Note to self: Less Beer (maybe)

Dan and I were planning for a relaxing Friday night, watching an outdoor movie at the Art Museum. However, at 745, the sky opened up and it started pouring. The idea of watching an old movie for $7 inside the Art Museum seemed lame. So we scrapped that plan, and headed to Raleigh Brewing Co.
I’ll do a quick beer review, while I’m at it. Dan and I got the Big Squeeze which is a wheat beer fermented with orange juice in the brewing process. Like a sophisticated Blue Moon. They did a similar beer last year, but I think it was an American Pale Ale, so it had more punch. I liked the Big Squeeze. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10 for my taste. For a drinkable summer beer, it was great. I think I’ll have to try it after a group run there. It was really well executed.
Mainly, I forgot how much wheat beers affect me the day after. I had two beers, and woke up feeling like I had 7. Note to self, next time.
I was intending to start my long run ‘regimen’ Sat morning. And make it a habit to run, starting 7-9am.

That didn’t happen.

After a failed attempt to get started, I managed to get my butt out of bed Sunday morning. With dreams of a Bloody Mary to get me through a long run, I got up.
Sunday morning seemed like an omen for a bad run. I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed or checking the time, as the sun shone through the blinds in our bedroom. I finally rolled out of bed at 730, after Dan had started the coffee.
I finally got out the door at 9, and didn’t feel too great (GI).
As soon as I got downstairs, I had to pee. I took off running anyway. I made it about a quarter mile to a wooded creek area, squatted under a bridge, and hoped no one came around the bend.

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Then, finally, I was really off. And hoping I wouldn’t have to drop a deuce on the run too (which would be a first).
I kept my pace in the 10:50s, and let me legs guide my pace. Some uphills felt harder than others. On a few uphills, I felt peppy and dropped my pace a little. I was even able to drop my final mile to a 9:48. Another ten miles done. And I walked almost a mile back to our apt as a cool down.
It was hard. It was hot, but I felt good after it was done. I earned my blood Mary today. When I finished, I felt like I had rolled in sand. I am such a heavy sweater, and a very salty sweater.
A couple good things about this run- I didn’t chafe. At all. That’s unusual for me for a hot long run. The overdose of Ointment A&D must have worked. I also didn’t get any blisters, which is unheard of on long, hot, hilly runs. I had a little something left at the end. And I love long runs like today. They boost my confidence. I also didn’t experience any abdominal pain, which is always fabulous.
This week, in general, was a good workout week.
17 miles
(3 miles of 8x200s, 4 miles easy, 10 miles long)
2 cross-training days
(500ft gain in 2 miles on the bike Wednesday and 3.33 miles Saturday)
My goal for this summer is to add 1-2 more runs per week, while maintaining cross-training.

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one of the weirdest beers I’ve tried…

This may not be saying a lot, but I tried something new this weekend. Dan and Dave and I went out Chubbys, then a fat little bird suggested we go to Orange Leaf for froyo. And you can’t say no once that little bird sits on your shoulder. That heavy bird will just sit there, barely whispering between gasps for air “You love frozen yogurt… “It’s healthy because it has yogurt in the title… “I like it when your butt gets bigger…” Stupid bird.

Right. My point.

Orange Leaf is next to Bottle Revolution, which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while.

I went in search of a smokey stout for my chili. I saw a Ballast Point limited edition beer, with a pretty white label, and what looked to be an octopus.

I like Ballast Point’s stuff. It’s an-indian styled stout. Perfect! Indian-style means hoppy.

And I walked my butt up to the register. The check-out employee (tatted hipster type girl) wanted to tell me all about the beer…

tatted beer girl: “Oh my god. Have you tried this before?”
me: “no… but I like their stuff”
tatted beer girl: “Well, do you like curry?”
me: (that’s an unrelated question, but I’m game) “yeah, I like curry. It’s good”
tbg: “oh. well, then you’ll love this beer! (I begin wondering WTF?) It’s got curry, and lime, and coconut (Dan and Dave began shaking their heads in revulsion in a nearby aisle). It’s one of my favorites… I just love showing up with it, and people are like what is that?

