Listening to Your Body During Summer Runs

What comes to mind when you think of summer running? Sweat, awkward tan lines, early wake up calls? Agreed. Summer runs can be brutal between finding a cool time to go for a run and trying not to chafe in shorts. While it seems silly to talk about, there comes a point where listening to your body is of the utmost importance!

Heat safety is a huge factor for summer sports- your body has cooling mechanisms, such as sweating, to help dissipate heat. With summer runs, it may seem inevitable that you’ll end up having to head outside on a day with high humidity or when the sun is strongest. Especially when that day is race day.

Twice in the last year I can recall having some degree of heat exhaustion- it’s not pretty. The most recent being this past week at Beach 2 Beacon where the 100% humidity forced me to pull back my pace and save my goal time for the next race. I listened to my body, chugged waters mid and post race, and even still woke up that night with chills and nausea. Water. Rest Repeat.

Chicago Finish Line 2017

The worse case was last year at the Chicago Marathon (and I know I have never talked about that heartbreak on here- so this is a piece of my story). Unfavorable running weather for October- high 70s, 80 something percent humidity, and not a cloud in the sky- a runner’s nightmare. It was all going well up to mile 17 until I got tunnel vision and an unquenchable thirst. Mile 20.5 was when my friend found me from the sideline, hugged me, and said I felt cold despite how sweaty I was. Um what??? I kept moving… barely forward and still in my “tunnel.” This should have been a “listen to your body” moment, but the thought of not crossing the finish line broke my heart.

My point here is that heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real and very scary. Be sure to take precautions to keep yourself safe during these last hot weeks of summer.

  • Try running early before the sun is too strong
  • Avoid days with high humidity or heat index
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after- recover with electrolytes
  • Know the signs/symptoms of both heat exhaustion and stroke.
  • Listen to your body!!

Xo, Louise

Aka the girl who breaks her own rules

Rainy Race Day Tips

AHH! The beauty of road races in the great outdoors! Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… we run outside all year round. Some days there is sunshine, clouds, a cool breeze, rain, snow, sleet, humidity… okay so it’s not always going to be a simple jog in the park. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about the forecast, but you can be prepared for race day and have a smart race!

The weather for the 2018 Brooklyn Half is looking to be a wet one! Besides dodging puddles along the course, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have a good race.

 

Rainy Race Day Tips:

  1. Wear a trash bag to the start line. Simple enough to keep you dry until it’s go-time. Since you are going to ditch it anyway, save money on the plastic poncho and opt for a stylish Hefty bag. All you have to do is cut holes for your head and arms. Not only will it keep you dry, but you’ll stay warmer in the rain (especially on a cool morning).
  2. Wear a hat for the race. Face it- you will get wet. This is probably our best advice ever. Wearing a hat will keep the rain out of your eyes. An old baseball cap works just fine, but keep in mind that with longer distances your body will heat up. Opt for a hat made of breathable, tech material to keep the rain off your face but let some heat escape out of the top!img_4022
  3. Check a bag. Unless you are going from the finish line straight to your car, you’re going to want to check a bag with dry clothes, socks, shoes- everything! Standing around cold & soggy is probably the worst feeling.  If you have room, sneak a tiny umbrella in there to keep you dry as you cheer everyone on who finishes after you 🙂

Make sure you have everything you need the night before! Check the weather, drink some water, and get some rest. Here’s the link to our complete race day packing list!

See you at the finish line!

Louise & Pam

NYC Half Race Weekend is Here – Race Day Prep!

What an adventure it has been! As we all know – I had to take some time off from running after the fall marathon season. We needed some time apart to let our relationship heal. Well now here we are – IT”S RACE WEEKEND!!! While NYC is not a goal race for me – I do want to have a strong performance to set me up for a dominating Brooklyn race in May.

Race week is always an exciting time. There is buzz everywhere you look and since I work in the industry – it also means some extra work obligations but I LIVE FOR IT! So now we are 24 hours out from toeing the start line so here is a little sneak peak of my to do list to ensure a successful race day!

