Friday, 28 September 2012

School Holidays. Again.

I'm not ready!!  Unfortunately, the kids most definitely are.  And so is the school.  Guess I don't really get a say in it...

This week has plodded along at its own pace, and I feel like I've just been swept along in its current.  I didn't get to study nearly as much as I'd have liked, which means that I'll have to try and cram some in to next week, while the kids are home.  Not sure how that will go to be honest.  I'll give it a crack at any rate, and hope for the best.

I have plenty of knitting to keep me occupied - the Rock Island shawl is coming along nicely, although, as with study, I haven't managed to get as much knitting done as I'd have liked either.  However, progress shot:

Of course, being lace, you won't get to see its fabulousness until it is all stretched out and blocked, but basically I just have to fill in that v-shaped gap in the middle with a whole lot of garter stitch and it'll be done.  Then it'll look much prettier :-)

The Step Ribbed Stole is coming along slowly - I'm only working on it a bit at a time, and it takes an hour to complete a full 18 row repeat:

As you can see, quite apart from the pattern itself, the yarn is creating some rather interesting effects.  I think I'll just go with it for now, although I'm not sure what'll happen when I get to the second skein.

I've been asked to knit another pair of vanilla soakers and a beanie for a wee boy turning one, to be a part of his first birthday party costume (because, seriously, who doesn't want to dress up for their first ever birthday party?  Pfft!) so I know I'll have plenty of simple knitting to keep me going over the next couple of weeks, while the kids are at home being their usual annoying selves ;-P

Sadly, while they are home, that means less exercise for me.  I can't go out for a run in the early morning before Deane heads to work (stupid knee injury!!), and swimming would be out of the question - I don't think the pool staff would be happy for me to leave my children unsupervised while I spend an hour swimming laps.  The pool does open at 5.30am, but while I am willing to beat the feet at that time of the morning, I don't think my enthusiasm extends quite far enough to be walking 20 minutes, jumping into a (supposedly warm) pool, then rushing through a shower and walking back home in time for Deane to head out the door.  I guess I'll see how I feel mid-next week - this may change.  My knee is slowly improving though, so I'm hoping very much to be able to go for a slow, short run perhaps next week or the week after.  I have another physio appointment next Tuesday, so fingers crossed I get the all-clear!

I have managed to swim a total of 3.5km this week - 1,500m on Tuesday, 1,200m on Thursday, and 800m today.  I did consider swimming 1,300m today to make it an even 4km, but I got a little tired, and my goggles kept fogging up and leaking which just pissed me off, so I kept it at the lower end.  Still, that's 1.4km more than last week, so I managed to achieve my goal.  As for the next couple of weeks?  See above paragraph.

Speaking of goals, I decided to set a proper, big goal for myself the other day.  I'm always making up little challenges for myself - knit such and such by this date, or run x number of kilometres, or beat last week's swimming time etc etc.  But never anything... big.  So as I was driving the kids home from ice skating on Tuesday (actually, it was just X - Deane had T in the other car), I got to thinking about things I'd like to do.  What would be possible for me to achieve, that is a reasonable challenge, but not overly ridiculous?  I do have a degree I'm studying for, that I hope to finish by the end of 2015, but that doesn't seem big enough.  Every man and his dog has a degree.  I guess that because I've been obsessing thinking a lot about running lately, that's what popped into my head.

So I have decided that I want to run a full marathon by the time I'm 36.  Which is also before the end of 2015, coincidentally.  Ooh, sounds like 2015 might be a big year...  Big enough to be considered 'Epic'?  (yes, the capital E is intentional).  Maybe ;-)

Note: reading my blog hurt my eyes - white text on dark background makes you see things funny after a while.  So I changed it again.  Hope it's a little easier to read now!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Getting along swimmingly

It hasn't yet been a whole week since I last ran, but it feels like a month.  I find myself giving runners whizzing past my kitchen window the evil eye at all times of the day.  I had horrible thoughts about a woman running past recently - she was wearing a running skirt.  Why on earth would you want to wear a skirt while running?  What's wrong with shorts, or tights?  Seems a bit extravagant and fashion-show-esque to me.  Like the people that go to the gym wearing makeup and all the latest gear and barely break a sweat.  Then I realised I was just being all bitter and twisted, envious that it wasn't me out there, pounding the pavement.  People can wear what they want when they run.  If a girl wants to look pretty and wear a skirt, then so be it.  Personally, not my thing.  But to each their own.

