Search This Blog

Creative Casey's Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My First Half Marathon

What to say about this... I'm so glad I did it and yet so glad it's done!  If you've been following my blog you'll know that I've been kind of training for a half marathon. My friend has been officially training all winter outside through Fleet Feet but I of course did not comit to the run until about a month ago. I have been training since December but it got much harder when I was working full time and taking night classes this past semester.  I plugged away with about 4 runs a week and had more fun trying out new fitness adventures like yoga and trampoline fitness.

Anyway... my final distance run the weekend prior to the half marathon went horribly. My body just didn't want to cooperate and my side cramp came back full force.  It was suppose to be a confidence boosting final run and ended up making me petrified for the race.

I heard through multiple people that you should take it easy the week before the big race and trust that your hard work would pay off. So I decide to try and focus on treating my body well over the week. Here was my pre-race week workout:
Sun.- horrible 10 miles
Mon.- finally a beautiful spring day so I took an hour walk outside at a leisure pace
Tues.- Yoga, acupuncture, 3 mile run, and trampoline fitness class
Wed.- 3 mile run
Thurs.- Yoga and acupuncture
Fri.- was suppose to run 4 miles and take Sat. off but totally slacked and took the day off
Sat.- ran 4 miles
Sun.- Race DAY!
**I also chugged water and coconut water (ick) all week and perhaps most awesome was that my co-workers threw me a huge carb loading lunch (of course that was on Wed.- the only day we were all able to get together for lunch).

So, some how I thought the race was at 10am only to find out that it started at 7:30am!!!! I had to be at my friend's place by 6:30am to head downtown. Can I just say...yuck!!! My body doesn't function at 5:30am nor does it want to run 13.1 miles at 7:30am.  But I did it.  I woke up, took a warm shower to warm up the muscles, stretched, ate 2 yogurts and a cliff bar, drank some water and headed out the door.  I prepped by going to the bathroom twice down at the starting site but still had to pee again so bad waiting at the starting line and for the entire race!!! (anxiety I tell ya)

I lined up between the 2hr and 2hr10 min. pacers, got my ipod ready and bam I was off.  The first 6 miles were fun because they had neighborhood competitions for the most creative support.  Then 6-10 was a steep hill and many other rolling hills. This separated runners and there wasn't as many supporters as much of it was through a cemetery.  Then miles 10 and 11 had you running on the river walk which was mostly flat but was chilly and windy. However, by mile 12 I soared... I knew "I had it" and sprinted the entire last mile to the finish line.

Perhaps the best part of the race was discovering all of the wonderful friends and co-workers who came out to support me. I literally had support from start to finish.  At mile 2 were my friends Marcy and Sara, mile 6 (the steep hill) my co-worker Chris, mile 8 my friends parents and boyfriend (my friend was running also), mile 10 (right when I started to get a cramp and psych myself out) was my co-worker John and at the finish line was neighbor Bob and his daughter, Marcy and Sara and later on I found out my professor and a classmate were there and cheered me to the finish line.  I should also mention that my phone was going off the hook the day before and starting at 6am Sunday with good luck wishes from family, friends and co-workers.  No wonder I met all of my goals!

Speaking of goals I accomplished them all...finishing without walking or vomiting and my bonus goal of finishing in under 2 hours. I finished in 1hr 56min. 15sec!  I placed 788 out of 2,300 coed overall and 54th out of around 300 I think in coed in my age group.

The questions I've been asked since completing the race: Will I now do a full marathon?  No way jose! Will I do another half marathon?  I won't say never but not in the foreseeable future.

My upcoming running goals is to decrease milage back to 3-4 miles 5x's a week and still incorporate other fun fitness in such as walking, biking, yoga, bouldering, etc...  I have the Lilac 10k race coming up to support my friend Marcy. I might do the local 4th of July Firecracker run with my friend and her family. And I recently signed up for the Warrior Dash at the end of July with my friend and her brother.  I'm psyched about that one because it's 12 obstacles and one is running through fire which is on my bucket list!

So stay tuned for further running adventures!

Life Is Crazy: So Create

Ahhhhhhhhhhh..... I thought my time would free up and I would be creating more but alas that has not happened. In fact, it seems to be the opposite. Here's what I have done in the last couple of weeks.

1. Here's some more pics of zendoodles that I've received my global art swap project.  I'm slightly disappointed that I haven't received the full 12 yet (only 9 so far) though I've heard that Mexico mail is slow so at least that one might be coming still.

2.  I went to the Rochester Artists and Crafters meetup that I'm a member of. Deborah the main host facilitated a paper bead making workshop.  My friend Amanda ended up going with me. We again were the youngest out of the bunch. Regardless, we had a great time learning new art techniques and meeting wonderful people.  We learned how to make regular paper beads using angled cuts and then with straight cuts learned to make beads that really come out looking like beads because you attach finishings to the ends.  I attempted to throw together a bracelet but made it to big so I brought the pieces home with me and now just have to find the time to make a necklace or bracelet.  The cost to make paper beads is low but the process is very time consuming. I found the process to be meditative but my friend found it a bit frustrating.  (She'll also tell you I'm annoying because her beads didn't pass my inspection and we were sharing.) Below is a pic of the the beads finished but nothing quite yet made out of them.

