Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Uninspired Snowshoe

Great running day yesterday. Today? Not so much. I probably should have just hit the roads for my planned 8 miles, but not quite knowing what the weather would bring, I wasn't all that keen to be out on the roads if it really started to snow or rain. It always seems so much safer in the woods :-) So, I donned my snowshoes and headed out, hoping I could get in 6 or maybe even 7 snowshoe miles for an equal effort. Well, I managed to push myself a whole 5 miles, but that was it. I felt uninspired and slow and just not that into it. On the groomed stuff, things were a bit soft but fairly decent running. I had hoped to get out along the Heath and down to the river too, but once I got off the snowmobile/xc ski trails, the snow was heavy and icy and just sucked the life out of my legs. I turned around shortly thereafter. I took the long way home, adding in a loop around the Mt. Ararat fields, but overall just felt blah. Wish I had had a good run to follow up yesterday's 16, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Time to rest up tomorrow and hope for a better run on Friday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back Cove Donuts

Got an email from Amy last week asking if I was free for a run this morning. Why sure! I had 16 on my schedule. Did she want to join in for some of the miles? I think I got a response back in about 10 seconds that said something to the effect of "Whoa, 16? OK, why not? I'm in!" Ha :-) We had planned to meet at the Brad, but this morning when Ryan came back from his sunrise run along the snowmobile trails around our house, he suggested we might want to try something else instead. He felt certain we'd need our snowshoes out at the Brad, and since I'm not so hardcore as to want to run 3 hours/16 miles on my snowshoes, I sent Amy a message asking her what she thought, and suggesting meeting at Back Cove instead, as I knew she had to be down in Portland at noon to pick up Will from daycare anyway. Yup, she was game. So, after dropping Sam off at daycare, I headed south.

The first thing she said to me when I walked up to her car was, "Want a donut?" "What? Before the run? Oh, well, sure, why not?" I laughed. Then out came her camera. Gotta document our craziness, you know. Oh, and our love of Frosty's donuts :-)

CHOMP! Pre-run fuel ;-)

We took off shortly after, fueled by the sugary goodness. It was a beautiful morning, already warm and with not much of a breeze. In other words, perfect for running Back Cove. They had plowed the path, but left behind a rather haphazard mess of hard-packed now, mush and ice. The ice disappeared quickly as we ran along, replaced on subsequent laps by more mush, and then increasingly, big cold, slushy puddles. 

We ran along, laughing about our crazy cats, crazy kids, crazy running and everything in between :-) While I don't think I'd want to run so many laps around Back Cove by myself, the laps just flew by with Amy to talk with, and it turned out to be a great run where I felt good and had a lot of fun too. We took a Hannaford bathroom break after lap #2 and then continued on for two more full laps, at which point Amy had to take off to pick up Will. My Garmin was only reading 14.5 miles, so I chugged along for another 3/4 of a mile before turning around and in the full 16 miles I was shooting for. 2:40:00 on the dot. It was really only during that final 1.5 miles, when I was all alone, that I realized my legs were a bit tired, and oh, I hadn't quite done a great job of fueling during the run. Ah well, the pre-run donut counts, right?! :-)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Playing in the Snow

Wow. What a day! Blue skies, no wind, warm temps and a lot of powdery snow on the ground from yesterday's storm! Can't ask for better. Ryan decided last night to take part of the day off, which would make the logistics of getting the cars shoveled out and moved around easier and also mean he didn't have to battle into Portland if the roads were still bad. Plus, it would mean we could get out and play a bit in the snow as a family! Hurray :-)

The day started off with sledding with Annie, Phil and baby Thistle, followed up by some quiet craft time for the two girls, which was a lot of fun!

Happiness is sledding! (From yesterday but you get the idea :-) )

Then Ryan, Sam and I headed to Sea Dog for lunch - yum! - and home so Ryan could get a bit of work done while Sam and I had some quiet time. The quiet time didn't last long (no surprise there :-) ) so we were soon off to the xc ski trails over in the Mt. Ararat fields to enjoy the sunshine and the snow. It was really perfect. The loop around the field and up into the woods had been groomed, we had them all to ourselves, it was warm and sunny, and we all had a great time. Sam did an awesome job on her skis, and was really able to maneuver the skis herself. We had a great time meandering on the trails on a beautiful afternoon.

