Friday, August 28, 2015

Busy

It has been a busy week. Sam has been at farm camp at Wolfe's Neck Farm this week. She is loving it, and coming home with tales of tractor rides, eating carrots from the teen ag garden, digging in the clay down at the beach, seeing day old baby chicks, sweeping the barn and enjoying all sorts of silly songs and games. It has been a different but very fun experience from the Y camp, I think, and a fun way to end the summer camp season.

Last night, we went to Woodside for the back-to-school ice cream social, and I had a chance to meet her teacher, Mrs. M., and see her classroom. I can't believe she is going to be in first grade and is starting on Monday! Oh, how time flies! She is very excited to be going back to school. We had dinner after the school event with her friend Anne and family. The girls were a whirlwind of excitement and happiness at being together again. After 5+ years of spending 5 days a week together, we haven't seen them much this summer, so they have been missing each other. So cute ;)

On the running front, the humidity seems to finally have broken and there is a feeling of fall in the air. This morning it was just getting light when I headed out around 5:45 am and the air was nice and cool. I ran 6.5 miles out in the Cathance and enjoyed the quiet woods. My legs are still a little tired ("Duh," said Ryan when I told him this, "you are training for a 100 mile race! Of course your legs are tired." LOL ;)) but I felt a bit more peppy this morning which was most welcome.

And now, I had better get off the computer, as these groceries aren't going to put themselves away. Not to mention that the house desperately needs to be cleaned and I need to get the car packed up for the weekend. We are headed to Wolfe's Neck for a weekend of camping with old college friends. A last hurrah for summer. Should be a great weekend for it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Murky

This morning: 70 degrees; dew point 69 degrees, humidity 98%. Oh joy! Seriously, it has been incredibly muggy, humid and just plain old murky out there the past few days. I really do love all four seasons but this dose of summer humidity could pass. It's just not fun. Blech! Not to mention I'm just plain feeling tired this week, and I've even been sleeping fairly well! I'm not sure if it's coming back from vacation, the mileage from the past two weeks, the humidity or what, but on this morning's run I decided I was going to modify this week's plan (ha, as if this is a new thing!) and make this a rather major step back week instead of grinding out the miles. I see no point in running myself into the ground right now.

Yesterday I got out with Shannon for the first time in way too long and we ran the 6-mile "loop" over on the BTLT trails at 6:00 am. It was, guess what?, humid as all get out, so much so that it was misting on us and felt like we were running through a cloud. But it was great to catch up with Shannon and fun to get back on the Crystal Spring Farm trails. It's been a while since I've been over there.

This morning, I ran the cart paths. My legs felt a bit heavy and sadly there were no nature sightings along the way. I did, however, stop to enjoy a few yummy blackberries near the powerlines in the last mile. Delish!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back Home

We had a great week on the Cape with lots of fun, sun, beach and family time. There was also a lot of ice cream, food and fun with friends. The girls had a blast together and it was a nice relaxing week for all of us. Many thanks to Mom and Dad for inviting us along and allowing us to get in some running and time together too!

Two cuties at Sundae School

Ice cream sundae :)

Cuties

Evening at the beach

Dinner by the harbor

Gina's by the Sea with Ryan and Kristen - yum!

Boogie woogie woogie woog ;)

Fun with friends

Being silly with Pippi

Riding the waves with Neenie

Fun with the kids

Silly kids!

Sand castle fun

But as much fun as vacation always is, it also inevitably feels good to be home. We got in a bit of traffic on the way up, but nothing terrible, and arrived home last night with enough time to unpack and settle back in. And this morning, I was up early for a run on the trails I'm so lucky to have right out my door. Ran out to Head of Tides in the humid, still August air for 11 miles to finish up the week. Ah, home sweet home ;)

Cotton sedge in the Heath

Never tire of this view


Trail of Tears

Humidest day yet. Ryan and I headed to Barnstable to check out the Trail of Tears trail network yesterday morning. These are mountain bike trails, which was readily apparent in the early miles, with many twisty turny loopy trails with steep downs followed by steep ups and lots of criss crossing trails. 



We did get out toward the edge of the system and found some nice singletrack along the ridges. There were also some old dirt/sand roads which were good running but also host to huge swarms of insects. Ryan was miserable in the first half of the run and didn't like the twisty nature of the trails,  while the bugs were driving me crazy in the second half of the run. I also was stuck in low gear the whole way, feeling tired from the run on the rail trail the day before and from the humidity. Ryan pretty much stayed in the lead the whole time except that I would catch up to him on the climbs. I just have more power at this point on that stuff than him, but I am going to need it in October. Otherwise he was definitely running better than I was. 

