Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fun Sunday

Got in a mellow (read: the legs didn't want to go ;)) 6 miles on the cart paths this morning. Wore my screwshoes but really only needed them in a few icy spots. Otherwise, a whole lot of bare ground out there.

Spent the rest of the morning lounging with Sam after Ryan headed out for his run, and then finally motivated to head out into town. After a stop to look in on and play with Zippy, we had lunch at Big Top, followed by, you guessed it :) Gelato. Sam had part Orange, Carrot, Ginger and part Blood Orange. I had the yummy combo of Raspberry and Rich Chocolate sorbettos. Delish all around :)

Then it was off to the Skolfield Preserve for a hike down to the shore and out into the woods. A nice 1 mile trail wander with the kiddo. No screwshoes needed. And yes, Sam is wearing her PJs ;)

A pretty good Sunday :)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Running with Friends

The past two days have been fun. I met up with Keri up at Hidden Valley Nature Center on Friday morning for a run. We had planned to meet up this winter for some snowshoe or screwshoe running. Well, Mother Nature apparently had other plans, so Friday's run involved a lot of wet feet, mud, sinking through hoar frost, stream crossings, some lovely icy patches and way too much bare ground for late February. Still, it was a lovely tour of a cool, if rugged, trail system. There were long stretches of still rough double-track old logging roads, and some sweet singletrack. Keri showed me some of the trailside cabins, and took me up a steep trail to a hilltop yurt and along the shores of Little Dyer Pond. The sun was shining brightly on a windy, cool morning and we had the trails to ourselves. A fun 10 miles laughing and chatting the morning away. Thanks, Keri!

Little Dyer Pond

Keri leading the way

Muddy feet!

This morning dawned crisp and clear. Amy I met up around 9:00 am in the hopes that the temps would rise out of the teens. With the wind, it certainly didn't seem warm, but I'm sure it was in the 20s by the time we finished. Still, another bright, sunny morning. I let Amy plan the route and we headed out from Lawrence to Run Around Pond, then veered left on a road she hadn't taken before. It was rolling terrain which led us out to Rt. 136 in Durham. We took the main road along the wide open Androscoggin for a mile or so before turning off onto a dirt road that took us up into the woods to a small neighborhood out in the middle of nowhere. As it was a dead end, we turned around and retraced our steps into the wind. Brrr! Still, another great run with my dear friend, filled with lots of chatter and laughter, and some good Oreos too - thanks, Amy! Yum! I ended up stopping at mile 18, as my legs and hips weren't feeling super happy with all the pavement, but Amy went on to finish up her final two miles before meeting us (Ryan and Sam came out for lunch) at Edna & Lucy's. A solid 3 hour run. Lots of fun. Always an adventure when I head off on a road run with Amy - I never know where we'll end up ;)

Another good, if backwards, back to back weekend for me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Midweek Miles

This weather kinda sucks. Seriously. There's almost no snow, and where the trails were packed when we did have snow, we now have solid glare ice. Since it's February and we should have snow and some pretty darn good screwshoe running at this point, getting up early in the dark to go out and run on icy, hoar frosty trails just isn't enticing. Which means, I have not managed to get up and out the past two mornings. But, that being said, I have managed to get in some miles ;)

Yesterday, work was quiet and I was able to get in a few miles late in the afternoon. I chose to drive over to the Community Garden parking lot off Baribeau and headed out onto the Crystal Spring Farm trails from there. It was overcast and a bit raw out, but still, always good to get out in the woods. There were some wonderful stretches of bare ground, but unfortunately, there was also a lot of glare ice, which made the going a bit slow. I did some loops and then ran up to the farm. From there, I took the road back and veered off to check out the animal houses I had noted along the edge of one of the fields on last week's long road run. Turns out, they were pig houses/pens :) There were some seriously big pigs, but the only two who came out to greet me were two cute black pigs, wagging their tails and clearing looking for food. Sadly, I had none, but I did enjoy talking to them :)

Got in a nice 5 miles for the afternoon.

I didn't sleep well last night and just was not up for getting up early to run with John, which was the intended plan. Sorry, John :( Instead, I went back to sleep for another two hours, which felt good and was needed. So, instead, I ended up on the treadmill this afternoon while Sam was in her swim lesson. Warmed up for 1 mile, moving pace down to 7:35 for two miles and then back up into the 8:00+ range. Hey, I'm trying ;) Got in 4 miles, and of course was just drenched in sweat :) The treadmill is seriously painful, but it got the job done!

Gratitude - February

Hard to believe it is the end of February! Fun to look back on this list from the month and remember all the things that make life good :) 

2/1/16 - Sam and I went for a walk around the block after getting home tonight, and no headlamps or reflective gear were needed! Love it that the days are getting noticeably longer!

