Sunday, June 30, 2013


After a number of late nights and a busy week, Sam finally decided it was time to catch up on a bit of the sleep she'd missed. She slept until 8:30 this morning, which is practically unheard of! I think both Ryan and I were awake before she was at some point, but as we were sharing a room with her at Irene and Dana's, neither of us dared actually get up, so both of us stayed in bed :-) Of course, that meant our thoughts of an early morning run together at the other Brad were out the window before we even got out of bed, but oh well. I was happy to have her sleep! Ryan thought he'd still get in his long run, just at night, at home (in fact, he's out there as I write), so I knew that meant I'd have to run at Irene and Dana's if I wanted to get in any miles today. Well, it couldn't be much worse than yesterday, so I resigned myself to heat and humidity and lots of sweat, and headed out around 10:00. There was more of a breeze today but the humidity was just a killer, and the air quality couldn't have been good. I ran the same loop as yesterday, and managed to run pretty much the same time, although not without feeling like I was working much harder than I should have been for 8:25 pace! I came home drenched in sweat, and couldn't believe that rivers of sweat were pouring down my legs after only 41 minutes out there. Craziness! Looks like the heat is staying with us for a while... hope the humidity dissipates a bit or it's going to be another rough week...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fitting It All In

Worked from 9:00 to 12:00 yesterday and then headed home to run and do all that needed to be done to head south for Meghan's shower. Didn't quite have as much time to run as I had hoped, but got in a very soggy 5.75 miles. Hardly ever seen the trails so wet. Many, many deep puddles and the river and its little tributary streams were all roaring. Slow going but nice to get out. Then I managed to cram in a haircut, get the house cleaned up and the car packed before picking Sam up from daycare and getting down to Portland to pick up Ryan at 5:00. Phew! 

This morning, Ryan and I headed out for a morning run before the festivities started. It was 8:30am, and way too muggy for me. Blah! Still, we managed a decent time for the 5-mile Weldon Farm loop, and came home soaked. The rest of the day was spent with family and friends, celebrating the baby-to-be. Everyone had a lot of fun, and Sam was the perfect little helper, opening cards and presents, picking  up trash, and being very social given that there were a lot of people around whom she didn't know. It was fun to celebrate, and have a chance to see everyone!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feeling cool...

59 degrees when I headed out at 5:30 am this morning. Felt heavenly. Oh, it was still muggy, but 59 is so much better than 70! Meant to run yesterday, but that never happened. Oh well. This morning might have worked out better anyway, just in terms of the heat. Slow going out there though - the woods were wet and the bog bridges were slick. Had to stop for a bathroom break along the way. Ah, early morning running, gotta love it ;-) (Sorry if that was too much information but hey, it's my blog.)

Headed south tomorrow afternoon for Meghan's baby shower. But first, I plan to get in a run along the river. Oh, and get the house cleaned, the presents wrapped, the shower favors put together, the trash taken out, hair cut... What? I can fit it all in, right?!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not How Running Should Be

I don't mind the early morning part of this morning's 5:30 am run. What I do mind is that at 5:30 am it was 70 degrees and humid. I was followed by deer flies. I was dripping in sweat. Wasn't I just waxing poetic about summer the other day? Well, I take it back! This is not how running should be. Waiting and wishing for the days when the air is crisp and clear again.

And in the meantime, planning another 5:30 am run tomorrow. Because, you know, it's going to be hot and humid again tomorrow...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Soggy Sunday Run

Headed south to the Brad around 7:30 am. As I hit the highway, the heavens opened up and it started to pour. Well, guess it was going to be a wet run! Amy ended up not being able to make it, but John was still there, waiting in his car as the rain fell. Soon after I pulled in, the rain stopped and I made a quick dash to the bathroom. John said something like, well, at least the rain stopped. Ha, that didn't last long. Started to pour again, but at some point, we just got out of the car and started to run :-) We were going to get wet today, whether from rain, or sweat (muggy already!), or muddy puddles, so why not?

I wanted to run the Scuffle course so that's where we headed. The trails were wet and muddy. We splashed and chatted, cruising along the trails, winding this way and that. John was fun to talk with  and a good running partner, and soon enough we were running back down the Snowmobile trail for the final leg of the course. We got back to the lot right around 9:00 to find Mindy, Val and Xar suiting up and ready to head out. So we tagged along :) It was fun to catch up and hear a bit about the new puppy, the muddy night run at TARC and Xar's class with Professor Walker. We got in 4 miles on some portion of the BBU loop before we hit the parking lot again. At that point, I was losing a bit of steam and had drank all my water, and figured I should probably head home anyway. It was a good 10 miles - always fun to run with friends! Thanks guys!

