Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Other movements

I didn't bike today, but I did belly dance for an hour. Oh, how I miss that! The movements, the gracefulness... all of it. Tomorrow I might end up missing my workout, but I'm not going to be upset. Partly because I'm in the middle of a mini-detox right now and I felt a little light-headed after the dancing. I'll be adding a little more mushrooms or something to breakfast in the morning and see if that helps.

Today is also begin spent in the kitchen. I want to get lots of yarn dyed before the end of the day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

679.2 Miles


The weather is warmer and we can see Moria in the distance. I think that is putting a slight quiet in everyone's hearts.

Today I walked. I had to! It was such a lovely day with sunshine and not very much wind and the temperatures were pleasant enough. According to this site my walk was 2.7 miles. That's not too bad for only 30 minutes of walking. Of course, I wasn't strolling along, and I didn't knit, but that's okay.

I also discovered my first snowdrop in the yard. Yes, that makes me very happy.

My very first snowdrop!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

676.5 Miles


Nope, I'm still not caught up to the book.

Today there was a slight twinge in my knee, but not enough to stop pedaling. Oddly enough, it felt more natural to go a little faster today and I'm looking forward to getting completely back to normal. Well, normal for me.

I also did the upper body chains today. I was thinking about waiting until tomorrow, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt me. I really had to push to get them all the way finished and I know that next week will help me get prepared for the full sessions. At least, that is my hope.

I spent a lot of time thinking about food today. In fact, I even got to play in the kitchen for a little while this morning. The foods that I prepared are all pretty healthy and were all vegetarian. I find that kind of funny, actually. Still, I'm discovering that kale is actually pretty good in many ways.

Knitting today was pretty good. I'm thinking that another inch or so and I should be ready to cast off. I'm really hoping to get that done by the end of this month. I still have enough time as long as I can get my sweater's body finished first.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

659.3 Miles


I'm still not caught up to the book (at this point only 201 miles from Rivendell) so I don't get to listen for a couple more days.

I went the whole hour today and made it to just over 16 miles (exactly 10 more than yesterday). I wanted to go faster, but since there is still just a slight twinge in my knee I decided to take it easy. My arms are pretty sore from yesterday and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go ahead and do the chains tomorrow. The worst that can happen is I won't make it through the whole session, right?

I haven't talked much about the changes in my nutrition yet, so I'll add a little today. I've almost eliminated all grains and sugars at this point. At first it was strange to eat eggs in the morning without toast and I did still have a piece every now and then. Plus I'm still using up the stuff in my pantry. It's been a couple weeks since I had bread (and I only bought whole grain before). Only, I had some last night with the soup I ate. I regretted it later last night and even more today. I won't go into detail, but if you stop eating most grains for a while, then eat white bread, your belly will not be happy. Anyway, I'm not going for a gluten-free diet or anything like that, just letting go of them until all the blood levels are where they need to be. After that? We'll see.

With the sugars I've learned to replace most sugar in drinks with stevia. I don't get that "truvia" from the grocery store since it has other stuff added. Instead I buy the real stuff from NuNaturals. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt making hot cocoa with raw cacoa nibs, milk, and stevia. I'll be sure to let you know how that works out. Why hot cocoa? Because that is an awesome drink through the winter and I miss it. The other sugars... I've learned that when I eat something sweet pretty close to the end of dinner (or whatever meal) I don't have as many issues. I've also learned that eating something with some protein in it soon after eating sweets helps keep the symptoms at bay. Even with that knowledge, however, I need to get this even more under control. I like to eat the things my loved ones make and don't like having to pass them up. Brianna's brownies are heavenly, Kevin's custard is wonderful... I don't want to miss out on these small bits of life. And I don't want them to refrain from their enjoyment of baking/cooking just because I have to focus on things a little differently.

I'm also learning about sprouts. They're kind of fun, actually. I made some red lentil sprouts last week and am looking forward to trying several other seeds. I'm also learning to make salad dressing with plain yogurt. Pretty cool stuff.

Okay, today's knitting was really good. I figured out that it takes a little over 7 minutes to do a complete row (2 socks at the same time) so I am happy to say that I can get between 7 and 9 rows complete in an hour (or slightly longer). At that rate I should have these finished by the end of the month and I can turn them in for a class on HPKCHC.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

643.2 Miles


At this point, I'm further in the book than I am on the bike. So, I have set the book aside until I can get caught up. Today was a very short ride, only 23 minutes. My knee is still in pain, but it is diminishing. Until it's completely better I will keep things mild. Some might think I'm being overly cautious, but the funds for doctor visits is empty right now and if I cause more damage, there really won't be much I can do about it. So, I take things slow.

