blunder was her fault, not the restaurant's and that she thought they were sending the card and that they thought she was sending the card, blah, blah, blah, apology-cakes. She promised that she would send out the gift card immediately. This was yesterday morning.

Last night around 6pm the manager from The Pub appeared on my doorstep with a takeout of bread pudding and $100 gift card.

I think I'll give them another try.

They'd better not screw it up.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Dress

The Christmas Dress in-progress.

Vogue 8593, view C.

I still need to attach sleeves, hem and make a belt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Teacher Gifts

Because I'm a total slacker, I completely forgot about gifts for P's teachers until yesterday. Which wouldn't be a problem except that today is the last day of school until January! So I decided to make something I've never made before. Why not, right?

I stopped at Starbucks on the way home to pick up giftcards and to steal a coffee sleeve to use as a pattern. It only took a couple of hours, but I made tea wallets and cup cozies for them. Added in a tea bag and the gift card and voilà - instant teacher gifts!

Hope they like them!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Warrior Dash!

I managed to talk my brother J into doing the Warrior Dash - Florida with me at the end of January. I challenged him, he agreed and I booked a flight and registered us. Him, me and his son T are going to do it.

I'm insane. Seriously.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Miss P was introduced yesterday to the episode of Jeopardy! on which I competed.

(shock, I know)

And now she's making me watch it with her.

I am absolutely embarrassed by how pathetic we all (yes, all three contestants) did. We all missed the very first (read: $100) answer. It's freaking awful.

I haven't watched the show with any regularity since.

Sent from my iPhone

Insane? Quite possible.

I have never run a distance over 4 miles.

I've only been running for four months.

I just registered for the Cleveland Half Marathon.

It's official. I'm insane.

.... and I will be registering for the Warrior Dash, too. I need to find someone to do that one with me. Mainly for the company for the drive down and back, if nothing else.

This is a good thing, right?

Week Wrap Up

I haven't done much sewing this week, but I have managed to work out every day whether I've felt like it or not (mostly or not). I wake up every day with a sore throat, no doubt owing to the cold, dry air. I force myself to get up at (to me) an ungodly hour and go downstairs and put in time on the elliptical or the EZ rider. This week started with a snowstorm. Monday saw me do 40 minutes on the elliptical followed by 20 minutes shoveling snow and cleaning off the cars. Tuesday was a lather-rinse-repeat day (same as Monday). Wednesday I didn't feel well when I woke up so I slept in and didn't work out (in the morning anyway). Before bedtime I did an hour on the elliptical and 20 mins on the EZ rider while watching a Kevin Sorbo (Yay! Hercules!) Christmas movie. Yesterday I did a quick 25 minutes on the elliptical at top pace because I was running late and thought that'd be better than nothing. Of course I undid all that hard work by having a couple beers and brie, but hey, why run if I can't eat something really yummy every now and then?

This morning I woke up before 5am and couldn't get back to sleep so I went down and did an hour on the elliptical and then did some legs exercises. That's new. So now my ass hurts. Heh. Not really.


I took the afternoon off of work yesterday in hopes of getting a little sewing done, but alas, it didn't work out that way. Miss P was in rare form. At least I hope it's rare - we don't really need a repeat performance. She yelled, screamed, cried, sobbed - anything but take a nap. She wanted to go to the mall. She wanted to play. She wanted to cling... So no, I didn't get the sewing done that I wanted to. I did, however, manage to sew up four scarves (none for me - they're for a coworker), so at least I got that off my plate. Pretty much the whole time I was working on that, P was begging, crying "Mommy! You need to make my Like A Surgeon costume!" --- Yes, I promised her I would make her a "Like A Surgeon" costume. My three year old LOVES Weird Al. *sigh* (I guess it could be worse - she doesn't like the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus!)

I would love to spend this weekend doing nothing but sewing up Christmas stuff (I haven't even started!), but alas I have two Santa events tomorrow, Mass on Sunday, then another Christmas party Sunday afternoon. I haven't figured out when I'm going to do laundry let alone sew. Oh well. At least I'll be able to sneak in a run early Saturday AM. Hopefully it won't be too snowy - according the forecast it should be clear. Cold, but clear.

