Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 TARC 50k Race Report

The day dawned bright, with fog rising from the treetops and a full moon hanging low in the sky as we sped along the highway towards Weston. I had gotten up early enough to have time to heat my ankle, stretch and roll, oh, and have that necessary cup of coffee too :-) Sam was still asleep when we passed off the baby monitor to Irene (thank you Grammie and Grampie for watching Sam all day while we ran and played!), and we got underway smoothly enough. We arrived early, getting a prime parking spot, shivering in the chill of the morning air, and chatting with a few people here and there.

I watched Ryan take off in the 10k, leading the pack (turns out he would stay in the lead too, coming in for the win! Woohoo!), and then trotted off to find a place at the starting line for the 50k. Who should I see but Amy?! Come down to cheer us on! That was a great surprise!! I lined up next to Blaine, and after a few words from the race director we were off into the woods. It was crowded at the start, the trails packed to capacity, and we jostled here and there for pace and comfortable position. I had been worried about my ankle all week, and how it was going to affect my race, but honestly, other than two small missteps in the first lap on rocks when I felt a twinge, it was a total non-issue! I stayed with Blaine throughout the first lap, and it was fun to catch up with him and made the miles fly by quickly. Our pace felt comfortable, and we came back through the starting area in 58:00ish. A little slower than last year's first lap, but it seemed reasonable and pretty close to what I was shooting for. Blaine stopped for a bathroom break, and I ran on past the crew, saying hello but continuing on without stopping.

At the start of lap 2, a guy caught up to me and commented, "Last year, you ran by me on that last hill on the last lap, light on your feet, happy and cheery. It was very inspirational, and at the same time, very demoralizing." Ha! We had fun chatting for a short while. Turns out he was only running the 1/2 marathon this year due to other obligations, but as he sped off, I told him I'd try to do the same on the last hill this year. Oh the foreshadowing! For the rest of the lap, I ended up running on and off with a woman named Shera - we had fun chatting, and leapfrogging along the trail. She was from Rhode Island, running her first ultra, and amazingly enough, she even knew about the Trail Monsters! The name has gained fame in the ultra community for sure, which is very cool!

I came back through the starting area in around 1:56 at the end of lap 2 feeling good. The day had warmed up by now and the sun was out in full force, but it was still comfortable in the shade of the woods.  I dropped a bit of trash, found out that Ryan had won the 10k, grabbed a packet of Honeystinger Chews and was off. I'm a bit hazy on the details, but somewhere in the midst of lap 3, I started to feel some heaviness in my legs, and once again felt that familiar feeling in my stomach, like I just wasn't interested in the fuel I was carrying. My mouth was also very dry. But I continued on, thinking I could just power through. At some point, Nathan ran past, light on his feet, floating along as if he were just out for a jog in the woods, which I suppose, in training for a 100, a marathon might feel like :-) In any event, there was no question he was feeling and looking strong. I wish I could have stayed with him, but I knew right off that that was not to be and let him go. Right near the edge of the woods, I came up on Chandra, finishing her longest race ever, the half marathon! It was fun cheering her on during that last stretch! Way to go, Chandra! I had slowed down on this lap a bit, but was still feeling fairly positive as I headed through the start area. Ryan asked me if I had any trash, to which I waved my hand at my stomach. He understood and told me to keep eating. I grabbed a packed of Gu Chomps and took back off.

Lap 4 was the low point for sure. I started to feel a bit woozy out there, and could barely get any of my fuel down. I was drinking as much as I was able. I felt hot. I felt odd. I started to contemplate stopping. I was not in a very good place. And mostly, I was alone, trudging along through the woods, just putting one foot in front of each other. Around mile 22, my quads started to seize up. What the heck!? What was wrong with me!? At that point, I just let go of my goal time and put my head down. It was now just a question of getting through it. As I got back to the start area, Ryan was waiting at the edge the woods. I told him I wasn't feeling good. I was dizzy. My stomach hurt. My quads hurt. He suggested some Coke, which tasted wonderful! I dropped my hydration pack and picked up my handheld, filled with water. Ryan stuffed my shorts pockets with a few chips as I walked around the aid station, and then just like that, I was off once again. There was no question I would go out for the last lap. It was just a question of how long I would be out there :-) There was a bit of a boost knowing it was the last lap. The water tasted clean and refreshing. I managed to run the whole loop except for the one short little hill towards the beginning, but it was S-L-O-W going! The loop felt like it would never end. I was out there for much much longer than I would have liked to have been, or would have hoped. But I simply could do nothing more. Finally, when I hit the last stretch of road before the field, I willed my legs to GO! I pushed it as much as I could across the finish line, and then promptly told Ryan and Amy "that sucked!" :-) Ah, yes, and we're out here for the fun of it, right?!

