Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Is it spring? Did I somehow miss the rest of winter? Sure seemed like it today. Warm temps, cold mist and a heavy fog treated us today. Bleh! And the snow is rapidly melting (again). Boo! What is up with this weather?

Feel like I've been awfully dramatic about my lower right leg the past few days, but I just really don't want a repeat of this past spring. I obviously need to be more vigilant about stretching and rolling - it's easy to bypass these things especially if coming in the door to a needy 3 year old or when I need to be out the door to work 10 minutes later! Anyway, after a massage this morning, things felt pretty good. Squeezed in a bit of work before heading into Portland to get some errands done, and met up with Ryan for a lunch date too, which was fun! Got in a quick 3 miles late in the afternoon - the weather was blechy and the snow was soft, making for a rather uninspired 28 minutes, but my leg felt good, so that was a positive.

I'll be happy to have the more seasonable temperatures come back on Friday! Some new snow would be nice too :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We awoke to a few inches of fluffy white snow. Very pretty. Too bad it sounds like it won't last for long with the warm temps and possible rain predicted for the next few days. I was feeling a bit down about my lower right leg (not even really my ankle but seemingly some sort of tendon/muscle that goes up the outside of my leg from the ankle bone?), but decided I would get a bit of work done while I heated/iced it, then roll and stretch, and give it a go for a run. Having done what I could, I headed out around 11:00. It was warm and nice out. I ran over to Highland Green Road via the powerlines. With the fluffy snow on top, the icy spots were hidden - I took it easy. A few cars had been on the back Highland Green Road, so I turned off there. The going was OK, but uneven. Back onto the main road and then Mountain Road, taking the trails back to the high school area to get in 5 miles. My lower right leg felt pretty good, no discomfort and no tightness after the first few steps out the door. I put an ice pack on it as soon as I got in the door. Hoping I can keep it feeling OK, and am encouraged that I could get in 5 miles today with no issue. Have a massage tomorrow and an appointment with Dr. Jamie next Tuesday, so hopefully those things will help too.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Got out for a quick 3 miles this morning before Ryan left for work. Although I felt great during yesterday's run, I noticed as the day went on that my right ankle (darn that thing!) was feeling tight. I'm assuming that that ankle is weak and that all the uneven terrain I've been running on recently isn't helping. Or, of course, it could be any number of things... This morning, I rolled and used the stick and generally tried to stretch things out, but it was still tight when I headed out the door. Almost as if it was locked up a bit? It loosened up after a short bit and felt fine the rest of the run, but the tightness is still there tonight and is present when my foot is in particular positions. Boo. I guess I'll be putting in a call to Dr. Jamie tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday at Brad

I had emailed Mindy and Val to see if they were up for a Sunday run. Mindy was in but sadly Val had to work. Originally, we were slated to go to Morgan's birthday party early this afternoon but she got sick, so unfortunately Kristen had to reschedule. Poor Morgan! But it did mean I could get to the Brad for the scheduled 9am run. We were up early, and although I hemmed and hawed about it, I actually got there early so I could get in a few more miles and make today's run my long run. Headed out at 8:15 onto the very solid snowmobile trails and got in a good, if rather chilly, 4 miles before getting back to the lot a little before 9:00. No cars there. Hmmm... Being the wuss I am, I got back in my car and turned on the heat. - I knew if I stood around out in the cold, I'd never warm back up. Mindy pulled in a few minutes after 9:00. Looked like it was just us. We headed right out, running at a decent clip and talking all the way. 

The trail was in decent shape given the lack of snow but there were definitely some icy spots where we took it easy. We got out to the power lines, ran a bit further and then turned around and headed back to the park. My Garmin read just shy of 10 at the lot, meaning I got in 13.9 total, which was fine by me! It was a great Sunday morning run and great to catch up with Mindy! Always fun to run with a friend :) 

Ryan and Sam met up with me right after Mindy left and we wandered the woods for a bit of snow tromping. We didn't last long - I was cold and hungry! - but it was a fun walk in the woods! :) 

Of course, we hit Edna & Lucy's for a yummy lunch before heading home! A perfect Sunday morning!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Samantha Post

I haven't done a Samantha update in a while, so I thought I'd do a quick post about what she's been up to.

We recently started a Mom & Me Tumbling Class with her best friend Anne, and this morning, both Ryan and I went with her, so I was able to get a few photos of her in action :-) She's a little timid on things, but loves bouncing, walking on the balance beam, going down the slide, hanging from the bars and of course, wandering around being crazy with Anne! A fun way to spend a Saturday morning, and even better that the class ends before I have to head up to work :-)

On the balance beam

Waiting for the inflatable trampoline to blow up

We're rising!
Jump, jump!

She's also been working on her writing, as I've said before. It is adorable. Of course, sometimes when she says "I want to work on my writing," it means I want to get a sheet of paper out and draw designs and squiggles and symbols all over it, but she is also honestly interested in writing names and letters, etc. This morning, we made a picture for Anne, and after decorating it with stickers, she wrote Anne's name on it. From left to right, and all the letters written the correct way :-) At least this time anyway!

