Catch up

Where do I even begin? It’s December and I still have posts to catch up on from September. At this point, I’ll review pictures and notes, but I’m sure some beer info has been lost. I’ll do my best.

Back in September, Jack and I went down to Williamsburg for my last triathlon of the season, the Patriot’s Sprint Tri. My parents also met us there and we had a nice day or two at the beach before the tri. While in the ocean, I was jumping with the waves and came down with a wave and landed on a dead horseshoe crab. Those things are spiky! I tore up the bottom of one of my feet which was not ideal for the tri. During the tri I had to run across a beach, a field, and the transition area all barefoot. I also bike and run (only during sprint triathlons) without socks to save time, but my foot was not happy by the time I was done.

Although, we did go out for beers at The Green Leafe and beers made me feel much better!

Pouring over their beer menu, it looked like they offered a lot of beers but my first two requests were out of stock.

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I think I finally went with something on draught. Unfortunately without a bottle to include in the picture, I have no way of remembering what I got. Bummer.

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Not a bad bar, if I were in the area again, I would try to go back! And that was also the last of the triathlons of the year!

Colonial Beach Triathlon Race Recap

DISCLAIMER: I have been lazy. I have a tons of posts to catch up on before I even get to my awesome Belgium trip. So, the only way this is going to happen is if its mostly pictures. Pictures I can handle. So sorry about explanations. Ill also be doing this rapid fire and posting everyday till I can get caught up. Bear with me, Belgian beer overload is on its way!

 

Well, the weather the day before the Colonial Beach Triathlon was looking kinda iffy. It poured for a few hours straight. But by the next morning, the roads were dry and it looked like we were gonna have a good tri. Also, our friend Anna was there as well!

Check out my sweet set-up. Its pretty simple, the less you have to do the faster your transitions are. I’m a no socks person. (only for triathlons)

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Bike was uneventful, fairly flat though!

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Just out of transition, putting my Garmin and race number on.

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Anna finishing strong! She’s a marathoner, so this 6 mile run was probably just a warm-up for her. She destroyed it! Lightening fast!

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And about 20 minutes later, me!

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I look like I’m having so much fun, right?? I do love triathlons, but I never take a good picture in them. I just look like I’m in pain. I did beat my previous Olympic tri time by 10 minutes! Holy cow!

Ok, now on to some beers!

Old Point Tidewater Triathlon Race Recap

And suddenly it was time for our next tri. I have to admit, I hadn’t been training as much as I should have been.

Well, the big difference for this tri was that the swim was in a bay. Also, it was slightly less than an olympic distance tri.

Swim: 1000m Bike: 19 miles Run: 5 miles

Race morning, we show up and I get everything ready in my transition and head down to the water to warm up. The water was pretty chilly, not nearly as cold as the first tri we did earlier this year, but cold enough that I decided to wear the wetsuit.

Warming up with the wetsuit on, I was amazed at the extra buoyancy! I heard that it really helps, but I felt like a moon man with no weight in the water!

Unfortunately that didn’t help me in the swim. Again, about 200 yards from shore, I realized that the wetsuit was too tight and constricting around my throat and I wasn’t breathing properly. Again, I stopped at a lifeguard on a surfboard and had her help me unzip the back of the wetsuit. With the wetsuit open in the back, it probably added a lot of extra drag in the water, but at least I could swim normally. Swim time: 21:29

Once the wetsuit was wet and I was out of the water running to T1, I was able to pull it off with no problems. T1: 3:16

The bike course was flat and some what uneventful, back in T2 I quickly changed shoes and was ready for the run! Bike: 1:07:31  T2: :44 (2nd fastest women’s T2 time!)

It was super hot by this time, and no shade! But since it was a slightly shorter course, for some reason mentally the 5 miles seemed much better and easier than 6 miles. I really felt like I ran strong, passed some people, and finished with a good sprint. My average mile time for the run was about 8:40 minutes. Finishing the five mile run in 43:26. I was pretty happy with that! Total time: 2:16:24

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Jack did really well again too! Finishing 12th overall and 2nd in his age group!

Later that evening, after laying out my the pool all afternoon, we looked up a decent beer bar and headed out!

