Monday, March 31, 2014

Busy Vacationing

A busy vacation day today! We headed to the Fort Fisher Aquarium this morning - it's a neat aquarium that we've visited before. The turtle exhibit, probably Sam's favorite, was closed today, but we did get to see the diver presentation at the big fish tank. The fish were neat, but Sheldon the green turtle was the best. He was down near the rocks where we were sitting, trying to scratch his back on the rock ledge, and then wanting to play in some of the equipment the diver had brought in. Fun to watch with a lot of personality, it seemed.

First time in about 4 visits that she's actually touched something in the Touch Pool ;-)

Sheldon the Green Turtle

Watching the diver in the tank

Playground fun

Ribbit!

Lunch at Flaming Amy's

This cone is as big as my head

After some playtime on the playground out back, we headed to Flaming Amy's for lunch, and Boombalatti's for ice cream. Yum! Then back to home base for a quick change - me into my running clothes and the rest of the crew into their swim suits. Sam had been asking to go back to the pool all day, so more pooltime it was! I met them up there after a 4 mile run. It was warm - low 70s - and sunny. I was happy to feel good running and be able to keep up a sub-8:30 pace. Still just a bit of junk in my lungs, but definitely feeling so much better.

A fun day for sure!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jump!

Sam was very excited to have Ryan and I come up to the pool with her today so that she could show us what she had been working on with Neenie and Pippi yesterday afternoon. Apparently, she was jumping off the shelf seat herself and touching the pool bottom, ie. actually getting her head underwater! I took the first shift in the pool today - brrr! - and swam and watched her jump and played with her for 30 minutes before I had goose bumps all over and needed to retreat to the side... Sam's lips were chattering, but she assured us she wasn't cold. Crazy kids! She really is getting much better in the water and is doing a great job kicking and working on her crawl stroke.

When Ryan got in with her, I suggested she try jumping in from the edge, and she said yes right away. In fact, she told Ryan she didn't need him to hold her hands, and just like that, she was jumping in on her own! She jumped in more than 40 times from the edge, and would have kept going if we hadn't insisted she get out due to her mouth and nose turning blue :-)

video
One of the earlier jumps

video
Getting braver and jumping farther

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stomping in the Puddles

Well, there was just no avoiding the puddles, actually ;) It poured rain all night last night and continued through the morning as Sam and I did a puzzle, ate breakfast, and made pumpkin muffins, so I figured I might as well just go do my run despite the rain. Ryan was looking like he might just spend the day in front of the IPad with his cup of coffee, but he got himself suited up too. I was feeling a bit grouchy - I really want to feel 100% and energetic, but I'm not quite there yet, but it was a nice treat to be able to run with Ryan, so I tried my best to be grateful.

Normally we wouldn't be able to run the cart paths on a Saturday at 10:30 am - there would be too many people out golfing - but with all the rain, no one was going to be out on the course, so we ran right from the house onto the paths. While it is pretty much entirely flat around here, the cart paths at least have a bit of undulation to keep things interesting. There was no avoiding the water from step one. Luckily the Flites drain well :-)

Saw a red-headed woodpecker, lots of bluebirds, mockingbirds, one brown thrasher, a few turtles, and 5 egrets in the pond along the main drag.

At the moment, Ryan and I are relaxing on the couch while Mom and Dad are up at the pool no doubt freezing in the water with Samantha. Gotta love grandparents :-) Thanks guys!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fifth and Final Day of Antibiotics

Final day of my antibiotics today and first full day in NC. It is lovely to be someplace warm and feeling spring-like! The original plan had been for Ryan and I to run 20 miles today, but with the bronchitis, obviously that wasn't going to happen. I'm a bit bummed, as I really had hoped to take advantage of being on vacation to get in some good miles, but oh well, what can you do. Still, I couldn't let the first day of vacation go by without getting out for a short run, at least. It was warm and sunny, and I wore shorts - hurray! Ran a 5-mile loop with a bit of trail, but mostly road. Entirely flat as a pancake :-) The birds were singing, and flowers were blooming. Lots of mockingbirds, two pairs of brown thrashers, cardinals, a red-headed woodpecker, a tufted titmouse, and numerous bluebirds were among the birds seen along the way. The streets were lined with daffodils, pansies, bradford pear trees, greening grass... very nice. I kept the pace very mellow, and could definitely feel some of the junk in my lungs still, but despite not being the run I had hoped for the day, it certainly was good to be well enough to be out!

