"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" ~ Seneca

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shades of Qiviut

I won the October draw on theqiviutblog.blogspot.com and was rewarded with the following shades of qiviut loveliness. 
Thank you cottagecraftangora!

I can't wait to start a project with it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Post-birthday blues

Is it okay if I complain a little? Yesterday was my birthday and I have to say it was probably THE worst one in recent memory.  Considering I couldn't remember my current age a few weeks ago while getting a flu shot, doesn't say too much about my current brain capacity- but that's a story for another day. Oh I am now 46 by the way, but who's counting, who cares?

All I asked for was to take a trip to a lys, little/local yarn store/shop.  No big deal.
I got more birthday wishes on Facebook, than I did from the 4 family members who inhabit the same house with me.  Child #2 gave an over the shoulder, 1/2 a room away non-chalant greeting. I asked Child #3 to score a goal during her soccer game, which she did,so I paid her $5. Namely I'm am beyond po'd at dh who said nothing, nada, zilch. A simple 'happy birthday' seemed to be too much to cross his lips. 
Meanwhile, I baked a bastardized cheese cake-yes I have to bake my own  birthday cakes (but this is nothing new as I prefer my baking over store bought crap ) because said dh wouldn't go to the store. Granted, it was windy and snowy and lucky for him it was still edible. 
So,since I'm a Scorpio I am well aware of my ability to hold a grudge and I have a feeling this one may last a while. 
Am I being unjustified/selfish in my anger? I guess I better get used to it and suck it up- hmph

ETA: made it to lys and treated myself to 2 pairs of knitters pride karbonz circular needles. Now I'm a happy camper. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost: Running mojo

If found please return. 
Now that the snow is flying I can't  seem to motivate myself to run outside.ive never been good at going to the gym to use a treadmill. Maybe this is the year to invest in one & cancel the Y membership. 
Any treadmill recommendations?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

10K PR and so close to breaking 1 hour

Well- the title says it all.Ran the MEC Race #7 series which was back at North Glenmore Park
A familiar course, where I ran the half-marathon in July.

I signed up for the 10K as I didn't want to be down in the dumps for another week or so after not hitting my race goal, like I was after Melissa's.
I went into this race, wanting to beat my 10K time of 1:08 from MEC Race #2.  But it would be nice to beat my PR time of 1:03 set at the Rock the House Marathon in Sept '12.  Even better would be to break the 1 hour  barrier.
I was conscious of not going out too fast, but keeping a good pace because obviously you have to be running at a 6 min/km pace (9.65 minutes per mile).  Thankful to have latched onto 2 runners who were going at a good clip and just let them pull me along.  Thanked them at the end of the race too.
Caution- serious runner ahead-that's me in the red shirt on the right (photo credit- MEC-flickr site):

 121 1:01:08.66  1047 Melanie PAULSON            59/132  F    1:00:51.89  6:06
PR- oh yeah:

I'm thrilled with my effort and my finish of 121 out of 232 runners, 59th female to finish.

Now to figure out what's next.  Winter is fast approaching.  My running has dropped way off- I ran 2 weeks ago and then this race.  I imagine I would I blasted the 1h time, if I had trained a bit more. Hmph.

There is another MEC run in November , so maybe that's next? We'll see what the weather brings.

Thanks MEC for making racing fun & affordable!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Signs of fall

A morning without any kids in the house means:
-Sleeping in
-Breakfast at Lazy loaf & Kettle
-Dog walk along the Bow
Fall colors

Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf- more like a cake; recipe courtesy of Carrots 'n' Cake

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why 7 minutes means so much

So I ran in the Melissa's Road Race 22K this past weekend.  I enjoyed the race.  The temps were perfect.  I ran well for the first 15K and then just self destructed.  It was a PR time for me at this distance 2:22:32 and my 3rd Half-Marathon this year.  I should be proud, so why do I feel so disappointed?
I wanted to hit a time of 2:15.  Not a rocket fast pace for so many of the running blogs I read, but a goal none the less for this former overweight pseudo runner.
When I run a race, my two goals are not to be last and to finish the race.  I always have a time in my head that I'd like to run, but usually don't share that time with anyone, in case I don't meet it.  But maybe if

Now the next big question, do I keep training and run another half on Oct. 19th, MEC-Calgary Race Seven? Or do I try to PR at a shorter distance?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Melissa's Road Race 22K

Melanie PaulsonCalgary, AB, CAN
Female 40-49

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My version of an earth cake

It was birthday celebration time once again.

