Run the Beach to Beacon Like a Pro

Last week, I adventured up to Portland, Maine for my 5th year in a row to celebrate Beach to Beacon weekend! Runner’s World Magazine has previously named Beach2Beacon on their Top 20 bucket list races [that aren’t marathons]. This is only my 4th year running the race (I am practically a legacy runner at this point- HA!) because my first registration was not fast enough. It sells out immediately so be sure to make your calendars for that important Friday morning in mid March. The registration process changed this year from a first come, first serve basis to one where you were put into a virtual “line” which in my opinion sucked a lot. Mostly because nothing was loading on my computer or phone and I ended up in the lottery. If you can’t type your credit card number fast enough, you don’t want to get in that bad! I digress…

Okay so step one you got in the race! Now, it’s cold outside in New England in March so it seems like a good idea… remember that when race day rolls around on the first Saturday in August… remember all the snow on the ground when you registered- it will help cool you off. They offer two days of race bib pick up helps with the volume of runners cramming into Cape Elizabeth High School (over 7,000 runners and then some). Fun fact: you will always get an L.L. Bean gift card. It’s the most coveted swag bag prize for any New England runner lol. The race shirts have also been blue (not white- Alleluia!) for the last two years- after talking with several other runners we are so hopeful that this stays the trend. Bib number, shirt, car magnet, L.L. Bean, check!! Okay, time to head home or to your hotel, eat some pasta and get some sleep! You have to be on those shuttle buses bright and early!

Race morning comes along and you basically have two options: runner parking at the start or hopping on the shuttle bus from Cape Eizabeth HS. We have always hopped on the shuttle bus without a hassle of parking or worrying about time. Maybe try to use the restroom before leaving the house to decrease the chances of having to pee in the woods. There are a ton of porta-potties, but there are way more runners than stalls. Enjoy the time in the start corral knowing you’re about the conquer the same course as many great, professional runners: Joan Benoit-Samuelson, MEB, Molly Huddle, Ben True, and the list goes on.

Course strategy: Do not send it in Mile 1 even though it’s flat. Save a little for the end because Miles 4.5-6 are very up and down. Smile for the cameraman on the left at Mile 4.6. And do not miss the bacon at Mile 5.

Post race knowledge is a bit limited… I have no idea how people get shuttled back to their cars. Since this is a point to point race (not a loop), the start and finish lines are 6.2 miles apart. I have been fortunate enough to run with my bestie whose parents house stares directly at the Portland Head Light aka the finish line. We can literally walk from the finish line back to their house where donuts, snacks, and a cold showers await our crew of hungry runners. If you run with us, it’s like being VIP 😉

Have you run the Beach to Beacon 10k? How many times? Share your best race advice in the comments below!

Xo, Louise

 

For more information on this race, you can read my 2016 Race Recap here!

NYC Half Race Recap 2018

Spring racing season is officially underway and my first big race of the season was this past Sunday as I took to the streets with 21,965 runners for the 2018 NYC Half. I have ran this race the previous 3 years but this year they launched a BRAND NEW COURSE. When the NYRR announced this new course, it wasn’t well received (but that’s because people hate change). I briefly looked at the course outline – maybe too brief because I had the finish line in the wrong place until the race expo *facepalm* – but overall I was excited for a fresh course. The main adjustment I made to my training was to make sure I ended long runs in Central Park on the identical hills that we would face on race day to ensure there were no surprises (AND IM SO GLAD I DID).

Here are my thoughts on the 2018 NYC Half! It’s a little more lengthy than usual since it was a new course in order to share all of the details!

Getting to the Start:

One of the biggest changes was that the race was now starting in Brooklyn and ending in Central Park – making the course a 2 borough race! This obviously adds a little time and preparation to getting to the race. I had originally planned to take the Q train but on Friday night a client offered for me to ride with him and his daughter in their private car. I got up at 5:05, I left my apartment at 5:20 (I waste no time in the mornings – sleep is everything), I took a cab to my clients building, and we departed there around 5:50am. I’m pretty sure we may have taken a scenic route to the start but it was smooth sailing until we got to Prospect Park. The traffic got a little hairy but we hopped out and passed through security in a pretty efficient manner. I do not check a bag so once I was through security I quickly found my G corral and hopped in around 7am. I was extremely happy to find the restrooms were lined up inside of the corrals. While it made navigating the corral itself a little tricky – it allowed all of the runners to actually get in their corrals while waiting for the porta. It was single file lines per porta potty so I waited in line for probably 15 minutes (but since I was in my corral I didn’t particularly care).

