{Hannah} NYRR United NYC Half Marathon 2017

Yesterday, I ran the NYRR United NYC Half Marathon!  It was my third half marathon race, but the first time I ran in NYC.  I was very excited and the weather ended up being in the mid-30s and sunny, which is a perfect winter day for running.

Going into this race, I had a few goals:

1. Just to finish.  Signing up for, training for, and finishing a half marathon are all major accomplishments in and of themselves!  I’m proud of myself just for trying and getting stronger as each week of training passed by.

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Picture of Times Square as I was running thru!  The race announcers joked that this was the fastest you’d ever the thru there, and the only time as a NYer that you’d *want* to go to Times Square!

2. Beat my best half marathon time.  I ran my first half marathon in 2:12:31, which is a 10:06 min/mile pace.  The second half marathon ended up being canceled half way thru due to excessive heat and humidity, and runners that finished afterwards did not get an official time.  Both runs were Summerfest’s Rock ‘n Sole–which I highly recommend if you’re in Milwaukee.  This goal leads me to point #3…

A friend surprised me by coming to Times Square early to see me run!  She captured this shot as I zoomed by.

3. Run in under 2:05 hours (which is 9:33 min/mile pace).  I thought this would be fairly easy, since my training runs were at that pace or faster (I averaged a low/mid-9 pace on my long runs).

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4. Run in under 2:00 hours (which is 9:09 min/mile pace).  This one would be a stretch for me, but I thought with the adrenaline of the day and people around me, that I could do it…

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And I did!  1:59:25! 😀

I realized early on that my phone was under counting the miles, and was over a half mile ahead of the course halfway thru.  Which meant the pacing was very off.  I had a “fancy” pace wristband, so using the time from my running app, I was able to approximate my actual pace.  I pushed myself during the last few miles (so close! only a few more miles and minutes to go!), and then very hard thru the last half mile, to say that I tried my hardest to finish under 2 hours.  I didn’t feel the greatest right after finishing, but I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing a goal I thought was slightly out of reach.

But now what will my goals be for the next one? 😉

{Hannah} Darn It!

A few years ago, I was at a consignment shop and fell in love with a Diane von Furstenberg wool wrap dress.  As I was admiring it, I noticed a few small holes throughout the dress.  Not wanting to leave it behind, I negotiated an extra 10% discount, figuring I could try my hand at mending the holes.  And I did!

Fast forward a few years, and I regularly buy wool items with holes in them, knowing that darning small holes is fairly easy and unnoticeable.

I recently bought a sweater dress from Goodwill, and didn’t notice a hole in the sleeve until I got home.  The previous owner had repaired it with some scotch tape!  That’s not good enough for me, so I broke out a needle and thread and got to darning the hole.

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There are a lot of darning techniques, and everyone seems to put their own spin on it.  Most tutorials say to work from the inside of the garment, but I prefer the outside, so I can make sure it’s coming together well.

I start with a knot on the thread on the inside, and push the needle through to the outside.  Make sure the needle isn’t so close to the hole that it could get pulled into the hole.  Then I start pushing the needle through the knit weave, working my way across the hole.

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Back and forth, back and forth.  Once I’ve been across the whole hole in one direction, it’s time to go back in the perpendicular direction.

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Back and forth, back and forth, making sure to weave above and below the threads just added.

I make sure it’s tight enough to hold, but not so tight that it puts a pucker in the fabric.  I end with the thread next to the beginning end, and tie the two together a few times.

And then it’s done!

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Depending on the hole size and location, some are easier to mend than others.  This hole was more of a long snag, and it still is visible if you’re looking for it.  The hole is located on the upper arm, which means it won’t be very apparent from most angles.  I bet no one would’ve even noticed if I hadn’t just shared this publicly!

PS. This dress also had some button accenting the end of the sleeves, which I removed with a small pair of scissors.  Who says that when you buy something it has to stay that way forever (I’m sensing a trend)?!

{Hannah} Going Green

A few weeks ago, I found a field jacket at Goodwill that interested me.  But being January, I felt like a light coat wasn’t a practical purchase, so I passed.  Then February turned out to be filled with 50+-degree days, and I wished I’d bought it!

I wasn’t having any luck finding a jacket that I liked in both fit and weight, until I saw this one.

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I liked the way it fit and that it was lined, giving it a little extra warmth for those in-between days.  However, I didn’t like the tan color.  The tag said the fabric is cotton and linen, which made it perfect for dying!  It also had the perfect price–under $10 because of Goodwill’s Presidents’ Day sale.

I’ve dyed a few items before (mostly jeans and a denim jacket), so I was excited to try dying something else.  On my way to Michael’s to get some dye, I googled the Rit colors.  I didn’t see the color green I wanted, but they had this color recipe chart which had two greens I was interested in.

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My ideal color is somewhere between the two.  I took a look at the Tan color, and it was a close match to the existing color of the jacket.

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This meant that I only needed Dark Green and Brown dyes mentioned in the color recipes.  And a 20% off coupon made each bottle of dye less than $4.

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The directions indicated that cotton and linen require a cup of salt to be added to the dye bath.

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I followed the instructions for sink dying.  My tip (which they don’t mention) is to turn on Netflix to entertain yourself while you stir constantly for over 30 minutes.

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I took the drawstrings out of the jacket, so they could be dyed evenly.  Then it was time to get it wet in hot water.  Run the tap for a bit so that the hottest water is coming out.

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Once it was wet, I filled the sink with more water, added the salt, and poured in some dye!  I started out with half of the dark green bottle, but added more to darken the color.  (I ended up not using the brown dye at all and returned it to the store.)

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Then I stirred…and stirred…and stirred…and checked the clock…and stirred some more.  About half way thru I drained some of the sink and added more hot water, since the color was getting darker than I wanted and the water was becoming cool.  Once the 30 minutes were up, and I completely drained the sink and started rinsing the jacket until the water ran clear.

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Typically the stitching is not made out of a natural fiber (which doesn’t dye as well as the rest of the item), and that is true here: the stitching is still tan.  So are the zippers and binding strips on the inside.  I think it looks cool and unique with that added detail though.

I wore gloves during the whole process, but there must’ve been small holes, since my fingers and nails turned dark green.

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The directions say to then wash it in a machine with warm water, but I chose to wash in cold since that’s what the jacket’s care label says.

It’s also worth noting that the dye bottle says that you should take caution before dying an item that recommends washing in cold, since hot water can damage the item.  In fact, I think the jacket shrunk a little in the hot water dye bath, but I think that helped the fit in the end.

And now it’s green!

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A pretty perfect army/camo green, if I do say so myself!

And now I have an on-trend jacket for those warm winter days for under $15!  Which I’m sure will get a lot of use, as spring is just around the corner. 🙂