REVIEW: Hansons Marathon Method

by: Kelly Leighton
January 18, 2017
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Prior to the 2016 Harrisburg Marathon, I hadn’t ever really used a training plan.

When I’d train for marathons, I’d get my long runs in and log some miles during the week. But I never had a plan stuck to the fridge.

I’ve had the Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon on my bookshelf for a few years now. (I am 90 percent sure my mom bought it for me because I like the band Hanson and I like to run despite the fact that they have nothing to do with each other.) I finally decided to try it out while training for Harrisburg. With my husband on board as “coach,” he wrote out my weekly schedule every Sunday night. My marathon PR is from 2012 (!), and I was sick of consistently running times near it, but not hitting it.

This plan works for a lot of people. I have read so many success stories. It did not work for me at all. I am so stubborn, I knew it wasn’t working for me pretty early on, but I stuck with it to give it a fair chance. (Here is a summary of the training plan if you are not familiar.) Like most things in life, there were some positives, so I will tell you what I liked about the plan, as well as it what I hated. For the record, I trained using a hybrid of the 3:25/3:20 plan.

What I liked:

Speed and strength workouts  – I really enjoyed their speed and strength workouts. I thought they were hard but manageable, and I always felt sort of badass when I nailed them. An example of one of their speed workouts is 6 x 800, one of their strength workouts is 2 x 3 miles.

Running six days a week – I was previously a five-day-a-week runner, and I was nervous to bump it up to six, thanks to my injury history. However, I’ve learned that I really enjoy running nearly every day, and I also enjoy my non-running day a little bit more.

What I hated:

Tempo runs – The tempo runs caused me SO much anxiety. I would be a nervous wreck the night before and all throughout the run. I never once enjoyed one of these, because I was so stressed out. Also, 10 miles at tempo pace was just too much, too long for me. I never felt strong during these, I always felt like they were too hard, cue panic about race day.

One particular morning stands out in my mind, as I went to meet my friend for a tempo run, I started crying (embarrassing), I was just so tired, and so worn out, the last thing I wanted to do was run 8 miles at a 7:38 pace. So, we just went for an easy, normal run, and I felt so guilty about it. Stupid. Why was I crying about RUNNING? I also didn’t celebrate my birthday or my husband and my first wedding anniversary because I had tempo runs the next day. I regret that.

Being glued to my watch – The easy runs, the long runs, the tempo runs, everything is supposed to be a certain pace. As someone who likes to run watch-less, I felt like all I did was stare at my watch. Is my easy run easy enough? Is it too easy? Am I hitting the exact paces I need to? Can’t I just go for a run?!

The exhaustion – I sleep a lot as it is (8-9 hours a night), but I was completely and utterly exhausted during this training. Getting out of bed was a chore, and I felt like I was sleep-running constantly. I stopped lifting because I was just too tired to do anything but run. My friend Mike told me later that he really thought I was going to cry at the end of one of our long runs because of how tired I was.

The loneliness – I run solo about half of the time, and the other half of the time, it’s a social thing for me. My running friends are some of my best friends. But with them, I felt like I was constantly asking us to speed up or slow down. Instead of being lost in conversation and just running, I instead was completely obsessed by our pace, and not enjoying it.

Ultimately, this training plan didn’t work for me because it sucked the joy out of running. Instead of feeling confident on marathon day, I felt burnt out and completely exhausted. In the past two months, I’ve gotten back to basics, I lift and I run, and I have no idea how fast or slow I run, but I sure am a lot happier and look forward to each morning’s miles.

Categories: Running

3 Reasons You Should Go to a Local Show This Weekend

by: Micah Jacobs
January 17, 2017
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It never fails. Almost every Friday afternoon, Jerry from accounting is doing his usual rounds of handing out his crudely made flyer for his band’s show this weekend, thereby putting you into that awkward situation when he asks, “so I’ll see you there right?!”

“Uhhh yeah, sure Jerry!” you respond with absolutely no intentions of going. As a matter of fact, you already have an excuse or three planned out for when you are trying to avoid making eye contact with poor Jerry on Monday morning. But don’t worry, even I have done this in the past, and I assure you, he doesn’t take it personally.

