Half IronMan Weekend, Portsmouth, NH; South Berwick, Maine; and What I packed

Besides the 70.3 triathlon, I had a great weekend! Just kidding, I had a great weekend even with the race. I’m still in the glow of the moment of having completed this 70.3 miles of sweat and tears. I’ll get to the race in another post. The whole race still seems a bit surreal.

On Friday, we took it easy for dinner and some drinks at Pier 6 in Charlestown that gives you a lovely view of Boston from Copley to Seaport to Financial district. Probably my favorite spot to view the skyline. The food was okay, but it was 90 degrees that night and being on the waterfront has never felt more pleasant since I am easily cold.

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On Saturday I woke up bright and early to get a haircut just to learn, the salon near my house opens an hour later than I thought.

After chopping off a few inches of hair, because every ounce counts, I went to pack. Yup last second packer for the win.

What did I pack for my half Ironman?

In a summary, way too freaking much.

The main outfit

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I’m such a triathlon pro, that I didn’t even own a pair of tri shorts, luckily, I borrowed from a friend.


2 pairs of goggles – main one and a back up pair

Swimming Cap – just in case

Ear drops

Wetsuit borrowed from a friend

Wetsuit spray


My bike



Patch kit/tubes/air

Air pump

Bike shoes


2 water bottles




Running shoes – Mizunos waveriders and Skechers flats because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run in racing flats after biking



3 Cliff Bars

3 packs of shot blocks

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Two Towels

Back up outfit

Swimming suit

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Jack was there to supervise the whole process!

Anyways after loading up and packing up more crap for half a day than I took with me for 3 weeks in South East Asia, I was ready to go. Had I done a destination triathlon, I would need 2 suitcases of baggage. This is not an efficient sport.

On the drive up we stopped by Portsmouth, NH that I’ve been wanting to stop by.

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I didn’t know much about it, but the highway signs always made me want to stop. The town looked cute with lots of little restaurants and historical buildings.

Tony grabbed a meatball sub from a deli to eat as fast as possible and jetted over to the Portsmouth Brewery at 3pm. They give free brewery tours that comes with a card to get 6 samples!

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For a brewpub that only does direct sales, they had a nice selection.

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Between Tony and I we had 12 flights. Since I’ve been so stressed about packing, I realized that I haven’t eaten yet. So of course, I ordered the healthiest item I could think of.

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Now that I had some nice liquid courage and my mind wasn’t thinking about all the ways I can drown, I decided it would be a good time to roll up and get my numbers for Sunday’s race. When I got to the race site, I freaked out. Here’s the thing, runners come in all size and shapes, that chubby kid next you, might surprise you and pull a 3:15 marathon. However, everyone around me, all these triathletes, were super fit looking with pure lean muscle. I instantly started regretting my nutritional lunch of nachos and beer.

Unfortunately, the pond wasn’t set up yet so I couldn’t judge what the distance would look like. I guess its good because I rather just not know until I had to swim it. My race packet came with a bunch of numbers that I had to stick to everything. I’m actually surprised it didn’t come with a sticker for my butt because there seemed to be one for everything else. Good, I always wanted to be photographed drowning.

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I did love the fall theme. Fall is my favorite season and there’s nothing I love more than pumpkin and the color orange.

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After freaking out some more about how fit everyone else is and how I don’t belong there, we drove to Dover, NH to our Airbnb place. Our host’s friend who was also there, has done several triathlons and gave me some tips about taking my time in transition. After reorganizing all my gear for the 10th time that day, I decided that I should probably eat something for dinner. Technically the nachos at 4PM could have been dinner, and I wasn’t hungry. However, skipping dinner would have left me starving in the morning which would have been a terrible idea. I’m not very good at eating well morning of the races so Tony and I set out to find something to eat.

We found the perfect place back in South Berwick, Maine. So we drove the 10 minutes over the state line to Thistle Pig. It was the perfect prerace meal. Actually, it would have been a perfect dinner, and I’m hoping to return another time when I’m more hungry to try more things.

They had this amazing veterinarian squash risotto.

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Tony got the heirloom tomato salad

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and we shared a jar of homemade pickles that we regret not keeping the brine from.

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My photos don’t do this place justice, but if you’re ever driving through Dover, NH/ South Berwick, ME definitely check out this place!

We also tried a glass of their white Sangria to help me fall asleep earlier than my normal bed time.

And before I knew it, I had less than 8 hours before it was race time.

Weekend Wrap – Up ` Pintxos, Skiing, and Running

It’s Monday and normally I’d be in my wave of sadness mourning the weekend, but luckily it’s a holiday so I get the day off! Sadly Tony doesn’t so I’m just relaxing alone.

Remember how I mentioned one of the best things about Barcelona was munching on Pintxos? Well I recently learned of a new place that opened up in Woburn, about a 15 minute drive from me, called Pintxo Pincho Tapas Bar. That’s where Tony and I found ourselves this Friday night for Valentine’s day. Although, had it not been “vday,” we would have been there anyways cause I’ve been dying to go.

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Salmon, grilled chorizo, Ceviche and octopus. The grilled octopus dish was the best that I’ve had in the states in a long while! The the ceviche was the first time since Peru that I actually loved the dish!

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We also got the blood Sausage & Chorizo stew, seafood and chicken paella and rabbit cooked in tomatoes. Both very good. I couldn’t find a website for the bar, but there’s a nice write-up in the Boston Globe.

After dinner Tony surprised me with a box of Flake, one of my favorite chocolates. I usually heavily restock in London, but since T-dawg switched jobs we no longer get to go annually so I had a severe Cadbury flake drought.


Also got surprised with so pretty flowers while I was on the trainer for my long ride. Now I just gotta keep the cats from destroying them. Speaking of cats –


He put the Meow before the zuno! And if you see this box, it means I got a new pair of shoes!

New SHoes

My waverider 15s were starting to fall apart, all three pairs, so I jumped on the 16s when I saw them on amazon for $72! Now they’re $70! This led to me busting out a 20 miler on the treadmill, but that’s for the weekly recap post!

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Tony, my friends and I drove up to Sunapee, NH for some skiing, since I don’t know how to ski, and everything scares me when I go downhill, I went cross-country skiing instead with my friend. We took a short lesson and then explored on our own. The place where we went promised groomed/tracked trails but something or other happened to their snowmobile so we had to pave the way on our own which got us stuck is some snowbanks and snowfields. Luckily, it was all fresh powder that as very soft to fall into. I saw Mt. Sunapee and the skiers/snowboarders from our cross country trail 5 miles away!

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And to cap off the weekend of adventure, I won tickets to the wine expo from Pasta Chips on twitter so I took Tony with me. My face and hair is looking a little greasy because when you spend 2 hours playing candy crush instead of your long run, and then decide to go for your long run, you run (no pun intended) out of time to do girlie things like your hair. Priorities, we all pick them!

Anyways, at the wine expo, I’m proud to brag that I did a good job of not getting myself trashed. I tasted 100s of wines making sure to spit and snack and drink water in between. Only at 4:30, 30 minutes before closing, did I allow myself to sip instead of just taste! Other highlights include finally bumping into Dani whom I keep just missing while I was in New Orleans, and met Susan, another Boston Blogger.

I don’t think wine will ever replace my love for beer, but I did from some new favorites!

How was your weekend? 

Are you a beer or wine person? Neither? I prefer a cold IPA over a glass of wine.