Monday, August 1, 2011

The Early Bird gets the $*@T scared out of Him.

In the past two weeks the Maryland heat and humidity have been brutal at times. This means my runs have been earlier in the morning to beat the heat. The morning hours between 4:30 and 7am are also the time that Mother Nature and her crew are out in force. I have been bombed by Squirrels, ran up on an angry Raccoon and have been startled numerous times by deer and their fawns crossing the path. I may or may not have even screamed and almost jumped off the road once when a deer came out of the woods about 3 feet from me and ran back the other way, while being laughed at by a woman and her dog coming the opposite direction. All in all the mornings are quiet and have mostly been good temperatures. I had a great run this past Sunday, I got on the trail early and was finished by 7:30 just as the morning was heating up. My route was planned for 10 miles but with Lake Elkhorn still under construction I only ended up with 9 and some change running from Savage Park and back...Somehow I think I will live. Especially since that was only the beginning of my day. After church I came home and went on a bike ride with the girls and then ended the day at the pool and home at 6pm for making Old School Homemade Ice Cream.
We made vanilla and one with fresh peaches, it was a perfect end to a good weekend of being busy and hot.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Weeks Down and Newton's Laws of Motion.

Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. It is proportional to an object's mass. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to describe the motion of matter and how it is affected by applied forces. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, or lazy. Isaac Newton defined inertia as his first law in his PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which states:

The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.

With three weeks in the books and week four beginning I feel good...really good. Week three was the best week of runs so far. I ran 3.4 miles Tuesday, 4 miles Thursday and I had a great run Saturday it was shorter distance week (5 miles), but since week two's run was a disaster, I felt good so I tacked on another mile and half loop. I blame week two's demise on The Colossus World Tour (and my love of a good time and beer). I was at the Judge's Bench Friday Night hanging out and then tried to run 7 miles Saturday Morning a touch dehydrated and then i had an idea of a quick make up run Sunday morning it was quickly traded for 'Pints and Pancakes' at T-Bonz. I had such a successful bounce back this past week that I am actually looking forward to this weeks work outs as I start tacking on more miles. I actually feel a good bit more overall energy when I keep up with my work out plan and I am moving around with the girls schedule and bike rides. When I stop though, I grow roots quick and it takes some effort to get moving again (especially if I have a beer in hand).
I guess you have to have a bad week or two to know what a good week looks like. Four Miles Tuesday, four mile run this Thursday then Xmas in July that night at DuClaw @ Arundel Mills come by and say 'hey' while I am stretching and keeping my legs from cramping up while I prepare for 9 miles come Saturday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 1 - Self Discipline and Beer...and the Winner is...

Today begins week 1 of 18 leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon. Hal Higdon's Novice plan for a Marathon is my base but I am moving some of the work-outs around with Hockey and getting the girls to Swim Team Practice. My minimum work out plan is to run 2-3 times a week with a cardio workout in there somewhere. Talking to people that have run a marathons before they all agree the long runs must happen. I have decided that Saturday or Sunday will be my long runs depending on weather and my social calendar. I'm back on my 5 small meals a day and watching my beer consumption.As some of you know that this is become increasingly difficult. As of a month ago I have been brewing for DuClaw. It is a fantastic opportunity for an old married guy with kids to work in a profession that I have been working towards the last 6+ years. So this is where the self discipline comes in...a chubby guy surrounded by beer at a time he needs to focus on working out and hopefully being a couple pounds lighter by the time he has to haul his ass 26.2 miles.
We will hope for the best but expect the worst.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shipping up to Boston

