Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hot

I didn't have the best run yesterday. I hate it when that happens. I was really hoping for a solid 10, or maybe even 12 miles. Instead, I struggled through the 9 miles I did manage, although I kept up a decent pace of a little over 9:30s, so that part was good at least. I headed out at 9:45 after Sam went down for her nap - it was humid and sunny, and the temps were hovering in the high 70s. I was feeling pretty wiped out so I didn't have a lot of energy going into the run anyway. Sam is still up one or two times a night to nurse, and I've been trying to get up early before she wakes up to run during the week, so with the 5am wake-ups and getting a few 3 or 4 hour blocks of sleep instead of one continuous stretch, I seem to just have run myself down a bit this week. I also haven't been diligent about stretching, and by mile 7, my left IT band was pretty unhappy. Ugh. But enough of the excuses. It wasn't my day, and although it makes me a little nervous that I am getting pretty far into Stonecat training and haven't managed to run over 14 miles for my long run, I'm just trying to roll with it. Besides, what I've realized is that one of the best (and hardest) things about being a parent is that you don't really have the time to dwell on things like a bad 9 mile run when you have to chase a newly crawling 10 month old around for the rest of the day! Not to mention, she doesn't care that I'm tired and didn't feel good on my run. All she wants is to laugh and play and make faces at each other all afternoon. And how can I be upset when I'm doing that?! So there. Enough of feeling sorry for myself! :-)

Speaking of Sam, she is changing every day now. She holds both her hands over her head when we say "This big!" (or when Ryan says "Touchdown"). She does this funny little "come here" movement with her hand when she wants to get something out of her reach. She tries to put her baseball cap on her head (she can't quite do it, but she has the gesture down!). She will use one toy to get another closer to her. She grooves to music, bopping back and forth (but not side to side) - so cute! She wants to eat like we do, and although she won't eat them when trying to feed herself, she will eat things like blueberries and broccoli off an adult fork. Her crawling has progressed amazingly in just the past few days, and she can now make a circuit around the whole downstairs. She can pivot to go in the direction she wants, and is oh so close to figuring out how to get from the crawling position to the sitting position. She loves to "walk" around the house, holding onto our hands. She has taken to pointing at things, like the kitty in her "100 First Words" book, and can turn the pages of her books for me. She can find the toys we "hide" under her play bowls, and has transitioned entirely to a sippy cup when not nursing (No more bottles for us! Hurray!). She says "Mamamama" and reaches out for me to pick her up when she's getting tired or needs a hug. It is a joy to watch her change and grow, and to see her personality emerge more and more each day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Morning

I had hoped to sleep in a bit today, but no such luck :-) Ronnie was meowing like crazy in the bathroom at 6am. He has taken to doing this when he wants attention, so as I didn't want him to wake up Sam, I got up and went downstairs to get him his breakfast. I could have gone back to bed, but decided I would just start the coffee, get some breakfast, and sit and relish in the quiet for a while :-) It was a nice, relaxing way to start a day off, even if it was early!

Sam was up at 7am, and after playing with her for a bit, I headed out the door for my run on the 5 mile Homeplace loop. It was already feeling muggy and warm - summer has not left us yet! - and I was feeling a bit tired, although I still managed to run at a pretty good clip, so that was nice. Today's run caps off my week at 30 miles. I was feeling pretty good about that mileage until I read Jamie's blog! Ha! I don't think I'll be running a 70+ week anytime soon (or even in this lifetime), so really I'm happy with my 30 miles :-)

After a quick shower, it was time for Ryan to head out for his long run. Gotta love the "tag" we play these days to get our running in, but it seems to be working pretty well! Hopefully Ryan isn't melting out there - it is pretty hot right now!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Proof :-)

Here's a little video that Ryan shot today while he was home with Sam. Tell me it isn't adorable!

