Friday, May 31, 2013


This crazy weather is just too much. The car was reading 91 degrees this afternoon when I pulled into the field house lot at 1:30. I was sweating profusely even before I started running and all I'd done was put on my socks and shoes! That is just not right. I had my handheld filled with cold water and drank it all during the 49 minutes and 5 miles that I was out there. Normally, I can run the flat trails in the Commons pretty quickly but today, I literally felt like I was being suffocated out there by the heavy air and oppressive heat and it was all I could do to shuffle along. Ugh!

Despite the fact that the woods didn't offer the respite they normally would, I was happy to see 1 jack-in-the-pulpit, lots of starflowers, false lily of the valley and violets, 3 painted turtles sunning themselves on a log in the 2nd pond, the rhodora still blooming in the pitch pine forest and the blueberry bells out. I also counted 100+ ladyslippers, which is the whole reason I headed to the Commons today. The ladyslippers must love the make-up of the soil in that area as there are always an enormous number of them out at this time of year. Ryan thinks I'm crazy but honestly, even in the heat, I was not hallucinating and seeing ladyslippers that weren't there ;)

After the run, I picked up Sam and we headed south to NYA to watch Lillie's final lacrosse game and to meet up with my parents and the rest of the Raymond clan who had flown in for the weekend for Lillie's graduation. It was way to hot to be outside, and I hadn't managed to truly cool off after my run, so I was more than happy to make an exit after the first half and head to dinner. I did make an attempt to replenish the salt I lost today by ordering a big margarita on the rocks with salt at dinner - not sure it helped in that regard, but it did taste good :-)

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Nope, didn't run naked this afternoon in the 80+ degree heat, sorry! :-) Just did this morning's run sans Garmin. The darn thing wouldn't find the satellites in the heavy mist as I headed out at 7:00 am, and I didn't have time to wait for it on the third try, as I was cutting it close as it was. Oh well. I only had time for the short Highland Green loop anyway, which I know is 3 miles give or take a few 100ths depending on where you stop int he parking lot, so that's good enough for me. Did make me realize, however, that I really like running with the Garmin. I like the exactness of hearing the beep of the mile lap and I do like to see what pace I was running, even if I just tend to look at it after the fact.

Sounds like the weather is supposed to continue the trend of "straight to the height of summer after a long, cool and wet spring" so I'm anticipating a hot and sweaty 7 mile run tomorrow afternoon after I get out of work. I'm sure I'll be cursing the weather a bit, but I'm still looking forward to running in the Commons and looking for ladyslippers :-)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More Rain

After two beautiful days, it was back to rain. Oh well, hopefully it will mean there is less pollen in the air :-) Started my new job yesterday, and after a restless night, didn't quite get up to get a run in before heading in at 8:30. Oh well, no big deal. I'm still building back up the mileage. My schedule is going to essentially be 2 long days and 3 short days, meaning that some of the short days I'll be piggybacking other work onto, but sometimes I'll be free :-) As today was a shorter work day and I didn't have any other projects scheduled, I took advantage of the time and headed out this afternoon around 2:30 for a run before picking Sam up at daycare. Ran the Homeplace loop on the powerline trails and got in a nice 5 miles in the mist. Lots of ladyslippers popping up in the woods, their pink flowers even more evident today against the lush green of the ground cover under an overcast sky.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Fun

Yesterday was an epic day at Pineland, with many Monsters having some great races in the midst of rain, puddles and serious mud. Sam and I went over after lunch and by then, the day had turned relatively nice, so we stayed for a few hours, catching up with friends, cheering on the runners, stomping in the puddles and enjoying the atmosphere. Ryan ended up pacing our friend Jeff in the 50 miler, and it was fun to watch them come through the grove as they headed into the final 5 miles. Also had the chance to watch George and Amy finish up their 50k races. George, as always, amazes me with his ability to simply run, run, run with ever a smile, and I am so proud of Amy for completing her first ultra in tough conditions!

After a few hours of hanging out, we headed south to play on the playground with Kristen and Morgan and have an early pizza dinner.

