Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not 16

I woke up with a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Not exactly how I was hoping to feel on a morning I was planning to do a long run. It was also still raining, and we have a big pond out back where there should be no water. Prognosis for running on the Cathance River Trails, and for running 16 mile today was not looking good. I was feeling bummed out. It has been hard for me to get my long runs in, due to either Sam, or the weather, or Ryan's work schedule or his running plans. It is difficult to juggle everything, and my long runs have been getting the short end of the stick, so I was really looking forward to getting out today for a good chunk of time. But, I was not looking to be stupid either and run myself down if I wasn't feeling 100%. So, I sulked for a bit, and then decided I would go for an hour run after I dropped Sam off at daycare for her 2 hour 'playdate.'

I headed out at 10:30am onto the powerlines. They were soggy, as anticipated, and I hadn't gone much more than 1/2 a mile before my feet were wet. At least it was warm out. It was lightly misting and still windy, but much better than yesterday so that was nice! As I neared the end of the powerlines, I knew that I should probably add the additional 1.5 miles on before turning around, just so I didn't wimp out and only run 5 miles. I figured I would run down to the road and take it from there. When I got to the road, I realized I was only a short distance from a park that has a few trail signs, and which we are always driving by and commenting on how we should stop and check them out. So I figured, what the heck.

The park has a great sledding hill in the wintertime, and the trailhead leads you up to the top of this hill and then smaller trails fan out from there. I just sort of meandered around on the trails to check it out - the trails twist and turn on themselves in the woods and all pretty much end in surrounding neighborhoods. Not much running per se, but nice nonetheless! By the time I got back to the trailhead, I realized my run would be a bit longer than anticipated if I headed back on the powerlines, so instead I took the roads back to Highland Green and then turned onto the powerlines for the final stretch. Overall, despite having a bit of a cold, I felt good throughout and it was fun to explore some new trails!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Out Like A Lamb?

I don't think March is following the rules this year. But hey, we did have a few beautiful 70 degree days in the middle of the month, so maybe we can't complain.

I didn't get a run in on Sunday as Sam and I were being support crew for Ryan during his Run for the Border Half Marathon race. Then yesterday, I had Sam and it decidedly wasn't a day to take her outside in the B.O.B! So today, I had to run! I'm supposed to be training for a 50k here, and it was already Tuesday. This was getting ridiculous... So weather or no weather, I was headed out the door today. I snuck our during Sam's second nap of the day, around 11:30. Ryan thought the rain seemed to be tapering off, but he mustn't have been looking correctly out the window :-) I got plenty of pelting rain right in my face, not to mention wind. But all that aside, I did run the 5 mile loop around Highland Green rather quickly. I felt like I had to really work against the wind to keep moving - perhaps I was working a bit too hard. Ah well.

I had originally intended to run my long run of 16 miles today, and although I know I should get used to running in all sorts of weather as you never know what it will be like on race day, running my longest run in a long while out in the rain and wind on a 40 degree day just didn't seem like it made sense. So, Ryan and I juggled things a bit so that I can run long tomorrow. Sam is going to daycare for a "play date" for 2 hours in the morning, so I'll drop her off and then head right out on my run. I'll likely be out for around 3 hours, but Ryan offered to pick her up and bring her home, which is nice. I'm planning to do a combination of running along the powerlines, on the Cathance River trails and on the golf course cart paths. The trails and powerlines are likely to be pretty soggy, but hopefully the rain is going to stop tonight, or at least the wind is going to let up, so that it isn't a total sufferfest out there! I'll let you know :-)

And just because, here is an adorable photo of Sam from the weekend :-) Thanks to Corie for the cute top, and Mom and Dad for the jeans!

I'm cute :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2 Hour Intervals

I don't know about you, but being woken up at 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 5:00 by a restful and/or hungry child and finally up for the day at 6:30 isn't exactly restful. This was our Friday night. I don't know what is up with Sam, whether it's a phase, teething, a growth spurt or just a bad night, but whatever it is, it isn't nice. And it isn't good for training. But regardless, as I had only run twice this week, I dragged myself out of bed on Saturday morning for a run. I was not feeling very peppy, to say the least. I headed out on the powerlines in my Inov-8s, with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees and the sun shining brightly. With all the rain we've had recently and the recent plunge in temperature, the conditions on the lines were interesting. There were frozen puddles, thin ice cascades on the ledges, frozen sand, dirt, along with lots and lots of hoar frost in the mud and sand that made for very uneven footing.