Pretty good, eh?

Her vocabulary and grasp of the English language is pretty amazing right now. Still a bit of trouble conjugating some of the oddities of the language, but sometimes she will realize she's used the wrong tense and actually correct herself. Impressive! 

We've ordered her a regular twin mattress as an upgrade from the toddler bed we had moved her into once she was out of the crib. I am hopeful it will help at night, as almost every night, she wakes up at some point and has moved around so much that she's either fallen completely or partially off the side of her bed. I'm thinking a bigger space will be good for her (and for my sleep!). I can hope anyway, right?! She's very excited for her new bed, sheets and blanket! 

Other than that, we are loving how she is getting more independent and can put on most of her clothes herself. She can go up and down the stairs on her own, can get her stool and turn on the lights, etc. It's also fun to see how her imagination is beginning to take shape and grow with her as she learns more things. This really is a fun age (although admittedly there are trying times, but aren't there always?)!

So there's a little snapshot of Sam at 3 years and almost 4 months :-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Cold Snowmobile Trail Run

I saw a post on Facebook that said something to the effect of, "Yes, it's cold. Now get over it, and get outside and enjoy it!" Ha. But seriously, 5 degrees with windchill really is pretty cold. However, I think the fact that the temperature went down so drastically from 40+ this past Sunday makes it feel worse. In any event, I got out this morning for another snowmobile trail run despite the temperatures and wind, and I survived :-) However, for some unknown reason, I didn't grab the Buff from the drying rack, so my face was rather frozen by the time I got back, but otherwise, I warmed up nicely once I got moving.

The snow and ice crunched beneath my feet, the chickadees and cardinals were calling, and the sun was nice and bright. I got in 6 miles just headed out and back along the powerlines and then into the woods and along the trail near Homeplace. As on Wednesday, I didn't really feel the wind until the final 1.75 miles after popping back out of the woods near Rt. 24. Then it was COLD!

Today's miles got me to 32 for the "week" and with the snowshoe race, a 10-miler on the Cathance singletrack and a few solid snowmobile trail runs, I feel pretty good about that. I've got a few niggles here and there, mostly in the my right ankle/calf (darn thing!), but otherwise am feeling good. Hoping to keep creeping the mileage up a bit over the next few weeks. And hopefully the temps will creep up a bit too ;-) I don't mind the cold, but I could do without the below-0 temps at night and the negative temps with windchill!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Feels Like -13

I procrastinated on heading out for my run until around 11:00, because, well, I could, and I wanted to take advantage of as many degrees as the thermometer would give me :-) When I left, the Weather Center was saying it was currently 5 degrees, but with the wind, it was feeling like -13. Hmmm. OK, then. I had on as many layers as I could and still be moving - three on top with the outer layer being my trusty windproof Craft jacket, two on the bottom, warm Smartwool socks, wind-proof hat, buff, sunglasses and hood up on my Sugoi hoodie, which was beneath the Craft jacket. The only thing I was missing was a face mask! Oh, and maybe my sanity, but you know...

I ran straight out on the snowmobile trails. With the sun in my face, the wind at my back and all my layers on, I actually felt quite toasty. The trail was completely solid, either packed snow or ice. Once I hit Lover's Lane, I was still feeling good so I figured I would shoot up the straight snowmobile trail along the backside of Bay Park and then loop around through the trail in the woods back to Homeplace. The woods protected me from the wind, and I just cruised along.

Once I got back up the hill to Route 24, the wind hit me in the face full force, meaning the final 1 3/4 miles were pretty darn chilly. Brrr! But I got in 7 miles, and am pretty happy with that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cathance 10

We went to sleep last night thinking we'd wake up to snow, but alas, the storm seems to have veered off to sea. So much for that! While I was looking forward to some fresh snow, it certainly made my run today a bit easier to not have to contend with the snow. However, it was only 12 degrees out when I headed out around 10:00 am. Brrr. I was well dressed though, and once I got moving, I did warm up. I wasn't quite sure what route to take, and wanted to stay out of the wind if I could, so I decided to head over to the Cathance and wander around there for as long as I could. I knew I could always tack on some miles along the powerlines from there, although I suspected those miles would be a bit windier!

