Saturday, December 25, 2010
I finally got around to uploading the pictures of my winter sanity swap. Thanks to alibear for a great package! Here are the goodies:
Project bag and accessories pouch:
Tin of yummy homemade cookies!
TWO shawl patterns (which are going to be started next week):
Silk / merino yarn in my FAVORITE colors:
ADDI TURBOS!!! and a beautiful palmwood crochet hook:
Scissors and pretty snowflake stitch markers:
T-pins, needles and a stitch counter:
A holiday mug (been in use since the day I got it):
Hot Cocoa! Yum!
Vanilla amber body lotion:
An issue of interweave knits:
Roving in my favorite colors:
And last, but not least, chili-infused dark chocolate:
Thanks again alibear for such an awesome package :)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
My training buddy and I ran the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville. With it being such a hilly course, its not recommended for first time marathoners but we trained as best we could and gave it our best attempt!
We made it to mile 8 without stopping but the hills just became too steep so we changed to a walk-run strategy (i.e. walk up / run down). We cruised through the first 13.1 before the proverbial sh#t hit the fan. It progressively became harder and harder to continue running and by mile 20, we were both in pain. We pushed through and continued walk/running (more walking than running) to mile 24 where running no longer became an option. She tweaked her hamstring somewhere around the halfway point and I was in excruciating pain from just about the neck down. We walked to mile 26 and then jogged to the finish.
This race was 100% about finishing and not about times. There were just too many hills to be concerned with a PR or fast finish. We completed the run in 5:30 and couldn't be happier.
I've never been in so much pain in my entire life! I've been icing, taking antiinflammatories and resting since I got home. I have three weeks of recovery left before starting the training for the Country Music Marathon... Hopefully, by then, I'll have forgotten the pain and will continue preparing for marathon number 2. If not, I'll cross it off my bucket list and continue with my beloved half-marathon distances :)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
My knee is no longer swollen and is getting better. The anti-inflammatories, crosstraining and my new compression sleeve are really helping, although I miss running on a regular basis. Thankfully, I've had two races in the past few weeks, and my knee has held out for both of them.
I ran in the Tennessee Ragnar Relay last weekend (Nov 5th and 6th) and did better than ever! My legs were 4.2, 2.7, and 4.4 miles in length (thanks to a last minute switch to purposely take shorter mileage so I didn't completely kill my knee!) I ran the 4.2 with a 9:30 pace, the 2.7 with a 9:00 pace and that 4.4 with a 10:00 pace! Considering I normally do my tempo runs at 9:45, I rocked it!
Yesterday I ran in the iRunForTheParty Nashville half marathon. I was worried because this is the first race that I ran without my training partner. I wasn't sure how I would fare without her encouragement! But, I BEAT MY OLD PR BY 18 FULL MINUTES! :) I finished in 2:17:50! That's a 10:27 pace! :) I stayed with the 2:15 pacer for the first 6.5 miles but, due to poor planing by race officials, there weren't water stations between miles 2.25 and mile 9! The lack of water and gatorade really took its toll on me and I had to break away from the pacer so I could make it to the finish in one piece. At mile 8, there was a table with two volunteers PICKING DIRTY WATER CUPS OFF THE GROUND, refilling them and handing them to runners. GROSS! I passed and kept struggling through the dehydration and heat. After grabbing an orange slice and gatorade at mile 9, I resumed my pace and finished strong :) I ran across the finish line and received my crappy "all access pass" instead of the promised medal but considering the water issues, I was just glad to be finished. On the positive, I was hoping to do 2:30 so finishing 12 minutes under my goal was a great accomplishment, especially with a somewhat shaky knee.