Despite a busy day yesterday, for some reason Sam was up early this morning - as in 5:30 am early - so I had already been up for 2 1/2 hours when I headed out at 8:00 am for my run. Blue skies, sunshine and a cool breeze greeted me as I ran down the street. I had a smile on my face already :-) I hit the Cathance trails for some good sloppy singletrack fun. I really enjoyed myself out there today and felt good doing it. The river was roaring and lapping the high edges of the banks. Sunlight streamed down into the woods and all sorts of woodland flowers covered the forest floor. Scared up a snowshoe hare and a turkey along the way, and heard a myriad of bird calls, including my friend the Towhee. Got in 10 miles in 1:36, with the final 3 along the back roads and powerlines.

The rest of the day included a few hours of outside fun with Annie, playing on the swing set, going down to the stream by their house and painting outside on the easel finger paints, followed up by a yummy lunch at Broadway Deli. Sam fell almost instantly asleep in the car once we hit the highway headed south to Jeremy and Alison's and probably slept for almost an hour in their driveway in the car. Wow. She was one tired kiddo (maybe she should just sleep a little later, darn it :-) ). It was a beautiful day to be hanging out on the lawn with friends, eating and drinking, flying kites, throwing bean bags and flying little plastic airplanes. It took Sam a while to warm up, but once she did, she had a blast!

A few fun-filled days, for sure!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

More rain today. Headed out around 8:30 for my run. Ryan and Sam were headed down to Kristen's where Sam was spending the morning while Ryan ran at Pineland in the 5k. Turns out he is in much better shape than he thinks, coming in 5th place and 1st in his age group on a very sloppy, muddy course. Nice job Snowman! Sounds like there were a lot of other hardy souls out running some great races today too, including many Trail Monsters and our friend Phil. Great to see that everyone was out running despite the weather. Guess this year the heat was swapped for mud and wet grass :-) Always a challenge, it is!

As for my run, I ran through the woods down to the river. The trails were waterlogged and the roots and bog bridges were slippery indeed. The river was roaring. Was happy to see about a dozen ladyslippers blooming in the edge of the woods near the end of the Heath trail, and some big bright patches of magenta trailing arbutus. Beautiful. Got in a nice and wet 5.5 miles before work.

Speaking of work, today was my last day at the gallery. My last Saturday workday!! Change is always scary, but sometimes change is necessary. I have been working at the gallery for almost 8 years, and although it holds a place dear to my heart and the owners are my friends, it was time for a change. Starting next week, I'll be working as the Office Manager at a local non-profit, Tedford Housing. I am very excited for this new venture, and even more excited that I will now have regular, full weekends with Sam and Ryan! Hurray! The job is 25 hours a week, and while I wish we could afford for me to just work that many hours, alas we cannot :-) , so I'll be filling in with a few side projects. However, these other things will allow for some flexibility, so I'm hoping to have a chance to spend a few extra weekday hours with Sam and maybe even get in one long mid-week run too :-) I'll also be helping a bit this summer at the gallery as they transition through my departure. As for the weekends, our calendar is filling fast but I'm definitely looking forward to some good weekend runs with my Trail Monster friends! It's looking like a busy summer, but I think it will all be good!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Puddle Stomping

Good morning for puddle stomping, for sure! Had to be up at work at 8:00 this morning to hang the new show for the weekend, but wanted to get a run in too so I made sure Ryan set the alarm for 5:15 last night. Woke to the sound of rain once again gently pitter-patting on the roof, and almost went back to sleep. Finally got myself out of bed and out the door at 5:45. Into the rain, splashing in the puddles, stopping to pick up a few worms here and there (they were everywhere!) and listening to the birds chatter despite the weather. Got in a nice, thoroughly sopping 4 miles :-)

There's still a teeny tiny little part of me that regrets deciding not to do Pineland this weekend, but the larger portion of my head and heart are rejoicing that I won't be out there running laps through the wet, slick fields ;) And honestly, I know it was the right decision to stick with just taking it easy this month and not trying to push it with another 50k, as I finally feel like my legs are coming back to life. In any event, with the wet and muddy conditions that will no doubt be found out on the courses this weekend, I know all my Trail Monster friends will be right in their element, and I think there are going to be some good races out there! Looking forward to getting over to cheer with Sam on Sunday!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rainy Morning Run

Wow. Things sure do look green today! Nothing like some rain followed by sun, followed by more rain to make all the leaves come out and the grass grow!