There was a very light dusting of snow on the ground, and the sky was overcast when I started, but the sun began to poke through the clouds and slowly, more and more blue sky appeared. It was actually a pretty nice morning to be out, and although I had gone out slightly dreading the cold and the miles, I ended up enjoying a good 10 mile tromp through the woods. Footing was hit or miss, but I was pleased to see that the trails along the river had been well packed out by snowshoers, skiers and walkers since last week's snow. I ended up running the 9-mile route, and on the less-traveled paths, it was slow going and slightly ankle-wrenching, but all told, I was pleasantly surprised by the conditions. The river was gorgeous, deep and dark and roaring through the ravines and over the rocks, creating ice sculptures along the river banks. Quite a sight. I saw lots of animal tracks, but didn't hear or see much. It may have been because I had my hat and hood up, and all I could hear was the crunch of the snow and/or ice beneath my feet, though :-)

Once I got back to the road after circling the Heath, I took the sidewalk for a ways and then jumped onto the back dirt road, then down to Tedford, with the final 1 1/2 miles along the snowmobile trails on the powerlines. That stretch was good running, but the wind was fierce. It confirmed my decision to stick to the woods for most of the run.

I got in a bit over 10 miles, and although the "plan" called for a few more miles, I was more than happy to finish up and come in for some lunch! Nothing like pancakes after a cold morning run :-) Now to get some work done!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Back to Winter

It's back to winter today. It was only 16 degrees when Sam and I got downstairs a little after 6am this morning. Ryan had the day off, so I figured I might as well run today, just because the option was there. I dillied and dallied until I finally got out the door around 9:00. I wasn't feeling super motivated, but it was a beautiful morning - clear and bright with blue sky. I ran a random route out to Mountain Road and then took the dirt portion of the Highland Green Road down to Tedford and back on the snowmobile trail. The snowmobile trail was pretty good running, although the sled that had been out at some point yesterday before it got cold again has churned it, so that it felt a bit like I was running on big frozen crispies :-) Got in 4 miles at a mellow pace. Felt a bit tired and creaky but warmed up as I went along and overall, didn't feel all that badly.

After I got back, we went for breakfast at Broadway Deli and then did a few errands around town. There was still enough daylight, and it had warmed up to 25 degrees, so we wanted to get out and enjoy the nice day. We suited up and headed over to Highland Green for a short afternoon snowshoe. Sam did great, but we didn't get very far. All she really wanted to do was sit down and eat snow :-) Then she had to go to the bathroom so the trek lasted about 20 minutes and we went about 100 yards. Ha. Oh well, we tried!

Sam has already gotten her hands on some snow here :-)

Afternoon walk

Looking for the perfect piece of snow to eat!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 Bradbury Squall Race Report

OK, so given her cough and cold, Friday night's sleepover with Morgan combined with yesterday morning's tumble time class and other activities may have been a bit much for little Sam Sam. In a way, it was just bad luck - the sleepover had already been scheduled so that Kristen and Rob could go out that night, and tumble time just happened to start yesterday. She didn't seem so bad that I cancelled either, but I'm sure she would have not melted down so much last night around dinnertime had she had a quiet day at home. Tsk tsk to me, I guess, but I know she had fun with both things, so what can I say? In any event, she was dead asleep by 6:45 last night. Now that's tired! Of course, I had high hopes that she would be so tired that she would sleep well. Anyone want to take a guess how that turned out? Yup, you guessed it, not so much. Ah well, I can hope, right?

In any event, after numerous wake-ups last night, we were finally up for the day around 7:00 am. It's nice to have an 11:00 race start, at least for me! A leisurely morning, time for the grandparents to arrive, and more than enough time to get to the race with time to chat a bit and get in a short warm-up. Sam was very excited to have Grammie and Grampie come play with her for the morning! I arrived at the park around 10:15. It was almost 40 degrees out! Crazy. Actually, it meant it was fairly comfortable standing around before and after the race, and warm enough during the race that I even shed my hat, so really it wasn't all that bad of a deal.

After a bit of chit chat and getting myself ready, I did a short 0.75 mile warm-up out onto the end of the race course, just to get an idea what the last 1/4 mile or so would be like. Then it was into the snowshoes and ready to race! I knew that the course narrowed quickly down to singletrack so I put myself pretty far up in the starting line. It may have been a mistake as once we turned off the Link, I was suddenly leading a chase pack to the front pack! Aie. Not the way I like to race, but it sure was good motivation to move! We quickly dropped off from the lead group, but I was still working pretty hard. There was great snow coverage along the Island Trail, but the twisty turny singletrack was extra challenging in snowshoes. Tough to get a rhythm. I got passed by two people on the singletrack - Jennifer, the eventual women's winner, and another guy. The Garmin beeped 2 miles just before we arrived back at the Link, at which point I was swiftly passed by 4 people, including Leslie, who was moving well despite being sick. I really wanted to keep up the pace, but was starting to realize I was pretty tired! I kept my eyes on Leslie and attempted to reel her in. I think I closed the gap a bit, but that was it :-)

