Sunday, February 28, 2010

Not Something You See Every Day

Today, we were trying to cram in my run, Ryan's long run, a trip to the Apple store, Sam's Club and Babies R Us, so I was on the docket for an early morning run. I headed out around 8:15am after I put Sam down for her morning nap. She was up at 6am again, cooing and babbling in her crib. I didn't go in and get her until around 6:15am, at which time I found her with both her arms out of the swaddle, smiling away. As I needed to be back in time for Ryan to get out the door to head to Portland for all the above errands, I just decided to head back across the street and do loops on the High School road. Not very exciting, but hey. The roads were a bit sloppy, but it was sure pretty out, with the heavy snow coating the trees. As I was heading down Canam Drive toward Rt. 201 on my second loop, I noticed a big group of people filing by. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but as I got closer I realized it was an Army platoon, dressed in full gear with big packs and guns, walking by. There must have been over 100 of them. And I was going to have to run by them all. This is not something you do every day!

As I passed the few back-of-the-pack stragglers, I said "Morning" to each one, but as I got up next to the main group, with the leaders yelling at the troops and the men/women, 3 or 4 wide, walking down the side of the road, I just lowered my head, picked up the pace and trucked on by. I can't imagine what they were thinking, watching this little women in red gloves run by them down the middle of the road, bright and early on a Sunday morning, during their training walk/run. It did make me run faster though, I must say! And more power to them all for walking who knows how far in those heavy boots, with heavy packs and guns! I was glad to just have one more lap to go to finish off my morning workout :-)

In Sam news, yesterday while I was at work and Ryan was watching her for the day, she finally rolled over from the back to her tummy. She's been working on it all week, getting most of the way, but getting stuck on that one pesky arm tucked under her torso. I was sad to miss it, but this morning while we were hanging out before my run, she rolled over several times. She seemed very proud of herself for doing so :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Early Morning Run

Sam is starting to wake up early. Like 6am early. I am a morning person, so I don't mind, but this morning, I was planning to head out for a run so it meant Ryan had to get up and watch Sam while I was out. I don't think he is too happy that Sam is turning into a morning person! :-)

As I was getting out of bed, big wet snowflakes began to fall from the sky. Just enough to create a nice layer of slushy snow on the ground and make things messy. Since I wasn't sure what the conditions on the powerlines would be, I decided to run two loops on the high school loop. Of course, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to go out Forest or Munroe, so I added a little bit in the middle to make sure I didn't mess things up. Turns out I had gone the correct way, so my additional mini-loop around the middle school brought the total distance for the morning up to 3.5 miles. I really should have done one more lap to get to 5 miles, but I just didn't have it in me. Oh well, at least I got out there! And now it's off to work...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


While most of the northeast is getting some major snow out of this storm, here on the coast we are getting cold rain. Ugh. I should have gone out for my run today during Sam's morning nap. It wasn't raining yet, and she ended up sleeping for a hour and 45 minutes! Who knew?! Instead, I headed out during her last nap of the day, around 3:30. It was not nice out. It was rainy. And windy. And 43 degrees. And I got splashed by a pick-up truck about 1 minute into my run. Excellent. What snow was left on the powerlines is very quickly disappearing, leaving in its wake mud and lots of sinkholes. I tried to power through the loop as quickly as I could, just so I could get back inside and take a shower to get warm!

Although it was nasty out, Sam was all smiles inside. She is so darn cute!

Go Sea Dogs!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Five with the Family

This afternoon, since both Ryan and I had 5 miles on our schedule and it was 45 degrees out, we decided to take Sam out in the B.O.B. and run together. We went down to the bike path, and enjoyed a pleasant run together, chatting away about things that we rarely have the energy to discuss at night after putting Sam to bed, which was nice. Sam was a good girl, and was very content to watch as the world wizzed by as Ryan rolled her along. She did finally fall asleep about a half hour into the ride, which was a good thing! As it was such a warm afternoon, there were lots of people out and about, and we didn't even have to contend with any wind - hurray!