Usually as I run, the negative thoughts come and then disappear, but this morning I'll admit that even as I was nearing the end of the run, I was still feeling a bit defeated. Not sleeping will do that to you, I guess. But as I was passing Topsham Crossing, I noticed a fox dart across the road, which made me smile. Then I looked left, and caught a glimpse of something else moving. I looked again - it was a big white rooster, with a bright red head and yellow feet, slipping and sliding across the frozen puddles in the field. I had to look a few more times to make sure I wasn't seeing things! It was very funny looking. Ryan is convinced I was so sleep deprived I was hallucinating, but I swear I saw it!

In other news, and in what seems like a world far, far away, 5 years ago today, Ryan and I took our first steps out of Amicalola State Park in Georgia to start our journey on the Appalachian Trail. I do love my life as it is now, but part of me wishes I could be back out there on the trail, following the white blazes north, with all I need on my back, enjoying the journey with all our AT friends. Yes, it was a hard journey, full of sweat and tears and sore muscles and injuries, and to be honest, getting up every day and putting on the shoes and hiking was tough, but it was also one of the most wonderful adventures and experiences I've ever had. It was 4 months, and more, filled with much joy and laughter and some of the best people and places, and I miss it! I hope that someday, Sam gets to experience something similar.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Recovery Than Anticipated

I had intended for this to be an easy week, but hadn't anticipated taking so much time off from running this week. Between visiting family on Sunday, nasty weather and Ryan's work schedule, I've only managed to get in two runs so far this week. I snuck out this morning before work to get in another 5 miles over in Highland Green. I was feeling good, and it was one of those nice mornings - crisp and clear and sunny, with bright blue skies, birds chirping, and even a few flowers blooming! On the flora and fauna front, I saw one kildeer, lots of chickadees, juncoes, robins and a purple finch, as well as my first red-winged blackbird of the season at Pleasant Bay on the way home from work. Even if it's supposed to snow tomorrow, spring certainly seems to be here, at least from the bird's point of view!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Was My Day

No running today. Instead, I got to hang out with these three crazies :-)

I am queen, and these are my loyal subjects...
or perhaps they just humor me?! Whatever, I'm happy either way!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Highland Green Five

Neither Ryan or I got in a run yesterday, so today we were both determined to get out there, even with the relatively dreary forecast. It actually turned out to be a decent day and we both got in our runs before the rain started. I got back from my run right around 4pm, and I think I had been back inside for only a few minutes before I looked out and saw the rain falling, but hey, overcast is much better than raining! The run itself was pretty uneventful, although I did feel good with no soreness or stiffness from Saturday's run, which I take as a good sign! Also saw a lot of robins and noted that lots of tulips, lilies, and daffodils are beginning to poke through the bare ground. Even saw a patch of crocuses blooming! Wow. I guess spring is here - or at least the plants have been fooled!!

One of the fun things about posting these days is that I get to post photos of Sam. I know, I am such a parent! :-) Ah well... You'll just have to bear with me. She is changing so much these days, and really is starting to seem like a big girl! Here is a random smattering of photos from today.

Bouncy, bouncy!

I can reach the toys now!

Fun with a spoon! (Practice only. No food yet, but soon!)

And an adorable photo that our friend Shauna took of Sam on Saturday

Family Fun

The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with Ryan's parents and grandparents. Sam had a blast and loved every minute she spent with her fan club :-) Our camera battery was dying, so I didn't capture Irene's funny faces making Sam laugh, or her bouncing up and down on Dana's lap, but I did get a few cute shots of her with her Great Grammie and Bampie. It was great to see everyone!