Sam crawling - 8/28/10

video


Of course, now that she's on the move, we have to seriously do some babyproofing, not to mention daily cleaning... Think we can find a gnome to go around during the day and pick up all the litter the cats track around the house so that Sam doesn't find the one bit that I haven't vacuumed up and put it in her mouth?! :-)

Sunrise

I have always liked doing my running in the morning, but my morning runs have never been as early as they are now. I headed out at 5:40. It was cool. 55 degrees. I shivered slightly as I took my first few steps, but smiled, relishing the cool, crisp feel of the morning air against my arms. As I crested the first hill on the powerlines and ran down to the Highland Green Road, I watched as the thin band of clouds turned deep purple and florescent pink, the sort of color you see in sunrise photographs and think isn't real. I listened to my friend the Towhee calling in the bushes, and felt the toes of my feet get wet with the dew as I ran down through the edge of the high school fields, the baseball diamond coated in a low layer of morning clouds. Just three miles this morning, and while I will admit that I'm looking forward to sleeping in a little tomorrow morning, it is nice to be out and running in the quiet of the morning, before the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the house) is awake. And what a way to start the day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crawling!

I can now say with confidence that Sam is officially crawling! It is so cute. She moves very deliberately and determinedly to get where she wants to go. She is especially motivated by the cats, so they had better watch out now that she is on the move :-) She wants their tails!

She actually started crawling a few days ago, but would just go a "crawl" or two, flop back down onto her belly, and repeat. But this morning, she crawled across the bed to get to the lamp on the end table, and then all the way across her mat downstairs towards Gigi. I love it! I know it is going to make things a bit more difficult, but I am so happy to have her moving!

She's also starting to really understand us when we talk to her. It is especially cute when I ask her, "Where's Gigi?" and she wiggles around in my arms to look on the ground this way and that to see if she can find her. She is getting to be such a big girl! (OK, so she's not really getting big, but she sure is growing up!)

On the running front, I did not get up and run in the dark yesterday. I was feeling sooooo tired, and decided it was best to just skip it. I think I have a bit of Sam's cold, which is not helping. However, she actually slept really well last night, so after I fed her at 5:15, I headed out the door for a 5 mile run. The sun was up, and it was a beautiful morning. Only 58 degrees. Wonderful! I felt a bit sluggish, but finished the run in good time and was very happy to have gotten out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heavy Clouds, No Rain

Sam was up this morning at 5am to eat. Needless to say, it was dark out. After I fed her, I padded back into our room, turned off the alarm scheduled to beep a few minutes later, and got dressed for a short run. It was still dark. I had a snack. Fed the cats. Did a few things in the kitchen. It was still dark. Finally I figured I had better just head out the door and run despite the fact that the sun had not yet come up. So, by 5:35, I was running down our street, headed for the powerlines. It was still dark out, but things were lightening up just the tiniest bit and I knew that the sun was rising somewhere overhead, even if I couldn't tell due to the heavy cloudcover. In fact, 17 minutes later, when I was running through the one wooded section of this particular loop, under the thick canopy of trees, it still seemed like the middle of the night. Good thing I know this section of trail inside and out, and that it is wide and not too rocky or rooty!

The 3 miles definitely loosened up my legs, and I felt pretty good. I'm planning to head out early again tomorrow morning. I think I might just suit up with my headlamp and go as soon as I am up and ready, even if it is still dark out. I need to get a little bit of headlamp training in for the early start 6:15am at Stonecat anyway!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fourteen at Bradbury

Sam slept in a bit this morning, which was nice, but it meant her nap was later and so we didn't get out the door to head to Bradbury for our run until after 10:30. Mom and Dad nicely agreed to come over and watch Sam while we ran - once again, thanks guys! We really appreciate it! - and Morgan, who was spending the day with them, was a great helper while we were gone too!

The thermometer was reading 64 when we left, and it was nice and breezy, although the air was still a bit heavy. In fact, with the breeze and the dampness, it felt downright chilly! Nice. The plan was to run the Bruiser course, and then *hopefully* run another 6 miles. However, I knew going in that 18 was a bit ambitious - Sam has yet another cold so I was up a number of times with her last night, and due to various illnesses, etc, I haven't run more than a 12-mile run in this training cycle. So, while I had hoped to get in 18, I figured I'd just go with the flow and see what happened after the Bruiser.

