Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Part #2

It was too good of a day to waste, so after lunch we went over to the Cathance for a hike.

We started with an 8-year old's meltdown, progressed to a low river crossing to do some off-trail exploration, found some interesting finds, including an old road, a algae filled quarry with a clear animal (probably beaver) path to and fro, did some more rock crossing, found some dead stuff in the river (deer), explored further down river, found some good beaver markings on downed trees, and ended up with some on-trail selfie shenanigans and got the kiddo to exclaim, "this is fun."

In the end, it was all good and we got in a lovely 2.4 miles out in the woods. I'm calling it a win 💗

Fall colors

Cathance reflections

My cutie pie

Off-trail finds

Old woods road across the river

Do you see the animal (probably beaver) path down the bank and into the pond through the algae? It was pretty neat in person!


Getting ready to rock hop across the river

Beaver activity!

Lots of teeth marks!

So cool

Tree Clubmoss

Oh deer...

Froggy and deer spine

River reflections

Along the river

Selfie shenanigans...

Happiness is time spent in the woods with these two 💕


Cotton Sedge
7 Days of Black and White (6/7)

Early morning

White cotton sedge contrasting against the reddening Heath

Deer startled in the woods, white tail up in alarm

Pileated Woodpecker calling overhead

Twinkling melody of the water flowing over the rocks in the river

The sweet scent of ferns and fallen leaves

Red winterberries set against browning brush

Maple leaves glowing in the sunlight

Sunlight above

Leaves crunching underfoot

Grateful indeed

(7.0 miles)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

15 Days!

November 4th is officially showing in the 15 day forecast.

My brain alternates between "Sh*t!," "Eeekkk!" and "Yay!" I am not sure which is winning. It seems to be a solid tie between excitement, fear and the thrill and nerves of the known/unknown. I've run a 100 before. I know I can do it. I've put in the work. I am super excited to explore a new trail and run a point-to-point race as a new adventure. It's a privilege to be out running ultras in this topsy turvy world and I will never take for granted how lucky I am to be able to do so. But I also know what I am getting into, at least in the bigger sense of the word, so I know it will be hard, that there are no guarantees, that it might not be pretty, that I might want to cry or curl up by the side of the trail, and that there will no doubt be suffering, albeit self-imposed. So "Sh*t! Eeekkk! Yay!" 15 days!

In terms of weather, if this forecast holds, I'll be more than happy. But regardless, Pinhoti 100, it's getting real!


Slept in a bit today and headed out around 7:20 for a lollygag down to the river and back, stopping to take lots of photos and just enjoy the morning. Beautiful out. Saw two deer, one of which bounded right across the trail about 3 feet in front of me! (5.5 miles)

Cotton sedge, the Heath

Fallen leaves, flowing waters

A lot of the maples are past peak but this bunch is still looking brilliant!

Love the contrast

So beautiful

Flowing Waters, the Cathance
7 Days of Black and White (5/7)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Midweek Black & White

Our friend Kari tagged me in a 7 days of black and white photograph challenge. I modified it slightly to my own liking ;), adding captions and not tagging anyone else, but I liked the idea, so I figured why not? Kind of fun!

Monday, I didn't run and I didn't take any photos, so a Tuesday start to the 7 day challenge, I guess :0 We were all tired out from the weekend!

Tuesday, I was up and out early into the cold, crisp and dark morning. Ran the cart paths and enjoyed the light from the thin sliver of a crescent moon and brilliant Venus shimmering below it right above the treeline, with just a hint of a glow along the horizon as the sky began to lighten in the final few miles. Beautiful. (6.0 miles)

By the Light of the Moon (and Venus)
7 Days of Black and White (1/7)

Wednesday, I was up early and out doing hill work in the darkness. Not quite as cold or crisp but still tights weather, at least in my book. 10 repeats. Saw a porcupine and heard another one rumbling off in the woods nearby. (6.2 miles)


Sleepy Gigi Monster
7 Days of Black and White (2/7) 

Rest day on Thursday.

Front Door Mums
7 Days of Black and White (3/7)

Friday morning, I dropped Sam off and headed over to the Brad for a run. With regular deer hunting season opening soon and Pinhoti coming up, I likely won't get over to Brad again until after Thanksgiving, so I figured I might as well take the opportunity for one last mid-length run there, enjoying the fall foliage and the trails.

