I WILL exercise today. I promise. I called my girlfriend yesterday and we decided that at noon today, we would ski together. She's not answering her phone and I'm secretly relieved. BUT, I will take Senja's advice and do something aerobic anyway. Inside. Alone.
I'm not the only one who is engaging in winter outdoor sports. I took a drive out here on the ice
to watch my hubby (guy with white helmet) play some pond hockey. (they lost) And I've been spinning (to avoid exercising) and I'm really pleased with the results. Spindle yarn - fairly consistent and a whopping 108 yards and still - half of the roving to spin! Ok. No more complaining (for today). I am off to exercise.
30 days to the Birkie - can you feel the excitement!?
"Hat The Horrible"
See that expression on my face? Uninspired, right? Well, I'm working on that. I thought I'd look into this little Birkebeiner race and find out what it's all about. Maybe give myself a bit of a pick-me-up.
It all started ages ago around 1209 when a young heir to the throne of Norway, Prince Haakon, was smuggled over treacherous (and snowy) mountains in an attempt to save his life. Two birch-clad men had to climb and ski up and over the mountains carrying the toddler to safety (which they did successfully). The men were known as Birkebeiners; men who fought for the king and wore armour made of birch (birke in Norwegian) bark. Although known for their bravery and strength, the birch bark armour always seems a bit of an 'under-kill'. I mean, these guys fought with axes and swords, right? It reminds me of this cartoon: Jump ahead a few years and we have the North American Birkebeiner which takes place in honor of the historic version every year in Hayward, Wisconsin. The race starts in Cable, WI and stretches over a hilly 54K course to finish down the main street of Hayward. If you missed the Olympic games at Lillehagen, this would be a close second.
As far as I can tell, korte translates to English as "brief". And I think lopet mean race or run. So the Kortelopet means brief race. And we all know how I feel about that description of a 23K race - or "recreation ski" according to event promoters.
Did I exercise today? No, I had a teacher appreciation luncheon that took up time. I think I will follow PJS' advice tonight and try some yoga before I exercise and see if that makes a difference. I may even get some video stuff on here. We'll see.
And by the way, my outdoor thermometer IS broken. It is still reading 40 degrees and here is our local weather. Too cold to ski, right?
My first video diary to document my lame Kortelopet Odyssey did not go well. I am much better behind a camera than in front of one. I have decided that I have a goofy face and an even goofier voice.
I planned to ski today, but the weather was supposed to be below zero and besides - I put Retinol on my face today and I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to expose my skin to the sun. I went out to take a picture of our outdoor thermometer, to prove my point, but it's reading at 40 degrees F. So something must be wrong with it. But just in case, I decided to play it safe and avoid going back outside.
Instead, I ate a large bowl of cheesy rice while I thought over my training game-plan. I decided on a little Wii fit action: Julian's Total Body (aka Totally Awkward and Painful) Workout. I completed about 1/3 of it before I started to beg for mercy. I'll let you know how I'm feeling in the morning. Did you know that you should brush your teeth before you eat so that you are less likely to eat? She honestly has this as one of her training tips. Honestly. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Because what goes so well with mint? Chocolate, of course.
OK. Let's talk tomorrow.
ps. Thanks for all of your hilarious and encouraging comments. Guinifer, if you catch my shiny spandex bubble-butt on film, I may have to hurt you with my US size 13 aluminum knitting needles.
I turn forty this year. Sometime just after summer solstice. No biggy, since I tell myself that I am actually living out my fortieth year as we speak. When I turn forty, I'll actually be entering my 41st year. See? Not so bad. . . . right? right?
Anyway, why am I telling you this? It's customary to do something big for your 40th year? So I went and signed up for the North American Birkebeiner. My husband skis this 54K race every year and I stand and watch the finish with a cup of hot coffee, toe and hand warmers, cowbell and a smug look of satisfaction that I would never be foolish enough to strap on skinny skis and wear spandex leggings that flatter no one. Trust me . . . no one.
I have never played a sport. I have only run two 5K races in my entire life. The first time, I complained the entire race and alienated my family and friends. The second time, I cheated - stopped at a bar half way through the race to drink a beer with the spectators, then took a short-cut through downtown Minneapolis which cut my distance by two thirds.
So this February, I am skiing the half-birkie or Kortelopet, which is a mere 23K. That's 15 miles to you and me. Have I been training? Hell no. Have I been taking advantage of our globally warmed skiing days? Hell no. Have I been waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweats and having panic attacks? Well, yes, actually. There are no pubs along this trail, my friend.