This past weekend I was invited to help out Mike Roy from Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery and General Store, pouring beer for the BeerAdvocates American Craft Beer Festival. Three session over two days with 106 breweries in attendance with 506 beers being poured. I had made my short list of breweries and beers I wanted to try so not waste time or precious liver function with beers I have had before. Of course before I could enjoy my first sip of beer we had to get there. Mike Roy, Chris Graham (Mike's former intern and recent employee of DC Brau who's 1st day of work was the Monday after we returned)and myself left Maryland around 5:30am. Couple of stops here and there and we were in Boston in what seemed like a couple of hours not 8 and half. We hit town around 2pm and we and 105 other breweries were jocking for position to get into the Seaport World Trade Center to set up our booth and get our beers iced down for the 6pm session. Most breweries brought 4-5 styles in large quantities for the event, Mike decided to bring 10 beers each in smaller quantities to showcase the beers made at the Hyattsville Brew Pub. You are probably asking yourself why a Brewpub from Maryland that does not distribute beer past it's door be interested in going to a festival with the likes of Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Co.? We must have been asked the same question 50 times a session (along with jeers and good hearted ribbing about my Orioles hat). The answer is Mike Roy is from New Hampshire and knows just about every brewer in the area it was like a big homecoming for him. Also I was surprised to have people take business cards and say that they were visiting DC soon and were going to stop by while in town or they come to DC for work and have been looking for a good place for beer. I also ran into some folks from home; The Godfather of Baltimore Beer Week, Joe Gold, Hugh Sisson and Bond Distributor extraordinaire Matt Crow.I Sampled a lot of good beers and met a lot of good folks. A highlight at the Smuttynose Booth, was meeting Paul from my favorite Beer Label and got my picture taken with him. The word on the street is that Cy passed away last year.
Lines for Pretty Things, Surly, Clown Shoes, Duck Rabbit were the longest during every session and I would have to sneak up the side of the booths during my break or be stuck in line the entire time. Sadly breweries like Oscar Blues, Victory, Stouts and Six Points all poured their beers from bottles and cans, not that it was bad but, I always hope for an interesting twist to a staple beer or a one off at these events but I could be jaded with all of the years attending The Extreme Beer Fest also held here in Boston. Friday after the 6-9:30 session there was an after party for the Industry folks at the Harpoon Brewery about three blocks away right on the water. We had a chance to hang out, relax, talk beer and eat some great food The Brewers association of Massachusetts had for everyone. We got a 2 cent tour of the facility from a brewer that Mike knew and was amazed at the Automation of the 150BBL massive brewery. We caught a cab to our Hotel just before midnight knowing we had to do this twice again on Saturday. Woke Up Saturday and had some time to relax and catch up on the scores on ESPN. We took a cab to China Town and ate at a Dim Sum Restaurant that Mike used to frequent. I have had a lot of meals before beer festivals but Dim Sum is now at the top of the list for laying down a base for a day of drinking. We got to the Seaport about an hour before the first session was to begin and we refreshed our ice and made sure our taps were running smoothly. I lucked out to take my break first and got in line before the crowds had time to swarm. Some of my favorite beers from the weekend were Pretty Things Best Regards (Barleywine), Baby Tree (Quad) and Fluffy White Rabbits(Trippel); Surley Darkness, Bender and Furious, Six Points Sweet Action(Cream Ale). I also enjoyed all of the beers Boulevard Brewing out of Kansas City had to offer. They were pouring Sixth Glass(Quad), Double-Wide I.P.A., Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Dark Truth Imp Stout all bottle conditioned. Anyone who knows me I knows I am drawn to beers made with Ringwood yeast, good or bad I am amazed how different these beers can be. Gritty McDuffs had some decent beers but I was in heaven with the 'Alan Pugsly Signature Series' beers that Shipyard was pouring. They had a Smashed Blueberry, Smashed Pumpkin and my favorite was an American Double IPA. All clocked in at 9% and were really good and complex. The surprise brewery was Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Warren, Vermont. They are a 1 BBl Brewery and has won awards at GABF and World beer Cup and has already done a Collaboration with The Bruery. The Collaboration was called Acer Quercus and was Stout brewed with Maple Syrup, Dates and Maple Wood Smoked malt. A fantastic pallet challenging beer I'm glad I had this one early in the day on Saturday to enjoy it. They also were pouring a Double IPA called Double Sunshine. The hop aroma was flooring and the flavor was fantastic. I would put Double Sunshine up against any of the top Double IPA's, East or West Coast. I did 'work' a lot pouring between having these fine beers and by the end of the Saturday late session all I wanted to do was sleep but we had to break down pack up the car. The party was just getting started for most locals because it was also Game 2 of the Stanly Cup Finals for the Bruins. We finally rolled out about 10:45 and made our way to Mike's parents house to spend the night. The next morning we had breakfast with Mike's parents and some family members that stopped by and hit the road for home. We got back to my house at about 8:00pm Sunday and sadly it dawned on me that I had to go back to work in just a couple of hours. This trip cemented Boston as one of my favorite cities to visit, we had a great weather, met some good folks and drank some great beers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

