Thursday, June 22, 2017

Last Week of School

Summer is almost upon us, literally and figuratively. Wednesday was summer solstice and tomorrow is Sam's last day of 2nd grade! Crazy how time flies!

Monday was a planned rest day but then I didn't quite manage to get out of bed early enough to run on Tuesday. Another hour of sleep sounded so much better than getting up at 4:30 am, so that's what I did. Then I got up and did my strength and stretching work before I got up the kiddo and decided to gather up my running clothes and bring them with me up to the Y so I could run while Sam was at swim club. It is awesome to watch her swim, but if time is at a premium, it is also possible to fit in a 4 mile run while she swims, which was my choice for tonight.

Of course, the stress of wanting to make sure I am back in time means running during swim club is forced speedwork ;)  Four miles all at under 8:00 pace has to be a recent record! I am seriously not doing anything speedy these days so that's my speedwork for the week (and maybe the month 😂😂)!

Wednesday morning I was up and out at 5:40 but since I needed to be back and in the shower by 6:45 to get Sam up and myself off to work early for the day, I didn't quite have the time I wanted for a run. Still managed a nice, easy 5.3 miles down to the river and back on a beautiful morning - a good run for the first day of summer, complete with a gray fox sighting plus a pair of mallards out in the Heath and some good puffy cloud reflections in the water.

Heath reflections

Took today off so that I could get in a run, not to mention get some sh*t done and get us organized before we head off for Southwest Harbor for a camping weekend in celebration of the start of summer. I am really lucky to have a flexible schedule and appreciate it during weeks like this when I feel like I'm running around a bit crazy and want to be able to get in a run and make it so that we can get up to Acadia as soon as possible after school gets out!

After dropping Sam at school and doing a few errands, I headed out into the Cathance. It was warm and sunny, a beautiful bright summer day. I have been feeling tired this week, so am happy for a cut-back in terms of mileage. I ran a leisurely 12 miles out to Head of Tides and back, stopping to take photos and do tick checks frequently with all the high grasses, enjoying the sunshine, the smell of the roses, the summer greenness of the woods and the river, which has receded an amazing amount over the past few weeks. Saw three groundhogs, including one adorable baby who was only as big as a grey squirrel, one snowshoe hare out along the Heath, a Great Blue Heron out at Head of Tides, many dragonflies, moths and several Mourning Cloak butterflies, as well as a sighting of a pair of Scarlet Tanagers! I saw the female first and was trying to figure out what she was, as she was much larger than a warbler, and then I saw the male and started to wonder if she was the female. Stopped and watched them for a while, and when I came home and looked in the books, it was indeed a female scarlet tanager. The male is of course unmistakable, but this is my first sighting of a female Scarlet Tanager. Very exciting! :) 

Multiflora roses out at Head of Tides, smelled so sweet!

Sunlight along the river

Baby groundhog!!

Mourning cloak

Summer running, no filter needed

Sunday, June 18, 2017


After a rainy, overcast Friday, coolers temps came in but along with it, some serious humidity. Even though I only ran 8 miles Saturday and 7 miles this morning, I finished both runs up soaked!

Yesterday, I headed out into the Cathance. I felt decent after Friday's long run and enjoyed the woods. Saw one deer, one Northern Flicker and flicked one dog tick off my shoe after running through the dew-soaked fields at the top of the River loop.

This morning, I got out early before our VT100 crew meeting and ran the dump loop out on the powerlines. It was a misty, very heavy morning, but the hay scented ferns smelled heavenly, the blackberry brambles, swamp iris, bunchberry and sheep laurel were abundant and the cinnamon ferns are growing high along the trail edges. Also saw a cool patch of some big mushrooms! Very pretty out there. I contemplated running an additional 1.7 miles to get to an even 50 for the week but the reality is that 48+ is good enough and today's run was a good way to finish up another solid training week.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekday Wanderings

Monday, the heat was turned on here in Maine. Whew! Roasty toasty! I did not run.

