Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Workout Wednesday: DIY Medal Rack

I've spent far too long drooling over all of the beautiful medal racks on Pinterest.  Suddenly, I stumbled upon a simple one on Etsy that had me thinking "I could so do that myself!"  My poor row of coat hooks that I have been using is looking overburdened and my hard won finishers medals deserve better.

So, armed with a drill, a paintbrush, and a Home Depot gift card..I was set to get crafty.   This one is so easy, anyone can do it.

  • Board of the desired size of your medal rack (I used a half inch thick piece of sanded poplar)
  • hooks of your choice
  • Paint - 2 colours -  I bought pre-tinted testers that were on clearance for $1 each
  • Paint brush
  • Drill and 2 bits - large and teeny
  • Newspaper or plastic sheeting as a dropcloth
  • Creative slogan of your choosing.  I went with "Medal Whore", as I am sure you are all shocked to find out.

Step 1
Mark two holes in the top corners - this is where you will drill through with a large-ish drill bit to create a way to hang your medal rack.  For measurement guidance - I lined the tape measure up along the edge of the board and then marked a half inch. It feels like cheating, but it makes it even and equal.

Step 2
Mark where you want your hooks.  I used the width of the tape measure along the bottom of the board and then did my best to eyeball them evenly spaced (I so failed LOL, but I don't care either.)

Step 3
Drill the hanging holes right through the board, then switch to a much smaller bit to drill pilot holes for the hooks. Knock all of the raggedy pieces of wood away from the holes

Step 4
Slather paint all over the board.  Make sure you put newspaper down first.

Step 5
When the paint is dry - draw the slogan onto the board lightly in pencil or chalk.  I used soft pastel because that was what was handy - I found that a faint impression of the letters remained when I brushed the excess dust off.

Then, using a small brush - trace the letters in paint.  (At this stage, I also took a moment to run an X-acto knife around the edge of the board to separate it from the pools of paint I slopped around the edge)

Bonus step: you can urethane it once the lettering dries, if you so desire

Step 6
Screw in the hooks

Step 7
Hang on the wall

Step 8
Fill with all of those lovely medals and celebrate the medal whore within! (not a great pic, but you get the idea)

I'm not one to wait for my hubby to get around to something - I'd rather leap in and get it done - no matter how imperfect.  And, trust me - mine is definitely imperfect...the hooks are nowhere near evenly spaced. And I was too lazy to paint the back side.  But it is fun and has so much more room to put any future medals I might haul home.

Happy running - after all, it's the only way to collect those medals, ya know...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Run Van - Week 5 Training Recap

Okay - so I am a few days behind on getting my week 5 recap done...I've been really busy with all of my Rick Hansen Relay stuff.   Now - I can finally focus and get something down here about my training for Vancouver!

Week 5 went pretty well, though it was also pretty uneventful.I celebrated my 2nd Runnerversary this week - 2 years of running happy!!  I ran most runs on the treadmill and then had a lovely solo 10K on Saturday.  I missed my Sunday run due to all of the busy-ness around the Rick Hansen Relay...but I suppose it is better to miss a 3K run than to miss all of my weekday runs.

Here was my week:

Monday: 45mins on the bike (Yay - crosstraining!)
Tuesday: 5K run on the treadmill
Wednesday: First hill training on the treadmill
Thursday: 5K run on the 'mill
Friday: Off
Saturday: Solo 10K at Glenmore Reservoir
Sunday: Rick Hansen Relay - 250 metres of running awesomeness

This week I found I was struggling heavily with exhaustion. I hesitate to say I am wavering into Overtrainingland but it might not be out of the question.   This week, I am focusing on lowering the intensity to give my body a bit of a break. My speeds may be slower and my hills might be at a lessened incline - and I'll be trying to go to bed earlier.  I'll get the runs done, but my focus is on finishing strong - not tapping myself out. I don't want to end up sick or injured...or both.

I know that this is the first time in a year that I have actually been concentrating on following a proper training plan and my mileage has been higher than what might be considered "normal" for me. 

Past week recaps: 

Techy Tuesday: Setting Up Garmin Workouts Online

Thanks to Nikki at Slow is the New Fast, I made a fabulous new discovery last week.  You can create workouts for your Garmin online!!!   Blows my mind!  I don't know how I didn't discover this before. 

I have been hesitant to actually get started setting up a workout on the device itself mainly because navigating around a teeny watch face seemed so hard (my last Garmin had to be set up on the device).  So, for fun, I decided to take this feature for a spin. 

First things first - navigate to the Workouts Tab when you are logged into your Garmin Connect account.  I clicked the "Create a new Workout" button and off I went.

