Haverford Township Day 5K

Annie on the Pennsy Trail

Yesterday morning Matt and I ran a mixed surface road/trail 5K in Havertown, PA.  The 8:30am race kicked off Haverford Township Day, a local festival with a parade, craft vendors, a flea market and live music.

The race began at Haverford Middle School and we wound around a few neighborhoods before spending a mile or so on a long, straight trail.  This was no ordinary trail, though… it was the old right of way for the Newtown Square Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad!  I’m a huge local history buff and I’m not gonna lie… that mile of trail was the primary reason we ran this race.  I love how railroads helped shape the development of communities and how their right of ways still play a role in routing of roads and potential public-use rail trails.  I also grew up in and still live in Newtown Square so this particular rail line is especially interesting to me.

If you love local history as much as I do, you can read more about the Newtown Square Branch and see the original, interactive version of the map above at AbandonedRails.com.
The Newtown Square Branch was closed down in the 1960s, and by the time I was born in the mid-eighties the tracks were gone and all that remained of the line were some old trestles and the right-of-way that we ran on yesterday.  If you love local history as much as I do, you can read more about the Newtown Square Branch and see the original, interactive version of the map above at AbandonedRails.com.

Although I was excited about the rail trail for historical reasons, it wasn’t exactly a fast running surface for a race.  Parts of the trail were covered with a thick layer of fresh, damp wood chips, which felt a bit like running in sand.  I definitely slowed down during the mile on the trail and was very happy to leave the railroad behind and return to paved roads just before the 2nd mile marker.

Back on the pavement I realized that I could see Matt a short distance ahead of me.  I passed him with a little over a half mile to go in the race and then set my sights on a woman who was maybe 50 feet ahead.  I wanted to go by her but was a little worried about using up my energy to pass her only to have her come up from behind and beat me at the finish.  With this in mind I stuck right behind her for the last half mile and then passed her as the finish line came into view.  She responded immediately by picking up her pace big time but by then I was determined to beat her.  We sprinted to the finish and I felt my legs go into a whole new gear (thank you, track workouts!!!!) as I blasted across the finish line in the lead.  Woohoo!

I often feel like I “sprint” to the finish of a 5K but yesterday I was actually sprinting for real.  Runkeeper shows my last 0.1 mile split at 4:58 pace and my final push at 4:20/mile.  Runkeeper isn’t perfectly accurate by any means, but I was definitely going fast!!!  I finished with a time of 23:50 (only 9 seconds off of my all-road 5K best!), good enough for 34th overall and 12th place woman.  Also, I’m totally psyched about my last mile split:  7:34!!!  :-)

Haverford Township 5K Runkeeper Stats

Matt finished right behind me in 23:56.  He told me afterwards that when I passed him during the race he wanted to tell me to go catch that girl ahead of us.  With that in mind I’m glad that I did catch her and that Matt was able to see it happen!

Matt on the Newtown Square Branch right-of-way

Matt on the Newtown Square Branch right-of-way

We ran a short cool down on the rail-trail so that I could take a better, slower look at it and then stuck around for the awards (Matt won a door prize!) before heading home.  All in all it was a fun morning with a great atmosphere and exciting course.  I’d go back again next year, especially if those wood chips get a little more compacted on the rail trail!

Miles since last post:  38.4
Days since last post:  7
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.85
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1310.9

Related Posts:
•  Run A Muck 5K-ish Trail Race (9/20/14)
•  Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13/14)
•  Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14)
•  Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Run A Muck Trail Race

Yesterday afternoon at 4PM Willistown Conservation Trust‘s annual Run A Muck cross country race began.  28 minutes later, I beat Matt and my brother and finally got the chance to see how far my running has progressed over the past year.

Last year’s Run A Muck was my first race ever.  The course was long (3.6 miles), extremely hilly, and just plain HARD.  Last year I took lots of walking breaks, poured water over my head at every water station, and dragged myself across the finish in 35:16 — around a 9:47/mile pace.

This year’s course was still ridiculously hard, with a 100 foot climb in just 2/10s of a mile, gratuitous uphill and downhill repeats, and a wooded section that was basically a staircase (going up, of course).  But that’s where the similarities end. This year I was much better prepared and I’m excited to report that I finished the 3.3 mile course in 28:08!  That’s an average pace of 8:30… more than 1:15 per mile faster than last year!