2/2/16 - Nice to get in an early morning run down to the river with John - snow was surprisingly solid when there was snow ;) Otherwise, a mix of ice, bare ground and water kept us on our toes.

2/3/16 - The best thing about birthdays these days is hearing from family and friends. Always makes me feel so loved! Of course, there was this too ;)

2/4/16 - A great, warm, spring-like extra day off today spent running and hanging out with my good friend, Amy! Very grateful!

2/5/16 - Nothing like living in Maine to make you appreciate Mother Nature in all her varieties. From 50 degrees yesterday to a snow day today...

2/6/16 - Love being able to get out and enjoy both the ocean and the woods in one day. A run down to Simpson's Point this morning with Amy, followed up by a late afternoon snowshoe hike down to the Cathance with Sam and Ryan. The snow-covered trees were beautiful today!

2/7/16 - Sam has a bit of a cough and cold, but happy she had enough energy to get out this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and snow. She had a lot of fun sledding and making a snowman!

2/8/16 - The kiddo was home sick today, which is never a good thing, but grateful I have a flexible job and an understanding boss who was cool with me taking the morning off and just coming in for a few hours in the afternoon after Ryan got home for Sam duty!

2/9/16 - Glad Sam made it through the school day today, and grateful once again for my job flexibility - there was a two hour delay today, so I didn't get in until 11:00, and then I left at 3:00 to pick Sam up instead of sending her to aftercare. I'll be glad to return to our normal schedule but for now, happy to be able to help Sam get a bit more sleep and rest to get over this cough/cold.

2/10/16 - Happy Sam was able to make it through a full day of school today and her swim lesson!

2/11/16 - After three days of not running due to a sick kiddo and the ensuing sleeplessness that comes with listening to coughing all night long, happy to have finally gotten up and out for a morning run. Beautiful morning with a glorious sunrise casting a pastel glow on the snow. So pretty.

2/12/16 - Sam got two Valentine's Day cards in the mail today - one from each set of grandparents - and she said, "I am so lucky to have Neenie and Pip and Grammie and Grampie. They are such great grandparents. Oh, and I really have to thank Pip for sending me $5!" Ha ha ha! Love it.

2/13/16 - Love having the snowshoe race RDing be a family affair :)

2/14/16 - Thankful for these two. I am a lucky lady!

2/15/16 - Fun to have a chance to spend the day with Ryan while Sam is at vacation week camp! We got in a fun 13 mile run and lunch together!

2/16/16 - Love reading with Sam at night before bed. These days, she reads to me :) Tonight was 'where the wild things are.' "Let the wild rumpus begin!" :)

2/17/16 - Driving home with Sam at 5:02 pm and the sky is pastel pink with the large orange orb of the sun still setting through the periwinkle clouds. Light after 5:00 pm, truly still light, I love it!

2/18/16 - Ok, so trail conditions suck right now but it was light for my morning run! Horray for that! Left at 6:05 and used the headlamp for a bit but mostly so I didn't bite the dust on the ice :) 

2/19/26 - This.

2/20/16 - Despite sketchy conditions, always fun to spend time on the trails with friends!

2/21/16 - When life gives you lemons (or in this case no snow and 48 degrees on a late February day), make some lemonade (or go on a hike through the woods down to the ocean)! :)

2/22/16 - Well, we succeeded in getting back into routine, even if we forgot to brush Sam's hair before heading to school this morning ;) She was happy to be back at school, but wiped out! All this learning is hard work!

2/23/16 - Thankful to be able to get out for a run late this afternoon. Trails were part bare ground and part glare ice, and therefore a bit of a challenge, but I got to see a few pigs at the farm along the route and it was good to get in a few miles!

2/24/16 - Grateful our school district did not delay or cancel school today! Sometimes it's the little things ;)

2/25/16 - Enjoyed a homemade lunch courtesy of Ryan at work today! Always nice to eat a lunch I didn't have to make myself :) 

2/26/16 - Fun muddy run exploring new to me trails with Keri at HVNC!

2/27/16 - Good company and good Oreos on this morning's 18 mile road run this morning with Amy!

2/28/16 - After a morning run to shake out the legs, spent the day with the kiddo while Ryan got in his run. We went out to lunch and gelato together and then got in some trail exploration to make for a fun Sunday! 

2/29/16 - The newest member of the extended family! So happy for Meg, Chris and Gavin! Welcome little Cameron :) Sam is excited to have a new baby cousin!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Making Lemonade

Somehow, I managed to squeeze 50.5 miles out of this week. I suppose running one extra long run - Monday's 13 miler with Ryan - will do that! Of course, last week I only managed 27. But if you take the last four days of last week and add in Monday's run with Ryan, I ran 40 miles over those 5 consecutive days. That leaves 37 miles this week, run over the past four days. So whatever way you split it, decent mileage for me, especially at this time of year.

