Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Draws to a Close

I finished off 2010 with a 14.5 mile road run this afternoon while Sam napped. The 0.5 miles was added so that the year's mileage would be an even 1100.00 :-) Couldn't go out with any sort of fraction when I was so close to a nice even number! It was a beautiful day. There wasn't much of a breeze and it was warm and bright. I ran the same route Ryan ran the other week, along Foreside Road and back on Route 24. Families were out in force on the sled hill along Foreside Road, enjoying the weather and the now-melting snow. The road wanders along the farmlands above the river, and the first 8 miles of the run were either flat or downhill. The running felt good and easy. As I climbed the first hill on the road up to Rt. 24, I knew I was in for a bit more rolling terrain on the return. Rt. 24 was busy with traffic, and the wind was in my face. I took an Espresso gel around mile 10 in the hopes that it would help power me up the hills and through the wind. I was definitely feeling the miles (my most since Stonecat!) by the time I turned up the final hill along the route through the fairgrounds, but overall, it was a good run and a good way to end the year! Finished up in 2:02:18, so certainly faster than I would have hoped, which was a nice surprise.

With Ryan sick (again), we opted to stay home tonight instead of hanging out with Nate and Shannon, enjoying an early dinner of Indian food with Sam before putting her to bed. We're now relaxing on the couch, and somehow I'm sure I'll be in bed way before the ball drops tonight! :-)

And with that, Happy New Year everyone! May 2011 bring us all much happiness, laughter and many fun adventures!

2010 numbers:

Total running miles - 1100.00
Total running days - 199
Total walk days - 16

Considering I spent about three months babying my left knee/calf and didn't do much running during that time, I'm pretty happy with the numbers, and certainly consider 2010 was a good running year. Not the most mileage ever, but a solid year with some great races during the Bradbury series, and my first trail marathon at Stonecat in November. Definitely not bad, and hopefully a good base for even more running in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


No, I didn't eat any frosting this morning, although I did bring the chocolate-covered Oreos I got in my stocking into work with me today :-) After tomorrow, I am off the Christmas cookies and sweets, and getting back to the veggies and fruit. Although I'm not really worried about gaining weight (in fact, maybe I should gain some), I really have to stop the downward slide towards the sweets! Aie...

But back to the frosting... while I was running, slipping, sinking and slogging through the Commons on my run this morning, I couldn't help but notice that the snow sitting on the evergreen branches looked like frosting. Very pretty! Buoyed by the beauty of the woods on a bright sunny day, I ran along, trying not to notice the very slow pace showing on the Garmin. I had hoped to get in at least 3.75 miles, but I simply ran out of time, and had to stop at 3.25 so that I could get to work on time. But really, that was OK with me, as it was tough going out there, and I was tired. Sam decided it would be fun to scream her lungs out at 5:45 am this morning, and simply would not go back to bed. I don't know what it was. Do they have dreams or nightmares at her age? Whatever it was, I hope she got it out of her system. I'd like to sleep a little more tomorrow morning!

Here are a few photos from our visit with Kristen, Caitlin and Morgan on Sunday afternoon. Sam had lots of fun playing with her cousins!

Hugs for cousin Morgan

The girls

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After the Snow

Yesterday was spent inside, playing with Sam, watching the snow pile up outside and the wind howl through the trees. I'll admit that I didn't even feel badly about taking the day off. I just wasn't enthused to go out and run in those conditions, so we enjoyed playing with all of Sam's cool (and noisy) new Christmas presents, and reading books, and walking around the house. In the past week or so, Sam has definitely progressed to being truly able to walk on her own, which is very exciting for us (and for my back!)! She can stand herself up, steady herself and walk a ways to one of us, or pivot off of whatever piece of furniture she is holding onto and take a few toddling steps, although honestly, she still prefers the comfort of holding onto one of our finger's and running across the room with us in tow, knowing we won't let her fall. But it's nice to know she can do it on her own if she wants to :-)

After a zero day spent entirely indoors yesterday, I knew I had to get out there this morning. This was reinforced by the fact that I took a look at my running log last night, and realized that I am almost to 1,100 miles this year, and would hit if it I ran 23 more miles in 2010. Cool. While 1,100 is not nearly as many as a lot of our runner friend's will run this year, and not quite as many miles as I ran in 2008 (1,112) (*before Sam), it is way more than I ran in 2009 (675.5) when pregnant and during the first few months of Sam's life, and is certainly a respectable number for this working mom and one that makes me feel like I am truly a runner again!

I made a dent in the 23 mile deficit with this morning's 5.25 mile run. After dropping Sam off at daycare, I put on my screw shoes and headed across the street. I wasn't feeling so ambitious that I wanted to take on a trail run through 12 inches of fluffy, untouched and unpacked snow on the powerlines, so I headed down the Connector and into Highland Green for a road run. The shoulder of the Connector was messy and the Highland Green Road wasn't much better, but the screw shoes gripped through the slush and packed snow and I was still able to run at a decent pace, despite the rather strong wind that swirled around and seemed to grab at me no matter which direction the road turned.

I'm planning on a long run of 14 miles on Friday, which leaves me with 3.75 miles to run tomorrow to reach an even 1,100 for the year. Perfect. And although today's road run wasn't a bad one, I think I'll be taking to the woods instead!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Waiting for the Snow

Ryan and I left Sam with Grammie and Grampie this morning and headed out onto the same route I ran on Christmas Eve. This time I wore the Garmin so that we could check out the actual distance of the loop. Turns out it was 4.9 miles, meaning I was still running pretty quickly on Friday. What got into me, I don't know :-) We added on the final 0.1 miles to get an even 5.0 this morning, finishing up in 41:00. It was fun to get in a run with Ryan - gotta take advantage of grandparent time when we can ;-)

When we left at 10am, the first of the snow was flying in Georgetown, but by the time we hit the Newburyport exit off the highway, the sky had cleared. We stopped in Gorham, and spent the afternoon at  Kristen's house. Sam and Morgan chased each other around the kitchen, and Sam tried to give Bobby (the cat) hugs. Morgan rode her bike around the room, and Sam played with Morgan's Barbie plane. We ate cookies and drank coffee, and Dad and Ryan sat on the couch and watched football. It was a fun, if noisy, afternoon :-) We finally left at 3:30, and no snow had fallen.

But now, as we sit on the couch, drinking our wine and relaxing, the snow is definitely coming down outside. Bring it on! Forecasts are calling for 12" to 18" - finally!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning

Mommy and me

All dressed up and no place to go :-)

Laughing with Great Grammie

Building towers with Uncle Chris

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fun in the Snow

Yeah snow!

This is fun!

