Wednesday, October 29, 2008

mapping it out

training schedule!

(Click over to the picture to see details.) There are less than five months before the Shamrock Half Marathon, so I figured it was time to map out a training schedule. I've been running 2-3x times a week, but I'm going to ramp it up to 4x a week once I get underway.

In the past, I haven't done speedwork, but I'm going to try to incorporate it on Tuesdays - if not by running repeats, but just trying to run the distance at 5K speed.

Up to Shamrock, this is an approximately four-month schedule. I think it could be condensed to three months (you'll notice that some of the long run distances early on are repeated) but I think I'm going to need to build a good base for the longer runs later on.

I got this training schedule from my friend Diana, who got it from her Team in Training coach. I kind of made up the schedule between March 22 and May 2 - I've never done two half marathons six weeks apart. Diana is a practically a running pro, having run six or seven half marathons by now, so I'm going to ask her to look over that part.

So, where am I now? I've been running between two-three miles a day, three times a week now. I'm still doing run/walk intervals, but my times have been pretty good - I think I'm running faster because I have the recovery one-minute walks. That's promising. I hope I get up to a 4:1 ratio by the time the schedule starts in a few weeks (I'm at a 2min 30sec run :1 min walk ratio right now). And I hate to say it, but I'm going to have to start leaving my running partner, Gracie Virginia, behind. It's getting colder, and I really have to start focusing on running to train. Getting distracted by squirrels on the run means we slow down. Maybe I can bring her on the Saturday 2-3 milers still. We'll see.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

weekend update

So, I've been a little bit sad lately. My brother left for basic training on Monday - he's joined the National Guard. I'm so proud of him, of course, but clearly I'm worried about his chances of being deployed. This is a long ways away, though, as he's going to OCS and another training-type thing (maybe military police school? can you tell I don't exactly know what I'm talking about?) before he's a military police officer. Most of all, I think I'm going to miss not being able to talk to him whenever I want (which is about once a week, but still).

So imagine my surprise when, 12 hours after we had our last phone conversation prior to his leaving, these showed up on my doorstep with a sweet note:

flowers from my brother

They are beautiful. Of course they made me all verklempt again, but that's OK. I've been admiring them all week. He called briefly from the airport to make sure they arrived, so it was great to chat one more time. He has been in Georgia a few days now. He got a few minutes to call our parents tonight, and I got the full report (his bunk is near the corner, which is clutch, and he got lots of shots today, including the biggest needle EVER - I'm thinking it's penicillin). I'm going to start a letter to him tomorrow so the minute I know his address, I can send it off.

My week was also improved by the arrival of some Socks that Rock.

Socks that Rock lightweight, Lettuce Knit

Lettuce Knit in lightweight.

Socks that Rock mediumweight, Tlingit

two skeins of Tlingit in mediumweight for a Clapotis.

I cast on for the Clappy tonight- at knit night, no less. I am really, really bad at following pattern instructions. I generally require absolute silence and alone time at the apartment. But I did the entire first section while maintaining a conversation. go me! I am going to start section two right now while watching TV. This is a risk, but it's one I'm willing to take. This is going to be gorgeous, I can tell.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

race report: Komen Race for the Cure 5K

Time: 45:44 (14:45 pace)
Split at 2 miles: 28:20 (14:10 pace - woohoo)
Weather: between 55 and 60 degrees, cloudy and WINDY

The course took us 23 blocks down Atlantic Avenue (from 31st Street to 8th Street) and cut over to the boardwalk, where we returned to 31st Street. The wind was at our backs on Atlantic Avenue, but in our faces on the boardwalk. It was brutal for 23 blocks! No rain or sand, just major gusts.

The race felt really good - for the first two miles, I ran for two minutes and walked a minute. After that, I ran/walked 1:30 to 1 or 1 to1. It was just so tough in the wind, and I was getting tired as the race went on - I mean, I've barely been covering three miles in my training runs. But I felt *so* much stronger than I did three weeks ago. And when I think of where I was a year ago, when I barely ran the first mile of the race, I'm pretty happy. I'm heavier - and slower - than I was a year or two years ago, but I've got the motivation to train strong for the Shamrock Half and the Capital City Half.

Oh - and here's a pic from today.

