My First Marathon – The Gear And Fuel I Used

When I was a kid, I always thought we were either capable to play a sport, or not. If you weren't very good at the sport, felt uncomfortable, chaffed, got a stomach ache, experienced soreness, anything that was feeling great, it meant you shouldn't be doing that activity.  Even if I really enjoyed it, if it didn't feel euphoric in every moment, then it wasn't for me. So I started, and quit, a lot of sports. Tennis, volleyball, track, basketball. I loved playing those so much, but I wasn't good at any of them, I experienced side cramps quickly, dealt with chaffing and soreness, and I didn't see anyone else experience the same. In my eyes, everyone else playing could wear, eat, do anything and still feel 100%. I just wasn't meant to do those things. So I became a very experienced quitter. 

I wish I could go back and shake young Jessica. Let her know that everyone feels those things at some point, and almost every one of those things can be helped. With the right tools, supplements and recovery methods, you can feel great and have fun. And if your legs are sore after a long run? They're supposed to be! You're doing something new!

I can't go back in time and help my younger self, but I work hard to teach my kids these lessons. And now, after completing my first marathon, which I always was certain to be impossible, I can move forward with a different outlook. So here are all the things I found to be most helpful for my marathon, as well as some things that went awry. I've also found new items in my current training that I'll share. I hope this helps any of you who are starting your journey. Or, if you're feeling defeated in any way, maybe try some of these things to get you feeling like your happy, running (or walking) self again.

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OklaRoots First Mystery Box!

Wow! This first mystery box was such an incredible learning experience! We spent months curating these items (in a difficult environment due to shipping and manufacturing delays) and it just turned out so great. This box included some of my favorite and most used tools, as well as fun material and extras to make the crafty process more fun. Below is a list of the items included. Some of these are completely exclusive to the box, but most are available from various retail stores. We'll also have some other versions of these items coming soon to Shop OklaRoots!

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First Time Marathon Training – The Exercise

The questions I was asked the most when sharing my running journey on social media were "How do you know how to train? When do you run? How much do you run? Do you do other exercise as well?".

So let's break down the exercise portion of marathon training. I'll be honest, this is only part of the training. There's more than just becoming physically strong enough to do 26.2 miles. 

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Crafty Roundup! February 2022

(click image for link to shops/patterns/tutorials)

This month on YouTube!

I've had this Cricut Explore 3 in its' box for an embarrassing amount of time, so I figured we could open it up and see how it can help us in bag making!

Who doesn't love a free pattern? And a QUICK one?! I've got you covered. You're going to love this project. 

The New Stuff:

I'm LOVING these 8-bit feeling sweater prints from Fabric Mail

I was searching for a washi tape holder, and came across this great device from Galen Leather! They have so many unique options.

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Vinyl Notebook Holder Pattern – FREE!

We've done notebook holders using an embroidery machine on the channel before, and immediately after I was inundated with requests for a version that used a sewing machine (no embroidery machine required). After indulging in a couple guilty pleasure purchases from Stoney Clover Ln, I was able to take a closer look at how simple this pattern could be. Have some material you're dying to show off, but not on a bag? This is your project! Whether you have blinged out tabs or you're keeping it simple with the template I provide, these notebook holders turn out perfectly. 

And if you're using a premade snap tab, this is a one-trip-to-the-machine project! That's right, we only sew one time, and then we're done. Wild, I know!

I recommend you use vinyl, cork or waxed canvas for this project. You're welcome to use HTV for the interior cut, but I do recommend a standard sewing vinyl for the exterior, pockets and snap tab. I use rivets to install the tab and magnetic snaps, but you can sew the tab in place and use plastic Kam snaps, velcro, buttons, any type of closure you're comfortable working with. 

This is your project and you should customize it. I can't wait to see your version!

This beginner pattern is 100% free and I will not ask you for a credit card number or any personal information to download it. 

When printing the pattern pieces, make sure to open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free) from a desktop computer, and print the file at 100% (not fit to page). The pattern is going to come close to the edges of the paper, but it shouldn't cut them off. 

Click here to download the pattern, or click on the photo of the notebook below.

Have a cutting machine (like a Cricut, Brother Scan and Cut, or Silhouette)?  You can purchase the SVG file (with a bonus tab) here, and support a good cause!