Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Afternoon Run on the Lovers Lane Loop

Spent the morning at a fire and safety training meeting for work. There were a few moments of levity during the 3 1/2 hour class, but man, it hurts to sit constantly in a chair for that long! And hopefully, I will never be tasked with donning gloves, eyewear and a face mask to clean up bodily fluids... I do not envy those that work at the shelter. It is tough work. Luckily, the admin office a little more predictable! I was reminded that I should purchase a new fire extinguisher and change our smoke detector batteries. Did you know that having a working smoke detector betters your chance of surviving a fire by 80%? That's a pretty big number...

In any event, after sitting around talking about fires and bodily fluid spills and Hepatitis B shots, I was feeling a bit glum. It didn't help that when I left work a little before 2:00 pm, the skies were overcast and the wind was whipping. The car thermometer said 28 degrees but it sure didn't feel like it. The bottom line is that I was feeling less than enthused about my run, but I knew if I didn't change and get out the door as soon as I got home I wouldn't go, as I needed to get some newsletter work done later in the afternoon. Inertia is a powerful thing... sometimes getting out the door really is the hard part... because once I got running, I felt great! The snowmobile trails were firm and a little more even than during yesterday morning's run, the skies brightened while I was out there, and things felt good. Got in a nice 6.75 mile run, and even managed to get my work done, get dinner made and pick up Sam at a reasonable time. Of course, the kitchen is currently a mess, but hey... ;)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Early Morning Snowmobile Trail Run

Happy running thoughts:

- I headed out at 6:00 am, and didn't even take my headlamp! Loving the longer days.

- My right hip was really tight after all the running this weekend, and I was worried yesterday that it wasn't going to loosen up, but I think I *finally* found a series of stretches and rolling that worked to undo the tightness, and it wasn't an issue this morning. Hurray!

- The snowmobilers had been out over the weekend and the trail was nicely packed. And very firm. Good screwshoe running.

- At the start of my run, as I ran along the powerlines, the crescent moon was on the right, still bright in the sky, and the horizon was tinged with pastel pinks and oranges. Very pretty.

- 5 miles to start my day. Not too shabby!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Back-to-Back and Some Farm Fun

Woke up with my legs feeling a little stiff and beat up from yesterday, but after a bit of stretching, I headed out for run #2 of the weekend. The plan was for 8 miles, so to keep things simple and to give my legs a bit of a break, I ran from our house on the roads. It was Sunday morning so things were relatively quiet, but as the temperature was right at 32 degrees, the bike lanes and edges of the roads were a bit tricky in spots. Ran the Meadow Cross Loop, which I haven't done in a while. The first mile is on Rt. 201, which means pretty meh, but the middle 4.5 miles are out on some winding, rolling country roads and are very nice. Lots of open fields. Heard a lot of birds singing, and caught a good look at a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers pecking on a huge old tree at the edge of an old apple orchard - very cool. The first mile was slow but I picked up the pace as I went along, and even managed to get down around 8:30 pace in the last 2.5 miles, because, well, by that point you're running along the wide shoulder of Rt. 196 and there's just no use not trying to just get it done ;) Overall, happy with the effort and happy to have been able to get out to get in the miles. Hoping I can keep up the back-to-backs as we move through March.

After Ryan got in his run and we had some lunch, we headed over to Wolfe's Neck to check out the new baby lambs. They are just so cute! We also fed Sam the horse and the goats, as well as saw the beginning stages of labor with one of the mama sheep. Her water broke while we were there, and the placenta came out (She ate it. Who knew? Learn something new every day, but seriously, ew!), but no baby before we left. We also got out on the trails for a walk. Sam was not really into the idea when we left home, so we didn't pack snowpants or snowshoes or anything, which meant she did a fair amount of slipping around and falling down in the soft snow as we walked along, even though it was moderately packed, but she had a great time and was very happy to be out in the woods. I guess the inertia thing holds true even for little ones. It's often hard to get her out the door, but once we do, she always has fun!
Hay for the horses...

Sam the horse and Sam the kiddo

Lambs!

