Saturday, August 31, 2013

Long Run Fail

Hard to call it a long run fail when it's a 3 hour run. But it was supposed to be 22 miles, and it only ended up being 15.25. Aie. Mom and Dad very nicely agreed to take Sam this morning so that Ryan and I could get in our long runs together. Since we had to work with Sam's sleep schedule and get her down to Falmouth to Kristen's and then get back to the Brad, we didn't actually start running until 9:00 am on the dot. We saw Jim, Nathan, Jeremy and Alan in the parking lot. They were looking pretty sweaty. Clearly, it was pretty humid out. But I honestly think it only got worse while we were out there. Or maybe I'm just looking for an excuse. Either way, the humidity was not my friend today and it put a big damper on the running.

Things started out well, out on the east side portion of the BBU course, when we ran into Jamie around 2 miles in. He turned around and ran with us, and it was fun to catch up. Back at the parking lot, none of us needed to stop so we continued on the course. At the top of the Ski Trail, Jamie headed to the summit and Ryan and I continued on the course. I told Ryan at that point that I could feel I was dragging a bit. The legs just didn't have much umph and I was soaked with sweat. But on we continued, and while I wasn't feeling great, things were OK. I stopped near the Quarry turn-off to pick some blackberries - yum - and then headed on down the hill. I think we held it together pretty well until the end of the road portion, after which it truly became a slog and there was a fair amount of walking involved. Both of us were feeling really off and it showed. The miles ticked by slowly. I actually did pretty well on the uphills, up Tote Road and up Lunch Break, but didn't have much energy on the downs or flats. A 13 minute mile here, and there. Yikes. Neither of us were willing to call it quits before we finished the BBU course, but somewhere in those final few miles, I told Ryan I was done as soon as we hit the parking lot. I ran out of water partway up Lunch Break and that just sealed the deal. I had consumed 60 oz of water and although I felt like I had to pee, and stopped a few times, nothing came out. It was time to stop. I am sure I could have slogged on, but it honestly was feeling like that simply would have been detrimental. I am blaming the humidity for most of the sluggishness, although when I looked at my log tonight, I realized that today's run brought me to 57.5 miles for the week (Sunday through Saturday - still on that schedule on my training calendar even though I'm now off on Saturday and Sunday) with 10 1/2 hours of running/hiking/walking time. That is very high for me, especially considering I've only put in two weeks over 40 miles in this training cycle so far. Low mileage? Probably. But it's what I've got, so I'm going with it. In any event, I'm trying not to be too rough on myself about today, although I am disappointed to once again not hit my mileage goals for the day. 

Hopefully next Saturday morning will be crisp and clear. I'm planning on hitting the trails early for 24 miles before we head out on our camping trip, and I really want to have a good long run! Man, this training thing is tough. I am certainly still figuring out how to make it work, but with 2 months to go, there is still time to redeem myself (or at least I hope there is!!).

Friday, August 30, 2013

Afternoon 8

I changed into my running clothes at work, and one of my co-workers asked me how much I normally run. I told him that today I was "just" running 8. From the other room, I heard the other Danielle in the office yell, "Just?!" Hmmm... I sometimes forget that what seems like a normal afternoon run of no big significance to me doesn't always seem so to others :-) Guess that's ultrarunning for you!

Headed out into the Commons around 12:30. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, but it was surprisingly muggy. I ran what has become my "typical" 8-mile lollypop loop - 3.5 through the trails in the Commons, the 2-mile Pennelville loop, and the more straight shot route back to Bowdoin for the remaining miles. A nice, if sweaty, afternoon run. My legs still felt a bit tired from Sunday's effort up in Acadia, but I realize this is just part of the game. Tomorrow's 22 at Bradbury might hurt a bit, though ;-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pre-Dawn Run

5:30 am. Pitch black.

I wait a few minutes.

5:37 am. Just enough light that I leave my headlamp at home and head out into the murky darkness, where I bumble along the powerlines in the low light. The air is heavy. The sweet scent of ferns fills my nose past Highland Green Road. It's still dark as I head down the hill past Rt. 24 at 2 miles, and it's evident there's to be no sunrise today with the heavy cloud cover.