Ryan was letting me lead today, and my plan was to run at a decent pace, just to get an idea of how the course would run. I haven't run this race since the inaugural race back in 2007, when I ran 2:04:11. I'd like to be able to run under 2:00:00 this year if I can, but we shall see... It was good to run the course again, as I had sort of forgotten the twisty, turny 1.5 miles on the Island Trail at the very beginning, which seem to go on forever. The middle section of the race is nice, with some good single track and some wider sections along the snowmobile trail where there is the potential to make up some time. And then, it is into the "O" trail. I remember running this trail for the first time during the race in 2007, and thinking it was just nuts. I kept seeing people running in all different directions all around me. How could that be? This trail is like an intestine, and it just keeps turning and turning and turning on itself. This afternoon, after we had already been running on the "O" trail for 20 minutes, my legs were starting to feel the burn. The twisting and turning, and the erratic nature of the trail, was making my legs pretty darn tired! Oh well, at least I now have a more recent vision of what I'm in for next month during the race, and boy, was I glad to pop out of that trail and know I was almost done with the course!

By the time we got back to the parking lot, I knew 18 just wasn't going to happen, and told Ryan that I wanted to just run another 3 miles, thinking 15 would be a decent day. He suggested heading up the Boundary Trail and then down the Tote Road, but by the time we started to turn onto the Boundary Trail, I was pretty much done. My legs were just tired. I took a minute to stop and gather myself up, and we decided to head up the Northern Loop and then down the Terrace Trail to at least get in a few more miles, but to spare me the ups and downs and roots of the Boundary Trail. I got a bit of a wind back going back up towards the summit, but by the time I headed down the Terrace Trail, my legs were feeling a bit wobbly. Not exactly how I had hoped to end the day, but in the end, I got in 14.0 miles in 2:28:04 (10:33 pace). Not the fastest run in the world, but reasonably respectable given the crazy singletrack on the Bruiser. I'll certainly take it as a good day of training, and hope that I can build on it. Regardless, it was a good day out in the woods, and great to be out running the trails with Ryan!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Five and Fun

My parents arrived on Friday for a short visit. Both Ryan and I had to work on Saturday, so they were more than happy to come up, spend a few days in Maine, and help us out by taking care of Sam on Saturday. Thanks guys! This morning, they came over so that Ryan and I could go for a run together during Sam's naptime. Gotta love grandparents :-) Ryan and I chose to just head across the street and run the Homeplace loop. It felt like a different run, doing it with someone instead of alone, and we had fun chatting as we ran along. When Sam woke up, the five of us met up with Kristen, Morgan and Caitlin at Ricetta's for pizza. Yum! What could be better than a good pizza buffet?!

Mom and Dad have been taking tons of pictures the past few days, so here are a few, along with a video of Sam walking (with help, but still! It is adorable to watch her cute little legs do the high step as she walks along!):

Walkin'
video

I can feed myself!

Hi Pip!

Hanging with Mom after work

So big!

At LLBean with Nanie

Hi Nanie!

Ha ha! (Or: I am so proud of myself :-) )

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three Times Three

This has been the week of threes. I got out Wednesday and Thursday nights for quick runs after Sam went to bed and before dinner, running against the darkness. Wednesday, I had planned to do 5 miles, but Ryan had driven back from New Hampshire that evening and hadn't run during the day, so he wanted to run too. It seemed selfish to run 5 and have him run in the dark, so three it was. Thursday, I was tired, and three was all I could muster up.

And this morning, I was trying to cram in a run before Sam woke up and Ryan took off for work, and as I didn't get up quite as early as I had hoped, so yup, you guessed it, another three. I headed out at 5:40, just as the sky was getting light. A low fog had settled on the shrubs and grasses along the powerlines, and the sky was a layer of soft pinks and oranges, the rising sun lighting up the purple-tinged wisps of clouds along the horizon. Beautiful.

