Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Taper Crazies

Between the storm and no school yesterday and no school again today due to power outages from the storm to wondering if there will be power at the office this afternoon so that I can actually get payroll done on time (!!) to the Halloween parade being rescheduled from today until Friday to constantly checking (and rechecking) my Pinhoti lists to make sure I haven't forgotten anything, this week is certainly keeping things interesting so far!

With no school today, Ryan and I are splitting the day at home with Sam, and since I knew we didn't have to rush out of the house this morning to get to Amber's, I waited until it was just starting to get light to head out for my run. Ran up through the neighborhood and along hole #3, cut along the bogbridges at the bottom of the Heath, down hole #5 and back through Highland Green for a nice mellow taper run. There was a lovely subtle early morning glow above the treeline along the Heath with some nice reflections in the calm water. Wish I was feeling as calm myself 😁 (4.1 miles)

Only one more run on tap for the week left before Pinhoti!

Monday, October 30, 2017

No School

Last night brought in an intense wind and rain storm, knocking out power to over 350,000 people in Maine. More than the ice storm of 1998! Crazy!

As we essentially live right next to the power substation, we very rarely lose power, and are thankful to have not lost it last night. But we awoke to news of no school, and my work was cancelled as there was no power in downtown Brunswick either. The morning was spent lounging around and doing a little bit of cleaning and such, but by lunchtime, the rain had stopped, the winds had calmed (at least slightly) and there was some clearing in the sky, so I decided Sam and I needed to get outside!

We drove over to the Cathance for a short loop out through the woods and down along the river. Lots and lots of stuff down, mostly small branches, with a few trees down across the trail and multiple down into the river, and an insane amount of water flowing in the river. Amazing the change from last week's walk where we could rock-hop across the river to today's roaring high river!

Sam was loathe to move off the couch and come with me, but she did say "That was awesome!" when we finished hiking, so I'm calling it a win :) Just like with us, sometimes it's the first step that's the hardest... time outside on the trails is always a good thing! And today it was a good way to keep the taper crazies at least slightly under control :) (1.2 miles walked)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Quiet Weekend

Spent some time yesterday packing and organizing and pondering and agonizing over all my Pinhoti gear ;) Traveling to a 100 mile race by plane makes things extra tricky! I'm planning on carrying my shoes, pack and race day clothes in my carry-on and am just hoping that all the salt tabs and gels I've packed make it through security in my regular suitcase without too much issue!!

Sam had an afternoon playdate, so after getting some things done around the house and working on race stuff, Ryan and I headed over to the Cathance for a short walk. It was much too nice out to not get out and enjoy the day on a non-run taper day!

This morning, I slept in as much as the cats would allow, had a leisurely breakfast and cup of coffee and got Sam settled on the couch before heading out for a short run. I guess tapering does have its advantages!

It was overcast and rather dreary, spitting rain and heavy out, but there is subtle beauty to be found in the woods on days like this - colors always seem to sparkle a bit more against a grey sky. A nice easy run on the leaf-covered trails through the woods and down along the river. (6.1 miles)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Beautiful Friday

Streaming sunlight, rising mist, roaring river. Just plain gorgeous out in the woods this morning.

With all the rain that has fallen the past few days, the river is back up and flowing strong, and while the more delicate and colorful of the leaves have now past, the oaks and birch leaves with their yellows and golden browns still put on a lovely late fall show.

Things were pretty slippery out on the trails, but I just took my time, stopped to take photos and meandered along. I probably won't run this far out into the Cathance for a while given that Pinhoti is next weekend, which means only a few short runs next week and a planned two weeks off after the race, so I just wanted to enjoy it 💕 (10.0 miles)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Taper Time!

Taper is a funny time. Sure, there's less running, which is usually good, because you're tired from all the training and you need a bit of a rest, but then your mind starts to work overtime... Wait, is that a twinge in that muscle? Well, good thing I have a massage with Lauren on Friday! How's the weather looking now in Sylacauga? Do I have x, y, z, abcd ready? Better write that down! Have they changed our flight times? Can I get all my gear into my suitcase? I'm excited! I'm scared! Am I ready? I'll just look back at my training log to remember all the time and miles I've put in. But should I have done e, f, g, h? I'll just look at the runner's manual and elevation profile to review things... oh wait, on the FB page it says that climb at mile 70 has 14 switchbacks.... That's OK, I like climbing... But seriously, 100 miles is a long way... what the f*&k was I thinking?!? Obviously, my brain is like a runaway train these days, which isn't much different than how it usually is, but still, nothing like the taper to make things a little extra edgy just for fun ;)

All that said, Monday involved stopping for an extra cup of coffee on the way to work. There was no running involved.

Foggy Mondays require extra coffee
7 Days of Black and White (7/7)

Monday, I also got a text from John asking if I wanted another crew member. I honestly hadn't asked anyone other than Ryan to accompany me to this race because it's a lot of time and money for a friend to put into a race that isn't theirs, and well, Ryan is just stuck with me so he has to ;) But John was insistent and he found a good flight and Ryan was relieved beyond measure that he wasn't going to have to figure out the logistics of crewing solo plus getting the car to the finish line and getting a ride back to the aid station to pace me for 30 miles, and it's always fun to have friends around during ultras, so, John is in! And thus, a small, crazy crew is born :) Am I a lucky girl or what?! I am truly blessed to have such great friends!!

Tuesday dawned warm (60+ degrees in late October, and you're telling me there is no global warming?!) and muggy. Ran the cart paths and with no moon or starshine today, it was murky, misty, foggy darkness the whole run. Saw two fox on hole #1 and a number of sets of eyes in the woods between holes 5 and 6. Wasn't quite sure what they were, but they weren't moving, and when I took a look back a few steps later, I realized it was several deer bedded down on the forest floor. They were unperturbed by my presence, apparently. It was both kind of neat and creepy how their eyes glow in the headlamp light. (6.0 miles)

Wednesday, the alarm went off and I could hear the rain pounding on the skylights and the wind whipping, and I decided, no way, and went back to sleep. See, taper is good for something ;)

It was still raining on Thursday morning, but there was nothing to do except get out and run anyway. At least it was a warm rain. 60+ degrees again... weird. I ran the cart paths minus holes 1 and 2, and for a dark, foggy, wet morning, had some pretty good sightings. Saw six deer (2 sets of 3 on different holes), one trundling porcupine, and best of all, a beautiful spotted salamander out along Highland Green Road. I stopped to watch him for a bit and then realizing he was going to try to cross the street, scooped him up with some leaves and got him across the pavement, as it would have been a shame for him to get smooshed. Boy, was he cool! What a great sighting!! Totally made my day and it was only 6:00 am :) (5.1 miles)

Spotted salamander

Safely across the street 

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 💕