May 27

The Countdown: Screw Your Courage To The Sticking Place

It’s a funny saying.  Maybe I like it it because the word “screw” is in it?  I can’t remember the first time I heard it (I don’t think it was Macbeth, where it originated from Shakespeare’s mind) but it’s actually in the “Gaston” song from Beauty and The Beast.  A few months back, the boys were watching it in the car for the umpteenth time, and the line jumped out of the song at me.  Since then, it’s become sort of my mantra.  If I want to succeed at traveling to Spain with my family (tomorrow!!!) and competing in the biggest race of my life (on Sunday!!!) then I’m going to need good courage and I need it to stick!


The time has finally arrived for me to do this thing!  I’m excited, nervous, anticipating the best and the worst, and find myself lost in thought with all of the unknown.  Obviously I needed my toes painted for Team USA/Wonder Woman for the occasion.  This past week has been a blur of activity, parties, shows and last workouts.  Here’s the final recap before go time!


WEEK OF MAY 19, 2014

RUNNING: I’ve got good news and bad news on the running front.  The good news is I won the Ten Penny Ale Duathlon last weekend.  The bad news is that I hurt my already strained hamstring in my dash to the finish, 10 seconds ahead of the second place woman.  I did a few training runs, but had to lay off the speed for the most part.  I’m not going to freak out because I know I have the speed there, and what I need to do is be smart and go a little easier.

CYCLING: Because I have the greatest trainer on the planet, she left her bike with me so I could get my last few rides in before I left.  My leg doesn’t hurt at all when I’m cycling so that is a welcome relief.  I was able to push hard through my last big workout – 6 mile run (with 3 at 10K pace) and a 30 mile ride – on Monday.  Life is good.

CROSS-TRAINING:  I did get into the pool this week, which was blissful, but I also did a lot of partying, which I definitely consider a form of cross-training.  I needed it to let off steam and hug and kiss all my friends before leaving.  Several of my closest and coolest friends threw me a Spainish-themed party on Friday night, complete with Sangria, a piñata and tapas.  They also bestowed on me a bag of all my favorite fuel (Vega bars, chews, Smarty Pants vitamins, SnapPea crisps, dried cherries and NUUN!) and a gift card to Athleta.  I mean, really.  What the hell else does a girl need?

Did I mention the Sangria?

Did I mention the Sangria?

FUEL:  I rolled with the Spanish/Mexican theme on Saturday night when my husband and I met up with friends at Sol Toro, in the Mohegan Sun Casino, to pre game for Chelsea Handler.  The food and company were fantastic (table side guacamole anyone?) and Chelsea was just as funny as I knew she would be.  I may or may not have had to change my underwear after the show.

RACING:  I’m anxiously anticipating the biggest race of my life.  I’m packed and ready to go!  Opening ceremonies are on Saturday, May 31 and I race at high noon on Sunday, June 1st!  Ponteverdre, Spain time is six hours ahead of the East Coast so, if you happen to be awake at 6am on Sunday…think of me!  The weather report for now is 60 degrees and rain.  If it rains during the bike race, I will cry quietly into my handlebars the whole time.

Of course I wore my uniform for my training run/bike on Memorial Day!

Of course I wore my uniform for my training run/bike on Memorial Day!

READING/TV:  I’ve loaded my iPad with more books and movies then I can possibly read or watch.  I’m anticipating a lot of down time starting June 2nd, plus I have about 14 hours of flight time to kill between going there and coming home.  And yes, I also have my Xanax.

MUSIC:  Gaston of course!



The woman in the picture with me is my honorary Aunt Chris.  I trained her at my studio years ago and we have remained very close ever since. Chris and her husband Dave have owned Rockville Equipment for over 20 years.  Chris’ sign has become a local favorite because you never know what she’s going to put on it!  Some of my favorites are: “The real housewives of Tolland Country ride Husqvana mowers!” or “I’m sexy and I mow it.”  I literally drive by her business five times a day, so imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and saw my own name!  I almost drove off the road! I quickly turned the car around and could barely contain my excitement as I walked in to give her the biggest hug!  Chris – I cannot thank you enough for everything you have been to me, and have done for me over the years.  This sign was better then the sword and I will never, ever forget it!  THANK YOU!

