Thursday, June 30, 2016


Yesterday I totally bagged on an early morning run with John. It was pouring, I hadn't slept well at all and my allergies were driving me nuts - dry, scratchy throat and itchy eyes. Instead I figured I would just go in to work extra early - one of the perks of having Mom and Dad here for sure! - and then leave around 3:15 to get in a run before heading home in the afternoon. Of course, as 3:00 rolled around, the skies had gotten dark, thunder was rumbling and the heavens opened up with heavy rain. Hmmm. I am not adverse to running in the rain but in thunder/lightening? Well, maybe! I decided I would go do the recycling first and hope the storm had died down by the time I was done.

Indeed, the sky was looking brighter around 3:45 although it was still raining, so I pulled into the Cathance parking lot and ran from there. I believe I described my run on Strava as "Sweaty, squishy, squashy, soaked, slippery, sloppy" to which a friend added "soupy." Indeed all were accurate! I did see a groundhog and a snowshoe hare along the way though - always fun sightings. Got in 4 miles and headed home to enjoy Indian food out with the family for dinner. Yum!

I actually managed to sleep well last night, which is a rarity, really, so I felt ready to get up with the alarm and out early today ;) I decided I wanted to test out the interval timer feature on my watch - I had set it (or so I thought) for 1 minute on, 1 minute off, as I had read about that workout a while back and thought it would be a good way to inject speed without having to watch pace too carefully; it would more be about effort this way. Anyway, I ran out on the powerlines, enjoying the cool air and the low fog lying atop the greenery; I noticed the milkweed is getting ready to flower - oh they smell so good!

A bit farther along, I just had to stop to pick some of the ripening dew-covered blueberries, set on the hillside in the early morning sun. You just don't pass those up ;)

I ran down the road until my watch beeped 1 mile and then started up the interval timer, or so I thought. Apparently I paused it when I thought I had started it, so my first interval was off but whatever ;) I kept up the intervals from miles 2 through start of mile 5 and then backed off to a leisurely run pace on the final mile back home. It was kind of fun to just try to keep up the pace and wait to hear the beep of the watch to slow down. Got in 8x 1 min on/2 min off (guess I messed up how those intervals were supposed to be entered! ;) ) and then messed up again, by pausing my watch at the start of mile 5 instead of ending the intervals. Grrr! Ah, technology and human error. Such fun! But at least now I know how it works ;) I think I will use it for some workouts but also am planning to set it for 30 min/30 min to keep tabs on gel intake during a long run/race. I had liked that alarm feature on my Garmin and was bummed to not find something similar on the Suunto; I think this will work well in place of the Garmin alarm, well, as long as I remember to start it at the beginning of a long run where I'm working on fueling ;)

Also, looking at Strava today, I found that I've run 934.2 miles from the start of January to end of June. A bit off pace for 2,000 miles for the year, but still, not bad!

Speaking of summertime, Mom, Dad and Sam are up at Popham Beach today. What a great day to be outside enjoying the sun and sand!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flora and Fauna

Yesterday, Sam, Mom and Dad went up to Boothbay to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to do some exploring. What a beautiful day for it! Sam took lots of beautiful photos of the colorful flowers on her phone, but as it's an old phone I can't quite figure out how to get them onto this machine ;) But here are some pictures of them all having fun out there :) Such a great place!

This morning, I was up early and got out for 6 miles on the cart paths. We got a bit of rain overnight, and I was lucky enough to come across two red efts out there! Of course they were both on the cart path, so I stopped to move them off. Operation red eft rescue here ;) Also saw a red-winged blackbird and a bunny. And best of all, the first trail blueberries of the season! YUM!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ocean Lookout

This weather, while not good by any means for the drought, has meant some lovely days to get out and explore, so while Mom and Dad were here we decided we'd head up to Camden this morning for some hiking.

