Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dump Loop

This morning, I figured I'd gamble, wear the screwshoes and see how far I got. The screws in my Ultras are getting really worn down anyway, so if I had to abort and run the Highland Green loop, it wouldn't be too big of a deal. But, surprisingly, the trails were pretty solid. I didn't sink through at all, although there were some sunny spots where the top layer of snow was a bit crunchy and loose. Of course, there were many posthole landmines and a lot of uneven footing to contend with, so it wasn't all smooth sailing and it wasn't the fastest, but in the end, not a bad tour around the Dump Loop on a beautiful and crisp end of March morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Random Sunday Wander

In our attempt to juggle our runs, and be able to spend at least a portion of the day all together, it was agreed upon that I would get up early to run on the roads around home and then Ryan would head over to the Brad at 9:30 am, meeting up with John there for his 10 miles.

I didn't sleep much last night, a combination of that ridiculous thing that is my typical post-long run non-sleep and the fact that Sam woke me up twice, once because she had somehow rolled out out of bed onto the floor, ending up about 3 feet away on her rug, and once because she had to go to the bathroom. Between the tiredness and the creakiness, I wasn't exactly feeling rosy when I headed out at 6:30. But at least it was light out!

I ran down the Connector onto Highland Green Road. Along the back dirt road, I stopped for a minute to watch a Pileated Woodpecker high up in a dead tree and further along was treated to a sighting of a beautiful mink gracefully leaping across the road. So cool! There was also much birdsong in the air with many cardinals singing high up in the bare trees.

I ran down to Tedford and looped through the Topsham Crossing neighborhood before tracing my route back along Highland Green Road. When I got to the junction with the powerlines, I thought I'd risk it and run the 1/2 mile back to the high school road rather than take the Connector back. I actually think I could have run on the snowmobile trails without much trouble this morning, but oh well, as I didn't sink in at all. I took the long way around, running Canam on the return home and finished up with 9.5 miles. A solid weekend for me, and a good week with 46 miles total.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

10 and (almost) 20

Can't let the day go by without remembering that ten years ago today (!!!), after quitting our jobs, selling our house and packing all our belongings into a storage unit, Ryan and I set off for a walk in the woods, following the white blazes north. I've been thinking a lot of all our AT 2005 friends today and smiling at the fun, laughter and misadventures we had along the way :) What a crazy, awesome adventure!! I wonder if I will be able to convince Sam to hike the trail with me 15 years from now? I mean, wouldn't every 20-year old love to hike for 6 months with her mom. HA!

Headed up the Approach Trail

Foggy, soggy Georgia

Start of the AT!

No hiking on tap today to commemorate our AT adventure, but I did get in a great (almost) 20 mile run at the Brad this morning. I was a little worried that the trails wouldn't be in good shape given that it was 34 degrees when I left the house this morning at 6:30 am, but thankfully those snowmobiles really do pack the trails down really well! I decided to check out the mountain side first, so I ran up the Ski Trail to the summit - the snowmobile trail was good and firm - but as soon as I stepped off the summit onto the singletrack in an attempt to run back around on the Boundary Trail, it was a no-go. OK, so back down the packed trail to the parking lot and across the street for 1.5+ miles out and back on the snowmobile trails on that side. Again, nice and packed and decent running as long as you stayed right in the middle :)

I got back to the lot with about 5.5 miles run at 8:00 am and found John suited up and ready to go. No one else showed up, so we took off back across the street onto the snowmobile trail. Conditions remained solid until we reached the powerlines. We decided we'd attempt to head out on the Beautiful Loop and see how far we got. The trails out there were a mixed-bag. And it was really hard to tell what you were going to get! Solid or postholing? It was like roulette :) There was much swearing on my end when I broke through - ha! - although I think I fared better than John overall. We made it about 2 miles out before we were stymied by a long stretch of slushy watery snow in a low area before the river crossing. Our attempts to bushwack around ended with me sinking in up to my knee in snow with slush up to my calf. Brrr! Needless to say, we turned around.

We didn't see much out there except for some turkey tracks by the corn field, and a huge flock of Waxwings flitting in and out of the junipers emerging from the snow out along the powerlines. The light was really flat so I couldn't tell what kind of birds they were at first, until I noticed the bright yellow stripe along the bottom of their tails. Really cool sighting!