Hi there, dude

Sam and Daddy watching the lambs 

A walk in the woods on the Wolfe's Neck trails

Happy to be in the woods

Peek a boo, I see you!


Anyway, it was a great afternoon out exploring, followed up by a fun dinner at Nate and Shannon's. Pretty good Sunday, if you ask me :-)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mockingbird Fat Ass Run

I've missed Val's fat ass run the past few years because of work, so I was so excited to be able to run there this morning! Ryan took Sam to swim class so that I could get in the first shift on the trails with friends, and then that plan was for him to bring Sam to Val's, and we'd swap. John very nicely picked me up and we headed over around 7:30 am. It was bright and sunny, but warming up quickly. With all the snow, and rain, it was bound to be interesting out there... I had plans for 15 miles, but figured I'd just see how it went.

It's always fun to run with friends, and today was no exception. The route consisted of two out-and-backs on opposite sides of the road in the fields near Val's house. We lined up and headed out on the snowshoe packed trail out to the snowmobile trail in single file. I ended up next to Mindy for the first few miles, and it was fun to catch up as we ran along. Conditions on the snowmobile trail were much better than I had envisioned, but we did have to cross a slushy, icy, frickin' freezing stream in the midst of the first out-and-back. Brrrr! That was incentive to pick up the pace on both sides of the water.

Toward the second turn-around on the other side of the road, I had caught up to the end of the front pack, which was lacking Ian, John and Zak who had gone awry near turn-around #1 and tacked on a bit of mileage. The pace was relatively mellow so I figured I'd just stay with the guys and see how it went. I was feeling good, and figured it couldn't hurt to push the pace on the run a bit if I could hack it. It was fun to meander along the trail talking with different people. We got back to the house in 53:00 or so, with 5 miles down. After a few snacks, the guys headed out, and I headed out with them. Somewhere around the middle of the first out-and-back, Ian joined the group, and with that, the pace picked up. I hung on for a bit, talking with Zak, but eventually dropped off the back. They were a good carrot to keep me moving, though ;) 

John and I running through the fields. 

Back to the house around 1:45 in, and after a quick pee break, I headed out a minute behind the guys. The stream had gotten wider and deeper by the start of the third lap. Yikes! Despite the warm sun and high temps, that water was still darn cold! I caught up to John on this lap, who had dropped back a bit as he wanted to keep going a few more laps, and we ran along, slipping and sliding and sinking. The snow was still hard in the shadows but much more mashed potato-esque in the sun. My hip flexors were moaning a bit, but nothing else to do but kept moving. I even got ahead of John during the last mile or so, although of course, he went on get in 26 miles, so getting "ahead" hardly counts :-)

Got back to the house with 15.25 miles in 2:38 (including stops) - very happy to feel good throughout and finish up feeling strong. Ryan and Sam had arrived a bit prior to my return, so we got Ryan out the door for his run, and then Sam and I settled into the living room to watch some Olympic hockey, eat some food and hang out for a bit. I didn't think we'd last too long, but in the end, we stayed until 4:00 pm! Sam had a blast. She colored and watched a bit of Caillou on the couch with Amy, played with Hawkeye for at least a few hours, following him around and petting him, then finished up the afternoon with a few "wresting" matches with Jamie and John, who were very good sports about getting "thrown" to the floor by a four-year old! ;)

Sam loved Hawkeye!

It was a great day out on the trails and with friends. Thanks, Val and Rick! So happy to be able to join in on the fun!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Road Runnin'

Sometimes winter and all that it brings can just be a bit too much for me. Oh, I get it. I live in Maine. I asked for it :-) But sometimes, it all just makes me dreary. So today with the sun shining and the temps in the mid-40s, I was incredibly happy to have the chance to head out in the late afternoon for a run. I'm no match for untracked trails right now - I'm still trying to let my poor little bruised calves heal up after repeatedly kicking myself with my snowshoes during last weekend's race, and I wanted to take it easy this week on my back, even though it is, very thankfully, feeling infinitely better. And since it took Ryan almost an hour last night to run a little over 3 miles on his snowshoes, no thanks! I decided I'd go park at the Pennelville fields and run a 5 mile loop on the back roads, with a stop at the ocean in the middle of the run. The roads were relatively clear, there wasn't much traffic, the fields were sparkling white and the views from Simpson's Point were pretty much awesome. I definitely ran with a smile on my face, and finished up feeling much better about 6 more weeks of winter. Yes, winter truly can be beautiful in its own right.