But, little did you know — Jerry from accounting is an absolute beast on those drums! His band’s take on “Tom Sawyer” is the next closest thing to the real thing, as it gets! Their original tracks are just that, original, untampered, raw and that’s the part you’re really missing out on.

There are some original local acts that will draw you in and make you a fan from the first note. For example, the first time I ever stumbled upon Shawan and The Wonton. I had no intentions of going to ZeroDay Brewing Co. because of music, I just wanted a few pints of some great beer — hell, I didn’t even realize a band was playing. I ended up staying much longer as I was completely enthralled by the music and became a fan from that first note.

We see stickers reading “support local music” all over the place. I probably get 50 Facebook notifications a week that involve music-related events. Bands flood my email and newsfeed pushing their upcoming shows. Venues push drink specials along with live, local music to get people through the door. Everyone is making an effort to get you to come “check out the band,” but still you haven’t and here is why you should:

For the love of Rock n’ Roll

Small time, local bands are doing it because they love the music and love playing for their fans. These bands also show something you’re not going to see from a national act — humility. You’re going to get an authentic performance where musicians are leaving it all on the stage whether it’s for 10 people or for 100.

Singers are up there pouring their hearts out in their lyrics, guitar players are giving you the best riffs they’ve ever come up with in their lives, and drummers are trying their hardest to not drop their sticks. All for the love of music, just for the chance to have even one person listen to them.

Small-time bands create an intimate experience

Even at larger local venues, the local bands are going to have a smaller following and create a nice intimate experience. I don’t mean candles and acoustic guitars but having a tight knit group of people gathering to support local musicians creating a greater sense of community. Typically the setting is much more relaxed than being crammed into an arena paying $10 for a domestic draft and $14 for some nachos.

Keep the music local, keep your money local

While we’re on the subject of costs, bands typically get paid from door/ticket sales and/or alcohol sales. So that $50 that guitar player just got for playing for 2 hours will barely cover his costs of new strings for the show and the fuel he is going to use lugging his equipment to and from the venue. At some point they should be paid for actually providing the entertainment too, right? So consider the money that goes to the local guys compared to the national act, the arena, the ticket fees, and those ever so inconvenient convenience fees. Shop local and rock out local!

Supporting local music supports our local economy. The money you spend at venues in return helps the community and helps the local musicians with a place to play. Every ticket, every album sale helps our local economy and helps to keep live, local music in our city alive and well.

Here are some local shows coming up that I recommend checking out:

Get out there and support local musicians and local venues. It will be a nice change of pace from the usual night out and you may even see a side of Jerry from accounting you never knew existed!


GIVEAWAY: HHWC’s ValenWine’s Day

by: Sara Bozich
January 16, 2017
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Take two weekends and explore 12 local vineyards complete with wine tastings and chocolate pairings to celebrate your Valentine’s Day this year.

Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country’s ValenWine’s Day Celebration runs for two weekends in February, Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 11-12 and 18-19 from 12-5 p.m.


Each winery features a variety of hand selected wines paired perfectly with chocolates from around the world. Tickets are available for singles ($15) or couples ($25).

Your ValenWine’s Day ticket gets you:

  • A wine and chocolate tasting at each vineyard
  • Souvenir wine glass
  • 10% off your purchases at the vineyards

PLUS all guests who visit five different wineries are entered to win a Wine Country gift basket.

Participating wineries include:

This week, our giveaway are two (2) couples tickets to the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country’s ValenWine’s Day celebration.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below. 

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REVIEW: GearHouse Brewing Company

by: Sara Bozich
January 14, 2017
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Beer started flowing through the taps at GearHouse Brewing Company exactly one year to the day after they acquired their space in an old Chambersburg railroad building.

Chambersburg is no stranger to craft beer; Roy Pitz has long been the lone brewery in the town, but now there is double the reason for a craft beer road trip to Franklin County.

GearHouse was the brainchild of six owners, which includes head brewer David Kozloski, who has brewed at places like Tröegs Independent Brewing and Flying Dog Brewing Co. before venturing out on his own.