I scared up a little mouse (white footed?) on the return. It jumps and scampers right into a rock with a little squeak, then heads off into the grass at the edge of the trail. Funny little thing.

Despite the mugginess, fall is definitely on its way. We're losing daylight fast.

Nice 6 miles to start the day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Creaky Recovery Run

Worked a half day today, and got out for a run around 1:30. It was fairly warm and humid, and to say that the legs were creaky was a bit of an understatement ;-) Headed down to the river and took my time enjoying the singletrack. Took the back dirt road and powerlines on the return trip and was able to move the legs a little faster, but I certainly wasn't setting any speed records today! 6 miles in 1:00:48.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Day as a Working Mom

Ryan commented that I could have compiled this. It is perfect. Could be me on any given day, and even better, it's complete with animated images:

My Day as a Working Mom

But in case you'd prefer to see photos of the cute little munchkin rather than laugh hysterically at an article poking fun at the realities of a working mom's day, here are a few from the past week. My parents's have been up visiting, so you know what that means! Yes, exactly :-) Photos!!

Cute kids (and kitties)

Fun in the splash pool


Wolfes Neck


With Pippi at the water's edge

Snacktime with Neenie

So happy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Acadia Weekend

Mom and Dad nicely agreed to watch Sam for us this weekend so that we could have a short getaway. Thanks Mom and Dad! We left around 10:30 yesterday and headed north. Some of the swamp maples were starting to turn red along the marshes as we neared Bangor and exited the highway. We arrived at the Acadia Visitor Center a little before 1:00, marveling at the blue sky and wonderful weather. We donned our running clothes and headed up the spur to the carriage roads. Our route took us around Witch Hole Pond. The air was dry, the scenery, as always, was beautiful, and we did a lovely 5-mile loop before heading into town for a late lunch. Lunch was followed up by a bit of walking around town - we even ran into Judson's wife, Autumn, which was fun - before checking into our hotel. We couldn't just sit inside on such a gorgeous afternoons, so we headed back out and walked down along the Ocean Path before dinner.

Playing tourist

Dinner was, of course, followed up by ice cream and Ben & Bill's. Yum!

A whole row of deliciousness!

This morning, after a sad free continental buffet breakfast at the hotel, we set off for this morning's adventure. Ryan had devised a loop that started us at the Eagle Pond trailhead, ran us along the road for a mile or so, then up on the North Ridge Trail to the summit of Cadillac. It was another perfect morning. Cool and crisp with blue skies and warm sun. Awesome. We were chipper and happy at the start, enjoying the climb and the views out over town and ocean.

Up the ledges

Great running

Happy runners

At the top we took the obligatory summit photo, and then headed down the South Ridge Trail, which had gorgeous views out along the ridge and was great running until we hit treeline.

South Ridge vista

Summit photo

Ryan running along the ridge

We did a fair bit of hiking both up and down the mountain, but ran when we could. It really was fun! We hit Rt. 3 having run/hiked almost 8 miles in 1:45. Then it was up the road, a quick scramble up onto the Park Loop road then up onto the carriage roads to Jordan Pond House. We stopped to refill our waters, go to the bathroom and take a quick break at Jordan Pond, and then it was back on our way. Still miles to go! We took the "Around the Mountain" loop back. We've done this loop before, but never having already run almost 10 miles beforehand. The carriage roads, while very well-graded and totally runnable, on this loop, begin fairly benignly but it is a long climb, with the final stretch along the edge of Sargent Mountain being mostly above treeline with great views and steeper grades. I felt pretty good for about 2/3 of the way, but the pace definitely slowed in the last few miles uphill. My legs simply wanted to do something else other than climb. There was no chance to use other muscles. 

