Quick Post-Vacation Check-In

Happy Monday, friends! I didn’t mean to disappear for an entire week, but hey, I was on vacation, and I really took that to heart! I didn’t read any blog posts, I didn’t write any blog posts, and didn’t even really think about the blog that much at all. It was glorious!

Ben and I sent half the week at home and half the week in New Jersey visiting friends. We got a taste of spring weather, did lots of house work, slept, ate, and just tried to soak up some alone time before Baby Girl makes her arrival in approximately 8 weeks. Crazy! I hope you all had a great week, and I’ll try to get back to regular posting soon.

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My handsome husband at Triumph Brewing Co in Princeton

Friday Free-For-All – 07/07/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

My sunburn is finally fading a bit. I felt SO FOOLISH walking around with big, white raccoon eyes and a red nose all week. I’ve been trying to keep everything well moisturized, but it’s only a matter of time before I start to peel. While I weirdly love peeling off dead skin, it looks gross. I have started researching all natural daily moisturizers that contain SPF so I can avoid this situation in the future…

My in-laws are taking an overnight trip to celebrate their anniversary, meaning I will be home all alone with the animals tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever actually spent a night by myself at the house, so it will be weird. Thankfully I have lots of kitties and doggos to keep me company.

Someone found this blog with the search term “beer in bed,” and it tickled the hell out of me. I rarely get to see the specific search terms that lead people to my little corner of the internet, but this one made me so happy!

What’s the weirdest search term that’s ever brought someone to your blog?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 07/24/15

FFFA (1)

Remember those ginger candies I told you about last week? Unfortunately, they are not quite what I was hoping for. They taste ok, but they don’t have that super awesome spicy-ness that I was looking for. I’ll eat them all so as not to waste money, but the search continues for a direct source. I’m going to try some local shops to see what I can find.

I caved and had a beer on Monday. And it was DELICIOUS. I know, I know, I said I was going off the sauce. But I’ve decided that even though my intention will be to drink as little alcohol as humanly possible this summer, there will be some special occasions that I don’t want to miss out on. Ben and I went to the Swtichback Taproom for the first time. It’s one of our favorite beers, and the brewery/tasting room is a 10 minute walk from our apartment. We went for a walk on Monday night, and the malty scent emanating from the building was just too much to resist. In reality, having one beer or less per week will not have a hugely adverse affect on my singing.

The kitties are finally getting along! Creemee is still a typical big sister–game to play sometimes, but easily annoyed and obviously too cool for her little brother. But in the moments when they play or cuddle or groom each other, my heart melts. It’s only been two weeks, so I’m excited to watch them grow to love one another. I think that once Rocket gets a bit older and calms down some, they’ll get along handsomely.

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I started a training plan for W&D and my other potential fall half. I’m trying out the My Asics app. Basically, you input your goals and current abilities, and it puts together a training plan that will help you get there. Supposedly it “learns” and adapts the plan as you complete workouts. There are different phases like “Pre-Conditioning,” “Getting Faster,” “Going Further” etc, which is interesting. I’m somewhat skeptical, but willing to give it the ole college try. I figured using a legit training plan instead of cobbling something together myself might be a good idea if I’m going to complete two half marathons in 7 days. Right now, I’m a little confused by the fact that there are no cross-training days, but I can just add those in on my own as needed. I’ll check back in on how this is going in a few weeks.

There are only 20 people registered for the 10k I’m running tomorrow. And only one other female in my age group. Possible Age Group award? *crosses fingers* Only time will tell, but I will say that I’m planning to RACE this one. I’ve been running pretty strong lately and I know I’m faster than I’ve ever been, so I have high hopes.

Who else is racing this weekend?

Prague In Pictures

Since the trip was so long, and we did so much, I don’t feel like I can take the time to write out a full description of what we did every day. Prague is full of many beautiful sights, historic landmarks, and awesome brews and bars. We had very full days there, and rather than boring you with a play-by-play, I’m just going to play “one sentence per picture” with some of my favorite shots from the trip.

