Friday, April 30, 2010

Early Bird

So today, I finally managed to actually get up and out for a scheduled early morning run! It wasn't easy, but I did it. Sam was up a lot last night (meaning 10:30, 1:30, 3:30), and I so wanted to just roll over and go back to sleep when the alarm went off at 5:15. But instead, I dragged myself out of bed, got organized, fed Sam when she woke up at 5:30 (what is up with the wake-ups?!) and put her back down to sleep, and managed to get out the door at 5:55. The day was already bright and sunny, even at such an early hour, although a bit cool still. I headed across the street to do the 4.75 mile Highland Green loop, enjoying watching the robins, goldfinch, phoebes and bluejays flit about as I ran by.

Although I was happy to be out, I felt pretty creaky. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that I took 3 days off from running before today. Yikes! I could have gone out last night after Sam went to bed because Ryan got home in time for bathtime, but there is a reason why, in the end, I decided not to (or perhaps it is just an excuse?!)...

My next big run on my schedule is a 22 miler. Originally I had planned to run it on Sunday. But Ryan's parents are coming up for the weekend, and so 1) I don't want to miss out on 4 hours of the day with them when I'll be working on Saturday while they're here and 2) I don't want to wait until they leave, as it will make me antsy all day long wondering when and if I'm actually going to get my run in. No big deal, I thought, I'll run on Monday. But come to find out, Ryan has to go over to New Hampshire for the day, meaning that day is out too, as there is no way in hell I am pushing the B.O.B. for 22 miles! So, where does this leave me? Well, it leaves me with two options: 1) don't do the 22 miles or 2) if I want to get the 22 miles in, get up and run them tomorrow morning before work. Gulp! Not ideal, but doable as long as I can actually get myself out the door! I will certainly be recruiting Ryan to help with Sam duties tonight, and also to make sure I am up and out of bed extra early so that I can be gone by 5:30. If I leave at 5:30, I should be back between 9:00 and 9:20. This is cutting it close, but it will work. So, it seemed sort of silly to go out last night and run 3 miles, then 5 this morning and then 22 Saturday, when really in this scenario, the 3 probably won't help much... So anyway... wish me luck tomorrow morning! I'll be out wandering the powerlines and along the Cathance, and will hope that after 22 miles, I can still be awake enough at work for the day!

Ah, the crazy things we do for running :-) Now, remind me, why do I want to run the 50k at Pineland?! It is a lot of work to train for a long race like this (and I'm not even saying I'm going to go into it truly prepared!). Wouldn't sitting at home on the couch that day (and all these other days) be so much easier?! Nah! That would be pretty dull... And besides, then I wouldn't get to eat all the ice cream I plan to eat on Saturday night... you know, gotta replace those calories :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


As Sam moves around more and more, we've been trying to figure out how to create a safe space downstairs for her to squirm and sit and learn to crawl and fall on.

Here is what we came up with - it's bright and colorful and the foam is certainly softer than the hardwood floor or the tile in the kitchen. Plus, it was fun for us to put together too :-)

Squirming on the new mat

Everybody loves it! Ronnie thinks it's really for him, of course :-)
(Boy, does the IPhone take bad photos, or what?!)

On the running front, I've taken the past two days off. Yesterday by design, and this morning, well, because I just didn't get out of bed on a dreary, rainy, cold morning. No excuses tomorrow though! I must get out there!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Fun

We met up with my parents this morning at our favorite breakfast haunt - the Broadway Deli - for some yummy pancakes and one last chance for them to hang out with Sam before they headed back home to North Carolina. Sam sat on the table in the BebePod, overlooking the meal and flinging her spoon and keys and rings all over the place. She has quite an arm, let me tell you! I think we're going to have to transition her from the BebePod on the table to a real highchair soon so that our food and eyes are safe from her toys :-)

After saying goodbye to Nanie and Pip, we headed home for some fun Mommy time while Ryan was working. We spent lots of time sitting - Sam has progressed really quickly in her sitting skills over the past week. Pretty cool!


Yeah, I can sit up on my own!

Hmmm, what can I do with this?

What? This isn't what you're supposed to do with a book?!

Of course, that doesn't mean she doesn't still do a lot of this...

