Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cathance Wander

Slept a bit better last night, maybe? Either way, I was up and out the door at 6:00 am for my run so that I could be back in time for Ryan to head south to help his parents clean out his grandparent's house this morning. It was drizzling lightly and the roots and bridges had a slightly slippery sheen out along the trail. I kept things nice and mellow, and enjoyed the ever-greening woods and the trails on a quiet morning. I did see one other runner out there though, someone I didn't recognize, which surprised me! Stopped at the vernal pool on the return trip to listen to the bullfrogs for a bit. They were noisy!

It's raining pretty hard right now as I write, and Sam and I are having a mellow morning. She slept until 8:30 so I had the quiet house to myself for a bit this morning after my run, which was nice!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Good and Bad

I believe my Facebook post this morning said, "Pretty crappy run." OK, so maybe that was a bit harsh, but it was how I felt upon walking in the door. I was supposed to do my long run yesterday, before work, but Sam decided it would be a good idea to develop a cough again, so I didn't sleep much, and that was on top of not a lot of sleeping earlier this week too. Needless to say, I didn't get up at 4 am to get in 14 miles. So, that meant doing it today. Sam was still coughing, but I put in ear plugs to dull the sound and was able to get a bit more sleep, although it was still a restless one. However, I did wake up a little before the alarm went off to find Gigi trying to chew one of them out of my ear! Ha. Naughty Gigi!! ;)

I set out a little after 5:00 am into the mist and fog. It was sort of like running in pea soup. I wasn't feeling very peppy and decided to run loops on the cart path, but I ended up lacking the energy and the time to complete 14 miles. Actually, I guess you can say I just kind of gave up on the idea and called it good at 10 miles. Sigh. Despite not feeling very cheery about the whole thing, there were a few highlights. I scared the beejesus out of a golfer walking the cart paths at 5:15 am. I tried to make noise as I came up on him, but he jumped pretty high. HA! :) Also came across one more tiny red-spotted newt, and when I added on a loop around the Heath on the 2nd loop and took the short path to the overlook out onto the Heath, I was surprised and happy to find that the mossy, marsh area was covered with wild cala lilies. Very cool!

As I write this, I realize the run wasn't all bad, but I just felt kind of exhausted, it must have been close to 100% humidity with all the fog and mist, and I really didn't like that I cut the run short. Still, it is technically a step back week so I suppose it could be worse. Hopefully tomorrow's run will go better, although it's yet another early start as Ryan is headed south to help his parent's clean out his grandparent's house.

Bunchberries in the mist

Wild cala lily

Misty Heath (full of cala lilies)

Cute little red-spotted newt

When I got back, Ryan headed to the Brad for his own run, and Sam and I went to swimming and then to get the requisite donut at Frosty's. We then joined up with Ryan, and a few other Trail Monsters, at Edna and Lucy's for lunch before heading to Wolfe's Neck Farm for their Spring Festival. They had a lot of fun little stations for the kids, all the animals were out, and Sam had a great time. It turned into a beautiful afternoon with blue skies and a cool breeze. Definitely a nice day to be out on the farm!


Taking a hayride

Who? Me?

Do you have anything for me?

Hi cows!

Mystery bags - this one held wool!


Haybale jumping!

Face painting

Pretty flower

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Shannon's littlest was still not feeling well on Tuesday, so I was solo again. I decided to run the cart paths. It was a bit misty and drizzly, and I saw my first red-spotted newt of the season out on the cart path at the beginning of hole #8! The wood floor is carpeted with false lily of the valley, bunchberry, blue bead lily, starflowers and more. Everything is looking very green!

This morning, I headed out into the Cathance. It was warm and humid, even at 5:45 am! Got in a nice, sweaty 7 miles. The river is running very low right now - we really need some rain, but the woods look lush and lovely. The bull frogs were making noise at the vernal pool, so I stopped to take a look. Saw three of them in the dark water. We're headed there later this morning for a field trip with Sam's class, which should be fun! Hope 18+ little kids don't scare off all the frogs though! ;) Also saw a really tiny newt on the cart path. Moved him off to the side so he wouldn't get smooshed... smallest I've seen in a while!

Sun rising, the Heath



Bunchberry and fringed polygala - what a pretty combination!

Tiny red-spotted newt

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend Fun

Yesterday was the "long" day at Pineland with the 25k, 50k and 50 miler. Ryan was up and out early to help with registration while Sam and I slept in. We managed to get over there around 9:30 in time to chat with Amy a bit before she left and to watch the 25k runners take off for their race. Then we visited the bouncy house for a bit before returning to the TMR tent to relax and have a bit of lunch. Soon after, Mike showed up with Marina and Nell as they waited for Mary to arrive back at the grove. Marina and Sam had a great time playing all day long - I couldn't drag her away! We ended up staying until around 4:30!