No photos after South Ridge, so here's a map of our route instead :-) 

After a brief stop at the top, we headed on out. The way down was, well, mostly downhill, with one other up that was rather mean, and which neither of us remembered. The downhill actually might have been more painful. Again, simply because it was so consistent. At the turn-off to Eagle Lake, it was more downhill. We saw a ranger biking up and Ryan stopped to ask him where junction 8 was. Turns out we went the wrong way. Argh! I was pretty worked at this point and ready to be done. So to hear that we'd just added miles to our trip was not what I wanted to hear. Aie. Then, we both ran out of water. The day had gotten warm and we'd been doing well hydrating. Yes, Aunt Betty Pond was gorgeous - covered in water lilies. But the route seemed to drag on. We hit 20 miles and the end was not in sight. We just going. My Garmin had died before we even started the run so I didn't have that to look at. So what else to do but keep running? Slowly and a bit painfully. I had one small almost-meltdown near the end. I just so wanted to be done! And ta da! There was the carriage road along the lake. We were done. Hurray! 22.25 miles in 4:09 moving time, with about 25 minutes of stops added on. We probably bit off a bit more than we should have with this one, but it was one heck of a run, and although we both struggled in parts, we did it. Epic MDI long run mission accomplished :-)

Overall, I think we averaged around 15:00/mile over Cadillac, but once we got off the technical stuff, most of our miles were in the high 9:00s, with the final 2 miles of the climb in the "Around the Mountain" loop in the 10:00s and the final 2 miles of the whole run in the 10:00s too. I ate well until around 3 hours, at which point, I didn't. Think I managed 3 gels, 2 full bags of honey stinger chews and 3 shot blocks during the whole run, with about 60 oz. of water consumed, and I would have had more if I'd had any left in my pack :-) I definitely had a few low points, but mostly I just kept reminding myself "relentless forward motion" and "keep moving." We went through long stretches without talking, just toiling away side by side or a few steps apart, but it was really great to be able to go on a long adventurous run with Ryan! Overall, I'm calling it a success and definitely a good training day!

We headed to Two Cats for brunch, arriving just before closing. We almost fell asleep at the table, but were revived by the deliciousness placed before us. Yum! 

All worn out

Two Cats - yum!

It was a fun getaway, and even more fun to have Ryan healthy enough to go on a crazy run adventure with! Many thanks to Mom and Dad for allowing us to have a bit of time together. Sam, of course, had a blast while we were away, but I think we were all happy to be home together this evening!

And with that, I'm headed to bed!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Just a quick post before I head over to Sam's daycare for the end of the summer party, which includes a big bounce house in the backyard. Sam has been talking about the bounce house for days. I think she is just a bit excited :-) I love that my job is flexible enough that I can take a summer Friday off. I am lucky, indeed.

Dropped Sam off this morning, ran a few errands and then headed over to Bowdoin to run in the Commons. Although the air was warm, the breeze was lovely and it was a beautiful morning to take a wander through the woods. Had hoped for a few more miles, but ended up with 6. I could have pushed for more, but it just felt silly to do so. I'm still recovering from the sinus infection and while I feel so much better, I still feel a bit tired. This week is a lost cause in terms of mileage anyway, so a few miles isn't really going to make the log book look much better :-) I'm just hoping I have enough energy to get through a good long run with Ryan on Sunday. We're headed up for an overnight in Bar Harbor tomorrow night (thanks to Mom and Dad for watching Sam for us!), and Ryan has been scheming a big loop through the park for us. Looking forward to it!

And now it's off to the party :-)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to the Land of the Living

Well, not running 20 miles on Sunday might have turned out to be a good thing after all, as by Sunday night, I was feeling pretty badly. Incredible sinus pressure that then coupled into intense ear pressure on Monday, making it feel like someone was jabbing something into my left ear. Lovely. Ryan will tell you it left me feeling rather cranky. The pressure was so intense I couldn't sleep, and nothing, not sudafed, cold meds, ibuprofin, claritin, nor a combination of the above, was helping. So, Tuesday morning I headed to the doctor. Yup, massive sinus infection. "Oh," she said, "you have a lot of swelling going on." Indeed.

Well, thank the heavens for antibiotics, because by yesterday afternoon I was feeling pretty good. The pressure was gone. I was still stuffy with a lot of nasty snot, but I actually felt almost 100% myself again! So, of course, last night, I decided I'd try to run this morning :-) Just to get the legs moving, you know.

