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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

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Warming up with a cold beer after a long run.
Warming up with a cold beer after a long run.

Cold beer running

If you'd asked me a year ago what the first thought that popped into my head when someone mentioned "beer run," my response would definitely not be 13.1 miles. However, today that's my only thought.

Over the weekend, I accomplished a fitness goal I never dreamed imaginable or ever really had in mind as an obtainable goal. Although I'd say I'm fairly fitness friendly (meaning I hit the gym or pop in a Jillian video here and there), I'd never really strived to achieve a particular fitness goal or aspiration. Sure, I have that number I'm always trying to hit on the scale, but that about covers my motivation. I definitely was not a competitive runner in high school, in fact I'm not sure I would ever really call myself a "runner."

When a friend of mine asked me to run a half marathon I pretty much brushed off her seemingly crazy request without a thought, that is, until she uttered two key words "free beer." If you really want me to give something a go, it's best to offer beer, especially of the free variety. Well played, my friend, well played.

Tyranena Brewery sponsors a charity run each year. Runners receive two free beer vouchers for participating in the event. Participants can choose from two cleverly named categories; 1/2 barrel or 1/6 barrel. Of course, not to go easy on me, my partner in crime chose the 1/2 barrel (1/2 marathon) run.

Before my mind could catch up with my beer gut I was registered for the race. About two weeks prior to the big day, it finally sunk in: what was I thinking? That's not to say I hadn't been training; sure I had, but this was hard. I'd rather sit on my couch and just pay for beer.

I woke up Saturday morning with a frosty, pint-sized knot in my stomach. I'd prepared to the best of my amateur ability and today was the day to show and prove. As we made our way to Lake Mills, (home of Tyranena Brewery) snow flurries surrounded us - setting the stage for what appeared to be a terrible day to run. Fortunately, time was on my side. Short…