I haven't been completely idle though, as I have managed to visit the Tepid Baths three times this week (no visit Wednesday or Thursday - other stuff to do.  Plus I only have (had) one swimsuit.  More on that later).  This morning, I was very happy to achieve a fairly decent 1,000 metres.  Or does it sound more impressive when you say 1km?  Either way, considering my completely cabbage swimming technique, I thought that was pretty damned awesome.  That's a total this week of 2.1km.  I look forward to beating that next week.  And I think my technique is improving.  I'm also getting faster.  Having said that, I still take a wee break between laps.  Some a matter of a few seconds, some a little longer.  I guess it's a bit like taking a walking break during your run (which I don't normally do, unless you count the occasional hill.  But I'm better at running than swimming.  More practice I suppose).

I had my knee assessment on Wednesday, and it's official - I have patellofemoral syndrome, aka: Runner's Knee.  No surprises there.  Also not surprising, it is mostly caused by overuse.  Whoops.  On the plus side, there is no ligament damage, and with a bit of time and lots of muscle strengthening work, I should be able to get back into running soon.  Ish.  My left IT band is weak, which is causing my knee to turn inwards, and my quadricep muscle to tighten.  I was not aware of this, so having the physio explaining exactly what is happening and how I can fix it is really good.  Now I just need to keep doing my stretches and be patient.  Ugh.  At least I can swim.  However, only owning one swimsuit is making it a little hard to swim every day, or nearly every day.  So I decided to head out and buy some more.  And I figured it was about time I stop being so prudish and get a bikini.  Thousands, nay, millions of women wear them regardless of body shape or age, so why shouldn't I?  Right?

I just have this slight... body image issue... created when I was pregnant with X.  I put on a massive 25kg - yes that's right, 25kg.  Over twice the average weight gain for a normal pregnancy.  That's more than what X weighs now, at age nine!  Ridiculous.  In any case, it created a lot of stretch marks.  Sadly, putting on that amount of weight in the space of about six months is a surefire way of ending up with a tummy covered in wrinkly old-lady skin.  My stomach is flat, just a little... textured.  Deane says I should just get over it and stop worrying, nobody cares.  So I'm trying to.  I went out and bought a bunch of bikini tops and bottoms (they had this awesome deal on at the Cotton On Body outlet store in Dressmart Onehunga - $2 a piece!  Bargain!)  Now I just have to work up the courage to actually wear them.  Let's be honest, they're not the most practical attire for swimming.  They're probably not even really designed with swimming in mind.  Rather, lazing about by the pool, or bouncing around on the sand looking fabulous.  Well, I'm going to buck the trend and actually wear them for swimming.  Eventually.  Perhaps.

We're edging ever-closer to the summer months - it'll be daylight savings time before we know it (just over a week to go I believe), and time to get out the summer dresses, sandals, jandals, sunscreen and hats.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  Of course, it helps to be sure we're looking our best.  So I'm making a real go of eating healthier (and getting plenty of exercise, obviously!).  Yesterday, I made a yummy brown rice salad.  I couldn't find a recipe available that I had all the ingredients for, so I made one up of my own, using what we had in the kitchen.  It was as follows:

1c uncooked brown rice
1c broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1c cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
50g shelled edamame
1/3c grated carrot
10g pumpkin seeds
10g sunflower seeds
5g sesame seeds
1/4c raisins

