You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2008.

I’ve had a few donors in the past month I lack contact information for, so I wanted to take a moment to thank the following people:

Ellen Atkinson
Roxanne Seabright
Valorie Zimmerman

THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you’re following the blog do please let my poor soggy brain remember where I know you from! (I think several are knitting circle friends from Knitting Arts in Saratoga but like I said, my soggy brain doesn’t do names all that well without faces)

My Panda Silk GG socks are finished (shall try them out on tomorrows run and review) so its time to play with the Crazy Monkey yarn! 🙂 After having done 2 pairs of GG socks… I have no attention span for a third! So I decided to come up with a new motif, using the runner from the AIDS marathon logo. This was a bit of a challenge for me. I think best in lace as far as knitting goes and I simply couldn’t figure out how to represent him well that way. My one attempt at mapping him out in knits and purls was an utterly unrecognizable mess (tho the chart would have worked nice for colorwork!) eventually on the verge of giving up, chatting in #socknitters on Freenode with Charlton Wilbur, we hit on the idea of representing the runner in cables. I ended up with my first attempt looking to me like a walker, so I have 2 figures:

He still needs a few minor changes. In particular I’m thinking his back leg is a little loooooong… which will only get worse when stretched out on a sock. I also want to tweak that back foot just a tad. but… he looks shockingly like the logo! 🙂 Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of the space on the sock! BTW, opinions on whether or not to keep the sun up in the corner are welcome…

So the AIDS Marathon site has been down off and on all week and I decided to check and see if it was working yet. Wasn’t I thrilled to see this:

Wow, almost $8K! 😛 Sadly that’s because most donations are showing 4 times (a few randomly twice). But it was still tres cool… for a half a minute…

I’ve been in a non blogging mood all week – I have lot going on career wise – was sending out resumes and cover letters, and just not feelign chatty. The *GOOD* news on that front is the work has paid off and I have an interview for an adjunct teaching slot in psych testing next week! At a local psych grad school (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) no less! I am very excited and hope all goes well. keep me in your thoughts Wed 3 PM pacific!

The week finished of course after the 14 mile run. Did I mention I ran a half marathon last week and enjoyed it? It was very odd, passing landmarks running that I’d normally only drive between. I was also grateful for unseasonably cold weather that morning. I ended up feelign *SO* good that I let myself forget that I ran 14 miles… 😛 and my legs weren’t so sure THEY felt as good as *I* did. The next day I DDR’ed for 2 hours with a friend and of course that meant trying to show off. My legs eventually sent up warning signal flares and I made myself stop. But the next day I was in this “I miss Peter I have no brain” mode, and instead of taking Monday off in place of Sunday, I managed to convince myself Sunday didn’t count since we took so many breaks, and did another half hour of DDR. I simply couldn’t help it, Erika made me put in one of the older games and I found so many songs I hadn’t done in forever….. The Tuesday happened and boy my legs were trying to communicate but I was thinking it would be really BAD to skip a run day… and then somehow out on the road I managed to convince myself it would be really BAD to run shorter, or even take the less hilly route… And then when my legs were REALLY killing me I decided it would be a PAIN to have to walk home… 😛 Yeah. Smart me. A few hours alter I had sharp pains in my good right knee that wouldn’t go away stretching and walking…. uh oh. They eased off but didn’t go away the next day and i finally got it. Took the next 3 days off.

Today was a 7 mile “recovery” run and Melissa was back from touring colleges with her kids and visiting family, and my legs were about as stiff as they can get (and the scale says I’m still retaining water, a sign I’ve started to realize means my legs are overworked). it was good to be back with my pace group. none of this talk of “what was our pace that mile, okay slow down/speed up and then grim silence for another 10 mins… nope, 1:27 of constant chatter about kids, college, lost pet snakes that won’t come out of hiding (grrrrr) the absolutely gorgeous (but a bit warm for me) weather, and I can’t even remember what… My legs were NOT happy to be running but they did the job okay and I don’t feel all that hurtful – bout the same as last week, only I’m less hyper. But I must have been really tired because…

On the way home…

Okay so I always thought cars thumped funny with flat tires. MY car apparently makes loud sounds that sound like its in the wrong gear and the engine is overworking. I’m cruising along in the slow lane SURE I’ve got a broken muffler wondering why the HELL my car is so loud… Eventually it gets worse and not better and I decide to get off. Besides, people have started waving at me and pointing at my car. its either flames shooting out the tailpipe or something wrong. So I pull off at McLaughlin (more than half way home) and into the nearest parking lot – Super Taqueria! (no gas station in sight) and low and behold, that smoke is the smoking remains of a tire. Undaunted, I get out the spare and the jack and begin doin my thang. I do have just a bit of trouble getting the &@#!@%$# bolts loosened, but I’ve got 3/4 when Mr. cute latino guy decides I need help (the sight of me jumping up and down on a tire iron of course had *NOTHING* to do with this) Ruins my girl power “I can do it mood” Guys never *help* you do anything in their sphere. They do it for you. He gets the last bolt off like it was easy, proceeds to try to jack my car up higher, fails, takes the tire off, discovered that indeed, I placed the jack wrong and the spare won’t fit under, can’t get the flat back on, so props it under the car, and lowers and re-raises the car making it look like its a lot of work (it wasn’t the first time I used the jack but hey… :-p), and has the spare on. I am allowed to trunk my own dead tire (but only cuz he was busy tightening bolts)

