So long Janathon. Hello again Runner’s World.

Well, just when I’ve begun living with my decision to not renew my Runners World subscription, I stumbled on this offer to renew for $5.99 per year.  So what the heck, that’s pretty darn cheap.  I signed up for another two years.  This $5.99 offer is apparently good until midnight EST tonight, January 31, 2014.  To get the deal, click here, and then at checkout, enter the discount code “MAVIS“.  I don’t get anything out of this; I’m just passing along the discount for anyone interested.   Discount and link are courtesy of a very cool blog called OneHundredDollarsAMonth.com.  And a big thank you (or make that curse you), to the blog owner Mavis, for the discount.

I’ll miss Janathon.  It’s been a lot of fun this year, and I did pretty well until my 6-day travel odyssey.  Today and the next few days I’ll be wearing screw shoes and maybe even Neos again.  So Janathon may be over, but winter is still here.

Katniss cowl is complete

With 14+ days to spare, the Hunger Games-inspired cowl I was knitting for a Valentine’s gift for my Little Sis is complete.

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The project was quick and fun.  The pattern was well-written and easy to follow.  However, I’m glad I tapered the body/wrap portion, because I think it more closely resembles the original from the movie.

Katniss cowl

To taper it, I cast on 40 stitches instead of the 85 prescribed in the pattern.  Then, I increased one stitch with every row.  I used the 3rd stitch in each row for the increase stitch.   By the end, I had 87 total stitches, which worked out great for the shape and size.  As an added bonus, that bit of tapering eliminated one entire skein of yarn from the project.  I have an unused skein to return to the store for exchange or refund.

I think I will order one of these Mockingjay pins to go with the gift.

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On the topic of running, with Janathon rapidly coming to a close, I’m trying to decide what kind of training program to begin.  I’m looking at a 3-runs-per-week program again, that I never really got off the ground last time.  I think it is the best option for my training level and working lifestyle.

Eagles

Yesterday I’d planned to run my lately-much-neglected 3.5 mile loop.  But word in the neighborhood was that there were bald eagles in the area.  So I took along my ‘good’ camera, and made it a 5-mile loop.  It felt great to go more than a mile, which has been my daily distance through Janathon.  So anyway, there was a lot of walking, i.e., eagle stalking, mixed in with the running.  I need to perfect my eagle stalking technique, because I never got very close before they would see me and fly away.  I also need a more powerful camera lens.

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And Canada is invited to come and retrieve their geese, hehe.  IMG_6190a-w

The miserable and obnoxious cold symptoms continue, but thankfully there has been no fever.  I bought a new running skirt-cropped tights combination in the after-Christmas sales, and thought I would have to wait at least two more months before the weather would be conducive to trying it out.  But it was a lovely sunny warm day yesterday.  I wore a long-sleeved fleece turtleneck, which was too warm for the conditions, but intended to keep my neck and chest extra warm.  It was a real treat to run in cropped tights in January, and be perfectly comfortable.

My unplanned 6-day rest from running probably helped my ankle sprain get stronger.  It did start feeling tender at about 3.5 miles, but that is better than on the first step out the door, as it had been in the days right after I got the sprain.  I feel a strong, healthy Spring coming just around the corner, with lots of miles.

Sneezing, shivering, head hurts when I cough.

After spending six consecutive days in enclosed classrooms, airplanes, crowded museums, restaurants and a trolley, wouldn’t you know, I’ve started feeling head cold symptoms.  What bothers me most is that I did not run for those six days.  I’ve long believed that my consistent running staves off the bad germs.  I rarely get colds and other illnesses.  I did do a 1.2 mile run tonight, bundled up more than the weather required.  I’ll try to do that each day to see if I can hold off the worst of the symptoms.

Meanwhile, I started this knitting project–a Katniss cowl for my teenage Little Sis for Valentine’s Day.

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She loves the Hunger Games books and movies.  I’ve followed the pattern exactly, except that I’m tapering the body segment to make it more fitted under the arm.  So far, the project has been easy and fun.  Finding the yarn color and the Size 35 circular needles for the cowl part wasn’t so easy.  The free-download pattern has been popular this year for Lion Brand, which may have led to shortages in that yarn color.  I found one skein of the Thick and Quick Grey Marble in town, but had to mail order the rest, along with the big needles.  Thankfully, Hancock’s was having a sale on the yarn, and had all of the skeins I needed.  *grin*

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The streak has been broken.

Well, I just couldn’t keep it going with a daily run and/or yoga while on two back-to-back trips that lasted a total of six days.  Unless you count carrying luggage and a ton of walking …where we definitely saw some interesting sights along the way.

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We went to a museum where even the benches were informative.IMG_6062w

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(For us evening runners, I think it’s a few more bugs than that.)

And in another museum we were solemnly reminded of September 11.IMG_5917w

So now I’m back home; still buzzing from my trips, but anxious to resume my fitness routine and normal life.  And wouldn’t you know it, the cold weather has returned.

When work interferes

I’m in the middle of helping with a 3-day class, followed by a 3-day trip.  My best bet for meeting my daily Janathon requirement is to fit a yoga session into each day.  I’m desperately trying to keep up with that.  And all of this while the weather is great for getting outdoors for a run.  Sigh.

“You don’t have to stop what you are doing.”

Those were the words from the podiatrist today.  Yesss!  The diagnosis is still Morton’s neuroma.  No surprise there.  The symptoms have become impossible to ignore.  For some time my right foot has felt like there was a tennis ball inside it, just behind the middle toes.  Back when I first knew something was wrong, there was a clicking sensation in that spot when I pushed off with that foot.  But now it just feels like a tennis ball.  When I start running, and sometimes even just walking around the house, my middle toes are numb.  When I pivot, or step on an uneven surface, a burning pain shoots through my middle toes.  While it is not extreme pain, it does cause me to take extra walk breaks when I’m on a run.

I also learned today that I have hammer toes.  That is a term I’ve heard my whole life, without ever knowing I had it.  Apparently, the two foot conditions aggravate one another.  The initial treatment step is very simple.  I’m to start with adding a little stick-on metatarsal pad in my shoes and report back in a few weeks as to how that is working.

Metatarsal pad

I tried the metatarsal pad tonight on a mile run, and it felt weird.  But I think it took the edge off of the inflammation and burning sensation.  So I’m encouraged to give it a chance.  We’ll see how it goes day-by-day.

I also got a huge boost from the other thing the podiatrist said:  “You’re very healthy.”

Beautiful Sunday

I am still smiling from yesterday evening–first, a very exciting basketball game, and then some great local bluegrass music.

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Today we’ve had a gorgeous day for being outdoors–working in the yard, and giving the car a good wash and wax.  It was also perfect for meeting today’s Janathon requirement.  I did a jog to the grocery store and walked back home with my trolley of groceries, 3 miles total.  Tomorrow morning I visit the podiatrist.

Last night and this morning, I also experimented with bread recipes.  I tried combining this no-knead bread recipe with this recipe for whole wheat potato bread.  The results were quite encouraging.  I have to tweak it to get it just right, and when I do, I’ll post what worked.

Observations about the daily run.

My daily runs are short, but I’m noticing improvement in my core and posture, from making it a daily event thanks to the holiday running streak and now Janathon.  The yoga stretches are surely contributing to that as well.  Today was a mile run and 15 minutes of yoga.  The ankle that I think I mildly sprained last week is still painfully weak for the first few steps of my run.  I’m starting to think that will go on for awhile.

Tonight I’ll enjoy a live bluegrass band in one of our local cafes.  It’s a rare treat for me.