Living and loving life in vermont


Happy Monday, friends! I realized last night that although I thought I had scheduled my Friday Free-For-All post to go up on Friday while I was away, I goofed and never actually hit the “Publish” button. Oh well! Here’s my recap of last week’s training.

Monday 06/29/15:  Rest Day

I was still exhausted after a marathon 40 hour trip home from Prague, AND had a full day of work and rehearsal, so I slept in instead of running. However, I did ride my bike to and from work (less than 1.5 miles).

Tuesday 06/30/15:  Rest Day 

Unsurprisingly, I was still lazy and tired and didn’t run.  But I did walk to and from work.

Wednesday 07/01/15:  Rest Day

I really, truly intended to get up and run, but it was POURING rain when I woke up, so I just didn’t bother. Just walked to and from work.

Thursday 07/02/15:  3.1 miles

After almost two weeks off, this run felt really hard, but I still managed a sub-30 time, so I’ll take it! I also rode my bike to and from work, and then after a quick dinner, drove to the Berkshires for 4th of July weekend to be with my best friend Mandy and her family. I’ve known them for 18 years, so they’re basically my extended family.

Friday 07/03/15:  3.1 miles–Nuun #RunRideHydrate Virtual Race

I dragged myself out of bed early and ran a decently fast 5k–only 15 seconds off my PR! The rest of the day was spent hanging out with Mandy and her family.

Saturday 07/04/15:  Active Rest Day

While I didn’t get in a formal workout, I spent the morning helping to prepare for the party, and spent the evening running around playing horse-y and giving piggyback rides to the dozens of young cousins in attendance. We stayed up late setting off fireworks, eating, drinking, and singing.

Sunday 07/05/15:  4 Mile Progression Run

I started out running with Mandy, her dog Lily, and her father in law, Bruce, but I wanted to do a progression run, so I left them behind fairly quickly, as they were just looking for an easy run. I ended up being really happy with my splits, because it was pretty hot and humid by the time I got out there. After that, it was lunch, a quick stop at my beloved Target, and home to hang out with Ben for a few hours before he left for the family reunion. 

All in all, I’m VERY happy with this week, especially considering that I got myself out running twice while I was away from home. This was my highest mileage week in a while, and Sunday’s run was my longest run in over two months. I’m hoping that this week will be even better. Ben left this morning for a week away, so I’ll be living the bachelorette life! Here’s the plan for this week:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 5k
  • Wednesday: 5k
  • Thursday: 5k
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run club 5k plus 2 miles to make it 5 miles
  • Sunday: Rest
  • How was your holiday weekend?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Enigma 5 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I’m not super brand loyal when it comes to running shoes. When I committed to training for my first half marathon last year, I went to my local Fleet Feet and got fitted with some Saucony Mirage 4. They served me well. When it came time to replace them this spring, I just got a new pair of the same make and model, because a) I knew they worked, and b) I could get them cheap online, not necessarily because I lovelovelove them and don’t want to run in anything else.

When the folks at BibRave shared that we’d have an opportunity to try some Mizuno shoes, I was totally on board. I’d never tried any Mizuno shoe before, but I’d heard lots of great things, particularly about the Wave Riders. After anxiously waiting to hear if I’d been selected for the campaign, I found out I’d be getting a pair of the brand-new, never-before-seen Mizuno Enigma 5. And of course, I found this out while I was in Prague and couldn’t touch them. So I pined and drank my sorrows away with some tasty Czech beer, and when I got home, these were waiting for me.

Photo Jun 29, 1 30 25 PM

About the Mizuno Enigma 5:

  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Neutral shoe with maximum cushion
  • New u-shape full-length parallel wave provides the Mizuno trademark responsive feel.
  • Combination of new u4icX and u4ic midsole foam provide cushioning.
  • Upgraded upper materials, including extra breathable mesh, provide a glove-like fit.
  • Heel-toe drop: 12mm

My Experience

I’m going to say first and foremost, I goofed and ordered the wrong size. My normal street shoe size is 9, but I have been wearing a 9.5 in the Saucony shoes I currently wear for running. When filling out the form to try out the shoes, I submitted my shoe size as 9, figuring that the good folks at Mizuno would send me the correct size based on how the shoe fits. Well, you know what they say about assuming… They sent me a size 9, and unfortunately, they’re just the tiniest bit too small. I should have ordered a 9.5. D’oh!

Having said that, however, I question whether even a 9.5 would help, as the tightness seems to be over the top of my foot rather than lengthwise, if that makes sense. As in, it’s not that the shoe isn’t long enough (although they are a bit too short as well), it’s that the shoe isn’t tall enough. I wore them to walk to work a few times, and they felt fine. Nice and cushy, and I actually felt like I had extra “spring” in my step, so I was really excited to run in them.

