Sunday, August 31, 2014

Too Much Pavement

So, the past two weeks have been the "big" weeks so far in this slightly herky jerky training cycle of mine. And in those weeks of 40+ miles, maybe 5 or 6 each week have been on pavement. This week, in my 34 miles, I'd estimate conservatively that at least 24 miles were on pavement. Ouch. Although I love my Flites - they feel a bit like slippers - and my feet have felt fine all week, my hips are a bit cranky by today's run. Add in the humidity, and the fact that Sam hardly slept the past few nights, which means I have barely slept, and I was feeling a bit off during today's 5-mile run around the in-laws block. Still, I have to thank my lucky stars (and my legs) that I can run, so I will try hard not to complain too much :) That said, I am very much looking forward to a run on the Cathance trails tomorrow! Bring on the roots and the singletrack!

Yesterday, Sam and I had an early flight out of RDU up to Boston. Luckily, the travel went smoothly and as usual, she was a model traveling companion. Ryan picked us up at the airport and we spent the rest of the day with his family, celebrating his grandfather's 90th birthday. It was really nice that all of us could be together for such a milestone, and of course, Sam loved being able to play with her cousin! The cutest thing might have been that the second Gavin saw Sam, he reached for her to get a hug and then kept reaching his arms out to her for more. Adorable ;)


Celebrating Bampie's 90th

Bampie and the great-grandkids

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Bit Humid

Didn't get out quite as early as I had intended due to an early waking child, but finally got out of the house around 8:00. Luckily the legs felt a bit more peppy than yesterday and I was able to keep what seemed a fairly reasonable pace for the completely flat loop of road/trail/gravel around the neighborhood. It also was overcast, thankfully, as the humidity was through the roof. I thought it was raining at one point, until I realized it was just my sweat flinging all over the place. Gross! Got in 10 miles in 1:30, with a few stops for water and to watch the wildlife. Saw three deer along the nature trail, as well as another egret, a cardinal and a lot of turtles with their heads peaking out of the water along the pond edges.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


A few gems from Sam today:

Conversation #1 tonight in the bath -

While looking for one particular playmobile person, Sam said, "Where is that lady with the dyed hair?" 

Neenie responded, "Is she hiding? She's trying to keep from getting put away. I think we've got her number!"

Sam: "I think her number is three!"


Bath Comment #2: "Isn't that unbelievable?," said with just the right emphasis on unbelievable. :-)

Comment #3 to Neenie, earlier today: "Today was a very calm, relaxing day." What almost-5 year old says this sort of thing? Or even notices that it was a rather laid back day? Sometimes I am in awe of the way Sam vocalizes her thoughts and speaks her mind using sophisticated vocabulary and phrases.

Aside from being awed by Sam's use of the English language, she also did a great job swimming in and jumping into the pool without her bubble on. It was an incredibly warm day so the water felt great, and we had a lot of fun.

Here is the video of her jumping and swimming without the bubble. So proud of her!


On the running front, I got in 8 miles this morning soon after it got light out. Saw a pileated woodpecker down by the river lodge, and saw about a dozen turkey vultures roosting in a tree along the river. Also saw one bunny along the berm and a Great Egret in one of the ponds. Warm morning. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

NC Fun

No running yesterday, as we were up and in the road well before dawn, headed to Boston so Sam and I could catch a plane to NC. It is warm and sunny here and as usual, I love all the color and flowers and birds.

We stopped at Pullen Park for Sam to ride the train, the carousel and the boats, then went for a short swim in the pool before dinner. We were both exhausted from the travel and from our weekend of camping, but it was a great start to the rest of our vacation week! We love visiting Neenie and Pippi!

On the train

Happy travelers

On the carousel

Carousel ride with Pippi

Sam loves the boat ride!

Ginger lily - smells so beautiful!

Purple asters (photo by Sam)


Oh hi there!

We all slept in this morning. It is dark here until 7:00ish, so I didn't get out to run until around 7:30. I ran the cart paths from the house, thinking I had an hour to run the 6+ miles before a tournament started. Tried to make it a "speed" run. Ha. I am damn slow. Anyway, managed to keep the pace between 8:00 and 8:30 per mile (50:46 for 6.16 miles). Fairly cool with a nice breeze, so not too bad of a morning to be out running. Saw a lot of bluebirds, a goldfinch, one Great Egret, one Great Blue Heron and one little turtle out sunning himself in one of the ponds. 

A bit later in the morning, we headed to Wrightsville Beach. The sun was warm and the waves were crashing. We had a fun time playing in the water, walking the beach and collecting shells. After the beach, we stopped for a yummy ice cream at Boombalati's before heading home. A fun day!

