Friday, August 06, 2004

Digging a Trench with a Teaspoon
That's how it feels sometimes when I view my project progress vs. future projects I want to undertake. I have so little spare time to indulge in my fiber pursuits that my finished-project-to-future-project ratio will always be hopeless skewed in the wrong direction. Ah well, I guess I never have to worry about having a project at hand, right?

I knit up about 5" on the Microspun Mocha Shawl, but since this sucker is about 80" long and I'm currently at about inch #24, I won't bore you with a picture.

Lace Me Up
I'm an old-fashioned girl at heart. Maybe it's the Lace Curtain Irish in me, but I love lace edgings on pillowcases, crocheted lace tableclothes on the dining room table, and crocheted lace bedspreads. So when these old McCalls's mags and an old Coats & Clarks booklet showed up in the mail from one of my favorite vendors, Vintage Knits, I was thrilled:

I think I may have to bite the bullet and choose a bedspread to work on. If I choose a design composed of individual squares, I can turn this into an ideal takealong project. Maybe someday, way off in the future, I'll accumulate enough squares for a bedspread or tablecloth. Ever hopeful, I am!

One Step Forward, Two Back
Update on the Running Thang -- I had an appointment with a Biomechanic Specialist(!) at the San Diego Running Institute earlier this week. Sounds pretty important and official, doesn't it? Well, the SDRI is actually a running shoe store owned by a chiropractor and managed by a very knowledgeable young woman named Gina, who is an expert in Kinesiology (body movement). The lowdown: my right leg is ... OK. Slightly knock-kneed, but not badly so. The left leg, however, is a strange animal: more severely knock-kneed, and rolling inward from heel to toe. Watching myself in a mirror as I ran on a treadmill was quite illuminating: my left knee crosses waaay over toward, and almost in front of, the right knee. No wonder it hurts!

I ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill in my current shoes (a pair of Brooks) while Gina carefully watched and made copious notes. She also spent a lot of time measuring my back, legs, feet, and hips. Based on the above, she determined that my current shoes were the wrong size, didn't help my feet track "straight" and didn't have enough arch support or room in the toe box. She chose a pair of Asics shoes and a pair of orthotic inserts for me to try. I strapped on the new shoes (which happened to also be a lovely girly-girl shade of silver with pink stripes!), and ran another 10 minutes on the treadmill. What a difference! My left knee straightened out dramatically and tracked nearly straight in front. My biomechanics still ain't perfect, but they're a lot better.

I ran another 10 minutes in which we worked on "gait training" to help my body memorize proper running form. My base form isn't too bad, but I was running at much too short a stride. If I lengthen my stride, I spend more time "in the air" and strike the ground at significantly fewer strokes per minute, thus lessening the amount of impact on my body. Makes sense, huh? I was also overusing my arms, almost in a cross-country skiing motion, which further expends unnecessary energy. The point is, if I get tired too quickly, I won't be able to maintain good form, which will lead to further injury. All in all, this was money well spent.

Why am I spending so much time and thought (not to mention $$) to pursue an activity that may not pan out? Because on the ride home from SDRI, I had a goofy grin plastered on my face from my accomplishments and the pure joy of running again. And I'm willing to fight for that. It's that simple.

I have 2 more appointments with Gina to further reinforce the gait training and learn some leg strengthening exercises. I've got my fingers crossed! I may never be a long distance runner, but if I can get myself to the point where I can safely run 3 days a week, I'll be happy. The swimming and bike riding will fill the other days.

Where is this all going? Who knows. I had a swimming lesson last night with DH's triathlon coach, who is also an internationally ranked triathlete. I told him what Gina said about my probably not being an ideal candidate for long distance running, and he slyly said, "Sprint Triathlons. Short running distance. 3.2 miles. No problem." Damn it. They're still trying to pull me into their crazy group. Pray for me, people. We're buying a road bike for me this weekend. The road to hell is paved with Asics running shoes and a Lance Armstrong bracelet:

Happy Friday, everyone.

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