Monday, December 31, 2012

Year's End

Well, I, for one, am going to be asleep long before the ball drops at midnight. Not that I've ever taken to staying up late, but this silly little cold/cough is making me tired and I am really hoping to get some sleep tonight! I've also made the sad decision to not go to the Brad tomorrow morning for the New Year's Day run with the TMR crew. I was really looking forward to it, but I think skipping it is the wisest decision. I want to be able to get rid of this cough, and feel like a long, hard run in the snow at the Brad just isn't the best thing. I'll plan to still get a run in - can't kick off the new planner with a zero day! - but I think that keeping it mellow is the plan.

We were all up from 2:00 to 3:00 am this morning, with Sam coughing and having a rough time getting back to sleep, so I didn't get up and out early for my run as I had planned. Ryan was meeting up with Jamie for a morning of skate skiing, so Sam and I hung out around the house, made pumpkin muffins, and finally, made our way over to LLBean, as Sam was in desperate need of new snowpants. The ones we had kept from last year were about 6" too short in the legs :-) By the time we all got home, it was around 2:00 pm. Sam and I had had a good morning, but I was feeling a bit mopey. It was a beautiful blue sky winter day, with snow on the ground and warm temps, and I wasn't feeling great. I hadn't gotten in my run and was feeling a bit down about it. The plan called for 6.5 miles, you know, to get to an even 1400.0 for the year :-) I wasn't sure I was up for that, but decided I had better get out anyway. I knew I would feel better if I at least attempted to get in a decent run!

I went out without a true route in mind, telling Ryan I would be gone for an indeterminate amount of time, somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour, probably running around Highland Green, but maybe on the powerlines if the footing was good. How's that for precise?! :-) I went out on the powerline trail, which had been traveled by the snowmobilers but which was still pretty soft, and turned onto Highland Green Road. The back road entrance looked partially cleared so I decided to do that stretch first. The weird thing is that the plowing didn't continue around the loop; it veered off down to Tedford Road. I had no route in mind, so stuck with the cleared path and ran down Tedford to hook up with the powerlines again. The going out towards Rt. 24 was even softer, so I turned around fairly quickly and headed back up Tedford to Highland Green Road, where I ran the paved section to the end and then turned around. In the end, my odd little route put me back at the house exactly as the Garmin hit 6.5 miles, so it all worked out! I kept the pace mellow, and just tried to enjoy being out, and felt pretty good. Whether or not it was a wise decision with the cough remains to be seen, but it sure helped me feel better mentally!! :-)

So, I finish out 2012 with 1400.0 miles. I had been hoping for more, but with the stress fracture and a rough few months in the early summer, things didn't quite go as planned. In the end, though, I'm happy to just barely eke out more miles than last year, and to finish off the year healthy (running-wise at least :-) ). Plus, it's hard to complain about running "only" 1400 miles, especially when juggling family and work. I'm lucky to have a husband who knows how much running means to me, and to have a child who thinks that Mama going out for a run is just a normal part of the day. Definitely makes things easier! And when I think about things objectively, I realize that all this running is truly a gift, and I hope I never take it for granted.

Here's hoping for a healthy and happy 2013 filled with laughter, lots of good running and time spent with family and friends! Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snowshoeing and Sledding

Another 6" or so of snow overnight. I think there might be more snow on the ground right now than there was at any point last winter! Definitely winter wonderland out there. I got out around 9:00 am for a snowshoe run. We changed out the straps on my snowshoes to a larger size so that there would be more room for the velcro to attach, and worked well. Despite breaking trail for probably about 1 mile while I was out there, things stayed nice and snug. Hurray. Despite a rather brisk wind, it was gorgeous out there this morning, but I just wasn't feeling it. Part of it stems from the fact that sometime in the past 3 days I've picked up the cough that Sam has had the past few weeks, and it's making me feel a bit worn down. Part of it was definitely lack of sleep - Sam seems to be on again off again with good nights and bad nights, and last night, there was a lot of screeching in the middle of the night. On the plus side, she did sleep in until 8:15 at least! The last part is that, well, snowshoeing is just plain hard! It's tough for me breaking trail out there in the deep powder - a good workout, yes, - but energy sapping. I was trying to think of it as strength and endurance work as I slowly slowly trudged through the snow, but when I ended up walking the majority of the uphills and only managed to be out there for 3 miles, well, it's not so much fun as work ;-) Ah well, it's great to have all this snow and I am sure the snowmobilers will be out there packing down the trails soon enough!