Final push to the finish

In any event, I ended up finishing in 5:08 by my Garmin with a distance of 31.3 (which is longer than last year's race read by 0.75 miles, which is interesting), way off my hoped-for-goal of 4:45 and much slower than last year's time of 4:52. It was just not my day. I'm not even quite sure why. It seemed as if the heat got to me, as did my fueling yet again. I was covered in salt when I finished, yet managed to polish off the whole 40+ oz. of Nuun in my hydration pack plus 12 oz. of water in my handheld while I was out there. I didn't eat much, just 1 packet of Honeystinger Chews, 1 Gu and 2 packets of Gatorade Chews, plus 2 or 3 chips. I was very surprised at how much my quads hurt by the time I was done. I don't think I've ever had that happen before in an ultra. Was it dehydration? Salt imbalance? Repetitive use of the muscle based on the relatively flat course? Who knows... In any event, I'm proud I toughed it out and I did end up coming in 4th woman, so I guess I can't complain too much. I simply wished that my time reflected my training, and what I felt I could accomplish, a bit more accurately. But, as Valerie, says, running long is always an adventure. You just never quite know what you're going to get :-)

In all of this, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the Trail Animals, as usual, put on a great race. The trail was well-marked, the volunteers were helpful, the atmosphere was fun and lively. Definitely a good race to run. And of course, awesome job to all the Trail Monsters racing on Saturday! There were some great results - very impressive. And thank you especially to Ryan and Amy for being a great cheering and support crew! I really appreciate it :-) Trail Monsters rock!

Official time - 5:06:58
4th woman

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Deal

So, here's the deal. Before this morning's 3 mile jaunt around the block, I hadn't run since Sunday. After going to see Dr. Jamie on Monday afternoon, the ankle/lower right leg still felt a bit wonky, painful in fact. The tendon that runs over the ankle bone was really tight. I took Tuesday off. Then I took Wednesday off and got a massage. I heated and iced and gently stretched and rolled and did everything I could to make things feel better. Then I took yesterday off. Things were slowly feeling better. So this morning, I heated and stretched and crossed my fingers and headed out the door. I felt hyperaware of things and the ankle isn't totally 100%, but things felt surprisingly decent considering I haven't run in 5 days.

I have had a strong training cycle going into the race, so I think the endurance and fitness are there. I saw Dr. Jamie a number of times, got regular massages, rolled, did my core exercises, etc. I was feeling good and things were going relatively smoothly until this. Perhaps that is just how it goes. It is always something isn't it? That should be obvious by now. Life isn't one nice straight highway, and neither is training. I evidently didn't quite work enough on some of my weak spots, of which the ankle is apparently one, but otherwise I think I did pretty well. So for now, I've got ice on my ankle and am just hoping for the best for tomorrow! I'm as ready as I'm going to be, so TARC 50k, here I come :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013


With this week being taper week, I'm not doing much running. So there's no running to talk about today. There is a bit of a lower right leg/ankle niggle that Dr. Jamie worked on this afternoon. I was hoping to go into TARC with no niggling issues, but perhaps that is not to be. However, Jamie felt confident the work he did today would get me through the race fine and he didn't feel/see any serious issues, just a bit of leftover weakness that's hanging around.

So, with no running and hopefully not much niggling :-), there are photos instead! Lots of photos! :-) Mom and Dad leave tomorrow, and we have so enjoyed having them here! It has been great fun. As always there were way too many photos taken, so here are some highlights.