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH:  That feeling in the pit of my stomach of nervous anticipation.  I keep going over all my lists and praying that I don’t forget anything.  I’m pretty sure they sell most everything I would need in Spain but…

RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: Here goes everything nothin’!

I’m not sure what to expect as far as connectivity in Spain and Portugal so you may not hear from me for a few weeks.  I’m sure I will at least be able to post to Instagram, Twitter and FB so if you don’t follow me yet, please do!  I’m hoping to at least get one post up, and I’m sure I will have material for months once I return!

I also want to thank everyone who is reading this right now.  I cannot fully express how much you all mean to me – family, friends and bloggers alike – and how much you have all helped and encouraged me.  I absolutely could not do all that I do without your love and support.  From the very bottom of my heart – THANK YOU!

See you on the other side…

Any last minute advice?

Have you ever heard the saying “screw your courage to the sticking place?”




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  1. Tina Muir

    AHHHHH SO EXCITED FOR YOU ALLIE! What an incredible opportunity you have here Allie, as much as that feeling in the pit of your stomach is not enjoyable, try to enjoy it and know that the adrenaline will give you an extra edge to perform even better on the day. All you can do is your best, and it is only putting one foot in front of the other…..and then moving your legs in circles. I am sure you will do well, enjoy this, it is your reward for all your hard work!

    I have been to international races before, I know it is scary, but HAVE FUN!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Mushroom CapsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      If anyone knows how I feel – it’s YOU Tina! Thank you so, so much. I’ll be thinking of you when I’m doing my warm-up strides 🙂

  2. emma @ be mom strong

    yay it’s here!!! Saying a prayer for you that you have the race of your life! Enjoy yourself and even if things don’t go as planned you were chosen to represent your country and that’s AMAZING!
    And for heaven’s sake have some more Spanish-themed nights post race!!
    emma @ be mom strong recently posted…Stop Starving Yourself!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Absolutely! Thanks so much Emma 🙂

  3. Tara Newman

    You know I will be thinking of you on Sunday morning at 6 am!! I will be at the starting line of Rev3 Quassy sending you loads of positive energy! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventure. You have done the work…now keep your mind quiet. Try this – “All is well in my life. Everything is as it should be.” It helps me in my most anxious moments.
    Tara Newman recently posted…Sign Up for Success!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much for that! I will use it for sure!!

  4. Janine Huldie

    You totally brought me back to 11th grade English with that quote. But seriously wishing you tons and tons of luck in Spain, but deep down I know you don’t need luck, because you are amazing and going to do your best no matter what. Hugs and can’t wait to hear all about it now 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Tumble Leaf – Amazon Prime’s Entertaining & Educational Kid’s ShowMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Janine!!! Glad I could take you on a little journey through time this morning 🙂

  5. Chris

    I need a bigger sign to convey how much pride I have in you. You are my hero….my inspiration…and I’m SO proud to say, my friend. Whatever happens on Sunday, enjoy the experience. The richest people in the world are not the ones who have the most STUFF, it’s the people who have the most life experiences…no matter how big or small. BTW…great pedicure!!!! LOL I wish we could follow the race on the Internet. Good luck and as Tina said…have fun!!

    1. vita88

      You are absolutely right! I will definitely enjoy the ride – all the hard work is done, and I have a great pedicure 🙂 Thank you again!! xoxo

  6. Pam

    Allie, I am super excited for you! I’ve admired your focus and dedication to your training. You’re going to do great!

    I can totally relate to that feeling in the pit of your stomach… I feel it every time I toe the line, even at the most insignificant races. The worst I ever felt was waiting for the gun to go off at Lake Placid in 2008 while bobbing in the water with 2500 other nut balls — I mean athletes — waiting for the canon to sound. Once it does though, the nerves become a quest for survival. You’re not afraid anymore, you are a warrior. You just keep fighting your way through, and with a little luck and a lot of trust in your training, you make it to the finish. It rained torrentially that entire day at LP in 2008 — from start to finish — heavy, cold, soaking rain… but, to reach the finish line was such a great accomplishment. And, knowing that my family had spent the entire day waiting for me and being there each time i came through town on the bike or the run — wearing garbage bags to try and stay dry… well, nothing could have been better than to reach the finish line for them.

