Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cold

Got a bit of a sniffy, snuffly, dry throat cold here. Inevitable probably, what with Sam's continual dripping faucet the past few weeks, new germs coming home from school, and tapering. Oh well. I'll just go with what I've got at Pisgah on Sunday and hopefully will feel a bit better by then. I did decide that I would get up and go out for a short run anyway this morning, just to loosen things up and stretch things out.

I headed out around 6:15 on the powerlines, watching the horizon as the sky changed and brightened. A thin fog hung low just above the brush, the crescent moon still hung in the air and the spiderwebs were highlighted with dew against the deep gold, burnt reds and dark greens. The ferns smelled sweet, and my shadow stretched out ahead of me on the return trip as the golden light rose above the trees. Ah, fall. Such the perfect time of year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Drizzle

I was up early to run with Shannon, but she decided (rightly so) that it would be better to stay in bed than be out running in the semi-darkness and the rain. Still, I was dressed and had both eaten and stretched, so I figured I might as well get in a few miles. With Pisgah on the calendar on Sunday, there was no need for 6 miles except if it was with a friend, so I settled on a short 3-miler around the block. It was drizzling slightly, and I was very glad for a well-placed port-a-potty at mile 1. The sky lightened as I ran along but not a lot of color out there this morning.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Head of Tides

I really should run with people who make me push the pace a bit more often. Then maybe I'd be more prone to do that on my own more often too :) Ran out to Head of Tides this afternoon with John. Totally unexpected, but he was driving Ryan home from course marking at the Brad and planning to get in his own run when Ryan had told him I might like company on my run. Well, sure. A quick change and a few exercises and we were off. I haven't run with John in quite a while, and it was fun to catch up as we ran along. Probably the fastest I've run the "new" trail section out to Head of Tides and back (well, at least out to Cathance Road, where we turned around since we were already over the mileage I was looking for). Nice, relatively cool but damp day out in the woods. Got in 9 miles in 1:30, so pretty decent pace for me out there.

While we were running, Ryan and Sam drove over to Head of Tides thinking they might see us while out on their own trail adventure. We probably missed them by a few minutes, but drove back over there after the run to sit on the steps and eat a snack and watch the tide rise.

Out exploring

Nature tracking

Watching the water swirl and rise

Along with running and walking, we also went to swim lessons this morning and Sam helped me bake seven (yes, 7 - well, 6 for the race and 1 for us :) ) banana breads before lunchtime. It's been a busy day!

Official TMR bakers :-)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Early Morning Ten

With Ryan doing Bruiser course marking tomorrow and all of us at the race on Sunday, I knew it would probably be tough to get in my miles this weekend. Luckily, with Pisgah next weekend, the miles were few enough that I figured if I really worked at it, I could get 10 in before work this morning and 8 before Ryan heads out tomorrow morning for the Brad. I was up at 5:00 and out the door just as the sky was getting light. It was cool enough that I was happy to be wearing long sleeves, especially when the breeze kicked up.

I ran the cart paths with a few modifications, skipping holes 1 and 2, and cutting across the bottom of the Heath between holes 4 and 5 so that I could take in the view across the marsh in the early morning light. Then it was onto the powerlines to run the Lover's Lane snowmobile loop. A deer bounded gracefully across the trail a few feet in front of me, her white tail high in the air. I turned to watch her as she stopped off in the woods and silently looked back at me.

Past Pelletier's Pond, filled with water lilies and lined with goldenrod and purple asters, the moon, still high in the sky, reflecting in the water.

Ended up with 10.3 miles and done just as Sam was getting up for the day. Perfect.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Click...

I do so love this time of year but the loss of light takes some getting used to, and I'm still wrapping my brain around heading out for a morning run in the dark with a headlamp atop my head. So this morning, I dilly dallied until around 6:00 am before heading out, which meant a shorter run in the end, but still a lovely one.

I wish I had a good enough camera to capture the beauty of running as the sun rises on an early autumn morning.

Click...
By the quarry, a hint of the glowing orange sun was rising above the trees, the clouds an array of pink, gold and periwinkle blue.

Click...
Along the bog bridges at the bottom of the Heath, the sun was casting a golden glow across the tops of the cotton sedge and the deepening autumn hues of the marsh grasses.

