Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some Fat Ass Fun

No, no, not that kind of fat ass, but a fat ass "race" with our Trail Monster friends. Erin and Blaine were our generous hosts for today's event, and a big group of us turned out to run this morning. Ryan took first shift on "Sam duty" so I suited up and went out with the group on the 8-mile loop. Jim had the most creative attire on - sporting a gorgeous pink thong on top of his running clothes. Why? I have no idea! - while the rest of us were bundled up more appropriately for the run. It was pretty chilly - I think it might have reached double digits by the time we started out around 8:30 - but it was sunny and there was no wind, so I warmed up pretty quickly as we wound our way across various fields on some icy snowmobile trails and on the narrow singletrack trails of a local preserve.

Mindy nicely hung out in the back of the pack with me, and we had fun catching up, since I haven't seen her since right after Sam was born! Blaine popped back now and then to see how we were doing, and in the last few miles, Valerie ran with us too, which was nice! Thanks guys! I haven't been on a group run like this since sometime in April, so it was a great change of pace. As always, the group spread out a bit as we ran along, but the fast guys at the front stopped at pertinent trail junctions to make sure we were all on track. The loop took us 1:20 and by the last section on the road, I was definitely feeling all the lateral movements I'd been making across the uneven terrain on the fields, but overall felt good and was happy to get in a good long trail run with friends. Thanks guys!

When we got back in to Erin and Blaine's, Ryan was suited up to run and Sam was asleep. A number of us stopped after one lap, but the rest of the group went back out. Those of us who stayed behind enjoyed the vast spread of yummy food and sat, talking, relaxing and watching Sam as she squirmed on the activity mat once she woke up. It was a great morning and lots of fun to catch up with the gang!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Talking, Rocking and Rolling

Samantha January 2010 from sn0m8n on Vimeo.

Ryan made a short video last night featuring some of Sam's recent exploits. So if you're looking to laugh at a baby smiling, drooling, babbling and rolling, this is for you :-)

Friday, January 29, 2010


This morning's 3 miler brought my weekly mileage up to 20. Woohoo! First 20 mile week in a long while. I feel like I've been running strong this month, but I haven't exactly been running much. Taking care of Sam and juggling both Ryan and my work schedules have meant that I've really only been able to get in four days of running a week this month. Perhaps this is a good thing. It certainly has kept me from coming back too quickly and getting hurt after my time off.

Today I headed out at 7:30am across the street. With the temperature reading 10 degrees and the wind blowing, it was a marked change from Wednesday's run! I think it was around 40 degrees on Wednesday when I went out for my 5 mile run through Highland Green. It was warm enough that the ice was melting and I was carefully tiptoeing across some of the frozen puddles along the back road in the development. No need to be fearful of falling into the water today! Instead, I was trying not to slip on the ice or step into any holes in the snowdrifts on the powerlines. What a change a few days make - winter certainly returned with a vengeance!

In Sam news, this morning during naked time, (Yes, we do naked time. She loves it and it is good for her bum, which suffers from being cooped up in diapers all day long.) she rolled over from her stomach to her back. She looked a bit surprised. I cheered and turned her back over, wondering if she could repeat the feat. She did. I cheered and turned her back over again. By this time, Ryan had come back into the room and was lamenting the fact that he had missed 2 rolls. No need to fear, she did it again. And again. And again. 5 rolls in all. I think we can safely say she knows how to roll over :-) She is also "talking" up a storm, making lots of cooing noises and trying out different sounds. It is really cute!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



Big smile!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I am not a treadmill fan. However, on days like today, I wish we had one. I would have run my four miles inside. Instead, I headed out around 2:30pm for my run, even though Ryan said "I wouldn't recommend it." Of course, this was after he returned from his run, so who is he to say? Well, he was right. It was nasty out there. It was windy. It was rainy. I almost got blown off the road multiple times. And despite the temperature on the thermometer reading 47, the puddles were damn cold. But I got in the miles, and that's always a good thing. Now, if only the weather would shape up and start acting like it is January again, that would be nice!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friday, Saturday and Sunday Adventures

Friday morning I got out for a quick 3-mile run before work. Sam hadn't slept well - waking up time and time again - but I had asked Ryan to not let me off the hook with my run, so he pushed me out the door. And I'm glad he did. I did the same out-and-back into Highland Green as Wednesday. The powerlines were a bit more solid, so overall the run was a bit faster and easier, but the trails will need a bit more traffic to be back to really packed and fast.