Good trail here!

Not so good here...

I trailed behind John pretty much the whole way back, but from my point of view I was still holding a decent pace and wasn't really willing/didn't have the energy to pick it up :) I knew I'd still have a few miles to run to get to 20 once we reached the parking lot, so when John suggested running up to the summit, I said "sure, just wait for me at the top" :) Ha. When we got up there, it was snowing and the wind was blustery. The hawk watcher was up there but said he hadn't seen much all day. Not a big surprise there, though, with the snow, wind and cold temps. After a few minutes of talk, it was getting chilly, so we returned to the parking lot the way we came and ended up with 19.5 miles. I suppose I could have been compulsive and run around the parking lot until the watch beeped 20 but I figured it was close enough ;) Happy to have gotten in a good 3:30 out on the trails today and to have had John's company out there too! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Take to the Roads

It's been warm the past 48 hours or so, so this morning instead of even attempting the powerlines, I decided to just run the roads. Oh, I'm not giving up on the trails quite yet, but sometimes it's just nicer to take the easy route ;) Ran 5 miles on Highland Green Road via the Connector. The back dirt road was fairly muddy; passed two ladies and their dog running out there. It was kind of funny watching the two of them up ahead weaving this way and that across the road to try and avoid the worst mud :) Ha.

Headed to the Brad tomorrow morning and hoping that things get cold enough overnight that the trails are in decent shape for running! If not, I'll trade in the screwshoes and hit the roads again.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


After two weeks of having Sam cough and sniffle in my face, I finally succumbed to some of her germs. Darn kids! I don't feel terrible, but man, I could do without this little cold :) In any event, I didn't get up to run yesterday morning but slept better last night so managed to get up and out a little after 6:00 am this morning. Amazing what two days/nights of warm weather have done to the trails. Tuesday things were solid. This morning, things were much different. Bare patches are appearing along the gravel Mt. A. road, the snow in many spots was soft and squishy, and with all the melting, there are now big ice patches too. Several sections were still good, solid running but it was definitely variable, overall, and hard to know when to trust a footfall or not. There was even some postholing uphill (!!) as I headed back up the final hill on the way back. So, not the fastest run for sure, but still glad to be able to be out on the trails. 5 miles for the morning.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Last night, while I was blowdrying Sam's hair after her bath, she was singing away. For some reason, she doesn't wish to sing except while the blowdryer is going. After I was finished, we asked her what she was singing. She said she was singing a song called, "I am pretty and special." Ryan asked if it was a song from music, but she said she had just made it up. I gave her a hug and told her she was indeed pretty and special, and smart and funny and loving and kind. Ryan added, "and tough," to which Sam responded, "and strong!" :) Love this kid! I do so hope she can continue to believe in her abilities and her strength as she gets older. I do remember the tween and teen years being a bit tough on the self-confidence so we will do all we can to foster hers along the way!


This time of year always makes me think of hiking. I started this blog 10 years ago (!!) as we were prepping for our AT hike. Amazing that it was so long ago. Things have changed so much since then and while life is pretty darn good right now, man, that was a pretty incredible time in our lives. Such memories, such fun, so much stinkiness, some tears, some pain, many miles and good friends. Just how an adventure should be. I think the saying Springer Fever truly sums it up. It never leaves you. There is always a longing to be back out there.


One of the earlier posts from this blog referenced this poem:

Dream Big

If ever there were a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing,
it is now.
Not for some grand cause, necessarily,
but for something that tugs at your heart
something that is your aspiration
Something that's your dream

You owe it to yourself
to make each day here count.
Have fun.
Dig deep.

Dream big.

Know, though, that things worth doing
seldom come easy.
There will be good days
and there will be bad days
There will be times when
you want to turn around,
pack it up,
call it quits.
Those times tell you
that you are pushing yourself,
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.


Because with an idea,
and the right tools,
you can do great things.
Let your instincts,
your intellect
and your heart
guide you.


Believe in the incredible power
of all the things that will cross your path
this year.

The start of something new
brings the hope of something great.
Anything is possible.
There is only one you,
and you will only pass this way once.
Do it right.


Reading back over this, it's something to hold onto, for sure. While this year's 100 mile adventure is nowhere near as big as our AT adventure, the theory, the heart of it, is in essence very similar. Have fun. Stretch. Dig deep. Dream big. These crazy things that are so worth doing aren't always easy and everyone may not understand, but they are essential to life, I know it. Do it right.