We found the Taphouse Grill in Hampton, VA.

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They had a nice selection on draft and So I couldn’t resist the St Bernardus Abt 12 by Brouwerij St Bernardus of Watou, Belgium at 10% abv.

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Its one of the best quads I’ve had! Sweet dark fruits, cherries, plums, and lots of malts. A little sweet and bready, biscuits. Candied sugars, warming sensation, smooth. Very well done.

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Next up, I ordered the Trappist Achel 8 Bruin by Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij  de Achelse of Hamont-Achel Belgium at 8% abv.

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Rich and creamy. Bready and Belgian yeastiness. Dark fruits, raisins. Moderate carbonation. A fairly sweet beer, but well balanced with the dry finish.

After we had our fill we headed back out onto the street. They had closed the street off and were having a little block party with local cover bands!

Monticelloman Triathlon Race Recap

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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I have to say that I completely approve of their prizes for age group winners!

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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.

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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!

Giant Acorn Triathlon Race Recaps

I can’t believe we did a triathlon this past weekend. It was rough.

Saturday, Jack had his international tri. He had been sick all week, was running a fever, sore throat, and stuffy nose. We drove down to Lake Anna in the rain and the weather was really starting to make us nervous. It was 46 degrees and raining. When we got to the Lake Anna Marina it was also really windy! The water actually had waves and quite a bit of chop. We found out that the power plant, which the water is used to cool, had been shut down since the earthquake in August and so the water temperature was a lot cooler than usual. Its usually about 77-78 degrees and Saturday it was 73. Still, not too bad.

My parents also came out both days to cheer for Jack and I! I think it really helped to have more people cheering for you!

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You know its gotta be cold if Jack is putting on a jacket for the bike!

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Apparently, Jack stopped next to my dad during T2 (for almost 5 minutes!) and had a little pep talk. He really was feeling like shit and wanted to quit. But he put himself on auto-pilot and managed to finish the run.

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Seeing Jack struggle a little didn’t make me feel any better about my tri the following day. I was stressing out all evening about my fear of being frozen and cold the next day.

Sunday, I woke up and didn’t want to get out of bed, it was warm! I knew it was going to be a miserable day, but I just kept telling myself that it’s only a sprint and will be over in less than 2 hours.

It was basically the same weather as the day before, only it was raining and overcast the whole time. No sun.

This is me stressing out about the cold!

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I kept telling myself that getting in the water would feel warm! A nice toasty 71 degrees. It was one of the hardest parts. I was already frozen and I almost quit.

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I didn’t warm up at all before the race because I didn’t want to take off all my layers till the very last moment. The swim went really slow for me. And the worst part was the water had a film of gasoline on it! So every time I turned to breathe I would get a mouthful of fumes and gasoline. Yuck!

Finally out of the water! haha 18:52 is slow for me. I’m ok with it though because I didn’t train for the swim at all. Last time I swam was the Luray tri!  Oops!

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Jack said I came out of the water looking surprisingly upbeat!

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T1 was 2:35. I thought that was slow because I stopped to dry off and put a fleece on. But I ended up having the 13th fastest T1 time! Its only because everyone else had to take the extra time to take off their wetsuits.

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The bike was painful because I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands. 45:26.

T2 in 2:36, I had to sit down to put my running shoes on because my feet were so frozen that I couldn’t stand on one leg at a time!

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And I think I was finally starting to warm up on the run! I was really happy with my run time! Finished the run in 26:43. Total time:1:36:06. And I finished 11th in my age group. I’m happy with that! I’m also happy we have no more triathlons this year! (It’d be too cold)  I’ll be doing more next year for sure!

Luray Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

After Jack’s tri we hung around on Saturday and saw some really heavy rain and storms, I was starting to get nervous about my tri the next day.

Sunday, I woke up and the sky was heavily overcast and dark, but not raining. We got to the race site and had about an hour till the race starts, I got the body marking and my transition set up, warmed up in the water and then I had to wait!

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I was most nervous about the bike, I was worried the road would be wet and that it would start to pour, I’ve never biked in the rain and I was worried about how poor visibility would be. I was also kinda iffy about how long T1 was with having to run over sand, a field, and wooden stairs (see Jack’s race recap for the T1 pictures!)