Oops... :-)

The day was so beautiful that I wanted to get outside and enjoy it for at least a little bit, so for Sam's afternoon nap, I loaded her up in the car and headed to the bikepath. In the end, she was having such a good time in the B.O.B. that she didn't fall asleep until 4 miles into my 5.25 mile run, so I turned around at the end of the path and headed back out for a 2 mile walk to continue her nap for a while longer. I was pretty tired from yesterday's run, and from pushing the B.O.B. into the wind for 5.25 miles, but it was so nice out, it wasn't too much of a struggle to stay out and enjoy the sunshine for a few more miles!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Full Day

I'm going to be really sad when my parents leave for home tomorrow - it has been so much fun having them around these past few weeks, and so nice to have them around to help out with Sam, and allow us to juggle our long runs too! This morning, they once again happily agreed to come over and watch Sam so that I could get my run in while Ryan was off running the Mud, Muck & Moose. If they hadn't been around, I don't think I could have swung it, seeing as Ryan got home at 4:30, so thanks again guys!

Sam decided it would be fun to be wide awake at 5am - I don't know what was up with that, especially given that Ryan had installed room-darkening shades in her room yesterday to try and combat things like this! - but eventually went back to sleep around 6:15 for another hour, so I was able to snooze a bit too. But there was no way that was going to be her morning nap, so down she went at 8:40, without much of a fight, so apparently she was still tired. My parents came over a bit later, and I headed out for my run at 9:30, with Sam still sleeping. It was a gorgeous morning - a slight breeze, comfortable temperatures, bright and sunny - perfect for a long run! My plan was similar to the 16-miler I ran on Easter morning - hit the powerlines and the Cathance trails. But this time, the golf course was open, so the cart paths were out. I'd have to figure out another way to add on a few extra miles, but decided to just do that on the fly.

I ran the powerlines first, with the slight addition that Ryan had told me about last week. Of course, when he told me the directions, I wasn't really listening :-) but I remembered he had said it wasn't that long of an add-on, so I figured I would try it. I am more of a visual learner, so listening to him spout off 'turn this way' and 'turn that way' is like saying 'blah blah blah' in my ear. Ah well. It turns out I must have heard more of the directions than I thought, as I easily found the additional trails. Fun!

Then I meandered through the Mt. Ararat trails to Highland Green, where I decided to run the road loop before heading into the woods. The trails were much drier this time around, with the river calm and flat. I ran into a few other people out there enjoying the gorgeous weather as I wound my way through the trail system. I was feeling pretty good throughout, but admit to dragging a bit in the last two miles. I had run out of HEED and Gatorade, and had eaten all my trail treats. Ah well. Lesson learned. More fuel needed :-) Regardless, I was happy to finish up the 15 miles in 2:24 for 9:37 pace, and even happier to hear that Sam had taken a two-hour nap while I was out! Wow! I was made happier still to learn we were going to meet Mim, Susie and Lillie at Wild Oats for lunch. Yum!

After a fun lunch, sitting outside in the sun, with Sam entertaining us all, Mom, Dad and I took Sam for a walk in the B.O.B. through town and around Bowdoin's campus in an attempt to get her an afternoon nap. She finally fell asleep 15 minutes into the walk, so we just kept walking. The day got even better when Mom and I stopped and stood in line at Cote's for ice cream while Dad kept the stroller moving - yum again! - but the additional hour on my feet walking in the sun and standing in line definitely tired me out!

All told, it was a great day - a good run, good family time, a yummy lunch and ice cream! Can't beat it! And Ryan came in 4th in the Mud, Muck & Moose, so he had a fun day too :-)

Flora and fauna notes: I scared up two deer along the seasonal pond by Topsham Crossing; heard a Towhee but didn't see it; watched a Cormorant fly low over the Cathance River; and truly enjoyed seeing all the spring wildflowers along the powerlines and in the woods - saw some big patches of rue anemone, bluets, starflower, a few Bluebead Lilies beginning to blossom and wild oats to name a few.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful Morning

It was a beautiful morning for a run! I managed to squeeze in 3.25 miles to bring my total for this week to 34 miles. While this is not big mileage for my ultra-running friends, for me it is a pretty good week, and the most I have run in a week in over a year and a half, so I'll take it! Even better, I have felt really good all week, and am looking forward to a good 15 miler tomorrow morning. Thanks to Mom and Dad for agreeing to watch Sam again so I can run while Ryan is off tromping through the mud and puddles at the Mud, Muck & Moose trail race over in Bartlett, New Hampshire!

While I wanted to post about my run this morning, what I really want to post are some of the adorable photos taken by my parents while they've been here this month. Thursday night I downloaded the over 500 photos (!!!) they have taken since April 1st, and culled them down to around 100 (still !!!). Here are a few of my favorites from the past few weeks:

Hugs from Mommy

Nanie and the kiddos. Smiles all around (after about 10 takes!)


Mom, can I have some of your banana?!

On the slide

Chatting :-)

Fun with Pip!