I will admit it was COLD and WINDY in the corrals. I think the official race start temperature was 28*. I made sure to have an extra zip up sweatshirt, sweatpants, a mylar sheet, and a hefty bag. My corral was set to go at 7:30 so I took my sweatpants off at 7:29 and I immediately regretted that decision. They did a staggered start so I probably didn’t actually start for what felt like an hour but it was more like 5 minutes. I kept my sweatshirt on for the first mile to allow my body to warm up a little.

The Course:

I LOVED the course – like LOVED IT! Yes – the old course was definitely a faster/easier course but it was not exciting to run down the West Side Highway to end downtown where all the businesses are closed because the course is ran on a Sunday (it’s a very M-F area of town). The race kicked off with a downhill start on a rocky Flatbush Avenue which carried us to the Manhattan Bridge. While I was at the RunCenter during the week – one of the coaches mentioned that you should feel like a caged animal during those early miles so I kept repeating that to myself to make sure I did NOT to go out too fast. It also helped that Flatbush Avenue was pretty beat up so you had to keep your eyes on the ground to make sure not to wipe out (which I did witness one person do).

Once we got to the bridge I couldn’t wipe a smile off my face because the views were spectacular. I had never ran across this bridge so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see how stunning it was. There was also a NYPD officer that was putting out some contagious energy!! Once over the bridge I knew I wanted to settle into my pace during our trek to the FDR. I’ll be honest I was dreading the FDR miles but once again I was pleasantly surprise. Once we made that left to head North – the views were again fantastic. We were running in the Northbound lanes so we were right beside the water and able to take in the views. At this point my watch went completely crazy and it was beeping at random times. While in the moment I rolled my eyes – it was a great lesson to learn. I could no longer use my watch during the miles (it would say I was running a 3:19 mile pace) so I had to truly listen to my effort instead. I stayed relaxed and we finally hit the left to run up 42nd street.

This was one of those moments that completely caught me off guard. The wind hit us in the face hard and it was a small climb for as far as you could see. I don’t quite remember when the hill finally peaked but when it did I knew the next turn we would be making would be up 7th Avenue so I used that to energize me. I was nervous about running North through Times Square instead of South as the previous course did. But to be 100% honest – I found it to be equally as magical. The crowd support did not disappoint and those city lights make you feel invincible. I once again could not stop smiling and then I looked ahead and realized that we were about to hit a climb again that would lead us up and into Central Park.

This is where I mentally got my mind right. Since moving into the city I have done repeated Central Park loops to prepare myself for moments like this. I knew once I hit the part I would be at mile 9, I would have a portion of the lower loop (rolling hills), see Al just before mile 10 at the Boathouse, and then would dig in for Cat Hill and the last 3 miles. At this point I knew that my race was going even better than I expected and that if I hung in there I could run a solid race. I ran the east side of the lower loop until I hit the 72nd transverse which led me to a quick downhill by the Boathouse which is where I located Al perfectly positioned in his designated cheer zone.

Next up – Cat Hill. It’s just about a 400m climb where I’ve done hill repeats during my training cycle. I knew that after the hill it was a pretty flat course to the 102nd St transverse where we made the left to cut over to the west side. While making the left I got a little boxed in and I had to slow my pace. Instead of freaking out – I took three deep breaths and reminded myself that I could do this. I knew once we ran across the transverse and we made the left on to the west side of the park it was only the 3 Sisters that stood between me and a quick downhill finish. I tried to keep an effort level of around 7/8 on the uphill and an effort of 9 on the downhill. Once I hit the peak of the 3rd sister I looked down and I realized that I could run a sub 1:50. I put on the jets and ran as fast as I fucking could – literally. About 100m left in the race I realized that my effort level was an 11 out of 10 and I knew this was everything that I had. I crossed the finish line with my second fastest time of 1:49:48!

