Friday, November 21, 2014

tweed fingerless gloves

Please tell me that I'm not the only person who is in love with fingerless gloves! I got my first pair before a trip to NYC at Christmastime when I was in high school and it was mind blowing how much easier it was to do things without bulky gloves in the way. That pair has long since disappeared and I've been wanting to replace them for a while. I was looking for a pair that was really cute, warm but not too bulky since I knew I'd be wearing them around the house a lot, and not terribly expensive. As much as I love Etsy, I just wasn't finding what I was looking for.

And then I happened upon some Lionsbrand Heartland yarn on sale at Meijer for $2.50 a skein. It's just a simple acrylic worsted weight yarn but the colors options are fantastic. I picked up a half a dozen skeins in various colors and started hunting Ravelry for patterns that used this brand of yarn. I ended up finding a pattern for crocheted fingerless gloves that looked like a good option. I picked this gorgeous tweed out of my stash and whipped up the first glove. And. just. wasn't really very impressed. It just really didn't look or fit at all like I wanted it to. So I made lots and lots of tweaks and I'm now super happy with what I came up with. I think they're a huge improvement over the original pattern and I've been wearing them pretty much nonstop for the past few days both inside and outside!

I still need to write up all my notes and make them into a real pattern so that I can replicate these again. They're such a perfect fit for my hands that I would hate to forget what I did! But the best part now is that since I only used half of the skein of yarn I have plenty leftover to make something else. Any suggestions for me? What else do you think that I should make with this yarn?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Run 2014: Weeks 35 & 36

Week 35:
November 6
     6.41 in 1:21:59, average 12:47
     First full run in the dark. Low 40s F and sleeting. But fun! Does that make me weird?

November 8
     20.15 in 4:33:19, average 13:34
     A lovely run on the Indiana Trail 100 trail. We did one loop and then added a few miles at the end to make it add up to 20.

Week 36:
November 11
     Nothing for me but honorable mention for Justin. He's got mad skills.
     3.02 in 20:44, average 6:52
 November 13
     7.11 in 1:22:47, average 11:39
     A great run. Dark but dry. Pretty cold but no problems.

November 15
     15.96 in 3:26:34, average 12.57
     Scaled back a little for a rest week. Was cold and breezy. Around 20 when starting out.

After Nov 6th's cold, dark, wet run.

A good two weeks. Long runs have gone well. I'm pleased with our average speeds on the long runs. That average includes our stops. We're currently stopping at the same locations as the aid stations. So around miles 4, 9, & 14. This has been working well for me. I drink water between stops of course but stopping at certain times makes eating much easier for me. I don't eat and run well so this gives me a chance to focus on getting some food into me. Currently our snacks consist of: a full peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, six slices of ham, 7 oz of applesauce, a bag of Jelly Belly Sport Beans, and a package of Clif Shot Bloks. This is spread out over three or four rest stops with any extra being eaten after the run. In the car on the way home we eat leftover pizza and drink Nuun and water. And of course before we leave the house we have a large breakfast (eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, & banana). I know this sounds like a ton of food. But it's definitely not. We frequently have dinner at the usual time and occasionally we eat early despite having lunch between 1-2 pm. Let's just say that it's interesting keep us well fed given how much our training has ramped up in the last few months.

My ankles have been doing alright. I'm wearing a brace on each and that seems to be helping. My left ankle is fine between runs but the right one is sore when it's bent a lot (ie squatting). But it's doing alright. I had a little bit of a sore left knee after Nov 13th's run but by the 15th it was feeling fine and I didn't have any trouble with it. We've been doing about an hour of yoga after each long run. If you're looking for some good videos check out Yoga with Adrian on YouTube. She has several videos that work well for getting a thorough stretch in after a run. I'd start with the Yoga for Beginners video. It's one of my favourites.

We only have 5 weeks/4 long runs before the Huff 50K! Our plan at the moment is to do two more mileage increasing runs and then two taper weeks. We're really about there. We're both going to be breaking in new gore-tex shoes so that we have some backups in case it's pouring. Although if it's another year like 2011 (the year we volunteered at) we'll be screwed either way!

Here's hoping for dry weather!

Huff: 5 weeks

Monday, November 17, 2014

surprise snow!

First snow of the year!

See the snowflakes?

Late last night.

Early this morning.

Mid morning.

It's here, you guys! The first real snow of the year! I love snow so I was practically giddy when it started up yesterday afternoon. There was no snow in the forecast so it was a surprise when the flakes started falling! Oddly enough we were working on the snowblower and generator at the time. Of course we didn't get near enough snow to actually need either of them but we're feeling well prepared for our early winter!

Winter 2014/2015 is off with a bang! We normally don't have snow that sticks until mid December or later. It'll be fun to see how this winter is. I'd be happy with lots of snow all the way through February. That's not a popular opinion around here so I'm certainly the odd one out!

I hope your week is off to a great start. Mine definitely is!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Run 2014: Week 34

Week 34:
October 28
     Track run of some sort. I don't remember precisely what it was supposed to be. I wasn't feeling well and didn't finish all my laps.

October 30
     7.91 in 1:37:49, average 12.22
     Another good trail run on the local mountain bike trailers. The same place we've done our last few Thursday runs. We're planning on doing all our Thursday runs here until the Huff at least.

November 2
     16.8 in 3:48:32, average 13.36
      Another good run on the Indiana Trail 100 trail. We added a section that we had skipped this time and ended up at almost seventeen miles. It was cool, sunny, and still.

Things went pretty well this week. Tuesday and Thursday were unremarkable runs. Good enough but nothing really happened. There are a couple things of note from Saturday's run. One, I bought and wore a second ankle brace. This helped a lot although I still had some soreness in my right ankle. But it felt much much better during and after this run compared with the last few runs.

Two, we spaced all our chews so that we stop and rest/eat in the locations where the aid stations will be. This worked decently. There are effectively four aid stations per loop but one of them is a mile before the start. So for our training runs we've been skipping the last station and just eating more at the end. I think having less stops will work out okay. I'm making sure to eat plenty at each stop to make up for things being less often. I also did a good job getting water into me. I'm not always fantastic at that so it was nice to feel like I was doing a better job.

And three, we've started experimenting with eating real food during our runs and I really think it's helping. Last week we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We spent a bunch of time talking about it while we were running (and hungry) and come up with several other things to try; spice cookies, Reese's Peanut Butter cups, cold plain lunch meats, and applesauce.  I feel like there were more but that's what we can think of at the moment. Anyway, the sandwiches settled well for both of us. We ate half at mile 9 and the other half at mile 14. So I imagine those will become a regular in our rotation.

As a whole, though, it was a pretty good week. No major aches or pains. And the compression sleeves are continuing to work wonders on the day after. My very own miracle every week! Seriously though, they are so worth the money.

My biggest complaint at the moment is how much of our weekend gets eaten up by our long runs. It's 1.25 hours transit to the park and back + a 4 hour run + bathroom before/after, stretching, and changing = next thing you know you've been gone 6 hours. Plus all the prep work beforehand to get things all gathered up and the work once you're home of cleaning things up! It's quite the ordeal. But it's worth it and we're really getting down to the wire. Only a few more weeks!

Huff 50k: 7 weeks