Sunday, September 16, 2018

Weekending

Sat around and ate breakfast and drank coffee on Saturday morning before heading out to run around 7:30 am. It's rare that I sleep in anymore, mostly because of the cats 🐱, but it's at least nice to have the option to laze around for a while instead of having to get right out to run! It was a damp, foggy, misty morning. Lots of spider webs, and a few colors popping up in the trees and in the Heath too. My legs were feeling pretty tired from Friday's long run so I kept it nice and easy. A good way to finish up a solid week! (7.0 miles)

Misty morning web 



Ryan is feeling under the weather and Sam is finally feeling better from the cold she picked up at the start of school, so Ryan stayed home on the couch after lunch while Sam and I headed over to the Swinging Bridge to check out the new new location for XC practice. Head of Tides is a great place to run but there were a few safety issues there, mainly due to parking and crossing the road, so the rec department decided to shift us over here. Honestly, there are a few safety concerns in this location too, but hey, I'm just a helper. Sam and I walked across the bridge to take in the view and checked out the rocks along the river (neither of which we'll be doing at XC practice!) and then walked up and back along the paved bike path, popping beans on the jewelweed plants along the way. After the misty start to the day, the skies cleared and temps rose and it was quite lovely being out for a walk! (1.4 miles walked)




Jewelweed




Today was a rest day so it was another leisurely start to the day, which was lovely. Anne came over around 10:00 and I took the girls out for donuts. Doing the zero day right 😉🍩💗

#restdaybrag


Then it was off to Claire's to get Sam's ears pierced! Her birthday present a few weeks early 😍 Anne provided wonderful hand holding support, which was downright adorable!

Besties


Looking so grown up with her new pierced ears!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Fun

I met up with Emily this morning for a run. It was so nice to catch up with her and have company for my long run! Yay for running with friends 💗

We met up over at Wolfe's Neck, as I wanted to run a lap of the Farm to Farm course, since I'm doing the 50k there next month in prep for JFK. There was a low lying fog sitting atop the fields as I drove over. Gorgeous!




We ran up the dirt road and looped around on the park trails, stopping down at the beach across from osprey island to take in the view. Glorious.


And not looking too bad out along the road either!


Back on the road, we looped around through the campground and then back to the cars via the new farm trails. It was a nice change of pace from what I knew would be mostly pavement for the next 15 miles! We stopped to refill our packs and then took off for the rest of the run. We were only 8+ miles in and I was already soaked. It was a beautiful morning but very muggy!

In a car, it seems as if the road to and from Crystal Spring Farm to Wolfe's Neck and vice versa is flat, but it is totally not true on foot ;)  And all that pavement. Ooff! My feet were feeling it by the time we got to Crystal Spring, and we still had to get back. HA! We ran the short loop on the trails, which was a nice break, and then headed back towards Freeport. I was most definitely feeling it in the last miles, and I am so glad I had Emily with me, or I know I would have slowed or walked or both ;) It took a fair amount of effort and focus, but I managed to at least keep the pace slightly below 9:00 pace for the final 6 road miles, and thankfully Emily was cool with going my pace!!

Glad to have gotten this run done and so fun to have Emily running with me! (24.0 miles)

After chatting a bit at the car and then getting changed out of my soaked running clothes, I headed into Brunswick to get a sandwich, hit the farmer's market, got birdseed and cat food, picked up new books at the library and got the grocery/household shopping done at Target and Hannaford before finally heading home. But not before stopping for an ice cream en route! 😋🍨

#runallthemileseatalltheicecream 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Back to Routine

First full week of school and first week of fall XC for Sam. Swimming doesn't fully start up for another few weeks, which gives us a nice chance to ease a bit back into the school routine before adding all the activities into the mix!