Riding her bike

Happy rider

Bouncing with Neenie at Tumble Time

Neenie, Pip and the girls

Walking in the woods with Morgan

Bike riding with Morgan

On the swing

Out on their bikes


No visit to Wiscasset is complete without a Red's Eats photos :-)

Neenie and Pip took the girls to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens up in Boothbay - very cool!


Building fairy houses

The builder at work

The final product

Through the circle

Feeding the sheep at Wolfe's Neck Farm

Exploring the shoreline at Wolfe's Neck State Park

Searching the tidal pools

Being goofy at Gritty's

Sam picking out just the right pansies :-)

Getting a ride

Neenie and Sam with their flower pots

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blue Sky Sunday

It was chilly this morning with a brisk wind, but the sky was bright and blue. We had a bit of a lazy start to the day but finally made it over to see Mom and Dad around 10:15. Sam and Morgan went right outside to play while the rest of us chatted and Ryan and I suited up to run. We headed out the back door into the Commons, taking the long way out to Pennelville. There we headed out onto the Coleman Farm trails. The view at the end of the peninsula was once again a great one, this time with a bit more blue! The trout lily leaves were popping up everywhere, but other than their spotted greenery there wasn't many signs of spring on the forest floor. We got in a decent-paced 8 miles, and it was great to get in a nice hour+ run with Ryan!

By the time we finished lunch the sun was warm enough that we thought we'd venture out and about for the afternoon. We headed over to Wolfe's Neck Farm where we all had a great time - the kids especially - feeding the sheep, looking in on the growing baby goats, cute little chicks and the one lone baby duckling. From there, we headed to the park where it seemed a lot of other families had the same idea! The parking area was packed! We walked out through the woods to our favorite shoreline beach. The osprey chirped from their nest on the island across the channel, the kids played in the tidal pools, collected shells and hummed at periwinkles. It was a perfect springtime afternoon at the beach, and as always, oh so beautiful!

Walking the beach

The day was topped off with dinner at Gritty's and gelato at Gelato Fiasco. A great day!

(Haven't yet gotten the last of the photos from my parent's camera, but I'll post some highlights from their trip in the next few days.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rain and Mist

Awoke to Sam calling out for me around 5:45 am, so I went and resettled her on her pillow before crawling into the bed with her, hoping I could get her to sleep just a little longer. Almost immediately her hand curled around a fistful of my hair, and she lay still, her eyes closed. She fell back to sleep and I drifted peacefully in and out for another 45 minutes or so before we got and started the day.

A light rain was falling, which meant I wasn't in a rush to get out the door - not to mention, Sam chose the longest book in the bookshelf for me to read to her over breakfast :-) Finally got out around 7:45 for a short 3 mile around the block. Fairly uneventful, except for all the worms out on the pavement. I rescued a few that were clearly still moving, but I sadly could not stop for every one out there.

Only one more week until TARC! Hard to believe the end of April is almost here...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday run

What a chaotic, sad and intense week this has been. With all that is going on, my brain has been abuzz with myriad thoughts all week making it hard to sleep.

I did get out for a run this morning on the powerlines, running the 5-mile Homeplace lollypop. Surprised to find the trails very dry. Lots of deer prints and birds singing. The mallards are back in the seasonal pond that develops between Highland Green Road and Topsham Crossing, and a little greenery is starting to creep in at the edges of the woods.

Thinking thoughts of those we know, and those we don't, in the Boston/Watertown area today. I hope, as I'm sure everyone does, that this is over soon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peepers and Mourning Cloaks

On this beautiful spring morning, I ran out into the Cathance, along the roaring river, through the woods, through the mud, twisting and turning in sunlight and shadow. All traces of snow and ice are now gone, leaving things remarkably dry in most areas with just the typical wet spots trying to steal my shoes :-) As I ran along I thought about running, about the running community, about the waves of love that have been geared towards Boston and those that suffered in the marathon tragedy on Monday. I thought about the heartbreak of it all, of how lucky I am to still be out running. Of how lucky we all are that we can run, and of those, now, that cannot. The thoughts slowly slipped away as I continued on, focusing on my footsteps, on the sound of the river, on the rustle of the turkey I scared up taking flight through the trees. Of the phoebes singing their song at the water's edge. One of the things I love about running is that it empties my mind, even if momentarily, allowing me to simply be. There is beauty in that. As I ran back down by the quarry, the peepers were singing joyfully in the marshy areas, welcoming spring and all the new life that is to come. And then over my head, a Mourning Cloak butterfly flitted about, so named because its wings resemble the traditional dark clothing worn during mourning. We are mourning, yes, but as a runner, I will keep running.