While I was out running, Ryan was in the midst of his own run - he got in a speedy 21 miles. Awesome!

Here are a few photos to share, plus a cute video of Sam swimming in the pool this afternoon. She spent a good 1:15 or maybe more in the water, loving every minute of it!

video
Happy swimmer!

Mom attempting to take a family portrait of us on the Pullen Park train

take #2

Silly girl

Take #4

#5

The best, but time to give up now :-)

Whee! 

Carousel ride

Boat ride!

Blooming Bradford Pear tree. Looks like spring!

Helping Neenie garden

Planting bulbs

Goofy girl

The gardeners :-)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Down for the count, or at least for as long as I can hold out

After feeling fairly miserable yesterday, and coughing so much last night that I was shaking the bed and keeping Ryan awake, I got myself into the doctor's today. Diagnosis: bronchitis. Ugh. Although bronchitis is often viral, because of Sam's sickness, the fact that we are traveling later this week, and because I seem to be getting worse and not better, she gave me a perscription for a Zpak. I am hopeful it will help. This really sucks.

So, down for the count for now... Or at least for as long as I can hold out... The 20 miler I had planned for Friday in NC is obviously out. But I'm thinking I might be able to get out for a mellow jog that day at least, and hopefully I'll still be able to get in some decent mileage down in the sun next week... Here's hoping!

When I told Sam I was now taking the same medicine as she was, she asked me if I had gotten a star chart too :-) (Her medicine came with a medicine tracker sheet. If she fills in all the stars, she can return the chart to the pharmacy for a little prize) So cute.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stinky Poo

Stinky poo. I am sick. Going to head to the doctor's tomorrow. Really don't want to feel like this on the plane on Thursday. Ugh. I took Sam back to the doctor this morning. She had been complaining of ear pain in her left ear the past few days, so I thought we should get it checked out. It turns out, she does indeed have an ear infection, and her left lung is still infected and sounding rather nasty. Poor kid. We finished up the prednisone this morning, and added in an antibiotic. Hurray! Whatever this is is not very nice. Hoping we will both feel better later this week, and looking forward to some warmth and sunshine in NC. Even 50s would be nice at this rate!

I may be sick but I'm still dumb. Couldn't help but want to get out for a run this morning. Don't know that it helped or hurt, but either way it wasn't the eight that the plan called for today. Took a slow meander down to the river and back. Trails were variable. River was pumping.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sickly Snowy Snowmobile Six

First, my thoughts are with Linda, Bethany and their family today. We are all so sorry about Jerry. Much love from all of us.

This morning, Ryan went for his run and then up to Lisbon for Jerry's funeral. It was a full military funeral, as he was a Vietnam veteran, and sounds like there were tons of people there to honor him. Definitely speaks to the kind of man Jerry was. He will be missed.

I got the more lighthearted task for the morning, as Sam and I went to swim lessons and then to Frosty's for donuts with Anne and Kristen. Sam did great in the pool, even though she is still coughing, and inhaled her donut. Takes a lot of energy to learn to swim - gotta refuel :-)

After Ryan got home, I got ready for my run. I really really really wanted to stick with the schedule today and run the 11 mile road route that Ryan had run this morning. But I also really really really want to get rid of this crud, so I threw a few little temper tantrums ;), and resigned myself to trying to play it smart by doing a mellow run on the snowmobile trails instead. It started to snow just as I headed out, big, wet flakes. The trails had softened up a bit, with a thin layer of corn snow atop a firm base, so it was still good running. The snow falling just added to the tackiness of the surface. At one point, it looked like a horse had been out there? Big, deep, almost round postholes. Weird. Also saw one of the mountain bikers out there who I've seen from time to time. Otherwise, the trails were quiet, and I meandered along, keeping the pace mellow. Got in a nice 6 miles in just over an hour. Of course, the snow stopped as soon as I stopped. Ha!

