Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Run & Hike

A day off with no real plans meant I could sleep in a bit and not rush out at the crack of dawn for my run. It was nice to start the day off slowly without an alarm and have breakfast and coffee before doing my stretching and rolling and heading out the door. Still got out before 8:00 am though, so really wasn't being too lazy πŸ˜‰

I've got two big weeks of training left before I start to taper for Western States, which is just plain crazy, but time flies when you're having fun! I figured I'd kick the week off with a nice 10 miler since I had the time, which meant the total for the past 5 days would be 53 miles with 60 over the past 7 days, but that's good training too, so off I went! I headed out into the Cathance, stopping at the overlook at the back of the Heath to enjoy the expanse of rhodora blooming amidst the swampy moss and grasses. Lovely. Lots to see and enjoy all along the run with things starting to bloom. Legs felt fine, but my nose and eyes were running the entire time much to my annoyance. Gotta love those allergies! Saw one turkey and heard lots of bird calls. (10.0 miles)

Painted trillium

Fringed polygala



After a bit of relaxation and a bit of drama from Sam who did NOT want to go for a walk, we finally cajoled her out of the house and headed up to Thorne Head for a late morning walk. It was a bit buggy but the trails in this little gem of a preserve are beautiful and I love the views along the river. Luckily, once we started walking, Sam ended up having a good time, throwing debris on the trail down into the river and enjoying counting the ladyslippers with me. I could do without the pre-teen drama though πŸ™… Sigh. (1.4 miles walked)

52 ladyslippers counted

Fringed polygala

Wintergreen berries were everywhere and they were pretty big! 

Kennebec view

Convergence of the Kennebec and the Whiskeag

Big stick toss!

Climbing up the stone steps

View from the top of the steps out over the river

From there, we headed to Mae's for brunch/lunch. Yum! And now we are back home relaxing. Ahhh, a good day off indeed and a good way to wrap up a fun weekend!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rest of the Week

It ended up taking Sam pretty much all week to get back to feeling 100%. Poor kid! But finally by Friday evening, she was back to her normal self.

I was so tired out on Wednesday from vacation and all the travel stress that I scrapped my plans for a morning run. Not to mention my spring allergies have been acting up and my eyes are itchy and I have been sniffling like crazy all week. Silly allergies! 😫 I figured I'd try again on Thursday morning and just see what happened with the rest of the week.

Thursday I managed to get up and out for some Mt. Ararat hill repeats. Took the ups as steady as I could and worked to run hard on the downhills. Gotta get my legs in shape for the downhills into the canyons next month! (7.1 miles)

Friday I headed over to Brad. It was humid and rather damp out, with some light showers falling throughout the morning and a cold wind whipping. I ran loops on the mountain side for the first 10 miles, looping up to and down from the summit 6 times - first via Northern Loop and down, then up via the Summit Trail, South Ridge, Terrace, back up Summit and then finally via the Tote.

Summit view

Trails were a bit squishy after all the rain, but the wildflowers were starting to come up in the woods, with a few still closed ladyslippers and a lot of what I think was dwarf ginseng noted, plus that lovely almost neon early spring green glowing throughout. Legs felt decent which I took as a good sign. Then it was back to the car to change out of my soaked shirt, fill my bladder with more water, have a quick snack and wait for Anne to arrive. She wanted get in 10 miles, so it worked out perfectly!

We headed out onto the Connector, which was a bit sloppier than the main trails, and took the wiggles out to Lawrence Road. The wiggles provided some lovely singletrack and some nice painted trillium and the first fringed polygala of the season, and I saw one Towhee out at Coyote Corner.

Painted Trillium

Fringed Polygala

Out at the road, we noticed Val and Mindy's cars, so I texted Val to see where they were at and so we continued out on the connector towards the powerlines to cross paths with them. We didn't go too far before meeting up with them, and then after standing around in the woods chatting for 5 minutes, we continued the conversation the run back to their cars, as they both had to head on to appointments. But it was great to see them! With that, Anne and I turned around and went back up the hill and out onto the Royal River trail and back before returning to the park. I was definitely feeling the final few miles and my legs were cooked by the time we finished, but it was great to have Anne as company and to catch up as we ran along! We came up a few 1/10ths short so I convinced her to run a few loops around the parking lot with me to get to exactly 20.0 and 10.0. Thank goodness for crazy running friends! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜† (20.0 miles)

All in all, a great morning at Brad and so glad to get the miles in even if I wasn't feeling completely recovered and 100%.

