Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Beer and Running

The health benefits of beer on running

Cheers and Happy New Year!



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Run with a Purpose

Saturday without a race equals....a neighborhood run. But instead of just slogging a bunch of out-and-back monotonous miles, I ran a realish training run. If you know me, I don't train with any real methods. I just either race or go out for a run. But a friend suggested I actually do something real to help get my speed back. 1 min on/1 min off. What he failed to tell me was that I should only do 10-15 of them. Haha. So I warmed up for the first mile, then did this 1 min on/1 min off thing for just over 5 miles. Haha. I didn't count how many I did but figured out later that it was 17 on. Not too far off. Haha. I ended up with 6.2 miles at 7:19/mi pace total for all of it. And decent elevation gain at 489ft. My neighborhood is good for that. It felt really good, and I was so glad for the suggestion. I'm clueless about training. I never really needed it before, but right now, I do. I'll be doing a lot more of these in the near future.

With the weather being so nice, I had to get John out for a walk, so we drove over to Freedom for a walk up and over Mary's Mountain and looped back on the Jackman Ridge Trail. We brought all 3 dogs and really enjoyed a nice walk. John wanted to stay on Mary's Mt for awhile, so I think we spent a good 30 minutes up there. 3.5 miles, and we were out there for over 2 hours. After that, we went home with the intent to venture out later to the movies, but we ended up staying at home the rest of the night. I did some cleaning, and that was about it.











Monday, December 28, 2015

Ossipee Mountains Loop Run

After 48 hours of sitting torture, I couldn't wait to bolt out of work at 7am on Christmas morning and drive over to Castle in the Clouds for one of my favorite long mountain runs. The weather for the day was predicted to be unbelievably awesome. Temps in the 50s and bright sunshine. It certainly lived up to its hype! It was SO, SO beautiful! Never could I have imagined being able to run this loop on "dry" trail on December 25th. I had to take full advantage of it.

I started at the lower trailhead off Rt 171 and started my clockwise loop up the Shannon Pond Trail. This is almost 4 mile climb from the road to the top of Mt Roberts. 

No snow on the peaks except barely a smidgen on Mt Washington
I felt good running-wise, but my lower back and tailbone were killing me right from the start. I didn't care, though. I could still run. It was so much slower than the last time I did this loop, but I was in peak shape then. This would be the longest run I've done in 3 months, so I knew it would be a challenge. The run was beautiful, with views of Lake Winnipesaukee in places that leaves were blocking it over the summer, so that was a nice change. I hit all of the summits along the Lakes Region Trust trails, except Faraway Mt. Some day I'll venture over there. After all of the rain we had, the trail was saturated for a good 2/3 of it, but I didn't mind wet feet in such warm weather. It was complete solitude for the first 14 miles of the run, just like I like it. I have a tradition of summit sign selfies, so I proceeded to continue it. Haha.




Bare legs on Christmas!




The last 4 miles were tough. Between the intensifying back pain and my lack of fitness, I felt pretty fatigued. The last mile, I was all done, but it was just basically stumbling downhill. Finished with 17.8 miles, even though it's actually 18.3. I was using my watch which died at 17.8 miles... well before I finished. As a backup, I had the Strava app going on my phone that was buried in my pack. It tends to short me on mileage when it's in the pack, and it did, but whatever. At least I captured the full run. 3:12:42 with 3200ft of elevation gain. So much, much slower than before, but I just have to accept it. I felt so good mentally after I finished. I needed that run so badly. One of things I felt I'd missed while injured, the long mountain run, I was given another chance to do before the snow flies. It felt great. I was hurting pretty bad all in the lower back, tailbone, glutes and hips, but the runner's high kept me happy. 

I drove home from there with the intention of wrapping John's Christmas gifts before he was dropped off in 2 hours. Instead, as I pulled down my road, I saw John's dad's van sitting in my driveway...2 hours early and not agreed upon. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I never did get to wrap his presents. I only got him 3 things, and he really didn't care, but still, I was kind of disappointed. I had put his stocking together on Tuesday night, so at least he had that. He was psyched to get two XBOX ONE games from me. He ended up completely beating one of them by Sunday. I got him a new backpack, too, and that was it for our Christmas around the tree. :)  


Money from Nannie and Grandpa

My post run snack. :)

I left him to his games and proceeded to finally work on some "winterizing". I brought in all of the outdoor furniture and then cleared out my parking space in the garage so I could put my car in there during storms. That meant a lot of shuffling of summer stuff. I also brought all of our downhill and backcountry ski gear into the mudroom, so we're all set for that. I spent a good 2 hours getting this work done. And strangely enough, I was no longer in any pain.

