Saturday, November 30, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Finishing

Another busy Saturday has left me rushing my inspiration this week, but I am feeling inspired.  Not by a particular piece of knitwear or technique, but more by a concept: finishing.

In knitting, finishing is my nemesis.  It's the section of the instructions that keeps me from turning a WIP into an FO.  After all of the work making a lovely lacy shawl, sometimes the picot bind off and blocking just seems to take an unfair amount of time and effort.  I've just started the post-blocking finishing required for my cardigan, sewing together the front panels with the back.  Once I've done that, then the ruffle edging will commence.  With beading, I have to remember those.  And then I'll finally have a cardigan!  It's a good thing I'm not relying on my knitting to keep me warm, or I would have frozen by now.

In running, for me finishing is all that matters.  I know more serious runners have personal records and paces they are setting for themselves, but I just want to make it to the finish line.  Today I ran 12 miles, whew!  I had to mix in some walk breaks, but I finished.  And I tested out some Gatorade Prime Energy Chews to keep me fueled throughout the near-three hour session.  My favorite part of today's run, though, was that I was running the same loop, but in the opposite direction, as another runner.  So we kept passing each other, and after the second time, the polite smiles you exchange get to be even more meaningful.  Since I run alone most of the time, that was a nice moment of runner camaraderie.

And here's another example of finishing I'm really excited about: NaNoWriMo!  Thirty days, 50,000 words, I have done them!  There are still stories that have been left unfinished, and some even I never got to start, but I logged in the man hours and got the creative juices flowing.  It was a challenge, but that's the whole point.  Now I'm going to give myself a little break from fiction-writing, but maybe after the holidays I'll get back to plotting.

Ah, it feels good to finish!  Have you finished anything recently that you are proud of?  Other than reading this blog post all the way to the end, I mean!

For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Thanksgiving Eve

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone!  Tomorrow's the big turkey day, are you ready?  I just about am, my mom and I have plans with some of our knitting group to gather together with food and all of our projects.  I'm hoping that with their help and a Thanksgiving miracle, I'll finally start seaming my cardigan and get started on some of those ruffles.

I've been off work all week, taking a few of my days off before I lose them at the end of the year.  That's given me time to enjoy a little extra sleep and to make sure I keep going strong on my NaNoWriMo efforts.  There's just a few more days to go, and just a few thousand words to go as well.  I'll probably still have story ideas left to explore, and some unfinished ones that I've started.  But I'll get all 50,000 words typed up for sure.

And to go with my literariness, I have a new pair of glasses that I just picked up from the optometrist this afternoon.

They're purple!  For the first time ever, my prescription has stayed stable enough that I didn't actually need new glasses.  But I had the insurance to cover most of it, plus the flexible spending money that I had to use up (insurance and vacation time, gotta use them all before New Year's), so now I have two pairs of glasses that I can wear.  It's kind of exciting.  Plus, it means that next year, when insurance only covers lenses, I can put new lenses in one of the frames and still see wearing the others while they do it.

Sad news about my Fruit Loopy Shawl, though.  The yarn was on Knit Picks the other day, but now that they're having their 'Big Sale', it's gone!  It's like the colorway has ceased to exist.  I'm going to have to find someone on Ravelry willing to sell it from their stash.  But I'm still tempted to make a purchase from Knit Picks anyway.  To comfort myself.

Speaking of comfort, I'm so looking forward to all of the food tomorrow!  I wouldn't have believed it when I was a kid, but I think the dishes I'm looking forward to the most are the cranberry sauce and the Brussels sprouts.  I know, weird, right?  Of course, I'm also going to save room for pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate pie.  For the sake of being festive.

What are you looking forward to eating tomorrow?  And what will you be doing while everyone else watches football?  For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Turner Classic triple feature

For the past week or so I seem to have been caught by Turner Classic Movie on a couple of features.  Instead of trying to choose between them, I'm just going to share them all with you.

'The Company She Keeps' is basically the story of a woman after she is paroled from prison.  She had been 'doing time' for check fraud, the latest in a series of acts of petty crime.  Her relationship with her parole officer is…complicated.  She kind of steals her boyfriend, then ends up falling in love with him and needing her help in getting to marry him.  The parole officer is the kind of saint that you only ever find in movies, generous to a fault.  But is her parolee worthy of it?