Saturday, I tried to sleep in but Ronnie cat was having none of it 😹 so I got up and was out of the house and heading out to run from the Bowdoin field house by 7:00 am. It was a beautiful morning for a 'stop and photograph all the flowers' type of back-to-back run πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰ Lots of magenta rhodora in bloom, goldthread, wild oat, trout lilies, wood anemone, bluets, violets, wild strawberry and shadbush in bloom, with one patch of big purple trillium out in the shade in Coleman Farm. The daffodils were all in bloom along the pond out there too - so pretty - while the ladyslippers are beginning to appear but have not yet unfurled. Will have to go back for another run next week to see how many have come up! Saw several Yellow Warblers and one Bobolink too. A nice mellow run on some of my favorite trails at one of my favorite times of the year πŸ’— (10.0 miles)


Wood anemone

Trout lilies

Purple Trillium

Rhodora πŸ’•

It was too nice not to get us all outside later in the day so after lunch, we all headed over to the Cathance. A bit buggy, but warm and sunny, with lots of wildflowers blooming, river flowing and frogs chirping in the vernal pool and out in the grasses in one of the quiet sections of river. A lovely family walk in the woods! πŸ’— (2.1 miles walked)


Ribbit! 🐸

Bunchberry just starting to emerge. Petals aren't even white yet! Neat.

This morning I was really not feeling it and would much rather have stayed in bed, but I knew if I didn't run before Ryan headed over to Pineland for the 50k that there was a 99.99% chance I wouldn't get my run in. So up I got and out I went, into the rain and wind and cold, dampness of the early morning. Ran the Highland Green loop and added on Canam so that my miles would come up to 6 and put me at 50 for the week. I can readily admit that this morning's miles were essentially junk miles but you do what you gotta do. (6.0 miles)

After a bit of relaxing with Sam on the couch, we headed over to Pineland around 10:00 to hang out with friends and cheer for all the runners. Looked like a mud fest out there with everyone covered in mud and there were a few course kurfluffles, but Ryan took it all in stride and looked nice and happy during this slightly long 50k πŸ˜ƒ Nice to see so many Trail Monsters and have a chance to catch up! Always a good time at Pineland, especially if you are just spectating! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Travel Meltdown

Well, Monday arrived with Sam throwing up first thing in the morning, right before we were about to board a bus that would take us to the airport, but first make all.the.stops along the way meaning we were on the bus for 90 minutes before arriving and having to trek through the airport to check our bags, get through security and to our gate, all the while hoping that our child would not throw up again or pass out from exhaustion since she hadn't eaten anything that had stayed in her system all morning. We managed to get her to drink some gatorade and eat some chips before boarding the plane, and thankfully there was no throw-up en-route, which is more than the cousins can say apparently... Gah!πŸ˜–πŸ˜©

We thought we were in the clear as we boarded the bus back to the car and hadn't had any further issues, but apparently that was just a false sense of security because after 1 minute in the car, the barfing began again... yes, that is our child, sitting in a folding chair next to some sort of concrete retaining wall at the edge of some sort of industrial area... with a bag of throw-up behind her. 😱

We got her cooled down and back in the car after a bit, where thankfully she slept the whole way home, but Ryan and I were exhausted from being on high alert all day long. Talk about stressful traveling!

She perked up enough after her nap to eat some rice and chicken for dinner and then it was off to sleep.

I was fairly worn out myself so went to bed not too long after she did, but I did set my alarm to get up to run on Tuesday morning. I had gone to bed early enough that waking up at 4:00 am wasn't so bad and I was out the door a minute before 5:00. It was already fairly light and I enjoyed a beautiful morning glow over the Heath, complete with two deer seen out in amongst the grass/moss tussocks. So pretty! Two others bounded away a bit later.