Monday, April 15, 2013


We were over in North Conway at a work meeting this afternoon and stopped off at Whittaker Woods for a run before heading home. It was bright and sunny and warm. Mt. Washington and all the Presidentials were visible at the top of one of the hills in the woods, shimmering in the sun, their peaks all white. We were laughing and stomping through mud and puddles. I beat Ryan on a few of the uphills and he, of course, sailed down the hills much faster than I. It was a nice respite after several hours of meetings.

But when we got back to the car and Ryan picked up his phone, all he could say was "Oh my god, oh my god." We read bits and pieces of the news. That two bombs had exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A place both of us have been before. The finish line is crowded and boisterous, full of energy and celebration, and most of all, full of people. And today, in this special place, in the midst of a community of runners and family who were there to celebrate accomplishments and enjoy the day, something horrible took place. It is so sad. So senseless. So heartbreaking.

I am happy to be able to report that all of our friends who were down there either running or spectating or volunteering at the race are OK, but my heart breaks for those who were injured or killed in a place that is so special to so many. My heart breaks for those still out on the course, who worked so hard, who were stopped a few miles from their goal because some selfish sick someone did something as horrible as this. I want to cry and scream and gather up Sam in a big bear hug and protect her from that which I have no control over. Why does this happen? Why does someone do something like this? And how can we stop it? I wish I knew the answers. But amidst the chaos and hurt and sadness, my heart also breathes a sigh of relief to hear the stories of people crossing the finish line and going directly to help the injured or to donate blood, for all the friends and family who were looking out for us and our friends this afternoon, who wondered if we were all OK. I wish I could assume Sam, and myself, that there were no "bad people" out there, but there is indeed a lot of good still in this world, and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trails and Ocean

Ryan came home this afternoon after being away since Tuesday. We're all very glad he's home! A big thank you to Mom and Dad for helping me with Sam while he was gone and keeping her occupied multiple times so I could go to work and more importantly, go run! :-)

This morning, Sam and I went over to the house around 9:00 am, where Sam happily settled in with Neenie and Pippi. I headed down the trail from the backyard shortly thereafter. I ran towards Bowdoin first, doing two field loops before going back past the house and towards the Commons. Skies were overcast and there was a bit of spitting rain, but as I ran along, the day brightened up. I ran the long way through the Commons and then out onto Merepoint, where I ran into Jeremy of Atayne at the corner of Pennelville. We stopped to chat for a few minutes, both of us turning off our Garmins to do so :-) Ha! I hadn't yet decided whether I would run back out to Simpson's Point or take the turn and run the Coleman Farm trails. It was windy once I got out on the road, which made my decision an easy one - take the trails :-)

I haven't been out on these trails very often, and I was surprised to find that the main trail was more of a wide open grassy old road than I remembered. I meandered along the road, which hugged the fields and then went down towards the ocean. At the end of the peninsula, I stopped at the edge of the woods, looking out into the tidal marsh area and the water beyond. Very pretty view, but grey today. Still lovely though. The second part of the loop was narrow singletrack that twisted and turned along the marsh edge and up through the woods. Then back along the old grassy road to Pennelville. It was a nice way to be able to run some additional trail miles out this way, and definitely a nice out-and-back. I added on a bit more road to get in more mileage, and then returned through the Commons the way I had come.

I wasn't truly pushing it on this run, but I purposefully wasn't dawdling either. I ended up with 12 miles in 1:48:48. Felt decent and was happy for a good run.