It's an interesting window into the perception of criminals, particularly female criminals, and rehabilitation.

'Break of Hearts' was originally a radio play with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, but it was adapted into a feature film with Katharine Hepburn.  You know you're watching a classic film rather than a modern one when the celebrity playboy is a conductor.  To borrow a phrase from 'Down With Love', he's a 'man's-man-ladie's-man-man-about-town' who can't even be satisfied with the love of Katharine Hepburn, as an unknown composer and fan.

It's not critical stellar, but given that they're playing films 24/7, they can't all be the timeless classics, and it's still enjoyable enough.  The cast is also great.  To be honest, just seeing a young Katharine Hepburn on the screen was enough to keep me from turning the channel.

I only managed to catch the last 15 minutes or so of 'Ball of Fire', a romantic comedy with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper, but I definitely want to see the rest of it sometime, it was quite sweet.  It's about a group of stuffy old professors who enlist the help of a burlesque dancer to catalogue modern slang as part of their accumulation of general knowledge.  Again, sweet, and funny.

Plus, one of the ensemble cast of professors has a very distinctive voice: he was the Caterpillar in Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland'.  I always love putting the face to the voice, and to compile enough experience with pop culture to recognize people in different roles.  Like when Maleficent from 'Sleeping Beauty' popped up in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.  I love those moments.

Well, that's what I've been watching, how about you?  Amaryllis Musings has been enjoying some slightly more current cinema this week.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Active knitwear

Ah, Texas weather.  One day, it's 80 degrees, the next it's below 40.  I prefer the first one myself, but I suppose I can concede that tis the season for me to be freezing all the time.

One slight benefit of the cold is that I don't need to worry about getting up early to get my run in before it's too hot.  So I slept in, and then bundled myself up as much as possible to avoid being too cold before I had a chance to warm up for my seven miles.  I had a hat with earflaps, convertible mittens, and a scarf for the part of my neck left exposed after I had my running hoodie zipped all of the way up.

Which got me thinking about active knitwear I could knit for myself.  The scarf was the only thing I had made, everything else was bought.  I did that on purpose because I knew I was going to end up getting them sweaty so I wanted to make sure I grabbed washable-type things instead of ending up felting some of my own mitts.

I'm going to have to look in my stash for some washable fibers to make some of these patterns:

Photo credit: MichelleCanKnit
I'm not sure I trust a handknit armband not to stretch and become too loose to reliably keep my iPod in place while I'm running, but I like the idea.  I could imagine doing something similar with more of a pocket for keeping keys and other things that you want to keep with you.

Photo credit: Yarn-A-Go-Go
I'm about to order a new GPS watch (yay!), but at the moment I'm making due with the little Nike+ footpod.  I happen to have the shoes from Nike that fit the pod in the sole, but this would be a really sure and easy way to enable any pair of running shoes.

Photo credit: Blake Ehrlich
I like that this hat not only has that nifty hole for my ponytail, but it covers the ears as well.  I would love to find some buttons of someone running, that would be cute.

I've also been looking at non-knitting 'equipment' I might need for the big event in February.  Mostly I'm thinking about compression leggings, a new pair of running shoes, and the aforementioned fancy GPS watch, maybe with a heart rate monitor (?).  Of course, I'll make sure to get everything in plenty of time to test it out before the actual marathon, including the various fueling strategies.  It's not just your legs you have to get ready for those 26.2 miles, it's everything!

For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: If a picture is worth a thousand words...

…then can I add this to my NaNoWriMo word count for the day?

