Friday, May 30, 2008

Nike Plus (with Minuses)

As a birthday gift to myself, I purchased the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. The first eight runs were terrific. After callibration, the device was accurate to within hundredths of a mile on pavement, trails, and treadmills. I liked getting instant pacing information, creating playlists for certain events (like my cheesy "Girl Power" playlist for Girls on the Run--see below), and hearing "400 meters to go" toward the end of my runs.

Then, inexplicably, my workouts stopped uploading to the Nike Sports website. It may have had something to do with the dating of the workouts--perhaps my iPod clock was reset to the year 2000? I read the help forums, learned more than I wanted to about the synching process, and finally resorted to restoring my nano (which erases all information and settings) and starting over from scratch. I lost three workouts. Since restoring, I have completed two runs and they both uploaded to the Nike website perfectly.

Here are the most helpful sites I found:
To create and add a workout to Nike Sport website - Nike Plus Edit
To browse help questions and answers on the Apple site - Apple Help Forum for Third Generation Nanos and Nike Plus

Girl Power playlist (please feel free to laugh at my choices!)
Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
Big Star - Kenny Chesney
Bye Bye - Jo Dee Messina
Cowboy Girl - Lonestar
Crush - Jennifer Paige
Fallen Angel - Jamie Warren
Good Luck - Kristy Lee (Cook)
Guys Do It All The Time - Mindy McCready
Hard On The Ticker - Tim McGraw
I Can Love You Better - Dixie Chicks
I Touch Myself - Divinyls
Nobody's Girl - Reckless Kelly
Respect - Aretha Franklin
SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
She's a Hottie - Toby Keith (powersong)
Something More - Sara Evans
SOS - Rihanna
Stronger Woman - Jewel
Think - Aretha Franklin
Women Rule the World - Lonestar

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Race Report: Greensboro Girls on the Run 5K

Local Girls on the Run teams celebrated the end of the semester with a 5k run Saturday morning at The Canterbury School in Greensboro, NC. There were approximately 200 runners, many under the age of 12. No pre-race jitters here--look at the kids having a blast just minutes before race time!

The race course was bad, the cause was good, and the weather was fantastic! The course: out and back along Old Lake Jeannette Road, going up and down three cul-de-sacs along the way--we had to run up and down one cul-de-sac twice! The cause: Girls on the Run, a self-esteem building program for younger girls. The weather: sunny, no humidity, and about 60 degrees. Despite my head cold, I ran a decent race: 32:57 gun time, and 32:40 on my watch.

I'm not in this finish-line photo. I took that shot before the race started. When I crossed the finish line, the scene was much different. All of the supporters and runners who finished before me were cheering and screaming. I slapped fives with several boys as I entered the finisher's coral. Girls on the Run is about knowing you can finish the race, not about finishing first. For a short weekend run, look for a Girls on the Run 5K race in your area!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Beginner Rib Scarf

This was my first scarf! It's easy enough for brand new beginners--you only need to know how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl.

Using size 8 needles, cast on 40 stitches with worsted weight yarn. (You can cast on any multiple of 4 stitches to produce a skinnier or wider scarf.) Follow a knit 2, purl 2 pattern for each row until your scarf reaches the desired length. Bind off.

I used about 2.5 skeins (about 400 yards) of Vanna's Choice Lion Brand yarn in taupe to make a scarf for my very tall (6'7") fiance. Two skeins (340 yards) or less should be enough for most people. Vanna's Choice is not an exciting yarn, but it's great for beginners. It's inexpensive, widely available, 100% acrylic (washable/dryable), and neither scratchy nor overly soft.

By the time you finish, you should have a good sense of knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches, which is an instruction you'll see in more advanced patterns. Additionally, you'll be a pro at switching your yarn from front to back in order to change from purl to knit, and vice versa.