Saturday I took the day off from work, and the three of us headed over to King Pine in East Madison, NH for the Pooh Hill snowshoe race. Luckily, the race didn't start until 11:30am, so the morning was a bit less harried. Sam was a trooper and slept the whole way there, and then was very good while we hung out in the noisy and crowded lodge waiting for the race to start. It was a gorgeous day, and pretty warm by January standards, so once I suited her up in the adorable pink bear fleece suit we got as a gift and put her in the sling, she was toasty warm.

All suited up for spectating

We took in the start, and then went back inside for a while before venturing out again to watch the winners and to cheer on Ryan, who did awesome, coming in 26th and working hard on what looked like a great course!

Ryan sporting the "I'm working really hard here" grimace

Sam was super content to be in the sling, and even fell asleep as I walked around in the sun after Ryan finished.

Sam gets a comfy ride

We stayed for the awards, with Sam only looking slightly startled at all the clapping that ensued, and Ryan got an extra cheer when he walked up to get his raffle prize of Redhook Slim Chance beer with Sam in his arms. Gotta cheer for the baby :-)

After the race we headed down to Ryan's parents for a visit. Grammie and Grampie were very happy to see Sam, and of course, she reveled in all the attention :-)

Hanging onto Grampie's fingers

We had a great time and Sam showed off her skills, rolling over this morning for Grammie and Grampie, and talking up a storm. I had an 8-mile run in the schedule for today, so with the help of, I mapped out a loop through Georgetown and Rowley. I knew some of the roads already, so felt comfortable taking off on my own (although I did have directions scribbled down on a post-it and my phone, just in case I got turned around!). I headed out around 10am as Ryan was putting Sam down for a nap. The loop took me out to Route 1, where I was greeted by a beautiful sky above the salt water marshes, and then along the Mill River in Rowley. The roads rolled and rambled, and there wasn't much traffic, which was nice. I saw and heard a lot of birds as I ran along - juncoes, chickadees, flocks of robins, six turkeys, a Downy Woodpecker, cardinals, blue jays, one Purple Finch - as the route was full of the sort of low, junky scrub along the roadside that the birds love so much.

I felt pretty good throughout, although by 6 miles (when I passed the 'just in case' bail out to Ryan's parents house) I was feeling a bit tired. As I came up on the 7 mile mark, I noted a runner headed in my direction and realized it was Ryan, who was nice enough to come out and join me for the final stretch. I finished the loop, which turned out to be 8.25 miles, in 1:13:11. All told, a good run at a decent pace, and a good way to finish up the weekend's adventures :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fighting for Three

Some days the run comes easy. And some days it doesn't. Today was one of those latter days. I was feeling a bit of cabin fever today from being cooped up inside the past few days, but I've also been sick, so I wasn't sure how today's run would go. I decided to just head across the street to keep things simple, but realized it could be rough going, depending on how many snowmobiles had been out on the powerlines. And rough it was, for although a few snowmobiles had been out and the snow was wet and therefore potentially good and packable, it was also unpredictable, being firm in one spot and soft the next. However, I know once a few more machines run over it and the temps drop, it's going to be back to great running!

The rest of the run was on Highland Green Road, and road running is just not all that enjoyable in screw shoes. I had hoped to run 5 miles today, but turned around at the club house, knowing I just didn't have the energy for the long loop. Ah well, I got in 3 miles and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stupid Cold!

I thought that I had escaped Ryan's cold from the other week, but apparently not. Or perhaps I got another strain. Either way, my nose is currently a faucet - lovely image, huh? :-) And poor Sam has the cold too. But she may be dealing with it better than I am! Despite the snot, she was cheery all day long, and actually slept pretty well last night too.