109/365: Komen 5K day

The back row is Miranda, Lori and JJ.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the cooking?

A mixed bag.

First, I made lentil soup:

lentil soup

I followed this recipe but with a few modifications:

--sauteed three cloves garlic with the onion and olive oil
--added 8 ounces of baby carrots (when I added the lentils)
--added a couple massive handfuls of spinach with about five left on the lentils simmering
--used tomato paste (6 ounce can of Contadina) instead of tomato sauce, but waited until the lentils were nearly done cooking, to follow the advice on the original recipe site that said lentils don't cook as well with a tomato product

I also added the remnants (about 3 ounces) of some acini de pepe pasta that I had in the cupboard just to use it up. I would *not* recommend this. It was my first time making lentil soup and I didn't realize the lentils were basically the starchy item in the soup. D'oh.

I froze a container and there's lots leftover. YUM.

Next up was an apple pie. This recipe. Put it in the oven and turned my attention to a London broil in the crockpot. When it came time to get the pie out of the oven, I skimmed my forearm on the oven and promptly dropped my beautiful, streusel-y pie all over the oven floor and door (and the crack in between). I think I've removed all of the pie remnants from the broiler below, but man, I'm pissed. And my arm majorly hurts.

I called my mom in a blubbering mess and she made me feel better.

race day approaches!

Well it's been a few weeks since my horrible 5K, and I have to say, I'm much more psyched for tomorrow's race - the Komen Tidewater Race for the Cure. I feel much more prepared than I was three weeks ago. The forecast is in the high 50s with a chance of rain. Perfect. I won't be wearing my white cotton race shirt, that's for sure! This race is about saving boobs, not seeing them.

I've been a knitting machine - I cast on for a third October-birthday Gloria cowl a week ago yesterday and I'm nearly done. All three will need to be blocked but I'm just really pleased that they'll all be done in time for the girls' birthdays!

I also planned out my Christmas knitting:

Christmas knittin'

From left to right: gray Encore worsted for a hat for my dad, black Patons Classic Merino for a hat for my brother, burgundy Cherry Tree Hill Supersock for a cowl for a friend/co-worker, and STR Mediumweight in Faulty Dyer for a cowl for my dear friend Jamie.

So, four items, but I have lots of time to get them done. I'm not too worried about it. You will notice no gift for my mom on that list - because it's already done! - and no gift for my boyfriend, who is freakishly warm all the time.

That's a little update from me. I have some major cooking plans for today but don't want to jinx myself by listing everything I hope to accomplish. I'll report back if it's successful!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

knitting update

I got a *lot* of knitting done on my vacation but unfortunately have no pictures to prove it.

I am nearly to the seed-stitch edge of Stephanie's cowl. I'm knitting with SWTC Karaoke and I can't reiterate how much I dislike this yarn. It's not spun well and is *very* splitty. I'm going to have way too many ends to weave in from all the new pieces I had to start. I am a little afraid the finished cowl is going to fall apart like a delicate flower, that's how much I distrust this yarn! I'm hoping to finish this today or tonight at SnB (my local group moved it to Thursdays, so now I can go since it's my night off work! yay!).

I knit part of the leg and started the heel flap of the mate to this sock. And I'm several inches into this sock for my brother. I started its first incarnation at Christmas, but had to frog it after I realized I just did not want to knit a pattern. So I cast on again for a stockinette sock when he visited in August. It's a stockinette sock on size 1 needles, for his size 12 feet. Oof. My brother is leaving for basic training in less than two weeks (he's joining the National Guard), and my good luck mail will *not* include any knitting presents, that's for sure.

Speaking of knitting presents ... I am planning quite a few in the next few months, all of which seem very manageable now, of course, that Christmas is several months away:
three cowls for friends with October birthdays (1.9 are done!)
Christmas gift for my mom (done)
hat for my dad
hat for my brother
three cowls for three dear friends, two of whom don't live near me anymore, so the immediate pressure to have it done before Dec. 25 is not as strong

All of this doesn't change the fact that I woke up this morning and wanted to cast on *immediately* for a Clapotis in some Silk Garden Lite that's marinating in my stash. Maybe once I finish the October gifts ...

I'm off to dive through my stash for some gift knitting ...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

back from PSU

Whew what a fun trip!