Up in the darkness, and out at first light. The sky was a soft pink color, and a low mist was rising above the fields. As I popped out of the woods at the end of Mountain Road, the pinky-orange sun was emerging on the horizon, casting a gorgeous light on everything. Running along the Heath, the cotton sedge was blooming, little white orbs sitting atop green swaying grasses. Stopped for a few blackberries at the end of the powerlines, sweet and juicy. Ah, it sure is good to be back running! Just don't feel quite whole without it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Quite

Another night of not sleeping. Poor Sam was all stuffed up last night and we all suffered. I was stuffy too. Silly allergies. But I was up early anyway and was downstairs eating breakfast so Ryan and I could head out for our long run on the Willowdale trails when the phone rang at 6:30. I saw that it was Chris, and knew! The baby was on the way! I picked up and indeed, they were at the hospital. Meg's water had broken but she wasn't very dilated. I talked with Irene and Dana, who were so excited - they would quickly get ready and head down south. So I knew our run was kaput. I was excited for them, but bummed for us. Oh well. But then, it appeared that Dana wasn't doing well. He was all dizzy. And then suddenly sick. He went back to bed. Maybe they weren't leaving after all. Regardless, the run still wasn't happening, so Ryan and I both went back to bed too. I was tired. Sam woke up around 8:30 and we all came downstairs. Dana still wasn't feeling well. I had sort of lost my desire to run. It wasn't going to be at Willowdale. It wasn't going to be with Ryan. Bah. I figured I'd just make this weekend my back-down week and so headed out for 8 miles on the roads. Ran 8:30s, and tried to convince myself that two back-to-back days of road 8:30s had to be good for something. But it wasn't a long run.

Ryan made it known he still wanted to get in a long run and he didn't want to run roads, so he headed off to Willowdale himself. Bah again. I was feeling down. And I was feeling badly for Irene and Dana, who so wanted to be at the hospital for their newest grandchild's birth. But it wasn't happening. Meghan was progressing quickly, and Dana was not. Sam's newest cousin, a baby boy, arrived sometime around 1:00 pm. No name yet, but he looks cute, at least in that newborn kind of way!

So not quite what we had wanted, but you get what you get, and you don't (or you try not to) throw a fit. Congrats Meg and Chris! Welcome to the crazy world of being a parent! And welcome to the world little baby boy! Looking forward to learning your name and seeing you soon! And in the meantime, hopefully I'll be getting some of my scheduled long runs in :-)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2x Weldon Farm

We were all up early this morning so that we could fit in our runs before Ryan's grandparents came over to visit. Ryan was part of the pick-up crew, so he was out around 7:00 am for his run; I headed out about a 1/2 hour later. The plan was to get in 10 miles, so I decided to run the Weldon Farm loop twice. It was in the mid-50s when I headed out - ahhh! perfect! - and I went out trying to keep the pace easy and comfortable. Got back to the house at 5 miles, just as Dana and Ryan were headed out. Took a few swigs of Gatorade and headed out again, this time running the loop backwards. Around 7 miles, just before the hill, I needed to pee, but there is poison ivy in this area almost everywhere - ack! I saw a long driveway at the edge of a field, and hopped off the road and into the woods in an area that was thankfully PI free. Luckily no one drove down the driveway while I was there :-) Legs started to feel a bit tired near the end, but still managed to run the last 3 miles faster than the others and got in what was a decent 10 miler, all before 9am.

Spent the rest of the day hanging out with the family. Sam had a lot of fun with Great-Grammie, Bampie, Grammie and Grampie. It was a lovely day and we spent a good chunk of the day outside enjoying it. For dinner, we headed to Newburyport for a yummy mexican food dinner, a walk along the river and then a stop for ice cream. Best of all, Sam was so tired out from all the activity that she was asleep by 8:15. A win win! :-)

Playing train track with Grampie

Enjoying the beautiful day :-)

Playing ball

Bampie, lookin' cool

The girls

Newburyport evening


Thursday, August 15, 2013

7 Before 7

Does it count as a double if I started this morning's run less than 12 hours after starting last night's run?! :-) I was up and out this morning by 5:45 am. The air was nice and cool - felt lovely! Ran the cart paths plus a loop around the Heath+ to get in 7 miles. Although I always feel like I should have some animal sightings in the early morning, all was quiet. Couldn't resist one brief stop at the end of the powerlines on the way home to pick a few blackberries. It is certainly feeling like the end of summer with these cool nights/mornings, and I just don't want to miss out on these last sweet summer berries!