Laughing at Daddy

Hi :-)
Combine the cold with today's nice snowfall, and it means I did not get in a run today. And likely won't tomorrow either, as Ryan is headed over to NH for work. Ah well. Hopefully I'll be back at it on Wednesday and will be feeling better too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Seven on the Roads

I had a seven-mile run on the books to run today, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to run said seven on the roads. I don't know why I thought that would be best. But it is what I did. I parked at Bowdoin and headed out down Middle Bay Road to Rossmore, and looped back on Maquoit. There some nice views of the salt water marshes and the ocean along Rossmore, which was nice, and I got a good look at a Kingfisher who was sitting down by one of the tidal rivers along the route - such neat looking birds! But it was on the roads, it was flat and it was windy (in all directions... how does that happen?).

As I was coming up on the last mile, I was thinking to myself, why is this feeling hard? Is it a) because I am running at a faster pace than last week's 6 miler on the snowmobile trails, b) because I am more tired (I'm a bit stuffy today, and Sam appears to have finally gotten Ryan's cold (or perhaps another cold strain) and is super congested, meaning she was up a lot last night), c) because I am running on the roads, or d) all of the above. I definitely went out a bit too fast, and around mile 4 realized I was dragging a bit. I wouldn't call this run an evenly paced one, but in the end, I managed to hold it together and finish the 7 miles in 1:01:42. This isn't much slower than I probably would have been running on the same loop two summers ago when we were training for MDI, so I'm pretty happy with that. But somehow I'm sure I would have had a much more enjoyable hour out if I had been running on the trails! Next time :-)

And although Sam is congested, she is still a pretty happy little girl, thank goodness! Here are a few shots from yesterday to prove it :-)

Mmmm... hand...

Look at me, I'm cute! :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bright and Early

The plan was to run on Thursday before work. Thursday was to be the day because Ryan was working from home, so he could watch Sam. Friday he was headed up to NH so that was out, and today he is headed over to NH for his first snowshoe race, so running this morning wasn't likely either. But I did not get out on Thursday. Sam seems to be going through a growth spurt and the past few nights has been up a lot. That means I have been extra tired. So, when I didn't get out on Thursday I was pretty disappointed with myself, but also made a Plan B and C in the hopes that I might actually be able to get those measley 3 miles in to round out my week. Plan B (get up before Ryan left for work on Friday) didn't work. So, it was down to Plan C - get up and run before Ryan headed out for his race on this morning.

And miracle of all miracles, Sam slept from 7:30am until 3:30pm (meaning I slept from 9:30 until 3:30), and so I felt "rested", meaning getting up at 6am to go out and run before it was time for feeding #2 seemed doable. So, by 6:15 this morning I was suited up with headlamp and vest and was out the door. I haven't been out running this early in a long time, and even when I have been out running so bright and early it has been the summer, so it has actually been light. I decided to just do the quick out-and-back on Highland Green Road via the powerlines. I did turn the headlamp on for the powerline section, but the other sections of the run were all lit by street lights, and by the return trip, the sun was rising, and I had the chance to watch as the band of pinks and oranges lit the sky up along the horizon. Beautiful.

So here I am at 7:45, a smile on my face and a cup of steaming coffee in my hand, with a sleeping baby upstairs, and my run for the day accomplished! Now that feels good :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Six on the Snowmobile Trails

This morning I hit the powerlines and snowmobile trails for a 6 mile trail run. The sky was blue, it was warming up quickly into the 20s, and the trails were packed and firm. What more could I ask for? Of course, I did take a big digger at mile 1, where I had some good momentum coming down off the hill after Highland Green Road. Ow! My right foot went through what looked like a solid, crusty surface into the powdery snow below, down to my upper shin, and I fell forward onto my left side. That snow is hard, let me tell you! After a quick stop to shake myself off and make sure all was well, I continued on, glad that no damage seemed to have been done.

At the two mile mark, I headed left onto some snowmobile trails I had not ventured onto before. Our normal summer route along the powerlines continues straight, but there is a big ravine that the snowmobiles can't get across, so they head left instead. Ryan had run on these trails last winter, so he was able to give me a bit of a preview of the trail. There was some nice long flat stretches as well as some twisty, narrower sections, and the running was really nice. I turned around when the Garmin read 3 miles, but I'd like to continue on and explore the trails a bit more. Seems like some good winter running possibilities. I finished up the run in 58:01, which I was pretty happy with, although I was certainly tired as I came in the door. Still, it's nice to be getting out for some longer runs and upping the mileage a bit!