Headed out this morning into the mist for a run around Highland Green. Wasn't pushing it, just trying to get in a decent turn-over for 5 miles. The rain really started to come down in the last 1/2 mile or so, but at that point, I was already wet from mist and sweat, so it wasn't a big deal :) Not much else to report!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Midcoast Run and Fun

Met up with Amy this morning at 7:30 for a 8.5 mile run at Pineland. I've missed running with her, and so it was a lot of fun to catch up as we ran along through the mist on the wide grassy trails on the Oak Hill trails. We did the loop once, then turned around and ran it backwards, just for fun :-) I don't think there was a second that went by when we weren't talking about something. Nothing like a run with a friend to make for a good therapy session.

I came home to pancakes (thanks, Ryan!) and to find out that Sam had chosen today to sleep until 8:15! I guess she was making up for her late night earlier this week :-) We all got ourselves ready and organized and were out the door at 10:30 for a friend's birthday party at the Rumpus Room. Chaos ensued, as it does with a group of 3-year olds, but it was fun. Then we were off again, this time to pick up Morgan for the rest of the afternoon. Kristen was unfortunately feeling under the weather, so she stayed at home to rest, while Sam, Morgan, Ryan and I headed to Wolfe's Neck. We stopped at the farm to visit the animals and walk on the trails a bit there before heading over to the park.

Taking a walk out to the trails at the farm

New lambs!

Checking out the oreo cows :-)

Ryan headed out for a run while Sam, Morgan and I walked through the woods down to the beach. I pointed out the starflowers, false lily of the valley, ladyslippers, blue bead lilies and voilets that were blooming along the way. Saw a jack-in-the-pulpit too! The osprey called from the nest on the island off-shore, and although it was much chillier along the coast than I anticipated, the girls had a blast down on the beach. We walked around the rocky beach, collecting shells and rocks, and then the girls took off their shoes and socks and sat at the edge of one of the tidal pools, giggling as they splashed water on each other and buried each other's hands and feet in the dirt and rocks. Meanwhile, I was freezing :-) Ha.

We ended the day with dinner at the new mexican place in Falmouth with Kristen and Morgan. A full and fun Sunday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Amazing what a good night of sleep will do! Sam fell asleep at 8:15 last night - much better! - and I got into bed right before 10:00, sleeping soundly until she got up at 6:00. After breakfast and some time with Sam, I got out the door around 7:30 for a 5 mile run on the powerlines. The thermometer read 48 degrees, but as I ran out into the sun, it felt warmer, which was a nice surprise. Birds were calling, flowers were blooming and I felt pretty good, all of which mean happiness for me when it comes to running. Stopped to watch a Hooded Warbler for a while, and enjoyed the magenta rhodora blooming at the edge of the marshy areas.

After I got showered up, Sam and I took a short walk out back before Tumble Time. She has been very into picking dandelions and bringing them inside to put in a small little vase that I have, so that's what we did :-) As she reached down to pick one, she said, "Oh, these dandelions, aren't they beautiful? I'll pick them, and then I want them to die, so I can come back out and pick more!" HA! Gotta love it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Running on Fumes

Sam has never been a good sleeper. When she was little, she would hardly nap at all yet still be happy, which was something the daycare providers had never seen in a small infant. Naptime was often a struggle with us on the days we were home with her, and so, eventually we just gave up on the idea. Honestly, now our stay at home days were much easier after that! Of course, they still have nap time at daycare, but often she wouldn't sleep. It was never a problem, because she was still cheery, and if she was tired out, bedtime was easy and quick. But, now that she is 3 1/2, she has, for some unknown reason, started napping - almost daily! And let me tell you, it is putting a serious crimp in our evenings... Last night she didn't fall asleep until 9:00 pm! AIE! At that point of the night, I'm ready for bed myself. SHEESH!