Next up is the flying monkey marathon, which is this Sunday. I think if I can pace it out and take my time, I'll be okay. I'm not going for speed or anything (just want to finish the 26.2) so it should be a nice run through the park. If my knee cooperates, it'll be a great day :)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I called my doctor right away because knee injuries ended my first attempt at running back in December of last year (a couch to 5k program that ended abruptly when I got severe tendinitis in my right knee). The FIRST doctor I saw (not my normal one, but the only one who could see me right away) thought I had a torn meniscus.... I FREAKED OUT! She referred me to a sports medicine doc for a consult and I got in the very next day (Friday).
I LOVE my sports medicine doctor. Our first conversation when something like this:
Doc: What brings you in today?
Me: I've injured my right knee during marathon training.
Doc: You're training for a marathon? How cool! Which one?
Me: The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in three weeks. It would have been my first.
Doc: It WILL be your first. I am very confident you'll be able to run it. You're already prepared enough to run it, even if you do no exercise for the next three weeks.
Me: *HUGE RELIEF*
After X-rays and a physical exam, I found out that I don't have a serious injury, just inflammation and runner's knee. I'm clear to finish the season, but only running the races I've planned (i.e. no more training runs). I'm limited to non-weight bearing exercise for 4-6 weeks. I will take my time on the bike and elliptical and enjoy it because given the alternative of a severe injury requiring surgery, I am so happy to have runner's knee.
So for now, I'm icing, resting, icing and taking high dose anti-inflammatories to keep the swelling down. So far so good but I'm anxious for the Ragnar relay this Friday. Hope my knee cooperates!
Monday, October 25, 2010
We changed things up to a walk/run and shortened the distance from 18 miles to 11 miles. I finished with a 13:00 / mile average which isn't bad considering the effort it took to maintain it. I have one more long training run (20 miles, this Sunday) and then I'm off to the November races. I'm hoping to get a PR at my half marathon on the 13th but we shall see. I'm way more prepared for this one but I think I'm starting to get some late season burnout. My last training run on the half marathon course was at a 9:45 pace (a full 2 minutes less than my last half pace) but I'm still hesitant to believe I can maintain it with only a week between it and the full marathon... Ugh... What have I gotten myself into?
Rav Name: knitterphd
Are you willing/able to ship internationally?: No
If you ship internationally, when must your package be received by?: December 18th
Number of your post in the what’s your wish thread?: 389
Do you have other wishlists elsewhere? Links?: No
Favorite Color: Pink and green
Favorite Fiber: Soft fibers, like cotton, silk, and other soft natural fibers / blends
Least Favorite Color: Neons
Least Favorite Fiber: Scratchy wool
Do you knit/crochet/spin?: I knit, crochet and spin.
Do you have cats/dogs/smoke?: Cats and dogs
Favorite Treat: I love chocolate, gummy candies (like peach rings, apple rings and gummy bears), and skittles, but am forced to eat them in moderation since I’m trying to lose weight (down 50 lbs as of today!)
Least Favorite Treat: Coffee, not a fan
Do you celebrate a winter holiday?: Christmas (and my birthday!)
Favorite holiday color combo?: Dark red, white and silver
Favorite “icon” of the holidays/season?: (santa, menorrah, snowflakes, snowmen, etc…) Snowflakes!
Something that you have never received in a swap before?: I honestly can’t think of anything. I’ve been pretty happy with my swaps thus far!
I need more: Cloth, drawstring project bags that can fit into my purse. See here for an example.
I do NOT need more: DPNs. I don’t use them much anymore :(
What kind of needles do you like for knitting (wood, plastic, metal)?: I love addi turbo metal needles but I use needles of all three types evenly.
What kind of hooks do you like for crochet (wood, plastic, metal)?: Metal or wood. I break plastic hooks :(
Are there any other Odd Duck swaps that you are currently finishing up?: I just finished the zombie swap and that was my last.
Have you read the rules?: Yes
Do you understand that you are required to purchase delivery conf.?(US Only): Yes
Do you understand that you must PM DC# to amandaleigh when you send?: Yes
If shipping within the US, when must your package be received by?: December 11th
Do you have to post a thank you when you receive your box?: Yes
Do you understand and agree to abide by the rest of the rules?: Yes
As a project bag/container of sorts is part of the package - what sort of “bag” would you prefer?
