Tuesday, June 22, 2010


was a knockout. 

Beer log:
Friday: A couple of light Mexican beers at a Mexican-themed birthday party at which I played music: Tecate (not bad, especially ice cold) and Sol (not much going for it, unfortunately, even ice cold)
Saturday: Before moving to the main course of the BrewDog Paradox Isle of Arran Whisky Cask Aged Stout (above), I primed my palette with a nice Sierra Nevada Porter.
Sunday: Schlafly Kolsch (nice!) with a seafood lunch

Running log: Back to the trails!
Saturday: 6.1 exhausting miles on the Tour de Wolf, followed by 3 easier miles at the Y later in the afternoon
Monday: 6.1 less exhausting miles on the same. Turns out that if one arrives just at sunrise, one is treated to foggy valleys along the southern stretch of the trail. I actually felt a chill in a couple of spots!
Tuesday: Just like Monday (6.1 miles), fog included!

After several weeks of waiting till after work to run, I've made the move back to morning runs. I'd forgotten (even in just a few weeks) how much I enjoy starting my day with a run. In addition to practical concers (I don't have to try to squeeze in a run during busy afternoons and evenings; it's cooler in the morning), I find morning runs more meditative--I have less white noise to sort through in the mornings, and the thoughts during the run seem to come more slowly rather than in a teeming crowd.

I could make a habit of this; at least I hope so.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Beer Is Here!

I just received an email notice from Joe's Wines and Spirits that my monthly Beer Nutz Beer Club selections were in.

For those in Memphis who don't know, membership the club is a flat $15/month and entitles the member to a new selection of big beers the third Friday of every month. The catch is that you do not know in advance which beers you'll get; the good news, though, is that you'll sometimes get more than fifteen dollars' worth of beer.

This month, I'll receive two BrewDog Paradox whisky cask aged imperial stouts: the Isle of Arran and the Smokehead. I'm looking forward to what will be my first taste of Brewdog Paradox beers.

As a bonus, Joe's is holding a bottle of the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Charlie, Fred & Ken's Bock Imperial Helles Bock for me (thanks, guys!).

Running log: After extolling the virtues of getting back outside on Tuesday, I grudgingly returned to the Y treadmill Wednesday and yesterday. It's really, really, really hot out there. Really.
Wednesday: 3 miles (+30 min other cardio)
Yesterday: 6 miles

Beer log:
Tuesday: McSorley's Irish Black Lager after dinner.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Stinky, sweaty clothes are a given for runners, but especially this time of year. And most especially this morning.

After a couple of days' worth of avoiding the heat, I ventured out into it again this morning for a run on my "neighborhood loop" (really an out and back). It was good to be back out there. I'd run on the treadmill several times over the last week or two, including yesterday; I'm not convinced that "treadmill running is not 'real' running," especially when treadmill availability is deciding factor between running and not running at all for some folks (myself included some of that time). But there really is something soothing about running outdoors, allowing one's eyes to shift from objects close at hand to treetops several blocks away and back again; trail running, with its ever-shifting scenery and terrain, is the best for this, but even getting out onto the roads is a huge relief after a couple of weeks' worth of staring at the backs of heads, volumeless televisions, and digital display panels on which every element of the run is quantified.

Make no mistake: I was a sweatier than a luchador after only a couple of miles; but the payoff of beauty and scenic variety more than compensated for my becoming the stinky warrior that I was.

Running log:
Monday: 6 miles at the Y, roughly 8 min/mi pace
Today: 6.25 miles on the neighborhood loop at about the same pace

Monday, June 14, 2010

INXS of my heat quotient

I couldn't help but think of this song--which, despite the, uh, "period" clothing worn in the video, was one of my favorites by this group--as I ran the Gibson Guitar 5k early Saturday evening. By the numbers:

Time (unofficial): 20:45
Songs listened to on the iPod during the race: 5.3--REM's Finest Worksong, Garbage's I'm Only Happy When it Rains, U2's Discotheque, Third Day's Believe, Dewey Starr's Old Gold Heart, and the first minute or so of Finest Worksong again.
Seconds off your goal time: 45
Did the song about rain cool you off any? The heck no. That one's not joining me for the next race; in hindsight, maybe I should've uploaded the INXS song instead.
Number of beers enjoyed at the postrace party: None, thogh I did have a tasty Sierra Nevada Summerfest after I got home.
Number of miles jogged after I cooled down and decided to see a little bit of downtown in a less hurried state: about 1.5

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Little Victories

As we seem to have done most weeks lately, the San Juan Brigade finished just shy of the money in last night's trivia contest at the P&H Cafe (still not sure that "colony" rather than "hive" of bees was not correct...).

