Tag Archives: Dogfish Head


A confidence booster. That’s what I’d hoped this morning’s Tobacco Road Half Marathon would be.

I tried to stay chill about it, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had a goal time in mind. Last year at this time, I ran a 1:38, and judging by workouts and performances at shorter distances, I’m in better shape now. I’d hoped to crank out a 1:35 if the stars aligned.

Unfortunately, the stars were all over the place. I finished at 1:48 and change.

Making excuses for bad race performances is pretty lame, but here are my reasons for sucking it up big time today:

Reason #1: It went soft. In the weeks leading up to this race, I said it a million times: if there was one thing that would sink this race, it would be a soggy trail.

The Tobacco Road half is mostly run on a section of the American Tobacco Trail that’s made of loosely-packed crushed gravel. For a long run, it’s fantastically forgiving. For a speed workout, it’s slightly challenging when dry. And when it’s wet, it’s miserable all around.

Well, guess what it did ALL NIGHT Saturday night. I almost stayed in bed when my alarm finally went off, after being awake all night listening to the pouring rain. 13.1 miles of racing on soft, soggy terrain? Ugh.

But obviously I heeded the alarm. I probably should have adjusted my expectations for this race before I even got out of bed, because….

Reason #2: The effing humidity. I know it could have been worse: it could have been warmer. But I hate being soaking wet before I even start running, no matter what the temperature is. Enough said.

Reason #3: My cranky womb. Sorry if this is TMI, but…standing in the start corral this morning, I felt a familiar throbbing in my lower belly and aching in my hips that I knew had nothing to do with running or digestion. Rather, it was my reproductive system letting me know that it was about to begin its monthly thing, and wouldn’t I rather be at home, under a blanket, with a warm cat sprawled across my lap? Why yes, I would.

In nearly two decades of racing, this was the first time I had ever encountered such unfortunate timing. It sucked.

Reason #4: My head wasn’t in it. Instead, my head was worrying about whether the movers would be on time on Monday and fretting about boxes that still needed to be packed.

Yeah….planning a half marathon the day before an interstate move is not a great plan.

Also, honestly? My heart wasn’t really in it today, either. My heart was in Atlanta, with my husband, who I miss dearly and cannot wait to see tomorrow night.

Reason #5: I’m exhausted. For the last week, I’ve spent nearly every waking moment moving shit around, putting shit in boxes, hauling shit to the trash chute, and shlepping shit to the car to bring to the Goodwill Donation Center. Even though we have movers coming to help with the actual moving, just preparing to move is exhausting.

So, those are my excuses. I started out today’s race with a downhill 7:20 mile that felt far too difficult; I knew it wasn’t going to be my day to run hard. I dropped back to marathon pace (7:45-7:50) for a couple of miles, but once I hit the soggy path, even that felt like too much. So I dropped back again and hung out at 8:15-8:30 (pretty close to my normal long run pace) for the rest of the race. And even that felt harder than it should have.

Sometimes, it just isn’t your day.

(Thanks to teammate Jenna for the photo)

Anyway. So this race didn’t exactly make me feel like a million bucks going into the last couple of weeks of Gansett Marathon training. In fact, it made me feel pretty discouraged and doubtful. My training volume hasn’t been what I’d hoped it would be this spring, and while I’m still running pretty well (for me) at shorter distances, it seems like I’m falling short in the stamina department.

Not sure if there’s much I can do about that at this point. Oh well.

After a lovely post-race nap, I cleaned myself up and headed in to work to drop off my key (sad!) and cajole a couple of my co-workers into enjoying one last post-shift beer with me. And it was a good one…

The famed 120 Minute IPA from Dogfish HeadIt was as amazing as I’d imagined it would be.

Around these parts, Dogfish 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute IPA are pretty easy to find, but the 120 Minute is an elusive beast – probably because it’s actually illegal here in North Carolina. Amazingly smooth and sweet, it’s hard to believe that this beer packs an 18%-ABV punch. You get a quick hit of full-flavored hops at the beginning of each sip, but as it goes down it mellows in to a lovely honeysuckle finish with no pucker whatsoever. Utterly delicious.

Bottom line: This one definitely lives up to the hype. If you have a chance to get your hands on it, definitely buy it – and buy me one too, please!

Well…tomorrow is moving day. Every closet, cupboard, and drawer in the apartment is empty; the only thing left to be packed is the TV/cable/modem setup. By this time tomorrow night, if everything goes smoothly, I’ll be rolling in to Atlanta with two confused felines in tow.

Wish me luck!

Woodchips are for beavers

I know a lot of runners who swear by the soft stuff. My old coach in NYC, for instance, credited the forgiving surface of the bridle path in Central Park almost exclusively for his many decades of injury-free competitive running.

Me? I swear at it. Especially my calves. They were dropping f-bombs all over the place today.

Last night’s workout was long repeats, back and forth, on a woodchip trail. The same trail where we did 3 X 1000 a few weeks ago, in fact. This time, we did 3 X 2000.  5K pace.

Since the trail is 1000 meters long, this consisted of running down, doing a hairpin turn, and running back.  Oof. I consistently felt pretty swell on the outbound leg and then suddenly had trouble picking my feet up after the turnaround.

I can’t say I’m displeased with this workout; that’s pretty honest 5K pace, and it was a good hard effort that definitely pooped me out. (I slept for 10 hours last night!) But I’ve been doing my workouts faster lately (closer to 6:15 pace) so somehow it seemed a little disappointing.

