Jan 02

2017 Places, Races and Faces

Wow! I feel like I have not written in this space in a year and, not just from 2016 to 2017 but actually 365 days and not just over two weeks. It was lovely taking a break from the blog and social media in general, although I did find time to post a few pictures on Instagram and articles on Facebook due to my addiction but, it’s good to be formally back. So, happy New Year everyone and now let’s jump into 2017 and all the places, races and faces I plan to see in the next 365 days!




I can finally announce that I will be going to Cuba, homeland of my father, in February! I cannot tell you how insanely excited I am for this trip. My father was forced to leave his native country in 1961 and has never been able to return, until now.

I will be participating in a triathlon in Havana (more on that below) and writing an article about my experiences for USATriathlon Magazine. In addition to my dad, my stepmom, husband, sons, brother, SIL, niece and nephew will all be coming. It will truly be a trip of a lifetime for our entire family!

Is Cuba ready for all these kids?


Hawaii has been a dream trip of mine for a very long time however, the ridiculous flight times from the east coast and ages of my kids have prevented me from planning a trip. In my mind, I was thinking of staying in Los Angeles or Napa for a few days before heading to the big island, and taking our sweet time so no one would have to see me lose my shit on a plane for 15 hours. But, then life intervened.

My husband qualified for some “president’s club” work trip, the details of which I know absolutely nothing about, and we are headed to Kona in just over three weeks. Directly to Kona, I might add, and without the kids. You win some, you lose some.

Peace out bitches. See you in Kona…

There is more ying and yang to this one as we will be in Hawaii before Cuba so I will be able to do some hot weather training but, we only have two weeks in between returning from Hawaii and leaving for Cuba. Pray for me.

Las Vegas

This is the only other big trip we have planned for the year and it’s to return to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in November. I seriously want as many as my friends to come as possible so please adjust your plans accordingly!

You know you want to be in that pack this year!


Havana Triathlon, Havana, Cuba | February 24, 2017

There will be a lot of “firsts” for this race! First time in Cuba, first time swimming in the ocean in a triathlon, first time being in a meaningful country (other than the U.S.) to race, and the first time having so many of my family members at one of my races since running the Boston Marathon in 2007. Wow. That is some epic shit right there.

USA Triathlon Nationals, Omaha, Nebraska | August 13, 2017

We will return to Omaha (possibly with the boys!) where I will qualify for Team USA and the Triathlon World Championships. That’s right, I WILL qualify.

In order to make the team, I will need to shave at least seven minutes off of my time and move from 39th place to 18th. It’s a huge, scary, ridiculous goal but I will be ready.

I’m looking forward to getting this outfit in a TRI kit.

Half Ironman | TBD

My coach is setting the stage for something, I can feel it. She suggested I “try” the half ironman distance after nationals this year. I have to say that I’m genuinely excited but, we’ll see how I feel after a season of pushing myself harder than I ever have, and how “excited” I am to add mileage to every single element of triathlon.

It’s going to be one hell of a racing season.

Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12, 2017

Can I be any clearer about this? It’s the only running race on my calendar. Let’s make this happen people! I have yet to find out who the headliner is but, I’m hoping for a miracle and having Snoop perform again in 2017.


My Dad

I cannot imagine what will happen when my dad sees Cuba for the first time in over 50 years. I cannot wait to see the look on his face. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him and to have the opportunity to experience this not only with him, but my entire family.


No matter what happens at triathlon nationals, I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror afterward and know I left my heart on the course.

My Kids

It will be another year of experiencing life through their magical eyes…sometimes crazy eyes, but it’s all a privilege to witness. The perspective they bring is unmatched and I will do my best (with minimal swearing) to embrace their everything as they mark eight years on the planet.

And, now they have drones…

My Friends

I have big plans for my birthday this year and I’m looking forward to seeing old and new friends celebrate with me.


To everyone I will meet for the first time in 2017, whether they become lifelong friends or just interesting company for a few hours (like during a race or while in Cuba with my family you weirdos!) it’s always exciting to not know what you don’t know.

A lot of people will talk and write about a new year being a new beginning and, although that is way too cornball for me, I will say this; when someone close to you dies when you’re young, the way my mom did, you think of everyday as a new opportunity. Do not wait one more minute to dream big and live your life. Every day is yours for the taking, not just January 1, but it’s as good a place as any to start…

What will you do in 2017?

Any advice for traveling?

What faces are you looking forward to in the new year?