This time, we tried to mimic the earth cake that Rhiannon  wrote about earlier this year  & has been getting a lot of attention on the internet.

I made the northern hemisphere and wasn't too concerned about correct geographical locations as we were just curious to cut into the cake and see how it turned out.

Looks like a normal enough cake

But is it?

Decorated- not geographically correct
But we didn't forget the Hawaiian Islands- (we made them larger than life)

It worked! And tastes good too! I used Rhiannon's recipes.  The center is the Chocolate Mudcake in cupcake form.
The middle & outer layers Almond Buttercake with vanilla substituted for the almond extract and flour replaced the almond meal. Copious amounts of food coloring & behold planet earth

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MEC Race #4/5- Half marathon

Once a venue was confirmed, North Glenmore Park, the race was on! Picked up my bib on Friday night. The race had a 9am start, too late in my opinion, so the big question was how warm would it get?  I didn't want to recreate how I felt after our neighborhood half 3 weeks ago.
The night before I drank 16oz of water with 1 Nuun tablet. I also had a piece of bread with Peanut Butter Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams. This morning I still felt full, but knew I needed something. I had my coffee with a slice of bread with regular peanut butter, some banana and some water.  It seemed to work. I also stopped at every aide station and took Gatorade & water.
I haven't looked at my splits yet, but knew I was fast (for me) in the first 10k. I reached the water station at ~ 1:07.  Things slowed down from there, it was getting warmer a few more walk beaks etc. Don't get me wrong, this was my first chip timed half-marathon & I'm super pleased with my Garmin time of 2:24:27, gun time was: 2:24:29.16. I finished 11 out of 14 females- though really I'm #10 as the girl ahead of me, didn't finish the course properly- she made a dash for the finish line- once she saw it- cheater! (no hard feelings). LOL
Now I'll take a week off and then start training for the Melissa's road Race in Banff on September 28th. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why yes, I did run a half-marathon

Our official race MEC Calgary race #4 was a half-marathon to be run around the Glenmore Reservoir. The Calgary flood of 2013 took care of that, and the race is rescheduled for July 20th with a new route still to be determined. 
But my training buddy and I didn't let that deter us. We ran the Hawkwood Half Marathon. 
We met at our friend/support crew's house at 8:45 am. The sun was shining and it was getting warm, fast. 
The race/run was a LOT harder than I expected. I think this was due to many factors but the heat probably played the biggest part. Most of our training runs were done at 10-15C and our bodies weren't used to the 20C+ heat. Luckily our good friend Kris took excellent are of us, providing water/Gatorade stops. We stopped and tested multiple times so it took us 2:55:44 to finish.  We did suffer some heat exhaustion after the race, puking & what not, but I think it was a mental hurdle well earned to know I can do the distance. 
Good thing too as I'll run another half on July 20 and have signed up to do the Melissa's road race in Banff, 22K, at the end of September. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mommy got some new gear

I treated myself yesterday.
I was due for some new shoes, so I went & talks to the folks at the running room. They set me up with a pair of New Balance- the only shoe I've ever used & a Garmin Forerunner 210 SE. The Forerunner was a splurge, but they had it on sale for Mother's Day and said they were selling like hot cakes. I was originally looking at the Forerunner 10, but they said you couldn't connect that one online to get your splits, so I went with the 210. I'm hoping it will keep me motivates for the half at the end of June, and who knows maybe even improve my pace?!
Happy Mother's Day everyone, be sure to treat yourselves.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Overdue Race Reports

I have been remiss in reporting on the 2 races I have run.

I ran a 10K back in April (the 13th to be exact).  I had been back home less than 24h when we hit the pavement for the MEC Calgary Race #2
I ran an 'okay' race, especially for not having run for 10 days prior. I cam in 109/126 with a time of 1:08:42.
5 minutes off my PR, but again battling jet lag & a huge temperature differential I can't complain.  Though I will complain about the hill just before the turn around point.  While it was fine running downhill to the turnaround I conceded and walked up the hill as I figured it would be easier for all interested parties.

This past Saturday was the MEC Calgary Race #3.  This one was a big deal for me as I signed up to run 15K.  I've never run more than 10K in a race.  So between the 10K race in April and this race the first weekend of May I ran 12.5K and then 10K to prep.  My goals for this race were to not come in last and to try and beat a time of 1:45. I'm pleased to say I accomplished both.  I was 70/75 with a time of 1:40:43.75
But the big surprise was I acquired 4 black toenails. Lovely.

