Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lap love -winter swimming lessons

The weather must have still been warm when I decided to sign up for a swimming class in the dead of winter. The pool is heated, but the worst of course the trek from the pool to my car AFTER class.

Week four of swim class is here and sessions are going fantastic so far. I have really been pleased with being able to pick back up where I left off from after my triathlon in August. My instructor has us swim laps a lot more than I'm used to, which is exactly what I need. The swim portion of my upcoming race is 1/2 mile, or 805 meters, or 16 laps in an Olympic size pool. I'm up to swimming about 8 laps so far. But after that, I'm dead tired. Swimming is the most deceiving workout. It feels so relaxing during, but just wait until the next day when the soreness kicks in!

Last night we worked on breast stroke. The movement of the arms and legs comes pretty easily. But, I become uncoordinated when trying to put it all together. I like breast stroke because it is so much easier to take breaths than freestyle. I don't foresee myself using breast stroke during my race, but I still like working on different strokes. After about half an hour of working on breast stroke I went back to freestyle and I felt like a rock star! I moved through the water much faster because I didn't have to think so much about the movements.

There are four months remaining until race day. Fingers crossed Chicago will have a few unseasonably warm weeks before June so I can get in some open water swims before the race. Winter swimming is definitely a different beast. But, I'm happy with my decision to start training early for June.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crafty Night Out recap: Bow ties and chalkboard paint wine glasses

Friday I hosted my first craft workshop, Crafty Night Out. I love to make, sew, and create things for my friends and family. It was suggested to me a few years ago by a co-worker that I teach a crafting class for children. I wasn’t really feeling the idea at the time, but it grew on me. I hosted a craft party in my home over the holidays, and decided to go for hosting a public class.

I chose a Valentine’s Day theme with the ever popular chalkboard paint wine glass project and making fashion bow ties.

I think everyone has a creative side. I love creativity because there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone's bow ties were unique. After teaching my first class, I have definitely learned a lot. Little things I will improve upon to achieve a better experience for my guests at my next workshop. Things like, bring two irons for fusing interfacing instead of one when you have two volunteers willing to iron! Overall, everyone was very positive, supportive and I received some great feedback.

All the attendees received a reusable bag to carry home their glasses and bow ties. A special thanks to Pretzel Crisps for providing snacks for the event. Thank you to everyone who came and supported Crafty Night Out! I hope to announce the next workshop before the end of February.

And oh yeah, you may have noticed in the photos that I chopped all of my hair off. There is a post coming with those details very soon!
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