Digging in the sand

Being goofy

Collecting shells

In the waves


Cute little dowitchers at the water's edge

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wolfe's Neck Weekend

We had a great long weekend this weekend camping at Recompense Campground at Wolfe's Neck. It was the 2nd annual Bowdoin camping weekend, and we all had a blast. We roasted smores, the kids played together so nicely and we didn't have to watch or be with them every second - so nice now that they are a bit older!, time was spent wandering along the rocks and along the beach, there was running and drinking and merriment, and it was really nice to catch up with old friends whom we don't see all that often. Plus, the weather was perfect. Can't have asked for much better!

Sam and Adam exploring the shoreline

This is the life!

Wandering and exploring

Sam, Adam and Doug enjoying a snack with a view

Fun camping


Roasting marshmallows

Wolfe's Neck sunset

Sam, Finley and Charlotte on the tire swing, long after they should be asleep :-)

This morning, Shannon and I went for a nice 5 mile run up the dirt road and onto the trails in Wolfe's Neck State Park. It was a lovely, if warm, morning, and always fun to run with a friend on trails I love! A great way to cap off a really fun weekend! Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

So Much Better

After a bit of rest at home yesterday, I took off to daycare for the family fun party. But first, I stopped and got myself a bit 'ol sundae. Nothing that ice cream can't cure, I say :-)

The daycare party was fun. Sam loved the bounce house, and they had a magician come in. To my surprise, Sam volunteered for one of the magic tricks, and had a lot of fun. The kids thought the whole thing was pretty hysterical - there was a lot of laughter and clapping. However, sitting on the hard laminate floor for an hour after 16 miles run on uncooperative legs kinda hurt :-)

I was exhausted for the rest of the day yesterday, despite the sugar from the ice cream, but luckily, this morning's run went much better. I was up and out a little after 6:00 am. I ran the cart paths and then hit the snowmobile trails along the powerlines and ran the Lover's Lane loop. Somehow I was thinking that would get me 10ish, but in fact, it turned into 11.25. At least the legs felt good!

I always enjoy running along the powerlines and at this time of year as the season's are slowly changing, there was an abundance of color. Red bunchberries, yellow goldenrod, white aster and queen anne's lace, the blush pink berries on the bushes that I can never remember the name for, the white arrowhead amongst the green shoots in the marshy areas, the deep purple blackberries. Also saw a deer and her two fawns, plus an indigo bunting in the bushes up near Rt. 24 (interestingly, looking back through the blog, I saw one in this same area around the same time of year back in 2011. Cool!). Heard my friend the towhee and the chickadees calling in the bushes too.

All in all, a much better run than yesterday! Now off to pack for camping!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Not So Pretty

I slept terribly last night and didn't get up as early as planned. Finally got myself out of the house around 7:00 am, just before the rest of the house was waking up. I have yet another Friday off due to this afternoon's "family fun day" at daycare - Sam's last day. There will be a bounce house and a magician and some other fun stuff for the kids. Sam always enjoys it.

Since we are always juggling our long runs around here, the plan was for me to get in my 20 today so Ryan could get his in tomorrow. I felt a bit off from the get-go but attributed it to lack of sleep and hoped for the best. My plan was to run 3 Snowplug loops plus a little extra to get in the additional mileage. Except, at about 3.5 miles, this is what I found...

If you zoom in on the photo, you can just see a white blaze at the top of the overgrown raspberry brambles and other crap. Yup, that's the trail. Lovely, eh? Thank goodness I had on my calf compression sleeves. I slowly made my way through the mess, but decided there was no way I was going to subject myself to that another two times. Thinking I was going to be coming by the house every 6 miles or so, I had only brought three gels, so I knew I would have to get back to the house to reload. I decided to run out to Head of Tides and back, hoping that would get me 10+ miles before I returned home to load my pack back up again.

The trail out to Head of Tides was littered with mushrooms. Large areas with the bright yellow "coral" mushrooms, and this pretty patch of brilliant red mushrooms too. I had to stop to take a photo. So beautiful set against the green moss, and extra bright on an overcast morning. 

Things were pretty slick out in the woods and along the bog bridges, and it was slow going on some of that singletrack. Not to mention, it was seriously high humidity. I got back to the house at 10.8 miles and was soaked. I also kind of felt like crap. I texted Ryan to let him know how it was going. He asked if I was sure I was done. I said, no, I was at least going to do the river and back for 16. 