After Ryan got back from his own snowshoe run, we headed to Broadway Deli for lunch and then hit the small hill out back for some sledding! We had been hoping to get Sam out on her xc skis this afternoon, but with the wind, we knew it wouldn't be fun for anyone, so we will shelve that for another day. Sam and Ryan got out sledding yesterday while I was at work, and Sam loved it, so she was very excited to head out again today. So cute :-) She took a few runs with Ryan and I, but otherwise, she wanted to go down herself. Such a little daredevil! The hill was perfect - not too big and long, but just enough to pick up some speed and let her fly a bit. It was too cold to have my hands out of my gloves for long, so I didn't get too many photos, but if you zoom in on the shot of her sledding alone, you can see her big grin behind her jacket :-)

Sledding is fun!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nice 5

After yesterday's excitement, Sam was still sleeping when I headed out for my run this morning around 7:20 am. The thermometer was only reading 12 degrees - brrr! - but with no real wind it didn't feel too bad out. I was dressed warmly so that wasn't an issue although the cold , dry air definitely made my throat sting a bit! I ran down the Connector and jumped onto Highland Green Road. The sidewalk was basically down to bare pavement which was nice, and the back dirt road was plowed and a nicely packed crunchy mostly snow surface, which made for some good running. For the return portion, I chanced the power lines and was happy to find that at least one sled had been out and had packed down a path just enough to (mostly) hold my weight. My Garmin crapped out somewhere along the route - needed charging plus the cold? - so not quite sure of time or distance but probably 5 plus a smudge in 45 or so. And not a total road run after all :) Even better, Sam was still asleep when I got back! At least for a few minutes :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Wonderland, Snowshoe Snafu, Homer and a Birthday!

We managed to pack a lot in today! We woke to a beautifully winter wonderland, with more snow atop what we received yesterday. The snow was sparkling beneath the bright blue sky and sticking to the trees, looking lovely indeed. We didn't quite start off our morning as quickly as I would have liked given what we were trying to pack in today, but both Ryan and I did get out for a snowshoe run. I headed out around 9:00 am, hoping that some snowmobilers had come through and packed down the trails, but alas, not yet. So, through the snow I tromped, slowly slowly breaking trail along the powerlines. I turned off onto Ryan's "snowshoe loop", got in one loop, walking the big uphill and having fun on the downhill, but noticed near the end that the straps on one shoe were coming loose. Shoot! I had on pretty short straps and apparently with all the trail breaking, and probably me not tightening them quite enough, they were coming loose. I made it up and over the hill before my shoe was totally flapping around. I couldn't get the straps to re-velcro, so I just took the darn things off and ran back with them in my hands for the final 0.2 back to the road. Sadly, at that point, my Garmin was only reading 1.6 miles so I ran the rest of the high school road loop with the snowshoes tucked under my arm to get in 3 miles. Sigh. Not quite as successful or fun as I would have liked, but oh well. I think this snow is here to stay, so I am sure I'll be out for another snowshoe run soon enough! Might stick to the roads tomorrow though :-)

We headed down to Portland around lunchtime, dropping Sam off with Mom and Dad at Kristen's and heading into town to the Portland Museum of Art to see the Winslow Homer exhibition. But first, lunch! We walked the slushy streets up to Hot Suppah! and enjoyed a yummy breakfast for lunch before heading back to the museum. It was very crowded, but the exhibition was a good one. There were definitely some powerful paintings on display, and I was glad to be able to get in to see the show before it was taken down.

Then back to Kristen's for some playtime and a birthday dinner for Morgan. Happy 7th birthday Morgan!

All in all, a busy and fun day!