So Baby is happily at Sears getting a new shoe and I am once again really happy for shelling out for road hazard on the cheap annoying tires I bought her. (2nd road hazard replacement this batch) The happy ending part is that, despite me driving, oh, 12 miles on a flat, my wheel rims are okay. TIRE is very nearly in several pieces, but it needed replacing anyhow, no major harm. My girl power thing got a little reinforced when I called mommy to tell her the tale (the phone rang while I was playing with a jack) and later told Peter. Both commented “couldn’t you just call AAA?” Well, yeah, I could, but I was hot, sweaty, feeling utterly dumb, and I really didn’t wanna sit around for a half hour in a Super Taqueria parking lot waiting for a truck to unscrew a few bolts, and I REALLY didn’t see the need to use up a tow for something so mundane. Sadly, when I didn’t answer the phone, mom thought I was home and called peter. This had a sad effect of getting the boy out of bed and into the shower. Very bad. THAT’S MY HOT WATER you are luxuriating in as I walk in the door… 🙂 I need to train him that I really do want all of it… 😛

I’m recently back from my 14 mile team run.  As you may recall from 2 weeks ago, I faced it with some small trepidation, having met the Jello Wall somewhere around mile 9 of 12.  Today I set out for the site (late again for pace leader meeting, did I mention that 8 AM is early?) positively loaded down with enough gels and cubes and stuff for a whole marathon in homes of defeating that wall.  I arrived and much to my sadness, my usual pace group was not there, but Ekta and the 12:30 group were, so I set off with them.  We took the first half nice and easy – closer to 13 mins per mile, and I hit the halfway point feeling good.  Ekta and I started taking the lead – we’re the types that are a bit slow to warm up but once ya get going, barring physical barriers, we KEEP going.  I almost forgot to feed myself the second gel at 8 miles…  (MMMMMMMMMMM, chocolate mint is the BOMB) and WHEW, they put caffeine in those things!  its a very good idea let me tell you.  Made me all cheerful, helped the endorphins stick around.  By mile 11 or so I hit a major second wind, and started runnign just a little ahead of everyone.  By the middle of mile 12 I was the cheerleader saying “No, we finish together; if you need to walk I so will not mind.”  Being a bit more hard-core than my usual group, they chose running and I gave occasional pep comments throughout.  I was VERY excited to pass 13 miles and frankly, nothing was getting me down at that point.  I finished all 14 miles on pace (3:06 but there was a long walk before the 14 in that time too), and frankly feeling a hell of a lot better than I have since, oh, the 5 mile run I think.

I think I’m investing in the GU company…  😛  yeah a case of chocolate mint came home…

Now, if only my legs agreed that I feel better…  help, my house has stairs and I’m stuck UP them…  🙂  And there is a spinach omelet somewhere out there in this world with my name on it and I must go hunt it down and devour it!

I have known for weeks that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been – my average 4 mile time is faster than I’ve done just one except for that year in Jr high where I went nuts and joined a handful of sports teams. Today I decided to put a number to that fitness, as I know even that year, my mile time was just under 10 mins, and I was damned proud of that (since the year before I’d huffed and puffed to beat 12). I mapped out a 1 mile route that had as little hill and traffic as I could get, and set out to find out just HOW good I am 😉 I did start out WAY too fast and had to take a little walk after about 3 mins (and about .4 miles!). And I discovered that somehow the whole route I picked was uphill. I swear. Both ways… But in the end I did run most of it and the final time was:


Not just under 10, but WELL below 9 mins per mile. And more than a minute faster than I’ve ever run it. 😛 So to celebrate I ran another 3 miles at normal speed. I swear they made those hills steeper while I wasn’t looking… 😛 Someone needs to quit teraforming my neighborhood while I run it! Anyhow, I’m darned proud of that mile time so I need to brag and be complimented!

