Friday, December 30, 2011

181.9 Miles


I've entered the western edge of Midgewater Marshes and camped there. Currently heading east across them. Yuck.

Yes, that says 16.1 miles for today. Yes, I'm pretty sore (especially when I squat down to pick something up). And, yes, I was extremely sweaty afterward. But, (and this is the important part) I felt fantastic about it! No, not physically! I was sweaty & sore, but inside, where it matters the most? Yeah, I felt pretty darn awesome. I biked for one hour today. It feels pretty good knowing that I can go that long. So, I'm thinking that I will do this each week. I'll continue three days of thirty minutes, then one day of an hour. I think the long steady ride will work the muscles in a different fashion and that is a good thing.

And now I have real mats for it! Kevin brought over a whole bunch of mats for me, the professional kind, so now I'm not running the risk of messing up the floor or messing up my blocking mats. Yes, that makes me grin.

The ultimate goal (a healthy body and low sugar levels) is the most important thing to keep in mind right now. Yes, I keep thinking about the weight loss and how I will look in several months, but it the quality of my health that really keeps me going. I know that someday I will be a grandmother, I will travel, I will have alpacas... in all of that, I want to be the healthiest Me possible. This crazy journey across Middle Earth is just the beginning. When the season changes I will be buying a pedometer and will start to include walking as part of this journey. Running? I don't really see that for me (even though I know that could change later), but there are a lot of lovely places around here to go for a walk.

I crocheted a little washcloth today and might be doing a little more of that. It was pretty easy to keep the project in my hand while keeping a steady pace. I am looking forward to figuring out other project that I can do. April has a couple patterns she created for the Cardio-Knitting, and I will be starting one of the more simple ones after the 1st.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

165.8 Miles


I've already left the camp at Chetwood and am still heading east. I know that the Midgewater Marshes are not far ahead.

I'm not sure how I feel about the time limits in the morning. There are days when I would prefer to go at a slower pace for a longer time, but I know I can't do that during the holiday break. Still, I feel really good about keeping this up.

I started a new project. This is going to be a simple towel, but I'm not sure how I like the thought of using such a soft yarn to dry my hands. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

156.6 MIles


Still heading toward Chetwood and am pretty sure that I will reach it tomorrow.

My legs are pretty sore today, but I kept my pace steady at 16mph. When I checked the mileage tab I was surprised to see that I'd gotten just past 9 miles for the morning. I didn't have a lot of time for a shower, but that's not really that big of a deal.

Knitting was a challenge. The blanket is now just large enough to be too large for comfort, but too small to drape over the handles. I think washcloths are definitely in order now. I don't really want to start a new project, but I still want to keep my hands busy. Luckily, after the first, there will be new classes in the HPKCHC group so I'll be able to focus on what I want to craft.

For now, I want to keep going. To remain enthusiastic about this. After all, the main drive behind this is the blood sugar levels. They need to be a lot lower than they are. And that is the most important thing to remember.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

147.5 Miles


I heading east toward Chetwood and things are going along just fine. I still have a long way to go.

This morning was in interesting ride. I hadn't been in the bike in 3 days so I expected a lot more soreness or fatigue, but experienced none. Tomorrow may be a different story, but I'm looking forward to the early morning ride. Early again because the daycare kids will be here by 6:45 so I need to be showered & all that stuff before then. I don't really mind.

The scale has begun to hover again, but I'm okay with that. I sat down the other day and figured out where I want to be at the end of each month and I know that I can accomplish it. There will be no going hungry or anything like that, but there will be a slow shedding of the pounds.

The knitting was pretty interesting this morning. Part of that had to do with the fact that I draped the blanket over my arm while pedaling. I'm not sure how that will work as it gets bigger and I may have to start some washcloths or something instead. I'm still working on getting good enough for socks.

Friday, December 23, 2011

137.8 Miles


Wow! A lot has happened! I said goodbye to Tom, made it to Bree, met up with Strider, had the ponies stolen, Left Bree, and am heading toward Chetwood. What a busy few miles.

Eating has been a little more challenging since it's winter and I want warm & filling foods. Even so, I found that butternut squash soup makes a really good soup base, especially when you add lots of mushrooms & veggies.