Silly girls :-)

The happy birthday girl

Smiles in the snow

Playing Candy Land before dinner

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Christmas Fun

Got out for a slightly-snowy 6 miles on the cart paths this morning. Brrr! It was chilly, but luckily not very windy. The 295s (Yes, I found a pair in my size earlier this month and ordered them in a hurry. Hurray! Merry Christmas to me!) had pretty good grip, but screwshoes would have been useful in spots - there was definitely some ice underneath the fluffy snow. Still, a nice run, followed up by pancakes for lunch and making gingerbread to enjoy this afternoon. 

Sam was very excited for the afternoon to get here. Neenie and Pippi were coming! And we were doing a second Christmas! Who doesn't like second Christmas? :-) 

Ohhh! What is it?

Sam and her faces... :-)


How exciting!

Sam, Neenie and Pippi by the tree. A very merry 2nd Christmas!

After present opening, gingerbread eating, book reading, and a fun afternoon, Sam, Neenie and Pippi went out on a "date" and Ryan and I had the chance to go out for dinner and drinks. Thanks Mom and Dad! Sushi, plus a drink and dessert at Frontier made for the perfect ending to the day. What fun!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Run and Fun

Because we celebrated Christmas yesterday, it was sort of funny to wake up today and not have the traditional Christmas with presents and stockings. Still, we did have a bit of fun this morning, with Sam leading us in a morning coloring class! And the hysterical thing is that everyone just went along with it, without so much as a second thought. Ha. Love it :-)

Christmas morning coloring
After Ryan's grandparents got on the road back to their house, and we got Sam settled in with Grammie and Grampie, Ryan and I took off to Bradley Palmer for a late Christmas morning run. It was snowing lightly, and there was a dusting covering the ground. There were actually a number of other people out enjoying the woods, which always is a good thing! We ran the GAC Fat Ass loop, starting out relatively quickly (9:00 pace) and just picking it up even more as we ran along. It may have been my fault, at least partially, as I couldn't help but just kick it into gear as we wound up the singletrack hill, but I sure wasn't the one pushing the pace in the final road mile :-) A fun 6 miles in the woods,  for sure!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you got out to play on the trails or in the snow, and had some fun family time too!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Celebrations

On Friday, Sam brought home a bag of reindeer food, a pretty cool project she did at daycare. It was a baggie of dried oats and a few handful of sprinkles, with a little note that explained she was supposed to put it out front so the reindeer would know where to guide Santa's sleigh to leave her presents for Christmas. We decided to bring it down to Ryan's parent's house, and so, last night, before it got dark, we set the reindeer food out on the back porch in a little bowl. I think she was more excited about the reindeer than Santa, and so this morning, it was very cool for her to find that Rudolph (and his friends) had eaten up the reindeer food! Santa also left a big pile of presents, although only one unwrapped in true Santa style. We had a great day spending time with Ryan's family, opening gifts, talking and exclaiming over the pure joy that Sam found in helping to pass out presents, open presents, and of course, in true Sam style, arrange and re-arrange said presents in bags so as to keep them organized :-) It was a great Christmas!

The tree
Merry Christmas!
Taking Santa Bear for a ride
Morning coloring session
Stocking stuffers, including a crazy light-up pink ball! 
Hanging with Great Grammie 
The band :-) (Or just the family being crazy as usual!)
Four generations.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Right to the Cookies

We headed down to Ryan's parents house this morning. Between that, general hanging out and getting ready for tomorrow, when we're celebrating Christmas, we didn't get out to run until almost 3:00 pm. It was wicked windy! We ran the 5 mile Weldon Farm loop, surprised the wind followed us on every turn. The final mile was the worst. I think we picked up the pace with every mile, because even though it was cold, windy and the late afternoon, I think we both sort of wanted the run to be done. Ryan was dreaming of the chocolate stout they had gotten at the store and I was just plain tired :) The second we got home, I went straight for the cookies and Ryan went for the beer. Happy Holidays!! :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

End of the Week

The dreary, wet weather and the better-but-still-sick child who is not sleeping well and whose cough is waking her up in the early morning hours have conspired against my running this week. Thursday, I meant to run, I really did, but Sam was up every hour in the night, and then woke up early coughing. I managed to get her to lay down with me in our bed, and poof, before I knew it, it was almost 7:00 am and I had just re-awoken. She was still asleep, peacefully, finally, so I snuck downstairs for a cup of coffee. Alas, she woke up 5 minutes late, wondering where I was :-) I knew there was no way we were going to be able to get her out the door with Ryan at 7:30, and I didn't have time to run after dropping her off, as I needed to finish up a project that I'm helping Ryan with by 9:00 and then leave the house by 9:30 to get up to the gallery. So scratch the running that day.