Flora and fauna notes: Saw a flock of cedar waxwing flitting about in the fruit trees along the river, and also saw a huge Immature Bald Eagle hanging out in a tree along the banks. He was there both on our way out and on the way back, and man was he a big bird! Very cool!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend Fun

Saturday morning we were up bright and early so that I could head over to Valerie's for her "All I Want for my Birthday is a Fat Ass" event. It was a beautiful morning, warm and sunny with no wind. Of course, this meant that the conditions were a bit variable out on the course, but it was certainly a nice day to be outside! There was quite a crowd gathered outside Val and Linda's homes, chatting and drinking coffee and gearing up for the run. The 5 mile loop took us through multiple fields around the area, which made for some tough going on the ankles as without decent snowcover, the terrain was a mix of frozen chunks of field grasses, mud, ice and occasional soft snow.

We all headed out together, but the group quickly spread out as people found their own rhythms. I started out running next to Ian and Blaine, and soon realized there was no way I was going to keep up with them! I dropped back to chat with Kevin for a few minutes, and then got into a groove where I was running with Rick, his friend Steve, and his brother-in-law, in from Colorado to join in on the fun. By the end, I was running with Randy, who had run out to join us late in the game. We had a good time chatting as we wound through the fields, and I was happy to finish up the 5.1 mile loop in 49:27. Always easier to go faster when you're having fun talking away as you run :-)

By the time we got back to the house, Ryan had arrived with Sam, so I took over on parenting duties while he took off for his 3 loops (he's training for something, I'd say :-) ). I hung out for a while, but soon it was time to take off for event #2 on the schedule for the day - lunch with Doug, Lucy, Neal, Kendra and Peyron, who had come up to visit. I was sorry to leave the fun of the Fat Ass, but had a great time! Thanks to Val and Rick for hosting! Always fun to hang out with the Trail Monsters :-)

After lunch and a nice afternoon hanging out with our friends, we agreed to cap off the weekend by meeting for breakfast this morning at Broadway Deli, which is always a good thing! I love breakfast out! Once again Sam sat in her BebePod on the table, entertaining us all (and the staff!) with her antics and smile. It was nice to have a chance to show her off to our friends this weekend and to catch up with everyone! After breakfast, we headed home, where Sam nicely took a 1 1/2 hour nap and woke up nice and happy for some playtime!

Happy playtime!

Due to the weight of the fruit pancakes sitting in my belly, I didn't get out for my run until late this afternoon, but got in a decent 5 miler over in Highland Green.

So, all in all, a great weekend and some good running too. The only downside to the weekend is that I am currently writing this post from Ryan's computer, as my laptop has officially died. Dead. Gone. Caput. Not good. Looks like it's time for a new computer...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Midweek Running

Tuesday I headed out in the late afternoon, just as the first big wet snowflakes were starting to fall. I took the path of least resistance and headed across the street for a repeat of Monday's run. The snow on the powerlines and in the woods was a bit softer than the day before, but I managed to run the loop about a minute faster. Almost as soon as I stopped running, the snow stopped too. So much for the big storm we were supposed to get! What an odd winter...

Having run three days in a row, I took Wednesday as a rest day and told Ryan to make sure I got out the door Thursday morning for a run before work. Sam slept from 7:00pm until 2:00am Wednesday night, which was great, but then was up at 4:00 and 6:00, which was not so great. Ah well, it meant that I was up and ready to run at least :-) Once again, I headed across the street into Highland Green. I was planning to run 4 miles, extending our 3-mile loop by a mile on the roads and as the powerlines only had patches of snow left during my run on Tuesday, I figured my road shoes would suffice. Luckily they did fine on what snow was left along the way, and I enjoyed a nice run with warm temps and no wind.

Thursday's run put my weekly mileage at 20 already, so my plan for tomorrow's Fat Ass race up at Valerie's is to just run one 5-mile loop. Sounds like the conditions are going to be tough in the field anyway, so I think that will be plenty! Plus, that will put me home early enough to hang out with our friends Doug & Lucy, who are coming to visit from western Massachusetts, and Neal & Kendra, who are coming up from Boston for the day. I'm excited to see everyone and have them meet Sam! Should be fun :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Easy Three

