Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

Isn't it almost November? Shouldn't it be cool out? Instead this morning the air felt balmy and warm, almost as if it were spring instead of late fall. I was dressed in shorts and a short sleeve shirt this morning for my run, and got out for a mellow 4 miles around the Heath. The foot appears to be a non-issue (knock on wood) but my back is still tight. Luckily, after a little massage from Ryan, plus some rolling on a tennis ball and on the foam roller, it felt OK during the run. I would really like it if my body wouldn't play these tricks on me so close to a race! Just makes the taper even more painful! Ugh!

And speaking of tricks and treats, it's Halloween which means it was the daycare Halloween parade and party this morning. Despite the fact that Sam had been telling us for days that she wanted to be a cow, suddenly last night, she didn't want to be one after all. We finally cajoled her into her costume this morning, and it actually worked out pretty well, I think! I watched the parade before scooting up to work, and it was just adorable. They paraded all the kids around the pick-up/drop-off oval a number of times, and there were parents lined up the whole way, watching and taking photos and cheering on the little kids. So cute!

Moo! (Note the Pineland Farms 25k bell :) )

All smiles at the Halloween Parade

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Feeling Lucky

We had some strong wind and rain last night, and it is currently pretty dark and stormy out, but we never lost power and aren't experiencing anything close to what our friends and family further south have been going through. We're definitely feeling lucky this morning!

I even got out for a short run this morning before work. Ran the 3-mile Highland Green loop. It was windy and warm out. Tropical feeling, almost. Foot felt good but my back is tight. Sheesh! Guess that's what I get for giving Sam piggy back rides up and down the stairs this morning! Man, I'm getting old :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sam's 3-Year Checkup

Amidst all the talk about hurricanes today, Sam and I headed out this afternoon for her 3-year checkup. What was interesting was that the whole visit really emphasized that she was a toddler and no longer a baby! Standing on the scale, getting an eye exam, getting her blood pressure checked, getting undressed and wearing one of those lovely blue doctor's gowns (although hers was adorned with Looney Tunes characters) during the check-up. She did have to get a flu shot, which made her cry, but it was over quickly enough and she was OK with it. In any event, overall, she was a very good patient!

As for her stats, she is weighing in at 26.2 lbs, and is 34.2" tall. Yup, she's a peanut, but her weight is proportional to her height and she's staying steady on her own growth chart, which is really all that I care about. She's always been on the tiny end of the chart, so I really am not expecting her to all of the sudden be in the 50th percentile! :-)

With Ryan down in Portland today for work, I didn't get in a run, but this week it doesn't matter much, so Sam and I enjoyed the day together getting some things done around town, reading books, coloring and not napping :-) And with that, I'm headed to bed!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

After a gorgeous, warm late fall day yesterday, today it felt like the end of October. It was raw and overcast. I don't think we're going to feel the full impact of Hurricane Sandy like those further south, but I know we'll get some rain and strong winds, and it sure seemed like this morning's sky was warning us that a storm is on its way. I headed out this morning around 7:30 onto the 7-mile Cathance loop. I wasn't organized enough to ensure that Nathan knew I was headed out so early so I missed out on the chance to have company on the run. Silly me. Gotta take advantage of another Trail Monster living so close by! Next time, Nathan :-)

The woods were quiet. No gaggle of turkeys. No deer. Just a few calls from the chickadees and bluejays out in the woods. It almost seemed like the forest was gearing up for the storm. The river, calm in the wide shallows, still put on a good show through Barnes Leap and meandering along the rocky stretches. Always a pleasure to run along. I wore my lightest socks and donned my 295s, with the wide toe box and new pads, and luckily the neuroma didn't act up. Phew! I'll still have to be careful this week, I think, but I was sure glad to have it be a non-issue during the run! Felt good and even managed to eke out just slightly under 10:00 miles, which is pretty good on this twisty, rooty, leaf-covered loop! :-)

We followed up my run with a visit to "the pancake place" for a yummy breakfast and then headed to Freeport to Wolfe's Neck Farm. Sam had a blast feeding the sheep and the cute brown and black bunny, and even more fun exploring the hay maze. The interesting thing is that when we first got there, there were a lot of kids in the maze. Sam went in, but she didn't say a word and just quietly stood off to the side of the action. But once everyone cleared out, she got really into it and was having a grand old time. Always fascinating to me to watch her in situations with other kids.