And although the weather is not acting like it is spring, the birds appear to think spring is here! At lunchtime today, the backyard was full of birds, including our resident red winged blackbird in his first appearance. Also along with the juncoes, chickadees and sparrows, there was a grackle, a white-breasted nuthatch, the pair of Cardinals that has been hanging around all winter, a female Hairy woodpecker, and a Downy Woodpecker. Busy day out back! I love that the red winged blackbird is around, because that means spring must really be on its way! Right?!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beautiful Sunrise

Sam is feeling better but still coughing. I suppose it isn't too surprising that due to lack of sleep this week and all the germs no doubt floating around from her that I have managed to get sick too. I don't feel terrible, but I am sniffly and have a cough, again. This is the winter of coughs for me. I am ready for spring! To open up the windows and air out the house! To not be sick anymore! And I am really ready for vacation next week, and am looking forward to some 60 degree weather down in NC!

In any event, this has turned into a bit more of a recovery week than anticipated but what can you do. I did get out this morning for a nice 5 mile run on the Highland Green loop. I headed out at 6:00 am just as the sky was beginning to lighten. The sky was a beautiful pinky orange along the horizon as I crested the hill on the powerlines, and continued to change as I ran along. As I headed home, the sky was brighter, but there was still a misty pinky glow to the sky. Gorgeous. Wish I had had my camera. I was surprised at how solid the snow was on the powerlines. If I had had on my screwshoes I would have stuck to running them, but as it was, the pavement/dirt road seemed like a better idea. Not moving too quickly this morning, but good to get out. Glad this is a down week in terms of mileage. Only 10 and 8 on the schedule for the weekend. I think I can hack it. Even if I'm hacking ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hiccup

If there's one thing I've learned as an ultrarunner and as a mother, it is that things rarely go as planned. In fact, it's better to plan for the unexpected, to anticipate that your training isn't going to completely match that pretty excel sheet with all those numbers you are trying to hit, and to translate that into life in general too. Except I'm a planner. I write out our schedule for the week and put it up on the fridge door. I have a pad going by the computer with tasks for each day and I cross things off as I do them. I really like order. And I really prefer to not have any hiccups in my day, my week, my training, heck, my life. But, see above. Something is pretty much always going to muck up the works at some point.

So, when we headed south this past weekend, Sam had a cough. We laughed, because it seems like she is always sick or gets sick at Ryan's parent's house. Ha ha. Except that by Sunday night she had a fever too. It was clear on Monday morning that she shouldn't go to school. So, I worked the morning and Ryan worked the afternoon. I didn't run the 10 mile back-to-back run as I had planned. I didn't get much of anything done, in fact. Poor kiddo. It really sucks to have your kid sick. We repeated the routine on Tuesday, except that after another night of not sleeping and coughing, I called the doctor and got an appointment for Ryan to bring Sam in mid-morning. After a breathing treatment and some other checking, it was decided that she had a respiratory virus, meaning there's not much we can do about it. He suggested using the inhaler several times a day and prescribed a small dose of prednisone for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, the cough won't go away immediately and she was still pretty worn out, so she was home again today. I did however get out for a short run today before Ryan headed into work for his shift. I ran a variation on the Patriot Commons loop for 4 miles, feeling creaky and tired and sort of out of sorts. But I really needed to run, so I'm glad I was able to get out even if for a short, so-so run.