I know these short runs aren't the best training for Stonecat, but I have to roll with the punches these days and at least I'm getting out there, no matter what the length. My parents will be in town this weekend, and Ryan and I are planning to take advantage of it, and go for a run at Bradbury on Monday. I'm planning to run 18 miles - a big leap from the 11 and 12 mile runs I've been doing lately, but I need to get in some longer runs so I'm just going to go for it! This will also be a chance for me to run the Bruiser course in preparation for the race in September!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Afternoon Ten

It has been a rough few days in our house. Last night was not a good night. Sam had refused to take an afternoon nap, and was exhausted. She was fast asleep by 6:30, but began to cry around 8:30. Waking up a few hours after she goes to sleep is not totally unusual - it happens sometimes, and often she'll cry a bit and go back to sleep. Other times, she needs to eat again. Either way, fine. But last night, she literally screamed for over an hour. She did not want to eat. She did not want to be put back down. We held her. She cried. We took her into our room. She cried. I laid with her in the bed. She cried. Ryan laid with her in the bed. She cried. We tried to get her to chew on the frozen teething toy, thinking it was teething. Nothing really helped. We felt horrible. She was obviously so unhappy and in pain. Poor little munchkin. Finally, Ryan decided he would just take her downstairs and let her play until she seemed calm again and sleepy. Luckily, it worked. I was able to sleep for a bit, and he brought her back up around 10:30. He said she was practically falling asleep while taking her toys out of her toy box. I fed her and she fell right to sleep. Phew. She actually had an OK night after that, but it was not happy times for a while.

We ended up taking her to the doctor's this morning, not because of the screaming, but because she had developed some lovely red blisters and spots on her hands, feet and elsewhere over the weekend. Daycare had told us that 'hand-foot-mouth disease' (not to be confused with hoof & mouth (or Mad Cow) disease!) had been going around, and Sam was one of the three little ones to not have gotten it yet. We figured this was likely what she had, but she had no fever and I hadn't seen any spots in her mouth, so we wanted to make sure they checked her out just in case. While 'hand-foot-mouth disease' sounds like something horrible, it's really just a virus, similar to a cold, and there's nothing you can do about it except let it go away on its own and help to manage the pain for the kiddos.

Of course, we took her in and she's all smiles. In fact, the doctor told us she was inordinately happy for how sick she was. That's our girl! :-) But seriously, the doctor let me look into Sam's mouth when she was checking it out, and boy was it red and yucky! No wonder she was crying last night, and hasn't been eating well. Must hurt like hell. Thank god for baby motrin and tylenol!

So long story short, all this meant I didn't get out for a run until this afternoon while Sam was napping. I headed across the street to run on the Cathance trails. In his fever-induced delirium on Saturday, Ryan didn't bring the Garmin home from Great Glen, so I had to rely on my memory of the three possible loops on the trails - 7, 9 and 10. I had originally penciled in 14 for today, but that just wasn't going to happen. I hoped I would be up for 10, but I was just going to play it by ear. I actually ended up feeling pretty good, and did the longer 10 mile loop, which was great. It was nice to be out on a cooler day, although it was super muggy, and I ended up drenched. I had decided to try out the new Nathan waterbottle pack that I had won at the Bradbury Breaker on this run to see how it was. However, although I am psyched that Nathan donated this pack to the race series as a prize, this is not a product for me. It drove me crazy for the first 20 minutes of the run. With both bottles full, it was just too heavy and created too much pressure on my stomach. I dumped one bottle out. That was better but the pack still bounced up and down. I adjusted and readjusted multiple times. Finally, I cinched it just about as tight as it would go, way up high on my waist, and it finally felt OK. But I don't think I would use it to run again. I really like my Nathan race vest, and I will stick with that instead. So lucky Ryan now has a new piece of gear!

And just because I haven't posted any photos of Sam recently, here are a few from this weekend:

Yum! Green beans!


Very stylish!