And yesterday, we were up numerous times in the night too, and then at 5:00 am, Sam was coughing so much she had not one, but two, spit-ups of phlegm. YUCK! Poor kiddo. The funny and amazing thing is that after all that distress, she was in a wonderful mood for the rest of the morning. Gotta love a kid's ability to bounce back! Ryan and I, not so much. Neither of us were in the mood to get out and run in the rain in the dark on the first official day of winter after a tiring night. So instead, I took advantage of the fact that Sam wanted Ryan to take her to daycare and the fact that I wasn't running, and got some things crossed off my to-do list instead. I got the sheets all laundered and back on the beds, folded a load of laundry, cleaned both bathrooms, cleaned the upstairs floor, took the recycling to the transfer station, took the returnables to Shaws, stopped at the hardware store for more screws for screw shoes (should we ever need them...), bird seed and cat food, and still got to work a few minutes early. Amazing how productive I can be in 2 hours if I'm not trying to cram in a run and shower!:-)

Which brings us to this morning...when I finally got out for a run. After two days off and not a whole lot of sleep, I didn't feel great, but hey, what can you do. I ran down to the river and back, splashing through puddles and tiptoeing over slick bog bridges. I was surprised to find that although the thermometer was reading 36 degrees when I headed out, it didn't seem all that cold out. It felt sort of damp, and almost spring-ish? Weird. I could hear the river long before I reached it, the roar of the water reaching my ears as I ran along the wide gravel path past the ecology center. The churning water looked like hot chocolate, overflowing its banks and rushing down the riverbed. Between the river and the saturated ground in the woods, it was clear that we had indeed received a whole lot of precipitation this week.Just wish it had been snow! Oh well, hopefully it will snow again soon enough!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Still Not Nice

Well, yesterday's rain pretty much melted all the snow away, leaving some slush and some icy patches. Boo. It's just depressing to have weather like this. And honestly, it isn't all that nice to run in either. Blech! I suppose I could have skipped running; I have no races planned. But somehow, I feel the need to work up my mileage, you know, just in case I can get around to figuring out a springtime race :-) So, out I went. Ryan took Sam into daycare this morning, but it took me a while to get going anyway, and I didn't get out until around 8:00 am. It was rainy and 41 degrees. Another cold, wet and dreary day. This time around, my feet didn't get as wet, but there was a lot of wind pushing the icy rain against my face to make things feel rather unpleasant. The wind and the mushy ground made for a slow-going 6 miles on the cart path, but I got it done. The one upside to the layer of snow/slush/icy slush on the ground is that I had a chance to see all the animal tracks crossing the path - deer, rabbit, squirrel, tiny little mice tracks, one long tunnel under the snow - maybe a little mole or vole? Neat. Hoping, hoping, hoping for this weather to clear and for more snow to arrive. Come on winter!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Wow. It is truly nasty out there today. The snow from yesterday looked so pretty and so perfect for the holidays coming up. But all this rain atop the snow? UGH! I should have pushed harder to get out yesterday morning, but with Ryan working and Sam home with me, and still not feeling great to boot, it just wasn't to be. So this morning, after dropping Sam off at daycare, I headed out into the cold rain. I decided not to wear my screw shoes, thinking that they would be wasted on the pavement that I knew lined at least 1/2 of my route. I opted to go with the ever-so-fashionable choice of winter beanie topped with my regular rimmed running hat :-) But it worked and kept the rain out of my face, so who cares! I squished and splashed through the puddles and slush, my feet soaked and frozen by the time I got home. I got in 4 wet, sloppy and cold miles and that was more than enough for today! I'm hoping the rain has stopped by tomorrow, but I'm thinking the trails are going to be pretty messy for a while after this.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Running and Christmas Festivities