Run A Muck Runkeeper

In addition to finishing with a much better time, I also ran the whole freakin’ course.  The WHOLE thing!!  This may not seem that impressive – it’s just a 5K, after all – but let me tell you… the last 1.5 miles of this course were brutal.  Towards the end it seemed like EVERYONE was walking.  I thought about walking for a moment (you know, the old “I could probably walk up this hill just as fast as I’m running it” argument) but I kept moving (albeit slowly) and ended up passing a bunch of people in the last mile.

Speaking of passing people… I beat Matt AND my brother in yesterday’s race!!  I pulled even with Matt around the 1 mile marker and was planning on running with him when a woman passed us and I decided to try to run with her instead.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep up with her for long (she was the eventual female winner), but that little spurt of speed took me past Matt for the rest of the race.

I caught up to my brother Billy with around a mile to go.  He was walking up a wickedly steep hill (along with everyone else around him) and at first I didn’t realize it was him.  In past races Billy has been much faster than me – back at Victory in May he beat me by more than 2 minutes – but I guess my long runs and track workouts are paying off.  I trudged past him at a slow jog as we crested the hill and just kept on going.

The last few minutes of this race felt like they lasted forever.  I was exhausted.  Mentally I’d gotten a little boost when I passed Billy, but then two women passed me near the end looking super strong.  I had been sitting in 2nd up to that point and picked up my pace in an effort to keep up with them, but I lagged behind as they powered up the final hill and cruised down to the finish a few seconds ahead of me.

My 28:08 finish was good enough for 17th overall and 4th place woman.  Billy crossed the line in 28:24 (19th) with Matt close behind at 28:51 (21st).  The full results are here.

Matt and I cooled down with a nice hike along the Run A Muck walking course.  All of the land that Run A Muck traversed is privately owned and open just for this event, so it was nice to get a chance to walk around and take some photos of the beautiful (aka EVIL!!) rolling hills and farmland that we’d just run through.

After our hike we joined back up with my family to partake in an outdoor “country supper,” complete with chili and cornbread, beer complements of Victory Brewing Company, and a live band.  All in all, this was a fantastic event that I’ll definitely do again next year.  Maybe in another year I’ll be able to run even faster!  :-)

Miles since last post:  29.7
Days since last post:  6
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.84
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1272.5

 

Related Posts:
•  Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13/14)
•  Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14)
•  Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

TALK 5K Trail Run

OK, so I know I said in my last race recap that my next race would be Run A Muck on September 20th, but I just had to sneak in another local trail race last Saturday.  Run A Muck 2013 was my racing debut last September and with this past weekend’s event on the books I’ve now run a total of 25 races in a year!  (That may count as an official 5K addiction, right?)  I’ll probably do some sort of stats post about all of those races eventually, but for now let’s just say that I’m going to feel a LOT more comfortable at the start line of next week’s Run A Muck than I did last year!  :-)

But back to this weekend’s race recap…  On Saturday Matt and I ran the TALK 5K, a trail race on the beautiful grounds of the Garrett Williamson Foundation in Newtown Square, PA.  We live in Newtown Square so I loved getting the chance to see the Foundation’s trails and woods that are usually closed to the public!  The 5K benefited the TALK Institute which, according to the school’s web site, is the nation’s most progressive center for the education of children with autism and language disorders.

I loved getting a chance to see the Garrett Williamson Foundation's beautiful grounds -- look at that view!

I loved getting a chance to see the Garrett Williamson Foundation’s beautiful grounds — look at that view!

I wanted to run this 5K as a warm up for Run A Muck, so I went into the race with a plan: take it easy during miles 1 and 2 and then push pretty hard for the final mile.  I had no total race time in mind, but as a reference my trail run PR was 25:49 (that’s what it was before Saturday, anyway) so I thought that a time around there would be nice.  Here’s how things ended up playing out:

Mile 1 (8:30 goal, 7:51 actual) – I made a point of starting out really easy and staying very comfortable and relaxed during mile one.  I was surprised that most of this mile was actually on pavement (much easier to run on than trails!) and there was a little downhill as well, so my split ended up a lot faster than planned.  I still count this split as a success because I felt very relaxed the whole time and went into the next mile feeling energized.

