Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Running Schizophrenia

Went from practically having a panic attack over training (and my long runs aren't even in the 20s yet!) and fitting it all in and wondering why I was even contemplating 50 miles on Monday night to getting up this morning and running Mt. Ararat hill repeats at 5:45 am. Nothing like running schizophrenia ;-)

I hadn't planned to run on Monday, which was a good thing as I was simply exhausted. Perhaps that had something to do with all the panic. Yesterday morning I was up and out early into the fog and mist at 5:30 to run 6 miles on the golf cart paths. Still struggling a bit with finding my running rhythm so early in the morning. Once I'm up, I'm up and alert so that isn't a problem, but my body seems confused to be out running before breakfast and a bit of wake-up time, and every pre-6am run seems to involve at least some sort of bathroom break mid-run. Sigh. Still, it was a lovely, if humid, morning and the run was decent.

This morning, well, I got up and out and ran hills. I did 6 Mt. A. loops for a total of 4.25 miles, which I realize is nothing spectacular but hey, I was out there doing it, so I am calling it a win for the morning. It was only 59 degrees when I stepped out the door - heaven! Couldn't quite find the extra gear to push the uphills, so tried to run the downhills hard as Ryan had suggested. Probably a good exercise for me anyway, as I've always been a bit timid in my downhill running and hiking. Came away with the feeling that I was serious, dumb, slow and tough all at the same time. Schizophrenic, indeed...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Short

It was Ryan's turn to run long yesterday so he headed over to Bradbury to run a lap of the BBU course. Sam chose this morning to sleep late, so *gasp* I actually sat on the couch for about a 1/2 hour reading some magazines. That hardly ever happens anymore! When she got up, we headed over to Bradbury to play on the playground for a while and then took a short walk on the trails, looking for mushrooms and blue blazes as we waited for the guys to come back from their run. We finished up the morning at Edna & Lucy's, catching up with Mindy, Pete and Tim, who were there with Mindy's folks, as well as enjoying our delicious sandwiches with Ian and John. By the time I finished off lunch, I certainly wasn't feeling like donning my running shoes and hitting the trails, so I came home instead. That said, I knew I shouldn't waste a weekend day, so I finally headed out for a very slow 4 miler around the block. I really had felt pretty good on Friday and Saturday's runs, so it was a bit of a bummer to really not feel up for even 4 miles. My mileage did hit 40 miles for the week, which hasn't happened since April, so I suppose that might have something to do with it. In any event, today is a rest day - hurray! - and then back at it tomorrow.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Full Day

Managed to pack a lot into the day today. I was up and out the door at 5:50 am for my run. Ran down the powerlines and out to the dump, adding on the extra loop out there. That area had been logged this winter/spring, and I thought it would be impassable after that, but they'd done a nice job of packing down the trail and keeping it up for the ATV/snowmobile crowd. By the time I got back to Highland Green Road, the Garmin was beeping 8 miles. Only 6 to go! Took the back dirt road out to the Cathance trails and then ran down along the river for a bit before heading back along the Heath. I had been keeping up a pretty steady pace until I hit the Cathance trails, but the bridges and roots were slick so those single track miles were definitely slower :-) When I got back to the Quarry, I took the long way around and then did one loop on the Mt. A. snowshoe loop before heading in. Made a number of stops along the way to pick blackberries and raspberries, go to the bathroom, etc etc, and just sort of ran at a pace that felt comfortable. I finished feeling pretty good, getting in a solid 14 at a pace that certainly wasn't killing it but which seemed fairly reasonable. 

So, the reason for the 5:50 start, you ask? Well, what other than donuts?! We were meeting up with Annie and Phil at Frosty's at 9:00 so I wanted to get my run in before we headed out. And the deliciousness of Frosty's made it all worth it! And the kids had a lot of fun playing with the new kitchen set-up up in the window, complete with - what else? - wooden donuts! Adorable.