And just because, here are a few shots of little Sam :-)

Look at my socks!

Smile :-)

Monday, January 11, 2010

4 Miles and 3 Months

I decided during yesterday's run that I would run along the powerlines for my 4-mile run today. The trail was too nicely packed not to! The temperature had warmed up to 32 degrees by the time I got out around 2:30pm this afternoon, which felt like a heat wave, and the run was great. The snowmobiles had done a great job of packing down the snow and making a wonderfully firm surface for running. I cruised along, listening to the chickadees and juncoes chirping in the bushes, and enjoying the contrast of the red winterberries against the white snow. The trail has a number of short, but steep, hills, and I felt strong on all of them, which gives me hope. It's been 3 months since Sam was born, and although I don't feel totally back to my 'old' self, it is nice to feel as though I might be getting back into shape!

Speaking of 3 months, I have been remiss in mentioning that on Saturday, Sam turned 3 months old. Wow! Crazy that 3 months has gone by. And how much she has changed in that time!

Gone is the alien-baby look, and the little one who was engulfed by the "Mommy, Daddy, Me" 3-month onesie impulse buy purchased by Ryan.

Sam, 10 days old

In her place is an adorable (at least we think so!), smiling, wiggly, alert and curious little girl, who fills out said onesie (or at least mostly fills it out! It is still loose around her mid-section. She's gotten bigger, but she isn't exactly big!).

Sam, 3 months, 2 days

There is not an official 3 month doctor's visit, so I can't tell you any of the vital statistics, but she seems to be thriving, and so what can we say? We're feeling pretty lucky right now!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Morning 5 Miler

It's funny how time changes once you have a child. No longer can I just head out the door at any old time to run. It all has to be coordinated, and work with Sam's nap and feeding schedule. And as it's just too cold for us to take her out in the B.O.B. and run together at this point, so we have to switch off. It took all morning for both of us to get our runs in, but get them in we did :-) I headed out first. It was cool but bright. There was a slight wind, and a flock of robins flew overhead as I headed out onto the powerlines. It was great running to Highland Green Road - nicely packed by a lot of snowmobiles and solid due to the cold snap. Perfect. If I had had on my screw shoes, I would have continued on the powerlines instead of turning onto the pavement. Made me wish we were over running at Bradbury on the snowmobile trails. Would have been nice, I'm sure! Instead, I headed onto the roads through Highland Green, and then onto the back road to complete the lollypop. The back road is dirt, but it was plowed and nice and packed. A bit icy in spots but my Inov-8s have good traction and I was able to maintain a pretty good pace. All in all, a good run.

In other news, we've added a new toy to the roster. Our downstairs looks like a daycare center! My parents got Sam a 'baby jail,' as Ryan calls it, for Christmas, and we brought it downstairs this week. She isn't quite big enough for it, and her feet don't touch the ground, so she just sort of wobbles back and forth in it, but it's another amusement :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I didn't get the 4 mile run I had planned in on Thursday. Or on Friday. And today, after feeding Sam at 5:45am, I went back to bed instead of getting up to run. So I thought all was lost. I was feeling pretty disappointed with myself. I wasn't going to get another run in this week. But Ryan went above and beyond, and kicked me out the door at 8am after feeding #2 so that I could get my run in before heading to work and leaving him at home with Sam all day. Hurray for a good hubby :-)

Since I was pressed for time, I simply ran across the street and did loops on the high school road. It was windy. And boring. But I got in the miles, got home, got changed and organized, fed Sam and headed out the door on time to work. I was a bit of a wreck though. I haven't been away from Sam for more than a few hours at a time since she was born. I knew that Ryan could handle it, but was worried. It is tough work being at home all day with a 3 month old baby! I hoped she would be good and take her bottles and not be too much to handle. I also hoped that I would be OK away from her for 7 hours! Of course, I was much more productive at work than I have been on the days she's been in with me, but it wasn't quite as much fun :-)

