Couch to 5k- Week 1- Day 2- redux

I ran to the High School and back. Uphill. Bothways... seriously...
The road I took has a long hill on it, it was my warm up walk and the first three intervals. The way down was interval four and by the end of the cool down I was turned around and on my way back up hill again until interval eight and the cool down walk.

Good news... I RAN the first FIVE intervals. I started to run the sixth but stopped after about 15 seconds and walked until interval seven began and I RAN intervals seven AND eight!! That is 7 out of 8 interval ran!!! Much better than I had hoped for! I really had to push myself at the end, and starting to feel a blister form didn't help. But I have the next two days off to recuperate and heal. Might need to put a bandage on that blister on Monday.

I woke up stuffy and with a head ache. I really had to push myself to get out of the house today, but I did it. And now I just have a headache, but not as bad as it was. I have to read about proper breathing while running, I think I can do something to do better at that.

OK, off to weed the garden and then take a shower. I am dripping all over my keyboard.


Mayfair Festival of the Arts

Come on down to the Mayfair Festival! I set up yesterday and am in space #44, that is the LAST craft booth before you head over the bridge to lakeside.. or the first booth after the bridge (if you are heading the other way).

Dad and I set up yesterday and it went quite swimmingly. There is some construction on the Ott Street bridge and even some in the park itself, so there is some driving/parking crapola to deal with.. so don't let it discourage you!

We are supposed to be having some wonderful weather (over the long weekend) and I am looking forward to the first real big show of the season! See you there!


Couch to 5k- Week 1- Day 1- redux

OK, so i just started my second try at doing the Week 1 work out. It is just about 20 degrees cooler here in PA than it was in PR and I really think that the temperature and humidity difference made a big difference in how successful I was today.

My goal was to finish the first three intervals- I powered through the first FOUR and 45 seconds of the FIFTH. The rest I walked. The terrain here is much more hilly than in PR and I could feel the burn on the hills. I liked having better geographic goals here too. I could estimate 60 seconds as making it to the next stop sign, or next parked car, and usually I overestimated and got to stop before I expected to. My legs twitch a little after today's work out and that is new.

I weighed myself yesterday- no change from the week before, but my legs do feel slimmer in some places so we will check again after this week. It is gonna be a slow change I think.


Home and Overwhelmed

I am home.. and I am frantic.. ok, not frantic, but I certainly have enough thing son my plate to keep me busy for a while.

I have to set up Mayfair tomorrow, and finish getting dad's display ready for the farmer's market. We need to pack stuff for him to take and things he needs like bags and fliers. I have orders through the co-op, and through the web site. I have laundry to do, things to unpack, a blanket to block, a garden to weed, and a general pile of other paperwork to take care of.


OK, I'm a little better now after the scream...

Oh, did I mention I have a wedding to finish making things for and a special order to make up too??? MUST...STOP...THINKING....


Couch to 5K- Week 1- Day 3

Yep, I'm gonna need to do this first week again to get my lazy body into some kind of shape.

I ran the first two segments, the first was no problem, the second I was a little tight chested after. I made it through about 40 seconds of the third segment, 30 seconds of the fourth and 30 seconds of the fifth. 6-8 were just walking as well was the cool down.

I was pretty proud that I could even start the third segement this week, and my goal next run is to be able to finish it.

I tried using my inhaler before my workout. Doc had recommended trying it. I never have tried it before because I think my doctor is a moron. And it didn't help me either this time. I was still tight after the second interval, and by the seventh I even had a funny taste in my mouth, and kinda felt light headed for a few seconds along the way as well. This may or may not be from the medicine, but I think I will continue to not use it before the workout from now on.

It was another high humidity day- 79% and felt like 90 by the time I got out to excercise. The weather just hasn't been with me this week. I am looking forward to an early am on Wed back in PA where it will be cooler at least.

So I try again in a few days, I see a progression, very slow, but a progression. I feel a little different already in my hips and waist. Doubt that with all the good food here that I have lost any weight, but we will see when I get back to a working scale.

Running is much more mental that I thought it would be. You get to a point where you want to stop, but the thing is to push through just a little bit longer. I seem to want to stop at 45 seconds, the trick is to remind myself I am almost done and can go just a few seconds more. Some intervals I can do that, some the pain in my chest is to strong to ignore. I need to get stronger mentally as well as physically.


Couch to 5K Week 1- Day 2

So it is not any cooler today than it was on Wednesday. 82 degrees with 76% humidity feels like 88 degrees. Given the fact that PA is currently 63 degrees I think that next week when I get home this program may be a little easier on my body.

