Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cathance Days

While Ryan was out running crazy repeats on Pleasant Mountain yesterday with the boys, Sam and I had a nice day at home. In a state of inertia after lounging around for the morning, she would have sat inside all day, but it was too nice for that! I wanted to go for a walk! I had to bribe her with ice cream to get her out the door πŸ˜‚ but once we got going on the trails, she admitted she was happy we were out thereπŸ’– and we had a lovely walk in the woods! (1.0 miles walked)

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, playing cribbage (she won again!) and getting packed up for her sleepover at Anne's house. Ryan and I took advantage of a kid-free night and had a delicious dinner at El Camino and then came home and got through half a movie before we were both falling asleep πŸ˜‚πŸ˜† 

I wanted to get in a decent run this morning, and thankfully it seemed a day of rest helped as my legs felt sooo much better than on Friday's run. Phew! I headed out around 7:00 am out into the Cathance. It was a very humid, soggy, damp, overcast morning. 

The rhodora and wild cala lilies are blooming along the back swamp side of the Heath and look so pretty, but sadly the photo doesn't do it justice.

Trailside, the green moss, new leaves and ferns have that lovely flourescent green tint that shines so nicely on gray mornings.

Painted trillium

Watchful gargoyle

Hillside covered in lily of the valley getting ready to soon bloom

Forget-me-not at Head of Tides


Crab apple

Rhodora, the Heath

Wild cala lily

Love the magenta against the spring green!

The bog bridges and roots were pretty slick from last night's rain but the woods are gorgeous right now! Lots of wildflowers along with one deer, one grouse, an osprey seen out at Head of Tides, plus goldfinch, phoebes, wood thrush and two Mallards seen. I ran out to Head of Tides and back the long way, keeping the pace nice and easy and just enjoying. A good way to start the morning! (13.0 miles)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hills & Long

Thursday morning was hill morning. Honestly, I woke up feeling kind of crappy after getting my period Wednesday afternoon, but I managed to motivate and get up and out. I headed down to Topsham Heights for a few rounds of water tower hills. I didn't look at my watch because I was feeling slow as death but in fact, it turns out I was actually putting forth a decent effort and output despite not feeling great. Ended up with 8:18 pace overall for the run so pretty happy with that. (6.6 miles)

This morning, I was up before 4:30 for the third day in a row and admittedly feeling a bit tired. I headed out at 5:30 am into the cool crisp sunny morning. Ran the cart paths and then headed out on the powerlines towards the Lovers Lane/dump loop. Lots of birds singing - towhees and catbirds calling - plus saw a pair of Canada Geese and their little babies on Pelletiers Pond - so cute!

Stopped back home after two hours to refill my water, pick up some more gels, go to the bathroom and most importantly say hi and bye to Ryan and Sam as they headed out to work and school. I was feeling fine cardio-wise but my legs were already feeling pretty dead and I'd only gone 12.5 miles. Gah. I had already looked at the weather forecast and knew Sunday was calling for rain, so I knew I shouldn't waste a beautiful morning and push the long run to Sunday, and since Ryan was heading to Pleasant Mt. for his long run on Saturday that was out too. I told myself to just head back and at least get to 20 miles. I had hoped to go further but 20 with suffice. I wasn't feeling great but not all runs come easy, and that is sort of the point of training.

I headed back up and over Mt. A. and out into the Cathance. Lots of wildflowers blooming - bluets, rhodora, fringed polygala, goldthread, the first few ladyslippers of the season, plus strawberry and blueberry bells flowering and bunchberry flowers emerging. So pretty! The river was still running high and the wispy clouds and bleu sky reflected in the Heath.