Click...
Running down the cart path, I spotted a big doe sauntered across the green, then turned and ran, white tail high, as she heard the crunch of my feet against the gravel.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Long Sleeves!

47 degrees this morning! Cold enough for long sleeves in my book :-) Ah, nothing like the cool mornings of early fall. Met up with Shannon for a run along the BTLT trails. The trails were dappled with early morning sunlight and the fields were wet with dew. Nice to catch up on running and kids as we ran along. Got in 5.5 miles as a good start to the day.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Run at the Brad

Met up with Xar, Mindy, Val and Rick this morning at Bradbury to join them on the first 10 miles of Xar and Val's UXBA run. It was a bright and sunny morning with blue sky above and relatively cool temps. We set off with Val and Piper in the lead to run the Scuffle course. It was fun to catch up with everyone as we ran along. We played leapfrog with a group of bikers, and heard Jamie calling out to us from the BBU course as we ran down the Snowmobile trail, but otherwise the trails were relatively quiet. After a brief stop back at the parking lot, we headed out onto the Breaker course. I felt pretty strong on the hills but my legs were definitely feeling a bit tired by the time we made the final push to the summit before descending on the Switchback trail. I was happy to call it a day with 10.2 miles, and to meet up with Sam and Ryan for a donut as a post-run snack :-)

Xar went on to run not only the UXBA but a few extra miles to get in over 34 miles for the day - impressive!!! Fun to run with everyone on a beautiful Sunday morning! Thanks for letting me tag along, guys!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bradbury Hike

After a mellow morning, Sam and I headed over to Bradbury in the hopes that we might be able to meet up with Ryan for lunch after his run. After a bit of a debate, Sam had agreed that hiking sounded like fun, and although it was hot and humid, we were hiking at her pace so it wasn't all that bad out there for me :)

We headed up through the quarry, connected to the Switchback trail and then took a nice snack break on the summit, where we had a good view and there was a bit of a breeze. We took the Terrace Trail on the way down, where Sam practiced her trail running. She is getting pretty good!

We didn't get to eat lunch with Ryan - the run took much longer than expected - but we did get in a good hike!




... mini Trail Monster in the making... running the Terrace Trail...
video



Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday 20

Ryan is planning on an UXBA run tomorrow so I knew that I would need to get in my long run another day, and luckily with three full days of work plus the holiday I had all the hours I needed for this week. Which meant I could take today off. Hurray! I also knew it was supposed to get hot today, so I got up early (again) and was out the door by 6:20. As I ran up to the top of the powerline hill beyond the high school, the sky was awash in a rosy pink glow, and beyond, the morning mist was rising above the brush. The blush pink berries on the bushes are beginning to turn a deep purply blue, and set against the sky, they really were just gorgeous. I do love running at this time of day.

I ran the cart paths first so I could get off them before the golfers arrived, and then ran up and over Mt. A., stopping in the middle of the hill to pick a few deliciously ripe blackberries off the brambles at the edge of the road. Yum. Temps were fairly cool but it was humid. I had to turn my hat around after only a few miles as sweat was already dripping off the rim. I was glad I had started early.

I took the trail around the Heath and down to the river, wandering the water's edge and then up to the overgrown raspberry bramble/goldenrod-filled field. From there I headed out to Head of Tides, enjoying the quiet woods and the mellow path that winds through the birches. Saw a lot of tall white mushrooms today out there.

Out at Head of Tides, I stopped briefly to text Ryan and let him know my progress and to spend a minute looking out at the water. A belted kingfisher flew low across the water just before I turned around to head back. Instead of heading up the dirt hill to the back dirt road, I took the small new trail off to the right that I had noticed on Monday's run. Nothing fancy and dropped me back out on one of the trails I knew, but it's always fun to have a new trail to run on :)

I took a brief stop at the stairs by the ecology center to have a snack before setting off for the last leg of the run, which took me out on the powerlines, running the Lover's Lane snowmobile trail loop. My legs were beginning to tire and I was starting to feel the heat creep in, but my mind was clear. I ended up with 20.5 miles in around 3:40 including stops.

I was completely soaked by the time I was done, so after a few minutes I hopped into the shower and got into dry clothes. By then I was hungry, so I had something to eat and did a few chores around the house before stopping to get a sundae (What? Ice cream is a good recovery food, right? It has fat and calcium and protein... Right?),  and then coffees for Amy and I. I hadn't seen Amy in a few weeks, so it was nice to spent a few hours with her, catching up, before heading home to pick Sam up at school.