We parked along the Mt. Battie Road and hiked up the Nature Trail & Megunticook Trail to the Ocean Lookout. Absolutely gorgeous up there today! A bit warm but with a nice breeze and no bugs. There were a fair number of other people out hiking today but the trail, and even the lookout, didn't seem too crowded. We hiked back down via the Tablelands Trail, and while we had originally planned a loop back to the car, Sam had a bathroom emergency forcing Ryan to run ahead to get the car and meet us a bit further up the road. Ah, gotta love hiking with a 6 year old! She can pee in the woods like an (almost) pro but pooping is another story ;) which is totally understandable. In any event, despite that little snafu, we had a lovely 2.4 mile hike, finishing it up with a drive to the top of Battie for a picnic lunch, to use the bathrooms and to do a bit of exploring around the summit.  Ah, summer Sundays in Maine!

Headed out for a hike!

Along the bog bridge

Up the trail

Trailside seat ;)

Mom and Dad at Ocean Lookout

Having a snack

Taking her own photos ;)

Along the rocks

Happy family ;)

Found a baby bird along the trail

We moved it to an open area off the trail so its parents would come for it (we saw the mama flitting closer and closer as we started back down the trail)

Mt. Battie vista

Sam, Neenie and Pip

Mt. Battie selfie with my girl ;)

21 and 48

Amy came up my way yesterday and we headed out to run a big Topsham road loop together. Although all road runs starting and finishing at our place mean a bit of traffic whichever way you go, it's fairly easy to get out into the country within a few miles where the roads are a bit more quiet. And because we started at 6:00 am, the majority of the roads were quiet for the first few hours, which was nice.

The sun was shining, the air smelled like tea roses and we had a good time catching up as we ran. We ran past a lot of fields filled with buttercups and daisies, got in a few good hills, saw three groundhogs, a Cedar Waxwing and said hi to the Bisson cows lounging in the meadow. The loop ended up being 21 miles and although the balls of my feet were feeling the pounding of the pavement in the last few miles, overall, I felt good and relaxed the whole time.

Later in the afternoon, we headed out to Five Island's to celebrate Mom and Dad's 48th anniversary with lobster, steamers, scallops and a gorgeous view. Yum :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Inventions, Running and Going to the Beach

On their walk along the Androscoggin Riverwalk earlier this week, Sam and my parents were dismayed to find a lot of trash and cigarette butts along the river and shoreline. So Sam dreamed up an invention to pick up the trash without having to touch it. Then she and Neenie worked on it, and they went back yesterday to actually put it into action. Armed with Sam's invention, some latex gloves and an enthusiasm for cleaning up the environment, they ended up with an overflowing trash bag full of trash. Apparently, they saw a woman out there walking her dog who said, "There is hope for the future yet!" when she found out what they were doing. I am so proud of my little inventor and environmentalist!

They also went out to the "beach" at Skofield Preserve after lunch for a short walk and were lucky enough to meet a fisherman who let Sam try to reel in a fish, and had the chance to see an eagle perched in a nearby pine tree! Sounds like a pretty good day to me!

This morning, I got up and out early to get my run in. I had hoped to get out to Head of Tides but the field/old road/grass areas were a bit too overgrown for me, so I altered my route and ran a bit of a random smattering out through the Cathance instead. I felt good and enjoyed the wander on a nice and cool morning; on the plus side there were no bugs, and I scared up two deer in two different spots along the way. The second scared the begeejesus out of me as he snorted loudly at me before bounding off into the woods! I would guess if I was wearing a HR monitor, my HR would have shot up quite high at that moment ;) Ha. Got in 8 miles before heading home for breakfast.

After we had all gotten cleaned up and organized, Sam, Mom, Dad and I headed down to Cape Elizabeth to Kettle Cove. It really is a nice little beach, and we found the parking lot only half full and the tide very low. Perfect! Not to mention, there was not a cloud in the sky and we had a lovely breeze to keep us cool. A beautiful morning to spend a few hours at the beach!