I was so muddy that I just went right over to the bike wash and hosed myself off, shoes, socks and all :-) Saw Mary in the parking lot and chatted with her for a few minutes before changing and heading on home.

We spent the afternoon down at Kristen's - the girls playing quietly (well, as quiet as two young kids can) and the adults chatting downstairs. My parents are in town for the week, so to celebrate the start of summer, we decided to go out to South Freeport to Harraseeket Lunch for an early dinner. It's beautiful down there - a working waterfront with views out into the coastal islands. And fresh Maine fried seafood to boot! Yum. We had a fun dinner, enjoying the food and soaking up the views.

Quintessential Maine view

Neenie, Pip and the kiddos :-)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Muggy Saturday

Hit the trails this morning around 8:00. The air felt heavy, and it became apparent quickly that despite the nice breeze and overcast skies, it was very muggy out. With the warmth came the deer flies, buzzing around my head as I ran along the back Highland Green dirt road and down the old woods road toward the Ravine Loop. There, I ducked into the woods, happy to be on the twisty singletrack. I crossed the stream and threaded my way along the trail, through groves of birches and ferns, out to the edge of the field along Cathance Road. At that point, I was about 3.8 miles into the run and literally dripping with sweat. Soggy! I turned around and ran back, with a few variations, to finish up at 8 miles.  Was happy with how the run went; I felt strong the whole way. The woods were very quiet this morning, with the major sighting being that of a cute little Black & White Warbler flitting along a thin branch. I was much happier to see him than I was to see the deer flies :-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sweet Summertime

Summer brings with it a bounty at the farmer's market, like the crisp green, cucs and snap peas, and the round deep purple beets that I purchased this morning, along with a brimming box of brilliant red strawberries and some homemade biscuits too :-) The woods are lush and green, the grasses are long, the air is hot, the running is inevitably sweaty. The birds sing, osprey circle and call overhead, skunks and raccoons come around out back looking for seeds and nuts. While I don't love HOT, I can't say that I don't love what comes along with the start of summer. So to celebrate, I made a big strawberry shortcake plate for dessert tonight :-) YUM! [OK, so the coolwhip isn't local and it certainly isn't natural, but it does taste good :)]

Got in a mediocre early morning run on Wednesday. Didn't want to get up, but I grumbled and got dressed anyway. Only ran 4 miles because that's all there was time for. Today's run, while much warmer, was much better. I was out of work at 12:00, did a few errands, made a few phone calls and suddenly realized I had better get out the door. I ran out into the sunshine around 2:15 and headed down to the river. Got in a nice 5.25 miles on a Friday afternoon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Musical Interlude

All this posting about running is so dull, let's have a musical interlude :-) No, no, nothing fancy, just a sing-along in the car this weekend. I taught Sam "Frere Jacques" the other week, and it always reminds me of my Mim when we sing it. And of course, Sam has a lovely French accent! The second video is me attempting to video her singing the english version, "Brother John," but she caught on too quickly. Ha! The end of the video just cracks me up. She is onto me!

Sam sings "Frere Jacques"

"Brother John" video attempt

And well, in case you came to the blog for a running update, I was up and out the door at 5:45 am this morning. Amazing how light it is at that time of the day at this time of year! Crazy. Even crazier is that during the 5 miles down to the river and back, I saw 5 other people either walking or running out there! What is everyone doing up exercising so early in the morning?! ;)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekend Running

Got out yesterday morning for a tired and uninspired 3 miles. Blah. Was hoping for more, but stressed about time and tired from no sleep. So, 3 it was. Then it was off to the last Tumbletime of the season before heading south to Massachusetts to spend the rest of the weekend with Ryan's parents. We met them for lunch in Newburyport and then walked along the path along the Merrimack River to a playground. It was a gorgeous day! Bright, warm and sunny.

Come back, duckies!


Watching the water come in along the tidal river

After lunch, we headed home for some more playtime... bubbles!