So much fun!

In the hay maze

Through the tunnel the big kids built

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mellow 4

Headed out into the slightly balmy, sunny morning for a pleasant 4 miles along the powerlines. The bright red winterberries shone bright amongst the golden and browning brush. Deer prints in the sand. A Great Blue Heron swooping past, flapping its wings in a simultaneously odd yet graceful way. The scent of evergreens heavy in the air. A nice 4 miles to start off the day and end the running week. Legs felt good, although the neuroma on my left foot was acting up?! Hmmm, wonder what I did to bother it? Can't say I'm too happy with that. Will have to replace the pads in my shoes and be careful not to aggrevate it any more over the next week. Otherwise, feeling healthy and ready for next weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini MP Run

After dropping Sam off at daycare this morning, I headed out for my run. I never ran my hill repeats last week, so figured I should do my best to get in a workout this week so as not be too much of a slacker :-) Without many miles on tap over the next few days, I decided to run the Highland Green loop with the middle 3 miles at marathon pace. I think I should just stop calling it a "marathon pace run" because even though I tried really hard today to just set my pace at hard-but-not-too-hard, and it worked for the first mile (7:56), the last two were 7:40 and 7:43. I don't really think I could sustain 7:40s for a full marathon, so it's not really a MP run, right? I think I'll just start calling it "Danielle's day to run a decent clip for a set amount of miles" run instead :-) Doesn't quite have the same ring, though, does it? Ha!

Anyway, it was another beautiful late fall morning. It was quite windy but the air was crisp and the sun was bright. I felt decent running, but can tell I've had a few too many nights of interrupted sleep recently. Still, just a mellow four miles to run tomorrow and next week will be light, so I should be able to rest up a bit before Stonecat!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cart Path Run

After a day off from running yesterday, and some rolling and stretching this morning before heading out on my run, the legs felt spry and happy. It was cool and sunny, and no one was out playing golf, so I hit the cart paths for a 6 mile run. The woods and fairways were quiet, and it was a beautiful morning to be out! Spent some time as I ran along pondering Stonecat, and realized I have yet to get in any running with my headlamp on... Hmmm, perhaps I should do at least one run in the dark in the next 10 days?! :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

10 at the Brad

I'm helping Ryan with a work project this winter, and the initial meeting was this morning in Freeport, so I ended up bringing Sam into daycare for the day. There were a few errands I wanted to run in Portland as well, so I figured I might as well stop at the Brad in between for a good run. I put out the word on the TMR site, but of course, most people work normal hours so weren't free for a mid-morning Monday run :-) Blaine, however, has a flexible enough schedule that he was able to make it over to meet up with me. Erin and Lillian took advantage of the nice weather and went for a hike while we ran. It was great to catch up with Blaine and have some company for the run! It was also very nice to be running at the Brad again! It's been a while.

We headed out on the Connector a little after 10:30. I had told Val I would run at least some of the course to look for stray flags and arrows, so when we got to Lawrence Road, we turned right and took the dirt road to the powerlines before connecting back with the Connector. The funny thing is that we didn't see any arrows/flags far out; in fact, we picked up all of them on our return between the turn-off on the Boundary Trail to the Connector and the parking lot! I thought for sure those would be the first ones picked up, but it made it easier for us than having to carry them all a long way :-)

When we got back to the parking lot, we were at 7 miles, so we headed across the street and ran Fox Eat and West and back on the Knights Woods Trail. I enjoy the ruggedness of the Connector and the beauty of the streams crossed, but I do so like the open woods on the east side. Very pretty today with the late fall leaves and the bright sunlight. My Garmin beeped 10 miles on the dot when we got back to the lot, so we called it good for the day. Definitely a fun Monday morning run! Thanks Blaine! And thanks, Brad :-) Always nice to see you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Fun

Yesterday was the Big Brad Ultras. Val, Mindy, Ian and all the volunteers did a great job putting on a tough and challenging race! Way to go everyone! And there were some great runs by Trail Monsters and others out there - awesome!