I'm not quite sure where Sam's fever came from on Thursday night - it disappeared quickly - but left behind a cold with a nasty sounding cough, one that has kept us up the past few nights. Sam ended up in our bed last night, as that is just easier than getting up every few minutes for a whole hour in an attempt to calm her down and get her back to sleep after long bouts of coughing. I don't think the cough is anything worse than bad post-nasal drip, but it's still no fun. Of course, Sam is a totally restless sleeper, so her kicking finally kicked Ryan out of bed, and left me with only the very edge of the pillow/bed. Still, she managed to sleep until almost 7am this morning, which was much appreciated and much needed by all of us. 

With the late start, I didn't get out the door until around 8am for my run, and I wasn't feeling super peppy at that. It was a raw and windy morning, the sky overcast and the temperatures under 20 degrees. I am not sure I ever truly warmed up during the almost 1:20 I was out there - brrr! I headed out into the Cathance to get in between 7 and 9 miles. I ended up settling for 8, which I deemed perfectly acceptable given lack of sleep and the fact that there were other things on the agenda for the day that needed to be tended to. 

Aside from the crunch of the deep hoar frost beneath my feet and the rush of the water in the river, the woods were silent. So silent, it was as if the forest, and all its inhabitants, was holding its breath. Pace varied greatly as I ran along, as the hoar frost was so bad in spots that walking was necessary if I didn't want to greatly turn an ankle!

After Ryan got in his run, we headed out for brunch and then picked up a Christmas tree on our way home. In all the 13 years that I've been married to Ryan, not once have we had a real Christmas tree. But this year, I finally convinced him we should get one, so that Sam could experience a "true" Christmas :-) After a bit of swearing and huffing and puffing, the tree was erected (relatively straight) in the corner of the kitchen. Sam was dancing all around, so excited for the tree and to decorate it. She opened up all the boxes of ornaments, and diligently hung many of them on the lower tier of the tree. Of course, half of those ended up on the floor at least once during the ornament hanging, as she simply placed things right on the tip of the branches :-) Ha. But she had fun, and in the end, the tree looks pretty good and is the perfect size for our little house. I love it! Of course, chances are good it will get taken out by the cats and that many of the ornaments will fall to the floor, or that Ryan will sneeze for two weeks straight, but hey, I have a real Christmas tree, isn't that what counts?! :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The other week, as I saw sitting in her room next to her bed in the dark at bedtime, amidst talking about her day, giving hugs and rubbing her back in an attempt to lull her to sleep, she said to me, in that cute little voice of hers, "Oh Mama, I KNOW you love me. You don't have to say it again." I gave her a hug and told her that I would always say it, and that it was important for me to say it as much as possible so that she would feel it and know it always.

This morning, as I ran along the frozen cart paths, the wind in my face, the sun shining above, the frost on the grasses, I was thinking about the families that lost their children in yesterday's horrible and senseless tragedy in CT. I hope that they had the chance to tell their children that they loved them yesterday morning before school. I hope that they kissed and hugged them. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror, the sorrow, the anger, the sadness, the pain, the utter disbelief that these families must be feeling. Is it even possible to process this tragedy, to try to make sense of it? I feel for everyone involved. From all those families who lost family members yesterday, to everyone who had children in that school, even to the young man who was so sick and mentally ill that he felt he must do something that was so horrific and reprehensible that there are no words to explain it, and to all of us. We wish to keep those we love safe, to protect them. But how do we do that when we face so many unknowns? How do we move forward from here? I certainly don't know the answers, although I wish I did.

These thoughts swirled around in my brain as I ran along, but I only know that for myself, it means that I will hug those I love even more often, and tell them and show them I love them whenever possible. In the end, that is the best I have to offer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sick Day Fun

Last night, when I picked Sam up from daycare, she was lethargic and had a 101.6 degree fever. They hadn't called me because it hadn't happened until around 4:30 and they knew I was on my way anyway at that point. Apparently, while the rest of the class was having a dance party, Sam went and lay down on the carpet near the books. When her teacher asked her what was wrong, she burst into tears and said she didn't feel well. Poor little kiddo!