Soft winter light

Ice, snow and islands


Afternoon glow


[Oh and just to catch up, yesterday I got out and ran a mellow 3 miles around the block on the slushy roads. Nothing special, but everything felt pretty good.]

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stay-At-Home Day Fun

Hurray! Gotta love a three-day weekend :-) I met up with Amy this morning for a 5 mile run on the roads around Bradbury. It was blustery and cold, but the miles passed easily as we chatted away and caught up on the week's happenings. My back is still a bit stiff and my legs are bruised and a bit swollen where I continually hit myself with my snowshoes yesterday, but otherwise, things felt good. Plus it's always easier to get out in the cold and run when you're with a friend! Edna & Lucy's was closed (bummer), so we headed to the Market at Pineland to warm up with a yummy bagel and coffee. Mt. Washington and the Presidentials were white against the blue sky above the treeline - always a pretty sight - and it looked like the xc skiing was pretty good over there, but brrr! That wind was whipping!

Ryan didn't have high hopes for an outdoor outing with Sam this afternoon given the cold wind, but she surprised us with her enthusiasm and good attitude. We bundled up and headed out into the backyard with our snowshoes. Ryan led the way, packing a trail for us to follow along the fenceline and out in the woods, and Sam did great. Plus, she is light enough that she could walk atop the snow without sinking through the crust, so that helped too :-) We had a lot of fun tromping around. Then we got out the sled out for a few runs, before putting back on our snowshoes to head back home. It was a lot of fun!






video

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 Bradbury White Out Race Report

So, seriously I really did hurt my back hauling around that vat of soup yesterday, and was nervous heading to Bradbury this morning. It felt a bit better after some stretching, exercises, heating and icing this morning, but was still off, for sure. I didn't even bring anything to warm up in, figuring I'd just save it for the race and hope for the best. Also, I figured I might be flying in at the last minute, but in the end, it was really easy to drop Sam off at Anne's this morning. She was so excited to be spending the morning with her best friend, and could hardly wait for me to be out the door so they could play :-) Thank you, thank you, Phil and Kristen! We really appreciate it!

We got a few inches of snow overnight, but nothing like the 6" to 10" they had been calling for. It created a nice powdery layer atop the thick icy crust from the end of last week's storm. Ryan said conditions were actually much better than yesterday, as the new snow added a bit of "cushioning," so to speak. Well, whew! An extra huge thanks, then, to Ryan, Ian, Zak, John, Lawrence and Pankaj for setting the course - must have been rough if today was good! Yikes!

The course Ryan had come up with was tough. Lots of singletrack, with half of the "O" trail thrown in for good measure, and an uphill finish on the Knights Woods Trail. I was expecting it to be rough, but was still surprised by how loose the snow was once we turned off the Link onto Lanzo. I immediately decided I should take it down a notch so that I would have energy for the whole course! Rebecca and Aly passed me fairly early on, but after that, I was in a little void with no one immediately ahead or behind me. I just worked to keep upright, not kick myself much, and not to slip and slide around too much. In the end, I'm not sure I did too great of a job at any of those things, but hey, I tried :-)

The course is blurring together a bit right now, but somewhere on the uphill around the Bat Cave, I tripped and fell; as I was picking myself up, I motioned for the guy behind me to go by. I kept him in my sights as we weaved along the trails, but never quite caught back up to him.

