Run Where I Live: Burlington, VT

Danielle at Live Run Grow recently had the brilliant idea to do a series of “Run Where I Live” posts and do a link up. I wasn’t able to participate on the day (Monday) because of my Prague trip, so now I’m doing a little piggy-back on the idea. Make sure you check out Danielle’s initial post so that you can follow along and find all of the other participants all over the country (and Australia too!).

I’m very lucky to live in Burlington, VT. This small city boasts myriad places and options for outdoor activity, especially if you’re a runner. I’m going to highlight just a couple of my favorite places to run in and around Burlington.

island-line-burlingtonBurlington Bike Path/Island Line Rail Trail

This is my favorite place to run, and not just because it’s minutes from my apartment. The Burlington Bike Path extends along the waterfront of Lake Champlain for 8 miles, passing marinas, restaurants, a science museum, and beaches. It ultimately links up with the Colchester Causeway north of the city for even more mileage and views. There are many entry points all over the waterfront, so it’s incredibly accessible. The views can’t be beat, and it’s super well-maintained and very safe. Almost all of my runs happen here. To get there: You can access the bike path from many areas, but to start at the “beginning,” head for Oakledge Park at the bottom of Flynn Ave.

Ti-Haul Trail/Shelburne Bay Park Rec Path

I just discovered this trail when I joined the Lake Champlain Running Club a few weeks ago, and I wish I’d found it sooner. This trail follows the route that the steamboat Ticonderoga was hauled across from Shelburne Bay to its final resting place at the Shelburne Museum.The trail is packed gravel and well-shaded, but not too isolated, which is good for me, because I’m a weenie about trail running by myself. It connects with the Shelburne Bay Park Rec Path, with is more dirt trail, and boasts some gorgeous views of the bay. To get there, drive south on Rte 7 and turn down Bay Rd. Parking is on the right past the boat launch. Ti-Haul Trail starts across the street.

South Burlington Rec Path

This one is a little weird, because it’s lots of different pieces that go through neighborhoods, forested areas, and crosses busy streets. There are some really nice little sections that I like to repeat (Farrell Park, for instance), and they get you out of the city. To get there: Depends on where you want to go and what conditions you want. Farrell Park is a nice, hilly, wooded section off of Swift Street.


If you’re in town and looking to get in a track workout, there’s no shortage of high school and university tracks to take advantage of–Burlington HS in the North End, Rice HS in the South End, and UVM up at the top of the hill.

Fleet Feet

If you’re looking for a group to run with, the Fleet Feet in Essex Jct. hosts group fun runs that set out from the store on Saturday mornings at 8.  Fleet Feet VT–76 Pearl St, Essex Jct VT, 05452

Lake Champlain Running Club

Another option for group runs is the LCRC. They run from Fleet Feet in Essex on Thursday evenings at 6, and from the Shelburne Athletic Field House on Saturday mornings at 9. The group is run by a RRCA certified coach, and has lots of great people, myself included!


Vermont may not be a big state, but there are plenty of opportunities for racing. Our most notable race is the Vermont City Marathon, which takes place on Memorial Day weekend every year. My favorite resource for finding races to run is Running in the USA, but I also run a lot of races with RaceVermont and the Green Mountain Athletic Association.

If you’re ever in the Burlington, VT area, make sure you email me so I can show you around!

Have you ever been to Burlington?

Lake Champlain Running Club

I know you were all probably expecting a race recap today, but I’m waiting on pictures from my sister–she got some really great ones of me running, so bear with me!

I am so excited to announce that I’m FINALLY joining a running group! Despite the fact that Burlington is about as bustling a metropolis as you can find in Vermont, and despite the fact that it’s a very health conscious community, there seems to be a dearth of running groups. The few I found initially were either based too far away, or their run days totally didn’t jive with my schedule.

Then, about a month ago, I got an email from RaceVermont (they organized my PR half last fall, as well as several other small races I’ve run with them), gauging interest in a RRCA-coached running group sponsored by Fleet Feet. I immediately emailed the guy, but didn’t hear much for a while. I was beginning to think that maybe they weren’t going to follow through after all, but I got a follow up email last week that the first run will be this Saturday! Woohoo!