Later on, we went up to my friend, Jen's house in Bartlett for dinner with her and her boyfriend. It was nice to hang out and chat. Dinner was good. It was an early night. Nothing too exciting for our Christmas, which is good. I think the insane build up of it is just too much. Adults trying to recreate some magic that doesn't exist only to have it all end abruptly just as winter is getting started. No wonder so many people get depressed around this time. Christmas is over, and now, there's nothing to look forward to. Just my thoughts on it. I do like a lot of the aspects of Christmas, like the lights, the tree, the getting together with people. I'm not as bah humbug as I appear, but I do believe it's too much. Even John is starting to understand that. Until his dad bought him the XBOX ONE, John only wanted a cheap headset for his XBOX 360 for Christmas. He's really starting to understand that money doesn't grow on trees and that I couldn't give him a lot for Christmas. He appreciates the few things he did get, and it's nice to see that in a 9 year old boy.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Black Ice Run

Since John spent Tuesday night with his dad I decided to take advantage of the rare opportunity to run on the road early Wednesday morning before work. As soon as I left my driveway, I was met with a road covered in black ice. Rather than do the smart thing and go right back to the house and get on the treadmill, I decided to keep going. I only had just less than an hour to run, and going back would mean a complete change in attire, further wasting time, so I made the decision to keep on going. I had a stretch of dry road from the end of my street to Pequawket Dr, but then once again found black ice on the first hill. Considering it was dark and the headlamp only showed so much, I didn't realize I was on black ice until my feet were slipping out from under me. I did the best I could and then found a nice stretch of dry road until I ventured up Jack Frost Ln. The entire road was ice. Ugh. I ran a short distance up a dry Tasker Hill before having to turn around. Skipped Jack Frost on the way back. Hit the black ice on Pequawket again then ran home. It wasn't a total loss of a run, but it should have been way faster. 6 miles at 7:35/mi pace. Decent elevation gain, which most of my runs are by default. Haha. I do have some super flat runs that I will be doing more of to work on my speed, though.

7am started an extremely dull 48 hour shift. One transfer to Maine Med and two fire calls, one an actual structure fire, but those are only exciting until the fire is out. I can't complain, though. I had 4 different partners during 48 hours, so I at least had different people to hang out with and talk to. Plus, it gave me the forced rest I needed. I've really been able to pick my running back up quickly, but I'm not 100%. I need to be taking rest days at this point. I've always been one to take rest days anyway; I'm a firm believer in them. But I know for a fact I really need them right now. I feel like I'm starting over from scratch with the soreness, but it's been the extreme low back pain that has been nagging me the most. I don't know where it came from, and I don't know if it's like a which came first, the chicken or the egg type thing. Is this the cause of my original injury or was this caused by overcompensating in every way from walking, standing, sitting, etc while I was injured? All I know is that I've never had back pain like this. But anyway, the resting has been good for me for now.

On a different note, I found some race photos from the Jingle Bell Run 5k, and hahaha, they are pretty bad. Probably some of my worst race photos, but I thought I'd share them on the blog anyway. :) I'm kind of into putting "bad" photos of me on here lately. They're funny and more real, so why not? I don't care anymore. Plus, I've decided to start my midlife crisis celebration now. Haha. I turn 40 in 4 months. I'm kind of half kidding about the midlife crisis thing, but you can expect a few non-Leslie-like things out of me pretty soon, starting with tattoos. Haha. Why the hell not? In reality, 40 is just giving me an excuse. :) Anyway, here are my awesome race photos for the Jingle Bell Run.
Putting on the brakes

Deer in the headlights AND terrible form

One of those ridiculous Facebook quizzes that I couldn't resist taking. Pretty accurate. Haha.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Bald Hill/Kancamagus Loop

Tuesday, I got up, had coffee then bolted out the door for a road run from the house. I had a noon appointment in Portland, so I had to get the run done by 9:30 so that I could hit the road by 10:20. I chose a nice hilly route down Rt 16 to Bald Hill Rd. I ran the length of Bald Hill Rd, which ends farther south on Rt 16, then turned around and ran up to Chase Hill Rd past the Darby Field Inn (where I briefly worked in 2013) and down to the Kancamagus Hwy. This stretch is mostly flat back to my house, so I was able to pick up the pace a little. I felt good, but I didn't feel like I was running that fast. I finished with 10.6 miles at a 7:14/mi pace. I was shocked to see I ran that fast. The downhills have been little help pace-wise with my extremely aching back radiating into my legs, but I guess the flat did the trick. So I was extra happy with this run. Runs like this boost my confidence, for sure.