That being said, I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to getting up and out in the full darkness. Monday, I did not get up and out for a run even though I really should have. Instead I snuck out of work a little early, got in an unintentionally speedy run around Highland Green as I was running short on time, quickly changed into new running clothes and then went to pick Sam up for XC practice. (5.0 miles)

With all the construction around the high school and the rest of the fields being used up for football and soccer, XC has been moved to Head of Tides Park. The kids really enjoyed the trail and did a great job! In my mind, it's not an ideal location for a young rec XC team for a few reasons, but we have a small team which makes it manageable and it's fun to expose the kids to some different and technical terrain! (1.4 miles with the kiddos)

Tuesday, it was pouring cats and dogs all morning and I had a 7:00 am dentist appointment, so no running occurred ;) But rest is part of training so it's all good :)

Wednesday, yet again I did not get up and out in the morning. Gah. So once again, headed out of work a bit early to get in a run before picking Sam up. Once again rather short on time, I kept the run short but did get down to the river, which was nice. The weather is back to summer-esque mugginess though. So sweaty! (5.3 miles)

This morning I finally managed to get up with my alarm and out into the darkness at 5:15. Had to use the headlamp for the first 4 miles today with the overcast skies. Ran the cart paths and added on a loop around the Heath midway through, catching just a bit of lightening in the sky at the overlook.


A bit further along on the cart paths, I caught a glimpse of the fiery sky, which does not show up well in the photos, but it sure was pretty! (6.0 miles)


Second XC practice tonight, and the gate to the parking lot at Head of Tides was locked, so we had to park across the street and herd all the kids across what is a windy road with people driving quite fast. The kids had fun running there once again, but after practice, the parents all agreed that we needed to find another locale due to some safety concerns. I do love running on these trails but I am in full agreement that a place with a good field for games and a safe place without road crossings is much more ideal! We'll see where we end up on Monday ;) (1.2 miles with the older kiddos tonight)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Weekend Running

Saturday morning, I got up and out early before Ryan headed over to the Brad to help mark the Bruiser course and get in his own run. I waited until the sky was beginning to ever so slightly lighten and then headed down Maine Street, crossed the green bridge and ran out to the bike path. Gotta get in some pavement miles for JFK training!

The roads and bike path were quiet, and the sky overcast. The miles clicked by fairly quickly and easily, and my road shoes were nice and cushiony ;) My watch beeped 5 miles just before the far end of the bike path, and I turned around and headed back. Took the route over the bypass bridge, which yields a nice long view out along the Androscoggin and then wound my way back up through town. My legs were feeling the pace (and the uphill on the return trip!) in the last few miles but overall really happy with how the run went. (10.0 miles)

Androsoggin view

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, which was a nice change of pace from the past few busy but fun weekends, although today more than made up for yesterday's relaxing ;) 

Up early (again) to get in a few miles before Ryan headed over to Bradbury for the Bruiser. It was only 45 degrees out, which felt heavenly after a hot and humid summer!! Ran out into the Cathance and enjoyed a mellow run along the river at first light. (6.0 miles)

Morning mist rising over the Heath

After a quick breakfast and shower, I woke Sam up and we headed over to Brad ourselves for the day, with a quick stop for a donut beforehand ;) It's always fun to catch up with friends while volunteering and to talk with people at the food table after the race and see how it all went! Lots of falls today despite nice dry trails, but it was a glorious day for a trail race!! Sam spent the day running around with Elise and Jenn's kiddos. I love that she, and all her friends, are at the age that we can let them run off and entertain themselves during these races!! And it is so much fun watching them all together :) We didn't get home until around 2:00 pm after all the clean-up so we are all a bit tired out, but all in all it was a great day and a great way to wrap up the dirt series!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Back to Reality (& Fourth Grade!)

This kid started 4th grade on Tuesday! How does that even happen?!? Time seriously flies, I'm telling you...

What a cutie 😍

Before getting her ready for the day, I headed out into the Cathance for a run. It was 70 degrees at 5:30 am which might be a bit much for early September, but otherwise, it was a nice morning. Saw two deer and enjoyed the sea of cotton sedge and the glowing light out in the Heath. (7.0 miles)


Wednesday morning, I headed out onto Highland Green Road to do some speedwork. Had to use the headlamp for the first half - we are losing light quickly, for sure! Ran out and back and added in 13x 60 seconds on/90 seconds off. It was a nice, cool morning with a gorgeous sunrise and I was happy to feel fairly decent. And yes, I did stop in a few of my 'off's to take photos of the sunrise 😉 Don't judge! 😂😀 (6.0 miles)




