Cycling Around South Hero Island, Vermont

Last week Jordan and I went on vacation to his family’s camp in South Hero, Vermont on Lake Champlain. The camp is right on the water and we got to enjoy many days sitting by the lake and enjoying some really pretty views.

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We drove into Burlington one night to catch the sunset and go out to dinner.

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It was one of the prettiest I’ve seen!

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We also spent a lot of time road biking! On Tuesday, we rode all around South Hero Island.

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We biked a total of Total of 38.4 mi around the island!
Total moving time:Ā  2:50:30
Elevation gain: 1,050 ft

The views were gorgeous all over the island. Lots of these guys were hanging around.

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On Thursday we went for another ride. This time we rode to the bike ferry about 10 miles from the camp! The ferry took the us and the bikes to the other side of Lake Champlain so we could ride the bike path to Burlington.

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Riding along the Island Line Trail was gorgeous!

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Total distance: 43.1mi
Moving time: 3:30:24

We had such a lovely vacation! It was relaxing and I got to spend some quality time with my favorite guy.

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More Burlington Highlights

So, on Sunday after the marathon, we showered and changed. Then Loretta, Tina (Loretta’s relay partner) and I went to the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington.

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They had a lot of cool merchandise and were letting us sample four of their beers. We each got a punch card for the sampler. The samples were free, we just had to tip the bartender. The Elder Betty, one of their summer beers, was my favorite!

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There weren’t any tours on Sunday, but we got to go look around at the factory from above.

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I kind of wish we could have had a pint of beer or two, but the samples were all we got. Blah.

Monday morning, the sun finally came out in Burlington! Loretta and I went back to Church street for breakfast.

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We found Henry’s Diner, which seemed like a reliable option! I was in need of hearty breakfast! I ordered the veggie skillet, which came out in an actual cast iron skillet! Home fries, veggies, eggs and an amazing whole wheat toast! The toast was my favorite, it was nice and thick!

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Henry's Diner on Urbanspoon

After breakfast we went back down to the Waterfront to finally see Lake Champlain in the sunlight! It was beautiful! The race course was on the bike path right on the lake like this. If it had been sunny we would have had these views. I remember during the race I had to force myself to look out at the lake to take advantage of the view. At that point looking at the scenery wasn’t my top priory since it was the last half of the race.

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At least I got to see it on a nice day! We headed home shortly after. I loved Burlington! I would definitely go back and I’m considering running the marathon relay next year since I loved this race so much.

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Burlington Highlights and Pre-Race Eats

I have to say, after spending a weekend in Burlington, Vermont, it is now one of my favorite places to visit! Despite the never-ending rain and clouds, it was still beautiful with lots of things to see and places to eat.

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Of course, I was there for the marathon and food was my #1 priory of the weekend.

Saturday morning Loretta and I had an early breakfast at the Skinny Pancake, down by the waterfront, also near where the marathon finished and started. It was a really cute crepery with a focus on local ingredients.

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They had everything from savory to sweet crepes so making a decision was really hard! I decided on the Atlantic Monster, made with a local farm egg, smoked salmon, scallions, baby spinach, and spinach artichoke cream cheese spread. It was delicious and filling!

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The Skinny Pancake on Urbanspoon

After breakfast, Loretta and I decided to hit up the expo again. We had gone on Friday to pick up our packets, but wanted to go to a yoga class they were offering for the runners. We wandered around for an hour and then did some much-needed yoga! After that, we were hungry again, so around noon we went back downtown to Penny Cluse Cafe.

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Only the day before a marathon are buckwheat banana pancakes an acceptable lunch after eating crepes for breakfast.

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I could only eat two of these monsters, so I saved the third to have sometime later. They were good, but nothing amazing.

Penny Cluse Cafe on Urbanspoon
We walked around Church Street again, and hit up a tea shop called Dobra Tea. They had every tea imaginable. They also had pillows on the floor to sit on and drink your tea, which was really cool. Had I not just drank two cups of coffee at Penny Cluse I would have got some tea to go.

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Of course, we had to make a stop for cupcakes. There was a shop called My Little Cupcake that had the cutest cupcakes. These were the malted milk cupcakes, the cake was moist and the frosting was plentiful (my favorite type of cupcake is when the frosting to cupcake ratio is pretty much equal). These were delicious.

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We had originally wanted to eat at American Flatbread for dinner on Saturday night, but after discovering they didn’t take reservations and the night before a marathon they were bound to be packed. We went elsewhere–a noodle place called Asiana Noodle Shop.

It was small inside, but cute and not too crowded. Perfect! I got the cold Yuki Noodles in the creamy Thai dressing with steamed veggie goyoza. The meal was very light and flavorful. I was impressed! It was a perfect pre-race meal!

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Asiana Noodle Shop on Urbanspoon

Saturday night we stayed in and watched a movie…we didn’t want to do much the night before the race. Don’t worry–there is more to come on what we did after the race, too! šŸ˜€

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Vermont City Marathon

I can’t believe race weekend is over! It went by way too fast.

