Monday, May 28, 2012

Just Another Day at the Beach

The ocean

We passed up the traditional Memorial Day parades for a chance to enjoy some peace and quiet, and a little sunshine and water, down at Wolfe's Neck State Park. We had the place almost all to ourselves on a gorgeous morning. Sam was an intrepid explorer, playing happily in the tidal pools, and wanting to dip her toes in the ocean. So the two of us took off our sneakers and tromped across the rocks and seaweed and out into the mudflats, our toes squishing in the soft mud as the tiny shore crabs busily and quickly sidestepped out of our way and the periwinkles continued to make their designs in the sand nearby. We walked a bit in the shallow water before returning to the mud to dig in the ground with shells, as the osprey chattered back and forth to each other in their nest on the island across the small but deep channel. What a beautiful day to be out!

Walking the boards with Pippi

Blue sky day

Low tide

Playing in the mudflats

Enjoying the tidal pool with Neenie

Looking for shells

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Pineland Fun

Well, as much as I had hoped it would be, running Pineland was not in the cards this year, but what can you do? I am sad about not having been able to run today, as it was a gorgeous day today and Ian and Erik and all the volunteers put on such a great event, but the trails and the race will be there next year! And that said, I did have a lot of fun hanging out at Pineland today, soaking up the atmosphere, enjoying the music, cheering on all my crazy Trail Monster friends and catching up with everyone! It was great to see so many people have such great races today, and to be inspired by all the grit and determination and smiles on all the runner's faces today. Days like this are what it is all about! Many thanks to Mom and Dad for helping us with Sam today, so that Ryan and I could both have a chance to enjoy the day!

On the injury front, the foot is feeling quite good. Still a tiny bit tender on top, but not bad. And even better, after a day of walking around and doing a lot of standing, it still feels pretty good. Not to mention, my legs feel better than they have in 3 weeks! Nothing like a bit of movement and blood flow to loosen the muscles up and make things feel a bit happpier :-) This body does not like to sit still!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sammy!

I may still be feeling cranky but I can't let a depressing post stand for too long :-)

To cheer myself, and my loyal readers, up, here are a few recent photos of cute little Sam Sam. She is getting so grown-up lately. I can hardly believe it - it really is true what they say... time flies when you have a kiddo!

Feeding the birds. (Or as Ryan would say, on the way to becoming a crazy bird lady like her Mama!)

Afternoon ice cream treat with Neenie and Pippi

My sweet, impish little girl :-)

Seesaw with Pippi

Picking dandelions

Sandbox fun with Neenie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cranky

I am not a good injured person. I am feeling very cranky lately... My legs are mad I am not running. My head and heart are mad and sad about the same. Sigh. But I will be a good girl and wait until that first full week of June to run. I did get a leg massage today - ahhh! Boy, were my legs tight. They feel better already. I have another massage scheduled for next week and then on Monday, June 4, I have an appointment with Dr. Jamie, just to make sure things look OK to him before I start slowly back to running. The foot is still a bit tender, but it seems to really be more my legs that are painful at the moment, and hopefully the massage will help that. I am planning on doing a bit of walking next week, for my sanity, to get the blood flowing, and to see how the foot feels when I put a bit of pressure on it. Definitely looking forward to a bit of time in the woods again soon, even if it is just walking!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wolfe's Neck Sunday

Sam, Neenie and I took advantage of the gorgeous day today and headed to Wolfe's Neck State Park this morning for a walk in the woods and a trip down the ocean. I was happy to see a fair number of Bobolinks, Red-winged Blackbirds and swallows flitting through the green and yellow fields along Pleasant Hill and out through Wolfe's Neck, and got a bit of my spring wildflower fix on our brief jaunt through the park - saw a few ladyslippers, lots of false lily of the valley, starflowers, and even one jack in the pulpit!

The sky was blue, there was a slight breeze and it was warm and sunny. The tide was coming in, but there was enough beach left for us to sit for a little over an hour and bask in the sunshine and let Sam play in the tidal pools. We watched the osprey over on the island, hummed at periwinkles and I even found a few small shore crabs to show Sam.

Sam had a blast in the water! Of course, I had packed light and didn't bring a change of clothes. Bad mama :-) Sam ended up with a pretty funny "outfit" for the walk back to the car! HA!

I wish I had been able to enjoy the day with a run, and am a bit frustrated that the foot is feeling good but my right leg is tight tight tight! Ah well, halfway through my running layoff. But besides that, it was a great day to be out, and we had a fun morning together!

Walking the boards

All smiles on the rock ledges

Enjoying the water with Neenie

Picking up shells and periwinkles

Come on in! The water's fine!