Boil the brown rice for a good 30 minutes or so (nothing worse than over-chewy brown rice!  Ask me how I know...), then blanch the broccoli, cauliflower and edamame for three minutes.  Drain and throw into a large bowl with the carrot, seeds and raisins.  Whisk together:

2tbsp rice bran oil
2tbsp red wine vinegar
1tsp garlic
1tsp mustard
freshly ground pepper

Pour over the rice and veges and stir until well combined.  Nice warm, even better cold the next day.  As a brown rice salad should be :-)  Yum!!  That was dinner last night, and lunch again today.  Tonight, steak and salad!  Garden salad, not brown rice salad.  Just sayin'...

Kniting is plodding along, probably about time to visit The List again perhaps:


  • fingerless mitts for X in black
  • fingerless mitts for T in green
  • fingerless mitts for mum, because I forgot she wanted some for Mother's Day, or maybe these
  • scarf for _________________ (shh, it's a secret!)
  • shawl for mum (the original size is too small) - just an extension, not the whole thing again
  • sweater for me
  • socks for X (no pattern required)
  • socks for T (no pattern required)
  • socks for school librarian (again, no pattern required)
  • socks for Deane (haven't decided yet what pattern, so many to choose from!!)
  • fingerless gloves for Deane (maybe. I'm still a little annoyed about the $2 shop ones)
  • armwarmers for me
  • sweater for me
  • kindle covers x 3 for mum, MIL and bff
Still branching out a bit and knitting other stuff, but I'm getting there.  Only seven things left to knit before 31st December.  That's totally do-able, right?

T loves his new socks - I haven't got a picture of him wearing them, nor the completed pair, but I have got this pic:

I called them Mini Pitts, because they're just a smaller version of the Mr Pitt's socks I knit for Deane and dad (the black pair with the red toes when to dad for his birthday last week).  These minis were knit in Skeinz Random sock yarn (the same composition as Waikiwi), on the same 2.75mm needles, with pattern mods as follows:

CO 52 sts
Work 10 rows 2x2 rib
Work 30 rows 3x1 rib
Work 20 rows total of the slipped st heel pattern, creating 10 slipped stitches each side of heel flap.
For the heel turn, sl 1, k15, ssk, k1, turn.  Sl1, p8, p2tog, turn.  Cont. as standard.
Pick up and knit 10 sts each side of heel flap.  Dec every second row until 52 sts total.
Work foot to 13.25cm (T's foot is 17cm long).
Work standard toe, decreasing every second round until 16 sts total.
Graft toe, and weave in ends.  Done!

Now I just have to make a slightly bigger pair for X.  Might change the ribbing pattern so I can easily tell the pairs apart, since his will be knit in the same colour.  Last night, because I didn't really feel like knitting another pair of socks (because seriously, four pairs in a month is enough to earn a break) I cast on the Step Ribbed Stole, with some scrummy Touch Yarns Hand-painted 8ply that was gifted to me a little while ago.  There's no hurry for this, and no definite recipient in mind (although ideas are forming), so I only did about 15 rows before putting it down for the night.  What I discovered when gathering the needles and yarn for this project is a) I need more 4.5mm needles, and b) I was knitting Deane's sweater with two different sized needle tips!  One was 4.5mm - the correct size - and the other was something like a 3.75mm, which explains why I was getting weird ridges in the knit fabric.  I thought it had something to do with my purling technique!  What a dork!  So I have decided to completely frog that half-hearted attempt, and put it aside for now (or rather, leave it where it was, languishing in the WIP pile).  I'll make a concerted effort to have a fully completed sweater knit for Deane in time for next winter.  I haven't had any time to work on my Rock Island shawl since last weekend, so no progress there.  Hopefully next week. 