Val was going to meet me at 10:00 so I had 1:40 or so to play with. It was a beautiful, sunny morning with almost perfect temps and blue sky. Lovely. I headed up to the summit, and realized along the way that, whew, my legs felt tired already. Guess it really is time to taper! Up at the summit I stopped to take in the view, and fumbled to get my earbud (just one) in and music on. I had brought my earphones to test out - I'm really not a music person but I wondered if music might be a good option during Pinhoti if I needed some respite and distraction. I realized in the 7 miles that I did run with the earbud in that, while a good distraction from simply listening to the whirling thoughts in my brain, it is probably not something I'd really want to do on most runs. Perhaps some of it was the equipment, as there was way too much fiddling with the earbud and then Pandora was buffering for a while midway through and I was like 'what the h*@l, why isn't this working?' and frankly that was frustrating. I also felt much less connected with the world around me, which is always something I love about running in the woods. So test successful and honestly, probably the outcome I would have suspected ;)

In any event, the woods were beautiful, the trail littered with fallen leaves and it was just a plain old beautiful day to be out enjoying nature.

Beautiful Brad

Sunlight through the trees

I got back to the parking lot a few minutes early, enough time to use the bathroom, change shirts and eat a Payday ;) A yummy and not too sweet addition to my Pinhoti bag :) 

Val suggested running Mindy's 40 for 40 birthday loop backwards, and since I wasn't there for that run and I was happy to have her lead the way, why not? It was kind of like the Bruiser backwards and without the O and Island. We had fun chatting away as we ran along and it was good to catch up.

We got back to the lot with my watch reading 15.75 miles and saw that Mindy's car was in the lot still (she and a friend were hiking and planning to meet us for lunch after), so we decided to hike up to the summit to see if we could find them. I had already stopped my watch but of course, being slightly OCD with these things, turned it back on again for our short 0.6 mile loop up and over the summit and down Switchback to the cut-over trail to the Quarry. A good additional foray, although we did not find Mindy :)

Summit view

Then it was over to Edna & Lucy's for more chatter and a delicious salad followed up by my favorite of their dessert options - a carrot cake cupcake. Yum! A good morning for sure!

Running Reward
7 Days of Black and White

Monday, October 16, 2017

BBU Aid Station Fun

A great day yesterday helping out at Ryan's aid station on the Big Brad course! As always, such fun to spend the day chatting with friends, cheering on and helping out the runners as they passed through on their way to 50k or 50 miles, and just plain enjoying the awesomeness that is an aid station during an ultra.

Much like last year, Sam wanted to stay all day long, far past the end of our 3 1/2 hour shift, and she pitched right in and helped out from start to finish, filling soda cups, making sandwiches and helping runners fill their water bottles and bladders, all with a smile. Aid station pro :) We are lucky parents, for sure! 💖

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Busy Week

Another big training week in the books, which along with two XC meets, two swim team practices, and the aforementioned birthday and anniversary made for a very busy but fun week!

Monday morning, I got up and out right after sunrise to get in a run before the birthday celebrations began. It was a soggy, heavy morning. Ran out in the Cathance and saw two deer, five turkey and six mallards. Breaking in a new pair of Nike Wildhorse 3s in prep for Pinhoti. I have really come to like these shoes, but this third pair is no different from the first or second in that I've found they don't instantly feel good; they seem to need a more intensive breaking-in period than the Inov-8 Ultra 290s. More runs will be needed over the next few weeks to get these ready to wear. (8.1 miles)

Tuesday morning dawned muggy, heavy and foggy. 6x up and down both Suicide and Chicken Hill for a total of 12 repeats on wet pavement in the dark. Not as fast as last week's workout but got it done. (7.1 miles)

Mom joined me up at the Y in the afternoon to watch Sam's swim team practice, and then she and Sam had dinner out while Ryan and I had the chance to enjoy an anniversary date night to Frontier. Delish as always and good to have an evening out with Ryan :)

Wednesday was Sam's last midweek XC meet of the fall season down in Falmouth. A gorgeous fall day to run through the fields, and super proud of her strength and focus during this race!