My sister-in-law just suggested that I take my video camera with me on this experience (cuz I need to carry more weight than my spandex leggings) and make a little mockumentary of the whole thing. You know what? I think I will. I hate my face and voice on film and it will be totally embarrassing when you see me crying (and I will be crying) but I'm going do it. Starting tonight. I'm going to video diary my stupid dumb painful journey to the Kortelopet. Starting right now, well, after this second glass of wine, I am going to begin my training.
That will be me! (the one in the back . . . way back. You can't really see me. I'm the one in the red spandex . . . oh, forget it.)
Let the countdown begin.
33 days to my doom.
Me and the American Birkebeiner (well, half of it, anyway).
What man needs 17 pairs of gloves and mittens? SEVENTEEN!And six face masks?
Well, my love,
say goodbye to your little friends... MWOO HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA.
ps. I learned the brioche stitch. TEDIOUS to learn - a cinch once you get the hang of it. I cast on "Fourteen" by Yarn Ball Boogie with some Dyeabolican Yarn stuff that I spun. It's the color of summer zuchinni. That's the brioche on a US 13 with very lumpy yarn.
Well, I did it. I finished my Lacy Baktus. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! It was a fast easy knit and the yarn was delicious. I already posted the specs HERE, so I won't bother with it again. I was too excited to wait for tomorrow to get a sunlit picture, so these blurry evening pics will have to do for now. Then there is the new nasty habit of spinning. I must say, three times a charm. The first spun fiber was a gloppy mess. The second was a mixture of thick and thin. This third try is spinning up wonderfully consistent. It's a sock weight at this point, but I may ply it together for a thicker yarn.
Thank you for your funny and kind comments about Leo the pup. Today he ate a paper plate with bbq sauce and I just ignored the whole thing. I think this will be life with Leo.
Must go - we are watching Lord of the Rings (the first one) with the boys.
That's my teeny little niece! Isn't she cute? The sweater fits! I can't tell you how relieved I am.
It's a free pattern: Drops Jacket - yarn: Drops Alpaca - needles: 2.5mm or us 1 1/2 It's knit side to side - easy but (snore) tedious. I already have the next baby sweater picked out but I'll be using larger needles and yarn. I'm thinking a tweedy gray green (her mom's favorite color). That means a trip to my LYS.
I will talk about knitting today. But first, Leo is back on his feet and eating his merry way through a bag of dog food. Catastrophe avoided. No knitting ever emerged from his tail end. Lucky dog, that's all I'm sayin'. The only residual pain is from the vet bill.
There seems to be a New Years theme: Let's just find out how indestructible the labrador is, shall we?Guinifer also had a mutt-catastrophe of sorts (oh, and a yarn binge) and all of this reminded me of the time our old dog Ruby ate three pounds of chocolate. We called the vet and they told us to induce vomiting immediately by pouring hydrogen peroxide down her throat. She guzzled the peroxide down like it was a cold beer and the only thing that came up was a slight burp. She lived another 6 years after that and died of old age. Figures. Labs are highly destructive/indestructible animals and we love every last smelly hair.
So here we are:This would be a Lacy Baktus (free pattern and thanks IrishGirlie for the tip). This is a fast, easy pattern. Really. Easy. And easy to memorize, too. If you can knit, knit two stitches together, and yarn over - then you're all set. I used a US 3 needle and the last skein of Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk Hand Paint left over from a Clapotis. I did not use the whole skein. The beauty of the pattern is that you can probably use just about any size yarn/needle you'd like. Try it! Use up some of that stash this weekend. It's almost done. Won't even need to be blocked.
I mailed off the baby sweater and had a nightmare last night that the baby was two years instead of three months old. The nice little wood buttons I had did not fit, so Coldwater Collaborative stayed open late (just for me!!) so I could buy 93 cents worth of tiny buttons. LOVE that store. I preferred the brown wood buttons, but what the heck. It's done.
Thanks for all your funny and helpful comments. Love you all.
I had to drive, white-knuckled, through a blizzard this afternoon to rush Leo-Prince-of-Poopness to the vet. He is doubled over in pain. Best case scenario - constipation. Lovely.
Worst case scenario: twisted stomach.
We'll be hearing from the vet any minute and I'm hoping it's more like "he ate a Whopper with cheese and has a tummy ache" and not - "we did an x-ray and found a stapler in his intestines". Either way, we wouldn't be surprised.