Tuesday, January 31, 2012

498 Miles


We've been walking across a lot of barren land. Soon we'll be at the crest of a hill.

This morning I was full of a restless energy. For the most part I'm just going through the motions with some areas of my life. Don't worry, it's not depression or anything close, it's anticipation. No worries. So, when I was on the bike today, the time just kind of flew since my mind was somewhere else. Of course, my shirt was still drenched and my legs were still a little shaky when I first got off the bike, but that's a good thing. (I will admit that if 'd known how close I was to the 500 mile mark, I may have pushed myself harder.)

I've nearly finished the gusset for these socks. Right now, the only time I'm working on them is while I'm on the bike. The rest of the time I'm working on the blanket. I tried again to use that as my cardio-knitting project, but it's too heavy and I have to hold it in my lap.

Monday, January 30, 2012

479.9 Miles


We've already passed the Ford of BrĂșinen and walked until dawn. Today we will camp during the day.

I feel really good today. I almost didn't make it all the way to 20 miles, but I was really determined. I kept my pace pretty steady for most of the ride today. For some parts of the ride I increased to 23mph. Yes, my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest, but I really liked the way the numbers kept increasing as I kept going. And, of course, I forwarded the picture to my favorite supporters.

I'm working on the 2nd pair of socks for Kevin. The goal to finish them before the end of the month is just not going to happen, but they will be done by the end of this week. That way he will have enough socks to keep his feet happy until the end of winter.

Friday, January 27, 2012

459.8 Miles


I've reached Rivendell! From here I will be heading to Lorien (462 miles).

The website starts the miles over again, so I am thinking that I should track the mileage for daily, this leg, and total. We'll see how I feel on Monday. You will see a new tab at the top to show the journey from Rivendell to Lorien and all the interesting things that happen along the way.

I only was on the bike for a little more than 30 minutes today. I wanted to spend time with the hoop and some weights as well. So, there was still a full hour, just fewer miles.

I am not going to reach my weight goal by the end of this month, simply because I'm still at 173 (the goal was for 167) and that is too much to lose in such a short amount of time. I'm not really worried about it, though. I know that it will continue coming off.

Knitting was the 2nd pair of socks and I'm still pretty determined to get them finished by Tuesday. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

450.4 Miles


We're being attacked! Glorfindel told us to run and a Nazgul came out of nowhere! The horse took Frodo across the river, but he fell. I think we're running out of time.

I kept a steady pace again today and am just about ready to turn the tension up a notch. I had decided that I would be doing that at the end of this month and I'm right on track for that. I know that might slow down my speed and mileage, but I know that it's the right thing for me to do.

Knitting was great! The purl stitches weren't nearly as bad as I thought they'd be. I did save the cast off for later, though. If any part of the socks needs to be stretchy, it's the cast off. The cool thing is that I turned these in for one of the classes with the HPKCHC along with a cool video made by other Gryffindors. Yes, we're just that cool.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

432.7 Miles


We camped for less than 5 hours and it seems like this is taking forever. (In the books, we are on the 13th day since Weathertop.)

I took it slow today. Slower than I have in quite a while. I needed that. I stepped wrong on my foot or something the other day and it's still healing. It doesn't hurt that much, so I still wanted to work out, but I also don't want it to get worse.

I figured out that ribbing on the bike is an interesting challenge. It seems that my gauge tightens significantly when I'm unsure of something and I had to force my hands to relax. These socks will be done today, and I will continue working on the others.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

416.9 Miles


We've been walking all night and Frodo is on the horse Glorfindel. He doesn't look good and was barely conscious as we traveled on.

Today I was determined to set a record again. My last was 18.25 miles and I felt pretty good about it. Today I didn't even want to get on the bike, but I'd already told myself yesterday that I wanted to break my old record. So, as weary as I felt, I got on there anyway. Afterward, I felt a bit of a high with the accomplishment. I couldn't have done that 2 months ago. There is no way I could have maintained that speed for an hour. Now I know that I can.

The knitting was great today! I finished the gussets on both socks and turned the heels. I wasn't sure I'd be able to deal with the wrap & turns, but I didn't have any problems at all. Now, there is only the back of the heels, then the legs. I should be able to get that done within a few more days.

Monday, January 23, 2012

397.9 Miles


The rain finally stopped and we came to the Stone Trolls. How odd to think of Bilbo tied up here so long ago.

Today my ride was interrupted with daycare stuff. It wasn't a big deal, but it did kind of throw me off a little. I still got back on the bike after everything was taken care of. It just didn't feel quite the same, though.

I'm reading an interesting book about wheat and the way it affects the body. Especially the newer, modified wheat. There are so many ideas now cruising through my head. I'm thinking that, once I reach my goals and can enjoy more grains, I will purchase heirloom wheat flour and other products. Yes, it will be a little more costly, but I will know that my homemade bread will be even more nourishing for me and my loved ones.