The knitting was a little more challenging today. Part of that is because of the shape. With a scarf I can drape the end over the handles to keep the weight from pulling it out of shape. With this blanket, I'm not sure I'll be able to do that. I did slow down a little on the decreases, but for the most part I was able to keep my speed hovering around 16mph.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

127.6 Miles


At this point I've reached the dike and hedge which was the former boundary of Cardolan, part of the North Kingdom of Arnor.

This morning I had to make sure I was completely done & showered by 6:45 so I didn't take a lot of time checking emails & such. Why? Because the winter break has started for the daycare kids and I won't have time later in the day for a shower. Or much of anything else.

The knitting was pretty straight-forward since I'm still on a garter stitch portion. We'll see how it goes tomorrow with the double decreases.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

119.1 Miles


I've passed the place where Frodo began singing and Tom rescued them. This part of the journey was a little unnerving for me. Partly because I wonder what would have happened if Tom hadn't been around.

The last two days have been early biking. By 6am I'm pushing off and have gotten into the shower by 6:35. I'm not sure if I like this better or not, but it feels good knowing that I've gotten that part of the day completed. When I can't get to it right away after the kids are off to school I feel as though it was a weight dragging at me throughout the day. That makes it challenging not to feel guilty. And that makes it challenging to be enthusiastic about it.

I started a new knitting project last night and I'm looking forward to giving it to the person. I really do think they'll like it. I like the fact that I can work on it while biking since I feel it's sending good energy into it. And, since it will be for a very important little person, it should have as much good energy as possible.

Monday, December 19, 2011

109.8 Miles


 Still traveling through the Barrow-downs. Dark & creepy here.

Today I got up early to bike. I'm not sure what prompted this, but I wanted it done before the daycare kids got here. I didn't eat first and had a protein drink almost immediately after I was finished. I will eat a more substantial breakfast after I get back from dropping the kids at school.

I stood on the scale the other day and was pleasantly surprised at what it said. But I didn't want to post anything until I waited a couple days to be sure. Yep, this morning it is still in the same range... 175.6. That is pretty cool.

There is no picture today because I forgot to bring my camera into the living room, but I'll make it a point to remember from now on. :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

101.4 Miles


Yes, I have already left Tom Bombadil's house and began zig-zagging up the hill on the west side of the Barrow-downs. there are no trees or water. Somehow I ended up in the Barrow-downs which is inhabited by a great evil.

In all seriousness, when I woke up this morning I was determined to get to 100 miles. I knew it would be tough, especially since I woke a lot earlier than I'd planned, and I had a ton of work to do for the yarn club, but I was going to make it to the 100 mile mark. I did it in about 40 minutes.

Knitting is getting easier for me so I know that it won't be long before I can work on patterns and not just garter scarves. Still, I feel pretty good that I can now knit even during the high-speed moments.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

91.3 Miles


At this point, I've been in the Forest and was heading southeast, but too many turns eastward got me lost. Soon I found that I was in the fold too deep to leave, followed it to Withywindle.

I decided not to push myself for speed today, instead I kept it steady at about 15mph. It didn't really feel like I was taxing myself, but I still ended up quite sweaty. It was a little surprising. I think I was on the bike about 40 minutes, but I didn't really look at the time since I was most concerned about the distance. I will try harder to make note of that later. The knitting was pretty smooth and I'm thinking that I will certainly get this done soon. I still have only worked on it a little while not riding, but I'm hoping today will change that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

82.3 Miles


I have passed the Bonfire Glade and am now traveling along the path in the Forest.

Today is a slow day. My thought is to have two days of 30 minutes, one day of 20 minutes, 2 days of 30 minutes. On Saturday I usually run errands, so I'll focus more on weight training.

I had a good talk with April about numbers. You know, weight, body fat, sizes, etc. She gave me a number for the size I will reach. I won't be sharing it yet, simply because it doesn't really feel like it's possible to me. Still, I like the thought of that number and am holding it inside, letting it grow in brightness. When it feels stronger than a whisper, I may share it here, too.

I hope you're all enjoying some movement!