Finally the waiting was over and we were off! I was in wave three and just happy to be in the water!

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I felt like this swim went smoother than the pervious tri swim, although I still had trouble passing people half way through the swim. After turning at the second buoy and heading toward the swim finish, I came up on a slow swimmer from the previous heat that I didn’t see because he wasn’t splashing, he was swimming breast stroke, and I got kicked right in the upper chest. I had to pop up out of the water because all my air was gone and I was scared as shit! But at least I didn’t get kicked in the face! Finished the swim in 15:45.

Then the run to T1 which felt like it took forever!

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T1 was 1:59.

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The bike course went OK. The first half had some awesome downhills, I hit 37mph as my top speed! I was flying! That’s by far the fastest I’ve ever gone on a bike! About six miles into the bike it started to rain. I had a little talk with myself and told myself that it would be ok, I will finish even if it’s slow, and that running in the rain to finish will be easy and fun. So the roads got re-wet but thankfully it stopped raining after about 5 minutes! So happy! Well, if the first half was downhill, the second half was all uphill. Very gradual, gradual, and then the most killer hill I’ve ever ridden. People in the race were getting off their bikes to walk them up. I managed to stay on the bike but was wobbling all over the place! They had a lot of people cheering for everyone on the hill, and I think that really helped!

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Haha! Yes, I tucked the camelbak tube into the strap of my trisuit, I kept hitting it with my knee and had to get it out of the way! I think there’s a little attachment piece to hold it in place I need to find it. Bike was 1:08:55. ugh!

In T2 I had some trouble getting my shoes on, I was a little disoriented and almost fell over! T2 was 1:02.

Well, after all those hills my legs were dead weight for the run! But they started to feel more normal about half way through and I was able to sprint it in to the finish!

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Yay! Run was 29:45. And overall time of 1:57:33. And (not counting men) I finished 80th for the women out of 224! I’ll take that! Although, I did get passed by a 60yr old woman and a 12yr old. Wow! I keep telling myself if I bike for another 20 years I will be that good too! I think I need more hill practice! But first I needed a cheeseburger and a nap!

Luray Triathlons (Jack’s was on Saturday, so we’ll talk about his first)

Since we had triathlons this weekend, it meant we didn’t get out anywhere to have awesome beers. bummer.

Saturday Jack had his International (Olympic) distance triathlon. 1500 meter swim, 41K bike (25.5 miles), and 10K run (6.2 miles).

I had so much fun getting to watch, cheer, and take pictures but not have to race! haha! There was no pressure or worry for me and it was chill and relaxing.

The race sold out, so there were 700 people competing.

The Luray triathlons are known for being one of the hardest races in the Virginia triathlon series because of all the killer hills! We rode the bike course, in the car, the day before when we did the packet pickup and were really intimidated by the hills. There were a couple mean and fast down hills, but the last 5 miles were all gradual, gradual, and then killer up hills..

Also, the transitions in this race were really LONG! When you get out of the water, you had to run across a sandy beach, a field, up some slippery wooden stairs, around a couple of turns and finally you are at the actual transition area! haha!

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Before the race we ran into Phil from our climbing gym! Nice bike, Phil!

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These guys are ready to kick some ass! (and Jack looks like a smurf!)

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Jack was released in the third wave of swimmers, which meant he had to fight to swim past lots of other people.

Jack, out of the water, up the stairs, and haha it looks like he got punched in the stomach! Swim time was 24:48.

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Getting ready for the bike. T1 was 55 seconds.

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Then he was out on the bike! But I only got a blurry picture cause he was already moving so fast!

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And I saw Phil again, looking like a bad ass!

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Jack finishing the bike. Bike time was 1:15:38.

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His T2 was 37 seconds! (He had the two fastest transition times, hehe maybe I could learn a thing or two from him!)

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Run 42:40.

Final time 2:24:37 and he finished 25th overall and 3rd in his age group. Winning an engraved Luray Triathlon wine glass! haha. Which will be used for nothing except beer.

(Phil also placed FIRST in his category Clydesdales, also winning a wine glass! Way to go Phil!)