Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stitch 'n Pitch!

Some pictures (courtesy Amanda, thank you!) from this past Sunday's Dbacks game, which was our annual Stitch 'n Pitch game. Several of us went together as a group (even carpooled together). We enjoyed some really fun food and great laughs.

From left to right: Tristan, me, Amanda, Krysten and Michelle.

Oh yeah! Can't forget my special socks I made just for the occasion!

Life's been hectic this week with the start of school for me, but I'm managing it. Haven't worked out since Friday, so trying to get in a treadmill workout this evening. After this week, I can leave a bit later for my classes, so shouldn't have much problem getting back into the regular schedule by next week.

The nursing home situation with my mother-in-law is not working out too well. We're looking into placing them into an independent living apartment close by and hiring helpers for them instead. I think this would be much better for both of them given how the past week + has been like so far.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just an update

I promise, I'll try to keep this one brief. I know my posts can be rather lengthy, I hope none of you that might be reading my little ol' blog mind.
So, since my last post a few things have happened. My in-laws were successfully moved here on Saturday. The transition has been a little bumpy, but pretty much as expected. My mother-in-law was not happy about being directly placed into the nursing home, as she claims no one told her that was going to happen right away. I know she was told this for months now, and obviously the medications she is taking is causing some cognitive problems. This of course, complicates the whole transition process, but it is what it is. Thankfully, it's a really nice nursing facility and I think that as she gets more used to the surroundings and the people there, she will have fewer problems/episodes.

I've also found some new drive and dedication towards my workouts. Having the Olympics going on right now definitely has played a part in that revival. Speaking of which, I just watched the Women's 20k racewalk last night and was really happy with the coverage from CNBC. Finally, some commentators who at least educated themselves on the sport, and made the race exciting and interesting to watch. For me, I could watch racewalking without any commentating, but obviously for others less interested in the sport, let's face it, watching 40 women racewalk an oval for 90 minutes is not exactly exciting. I imagine someone else feeling how I feel when I watch tennis. I love to play tennis, but can't stand to watch it. These commentators tonight at the 20k walk did their best to not simply constantly repeat themselves, and kept it entertaining with various stories of other athletes (I had no idea Claire Woods and her bronze medalist fiance were getting married 4 days after the closing ceremonies). Oh, and no snide remarks about the sport itself (yes, that's directed to you Bob Costas). So, kudos to CNBC!!! I'll be writing them a letter congratulating them on their fine commentary and coverage. I'd like to encourage you to do the same please.

On the knitting front (boy this update is getting long), not as much happening. Still working on my Dbacks socks, but I'm on the foot section of the 2nd sock and I'm hoping to wear them to this Sunday's Stitch 'n Pitch game at Chase Field. I'll post pics as soon as they are done. Also, making some progress, albeit really slow right now, on the SWTC cardigan. It's taken a back seat to the socks for the rest of this week for obvious reasons. We'll see if I can't pick that back up next week.

So here is my update on this week's workouts:
Did nothing over the weekend.
Racewalked at a slow pace on the treadmill on Monday for 3 miles.
On Tuesday, actually went outside for a 3 mile racewalking workout, then did 30 minutes of water aerobics in the evening.
Rested Wednesday just cause I had too many other things to do.
This morning, went outside again (!), for a bit of a faster racewalking workout.

Temps in the morning this week have been nice, right around 80F, and low humidity. It's still a little warm for my liking for a truly fast or high quality workout, but I'll take it!! My time this morning is the fastest I've done for 3 miles since June, so that's good. Tomorrow's plan includes 3 miles on the treadmill or outside at an easy /moderate pace. My new shoes are still not here!

Don't forget to watch the Men's 50k racewalk today on nbcolympics.com at 4:30pm (PT) . They will have a live feed of the event on the website, and then TV coverage will be tonight at 11pm (or midnight for some time zones) on USA network. Go Phillip!! Go USA!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Chugging along

Sometimes that is what it feels like when I'm on the treadmill. Just chugging along. Same speed, same cadence, same, same same. OK, so what can I expect on the treadmill right? It's by far my least favorite way of getting in a workout. Aside from the lack of scenery and fresh air, I'm always a bit anxious on the treadmill. I've watched people fall off of this thing, including one time earlier this year where a woman fell off and landed right on her face. She knocked herself out, had a seizure in front of me, and really scared me to pieces. I still have vivid recollections of those scenes every time I hop on the machine myself. Not exactly great visualization for a decent workout. I persist only because I know it's a temporary thing, and in the not-too-distant future, I'll be out at the track, or better, on the roads putting miles behind me.

