Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Til We Meet In Hell & 2000 Miles

Sunday was the annual Trail Monster run and end of the season party. Val always does a great job putting this event together and it is always lots of fun to catch up with everyone! Sam slept over at Anne's on Saturday night, so of course, in typical fashion we spent Saturday night on the couch watching Western States movies 😂  and then on Sunday morning, she went on to Thistle's birthday party from there, so Ryan and I were both able to join in on the run, which was great! The run didn't start until 10:00 am so I was even able to enjoy a quiet morning drinking coffee in front of the Christmas tree. ahhh.

I took things nice and mellow during the run, and after catching up with people on the walk up to the start at the top of the hill at Thorncrag, ran my loops with Jasmine. She is such fun, it was great to chat away the loops with her! Variable conditions but a lot more snow than we have here! Got in 5 loops which was perfectly fine with me and then it was onto Guthrie's for food and festivities! A perfect Sunday morning with friends! (6.2 miles)

I also managed to surpass 2,000 miles for the year during Sunday's run. Woohoo! Last year it took me until the last day of the year to hit 2,000 so this means I have three more weeks to keep adding on the miles.

Top 3 goals for 2018. 
#1 and #2 achieved, and hey, I even got into Western States, so even better 😎
#3 did not happen due to too much puking 😮, but oh well, such is life!

Monday was a day off and then this morning, I decided it was better to sleep in than go out into the 5 degree weather 😏 Thankfully, I was able to leave work a bit early though and managed to get in a few miles before Sam got off the bus for swim practice. Moderate temperatures and daylight made for a nice run, and I found muted skies, encased frozen pancakes along the river and variable trail conditions as I ran along. (5.2 miles)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Running and Christmas Tree Fun

The other day Val posted some sort of Facebook share that asked for one word that reminds you of her or how you met and what your connection is. I couldn't decide between "Fridays" or "Brad," so I wrote both 💗 I could also have written many other things as Val is an awesome friend and runner and person, but those are the two words most definitely bring Val to mind! And so it was that this Friday was a Friday with Val at Brad 😀

It was a bright and beautiful morning with blue skies and not-too-cold temps, and we met up a bit early to get in a few extra miles before looping back to the lot to pick up Anne, Mindy and Keri. Always fun to run with the ladies and good to catch up! Trail conditions were variable, with a lot of bare ground, ice, lots of hoar frost and unevenness to sink through, some packed snow, some running water. And also Mindy found a perfect heart in the ice! So cool!

We ran around on the east side, chatting away as we ran along, and sometimes calling out, "What did you say?" amidst the crunch-crunch-crunch that comes with this type of early winter running 😄 Conditions kept the pace nice and comfortable and despite a bit of ankle tweaking here and there, I felt pretty good! It was the perfect way to ease back into a longer run for the week! Of course, being the slightly neurotic runner that I am, I ran a loop around the parking lot when we got back so as to bring my total to exactly 10.0 on the dot 😂 Then we headed over to Pineland for lunch, and a baked good of course, before continuing on with our days. It was a lovely morning for a run with friends and a great way to start off the weekend! (10.0 miles)

Happy runners

Heart in the ice

Saturday morning dawned dark and cold. Only 9 degrees. Gah! I waited until the sun rose, donned all.the.layers and headed out. The sunrise through the trees was quiet pretty but man, brrrr! My legs were feeling a bit creaky from yesterday's run and the cold didn't help. It took until about mile 3 for me to warm up and feel like I could move! 😂 Ran through town and down along the river for a short stretch before looping back up home. (5.2 miles)

Later in the morning, Sam and I headed into town to go to the winter farmer's market and do a bit more Christmas shopping while Ryan got in his run. Then after lunch, it was onto Christmas tree decorating!

Love looking through all the ornaments. So many memories 💖

Gotta get in the spirit! 🎅

And poof, it's Christmas!! 🎄💗

Thursday, December 6, 2018

This and That

This week has been a busy one, which is pretty typical for us, but on top of it work is fairly crazy right now for me and we've been trying to sort through initial Western States logistics. It's weird to think of Western States as real. I mean, it's something you see in movies! We've made some progress on getting things sorted out. Both sets of grandparents are coming out, one of my bestest college friend, Krisser, who lives a few hours away is going to come out to see us while we are there and hopefully help crew, we have lodging set and we've got flights booked for the leg out to Squaw. We're waiting on the return trip for now as we're trying to coordinate with my sister to see if Sam and Morgan can both make it to Mom and Dad's after the race for a bit of grandparent time together under the NC sun. 😍  And oh yeah, still gotta get a car...

