Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taper Time!

It's taper time, which means it's time to obsessively check the weather forecast for the race locale, make lists, wonder why you have so much more time on your hands and if that is good or bad, and obsessively check the weather again ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gah! And for the record, June 9th is officially in the weather forecast, and at the moment, is calling for rain, thunderstorms and highs near 80. Of course, it is Pennsylvania in June, so I suppose none of that should come as a surprise! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ But the thing of it is, you can't control the weather, so all you can do is plan for anything and everything and hope for the best! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

So as to not go completely insane this week, I'm still running 5 days, just keeping mileage low. This morning I got out at 5:30 for another run down to the river and back. Saw three deer, one wood thrush, one hairy woodpecker, one white-breasted nuthatch and enjoyed the late spring wildflowers and greening woods. (5.2 miles)

Can you spot both deer in this photo? The third is not visible.

Greening up down by the river!

Came home to the iris out front and the columbine out back blooming. Love these colorful additions to our yard ๐Ÿ’—



We are way late to the party, but we finally had taco night for dinner tonight ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‹ Yum! Sweet potato and black bean tacos from Cookie & Kate and an easy chicken taco recipe using a yummy Frontera skillet taco sauce. Both were delish!

Dinner. Yum!

After dinner, we had a late evening visitor to the backyard ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿพ Such fun to watch!

Fox visiting out back

Monday, May 28, 2018

Weekend Fun

Had to drag Sam off the couch yesterday morning, but we did finally get over to Pineland Farms for the races. We had a great time chatting with and cheering on friends, made about 4 trips to the playground, got lunch, enjoyed the music, and in the end, Sam was the one who didn't want to leave ๐Ÿ˜‚

After a full day spent out in the fields, we met up with John and Jenn for a fun dinner at Frontier - yum! - and finished up the day with a thoroughly exhausted kiddo ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning while Sam and Ryan slept (until 9am!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ), I headed out for a short run. Although my legs felt great, it's taper time so I was good and stuck to the plan. A cool damp morning on the quiet trails, enjoying the wildflowers and the river. (5.6 miles)

Later this afternoon, we headed over to the Commons for a ladyslipper hike. Despite the fact that the mosquitos were out ๐Ÿ˜ก, it was a great walk and once again, even though Sam was reticent to get off the couch, she was skipping and having a blast as we searched for as many ladyslippers as we could find. And they were everywhere! Counted 766, which is pretty amazing, and I am sure there are many we missed too! (2.4 miles walked)

She took a few photos at the start of the hike but otherwise was too enthralled scanning the woods and counting along the way! ๐Ÿ’—



Leading the way

Love these big clumps of pink!

Exploring a new-to-us trail at the edge of the Commons

After walking, we went for ice cream at the new Fielder's Choice over in Cook's Corner. It's quite a place, and I must admit, the ice cream was pretty delish! 

Yes, that sundae was seriously huge!

Black raspberry to match her sweatshirt ๐Ÿ˜ (and that's a small cone!)

A fun way to finish up a good long weekend!

Sunday, May 27, 2018


A long weekend and not much on the calendar except some running, some cheering and hanging out at Pineland today, and hopefully a family hike tomorrow. Slept in a bit yesterday and didn't get out until after 8:00 am for my run. After a really warm Friday, temps had cooled a bit but it was insanely humid. I was dripping in sweat after just the first few miles! My legs felt good after Friday's run but my stomach was a bit off. Had to take a short detour onto Highland Green Road and find a porta-potty before heading down onto the Cathance trails. Thank goodness for construction ;)

As I was heading down to the river, the rain started to fall, which actually felt pretty good, and honestly I was soaked already anyway! A very pretty rainy morning down along the river with painted trillium and blue bead lilies blooming. Also saw the first red eft of the season. Yay! A good way to start a mellow Saturday. (7.1 miles)

Blue bead lily 

Raindrops, the Heath

First red eft of the season! ๐Ÿ˜

Friday, May 25, 2018

Brunswick Trail Wander

I've done variations of this run several times of the past few years, mostly in the spring when the grasses aren't so high and the spring wildflowers are out in full force. Looping through Brunswick on one big "loop" is a fun way to enjoy and connect some of my favorite trail networks in the area. Although most definitely not a run that promotes Laurel Highlands specificity, it is a run that made me happy today and that's really what counts at this point in the game with only a few weeks until race day! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I wanted to get an early start today as temps were supposed to soar into the low 80s. Whoa! Headed out around 6:30 am from the Bowdoin field house lot and ran up the roads to the start of the Crystal Spring Farms near Thornton Oaks. Looped around on both sides of the road on the trails and ran up along the edge of the field to the farm. Such a pretty morning and lots of wildflowers blooming. Saw 48 ladyslippers in those first few trail miles alone ๐Ÿ˜

Some of the many ladyslippers along the trail

Trail winding along the edge of the Crystal Spring Farm fields

After looping around on the Crystal Spring Farm trails, I ran through the blueberry fields out to the high school and then headed onto the trails that we used to call the Extended Commons back while at Bowdoin. I probably have run them more in the past few years than while I was at Bowdoin, but it is a very nice chunk of land intersected by numerous trails, one of which leads out to Rossmore Road, one of which leads to a pretty pond, pictured below, and several of which meander through the undeveloped woods to the edge of a neighborhood off Mere Point Road. Scared up one deer through here and saw no one.