Right, must dash now, the garden needs tending and I've been putting it off for way too long.  Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are :-)

Monday, 17 September 2012

I concede defeat :-(

Last week started out good.  I got most of my assignment done (should finish it today), and I managed three 5km runs, one of which was my FASTEST EVER (!!!) at 28:24, an average page of 5'40".  I was very happy to get the little congrats message chatting at me from my phone at the end of the run.  Yay Nike+ running app :-)

I was feeling so good that I decided to go ahead with the longer 8km run on Sunday.  I wore my newer shoes just in case my Nikes are worn out and need replacing.  (I thought about how long I've had them, and although a year doesn't sound like a long time, especially when there was a four month break from running during that year, they've actually done over 400km, so it's probably about time to retire them!).  My knee was really good for the first 5km, then it started to get sore.  By the end of the run, it was pretty much pooped.  By yesterday afternoon I had come to the conclusion that I was being a complete idiot still trying to run, and I really needed to take everyone's advice and give it a break and a chance to recover properly.  This was reinforced when I discovered this morning that it was still difficult to walk any significant distance (say, to the letterbox and back).  So as of today, I'm on a three week break from running :-(

I went to the Tepid Baths this morning for a swim instead, and managed my longest swim ever (I'm not much of a swimmer, let's be honest).  20 laps of the pool, which I believe is 25m.  So, 500m.  It took me about half an hour, and I had a wee 20-30 second break between each lap (alternating freestyle and backstroke - physio said breaststroke was a no-no, and I'm too uncoordinated to do butterfly), but I was pretty happy at the end of it.  Unfortunately my knee still hurt, but at least swimming is a little less... harsh.

I'm having an assessment done by the physio on Wednesday, so we'll see how that goes.  I hope to be back on track before the quarter marathon in six weeks time - if worse comes to worst, I can walk it, but I'd rather run it and try to beat last year's time of 1:05:08.  Here's hoping!

As for knitting, I've managed a good start on my Rock Island shawl:

It doesn't look like much at the moment, but that's the whole border finished.  71 repeats of a 12 stitch, eight row lace pattern, then 291 stitches picked up along the edge, and about eight or so rows of garter.  I'm now onto the main lace part of the shawl.  It's going to take a little concentration and some quiet time since each row takes about 10-15 minutes, so it'll have to wait a bit.  I cast on a pair of socks for T for something to do at knitting yesterday.  Started with this toe-up pattern, but ended up making the foot too long and I really didn't like the heel construction, so I ripped it back and decided to go for a cuff down using the same number of stitches, since the other sock seemed to fit well otherwise.  Again I knit past the heel using a standard heel flap and gusset, but for some reason, even though I'd used the same number of stitches and exactly the same ribbing pattern (and yes, the same needles), it didn't fit!!!  So I had to rip that attempt back as well.  Now I'm back to square one, and trying to decide whether I should just increase the stitch count or ditch it for now and knit a different easy/portable project.  Decisions, decisions...

Ooh btw, just wanted to share some yummy stuff we had yesterday.  When I arrived back home from my run it was 7am - the rest of the family is usually still in bed at that time on the weekend, but I was surprised to discover Deane and T hiding in the kitchen waiting to jump out at me.  It is VERY unusual for Deane to be up at that time, especially on the weekend.  I went and had a shower (it was raining, and I was soaked - running in the rain is a whole different experience!), and Deane cooked breakfast.  We had whole wheat waffles, bacon and grilled tomatoes (and Deane had grilled portobello mushrooms as well).  It was so good!  Probably more so because it was after a soggy run, and it was cooked by somebody other than me :-)  As a bonus, there were leftover waffles which I had this morning with fresh raspberries and strawberries, and maple syrup.  Yum!!!

For dinner, we had this fish, again cooked by Deane.  He used much less cayenne pepper, knowing the kids and I aren't fans of ridiculously spicy foods, and he had to wing it a bit with the 'honey mustard' - I believe he used honey and mustard ;-) - but OMG it was awesome!  Even better, he made a salad with mixed baby lettuce leaves, red pepper, grated carrot, a handful of raisins, some sesame seeds and grated parmesan, with a dressing of macadamia and lemon myrtle oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and a bit of salt.  Freakin' amazing!!  I could totally eat that every day for a week!  Sorry, no pics, it was so good I ate it too fast to even think of grabbing the camera.

