One week officially in the books! This is easy.
THE RUN — 2.01 miles of treadmill hill training in 16:38 (08:18/mile pace)
With just 5 days until I was scheduled to run the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg, TN on April 7th, I decided that I needed to get in one last full-body workout with some hill simulation at the end. The Oak Barrel Half follows a scenic course down in Lynchburg (home of the Jack Daniel’s distillery), and it features a particularly trying uphill stretch that is lovingly referred to as “Whiskey Hill.” The race organizers went out of their way to give Whiskey Hill a certain aura of brutality, even going so far as to give Whiskey Hill its own cheeky Facebook page, where the sadistic hill taunts runners that would dare to tread upon it. With this douchebag hill in the forefront of my mind, and minding the fact that I hadn’t done any serious hill running since the Little Rock Marathon at the beginning of March (and the Austin Half Marathon in mid-February before that), I knew that I had to get in at least one hill workout in the days leading up to the face on Saturday.
After doing a full workout at my gym (though this time not so strenuous that I wouldn’t have any leg strength left over at the end), I hopped on the treadmill and set it for a 3.5% incline to begin. I’ve mentioned before how much I hate treadmills, but since Chicago is an almost impossibly flat city, treadmill-based running is just about the only way I’ve found to simulate hills. My friend Dan Solera runs stairs, but I hate stair running even more than I hate treadmills, so the treadmill would have to do. Not more than a minute after I hit “Quick Start” on the treadmill, a bit of good fortunate came my way, as an extremely fit girl that I’ve seen around my gym selected the treadmill next to mine for her own run. I don’t know if I’ve properly explained this before, but I am an embarrassingly vain runner; the surest way to get me to increase my level of exertion is to plop an attractive female next to me and say, “Go!” It is woven in our nature that all men compete for the attention of attractive females all the time, and while I am 100% certain that nobody is impressed by extreme treadmill running (nor would I ever interrupt someone’s workout to say Hello), I’ll be damned if I didn’t increase the incline by an extra 0.5% and the speed by an extra 1.0 mph.
In the end, it turned out to be a good decision– after two miles of treadmill running with a 3.5%-4.0% incline, both my legs and my lungs felt great. When combined with the full-body workout with weights that I did before my run, this was one of the better workouts I’d had in weeks. The only part that didn’t feel great? Taking that dumb picture of my treadmill readout next to the hot girl.
THE BEER — 22-oz. of Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF) by Lagunitas Brewing Company
After my workout, I decided that I had earned something better than a regular ol’ Miller Lite, so I set off for Binny’s and grabbed myself a deuce-deuce of Wilco Tango Foxtrot by Lagunitas. WTF (yes, Lagunitas, we all get it) is something that Lagunitas calls an “Imperial Brown Ale” (it should be noted that Beer Advocate doesn’t recognize that particular category, and so they instead classify this beer as an American Strong Ale). Dark amber in color, WTF weighs in at an imposing 7.83% AVB. On its label, Lagunitas refers to this beer as a ” Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale,” whatever that means. While WTF wins points for cheekiness, I have to say that I wasn’t entirely won over by its taste. I never thought I’d say this, but it was almost too alcoholic for my tastes. Sweet at first, with some fruit notes coming on mid-palate, it finishes almost oily with a less-than-appealing after-taste. Don’t get me wrong, I finished the beer, like any true American would…I’m just not sure that I’ll go back to this particular well again. If this beer is placed in front of me, I’ll say “Thank you,” and knock it down. But if I’m spending my own money, I’d have to take a pass.