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  1. Happy new year! I’m so pumped to follow your training in 2017-you are such an inspiration! You are going to LOVE training in Kona this time of year, one recommendation for post swim/bike/run eats: an açai bowl from Basik Açai. So refreshing and tasty. This year my big goal race is Maine 70.3-big, scary and so exciting. I can’t wait!!
    Stacey recently posted…RnR DC Half Training: Week 2My Profile

    1. Thank you so much and I love the much needed recommendations for post-training fuel!! I’m beyond excited and wish I was there for 2 weeks but I’ll take what I can get!

  2. A) super exciting trips and races but the big thing is the return to Cuba. Wow. I really can’t imagine what that will be like for him. So much has changed, but so much HASN’T changed. It is going to be a really strange, amazing, emotional journey for him, and a microcosm of experience. Really, very exciting!
    Hawaii is splendiforous. I’ve been to Kauai and Oahu, and it is just magical. Take me with? You don’t have to see me much, just make sure that I’m fed and watered and I’ll take care of myself….
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Just the Right New Year’s Weekend 2017My Profile

    1. I know – it’s insanely amazing and exiting for sure!!
      I would LOVE to take you with me!! Can we just meet there?? 🙂

  3. A friend of mine just went to Cuba last week. She said it was quite amazing. But for your family…amazing won’t even scratch the surface. I’m so excited for you! And now, let’s discuss how I can come along with you to Kona. I’m sure you will need some training support while there. I’d be happy to offer my services of prepping recovery drinks if you take me along. 🙂 It’s going to be a great year!!!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Goals for 2017My Profile

    1. I SO wish you were coming with me to Kona!! After all you have been to Hawaii and can show me the ropes!!
      So cool that your friend just went to Cuba. It’s crazy how many people are going now. Love it.

    • Jess on January 2, 2017 at 8:19 AM
    • Reply

    I am so so happy for you and your family to be able to have the amazing opportunity to go to Cuba. Kudos to you for finding a way to get everyone there ;)! Hawaii will be a ton of fun and cannot wait to see pics and blog posts on both trips!!!

    1. Thanks Jess! Sometimes you have to get creative, right?

  4. I’m beyond excited for you and your family for your trip to Cuba. That is going to be one amazing and memeorable trip!! And so happy that not only do you get to experience it with your family (especially your Dad!) but that you get to race there too. And Hawaii? Alone?? You need a tour guide, right?? You’re going to have a great time. And just looking at your race schedule, I know you’re going to have an incredible year. Cannot wait to cheer you on.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…2016 Nailed It ListMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much Christine! I so wish I could take you and your whole family to Hawaii to show me around and teach me to surf!! next time?

  5. Pray for you? I want to BE YOU! Minus the triathlons, of course. Hawaii and Cuba, all in the course of 2 weeks?

    Wow, just wow!!!

    I’m putting RnRLV on my maybe list. Stay tuned. We need to meet this year.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…2016: The Year in NumbersMy Profile

    1. LOL!!! And YES we have to meet up somehow, some way this year and I would die of excitement if you ran RnRLV!!!!

    • Jane on January 2, 2017 at 9:53 AM
    • Reply

    Oh I am thrilled for everyone to go on your trip of a lifetime to Cubs. You all must be over the moon and back! I can see the tears in your dad’s eyes the moment he looks out the window of the jet and is flooded with memories. Your mom will be there with you all too!
    Awesome experience for everyone.
    Wonderful plans for 2017

    1. You know it!!!! Thanks so much Jane!!! I would love to see YOU in 2017 too! I’ll call you to tell you about my birthday plans and maybe you can make the trip to CT…:-)

  6. I am sooooo freaking genuinely excited for you and CUBA!!! Wow…. this will be amazing!!!! Your entire year and plans sound great…. I look forward to following it…. 15 hours on a plane with no children to hawaii can be a vacation itself… all the books you can read, wine you can drink, shows you can watch on that little screen…. Anyway, I can’t make any promises for Vegas, because this year I am already doing 10 days of thailand yoga retreat without my kids and chicago marathon getaway without my kids, and I’m trying to limit my time away from them in the few years I have left before they are all in college, but if I can make it happen, I will…..
    Paria@momontherunsanity.com recently posted…LotteryMy Profile

    1. You are so right about the flight!!! YES!! And I would love for you to be in Las Vegas or anywhere else I am in 2017 but I totally understand about being with your kids while they still want to be with you!
      Sounds like you have some amazing plans yourself! Cannot wait to hear more about the Thailand Yoga retreat…I’m assuming with Trainer Jake? And nothing beats the Chicago marathon…so I hear…it’s on my “someday” list as I absolutely love that city!

