Friday, March 30, 2012

845.7 miles

(9.1 biking)

The sadness that lies over us is too deep to express. Gandalf has fallen and it feels as if the hope has left us. Continuing will be hard to do.

Okay, I screwed up a little bit. I was pedaling along and got to the battle of the Balrog & Gandalf and forgot to take a picture. I know the meter said 9.something, and since I'm not sure what it was, I'm only adding .1 for now. I will admit that I was in tears when listening to this part of the book. It was hard not to.

Here is a picture of the knitting, though.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Other movements

Today was a day filled with strength training (chains), belly dancing, and yarn lifting. What's that? you ask? Well, wet skeins are heavy especially when lifting out 4 or 5 at a time. I usually lift and dunk the skeins into the pots several times to get the dye spread more evenly. The lifting starts from slightly lower than shoulder height to well above my head. Then I do it again in  the rinsing pot to get most of the acid out, then once more in the pot with Eucalan in it. Yep, lots of lifting. I think my shoulders will rebel forcefully if I try to lift anything else above my head.

I also included a different form of squats and kept going until I started to shake a little.

I'm happy with how well I've been doing and I feel pretty good with the way my muscles feel beneath the layer of fat.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

836.6 Miles

(8.8 biking)

We left the guardroom early and have been traveling along huge curving pathways.

The weather feels colder lately and I'm thinking it's simply because there were several warm days. I only spent 30 minutes on the bike today. Since I didn't go walking I did more hooping. The chains are getting easier and my time of recovery is lower and lower. I know that I will need to alter the routine a little to keep my body strengthening and I'll add a different set of squats tomorrow.

I started the potholder over again since I didn't like the way the stripes were going. Not that I need them to be even, I just like the look of stockinette better.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

827.8 Miles

(9.3 biking)

The going seem very long. We traveled many hours and were ready to sleep. Suddenly we entered a huge empty Hall. Gandalf says there are windows that will let the sunlight in, but since it's still night we cannot see it. We slept in that hall, cold and tired. The next morning, Gimli recited the story of Durin and it touched us all. Gandalf told us about mithril and how it was worth so very much. When he mentioned a corselet that Bilbo had, Frodo seemed more quiet than usual.

I didn't walk today. The wind feels as if it's trying to work its way into my jacket. Instead I increased the time of hooping and I completed the upper and lower chains. As for the biking, I decided to take it a little easy today, sort of. I kept it steady at around 18mph instead of doing any high intensity.

I brought up to April that my scale is still pretty steady. I lost four pounds in the last 2 weeks, but then gained two over the weekend. However, there are a couple inches fewer than there were. For example, my waist was 35" and now it sits at 32.5". I won't list all the differences, but they are there. She says that the scale doesn't matter as much while my muscles are gaining strength and I trust her.

For the knitting, I started a potholder from some old handspun I have. I don't even know where I got the original fiber, nor do I know if it will felt at all. But, it's pretty and I can turn it in for another class.

Monday, March 26, 2012

818.5 Miles

(2.5 walking)
(10.5 biking)

After taking a short break to eat and have another sip of miruvor. We began following Gandalf in the dark. True, Gandalf's staff shone brightly, but it was very small in this great, dark cavern. Frodo has been hearing steps behind us, but didn't say anything. After a bit of time we came to a junction and Gandalf was too weary to decide which way to go, so we camped in the guardroom.

It was so cold this morning! I really pushed myself to go out there and walk, but I figured it wouldn't kill me so I bundled up a bit and headed out. Before very long I was already starting to sweat. I didn't take off the outer layers simply because the breeze would have chilled me to the bone.

The biking was a little more pleasant, and I really pushed to keep a good speed and a few bursts of high intensity. Afterward I was pretty done in. Oddly enough, I felt more tired after the walking than I have lately. I think it's simply because of the cold. I didn't do the chains today, but I'm not upset about it. I know that I will make them up tomorrow by doing the whole routine.

I am pretty sure I won't get this scarf finished by the end of the month since I'm spending any extra knitting time working on the sweater. I am determined to finish this for the OWL on HPKCHC.