Photo by: Maine Running Photos

The snow coverage was a bit thin once we turned off the Snowmobile Trail onto the next stretch of singletrack, and I struggled a bit on the uphills, but knew there wasn't too much more to go. I was glad I had run the last bit of the course as warm-up, as it was a relief to pop out of the woods onto the Knight Woods Trail. I willed my legs to go faster, but the energy just seemed to get sucked right out of me with every snowshoe step. I sadly was passed just before the final curve to the finish by a guy who had been on my trail through the singletrack stretch. I just couldn't push it any more to fend him off. Ah well. I still managed to finish as 3rd woman in 33:53, and 19th overall out of a record 62 finishers! So not bad in the end, although I do wish I'd finished a bit stronger. I think I need to get out on my snowshoes a bit more in the next few weeks before the White Out. All in all, a fun, if painful, race and just as snowshoe racing should be :-)

Full Results

Some great races by my Trail Monster friends today! Yahoo. And of course, a huge huge shout-out to Ryan, who once again put on a great race, and to all the volunteers who helped him out! The Trail Monsters certainly are a great group of people, and it always shows in our races. I'd call this one a success for sure!

While we were gone, Sam was having fun...

Taking a walk, and getting a balloon, downtown

...and we finished up the night cheering on the Pats! :-)

Go Pats!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to bed! I'm whooped!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fun Saturday

Morgan stayed with us last night for a fun sleepover, and then this morning Sam and I went to her first tumbling class at Midcoast Gymnastics. Her best little friend, Anne, had gone to the previous session, and her parents said it was a great way to get out some energy and maybe even entice a nap, although I believe Phil described it as "wandering around the room after your child to make sure they don't hurt themselves" :-) Ha. Ryan was off setting up the course for tomorrow's snowshoe race, so I took the day off from work to give him the time to get done what he needed to do, and it was fun to have a Saturday morning to spend with Sam. Sam had a great time during the class. They've converted a big barn into a gymnastics rooms with a big blown-up bouncer, a few big trampolines, obstacle courses, balance beams, slides and various rings, etc. They do everything from the Mommy & Me Tumbling Class we attended to more advanced gymnastics for older children. We ran around and bounced and tumbled and were crazy :-) Then we hit up the farmer's market for pretzels and some veggies, listening to the music and running into friends there. Sam wasn't satisfied with just her pretzel so when we went downtown to Morning Glory for a few things, we stopped at Frosty's for a donut too. It was a very busy and fun morning!

I headed out around lunchtime for my run. It was overcast and relatively warm, although a bit windy. I hit the powerlines and was happy to find that a few more snowmobiles had been out since my run yesterday morning. They had packed things down, which was nice, but it was warm enough that things were still kind of mushy and soft at the same time. Weird. But decent running nonetheless. I got in 4 miles in 40 minutes, which got me to 30 miles again this week. I'm getting there, or trying at least :-)

Looking forward to the Squall tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Didn't get out running yesterday. Just ran out of time. This morning, we all slept in, as both Ryan and Sam have a cold and cough, and needed all the sleep they can get. Luckily, Sam was in a good mood and I got her to daycare fairly easily and quickly before heading home to get a short run in before work. It was cold - 10 degrees - and sunny. I wasn't sure how the trails would be after Wednesday's snow, but thought I'd just put on my screwshoes and see what happened. I only had time for a short run anyway. There was one snowmobile track leading from the high school, but it hadn't done much in the way of packing things down. In fact, the snow seemed very light and loose, and I couldn't get much traction. Sort of like running in confectioners sugar or something. Weird. I decided to turn off at Highland Green Road and connect back to the trails via the cart path along hole #3. That was probably a mistake - the cart paths were even worse than the powerlines as no snowmobiles had been though, of course, and I was just trying to run through the slippery, dry, sugary snow. However, once I hit Mountain Road, the groomer had been out for the xc ski team, and I took the groomed trail back to the high school road. That short stretch was the best running of the route - pretty firm beneath my feet and easy to run on. Got in 3.5 miles and called it good enough.

Additional miscellanea for the day:
Sam has been working on her writing and her letters. She really wants to be able to write! We were spelling out our names on her little white board the other night, and she wanted to write my name. We spelled it out together and then after a few tries, this is what she came up with. I am so proud of her attempts to write "Mama"! :-) Of course, Ryan thought I was nuts to be proud of this scribble, but I think it's pretty good for a not even-quite 3 1/2 year old!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Treacherous but Beautiful

Snow started falling early this morning, and maybe an inch+ had accumulated by the time I got out for my run around 9:45. I had originally thought about heading over to Bradbury for a snowshoe run, but it sounded like the roads were pretty nasty, so sticking close to home and not driving ended up sounding like the best option. I thought it would be too thin to take the snowshoes out around here, so I donned my screwshoes and headed off. I ran up and over Mt. Ararat and onto the cart path. Things were a little dicey, with snow falling in my eyes, flat light, uneven snow and a thick coating of new snow making it tough to tell what was underfoot. I took a digger on the downhill and landed hard on a big patch of ice. Ouch. I ran a bit more gingerly and cautiously after that.