After dismissal, we walked down the hall to look at everyone's portraits and Sam showed me around her classroom. It was nice to have another chance to look around the room, so I could envision her spending her days there. She is completely exhausted, but does seem to really be liking school, so we will call it a successful first week of Kindergarten!

Sam's portrait

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mist

Wish I had had my camera this morning. Shannon and I ran out from the dark woods to find the blueberry fields enshrouded in a low mist, the ground turning red as the leaves of the bushes change with the seasons, the sky a bright blue above. Beautiful.

We got in a nice wandering 5.8 miles on the BTLT trails, even running up what must be the one hill in the whole easement area :) The woods were surprisingly dark this morning, and the temps hinted to the season that is to come.

Always good to get in a mid-week run with a friend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sun Rising

Still much more humid than I would wish for on an early September morning, but not quite as hot and with a nice breeze this morning as I headed out for my run at 5:50 am. I missed the true sunrise, but the clouds were still awash with a golden glow against the blue sky. Got in a mellow 4 miles around the block. I can tell that it is school time again as traffic is heavier, and I saw five other runners along my route!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sam's First Day of Kindergarten

Sam was incredibly excited for Kindergarten. Of course, that was mostly because there would be no napping :-) But it was so cute to see. And she was all smiles at drop-off and had a lot of stories to tell when I picked her up this afternoon. It is really hard to believe she is such a big kid and off on this next adventure, but so great to see her thriving and growing!

First Day of Kindergarten (sign by Sam)

Cutie

Sam and her huge backpack :-)

Sam in her classroom, all ready to have a great day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

More Humid

Amazing. I think it might have been more humid this morning than when I was running down south last week. I felt like I was drowning in the thick air. Ugh. It was so humid the roots and bog bridges were slick. I was drenched by the end. Bleh! 6 miles on the Snowplug Loop.

We are having a mellow day today. Too hot to want to do much outside, and besides, after all the things we've had going on this past week, a down day is a nice change.

Sam is very excited for Kindergarten tomorrow. She has picked out her first day of school outfit, and we've gotten her lunch all packed up. Can't believe it! She is getting so grown up.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Too Much Pavement

So, the past two weeks have been the "big" weeks so far in this slightly herky jerky training cycle of mine. And in those weeks of 40+ miles, maybe 5 or 6 each week have been on pavement. This week, in my 34 miles, I'd estimate conservatively that at least 24 miles were on pavement. Ouch. Although I love my Flites - they feel a bit like slippers - and my feet have felt fine all week, my hips are a bit cranky by today's run. Add in the humidity, and the fact that Sam hardly slept the past few nights, which means I have barely slept, and I was feeling a bit off during today's 5-mile run around the in-laws block. Still, I have to thank my lucky stars (and my legs) that I can run, so I will try hard not to complain too much :) That said, I am very much looking forward to a run on the Cathance trails tomorrow! Bring on the roots and the singletrack!

Yesterday, Sam and I had an early flight out of RDU up to Boston. Luckily, the travel went smoothly and as usual, she was a model traveling companion. Ryan picked us up at the airport and we spent the rest of the day with his family, celebrating his grandfather's 90th birthday. It was really nice that all of us could be together for such a milestone, and of course, Sam loved being able to play with her cousin! The cutest thing might have been that the second Gavin saw Sam, he reached for her to get a hug and then kept reaching his arms out to her for more. Adorable ;)

Hugs!

Celebrating Bampie's 90th

Bampie and the great-grandkids

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Bit Humid

Didn't get out quite as early as I had intended due to an early waking child, but finally got out of the house around 8:00. Luckily the legs felt a bit more peppy than yesterday and I was able to keep what seemed a fairly reasonable pace for the completely flat loop of road/trail/gravel around the neighborhood. It also was overcast, thankfully, as the humidity was through the roof. I thought it was raining at one point, until I realized it was just my sweat flinging all over the place. Gross! Got in 10 miles in 1:30, with a few stops for water and to watch the wildlife. Saw three deer along the nature trail, as well as another egret, a cardinal and a lot of turtles with their heads peaking out of the water along the pond edges.