Mile 2 (8:20 goal, 9:00 actual) – OK, so I felt great coming off mile 1, but at the start of mile 2 the course turned into the woods and plunged down a treacherous, rocky hill (the kind of downhill that’s not even fun because you’re too busy dodging rocks!)  The rest of the mile was challenging, with more trails and a serious up hill climb.  I missed my goal time, but the numbers don’t reflect the fact that I passed at least THREE men going up one of the hills.  The men had all slowed to a walk and I was able to keeping running right past them and then – miraculously – somehow I accelerated off the top of the hill and totally left them in the dust.  Slow split or not, I’m counting mile 2 as a big victory for that reason alone!

Mile 3 (sub-8 goal, 8:06 actual) – Mile 3 continued with the uphill trend (we really paid for that rocky downhill from mile 1) but I felt strong and was able to accelerate quite a bit.  When the course exited the woods I realized that I could see Matt in the field ahead of me (and I saw him see me as he rounded a corner… watch out, Matt, here I come!!).  I decided that today was the day to try to catch him and with around a quarter mile to go in the race I pulled even with him.  We ran together for a few strides, then I pulled ahead!

Matt, right after he beat me across the finish line!!!

Matt, right after he beat me across the finish line!!!

Final 0.1 Mile – I pounded through the final stretch, dodging the 1 mile walk participants who were just making their way back to the start/finish line.  With mere feet separating me from the line I saw a blur fly past me – MATT!! – and, just like that, Matt caught back up and managed to beat me.  Darn it!!  I’ll have to remember to sprint harder across the finish line next time!!! :-)  We both ended up with the same time (25:40, a new trail PR for me!) which put us at 13th and 14th overall.  I was also 4th place woman and 2nd in my age group.  Cool!

Talk 5K Runkeeper Stats

Overall, the TALK 5K was a great experience.  It was clear that the race organizers, participants and volunteers were happy to be spending their Saturday morning supporting a good cause and the race atmosphere was very positive and upbeat.  At this point I think that it was a good mental warm up for Run A Muck next week… we’ll see how that race goes (and if I finally get to beat Matt?) next weekend!  :-)

Miles since last post:  77.8
Days since last post:  15
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.83
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1242.8

 

Related Posts:
•  Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14)
•  Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Valley Forge Hike with our newest 4-legged house guest, Ganon

Happy Labor Day!  Matt and I have been enjoying a relaxing holiday weekend at home.  We raced The Pickle Run on Thursday, hiked on Friday, went to TWO barbecues on Saturday and did lots of yard work on Sunday.  At the moment we have nothing planned for today… that’s my favorite kind of day off!  :-)

We also hosted a new 4-legged house guest at our home this weekend, my step-brother’s pup, Ganon.  Friday was our first full day with Ganon so we took him hiking at Valley Forge National Park.  Matt and I have done the 5 mile paved Plumb Martin loop at Valley Forge several times but since we had Ganon along we wanted to try some hiking trails instead.  Every time we’ve done the paved loop we’ve seen a sign marking the turnoff for a pedestrian crossing over the (very wide) Schuylkill River.  I’ve always been intrigued by the river crossing so on Friday we decided to give it a try.

We parked at the Visitor’s Center and followed the paved loop north for a short while before turning off the trail towards the Schuylkill River.  From there we followed a road that dead-ended at what had been the old Betzwood Bridge (now just a precarious drop-off to the river!) before turning up a steep path to Highway 422.  The “pedestrian crossing” was a rickety 3 foot wide cantilevered walkway that was tacked onto the side of a major highway bridge several stories about the river.  Eek!  Not quite the peaceful hike I was expecting, but still very exhilarating (or terrifying, depending on your perspective).

Rt 422 Bridge Panorama over the Schuylkill

Despite some wobbly boards and lots of traffic whizzing by, we survived the bridge crossing and thankfully returned to ground level in the quieter, less tourist-y “north side” of Valley Forge.  (Where, for the record, there’s a perfectly good parking lot… We’ll probably drive over the 422 bridge and park there next time!)  I later read that ground has been broken for a brand new pedestrian/bike bridge that will be located at the site of the old Betzwood Bridge.  We’ll try the crossing again in May 2016 when the new bridge is supposed to be completed!