John's dad dropped him off, and we headed to Portland. My appointment was quick, then we hit the Bier Cellar on Forest Ave to pick up a few nice beers. The place was packed, but I was lucky enough to grab some Bissell Brothers brews before they were gone. Trader Joe's was around the corner, and I realized as soon as I pulled in the lot that I had made the same mistake I did in November by going there the Tuesday before a holiday. Wtf, people?! I spent about 10 minutes driving around looking a space,  then squeezed my little car into barely-a-space and went in. Packed! Just like the last time. Haha. I was able to quickly grab what I needed then stood in line for 10 minutes. Couldn't wait to get out of there. I drove away deciding that I officially hated Christmas.

From there, we went to John's favorite place in Portland, The Maine Mall. I had to honk and give my "What the fuck?" arms in the air motion as soon as we pulled off the 295 exit. 4-way stops are not that difficult! This looked fun. :) The mall was way crowded for my taste, but John wanted to use his own money to buy a game at GameStop then ride the carousel. I hit Starbucks. Then it was Johnny Rockets for John, and we were out of there. I have to admit I was offended not to be approached by the Kiosk People, but maybe they can tell I'm almost 40 and a lost cause in the hair and face dept. Jerks, I want a free sample of your sea salt facial lotion! :)
On the carousel at the Maine Mall
We had to head back so that John would make his ninja class. His dad and I swapped Monday and Tuesday night, so as soon as John left with his dad to go to ninja, I went out to get John's stocking stuffers for Christmas. I guess I could have lived it up and gone out, but I wasn't really motivated. I just came home for the rest of the night.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Goodwin Town Forest/Lead Mine

Sunrise over Silver Lake on my way to work
Monday at work was quiet. We had one uneventful 911, and that was it. Without snow to cause car and skiing accidents, calls are at a minimum. Haha. 
I planned an easy run for Monday night. I was going to do all trail, but I opted instead for 1.8 easy miles on the Goodwin Town Forest Trail, followed by 4 miles on Lead Mine Rd. It was pitch black dark, and even though I had a headlamp the trail was somewhat difficult to follow in places. It's a newer trail, and with the leaf cover, I could just barely make it out. It was fun, though. I love running trails in the dark. I love running in the dark, period. It's so quiet and peaceful, especially when it's snowing. The moon was pretty bright, so I hoped I could turn off the headlamp once I got on Lead Mine, but there were just enough shadows keeping the dirt road dark that I had to keep the headlamp on. I ran out 1.7, turned around and ran back to the car staying on the road. 5.8 miles at 8:55/mi pace. I have to admit that I was feeling a little beat, so I didn't push my pace too much. I needed an easy day. This building back up from an injury sucks. It's so hard not to compare myself now to myself up until September 27th. I have to keep giving myself breaks and easy runs. I hate that. Haha. But at least I'm running. At least I'm running. At least I'm running..... Maybe if I type that enough, I'll be satisfied... Nope. I want to run far and fast again RIGHT NOW. Hahaha. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Heavenly Hill

Sunday was the same ole, same ole. Heavenly Hill Repeats. 4 up and back. First two with the dogs, last two solo. 5 miles. Just over 1900ft of elevation gain. It was slower than the week before, but I was sore, and the legs were tired from the race the day before. And I'm not super motivated when I'm doing these anyway. Just a way to get something in from my backyard. 