Frosty employees in training :-)

We hit the Brunswick playground to let the kids run off all the sugar, and then headed our separate ways for lunch. After a bit of downtime at home, during which time Ryan got in his run, we headed back out - this time to pick up some new sneakers for Sam and then over to the Cathance to search for frogs in the vernal pool. Sadly, the frogs weren't out this afternoon, but we did find some choice raspberries to munch on before walking down to the river. Sam was tired on the way back and kept asking for "uppy." Neither Ryan nor I were in the mood to carry her back, so Ryan suggested they instead run to the top of the hill. She was game, and they were off! So much for tired :-) They ran all the way back, with Sam making Ryan put in an honest effort a few times. That girl is getting fast! 

Sam in her sporty new sneakers :-)

Leading the way!

We finished off the day having dinner and making a trip to Gelato Fiasco with Nate, Shannon and the kids. I think I've had my dose of sugar for the week :-) but it sure was fun!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Colors on a Gray Day

I'm feeling a bit frustrated at the moment, as Sam literally just fell asleep. I know it makes rest time at daycare easier for everyone when she sleeps, but it really puts a kink in our bedtimes when she does! A 3-year old should not be going to bed in the same hour that I would like to! AIE :-/

I did, however, have a lovely mid-afternoon 8.5 mile run today, through the Commons and out into Pennelville, so I will try to channel the feelings I had during the run, which were much calmer than the moments right after coming downstairs from putting Sam to bed ;-)

---

Lush green forest.
Bright red bunchberries.
Deep blue blueberries.
Golden grasses waving in the breeze.
Yellow goldfinch twittering on the powerlines above the fields.
Magenta thistle and milky white queen anne's lace.
Thick grey cloud bank above.

Somehow the colors seem all the more brilliant on an overcast day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Berries

Ended up taking the past two days off. I was simply feeling exhausted from Monday's travel experience and lacking sleep the past few nights didn't make that any better. So this morning, it was up and out! No excuses :-) I figured I would just get in a nice, easy run to shake the legs out and get back in the swing of things. And it couldn't have been a better morning. Beautiful. I was greeted by cool temps, a soft breeze and a colorful sunrise as I crested the hill on the powerlines. Stopped to enjoy a few blueberries, raspberries and blackberries along the way - sweet and delicious. Listened to the bullfrogs croaking out in the Heath and the birds chatter. Got in 4 miles and finished with a smile. If the rest of our summer mornings could be just like this, I'd be one happy runner :-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yesterday

Yesterday morning's run seems like so long ago. The Landing Course is closed on Mondays for maintenance, so I could just run right out back, hop onto the cart paths and run 6 miles along the winding concrete way back to my parent's house without even having to think about a route. Very nice. And even better, Kristen decided to join me for the first few miles! That doesn't happen very often, so I was extremely happy for her company! She's just getting back into running, so I let her set the pace and we enjoyed chatting as we ran along the first 6 holes before she headed back and I headed on. Thanks for running with me Kristen! The rest of the run went by at an easy pace. Saw 9 bluebirds, one red-headed woodpecker and heard the bobwhite whom I've heard the past few runs but forgotten to mention. It was a nice, if muggy, morning to be out, and a good end to a fun summer trip to my parent's. It was a great trip!

Getting sprayed by Sam with the hose after my run (and yes, she's not wearing any pants :-) )

We headed out to the airport around 10am, and the first leg of the trip went fine. Once we got into LaGuardia things started to unravel. First it was a delay in our flight, by 4 hours! We kept ourselves busy eating, and playing with the the IPads they had out in the waiting areas.

Airport fun

Although I had checked into the other flights to Portland, both of which were full, when we first arrived, I hadn't thought to actually check at the gate. For some reason, I decided we should, just to see if there happened to be any seats. There weren't, but the man at the desk put us on standby saying there just might be seats due to so many other delays on other flights. So, we stood around, waiting, hoping. That flights also got delayed. More waiting. Then our original flight was cancelled. I waited as we moved slowly up the standby list, fretting and groaning and sweating and swearing. We ended up getting the final two seats (!) on the plane only to have them ground us right as we were boarding because of an accident on the runway. There were a few frantic phone calls to Ryan to figure out alternate plans in case the airport didn't open up again, but in the end, our plane somehow managed to get out even as they were saying all (or most) flights would be cancelled for the night. Hurray! Thank god. Sam was a wonderful traveler through it all, asking a lot of questions but never complaining. I, of course, did my fair share of swearing in front of her through the ordeal so if you hear her say 'oh damn' anytime soon, well, you know why!