To Do List:

  • Pick Up Bib from NYC Half Expo – Head on down to 125 W 18th St to indulge in the United Experience! Grab your bib, shop the race apparel, hop in a photo booth, and find your name on the wall.
  • Build Playlist – I am an avid music listener when I run (I know I know – races recommend that you don’t wear headphones) and a playlist can help push through those tough moments. I’ve been listening to Brave Body Project’s playlists on Spotify during training so they are included on my race day jam list.
  • Charge ALL electronics – Phones, watches, headphones (not for me – I still like the classic apple headphones) galore.  If you remember back to the NYC marathon – the outlet I chose to charge my devices was faulty and it created panic on race morning. WILL NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE TODAY.
  • Layout Clothes – This includes my race day outfit, throw away clothes for that dreaded pre race wait, and my post race I-May-Freeze-To-Death-Outfit that Al will carry with him (if you don’t have a cheer squad meeting you – please check a bag with a warm outfit). And don’t forget to take a flat for IG 🙂
  • Write Out Race Morning Plan – Start with the time your wave goes off (7:30 or 8:15) and work backwards to waking up. Be specific and leave extra time for the unexpected. Are you taking the subway? LIRR? Private car? Are you eating your breakfast at home or packing it with you? Don’t assume you will remember anything with race brain – WRITE.IT.DOWN.
  • Double Check Fueling – Speaking of breakfast – make sure you have it on hand! If you are fueling during the race make sure you have them packed including 1 extra (just in case you drop one!).
  • Visualize Race Plan – You’ve done the training and now it’s time to put your feet up, visualize the race of your dreams, and relax (maybe spend a little time on your roller!). YOU’VE GOT THIS.

Do you have any race day prep you always do before a race? Let me know below 🙂 Good luck to all of the runners!

Xo, Pam

Pam’s Favorite Cold Weather Running Gear

We made it to February – hallelujah. However winters past remind me that we are NOT out of the danger zone of cold, snowy weather (some years I feel like we are just entering it!). I never used to train outside through the winter months, I would take my runs inside to the dreadmill until the temperatures rose above 40*. Things changed last winter when I decided I wanted to try to run a PR in the 13.1 distance in the spring – thus I was required to bundle up and head outside. This year, after taking a few months off from serious running, I again decided to chase down a PR in a 13.1 (Brooklyn Half specifically). The secret I’ve learned – having the right gear makes ALL of the difference. Why I never bought a running jacket before now is unclear! After run testing more clothes than I would like to admit – and yes some I had to take back – here are some of my favorites!!!! (And if you want to know how to pick your different layers and stay warm – check out our post here!)
This.Is.A.Life.Changer. Seriously – if you don’t have this jacket and it’s still available in your size – go get it. It’s warm (800 fill power goose down *RDS certified*), water resistant, and has all the features you could want. A few bonuses – thumbholes and zipper vests in the chest for when things warm up!
When I first started running marathons – I went overboard at the race merchandise tent (hey – in my defense I thought I was only doing one or two – I didn’t know I was going to fall in love). Now I make myself pick two items that I really really really love and cut myself off. This past NYC marathon I grabbed this NB Heat Hoodie in a bright royal blue (my favorite color) and it immediately became a regular in my winter regimen. It has a waffle fleece lining, foldover mitten cuffs, thumb holes, and a hood that helps keep me super warm (*newer models have a ponytail slit and I won’t lie – I’m a little jealous mine doesn’t). On super cold days – I pair this hoodie with the jacket and it keeps me nice and toasty.
Finding cold weather tights is tricky for me – you want a pair that will keep you warm without restricting your movement too much. I have two older pair of tights that keep me warm – but they are a little stiff and I feel that restriction when I run. I tried a pair of brushed leggings from lululemon this winter but I didn’t find them as warm as I wanted. Finally – I found the perfect pair! The tech fleece fabric has the stretch that I want while providing the warmth that I need. They also meet my other two requirements – high waisted and interior drawcord. Only thing I would add next time – side pockets please 🙂