In any event, after coming downstairs with a few choice words coming out of my mouth about the non-sleeping child (whom I honestly love to pieces, but seriously!), I headed off to do some desperately needed grocery shopping, came home to sit for a bit at the computer, and finally went up to bed sometime after 10:30 pm. Sam woke up two times in the night, which meant a restless night for me, and then was calling for me at 6:30 am. She was chipper and happy as can be. Me, not so much :-) Ha. In any event, I headed out for this morning's run feeling a bit low on energy. I ran the Heath loop for 4.25 miles, just wandering along, trying to enjoy being out in the woods. It worked for the most part - the birds were singing, flowers are blooming - but I'm tired! Hoping to get a bit more sleep tonight :-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Run

After TARC, a little part of my brain said, hmmm, well, I didn't have the best race, maybe I should run the Pineland 50k. It's a month away. I can do that! I'll take a week off and then have a few weeks to build up the mileage again. Yeah, yeah, why not?! Well, it has come to my attention, via my heart and my legs, that this little hair-brained idea is just not going to happen. Oh, in theory, it was a good one. I mean, I ran 5:08. I thought that meant I didn't leave it all out there, but the honest truth is that those 5 hours out on the trail sucked up a lot of my mental strength, and my legs haven't come back as easily or quickly as I thought they would. I'm not up for a sufferfest at Pineland. I've had enough of those. If I was going to run Pineland, I would need to be in a good place, and clearly I am just not there at this point.

From the start, I knew I would need to get in at least one good long run before Pineland, and had hoped that would be 18 miles this past Sunday. What did I actually run on Sunday? Three whole miles! Oh, well, that's just not going to cut it. And honestly, none of my runs until this morning have been good ones. My legs have felt heavy and leaden. I haven't been happy running. Nothing like a few "bad" runs in a row to have you start questioning why you're even out there. So, there, I've said it. No Pineland for me this year. (Sorry, Zak!) It simply is not meant to be.

After Sunday's 3-miler, I did get out for a late afternoon 5 miles on Monday. Still felt a bit lackluster. Decided to take yesterday off with the plan for a happy run this morning. Ryan nicely agreed to take Sam to daycare so that I would have the time to get in the run I wanted. I drove over to Bowdoin this morning and parked at the field house. I ran out through the Commons, enjoying the sunshine and cool air. The magenta rhodora are blooming in the pine barrens, and although most of the ladyslippers are still just tight swirls of leaves, some had unfurled enough to show the bent necks of the ladyslippers, still green. I stopped to watch a female Hairy Woodpecker at the edge of the first pond, only a few feet away from me, twittering and calling, as she jumped up a branch, stopping to peck a bit at the top before flying off.

Once I exited the Commons, I ran over to the Pennelville fields, ducking off onto the grassy path that leads out to Coleman Farms. Amongst the bushes, I heard the Bobolinks calling, and even caught a glimpse of one of the males up in the brush, the back of his head bright yellow, as he called to his mate. The edge of the wide old woods road was littered with violets, wood anemone, ferns, and even a few red trillium. Stopped to watch a female Yellow-Rumped Warbler flit through the small trees at the edge of the field before running down to the edge of the tidal inlet and along the water. The salty smell of low tide filled the air. Birds called as I ran the singletrack path through the woods, the forest floor covered with trout lilies, although by now most of them had already faded.

I was all smiles. I felt good. Headed back up to the road and back through the Commons the way I came. I felt renewed, refreshed. Got in a nice 7.5 miles in 1:07 and was just so glad to end the run feeling happy. Hopefully this means I'm headed in the right direction.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Fun and Run

We had a nice, if brief, visit with Irene and Dana last night and this morning. We took off for home around 12:00, a bit earlier than planned, as Ryan's grandfather is in the hospital, and Irene and Dana wanted to get over to visit him. As it was pouring all morning, and we were also sitting around playing with Sam, talking and eating delicious omelettes whipped up by Ryan, a run just didn't happen.

