Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Review of Richmond Beer Week

One of the things that my husband and I are trying to do is explore the things available in our new home town. Especially after living apart for so long, it is sometimes easier to just spend the weekend hanging out at home rather than looking for things to do. Last week was a busy one; we both ran the Richmond Half Marathon and took in a few of the events that are part of Richmond Beer Week.

Tuesday night we headed over to Whole Foods in Short Pump for a beer dinner. We had a delicious four course dinner and each course was paired with a delicious beer. Breckenridge Brewery provided the beer and, while they may not be local, they make some great beers. The Agave Wheat was my favorite beer of the night.

On Sunday, we went over to Capital Ale House in downtown Richmond to catch the bus for a Beer Historic Tour of Richmond. This was a great way to see the city, and celebrate our success in the half marathon. We discovered some great new restaurants and attractions, and we learned a lot about the history of Richmond. Did you know that there are beer caves in Richmond?

Yuengling Beer Caves
The tour lasted most of the day and made stops at five or six beer related locations around the area. We wrapped up at the Hardywook Park Craft Brewery where we had two of the best beers of the day. They let us sample Hardywood Singel right from the line and it was amazing. Their farmhouse pumpkin is also delicous. I would highly recommend a trip to the brewery for those in the Richmond area. The best thing about the tour was that it is a fundraiser for the Bottom and Back Bus, so we were helping the community and having fun.

Richmond Beer Week was a nice surprise and it seems to be a little bit of a Richmond secret. I have mentioned it to a couple of life-long Richmonders who didn’t even know it existed. I don’t think I am doing the Richmond half marathon next year, so I should be able to experience more of the beer week festivities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Think I Might Actually be a Runner

A few weeks ago I talked about my fear of commitment, especially when it comes to races. It is pretty much impossible to fail when you don’t even try. Well, I officially sucked it up and registered for the Richmond Half Marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon. I knew that if I didn’t register soon, the races would fill up and I would be pretty mad about putting in all the training miles and not being able to run the race.

The Richmond Half Marathon was this past Saturday, and I tried to view it as just another training run. It didn’t really fit into my marathon training program, but my husband wanted to run it and I figured it would be a great way to see parts of Richmond that I had not explored yet. Overall, it was a good time, and I had a far better run than I was expecting and finished in just under 2:40. Now I understand that there are people who wouldn’t even consider this running, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. I finished almost 19 minutes faster than my previous half-marathon time. It also makes me feel a little more comfortable with running the full marathon in January. 

Overall, the Richmond half marathon is a good race. It is sponsored by McDonalds, which makes me giggle.  The course is nice with just a few hills and some great sights. You also have people cheering you on over most of the course. Some people even set up their own aid stations. There was even one with beer between miles 9 and 10. I like beer and I like running, but not at the same time.  

Another interesting thing about this race is that they run both the half and the full marathon on the same day, and we were able to see the start of the full marathon before the course splits. The course comes back together at the end with a wide lane for those running the half and one for those running the full. Since I am slow, this meant that I saw the elite marathoners run past me again a couple miles before the finish line. 

The one concern I would have about doing this race again would be the temperature. It is in November and it is up North, so that means it is cold. The announcer said it was 34-degrees when we started. I know there are people who think that is great running weather, but it is not for me. I started running while living in FL, and don’t like to be out when it is below 60. I also like to feel my feet before I get to mile 3. seems like I cannot take a decent race photo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remembering to be Thankful

Fall used to be my favorite time of year. When we were living in Florida, fall meant that it got cooler, you know down to the low 80s, less humid and it meant that the holidays were just around the corner. Since moving north, my love for this time of year has faded rather dramatically. I still love the anticipation leading up to the holiday season, but when getting cooler actually means it gets cold (anything below 60), this time of year is not nearly as much fun. This is my third fall in the north and once again, as soon as the days start to get shorter and weather starts to get chilly, I get crabby.

This year the negative funk has been particularly hard to shake. I think that the permanence of being here has set in and that, coupled with a slightly crazy workload, has been a little rough. It also seems that since Labor Day, the weather on the weekends has been pretty terrible; so we didn’t get to do some of the things we wanted to this fall. The thing that I need to remember is that while my life is not exactly what I would like right now, I have so many things to be thankful for. My goal for November is to focus on all the good things I have in my life.

November is a time to take stock in and remember all the things I have to be thankful for. We are just over a week into this month, and so I am going to share some of the things.
  1. My Husband – I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend and my biggest supporter. Not only does he make my life better, he makes me be a better person. 
  2. Living with my Husband – after almost two years of living apart, there are few things better than knowing that I get to come home to him at the end of the day. 
  3. My Family – I have an amazing family who has been super supportive of the craziness of the past few years. I miss them all dearly and often wish we could all live in the same (warm) place. 
  4. My Friends – They are scattered all over the country, but I have some amazing and wonderful friends. They are always there when I need them most. 
  5. Health –I am very thankful that I am healthy and have never had any real health problems. My allergies may be annoying, but there are not something that really impacts my life. 
  6. The Opportunities in My Life – I have been able to take advantage of a number of opportunities throughout my life and I am very thankful for that. While things have not always turned out as planned, I have learned a lot on every adventure. 
  7. My Job – I haven’t been there very long, but I really enjoy what I am doing and I work with a great group of people. I know that there are a lot of people out there looking for a jobs and I am very thankful for this one.
While it is easy to focus on the things that are missing from my life, I know  I really need to think about all wonderful things I actually have in my life. There will always be things that could be better, but I am blessed to have a ton of wonderful things in my life. While it is going to be my focus for November, it is something I need to remember throughout the year.