Headed up into the woods 
Blue skies and happy skiers
This is fun!
Skiing with Daddo 
Headed uphill
Oh hi there!
Skiing along

But of course, the thing she loved the most was the downhills! :-)

video

Sam did great the whole time we were out there, but she was pretty whooped by the time we headed home :-) It was so nice to all be out skiing together, even if it was at a 3-year old's pace :-)

Once we got home, I couldn't help but want to head out and enjoy the day a little more, so I had a quick snack, changed and headed out with snowshoes in hand to get in a short run across the street. I ran the 0.4 miles to the trailhead, got out on the snowmobile trails and then ran 3 loops partway up Mt. A. and then down through the woods and back around. The snow had transformed from the fluffy powder of this morning, and was pretty heavy, so breaking trail was a bit tough but I was happy to get in 3 miles, and take advantage of such a great winter day!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Winter Wonderland

We awoke to snow this morning. Seems like the theme for the weekends this month! Unlike the snowstorm the weekend of the White Out, this snow is wetter and it's warmer out, so the snow was sticking to everything and coating the trees with what looked like a layer of frosting. Very pretty.

I headed out around 8:00 am for my run, onto the quiet streets and across to the untracked snow along the powerlines. There was probably about 3" or 4" of fresh snow on the ground, not so much that running in screwshoes was too cumbersome, and just enough that it made for a great tacky surface atop any icy spots. I ran up and over Mt. Ararat and out onto Highland Green Road. I turned off the road onto the Heath Trail, enjoying the singletrack that wound through the woods. The heavy snow meant that I got a few facefuls of snow from low-hanging pine trees along the way :-) Ha. I crossed the street and went down past the ecology center to the river. The charcoal colored river contrasted nicely with the pristine snow-covered rocks and the snow-laden trees. Beautiful. And I had the whole place to myself. Hard to complain about that.

Made my way back along the Heath and up to the top of Mt. Ararat, and thoroughly enjoyed running down through the fresh snow on the other side, whooping and smiling the whole way. Probably the most fun I've had on a downhill in a long while :-)

Got in 5.15 miles and came home to a yummy breakfast of pancakes. The perfect start to a snowy Sunday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Run and Fun

Sad to not be joining in on the fun at the Mockingbird Lane Fat Ass today, but alas, there was no one to cover for me at the gallery, so a solo run around the Heath had to suffice this morning. Not quite the same as wandering through the fields and along the snowmobile trails at Val's house with people to chat with, though. Oh well. Maybe next time!

I headed out around 7:30 under overcast skies and made my way up and over Mt. Ararat and along the golf course to the trail around the Heath. Conditions were variable, but not bad - things were fairly solid where the snow had been packed down, although there was still enough slipping and sliding and sinking to make things interesting. It wasn't a fast 4.3 miles, that's for sure, but it was a nice romp through the woods and a good end to the week for me. Got in 37.5 miles over 6 days, with two solid runs in the middle of the week. I'd call the other shorter runs sort of so-so, but that's OK, at least I was out there.

After a quick shower, Sam and I headed off to tumble time while Ryan got in his run. Sam was feeling a bit shy about participating in some of the activities this morning, but she eventually warmed up and enjoyed her time on the bouncy trampoline and in the blow-up bounce house, which had a slide. As she said to Annie, "I was feeling nervous, but now I'm excited!" and she wanted to go in again and again. So cute :-)

video
Bounce, bounce!

video
Down the slide (It gets cut off, but at the end, she's telling me she wants to "do it again" :-) )





