You Broke Me!

This is what notsogranny said about ‘my’ personal trainer because whenever I sat down for any length of time on Sunday I stiffened up and ended up hobbling along. Saturday morning I had been put through my paces, for the first time in 2 weeks, and I was suffering!

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You may remember that when I was training the London Marathon last year, my biggest fear was that I would get injured. In an attempt to combat this I booked some sessions with a personal trainer. The idea was to strengthen all the supporting muscles that don’t actually get used that much in running. I know I was surprised too – there are some muscles in the legs that don’t get used that much in running!

Due to my illness I didn’t use many of the sessions that I had paid for but have now been trying to meet regularly with him. The sessions may appear to be quite ‘easy’ to some as I am, not huffing and puffing or sweating profusely. That is not the aim.

I start off rolling my muscles on a ball and with a foam roller to loosen them off and get rid of knots (which often hurts!). I then move onto squats, lunges, leg curls, step ups interspersed with a few lat pull downs and chest presses. Yes my legs get a bit wobbly and even hurt a bit but at the time it is never that bad.

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It would appear that the break of 2 weeks was just a bit too much for the legs. There is a part of me that likes the ache as I know that I have done something good but I have to admit to being a bit embarrassed as I hobbled and moaned around on Sunday!

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I was even still stiff on Monday but did manage a gentle jog, which was just as well as I saw this lovely sunset:

Sunset over the cornfield.

Sunset over the cornfield.

A sneaky day out

I was very privileged to be able to take a day ‘off’ from children to spend a day with Joanne (notsogranny) and go to Fibre East. It was my first time to a wool show and I was very much looking forward to it.

I was not disappointed.

The day was very enjoyable (except for being broken by a personal training session the day before which made my legs seize up and hobble around like an ancient lady).

Our excuse for going was to collect the crochet panels that had been on display there:

They were on display in the main hall just near the entrance.

They were on display in the main hall just near the entrance.

IMG_1010Of course they needed picking up at 4.30 when the show closed but it would be a shame to drive all that way and not actually go around the show at all wouldn’t it? We got there at about 11!

The show itself had plenty of lovely stalls to browse around and lots of lovely yarn to stroke and look at as well. It all felt quite relaxed and although busy it was not so bad that you couldn’t see what you wanted to see.

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There were lots of demonstrations; spinning, weaving, felting and rug making:

Joanne had a go at this - hew perfectionism worked to her advantage with this - she was very neat and good at it.

Joanne had a go at this – hew perfectionism worked to her advantage with this – she was very neat and good at it.

Of course I was not able to come away out buying anything. I was really after a shawl to make but fell in love with a beautiful lacy top which just so happened to be made out of some gorgeous local yarn that I first came across at a local National Trust wool fair (yes, I know that it technically means that I have been to 2 wool fairs but this was a proper grown up one!) I always knew that I would end up with some of this yarn!

I wish you could stroke this yarn...

I wish you could stroke this yarn…

The bonus of going along with a fab designer is that she knows a lot of people in the business which means that I get to talk to some really interesting people and learn all sorts of great things. Today, for example, I learnt that you can wind a skein all by yourself – no chair, child, husband or even a swift needed! It also meant that I was able to put a face to a few people from twitter that I ‘know’. All in all a perfect day. Thank you so much Joanne – you are the best.

(In case you are wondering – yes we did get the panels back all safely!)

Coping……just.

I know that I am not alone in this – when life gets very stressful my beloved blog and social media gets severely neglected. As this has happened rather a lot recently I am not going to apologise (although you know that I am really), rather take this opportunity to share with you how I am coping with a particularly stressful week.

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Without going into too much detail, last week started off with a long Monday night visit to the local A and E with my eldest. We plodded along until Thursday when my youngest was sick. Then, Saturday night my other two. This is on top of the normal end of term stresses.

Lack of sleep made the decision to drop out of the 10k race on Sunday easy. Did I take the day easy? Probably not enough. There were things that did drop off the to-do list, visiting a few local studios one of them :(.

When I am stressed I am really good at coping. Afterwards comes the reaction and the ‘crash!’. Today is the day I crashed. I am cross with myself because I should have seen it coming. I slept for about 12 hours and got up fine. Dropped my youngest off at school and went to the office to let them know about the other two being absent…..and came out in tears! I came home and collapsed on the sofa.

I soon realised that I had two choices; stay on the sofa in tears all day, hiding from the rest of the world or try to do something about it.

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I was really lucky that my husband was working from home for a time this morning so I decided to take the opportunity to go for a run.

Despite feeling like I was running in a steam room due to the high humidity, it has done the trick. On my way out I saw a REALLY close friend. It took every inch of my will power to look at her and smile before the tears started again. By the time that I had puffed my way around 3 miles I was able to stop and chat to someone quite normally.

I now feel that the day will be fairly productive rather than wasting it in tears. It has also kicked started my return to blogging.

