Category Archives: running

Worlds colliding

I am thinking now with fond thoughts on the weekend – it was a pretty great one, as weekends go. Despite being a bit weary post-move, I got to dash off to the big city again and spend the weekend with various friends – all knitterly, and friendly in many ways. Lisa put me up for the weekend and she had decided we needed kick things off with a visit to the local tea shop that was doing an afternoon tea in celebration of the Royal Wedding. (Was that just Friday? It feels like years ago now. Also: still grappling with the fact that Camilla is one day going to be Queen Camilla. Just seems somehow odd. Thanks Wikipedia reading on the Royals! The more you know…)

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Saturday, though, was the Knitter’s Frolic marketplace day hosted annually by the Downtown Toronto Knit Collective. I made out moderately bandit-like, though only partly via purchases. I spent a bit, as might be expected. A japanese stitch dictionary came home with me, along with these lovely skeins from Van Der Rock Yarns (the bright green ‘gypsum’ sock) and Indigodragonfly Yarns (the other 3 – mix of sparkly, merino/cashmere, and merino). It was a pretty leisurely few hours, and had some down-time waiting for Lisa to finish her class before driving back downtown, so I ended up chatting with a few people for a while. That was a nice change of pace from the rush and crush that often happens at these events. And lucky me, I also came back with a few skeins for designing with, as well as a lovely gift. Knitter and runner friend Kathy (who is also going to be running the Wellington Women’s Half Marathon in June, in Ontario), generously sewed me up a sparkly fun running skirt (mine was purple, hers pink – we will do the girly event in frivolous and possibly sarcastic style). And when I went to hand her back the bag that she’d put it in, she refused and said “no no, all that’s for you, too.” Lo and behold, I now own a lovely new sock project bag and a skein of fun chunky handspun. Thanks, Kathy!

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And speaking of knitters who are also runners, I got to round out the weekend with the Toronto Sportinglife 10k race on Sunday morning. It was pretty darned huge, and a bit jostly-crowded at times, but I’m happy with my time and it was a good run. Fellow knitter-runner (and new racer, despite being several minutes faster than me, darn her) Dr. Steph was there too, and we met up at the beginning and end and then later for post-race burgers and beer. I think that’s the best part, is the finishing and cheering afterwards. Here we are about 15 minutes after finishing, doing our best not to shiver in the cool-down chills under the Toronto grey skies.

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I am now working on Steph to do a half-marathon with me. I will win her over, I am sure of it, especially now that she has felt the glee of race-finishing.

Right now my possessions are in a transitional state, as I rearrange and organize, and my knitting is in a similar phase. I need to get some Finished Object photos in there for my Dusseldorf Aran (thank you for asking about it, friendly readers!) and start some new things. I’m thinking about a pair of sparkly Viper Pilots, since so many other folks have done it sounds like a good plan. And how can sparkly distracting things be bad, I ask you?

Until next time, dear knitters! Keep the yarn close by.

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Filed under knitting in public, real life miscellaney, running

Like Interests

I have been thinking a lot lately about running. This is partly because it’s spring now (officially, at least, even if the weather is still catching up one step at a time), and also because I go through periods (like now-ish) of latching onto new challenges and projects for goal-setting. This is also one of the many reasons I love knitting – it gives me projects to work on and finish. I may not know for sure what my employment situation will be in a few months, but by gar I know what knitting I’d like to work on, and I know races I’ll be running in the spring and fall. (Toronto Sportinglife 10k on May 1st, Wellington women’s half marathon in June, Edmonton half-marathon in August, and the MCM 10k in DC in October, for anyone curious. Ah-yep, that’ll be a fun year to train for). It’s also one of the best kinds of stress relief I’ve got at my disposal. It’s a lot harder to work up the energy to be stressed if you’ve just come back from an hour or more of running.

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I’ve also reached a point with my running where I can start to re-define my own version of crazy. Last year, my first half marathon was just crazy enough. This year, one is not enough, I need more crazy than that. This weekend I also started reading this book by this guy. and realized that actually, my version of crazy is is truly on my own scale. When you read about a guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 days and not only lived to tell the tale but finished #50 faster and healthier than #1, well. That’ll make you stop and think a bit about what qualifies as “too hard” or “impossible”.

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Reading him explain about his running and why challenges like running long distances is something people sign up for voluntarily actually resonates a lot with why I love knitting and challenging myself with yarnly mediums. Nobody’s forcing us to do this, we take it on ourselves because it speaks to us in a way that other hobbies or mindful pursuits don’t, and like running, it’s hard to ever see the bottom of it. There is always more of it out there to do. And i often struggle with running the same way I struggle with knitting – going through periods of reminding myself why I like it, finding new technique or new ways of balancing it into my life, reminding myself to compete only with myself instead of against others.

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And if you stick with running long enough, you realize that yes, it does get hard, but that’s OK because even when it’s hard it can still feel good. I often desperately wish I was a faster runner, but that’s the same thing that makes me feel better when I try a harder run and do a bit better than I did the week before.

So, anyhow, on the weekend I taught another class on steeking, and had an awesome time with it as usual, and found myself thinking a lot of these same things. Yes, colour-work can be a challenging technique to learn. And yes, steeking (cutting up your knitting on purpose), can be a challenging concept to wrap your brain around and can require a leap of faith that it will actually work out. But that doesn’t mean these things aren’t fun. If you ask me, they’re some of the most fun you can have with your knitting. Steeking is one of the few knitting techniques that appears impressive to both knitters and non-knitters – one of the times when you can say “SEE LOOK WHAT I DID!” and non-knitters will be just as impressed with it as you are.

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Not everyone is going to feel called to sign up for a bunch of running races and train for them (but if you do, kudos, and let’s be buds), but if you’re a knitter you can’t deny that this is a leisure pursuit that will give you as many challenges as you want, and reward you just as often as you try them. I was once a person who didn’t think she could run a half-marathon. I was once a person who was intimidated by cables and didn’t understand how they worked. I can’t say either of these things any more. I wonder what new things I’ll be able to say about my knitting in the coming year? I’m going to do my best to keep it not boring, that’s for sure.

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I hope you find some new knitting challenges this week! And I hope your yarn is waiting for you at the end of the day.

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Filed under real life miscellaney, running, steeks

Dear blog

Dear blog,
Today, I ran my first 10K race.

Photobucket

I wanted to finish in less than 1:10 and I did that. I’d like to thank the rain for not lasting for the whole race, that was very nice of it.

Now I will do more stretching, and later a sushi dinner well-earned.

Love from,
Me.

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Filed under running