Everything is More Delicious in Texas

This post is coming to you from the lively San Antonio International Airport. It has been a little long since my last post, but that is because I have been gallivanting across the country this week for a medical conference.

There is nothing quite like the experience of a medical conference. On the surface, it is all about education. Indeed, I learned lots about low back pain, shoulder problems, and commercial driving. But it also about meeting up with the only colleagues that truly understand the suffering we endure in the name of public health. Good times for sure this year.

But enough digression, this is a triathlon blog. Training since the grizzly has been proceeding for the most part well. As I knew I was going to be away from my bike for a good five days, I compressed all my rides into the first part of the week. The prescription was for another nine hours. I held on as long as I could, but alas, I did miss one of my long rides. Only 6.5 hours this week. Here is the longest.


Kept running during that time as much as I could but I saved most of the exciting stuff for when I was in San Antonio. I started out the week with a couple of ½ mile to 1 mile repeats at threshold followed by a day of V02/hill intervals on the treadmill. Then it was run block time.

I arrived in San Antonio on Saturday around 1:00. I had rented a road bike from a local shop, but thanks to Fiesta, basically San Antonio’s version of Mardis Gras, I wasn’t able to get to the bike shop. Oh well. So after checking into the Marriot, I hit the treadmill for the first half of my long run. I put out an easy paced ten on the dreadmill with the intention of hitting San Antonio’s well regarded trail system for the last three. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Fiesta made running on the street something akin to human pinball. After a few minutes of dodging, it was back on the treadmill for another four. Certainly my first day had not gone to plan at all, but a nice 98 degree poolside recovery made me forget my woes quickly. To top things off, the Riverwalk was a truly epic way to end my first evening in the Alamo City.

Requisite Alamo pic.

Requisite Alamo pic.

Sunday, I started things off proper. I was out of bed before lecture and I hit the Mission Trail for a recovery seven miles. As my Garmin had not found its new location (I find it takes a few days usually….),I just ran on time; 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back. It has been ages since I have been on such an inner city trail system and San Antonio didn’t disappoint. It was a truly wonderful experience.

Monday, my legs were roasted more than the BBQ I was devouring so I took the day off from running. However, thanks to a well-timed lunch, I had a chance to escape to the Northside Swim Center. It has been ages since I was able to lap swim outside, and getting a few sun drenched yards was one of my primary goals for the trip. I’ll keep it simple. 4 dollars for epic swimming facilities and a friendly staff.

This place is part of the school system...

This place is part of the school system…

All mine!

All mine!

Just to give you an idea of how cheap this is, damn Lifetime Fitness wanted 50 bucks for a DAY PASS. 50 bucks!

Tuesday was another busy lecture day so I kept my run to a simple 4 miler with 2 miles at threshold. Good for waking up the legs after a day off.

To finish things off, I rose nice and early for another 14 miler today. First, I started with seven miles on the dreadmill as I wasn’t sure if the BBQ I ate the night prior was going to settle well. After doing this for six years, my intuition is usually pretty good on such things. After a quick bathroom stop, it was back to the Mission Trail for another six miles. Pace is off because of the “urban turning” as I call it (think stairs, 180 degree turns, and stoplights). Temperature was a wonderful 75 degrees with a light breeze and lots of sun; a fitting end to my Texas miles.


Tomorrow the flop occurs again. I have nine hour of riding to do between now and Sunday and then things start to taper down. Only about one month to go until Boise and things are looking good. Keep your fingers crossed in regards to injuries; no pain yet.

As everyone who reads my blog or follows me on Facebook knows, the other passion in my life is craft beer and food. San Antonio provided plenty opportunity to entertain my palate. I had a chance to visit the famous Friendly Spot and its selection of brews didn’t disappoint. I also eventually stopped into both Blue Star and Freetail brewing for some bumper stickers. However, there are a few gems that I really must point out to the epicurious.

The first stand out would be The Filling Station. This small converted gas station looks more like a hipster’s backyard man cave more than a public drinking establishment. Despite that, I was welcomed with open arms, even without my tight jeans and ridiculous fixed gear bike. Their tap list was superb, despite some usual beers like Desuchute’s Black Butte Porter mixed in.

The aptly named Filling Station.

The aptly named Filling Station.

The selections.

The selections.

To top things off, there is an incredible sandwich shop next door called the Station Café. You are more than welcome to order a sandwich and bring it over to enjoy with your beer. Being usually disappointed with the “spicy” offerings by restaurants in Montana, I ordered a sandwich called “Napalm Turkey” to side my Dogfish Aprihop. They weren’t kidding about the habanero sauce; I was literally drenched in sweat after half of it. The food was so good I even stopped in again before heading to the airport, even when the beer part was closed. The best part is that the sandwich was a measly six bucks. It is a must visit for anyone coming into town.

Don't miss it!

Don’t miss it!

The second standout is The Granary Cue and Brew. This gourmet eatery, settled into a down to earth environment, dishes out refreshing takes on the usual suspects while serving truly epic homebrew and bottles. The night I was there had a restaurant brewed Black IPA, an American IPA, and a Rye Saison flowing. The Saison was a little thin for my palate but the IPA was a good basic brew.

Cute and inviting.

Cute and inviting.


It didn’t matter, because the food experience was something I didn’t want to dilute. My choices included scallops seared in root beer and served with crystallized root beer wafers. Sweet and tart. I followed this up with the BBQ board; a small appearing entree that was actually perfect in size when garnished with beans and potatoes.



What really set things apart were the bartender’s recommendations. First, he offered me a freshly prepared pastrami beef rib that wasn’t on the menu. It was literally one of the best pieces of meat I have ever consumed. To top that off, he pointed me in the direction of a phenomenal imperial stout, Brewmance. It was the coup de grace of stouts, especially when paired with their excellent Buttermilk Chess Pie. The service and food, coupled with an outstanding environment, has truly made The Granary Cue and Brew one of my favorite restaurants. I can’t wait until my next visit.


While I have enjoyed the heat, my body is longing for the comfort of home, family, a low humidity 50 degrees,, and some pepto. Time to catch a plane…and eventually a bike!

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on April 30, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great post, training, food and beer! I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures.
    Sounds almost like a nice mini vacation, even with the medical conference.

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