Friday, February 22, 2013

Short and Rushed

Nobody wanted to get out of bed this morning. I was the first one up around 6:15, padding downstairs to start the coffee and feed the cats. Sam started to make noise around 6:30 but when I went up, the first thing she said was "Mama, I had a good sleep, but I'm still sleepy. Will you get in bed and lay here with me for a while?" So, I climbed in with her and we cuddled together for a long while, her little hands playing with my hair, my arm wrapped around her, her little eyes closed in a hopeful attempt at more rest. We finally got up around 7:00, at which point she promptly chose the longest book on her bookshelf, asking me to read it to her while we ate our breakfast on the couch. I had planned to get out the door at 7:30 at the latest in order to get in 5 miles before I had to leave the house at 8:40, but who can resist a cute, tired, little girl who wants to be read to? Not me, at least :-) Ryan finally hustled me out the door at 7:45 as he rushed to make his smoothie and finish getting Sam ready to take to daycare.

I headed out onto the powerlines, hoping I could get my run in on the trails, but honestly, the conditions just weren't nice enough to lure me in, as the trail was mostly ice, with a few bare patches in between. It was slow going too, which just made me feel stressed since I knew I was short on time. So I turned off onto Highland Green Road and simply ran the 3-mile loop instead. The short stretch through the woods connecting Mountain Road to Canam Drive was nice, as it had been groomed for skiing sometime earlier in the week and shaded by the trees, so wasn't quite as sketchy as the powerlines.

I really should have gotten in a longer run this morning, but alas... I have been feeling good, though, so I think I'll just plan to get in another shortish run tomorrow morning before taking Sam to Tumble Time. That should bring the weekly mileage up to a decent count, and it can't hurt to run 6 days during the week every once in a while, right?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

8 with Amy

I met up with Amy this morning at the Brad for a run. I had 8 miles on my schedule, so the plan was to run 8 together and then she'd add on more miles to get in her long run for the week. We donned our screwshoes and headed out onto the Link trail to the Snowmobile trail. Wow. The snow was soft and undermined, and there was a fair amount of ice too. It was slow going. We were postholing like crazy, but continued on, slipping and sliding our way out of the park as we chatted away. At one point, Amy sunk in deep and pitched forward, landing face first in the abrasive snow. Ouch. Her nose got all scratched up - that snow sure was rough! We stopped for a minute so she could compose herself and then continued on, agreeing that we'd hit the roads at the next opportunity. Poland Range Road, being dirt, was ice covered too, but the stretch out to Rt. 9 was short. We crossed Rt. 9 and continued out onto the paved portion of Poland Range Road, enjoying the quiet scenery of the rural countryside and talking about all the crazy things our children say and do :-) Eventually, not knowing exactly where we were headed and not wanting to get too far out there, we turned around and took Rt. 9 back to the park.

My Garmin was reading 7.5 at the park entrance, so we continued on down Rt. 9 together for a short ways before she continued on and I turned around and headed back up the hill to the park. I got in 8.25, and Amy went on to get in 17.5. Way to go, Amy! Always fun to catch up, and nice to have a friend to run with! Wish we'd gotten in a few more trail miles, but hey, the road still counts :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Road 14

I went back and forth a number of times this morning - road? trail? road? trail? - before finally deciding it might be the best thing to just hit the roads for my run today. I knew I had a 14-mile loop that I could just go run on without having to think about mileage and how to connect the dots to get 14, like I would no doubt be doing on the trails. That won out in the end. I headed out around 9:30, greeted with sunny skies, rising temps and what seemed to be an almost no wind. I ran down Main Street and out to Foreside, where I meandered out along the river, through the fields and marshes on the essentially flat road to its junction with Rt. 24. There, halfway through the run, the route gets a bit rolling as it heads back to town. I turned into the wind too - so much for the thought that there was no wind out there! Ah well. It was a pretty nice run, fairly consistent until the final two miles, when I started to slow down a bit. (I did take the powerlines back at Highland Green Road, which definitely slowed me down, though, so I didn't just totally die.... When I looked at my Garmin data, it was the glaring 10:00/mile in the midst of all the 8:xxs :-) ) Made it back in 2:01 and called it good for the day.