Yes, I know, like I need MORE new yarn… 😛 The search for the perfect running yarn continues and I figured, eh, why not. I’d been browsing around Etsy for some woolly yarns, as the problem with tofutsies was it was not fluffy enough, and ran into a seller whose dyeing I liked, Crazy Monkey Creations, who had some washable and thin merino yarn up. When I asked if she did custom colors, she said she didn’t (monitors being what they are its hard to order custom online), but she’d be willing to play with the idea and post the results in her store. And of course, it is PERFECT! 🙂 Here’s a photo of the yarn next to the logo on my AIDS Marathon running shirt:

To top it all off… I ordered the yarn on 4/13… and it arrived by today! Impressively fast! Thanks so much Crazy Monkey Creations!

Been longer than usual since I posted. Its been a crazy few days, the details of which really don’t belong published on the web so… suffice to say I had to make some difficult career choices and the dust is starting to settle.

Running continues to progress. We had our first recovery run on Saturday. My group and another were nominated to bring food, and, joy, I was the only one in attendance so that was me. I think I’ll just politely opt out next time our # is up. The grocery store had watermelons for $5 a pop, so I just had to get one… sliced it up so the pieces were still mostly connected, wrapped in saran wrap, and stuck in fridge to cool. it insulates well that way and was still nearly ice cold when people got back from the run. Needless to say it was utterly decimated and the rest of the food is in my fridge feeding me while Peter is back east at his company’s headquarters.

Since my pace group was absent, I dropped back to the one below us and figured out how they always end up at more or less the same speed… our 2nd mile was done in 11 mins and we had to slow WAY down, as coach threatened any pace group who finished early with an extra half mile… I had no trouble keeping up, but I wasn’t exactly feeling slowed down all that much either! They were also a quieter bunch than my usual group, and I’m looking forward to the constant chatter while running 14 miles this coming Saturday. Which reminds me. Hey mom, you said I should do a half marathon before going for the whole enchilada? 😛 see ya Saturday baby, it’s gonna happen.

I managed to slack off all exercise between then and now… got stressed, ate ice cream, was a bum. I know exercise is the perfect way to burn off stress but… 😛 like I listen to myself when I’m struggling with personal and interpersonal drama! Monday and today I had some really good chances to destress, including a LONG chat with a friend at my mentorship group who has been through a very similar situation, and had the stability of mind to want to go running today (if I’m stressed and run alone… oi, I can’t get my mind off it with no mental distractions!) So I did my usual route, not pushing at all and thinking I was going slow as molasses… 50:30. that’s eleven and a half mins per mile “slow” 🙂 and I felt better than I have in about a week at the end of it. Its nice to be feeling me again.

On the knitting front… I engaged in some serious retail therapy after Sat’s run. A yarn store not 1 mile from our run site, Yarn Dogs, happened to be having an anniversary sale, so I stopped in. I got some of my new favorite yarn, Crystal Palace Panda Silk, in colors not completely unlike the marathon logo, another ball of the stuff I couldn’t resist in shades of yellow, some Trekking in gray from their natura line, and some alpaca sweater yarn for peter. All within budget from the remaining $ I’ve earned at the store that hasn’t been donated. Then tonight, with Peter gone, I headed out to another favorite hangout, Knitting Arts for Tuesday night sock/lace club (I never remember which night is which so I just bring lace socks every week I show up!) I was working on the Panda silk version of the golden gate bridge sport socks (BTW its much better yarn for showing off the bridge, wait til I get them done and photoed!) and so I had to explain why I was knitting sports socks. Lots of folks there have also been part of similar events (some TnT folks, others who do swimming or walking events for charity) so it was a good time and I hope some of the crowd has tuned in! I do wish KA was a little closer to me so I could get there more often. BTW I’m about half done with the first sock, and when the pair is done I’ll take photos and likely use this one as the official pattern photo.

The other development in my life is I am looking to expand my current career options and am actively looking for adjunct teaching opportunities. I need some steadier, more predictable income while I work on and wait out the practice growth curve, and I’m actually starting to miss academia. I guess I haven’t forgotten enough (they only let you leave school if you forget a sufficient portion of what you’re supposed to learn, you see). Hopefully I’ll make some progress on that in the coming week or two! Right now its in the “where do I start” phase so if anyone has been there, done that, I’d love to hear advice!

When I noticed my contributions were nearing my goal… I started a very informal contest among my friends, to see who would be the one to push my sponsorship total over the goal line. I would like to offer a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Rob Millner, who pushed me over the goal line in spades (hearts, diamonds and clubs… )

I’d like to thank each and every one of my sponsors. I was very happily surprised at the outpouring of support from so many directions, and really did NOT expect to meet my goal til well into summer at least. You guys are all amazing! Tune in tomorrow as I strongly suspect the AIDS marathon folks will twist my arm into setting a new goal. This is about supporting our community and people in need, and every little bit helps. I’ve never been the sort to stop at the minimum or I would not have signed up for this effort!