Tired Gigi

Nanie and Sam

Friday, April 23, 2010


This morning I was actually up and out of bed at 5:40 as planned to get in my early morning run. I got dressed, had a small snack, stretched a bit and was just heading back upstairs to tell Ryan I was leaving when I realized Sam was stirring in her crib. She has started to roll over onto her stomach when sleeping, which is fine, but when she is in a very light sleep just prior to waking up while on her tummy, she shifts her head a lot, crunches her legs up as if she's trying to crawl and half of the time, ends up on her side, with one arm flailing around. It is quite a sight :-) And by the time she's done with all her shifting, she has waken herself up! Oh well. So, instead of heading right out, Sam and I played a bit, I fed her and we tried some pears and avacado a bit later. She was more interested in the sippy cup than anything else, but she is getting better! Then a bit later, when it was obvious she was feeling tired again (or still, I'm not quite sure which!), I put her down for an early morning nap, and headed out the door at 7:40. Only a few hours later than intended, but I was out there!

I ran across the street and onto the powerlines. The sky was filled with low clouds, and a thin band of light was showing along the horizon. The scrub brush was tinted with a light wash of greens and yellows and reds, as buds start to open and leaves form. I even noticed some of the blueberry plants already sporting their beautiful bell-shaped flowers, and the buds of the sheep laurel were looking a bit pink. It is always fun to run at this time of year and watch the landscape change as spring progresses. A nice quiet morning for a run and good to get out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Evening Jaunt

I managed to sneak a quick 3 miler in yesterday morning, but this morning, not so much. Sam appears to be a morning person like me, and has recently taken to getting up at 6:30 am. This is not a problem, it just means I really have to get up and go early if I'm going to run and not interfere with our limited morning time together. And although I am a morning person, I have not yet had the energy to get up and out the door at 5:30am despite my good intentions. I was not happy about not getting my run in this morning, but as I sat at work, looking outside at the beautiful weather, I had a revelation. I could get a short run in after we put Sam to bed tonight! Sure, evening isn't my preferred time to run, and part of me feels like these short 3 milers are a bit like junk miles given that I'm training for a 50k race, but 3 miles in the evening would be better than nothing. I floated the idea to Ryan, and he was all for it. Problem solved (at least for today!).

Sam was asleep by 6:50pm. We wish she would stay up a bit later and therefore maybe sleep in a bit later in the morning, but today she didn't go down for a late afternoon nap, so she'd been up since 1:20pm. That is a long time for a little 6 month old to be up, and although cheery, she was clearly tired. She was asleep before her head hit the crib sheet! After a few minutes of watching her asleep in the crib, I put on my running clothes and my new pair of Inov-8s, and snuck out. It was a gorgeous evening. The air was warm, the birds were chirping, my shadow was long before me as I ran along the powerlines in the soft evening light and all around me the trees, grass and shrubs were sporting their early spring colors. My shoes, which I typically wouldn't call cushiony, felt great - nice and cushy beneath my feet - I guess the insoles of my last pair were pretty packed out after 300+ miles. Overall, a very enjoyable evening run!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Because

No running today, in part because I was a bit tired, although happily not sore, from yesterday's run, but also because we had a very busy and social day today, combined with car nap this afternoon that lasted 1 1/2 hours! We had lunch and yummy gelato with my parents and cousin Morgan, and then went over to have pizza with Nate, Shannon, Finley and little Charlotte this evening. Sam was in heaven with the day full of little kiddos. She kept squealing at Finley, and smiling at and watching every move Morgan made - very cute!

And since I haven't posted a photo of Sam recently, here's one Ryan shot last night. Gigi doesn't seem too interested in all the excitement, does she?! :-)

Oh hi there!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

20 at Pineland

This was the day for 20 miles. I had packed everything under the sun in my bag as I wasn't sure what the weather would be like, but in the end, it turned out to be a much nicer day than anticipated. I met Valerie at the YMCA at 7:45, 15 minutes later than I had planned but what can you do? It's tough getting out of the house on time when the munchkin is around. A bit of blue sky appeared in the sky as we ran out of the parking lot and towards the end of the campus loop, we looked out over the farm and the green hills beyond to see the low fog and clouds lifting. Very pretty. We had fun chatting as we ran along, but as we got back to the campus loop, Valerie urged me to go on, saying she was going to do a fair amount of walking. I didn't want to leave her - it was so nice to have such good company! Thanks again Valerie! - but I thought maybe she just wanted to go her own speed, so I went on ahead. Of course, it was silly really, as we kept seeing each other through the trees as we wound around and up to the Grove :-) There I stopped at the car to change out my bottles and have a 1/4 of a PB&J, and then headed across the street to the Oak Hill section of the course.