By the time we got home, I was starved and cranky, so we headed out to get some lunch (and gelato, of course :-) ), after which Sam and I headed to the playground while Ryan got in his run. The sun had finally come out and it was a great afternoon to be out running around the playground. Ryan met us at the playground at the end of his run, and by the time we got home it was around 5:20. I wanted to get a short run in, and Ryan suggested we head to the bike path so I could run and Sam could bike. Sam loved the idea; me maybe not so much, but it worked out fine in the end. I got in a relatively quick 3 miles, and Sam got in some bike time and a lot of time picking dandelions :-)

We didn't get home until 6:30 (gotta love it being light so late!), so after quick showers, we headed back out again, this time to get some yummy Vietnamese food at the new restaurant in-town, Little Saigon. It was quite tasty! All this means that Sam didn't fall asleep until 9:00 and it is now officially past my bedtime :-) Time to hit the hay!

All in all, a very busy and fun Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day out there to all the mothers I know and love, especially Mom, Kristen, Irene, Phyllis and mom-to-be Meghan :-) Love you!

Being goofy at Gelato Fiasco :-)

Ohh! Ahh! Ommm!




I see you there ;-)

Picking dandelions along the bike path

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Headed out for a run this morning before Tumble Time. The sky was looking a bit threatening but it wasn't raining at the start of the run. I decided to run just run Homeplace so as to avoid the no-doubt slippery roots and bog bridges along the Heath Trail. The powerlines were surprisingly dry given all the rain, and my legs felt a bit better than they have for most of the week, so that was an improvement. The rain held off until right around the turn-around, and then the heavens literally opened up. Nothing to do but embrace the soaking and keep on going :-) Got in a good 5 miles.

Flora and fauna notes: Saw a big rabbit (Snowshoe hare? Couldn't quite tell...), resident towhee, a catbird as well as a lot of sparrows singing in the bushes. Wild strawberries were blooming as were the blueberry bushes!

Friday, May 10, 2013


It wasn't raining when I headed out the door this morning for my run, but after 5 miles on the trails, I came home feeling very soggy. The air was heavy and damp. But again, the woods are beautiful on mornings like this. Saw our friend the snowshoe hare near the exit of the Heath Trail, all brown now, and munching happily on greens out in the brush. Wild oats, goldthread, little white marsh violets, more "regular" purple voilets, false lily of the valley, trailing arbutus, both magenta and white, and wood anemone filled the forest floor. I have always thought that fall was my most favorite time of year, with its crisp air, turning leaves and brilliant blue skies, but each spring, I am always in awe of how the landscape once again comes alive, filling with greenery and flowers. There is something about the rebirth of everything which never fails to make me smile.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Through the Mist

Headed out into the mist and fog this morning to run down to the river. The woods looked especially green as they often do on overcast days. Was happy to see the false lily of the valley, wood anemone and trailing arbutus in bloom their quiet white blossoms set against the bright green leaves. As I ran along the river, I caught sight of a big bird flying down over the river. I wasn't sure, but it appeared to be an eagle. When I got a bit further along, at an opening near the widening of the river, I stopped to look, and sure enough, on the opposite bank, sitting in a tree, was a beautiful Bald Eagle. After a short while, he cocked his head and took off, large wings flapping gracefully as he soared out along the river. Neat!

Legs still felt a bit sluggish, but not nearly as bad as yesterday! Got in a 5.75.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring Flowers

Ended up taking Monday and yesterday off. Monday by design and yesterday because I had an early morning meeting and just didn't end up having the time. This morning's run was lackluster at best. My legs felt clunky and I simply had no energy. Oh well. Hopefully tomorrow's run will be a bit better.

