Ottawa Beer Run

If there is one thing that goes together like peas and carrots, it is runners and beer. This past weekend, the 2014 Ottawa Beer Run occured and much fun was had by over 600 participants. The week before, inStride Events held a Beer run in Toronto and it was fun to see all the pictures coming through instagram and twitter. inStride Events are the same group of people that organize the Manotick Miler, along with a few other events in the Ottawa area. They are very quickly becoming one of the leading event organizers in Ottawa. Anyways, I asked to be a ‘Beer Bunny’ for the event, which involved running with 150 runners, keeping them on course and making sure we stuck to a fairly tight timeline. It was a fairly easy and really fun job. The race was simple – run 13.5KM and stop at 5 local breweries/brew pubs on the way. The Ottawa Beer Run featured: Big Rig, Kichesippi Breweries, Clocktower Brew Pub, Beyond the Pale Brewery, and Mill Street Pub


I participated in Wave 3, which started at 1pm. We were told to arrive at 12:40pm at Big Rig Breweries so that we could have a sample of their beer before heading off. Because the first section of the course was 5K long in the searing heat, I only had a small sample of the Big Rig Rideau Red.






Soon we were off. This was a race where the roads were not closed, so we mostly ran on sidewalks and local paths. It was 26C when we left and there was next to no shade. One of the other beer bunnies and I set forth with the lead pack and were averaging maybe 5:30/km – nothing too fast. We got to Kichesippi and were practically melting. That beer was pretty refreshing!  They also had some chips on offer which also tasted amazing, even though it was just Ruffles.  While there, I met a few people – including Don, one of my Ottawa-twitter friends. After about 20 minutes, we were off to Clocktower.






The run to Clocktower was super short and involved running in some neighbourhoods. There were a few people out and about cheering us on. We went past a garage sale in Westboro, where a woman was ringing some bells to cheer us on. They had some sort of giant bear for sale, and we thought about buying it to bring it along (just kidding). Clocktower is my favorite brew pub of all time, and home to my beloved pumpkin ale. Of course, pumpkin ale was available to sample. They also had Kolsch available and the pub said to take both, so I did! They also had yummy rye sandwiches. I know I am a bit biased, but Clocktower was definitely the best stop!




The next stop was Beyond the Pale which is just before Chinatown near the O-Train route. We had to run down Westboro, which we thought might be a bit nuts (it is a VERY popular shopping/dining area), but it wasn’t too bad. I was with the middle of the pack and ran with Don, his friend and a few others. We all chatted the entire time and pointed out other places we could stop at. Of course, Suzy Q donuts was on the way and if there wasn’t a line, I think Don was seriously going to get some donuts! Next year that has to be a stop! Beyond the Pale is in a little industrial plaza and they had a little patio set up for us, which included some fresh bread by Art is in Bakery, which is located next door. At this stop, we ran into Duffman – who was apparently in Wave 1, but was still at Beyond the Pale when we got there. They gave us a reasonable sized sample of one of their brews (Rye Guy, I think?), but could get a refill if we wanted to. For all the stops, other than Clocktower, I just had one sample – but some people were getting more, and most breweries were very generous.



The last stop on our running tour was Mill Street, which is located by the War Museum. We ran along the O-Train corridor path and the river path – wow! I think I found another place to run. Definitely a nice little path in this section of Ottawa. Mill Street was the end, so we received our bottle-opener medals and a small sample of Mill Streets Organic Ale. I was only at Mill Street for a brief time, because I had to get home – but it seemed like the pub was packed with runners from all the waves. I’m not sure if they had any food available – but lots of people were ordering from the menu and it looked good!  I even saw one of my previous VP’s there.




After the run, I booked it to the OC-transpo where I’m sure all the people on the bus appreciated me standing there all sweaty.

The run cost $60 and is WELL worth it. Considering you will spend at least $45 on a regular ol’ 5K race, for $60, you get to run, still get all the race goodies (t-shirt, medal) AND BEER.  I know some people are concerned about the whole beer+running thing and their tummies, but in all honesty, it wasn’t bad. If I had more than one sample, it may have been interesting, but I did not feel like losing my cookies at all – even with the heat.  Even though I went alone to this event, I talked to quite a few people and had tons of fun. I’m looking forward to Beer Run 2015 and hope that a few other friends join in for next year!

Thanks again to inStride for allowing me to volunteer at another inStride Race! For those who are interested for 2015 – keep checking their twitter page. This event sells out rather quickly! 



By |September 29th, 2014|running|8 Comments|

NYC Marathon Training: Week 11

Another week in the books – and only 5 weeks to go before the big day – Week 11 of Marathon Training!




This week was only a 3 run week. I took a few days off after the Army Run half to reset some aching muscles. Actually my RMT fixed me up in one session and all DOMS/aching muscles were fixed. I have my next massage booked for a few days after my 32K/20 mile super long run :-) I also had to adjust my training because I was helping run the Ottawa Beer Run – the run was just over 13K and therefore would have put me way over my mileage limit – so changes were made to my shorter runs since my long runs are non-negotiable to change at this point.