It was so nice to be out in the woods on trails and not trapped in the concrete jungle! I always love my home trails but it was extra sweet this morning to be out enjoying themπŸ’— Things are looking a bit more spring-like but many of the flowers I would normally be seeing at this time of year are not out yet. Still, saw some good patches of bluets, violets, goldthread, hobblebush and trailing arbutus with the bluebead lily leaves beginning to make an appearance, and the river was still roaring from the spring rains and run-off. Beautiful as always.

Although the running log reads only 17 miles for last week, it does not tell the whole story as the past 6 days have been anything but restful recovery, and my legs were most definitely reminding me of that on the run πŸ˜‚ Still, a lovely morning to be out and a good way to kick off the start of the rest of the week at home! (7.0 miles)

We let Sam sleep in a bit and rest seemed to help as she was fairly energetic when she woke up, so since she was able to eat and seemed well enough, if tired, we sent her off to school. Are we good parents or what?! She came home seemingly feeling pretty well, but cleared exhausted and was in bed by 7:30 pm. Hopefully it was just some sort of exhaustion or a quick bug!! And neither Ryan or I have felt any effects so that is one positive at least...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Disney Day 4 - Back to Magic Kingdom

We had dinner reservation in Magic Kingdom for Sunday evening, so we decided to have a mellow morning at the pool before heading over there for lunch and the afternoon. Ryan and I got up and out for a run but let's face it, running loops around the parking lots isn't much fun and Ryan was feeling rather miserable, so we called it after 3 miles. No use prolonging the torture, and honestly, a few extra miles isn't going to matter much in the big scheme of things. (3.1 miles)

It was nice to not have to rush out in the morning, and after breakfast, we wandered down for some pool time before making our way over by foot from the hotel to the park for lunch. It was hot and crowded - surprise surprise πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ - but we explored Tomorrowland, a section of the park we didn't hit on Thursday and did the Speedway and rode on the Peoplemover before heading back to the Haunted Mansion and then for a ride on the Jungle Cruise. We also hit a few other things as well, including going back to Pirates of the Caribbean and walking through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse before dinner. Sam, Ryan and I split off from the group after dinner to do one final ride on It's A Small World, get one last ridiculously priced Disney ice cream and take in the castle view one last time.

Strava read 8.0 miles by the time we got back to the hotel at 8:00 pm, but I'd guess we probably only walked about 5 of those miles, as the Peoplemover alone was probably at least a 1 mile ride. All told, a good final day at Disney, and although this vacation isn't one I'd have picked for us myself, we really did have a magical time! Many thanks to Irene and Dana for a wonderful trip! We enjoyed it, heat, crowds, chaos and magic included 😍😘

On the Speedway. It was HOT! And I rode alone and am not a very proficient driver πŸ˜‚

On the Peoplemover

Haunted Mansion

One last ride...

One last ice cream...

One last castle view...

Thanks, Disney, you've been magical πŸ’—

Monday, May 20, 2019

Disney Day 3 - Animal Kingdom

We were so exhausted from all the walking and heat during our Epcot day that we decided to forgo running on Saturday. So, at 8:30 am, we all boarded a bus to head over to Animal Kingdom for Disney, day #3. In what is obviously typical fashion, it was hot and crowded πŸ˜‚ but we did Dinosaur, which was probably the best of the rides, plus a safari, a Gorilla Walk which yielded some neat animal sightings including Golden Weavers, which were really cool!, and the Navi River Journey in the Avatar area of the park. Sam also got her face painted - it's fun to see her going all in with the experience 😍 and she really is having a great time! - and it was another character lunch, which the kids had a blast at.


Getting her face painted


Lots of ibis just strutting around the eating areas sort of like crows. Neat but also kind of sad...

Kevin! (from Up)

The Tree of Life


They had a parrot show in front of the tree of life

Lesser flamingos

Giraffe seen while on safari

Character lunch

Donald being silly πŸ˜†

Finally a character photo with Cam!

Golden weavers - so cool!

Saw this guy bring a piece of grass up and weave it into its nest - neat!!

Ride from Uncle Ryan

These kids πŸ’–πŸ’–

We headed back mid-afternoon and did a bit of relaxing and spent some time at the arcade before Sam, Ryan and I headed over to the Contemporary for a quiet dinner and then out to meet up with everyone for smores to finish up the night.