Got out this morning for a crunchy run on the snowmobile trails. Headed out at 6:00 am, I ran into the sunrise, the deep orange glow along the horizon changing to a soft pink light that pervaded the woods. It was 10 degrees with no wind, cold but beautiful. The trails were nice and solid, making for a decent time around the dump loop. A good hour run to start the day and the running week.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Explorations

I had plans to meet up with Amy this morning for a walk. The wind was whipping and the temperature was hovering around 16 degrees. Ah yes, lovely weather for a walk! Ha. We laughed and said we should skip the walk and head right into the Market for coffee and a bagel, but instead I got into her car and we headed off the country roads into New Gloucester toward Norumbega Farm, where she wanted to show me a trail through the woods maintained on the property. The start was promising with a fairly packed trail, a yurt and a middle of the woods shrine to the property owners parents (kind of creepy, but neat). And then suddenly the trail petered out into nothingness and we were left floundering and postholing into the deep snow. We could see cairns below in the woods, but it appeared no one had actually followed the whole loop, so we turned around and headed back to the car so we could go get that coffee and bagel! I think we got in a whole 0.7 miles :) Hey, at least we tried, right? ;) In any event, always fun to have a chance to catch up with Amy in person, and to find a new trail to explore!

Back at home, we had a mellow day in the hopes of helping Sam shake the cough she has, and besides, it really wasn't an outside day. I really am done with this cold! Come on spring!!!

Shortly after lunch, I suited up and drove over to the Cathance for a short run on the trails. Despite the cold temps and wind, the sun was quite warm, as was evidenced by the soft, sun-pocked snow in the clearings. The little snow we received last night lent a tacky texture to the trail but it was still fairly slow going, and I took a few good slips off the narrow band of packed snow along the way. Luckily, even if slow, my legs felt a thousand times better than yesterday so that was positive. Got in a nice 4 mile loop.

John joined us for dinner and game time with Sam, so all in all a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wicked Slow, Dude

Ok, so apparently, I should have done a bit more stretching after yesterday's run or perhaps done some rolling last night... this morning's run was not pretty. I was incredibly creaky and my hip flexors were yelling at me quite loudly. Perhaps I should also have not chosen to run the singletrack trails down in the Cathance - I had to run very carefully to ensure I not only stayed on the narrow ribbon of packed snow but to ensure that I didn't slip into any of the postholes, etc. Still, it was nice to be out there without snowshoes, even if I was just as slow this morning. Ha!

I headed out a little before 6:00 am, and ran up and over Mt. A., then out along the groomed stretch along hole #3. The Heath had seen some idiot postholing in literally 18". What could possibly have seemed like a good idea about that?!!? Once across the street, thankfully, the trail was much more evenly packed. As the sky grew lighter, I could see that the ice was melting along the river and the sound of the rapids filled my ears. There is still an incredible amount of snow out there in the woods though!

Got in a slow 7.2 miles to start the day.

Oh yes, and just in case anyone is interested, DQ is now open! :) Sam and I stopped there yesterday for our first soft serve of the season. Yum!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Morning 20

The car was in for service this morning, nothing major, just the regular stuff, so I figured I'd ask Ryan to drop Sam off and get in my long run this morning on the trails around here. I briefly toyed with running a hilly 20 mile road loop that Ryan had devised, but nah.... I'm so much happier on the trails. It was 15 degrees when I headed out at 8:00 am but with no wind, it practically felt balmy. I knew that to get in 20 miles on the snowmobile trails I was going to have to do some creative looping and wandering so I set out to do the biggest loop first, running out on the extended dump loop.

Pretty sky... out by the dump ponds

From there, I did that loop again, plus a number of different out and backs on side trails. I was too chicken to take trail #4, loop A out onto Murder Road - just had a bad feeling about the whole thing - but I did take one side trail out across Foreside Road down through a big field to the edge of the Androscoggin. Hadn't been expecting to get down to the river so that was kind of fun. I can hardly believe that the snowmobilers cross that big river though - crazy!

Yup, I'm turning around here...