I kept checking in with Ryan throughout the day, and found that Sam picked today to take an almost 2 hour morning nap along with 2 good 45 minute afternoon naps! Sheesh! He had it easy :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

5 in the Commons

Today's 5 mile run in the snow in the Commons took me longer than Monday's 6 mile road run. Ugh. I definitely lost a fair amount of both core and ankle strength and stability during the pregnancy. I think it is likely from a combination of not doing my core exercises for a number of months as well as both not running on trails and not hiking. Both hiking and trail running really work the stomach muscles and build up those ankles, and I can really tell that I haven't been doing much of either. Something to work on, that's for sure!

However, despite taking a while, the run was good. The trails were reasonably packed by skiers and walkers, although as noted above the unevenness and variability of terrain took its toll on the pace. The woods were pretty with the snow accented against the dark pine trees, and the late afternoon light casting a soft glow on everything. In flora and fauna news, I spotted a Hairy woodpecker, and four Mallards on the first pond.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No Running Today

No running today, as Ryan is over in New Hampshire for work and I'm on Sam duty. I could probably take her out in the B.O.B. for a run on smooth pavement at this point as she is really quite strong neck-wise, but I'm just not sure I'm ready to try it on my own yet. So instead, I'll treat you to some recent photos. Sam has really taken a liking to the activity mat we got as a gift from my sister Kristen, and loves to wiggle around on it, batting at all the toys that are attached to the arches above the mat. She smiles and squeals and has a blast, staying entertained on the mat for long stretches at a time. She also has found her hands, and is getting a bit more coordinated about actually getting them in her mouth.

Swinging at the toys

Fun times on the mat

Double fisting! :-)

And here is cute shot of Ronnie and Gigi cuddling :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Skiing and Running

My original intent for Sunday was to run, but it seemed a shame to waste all the nice new snow, so off to Pinelands we went! The place was packed when we arrived at 1pm, and there were a number of Trail Monsters, including Jamie, Jim, Stephen, James, Jeff and Cacky, out enjoying the skiing, which was unexpected and fun! I took first shift with Sam up in the Visitor's Center, and Ryan headed out with Jamie and Jim for a bit of a skate lesson - Jamie is new to skate skiing but seemed to be doing really well out there! I'm impressed - skate skiing is not easy, let me tell you! While they were out, I fed and changed Sam and after she had had enough of looking out the window, we did a few laps around the market until she fell asleep. She slept through shift change, and I headed out onto the snow for a lap with Jamie and Jim and then a few laps myself. It was a warm afternoon, and wet snow/rain was falling, but the conditions were pretty good, although there were no set classic tracks, so my ankles got a workout attempting to keep me stable as I skied along. I was only out for 30 minutes, but it was fun!

I'm trying to slowly up my weekly running mileage, so today's plan was to run 6 miles for my "long" run of the week. The shoulders and sidewalks around town seemed pretty messy when I was out doing errands this morning with Sam, so I opted to go to the bike path instead for my first bike path run of the winter :-) The wind was at my back for most of the way out, and underneath the gathering clouds there was a thin band of light above the trees along the icy river - very pretty. I added a bit on at the end of the bike path to get to 3 miles before I turned around, and finished the 6 miles in 53:00 for 8:50 pace - hurray! First longer run at under 9 minute pace :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Cute girl

We went to bed way before the ball dropped last night and were up early this morning. Perhaps this has something to do with a certain little someone? :-) After a yummy breakfast of pancakes and eggs, we had a relaxing morning watching the snow fall. But I couldn't let the day go by without going for a run - can't have the first day of a new year start off with a zero in the training log! - so I headed out for a 3 mile run after lunch. I found the short loop through Highland Green a good workout, with a mixture of heavy, wet, unpacked snow on the powerlines, unplowed backroads and a bit of clear pavement too. The snow fleas were out in force on the powerlines, and I saw a number of deer, rabbit and the requisite squirrel tracks as I ran along kicking up big clumps of snow in the woods. It was a nice afternoon to be out, with just a few flakes falling, and the temperatures in the mid 30s. Not the fastest run, but it was good to get out and start the year off right!