Last Saturday was the inaugural Stone Mill 50. As much as I would have liked to run it, I wasn't prepared. But I could crew for my friends. And I could even run with them in the latter stages of the race.
We met the runners at mile 21. Pat, Diane, and Allison were all doing well. I was so impressed with Allison because she was running with a terrible cold and couldn't breathe. If it were me, I'm not sure that I would have even made it to the start. Fortunately, the day was sunny and mostly warm (although a wool sweater was needed to make sitting around comfortable) and I knitted and knitted on the Spiral Scarf. Eventually, our runners came back through (they passed through this aid station twice) and everyone was still looking chipper.
At mile 35 or so, I changed into my running clothes so I could run with them the last 15 miles. About a mile in, I tripped (although how I could do that on flat, soft trail is beyond me) and bruised my knee. No big deal; it happens all the time. About a half mile further, Diane tripped on a rock and went down hard, and in slow motion. All that I could see was this jagged, slanted rock that was right in the trajectory of her fall. It got her and it got her good. After she rolled over, the damage to her knee was evident: a three-inch half moon gash right on her kneecap. She had a couple of band-aids and another runner gave her a couple more, so we were able to "suture" the gash. Diane is tough. After saying it didn't hurt (even though we had to pick grass out of the wound), she was thinking she could finish the race. We advised her against it. The wound was deep (down to the adipose layer, we would later find out) and she still had 13 miles to go. We declared game over for her (if she finished, it would have been her 30th race of marathon distance). Pat and I continued on, while Tom B. stayed with Diane.
The miles flew by. Pat was worried that she wouldn't get to the last aid station before the cut-off, but I noticed that there were reflective trail markings interspersed amongst the ribbons (meaning that they were expecting some people to run this section of trail towards dark) and I knew that we were way ahead of the cutoff. We saw Diane at this aid station; she was on her way to the hospital to get her knee stitched up (it would require 17 stitches; note to self: never, ever embark on a trail run without your bandannas, no matter how short or "easy").
Pat and I continued on, running the flats and downhills and walking uphills. Her pace and energy were good (much better than me when I ran my first 50-miler). We hit the last aid station: only 7 miles to go! She had it in the bag and crossed the finish line under the 12-hour mark. Way to go, Pat!
The Eyes Have It
Right before I started running (and actually a couple of days before), my left eye was bothering me. Actually, I thought it was the contact in my left eye. But upon further examination, I discovered a fluid-filled bubble on my eye. It got worse over the weekend, and last Sunday I called my optometrist, who thought it was an allergic reaction and prescribed a steroid drop and Benedryl. On the follow-up visit, he diagnosed chemosis. The condition was apparently caused by a tiny sliver of a leaf embedded at the edge of the cornea (which he removed [the leaf, not the cornea]). Fortunately, the chemosis wasn't painful, but it was highly annoying. My eye itched like there was no tomorrow. That made last week a bit challenging: I couldn't wear my contacts and I deemed it better to work from home since my desk at work is right under an air vent. My eye is much better now; I'm wearing contacts again and the itchiness is gone. But there still is a little bit of a bubble.
The Spiral Scarf is finished and blocked! At last, a finished object! I've started the second Cloning Anemone Rib sock. I'm swatching for something that could be construed to be a sweater. And I need to dig out the almost-finished second mitten that I started last winter. I have only a few more rows to finish on the tip of the mitten and then I need to knit the thumb. I'm very excited about these mittens. They're going to be so warm (and pretty)!
My mother left me a rather cryptic text message the other day. She said that Christine (my nine-year-old niece) considers me to be her heroine. So of course that led to a phone call to see what this was all about. It turns out that Christine is very interested in hand work. She's knitting on one of those knitting loom things and is teaching herself embroidery. She said that she wants to "do everything that Aunt Teri does." So, her Christmas present is going to be a sewing basket filled with all sorts of hand work goodies: embroidery hoops, embroidery floss, needles, and of course, knitting needles and yarn. She also said she wants to learn to play the harp (she's taking piano lessons now). I used to play, long ago before I moved to Paris and Baltimore (the commute from Baltimore to Reston precluded any type of lessons or practice). I've offered to loan her my harp and music if she really is interested. But her mother and I agree that it would be best for her to continue piano at least through the summer.
Then, my eldest niece sent me a text message this evening asking me to teach her how to knit the next time I'm down to visit my parents. Shauna will be 16 in March and has gone through a rough spell after her boyfriend committed suicide last year. Her mother isn't a good role model and I'm trying to bond with Shauna, but it's very difficult when I see her only once or twice a year.
So, now I've got two nieces who look up to me. That's a huge responsibility. I hope I'm up to the task.
That's it for now. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.