The interface was super simple to use - just fill in a title and select the elements you want in your run.  I kept it simple for my first test - just setting up my long slow distance runs for the next couple of weekends. 

 Here are the drop-downs for each options so you can see exactly how customizable it really is:

I could have set it up much more complicated than that - for example to program in each walk break - but I chose to keep it simple. The online interface is super simple to use, though it might require my calling on my not-so-considerable math skills to program a more complicated run.

When I was done - I added it to the calendar for those dates and then clicked the "Send to device" button so my Garmin would receive the information.

Now, for the real test.   Since I was testing it with slower paces than I usually run an LSD (the Running Room training schedule paces), I chose the test to be on 10K that I was doing solo.  JS was away this past weekend so I hit the paths at Glenmore and puttered on my way.

Only to find that my workout hadn't made it onto my watch. 

I'm not sure what happened nor am I sure I would know how to check beforehand.  I just assumed that it would automatically pick u p since I had set a date on it.   Perhaps it is saved on there as a date for me to select on the watch.  This might all be an operator error, but my version of common sense told me that if I set a date and the Garmin recognized that it was that date - then the workout should have automatically played.

I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to give up...but for this first test - it was a FAIL.   Maybe someone can share in the comments where I might have gone wrong :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Official Photos from Rick Hansen Relay

MOMday: Creating Little Medals - A DIY Project

I might as well warn you's DIY week, here at Read.Write.Run.Mom.   I actually have two little projects to share - one to make for the tots and one to make for yourself.  Stay tuned Wednesday as well!

When I first signed on as a medal bearer for the Rick Hansen Relay, I immediately knew that this was something I wanted to do with my daughters.   I want them to run and not know why.  I want them to see physical activity as a priority in their own lives because they will grow up seeing me make it a priority in mine.

So - Relay day was fast approaching and I had a fit of inspiration.  At the end of my Relay Segment, I was going to receive a commemorative medal, but my girls would not. 

As we all know, I am a self-professed medal whore.  No shame in coming right out and saying it.  I loves me some medals.  It was the perfect opportunity to make them something to commemorate the occasion that they could look back on and hopefully see it as the start of their very active lives.
I was going to make them medals!

Initially, I figured I would just roll out some Sculpey, cut it into circles and etch "I ran Rick Hansen Relay with my Mommy" on each one (plus their names - gotta make sure everything is marked or there will be a fight).  Bake 'em up, add a ribbon...VOILA - Instant Medal!

Even bought some glitter glue - I was prepared to get fancy!

Friday, I was sitting at work, knowing that this was my Friday night project.  Then I saw a tweet from the Rick Hansen Foundation that said London Drugs was selling commemorative merchandise.  I had already bought myself a medallion from the Royal Canadian Mint to turn into a Christmas tree ornament and I decided right then and there that if I could buy two more medallions at London Drugs - then THAT was going to be what my toddler medals would be!  Totally took the easy road.  On the way home we stopped and I picked up the medallions.

Saturday, I went shopping for ribbon for the lanyard.  I lucked out and found a white ribbon with a royal blue and yellow pattern that was girly yet reminiscent of the Rick Hansen Relay branding.  I measured out the ribbon around the girls necks (I totally didn't tell them what i was doing so the medals would be a surprise!)  Then, as soon as they were in bed, I hauled out my old sewing machine.

Before I go any farther - I should tell you that I am not a good sewer (um person who sews, not stinky underground filth pipe).  Sure I can make a helluva Franken-lovey but that is about the extent.  This sewing machine is not heavily used! If I can sew these...anyone can!

After carefully analyzing my own medal collection - I figured I should be able to mash my way to a couple of medals.

I first sewed the ends of ribbons together on an angle

Trimmed away the excess ribbon so it looked like this when opened

pulled the sharp tip through the loop on the medallion

Pulled the tip upward to create a little loop over the medallion.

and stitched the tip to secure. (I machine stitched one and hand stitched the other (due to a bobbin loading error)

In the end - they look like little finisher medals.  The medallions were the perfect size for this.

 There you have it - DIY finishers medals for your kids.  Simple simple.

And the verdict come Relay day? Well, I think it's safe to say I have a couple of mini-medal whores on my hands.  Sigh - well, it never hurts to start them young!

They didn't really care much when they first got them, but they refused to take them off all day so they must have been pretty proud when all is said and done.

One day, when they are tired of playing with them - I'll turn the medallions into Christmas tree ornaments for their own trees.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rick Hansen Relay Pt.3 - End of Day Celebration

Warning: Super media heavy...unavoidably so...