Contemplating the ocean

Giving Mama a mud massage

Hanging out in the tidal pool

The aftermath (ie. Mama didn't pack any extra clothes for me :-))


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oops

Just posted something intended for the gallery blog to this blog. Ha! As long as it wasn't the other way around :-)

I'm supposed to be emailing Dr. Jamie about my foot tonight. I am not quite sure what to say. The tenderness on the top of the foot (I can't even really call it pain even when pressing on the one spot we've decided seems to be the worst) isn't gone. It seems to be better, but it is still there. My shin is still tight. I just don't know. Is it a stress fracture? Or still simply a tightness related to the shin? I guess I'll just tell him exactly that, and see what he thinks...

I do know, however, that I am starting to go a little crazy without my running, and despite trying to maintain a positive outlook on things and repeating to myself that this break from running is temporary, it is still hard. I keep looking out into the woods and wanting to go run. I am wondering how many ladyslippers are blooming in the Commons. And it has only been 1 1/2 weeks since I last ran! Sigh. I guess I am just not a good injured person... Perhaps I had better look into a temporary gym membership so I can at least get out some energy on a bike!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goin' on a Bear Hunt


video
Goin' on a Bear Hunt

Sunday afternoon, Sam and I were singing "Goin' on a Bear Hunt" and Ryan managed to video part of the song without Sam realizing it and becoming self-conscious. The video cracks me up and I thought it was too cute not to share. Yes, we were being silly and I was making funny faces, and why yes, if you hadn't noticed, my pant legs are covered in stickers :-) but hey, why not?! Many thanks to Kate for teaching us the words to this funny song!

~

In running/injury related news, I had another appointment with Dr. Jamie yesterday morning. My foot was a bit achey after all of Sunday's activities, which had me feeling a bit down, but after poking and prodding and having me do some heel raises and hop on my foot, Dr. Jamie still isn't 100% convinced I have a stress fracture. It may still be related to some tendonitis/tightness/locked joint type thing along the cuboid/cuneiform bones (which seems to be where the most pain/tenderness is, versus down in the long metatarsal bones). He did a few adjustments, and we'll just have to wait and see. If the adjustments from this morning kick in later this week and I will feel better, then hurray! I should be all set - but if it doesn't progress, it is pretty much sure to be a stress fracture. Still, from the amount (or lack) of pain I am having, if it is a stress fracture it appears it is in the very early stages so should heal quite quickly. I wish I had a definitive answer, but oh well. For the time being, I will just wait, and not run, and keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Fun

We had a fun-filled and busy Mother's Day here in the Team Snowplug household. Sam and I were, of course, up at the crack of dawn, so even giving Daddo a few hours extra to sleep, we were still at Frosty's before the crowds, and able to secure three delicious glazed twists to savor and enjoy. I have the glaze in my hair and all over my shirt to prove it (nope, not from me, but from the little monkey :-) who was giving me back massages in the booth while eating her share of the donuts!). By the time Sam finished her "glaze" (probably 3/4 of a twist!), and wanted more, there was a line out the door and no more glazed donuts to be had. She settled for an old-fashioned plain for her second course, which was still delish! :-)

From there, we headed out onto the back roads of South Freeport to Winslow Park. Wow, what a gorgeous spot! Right down on the ocean, with a small sand beach,  lots of shorefront, and a great little playground area. In the summer, it's a campground too, and I have a feeling it's pretty crowded, but at this time of year, it was fairly quiet except for a handful of families out enjoying the playground, and a few people walking and running along the dirt road through the park. Sam had fun on the playground, and both Ryan and I took a bit of time to go over to the shore and soak up the views. It was low low tide, and I spotted six Great Blue Herons fishing in the mudflats, along with the numerous goldfinch flitting about in the trees near the playground. Looking out onto the islands and ocean along the coast of Maine never gets old.

Running to the water's edge

Contemplative

Walking

Porthole

Getting a ride

Heron off shore

Reflections

Happiness is swinging :-)

In the tunnel

We finished up the tour of Freeport with lunch at Fresh Batch, and took the long way home, with Sam asleep in the back seat, worn out from the sugar high and all the outdoor fun, winding through Wolfe's Neck and out towards Maquoit Bay before cutting across towards Simpson's Point and Pennelville. I was very happy indeed to see a number of male Bobolinks flying across several of the fields along our route.

The day was capped off by Skyping with the grandparents, a bit of necessary grocery shopping, some song singing, playtime out back, and turkey burgers on the grill. The day might only possibly have been made better by a run, but alas, not yet. In any event, it was a great day with the family, made even better by Sam so cutely saying "Happy Mother's Day" to me one last time, as she snuggled down into her crib tonight. Couldn't ask for a better, or tougher, job than being Sam's mom. Thanks for making me a mama, kiddo, I love you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Update and a Little Biking

Thinking of all my Trail Monster friends running long this morning and sending happy running vibes to Mindy, Val, Ian, Zak, Chuck and Dave on their 50 miler at Peaks, Jeremy during his 100 Peaks journey and George going after 100 rocky Massanutten miles! Go Trail Monsters go :-)

As for me, despite the fact that is a gorgeous sunshiney day, I am not running. Sam and I did get out for a very short bike ride this morning, though :-) Is she cute, or what?!

