Friday, August 24, 2007

Ready to be gifted

Finally! All folded up and ready to be delivered to the deserving recipient.

Pattern: Log Cabin Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, I don't know how many skeins (more on that in a minute)
Needles: Denise Interchangeables size 5
Date started: somewhere around the beginning of May
Date completed: August 24th

I love this blanket, although I got stuck in the long-ass rows of garter stitch rut that many other Log Cabin Blanketers out there have found themselves in. I tried so hard to resist the temptation of other, more interesting knits along the way, but I caved a couple of times. Had I not done my Coachella or my Indigo Ripples Skirt (or started that Rebecca skirt), this blanket would've been done about a month ago. It's fine, though. Right now it's a million degrees here in Nashville, so I have a feeling it's going to go unused for a while.

I didn't follow the pattern exactly, but when you're doing a blanket like this, you don't have to. I cast on however many stitches I wanted to and did however many garter ridges I wanted to. I don't know the dimensions because I haven't measured them. I don't know how many skeins I used because I just kept going back to my LYS to buy 2 or 3 at a time whenever I needed them. It looks much better in the checkbook when you do that compared to spending over $200 at one time. I would've had to put out for a trip like that! (You know, yarn sex: to soften the blow - pun intended - of an expensive single trip to the LYS.) Another thing I didn't do was follow the instructions for the edging. Like a friend who did the baby blanket version, I just picked up stitches then turned right around and bound them off. Worked just fine.

(Yes, he's wearing a Santa Claus hat. He's been into Christmas ever since our trip to the North Pole and Santa's Workshop while we were in New York last month.)

I see a couple more Log Cabins in my future; DH and my SO have requested one of their very own. Obviously ours will be in the purple and green family since those are the colors of our new bedding (we got tired of the big white flower on the black background - it showed dog hair and cookie crumbs too well). My SO's will probably be something bluish.

Next up, though, will be the completion of my Rebecca skirt and a Clapotis that I'm going to do as a shop model for my LYS. The skirt has not reached a picture-worthy stage and the yarn hasn't been chosen for the Clap, so you'll just have to read about them. My goal is to finish the lace part of the skirt (I'm halfway there) before this Sunday. I am going with my SO and 2 other girls to Louisville to volunteer then spectate at Ironman Louisville, and I need some easy stockinette stitch for the car ride. Wish us and especially all of the athletes good luck - it'll be way too f*ckin' hot!!

One more shot:

OF COURSE we have already seen "High School Musical 2" several times already! This picture was taken at our YMCA's pool party last Saturday night. Hayden's jump is perfect - he looks just like the kids in the poster. The movie premiered on Friday, then on Saturday the Y showed it in the pool area so the kids could play and watch the movie at the same time. They had a drawing for prizes after the movie was over, and we won a soundtrack. Huzzah! Saves us $17!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mountain Lakes Triathlon race report

I could also title this post "Why Nakedie Doesn't Do Sprints."


I think I mentioned in a post from a couple of months ago that I coach a triathlon club for beginners. We are 4 1/2 weeks away from our main goal, the Music City Triathlon on September 16th. Along the way, I've encouraged them to do other races - a sprint with a pool swim, a longer sprint with a pool swim, an even longer sprint with a lake swim - to help them tackle the Olympic distance. Mountain Lakes was on their calendar and several of them had decided to go, so my original thought was to go and cheer them on. After all, my Ironman was just 3 weeks before that, so there'd be no way I could do the race myself. About a week and a half after Ironman, I must've had a brain fart because I thought I was actually rested enough to do this sprint. So I signed up and responded with, "Yeah, I'm fine - it's weird!" to everyone who was surprised to hear that I was racing 3 weeks after putting in 140.6 miles.

Race morning came and my legs were a little sore from a sculpting class I taught Tuesday morning (during which we did lots of walking lunges - stupid, I know - quit lecturing me - I'm almost done subbing that damn class), but I decided I was going to give it my all. One of my goals for next year is to do shorter races and regain some of my speed lost over the past 3 years while churning out hours upon hours of long distance training, so why not push myself as hard as I could and see where I'm starting from?

The swim was okay - a little too much algae, but I got out under my goal of 12 minutes (no, I'm not a fast swimmer - working on that) - and the bike was fine. However, the run SUCKED ASS. That's where I realized that no, I'm not as recovered as I thought. I ran as hard as I could for the first mile, then had to slow down. My first mile was 7:50, my overall pace for 3 miles was 8:27 - that shows you how much I slowed down. A friend of mine was at the finish line, and the first thing I said to him was, "Doing a sprint 3 weeks after Ironman is one of the worst f*cking decisions I've ever made." Man, that hurt! Man, I have a lot of work to do!

After the pain wore off, I realized that I was okay with my performance. My goal was 1:30, my time was 1:28:59. I came in 11th out of 40 in my age group, which is quite competitive. Not too shabby for someone who a)did an Ironman 3 weeks before and b)is NOT a sprinter. Honestly, the last time I did a race that short was 5 years ago. But I foresee more of those in my future; getting to that point where you're not quite sure what's going to happen first, puking or passing out, is actually a bit fun in a very sick sort of way.

Swim: 11:46 for 600 yards (no, I'm not a fast swimmer)
T1: 1:58
Bike: 48:38 for 16.2 miles (20.0mph average)
T2: 1:07
Run: 25:22 for 3 miles (8:27/mile average)

Next up: I Run for the Party 5K next Saturday night. After that will be the Music City Triathlon on September 16th.

PS - In case you're wondering, all of my peeps (the people I coach) finished the race! There were 2 of them who had never done a triathlon before, and 3 of them who had never swum in a lake before. I was a very proud mama. One of my guys made it a point to let me know that he had beaten me ("Stephanie, if you're looking for your name on that list of overall results, just find my name and count 10 below that to find your name." - yeah, that didn't fly with me too well) but when I got home and saw the results, I found out he beat me by only 33 seconds. Come Music City, I'll show him who's boss! GAME ON!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tom Boonen has a sexyback

For you non-Tour de France watchers, Tom Boonen is a sprinter from Belgium who is freakin' flippin' HOT! Check him out in this video. You'll know why I always say, "Tom Boonen can stick his bone in me any day!" (And check out the t-shirt he's wearing 1:22 into it. I guess all I need to do is get him to go on one date with me.)

On the knitting front, I started a new project 2 days ago because I went to Alabama this weekend to do a triathlon. Makes sense, right? My poor Log Cabin Blanket is too damn big to take on a road trip, and my Noro Iro scarf is nearly finished, and I love my Indigo Ripples Skirt very much, so I started another skirt. It's this skirt from Rebecca magazine number 29 (the third picture). I'm using Safari (the recommended yarn) in a dusty purple. I haven't knit anything purple in a long time, so I'm due. A friend of mine knit one for a shop model at my LYS and it's very cute. It might be a tad see-through, so I won't be surprised if I have to sew (or get someone to sew for me) an underskirt. I'm not very far into it, so totally not picture-worthy.

More on the triathlon from this morning once results are posted. Then I'll have more to comment on it. But I'll leave you with this: a sprint triathlon is NOT the thing to do 3 weeks after an Ironman. Ouch!