Also, for anyone who is curious, I'm only going up to the tenths and I won't be rounding up. So, whether I reach .83 or .87, I will still only count it as .8 simply because it's easier to deal with.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

76.5 Miles


Wow, I can't believe I'm over 1% now! I've already passed the Ferry, spent the night at Crickhollow, and entered the tunnel to get into the Old Forest. The fog is still very thick and the ponies are slow... almost as if they don't wish to go any further.

Today I played some great music and was determined to get past 10 miles again. And I did! Just like yesterday, I was sweating like crazy, but I didn't feel like my legs were going to fall off when I stood back up. Currently the tension setting on the bike is 7. My thought is that I will leave it there until February 1, then move it up to 8. Then move it up again each month until ti gets to the top (10). After that? Well, I'll figure it out as I go.

This morning I stood on the scale and was sure I wasn't seeing it right. Seriously, I reset it 3 times just to be sure. Yep, I am now 175.6. I have no idea what I will treat myself with, but I'll think of something soon.

Monday, December 12, 2011

66 Miles


Just left Farmer Maggot's place and heading toward Buckleberry Ferry again. The lands are boggy and covered with fog. Since, in the book, this is late night, I am thinking about tomorrow already.

I was determined to get past 10 miles today. I didn't have a specific reason, I just wanted to. And, I made it. It took me about 35 minutes to get there, and some of that time was zooming along at 20mph, but I feel really good that I did it. I was even abel to keep on knitting while I was doing my high-intensity minutes.

I've already had 3 glasses of water today (16oz each) and am looking forward to another glass. Then maybe some coffee.

Friday, December 9, 2011

55.9 miles


After Pippin realized that they'd turned too far south, they changed direction slightly, then stopped for lunch. Soon after that, they heard the cry of a Black Rider and continued on. Before long they reached the Marish. That's when Pippin realized they were on Farmer Maggot's property. In the book, this plays out in a significantly different way than the movie.

I didn't get back on the bike yesterday, partly because I was busy. Each time I thought about it, there were several other things to do and before long, it was time for a shower. When I got on it this morning, I figured I'd reach the 20 minutes and get off, but I felt like pushing myself a little, so I kept the speed above 16mph. I only did 3 total minutes of high speed (22mph) but I completed the whole 30 minutes. I feel pretty good about that. I even made it past 9 miles.

For the knitting, I got 3 stripes complete. Pretty cool!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

46.8 Miles

(5.8 miles)

 At this point, the Hobbits are heading southeast to Buckleberry Ferry and the clouds are beginning to move in. This is so much more detailed in the book, of course, and I really like the thought that I've got interesting things to think of while I'm pedaling along.

Last night I moved the bike into the living room. It seems to fit better in there, even though I know it's not a "standard" item for that room. When I was on it today, I liked the feel of more space around me. And I like my room back to normal, too.

The first session today didn't seem that bad. My legs are still a little shaky, but I know that, with a little more time, that will pass. I was also able to get about an inch done on the scarf. When I'm in the fast-mode, I do not knit. I actually hang onto the handles. When I slow back to normal speed (which seems to be hovering around 16mph on #7 tension) I can let go and knit again. I think, with a little more practice, I might even be able to start some lace!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

41 miles

(5.5 miles)

This is where the hobbits heard a Black Rider again. At some point here, Elves show up and the Rider leaves.

This time I went a little slower and kept a mostly steady pace at 16mph. "Mostly" because I went up to 20mph for 2 minutes. I still had to push myself to get to the end of the session, but I did it. The interesting thing is the slight feeling of giddiness when I actually reach that last 15 seconds.

I've decided to start posting how many miles I've gone for each session (as you can see at the top.)

35.6 Miles

I've passed the first encounter with a Black Rider. Whew! And I really didn't think I'd make it, either.

Yes, I'm being serious. You see, I asked April (of The Fire) if it would be okay to do 2 20 minute sessions instead of one 30 minute session. And I asked about higher intensity. Essentially, this is how the session is supposed to go: {3 minutes regular speed then, *1 minute regular speed (about 15 mph), 1 minute fast (19-20 mph)*, repeating between the * * for 15 minutes, 2 minutes regular}. Hop off the bike, stretch for a minute, run to the kitchen and do next segment of dyeing for 20-30 minutes, repeat { }.