Blue sky reflected

From there, I ran out into Pennelville, enjoying the chatter of the Bobolinks in the fields, and onto the Coleman Farm trails. The grass is getting pretty high out there, so this is likely my last visit out there for a while. Lots of birds flitting about, including a pair of Chestnut-Sided Warblers, which was a really cool, first for me, sighting! As always, beautiful out on these trails as they wind down to and along the edge of the bay.

View out into Middle Bay Cove

Ran back through the Commons to complete the loop, counting another 66 ladyslippers along the way, for a total of 112 for the day, as well as seeing some beautiful patches of fringed polygala, star flowers, bluets, bunchberries, strawberry plants, gold thread, false lily of the valley, blue bead lilies and rhodora blooming.

Fringed Polygala


More ladyslippers

Midway through the Commons, I ran into a guy running in the same direction as I was, but taking a few different connecting trails. We kept seeing each other and finally ended up running together for the final mile or so out on the perimeter trail around the Bowdoin fields as we finished up our runs. Turns out he is a Bowdoin alum from the 80s ๐Ÿ˜€

A great way to spend the morning and a good last long(ish) run before Laurel! (16.0 miles)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Week Day Running

Monday was a nice morning for a wander down to the river. Mist rising above the water and many spring wildflowers on display. (5.6 miles)

This was followed up by XC practice in the evening. Apparently, along with a Chicken and a Suicide Hill, there is also Giraffe Hill up on Mt. A. Who knew?! (1.1 miles)

Tuesday morning it was #hillsforbreakfast, with an attempt at keeping as steady on the uphills as I could and running fast but with good form on the downhills. With Laurel Highlands only 3 weeks away, I wasn't trying to do too much, but did want to put in a bit of work, so 4x up and down Chicken and Suicide was good for the day. (5.2 miles)

Wednesday was a zero day for me, but Sam had her final midweek XC meet in Harpswell. It's been fun to watch her run strong all season! 

This morning, I couldn't resist running down to the river again. Just so pretty this time of year. Lots of wildflowers blooming - 10 ladyslippers counted plus a myriad of fringed polygala, bluets, wild cala lilies, rhodora, violets, bunchberries and starflowers - and that wondrous sweet smell of spring hung in the air... accompanied by the requisite sniffles ๐Ÿ˜‚ Also saw one snowshoe hare. (5.3 miles)

One more long run tomorrow and then it is on to the taper! Hard to believe that Laurel is just around the corner!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cathance Days

While Ryan was out running crazy repeats on Pleasant Mountain yesterday with the boys, Sam and I had a nice day at home. In a state of inertia after lounging around for the morning, she would have sat inside all day, but it was too nice for that! I wanted to go for a walk! I had to bribe her with ice cream to get her out the door ๐Ÿ˜‚ but once we got going on the trails, she admitted she was happy we were out there๐Ÿ’– and we had a lovely walk in the woods! (1.0 miles walked)

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, playing cribbage (she won again!) and getting packed up for her sleepover at Anne's house. Ryan and I took advantage of a kid-free night and had a delicious dinner at El Camino and then came home and got through half a movie before we were both falling asleep ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜† 

I wanted to get in a decent run this morning, and thankfully it seemed a day of rest helped as my legs felt sooo much better than on Friday's run. Phew! I headed out around 7:00 am out into the Cathance. It was a very humid, soggy, damp, overcast morning. 

The rhodora and wild cala lilies are blooming along the back swamp side of the Heath and look so pretty, but sadly the photo doesn't do it justice.

Trailside, the green moss, new leaves and ferns have that lovely flourescent green tint that shines so nicely on gray mornings.

Painted trillium

Watchful gargoyle

Hillside covered in lily of the valley getting ready to soon bloom

Forget-me-not at Head of Tides


Crab apple

Rhodora, the Heath

Wild cala lily

Love the magenta against the spring green!

The bog bridges and roots were pretty slick from last night's rain but the woods are gorgeous right now! Lots of wildflowers along with one deer, one grouse, an osprey seen out at Head of Tides, plus goldfinch, phoebes, wood thrush and two Mallards seen. I ran out to Head of Tides and back the long way, keeping the pace nice and easy and just enjoying. A good way to start the morning! (13.0 miles)