Tuesday, October 30, 2007

running away

Nope, I'm not running away from home ... but you might have noticed I haven't hung around my blog lately. That's because I've been running a lot over the past two weeks as a test of my will to run ... and honestly it couldn't go any better. So without further ado ... I am ready to say publicly that I've committed myself to running my second half marathon.

Laziness I had to face the facts - since I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon, my running has been practically nonexistent. I've been spending more time with my boyfriend, who, bless him, isn't the healthiest creature in the world. I sleep in more ... we go on dates to restaurants ... it is a vicious cycle when I am not as active as I was during training. I love the fact that we are what you would call a Serious Couple, but it has wreaked havoc on my running schedule. I thought I would want to run just to run, but that hasn't happened. I would take Gracie on long walks under the guise of a workout, but I realize that I used that as a crutch to avoid running - it was too hot, she couldn't keep up or she wanted to stop and smell things, etc.

Physically Selfishly, I hate seeing myself in pictures right now. I think my face looks more round. I think about how happy I was with the way I looked a year ago, and I just get depressed about how different I look now. I get the same (slightly disgusted) reaction I get when I look at pictures of my bloated self during my senior year of college, and it's certainly a motivator to go out and run. I have been down in the dumps a lot lately, and as superficial as it is, I know it's in part because of my body and how I'm disappointed in myself for not keeping off the 20-plus pounds I lost more than a year ago.

Mentally I don't know how to describe it, but running is a mental release. It's like charging my phone battery ... or that feeling of satisfaction when you slide the last piece in the puzzle. Once I get moving, after even just a third of a mile, I get in the best mood. Today, I just wanted to stay out there forever - I had a route all planned out (in fact, I usually leave it up on my computer screen in case for some reason I don't return, and then someone will know where to look for me. Crazy or smart? You decide.), but traffic was nuts on Brambleton Avenue and I couldn't cross it, so I diverted from my plan because I was itching to keep moving, I didn't want to lose my groove. I ran along Brambleton, heading opposite all the busy cars, and I sprinted at the end of my burst, and it was great. Before today, I hadn't really had that great burst of a good mood from running since the half marathon, and it was just so awesome. I really missed it.

I realize this will take away from my knitting time (not that I was super fast to begin with ... ) but I'm fine with that - in fact, I think knitting could be a reward for the running I plan on doing (I've been doing it 4x a week, and I plan on keeping it that way). I haven't committed financially, but I plan on doing that in a couple weeks. I plan on running the Turkey Trot (10K - that's 6.2 miles) on Thanksgiving, if my training keeps progressing as planned. I think I'm really going to stick with this, though - I even ran a few miles in the pouring down rain last Thursday and it was so great. I've come up with a training schedule that really flows with my work schedule - I plan on doing a 3-mile run every Saturday, a medium-ish run on Mondays, a 3-miler on Tuesdays, and my weekly long run on Thursdays (my day off work). That gives me my second day off to recuperate once I get up there in mileage. I know I will be slightly less motivated when it gets super cold, but I've already seen progress since the 5K a week and a half ago. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

weekend recap

Yeah it's almost the following weekend but I wanted to make note of this amazingly fun weekend I had. This weekend was a blast. I woke up ridiculously early on Saturday morning for the Race for the Cure in Virginia Beach. I headed up a team consisting of 15 people from the paper. We raised about $400! Here's who carpooled with me before the race (I would have photographed everyone but I didn't take my camera to the start of the race, it's a bit clunky.)

Team Pilot

It was Bethany's (second from left) first 5K! Girl is going to do Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, too. The weather was pretty nice - and it was way inspiring to see so many people there, and so many survivors in their pink T-shirts. I ran the first half-mile or mile and walked the rest with some co-workers.

After I caught up on sleep and did a little shopping with the boyfriend (nothing like waiting till the day of the wedding to buy a new dress shirt, dude), it was time for Judy's wedding! My roommate's boyfriend came in from New Jersey and of course we did a photo shoot at home (sadly, we didn't get the combination of our boyfriends. I think that would have been kind of funny.) We frequently take photos with Capt. Jack.

smooches for Captain Jack!