It was way too nice of a day to not go out for a walk, so I dragged John out of the house on what was supposed to be a hike up Middle Mt in the Green Hills. He begged and pleaded and then tried to pull a fast one on me in order to stick to the mountain bike trails instead (hardly any uphill). "I want to show you this brook." When I pointed out that I know these trails like the back of my hand  and knew he was just trying to get out of going up the mountain, he admitted defeat. Haha. But I relented and we wandered down the Sidehiller Trail, lollipopping to the Quarry Trail and then down towards the power lines. I'll admit that I was freezing the entire walk. I thought I'd dressed appropriately, but I didn't. So I was glad we cut it short. On our way down to the power lines, John got on a giant boulder and said he was going to run across it and leap to the other side. I looked at the distance and the other side, and, um, NO! I didn't actually tell him not to do it, but I told him it was bad idea and not worth the risk, in my opinion. He decided against it, but then farther down the trail by the brook, we came a cross a small section with a cascade. John took about 10 steps back, then said, "I'm going to take a leap of faith!" He ran, jumped over the brook, hit the other side and then fell backwards completely into the brook. Haha. The look on the poor kids face when he hit the water was pure shock. I was glad we were less than a mile from the car because he was so cold. There was nothing I could do to help him but just keep moving him along. I guess he learned a lesson the hard way. 29 degrees is not the time to take a chance like that. But it was definitely funny after the fact.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Jingle Bell Run 5K

I've been out of race practice for quite awhile. It was hard to go from racing every weekend to almost not at all, but then I got used to it. Now, it was odd being back in that mode. Not drinking the night before...usually. Getting up early on race morning. Making sure John has everything he needs, etc. I must say it felt good. I didn't have high hopes for a good race performance, but I was expecting that. I didn't lose too much endurance, but the speed is GONE. I'm in no kind of 5k shape, which is one of the two reasons I signed up for this, to test myself out and see where I am fitness-wise and, of course, to satisfy my racing addiction. :)

This was a pretty low-key race, but there was decent competition. Amber Ferreira was there, along with a few other fast-looking runners. I really didn't care much about my place; I was more nervous about my time. I didn't even think I could break 20. I picked up my bib then went out for a warm up. It was actually pretty brisk with a strong headwind. I wasn't expecting that in Concord, but there it was. I had planned to run the course for the warm up but took a wrong turn and went the opposite direction. That was fine, though. I felt pretty stiff and slightly sore from the Bear Notch Rd run the day before. I normally wouldn't have done a run like that the day before a race, but after working a 48, I had to do a long run. Plus, this wasn't a high priority race. It was an even better test of my fitness level to be out there on tired legs. The warm up gave me no hope, though. Haha. Completely flat 2 miles at an 8:02/mi pace. Ouch. I've warmed up 40 seconds faster on a hilly course! I was really worried now.

I made it back to the car, put my bib on and some bells on my shoes (that was a thing at this race, and I was game; I would regret it half a mile in). I made sure John was set and then ran over to the start line. I was pretty cold since it was 12 minutes to the start. I talked to Amber for a minute then ran around to keep warm. When it was time to line up, I didn't know where to stand. Pre-injury, I would have lined up directly behind Amber, but, now, I had no idea, so I just lined up towards the front, but about 4 rows back. Excluding Amber, there were 3 other fast-looking women who lined up ahead of me. I figured I would just use them to pull me along in hopes of a time I'd be happy with.
They counted down to the start, and we were off. The eventual winner and Amber pulled out in front, with the other two women just ahead of me. I passed one of them right away. The first mile was quick. It had a slight downhill right into a strong headwind. A guy running next to me cut me off for the SECOND time so that he could draft off the guy in front of me. He literally almost tripped me up and forced me to have to move over. I was pissed. It was ridiculous, but I just set my sights on the woman in front of me who was losing steam quickly. I passed her easily just past the 1-mile mark. 6:03 for the first mile. I was damn happy with that. I was feeling it, though, too. My lungs were burning. I hadn't run like this since Great Bay, but I was actually still in ok shape then. The headwind continued even though we had taken a left turn since the course looped back in that direction pretty quickly. I had assumed this course would be dead flat, but I was wrong. Almost all of the 2nd mile was uphill. Nothing crazy, but I have zero speed on the uphills right now and slowed way down hitting 6:37 for the second mile. That was a bit of a blow, but we were finally out of the tailwind for the third mile brought the pace back down to 6:06/mi pace. I managed to hold 3rd place (10th overall) to finish in 19:24. As I finished, Andy Schachat, the announcer, said, "And the 2015 New Hampshire Female Runner of the Year, Leslie O'Dell!" I was like, "What?!" I started thinking about my race as soon as I finished. Terrible time for me, but it was ok and actually better than I expected. About 50 seconds off my PR, so I've lost quite a bit, but a sub-20 is nothing to scoff at. It's a good start. There's no way I'm going to be fast and competitive at snowshoe racing , though, so I'm pretty disappointed about that. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick it up later on in the season, but I'm not expecting much.