Race day started Sunday morning, with my alarm set up for 5:30AM, which isn’t too early considering I usually get up around 6AM. šŸ˜‰

Loretta, my roomie for the weekend, (she was running the marathon relay!) and I got ready, ate breakfast (I brought cereal and soy milk to eat before the race) and got a bus from the hotel down to the starting line (about a 15 minute ride), so we got down to the start area 1 hour before the race started. I was getting bummed because it was already pouring and my shoes got wet even before the race started. All weekend I had been doubting whether or not I was ready for this marathon and wondering if I could even finish it. For the first time ever I was not excited to run a race.

We waited an hour in the rain with no cover, but we were with the people from Albany Running Exchange so they were in good spirits and were making us laugh, so that was awesome.

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We walked to the start and I parted ways with Loretta and with about 5 minutes to spare I found the 4:45 marathon pace group and decided to try to stick with them for the beginning of the race. At 8:05 AM the gun went off and it was time to run my second marathon!

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Puddles were unavoidable, but my feet managed to stay somewhat warm! It only took about a mile for me to warm up, and then the rain didn’t matter anymore. I was SMILING so wide–so happy to be running this marathon! The crowds were GREAT despite the weather too!

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I managed to stay with the group for the first 10 miles or so. The first out and back was along the highway and was probably the most boring part of the race. I actually passed the group for a little bit, but they caught up and then I lost them.

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I was determined not to let the 5 hour pace group catch up to me!

After we hit the half mark, Loretta had exchanged with her teammate and found me and asked if I needed to get rid of anything, it was still kind of chilly so I kept my jacket. Good decision! I was on the fence on what to wear for this race. I ended up just wearing running crops, a tank top and on top of that a rain and wind resistant jacket I got at the expo. Getting that jacket was the best decision, ever. It kept me dry on the outside, was somewhat ventilated so I never got too hot. I have no idea what brand it is, but its a nice jacket. It got pretty windy and cold by the lake.

The second half of the marathon was mostly on the bike paths of Burlington, which was a nice change of scenery. It also went through some residential areas. At mile 15 came the dreaded Battery Park hill! I was expecting way worse than what I saw! A woman next to me told me not to look up…there was the hill. Fortunately I had enough energy and powered up it. I was determined! I didn’t have to walk it at all. All the hill training paid off. šŸ˜€

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The parts of the race on the bike path were pretty, and there were even great aid stations all throughout. At the end I think they were every half mile or so, which was nice!

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I was really surprised by myself..I didn’t stop to walk during the marathon at all except during the water stops. I thought about changing my wet socks but didn’t want to lose any time, and I didn’t seem to be getting any blisters, so I kept going.

I fueled at around miles 10, 13, 16 and 20, and that was enough to keep me from hitting the wall! I actually got a burst of energy for the last few miles (crazy, right?) and was passing people on the bike path. I was still hoping to come in under 5:00. I saw the mile 26 marker and rejoiced. The marathon was almost over!! I sprinted to the finish, which was on the grass and so muddy that I almost lost a shoe. But I kept going.

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My official time was 4:54:01. A PR by seven minutes!

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I was SO happy! So happy that the race went fantastic and despite the rain, I felt great. I only had some minor foot pain during the middle of the race, and today it feels great. (my legs are another story!)

We were DONE with the Vermont City Marathon!

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I made my way to the ARE tent (the longest walk EVER) for a change of dry clothes and some much needed food. The post-race party had pizza and ben and jerry’s greek frozen yogurt, which was so tasty. We hung around for a while until we caught the next shuttle back to hotel. The hot shower never felt so good! I want to thank the ARE for putting organizing the post-race tent party. They even had personal massage therapists for us to take advantage of. I definitely did!

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The Vermont City Marathon was such an awesome race. It was well-organized, had great aid stations, a huge expo (complete with a pre-race yoga session!), and an awesome race shirt. Anyone looking for a medium-sized spring marathon, definitely consider VCM!

I still can’t believe I finished another marathon. I have no idea when my next one will be, but it won’t be any time soon. But I will run another some day. šŸ˜€

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I’m Running a Marathon Tomorrow

So yeah, I’m running a marathon tomorrow. In the rain. But running in the rain is nothing new here.

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If you follow me on twitter, the last few days have been filled of tweets regarding the state of Vermont’s weather, but alas, I cannot control it, so I just need to ignore it and try to be prepared as I can be. This may have involved purchasing a rain and wind proof running jacket at the expo today.

Anyway, it rained our entire drive to Vermont, and even on the ferry.

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Typical ferry weather. It was my first time ever taking a ferry by car, so it was kind of exciting.

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When Loretta and I got to Burlington, we checked into our hotel and then promptly found the nearest brewery.

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At the Vermont Pub and Brewery, I got the Forbidden Fruit, a sour raspberry beer–delicious.

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And I got the vegetarian reuben with sweet potato fries for a late lunch/early dinner.

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It was very tasty and very filling! I love having a veggie option for Reuben because I normally never get to eat them.

Vermont Pub & Brewery on Urbanspoon

After eating, we walked around the Marketplace for a bit (in the rain), hit up a few stores and then went to the Race Expo, were we picked up our bibs and race shirts.

I’m really enjoying Burlington! I’m excited to run the race here and I’m going to make the best of it–enjoy every moment of the race despite the rain and take it one mile at time.

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