After opening with just a few beers on tap, they have quickly expanded to nine drafts with something in the lineup for everyone.

The beers

GearHouse doesn’t have a set list of flagship beers, but they are working on recipes to get there. You will see a lot of test batches and other beers that don’t yet have official names. They aren’t playing it safe though either. Any craft beer fan can find a favorite on this list.

(This was the list at the time of posting; taps are always subject to change.)

Canary Blonde 4.8% ABV – An easy drinking, flavorful blonde ale that is true to style with slight bitterness to balance out the sweet malt backbone.

Multigrain Saison 6.0% ABV – Nine different grains give this saison a fruity flavor along with a great nose. French saison yeast lends the classic spices you would expect from this style. This is my type of saison.

Saison Du Rhubarb 6% ABV – Same saison base as the Multigrain with tartness from fresh rhubarb added.

IPA #1  6.4% ABV – The nose on this is so dank. It smells like you put your nose in a pile of hops. Apollo and Columbus hops lend a bite of citrus that is rounded out by earthy flavors of pine and resin.

Birch Run Brown 6.25% ABV – A flavorful brown ale with notes of chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt are backed up by a slight hop profile to give this beer extreme drinkability.

GINary Blonde 5% ABV – This is the same recipe as the Canary Blonde, but aged in gin barrels from One-Eight Distillers in Washington D.C. The nose gives off the typical gin-like aroma with the adding a nice fruity and oaky taste to this extremely refreshing brew. A must-try.

Liar Liar IPA 8% ABV – An imperial rye IPA brewed with Apollo and Chinook hops for bittering and flavor. The rye isn’t too overpowering and is balanced by the resinous and citrus hop flavor. Be careful, this beer does not taste like its 8% ABV tag.

Pale Ale 4.8% ABV – This easy drinking pale ale is packed with bright hop flavors of mango, pineapple, and citrus that make it go down easy.

Session IPA 4.2% ABV – A great session IPA needs to have great hop flavor with all the bitterness you would expect from its big brother. Despite the low-ABV, this session does not compromise on hop flavor or aroma. Hop heads will want to give this a go.

GearHouse also offers a few local wines and spirits from Thistle Finch Distillery out of Lancaster.

The space

GearHouse found its home in an old railroad building, originally built in 1894, which was used for directing trains as they came through town. The building is updated but maintains its old charm and is a perfect place to spend an afternoon getting lost in a good beer.

They have a large bar area plus two more rooms with long tables and a lounge area complete with an antique shuffleboard table. Most of the seating area is outfitted with locally reclaimed products including a lot that was found in the building and repurposed to fit the brewery.

Just outside, GearHouse started their own hop yard to grow fresh hops for their beers. Many of the poles are repurposed old telephone poles.

Ample parking is available in the front of the building plus in the gravel lot next to Jim’s Farmers Market.

The food

Currently, GreaHouse offers a limited menu that specializes in smaller plates with locally sourced ingredients. A full kitchen is already in place to expand the menu after their grand opening.

Current menu

  • York City Pretzel Sticks – Bavarian-style pretzels with housemade beer cheese and stone ground mustard
  • Bread and Butter – Gettysburg Baking Company bread served with Trickling Springs Butter, housemade herb salt and flaked sea salt
  • GearHouse Poutine – Fried tots, housemade beef gravy, and beer cheese with Caputo Brothers cheese curds
  • Charcuterie – A rotating lineup of meats, local cheeses, and dried fruits.

GearHouse also features special plates on a rotating basis. Be sure to check the menu for the weekly special and beer pairing.

The brewhouse

GearHouse is brewing on a five-barrel system with several fermenters and three serving tanks to give their thirsty customers the freshest beer possible.

The brewhouse is visible through a multipane window in the middle room,  and you get a great look at everything from brew vessels to some local whiskey barrels from Thistle Finch.

GearHouse is currently open from 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A grand opening is planned for Jan. 27, and they plan to add additional days and hours in the coming weeks. 

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