I was fearful of the "O" on snowshoes, but I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, without all the rocks and roots and quite as many dips, it just seemed like a twisty turny trail. Of course, some of the tighter turns were interesting in the snowshoes, and I certainly was sliding around like crazy in the trough in the sugary snow, but I wasn't cursing that portion of the trail any more than I had been the others. Ha! Of course, right after I turned onto the Knights Woods Trail, I somehow managed to trip myself up and went down, with the back of my right snowshoe caught in the inside of my left snowshoe, with the decking of the right caught tight in my cleat. I flailed around trying to loosen it for a few seconds until I realized I was going to have to take that right snowshoe off if I was ever going to get going again. Damn! I felt so ridiculous, and so utterly ungraceful! But I didn't get caught, and I got things back on as quickly as I could and powered on up the hill as fast as I could (which wasn't very fast!) to the finish.

Looking at the finish line photos, I look very serious and it does not appear I'm having much fun, and indeed the first words out of my mouth were aimed at Ryan, with a "You suck!," which was said only partly in jest. But I did sign myself up for these races voluntarily, it is snowshoe racing and it isn't supposed to be easy. It was just tougher than I would have liked today! ;) Very happy to have managed to finish 4th woman, and mad props to Jennifer, Rebecca and Aly for putting in some great times on a tough course today. Not to mention Ian for a great win, and all the other Trail Monsters for some pretty awesome performances. As always, the volunteers do a great job, and extra thanks to Mindy and Val for heading out this morning to run the course and pack it a bit more for us! Thanks guys!


Photo courtesy of SNAPacidotic

Didn't hang around for soups and awards, as I wanted to get back to relieve Phil and Kristen of caring for our child, but of course, Sam wanted nothing to do with me when I arrive, and I ended up hanging out for another 1/2 hour until I could tear her away from their playing. Ha! Ryan nicely picked up a bag of Wicked Joe's coffee for me as my age group prize - yum! - so that was a nice surprise to get!

The back is still tight, but not as bad as I thought it might be. Hopefully it will chill out over the next few days and not become a big issue.

RESULTS
26/61
4th woman


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bike Path 10

The morning proceeded the way most Saturdays do these days, with Sam asking incessantly when it was time for swim class, followed by big smiles in the pool during swim class, followed by sugary donuts at Frosty's with Anne and family. We rounded out the morning with a trip to the farmers market to buy some locally grown produce, get a pretzel for Sam, listen to some music, and pick up the soup at Frontier before heading home. Ryan made it back from the Brad around lunchtime, and noticing that a light snow had already started, I quickly got myself organized for my run.

I headed to the bikepath, thinking it would be the clearest and safest option. Not too many people out under the gray skies with flakes falling from above. I ran a ways out onto Old Bath Road at the far end of the bike path to get to 3 miles before I turned around, thinking it would be nicer to just have to do 4 for the second "lap."Around 5 miles into the run, I saw a friendly face headed toward me, it was Phil running with Quint, the dog. I said hello and turned around to join them. Phil warned me that it would be slow, but honestly, Quint was keeping a pretty fast pace for a big dog, and I was happy to have a distraction for a bit :-) At the end of the bike path, Phil stopped to walk for a bit and let Quint go to the bathroom. In looking at my Garmin, I realized it would probably be best to go out onto Old Bath Road for another 3/4 mile and then turn around; it would mean I'd just have 3 miles to go at the turn-around. I took my leave from Phil and Quint, and figured Phil might be happy to be able to run his own pace - I think I was making him nervous, even though I really didn't care what pace we ran! :-) Plus, it gave me something to shoot for. With an extra 1.5 miles to run, could I catch them before the parking lot? I saw them long before I actually caught them, finally, with 1/2 mile to go. They turned off at the dog park and I kept going to the car. My calculations were, as is typical, a bit off, so I ended up with 10.5 miles in 1:27.

Tomorrow's snowshoe race should be interesting on many levels - lots of snow, with more on its way tonight, a tough course, and half of the "O" trail to run! On snowshoes! Man, that race director is mean :-) And seriously, I try to keep my "O" trail usage to once a year... this is totally wrong... And if I could just get my back to stop hurting - man, that container of soup was heavy, and I tweaked something getting it out of the car and into the fridge. Sigh. Well, it's always something, isn't it?!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Not Feeling The Love

In a bit of a funk today. Not enthused and feeling blah. I feel like I'm full of excuses today but it was dreary and windy, I didn't feel safe running on the main roads with all the snow, and the snow was wet and heavy enough that I didn't want to go out on my snowshoes. Still, I had some time this afternoon and I didn't want to totally waste the day, so I got out for 3 miles around the block.