We spent our first day in D.C., wandering around the mall and stopping in whichever museums we felt like. The Jim Henson exhibit was in its closing days, so we went there first. They had lots of sketches of his early work, which was so neat! And of course, some puppets - Bert and Ernie, and Rowlf, and some others.

We didn't eat lunch until about 3:30 - we were starrrrrving. My friend Judy had recommended the cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian. Let me tell you, you should go there now! We each had a pulled buffalo sandwich and fry bread (basically fried bread-dough sprinkled with a little cinnamon, honey and powdered sugar). And Josh had some white sage peppermint tea that he said was really good. Even for the big portions, it's a little bit pricey, and cash only, which is kind of annoying (especially when each of our meals was $16!).

Washington Monument us on the mall

The weather was perfect - mid 60s and super sunny. And that night, we had a nice dinner at the Italian restaurant next to our hotel.

We headed to PSU the next day; it was a nice day for a drive. We stayed at a Sleep Inn north of campus on Atherton Street - I had booked it ages ago, so I got a good rate before PSU changed parents' weekend to the weekend of Laura's wedding - and, as of last week, rooms were going for $400+. They know they can get the parents to pay those kind of rates ... we were the only non-parents in our hotel, I think. I didn't like that our room was on the smoking floor, but at least our room wasn't too smelly.

We got to visit my old stomping grounds at the student newspaper - and best of all, the adviser was in! We chatted for about an hour about the state of the industry, what people are up to, etc., even though our stomachs were dying for food - it was 4:00 and we hadn't eaten lunch yet! So we wandered over to Mad Mex, stuffed ourselves with delicious happy-hour-priced wings and beverages, as well as a yum-o spinach and mushroom quesadilla (me) and enchiladas (Josh). Perhaps best of all, there was a beer promoter there, and she gave us these awesome, huge Hoegaarden glasses with a sample of beer in it. They are great glasses. Thanks, beer girl!

I showed Josh around - JoePa's house, the statue outside the stadium, the Creamery, my dorms, Family Clothesline to stock up on PSU gear, etc. And then we collapsed at our hotel room thanks to our tiredness from all the walking around the past couple days.

94/365: at dear old State

Saturday was Laura's wedding, but first, I was on a mission for a zip-up PSU hoodie (that wasn't $55), which I couldn't find the day before. We had lunch at the Corner Room, my favorite restaurant in State College. My mission was a success, we got ready for the wedding, and took a few pics at the Lion Shrine, the most famous (or most photographed) spot on campus.

us at the Lion Shrine us at the Lion Shrine

Josh was a good sport with all my reminscing and tales of what happened here, or there, and let's take a photo here, etc. =)

The wedding was really lovely. I cried (of course) when I saw how beautiful Laura looked walking down the aisle. She told me later that when she saw me she wanted to stop walking and give me a hug and to say hello! When it was over we all tossed lavender into the air as they left church - man did it smell nice!

leaving church

The reception was held at a family friends' home - well, it was the most beautiful house I had ever been to. It is the family who started the honors college at Penn State (which I attended) - in our four years there I had never known that Laura's family was friends with them! It was so beautiful - and big (I think the kitchen and dining room was bigger than my whole apartment).

reception venue

Laura and I got to chat for a little, which was wonderful. She lives in Seattle, and I've only seen her once since graduation.

me and the beautiful bride back of Laura's dress

It was a really lovely night. We headed back to Virginia the next day. Yeah, I miss Pennsylvania a lot ...

I miss hills!

But I always get a little thrill crossing the water so close to home.

96/365: Yeah, I miss Pennsylvania ...

My next post will be about all the knitting I got to do on this trip!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

road trip!

I'm headed to Washington, D.C. tomorrow where I will say to my love: "I am glad we were here together in our nation's capital" like Forrest Gump says to Jenny in one of my favorite sequences in the movie. We are going to check out the Jim Henson exhibit and the new ocean exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. The weather should be lovely, I'm really looking forward to it.

And Friday it's on to Penn State! One of my dearest friends is getting married. Josh hasn't been to Penn State, so I'm looking forward to showing him around (and dragging him to Mad Mex for a delicious margarita).

I'm hoping to get some knitting done amid all the car rides!