Monday, September 30, 2019

Weekend Fun

Spent Saturday morning making pancakes and cookies with Sam and baking up some brownies and banana bread to bring up to Keri and Tyler's. It was nice to have a mellow, if busy, morning at home with Sam and Ryan!

I contemplated just not running for the day but after a few hours spent baking and doing stuff around the house and seeing how beautiful it was outside, I decided to head out and just do what felt good. My original plan was for around 8 miles to make another 40 mile week, but I wasn't sure if that's what the legs would want. Headed out around 10:45 am into the bright sunshine. It took a few miles for my legs to loosen up but they felt good as I ran out into the Cathance, so I decided to go for a bigger loop. Lots of red leaves carpeting the trail and rocks along the river. Lovely! Glad I decided to get out the door to enjoy the beautiful morning! As always, it was worth it! (7.6 miles)

Along the powerlines, the viburnum leaves are turning and the berries have deepened to a dark purple

We headed up to Waldoboro in the late afternoon and had a fun evening hanging out and catching up and eating yummy homemade pizza with the Lupiens. Thanks for hosting, guys!

Keri and I got up to have coffee and breakfast in the pre-dawn darkness and headed over to Hidden Valley for an early morning course check. A very dark start at 6:00 am but it only took about 30 minutes before the sky lightened and the woods were awash in light. We had fun chatting away as we ran along. The fall colors are starting to pop, especially along the edges of the ponds and swampy areas. We stopped here and there to fix signs, take in the views and stop gagging on the bugs that we swallowed and wipe away the spider webs😂 so the pace was comfortable but I always forget how rugged to the HVNC trails! They definitely take work are but the course provides a really nice tour of the trail system and is a lot of fun! Keri peeled off at around 8 miles to get back to the start for registration and I continued on the rest of the course. So pretty, and such a great morning to be out! (13.0 miles)

Once back at the start area, I got changed, helped with the rest of registration and then did some work on the post-race food table. There was also a good amount of catching up with friends which is always fun! The girls had a blast together and must have run the obstacle course at least four times! 😀 There was pizza and beer and laughter and a lot of fun had! A great way to wrap up the weekend!

Friday, September 27, 2019


Didn't run on Monday or Tuesday. I did intend to on Tuesday but it just didn't happen in the morning, and I was at work late due to a board meeting and decided I'd rather have dinner and have a bit of time with Sam and Ryan versus running into the darkness once I got home. 🙈 Ah well. Sam had her first swim team practice of the season Tuesday afternoon, so things are gearing up!

So, with that I was definitely up and out on Wednesday morning for a run. Right hip/glute were very tight. Grrr. Ran the loop around Highland Green and added on Canam. It was an overcast morning so the darkness seemed deeper. I do so love this time of year but the loss of morning light is hard for an early morning runner like me! (6.0 miles)

Just barely light with 1.5 miles to go

Wednesday afternoon was the first XC meet of the season. As a 5th grader, Sam is running the mile! I walked the course with her and the three other girls on the team who are milers. Twin Brook is definitely a good place for the meets and the course was quite nice with some good rolling sections in the second half of the course. Beautiful afternoon for it too!

Sam was a bit nervous about the distance and started off looking a bit stiff, but finished up strong and looked really great coming into the finish! She had to stop to tie her shoe midway through 😩 but finished in 10:37. Proud of her for being out there, doing her best and supporting her friends too 💗 I think she was proud of herself too!

Yesterday morning, I headed out onto the cart paths. Started about 10 minutes later than Wednesday and a very crisp, clear morning, which meant a glowing sunrise and a sliver of moon to keep me company as I ran along. So pretty! Also saw a porcupine and four deer. Right leg still tight. (6.0 miles)

This morning, I decided to do some exploring! I've been looking at the map of the Freeport Conservation Trust trails for a while now and today was the day! I headed out to Flying Point Road and parked just inside the Brunswick line at the Chase Preserve parking lot. This led me out onto Jack's Trail, which was just lovely! Lots of mushrooms, brilliant red fallen leaves, the sweet scent of evergreen and hay-scented ferns and some nice cushiony singletrack.

