It’s been an interesting first week of my alcohol-free diet. First things first, it’s been way easier than I anticipated it would be. I’ve been able to go to bed relatively early and am getting some decent sleep. I’ve logged 14 miles running with another 6 planned today, plus 28 miles on the bike. It’s windy as fuck today, so I might wait until tomorrow to hit the extra 6 before this weekend’s “Longer” runs. Not really going to push it. On Saturday I plan on hitting Drummer for the first time this year. Chris wants to check out the course for this June’s Race and I always like going up there. Depending on how that goes, I’ll head out Sunday for some junk miles or maybe hit the gym and do a little treadmill and bike work.
Onto the computer side of things. I’ve been thinking about upgrading my graphics card for months now and I’m finally settling on a card. I’m thinking about the AMD R9 380. It’s locking around Amazon and Newegg for around $200, and maybe in a few weeks I can pull the trigger on it, we’ll see. I’m not going to lie, it’s all about playing Fallout 4. I wish I could finagle something about needing it for work, but it ain’t. I was able to play Witcher 3 on my current card at low settings and it wasn’t terrible, but I’m super jealous of the details I missed, and don’t want the same thing to happen with Fallout 4.
Nothing bad has ever come from tacos and beer. Last night the wife and I invited a fellow runner and new(ish) acquaintance over for some grilled chicken tacos and Stoneface IPAs. I recently met Chris at our local coffee shop that we’ve both frequented for years. After one of the baristas mentioned that Chris was an ultra-runner, I spat out my social awkwardness and introduced myself. A week later, I was chasing him and his running partner up some hills in Marlborough and last night we broke
bread tacos together. Through all the reading I’ve done about trail running and all the videos that speak to the community, I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s not bullshit. They are some of the most welcoming and gracious folks I’ve met since starting this experiment about 10 months ago. After just a few days, Chris had invited me on a run and never made it seem weird that I was there with them on the trail. I consider myself a complete newbie to the sport and am still in the stage of laying low and watching the grownups do their thing. Running with, or mostly behind, Chris and Keith, without being made to feel like I was holding them back, gives testament to the philanthropy of the trail running community.
Yesterday was a truly beautiful spring day and it happened right when we needed it. This winter was an especially cold and depressing season so the sunny, 70° weather yesterday was incredibly renewing. After chowing, we all sat on the porch and chatted about some of Chris’s races and experiences on the trail. He was gracious in answering what must have been child-like questions and took the time to tell some stories and have some laughs. I woke up this morning inspired to hit the webs again with this little blog. I have to remember that as new to this sport as I am, there is always someone who is newer than me. My hope is that I’m able to pass whatever little bit of knowledge I have, down the line to the next person who will eventually do the same.
On to a bit of a training update. My first marathon is coming up in less then two weeks and I am at the point in my schedule where my weekly miles are shortening. Last week I hit 40, but this week will be considerably less, probably somewhere in the mid 20s. I’m still not sold on the whole taper thing, but I vowed to stick to the plan, and it’s been going well so far. After Sunday’s 13 miler, I had a bit of soreness in my right knee, but nothing serious. I’m hoping the let-up in miles will set my legs up for a smooth race, but who knows really. Sure as shit, not me. What I do know is that I’m still enjoying the run, the trails are thawing out, and if I was able to kick through 18 miles of knee deep snow, I can at least creep through 26.2 miles of trails.
I had a nice time with my sister and brother in-law last night, enjoying our local brewpub’s offerings and digging on some buffalo chicken (no wings for me though, booo). As my sister was dropping me off, I joked that it was a great night for a run. It was around 7, still light enough and not as muggy as it was during the day. I sat down at my computer to catch up on some blogs and thought damnit, I’m going for a run. Just a little 3 mile loop. I wasn’t all that drunk. I wasn’t really drunk at all, just a couple mugs of IPA and a belly full of grilled buffalo chicken. Not too full, not too drunk. I’m on it. The run was at an easy pace. I wasn’t going to look at my watch for this one. I just wanted to get out, burn off some extra energy and relax. I forgot that the hills on this loop are kind of a dick. The last 3/4 mile definitely had me panting. I guess dehydration and a little more humidity than I thought there was took it’s toll (it couldn’t have been the gut full of beer and wing sauce).
Afterwards, I felt great. Tired and sweating and thirsty. It reminded me of when I first started running. Next time I do this though, I’m gonna take a friend and do it during the day. Too many chances for twisted ankles or cars not seeing you. This little part of the state still has a ton of roads without sidewalks. There it is. The real last run before the race.
Friday is the only day that I don’t do some sort of cardio. I might do some upper body junk at the gym, but I’m not sure yet. Tomorrow is also important because it starts my vacation. I wont be returning to work until next, next Monday! We usually camp for most of the week. Taking little day trips here and there, but this year I would love to take the family up and camp in the White Mountains. We also might spend a night camping in the state park at the foot of Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey.
But as the title suggests… Not so much suggests, but proves, tonight there will be beer. I really like beer. Like, LIKE-like, not just like-like. We’re tight, bffs, but while trying to drop lbs and keep a little cleaner diet, I haven’t hung with my buds as often as my 220 pound self liked to. Like other geniuses of the hops, I love me some IPAs. We’re lucky to live in an area where there are some completely decent local brewers, some pretty darn famous ones too. I’m not sure which beast I shall be poking with a stick tonight, but I sure wouldn’t mind a growler of the local brewery Elm City Brewing Company.
The wife is at spin until about 6:30, so we won’t make happy hour, but I’m always drawn to their craft beers. We’ll see what shakes out. Plus, shit I’m on vacation now! Maybe just a growler on the back porch would be nice. I’m just glad I have the option.