The moment I finished I knew I was going to get sick so I darted to the side line and managed to throw up on the pant leg of a NYPD officer just in front of the Marathon Foto photographer. A medical volunteer was immediately there but I felt totally fine and assured him that it was purely max effort. I then found Michael Capiraso – the president of the NYRR and a friend – gave him a hug – and collected my medal. I collected my refreshment bag and I headed over to see my colleagues at the HSS Recovery Zone. Once I foam rolled and stretched and I walked what felt like 20 miles to Columbus Circle to exit and meet up with friends 🙂

I couldn’t be more proud of my race execution. My long run pace had been slower than ever before – but I also learned that it’s because I truly started to understand effort levels. My easy workouts were easy which allowed me to run my hard workouts hard (hello sub 7 intervals). I did manage to run a negative split race and these are my splits broken down into 5Ks , 26:51, 26:10, 26:11, 25:33, 5:03 for the last .7 mile.

Did you run the race? What did you think of the new course? Share below because I’m interested to hear!

Xo, Pam

Race Recap: Mardi Gras Run to Great South Bay Brewery

Fact: We will run for beer 🍻

A few months ago, GLIRC sent out an email promoting their first run to the Great South Bay Brewery and being that Mardi Gras is right around the corner, it seemed very fitting to make it a themed race. B&B has done both of their other brewery runs on Long Island, to Blue Point and Port Jeff, so naturally we signed up for this one, too! Fun theme, great brews, and an indoor post-race party?! Sign me up!

Registration for the Mardi Gras Run to Great South Bay Brewery was very smooth and less stressful than races like Blue Point where you have to be fast. We picked our bibs up the morning of the race, although GSB was giving runners a free beer at Saturday pickup. Parking seemed to fill up faster than anticipated even though we arrived with plenty of time to get our numbers.

The race was a 7.1 mile course through the neighborhood streets by the brewery in Bayshore. Although the distance seems a bit random, that made it fun because everyone PR’ed for that mileage. The course was fast and flat with volunteers at each mile marker and turn cheering us on. I should note that these volunteers are some real troopers because it absolutely poured rain for most of the time. You can’t control the weather, so you just have to laugh. It was raining pretty good at the start of the race, but people stayed in the brewery or their cars until the 9:15am start time. We walked right up to the starting line and took off. At first runners were dodging puddles to avoid having soaked feet, until less than 30 minutes into the race when it became a downpour. Unfortunately parts of the course were flooded and there was no avoiding soggy shoes. At this point, I was confused why people were still running to avoid the puddles- I just powered through them 😂

About 1/4 mile before we crossed the finish line, there was a bead stop with volunteers handing out purple, green, and gold beaded necklaces. Heading into the finish line, I felt super soggy but strong. Despite the weather, there was a crowd coming in to the finish line chute. We received cool medals with a beaded chain that matched the race theme- very creative and festive!

There was a registration option to upgrade your post race party ticket to VIP. This private area didn’t have beer lines and there were tables to sit and enjoy your food. We did not upgrade, but had no trouble finding some real estate to put down our plates that we filled with heroes, donuts, and other treats! The live band was awesome and played some great sing-a-longs which got the party dancing. We stayed and enjoyed our unlimited drinks and ran into some friends who had also ran.

Even though there may have been a monsoon, it didn’t rain on our parade. Overall the inaugural race was successful! We all enjoyed the run and post race festivities. We can’t wait for the next one!

Xo, Louise & Pam

Race Recap: 2018 10 Mile Run to Blue Point Brewery

My favorite race of the year! B&B kicked off our 2018 racing season with Sayville Running Company’s 10 Mile Run to Blue Point Brewery. Run all the miles, drink all the beer. This race has become my January tradition 4 years running. Every year I pretend that I’m training for it through the holidays, then forget to train for it, and run it anyway because it’s such a good time.

This year was especially important for me because I have declared 2018 to be my comeback year. After cracking myself in half in my Thanksgiving car accident, I was sidelined for too long. At first it was because I physically couldn’t do anything, then it became more of a fear of doing anything. Slowly I’ve been working back up with running and some strength training, but all of my #gainz are lost. Honestly, I’m a little wimpy. But no more, because I have set out to become the strongest version of myself. My goal was to run the whole thing- no walk breaks- just suck it up. I did it and I did it under my time goal!

