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)

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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!

In Loving Memory of Bailey, our Little GSP

Matt and I lost our best friend last night. Our beautiful, energetic, vibrant, happy pup Bailey passed away very suddenly and we are heartbroken.

We first met Bailey when she was just a tiny 4 week old puppy. When we brought Bailey home at 7 weeks we quickly learned that in addition to being cute as a button she seemed possessed with never-ending energy. She kept us very busy that first year… I don’t think she ever let us sleep in past 8AM!

As Bailey matured we found ourselves adapting our lifestyle around her boundless energy and intelligence. We hiked with Bailey on a regular basis, did agility and nosework training with her, and bought a house with a big yard for her to enjoy.

In 2009 Bailey started competing in DockDogs. This opened up a whole new world for us – exciting new places, people, and experiences – and also gave us the chance to develop an even closer bond with our dog. We traveled thousands of miles and spent countless weekends with Bailey by our sides and I know that she loved every minute of it.

We told Bailey that we loved her every day and we meant it. The night before she died I remember going into the bedroom to get ready for bed and finding Matt kneeling down on the floor, snuggling Bailey’s soft ears with his face and whispering good night to her. We had no idea that that would be her last night with us but it comforts me to know that she clearly knew she was deeply loved by us.

We don’t know exactly what happened to Bailey last night. She was out in the yard before dinner as is her usual routine. She generally comes to the door when she is done hunting/playing/patrolling the yard but she hadn’t shown up yet so I started calling her. She didn’t come when called (which is also quite usual if she’s still absorbed in her squirrel-stalking!) but after calling for her a few times I got worried and turned on the back lights. Then I saw her, collapsed in the middle of the yard, a dark figure in the snow with the lights reflecting off of her jacket. I ran out in the yard and carried her limp form inside. We rushed her to the vet but she was gone.

Bailey lived an action-packed life and threw herself wholeheartedly in everything she did with 110% enthusiasm. She was only six years old and she brought joy to Matt and me for every single minute of her time with us. We loved her unconditionally and we miss her terribly.

In loving memory of Bailey
May 11, 2007 – January 30, 2014

Snow Day!

It snowed again today!!  The snow started falling at 7:30AM and didn’t stop until another 3-4 inches were heaped atop the snow that we got on Sunday.  Yay snow!  Matt took a “snow day” (aka spent some quality time with his early Christmas present, an Xbox One) and I went into work for a few hours and enjoyed a productive morning in the nearly empty office.  Once the roads were plowed I came home to play with Bailey in the snow.  Did I mentioned that I LOVE snow??!!

Dashing through the snow!

Bailey loves the snow, too.  Here are some photos from this afternoon… see the one where I totally whacked her in the head with a giant snowball?  Oops!!

After playing with Bailey I shoveled the whole driveway… talk about a work out!  Now I just have to find the strength to get up off of this comfy couch and go run my daily mile(s) for the Runner’s World Holiday Streak.  Today will be day 163 of my streak, woohoo!

Did you have a snow day today?  How did you spend your day?

Birthday Walk at Ridley Creek

Last Friday was my birthday, woohoo!  Because we were entered to run in the Trinity 5K at 9AM Saturday morning we kept Friday’s celebrating pretty low key.  We got breakfast at Manhattan Bagel (my favorite) and worked a full day while hydrating like crazy for the race.  After work we took a nice walk with Bailey at Ridley Creek State Park before eating a pasta dinner and getting a good night’s sleep.  Here’s a photo of my Ridley Creek walking buddies… the perfect birthday companions!  🙂

380 Matt and Bailey

The weather was gorgeous during our walk.  Since we weren’t planning on doing any running in the park I brought my camera along to capture the beautiful autumn colors and my favorite photo subject, Bailey.  Here are a few of the photos I took:

Bailey hasn’t been to Ridley Creek State Park since I hurt my foot in late September.  She was so happy to be out and about again!  She was sporting her new ‘walkeez’ fleece harness and she paused for lots of photo ops.  She’s such a good dog!

Bailey

Hiking in the park with Matt and Bailey was the perfect way to spend my birthday.  What’s your idea of the perfect birthday afternoon?

Bailey

Bailey on black

It’s been a while since I posted about Bailey so I thought a nice picture-filled update would be fun! Here are some photos that I took earlier this week.  I love this dog!

Bailey the Little GSP

The above photo is classic Bailey.  She looks very serious because I’m holding her frisbee in my hand and trying to get her to make a nice expression for the camera.  She’s like “come on, just throw it already!”  This is what happened when I finally threw the frisbee…

Open WIDE!

The weather is too cold for dock diving now but Bailey is keeping herself busy patrolling the yard for squirrels, lounging in the afternoon sun, and burrowing as deep as possible into her doggie sleeping bag when it’s time for bed.  Bailey has also been taking K9 Nosework classes for several months.  Last night she finally graduated from searching for treats to hunting for “birch” odor, woohoo!  I’m biased, of course, but I think she has a very good nose, don’t you?  🙂

Baileys' nose

As I write this Bailey is curled up between Matt and me on the couch.  She is not normally allowed on the furniture but when it gets cold out we let her snuggle with us.  If we snuggle too much she gets hot and hops off the couch to cool off though…. which just happened.  Now she’s headed up to bed.  Good night, Bailey!

Happy Bailey

A Word A Week Challenge: Silhouette

I don’t usually participate in the “A Word A Week Challenge” but this week’s photo challenge topic was too good to pass up, especially since I just uploaded the perfect photo today!  This week’s challenge is Silhouette:

Bailey at Promised Land State Park

That’s Bailey gazing out over the “upper lake” at Promised Land State Park in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.  I was going through these photos today because I am planning on doing a post on Promised Land very soon.  Stay tuned for more photos, info and a trail map!

The A Word A Week Challenge is run by Sue over at A Word in Your Ear.  Thanks for giving me an excuse to post this photo of Bailey’s silhouette, Sue!  🙂