On the move

Hi there!
We drove down to Ryan's parents yesterday afternoon after the snow had stopped. As we drove south, there was less and less snow on the ground, but we were happy to see that there was a bit out behind the house. We wanted to take Sam out to play! :-) This morning, Ryan headed out for his long run, and then after I had put Sam down for her nap, I headed out for my own run. I had mapped out a 5 mile road loop, which wound me through some nice neighborhoods and made for some fast running. I think it was likely 0.1 or so short, as I finished it in 38:30. I was pushing a bit, but I don't know that I was pushing quite that much!!

Then after lunch, we suited Sam up and walked out back so she could play for a bit in the snow. She was fascinated, and spent quite a while just sitting on the ground, pushing the snow around with her mittens. What fun :-)

We're looking forward to Christmas day with Sam and the rest of the family tomorrow. I think she'll likely be just as interested in the wrapping paper, bows and bags as she will be her gifts, but regardless, it will be fun! Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tromping Through the Snow

The snow that started yesterday never stopped falling last night, and this morning, we awoke to a winter wonderland. The wet snow stuck in that pretty way to the tree branches, coating the evergreens and bushes, and created a nice white peak on the bird feeder out back. The day is to full of packing, cooking and traveling south, so I had already decided to head out early this morning for a short run before things got kicked into gear.

As I was running out to the powerlines, I realized that in years past I might have donned my beater xc skis and gone out for a little ski instead of donning my shoes and heading out for a run. And while I do love skiing, I was happy with my decision to be out running on a snowy morning, my screw shoes clicking and gripping on the packed snow and through the slush on the roads. I am sure I'll get out on my skis this winter, but with the 50k just a few months away, I need all the running I can get :-)

I veered off the high school road into the 4" of fresh snow along the powerlines. I smiled as I kicked up the snow. First tracks! Well, aside from the deer and squirrel and possibly a fox? What? No one else was out playing in the snow?! :-) When I got to Highland Green Road, I actually stuck to the snow covered sidewalks instead of taking to the slick roads. There was a lot more grip in the fresh snow, and although it was more of a workout, it certainly was more fun! I made my way back through the woods and home. Definitely a nice way to start a snow day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


After solstice yesterday, winter is officially here. And with it, the subtle lengthening of our daylight hours - hurray!

In celebration of the start of winter, it appears that Mother Nature thought the ground should be white :-) A wet snow was falling as I began my run in the Commons this morning, the flakes whipping around in the wind and crunching beneath my feet. I headed across the fields and into the woods, enjoying the quiet that a morning snowfall brings. I got in a nice5 miles, and felt good, although things were perhaps slowed a bit by the slippery roots and the whipping wind.

Looking forward to a few days off starting tomorrow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Til We Meet In Hell Run

Valerie created a fun race for this morning - the 'Til We Meet In Hell' race on some of the trails behind USM in Gorham. The race was on a 1.15 mile loop, and the goal was to see how many miles you could run on the loop in 1.5 hours. There was also a handicap system, developed by Jeff, to give everyone a fair chance at winning. It was a great time! Many thanks to Valerie for a great idea and a great run!

I wasn't quite sure I wanted to "race" this morning, but I was hoping to get in 9 or 10 miles. In the end, I ran all of the way with Randy, and we were joined for a few loops by Jim. Randy and I chatted away about this and that, and while running with Jim, we were serenaded by his renditions of some of the Top 10 Christmas songs and some of his fun tales. Despite running the short loop over and over, the miles and the minutes passed by quickly, as they always do in good company. The only thing that surprised me was how alone Randy and I were on this loop most of the time! I mean, it was only a little over 1 mile, yet we were all pretty spread out. The loop was pretty gnarly, with lots of short and steep ups and downs in and out of little gullies, but it was some fun running and a good workout too! Randy and I got in 8.65 miles during our 1:30:00 allotment, but finished up the loop running, with the Garmin reading just over 9 miles when we stopped. Perfect!

The Trail Monsters took over the back corner of Sebago Brewing Company after the run, eating and drinking and talking the morning away. It was a lot of fun! And lots of thanks to Mom and Dad for watching Sam so that both Ryan and I could go play with our friends for the morning!!

When we got home, we celebrated Christmas a few days early - Sam got some really fun gifts, and we did too. Thanks again guys! All in all, it was a great Sunday!!

Look at me, I'm cute :-)

Happy girl

Sam and her stocking

Sam's finger painted wreath for Mommy and Daddy, with a little help from Nanie and Pip :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wrapping and Running

Last night I set out to wrap up the Christmas presents. Ronnie and Gigi wanted to help :-)

Hmmm, I'm not sure this is helping, guys...

And then, with most of the wrapping and all the Christmas shopping done (hurray!), I didn't feel too badly about taking the time to go for a 5 mile run after I dropped Sam off at daycare this morning. I got another leg massage yesterday morning before work, and although the knot in my left calf is still very present, the legs felt good this morning (another hurray!). I ran the Highland Green loop and was happy to have chosen that route - the short stretch on the powerlines along the route was riddled with ice flows to slip on and hoar frost and sneaky partially frozen sand to break through. Although I certainly don't want to run roads all the time, sometimes it is nice to just be able to go and not have to think about all the variables one might encounter on the trails in early winter! That being said, I'm looking forward to Val's "Till I See You in Hell" run on Sunday on the trails in Gorham! Should be fun :-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shopping is Way More Tiring Than Running!

My Christmas present from Cordelia was an extra day off this week. Perfect! Up until this morning, I did not have any of my Christmas shopping done, so I certainly needed the time. I had grand plans for the day. The list was long. I scurried around, to this shop and that, picking up this and that. I do not like to shop. And I felt pressure to get most, if not all, of the shopping done. Ugh. In between, the shopping and wrapping and shipping, I did get a much-needed haircut and snuck over to the Commons for a 3 mile run in the late afternoon before picking Sam up at daycare, but other than that, it was go go go. I had really hoped to get in a longer run, but I literally ran out of time and daylight. And man, am I tired! Shop till you drop indeed :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back To Shorts

Yesterday morning started with a visit to the doctor's office for Sam. Unfortunately, the prescribed antibiotics did not kill her double ear infection, so she is on round #2. Poor girl. Luckily, she was still happy happy happy, and we had a great day yesterday, made even better by her taking a 2 1/2 hour nap. Yeah!! During naptime, Ryan nicely kept vigil over the baby monitor while I went out to do a few errands and get a run in. I headed over to the Commons for a nice easy 5 mile run. I was pretty tired and I could really feel it on the run. The pace was slow, which was what I was looking for, but I don't think I could have run faster even if I had wanted to! Still, I was happy to get the miles in.

Despite the fact that it was December 13th, I wore shorts on the run, as the temps got up into the 50s yesterday. Wow. What wacky weather we've been having!

