Wednesday, February 25, 2009

more of a runner

One of the ways I've noticed I've become more of a runner is that long runs don't freak me out the way they did two years ago or even a year ago. I remember fastidiously planning out my meals for the two days prior to a long run, fearful that eating the wrong thing would send my stomach into a tizzy during my run. Now, I watch what I eat, of course, but I don't stress the same way. (Ironically, I think worrying might have caused some of those stomach woes.)

Nowadays I'm only really fastidiously planning for a 10-mile-or-longer run (like tomorrow). I used to toss and turn the night before six, seven, even eight-mile runs, worried about how it would go. Now, I'm in bed worrying about other things (job security, the state of journalism, blah blah blah). Running is such a relief these days - I can just get out there for a couple hours and focus on my body and training and forget about the state of my career. Some people use those long runs to work kinds of things out in their mind - and I used to - but now it's a welcome relief from the cloud I feel I'm constantly in these days.

I'm trying to look on the bright side despite my fretting - I've got good things looming on my calendar. My brother arrives for a visit in three weeks, and he's running the Shamrock 8K the day before my half marathon. I can't wait to see him. The week after that, my boyfriend and I are going to New York City to visit a friend of mine from college. We just decided to take an extra day for the trip and spend a night at a hotel. I got a great deal on a Hilton hotel near the World Trade Center site. So we'll have an extra day to ourselves to wander around the city. I can't wait.

Monday, February 16, 2009

like buttah

228/365: new scarf!

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in Pollen (2 skeins)
Needles: US 8
Knit between: December 2008 to Feb. 15, 2009

This is unbelievably soft! I've knit several cowls out of it for friends but this is the first knitted object for myself (one of my resolutions this year, if you remember). Since I took the above photo, I soaked it in the tub with some Vo5 (no wool wash for me yet ... eventually I will pick some up!) and now it's drying on top of the washer. I let the ends dangle off the side in the hope that it gets a little bit longer.

Last night, Josh and I went to P.F. Chang's for a birthday/Valentine's dinner. Then we saw Jonny Lang in concert (my birthday present). I am going to say we were in the 4th row - there were three orchestra rows, and then our section on the left started with row B (yet the center section started with A, for some reason). We were about 15 feet from the stage. So awesome. It was my sixth time seeing him in concert.

In other news, I think my running mojo is back. I skipped a few days for my trip to Georgia and then was sick for a week. I took last week as a recovery week and ran twice, no longer than four miles each time. I'm back on schedule now, though. Saturday I ran 3.6 and today I ran 5. Tomorrow's a shorty, then I have to head to Running Etc. for some Gu because I'm aiming for 10 miles on Thursday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

happy birthday to me!

I am 26 today. Whee! I'm going to get a haircut (and have it blow-dried straight, a nice treat), maybe go to lunch with my honey, and go to work. And squeeze in knitting wherever possible.

221/365: Sunday morning knittin'

P.S. Gotta shout-out to my fellow Feb. 11 birthday gal and Socks that Rock fan, Irishgirlieknits!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

finally: socks for me!

218/365: socks - for me!

I have been knitting socks since April 2007 and hadn't finished a pair for myself until yesterday. I'm so glad that these were my first matched socks!

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Fire on the Mountain
Needles: US 1
Cast on first sock: June 18, 2008
Cast off first sock: Aug 1, 2008
Cast on second sock: Aug. 1, 2008
Cast off second sock: Feb. 5, 2009

These took a while to complete and have their flaws (sorry, I can't help but be critical - they're the first socks for myself!) but I love them so much. I have been wearing them all day and will be supremely sad to take them off tonight.

FO: rainbow socks

What I learned in finally knitting socks for myself:
1) I think I am kitchenering the toe too tightly because it doesn't look like nice, even stockinette when I'm done. Thoughts, knitting experts? Is it better to start loose and tighten a few stitches in?
2) I need to make heel flaps longer, because these just barely fit over my ankle.
3) Weighing yarn is key ... had I had my scale before I started this pair, I'd have made them taller (I had 16g leftover).
4) Corny but true: I have so much to learn!

FO: rainbow socks

I also learned that using such a tiny needle might not be the best idea possible. Knitting these kind of hurt my hands - and knitting should be a pleasurable experience!

Instead of finishing up my other sock-with-half-a-mate, I cast on for a new sock with some Prism Merino Mia with US 2.5 needles and it's flying by splendidly:

WIP: ribbed sock

It's already double this size and I only took the photo a couple hours ago!

I used the last of my Christmas yarn gift certificates at BMFA on Monday. It shipped Tuesday night from Oregon and was in my mailbox Thursday afternoon. Bliss.

Mediumweight in KMBFLA:
STR mediumweight, KMBFLA

Mediumweight in Jasper:
STR mediumweight, Jasper

Perhaps my favorite, lightweight in Bella Coola:
STR lightweight, Bella Coola

I have to say that I have not enjoyed being sick, but it's done wonders for my knitting as of late!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm home from Georgia and I seem to have brought back a horrid sore throat with me. I was off yesterday for the Super Bowl (thanks to a generous co-worker who traded shifts with me) and called in sick today, something I hatehatehate to do. So I'm a little cranky, but I figured I'd make the most of my germ-y day at home and update the blog and find the energy to do a little knitting.

the fam

It was a really great visit. I am so proud of my brother and it was fun to get to spend so much time with him and see the place he's been living since October.

Of course there was lots of knitting time on the trip. I exhausted my first skein of Malabrigo (colorway: Pollen) in a garter-stitch scarf.

scarf progress

I didn't think to bring the second skein, so I also cast on for a Clapotis with some STR mediumweight and knit some more on my rainbow STR socks. I have a $50 gift certificate to Blue Moon burning a hole in my pocket and I might succumb to it soon, as it's my birthday in nine days and the lure of a yarny birthday gift to myself is hard to ignore.

And of course, last night was the Super Bowl and my Steelers won. I watched it - and freaked out especially in the last four minutes or so. I could be more excited about their awesome victory but I'm kind of stumbling around the house with a painful throat and that's taken over much of my attention. meh.