I walked the warm up 5 minutes and ran (yes ran!!!) the first and second intervals! All 60 seconds of them. I was quite winded and my chest/back was tight so I walked through the next interval and its recovery period. Intervals 4 and 5 I ran most of (about 45 seconds each) and then I walked the rest, including the cool down period.

I certainly wasn't as red as I was on Wednesday. Bright pink, but not red. I also seem to be coming back to normal quicker today too. I feel like I could have pushed 30 seconds or so out of intervals 7 and maybe 8, but I am resigned to take this slow and I was pretty proud of my accomplishments already.

I am also trying my yoga after the work out today to see if the stretching after helps keep any soreness down. I also skipped it trying to get out of the apartment before the temperature rose any higher.

Got one more day to do this while here (Sunday) and then will most likely repeat week one again when I get home, because I doubt I will be able to run all 8 intervals on Sunday, and even if I did, I would need some more practice before going further.


Couch to 5K- Day 1

So i am trying to do the Couch to 5K excercise plan. K sent me a link to a cool podcast that tells your your intervals so you don't have to watch your watch. C bought me a nano and new running shoes...

For those of you who don't know what it is.. basically it is a 12 week excercise/running program that is supposed to get you off your couch and running a 5K. Now I am a little challenged with this... other than some sports in High School, I have never been a runner and a few years ago I got real sick and have had some mild asthma symptoms ever since, especially when excercising. But I decided to give this a go anyway, even if it became the 24 week excercise plan or 52 week for that matter. I just want to build some stamina in my lungs, some muscles in my legs, and maybe as a side effect, loose some fat.

So I started today...It is 80 degrees out and 87% humidity, making San Juan feel like 87 degrees at 9 am. Probably not the ideal conditions to start a running program, but hey, it will seem easier next week when I am back in PA, right?

At home I started with 20 minutes of light yoga/stretching.. The the 5 minute warm up. Intervals of running for one minute and recovery walking for 90 seconds. I couldn't even run the full 60 seconds (more like 45-50) and I only did the interval 4 times (not the 8 I was supposed to), but I walked it all and most of the cool down period too. I am hot, flushed, and thirsty. But I feel like I acomplished a lot for my first try. My lungs got tight and I coughed a few times, but the recovery walks seemed to do just that- let me recover.

If my legs don't hurt I may try again tomorrow for a few intervals, or I may rest like the program suggests. I will be really happy when I can at least do this weeks plan ...baby steps!


May 15- Arts Alive! Quakertown PA

UGH, what a horrid little show. OK, maybe I am over reacting. Maybe horrid isn't the right word...lets see here...bad doesn't describe it well enough, terrible doesn't fit either.. sucky.. that is it.. what a sucky little show.

So after 1 pm, about half way through the show I checked with some crafter friends- a beadweaver, a photographer, a potter, and a wood worker. All of us had either just barely made our show fee, or didn't even make that. It was across the boards a terrible sales day. I had a few sales right at the end that pulled me past my show fee, and further than I thought was possible, but by no means did I have a good day. When comparing it to the night before at the farmers market I seriously only made 50 cents more today. And it was double the amount of time.

So onto the positive....
1) the customers were great. I didn't have many, but the ones I did have were a pleasure to serve. No grumpy cutomers here for me.
2) the show promoters were not too bad. many come around to introduce themselves. They handed out a packet with information and a pen. They were easy to find and well marked (they had on certain shirts)
3) Not too many buy/sell/junk booths. most of the arts and crafts were well made and made by hand. not all, but most.

I can't say that I won't be back next year. Who knows what financial situation I will be in and I did make some profit. But to be honest, I will most likely try something else this weekend. It would hard to do worse.

Bath Farmer's Market- Week 1

It was the first week at the Farmer's Market. Boy do I have a lot to learn. First, I need a smaller set up for these events. Good thing I have some new displays on the way. I need to get down to two tables, not the four that I usually use. It just takes too long to set up and tear down. I also have to set up in a way that I can get away without using the tent sides except in the most extreme weather. That shouldn't be too hard most weeks, but on bad weather days I need to put the two tables in the center and go from there.

But we got very good feed back and I love the prospect of being able to do lots of special orders. I spoke with on woman who is vegan and talked about the fact I can make any of my soaps without milk for her, and another wants a special scrub and will look up what the ingredients I need, a third wants nag champa so I need to track down my samples of that fragrance for her. These special orders really allow me to be creative and to test out and learn new things. It really is one of my favorite things to do.

Sales were stronger than I expected and although we left an hour early due to rain, it was a very good day. Dad will be there next week and the week after then I will be back for a few weeks with him. I really like this Farmer's Market stuff, I should have been doing this all along :)


Certified Soapmaker!