But I'd rather chomp on them :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Evening

Friday started out so well, but went downhill shortly thereafter. By 11am, I was feeling a bit off. Feverish, light-headed and with an unsettled stomach. By 1:30, Cordelia sent me home, telling me I looked terrible. Well, I certainly felt terrible, so I headed home to take a nap. I didn't manage to sleep much, but rested for a while before doing a few things around the house in preparation for being home alone with Sam for the evening. I then hopped in the car to pick Sam up from daycare. I still didn't feel great, but didn't have much choice in the matter. Ryan was away, and Sam certainly wasn't going to spend the weekend at daycare, no matter how yucky I felt! I put on a pretty good show for the rest of the evening, until right around 6pm. Sam was starting to get tired, and so we were sitting on the couch, Sam on my lap. All of the sudden I just knew I was about to throw up. I started to stand up so that I could move Sam to her mat. Nope. No time for that. Round #1 ensued. I quickly moved to get Sam away from me, but ended up throwing up again, twice, right next to her. It got everywhere, but thankfully missed her. No matter, she started to scream and cry. I was in a panic. I had just thrown up everywhere, I felt terrible, my child was screaming and I didn't know what to do next. I picked her up and moved her, and tried to clean things up. But it was just too much. I called Ryan, and luckily he answered, even though he was in the middle of a beautiful 12 mile mountain run over in New Hampshire. I was pretty hysterical, and so was Sam. He tried to get me to calm down, and told me to put her in the highchair with some Cheerios so I could catch my breath and get it together. In the end, she just wouldn't stop crying, so I just left the mess and took her upstairs for bathtime. Luckily, she loves the water, and I was able to pull it together enough to act happy and play with her to calm her down. She fell asleep as I was nursing her, and I was able to put her right down without any fuss. Then it was downstairs to clean up my mess.

OK, so that might have been too much information, but let me tell you, it was a pretty horrible evening, and I recommend never throwing up 6 inches from your 10 month old child. I hate throwing up in the first place, but that made it 10 times worse. I spent a long while cleaning and disinfecting everything, made an effort to eat a little something and finally collapsed into bed before 9pm. Not exactly an ideal evening!

Luckily, my violent 2 minutes of throwing up Friday evening were all I had to endure, and although pretty wiped out from that, and not sleeping during the night, I woke up feeling drained, but better, on Saturday. Unfortunately, Ryan seemed to have contracted something similar, although with no puking. As Ryan says, "the petri dish strikes again!" (as Ryan affectionately calls Sam :-) ) Gotta love a daycare child!

With none of us feeling great - Sam appears to be teething (or she's drooling and fussing as if she is, anyway!) - Saturday was pretty mellow and we didn't do much of anything. I did get out for a short walk with Sam in the afternoon, as she simply needed a change of scenery towards the end of the day. I felt infinitely better this morning, so after I put Sam down for her nap, I thought I'd go out for a run. I went out onto the powerlines, with the hope that I might feel good enough to run 5 miles, but after a 1/2 mile, it was obvious I was still a bit wiped out from the bug, so I simply did a slow 3 miles instead. Given the past few days, it was just good to be out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dawn (x2)

5:40am. 56 degrees, with a band of low fog sitting on the powerlines, and pink and purple-tinged clouds above the treetops as the sun comes up. Dew clings to the grasses and ferns. Birds chirp as I run along, and I notice the berries on the bushes lining the trail are turning blush-pink, a certain sign that fall is on its way. A gorgeous morning to be out, enjoying a good run before the rest of the house wakes up. Today was the second day in a row that I've been out before 5:45am to get my running in. It is admittedly a bit of a struggle to get up in the dark and out the door so early, but it truly is a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Deluge

Sam didn't sleep at all (nope, not a wink!) today at daycare so she was in bed early. Amazingly, she was in a really good mood when I picked her up - I just don't know how she does it! So, with the little munchkin asleep, I was out the door at 6:45pm for my run. As I headed out the door, Ryan looked at the sky and said, 'you're gonna get wet.' Wet, indeed.

It started to sprinkle as I ran down our road, but it felt nice. A good change from the 80 degree weather earlier today. Then, a few minutes later, the winds picked up and it got dark. And it started to rain. Really rain. Puddles and little streams formed where a minute earlier it had been bone-dry. Large rain drops pelted my bare shoulders (I was suited up in the nice Sporthill tank that Linda and Bethany passed along to me. Thanks guys!), and my head was down in an effort to keep the rain out of my eyes. Still, it was sort of fun! I splashed through the puddles and enjoyed it, as by this point, I was wet and knew I would remain that way until I got back home.