Sam was definitely feeling more energetic today, and definitely bored from three straight days of not doing much at home, so we got out this afternoon for a trip to the dump to drop off the recycling and stopped at the library to play for a bit. She is still coughing a lot though, but it's loosening up, so things are headed in the right direction at least. Although tonight in the bath she said, "It really sucks to be sick." :-) Yes, sweetie, indeed it does. We're hoping she can get to school tomorrow at least for the morning. It would be nice to get back to a regular routine after this minor hiccup. And it sure would be nice to have Sam back to being healthy!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

TARC Spring Thaw Report

This is not a race report.

I did not go into this event intending to race. In fact, I did not go into this event even planning to finish the event - a 6 hour run. I signed up a bit on a whim, slightly goaded on by Amy ;)

Then, the winter kind of got away from me in terms of distance. Before this weekend, my longs have been 16, 15.3, 10, 12, 14.7, no long run (snowshoe race), 12 (working back to the beginning of January). So, while it might have sounded good on paper to go the distance, it really would have been foolish on my part to think about trying to run all 6 hours today, especially when I want to be able to do well in 6 weeks at the TARC Spring Classic. So, I went into it thinking I would run 6 laps or 4 hours, and then possibly run more if I felt up for it. That would get me 20+ miles and be a solid long run.

And that's just what I did... except I stopped right after 6 laps with no desire to keep going :-)

Yesterday was a bit of a tease in terms of the weather. Winter came roaring back this morning, bringing with it a lovely cold breeze. Brrr! We got to the school around 8:15, I got my number, stood in line at the port-a-potty and got right back in the car :-) The start was a 1/2 mile back up the road, and we all walked up as a group and then stood around shivering until the race director said a few words and then said, "We thought we might start a few minutes early... Anyone have any objections?" There was a collective "no" from the group, and then we were off. I ran the road with Amy, catching up with her for a few minutes, before we hit the entrance to the singletrack. And then, I was caught up in the crowd and it was each man for himself. Things were pretty crowded for the first loop, with someone always in front and behind. I was glad to get back to the school after the first loop, as I had to use the port-a-potty, and because once I headed back out for loop #2, I had the space on the trail to myself... Ahhh....

With the extra road portion on the first loop, loop #1 was 4 miles. All other loops were 3.5 miles. The loop was a nice one, well, it had a nice rhythm anyway, but conditions were challenging to say the least. I'd say the loop was about 1 mile of nicely packed solid trail, with the rest being a wide range of conditions, all of which made for some rough running. The loop had us (or me at least!) sliding and slipping and maneuvered our way across snow, ice, mud, an icy sidehill, a cold slushy pool that spanned the trail, a few stretches of nasty sugary snow, corn snow, one or two steps of bare ground, and a big section that was somehow both sugary and postholed at the same time. I tried to take advantage of the stretches that were the most runnable, and conditions were different each loop based on traffic and how strong things were getting hit by the sun, but it was not a loop that I ran entirely with confidence. I didn't fall during my run, but saw many who did. Instead, I just slipped around a lot :-0

Anyway, I felt pretty good out there, despite the conditions, and although I wasn't going very quickly, I felt like I was moving well. I was fairly consistent with my fueling and it seemed to work pretty well, although I was hungry by the end of loop #4. I stopped and ate two donut holes and had some coke (ummm, that's nutrition!?!) before heading on, which helped. It was fun to see people on the first portion of each loop, which was an out-and-back. Came across Michael Wade each loop and George, saw Amy once, ran a bit with Blaine and saw Ann a few times too. Although the two-way traffic was a bit tricky, everyone was nice and there was a lot of cameraderie as we passed each other.