Around the Heath, there had been a fair amount of traffic with a lot of postholing. Lots of animal prints too, squirrels and rabbits darting this way and that and crossing the trail. I wanted to get in 6 miles, so when I hit the road by the ecology center, I went straight across and took the long way along the Barnes Leap Trail down to and along the river. The fresh snow was covering the evergreens and the ice along the river. The river rushed around the rocks. Very pretty. I didn't take too much time to look at the scenery though - the footing required most of my attention! I ran back up the dirt road to the ecology center, marveling at how much the view had changed since Sam and I were out on Monday. Amazing what a bit of snow can do! Back around the Heath to Highland Green Road. I opted to take the sidwalk down to the powerlines instead of going back on the cart path. The snow atop the pavement was actually perfect for running with the screwshoes.

The funny thing is that today's 6 miles only took me a minute less than yesterday's 8. Ha. Guess that shows you how much conditions have to do with pace!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pennelville 8

After working for a few hours this morning, I finally got out for my run around 10:45. I had it in my head that it would be nice to get in 8 on the roads, to give my legs and ankles a bit of a break from all the snow-running. Oh, I could have run right from home and done the Meadow Cross loop, but while Meadow and Meadow Cross are nice, the 2 1/2 miles at the end of the loop along Rt. 196 irk me to no end, so I nixed that one for today. I decided instead to drive over to the Pennelville fields and run down to the ocean and along some of Brunswick's back roads. I haven't been out that way in forever.

It was overcast and 35, with almost no wind. The fields, now mostly browned and matted, were streaked with thin ribbons of of snow and ice. I hit Simpson's Point at high tide - the ocean was gray and flat, the distant islands trimmed with dark green spruce. Along Rossmore, the river through the tidal flats was running high, and large chunks of ice sat atop the grasses. The overall feeling was one of starkness, but it's beautiful out that way nonetheless. The one spot of color was that of two pairs of bluebirds and a goldfinch flitting about in the brush along Merepoint before I turned onto Rossmore. They must be drawn to the landscape there, with its open fields. Likely someone is feeding them as well. The sighting made me smile. Who doesn't like bluebirds?!

I forgot my Garmin at home (Can you believe it?!), so did the loop "naked," which was a little odd, for although I don't look at my watch too much while running, I like having the feedback available. Still, having mapped the route out on mapmyrun last night, I knew that the loop was just a bit shy of 8 miles. I added on a bit at the end in the hopes of actually logging 8, and finished up in 1:06.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

OK, so I won't say I didn't enjoy being outside on such a beautiful day, but man, oh man, on the other hand, the warmth today was a tad depressing. I felt like I could see the snow melting away before my very eyes. Today was a Sam and Mama day, so no running for me, but we did take two walks. We headed over to Pineland this morning for their Monday Story Hour, and then took a short walk around the grounds, stomping through puddles and walking in the snow, basically getting soaked while wearing total inappropriate footwear :-) After lunch, I got Sam dressed in her snowpants and boots, with a hat and mittens but no jacket - it was 50+ degrees after all! - and we drove over to Highland Green for a walk down to the river.

Sam stomped in the mush, stopped to make snowballs and eat snow, we looked at animal prints along the way, enjoyed being out in the sunshine without jackets, walked to the river to watch the water roar by, and in general, took advantage of a beautiful spring-like January day. Sam did really well - although we only walked 3/4 of a mile, we were out for about an hour and 15 minutes, dawdling, exploring and just being out in the woods. The perfect kind of walk with a little one!

Out enjoying the sunshine!

Pondering the rushing water, rising steam and ice along the river

Out walking

Snack break! She was getting quite tired on the way back and kept just plopping down in the snow saying she needed a break. Ha :-)

Late afternoon light as we head back up towards the Ecology Center. She insisted I find her a stick for the final stretch to help her along.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mashed Potato Mush

I had coordinated with Mindy and Val and arranged an 8am meet-up at the Brad this morning. That way Ryan could get out on his snowshoes later in the morning to test out the snowshoe course for next weekend, and I could still get a run with friends in. It was foggy, damp and relatively warm as we stood around in the parking lot getting ourselves organized. Along with Mindy, Val and I were Andy, Joe H.(new to TMR), Yana and her friend Marcus. We all started out together down the Snowmobile trail. Conditions were so-so, with some good stretches and a lot of stretches where we were all sinking and slipping in and through the snow a fair amount, down into the slush below the wet, mashed potato-esque snow. Overall, we moved along at an OK clip, given the conditions, chatting all the way. Eventually, the group split up, with Andy off ahead, Mindy, Val, Joe and I in the middle, and Yana and her friend behind. We were running with my schedule in mind, so we turned back at the far edge of the cornfields, right after we had reached the moose leg bone (fascinating and icky all at once!) in the snow to make sure I got back to meet Ryan and Sam at 10:00 am. The stretch through the field boasted the worst conditions, but after that, the return trip somehow seemed to go by more quickly and easily than the way out. We ended up with 8.6 miles in 1:44, and were all fairly soaked upon our return, but in good spirits. Somehow mashed potato mush snow is much easier to run in when surrounded by friends! Thanks guys! 

