May 31

A Weekend Away and Getting Race Ready!

I have that hungover feeling you get when you’re exhausted from the exertion of laughing, staying up too late, eating way too much and running by a gorgeous lake reflecting mountains and memories. I’m currently overwhelmed with gratitude for vacationing with my family to a beautiful place just north of where we live, and also by the fact I will be swimming, cycling and running an Olympic distance triathlon race in three short days.

Let’s take a look back and then a peek ahead…

Just a girl and her maple biscuit. Happiness.


If you have never been to the magical city of Burlington, Vermont I feel genuinely sorry for your loss. I have been coming here since I was a college student at Boston University, riding the mountains of Stowe, Okemo and Killington on my very first snowboard which I purchased directly from the Burton factory, here in Burlington. Burton now sells running clothes which completely blew my mind. And of course I bought a tank.

Anyway, why is Burlington so amazing? I’ll tell you in pictures:

They hate technology

Vermonters also hate smoking. There is no smoking in most OUTDOOR PUBLIC places like the cobblestone shopping and eating mecca on Church Street and several parks. There were big signs posted declaring it, and also some signs in restaurants noting “we will be happy to serve you if you’re not on your phone.” #Berniewouldhavewanteditthatway

This basically sums it up:

We walked by this almost ever single day as it was plastered to a window near our hotel. The boys never noticed, nor did they notice me snapping this pic. I’m stealth AF, obviously.

Lake Champlain is stunning

Even my kids were impressed with the lake and were excitedly looking for “Champ” the so-called monster who inhabits it. Now, I did not spot Champ but I was thinking what a clean lake it is and how I would love to swim in it, right up until I saw a gigantic fish. I mean this thing was massive and swimming right near the shore! No thanks.

The sunsets are equally stunning but these novice photos I shot are a sad, sad depiction of the actual view.

There is a marathon…that I didn’t run…this year

Oddly enough, when we scheduled this mini-vacation on a whim, I completely forgot it’s the weekend of the Vermont City Marathon and half marathon. Oops! At first I thought I would feel as if I was missing out and of course I thought about jumping into the half but my husband reminded me that we weren’t there for a race but to relax and have fun.

Of course it brought back a lot of memories of when I ran it, 10 years ago (OMG!!!) in 2007, the same year I ran Boston. Yep. I ran the Boston marathon in early April and then Vermont on Memorial Day weekend. I would never even think of doing that now and, back then I was rewarded for my efforts with bronchitis a week following marathon number two.

This year, older and wiser, I decided to just enjoy the gorgeous runs I was able to do down by the lake and, on race morning, I stopped several times to cheer on the runners and even brought the kids outside afterward to do the same. They thought I was nuts. The runners loved it. Obviously.

The marathon route went right past our hotel and I was able to see the runners from our window…you can also see the lake in the background.

Below is a map of one of the runs I did from the hotel and, although I’m battling yet another cold (seriously!), I held on to do 4×5 minutes at 10K pace (7:08, 7:04, 7:00, 6:53) with a 7:39 average for 5.7 miles. I loved every minute.

The food…well, really I only photographed the dessert and beverages

I’m sure everyone on the planet knows that Vermont is the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so one of our first stops was to the store on Church Street.

Keep Vermont Weird! < – – did they steal that from Austin?

The first night we had dinner at a new-to-me spot called The Farmhouse Tavern and most of it was pretty amazing. Although I would stay away from the gorgonzola bread – yikes!

The drinks were fabulous…

That’s my BIL Brian and his beard Dean Musgrave. We’re obviously annoying the couple behind us. Sorry we’re cheering and photographing. They must also hate technology.

In the following days we hit American Flatbread which was amazing and a little Italian spot called Trattoria Delia. It was some of the best Italian food we have ever had (including in Italy) and the desserts were just, well…see for yourself…

This is the profiterole I ate most of after my swordfish and polenta.

I had to take a nap after drinking this hard cider at American Flatbread. Not even joking.

#nightynight #rockabyeallie

And the Saturday farmer’s market is not to be missed! There was just booth after booth of deliciousness and every kind of vendor you can imagine from Alaskan fish to homemade root beer, soaps and jewelry. We could have stayed there all day. The kids wanted out after six minutes.

And now, sadly, it’s back to reality and a very real race on Saturday morning.

This week is a taper and I’m feeling like a bloated fish after the weekend of indulgence. To recap, I’ve been sick and feel mentally and physically unprepared for what I’m about to tackle on Saturday but I’ve decided to really just have fun and see what happens.

My coach’s idea of fun was having us do an open water swim last night at 5:30pm when the air temperature matched that of the water at a cool 60 degrees. I could have skipped it. I could have used my cold as an excuse not to do it but, I packed up my dog and my wetsuit, drove 45 minutes and dove in because that’s what I do.

The four stages of a cold open water swim 1. fear 2. laughter 3. acceptance 4. happiness

No matter what happens on Saturday I know my kids will be cheering for me at the finish line, not caring if I won or lost, had a good race or bad, they will just happy to see their mom. And I will be really happy to see them…because it will mean I finished.

See you next week with a full recap. Be sure to check my Instagram for a spolier.

Did you go away for the long weekend?

Have you ever been to Burlington, Vermont?

Do you have a race coming up? How are you feeling about it?


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  1. I’m glad you had such a great time. It looked like a lot of fun. “I’m feeling like a bloated fish after a weekend of indulgence” is basically how I feel too ha ha.
    Hollie recently posted…Training Update: Physical and MentalMy Profile

  2. I second feeling like a boated fish after an extra long weekend away. Although feeling like a bloated piece of road kill would be a better way to describe it after how many critters we saw on the side of the road on our 4 hour drive through Michigan. Lol! I absolutely LOVE Burlington. It’s such a cute town that has the nicest people and the best food. However, I will not be running VCM again. Too many bad memories of the weekend from hell! Good luck this weekend! I’ll be cheering you on!