We came home, and all she wanted to do was go to bed. I gave her some ibuprofin and a quick bath, and put her to bed before 6:00 pm. I thought she was out for the night, but around 7:00 pm, right after Ryan had gotten home from a meeting, I turned around and there she was, all smiles, at the edge of the kitchen, having woken up and decided she was hungry. She ate dinner, and we hung out for a while before she finally got back into bed around 8:30 pm. She was up at 5:00 am sharp (so early!), and aside from a few minor morning meltdowns before she agreed to eat her breakfast, she has been happy happy happy all day long. Honestly, she has not seemed like a sick child! But because she had a fever, we couldn't take her into daycare, so I took the morning shift and was home with her until 1:00 pm. Then Ryan took over, and I headed up to work for the afternoon. In any event, I'll take a sick child like this over a truly sick child any day, so I won't complain!

Look how sick she seems :-)

She was asking for cupcakes the other day, so when we went grocery shopping this morning, we picked up the fixings :-)
(She helped me mix the batter, and then poured it into the cupcake tins all by herself, with very little mess. Then later this afternoon, she frosted them and put on the sprinkles. She is getting so big!)
Cupcake bliss!
Sick day art project! I love it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Should Have Worn the Warmer Gloves...

Brrrr.... Cold out there this morning. Just had time for a short little spin around Highland Green, and the three miles was barely enough time for me to actually warm up before I was back home. Felt like I could have used a few more layers, or at least some thicker ones! Winter is here, and hopefully to stay for a little while. Now if we could just get some snow...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ribbon Candy

Bright sunlight. Blue sky. Frosted bog bridges along the Heath, sparkling in the sun. Frozen crunching leaves. Deep frost on the grass, creating little miniature white forests at my feet. Hoar frost like twisted and curled ribbon candy, pushing up through the earth. A shadow from above. The neat and fast flapping of the Pileated Woodpecker's wings, a flash of red on its head. Loud cackles and calling out over the marsh. A second viewing high against the blue sky as I cut across the street to the cart path. Turkey prints in the now frozen sand. Deep breaths. Crisp air. Perfect early winter run.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cold and Wet

34 and rainy. Cold and dreary. A light layer of slush on the ground with puddles in between. Not the nicest weather, but since I only had a short 3 miler on tap, I got dressed and out anyway, returning in time to get in a quick shower before Ryan headed off to work. The legs felt pretty good after yesterday's run. Now it's off to Story Time at Pineland and to meet Ryan down in Portland for lunch! Hoping the weather shifts soon, so that we'll get some snow to play in!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

3rd Annual 'Til We Meet In Hell Run

Val once again organized a tough and fun run at Thorncrag this year for the 3rd Annual 'Til We Meet in Hell Run. Thanks Val! It was a great time, and always fun to run somewhere different! Ryan and I decided that since we don't go out on typical date nights, we might as well get a babysitter for the Hell Run, and both get to go run and hang out with everyone afterwards at the lunch/awards party. I know, we are one crazy couple, eh? :-)

We got to Thorncrag just in time to tag along on the last train up to the top of the hill. We caught up a little with Rick, Mindy and Xar on the walk up to the start, missed all the instructions and soon enough, we were off! Val wasn't kidding about her 9:00 am start :-) It was a different loop this year than last, and shorter too, I think? Someone who had been there for the instructions said Val described the loop as 0.4 down and 0.8 up. I'm not sure it was quite that bad, but the uphill certainly was steep! The loop took us down through the woods, out into the field with a few old apple trees and distant views, and then down along the back border of the park before taking us up, up, up. The first few times the climb wasn't bad, but I definitely walked a bit more each lap :-) Despite being a short loop, we got spread out fairly quickly, and I ended up running with Julia, somehow with no one else really around us. Odd.

I wasn't planning on racing, so just took it easy and enjoyed chatting with Julia for the first few miles. We were passed by Andy in our second loop - ouch! - and slowly as the laps went along, we passed people and were passed by others.