I quickly changed, Val built a snow kitty :-) for Sam, and then Sam, Val, Mindy and I headed off for Edna & Lucy's while Ryan headed out with his snowshoes on. Somehow after having a snack and chatting with Mindy and Val for a while, Sam and I ended up staying at E&L's until Ryan finished his run around 12:45! I kept asking Sam if she wanted to 1) go home, or 2) go back to the park and snowshoe or take a walk, but she wanted neither. She wanted to "stay here all day!" In the end, we ordered lunch, we read a few books, and Sabrina brought over some cardboard, stickers and markers for Sam to play with, and by then I knew Ryan should almost be done, so we just hung around until he was! Ha. A morning at E&L's isn't such a bad thing, though :-) And with nothing else on the schedule for the day, why not?!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January Thaw

Sadly, we are in the midst of another day of the January thaw. While the snow pack is not gone, it has definitely diminished this week. Hopefully colder weather will kick in soon and we'll get more snow, but for now, things are looking a bit sad out there, at least where the snow isn't packed down. Sam was up much too early this morning, so after hanging out with her for a few hours, I headed out for my run around 7:30 am. Out into the light mist, the snow-eating fog and the 35 degree temps. Not exactly ideal running weather. I just wanted to do a short and easy road run to shake things loose and get in a few additional miles this week, so I did a loop around the neighborhoods, out toward the high school and into Patriot Commons. The side roads were a bit slick, but the route is flat so without much effort I still managed 8:30s for the three miles. And with those three miles, I have finally reached 30 miles for the week, the first time since before Stonecat! I had hoped to get to 30 the week of Christmas, but with the holidays and being sick, mileage was a bit derailed. Oh well, better late than never, right?! I'll plan to slowly creep up through the low 30s for the rest of this month and slowly up my long runs. I'm not going to do anything crazy this training cycle, with mileage likely only peaking in the mid 40s, but I am planning to get in back-to-back long runs this cycle, something I've never been successful at before. I don't think I'll be getting in 10 miles for my 2nd long run every week like a lot of people do, but even a solid 6 or 8 would be a good start. We'll see how it goes!

Friday, January 11, 2013


As I was getting ready to head out the door for my run this morning, Sam looked at me and asked, "Are you wearing your screw shoes, Mama?" I didn't know whether to be proud - our little trail runner in the making! - or horrified that our 3+ year old knows what screw shoes are,when I should be wearing them, and thinks that all this crazy tromping in the woods with screws in our shoes is normal. I think I'll go for proud, at least to make myself feel better :-)

I had initially thought I might get out on my snowshoes today but with the warm weather yesterday, and Ryan telling me that they had been out plowing the road to the top of Mt. A. made me change my mind. I decided, however, to keep with my original route plan, and headed off towards the river. I ran up and over Mt. A. - slippery, icy road! - and took the golf course to the Heath. Lots of people had been out walking, making the way very uneven and potentially ankle-twisting. There was no running gracefully on these trails today! The river was flowing, but a bit more sedately than last time, the dark waters contrasting with the still-white rocks and river banks.

For the return trip, I decided to take the back portion of the Highland Green loop, to check out the conditions and give my ankles a break. The dirt road was a mix of hardpacked, solid dirt, frozen mud, frozen slush, packed snow and just plain ice. The screw shoes did a fine job though, and I had no troubles, although the loop certainly wasn't as fast as it can be in good conditions. I ran back along the powerlines to finish up the run.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Snowmobile Trail Fun at the Brad

Amy put out a post yesterday wondering if anyone was up for a run at the Brad this morning. She usually can't get away, but was taking advantage of the fact that one of the other parents had offered to drive the kids into pre-school. She was free! And what to do with all that free time but run?! :-) I was free too, so, hey, we could meet up! And run together! Hurray. Running is always better with friends :-)

Amy had already been running for an hour or so before I pulled into the parking lot a little before 9:00 am. She took off a few layers and we quickly headed off. I was surprised to find that it was colder than I had anticipated. It was probably still in the high teens, or maybe low 20s. Which meant the trails were in decent shape, although we were certainly sinking in a bit. We headed out on the snowmobile trail, the first time I've been out that way in a while. The trail had been well traveled. There were a few open water patches, and some icy stretches, as well as some churned up dirt/debri/leaves, along the way, but otherwise, things were in a decent shape. We ran and we chatted and we ran and we chatted, and before I knew it, my Garmin was beeping 3 miles and it was time to turn around. Amy's hose on her Nathan pack had frozen up by then anyway. It was great to catch up, and I don't think there was a moment of silence as we chugged along :-) Got in 6 miles in 1:10 and had a grand old time! Saw Tom Whitaker in the parking lot as I was getting ready to head out, so stopped to chat for a bit. He had been out skiing and seen our prints. The morning was capped off with a stop at Edna & Lucy's for a treat and a cup of coffee, and you guessed it, more chatting. Lots of fun! Thanks, Amy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Balmy 10