I definitely slowed down on the final lap, more due to the fact that my hip flexors were beginning to get pissed at me due to the conditions than anything else. But you know, that's OK. I planned to get in 6 laps, and that's just what I did. Got in a nice 21.8 miles in 4:14 total time (Strava said 4:07 moving time), and am totally cool with that. Today's event was a fun way to get in a long run, and it was very well organized with great volunteers. Thank you, TARC! I really did think the run was on a good loop, but I think I'd much prefer it when it was nice packed dirt ;)

Many thanks to Irene and Dana for watching Sam while we ran too! (Ryan got out for his back-to-back run of 10 miles on some of the other trails in the area during the first part of the run, and then sat at the turn-around spot, coaxing me to eat whenever I came through and in general being a good sport about sitting in a cold and windy parking lot for a few hours. What a guy! ;) )



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Short

We headed down to MA after swim lessons. Ryan had gotten up early to get in his 18 miles - impressive! - and we picked him up on the way through. We met Irene and Dana at Nicki's, the roast beef place. That was Ryan's request for refueling :) I had a yummy calzone, which definitely weighed me down an hour later when I went out for my short 3 mile run around the block. Just wanted to loosen up the legs, and get in a few miles in my new inov-8s. They seemed a bit different than my past 268s but still comfy. I finished up the day with a huge burrito and a big margerita. All this food is either going to hurt or fuel me tomorrow. I'm hoping for fuel!! ;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Loop on the Snowplug 50k Course

Ryan is planning an early morning 18 mile run tomorrow before we head down to MA. His plan is for 3 laps of the Snowplug 50k course. This afternoon I went for a run, and since I've been running a lot on the powerlines and it seemed too sloppy and windy to be out on the roads, I decided to do a lap on the course myself, just to give him an idea of what he was in for :-) I found things incredibly variable. No one had been out up the trail to the top of Mt. A., or on most of the Mt. A. trails for that matter, but there was a pretty good crust beneath the few inches of snow. I was able to stay on the top for the most part, but it made me cautious. I was just afraid I was going to break through at some inopportune moment and hurt myself. Mountain Road was in good shape but the trail along the Quarry was iffy. Someone had been out along the Heath snowshoeing so that section was in great shape. When I crossed the road, I was surprised to find no one had been out near the Ecology Center or down near the river. There was a fairly wide shallow trough from people snowshoeing before the last snow that was pretty easy to follow, but again, I took my time. It was hard to tell what was under the fresh snow. The river was flowing and was very pretty. There were tons of animal tracks - lots of big snowshoe hare tracks, squirrel, little mice, maybe voles from the tunneling?, and definitely some fox. Always nice to be out on the Cathance trails. The pace quickened slightly once I reached the back dirt road, but it was muddy and slushy from all the trucks, so not exactly fast either. Still, a nice 6.25 miles on a sunny Friday afternoon. I'll take it.

And just to make things a bit more interesting, here are a few of Sam's "selfies" from my phone tonight. Ha!







Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Soggy and Sloppy

Oh, what a difference a few days make! Saturday the snowmobile trails were about just as perfect as could be. Today, well, maybe not so much. Got out around 1:15 pm for my run. It was raining. If it's going to rain on a run, it should be one of those hot and humid summer afternoons when the rain feels refreshing! Not in March on a 37 degree day. Ah well, I hadn't managed to get myself up and out the door at 6:00 am to get in my run before work, so rain was what I got. The trails weren't miserable, but they were a bit sloppy. In fact, I think the sections that were icy were the best running, as they were solid. The soft corn snow just absorbed whatever energy I put out. But my legs felt a bit peppier than yesterday and after a good night sleep, I felt much less exhausted. So I just wandered along, thinking, pondering, slipping, sliding and making the most of it. Got in 7 miles at exactly 10 minute pace. Given the weather, I'll probably skip running tomorrow and hopefully get in some decent miles on Friday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recovery Run

Got out at 6:00 am this morning for a slow 5 mile recovery run around Highland Green. There was an inch of fresh, tacky snow on the ground, and even without screws, there was plenty of traction for 99% of the run. Took it nice and easy. Funny to be running in the dark again, but I'm loving the light in the evening.