Louise’s Fave [Healthy] Foods at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is known for their specialty items, fairly priced organic selection, and the blacktop nightmare they call a parking lot. Literally every store has a terrible parking situation… it’s almost comical… almost. But it’s worth the car shuffle game once you get in the door. There are a few items I always find myself coming back to… like cookie butter. But seriously, we are trying to keep it healthy. Whether it’s a part of my weekly meal prep or a staple in my kitchen, a few things always pop into my cart. These are my favorite grocery staples when I go shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Acai Puree Packets

These are a must for the smoothie bowl lover! Perfectly portioned, these packets are packed with pureed acai berry which is rich in antioxidants. I take one to mix in my smoothies post-run. Want my favorite recipe? It also adds peanut butter and blueberries for a delicious treat- find it right here!

Almond Butter

Whether you are into creamy or crunchy, TJ has one for you. Especially when some sweet treat recipes call for several tablespoons, you can’t beat the price! I love to mix this in with my overnight oats or add a spoonful to my smoothie bowl.

Mini Avocados

Do you ever only need half an avocado? Or you don’t have a roommate to share it with? Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t eat the whole thing? At least I know it’s weird. I hate when they turn brown 12 seconds after you slice it! These mini guys come in a pack of 5 so you can scoop it onto your toast, slice it on top of taco salad, and not worry about wasting any creamy goodness.

Cruciferous Crunch

Kale, red cabbage, green cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Basically this one is a slaw minus the dressing. I love to use this as a base for my salads- satisfies that crunch and goes nicely with all the mix-ins.

Quinoa Bread

Rewind about 3 years, where one of my clients kept writing this in his weight loss journal. I had no idea what he was talking about until I was gifted a loaf. ❤ You guys, this whole grain bread is packed with protein and comes in at about 110 calories for 2 slices. Smash some mini avocados on top with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and you have an awesome breakfast!

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

For someone who loves everything bagels, even the name is low carb. Maybe I sound like the old woman in the hot sauce commercials, but “I put that sh*t on everything!” My top two go-to’s for EBTBS are both for breakfast. Season some avocado toast with this and add some red pepper flakes for some kick! Or if you’re making little egg muffins, sprinkle some on top before you put them in the oven.

Chicken Sausage

From breakfast style to Italian seasoning, this leaner choice for sausage is delish. And the price can’t be beat compared to other grocery chains. Try the Italian style or garlic & herbs with a tomato sauce, spinach and pasta. Serve the chicken apple sausage at breakfast time for some protein to start your day!

What are you favorites? What do I have to try?! Share in the comments below!

❤ Louise

Resolutions v. Goals v. Intentions

Happy New Year B&B fam ❤ 2017 was an amazing year filled with adventure, challenges, and lots of laughs. As we look towards the coming year, I’m sure many of you have given some thought to your New Year’s Resolutions. Whether they are related to your health, career, family, or something else, the thought of making changes in 2018 has crossed your mind. It definitely has been on my front burner for a few weeks now as I have shifted myself out of holiday-mode and back into reality. In the past days, however, I read articles and received emails touching on the topics of goal setting, creating intentions, and of course, my New Year’s Resolution. But what do all of these mean? Isn’t writing my resolution on the calendar enough? Maybe for some, but for others all this jargon can become confusing. Let’s break it all down so that we can set ourselves up for a successful 2018!

Resolution:

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
  2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter

Resolutions often begin with, “In 2018 I will (not)…” and finish with a vague goal or action. “In 2018, I will lose weight.” But how? Where does this resolution go from here? A one week diet before you’re back to your old ways? It needs to be taken a little bit deeper than that in order for you to be successful. It all starts with the language we are using; a resolution implies that there is a problem which needs a solution. Resolutions are limiting in that they only allow you to go so far. As soon as you’ve broken your new vow, it seems as though you’ve already failed. You haven’t. But this is why resolutions often don’t last beyond January. Our resolutions are not followed up with a game plan or even a short term plan to change our actions. To resolve these problems, it’s going to take much more than a statement. The challenging piece of this puzzle is how to implement these changes into your life- this is where goal setting can help.