Hoping to turn my attitude around by tomorrow afternoon so that I can get out after lunch and get in 10 miles once Ryan is home from his snowshoe course marking session.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Afternoon Sunshine Run

Headed out into the sunshine at lunchtime today for a trail run. Couldn't quite make myself don the snowshoes or hit the roads, so I had to just take what I could get on the trails, but luckily, that was pretty darn good! Ran the powerlines to Highland Green Road, which were fairly soft with the exception of a thin ribbon that had been packed down by some mountain bikes with fat tires. Surprisingly, in the sunny spots, the snow was pretty thin with sand showing through. I took the back dirt road out, which were perfect for screwshoes, to the Cathance trails. These trails sure do get a lot of traffic! Things were fairly well packed by snowshoers and skiers along the river for the first portion of the trail, after which things got a bit softer and there was more slipping around as I meandered my way along the Rapids loop and back up to the field. The river was covered with a layer of snow, so things seemed a lot less dramatic than when I was out there last, but it was still gorgeous on a bright and sunny afternoon. A lot of animal traffic out there - they definitely make use of the packed trail too - smart little things :-)

When I got back to Highland Green Road, I ran the Heath loop, which had also seen a lot of traffic, but mostly of walkers and hikers, so it was fairly churned up. Returned via the back road and the powerlines again for a nice 8.5 miles. Sure can't complain about getting out on the trails today!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heath Snowshoe Run

It's no secret that I really enjoy just plain running better than snowshoe running, but there is a reason to have snowshoes for running and today seemed like a good day to use them. With the 2" of new snow last night atop the snow from last week, it seemed silly to not get out and tromp in the snow, so today's plan was for a happy snowshoe run. Luckily the snowmobilers had been out over the weekend, so the powerlines and up to the Mt. Ararat summit was relatively packed. From there, I took the groomed XC trails along the back hill and out to the end of hole #3, where I crossed the road to run a loop around the Heath. The Heath had seen some good traffic, and so it was just plain great snowshoeing. I took my time and enjoyed it. On the way back, I took a slightly different route on the other side of the golf course and then through the woods along the Mt. Ararat trails. I got in 4.5 miles, about 3.6 of which were actually on snowshoes - I don't think the .4 out and .5 back on the roads running with snowshoes in my hands counts as true snowshoe running, do you? ;) Ha. Nice day to be out in the woods, for sure!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Running and Sledding

Yesterday, for his birthday, Ryan decided to go torture himself on snowshoes with some other crazy Trail Monsters :-) They headed up to Rangeley for the Maine Snowshoe Championship, and were gone most of the day, so it was just Sam and I. The Y was closed for a swim meet, so there was no swimming. Luckily, we managed to keep ourselves amused and Sam was great all day. We worked on her valentine cards for her classmates, went out to lunch, and got outside in the early afternoon for an hour+ of sledding and playing in the snow. It was warm and sunny with no wind; in other words perfect for playing out in the snow with a 4-year old. We had a great time. When Ryan got home and showered up, we headed out for an early and very yummy birthday dinner at Little Toyko and then next door for gelato and a few riveting games of dominos and Connect Four. It was a great way to spend a Saturday!

This morning, I met up with Amy bright and early at the Pineland Market for a run. We headed out on the roads onto "Gnarls" loop, a lovely but very hilly 6.5 mile loop that wandered through along the back roads, past farms and big stretches of forest. We had a great time catching up both while running and enjoying a cup of coffee and bagels afterwards in the Market. Glad to see her running again!

Later in the afternoon, with the sun once again shining and temps in the mid-20s, we headed back out to the sledding hill, with Ryan in tow this time. Again, we had a lot of fun, and Sam did great walking up the hill time and time again by herself. She requested a few runs with all of us on the tube, which had us all laughing until the third run during which we all tumbled off. There was a bit of crying at that point, but otherwise she held up well for almost an hour and a half in the snow.