Oak Hill was in wonderful shape, and it was some really nice running over there! I probably picked up the pace during that section a bit more than I should have, but I was feeling strong. As I exited the trails, I took a slight detour to the Visitor's Center to use the bathroom, and noted that as I got back to the car, my Garmin was reading right around 13 miles. So far so good! I continued to feel pretty good until around mile 17, when the combination of a bit too quick of a pace, time on my feet and probably not quite enough fuel caught up to me. The last three miles were a bit of a struggle, but I didn't fade completely, and managed to keep the pace from totally falling off and only walk the really steep sections of the campus loop on the way back up. Still, I was pretty happy to get back to the car, I must admit!

I ran until the Garmin read 20.0 miles exactly - if you're running 20, you might as well run exactly 20 :-) - and the run took me 3:10:32, with an average of 9:30 pace, which I was very happy about. Of course, the thought of running another 11 miles is a little daunting, and I am pretty sore and tired right now, but I think I can do it. Although the run was faster than it should have been, I think it was a good test, and is a good indicator that I'm in decent shape and can do the miles, even on the low mileage weeks I've been running. I know in a race situation, with such a great atmosphere and support, it will be different and hopefully easier than being out there like I was today, alone for 14 miles of the 20. But I'll have to be smart about it, and not run 9:30s! The Pineland terrain is deceptively difficult and doesn't offer the body much time to rest, so keeping the pace down will be key for me if I'm going to finish the course up without dying. Hopefully I can do it! I still have a few weeks to decide for sure, but for now, I'm leaning toward doing the 50k. Am I dumb or what?! :-)

Flora and fauna notes: The woods are coming alive - the trout lily leaves were abundant on the forest floor, although no flowers yet; the maroon Trillium were blooming; I also noted wild oat and starflowers and false lily of the valley in many spots. We saw some turkeys, but other than that, I was too focused on either chatting with Valerie or on my run to note any of the bird songs, so I'm not sure exactly what was out there. I did have two cool sightings on the drive home though - the first was a turkey vulture on the ground at the road's edge, hanging around some roadkill. I don't think I've ever seen them except circling on the airwaves, so it was neat to see how much they do indeed resemble a turkey! Also saw a bluebird flitting through a field to light on a power line. Cool!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I awoke this morning to see a coating of snow on the grass outside. I guess winter wasn't quite done with us yet. Sam was up extra bright and early, but obviously still tired, so when I put her down for morning nap #1 at 6:40, I bundled myself up and headed out the door for a run. It was very quiet out there, with a misty rain falling, no cars on the road, and no birds chirping in the trees. I passed lots of snow-covered daffodils, and the forsythia along Highland Green Road was a beautiful sight - the bright yellow bushes coated with a frosting of white snow. I leisurely made my way around the loop, and despite the weather, was feeling happy and unconflicted about my choice to get out and run this morning.

Friday, April 16, 2010


This morning after I fed Sam at 6:30, I put on my running clothes to head out the door. But I just couldn't bring myself to go right out. I dawdled, letting Sam play with my hair, giving her kisses, bringing her downstairs with me while I had a snack and did a little stretching. Then I finally brought her back upstairs and laid her on the bed next to a sleepy Ryan and tried to leave. But I didn't want to. I just wanted to stay and watch her giggle and smile and move around. Yes, I also really wanted to get my run in, but it was hard to leave her. Now that I'm back to work and she's in daycare, and with her early bedtime, so much of the day is spent without her. To give up even the 47:00 it took me to run the 5.25 miles on the powerlines this morning seemed like too much. Ideally I'd get up and run before she wakes up for the day. But at this point, she is still not sleeping well, or maybe it's a growth spurt, or her cold or whatever, so she is up a million and one times a night, and so I sleep that extra hour instead of getting up at 5:30 and running. Hopefully this will all sort itself out sooner rather than later and we'll eventually get into some sort of morning routine, but for now I remain conflicted. Part of me wants to just hang out with my little baby girl, who is changing so fast. And part of me wants to have a bit of 'me' time and get in my training too. Some days the first part wins. Other days, like today, even if it took a while, the second part of me finally kicks the first part of me out the door and onto the trails.