I just love her expressions. She is one wacky, crazy cute little kiddo, at least when she isn't driving me nuts :-) 

This morning, I headed out for a run around 8:00 pm. Due to time, I just chose to run the roads. I had planned out a route on and just hoped it would be a good one :-) The route took me out towards the Newburyport marshes, and Middle Street took me right through the middle of part of it. Gorgeous. Red-winged blackbirds were singing and sitting on the edge of the reeds, morning glories were growing along the roadside and the marsh was just a sea of green. I then turned onto a nice rolling road that hugged the marsh to the left for a while. Lots of little white tea roses blooming along the roads, their sweet scent wafting into the air. Saw a fox down by one of the little streams on a quiet back road. The only downside was how much poison ivy there was - it was everywhere! I felt itchy just running two feet away from it all! Crazy how much of it, and how much it was growing and creeping out into the road. Yik!!!! Makes me want to dunk myself in Tecnu or rub my legs with jewelweed, even though I know I hadn't logically gotten near enough to touch any of it. PI is not my favorite, to say the least! But all in all, it was a good morning run - my legs felt good and I kept up a good pace throughout.

And last but not least, Happy Father's Day! Sam and I are very lucky to have Ryan as father and husband, and of course, I have the best dad there is :) Love you guys!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Late Afternoon Run

It was Father's Day at daycare this afternoon, so while Ryan was off having ice cream and playing on the playground with Sam, I was free to get in my run after I got out of work at 3:00 pm. I headed over to the field house, surprised at how warm it was. My legs felt fairly sluggish - I just am not yet used to running in the afternoon - but the sun was shining and a nice breeze was blowing. I ran out through the Commons, noticing how green the woods are. A few ladyslippers still remain but the majority have passed. At the end of the Commons, I hit the roads for a short Pennelville loop. I do love it out there. So peaceful. The fields were full of daisies, buttercups, clover and long grasses, all gently swaying in the breeze. Four crows were sitting on the fence and I spotted one lone Red-winged Blackbird calling from the top of a bush, but otherwise the fields were empty of birds. I heard the chatter of the Bobolinks, but couldn't see any of them. Took the quick route back through the Commons for a nice late afternoon 8 miles.

Thinking of my Trail Monster friends running through the woods down in MA for the TARC 50 and 100! Happy night running everyone! Can't wait to hear how all the races turn out!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I failed to get up yesterday morning for a run, so today it was a must. Oh well, two out of three isn't a bad average, right? ;-) Actually, I think I picked the better morning for it. I headed out the door at 5:45, greeted by clearing skies and cool temps. The trails out down to the river were muddy and wet - squish, squish, squish! Was hoping to have some wildlife sightings but all that I saw/heard were some bullfrogs croaking in the Heath, the birds singing and the river roaring. A few pink ladyslippers still out in the woods and a lot of bunchberry but otherwise, just green, green, green.

Got to home to find the child still asleep - always a plus! - and even managed to get clean and eat breakfast in a quiet house, with this time to sit at the computer with my cup of coffee. Ahhh. Definitely a good start to the day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Early Morning Run in the Rain

I am not complaining about my new work schedule, but I'm still trying to figure out how to fit my running into my days. While I was at the gallery, I could typically drop Sam off at daycare and then run. Yes, it was pretty cushy :-) Now, since I have to be to work at 8:30 or 9:00 depending on the day, I have to find a new routine. On the short days that I'm not doing any other work in the afternoons, I can run then. Otherwise, I have to run early. Ryan is willing to set the alarm, but begrudgingly so, as it seems that I only actually get out of bed half of the times I plan to :-) Ha! In any event, this morning, Sam woke up around 5:10, just a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. I got her back to sleep, and then got myself dressed to run. I was out the door at 5:45, into the rainy, dark morning.

It was early enough that I ran the cart paths for my 5 miles. It was not a fast 5 miles, but I got it done. Definitely got soaked :-)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running and Camping

Met up with Amy bright and early on Sunday for a run at the Brad. We were so early the gate was still closed :-) We parked along the road, which we later learned was a no-no. Oops! Who would have thought we were supposed to just open the gate ourselves?! In any event, we headed out into the dark and damp woods towards the Connector. The trails were very squishy! We just took it slow and easy, talking as we rambled along. I'm not sure Amy appreciated the rugged terrain - poor girl! Letting me drag her through the woods :-) We did the BBU lollypop backwards, first taking the trails from Lawrence Road, along the powerlines and back along and back along the dirt road before heading back to the park. Although, of course, where did she take a digger but on the dirt road leading out to the powerlines along the BBU route?! Aie! Got in 7 miles before heading home for our respective busy days. Fun to catch up, as always! Thanks Amy.