The second we got on the plane, she fell right asleep, exhausted. We were so happy to land in Portland, see my bag come through the baggage claim carousel and have Ryan there to pick us up. What a crazy day of traveling! Of course, when we got home, Sam said, "but we missed dinner," and had to sit down to have a bowl of rice before finally going to sleep at 11:00 :-) Ha.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quiet Morning Run

Woke to news that Emma and Zak had crushed the VT 100, finishing with outstanding times. Way to go Trail Monsters! Inspiring and amazing as always. Headed out at first light, a few minutes before 6:00 am to get in a run before we headed to the beach. I ran down the quiet streets to the River Lodge, cut across the path through the woods and then back along the main drag of the community, taking the berm along the edge and back home. The sun rises about an hour later here in the south, and apparently everything and everybody else gets up later too! I was thinking I'd see a whole host of wildlife being up so early, but nada. Just me, the birds and the honeybees. Pretty morning although with the heavy cloud cover there wasn't much of a sunrise. Got in 8 in 1:10, and got home in time to see that George had finished yet another 100 miler with a smile on his face and in an awesome time! Hurray! I quickly showered and changed up and then we headed down to Wilmington for more time at the beach.

It sprinkled on the way down and the clouds were thick, but things cleared up a bit as we hit the beach and honestly, the clouds made it much more pleasant at the water's edge! Lots of fun as usual digging in the sand and playing in the surf. The trip was made complete with yet another ice cream stop at Boombalati's. Yum!

The start of our sandcastle

Sam, Neenie and the dribble castle

Surfing in the waves on the boogie board!

Happy at the beach...

...and even happier after a dish of ice cream!

We're headed home tomorrow after a fun trip filled with sun and water fun. Sam has been great, minus a few meltdowns, and it has been a lot of fun to see Neenie, Pippi, Morgan and Kristen! We are so lucky to have had the chance to come down and spend a few days with family!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Steamy 12

We spent yesterday afternoon up at the pool. The air is so warm that the water felt like bathwater. The kids, of course, had a blast! I think they could both stay in the water all day :)

Pool fun

Sam keeping her mouth closed so the water doesn't get in :-) Very serious!

All smiles

Kick kick kicking

Floating on the noodles

Beautiful day to be at the pool

We headed up to the pool again this morning, but not before I got out for my run. Headed out around 7:00 into the heat and humidity. At least there was a lovely breeze so it didn't feel quite as bad! I ran a figure-8 around the River Landing complex, with a little lollypop out to the Bluffs to get in a few extra miles. Mostly roads, with few short stretches of trail mixed in. Actually, although the terrain here is mostly flat, there is always something to keep my interest. Lots of little ponds with great blue heron and turtles, flowering trees and tons of flowers to attract butterflies, mockingbirds and others aplenty. Saw what I'm pretty sure was an eagle soaring over one of the ponds this morning, as well as a great blue heron. Scared up two little brown rabbits along the berm. Went down to the river at the River Lodge to check out the high river levels and then ran through the woods on the rustic trail around there, where I saw three little fox dart into the woods near the edge of one of the ponds. Stopped to listen to their rustling in the undergrowth and caught a few more glimpses of two of them. So cute and so little! Got in 12 miles in 1:46, and then it was time for yet another visit to the pool!

