One thing to know about how Hubby and I run is that even though we both are usually training for the same race (in this case, the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Nation’s Capital Half Marathon), we don’t run together. That is true in training and during races. At a race, we’ll start at the finish line together, wish each other a good race, and then go our separate ways. Hubby is much faster than I am, so he’s always at the finish line cheering me across it. From there, we grab our water and banana, take some photos, and recap our race experiences.
When it comes to training, we both usually hit the treadmills, and running together on treadmills isn’t really fun. Plus, honestly, I think there’s also an element of enjoying personal quiet timing. We both run with music, but it’s also a chance to just be in our own heads and go.
A few Saturdays ago, we both had to get in an 11-mile training run, and we ended up actually hitting the treadmills at the same time. I don’t know what it was about those 11 miles, but for me, the run was a slog from start to finish. Maybe the problem was the couple of previous runs, including my 10.5 mile run the week before, were good, solid runs. Maybe the gym was a little too hot, so I was over-heating a little. Or, maybe I just wasn’t feeling it, so it was a rough run. Whatever it was, from mile 3 on, I was looking at the mileage counter thinking there was no way I was going to make 11 miles, and by mile 9, my 6 mintue:1minute run/walk intervals switch to 3:1 intervals. Instead of being motivated by Hubby when he finished before me, I was green with envy, and I was sure that was going to be the end of the run, even though I hadn’t actually gone the full distance. But, somehow, I struggled through, and the moment I saw I was at 11 miles, I dropped the speed down to the slowest walk I could do while still be upright.
To say it was a bad run would be an understatement, but it was done. I had just enough energy to drink my post-run protein smoothie, stretch, foam roll, shower, and open the beer I couldn’t stop thinking about from the moment I stumbled into the condo.
Long Winter’s Nap is a Maibock by Blue Mountain Barrel House, a division of Blue Mountain Brewery in Virginia (brewery). The beer was a medium golden-amber that was almost honey-like with 1/4 inch of off-white, sudsy foam that lingered. On the nose, there was a breadiness mixed with hints of grains, apples, and nail polish remover and a sweetness on the finish. In the mouth, there was toffee, bread, and hints of apples and honey. It had a medium body and some lacing.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $13 for 750 ml, this beer was a slightly heavier, very smooth winter ale. Usually I find that winter ales taste a little too much like I’m drinking beer that has been steeped in potpourri or that has had pine needles left to soak in it, but this winter ale didn’t have any of that. There were hints of the season without it being a dominant characteristic, which is exactly what I like.
All in all, I’m not sure if it was the beer or the long run (or maybe a bit of both), but it definitely left me feeling ready for a long winter’s nap by the time I was done with it. It paired nicely with the spinach and artichoke ravioli that Hubby made for dinner and was even better as I stretched out on the couch to watch a movie. Without a doubt, it was the best part of my run!
Question of the Day: What do you think of winter seasonal beers? Do you have a favorite?
Price: $13 for a 750ml bottle
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 3.5 Corks