As many of you know, Ben and I have been running half marathons for a little while now. This past weekend was the fourth time we've run the half associated with the Fox Cities Festival of Races (the sponsor for the half has changed a number of times). It's a great race: well organized, a pretty flat course (that last bridge incline always kills me, however), with some nice scenery. We had a beautiful day for the race, although the 7 a.m. start time wasn't my idea of fun (5 a.m. shuttle pick up at the hotel). My finish time wasn't a new PR (bummer), but it wasn't my worst time either, and overall, my positioning within my division and amongst women was similar to or slightly improved from last year because the size of the field was quite a bit larger. The first 7 miles were fabulous; miles 9 and 10 were bad. But even though parts of it were painful, in the end, we always seem to be thinking about the next race and are eager to do another. Right now we're considering the possibility of the Rock 'n Roll Half in Phoenix in January (MLK weekend). Long training runs outdoors in Wisconsin in December could be problematic, however, and I cannot fathom motivating to do a 12 mile run on a treadmill!
An added benefit of driving up to the Fox Cities is an annual visit to Primitive Gatherings quilt shop in Menasha. This year I had a completed "punch card" to spend, which gave me $20 of free merchandise (which of course I exceeded in no time). I focused on pulling fabrics to make a quilt based on Sharyn Craig's book, Half Log Cabin Quilts. Here's a photo of the fabric I pulled - I love these colors and think they'll look great in our living room. Can't wait to make this quilt and am hoping that I can incorporate sewing a few blocks here and there into the flow of sewing for my other projects.