Friday, July 19, 2013

NC Fun

It was a long day of travel yesterday. We were up at 4:30 am, and caught a beautiful sunrise on the way to the airport. Ryan dropped us off, and Sam and I took off to NY. Sam has always been a good traveler,but I'll admit I was still nervous :-) Things were going well until we had to sit on the runway waiting for a gate, and Sam had to pee. Lovely. We finally got in to the chaos that is LaGuardia, got to a potty, had some breakfast, and then had an even longer than expected layover as our flight was delayed. When we finally boarded, it was hot as blazes on the plane. There was some sort of mechanical issue and then some sort of runway delay, so we ended up sitting on an un-air conditioned plane for about an hour. There was practically a mutiny aboard the little airplane. Brutal. The plane didn't cool off until about halfway through the flight down to Wilmington. Aie. Sam, however, did great, the whole time! I am so proud of her. She is a trooper!

Airplane amusements

Mom, Dad and Morgan picked us up at the airport and we went to get lunch before heading to Wrightsville Beach for the afternoon. It was just plain hot out, but down by the water, it was cooler, and of course, the kids had a great time in the waves :-) We saw a group of 15 pelicans soaring overhead and little, sand-colored fish swimming in the surf. Sam didn't want to leave - she kept getting water in her face and running out to wipe it off, only to run right back into the fray again. A water girl, for sure!

Into the surf

Whee!

Big wave fun

Can you tell she loves the water?

This is fun!

Splash!

Loving in the water

A post-beach ice cream stop hit the spot, and kept Sam from falling asleep on the way back to Mom and Dad's :-)
Two thumbs up for Boombalati's!


It was an easy bedtime, and we both slept in, meaning my plans for an early run didn't quite happen :-) I got out around 8:30 for 5 miles along the berm and through the neighborhood. It was hot but perhaps not quite as muggy as it has been a home, and luckily there was a nice breeze. I came home plenty sweaty however! Legs felt good though. Tons of mockingbirds, a few brown thrashers, one bluebird, one great blue heron, one red-headed woodpecker and a lot of dragonflies and butterflies flitting about. When I came home, the girls were playing dress-up. So cute :-)

All dressed up and no place to go :-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beautiful Sky

OK, so I admit it. Running this summer in the heat and humidity has been making me a bit grouchy. All the sweat, the mugginess, the heat reminds me of hiking on the AT in July through Pennsylvania. Let's just say there was a lot of grumbling. In any event, just because it hasn't been super enjoyable doesn't mean I'm not out running anyway. Which meant that this morning I was out at 5:30 am to get in my run before work. Despite the early hour, the air still felt warm and heavy, but the sky was beautiful. Fluffy clouds backlit with pink and yellow light, set against a blue-bird sky. Definitely made me smile. Along the Heath, the bunchberries were sporting their bright red berries, and I saw a set of wood lilies along the edge of the path down to the river and then another out in the field along the powerlines. Beautiful. I could have done without the hordes of deer flies, but otherwise, it was a peaceful, if sweaty, morning run.

Headed to NC tomorrow, and hoping it isn't much hotter down there! I'll likely be running all roads while we're down here visiting, so I'm thinking at least I won't have to deal with any deer flies, which will be a plus! :-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Golf Course Spin

Took an early morning spin around the golf course cart paths this morning. It was 72 degrees when I went out at 5:30 and the air was already heavy. Ugh. Legs don't feel sore from Sunday but I can't say I felt very zippy. Was followed by a small horde of deer flies and one of them attached itself to my calf and bit me. Ow! Not pleasant. Did enjoy a few blueberries along the powerlines on the return however, and saw one snowshoe hare and two turkeys too. From the looks of things, I think it's going to be a bumper crop of blackberries this year - there are tons of green berries along the edge of Highland Green road and out in the sun on the powerlines. Yum!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

2013 Bradbury Scuffle Race Report

It was a bit of an off day for me today. I knew right from the start, as I was running down the hill with people whizzing by me, that I didn't quite have it. The mental focus I would need to really run well simply was nowhere to be found. I'm not saying I wasn't running fairly hard, but I felt lackluster out there. I did at least manage to find a bit of competitive nature in myself at the end, when I passed a guy back on hill on the Knight Woods trail after he passed me going down the Snowmobile trail, and then absolutely did not want him to pass me right at the finish, but otherwise, I sort of felt like I was just out for a run where I was working but didn't want to go 100%. And despite ending up winning my age group (thank you to Wicked Joe for the yummy smelling coffee), which I know I should never knock, I don't actually feel like I did a good job racing today. I was well off my Scuffle PR, and like I said, I just didn't have that competitive fire burning today. Perhaps I should be racing more? Or less? Or maybe doing some speed or hill training? Or perhaps move somewhere where there is no humidity? Or any or all of the above :-) Ah well, some days you just don't have it. But d*#n, I hope I can get my act together next month and do a better job pushing myself out there on the mountain side!