As I was saying, this is my favorite race but it always has the worst weather. Every year it has either rained on me or been freezing. This year, we had mild weather for the run then the temperatures dropped during the post-race party. No worries though, the beer stayed nice and cold! This race starts by the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue then winds through the neighborhoods towards the ocean and back to the brewery. The course is a flat loop with a few quick turns. Since I have run this race before, I’ve learned the course and have a few favorite parts. Mile 4 is always a party with a few people handing out water, beers, and shots! It’s a little early in the race for these shenanigans, but that doesn’t stop the party. Just before you reach Mile 7, the course takes a turn that runs right on the Great South Bay. Smile! This is the best photo spot on the course 🙂

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The last turn of the race is a right turn and then a straight shot to the finish. Every year I find my boyfriend standing here #CheerSquad, then I bolt to the finish. The post race party is right around the corner (literally!) so it’s time to hustle. Post-race festivities include a huge heated tent with live music, catered food (sandwiches, pasta, bagels, and donuts), and of course, unlimited Blue Point beer! We didn’t have any luck with the raffles this year, but the giveaways were top notch. Last year was the first time they had finisher’s medals and this year’s were also perfect. A 2-in-1 medal and bottle opener- clutch. Another awesome upgrade this year were the women’s fit race shirts! Long sleeve race shirts are also very clutch.

Looking ahead on the race calendar, we are planning to run GLIRC’s new brewery race next month! It’s a Mardi Gras Run to Great South Bay! Registration is still open if you want to come run and party with us 🙂

❤ Louise

Race Recap: Mini 10k 2017

The New York Road Runner’s Mini 10k was the first women’s only race and has been held annually since 1972. The race was originally intended to be a marathon, but it was decided that a “mini marathon” would be better suited. It’s crazy to think that not until the 1970s did women have their own race. It’s even more amazing now that not only does NYRR still host this 10k, but the Women’s Half Marathon each spring!

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This was my first time running the Mini 10k- many of my friends have done this race before (including Pam) and always enjoy it. Naturally I had to join in on the fun. Plus, it was part of girls’ weekend in NYC! Unlike some of the other road races, there is no crazy sign-up rush for this race which had over 8,000 finishers yesterday morning.

NYRR makes packet pick-up so easy for race morning or getting your bib ahead of time at the Run Center. The girl squad met up for race morning and headed to Columbus Circle for the starting line. Even before 8am, it was heating up to be a warm day. Summer is finally starting in New York! The corrals were organized, but separated by flimsy ribbon which ended up breaking and crowding the start. The first mile runs uptown on Central Park West- this part of the race was definitely crowded! I tried to weave through people, but also needed to gauge my speed. 1. It was hot! My body was telling me that I wasn’t going to be setting any records with this warm weather. 2. Don’t try and sprint out of the gate knowing that the steepest hill was coming up in Mile 2.

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So Central Park is no joke when it comes to the hills. There aren’t too many flat parts when you are running the big loop. I was mostly excited to run a race clockwise around the park after completing the Women’s Half which runs counter-clockwise. Those big uphills turn into downhills 🙂 By the 5k mark, I was sweaty and in need of some water. Thankfully there are 4 water/ Gatorade stops along the course. Winding around to the east side, the crowd started to grow with athletic supporters. My 5th mile was my fastest mile- probably due to the excitement from the crowd.

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Heading around the bottom of Central Park, the Mini 10k has the same finish as the New York City Marathon. With 800 meters to go, the hills keep coming and there is a nice uphill finish. I love to take off as soon as the finish line is in sight! Let’s go- you’re almost there! My personal favorite part of the finish line was receiving my medal from one of my friends who was volunteering! She was also at the finish line of the Brooklyn Half- the best cheerleader there is! Finishers also received beautiful carnations and pink post-race bagels.

Maybe the most important piece of all is the post-race party! The Mini 10k after party was held at the bandshell  where they had a huge backdrop for sweet finisher photos, raffle prizes, and a recovery zone- thanks, HSS! It gets better… the race shirt? It’s a lightweight New Balance tank top and is going to be perfect for hot summer runs while we are training for the Chicago Marathon. The whole race was a great experience and the perfect reason to get together with our girlfriends for a Saturday bRUNch.