I don’t know why, but I don’t want people to think I’m square or uninteresting, or like normal, or something, so whenever something like this happens, I do exactly what I did to this girl–

me: “Oh, that’s great! sooooo interesting. Yeah, I definitely want it now!”

So I spent $11 on a big bottle of this beer. Not because I’m stupid, but because I wanted her to think I was adventurous, not just some typical girly girl who walks in giggling and twirling my hair. Which I guess is stupid. But, if I didn’t do stuff like this, I’d have like 10% of my life… 😉

That'll teach me not to read labels before purchasing...

That’ll teach me not to read labels before purchasing…

On Sunday, when Dan and I had basically finished all the other beer (there were only a couple bottles), he suggested we pop it open.

It's blurry because he's shaking his head in disbelief that I convinced him to try it

It’s blurry because he’s shaking his head in disbelief that I convinced him to try it

Indra Kunindra (Ballast Point, San Diego)

errrgh! Mean octopus= cool beer... right?

errrgh! Mean octopus= cool beer… right?

Okay, so my review–

It is a well-executed beer. It has great complexity. When you lift the beer to your nose, the cayenne and cumin smell is overwhelming. Like you brace yourself for how crazy it is about to get, as you take a sip.
But, then, it’s not that bad. You can taste the kick of curry, and cayenne, with a limey-coconut finish. But Ballast Point knows how to do a stout heavy enough to handle all those flavors.

That being said, I couldn’t finish my pint glass full. Dan and I agreed we would have split a normal sized bottle, and enjoyed it. But more than a 1/2 glass is just too much at one time. Again, a good beer. And one to add to your “adventure beer” list, but I wouldn’t suggest ordering it while you are out. A taste is probably enough of it.

Besides every relationship needs a little adventure right?

Okay, fine. I hated it. Why do I want you guys to think I liked it? I barely got through like 10 teeny sips. Every time I brought it up to my mouth, the smell overwhelmed my senses… Just not for me. Or most people. Though I stand behind Ballast Point, and think they did a good job on a curry beer; it’s just who the heck wants a curry-inspired beer?!

Anyway, we plan to bring a 22oz to Christmas festivities in Ohio, to make his brother, sister, sister’s fiance all do a shot glass amount- part of their Christmas Decathalon… There’s not a lot to do in Ohio apparently.

 

silly spontaneous beer date

Saturday night, Dan and I decided to make a night of it. Just for us, and actually go do “something”

So, I curled my hair (shocker!), and got to his place around 5pm. We went to Neomonde for dinner. After munching on a delicious kale salad (and two pieces of baklava), we headed over to Raleigh Brewing Company, to lay low until World War Z started at 7pm.

Raleigh Brewing Company (now we just call it “RBC”) is a great local hang-out. It’s dog-friendly, has great craft beers for $4, and has become one of my favorite spots over the past few weeks. The first time we went, I had the “House of Clay” (Rye IPA), and loved it so much, I had a few more. I also tasted most of the other beers at our table, and they were all delicious.

However, this time; it was busy (fresh off a brewery tour, and all the money was going to a Leukemia Research fund, so a lot of families were hanging around). We had to go outside. We tried to stick out the 90-degree weather; as I began glistening 🙂 Also, I got the City of Blokes, and was satisfied with it.

To make Dan happy, I suggested we go to Mission Valley, which is one of the oldest movie theatres in the area, and pretty run-down, but I was more interested in the “it’s close to RBC”… As we were sitting there, we decided that was stupid, and we’d rather drive to the suburbs than go to a “bad” movie theatre. So we headed to North Hills for a 6:50 showing of World War Z.