Kisses from Great Grammie

On Bampie's lap

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hedgehog Fat Ass Run

Saturday was the 2nd Annual Hedgehog Fat Ass Run at Chuck and Katy's, and it was a lot of fun! Thanks to Chuck, Katy and Katy's mom, Lori, for hosting a great run on a beautiful day! And what a difference from last year's Hedgehog run - last year, there was snow galore. This year it felt like summer, almost 70 degrees and sunny, and there were only a few, very small patches of ice in the woods.

Ryan took the first shift with Sam, so I headed over to meet the group for the 8am start. Chuck had planned out two loops, the first a 4+ mile loop through the woods behind their home, with lots of singletrack and twists and turns, and a little bit of sand running at the edge of the Desert of Maine. The second loop was a 6+ mile loop on the Hedgehog Mountain trail system - these trails are well-used and well maintained. The combination of both loops made for some great running, and some tough running at that!

I ran most of the time at the back of the pack with Shauna and Dora, and we had a fun time chatting as we ran along. I felt really good throughout the run, although by the time we got back to the house at the end of the Hedgehog loop, I knew I wasn't going to head back out on the 4+ mile loop. This was partly because I was starting to feel pretty tired and wasn't sure I wanted to be out on the trails for another 40 minutes, and partly because Ryan had arrived with Sam, and I realized that if he really wanted to get in his planned 20 miles, he had better get going and go with the group or he'd be out there for a long time.

When I went inside for "shift change", Katy's mom, Lori, offered to watch Sam if I wanted to go back out for a few more miles. Thanks Lori! Such a nice offer, and a good treat to be able to sneak in a few more miles! Dora and Shauna wanted to get in a few additional miles too, so the three of us decided to just take to the roads for a quicker and easier final few miles. I ended up with 13 miles, 10.5 of them on the trails and the remainder on the roads, in the 2:08 I was out there.

I had hoped to get in 14 miles for the day, but given the terrain, I was happy with the 13 miles and the time I was out on the trails. It was some good training and lots of fun! Sam and I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at Chuck and Katy's, enjoying some good food and good company! A fun time, as always, with the Trail Monsters :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday, Sam and I left work a bit early and it was still so beautiful out when we got home that I quickly changed into my running clothes and we went across the street to do two of the High School loops for a nice 3 mile run. I had intended to take yesterday off as a rest day, but it was just too nice to stay inside! Gotta take advantage of this oddly warm and springlike March weather! It was still 60 degrees at 4:30pm when we headed out, which is pretty amazing.

Speaking of spontaneous, when Sam and I got home today, Ryan was sitting out in one of our camp chairs on the back patio, drinking a beer. Another afternoon where it was just too nice to stay inside :-)

Hanging with Daddy on the patio

Outside relaxing on a beautiful evening

And if this isn't a spontaneous outfit, I don't know what is... Somehow I don't think Auntie Meg intended for all these things to be worn together, but you never know what will happen when Ryan is in charge of dressing Sam :-)

Why did you dress me like this, Daddy?

Today was a day off, and I am looking forward to running some trails with the Trail Monsters tomorrow morning, and then visiting with Ryan's parents and grandparents for the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back Cove Run

We were down in Portland this morning for an appointment, so we decided to take advantage of being in the city to do a run at Back Cove. We pulled into the lot around 11:30, and it was packed! Lunch hour on a beautiful day = lots of people out enjoying the nice, warm weather! We joined the crowds, with Ryan pushing Sam in the B.O.B. and me running beside them. We were weaving around people left and right, but luckily the path is wide so Ryan was able to maneuver the stroller pretty easily.

We ran the loop around the cove once, and then did an additional short out-and-back to make our run an even 5 miles. It was a gorgeous day to be out, and it was nice to be able to all run together! Sam enjoyed it so much she fell asleep about 25 minutes in :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bike Path Run

Ryan was up at work today, so Sam and I were on our own. This morning, we visited with my friend Jess and her two little girls for a while, and then after Sam's last nap of the day, we headed out again to enjoy the beautiful (but odd for mid-March) weather! How could we stay inside all day on a day like today? The car thermometer was reading 60 degrees when I turned into the bike path parking lot. Amazing! There were a lot of people with the same idea - the lot was full and there were many people out walking and biking along the river. I loaded Sam into the B.O.B. and headed out.