Monday – Off – I had XC practice, but I made them run a 5K time trial. I promptly sat my butt on a street curb and watching them run.

Tuesday – Off again – massage appointment

Wednesday – Off, but not totally off as we had a hills/circuit training plan for XC. I didn’t participate in the hills, but I did run the circuit with them. The ‘X’ circuit is a fun circuit that involves accels/strides and pushups, squats and ab work. Super fun! They really enjoyed it.

Thursday – 26K Long Run in 3:10

The first of three “super long runs” was my 26K/16 miler on Thursday. I was scheduled to work the morning, but had a completely clear afternoon with no XC practice, which meant I had just over 4 hours to run and shower before having to pick up Max. Of course, it was really hot out and sunny when I was ready to run. It was about 25C that day and I felt the heat! I planned my route for four 5K loops and one 6K loops that all ended up at my house so I could re-hydrate and also get some nutrition in me. I do take a few minutes (2-3) after every loop. I have been doing this for the entire length of my training. I have four 5K routes that start at my house which I rotate through regularly so I don’t get super bored with running on the Ottawa River trail all the time. The first two loops went by without a problem – although I was hot. The third loop is when I started to feel those aches and pains. The fourth loop included me almost getting hit by a car who decided that the red stop light meant he could just speed through a right hand turn.  I was getting slightly faster with each loop – even seeing a 5:55 flash on the Garmin at one point. I ran out of GU Gels and that messed things up for my 6K loop. I was eating other food, but the GU Gels are what really work for me. A combination of no more gels and it being hot meant I cramped up a bit for the 6K loop. When I tackle a new distance (especially one that is 5K more than I’ve ever run), I break up the last bit by running 1K and then walking for 1 minute rather than doing 10/1’s. Odds are, I will be doing this during the marathon too. But, looking at my KM splits, I was still going faster for those last 6K than my first half of the run (minus the last KM – that was a disaster). After the run, I immediately had an ice bubble bath. It does the trick. Then, I showered, picked up Max and went to track practice. A few things learned from this run:

– I am now comfortable running 20K without even thinking about it

– It took 4 years, but I’m now someone who runs negative splits consistently

– I am 90% sure that this whole marathon run will go well – as soon as I reach 32K, I will be 99.9% sure

Friday – 5K in 32:00

A “long run” with the XC team. I had some tummy troubles at one point, so that was annoying. The XC team’s long run pace is my steady pace, so it should work nicely to run with the team on Fridays.. The only thing that doesn’t work is the timing on a Friday afternoon. Max has swimming at 5pm and I didn’t finish practice til 4:10 and didn’t leave the daycare til 4:30. I planned on running 6K, but had to call it a day at 5K.

Saturday – Off

Sunday – 13.5K  + another .5K Ottawa Beer Run (no Garmin on this run)

I was lucky enough to be able to run the Ottawa Beer Run on Sunday as a ‘Beer Bunny’. Basically, I had to help keep the group together and make sure we stayed on track. Super easy job that gave me free entry into the race. We ran 13.5KM from the Ikea area to downtown Ottawa. It was a super hot run, especially the first 5K!  After that we only had short runs (2-4KM) between each brewery. Each stop was about 20 minutes. We started the run at 1pm and was finished before 4pm. Not sure on pace/timing but at one point we were running just below 5:30/km in the lead pack. I will recap more of this race tomorrow. After finishing up at Mill Street Brew Pub, I ran to the bus stop and then on arrival in Orleans ran home from the bus station. All in all, I probably ran over 14K.


Total KM – 45 which is exactly where I am supposed to be!


As I mentioned in the long run recap, I feel that I have this whole marathon thing in the bag. I felt very comfortable running 26K and if it wasn’t for running out of gels and it being hot out, I would have had zero problems. I still have 16K to go on race day, though!  I am very glad that I am approaching the final two weeks of increase in mileage training weeks. My first week of taper is still high in mileage, but I will be glad to get this 25+km runs out of the way. They just take so much time.  This upcoming week, I need to get back to running 4x a week.  Basically for the next 3 weeks I have a long run, a 6K hills run, 8K and a 10K. It shouldn’t be too hard to manage. I’m hoping to get next week’s long run done on Thursday again.  The 32K is definitely happening on a weekend though. That is going to take a long time!


By |September 29th, 2014|NYC 2014, running|2 Comments|

Live Healthy. Live Bubbly. 7 Day Challenge

Back in the day, I drank quite a bit of pop. I would go through a 24 case of pop super fast, probably having at least 2 cans of soda a day. I almost never drank water. Not exactly a healthy choice!  Today, I rarely buy pop for the house. The only time I put a 2L bottle of pop in my shopping cart is when company is coming over. I still indulge in pop when I go out to eat, but other than that, no pop!

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By |September 27th, 2014|sponsored|3 Comments|