Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Car Hat

car hat
The car hat.

I started knitting a hat in the car on the way home from Cleveland today. I'm calling it the car hat. For a while it was the ride home from Cleveland ignoring my son who is having a fit in the back seat hat. But car hat is easier to say.

I'm not done yet, but a good portion of it is finished. I'm not sure who I'm knitting the hat for. Myself, Mr. H., Baby H., one of the kids, who knows. It's a hat. It's a cute hat. It's a hat that has stripes because I have all this different yarn that I am finding different things to knit with.

But at the end of the day, it's a hat. And hats are wonderful things.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Disparate Thoughts

The new scarf that I love, not the old one that I didn't love.
When you start a scarf for your husband for Christmas and then you hate it and so you go out and buy new yarn that you like, that makes you happy, and even though it's only five days to Christmas, you are able to knit over a foot in one day because you like the yarn, you like the way the scarf looks and it actually excites you to knit it. This is why I knit. Because you can make pretty things for people that you love.

When you don't run for a week, even though last weekend you were able to run 8 miles no problem at a 10 minute pace, and you start the run feeling thirsty, you most likely won't be able to run 6 miles at that same pace, and you remind yourself why you need to run at least a couple of times during the week.

When you are feeling frustrated at this world because you feel so ineffectual about your ability to make any real change outside of expressing your frustration on Facebook, and you have a nihilistic conversation with your husband that even protesting is playing into the same system, it's best to remember that all you can do is try to make the world a better place and that small changes can add up.

When you have a son that takes dance class at school and they put on their own version of the Nutcracker called the "peanut" cracker, and he becomes obsessed with Nutcrakers and asks to watch the Nutcraker with you, and he keeps asking when the "Russian" dance is because that's the music he danced to, that's when you remember what a great thing it is to have a child.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lifetime Turkey Trot - Delayed review because stuff

A lovely shot of the woman who
finished right in front of me.
Like all good runners, the family decided to sign up for a Turkey Trot. Runners do this to themselves because (1) we're runners and we do things like this (2) Thursday morning runs are novel (3) the swag - a nice long sleeve t-shirt (4) any excuse to eat more excessively than we had already planned on. This year we did the Lifetime Turkey Day. We've been doing a tour of different turkey day races, and this one did not disappoint. Well, I was a little disappointed that Fleet Feet had only one location (not the one closest to my house) for packet pick up, but since I snagged a ride there from work, and I didn't wait too long in line, I'll forgive them.

The night before the race, Mr. H. and I examined the course map, as you do, trying to make sense of it. Having both a 5k and an 8k makes the course outline strange sometimes. And the quality of course maps can be all over the place - I've seen hand-drawn maps before. This one was better than hand drawn, but still confusing, mainly because it looked like it had us running on Lake Shore Drive. Neither of us thought this was right and prepared for a general up the running path, hairpin turn, back down the running path course. Or so I thought. I've never done this race before, so had no idea they actually shut down two north bound lanes. It's definitely cool to run on Lake Shore Drive, a first for me, albeit a little hillier than the path what with those overpasses.

I had the pleasure of running with several marathon training buddies, which made the miles go by quickly. My first mile clocked in at 10:18, then a second mile of under 10, at 9:49. Mile three I slowed down because (1) I got water and then (2) took off my hoodie that I shouldn't have worn in the first place but it was so cold and I'm kinda sick of being cold, but then by the end of mile 2 I
Mr. H. all alone - yet once again proving
it's lonely at the top,
or, in this case,  in 57th place.
wasn't cold, so I had to take it off, which was difficult since my watch was in the way and I couldn't get my left arm out of the sleeve - mile 3, 10:23. But I made up for it in mile 4 ( 9:36) and mile 5 (9:08). Finishing time 49:58. Not my fastest 8k, but I'm not complaining. I know I benefited from the woman who was pacing with me (whose name I don't know because she wasn't in my training group, but I should know because we've been introduced and now I feel bad). I think having someone who is slightly faster than me to run with during races is really the key to getting myself to run faster.

My general goal in races is to finish in top 50%. In my age group, which they did in 10 year increments, I finished 95th out of 211 - so all good there. Of women, I finished 599th out of 1,218 - so just squeaked in. Unfortunately, overall I placed 1,248 out of 2,167 runners. If only I hadn't worn that hoodie.(By contrast, Mr. H. finished 5th in his age group, was the 41st male to cross the finish line and the 57th person over all. I bask in his fastness). 

After our race, Baby H. was supposed to run a 50-yard dash, but due to (a) miscommunication (b) confusion on where the start line for the kid's races was and (c) miscommunication, he missed his race. I now feel like the worst mother ever, but hope to make up for it soon with a Christmas race (fingers crossed). 

Overall, as usual, it was a fun way to start the day, get a quick 5ish-mile run in and then go home and cook and watch football (which being in Chicago is just sad) and eat lots with loved ones. I know this is kinda late, but Happy Thanksgiving!

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