So today's workout was again, a 3 miler at a consistent pace on the treadmill. My left hamstring is awfully tight for some reason (too much stretching the other day?), so I took it especially easy today. Tomorrow is an off day for cardio, so I'm hoping to get out to the canals on Sunday for a nice 6 miler. Pray to the weather gods for no thunderstorms!

On the knitting front, I finished knitting sock#1 of my Dbacks socks and need to get the black 'D's on them. I also finished the back of the SWTC cardigan. It's the largest piece of the 5 pieces that make up the garment, so hoping the remaining pieces go quickly. I really want to get it done and return it to SWTC to get this monkey off my back. My new sock yarns from San Fran arrived and I'm itching to get those on the needles. Also, I'd like to feel free to spend some time dyeing and getting my Etsy shop up and running before I start school again on the 25th of August.

My husband is in Maryland completing the final preparations for moving the parents here. They will fly here tomorrow morning. I'm nervous, anxious, and at the same time, feeling impatient for this whole thing to happen. I'm anticipating that the first several weeks will be chaotic and difficult. My hope is that things will go smoothly, but I'm not holding out hope for that. I just hope it's not any worse than what I'm anticipating. Time will tell.

Congratulations to all those who competed last weekend in Spokane at the Master's Nationals!! And also to all of the athletes at the Olympics!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Better than expected

So school started yesterday for the kiddo's and things are better than I expected. Last year was filled with the torture of getting them up and ready to go every morning. Whining, complaining, nagging. And that was just from me! This year, different story. I know it's only been 2 mornings, but both mornings, the kids got up on their own, got themselves ready, and even got themselves breakfast this morning. I'm a bit in shock and thinking this can't possibly last the whole week. But in the wee corners of the back of my mind, you know what I'm hoping for! All year baby, all year! I can dream, but I won't hold my breath....

Anyway, today started out with a 3 miler on the treadmill. New shoes haven't arrived yet, so I threw on my old trusty Chinese racewalking shoes. I love them, but they have the support of a ballet slipper. I try to save these for intervals on the track and actual races on the track only. They served me well this morning in a pinch. I am a bit sore, as predicted from the weight workout yesterday, but nothing too noticeable. I wasn't fast on the treadmill, but was consistent throughout the whole workout, keeping the same speed all the way through, and not stopping once.

On the fiber front, I got busy winding skeins of undyed sock yarn from the cones I purchased last month. Gecko yarns won't be hitting Etsy until at least the end of the month as I just haven't had time to devote to winding and dyeing. But when it does open, I will have plenty of great colorways to offer. I'm almost done winding the 20 or so skeins that I want to open with, and dyeing is the quicker/easier aspect. I should be able to dye all of them over the course of 3-4 days which will happen next week. Squeee! I can't wait!

I've still got my Dbacks socks on the needles, as well as the SWTC cardigan. I'll be continuing progress on those today too. Once I double stitch the Dbacks "D" on the one pair, I'll post a picture for you all to see.

The in-laws are moving here this week. My husband is flying out on Thursday and will fly back with them on Saturday. My mother-in-law's room at the nursing home is all ready for her, and we are adding a few things she requested like a recliner chair, and a sewing machine. Yep, she can still get up and operate a sewing machine! I'm a little anxious over taking on this responsibility and keeping their presence here from effecting our lives too much, especially for my kids. But I think we've hashed out a lot of predictable problems as much as we can and we're as ready as we're going to be. It would be nice to feel some reassurance from his sisters regarding what we can expect from them as far as visiting the parents and care of them when we're on vacation and such, but it's become obvious that they can't be relied upon for any reassurance at all. Such is life.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Short and sweet

I'm busy watching the Olympics, and so have little time to blog today! But did manage off-road workouts of 30 minutes moderate to vigorous swimming in the pool, and 30 minutes of core and weights this morning (again, fairly moderate, I expect to be a bit sore tomorrow). Going to try for a short road workout tomorrow morning, something easy as my shoes haven't arrived yet.

Here's to a great week!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Shoes

Haven't worked out since Tuesday. Have been having some major back pain since Monday's workout and still am stiff and in a fair bit of pain.