One awesome thing about today is that I started a new strength training routine. My trainer (who seems to think I am ready for anything) started me on an upper body "chain" routine. I'm using 8lb weights and the starting number is 10. I do 10 reps of each of the 6 movements, then start over again with 8 reps. Each repeat of the routine is the next even number lower. After next week, though I will be moving to a full session with 10, 9, 8, etc.

I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make the complete set once I got to 4. Seriously. And the weights no longer felt like they were only 8lbs, maybe closer to 80 or something. Yes, that's slightly exaggerated but... We'll see how my arms feel tomorrow.

I also did a bit of hooping today and it didn't seem to stress my knee at all. That is good since I like hooping to the music.

For the knitting I only finished 3 rows, but that's okay. After I see how my knee is affected by today's ride, I will decide about pedaling even longer. At least, that is what I'm sending out to the Universe.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

637.1 Miles


The temperatures are dropping, and it feels that we can't find warmth. We've been traveling at night to keep the enemy's spies from seeing us, and it seems that we get no closer.

Today it was a little rough. The backs of my legs are sore and I decided to take it slow today. I'm okay with that since I know that I will be good as can be by tomorrow.

I am past the new heels (Sweet Tomato Heels) and I'm not sure yet if I like them. There is no decrease for the extra stitches. We'll see how it works out. I do like the  smoothness of the heels, though.

No picture today. I'm trying something out with myself and I'm not sure if I'll continue. I was taking the pictures as a way to keep myself accountable. I don't suppose it really matters to anyone but me, and if I feel okay with it, while keeping my miles up, I might skip them. But I also like looking over the blog and seeing the progress each day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

621.3 Miles


Still traveling along, slowly. There really isn't that much to write about just yet. (I'm also still trying to catch up in the book.)

Today was a short-distance day. I set the resistance as high as it would go. At first there really wasn't much of a difference, but it didn't take very long before my legs started slowing down. Soon I was really pushing to keep above 11mph. I know my legs will be a little sore tomorrow, but that's okay.

For my pushups... I almost got 2 regular ones complete. Oh, how my arms wobble! But I know I can do it if I just keep going. I'm looking forward to getting that second one complete.

The knitting was pretty good. I'm nearly to the heel and I'll be trying out the new technique by Cat Bordhi. Since it is new, I won't be doing this on the bike, instead I'll do it later tonight when I'm sitting down quietly. After all, short-rows and I are still a bit unfriendly, but I am sure that will change soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

607.8 Miles


We crossed a small stream that heads west to some swampy land. We've been continuing along and just ahead is a hilltop.

Today was pretty good. I find it interesting that my records have now become a regular occurrence. I can't help but wonder if the 20 miles I'm reaching on Mondays & Fridays will soon become the "normal" ride for me.

Knitting was slow today. My mind wandered a lot while I was pedaling and I let it. Sometimes we need to just let go of even the illusion of staying focused.

Monday, February 13, 2012

590.7 Miles


At this point, we're steadily walking and there are snow-capped peaks to the east.

I'm pretty happy that I made my goal today. I actually ended up pedaling for 65 minutes, and that was fine, as long as I made the 20 miles. The push-ups are coming along okay, I think. I can still only do 1 regular, but it's not as shaky as when I first tried. The planking is also not as shaky. I'm hoping to increase them both pretty soon.

The socks are coming a long nicely and I'm looking forward to more challenging patterns. I was hoping to get 2 pairs complete in a month, but with my sweater taking up more of my non-Cardio-Knitting, there really isn't that much time. I'm mostly sure I can finish this pair, though.

Friday, February 10, 2012

570.6 Miles


We've crossed a stream and are camping for the day. So far it's been pretty uneventful.

Today's ride was interrupted pretty close to the end so I don't have a picture. I don't even have a total, but I knew it was a little more than 17 miles when I answered the phone, then I rode for another 15 minutes after that. I feel pretty good about this, even though I am pretty sure I didn't meet my goal of 20 miles. I am looking forward to the same goals next week and I will continue striving.

The knitting is coming along nicely and I decided to add a plain row in between the patterned rows. to me it just looks a lot nicer. There are times when I need to put the knitting down, though, simply because my hands get sweaty and I need to let them dry off. While I can't say that my blood and tears are in the things I knit, I can safely say that my sweat is. (Don't worry, the items get washed before I give them away.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

553.6 Miles


We camped in a thicket of thorn bushes, then headed southwest for a while. Just a few miles back there was a steep drop-off and we had to follow the cliff-top for a while.