The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild (HSMG)is developing and implementing a soapmaker certification program. The Guild undertook this activity to encourage and promote the highest professional standards among HSMG members. The Program also presents criteria by which members can measure their soap making knowledge and skill, creates a centralized repository for industry-standard information and resources, and provides a communication venue for members to share their expertise.

The Certification Program benefits the handcrafted soap making industry as a whole by establishing an industry-wide standard of excellence in soap making. Achieving these certifications will benefit the member as it demonstrates dedication to professional standards and builds credibility with customers.

The exams are offered only to HSMG members and are entirely voluntary

I have taken and passed my first two exams with flying colors! I am certified in both CP/HP (Cold and Hot Process) as well as MP (Melt and Pour or Glycerin. There is also an advanced and master level for both processes. I start studying for the advanced level next week and will need to submit soap samples with my exams.

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday. I got the best gifts of all- first and foremost, C stayed home with me! There are many years he has to travel on my birthday, so the chance to sit and hang out with him all day was just awesome! Dad got me a card, and Mom sent me a text. I am very close with both my parents, so there need not be a huge Birthday thing, I actually prefer it if there isn't.

My Rav friends all posted me Happy Birthdays and a day filled with yarn. It wasn't totally filled with yarn (I got to knit some), but it was filled with some cool gifts. I got an I-Pod Nano in orange, with a case that can strap to my arm when I go for walks, and I got a new pair of walking shoes, and some new t-shirts. Last night I started downloading podcasts I want to listen to including the Couch to 5K workout.

We also went to lunch at a new place called Bamboo (on Cedar Crest). It is now my new favorite sushi place. Great stuff. Different stuff. I love soybean wrapped rolls, and one was topped with mango, yum!

Today B is bring me to Vanity Fair with her (I need socks and stuff), lunch, and then to the movies. It was planned for yesterday in case C had to be out of town, but postponed to today, so I get to celebrate my birthday for two days!


May 8-9 Downtown Bethlehem Fine Art Show

I hate to love this show. Yes, I know that doesn't exactly make sense, but I love this show- it is local, there are great artists, the location is nice, the price to be there isn't too expensive, and sales are usually pretty good.

And I hate this show... I don't think it is managed all that well and it has been windy (dangerously windy) the past few years. It really needs a location change. My vote is to move it down the hill into Historic Bethlehem kinda where Musikfest is held.

Last year the wind kept me away on Sunday. This year the wind kept me away on Sunday. This years my sales were better than last year. Two years ago, when the weather was beautiful, I had great sales. So the show has some major potential, some great history, the ability to be just wonderful. But I hate it when it is windy. And I love it when it isn't.

I will apply again next year. I will hope for better weather. Hope for that miracle. And I hope that everyone who stuck it out today did really, really well. But my gut says that I doubt it :(


May 2- Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Show

I had an average day. Sales were not as string as I had hoped them to be, and given the pricey entrance fee, honestly I expected them to be a little better. But the sales for the day were average.

The weather held off and the day was just plain hot and sticky. Unseasonably warm for this time of year. But we are in a great place, under some shade trees in front of a park which gives us some great cross breeze. It never got too windy and we didn't even bother to put the sides on the tent, which is very rare for us when there is even a hint of rain in the forecast. C was with me, which always makes a show better, and he hunted down some chicken salad for me for lunch. I drank my free coffee, and should have ordered it decaf, because I was buzzing for most of the day!

I had some very sweet repeat purchasers from previous years, and I always appreciate it when they announce themselves- "oh good, I am glad I found you, I was looking for you!" always boosts sales. Quite a few new faces too which is great.

Last year this show was rained out and delayed, I think if I can get a good two or three years of good weather my sales will increase and this will go from an average show to a really good show. I just need the repeat customers to keep on bringing in new customers and for new customers to brave the weather (heat or rain) and come on out and shop. But for now, this show is in the "try again next year" pile.

May 1- Heckler Plains Folklife Society Herb, Flower & Craft Show

What a treasure of a show! Now, not everyone did as well as I did, it may have been the location so close to the herbs for sale, or the spring breeze carrying the smell of the soaps all over the field, or just plain luck... but for a very inexpensive show I did very, very well.

Dad came with me for the first time and it was a great experience for him. He got practice with the cash register at a show that wasn't too busy or too long, but we had enough customers for some real practice.

They do another show in August, a little more expensive (but not by much) and I think we will try to be there if we can (I need to look at the show schedule.

I would say that it was a prefect day!