Ryan ended up manning the Lawrence Road aid station all day long, so after coloring and hanging out for a bit in the morning, Sammy and I stopped at Frosty's for a donut pick-up and then headed over to the aid station to visit and cheer for a while around 9:00 am. It was misty and a bit dreary out, but the atmosphere was festive, and all the runners, despite being muddy and wet, seemed to be happy to be out there. We ended up missing Zak and Emma, who had already come through the station by the time we got out there, but we stayed long enough to see a lot of the other Trail Monsters come through, which was great!

After lunch and a nap, we ended up heading back in the afternoon as Ryan's keys got locked in his car. I hadn't been planning to go back out, but it was fun to have a chance to see a few more people out there and cheer on some more runners! I was impressed by everyone's attitude, despite the rough conditions and the wet weather. Ultrarunners may be crazy but they are oh so cool :-)

Ryan didn't get home until bathtime, so there was no running for me yesterday, but I did get out this afternoon during naptime for a nice 5 miles down to the river and back. My legs felt pretty good, although I was definitely a bit tired. With all the rain from Friday night and Saturday, the river was high and flowing well.

When Sam woke up, we raked leaves out back for a while, and then headed to the playground for a little energy-burning session before dinner. Nothing like slides and tunnels!

Giggling with Daddo




Coming through!

And Chandra, this last photo is for you:

Sammy's faux pouty face. Hysterical!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Morning along the Cathance

Bluejays squawking.
Sparrows and juncoes flitting.
Water rushing over the rocks.
Leaves crunching underfoot.
Brilliant green moss.
Red and yellow leaves reflecting.
Overcast sky.
Dry bogbridges.
Great Blue Heron fishing, silent and still.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Morning 5

Ryan was feeling good enough this morning to join me on my run, and I was happy to have his company. It was bright and beautiful out. We headed out through the woods to Highland Green, and then, since it was only 41 degrees and we figured the golf course would be clear, we hit the cart paths for the remainder of the run. The paths are nice because they roll and wind along the fairways, through the woods and along the marshy areas. It's quite picturesque, and a great way to get in a nice run off the pavement. There likely won't be many more chances for us to run together on weekday mornings as Ryan's schedule is about to change, so it was nice to take advantage of the opportunity this morning and enjoy a nice 5 miles together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We had an earthquake last night. Here. In Maine. It registered in the "light" quake category, but we certainly felt it. However, I will admit that my first thought was not that it was an earthquake. I was putting Sam to bed, and we had the washing machine running. The machine is right on the other side of her bedroom wall, so I initially simply thought that the washing machine was unbalanced and was causing things to shake a bit. Then Ryan came rushing in, and I realized that things were still trembling. Weird. Don't think Sam noticed at all, and then just like that it was done.

This morning, I headed out into the frosty morning for a short 3 miler around the block. The air was clear and bright. A deep frost covered the grass. My legs felt surprisingly good considering yesterday's day off and Monday's 20 miles. I didn't feel creaky at all, although my legs did feel a bit tired. I'll take that as a good sign!

Monday, October 15, 2012

20 Done

OK, so this week's long run didn't quite go as swimmingly as last week's long run. Last week, I had it all together. I felt good physically and mentally the whole way. I felt like I was running well and within myself. This week, well, not so much. I felt off from the start. I was tired. But this is my MO. I can't really use it as an excuse all the time. It is just how it goes for me. And with my late start, I knew I wasn't going to be able to run the cart paths for the first 6 miles as I had planned. So, I was wandering off without a real plan in mind. Sometimes I like the challenge of figuring out where I should go for a certain distance. But today I just felt a little overwhelmed.

