The Knitting Sailor


Winning
April 24, 2014, 5:49 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Everyone likes winning.

I frequently deny that it’s all about the winning, purely because I spend a lot of time not winning.

Because in any competition there can only be one winner – so that means for every one winner there are many non-winners. I have been very good being a non winner. I have tried not to be grumpy about being a non-winner.  Despite the fact I am indeed very grumpy.

Since the beginning of last September I have not won the Great North Bike ride.

I have no idea why I am wearing yellow glasses.

I have no idea why I am wearing yellow glasses.

 

Not won the Great North run (although I knocked 10 mins off my time – and yes – there was still a queue for the toilet).

Really, never again....

Really, never again….

 

Not won the Kielder Run, Bike, Run (I did the first running bit!).

Yes we did arrive by boat again - epic.

Yes we did arrive by boat again – epic.

So I was thrilled when this arrived.

2014-04-22 16.51.49

Because I had won something! A ‘name that bay’ competition by Menorca Cruising and I got a hat.  To be fair I had REALLY tried to win – going to Menorca about 47 times has finally paid off.  And it has proved to be a lucky hat… When I went sailing the Sunday after, I finished two races – coming third and second (and yes there were more than three boats on the water!). It was the influence of the hat.

In fact it is now feeling so lucky I may have to wear all of the time.  It’s even making me want to do big boat sailing in Menorca – when what we usually do is this.

Yes, you do sail faster if you wear funky shorts

Yes, you do sail faster if you wear funky shorts

Making me win is a genius marketing ploy.  I think now I might want a go in this.

I think it might have a kettle – click on it to have a look at what Menorca Cruising are all about!

As everyone likes to win, in my next post I will also be sharing who the winners of the boat naming competition are - and an update on the knitting prizes!



Why, oh why, oh why…
July 18, 2013, 8:21 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

I always said I hate running.  In fact I even said so here.

But it turns out I didn’t hate running that much.  By this time last year I was running 6-7 miles on my weekly ‘big run’ and although I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed it I was sort of ‘in the zone’ – I could motivate myself to get out of the house and put one foot in front of the other for excessive periods of time.

From this you may be wondering why this matters.  Well it matters as I thought it would be a good idea to do the Great North run again.  It totally wasn’t – I should learn that I am a one trick pony and that I should never re-visit something I have already done.

I was still running a bit through to February.  Then I stopped.  I fell over (not while running I hasten to add, or drinking, or even doing something stupid, I am just inherently clumsy…).  My knee was very sore.  It was snowing.  I had knitting and cake.  Why would I run?

So I have now spent the last month trying to get back in the ‘zone’.  It’s not working.

Here are some recent photos I took on different runs

3photo

That’s the Links

photo

Hollywell Dene

1photo

The Lighthouse

This all tells you one important thing – that I was taking photos instead of running.  Even on my run I am trying to avoid running.

So, on the quest for motivation I have been reading other blogs from runners.  The big problem is however they all are

  1. Good Runners
  2. Enthusiastic runners (hence them having blogs)
  3. Long ago got past cake wobble
  4. Past understanding about the zone as they have inhabited it for the last million years.

So at the moment my big plan is to keep thrashing away at it till I find the zone.

I ran four miles yesterday.  It was 28C.  It nearly killed me.

(You’ll find links to the running blogs I am referring to in the ‘Why not try…’ page.)



Now we are One

It turns out that it was a year ago today I posted my first entry on this site.  It was a bit random and primarily in response to ‘I couldn’t do that – could I?’.  Well so far it’s been a lot of fun – I think!  And looking back over the year, it turns out there are lots of things that I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of this!

Things I have learnt from this year

  • Everyone hates running (apart from Tillerman – but I don’t actually believe him)
  • That the inventor of the Crow’s Nest was born in Whitby
  • That I DON’T NEED TO KNIT CARDIGANS
  • Spinning is really hard
  • How to taste wine (sort of – it all still tastes like wine really though)
  • Trying to teach kids anything without the benefit of chocolate is basically a waste of time
  • You actually can buy ANYTHING on E-Bay
  • How to be a better OOD!
  • We all like Dinosaurs (maybe I imagined this?)
  • Woolfest is awesome
  • Not every 50p is worth 50p
  • The Internet definitely thinks I should get a sheep

Amazing things that happened this year

  • I ran the Great North Run– who knew?!?
  • I came third in an actual proper sailing race – and got a prize to prove it
  • It was the Mr’s last year as Commodore
  • I learnt to spin
  • The dog qualified to drive a powerboat
  • We didn’t move to the country
  • I met a real life alpaca and fed it a carrot
  • I got a spinning wheel AND a knitting machine called Jeremy
  • The Olympics and the Jubilee!  Go Britain!
  • I qualified as a Dinghy Instructor
  • The Solstice at Stonehenge – kind of amazing
  • I learnt how to felt… OK it was by mistake – but let’s take it as a positive!
  • I wasn’t last at an open event

I also found some amazing people and blogs out there in the ether of the Internet – I have added a new page so if you would like to go and visit some of them then check this out.  Be warned – some of these people actually know what they are talking about!