As I was putting on my shoes on Tuesday, I realized that the bottom of the shoe is peeling off. Geez, I thought, they aren't that old yet are they?? I checked and well, I did buy these back in December or January. That's not really that long ago considering the meager miles I've done this year, but apparently, long enough ago to have my shoes falling apart. I guess wearing them during our 10 day vacation didn't help out either. I'm not sure if the back pain and the shoe condition are actually related, but in any case, new shoes were obviously in order. So I await their arrival while I take NSAID's for the pain and inflammation and get massaged regularly from my very supportive husband.

Even knitting is suffering due to this back pain. I just can't sit in one position very long without feeling pretty uncomfortable. I'm working on a few projects, but not making as much headway on anything. Kinda stinks as almost everything I want to work on are Christmas presents and I feel a little bit of pressure to get through them more quickly. Oh well.

So, not much actually happening here.

Other than that, I'm enjoying watching the Olympics, particularly on our new HDTV! I've discovered how to connect our laptop to the TV so I can watch streaming videos of the events that don't get shown in full on the TV broadcasts. I'm hoping I can catch the full racewalks this way as well!! GO USA!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Some WIPs and Fos

Here are some promised pictures of some projects.

These are my finished Mirrored Nutkins in my own handdyed/handpainted yarn. This colorway is called Indian Summer.

These are the Retro Rib Socks I'm making for my brother-in-law In Regia Color Stretch. I don't remember the colorway. They are hibernating for a few weeks while I work on the next 2 projects pictured.

These are for my Diamondback socks. I'm about halfway down the leg of sock#1 right now. This is also handdyed yarn.

This is the SWTC Jaded Rib Cardigan done in their Therapi yarn. Don't love knitting cardi's but do love this yarn.

I've got a 3 mile workout planned for today, but since it is already 9am, I will be hitting the treadmill or pool running again for that. Last night we had some easy, rolling thunderstorms come through our area and this morning, while cooler, is very humid. Of course, the sky is clear this morning and the sun is just blazing down so an indoor workout is in order. About another month and I should be able to consistently be outside again for workouts!

Tonight, husband and I are buying a new TV!! Just in time for the Olympics too!! When my in-laws move here next week, one of our TV's will need to be moved into the guest house for my father-in-law. The most obvious one is the one in our kitchen due to it's size. Since we will be remodeling the kitchen starting in October, we had already planned on buying a nice HDTV to replace the one in the kitchen anyway. However, with the start of the Olympics, I told Mr. Kneedle that we should go ahead and get it now rather than wait until next week when his father arrives. Yippee!!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today is a rest day. At least on the workout front of my life it is. Yesterday's workout consisted of 3 miles on the treadmill, racewalking at about 4mph, but at a 2.0 incline. I've decided that Tuesdays and Saturdays will be my off days due to my rapidly approaching start of school on August 25th. I have to work around my school schedule, and I think those days are best. I can hardly believe the summer is over already! My kids start school next Monday! Ack! I'm not ready!

I am, however, looking forward to watching the Olympics which start this Friday. As a child, I loved watching the gymnastics events the most. I was a gymnast until I was 14, at which time I managed to break my hand twice and rip my knee innards apart in the course of 1 year. I pretty much decided after that that my body just couldn't handle it anymore. I was a pretty good gymnast despite the fact that I was so tall. The only event I couldn't do was the uneven parallel bars. I was so tall that you couldn't get the bars far enough apart for me and still have the lower bar at a high enough height for me to not hit the ground when I hung from it. It was my favorite event to watch, so I was very disappointed when I discovered that I couldn't actually compete in that event.

I still enjoy the gymnastics, but of course, nowadays, I really enjoy watching track & field, and especially the racewalks. It looks like this year, NBC will have highlights of the racewalks rather than showing the entire event live. What a shame! And not even during prime time (which is when the races are actually occurring for those of us on the West Coast of the US), but rather, sometime between 11pm and 1am or something like that. I know race walking is a bit of an obscure sport here in the US, but come on, this is the Olympics! Can't they show all of the events live or at least in full at some point in time?? Sheesh... I know marketing talks, but can't we put capitalism aside for the Olympic games! Please.

Oh well, guess I'll have to try to catch glimpses of Joanne, Phillip and Kevin (our 3 US race walkers) during time-outs of the basketball game.

Knitting wise, I'm still chugging along on the back of the SWTC Cardigan, although now I'm a bit more than halfway done with that piece. Hoping that switching to stockinette stitch will speed things up and I can get it done today. I'm taking the kids to see "Get Smart" today, so maybe I'll take it with me. I've not yet tried knitting at the movies, but can't hurt to try right?