I took a short break, used the bathroom, gagged down a fig newton and a few dried strawberries and headed back out. It was a slow go, with my legs and stomach not cooperating. I took advantage of the pretty view out along the Heath with the cotton sedge blowing in the breeze to stop for a bit. Ugh. Only 2 miles to go! It was not pretty, but I got in 16.5 miles in 3:00. I honestly did not have the energy to keep going, so I am just going to call it good enough for the way I was feeling. Tomorrow is another day. And before then, I really think I need to get some ice cream ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Run with Shannon

Hit the BTLT trails (or maybe it really should just be the BLT trails, a la Xar) with Shannon this morning. Relatively cool out but we warmed up quickly. It was fun to catch up on this and that as we ran along. I am recognizing more of the trails each time we run, but I am sure I'd just make a few good squiggles instead of cohesive loops if I were to run out there solo :-) Got in a nice 6 miles in just under an hour, chatting away the whole time. Always good to run with a friend! Thanks, Shannon!


In other news, tomorrow is Sam's last full day of daycare. Yes, she will be going back to Building Blocks after kindergarten each day, so it is not a true goodbye, but still, it is the end of an era. Hard to believe that my little baby, who has been at this same daycare with the same teachers since she was 7 months old, is going to be headed to kindergarten in just a little over a week! Crazy how time flies. I am incredibly excited for her and I know she is ready, but when I read this the other morning, I totally cried.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mt. A. Hills

Back to the hills. Nice and cool this morning when I headed out a little before 6:00 am. Fall is in the air, for sure.

As I ran down the high school road, I passed the football team shuffling along the sidewalk on a warm-up. Their coaches, both rather rotund, were driving along on the street in a golf cart next to the team. When I passed them, I stopped and asked them why they weren't out running too. I am not sure they were amused :-)

Got in 7 loops up and around the hill. I was actually shooting for 6 but on the last loop I wondered if I was really on 6 or if I was just *hoping* I was on the last one, so I went up again just to be sure. Ha! Well, I guess that's one way to get in an additional repeat.

Still a bit slow on the uphills but overall felt pretty good.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Wanted to stretch my legs out this morning after a day spent sitting in the car on Sunday on the way back from NJ. The morning light has been arriving slowly but surely later each day, and today when I headed out at 5:50 am it was apparent that I had probably just missed what was likely a gorgeous sunrise by not too many minutes. The bluish-violet clouds were backlit by a golden light, with some pink still along the edges of a few of the clouds. Very pretty. Got in a nice four miles on this beautiful, rather cool, Monday morning.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

NJ Runnin' and Funnin'

We headed south to Hoboken on Friday night, picking Ryan up from work at 5:00. It was a long drive, but honestly, we made pretty good time; it was a decent time of day to travel. Sam slept for two hours in the car, and then woke up when we were crossing the GW Bridge. She was a bit in shock to say the least, and then was hyped up for an hour or two. We didn't get to sleep until well after midnight. Luckily, we managed to sleep in a bit in the morning, and then Ryan and I did the kid/run swap, except instead of heading out on the trails, we headed down the hallway to the fitness room. Yay, treadmill!

Honestly, though, how do people use these things? I have not been on a treadmill in years. I avoid them like the plague. I'd rather battle snow, ice, rain, whatever than get on those darn things. Oh, I see their use, for sure, but they are just not my thing! My legs were feeling a bit stiff from Friday's miles and the car ride, so I started out at 11:00 pace, but that didn't last long. The tenths were passing away way too slowly at that rate :-) Incrementally inched up the pace and finished the last mile at 7:30 pace. Ha. Nothing like consistency. Still, I really needed to get off the thing. Got in 3 miles and called it good. Hit 40 miles for the week too.

Then it was off to Gavin's first birthday party. Luckily, I have a cool sister-in-law and brother-in-law and the party was held at a local bierhaus :-) Ryan was in heaven! Ha. It was a lot of fun, and Sam was so cute. She did not want to leave Gavin's side all weekend. She is taking the big cousin role VERY seriously :)


Mustaches was the theme of the party. So cute :-)

We love balloons!

Mustache, anyone? :)

The lil' man walking

Happy Birthday, Gavin!

Mustache family :-)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Bradbury Fun

Having two Fridays in a row off is pretty nice. I could get used to this!! And what else to do but go for a run? I was the first one in the lot at the Brad at 6:30 am. The air was cool, all was quiet. I headed out to run the BBU mountain side - the trails were very very soggy, with many puddles and a lot of standing, and running, water. Despite the cool temps, the humidity was high and I got rained on a bit too. So between the sweat, the rain, the mud and the water, I was pretty wet all around. :) Still, felt good and fairly strong, making it back to the parking lot in 10.3 miles and 2 hours. I hadn't seen a soul. I stopped briefly to go to the bathroom, dump my trash, and text Ryan that I was back at the lot. Just as I was headed back out, I saw Linda Raymond and friend, out getting their long run in too.

