Saturday, September 25, 2010

9th Wedding Anniversary Day-Out

Our actual anniversary isn't really for a few more days, but this was when we could get childcare and have some time together. My in-laws babysat all day and into the early evening and we had a fantastic time.

We started out our day getting some Caribou coffee. Yum! Then we headed to Mpls to go to the Mill City Farmer's Market & Oktoberfest (2 different things there). Oktoberfest was a special event and they had beer tasting (woohoo!), bands playing, and a beer garden and sausages for sale. Yum! First, let me say it was so much fun to listen to polka bands. Growing up I heard polka bands often since my grandpa was in one, so I have a special fondness for them. Second, that was the best kraut I have ever had. It was homemade and had the perfect level of sweetness mixed in with the sour. Yum!

It was also a great Farmer's Market. It was largely organic & sustainable local farmers there. Andy bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Plus we bought some smoked trout (another fond memory of my great grandpa giving us smoked fish), some dill havarati, some sourdough bread, and some wonderful, wonderful chocolate sauce.

After this we went to Kramarczuk's and had some nalesnyky and varenyky (& Andy had a Russian beer). It was pretty tasty and I could only eat half my plate (well, I did eat at Oktoberfest.) They we went to their deli and bought some polish sausage, brats, homemade kraut & brat rolls to bring home.
Our next stop was the Minneapolis Institute of Arts WITHOUT KIDS. The only other time we were here was for a Family event and we had the kids and didn't get to really see much. So, we spent a little time here. Neither of us are art snobs, so we don't spend hours upon hours here. But we did spend enough time and enjoyed ourselves. When we got home and gave our daughter a poster from the museum she asked us when we could take her back again. She really enjoyed their family event (which is a monthly thing.)

Finally, making our way home, we stopped at the Cheese Cave and had some wine, cheese, crackers, nuts, chocolates & dried fruit. FANTASTIC! This is my third time going here and each time I just love it even more & more. We plan to go again next month and introduce some friends to this place. They are the retail store & restaurant for the Amablu Cheese Caves in that town, plus they sell all sorts of other cheeses.

Fall Flooding

These are pictures of our park around 3pm on Thursday, 9/23/10. The river did not crest until sometime Friday evening, but after it did it started to recede and by Saturday morning it was 10 inches lower and this evening when we drove by it looked to be at least another foot lower too.

I am not exactly sure how much rain we really got. There are reports of 8.5-11 inches of rain around our area within 24 hours. The town to the south of us was hit much harder because they are lower in elevation, plus a man-made levy broke causing more flooding.

Our home sits high enough and far enough away from the river that we were luckily not affected, but I am saddened by all the people who have lost so much because of the flooding. Lots of business in the town south of us were affected.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My First 5K

Ok, now I can give you the run down of my first 5K and the training the first 8 weeks.

Here's how it started: A friend posted on her FB status that her husband was given the opportunity to be a trainer for 5 people who have never run a 5K before. The program was going to be very similar to the Couch To 5K (C25K) program (our program was like this but 1 week shorter.) My reply to her post was, "Hmmmmm, sounds interesting. I'll have to think about it." And I was thinking about it because running a 5K was a goal of mine at the beginning of the year, but due to having a 2 month old and fears of drying up from nursing, I abandoned the goal after 3 weeks.

Well, a couple days later I get an email basically saying - ok, you're doing it, my husband will email you more details.

Later than day I get an email from her husband, Lonnie (bald guy in the photo), saying training would be three days a week, we start next week and run a 5K in 8 weeks, but that all these things were negotiable based on our availability. Then we found out we only had to meet once a week for group training and we were meeting at 7pm, the other 2 days of training were to be done on our own time & schedule (but mostly following a MWF workout schedule.) The companies sponsoring us, Metabolife & would be paying our entry fee, giving us training programs to choose from, and providing us with shirts to wear during our first 5K (see photo above to check out our shirts.) That was it, there was no obligation to the company, this is a marketing opportunity for them. We actually have a FB page as well, and there are teams like these all over the country.

So, I didn't even have time to think of an excuse of why I couldn't do this. I needed to do this. So I went with it. Turns out there was another mom, Jennifer (see picture) I was just getting to know who just had a little boy about the same time I had my son. This training was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other and support each other as moms and as training partners.

The other person in the picture with us is Mike, another training partner. His wife had started the program with us but because of an existing precondition that worsened, she didn't finish the program and did the 1-mile walk this day. There is also one more training partner, who completed his first 5K a day after us because he has college courses on Saturdays.

I think the biggest hurdle was running the first 2 miles straight. I don't think I have ever run 2 miles without walking some part EVER! I believe all of us felt similarly. But I did it! And then my friend Caitlin told me something our runner friend, Rebecca, told her when she ran her first 2 miles "You can run 20% more when you are at the race because of the adrenaline and competition." So, if I was running 2 miles already, I was almost there to being able to run 3.1.

I was very proud of myself for running my first 5K. I finished at 31:52 on VERY HILLY course that was actually about 3.2 miles rather than 3.1. It was a non-competitive, fundraising run, so the distance need to be "close enough". I was even more happy when I found out it was longer (our trainer had a GPS that tracked distance & elevation & time, etc.) So it turns out I ran a 10 minute mile. I was amazed. I only practiced a 10-minute mile ONCE for 1 mile, before this I was just over a 10.5 minute mile. So I had cut over 30 seconds off my average pace time (mostly likely due to it being race day), which is awesome! I have to wonder if I would have gone even faster if there weren't so many hills (which get very tiring.)

I did take my weight & measurements at the beginning of this too. Where I barely saw any weight loss, I did begin to notice that pants fit better. I had lost a half inch around my waist and also a quarter inch around both my chest & hips.

I did end up straining or spraining one of my ankles and need to apply RICE to that for a few days and then ease back in to running. I did walk 1.5 miles on it today and it hurt, but today was supposed to be the peak of delayed-onset muscle soreness and it will start to feel better after today. So, maybe some yoga in the meantime.

I do have plans to run another 5K in a month. Not sure if I will advance to training for a 10K. It's still hard to believe I ran a 5K and I just want to bask in that accomplishment for a while.

I do have to say, I believe the C25K training program is a very good set up and works if you are dedicated to training towards your first 5K.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Homemade No-Sew Birthday Banner

I have seen these banners on several different blogs. I always thought they were pretty cool, but worried about how time consuming it would be to cut out 13 triangles and 13 letters. It wasn't so bad. I just sat down and made this and made the most of my son's first birthday crown while I watched a movie.

I did all this free hand, no stencils. And I have to say, I think I did a pretty good job. The supplies I used was: felt, ribbons, school glue, hot glue & glue gun, and scissors.

I first cut out all the triangles, then started cutting out letters. Then it was time to glue it all together. I used white school glue to adhere the letters to the triangles and hot glue to adhere the pennants to the ribbon.

I love that it was no sew and I could do it sitting in the living room while watching a movie.

I had decided to do it in a variety of colors because then I can use it for any birthday. But I did make it for my son't first birthday. I had made several things for my daughters first birthday and wanted to make him some special things as well. So, for him I made this banner, am making a crown and a shirt. I did buy some small round cake molds so that I can make his personal birthday cake (for the photo op too).

Anyways, I figure this cost me around $3 to make. Certainly MUCH CHEAPER than buying a fabric pennant banner, probably even cheaper than buying a paper one that would get wrecked after one use.