You can see we were drinking wine ... but in no way were we toasted like all the people at Town Point Park for the Virginia Wine Festival. We actually saw someone throwing up on our our way to catch the boat for the wedding. Gross.

Judy's wedding could not have been more perfect. For starters, the weather was gorgeous. And the time of departure on the American Rover?

sunset over Portsmouth

The perfect sunset! The ceremony happened within 20 minutes of our departure, before it got too dark. It was really quick (I guess I'm just used to long Catholic masses). A former co-worker was the officiant and she gave a sweet speech. There was yummy food and drink, and lots of people to hang out with. It really felt like a party.


In more than a year of dating ... I've never seen him in a tie. I had to document it whenever I could. =) I'm really bummed I didn't get a picture of Judy in her gorgeous red dress. Here is her's and Jeffrey's first dance:

first dance

There was good music, and I especially liked the slow dances. Dancing on a boat = ultra romantic! After the cruise was over, we went back to Lori and JJ's and hung out till 1 a.m. I woke up sore (from the race and my high heels) and hungover but it was such a great day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wow! My previous post was my 100th. Hard for me to believe. =) I've been at this about 10 months, which is pretty good for me in terms of Internet commitment.

It's been a busy day off - I ended up staying with my cousins for about three hours this afternoon - but I did find time to knit a few rounds of the gusset on my mom's second sock while I was there. I made *two* trips to the grocery store (I sometimes go a week without a visit, so this is a big deal); I decided in between trips that I wanted to make Italian wedding soup instead of chicken noodle soup, so spinach and acini de pepe had to be purchased. I got the recipe from a co-worker who totally makes it like all the soup I miss so much from western Pennsylvania, all garlicky and spinachy and ridiculously tasty.

Oh and I saw "Helvetica" tonight. It was pretty cool - I loved some of the metaphors that type designers and others trotted out. I felt like it dragged in spots, though. I went with Josh and a couple friends from work ... it would figure that five minutes later, another designer, the editor of the paper and his wife walked in. We all sat together. We were a rowdy row, it was fun. Unfortunately I lost my debit card - I've never had that happen before.

With all my running around today, I wanted tomorrow to be a go-nowhere day. However, tomorrow kicks off the Norfolk Public Library's used book sale. I found some gems last year and I've been excited for future sales since. So tomorrow ... making wedding soup, knitting and buying books. Should be grand. =)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

obligatory progress post

progress on Mom's Steeler socks

Aaaand Sassenach featured them on WOYNW! I am thrilled. These socks have been around. The first one met the Harlot and toured D.C. and Charleston. And the second one might attend Judy's wedding on a ship Saturday (a former co-worker who knits will be there, and I want to show her my progress from garter stitch!).

I don't know whether I love the gusset or am slightly annoyed by it. On the upside, it feels like a shortcut to the foot, because by the time the gusset's done, you've only got a few inches of foot to go. Then again, it goes slower than the rest of the foot because there are more stitches ... I just can't commit to the gusset right now. I *do* know that my favorite part is the heel - it goes by so quickly yet looks really impressive. I was watching "Forrest Gump" at my friend's apartment in D.C. when I turned the first heel ... after the scene was over, I showed her roommate the heel and she was amazed! I'm hoping I can finish the pair this weekend. I got a couple placemats at Kohl's last week to make sock blockers from them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Look, Mom, I can sew, too!

This post is a shout-out to my mom, who always sewed things for me when I was younger. She made me clothes, patched jeans, etc. And she's an amazing quilter - see here, here and here, for example.

I never was really interested in sewing much when I was younger. And truth be told, I'm still not very interested. But when you've got a dress with a ripped seam for a wedding that's five days away and Mom is hundreds of miles away, you've gotta do it yourself!

No before shots, but here's the after:

repair work

The actual sewing:

It's in the wash now. I have full confidence that my stitches will hold. Woo!

Sorry for the lack of knitting pictures ... as an update, I'm on the heel of Steelers sock No. 2. Hoping to turn it tonight. I've got a three-day weekend coming up and I've got lots of good things planned - seeing a documentary about fonts, running/walking the Race for the Cure, and Judy's and Jeffrey's wedding on a tall ship!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


You might have noticed, if you've been here in the past 24 hours, that I deleted my previous post. I just don't want this to be a negative place (especially when it comes to a bad day at work, we all have those), and I'm feeling better about things today.

