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.

BURLINGTON, VERMONT

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?