The funny fauna report from the run occurred on the 2nd pond. With all the rain and the warm temps, the ice had sunk just beneath the water/melted just enough in the cove making it appear that the large group of 30+ mallards hanging out there were standing on water :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cathance Nine

Despite the ominous forecast, we awoke to nothing more than overcast skies this morning. Sam and I played for a while and had breakfast together before Ryan took over and I donned my running clothes and headed out the door for a run. I had made all sorts of alternate plans thinking the weather would be really crappy, but as it turned out, I was able to get in my planned 9 miles without feeling more than a few sprinkles partway through the run.

With the slate grey skies and the December browns not yet completely covered by fresh white snow, things were a bit dreary feeling and looking in the woods, but it was a nice run nonetheless. I had the trails all to myself. The woods were quiet, with the crunch of the leaves and snow beneath my feet, my breath in the air and the gurgling of the river the only sounds I heard all morning. I was a bit slow in parts, as I'm a wimp on ice, and with the fine coating of snow in spots, and the partially frozen hoar jumping up to catch my feet, things were a bit tricky. I was rewarded in the last few steps of the run with a glimpse of the sun through the clouds, but it's raining as I type, and poor Ryan is out getting his run in over at Bradbury. Yuck! Glad I took the early shift. (Sorry Ryan!)

In other running news, I booked our flights to North Carolina for March, so Gator Trail 50k, here we come! Guess I had better get cracking with my training :-)

As for Sam, she's still been having a rough go of it during the past few nights, but otherwise, she is happy and energetic as ever. In fact, she might be getting a little devilish :-) When I picked her up at daycare on Friday evening, her teacher said, "We were just discussing what a cute innocent little instigator Samantha is." Or as the other teacher said, "you know, she has this invisible little halo above her head. Such a good girl. But really, that halo is being held up by cute little horns!" Don't worry, they still love her, but I think we have a little troublemaker on our hands!! I guess she went up to one of the younger kids, who was in one of the exersaucers, and pulled her pacifier out of her mouth. And it's not like she's a pacifier kid! Never has been. No, she just decided she had to have it, and then she stood there, grinning and dancing in front of the poor little one, with the paci held in her mouth by the ring side. Oh man! :-)

Friday, December 10, 2010


The thermometer read 9 degrees this morning. Brrr... All of the sudden, it seems that winter has arrived, and man, it's cold out there :-)

I was in bed by 9pm last night, and Sam had a better night than the last two, so I woke up this morning feeling a bit more rested, which was a welcome change. After I dropped Sam off at daycare, I drove over to the Bowdoin field house and headed out through the woods into the Commons. It was bright and sunny, and the air felt invigorating (read: cold). I ended up pulling the hood of my comfy warm Sugio hoodie up over my hat, and definitely could have worn my warmer/thicker gloves. My hands were freezing for the first two miles!

The frozen leaves and bits of snow crunched beneath my feet as I ran along, and I enjoyed the change of pace that running in the Commons provided. When Ryan and I were running on the trails at Lake Waccamaw before Thanksgiving, we commented that the running there was a bit like running through the Commons (although the NC trails definitely have more loose sand and things aren't quite as packed overall as in the Commons), so it was fun to run along and think a bit about the 50k, wondering what sort of pace I might be able to hold during the race. I finished up the 5.1 miles at 8:30 pace exactly, but holding that pace in March might be a bit aggressive... we shall see. I did notice during the run that I was feeling my shin/calf a bit, as I had a nice leg massage yesterday morning, but I think getting things worked on a bit will be a good thing in the end!

In Sam news, aside from the whole not-sleeping/teething/night screaming issues we've been having the past few days, she is doing great, and is now 14 months old. Wow! We have been having fun trying to entice her to walk more and more on her own, and although she can do it, she still much prefers to hold onto a finger or hand and walk around :-)  She is saying her words with a bit more clarity now, repeating words like "baby" over and over and over. She can point to the correct pictures of socks, banana, kitty, ball and a few others in her "First 100 Words" book, and has started to use the shape sorter toy correctly, trying (and occasionally) succeeding in putting the shapes through the top, although she does prefer to simply transfer the blocks in and out of the bucket :-) I noticed she was working on picking up two of the blocks with one hand the other day, which I thought was interesting. She also now wants to put the top on and off the fruit pouches when we have them with breakfast, and loves to feed herself with the soup spoon (if we let her :-) ). When we ask her to get a certain toy, assuming it's a favorite, she will look around for it and go to it, and she has taken to patting the bed in the morning to "call" Ronnie up next to her (this is what I do when I want Ronnie to jump up on the bed with us) - it is just adorable! She really is taking it all in, and it's neat to see how she is processing things and learning. And as always, she is smiley and happy and energetic :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grey Morning

Just when I think things are back to normal in our house, something else comes up. Will it always be this way?! Last night, Sam woke up at 9:30 screaming her little head off. Poor little munchkin. Nothing we did - feed her, rock her, put her in our bed with us, leave her in her bed to cry for 10 excruciating minutes, hold her, talk to her, walk her around, give her her teething ring, have Ryan try to put her to sleep - soothed her. Finally, a combination of ibuprofin, Orajel and a little time downstairs reading books calmed her down, and I was able to put her to sleep a little after 11:00. When I was putting the Orajel on her gums, I definitely felt something sharp poking through her upper gums. It's about time! She still only has two teeth. So, the rest of you teeth in Sam's mouth, make it snappy and get this over with! I'd really rather not have another night of Sam up screaming for 1 1/2 hours. Aie. So, yet again, it was not a good night for us. I feel like I am sort of used to the sleep deprivation at this point, but still...

Luckily, to make up for her lost sleep last night, Sam slept in this morning and awoke as her cheery self, which was good at least. I had hoped to sneak over to the Commons for a run after dropping her off at daycare, but it was not meant to be. I just didn't have enough time to make it work. Instead, I came home and headed right out the door to run the five mile Highland Green loop. It was grey and raw out. And needless to say, I was tired. I didn't feel super inspired, running against the winds on the roads, but managed to finish off the loop in a decent time of just under 41:00. Tomorrow will be a day off, and I'm getting a massage in the morning before work, which sounds pretty good right now! Although, my leg is definitely better, I figure a massage or two can't hurt.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


We got our first real snow of the season yesterday, with about 1" falling. Just enough to truly make it look and feel like winter outside! I didn't have a chance to get out and frolic in the snow though, simply due to scheduling and Sam's short nap, but Ryan toughed out his temp run in a midst of the wind-swept squall and said I wasn't missing anything :-) Ha! However, I did take the opportunity this morning after dropping Sam off at daycare to sneak in 3 miles. Running through the snow on the powerlines and in the woods was fun, the snow was light and fluffy, but on the roads where it had been packed by cars and such, things were a bit slick. Felt good to get out, and I think I can safely say that the knee pain is a non-issue at this point. Hurray!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Luckily, we all woke up today feeling much better. Hurray!

