Half Marathon, check!

This has been a BIG & busy weekend!

Friday Colin and I headed to Vermont after work to his parents house and my parents met us there for a lovely dinner courtesy of the Temples. I loaded up on carbs with delicious pasta – that Mrs. Temple knows her sauce & macaroni I’ll tell ya!

Colin & Dad on our drive to Burlington

My lovely Mum :)

Saturday we headed up to Burlington to visit with my Mom’s Aunt & her cousins. It was great to see everyone and to see the area where Mom spent all her summers growing up. A nice little trip down memory lane… We then went to Church St. in downtown Burlington, had lunch at an Irish pub called Ri Ra (I had a fried egg sandwich & french fries = very healthy) then walked around for a bit. It was a beautiful day!

Ri Ra – http://www.rira.com/index.php?id=16

Ri Ra - Irish Pub - Stay for the 'daily' craic ! *Picture by Nancy Temple

Church Street - picture from my phone - not too great a picture...

Ben and Jerry's in Burlington, yum!

Afterward we took a drive past the house my grandfather grew up in! It was very cool to see that -

Mom & Popper's house!

Next on the agenda was Mallett’s Bay where my mother and her cousins spent a lot of time – it was gorgeous! We had a bit of a photo shoot and here are a few pictures – we got some good shots – thanks Mrs. T!

Mallett’s Bay – http://www.mbbc-vt.org/

Ma & Pa <3

Meg & Pops

Soon to be Mr & Mrs !

A nice little lovefest of pictures!

Saturday night we all went out for dinner – my parents, Meg, Matt, the O’Neills, The Temples, Colin and I. We went to this place called the Two Brother’s Tavern in Middlebury, VT. It was GREAT! Such a cute, cozy restaurant with very good service and an interesting/fresh menu. I snapped some pictures of our dinners on my phone -

Meg got fondue

Cheese Fondue (from their Menu* – delish)

Cabot cheddar and Vermont Butter & Cheese chevre melted with Wolaver’s IPA and a hint of maple syrup. Garnished with Steven’s Orchard apple cider and Champlain Valley Apiaries honey reduction and served with honeycrisp apples, warm baguette slices and Vermont Smoke & Cure slab bacon for dipping. Serves two. $11.99

Colin & Mrs. Temple both got the Sante fe Tortellini

Santa Fe Tortellini (from their menu*)

Spicy Cajun grilled chicken, cheese tortellini and tomatoes in a fresh homemade salsa cream sauce. $8.99

Dad got the Venison & Beef Bourguignon

Venison & Beef Bourguignon (from their menu*)

LedgEnd Farm venison, Boyden Farm top sirloin and Vermont Smoke & Cure slab bacon stewed with burgundy, pearl onions, mushrooms and root vegetables. Served in a hot cast-iron crok with a Cabot cheddar and scallion mashed potatoes crust. $14.99

Maple Butter Orecchiette - I got this & it was SO GOOD

Maple Butter Orecchiette (from their menu*)

Baby spinach, roasted red peppers and toasted walnuts sauteed in a Vermont maple butter sauce. Tossed with ear-shaped pasta and Gorgonzola crumbles. $14.99

A shared dessert

Chocolate Porter Cake (from their menu*)

Two Brothers’ signature dessert. A dense, mildly sweet cake made with Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter and balanced with a chocolate Chambord ganache. $5.50

Everything was delicious and reasonably priced. We had a lot of laughs & a lot of great food, definitely an equation for a good night!

So, Today - Sunday April 25th - was the half marathon! I woke up, showered, ate a bagel with peanut butter, drank a ton of water, suited up and headed to the start line with Meg and Matt. We stretched it out, I ate one of those energy gel things, peed 2 times because I was so über paranoid (TMI I know, sorry) and lined up to get going!

I was pretty nervous/excited. The energy was great and there were over 500 runners – from ages 11 to about 70+, it was amazing!

So let me be honest with you all, the race was harder than I thought. It was a beautiful day out today – nice and sunny – so it was pretty hot. There was a nice breeze, but I prefer running a long distance on a chillier (maybe even a light drizzle) type day, so the sun beating down on me was tough. There were also a decent amount of good-sized hills (in VT? Go figure…) which surprisingly wasn’t very enjoyable, so I’m glad I survived those. Everytime I got to the top of a hill I thanked the dear Lord I didn’t keel over. By mile ten I took my iPod off and started concentrating on saying Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s. It was tough, but the route was beautiful – very scenic – which helped me enjoy the run.

I’d like to tell you that completing a half marathon feels absolutely amazing. I decided I wanted to run one, I started training and I actually did it – I am so proud of myself. It was SO WONDERFUL to have my parents, Meg, Colin’s parents and Matt’s parents there to cheer us on! SO SO SO WONDERFUL! They followed the route (in the car) and stopped to get out so they could take pictures/cheer for us while we were passing. Each time I saw them it gave me such a burst of energy which was exactly what I needed to keep me going. I owe part of the credit to them for helping me finish the race – without that support, today would have been an even harder challenge! Having Matt do the race with me was such a comfort as well, I’m so proud of him – he did a great job! About 1 hr and 42 minutes or so. I came in around 2 hrs and 11 minutes – around 10 minute miles,  I was happy with it for my first time + lots of hills haha! Here are some pictures Mrs. Temple took (thanks again, I love them!)

Gearing up to go!

Coming up the hill

Meg ran with me for a bit!! :)

Here comes Matt!

Here I come - finish line!

I DID IT!

I swear I don't have a hump back - that's my hood! haha

It meant SO much to me to have my parents there -- SO happy!!!

Reppin' Merrimack

Mrs. Temple got some great shots – thanks again!!!

Thank you to my parents, Meg, Colin, Matt, The Temples, The O’Neill’s, all my siblings and my friends for everyone’s  support – I couldn’t have done it without you. When I made it to the top of the hardest hill, or when I thought the sun couldn’t feel any hotter on me, I remembered all the kind and encouraging words I’ve received!

This weekend was awesome - filled with fun, great food, good memories, amazing people, lots of laughs and proud accomplishments. I crossed ‘complete a half marathon’ off my bucket list, not a bad feeling I’ll tell ya.

Well, thanks for reading my long update! Time for some rest, my knees are hurtin’. Goodnight all :)