Fun in the woods!

But it gave us a chance to catch up with people a bit anyway! Julia and I hung together for the first 3 1/2 loops, and then somehow on the climb on the back of the 4th loop, I pulled away and was suddenly solo. I figured since I was running alone, I might as well pick it up a bit, so I attempted that, but did take the time on the next loop to walk up the hill with Val, Mindy and Xar and catch up with them for a few minutes before declaring that since I hadn't run 18 miles the day before, I had better get running! I got in 8.16 miles, just shy of 7 laps before the 1:30 time limit was up. Definitely a good workout, and a lot of fun!

After the run, we all headed over to Gritty's for an end-of-the-season of sorts luncheon and awards party. With such a big group, there was no way to talk with everyone, but our table of Ryan, Scott, Chandra, Randy, Lenka, Zak and I had fun chatting away as the beers and food came and went. The awards were, as always, a mixture of fun, poke fun, and serious, just as is our group :-) A great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cart Path 6

Despite the fact that yesterday morning Sam could not have wanted anything less than for Ryan to take her to daycare, this morning she awoke cheery and refreshed and overjoyed that Ryan was home and up and taking her to daycare. 3-year olds are just plain weird! So, as they headed out to daycare, I headed out on my run, hitting the cart paths for 6 miles. The first mile through the woods was slow and the second mile was way too fast, but I think I managed to get onto an even keel after that, finishing up in just shy of 53:00. The cart paths are hard packed, frozen gravel at this time of year, so it's a pretty quick run. Spent the rest of the morning before work cleaning the bathroom and the shower - I knew it was time because last night Sam was telling me, "but my duckie (the cover for the water spout) is very dirty..." :-) Is it just me, or is cleaning the shower one of the worst chores ever?! And I can't for the life of me keep a shower curtain liner clean. Oh well, at least they're inexpensive so that once I've given up on my ability to get rid of all the grime, I can just buy a new one and replace it!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


After 13 years, we finally broke down and got a new mattress. I've been telling Ryan for a while that I thought the mattress was sagging, and that it was contributing to me not sleeping well. But after hurting my back before Stonecat, I decided it really was time, as a sagging, unsupportive mattress certainly wasn't helping matters! So yesterday, a new mattress was delivered, and ahhh, how nice! I slept well last night and didn't wake up on and off with my hips and back bothering me. Hurray! My back has been feeling better due to a combination of stretching, exercises and just plain being more careful about how and what I pick up, but hopefully sleeping well will help even more and be a good thing in the long run.

I got out this morning around 7:00 for a quick 4 miles before getting Sam to daycare and myself to work. Since time was tight, I ran the short Highland Green loop with the additional cart path/Heath/Quarry loop added for the remaining mileage. I ran in my road shoes with no trouble despite parts of the route being on trail. The trails are dry and free of ice right now, with only some crunchy hoar frost to deal with in spots. The air was dry and the wind made the morning feel extra cold. I guess winter has returned after that little visit from springtime yesterday :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I finally gave in and got rid of my trusty Inov-8 295s. I really loved those shoes. Light, flexible and with a wide toe box. Sadly, Inov-8 is no longer making the shoe in small enough sizes for me to find a pair that fits my small feet. Boo! I looked and looked, and even thought I might have found them on a UK running/biking website, but alas, they didn't have them either. So, I went ahead and ordered a pair of their 268s, a woman specific shoe. I was a little hesitant, as I also recently ordered the pair of discounted (and I think maybe discontinued?) 282s, which I believe is the women's version of the 315. The 282 is a bit clunky and narrow, so my toes don't like it as much. But happily, given their test run today, the 268s seem to be very similar to the 295s. Plus they have a bright blue sole, and flowers on the insoles! And the blue color matches my hat! I mean, isn't that what we all want out of our running shoes? For there to be flowers on the insole and for the color to match our other running accessories? :-) Oh yes, that is me all the way. Ha. I actually laughed when I saw the flowers. Give me a few weeks, and those flowers won't be looking or smelling so pretty anymore :-)