I ran a nice loop along the river and then finished up with a few miles on the back dirt road. I decided I'd try to pick up the pace a bit and finish strong and then when I got back to the high school road, I added on an extra mile on the roads to round things out. Finished with my legs feeling fairly spent and alternately glad I had kept going after 12 miles and wondering if I should have gone farther. Ah well. Such is life. Looking forward to a rest day today and then another round of miles tomorow morning! (21.0 miles)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Catching Up

Saturday afternoon, we all headed over to Riverlands to volunteer at the Riverlands 100, catch up with friends and cheer on the runners. It was fun to be at a race comprised almost entirely of people we know, either as RDs, volunteers or runners. Great atmosphere and lots of spirit! Sam and I did the 2:00 to 6:00 pm shift, and towards the end of the four hours, it started to get cold - brrr! Temps would fall into the 30s overnight and a lot of people were caught off guard. Of course, Sam and I were home all warm in bed, but Ryan stayed through several shifts and manned the aid station until 4:00 am when he picked up John to pace him for the final 20 miles. It sounded like it was rough for a while there - as any 100 can be! - but they got it done and John finished in style, as did many others. Always so exciting!!!

Sam and I started off Mother's Day with donuts but then ended up at the doctor's, as she'd been saying her ear was hurting, and sure enough, upon closer inspection it was kind of smelly and I suspected she had an ear infection or swimmer's ear. And hey, nothing says Happy Mother's Day like a trip to the doctor with your kiddo who it turns out has some lovely green pus in her ear πŸ˜πŸ˜œπŸ™…

Sam was less than thrilled when I tried to get a doctor's waiting room selfie πŸ˜‚

Ryan got home around the same time we did, although of course he had been up for 24 hours and running ;) And of course, in our typical style, we gave Sam a dose of antibiotics, went out to lunch and then up to Turner for the Riverlands 100 awards ceremony. Such fun acknowledging all the hard work everyone had put in for their Riverlands miles and seeing everyone! Then on the way home, we stopped for ice cream, because Mother's Day warrants donuts and ice cream for sure! πŸ¦πŸ©πŸ’— Sam and I had a healthy dinner a bit later, but Ryan just went right to bed πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

First Sunset Sundae visit of the season!

Monday I got up and out for a run on the cart paths and along the Heath. It was an overcast, cool morning and while I didn't see any of the fox kits, I did see one deer, an osprey soaring overhead, plus a pair of Canada Geese and their little babies and a Mallard momma and her little ducks out on the Heath. So cute! (7.0 miles)

Rounded out the day with an XC practice run with the 3/4 milers and milers out on the powerlines (1.1 miles) and then promptly felt exhausted for the rest of the night πŸ˜† I did not manage to get up early enough on Tuesday morning for a run but I did spent a bit of quiet time downstairs drinking coffee and catching up on bills and such before the rest of the house woke up, and honestly sometimes that is just what's needed. πŸ˜‰

I knew I wanted to put in a solid mileage week this week so that meant this morning there was no snoozing the alarm, it was right up and out of bed before I had a chance to think about it! Headed out into the cool morning air around 5:20am, and enjoyed watching the sky lighten and the sun rise for the first few miles. So pretty. 

Sun rising

Sky reflected, the Heath

Lots of greenery coming up and wildflowers blooming out along the trails. This time of year it's dangerous for me to carry my phone on my runs because all I want to do is stop and take photos 😍

First fringed polygala of the season. I love the showy magenta!

False hellebore and ferns growing along the river

Mist rising

Purple Trillium



I had hoped to see the fox kits, and/or find a red eft out after yesterday's rain, but I guess I'll just have to be content with a gorgeous sunrise, a run through the woods along a misty river and the joy of seeing all the spring wildflowers along the trail πŸ˜€ (8.2 miles)

Saturday, May 12, 2018


With this week being a down week, this week's running has been pretty mellow, filled with lots of stopping to take photos, and much marveling at the greening forests, the blooming wildflowers, the chattering birds, and of course, those fox kits 😍 

I didn't get up quite as early as I had hoped on Thursday morning, so I kept my run short and sweet, running the cart paths minus holes one and two. Shadbush, bluets and wood anemone in bloom, and even better, the run brought another fox kit sighting, this time three of them! So adorable and so curious. I wouldn't mind seeing them all the time! πŸ’—πŸΊ (5.1 miles)

Morning lounging

Hey, whatcha doin? Sooo cute!