The rest of the morning was spent packing up for our overnight camping trip out to Wolfes Neck. We had the campground almost all to ourselves - it was heavenly! and it was the perfect day for camping. Blue skies, a breeze, moderate temps... ahh! It was a bit chilly overnight, but we awoke to yet another nice morning today, so we managed to hit the beach two days in a row. There was a lot of shell collecting, rock hopping, redwing blackbirds and bobolinks calling in the fields, some shoe-sucking mud flats, osprey flying overhead, seagulls dropping clams on the rocks below, some playground and farm fun, as well as the requisite tidal pool searching - we found many, many periwinkles, a few small crabs that tickled our palms, three hermit crabs and best of all, two horseshoe crabs this morning near the seaweed-covered rocky ledges. They actually spawn down in the area, which is very cool! Sam was scared out of her wits by the prehistoric creatures floating through the water towards us but I thought it was pretty awesome!

I could go on and on, but I think the pictures tell a better story... of course, you'll have to add in a bit of whining, some crying, many trips to the potty, failed kite flying attempts, etc, etc, but we were camping with a 3-year old, so what else would we expect?!

Our campsite for the night

Hanging out

Searching for seashells by the seashore :-)

Being goofy

Blue skies

Along the shore


Walking the rocks

Perfect place to be

Look Mommy, seashells!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Midday 5

Wasn't all that enthused to get out this morning in the rain before Tumbletime, so opted to relax at home with Sam instead. After a fun Tumbletime and some yummy donuts, we headed home and I went out for my run. The rain had stopped, the wind was blowing, temps were rising and the sun was coming through the clouds. Hit the trails down to the river, taking it easy on the slippery roots and bog bridges. With today's run, I managed to hit 30 miles for the week - first time since before TARC :-) Yup, huge mileage, I know, but hey, I'm working on it!

After a mellow afternoon at home, we had dinner with Nate, Shannon, Charlotte and Finley. The kids played very nicely together and it was fun to catch up with Nate and Shannon without (too many) interruptions  :-) A fun Saturday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Outrunning the Rain

I've configured my schedule so that I'm only working until 12:00 on a number of Fridays this summer. Today I ended up working until 12:30 but in theory, that left me somewhere between 3 and 4 hours to do my errands and run before picking Sam up from daycare, and if things got done sooner than later, I could just pick her up earlier. The errands and grocery shopping took longer than I would have thought today, so I didn't end up getting home until 2:30. It wasn't really raining yet, just on and off spitting, so I quickly changed, got my Garmin up and running, did a bit of stretching and headed out the door. I decided to run the 'dump loop,' which is really more like the 'dump lollypop.' Sounds delicious, right? :-)

Headed out the powerlines into the wind with the glowering sky overhead and wondered if I'd made the right decision. Perhaps I should have stuck to the woods for more cover? But then again, I could no doubt run faster on the powerlines and the wide snowmobile/ATV trails through the woods than on the singletrack down by the river so hopefully I could outrun the rain if I just got my 7 miles done fast enough :-) Ha. So, from the start, I had it in my head that I had better 'go, go, go' to beat the rain and get home to get showered to go get Sam. Ended up keeping up a fairly fast for me pace for the whole route. Normally my afternoon runs are sluggish feeling, so it felt good to push it a bit today, and the rain didn't really start until I was headed out the door to pick up Sam. Win!

Flora and fauna notes: A few nice patches of ladyslippers seen, along with some pretty swamp iris and sheep laurel blooming along the powerlines. Lots of false lily of the valley in the woods, and some bunchberry too. Heard the towhee calling and saw some deer prints, but otherwise the woods were pretty quiet.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Five O'Clock Run Again

...except this time in the evening ;-) I've never been much of a late afternoon or evening exerciser, but this morning I simply could not drag myself out of bed. Ryan didn't get home until around 11:00 last night from his work trip down to DC and then, although I was tired, my mind was spinning with all sorts of thoughts. Then of course, Sam was up in the night too. Needless to say, the alarm set for 5:15 am was turned off, and I got in another 1 1/2 hours of slightly restless, early morning sleep before getting up to start the day.