The group will be running two times a week; on Thursday nights, we’ll set out from the local Fleet Feet store (about 15 minutes away from our new apartment, depending on traffic), and on Saturday mornings, we’ll start from the Shelburne Field House (about 10 minutes away from our new apartment). This schedule is perfect and doesn’t conflict at all with rehearsals. The annual cost is only $10, and all of this is included:

  • An annual Fleet Feet Savings Certificate
  • $2.00 off entry fees (this is amazing because I race with them frequently!)
  • Free LifeTrak Personal Training 1 hour Fitness Assessment
  • Free DeePT injury screening
  • 20% savings on Shelburne Health & Fitness punch pass (1x/member)
  • Lake Champlain running gear available for a discounted price

I’m over the moon excited. One thing I’ve heard consistently from running friends is that running with friends or a group was a main contributing factor to them getting faster and stronger. I’m also psyched to try out some new routes, and hopefully make some new friends. I’ll be sure to give you an update next week 😀

Do you run with a group or groups? What’s your favorite part about it?

Friday Free-For-All – 04/17/15


I ran this week! I didn’t realize it, but it had been about 5 weeks since my last run. Holy crap! That’s almost as long as when I was out due to foot injury last fall. So on Wednesday, I had my triumphant return to running, and also my first “runch” (lunch run) of the year. 2.5 easy, breezy miles along the lakefront bike path. And I plan to do a “long” run this weekend of at least 4 miles.

Spring has sprung in northern Vermont. It was in the 50’s and 60’s all week. The lake is unfrozen. Trees are budding and flowers are starting to bloom. Thank goodness! I try really hard not to complain about the weather and just take it for what it is, but this winter was BRUTAL, and I’m so happy to bid it adieu.

Chess rehearsals now aren’t starting until May 31. While I’m disappointed that I don’t get to start working on this awesome project as soon as I thought (originally it was May 20), I’m VERY excited to have a bit more time to myself to work on my fitness goals, hang out with Ben, and spend time outdoors!

I got my hair cut yesterday. It had been almost exactly 6 months to the day since my last hair cut. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since I’m actively growing my hair out, it was starting to get a bit shaggy, and I want to make sure I take care of split ends so that, as my hair grows, it stays healthy.

I am obsessed with Polar seltzer. Particularly Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor. I’ve always loved seltzer, but lately I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I drink two cans a day at work, and several times I week I buy one of the liter-sized bottles at the store too. It’s great by itself, but I also love using it to make cocktails. Yum!

Are you planning to run this weekend? How far/long?

Is it spring where you are?

Friday Free-For-All (Twenty-Three)


Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I had an audition on Tuesday night!  It’s been a while since I did a show, and I’ve been itching to get back to it lately.  Lyric Theatre, a large local theatre group, had auditions for Legally Blonde the Musical this week, and I’m anxiously waiting to find out whether or not I’ve been cast.  I should know tomorrow–fingers crossed!

My dad got a new job!  You may remember a few months ago I was posting about my family going through some tough stuff.  Long story short, my dad lost his job under some rather shady circumstances (the job situation was shady, not my dad, obviously), and he was unemployed for a while, which is very stressful when my folks have a still-dependent daughter living at home.  This job opportunity seems promising, and it’s in an area in MA where we lived when I was a kid, and the town where my bestie Mandy’s family still lives!  My dad will be commuting back and forth for a while to make sure the job is a good fit before my family considers moving again.  While it would be sad if my parents had to move further away, it would actually be kind of awesome to have my family living in the same place as Mandy’s family, because we’d have more opportunities to see each other around the holidays.

I’m super way behind in my Christmas shopping.  I’m usually much more on top of things, but it’s been a busy fall.  I’ve got a few of the main people done, but I still have a lot to do, and since much of my shopping is done online, it’s crunch time.  I’m planning to dedicate some time to shopping this weekend and hopefully get it done.

