Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rediscovering Maudsley (aka: fun on the run!)

A decade-plus ago, we spent time walking and cycling through the trails of Maudsley.  The gardens are beautiful, the bridges seem magical, and the slope down to the river….aaaahhhh.  We had only visited Maudsley a handful of times since then until recently.  A couple of weeks ago, we bit the bullet and bought a parking pass (that’s new since we first visited).  This parking pass splurge has opened up a whole new world of trails.  And no horseflies!

Today, we took the Go-Pro along and really had some fun!  We started out shortly after 7:00 am, but the humidity had already arrived.  It didn’t take long for us to look like we had been dunked in the river!  Fortunately, the mature trees provided a thorough canopy and protected us from the sun.  We weaved our way through the trails and found some new paths since our last visit.  There were a few walkers and runners out, but no real ‘traffic’ to be found.



My weekly mileage has not been good – ok, it’s been absent.  That Monday-through-Friday thing called ‘work’ really puts a wrench in things.  And boy did I feel it today.  Not only was the humidity suffocating, the hills were unforgiving to my lazy legs.  Between the Go-Pro shenanigans, the other runners, and a number of horseback riders, I had enough to distract me from my screaming quads.  Oh and the horse crap – that kept me very focused on the trail!

I’m so happy we are rediscovering Maudsley!  Its beauty in the trails, in its location (right on the Merrimack river), and in its proximity to us is worth every penny of that parking pass!  Click on the video Scott created as a result of all of the Go-Pro shenanigans…


  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good weekend running mojo!

How cool is Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail “masterpiece” accomplishment this past weekend?  46 days, 8 hour trek from Georgia to Maine…..wow.  Just as I stalked Western States, I found myself in awe of this successful attempt at breaking the AT record.  While I stalked Scott’s progress, I also had a little running to do myself. 

Saturday morning found us playing on some great trails in Hamilton.  Scott and I ran “Run for the Hills” 10K three years ago when I was fairly new to trail running.  This time, Sue joined us and the three of us took on the hills on this warm summer morning. 

The “hill” reference in the race name was real.  A real rollercoaster –

A small race with few frills (though a nice shirt and great italian ice at the end!), it was a great race to have fun without any stress.  With well marked trails and volunteers stationed anywhere the trail might be confusing, I enjoyed working hard at tackling the hills.  I haven’t felt all that strong in the running department lately, so imagine my surprise when I later realized I won my age group!  When I texted Sue to tell her she and I placed first and second in our age group, she responded with, “Oh, so there were two total in our age group?”  Actually, there were only eight, but I’ll take it!  Don’t know if there was any award, but truly, the best award to me was that I felt stronger at the end than I had at the beginning.
Feeling pretty happy about my race (not just the AG win, but that didn’t hurt), I now turned my focus to StoneCat.  I registered Scott and myself for StoneCat 26.2 last week and hoped we would both survive the lottery.  I was thrilled to see we both were accepted!!  So now we have a nice trail marathon to gear up for together in the Fall.  Wahoo!

Good running mojo this weekend.  Now to keep the mojo going….



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Worth every cent

Scott and I took advantage of one of his rare Saturdays off and headed to Maudsley State Park to run.  We have plenty of trails around our house so that we normally don’t have to drive anywhere, but it’s always nice to change things up.  Maudsley is maybe a 10 minute drive from our house, so we arrived pretty quickly.  Then Scott reached for his wallet to pay the $5.00 parking fee.  Nothing.  We combed through the truck.  More nothing.  Fortunately, as we started to count the random coin collecting in his truck, we easily counted out the $5.00 needed to continue our plan!


Lots of runners, walkers, people riding horses; yet we never felt crowded.  The trails are easy and allow you to zig and zag as desired.  Even someone like me (sans internal compass) would have a hard time getting lost.  We left Bella home for this jaunt (she got an earlier trail run before we left), since she would’ve had to be leashed and that just isn’t as much fun.  For either of us.  Add the fact that there seemed to be no horseflies.  WIN.


When you’re feeling in a bit of a funk with running, it’s so great to run somewhere other than your everyday courses.  It’s also a bonus when you're following some of the most talented runners already running the Western States 100 run out in CA.  Not that our 6 miler was hard, but as I ran, I thought about the amazing athletes covering 100 miles over some very challenging terrain, elevation, and conditions.  Not sure if I have another 100 in my lifetime, but it sure is intriguing to watch the female winner finish in 19:05….I was running (or slogging at that point) for another 10 hours during my trek at Ghost Train.  Gulp.