Friday, March 23, 2012

805.5 Miles

(10.6 biking)

So much in such a short distance! We reached the West-door of Moria. The description of the beauty of this magic is breath-taking. There are symbols of dwarves and elves wrought in the ithildin, which is visible only in starlight and moonlight. Gandalf spoke many different words and spells to no avail. Finally, in frustration, Borimir through a rock into the water, causing unease in Frodo. After another moment, Galdalf shouted, "Mellon" and the door opened. Suddeny there was a huge commotion! The Watcher in the Water had Frodo and Sam jumped to help. We all began running inside the doors and made it just before the Watcher slammed the doors and we were left in darkness.

I didn't walk today, but I did pedal faster during the biking (only 30 minutes). I also chose to do 20 minutes of hooping and the complete chains (not breaking it down to upper and lower). How do I feel? Not as sore as I thought, that's for sure. I'm not quite ready to go up to the 10lb weights yet, but I know it won't be that long.

I'm pleased with the amount of knitting I got done, even though I had to set it aside a couple times since my hands were sweaty.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

794.9 Miles

(2 walking)
(7.5 biking)

We reached the Sirannon and started eastward. The going is rough and I sometimes wish we were back at Rivendell.

I walked the kids to school again today and enjoyed the weather. I know it will be cooling off a little bit next week, but still not cold, which means more time outside. The biking was only 30 minutes and I kept my pace slow. Sometimes that's harder for me to do.

I really like this pattern and how it's turning out as a scarf! The colors of the yarn paired with the design remind me of an opal dragon or something.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

787.4 Miles

(2 walking)
(6.25 biking)

We've been traveling a barren country, and the Fellowship is weary of the cold. The Sirannon is dry and we push on. Gandalf gave everyone another mouthful of miruvor.

This morning I walked the daycare kids to school (about a mile round-trip since I walk a couple blocks past the school after dropping them off). When I got home I realized one of them had left their book bag, so I headed back out. It was a nice morning for walking and I enjoyed being out that early.

Afterward I decided to ride the bike anyway, then did the lower body chains. I might be sore tomorrow, but that's alright with me. I know that it's just a sign that my muscles are getting a good workout.

I'm doing my best not to feel disheartened by the lack of change on the scale. I can feel a difference in my body, and sometimes I can see it, too. But the scale remains at 175. I'm hoping that will change soon.

I worked on a scarf while pedaling. This scarf was adapted from the Dragon Scale pattern that will be in an awesome book (not yet published) and I think it's going to turn out lovely.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

779.2 Miles (Walking)


Heading southeast to Sirannon.

This morning was walking, and I didn't go as far as I usually do. I did belly dance before my errands, though, and that was nice.  I'm doing my best to not focus on how many miles I've come so far and instead focus on the fact that my legs are not as sore as they were last week. Part of me wants to go digging in the yard, but it's still pretty wet out there, which means I'd end up with big chunks of mud instead of nicely turned soil.

We have sunshine until Friday and I am so happy for that. Dare I say that winter is over? It just might be.

Monday, March 19, 2012

777.3 Miles (Walking)


We stopped to eat and were able to have a small fire. There was some debate about which path to take and Aragorn said that he can hear wargs on the wind!

The journey is much slower when I walk, of course, but I can certainly feel the different muscle groups in my legs. The biking seems more to get my heart pumping, but the walking makes my legs throb. The weather is just too nice to stay inside. The hooping I still do inside, but there may be a time when that changes. Perhaps the belly dancing, too. For now (especially with a work crew in the house next door) I will keep that part of my workouts indoors.

With the walking I'm not knitting much. Partly because I really need to pay attention to the sidewalks around here. That's okay, I'm nearly done with my Magick Number sweater and a pair of socks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Other Movements

Today was a belly dancing day. It wasn't that I didn't want to get on the bike, or anything like that. Instead, I just wanted to move differently. I've been following an old disc that I have and am going to start a different set next week. While I like the friendly smiles on most of the DVDs, I prefer Rachel Brice's seriousness with belly dancing. If anyone asked me why I would try to explain that I see this form of dancing as serious. I see it closer to a sacred dance than most would. I know a lot of people prefer to have fun with it and I think that's wonderful. For them. For me, it is deeper than that.