What I really wish is that I could add another 4 to 6 hours to the day. A few extra hours in the morning, and a few in the evening, so that I didn't feel like I was being pulled and stretched in a million different directions, and like I was neglecting one thing or another. It is hard work being a good mom, a wife, a runner, working 5 days a week, nursing, trying to keep the house clean, coming home at night and wanting to spend time with Sam, but also wanting to at least prep for dinner so Ryan isn't doing all the work, and on and on and on. I know that lots of people have the same issues, and I know that in a way I am very lucky, as I don't have to leave the house with Sam at the crack of dawn, and Ryan is a wonderful husband who helps out a lot, but that doesn't mean that some days it doesn't feel overwhelming and I feel like I'm doing everything halfway. So, if I could just get those extra hours, I think I would be good... :-)

I am also feeling a bit conflicted about Pinelands. I really want to run the 50k. But while I have been doing some good running, I haven't been doing a lot of running (see above). I haven't hit over 32 miles in a week this year. Then again, I am a low mileage runner anyway, so maybe that is OK, and if I can get in a few longer runs in the next month I might be able to pull off the 50k without too much pain and suffering. Not that I don't expect a little bit of suffering, but I don't want to go into a race of this length feeling unprepared and undertrained. With that in mind, the plan for this Sunday is to head to Pineland for a 20 mile run. This should give me a pretty good idea of where I'm at in my training, and whether or not I should reassess things. Of course, I feel a bit guilty about taking 4 to 5 hours of running/traveling time out of one of my days off with Sam, and guilty and worried about not nursing her during that time... Anyway, I do know at least that she will have a great time while I'm gone hanging out with my parents, who offered to watch her Sunday morning while I run at Pineland and Ryan runs the Save our Swinging Bridge 5k. And hopefully when she's old enough to realize that her mom and dad are crazy trail runners who spend a lot of their free time training, she'll have fun watching us race and being support crew, and will be proud that we work so hard at it, and of course, will want to be just like us :-) Now I'm really dreaming, aren't I?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

6 Months and 7 Miles

Yesterday was Sam's 6 month check-up. The doctor said we must have picked her from the "cute tree" and that she was perfect. Gotta love hearing things like that from the doctor! :-) Although we all thought she was getting pretty big and feeling heavy, she is still on the small side - 14 pounds 3 ounces, and 24.5 inches long -which puts her squarely in the 10th percentile. But what did we expect? I would have been shocked if she was a huge baby!

It is amazing how quickly she is changing these days. She is sitting up unassisted for longer periods of time, is rolling both ways like crazy, is scooching her butt in the air and trying to crawl, moves her toys from hand to hand, picks things up easily now, and is really alert when it comes to new sounds and new people coming into the room. She is also doing wonderfully at daycare, which makes things easier for all of us! She is such a happy baby - very smiley and 'talkative'. Her little laugh when something is funny just makes me melt - so cute! She is still not so sure about the solid food that we've fed her, but she'll get there, I know!

After her check-up yesterday afternoon, we headed to the bike path for a run. Sam had gotten a number of shots at the doctor's office, which she was not happy about, and we knew she could really use a nap, so we figured, why not get a run in and knock her out at the same time? Nothing like multi-tasking :-) It was a nice afternoon, but windy along the river. Ryan, being the nice hubby that he is, pushed the B.O.B. but did grumble a few times about it being a sail in the headwind. We ran the 5.25 mile out-and-back together, and then Ryan and Sam stopped while I headed back out to add on another 1.75 to get my 7 miles for the day. I was feeling pretty good, and finished up in 1:01:12. This week will be a slight recovery week, but it was good to get in one hour long run, at least.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Two-Race Weekend

This was a weekend packed with racing. With that in mind, we headed to Ryan's parents on Friday evening in preparation.

Saturday morning, after not much sleep and finally waking up about 30 minutes before we were supposed to hit the road, Ryan and I made our way over to Andover to run the Rivah :-) On the way there, Ryan reminded me that this was my first race post-baby, and also first race in over a year and a half. Yikes! So no pressure :-)

We arrived to find the parking lot filling up fast. After a quick trip to the port-a-potties, a few laughs listening to the race director yell out "28 minutes", "27 minutes 28 seconds" and "Hurry up! Don't make me put a time restriction on these port-a-potties!" and a quick hello to fellow Trail Monsters Ian, Jeff, Four, Erik and Floyd, we were off into the woods.

Gotta go through the mud! (Photo credit: Scott Mason Photography)

Chugging along (Photo credit: Scott Mason Photography)

Focused (Photo credit: Scott Mason Photography)

I got a bit caught up at the start behind the masses as we all funneled into the single track and through the mud, but as we made our way along the river, I settled into a good pace, passing a few people here and there and moving along pretty well. It was a great day for the race - sunny and not too warm, not too cold. It was a bit windy along the river's edge, but overall, the conditions were nothing to complain about. There were patches of mud, but the course was in good condition.