This is my belated haul from the Kid 'n Ewe fiber festival two weekends ago.  Going clockwise from the top-left:

  1. Brooks Farm Riata in an 8 ounce mega-skein of Sherbet (yum)
  2. Heavenly Fiber Stardust Sock in Optimist (what a great name!)
  3. Wooly Wonka Ceridwen Sock in Bazinga (I happened to be wearing all of these colors that day, so it was meant to be)
  4. Knitting Rose Yarn Blossom in Thunderstorm (one of those gorgeous grays that has shades of other colors peeking through)
The irony is that I have all of this yarn, but this week I faced a terrible thing: too little yarn.  I ran out of Knit Picks Imagination in the final section of my Fruit Loopy Shawl.  This puts me in a terrible mood, even though I should be able to order another skein of this colorway, and it gives me an excuse to make a Cyber Monday order.  I just hate that I can't get it done now, you know?  After all of the time you spend working on something, it's frustrating to be so fundamentally stumped in the final phases.

But I comforted myself by looking at all of the other pretty yarns. And then I distracted myself by casting on another project.  I could have started tackling the seaming on my cardigan, but I needed to just start knitting something, and the sweater is going to mean figuring out something I've never done, and starting out frustrated by yarn shortage is not good.  Better to save that for Thanksgiving amongst crafty friends and delicious food.

I cast on another Christmas present, so unfortunately I can't share anything about it.  But so far it's coming together quickly.  And hopefully there will be plenty of yarn.  Or someone might be getting a frustrated pile of frogged yarn in their stocking.  Kidding!

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cubicle kitchen: Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn Cookies

For the past few years, I've look forward to the day after Halloween more than Halloween itself.  Because that's when all the candy goes on sale, of course.  All of the really popular candy disappears in a puff of smoke almost instantaneously, it seems.  But there's always a healthy stock of leftover candy corn.  I'm still seeing it in stores, tucked away in clearance corners with the last of the Halloween make-up.

I, like most people, don't really eat a lot of candy corn.  Maybe one or two pieces out of holiday spirit, and then I'm done.  But I have some ideas for how to use it in baking that I want to experiment with, so I've stocked up on several pounds of the stuff.

My first results are simply cookies with candy corn in place of nuts or chocolate chips.  But they hint at one of the things I want to do later, which is actually an encore of something I've done before: the Homemade Butterfinger.  A peanut butter cookie with candy corn 'chips' doesn't really taste much like Butterfingers, but they are pretty tasty.  Because the candy corn was supposedly 'pumpkin pie spice' flavored, I used another sale item, a pumpkin spice cookie mix.  I don't think the pumpkin-ness came through much, though you could taste the cinnamon notes a little in the candy corn itself.

While baking, the candy corn will melt a little, but it will be back to regular corniness when cooled.  That does make the cookies rather sticky when it comes to the pan, though, so I advise using parchment paper as usual, and waiting a few extra minutes before trying to move the cookies from the pan to a tray to cool.

Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flax meal*
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg
  • 10 oz bag Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn, roughly chopped
* Completely optional, I just threw it in

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix contents of pouch with remaining ingredients, except the candy corn, until incorporated.
  3. Fold candy corn pieces into the dough.
  4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet, pressing flat slightly.
  5. Bake according to directions on pouch.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Salt

Forget variety, we all know that salt is the real spice of life.  It makes everything taste better, even caramel.  And it makes for a fun action flick too.

I caught this on cable for the second time yesterday while waiting for the slate of football games to kick off.  I'm not claiming this is a cinematic masterpiece, but it was worth watching twice, and that's pretty good for the shoot 'em up genre.

The trailer tells you all you need to know: Jolie is a CIA agent who may or may not be a Russian spy, raised from a child to bring down the evil American empire from within.  After being accused, she doesn't just sit around waiting for counter intelligence to clear her, of course.  No, she starts kicking butt and taking names.  There are various interesting twists and turns, and Salt's ingenuity is fun to watch as well.  I don't care so much how well she can throw a punch, but I do like the tricks she has up her sleeves.  It's one of the things I liked about James Bond growing up, the smarts more than the scuffles.  And there's enough emotion to give it some weight without getting sappy.

I saw this as part of one of those 'DVD on TV' shows, where along with the movie they transition to and from commercials with little behind the scenes vignettes.  The most interesting tidbit I picked up was that this was originally written with a male lead, think Tom Cruise.  Watching the movie with that in mind, it makes you realize just how differently we take in certain things depending on the gender of the main character.  I won't go into spoilery details, but it gave me the opportunity to think about how I would have seen the movie Evelyn Salt had been Edwin Salt.  Personally, I like it this way better.