I was sort of mad at myself for missing my run, so I asked Ryan if he thought he could swing leaving work right around 5:00. Luckily, it worked out, so as soon as he got home, I headed out the door. The air was sweet with the smell of honeysuckle, the bunchberries were coming out in the woods, and I saw one lone iris at the edge of the Heath. The mosquitos were out too. Could do without those, though :-) My legs felt a bit clunky and I can't say I felt too energetic, but I was happy to have had the chance and the motivation to get out for a few evening miles!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I think I might have to join Xar and Valerie as an IRS member. Oh, I can get to sleep, but if I wake up for any reason, I cannot go back to sleep. And since I have a 3 year old who oftens wakes up in the night (although less now than before) because she's lost her stuffie, or she's tangled in her blankets, or she's catapulted herself out of bed, and I have two cats who love to sleep on my side of the bed, well,  you get the idea. Damnation. I really could use some sleep! In any event, I was up and out the door before 5:30 this morning for my run. Part by design, because Ryan needed to run before work this morning too, and part, well, see above :-)

It was wonderfully blissful to step out into the cool air. Ahhh! That's more like it. Enjoyed a nice 4 mile wander on the trails and roads. The swamp iris are blooming, the honeysuckle smells sweet, the pink laurel is starting to come out along the powerlines and there are still a few ladyslippers to be found in the shadows too. Followed the wet paw prints of someone - beaver? woodchuck? raccoon? - along the bog bridges at the bottom of the Heath near the outlet pond, but didn't see anything. Home and done before 6:00 am, and now enjoying a quiet cup of coffee before the kiddo wakes up. Pretty good way to start the day, I'd say.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mud, Sweat and Bugs

Nothing says summer running like mud, sweat and bugs. Oh, and stopping during the run to walk into the river and cool off! OK, yes, it was much cooler this morning and there was a lovely breeze. But it was still 70 degrees and the sun is hot. I went out around 7:30 for my run, heading out into the Cathance. I felt better than I did during yesterday's and Friday's runs, but was still a bit sluggish. Darn the heat :-) Still getting used to it, I guess.

I wandered along the singletrack, running the 9-mile route but adding in a 1-mile loop across the stream  to the "yet to be official" trails off the Ravine Trail. Scared up one deer, a woodchuck and our friendly snowshoe hare, as well as a painted turtle. Heard a woodpecker pecking away at one of the trees along the river on the way to and from the Ravine Loop, but never saw him. Lots of ladyslippers, blue bead lilies, starflowers, goldthread, false lily of the valley and trailing arbutus seen. The calla lilies by the Heath are pretty cool too!

It wasn't the fastest or easiest 10 miles, but I was glad to be able to finish off the run and still feel decent. After Ryan got in his run, we headed out for yet another family gathering - this time, graduation at NYA! Ah yes, love those graduations :-) But seriously, we are all very proud of Lillie and it was so nice that all of my aunt's brothers and sisters, plus some of us kids, could be there! Luckily, the chairs were set up in the shade of the trees and the breeze made things almost feel chilly. Lovely! We followed up graduation with an early dinner at Royal River Boathouse, sitting out on the deck and watching the osprey, swallows, sparrows and cormorants down in the harbor. Nice.

Congratulations Lillie!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

First Free Saturday

It was a busy first "free" Saturday :-) Got in a 4.25 mile run around the Heath this morning - it was still too hot out at 7:30 am but at least it wasn't as bad as yesterday! Only 4 ladyslippers today :-) but some lovely bunchberry, a few wild calla lilies by the last bog bridge near the Heath, starflowers galore, one tiny red newt rescued from the road, and one painted turtle sighted. Felt fairly sluggish but was glad to at least get out and get in a few miles. Then it was off to Tumble Time and donuts, of course! Followed up by a trip out to my aunt's house for a graduation celebration for Lillie. She was a flower girl at our wedding - amazing that she is graduating from high school tomorrow! Wow - I am so old :-)

On the way out there, we passed the Gray fire station. The sign read 100 degrees! Ryan was not happy. We sat outside all afternoon, relaxing in the shade, chatting and eating and drinking with the Raymond clan, and exalting when the breeze picked up. After lunch, the girls, Sarah, Lillie, Scott, my mom and I headed down to the public access along Raymond Lake just a little down the road. It felt heavenly to stand in the water. So nice! Morgan and Sam had a lot of fun dragging Sarah and Lillie out into the water, splashing and playing around. We managed to extricate them temporarily but they made their way back with Pippi and Larry a few more times during the afternoon. The rest of the time was spent playing with the hose and bucket, making soup, spraying each and generally being way too energetic for such a hot afternoon :-) Wish I could bottle some of their energy!

Lake fun

Happy girl

Cheese :-)

A fun day, but I sure do hope it cools down tomorrow!!