But most of all it’s been fun to chat with you all – so thanks for dropping by…. it’s appreciated!

So what about this year?

Well I have a plan.  I need to get better at sailing and knitting.  I also need to delete the email suggesting that I take part in the Sunderland Half Marathon in April.  This is a foolish idea and no amount of looking at the email is going to get rid of the cake and beer induced wobble prior to April.

So I am going to be doing 3LT – this is the name for my new recipe for success.  Every idea needs a good marketing slogan.  And maybe a logo.

Look, Learn, Listen; Turn up, Take part and TRAVEL!

That sounds really exciting doesn’t it?



Just like a mountain goat
October 9, 2012, 8:59 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

Having ran the Great North Run I thought I would never run again. Ever. Not even for a bus.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself back on the start line this weekend.  I don’t really know how it happened – well I do – it was a really clever marketing mail about two weeks ago suggesting I might like to take part in the Kielder 10k.  Well it was Kielder and we were going to be up for the weekend as we were both on duty for the Sunday – so I thought why not?

Having signed up for this it was then patiently explained to me that this route was basically made up of hills.  Lots of hills.  This made me a little aprehensive  - I know from the GNR they aren’t my strength, but as I had signed up now I decided I just needed to man up and get on with it.  So I’ve actually gone and done some hill training – running up and down the banks off the beach, and even going to Hexham to run up Causey Hill ( got lost on the way, ended up running up and down and through the park about 47 times followed by finally finding said hill by the time I was already totally exhausted and deciding by the time I got half way up that it was a stupid idea anyway and going home for a nice cup if tea and a giant sit down).

It was ‘only’ 10k do I reckoned if I could do it in comparable time to the GNR I should be looking for a 1.15 finish time.  And if it got really tough then I could always get the bus like last years Kielder marathon winner!

So Saturday dawned, bright and cool, and I got changed into my kit.  The idea was that competitors went a parked in a local village and were then shuttle- bussed to the start at the main visitor centre – Leaplish.  But it tuned out that I felt a much better idea would be to save myself the hour or so all of that was going to take and instead abuse my position and get a lift in a rib instead!

Arriving at Leaplish

So 500 competitors turned up in buses, and I turned up in running gear and a buoyancy aid. It was a good look.

I shouldn’t have been scared of the whole thing, but I was starting to get very nervous. In addition to the 10k there was also the run, bike, run starting at the same time (individual or team, run 11k, bike 26, run 6) so the pace was packed. Lots of people had come with me to cheer me on though which was great – and their plan was to go and sit in the pub while I was running – which kind of felt a little unfair.

For the start we all just piled in – I hung back so I was right out of everyone’s way.  The waiting was the worst – I was doing it on my own, so you just start to worry you wont cope and wondering how come everyone else knows how to do stretches and stuff.

Nail biting start

Lots of people in front of me

And then we were off. It was very hard to try and get going as the paths are only 2-3 abreast and it turned out that I wasn’t the slowest there – I actually needed to run past some people.  And then the hill started. I had been warned that the first mile was rough – straight up and it just kept going.   But I was managing.  In fact I was still running past people.  Actually – some people were walking already!  I was a running god!! Until I hit the mile. And it was still going up.  I had been lied too!  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep it up for and I could see more and more people in front of me stopping. I pushed through, got round a corner… And it levelled out.  I have never been so pleased to see some flat in my life.  It’s amazing what a bit if achievement can do to push you on though – because all of a sudden I wasn’t at the back any more, I wasn’t walking and the kick I got from it was amazing.  I started watching my pace and trying to improve – every mile I managed a little faster, overtook a few and started to think that I was actually doing OK.  I did have a wobble – it was around the 7-8k when we rounded a corner and I saw the waterski club – and by water that is a LONG way to Leaplish (you tend to have to beat all the way too) and my heart just sank – but before I knew it I was past the 8k mark and realised I’d nearly finished!
As I got close to the finish it was clear everyone was stepping up their game – but I didn’t want to push too hard incase I couldn’t finish … I rounded the corner, saw the finish line, heard someone shout my name and just decided to run like billyo – and I did – I took 5 places in that last 200m and sprinted over the finish line.

I was thrilled – I felt I’d actually ran a race, with the the GNR I was just happy to get round.  And my time? 1.03.  Like I said – thrilled.

I just need a podium now…

I think it might be the first time ever I have actually enjoyed running.



I’ve had cars that wouldn’t get that far…
September 17, 2012, 9:55 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

 

I did it!  13.1 miles / 2 hours 29.

What was the worst bit?  I think from miles 2 to 13 ish!  It was really strange being part of such a big event and I have to admit to being really scared about it – I wasn’t the only one – all of the others I knew who were running were in differing levels of panic – by the morning I was really thinking that I should have maybe done any sort of organised run at all before doing this one.

So what was it like?  Well there were good bits and bad bits…..

 

 

Laura and I – I’m in the bin bag chic, Laura is looking a little more glam!