Today I got out for a nice 3 mile run at lunchtime. It was 36 degrees, but felt warmer with the shining sun and no wind. I wore my regular Inov-8s, and they provided enough traction on the trail sections of the Highland Green loop. In fact, in the woods where the high school had previously groomed the trails for skate skiing, the running was great, as with the grooming, the trails had been nicely packed down and it was the perfect surface for my trail shoes. I took it pretty easy, and it felt good to loosen up my legs after yesterday's run.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with Sam. During the day, she went through about 5 outfits due to either spit-up, pee or poop explosions (this is nothing new - it happens most days! Yeah laundry!!) but I did manage to get a shot of her in this adorable "My Auntie Loves Me" outfit from Auntie Meg. So cute :-)

"My Auntie Loves Me"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

10 Miles and a Happy Baby

After being a disaster for Ryan while he was watching her yesterday, Sam was back to her happy self today, thank goodness! It's amazing what getting some good sleep will do! This morning, we spent some time playing and squirming around on her mat, where she rolled over twice, and then after her morning nap, I suited up and headed out for my long run around 10:30 am. I'm very loosely following a marathon plan - a mix of Hal Higdon, Runner's World and my own ideas on what works for me and with my schedule at the moment - in the hopes that I might be ready to run the 50k at Pineland this spring, so the schedule called for a 10 mile run today. Ideally, in preparation for a trail 50k, I should be doing my long runs on the trails, but that just wasn't in the cards for today. A road run through Brunswick would have to do.

I ran down to Maquoit Bay, where the ice was jumbled up in the bay and a murder of crows was crowing overhead. It was sunny and warm, and although a bit windy, I was feeling good. In fact, I was running a bit too fast. Not that I am "fast" per say, but I realize that most training plans would have me doing my long runs at a slightly slower pace than I tend to run. On the other hand, it's nice to know that I can keep up a decent pace and I figured it must be a good indicator of how things are progressing if I can crank out 8:41 pace on a 10 mile road run. So I won't complain, although my legs might be tomorrow morning :-)

This evening, Sam was in "baby jail," and was working on grabbing the links pictured below. She sure looks surrounded by lots of crazily colored toys, that's for sure! Talk about stimulation :-)

I can grab those!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nap Wars and the B.O.B.

Keith summed it up yesterday, saying: "I think it's an understatement to say that your daughter is a terrible napper." Yup. None of those nice 2 to 3 hour naps that you hear about for us. A few days earlier this week, we got an hour to 1.5 hours from Sam during her morning nap, but the past two days, when she's been at work with me and even an hour nap would be appreciated, she has been a terror and has refused to nap. Yesterday I got one 40 minute nap out of her. Today, she was up for over 4 hours before I finally got her to go down for a 30 minute nap. And this was after 2 failed attempts with one attempt involving not only her screaming bloody murder, but me trying all means necessary, including the pacifier, putting her down unswaddled, and her falling asleep numerous time in my arms only to wake up the second her head hit the sheet.

It is a wonderful thing that she can come up to work with me 2 to 3 days a week at this time of year. It means we didn't have to start her in daycare, saving us money and saving her from getting lots and lots of winter colds this year. She gets to be with us all the time, we aren't missing any of her developmental changes, and I can nurse her easily. It is a blessing. But on days like today, having her with me at times makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. I didn't get any work done. I also felt badly that she wasn't home, where she might actually have been able to sleep longer (or heaven forbid, more often!). Luckily, I have an understanding boss and it is quiet up at the gallery at this time of year. This meant that today, with Sam obviously unhappy and way overtired, I was able to leave at 3:45. On my way home, with the sun high in the sky and the thermometer in the car reading 40 degrees, and me feeling super frustrated, I thought this might be a good day for all three of us to get out for a run. I knew I sure could use a little exercise to clear my head! Ryan was game, so when I got home, I quickly changed clothes, we bundled Sam up and off we went.

All bundled up and ready to roll!

We decided to do two loops on the high school road, netting us 3.1 miles. I am not sure exactly what Sam thought of her run in the B.O.B., with the world zooming by and Ryan making funny faces at her the whole way. She had that wide-eyed look that is somewhere between confusion and amazement. But she sure looked cute in the hat Shannon knit for her, and she didn't cry, so I'll call it a success. Which is a good thing because she is likely going to be spending lots of time in good 'ol B.O.B. once the days get longer and warmer!