Many thanks, as always, to the Trail Monsters and volunteers, and Ryan and Ian in particular, for organizing and putting on a wonderful race. I hope the poor guy who had heat exhaustion out on the trail today during the race is OK, but I know that he was in good hands throughout the whole incident, and it was awesome to hear the stories of runners staying with him and helping him out. Runners are good people for sure.

RESULTS
45/145; 5th woman

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Fun

Got up before Ryan headed to Bradbury to mark the Scuffle course and ran a very creaky 3 miles around the short Highland Green loop. Not much to say about the run, and hopefully I'll feel less stiff tomorrow!!

Spent the rest of the day having fun. Sam and I hit Frosty's for donuts then went to the playground at the new elementary school in Brunswick. We were there early but it got hot out there in the sun pretty quickly. Sam had a good time on the swings and running around on the playground, climbing the stairs, etc and going down the slides. We all got home around the same time, and we spent the next few hours hanging around, painting, coloring and eating lunch.

We really wanted to get outside in the afternoon but couldn't agree on a place to go. I finally suggested Giant Stairs, down in Harpswell, and so that's where we headed. There was a lovely walk along the cliffs, and we climbed out and around on the high rock ledges, looking down at the surf below. Sam was our leader on the return trip and she took off running. We had to stop for a few "aid station" breaks for water, but other than that, she ran the whole way back. It's only about a 1/4 mile but still :-) It was gorgeous out there, much cooler than inland and with a nice breeze. Very nice.

On the way home we stopped at a beach for Sam to get in the water and look for shells for a while. A perfect Maine Saturday afternoon!

Shore walk

Watching the surf

Giant Stairs

Running back along the path

A stop at the beach to look for shells and get in the water

So pretty!



Friday, July 12, 2013

Now That's More Like It!

I was really thinking today's run was going to suck. The weather has been so unfriendly when it comes to running that I was dreading today's mid-day 12 miles, thinking I'd be lathered in sweat and suffering the whole time. But, dreams so come true, and I woke up this morning to relatively cool temps, a nice breeze and air that felt light and dry. It had warmed up a fair bit by the time I got out on the trails at 12:30 after my short day at work, but the breeze still felt wonderful, I wasn't sweating buckets, and oh my, running feels so much better in weather like this. This is how the summer should be all the time!

Ran from Bowdoin out through the Commons, enjoying the lack of deerflies and stopping for a few blueberries along the way. Out on the roads through Pennelville, the male bobolinks twittered and flew overhead, settling down into the grasses in the fields as the purple thistle, queen anne's lace, black-eyed susans and long grasses swayed in the breeze. I ran down to Simpson's Point, stopping for a minute to eat my snack and look at the water before heading back the way I came.

Got in a nice 12 miles in 1:51, not counting stops for blueberries, a much-needed potty break and the few minutes I spent staring out at the ocean. Not fast, but not slow. I'll take it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Having Fun

Xar recently posted running with reluctance. I've always said that I run because I truly love to run. But honestly, sometimes, such as this summer when it has been so heavy and humid that I feel I can hardly move forward, it's tough to say I'm doing it only because I love it. I'm also doing it because I feel like I have to, especially now that I've signed up for Stonecat. Of course, part of the "have to" is that I don't truly feel myself (or feel sane :-) )when I don't get out and run 3 or 4 or 5 times a week, so even if it is a soggy plod, it is better than nothing at all. This morning was a bit like that. Despite the (sort of low) temperature, it must have been 99% humidity out. A low, heavy, foggy mist hung in the air. I ran down to the river, enjoying the roar of the water even as I inwardly groaned about the sweat, the deer flies, this d*#m humidity. I do realize that I am lucky to have this chance, this opportunity, enough freedom from the heaviness of life, to run, so even if I complain, I'm not truly taking all this for granted. Promise.

