I have been having an interesting time with these socks!
First I had some issues with my cast-on, so that got done twice. Then I had knit up the ribbed cuff and was well on my way on the first part of the charted pattern for the leg when I realized that the pattern blocks were not the same, indeed they were mirror images of each other. Sigh! Ripped back the 13 or so rounds I had knit, picked up the stitches (so much fun with dark, dark, dark green on Sz 1/2.5 mm needles at night). I reknit the leg only to realize that I was not going to be able to live with the puckered stitches that were occurring at the "corners" (transition area between each of the needles - these are being knitted on 5 dpns). So, I ripped back again (this time 18 rounds).
I was also having trouble reversing the colors in the charts. My main color is Motherboard which is a dark green, almost black. The contrast color is Circuitry, a lime green shade. As you can see in the photo below, the chart is written such that the main color is represented by white blocks and the contrast color as dark blocks. Sometimes I can handle the reversal, other times.... not so much.
While socks are simple knitting (in my experience) these ones are kicking my a**! Hopefully by marking up the chart I will stay a bit more on track and not have another trip to the frog pond in my future (rip it, rip it).
Today was a bump up in mileage. Headed out for an 18 mile run on various roads in my neighborhood. I met a friend along Skyline Boulevard and then we headed east for a bit, circumnavigating Enger Park before heading up hill to run by one of the most unique, and little known, features in town. On a back street in a wooded neighborhood is the "ice volcano". Attributed to a water main that is opened in the winter to keep water flowing to the neighborhood (flow rate reported to be a gallon a minute). It currently towers over 20 feet and the ice is a really lovely shade of blue. You can often see the water spraying from the top of the mound.
This route incorporated plenty of hills! My goal on road runs is to actually run all of the inclines. To add to the fun there was often a headwind. The combination had me smiling (or was that grimacing) more than once. I finished with a long downhill into my neighborhood and then the steep little uphill onto my block. Total running time: 2:53.
Tomorrow the plan calls for 10 miles, route is yet to be determined. Trails are turning to mush in the warm temperatures (currently 53F) so it may be another road run.
Next Sunday is my first race of 2012 - St. Patrick's Day Human Race. This is part of the USATF - MN Team Circuit and I will be sporting my Northwoods jersey for this event. I will probably run one other road race this spring before turning my attention 100% to trails and preparing for the ultra events I plan on running this year.
Work has been hectic and I have taken on some additional duties - hopefully for the short-term - to fill a staffing gap.
I was also recently diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis. It came as a bit of a shock as I was not exhibiting the classic signs of hypothyroidism (other than cold intolerance, which has been a constant for me my whole life, even when my TSH levels were fine). I have a great doctor who took the time to listen to me, consider my questions, do the extra testing to check not only thyroid hormone levels but also antibody levels, and was willing to let me walk away and "think about it" when I was initially diagnosed. I have been learning from others about how they incorporate this diagnosis into a running lifestyle, with Alene at Ultrahypo being a great resource.
I have been enjoying the lengthening days and the extra light that brings, as well as the increased bird activity in the area. If this warm spell keeps up I may have to bring the feeder inside soon to keep the "varmints" (aka raccoons and bears) from destroying it. The feeder is on our front porch, just outside our doors which is great for viewing but feels a bit too close when needing to chase a large mammal away.
The Righteous Real Ale has turned out quite nice and we recently purchased the supplies for a bock-style beer. I am sure this means at some time in the future I will be told to "finish up" the Ale so we can keg the bock. We did the math on this last purchase, brewing your own is not necessarily cheaper than purchasing the already bottled stuff. It can be tastier though!