October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
On September 30th I participated in the Dogfish Dash 10K held at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware (and I am just recapping it now because I am a very lazy blogger). I signed up for this race, which sold out in a few short hours, back in April not really having any plans on how I would actually get down there or anything because I just selfishly really wanted to run it. It seemed like the ultimate combination of beer and running, at least within my local area. This race also has a 5K option for anyone interested in years to come. By the time September came I was very excited for it, especially since it would break up my marathon training for a more ‘fun’ race. When I signed up I had no intention of doing a full marathon this fall so it is interesting to see how far my running has come. On Saturday I headed down to Rehoboth Beach, DE where the Dogfish Head Brewpub is located and where the race packet pickup took place.
Oddly, it was my first time visiting Rehoboth Beach and it is definitely a great beach town! Reminds me of Ocean City, NJ but with the huge added plus of having bars and actual adult things to do. It was also my only trip to the beach this year (well aside from Puerto Rico in April). Nice way to close out September. The Dogfish Head Brewpub is right off the boardwalk and wait for a table actually wasn’t too bad, about 40 minutes. I made sure to try to the two brewpub exclusive beers available, Wet Hop American Summer which is a wet hopped dark wheat ale and Beard de Garde which is, you guessed it, a biére de garde (made to honor James Beard apparently). I also had a bit of Bitches Brew because why not? The food was good classic pub fare with a bit of a twist. Highly enjoyable, but if this race were any more than a 10K I don’t think it would have been wise to have eaten anything I ordered less than 24 hours beforehand. Fries, fried pickles, short ribs, bread pudding, cheesecake, and who knows what else from other plates. Looking back it is a miracle I made it 6.2 miles. One thing I loved about the menu at Dogfish Head is that many of the items are made with their beers. Makes sense of course, but still fun to try as I enjoy cooking with beer.
Anyway, after the meal I headed to the hotel and I believe I was actually asleep by 10PM. Never happens, but felt good. In the morning we drove to Milton, DE where the actual Dogfish Head Brewery is located. The 10K race was two loops through what is probably the majority of Milton. Cute town, but made me realize how much of a city runner I really am. The first mile was of course very congested and we also had to cross a small, narrow wooden bridge which put a halt on things rather quickly. After that however it was pretty smooth sailing. I did get envious of the 5K runners when they were sent in the direction of the brewery. Mostly because they would be getting beer sooner than I would. I have never actually run a 10K race so as mentioned in an earlier post my only goal was to finish under 60 minutes. I am very pleased to say that I finished in 56:39! Imagine how I would have done if I didn’t insist on fried pickles, cheesecake, and Bitches Brew the night before (probably the same).
Very excited to be firmly middle of the pack. Feels nice to feel like I’m actually ‘racing’ since when it comes down to it, I’m oddly competitive. This tends to mean that if I am not super good at something I won’t do it at all, which is of course not a great attitude to have. Obviously I am not a competitive runner and like with most runners the competitive joy I find in racing is improving on myself. However it is nice to see that with consistency I have come so far in such a short time.
After the race I enjoyed some 60 Minute IPA and Shelter Pale Ale on the grounds of the brewery and took an abbreviated tour of the inside. Any day when you have 3 beers before noon has to be a good one, right? This race is great fun if you are a beer lover and Southern Delaware is quite nice this time of year as well. I definitely plan on registering for this race in 2013!
July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
- Monday – None
- Tuesday – 3.5 mile run
- Wednesday – 2 mile run
- Thursday – 1.5 mile run to meet up with running group, 1.5 mile run with running group
- Friday – None
- Saturday – 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
- Sunday – 5.0 mile run
Running followed my training plan exactly aside from being short half of a mile on Thursday. I definitely lacked int he yoga department this week, only getting the one class in. Could feel it while in that class. My muscles were so tight! My run today felt amazing though and I wanted to go even further, but being new I am a bit afraid of deviating from the planned runs. Probably wouldn’t be a big deal at this point when all runs are under 10 miles, but I’m a bit stringent with plans to begin with.