Anyway, thankfully Ryan is also a much better map reader than I as I would have been seriously lost out there! Talk about confusing! We ran a good loop taking in a good portion of the perimeter trails and ended up with 7.5 incredibly sweaty, twisty miles. I wouldn't call it the best place to run but there were some good stretches and it was nice to be on all trails. Plus it was fun to have Ryan with me out there. Suffering is always better with a friend. Ha!! 

After brunch eaten overlooking the harbor, we spent the afternoon on the beach and got in one final trip to the Ice Cream Smuggler. What a fun vacation! 

Enjoying the sun and sand

Cheers to a great week!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nickerson and Back

Up early this morning in an effort to beat some of the heat. Saw a lovely sunrise on the drive to the rail trail lot. 


The plan was to run the rail trail from the start in Dennis to Nickerson State Park and back for around 22 miles. It was overcast and relatively cool when I started but still humid. The trail meanders  near marshes, cranberry bogs, through pine forest, crossing many roads along the way, and is a nice way to stay off the roads. The downsides are that it is mostly flat, is all pavement and is marked every 1/10th of a mile! Aie!! 





Most of the runners I saw were wearing headphones which I am sure helped beat the boredom/mental exhaustion of seeing every 1/10th tick by, which was very wearing in the return trip . Also saw many, many bikers. 

The sun and heat picked up after I stopped to use the restroom at Nickerson and the return trip seemed to drag. I was also soaked! I did have to stop at the store at mile 5 to get a cold water to fill my pack and grab a Gatorade to chug. I felt fine but was just tired from
the heat, sun, pavement and the flatness. Tiring in a different way than trail running. Still, ended up with a solid 21+ miles at a bit under 9:30 pace. Not super quick for a flat road run but good enough. Just remind me to never do that again ;)


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nickerson Exploration

Ryan and I snuck away this morning for a run and lunch together. We headed to Nickerson State Park in Brewster, which we had heard was good biking and running. Since we had no idea where to go, we just took off on one of the trails heading from the parking lot. It led to the paved bike path so we took one of the random wide , grassy trails that paralleled the path and the powerlines. It wasn't great running - and we were both thinking meh! - but eventfully we headed down to Cliff Pond and found some sweet singletrack that meandered along the pond's edge. I was very happy and may have been running a bit too quickly in that stretch ;)

However, not all the trail was nice and pine needle lined. Overall, there was a bit too much poison ivy for my liking especially on some of the narrow trails along the ponds, but there were some good views along the few ponds we ran along. It also was hot and humid so we were soaked - of course, it is summer! 

Cliff Pond 

Singletrack running

Water lilies

Pond view

We ended up with a little over 8 miles and called it a day. It was fun to have Ryan with me on the trails for a bit!

We followed up the run with a yummy brunch and a meander out into Chatham before heading back for a few hours on the beach this afternoon. A good vacation day :)



Monday, August 17, 2015

Cape Fun


There has been a lot of fun and sun and beach time here on the Cape. The girls have been having a blast and it has been fun to catch up with old friends.

We started out early on Saturday in an attempt to beat the traffic. It didn't quite work but it wasn't terrible. We stopped in Falmouth so Ryan could pick up his bun for Sunday's road race and then headed to Beebe Woods so that Ryan could run and Sam and I could do some exploring. Beautiful grounds and a neat fairy house exhibit kept us amused!











We had dinner at home then headed to the beach for a rare family photo. Gorgeous night at low tide. 







Sunday morning, Ryan got up early for the race and I headed out for a road run through the neighborhood. Hot and humid but fun to run some of the roads I used to run long ago. Still, it was the hardest six miles of the week. Not sure if it was heat, humidity, pavement or that it was the end of a sixty mile week but whew! Still it was done and then it was off to the beach ;)








Such fun!!

This morning, I headed over to Yarmouth to explore the trails at Callery-Darling conservation area. I ran out into the boardwalk at Gray's Beach and then into the trails. It was a bit of a maze and there was a lot of poison ivy but there were some nice stretches of trail near the marsh and through the pine forest. A sweaty six miles followed by sticking my feet in the ocean. Not bad! 

Then to the beach again! ;) 



Vacation is pretty nice ;)