Friday, September 27, 2013

Obsessive Much?

I don't know what it is, but lately I am obsessed with knitting.  Maybe it's the change in the weather.  Or the knowledge that I have a bunch of big things I want to get done for Christmas presents and, oh my gosh, it's almost the end of September! 

Also, sigh, I seem to have really tweaked my shoulder, which has put the kibosh on my swimming challenge.  We've gone kayaking twice this month, and that, plus the yardage I have managed to get done, plus my feeble attempts at the Cross Fit-esque workouts for my OTHER challenge have seemed to have really done a number on my right shoulder.  Basically whenever I do anything requiring shoulder movement, it hurts.  I figure I'll give it another week and then I'll go to the doctor.

Anyway, in lieu of challenge updates, I will post pictures of my knitting works in progress because that's what I've been doing this month.

A couple of gift sweaters I'm working on using Techniques!  (multi-colored knitting and cables, specifically):

And here's the hat I'm making with my new Yarnbox yarn, with a lovely cabled brim, since I lost my winter hat last year and need a new one anyway:

I'm also going to make a cowl to match the hat.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September Update

I've been feeling down on myself because I haven't done as much as I wanted to with regard to my September challenges, but I think I need to cut myself a little slack.  So I still have 19,200 yards to swim this month.  On the other hand, I swam 5 miles last week, including a 3000 yard workout on Saturday.

I haven't been keeping up with ALL of the prescribed workouts with my challenge group and I'm in last place, but I have done a few of the workouts and challenges and I've also been kayaking and boogie boarding the last couple of weekends.

The point is, I'm not meeting all of the goals I set this month, but all told I'm still being pretty active.

This is also taking into consideration that since last Saturday my right shoulder has been really aching.   My arms and chest are no longer sore from the boogie boarding, but the shoulder pain is lingering.  Sometimes my shoulder bugs me if I ramp up the swimming too fast, so I think I just need to let it rest for a bit.  Rebecca and I are swimming tomorrow morning and I have a feeling I'll need to rely heavily on kicking drills to get my yards in.  Good thing I'm a strong kicker!

We were supposed to swim yesterday morning, but I got a mini-flu on Tuesday night thanks to the flu shot I got Tuesday morning.  I was absolutely fine all day until about 8 PM, when suddenly I couldn't walk straight and my eyes started burning like they did when I had the real flu in February, along with a solid fever.  My temperature got up to 101 on Tuesday night and I wound up not going into work until noon yesterday.  I had better not get the flu this year after that!  Antibodies, do your job!

So, not where I wanted to be as of September 19, but not terrible either.  September, I'll give you a "Not So Bad."

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Board-Related Water Sport I'm Good At!

After Rebecca and I swam 3000 yards on Saturday morning (because we're fabulous), we went to the beach so Jason, Tad and I could take a surfing lesson.  A Grouponed surfing lesson, of course, because that's how we do things in our house. 

I just have to say, it was a PERFECT beach day.  Maybe it was a little cool for some people, but as the person who is always hot, I loved it being in the 70s.  When the sun came out it was nice and toasty.  Even though the water was a little chilly at first, it warmed right up once you got moving. 

So our lesson consisted of: here's where your chin goes when you're on your stomach, here's where your feet go when you pop up, let's pop up twice, ok, let's hit the water!  Um...  I do not feel prepared...

I suppose, though, there really isn't that much to it.  You just have to go for it.  We had some nice waves due to a tropical storm passing by off the coast.  Everyone mocks East Coast waves, but there can be some pretty great surfing conditions in southern Rhode Island, depending on the weather. 

I managed to get on my board and sail into shore on my stomach twice, without it even occurring to me to try to pop up onto my feet.  Baby steps.  I spent the rest of the time wrestling my board and trying to get back out to where the waves were breaking. 

So, I know I need to lose some weight, Mr. Surfing Instructor*, but I'm still only 5' 6" and I suspect that the board you gave me was way too big.  I had the same size board as 6' 4" Tad.  Yeah.

After 40 minutes of getting dunked and rolled around by the waves, while the leash on my board chafed my ankle, I decided I had gotten my Groupon's worth and I was done.  Jason immediately snatched my board because he thought he needed a bigger one, which he did because he's six inches taller than me, and I went to go chat with Rebecca and watch the guys surf.  They did pretty well.

Back to the subject of this post though.  As you've probably guessed, the board-related water sport I'm good at is not surfing.  It's also not stand up paddle boarding, which I've tried and once I got over the weak ankles-related searing pain in my calves and finally felt stable, I enjoyed, but thought it was too slow.  We paddled on a river that we've kayaked on several times and I missed the speed of the kayak.**

It's boogie boarding!  Seriously, I'm kind of sad beach season is basically over and I probably won't be able to boogie board again, because it's awesome.  All of my summers spent wave jumping at the beach in Florida have made me pretty good at reading what a wave is going to do, and I managed to ride the crest of some fantastic big waves that carried me all the way into shore.  After church yesterday, I was kind of thinking maybe we should head to the beach for the afternoon, but I decided to be all practical and get stuff done around the house.  Lame.