Most memorable event of the week: I attended the WXPN XPoNential Festival this weekend (yet another item on the summer bucket list)! So many great artists played over the three-day period, but the highlight for me was definitely The Hold Steady. They are such a great act to see live. Part of the magic of live music for me is feeding off of the energy of both the performers and the audience. When either or both is lacking it makes seeing a live show a bit pointless personally. With The Hold Steady that is never the case. Both the band, particularly frontman Craig Finn who is quite possibly the most animated lead singer out there, and the fans are always so into every minute of it all. The band played this same festival in 2009 but had to stop early due to a really bad storm. Very lucky that this didn’t happen again this year, because at times I was very afraid it might. It rained all night, but certainly nothing major. Here is a video from that 2009 performance (Franz Nicolay, the lovely man in the white suit playing the keyboard, is unfortunately no longer part of the band):
Best thing I ate: Probably everything I ate when I went to my hometown on Monday for the Mt. Carmel Festival!
Best thing I drank: While I drank many beer this week, most were rather common for the area. This definitely isn’t a bad thing. I had beers by Flying Fish, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher, Philadelphia Brewing Company and McKenzie Brew House. Actually, the only non-PA/NJ beers I had this week were a Founders Porter and a Tecate. I think the last time I had a Tecate I was actually in Mexico (and a decade younger).
July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
- Monday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
- Tuesday – 3.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
- Wednesday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog, 2 mile run
- Thursday – 1.3 mile run to meet up with running group, 2.2 mile run with running group, 0.66 run home from bus
- Friday – None
- Saturday – 2.5 hour yoga workshop
- Sunday – 5.0 mile run
I tried to add in more yoga this week, including a workshop! The runs were mostly what was called for in my training plan.
Most memorable event of the week: The yoga workshop I attended on Saturday was great (and is so far the only thing I can cross off my summer bucket list)! It was called “Hands to Earth” and it focused on arm balances mostly with a bit of inversion practice. This is where I am looking to evolve my practice the most as it has not been until recently that I have even been very capable of getting off the ground. The workshop was taught by John Vitarelli of Dhyana Yoga and emphasized proper forms of chaturanga, upward dog, and downward dog as being the basis of any arm balance or inversion. So of course this workshop was rather intense! I definitely have never stayed in chaturanga for such a long time in my life. Aside from the progress in more commonly performed arm balances like crow and firefly, I got to see some progress in others that are less likely to be thrown into the normal vinyasa flow class. We did eka pada bakasana II and it felt amazing to find that I could actually go up into it and stay! So amazing that I have just been doing it randomly around my apartment ever since.
Best thing I ate: I have been preparing meals a lot at home, but haven’t had the desire to prepare much so hardly anything seems to stick out. Boring.
Best thing I drank: I went to a bottle share hosted by Philly Beer Scene and Philly Tap Finder and got to have tastes of many great beers. I was pretty nervous about going as I really did not know anyone who would be there and I feel at beer events people kind of stick to who they know. Then again it also tends to be heavy on the male presence, not that there weren’t some females there, but I just always feel a bit odd when I’m so in the minority. Admittedly, I’m terrible at striking up a conversation with others and as much as I said to myself I would try I felt a little overwhelmed. I realize this is turning into a story of my social awkwardness rather than a recap of the best thing that I drank. Ah well. Anyway, everyone brought some really great stuff, much of which you can’t find here in PA and/or stuff that has been cellared and held onto for a while. I used to buy far more bottled beer and share it with others in the past, but lately I don’t really know anyone who is into it anymore so it was a great way to get to do something like that again. There are talks of this being an ongoing even so hopefully I will participate in more in the future. Here is a photo of some of the aftermath (I really need to get better with this photo thing, and blogging in general):
July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
- Monday – None
- Tuesday – 1.5 mile run/walk with a shelter dog, 2.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
- Wednesday – None
- Thursday – 0.72 mile run to meet up with people, 2.48 mile run with group
- Friday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog
- Saturday – None
- Sunday – 4.0 mile run, 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
Pretty similar to last week, though the heat switched things around a bit. Felt ok with the runs I did get in though and the mileage ended up being what was needed in the end. Again I have been feeling so strong in yoga class. Such a wonderful feeling that I need more of.