Did anyone else run yesterday?! What’s your next race this summer?

❤ Louise

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Race Recap: 10 Mile Run to Blue Point Brewery

We had our computers ready, credit cards out, anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 7… sign-ups for this race are no joke because it is so popular- and for good reason. GLIRC and Sayville Running Company put on one of the most popular races on Long Island. It’s simple: run 10 miles, drink all the beer.img_7562

This was my third year participating and I always have a great time! Signing up this year was seamless compared to previous years (thank you GLIRC for solving that issue) and I was so excited to have Pam and her boyfriend, Al, join me in the run. We all set our own goals for the run and crushed them this year!img_4844

This 10 mile race starts by the Blue Point Brewery out in Patchogue then winds through the neighborhoods towards the ocean and back to the brewery. The course is a flat loop with a few quick turns. Since I have run this race before, I’ve learned the course and have a few favorite parts. This time, I made mental notes along the way of my personal favorite moments during each mile:

  1. This guy was holding a sign that said “What are you running from?” And I shouted out to him, “I’m just running towards the beer!”
  2. Puppies! There were so many spectators with their dogs out and about
  3. We had literally just passed the port-a-potty, but this man jogs off behind a tree… we all saw you…
  4. Fireball shots at this mile marker! With a real feel temperature of 20*, this surely warms you up.
  5. It may sound silly, but this one road used to have craters which made for some dodgy running. It was newly re-paved and I could look ahead instead of at my toes.
  6. Between miles 6 & 7, you make a turn that takes you right along the ocean. It’s a beautiful view- especially on a sunny morning.
  7. I was just happy that it came out of nowhere! I think I was distracted by the ocean and the race photographer on the sideline.
  8. My playlist started jamming and even though I didn’t have Pam to sing aloud to, I started rocking out to “Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd #NoShame
  9. Mile 9 was actually disappointing 😦 The last 2 years, there has been a man standing on the bridge over the canal handing out beers. Drinking while running may not be recommended, but it’s always a good laugh. Where were you, old friend?!
  10. One last turn and it’s a long straightaway to the finish. I had been keeping an eye out during the whole race then I found my friend Brittany, crossed that finish line, and found some refreshing beverages!

img_4842As a runner, people often ask me what my favorite part of running is; and in typical Louise fashion, I answer bluntly… “my favorite part of running is stopping.” Hence, I love reaching that finish line and celebrating with a good post-race party! This was the first year that finishers received medals for this race complete with bottle opener. Fashion meets function. From the finish line, you head back to Blue Point Brewery where warm tents had food, music, raffles, and of course, plenty of beer. Besides the drinking and dancing, we are big fans of raffles so we put some money in to win a keg. You know, gotta keep the party going! Well, my friend, Brittany won that keg! Party in Long Beach, date TBD 😉

Xo,
Louise

Race Recap: Massapequa Park Turkey Trot

img_6482This weekend B&B went to the Massapequa Park Turkey Trot and ran the 5k around the Massapequa Preserve. We ran with Team Peak, a team that Louise now coaches, and one that I started back in 2012. It was so special seeing old clients achieve their goals and to see my best friend carrying on what is now a Peak tradition! November weather is always a gamble but we lucked out and it was a beautiful day on Saturday– 54* and sunny! (Two years ago it was 32* and cloudy at the start – brrr). I have a love/hate relationship with the 5k distance – I love it because it is fun and short but I hate it because you are uncomfortable the entire race. Since I just ran the marathon 2 weeks ago I knew I wasn’t going to set any PRs, but I did want to run a smart race and to run a negative split. My goal was to run under 24 minutes and I wanted to feel strong running!

