Tag Archives: triathlon

A Summer For The Books

Here we are, three days into September.  It’s cooler out and dark at 6 AM; almost like someone flipped a switch to turn summer off.  Fall officially starts on Thursday, September 22 at 7:21 AM PDT.  But, in so many ways, I’ve mentally made the jump and I’ll look back at summer 2016 with fond memories.

We hung out with family and friends.  We made short trips to Victoria, Penticton and Calgary   and enjoyed three wonderful months on Denman Island.  Old chores that have been put off for too long got tackled and I finished several projects that had been starting to weigh on my mind.

Our home on Denman Island is built on a piece of property that was once rented to a stained glass artist.  For some reason, and I honestly can’t think what it would be, he disposed of piles of leftover glass bits in the yard.  When it came time for us to build, we unearthed this glass and I gathered up a small box full.  I’ve saved it for 8+ years, wanting to use if for something.  I found the perfect table for my project at a garage sale in Victoria for $4.  I painted the table, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. https://www.anniesloan.com  Then, using mosaic glue, I stuck the glass bits to the table top.  Blake took over with the grouting, making a nice flat surface.  It’s been sealed and is good to be used indoors or outdoors.  Here are before and after shots.

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Two years ago our neighbours sold their home on Denman Island.  The new owner inherited three metal fish and was going to send them to the trash.  I asked if we could rescue them and she was thrilled.  Again, using the Annie Sloan paint, I fixed them up and have attached them to a retaining wall.  They don’t all fit into one picture, but here’s an idea.

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Other victories include finishing a pair of socks, a scarf and a rag rug, (6 years later!).  The postage stamp quilt that I’ve been working on since January has been quilted and I’ve just started to hand sew the binding.

Yesterday I competed in a sprint distance triathlon as part of the Americas Masters Games.  A sprint triathlon comprises a 750 metre swim (ocean), a 20 km bike and a 5 km run.  It’s been more than four years since I’ve raced and I was both nervous and excited.   The night before, the weather was terrible with torrential rain and high wind.  Swimming and running in bad weather don’t bother me at all, but cycling is another story.  Thankfully, conditions during the race were ok and I was pretty happy with my finishing time.  (I missed the podium by 10 seconds and have replayed that many times as it was firmly in my grasp.  I’ll have to work on my killer instinct!!)  I realized how much I enjoy triathlon and the challenge and variety of training for three sports.  Such fun and a perfect way to cap off the summer.

Today I’m feeling a bit lost.  We’ve settled back into city life, my projects are all done, the big Modern Quilt Showcase is over and I’ve completed the race that I’ve been training for all summer.  It’s a good time to sit back and take stock of what I’d like to work on and achieve in the next few months.

I hope your summer memories are special and I wish you a pleasant Labour Day Weekend, wherever you are!

Until next time, thanks for reading.

 

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Restoring Order

I like it when things are in their place.  I’m not obsessive about this, but when things are where they should be there’s a sense of calm in my world.  Recently, in the book shops, I’ve picked up a book called the life-changing magic of tidying up: the japanese art of decluttering and organizing.  It’s a pretty book and a nice size too.  It’s a New York Times #1 best seller, written by Marie Kondo.  So, why don’t I buy the book and find out what the magic is?  Mainly because it seems to me that it would just add One More Thing that I’d need to declutter.

Three weeks ago I had some dental surgery done, and was instructed/ordered not to exercise for a week.  That week ended up being almost two weeks and then, just when I thought it was OK to get out there, I got a nasty cold.  Minor stuff, but I listened to my body and just hung about.  The benefit of this little break was having lots of time to clean up my sewing room and finish some niggly bits and pieces.

I got down to the bottom of my ironing bucket.  I finally sewed a hanging loop on my jean jacket.  Honestly, it took less than five minutes and I’ve put it off for two years!  I sorted fabrics that are leftover from three different quilts.  I put aside fabric and notions that will be donated or swapped.  I put hanging sleeves on my wall quilts so that they can actually hang and not spend their days in a pile on the floor.  Everything is labelled now.