I walked back to the car to see John. He was doing well. I needed to get in a short cool down since I was stiffening up quickly so I ran a mile, then John and I went into the gym for the awards. They were pretty quick with them. I got a trophy and a $15 gift certificate to Runner's Alley. I'll use that when I go to Portsmouth to pick up my Seacoast Series jacket. I guess they'll be ready for pick up next week. As we were just about to drive away, Andy Schachat stopped me to let me know that he had recommended me as New Hampshire's top female runner of the year to Fosters Daily Democrat. That was very cool to hear, and sure enough, the next morning it was in the paper. I'm not really shocked since I had such a great year, but I still think of myself as a nobody runner and find it hard to believe that I was given such an honor. It REALLY means a lot to me, especially right now trying to come back from this injury. It was nice to see other running friends mentioned in there, too, like Denise Sandahl, Tim Horan, Matt Garfield and Kevin St Laurent. They're all just as deserving of a mention. Here's a link to the article, which only seemed to load on the desktop site: 2015 NH Runners of the Year

I was starving at this point, so John and I drove over to the Barley House there in Concord for lunch. The food was so good. I got the Hangover Burger and a Uinita Black Lager, and John got a cheeseburger which he ate all of. That's saying something about the food because he rarely ever eats his whole meal. It was a fun time and a good way to celebrate my first race back. It may have been mediocre, but I was still back!
At the Barley House

John's selfie. Haha

John and Phoenix out cold in the car

This brings me to something I've noticed. You can even see it in my blog posts. The varying emotions that have come about since I started running again. Changing from day-to-day. It was more straightforward and easy to accept when I was out for the two months. It seems like it's constantly up and down since I've been back running. Happy to be running again, then depressed at how slow I am. Happy with where I am at this point to then not being happy with where I am. I wonder if this is normal for people coming back from an injury. It's seriously almost been harder than not being able to run. It's so hard not to compare myself to what I was and feel really awful about where I am now. And it's not like the other aspects of my life are all awesome either. So that doesn't help. I guess I just need to be kinder to myself; that's no easy feat. I'm my biggest critic, but anyway, enough of this crap.

I took John to Fun Spot in Meredith for the first time on our way home. We ended up spending almost all the tokens on some old school zombie game. These old games are hard to beat. John had fun. I wanted to do something for him in return for sitting through my race. It's about to become a weekly thing again, so I really need to make sure he's taken care of, too.
The zombie game we played

From there we went home. I took the dogs for a walk up and down Heavenly Hill and caught the tail end of the sunset. It was a good day. Getting back into a racing routine makes me happy!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bear Notch Road

Wednesday/Thursday- I got up at 4:30am to get in a run on the treadmill. Not as fast as I was doing these runs pre-injury, but not far off either. 4 miles @7:22/mi pace. Same run as always. A progression run with elevation changes every half mile. This method was some of my best training last winter, so I'm hoping to keep it up (with higher miles, of course).

7am started my 48-hour shift, with a 24 at the North Conway base, followed by a 24 at the Ossipee base. The day started off quiet. We ran some errands. I once again played some tunes over the ambulance PA as I drove by John sitting outside of Frontside Grind. I love getting away with that stuff. Haha. Around 1pm, we were sent on a transfer to Maine Med, and then I thought maybe it was going to be a quiet night, but that was to no avail. We were woken up at 2am for a transfer to Dartmouth. That is the worst transfer in the middle of the night with the really long, dark road for 2.5 hours one way. So it was pretty much a night of no sleep. 

Wednesday afternoon coming back from Maine Med. WIDE AWAKE.

Tired as hell in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere on the NH-VT border
We got back around 7:30am, and I immediately bolted for the Ossipee base. The morning was quiet, which gave me time to shower and then lie on the couch for awhile and rest my eyes. I was SO tired. This base is super quiet, so I just listened to the pouring rain outside. Finally, we had two back-to-back 911s and then a late call around 11pm. I never work in Ossipee, so I was learning new roads (that I will eventually run on) and getting a taste of Ossipee 911s. Yep. Definitely some strange ones!! Haha. I had no problem falling back asleep after the last call and barely woke up to hear our Tamworth truck get a tone. That would mean we were up next for any other call in the 6-town area, and I was crossing my fingers and lucked out. Slept like a log until 6:30am.