Do you like action movies?  What makes a good one?  Amaryllis Musings is reviewing another breed of action movie in her post today, the superhero flick.  Check it out.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Cowl Swap Grand Opening

I feel like I haven't been able to really dedicate the kind of consideration I usually do to my blog posts since NaNoWriMo started, sorry about that.  Somehow I've managed to fit in writing 1,667 words into each day while still working, knitting, and running, but my blogging has become somewhat rudimentary.  I'm still thinking of you all though and trying to share what I can.

I need to show you some goodies from a fiber festival last week, but that will involve some photo loading and entering stash into Ravelry first, so instead I want to show you what I was allowed to finally open after running my ten miles this morning: my cowl swap package!  I mentioned it a couple of times in my WIP Wednesday posts (here and here, for instance), it was a very basic swap, to include a cowl and some nominal extra goodies.

I'll save what I sent off myself for an FO Friday post, but here is what I was the lucky recipient of.  First, the cowl itself:

And then, the British candies my spoiler also sent me, including some local specialties:

Isn't the cowl lacy and gorgeous?  The poor thing had to endure a trans-Atlantic mailing journey, so forgive it's slight rumpledness.  And forgive my own slight rumpledness in this photo of me wearing it, I was fresh from my post-run shower and just so excited to try it on and show it off:

The pattern is Glimpse Maxi Cowl by Jane Sowerby, it was published in Issue 38 of The Knitter.  It's a delicate lace weight that I think is going to be perfect for the holiday season, especially with the red yarn having a bit of sparkle to it.  It adds a lovely touch without a lot of bulk, and drapes nicely over the shoulders.

It's always so much fun both to give and to receive in these swaps, even if I am going to have to admit to people when they compliment me on this that no, I didn't knit it myself.

Alright, I hope I have inspired you enough.  Although, even if I have, you should still go to Woolen Diversions for more.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: It's all downhill from here

I love the feeling of Wednesdays, that almost perceptible moment when you tip past the halfway point of the workweek.  Especially because for me that coincides with the coffee klatch in the afternoon, making the 'peak' of hump day something I look forward to.

But there's always something about passing that halfway point that's satisfying.  I'm well past the halfway point on the Fruit Loopy Shawl, it's starting to get narrower on the other end, and I just hope that I have enough yarn.  I removed a short row section on either side of the middle point, so hopefully I'm safe.  I'm not quite sure what I would do if I reached the end of my yarn with a row or more to go.  I just won't think about it.

Being more than halfway through my training program has pluses and minuses.  On the plus side, I've developed the habit of running every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  On the minus side, the miles are starting to rack up and it's taking longer and longer chunks out of each of those days.  I've also been experimenting with listening to things other than music while running, because while pop songs are great to help me power through a couple of miles, I find that the humor of 'Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me' podcasts is a more helpful distraction from running for over an hour.

I'm also halfway through my word count towards my daily goal for NaNoWriMo.  Which means I still have about 800 words to go, so, um, I gotta go!  Bye!

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Atonement

Since I've been spending every free moment I have trying to add to my NaNoWriMo word count, I was trying to think of movies about writing that I could blog about today.  Writers are often praised for having great imaginations, but here's one movie where having an overactive imagination was not such a great thing.

I think I saw 'Atonement' before I read the book, because I saw the movie in theaters when I was in college just before the winter break, and I was still reading the novel after the break when I left for my semester abroad.  That's not usually the order I like to do things in, but I had been looking forward to the movie, and one of my friends had actually read several of Ian McEwan's novels as part of her coursework, so I had dessert first, so to speak.

That metaphor is a little problematic in that I also usually like the books more than the movies they are turned into.  And this was no exception, though more because the book is fantastic than because I don't like the movie, because I do.  The film is beautifully made, with gorgeous costuming and a wonderful score.  But there are inner motivations and conflicts that McEwan is able to illustrate with words that Keira Knightley just can't convey with a longing look into a mirror.  But I can appreciate what she was trying to evoke once the book told me.  And I love James McAvoy.

