Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hopeless! LOL

I give up! It seems it is impossible for me to get on here and update when I promise I will. Either the site is down, or my computer is deadly slow or ... Oh well, I am on here now so let's make the best of it!

Training is going reasonably well for Team in Training. I walked in a 10K race in Jamestown CA on Saturday. After a long down hill stretch from the school through the main street of town, it appears that every other hill only went up!! Honest, that's what it felt like. There were some short down hills paired with some very long uphills. I need to get better at hills for sure before I head off to my marathon. It took me just over one hour and forty one minutes to finish the 6.2 mile course. I was too tired to remember to look at the clock as I crossed the finish line! However, I did finish strong and could have gone on for a while yet though I definitely need to figure out what kind of nourishment I need to take out on these longer walks. Luckily I had some Sport Jelly Bellys with me (yes, there is such a thing!) and they helped a lot. I have a really hard time dealing with GU or sport gels, I just can't get past the texture, they make me gag!

Fundraising is definitely an issue at this point. I am only 25% of the way to my goal of $4901 for the Alaska marathon. I have to recommit on April 10. Once I recommit, I am responsible for the full amount, whether I fundraise it or it comes out of my own pocket! Ouch! I do have a fallback position, I can switch to the Seattle RocknRoll Marathon which requires $3100 in fundraising but ... after this past weekend, I am not looking kindly at a hilly course. Hopefully, I will be able to raise enough to go to Alaska.

This weekend, Saturday to be precise, I will be doing my first prize drawing for those who have already donated. You get one ticket for each $25 you donate and the prize this weekend, if a knitter wins, is a skein of Wollmeise sock yarn. You will have a choice of Iris Siberica (should be on its way to me now) or Koralle im Meer (Coral of the Sea). Both colors are gorgeous! The Iris has blues and yellows and I think maybe green, while the Coral is deep blue, teal, orange, ... well, you are going to have to see them to believe them. Maybe I can get a picture in the next couple of days so you can get an approximation of what they look like. I am still working on a prize for the non-knitters. A Blue Diamond Almond gift basket is in the works and we will see what else I can come up with.

Don't forget that the knitter who donates the largest amount will win a Wollmeise Sock Club shipment. I think they will have the option of choosing this current shipment (yummy!) which they can see or choosing what's behind Door Number 1, the final shipment, choosing it sight unseen! That should be fun.

I am still working on that knitting project I mentioned last post. Can't post a picture cuz it is a gift but the size is worrying me. It just doesn't seem large enough. I may end up ripping it all out after blocking if I am not happy with it but that's okay, it is an easy knit and one I enjoy. I just got some very bright fuschia colored cashmere to make a shawl or stole for my cousin who is suffering from multiple myeloma. She, like me, is usually quite warm so she doesn't need something to keep her warm, just something bright and cheerful. The yarn is gorgeous, now I just have to find the right pattern, something in laceweight, a very fine laceweight I might add. Hmm, I have got to figure out somewher to take some pictures. You just have to see this yarn!

Anyway, that's all for now. I will post the winner of the drawing here on Saturday as well as emailing them. Take care all.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My oh my, doesn't time fly?

Where the heck does the time go? Sorry I have been so bad at keeping this blog up to date. Maybe I can blame it on health issues? Oh, I know, I will blame it on menopause, after all, they did in Menopause the Musical! What a great show! I saw it at the Gallo Centre for the Arts in Modesto last week and laughed out loud over and over again. If you ever get the chance, go see it, you won't regret it.

Things have been a little slow lately. I seem to have lost my mojo for just about everything. I haven't wanted to knit, I have been skipping training walks, just nothing seems to pique my interest. I can't remember if I told you that the weight seemed to be coming off extra easy this time around... While it should have been cause for rejoicing, I worried that it was too easy this time so I headed for the doctor's office just to double check.