This is actually the first time I've run alone pushing Sam in the B.O.B. and I was a little nervous about how it was going to go. I mean, I knew we'd be fine out there, but I was unsure how it was going to be to run pushing the stroller. First of all, it was really weird to not be using my arms. And it was tough! With the front wheel locked into place for running, it was difficult to maneuver the stroller through all the people and around the corners on the path. I really had to work it to get it to go where I wanted it to go. But, I wasn't slacking. Ryan had goaded me last night, asking Sam if she thought I would break 50 minutes for the 5 miles, so there was no way I was going to come home with a slow time just because I was pushing the stroller! And with the gorgeous weather, me feeling good, and a little extra incentive, I managed to clip through the miles at 8:30 pace. I definitely had to work to do it, though!

Sam was pretty funny during the ride. She had just woken up from her nap, so she wasn't tired enough to sleep - she just looked around the whole time with her eyes wide, chomping on her plastic links. She seemed content but she didn't smile at me until we had finished, and I took off my sunglasses. Silly girl.

"Mom, where are you taking me?"

Speaking of chomping, she wants to chew on everything these days - nothing is safe, not even the Chime Garden :-)

Yum, plastic flowers!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Late Afternoon Three

This weekend was a big goose egg running-wise. Ryan was gone all weekend for work and with the nasty weather, I just couldn't get out with Sam. We did venture out to Target on Sunday afternoon, in part for a change of scenery, and she let out these little tiny gasps when the wind/rain came in beneath her car seat cover, so running with her outside was just out the question. Ah well. This morning, the weather was just as bad, and we had various appointments to contend with through the mid-afternoon. Luckily the weather improved as the day went on, and I finally got out at 4:30, right before Nate, Shannon and Finley came over for dinner, for a quick three miler. I did the short Highland Green loop, with the wind whipping around and the temperature reading almost 50. Felt good, and was glad to have at least been able to sneak a short run into the day!

In other news, I have been remiss in mentioning that Sam is now over 5 months old! Wow!

Cutie pie :-)

She is turning into a real live little person :-) She has been rolling over like crazy, and when we sit her up, she can stay that way unassisted for 5 to 10 seconds at a time. She is smiling more, laughing more, making lots of noises and sticking out her tongue. She has taken to watching us intently when we eat and drink, so I think once she hits 6 months, she will definitely be ready to try solids! We've really been enjoying her - she is a super content and happy baby, and very energetic. I do wish she would sleep a bit more, but I know she is just so excited about the world around her and doesn't want to miss anything!

She will be starting daycare on April 1st, and today, one of our appointments was visiting with the daycare center again to talk with the teachers and spend a little time in the infant room. Sam was very happy while we were there, and sat with one of the teachers on the floor, watching the other babies and smiling at the adults as we chatted away about things. I know it will be tough to leave her that first day, but I think she is going to do just fine and really enjoy being there!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I seem to be stuck on the number 25. I can't get past it. Mileage-wise, I mean. Age-wise, well, I'm way past it and hey, I'm OK with that :-) Now, I realize that a 25-mile week isn't bad, but I had really hoped for more this week. I've hit 25 miles three times in the past four weeks, and it is time to take it up a notch. Of course, it is all my fault that I did not run more this week, so I'm kicking myself. I am tired. What can I say? Taking care of the little 13 pound girlie is hard work. Nursing is hard work. Not sleeping through the night is tough. Working while having said girlie at work is hard work. It is all hard. Yup. Not that it isn't rewarding, but still, it is hard. And trying to run some good mileage in addition to this is a challenge. But a necessary one! I would go a bit insane if I didn't have running to help me relax and have some quiet time outside to myself.

Anyway, I am hoping I can actually manage to ramp up the mileage in the coming weeks. I really want to be able to run the 50k at Pineland. But I only want to do it if I am going into it prepared. Yes, I expect it to hurt. But I want to know that I can get through the miles. So, I have some work to do! :-)

After this morning's run, this is what I came home to. Isn't she cute?!