In other news, we are planning a joint birthday party for Sam and her best friend Anne. The kids are so excited. As for the rest of us, well, we're gearing up for a few hours of total chaos :-) The Rumpus Room, where we are having the party, told Kristen that she would send along a party planning list, to which Ryan replied:

"Checklist for the party planning?

 1. Bring kids.
 2. Let them destroy.
 3. Give them sugar-filled snacks and cake.
 4. More destruction.
 5. Go home."

Yup, think that about sums it up :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Evening Run

Didn't quite have the energy for the morning run today, so when Ryan got home, I ate 1/2 my dinner and then headed out. Although the day had seemed warm and muggy, by 6:30, it was pleasant and breezy out. I ran across the street to do the Highland Green loop. My legs seemed heavy at first, but warmed up as I ran along. Despite it being evening, I actually managed to run a fairly decent pace for the loop. Saw a little porcupine at the edge of the grass near the raspberry brambles. I said hello and he scurried of into the brush. On the way back, in the same area, I saw a deer and her two fawn. I stopped to walk so as not scare them but they took off, white tails up, into the woods. Had to make a stop to eat a few blackberries along the way too :-) Can't resist!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Didn't quite have the energy to get up early for a shake-out run yesterday morning, so this morning was it. Got out a little after 5:30 am for a slow shuffle around the block. There was a bank of low, light purple clouds in the sky, and with the sun rising through them, the horizon was aglow with a soft light. Very pretty. Was a bit surprised by how tired I felt. Guess I did put in a good effort on Sunday. Ran four miles with a few stops to pick blackberries along the way.

In other news, last night while I was shucking corn out back, Sam was drawing on the patio with her chalk. With no prompting, she decided to draw daddy, complete with a head, two long stick legs, arms out of his head and eyes. Then she added me and herself, and drew a box around us signifying a house. The roof looked more like grass than a roof, but hey, I'd call that representational drawing. Nice job, Sam Sam! :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 Bradbury Breaker Race Report

Went to bed last night feeling rather tired and creaky, so I wasn't quite sure what today was going to bring, except that I certainly wasn't expecting to be fast! ;-) Not to mention, Ian modified the course a bit, so it was longer, and a bit tougher, if you ask me, with the addition of the Ski Trail up and the new, not-as-friendly Switchback down. But regardless, the day dawned bright and clear, and best of all not all that hot or humid! I left Sam happily playing with Jessi, and got over to the park a little after 8:00. After checking in, saying hi to a few folks, and standing in the already long bathroom line, Ryan and I headed over to the east side for a warm-up. I was surprised to find I didn't feel all that badly, but was still determined to run the first lap at a comfortable pace so as to avoid a potential bonk on the 2nd lap.

I started a bit farther back in the field than I might normally have, which is just never a good idea. I ended up working a bit harder than I would have liked to get around people and jostle myself into a decent position. Caught up with Bob Dunfey going up the Ski Trail, and we leap-frogged a few times, before I finally pulled ahead on one of the first ups on the Boundary Trail. I did manage to run the whole first loop up until the Summit Trail, which made me pretty happy. And honestly, the Summit Trail just not reasonable for me to run, so I wasn't upset to be walking. I huffed and puffed up to the top, and then fell in with a guy in black on the start of the Tote Road. We chatted for a bit about the race and the Trail Monsters before he pulled away, and I kept on running at what felt like a reasonable pace. As I got to the Northern Loop trail for the return to the summit, Nate was already heading back up the Ski Trail! Nice.

Photo by Kevin Freeman/Maine Running Photos

I didn't really like the revised Switchback trail - too steep for me, as I've never been all that efficient of a steep downhill runner/hiker. I passed the aid station near the field at right around 48:00 and stuck my tongue out at Amy's cheering to let her know how I was really feeling about the whole thing :-) But on I trucked. I definitely lost a bit of steam on the 2nd portion of the Boundary Trail the second time around, as I was mostly running alone and I was just plain tired :-) The climb up to the Summit took a bit longer too, but as I reached the top, a woman came up behind me, and well, I just really didn't want her to pass me. Always good to get those competitive juices flowing a bit! She stayed right with me for a ways, but I then made a concerted effort to pick up the pace and use the Tote Road to my advantage. It worked, as she fell off behind me and I gained a bit of ground on a few guys ahead of me. I also tried to go as fast as I could on the Terrace Trail and on the final leg into the finish. I was gaining, but running out of ground. Oh well. Caught sight of the guy in black, who I had lost sight of until now, just before the finish. Think he got me by about 30 seconds.