Sam is still a bit tired out from the whole ordeal but was walking and babbling away today like crazy and was her energetic self until early evening when we had to put her to bed early. And Ryan is a super proud dad, as when we had the TV on earlier during the afternoon football game, she was parroting "football" back at him. More than once. So cute! I guess we've added a new word to her vocabulary :-) She also can now tell you what a kitty says, what a monkey does, and when we look at the elephant picture, she puts her arm up by her head like a trunk. Adorable! I think my mom taught her that one on Friday. I love it!! It really is fun to watch her learn and grow.

Ryan headed out early to get over to Bradbury and GPS two of his snowshoe courses for this winter's snowshoe series. Sam and I spent the morning playing. Ryan came home soon after I had put Sam down for a nap, so I took the opportunity and quickly changed into my running clothes. Since I was seemed to be feeling no ill effects from yesterday's "blahs", I thought I'd stick with my original plan for the day - 7 miles on the Cathance trail - and see what happened.

From the start, I felt good, and knew I'd get the whole loop in. The trails were a bit wet and squishy from this week's rains, while the river looked like milky coffee, running high and racing over the rocks. I scared up a few spruce grouse in the woods, and crossed paths with a number of other people out enjoying the woods on a hunter-free Sunday afternoon. As I twisted and turned along the single track, I was happy to not feel any knee pain. I did feel the little bumps and rises along the route a bit more than I would have liked, but then again, I haven't run much in the past four weeks, so I guess that is to be expected. In the end, the 7 miles took me 1:06:42, so my pace was similar to my runs on these trails during the summer months, which leaves me feeling like there is hope the running fitness will come back quickly!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


After seemingly on the way to get better, Samantha took a turn for the worse early Thursday morning. Around 4:30, she was gagging and coughing, and we had the first of the many many spit-up (OK, puke) sessions that happened for the next 30 hours. We cleaned her up and put her back to bed, but it happened again right before 6am. Lovely. At this point, Ryan just got up to get ready for work, as he had to be over in NH for the next few days, so after he left, it was just a poor, sad, sick Sam and I for the day. She didn't want to eat. Kept spitting up. Was lethargic. After trying to feed her breakfast (more spit-up), I put her back to bed and she slept for over 1 1/2 hours until I had to wake her up to take her to the doctor's.

The doctor basically said it sucked, but that she didn't feel Sam had any sort of new virus/issue, and that this was her body's way of getting rid of all the mucus that had been building up in her tummy from this cold/bronchilitis. Yum. I guess at some point, the body can't take any more and just has to get rid of this stuff. So spitting it up and pooping it out are the only way. So, essentially, there was nothing I could do for her, except try to get her to eat and drink and rest as much as I can. I think I changed clothes about three times, and changed her about six times during the day. It was not pretty. I felt so badly for her. She was just exhausted. We both went to bed early.

There was more puke through the night, but not as much, and unfortunately I had to be at work on Friday. But there was no way I could send her into daycare. Luckily, my parents are in town helping my sister out while her husband is away for work for 6 weeks, so my mom came up to take care of Sam for the day while I went to work. Thanks Mom! Sam was definitely feeling better by the end of the day, and I think she is finally on the mend.

Of course, with all this going on, I didn't get any running in on Thursday or Friday. There was nothing I could do about it. And certainly, taking care of Sam was top priority. But it does bum me out to have another week of little running, especially when the knee was feeling better and I was looking forward to starting to ramp up the training at least a little bit! Ah well. The worst of it is that I went out for a run this morning before work, and I felt pretty bad. I cut the run short at 3.25 miles. I just felt off, and my stomach feels a bit uneasy. Ugh.  I'm definitely heading to bed early, and really, really hope that I feel better tomorrow!  I would like to have a healthy house again!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shorts Weather?

At some point in the past, there was a discussion of sorts online about when you draw the line between wearing shorts or tights. I put my "line" at 45 degrees. Well, this morning, it was 46 degrees when I headed out the door at 8:30am. So, shorts it was. On December 1st. How weird.

I haven't done much running on the powerlines in a while, and decided the 5-mile Homeplace loop would be a good option for this morning. This is a good run, with a few steep hills and some nice flat stretches, but today, it may have been a bit much for my still recovering, although feeling good, knee. With the warm temps, most of the ice on the trails had melted, leaving slick mud that first sent me slip-sliding every which way and then stuck to the bottom of my shoes like cement. Not to mention, the hoar frost is melting also, so a lot of the run was like tiptoeing through a land mine. Lots of little ankle twists and slips here too. I came home caked in mud, with the knee a little achy, and feeling like I had definitely gotten in a good workout!

In Sam news, the antibiotics and the inhaler have done wonders and she is looking and sounding much better already. Hurray! Gotta love modern medicine. Of course, the inhaler makes her a bit jittery and hyper, and last night when I got home after Ryan had given her her evening dose, she was holding onto my index finger with one hand and my keys with the other, and was basically walking around in circles in the kitchen, babbling away, dropping the keys and saying "uh oh", picking them back up, circling around, dropping them again, over and over and over, so much so that I got a bit dizzy as her hand holder! :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Poor Sam. As a daycare baby, she has a runny nose almost constantly. She's had hand-foot-mouth twice. A double ear infection needing two rounds of antibiotics. Lots of colds. I'm sure we'll go through our share of other infections this winter too. And while she is amazingly happy even when sick, this weekend it seemed like something was definitely up. Her cough was deep and sounded painful. Her breathing sounded raspy, wheezy. She was crying more often in her sleep and after coughing. Yesterday, she was extra clingy, constantly reaching for 'mama.' So, this morning, despite thinking they would probably end up telling me she had yet another cold, I made a doctor's appointment, just to be safe. And boy, am I glad I did!

Turns out Sam has another double ear infection, and some sort of bronchial virus/infection. The doctor was surprised at how smiley she was during the visit in spite of it all. We did have a bit of screaming when we had to hold her still for 10 minutes while giving her a nebulizer, and then when we had to hold her down so they could do a nose swab to check for RSV, but who can blame her for that? Luckily, the nose swab test came back negative, so that was good at least. So, now we have an inhaler for her, and she's on antibiotics for the ear infections. I really never would have thought she was so sick! I knew she wasn't quite herself, but I didn't suspect the ear infections at all. We are really lucky she is such a happy baby, especially when sick!