In the evening, we were treated once again to a visit by one of the two fox that appear to be living nearby. Hope they have kits and bring them out to visit sometime soon. These guys are quite skittish but appear very healthy and are so pretty - I love their black tail stripes!

Tuesday morning, it was already 68 degrees when I headed out at 5:30 am. It was a sweaty, warm, muggy, buggy, cobwebby run out in the Cathance. But, as always, the river was gorgeous. The air smelled sweet, the swamp iris and sheep laurel are blooming, and the blackberry brambles are flowering. A good 7 miles before 7:00 am!

Wednesday morning was another early run, except the temps were about 10+ degrees cooler as I headed out to run 6 miles on the cart paths. Felt lovely. I also felt tired, so I took it easy.

Wednesday evening, I took Sam to swim club. At 5:15, swim club ended and all the other swimmers, and the coach, took off. But Sam, she put back on her goggles, jumped into the pool and swam another out and back in her lane. Love this kid 💕

Thursday I was kicking myself for not getting out to run. It was such a nice day! But the extra sleep time in the morning was nice. Getting up at 4:30 three days in a row is rough.

This morning, I was up early again. I had planned to head up to Camden for a run in the park, but after a beautiful week, cooler, damper weather rolled in and I reluctantly decided it wasn't worth driving up there to run in the rain :( But since I had already made plans to be out of the house early, I decided to stick to that and hoped to get in my long run in at the Brad before the majority of the rain started to fall. The plus of this plan was that a group was getting together at 7:00 to run and celebrate John and another runner's birthday, so I would get a bit of company mid-long run. Perfect.

I parked at John's house at 6:10 am and headed out on the trails. I forgot to bring bugspray (!!) but the mosquitos weren't bad as long as I kept moving! I ran the start of the east side BBU course, but realized as I hit the junction with Ginn at the top of the snowmobile trail that I wouldn't make it back to the lot for 7:00 so I turned around and ran back down the snowmobile trail. I was the last to arrive but since there was discussion as to the route the group was going to take it wasn't a problem - phew! I didn't recognize most of the people there, only Maureen and Tami, but the others were very nice. I think John had originally wanted to run the Scuffle but not everyone had that kind of time, so we headed up Northern Loop to the summit.

The four miles with the group was a bit choppy with a lot of stopped time, but since I was planning to be out there for a while anyway it wasn't a big deal. We ran down Switchback and then did a loop over on Knight's Woods before returning to the lot to pick up a watermelon and donuts to bring up to the summit via the Summit Trail. I believe there was also a bottle of brandy (??) but I did not partake in that! It was windy and rainy atop the summit but we stood around eating donuts anyway :) until it really was quite cold and my hands were starting to feel numb! Tami, John and I ran down the Terrace while the others took the shorter route down. It was fun to catch up with Tami a bit, but she had to head off to work like the rest of the crew so it was down to just John and I.

He had to head into work too but didn't want to go yet, so he joined me on the Scuffle, which was fun and I was glad to have his company out there! That left me only the final 5 miles to complete, so I decided to run back across to the mountain side. I ran back up to the summit, down Tote, out onto Boundary and the back to Tote via Reverse Mindy, cut up to the Boundary again off of Tote and ran up to the summit and down. I ended up having to only add on about 0.1 miles to get to a nice round 20, which I thought was pretty good :)

So all in all, a nice, soggy, muggy, heavy, humid but cool, showery, buggy morning for a run at Brad, complete with company for the middle 10 miles. Although I had really been looking forward to some fun, sunny miles up in Camden, hopefully I'll get up there soon, and in the end, the morning worked out quite nicely! Happy to have gotten the miles in without getting soaked by rain, although it didn't matter much since I ended up totally soaked with sweat! HA! :)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