Morning bike ride

However, despite the fact that I am not running, I am feeling better. My foot has been feeling better each day, is less swollen, doesn't hurt when I walk, and my whole right leg, thanks to Dr. Jamie, is feeling pretty good. It appears that I have thankfully moved from a stress fracture scare to some sort of tendonitis/imbalance sort of thing, which will hopefully be fairly easily remedied without too much more time off. The shin/calf are still tight though, so I'm headed back to Portland to see Dr. Jamie again on Monday. I'm hoping he thinks things are looking good too, and I'll be back to running soon! With this foot/shin silliness, however, I have decided to be prudent and skip Pineland, no matter what Dr. Jamie says on Monday. It will be there another year, and I'd rather make sure I go into the summer healthy than get in another race this spring. No need to be a hero!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Chance

Well, Dr. Jamie confirmed what I already knew: the placement of the foot pain made it definitely suspect, as top of foot pain very often means a stress fracture. But, given that I was having some shin/calf pain along with the foot pain, there is the chance it is tendonitis, so all hope is not lost. During the appointment, he also identified some imbalances and a weak glute muscle, which would lead to pulling on the IT band/knee/etc, and make things tight overall, and which likely contributed to the foot pain, whether it turns out to be a stress fracture or not. After some crunching (OW!), releasing and pulling (OW!) of my hips, legs and foot (surely these are not the correct terms, but that is the essence of what I felt :-) ), he gave me some instructions for the next few days, showed me a few exercises I should do to strengthen the glute muscle so as to hopefully prevent future leg tightness/imbalances, as well as a few stretches, and told me to email him on Friday to let him know how things felt. Essentially, he said it was likely that the work he did would either release/relax the joints/tendons and the foot pain would dissipate or at least stay the same, in which case I could come back for some more work to loosen things up and then be on my merry way; or the pain would start to intensify/settle in one spot, in which case we would know it was a stress fracture. Either way, I'm taking it easy for now, and if it is a stress fracture, I won't be doing any running for 4 to 6 weeks. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that is isn't, but I suppose it is likely. In any event, I should have a clearer idea later this week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Well...

I got out for a nice run in the Commons this morning. The sun was shining, the air was still a little cool, the birds were singing, the forest floor was awash in greenery, the magenta rhodora were blooming in the pine barren, and I even saw a few lady slippers starting to come out! Hurray!

Sadly, though, my right foot was quite tight and achey during the run, not continually or acutely, but there. I didn't want to be totally stupid, so I cut my run short at 5 miles instead of my hoped-for 12, as it seemed pointless to continue through the pain/tightness. I did some googling of "top of foot pain" when I got back to the parking lot and it is not encouraging. Still, my whole right leg is a bit tight, although whether from compensation from the foot pain or in conjunction with my foot, who knows. I am hoping that this is not a worst case scenario thing, but know I did the right thing stopping, and coming home to ice the foot and rest up. I also put in a call to Dr. Jamie, at Ryan's suggestion, and got an appointment for Wednesday morning. I don't know if he's the right one to talk to, but it can't hurt, and hopefully he will be able to give me some answers or advice. *Sigh* I would be lying if I said I wasn't fairly bummed at the moment, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Activities

Ryan was away this weekend so it was just Sam and I hanging out. Sam was great the whole time, which made things a whole lot easier, and we had a lot of fun. Saturday morning, we headed to the Bowdoin Art Museum to meet up with Nate, Shannon, Finley and Charlotte for the museum's Saturday Family Hour. It's a great idea, but definitely geared towards older kids :-) Luckily, it was just us there, so the students had us walking around finding the animals in some of the paintings and then let the kids do some drawings of their own. After we played around on the quad, catching up and letting the kids run off some steam. Unfortunately, this did not mean Sam napped, but oh well. I had the brilliant idea to go to the library, which we can't do on Mondays anymore as they had reduced their hours due to budgetary constraints - so sad. Sam loves it there! It is a perfect kids' area - toys, a train set, a little table and chairs with a few puzzles, and lots of books to read. We must have stayed for about 1 1/2 hours - reading books, playing trains, and putting puzzles together - definitely a good place to spend an afternoon.

Library fun

The train! The train!

This morning, we headed Kristen's. The girls had fun playing together, as always, while Kristen and I caught up. Eventually we decided to haul the kids outside - Kristen had been talking about the trails that are near their house, so we took the singletrack trail across the way from their condo and out into the woods. Tons of flowers were blooming along the trail and in the fields by the wide gravel path - trout lily, violets, wood anemone, false lily of the valley, blueberry bushes, wild oats and wild strawberries. Turns out the trail system we connected to was the Quarry Run Dog Park. Neat! There is what looked like some pretty sweet trails out there too. 