I also did the leg chains and felt proud of myself for completing the whole set. I did take a 5 minute break once I reached the 7s, but I kept going after that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

774.4 Miles


We've turned southwest and are rounding the foothills of Silvertine.

I decided to walk again today. The weather is simply too nice not to. I followed the same path as I did on February 27th and enjoyed the fresh breeze and the sight of robins everywhere. When I got home I did my hooping and my upper body chains. I'm feeling pretty good about being able to finish them without too much trembling. I'm holding the thought that I'm building a stronger body, one that will carry me through the rest of my days.

The thought occurred to me that, if I get a treadmill, my journey will be much slower. Of course, it would also build my leg muscles better for the Appalachian Trail.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

771.7 Miles


Aragorn and Borimir created a path through the snow so the hobbits could get to a clearer place on the mountain. The going is slow and the crebain returned. There wasn't anything we could do about that, other than to keep going.

Today's ride was slower, and that was due to the residual soreness in my legs. After the ride I had the almond & protein and rested for about 10 minutes before picking up the weights. I felt really good that I was able to finish the whole set of chains this time. At one point I wasn't sure I would.

I've been thinking about self-sabotage lately. I know that subject very well. In times before, I had no problem sitting here knowing that I should exercise, knowing that I should eat better, and not doing either. I also would minimize the accomplishments until they seemed unlike achievements at all. At moments I can still feel that inside me. Recognizing it is a good step toward eliminating it. I've traveled nearly 800 miles at this point. That's no small feat. I need to remember that, and celebrate it as I continue.

I've reached a part of the socks where I should turn the heel. Since I'm still unfamiliar with the "Tomato Heel" I will work on it off the bike.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

759.9 Miles


The going has been hard. At one point we were trying to shelter on a slim stone shelf while the snow piled up around us. It is only the miruvor that kept the Hobbits from freezing to death, I'm certain. 

The hooping today was a little challenging. Since my legs are sore from yesterday's chains, it felt like I wasn't as fluid as I'd have liked. Still, I finished up. After I was finished with the upper body chains, I was certain I wouldn't be able to lift my glass of water. I'm not kidding. That stuff really takes the strength out of your muscles! Still, I know that it will add strength with a little more time. In the meantime, I will just keep in mind that I will be loving all this hard work before much longer.

A few more rows on these socks. I'm thinking that, even if I only worked on them on the bike, I will have them finished by the end of the month.

Monday, March 12, 2012

746.7 Miles


Gandalf and Aragorn discussed the possible direction to take and it seemed as though they had a disagreement over something. For whatever reason we will be taking the Redhorn Pass. The weather will become our enemy. We've all begun carrying wood and the snow that has begun falling is much heavier than the norm for this time of the year. (pretty close to the end of chapter 3)

Four songs of hooping, 45 minutes of biking, and lower body chains. In order to avoid the dizziness from last week, I had a breakfast of leftover chicken, veggies, and some juice. Between the biking and the chains I also took a 10 minute break and had some of the protein drink I make. And, of course, plenty of water in between everything.

I bought a new set of weights this weekend. The grips are a little larger and they are covered with a foam (I don't remember what it's called). Much more comfortable! That didn't change the fact that they felt like a ton by the end of the chains, but at least there will be less strain on my hands.

This week's knitting is a pair of socks that I started at Kevin's. These are with a DK weight yarn and shouldn't take very long to finish.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Other movements

Appalachian Mountains

Today was all about stretching and getting more oxygen to the muscles. I'm sure that, if anyone was here through the day, I would have been laughed at. I did this slow marching walk down the hallway anytime I needed to get to a different room. While I reskeined the shop yarn I did the quad stretches. Anytime I was standing still for any reason I stretched out the muscles in my legs. Even sitting cross-legged created an opportunity to stretch. And I feel a lot better.

Oddly enough, my legs still want to buckle at odd times. Like during my belly dancing and hooping. So, I stuck to the upper body and called it a day.

What strikes me the most is that I really thought my legs were strong. I walk a lot, I bike a lot, I use them daily. So why this much pain? Why this much time needed for recovery? Because the parts of the muscles that are now being strengthened haven't been used that much. Yes, my legs are fairly strong, and now they will start getting stronger.