All I could hear was the drumming of the rain on the ground. As I ran down the hill to the snowmobile trail, I had to really concentrate on the ground as it was hard to see the roots and rolls of the trail with the rain and the flat light. I was concentrating so hard, I didn't see the mountain biker headed in the other direction until I was almost next to him. We said a quick hello, and smiled at each other, both happy to be out playing in the rain.

As I finished up the loop through the Homeplace neighborhood, the rain let up a bit and I could see brightening skies to the east, but heading back towards Topsham Crossing, the skies were still dark, the clouds heavy, with a nice pink band of light along the horizon as the sun set. I thought I might get a reprieve and get to dry out a bit in the final mile, but instead, thunder and lightening rolled through, just as I was heading up the last big hill on the powerlines. Lovely. I picked up the pace in the hopes of outrunning whatever was coming next, but to no avail. More wind and a wall of rain greeted me. There would be no drying out for me on this run! I finished the 5 miles in 44:00, soaking wet, but happy. Certainly not a boring evening run :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

2010 Bradbury Mountain Breaker Race Report

First off, as always, a huge thank you to Ian, Ryan and all the volunteers who made this such a great race! It was awesome to see such a strong turn-out on Sunday, and I think it just goes to show not only that trail running is gaining in popularity, but what a wonderful job the Trail Monsters do in putting on this race series!

The Breaker is definitely the most rugged of the three Bradbury Mountain Trail Running Series races, taking the runners up and down the summit four times on trails full of rocks, roots, twists and turns. There were quite a few runners coming across the line with bloody and dirty knees, hands and bodies from taking spills out on the trails, but everyone had a smile on their face! I ran this race in 2008, and finished in 1:29:39. I feel like I've been running pretty strong this year (despite a rocky start to the season with my DNF at Pineland in May), which is likely partly fueled by weighing less (an unintentional consequence of nursing/sleeping little/running/etc), running faster on a lot of my training runs (Less time to be out there! Must cram it all in!), and maybe just because I'm happy to be back out running and want to have something to show for my time on the trails. Regardless, I was really hoping I could run faster this year, and thought that 1:26 seemed reasonable. I knew I'd do some walking, up the Summit trail and in a few spots on the Boundary trail, but I vowed to use the more mellow terrain on the Tote Road, and the nice downhill at the end of the race to run as fast as I comfortably could and hopefully make up for some of the walking.

The morning dawned clear and cool. Irene and Dana came over at 7:30, and I left them with a happy Samantha. I picked up Nate, and his friend Dave, and we turned into Bradbury around 8:10, leaving us with just enough time to get our numbers, do a quick warm-up, go to the bathroom and gather round at the start. The start, as always, was a bit of a crush, but I kept to the right-hand side of the trail and just tried to keep up a good pace, picking my way through the roots and rocks and such as I went. I noticed as I ran along that it seemed to be warming up pretty quickly, but I kept on chugging. I walked the Summit trail, but took off running again at the top, going as quickly as I could on the Tote Road without feeling like I was going to have nothing left for lap #2.


Running towards the Tote Road after coming up the summit (photo courtesy of our friend Shannon)

Then it was back up towards the summit and zigzagging down the Switchback trail to the start/finish area, and on to lap #2. By now, the crowd had thinned out a lot, and I was strung out along the trail with a few others, overtaking one or two guys here and there on the Boundary trail, getting passed by another, etc. I felt like I was all alone when I went through the aid station before starting back up the Summit trail, but as I walked as fast as I could up, up, up, I noticed there were a number of people ahead of me, walking too, back up to the top. Once I hit the Tote Road the second time around, I took off, trying to run fast, knowing I only had a few more miles. Even on the last uphill back up to the summit, I felt pretty good, and passed a fellow Trail Monster right before turning to the last downhill on the Terrace Trail. I really really didn't want him to pass me back, so I ran for all I was worth down the trail, trying not to let my natural tendency to put on the brakes on the downhill take over. As I made the last turn toward the finish, I saw the woman in green who I'd been seeing here and there along the trail just ahead. I didn't quite have enough real estate (or speed!) to catch her, and finished 5 seconds back. Darn! Still, my run was good enough for 1:24:04 and 1st in my age group! Cool. I'll take it :-)