Speaking of fun, it is hard not to appreciate life when living with a little bundle of energy, joy, chaos, and imagination. Sam is at the awesome age where she is truly her own person. She can reason. She can speak and voice her thoughts, her dreams, her wishes, her concerns - using better English, in fact, than many adults. She is lovable and kind, although alternately a bit dramatic and exasperating. She can play, and make up silly games, think up funny, but still attached to reality, little roles for us to play. Tonight she pulled out her silly plastic beads and bracelets, her Hello Kitty purse and watch, her headbands and her sunglasses, and told me that we had better "get beautiful" because we were going to "the fair." And where was that fair? Well, where else but in our kitchen?! "Better hurry, Mama, or the fair is going to close!" Of course, when we got there, it wasn't open yet, but there was a birthday party to go to instead :-) When I suggested we perhaps go to Ronnie & Gigi's cafe, she said OK and started pulling off all her jewelry. Why? Well, because, you don't have to look beautiful to go to a cafe! Silly Mama.

All gussied up and ready to go :-)

Let's go! Let's go!

Looking "beautiful" and ready for "the fair"

And in case you think this is all just too picture perfect, well, we do sometimes yell, her hair is often tangled, the floor hasn't been vacuumed for days and there are many smooshed Cheerios on the floor, we eat a fair number of sweets and processed foods, and yes, she does watch TV, perhaps a bit too much some days. Dora is her current favorite. Here she is dancing in a bit of a trance to one of the Dora tunes that is currently stuck in my head. Perfect torture for runs when the mind goes blank :-)

video
Dancing to Dora



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Good

Ah, sleep. Nothing like it. Finally got a good night's sleep last night after multiple nights of tossing and turning and interrupted sleeping. And I woke up to find it was *only* 65 degrees and raining. OK, so still high humidity given the rain, but so much better than last week! Woohoo! Headed out about 5:40 and got in a nice 5.25 miles on the cart paths. My legs still don't have much pep at that time of morning, but at least the running felt good. What a revelation! Hoping the extreme heat and humidity back off for a while. That would be a welcome change.

Penciled a training plan into my planner last night. So far, I'm ahead of where the "plan" says I should be (who actually just goes out and runs 2 miles as part of a training plan for a 50 miler anyway?!), but I am doubtful I'll actually hold to all the numbers over the next 17 weeks. That's just not my style :-) In any event, I'll chug away at the back-to-backs and build up as best I can. Hopefully the body will hold up. Visited Dr. Jamie this afternoon since my back was tight last week, and told him my plans. He said, well, given the uncharted territory, why don't you come back in a month, just to keep things on track. You don't have to feel fragile or anything, but be cognizant of things. Makes sense, but also makes me a bit nervous about it all. Still, looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. I've been thinking about 50 for a while now. Glad the lottery made the decision for me :-) 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Run and Beach Fun

Ryan was meeting up with John and a few others to give them a tour of the Cathance trails this morning, and I wanted to get in a run too. Running after they ran for 15 miles on the trails didn't sound like such a great idea - I knew it was going to be hot and humid again - so I decided to run before they left. That meant an early start. When I told Amy I was going early, she said, what time? I'm in! Only a true friend (and a fellow crazy runner :) ) would get up and come over to your house for a 6:30 am run, for sure! Thanks, Amy :-)

We headed out into the early morning air, and hit the powerlines for the dump loop. There were no deerflies, and honestly, after yesterday, the humidity didn't feel bad at all! We chatted away the whole time, and the miles flew by. Before we knew it, we were back at the house after 7.5 miles, and it was perfect timing. The guys were arriving and getting ready to leave. Even better was that Sam was still asleep! I think we've been tiring her out :-)

Once Sam was awake, we headed to - where else? - Frosty's for donuts and then back home to play and hang out a bit. After Amy left, I caught up with the guys for a bit, which was fun too.