I started mentally arguing with myself about the merits of this last long run about 3 miles in. With 17 more to go. This was not good. I was out in the Cathance. The woods were beautiful. The river was flowing. There were fallen leaves on the mossy rocks. I recognized that I was lucky to be out there. Sam was being well cared for by my parents, and I had the whole morning to myself to run. But I didn't really want to. Or maybe I didn't really want to all by myself? Regardless, after I had finished the Ravine Loop and was 5 miles in, I stopped, pulled out my phone and called Ryan. I asked him if he would do me a favor and meet up with me in another 5 miles for a 5 mile loop. I figured if I got in 10 on my own, and had the boost of running with Ryan through mile 15, that I could drag myself out for the final 5 and hopefully get the run done without too much damage or drama. Well, I was wrong on that count.

Ryan was a good husband and agreed to run with me no questions asked, but he didn't really want to. His foot was hurting and his legs were tight. He wasn't planning to run. I hadn't realized that he was so against running today, and when he told me that as we ran down our road, I sort of lost it. I didn't want to run with a grumpy mc-grumperstein! I was hoping for a little relief for these 5 miles. Instead, I felt stressed. Finally, after a few miles and another small breakdown, we sorted ourselves out. Ryan said I didn't really need him anyway, I was running well. And in fact, I did feel OK. I was moving along and had gotten through my crazy wacky emotional stressed out bad patch. I dropped Ryan and my Nathan pack off at the house and headed out for the final 5. Ryan suggested just running the Highland Green loop at as quick a pace as I could. That didn't sound like a bad idea, so that is what I did. I probably could have used some water and fuel along the way, and certainly didn't hammer the loop out like he suggested, but I just kept on chugging until the Garmin beeped 20. Done.

It was definitely a bit of a struggle to get through this one, but I got it done, and I know that having this last 20 miler under my belt will help me during Stonecat. Ryan thinks I should take a break after Stonecat and not do any events for a while, that training is stressful for me and that I'm better off just running what feels right. I agree with him in a way, but I don't want to give up on competition for good! I like having a goal to work towards and seeing what I can do in a race. I realize that sometimes my running makes me crazy, but in other ways it keeps me more sane. So who knows? In any event, there will be more time to ponder all this once Stonecat is done. For now, it is on to the taper!

And in an attempt to bring a bit more cheer to this post, here are a few more photos from Sam's birthday yesterday! She had so much fun!!

Playing with her cash register with Morgan

Art project!

Happy Birthday to you!

Afternoon coloring session

A goodbye hug from her best friend Annie. So cute!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

5 and a Party

Today was Sam's birthday party. Luckily, the morning was pretty mellow and offset the chaos that was this afternoon :-) I didn't actually have much to do in preparation for the party that hadn't been done, so even managed to get out for a run this morning! After the rain last night, the front was moving through and it was just a bit dreary out. It was also much warmer than I had expected. I headed out into Highland Green, and thinking that there was likely no one playing on the course on such a wet morning, I decided to chance it and hit the cart paths instead of running through the woods down to the river. I skipped holes 1 and 2, but ran the rest of the holes. No one was out there, and it was a nice change to run on the packed dirt/gravel paths and not have to think about footing on a wet morning. I guess I must have timed things perfectly because when I came off hole #9, the parking lot at the clubhouse was filled with cars and it looked like a tournament must be going on! A decent 5 miles to start off the day.

The house was filled to capacity this afternoon with 7 kids and 12 adults, but we had a lot of fun. The kids were all very good together, and really enjoyed the craft project I had for them (decorating little foam refrigerator picture frames) and had a lot of fun coloring and playing together. It was very cute to see them all sitting around the table engrossed in their art! Sam received a lot of nice presents, and we of course hyped everyone up on cake and ice cream :-) I must admit to being pretty tired out by the time dinner rolled around, but it was fun to have our family and some of Sam's friends here to celebrate with her! Thanks everyone!