Happy sledder!

Woohoo!

Smiley girl


video
Sledding

Friday, February 7, 2014

Catch Up

Tuesday, I took an intentional zero.

Wednesday, I worked a half day and then picked up Sam and we had a snow afternoon, so no running. Ryan did get out for a late afternoon snowshoe run, but I wasn't feeling that motivated ;)

Yesterday, I had to do something, so I was up and out at 6:00 am for a short 3-miler on the Patriot Commons loop. With the packed snow on the roads, it was good screwshoe running.

Today, it was bright and sunny, but I was feeling sort of tired. I decided early on this week that I'd take a bit of a down week. I ran 30+ miles each week in January, which I realize isn't a ton, but after two very light months of running in November and December, I don't want to go too crazy and jump the mileage up too much without giving my body a bit of a break every once in a while. I had originally planned on 14 miles today, but once I rethought things, decided on 10. I just wasn't sure where to go. In the end, I chose to park at Bowdoin and go out through the Commons to Simpson's Point, and then hit Rossmore, a road I haven't been on in a while, before returning, either via the Commons or roads, condition dependent.

Well, the Commons were lovely, with beautiful sparkly snow, but the conditions weren't great for running. Good for xc skiing or snowshoeing, sure, but not quite compacted enough due to the fluffy, sugary snow. The first two miles clocked in at 11:44 and 11:02, but once I hit the roads, the pace picked up, with the fastest mile of the run at 8:15. That's quite a spread, eh?! Ha. Pennelville is always peaceful and beautiful. Today the fields were cloaked in white and the sky was blue, very nice. Twas a bit windy, though, but I suppose we can't have it all. After a visit to the ocean at Simpson's Point, I wandered the roads out to Rossmore, which winds along the salt marshes, offering more lovely views. And in one of the fields, I saw a blue bird! Heard it singing, which led me to find it, flying across the road to an old apple tree. Made me smile :-)

Ended up with a good 10.25 miles on a Friday afternoon.

Also discovered today that the Maine Coast Marathon is sold out. I'm impressed! I really didn't think it would sell out so quickly. But honestly, I'm not all that disappointed. Ryan and I have been talking back and forth about my running, and while I had the idea in my head that I could work through my dislike for 'true training,' my heart hasn't really been in it, and honestly I haven't been doing any truly specific marathon training. I haven't given up on a road marathon PR yet, but I think I'm going to pass on it for this year. When I saw that the marathon was full, I wasn't all that upset, which I think gives me my true answer. So, I'm pondering ultra options. Ha. That was easy, and probably expected, wasn't it? I have the 6-hour Spring Thaw in March, and then am thinking about the Spring Classic 50k, and possibly even the TARC 50?! I hadn't been originally been thinking about a 50 this spring, but June 7 is practically summer, and I had initially been thinking the TARC race was going to be held at night like last year, which I wasn't interested in. But given that it starts at a reasonable hour of 7:00 am, I'm seriously thinking about it... The other possibility is the 50k at Pineland. Thoughts??

Monday, February 3, 2014

Birthday Therapy

Well, I can no longer say I'm in my mid-30s. 39 is almost 40. Good grief, how did I get to be almost 40?! I don't feel old... I decided I would make the most of my free afternoon and headed over to the Commons for a run after I left work at 12:30. It was overcast, and a bit raw feeling, despite temps hovering right above 30 degrees. I had a loose plan for the run but it all depended on how conditions were, etc. In fact, they turned out to be pretty darn icy. With all the traffic the Commons receives, things were either solid ice or really packed snow which was almost like ice. There was less bare ground than I would have anticipated. I took the "long" way out, meandering the deer trails to get in another mile before hitting Merepoint Road. I hadn't really enjoyed the miles in the Commons - too much tiptoeing and slipping for my liking - so I made up my mind to go out to Coleman Farms and see how the trails were out there. They were less traveled and more uneven, but there was more bare ground and less ice. Oh, and a lovely view at the end of the peninsula with cloudy bright skies and the smell of the ocean. Well worth it :-)


The singletrack portion of the loop, which winds along the cove, was the best running of the day, mostly free of snow. I took the main trail back through the Commons, and ended the run by taking the roads instead of trying to navigate the worst of trails connecting the Commons proper to the Bowdoin fields. Got in 8.75 miles and a nice hour and a half out on the trails.