It was fun to catch up with everyone and have a chance to cheer all the runners on as they went into and out of the grove. Always a great atmosphere, and so much fun that it almost made me feel like I should think about running next year... almost ;)

The kids hanging out, thinking it's completely normal to spend all day in a field, 
cheering on sweaty, salty runners :)

The next generation

We were all good and exhausted by dinnertime, but it was yet another great day at Pineland!

Since I didn't get a chance to run yesterday, this morning Amy and I made up for it with a nice, mellow 10 mile meander through the BTLT trails at Crystal Spring farm with an additional out-and-back in the extended Commons. The ladyslippers were blooming (I didn't count today, too busy chatting ;) ), and we saw a few Bobolinks out in the farm fields. A nice, if warm, morning and a good way to start an extra day off. And, of course, it is always nice to catch up with Amy! Despite the parade going on in town, we managed to sneak in the back way and get donuts. Ha! Can't have a run with Amy without donuts (or bagels)! :)

Out in the blueberry fields

This is the trail. The trail is flat. 

Yet Amy managed to fall and scrape herself up :) She's back!

Sweaty runners :)

Pretty good end to a run! Yum!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Heart

I'm not saying yesterday's run was a bust, but to me it left something to be desired. I just didn't feel enthused, so today I really wanted to do a run that made me happy. So I headed over to Bowdoin to run the Commons and Coleman Farm. As I was pulling in, I saw a number of seniors walking across the lot with their gowns on - graduation day! Amazing that it was 18 years ago for us. Damn. That makes me feel old. It also means I've been running through the Commons for 22 years. Wow.

The sun shone brightly and the sky was blue. The wind whipped through the trees, and out in Pennelville, the bobolinks twittered down in the green field grass. Cows grazed in the pasture and the air smelled sweet. Saw a lot of wildflowers and throughly enjoyed my run. A lovely 9 miles to finish up the running week and start the day. Just what I needed to make my heart happy.

Rhodora and Pitch Pine, The Commons.

Painted Trillium.

Apple Tree blooming out at Coleman Farm.

Ladyslipper in the sunlight. I saw 55 on today's run!

Ocean view.

Friday, May 22, 2015

East/West at the Brad

The post's title was supposed to be "10 West/10 East" but I only managed to get 9.1 on the east side. HA! :)

I woke up with very heavy, tired legs. Not quite sure why, perhaps just lack of sleep this week? But regardless I was out the door early and hit the trails at the Brad at 6:30 am under overcast skies. I ran the west side portion of the BBU course first. I must say, I really enjoyed it. Yes, my legs were tired, and yes, I stopped to take some flower photos along the way and walked a few hills here and there, but really, it's a good "loop." I got back to the parking lot a little before 2 hours and stopped to pee, change into a short sleeve shirt, drop off some trash and pick up a bit more food. I've been trying out different bars in an attempt to figure out some "real food" options for TARC. The bars have been a bust, so today I went with a Snickers :) They are great hiking food and we ate a lot of them back in the day, so I thought they might translate well for long slow distance. They are tasty! A bit much to chew perhaps but I think they will be a doable option. And who doesn't like Snickers?!

Despite the sugar high, I didn't feel quite so cheery on the east side trails. I ran the Bruiser sans the "O" trail, and twisting and turning around the Island made me feel like I was running in quicksand and not getting anywhere. I definitely struggled mentally, as it seemed like the miles were ticking by very slowly. I took a few quick breaks here and there and otherwise just kept chugging. Ran into one woman I didn't recognize out running and two bikers, but otherwise had the trails to myself. I fully expected to be able to get in 10 on the Bruiser course, but came up a little short and got back to the lot with 19.1 miles showing on the Garmin. Gotta admit I just said to heck with it and decided to call it good :) Ended up with a moving time of 3:37 plus 10 minutes of stopped time. Not the best run in terms of feeling super strong either physically or mentally, but I got it done. Now it's off to volunteer in Sam's classroom for the afternoon!

Flora and fauna notes: Saw a number of phoebes, one wood thrush and heard several woodpeckers pecking, but not much else out there. Did see a lot of wildflowers, mostly on the west side. False lily of the valley, lily of the valley, bunchberry, starflowers, blue bead lily, a few trillium, several ladyslippers, fringed polygala, wild oat, wild indian cucumber, plus a number of jack in the pulpits on the east side.


Fringed polygala. So bright and cheery!

Bunchberry! And a few blueberry blossoms too.

Starflower and false lily of the valley

Jack in the pulpit!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Didn't have the chance to run with Shannon yesterday as her two littlest were sick, so instead I headed out under overcast skies a little after 6:00 am to run the cart paths. As I was running the first mile through the woods to access the paths, I decided I'd try to run "fast" this morning. Ha. Apparently all the prepping I've done the past few years for 50s, and the running I've done this year, have made me pretty durable, but it has not helped my speed. I am anything but fast! But it felt good to work a bit, and at least I managed to get in miles 2-6 at 8:15 to 8:30 pace ;)

Last night, there wasn't much sleep in the house. I am notorious for my interrupted sleep, but Ryan usually sleeps like a rock. But last night, every time I woke up, he was awake too, and Sam kept screaming out in the night. Not sure what she was dreaming about but it certainly didn't seem like it was peaceful!