Lots of my Trail Monster friends had great races, as did Nate and our friend Susan. Nice job everyone! After the race, I milled around, chatting with friends, helping a bit at the finish line, and managed to take home a very cool water holder from Nathan, one of the series sponsors. A great way to spend a sunny Sunday morning! Sam had a good morning too, enjoying her time with Grammie and Grampie. Ryan and I are very lucky to have such great parents who are willing to come hang out with our kiddo so we can run! Thanks guys!!

Full results here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Welcome Change

The thermometer was ready 58 degrees this morning. Woohoo! I opened the windows, and let the cool, dry air in. Ahhh. It felt wonderful. Normally I would have been working today, but we did a last minute switch, so I had today off and will be working Monday instead. That meant this week was a 4 day week, but next week is bound to be a long one... Oh well, it's nice to have a full weekend off again so I won't complain too much!

Sam was up at 6:30, and we had a fun morning hanging out and playing, while Ryan was over at Bradbury helping to mark the Breaker course. While he was gone, we also practiced pulling up! Sam is literally too small to pull up onto much from a seated position on the floor, but when she is sitting off my legs, she can now pull up onto the coffee table. It's a start anyway! Irene said I'll be sorry I've taught her this, but at this point, it's exciting to see her making progress on some of the gross motor skills that she is taking her own sweet time with.

She also took a nice morning nap, which gave me time to finish up the pumpkin chocolate chip breads for tomorrow's prizes, do a few things around the house and also simply sit down, drink some coffee and relax. When Ryan got home at 11:30, he took over Sam duties, and I headed out for my run. It had warmed up into the low 70s, but still felt wonderful in comparison to all the hot, humid days of late. I ran the Homeplace loop for the third time this week - I really need to get out and run something different, but as I'm almost always under the gun in terms of time, heading onto the powerlines is simply the easiest option. I got home just as Irene and Dana arrived, took a quick shower, and we headed out to Frontier for lunch. Yum! Many thanks to "Grammie and Grampie" for coming up this weekend and taking care of Sam tomorrow so I can race the Breaker! I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Setting Sun

I could not drag myself out of bed this morning, so I settled for a run this evening after Sam went to bed. Ryan was nice enough to finish up dinner (chicken enchiladas, yum!) while I ran, and even offered to do the grocery shopping tonight too. What a nice hubby I have, huh?! I headed out right at 7pm into the hot, humid evening for my run, and by the time I had turned around and was headed home, the sun was setting over the treetops. The light was flat, and the wooded areas dark, as I made the final loop through the woods on the Mt. Ararat trails. We're definitely losing daylight, and I know I won't be able to sneak out for 7pm runs for much longer without having to use a headlamp, but I'll also readily admit that I'll be happy when the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives! This humidity is a bit much!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Early Morning Run

Sam was a super sleeper last night (well, at least for her!) and after she woke up at 11pm, she didn't wake up again until 5:15am! Hurray! I got up to feed her, put her back in her crib to sleep a little longer and quickly suited up to head out for my run. It was in the 60s but humid. Darn, I thought we had gotten rid of the humidity, but it's back! Oh well, it is August after all :-) I ran the five mile route along the powerlines. I enjoyed a few blackberries along the way, caught sight of my Towhee friends, and followed a set of moose prints for about a mile! I thought I had seen some prints a few weeks ago, but only saw one or two so it was hard to confirm. These however, were definitely moose prints, and he was making good use of the soft sandy trail to travel along. I also came across a pile of his droppings. I hope that when he turned off the powerlines, he headed toward the Cathance and not towards the road! As I was headed down the final hill on the way back home, I looked up and saw two deer bounding across the trail. One headed right and one headed left, their white tails up in alarm as they gracefully pranced away through the grasses and into the woods.