My first run in the Enigmas was a 5k, and by the end, the balls of my feet HURT–it felt like the bottom of my feet were being rubbed raw. I couldn’t wait to be done running so I could take them off. My feet just felt completely compressed. I was still willing to give them another chance, thinking that maybe I just needed to break them in a bit more, so I loosened up the laces as much as I possibly could, and wore them for another 5k the next day, unfortunately with the same result. No dice, Jim Rice. I REALLY wanted to like these shoes, because I love the color and the cushion, but it’s not going so well.

I will definitely say that I haven’t given up on them after only two runs, and when I wear them just for walking around, the cushion feels awesome. I put them on after a full day of running around on Saturday wearing flat sandals and my feet instantly felt better. I’m hopeful that with further breaking in, I’ll be able to wear them for shorter runs without my feet feeling so squished. I have wide feet and high arches, which may explain the issues I’m having. If you don’t have fat feet like me, the Enigmas may be a better fit for you.

If you’re still on the fence, definitely check out some reviews by my fellow BibRave Pros:

Brandon | Dave | Angie | Emily | Erica | Danielle

Also, Mizuno Running will be sponsoring our Twitter #Bibchat on Tuesday evening at 8pm CST. Tune in to chat with me, Mizuno, and other BibRave Pros about the Enigma 5s if you have questions!

Have you ever worn Mizuno running shoes?

I spent a LOT of time in airports and on airplanes this past week. No matter how prepared you think you are, and no matter how many experiences you have had, there are always things that surprise you. And of course, there are always constants as well. Here are a few of my observations on air travel.

Crying babies on airplanes are literally the worst.

I know that in most cases, it’s not the baby’s fault, and it’s not the parents’ fault. Babies cry. I get it. But on our flight from Reykjavic to Copenhagen, there was a toddler seated right behind us who pitched a fit nearly the entire flight. It was one of those obvious “I’m not getting my way so I’m just gonna fake cry and scream” kind of things, and the parents didn’t do ANYTHING about it. They pretty much just let him have a hissy fit, and I wanted to murder them all.

Scoring extra leg room with the seats by the emergency exit is totally worth the responsibility of getting the doors open should the worst happen.

Ben and I are usually pretty cool under pressure, so I think that if the plane went down, we’d be able to get the door open and usher our fellow passengers to safety. Especially because our legs would be nice and limber from all that extra stretching space.

Other countries have much more civilized security procedures. 

You are not required to have a full-body x-ray or pat-down, and you don’t have to take off your shoes; just walk through a metal detector. However, if you set off the metal detector, you are 100% subject to a pat-down. I learned this the hard way when I forgot to take off my road ID :(

Seatmates usually suck.

They snore. They invade your personal space. They smell. They want to chat when you just want to read or sleep. But sometimes, you get seated next to a 50-something Danish Dead Head on his way to San Francisco for the last ever Dead concert, and that’s pretty cool.

Airport food is expensive and crappy.

Seriously, a tiny tray of sushi in the Reykjavic airport was the equivalent of $22 USD. A smoothie was $7. Crazypants. Pack snacks and bring a water bottle to save yourself the money and disappointment.

Scoring a full length bench to sleep on is like winning the lottery.

I don’t know what it is about airports, but most of the seats have arms, which makes it impossible to stretch out for a nap between flights. But in Copenhagen, there were a multitude of benches, and we were able to get a nice 5 hour nap before exploring the city. It was excellent.

What’s your favorite part about flying? Least favorite part?

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?

Prague In Pictures

Since the trip was so long, and we did so much, I don’t feel like I can take the time to write out a full description of what we did every day. Prague is full of many beautiful sights, historic landmarks, and awesome brews and bars. We had very full days there, and rather than boring you with a play-by-play, I’m just going to play “one sentence per picture” with some of my favorite shots from the trip.

WOW Air Plane

The plane is happy to see us!

Prague View from Petrin

We’ve been in the country for an hour and we’re already drinking beer.


Lots of bars in Prague have foosball tables.

Beautiful Latte

Every latte I ordered in Prague was beautiful.

Cocici Kavarna

We went to a cat cafe! Kitties everywhere!

View from Prague castle

Got my fingers in the picture. Whoops!

Charles Bridge, Prague

The historic Charles Bridge

Barcode babies

Ben contemplates creepy baby statues with barcodes for faces.

Prague Beer Museum

A flight of 10 delicious Czech beer samples. It may look like they’re not full, but in Europe, beers come with a huge head of foam; these have just settled.


Ben and Emily wandering Petrin.

View from Metronome

There is no shortage of beautiful views in this hilly city.

Day Drinking

In Europe, public drinking is 100% legal, and 100% fun!

Ben and Beer

My dashing husband. No, all those beers aren’t his.


Peacocks wandering a public park.


Ben likes to climb things.