WOW Air Plane

The plane is happy to see us!

Prague View from Petrin

We’ve been in the country for an hour and we’re already drinking beer.

Foosball

Lots of bars in Prague have foosball tables.

Beautiful Latte

Every latte I ordered in Prague was beautiful.

Cocici Kavarna

We went to a cat cafe! Kitties everywhere!

View from Prague castle

Got my fingers in the picture. Whoops!

Charles Bridge, Prague

The historic Charles Bridge

Barcode babies

Ben contemplates creepy baby statues with barcodes for faces.

Prague Beer Museum

A flight of 10 delicious Czech beer samples. It may look like they’re not full, but in Europe, beers come with a huge head of foam; these have just settled.

Petrin

Ben and Emily wandering Petrin.

View from Metronome

There is no shortage of beautiful views in this hilly city.

Day Drinking

In Europe, public drinking is 100% legal, and 100% fun!

Ben and Beer

My dashing husband. No, all those beers aren’t his.

Peacock

Peacocks wandering a public park.

Climbing

Ben likes to climb things.

Stained Glass

Gorgeous stained glass windows in the church near Prague Castle

View from the Top of Petrin

Still more beautiful views in Petrin Park

Cafe Pavlac

Stealth photo while we wait for Cafe Pavlac to open

Church

Ben and Emily are skeptical of my photography skills

Dirty Copenhagen

We had a 13 hour layover in Copenhagen. At 5:30 am, people are stumbling home drunk from the clubs and the streets are filthy.

Bikes

Copenhagen is a bike city, and most buildings have these charming courtyards.

Latte and Pastry

After wandering for hours, we finally found an open bakery.

Clean Copenhagen

Copenhagen at 8 am. The drunks are gone and city workers have cleaned up. Same statue, no garbage.

So there you have it, a small slice of our awesome trip. We got home at midnight Sunday and I was at work at 8am on Monday, after an epic 36 hours on the road. I still haven’t unpacked and I’m still exhausted, but it was 100% worth it. I HIGHLY recommend Prague if you’re looking for a European adventure. The city is safe and clean, public transit is affordable and reliable, and it’s cheap as all get-out. The exchange rate is incredibly favorable; you can get a .5L beer in a grocery store for the equivalent of $0.50!

Have you ever been to Prague? What about Copenhagen?

Goals for the Craft Brew Races 5k

This will be my fourth 5k race this month. I’ve already PR’d once, so I’m not really gunning for a top time going into this race. I’m planning for it to just be fun, especially because Ben will be running with me! This will be the first race we’ve run together since 2012, and I’m very excited.

HOWEVER, I know my competitive side will rear its ugly head once I cross the starting line, so I’m going to do my best to be well hydrated and fueled on Saturday, because right now, my main goal is:

BEAT BEN

Theoretically, this is a distinct possibility. Ben hasn’t done any distance running to speak of in years. His broom ball season ended months ago and he hasn’t been doing any kind of cardio since then. I, on the other hand, have been running regularly and am in pretty good form. But he’s sneakily fit, and has amazing powers of mind over matter. He can just decide he’s going to do something and do it. I’m nervous.

Other, lesser goals include:

  • Sub-30 time
  • Don’t get wasted at the finish line Brew Fest

There are going to be over 40 breweries present, and we get unlimited samples. This could be dangerous. I need to remember to drink a ton of water and eat something, because we may be moving before and after the race and Brew Fest, and the last thing I’ll need is to be drunk and/or hungover and moving heavy things to a third floor walk up apartment.

Have you ever done a Craft Brew Race?

What’s your favorite beer/brewery?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/13/15

Friday

Friday the 13th, oooooo!  For the second month in a row, oooOOOO!!! That means this will either be a super lucky day, or a super unlucky day. Only time will tell.

I’ve added a new “Discounts” page. As part of being a BibRave Pro, I get access to some pretty nice deals on gear and race entries all over the country. I’ll be updating the page frequently as I get new discount codes, and removing expired codes. I hope you find them useful! Check it out here.