I was a delinquent Mom and just let everyone else take photos of the day, so I'll have to download some of my parent's photos tomorrow and post them :-) But for now, here is a cute shot of Sam opening the big roll of art paper from Auntie Meg and Uncle Chris, and one of her smiling as I put the cake down in front of her!


The birthday girl!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Frost and Ice

The weather people weren't kidding when they predicted lows of 29 last night! The thermometer was reading 31 when Sam and I came downstairs at 6:00 am, so I'm assuming it dipped below that earlier in the morning hours. Brrr! Maybe a bit early for below freezing temps, but at least the forecast ensured that Ryan was willing to turn on our monitor heater :-) Ah, now the house is toasty warm!

I headed out for a short run around 7:30 am, decked out in long sleeves, fleece tights, hat and gloves. The sun was shining brightly, and the air was cold. There was a heavy frost covering the grass and the brush along the roadside. A thin sheen of ice shone in the sun atop the shallow puddles from yesterday's rain. I ran out into Highland Green, and along hole #3 before turning off the cart path at the Heath. The golf course greens were frosted over, as were the bridges. At the Heath, I stopped for a moment to admire the cotton sedge and deep red leaves of the marsh brush, tinged in frost, all set against the deep blue sky. Pretty. I ran back over the quarry, down the road and up the powerlines. The hoar frost in the sand crunched beneath my feet.

Got in 4 quick miles before making a trip to Frosty's for a big mug of coffee and a big twist donut with Ryan and Sam. A good mix on a cold and bright fall morning! Now if only I didn't have to be at work for the rest of the day :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Effortful Eight

I headed out onto the Meadow Cross loop this morning for my planned marathon pace run. The loop is 8 miles, so I figured I would run at least the middle 6 miles at MP, and possibly include the last mile as well, especially given that the last mile runs from the entrance to the Topsham Mall up against traffic and back to our house. Every time I've done this loop before, I am always eager to just finish the d@#m loop and be done with it by that point! :-)

I left the house right around 7:30. It was chilly enough that I wore gloves and am glad I did! In fact, I think I could have done with a heavier shirt but luckily, I did warm up after a few miles. Still, that first mile on Rt. 201, against the morning commuter traffic, into the wind, was cold! I ran a bit more quickly that first mile than I might have as a warm-up mile, just in an attempt to warm up :-)

After that, I turned onto Meadow and ran up the hill to Bisson. The cows were mooing out in the fields, and there was one lone tree out in the middle of the pasture that was literally covered with starlings, chittering and chattering to each other. After another rolly mile, I hit the low point by the swampy area, where a big flock of robins flew over. From there, a turn onto Meadow Cross, into the wind, and up and around through the fields and out to Rt. 196, where it is a long 3 miles back home. Luckily, this stretch has a really big shoulder, but the traffic was constant, and the trucks were spewing smoke and pushing grit onto me as they roared on by. Ugh! It was along this stretch that at one point, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I often see people running the shoulders along busy roads and wonder what the hell they are thinking! Don't they know there are beautiful back roads and much better routes near by?! And well, today, that was me. Chugging along the side of a busy road at rush hour, cursing the traffic and trying to run faster to just finish the run up! Ha.You would think I know better, wouldn't you?! Ah, the things we do in the name of running and trying to improve :-)