There’s also that soft, squishy ground.  That stuff will slow you down for sure.

(Okay…I just wanted an excuse to tag this post with MSPAINT BEAVER and see if any weirdos show up in the search results.  HEY PERVS, GO READ SOME KURT VONNEGUT!)

I wrapped up the workout feeling a little iffy about Saturday’s 5K. I hope 5K pace feels easier this weekend than it did yesterday! On one hand, the race will be on the nice, hard, joint-crushing pavement; but on the other hand, unlike yesterday’s course, there will be some hills.  Maybe it’ll be a wash.

But one thing is clear: I have gotta get this junk out of my legs before Saturday! I’ve been Stick-ing my calves like a fiend and sporting compression sleeves all day. I do believe that soft-surface running is easier on one’s body long run, but when you’re used to pounding pavement, it can really do a number on you.

Anyway. I’ve been helping coach a beginners’ running group on Wednesday nights for the last few weeks, so I went straight from my workout to meet up with them and logged three more miles. Then, three more, as part of a search mission when the other coaches and I realized that a group of runners hadn’t returned. (They were fine, just took the scenic route….)

That made for a rather long six-mile cool down and a twelve mile day.  Whew.

Carb replenishment:

I suppose I’m a little late on this one. Apparently this Namaste wheat beer is a summer seasonal from Dogfish Head, although I had never seen it until this week!

Oh well.  It’s still in the upper 70s here; summer hasn’t quite left North Carolina yet. And this beer was a refreshing treat.

One part classic Belgian Witbear and one part herbal tea, this beer poured a light, bright yellow and had lots of flavors going on.  The label notes coriander, orange, and lemongrass, but there was also something pleasantly grassy and tart-sweet, like a granny smith apple. Definitely a little more interesting than a run-of-the-mill summer wheat beer. I wish I’d found this one earlier in the season! 5% ABV.

Bottom line: Get it…this fun beer is complex enough to enjoy any time of the year. Also: there is a skeleton dog creating a force field (?) on the label. That is pretty awesome. (Purchased at Whole Foods, $8/22 oz)

Off to manhandle my knotty calves with my Stick one more time before bed. Good night!

Parking lot lessons

Here’s something I learned today.  Platform rubber flip-flops are a bad idea.  And not just from a fashion perspective.

Because those things are dangerous when wet.  It was pouring today and I totally made out with the pavement upon exiting Whole Foods.  Fortunately, no overpriced grocery items were harmed.  My ass is another story.  There’s gonna be a bruise there.  Good thing I’ve got some padding.


I share this little anecdote to distract you from the fact that I haven’t posted in a few days.  Life has been rather unexciting.  Let’s see….

Thursday, I left Telluride for a full day’s journey back to NC.  I had a long layover at O’Hare, during which I proceeded to drink cheap Chardonnay by myself at a Chili’s.  And tweet about it.  Kind of entertaining.  Then my flight was delayed so I went to another bar and drank beer.  I didn’t get home until the wee hours of Friday morning.  The whole thing was exhausting.

Friday, I woke up bright and early, pretended not to be hung over, and penned a long list of productive tasks for the day.  Then I immediately retired to the couch and spent the remainder of the day playing Fruit Ninja on my phone.  I did manage to get a slow 8-mile run in.  Also, exhausting.

Saturday, I spent the day working hard at my latest income supplementation scheme.  (Hey-o!)  This, too, was completely and totally exhausting.

Which brings us to today.  Given the exhausting nature of the last few days, and the fact that it was raining buckets (and thundering and lightning-ing) today, I don’t know how I could have been expected to do my long run.

So, I didn’t.

And I feel kind of bad about that.

But not really.

After all, I’m still in vacation recovery mode.  And it’s supposed to be clear as a stripper’s heel tomorrow, so I’ll get my last 11-12 miler before Shamrock done then.

And that’s what you’ve missed in my life.

Today’s EAT: Tonight’s dinner is simmering at the moment and it smells excellent.  But since I’m blogging early, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to share it.  (Assuming it tastes as good as it smells.)

Instead, I’ll share a little something that I’ve been meaning to post about for a couple of weeks:

My latest cereal obsession. They’re exactly like crunchberries.  I swear.

They even turn the milk a little bit pink.  If Kashi comes up with a cocoa-flavored version of this, I’m buying stock.

Today’s DRINK: This week’s Sunday afternoon sipping beer is Dogfish Head’s Aprihop IPA.

This is a fruity little glass of fun.  It’s still got a bit of that IPA bitterness to give is some backbone, but the apricot really comes through and makes for a sweet experience.  At 7% ABV, it’s no girly beer, but I could definitely see someone liking this even if they’re not a big beer fan.  It’s like a cross between a Lambic and a real beer.  Delicious.

Today’s RUN: A mere three miles.  I sneaked out during a break in the storm and got back in before it started again.  It was completely forgettable, but better than nothing.

Look back on the week:

M – 3.4 easy (treadmill, Telluride, 30:00, 8:52 pace)
Tu – OFF (ski)
W – OFF (ski)
Th – 4 easy (treadmill, Telluride, 33:49, 8:27 pace)
F – 8.1 easy (1:10:10, 8:39 pace)
Sa – 3 easy w/hubs (~29:00, ~9:40 pace)
Su – 3 miles easy (25:45, 8:36 pace)

21.5 total.  Yeah….that’s way too low.

Today’s QUESTION: Have you ever fallen on your ass in a public place? Sadly, this wasn’t my first time….