Tonight, I'm going to try my hand at making dahl (maybe with some spinach added), and some roti bread.  I found the roti recipe in one of my latest foodie mags.  The boys absolutely love roti, and it would be so cool if I could make it myself, rather than buying it at the supermarket.  So I'm going to give it a go.  On the plus side, it doesn't contain yeast.  Wish me luck!

Last week I bought a bag of onions, forgetting that I'd already bought a bag, so I'm thinking of making some onion marmalade.  I adore onion marmalade, but I hate cutting up onions - my eyes are very sensitive.  I blame it on the laser surgery ;-)  Perhaps I can wear my swimming goggles (bought this morning before my swim) to avoid being assaulted by onion fumes...  Oh, there is so much good food in the world!  I love food.  It is awesome.  My current favourite is soy milk.  Especially vanilla flavoured soy milk.  Dangerously good!  Have to try not to buy it, lest I drink the entire carton in one go.  Ooh, now I'm daydreaming about roast lamb...  Must be time for lunch, I'm rambling about food and getting hungry :-)  Eat well and stay happy, people.  Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Does it ever stop raining in Auckland?

Seems to me it rains every day.  If not all day, at least part of it.  I don't mind rain, but today T and his classmates went on a school day trip to Ambury Farm.  This trip would've been so much more fun for the kids if it wasn't raining off and on every 5-10 minutes.  And it's windy.  Poor mites, I can just imagine how soggy and cold they're all going to be by the time they arrive back at school :-(

It was a little wet this morning when I went out for my run too, although I managed to dodge any rainfall.  I was so excited to be going for a run, I could hardly get to sleep last night.  Ridiculous, I know.  I was awake before the alarm, and kept checking the clock every few minutes or so, just to be sure.  I turned the alarm off before it beeped, and hopped out of bed to get ready.  Couldn't find my usual merino beanie in the dark, so grabbed my Godric's Hollow hat on my way out (and you should've seen the rather interesting imprint pattern on my forehead when I took it off later!  Won't be wearing that one again either, unless I know I'm not going out for a good few hours afterwards).  I even did stretches, just to give my knees the best chance of behaving themselves.  I really hoped that I would be miraculously pain free after my week's rest.  Sadly, that was not to be.  I walked up and down the hills by my place, before starting to run on the flat.  As soon as I started running, my left knee hurt.  Things didn't improve, and before long, my right knee started having what I call sympathy pains (not really a bother, but seemingly only there to keep the left knee company). 

I finished a fairly decent 5km with a 6'13" average pace.  This seems to be my 'go-to pace' if that makes sense - this has been my average overall pace for as long as I can remember paying attention to it.  So not much chop in terms of distance or time, but when I logged into the Nike website to analyse my run, I was pleased to discover that not only have I been a Nike+ member for a whole year, I have clocked exactly 400km during that year, in 53 runs.  Not bad!  A record to beat for the next year, if my knee will play ball that is...

I had ice skating this morning, and my knee was very angry with me by the end of it.  After a sit down with a cup of tea and my leg up for half an hour, things were much improved, but I plan on having a little more discussion with my physio tomorrow.  Deane is of the opinion that I should give my knee a full six weeks to recover.  I'm of the opinion that I should be able to run, as long as I am cautious and stretch and strengthen it as much as possible while I'm at it.  Hence the discussion with the physio - I need his 'expert opinion'.  Hopefully he'll side with me ;-) 

The offending knee has had plenty more rest today, as I have been doing some work on my assignment (half done!!  Still a week and a half to finish the other half, yay!).  Hopefully it'll be back to okay tomorrow, ready for another run on Thursday.  Fingers crossed.