    1. Ewww to the road kill and I hear ya on running VCM! I had a pretty horrible experience as well but I thought the half would be perfect. Maybe next year… 🙂

  3. I’ll be cheering for you too! Just remind me to 😀
    I have heard fantastic things about Burlington. And now I must go and eat and drink all the things and go to that farmer’s market. But that is after you come to Chicago so we can do the same things.
    Also, I want your arms, but I don’t want to do any of the work. Trade?
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Trying Out a Cushioned Running Shoe : Mizuno Wave Sky (Coaches Corner)My Profile

    1. We can totally trade when I make it to Chicago! I’ve been putting the full pressure on my husband for us to plan a weekend this summer. The issue is we have very few weekends that we don’t already have plans 🙁

  4. This entire post confirms my “I need to visit Vermont” feeling. Good luck racing this weekend!
    Stacey recently posted…Maine 70.3 Training: Week 1My Profile

    1. Absolutely, 100% yes!! Thank you 🙂
      And I see you’re training for the Maine half IM! I soooo want to do that too!!

  5. I think I visited Burlington when I was 9–so I have pretty much zero memories of it. Looks like my kind of place and I need to go back. How hard was it not to jump into that race! My legs almost start moving on their own when I see runners. It’s a weird thing, right?

    I think you’re going to do great this weekend! It wouldn’t be a race without glitches and self-doubt, right?

    1. It was SO hard but I also wanted to sleep in 🙂 Plus I knew my legs would hate me for it in the actual race I’ve been training for this weekend. Oh the sacrifices we make!! And yes, you’re absolutely right about the glitches and self doubt. We shall see…

  6. Ohhhhh BEAUTIFUL! What a place to visit!!! I’m excited for you on Saturday and you’re going to do great, Allie! I hope you get rid of that cold first. A lot of people up here take that Emergen-C stuff.. it’s a powder you add to water bottles, and they swear by it. I dunno. Worth a try?
    Suzy recently posted…Pregnant and Running: 26 Week UpdateMy Profile

    1. Thank you SO much Suzy!!! And I swear by Emergen-C and have taken it from the start of this cold. It definitely works and I’m happy to report that I’m 100% better. Here I GO…

  7. It looks beautiful there!! I have never been to Vermont, but would love to, it is one of my bucket list things to visit all 50 states.

    1. I absolutely love the idea of visiting all 50 states! I always tell my husband that yes, I love going overseas and to the islands but there is so much we need to still see right here in the U.S.

  8. Burlington is so pretty! I flew in and out of there for the Rise.Run.Retreat and want to visit it again (although hopefully without hours of delays!). Sounds like you had such a fun trip – those drinks look delicious! Good luck on your race this weekend! I hope your cold goes away before then – but regardless I have no doubt that you will crush it!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Running with DysmenorrheaMy Profile

    1. I remember that…but I think the weather was awful. Plus, you have Burlington x 1000 where you are!
      My cold is GONE so I should be good to go on Saturday. Thanks so much for your support Laura!!

  9. I’ve only been to Burlington once and loved it! What a great place to spend the weekend. And how did that race sneak up so fast?! Good luck!!
    Laura recently posted…How much time should I take off?My Profile

  10. How did I not know you went to Boston University?! Ahh, I love, love Burlington – just a green, happy, beautiful place! You are a total rock star for swimming in 60 degree water – brrr! Go kick butt this weekend!! Xoxo

    1. I don’t know?? Probably because I’m old and I graduated in 1997 🙂
      Thanks so much Nat! The swim was actually not as bad as I thought so I will be ready for anything on Saturday. I think.

  11. I have a race in three days. I haven’t trained for it, so I’m not nervous, just excited! VT is a place I’ve always wanted to do. They’ve got some great trails out there. That lake looks beautiful, I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Eat Food and Don’t ThinkMy Profile

    1. Good for you! I’m trying to channel my nerves into excitement!
      VT is gorgeous to visit and definitely to run in. The trails are amazing and the views are stunning.
      Thanks again!

  12. It looks like you all had a great weekend! I love Burlington. We hung out there for a few days after last year’s Rise.Run.Retreat and also went to Farmhouse and Flatbread haha. And your race!! I’m so excited for you and know that you’re going to kick some butt.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Kicking the limits wide openMy Profile

    1. Yes! I remember that 🙂 Too funny we went to the same places but not surprising as we have the best taste ever.
      Thanks for the encouragement. We shall see…

    • danielle on June 1, 2017 at 1:20 PM
    • Reply

    i want to visit Vermont right n ow! no seriously, i will tell you how deep and real my love is for Vermont. remember the movie Baby Boom with Diane Keaton way back when? i wanted to buy that house in Vermont and move there and make apple sauce. i swear on my life. oh and that guy 🙂
    we had a sick baby and a very sick mom all last week and still getting over the crud. what da hell!!!!! so much yuck but at least got to enjoy some trash television watching.
    you will have a great race, i know it. it’s during the lowest and worst conditions that we surprise ourselves. i’m sure will surprise yourself! my standards for racing during yuck are just to show up, so anything after is a win. have a great time and just be happy to be there. it will be great!

  13. Can you believe the only time I’ve ever been to VT was at the retreat?!! I really would love to get back up there someday. It looks so beautiful where you guys were!!

  1. […] Friday, I’m happy, and I hope you are too! Shout out to the lovely Allie who is racing an Olympic distance tri this weekend! Time to catch you up on what’s been going […]

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