Splits ended up being: 8:14; 7:50; 7:28: 7:50: 7:49; 7:30; 7:30 and 7:30. This loop is hilly, and obviously, my pacing was all over the place. I'm not sure I would really call it a MP run in the end, as my splits really weren't even, and they were all 10-30 seconds below the 8:00 pace that I have been calling my "marathon pace." But, while the MP portion was a failure, it was still an effort-filled run, and a good fast run for me. Even with the hills and the pace, I legitimately felt pretty good the whole way. Oh, I was working, for sure, but it felt OK to work and there was never any point where I just wanted to stop or really relax the pace. Which makes me happy, and makes me think, that, maybe, just maybe, despite all my setbacks this season, I am finally back to some sort of decent shape!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Skies were overcast this morning. Things felt a bit dreary. But really, there is still some nice color out along the powerlines. The blueberry bushes and blackberry brambles a deep maroon color. A few late purple asters shining against the turning brush. A few brilliant red maple leaves. Golden ferns. I got in 5 miles on the Homeplace loop. Legs felt a bit stiff after Monday's 18 and yesterday's day off, but not bad.

It's been a busy few days in the Team Snowplug household. A birthday yesterday, and an anniversary today. Happy Lucky 13, Ryan! Can't think of anyone else with whom I'd want to live, laugh and do crazy endurance feats :-) And certainly can't think of anyone else who would put up with me and all my quirks for so many years! Love you!

We celebrated both days last night with a dinner out at Frontier. Sammy's choice (well, OK, mine too!).YUM!

Birthday sweet potato fries! Yum!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sam is 3!

You always hear the saying "time flies," but honestly, now that I have Sam, I realize it's true. It's hard for me to believe that three years ago today at this moment, Sam was only 2+ hours old and Ryan and I had just become parents. Now, that little baby who was once so tiny is a loud, energetic, loveable, fun and wacky little three year old! Amazing!

Happy Birthday little one! Mama and Daddo love you so!

The birthday girl opening her presents this morning
I won't lie. Three (or almost 3, as the case has been for the past few months) can be a trying age at times, but it is also just so much fun to see Sam's personality develop, and to marvel at what she is learning, how she is processing things and to see her grow into her own little person.

It's hard for me to remember all the things that I marvel at and shake my head at every day, but here is a short list of Sam-isms of late:

- We are definitely in a "Why?" stage at our house. Sam wants to know why about everything, and honestly, sometimes I just don't know the answer!

- Sam is also picking up all sorts of phrases and learning how to use them correctly in conversation. Some of my favorites are: "That is so cool!"; "Really, Mama?" (said in exasperation at just the right time); "Daddo, you are kidding!"

- Sam has quite the memory! We can read a book once or twice, and she can recall the character names and the general idea of the story. And if she doesn't know the words, she will now pick up a book and make up her own story to go along with the pictures. These stories usually start with, "One day..." It is just so adorable!

- She can now entertain herself for much longer stretches of time, coloring, doing stickers or playing with her babies or reading books on her own. We love this one! :-)

 - She loves her arts & crafts! She is constantly saying to me, "Mama, I want to do a project!"

- Her imagination has turned up a notch. She loves to "make" things for us in her play kitchen or in the bathtub, and because they must be talking about Halloween at daycare, she's taken to talking about ghosts and "scary monsters." Luckily she isn't scared of these things :-)

- She has the most expressive face! I wish I could capture all her expressions. With her big eyes and cute little face, some of the funny ways she squinches up her face to express things, or to make us laugh, is incredibly cute.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Morning 18

Headed out into the chilly morning air right at 8:00 am this morning. I went back and forth, but ended up wearing tights and long sleeves, and honestly, I was happy to have them and didn't even start to get too warm until the last miles of my run. Fall, indeed!

My plan was to run the Cathance trails out to Head of Tides and then finish up with the extended dump loop. I figured it would be just about perfect in terms of mileage. Given the route I chose, it turned out to be more like a tale of two runs in terms of terrain and time. The first nine miles were beautiful but slow. With the rain last night, the leaf-littered and narrow singletrack was slick and slippery. I meandered through the woods, tiptoeing across the green ice on the bog bridges, trying not to slip. The woods were very quiet - I didn't see any animals or other people while I was out on the trails. I just ran along, enjoying the beauty of the woods as the leaves fell down around me and the mist rose from the river.