Most memorable event of the week: Not something positive or that I really want to share. I am struggling with interpersonal stuff lately and just need to let go of it. Still in a funk and I feel as if I have little control over getting out, though that probably isn’t the case.
Best thing I ate: The Farmer’s Dog, which is a current special at The Hot Diggity. Description from the website: “The Xnipec Dog! Featuring all locally and organically grown Rainbow Chard, Xnipec (Mayan Salsa), Oregano Sour Cream, and Podding Radishes from Green Meadow Farms in Lancaster Co.” It was as great as it sounds and looks!
Best thing I drank: On the 4th of July I went out to TJ’s in Paoli where they were featuring several Hill Farmstead beers on tap. I got to enjoy the Double Citra, Harlan, Nor, and Edward. Double Citra was probably my favorite, though I always enjoy every beer I have by them. I had tried the regular Citra before and the double definitely did not disappoint.
July 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
- Monday – None
- Tuesday – 3.0 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
- Wednesday – 2.0 mile run
- Thursday – 2.0 mile run
- Friday – None
- Saturday – 4.0 mile run
- Sunday – 3.0 mile run, 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
I felt very strong this week in terms of activity. As I said on Friday, I began training for the Philadelphia Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon this week. I felt fairly strong running despite the intense heat aside from Thursday, when I stopped my planned 3 mile run at 2 miles. I did not have a run planned for today, but just really needed to get out of my head and went out for a late one. The two yoga classes I attended this week were amazing. My practice has grown so much this year and my body has changed in so many amazing ways. I felt so incredibly strong while practicing this week. If only I could really transfer that feeling of strength into the rest of my life. Emotionally I am really struggling, mostly due to loneliness and fear of the future which I know I need to let go of.
Most memorable event of the week: Again this was a pretty low week in many ways. I had a hard time coming up with motivation to do much of anything. How I felt at times when practicing yoga and running were probably the most memorable moments of my week.
Best thing I ate: I went to Memphis Taproom on Thursday to catch the Euro Cup semi-final. I love Italian football/soccer. While Italy surprisingly defeated Germany on Thursday, they of course lost to Spain yesterday in the final. Rather young team for Italy however and Spain is quite the powerhouse, so it was good to see them go that far despite a poor performance in the finals. Anyway, Memphis Taproom is my favorite place to go to in the general area that I live for both great food and great beer. Also, I just feel really comfortable there. I wish it were within more of a walking distance (it is well over a mile away), though I do walk to and from on occasion. I usually have a difficult time not getting the smoked coconut club when I order food there, but this time I had the chicken fried portobello sandwich. So good! I should add that both of those dishes are vegan, so they have options for many dietary needs. Great place to take a mixed group of eaters in that aspect.
Best thing I drank: At Memphis Taproom they had Russian River Blind Pig IPA on tap, which is always a good thing. Philadelphia is one of the few places out east where you can find Russian River beers and i you pay enough attention they can be seen on tap fairly frequently, especially at certain places. Still, it isn’t all that common that I happen to be in the same place at the same time. I don’t think I have had a Russian River IPA since March, yet I was out-of-state for a few months as well. Also, while I was there the owner opened a bottle of Cuvée De Ranke, which is a blend of aged sour ales from De Ranke and lambic from Girardin. It was nicely tart and very enjoyable.
Can’t believe that is both July and halfway through 2012 already!
June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
- Monday – None
- Tuesday – None
- Wednesday – 2.0 mile run
- Thursday – 2.0 mile run
- Friday – 1.5 mile run
- Saturday – 2.0 mile run
- Sunday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
Not much activity at all this week compared to last week. I had set out to complete the Runner’s World run streak, daily running of at least 1 mile from Memorial Day through 4th of July, and while I broke it once I was also determined to get back on track. But after last week I kind of felt that daily running wasn’t the thing best for my body right now. My joints were aching and I knew I would have to start training for a half-marathon soon and didn’t want to risk unnecessary injury. Then the heat wave set in and all I could really muster were short runs. Yoga also wasn’t the priority it should be and I only made it to class once today.