Out at the marshy, beaver pond was a nice new bridge and a sign that I was entering the Freeport trails on the Antoinette Jackson Trail. Except that it was so overgrown right in that area that I wandered this way and that before figuring out which way to go 😂 Once I managed to go the right way, it was a nice run through the woods out to the Forest Ridge Trail, which I followed out to the Brimstone Hill Trail.

 Definitely a few hills out there! And some lovely sunshine at Brimstone Hill.

Wandering back down the lollypop that was Brimstone Hill, I took the Kelsey Brook Trail, which crisscrossed a stream and was quite overgrown with lots of aster, brambles and goldenrod. Lots of leg scratches along this stretch!

Cool dewy web shimmering in the sunshine

Yup, that's the trail

Wanted to take Bessie's Trail back, but couldn't find it, or maybe didn't go far enough?, so backtracked back along Kelsey Brook and then took Moose Crossing, which started as a gravel road and then turned off into the woods. Except the sun was so bright and the turnoff was so hidden that I meandered about for a while on the road trying to figure out where the heck to go 😆 but eventually back into the woods I went, for more technical, rooty singletrack with some lovely moss and ferns trailside. 

The final stretch of trail was along the Calderwood Preserve trail back to Flying Point Road. I knew there was a short loop on the opposite side of the road, so I decided to explore that too and see if it would have a view, which it did! A nice little side path brought me to the water's edge in the bright sunlight. Pretty!

All in all, a very lovely Friday morning meander on some fun new trails. Technical and slow going, with lots of stopping to take photos and map reading, some walking on the slick bog bridges and through the overgrown section and a bit of lost meandering today, but really pretty woods and fun singletrack. Always a good day when you get to explore new trails! (7.4 miles)

And just because... looks like Gigi wants to go to school with Sam 😻 So cute!

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Meandering about this way and that this week. First 'back to school' cold of the season for Sam. Ryan away for work Tuesday through Thursday. Kid and cat and work and activity and chore juggling and wrangling. You know, just the typical chaos of a regular week! 😆

No running or XC practice on Monday, as Sam was sick. So, Tuesday I got up and out extra early into the darkness to get in a few miles before Ryan headed to the airport for his trip to Michigan. No sign of the sky lightening that morning! Dark, dark, dark. Two porcupines, three deer and the moon shining brightly overhead. (6.0 miles)

So bright!

Just lumbering along. Didn't care about me at all.

Thursday, I had a work conference up in Augusta and finished up in time to get out for a run in the afternoon before picking up Sam for XC practice. I really much prefer morning running but once my legs warmed up, I did enjoy running in the sunlight! Such a pretty afternoon. One huge caterpillar found and rescued from the cart paths so it wouldn't get squished, and one garter snake scared up while sunning itself out on the trail in the woods. (6.2 miles)

A new one for me - Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar. It was huge! 

Late summer Heath

Cotton sedge

I headed move along the back of the pack at XC practice later in the afternoon. Mostly this entailed running with one boy who would much rather walk than run. I asked him what he liked to do other than run and he spent the next 10 minutes telling me about Stranger Things, and running for most of that. Distraction for the win! Hey, whatever works! (0.8 miles shuffled/walked)

Friday, I headed over to Brad to meet up with Anne and Mindy for a run. Got there a bit early and had enough time to run up to the Summit and back via Northern Loop. Nice cool bright morning. Once the ladies arrived, we headed onto the east side for a meander along the trails the mark the boundary of the park. I didn't quite get it right but we still enjoyed a nice run, chatting away and catching up as we ran along. All in all, a very nice start to a beautiful Friday! (7.6 miles)

Yesterday, I had my stuff out for a long run but felt kind of meh when I got up. My right leg felt a bit stiff and I was tired. So I scrapped that and headed out for a shorter run around town instead. Took the roads and paths for a nice loop, and listened to the Work, Play, Love podcast with Another Mother Runner along the way. Lauren and Jesse always offer up interesting perspectives and make me laugh. (7.5 miles)

After lunch, Sam, Ryan and I got out for a walk down along the Cathance. The river was running so low that we crisscrossed the water several times, rock jumping and scaring up a ton of frogs as we did so. Fun to do a bit of off-trail exploration on a beautiful, warm, late summer afternoon! (1.5 miles walked)

So many frogs!