It was a beautiful morning though, as we are certainly having some nice spring weather! I ran out on the powerlines, and had my first towhee sighting of the season! I can vividly remember seeing one while out on the AT and initially thinking it was an oriole :-) For some reason, this memory always makes me smile. Also ran past the pair of mallards that I always see at this time of year on the little marshy seasonal pond at the foot of the hill past Highland Green Road. I wonder if they nest there? On the return trip, as I plodded along, my eyes scanned the edge of the trail, and I noticed a few small clumps of trailing arbutus and later, several patches of wood anemone in the midst of the unfurling ferns. First blooming spring wildflowers of the season for me!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rockin' the Kneesocks

I read a lot of what Ryan calls "mommy blogs." Oh, I read plenty of Trail Monster blogs too, and regular books when I find the time or am feeling so inclined, but I have found a handful of random mother-runner/athlete-type blogs that I read regularly. I'm interested in what other mothers who run or are athletes have to say, how they juggle things, what their workouts are like, what their thoughts are on the balancing act that is life, how they feed their families, etc, etc. In any event, last week, one of the mothers, Natalie over at Lil Runner, did a giveaway for a free pair of compression socks from Nabee Socks, a new company that just recently launched through Kickstarter. I never win this sort of thing, but decided, what the heck, left a comment and liked Nabee Socks on Facebook for an extra entry too. And lo and behold, I actually won the socks! Woohoo. When I looked at the design, there was no question. I was going with the "bubble" design. I love the idea of fun compression socks, because, well, who wants to wear what look like boring old black kneesocks?!

I figured this morning's run was the perfect time to try out the compression socks. To be honest, I've never worn compression socks before, but after a week off and a 50k last weekend, it didn't seem like a bad idea to wear the socks and hope they would give my legs some extra spring and support. So, out I went, with Ryan shaking his head, and me smiling, because, come on, what's not to love about the look of these socks? Look good, feel good, right?! Or is it, look wacky, be wacky :-)

I headed out into the bright blue sky morning towards the Cathance, meandering the trails by the high school and alongside the Heath before crossing the road and scaring up a snowshoe hare at the start of the Barnes Leap trail. The woods were greening nicely, with lots of false lily of the valley, wild oats, starflower and a few ladyslippers popping up on the forest floor. No blooms yet, aside from some patches of violets and bluets out in the sunny field sections, but growth nonetheless. The river flowed peacefully, and I saw a turkey take roost in a tree at a bend in the river, its awkward form looking out of place up high in the branches. It felt great to be out running in the woods again, especially on such a nice morning, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that my quads were a bit leaden and I felt a bit sluggish overall. I will say my calves and ankles felt great, but I'll have to try out the compression socks a few more times before I completely give that to them :-) Still, the socks felt good, they didn't shift in my shoes, they stayed up, weren't too tight, and didn't seem to bother my legs at all. A good start, for sure. 

Got in 7 miles in 1:12, which is slow, yes, but not all that bad for the Cathance trails, and came home to have pancakes with the kiddo before we headed to the playground for some fun while Ryan got out for his own run. 
Cute kiddo :-)

Lovin' the swings


We rounded out the day with a late lunch at Frontier with Zak, Lenka and little Emma followed up by gelato at Gelato Fiasco. No complaints about such an all-round good day!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Post-Race Update

Sam had a great time while Ryan and I were off running and playing at the TARC races on Saturday. Many thanks to Grammie and Grampie for hanging out with her for the day! Sam had a lot of fun.

Walking along the river in Newburyport


Fun at the playground

Cool sculpture

Hanging out with Grampie

On Sunday, we all headed over to visit Phyllis and Ted - Sam LOVED rearranging Great-Grammie's shelves with her dolls and other knick-knack type items. Phyllis was a trooper, and didn't seem to mind one bit :-) It was great to see everyone!

Of course, on the way home, the exhaust system essentially fell off the yellow Snowplug mobile, meaning that today, after much negotiation, we now have a bright blue Prius V! Snazzy! 

Sam is very excited to have the same car as Annie :-) I'll miss the Matrix - it was a good car and had a lot of good memories - but I don't think I can complain too much.

On the running front, I had already decided before the race that I was going to not run this week. I looked back through my training logs, and aside from the days off before the race with the wonky ankle, I really haven't taken any time off from running since right after Stonecat. I don't know what the right thing to do is in terms of recovery and time off after races, but it seemed like it might be the prudent thing to just let my body rest for a bit. My quads hurt until yesterday, but other than that, I've been feeling good. Hoping to hit the trails again on Sunday and see how it goes! Can't wait to get out and see how much is blooming and greening in the woods. With all this warm weather, things are really popping!