Most memorable event of the week: This week has honestly not been that great. I’m struggling a lot this week with being unemployed and being pretty alone in Philadelphia. I can’t seem to meet people I connect with and I finding employment continues to be rough. Emotionally I’m pretty exhausted and overwhelmed. I think I walked at least 20 miles alone because I have no idea what else to do with myself.
Best thing I ate: Again, I didn’t eat out much this or even really make anything too exciting at home. I did go to the new Philadelphia branch of Shake Shack on Thursday where I got a single ShackBurger, fries, and the ShackMeister Ale made for Shake Shack by Brooklyn Brewery. For a fast, casual option that is cheaper than a sit-down restaurant I think their burgers are pretty good. But if you have the time and can afford a bit more there are so many amazing burgers in Philadelphia. The fact that this “tiny” meal had me stuffed however, and made me wonder if I should give up my American passport. Satisfied my burger craving though (it was intense). Also, I would love to go back soon for a concrete, specifically the “Liberty Shell” which is made with cannoli shells from Termini Bros. and lemon ricotta.
Best thing I drank: Cantillon, Cantillon, and more Cantillon. Is it sad that drinking Cantillon was the highlight of my week? Probably. But it is always a delicious treat. On Tuesday I was feeling rather down and going sort of stir crazy so I decided to get dressed in actual clothing that wasn’t made of moisture wicking material and leave my apartment. But I honestly had no idea where to go as I really have nowhere to go. I walked about 3 miles straight to Center City where I stopped to get coffee. I was going to hit up a bar for a burger and beer later in the afternoon, but then I saw through twitter that Monk’s Cafe was having a Cantillon event (Jean Van Roy of Cantillon was there, I guess he made a stop in Philadelphia before other Northeast events he was attending) and of course had to go. I (thoroughly) enjoyed some Fou’ Foune, Lou Pepe Kriek (2009), Rose de Gambrinus, and Classic Gueze. I couldn’t really get any decent photos of anything, since it was packed as is usual with Monk’s these days and looked sort of like this (I’m pretty short):
Well anyway, that is about it. Hoping this week is a bit better!
June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Part of me hates getting salads when I go to eat because I see them as something I can easily and cheaply make at home. When going to out to eat I to to prefer to get things I can’t make at home as easily or as economically for one person. However, one benefit of getting salads at different places is finding ones that I can recreate at home. Especially ones that use ingredients I have never thought to combine before. This salad is based on the tuna and spinach salad at Pure Fare. Pure Fare is a great spot in center city Philadelphia to grab a quick, healthy meal and they have options for all dietary needs with an emphasis on vegan and gluten-free items. I realize that fennel is one of those food items that people either love or hate (or have never tried). I happen to love it and fortunately for me it is everywhere right now!
Tuna and Fennel Salad – Ingredients:
- 1 bag spring mix or salad greens of your choice
- 1 can solid white tuna, drained
- 1 small bulb of fennel
- 1c garbanzo beans
- 4 Tbls sliced olives
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbls balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Cut the fennel into thin strips. Combine with spring mix, tuna, garbanzo beans, and olives. In a small bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs de provence, and the juice of the lemon. Whisk and pour.
I usually eat salads like this as a meal, so I only get about two servings out of most. The beer pictured is Central City Red Betty IPA (known as Red Racer in Canada, I assume Bear Republic took issues with that). I saw it in a bottle shop and was intrigued because it was Canadian and canned. Don’t ask me why I found that so intriguing because I don’t really know. Anyway, I figured I would give it a try since I wish there were more canned beers that I liked. This reminded me a lot of Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale, a hoppier pale ale which I am not really a big fan of. Deviant Dale’s however is another story and one of the only canned beers I have had that I really enjoy (a lot).