Flora and fauna notes: I saw some trout lily leaves popping up through the brown leaf matter on the forest floor along the singletrack out in the Coleman Farm trails, which was very exciting, but otherwise, the woods were still pretty brown. Found one patch of Glory of the Snows at the edge of the fields, and some Coltsfoot blooming along the edge of the dirt road I ran out in Pennelville. Saw the pair of Bluebirds again out in the open Pennelville fields, and a few phoebes too. Spotted some type of warbler out in the woods at Coleman Farms. Couldn't quite tell what it was - stopped and got a good glimpse of its rump and belly but couldn't see it's head. As far as I could tell the whole underside was yellow but the wings appeared grey/olive color. Maybe a Nashville or Yellow Warbler?

Friday, April 12, 2013

April Blah

OK, what is up with this weather? I'm not expecting rainbows and candy every day, but I'd like some warm sunny weather and bright blue skies please. I want to see plant growing and the woods greening. I'm ready to put away my winter gear and break out the shorts! This morning it was 35 degrees and spitting hail when I went out to run. 35! Hail! Talk about feeling unmotivated. I went out anyway, but begrudgingly so. Ran down to the river and back, hoping running through the woods would serve a dual purpose in keeping me at least a bit drier, and boost my spirits along the way. Unfortunately, I am much more willing and able to be cheery when the skies are blue above me, so while the river was roaring, which was lovely to hear, the woods seemed wet and quiet and grey and dreary this morning. Hoping to turn my attitude around, but right now I'd say the appropriate word is blah.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nice Morning

Sam and I had dinner with my parents, Kristen and Morgan last night, and then stopped for gelato on the way home. I know, twist my arm, right?! :-) Saw Xar there too, which was fun - hi Xar!) It meant another busy day and a slightly later bedtime, but Sam can totally handle it, and honestly, she is sleeping so much better now, that it is not a huge deal. All this activity seems to be corresponding to a later wake-up in the morning though, which is fine given my schedule, but it does cut into my run time a bit :-)

I headed out a little before 8:30 into the bright sunshine. I was a bit overdressed, but there was a breeze, so it wasn't too bad. I always have a hard time in these transitional periods deciding what to wear! I'm either overdressed or not wearing enough. I prefer to be warm, so I tend to err on the side of too much :-) In any event, I ran holes 3 through 9 on the golf course, enjoying the packed cart paths and the twittering and singing of the birds. I even saw my first newt of the season! The little guy was resting, completely still, at the edge of the cart path near hole #8. He was a beautiful rusty brown with small orange spots. I stopped to say hello to him and watch for a while, but he wasn't going anywhere. I wanted to move him off well out of the way, but didn't know where he was headed, so just left him where he was, hoping he'd make it to his intended destination. Too the long way back along Highland Green Road and the powerlines, and ended up with 5.25 miles for the morning.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Morning Four

It's been a busy week in our house with Neenie and Pippi in town, and this morning, Sam must have been making up for all the energy she's been burning, as she slept in until almost 7:20 pm. She was in a cheery mood, but even on a good day, if I want her to have breakfast, actually brush her teeth and hair, etc, it means at least 45 minutes to an hour before I can get her out the door. So, after dropping her off at daycare, with a bit less time on my hands than anticipated, I decided to just head out for a quick 4 mile run. I ran the short Highland Green loop, adding on an extra loop up the road, along the edge of the Heath and back by the Quarry, to get in an extra mile. It was a bit dreary and damp out, but I felt pretty good and was able to move along fairly decently. Hopefully I'll be able to get in a slightly longer run tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

To the Commons

Keith and Cordelia's place, which is where Mom and Dad are staying these first few weeks of April, abuts the Commons, so this morning, Sam and I went over there and Sam got to play with Neenie and Pippi while I headed right out their back door and onto the trails. Pretty nice. I do love running in the Commons. I've been running these trails for years, since I was a freshman at Bowdoin in fact, which means 15+ years! Oh, the trails have changed somewhat, been rerouted here and there, and housing developments have sprung up on the edges, but the essence remains the same. I have fond memories of running the trails with my cross country teammates, with Ryan, on my own, counting ladyslippers, enjoying the open pine forest, the blueberries, the wide and flat trails, soft underfoot with dirt and sand and pine needles. 

