Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year of Change

I'm a big fan of lists, of schedules, of training logs. But this year's numbers don't tell the whole story. If you were to just look at my numbers from this year's training log, you would think it was a pretty mediocre year. You would see a lot of zero days. A lot of slow running. And not a lot of miles. But the fact is that no matter what the numbers say this year, it was a great one.

Why? Because on October 9th at 9:16am, little Sam came into our life.

So tiny!

I am one lucky lady to have given birth to Samantha and to have such a happy little girl as my daughter. I am even luckier to have such a supportive and loving husband, and such wonderful family and friends, to share her with. I am lucky to have been healthy through my pregnancy and to have kept up my running, albeit very slowly, through week 36. And I am lucky to have recovered quickly and well, and to be back running.

Would I love to have run more miles this year? You betcha. But, I am proud of each of the miles I did run and I wouldn't trade Samantha for a million miles more. Yes, being a parent is hard. It is tiring. It is challenging. It has brought me to tears on occasion and made me want to scream on others. It has been an adjustment after 10 years of it being just Ryan and I, and being able to go out the door at a moment's notice to do whatever we wanted. But when Sam smiles up at me or Ryan, and recognizes us from across the room, my heart just melts. What's not to love and be happy about? Change is hard. Change is good. Life is no longer the same. But that is not a bad thing :-)


As we move forward into 2010, I'm looking forward to continuing to watch Samantha grow and change, and I hope for a year filled with joy, laughter, happiness and lots of adventures, both on trail and off! I wish the same for all my family and friends out there in the wide wide world. Happy New Year everyone!


I capped off the year with a 5 mile run earlier this afternoon just as the snow was starting to fall, which brought my 2009 numbers to the following:

Total Miles Run: 675.5
Total Miles Walked: 71.75
Total Miles Hiked: 32.8
Total Ski Days: 10 (9 days cross country and 1 day backcountry skiing)


And since this blog is my baby book for Samantha, I feel I should note that she rolled over again yesterday morning. Upon witnessing the roll, Ryan said, " That wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be." :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Warm Afternoon 5-Miler

Although Ryan was motivated enough yesterday morning to run on the treadmill before we left his parent's house to join my family at the Saco SportZone for my niece Morgan's 4th birthday party, I was not. And we didn't get to the party in time to actually participate in the fun at "The Bounce Zone" so my activity for the day consisted of making multiple trips up and down the stairs in the late afternoon putting away presents and doing laundry. Sam was the clear winner at Christmas this year and got lots of cute toys and clothes. We are lucky to have such nice family who will fill her closets and drawers with all this stuff!

Needless to say, the combination of lots of Christmas cookies and not working out for two days, left me antsy for a run today. Ryan was nice enough to watch Sam after lunch (luckily she slept most of the time I was out) so I could get out for a run, clear my head and hopefully burn off a few of those cookies :-) Although the forecast was calling for "100% chance of snow" in the afternoon, when I headed out at 2pm, it was sunny and 41 degrees. Not exactly the weather they were calling for, but I'll take it! I headed across the street and did the 5 mile loop through Highland Green. It was nice to run without gloves and to be out enjoying this strangely warm December day. I followed some deer prints on the powerlines, and listened to the chickadees, blue jays and crows chirping and cackling away as a I ran along. I finished feeling refreshed and a bit sweaty, and as always now, happy to have been able to get out!

I don't have any new photos of Sam to share today, but it has been neat to watch her change so much in the past few weeks - she has really been following voices, faces and toys as they move near her, and today was enjoying watching and listening to the Chime Garden that Meg and Chris got her for Christmas, as well as several of the JitteryPals that are now in residence :-) Fun to see!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Festivities

We just finished round #2 of Christmas down at Ryan's parent's house, after spending yesterday afternoon with my family. I think Sam was the big winner this year! :-) Thanks everyone! We are so lucky to have such great family and to be able to share Sam's first Christmas with them all!