I ellipticized last night.  I have been avoiding any activity that involves putting pressure on my feet, but since I’ve been feeling so good the last few days, I decided to try out the elliptical for a while, with the understanding that if anything started to hurt, I’d switch to the bike.  Well, I made it through 45 minutes on the elliptical with no pain, and my foot still feels great today.  Yay!  I’m still going to follow through on my full six weeks of no running, but it’s nice to be able to incorporate some elliptical, because I find the stationary bike mind-numbingly boring.

It’s a full-on winter wonderland here in VT.  It’s been snowing pretty much non-stop for three days.  While it’s beautiful, it’s led to some white-knuckle commutes for me.  Lots of accidents, lots of almost-accidents, lots of slipping and sliding and wondering why I don’t live in Florida with Kim.

Are you getting any snow where you are?

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?


Friday Free-For-All (Seventeen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I am COVETING Pro Compression’s sock of the month.  It’s seriously so pretty.  I may have to suck it up and finally pay the $30 to get a pair.  With discount code “BOOM” you get 40% off, and they’re offering free shipping on orders over $20.


I’m FINALLY mailing out the prizes from my True Citrus giveaway.  Yeah, remember that?  Way back in August?  Well, first we were moving, and then we decided to move up our wedding pretty much an entire year, and then lots of family stuff happened…. So yeah.  Salt, Amy, Erin, and Jordan, you should each be receiving a package soon!  Sorry I suck!

We’re going to visit my folks this weekend.  My parents live in Quechee, VT, which is about an hour and change south of where we currently live.  It’s a cute, touristy little town, and is home to the very scenic and beautiful Quechee Gorge.  We’ll be doing some wedding planning, and a lot of relaxing 🙂


Who’s buying the Pro Compression sock of the month?  I want to, but need to prioritize my budget…

What are your weekend plans?


Athleta Church Street Grand Opening Party

Please note:  I was not asked to review or write about this party.  I am not affiliated with Athleta or any of its parent or subsidiary companies, and I was not compensated for writing this post.

Athleta has finally opened a store near me!  I’ve always loved the look of their apparel, but buying clothes online is always a crap shoot.  You pay for shipping, and then the item doesn’t fit, and you have to pay additional shipping to send it back.  No fun at all.  But now, I’ll be able to try on all of the lovely athletic apparel I want without paying for shipping!

My college buddy, Chris, is the General Manager of the store, so I got an invitation to attend the Grand Opening party last night (this sounds really cool and exclusive, but they were letting people in without tickets; whomp whomp).  Upon entering the store, I was handed a coupon for a free yoga class at a local studio, and this pretty little hair tie/bracelet with the Athleta slogan “Power to the She” on it.  I love me some free swag!  They were also offering complimentary wine, and different juice/smoothie samples.

Photo Sep 30, 7 59 10 AM

I told one of the (very friendly) employees that I have a running/fitness blog and asked if it was OK to take pictures in the store; she gave the affirmative.  Unfortunately, the store was IMMENSELY crowded.  I’m not sure they were limiting the number of people allowed inside, and it was difficult to move around.  It was also really hot inside, and I started sweating immediately.

Photo Sep 29, 5 09 19 PM

And this is BEFORE it got super crowded

I spent about 25 minutes wandering around with my complimentary white wine and coveting everything I saw.  I could seriously spend an entire paycheck in here and not bat an eye.  Chris recommended the Relay Capris, which have an oversize zipper pocket at the back that’s supposed to fit smartphones, reflective detailing, and wide cuffs that are supposed to prevent the legs from sliding around.  They come in lots of great colors and prints, but since I’m broke as heck right now, I held off.  I don’t think I’ll be able to resist for long, though.  Does anyone else prefer athletic apparel to just about any other clothing options? #leggings4life

I loves me some free wine!

I loves me some free wine!

Another reason I’m so excited about Athleta opening in my town is that they offer all kinds of great in-store activities like fitness classes and group runs FOR FREE!  I also found out that they offer free hemming on pants, capris and skirts so that you get the best fit possible.  Um, hello?  Who does that?  Well, Athleta does!  And last and certainly not least, they offer a Fitness Professional Discount, so all you certified run coaches, personal trainers, and group fitness instructors can get 30% off full-priced merchandise in store!  Woo!