This morning the sky was bright and blue, the temperatures were climbing and it was the perfect day to be out in the woods. I looped back to Bowdoin to run a field loop and then headed back along the ponds, through the developments and into the Commons proper. I was thrilled to find that there was essentially no snow or ice to speak of underfoot. I ran along the wide sandy trails through the pitch pine forest and then ducked onto the meandering narrow singletrack out to Middle Bay. There, I hit the roads for a 4-mile round-trip out-and-back to Simpson's Point, the roads taking me along the Pennelville fields. I saw a pair of Eastern Bluebirds out near the ocean, flitting across the still golden brown fields. I hit the wind on the return trip, pushing against me as I tried to outrun it. Didn't quite work but it did make those 2 miles a bit faster :-) I ducked back into the woods again for the final few miles, and ended up with 10.5 in 1:36. I was surprised to find that, from the very start, I felt so much better than yesterday. My legs felt lively and my spirit felt lighter. I guess it just goes to show that some days are better than others, and you can't give in or get down just because you had one bad or so-so day. The next one might be great, and you might end the run with a big smile on your face, just because. 

After lunch and some playtime on the swing set, the four of us headed out into the Commons for an afternoon walk. Out to the ponds and back, wandering the water's edge, looking for fish, testing out the water (cold!), picking up the perfect walking stick and enjoying being out in the woods together. Always nice to share a place I love!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Just, Still...

Just got in 16 miles today.
But, still, got in 16 miles today.
Got in 16 miles today!
My, how those few words make a difference in tone.

My thoughts on today's run fall somewhere in between all three. I got out this morning in the hopes of getting in 20+ miles. I haven't been sleeping well this past week - Sam has a spring cold and has been waking up coughing in the night, which keeps me awake. These things don't matter much on the short runs like I had on tap at the end of last week, but when you're talking hours out on the trail, tiredness makes a difference. That, and last weekend's long run plus last week's mileage, plus the cold and wind and running alone, and slipping on the ice somewhere along the Ravine Loop and slightly twinging my upper thigh/groin as I tried to catch myself, well, these things all make a difference. I realize I'm making excuses here, but none of them are untruths and they all played a role in today's run. So, 20+ turned into 16. Would 20 have been better? Probably, at least mentally. I could have slogged through another 4. I could have. Should I have? Perhaps. But I'm just not into serious torture here, people. So, 16 it is. And I think I'm actually cool with that.

I was still out there for 2:42, working on pushing a bit when I could, ie. on the cart paths and dirt roads and pavement, and otherwise, just enjoying being out in the woods, ie. running 11:00 to 13:00 minute miles on the trails in the Cathance :-) I hit the cart paths first, making one loop before heading out on the the trails past the Quarry and along the Heath. Crossed the street and ran Barnes Leap Trail and then followed the trail system along the river. The trails were surprisingly dry in most parts; otherwise, there were just big patches of ice that necessitated walking or careful tiptoeing. It was cold and windy this morning, which I am sure worked in my favor - the hoar-frosty mud and soft ground were frozen underfoot, which made things much easier. The Ravine Loop was the worst and I spent a lot of time picking my way around big patches of slick ice and/or slipping and sliding across things. It was slow going but oh so nice to be out on the trails again. I do love it out there. The river was roaring, and I scared up a few groups of ducks floating in the calm, wide stretches between rapids. Saw a few Phoebes flitting in and out of the branches along the river's edge too. I also spotted a beautiful red fox. Oh, the tail! So fluffy and wonderful. I caught a glimpse of him at the edge of the woods along the river, and stopped to watch him. He stopped and looked at me for a moment before weaving further back into the woods, where he stopped again and looked right at me. I couldn't help but say hello, to which he sort of tilted his head before taking off past my line of vision. Such a neat encounter!

We spent the rest of the day hanging out with my parents, Kristen and Morgan. It was nice and relaxing, if you can possibly call playing outside on a chilly and windy early spring afternoon and listening to the kids scream and chase each other around that :-)

Here are a few photos from the past few days, just so you can get your Sam fix :-)

Snacktime in the car after picking Morgan up from school!