I was pleasantly surprised to find the trails in really good shape - solid and pretty fast - although, as one might expect for this time of year, getting a bit icy in spots, covered with a whole lot of debris from the wind the past few days and with your typical springtime postholing here and there. I was even able to take a few singletrack trails packed only by snowshoes and stay on the surface. As it warms up not sure that will last, but it was nice to have the option today.

I only ran into two people out there, both of whom were, interestingly enough, walking chocolate labs. Otherwise the trails were quiet. The woods were alive though, with plenty of bird song. Saw and heard a hairy woodpecker, saw plenty of pileated woodpecker evidence and caught a glimpse of one flying across the trail out past the dump pond.

Pileated Woodpecker was here...

An unidentified hawk soared high above the powerlines, and I saw a pair of cardinals and a little chimpmunk out in the brush, not to mention four alpacas seen down at the end of the powerlines. Wish I had been able to get closer to them - they were so cute - but they were in an inner enclosure so I had to content myself with a more distance viewing.

Alpacas! Love their curious faces.

I felt pretty strong throughout, although I'll admit the legs were feeling it along the way. Still, was able to keep up a solid pace, and am really happy to have been able to get in a good 20 miler today!

Happy runner out in the woods :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Back to Winter?

Well, this morning just proves that sometimes you have to eat your words... after saying yesterday that I thought I'd be sticking to the powerlines and avoiding the Cathance trails, what did I do this morning but head to the Cathance? Ryan and John were out snowshoeing last night along the river, and said it was surprising good, so I figured I'd give it a try. Not to mention, the wind is whipping like crazy and the thought of the open powerlines on a cold morning in all this wind.... brrr! So, this morning, I headed out a little after 6:00 am from the ecology center lot, as a thin sliver of moon hung low in the deep turquoise sky. The trails were incredibly firm, and very noisy! Between the crunching of the snow beneath my snowshoes, the roar of the river and the whipping wind, it was not a peaceful, quiet morning run :)

I really wish I had been able to run without the snowshoes, and I think in some spots I could have gotten away with it, but I know that likely there would have been a fair amount of postholing and then Ryan would have had my head ;) I can hardly believe I was out on March 18th in snowshoes on packed trails without any ice and no bare spots. Winter still has us in its grip, I guess.

I ran along the river, then out to do the Ravine Trail loop. I crossed the bridge to head out toward Head of Tides, but was thwarted on the big hill, which was partially bare and partially ice. I am sure I could have figured out a way up, but I wasn't feeling that ambitious :) The trails were littered with pine needles and small branches brought down by the wind, and the surface was variable but overall, the trails were in good shape. The woods protected me from the wind, and it really was a pretty morning to be out for an hour-long snowshoe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Snowmobile Trail Running

Although spring is right around the corner and the snow is melting, there is still plenty of white stuff to go around. And although the snow is getting a bit rotten and bare spots are appearing here and there, the snowmobile trails are still solid running right now. Ryan had said last week that the Cathance trails had been postholed like crazy, which is a bummer, but not too surprising, so I think I'll be sticking to the snowmobile trails for as long as they hold up, despite the fact that they are basically flat as a pancake, minus a few short steep hills.

Headed out this morning at 6:00 am to run the dump loop. Light began filtering in a few miles later, but I kept on my headlamp for much longer than I normally would have, if only to see the divets and postholes along the way in the flat light on this very overcast morning. I kept the pace mellow and finished up with 6.6 miles for the morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekend Running and Fun

I was up and out early Saturday morning (why yes, how unusual...) for my run. The plan was for me to run before Sam's swim lessons, me to take Sam to swimming, Ryan to run while we were up at the Y, then for us to come home, quickly pack up the car and all head to MA. The snowmobile trails were a bit softer than they had been on Friday morning, but then again, it was just about 30 degrees so it was quite a bit warmer. I ran the dump loop at a fairly mellow pace, getting in 7 miles at 10:00 pace. Skies were a bit overcast, so I didn't catch a spectacular sunrise, just a quiet, pink glow above the trees along the Lover's Lane field before I headed back into the woods for the final few miles home.

As we drove south later in the morning, the weather was good until we hit the New Hampshire border and then it started to pour like crazy. We were both glad we'd gotten our runs in early and could just hang out and then enjoy a yummy mexican dinner without worrying about running in a downpour.

