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!

Riddlewood 5K and a familiar face in a random meme!

This morning I ran the Riddlewood Swim Club 5K and I was the first woman to cross the finish line!  But first, check out this totally random picture that I saw while scrolling through my Facebook feed this afternoon…

Bailey meme

That’s my BAILEY!!!  Somebody turned one of her flying dockdogs photos into an internet meme that’s being shared around Facebook.  Cool!  I don’t know who added the words but it definitely made me smile to see the determined, non-nonsense look on her little brown face as she flies through the air.  If you’re interested, you can view (and share) the original Facebook post here.

But back to running… I signed up last minute for a little 5K race this morning and it went really well!  The race was sponsored by the Riddlewood Swim Club and the course wound around the extremely hilly “Riddlewood” neighborhood of Media, PA.  I’m a big fan of local history so I have to share a quick bit of trivia behind the Riddlewood name:

“The name [Riddlewood] comes from famous racehorse owner Samuel D. Riddle, who owned the property before it was developed in the 1950s. The names of the streets in Riddlewood are named after Sam Riddle’s horses as follows: Man o’ War, War Admiral, War Trophy, Rampart East, Rampart West, Anamosa, and Soldier Song.”  (Source: Wikipedia)

Man o’ War was, according to Wikipedia, one of the greatest Thoroughbred race horses of all time.  He sired Triple Crown Winner War Admiral and was the grandfather (grandhorse?) to Seabiscuit.  Man o’ War’s owner, Sam Riddle died in 1951 and left his estate to be turned into what is now Riddle Memorial Hospital (and also Riddlewood!).  As another local twist, it was Sam’s relatives the Jeffords family that owned the estate that is now my favorite running spot, Ridley Creek State Park.

OK… history lesson over!

Riddlewood Runkeeper Stats

The 5K itself was tiny, with only around 30 participants.  We started by running straight up a steep hill and kept climbing for what felt like the entire first mile.  Around the halfway point the course took us along an equally steep downhill before looping by the swim club and going right back up the huge hill again.  Talk about a good hill workout!  :-)

I felt like I managed all of these hills pretty well and during the second lap’s climb I was actually able to pass two guys who had been in front of me for the whole race.  I pulled away from them and set my sights on a younger guy that was about 200 feet ahead of me.  I knew that the finish was going to be a steep downhill and I really thought I could catch this guy, but he picked up his pace significantly during the last 1/4 mile or so and I couldn’t quite get him.  As it was, I ended up finishing the race with a 7:53 third mile split (my fastest last mile ever!) and clocked a ridiculous 5:10 split on my final 0.1 mile.  I was running into the finish so fast that I thought I might fall over!

Struggling to keep my balance down the hill into the finish.

Struggling to keep my balance down the hill into the finish.

In addition to running my best third mile split, today also marks the first time that I’ve ever raced purely negative splits!  Of course, the fact that the whole first mile was uphill and the third mile was primarily flat or downhill certainly helped this happen, but I’m still pretty psyched!  Oh, and also, I was the first place woman!  Woohoo!  :-)

Annie at Riddlewood

My next race will be the Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K on August 17th.  That is an XC race with horse jumps so it should be VERY interesting!!

Miles since last post:  38.7
Days since last post:  7
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.80
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1022.5

 

Related Posts:
•  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 (9/22/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Our Snorting House Guest, 22 Laps on a Track, and other July Events

Hello blog world!  As July winds down I wanted to share some of the things we’ve been up to this month.  So, without further ado, here I go!

1.  We have a tiny house guest who snorts occasionally. (OK, a lot.)

Meet Spencer.  This feisty little pug belongs to Matt’s sister and her husband and he’s staying with us for a few days.  He has quite a personality and is constantly snorting and sniffing his way around the house and yard.  Quite a difference from the big GSPs and labs that I am used to!  There are more photos of this little character at the end of the post if you haven’t gotten your fill of pug pictures yet.

2. I chose to run 22 laps around a track yesterday.

Yup, that’s 5.5 miles in case you were counting.  Yesterday I must have gone crazy because I voluntarily joined a running club for their weekly speedwork at a local track.  This was my first time running on a track since 2007 and boy, was it different than running a hurdle workout!  The goal was to run the intervals at 5K pace and I actually did that surprisingly well, but apparently an 8 minute 5K pace is pretty slow because even the slowest of the women lapped me at least once during the workout.  But, I guess that’s why I’m trying speedwork… to get faster!!! :-)  I’m not sure yet but I think I might just go back next week.

Tuesday night speedwork

3. On Saturday we hosted a party for 50 people..!

Did I mention that Matt and I have been crazy busy with housework and yard work since May?  That’s because we knew we were hosting a huge fiesta-themed bridal shower for our awesome soon-to-be sister-in-law and we wanted to get everything looking good.  “Looking good” included a complete overhaul of our front walk landscaping, tons of gardening, repainting and steam cleaning the room that used to be Bailey’s hangout, and a multitude of other self-imposed tasks around the house.  It all came together perfectly on Saturday when 50+ people arrived for the shower.  (That’s a lot of people, by the way.)  The party was a blast but I’m also kind of excited that it’s over… now I might actually find some time after work to sit down and relax! (Or, you know, blog!)

4. Pup of the Month, Miss July edition:

Way back in November I learned that Bailey was chosen to be featured in Purebread Deli‘s 2014 Calendar.  Purebread is a local bakery/cafe that has a dog theme and as part of winning the contest we got a free calender full of dog photos and coupons.  Bailey was named “Miss July” so her photo has been gracing the wall of my cubicle at work all month.  It’s hard to believe that she has been gone exactly 6 months today.  Matt and I still miss her a lot but we are at least fortunate to get to spend time with the other dogs in our family like Spencer, Bella and Hershey.
(The calendar photo was taken at a DockDogs event in 2012 – you can read about it in this post if you’re interested.)


 

And now, as promised, here are more pictures of Spencer.  He’s pretty cute, right?  :-)  Have a great night!