I had told Val I'd head up north on Friday to pick up soup from Keri for Riverlands, figuring it would give me an excuse to get up that way for a run. I headed out early and parked at the Georges Highland Path parking lot on Rt. 17. It was cool and windy so I suited up with my arm sleeves and gloves and headed out right around 7:00 am. Although I wasn't planning on a lot of mileage and wasn't planning on pushing the pace, I knew a few hours with some good vert and some powerhiking would be a good thing pre-Laurel. The trail is fairly rugged but a lot of it is runnable, and there are some amazing vistas along the way. The forest floor was greening up with violets, wood sorrel, wild oats, solomon seal and blue bead lilies blooming and unfurling.

Violets in the sun

Mirror Lake vista

Early morning sunshine

Wild oats

Morning view

Trail along the back side of Ragged

Couldn't figure out what these flowers were, all closed up in the cold morning air

Hosmer Brook junction

I wanted to check out the new Snow Bowl trails, so headed down the Hosmer Brook when I got to that junction, about 3.3 miles in. The trail still seemed quite new and didn't appear to have gotten a lot of traffic, but was fairly easy to follow through the harwood forest. I took the short little extra loop that ran by Hosmer brook and then continued on down to the Snow Bowl base. 

I got myself a bit turned around down at the base as I was expecting the Red Diamond Trail to have the abundant marking and signage like the Hosmer Brook had. I wandered around a bit here and there and then just decided to cut over and hope for the best at the top of the double chair ;) It worked and I found the trail much better marked from there on out and up. This seemed a typical biker trail down in the ski resort, winding this way and that on tight switchbacks, and I was happy to get a bit higher up into the glades and onto the ledges again as that was more to my liking. There were some lovely vistas out to the ocean along the way.

Red Diamond Trail vista

The trail popped back out at an unmarked spot along the backside of Ragged and I retraced my steps back down to the car. 

Blueberry flowers

Mountain cranberry blooming

Trail vista

Lovely morning light

On the way back down I realized the closed flowers from a few hours earlier had opened in the warm sunlight and I could then easily tell that they were wood sorrel 🌸 So pretty!

I ended up with 9.5 miles in a little under 2 1/2 hours of moving time. Perfect for a good morning jaunt up through the hills!

Stopped to pick up the soup and catch up with Keri briefly before she had to get back to work then headed to drop said soup off at Val's and the home to get some cleaning and errands done before it was time to pick Sam and Anne up at Amber's for movie night! Ryan and I took advantage of the fact that we were kid-free for a few hours and had a yummy dinner at Big E's followed up by a yummy flight at Moderation Brewery, the new brewery downtown. It was a fun little space with good people behind the bar and some pretty good beer too. 🍻A fun night had by all!

Moderation in all thing, including moderation ;)

This morning I got up and headed over to Bowdoin to run out through the Commons and Coleman Farm. It occurred to me as I ran along that I've been running these trails for 25 years (!!), and that truly if there was a visceral expression of why I run, that a run like this morning's would be it. With the sun shining down, and the woods coming alive around me. With the daffodils, periwinkle wild oats, trout lilies, trillium, goldthread, wood anemone, purple and white violets, and bluebead lilies blooming. With the bobolink chattering in the fields and thrush flitting through the woodland branches. With my legs feeling a slight fatigue from yesterday's mountain run but also feeling strong like I could continue on forever. Running through fields and woods and along the ocean, on these trails I love, with a smile on my face, I couldn't help but feel an intense joy. There is nothing extraordinary about today's run, about these trails, and yet, there is. It sounds corny, I know, but it's true. Felt light and happy out there today πŸ’• (10.0 miles)

Sunny daffodils

Always so pretty along the pond

Trout lily

View out into Middle Bay Cove


Trout lily

Sweet Beth Trillium

Off to Riverlands after lunch to do some volunteering at the start/finish aid station and looking forward to cheering on all the runners!