Now I am toying with running a half-marathon at MEC Calgary Race #4  What 21.1K? I think I've lost my mind. While I haven't signed up for the race yet, but I have started an 8 week training program.  I am following this training program (courtesy of Runner's World Magazine).  One modification is I will try to run my 'long' runs on Saturday's rather than Sundays as our race day is a Saturday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Upcoming races

Trying to add 2 races I signed up for to my upcoming races box over there on the right, but seems like blogger is having issues, so I'll put them here until I can add them over there.

MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop)- similar to REI in the states- is hosting a series of  7 races throughout Calgary "Exploring Calgary's Pathways, Once race at a time".

I've signed up for a 10K on April 13 and a 15K on May 4th. 

Only $15/race!!   Come join the fun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honey Cowl

I completed my Madeleinetosh Honey Cowl appropriately on the first day of spring.

I used a heavier weight yarn than the pattern called for (worsted vs. dk) and I haven't blocked it (I've never blocked anything) yet, so it's difficult to discern the pattern.  Plus there are some goofs that  I didn't catch until I was too far along (too lazy to rip out) so it is uniquely mine.
I'm not a huge fan of purling, so I'm not sure if I will make another.  But this should get good use by me and my daughters who are coveting it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Books, books & more books

I had the great pleasure of participating in the Valentine's Day 20 Author book give away.

And much to my surprise and delight, I was chosen as one of the winners!

Now one of the requirements for the contest was you needed to like the author pages on Facebook. For each author page you liked, you would win a copy of one of their books, up to 20.

I liked 8 author pages, and I received the following assortment of books over the past 3 weeks

Some are inscribed.  Others sent notes. Such an awesome contest.  I can't wait to start reading!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March and spring is in the air

The hope of Spring just around the corner adds a bounce to my step. It also makes me feel like I can accomplish anything & everything because I am a superhero. Well not exactly, but you know that feeling- at least I hope you do.

Each month ShrinkingJeans.net puts out these great monthly workout calendars.

Six-Pack March courtesy of ShrinkingJeans.Net

I've done this workout calendar before but this time I'm doing real push-ups. Last year I was doing modified push-ups against the kitchen counter. This time it's the real deal. Day 1 is complete.
Here's to an awesome March!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A-ha moment

An aha moment while running?
How can that be? I don't consider myself a real runner. I consider myself a wanna be runner.

When do you become a real runner?

Is it when you finish your first official race?
Is it when you finish your first race without having to walk some parts?
I'm not sure. I've done a few 5k's and a few 10k's, both official and unofficial/virtual.

But back to my aha moment on the treadmill. While jogging (per the LifeFitness treadmill, 4mph is jogging 6mph is running) I could hear my track coach's voice in my head (I threw the shotput & discus. I was not a runner by any stretch of the imagination) talking about increasing your leg turnover rate- huh? Where the heck did that come from? I haven't been on a track & field team in 24years-yes I'm that old, but what a wow moment.
This is the FIRST time since I started running to jump start my lifestyle change where I ever thought about how fast my legs were turning over.
This was the first time I also pondered about what kind of running strike I have- I have no idea but guess I am a hard heel striker.

Maybe I am becoming a runner after all?.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Birthdays are a time for reflection

I remember my mom saying  “I remember the day you were born” and thinking to myself  “no way”.
Now more than ever, I believe that statement.
I remember arriving at the hospital only 32 weeks pregnant, in the early stages of labor,  shocked when they told me that in Canada they do not try to stop labor.  
I remember being sent home after 1.5  hours with no progress and contractions had 'stopped'.  
I remember laboring at home, arriving back at the hospital 3 hours later and staring daggers at the doctor who sent us home, who was just ending his shift.  The shocked look on the nurses faces when they checked and said I was a full 10 cm dilated.  The surprise in the doctor’s voice when he broke my water and found a little foot.  Being prepped for a c-section, not having time to process what was actually happening.
I have had 11 years to process these events and I am thankful everything turned out okay.
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ta da!

My first pair of mittens.
They are called Newfie Mittens.  They are a very similar pattern to the circle blanket I made last year.
They are a bit small for me, so they go to one of my kids.  I'll try another pair for myself soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Here's to the start of another Awesome year!
I am working on goals, which will be posted later this week.

Right now, I'm off with my eldest to the Tacky Formal organized by the Calgary Hash House Harriers.

Embarrassing pictures may follow...

As promised above-embarrassing pictures can be found here