I am SORE today, though.  Actually, Saturday night my right shoulder was sore, and I thought maybe I had done too much pulling when we swam that morning.  But yesterday evening I started getting really sore in my chest and arms, like I had done a bunch of push ups, and I still hurt today.  When I think about how I propped myself up on the boogie board for an hour or so that makes sense.  In contrast to push ups, boogie boarding is about seventeen million times more fun, and totally worth the pain.

*Who, by the way, had one leg and was teaching surfing, which means he's pretty much the most awesome person ever.  We decided that if it wasn't a shark, he needs to say it was a shark.

** Between the Alpine Slide and the boogie boarding, I think this summer has been about discovering I'm a closet speed junkie.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Camping Gods Hate Us

So this weekend we were supposed to camp Saturday and Sunday night, but we came home late Sunday.  Rained out.  Again.  We always seem to get rained out in New Hampshire now.  The giant pile of firewood in our sun room attests to the number of times we have gone to New Hampshire, bought wood at some roadside stand, and then never burned it because it rained and campfires are hard to maintain in the rain.

Anyway, we went up Saturday morning, set up our tent and sleeping bags, and spent the afternoon at Attitash Mountain, a ski resort in the winter, and fun mountain amusement park in the summer.  However, we only went on the Alpine Slide twice and the Mountain Coaster once because of, you guessed it, the freaking rain.

The second it starts raining, they have to shut down the Alpine Slide because the brakes stop working completely.  They kept the Coaster going a bit longer, while we stood in line getting rained on, until a guy couldn't stop on the slick track and plowed into the lady in front of him at the end of the ride.  Everyone was okay, but they shut the Coaster down.

Regardless, I loved both of the rides and really want to go back and do them each 7 or 8 times in a row.  I admit, I was chicken about it at first.  I'm not a roller coaster person and I hate that out-of-control feeling, but Jason insisted we go and I'm so glad he did.  The genius of these rides is that you're in your own little car and have a manual brake so you control how fast you go.  I felt much more confident the second time on the Alpine Slide and was speeding along right behind Jason, but we kept getting hung up by the slow mom in front of him.

No offense to moms, but I observed that moms traveled slowest down the Alpine Slide and the Mountain Coaster.  FYI, when we have kids, I will be the awesome mom speeding down the track. 

I'm glad we set up camp before we headed to Attitash.  We managed to get our dinner and a s'more cooked and eaten over our smoking fire, hissing with each light raindrop that hit it.  We cleaned up the food (bears!) and tucked ourselves in the tent. 

Another thing we have a knack for when we camp (in addition to being the best rain prediction tool out there) is finding the campsite right next to "The Bros."  These are the backwards baseball cap-wearing guys, who stand around the fire with their beers, getting drunker and louder as the night wears on, inserting f-bombs in place of "um" when they speak.  Charming, especially when campsites aren't really isolated at all.  So we listened to The Bros for awhile, and then I managed to drift off to sleep, only to wake up at 1 AM when it started pouring rain and didn't stop for several hours.  Good thing I can play Candy Crush without a cell phone signal.

The Bros woke us up at 6 AM as they packed up camp - loudly.  Bros do nothing quietly.  I guess they decided they would stay drier drinking their beers with their baseball caps in their apartments back in Boston.  We woke up again around 9 AM, and while the day dawned a little cloudy, it started clearing up and Jason pressed on with his hiking plans.  I had planned to go for a 6-mile walk through some wetlands and a wildlife preserve, but it was REALLY muggy, and I figured with all the rain the night before I would wind up really sweaty and harassed by bugs.  So I hit the outlets in North Conway and found some great Fall work clothes.

I picked Jason up at about 6 PM and showed him the weather alert on my phone that came in at 4:30 saying there would be flash floods and a major storm and thunderstorms that night.  Yeah, I don't think so.  Jason might have wanted to stay, but I was pretty resolute that I needed some sleep at least one night this weekend.  Also, based on the forecast, his plans for us to go rafting on a lake on Monday probably weren't happening.

We drove back to camp, threw our tent and everything into the car, and went to dinner.  I drove us home since he had been hiking all day and we hit pieces of the HUGE storm on our way out of New Hampshire.  It was seriously scary driving for a bit there, but we made it.  I haven't seen lightning like that since I left Tucson, and the Arizona monsoons, behind.

So Monday wound up being a lot more low-key than we planned, but our summer weekends are usually hyper-scheduled and it was kind of nice to have a rainy day knitting at home.

Frankly, I'm kind of scared to go camping again.  We always plan these super fun New Hampshire weekends and we wind up soaked with no campfire.  But I'm sure we'll keep pressing on.  After all, we've got all of this awesome gear!