This motto of mission accomplished is one that in recent years has taken a lot of slack. I suppose it’s how it was used most recently to say we won a war that then didn’t seem quite over for a few years down the road. Regardless, I’m taking it back! This past weekend I saw a couple of goals reached in my own personal life, and since this is Lyrics, Libations, and Life, I thought that it didn’t seem completely inappropriate to share them on here. Don’t worry, I’ll swing it back into a libations angle anyway.
In the past 8-9 months my wife and I have taken up the “sport” of running. I put sport in quotations there because for years I have more thought of running as a punishment for real sports. When you screwed up a play or joked around in practice your coach made you run laps. Hence, I’ve always had a hard time seeing running as a sport. Regardless, we did a few 5k’s a couple of years ago, but this year we have completed both a 10k and 10 mile race. Once again, I have a tough time calling what I do a race because I don’t even come close to winning anything. Anyway, over the past two months, we have been training for our first half marathon. For those of you who don’t know, that is 13.1 miles. If you asked me a couple of years ago if I’d ever dream of running that far in one sitting, I would have laughed right in your face. Prior to Saturday the longest I had run was 11 miles in training, and I hadn’t done that distance in two weeks, so I was thinking it would be a challenge.
Saturday was a beautiful day, which I was really thankful for. The past two races I have done were in the cold, and it was kind of hard to get motivated to be outside for a few hours with that issue going on. We walked over and found ourselves slightly confused with the over 16,000 other people milling about as well; however, we managed to find our friends. I’m not sure why they give you a corral to start in, but we managed to find our way into a corral, and we finally started our run 20-25 minutes after the starting gun. I would like to know how these races worked before technology. I had to put a sensor on my shoe that kept track of when I actually started, and when I crossed certain points during the race. Back in the day, if you started 25 minutes after the starting gun, how did they keep track of how fast you ran it? I’m just glad I have technology.
The actual run started really well. A week before the race I went for a short run, and I was having problems a mile into it, so I was happy that none of those problems seemed to be presenting themselves. One of the aspects that I wasn’t ready for was the long up hill portion that took place right in the middle of run. It definitely felt like it was heading straight up hill for a few miles. Regardless, I made it through that portion and managed to get to the last couple miles. The final two miles really were the toughest for me. It could be because I had never run over 11 miles before, or it could have been the fact that I played hockey the night before. Whatever it was, I was really dying towards the end. Finally crossing the line was a great feeling. I completed my run of 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 8 minutes, which if it hadn’t been for the hills, I would have been slight disappointed in. I really wanted to get under two; however, with the hills, I’m pretty happy with how I did.
The second big mission I accomplished on Saturday came later that afternoon. After brewing my first beer, moving from primary to secondary fermentation, and a whole lot sanitizing, I finally got my beer bottled. I still feel really nervous that I may have bottled a sub par beer. I went over my worries of some of the mistakes I may have made in my brewing in a previous post, and it is all of those that have me really uneasy that it won’t turn out. I guess it’s up to the bottle and priming sugar to do its thing now.
Other than the original mistakes I outlined, everything seemed to go pretty well with the rest of the processes of brewing beer. The airlock bubbled as it should for a few days, I had a lot of left over stuff at the bottom of both of the fermenters, and I did pretty well transferring everything. Bottling wasn’t as hard as I thought everyone made it out to be. I used the dishwasher minus the soap to sanitize my bottles, which I hear is a pretty good way to go about it. The priming sugar solution wasn’t a problem, and in the end I managed to bottle 45 bottles, which I promptly stuck in the closet. I’m going to taste one at the end of this week, but I understand it will take about another week before they are close to really ready.
Saturday was a big day for multiple reasons. Perhaps one was far larger than the other, and I’m pretty sure I’m way more proud of the run than I am of bottling my first beer. I already know how the race turned out though, hopefully my beer turns out just as well. It may not have been a St. Patrick’s Day of green beer, but I think it may be one of the most memorable anyway.