Saturday, April 9, 2011

On the road again (stay with me - it's about knitting and running!)

So I start the marathon course again on Monday. I didn't have to register again for it - I am fine with running by myself and there are any number of training programs on line that would see me through to the finish line. There are likely on-line groups that would give me the encouragement that I currently get from the people that I run with.

But I am wayyyy better with this structure and group. I have a New!! Fresh!! focus to my running. I even think I can do a wee bit better time by being part of this group (we're not talking Boston qualifying, just my own PB). The program is based on 4 runs a week - 2 coached and 2 solo. And after one run there is a lecture. I took in some of the lecture material last year, but I am really looking forward to hearing it in the context of my own experience - maybe it will allow me to make some changes and "tweak" my runs. If not, well, then I know I can forge ahead next year without the benefit of the program.

This morning, in my post-run coffee, one of the women said she had never seen a pair of hand-knit socks - ever. I was a little surprised - although if you didn't grow up with knitting relatives and your parents are younger than mine, I guess it makes sense. So I will take a pair for her to see. But it got me thinking about running and knitting.

One is a sport and one is not (the Knitting Olympics aside), but they both involve doing something that brings you personal pride. And it is something that can't be taken away from you. I will always have that experience of crossing the finish line, just as I will always have the skill of knitting something original (because every knitted item is an original). And sometimes my knitting makes me want to cry (like when I can't get gauge. Or I notice a wee tiny mistake, 9 inches before the point where I am currently at). And my running is tear-invoking too (like when every step gives me pain - and I mean the mental kind, not the physical). And there is the thing about taking a run and turning it into a race. Or taking some yarn and turning it into socks.

People who don't knit think you are crazy for knitting something that can be bought at Zellers for two bucks. And people who don't run, think you are nuts for running, never mind running a marathon. Those who do only one likely respect the person who only does the other (and vice versa) because they get where the other person is coming from. It's personal pride and the sense of completion. And those of us who do both? Likely a little nuts - but also likely a little calmer and more fit than the general population (in my opinion).

Then I clicked on this month's issue of Twist Collective - and there is an article that celebrates the kntting runner (or perhaps the running knitter) - and she says it much better than I do. So go on and click on the link - and then if you are like me, go put on your shoes and go out and celebrate the aliveness of running. Or pick up your needles and celebrate the creativity of knitting. Just (as Nike says) do it!!

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