In the end, came in slower than last year, but as my Garmin showed the course as 0.4 miles longer, I actually did run faster per mile this year than last, so I guess I'll take it :-) Still nowhere near 2011 pace, but oh well. Also managed to luck out (again!) and win my age group, although only because the really fast 30-somethings were 1, 2, and 3 :-) The Breaker is a tough one, for sure, and I'm glad to have come up with what felt like a fairly decent race after a long run yesterday. I'm chalking it up to a good training weekend, for sure!

Thanks as always to Ian, Ryan and all the awesome volunteers who make this race so great. We certainly are lucky!



64/152. 5th woman.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bradbury Fun

Ryan was up and out early this morning to get in a run and mark the Breaker for tomorrow. Sam and I had a mellow morning at home and headed out ourselves around 9:30 to go to the park. We saw Mindy, Val and George in the parking lot, refueling as they got ready to tackle the 2nd loop of the Breaker in the midst of their Ultra Extreme Bad Bass run of all three courses in order. Ryan had sent me a text saying it was going to take longer than anticipated to mark the course, so I told those guys I would just have to catch up with them later, and Sam and I went over to the playground to swing and play. Around 10:45, Ryan came rushing up, saying "Sean's going to run with you. Sorry I'm late!" I wasn't prepared for having to do such a quick turn-around from playing on the playground to running, but as company on long runs is always a good thing, I was more than happy to rush out and get in a few miles with Sean before he had to head home. I had no real plan for a route in mind, so decided to go out on the Bruiser course. We wandered this way and that, skirting the slick mud puddles and chatting away for about 3 1/2 miles before Sean took off back to the park. I stopped to pee and have a snack, and then figured instead of heading on alone, I would retrace my steps in the hopes of meeting up with Mindy, Val and George. I found them not long after, and fell in step behind Mindy as we continued along the course. George, still recovering from VT 100, was behind us, moving well but at his own pace.

It was fun to catch up as we ran along. Thanks for the company, Mindy and Val! As they were about 16+ miles in a 28 mile day, the pace was mellow with some stretches walked plus a few pit stops and stops to search out frogs in puddles along the way. I was happy to tag along. Compared to the weather the past few weeks, it felt a bit hot and heavy out there, although not nearly as bad as many of the July days we had. Still, I was drinking a lot of water, although was decidedly not eating nearly enough (OK, Ryan, I admit it ;-) ) The miles ticked by and I was enjoying the company but time seemed to be moving more quickly than the miles and I realized I was going to be out there for longer than I had planned, or hoped.

I have a rule that I'll only run the O Trail once a year :-), so when we got to the turn-off, I let the girls go on ahead, and I continued back to the parking lot. I had drained my water around mile 11 or so, and stopped at the car to drink some Gatorade and call Ryan to let him know how it was going. Looking at my watch, I knew I didn't have it in me to get in another 6 miles. I was ready to call it a day at 12, but Ryan convinced me to go out for another 12 minutes so I'd at least have been out on my feet for 3 hours. I wasn't super excited about the idea but figured I could handle 12 minutes and would still be OK on time.

I left my pack in the car and headed back across the street, feeling light on my feet without the weight on my back. I headed out onto the Scuffle course, and then turned off the Snowmobile Trail onto the Link. As I was doing the math in my head, I realized if I got in 14.5 miles I could at least still hit the totally arbitrary number of 40 for the week, which for some reason seemed like a good goal. As if 40 is really better than 39.5 or as if my Garmin numbers are truly accurate... But I digress. That seemed like a good goal, so to achieve it, I ran out on Lanzo for a 1/2 mile before turning around. I got back to my car right as the Garmin hit 14.5 miles. Mileage not what I was shooting for, but time on my feet was probably about right. Considering I'm running the Breaker tomorrow, I think I can still consider this weekend a solid one in terms of training, and all the miles will be at the Brad!