Sam, Neenie and Pippi went to Pineland Farms for their "Friday on the Farm" program and fed the cows...

At the farm

Gathering eggs

In the playhouse

Fun with Neenie and Pippi

Bouncing with Neenie at Tumble Time

Riding her bike!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Yesterday on my way up to the post office at work, I stopped by the Sunken Garden, basically a garden in an old stone foundation in town, to see what I could see. Little sprouts were coming up throughout the garden, with a few "Glory of the Snow" blooming, and there was a small cluster of crocuses blooming in the sun in a protected corner. Bees were buzzing in and out of the flowers, their legs laden with pollen.

It seems as if nature is telling us spring is here, but winter is resisting leaving completely. This morning, we woke up to yet another cold and blustery morning - 27 degrees with whipping winds. I ran the short Highland Green loop, the wind swirling around me, pushing me, prodding me, offering fierce resistance as I tried to run straight into it. A bit of resistance may make us stronger, may make us grow, but really now, winter, would you stop resisting and just turn us over to spring?!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Five More

Took a spin around holes 3 through 9 on the golf course this morning. I mean, come on, no one's out golfing on a 34 degree morning right? I figured it was safe, and indeed, it was. Saw no one out there, although I did notice quite a few golf shoe footprints etched into the gravel cart paths. It was cold and windy - again. Where is spring?!

Speaking of spring, the pair of osprey that nest every year atop one of the telephone poles in the median of Rt. 1 headed into Bath are back! I love seeing them. Hope they don't lay those eggs too soon though! Brrr...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The birds might be singing, and the calendar might say it's spring, but this morning, it sure didn't feel it! It was cold and blustery when I headed out at 8:30 (and even colder and more frozen when Ryan went out for his run at 6:30). I ran the 5-mile Highland Green "lollypop." My legs felt decent, if a bit tired from the weekend's running. Today was not a day to run this loop fast, as the powerlines still had decent stretches of slick icy snow, and there were a lot of frozen puddles on the back dirt road, not to mention the strong wind right in my face for the final 1.5 miles. Good thing I didn't go out with any time goals in mind, but just get out to shake out the legs and get in some miles!

Monday, April 1, 2013

What A Difference...

What a difference a day, a rainstorm and a different state makes! I guess there should be no surprise that I'm tired. Combine that, last night's rain, this morning's dreariness, much less melted snow and the fact that the Highland Green golf course is open, and you get one grumpy lady :-} I was highly unmotivated to get out and go for my schedule 10 miler this morning. I brought Sam into daycare as my parents are up in Maine, and nicely agreed to take care of her on Friday so that I could get my run in today and get a few things done. I knew I had to go, so after grocery shopping and doing a few things around the house, I finally booted myself out the door. My plan was to run the cart path once, perhaps twice, and add whatever else was necessary to get to 10. But as I ran down over Mt. Ararat and neared the cart path crossing on Mountain Road, I saw golfers! GOLFERS! Walking with their carts. Sigh. OK, scrap that plan. So much for early season cart path running! Apparently the season has begun... Out of habit, I simply ran across the street and up near the Quarry, taking the Heath down to the Cathance trails. I ran the Barnes Leap trail, tiptoeing across the many patches of snow and ice and the slick bogbridges, and trying not to fall into the undermined mud and frost heaves along the way. Slow going. But, I did scare up a Pileated Woodpecker and a Snowshoe Hare, so that was cool. The river looked like hot chocolate, a deep and dark and cloudy brown, flowing steadily. I headed bak toward the Ecology center and took the Heath back up to the Quarry. Only 4 miles done. Sigh. What to do, what to do.

I headed down the dirt road to Tedford to try out the powerlines, but they were in really rough shape, with deep mud and frost-heaved quicksand sucking at my shoes. I decided it wasn't worth it and turned around. Back up Tedford to run the Highland Green loop backwards, then an additional mile on the High School road to get the mileage to an even 10. Can't believe how different today's run felt than yesterday. Definitely not the same physical and mental strength today, but I got it done. And now that I've eaten my fruits and veggies, let there be leftover cake (and ice cream)! :-)