Bathtime Fun

On Wednesday, when the doctor recommended that we add olive oil to Sam's bath, I nodded. Olive oil. Sure we could do that. We have a big vat of it at home. Just add to the bath. Easy.

Then, that night, while Nate and Shannon were over having dinner with us, Sam melted down even sooner than expected - shots at the doctors office and infected eczema will do that to a little girl. I was attempting to inhale my sweet potato burrito as quickly as humanly possible and still converse with our friends, while Ryan started the bath. As he was getting her ready to put into the tub, he looked over and said, 'Hey, can you do the olive oil thing? I don't know what to do.' So, over to the tub I went, and into it I poured a healthy dose of olive oil. 'Hey, I've never done this before, so who knows?' is what I was thinking as I poured the oil in.

I then returned to the table to be sociable, while Ryan started bathing Sam. He immediately was muttering, 'Disgusting!' and 'Can you get me the bath towel?' His hands were covered with oil. Meanwhile, Sam was sliding around in the oil covered tub, and wouldn't stay upright. I couldn't stop laughing. Finally we decided to just forgo the 'clean the baby' part of bathtime, and get her out of there. Ryan wasn't sure he could pick her up without her falling to the floor, but we managed to get her into the towel without any disasters. We then were supposed to lube her up with Aquaphor, which is a seriously thick and gooey vaseliney type substance. Boy was she one greasy baby! To the side I see Ronnie, who was licking the bath towel - he loves olive oil for some reason. And the whole while, Nate and Shannon are calmly eating their burritos, bearing witness to this fiasco :-) Hey, someone needed to be there to watch and enjoy the spectacle!

Last night, I was on my own for bathtime, and I quickly decided that 1) less oil should be used and 2) it should be added at the end of bathtime, so that I could actually clean Sam first. This was much more effective, but would have been decidedly not as much fun of a spectacle to watch :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

4 Months

Sam is now four months old! Amazing how time flies and how much she has changed in the past weeks. She is growing like crazy, and is having fun laughing and talking to us, as well as trying to put everything she can get her hands on into her mouth. She is getting pretty strong - she loves standing up, and can last a few seconds sitting up on her own before sinking off to one side or the other. She has rolled over a few more times since her 'big day' of 5 rolls, but seems more interested in 'swimming' around on her activity map and putting her little butt up in the air as if she is trying to crawl. Once she figures that one out I think we are in trouble! :-)

Today at her appointment, she was weighing in at 12 lbs. 4 oz. (double her birth weight!) and is now 23 3/4" long. This puts her in the 12th percentile for weight and 25th for height, so still pretty small, but growing steadily. Her head circumference is 15 3/4" (or as Ryan says, she has one big melon!). Of course, she also has some bad eczema, the poor girl, and we will now be dipping her in big vats of olive oil and Aquaphor (seriously!) and will hope that the antibiotics the doctor prescribed will heal up the really bad spots. Still, despite that, she is a very happy baby, so we feel pretty lucky!

Happy baby!

Probably because of said eczema Sam didn't sleep great last night, and I was feeling really badly about and worrying over her poor skin all day, so by this afternoon, I was pretty tired out. The dreary grey sky didn't help, nor the fact that it is looking like April out there - brown and muddy - when there should be a wonderful coating of pristine snow on the ground. Anyway, I forced myself out the door and got in 3 miles out and back on the powerlines. The snowmobile trails are looking pretty grim, with lots of bare spots and others where the snow and ice are beginning to give way. Because of that, I took it pretty easy on the hills on the way out but tried to push a bit harder on the way back. I hope I can get up and out to get in a 5 miler on Friday to get in a medium run this week. I have always liked running in the mornings, but with Sam's unpredictable schedule, it's a bit tougher these days! Ah well, good training for something, I'm sure :-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Windy Nine

It was a bright, sunshiney and warm day for my long run. It was also really windy. I guess that's what I get for doing my long run on the roads down to the ocean. Simpson's Point was very pretty though, with the sun glinting off the ice and a group of black ducks flying low over the frozen bay at low tide.