The run was uneventful except for one strange interaction. Along Foreside Road, near the sledding hill/playground area, a car slowed next to me, headed in the same direction. I had this feeling they were going to stop and ask me directions, as the driver side window was down and the woman driving sort of looked out at me. The car pulled over into the parking lot, and the passenger, who appeared to be a guy our age or slightly older, got out. I was essentially parallel with them so I smiled at him, to which he said, "You're running! You're running! You're hot! You're hot!" and got right back in the car. Seriously dude. Aren't you too old for that sort of stuff? Honestly! Other than that, all I came across was birds singing, a woodpecker pecking and a lot of deer and turkey prints in the snow :-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Holiday Monday

We awoke to clear skies, high winds and cold temps. Well, it was out for a run regardless. I headed out around 8:00 wearing numerous layers and screwshoes, and hoping for the best. I decided to head over Mt. Ararat and along the cart path over to the Heath and then down to the river. Things weren't bad on my way out with the wind at my back as I headed over the hill, but out on the golf course, it was blustery and there were some serious drifts of snow. I bumbled along, slipping and sinking, making a slow go of it until I finally hit the well-packed path along the Heath. Once in the woods, it was nice running and there were a lot of the bunny, squirrel, mouse and other tracks criss-crossing the trail.

I crossed the road and the trail was almost obliterated by soft, blowing snow near the ecology center, but again, better once I was in the protection of the trees as I made my way down to Barnes Leap. I took the short path along the river, enjoying the soft rush of the water as it made its way around and over the snow- and ice-covered rocks. I headed back along the Heath, but took the road instead of the cart path on the return trip, and decided to take the wood trails to Canam Road and back home for a change. This was probably a mistake - the running was nice in the woods but once I got out on the field, the snow whipped and swirled around, taking all the warmth I'd built up along the run away in a few big gusts as I made my way across the commissary parking lot. I managed to get in a slightly longer run than yesterday, but I'm not quite sure I'd call it all that much more pleasant, despite the nice stretches in the woods :-) Ah well.

We topped off the run with a yummy breakfast at Broadway Deli, and then met up with Anne and Phil at the Rumpus Room - a cool indoor play area for kids. I think everyone in the area had the same idea, as the place was packed! But the kids had a great time, and it was a fun way to burn off a bit of energy!

Steering the ship!

In the ball pit

Sam's favorite find at the Rumpus Room - a toy vacuum!

Laughs and giggles in the ball pit

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Invoking the "I'll do it tomorrow" Clause

I did get out for a run this morning but cut it short at three miles. Between the wind, the blowing snow and the flat light, I was having trouble actually seeing the trail in front of me and what I was stepping on. So I decided I'd rather head home for pancakes instead :) And since Ryan has the day off tomorrow, I'll have the chance to get back out tomorrow for a slightly longer and hopefully more pleasant run. Always nice to have a bit of flexibility in the schedule!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spent

When I told Ryan I was signing up for the TARC 50k, he suggested that I not focus on specific weekly mileage numbers but more on getting in solid back-to-back runs and letting the other runs fall where they may. Since my weeks tend to always get interrupted with one thing or another, I often end up falling short of the goals I've set for each week. I totally get what he was trying to say, but I am a planner. I like to have something to shoot for, and have a plan laid out, even if it does almost inevitably change :-) I like to look at the numbers penciled into the boxes in the calendar and at least have something to work off of. So, I've kept my weekly running "goals" but am trying to cut myself some more slack this training cycle and focus on what I am doing, and not what I haven't done each week. This has been working fairly well, and while my mileage and my long runs haven't gotten too big yet, I still feel like I've been getting in some good running overall.

This was one of those weeks where I fell short of the number written in my planner. But, I did end up with 32.25 miles, and I certainly feel like I put in a solid week. In fact, I feel fairly spent. The combination of my cold, the snowshoe race on Sunday, a number of nights spent staying up too late working on a few work projects, plus what I'd consider two good-for-me, back-to-back runs on Tuesday and Wednesday, meant that by this morning, despite getting some good uninterrupted sleep this week (all hail Sam's new twin bed!), I was just plain tired out!