I need cloth project bags with drawstrings or zippers so that I can carry projects in my purse. Lately, I’ve been putting them in Ziploc bags, which break and spill stuff out into the depths of my purse.
What are some of your favorite holiday dishes? Is it something that you only have at this time of year? Got any good recipes to share???? Can be sweet or savory!
My favorite things to eat at the holidays are peppermint bark and cranberry sauce (the jellied kind that you buy in a can). I could eat them year round but I save it so I have something to look forward to at holiday time :)
What are your favorite kinds of stitch patterns / techniques to use in knit or crochet? What are your least favorite / will not do? Anything you are interested in trying?
I like learning new stitches but don’t have a favorite per se. I am terrified of steeking and will probably never do it :( I do, however, want to make a sweater. I graduated from purses to shawls and my next stop will be sweaters.
So with this holiday season comes all the “special” aromas, lotions, and potions… what would be your favorite scents of the season for those candles, lotions and potions, and naturally which would you not want anywhere near your home?
My favorite scents (while not necessarily holiday scents) are vanilla and chocolate. I can’t stand really strong scents like overpowering cinnamon.
What is your favorite type of project to knit/crochet? (i.e. socks, sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, dishcloths, etc)?
My latest knitting obsession is shawl/wrap knitting but I enjoy working on many projects. I’m anxious to graduate to sweaters!
Do you have a favorite holiday movie?
My all-time, absolute favorite is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
What about holiday music/songs etc.? Do you have any favorites?
I listen to Christmas music starting in late October (i.e. this week, lol) and I love them all! I guess my absolute favorite would be ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ but I really like the classic singers (i.e. Bing Crosby).
What are a few of your favorite things that are ONLY available during the holiday season?
Peppermint bark and good hot apple cider.
Are you usually able to achieve the correct gauge with the needles indicated by the pattern, or do you tend to knit more tightly or loosely? (i.e., do you often find yourself having to go up or down a needle size from what the pattern says?)
I’m usually right on target. If anything, I go up a size but mostly I use the suggested needles.
Would you prefer to receive your yarn in skein form or already wound into a center pull ball?
Center pull ball, if you have that capability.
Would you prefer holiday colors or something like your favorite color?
Either, or. I like both, so it’s entirely up to you :)
How do you sort your patterns/project ideas on Ravelry? Should your swap partner be getting ideas from your queue or your favourites? Also, would you rather your partner chose a pattern you already had queued/favourited or would you like to be surprised with a different pattern?
My queue is outdated and is mostly stuff I’ve already made (whoops). My favorites are relatively up to date (esp the ones from this year) but not extensive… You can get ideas from my favorites and surprise me with a different pattern if you’d like. I don’t get the chance to spend a lot of time browsing (bummer!) so if you see something that might fit my tastes, feel free to surprise me! :)
When making small projects such as fingerless gloves and socks, do you prefer DPNs, magic loop, two circs?
I do small projects on two circs so I don’t have single sock/glove syndrome.
Would you rather get a pattern with Colorwork or Cables/Design elements?
I’m relatively new to colorwork but I’m willing to give it a shot! I like interesting design motifs.
What would you consider your skill level?
Depends on the project. For most things, I’m intermediate / early advanced.
Are you interested in a pattern that challenges/teaches you something or would you prefer something easy/relaxing?
Not too terribly challenging but challenges (or new techniques / project types) make it interesting!
If I put several patterns on a thumbdrive would you actually use it? This is in addition to the pattern that I will be printing out.
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Goodness… The one movie that I tend to watch over and over again is My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Not including fiber-y goodness, do you collect anything else fairly seriously?
I collect spoons.
Is there anything unusual about you that would be neat for your spoiler to know? Something that might truly personalize your Winter Sanity Swap package?
