this morning, as a coworker asked “how are you?” and yet again I replied, “good, but tired,” that nobody actually ever answers that question with “oh, very well rested, thank you.”
There’s no reason for me to be tired. I’ve been sitting on my butt for the past 17 days watching superb athletes in some truly obscure sports (whodda thunk that there was even a “skeleton season?”) vie for medals. Meanwhile, I pulled a US men’s ice hockey move and half a sleeve away from the finish, completely choked. Unbelievable. I had already knit one! I knew exactly what to do for the 2nd. But the men’s freestyle nordic drew me in, and honestly, I couldn’t even knit one stitch. And then damn crowned prince and his misplaced letter…well, epic Olympic knitting fail.
With the pressure off, I need to rethink this project a little. I’m unhappy with a few things, first the length of the body. Since it was knit top-down, I can easily undo the bottom and add a few inches. Also, the turtleneck does not lie nicely. I may need to stitch it to the neckline.
Unlike many of the olympic athletes who were gracious as medals slipped from grasp and didn’t offer up many excuses, I have plenty for not finishing September Morn. I truly was on target to get both sleeves done by Sunday, but when I tried the sweater on Saturday morning, I discovered that the ribbing for the upper arm was not nearly long enough for my albatross arms. So I ripped out and reknit the sleeve (so if you really think about it, I’ve actually knit 2.5 sleeves now, and technically did finish the sweater, although not in wearable form).
After ripping out the arm on Saturday, I proceeded to a trail race–the Febapple Frozen 50. No. I was not signed up for the 50 miles–instead I was doing 10 miles. I went with members of my running club, most of whom were signed up for the 20 mile race. The trail was a 10 mile loop, and the runners for each distance started about an hour after each other.
This was incredibly tough. I’ve run on these trails before, and I knew it would be hilly. However, I did not account for the slushy snow. I was actually naive enough to think the trails would be groomed. (I don’t know why I thought that, and boy, that was a hugely wrong assumption). Saturday was really warm, so the snow started melting and melting and melting, making each step a odyssey–would my foot stay up on the sorta frozen-ish hard pack, or would it sink through 6-8 inches into god only knows what? The first four miles took me nearly an hour. The entire 10 miles took me 2:40! We had to cross several streams (which were not known to be streams until your leg sunk through the 12″ of snow and then 6″ more into freezing cold water!) and climb oh-so-many hills.
Lest you think it was completely a bust, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The event was amazingly fun. Something about the trail running crowd and this particular trail series…well, the frustration with the trails all dissipates with the overwhelming pleasant and nice attitude of the organizers. The bag drop? Snow banks on the side of the road. Aid stations? Totally awesome (gummy bears, PB&J sammis, boiled potatoes, fig newtons…no fake food). At one point this other fellow and I were hopscotching each other, and he was climbing this incredible hill (made all the tougher by the slushy/icy conditions) and I was right on his tail. He stepped off to the side (sinking into the snowpack) and said “you go on ahead,” but I told him no thanks, I was drafting. And we both started laughing so hard we actually slid backwards.
This was a training run for me, but as I slid down the first hill, the screws in my shoes doing nothing to hold me back, I decided to make some race goals:
A goal: to finish the race, body in tact.
B goal: to finish the race only needing crutches
C goal: to not get carted off by an ambulance
(at this point, I’m still 2 miles from the finish! argh!)
I’m pleased to say I finished between my A and B goal. Wow, I’m sore. But I did not bleed (there were plenty of folks with bloody knees and shins) or fall. But boy, my calves and thighs and, yes, my neck! are so sore. I finally figured out the neck thing–I spent 2:40 staring down at blinding snowy paths trying to figure out where to put my feet next.
So my olympic project was a bust, and from a numbers perspective, so was the Febapple. But maybe by not finishing in a hurry, I’ve actually enjoyed the journey.