    So, my point — enjoy the experience! You never know what the day will bring, but you’ve trained hard and met your goals along the way. Just to be at the line is a mighty accomplishment!

    Best of luck to you and enjoy the day AND the trip!

    Truly inspired,

    1. vita88

      Oh Pam! I just got the chills reading this. I cannot imagine the start of an Ironman!!!! You are an inspiration to me. Thank you so, so much! And, are there any greater people then the ones who stand for hours on the sidelines, waiting for just a glimpse of us at races?? Those are the heroes for sure!!!

  7. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    I’m so freaking excited for you Allie!!! You’ve totally got this. You’re going to do great. I love love love that picture of you, your Aunt Chris and that amazing sign!!! Travel safe my friend and ENJOY your time there. Can’t wait to hear more about it all. PS I’ve never heard that saying but I kind of love it!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Calavera Loves BoobiesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so, so much Christine! So glad I could give you a new, cool saying 🙂 I’m going to do a ton of yoga after this is done!

  8. Tina

    If it rains for you, it’s raining for everyone else, too. You know you’re ready and you know you can represent well. So take it all in! XOXO
    And, yes I’m up at 6am so I’ll definitely be thinking of you while my kid is on the pot.

    1. vita88

      Ha ha ha – thank you so, so much!!! xoxo

  9. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    I will definitely be thinking of you at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Sending positive, calming, thoughts your way. Your training has been stellar. Go get it girl!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…5 Body and Soul Benefits of Trail RunningMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you Angela! I’ll think of you, out on a blissful trail run, to help calm my nerves 🙂

  10. Sarah C.

    Good luck, Allie! You are a winner in my book. Be proud of your training and all your hard work. It is going to payoff! Have a great trip…can’t wait to hear all about it.

    1. vita88

      Thank you Sarah!!!

  11. Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness

    Knock’em dead Allie! You got this and you know it! You were on the money with your training so you will have no problem! Good luck!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Graduation – The SpinMy Profile

    1. vita88

      That’s right Kris! Now I just have to keep repeating that to myself 🙂

  12. Jaclyn @ BumpSweat

    I’ve never heard that saying before, but I like it! You’re going to be incredible in Spain! Your hard work and dedication will pay off in big ways. Praying for safe travels, race, and recovery for you!
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…Tuesday Tabata Twosome Workout + Last Week’s Fitness RecapMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much Jaclyn! You can use that saying when you go into labor 🙂

  13. Diana Mainville

    You are quite inspiring .. Living in in your local area I also drive by this sign several times a day…. It was nice to see this establishment take the time out to show their care…
    I enjoy reading your blogs.. They give me that extra push to start my day..( 2 months post baby #3… I hope to shed my last 20lbs of 60 lbsgained… And bring myself back to 1/2 and full marathon days)
    You ROCK!!! Strive high….work hard and never give up!!!

  14. Dana

    That is one of the few quotes I remember from Shakespeare. I am so excited for you Allie, and I will be following on Facebook. You are gonna ROCK!!!
    Dana recently posted…19 Tips for a Healthy MarriageMy Profile

    1. vita88

      YAY! Thanks Dana!!

  15. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    You are going to have the time of your life! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Make sure your husband takes tons of pictures of the race! Good luck! And by the way, I LOVE your toenails!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Memorial Day Edition {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Michelle!! You can do yours the same for 4th of July 🙂
      I’m sure between my dad and husband there will be hundreds of pictures!!

  16. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance

    GOOD LUCK!!!! You will do amazing! I am so excited for you and no matter what, you’ve already won for getting this far and being this dedicated. I absolutely cannot wait to hear about the race and Spain/Portugal.

    Have an amazing trip after the race! I hope you get a chance to relax and unwind and spend time with your family. Enjoy every minute of the entire experience and know that stateside we are all cheering for you!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Happy Memorial Day!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Britt! I will definitely be enjoying my time – no matter what. The fact that I know I have so many people routing for me back home is a HUGE boost for me. I’ll be thinking of all of you when I need it most!