This time around, unlike last week, I had no reservations about continuing on. I felt focused and although 20 miles is a lot of time with only one's own head for company, I knew I would get in the miles. The twisty singlet rack was pretty greasy with wet roots and mud and I find it impossible to go fast on the Island Trail, but I just kept chugging along. I ran the Bruiser, and was happy to reach the Snowmobile trail and have a bit of a break from the single track and get in a nice steady climb before dropping back into the woods again. I followed the course until it hit the Link, then just followed the Snowmobile trail back to Knights Woods. Caught my foot in a mud pit/root trap at the bottom of that last climb and almost are it, but managed to right myself just in time. Needs a bit more mileage, so did a short out and back on the Link to finish up with 20 miles in just a smudge over 4 :00.

Very happy to have gotten in 20 and feel decent doing it. Then it was off to grab lunch and a huge cookie at Pineland before a visit with Amy. Good to catch up with her. She is looking good!

Wish I could have stayed all afternoon but had to get home to clean the house, take out the trash, get the recycling to the transfer station, get the cats all set, finish packing and get the car all set for our whirlwind weekend trip to NJ for Gavin's 1st birthday. Whew! No rest for the wicked, or is it weary, or maybe it should just be moms, especially moms who want to spend their morning running 20 miles ? ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Squish Squish

Wow. We received a lot of rain last night. We are now lakeside property again :-) All of this meant it was a very soggy run. I was out a little before 6:00 am for my morning run and I headed down the powerlines to Highland Green Road, then hooked up with the cart paths. Although the cart paths are a nice packed gravel, there were quite a few wash-outs and a number of spots where the path was more like a stream than anything I'd want to drive a golf cart on! Yikes. I veered off at hole #5 to run the Heath loop, which was more like one big puddle than a trail. My shoes sure got nice and clean! Ha. Ended up with a nice 7 miles and felt good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It Almost Didn't Happen...

My head seems to be rebelling against the idea of getting up early to run multiple loops around Mt. A., so I didn't feel much enthusiasm to get up on a dreary morning. But, then I started to think about the rest of the week and realized if I wanted to get some miles in, I had better get up and at least get a regular run in. That would be better than nothing. So, I got up, had a quick snack and was out the door around 6:00 am. Must have been 99% humidity out there! Enjoyed a few blackberries along the way, and managed to get in 4 miles to start the day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Morning Run

Shannon and I are trying to meet up once a week to run. Well, it didn't quite happen last week, and it won't happen the last Tuesday of the month, but hey, even if we get 3 out of 5 weeks, that will be pretty good :-) So, this morning I headed over to her house and we ran a nice 6+ miles together on the BTLT trails around Crystal Spring Farm. One of the trails took us out into the blueberry fields and beyond between the farm and the high school. I never knew such a big open field was out there! And on one of the wooded trails, we saw a raptor fly across the trail. We stopped to look for it up in the trees, and saw that it was an owl. The owl sort of cocked its head to one side and looked at us serenely. I'm assuming it was a barred owl by its shape and coloring; we did not hear it call. It was a fun run and good way to start off the running week. Thanks Shannon!

And totally unrelated, Sam made this adorable birthday card for Gavin, who we are going to see this weekend down in NJ. Just makes me smile :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Fun

I had intended to get up early this morning and get in my miles before Ryan headed to Bradbury to mark the course and get in his run, but you know, a 4:00 am alarm is just darn early on a Saturday! I decided to sleep in instead, and take my chances with an afternoon run. Sam and I spent the morning making breads for the race prizes, doing color/water experiments, picking berries, taking the recycling to the dump, and playing on the playground. And all before lunch! There is no resting with this one ;)

Food coloring fun!

This was before she decided to just squeeze every color into every ice spot... I am sure they will all be brown when we take them out tomorrow to melt them ;)

Picking berries

Yum! Blackberries.


Seesaw happiness

Once Ryan got home later in the afternoon, I suited up and headed out for my run. As a change of pace and because I had the time, I drove over to Bowdoin and ran out through the Commons and down to the ocean via the trails in Coleman Farm. I stopped to watch this beautiful Great Blue Heron standing patiently in one of the ponds.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had mowed the Coleman Farm trails basically all the way to the ocean. In fact, it was the singletrack that wound back along the edge of the salt water marsh that was the most overgrown, but it was still a lovely run. And always a pretty view :-)

We finished up the day with veggies and chicken on the grill plus local corn and potatoes, plus a trip to Gelato Fiasco for dessert. Yum!