We’re brewing beer tomorrow!  I do believe I’ve mentioned this before, but in case I haven’t, Ben is a novice beer brewer and we make a few batches a year, mostly for our own enjoyment. It’s actually a pretty great hobby. Once you make the initial investment in the equipment you need (which can be as low as $100 for a basic kit), the ingredients for each batch average around $50, and you get about 50 beers per batch, so it’s a great value. It’s been a really fun way for us to spend time together, and we’ve made some great beers.

I don’t have rehearsal until 8:30 tonight, wahoo! Rehearsals usually run from 6:45-10 pm, but tonight, I don’t have to be there until 8:30. This means I’m pushing off my recovery run until later this weekend and going on a errand spree. I need to get a graduation gift for Ben, a birthday gift for my sister Hilary, and take care of a few other things. It will be really nice not to arrive at rehearsal already completely exhausted, and go into the weekend feeling like I’m on top of things.

Do you believe that Friday the 13th is unlucky?

Have you ever brewed your own beer?

Reflections From My First “Tempo Run”

I put “Tempo Run” in quotes because I’m not entirely convinced I did it right.  But anyway, that’s what I did last night.

At the gym, I grabbed a treadmill and set out for a 10 minute warm up, working my way up from a slow walk, to a fast walk, to a slow run, to my goal race pace of 10ish minute miles.  Since my goal is a sub-2:30 half, I only need to average 10:30 miles, but I’d like to do even better than that, hence the slightly quicker pace.

My training plan said to run 30 minutes at tempo, and honestly, during the first 5 minute or so at a pace of 10:10 minutes per mile, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  I thought very seriously about stopping, or alternating some walk breaks, or lowering my pace.  But I told myself to suck it up, and after that first 5 or so minutes, I felt fine.  Great even.  By the end of my 30 minute tempo run, I was gunning it at a 9:40 pace, which, for me, is pretty dang speedy.  I finished and felt really strong and happy.

Last night made me realize a few things.  First, I was reminded once again how much of running is mental for me.  Once I made up my mind to just suck it up and finish, I did fine.  I stopped focusing on how hard it was, and just did it.  My new mantra for treadmill running, courtesy of Ben’s Dad, is “Become one with the tedium.”  Sort of like “embrace the suck,” but a little more zen 🙂

Second, I figured out that I NEED a good, long, gradual warm-up.  For most of my runs, especially outdoor runs or when I’m short on time, I do ZERO warm up.  I just start out at my average pace for whatever type of run I’m doing, and go.  And I usually feel like crap during the first portion of my runs.  It takes forever to settle into a groove, and I always want to stop or slow down.  If I took the time to properly warm up before every run, I’d probably feel a lot better throughout.

Third, I realized that I’m a lot faster than I used to be.  During that last portion of the run where I was going at a 9:40 pace, I kept running into the front of the treadmill, like my body was telling me it could go even faster, wanted to go even faster.  Let’s do it, body!

Lastly, watching Netflix on my phone while running on the treadmill makes everything better.  I’m working my way through Charmed right now, and up next is probably CSI Miami.

Bonus:  Eating dinner and drinking a beer in bed while watching Futurama is my favorite “recovery.”

Photo Aug 26, 7 37 21 PM

Do you include a warm up in your workout?

Do you ever do tempo runs?

Vermont Brewers Festival

The Vermont Brewers Festival is an annual event, and every year, tickets sell out fast.  This year, tickets sold out in a record 11 minutes!  I’m lucky enough to sit at a desk all day long, so I was able to score tickets to the Saturday evening session for me and Ben.  This is the first year either of us have been able to attend, so we were very excited.

For the price of $30, you get a commemorative 5 oz sampling glass, and 15 sample tickets, which means you can try up to 15 beers.  Most beer samples were only one ticket, but some of the higher alcohol content beers were two tickets each.  You could also purchase additional beer tickets if 15 samples wasn’t enough for you.

The event takes place in the Waterfront Park, which affords beautiful lake views and an awesome sunset for the evening session.  With almost 50 breweries in attendance, as well as lots of food vendors, a good time was had by all.