Game face :)

Striding along!

Thursday morning truly felt like a fall morning. Gone was the muggy heaviness of earlier this week, replaced by crisp cool (maybe even cold!) air. Ahhh.... I even wore tights and gloves! Started at 5:04 am and ran the cart paths forwards and backwards, a really nice option for early morning darkness, as there is less to trip over, and it's easier to just glide along. ;)  8 of the 10 miles were done in the dark. But the stars were beautiful overhead and Venus was in view too, which is very cool. Felt decent and was able to keep up a fairly peppy pace given the darkness. (10.0 miles)

A little light at the end of a dark run

Friday morning, I met up with Emily at Bradbury. She had messaged asking if I was planning to run long today as she had the day off, so yay, fun company for the run! I was a bit nervous as she is young and fit, and I am, well, like 15 years old than her and not as speedy ;) but it was a great run and we had a good time chatting the miles away. I may have chatted a bit too much though, as I was not good about taking in fuel, but it's all good.

It was a very cold start, like 36 degrees cold, but a beautiful morning, sunny and bright, and the trails were strewn with brightly colored fallen leaves. We ran the east side BBU course section then headed up to the summit and out onto the Connector. Emily hadn't run the Wiggles before, so we took that route down to Lawrence Road and then at the top of the field, turned left to explore the new trail that's been blazed out through the woods along Chandler Brook and out to Elmwood Road. It was fun to run a new stretch of trail but it definitely needs some more foot traffic as it was a bit hard to follow in spots and very lightly traveled so far. We ran down the road a short ways and hooked up with the powerlines back to the Connector to return to the park.

Back to the lot with only 15+ miles on my watch so it was back to the east side for a meander. We ran into Val and Mindy and Evan marking the BBU course for Sunday's race, and managed to finish up with 20 miles showing on my watch at least! Although Emily's company had made the miles fly by, I could tell my legs were tired and I would have been more than happy to stop, but instead, I topped my pack off with a bit more water and headed out to run to the summit and back for 2 more miles. I was content with 22 solid miles and happy to have had Emily's cheerful company out there!

I stopped into Edna & Lucy's for a cup of soup and hung out with Mindy, Val and Evan for a few minutes before heading off to get my flu shot, do the end-of-the-week Target and grocery shopping run, get groceries put away, dishwasher emptied and laundry started before I rushed off to get Sam at school so she could get her flu shot! We decided that the shots called for a stop at Gelato Fiasco for some pumpkin pie gelato to soothe the arm pain before we headed home :)

Ice cream makes everything better ;) 
(And don't mind my hair - I didn't have time to shower before heading to pick up! 😁 😂)

Saturday morning, I slept in as much as the cats would allow, got myself ready and headed out around 7:20 into the sun on the powerlines. Much warmer this morning and humid again. Weird weather, for sure... I was happy to find that my legs felt pretty decent and fairly strong, although overall, I most certainly felt fatigued. I kept the pace mellow and meandered along the powerlines, enjoying the smell of the hay scented ferns and the red berries on the winterberry bushes brightening the now browning brush along the trailside. After the powerlines loop, I returned to the high school and then headed up and over Mt. A. to head out into the Cathance for the second half of my miles. 

River reflections

Red and green

The trails were littered with fall leaves and although the river is extremely low right now, it is still incredibly scenic out in the woods. These miles were a bit slower but I just kept chugging along. Added on an extra loop on the roads along Canam to round out the miles before heading home. A good long training weekend done and another 60+ mile week in the books. Now, bring on the taper! (15.0 miles)

After a bit of relaxation and a quick clean of the house since it was neglected yesterday, we headed down to Twin Brook for the Coastal Running League championship meet, the last XC meet of the season for Sam. 

Down the field 

Home stretch!

A beautiful, warm afternoon for the last meet of the season and Sam did great, running very focused! Very proud of her for running strong all season long!

After the meet we headed out to Toots for an ice cream and some time at the farm, wandering around looking at the animals and feeding grass to the goats! A fun way to celebrate a good XC season :)

Feeding the goats

Today is a no running day but we'll be heading over to Bradbury shortly to volunteer at Ryan's aid station at the BBU and to cheer everyone out running the races today!