This quilt, which was started over two years ago, was promised to Project Linus.  It will be my second donation to them.  Their donated quilts and blankets go to a transition house in North Vancouver.

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It’s free motion quilted with different patterns on each block and then a meander on all the white.  I hope that it brings comfort and joy to someone.

There is one more UFO, (unfinished object), waiting to be quilted and I’ve just ordered some thread for it.  I’m sticking to my goal of not buying any new fabric as my collection is full of wonderful pieces that are calling to be used.  And, this afternoon I began working on a lined linen blazer.  That fabric’s been around for a while, but linen is timeless, right!?

Yesterday marked five weeks until my Half Ironman race.  I’m definitely not where I’d like to be as far as training distances.  Three weeks off, at this point, isn’t recommended, but I had a good solid base and should be able to build up the mileage.

My mind and my sewing room have been decluttered.  Order has been restored and I can get excited again about new projects and spending time in the water, on the bike and on the road.

Thanks for reading.

 

Accountability

The good thing about publicizing a goal is that it makes one somewhat accountable.  The bad thing about publicizing a goal is that it makes one somewhat accountable.  Several years ago I joined a marathon training group in Oakville, Ontario.  The leader urged us to shout to the world that we’d signed up to run a marathon.  By doing so we’d become excited and it would explain why we were going to run hundreds of training miles, often in terrible weather.  More than that, because everyone knew about the goal, it would be very hard to slack off and/or miss workouts.

From 2005 to 2007 I trained with a group of seven gals who were all, like me, training to complete a first Ironman race.  We called ourselves the FAB’s, or Fu**ing Accountability Buddies.  Feeling lazy?  Too bad, they’re waiting for you.  Partied too hard last night?  You should have thought of that, because they’re waiting for you.  Of course they were also there if you got a flat tire, struggled on a hill or just wanted company on a long session.  That group has changed; I moved away, some found other interests and one sadly lost a battle with breast cancer.

This past weekend I had a minor, really minor, spill off my bike at the end of a 70km ride.  I got some bruises, a sore neck and a couple of slightly sprained fingers.  Oh, and a lot of wounded pride!  I spent a day wondering whether it was time to pack in the training and just not race this year, or maybe ever.

Then I remembered how much I enjoy race day and the level of fitness that goes with getting there.   I’ve hit the reset button and will continue to train as hard as is appropriate on a given day.  Who knows what race day will bring?  My plan is to be there at the start line to see.  I no longer have Team FAB, but I feel accountable to myself and know that giving up isn’t an option.

Related, in a way – I posted last week, while I was watching Jordan Spieth at the Masters’ Golf Championship.  While I was writing, Jordan was far ahead of all of the other golfers and seemed destined to win his second straight Masters’.  Things went south for Jordan and, try as he might, he couldn’t recover; he tied for second.  As a professional athlete Jordan is accountable to sponsors, media and fans.  Ultimately, though, he’s accountable only to himself – at 22, tough to grasp.  He’s still FABulous in my books!

As always, thanks for reading.

Abbreviations

Saturday is kind of a ‘wordy’ day for me as it’s the day that I tackle the cryptic crossword in the National Post.  There are cryptic puzzles throughout the week, but I like the one constructed by Henry Rathvon and Emily Cox. Sometimes I can crack it in one sitting, usually I work at it throughout the week.

On the topic of words and language, I’ve been thinking about the abbreviations that have worked their way into my speech and writing.  For example, in my sewing room right now I have two UFO’s, several WIP’s and I’m about to start some FMQ on one of the WIP’s!   The UFO’s are UnFinished Objects.  They differ from WIP’s (Works In Progress) in that they’re tucked away and haven’t seen action for several months.  I really am working on the WIP’s.  The FMQ,(Free Motion Quilting), will get me very close to finishing one of those projects.  And, when I’m in need of supplies, I’ll check out my LQS, or Local Quilt Shop.

