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?


Friday Randomness

Finally it is Friday

Anybody else feel like this today?  It’s been a long week, and between Ben being sick and me being sick, I’m ready to be done.  Thankfully, Friday is breakfast day at work, and Sally, our Southern girl, really outdid herself this morning.  I don’t even know what most of this is, but it’s all delicious.

Mmmm carbs

Mmmm carbs

Last night I went to see Lyric Theatre’s Les Miserables.  Lyric is the largest community theater organization in New England.  It’s also the first community theater in Vermont to get the rights to produce Les Mis.  It’s also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  So it’s kind of a big deal all around.  I know TONS of people involved with the show, onstage and off, so it felt great to go out and support my friends.  And honestly, it was a wonderful production!  I was nervous because I sometimes have trouble forgetting I’m watching a show when people I know are in it, but that wasn’t a problem at all last night–I laughed, I cried, and I was totally inspired to get back into theater.  You probably don’t know this, but that’s what I went to school for, and I have been performing on stage since I was 9 years old.  It’s a huge time commitment, but there is nothing like the camaraderie of putting on a show, and no feeling quite like a standing ovation.

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, but since I’ve taken a couple of days off workouts, and I’m not feeling any worse, I’m going to go for it with my long run tomorrow–7 miles!  I can’t believe I’m going to run 7 miles.  I finally got my foam roller and hydration belt, so I’m excited to try them out.

In other news, being a runner is turning me into even more of a hypochondriac than I already am.  Every twinge or tweak, every cramp or spasm has me wondering if I’ve got plantar fasciitis or ITBS.  Having never really been an athlete or had a sports-related injury, I don’t know how to tell what are just normal aches and pains and what might be more serious.  I’m just trying to take it easy and not over-do it, because I really don’t want to be side-lined by an injury.

Lastly, I have decided that I will no longer be posting on the weekends.  I’ve been posting pretty much 7 days a week since I started this blog, and it’s just too much.  Weekends are usually incredibly busy for us, and posting just for the sake of posting isn’t helpful to me or you.  I try to keep this blog positive and interesting, so posting crap content isn’t what I want to do.  That being said, there will be no more Sunday Summaries; instead, we will have Manic Mondays, where I recap the previous week and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

And with that bombshell, I leave you.  We’re headed to the Great American Brewer’s Festival in Providence, RI this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited!  50 craft brewers, all in one place = my happy place.

one-does-not-simply-drink-one-beerHappy Friday all!