Today was an absolutely awesome day for running, but I was stressing over SCCPA stuff so I decided to spend it knitting, stamping newsletter envelopes, and (YAY!) returning potential client phone calls. My current knitting project is made with some of my favorite but never used (yeah I know… but the colors are to dye for! ) etsy yarn from Fearless Fibers. Its very soft, and the colors are very vibrant yet subtle variegated. The colorway I’m working with is a sand tone called Speak Softly, and I spent AGES finding the stitch pattern I liked for it. i ended up settling on a variation of a stitch that really needs pale, subtle colors, Dragon Skin. but, I don’t much like the solid vertical bars in the original stitch, so I turned the 2 knits into a 3 stitch panel of lace. Here’s the sock so far after MANY MANY false starts (the yarn held up beautifully to being ripped out 6 times I might add)

Nothing like getting a knitting project to finally turn out right to improve your mood! Also, some SCCPA stuff with the webmaster turned out to be not quite so bad of a disaster as I had thought (although the man DID still defend his right to include spamming the entire membership as a requirement of his contract. ew, ick, need shower). The sun was shining, it was WARM and Peter was in a running mood too. We decided to take it easy on him so he could keep up with me, and cut the usual run short to 3 miles. It cuts out one last long (3 mins at least) hill and keeps in most of the prettiest parts of the run. Peter really did keep up. In fact, he seems to go a tad FASTER than me at the start of a 4 min interval (and we just will kindly neglect to mention the huffing puffing end of a 4 min run interval).

I was feeling very good – I swear I get high off of sunshine and there was plenty of it today. So I decided to be a show off and when we got back home I took 2 laps around the park, adding another mile and a half and a good several hills. The first lap I actually ran the hills faster than on the way out. The mostly flat run home actually got me really charged up and no hill was gonna stop me. besides, there were entertaining people racing each other in the park and cute kids that hugged random smiling strangers and other fun stuff. The second time around the hills definitely did not win, but I swear they got longer and steeper… 😛 I decided 4.4 miles is far enough and didn’t go for 3. Total time was 52:30, including a little extra walk on the way home after Peter met a very unfriendly sidewalk crack. Its very good to know I can shorten the main route and make it up almost exactly by throwing in the park. Made for a good hill practice run. next week tho I swear I’m gonna try for the real hill….. The ones in SF look long and not tortuously steep and Mt. Pleasant road will be good training if I can ever get myself to try!

I am happy to announce that I am within $88 of my fundraising goal for the SF AIDS Foundation! Now is YOUR CHANCE… Be the one to push us over the finish line! I’m thinking I need to move the goal back to $2500… so you all are NOT off the hook yet…

Today was a rough day running wise. Clearly I am still feelign it from the 12 miles Saturday and the “ooops I forgot to stop playing” hour plus of DDR yesterday. I was trying to get the top 8 most placed songs to line up in the right order so I could pass all 8 of them without stopping on the “courses” mode… It’s not my fault! 😛 I so could NOT get my legs to move today (heh mebbe I shoulda eaten brekkie first?). It felt kind of like miles 5-9.5 of Saturday, actually. I figured it was good practice for marathon day to keep going even though it was more effort than usual, and I made it home in 50:50. Still under 12 mins/mile! I’m glad I pushed myself to finish and will remember this when I feel tired on the longer runs – I actually CAN keep going, no really…

I also *fanfare music* got my newsletters printed and stuffed into envelopes! Now all they need is stamps and THAT chore is off my plate for another 3 months! YAY! If you’re into child psych research, give it a look…

SF AIDS Marathon 2008

On August 3, myself and about 500 other runners will complete the San Francisco marathon in an effort to raise $1,000,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This is the culmination of nearly 2 years of lifestyle changes and weight loss for me, and a chance for me to use my new-found energy and fitness to give back to my community. I hope you will join me in this effort by reading and offering your support through my blog. If you are able, I also welcome your contribution to the cause! Thanks and keep on running!

Progress Bar:

Marathon time: 5:40:22
Total Raised: $2,815.70

My Sponsors

I'd like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support of the SF AIDS Foundation!

Dianne Whitfield of the Bunny Hay Loft

Ulf Anvin
Rob Millner
Scott Lamb
Jeff Barlow
Erika Duplantis
Nick and Carol Esser
Kathryn Mercer
Nicole Pauls
Kathryn Coll
Timothy Berger
Susan Druding
Jenny Forman
Kathryn Mulgrew
Jamie Piperberg
Lucia Sanchez
Fran Taillon
Douglas Leeder
Barbara Kirsch
Ellen Atkinson
Valerie Esser
Peter McCourt
Carla Schroder
Sandra Spicher
Matthew Wilson
Valorie Zimmerman
Kathryn Kramer
Roxanne Seabright
Gayathri Swaminathan
Jason Spiro
Dianne Schoenberg

Thank you so very much for your support!

April 2008

Knitting projects!