That being said, it was a crazy day ... I was on the go from about 9 a.m. until about 8 p.m., it seemed like. I picked up a cookbook at AC Moore as a little present for being really good about spending money over the past two weeks. (I figure a $5 reward isn't too bad, eh?) It was called "Comfort Food" and had a gorgeous picture of macaroni and cheese on the cover. It required a trip to the grocery store, during which I had to call my mom to ask whether Roquefort was more like blue cheese or Swiss (I found it it was blue cheese, from a customer at the deli counter). Anyhow, it turned out really yummy, surprisingly smoky (from the Gruyere on top) :

mac n cheese!

It was really savory and smoky, with Gruyere cheese sprinkled on top. There's lots of leftovers, too. Score!

Back to the grind tomorrow. Only one day off work this week for me. On the upside:

1. It's a half-shift, not a whole one.
2. Im done with baby-sitting duty this week
3. I'm a day away from the end of dog-sitting duty (a week stretch!).
4. The weather has finally, finally, finally become more fall like. I had to wear a sweatshirt for a walk tonight. This weather thrills me to no end. I really want to make a cable scarf or something ... good thing I bought a cable needle today. =)

OK, my dog just woke herself up by sneezing (it was the cutest thing ever). I think it's time for me to go to bed, too.

Monday, October 8, 2007

knitting in the news

Here's a photo of my article in today's Pilot!

my knitting article!

(It's probably easier to see if you click on the photo.) I'm much better suited to the editing and production side of newspapers, but to get the chance to write about knitting was pretty great!

Friday, October 5, 2007

my first finished pair!

It took a night but I finished my first pair of socks!

my first finished pair!

Now ... time to keep knitting on my mom's first sock! (If only grown-up socks were as fast as baby socks.) :-)

one done ...


Even the toe look good:

toe detail!

That was a steep curve after my first toe. This time I knew I needed half of the total stitches on the needle for the top of the foot. All the decreases worked out this time, and kitchenering looked so much better. Yay!

I got about halfway on the cuff of the second sock but had to stop because 1408 was super creepy and I kept forgetting to knit. I'm glad I watched the horror movie about a hotel *after* my vacation, thanks.

It's Friday morning though and I am going to finish the second baby sock today and then tackle the toe of my mom's first sock!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I've been slacking on finishing my mom's first sock. I think I know what will cure me ...

knitting a pair of baby socks this afternoon! Yep, that is my goal. I have some Caron Simply Soft in an awesome shade of cornflower blue. I'm going to knit my co-worker a pair of baby socks for her baby boy that's due in January. I will conquer the kitchener. If I mess up, it's only a wee sock and I've got lots of leftover yarn. It's better to mess up on $2 yarn than it is to mess up on special Steelers socks for my mum!

Ready set go.

question to ponder

If you're on a yarn diet, and your friend asks to watch her dog for a week (splitting duties with someone else), is it wrong to say you will accept yarn as a bribe?

I don't think it's wrong, because the point of the diet is not to spend *my* money - if someone else chooses to grace me with fibery goodness, well, then, I'm just lucky.

Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

coming soon ...

As many (however 'many' read this, who knows!) of you know, I work at a newspaper. Because I'm not a reporter, my name rarely appears in the paper but my work appears nearly every day in the form of headlines, photo captions, story choice, page layouts, etc. But this coming week I am writing an article about ... knitting! For the technology section! I am so very excited. I will take a picture and post it here after Monday, when it's due to be published.

And on a completely different subject ... there is this beautiful bush around the corner from my apartment building that I have been trying to figure out for the longest time. Every time I walk Gracie past it, three times a day, I think "hmm what is that bush?" It had green waxy leaves and, in spring, tons of beautiful-smelling white blooms. I decided arbitrarily that it was a magnolia but nope, Google Images proved me wrong. It was killing me! Tonight, I log into Facebook. They sell $1 "gifts" - today's is a camellia. I hadn't tried this flower name on Google before ... I type it in and what do I find but this. Success! That is the bush around the corner. I'm so happy I solved my little mystery.