The problem with having Tuesdays and Wednesdays off for the next few months (yes, yes, I'm not really complaining, I know I have it pretty good) is that I seem to have no ability to actually relax on these supposedly extra days off. Part of it is that I actually do have a project to work on each week, but part of it is that because I am sending Sam into daycare, I feel compelled to make use of any and all time I have, to cram as much into my days as possible, to get lots and lots of things done, as if to make up for the fact that I've sent her into daycare on these days when I could in theory keep her home with me. Ah, the mind of a possibly crazy, definitely guilty-trending mother.... Of course, I'm not letting my craziness get in the way of my running, running is just one of the things to cross off on my to-do list :-)

So, after getting a few things done this morning, I finally headed out around 10:45pm, donning my Nathan pack for the first time since Stonecat (!). The temperature was hovering right around freezing, and it was bright and sunny, rather balmy in fact. I was a bit apprehensive about the trail conditions, but figured I would just go for it, and could change plans if necessary. In the end, the trails were really in good shape. There were only one or two icy and/or bare spots in the sun or right along the edge of the roads; otherwise, the trails were holding up well. I ran out on the snowmobile trails along the powerlines and through the woods to the dump, around the ponds, and out further into the woods, hoping to add on the additional loop there for more mileage. Unfortunately, I came across a pair of skidders (?) working in the woods, clearing and thinning the trees. They had made a pretty big mess of the trail, and the snow was so soft underfoot where they had churned it up that it was rough going. I wandered out a bit, hoping I might still be able to make the loop, but alas, it was not to be. They had headed down towards Murder Road too, which was my next attempt. Oh well. So much for that. I turned around and recalculated my route so that I would still be able to hit 10 miles without having to add on at the end. 

On the return trip, in the sun, the snow was starting to get tacky, which actually made for good footing, and otherwise, it was a bit softer, so I was definitely starting to feel the time and effort I was putting in. But still, felt good and the Garmin beeped 10.0 right at the mailboxes. Perfect :-) A fine day out on the snowmobile trails in nice, warm temps, and hopefully a good start to winter training!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Snowshoe

The first two snowshoe runs of the season were kind of downers for me. On the first, I had a bit of a snowshoe malfunction and so I only got about 1 mile of snowshoeing. The snowshoeing I did get in was in deep unbroken powder, and it was hard hard work. The second snowshoe run was once again in unbroken powder and I struggled the whole time. I'm not against working hard, but so much effort for so little in return, in spite of the beauty of the snow-covered woods, meant that neither run was much fun for me. This morning, I was determined to get back out on my snowshoes and have a happy snowshoe run!

I've only run every other day since New Year's Day, and I think that has helped me recover fairly quickly from the cold/cough I picked up from Sam, although I am still congested. I hoped that the slightly warmer temps this morning would mean it wouldn't be as tough on my lungs and throat to run. I also knew from Ryan's talk of his run yesterday that if I took the right route, I would be able to find a fair amount of packed out or groomed terrain out there. Perhaps not the most hardcore snowshoe run then, but again, I wanted a fun run, not a struggle! I decided to head down to the river. I ran across the street and donned my snowshoes where the snowmobile trail leaves the Mt. Ararat high school road. A light snow was falling, and there was a dusting atop the trails. The surface was decent, not rock-hard but not soft. I was putting in an effort but at least I was getting somewhere and it wasn't taking forever :-) I ran up and over Mt. Ararat down to Mountain Road, which had been groomed for xc skiing after the last storm, and veered off onto the golf course. Hole #3 had been groomed as well, although it was a bit softer underfoot.

Once I hit Highland Green Road, the grooming peetered out, but there had been a lot of traffic - xc skiers, snowshoers and just plain walkers - along the cart path and out into the Heath. The trail around the Heath was packed out nicely, and was good running. It was gorgeous out there too, with lots of animal tracks, and one little section with a number of deer beds in the snow/leaves. On the other side of the Heath, I crossed the road again and went around the Vernal Pool and down to the river. Under the overcast sky, with the snow falling, the river rushed around the ice and snow-covered rocks, the deep warm browns of the pine tree trunks and the dark green needles contrasting with the white snow at my feet.

I headed back the way I came, varying my route slightly to do the full circle around the Heath. It was a nice run. I didn't dawdle but I didn't kill myself out there, and in the end, I finished up with 5.35 miles in 1:01, and more importantly, with my goal for a happy snowshoe run accomplished :-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Weighed Down

Felt slightly weighed down by all the layers of clothing I was wearing this morning and the cold air - although it was at least 8 degrees when I headed out at 8:00 am, much warmer than Ryan's run, which started at 6:00 am and while the temps were still in the negatives! I ran across the street and out on the snowmobile trails again. A few sleds had come through between this morning and my run on Wednesday, so things were a bit more churned up, but the running was still pretty sweet. I ran down to Lover's Lane and back again, and caught a neat view of the light on the horizon, topped with a bed of thick clouds, as I hit the hill right after Rt. 24. At the height of land, also saw a big raptor soaring away from me over the road into the trees. It's wing span was so big, and it was flying so gracefully, I think it must have been an owl, perhaps barred?, and not a hawk. Wish I had gotten a better look, but neat nonetheless.