Do you shop at Athleta?

Have you ever gone to a “Grand Opening” party at a local store?

Anybody else wear athletic clothing any time it’s remotely acceptable, or even when it’s not?  I can’t be the only one…

Friday Free-For-All (Fifteen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I can’t remember the last time I was so grateful it was Friday.  These last couple of weeks have been killer.  Between crazy projects and stress at work, and personal life/wedding drama, I’ve been out of my mind.  I’m so thankful to have running as an outlet because otherwise I’d have gone crazy a long time ago.  The good news is, work should calm down after this week, so I’m hoping to get back on a more even keel.

This weekend will be awesome.  A good friend of ours who lives in Colorado is visiting.  We haven’t seen her in almost two years, so it will be awesome to spend some time with her.  Also, her brother and his wife just moved back to town, so we have a full day of festivities planned on Saturday.  First up is brunch at the Drew household.  My future father-in-law makes a killer breakfast.  Homemade biscuits with sausage gravy, eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, blueberry muffins, home-fries…  You name it, he makes it, and it’s all amazing.  Next up is the annual Underhill Harvest Market, an outdoor farmer’s market/craft fair/country fair/tag sale with hand cut french fries, homemade soups, prizes for biggest pumpkin and zucchini and anything else you could ever want.  Then we’ll wrap up Saturday with happy hour at our friends’ parents’ house, which is ALWAYS a good time.  And then of course I have to run 9 miles on Sunday.  Whee!

The weather here in VT is screwing with me.  We were on a stretch of lovely fall weather–crisp nights, cool, breezy days, blue skies, low humidity…  And then summer decided to come back.  At least, during the day.  Nighttime temps are still in the 40’s, so when I leave the house in the morning, I’m all bundled up.  And then it’s 80 degrees by noon and I’m sweating my buns off.  Get your sh*t together, Mother Nature!  You can’t be fall at night and summer during the day.  I need consistency!

What are you looking forward to for this weekend?

Has Mother Nature been messing with you too?

Friday Free-For-All (Thirteen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I brought a golf ball to work and I’ve been rolling my feet under my desk.  Words cannot describe how awesome this feels.  I’ve been having intermittent foot pain and tweakiness for months, so I’m hopeful that this will alleviate those issues.  I REALLY don’t want to end up with Plantar Fasciitis.

My Erin Condren Life Planner has finally arrived!  This has seriously been an odyssey–I ordered it almost a month ago!  So far, I’m totally enamored, but obviously I need to use it for a while to see if it actually stands up to all the hype.  Would any of you be interested in a quick review in a few weeks when I’ve had a chance to use it and abuse it a bit?

I’m off to the Northeast Kingdom this weekend.  Yup, there’s a kingdom in Vermont.  Well, not really, obviously.  But the northeast corner of the state is referred to as the Northeast Kingdom, and it’s beautiful–very stereotypical Vermont.  Lots of farmland, cows, and not a lot of houses or people.  Also, no cell phone service, and probably no wi-fi in the cabin.  So it will be radio-silence for me this weekend.  I’m looking forward to swimming, sunning, boating, fishing, and catching up on sleep with my family.



I desperately want to go on a shopping spree.  I need work clothes.  I need running clothes.  I need underwear… But I can’t afford any of that right now, so I’m just going to suck it up and deal.  And whine a lot.

What are your weekend plans?

A Guide to Bike Path Etiquette and Safety

I would like to preface this post by stating that I am by no means an expert on either bike path etiquette or cycling safety–I am in fact, only a very few steps up from a noob.  The following post is merely a collection of observations and pet peeves I have developed on my daily bicycle commute.  If you have anything to add, or refute, by all means, chime in!