First Beach Day of the Season

With Ryan off in the mountains today, Sam and I hit the road to Crescent Beach this afternoon after she had a morning playdate with one of her friends. It seemed like the right thing to do this afternoon, as after all the car thermometer was reading 91 degrees. Whew! I guess summer has arrived! ;)

Down by the ocean, the wind was whipping and it didn't feel quite as toasty but it was plenty warm enough for sitting on the beach, digging in the sand and walking along the shore. The water was downright frigid and I didn't do more than stick my toes in once ;) Sam might have gone in a little further but not much! Still, it was a fun afternoon at the beach, followed up by a girl's night out for sushi and ice cream. Yum! I'd call it a successful first beach day of the season!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday at the Brad

Somehow saying yes to a 6:00 am run at the Brad seemed like no big deal, but really, it means getting up quite early ;) Ha! Still, totally worth it for a run with Emma and John! We met at John's house and ran the Bruiser minus the "O," because why would you run the "O" unless you had to?! It was a nice morning, fairly cool but humid, and we had a great time chatting away as we ran.

We made a quick stop back at John's house to refill water and packs and change shirts before heading over to the lot right at 8:00 am. Sean and a relative were there so they joined us up to the summit before taking off to do their own thing.

We headed down the Tote, out on the Boundary and through the stone wall onto the Connector. We did a fun loop on the Wiggles and back up on the Connector before taking the Reverse Mindy to Tote and then out onto the BBU course down Lunchbreak. On the way back up, we showed Emma the boulder field and the new start to the BBU.

I think by the time we were halfway back up Lunchbreak, John was feeling it a bit but he was a good sport and we continued on back up to the summit. We headed down the Terrace and they turned right back to John's house. My watch was only reading 17.5 miles so I took the Northern Loop back up to the summit and down again, with a little extra out and back on the Link, to get in the extra miles I wanted for the day. I felt fine up to the summit but on the return trip, I was feeling a bit tired. Still, happy to have felt great all day and to have had such a nice run with friends! A good 20 miler for sure!

Ryan and Sam came over and met us at John's house and while Ryan went for a short run, John, Sam and I played a few games before we all headed to Edna & Lucy's for a yummy lunch and Toots ice cream for each of us too! A good Saturday at the Brad!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Fun Friday

After dropping Sam off at school and stopping at the farmer's market, I headed over to Bowdoin to run the Commons and Coleman Farm. Lots of ladyslippers, starflowers, bunchberry and wild lily of the valley blooming in the Commons, along with buttercups, wild geranium and wild strawberries along the edge of the Pennelville fields. Saw bobolinks, goldfinch and catbirds flitting about, and the rhododendron were looking gorgeous out in Coleman Farms. The path had been mowed nicely out to the first pond and then the grass wasn't too bad until the second pond, at which point it became a thinly trod ribbon of path through the high grasses along the edge of the fields. I reach a point every summer where I have to take a break from grassy trails so this will probably be my last Coleman Farm visit until fall, but I was very happy to have gotten out there today. Always a good run. A very nice 8 miles for the morning.

After cleaning up and crossing some household chores off my list, Ryan and I headed over to Frontier for a celebratory lunch. His new job starts on Monday! The end of #unemployment fitness but good for the wallet ;) and excited for his new venture!

On the homefront, the iris continue to open out front and my lone columbine plant is once again gracing the back shade garden with its color. Love it 💕

Another colorful addition was this evening's sighting (multiple times) of an Indigo Bunting feeding out back! I might be a total dork but this had me very excited! :) So cool! We also continue to get daily visits from the pair of grey fox living somewhere beyond the fence. Love to see them eating the seed, nuts and whatever else I've put out. Haven't gotten any good photos as they are quite skittish but they are beautiful creatures with the typical black down their tail!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I had grand plans on Monday morning to get in a run after I dropped Corie at the airport at 4:30 am, but instead I went back to bed. HA! 😂

Tuesday morning I was up and out early for a run down to the river and back. It was cool, overcast and windy, and I had to make a pitstop a 1/2 mile in. Sigh. But thankfully, there was a very nice clean portapotty at the track ;) A nice 5 miles to start the day.