*As an aside, we did get to have her weighed, and she's up to 19 lbs 3 oz. Getting big!*

After the doctor's appointment, we came home and I put her down for a nap. I had lots of plans for my 'naptime' time, but they sort of went out the window after the visit to the doctor. So, instead, I put on my running shoes and headed out on the powerlines for a short 3 mile run to clear my head. The powerlines were a mix of hard, packed frozen sand, hore frost, a bit of icy snow, ice, soft sand and mud, meaning it wasn't the fastest run, but it was nice to be out in the sun on the trails on a crisp late November day. It is definitely feeling like winter is just around the corner!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back to Reality

We arrived back in Boston last night after an uneventful and on-time flight, where Sam made friends with everyone behind us on the plane, smiled and blew kisses at our flight attendant and as a result, got to visit with the pilots in the cockpit before we got off the plane. Many thanks to Irene and Dana for picking us up at the airport! This morning, in between leftover pie for breakfast and Sam taking a nap, I decided to go out for a short run. Ryan's achilles was complaining about all the mileage he had put in this week on pavement, so he did the smart thing and stayed home. But after sitting around all day yesterday and eating so many Thanksgiving leftovers, I really wanted to get out so I put on the warmest clothes I had in my suitcase and did the 3-mile loop from the house. It was 34 degrees out. Brrr. A definite change from my run with Sean on Thanksgiving Day! We're not in NC anymore :-) The leg felt good - hurray! - and that makes me happy. But I'm certainly planning to keep working on loosening things up, and will stick with low mileage for the next few weeks too, just to be safe.

We'll head home tomorrow, where it will be back to reality. No more grandparents to watch Sam. No more pie and other yummy leftovers. No more 60 and 70 degree weather. Ah well. It was really nice to get away for a week - we had a great vacation and it was lots of fun to see everyone! - but I know we'll be happy to be home too, and get back into our routine. And somehow, I think our wardrobe will thank us for getting back to our regular diet :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Photos

As you might suspect, we took waaayyyy too many photos this past week here in North Carolina. So, if you're bored, and want to look through lots of photos of smiling Samantha, here's the link. Enjoy! :-)

Thanksgiving photos

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing everyone lots of yummy food, drink and time with family and friends!! Since we're celebrating southern-style this year, we continued the warm weather adventures yesterday after Sam's nap by heading up to the pool in my parent's complex. Sam has never been in a pool, but after Tuesday at the beach, we had an inkling that she might like it! And she did. She had a great old time, splashing around and kicking in the water. Who would have thought it?!

Pool fun

Come on in, the water's fine!

The pool was followed up by a yummy dinner out, with Sam walking around and entertaining everyone. What fun. We got Sam all dressed up, but since the child will not sit still, we didn't get any many good "dress up" photos. Oh well. She did look cute, though :-)

Headed out to dinner

Yes, she is wearing sneakers with her dress. What can I say? That's my girl!

This morning, we lazed around the house as the turkey cooked and got things ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Ryan went out for his long run, and after I put Sam down for her nap, I went out for a short run with my cousin Sean. We ran down the road to the gravel path along the property's edge and back, getting in four very flat miles. Sean wanted to run as few steps on pavement as possible, and I can't say that I blame him. We had fun chatting as we ran along, and burned off a few of the calories at least! Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, and it was nice to be able to spend the day with family. We all came away feeling pleasantly stuffed, so between dinner and pie, we headed up to the playground so that the kids could burn off a little steam after sitting nicely at the dinner table. A great day for sure!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

North Carolina Fun

On Sunday, we flew down to spend the week at my parent's house in North Carolina. It was a long travel day, but Sam was a champ through the whole thing. We drove to Ryan's parents house, where she ran around for a bit, got back in the car to drive to the airport, stuck her in the stroller through check-in and security (Luckily, no body scanner or pat-downs for us! In fact, they have a "family" line, so we didn't have to wait in the long security line! Woo hoo!), and then had her contained to our laps for the 2 hour flight. The final leg of the journey was the 1 3/4 hour drive to my parents from Raleigh. Whew! The only glitch in the whole schebang was that Sam wet through her diaper in-flight, and it made a nice wet spot on Ryan's pants. Since there is no room to change a baby in the plane bathroom, we did a whole diaper and outfit change on our laps. Gotta love being a parent! :-)

It is wonderful to be at my parent's house. The weather has been amazing. It is warm and sunny. And while it is definitely autumn here - the Bradford pears are a brilliant red and orange - the roses are still blooming, and there are pansies in the ground. Guess we're in the south :-)

Monday morning, my dad and Ryan went out to play golf, and I snuck out for a walk. A mile in, I was feeling so good, I thought I'd try running. I ended up running 2.5 miles and then walking the final 0.5 mile home. Felt great! After I got back, we packed up Sam and went over to join the boys for a few holes on the golf course. What fun!

On the course

Sam enjoying the soft grass along the fairway

My cousin Sean, his wife Kris, and their four-year old arrived Monday night, and Tuesday, after a lazy morning, we loaded up our cars and headed to Wrightsville Beach. Sean wanted to try on the ocean, and it really was the perfect day for the beach! Blue skies, a cool breeze, low tide and an empty beach. Perfect. Sam had a blast in the sand and in the water. She just charged right in, unafraid of the cold, the waves or the soft sand beneath her feet. It was so cute!

I love the beach!


Sean on his way into the water

Let's go, Pip!

This morning, Ryan and I left Sam with my parents and headed to Lake Waccamaw to do a bit of reconnaissance on the Gator Trail 50k course. We weren't quite sure of the course, but I think we got pretty close. The course is a 5.2 mile loop run 6 times. The trails wander through the pine forests and along the lake. Misletoe and spanish moss hang from the trees. The trails are a mix of sand and packed dirt. It's flat but not totally. The lake is huge, and there are interesting swampy areas along the shoreline. We had a good run. The leg was tight, but not too bad, and it felt great to get a decent run in, and of course, fun to have the chance to run with Ryan! Hurray for grandparents :-)

Sam has been having a great old time, and we are enjoying a bit of family time and a bit of relaxation. A great vacation so far!



Flora and fauna notes so far:

Lots of bluebirds, mockingbirds, a few red-tailed hawks, lots of turkey vultures, cormorants, and a Kingfisher seen throughout my parent's neighborhood. Also a few deer and a Fox Squirrel. At the beach, we saw a flock of pelicans flying low along the water, as well as a school of dolphin really close to the shore - cool! A few Sanderlings ran along the water's edge, chasing the tide, and a Dowitcher too.