But it was another nice morning and I had no other real excuse not to run, so I headed out anyway. I ran with snowshoes in hand over to the Mt. Ararat trails. There, I donned my snowshoes, ran up and over Mt. A., out along the cart path at hole #3, which had been nicely groomed, and then across the street to the Heath. Once in the woods, the trail became singletrack, with a crusty surface and soft snow beneath. Back out of the woods, I crossed the road again and headed past the ecology center down to the river, where the trail was a bit more evenly and solidly packed. I ran down to Barnes Leap, took a look at the river, and then turned around and ran back exactly the way I came. I tried to focus on not hitting my snowshoes against the now very dark and nasty looking bruise on my inside left calf, but I did whack it a few times. Ow!

I finished up with 5 miles in 1:02, which was more than enough for the morning, and the cap to a what was hopefully good building week!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Short

Short on time and energy today, so I settled for, what else?, a short shuffle on the 3-mile Highland Green loop this morning before work. I wore my 295s, which have no screws, and was totally fine on the trail sections that were snow-covered. The trails are in rough shape - although typically a number of snowmobilers get out and pack down the powerline trails, it didn't appear as if many had been through, meaning while things looked packed, there was still a lot of fluff below the hard surface. Not to mention people had been out walking/running and there were a lot of postholes to avoid. Things were better on the Mt. Ararat connector trail at the top of Mountain Road, as the groomer had been out and people had been skiing as well as walking along the trails, but still, the snow is still pretty soft, which means it's not great for running, as you never know when you might sink through. Oh well. Maybe I'll have to take my snowshoes out tomorrow for my run? At least they'll give me more surface area to work with!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beautiful Day for a Snowmobile Trail Run at the Brad

I had to be in Portland this morning for an appointment, so I figured I might as well take advantage of the fact that I had to practically drive right by the Brad on my way home :) and get my run in there! I hit the trails around 10:30 under blue skies. Temps were quickly climbing, and amazingly, a lot of the snow, which had seemed so overwhelming on Sunday during the race, was rapidly melting and compacting. I had both my screwshoes and my snowshoes in the car, but the honest fact was that I really just wanted to run, so I was very happy to see that a few snowmobiles had been out on the east side. Now there was no question. I donned my screwshoes and headed out.

The woods were quiet, and I meandered along, just running and being. I was a bit surprised to see bare ground here and there, and to note that some of the typical wet spots and iffy spots were already showing through again, despite 2 feet of fresh snow this past weekend. The running wasn't completely smooth but it was decent. The snow was pretty well compacted, although with the warm temperatures, it certainly wasn't rock solid. But, on the other hand, the snow was tacky and I had great traction! My legs were feeling tired from yesterday (and from Sunday's race effort, slow as it was :) ), so I just set out to run the miles and not worry about time.

Once I hit the opening to the big expanse of fields, I headed back. My Garmin was reading 3.5+, and I reasoned that 7 was almost as good as 8 (the number on the plan). In the end, as I ran down the big Snowmobile Trail hill before the Link, I realized there was no reason not to run the extra mile. I mean, what's another 10 minutes? I followed the Snowmobile Trail out and around instead of heading back to the parking lot and then going out onto the west side (so as not to be tempted to stop :) ), and doing so meant I popped out on Rt. 9, downhill from the park. The short 1/4 mile hill up to the park was a bit rough, but once I looped back into the park, through the field and back on the short stretch of trail to the parking lot, my Garmin beeped 8 miles and I was done. I managed to keep things right at 10:00 pace, which isn't so bad, and man, was it a nice day to be out in the woods! Can't complain for sure.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thoughts from Today's Bike Path Run

The bike path seemed the smartest and safest option for this morning's run, given the large snowbanks, uncleared sidewalks, slushy/icy shoulders on the roads and the no doubt way-too-tough for me to want to deal with trail conditions. So, I stayed safe and dry, but damn, if the bike path isn't b-o-r-i-n-g!