It was 6:05pm. We sat around for a few minutes. I got some buncha crunch. It was then 6:15pm. So we decided we had time for a beer at Fox and the Hound. We ordered, and drank fast (I had a Bell’s Two-Hearted and Dan had a Green Man IPA). We giggled, and got back to the theatre by 6:48pm. Perfect! I mean, there’s usually previews, and no one wants to watch those…

We walked into the theatre, and the only seats were in the front row.

cool

We sat down about a foot in front of the screen; basically below the screen, with a straight shot up. So we were staring at an odd angle. And giggling the whole time. Dan decided to go talk to the manager about a rain check. Seriously, I couldn’t read the words coming across the screen quickly enough because I had to move my head and scan from one side of the room to the other. It was crazy.

So, instead of sitting there, we wandered across the street to World of Beer. A lot of my running buddies will meet there on occasion for a run/beer. I expected 100s of beers on tap.

There were maybe 20 on tap. And nothing your typical restaurant or bar wouldn’t have. Actually, I remember a lot of Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Not an insult, but I could get that anywhere. World of Beer implies various beers, on tap. If I wanted to drink a bottle of some worldly beer… Anyway! After glancing through their bottle list, I decided I was going Californian for the night. And began the night with a Ballast Point Big Eye IPA. It was very smooth. Hoppy, citrusy, with a foam. It absolutely hit the spot. It’s not my first time with Ballast Point, and the Sculpin is one of my favorite IPAs. I thought the Big Eye was a little milder than the Sculpin, but that might be a failing memory… I love their Sextant Oatmeal Stout (I’m not sure where they get the name, but if it’s a good beer; they don’t really have to justify their naming…) All-around, the Big Eye IPA is a great pick any time of the year. Of course, I’m partial to San Diego breweries…

So back to World of Beer (Raleigh style)… We laughed about stupid stuff, and we talked about serious items too. It came time for another beer, and I didn’t know what to get; but decided to go with a Lost Coast. I told Dan to decide while I hit the bathroom, and came back to a surprise beer.

It was fruity. And very light, and crisp. Maybe even a little “fluffy” or “fizzy”. It was the Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. It was very good. It was definitely fruity. Like, reminded me of a Blue Moon, but higher taste complexity (not too much higher though…) If you want to look like a beer snob, but want to stick with something fruity (as opposed to hoppy), the Lost Colony Tangerine Wheat Beer (and at 5.0%, it’s more mild). I thought it was perfect for a hot summer night in July. A mid-March beer? Nope. Actually, I’d up that to a hell no. But, it was July, so I loved it; and would order it again 🙂

So, before we knew it, it was 9:30pm. I was good and tipsy. And realizing this was going to be an interesting movie-going experience. And warned Dan I may be fast asleep by 11pm (so just after the opening credits). We walked back to the move theatre, and got great seats this time- 30 minutes before the movie started. And the movie itself (World War Z) was pretty good.

Thankfully, we didn’t get kicked out (I was pretty obnoxious, telling Dan what I would do, how I wouldn’t die, etc.)

And then, we went home and we went to bed. It was a good end to a 4-day weekend.

On a running note, I have gotten up to about 2.5 miles per week (woo!), and hope to continue to upward trend, while maintaining some semblance of speed 🙂

speedy Wed and kilt run!

Wednesday, a few of us met up for a run and then some beers… It’s a tradition with me. It may make me sound like an alcoholic, but I just kind of put a hard run and good beer hand in hand.

Wednesday went like this–

Sarah (who is slightly slower than me, so a good running buddy) bailed; she couldn’t get out of work on time.

So, I was left with “the boys” who all run easy 8’s. I figured I’d count it as a tempo run, and try to “hold on” with them as long as I could. Seeing as I was still a little tight from Sunday’s run, I thought I’d slow them down a lot.