19 years went by pretty fast...

This past Sunday was the 1st Annual Atholton High School Alumni Lacrosse Game. We had players from as early as 2010 graduates, and then some old guys from 1992(me and Alex)and my brother from 1990. Everyone had a lot of fun and there were more laughs and reminiscing of the old days then I have had in a long time. I was able to play with a player that I coached at Atholton (1997/98)that is now the Varsity head coach for Atholton and his father was my coach when I played at Atholton. I can't express how great it was to play a sport we all love with my old friends and brother one more time. I can't wait till next years game and I am looking into playing in the Howard County over 35 league in the fall since I did not embarrass myself and even made a handfull of saves. Next year Chris had mentioned we may rent out the turf field at Cedar Lane and hopefully be able to have a beer or two during/after the game(which is hard to do on school property). It goes to show that you are only as old as you feel and I felt old as hell the next day.
Top Right:My Brother Trevor
Middle Left:My Brother in the foreground and me in the goal(Jared A. and John P. in background)
bottom Center: The Post Game Team Picture

Friday, May 13, 2011

You're Never Too Old...or Are You?

I got a call from a friend of mine from High School I haven't seen or talked to in about 4-5 years. Mrs. Runner had run into his wife at one of my her High School reunion/gatherings at Looney's in Maplelawn and given her her number for us to catch up. This call turned out to be to an invite me to play in a Alumni Lacrosse Game at our old High School, Atholton. Without a second thought I said yes and then asked what day, he said it was in two weeks and that it had been on Facebook for a month or more but he had to hunt me down the old fashioned way since I am 'Anti-Social Networking'(not to mention he needed another Goalie). I told Chris I had not played for 3-4 years but when I thought about it later it has been closer to 8-10 years but I still get opportunities to throw the ball around about once every year and I have not missed too much with my hand-eye skills since my old bones still play Hockey. I am however contemplating the move from a defending a 4' x 6' hockey goal to a 6' x 6' net. My wife likes to give me a hard time because anytime someone brings up High School Lacrosse I do my best Al Bundy Impersonation ("I scored 4 touchdowns in a single game") because I answer their question the same way everytime: "Yes, I played Goalie" and then tag on "I was 2nd Team All-County". I have started doing it now because I find it funny and my wife always rolls her eyes. Looking at the roster, I was the oldest on the roster till I talked my brother into playing now he is. I am looking forward to playing again and seeing some of my old teammates. Howard County does have a 35 & over Fall Lacrosse League I am thinking about getting involved in if I don't embarrass my self too badly.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's not a sprint, it is a Marathon.

The calendar has been marked for the beginning of my Marine Corps Marathon training. I have been running my normal off-and-on but as of Junes 26th that will need to be a focused regiment to end at the goal of 26.2 miles on October 30th. My friend Phil from my home brew club, who runs 2-3 Marathons a year and is starting to do Iron Man competitions, shared his knowledge and 4 work out programs that he has used. The training programs from Hal Higdon's 'How to Train' ranged from Novice (that is me)to Intermedate, Intermediate II (not Me) and Expert(definatly not me). So I looked at the calendar and counted back my 18 weeks to get my timeline of training together. My old friend the Annapolis 10 Miler even fits in perfect with my training as it turns out I need a 10 mile long run that weekend. Now I just need to make time for all of this running it looks like it is going to cut severly into my beer drinking time.