I had fun wandering through town yesterday, looking at running packs for when I (hopefully, eventually) go trail running.  I think I've narrowed it down a bit.  Went into The North Face, and all they had was this (comparatively) large running pack that was the full length of my back, and held a whopping 5.5 litres!  I hate to think how heavy that would be to carry.  The sales guy thought I was very entertaining - I put the pack on and did up all the straps, then bounced and twisted around - he found it quite hilarious.  I asked him questions like 'does it slosh?' to which he cracked up laughing (and may I point out that the info on the website for this pack actually says 'New doughnut reservoir prevents sloshing...' so I don't know why he thought it was so funny.  I am rife with indignation!! ;-p).  I think he thought I was a little mad...  At a price tag of $219 (no thanks!!) I made my excuses - 'gotta shop around', 'hoping hubby will buy me one for my birthday' etc etc, I escaped and went somewhere else.

Stirling Sports didn't have any in (sold out, apparently.  Don't think they actually sell them), but they were kind enough to direct me to Bivouac Outdoor just up the street a little.  There I discovered the wonders of Camelbak.  They had a good range instore, so I tried a few on for fit, size, comfort etc.  Most of their stock was better suited to hiking or cycling, but they did have one running-specific pack available.  Unfortunately, it was the men's version.  The women's version looks very much the same, but there are slight differences in the shaping of the straps and stuff that make it more suitable for the smaller feminine frame (and me being a rather short 5', that is important).  It appears that I am unable to get the Annadel instore here in New Zealand, but I can get one cheaper from Amazon (and that's including shipping!) - perhaps I'll add it to my birthday wishlist (which is getting to be quite extensive - I wonder what Deane will get me this year?  Coffee machineNike Sportwatch?  Running pack?  Some grungy old underwear and home baking because I'm getting too consumer-happy and need to get over it???).  Still have over a month to wait for that surprise.

Well, time to sign off - the boys have finished school now (and T informs me that they were under cover each time it rained, so they were very lucky timing-wise), and I have to get them organised for ice skating.  Stay dry, and enjoy the rest of your week :-)  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Is that enough?

I've rested my knee for nearly a week now.  I plan to head out on some _very flat_ streets for a short 5km on Tuesday to test things out and see how they go.  Even though I have no intentions of doing the half marathon any time soon, I'll be following this plan (scroll down to see the 'ten week schedule' I'm aiming for) - this would put the quarter marathon at about week seven, so I'll have to rejig that week a little (or possibly do two runs on race day, depending on how it goes.  Oh God, I'm starting to sound crazy.  Must get out for a run soon).  Every non-running day I'll be doing my runner's-knee-specific stretches, which are designed to strengthen the muscles supporting the knees, in the hopes of improving their current state, and possibly preventing a recurrence.  Fingers crossed!

I spoke to my physio on Friday about all things runner's knee.  Basically I bombarded him with questions, and we came to these conclusions:

Shoes: current ones are fine (both pairs), as I have normal pronation.  No need to rush out and buy specialist shoes/orthotics.
Knee brace: pretty much pointless, as it is not the knees that are the problem (although that is where the pain lies, it is the surrounding muscles that need the work)
Compression tights: more of a 'psychological' benefit rather than a physical one.  My thoughts - I'll still wear them, they make my butt look good ;-)
Stretching: MUST START DOING THIS REGULARLY!!!  To date I have not done any, either before or after a run.  Or even in between.  Note to self: you are getting older, and things don't work as well as they used to.  Nor do they recover as quickly from a hammering.  Look after yourself better!
Running: Go for it, when it feels right.  But for now, stick to flat surfaces - no hills or stairs, and start with short distances.  DO NOT INCREASE YOUR DISTANCE MORE THAN 10% PER WEEK!

And if all fails, go see the physio.  He'll fix it for me ;-)  Hmm, I wonder if the running plan is a good idea then?  I'll ask next time I see him.