Sanderling along the water's edge

Pelicans flying along the waves

Dowitcher hunting

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Sam has been taking steps for a while, but only one or two before pitching forward, to the side or to her knees. She's also gotten very good at pulling herself up onto furniture, and then twisting and turning to move in the direction she wants to go. She cruises along the furniture easily. She can balance for a good 30 seconds when standing on her own. She's also moved to just holding onto one of our hands (or even just a finger) when she walks across the room. Still, she hasn't really been walking. But today, when I picked her up from daycare, I stood her up, and she stood, balanced and steady, on her own, and then took 5 steps to me! Woohoo! I'd call that walking! Never have 5 little steps made me so proud :-)

Of course, we'll have to see if we can replicate it over these next few days, but I'd say we're on our way!

A Whole Lotta Nothin'

Another quiet week. No running. A bit of walking. Lots of stretching. Some core strength, sit-ups and push-ups. A nice massage by my friend Shannon on Monday night. Thanks Shannon! Of course, as she was working on my legs, Shannon told me I was really tight. As in everywhere. Lovely, but not totally surprising. Oh well. The massage was great, and I think it did loosen things up a bit, although it wasn't a cure-all (darn!). I'll just have to keep on working at things.

However, we did have a great time on Sunday hosting the 2nd Cathance & Pancakes at our place. We had a big group of Trail Monsters join us for a run and breakfast. I held down the fort while Ryan led everyone on the run, and then Neighbor Kate and I cooked up some mean pancakes :-) Thanks to everyone for bringing extra goodies for the table. It was lots of fun! The funniest thing about the morning was that despite the noise of 18 of us talking and laughing downstairs, Sam slept through the din and took a 2 hour nap! Wow.

After everyone left, I wanted to get out and take advantage of the beautifully warm and sunny afternoon, so we walked over to the playground nearby for a bit.

Swinging with Daddy


On the slide
On Monday, while Sam napped, I took a nice half hour walk along the powerlines, and did my stretches and exercises. I had hoped to walk this morning too, but it is super windy out there and is pouring like crazy. I might have gotten out to run in this weather just for fun, but to walk? Nope. It has to be better out tomorrow, so I'll go out then instead and tromp around in the puddles for a bit!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh Shoot!

As Coach Slovenski used to say, "Ooooohhh shoot!" (Those on the xc/track teams can imagine the correct inflection here, as well :-) ) Things did not quite go as planned this morning. I did indeed head out for a run. It was a gorgeous, crisp and sunny morning. But right away, I could tell things were still really tight. I ran a 1/4 mile and then walked the rest of the short loop around Mt. Ararat high school. Not what I had envisioned, but I guess I'm not totally surprised. I did ask a lot of my body last Saturday. A race effort is always a lot to ask and tends to hurt at least a bit, but as I didn't have a lot of training to pull from (I think I put in only 2 weeks over 30 miles in the three months before Stonecat), I was really asking a lot! I just decided I didn't want my legs to stop, and pushed until it was over. Goes to show that mind over matter can work, but now my legs are having their say :-)

So, another week of rest for me. But not total rest. I think getting the blood flowing and the muscles moving will be a good thing, and besides I'll go crazy if I sit around doing nothing for another week, so I'll plan to walk where I had hoped to run. I'll also add back in my core and strengthening exercises, and sit-ups/push-ups, which I slacked on while sick and during this last week. It will be something anyway! I also think I'm going to beg and plead with my friend Shannon to give me a massage this week too.

And just for laughs, here are a few pictures of what I came home to last night:

Mini Plake
Yes, that is a mohawk. On my child. The ladies at daycare must have been bored today!

Rockin' the mohawk.

Nice hair, dude

Sweet do!
Hopefully she does not get used to this hairstyle, as being a minimalist (or just plain lazy) in the hair department, I do not have any hair gel or hairspray in the cabinets :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Running news:

I am getting antsy. No running for 5 days will do that to a person. Or at least me! :-) I will take one more day off then go for a short run on Saturday. I actually think my legs will feel better after a run! A body in motion gets used to that motion. This hanging around with no motion does not feel good! Anyway, my plan is to stick with 3 to 4 runs per week, all low mileage, for the next month or so, just to give the body a little more down time. But after that, I have to get cracking!

Why cracking, you ask? Well, Ryan and I have schemed up a plan to run the Gator Trail 50k down in North Carolina at the end of March. I believe his hope is for a quick 50k. My hope is for a finished 50k :-) The race, which looks to be a pretty small one, is held at Lake Waccamaw State Park, a little over an hour away from my parent's house. The course is six loop on a "flat 5.2 mile loop in Lake Waccamaw State Park. Tree-lined trails and roads. Some trails are primitive." We take this to mean it should be a fast course and that we will find the trails relatively well manicured :-)

I figure a 50k at the end of March will be a good way to keep motivated over the winter, and finishing will get the DNF from Pineland monkey off my back!


Sam stories:

This evening before bedtime, Sam crawled over to her book shelf and proceeded to pull the books off the shelf, one by one. She loves to do this. When she reaches one she wants, she holds it out to me to read to her. Instead of just taking it, saying 'thank you' and starting to read, I've started to say, 'Would you like Mommy to read this book to you, Sam? Ask Mommy to please read the book to you.' And tonight, she signed 'please' when I said that! Awesome!

She is also loving 'high five' and will hold out her hand for you to slap over and over and over. She gets a big kick out of it :-) So cute!

This morning Ryan was holding Sam on his lap at the computer while I was getting ready to take her to daycare. For some reason, he went to youtube and searched for kid songs. This is the first one that came up. Sam was enthralled. I don't really her watching too much TV/videos, but this one was quite cute!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

13 Months

Samantha is now 13 months old. No longer a baby. Definitely a toddler. With one and a half teeth :-) She is learning and doing new things all the time now, and it's hard to keep up! Literally and figuratively. While she is still not walking on her own, Sam cruises easily around the furniture, and regularly pulls herself up to stand by the TV stand, the kitchen chairs or the coffee table. She can stand on her own steadily for a good minute or so, and turn while standing to take a step toward us, but always holds out her hand for us to help her. Not quite ready to do it herself just yet! She can now hold onto the coffee table, etc, and bend down to pick up a dropped toy from the floor, and can also climb all the way up the stairs. Luckily, she is not quite so brazen as to do this without someone right behind her, but I'm sure that will happen soon enough!

She has discovered that she can make her desires known by pointing and doing this adorable "come here" hand movement. If she wants us to read her one of her books, she will pick it up and hold it out to us or drop it in our laps. She loves her books, and we read her favorites over and over and over :-) She also is truly beginning to display an understanding of what we say to her. She will look for Gigi when I ask her "Where's Gigi?," or take a drink from her sippy cup if I ask her to take another sip of milk, etc. She loves to turn off the lights when we leave a room, and delights in dumping out her blocks and then picking them up and putting them back in the box.