I’m currently training for my VERY FIRST marathon, which makes me insane, hungry and tired all at the same time, lol. It’s November 21st of this year. I’m calling November “Running Hell” because I have three consecutive races (Nov 5-6: Ragnar Relay, Nov 13: Music City Half Marathon, Nov 21: Flying Monkey Marathon).
How do you think/ believe about Santa Claus and elves?
What is Christmas without Santa and the elves? :)
How do you feel about handspun for your package? Yea or nay?
Handspun is awesome! Sure!
If your swapee is into dying? Is it ok to send undyed yarn for them to dye for the project so you can have fun dying it the perfect color or would you rather have yarn that is ready to go when you get it for this swap?
I’m really, really new to dying so probably no undyed for this swap.
If I were to pick a pattern that calls for buttons, do you prefer plainer buttons or the (admittedly sometimes hilariously) detailed buttons?
I like creativity, so go wild! :)
Do you like nuts? I have four pecan trees in my yard and was thinking of including some as part of a present for you but I know not everyone likes nuts so thought I’d ask first.
I do like nuts.
If you were to receive a project kit or finished item such as gloves, mittens, hat, scarf, etc. (I’m not tellin’ which), is there a particular color or color combination that would go well with your winter coat?
My winter coat is black so anything will match it.
Would you mind receiving materials from a pattern you already have? Say, something that is in your library but not on your projects list
If I was to make you a project bag, what kind of fabric would you like? Do you like cute/floral/pastels/bright/abstract/animals/just plain weird?
Anything would be great. My current (and only) project bag is white with pink and orange flowers.
Do you have a preferred shipping method or special circumstances?
USPS with tracking is okay but I’ve found FedEx ground can be cheaper. If you decide to go FedEx ground, have the mod ask me for my work address. My coworker is dating our FedEx guy (scandalous! I know, lol) and I’ll be sure to get it quickly without hassle. Plus I think shipping to a business is cheaper for FedEx.
Do you wear jewelry or nail polish/make-up?
I do wear jewelry (silver mostly). I don’t have many bracelets right now, because weight loss has made most of mine too big (a GREAT problem to have!). I don’t wear much make up but I do wear nail polish.
Around what time frame would you like to receive your package? Obviously before the deadline, but do you want it ASAP, or closer to the holiday season, say, late November or early December? Are you going on vacation sometime between now and December and would you like the package early?
Anytime is fine with me! I’m going on an overnight trip the first weekend in November but other than that, I’ll be home.
Do you have a preference between charts and written instructions?
I am a newbie to charts but I’m learning! I tend to prefer written instructions.
If you have kids, would you like your project to be something for them?
If yes, what are their ages/gender/likes
No kids yet! Hopefully in the future ;)
In a related note - I have some lovely rosemary in my garden - what are your thoughts on rosemary?
Never had it.
How do you feel about receiving homemade treats?
What is your favorite type of decoration (holiday or otherwise) i.e. wall hangings, frames, knick-knacks, figurines, things that hang that aren’t flat like frames or wall hangings, centerpieces, etc.I tend not to decorate (I know, I'm lazy) but what I do put up is more like figurines and metallic candle holders. My favorite one is one I got from partylite which is a tea light holder and has berries and ivy (like this but smaller for tealights):
How would you feel about a handmade project bag out of denim?
Denim is cool :)
What size bag would you prefer?
As long as it fits the pattern you choose, I'm cool with any size. I usually carry smaller projects with me in my purse, but it really depends on the pattern you choose :)
Would you prefer a HEALTHY treat or a wildly UNHEALTHY treat?
I should really say healthy but the little devil on my other shoulder is screaming unhealthy! I'm dieting (sort of, more exercising to burn calories than restricting) but I can eat in moderation :)
Are You Left-Handed or Right-Handed?
What sort of motifs do you especially like? Preferably tell me if I were to do a larger image (rather than a fabric pattern) what would be your preferences?