I feel lucky that I have so much support and am so thankful that Ryan will more than take care of the crew side, and has already been researching the course thoroughly on Google maps. I'm trying to tuck WSer away in the back of my mind and heart, a little nugget of promise and intent to keep me going and smiling through all the training to come without letting the emotional component of getting to be part of this event and having all my family there get me too worked up too far out. But there is a lot to this race, as there is any big effort, and seriously, my mind is whirling. 😜

My legs have been feeling fairly decent considering it's only been 2 1/2 weeks since JFK and because running makes me happy, keeps me sane and I am still working towards my goal of 2000+ miles for the year, I've been running. Nothing crazy though. Tuesday morning I got out into the darkness and ran the cart paths, minus holes 1 & 2. A mixed bag of conditions with some bare gravel and pavement, some packed, transformed snow, some ice, some snow still soft enough to sink into. Slow going but a beautiful morning to be out, even if it was in complete darkness 😉 (5.2 miles)

Yesterday, I simply didn't make it out of bed and although I wish I could have left work early to run in the bright sunshine, that just was not meant to be. So instead I donned my shorts and earbuds and spent swim team practice 65 laps around the track listening to the Ultrarunner Podcast with Dominic and Katie Grossman. Good stuff. The GPS picked up a signal this time and read 5.3 miles. Don't know is that's right or not, as I can never tell if I'm going fast or slow while running tiny little circles 😂😂 (5.3 miles)

And just a few photos to brighten your day, and mine when I come back to look at this post 😀

Sam had a great time decorating the tree and house with Irene and Dana last weekend! I love this tradition! 💗
Santa Lego building

Tree decorating 

Sam also received her LRSC gear this week. She was so excited and so proud to put it on! I just cannot love this enough 😍 Plus, isn't the gear cool?!?

And just because, it's Gigi in a box. If I fits, I sits 😻😹

Sunday, December 2, 2018


I wanted to run on Saturday because it was just so nice out, but I also wanted to be able to join in on the TMR Old School Group Run on Sunday, so I figured since I ran 50 miles less than two weeks ago, a day off on Saturday would probably be the right call, whether I liked it or not 😉😆 So, Sam and I had a chill morning while Ryan took off to run to the Y for Sam's swim meet, and then headed up around 10:15. I got settled in our typical spot outside the picture window, and then it was just hurry up and wait for the Western States lottery to start!

Perfect place to watch the WS lottery!

With only two tickets, my chances stood at 3.4%, but like I said to Ryan, someone has to be part of that 3.4%!! I am an eternal optimist so I was not giving up hope, even if I had already sketched out my plan B should my name not be drawn 😂😃 So, the meet started and in between watching Sam, I was closely watching the lottery. No one I recognized was drawn and I got distracted being a good parent and watching Sam swim, you know, the actual reason we were there 😇😅, so I somehow missed seeing that MY.NAME.WAS.DRAWN!


Ryan's phone starting dinging with people saying I had gotten in so we looked at the list, and sure enough. Holy sh*t!!! I was totally shaking as I looked at the screen. I couldn't believe it! WOW! I was totally shocked! Crazy crazy crazy 😮😳😬😍 I was equally parts excited and terrified!

That added a lot of excitement to the swim meet to say the least and amidst a bunch of messages with friends and family, it sunk in. Well, there was no turning back now. WESTERN STATES! Holy sh*t indeed!!!

Sam had a great meet, swimming really well in four events, including the 100 meter freestyle, her first time swimming a distance event. It was fun to watch! Irene and Dana had come up to watch too and then after the meet, which was mercifully short and sweet, Sam went down to MA with them to help them decorate their Xmas tree, a tradition the past few years, as we've typically been down there for the Fells race.

Sam was the last leg in a relay that was quite a bit slower than the other two teams, but she had a good swim personally!