The bright side of that is that you can watch the movie and know that in reading the book you will get to see inside the characters so much more, and then you can watch the movie again.  And even after all that, you'll still be conflicted about the central theme of the story: atonement.  Can it be had?  I'm not so sure.  Without giving too much away, I just don't think that Briony relinquished anything substantial to in order to truly atone.  She retained authorship of the story, and used it to play God in too many ways for me to believe that she would accept anyone else's judgement against her.

Hopefully my stories won't ruin any lives.

There's more madness at Amaryllis Musings.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: A selection from my story soundtracks

Instead of offering knitting inspiration this week, I wanted to share some of what I'm using as the inspiration for the stories I'm trying to write throughout NaNoWriMo.  I know that it's National Novel Writing Month, but I've had this collection of short stories in me head for too long, and I needed a means to get them out.  The idea is simple: each story has a song in it.  Playing on the radio, being sung in the shower, whatever.  The song may or may not make total sense to the story right off the bat, but each story came out of my listening to the song and making some connection to a lyric or something.

So here are just a few of the songs that I'm using to create little worlds (note: for most of these, I've never seen the music video, so I have no idea if the story a director came up with might be in any way related to my own):

'Empty Room' by Marjorie Fair:

'Caramel' by Suzanne Vega

'Too Bad You' by Megan Slankard

'Rock & Roll Queen' by The Subways

'Manic Monday' by The Bangles

Just a small sampling.  Maybe one day I'll reveal what the story lines are, but for now I'm more concerned about getting my word count for today done, because I've had a busy day that did not involve being on the computer until now!

For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cubicle kitchen: White Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

I've done my fair share of knit-related swaps on Ravelry, making shawls, buying yarn and gathering notions to make a fellow crafter squee with delight.  But now I'm entering a new realm of swapping.

I am a confirmed participant in the 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

For those who haven't heard of it, this is the third year of the cookie swap, organized by as a way to raise some money for charity, share some exposure, and of course fulfill cravings!  There are over 600 food bloggers taking part this year, and we've all agreed to send out a dozen cookies to three other bloggers and post the recipe on our own blogs.  And then, we each get a dozen cookies from three other bloggers!  Isn't that exciting?  Who knows what cookies I will get to try.

I have already received my list of three bloggers that I'm baking for, and now the tough part comes when I have to decide what I'm going to send to them.  I want them to be special, but not risky in any way (I don't want to have to rebuke three dozen cookies).  And I'd like the flavors to be interesting, without being 'weird'.  They will also need to be easy to ship without ending up with a box full of crumbs.

These cookies would probably survive shipping well, because even though they are soft, they are more chewy than cakey.  And they are certainly tasty.  But we're sending new-to-us recipes only, so I'm going to have to keep thinking.  Do you have a favorite cookie recipe to suggest?  I want to make a good impression on my fellow bloggers!

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies
Recipe from Averie Cooks: Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

My notes:
  • Instead of semi-sweet chocolate as Averie uses, I chopped a block of white chocolate into chunks because that's what I had on hand
  • I used the slightly lighter Neufchatel cream cheese
  • I let my formed cookie dough balls chill overnight in the fridge
  • You really will doubt whether these are done, but trust in the directions and they will come out perfectly

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Words, words, words

Well, we're still in the first week of NaNoWriMo, so I'm not feeling exactly like Eliza Doolittle:

But I am logging in some quality time with my keyboard to keep making the daily word count goals so far.  This means two things:

  1. I haven't gotten to do too much knitting.
  2. I still have more storytelling to do tonight, so this blog post has to be short.
I've made a few more ruffles on my Fruit Loopy Shawl, but other than that, it's all words, words, words.  I'm not sick of 'em yet.

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Cabaret

When I was a kid, I dressed up as a Spice Girl for Halloween.  Baby Spice, for those who know what that means.  I had my hair in high pigtails, a face full of makeup, and a short blue dress that actually came from the sleepwear section of Target.  Add to that my mother's high heeled shoes (no platforms available), and I'm sure that at least half of the people that gave me candy that night thought I was trick or treating as a prostitute.  But these are the things you only realize in hindsight.