Well, I did a good job- 8:23 for the first mile, 8:22 for the second mile, and 8:13 for the third. Then, I kind of lost it. I hit the last steady uphill, and tried with all my energy to “charge” it (at probably a 9:30 pace). My last mile was 9:04, and the last half mile was about a 9:02 pace. Still, not too bad all-around.

We went around the corner to Trophy; had a beer, and enjoyed ourselves.

Tomorrow is a kilted 8K for St Paddys in downtown Raleigh. It will be lots of fun, and they are expecting about ~2000 kilted runners for the race (a record if that happens). Bruce and Dan agreed they’d just hang back with me and “take it slow”… which means I may PR 🙂 (Because their “slow” is my “OMFG?! I can’t breathe! And a hill? Is this course getting longer?” pace)

I’ll post pics of the race. I know a few people running, so am sure to get a couple shots of the kilted beer-loving runner and my kilted beer-loving runner friends 🙂

Some inspiration for any St Patricks Day races….

keep calm and wear a kilt

Tapering Sniffles

So I am tapering down for the marathon.

Oh, my birthday was last Thursday. WIN! …Except that I was sick.

I went for a  run, and felt great so I stretched it to a 7.25. Yes, I was supposed to be tapering, but I pleaded with the running gods that it would be my last long weeknight run so I was allowed to do 7+ miles. I guess the running gods were not happy. Basically, the sickness began about 10 minutes after I got home from the run. A sore throat. So I drank OJ (I’d been oddly craving it Sunday after Tuna. Is that my body’s way of telling me I’m gonna get sick), and tons of water and hoped it’d get better with some sleep.

It didn’t.

I woke up Thursday with an even scratchier throat, and it was my birthday. I was supposed to go to work. But I had already been feeling iffy about going to work on my birthday. I mean, what am I, a grown up or something? 🙂 So I typed an email to my coworkers, and got breakfast. Then went back to sleep til 1.

I planned to meet friends with a few beers at Tyler’s in Raleigh. And it was a few friends from this group, a few friends from that group; basically, they were there for me. So I couldn’t cancel. But, I could take a nap, oversleep, get a phone call from my GBF (gay best friend), and head out, leaving my ID in my apartment, drive for 10 minutes before realizing, have to turn around, and be 20 minutes late. Whatevs. It’s my birthday, I do what I want. 😉

Thursday was fun. But I felt obligated to drink. I mean, I dragged my friends out on a weeknight. To a bar. Sarah was preparing for the Tough Mudder (look it up- it’s too crazy for me to do… Ever. <— remind me of this if I ever post about doing one). And Allison basically did the same thing as me- oversleep. And hey, it wasn’t her party. So she stayed in bed (bravo girl! I would have been there too!). And my friend, Carolyn had been working for 12 hours, and managed to walk over from work for a drink before going home to work for a few more hours (She works at a law firm and they were scheduled to go to court Monday). Megan and Dave were there. And Dan and Dave. I know! Two Daves! It gets confusing!

It was fun though. My drinks were covered by various people. And I had one of these: SKA Autumnal Mole Stout It’s spicy, with cocoa nibs, so spicy, but drinks really smooth. I thought the spice would clear me up, and the smoothness would coat my throat. Oh, and in bigger news- Dan and Dave brought me a present. In true Tuna teammate fashion, they got me a Dunkin Donuts gift card, and Cadbury Screme Eggs (and you thought they were only around at Easter… Not anymore! I seriously scour stores looking for these in April. I have spent 30 minutes in Target trying to find them. And had told Dave about my obsession). They’re the best. Really, just great guys. Any ladies interested, totally let me know. They’re cute. I should probably sell them as individuals, shouldn’t I? haha, ooooh well.

I slept most of the day Friday. And family dinner, where I was forced to eat birthday cake. Yes, I know how lame that sounds. I felt forced to eat it. I generally LOVE birthday cake, and buy it year-round. But, my cold stole my appetite. And then Saturday was a long run day. 16 miles. Ugh.