Matt and Ganon crossing the river

Once we arrived on the northern bank of the Schuylkill, we walked along the paved Schuylkill River Trail for a few minutes before transitioning down to the less-traveled gravel River Trail.  The River Trail hugged the river and offered gorgeous views of the water and woods.  We hiked for about 3 miles before turning around to make the trek back, but the trails kept going and we could have extended the hike quite a bit if we had wanted to.  There were a few spots where the path led right to the river which Ganon really liked.  :-)

The north side of Valley Forge was really beautiful and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get away from the big crowds, tours, and reenactments that you’ll find on the more popular south side of the park.  I think Ganon would recommend it too… he had fun and was completely exhausted afterwards!

Sleepy Ganon

Here’s a map of our 6.2 mile hike shown in red on the VFNP North Side trails map.  You can view the official Park map on the NPS web site here: http://www.nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisit/upload/northside-2012.pdf

VFNP River Trail Map

Have a great Labor Day!

Firehouse Pickle in the Streets 5K

On Thursday evening Matt and I finally got to participate in a “Pickle Run,” one of a series of prediction 5Ks hosted by our awesome local race timing organization, Run the Day.  We tried to race in a Pickle Run in February but we were thwarted by the Ice Storm, and then we were signed up for another in March but I goofed and showed up for the start 4 hours late (we ended up running the race anyway and dubbed it the Un-Pickle Run).  Luckily history did not repeat itself a third time on Thursday because — spoiler alert — I ran a HUGE PR!!!

This edition of the Pickle Run was dubbed the Firehouse Pickle in the Streets 5K and it was hosted by the Garden City Fire Company in Wallingford, PA.  Since this was a prediction race, all of the participants guessed their finish times in advance and ran the race without any timing devices.  The “winner” wasn’t the fastest runner, but rather the one that guessed closest to their actual completion time.  I think this is a really fun idea and I’d definitely do a Pickle Run again in the future!

The race itself had about 100 participants and the course wound through the gloriously flat, quiet neighborhoods around the firehouse.  The first mile seemed slightly downhill and I went out FAST, thinking to myself that I better take advantage of that downhill while I could.  (Somehow it never felt like we had any uphills to make up for that downhill, but hey, I’m not complaining!)  I didn’t have RunKeeper telling my my splits so at points I felt a little disoriented in terms of how far along in the race I was and how fast I was going.  I really wanted a PR so I kept pushing myself to keep up my pace (whatever that pace was…).  The last thing I wanted was to feel like I let up at some point in the race only to find out that I missed a PR by a few seconds.

After what felt like way more than 3 miles of really hard running the finish line finally came into sight.  The race clock was turned around backwards so we couldn’t see it, of course… wouldn’t want anyone speeding up or slowing down to get closer to their predicted time!  Without any idea of my time I pounded across the finish feeling like I had left everything out on the course.  I turned around as I crossed the line and saw the clock…

23:41 !!!

YES!!!! A HUGE PR of more than 35 seconds!!!!!  The race felt hard but being totally surprised by that enormous PR made it all worth it.  The (very small) downside was that I had only predicted a 2-second PR time of 24:15 so I was way off my prediction time but hey, who cares, I ran sub-24!!! :-)

Pickle Run "stats" (No timing devices were allowed during the race)

Matt also had a PR time of 23:08, a big improvement from his previous best of 23:47.  He had predicted a finish time of 23:00 so he won a pickle in a beer stein for being so close.  (Did I mention that the Pickle Runs have ridiculous prizes and awards?)  :-)

The Pickle

I’m thrilled to have run a sub-24 5K, but I’m pretty sure that the faster time was not an accident.  I’ve been doing weekly speedwork at a track with a local running group and, quite frankly, I would have been a little disappointed had I not run some sort of PR.  The speed workouts are really challenging but it’s great to see that the time spent on the track is clearly having an effect on my running.  Can’t wait to see how I’ll feel after a few more weeks of training during my next race, Willistown Conservation Trust’s Run-a-Muck on September 20th.  Run-a-Muck was my first race ever last year and I’m hoping to run significantly faster this year!

Miles since last post:  70
Days since last post:  14
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.82
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1165

 

Related Posts:
•  Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K

Woohoo!  First obstacle race COMPLETE!  This morning Matt and I ran the Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K at Radnor Hunt in Malvern, PA.  The event web site proclaims that this is “NOT YOUR ORDINARY 5K RACE!” and they aren’t kidding!  The course included multiple horse jumps, ditches, and three trips through muddy, mucky water jumps.  What fun!

