RocketChix Triathlon

Two RocketChix

In the interest of Torching Ten and having fun with my sister, I participated in the RocketChix triathlon this weekend, on the campus of Louisiana State University. This was a sprint distance, women’s only triathlon that offered a very friendly atmosphere. Several years ago, I was very into triathlon, but felt that I should give it up, as it was a very solo activity for me and, as a result, caused me to be very focused on myself; my workouts, my results, my gear, etc. At about the same time, I was blessed to join an AMAZING group of women runners who changed my focus and greatly enriched my life. I did not miss triathlon.

My sister started getting interested in triathlon about the time I started to just train for half-marathons and relays, we just missed getting to race together.  We did one mini-tri together in 2013, but the timing was not right again until this year.  The experience of a sister-bonding weekend coupled with a fun race was something that I will not forget and plan on repeating. It looks like I will repeat it sooner than I thought, as today she sent me a link to an upcoming duathlon.

Spinning Silk Hankies

I had been resisting the urge to learn how to spin because I knew there would be a steep learning curve, and I already knit, sew, run, teach, parent, etc.  However, when I walked into Yarn on Youree, my LYS and saw the display of drop spindles, I was undone. A few weeks later, I had a medium weight spindle and some Shetland roving from Blue Moon Fiber Arts to practice spinning. I was hooked! I find spinning on a spindle very relaxing and rewarding, even if I had to watch a few videos and a read some books to find out how to begin.

This May, my mom, a friend, and I attended the Magnolia State Fiber Festival in Vicksburg, MS where I purchased an orange silk hankie from Spinning Straw Into Gold and a very lightweight spindle from Louisiana Lagniappe. Silk is my favorite thing to spin so far because I was able to draft if very thin and spin it very fine as a beginner. I plan to spin silk hankies in rainbow colors and use them to knit the Rainbow Dots cowl by Janina Bottger

Skeins of silk, singles waiting on a bobbin to be plied, and spindles in a bowl.
Skeins of silk, singles waiting on a bobbin to be plied, and spindles in a bowl.

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Torching Ten

In an homage to the Zen Runner’s Burning Twenty podcast and a real need to lose ten pounds, I am launching the blog series Torching Ten. The main purpose is to be accountable here for my weight loss, but also to serve as a collection of weight loss research, conversations, and inspiration. Feel free to Torch Ten with me here and on twitter, where I am @musingrunner.

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver Used with permission under Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver
Used with permission under Creative Commons

For the first bit of weight loss research, this was in my blog reader this morning via Science Daily: Soybean oil causes more obesity than coconut oil, fructose.  To summarize this article, mice given a diet rich in soybean oil gained 25% more fat than mice fed a coconut oil rich diet and 9% more than mice on a high fructose diet. The high fructose mice gained 12% more than the coconut oil mice.

Now, a mouse model is not a human model and no one is saying to go coconut oil crazy. Also, correlation does not prove causation, or just because two events are linked does not mean that one caused the other. Further, one research paper is not enough data to prove anything scientifically, so we should be careful about drawing conclusions from them. However, common sense will tell us that snack foods, where high concentrations of soybean oil can be found, are NOT good for us, especially if we are trying to control our weight. Didn’t we know that already? Yes, but sometimes it is nice to be reminded, even if it is by mice.

Work in Progress – Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

macbeth 130

I have been knitting for a while on the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, using Lost City Knit’s Oak Barn Merino Lace. I met Denise of Lost City Knits at the 2013 Magnolia State Fiber Festival in Vicksburg, MS. I was impressed by her design skills and her dying skills (more on her design skills later). This is a long-term project on which I have no self-imposed deadline. I have separated for the sleeves and need several more inches of body.  The lace weight yarn is challenging to work with as it is so light, but I think the finished product will get lots of wear because of this characteristic.