That meant Ryan and I had a lovely night to ourselves and we headed to my favorite spot in town, Frontier, for celebratory drinks and dinner. After all, it's not often you get into Western States! 💜


So, now that I know my goal race for 2019, it's time to come up with a training plan and a few training races for the spring. All sorts of excitement!!! 😎

This morning we woke up to pouring rain, as was predicted, and Ryan's legs were feeling a bit fried from yesterday's 20 on the roads so he opted to stay home and run a shorter run at his own pace while I set off to Brad for the TMR Old School Group Run. I haven't been able to join in on any of the prior renditions the past few months, so I was glad to join in today! It was a merry little group that set off into the rain and we had a sloppy fun time running and chatting the miles away! Thanks everyone! (6.7 miles)

Saturday, December 1, 2018


I had intended to run on Monday but my legs were feeling pretty tight after running Saturday and Sunday so I took the day off instead and spent some time stretching and rolling in the morning before work. Felt much better! The rest of the day was busy busy catching up and getting back to reality at work. Vacation is always fun but coming back to work, not so much! 😉

It was supposed to rain all day on Tuesday but I set my alarm anyway, thinking I might rally to get out in the rain in the morning depending. I woke up, looked out the window and saw a few inches of snow on the ground with snain falling from the sky. Well, forget that! It was back to bed instead! 😂 Then we got the call that there was a 2 hour delay so I took my time waking Sam up and we didn't make our way over to Amber's until after 8:00 am. On the way there, with the roads fairly horrible, we got the call that they were canceling school in the end due to some power outages and road conditions. Ugh. So Sam got a fun day at Amber's and I set off to work. The snow stopped soon enough but it poured all day long. Crazy weather!

Temps dropped overnight and with so much water on the surfaces I knew it would be too sketchy to go out in the morning. So instead I planned to leave work a bit early to make up for staying late on Tuesday night for the board meeting, and managed (finally!) to get in a run this week! I headed out around 2:00 pm and ran a rather random figure-eight loop through Topsham. Lots of puddles and pretty much everything was still quite wet but it was warm enough that there was no ice. (5.1 miles)

Then it was off to the Y with Sam for swim team.

Thursday morning, I got up and headed out into Highland Green. It was windy and cold and things were just on the edge of sketchy in terms of ice and I was simply feeling meh. So I turned around and cut the run short. I'm not out to prove anything right now, just running because I can and I want to. (4.6 miles)

I had planned to run from home on Friday morning but late Thursday afternoon, Val sent me a text asking if I was up for some slow Brad miles. I most definitely was! We met up at 9:00 am and hit the east side first. Temps had been in the 20s overnight so thankfully things were fairly firm out there although still fairly uneven, despite some mountain bike traffic. We ran a few miles over there and then returned to the mountain side, where there is always much more traffic and therefore a bit better footing. We followed the most packed route out onto the Boundary, but then turned near the corner onto a soon to be new trail connecting up to the Tote, headed up for the requisite summit vista and then down Terrace. All told, we found a lot of open, wet areas and variable conditions throughout but still, it is always a good day in the woods when the sun is shining bright and you have good company 💜 Thanks for the run, Val! Legs felt good too, so even better! (6.5 miles)

I followed the run up with a lovely massage with Lauren, some around town errands and grocery shopping and then Sam finished up the day with a stop at Gelato Fiasco to use her soon to be expiring free gelato coupon from the library's summer reading program and some Christmas shopping after her doctor's appointment. The house didn't get clean, but oh well 😊, all in all, it was good Friday!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Back At It and Right Into Winter!

After six days of travel, eating, drinking, hanging out with family and friends, relaxing, eating some more, taking some nice walks and exploring, and eating again 😂 it was time to get back to reality and back to running! OK, so I was planning to wait until Monday but I couldn't resist the beautiful weather on Saturday to get out on the trails! Plus, what's two days in the scheme of things? 😉 I headed out mid-morning for a run down to the river and back. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground with conditions being typical early winter variable so it was slow going and my legs were a bit sluggish after almost of a week off, but overall, things didn't feel too badly and it was a bright and beautiful cold morning to be out! (5.3 miles)

Snowy Heath

Roaring river

A few ice pancakes floating out on the river


After lunch while Ryan was out for his run, Sam and I headed over to the Cathance for the first snow walk of the season! It was nice to wander a bit farther out on the trail system and as always, it is a treat to share some time in the woods with Sam 💗 (1.6. miles walked)

Suspended mid-air!

Afternoon light

Lots of cool ice formations today!

Had to stop to make a snowman! ⛄


Rain started overnight on Saturday, so we spent a lazy Sunday in our PJs, getting a few things done around the house and relaxing. Finally around 2:00 pm, the sky was lightening ever so slightly and it seemed to only be drizzling, so I got on my running gear and headed out the door. Very sloppy wet conditions on the powerlines and icy, slushy, wet conditions on the back dirt road, but there were a few easy pavement miles in between at least 😊😉 (5.0 miles)

Once I got back and got showered up, I went right back into my PJs. #winning #lazysunday