Ryan wasn't up for heading out into the heat again, so he stayed in this afternoon while Sam and I went over to Wolfe's Neck to collect shells and look for hermit crabs on our favorite beach. When we got there, we were in for a surprise! The baby osprey in the island osprey nest, which had been blown off the island on Friday during a bad thunderstorm, had been found, healthy and safe, and were being moved back up to a new nest platform in the tree. We watched from the shore as the whole operation went on, and even got to see the one osprey they had rescued on Friday and kept at the park headquarters overnight up close as it was being brought out to the canoe to go across to the island - very cool!

A great end to four wonderfully busy, hot, and beach-filled stay-at-home days!

Collecting shells in the shallow waters

Happy girlie :-)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dragging and Planning

Got out of the car at Bradbury to hear Ian say, "Welcome to Saturday running!" Yeah :-)

Doug pulled up and got out of the car saying, "As I was pulling into the lot, there was an advisory on the radio cautioning against exercising outdoors." Boo :(

Well, because we're crazy, and hey, we were there, what did we go but ignore said advisory and go for a run. It has to be good training for something, right?! I must say, however, that although I was happy to be able to join in on a Saturday run, I can't say this was one of my better runs. I was dragging. The humidity was nasty, and it just sucked the life right out of me.

I kept up with the guys - Ian and Nathan plus Doug and Michael, neither of whom I'd met before - for about 3 miles of the Scuffle course, at which point I had to pee and I was beginning to feel that I was probably not going to be able to hold said pace for much longer. After my brief stop in the woods, I ran the rest of the course at a much more leisurely pace, and pulled back into the parking lot to find the guys sitting on a picnic table, dripping in sweat. Well, I was dripping too. It wasn't pretty.

I had told Ian I was planning on 12, so he cheerily said, "6 more?" To which I think I replied, "I feel terrible!" But after a brief stop to compose myself, I agreed to a few more miles. Ian had a plan to run out onto the connector to the bridge, and cut through the woods to a pool in the river. We'd still have to run back, but a dunk in the water sounded good! We wove through a few different trails, avoiding the Boundary Trail, and out onto the Connector, coming up to the river fairly quickly. There, we stopped for a while and chatted as we stood in the water. Then, it was back to the park.

I was lagging behind and pulled up to them to hear Ian say, "Thought we'd tag the summit." Well, OK. Might as well continue the suffering :-) Ha. There was a nice breeze up top and we stopped to take in the hazy vista. Down the Terrace and back to the parking lot, this time with the Garmin reading 9.77. Well, can't stop there! As I ran by the guys sitting on the picnic table, Ian called out, "Getting in a round 10, Danielle?" Yup! :-) A few more minutes, and I was done. I thanked the guys for dragging me around the park, and Ian said, "Well, thanks for embarrassing us by continuing to run after we'd all stopped." My pleasure. If I can't keep up, might as well be able to muscle through a few more 1/10ths to out-distance them for the day! :-) But 10 was more than enough for the day, so I was happy to be done!

We all sat around, not saying much, willing ourselves to stop sweating. Amazing how a rather slow 10 miles can zap one of so much energy when done in what feels like a sauna!

Got home to find that I had gotten into the Stonecat 50!! YIKES! Can't believe I got in! Looks like I've got some planning and training to do :-)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Soaking

Soaking: 1) To make thorough wet or saturated; 2) To absorb

OK, so I'm paraphrasing a bit above, but both definitions apply today.

I got thoroughly soaked on my mediocre 5 mile run this morning. Lagged the whole time and felt as if I was being melted by the heat and humidity from the inside out. The one high point of the run was stopping to pick a few warm and sweet blueberries along the powerlines. Yum.

And, more importantly, I am soaking up every minute of what feels like a new-found freedom. I have worked over the 4th of July weekend every weekend since we returned to Maine almost 8 years ago. The past few years we have had openings at the gallery on the Saturday of the 4th of July weekend, meaning a long day before hanging the show and a long Saturday at work, getting home late, hoping to catch Sam before she fell asleep. I honestly am loving having weekends free, and we've been packing the days full of activity, with today being no exception.