Here are just a few photos from the past few days:

The girls

Morgan and Sam

Dad and Morgan

Watching the present opening with Grammie

Smiley girl

Hanging with Great Grammie

Sam dressed in her Scottish tartan best, courtesy of Joyce and Ian

Christmas family portrait

In running news, I snuck out Christmas morning for a 4-mile run on the roads. The last hints of pink were clinging to the edges of the purplish-blue clouds as the sun rose in the sky, and the trees and grasses were frosted over. The roads were quiet, and it was a great way to start the day! I smiled as I ran along, thinking I was one lucky lady in more ways than one!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Five with Ryan

My parents are up visiting for the holidays, and today after lunch they happily hung out with Sam while Ryan and I went out for a run. Ah, these grandparent visits are wonderful! We actually get to run together :-) Hurray! Not to mention, it was 42 degrees today. A heat wave! Ryan threatened to wear shorts on our run, but decided against it :-) Still, it was nice not to have to bundle up! I wanted to get in a 5-miler this week, so we headed across the street and did the long loop through Highland Green. We saw a number of couples out walking and enjoying the nice afternoon as we ran along. The wind was in our faces on the way out, but on the way back with the wind at our back and the sun shining brightly, it seemed downright hot! It was great to be able to get another run in with Ryan, and although it was at a pretty slow pace with the start and finish on the powerlines and the wind, it felt good to get another longer run in this week!

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, cooking and eating and of course, taking lots of photos of Sam! Ryan and I were noting that we don't think we've ever taken so many indoor shots with our camera :-)

Storytime with Nanie

Talking with Daddy

Hi Pip!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another 3

I hit the Commons this afternoon for a 3 mile run. The inch or so of new snow from the other day combined with the warmer temps made the surface almost feel tacky beneath my feet, so the going was a bit easier than last week, although the surface was still uneven. I really wish I was running this loop faster, but realize that my time off from running over the past months, and even more time off running on the trails, combined with my lack of core muscles at the moment, means I am not running as easily on uneven surfaces and so I'll just have to keep at it. I'll get faster at some point, I'm sure, or at least I hope so!!!

The dusting of snow provided a window into the comings and goings of some of the animals traveling through the Commons - I saw deer, mouse and rabbit tracks along with what I assume were fox tracks. Always a fun thing about running through the snow in the winter.

Before my run, I ate my lunch at the kitchen table with Sam in the BebePod facing me. While we were chatting away, Gigi decided to come up for a visit and bestow a few kisses on Sam - so cute!

Kisses from Gigi

Monday, December 21, 2009

Busy Day

Yesterday was a busy day but I managed to get in a 3 mile run before breakfast. I headed across the street to do the Highland Green loop. It was cold and windy, and as I ran down the Highland Green road, I felt like I was barely moving against the gusting wind. The sky was that steel grey color it turns before it snows, although in the end, we only got a dusting out of the storm. Come on now! I mean, what a waste to drop all that snow in NYC and Maryland! They don't want it...we do! Ah well, I'm sure we'll get some more snow soon enough.

Anyway, it was nice to get in my run before we headed off to show Sam off for the afternoon :-) First, we stopped in at my aunt and uncle's to hang out for a bit with my grandmother. Mim and Sam had fun together, with Mim holding her for most of our visit. Sam smiled and gurgled, and was awake and alert for most of the time, and it was so cute to see Sam grasping Mim's hand! Then, it was over to New Hampshire for the Great Glen Christmas party. It was good to see everyone, and to have everyone meet Sam. She was pretty good, considering we totally messed with her evening routine by staying over there until 9pm and getting home way, way past her bedtime! All told, a busy, but nice day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cold and Icy

I got out this afternoon for a 3 mile run in the Commons. As always, thanks for Ryan for taking Sam for a bit while I run! I figured the woods would shield me a bit from the wind that was whipping around outside, and it's also a nice change of pace to run in the woods instead of heading across the street. The Commons gets a lot of use, and the trails had been packed down by myriad skiers, walkers and dogs. This translated into the trails being sketchy, uneven, ankle-turning and icy. I felt like I was running a million miles an hour, when in fact it meant that I was running at 10:07 pace. Ah well. It was a nice afternoon run in the woods!

And for those of you who want to watch Sam squirm and wiggle around, here is a video that Ryan put together from a few clips taken in the past week. Enjoy!

Samantha - December 2009 from sn0m8n on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 Thoughts

As 2009 draws to a close, my thoughts turn to the new year and all the adventures - both on trail and off - that I am sure 2010 will bring. I hope the year will include us sharing with Sam the things we enjoy most - taking her skiing on a warm and sunny spring day, putting her in the backpack and going for a hike as the season shifts to summer, exploring some of the trails in Acadia and Baxter with her, joining our friends on runs, and instilling in her a love of the outdoors and the beauty of this place we call home. I know too that the year will no doubt bring with it a fair share of challenges as we navigate our new roles as parents, as Sam grows and changes, as I return to work full-time and we send Sam to daycare in the spring, but such is life, and we will do the best we can with it all! I also hope, for myself, that 2010 will include getting back into shape and running some good races. So what will those races be? That is the question...