Looking into Barnes Leap

This morning, I woke up and headed into Brunswick for a run on my "Brunswick roads and trails" loop. But first, a stop at Frosty's to pick up a few pumpkin glazed donuts. They only make these donuts seasonally and they are so delish! I figured if I waited until after my run, they'd all be gone. And it was the perfect post-run treat. Yum! 😋🍩

Headed out via the roads for a loop through the Crystal Spring Farm trail system before crossing the blueberry fields to the high school. Then it was into the unmarked extended Commons trails out to the edge of the marshy woodsy pond that runs next to Rossmore before a few more road miles out into Pennelville. The final few miles were back through the Commons and along the perimeter trail back at the field house. A nice, mellow meander on a pretty morning. Right leg still a bit cranky but loosened up as I ran along. Otherwise, felt good and happy to finish out another week just over 40 miles. Just keeping it nice and steady and trying to run enough to work towards my 2,000+ goal and maintain a decent base at the moment, which I feel like I'm successfully doing. (14.0 miles)

Edge of the fields at Crystal Spring Farms. The asters had taken over the trail!

Blueberry fields

Blue sky and bright sunshine

Milkweed Tussock caterpillar

The early foliage is sparse so far but brilliant in color

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Feeling Like Fall

Feeling like fall this week with cool mornings, bright sunshine and warm afternoons. XC has started and school is in full swing.

Sam had her first XC practice on Monday evening. I went dressed to run, just in case but it's a small team and the coach, an energetic young woman who assisted a few years back, said she had it covered. So, I turned on my watch and headed out for my own run! Ran on the road down to the bike path and turned around at the 22 minute mark. Not the most exciting run but happy to have had the chance to get out! Made it back in time to catch the last few minutes of practice. Nice evening. (5.0 miles)

Ryan was away Tuesday and Wednesday for a conference, and we had our annual audit at work, so there was no running those days. Got out Thursday morning into the darkness and ran the cart paths. Windy and quiet. One grouse seen. Legs felt good. (6.0 miles)

Friday, I headed over to Brad to meet up with Keri and Anne for a run. I wanted to get in a few more miles than what we were planning so I got there a bit early and ran up to the summit and around on the mountain side before heading back to the parking lot. It was a gorgeous morning to be out. Nice and cool but warm in the sun.

At 9:15, the three of us headed out onto the east side and did a variation of the old BBU east course. I couldn't tell you the newest iteration of that section but I always like the old route. It was great to have a chance to catch up as we ran along! Anne stopped once we got back to the lot after 5ish miles, but Keri was feeling good and wanted to go for a few extra miles so I joined her, because why not?! Lots of perfectly shaped yellow toadstool like mushrooms seen, and one purple one too. All in all, a fun morning run, and great to get in some miles with friends! (10.2 miles)

Still was hoping for a slightly longer "long" run this weekend, so I headed out with my pack for a 2+ hour run on Saturday morning. Sky looked lovely through the winds right at sunrise but I was not fast enough to be outside to enjoy it while running 😉 Got out the door a few minutes before 7:00 and headed out on the powerlines. Cool but unlike Friday, rather muggy. Still, definitely looking like fall out there and the air is full of that autumnal smell of sweet ferns, goldenrod, ripening berries and fallen leaves. Mmm! Love that. Found one last patch of blackberries to enjoy too! After the Lover's Lane loop and a jaunt on one side of the mountain bike trails by the dump, I headed back towards home and out into the Cathance for a few more miles. Solid morning. Legs felt a bit tired but happy to get in some good home trail miles! (13.0 miles)

Lots of mushrooms out along the trails

Colors of fall 💗

The afternoon turned dreary and rainy so we got a few things done around the house. Not as fun as getting out for an adventure but sometimes necessary!

This morning, I headed out around town for a road meander. It was foggy and slightly misty to start, then got very muggy as the fog started to burn off and the sun began to emerge. Feeling strong and happy to finish up with another 40 mile week! (7.0 miles)

Anne came over to play with Sam for the morning and after lunch we met up with Kristen and Thistle out at Rocky Ridge. A gorgeous late summer feeling afternoon for some apple picking fun out at the orchard! A great way to wrap up the weekend!

These two 💗

Love these silly, goofy kids!