Inspired by Jason at Life of An Aspiring Triathlete, today is Pay It Forward Friday.

To that end, visit his blog, leave a comment, pay it forward. :)


Edited to add this: 

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Update: Official Time

I just checked the Hermes site and my official time is actually LOWER than I had thought: :35:21

11 seconds makes all the difference!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Post race:

Jingle All The Way

This morning I braved the 19F cold and made my way to the Jingle Bell Run 5K in Lakewood. My goal was to run as much as I could, but if I had to walk, so be it.

When I got there, I was jumping about trying to get warmed up and asked a guy to take my picture (because I'm vain that way). He was kind enough to say yes, and then we got to talking. I don't remember his name (let's call him Bob), but he said he was there on a bet. A marathoner coworker bet him he couldn't run a 5K in under 40 minutes. Now apparently he's not a runner at all, so the marathoner thought this was a safe bet. Bob was totally unprepared: wearing shorts and a polo shirt and no gloves (he at least had a Santa hat on). Anyway - when he told me of the bet I told him to stick with me - I could probably get him in under :40. (no guarantees, but I was confident enough that I could). So he agreed and Bob and I ran the whole thing together. And yes, I RAN the whole thing! Woot!

At about the 3/4 mile mark Bob said "If I weren't running with you, I'd probably be walking by now." I was pacing a tad fast for me, but I didn't think he could actually go any slower without walking so I sucked it up and held the pace. Around the two mile mark he was really appreciative "Man. I would've gone balls to the wall running and been passed out on the street!" is how he put it.

When we hit the three mile mark and could see the finish line, I told him to "Run, Forest, Run" and go ahead without me. Not only did he make it in under :40:00, but he made it under :35:00!*

I kept up a steady pace and crossed the finish line in an unofficial :35:32!!! PR for me!

For background:
Run for the Record 5K 09.18.10 :39:55 (12:53)
Project Homeless Connect 5K 10.23.10 :38:22 (12:22)
Jinglebell Run 12.04.10 :35:32 (11:27)

So yeah, really happy with how I did today.

Now off to sew Christmas gifts.

* as for the bet: if he had lost, he would've had to run a 10K. Since he won, the marathoner has to eat a McRib. I'm pretty sure the marathoner hates me right about now.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feeding the Obsession / Cyber Monday Shopping

Thanks to Vogue's CyberMonday sale, I broke down and bought five patterns that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. First up, V1197.

Looks easy enough.

Next, V8413.

And V8593.

And because Miss P doesn't have enough costumes, M6184.

Last but not least, M5890.

Now if I actually sew up any of these, that's a whole different story.

I also managed to find not one, but THREE presents for the hubby. So I have Christmas and his birthday covered! Yay!


Not much running yesterday or today. Monday on my run home for lunch my calves started cramping about a half mile from home. I tried walking it off, but it just hurt. Bummer. I ate a banana and all seems well, so I'm just guessing I was low on the potassium. Yesterday I didn't get in a run because the girl decided to visit us in bed around 2am, where she proceeded to kick and hit at me. I'm pretty sure she was asleep. So I took her back to her room and put her back in bed. And while I was doing that, my back wrenched, so I ended up just lying down on her floor until 5am, wherein I made it back to my room to go back to sleep. And she promptly followed. The alarm went off at 5:45. *sigh* I was beat, so I stayed in bed until 6:30 and decided to at least hit the elliptical for a half an hour. 20 minutes into that, my dad came down to tell me he was leaving. Whuck? So I got off the machine and came up to help him get his stuff together. He left (he said he'd be back by the 18th, so he will at least be here for Christmas) and by then it was time to get ready for work. I was already exhausted and would've preferred to go to work and come home and go straight to bed (or for a run), but I agreed to go see Billy Elliott with the in-laws on the annual Ladies Night Out adventure. So instead of relaxing after work, I went straight to dinner (lousy service, good food... hate that) and to the show. I didn't get home and to bed until midnight. *sigh* That makes for a very long day.