There are some goals along this journey through Middle Earth that I am beginning to see clearly. One is a weight loss, another is a healthy and strong body. April pointed out that once these goals are reached, it will be time for new goals. That thought frightens me a little bit. What I said to her was that the need for the goals doesn't scare me, but the ideas I have do. Just a little.

For example, the Appalachian Trail. It's 2180 miles long. How long would it take for me to walk that? I couldn't do it in one summer, that's pretty clear (after I looked at my math again). But if I took a week or two each year, maybe one in spring and one in autumn, how many years would that trail take? What beauty would I encounter along the way?

I sit here now and I dream of such things.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

733.5 Miles


Still traveling upward and the days are cold. (I can start listening to the book again!)

Okay. Yesterday's chains were pretty rough. My legs trembled starting about halfway through, but I finished them anyway. After all, I thought, I'm not going to make progress if I don't push myself. Well, today I could barely get my legs to move down the hall for the morning coffee. Sitting down was a little challenging and I briefly wished for different body parts so I didn't have to hurt so much when going to the bathroom. I had the serious thought of avoiding the bike simply because my legs did hurt so much. But I got on anyway. And pedaled so very slowly at first. I was a little surprised when my legs started easing up a little and I was able to start going a little closer to my "normal" speeds. I feel pretty good about that.

Afterward I had water and protein and will be preparing a decent lunch as soon as my shower is finished... I'm sure the warm water will help ease the ache even more.

I finished the scarf/shawlette. I love how soft this yarn is. I don't know what else I would make for myself, but it is amazing and I'm so glad I can carry it in my shop.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

721.2 Miles


The sun has been out, but it feels colder now. We camped during the day (Jan 9) and now the road seems to be rising a bit.

I truly wanted to ride for a full hour today, but started getting dizzy enough to be nervous. So, after only 45 minutes I got off, had a tall glass of water, some protein in almond milk and took a coolish shower. I think part of it was because I did the leg chains before getting on the bike. Those took me nearly 30 minutes and really got my heart going and my legs trembling. When I asked April about it she let me know that it was to be expected since I hadn't had a big enough breakfast. So... now I need to reconfigure my morning meals just a bit.

The knitting is coming along nicely and I think I'll be finished with this scarf/shawlette by tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

708.9 Miles


It's a full moon and the going is not that bad. Very cold, of course.  Just before dawn Gandalf & Frodo were pretty sure there was something flying over us, but it was too dark to see clearly.

I made it to 10%! Yes, that makes me smile. I was only going to go for 45 minutes today since that was my goal, but, even with the strength training, it just feels more right to go for the full hour. i am also much happier doing my workout in the earlier part of the day. To me that just works so much better.

The chain workout (strength training) hurts. I couldn't do them all because my arms were trembling so much. I'm going to stick with the even numbers this week, then I'll try again. I know that "failure" in this sense is a good thing, but when I fail to lift a simple 8-pound weight... well, it feels kind of crappy. I refuse to go down to a 5-pound weight, though.

Knitting was good and I'm working on a pattern called Baktus with my new yarn base. It's so soft!

Monday, March 5, 2012

691.6 Miles


As Sam was keeping watch with Strider, a cloud of something took shape in the distance. Before long a flock of crebain flew overhead and we knew the danger was even greater.  With the full moon overhead we continued onward.

Today I wasn't able to get on the bike until after 7:30. Why? Well, there was a snow day, which meant there were kids in the house most of the day. I will say that I do not like exercising in the evening and nearly didn't do it. The thought crossed my mind that "one more day" wouldn't make that much of a difference. But it would. Perhaps not to my body, but it would have made a difference in my head and in my heart. So, I finished my 45 minutes of biking, and my 6 songs of hooping. I haven't done the chains today. There really isn't time since I will be in bed shortly. So that will have to be done tomorrow.

I'm glad I got on the bike, especially since it helped work off some of the irritation I'd felt most of the day. I'm hoping it will help my sleep be more restful.

I finished a slouchy hat while I was biking and I'll be turning it in for one of the HPKCHC classes some time tomorrow. Then it will go into a basket of gifts that will be sent out as soon as I have another one done. You see, I put out word that I would hand-craft 5 gifts for people as long as they passed it along to 5 more people. One of the coolest "chain letters" there are, don't you think?