She recently started saying "thank you," although it sounds more like "dak u" when you pass her a toy, and regularly says "bye bye," "bow" and her own generalized 'ball/book/toy' word, along with "oooohhh" when something falls or makes a noise. She's not really into animal sounds, but loves to point at the pictures of owls in two of her books, so I'm trying to teach her how to say "Who cooks for you?!" Ha :-)

Of course, it's not all rainbows and candy, as she no longer stays still for diaper changes and squirms all over the place, has realized that she can voice her displeasure dramatically when not getting what she wants, loves to drop food on the floor from her high chair or ooze her milk/water/yogurt out of her mouth and then turn and smile at us, and is currently teething. But, as always, she is cute :-)

In the rocking chair

Stone Cat Results

The results from Stone Cat have finally been posted!

Looks like my official time was really 4:13:37. I came in 35th overall (out of 160), and was the 7th woman. Last year, I think my time would have put me in 3rd, but oh well. Guess too many fast women came out to run this year :-) But no matter, I'm still happy with the result!

Congrats to Valerie for winning her age group!

In other news, it's been a rough few days for us in the Team Snowplug household. A deer ran into Ryan's car on his way home from work on Sunday night. He is OK but the car is now in the shop for a while. Sam was a disaster on Sunday and Monday, which meant none of us got any sleep, especially Sunday night when she was up from 3:00 until 5:00 crying inconsolably. Poor baby. It is so tough to feel like we can do nothing to console her. She was drooling like crazy, wanted nothing to come even close to her mouth, and in general was an unhappy, cranky mess. I am hoping all her remaining teeth are coming in at once. I really do not like this teething stuff! Luckily, I'd already planned to take this week off from running, as I in no way had the energy to do anything other than survive these past few days! Ah well, this too shall pass. Right?! :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

2010 Stone Cat Marathon Race Report

Although I had grand hopes for Saturday's marathon, I had no idea if I would be able to make it all happen. I mean, let's face it. It hasn't been the best few months on the training front for me. 18 miles was my longest training run, and there have been a lot of zeros in my training log. Not to mention, I was getting over one of the worst colds I've had in a while. None of this was exactly confidence boosting! Still, I was determined to finish, if nothing else, and to give it my all while I was out there, and hope for the best. And I am happy to say, I actually managed to put together a good race - woohoo! But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The day started out with the alarm going off at 4:00am. Ouch. A 6:15 am start is way too early! Even with a cup of coffee, I didn't quite feel awake. After passing the baby monitor off to Ryan's mom, my dad and I took off into the darkness. As we neared the road I knew we needed to turn down to get to the start, we noticed a police vehicle waving people away. What?! This was not what we needed! Turns out, someone hit a telephone pole near the race start, so at the last minute, they had to set up a detour for all of us crazy runners. Added a bit of excitement (and no doubt, a few headaches for the race director!) to the morning, that's for sure, and caused the race start to be delayed by 15 minutes.

In the gym, we met up with Valerie and Rick, Jamie, Ann and George, and knew that Chuck and Katy, and Neighbor Kate, must be around somewhere. Everyone was a bundle of nerves and excitement, waiting for the race to start, and I changed my outfits at least two times before I decided on my short sleeve Atayne shirt under my TMR singlet, shorts and gloves. It wasn't as cold as they had predicted, but it was damp and raw feeling. I hoped I would warm up quickly once we got running!

Valerie and I ready to run!
As 6:30 neared, we all headed out into the darkness, headlamps and reflective gear glimmering. The marathoners had to do a 1.2 mile loop before heading out to join the 50 milers on the 12.5 mile loop through the woods, so when the race director shouted "Go!," Valerie and I joined the throng as we wound through the fields and around the school. The pace was a bit too much for me, so I backed off a bit. Valerie yelled to see where I was, and I told her I was trying to rein things in a bit. I knew I didn't need to go out at 8:30 pace! She agreed, and so we slowed ever so slightly before heading into the woods. The combination of running with Valerie, running by headlamp, and doing a bit of bobbing and weaving around other runners made the first few miles go by quickly. In fact, we were surprised there wasn't more of a bottleneck on the single track. Of course, soon after thinking that, we ran into the conga line of runners winding through the forest on the switchback singletrack. It was a bit frustrating to be at the mercy of the pack's pace, and due to the darkness, it was difficult to pass safely (without hitting a tree, or tripping over a rock or root) in many spots. However, most of the runners were nice about stepping aside ever so slightly so that we could scoot by, and I think we may have only annoyed a handful :-) Still, it was a relief to step out onto the wide carriage roads and be able to run our own pace!

At one point, the road divided two ponds/swampy areas, and with the recent rain, the road was more like a river. Runners were tiptoeing along the edges of all the puddles, which just seemed silly! So I just plowed right through, with Valerie on my heels, splashing and yelping as we passed at least a dozen other runners. We figured we did Ian proud with that one! But boy, was that water cold! That'll wake you up :-)

Valerie and I ran together for the first 6 or 7 miles, passing right through both aid stations on the first loop. At some point she waved me on and while I had really hoped we could run together for longer, as it was great fun to have a good partner!, I respected that we each had our own race to run. I took off, knowing she probably wouldn't be too far behind. And I was right. At around 9 miles, I had to take an unexpected pitstop, and as I came out of the woods, there was Valerie! We ran together again for a few more yards before I pulled ahead. Somewhere around that point, I passed George, looking strong and running the 50, and we chatted for a few steps before he sent me on my way.

For the rest of the first loop, I ran along enjoying the course. It's a nice mix of single track and wide carriage roads, without too many rocks or roots or big climbs. With all the downed leaves and the rain on Friday, things were a bit slick in spots, but not all that bad. I did take a digger at the 12 mile mark, but was quickly back up and running with no real harm done. I came through the start/finish area in 2:10, and stopped briefly to grab a few more Gus and another bar from my dad, and drop off my headlamp (thanks for the reminder, Rick!).

Rounding the bend at the end of the first lap
I decided not to fill up the bladder in my Nathan pack, as my stomach was still feeling a bit unsettled despite the pit stop, and I wasn't sure how much more HEED I'd be able to get down. I knew this was a risk, but I figured I could always stop at the aid stations if need be. Other than my stomach, I was feeling good. I didn't yet feel tired, and my leg was holding up fine, which was more than I had hoped for.

Loop #2 felt different, in part because it was light and because the crowd was more spread out. Also because  I was now 2 hours into the race and knew that this lap was the one that really counted. I made the conscious decision to pick up the pace when I could, which meant stepping it up on the carriage roads and trying to maintain on the single track. The little bumps that seemed like nothing on the first loop began to feel a bit more mountainous this time around. My stomach wasn't feeling great, but I was still able to stick with my 'every half hour' plan for fuel, and to drink a bit of HEED. I decided not to stop at either aid station, figuring if I did, that I would never get my legs going again. I knew I just needed to keep moving. However, after passing the second aid station (thanks for the cheers Erik!), I did indeed need to stop. Another pit stop! Aie. But it was necessary. The stomach was just not happy. I got back on track as quickly as I could, only to discover that I was now running completely alone. Where was everyone?

