CALIFORNIA IS FOR RUNNERS
IN CONVERSATION WITH DILLON BREEN
Can you give us a short bio?
I was born and raised in East County San Diego, Spring Valley to be specific. Attended Monte Vista High School where I ran track and cross country. I was one of the top runners in San Diego and got a scholarship to run at Chico State University in Northern California, was an all west region athlete in 2014 and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Supply Chain Management, sold mortgages for a couple of years and now I work at Saint Archer Brewing Co. (worked my way up from the packaging line to the desk life as a the Sales Coordinator/Procurement Specialist) I run for San Diego Track Club and am training for another chance at an OTQ.
Why is California for runners? Being born and raised there, how has California shaped the runner you are today?
California is for runners because of the diversity of the environment. I can hop in the car, go to the Laguna mountains, then run again 4 hours later at the beach. If you like roads...they are here. If you like trails....they are here. If you like being miserable and like running in the desert...you got it!! 50 mins east towards AZ. And that's JUST in San Diego. It's also such a small world to the point where you run with someone once.
The cornerstone of the Satisfy ethos is The High, that feeling we chase during a long run wherein the repetitive movements of the body are operating so seamlessly that our physical awareness melts away and allows us to reach a higher state of consciousness—a kind of mechanical intoxication. What comes together for you during a run that allows you to achieve this state? Is it a feeling that differs for you depending on whether it's race day or a training run?
What really comes together for me during a run is the pure ability to zone out. Zone out of everything you know. Most of my best ideas for solving work or life problems is from getting out of the office and running. Zoning out also helps you go farther and faster..you start pouring out all the bullshit and BOOM. Next thing you know, you're sitting back having a beer and the day is done.
It's completely different in a race, or a hard workout. Entirely the opposite. You gotta fight that zone out feeling, even though you don't want to. If you zone out you get dropped, you get swallowed. Staying engaged and realizing how the parts of your body react to changes in pace or even some helpful shit-talking from a teammate forms the race or the workout. Zone out on the cooldown after the work is done.
Obviously running is a full time job for the elite athletes who are paid to do it. Your weekly mileage approaches the numbers that these athletes put up (100 miles per week). How do you balance having a full time job and running? And I'm sure many people ask: Why bother?
I make my life difficult on purpose to keep the balance alive, last year I wasn't so good at it and my running suffered. I **love** my job and I love the people I work with...BUT I still need to make sure I'm doing my thing, the thing I've been doing for years and hey I can get to those emails 20 mins later. Regardless I do whatever I can to get BOTH of my jobs done. And I bother so that I don't get completely destroyed by the people I run with every day, not kidding, these guys are SAVAGE. In our group, no one is safe from the shade. But that's what makes us so good at what we do. We keep each other level headed and make sure we are achieving goals physically and professionally.
How did you get into homebrewing beer?
Me and my good friend Barret started a little 2-man beer club when he was living in a studio under his parent's house. I remember we had this one realllllyyyy baddd beer from a well-known brewery and we said, we can make a much better beer than this. Took the plunge and bought a bunch of entry-level equipment, the first batch...terrible...under carbonated and just terrible. That's basically it, started buying nicer equipment and just learning and researching.
Do you think there are any similarities in training for a race and perfecting a particular brew? Why do you think it is that so many runners love a post-run beer?
The similarities are the amount of research and education that you apply to both. You cant race a solid marathon running 20 miles a week, and you cant brew a Barleywine with lager yeast. If you don't apply specific knowledge to the style or distance....you're not gonna get the results you were expecting. The little ingredient adds also play a huge role....the core, the weights, the SPICE. It all adds up to the perfect beer...I mean RACE, Runners love a post-run beer because you create more shared memories then just what happened on the run, it's also a great time to look back on how terrible and/or good you just felt. They are almost synonymous.
From our conversation, it seems as though community plays a big role in your running life. In what ways has the pandemic affected this? How have you personally adapted to it?
It's significantly changed the size of our group and where we do most of our runs. Mainly it's changed our thoughts of what we are actually training for. We have basically just been shooting for the moon every week and waiting for the next race to come along. I have adapted to it by taking more advantage of the time...nowhere to go....might as well turn that 4 mile double into a 6. Trying to keep things positive has been key.
Any departing words for the people?
Work hard, be kind, drink beer, don't be a racist, don't be a bigot, and if you are either of the last two definitely don't come to California.