Training for a marathon

I have decided to train for a marathon.  I used to do a lot of jogging for personal exercise.  I never signed up for any races or anything and I eventually got bored with it.  That wasn’t that big a deal when I still didn’t have a car and was forced to walk or ride my bike everywhere.  But now that I’m commuting everyday in a car the weight has really been creeping back on.  Plus, about 6 months ago I tried some new (for me) birth control pills and I put on 20 pounds in 3 months.  I was having a really difficult time getting back into the habit of exercising, especially since it wasn’t necessary to get me from point A to point B. Then I thought about my great-uncle who is in his 80′s and still runs marathons.  If he can do it, why not me?

So I found a training schedule online that was the perfect length as it ended when the Austin Marathon is held.  I’m using the 26 week version.  The first ten weeks are just to get me back in the habit of running again, then the next sixteen is about slowly building up distance until I’m ready for the marathon.  I know how easy it is to give up on something, though, if no one else knows about it.  So I’ve told my husband and my sister and I wanted to announce it on my blog in order to give myself more motivation to stick with it.

I’ve just done the run/walk 20 minutes a few times and I already had shin splints.  (I hate those).  So I looked up some info on marathonrookie.com about how to avoid them/treat them. Of course I had done about everything on the list that gives you shin splints:  (1) I had started running again after a long period of little exercise. (2)  I had run on concrete, up and down steep hills.  (3) A lot of trashcans were taking up the sidewalks so I was doing a lot of hopping on and off the curbs. (4)  My shoes were old.  So I’m following their advice to skip a couple days until they feel better.  Unfortunately that coincided with the first couple of days back at school, which involves a lot of walking up and down hills and stairs.  But today my lower legs feel back to normal so I’m going back running tomorrow morning.  This time I’ll make sure to stretch properly and I’ll go ahead and drive down to the running trail by the lake.  I’ll keep y’all posted on how I’m doing!

Pussy Riot Balaclava is finished!!

Free Pussy Riot!!

 

Well I knitted like mad all day yesterday.  All I had to do today was weave in loose ends and stitch in Free Pussy Riot on the front.  I used Ella Rae Classic 100% Wool.  I got this yarn as part of a SXSW knitalong at Hill Country Weavers in Austin, TX.    We knitted mic stand cozies for Kelley Deal.  I thought it was pretty appropriate to use yarn I got for a rock show to make a balaclava for a punk band.

If you make your own Pussy Riot balaclava, be sure to add it to the We Are Pussy Riot tumblr!!!

Freedom for Pussy Riot!!!

Go Go Pussy Riot!!!

In case you haven’t heard about them, Pussy Riot is a riot grrl punk band from Russia.  They performed a punk “prayer” at a Russian Orthodox Church asking the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir Putin.  Well, three of the members were arrested and now they’ve been convicted of “hooliganism” and have to serve two years in jail.  Please visit Free Pussy Riot and donate!

And all you fellow knitters, knit yourself an awesome ski mask in a fun bright color, just like the members of Pussy Riot wear.  I’m going to modify this free pattern that I found on Ravelry called Jackyll & Hide by SasKnitsItAgain.

When I finish mine I’ll post a pic on my blog. I’m starting it today!

A Bit of Music Nostalgia – Samira: Walking in the Rain

I’ve had this stuck in my head for the past couple of days.  It was a minor hit in the 80s.  I can remember singing it on the playground.  I never knew who sang it.  I finally remembered to look it up today.  I couldn’t find a video so I found the nicest picture to look at while you listen to this lovely song.  Sorry I can’t embed the video just yet.  The Video Upgrade is a little outside my budget right now.  It’s worth clicking through!  Lovely, relaxed, R&B song with minimal piano and rain sounds.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Kp7OeHla4

Happy Accident Muffins

Last weekend I woke up in the mood for muffins.  I thought I should be able to find a recipe that matched what I had in my cupboard but I couldn’t.  Usually when I start substituting like crazy, whatever I end up with is still ok if a little meh.  But these muffins turned out great!  So I thought I better write it down and share it with my readers (which I think is only one at this point).

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Florida crystals sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 large very ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (I had a little less, just what was left in the freezer)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350.  Place paper cups in a 12 muffin pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, sour cream, water, and almond extract with wire whisk until well blended.
  3. In smaller bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the large bowl.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Mash up banana.  Add banana and blueberries to batter.
  6. Divide evenly among the 12 muffin cups in the pan (about 3/4 full).
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

These were super yummy!

My very first knitting pattern

Hat on a desk.

I learned to knit about five years ago, but I didn’t keep it up at first.  I’ve just gotten back into knitting seriously over the past year.  This hat is my first attempt at knitting without a pattern.  Pictured is what I finally knitted on my third try.  My first one was way too big, the second still loose, and this one was juuuuust right.

What I Used:

Size 8 circular 16″ needles and matching dpns

Tahki Yarns Mia 100% cotton: approximately 55 yards total.  There’s 41 yards per skein.  I used white and olive green.  This yarn is a chunky thick and thin yarn.

Gauge:

I got approximately 2.75 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on size 8 needles..

Instructions:

Cast on 52 stitches in the color you have chosen for the top and bottom (I used white). Place marker at the beginning of your row so you can keep track of where it is.

Rows 1-4:  *K2, P2.  Repeat from * all the way around.  This will give you a 2×2 ribbing along the bottom of your hat.

Rows 5-10: Knit all the way around.

Rows 11-18: Change to the color you have chosen for your stripe (I used green).  Knit all the way around.

Rows 19-20: Change back to your first color (I used white).  Knit all the way around.

Row 21: *K5, K2tog, K4, K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around.  You should now have 44 stitches.

Row 22: Knit.

Row 23: *K4, K2tog, K3, K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around.  36 stitches.

Row 24: Knit.

Row 25: *K3, K2tog, K2, K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around.  28 stitches.

Row 26: Knit.

Row 27: *K2, K2tog, K1, K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around.  20 stitches.

Row 28: *K1, K2tog, K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around.  12 stitches.

Row 29: *K2tog.  Repeat from * all the way around. 6 stitches.

Weave in loose ends and you’re done!

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