I don't go trick or treating anymore, and I didn't have any parties or anything to go to, but I decided to dress up a little for Halloween last week anyway.  It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, though, so I had to source the costume from what was already in my closet.  Thankfully, I have some dramatic 'moments' in my wardrobe that could be combined to create a look.  Like a pair of sort of tweedy black shorts with some shiny thread to them and suspender buttons on the front.  And a black cardigan covered in sequins.  Add some basics, black leggings, black tank top, a pair of black Mary Jane-esque shoes.  Then top it off with a feathered headband and black ribbon tied around the neck, and voila!  Life is a 'Cabaret', old chum.

I have to admit, though, that I hadn't actually seen the entire movie when I wore the costume.  I had seen bits and pieces, but we rented it on iTunes on Saturday and watched it all the way through.

It's so funny, looking back, that I grew up watching musicals as a kid.  Because outside of Disney cartoons, and 'The Sound of Music', musicals tend to have some pretty inappropriate subject matter that they're so melodically portraying.  I wonder how my child-self would have naively processed everything from the divine decadence of Liza Minnelli's polished finger nails to the Nazis.  Well, I guess I already understood those from 'The Sound of Music'.  While some of the sexual or political stuff might make it controversial for some people, to me it all adds to the depth of experience.  The musical numbers are catchy and fun, but the characters are conflicted, and there's a kind of grotesqueness to the cabaret that the film is clearly playing with, and juxtaposing various elements to interesting effect.

When it comes right down to it, this is a classic.  I'm glad I finally got to see it.  And while I'm not in a hurry to watch it over and over again to memorize every line like other musicals, I do have some of the songs stuck in my head.

And I don't regret dressing up in its honor.  From Spice Girl to Cabaret doll, that's what Halloween is for, right?

Thanks to Amaryllis Musings for starting me on the movie madness meme.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Marathon momentum

In case you were worried that I had silently stopped my marathon training, I'm happy to report that I have just completed Week 15 of my plan, which brings me to the halfway point.  It was a cut-back week, meaning that after running 7 miles last Saturday, I did only 5 today.  But my Wednesday runs have been bumped up from 3 to 4 miles, and next Saturday I'm jumping up to a 9-mile long run.  So moving swiftly along.

Except for one not-so-swift moment this morning when I tripped and fell within the first mile.  I have no idea what I tripped over, whether it was a seam in the slabs of the sidewalk (they weren't completely even) or just my own feet.  But before I knew it, I was slammed into the cement.  My hip and elbow on the left side seemed to take most of the fall, getting successfully scraped up.  I hit my knees a bit as well, but I had long pants on so they didn't scrape.

After a moment's shock, and a quick check that none of the technology I had secreted about my person had been smashed (pedometer, iPod Nano and iPhone), I got back up, started running again, and finished the rest of the designated mileage for the day.  I didn't ever seriously think about stopping.  Partly because I'm rule-follower, and I knew I needed to get the run in.  So I wasn't going to not do it.  Plus, since I was going to run, I didn't want to have to start all over again.  I may have only put in 3/4 of a mile, but darn it, I wasn't going to run that 3/4 of a mile again!

I'm all patched-up now and just hoping that there's nothing that will keep me from going into Week 16 okay.  Along with my war wounds, I'll be taking a little extra inspiration into training from the New York Marathon being run tomorrow.  I don't know if I'll ever get to run in one of these premiere, big city events, but it is inspiring to imagine running through the streets of New York, and to think of all the people from around the world gathering to do it themselves.

With a slightly less-impressive cityscape, the Austin Marathon recently posted a YouTube video of the race route I'll be talking in just over a hundred days.

There's something a little depressing about a six and a half minute video covering the route it will take me more like six hours to run.  But still, fun to visualize.

And I feel like I have to mention this hat pattern if I'm going to talk about inspiring running things:

Photo credit: Sandra J├Ąger
I can just about accept that I'll be able to run 26.2 miles if I keep following the training plan, but making this seems really ambitious!  I would need another 30-week program of color work patterns to build up to it.

One foot in front of the other, one step closer to the marathon.  For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.