Life Lessons Learned while Running for Beer

file-sep-19-12-32-46-pmAs summer comes to a close, I often find myself running in the evenings.  Note I do not say that I have been running far, or fast, just often… This seems to be the rhythm that I have fallen into for the past 3 years anyhow – running in the late summer and into fall with a goal in mind that always seems unattainable to me (5K two years ago, 10K last year and this year a 10K followed immediately by a 5K).  I just started fighting the uphill battle towards this race about 3 weeks ago so when the opportunity to combine running at beer at the Brew Hop 5K came up – there was literally no reason not to!   My Thanksgiving day runs are with my Dad, a tradition we started a few years back, and to say he is fast is a total understatement – he came in 3rd in his age class our first 5K out!  The running genes did not make the dive from his gene pool to mine. So running with dad takes some serious training on my end – and an “easy breezy” beer race seemed like the perfect training activity.  Note the quotes on easy breezy..

file-sep-19-12-33-13-pmArmed with the essentials – the knowledge that I am totally unable to pace myself right now, a friend to help pace and work through that, and my sparkly running shoes, off to Randall’s Island we went!  In 90% humidity.  Where we found a course which included cement, grass, bridle path and wood chips.  And more hills than I would have expected.  So yeah, that went well…  34 minutes (and may negative thoughts about how much I detest running and that I *gasp* didn’t even care that there was beer at the finish line!) I got myself across the finish line found a few brews to sample.  Mostly lighter brews – lagers, IPAs and the like which seemed appropriate given how hot it was.  Not everyone likes to drink dark, syrupy, 10%+ beer on a warm, humid day.  Just like not everyone loves running.  I was certainly the latter yesterday – there was no inspirational “you’re still faster than everyone on the couch” that could inspire me otherwise.

file-sep-19-12-49-04-pmThat doesn’t mean I’m done though, that means I just have to start training smarter – for me, this means more hills and less blissfully flat Brooklyn Bridge Park – and getting out of my head to learn how to motivate myself mid-race when things get tough.  But no matter how long it takes you to get there or how awful it feels, the finish line is always the appropriate venue for some serious white girl dancing.  Especially when the finish line is immediately followed by tastings from Alphabet City Brewing Company,  Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Point, Bronx Brewery, Captain Lawrence Brewing, Gun Hill Brewing Company, Great South Bay Brewery, Kelso Beer Co., Rockaway Brewing Company, Single Cut BrewsmithsSixpoints Brewery and Third Rail Beer.  Admittedly, after some time I lost track of which samples I had in which hand.  I know… I did a poor job of taking down tasting notes.  Though I did love the look of surprise from the guy at Blue Point when a girl in a running skirt asked if their their Mosaic IPA was single hopped with mosaic hops only, the allure of this thing was less about formal tasting notes and more about bringing together something I love (beer) with something I’m trying really hard to love (running) and finding out that sometimes running is just plain hard – no other way to describe it.  Here’s to a better brew run next time!

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