After a quick lunch and shower, we headed over to Nate and Shannon's to meet the newest member of their family, little baby Annelise. We were a little late, but they didn't mind - time doesn't mean much when you have a newborn :-) Sam was very excited to meet Annelise and was so cute holding her. She was loving it!

So cute :-)
 We had a nice visit, and then hit Little Toyko for a yummy dinner on the way home, not to mention the mandatory stop for gelato next door. Veggie dumplings, veggie sushi rolls and gelato are the perfect post-3 hour run and pre-race meal, right?! :-)

Chopsticks! CHOMP!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Sam decided 5:30 am was a good time to fall out of bed this morning, so I got out a bit later than planned. Somehow she had shifted so much in her sleep that her head was where her feet should be on the bed, well, except that she was on the floor. I guess I know whose sleep habits she's gotten! Sleep has been restless for me lately. Can't figure out why. I've even been trying to stay off the computer at night, and sitting on the couch to read a chapter or two of Scott Jurek's "Eat and Run" before going up to sleep in an attempt to relax. Doesn't seem to be working though. Guess I'm not so good at relaxing. Ryan can no doubt confirm...

In any event, headed out under overcast skies as drops began to fall. There was a thin line of pink along the horizon as I crested the powerline hill but otherwise, fairly monochromatic out there this morning in the sky above. Ran the Highland Green loop. I feel like I've been doing a lot of slow running lately, which is certainly applicable given that I'm training for a 50 miler (speaking of which, Ultrasignup shows my "target time" as 8:44?!), but decided I would at least try to go at a decent pace on the loop. Since it's mostly road/dirt, that certainly helps. Managed to average 8:17 pace, ha :-)

As an aside, I bought Sam a new bike last night. She's been riding a cute, but heavy, little tricycle handed down to her from Morgan. She's finally gotten better about steering it and moving around on it, but we thought she might have an easier time with a "big girl bike." She was extremely excited about the bike, and Ryan was a great father and put it together the second he walked in the door last night. However, she does not seem to have enough power to push the pedals, nor understand the concept of keeping her legs circling around to keep moving forward? Again, she certainly is my kid. Never had much coordination for that sort of thing. Poor kid. Hoping she will figure it out soon. But at least the bike has sparkly tassles - that makes her happy :-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Haven't slept well the past few nights, which meant I happily and groggily ignored the alarm yesterday morning and instead chose to stay in bed a while longer. But this morning, I knew I had to get up and out, so despite a restless night, I padded downstairs a little after 5am. The sky was still dark and the thermometer was only reading 52 degrees. Feels like the seasonal shift has begun. Very fall-like this morning. Headed out a little after 5:30 down the powerlines, toward the rosy horizon. Always nice to run on a cool, crisp morning, listening to the birds chirp, enjoying the purple asters and deep purple blackberries along the trail's edge, and watching as the early morning glow spreads down over the trees as the sun rises. A good 5 miles to start the day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Day Off? Nah!

Worked until noon today and then came home to clean the house and get the cats to the vet at 2:00. I spent the whole 25 minute ride down being serenaded by a chorus of yowling and meowing from Ronnie and Gigi. A very pleasant drive, indeed ;-0 However, it was lovely to visit with Katy, although sadly, as we would have all suspected, both cats are too fat and need to go on a diet. :( In any event,  I was home by 3:00 and although I had planned to take the day off, it just seemed too nice out not to run! So, I put on my running clothes and shoes and headed out the door for a run down to the river. It was sunny and breezy, the sun was warm but the humidity was low, and it's always good to run down by the river. The run was marred slightly only by the creepy guy who said "Hey, where you headed?" as I ran by he and his friends out at the Quarry. I think my heart practically shot up into my throat. I ran up and beyond the Quarry and out onto the cart path as fast as I could before I finally slowed down once I darted back onto the singletrack into the woods. When I run early in the morning, places like the Quarry and the dump are always quiet - I guess the troublemakers like to sleep in :-) Gotta remember that for my afternoon runs!! In any event, I bypassed the Quarry on the way back and took the road. Enjoyed some nice blackberries along the way, so it was all good :-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wolfes Neck Weekend

Yesterday morning, Ryan ran the Beach to Beacon. Although I know he had hoped for a better showing at the race, finishing in under 41 minutes and coming in something like 323rd out 6,000 sounds pretty good to me :-)  Bob graciously helped him out with the logistics of getting to and from the start/finish lines, so despite 6,000 people running the race, Ryan was able to get home around 11:00 am, and we were able to fairly seamlessly get the car packed up and head over to Wolfes Neck for our overnight camping trip. After a rainy and overcast morning, we were treated with beautiful weather for the rest of the trip!