I am very lucky that the city of Burlington has such a lovely and well-maintained bike path.  It stretches several miles along the Lake Champlain waterfront, from the south end of Burlington all the way up to Colchester.  This bike path is used by an enormous cross-section of locals–from walkers, runners, and cyclists, to moms with strollers and folks walking their dogs.  I think it’s fantastic that people are getting outside and getting exercise.  It’s a beautiful spot, and a great way to get around.  Unfortunately, however, I’ve noticed that even though the rules are clearly posted in several areas (and sometimes even spray painted on the path itself), there’s a startling lack of rule-following, or even common sense by many bike path users.

In order to address my own pet peeves educate the public, I have put together a list of some of the most basic courtesy and safety rules that should be followed when using a bike path (specifically, the Burlington Bikeway).

  • Keep right.  This is a simple one, and yet I see people running/biking/whatever in the middle or even on the left hand side of the path EVERY DAMN DAY.  You should always keep right so that traffic coming toward you has room to get by, and so that a fellow cyclist or  runner going at a faster pace has room to pass you.
Not my bike path, but the same printing appears on mine in many spots

Not my bike path, but the same printing appears on mine in many spots

  • Pass on the left.  Just like when driving a car, you should really only pass on the left.  Unless the person is totally breaking rule number 1 above and is running/walking/biking on the left side of the path. Then you just do what you’ve gotta do.
  • When passing, call out, or ring your bell.  It’s just common courtesy to call out “On your left (or right)” when passing, so that you a) give the person a chance to move over and give you more room, and b) don’t scare the bajeezus out of them.  I’ve had bikers go whizzing past without warning while I was running, and it’s fricken scary!


  • Don’t pass on a curve or hill.  I witnessed a really scary almost-accident last week.  I was plugging along on my bike ride home, approaching a big blind curve.  I could hear someone coming up fast behind me, so I pulled even further right to allow room for him to pass.  As I came up to the curve, I saw two ladies riding side by side approaching from the opposite direction.  Before I had time to call out a warning, the person behind me pulled out to pass and almost had a head on collision with the oncoming bikes!  One of the ladies screamed and they both slammed on the brakes, then the guy managed to zip around and just kept going, no apology, no acknowledgement, no nothing.  So, moral of the story, if you can’t see what’s coming, don’t pass!  And be nice, for crying out loud!
  • Don’t ride/walk/run more than 2 abreast.  The bike path is only about 10 feet across at its widest, and is usually more like 6 or 8.  If you make a huge line across the path, it’s really difficult for others to get by, or for your group to acknowledge that call of “On your left!” and move over fast enough.
  • Keep your dogs and your kids close.  Don’t let your leash’s flexi-lead out 20 feet, and don’t let your child wander far away from you on the wrong side of the path.  I’ve had a couple of close calls where I had to come to a complete stop on the bike path, even after calling out that I needed to get by.  Keep your kids and pets close enough that when another biker/runner/walker wants to pass, you can keep control of them so they don’t get run over.
  • Make sure your music is turned down enough that you can hear someone call out or ring their bell.  I get it, music is awesome.  It can make a tough workout better, and make your long run more bearable.  But if you’re rocking out so hard that when I call out “On your left” you don’t hear me and move, it’s totally not my fault if I run you over.
  • Don’t stop in the middle of the bike path.  If you need to stop, move over to the right as far as you can.  I know that in some areas, there’s not really anywhere to go, but if you can, get off the bike path.  Yes, sometimes shoes come untied.  Yes, the views are pretty and it’s nice to take pictures or regroup with your friends, but if you come to a dead stop in the middle of the path and I can’t get around you, it’s not going to end well.

All snarkiness aside, I really do love riding my bike to work.  It’s only sometimes that I want to punch people.  And to be fair, the rules should be posted in more places along the bike path–are you listening, City of Burlington?

Do you ever commute on your bike?

Do you have any suggestions for bike path etiquette/safety?

Vermont Brewers Festival

The Vermont Brewers Festival is an annual event, and every year, tickets sell out fast.  This year, tickets sold out in a record 11 minutes!  I’m lucky enough to sit at a desk all day long, so I was able to score tickets to the Saturday evening session for me and Ben.  This is the first year either of us have been able to attend, so we were very excited.