3.  With the end of the academic year wrapping up I facilitated the last sessions of my three groups last Friday.  During group I sometimes work on simple pieces of artwork that don't require a lot of my time and attention so that I can be present in the group but not just sit there and stare at group members.  Here's the piece I finished up this past week. I actually let it. You can see my layering, owl and quote theme as continued on.

**Stay tuned.  I've signed up for another art global art swap.  Now I just have to find the time to create!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mess A Dress Race

This past Saturday was the Mess A Dress 5 miler trail race that I've been talking about since January.  This race was to benefit Center for Youth Services and was put together by Trail Runners of Rochester and Fashion Week of Rochester.  I chose the Molly Ringwald, pretty in pink dress to wear which was donated by intern.  I modified it and on the day of the race had some technical problems with it.  The straps I sewed on would not stay up so I ended up cutting them off and going strapless. This turned out not to be a problem during the race.

This is the description of the race that I sent to family and friends:

 It was a brutal messy run. 90% of running was through mud up to my calves, 5% steep steep hills that were of course slippery and muddy, and 5% running through mud/water pits and rivers up to my knees/thighs. I fell flat in a pool of mud at about 4.5 miles. That is why you magically don't see my gloves on the pictures near the end of the trail. Yes, I littered during a "green" run- i'm a horrible person, but there was no way I was carrying the wet gloves as my legs could barely carry me at that point. 

I was wiped out by the time I hit mile 2. That's what I get for listening to AC/DC at the start. Would have come in 5th female overall if I had noticed a girl coming right up at the finish line, but I had my music to loud and was trying to make it up the practically vertical finish line hill. Lost  by 1 sec.!!!! That hurt. Still made the top performer list though.  

I always feel like vomiting after a run but this time I actually did. Totally gross and unpleasant!!! 

Lessons learned- trail runs are harder than road runs but wayyyy harder when they are all mud. And don't EVER where a tight dress with wire ribbing/boning- very hard to run and breath at the same time in it. And it would have been more fun if my friends had actually run in it with me. I would have actually been racing, just having fun with them, but they all bailed! Yes, you know who you are!

The highlight was that I met this celebrity from Real World MTV. He was from back in the day (so I had actually seen that season) but was recently on the Challenge ones and will be on the next one. He's hot for 40. (he's the guy posing with the balloons) I had my picture taken with him.  The one pic is of me in the background with the 12 y/o boy in front who kicked my butt. In my defense he was taller than me!

So, are you ready to do a trail mud run?!!

The end. A river to go through and then a steep hill.

The beginning. I'm somewhere in there.

Me trying to stay warm and putting my game face on. Not!

Group photo at the beginning.

I'm so over the race at this point but attempted a smile.

The lead Trail Runner guy, the Real World guy, and the head of Center for Youth Services.

Me in the background with the 12 y/o boy in front who kicked my butt. In my defense he was taller than me!

My name is listed on the right side under top female performers.

Boy was he tall. Oh and he heard me mention to someone that he has big feet. That was embarrassing.

Updates Galore

Here's what's been going on over the past week.

1.  I received my Global Art Project for Peace partner.  I'll be swapping artwork with Jalan Yani Km from Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, Indonesia.  I mailed out my Global Peace Project to them last week. I can't wait to see the artwork I'll receive.  Check out my earlier post to learn more about this global art exchange project:

2.  I've continued to receive more zendoodles in the mail.  I have 6 out of 12 so far. It makes it exciting to check the mail everyday, instead of just seeing bills once and a while I get these awesome zendoodles from around the world.  Each one is unique.  You can check out my earlier post regarding the zendoodle community art swap here:

3.  Disappointing news...I did not win the Creativity and Madness scholarship yet again. I'm totally done entering this scholarship.  This was my third and final try.  I'm pretty sure they have something against art therapist.

4.  My family was in town visiting and this was the first time in 4 years we were all together for my nephew's birthday.  He turned 7 years old on Saturday and is getting to be sooo big.  It's great to see that he's still a happy go lucky kid and I love him to pieces.  So much so that I offered to make the cake for our family celebration. Now if you know me, you'll know this is a big deal as I pretty much rarely cook or bake.  My nephew requested a cookie cake so that is what I made.