Friday- Left the Ossipee base a little after 7am and then kind of took my time getting back out for my run. I needed coffee. I finally headed down the Kanc to run Bear Notch Rd. It's closed to motor vehicle traffic this year since it's usually covered in snow, but it's obviously been a snowless season so far, so the road was completely clear. And to add to that, it was sunny and temps were in the 40s!! It was unbeatable. I had 7.3 miles of open paved road all to myself. No cars and no other people. Just how I like it! I was a little nervous about this run, though. If I ran all the way from the Albany gate to the Bartlett gate, I had no choice but to turn around and run all the way back. I didn't know how well I'd do with that distance, but I went for it. This was obviously the fastest I'd ever done this run since I wasn't on snow, but the sad part is that it wasn't that much faster. I still felt pretty good, though, and the focus was really getting some good miles in and working on the climbing. I have to keep the fast running to a minimum still, so my next best thing is just working on elevation. Bear Notch Road does not disappoint in either of these. It ended up being a good run. The distance was ok. The long 4 mile downhill in the middle started to hurt at the end, but overall, I was really happy with this run. 14.5 miles at 7:49/mi pace with 1437ft of elevation gain.

Wide open road all to myself

You can just barely see Bartlett Village. That's where I ran to and then back.

I just think this looks funny.

I only had time to run a few errands before John came home, and then we drove up to Tin Mountain to meet up with the events coordinator to talk about the snowshoe race they are putting on February 27, 2016. Details are minimal right now, but the registration page is up. We're not expecting a huge turnout, but thought we'd give it a go anyway. The Hootenanny at Tin Mountain.

The night was my usual Friday night of doing nothing but hanging at home with John, but that was good since I was running a race the next morning.

Mineral Site/Whitehorse Ledge

Normally, my last run on the Moat Mineral Site trails until Spring would have been a month ago. They are so far back once the Forest Service Rd closes that they rarely ever get packed down. So I am very happy with the lack of snowfall allowing me extra time to get out there. I was pretty sore from Monday night's run, so I took it easy and slow. The run started off under dark, gloomy skies.

I started at the end of the FS Rd on the Mineral Site Trail and began a loop that would bring me past Thompson Falls before making the gradual climb up to White Horse Ledge.

Me at Thompson Falls. The last time I was here was 5 days prior to my injury. I wish I could go back and tell that girl what lurked ahead.


As I climbed I could start to see the sun through the clouds and hoped I would get high enough to be above them. Sure enough, I got above them for some beautiful views. I was actually in between low and high clouds. Super neat. 
Spot above the clouds





As I got to the top of Whitehorse, the sun really came out, and I enjoyed a short-lived run in the sun until I dropped back down below the cloud line. Typical to most of my runs, I changed up my plans right in the middle. I usually have a general idea of what I want to run, but more often than not, I alter those plans. Today was no exception as I went right instead of left at the Red Ridge Link junction and ran down it jumping on the Red Ridge Trail. The trail was very wet, as expected. This entire section of trail from the Attitash Trail to the Forest Service Rd is exceptionally awful due to erosion; this whole section could really use a reroute, for sure. It wasn't a big deal, though, since I know the trail well and was prepared. I was happy to get off of it, though, at the Forest Service Rd. I picked up the Tent Boulder Trail from here which looped me back to the Mineral Site Trail where I ended up in the pouring rain. This brought me back to my car for exactly 9 miles at 10:25/mi pace with 1493ft of elevation gain, and...30 minutes later than expected. Oops. Fortunately, John and his dad were running late, too, so it didn't matter. Phew.

We were only home long enough for me to shower before John, Spot, Phoenix and I went to Pudding Pond for an easy 2-mile walk on the trail in beautiful sunny weather. We just happened to run into John's dad there, since he had just finished up a run, and grabbed Chill from him to take on the walk with us. That's not the first time I've run/walked there ending up with more dogs than when I started. Haha.




The rest of the day was the usual ninja class for John and the evening at home. 
Enjoyed a nice beverage. :)