Morgan happily picking dandelions

Sam taking Morgan's little toy cat for a walk

We didn't get as far as I would have liked in the trail exploration, as Sam decided she was hungry and didn't want to walk any longer....but it was fun to see what was out there.

"Uppy!" Yes, up the steepest hill up over the old dump :-)

Sam fell asleep in the car on the way home, so I took the scenic route, wandering through Richmond and Bowdoinham. The apple trees and sweet crab apple trees were blooming along the roadside, a wonderful mix of white, light pink and dark pink blossoms, as was the orange flowering quince. Very pretty. 

Ryan arrived home in the later afternoon, and Sam was so happy to see him, giving him big hugs and saying "My Daddo!" So cute :-) While they were playing and getting unpacked, I snuck out for a short run. It was too nice of an afternoon to waste. I did the short Highland Green loop just to get the legs used to moving again :-) My right leg, and even foot, is pretty tight (maybe even moreso now that right after the race?), but otherwise I felt good. I'm getting a massage on Tuesday, so hopefully that will help with the tightness! Still giving myself permission to just see how I feel this week, and will make a final Pineland decision after this coming weekend. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recent Sam-isms

I did not run this morning. It is rainy and yucky out, and honestly, I didn't feel like going out in the cold rain for a 3 mile run. My legs are tight and I am still very tired, so I figured maybe it was a sign. Part of me hates to be taking so many days off this week, but I suppose a bit of extra rest and recovery won't hurt, and hopefully the mental rest will work to get my mind geared up for the next challenge as well. I'm going to wait and see how the next week+ of running goes, but assuming all goes well (and as long as the race doesn't fill up!), I am leaning towards doing the 50k at Pineland. It will be a challenge running another 50k so soon after last weekend's race, but I feel like I have a bit of unfinished business with the 50k there and hopefully I can vanquish that once and for all this time around! :-)

So, since I have no running news to report today, I thought I'd share a few recent "Sam-isms":

This morning, we were downstairs at the coffee table, and she was wearing her "big kid pants." She's still not really using the potty, but I figure we have to keep trying! Anyway, she farted and looked up, laughing, to say to Ryan, "That was from my bum! I don't have a big big bum! You have a big bum." Astute observations, kiddo, although I think Daddo would prefer that you not think his bum was big :-) Ha!

Last night, she decided we needed some coffee, so she went over to her play kitchen, got out mugs for both of us, put the little play mitt on her hand and got coffee ready for us. It went something like this, "Beep beep beep. Coffee's ready! It's hot! Blow on it, guys! Now drink it. You want some more? More coffee? I get you more coffee? OK, more coffee. Beep beep beep...."

Because I love to watch the birds, I have been pointing the ones that come to the feeder and into the backyard for a while now. She recognizes the chickadees, the goldfinch and the blue jays, and knows what the phoebe sounds like too. Lately, we have had several large groups of grackles up in the trees around the complex, making a racket, and a few of them have been visiting the backyard, eating the seed I scatter on the ground for the birds that don't use the feeder. This morning, as we were playing in the living room, she looked up, listened to the bird's calling, and said, "That's a grackle." And sure enough, even though she couldn't see them, out back were three grackle eating and talking away. Made me so proud! :-)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Misty

Ryan disapproved of my running this morning, as Sam hasn't been letting us get much sleep the past few days and that is certainly hampering my recovery, but honestly, my legs felt pretty good and I figured 3 slow miles wasn't going to do much harm. In fact, I was hoping getting in a little run might give me a bit more energy! Either that or the second cup of coffee I'm about to drink :-)

I hit the powerlines down to Topsham Crossing, running through the cold mist. The legs held up fine, but I definitely felt an overall sense of fatigue. Enjoyed my first Towhee sighting of the season - I have fond memories of this noisy bird, who I first saw back in 2005 along the trail in the south. I remember seeing it digging through the leaf matter at the side of the trail and wondering if it was an oriole. Ha. I came to realize later that it was a Towhee after borrowing a fellow thru-hiker's bird book. I love that we have a resident pair (or maybe two?) right near home. In typical dorky fashion, once I picked him out in the bush, I stopped to say a quick hello before continuing on :-) Also saw a hawk, sitting serenely on the powerline, looking intently down into the grass for prey. On the way out, it was facing toward me, and as I headed back in, it had turned around, back toward me. Maybe a juvenile red-tail? Hmmm. Not sure. Other than that, lots of other birds out flitting about, mostly sparrows, and a few good patches of wood anemone and trailing arbutus along the trail edge too.

Another rest day on tap for tomorrow, and will probably run on Friday again.