Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back: 2015

Our New York visit was a lot of fun. It was great to spend some time with Kristen, Morgan and Rob, and we were lucky to be there for Morgan's birthday for the second time in two years. With them moving to Seattle this coming summer, it is going to get even harder to get the girls together, so I am incredibly thankful for the chance to give Sam and Morgan time together to hang out! It really is special.

Mom and Dad dropped us off at the airport yesterday morning bright and early for our flight. They certainly are troopers, and we so appreciate everything they've done for us the past few weeks. It has been a fun and crazy time together!

Amy and Will were kind enough to pick us up at the airport - such good friends! - and we went on to spend part of the afternoon together, eating lunch at Big Top followed up by, of course, a visit to Gelato Fiasco, plus a bit of playtime for the kids. We didn't quite get out for a snowshoe hike like we intended, but there is a lot of winter left :) Sam and Will had a good time playing together, and it was fun to have the chance to catch up with Amy, not to mention it kept the kids busy for most of the day, which is always a good thing!

Never a dull moment with this crew ;)

Last night I realized that, OMG, tomorrow was the 31st! I swear, sometimes I really don't know where the time goes. I took some time and looked back at my end-of-the-year posts from the past few years, which was fun (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009). It's amazing to me how much has changed in six years. As a parent, the passage of time is readily apparent right before my eyes with Sam in our lives. She is still growing and changing daily, and I am incredibly lucky to be mom to the adorable, mischievous, happy, organized, incredibly smart, cute, loving, sweet, goofy, curious girl that she has become. Every day Sam amazes us in some way and I look forward to continuing to watch her evolve in the years to come and to sharing many adventures with her along the way.

So sweet, and oh so goofy ;) (those are pens hanging from a makeshift belt)

On the running front, the morph of time is a bit more subtle. I had forgotten that it was only in 2010 that I did my first trail marathon and am always sort of surprised to remember that my first 50 was only two years ago. Although these past few months haven't quite been what I had been hoping for running-wise as I recovered from TARC this fall, overall, there is no doubt that this was a pretty solid year. My intent for the year was to challenge myself and to run new races in different places, and I feel I definitely accomplished that. I was focused and steady in my training for the first nine months of the year, ran a few fun, new races, had a lot of really good training runs, and am incredibly proud to have finished my first 100 mile race at TARC this fall, so yup, I'd have to say that 2015 was a pretty darn good year!

The last run of the year was also the first screwshoe run of the season and the first of no doubt many Highland Green loops for the winter. I took my time getting out of the house this morning but finally got going around 8:30 or so. Someone had been out on the powerlines on an ATV yesterday, so there was a narrow strip of packed snow to run on. I was happy to see that the tracks continued across Highland Green Road, but they looped back at the top of the hill so I did too, hitting the road and turning onto the back dirt road, which had been nicely plowed down to a thin layer of packed, rather icy snow. Perfect screwshoe running. I stopped to check out the trailhead down to the river but although there were a number of foot prints, I knew it wouldn't be good running. Not packed enough, so I continued back on the pavement. A bit slushy and wet, but not bad. Got in a nice 5.1 miles for the morning for a total of 1,963.6 miles for 2015. Part of me wishes I could have gotten to 2,000 miles and that I had been a bit more on top of things today and had run an extra 0.4 miles to get to a round number, but these are trivial things, I know, as this was my highest yearly mileage without a doubt, and now I have a goal to aspire to for next year - 2,000+ miles and ending on a nice round number ;) Ha!

Hoping to build on the strength and endurance gained this year and am looking forward to many miles in 2016. Cheers to a 2016 filled with fun, laughter, adventures, time with family and friends, and a whole lot of running!

Happy New Year , everyone!!

Running Log Files:

2015 - 1963.60
2014 - 1702.00
2013 - 1557.75
2012 - 1400.00 
2011 - 1375.00
2010 - 1100.00
2009 - 675.50 *pregnant/Sam born
2008 - 1112.00

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NY Fun

Snow falling at home but rain down here in NY today. No running today but we've kept busy and the girls have been having fun.

Out for lunch

Kristen and Morgan

Neenie and the girls

Running a few laps around Willowbrook Park


All sorts of ducks


Trail selfie :)

Birthday excitement

Opening presents

Happy birthday Morgan!

Birthday girl


Children's Museum

That's my girl, getting it all organized


Radio broadcasters

Climbing wall

Snowflake fun

Monday, December 28, 2015

Staten Island Greenbelt Exploration

The ride down to NY yesterday was much less painful than last year, with less traffic although with perhaps a slightly more impatient Samantha. After a slightly too early wake up by Sam this morning, I finally headed out for a run around 8:00. I had done a bit of research ahead of time and knowing that I had hit the edge of a trail here last year on a run, I decided to figure out how much more trail I could find today. I discovered that there was a large network of trails starting where I had ended last year and set out to explore them. Very cool. 

I had the map pulled up on my phone along with Google maps but was able to follow the route I was hoping for without too much trouble but with quite a few stops to be sure I wasn't headed off into never never land ;)

It was right around 40 degrees and pretty pleasant out on the trails. The trails are definitely suburban in nature, with stretches along the golf course, views of houses in the distance and multiple road crossings. I ran the Red Trail and then up Moses Mountain and along to High Rock and back. Some fun running and great to get in 8 miles almost entirely in trail in the midst of Staten Island! Would love to explore more, and would have, if I'd had some water with me! 

View of the lighthouse through the trees

Red Trail

Golf course vista

Four deer scampering off

Moses Mountain trailhead

After a short steep Scramble, I got to the top of Moses Mountain

Suburban vista

View along the trail

Can you see the deer? I saw seven in all, and they were not scared of me at all!

 Fun on the trails!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Fun

Amy drove back up here this morning to meet me for a 7:00 am run out through the Commons and Coleman Farm. The full moon was rising over the pond as we headed out and later, as we ran down to the ocean, the light was shining brightly off the still water in the marsh rivers. Beautiful morning to be out, and always nice to run with Amy!

Moon just hidden behind the trees

Ocean overlook

Later in the afternoon, Mom, Dad and Sam took off for the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden 'Gardens Aglow' exhibit up in Boothbay Harbor, while Ryan and I headed to the movie theatre to watch the new Star Wars. Wow, great movie. We followed up the movie with a fun and delicious dinner at Frontier - what a nice night out! Thanks, Mom and Dad! And 'Gardens Aglow' looked pretty awesome too!



Taking in the sights with Neenie

Snowman Scavenger hunt

Beautiful lights

Flower lights

Garden aglow

Kids garden and playhouse

Fun with Neenie and Pip

Sam, in her PJs, of course ;)

Tall trees

Glowing lights

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

A whole lot of laughs, fun, chaos, good friends and family today! I'm not really the entertaining type but I loved having the house full of love and joy today! Such a fun way to celebrate :)

Yup, I'd say that about sums it up :) Cheers!!