I got back to the entrance to the trails just as my watch was beeping 9 miles. Time was right around 1:40, so I wasn't exactly moving. I decided to take the back Highland Green Road down to Tedford instead of heading back on the Heath and up by the quarry. I was pretty sure it would be similar milage-wise, and I honestly was ready for a change of pace from the slippery singletrack. I ran out to the powerlines and hooked up with the snowmobile trails. I took the long way around, and popped out of the woods on the opposite side of the two ponds at the edge of the dump property. From there, I hopped back onto the snowmobile trail, did a loop out in the woods and then wandered back to Lover's Lane. From there it was only 2.5 miles home. Mileage was a little off, so I did a short little 1/4 mile out-and-back on the powerlines near the hill by Rt. 24 to ensure that I would hit 18 miles by the time I pulled up to the front door. The snowmobile trails were a nice change from the Cathance trails. I was able to stretch out my legs a bit and find a bit more of a rhythm, although with all the rain, the stretches of good running were punctuated often by big, deep puddles in the rutted out sections of trail. I ran the final 9 miles in 1:28, so I guess that tells you how different the trails were :-)

I was definitely tired for the final 6 miles or so and could feel the miles/time in my legs, but I managed to keep up the fueling OK throughout the run and wasn't completely wiped at the finish. I also managed to keep a pretty positive mindset the whole time, and never had thoughts of cutting things short. I don't mind running alone, but 3 hours is a long time to be out there with only one's own mind for company! Luckily, my head seemed to be on straight for this one, so the run wasn't a mental struggle. That is always nice!

One more long run next weekend and then it's a short taper to Stonecat! Hard to believe it is getting so close!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Last night, Ryan offered up the option of me running on Monday morning instead of today, giving me the chance to rest up for another day before getting in my long run. I felt pretty horrible last night - I was just so tired - so it was an easy decision, and almost instantly, I felt better once it was decided I would just have to do a short run and then we would go apple picking this morning instead of having me go out for a 3 hour run. I am really lucky to have Ryan supporting me in my running - thanks honey!! :-) It makes all the difference!

I wish I could say got 8 solid hours of sleep last night, but alas that was not to be. Still, it was a better night than the one before, and I woke up feeling more like my normal self. The thermometer was reading only 44 degrees, and so when I headed out, I wore both tights and a long sleeve shirt. I was happy to have on both. The air was brisk and it truly felt like fall. I ran down to the river and back again, but felt so much better than yesterday! The bridges were still slick, but it was a great morning to be out. Crisp and clear, and just so fall. Lovely. I stopped and rescued a little red eft from the middle of our street out near Rt 201 - what he was doing there I have no idea, but I couldn't leave him! He would have gotten squished for sure. Also lots and lots of little sparrows in and around the brush, but other than that, the woods were quiet, and I had the trail, the babbling river and the falling leaves to myself.

We headed to Broadway Deli for brunch after I got back from my run, and I enjoyed some delicious pumpkin blueberry pancakes. Yum! Then on to the apple orchard! We picked some apples, and got a few pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, along with the requisite pumpkin molasses donut (not quite as good as Frosty's but still tasty!) before Sam and I headed down to Portland to watch Morgan's soccer game. A full day, and a very autumn-y one for sure!

Wagon ride!

Pulling the wagon herself

Picking apples with Daddo

Out into the orchard


Fall apples

Saturday, October 6, 2012

So Much For That Idea...