I did my best to run hard on the flats, and then keep up the momentum on the short and steep hills in the middle of the course. I'm still a bit tentative on the downhills, but I didn't lose too much ground to anyone around me on the hills, and managed to pass a number of people on the uphills, so I felt pretty good about that. As I was nearing the powerlines, the lead runners, including the winner, our friend Kevin, started to head back toward the finish. This is one of the fun things about an out-and-back course for a mid-packer like myself - I actually get to see the fast runners race! It was fun to cheer for and get cheers from my fellow Trail Monsters as we passed each other too!

I finished in 1:25:31 (90/220), a 5 minute PR on this course from 2008, so I was pretty psyched! All the other Monsters had great races too - nice job everyone! Full results here. (*Somehow they neglected to list me as a Trail Monster, but I was proudly sporting my TMR singlet like all the other Monsters!) All in all, a good run on a fun course, and a nice way to start off my 2010 racing season.

We didn't hang around for the raffle, as we needed to get home to Sam, who was being entertained by (or entertaining) Ryan's parents, sister and brother-in-law. We also had to get ready for Irene's 60th birthday dinner, which was lots of fun and good carbo-loading for Race #2 of the weekend!

What better way to celebrate your 60th birthday than by running your first 5k? Or for that matter, your first race ever, when you've never really exercised, let alone run, until recently? Go Irene go! Ryan concocted a plan to find a 5k for Irene to run - and found one in Salem this weekend. So, we were up early for the second day in a row to head to a race! But this time it was the whole family. We loaded into two cars and made our way to Salem. It was a bit of a crunch for me, trying to feed Sam, go to the bathroom and get ready to go, but we all made it to the start line on time.

Sam and I were running with Irene, while Ryan paced Meghan.

Sam gearing up for the race

At the start line

Ryan and Meghan made their way into the middle of the pack, while the three of us hung at the back with the rest of the stroller crowd. Irene was pretty nervous, but when the race started, she took off running! The course wound through the streets of Salem, with the route being mostly flat with a few hills. Irene did great, mixing running with walking and keeping up a great pace. Despite being intimidated at the start, she settled in well and was in great spirits the whole time. Irene was very excited with her pace at the first two mile markers - it was so great! Sam and I kept pace with her the whole way, trying not too push too much, but to encourage her as we ran along. Of course, it was Sam's first race too, but she didn't seem to think much of it - she slept most of the way :-) Irene finished in 46:08, when she had hoped to finish in an hour! Awesome :-) And Meghan came through in 26:28 for a great race too! It was lots of fun to help Irene with this race, and we're so proud of her for doing it, and doing it so well!

All in all, a great weekend of racing and lots of fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Trying to Salvage the Week

This week started off with a bang - 16 miles on Sunday - and has gone downhill from there. I did manage to get in a 3-miler on Monday, and took Tuesday off as planned. My intent was to run on Wednesday morning before a 9am appointment, but Sam woke up early and Ryan was exhausted from getting her/my cold, so I hung out with her instead and I just never managed to get out the door. I told Ryan on Wednesday night that I was definitely running Thursday morning before he took off for New Hampshire, but these good intentions flew out the window when Sam was up crying from 3am to 4am. She is super congested, and I think she just couldn't get comfortable. I finally laid with her on the extra bed, with her head elevated up on the pillow. She fell right asleep. Even though I wanted to fall asleep too, I think subconsciously I knew I had to make sure she didn't shift or move too much, so I was in and out of a light sleep until she woke up to eat at 6:30am. Luckily, she fell back to sleep for another hour, and I did too. So, no running Thursday either.

And here we are at Friday, and I've only run twice. Luckily Sam slept a bit better last night, and we all got some much deserved rest. So, this morning, despite the dreary weather outside, I donned my running clothes and headed out the door, having passed Sam off to a sleepy Ryan around 7am. I ran a quick 3-miler on the Highland Green loop, and while the middle of this week hasn't exactly panned out as expected, at least I got another run in.

This afternoon we're headed south to visit with Ryan's parents, and both Ryan and I are planning to run the Merrimack River 10 Miler tomorrow. I ran 'the Rivah' back in 2008, and had a pretty good race. I hope that I can beat my time from 2008, which was 1:30:27, but if nothing else it will be a good training run, and will help to salvage this weeks' mileage!

In Sam news, we have moved onto sweet potatoes, which I thought for sure she would love, but she just keeps drooling them out of her mouth. Hmmm... Perhaps I am not making the puree thin enough? Oh well, we'll keep trying! At some point, we'll stumble upon a food she loves and can't get enough of :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rough Day and Night

After being a wonderful baby all day long on Easter, Sam was a total nightmare Sunday night. She kept waking up, hour after hour, and was inconsolable. She wasn't hungry, she was just upset. I don't know what it was. Probably a combination of still being a bit congested, teething, having a growth spurt and who knows what else. Whatever it was, she was not happy and she was letting us know. She was also determined that we all not sleep. Needless to say, we woke up Monday morning very tired and a bit distraught.

Then, to add insult to injury, she refused to go down for a morning nap. Finally, out of sheer frustration and desperation, because despite what she thought, she really did need to nap, I threw on my running clothes and stormed out the door with her in the B.O.B. for a short run. I was exhausted from being up most of the night, and still tired from Sunday's 16 miler, but I figured if I got her out there she might fall asleep. It was another nice warm day, and I did laps around the high school. By the time I was 20 minutes into my run, she was asleep. Hurray! I ran for 10 more minutes, figuring that would get me 3+ miles, and then walked the rest of the way around. By that time, my parents had arrived and walked out to meet me. I went inside to take a shower, and they took second shift, keeping Sam moving until she woke up. Thanks guys!

After round #2 of avacado, during which Sam had much of the same reaction as on Sunday, we all went over to visit with Nate, Shannon, Finley and their newest addition - little Charlotte. She is a cutie and it was great to meet her. She and Sam are only 6 months apart, so I know they'll be good buddies when they're both old enough to be mobile :-) By the time we finished visiting, it was after 1:00 and so we met up with Ryan for a late lunch at Frontier. Yum! Sam sat on the table in the BebePod, chomping on a spoon while we ate. She was getting pretty tired by the time we left, and she fell asleep before we even got home, which is less than 3 miles away! So, I spent the afternoon driving circles through Topsham and Bowdoinham, letting her sleep.

Luckily, she had a much better night last night, so we'll keep her :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Fun

We had a fun and full day today! After not sleeping very well last night, Sam was up at 6:15, so after feeding her and playing for a while, I dragged Ryan downstairs to witness Sam's super exciting first taste of real food around 7:15. Well, I was excited, anyway!

After lots of research, I decided to skip the typical rice cereal that most people do as a first food, and go with avacado instead. It's a bit of an alternative track that we'll be following initially food-wise, but to me it makes sense. Rice cereal is constipating and bland. And Sam, as a breastfed baby, has been getting different 'tastes' of food through my milk, so why should she start with something bland? And why constipate a baby? Avacado is thought to be a great first food by many, as it is low on the allergen scale, is nutritious and doesn't need to be cooked. So, without further ado, we put her in the highchair and she got her first taste of real food!

Yum, avacado!

I don't know, do I like this?!

More, more!

I am not sure she really knew what was going on. She didn't spit it up or out, and actually ended up taking in a few good spoonfuls, but as Ryan said, her reaction was more 'curious indifference' than anything else. They say it can take up to 20 tries for a baby to decide whether or not they like a food, so we'll keep trying and see what happens! Plus, at this point, it's not really about getting them to eat a meal, but getting them used to eating with a spoon, etc. All told, the first solid food feeding was over in about 5 minutes, as she probably didn't eat more than a teaspoon or so, and then it was back to our regularly scheduled program... :-)

After putting Sam down for her morning map, I headed out for my morning excitement - to finally run my 16 mile run! It was a gorgeous morning, and I went out clad in shorts, a t-shirt and my pink Moeben sleeves. My plan was to run the powerlines, then head through the Mt. Ararat trails to Highland Green, where I would run the 9-hole golf course before heading into the Cathance River trail system. The birds were chirping as I ran along the powerlines, but otherwise, it was quiet. I was feeling a bit stiff and tired, and hoped that I would loosen up and get into the groove of things as I continued on. Otherwise, it was going to be a long 16 miles (or three hours, whichever came first).

I took my first Gu as I was coming back to the Mt. Ararat trail system, and that perked me up. So did the next stretch of my run - running the 9-hole Highland Green golf course. The wide, nicely graded, rolling gravel cart paths made for some really good running. I was feeling strong and was keeping up a good, but sensible, pace. As I wound back to the clubhouse, the Garmin was reading right around 9 miles. From here, I headed onto the Cathance River trails to run the loop that I ran when I was out a few weeks ago for my 10 mile run. This time around, there was no snow and the river was running even higher than it had been last month. The Rapids Trail certainly lived up to its name! Amazingly, despite all the rain we've had recently, most of the trails were pretty dry, with a few mud holes here and there to keep things interesting.

As I wandered along the river and through the woods and fields, the day was heating up and I was running a bit low on fluids. But I was still feeling good and running solidly, although the pace definitely slowed in the final 7 miles of this run, as the trails twist and turn this way and that. By the final 3 miles, I could tell I had been on my feet for a while, but I was still in good spirits, and amazingly in the end, I timed things perfectly, and the Garmin was reading 16.03 miles about 100 feet from our door. I finished in 2:37:13/9:48 pace, which I am very happy with.