I couldn't help but smile this morning when after my run, I realized today was a stay-at-home day (Sam's term :-) )! I didn't have to work. I could have the long weekend with my family. Hurray! We headed into town to pick up some goodies at the farmer's market and then out to Harpswell where we spent this warm, sunny July day with friends down by the water. Phil's parents have a house out by the ocean with a little cabin that Phil, Kristen, Anne and Thistle use in the summertime. It's perched up at the edge of the woods overlooking the rocky ledges and the stretch of ocean that separates their land from Orr's Island. It was beautiful!

We took a boat ride...

Being goofy

Sam's first time in a boat!

Silly faces from the girls

The island we motored out to at the edge of the peninsula - those black dots on the rocks are cormorants! They were nesting there - a whole colony - their nests in the little grooves and ledges on the edge of the island. Lots of babies! Very cool

We did some fishing... I haven't been fishing since I was probably Sam's age, and somehow I was the one to catch all the fish (three mackerels!). I let out a big yelp when the first one came out of the water. Ha. They were very pretty. We let them all go. Bye bye fishies.

Reeling in the first fish

The girls had a great time together... they are so cute!

Friends

And we went down to the end of the point to Phil's grandmother's house and enjoyed their saltwater pool. There were water fights and lots and lots of swimming by Sammy. She did a great job!

video
Sammy swimming

By the late afternoon we were all exhausted from the sun, the heat, the water and all the fun. Soaking it all up! :-)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Afternoon Fun

Well, we didn't quite make it into the water this afternoon, but we did make it to the edge of the ocean. It was almost low tide after our short walk down to the shore at the Skofield Preserve, a quiet piece of preserved land right on the Brunswick/Harpswell border, and the water was inaccessible. Too many mud flats. Still, there was a lovely breeze, bright blue skies and there was plenty of rocky shoreline to walk along, the ledges and packed clay covered in many sections with thousands upon thousands of broken clam and mussel shells.
"Look, Mama, a pretty shell!"

Along the shores

Exploring (Look at all those shells!)

Taking a break on the rocks

There were a few tidal pools to explore, one with a school of teeny tiny fish flitting about, another filled with mud-covered periwinkles and not much else, and one with periwinkles and two baby horseshoe crabs - probably 1 1/2 inches wide! Very cool. Ryan and I were enthralled, while Sam, well, she was more interested in picking up "pretty" shells, meaning fragment upon fragment of clam shells :-)

Baby horseshoe crab, and many periwinkles too!

We watched the seagulls fly up and drop clam shells on the rocks, saw a Great Blue Heron fly low along the water and settle in with the seagulls to look for a meal, and even an eagle, a juvenile, I'd think, by its coloring, at the water's edge, finally chased away by noisy, raucous seagulls who didn't want the eagle vying for the same meal :-)

We spent quite a while enjoying this little slice of paradise, marveling at the fact that we had it all to ourselves. Pretty much perfect. Well, perfect, at least, after we stopped to cool down with gelato on the way home :-)

Picture perfect view



Grass, Deer Flies and Sweat, Oh My!

This morning's 8 mile run through the Cathance featured mud, long itchy grasses, annoying deer flies, a deer bounding away through the ferns, the roaring river, hot sun, lots of sweating, a little swearing, multiple stops along the river to dunk my hat in, and the first blueberries of the season, found along the powerlines, sweet and warm in the summer sun. Came home dripping wet, so wet in fact, that puddles formed in my Crocs as I was attempting to cool down in the kitchen. Lovely, eh? 

We've been hiding inside so far, but I think we're going to have to venture out at some point soon, hopefully to someplace that features water to dunk ourselves in! :-)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wet July Run

Overcast morning.
5:30 am.
Quiet.
A light mist falls.
The ferns and milkweed smell sweet in the thick air.
The towhee calls, and the goldfinch and sparrows twitter.
Squish through the mud and puddles.
Mist turns to rain.
Soaked.