As the weeks go on, my threshold for getting tired during these longer runs is stretching out. When I first started back up, I could feel the tiredness seeping into my legs around 30 minutes. Then it stretched to 40 or 45. Today I felt strong, despite the wind, until right around an hour. At that point, I was pretty ready to be done, if only to escape the ever-present wind in my face. I pushed as hard as I could through the last miles, and manged to finish up in 1:19:07 / 8:47 pace. I'll take it! (Special thanks to Ryan for watching the little lady while I was out running. It is nice to have a supportive partner in this whole 'return to training' thing - makes it much easier!!)

Speaking of Ryan, I could not convince him that we should go out to eat for his birthday today. Not breakfast. Not lunch. Not dinner. Not anything. What a stinker! He really is turning into an old fart :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Afternoon Jaunt

This morning after Ryan headed to Cape Elizabeth to volunteer at the 10 miler, I loaded up Sam and all the baby accoutrement necessary for any sort of trip over a 1/2 hour, and headed to Gorham to hang out with Kristen and Morgan for a bit. The house was quiet when I arrived, except for Morgan racing around like crazy. I don't know how the big kids and Rob were sleeping through it, but they were! Morgan was very excited for a visit from 'baby Sam' as she called her, and Kristen and I drank coffee and chatted while Sam played on her mat, and Morgan flitted in and out of the room. Morgan was very cute with Sam, and I got a few good shots of them together, including this one:

Hugs from Morgan

Later in the morning, Caitlin came downstairs, and Sam took a liking to her fingers, chomping away on them. Ummm, baby drool :-)

This afternoon after we got home, Ryan and I sat on the couch, both saying we wanted to get a run in, but not really. I just wasn't feeling it. It was windy. I was tired. But I knew if I didn't get out at all, I'd be really mad at myself. So, out I went, knowing that 3 miles is better than none. And the extra two miles that I should have run today should be pretty easy to make up later this week. My long run is in the works for tomorrow - 9 miles. I sure hope this wind dies down, or it's going to be one windy run out to Simpson's Point!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Morning Three

After I fed Sam at 6:45am this morning, I got up and dressed for a short run. Since all my miles this week have been in my screw shoes on icy, snowy, uneven trails, I thought I'd break out the road shoes today and get in an easy, flat road run for a change. When I started out, I noticed two things: 1) it was colder than I thought and I wasn't quite dressed warmly enough! Brrrr! and 2) I felt like I was running on air! All the cushioning in my Asics was quite noticeable after my other runs this week in the minimalist Inov-8s. I headed down the Connector and into Highland Green. I felt like I was dragging the whole way, but when I got back and looked at the numbers on the Garmin, it appears I wasn't dragging, instead I was running 8:35 pace. As Ryan always says, I have no sense of pace, and didn't look at my watch while running, so I guess that's why it felt hard. Well, I'll take that sort of dragging feeling over real dragging any day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

4, 5, 35

Monday I got out on the snowmobile trails along the powerlines for a 4 mile run. I was feeling pretty stiff from Sunday's 8 miler and a bit tired, but the trails, although icy in spots and not as consistent as they had been before the rains, were good running and it was good to work the kinks out. After the run and some good stretching, my legs were feeling better - it always amazes me how running the day after a long run can actually make your legs feel better than taking that day off!

This morning, Sam was up and smiling at 7am, so we were all up :-) Although a little extra sleep or quiet time would have been nice, being out of bed early meant Ryan was up for indulging my desire to go out for a birthday breakfast. We headed to our favorite breakfast spot, Broadway Deli, and enjoyed our pancakes and coffee while Sam sat on the table in her BebePod and smiled at the other customers and the waitresses :-)

Why can't I have some of those pancakes?!

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with Sam, and during her last nap at 3pm, I finally headed out for my run. I wasn't going to run 35 miles to celebrate the day, and wanted to run more than just 35 minutes, so I stuck with my "plan" and went back out on the snowmobile trails for today's 5 miler. I felt pretty good and ran the out-and-back at a pretty good clip (for me), despite having to tiptoe across some of the icy spots, now covered with a thin dusting of snow, on a few of the hills. The sun was starting to sink in the sky as I headed home, it was warm (for February) and the birds were chirping. I couldn't help but smile. I had had a yummy breakfast with my hubby and cute kiddo, was out for a trail run on a beautiful day, had talked to many of my family and friends, and was planning to send Ryan out to pick me up some ice cream after Sam went to bed later. What more could I want for my birthday? :-)