Saturday, January 26, 2008

Running Above Zero

I have been looking forward to this day for a week!

Rumours abounded that the mercury was going to rise above zero, even hit the twenties by the end of the week. Thursday morning dawned to -16 degrees, though did warm up to above zero... eventually. Lucky for me I had other plans and was not running that day. Friday was also a day off, so when I got up this morning I was very pleasantly surprised to see 18 degrees on the thermometer. 18... above... zero... And, as frosting on the cake, barely a breeze blowing! I almost didn't know how to dress for this mornings run. A quick check of the National Weather Service website showed that it was a tad cooler over the hill, 14 degrees, so I didn't go crazy and wear my "warm weather" running clothes. ;->

Layers today still consisted of my Sporthill 3SP tights and top, and two layers of mittens (handknits are so awesome) but rather than a long-sleeved fleece, I wore a fleece vest, and topped it off with a thin (handknit) wool hat vs my nylon covered fleece hat and neck gaiter. No wind pants either. And no need to slather my face with Warm Skin. I felt light as a feather! It is much easier to contemplate adding long runs in when the temps are warmer.

I am preparing to branch out to longer races and have my sights set on a 25K trail run in May. Knowing myself as I do, I need to build up my mileage pretty slowly so have started my race training this week. I also know that, unlike what many of the training plans tell you, I do need to run the full distance of the race at least once in training. This was brought home to me during last October's Whistlestop half marathon when things started to tighten up a lot after 10 miles (my longest training run). So the plan is to build up to running 16 miles at least twice before race day, with a good two week taper leading to the race. At some point I also need to start running more hills in preparation for this particular race (Superior Trail 25K - I have been doing a lot of my runs of late on the Lakewalk which has a grand elevation change of 50 feet!

Enough of running and the cold, at least for now.

On the knitting front I have finished a pair of socks (Embossed Leaves Socks, Interweave Knits, Winter 2005). Due to their lacey nature a blocking would be helpful. I have been looking at various homemade blocking devices as the ones I made years ago are showing their age.

The "bird mittens" are progressing very slowly. I finished the hand on one, need to fasten off the top stitches and work the thumb (carefully writing down what I am doing as I go) and then start the other one. I may finish them yet this season ;->

I cast on for a scarf out of some well-aged stash yarn. Needed something mindless for reading and watching movies, etc as the bird mittens are anything but - what with the three charts and all.

Anxiously awaiting a package from KnitPicks. First time I have ordered any knitting things from a catalog/website in years. I was sucked in by the laminated multi-colored DP needles, though refrained from buying the set. Did order a few sizes of the DP's, six skeins of Quarry to use on a healing shawl, and two skeins of Gloss (wool/silk blend) for an undetermined project (socks?, scarf?, hat?, mittens?.... so many possibilities).

Saw Spirit of the Marathon Thursday night (limited release, one night only but may be shown again in theaters in February). If you are at all interested in running, go see it. Good documentary on marathoning, covers both world-class atheletes and "regular" folks, including a few first timers. Takes place around the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Very inspiring! Last week was a big movie week for me as I also saw Juno (another good movie). Normally I do not go to theaters, so this was quite the change for me. It helps that we now have a theater located downtown and that something of interest is actually being shown.

Enjoy the warm(er) weather and wish for snow.


Chris said...

I know! It felt like a heat wave, didn't it?! Ahhhh...

I'm not buying any more Addi Turbos. I'm really hard on needles and it's a lot easier replacing $6 needles than $16 needles, you know?!

Lisa said...

Enjoy the heat wave while it lasts - they are predicting highs in the low single digits by mid week. Snow - if only we had some fresh snow it might be bearable. Nothing like a ski on a below zero day with fresh snow (did I mention we need snow?).

We shall see how long the wooden needles last. I am very hard ont hem, which is why I switched to metal but I do love the feel of wood in my hand so have high hopes for the durability of these needles.