Not looking forward to another snowstorm tomorrow. Hopefully it will melt quickly. Bring on the dirt!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 Bradbury Blizzard Race Report

OK. I can pretty much sum up today's race in two words: Low energy. I felt off from the second I woke up this morning, sort of woozy and out of it. Felt that way during my short warm-up. Really felt that way during the first few steps in the race when I watched George and Bob Dunfey pull away from me as if I was standing still. Maureen passed me soon after. Forget about Rebecca and Aly - they were gone. I just didn't have any energy. My legs were like dead weights. Definitely not my best race performance. But, I just kept chugging, trying to convince myself that I could keep going and that this wasn't all that bad. It was great training and a good second run for the weekend. A bit of suffering isn't always bad. Right?!

The race was on the mountain side. I did a fair amount of picking my way around the ice on the Boundary trail, and was definitely cursing the South Ridge Trail, or perhaps I was cursing myself. Downhills have never been my strength. Caroline passed both Maureen and I on the downhill, and then Maureen went slightly off course somewhere near the playground. I called her back, but managed to get ahead. Climbing up the Switchback, I caught back up to Caroline, and she let me pass. I sure wasn't feeling great, but I've always maintained that I can at least grind an uphill in a decent manner, and I managed at least pull away as I made my way up toward the summit. That seemed to put me into a slight race mindset, and I was determined to finish as strongly as I could. The next portion was the best of the race, around the Tote, back up toward the summit and down the Terrace, which thankfully was all snow and no ice, and was even maybe fun to run. Then into the finish, a distant 4th woman, in just over 1:00:00.

Ryan was waiting for me, worried. He said I looked fairly ashen. But it certainly was a beautiful afternoon, and what's not to like about talking with friends in the sun after a snowshoe race? Plus, despite not having a great race, I still managed to finish, and win a bag of coffee and get the cool Bad Ass prize too. I'm slightly disappointed with how the race went, but it was good training and I can sure think of worse ways to spend the morning. I guess I can't complain too much...

I think she wears it well, don't you?

The whole Bad Ass crew. 

So, now, snow, feel free to melt! Bring on spring! I'd like to run on some dirt, please :-)

4th woman

As always, many thanks to Ryan for putting together a great race series, and to all the volunteers who help make it happen!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunny and Warm Saturday Fun

What a beautiful day! I know there are likely a few cold days still to come, but today, it felt like spring, and oh man, did it feel good! Mom and Dad very nicely agreed to take Sam to swim lessons and entertain her until lunchtime so that Ryan could get over to Bradbury to mark the snowshoe course and get in his run, and I could run too. Thank you, thank you, Mom and Dad! We really appreciate it. It worked out perfectly. Sam had a great morning at swimming, got a yummy donut at Frosty's and went to the farmer's market with Mom and Dad. Ryan got the course marked and got in a run on the Beautiful Loop with John and Sean. And I got out for my run. I ran from the house to cut down on time spent driving, etc, and although I missed out on the company of friends, I did have a great run. The snowmobile trails had probably the best conditions all year, nice and firm but not icy, with a tacky surface that was perfect. As the morning progressed, the snow definitely got softer, especially in the sun, but it was still really nice running.

I ran the long Dump Loop, tacking on the extra lollypop out in the woods beyond the pond, and then adding on an out-and-back back at the powerlines before returning to the high school. From there, I headed back out to run the Lovers Lane Snowmobile loop that I've been running mid-week. It worked out perfectly and I got in 16 miles just as I turned onto our walkway, with the clock just a few seconds over 2:40. Felt fairly steady throughout, and had fun out there, just enjoying the trails as I ran along. Didn't see a soul except for one older gentlemen and his dog (not a Saint Bernard but something similar? Don't know my dog breeds...), who I saw three times! Ha. He thought I was nuts! Which I am, of course, but that's another story...

In any event, glad to have gotten in the miles and felt good doing it. On the flip side, this is likely going to mean tomorrow's snowshoe race hurts a little bit more, but hey...