In any event, I got out around 8:30 for a quick run around the Heath. It was in the low 50s and after yesterday's rain and this morning's short downpour, the clouds were clearing and the sky was blue. It was a lovely spring morning to be out :-) With all the rain and the temperature shift, the trails were wet and squishy, just what a new pair of trail shoes needs! Perfect!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Wow, what a difference a day makes. No snow and ice left on the ground, and temps felt balmy. Only the low fog remained, floating along the ground, as the sky lightened above and the clouds were lit up with sun. Legs felt a big stiff and I was a bit tired, but it was nice to start off the day with a run. Got in a quick 3 miles before Ryan headed off to work and my day with Sammy commenced. Now to off an adventure :-) Gotta keep her occupied!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Snow, Ice and Friends at the Brad

I emailed Mindy and Valerie to see if they were planning to run at the Brad this morning. I figured they were - I mean, Mindy and Val without the Brad? Sacrilege! :-) - but wanted to doublecheck. Turns out they were planning to meet at 8:00 instead of 9:00, which was fine with me. Sam is up at the crack of dawn, so getting out the door early isn't an issue here. The only issue this morning was the light layer of ice atop the thin layer of snow that had fallen yesterday. The roads were a bit slick and it was slow going. I still arrived in plenty of time, and Mindy, Val and Rick arrived in short order. As we were donning our Garmins and packs, the clouds and fog hung low above our heads and a cold rain started to fall. Snow and ice is fine, but rain on top of it was a bit much! Brrr. 

We quickly headed across the street to the east side, hoping to warm up quickly! Val led the way, and we all gingerly stepped and jumped along the trail, the snow and ice crunching underfoot. It was a bit slick in spots but there was luckily fairly decent traction in most areas. None of us had on screwshoes, so we took it easy pacewise - no one wanted to have their first winter spill! We got in almost 5 miles before heading back to the parking lot in the hopes of meeting up with Xar. But alas, she was running late due to the nasty road conditions, so we took back off for the east side for another loop. This time, Val led us out onto the BBU course loop, which took us on a few trails I honestly don't think I've ever been on before! We weaved our way through the woods, chatting away and marveling at all the animal tracks - tiny, tiny deer prints, mouse prints, lots of rabbit prints, dog and human prints, cat prints (?!) and some normal size deer prints too. I do love this time of year for the tracking opportunities! So fun to be able to actually tell what animals have been wandering through the woods and along the same trails we are traveling!

I headed back a little earlier than the rest, knowing I had Ryan at home with Sam all morning, and him not feeling great (winter cold) at that. I veered off when our path crossed the snowmobile trail at the junction of Fox East, and headed in on the Snowmobile Trail, with my Garmin beeped 8 miles just before I crossed the road. It was great to catch up with Val, Rick and Mindy! It has been way too long since I've been able to get in a Sunday morning TMR run, and it was a lot of fun! Thanks guys :-) The perfect way to spend a dreary, cold early December Sunday morning! :-) 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ice Cream and Donuts

The other week, I made Sam a sensory tub, filling it with dried beans, sparkly pom-poms and colored beads, plus some "surprises" for her to find, like Christmas-themed erasers and a few little stamp rings from the Dollar Store. She's used it for a number of things - sorting, scooping, and most recently, for "cooking," ie. scooping bits and pieces out into some of her kitchenware and giving it to us as soup or ice cream or cake, etc. This morning, she was making ice cream soup for us, and decided she needed to make a bowl for Ronnie the cat. Ronnie was hanging around nearby, so she asked him "What flavor?" He, of course, did not answer, but darn it, she wanted his flavor, so she resorted to chasing him around the house screaming, "What flavor? What flavor?" He fled upstairs and she followed. We could hear her asking him over and over, "What flavor?", and finally heard her little footsteps as she padded back downstairs. She got back up at the table, looked at me and said, "I told him 'what flavor' and he didn't even meow at me. So I just came back downstairs." Ha. Hysterical! 
There was no running this morning by either Ryan or I, but we continued our typical 'before Mama goes to work' Saturday morning tradition nonetheless. Oh yes, we are regulars at Frosty's these days. They know Sam by name :-) But hey, don't judge. These are darn good donuts :-)