This morning, I headed out to Head of Tides around 6:30 am, tacking on a few Mt. Ararat loops at the beginning and a few miles across the street on the sweet little trail network down in the ravine in the middle of the Highlands neighborhood to finish off the run. Lots of bird sightings throughout, including a bald eagle soaring overhead, two grouse, two belted kingfishers, one great blue heron and a barred owl. Beautiful morning, cool but still humid. Legs feeling a bit cranky, so happy to have had an appointment with Dr. Jamie this afternoon to straighten things out! (15.0 miles)



Monday, September 3, 2018

Long Weekend in Acadia: Sunday & Monday

Sunday:

Sunday morning, I got up early and headed out for a run at 6:00 am. It was overcast and very humid. I headed up Route 102 to the Echo Lake turnoff and then up the Canadia Cliff trails over Beech, down the West Ridge Trail, along Long Pond, up the Perpendicular Trail to Mansell and then along through Great Notch to Bernard. from there, I looped around on the Bernard Mountain Trail and back via Mill Field, Gilley Field and Lurvey Spring Road to the pavement, where I retraced my steps to the campground.

Legs were a bit heavy from 6 hours on my feet hiking on Saturday, but it was great to get out! Saw three deer, one other runner, climbed lots of stone steps, saw lots of lush green moss and mountain cranberries, enjoyed some rocky, rooty, rugged terrain with a few misty morning views and quiet trails. A bit too much road to and fro - 5 miles or so total - but otherwise a great loop! (14.0 miles)

Misty morning views atop Beech



Low clouds over Long Pond

Stone steps on the Perpendicular Trail


I know there's a view here...



One huge shroom!

Clearing skies headed down into Great Notch

Nice cushy, moss-lined trail between Mansell and Bernard



Lots of gorgeous mountain cranberry



While I was running, Sam and Ryan had a morning fire and made pancakes and bacon. Yum!


After I had some of the aforementioned pancakes and bacon and took a shower, I tried to make the kiddo smile by taking selfies ;)





Then it was off for a late morning hike! While Saturday's hike was wonderful, it was also replete with many other people, so we decided to stick to the quiet side for Sunday's hike. We chose to explore some of the trails near Lower Hadlock Pond that are maintained by the Northeast Harbor Village Improvement Society (whew!). We were pleasantly surprised by these less traveled, gorgeous, winding trails through moss-filled forest. Some really nice hiking!

We took the Asticou Trail to the edge of Lower Hadlock Pond; it was like a mossy fairy forest! So pretty! Once at the edge of the pond, we took the park trail around the perimeter and then meandered back on some of the other NHVIS trails - Reservoir and Harbor Hill Trail to the Steep Trail and across the street to the Asticou Stream Trail and back to the car. Really truly lovely all around, and we only saw a handful of people. Perfect! (3.5 miles hiked)



A forest of mosses


Crossing the dam at Lower Hadlock Pond



Along Lower Hadlock Pond

Crossing the upper edge of the pond



Exploring the beach



Lily pads

Back on the NHVIS trails. Neat arrows throughout


Moss forest!


We took the Steep Trail




Fall

Across the street to Asticou Stream Trail

With a glorious view up into the Harbor!







Ryan went out for a run later in the afternoon while Sam and I played cornhole and relaxed around the campsite. Then we ordered pizza to eat by the fire. We finished up the evening with a big blaze that would have made Hairball proud :)

Cheers to summer!

Monday:

This morning we all slept in and then made quick work of packing up camp so that we could head back into Bar Harbor for a walk out to Bar Island before we headed home. Ryan and I have never walked out to the island before and you have to time it right with the tides, as obviously you don't want to get stranded over there, but today worked out perfectly with tidal timing! It was warm and muggy and there were lots of people doing the same thing, although you can't tell from our carefully crafted photos ;)

We did take an unofficial trail that wound along the perimeter of the island, on which we only saw a few people, but the main trail up to Bar Island summit was quite busy. We did see 12 deer out there! I wonder if they stay out there or travel back and forth? Interesting, indeed. (2.8 miles walked)







Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar

Bar Island summit

Summit view

Unofficial perimeter trail

Several big cruise ships docked out on the other side of the island


There is one deer visible in this photo, with five others not far away





Taking in the view and skipping rocks before we headed back into town




And with that, our last weekend of summer is in the books and it is on to 4th grade tomorrow!