By the time I was headed over to K&C's, Kristen and Morgan had arrived. Mom and Dad got all packed up - the week went by too quickly! - and we all headed over to Wolfe's Neck Farm. The girls had fun feeding the horses and the lambs, and we took a great walk in the woods. It was just so nice out!

Momma and baby taking a nap

Harley!

Feeding Harley

Feeding the lambs

Out for a walk in the woods

Neenie and the kids

Sam running on the way back

Sisters and cousins

We all came back to our house to hang out for a bit - the girls played while I baked up goodies for tomorrow's races - and have a yummy dinner of Flipside pizza. I'm pretty wooped, but it was a great way to spend a sunny and warm Saturday!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Heath Loop on a Sunny Afternoon

Got out this afternoon for a run around the Heath loop. It was bright and sunny and felt so warm! Of course, it was only in the high 30s but after all this cold weather, that felt like a heat wave. Before the run, I went to get the car washed... I think everyone else had the same idea. "Hey look! It's a sunny, warm afternoon! All this white/grey/brown s*#t on my car is driving me nuts! I think I'll get the car washed." Ha. There was quite a line. But the car is looking sparkly clean and I'm no longer getting nasty salt/road stuff on my hands every time I try to open and close the trunk. Hurray.

In any event, I decided I would try the Heath loop. Ran up and over Mt. A. and then out along hole #3. The golf course hadn't been groomed in a while. Still fairly solid though, with some snowshoe tracks to follow. The snow is beginning to transform, especially in the sun. Come on, spring, I know you're out there! The trail around the Heath was in nice shape and good running. Saw a lot of tracks - turkey, deer, rabbit, possibly fox? I took the trail to the Quarry on the way back, which was not in the best shape and hadn't seen much traffic, but what the heck. I was curious to see what conditions things were in out there. Back up and over Mt. A. and home. Very nice afternoon to be out, but felt a bit tired. Hoping a good night sleep will put some pep back in my legs for tomorrow morning's 16 miles!

Mom and Dad have been up all week, and I haven't yet posted any photos. Here are a few cute ones from the week :-)

Snowshoeing in the yard with Morgan

Helping Neenie bake (creepy pig, why yes)

Cousins

Snowshoe walk with Neenie

Whee! Riding Morgan's scooter

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lovers Lane Snowmobile Trail Run

The to-do list is seemingly endless. I finish one thing and then there's something else to do. I suppose this is just a fact of life, unless you're on vacation. I am really looking forward to vacation... but in the meantime, there is much to do and seemingly never enough time to do it. Today I tried to cram a bit too much into the 3 1/2 hours I had between finishing up work at 1:00 and picking Sam up at 4:30. I stopped at Petco, Target, the grocery store. Raced home to put said items away. Realized what time it was, and raced to get out the door for a run. Ran 6.75 miles on the snowmobile trails out and around the Lovers Lane loop. There was a thin layer of new snow atop the trail, making for good running, but hidden ice. Saw one of the mountain bikers out there that I had run into last week doing the same loop. Always good to see other crazies out enjoying the trails! Got home and realized it was 3:45. Took the trash to the dumpster, came in to take a quick shower, got the laundry started, worked on newsletter edits for 25 minutes, did a quick vacuum downstairs and off to pick up Sam. No rest for the weary... oh, I suppose unless you consider the 1:05 I was out running my rest ;-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ankle-Turning Fun

With no recent snow, lots of traffic and cold temps, the trails in the Commons are SOLID. There is no give. And those postholes made by people, deer and dogs? Those are serious ankle-turners. Youch! Got out late this afternoon for 5 miles on the trails. I had a bit of a better attitude about the conditions than I did on Saturday, but the conditions were pretty much the same. Hard, nay, practically impossible, for me to move quickly when I was worried I was going to turn an ankle pretty much every step. Slow goin'.

