Sunday, May 31, 2009

A first timers recollections of a Triathlon!

Today before the sun got up, I was up and ready for my first Triathlon race. Not having had a very good nights sleep due to pre race nerves, I got up at 4am, fuelled up with a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea before setting off for the drive down to Reston, Virginia.

The heavens had opened as soon as we got on the road and we drove through a thunderstorm wondering if the race would still go ahead due to the weather. We arrived at the race site very early at 5.30am and got our timing chips and numbers written onto our arms, then went and set up our bikes and gear in the transition area.

The race was still going ahead as planned as the weather was due to clear before the start of the race. After setting up our bikes and running shoes to alllow for a speedy change after the swim and bike it was time to chill out.

The start of the race was at 7am with the elite racers heading off first! These racers certainly knew how to move through water and were off on thier bikes within 5 minutes of the start. My start time was 7.57am, so at my alloted time I set off on my 400m swim. I'm not the best of swimmers and with the added nerves I found the first 2 laps tough just trying to get my breathing right. By the 6th lap I got into the swing of things and was just looking for the end.

Out of the pool and a quick run into the transition area to get on my shoes, helmet and grab my bike ready for the next part. The bike course was three 4 mile loops around the surrounding area which included a couple of big hills! The first loop I got my legs in gear and sussed out the course, the 2nd loop was better although the big hill seemed bigger, and by the 3rd loop I think the adrenalin kicked in and I was thinking about the run already.

Now running after biking 12 miles was tough, it took a while for my legs to start to move as I wanted them and the running course was also 'rolling' and saved the biggest up hill for the last 1/2 mile. I managed to summon the last strand of energy to speed up for the last part and through the finish line, and the cheering supporters really helped! I finished in under 2 hours which was my goal, even though the winner finished in 55mins 4 secs, (before I even got in the pool!)

Its amazing that after passing that finish line how all the aches & tiredness just disappear and you're left feeling lifted and so full of pride....'I've just finished a sprint triathlon!!'

We got our gear together and headed over for a much needed Starbucks before heading home. Feeling good so far although I suspect by about 5pm tonight I'll be fast asleep, and wondering what challenge I'll do next......skydiving is on my bucket list so you never know!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Triathlons and Weddings!

One day to go until my triathlon and I've been down to the race site to collect my race pack up and check out the course too. I'm now not so nervous having seen the layout and I'm excited about it now.

In between getting ready for the race I've been creating some new wedding cards which I'm really pleased with if I say so myself. I've just uploaded them onto Etsy and hope to make some more next week too.

Well I'll finish here and go fix a big pasta meal for dinner and have a chilled out evening as its an early start in touch after the race to let you know how its gone.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Stock up and save!

Save on shipping, in fact get your purchase shipped for FREE! Simply choose one of the three offers available at my store

There is a pack of 3 cards for $10.00, a pack of 6 cards for $20.00 and a bumper pack of 20 cards which includes pretty much every card you would need throughout the year for $55.00.

All of my cards are carefully made by my afair hands and I take great pride in my work as I want to ensure that you are 110% satisfied with the end result.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Getting ready for my first triathlon!

The day is getting nearer, only 3 days to go until my first triathlon on Sunday. Its all part of my 'bucket list' which I'm starting to work on early. Last year I did my first 1/2 marathon and full marathon so this year I chose a triathlon...during a moment of madeness I'm sure.

And I thought it would be good fun for my husband Clive to do the Triathlon with me too! he doesn't seem to think the same now though, but I'm sure after we finish on Sunday we'll look back and say 'we did it'.

Its been fun doing the training, and a challenge too as I'm not a great swimmer....why I hear you ask did I sign up for it then? well it wouldn't be a challenge if it was easy, and I've learned how to swim better. I'll never be the next Micheal Phelps, but I'll be able to finish the race without drowning or passing out.

Whats next on my bucket list then? with regards to crazy physical challenges, I'd really like to have a go at skydiving/parachute jump! Last week I got to go rafting for the first time so that was an amazing experience which want to do it again.

So wish me luck and look out for my report after the race on how it all went. Do something to challenge yourself!! just go for it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Its coming up Strawberrys

With the beautiful weather this holiday weekend I left the comfort of my craft room and ventured outside to work on my other creation, my garden! This year I've planted up lots of lovely fruit and vegetables to enjoy throughout the summer.

I have tomotoes, cucumbers, onions, brocolli, corn, peppers, butternut squash, radishes, beets, peas, carrots, beans, spinach, strawberries, raspberries and blue berries, and I should have plenty of fresh home grown produce to enjoy and more to share.

Yesterday I enjoyed the first picking of my strawberries, and you can't beat straight off the plant and in your mouth taste!! yum.

I love spending time in my garden and seeing how everything comes to life in the spring and developes over the years. I can spend all day pottering around, doing weeding, planting and pruning and get some fresh air and exercise at the same time! bonus.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where do I get inspiration from?

When I'm making cards, sometimes the inspiration comes from the person who is going to receive the card, something they like, a hobby perhaps or the ocassion itself. Sometimes for the other cards I make when there isn't a particular person in mind my inspiration can come from almost anywhere.

For example the other day while doing a spot of 'spring cleaning' I got inspired to make some new home cards based on my lovely red front door. I did a quick sketch of how the card would look, and then went about finding the suitable materials to make the card. I made myself a template which I used to cut out the half moon windows in my 'door' and then used some clear plastic that I've had for ages (you see all those things you keep do come in usefull at some point!) to attach behind the cut out for my 'glass'.

To add some dimension to the door I cut out three rectangles of the same color card and mounted them to the front using foam tape, added a little gold door handle, and you've got a lovely looking little front door card, ideal for new home owners!

Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything, a word, an item, a person, or even a smell. You've just got to keep your senses open and your mind free!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All this networking is a full time job!

Wow, I never knew you could spend so much time on these soocial network sites promoting your business. My head is in a spin with all the blogs, websites, twitters, facebook things out there.

I've spent the last couple of days creating new sites and doing lots of networking in the hope that its going to drive more traffic to my hand made card site and in turn bring in more sales to my Etsy store. I just need to make sure I leave time to actually make the cards!!

I'm sure once I get my head around it all, it will all become second nature to me, but then there will probably be even more things to do by then.

In Del Trotters own words....'one day we'll be millionaires Rodney!'