When all was said and done, my family all went to Starbucks for coffee.  There were still a couple of hours to kill before the End of Day Celebrations were to start at BMO Centre.   My parents attended the end of day celebration with us - good thing too, since it took 4 of us to keep a handle on the girlies there.

Live music set the mood.

Ronald was there - it's always a party with Ronald....

The girls got to hug a horse!

I bought a great new tech shirt.

The girls made a new friend.  This little girl was an irresistible draw for them and she lived her little life with such zest that you couldn't help but smile and giggle with her!

I totally missed the best part of the girls playing though...while Buggie ran around and around - Doodle was getting her cowbell on with Keon Raymond from the Calgary Stampeders.  They were really getting down with those Scotiabank Cowbells (when we got home we noticed we had somehow acquired 5 of these thanks to the girls being kleptomaniacs) . It was so sweet to watch that I totally failed to take a photo or video and hubby missed it.   But the memory will live on in my was truly a great moment and I think Mr. Raymond has himself a new fan in me because of it.

Rick Hansen was in attendance...I filmed his speech (pardon the crappy lighting and quality - at least the sound is ok):

Buggie REALLY wanted to high-5 Rick...but he had interviews so she happily high-fived the cardboard cutout.

The medal

Then, they did the embarrassing thing I saw on YouTube...they made us perform that little dance they taught us at the meeting point.  Luckily I'm not easily embarrassed anymore...for your viewing pleasure:

And a closeup of me...ish. I'm on the far left in the front...such talent lol

Me with Lonnie Bissonette - thank you for being out there with me!!!  You are incredible!

Me and the medal

My new buddy, Kyle - he was the guy who did most of the talking at our debrief.  Such a great guy and so much energy!

We left shortly after the dance, but hubby was able to shoot this picture of Rick as he gave an interview.  I really wish I could have talked to him in person, but our girlies had been a long time without a nap and our departure was necessary to get them sleeping before a major public meltdown occurred.  I have no doubt that I will have another chance in the future to meet and talk to Rick. 

I'll post later with my overall impressions and feelings about the day - right now I just wanted to get it all out while it was fresh!  I will also post official photos soon.

Rick Hansen Relay Pt.2 - Cori and the Heavy Medal

Warning: ton of photos in this post...

Onto the shuttle we all went. I sat with the kid who would be handing the medal off to me so we had loads of time to work out our hand-off (high five and fist bump, in case you're wondering).  As the bus traveled up Macleod Trail, the team showed us video footage of the original Man in Motion tour and of the impact Rick Has had on our world.  It was truly inspiring.

I expected that my "insertion point" (as they called it) was going to be just across Glenmore Trail...imagine my surprise when I was dropped off in front of Spence Diamonds on the south side of Glenmore.  This was quite far from where my family expected.  Hubby later told me that they couldn't even tell if it was me from so far away.

As soon as I was off the bus, I was met by the people who would guide me to the hand off (I'm sorry, I don't remember your names - it was all a blur...but THANK YOU SO MUCH!)   I was told exactly how it needed to go and that I would have 3 minutes to complete my segment.   Then the Rick Hansen motorhome was there - music a-blarin' - and I was moved to the middle of the road for the hand off.

The medal went over my head and it was high-five-fist-bump...then fist bump again for the cameras!  I took a moment to look at the medal and really notice how heavy it was.  This medal had an incredible energy to it.  Like you could almost feel the amazing people who had carried it before me radiating from it. 

And I was off. As I started to run, I had to hold onto the medal - it's weight was unwieldy. I had a chatty lady pacing me - asking me questions as we went.  In the Hand Cycle was Lonnie Bissonette (such an inspiring story).  I was in amazing company for my segment!  Thank you all!

It took me a minute or two to reach my family...

No comments on the high-water pants :P

When I finally did - I quickly motioned for my daughters to join me and they ran right out.

Run run was slow going and the girls were tired.

Shot of the back of the motorhome - this is where the photographers were.

Soon, Doodle stopped short and said "Up mommy!"  Knowing I didn't have much time - I scooped them both up and we walked the rest of the segment.

Then it was time to pass the medal on to the next amazing Difference Maker.  My five minutes were up and I had to say goodbye to that amazing medal and all of the incredible energy it possesses.  But I knew an incredible woman was carrying it!

And the relay continues behind me but I am done.

Meeting up with my family and friends who came out in support.  Thank you mom and dad for travelling so far for this and to everyone else who shared in this amazing day - despite the less than stellar weather!  Luckily, I ended up not getting too cold - even though I was barely dressed to run faster in fall weather...just chilly fingers and toes.

And, in case you were wanting to watch it for real - my awesome brother in law filmed it for me!  Thanks, D!   (you can tell the parts where he was running to stay ahead but it's still good)