Meanwhile though, it's been a busy/slow week.  You know those weeks where you're seemingly on-the-go all the time, but hardly anything actually gets done?  Yeah, I had one of those.  With T sick half the week, I didn't start my assignment as planned.  That'll have to be next week now.  Saturday saw Deane and I sitting in the back of a friend's car on the way up north to look at a boat.  For the friends.  I have no interest in boats.  But it gave me plenty of time to knit, so no complaints here.  And it gave us a good five hours or so away from the boys, which can be nice every now and then.  I love them dearly, but the noise levels can grate on the nerves somewhat.

As for knitting, I got this much done:

One Godric's Hollow hat in Malabrigo Rios 'Teal Feather'. And one and a half Dad Socks, knit in Waikiwi.  I bought the yarn from The Little Craft Store, which, sadly, is closing down (although I believe she'll be keeping her store online, but mostly fabrics).  I only had two balls of the black, and didn't want to wait until next week to go buy more, so decided that some nice red contrast toes would look rather spiffing ;-)  I should be able to finish the heel turn tonight, and the foot in the next day or two.  Yes, I already knit a pair of these for Deane, but the pattern is so super simple I have it memorised, and the fit is so good and man-ish that I decided another pair was in order.

As for the hat, it's supposed to be slouchy, but I'm undecided as to whether I should block it, or just leave it as a beanie:

Opinions?  On the hat I mean, not the horrendous photo (wow, my nose looks big!).  For the record, one still maintains that it is near impossible to take a decent photo of oneself.  Particularly when trying to capture an image of one's hat.  Or both hands.  Or the outside ankles.  Maybe one should knit different stuff.  Or find a model...

Have a good week people, enjoy the Spring!!!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I hate it when he's right...

After my long 20km run on Sunday, my knees were a little sore. This has happened before - like last November, when I ran 15km for the first time. I wasn't too concerned about it, knowing I planned to have a rest day the next day. Deane said "don't you think you should slow it down a bit? If you increase your distance too quickly you'll end up injuring yourself", and I, of course, brushed it off. I reasoned that Deane isn't a runner, and doesn't understand the drive to push yourself and see how far and fast you can go.

Perhaps I should have listened. Damn it all, he was right. I had a rest day on Monday, then headed out for another run on Tuesday, clocking a fairly decent 7.5km at a 6'07" average pace. By the end of it, my left knee was shot. I made a rookie mistake, and increased my distance too quickly (because I'm impatient.  Gah!!). Now I'm suffering the consequences. I have 'runner's knee'. Perhaps if I'd waited another day or two after the long run, it would have been okay. Or maybe the damage had already been done. Either way, I am now having to wait until things improve before I can head out again. I have to constantly remind myself not to rush it. At the moment, I'm looking at not getting out again until next week, possibly later depending on how it feels. I'm a little gutted, but it's my own fault, so I can't complain too loudly :-(

On the plus side, I've had a little more time to knit (and no time to study - reason explained below), and managed to finish my hitchhiker scarf:

Knit with Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 in 'Nicole' that I won in this year's Sock Madness. I got the requisite 42 teeth and had plenty of yarn to spare, so I was probably a little too conservative going with the 2.75mm needle, but I'm happy with the result, and it's better to have too much yarn than not enough!

I cast on yesterday for a Godric's Hollow hat with the skein of Malabrigo Rios 'Teal Feather' left over from my Zephyr cardigan. Once that's finished (which will hopefully be tonight), I'll be casting on the Rock Island shawl!!! I've had the yarn set aside for this:

('smoke and mirrors' merino silk lace weight from Spinning a Yarn), since last year's KAN. Our Sunday knitting group is doing a little lace shawl knit-along, the perfect excuse to get stuck into it if you ask me :-) Plus, our resident lace shawl expert Zoe will be knitting one too, so if I get stuck she'll know exactly how to help.