I felt good during the run, and upon my return, managed to not only take a shower and eat breakfast, but also get some chores done around the house and chop up veggies to roast for dinner tonight before Sam woke up. She slept in until 7:40, and woke up a very happy girl! Sleep does do wonders, doesn't it?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Long Weekend at Baxter

We had a great long weekend up at Baxter! The only things that might have made it better would have been more blankets, a little girl who napped in the pack n' play in the cabin and one more day up there, but otherwise it was awesome! We had a wonderful time and it was lots of fun to take Sam up to a place we love so much.

I though I'd write a long report about the trip, but I took a ton of photos, so I thought I'd do a photo journal instead!

Our destination: Kidney Pond, Baxter State Park


Canoe launch, Kidney Pond


"Katahdin," Cabin #4

The cabin was great, with a big porch and picnic table, and a view of the pond through the trees. Kidney Pond is perfect for kids, with a wide open grassy area, a big library and a canoe launch.

We did a lot of this:


Morning at the field at Kidney Pond


Hanging out

And this:


Enjoying the view


Playing on the porch

Sam wouldn't nap in the cabin, so we spent a lot of time driving the Tote Road, meaning we saw a fair amount of this:


Asleep

Saturday evening, we walked the trail along the pond's edge, and saw this:


Katahdin over Kidney Pond


Mommy and me and the Mountain


Fun!


Hugs from Mommy

Saturday night was cool and crisp, and Sam came into bed with me in the early morning hours, and when we woke up on Sunday morning, we all cuddled in bed for a bit:


Cuddles

Meghan and Chris got us this awesome stove for Christmas, and it was perfect for this trip!


Yum, chocolate chip pancakes! And French Roast coffee!

Sam enjoyed her meals on the picnic table, and decided the bowl was lots of fun to play with!


Having fun with nobody!

Sunday afternoon we headed over to Daicey Pond and hiked along the AT to Little and Big Niagara Falls:


At the falls


Yeah!


View from Little Niagara Falls

Sam had lots of fun in the baby backpack:


Hurray!

In the evening, we took a nice walk around the campground as the evening light faded:


Family portrait with Katahdin

And Ryan and I enjoyed a bit of this after Sam went to sleep:


Treats

Monday we had a picnic lunch at Katahdin Stream Campground, and hiked up to Katahdin Stream Falls before heading home:


Sam and Katahdin


Fun at the Falls

In short, it was a great trip and we had a blast. Sam was good 99% of the time and loved looking at the water, watching the breeze blow through the breeze and hiking with us. This trip surely wasn't our most active up at Baxter, but it was a nice getaway with lots of fun family time, a little hiking and even some relaxing :-) Ryan and I also managed to sneak a little running in, although I know we were both tempted by all the great trails up there and wished we had had more time to explore them. I managed to get in a nice 5 miles on the Tote Road on Sunday evening before dinner, enjoying the views of Doubletop from along the hard-packed dirt road as it wound by the river. I decided to push the pace to 'comfortably fast' on the last mile, and finished that one off at 7:33 pace, which felt good.

And this write-up wouldn't be complete without the requisite flora and fauna report: Kidney Pond is home to a pair of loons with a little baby. We could hear the loon's haunting calls at night, ringing out over the water. The pond is also home to some really large frogs, and we saw a few minnows too. A brown rabbit hopped around the cabin a few times, we saw one Groundhog and the red squirrels and chipmunks fought over Sam's dropped Cheerios out back :-) I noted some juncoes and red-breasted nuthatches in the woods, and we saw a Flicker as well as swallows and bats swooping over the pond and field. While we were out driving, I spotted a black bear cub hiding down in the greenery along the river. So cute! The river and roadsides were lined with Joe Pye Weed, goldenrod and Pearly Everlasting, and a few lily pads floated on the ponds. I picked a few blueberries, but most of the raspberries had already been picked over. The bunchberries in the woods were sporting their beautiful bright red berries, but everything else was pretty much just greenery, with all the spring flowers gone. I am sure there is more, but that's all I can remember for now!