Here are a few races I am pondering:

1a. January 10 - Scarborough Frozen 5k. I have been trying to find a 5k around Gorham to run with my sister Kristen and niece Caitlin. This would be close to home for them and starts late in the day, which could be useful in early January! Assuming the weather isn't too horrible and they both still want to run, I will plan on running with them, and so won't be racing all out, which probably is a good thing, considering it is only a month away!


1b. April 3 - Gorham Lions 5k. If the early January temps are too cold for Kristen and Caitlin, this is the other option close to home that I've found. Early April might be a bit less scary (and less chilly) of a time of the year for a few newbie road racers to run a race!

2. May 30 - Pineland Farms Trail Challenge. I will definitely be running at Pineland this year, but am not sure what distance. Ideally, I would love to run the 50k, but am not sure it is realistic this year. We'll see how the winter goes in terms of training. If I don't feel I can run the 50k and run it well, I will run the 25k as fast as I can and save the 50k for 2011 :-)

3. July, August and September - dates TBA - Bradbury Trail Running Series. I volunteered this past year at all the Bradbury races, and really enjoyed it. However, I hope to be able to actually race the series this year!

4. Fall race options - I definitely want to run a fall marathon, but am unsure what that marathon might be. Ryan is thinking that depending how his summer of racing goes he might run 1) MDI, 2) Maine Marathon, 3) Stonecat Trail Marathon, or 4) not run a marathon at all this fall, and I think it would be hard for me to watch him run any of the three and not run myself! So, really, I could be tempted by any of the first three options, and although I realize it might be logistically difficult for us to both be training for the same marathon now that we have Sam, I think we could pull it off if we really wanted to. Of course, this would mean we would need someone to take care of Sam while we're racing, but I am sure we could figure something out! Or perhaps we would run different races. Time will tell. Regardless... MDI is tempting because it is just such a cool race in a cool place. Maine is tempting, as I'd be curious to see how fast I could run that course, having run it back in 2006 in 3:55. Perhaps I could even run under 3:45 and qualify for Boston? I know I ran 3:44 at MDI in 2008, so I should be able to run under 3:45 on a flatter course, but I did just have a baby, so who knows what this year will bring training-wise! And of course, Stonecat is tempting because it's a trail marathon, many of our friends run it, and it just sounds like a cool race with a cool atmosphere. Only Maine would allow me to truly say I ran a marathon before my daughter turned 1 year old, but the others are close enough to fulfill my desire to run a good marathon in the year following Sam's birth. So, no decisions yet on the fall marathon front but lots of fun ideas to ponder!

And really what all of this means is that if I'm planning a 25k or 50k in May and a marathon in the fall, I'd better put a training plan together for the winter and get to it! :-)

Big Girl

We've moved a new baby item downstairs. Sam is probably slightly too small for it and doesn't quite have the neck control, but she really, really loves to hold her head up and sit up like a big girl. So, we figured, why not? So, here she is, all smiles in her BebePod.

Big girl

In other news, it was 6 degrees when I woke up this morning. Brrr! Winter is here! Sam and I were up at the gallery both today and yesterday, so I didn't get any running in. I'm still trying to get myself into the routine of going up to work with her, and haven't quite managed to make the leap to getting up to run before going to work yet. Luckily, we're only open part-time through the winter, so I'll have more days at home to get my runs in. So far, having her up at work with me makes for a tiring day, but it's been going pretty well. And it helps that everyone is happy to see a smiley baby when they walk in the door :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Looping through Highland Green

Both yesterday and today saw me out on the 3-mile Highland Green loop, running comfortably in warm temps and slipping and sliding around in the messy conditions. The snow on the powerlines was alternately mushy and slippery or icy, and similar conditions prevailed in the woods on the other side of the loop. But the roads in between were clear, so at least I could pick up the pace in those spots! I didn't feel particularly speedy on either run, but oh well. Today was run #3 in a row, so I know I was feeling the effects of both Sunday's longer run and yesterday's run. Still, it is always nice to get out, and I must thank Ryan for letting me get out this afternoon - I didn't think I'd get a run in today, so I really appreciate him watching Sam for the 30 minutes while I was out!

