Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So what do you do AFTER a triathlon?

In the world of triathlons, I still consider myself somewhat of a beginner. While i'm about halfway through my second season, I've never done a race longer than a sprint and I've only done 6 races so far. I've learned a lot, but I have a lot still left to learn.

One of the things I have down pretty well though is what to do AFTER the race is over. There's the obligatory post-race snacks and sitting in the coolest place I can find. Following that there's usually an awards presentation and prize giveaway. Finally, it's time to pack up and hit the road for home, or in our case this past weekend, the road for Cape Cod. Usually we spend the afternoon following a race cuddled up unconscious in bed followed by a rather large meal, but seeing the Cape was just too good of an opportunity for us to pass up.

As I mentioned in yesterdays rather long (sorry bout that, btw) race recap, our race was about 45 minutes from the entry out onto the the cape. I had decided the night before as we played mini-golf in front of one of the few remaining "duck pin" bowling alleys in Massachusetts, that we were going to explore some of the Cape following the race.

Not really knowing what we were looking for, we drove east until we started seeing the signs of being on Cape Cod; namely expensive houses, expensive boats, beaches, seafood restaurants, and of course tourist traps about every 100 yards up and down the coast. I saw at least 3 world class mini-golf establishments, several go-kart tracks and even a strange place with a bunch of trampolines set into the ground for kids to jump on like an ultra-cheap inflatable ride.

We decided on Hyannis as our primary stop because it's one of the two towns I was familiar with (the other being Provincetown which was WAY too far to drive with only most of a day to explore) and because we could find their beaches on the map. Plus we were determined to eat at the beach before we enjoyed some sun and surf.

We wound up at Veteran's Beach on Lewis Bay, not far from the Kennedy Compound. After some highbrow fair (cheeseburger, fries, and a Pepsi), we hit the water. In order to keep my pledge of not exposing myself shirtless on this blog until I weigh roughly less than 1 Rosie O'Donnell, below is a shot of the gorgeous beach before we hit the water.

None of these boats are mine... yet.
The sun our on skin felt good, but not nearly as good as the cool ocean water felt to my sore legs. I could definitely feel the results of having pounded out a good strong ride in my quads in particular, so I made sure to wade up to my waist.

Once we left the beach, it was time for some shopping and exploring throughout town. It's amazing how much Hyannis feels like small town America, with Main Streets blend of boutique shops and tourist kitsch, considering the nearby presence of the ultra-wealthy. The fact that a train excursion and Cape Cod league games go on all summer long provide a pretty strong juxtaposition to the mega-houses and giant boats that can be seen at many of the harbors.

I have a personal fondness for lighthouses, so after getting directions at the JFK Museum, we headed up to Chatham to see a real working lighthouse and another beach. Off we went to Chatham, passing through a handful of smaller towns similar in makeup to Hyannis but not quite as regal or well known.   The feel of classic Americana was everywhere; we even passed two A&W Restaurants on the way, which are fairly rare in these parts.

The beach in Chatham is just across the street from the lighthouse, and is truly breathtaking. It's so easy to see why the folks with the money are willing to spend it to have a home in these seaside towns. The water is cool, the sand isn't too hot to walk barefoot, and just two beaches over lives a seal colony. It's picturesque New England at its finest.

Chatham Light from Chatham Lighthouse Beach

I couldn't resist the lure of the cool water on my legs again
The one tough thing about racing as part of a weight loss regimen is that following the race, your metabolism is so ramped up that you're starving almost all day, and no amount of caloric intake feels like enough. Race day is also a day when all bets are off in terms of the contents of our meals, so when we made our way back down the cape, we decided on a visit to the more authentic looking A&W.

For being such a small person, Rach loves her food. She craves seafood on a nearly 24/7 basis, and isn't afraid to sit down to a plate of friend food, especially if it features shrimp and Wisconsin Cheese.

I ran faster than Benny, and I'm gonna eat faster too!
One word of caution; I don't recommend asking her if you can try a bite of her dinner. It doesn't usually end well, especially when you do it mid-bite.
Do not get between this lady and her Shrimp roll
I couldn't let my lovely bride dine alone, so I indulged in the rarest and most welcome food in my diet: a bacon double cheeseburger
"Is this heaven?"
While my taste buds had been pining for that lovely bun covered sandwich above, there's only two reasons to visit an A&W and they both come in the same frosty mug:

It's the liquid equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter
This is one triathlon post-race that will be tough to top. Maybe we can work up something special for Timberman.

The perfect day: Me, my girl, the beach, and my new Rudy Project shades


- I unboxed that package from USA Triathlon Saturday, and my prizes were indeed inside. Pictures tomorrow, and I have to say it's some nice stuff. A small snafu with the helmet but nothing I can't handle.

- The Chase Corporate Challenge is a mere 2 days away and my legs still aren't back from Saturday's race. It's a 3 1/2 mile run with a couple hills along the way. I did 4 miles Monday night, and I'm definitely thinking I'll need to take a full day off on Wednesday to rest up.

- We're going to try to sign up for the Massachusetts State Triathlon sometime this week. It's our first Olympic and comes a month prior to Timberman. It's the ideal gauge of our improved fitness and to see what sort of time we can muster. The swim is only 500 yards or so short of Timberman, and the bike and run come in at about half the 70.3 distances. It falls the week after the honeymoon, so it's a good way to help keep us in line while we're in Europe.

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