I've also put aside the Retro Rib Socks for a short time so I can cast on my Diamondback socks. It's really simple: I dyed my own yarn in a color that is as close to Sedona Red as I can get, and will knit simple stockinette socks. Then I'll double stitch the 'D' symbol down the leg once they are done. I'd like to get these at least started and maybe almost finished for the Stitch n Pitch game here on the 24th.

So that's it for today, hope you all are having a great day and a great week!

Next post: new pics of the Nutkins, and maybe some WIPs as well.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Inside track to Beijing

Just FYI for those interested, an acquaintance of mine (more of a friend of a friend, although I've met him before), is competing for the US in the Men's 50k Race Walk -- Phillip Dunn! He has a blog on blogspot for others to follow along on his trek. I've added the link to my favorite blogs on the right, go check out his blog and let's all cheer him on!

Tempered by fire

That's what they say is the best way to purify a metal, or other substances. It improves it, brings out the best in whatever that substance is right? It's not altogether different in some of the aspects of my life either. Racewalking, knitting, family issues. The same concept can apply to all of these.

This morning I got up very early and was out at the track by 6am. It was still hot. Really hot. Freaky hot for so early. I managed 4 very slow, just plain ol' walking miles on the track. I'm still not yet reaccostumed to this heat. For just plain ol' walking (ok, I did one lap racewalking really slowly, but really it doesn't count for much), I finished in exactly 1 hour. But I know that getting out there, even in this heat, even just plain ol' street walking, will help in the long run. As those new capillaries are forming in an effort to cool my body off, I know they will still be there once the cooler temps arrive, and I start speeding up again. All those capillaries will be available to shuttle oxygen rich blood to those working muscles. So while I wouldn't call today's workout a quality workout, hopefully it will add in a quality workout later down the road.

Yarn-wise, I'm being "tempered" by working on a project for a yarn company (South West Trading Company). It's a cardigan, one of my least favorite kind of projects. This is the kind that must be knit up in pieces, and then sewn together. So while each piece is not exceptionally large, it still feels never ending. Once I'm done knitting one piece, there is still another piece to cast on and knit. Then another. Then another. Then another. And even after that, then I have to knit the buttonband. And the neck border. And piece the thing together. And add a button... and ... and... you get the picture.

This type of project really tests my resolve and perseverance to stick with something this long. Especially when it's not even for me or a gift for someone special in my life. My motivation? Well, in payment for all my time and work, I'm usually paid in yarn from the company. This time however, rather than receiving a same quantity of the same yarn from the project, I'm going to request a fiscally similar quantity of their undyed sock yarn for my upcoming business. I think that makes really smart business sense! So I press onward with it. If I plan my day out well today, I might even get piece #1 done today.

Nevertheless, I simply cannot bear to only have this project active in my world. So last night, after working 5 inches of said cardi, I cast on Retro Rib Socks (Evelyn A Clark) in a Regia variegated yarn. These will be a Christmas present for a male member of the family.

So the plan for today: finish the back of the cardi; continue working on the Retro Rib Socks (maybe make it to the heel flap); and wind at least 5 skeins of yarn; watch the baseball game at 1pm; and lastly, attempt a crockpot method of making my Panang Beef dish.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Short but sweet

My apologies for the rant in my last post. Just sometimes, things need a way out, and right now, this blog is it. So, for today I'll keep it really short.

No workout today, just couldn't fit it in.
Did finish my Mirrored Nutkins today. I'll take a picture tomorrow in the daylight (flash really doesn't do justice to the colors in knitwork).
Working on a swatch for the SWTC Jaded Cardigan. If I get gauge, I will cast on tonight to get that started.
In-laws will be moving here likely sometime before the 12th. Husband found a nice place, although it is in the nursing care section as they (nor anyone else) seems to have spaces available in assisted living. Given the problems we've had getting the final approval for assisted living in the last several places, this is the best bet to get them here sooner rather than later. We have little paperwork to get completed for this place, so hopefully everything will be expedited this time. The relatives are still breathing down his neck, but husband is just ignoring it knowing he's doing everything he can already.

Plans for tomorrow include a short workout in the morning, followed by chainsawing a large portion of a tree in the backyard that is hanging very low recently and rubbing on the roof. Then off to knitting in the morning, a movie with my son in the afternoon, and possibly another in the evening with husband. That'll be a nice treat. We haven't been on a date in a couple of months.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Hoping on Monday I'll have a bit of an update on my upcoming Etsy shop opening.