Morning storytime

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cathance Run #2

Yesterday, Dad, Sam and I visited with my grandmother Mim for a while in the afternoon, which was nice. It is really wonderful that Sam has both a Mim and a Great-Grammie and Great-Bampie to enjoy! There aren't too many kids who can say that. I was feeling a bit tired, so took my planned day off, even though Dad said he was happy to watch Sam while I ran. That meant that today, I needed to get in my long run for the week. Of course, Sam didn't sleep well last night and I was exhausted when I woke up. But, what can you do? I just had a big cup of coffee before I left, and brought 2 caffeinated GUs with me on the run for some extra energy.

I originally had 14 miles penciled into my planner, but the reality is that 14 miles on the roads just isn't going to do me much good in getting my legs ready for Pineland. So, I took Ryan's suggestion and decided to start my Garmin and head across the street to the Cathance trails and run for around 2 hours. I meandered through the Mt. Ararat trails and then veered onto the packed gravel cart path of the Highland Green Golf Course to run holes 1 and 2 before heading back out on the trails that Ryan and I had run on Monday. I followed the same wandering course as we did two days ago, but added in the Ravine Loop. On the Ravine Loop, I got a bit turned around, as I've only run it once, and it was a bit less traveled, but managed to only lose a little bit of time before I got back on track. I added holes 7, 8 and 9 to the end of the run, and ended up with 10.33 miles in 1:45:43. Not the fastest 10 miles ever, but decent for the twisty single track and the variable trail conditions. Plus, this got me back to the house just in time to take over Sam duties before Ryan headed out the door for an appointment.

I was feeling pretty beat when I finished - this was my longest trail run in over a year, and I'm pretty happy with the effort, even if it wasn't the 14 miles on the schedule. Plus, it was a beautiful morning to be out, with the sun bright in the sky, the temps in the 30s and some nice trails to run! It was gorgeous again along the river, and even running along the quiet cart path was pleasant. I saw and heard lots of chickadees, heard the call and pecking of a Pileated Woodpecker, and got a glimpse of a mink running along the bank of the river.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cathance Run

Mom headed back to North Carolina yesterday, but my dad is staying with us for a few extra days before he heads up to my grandmother's place in Williamstown to do a little cleaning before the sale of her house. Today he offered to take Sam for a walk while Ryan and I ran together - how could we say no?! So, after her mid-day nap, we drove over to Highland Green and parked by the clubhouse. We figured it would be too windy down on the bike path, and besides, I wanted to get in a trail run, so why not run on the Cathance Trails and get muddy? :-)

Dad and Sam took off on their walk, while Ryan and I headed out on the Heath Trail for a run along the trails. It was surprisingly snow-free for a fair chunk of the trail system, and there was a lot of dry, bare ground too, but there was also a lot of spots where you just weren't sure what you would find with your next step - Would it be solid ground? Or mud? Would you slip? Or would you sink? There were funny little sinkholes everywhere - hoar frost beneath the mud or mulch - making footing tricky. The trails twist and turn through the woods and along the river, which was flowing nicely, and we stopped in one spot to admire the rapids.

Along the Cathance River

We ran into a number of other people out walking the trails - everyone was out enjoying the beautiful day! With all the twists and turns along the trail and the variable conditions, the pace was slow, with us logging 5.5 miles in just under an hour, but it was great to be out, and a treat to get in a nice trail run with Ryan - thanks Dad!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catching Up!

Not having a computer is really cramping my blogging style! :-) But Ryan is home now, so I've taken his computer hostage and am catching up.

If I had written a post for Friday, it would have been titled "Creaky and Cranky." The creaky was for me - I headed out for a 3 miler Friday morning before work, and boy was I moving slowly! Maybe it had something to do with running 12 miles on Wednesday, arriving at home to a baby who wouldn't take the bottle from Ryan and who also needed a nap, and not getting any stretching in. Then Thursday I didn't get up in time to run, so it was Friday by the time I got out for my recovery run. I did the short Highland Green loop, and felt a little creaky to say the least, but it was good to get out and move the legs! The cranky was for Sam, who was not a happy baby for Ryan while he watched her for the day. Poor baby girl! And poor Ryan!

Saturday, my mom and dad, who were up visiting, nicely agreed to watch Sam while I was at work. They took tons of photos, but I managed to get a few cute shots of her before I left in the morning. She looks so grown up in those jeans! She is really going crazy with the rolling over these days!