There was a group tailgate before the race with water, coffee, and snacks then we all headed to the race start. I tried to hit the restroom but the line was way too long with only 8 minutes until the start of the race. Al got to go since there wasn’t a line at the men’s room (of course). I lined up on the left side of the start line trying to keep the tangents in mind and then off we went. The first mile my goal was to run somewhere around a 7:50 and I ended up running a 7:44. I held that pace for the next half mile and then tried to pick it up just a little bit for a second mile pace of 7:32. At this point my mind is screaming at me how uncomfortable I am but I just try to keep pushing. There is also an old coworker that is running ahead of me so I set my sights on him. I keep telling myself that if I keep him close enough that I could catch him at the end. This is my favorite in race strategy when things get tough at the end and you are trying to hold on. My third mile ended up being a 7:32 as well and then I just gave it everything I had to the finish line. I unfortunately realized about 15 feet from the finish line that I was going to get sick and I just prayed I could get somewhere semi-private. At first I spied a tree but then I was able to make it over by the water. Whoops! This isn’t my first race that has ended in this fashion and I almost always feel nauseous at the end of a 5k – I said it was an uncomfortable pace!img_4524

The rest of the time was spent cheering on teammates and refueling with water and snacks. They did a great job with the post race celebration with music and treats including bagels, apples, bananas, chips & salsa, and more. Once everyone finished it was time for the awards. Several of our teammates took home awards and pies! Al and I both finished at the top of our age group so we won a turkey trophy and a pie! Guess what we are taking to Thanksgiving dinner 🙂img_4532

Overall, it was a great race and a beautiful day. However I will say one thing- man with the little dog on the leash – you suck. I saw you running ahead of me and I made a really conscious effort to make sure I didn’t trip over your dog or leash when I went for my finish line surge. But honestly I find it disrespectful and dangerous to put your tiny dog in this circumstance. The finish line of a race is already hectic and it could have ended badly.

Next up is the Garden City Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. If any of you will be there – let us know!!

Xo, Pam

NYC Marathon 2016: Spectator’s Edition


I want to preface this post with how proud I am of Pam and everyone else who completed the 26.2 miles through New York City this past Sunday. Running a marathon is not an easy task; it takes weeks of training and lots of discipline. All of your hard work comes down to one day of eating bagels, running miles, and drinking water. On the other side, there are your family and friends who have listened to you talk non-stop about running, missed you because your long run was the next morning; but then it’s finally race week and they have no problem indulging in some empathetic carb loading. It’s time we talk about the other side of running a marathon, the real heroes here: the spectators.img_7303

As a runner, I understand how great that feeling is when you spot your friends and family along the race course. It gives you a surge of energy to keep powering on even if the course is tough. Knowing that you have people there supporting you is one of the greatest feelings! This is why I want to share some tips on how to be the best spectator on race day.

Let’s rewind to Saturday, when the #PamSquad received an email with the game plan for race day. Now I enjoy being on time to things and having a plan, but Pam is the Type A- ready to go- spreadsheets on deck- kind of organized. With that being said, she already told us where to go, but it was our responsibility to be there for her aka don’t blow it.

Tip #1 Establish your #CheerSquad. Who is going to come and watch the race? Where is the first meeting point? Who has the orange juice and who is bringing champagne? It is 9AM ya know. Establish who is going to be at which points along the course and who is meeting up where.img_4350

Tip #2 Have a plan. As a spectator, saying you’ll be “near the finish” is not enough. Let your runners know at which points they should be looking for you. Try to map out several points along the course where you will be cheering and allow yourself enough time to travel between points. The worst thing is to miss your runner! The #PamSquad had directions written out from each point with estimated travel times. Even better- there was a separate spreadsheet that had her estimated pace listed with an approximate time of day. Side note: many races also have an app for that where you can track your runners in real time!

Tip #3 Know the course. For the NYC Marathon, runners are cruising through all 5 boroughs. It’s important to know where your runner will be and approximately what time they should hit that marker. We were on and off the subways all day to make sure we got to each “Pam Point” on time. It is important to review the course ahead of time to make sure you aren’t near a busy medical tent or at a water stop with cups flying everywhere. Let your runner know if you will be on their right or left so they can slide to that side as they approach your check-in points.img_4352

Tip #4 Be Visible. “I’ll be in a blue hat” won’t be enough to help find you on the sidelines. Neon posters are a great start! I personally love reading the funny things people write as I’m running. This year we upgraded from posters to Pam faces. Some oversized Pam heads on a stick were just what she needed to find us in the crowd!