I headed home to get some newsletter work done, and then picked up Sam for a trip to Gelato Fiasco. Gelato before dinner? It's my birthday, so why not?! :-)


Many thanks to everyone for the birthday messages and phone calls. It's always nice to feel loved, and I am so lucky to have such great family and friends :-)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Running and Skiing

Got out this morning for a nice run in the Cathance. It felt like spring with temps in the mid-30s.The sky, despite the fact that it was 8:00 am and well past sunrise, had a pink glow along the horizon with hazy, overcast skies above. The trails were a mix of nicely packed tacky snow, very icy spots, and bare ground, particularly underneath the pine trees. I decided to head out to Head of Tides, and it really was lovely out in the woods. Saw some serious Pileated Woodpecker evidence, but otherwise the trails were quiet. The river was gorgeous, with some really cool ice sculptures where the water had receded but the ice was left attached to the rocks in interesting spirals and circles a foot above the river.

Ice along the river

Neat ice formations

The running wasn't fast, but I felt good, it was an awesome day to be out in the woods, and I got in 12 miles to round out the week.

After lunch, under cloudy skies, we took Sam over to the Mt. Ararat trails with our xc skis. She is definitely much stronger than last year, and did a good job maneuvering the skis, despite the variable conditions. Still working on endurance though, for sure :-) We made it up the hill and out into the woods before she started to get tired, so maybe a 1/4 mile ski total (ha!) but it was good to be out in the woods on skis with her. Of course, it also made me realize I have become much less adept on my skis after not using them much the past few years :-)

video
Skiing!


Headed out

Photo stop

Yeah, we're skiing!

Happy skier

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Swim, Run, Coffee

Sam and I met up with Ryan last night at Frontier for dinner, and as we were sitting there waiting for dessert, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was just plain exhausted. No wonder yesterday's run didn't go as planned. I actually slept fairly well last night, which was nice, and didn't wake up until 7:00 am, happy Amy and I had decided to skip out on our planned early morning run (well, only because I needed the sleep, not because I didn't want to run with her!). Sam and I headed to swim lessons while Ryan went out for his run, and then she and I joined Anne, Thistle and Phil at the farmer's market for pretzels, top spinning, and produce gathering. Sam is doing great in her swim class, and today, I watched as she jumped off the side (holding the teacher's hands), totally immersing herself in the water, and later swam around the pool with her noodle. She really does love the water and these lessons have been great for her!

We got home and were eating lunch when Amy messaged me wondering if I was up for coffee a little later in the afternoon. I was, but I also wanted to get in a few miles at least, so I threw on my clothes and headed right out, getting in a quick 3 miles around the block. It was supposed to be a recovery run, but sometimes it's tough to run slow on the flat roads. Managed to keep it at 9:00 pace at least. Amy and I spent a quiet hour or so drinking coffee with big chocolate chip cookies on the side and catching up. Good to see her even if it wasn't for a run!

The plan had been for me to meet Ryan and Sam up at the Bowdoin Art Museum, but Sam was pretty tired out, so I headed home and we sat and colored and read books until dinnertime instead. And here's the best part, at dinner tonight, Sam actually tried a few chickpeas (and liked them!). Then, she had some of the chicken and liked it; and agreed to try the chickpeas and chicken mixed with the sauce and rice - you know, just like we were eating! It was the first time she's ever eaten a bean to my knowledge, and the first time I've ever seen her actually eat a "mixed" meal with the exception of pasta with sauce (but no tomatoes, ie. chunks). It's only taken four+ years! Hurray! Maybe she's going to be OK after all :-)