A bit of color on a dreary day. First iris bloom out front.

Wednesday, I ended up running after I left work, and although I'm not really an evening runner nor will this become a habit, I was happy to be able to get out and get some miles in. After all the dreary rainy weather we've been having, the afternoon sunshine and warmth felt wonderful and the air smelled sweet like honeysuckle. I ran a random loop up Canam and through the woods to Highland Green, around the Heath and back on the back dirt road and powerlines for a quick 5 miles.

Today, I headed out around 5:50 am for a nice run on the Cathance trails on a beautiful, cool, sunny morning. A good 7 miles with one pileated woodpecker fly-over and one grouse startle :), plus some lovely river views.

Morning light, Cathance

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sunday Shenanigans

Got up early on Sunday and ran down to the river and back for a nice 5+ miles before everyone in the house woke up. After Ryan took off for the TMR coffee tasting at Wicked Joe and run out on the Cathance trails, Corie, Sam and I headed over to the Cathance ourselves for a short hike. It was a really nice morning to be out on the trails and fun to show them to Corie!

While we waited for the gang to get back to our house, we hung out in the sun doing chalk drawings and kicking the soccer ball around.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with our friends in the kitchen and backyard, catching up and chatting, and we capped off the day with a delicious dinner out at Little Toyko followed up by a visit to Gelato Fiasco. Had to make sure Corie hit all the highlights :) A wonderful weekend with a wonderful friend!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Saturday Fun

In typical Danielle and Ryan fashion, we haven't participated in our 20th Reunion weekend in the traditional sense. We didn't join in on the brewfest or the reunion luncheon or the lobster bake. But we were lucky enough to have Corie, one of my oldest and bestest friends, with whom I went to high school and college, visit us this weekend, and that was better than any brewfest or luncheon or lobster bake!

Saturday morning started out with a run out in the Cathance. Corie has always been an avid soccer player but not as much of a runner, so she chose to sleep in a bit and enjoy her early morning coffee instead of join me. It was a nice cool morning as I ran down out in the woods enjoying the flowing river, rising mist and greening moss. A good 6 miles.

Then, while Ryan was off getting in his long run at the Brad (and/or avoiding all college related activities), Corie, Sam and I headed up to campus and walked around, checking out the union, the arctic museum, the art museum, the library and of course the photo booth they had set up for the weekend.

Then it was off for lunch in town and down to Twin Brook for the final XC meet of the season, the Coastal League championship. It is always a little crazy down there for these huge meets but fun to see so many kids out running and racing!

Sam was the only Topsham 1/2 miler but she seemed to have no qualms about it and lined up in the muddy field in the field of 120+ girls confidently enough. Unfortunately, she got caught up when two girls in front of her collided and fell, and fell herself, but she shot right back up and took off running. She was at the back of the pack but made up a lot of ground over the race. Proud of my little Thriller!

photo by Coach Heather

photo by Coach Heather

We had asked Corie what she wanted to do with the rest of the afternoon and she requested some Maine coastline, but first we had to stop and get ice cream! Toots in Yarmouth was delicious and we had the chance to walk around looking at the animals on the farm too. No adorable little pygmy goats like last year but fun nonetheless.

I suggested we head down into Harpswell to Land's End and we were happy to find it quiet and crowd-free, with beautiful light and sunshine shining down on the beach and rocky shoreline. We wandered on the rocks and sand around taking in the view and watching a group of mama Common Eiders and their babies feeding along the shoreline. And on the way home, we stopped at Gurnet's Lobster & Lunch for dinner. Lobster, fried scallops and friend shrimp - yum! It wasn't planned, but it turned into a great afternoon and good way to cram a whole lot of Maine into one day :) And so nice to spend it with Corie!