This morning when the alarm went off at 5:45, I turned it off and went back to sleep. Got up with the 6:15 alarm and went down to do some time on the elliptical. Of course as soon as I got down there I hear P on the monitor crying that "daddy won't let me out!" -- yes, hubby put up the baby gate on her door so she couldn't come down in the middle of the night. So I went up and got her out and she wanted to come down and work out with me, which of course means I have to watch Agent OSO... which totally blows. So I did 20 mins on the elliptical and 15 mins on the EZRider doing arm work. But no running. :(

Even though it's started snowing, I think I'll go home a bit early today and do a run through the cemetery behind my house. I need to get out more.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

Long weekend, what with Thanksgiving and all. As previously mentioned, I ran the Homerun for the Homeless in Akron. 4 miles in 40F, rainy weather through a very hilly cemetery. I did okay, nothing that's going to break any records, that's for sure. But hey, at least I finished, right?

Between the run and Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws, I whipped up another version of the Vogue 8597 shirt, this time in black poly-jersey stuff that I had in the stash.

The solution to the prior V8597 length has been settled for me by virtue of the washing machine. Apparently I hadn't pre-washed the fabric like I thought I did and it shrunk to shirt-length. Heh.

Friday was spent running around with my dad who is visiting from Georgia. We went to JoAnn's and he bought me a new dressform. Due to my diet / exercise, the dressform I have (had) is too big, so when I saw they were going to be half off on Black Friday, I actually braved the stores to get one. The surprise was when my dad whipped out his card to pay for it! Merry Christmas to me! We also went to the Village Discount Outlet and Goodwill, where I scored a pair of brand new w/tags Nike Dri-Fit running pants for $5 and Miss P got a few new books.

Saturday morning found me running a quick 3-mile neighborhood roundabout in 30F w/snow. That was fun. My splits showed that I actually ran the last mile faster than the first. Of course that could be because the last 150 yards or so are completely downhill to my house (which, conversely means the first 150 yards are completely uphill). Either way, I was happy with my run. After that I took Miss P to Music Together class, and then off to more shopping. Dad wanted to go to the giant Salvation Army down in North Canton, so I took him there. While he was busy buying whatever crap he buys, I had to entertain the girl. Which, honestly, not much fun in the Salvation Army. We had lunch at a yummy Mexican joint, P fell asleep on the way home and I was able to get 8 loads of laundry done. Man, that's a lot of laundry. Of course, it's my fault there was so much - I didn't do any last week. Oops.

Miss P did a little light reading in preparation for the sewing machine that she thinks Santa is going to bring her:

Sunday morning we had our ritualistic breakfast at CoCo's in Brecksville with Judi & Judi. We then went to Judi's so P could help her decorate one of the many Christmas trees that will make an appearance in Judi's house over the holiday season. I think that eventually there will be 13 trees in her house - one for each of the 12 Days of Christmas. She hosts an annual "12 Days of Christmas" party where we get together with 100 of our closest friends (snerk) and at 3pm we run from room to room, tree to tree, singing the 12 Days song. In the past couple of years the party has gotten so big that we pretty much just pick a tree and sing that particular Day when our turn arrives. It's a lot of fun.

Judi also decided to let P play with her makeup:

Cute, eh?

So that was my long weekend in a nutshell. Hubby got home yesterday afternoon from a three-day out. He's actually home all month (yay! he's home, boo! no paycheck!) until the week between Christmas & New Year. He's out the entire week and won't be home until the 2nd. I was hoping my dad would stay through the holiday, but I'm pretty sure he's going to bug out before then. He really doesn't like the cold. No matter that it really doesn't get cold until January here... damn southern blood.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Run, baby, run!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just finished my first 4-Mile run - the Homerun for the Homeless through Glendale cemetery. Lots of hills. Heck of a workout, my friends, heck of a workout. But the fact is, I ran it in 50:05, meaning less than 13-min mile over hilly terrain! Go me! It was 40F and raining, but by the 2nd mile the weather didn't even bother me. Now off to enjoy a turkey day feast at my in-laws. Who wants to run a Jingle Bell run next weekend?