August afternoon

Sam exploring

Blue skies and fluffy white clouds above

Late afternoon on the farm

Does an August afternoon get any better than this? Beautiful blue skies, fluffy white clouds, a rocky beach and a visit to watch the oreo cows with my two favorite people. We sure are lucky.

Of course, luck did us no good at bedtime, and Sam didn't fall asleep until around 9:45. *Sigh* This meant morning came too soon, and we were all awake before 7am - the downfall of sleeping in a tent in the summer when the sun sets late and rises early :-) But that was OK as I needed to be up anyway - Amy was meeting me for an 8am run on the roads and trails around Wolfes Neck. While we ran, wandering the dirt roads and the trails out behind the farm and in the park and chatting away for 10 miles, the guys and the kids had fun down at the beach after a breakfast of pancakes and donuts. 

Sam and Will having fun in the water


Sometimes fitting it all in can be hard, but when I look back at photos like these, it sure makes me think we're doing all right ;-)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mid-day 16

After a rainy morning, the skies had cleared by the time I headed out for my run a little before 12:30. In fact, I was surprised by how warm and muggy it felt, especially as the sun came out in the middle of the run. I ran the loop around the edge of the Bowdoin fields and headed into the Commons. Then out into Pennelville, where I ran two pavement/dirt road loops for a total of 4 miles before ducking back into the woods again. I took the long way back so that by the time I was ready to head back out into the Commons for the 2nd time, I already had 11 miles done. I felt pretty good - I wasn't pushing the pace and was just cruising along, thinking about nothing and anything at all.

The final 3 miles back to the car were probably the slowest of the run - I was just ready to be done, as by that point I was thoroughly saturated and could feel the sweat running from my soaked shorts down my legs and into my shoes. Ew! But I just kept moving forward, and got in my 16 miles at just under 10 minute pace. Was happy to have the legs feel good throughout, even if I slowed a bit near the end, and to have been able to eat and drink adequately without stomach revolt. Even better was that I didn't feel entirely wiped out when I got home. I quickly showered and went to pick up Sam from daycare. We headed right into town for a yummy dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant with gelato for dessert. Sam was a fun dinner companion and we had a good time talking about our day and watching the rain pour down outside as we ate. We brought home dinner for Ryan too, so he didn't totally miss out :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

All Over the Place

Life lately has been a bit all over the place. Work at Tedford is going well and the 25 hours is just about perfect. That said, I'm not just sitting around the rest of the work week. I've been working at the gallery at least one afternoon a week, and have another project that has me in Portland one afternoon a month. The project I was working on last winter should be starting up again in the fall. Sam has been up late, late, late at night. Last night she didn't fall asleep until 9:20. If she takes a nap at daycare, we're screwed - it means a long night and a struggle to get her to sleep. Tonight was pretty good - I think I was downstairs by 8:30. This means my evenings aren't quite as productive as they used to be, so I feel like I am not getting much done as I would like to be. I just can't stay up late enough. Last night, I was so mad about not having the time I wanted, that I went to Target at 9:30 at night to get some grocery shopping done. I'm getting up a few days a week at 5:00 to get in my runs. This morning, well, that just didn't happen (see 9:20 bedtime and 9:30 Target trip above). So, tonight I went out for a run after Ryan got home from work. I had already eaten dinner and hung out with Sam for a bit, but rallied to get out into the evening air for a run around the Highland Green loop. Had to stop to take a few blackberry breaks along the way, of course! The legs felt heavy at first, but loosened up a bit as I went along. Was glad I had the motivation to get out in the evening when I normally don't run and certainly don't feel fresh. Tomorrow the plan is for 16 miles at high noon once I get done with work. See? All over the place ;-)