Speaking of Sam, she is cooing and gooing and babbling like crazy, which is very cute. It's almost like you can hold a conversation with her if you don't care that you have no idea what she's saying in her half of the conversation :-) We've tried to get her to roll over from her stomach like she did on Saturday to no avail, but she is definitely trying to repeat the motion! I'm sure she'll do it again at some point soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Down to the Ocean

High tide at Simpson's Point

Last week was pretty dismal running-wise, with me logging only 2 runs and 6 miles total, so I wanted to start out this week on the right foot (yes, my week starts on Sunday, doesn't yours?). Ryan was more than willing to watch Sam, especially as he had been away all day yesterday, so once the temperatures had warmed up a bit, I headed over to the Pennelville fields for my run. I wanted to get in 5 miles, so I figured a road run would be the way to go, as I hadn't run 5 miles in many months, and so why not run to the ocean when I had the chance? It was a bit windier than I had anticipated, but the skies were blue, and as I always love running out this way, I wasn't complaining. The wind and rain had created some interesting patterns in the snow-covered fields, and tufts of brown grass poked up through the crust, determined not to give in to hibernation just yet. Down at Simpson's Point, the sun sparkled off the water, and I stopped to take the view in. Beautiful. Always makes me happy!

As I headed back down the point, I knew I could backtrack to the car, or loop around. Backtracking would get me 4 miles, and the loop would get me 5. I figured one extra mile couldn't hurt that much :-) As I neared the end of the run, I could certainly tell that I wasn't used to running this far and my pace had slowed slightly, but overall I felt pretty good. I ended the run in exactly 45:00 for the 5 miles, and although my initial thought at 9-minute pace on such a flat road loop was to be a bit depressed, I do realize I'm just coming back from pregnancy, over 2 months off from running and the c-section, so really I am just happy to be able to go out and run 5 miles 9 weeks after having Sam! Still, I am looking forward to building up my base and mileage in the coming weeks and months and picking up the pace as I get back in shape!

In Sam news, yesterday during naked time/tummy time, she rolled over from her stomach to her back! Yes, our child is very advanced :-) Of course, who knows if she meant to roll over or was surprised that her movements led to such an action, and we'll see if we can replicate it today while Ryan is around, but who cares? :-) A roll is a roll!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two Months

Smiley girl!

Sam is nine weeks old today. Amazing that more than two months have gone by already!

We had her two-month appointment this morning, and can now report all the important statistics that grandparents and great-grandparents wish to know :-)

She is weighing in at 9 lbs 8 oz, and is now 21 3/4" long. Her head circumference is 14 1/2". She is in the 25th percentile for height and between the 10th and 25th percentile (pretty exact, huh?) for weight. So, she is small, but we knew that. The doctor also said that we are in trouble :-), as Sam is a strong little girl and is already rising up from her stomach and lifting both her head and shoulders up straight, which is something that a 4 month old is more likely to be doing versus a 2 month old. This means she'll likely roll over and be moving around earlier than some. An active child who wants to move, and move now?! We wonder where she gets that from?!

We are also enjoying her smiles, new noises, and having her be more alert and awake more often. And, even better, we have moved her into her crib in the other room and she has been sleeping like a champ (knock on wood)! Last night, I fed her at 10:00, we put her down at 10:30 and she didn't wake up until 5:30. That was a nice stretch of sleep, let me tell you :-) We hope she continues with this trend!

As for me, I had hoped to get up and out for a run this morning after I fed her at 5:30 but despite the seven hours of sleep, I was still tired, so I went back to bed instead. And with the doctor's appointment, a few errands, and Ryan working the rest of the day, I will likely not get out in the next half hour before the sky gets dark. Ah well... I have to work on this whole 'get up early and get out after first feeding' thing! I think it is going to be the only way I get my runs in this winter. Maybe tomorrow morning before Ryan heads up to New Hampshire? If not, there is always next week...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Enjoying some early season skiing!

I was supposed to work today, but as the snow began to fall before 9am and the forecast was for at least 6" of snow followed by a mix of snow and rain, we all opted to stay home instead. Sam and I spent the morning watching the snow fall, and fall fast, accumulating on the ground and in the trees as a soft, pristine white blanket. I thought briefly about going out for a run, but ultimately decided against it. That being said, I was feeling a bit restless and so when a window of opportunity presented itself after lunch, I grabbed my rock skis from the loft, and headed out for a short ski. I put the skis on at the door and skiied through the parking lot, which had yet to be replowed after their first sweep through earlier in the morning, across the street and onto the high school road. My first thought was to head onto the powerlines, but the skiing was actually really nice on the high school road - plowed, but with an inch of two of fresh stuff on top of the pavement. Perfect for gliding in my beater skis! So, I decided to ski the 2-mile loop I had been walking late in my pregnancy instead, which worked out well. I was only out for about 25 minutes, but I am sure I'll be sore from using muscles I haven't used since last winter. Regardless, it was fun to be out enjoying the new snow and I ended with a smile on my face!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Misty Morning