  17. Andrea

    Wow Allie!!! You are a celebrity my friend. Good luck to you! I’m excited. P.S. Can I have a glass or two of that Sangria?
    Andrea recently posted…I’ve Got A Love JonesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Ha ha – thanks Andrea! The Sangria was delicious!!!

  18. Babs Malt

    Allie!!! So excited (and nervous) for you! You are an amazing inspiration accomplishing all of this training with determination and humor! Have a blast and kick some ass! You will be representin’ USA like it should be!! Looking forward to some amazing stories 🙂 will be thinking of you!

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Barb!!!! Can’t wait to come back and see what YOU’RE up to this summer my friend. You inspire ME!

  19. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    Ahhhhh!! It’s here! So excited for you and as much as I can’t wait to read all about it….take a break from the blog and enjoy yourself. Disconnect from all of us and take it all in…the race, the place, your family. We will all be waiting when you get back!! I promise!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday Five: My Running Bucket List and a Giveaway!My Profile

    1. vita88

      I plan too! Thank you Sue!

  20. Tamara

    Ahh! Screw your courage to its sticking place! Or something!
    Aunt Chris’ sign make me want to cry. How amazing.
    Really thinking about you and I know it will be amazing!!!
    Eat some Spanish tapas and think of me!
    Tamara recently posted…I Can’t Let Go.My Profile

    1. vita88

      I will definitely be thinking of you Tamara, tapas or no. Thank you so very much!!! Can’t wait to meet at the Coventry Farmers Market when this is over 🙂

      1. Tamara

        Yes!! Maybe I’ll buy you a cupcake as a reward! If you’ll let me! Or a nice crunchy broccoli is ok too!
        Tamara recently posted…I Can’t Let Go.My Profile

        1. vita88

          After this race, I will resume eating cupcakes for sure! It’s a deal… 🙂

  21. Kelly

    Good luck!!! We get a tv station from Spain here, so I will be watching for any coverage I can find. 🙂 I hope you love Galicia. Have fun!

    Kelly recently posted…Road Trip Survival Guide: 6 Steps for SanityMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Oh that is so cool!! Thank you so much 🙂

  22. Kim

    Now advice – you don’t need it!!!
    Have fun and let your training pay off!!! I’m so excited for you I can hardly contain myself!!! I’m emotional just thinking about what you have done in training and what you are fixing to do!!!
    You are already a winner and an inspiration – now you are a National athlete – I admire you in every way possible!!!
    Kim recently posted…18 Years AgoMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I can’t thank you enough Kim! You will certainly be with me, cheering me on in my head, before and during the race 🙂 It means so much to me to have your support!! I only wish we could enjoy some Sangria together when all is said and done… Someday!

  23. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    Oh man Allie, I read this in the AM and I have been pondering what I wanted to say to you.

    I feel like I am sending you off to college or something..I dont know–I mean, I know you will be back in no time, but I feel so happy and PROUD of you its really something that is so hard to put into words.

    I don’t have any advice on the athletic part because girl you got that. You know what to do, and how to do it. One thing I would say is try not to get caught up in the anxiety. Take a few moments (10 minutes before the race–not 5 minutes because well you know how those races start early LOL) and like Christina and Pitbull says just FEEL the moment. Close your eyes, let everything go quiet and remember every sound, every heartbeat, take a picture in your brain so that you will never forget this amazing thing you have done.

    we are all rooting for you babe. Now go ahead a KICK ASS!! I will be fervently stalking ALL of your social media my dear.
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Rebranding the Blog & My AttitudeMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Nellie!!!!! I got so emotional reading this. You know the mere mention of Pitbull just gets to me – ha ha. But seriously, I did exactly what you’re talking about at the end of the Boston Marathon, when I was coming down Boylston Street to the finish. I captured the moment in my memory, even though I just wanted to cross that finish line. But it worked! I can see, hear, and even smell that scene from 2007 – it is burned into my brain. I will absolutely take your GREAT advice and do the same before this race! THANK YOU!
      I can’t wait to report back…

  24. Alison

    I will be awake and excited for you on Sunday, because I’m 6 hours ahead of Spain!
    No advice, except – enjoy the race, have a great time, and soak it all in. Yes, even the 14 hour plane ride.
    Alison recently posted…A Twin UpdateMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Love that!!!! Great advice too. I will be a sponge!