Water Jump #1 - we went straight through that muck and up the bank!

I spent hundreds of hours of my childhood on the grounds of Radnor Hunt.  In the 90s I was a proud member of Radnor Hunt Pony Club and I used to love dashing around and jumping over the horse jumps on foot after finishing up on horseback.  (I’m pretty sure this is why I became a hurdler once I started running track.)  I must admit, however, that clearing the jumps today was harder than I remembered… probably because as a kid I wasn’t also running a 5K in between the obstacles!

Today’s course was challenging, with steep hills and tall grass (and jumps, obviously).  By now I’ve done a few XC races but it still surprises me how much harder it is to run on grass than pavement, especially with soaking wet shoes!  Nevertheless, I ran hard and felt pretty positive throughout the entire race.  I’ve been doing speed workouts on the track for 3 weeks in a row now and I kept finding myself thinking in terms of track intervals like, at the halfway-ish point: “only 3 x 800s left to go… I can do that!” or, at the .25 to go mark, “just one more lap!!”  Despite feeling really tired on some of the steep uphill climbs, I was happily surprised at the finish as I kicked it in with what felt like a whole new level of speed than I am used to having at the end of a race.

I finished with a chip time of 27:49, 26th out of 265 women and 5th in my age group.  Matt finished in 27:05, 91st out of 289 men and 6th in his age group.  We agreed after the race that the hardest obstacle was by far the sequence where we ran into a water jump (deeper than the one shown above), then had to climb out of the water up a ~3 ft. bank before going over an enormous log jump.  That’s the one jump I actually sat on in the process of climbing over… it was big (and wet and muddy from everyone’s waterlogged shoes!)  I definitely gained a new appreciation for horses on today’s XC course.  :-)

Our next race will be the Firehouse Pickle in the Streets on August 28th.  This is a prediction format race where you guess your time in advance and then there’s a beer garden and BBQ afterwards.  Oh, and the course is fast, flat and ON PAVEMENT!  :-) Looking forward to it!

Miles since last post:  72.5
Days since last post:  14
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.82
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1095

 

Related Posts:
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Back in June Matt and I were on a fruity dessert kick. We made apple and blackberry crumble for my mom and stepfather, strawberry-rhubarb crisp for the entire crew at the hunting camp, and, my favorite, peach and blueberry crumble for Matt’s parents. I would have shared these delicious desserts on the blog as soon as we made them, but I’m pretty sure our family members would have killed me if I asked them to sit around waiting for their dessert while I arranged the scoops of ice cream “just so” and took photos for 10 minutes.

So, with the best blogging intentions in mind, last night Matt and I made a batch of peach and blueberry crumble for ourselves just so I could take all the photos I wanted (the things we do for the blog!).  :-) We used fresh peaches that had been ripening on the counter all week (they smelled SO GOOD!!) and this mouth-watering dessert came together in about 30 minutes plus baking time.

Peach and Blueberry Crumble 1

One note about peeling the peaches – in the original recipe Ina Garten suggests immersing the peaches in boiling water and then putting them in cold water to make the skins easier to peel off. We did this the first time we made this recipe (while Matt’s parents looked on) and the boiling water “trick” didn’t seem to have any effect on our peach skins at all (it just made a mess of my kitchen!). So, this time Matt just peeled the peaches normally and the recipe worked out just fine.

1133 Peach Crumble

Peach and Blueberry Crumble (from Ina Garten / The Food Network)

Filling Ingredients:
6 to 8 Ripe Peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons Lemon Zest
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Blueberries

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 lb. (1 stick) Cold Unsalted Butter, diced

Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.   Combine the peaches, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and flour in a large bowl and mix gently until the dry ingredients are completely dissolved. Fold in the blueberries. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then spoon into ramekins. (We used 2 ramekins and spooned the rest into a larger baking dish.)

Combine the topping ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for 30-90 seconds until the topping is crumbly. If desired, use your fingers to press the mixture to your preferred level of crumbly-ness (I liked the even texture that came straight out of my mixer.) Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filled ramekins.

Place the ramekins on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving with a big scoop of ice cream on top. Enjoy!