My journey with running began nearly six years ago, when now-fiancé Jason announced he'd be running a five-mile Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning.
He's crazy, I thought, as I sat in my pajamas, watching the Macy's parade while I painted my nails.
Jason came away from that race with a free pint of hard-earned Redhook ale. I came away from that day with the start of the Holiday Season 15.
It was time to change my ways. I made an effort for a few years around the holiday season, running in various Turkey Trots with Jason, but the enthusiasm for running would fade away come Christmas. Not even a New Year's resolution could stoke any sort of passion for the sport (or any regular exercise).
I knew I would one day commit to writing about the two things I love most: food and beer (preferably craft). That means eating a lot of good food and drinking a lot of good beer.
But, I have my health to maintain – and a wedding dress to feel my best in come June next year. So I made a promise to myself: I would run (and strength- and cross-train) so I could maintain a level of fitness that would allow for indulging (for the purposes of blogging, of course).
I would literally run for beer.
Luckily, the running world makes this easy. Many races I've run in, or plan to run in, include a free pint at the finish line. There is even a race coming up that's part of a series of 5Ks + craft beer festivals in one.
Plus, exercise and beer are closely linked in way that even science says is a good thing.
- Beer can actually be hydrating and is made up of the carbs runners need to refuel
- Beer contains important nutrients, like multiple B vitamins
- Beer, like red wine, is comprised of a compound that lowers bad cholesterol and raises the good kind
With that in mind, the simple notion of "will run for beer" changed my attitude toward exercise in a way that no fitness magazine has before. It's been so effective that I even RAN AT NIGHT once because I didn't have time to fit the miles in during the day.
In an effort to truly commit to running for beer, I have the following races on my calendar to train for. Most come with beer at the end.
- Cheshire YMCA 10K, May 15 (this one probably won't offer beer at the end, but rest assured I will procure my own post-finish line drink to celebrate my first 10K)
- Craft Brew 5K Race New Haven, July 30 (CAN'T WAIT for this one)
- Shore to the Pour 3 mile run in Stratford, TBD (this race is sponsored by Two Roads Brewing Co.)
- Hartford Half Marathon (13.1 miles), Oct. 8 – GULP! Many beers will be earned by this race
- Madison Jaycees 5-Mile Turkey Trot, Nov. 24 – taking this journey full circle with a five-mile Turkey Trot followed by a Redhook ale!
Not into running? Don't worry – hiking and yoga go well with beer, too. You'll see if you continue to follow along in my perennial pursuit of good beer.