I didn't ride this week. For two days I was arguing with my body over something I had eaten... or some bug. Yesterday I was feeling a lot better, but I didn't want to push too hard and end up feeling under the weather again. Today when I got on the bike it was wonderful! I could feel my muscles relaxing after the first couple of miles and my heart warming up again. During my mid-point water break, I felt like I should rush through the glass of water so I could get back on the bike. What a wonderful feeling. I guess this really has become a habit now.

I finished up Kevin's socks yesterday and started a new pair for myself. Oh, how I love this color! It reminds me of the deep parts of the forests I loved so much as a child. With the tiny purple flowers and the dark shadows, the bright glimpses of water through the trees and the rich earth beneath my feet. I am looking forward to wearing these soon.

Friday, February 3, 2012

536 Miles


We followed the small stream westward for a while and now there aren't many paths. The ones we do find are very winding, which seems to be adding more to our journey.

Today's biking actually took 66 minutes, but I was determined to complete 20 miles. I think this will be a hard schedule to get used to, but it will help prevent that plateau that so often happens. When I feel like I'm about to hit another one, I'll make changes to prevent it.

The pushups were harder this morning and I know why. The first one I did was a regular one. And I almost wasn't able to straighten my arms! The remaining 12 were modified (also known as "girl pushups") and they were a little difficult, too. When I completed everything today I will admit that there was a quite sense of accomplishment growing inside. I can do this. I can continue getting stronger and healthier. And the best part? That smile it brings to my face when I realize how well I did.

On the knitting front: I've finished the gusset for the socks and will turn the heel at some point this weekend. The rest of today will be focusing on the blanket. Once that's done I can focus more on the socks.

As you can see, I added some marks to the screen. The display cycles between mph, time, distance and calories (I don't trust those readings). When I glance up to make sure I'm keeping the pace I want, I have to wait until it cycles around. With the marks I can clearly see where the bars are so I know if I am going too slow (when I'm pedaling there are incremental bars to show the speed).

This one? This is my shirt right before I got cleaned up. Yes, that's a lot of sweat. The bottom of that wetness is where the waistband of my pants sits. This is nearly a daily occurrence which is why I always drink another full glass of water about halfway through.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

515.9 Miles


We've crested a hill and can now see snowy mountains to the east. The weather is so cold and snowy and I'm glad for the warm wool cloaks and clothing. I don't know how the Hobbits can stand having bare feet here. The Shire seems like such a warm and gentle place.

I've changed my routine a little, even though I didn't follow that change yesterday. More strength training (not a lot) has been added as well as the hooping. It's an interesting kind of fun, hooping is. There is that part of me that remembers the bright sunshine and hot breezes and the grass beneath my bare feet. That part wants to smile with the thought of a grown up twirling a hula hoop. That part misses that sound that the hoops would make from the BBs inside. That part of me wants to run around the yard using the hoop as a jumprope. And I can't help but grin. Another part of me thinks of how cool it is that a grown up is hula-hooping in the living room. I would have never gotten away with that as a kid. Now, it's more effort, more focus. It doesn't come as easily as it did back then, but it's still fun. Now, instead of the sound of the Phoenix summers, I listen to the sound of my music and smile.

I'm still working on those socks. Since I'm only working on them while I'm on the bike, they may be delayed a little. But there is a baby on the way so the blanket gets my full attention while I'm not cardio-knitting.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Other bits of movement

No miles today, partly because I didn't keep track and partly because they weren't on my bike. I walked outdoors today. The weather wasn't as warm as it was yesterday, but it was pleasant. I walked to the library, then over to the pier. It was a nice change from the biking and it led me to think that, when the weather gets even more spring-like, I will move the bike outside. I think it would be lovely to ride out in the back yard under the shade of the maple tree.

I also realized this morning that my stomach was a bit sore. After trying to figure out what it was from it dawned on me that it was from the hooping. I'd given that up since starting on the bike. Why? Because I didn't want to fail this time. In the past I've been great at starting things with a great amount of passion, loading my schedule with dozens of things, then getting frustrated because I can't juggle it all. When I started the biking I let go of nearly every other form of exercise (dancing when good songs come over Pandora doesn't really count). Now that I've gotten through 2 months of biking, I have slowly started including more variety to my routine.

And, yes, slinging a hoop around your waist & hip can really make them sore. But in a really good way.

Tomorrow it will be back on the bike and I look forward to listening to The Fellowship of the Ring while I pedal away.