But on the plus side, we did win a free pitcher of beer by winning the heads-or-tails contest in the "beer round" between trivia rounds 4 and 5.


Beer log: 1 pint of Lazy Magnolia Pecan Harvest Ale, 1 pint of 1554, and a cup of PBR (look Jack, no headache!).

Running log:
Monday: 5 miles (including 4 x 0.5 mi speed intervals) on the treadmill in the air-conditioned comfort of the Y.
Tuesday: 6 miles (8 min/mi pace), also at the Y

Monday, June 07, 2010


Miles run since last update: 9 (4 Sunday, 5 today)

Beers consumed since last update:
5.2 (2 pints of Ghost River Oatmeal Stout and a bottle of New Belgium Mothership Wit Saturday; and 1 bottle of Yazoo Pale Ale, 1 glass of Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale, and a few sips of Anchor Steam (which I guess I, unlike the 1,375 reviewers at Beer Advocate, didn't like very much) yesterday

Do I feel a twinge of guilt about not liking Anchor Steam, especially with the trip to San Francisco awaiting me at the end of the month? Yeah, a little

Really? OK, not really, though I do feel bad about not finishing the beer, especially since someone else provided it

Times I've looked at my beer in the fridge longingly today, a fasting day: Too many

Weeks till I make my inaugural trip to MidSouth Malts to inquire about beer-brewing gear: Hopefully less than 4

Friday, June 04, 2010


Running is not always fun. Sometimes, the legs and joints are sore or tired, making the entire run a drag. Others times, weather extremes (too hot, too cold, too rainy, too muggy) sap one's energy, leaving one much more tired than would be proportionate to the distance and pace of the run. And sometimes, running is just plain boring, especially if one is confined to the treadmill or has run the same route several days in a row.

Yesterday, my run was nearly spoiled by dive-bombing flies.

I don't know what happened on the Wolf River trails between Tuesday and yesterday. Tuesday's run was muggy, but not buggy. Yesterday, though, I spent what felt like half of my run shooing flies, slapping my head and neck, even yelling at them several times (I even shouted, "Get the F off of me!" once; somehow, I did manage to say "F" instead of the actual word). I'm sure I was a sight.

My biggest question, though, is one of airspace and jurisdiction: I know why a fly might be angry when someone runs through its airspace; I don't, however, understand how that same fly could, having its own jurisdiction transgressed, justify following someone for the next quarter mile, dive-bombing him, buzzing his ears. I seem to recall an episode of "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo" in which the title character was prevented from chasing an outlaw once he crossed into the next county.

Don't flies watch bad TV, too?

Running log: 7 miles on the Blue and Yellow trails (I walked about a minute of that)

Beer log: Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock, part of the handpicked 6-pack of SN beers given to me for my birthday by my brother and sister-in-law. Perfect for a hot evening.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

National Running Day

Today is National Running Day! I may need to rethink my original plan of a run-free day and take at least a ceremonial lap around my block to mark the occasion.

Quick Work

Last Friday, I planned to run the Yellow Wolf River trail, only to be forced to detour less than one mile in because a bridge was out (no biggie--I just shifted over to the Blue trail).

A mere four days later, I returned yesterday to the Wolf River trails; remembering the washed-out bridge, I started on the Blue trail. What did I find at the Blue-Yellow crossroads? A brand-new bridge on the Yellow trail!

A big, sweaty thank you is due to the volunteers who braved the heat and bugs to erect a new bridge so quickly. Y'all are awesome!

Running log: About 7 miles on the Blue and (mainly) Yellow trails.

Beer log: A pint of 1554 at the P&H.