This Woman Is Planning to Conquer the NYC MarathonÃ¢â‚¬"While Knitting
Meredith Parmalee is going to run the New York City Marathon...while knitting with her fingers. While we're all for taking on new fitness challenges and having fun with your workouts, Meredith's mission seemed, um, a little cray-cray. So we caught up with her to find out why she's doing this and how she got started:
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WomensHealthMag.com: How did you first start running and knitting? Meredith: This summer, I was interning with We Are Knitters, (an organization out of Spain that supports the movement for people to make their own clothes and accessories), and we were brainstorming different ways to promote the organization. I found some people, via social media, who ski and knit and some guy who had "finger knitted"—which is literally knitting with just your hands—during the New York City Marathon. I brought up the marathon idea to my boss, kind of as a joke, and she liked it!
Since I'm always up to try something new and I've done three half-marathons before, I volunteered to be the runner.
So how did you train yourself to run while knitting? First, I had to learn how to finger knit since knitting needles aren't allowed in the race. So I watched some YouTube tutorials and taught myself. Then, I started walking around the block while finger knitting and eventually went on a run with my yarn.
When I started running, I kept the yarn under my arm. But after a couple of miles, that became really uncomfortable, so I had to find new ways to keep my spare yarn with me as I knit. That's when I came up with the bracelet idea.
At first, I was really aware of the yarn, but around the third or fourth time I ran and knitted, I didn't think about my fingers as much. From there, I started following a marathon-training program. I actually got so used to using my hands while I ran that, one time, I didn't realize some of the extra yarn that was wrapped around my wrist fell off, and I was running with a trail of yarn behind me.
Do you get a lot of confused looks? I got a lot of weird stares at first, but no one ever asked me what I was doing or why I was doing it. That made it more awkward because I wanted to explain myself. A couple of weeks ago, I heard someone say to their friend, "Is she knitting and running?" I was like, "Yeah! I'm training for the New York City Marathon!"
What do you do with your creations after your run? Normally, I just unravel the scarf and reuse the yarn the next time I run. It gets really sweaty, so I don't think anyone wants it. After a couple of runs, I have to use new yarn because it gets really gross.
What's the longest scarf you've ever made? When I ran 16 miles, I used up the yarn ball around mile 14. It actually made a scarf that was just over 12-feet long, so [my scarf during the marathon] could be up to 24 feet—but we'll see. No promises.
What advice would you give to others who want to run and knit? If you're into running and knitting, don't get discouraged when you first start out. I got winded when I first ran and knitted a mile, but last week I finished 18 miles, and it was no problem.
We don't necessarily recommend trying this at home...but good luck, Meredith. We'll be cheering you on!