This morning, Ryan and I took advantage of the fact that Sam is more than willing to hang out with Grammie and Grampie, and went out for a run together. Of course, skies were overcast but clear until just before we headed out. Typical :) I'm not sure it was quite snow and it really wasn't straight rain - more like snain ;) But suited up in the right clothing it wasn't so bad, and it just enticed me to keep the pace up for the whole of the loop ;) Got in a snappy (for me) 5 miles on the Weldon Farm Loop.

We had brought our snowshoes and gear as Ryan had told us she wanted to go on a hike with Grammie and Grampie. After lunch, big, fat, wet flakes were falling but she still wanted to go out, so we all suited up and headed out the back door to explore out in the woods for a bit. Despite the wet weather, we had a lovely time wandering around for a half hour or so, following a number of well--traveled deer trails and watching the wet snow build up on the beech leaves and pine branches. Always good to get out in the woods, no matter what the weather!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Early Morning Snowmobile Trail Wander

Decided to not stick to the training plan written on the calendar (not sure that's really new...) and take a step back week this week. I figure there is no sense grinding myself into the ground at this point, and although the lower right leg feels so much better after some serious stretching and rolling, I'm trying to be smart. Given the change, I figured it made sense to run "long" this morning, as we're headed down to MA tomorrow for the weekend after Sam's swimming lessons. Thankfully, it got fairly cold last night so I was able to head out on the snowmobile trails with no issue. Phew! I really don't want to be stuck on the road or in posthole hell quite yet :)

I headed out a few minutes before 6:00 with the dark sky above. It appeared the trail had been rolled, so it was pretty solid and it was pretty easy to avoid the postholes. In numerous spots a snowmobile had been out, churning up the trail, making lovely big icy death cookies just to keep me off balance, but really it was pretty good running. I had a vague plan in mind of doing the dump loop, but did a bit of wandering off onto side trails, etc to tack on some additional mileage. Overall, I felt good and it was a beautiful morning to be out for a 10 mile wander. Not too cold, not windy, with a pretty sunrise viewing through the trees out on the lollypop loop by the dump ponds.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I got out around 6:10 this morning after a fair amount of stretching and rolling of the right leg, which was thankfully feeling better. I guess a solid night of sleep with no coughing from the child to wake me up helped too! I didn't even try the powerlines after yesterday's warm temps and just headed off down the Connector right away.

There was a thin sheen of ice on the pavement, and I was glad I had worn my screwshoes for a bit of extra grip. Although the thermometer was reading 32 degrees, it sure felt colder out there this morning with the wind. It was whipping around and fairly strong on the back side of the Highland Green loop. Brrr! Also unlike yesterday morning, it seemed lighter out this morning and as always, the back of the community offered up a beautiful view of the sunrise with fluffy periwinkle clouds set against a light peach sky.

Luckily, the colder temps meant that the back dirt road had solidified enough to be hard packed again, making for easier running, although I still had to maneuver around the tire ruts and make my way around the machinery at the beginning of the road - they are doing some serious infrastructure work back there. As I ducked under some of the big machines, one of the workers sitting in his truck waiting for his shift to start rolled down his window, shook his head and said "You sure are dedicated!" I am not sure if he meant it as a compliment or that I was nuts to be out there, but I yelled back a big "Thanks!" anyway :) As I ran down the road, I saw Ryan, John and Michael's deep prints in the mud from last night, and was to be able to run a bit more easily than it looked like they had! ;)

Got in a nice windblown 5.25 miles for the morning.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sink, Squish, Slide

I didn't run Monday or Tuesday because the combination of sick kiddo waking up coughing in the middle of the night multiple time both nights, therefore me not sleeping, plus time change, plus tired and slightly cranky legs just meant it wasn't in the cards. But this morning, it needed to get done! ;) It was a bit disheartening to have to wear a headlamp for the whole run when a week ago I didn't need one at all, but I guess the exchange for having it be light until much later in the evening is worth it. And I know the light will come back into my morning runs eventually.

