It’s that time of the year again—tri season!
It feels like the season crept up on me though, I felt very undertrained going into this first tri. We picked the Monticelloman tri because it looked to be a pretty small race! The larger races can be fun and exciting, but also a hassle too.
The night before the race, it was pouring and we were driving around looking for a decent place for dinner. This wasn’t our first choice because we thought that even though they are calling themselves an “alehouse” that it would still carry the same old boring beers. I have to say Capital Ale House really surprised me! They have a fantastic beer menu! And their waiters also knew a good amount about beer and were willing to bring draught samples to try! They apparently have several locations throughout VA, but it didn’t feel like a chain at all.
Since it was the night before a race, I limited myself to one beer! But I made Jack promise to come back here for victory lunch after the race!
After tasting a sample, I decided to go with the Vampire Slayer by Clown Shoes Brewery of Ipswich, MA at 10% abv.
Pours almost completely black. Dark chocolate creaminess, slight subtle smoke, and espresso/ coffee flavors, slightly bitter, big chewy mouthfeel. This does not go down like a 10% beer, quite smooth and the alcohol is well hidden.
Quite an odd twist, this beer also contains holy water! Aptly named I suppose!
So this year, I decided to step it up and go from the sprint distance to the olympic distance for my triathlons. Olympic distances: swim: 1500 meters, bike: 24 miles, run: 6.2. The only down side to this is that since Jack and I are both racing at the same time now, we have no one to take awesome action shots.
Anyway, the race was set up wonderfully, the bikes were racked lengthwise like in pro races and it made the transition so much nicer since nobody was stuck with a bad spot deep at the end of a row.
I was a bit nervous about the water temperature since it was about 70 degrees. I looked around and saw that EVERYONE else had a wetsuit on. But everyone always says not to make big changes for race day. I figured I might be cold, but I’d live.
Well, I lived, but it wasn’t pretty. After the gun went off and I swam about 200 yards, I realized that my throat and chest had seized up from the cold and I couldn’t breathe. I started to breaststroke, to have my head out of the water, but I still couldn’t get any air into my lungs. I usually love the swim portion and couldn’t believe this was happening! I made my way to a lifeguard on a surfboard and hung on until I could get my breathing back. At this point, I looked around and realized that I was dead last. But I didn’t drive down here and pay $100 to swim just 200 yards! So I decided to try to carry on. I also have a huge fear of dark lakes, and this was about as dark and lonely as they get. I couldn’t even put my face in the dark water, so I swam the whole damn thing backstroke. I managed to pass about 10 people so I was feeling better and was actually relieved when the swim was over. Next time, I will wear a wetsuit!
The bike was windy and lonely. I didn’t realize, but when you do a small race, there will be a lot less people around you! The run was the only part that I felt strong on. Those 6 miles flew by and I finished with a nice long sprint to the finish!
Jack actually finished 13th overall and 2nd in his age group!
I have to say that I completely approve of their prizes for age group winners!
And yes! We made it back to Capitol Ale House and had steak and potatoes! I was starving!
I also couldn’t resist and ordered the Straffe Hendrik Quadruple by the Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik/ De Halve Mann of Bruges, Belgium at 11% abv.
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite beers. Whenever I see it on a menu I lose all willpower and I am compelled to order it! Sweet but not sickening, and slightly tart. Subtle fruit such as cherries, dates, plums. Medium to full body. Moderate fine-bubbled carbonation. You can definitely taste the alcohol, as you would expect, but not in a bad way, warming. This is definitely a victory beer!