With the cold and cough, I didn't quite manage to kick off the New Year and my "training plan" with the mileage I was hoping for, but I did get in a few good runs this week, just shorter than anticipated :-) Hopefully I can kick it back up a notch next week!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dragging is Good!

Last night, while we were having dinner, Ryan just looked over at me, and said "You look, well, beat." Enough said. I was happy to go to bed last night. And although Sam woke up two times in the night, but I'm still calling it a good night because neither of us was up for  hours on end coughing. Ryan was up before dawn, suiting up for "more miles than degrees" run. Sam and I, on the other hand, were snuggled in our beds, still sleeping. I think we won out on this one :-) I did wake up feeling better and more energetic than yesterday, although the cough is still lingering...

It was back to reality today after a fun vacation together. Ryan was out the door before 8:00 to work, and Sam and I attempted to get out the door soon after. She slept in, so we were a little later to daycare than normal, but she settled in fairly quickly. I know she had a great 12 days at home with us, but she was definitely happy to be back with her friends too. As it's January, I didn't have to head up to the gallery today - we're on our reduced schedule of only being open Thursday, Friday and Saturday - but I still had work to do. I'm helping Ryan with a weekly newsletter/report project, and it means my Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be at least partially filled with work. And this week, with yesterday as our last vacation day and no work happening, there was much to do today!

In between work, and a visit to Dr. Jamie to work on my neck and a lingering tightness in my ankle, I did, however, make time to sneak out for a run. I got out the door around 10:30, into the bright sunshine. Temps had warmed up to a balmy 15 degrees, but I was still dressed as if I was headed out into the arctic air :-) Luckily, I managed to choose a good time of day to run and there was no wind. (As I was heading home from Portland in the afternoon, the wind was whipping across the highway, sending up swirls of powdery snow, so I definitely lucked out.)

And even better was that the snowmobile club had been out grooming the trails last night! It looked like they had used a dragger, as the snow had been smoothed out all across the trail. I know they did it for the snowmobilers, but man, it made for some sweet running! I still sunk in here and there where there hadn't been much traffic before the dragger, but overall, it was a nice, hard surface and fun to run on. I was feeling good, the snow was crunching beneath my feet, I was breathing in warm air thanks to my buff, and I decided to just head out on the trail for a ways and get in a decent run. I don't think I've been out past Topsham Crossing since I ran into the ROTC group back in November. I'd forgotten how nice it is to run on the powerlines when groomed. I ran out to Lover's Lane, enjoying the final short stretch that narrows and winds through the pine trees, before turning around. I finished with a nice, happy 5.25 miles and smile on my face. Now if I could just get rid of this cough completely, I think I'll be back in business...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Run and Ski (and Racing Plans!)

The first thing I did in the New Year, aside from giving Sammy hugs and kisses, was to rush to my computer and sign myself up for the TARC 50k in April. Gotta start off the New Year right and get one's racing schedule in order :-)

After that, we had a leisurely morning, meaning I didn't get out for my run until around 9:30. I donned my screwshoes and went out to run the powerlines for a bit. It was windy and cold, but bright. I wore my buff around my neck, and successfully used it around my mouth to keep the air I was breathing warm. I think it helped make me cough less after the run, for sure. The snow, still so dry and fluffy, wasn't all that well packed, but the going wasn't all that tough. I just took my time and enjoyed being out. I came back via Tedford, which added on a little bit of mileage, but still only got in 3.5 miles :-) Oh well, so much for today being the start of my new training plan for the 50k! Sigh. So typical...

After lunch, we psyched Sam up for skiing, raced around getting ourselves geared up and all the gear in the car, and headed over to Highland Green. On his run this morning, Ryan had noted that the Mt. Ararat trails were being groomed for xc skiing, and with the wind, we figured that the top of Mountain Road might be the best place for her to actually enjoy skiing, as it would be sheltered and we could head into the woods for a bit too. Sam very quickly grasped the concept of sliding, although she was happiest holding both of hands and literally sliding forward on her skis instead of shuffling along :-) With a few fits and starts, we got her up and going and out into the woods. We didn't get far, but she did great! We capped the ski off with a bit of sledding, at her request, and finished up a fun afternoon with cupcakes, made and frosted earlier in the day by Sammy (with my help). Perfect :-)

Yeah! We're going skiing!

All geared up and ready to head out

Skiing side by side :-)

Down the hill! Whee!

Happiness in the woods