It turns out I have hyperthyroidism which is why the weight loss, although I am sure all the walking and working out helped too. Seems I have Graves Disease, which a couple of my aunts have. The doctor wanted to use radioactive iodine to treat it but I am not big on killing off another part of my body if not absolutely necessary so I told him I would rather use medication. He is open to working with me on that so I am supposed to be researching various programs of attack and getting back to him. Actually, I think I was supposed to be back to him a couple of days ago but ... time flies, right?

The training is going pretty good even though I have skipped a few workouts. I walked 8 miles today in about 2 hrs and 12 minutes. Not bad, considering I didn't have anyone to walk with. I did meet up with some of the Shadowchase Running folks before I started out and, amazingly, some of them were still hanging about chatting when I got back. That made me feel good.

I started a new knitting project a few days ago and this one seems to have my interest back. It's lace, my favorite, so that is probably why. I knew I was in trouble when I didn't feel like going to Stitches West. I also spent over an hour in Imagiknits in San Francisco with a gift certificate in hand and didn't buy anything! I must have been one sick puppy but hopefully that has passed.

Time for sleep, need to get up at midnight and go to work. Hopefully I will be back on here tomorrow to tell you about the prize drawing for those who donate on my fundraising page. Hopefully the darn page will be up tomorrow. It has been down for maintenance all afternoon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I did it! My first 5K

Boy, time flies when you are having fun! Or when you are sick as a dog... That is what I am going to blame my lack of blogging on, I have been feeling rotten. However, on Saturday, I completed my first "race" with Team in Training. Considering that I had been sick all week and only walked once, I was thrilled with a finish time for 46:34 for what felt like a verrrry looooong 3 miles. That works out to a 15.4 minute mile which is considerably faster than what I have been training at. This pace is a very good thing cuz I have been scaring myself looking at a lot of marathon sites and seeing that most of them require a 15 or 16 minute pace. I wasn't sure I would be able to walk that fast but now... I think it is doable. I still have about 4 months more to train so I should be able to make the cutoff time.

On the fundraising front, things have been slowing down a little. I did manage to make about $200 selling those gourmet candy apples I was telling you about. Oh boy, are those ever good! As I mentioned before, anyone (in the US) who donates $50 or more receives one of these apples if desired. I can also order them if you would like to buy one for $12 each.

I will try and post details within the next week or so of the drawing I am going to have for knitters who donate $25 or more. There will be wool, naturally, Wollmeise for sure, Loopified and, for the knitter who donates the largest sum, a complete Wollmeise sock club package! I am going to have to figure out what to do for donations from non-knitters, can't discriminate against them but I am betting they do not really want sock yarn!

Time for me to hit the hay, have been up since 6 am and I need to get up in just over 6 hours to get to work tonight. Take care everyone!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A whole week already?

Goodness gracious (omg, I think my grandmother used to say that!) where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was telling you I signed up to train for a marathon and a whole week has gone by already! Let's see, what have I accomplished in that time?

On Wednesday we had our first TnT workout at the Modesto Junior College track. Three laps to warm up, then stretch, then ... bleacher loops! Ughhh. If you really want to know, a bleacher loop is where you start at one bleacher, climb to the top, walk across top, climb down, head for next bleacher, repeat... Once you reach the end of the bleachers on one side of the track, head for the other side and ... Yup, lather, rinse, repeat! I have a feeling this is not going to be my favorite part of the training but I made it. We did one loop this week but apparently two are going to be the norm.

On Saturday, I walked nearly 4 miles in one hour at the Team in Training Official Kickoff. After the workout, the mentors cooked us a marvelous pancake breakfast and we received our welcome packets, Team in Training t-shirts, and met some of the team honorees who are folks who have already fought through or are currently fighting blood cancers. They are so inspiring! One of the favorite sayings around the team is "If you think training for a marathon is hard, try chemotherapy". They aren't kidding there. Those of us who have our health have no idea what tough really is, do we?