Goal:

  1. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Starting the new year with a resolution can be a stepping stone to the ultimate goal. Unless there is true resolve for the resolution, it’s important to understand that it is a process which takes time. Unfortunately, we lose patience and may throw in the towel too soon. Goals, while moving us toward what we say we want, can take us out of the moment and create a feeling that what we have isn’t enough. The ultimate goal seems far away even if we continue to chip away at it. Goal setting should be broken down into both long-term (the ultimate goal) and short-term (small milestones) goals. Short-term goals are crucial for staying on track when the end seems far away; otherwise we may feel discouraged by our stepping stones of progress. While goal setting is critical for success, your mindset is just as much a factor. Forming positive habits goes hand in hand with having a positive mindset.

Intention:

  1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.

A somewhat different approach to traditional resolutions is taking the emphasis off of what the ultimate goal may be and switching it onto your attitude during each step of the way. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment. This mindset is independent of how you gauge the success of said goal. Allowing intentions to guide your moment to moment focus, means you are living your values and what matters most to you. Intentions are easy because they don’t tie us to an outcome. Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in that moment. Be present. Be loving. Be focused. Be adventurous. Be fearless. Be creative. Put simply- set your intention now and remember it everyday when you wake up then again as you fall asleep. Setting an intention will help change your mindset throughout the day or your attitude towards certain activities. Instead of focusing on the challenges or the path you must take, a positive intention will help keep you in that positive mindset. Focusing on your intentions does not mean you are giving up on your goals, but by partnering goals with intentions you have the opportunity to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Share your resolutions, goals, and intentions in the comments below!

In 2018, I will/ I can/ I am…

❤ Louise

My Inbox is Overloaded with 2018 Best Body SPAM

As we end 2017, I’m already seeing my inbox overloaded with emails claiming how to get the body you’ve always wanted in 2018. Now – I could go on a 20 minute tangent on how this feeds into what I believe is the #1 insecurity women have but I’ll save it. Instead, I want to share with you an interview I did with a reporter over at Healthline earlier this month. While the title makes it seem about barre instructor jobs (which I’m still surprised was one of the fasting growing jobs in 2017) – we have a deeper conversation on the marketing the fitness industry uses to pry on insecurities, the real secret to achieving overall fitness (#balance wasn’t trending in 2017 without reason), and once again why “long, lean muscles” are a misnomer and all muscle is lean.

I’ve included a couple excerpts below but click HERE for the full article 🙂

“The way we’re ending 2017, with everything going on in the news, making the push toward women having a voice and standing up for themselves, and an ongoing body positive movement, you’d think that women would stop focusing on what we’re looking like and more on the health factors,” she said.

“To achieve overall fitness, there has to be a balance of strength training, cardio, proper nutrition, mobility, and sleep,” Geisel said. “Those five things are going to make you the healthiest overall — and probably give you that look you’re trying to achieve.”

Xo, Pam

PS If you are looking for more on that “long, lean muscles”……here is an article that was specifically towards that!

‘Twas the Night Before #Fitmas

‘Twas the night before #Fitmas and all through the gym, not a bike was whirring, not even in spin.

The dumbbells laid dusty and benches to spare, with hopes that a lifter soon would be there!

Gym members at home, time for Netflix & chill. Oops! Gram is at the door- not such a thrill.

Their trainers were bored and needed a nap, knowing that no one was out running laps.

Then, outside my window arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear? But Jolly old Saint Nick & two fitness bloggers!

They hopped out the sleigh and headed my way. When I offered them wine, they said bordeaux should do fine.