I've got some company here at home at the moment (which is why I can't study) - T woke up yesterday with a giant swollen cheek. As far as we can tell he has an infection of some description, but as he's being very close-mouthed (won't tell us anything, AND won't let anyone have a look, doctor included) he's been put on a round of antibiotics, with some kiddie painkillers if/when required. He's been home for two days now, and other than a lopsided face is a box of birds. I'm hoping he'll look better tomorrow so I can send him to school. I have two appointments to attend and can't take him with me. Plus, it's school photo day. Now that could be interesting...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Running in circles, creating lines, and silver linings

I got up at 5am yesterday morning specifically to make some breakfast buns - I'd seen the recipe in one of my foodie mags and had been wanting to try it for a while.  I spent a good half hour trying to get the yeast to foam, and it just wouldn't work.  I came to the conclusion that it was 'dead', and waited patiently (while knitting Deane's man-sock) until 7am when the supermarket opened.  I bought new yeast, came home, and tried again another several times to no avail.  Eventually, I gave up and made cinnamon waffles with berry compote, greek yoghurt (for Deane) and whipped cream instead.  Deane, in all his baking wisdom, managed to get the yeast to do its thing, so I started the dough, and then we headed out to the Waitakere Ranges.  Unfortunately I didn't get to go for a run, but it was a circular route of a sort, and we as a family enjoyed a leisurely stroll and picnic lunch while taking in the scenery and local birdlife.  X and I had quite a laugh about his 'photo theme' during the walk:

We were cracking up the whole way around!  I did manage to get a few scenery shots as well though, sans child-comedian:

The track we walked was a one hour loop - perhaps I'll get to run it next time...

On our way home, we stopped by Transylvania and had a round of black light mini golf - an interesting experience.  Upon arriving home I was very pleased to discover that the dough had risen well, and continued making the buns, which we ended up having for afternoon tea.  Deane made the comment that he was glad the yeast wouldn't foam in the morning, as he had much preferred the cinnamon waffles.  There's that silver lining ;-)

This morning, after the disappointment of not being able to go for my first trail run, and because I'm really impatient when I've set my mind on something, I decided to bring next week's planned long run forward.  Up at 5am again, this time I hit the streets.  I was aiming for my longest run yet - 16km.  Well, guess what?  NAILED IT!!  And some!  Ended up clocking a full 20km.  I was so pleased with myself :-)  My knees are a little sore, but other than that, it was pretty awesome.  But because I'd planned on 16km, my turn around point was a little... early.  So I ended up having to run a few circles in the Wynyard Quarter/Viaduct Harbour area to stretch it out a bit:

Being that it was a two hour run, I had my headband thing on for nearly three hours - straight after my run I went to the supermarket to pick up some bits and pieces, made the kids breakfast, then cooked Deane a Father's Day breakfast (black pudding (eww!), bacon, mushrooms with garlic butter, and poached eggs on seed and grain toast).  It's a fairly tight headband, but I wore it to prevent myself getting earache.  Unfortunately, it made an indentation in my forehead.  This line it created stayed there all day.  It wasn't until recently (about 7pm) that it had fully disappeared.  Needless to say, I won't be wearing it again!  Luckily it was only $10.  From now on I'll stick to beanies I think.

I managed to finish Deane's man-socks in time - grafted the second toe last night:

Deane's expert modelling skills coming in to play here ;-)
So this meant I could knit more on my Hitchhiker scarf today at knitting.  I'm all for mindless patterns when at knitting group, because I talk too much and get lost otherwise.  On my walk home, I was very happy to spy a tui in the kowhai tree at the boys' school.  Having just read KiwiPurler's blog post about tui and kaka in kowhai trees, it was nice to have my own little encounter.  The tui population is one of the things I miss most about Wellington.
All in all, it's been quite a busy week.  Tomorrow, I have housework and study planned.  Not nearly as exciting, but important all the same.  I hope you had a good week too :-)