We Made It!

In the summer of 2009, when my running was at its best, it was a huge thing to be able to run to the beach and back.  That felt like such an accomplishment and I was so proud of myself.  Before today, I hadn’t gone to the beach by foot for 18 months.

Today DB and I started running at the edge of the dunes, at the entrance of the Kennemer National Park, near the hockey and football fields between Bloemendaal and Sandpoort Zuid.  We ran through the dunes all the way to Parnasia and the beach.  The above photo is the proof.

Now, I will not kid you into thinking I ran the entire 14km.  I didn’t.  I ran about 10km and walked the rest.  That’s ok by me.  I was moving for 14km.

I wasn’t at my best.  The legs felt good and the weather was GLORIOUS – sunny and bright with no wind at all.  But I spent half of yesterday in bed with (yet another) migraine and felt worn out and low on energy.  But in any case, it felt so good to be outside in the Spring weather and to feel the sun on my face.

Here is another photo of the day (DB running ahead of me) and a photo from last Sunday’s morning run (the wild horse).

Next Sunday is the race at Zandvoort.  Am I ready to run 12km non-stop?  I’ll be ok.  The crowd will carry me through.

Skewered

Earlier this week I finished my Skew socks.  Aren’t they fun?

They are, as I think I’ve said before, a little loose.  I should really have knit them on 2.25mm needles instead of 2.5.  Ah well.  They fit certainly well enough and I will definitely wear them.  I’m also tempted to dye some more yarn in different colors and knit them again.  The way I dyed the yarn was just perfect for this pattern.

The yarn only pooled a little around the ankles (blue and red together, yellow and green together), but that’s hard to avoid I think, unless you cheat and cut the yarn.  These would also be great as knee socks.  Maybe next time.

In other knitting, I’m working on my second Glitten mitten.  Even though Spring has sprung around here, it’s still chilly enough to want something on your hands in the morning, especially when you’re on a bike.  I think I’ll finish them before the end of the month so they will count full points for the Nerd Wars competition.  Photos coming soon!

Running Again

This morning I went running in the dunes.  Don’t let the sunshine fool you.  It was cold.  It was about 5 degrees C (about 40 F?) with a cold wind from the east.  The grasses are becoming bright Spring green.  In the parks in the neighborhood Snowdrops and Crocuses are raising their heads.  Spring is in the air!

I ran 8km only.  My running has been very sporadic lately, partly due to the weather, partly due to work and being tired from that, and partly due to health.  I actually had a migraine this morning but running makes me feel better.  On the 27th of March I’m supposed to run the 12km Zandvoort race so I kind of have to get a little more serious and start training.

When we were in the U.S. last November I bought some new running shoes which I’ve been running on since then.  This last week I went for a run in the morning before work and, getting ready in the dark, I put on my old running shoes by mistake.  I noticed the difference right away and felt BETTER with my old shoes!  My knees had been hurting after running and I figured I had to do more strengthening exercises.  Now, after running 4km on Thursday morning and 8km today, on my old shoes, my knees feel fine.  My new shoes are about the most cushiony shoes you can buy, which I thought would be good for my old knees.  Now I think that that is not such a good thing as it makes me just a TINY bit wobbly, which isn’t good for old knees.

The good news is that my old shoes, trusty Nike Pegasus, are cheaper anyway and can be bought nearly anywhere.  I think I’ll just stick with the tried and true (and cheaper) and get back to running like a used to!  If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

The sun has been shining all afternoon, which is helping my winter mood tremendously.  Between the sun, and the new warm fireplace, I’m feeling all toasty and cheerful.  Spring IS just around the corner…..

On the Home Front

We finally have heat!

That’s only a slight exaggeration.  Our living room has one small radiator. It’s just not enough to keep the winter cold at bay.  This was the SECOND winter without enough heat in this room and I was REALLY fed up with that!  Our fireplace didn’t work correctly.  First it leaked smoke upstairs, then we thought that was fixed, but it wasn’t.  It wouldn’t work at all and only filled the living room with smoke.  Not good.

Then we hired an expert to rebuild the fireplace into a built-in wood burner with a glass front and new pipe up the chimney.  He was doing a great job, until he fell off our roof and broke his hip.  He was lucky he didn’t break his head into little pieces.

I just happened to be home the day he was working on the final part of the job – putting the new pipe down the chimney.  He was up on the peak of the roof (4 stories up).  I was in the attic working on the computer.  I heard a big thump thump bang clang coming down the roof.  I thought he dropped a tool.  I thought I’d better go make sure everything was ok.  I got half way down the stairs when I heard him outside the front of the house moaning.  OMG.

Do you know the emergency number to call in the Netherlands?  I grew up knowing 911.  Luckily I remembered that here it is 112.  I sat with him and told him everything would be ok and made sure he didn’t move (he kept trying to move) until the ambulance got here.  It was the longest 4 minutes ever.

They strapped him onto a gurney and took him away.  He could just talk a little but was in a lot of pain.  Like I said, he was lucky to have only broken his hip.  We have only bricks in the front of our house, which is what he landed on.

Later that day his parents came by to tell us how he was and that he would be out of commission for a couple of months at least.  One week later his dad and another guy came to our house and finished the work.  We now have a working wood burner, a warm living room, and a memory of a traumatic day.

Bas, the old cat, has discovered the new fireplace.  He figured this out right away and proceeded to take over the warmest place in the house.  Everything for Bas.

Now that Spring is around the corner we have heat in the living room.  We’ll wait until the summer to buy a load of wood to take us through next winter.   I don’t think I will dread it so much now.

Knitting News

My first Skew sock is finished!  Yea!  And it fits.  I had read stories of other people having problems getting the sock over their instep, so I decided to knit them on 2.5mm needles instead of the 2.25 I normally use for socks.  The foot part of the sock is a little looser than I would like, but the ankle and leg fit perfectly.  I think if I make them again I would knit up through the foot section on 2.25mm and then the rest of 2.50mm.  Who knows, maybe I will make them again.

They are actually really easy to make and look more complicated than they are.  Just follow the instructions and there you are!  It’s really fun to see them come together in a surprising way.

I love how the color changes in the yarn look with this pattern.  It would be worth dyeing more yarn like this, in different colors, just to make these socks again.  I just took your basic length skein of yarn and dyed it in quarters around (1/4 red, 1/4 green, 1/4 blue 1/4 yellow).  Simple and effective.

I’m busy with the second sock now.  It’s my train project and I’m not working on them at home.  There are 5 of us from the Monday night SnB group making these socks but it’s a pretty loose KIP schedule.  There is no schedule.  Just keep knitting til you are done. 😉

I’ve just started a new project for the second month of NerdWars.  I’m doing the “Shield” challenge, which is described as making a shield of some kind.  I’m making mittens to shield me from the biting cold we are still having here.  The temps have been hovering around freezing with a biting east wind.  Brrrrrr.  I need some tightly knit mittens to keep me warm.  Actually I’m making Glittens, which are half GLove and half mITTEN.  How does that work?  Come back in a week and see!  Here’s the photo so far: