Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Run and a Walk

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

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

Late autumn at Reid State Park

On the beach

Taking in the view 

Sam and Auntie Meg

Low tide at Mile Beach

Friday, October 29, 2010

Forced Rest

I finally caught the most recent of Sam's colds on Tuesday. I have been really lucky this year, and haven't had any really bad sicknesses, with the exception of the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad evening back in August. So, I suppose it was about time that I picked up some of her germs :-) It's been a rough snot-filled, sinus-pressure, cough-inducing three days, but at least I'm getting it out of my system now and will be all rested up and back to my chipper self for Stonecat next Saturday! The cold also means that my taper has been a bit more dramatic than intended, with only two days of running this week so far, but then again, not much about my training for this race has read like a typical training plan, so maybe it's fitting :-)

Since there isn't much to report on the training front, I thought I'd share some of Sam news instead. Much more fun to read about, right?!

~ On Wednesday night, while I was feeding her dinner, she discovered that she could put her little index finger in the hole in the Ditalini pasta. Once the pasta was on her fingertip, she picked up her hand and sort of looked at the pasta, as if to say, hmmm, how did you get here?, and then promptly put her finger in her mouth, happily chomped away and repeated the action with the rest of her pasta. It is very cute.

~ She now knows how to turn off the light in her room. When I get her up in the morning, we sit in the dark for a little while and cuddle, and then I stand up with her in my arms and we go over to the light switch and I turn the light on. She immediately starts pointing at the switch and I ask her if she would like to turn the light out for me. She very determinedly and precisely puts her index finger on the light switch and pushes down to turn the light off. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but she is so proud of herself when the light goes off and the room goes dark :-) We repeat this "feat" several times each morning.

~ She has discovered that our coffee table has a drawer, and will pull herself up at the edge of the table so that she can open the drawer and pull out what is inside. One of the things she discovered last week was a deck of cards. These cards are this sort of funky see-through plastic material housed in a clear plastic box, so they're perfect for her. She will shake the box and pull on either side of it to get it open and all the cards spill out. Then she laughs and starts playing with the cards, pushing and pulling at the pile, in a way which reminds me of the scenes you might see on TV where someone is on a bed surrounded by dollar bills, excitedly throwing and picking up the money. If I take a few cards and put them back in the box and hand it to her, she will shake it and then pull it open. I don't know why this game is so fascinating, but it is.

~ When she holds something, like a book or one of her bath toys, she will curiously turn it all around, as if to discover and explore all the possible angles and sides of the item. One of her bath toys is a turtle-type thing with the shell and four legs below. She will systematically put each "leg" in her mouth to chew on while she sits in the bathtub. Do other kids do this?!

~ We have a "baby's first toothbrush" for her, which probably isn't really necessary since she only has 1 1/2 teeth, that she chomps on at the end of bathtime. She will drop it in the water and then look at us while she uses her hands to search around at the bottom of her bathtub to find it. When her fingers grasp it, she will bring it out of the water and look at us in triumph and clap :-)

~ We are working on getting her to walk between us. She has taken maybe a step and a half independently here and there when we do this, which is exciting, but I wouldn't quite call it walking yet. But what is so cute is that when when kneel down for her to walk to us, she gets so excited she doesn't walk straight and she ends up either veering to one side or the other or basically falling into our arms :-) Oh well, we'll get the walking thing down at some point!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today was my last long"ish" run until Stonecat on the 6th. Hard to believe the countdown to race day has begun, and with it, the taper! I am planning to really take it easy for the rest of this week and next, with lots of stretching and rolling too.

It was one of those dreary late fall mornings today, and Sam went back to sleep until 7:20 after waking up at 6:00 to eat. I thought about going back to sleep too, but yeowling Ronnie had other plans :-) Ah well, I padded downstairs to feed him, and then sat at the computer with my coffee, enjoying the quiet, so it really wasn't all that bad. Despite getting a decent sleep last night, Sam was still ready for a nap around 10:00, so after getting her settled, I suited up and headed out the door for my run. A very light mist was falling and the air was heavy. Temps were steady in the mid-40s, so it was relatively comfortable. I didn't have a set route in mind for the run, just figured I'd head into Highland Green and make it up as I went along. I ran the road to the clubhouse and then turned onto the cart path for the golf course. I wouldn't do this except that I knew from the empty parking lot that no one was out playing today. I ran holes 4 through 9, and then hopped back on the road. As I neared the ecology center trail, I decided to hop onto the trail system and run the dirt roads out to the Ravine Loop. This is one of my favorite trails in the Cathance system, and a bit of single track running through the woods made a nice change from the road and powerline running I've been doing of late.

I realized right off the bat with this run that I was running pretty fast. I also realized that my left leg was tight. I haven't done a great job the past few days stretching or rolling, and the leg was letting me know it! I stopped to stretch a few times in the first few miles, and that helped. Yes, I could have slowed down, but honestly, that does nothing in this case for the tightness I was feeling, so I just went with the pace I was running and continued on. I felt great otherwise. I finished off the 10 miles in 1:19:08, so really, waaayy too quickly, but hey. It did make me think that perhaps, just perhaps, if the knee holds up, I could have a decent race at Stonecat. However, I also know I need to make sure I keep some energy in the bank for the last 6 or so miles on the course, and that anything can happen in a long race, so I am just going to try to take the miles as they come on the 6th, and go out slowly!

The one downside of the run was that the song I had in my head is one from Sam's playhouse. The woman who sings these silly kid songs has a very high and extra cheerful voice. And unfortunately, although the songs are annoyed, they are also catchy, especially if played over and over and over by a child who loves to hit buttons and bop back and forth to music. So, for the whole 10 miles, I had the following in my head:

Counting, counting, counting is such fun!
Count with me, let's start at number one!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Counting is such fun, I would love to count again!

Put the above to trippy background music, and you have enough to make anyone go mad. Maybe that's why I was running so fast?! :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Juncos, Juncos Everywhere

As the seasons turn, and it gets cooler and cooler, my friends the juncos have returned. Over the past few days, a big flock of them have been swirling about out back, flitting, jumping, swarming, pecking and rooting around thought the leaves and brush. Mixed in with them has been a number of other birds I haven't seen in the yard in a while - a pair of cardinals, a tufted titmouse, a red-breasted nuthatch - and of course, the resident sparrows, are along for the ride as well. The juncos are fun to watch. And I'm not the only one intrigued - the cats are enthralled :-) Ronnie bats at the window pane, while Gigi makes these funny little sounds and creeps up to the edge of the bay window to stalk them through the glass.

I saw a big group of juncos along my running route yesterday too, as well as a few big flocks of robins flying above the treetops. Another three mile run, squeezed in before Ryan took off for the Wolfe's Neck 5k, and Sam and I took off for the gallery for the day. Originally, Valerie had nicely agreed to come cheer at the race and hang out with Sam while Ryan ran, but it was cold yesterday morning! And windy. Sam is a bit sick with yet another cold, and in the end, I decided I just didn't think it would be good for her to be outside in the wind and 30 degree weather for a few hours. But I still wanted Ryan to be able to run.

So since I was on my own at the gallery, and  as it has been mighty quiet now that Columbus Day has passed, and most of the color is gone from the trees, I figured it would work out OK to just take Sam up to the gallery with me until Ryan could pick her up at lunchtime. It ended up working out fine. Ryan said we definitely made the right call to not bring her to Wolfe's Neck as it was super windy over there along the ocean. Sam had a blast crawling around on the wide pine floors at the gallery, and making friends with the few people who came in before lunch. Ryan ended up placing 3rd in the race - hurray! - and then joined us for lunch at the gallery before heading back home with Sam, and while I didn't get much work done with Sam around, I did manage to sell two paintings, so I'll call it a good day :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Threes

This is turning into a week of threes.

I ran the 3-mile Highland Green route yesterday and felt great. It was a beautiful fall morning, crisp and clear, but I was still able to wear shorts. Perfect. I wished I had had more time and been able to keep running! But alas, work called and I had to stop.

I had plans to run 6 miles this morning, but it was not meant to be. Sam had a really rough night last night - up at 11:30 to eat, then again at 2:30 and 3:30, at which point she was not hungry but was obviously in a bit of pain from teething, and then again at 5:00 screaming bloody murder for 45 minutes or so. At that point, I finally gave her some motrin. Poor girl! She seems to be having a rough go of it with the teething. I am thinking (hoping!) that she is getting in a number of teeth all at once - after all, she only has 1 1/2 teeth! - and that is why she is feeling it so much. Ronnie was very upset Sam was crying so much, so then he was yeowling in the bathroom after she finally fell asleep. Aie. I contemplated just getting up for the day at that point, but did lie back down, and low and behold, when I woke up next it was 7:40! And Sam was still asleep. Wow. She ended up sleeping until 8:00, and woke up happy as a clam. The late wake-up meant we didn't get to daycare until late, and by then, I just didn't have enough time for any more than another 3-miler. Oh well, three is better than none!

I'll try to squeeze in another 3 before Ryan heads off for the Wolfe's Neck 5k tomorrow morning and I head to work. Like I said, it's the week of threes... :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3 and 1

I snuck in a very mellow three mile run yesterday morning after dropping Sam off at daycare. Definitely felt a little creaky, but it was a gorgeous, cool morning and nice to get the legs moving. It's hard to believe there are only 2 1/2 weeks until Stonecat! Wow. When I first registered for the race it seemed so far away. Now it is almost here! I'll plan to do one more mid-length run of 10 to 12 miles this weekend, but other than that, I'm keeping things short and sweet for the next two weeks. Which, frankly, isn't too different than I've been doing throughout this whole training cycle. Not exactly how I planned the past few months, but what can you do? It is what it is, and I'll just have to work with what I have. I know the marathon is going to be tough. Yes, it is a nice course, and seems like it could be a relatively fast one at that, but I don't have a ton of miles in the bank to work off of, so I am going in realizing that the last 6 to 8 miles are going to hurt (at least a little bit, anyway!). Which means I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing. I had had grand plans earlier this summer for being in awesome shape and running a fast race. I haven't totally dismissed that goal, but I'm also being realistic, and know that finishing, no matter the time, will be an accomplishment in and of itself, given my training and this silly tight left leg. Whatever the outcome, I do know that it will be fun - so many of our Trail Monster friends will be there running, it's bound to be a good time!

Silly girl :-)

As for the "one" in the title, I realized I hadn't done a "baby book" update on Sam's latest tricks in a while. Now that Sam is one, she is definitely more of a toddler than a baby. She's still nursing at night and early mornings, but is eating more and more solids every day. She seems to go through phases of eating a lot and eating little, but when she's hungry, she is HUNGRY! :-) She is cruising pretty confidently around the furniture, and pulling herself up from sitting and kneeling to her feet with regularity. She even stood on her own for a few seconds the other night. When she holds our hands to walk, she really doesn't walk, she runs! We have a runner in the making, I think :-) I am sure it won't be long before she takes her first independent steps.

She is making adorable sounds and "phrases," and we think she said "Gigi" the other night, although perhaps we were just projecting?! Despite not adding any more real words to her repertoire, she is now very good at letting us know what she wants by pointing with purpose, and at expressing her displeasure or excitement much more vocally. She puts her little head on our shoulders and wraps her arm around our necks now for hugs, and gives us cute open-mouth kisses when we ask (or when she feels like it :-)), and is still a little social butterfly. She is also an adorable goofball, and is definitely a character!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long Weekend On MDI

Long ago, Ryan had the thought that he might want to run the MDI Marathon this fall. We figured we had better reserve a room for the weekend, as it is still a busy time of year up there, so I did that months ago. But we never figured he would need to sign up for the race pronto - well, needless to say, it filled up fast, and he wasn't on the start list. Ah well, it was still a perfect excuse to visit Bar Harbor, and our friends Jamie and Kelly were running the race, so it would be fun to cheer them on! We decided to make it a long weekend and enjoy being up there.

It rained most of Saturday, so we didn't get out for a hike as we had hoped, which was too bad, although Sam had a blast crawling around the marathon expo instead, and making friends with two boys whose parents were letting them race around as well. Ryan managed to get a run in on the carriage roads later in the afternoon while I took a scenic tour of the island with Sam in the car for a nap. We met up with Stephen, Kelly and their kids for dinner at Rupinuni's and then Ryan and I sat in the dark in the hotel room after we put Sam to bed at 7pm. Definitely a downside of sharing a room with a one-year old! I couldn't even get the wireless connection to work on my computer, so I just decided to to to bed early :-)

We woke to clearing skies, a brisk wind and cool temps on marathon day. After a quick breakfast at a small cafe, we took in the start of the race, enjoying the energy and atmosphere of the start line. Very exciting! Then it was time to drive around like crazy maniacs, trying to catch glimpses of Jamie along the way. Sam was a good sport the whole time, and really got into the spirit of things, clapping as the runners went by.

Practicing clapping for the runners
Jamie had an awesome race, qualifying for Boston on a really tough course, and setting a new PR by 7 minutes. Way to go Jamie! We missed Kelly's finish, but sounds like she had a great race too. Woohoo!

After lunch, Ryan, Sam and I set out for a little hike. It was a gorgeous day and we didn't want to waste it! We headed up Champlain Mountain, enjoying the foliage and the bright blue skies. We didn't quite make it to the top, as Sam decided she had spent enough time in the car, the stroller, the high chair and now the Ergo, and wanted to be free, but it was great to be out hiking in the woods together.
Along the trail

Happy hiking buddies

Future hiker in the making :-)

Beautiful stonework with a view
Shake, shake, shake

Before dinner with Jamie and his brother, we walked around the town green, watching the evening light fall on the harbor and the islands beyond. Sam got a kick out of watching the huge seagulls and really wanted to play in the fountain!
Bar Harbor fountain

Monday morning was another spectacular fall day. The plan was for me to get my long run in on the carriage roads, and for Sam and Ryan to join me for the first few miles. It was pretty chilly, so we bundled Sam up, and off we went, with Ryan pushing her in the B.O.B., on the loop off Duck Brook Road, around Witch Hole Pond. They veered off a little after 4 miles, and I headed back out into the woods for the rest of my run. I wish they could have stayed with me for the whole run!

My route took me along Eagle Lake, where the sunlight shimmered off the water with views of the yellow and orange-tinged hills beyond, and along the edge of Bubble Pond before meandering through the woods to Jordan Pond. I ran down the path to the head of the pond, taking in the views of the Bubbles, before heading back up into the woods for the return trip. I was feeling pretty good up until that point, 13.5 miles in, and had really been enjoying my run on the nice, wide, well-graded carriage roads. The scenery were gorgeous, it was cool and sunny, and I didn't feel like I was working hard despite keeping a good pace. However, at this point, I was starting to feel my legs. Cardiovascularly, I was fine. No problem at all. But my legs, well, they were letting me know that I had only done one run over 12 miles during these past few months, and they were tired. It didn't help that the next 1.5 miles were uphill. A nicely graded hill, yes, but up and into the wind.

I was glad to finally turn off towards Eagle Lake, knowing that the rest of the way would be flat/downhill. I stopped to stretch my left leg around mile 16, and when I started back up again, I knew I would be happily ending the run at Eagle Lake rather than running the additional miles back to the Duck Brook Road trailhead. It wasn't that I couldn't run, or that the leg was feeling so horrible - yes, I could feel it twinging here and there, but nothing that I couldn't run through - it was just that it seemed best to stop while I was ahead. As I got closer to the parking area by the head of Eagle Lake, I could see Ryan and Sam, waving at me. Perfect! And when I bent down to pick Sam up for a hug, my watch read exactly 18.0 miles and 2:49. Excellent. I was more than happy with that, so I called it a day, and off we went for a late brunch at Two Cats Cafe. Unfortunately, they were out of biscuits, but it was good nonetheless!

Before heading home, we stopped at a local playground to let Sam play for a while. It was the perfect end to a fun weekend!

Playground fun

Thursday, October 14, 2010

39 and 5

It was 39 degrees this morning when we came downstairs. Brrr! Fall is here, with crisp, cool mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. And I love it!

I didn't manage to run the past two days. Tuesday was a planned day off but I really meant to run yesterday. However, Sam is teething and isn't sleeping well at all, so there is even less predictability to her morning wake-up. Gone (at least for now) are the nights where she would wake up once in the middle of the night and then again to eat around 5am, followed by going back to sleep for a few hours. Right now that sounds like heaven! Instead, this week, she's been waking every few hours and then is up for good between 6:00 and 6:30am. Yes, I could get up and out the door at 5am before she wakes up for the day, but man, this teething stuff is making me tired! And while I did entertain thoughts of a quick run last night after putting her to bed, that went out the window after a meal of turkey meatloaf, potatoes and acorn squash with Sam and Ryan at 5:30 right when I got home from work. It was tasty, but sat in my stomach, and made a run sound less than appealing. So, I got a few things crossed off my 'to do' list last night instead, and just made sure I got out there today! Hey, you do what you can.

After dropping Sam off at daycare, I shot home and headed out for the 5-mile Highland Green loop. Wore tights, long sleeves and gloves, but was able to take off the gloves a few miles in. It really was nice out with the sun warming things up as I ran along. Felt good to get out, and while I didn't feel like I was working too hard, I managed to finish the loop in 40:40. And now it's time to work.

Monday, October 11, 2010

12 Miles and Sam's One Year Check-up

It sure was nice to have family around this weekend! Not only did we get to celebrate Sam's birthday with everyone, which was great, but having our parents around meant Ryan and I had the chance to run together two days in a row! Wow.

This morning, my parents (and Morgan, who had stayed with them at the hotel last night) came over to watch Sam while Ryan and I headed out for a run. We headed out shortly after she went down for her nap with a plan for me to run 12 (or more, depending) miles, and for Ryan to join me for the middle 5 miles, which also happened to be the road portion of the run. Ryan dropped me off at the field house and I headed out into the Commons. It was a gorgeous morning, and one of those fall days where the difference between sun and shadow was pretty big. In the shade, the morning felt cool; in the bright sunshine, it was warm and toasty. It was nice to be back out in the Commons again, and I enjoyed cruising along the leaf-covered trails. Ryan met me near the end of the trail system, and we headed out along the Pennelville fields together. The wind was pretty strong in a few sections, and Ryan nicely acted as my wind block :-) Down at Simpson's Point, the sun was shining off the water and a lone cormorant sunned himself on the rocks at the boat launch.

When we got back to the Commons, I headed into the woods while Ryan headed back to the car, and *gasp* to run a few laps around the soccer field barefoot. Who would have thought?! During the last two miles of the run, I was starting to feel the effects of the quick pace as well as the effects of a night without much sleep due to Samantha's teething, a weekend with family (who we love, but you know what I mean) and lots of activity the past few days. When I came upon Ryan sitting in the sun at the edge of the fields by the car, I decided to stop the run there rather than continue on with a few more miles. I got in 12 miles in 1:44:21, and really did feel pretty good overall, so I'll take it. Perhaps I should have kept going, but the call of a yummy lunch out with everyone at Wild Oats won out! :-)


This afternoon, after lunch, we headed to the doctor's for Sam's one year check-up. Sam made friends with everyone in the waiting room, waving hello to anyone who would smile or wave back at her :-) When Dr. Phelps asked if she was having any stranger anxiety, we laughed. Sam loves everyone!

Sam weighed in at 18 pounds 5 oz. and is now 27.5 inches long. This puts her in the 10th percentile for both height and weight, so yes, she is small, but she's growing on a good curve and none of us are worried. She's just a little thing :-) The rest of the visit was uneventful, well, except for the three shots at the end, about which Sam was very upset. Poor girl! I wouldn't want to have three needles stuck into my thighs either!! Luckily, once we got home, she was soon happily playing with her shape blocks and her play house and back to her happy self.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Five, Eleven and A Party!

Eleven years ago today, Ryan and I were married in the Bowdoin chapel on a beautiful fall day, in front of our family and friends. This year, as with last year, our anniversary was every so slightly overshadowed by Sam's birthday, but that's OK :-) We certainly understand that she is much more exciting than we are! But regardless, happy anniversary Ryan! I couldn't ask for a better husband and best friend :-)

To celebrate, we snuck out for a mellow five mile run through the Commons together after Sam went down for her morning nap. Thanks to Irene, Dana, Phyllis and Ted for hanging out with Sam while we were gone! We appreciated the chance to get in a run together through the quiet woods on a crisp October morning before the chaos of the rest of the day began.

And by chaos, I mean Sam's birthday party :-) I don't think the house has ever been so full or so loud! My parents, Ryan's parents, his grandparents, Kristen and Morgan, Susie, Lillie and Mim, along with Nate, Shannon, Finley and Charlotte joined in on the fun and we had a grand old time. Sam had a blast playing with the other kids, and opening and playing with all of her wonderful presents (thanks everyone!). However, she was less than excited about the cake... What kid doesn't like birthday cake?! Apparently, ours :-) 

Happy Birthday Sam!

Birthday girl

Hmmm, do I like this?

Gigi wants in on the fun :-)

I love my play house!
It was a great day, and it was wonderful to have everyone here to celebrate Sam's first birthday with us. Thanks everyone! But now, I'm tired and about to go to bed :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One Year: Oh My, How We Have Grown!

Happy Birthday Sam!

It is crazy to me that I now have a one year old daughter! Wow! How did that happen?! :-)

I am constantly amazed at how much Sam changes each and every day. Seeing her develop into her own unique being is an awesome experience, and I know there is so much more to come. Despite dealing with the challenges every new parent faces, overall I know we have been so lucky with Sam this past year and we are truly blessed to have such a happy, contented child. And when Sam gives me a whole body smile as she sees me coming up the walk on my way home from work, or crawls over to me and pulls at my pant leg for "up" and a hug, or makes one of her silly faces, or gives me one of her adorable open-mouth kisses, what's not to love?

So, Sam, here's to many more years of happiness and growth and laughter. We love you so!

October 9, 2009

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months
10 months
11 months

12 months

We're doing cake and ice cream tomorrow with all the family, so I am sure there will be some good birthday shots to upload after that!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five More

Snuck in another 5 miles this morning before work. I hit the Highland Green loop again, and tried to keep the pace a bit more mellow than yesterday :-) It was a crisp cool morning, with the leaves putting on a show with lots of red, orange and yellow highlights. The turkey vultures were out playing in the air currents, a group of juncos were flitting in and out of the bushes, and a lone hawk was perched on one of the power line poles along the powerlines. I do love this time of year, and it was nice to be out! My mileage right now probably isn't quite where it should be in terms of marathon preparation, but it is what it is and I've been feeling pretty good so I'll take it :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Tooth, The Tooth!

My parents arrived this afternoon, and in true Nanie and Pip fashion, had already taken about 50 photos of Sam before I got home this evening :-) And they managed to capture what I have yet to get on film, Sam's tooth! You'll probably have to enlarge to actually see it, but I swear it's there!

Piano time!

On the move

And even though you can't see a tooth in this one, I love this photo! Man, is she cute or what?! (I think so anyway...)

Taking an afternoon walk


I've been racing around the past few nights and mornings trying to get things organized, clean, baked, etc, in preparation for the weekend. I love that everyone is coming into town for Sam's birthday, but I always seem to go into a bit of a frenzy when people are coming to visit (just ask Ryan...). However, all that didn't stop me from sneaking in a quick run this morning between dropping Sam off at daycare, cleaning the upstairs and getting to work (just) on time! I decided to do the longer Highland Green loop to get in a little bit more mileage, and to keep my leg happy. Similar to what Valerie has noted in some of her posts, my IT band often seems to be aggravated by lateral movement on side hills and sloppy terrain. Doing the loop through Highland Green allowed me to keep mostly on level terrain, and keep the leg feeling good. In my rather frenzied state, I ended up doing the 4.75 miles in 37:22. Perhaps a bit too quick. Oops! Oh well, maybe I can just call it a tempo run... :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simpson's Point

Yesterday, after a mellow morning of hanging out with Sam while Ryan went down to cheer on our friends on in the Maine Marathon and Half Marathon (congrats everyone on some awesome racing, especially Jeff for a wicked fast time!), we went over to the Foreside fields for a walk along the trails there and to play for a bit on the playground. I've run on some of the trails before, using them to make up a 6-mile lollypop route on the powerlines, but haven't been across the street on the trail that go down to the river. It's a short stretch of trail, but quite nice, and it was a beautiful afternoon to be out. Sam enjoyed being in the Ergo, and Ryan said it was super comfortable too, so hurray!

A walk in the woods
Fun in the Ergo
It was a nice rest day, leaving me feeling more than ready to get out today for a longish run to test out the left leg after my layoff last week. I decided to head over to the Commons for the run, both for a change of scenery and to have the chance to run some flat terrain, which I figured would be good for the IT band. I headed out around 9am after Sam went down for her nap. It was only 49 degrees out with a good breeze blowing. I was hoping it would warm up while I was out there, so I suited up in shorts anyway, but wore a long sleeve shirt and brought my gloves, just in case!

I haven't been running in the Commons in months, and enjoyed the quiet trails. Although there is a little bit of singletrack to be found, most of the trails are flat and wide, with only a few roots to avoid. Very nice and fast trail running. I got to the end of the Commons with my Garmin reading 3.5 miles, and was feeling good, so I headed onto the roads through Pennelville out to Simpson's Point. This is one of my favorite areas to run through. Pretty fields line the country roads. Purple aster, rose hips and thistle were notes of color amongst the grasses. A cardinal sang from one of the roadside trees. Cattails swayed in the breeze in the marshy spots. Sparrows and goldfinch flitted across the road from one bush to another. The tide was high as I got down to the point, and the wind was creating little waves on the bay.

As I hit 6 miles coming back from the point, I realized I was running pretty quickly, but I felt great, and didn't feel like I was working hard, so I figured I would just go with it. For the return trip, I looped around on Merepoint Road and back into the Commons. I ended up with 11.25 miles at 8:36 pace. Wow! Haven't run that quickly for a long run in ages. I guess a summer of running technical, twisty turny trails makes road running seem like a breeze! It was a nice run, and a good confidence booster to not have my leg hurt at all while I was out there. Woohoo!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Splashing Through the Puddles

With all the rain we had yesterday, I knew this morning's run would be a wet one. And that was ok with me! I figured I would take advantage of the puddles and wear my new Inov-8 282s in an attempt to get them a little muddy. It didn't quite work, as there was more water than mud on the powerlines, but it was still fun to spend my run this morning stomping through the puddles :-) I headed out after feeding Sam breakfast (Pears and toast - there must be toast! She loves her carbs, just like her mom :-) ), around 7:45. It was in 52 degrees, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, there was a nice breeze blowing and the air was crisp and dry - perfect! I did the 5 mile Homeplace loop, enjoying the colors of the turning leaves, the flitting of the sparrows and juncos in and out of the bushes, and the contrast of the maroon brambles and golden ferns with the purple asters along the way. Very pretty. Felt pretty good too, which helped :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stir Crazy

I've been trying to be nice to my leg this week, and haven't run since Saturday! Aside from our nice walk at Bradbury on Sunday, all I've been doing is stretching, rolling, doing strengthening exercises, push-ups (Up to 13 now! Woohoo! I can do more than Ryan!!) and sit-ups. While this is all well and good, it is not running. And it has been driving me crazy! So, this morning, after I dropped Sam off at daycare, I hurried home so that I could get in a short 3 mile run before work. It was incredibly muggy and hot. I was drenched by the time I finished the run, and I was only out there for 24:34. What weird weather. Hopefully once this tropical storm rolls through, we'll be back to the crisp fall weather we all love! The run was fine but not stellar. I was a bit creaky, which isn't surprising, given that I haven't run for 5 days, and the left leg wasn't perfect, with a few twinges here and there, but boy, was it nice to be out running! I really wish I wasn't having this odd issue with my leg at this point, but what can you do? I am just going to continue to work on it and get in as much running as I can without feeling like I'm pushing it too much. Looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow morning, and praying that the forecast for 50 degree weather and sunshine at 8am is right! :-)

In Sam news, last night, when I picked her up from daycare, she spent the whole ride home (which is only a few miles, but takes a while due to lights and traffic at that time of day) putting the palm of her hand over her open mouth and making a sort of 'woo woo woo' sound effect. She was doing it this morning too. I have no idea where she picked it up?! Too funny!