Monday, February 19, 2018

Vacation Day

A fun start to vacation week and a great day with the kiddo! 💗

Donuts, a short and windy oceanside walk at Wolfe's Neck State Park and a visit to the farm to visit the new lambs and calves. (0.6 miles walked)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fun with Friends

This year's Mockingbird Lane Fat Ass started off with us waking up to 7+" of snow! Hadn't quite been expecting that! In fact, perhaps the plowing crew hadn't either, since they didn't arrive to plow out our area of the parking lot until right as we were starting to wonder if we'd even be able to get to Val and Linda's! Thankfully, we managed to arrive pretty much on time, and since everyone was dealing with the same snow, it was a bit of a late start anyway!

The snow had frosted all the trees and the sun had come out - it truly was an oh so beautiful morning! After all the runners took off, Sam and I donned our snowshoes and got out for a short jaunt on the course. We didn't get very far, as she's still tired out from having a bit of a cold earlier this week, but it is always fun to get outside with the kiddo 💗 (0.9 miles snowshoed)

Once we came inside, Sam spent most of the time sitting in Linda's massage chair 😂 and then later in the morning once Ryan and Ian had both gotten in their 3 loops, Emma and I got out for our own run. It worked out perfectly to do a 2nd shift together, as most people had stopped after two or three loops and only Jamie and John were out running while we were out there. Conditions were pretty much perfect on our first loop from all the traffic and it was fun catching up as we ran along. I had only planned on one loop as my thought process was for this to be a down week due to Friday's run interuptus but Emma didn't have to work too hard to convince me to do a second lap 😉 As I wasn't carrying a pack and didn't have any sort of fuel with me, I had a delicious no bake cookie and a few sips of water back at the house in between laps. Fueled by cookies! (2 before since it was lunchtime by the time we headed out; one between laps; and one at the finish) 😆🍪 

By the second lap, temps really had warmed up quite a bit and the trail was starting to get a bit soft and slushy, but overall, still pretty good conditions given the new snow and all our crazy winter weather so far! Always good to run with Emma and I was glad to feel good out there and feel like I could absorb some extra miles with no problem! (11.3 miles)

All in all, as always, a fun day with friends and a good way to celebrate Val and Linda's birthdays! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I am not even quite sure how to preface this post, so I think I'll let my Instagram post above do the talking. 

Friday started out like any other Friday might in our house, up and out with Sam to Miss Amber's, Ryan to Lewiston for work and then me out for a run. With the warm weather and rain overnight, I had decided to do my long run on the roads and had a good Topsham loop all planned out. I hit the roads around 8:30 am, dodging traffic in the first mile until I got out to River Road. 

I was looking at my watch enough to know that I was moving at a rather snappy pace in the first few miles, but with a net downhill and then a few miles of flat road, I felt like I was taking it pretty easy. I figured I'd just keep it up for as long as I could and then deal with whatever happened in the final portion of the run ;) It was overcast but warm and calm, and I just kept chugging.

Then right as I was cresting one of the large hills along Meadow at mile 10, I got a text. It was from Shannon and it said, "Is everything ok? News says there is a problem in Topsham elem schools?..." I replied that I was out running and hadn't heard anything, did she have any details. We went back and forth a few times, me standing on the side of the road trying to find some info, and then heard back from her that Sam's school had been evacuated. At this rate, I was a bit further down the road so I stopped again and found a basic but vague story online. Holy crap! I called Ryan. He didn't answer but texted me right back to see if all was OK. I wrote back that there had been a bomb threat at the school and the kids were evacuated. 

He ran out of his meeting to the car, found some details online, and called me back that he was headed towards home. A minute later, I got an automated call from the school system about the incident, saying that all the kids were safe and had been evacuated and that parents could pick them up. I called Ryan to tell him about the message and as I was telling him that she was safe and he should pick her up, I totally lost it and broke down. I knew she was safe, I knew all was OK but it was too much. It was so surreal, so crazy that something like this could and had happened here, to us, to Sam, to her friends. WTF?! I was scared and upset and sad and mad and on the other hand, oh so grateful that Sam was safe and it was nothing in the end and that everything was fine. 

And so it was that my long run was interrupted, with me turning around a little more than 10.5 miles in, with Ryan stopped to pick me up by the roadside at 13 miles to get Sam after her entire school had been evacuated. (13.0 miles)

I commend everyone at the school who managed, under extremely stressful circumstances no doubt, to keep our kids safe and calm, I am grateful for the police and emergency workers who assisted in the efforts, and I was oh so thankful to see my kiddo's face, to take her home, safe and sound, to hug her and tell her I loved her. In another life, another place, the outcome could have been a different one, and no one should have to go through that 💕

The afternoon was spent trying to decompress, making snickerdoodle cookies with Sam and going out for an early family dinner, where I most assuredly needed that beer. We all went to bed early, and frankly, I was simply wiped out, exhausted. What a day. *sigh*

I slept, but fitfully, and woke still feeling rather drained. I wanted to get in my long run, and, although obviously way less important than having my kiddo safe, I was a bit bummed to have had the run going so well yesterday before it was interrupted. I was not sure I could recreate that today. I sat for a while, eating breakfast and drinking my coffee and mulling it all over, then spent a bit of time having a brief cry to Ryan over how I was feeling. Yes, perhaps feeling still a bit emotional, I realize, but while running is and never has been the be-all-end-all, it is still important to me and I have high expectations of myself and want to do my best with my training. I believe in my myself, for sure, in my ability to suffer and work hard and run well, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes have doubts over my training and if I was doing it "right." I wanted that long run, but I knew it was probably more than I could handle today. Life is never perfect and reality has a way of getting in the way of a training plan put down on paper, and I know enough to know that stress is stress is stress, whether from training or life, and yesterday was STRESS. And so, I put on my pack and headed out the door and shed the expectations and had a lovely, much needed, quiet, icy, snowy, rather uneven trail run out in the Cathance, enjoying the roar of the river, the sun through the trees, the empty trails, the ice formations along the river's edge. My mind was aswirl with a million different thoughts, and while I didn't solve the world's problems, I did most definitely find some peace and quiet out there in the woods, and for that, I am grateful. #naturestherapy (8.0 miles)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gaining Light

This time of year the gains in daylight seem really pronounced, and is just plain delightful. Coming home after swim practice this week at 5:45 pm, there is still a glow on the horizon. And yesterday morning, it was crisp, clear and beautiful, with the final 1+ miles run in actual daylight. As in, no headlamp needed. It was a wonderful thing!

The run itself was a bit of a mixed bag, with variable conditions on the trails and solid ice on the back roads, but the light, oh the light! Lots of deer tracks too. (7.0 miles)

Morning's glow along the Heath

Powerline sunrise

This morning, after weeks of ignoring the hill runs on my schedule, I finally goaded myself into heading up Mt. A. In my defense, conditions have not really been ripe for hill repeats and honestly, today was no exception, as the trails were an uneven, postholed, rather ankle-turning mess and it was slow going indeed but 7 times up and over the hill is a start ;) (5.2 miles)