Knitting was pretty good and I think I've really gotten the hang of the smaller needles. I'm not sure I'd want to knit with anything smaller than 2.25mm, but that could change over time.

No picture today, simply because the camera battery was dead earlier. Yes, I could have used my phone camera, but didn't really think of it until the bike reset itself. Tomorrow, though, I will certainly get a picture since I plan to break another record. And! I'll be passing the 400 mile mark! Yay, me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

381.2 Miles


We've been climbing and it's raining, which makes it slow going. Tonight we're camped near a small cave on a stony ledge.

Today I decided to go a little slower simply because my legs are still a little stiff from yesterday's speed. I still got a little more than 17 miles, so that's pretty good. I also took a short video of me knitting while I rode. This will be used for a secret Gryffindor project. ;-)

The socks were easier to knit than the tool case was and I'm glad for that. The tool case had such a tight gauge that it was a bit challenging to keep all the stitches where they were supposed to be.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

363.4 Miles


So much going on! Strider scouted ahead and found an elf-stone on The Last Bridge and believes it to be a token of safety. We've turned north from the road and have entered the land of Trollshaws. The hills feel like they have use penned in, and we've made camp.

Yes, that says 18.2 miles. Yes, I was sweating up a storm and my heart was pounding, but I felt great! Why did I do it? I just felt like it was the day to break my previous high miles. Afterward I made sure to do a lot of walking through the house and stretching my legs. I do not want them to get all crampy or something.

I didn't knit as much as I'd have liked simply because my hands kept getting sweaty. I think that I will start a washcloth or something to work on when I feel like racing against myself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

345.2 Miles


In Middle Earth we are 5 days from Weathertop. There are still many to go.

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get on the bike today. Mostly because of the pain in the back of my leg. It's not really the "I'm working the muscles" kind of pain, but isn't really an injury pain, either. So, I took the advice from my trainer and rode slowly for about 10 minutes, then stretched gently. I did feel a bit better after that. I drank another tall glass of water and got back on the bike. This time I started out with the thought that I'd only go for 30 minutes then see how I felt. Since I wasn't going very fast, I actually didn't hurt much at all, so I finished the hour. Toward the end I found myself pedaling faster and had to make myself slow down. My leg is still pretty sore, but it's not so bad that I can't walk around. Currently I'm walking through the house, dyeing yarn, taking short breaks to knit and walking some more. I'm sure by morning it will be just fine.

I had to take some of the knitting back out, mainly because I want this to have "corners". The tool is slightly rounded, so it doesn't really matter, but I want it to look nice. After all, this may be seen by other professionals in that industry and I don't want it to look sloppy. Even if they never know who made it, I still want it to look nice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

330 Miles


Still traveling through the valley. It occurred to me how little time this took in the movies, and how long of a stressful journey it is in the books. I think people who only see the movie can not appreciate just how much time it took to finally get help for Frodo.

Today I took a water & bathroom break just after 30 minutes. April says this is fine to do and won't diminish the benefits of the workout. I realized that the bike will reset itself after only a few minutes, though. When I came back in the screen was blank and I could only remember that I'd gone 8.something miles before stopping. So, since I couldn't remember what came after the decimal, I just counted it as 8.

I was knitting a tool cover today. This created a little bit of a challenge since the gauge is so tight. After a little while my hands just didn't want to work so hard. This project needs to be done very soon, though so I'll keep going with it. I'm thinking that a slight felting would be a good idea, too, just to keep it from getting snagged or anything like that.

The picture today only shows the miles for the 2nd half of the session. I'm thinking that any other water breaks will have to be less than 4 minutes if I want to keep the full time & stuff on the screen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

314.1 Miles


Still traveling through the valley. It seems like such a long way to go.

I woke this morning a little after 4 feeling wide awake. I'm not sure why, but I ended up staying up. I was able to get on the bike after an early breakfast and just ended my ride when the daycare kids got here. Since today is a school holiday they were going to be with me through the day.

I didn't really want to get on the bike this morning. I didn't really want to do much of anything. Part of that was my mood. I'm still learning how to shut out other people's feelings and emotions. Some days it works well other days it doesn't.

I'm nearly to the gusset for the socks. I'm not sure how that will work, but I'll certainly find out pretty soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

296.8 Miles


There's a large curving valley that we're traveling through.

I didn't think I'd be getting on the bike today, mostly because I shoveled snow and had a short sleep night. But there was something in me that really wanted to get 3 hours in this week. I'm really glad I did.

I still have along way to go on the socks, but I dropped a stitch today and only slowed down a tiny bit! I'm really happy about that. I'm still not going to do intricate lace and I'm still not ready for cables, but I'm confident I can now do a simple lace scarf or shawl.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

279.2 Miles


We're still heading for Rivendell and the fear for Frodo's health runs high. Today we made camp and everyone is solemn.