Honestly, prior to last year I would never have thought I could pull a 50 mile week off *a little bit out of nowhere* without it being a big deal, mentally if nothing else. But if last year taught me nothing else, it's that my body can handle a lot more than I ever would have imagined. I'm not saying all my runs this week were perfect or that I felt awesome for each and every mile but overall, I felt solid, I got in some good hills, ran some fast-ish miles during my 16 miler, and today's 4 miles around the Heath, while bit creaky initially, were decent considering the variable spring-like conditions and my legs really didn't feel especially heavy or tired. I never intended to run 50 miles this week but hey, sometimes you just take what you can get (or what you make of it) :)

And in the same vein, when life gives you lemons (or no snow and a 48 degree day in late February), you make yourself some lemonade and enjoy it (or in our case, head out for a hike down to the ocean)!

Our destination was Wolfe's Neck. Apparently, many others had the same idea as we ran into a lot of people out there, but it never felt crowded. The trails were a bit icy to start, but some careful footwork was all that was needed. We wound our way out through the woods, and even got in a bit of running, at Sam's request, on the bare, dry stretches. It seemed to be an extremely low tide, and with no wind and some lovely late afternoon light, we enjoyed checking out the water's edge, and trekking far along the shoreline, farther than I think we've ever been able to explore before. We saw two pairs of loons out in the still waters, found clams and mussels and oysters living in the mud flats, and saw many large, beautiful scallop shells along with many horseshoe crab exoskeleton pieces (no whole ones, Amy, sorry!).

A lovely way to spend 2 miles and 2 hours (probably only a little more than 1 hour spent actually hiking) :) And a good a way as any to enjoy this wacky weather we've been having!

Headed out

Bog bridges

Leading the way

So little snow...

Little kid, big rock

Goofy girl

Stomping in the mud


Oops! ;)

Beautiful light

Big scallop shell

Humming to the periwinkles along the shore

Late afternoon light, low tide

Along the shoreline

Winter light

Clam shell!


Looking for treasures

Shoreline exploration

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mockingbird Lane

It was raining as Amy and I headed over to Val's this morning. It was raining when we started running. It was raw and damp, and we ran through sloppy fields, with rivelets of cold water throughout. The powerlines trails across the street were a mix of mud and ice and bare ground and hoar frost and little streams and a section of unbroken, soft, mushy snow out in the woods. It was a mixed bag of conditions, that's for sure! While there may not have been much enthusiasm for the conditions or the weather, it is always fun to run with friends and there was some good laughter and smiles and stories along the way.

My original intent for the day was to run 8 miles, but in the end the out and back lollypop was around 5.5 miles. I stopped with the group at the end of the first lap and seriously considered going inside. In fact, so much so that I stopped my watch and saved the loop. Ha :) Then of course, everyone started to head back out, so I hemmed and hawed for a while and then figured, oh what the heck. Ran with Keri and Bob, and as is almost always the case, glad I got out there. Oh, my feet were soaked and I was tired, and I didn't think I was going far so I didn't eat or drink anything in between or along the way, but got in a good slippery, slidey, mucky, cold, wet 11 miles. Fun in the craziest way with a good group of people! :) 

Today's miles made for a solid back-to-back for the weekend. Now to continue the momentum!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Road Running

When I told Ryan what I was planning to do last night , he was like, what, you running VT? Well, no, I don't need roads for Grayson but I do need hills and I don't feel like my run being half walk gingerly across ice/take a million hours/sucky. So hilly road run it is! I had pondered a route from home but kept getting creepy vibes from one stretch I've never run before so aborted on that plan and headed over to Brunswick instead. If you choose the right route, you can actually find hills to run over there, so I parked on Baribeau and headed up Pleasant Hill. Strava has a segment along here called 'unpleasant climb' - ha ha ha! - as there really are some decent climbs headed out to Freeport .

I stayed on Pleasant Hill until it intersects Flying Point and headed back that way, making a Lollypop of it by cutting across on Highland back to Pleasant Hill. The running was decent, it was  bright and sunny, the sky was blue, and the route was nice but jeez, I guess I'm really a trail girl at heart! I was keeping a solid, steady pace and felt really good until the final few miles when I started dragging a bit, but the pavement was killing my feet and I was just bored. So much endless pavement!!! 

I did get to see a pair of bluebirds out on Highland, which was very cool and the highlight of the run! Saw a red tail hawk out in the fields too, but not much else out there.

Anyway, ended up with 16.5 miles at just under 9:00 pace and am happy with that,  but get me back to those trails ;)

Stopped to get this for lunch on the way home. Yum! Guac, roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, beans, a bit of rice and crunchy lettuce. What's not to love?!? Perfect post-run deliciousness.

The rest of the day was a blur of chores before picking Sam up at camp to come home, eat dinner and hang out for the evening. Tonight she read us 'Izzy the Ice Cream Fairy.' Love this kid :)