But wow, the trail conditions have certainly changed the past few days with the warm weather we've had. I headed out into the foggy 37 degree morning and knew things would be soft, but never anticipated that I wouldn't even be able to take two steps on the trail without postholing! Yikes. I tried a few different "paths" but it was a no-go, so with regret, I circled back and took the Connector down to Highland Green Road instead. The pavement was completely clear so it was fairly quick running, but when I reached the back dirt road it was another story. No longer frozen, the road was a squishy, sloppy muddy mess. Ah, spring :)

I had a bit of trouble seeing exactly what I was landing on due to the fog and darkness so it wasn't quick back there, but it was fun to slide around in the mud for a bit :) Then it was back up the Connector and around the neighborhood to round the run out to 6 miles.

The lower right leg is feeling particularly cranky right now. I really shouldn't have waited so long in between Dr. Jamie appointments, I guess, but hopefully some good stretching and rolling will sort things out.

Not sure what the rest of the week will bring in terms of running. It will probably depend a lot on conditions. Nothing like a 50 degree day to get me thinking about running on dirt trails in the woods, but there is a lot of snow left out there to melt before that happens!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beautiful Loop + Afternoon Ski

I was planning to head over to the Brad this morning for my long run, thinking it would just be me out on the trails until Ryan took it upon himself to text John to see if he wanted to get in a long run too. I was happy to have the company, but I am not so sure John was happy he had agreed when I picked him up at 7:00 am this morning. HA! :)

It was fairly chilly at the start, but I was banking on the fact that it would warm up so I dressed much more lightly than I normally might. We headed out on the snowmobile trails, and I was a little disheartened to find that the surface was fairly sugary and churned up in the woods. I tried to ensure that we kept an honest pace by staying a few steps behind John, but he kept moving quickly so I just tried to keep up :) Once we hit the corn fields, the trail seemed much more solid - amazing what a bit of sun will do!

Through the fields

I wouldn't have done the Beautiful Loop solo but John was game, so we set off down the powerlines for the full loop. We were surprised to find that we had somehow crossed the river without actually realizing it. Wow, that is a lot of snow! Or perhaps we were just distracting talking away ;)

We stopped at the bench and took in the view and had a quick snack before continuing on.

Happy runners

Powerline view

The trails were quiet - no snowsmobiles out - but we were following a solo set of footprints in the snow. Trails were in very good condition, with only a few soft spots and no ice to speak of, and we were moving along well. I was starting to feel the pace by the time we reached Lunchbreak, and we slowed to a walk and then once running resumed, it resumed slowly - well, for me anyway :)

The Boundary Trail was as well packed as it had been last Friday, and we headed up to enjoy the sunshine at the summit.

Bradbury summit


My watch was only reading 14.25 at that point and I wanted to get in 16 at least, so I suggested looping around to the parking lot via the Boundary Trail. Once again, it was a fun run in the opposite direction and a good way to end the run. I think both John and I were happy to be done when we hit the car, and although the training plan called for 20, I am more than happy with a snappy 16.3 in 2:45 on that loop! (although come to find out those tracks were from Andy, who ran the loop in 1:48! Wowza!)

Later in the afternoon, we met up with Nate, Shannon and family over at the Merepoint Golf course for some xc skiing. I remember running workouts on the golf course itself in college for cross country, but hadn't realized that there was a nice wide, flat trail out through the woods and down to the ocean along the edge of the golf course. The trail had been decently packed by snowshoers and skiers, and the trail etiquette was surprisingly good - the ski tracks were in good shape the whole way. With Sam being a little less than 100% and also on much slower, wider, heavier skis, she certainly didn't move as quickly at Finley and Charlotte, but she traveled along at her own sedate pace, never whining, seeming to enjoy being out there with friends. It was a gorgeous afternoon, warm and sunny and there was no breeze in the woods. Sam decided we should turn around before the end of the trail and we didn't push it. And at the end, despite the fact that she (and all of us, really) was tired and hungry, she smiled and said, "What a nice long ski!" Love this kid, and so happy to have been able to get out and enjoy the woods with friends! We were out for a good 1 1/2 hours, so we were really psyched it went so well.

Shannon and Annelise

Headed out

Beautiful day

Trying out poles for the first time!

Happy kids

What a nice long ski! :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Suck It Up, Buttercup

Was all set and ready to go this morning when Sam started coughing and hacking at 5:45. Sadly, despite some back rubs, some water and the early hour, there was no getting her back to sleep, so we headed downstairs to cuddle on the couch instead. Sigh. So much for the early morning run before Ryan headed to Lost Valley for the Baxter Outdoors Winter Duathlon. Thankfully after a bit of resting on the couch and some breakfast, Sam seemed to bounce back and we were able to get outside mid-morning for a bit of sledding and a lot of tromping around and on the huge snow piles in the sledding area. The rest of the morning was spent coloring and writing letters to the grandparents and watching Magic School Bus.

