Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Once, twice, three times an Ironman!

We're home from Lake Placid, where on Sunday I became an Ironman for the third time. The LAST time (at least for a year). Lake Placid has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was talking about how much I wanted to move there even before we got out of the car. The race itself was awesome. It was tough and I finished slower than what I had hoped for, but that's okay. I'm just glad that I got to be a part of such a wonderful experience and that I crossed the finish line. My time was 14:20:08 - faster than Wisconsin but slower than Florida. I didn't expect it to be faster than Florida - Florida is so flat and boring that if you could figure out a way to strap a pillow onto your handlebars you could take a nap on the bike ride - but I didn't expect to go over 13:30, and definitely not 14:00. Oh well - my third one in 3 years and my second in 8 months. I was tired. I won't bore y'all with details - after all, most (not all) of my readers are knitters, not triathletes, so the talk of misplacing my bike gloves in T1 or stomach cramps while in the aero position or the lack of embarrassment while farting during the run doesn't really mean much - but I will give you some pictures.

We flew into Albany then rented a car and drove for 2 hours to Lake Placid. The scenery was gorgeous enough for me not to knit in the car, but Hayden missed out:

The view from our hotel, the Crown Plaza:

The lake you're looking at is Mirror Lake, the lake that the swim portion of the race takes place in. It is the narrowest of all Ironman swims, and therefore the toughest. I felt like people were trying to intentionally drown me by swimming on top of me most of the time I was in the water. It was a slugfest.

Hayden and I on Main Street 2 nights before the race:

I think this was taken during the start of the second loop of the run:

I say second and not first loop because I was smiling on the first loop.

Hayden found some dirt to play in while waiting to see me throughout the day:

And speaking of my little cutie patootie, here are some pictures at one of his now Most Favorite Places on Earth, North Pole, NY. Santa lives there! (Isn't it amazing that the North Pole looks like a huge ice dildo?)

The race was Sunday. We stayed in Lake Placid on Monday, then went to Niagara Falls on Tuesday. Before we left, Hayden got to get a couple of shots in on the putting green in front of our hotel:

Then it was off to the falls. We went to the Canadian side, which we had heard is much better than the New York side. Hayden is faking a smile in this picture:

The Falls were too much for him - too noisy, too wet, too fast, too everything. He was much happier when we went in the gift shop and he got to try on hats:

After a dinner in Canada at an Italian restaurant with a mariachi band playing on the patio (WTF???), we went to our hotel in Buffalo for a 5-hour sleep before getting up to fly home this morning. I. AM. TIRED.

On the knitting front, it was all about the garter stitch during this trip. I got about 25 more rows done on my Log Cabin Blanket, and I worked on a garter stitch scarf out of Noro Iro on the plane. I visited Adirondack Yarns in Lake Placid on Saturday, but there wasn't anything there that wowed me. I was disappointed. Oh well - not that I needed to buy anything anyway. I am bound and determined to finish that blanket before I start anything else. I need to hurry up because I need to knit Hayden more sweaters for this school year. They've come up with a Standard School Attire, and now he can wear only pink, red, blue, green or white tops with his black, navy blue, or khaki pants. (He's also supposed to keep his shirt tucked in at all times, but that's not gonna happen. This autistic second-grader will be pulling his shirt out of his pants all day long and not learn a thing if they try to enforce that with him.) No, I'm not really happy about this, but I guess I can understand. Too many kids out there have their butts hanging out of their pants or wear shirts that say "You've never met a motherf*cker quite like me" across the front. (Okay, I've never seen a kid in a shirt like that, but we did see a dad wearing one while he rode gokarts with his family on Father's Day. Ah, only in the South.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

List of Lasts

Yesterday I finally started getting excited about doing Ironman USA in Lake Placid this weekend. I think it's because I experienced a bunch of lasts:

1. I taught my last cycling and sculpting classes at the JCC before the race.
2. I had my last pre-race massage.
3. I had my last personal training client before the race.
4. I taught my last cycling class at the YMCA before the race.

And this is my last post before the race. This post includes pictures of the last 2 things I have knitted before the race:

Here is my altered Coachella from Knitty. (And I don't know what's up with my eyes. I don't look that raccoon-y in real life - at least I hope not.) Like I mentioned in my previous post, the neckline was waaaay too deep before. A friend of mine made a little alteration, and now it fits much better. She ended up putting a little somethin' somethin' across the back neck to hold the several inches of knitting that she basically took up:

Good idea, huh? I like this top - the way it makes my shoulders look, the way it's sexy yet casual, and the way it shows off my tan:

Okay, maybe I'm not so crazy about the silly tan lines from my suit. I've been swimming outside a lot this summer, both in a lake and in an outdoor pool. (By the way, check out the new hair! It's long and straight! I'm going for the Jackie from Bravo's "Workout" show look - not her fauxhawk but her messy look. I'm getting close, but I have a little more length to grow and I'm having trouble getting my hair to be messy and stay messy. I think I need to try a new hair product.)

Next up is my Indigo Ripples skirt from the spring Interweave:

Here's a closer shot:

I think I'll follow suit with other bloggers and list the details:

Pattern: Indigo Ripples Skirt, spring issue of Interweave Knits
Yarn used: Rowan Denim in Memphis, 8 balls
Needles: Denise interchangeables, size 5
Discussion: I love this skirt! I was a little nervous about knitting a skirt, but I'm sure glad I did. I did make some modifications, but nothing that hasn't been done by others. I used the k3tog and sssk for the mirrored decreases in the lace section like everybody else. The skirt sits below my natural waist, just like everybody else's. I lengthened the stockinette stitch panel like everyone else and I did a crocheted chain instead of the i-cord for the drawstring like everyone else. (Yes, sometimes it's hard for me to have an original thought, especially when it comes to something creative. Take pity on me - I used to be an accountant.) I tried the skirt on a million times as it grew to make sure it was going to fit the way I wanted it to. I ended up not making as many increases, which surprised me. I hadn't heard of anyone else having to cut down the number of increases they made, and I'm sure I have more junk in the trunk than other skirt knitters out there. It does fit a little snug across my ghetto onion, but that's the way I wanted it to fit. Snug, not hootchie.

I will definitely be wearing this skirt a lot. I'm going to wear it on Monday in Lake Placid so although I'll be feeling like sh!t after the previous day's Ironman, I'll look cute.

Today we finish packing, then tomorrow it's off to New York. My race is Sunday. After one day of rest, we will be driving to Niagra Falls then spending the night in Buffalo and heading home on Wednesday. I'll provide a post-race report and maybe some action shots of the skirt towards the end of next week. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A penis-shaped run?

The elevation chart of the run course of Ironman USA looks a bit fallic. Check it out! (Scroll down towards the bottom past the map.) Either this means it's going to be really enjoyable or incredibly hard.

In knitting news, I am finished with my Coachella, but the neckline grew immensely the first time I wore it and I ended up being a Flashosaurus Rex at my LYS that afternoon. A friend took it home with her so she could make some alterations and pull the back of the neckline up a bit. (No, I didn't leave topless. I ended up buying a really cute black t-shirt with a silver image of the naked mudflap girl knitting on the front.) I started my Indigo Ripples skirt last week and am getting pretty close to being done with the lace. I've read about the hellish ruffle and even more hellish bind off, so I'm not saying that I'm close to being done with the entire thing. I'm pleased with the result so far; I've tried it on a million times to make sure it's going to fit. The log cabin blanket hasn't been picked up in a while so it still looks the same as it did in the past picture, but we're going to Chattanooga this coming weekend and I plan on taking that to work on.