I woke up at 530, per usual. And just kept saying ‘If I vom, I’m going back to bed; Allie will understand’ But I felt okay- like 70%, so I was off to run the muddy hills of Umstead. I knew I wouldn’t make it 16 miles; maybe 12 miles of running? Maybe 10, maybe some walking. It was worse than I thought. After 5 miles at a decent pace (10:15s), I felt queasy, and slowed to a walk. And then started the hacking. Allison and Matthew ran ahead, and I swear they probably could hear me for miles, that’s how loud the coughing was. I decided it was best to turn around, and struggle to get 10 miles in. I ran/walked the rest of the way back to my car.

Then went home, showered, and slept some more. And finally, Sunday, I started feeling better.

So, tapering. Apparently a lot of people get sick. Especially if they do a no-sleep, run-in-the-cold approach. Like I did with Tuna200. So the goal isn’t to set any records, or even boost my confidence during this taper period. In the next ten days, my goal is to get better. And be 100% by race day.

Side note- I ran 4.6 miles at a 9:00 pace with Dave yesterday. And felt better this morning, so 3 miles today; then resting until Saturday’s long run (11 miles).

MARATHON in 11 FREAKING DAYS!

Flying Dog Citra Imperial IPA

I like beers that pack a delicious punch.

After a hard and hilly tempo (with “the boys” + Jarod, so three faster-than-me boys, and Allison, I thought a beer was well deserved. As we walked into Ridgewood Wine & Beer, and Dan & Dave say they’re just gonna probably go with something easier… As if the run was hard, therefore a hard beer is a bad idea, I thought “oh boy!” And announced “I want a good IPA, maybe even a double”… And the boys weren’t sure what to make of that. And oh, that I did. I almost switched to the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA, because I love Stone and basically they piss excellence. However, as the guy was pouring, I saw Stone’s 16th, and asked him about it. He said, “no you want the Citra”… I was like “Is the Stone 16th actually bad? I love everything Stone” and he told me they were almost done with the Citra.

Then he said the thing I love when bartenders say to me. I mean, it really makes me laugh… “That’s a lot stronger than it tastes, so go easy”… It’s like tempting my irish liver to go hard and see what happens. But, I was with new friends. And well Jarod (trained with him through Nashville 2.0; I’m pretty sure I saw him out that night. But can’t fully recall…)

So, all of the boys get the Octoberfest. I ask them which one it is- Foothills or Aviator? They have no clue. Wow, this is new for me- knowing more about beer than the guys 🙂 We hung out and drank. And apparently the boys tapped the Octoberfest keg and it was closing, so we got an extra glass. Go us. Smelly and sweaty and red-faced and all.

So my review:

HEAVEN IN A GLASS!

I love Flying Dog. One of my top 3 favorite beers is their Raging Bitch. I mean all of their names are catchy- Doggie Style, Horn Dog, In-Heat Wheat… haha they even have a Oyster Stout named Pearl Necklace… When you have names like that you really have to back it up with flavor. So, the Citra- it’s limited (for a professional review http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/68/82934). Even though it’s not labeled as a “Double IPA”, it should be. It’s 10%. It is also delicious. It was light and citrusy, You could taste the hops, but it really had a refreshing citrus aftertaste. Smooth to go down. And probably the best double I’ve had in a long time. You can tell it’s an imperial/ california style ale. Something about that style I love. Reminds me of the Green Flash Imperial IPA, but it’s somehow a lighter (citrusy-er) flavor, but packs a bigger “knock you on your ass” kind of punch… Image was stolen from Flying Dog’s site. [No, I didn’t take a picture… I was too giddy to try the damn beer!]

So, after a delicious beer. And a fun (And OMFG HILLY! WAIT- I MADE THAT COURSE?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME kind of hilly) tempo run, I am kind of on a running+beer high.

AND LOVING IT.

THE END.

Good night Raleigh.