I purchased some black frosting and made spiders and other gross bugs to put on the top using the frosting and mini m&m's.  The real feat was getting to my parents house (2 hours away) without anything happening to it. Especially as I was heading there right from the mud race I participated in.  All in all I think my nephew enjoyed the cake. All you heard was silence as he chowed a piece down and then requested another piece. :)

5. Here's my April book club books I've read and my ratings:
I am Malala by Mala Yousafzai ***.75
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ****
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple ***.5

Monday, April 7, 2014

Painting With A Twist

My co-worker's daughters, niece and one of their friend's invited me to tag along with them to a new art adventure at a place called Painting With A Twist;  I've been wanting to check out this place but haven't had the opportunity until now.  Basically you go to this art place and everyone is given a canvas and all other needed art supplies.  You have an instructor who gives you step by step instructions on creating a specific art painting (whatever design is being created that day). You can also do private parties and choose which painting design you all want to create (from over 4,000 designs).  Another neat aspect of this place is that people can bring their own food and drinks to enjoy while there.

While my co-worker wasn't there she had made us all up a picnic basket with 2 bottles of wine, cheese and crackers, grapes, pita chips and artichoke cheese parmesan dip and strawberries with a twist (she used paintbrushes as the skewer).

I took part in the Rochester City nightscape.  It looked pretty challenging and I wondered how they were going to teach it to mostly people with no trained artistic skills.  I thought it would be cool to have a scene of Rochester in case I ever move.

So here's the skinny. It was a three hour class but ended up being 4 hours because the painting was soooo intense and had a lot of layering.  We were given two brief breaks throughout in which we had to blow dry are pieces.  There was 40 people there creating the same painting.  Our instructor was talented, had a great sense of humor and did a great job making everyone feel comfortable with whatever they created.  I personally felt stressed while creating. It was fast paced and not meant for those of us that are perfectionistic.  I fell behind the steps a couple of times but caught up eventually.  I felt very rushed towards the end which is when you put in all of the details (and that was the fun part that brought the painting together).  Because I felt rushed I botched up the main city bridge and am not happy with the outcome. Oh, in addition, I HATED the brushes we were given to the small detailed work. They were not small enough. I want a thinner edge and you just couldn't get it with the brushes that were provided.

Overall it was a positive new art adventure but I wasn't overly thrilled with my final product. It's okay but I'm not sure I'll be hanging it up.  Not only was it a stressful process for me but it was exhausting. I had to come home and rake some dead leaves to stretch because I was stiff from sitting that long and then I had to take a nap. I would recommend this art adventure to others but would suggest choosing an easier more basic painting to create.

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reiki and other updates

We hosted our annual wellness fair at the college last week.  It's a great event and we bring in a lot of free neat experience for students, faculty and staff such as free manicures, shoulder massages, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and so on.  We even had Reiki and I got to experience it first hand. I no a little bit about it and have always wanted to try it but just haven't come across the chance to experience before now.  I received about a 15min. Reiki experience where a guy asked for permission to gentle touch spots on me (such as my forehead, shoulders, stomach, knees, and feet) while I was laying down.  I'm a person who likes that 3' of personal space so it was slightly odd having someone breathing right over me during parts.  It also wasn't that serene of an environment since we were in a large space with the booths right outside the door. With that said, I found it somewhat relaxing but no earth shattering changes.  My peaceful mood lasted about 10 minutes until I went back to work!

Other updates:
1. I received my list of zendoodle exchanges and mailed them all out to the recipients last Monday. 6 of the recipients on my list are from different places in the US and 6 are from other countries throughout the world.  I recieved an email over the weekend that a person I sent a zendoodle to in Oregon got my zendoodle. I then received one from her in the mail today.  Below is a pic of my first zendoodle I received in the exchange project.

2. I found out last Monday that my sister is having a baby girl! I'm so excited as this means I will have not only an awesome nephew but an already much loved niece. She will of course be spoiled!

3. I made it to trampoline fitness last week and had a blast. I realized I missed it and was hoping I could get there again this week but it doesn't look like I will be able to. Another full busy week of commitments.

4.  I went to the art therapy and art club event on campus since I am the AT club advisor. The students were hosting a 6x6 ROCO party for the community. They had two art based techniques they would teach you if you wanted to learn something new (which of course I did) and then you could also submit your pieces to ROCO. They ended up collecting 32 pieces to donate for the fundraiser.

The art technique I learned was to put shaving cream on a paper plate and spread it out. Then use food coloring, choose your colors and put just a couple of drops wherever you want on the shaving cream. Use a toothpick to make a design or mix the colors together if you want. Then place your canvas or art board down on the shaving cream and tap gently.  Lift up and flip over. Using paper towels wipe off all of the shaving cream residue (this is where you can experiment a lot by how you choose to wipe of the shaving cream- circular motions, up and down, etc...). I could have experimented with this technique all night. As it was, I was only planning on being there for an hour and was there for 1.5 hours! Below are pics of my newest 6x6 creations.

5.  Here is a pic of a mandala I made in the art journaling I'm keeping for the Art (Therapy) + Happiness Project.