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Stuff

In honor of tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast, here's my list of things I'm thankful for:

* Miss P. She's awesome and funny and even though she's in the midst of the terrible threes (terrible twos have nothing on three), she's still the best thing that ever happened to me.
* Life is good. I have good health, my family has good health and all in all, everything is good.
* My father is visiting with us. He's a handful, but he's my dad and I love him. And I'm glad he made it up here for the holidays.
* I'm still employed. That's a big one.

There's many more, but I'm not that good at articulating stuff like this.

Yesterday's running recap: 40 minutes in the am, lunchtime run home. I recalculated the distance to the house from the office and it's 1.6 miles. Mostly uphill. I did it yesterday in 17 minutes with such a strong headwind that at times it seemed like I was running in place. Oy. Today is a rest day as I'm running a 4-miler tomorrow morning. Or maybe I'll do some time in the basement tonight before bed. Who knows.

Opinions needed - V8597. Do I keep it long, or do I cut it down?

I don't know... so far the votes have been split. some people like it long, some people like it short. I'm leaning towards short. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A couple of past pieces.

As an introductory post to my sewing creations, here are some pictures:

My first sewing project, a FauxBBO Mei Tai carrier for my hubby:

A fancy silk ring sling that was a present for one of my agency's clients:

Miss P, modeling her "Genevieve (Choo Choo Soul)" Costume:

The very first pattern I ever followed. Boy was it a doozy. It was a vintage pattern that had NO markings on it. Just holes.

A shirt for my hubby:

And something more recent, a Belle dress for Miss P. (She's always asking for costumes. I indulge her.)

I don't have any projects currently on-deck. I have a bunch of patterns that I keep looking at in my stash that I really need to attack, including this one:

Vogue 8667.

On the running front: I ran 40 minutes this morning and if the weather holds, I will run home for lunch again today. It's only 1.5 miles, but it's mostly uphill, so it's a good, quick workout. If I were any kind of real runner, I'd probably run back, too. But then I'd be a sweaty mess all afternoon and we just can't have that, now can we. Question, though. The run up one street includes a sharp, but relatively short (maybe four blocks) incline. There's another way to go that includes a more gentle incline, but much longer (closer to 3/4 mile). Which would be better? Keep in mind at the end of the short incline, there's a long downhill stretch that leads to another hill. The long incline just leads to another incline. Hrmmm... What to do, what to do?

Monday, November 22, 2010

My reason for everything.

Welcome to my world.

A brief introduction:

Full-time worker bee, mom of one, part-time seamstress, and newbie to the world, nay, cult, of running.

I started running in August of this year doing the C25K app for the iPhone. Why did I start running? Because stupid me agreed, no, insisted on running the 3.5 mile leg of the Road Runner Akron Marathon. Yeah, that was stupid. Of course, I'm not a runner. Not even remotely. But gosh darnit, I was going to run and NOT embarrass myself. Yeah, not so much. I ran my 3.5 miler in 41 minutes. Boo! Hiss! Now I have something to prove to myself - that I'm not pathetic and can handle a stupid 3.5 mile run without having to walk. I haven't done it yet, but I will.

As for the Sew-N-Sew... I started sewing two years ago as a way to "save money" on baby carriers. See, I joined the cult of Babywearing when Miss P was six weeks old and within a couple of months I had spent way too much money buying new and different carriers. I didn't know how to sew, but I looked at what I bought and thought "hey, I can do this!" Untold gazillion dollars later, I'm no longer babywearing, but I am wearing clothes that I made. So is Miss P. So is the hubby, my friends, people I've never met, etc. So even though it's become an expensive* and time-consuming hobby, it's been good for me.

So on to the meat of why I want to do this blog: I need to be accountable to someone. Anyone other than myself. Here's where you come in. I need encouragement. In running, in sewing, in life in general.

Thanks for stopping by.

*by expensive, I mean I bought myself a stupid expensive ($2600) serger for my 40th birthday. Now that's an expensive hobby.