Despite the beautiful weather and the fact that Sam seemed to be OK, I was feeling in a bit of a funk by the time Ryan got home around 1:30. He had had a lot of fun at the race, so was in no mood for me to be dreary. He pretty much said, "suck it up and go!" Ever the understanding hubby ;)

I drove over to the hiker parking lot and donned my snowshoes. I was surprised that mine was the only car in the lot but figured I'd see others out on the trail. Amazingly, I didn't end up running into anyone out there. Odd, because it really was pretty nice out and the trails were in good shape despite the fact that the temps were hovering right around 32 degrees. I ran along the Heath and then down to the river, meandering on the well packed trails up to the field. From there, as I headed out onto the Ravine Trail, the traffic thinned considerably, with deer prints (and deer postholes!) far outnumbering the minimal snowshoe tracks.

There were tracks that stopped mid-bridge, so mine were the only ones along the side hill and up along the ridge out to the Blueberry Trail. There, I followed old snow-covered snowmobile tracks out to the old road, at which point, a fairly well packed snowshoe trail appeared heading out in the direction of Head of Tides. Still, it was pretty slow going. I contemplated turning around at Cathance Road but really wanted to say I had snowshoed to Head of Tides :) so I crossed the street and ran down to the parking area. Snowshoe run to Head of Tides accomplished! Now I just had to get back. HA! ;)

Despite the fact that I was out there for 1:30, I only managed to run 6.75 miles, so obviously, trail conditions were not ideal but it was a fun trip. And of course, once I was out in the woods, I was thankful that Ryan had pushed me out the door :)

Beautiful day for a snowshoe out to Head of Tides.

Bright sunlight, soft snow.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Anatomy of a Friday

Most of my Monday through Thursdays are pretty standard and involve getting in an early morning run a few days a week plus the typical routine of getting Sam to school, working all day, picking Sam up, getting dinner ready, rushing around in the evening to get organized for the next day and then going to bed early to do it all over again :)

Fridays are the wildcard in the equation. I might work half a day, or get up early to go for a long run, or volunteer in Sam's classroom in the afternoon or any combination of those things. Today, I did none of those things, but nonetheless kept pretty busy (read: ran around like crazy).

I was up a little before 5:00 am for my run. I drove over to the hiking parking lot in Highland Green, noticed the car thermometer was reading -1 and regretted not bringing my buff. The sun was just beginning to rise as I put on my snowshoes and headed up into the woods. Very pretty.

I ran around the Heath, enjoying the soft pink light above the snowed over marsh, then headed across the street down to the river. Conditions were pretty solid where there had been a lot of traffic, with the packed snow crunching loudly beneath my snowshoes. In other spots, conditions were still crunchy but softer, if that makes any sense, and out on the Rapids Loop someone had taken a walk without snowshoes, and my oh my, there is still alot of snow out there! They must have postholed in at least 12" or so in numerous spots. Ugh.

I had contemplated heading out to Head of Tides but no one had been out that way since the last snow and I wasn't feeling super ambitious, so I decided to stick to the main Cathance trails instead, and so wandered back on the trails through the woods down to the river, retracing my steps up the Barnes Leap trail and back across the street along the Heath. My face was getting kind of cold by the end, and no wonder, when I got back to the car I realized my whole face and hat and the edge of my coat was coated with frost. And I had a few frozen eyelashes too :) Brrr! Ended up with 5 miles on the nose in a little over an hour. Solid start to the morning.

Then it was home to shower, get Sam and I breakfast, send Ryan off to work, and get organized for the day. I dropped Sam off at school and then stopped to pick a few things up at the grocery store and get gas in the car before heading home to load the cats up into the carriers to take them to the vet. Always good times. Luckily, this morning was only a brief struggle ;)

I then spent the next 25 minutes listening to a chorus of meows and yowls, the two of them echoing each other the whole way down to Falmouth Vet. Oh the joys. It was good to catch up with Katy, though, and both cats are healthy, if fat :) Then another 25 minutes of feline harmony on the way home.