Me and Torey

Me and Torey

I’m gonna be 100% honest here and state that I couldn’t remember 90% of the samples I tried without a little help.  15 samples times 5 oz each equals just over 6 beers (our buddy Pete also gave me one of his tickets, so that’s even more!), which is quite enough to get me feeling good.  I actually went to the Brewers Festival website to try and jog my memory.

  • Bobcat Cafe:  Kolsch.  Light, crisp German Ale
  • Burlington Beer Company:  Margarita Gose.  Like Budlight lime, but way better.  Fruity and refreshing without being artificially sweet.
  • Drop In Brewing Company:  Supernova IPA.  Hoppy and delightful.
  • Foley Brothers:  Forgotten Ale.  Surprisingly good for a sour beer.
  • Harpoon:  IPA.  I was sad, because I asked to try their special Citra, but the guy misheard me and gave me the regular IPA instead 😦 I’ve had it many times, and it’s good, but I wanted the limited edition sample.
  • Prohibition Pig:  Pro Pig Extra Pale Ale.  Pretty standard pale ale, nothing special.
  • Queen City Brewery:  Yorkshire Porter.  Yum.  I love dark beers.
  • Stone Corral:  Palomino Pale Ale.  Again, pretty standard pale ale, nothing special.
  • Sixpoint:  The Crisp.  Hoppy lager.  More like a pale ale than a lager.
  • Whetstone Station:  Fort Dummer Summer Ale.  Light and yummy.

So yeah, that’s only 10 out of the 16 that I can remember trying.  And really, after 5 or so samples, everything starts to taste the same, especially if you’re drinking hoppy or strong beers.  There were a few breweries that I would have liked to hit, but the lines were insane; like, stretching from one end of brew fest to the other insane.

This was the line for Lawson's--you can see it stretches all the way back past that tree in the left corner!

This was the line for Lawson’s–you can see it stretches all the way back past that tree in the left corner!

Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Hill Farmstead  are two that (in my humble opinion) aren’t that amazing/aren’t doing anything super different from other breweries, but a) they’ve perfected the art of supply and demand (you can’t get a lot of it, it’s not available a lot of places), and b) recently got written up in some publications as really good beer, so people are flocking to them.  There was plenty of delicious beer at plenty of other breweries, and I didn’t have to wait in line for an hour to try them.

The atmosphere at this Brewers Festival was WAY different and more relaxed than the one we go to in Providence , RI every year.  First of all, being outside, while a crap-shoot if the weather is bad, was amazing.  It was a bit overcast, so it wasn’t blazing hot, and there was a nice breeze.  It wasn’t at all claustrophobic, and actually had a festival feel, unlike being locked inside a convention center.  The food vendors were totally overpriced, but it’s nice that they were there in case people needed food to be ok, whereas in RI, there was a limited amount of free pizza, and that was it.

The commemorative glasses that they gave out are really nice, and I know we’ll use them around the house; RI had crappy plastic dixie cups.

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While the RI brew fest had unlimited samples, I was totally cool with the 15 tickets in VT.  It made me more mindful of how many samples I was getting, and I was a lot more selective about what I tried.  And we still left feeling pretty buzzed.  There were plenty of port-a-potties, and even some nice bathroom trailers, with flush toilets and running water, so the waits weren’t too bad.

Yup, I took a picture of the potty trailer.

Yup, I took a picture of the potty trailer.

For the price, the Vermont Brewers Festival is an excellent value, and I hope that we’ll be able to get tickets every year.

Did you make it to the VT Brewers Festival?

Is there a Brew Fest that happens near you?

What’s your favorite beer?

Oh, Beer!

This weekend was the Great International Beer Festival in Providence, RI.  Ben and I have attended the last 2 years with our friends Deanna and Eric, so this year makes 3 straight years.  Woo!  I know this has been mostly a running blog, but I figure there have got to be other running beer lovers like me out there.  Amiright?