The plan called for 12 miles, which meant at least 2 out-and-backs on the path. The first 2.5 miles on the way out were fine, I felt good, the legs weren't cranky or even really creaky, the huge bruise that blossomed on my left calf from repeatedly kicking myself during the snowshoe race wasn't an issue, and it was a warm and sunny blue sky morning. I decided to do my extra mileage at the other end of the bike path along the road so that I would only have to do the out-and-back twice. The road was fairly busy but the shoulders were in OK condition, so I went an extra mile out, meaning I'd hit 7 miles back at my car.

On the return, I realized why things had seemed so rosy on the way out. The wind was in my face the whole way on the return trip, and I started arguing with myself about the merits of actually getting in 12 miles today. The good thing is that the "good side" won out, and I realized that honestly, this wasn't so bad, and that it wouldn't kill me to do another "lap" on the path.

Saw a bald eagle circling overhead, which made me smile. Ate a packet of Watermelon Gu Chomps, lovingly gifted to me by Meghan at Christmas - ewwww! Well now I know that Jolly Ranchers won't work for me as hard candy during a race, and that watermelon is not my favorite flavor :-)

Once back at my car, decided to do a short out-and-back on Water Street, so I'd only have to go to the 2 mile marker and back on the bike path. Head games, head games... Dropped my gloves (it was warm out!) and handheld at the car at mile 8 and hit the path again for the final four miles. I felt fairly strong, and knew I was running decently, so I decided to up the pace a bit for the final 2 miles. Turns out, upping the pace meant running 8:11 on the nose for both miles. Ha :-) So much for any sort of speed! The funny thing is that for the whole run, with miles splits ranging between 8:11 and 8:38, I had no issues aerobically; it was my legs that didn't want to turn over at the end and which were feeling the effects of 12 essentially flat miles on the pavement. I guess that should be no surprise. It did feel good to be able to run at a decent pace with no worries about ankles and roots and sinkholes, but I'll be happy to get back out on the trails tomorrow :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Bradbury White Out Race Report

I thought that if I didn't acknowledge the cold I've had the past few days, it might just disappear but it was not meant to be :-) The darn thing hung around, and put a bit of a damper on today's race. And of course, Sam was up at 5:30 am (although she is sleeping much better during the night now that she is in the larger and more comfortable twin bed!), so I'd already put in 4+ hours of playing "grocery store," having dance/jump parties and in general keeping a rather energetic 3-year old occupied after 1 1/2 days of being cooped up in the house before I even left for the race. Meaning, I was tired before I even started :-) Ha. Also, I figured it was going to be tough conditions, considering the 2 feet of fluffy snow we'd received from Nemo, and I was nervous I wasn't going to race well given how I had been feeling. Oh yeah, and remember my claim that I was going to work on my snowshoe running between last month's race and today's race? Well, that didn't happen... So much for feeling mentally prepared and in the right place for a race! Gotta work on that...

In any event, my misgivings and issues aside, it was great to see so many people out on the morning after a Nor'easter for a snowshoe race! It was a beautiful blue sky day with no wind and perfect temps. Everyone was excited about the snow, despite knowing we'd be working pretty hard out there. Ian and Ryan had done a lot of work to put together a great course that had been run only 3x prior to race time, meaning the snow was deep, fluffy and not well packed. Practically the polar opposite of the first race! I said a few hellos to people before heading out onto the road for a short warm-up, and then donned my snowshoes and headed across the street.

I lined up a bit farther back in the pack than I did for last month's race, which probably ended up being the wrong thing to do, no matter how I felt. I got caught behind a few people who had started out a bit too ambitiously, and passing in the untracked knee-deep powder was tough! A short ways along the Knight Woods trail, I caught up to Leslie. Hmmm. I knew she was recovering from being very ill the past 3 weeks, but was surprised to see her. I fell in behind her, and we soon had a train behind us. After we crossed the Snowmobile Trail and headed up onto the fun singletrack we hardly ever take, Leslie took one spill and then another. After the second, she let us all pass. I was now in the lead, and what did I do? Take a spill! Rebecca, who was right behind me, very kindly helped me/picked me up, and let me keep the lead, which I kept until we linked back up with the Snowmobile Trail again, at which point I literally had to pull to the side to cough (I know, I know, pull over in a race?! AIE! But I could barely breathe), meaning about 6 people passed me in quick succession. Sigh.