Thanks Western States Facebook page!
Today is the second rainy Sunday in a row, but yesterday’s beautiful run along with the knowledge that some of the more mortal runners are still making their way to the Western States 100 finish line, motivates me to get out there.  I just have to channel last Sunday’s “let’s be 10” sentiment that found me splashing in puddles…


Getting a run in during beautiful or rainy conditions is truly worth every cent.



Monday, June 8, 2015

Retraining the brain

It’s so amazing what you can get done in a day – well, a weekend day that is.  During the work week, I continue to struggle (like many) with wishing my way to the weekend.  I’m aware of how negative this thought process is, so I’m trying to retrain my brain to think differently.  This past weekend, I got SO.MUCH.DONE!  And it wasn’t all of the need-to-do’s either; many of them were the want-to-do’s.

Saturday
  • I drove to Meaghan’s and shared a great 10 mile run with her.  Long overdue!
  • Lucky to score an unplanned visit with Mom.
  • Primed some trim in a room we’re working on in the house.  2 coats.
  • Dropped by Carrie’s house to wish her ‘see ya later’ as she prepares to relocate to Arizona. 
  • Wrote a blog post after a long hiatus.

Sunday
  • Enjoyed a 5 mile trail run with Scott and Bella.  Great start to any day!
  • Painted the trim that I primed Saturday.
  • Because the paint & brushes were out, decided to touch up some other areas.  White trim paint = Addictive!
  • Cut the lawn.  We have a decent yard; we're talking hours!
  • Planted tomatoes, peppers, and something in the squash family.  Thanks to Andy for the plants.
  • Planted flowers.
  • Did some laundry.
  • Wrote another blog post.  Whoa, look at me!

By Sunday night, I was exhausted.  But it was a good exhaustion.  The kind of tired that says, I can’t lift another thing but then adds, …and I’ve never felt better!  I love days where you know you’ve squeezed every bit of life out of the day.  And I love days where you go to sleep excited to begin again.  As I write this on a Monday, I can tell you I need some work in the ‘retrain my brain’ area on the non-weekend days….





Sunday, June 7, 2015

All in this together

This is what you call having the right dog for your personality/lifestyle.

This morning, Scott, Bella, and I took off for a jaunt in the woods.  A gorgeous morning, we were all excited to get out and run some trails.  No one was more excited than Bella!

Dirt, mud, snakes, frogs……all of Bella’s favorite things.  We ran 5 miles; Bella probably doubled that with all of her little switchbacks.  She slogged through the muddy areas, waded through some deeper areas, and then raced to catch up with us.  

She’s such a happy girl and a perfect part of our little family.   A little rest time and she'll be ready and rearing to go again!



Saturday, June 6, 2015

The power of missing the run

Pineland Farms was back on May 24th.  50K is no joke and Pineland Farms is a pretty solid, hilly course.  I had a great day and enjoyed my adventure.  But since that race, I just haven't had much desire to run.  So I haven’t.  Until today.

I jumped at the text invite to run with Meaghan.  I was excited to venture into her “new” town (not so new anymore to her, but to me it is), try out her roads, and catch up.  She took me on a great course, filled with steady rollers, covering a couple of towns.  We also tried some new areas (for her), now that she had a guinea pig along for the exploration.  With almost two weeks off from running, running/chatting/laughing our way through 10.3 miles was just what I needed.  Guess I just need a little time to miss it.   Simple as that.

And I'm already looking forward to running tomorrow!


How do you get out of a running funk or return from a break?


Friday, June 5, 2015

Lemme catch you up!

Can’t think of a better way to catch up over the last month-plus than to barrage you with photos!  Here’s what’s been going on….

I spent just about every weekend of May in different parts of Maine.  First stop, Kennebunk for the Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge.  Ran the half on Saturday; the full on Sunday.  Lots-o-bling!


Next stop was York for Kristin and Alex’s wedding.  She’s the first niece out of the gate into marriage…..where does the time go??


No rest for the weary!  Following weekend was spent in the New Gloucester/Freeport area to run Pineland Farms 50K!  A number of us were there to run a variety of distances.  Fun race, great friends, and another cowbell to add to my collection!


Most recently, we were willing participants in Rusty’s (Scott’s cousin) surprise 50th birthday party….fun cousin time for all!


And just the other evening after returning home from work, Bella alerted me to an uninvited guest.  INSIDE our bedroom.  The little chipmunk was trying so hard to escape, but couldn’t (screen).  Didn’t catch up with him until the next morning, when he greeted Scott on the couch, as if to say, “When you're done with your coffee, can you let me out?”


So, you’re now officially caught up!  What have YOU been up to?