I managed to fit in a short walk before the SuperBowl and I think I finished my aerobic workout during the last quarter! Was that exciting or what? Another short walk on Monday when Modesto had a community walk to support physical fitness, not only in our children but in the adults. We walked a mile in downtown Modesto and it was great to see how many folks got out there to walk. We had an absolutely gorgeous day and finished to pick up window decals saying "Fit for the Future" and had some grapes that were waiting for us at the finish line. I do have to say that I now understand why our coaches tell us not to walk on the sidewalk. I swear my legs were more tired from walking one mile on concrete sidewalks than walking four miles on an asphalt bike path.

We got to see the gourmet candy apples that we will have available for fundraising. I brought home four, one of each variety. I took them to knitting class yesterday and got orders for ten so that was great! I will pick them up tonight when I go to our fundraising seminar.

I alreay walked 40 minutes this morning after going in for my annual checkup. You know how they always say you should consult your physician before starting an exercise routine? I never do but I thought that maybe training for a marathon might be a major enough reason to check in. LOL He couldn't find anything majorly wrong with me other than a tiny heart murmur that I have apparently had for some time. I was down 23 pounds since I saw him last August though. Hooray!! I think this regime is going to accomplish everything I hoped for. Raise a lot of money for research and patient services while at the same time, improving my own health. It's a win-win situation.

This weekend, I have to walk 6 miles by myself since I don't get off work in time to join the group. I will let you know how that turns out but I make no promises on when! I think I need Hermione's timeturner. How about you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the Big News is ....

I have signed up with Team in Training to walk a marathon!! That's right, 26.2 miles in lord only knows how many hours. Those who know me personally will probably realize just how out of the ordinary this is for me. I prefer to knit and read, and if I am going to go any distance without a wheeled vehicle, I prefer it to be on the back of a horse, not on my own two feet. However, I received the Team in Training brochure at a time when I had just lost my second family member in two months along with at least 3 other friends in that time. It seemed like a good time to change my ways and get in shape while raising money for a really good cause. Team in Training raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which is a cause dear to my heart since my aunt Patricia died from leukemia back in 1996. Tricia was the person who got me involved with horses which became a lifelong love.

I will be posting updates here on how the training is going (just started last week) and also how the fundraising is going. I need to raise $4900 in order to participate in the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska on June 20, 2009. It's an awful lot of money but I am hoping to be able to reach this goal. The breakdown for donations to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is 75% goes to research, patient services,etc while only 25% goes to expenses.

Let's see now, how about some starting statistics. As of yesterday, January 26, I weighed 231 lbs and my measurements are ... well, let's not go there. I will let you know how many inches I lose as I go along, okay? We had our first official meeting last Wednesday but didn't walk cuz it was pouring and our walking coach didn't want to. Thank god I am not a runner cuz they had to go out and do 3 miles! I walked 30 minutes Thursday and Friday, then 4 miles on Sunday in about 1 hr 15 minutes. Mondays are our day off so I am getting ready to head out for 30 minutes right now. Oh yes, I have also been working out 3 days a week at Unlimited Physiques, a 40 minute circuit training set up with about 20 minutes cardio beforehand. Thanks to that workout, I am down 11 lbs since the first of December! Maybe this time, I am finally going to get down somewhere near my so-called optimum weight. If not, so what? I am feeling good, proud of myself for doing well so far and raising money for a great group.

Maybe the next time I post, I will finally have some knitting pictures to put up. In the meantime, here is the link to my fundraising page: Deb's Fundraising Please feel free to make a donation. Everyone who donates over $50 (limited to US residents I am afraid) will receive a gourmet candy apple, covered in chocolate, caramel, nuts, etc. I am working on a special drawing for knitters, more details to follow. Talk to you soon. Take care of yourselves!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Baa-aack

Well, kinda sorta. I can't believe how long it has been since I posted here. I guess that's what you call falling off the bandwagon in a big way. I have still been knitting (tons of hats for both Kristy and to send back to my daughter in Jersey) and staying busy at work. Had a wonderful time in Louisiana, New York and New Jersey in October visiting my friend JoAnn for her 70th birthday and then up to see my daughter for her 24th.