Once onto Fox, I passed three of them back rather quickly, and then was alone in the singletrack for a while. I was feeling OK, but it felt like with each step, the snow was sucking up any and all energy. I was actually happy when my cleat hit a rock or log, as it meant I had something to push off of! Saw George in this stretch, running the opposite way to cheer everyone on, which made me smile, and honestly, the woods were gorgeous - blue sky, white snow, dark trees, deer tracks criss-crossing our deep tough of singletrack - but I was definitely struggling. I got passed somewhere close to the turn-off to Tuttle Road by a small woman in purple and then on Tuttle Road by a guy, who looked like he was just bounding easily through the snow. I felt like I was even working on the downhills! Sometimes my short stride has its disadvantages...

As I was taking the turn onto Lanzo, I looked over my shoulder and saw Nathan not that far behind. That was just what I needed - my competitive juices kicked in just a tiny bit, aided by the fact that I knew I had only about a 1/2 mile to go. I pushed as much as I could through the last stretch, and made up some ground on the woman in purple, but wasn't quite able to catch her. I actually felt quite ill during that last portion, and then felt like I was trying to run through some sort of quicksand along the Link, where a snowmobile or two had churned up the sugar and made it even more powdery! I didn't have the strength to smile for the photographer capturing everyone's finish line shots - in fact, I think I have my tongue out just slightly, which usually means I'm really focusing :-) In this case, I just wanted to get to that line and STOP! Ha.

Final stretch (Photo courtesy: Maine Running Photos)

3.42 miles in 49:25. Phew! That was a tough one! FULL RESULTS

Not my best performance, but hey, what are you gonna do? Happy to have gotten out there and finished, and hopefully I'll be healthy and raring to go for the last race!

Once again, Ryan, Ian and all the volunteers banded together to put on yet another great race - thanks guys! Some really great TMR performances out there today too. Yahoo.

I didn't stay long after the race was over, so that I could get home and relieve the babysitter, and I didn't have any energy for a cool-down either. Think my legs are going to be a bit tight tomorrow...

Of course, once the racing was done, we couldn't just plop on the couch... it was too nice to stay inside all afternoon, so we took Sam out around 3:00 for workout #2 - sledding! Up and down the little hill out back, along with plenty of sitting in the snow and snow-eating. The afternoon ended a bit earlier than anticipated, as when bouncing around in the snow with Ryan, both of Sam's boots came off and we literally had trouble finding them. Guess that's how you know there's a lot of snow! :-)

Happy girlie (with marker and paint marks all over her face from earlier art projects :-) )

In the snow

As a friend said upon seeing this photo on Facebook, "She's a devil, huh?" Indeed, but an adorable one :-)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Day #2

A lot of snow fell overnight, and it's been cold and windy all day. Luckily, the snow is light and fluffy with hardly any moisture, so while it's not great for making snowmen (or likely for getting packed down on the trails), it made it easy to shovel and fun to play in!

After a lot of inside playtime this morning...
Sam "decorating" the coffee table

 ...we headed out in the early afternoon for a bit of shoveling and fun in the snow.

"Shoveling"

Whee!

Look at the snow!

Taking a break

Hi there!

And while we were playing and shoveling, Daddy was out front digging out the cars :-> 
Thanks Daddy! That's a lot of snow!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day

This morning, as just a few light flakes were falling, I was still supposed to go up to work for part of the day, so I took Sam into daycare for a 1/2 day. After a stop at the bank and at Frosty's to pick up a birthday coffee and donut for Ryan (gotta have something sweet on your birthday!), I headed home to get a run in before taking off for work.