Happy girl!

Cute :-)

This morning, Sam and I met Mom, Dad, Kristen and Morgan for breakfast at Friendly's and then Mom and Dad took Sam for a walk while I went for a run. It was gorgeous out - in the 50s and bright and sunny. It was my first run of the year in short sleeves. Wow! Mom and Dad were staying at the Sables Oaks Marriott, and so I just ran down the road to the golf course and ran on the cart path for 26:30, and then walked the rest of the way back with them. I think I must have run right around 3 miles, but I didn't remember to bring my Garmin so that's just a guess. Regardless, it was fun to run somewhere different and really nice to be outside on such a nice day!

Future track star

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Highland 12

Due to scheduling and weather, I didn't get out for the 12-miler penciled into my planner on Sunday or Monday, so Ryan was nice enough to agree to watch Sam this morning so I could go out and run. The idea was that I would head out right after she went down for her morning nap, and she'd sleep most of the time I was gone. Well, it didn't exactly happen that way (sorry honey!) but I was out wandering the back roads of Brunswick, so I didn't know that until I got home.

Highland is a great 12 mile route, but man is it mean! Yes, the first 2 and the last 3 miles are flat as a pancake, but those middle miles, well, they more than make up for it! The route heads out Pleasant Hill, wandering through the fields, which today looked a bit desolate with the grey sky above and no snow, and out onto Highland Road, past a number of farms and through rolling hills. Then it heads down to the ocean before turning towards town. Normally the fields and the trees along the route are filled with enough birds to keep me amused, but today all was quiet.

I felt pretty good the whole way, although that could have been from the cup of coffee consumed beforehand and the caffeinated Chocolate GU consumed at mile 5 :-) Although I was trying to keep myself in check, I ended up finishing off the loop in 1:43:30, or 8:37 pace. I know this won't exactly translate into fast running on the trails at Pineland, but it's nice to know I can keep up a decent pace (for me) on my longest run to date this year.

Although Sam didn't sleep well today, she was a champ this afternoon during Mom and Dad's visit. I guess all that constant attention from the grandparents will do that! :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Photo Journal

Sam and I spent all day together today and it was a good day. She has some solid naps, and we had fun playing. My only regret is that we didn't get outside to enjoy the warm weather. I am still a bit leery of taking her out in the B.O.B. by myself for a run, but I think I'll be trying it out this weekend when Ryan is away! Anyway, here are a few photos of the day - enjoy! :-)

"I Love Daddy"

What is Gigi doing?!

What? Stripes and polka dots don't go?!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Squish Squish

I've been reading this woman's blog. I like her writing style. And her little kiddo is cute. Plus, she takes great photos. But sometimes, I just want to groan when I read her posts. She must be looking at the world through different colored glasses than I am, because although I love Sam and when she smiles at me, my heart melts, I cannot say that every day is all rainbows and candy for me. Being a parent to Sam is the most challenging thing I've ever attempted. I am not a super patient person, and although I am trying my best, I must admit she tests me sometimes. I get frustrated that she does not understand that a nap when she is way overtired will make her feel better. That scratching at her face and eyes will hurt her. That I am tired too, and wish she would sleep at night :-) I hope that this doesn't make me a bad person, or a bad parent. It just means that sometimes I need to get out and go for a run so that I don't lose it. And this afternoon was one of those times. Ryan is really good at realizing this, so he sent me out the door, and I headed over to the Commons. I figured the woods would protect me a bit from the wind, and besides, I was dying to get out on the trails after having run all my runs last week on the roads, even if it was bound to be messy. And messy it was. Mud, slush, puddles, snow with a few patches of dry ground. What fun! After 50 minutes out in the woods, my shoes squishing as I ran along, slipping and sliding in the mud and slush, I was ready to come home and shower my little girl with kisses and make funny faces at her so that she would smile and laugh. Nothing like a good run to renew one's spirits!

No new photos of Sam today, as she is currently a mess, with scratches on her forehead, eyelids and nose, courtesy of her extra tiny, but extra sharp, nails. Poor little baby! Ryan has taken to calling her Scarface :-)