      1. Plus I live in Chicago, so there’s that whole plus right there… :p
        Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…2016: The Year in NumbersMy Profile

  7. Wow wow wow!!! Cuba and Hawaii?!!!! That’s freaking fantastic! I’ve always wanted to visit both places, actually cuba a little more. But I can’t wait till read about all of it. I think Cuba will be so amazing for you. Your roots and history and family, all in this magical and beautiful place. We had a magical family trip to Hong Kong back in 20001 and that was so incredible. Life changing to see your roots and where my mom grew up and where I was born and lived.
    Anyhow, happy 2017!!! I will be having adventures, feeling the love, dominating power cycling at the gym, and enjoying more boozy brunches if I can help it:)
    Cheers to you and all your races and awesome journeys!
    Danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    1. YES! Love that you had the same for your trip to Hong Kong – how great!! Sounds like 2017 is already great for you…and what a year for your little family 🙂

  8. How exciting!!!!! Your race in Cuba sounds amazing, and Hawaii is the best place on Earth. I’ve only been to Kauai and Maui but you will love it! So excited to follow your adventures this year. Happy New Year! xo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…The Most FITspiring Stories of 2016My Profile

    1. It’s super exciting for sure!! I cannot even imagine how adventurous, beautiful and fun each place will be while also being completely different experiences. Can.not.wait.
      Also insanely jealous that you have already been to Kauai and Maui. Dang!

  9. OMG, I am so insanely excited for you about all of your plans, but especially Cuba! My grandmother left Chica in 1961 and I would love to go there with her or my aunt and uncle, who were also born there. That will be such a special trip for you and your family and the fact that you get to race there will make it all the more memorable. I’m so excited about all the amazing things happening for you in the New Year!! There is also a small possibility I could be convinced to do the race in Vegas…

    1. Do not tease me woman!!! I know Vegas pales in comparison to your epic adventures but I promise you it will be worth it!
      Also, I seriously would love for you to sherpa me to Cuba because you are the ultimate travel guide. Next time…

  10. 2017 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for you! Cuba and Hawaii both sound amazing – Cuba for all its meaning and Hawaii for how beautiful it is! Hawaii isn’t a long flight from Seattle (I think the time to Honolulu is the same duration as to Boston or New York from here) and I really want to go! And I can’t wait to see how you crush it in the half Ironman. Here’s to 2017!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers: Holiday Miles & SnowboardingMy Profile

    1. You are definitely a lot closer to Hawaii and, I actually think we stop over in Seattle on our return trip… Wish we could stay and hang out with you and your husband and dogs 🙂
      Thanks so much Laura. It should be one crazy fun year!

  11. Sounds like it’s going to be an awesome year, Allie! We have a cruise to Alaska planned, and maybe Chicago. And maybe Vegas when my husband goes for a conference, but that’s in June, not November.

    Looking forward to traveling with you via your posts – it’s the next best thing to being there. And I don’t have to run 😉
    Dana recently posted…My top seven books of 2016My Profile

    1. LOL!! So true!
      Any chance you can get that conference moved to November? 🙂
      Alaskan cruise will be AMAZING!!!! Looking forward to those pictures and stories.

  12. Wow! You’ve got a lot going on! Have fun in Hawaii!! You definitely need to get up into the Volcano National Park. It’s so beautiful and there’s load of hiking (hiking can sub for a run, right? *wink wink*)

    Don’t really have any major 2017 plans yet – except for a new job and going back to school. Nothing major. 😉

    I’m most looking forward to seeing my granddaughter. She lives in Georgia so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. But, soon! We’ll be doing a “late Christmas” this month. 🙂

    You’re going to kill it in the trials. I believe in you.
    Jennifer @ Fit Nana recently posted…TOL #8 – YOGA PANTS, BIRDS, AND A FRESH STARTMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer! And, congrats on the new job- that is an adventure in itself, right?
      I definitely want to hike (which is totally a sub for hill running) in the Volcano National Park. I think we actually have that already planned with the group.
      Have a great “late Christmas” with your family!

  13. What an absolutely amazing opportunity for the whole family in Cuba. I imagine it will be exhilarating, and emotional so happy you all are able to go! Hawaii also sounds awesome – I definitely want to go at some point!

    I want to continue to travel – and am heading to Iceland next month! Northern Lights has been a bucket list item and am excited to explore. Looking at heading back to Europe later in the year and want to go on a trip to the Shenandoah Valley. As much as I want to go abroad there is still so much beauty in the US I want to experience.

