Saturday, August 25, 2012

Things To Do While Running

The next two days were a trudge... I don't know whether ir was the slide-and-glide rythm of skiing, the month of wilderness immersion, or both that were responsible, but something was happening inside my head -- a cleansing of sorts, as though the damper that held down useless memories, thoughts, and information had lifted and the long-overdue mental purge had begun; old phone numbers and addresses came out of nowhere; birthdays of long-lost schoolmates. And, of course, the songs." -- Karsten Hauer, Being Caribou
I did a practice 10k run this morning in preparation for the actual race which takes place in just over two weeks. It was the first time I'd run for such a distance. I was a tiny bit worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, despite the face that I'd run 8.25k two days before.

Since it had rained yesterday, it was cool outside when I set out, and even though I was wearing a long sleeved sport top and long pants, I shivered a little in the breeze while I did my warm up. I set my watch to start timing, and off I went.

I've noticed that I get a lot of thinking done during my runs. It's very like the quote I mentioned above: lots and lots of things I haven't thought about in years tend to float into my head. Unfortunately, they tend to be things I'd blocked from my mind because they were too painful to deal with at the time... things I'd wished I'd said (or not said), embarrassing moments, things that angered or annoyed me during the work week... just not stuff I want to spend the next 10k thinking about.

I decided at about the ten-minute mark that I wasn't going to cringe my way through this run. Instead, I thought I'd distract myself with other things. Sometimes, I do math problems in my head. Sometimes, I recite lines from plays I was involved with in high school. Today, I planned knitting projects.

Now THAT was a good idea.

I spent a lot of time thinking of what I was going to knit out of some of the hand dyed yarn I bought from my friend Tara, mistress of Dragonfly Dyewerx. I looked up to the sky, and thought of this skein of BFL called Cloudy Skies, and smiled as I thought of the cowl I planned to make from it called April Showers.

I turned a corner and was immediately hit by some cold, icy, damp wind. I immediately distracted myself by the warmth of this skein of her Smooshy Sock (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) called Killer Tomato. Ahhh... warmth...

At the halfway point, I looked down at my watch and realized how much longer I'd have to keep running for, and before I got too despondent, I remembered this lovely skein called Bodacious (probably the best name ever for a colourway)...

... and I smiled as I remembered this pattern I found the night before for it called Aase's Shawl by Kristi Holaas:

Aase's Shawl, Full Border

A Rocky Mountain Bluebird flitted past, and it reminded me of this skein of Americo I got a few weeks ago, a linen/cotton/silk blend...

... got paired with this pattern called Flutter Scarf by Miriam Felton, which I've been wanting to make for a while now.

And then I skirted around a bunch of buffalo berries that had been scattered onto the ground for some reason, and when I looked up at the silvery green leaves where they came from, I remembered a project that has been steeping in my mind for a year or so, involving tree and leaf motifs... and by the time I hit the fifty minute mark, the project had evolved into a belted cape with the motifs strewn across the back and sleeves... I may use this stitch pattern I found this afternoon, also by Kristi Holaas:

Tree Roots Scarf

By sixty minutes, I stopped thinking about yarn and knitting. In fact, I stopped thinking altogether, because I just wanted to finish. I was almost there. I concentrated on not tripping, not falling, and not hurting myself. That took pretty much all my concentration.

And when I finished, I was glad I'd had all these thoughts for company. It made a cold, long run much more pleasurable.

And here's how I finished. Not bad for a practice run:

I wonder what planning I'd get done during a marathon...

1 comment:

YarnKettle said...

Way to go! I can not wait to hear about your race.
Good idea distracting yourself with knitting. I think you pointed the way for a couple of patterns for me too. Thanks!