By 8:45, which is when I finally got out, about an inch or so of snow had fallen, and although the Inov8 295s had great on the pavement and the bare ground, where there was ice hidden under the snow, it was sketchy! I ran a combination of roads and trails, and the one good thing about a snowy morning on the roads is that it was pretty quiet. I got in 4 slow miles, which actually meant I hit the mileage total (32) I had set for the week, and returned home covered in snow :-)

As I was getting out of the shower, Cordelia called and said not to bother coming in, so hurray, a snow day! I got a few things done around the house and then went to pick Sam up at lunchtime. The roads weren't bad (yet) but I'm glad we are all home safe and sound! Looks like the snow is going to continue to fall into late tomorrow afternoon, so I think tomorrow will be a snow day too. Sounds good to me!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hype

There's been a lot of people hyping the big storm headed our way tomorrow and into Saturday. I hope it materializes! It would be nice to have snow again.

Got out this morning before work on the 5 mile Highland Green loop. It was rather chilly and a bit windy, and there was just enough ice on both the powerlines and in spots along the back dirt road to make the run a bit slower than it typically might be. But, the legs felt good, so I'll take it!




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Perils of Being a Parent...

... you've had the theme song to "Wonder Pets" in your head during every run this week!


OK, so it could be worse, but honestly... I could do with some better running music :-)

Sometimes I wonder what goes on in my head. (Yes, Ryan wonders all the time.) Yesterday, I went out without a plan, felt great and had a good run. Today, I just didn't want to get out the door. Huh? What is up with that? Shouldn't I want to get out for a run after having had a good run yesterday? I dawdled and delayed, until I finally realized that I was delaying because I didn't want to run on the roads like I had intended. I had no concrete reason to run roads, I just thought it might be a good idea after yesterday's run and having been to see Dr. Jamie in the afternoon to work on my lower right leg. Once I decided I didn't really need to do the road run I intended, I felt much better! Plus, the sun finally started peeking through the clouds and that made me cheerier too (I could never live in Seattle! I need sunshine!). I headed across the street and ran the cart paths, including the Heath loop, to get in 7 miles total. I felt a bit creaky but not bad, and was happy to have gotten in another solid run this week. Yes, my "back to back" runs are a bit short right now, but hey, at least I'm trying :-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fun Morning Wander

Got out mid-morning for my run. No real plan, just to get in 10 miles without wearing my screwshoes. Normally my type-A personality does not like such runs, as I prefer to know my route and just be able to go and do it. But oddly enough, today, I didn't mind not having a true plan. I was happy to wander out in the sunshine, happy to be getting in a long-ish run with no aches and pains holding me back, and just plain enjoying being out running. I'd say 75 - 80% of the run was on bare ground, with the remainder being a mix of very tacky hard-packed snow that was good for running and big sketchy stretches of ice that I either had to very gently tiptoe across or could skirt/bushwack around. 

I ran out along the powerlines, essentially doing Homeplace before taking Tedford to the back Highland Green Road. I had planned to do the Highland Green circle before hopping onto the cart paths for the rest of the run, but I was lured onto the trails by what appeared to be a glorious long stretch of bare and dry singletrack heading up from the hiker parking lot towards the Heath. From there, I went across the street and took the trail down to Barnes Leap. Probably shouldn't have been on that particular stretch without screwshoes - it was a slow mile! - but it was fun to be down along the river. For the final few miles, I did a bit of this and a bit of that, and miraculously managed to get to 10 miles right outside the door. Hurray ;-)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Another Year

I remember when 20 sounded so old... So how the heck did I get to be 38?!!

Got out for a nice six miles this morning. First time in a week or so that nothing ached or felt tight as I headed out the door. Maybe it was the full night of sleep that Sam granted us last night?! I wore the 295s and hit the cart paths. Lots of bare ground but some decent patches of ice to tiptoe across and super packed snow along the way. Not the quickest cart path run but a nice change of pace and a good way to kick off the day.

We had a wedding celebration brunch to go to for one of Ryan's co-workers, so Sam had the chance to play with Morgan for a few hours, and then we has a few people over to watch the Super Bowl and eat way too much food :) Sam and Ryan picked up an ice cream cake yesterday for us to enjoy tonight so I got my cake and ice cream :) A fun day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Meh

Got in 3 miles to put a cap on a lackluster 28-mile week. It was cold and windy and icy out. I didn't get a lot of sleep and was feeling sort of down for a variety of reasons. My Garmin died soon after mile 1. Meh. Hoping next week is better.