Monday, May 10, 2021

Weekend Fun (plus the rest of the week)

Work started early on Monday morning as I was at the computer by 6:30 am. Therefore, by 11:00 am, I needed a break! Ryan was planning to run so I headed out for a walk along the powerlines. 2 miles and pretty much 30 minutes right on the nose - solo walks are a good time to practice power walking! (2.0 miles walked) 

Snuck out late afternoon on Tuesday for a run along the river and back. Didn't feel super peppy but was happy to get out. Things are greening up out in the woods, and although I didn't find any trillium, I did come across one lovely blooming trout lily and the first patch of goldthread out in the Cathance. Plus, the pair of geese are nesting in the Heath, which was fun to see. And when I got back, Sam was out biking with Pip 💗 (6.1 miles)

Wednesday was a misty, rainy day, and the morning run was the same. Kept it nice and mellow and had a good meander along the powerlines. (6.0 miles)

Thursday was a regular work day, with a whole lot of errands thrown in at the end of the day so that I could have as little as possible to cross off my to-do list on Friday. With Riverlands 100 coming up over the weekend, I was headed north to pick up soup from Keri for one of the aid stations, and since I would be up that way, I planned to leave early and get in a run around Ragged too! After 14 months of almost exclusively running on the roads and trails around Brunswick and Topsham, the idea of a bit of a run adventure sounded pretty awesome!

Left the house at 6:30 and arrived at the new Round the Mountain trailhead on Hope Street a little after 7:30. There were no other cars in the lot. It was bright but cool and breezy and I was glad to be in tights and have on my arm sleeves. I headed up the wide gravel path, but turned off onto the Georges Highland Path shortly thereafter. The ascent up to the Little Ragged ridge was lovely. I really enjoyed this new to me stretch of trail through the pretty woods. 

Blue bead lilies emerging

Top of the ridge

Still some trailing arbutus to be found

Spring beauties all closed up

Took the ridge towards Ragged and headed down the Red Diamond trail. I love the ledgy section up high with views out towards the water. 

Mountain cranberry

Down at the lower chair, I was planning to head right to hook up with the Round the Mountain trail, but it was not well marked from that point so I did a bit of wandering around wondering where the heck I was before I finally found a tree with a RTM sign! Of course, then I went the wrong way on the trail before I realized I needed to be going the other way 😆 Once I righted myself, I ran along the RTM trail until I was the sign for Fitzy, one of the mountain bike trails that loops off the RTM. From my map, it looked like Fitzy and Five Brook would make a nice addition to my run, adding a few miles. Fitzy was straightforward and some fun singletrack running, but once I turned off on Five Brook, there were various offshoots and unmarked intersections and in one spot, I was like, ok, I have NO idea which direction to head. I took out my phone at that point and then just hoped like heck that I was going to end back up at the RTM trail! Eventually, I came across a few signs that said Snowbowl, so I figured I was at least headed in the right direction! HA! Popped out just where I thought I would, but whew, wasn't expecting quite so much navigation excitement!

Once I got back on RTM, it was very straightforward, with the wide gravel path winding its way through the forest back to the parking lot. The trail had some steeper grades than I had anticipated but it was pretty through the low woods.  Honestly, I think it would be better riding than it was running, but it was evident the creators had put a lot of work into the route with an amazing amount of bridges along the way, and it was a fun way to make a nice route for the morning. And always fun to explore new to me trails! (10.3 miles)

First trillium of the season!

First spring beauties too.

From there, I headed to Moose Crossing to pick up the soup, and of course, a bunch of plants too 😊 There were a lot of people there, so I only have the chance to briefly chat with Keri and Tyler, but it was lovely to get a big Keri hug - thanks, science! Looking forward to more of those in the future when they aren't quite as busy!