Flowers (like daisies), butterflies, dragons, fantasy.
Do you have anything special treat wise people should know? Aka allergies, special circumstances? No restrictions for me (no food allergies, anyway). I'm trying to behave with calories but my slogan is "I run so I can eat" so if you send me something unhealthy, I'll just exercise more that day, lol
Would you rather just the one, or the book with many and a sticky note on the page I chose to supply for?
That's really up to you :) I'd be happy with just one, but if its in a book and you want to share, I'll use the others as well.
Preferred / Less Welcome Aromas?
I don't like strong scents (i.e. cinnamon and musky scents). My favorites would have to be vanilla, lavender, and chocolate.
If I decide to make your package around something to wear, what size are you?
Shoe size: 9 - 9.5
Shirt size: M (but I'm the incredible shrinking woman right now so I'm losing weight fairly regularly and my size is changing monthly, lol)
Head size: 21-22 inches (if I'm remembering correctly)
Do you prefer metal or plastic needles for sewing up items/weaving in ends?
My guilty pleasures are milky way midnight bars and peach rings... But I rarely meet a treat I don't like.
Do you like books? Like novels? I always have a ton of books myself and thought maybe my spoilee would like one,too. Any you’re specially looking for, or authors you really like?
If you don’t like baths, how would you feel about a shower steamer? think aromatherapy for the shower.
I RARELY have time for baths, but aromatherapy is nice.
Do you have any favorite authors/heroes/designers in the world of knitting?
Not really, well, I take that back. I've been digging fickleknitter's patterns but I have most of them, lol.
What is your favorite Non-Fiber/Yarn related activity (in other words, what do you like to do when not playing with yarn)?
Ummm... RUNNING! :)
Do you have a craft room or dedicated space? Is it all your own or do you share it?
I have tubs in my office, since my sister moved in and took over my craft room :(
What colors do you decorate your tree in? Do you have a tree? Real or artificial?
When we put a tree up, its red and gold. I have an artificial one but have been too busy/lazy to put it up the past few years.
What is your favorite flavor of Kool-Aid? Do you drink it or dye with it?
Blue raspberry.... have never dyed with Kool-aid but it'd be pretty :)
If you could roll around naked (or in undies, for the shy people here) in a giant pile of yarn, what would your chosen yarn be?
Ummm.... a cashmere/merino/silk blend.
Question here I was thinking brownies for the treat - Yay or Nay?
Do you like cake -like brownies, or thick, gooey, fudge-y brownies?
What are a few of your favorite (non-knitting) things that you almost always have with you?
A paperback book, my iPhone, chapstick and a purse.
How do you feel about personalized items with either your real name or Rav name?
That'd be okay. I have a purse with 'Jody' on it and a purse with 'KnitterPhD' on it so its all good.
If you could go on vacation (money not an issue, complete ‘what-if’) and bring everyone important with you for a perfect Christmas, where would it be?
Ireland. Never been there but so want to go.
You are now a superhero. What would your superpower be?
If I were to get you chocolate would you be interested it having a citrus flavor, espresso, chai, or would you be adventurous and want to try chili? Or would you prefer just plain dark chocolate? Or do you not even like dark chocolate?
Chocolate is good in all flavors. Although chili chocolate has me wondering... they make such a thing?
Would you rather receive the package sooner with the goodies I’ve assembled, or do you want to hang in there for the hand-made stuff?
I'm patient so its entirely up to you. I'd hate for you to pay double postage but if you want to, that's okay!
Would you like more than one needles/pattern option for the yarn you’re getting in your package?
Sure! I'll leave it up to you :)
Why did you pick your Ravelry username? Does it mean anything special?
At the time I joined Ravelry, I was in graduate school so knitting and my thesis work (i.e. PhD) were my life.
Are you of the baking sort and would you like homemade vanilla extract. Or are you of the eating sort and would you like a tin full of my great-grandmother’s German-Gingersnap recipe made with spiced Madagascar Vanilla??