I got out this morning for a nice 3 mile run. The sun was peeking through the rising morning mist above the powerlines, making for a pretty sight as I ran along. The ground was a funky mixture of clear rocks, snow, ice and sand. There was a slight dusting on the sidewalks in the Highland Green development, but the snow actually seemed tacky, and that made for easier running than on the cleared pavement which was wet and therefore was just icy enough to be sketchy. The run felt good, and it was great to be out on such a nice morning!

Here are a few photos from the day - one of Sam's morning smiles for me, plus one of Ryan and Gigi - just another crazy morning!


Yup.... crazy cat, crazy man

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We had a great night last night at Jim and Shauna's. Thanks guys! It was great to see everyone, and Sam was a good girl. Of course, it helped that Shauna and Linda were so nice about holding her and keeping her happy :-) The snow started as we were on our way down to the party, and by the time we left, there was a healthy amount on the ground. First snow of the season!

Early morning view out back

This morning, Sam and I were up early, and around 9am, I passed her off to Ryan and headed out for a run to enjoy the snow. It was a gorgeous morning. The trees were snow-covered, making it look like a winter wonderland even with just the 3" to 4" of snow we received, the sun was shining and the sky had cleared to bluebird blue.

The roads were still a bit icy, and I was glad I had taken my screw shoes out of hibernation :-) I didn't get first tracks on the powerlines, as someone had already been out walking their dog, but I did have fun kicking up the fluffy stuff. Underneath the snow, the sand and dirt were still soft, so I got a good workout between that, the snow, ice and wind! It was a fun run and I was so glad to be out enjoying the gorgeous morning!

In Sam news, she is really starting to get strong! Yesterday Ryan was holding her on his lap and she was pushing up off his chest. She is going to be one tough cookie :-)

Holding her head up high

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Double Digits

Today's run brought me to double digits for the week. Woohoo! Of course those digits are 1 and 2, but I'll take it :-) I had originally hoped to do a longer run today, but then realized that perhaps adding both a 4th run for the week and having that run be a longer run might not be the smartest idea. So, I ran another 3 mile run instead, which was fine with me. Ryan was nice enough to watch Sam, so I headed to the Commons for something different. I haven't run there in months, so it was a nice change of pace. Plus, it's trail running but mellow trails, which is really what I need right now as I continue to gain back my fitness. The woods were quiet, and I felt good as I ran along at a moderate pace. It was a good way to round out the week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Just Not Right... have been running today in shorts and short sleeves in 60 degree weather... It is December 3rd! What is up with this weather? While I don't need freezing cold weather in December, it should certainly be seasonably cold, and the ski areas should at least be able to make snow if there isn't any natural stuff on the ground. Crazy! And who said global warming is a myth? Yikes.

Yesterday Sam and I were up at work from 10am to 4pm, so no running for me. I still haven't perfected the "get out the door after first feeding at around 6am to get in my run" thing yet. I'll have to work on that one... Sam was great all day - awake and alert and happy. She didn't seem as congested either, so that makes us all happy! Today we went up for a few hours before lunch, and then when I got home, I headed out for a 3-mile run. I felt good, and am hoping to get in a slightly longer run on Saturday and actually hit double digits this week mileage-wise :-)

I haven't posted a photo of Sam in a few posts, so here is a cute shot of the three of us that Ryan's dad took over Thankgiving. I have a lot of photos of Sam but not many with me in them too, so it's nice to have a good family photo :-) Thanks Dana!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Yesterday's run was in the rain, but this afternoon when I headed out, the sun shone brightly, there were blue skies above and the air was crisp. The ground along the powerlines had the variety of conditions so common this time of year - mud, soft sand, crunchy sand, a bit of hoar frost, frozen sand and mud - with the warmer days and cold nights. The standing water was covered with a light glaze of ice, which gave a satisfying crack and crunch when I hit the edge of the puddle as I ran by. Both runs felt good, and were a bit faster than last week. I'm getting there.

Unfortunately, today I returned home to a cranky baby. Sam has been congested since Sunday. Perhaps the 2+ hours outside was a bit much? We feel badly, and it doesn't help that she really dislikes the aspirator, which we've had to use to suck the snot out. Not that I can blame her! Hopefully she'll feel better soon - poor girl!