Ryan and I were in charge of aid station captaining the start/finish for Riverlands weekend, so I took the early shift of 8:00 to 8:00 on Saturday. I knew I would be standing around all day, and wanted to get in a few miles before I headed up, so I actually got up with my 4:00 am alarm and was out the door as the sky began to lighten at 5:00. Of course, the one day I am up in time to see the sunrise, it is so overcast that there was no real color in the sky but it was still pretty crossing the Androscoggin. 😉😁😂 (6.0 miles)

Then it was off to the race! Spent the day under and around these two pop-up tents in the parking lot, which sounds funny and weird, but it was amazing 💗 It was truly wonderful to see and chat with so many friends after so many months spent without much social interaction beyond the family! We knew most of the volunteers and many of the runners, and that made it even more special. Val and Mindy, and the entire TMR family, put an amazing amount of work and time and love into this race, and it is always great to be a part of that positive energy! Of course, I will admit that I was exhausted from spending 12 hours on my feet by the time I left but it was well worth it 😃

Ryan and Sam had slept in and Ryan dropped Sam off at Mom and Dad's around 11:00, arriving to the race around noon, where he then proceeded to stay up for 27 hours and man the aid station until the race ended at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Meantime, I got home around 9:00 pm on a quiet house on Saturday night (Sam was staying over at Mom and Dad's), got my stuff put away, took a quick shower, and plopped myself into bed! 😴😴

The cats woke me up early on Sunday, but I had a leisurely morning, finally getting over to the field house around 8:30 for my run. Ran out through the Commons and Coleman Farm, looping back through the Landing trail. A few ladyslipper leaves starting to emerge but it is too early yet for them. However, there were a few beautiful stretches of goldthread covering the forest floor out in the Commons and some lovely fields of blooming trout lilies out in Coleman Farm. Gorgeous! I was definitely feeling a bit sluggish, and my legs were tired, but it was a lovely bright morning to be out in the woods. (10.0 miles)

First fringed polygala of the season!

Ladyslipper emerging

Stopped at Wild Oats to pick up some cheesecake as the evening's dessert and then after a quick shower, headed over to Mom and Dad's. Coleman Farm had been so beautiful earlier in the day that we decided to head over there for an afternoon walk. The daffodils along the pond truly are beautiful and it was fun to share in all the trout lily love with Mom and Dad 😃 A beautiful Mother's Day walk, and so wonderful to be able to share it with Mom! 💕 (2.3 miles walked)

And just for fun, Gigi was very helpful this week while I was reconciling bank accounts 😹😻


Monday, May 3, 2021

Ups & Downs

Monday, it was back to school for Sam. I know she was looking forward to it, well except for the whole getting up at 6:30 am part 😉 Ryan and I got out for a walk before lunchtime, and the wind was whipping like crazy. Seriously, April, you can tone the wind down now! 💨💨 (2.4 miles walked)

Then later in the evening while we were sitting on the couch after dinner, we got a call and email that said the entire district was going remote starting Tuesday through the next Thursday. Ugh. The email was not worded very clearly and all I could think was, how the heck does the whole district get shut down?! Turns out, there must have been one (or several) Covid exposures among the bus drivers, so without enough drivers, there could not be school. Brunswick was experiencing the same. Sigh. So much for going back to the classroom!

I was scheduled to be in the office on Tuesday, so I headed out, leaving Sam and Ryan to work and school for the day. Sounds like there was a bit of confusion on the school front, especially given the sudden switch to remote but she did a good job getting her work done nonetheless. The plan was for Mom and Dad to come over and the three of them were going to walk to DQ and then go back to their house so Sam could assist in the gardening efforts.