Abbreviations come into play in my sporty life too.  Recently I signed up to race in the Ironman triathlon 70.3 race in Victoria in June.  The distance is one-half of a full Ironman race, (140.6 miles), but instead of calling it a ‘half Ironman’, it is often referred to as a 70.3.  Training has begun and that means it’s time to focus on my DPS, RPM and to throw in a weekly LSD run.  DPS is Distance Per Stroke.  Swimming is all about technique and greater DPS means fewer strokes, which equals less fatigue.  RPM is for the bike and it is the number of Revolutions Per Minute the crank is turned.  The LSD run has nothing to do with psychedelic drugs!  Rather it’s a Long Slow Distance run, which is now 10 km, but will build to 20 km in the spring.

I love words and language.  And right now I’m going to exchange today’s WIP for the cryptic crossword and a cold beer.

Bye for now.

 

 

First Finish of 2016

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I’ve just thought about my title and realize it sounds as if I view quilting as a type of competition or race.   Not true at all, or is it?  My aim isn’t to become a prolific quilter and turn out dozens of quilts in a year.  This hobby is teaching me to be patient and to enjoy all aspects of each project – planning, cutting, piecing, quilting and binding.  However, no matter how patient I become, I will always be goal-driven and finishing a project will always have a wonderful feeling, which, for me, is so similar to the feeling of crossing the finish line in a running race or a triathlon.  So, I guess it’s kind of the same, but in a different way.

This quilt, as yet unnamed, started as a pre-cut kit that I bought at the National Quilting Association show in Little Rock, Arkansas last spring.  The 50+ squares were cut at 10″ and the pattern was Japanese Jigsaw.  When I got it home and started reading the instructions I discovered two things.  One, I didn’t really like the finished quilt and two, there would be tons of scraps/waste if I followed the pattern.  So I decided to use 42 of the squares and placed them in such a way that I liked.  I pieced them and then added a very narrow red trim line between the blocks and the border.  This brightened it up and tied the front to the red batik backing.

This was my first go at Free Motion Quilting a large project and it was so much fun.  I’ve practiced on lots of little scraps and bits, but felt a need to ‘just do it’.  Each different block pattern is quilted differently. Patterns include pebbles, meandering, spirals, clamshells, cross-hatch and flame stitch.  The fabric is busy and unstructured and very forgiving – a great piece to learn on.  I bound it in a grey fabric that picked up the greys, black and white in the body.

Here’s the finished quilt, hanging on the fence.  Good timing, as the next day there was 3 inches of snow!

Deadlines

Pressure is good, correct?  I know that I’m at my best when I have goals to reach for.  Sometimes it’s training for a running or triathlon race.  Sometimes it’s getting a gift finished with enough time to get it wrapped and to the recipient in time. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a list of chores done before heading out the door.  Recently I’ve cut it close, almost too close, on two goals and it’s reminded me that procrastination is not a good thing.

This past summer I registered, through The Modern Quilt Guild, to participate in a quilt challenge.  If selected I would receive a bundle of fabric in the mail and I would have to sew it into a quilt and submit it by November 30.  Well, I was chosen, the fabric arrived, and then it sat.  The colours didn’t move me, inspiration was lacking.  Eventually I came up with a plan and got to work.  It started to take shape and looked promising.  Then we went away for two weeks and arrived home three days before the deadline.  It was completed and submitted, online, with only hours to spare.  Here’s the piece – it’s 25″ x 26″ and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Getting this Blog started was my second project with a deadline.  I’ve blogged before, while on a trip through India.  It was fairly basic, mostly a way to send pictures and updates to family and friends.  threadonthread is meant to be a way to communicate with others with common interests.  I wanted it to be perfect before publishing my first post.

However, I’m participating in the Denman Island Christmas Craft Faire this weekend and have printed cards with my name and the blog address, so I will have to settle for getting two posts published, inserting some photos and hoping that you will come back often and follow along as threadonthread blossoms into the blog that I’ve envisioned.

Next deadline – Christmas – and shopping starts on Monday!