One of these days I will get my Ravelry projects pages updated and hopefully post some pictures here as well. I really do have pictures, just have never managed to download them from the camera yet.

Anyway, I have some really big news but I need to get to sleep right now (been up over 18 hours already). Some of you may already know the news depending on how you got here but I promise, I will try to get all details up this weekend. For now, take care and I will talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Incredible Kindness of Knitters!

I have been meaning to get a post up for days but I had hoped to have pictures to go with it. Since that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon, I figured I had better just go ahead and post. Hopefully, I will get some pictures next week.

If you have been a part of the knitting community, either in real life or online, for any length of time, you know that knitters are incredibly generous when it comes to charity. Just look at Kristy's Hat Quest for example. Kristy came in to our LYS Hooks & Needles in very early May and mentioned she was going to the Ukraine in September and needed (gasp!) 300 hats for the orphanage she was going to visit. It seemed nearly impossible at the time but between blogging and Ravelry, she already has over 260 hats in hand and more to come! Then, of course, there is the Yarn Harlot's campaign to raise money for Doctors without Borders through her group Tricoteuses Sans Frontières (Knitters without Borders). They have raised nearly half a million dollars since the start of the group! There are many other examples all over the web of knitters raising incredible amounts of money in rides to cure Aids, Breast Cancer Walks, and many other charities.

What you may not know about knitters is how incredibly generous they are among themselves. Of course, if your friend is short of yarn, or needs to borrow a stitch marker, or a darning needle, or someone has a deadline to finish umpty-jillion water bottle cozies, you are going to help out however you can. It's part of the definition of friend, isn't it? Then there are the folks who will willingly help out someone they may have met at their local yarn store. But I am talking about total strangers, who out of the blue, are totally willing to help out a fellow knitter.

You may or may not know that the latest "hot" yarn, at least from what I can see with the Loopy Groupies et al, is Wollmeise. This gorgeous yarn is dyed by Claudia, who lives in Germany. The Loopy Ewe is the only distributor in the US and let me tell you, it is nearly impossible to get your hands on some. Last week, Sheri (proprietress of the Loopy Ewe) posted over 300 skeins for sale at 9 pm CST and it was all sold out in under 5 minutes! Here's a link if you want to see some of the gorgeous colors. (Hmm, looks like you will have to scroll down and search for Wollmeise. Trust me, it's worth the time.)

Anyway, I digress. I have tried multiple times to get my little paws on some Wollmeise. The crazy thing is, I had never even seen it in person but had read so much about it that I knew I just had to have some. However, it seemed as though that was going to be an impossibility. I just don't have time to sit in front of a computer screen for hours, refreshing the page to see exactly when this yarn comes up so I can attempt to get some. Apparently, I was not the only one feeling kind of low after missing out yet again. TracyinMichigan (Ravelry link), who is the "mom" on the F5ing thread of the Loopy Groupies on Ravelry, started a thread to share the Wollmeise love. Wollmeise "virgins" posted their requests for Wollmeise on this thread and would receive a PM if someone wanted to help them out. Long story short, I am now the proud owner of two skeins of gorgeous, luscious Wollmeise! I received my yarn from two different ladies in Colorado who sold it to me for exactly what they paid for it, plus shipping! I eventually found out that between the two of them, they helped out 11 different knitters, none of whom they had ever even heard of before this thread. I know that many other generous knitters did the same thing. Can you believe that? Like I said, knitters are the most generous of folks.

PS Hopefully, I will have pictures of this luscious yarn to post next week. Right now, I need to catch some zzz's. Tomorrow I head up to Oroville to help out a friend who was burned out in the Palermo fires about 6 weeks ago. They just got power yesterday, and we will be hauling stuff to the dump to make room for the new triple wide she hopes to have in place in the not too distant future.