Santa hooted and hollered til I️ made him a plate. They made me do squats for all the cookies I’d ate!

Oh chocolate, oh sugar, oh brownies and cake! Is that homemade pie? Oh for goodness sake!

He shouted, “ladies, we must get going! I have presents to deliver before you make me start rowing!”

Into the sleigh they jumped, while I scooped marshmallow fluff, then Santa showed me a picture of when he was buff!

So jacked and so trim, I barely recognized him, “Instead of drinking a Slurpee, try doing some Burpees!”

“Oh Pam & Louise, what can I do?” “Try lunges and pushups, and do quite a few!”

“Be sure to eat protein, and veggies, and fruit. Keep those drinks in moderation, but it’s okay to have two.”

We needed a selfie and cheers’d with a clink! Those girls love to workout, but man can they drink.

I crawled back into bed and turned out the light, but I heard them say as they drove out of sight,

“Merry #Fitmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Our B&B 12 Days of #Fitmas Challenge kicks off tomorrow! Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram to join in the fun!

❤ Louise

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Just like that Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season is in full swing! It seems like every week there is a party to attend. Friends are getting together for drinks, the office holiday party is on Saturday, and everyone’s gathering for dinner with their relatives from Ohio. While it may feel challenging to stay healthy, you can stay on top of your goals straight through the New Year. Just make sure to create a game plan you can actually follow while still enjoying yourself. Try incorporating our tips to survive all your holiday parties this season!

1. Eat Before You Go

Have a healthy snack or meal before you go to the party. This will help you avoid binging. If you’re full, you’ll be less likely to pick at snacks or overindulge at dinner.

2. Plate Your Food

When choosing appetizers, have a plate in hand and set a limit. If you can see what is on your plate, you know how much you’ve had and it helps prevent mindless munching. By sticking to one plate, you can exercise portion control.

3. Stay an Arm’s Length Away

While you’re mingling with friends and relatives, have your conversation away from the snacks. Mindless eating happens when you’re lost in conversation, but the chips and dip are right in front of you.

4. Don’t Drink Your Calories

For some people, holiday parties are accompanied by festive drinks. Hello, spiked eggnog! But drinks mixed with soda add empty calories and are high in sugar. Many beers have 100 or more calories per 12 oz.  Be aware of how much wine you pour, it’s easy to double your portion in a wine glass. Stay hydrated and save some calories by having a glass of water in between drinks.

5. Keep Your Routine

Just because you have a party to attend that night, doesn’t mean you should skip the gym in the morning. If you’re anticipating a big, holiday dinner, make sure you still have a healthy breakfast and lunch- you don’t want to be starving by dinner time.

6. Dinner > Dessert

When there is a lot to choose from, start by filling half of your plate with vegetables or fruit. Next, pick your protein: chicken, fish, turkey, etc. When dessert rolls around, choose just one delectable treat for yourself; it is the holiday season after all!

Happy Holidays!

❤ Louise

Conquering NYC 26.2

I was was recently interviewed by active.com to find out my tips for running a successful 26.2 miles thru NYC’s most iconic neighborhoods. Check out the article here for some #tcsnycmarathontips!


Here Are My Personal Top 5 Tips!

1) Don’t jackrabbit in the beginning. You have 26.2 miles to cover – settle in and get over the Verrazano

2) Never look at your watch on bridges (thanks Race Pace Wellness for teaching me this!). It’s about maintaining effort levels which means it will be slower on the way up and a bit faster on the way down

3) Enjoy the crowds but don’t lose sight of your race plan. The crowds in NYC are one of a kind – it’s literally a spectator sport. However, don’t lose track of your pacing in Brooklyn or First Ave!

4) Fifth Avenue is tough as hell with a small and steady incline but SO ARE YOU! Stay focused and dig deep.

5) Wear your name on your shirt. Having people cheer your name for 26.2 miles makes you feel like the ultimate badass.

Xo, Pam