As write this it has occurred to me that crafting would be a lot of people’s choice to help them get through times of stress, indeed it would also be mine, however this last week I have been unable to settle at anything. I did start a bracelet but it did not go very well and since then I have not had the energy to do anything. Today I am hoping that I have broken the cycle. It seems that I need running as well as craft to get me through. What about you? What strategies do you have?

My craft attempt.

My craft attempt.

(Please note that I am not writing this to get any sympathy, rather as a record to help me try to see my crashes happen in the future. Also it may help others in some small way?)

 

Back to the twins

It seems that I cannot keep away! I love the versatility of them, I also love the shapes that they make, all-stars and flowers. Happily the weather was glorious when I started this and so I sat out in the garden. My idea of happiness.

 

You make a series of these and then join them together to make a bracelet…..pictures when I finish it properly. ;)

Twin bead diamond earrings

These are quick and easy to make. Forgive the turquoise and silver – colours that I always use.

Simple but effective?

Simple but effective?

Simple and easy – what’s not to like?

One final earring pattern using twins

I am sorry if I am over dosing you on twin bead patterns….just one more for today, I promise.

Another turquoise set of earrings :)

Another turquoise set of earrings :)

Add the shepherd hooks to the loop just made.

Three patterns, all using twin beads. I shall use something different next time, promise.

Running ups and downs

I have continued to run with varying amounts of pleasure…..I have learnt that running in the heat does not agree with me (and when I say heat I mean the 25 – 29ish degrees that we get in this country). I can’t do that. I have learnt that when I relax and enjoy the run it goes far better than when I get stressed and pressured about it! Non of this is surprising, or even that new. Instead it is something that I have to relearn every year or so. Are there things like this that you go through?

This weekend was really interesting, probably the most interesting for a long time ;)sat runI suspect that most of you will be yelling YES! especially if you are not a runner. I have to admit to being a bit odd but this week it was the best thing that I could have done. I had one of the best runs that I have recently. I ran 4 miles and for each of those 4 miles I got faster and faster ending with the fastest mile of them all. I came home feeling really good.Full of energy and really happy.

Stupidly I got up the next morning thinking that it would be a similar experience if I were to go running again. So off I went – for a nice 7-8 mile run. Hummm.

It….was……the…..most…….disastrous……..run……for long, long time.

Everything that could go wrong did. I started out really well (probably too fast). It had been raining but in my unrealistic state didn’t acknowledge that this would mean wet grass when I went off on a footpath.

Said footpath was a lot narrower than I remembered and more overgrown. The grass was long and my feet were soon soaked. I then turned off the footpath too soon, climbed over a gate only to run a mile before realising that I would end up in a farmers yard who may be cross with me for trespassing. I turned around.

On reaching the actual place where I meant to turn off I saw a van, back doors open with music blaring. This made me nervous and worried about loose dogs. I turned around to come back the way I came.

I arrived back home late for a family lunch date with scratches to my arms and marks all over my legs. On top of all that my time was SLOW. Disheartened is another way to put it.

Hey ho it will not put me off…I am just hoping that my next run is slightly less eventful ;)

 

Looming wonderful …

Gosh. June was a really busy month with not much let up. July is slightly better but not a lot. I was lucky enough to find some time to make although at a much slower rate than normal and blogging just fell off the agenda all together. I have missed reading all your updates, it is a bit like a whole part of my life is gone :(

So … in our house we have been hit by the latest craze of loom bands which seems to have taken over the whole country. Someone said to me the other day that I bet I was glad to have boys so that I didn’t have all these bands everywhere. Unfortunately this is a craze that has hit boys as much as girls!

For those of you who don’t know what they are, they are basically tiny coloured rubber bands. They get everywhere – all over the floor, in washing machines, vacuum cleaners, pockets….everywhere. The bands can then be made into bracelets. The simplest ones can be made on fingers:

 

This is the preferred method of my youngest son - great for small motor control.

This is the preferred method of my youngest son – great for small motor control.

The more complex ones are done on a loom:

This is how you set up the loom.

This is how you set up the loom.

I have had a go myself. I started with fairly simple ones and then progressed to adding beads (obviously!). I am now mulling over a design that involves jump rings and chain maille with them…This may take some time to actually exist but writing it down here is more likely to make it happen.

Has this craze reached you yet? Any tips on how to contain the bands?

Rings

I have been making rings this week. Not that I planned it but, as is so often one ring led to another. Not that I am complaining. This is the first one:

I made it in pearls but think that crystals would look good too.

I made it in pearls but think that crystals would look good too.

I made it using 4 larger beads and 4 smaller ones.

Ring Number 2.

Another pearl ring but this time with a bit of added bling.

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My final ring never got finished and has in fact been ripped out although I am happy to show you where I got to so you can see the general idea. The first bit is a good little tutorial of a Right-angle weave.

Whether I ever return to this ring remains to be seen. For the while it has been pushed away from reality.