Right around mile 18, I finally began to feel a few real twinges in my knee, and so I stopped yet again, to stretch for a bit. This was a good chance to regroup mentally, but I didn't stop for long. Things felt better when I started back up, and I just reminded myself to 'push, push, push,' and keep it up. I did walk in a few spots, but mostly I just ran, even if slowly on the uphills, and I even managed to pick a few people off along the way too. I finally ran out of HEED around mile 22, but by then, my stomach had had enough anyway, so it really was fine :-)

I dug deep for the last few miles and came across the line in 4:13:35. My goal was 4:15 and I had done it. The body had held up for just long enough! Hurray! I was spent, but so psyched. Of course, I think my first words to my dad were "This was such a bad idea." :-)

Headed in to the finish!
A HUGE thanks to my dad for coming up to be my cheerleader and support crew, and for getting up at 0'dark thirty too! And another HUGE thanks to Irene and Dana for watching Sam while I went off to do my crazy running thing :-) Sam had a blast with Grammie and Grampie, and I really appreciate it!

And a big congrats to everyone for some awesome racing! Nice job Valerie, Kate, Ann, George, Jamie and Chuck! Lots of fun to go to a race and have so many friends there racing too. Go Trail Monsters!!

And last, but certainly not least, a big thanks to the GAC for putting on a fun race, and for all the volunteers for helping to make it happen. The course was well marked, intersections well-manned, the aid stations cheery and inviting (I didn't stop, but I did hear lots of awesome comments about all the food available, including bacon!!), and there were great shirts and jackets as finisher prizes. Somehow I think I'll be back :-) (Guess I didn't mean that "This was such a bad idea" comment, did I?!)

So, a very happy end to the 2010 racing season for me. Before I gear up again for 2011, I am planning to take a little break for running, at least for this week and maybe next, to rest up and loosen up my silly left IT band. I'm pretty stiff right now, and my exercise today consisted of a lot of hobbling around :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010


Lots of rain yesterday, and it hasn't stopped yet, although this morning it has been more like a constant light mist. It's the sort of day that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good book. Or perhaps go for a run? :-)

I decided to just take the day off from work so that I could get organized, get a quick run in, pick up my dad at the Portland airport, and get to Ryan's parent's house for Sam's dinnertime. Things are a bit more complicated when there is a 1 year old involved, and I really didn't want to get there too late and mess up the nightime routine too much, so taking the day off seemed the best option. Besides, who doesn't like an extra day off??

After I put Sam down for her morning nap, I headed out for a quick run to get the blood flowing and loosen up the legs. It's pretty dreary out there, with a light mist coming down and low clouds hanging over the powerlines. I decided to just do a 2-mile run out-and-back on the powerlines, which meant that right before the turn-around I had to run through a big puddle. Brrrrrr, that puddle was cold! But it was sort of fun :-) After all, in 9 minutes I was back inside the warm and cozy house!

Now, all my bags are packed, I've gone through my running gear a few times, I've crossed things off multiple lists and Sam is still sleeping. It's nice to have a chance to relax a bit and think about the race tomorrow. I can hardly believe it is here! I feel like I have the potential to have a really solid fast race. My plan is to be conservatively aggressive, if that makes any sense :-), and go out at a slow pace (I actually think the pile-up of runners going into the single track will help in this regard, even if it is bound to be frustrating). Then assuming things feel good, I will pick it up on the second loop and give it all I've got. That being said, I know I  have to respect the distance, especially since I haven't put in a lot of mileage over the past few months, and still have a tight IT band. I'm not trying to make excuses, I'm just trying to be realistic. I am nervous but excited, and am really looking forward to being out on the course with so many of my Trail Monster friends! And to having my dad there to cheer me on! (Ryan's parents and Sam may or may not come over, depending on the weather and her nap schedule.) Ready or not, Stonecat, here I come!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This morning I had to run out and start up the car so that the windshield would be defrosted by the time I loaded Sam up for daycare. Brrrr. I was undecided about whether I should run or not when I got back home. I am feeling 100% better than I was feeling last Wednesday, but I'm definitely still a bit congested. I really want this cold GONE by Saturday! So the question was: Rest? Or run? Would one or the other be better? Or would it not matter? In the end, the running won out. I headed into the sunshine, my breath puffing out into the crisp, cool air, the hoar frost on the powerlines crunching beneath my feet, the grass shimmering with a thick layer of frost. The three miles may or may not have done much for, or against, my fitness, but they sure did a lot for my mental state! :-) Only one more run left until Stonecat. I am nervous, but am really looking forward to it!

Monday, November 1, 2010


It certainly looked and felt like a November day out there today. Cool and windy, with the berries on the bushes along the powerlines withered, the blueberry bush leaves still a brilliant red, the oak leaves brown against the charcoal sky, the juncos flitting in and out of the brush in the backyard. This morning, I did a few errands around town once Sam went down for her nap, came home, quickly changed into my running clothes and headed out for another short 3-mile run. Only a few more short runs this week, and it is time for Stonecat! Woohoo!

Sam woke up shortly after I returned, and off we went to Frontier for a yummy lunch with Meghan before she headed south. The food was delicious (as usual), the company was grand, the views of the river very nice, and Sam had a blast racing around on the wide wood floors and sitting on the mammoth pumpkin in the entry way :-)

Sam and the pumpkin

On the move

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Run and a Walk

Finally, this morning, after 5 days of not running, I felt well enough to get out for a short run. Hurray! Ryan's sister, Meghan, is visiting for the weekend, so we met up for a yummy breakfast at Broadway Deli and then came home to put Sam down for a nap. Once she fell asleep, I decided it was high time I got in a run, so I suited up and headed out the door. It was cool and windy, but it was good to get out. I was definitely a little creaky, but no ITB pain. Another hurray!

Sam took over a 2 hour nap (!!), and after we had lunch, we drove to Reid State Park to take a walk. This is the time of year we love to visit the Maine beaches. They are quiet and mostly empty. There are no bugs and it certainly isn't hot. In fact, it was downright cold down along the ocean today! We had Sam all bundled up, but due to the wind, we didn't walk as much as we normally might have. Still, it was a beautiful afternoon to be down by the water, with the sun flitting in and out of the fluffy clouds above, the rose hips and winter berries bright and cheery along the edge of the dunes, and the waves crashing at low tide. Very nice.

Late autumn at Reid State Park

On the beach

Taking in the view 

Sam and Auntie Meg

Low tide at Mile Beach