Yesterday I did one of the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour races, the Plateau Gobbler Gallop 11K. It took place in Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville. Any park with the word "Mountain" in its name has got to be hilly. I read the night before that this race was the third toughest race in the Tour series. Ugh.
Since I am doing the St. Jude Half Marathon in Memphis next weekend, I wanted to shoot for 8:15-8:30 miles at the Gobbler Gallop, then do 8:10-8:15 miles in Memphis. That all changed, however, when I saw Pebbles at the race. (Pebbles is not her real name, but I'm going to call her that because that's what she looks like sometimes when she ties her bangs up in a silly ponytail.) Pebbles is not really a nemesis of mine because she doesn't do triathlons, but she and her god-awful lispy high-pitched Southern drawl has annoyed me for several years. I decided that beating Pebbles was my goal, no matter what the pace needed to be.
I started a little bit behind her. My strategy was to stay right behind her for most of the way, then pass her at the end. However, I passed her going up the first hill. That must've pissed her off, because she passed me right back. I tried to hold back so that it wouldn't turn into a game of leapfrog for the entire 6.8 miles, but I passed her again going up the next hill. (I have really muscular legs, too muscular for skinny jeans.) This hill was long enough for me to distance myself from her a good bit. I got excited, then realized about mile 1 that not only was I ahead of her, I was ahead of every other female! First female overall! I've never been in that position before, and I must say, it wasn't very fun. Every time I heard footsteps I worried about it being another girl. I wanted to run fast enough to stay in the front position but not too fast to blow myself up. I ended up getting passed by one girl about halfway into the race, then another one with about a mile left. I finished third overall female, first in my age group, and about 2 minutes ahead of Pebbles. Woot! My time on a hilly 6.8 mile course was 53:56, over 5 minutes faster than my original goal time. I was proud of myself, especially since I hadn't done any racing in a while. AND because I beat Pebbles.
Since yesterday's race, I've been told that Pebbles is very competitive and will be gunning for me the next time we toe the line together. Am I scared? NO WAY!!! Bring it on, silly girl! It's on like Donkey Kong! I was planning on doing only 4 or 5 of these State Parks Tour races, but now I think I'm going to try for 8. They have a Grand Prix series in which they take your 8 best times and assign points for what place you finish. Right now she's in first place for the women, but she's already done 6. Hopefully I can turn in some good performances and beat her. The finale is March 1st at the Fall Creek Thaw 15K.
I've also been somewhat of a speedy knitter. I started my Tree Jacket last Wednesday, and I have only 3 inches to go on the body, plus the sleeves. I'm loving it so far. DH is busy trying to install a wall mount for our new TV, so I took a progress shot myself:
Then I asked Hayden to be my photographer. He did a pretty good job:
My question is this: why is the lace section swirling? The picture on the Zephyr website shows their lace section straight. I'm not the only one and I really don't mind the look, but I'm just curious. If I tried to block the swirling out, wouldn't it make the entire sweater go lopsided? (BTW, my yarn is Rowan Kid Classic. The color is the darkest shade of eggplant known to man. I lurve it.)
I also got Hayden to take a picture of my latest FO:
Yarn: Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere, 1 skein
Needles: size 5 dpns
Modifications: Added more length to the middle section (5 rounds), added one extra round of cables at the top, did a regular bind off rather than picot.
Discussion: I really like these gloves. The cashmere is super soft (duh) and the pattern was easy to follow. It was a quick knit - about 2 days. I might make some more for gifts, but not in cashmere. Maybe some Rowan Cashsoft.