But onto more fun things... Each week in Sam's pre-school class, they focus on a different letter. They aren't going in alphabetical order; the letters have been grouped by shapes. This week is "W." They have to bring in two show and tell items for each letter. This week, Sam brought in "her" wildflower book, ie. my field guide, "Wildflowers of the White Mountains," and one of her water bottles. Well, when she was hanging out with Mom and Dad yesterday, they happened to see a female Hairy Woodpecker pecking on a tree right outside the bedroom window at K&C's. Neat. So today, when she was hanging out with them in the afternoon, they decided to draw a picture of it. Mom said they did look in one of the bird books at an image of the woodpecker and talked about the shape of the bird, but Sam did all the drawing herself. I am so proud! I love that my little kiddo likes to read field guides and can draw a woodpecker!


And doesn't she look cute with her new headband? :-)



Sunday, March 2, 2014

10 on the Roads

I really did have grand plans for a true long run today, but I woke up feeling not so great and trying to run 18 miles just seemed to spell disaster. I know there is a place for pushing through and getting the workout in, and perhaps I was being wimpy, but I was also trying to be realistic. I knew Ryan was planning on 10 miles, so I asked him if he wanted to run 10 on the roads with me. I figured I could pull that off, at least!

We weren't very quick to get ourselves out of the house and over to K&C's, but finally headed out from there around 11:30 for the run. Temps were in the low 30s but the wind made it feel much colder. The air had that raw feeling like it was going to snow, although that never materialized. I planned a route that involved a trip out to Simpson's Point, because, well, if you're going to run on the roads, the run might as well feature an ocean view :), and so we wandered out of town onto Maquoit, turned onto Rossmore and then to Simpson's Point. The wind seemed to be in our faces everywhere. Brrr... We stopped briefly to enjoy the view at the Point  - it was high tide and the cove was filled with water, not ice. Lots of ducks out there too - mergansers and others. Always a lovely spot.

Pennelville is beautiful but has a penchant for being windy. It certainly was today. I'm pretty sure Ryan was ready to be done at that point, and after yesterday's race and travel that was more than understandable, but we still had a few miles to go. My Garmin was reading a bit short once we got back to the house, so I did a few silly loops to even the run out to 10, and then, we were done. It was cold and windy and neither of us were feeling the most pepeey, but we managed a decent pace, and it was a fun way to catch up on the weekend's events!

We spent the rest of the day lounging around at K&C's with the family and enjoying a fun dinner with  Susie and Lillie too. Sam had a blast hanging out with Morgan and Lillie all afternoon, so it all worked out pretty well in the end.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tough Going

The sniffle and cough that I got at the end of last week is still hanging on. The cough sounds terrible, but it's almost like it's from all the dry air? Regardless, it still kind of sucks and kept me up on Thursday night. Yesterday afternoon in the cold and the wind, I decided I would try running from the ecology center out onto the Cathance trails. The trails were fairly well packed but not entirely evenly, and since I wasn't exactly feeling energetic, the pace wasn't exactly quick :-) Got in 3.6 miles and decided that was enough. No use putting myself in too much of a hole at this point.

Today, after a decent night sleep and a morning of swimming and fun times at the farmer's market, I headed out mid-afternoon from Keith and Cordelia's, where my mom and dad are staying for the week house- and cat-sitting. I wasn't sure if I would go out, but figured since Sam was entertained with them, Morgan and Kristen, I might as well give it a go. Again it was cold and windy, so I figured the trails were the best option. The problem was that the trails were either so packed they were icy, or they were really uneven ankle-twisting semi-packed. I ran out to the end of the Commons and decided to tack on a few more miles by running a two-mile loop out in Pennelville. The wind was really strong out in the fields! Managed 6.5 miles in 1:09 and called it good.

Hoping I have the energy for a long run tomorrow! I felt so good last weekend at Val's Fat Ass, and really wanted to build on that. Hope I can!