There were a few other people there….

Follow us!

Really??? I’ve ran 13 miles and THIS is the queue for the toilets???

We all love a good medal

Our chariot awaits

And one day on?

Well I hurt all over and have spent the day walking around (on heels – that’s dedication for you!) looking like a bit of an idiot and using the lift allot.  I know I’m a woos.

I also signed up for the reminder service to let me know when registration for next year opens…. turns out that I might hate running, but I love a challenge!

 

If you would like to make a tiny contribution to the RNLI out of sheer amazement that I’m not dead then you can – here – but no pressure!

 



I’m not doing it for fun
September 15, 2012, 7:22 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

Tomorrow is the big day.  55,000 of us will be running the 13 miles of the Great North Run.  I have to admit that I am not feeling great about this at the moment.

I got my pack through about a month ago and having opened it and seen what it was my immediate reaction was to go ‘I’ll just look at that later…’ and then put it in a pending pile.  I don’t actually have a pending pile.  It’s just a pile where I put things that I just hope will go away.

Turns out it didn’t go away.  I was finally forced to read it last night.  Turns out it includes things that you should do from a month prior in the run up to the event.  None of these were to drink wine or eat cake otherwise I would have been onto a winner.

To be fair, I have actually been training – I’ve got up to about 11.5 miles, so I may actually manage to finish, but it has become incredibly obvious that this is a serious race for serious runners – the pack had a number in it and everything.  It also had an invitation to a Pasta Party taking place today.  My initial thoughts were that this was an opportunity to go to a party dressed as spaghetti, but actually its about eating pasta and ‘carb loading’ whatever that means.  Like I said – it’s all a bit serious.  You need to put medical info on the back of your number.  There is a sweeper bus and if you fall behind it you are out of the race.  Drop out points are from 8.5 miles onwards for those who can’t continue.  You have to put a microchip on your shoes.  I’m not starting from the back of the pack, but in the middle-ish – how the heck did that happen?

Among others I know who are doing it there is much talk of motivational playlists.  I’m a bit worried about this one as well as I had anticipated getting through on the podcasts I’m currently listening too – The Knitmore Girls, The H2O Show and The Knit Wits.  There’s nothing like hearing about how someone’s jumpers going to cheer you up.  But now I’m thinking I should be lining up something more motivational as everyone has told me this won’t be enough – maybe I should see if I can find a really hardcore podcast – one where they bring up the sheep, spin its wool, knit a jumper and then wear it in a really reckless way.  Like near a fire or something.  Or maybe wash it with no reference to the washing instructions.

When it comes to what to wear, we are of course at the mercy of the flighty North East weather – but at least I have some proper kit now – who knew trainers wore out?  And the RNLI have helpfully provided a ‘subtle’ bright yellow top.

I can’t lie – I am terrified and feed a bit sick every time I think about it.

And I still hate running.


It seemed like a good idea at the time
July 4, 2012, 8:07 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

Earlier this year it seemed like a great idea to do something for charity.  And having been *ahem* ‘rescued’ by the RNLI it seemed only right and proper to support the charity my brother works so hard for.

So I foolishly signed up for the Great North Run - a half marathon.  Foolish for several reasons -

  • I hate running
  • I’m not very fit
  • It rains allot in the North East – and running in the rain is really miserable
  • I like cake
  • The idea of doing a run with thousands of other people all forcing me to keep going makes me feel a little sick
  • It’s 13 miles
  • Running is REALLY BORING
  • I would rather sail than run
  • If I’m doing it for charity then I HAVE to do it
  • I would rather clean my house than run
  • It’s still 13 miles
  • No one else likes running either so I have to do it on my own
  • Everything wobbles when you run – and not in a good way
  • You can’t drink wine while you are running
  • I really, really hate running
  • The Olympic torch bearers all do running – but only go about 200 yards – why didn’t I think of that instead?
  • It makes your legs go all fat at the bottom (I believe ‘muscelly’ is the technical term)
  • Did I mention its 13 miles?
  • There are actual magazines about running – thats right – whole books, websites and magazines about running – essentially putting one foot in front of the other faster than walking (if you Google running, it brings up more than 369 MILLION sites?!?!?!?!).  That’s terrifying.
  • Everyone who runs on Facebook does ‘log my run’ stuff which is just totally intimidating
  • I really, really, really hate running
  • If you are exhausted and stop running, because you are wearing running stuff then everyone knows you are a skiving off wobbly runner who likes cake and give you that look to tell you they know you are weak and pathetic
  • People from work have run it in the past and therefore feel it is helpful to share how horrible it is and how much it is going to hurt.  Apparently there is a big hill in it.  I hate hills.

In retrospect there are lots of other things I could have done instead.  Like just give them some money – remind me of this one next time.

So I have been doing training.  What this actually means that I have been going running (a little bit).  I thought I had been doing OK until I saw in the training program thing I should be doing 5 miles by now.  I nearly am, but I guess ‘nearly’ doesn’t get you through a half marathon.

So guess what I’m doing tonight?  Wish me luck.




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