Needless to say I didn't rise quickly when the alarm went off at 4:30, finally rolling out of bed a little before 5:00 am. But despite feeling tired, I am glad I did get up and out. It was a beautiful morning. As I ran along, breathing in the sweet-smelling spring air, watching the mist rise from the river, listening to the birds chirp, and enjoying the wildflowers blooming on the forest floor, I felt incredibly lucky. Lucky to have the ability, the drive, the support, the time and the desire to be able to get up and get in 8 early morning miles on this trail system right across the street. Life may not be perfect, and sure, we all filter what we choose to portray, but there is an incredible beauty to be seen on a morning like this and there is much to be thankful for. Now if I can just hold onto that feeling for the rest of the day ;)

The Heath, 5:55 am

Mist rising. The Cathance.

Neon green moss along the river's edge.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


It's been a busy weekend so far. Friday afternoon, Sam and I did a little gardening and then met up with Ryan for dinner out.

My gardening helper

Family date night! Cheers :)

Saturday started with an early morning run for me. Got in a lovely 8 miles out on the Cathance trails. Under the overcast sky, the moss along the riverbanks looked neon green, and the wood floor is littered with the leaves of the false lily of the valley, wild oat and goldthread. Saw one trillium and one ladyslipper, its flower just beginning to emerge but not yet unfurled. After my run, Sam and I went to swimming and to get donuts, then home for a quick change and lunch before heading to one of her friend's birthday parties.

Birthday dance party!

This morning I was up early again, doing a quick 6 miles on the cart paths on a damp, cool morning. Was happy to see the trailing arbutus still flowering and saw the first rhodora of the season. The starflower are beginning to flower and I saw another small patch of ladyslippers coming up. Also saw two deer crossing the first green, and another, standing still at the edge of the woods as I ran down the hill on hole #6. Later in the run, an osprey flew over, a fish in its talons.

A bit later, we headed over so Sam could run in the Kids Fun Run at the Run for Independence. They had a bouncy house and music playing, so Sam got in a bouncy house warm-up for a half hour before the quick kids sprint around the block. If we'd known the fun run was going to be so short, we would have signed her up for the 1 mile race, but she had fun, and then it was straight back into the bouncy house :) We had a good time chatting with Blaine and Erin, Jeremy of Atayne fame, and Nate, and it was definitely a good turn-out for a good cause, and right in town too!

You can do anything in snowman socks :)


Bounce house fun!

The plan for the afternoon includes a bike ride over on the Bike Path, so hopefully Sam will be good and tired out tonight at bedtime :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Brunswick Trail Wander

I wanted to get in my miles today without doing anything too taxing, ie. no hills and nothing technical. I've been thinking about trying to get out to connect the "in-town" Brunswick trails for a while. I know Nate and Shannon have done it, but I have never run the middle section of trail, so it would be a bit of an adventure. Seemed like the perfect day for it. I started from Bowdoin and ran to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust trails around Crystal Spring Farm that I've been running with Shannon. I added on an extra lollypop loop along the edge of the pasture to the edge of the farm, and am so happy I did. I wouldn't want to run this section in the height of summer - the grass would be too long - but it was perfect today, and I was able to hear and see my favorite field birds, the bobolinks. It made me very happy. From there, I crossed the blueberry fields to the high school and then ducked into the woods across the street. I have never run these trails - the "extended Commons" - before, although I know the boys used to when we were in school. It was quiet and peaceful out there, and I explored the different offshoots of trail, enjoying the woods. From there, it was a bit of road up to the Coleman Farm trails. By now, I was pretty tired, so I stopped in the shade by the pond and had a snack, enjoying the daffodils and the view. Then it was down to the ocean and back up through the woods, the forest floor awash with trout lilies. The final few miles were through the Commons. I hit the pavement at the field house with my Garmin reading 16 miles and change, so perfect! A beautiful morning for a fun run!

Flora and fauna report: Wood anemone and goldthread abound. False lily of the valley, starflower and indian cucumber are out but not yet flowering. Saw some wild oat, many violets, a lot of beautiful blueberry bush blooms, and many trout lilies out in the woods at Coleman Farm. The Crystal Spring Farm pasture trail yielded some good birding - bobolinks, catbird, cardinal, a pair of brown trashers, swallows, chickadees, goldfinch and a beautiful Hooded Warbler. Also saw a Black and White Warbler in the trees out along the Coleman Farm trails.

Crystal Spring Farm trails


Bobolink flying above the pasture

Wood anemone

Trail along the edge of the pasture

Sheep resting in the shade at the farm


Blueberry fields

Extended Commons trail

Horses Welcome

Coleman Farm property


Trout lily

Ocean view