    I haven’t totally planned out my year in racing but am contemplating dipping into the triathlon world this year. We shall see what happens. I just want to continue to be healthy and a half marathon PR wouldn’t be awful. Happy 2017!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…Trail Running for a ChangeMy Profile

    1. Iceland? WOW! That is definitely on the list for our family. I hope it’s everything you dream of!
      I couldn’t agree more with traveling inside the U.S. I’m always saying that to my husband. We have yet to explore so many places right here. It’s good to have options, right?
      And, if you dip into triathlon that would be SO exciting!! Let me know if you need any help, questions answered, anything!! Here’s to health and happiness in 2017 🙂

  14. Wow!! The Cuba trip sounds amazing! My husband got to go while he was in Jamacia for a year but he has no family history there, which obviously makes it a totally different kind of experience for you. So cool!!

    I’m impressed you even have your fall line up figured out… I’m still struggling with the full vs half decision for the fall, but will keep the Vegas option in mind… is Run Rise Retreat a possibility too?
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Free Sugar Detox Challenge + Workout RecapMy Profile

    1. I had no idea your husband traveled to Cuba – how great! Obviously he has no history there but I bet it was interesting nonetheless.
      And yes, Rise.Run.Retreat is ALWAYS on my list!! Just waiting to hear details but I always want IN on that trip!! Hope you’re considering it in 2017 as well – we missed you this past fall while you were out marathon PR-ing all over the place 🙂
      As for Vegas – I think it goes without saying that I would LOVE to have you run that one!! It’s super FLAT and I smell a PR for you… Just sayin’

  15. That last paragraph is everything. PREACH IT ALLIE!!! <3 You're the best. You so deserve these Hawaii and Cuba trips. I love your heart. I can't wait to see you accomplish your goals/dreams and I believe in you 100%!

    1. Thank you SO SO much Suzy!!! Your words and encouragement and support mean SO MUCH to me – you have no idea!! xoxoxo

  16. My advice for the Hawaii flight is to drink a glass of wine right before, and take some Advil PM when you get on the plane! 😉 I’ve done some long flights (most recently, a 13-hour flight from Ireland to LA) and I feel like what makes them go by quick is being able to get some sleep, then being able to stay busy when awake, so I always work on blog stuff, bring a good book, work on writing, etc. Otherwise I get stir crazy!! I read 250 pages of a book on my flight from Philly to San Diego last night 🙂

    Also, Cuba sounds like it’ll be such an amazing experience for you! I can’t wait to read all about it!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…17 Life Mottos to Inspire You in 2017My Profile

    1. OMG thank you so much for the great flying advice!! I have xanax so I may pop that instead of the Advil PM so I’m sure to pass out for hours!! And, I will definitely have plenty to read, write and watch…I just hope I can pack enough food 🙂

  17. Exciting opportunities are awaiting you in this new year!! I am sure Cuba will be full of fun and meaningful moments! I hope to see everyone back at Rise.Run. Retreat! I am conquering more half marathons this year! That distance seems to fit me best. I hope to experience some new race locations! Look forward to cheering you on this year!
    Kara A. Forrest recently posted…Running and Life: New Year, New ChapterMy Profile

    1. You are not alone in your love of the half! It seems to be the perfect distance for anyone with a busy life 🙂 I too hope to return to the retreat this year! Cannot wait to hear the details…
      Thanks Kara!

  18. So pumped to see that you’re going to Cuba! I really think it’s about time that we can travel there. My parents are from Hungary and they escaped in 1968. It was a very happy reunion when they finally were able to travel back in the mid 90’s. Very excited for your upcoming races. I know that this year is going to be an awesome year! Working my way back from my surgery, I feel that I have been given a second chance when I thought I was done running. It will be slow but life is a marathon not a sprint and I will cherish each day with all that I have in my life. Can wait to read about your progress!

    1. That is so cool about your parents return to Hungary! And you have the absolute right mindset when it comes to slowly working your way back from major surgery. Try to enjoy the journey!

  19. Going to Cuba is awesome and I could not be happier for you! I was glad to see your blog pop up and welcome back.
    Hollie recently posted…December TrainingMy Profile

  20. Whooo hoo! Exciting stuff for you this year! Girl, you are going to LOVE Hawaii. I just found out that this conference we went to for Derek’s work is in Hawaii EVERY YEAR. They just bounce to different islands! SCORE! I would LOVE to say yes to Vegas, but I’m going to have to wait til it get’s closer. Just not sure since I will have to travel for my fall marathon, and possible Rise Run again. You know that if I can, I’m THERE!

    1. Screw Vegas – let’s meet in Hawaii!!! 🙂 That is awesome and I seriously cannot wait to get there!

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