I got in a run this morning, but it wasn't hills. None of us slept well last night. Sam was overtired from a week of taking no naps at daycare. I was tired because she woke me up a number of times, and the times when she didn't wake me up, the cats were crawling all over me. And Ryan didn't sleep because, well, who knows, but he finally gave up on trying around 2:00am and went downstairs to watch some TV. I thrashed around in bed a bit more and then was finally able to fall back asleep until Sam woke me up for the day at 6:15. Some day, I swear, I will be able to sleep again, but given our history, I'm not betting on that happening anytime soon. Anyway, I was simply too worn out to envision running 10x up and over Mt. A., so I settled for just getting my butt out the door for a run. I ran to the river and back for 5.25 miles. Saw a gaggle of 18 turkeys near the high school sand hill, so that was neat. Planning on 18 on the Cathance trails and the powerlines tomorrow, and hoping I have a bit more energy for that!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I don't know if it's the fact that vacation is over, that the weather has been so dreary or because of the female cycle, but I've been in a funk the past few days. Whatever the cause - most likely a combination of all three - it's really been messing with me - ugh! I finally managed to drag myself out the door today after dropping Sam off at daycare. Since I wasn't feeling it, I scrapped the idea of hill repeats and set out for a 5 mile run along the powerlines instead. It was misty and overcast, but the fall colors were shimmering in the maple trees along the way - very pretty. I managed to snag my foot on a bit of root that was ever so slightly poking up from the sand about a mile an a half into the run. I slammed into the ground, whacking my shoulder in the process. Ouch. I might have fallen on the sand, but hard packed sand still hurts! I lay on my back for a minute before rising. Luckily, aside from being covered in sand, and having a slight twinge in my neck, no real harm was done and I continued on my way. Perhaps the fall whacked the funk right out of me, as I managed to finish up the run strong, which was a nice surprise given how I felt initially. Hill repeats will be back on the menu tomorrow morning before work, with a long run Sunday or Monday. Hopefully the weather will clear so we can get in some apple and pumpkin picking too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn along the Cathance

Although it was overcast and humid, and the air didn't quite have that crisp autumn feel, it looked and sounded decidedly like fall out in the woods this morning. Ryan dropped Sam off at daycare so that I could get out for an hour+ run. I headed down to the Cathance for the 7 mile loop. Fallen leaves crunched underfoot. Along the quiet stretch of river early in the loop, the red and gold leaves of the maple and birch trees reflected brightly in the glass-like water. Later, as I neared Barnes Leap and along the Rapids Loop, the water gurgled over rocks covered with fallen leaves. I scared up a few grouse, their wings beating wildly out in the trees, and a kingfisher flew over the river. Sparrows flitted around and about amongst the raspberry brambles as I climbed back up from the river. A gaggle of turkeys strutted about, explored the edges of the woods near the high school. As for me, well, my legs felt a little heavy, but it was fun to get down into the Cathance trails again, winding along the singletrack and enjoying a beautiful fall morning in the woods.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Reality

Yesterday was a travel day. We left my parent's house at 8:30am, and didn't get home until around 4:30pm. Sam once again traveled really well, and even serenaded those in the seats around us on the airplane with a few nursery rhyme songs. Ha! We got a few comments from passengers on the way out of the plane, but they were all nice :-) Both Sam and I fell asleep on the ride home from Boston - something about traveling tires me out, and the pizza I ate during take-off somehow didn't sit well in my stomach, so it was nice to just rest for a bit in the car. I woke up feeling a bit better, and so after dinner and putting Sam down for bed, had the energy to help clean up the downstairs (how does it get so dirty when we're not home for a week?!), make dinner for tonight and get organized a bit for our return to reality today.

The cats were very excited we were home, and although everyone settled down fairly easily to sleep, Ronnie couldn't help but make his presence known in the middle of the night, licking my face and arm, and wanting to cuddle up down in the blankets. Then Gigi woke up and wanted to cuddle. And Sam was up around 2:30. So, anyway, it was a restless end of the night. Luckily, we all slept in, which is always a welcome change, although it meant my plans for trying to get out and run before I dropped Sam off at daycare didn't quite pan out. Oh well, that's not much of a surprise :-)

I did manage to sneak in a quick run before heading up to work, but only had time for a short 3 miles on the powerlines. Still, it was nice to get out and stretch my legs, even if just for a bit, and to enjoy the nice crisp morning air and enjoy the turning leaves as I ran along. Not to mention, it was nice to get back on the familiar trails after a week of running on pavement!