Only, my high-speed minutes were actually 24mph and my regular-speed was 16mph. Yes, it really does make that big of a difference. After the 3rd high-speed minute (about 9 minutes in), I thought my heart was going to bang right out of my chest and that my legs were going to turn to mush. My 4th high-speed session was only 20mph and no matter how hard I tried to get a little faster, my legs were not cooperating. I finished out the last  9 minutes at only 16mph. And still my legs were wobbly when I got off the bike. I think I'm better suited for a more steady pace... like wolves. Not fast sprints like cheetahs.

Still, I can do this. Luckily, I have friends who are cheering me on. I will post about the next 20 minutes later on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

30 Miles

I suppose the cumulative miles works fairly well for the titles, so that's what I'll do until I change my mind.

Today was a little harder to complete 8 miles. It took me 31 minutes and I was really tempted to stop at only 20. My legs just didn't seem to want to go any farther. Still, the music was cheerful and I wanted to get another row done on the scarf (I started it over again). As I pushed past the 23 minute mark, I realized that I had less than 7 minutes to go. As sluggish as my legs felt, I kept in my head the combination of one-more-row and only#-minutes-left.

I'm going to make myself remember to lower the thermostat a bit more than normal while I'm on the bike. I was burning up when that darn furnace kicked on! Also, more water. Lots more water.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

22 Miles

I haven't yet decided how to title each day, so it will most likely be a mix or various ideas.

Today I made another 8 miles, so I'm past the first night, at least. It's odd to think about this whole journey in tiny pieces like this. I'm thinking about reading the books again... or getting them on cd (the Rob Ingis version). The cds are currently $32/book and I just might be able to save up for those pretty soon. We'll see how things go.

The knitting went backward a bit, but only because it looked a little silly to me, being in different patterns. The stripes are somewhat small, so I wouldn't be able to have any designs that were larger than a few rows. Now the scarf is well on it's way in garter. I figure that will be better anyway. I even thought of who I'd like to give it to, but I can't tell since she may actually be reading this. ;-)

I'm feeling really good right now. A few members in my Ravelry group are joining me. Not necessarily traveling this distance, but walking beside each other, encouraging and supporting us all. I love them so dearly. I wish I could hug them all.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Almost to Stock Road

This morning I went another 8.1 miles and added a tracker to the side. According to this page, I'm nearly to Stock Road. Tomorrow I should be somewhere past the first campsite.

I started a scarf with some really cool yarn, too. This one will be a diagonal striped scarf with various simple stitches for each stripe, like garter, stockinette and seed stitches. I think it will look pretty cool when it's done.

I won't be knitting on this only while I'm on the bike since I'd like it to be a gift for someone pretty soon, but it will certainly get worked on while I pedal. See that bag in the lower right-hand corner? That was a special gift from a friend of mine. She made several cool project bags a while back for my yarn club and I got one in each House color (Harry Potter) and one that looked like a quilt block.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

There and back again...

I'm about to begin a journey. One that will take me 6849 miles without leaving my bedroom. You see, I recently got a stationary bicycle and I plan to ride it almost daily until I've traveled the distance from Hobbiton, to Mordor, and back again. During this journey I will also be taking care to watch the foods I eat and meditations and other things that are really good for me. Why? Because my glucose numbers are just way too close to that dangerous level and I have a lot of life left!

Why use the miles from Frodo and Sam? Because I love the Lord of the Rings series and I think it will be nice to plan my own miles with their journey in mind. The information I will be using comes from The Eowyn Challenge. If you get the chance, check it out. Now, there may be hardcore LotR fans out there who would love to challenge the numbers on this site and that's fine. I'm simply looking for a way to keep this interesting for ME and this is a great way to do so.

On this first day of my journey, I rode on the bike for 30 minutes and got about six miles. Not bad, even though my bottom now hurts like crazy. I got a small coaster knitted while I was on there. Pretty good, and now I have another way to help keep my desk clean.

Okay, now for the stats: I weigh 192 pounds. My hemoglobin A1C is 5.9%. I'll be getting the blood work done again in six months and I'll certainly update that number.

Today's knitting:

And now it's time to deal with the rest of the day.