Yes, I was on there for another hour today. My legs feel a little like they are on fire and trying to kneel on the floor is a slow process. I'm drinking a lot of water to help with that and applied some arnica salve after my shower. Luckily, most of my work for the day is nearly complete. After this I will alternate between gentle stretching and relaxed knitting.

The socks are getting longer, but I can't locate my paper with Kevin's measurements, so I am not sure how much longer to make them before I start the heel. It's not a big deal, though since I can get them pretty soon. My stitches are getting easier now and even picking up the bar in between (for "m1r" and "m1l") is becoming easy enough that I don't have to slow the pedaling to do them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

261.7 Miles


We've crossed the Great East River and have entered the thickets where we are camping. Frodo's been riding the pony since he's injured.

I decided to do the one hour today since it kind of makes sense to do it in the middle of the week instead of the end. I'm a little surprised at how triumphant I feel about getting all the way to the end and still not feeling like I should stop. It was a bit exhilarating.

The socks are coming along nicely and my tension has loosened a little bit. I'm thinking that, by the time I reach the heels, I will be even more relaxed.

Oh, and here's how my shirt looks -

Yes, that's a very sweaty bit of fabric.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

244.5 Miles


So much has happened! We've reached Weathertop and could see the Black Riders from the road. Not long after, the Nazgul attacked and Frodo was injured. There are still over 200 miles to Rivendell.

Today actually felt easier than the other days. I'm thinking it's because my legs are getting stronger and it's getting easier to pedal quickly. I hadn't planned to change the tension until the end of the month, but I may have to do that sooner. For the time being, I'll leave it alone and see how it goes.

I've been working on Kevin's socks and I think my tension has changed a little. I don't think it will change the socks significantly, but I'll be working on relaxing just a little while I'm pedaling.

Monday, January 9, 2012

235.4 Miles


I'm following the hidden path to Weathertop and Sam is reciting "The Fall of Gil-galad" to pass the time.

I didn't race this morning, mainly because I was kind of tired & my muscles are a little stiff and sore. I don't mind that much. I know the muscles will be sore before getting stronger.

Today, I knitted on some socks. I am hoping these will be done before the end of the month. The knitting wasn't as challenging as it was before. I'm using 2.5mm needles for these and it was still a little bit difficult to keep the stitches from dropping.

Friday, January 6, 2012

226.9 Miles


I camped by a small stream, among some stunted alder trees. The moon is still waxing (interestingly, it will be full on Monday) and it's frosty, but clear.

Today was the one hour ride. I was lucky enough to talk to a friend during this ride which seemed to make it go by a little faster. Kind of interesting. I am feeling better and better about all of this. Yes, the changes are slow in coming, but I know that my body is being nourished each day and that I'm doing this right. Each time I push myself a little more, I can feel the love coming from my friends, encouraging me and cheering me on. I love it.

I finished the bamboo washcloth. It's too soft to be a kitchen cloth, so I might put it away for a face cloth as a gift for someone.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

210.5 Miles


I'm going to be camping by a stream soon. The cool thing is that the moon is waxing (in real life, too).

Today I was determined to go 10 miles again. I don't really set out to do this until I wake up, then it just feels like that's what I'm supposed to do. When I updated the progress bar, I have to admit that it felt really good to see that I was over 3% now. Yes, I know I still have a long way and a long time to go, but look at that progress! Pretty good so far.

Still knitting, but also getting kind of bored with this project. I think it would be different if I had a purpose for it. So, I'll probably start something new tomorrow. After all, it will be the one-hour day and I'll have plenty of steady pedaling.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

200.3 Miles


I've reached the eastern edge of the Marshes and can see Weather Hills from here. The land seems more dry and barren and there are only a few birds.

I have been feeling better and better about getting on the bike. There are days when it feels like a real chore, but there are also days (becoming more frequent) when it just feels normal. I like those days. :-)

I'm still working on the bamboo thing, but I still have no idea how I'll feel about using it. Eh, it keeps my hands busy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

191.2 Miles


I'm still heading toward the eastern part of the marshes.

Today was a bit off-kilter for some reason. Lack of sleep created a need for a short nap this morning. Perhaps getting on the bike instead would have changed that, but I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Still, once I was up, had eaten breakfast (eggs & mushrooms), and actually got on the bike, it was great. There isn't much soreness anymore, but I still sweat like crazy. Maybe that will never go away.

The assisted chin-ups are starting to get easier now, too. I'll be increasing the number next week. I don't know what I'll be increasing it to, yet... probably at whatever number I can't pull myself upward again. Last week that number was 8. Who knows what it will be by Monday.

I'm still knitting that bamboo cloth, but I would much rather work on something I will use.  I'll get some dyeing done today and look through the patterns I have for scarves. I can always use them as gifts through the year, right?