Following the Atlantic City Triathlon on August 10th, I had a few days of rest and recuperation before needing to pack for our biggest adventure of the Summer- Maine.
Packing for this sort of adventure offers its unique set of challenges. How do you food shop for a light week knowing that you'll be away again in a few short days? How do you accommodate laundry to happen? How do you keep the house from exploding with dirty laundry all over the place? It's super challenging keeping a house in order, especially while adjusting to travel schedules and itineraries.
We headed out in the morning of August 22nd with a majority of items packed the night prior. One of the best things triathlon will teach you, is the art of being super organized with your items so that everything is set up for success.
I made arrangements in advance for two separate Air BNB's, one in Westbrook, ME and the other in Rockland, ME. I had previously been to Maine about 10 years ago and was excited to not only take my husband on this trip, but also our dog to a super dog friendly place.
My pup was ready to rock and roll for our 8+ hour drive and got himself quite cozy in the back seat area.
We made quite a few pit stops along the way. As we approached each major city, I became more and more excited. Massachusetts was by far the worst traffic we hit, even all the way out near Worcester. It was especially surprising as it was only 2:45pm on a Thursday afternoon! We didn't have any time to stop in Boston, or its surrounding neighborhoods but I love hanging out when I can.
After a short jaunt through Portsmouth, we finally crossed into Maine and immediately were welcomed with far less traffic.
We arrived at our Air BNB and was surprised by this bitcoin machine they had. I believe at the time of our arrival, 1 bitcoin was sold for around $10,000. Insane.
Our next order of business was finding a food store and stocking the fridge with some essentials. Hannaford Supermarkets was the closest market for us and offered so many fresh vegetables, local beer and really good deals on just about everything.
Our stay in Prides Corner was also close to Industrial Way. This street is home to some very amazing Maine breweries, and, is where lesser known breweries start out before moving onto bigger spaces. Our most important stop was Allagash Brewing and a lobster roll.
The brewery offers an inside spot and an outside spot for beverages. We chose the outside as we had our pup with us who enjoyed meeting new and very friendly people as well as free snacks.
Snacks were made of the spent grains used in the beer making process, which Jax thoroughly enjoyed.
I chose a taster of different Allagash beers while Steve chose to have one of their more sour beers of the season.
One of the top parts of Allagash was the Bite Into Maine food that offers items for both the seafood lover- myself and the non-seafood lover as in, my husband. Look at that lobster roll!
Later that evening, we chose to relax and enjoy a movie on Netflix. We chose a house without cable tv since we don't necessarily watch it and could watch a chosen show on our own.
I took the opportunity to explore Westbrook and most importantly, find a pool to swim in. Jax was still exhausted from his travels the day prior:
The Riverton Community Center, is a short, 5 minute drive from Pride's Corner and was a Google find in the morning. I was very impressed with the pool and the staff. It may be a bit difficult to find the aquatic center at first, as it is in an Elementary School as well as the Community Library. There are changing rooms, lockers and showers.
Go down this long corridor. And then hang a left.
Pool fees were easy to understand and there are many helpful people to help the clueless (myself), pay and get prepared to swim.
The pool is clean, the lanes have signs designating speed of swimmer location and the people do respect the signs and swim speeds. You can see a bit of that here (the signs at the other end may be difficult to zoom in on).
Our next itinerary item was to head to Old Orchard Beach to check in, get race organized and make sure that our voyage on race morning went unscathed. The check in zone was set up perfectly. We purchased a weekend parking pass, checked out the maps, and headed out.
I had a short run to accomplish as part of my workout plan. After leaving the Ironman Village, we took a short drive up Route 9 and found part of The Eastern Trail which was where part of the 70.3 run course would be on. Just stunning.
Jax also enjoyed his time along the trail.
We drove from Old Orchard Beach to downtown Portland and had a shareable dinner at Portland Lobster, Co. Swipe for delectable food and adorable decorations.
Saturday is the day before race day and this past year, I've taken more advantage of arriving to the race site two days prior to check in, get my packet and then complete any needed additional workouts. It is also less crowded and you're guaranteed to get the best gear at the Ironman tent. I prepped my bike the night before and made sure everything was in working order. My bike is always powered by Xrcel.
After arriving, I took my bike for a quick spin and then rode my bike to the transition zone. This was the furthest transition zone away from both the swim start and the run finish that I had ever been apart of. The actual transition zone itself is also HUGE.
I racked my bike and then headed to the ocean for some swim practice as this would be my first ocean start.
The ocean appeared calm and welcoming and I immediately ran into several fellow tri-athletes out for a swim. In the water, warm up felt great and I was able to get out into the ocean with minimal issues.
Before heading back, I checked out the finish chute to help visualize myself crossing that finish line.
One of the most iconic finishes, it also has an Ironman symbol with a lobster in the middle completely made out of tape!
Continued in next post