Photo Apr 12, 8 50 03 AMTo start things off on the right foot, I went for my long run on Saturday morning–7.1 miles.  Another distance record, baby, yeah!  And the crazy thing is, if I’d had my hydration belt like I was supposed to (d’oh!), I probably could have gone longer.  Half Marathon, here I come!  Anyway, then it was stretch, roll, shower, and hit the road!  I got a breakfast sammie at Dunks and we picked up our buddy Pete, who was road tripping down with us.

Any way you want it!

Any way you want it!

We dropped Pete off in Arlington and got to our friends’ place in Mansfield, MA at about 2:30.  We spent some quality catch-up time together, then hopped in the car for the half hour-ish drive to Providence.  We went to Luxe Burger Bar for dinner.  You can build your own burger, and they have about 6 different burger options, 4 different bun options, endless toppings, sauces, and cheese stuffed tater tots.  Holy delish!  Unfortunately, Luxe was having an off night–lots of drunken jerks who had obviously caught the early session of the brewer’s fest, and some major diva action from other patrons.  We ate quickly and headed on over to the beer fest.

Sadly, it seemed like many fewer breweries were taking part this year–a couple of notable absences were Brooklyn Brewery, which is one of our favorites who has been there in past years, and Foolproof, which is actually a Rhode Island brewery.  Weird.  Apparently there was a craft brew festival happening in Boston this weekend too, so maybe that explains it.

Regardless, some of our favorites were there, including Lagunitas.  They are a CA brewery and I have never had a beer from them I didn’t like.  My favorite of their samples was the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, but their regular Lagunitas IPA is one of my all-time favorite beers.  After many, many samples and some really unique finds (grapefruit Shandy by Traveller and a Ginger beer called Crabbies by Six Point), we decided to head home much earlier than usual.

Don't be jealous of my selfie skills

Me, Ben, Eric, and Deanna in front. Don’t be jealous of my selfie skills.

Deanna and I napped in the car, and on the way home was stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Best. Idea. Ever.  I was pleasantly buzzed but not sloppy, but I switched to water when we got home anyway.  I chugged 2 16 oz bottles while we played the board game Quelf (ridiculous and fun with the right group of people).  We ended up going to bed around 12:30 because Ben fell asleep watching TV.

On Sunday morning, we slept in a bit, then hit the Cafe on the Common in Mansfield for brunch.  We didn’t have to wait for a table, and the place was very cute.  Great staff, amazing food, and good prices.  I got the Fenway Omelet, which has sausage, mozzarella, peppers and onions, with an English muffin and sinfully good homefries.  Then it was back in the car.  We picked Pete up in Arlington and hit the road.

Photo Apr 13, 10 40 22 AM

The real bonus was that we stopped at the LL Bean Outlet in Concord, NH, and I scored a pair of flip-flops for $9.99 and two pairs of Smart Wool running socks for $7.99 a piece—that’s less than half price, guys!  Seriously, if you live near Concord, you should check it out.  They didn’t have a huge selection of running socks in Medium, but I just got two pairs of the same color.  Total win.

It was a jam-packed weekend, and I had a wonderful time.  It was awesome to see Deanna and Eric, and even though the Brew Fest had a few disappointments, it’s hard to be upset about sampling dozens of tasty beers and spending time with your friends.  Now I’m just hoping we can score tickets for the Vermont Brew Fest in July–tickets typically sell out within hours!

Have you ever been to a brew fest?  What’s your favorite beer?

 

Saturday Things

I never thought I’d say this, but I got up early on a Saturday morning to go to the gym. Crazy! But it felt really good to follow through with something and get my miles in.

After the gym, Ben and I headed out to his folks’ house to bottle up some home brew. Well, Ben and his dad bottled while Grammie and I knitted and mom cleaned out the horse house.

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Sterilized bottles waiting to be filled

And of course Ben got in some quality time with the family dogs, Buster and Coco.

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Ben is hiding from the camera

Now we’re house sitting out in the country, enjoying a few well-earned beers and the outdoor hot tub. Life is good!