As I hadn't run before work, and had a 5:00 pm board meeting, I left work early so I could sneak in a run. I expected to come home to a quiet house, but instead walked in to find Ryan on a work call and Sam bawling her eyes out over math work that she just could not complete. Aie. Poor kiddo 😓 Got her calmed down and the math work completed, and then finally out the door for a walk in the sunshine and a bit of sugar 😊

Then I finally got myself out the door for a run. Beautiful afternoon and I enjoyed a nice run down to the river and back. Morning running is definitely less stressful though 😉😆 (6.0 miles)

Wednesday morning, I was scheduled for Covid vaccination shot #2 so I knew I needed to get my run in before that. Sunrise is getting earlier and earlier as we gain more light, so I only managed to catch the tail end of sunrise when I headed out at 5:30, but there was still some lovely light. Stopped on the way back to say hi to the three alpacas, who were all sitting near the fence. They seemed thoroughly unimpressed with that I had to say 😂 (6.0 miles)

Then it was time to get Sam ready for the day of remote learning, get a little work done and get myself over to the Brunswick Rec Center for my shot at 9:00 am! Once again, very impressed with the whole operation and it was super easy. And yes, I may have crazy hair and have bags under my eyes, but I am smiling big under my mask as I wait my 15 minutes after my shot! On my way to being fully vaccinated! Woohoo! 🎉

Spent the rest of the day working and trying to move my arm as much as possible. Slept horribly and kept waking up realizing how crappy I was feeling, and the rest of the day Thursday was spent feeling just sort of tired more than anything, which could have been because I didn't sleep or because of the shot. Who knows? In any event, I had already decided Thursday would be a rest day in case I didn't feel great from the shot, plus it rained on and off all day so it was a perfectly fine day for a zero!

Got a call late on Thursday that the district had found enough bus drivers to allow for the kids to head back to school on Monday. Hurray and phew all together! We are lucky that remote work has not been an issue for Sam, but I know that she is much better off in school for sure! 🚌🎒 

Woke up on Friday feeling fine, without even really any arm soreness. I didn't hustle out for a run as it was raining, but once Sam started in on her school work, I was like oh well, what was there to do but just don the raincoat and big brimmed hat and head out? Luckily it was fairly warm and not windy. Definitely soggy though 😂 Ran roads and kept the effort mellow. Three Northern Flickers seen in the grass at the fairgrounds and some nice shadbush blooming roadside. (8.0 miles)

I didn't rush to get out on Saturday morning, which seems to be a theme these days, but honestly we typically we are just hanging out on weekend mornings and Sam is always happy to just chill in her room for a bit on her own, so there isn't quite the guilt about being gone as there was when she was younger and there was more need to "entertain" her all the time. So I had the chance for a bit of quiet time to relax on the couch and drink coffee and then I finally got myself organized to get out the door around 8:30. It was bright and very blustery as I headed out into the Cathance. Very wet out in the woods and the bog bridges were quite slick, but the river was roaring nicely. Found one small wild oat just beginning to bloom and the trailing arbutus are still putting on a nice show, but otherwise, it was mostly greenery to be found, with the forest floor beginning to brighten with the leaves of the false lily of the valley and starflowers coming up through the leaf litter. (8.0 miles)

No more ice in the snowhole!

Kristen messaged later in the morning to see if Sam wanted to have a gelato date with Anne, so I suggested they come over here for a walk on the powerlines first. Still blustery, but a nice walk in the woods with friends! And of the course the gelato was delish! 😋🍨 (2.4 miles walked)


I had been going back and forth in my head all weekend as to whether or not I should do a long run on Sunday or just keep the week a bit more mellow. I was feeling fine in terms of the aftermath of shot #2, but ended up deciding to play it safe anyway. Or maybe I was just being lazy?! 😁 Either way, Sunday morning was quite lovely, with less wind and bright sunshine. Went out on the powerlines for some nice easy miles. The blueberry bells are beginning to flower in the sunny spots and there were some nice patches of wood anemone. (8.0 miles)

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Crystal Spring Farm with Mom and Dad for a walk. A really nice afternoon and a good walk in the woods! Had fun walking through the Labyrinth and enjoyed seeing the first of the season goldthread and hobblebush blooming! A nice way to wrap up the weekend 😀 (2.1 miles walked)