Managed to get the shower cleaned, one load of laundry folded and another one started before a brief lunch, then it was on to dusting, vacuuming and swiffering both floors, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the fridge and the microwave, doing more laundry and cooking up roasted sweet potatoes for dinner before realizing that I really needed to head out to the dump to do the recycling if there was any chance of doing that plus picking up the beans that I forgot to get at the store this morning for dinner plus vacuuming out the car - which looked like a kid picked up all their snacks and dumped them on the floor (oh wait! that is what happened!!) - before getting Sam at school at 3:15. I acknowledged that there was no way I was going to have time to sit in line to get the outside of the car cleaned, but oh well.

Hit the dump, the store and the car vacuums. Got the top layer of grime off the seats and floor, and threw out a bunch of crap from the back seat. Wondered if I had left the stove on. Sh*t! Drove home to check. It was off (of course). Drove to school and arrived with several minutes to spare. Woohoo! Chatted with a neighbor while waiting for Sam to arrive. Then it was off to her PT appointment (she thinks it is just so much fun to play with Miss Rebecca, which is awesome, and she really is getting much more strength and flexibility in her right ankle, which is great). The home again to cook up dinner and sit on the couch with Sam for a bit before Ryan got home. A few games of Uno and a round of hide and seek before bathtime and bedtime for Sam, and now I'm about ready for bed myself :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Midweek Running

Got out yesterday morning at 6:00 am for a nice loop along the snowmobile trails out onto Lover's Lane toward the dump. Conditions were pretty solid and it was nice to be able to move along at a decent winter clip :) The back side of the loop hadn't been touched by snowmobiles after the few inches of snow we received Sunday night but there had been a snowshoer and a few fat bikes out there, so it packed down slightly at least. Once again, another beautiful morning to be out, but no pictures this time :) Ended up with 6.7 miles for the day.

More snow last night. I haven't slept well the past few nights, so I wasn't feeling very energetic, which essentially meant I wasn't feeling mentally prepared to trudge along on my snowshoes :) So once again I put on my screwshoes and headed across the street. The snowmobile trails were a bit too soft due to the 3" of new snow and the warmer temps, so I turned off and did an out and back on Highland Green Road instead. The road had been plowed although not super well, but it was enough to enable me to be able to tick off two miles in the low 9s and one at 8:45 pace. Hey, that's pretty good for me in sloppy winter screwshoe conditions so I'll take it :) It was so "warm" (32 degrees) that I only wore one pair of tights and a light top underneath my jacket! Woohoo. First time that has happened in a long while!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Today was the last snowshoe race, which meant I knew I would be better off getting my run done before Ryan left the house in the morning; otherwise there was definitely the chance it wouldn't get done, and I was determined to get it done. So, when the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning, I went downstairs, looked at the thermometer, which was reading -4 (!), sighed, and went about getting ready to run regardless.

I headed out around 5:35 am, running toward the glowing orange horizon. I know I am constantly saying this, but it truly is awesome to be out running early enough that I have the chance to watch the sky lighten and the sun rise; it truly is magical. The snow crunched beneath my feet and the cold air stung my throat. The snowmobile trail was like a highway this morning - maybe not a perfectly straight or evenly packed highway, but man, there had sure been a lot of traffic! I knew this meant it would be a good day to do the dump/Lover's Lane loop, as if there was going to be traffic on the back side of the loop through the woods it would be now.

As I meandered through the woods, the sky was turning a pale pink, the tree branches were frost covered, the birds were singing. Yes, it was -4 and my buff was completely frozen, but damn, if it just wasn't beautiful out there.

Had to do a bit of extra on the neighborhood roads to get to 7 miles for the morning, but I was determined to get to 40 miles for the week so I did what had to be done :)

Turned out to be a very good call to get in the run early, as we ended up being at the park from 10:00 until around 1:15, after which we headed to Edna & Lucy's to eat and catch up with everyone while waiting for Ryan to arrive. Just as Sam had had enough and said, "Now where the heck is Daddy?" he walked in, so we continued to hang out while he and John ate. Sabrina was nice enough to bring out a big piece of brown paper and some chalk markers for Sam to color with, so we were able to have a leisurely few hours there before heading home. A good day all around! And now that the snowshoe series is over, let the melting begin :)