  25. Sue Hayes

    Well Allie, I am always up at 6am and I will certainly be thinking of you and your grand adventure. I have no doubt that you will make your family, community and country proud! What ever the outcome, you have exhibited extrordinary courage by getting on that plane and making it to the starting line in Spain! So Cool!!!

    1. vita88

      Thank you so very much!!! I’m going to need all of the courage I can muster – and then I’m just going to have FUN!

  26. Marisa

    “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” – M. Jordan

    Allie, you are going to do so well in Spain because you’ve spent countless hours, days, months and years training at your best; now fruition takes its course as you will reap the benefits of all your hard work!

    The pain cave has nothing on you, your determination and physical strength will get you to the finish.

    From a distance, I along with so many other people will cheer you on, come race day!

    Thank you for being my inspiration, mentor and friend! Best wishes…you GOT this!


  27. Yum Yucky

    YAY! Good luck to you, Allie. Your toes are epic! If you want those nervous butterflies to go away, just think about cake. Thoughts of cake is scientifically proven to release the relaxation hormones in the stomach. ((winks))
    Yum Yucky recently posted…Post-Holiday Weekend Detox Made EasyMy Profile

  28. Carla

    Good luck! Good luck! Good luck!

    Although I loved this post and there are some great things here…I can’t stop laughing over “I’m sexy and I mow it”. That is just too funny.
    Carla recently posted…Pinterest Tips and Tricks to Grow Your BlogMy Profile

  29. Stephanie

    I have been trying to get here for days to find out what’s been going on with your training and your trip. I am so excited for you and love that you have fantastic people supporting you all along the way! Best of luck to you even though you won’t need it…you are going to be amazing. Can’t wait to read all about it when you get back!
    Stephanie recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  30. Jen@milesandblessings

    I am SO excited for for you!!! Eeeeeee! I can hardly wait! I will definitely be thinking if you! I set an alarm on my phone! Oh the places running can take you! My only advice is to be SO proud if yourself no matter the outcome. You trained hard, you earned this, we are all proud if you…now go get em’!!!!!!!

    Awesome pedi too! 🙂

  31. Kimberly (Manifest Yourself)

    I’m so excited for you, Allie! I wish you the VERY VERY best of luck… even though I know you won’t even need it. Go over there and show em how CT girls get things done. 😉 xo
    Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) recently posted…The only thing constant in this world is change.My Profile

  32. Carly @ Fine Fit Day

    Allie!!!!!!! I WILL be awake at 6am on Sunday (toddler) and I will be thinking of you and hoping for clear skies and happy hamstrings and lots of race day luck to go along with all your kick-ass training and ability. YOU ROCK! USA! USA! USA! 😉
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…Get Rid of “Should”My Profile

  33. Lauren

    This is so very exciting, not to mention inspiring!! Sending you lots of good vibes this weekend. The very best of luck to you!!
    Lauren recently posted…We’ve got some milestones going on.My Profile

  34. thedoseofreality

    Could not be more thrilled for you!! Am LOVING the support you got from your friends and the town! 🙂 Awesome! And with adorable toes like those, how could you not be a success??!! Cannot wait to hear the results! :)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Would You Rather: Summer Sandal Or Summer Hat?My Profile

  35. Britton

    I just LOVE the marquee Allie! I’m sure you are well done with the race and enjoying your time in Spain and I can’t wait to read all about how well you did! Can’t wait! Enjoy your time there!
    Britton recently posted…Motivational Monday Fitness Check In: 6 Month RecapMy Profile

  36. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Looking forward to your recap!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Why I runMy Profile

  37. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I always get pedicures according to the HOLIDAYS! I NEED TO GET MY AMERICAN FLAGS ONNNNN! 😉
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Clamming Around With My DadMy Profile

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