I enjoy baking but am too lazy to do it most of the time so I enjoy the baked goods of others, lol. I did ask Santa for a kitchenaid mixer so maybe I'll get the motivation to start baking again!
For me, the winter holidays are religious. I’d like to look for something for you, spoilee, that revolves around your winter holiday, if you are so inclined, but I’ll need some info… (if you’d rather I didn’t just say no thanks :) ) What religion? Any particular tradition? Do you consider yourself devout or do you follow the holiday because it is part of your culture/upbringing? A little of both?
Religious/christian but not really devout. I don't feel like going to church is necessary to be religious so I don't have a regular church per se.
Do you imbibe in “spirits”, brews or vino? Would you be opposed to receiving a little adult beverage in your box?
I run so I can drink... just kidding (its all about the cupcakes). I do drink socially, so adult beverages are okay. I'm more of a girly drink / wine gal. Most beers are yuck to me.
If were to send you something baked vegan style would you mind?
Wrist Warmers in worsted acrylic?
As long as the yarn is soft, I'm good with any yarns. I mostly work with blends / natural fibers.
Whats your starsign and zodiacsign?
Capricorn (December 30th)
How do you feel about used books?
Most of my books are used so the more the merrier!
What is your favorite winter activity?
Smores and hot chocolate around campfire and walking through the decorations at the Opryland hotel.
Do you prefer loose leaf or bagged tea? Do you prefer ground coffee or whole beans?
Either on the tea. No coffee for me please.
Do you prefer glow-in-the-dark or holographic sparkliness?
What other Odd Duck swaps have you participated in?
Zombie/Apocalypse, Mullub's Choice/Video Game, Alice in Wonderland, Favorite Author/Novel, Favorite Season... and I feel like I'm forgetting one.
Is your queue truly representative? Would you be happy with any project from that listing?
My queue is mostly stuff I will make for other people. I have some neat things that I'd like to try in my favorites.
Would you rather receive a printed copy of your pattern followed by an email with the pdf once you receive your box, or would you rather the pattern by sent as a gift on Ravelry so you can have it in your library and print at your leisure?
Printed / then pdf I guess.
If you use DPNs for sock/mitten projects, what length do you prefer, 4”, 6” or 8”?
6" but I prefer magic loop / two circs.
For those of you putting up Christmas decorations, when do you start?
If I do, its last minute, lol.
What kind of music (non Holiday) do you listen to?
A little of everything. Rock / alternative / pop.
What kind of ornament do you want? One to hand on the tree, one to put on a table/desk, the kind that hang on the wall or door
Table/desk or hanging would be best so I can decorate my desk at work :)
What is the weather you hate the most?
Cold and overcast... Either snow or be sunny :)
What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Cooking or visiting? What other dishes must be on the table? Would it be thanksgiving without mashed potatoes? Yams? Pie? What do you think?
Ha! I'm being a lazy ass and going to the Cracker Barrel. Its really pointless to cook for just me (I am 600+ miles from home and travel isn't an option) and if I cook for two, I'll end up with high calorie left overs for months :) I plan on having pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and the whole works... just not cooking it for myself :)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
The comments on this video suggest that there are many out there who turn to running as the result of poor health and weight. My own story is similar. I started trying to lose weight in the fall of 2007, when I hit my highest weight of 225 lbs. I was morbidly obese, unhealthy and unhappy. Over the following two years, I restricted my calories and was able to lose 25 lbs. However, I discovered that diet alone was not going to fix my problems. I started running in the fall of 2009, with a friend from work (who is now my training buddy!). It was definitely not easy. I was quickly sidelined with a knee injury (probably resulting from the stress of running 50 lbs overweight) but stuck with it. In less than a year, I've gone from a 43 minute to a 30 minute 5k. I've gone from watching people run half marathons as a spectator to completing a half marathon. And my health is in the best condition that its been since high school.