Stained Glass

Gorgeous stained glass windows in the church near Prague Castle

View from the Top of Petrin

Still more beautiful views in Petrin Park

Cafe Pavlac

Stealth photo while we wait for Cafe Pavlac to open


Ben and Emily are skeptical of my photography skills

Dirty Copenhagen

We had a 13 hour layover in Copenhagen. At 5:30 am, people are stumbling home drunk from the clubs and the streets are filthy.


Copenhagen is a bike city, and most buildings have these charming courtyards.

Latte and Pastry

After wandering for hours, we finally found an open bakery.

Clean Copenhagen

Copenhagen at 8 am. The drunks are gone and city workers have cleaned up. Same statue, no garbage.

So there you have it, a small slice of our awesome trip. We got home at midnight Sunday and I was at work at 8am on Monday, after an epic 36 hours on the road. I still haven’t unpacked and I’m still exhausted, but it was 100% worth it. I HIGHLY recommend Prague if you’re looking for a European adventure. The city is safe and clean, public transit is affordable and reliable, and it’s cheap as all get-out. The exchange rate is incredibly favorable; you can get a .5L beer in a grocery store for the equivalent of $0.50!

Have you ever been to Prague? What about Copenhagen?

Post-Prague Check-In

Hi friends! Long time no see! Ben and I are back from Prague, jet-lagged, dehydrated, and exhausted. I’m back at work today, which is a bummer, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

I’m WAY behind on reading and commenting, and this week at work is a) a short week and b) a super busy week, so it may take me a while to get caught up. I can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to!

Posting this week is going to be off my normal schedule, because I didn’t do any running or workouts while we were away (GASP!), although we did do lots of walking. Stay tuned for a Prague recap, some comical observations on air travel, and a post about running in Vermont.

I’ll be away this weekend, visiting friends in Massachusetts for July 4 festivities, and then hopefully things will get back to normal around here next week.

How do you recover from jet lag?

Holy crap. It’s almost time. AAAAAAHHH! This is the first full week I’ve taken off work since I got hired in February 2014. This is the first time Ben and I have traveled out of the country together in 5 years, and the first time we’ve flown together in 3 years. I’m seriously so excited I’m having trouble focusing on anything that’s not trip related. We’re driving down to Boston tonight to stay with friends, and then we fly out of Logan tomorrow night.

I’ve been making packing and to-do lists for WEEKS, and as of this morning, I’m fully packed and ready to go. We’ve got so many little layovers that we decided it wasn’t worth the risk of potentially losing checked luggage, so we’re only taking carry-on. The airline we’re using for the first leg of our trip has VERY strict weight restrictions for carry-on bags, but we paid a bit extra to get some more wiggle room, so we should be OK. I splurged big time and treated myself to my dream bag, the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30. I’ve been lusting after this bag ever since I saw this post on Pinterest that featured it for packing for a one month trip to Europe.

Not that you probably care, but here’s what I packed:

Tom Bihn 3-1-1 TSA Compliant Toiletry Bag

  • Deodorant
  • Face Wash
  • Face Lotion
  • Comb
  • Mascara
  • Chap Stick
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Sun block

Small Packing Cube

  • 12 pairs underwear (Yes, TWELVE. It’s underwear, it’s not like I would wear the same pair twice)
  • 4 pairs socks
  • Sports bra x 2
  • Bikini

Medium Packing Cube

  • 4 tanks
  • 3 t-shirts
  • One dress
  • One pair shorts
  • PJ shorts and tee
  • Rain jacket

Wear on Plane

  • Jeans
  • Sneakers
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan
  • T-shirt


  • Chargers (phone, Kindle, etc)
  • Passport
  • Purse
  • Wallet/cash/cards
  • Hair elastics
  • Headband
  • Bobby Pins
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Allergy meds
  • Ear buds
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Kindle
  • Phone

I most likely won’t be publishing any blog posts while I’m away, but I’ll hopefully have some wi-fi in the evenings, so keep an eye out on Twitter and Instagram if you’re interested in following our adventures. I’ll be back on June 29!

Tag Cloud

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Run Happy, Breathe Deeply, Eat Healthy, and Live Well

Run to Race

wake up, lace up, show up.


"like the cheese"


Running for her, running for me...



Movin' it with Michelle

Running, Recipes, and Real life adventures!

Endorphin Junkie

...a chocoholic runner's happy place...

Green Mountain Life

Big Adventures in a Small State

Piper's Run

about balancing being a mom, a wife, working out, pregnancy #2 and many more things.

Charissa Running

Chasing the Boston dream...

Running Southern

Eat Southern. Speak Southern. Run Southern.

candies & crunches

where happiness and fitness meet

To a 5k and beyond!

Running with asthma and some other stuff.

Slacker Runner

I'm a Slacker with a running problem, wait, maybe that's backwards


Do it for YOU! - Hoping to inspire you through my fitness journey.

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Nacho Average Runner

My journey to find the healthy balance between food, fitness, and fun!

Healthy Simple Smart

The pursuit of everything (in moderation)


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