After a quick shower, change and bite to eat, we headed over to have dinner with my parents, Kristen and the kids, my grandmother, Susie, Jon and Lillie. My parents are house/pet sitting for my boss and his wife while they spend the month in Florida (sounds nice, huh?). This is perfect for all parties involved, and it was really nice to all be able to get together for Easter! Sam was a really good girl, and thoroughly enjoyed all the attention from the family! We had a great time, and some yummy food too :-)

I'm cute!

Showing off at (or on) the table

What? I'm not supposed to chew on this?!

It was a really nice day, and well, now I'm tired :-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010


...and I was out the door. There was a low fog encompassing me as I ran along. No one was stirring within our complex. I could hear the robins, phoebes, chickadees and sparrows chirping, and heard a woodpecker tapping away at one of the trees along the Highland Green road, but couldn't see him. I was in 'go' mode as I needed to get back in time for Ryan to pick up Jeremy (of Atayne) and get over to Pineland for the Trail Monster Saturday morning run. I had had every intention of getting out right at 6am, but Sam woke up so I fed her before I ran out the door, meaning I was a bit behind. But no matter, I got in my 3 miles, and with it, somewhat salvaged the week's mileage, bringing it up to 20. Not quite what I had hoped for, but hey. It was a nice quiet morning to get out, and I was back in time for Ryan to pass off Sam and head on out for his run - phew!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bright and Sunny

The title reflects both the weather and my mood this morning. I was feeling better, and was even feeling rested, as Sam had only woken up twice (at 12 and 4) and then slept until 7am before she was up for the day. Hurray! (Yes, this is what makes me happy at this point!) Ryan was nice enough to watch Sam and get a start on the morning chores while I headed out into Highland Green for a 5 mile run. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. The powerlines and the puddles along the back road had dried up, and it was nice to be out for a run on such a nice morning.

Sam had another good day at daycare today - it makes me happy that she is settling in so nicely and is doing so well. That being said, she isn't eating a lot while she's there, but she's at least taking in a bit, which is better than the one boy they told us about who literally refused to eat anything during the 8 hours he was at the daycare for his first 2 weeks! Yikes! Of course, this means she is even more excited to see me when I get home so that she can eat :-) And I know she'll get there.

I don't have any new photos of her from the past few days, but I'm sure I'll have a few to post on Sunday evening - we're planning to try solids that morning, and then we're having Easter dinner with my parents, Kristen and her family later in the afternoon. Should be a fun and exciting day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Daycare: Day #1

I didn't get a run in this morning. I had fully intended to, but even though I went to bed early last night I couldn't sleep. And I was woken up at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. Then, at 6:00, I heard Sam cooing and babbling over the monitor. She seemed content, so I lay there for a while, hoping that she might go back to sleep. No such luck. She was smiling and bouncing her legs up and down when I went in to get her at 6:15. Doesn't she know sleep is a good thing?! But at least she woke up happy! I, on the other hand, was feeling a bit off. Still sniffly and congested, I was tired, not to mention sort of annoyed at myself for not getting up and out the door for a run despite the former. Plus, I was feeling anxious and a bit sad, as this morning was Sam's first day of daycare. I've been super lucky to have her with me for almost 6 months, but the reality is that it's time for me to go back to work full-time, and so, off to daycare she must go.

Ryan nicely came with me to drop her off this morning for moral support and to make sure I didn't cry when we left :-) Of course, Sam settled right in with the teachers and other kiddos and didn't miss a beat. She didn't even look up when I kissed her goodbye... so much for being needed! :-) I just hoped she would manage to eat and sleep while she was there. I wasn't feeling too optimistic about either, as yesterday during her 'playdate' she only ate 0.5 oz. (yup, you read that right, not even an ounce). And she is such an active child, I thought she might just be so excited about her new surroundings that she wouldn't sleep. So, needless to say, when I called to check in at noon, I was extra excited to hear that she had eaten and was in the middle of a nap!! Yeah Samantha! That made me feel so much better, and I was able to relax a bit for the rest of the workday.

Ryan was working from home, so he picked her up a little before 5pm, and he called to say that the teachers said she did great, and you wouldn't have known it was her first day of daycare the way she ate and slept and settled in. What an adaptable child we have :-) I knew she would be fine, but I couldn't help but worry. Hopefully it will go the same way tomorrow! And hopefully we'll all be able to get into a good routine, and I can figure out how to fit my running in too!