For the price of $30, you get a commemorative 5 oz sampling glass, and 15 sample tickets, which means you can try up to 15 beers.  Most beer samples were only one ticket, but some of the higher alcohol content beers were two tickets each.  You could also purchase additional beer tickets if 15 samples wasn’t enough for you.

The event takes place in the Waterfront Park, which affords beautiful lake views and an awesome sunset for the evening session.  With almost 50 breweries in attendance, as well as lots of food vendors, a good time was had by all.

Me and Torey

Me and Torey

I’m gonna be 100% honest here and state that I couldn’t remember 90% of the samples I tried without a little help.  15 samples times 5 oz each equals just over 6 beers (our buddy Pete also gave me one of his tickets, so that’s even more!), which is quite enough to get me feeling good.  I actually went to the Brewers Festival website to try and jog my memory.

  • Bobcat Cafe:  Kolsch.  Light, crisp German Ale
  • Burlington Beer Company:  Margarita Gose.  Like Budlight lime, but way better.  Fruity and refreshing without being artificially sweet.
  • Drop In Brewing Company:  Supernova IPA.  Hoppy and delightful.
  • Foley Brothers:  Forgotten Ale.  Surprisingly good for a sour beer.
  • Harpoon:  IPA.  I was sad, because I asked to try their special Citra, but the guy misheard me and gave me the regular IPA instead 😦 I’ve had it many times, and it’s good, but I wanted the limited edition sample.
  • Prohibition Pig:  Pro Pig Extra Pale Ale.  Pretty standard pale ale, nothing special.
  • Queen City Brewery:  Yorkshire Porter.  Yum.  I love dark beers.
  • Stone Corral:  Palomino Pale Ale.  Again, pretty standard pale ale, nothing special.
  • Sixpoint:  The Crisp.  Hoppy lager.  More like a pale ale than a lager.
  • Whetstone Station:  Fort Dummer Summer Ale.  Light and yummy.

So yeah, that’s only 10 out of the 16 that I can remember trying.  And really, after 5 or so samples, everything starts to taste the same, especially if you’re drinking hoppy or strong beers.  There were a few breweries that I would have liked to hit, but the lines were insane; like, stretching from one end of brew fest to the other insane.

This was the line for Lawson's--you can see it stretches all the way back past that tree in the left corner!

This was the line for Lawson’s–you can see it stretches all the way back past that tree in the left corner!

Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Hill Farmstead  are two that (in my humble opinion) aren’t that amazing/aren’t doing anything super different from other breweries, but a) they’ve perfected the art of supply and demand (you can’t get a lot of it, it’s not available a lot of places), and b) recently got written up in some publications as really good beer, so people are flocking to them.  There was plenty of delicious beer at plenty of other breweries, and I didn’t have to wait in line for an hour to try them.

The atmosphere at this Brewers Festival was WAY different and more relaxed than the one we go to in Providence , RI every year.  First of all, being outside, while a crap-shoot if the weather is bad, was amazing.  It was a bit overcast, so it wasn’t blazing hot, and there was a nice breeze.  It wasn’t at all claustrophobic, and actually had a festival feel, unlike being locked inside a convention center.  The food vendors were totally overpriced, but it’s nice that they were there in case people needed food to be ok, whereas in RI, there was a limited amount of free pizza, and that was it.

The commemorative glasses that they gave out are really nice, and I know we’ll use them around the house; RI had crappy plastic dixie cups.

Photo Jul 19, 5 35 26 PM

While the RI brew fest had unlimited samples, I was totally cool with the 15 tickets in VT.  It made me more mindful of how many samples I was getting, and I was a lot more selective about what I tried.  And we still left feeling pretty buzzed.  There were plenty of port-a-potties, and even some nice bathroom trailers, with flush toilets and running water, so the waits weren’t too bad.

Yup, I took a picture of the potty trailer.

Yup, I took a picture of the potty trailer.

For the price, the Vermont Brewers Festival is an excellent value, and I hope that we’ll be able to get tickets every year.

Did you make it to the VT Brewers Festival?

Is there a Brew Fest that happens near you?

What’s your favorite beer?