Tip #5 Pack Prosecco. Need I say more? You’re not running and it’s going to be a long day of adventuring around the race route- better stock up! Over the course of the day, I managed to rack up about 25,000 steps (according to my FitBit). We were up and down subway stairs, weaving through people, and sprinting to make it to the finish line in time.

Special treat! Here is some live coverage of the NYC Marathon!

What other tips do you have for spectating? How has your cheer squad motivated you all the way to the finish line?

Happy Trails!
Louise

Race Recap: 15k Run to the Port Jeff Brewery

Run a race they said. It will be fun they said. There will be beer at the finish line. There will also be many hills before you earn that beer…img_4022

This past Sunday, B&B, along with some of our friends headed out to Port Jefferson for the first ever 15k Run to the Port Jeff Brewery. This race was created due to the popularity of one of my favorite Long Island Races, the Blue Point 10 Mile Race to the Brewery. The Port Jeff course starts and ends at the brewery with a post-race party including music, food, and of course, beer. Being the first year they are holding this race, we had no idea what to expect. On GLIRC’s website, the description states “The race you will love to hate followed by the party that you will just LOVE! Not for the fainthearted (with a first mile going up Port Jefferson’s famous East Broadway hill!)”

Okay, so we kind of had an idea of what we were getting into. Race morning comes and unfortunately, LI is getting hit with the wet remnants of Hurricane Matthew. Rain jackets, check! Easy t-shirt and bib pickup was available that morning then we headed to the start line. Gun goes off and we head through town making a turn towards our first hill. Now, we are south shore girls; training for races includes hill repeats on what may be mole hills compared to the mountains we traversed.

Pam: I want to point out that only Louise had an idea what we were getting into. She casually asked me to run this race over the summer and I blindly signed up. I never looked at the website and they left that little sentence off the email that I got. Whoops. This is so not like me – I usually like to be uber organized but it has been so hectic. I also knew I wasn’t racing it because I had my 20 miler on Saturday morning so this race was only 24 hours later. My goal this race was to stay present the entire race, focusing on how I tackle each and every hill and focusing on my form. I practiced maintaining an even effort level – a little slower on the way up and making up the difference with a controlled downhill. Even when everyone else was walking at one point, I reminded myself I have the NYC marathon in 4 short weeks and I needed to be tough!

Running together for the first half of the race, we conquered the first hill then ran along the ups and downs of the course as we wound through neighborhoods. There was a communal groan when we turned one corner for an out and back. Out and backs are generally not my favorite, and this one was a straight downhill to the water knowing you were going to turn around and climb right back up. Luckily we spotted some friends and exchanged high fives. The view of the Sound would have been so pretty if the weather had cooperated. *Smile!* Camera guys spotted here!

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At about mile 7, we reach Big Hill #3, Pam and I started to get separated as we powered up this hill. It’s a long steady climb and just when you think you’ve reached the top it turns left and gets steeper. This was the one that got everyone… at this point I contemplated whether I could walk faster than I was running up this hill and many other runners around me had the same idea. But that was the last one! As we headed into the final two miles of the race, the course continued on a downward slope as we reached the heart of town and it flattened out just in time to book it to that finish line!

The race was well organized from sign ups, to bib pick ups, handing out refreshments, and raffles. Throughout the course, there were water stations, each mile was marked with a time clock, and volunteers kept the intersections safe for runners. Huge shout out to the volunteers for standing in the rain- you guys are awesome 🙂

As you crossed the finish line, your name was announced, other finishers and spectators cheered you on, and you received a fabulous finisher’s medal! There was water and beer immediately as you crossed the line- pick your poison. The post race party was held at the Port Jeff Brewery where we were served unlimited beers, heroes, and sweets while the band Jelly Band played underneath a tent. No post-race party would be complete without bib raffles! Pam was the first number called and she won an awesome gift basket with craftimg_4055 beers and mugs to serve them. The rest of us didn’t have any luck, but the prizes were great! They included Sayville/ Smithtown Running Co. gift cards, backpacks, and more beer.

Thanks again to GLIRC for hosting a great race. We are looking forward to next year! Did any of you run?

Xo, Louise & Pam

11 Weeks til NYC26.2

For the next 11 weeks I’m going to recap my week of workouts to give you a peek at the highs and lows of marathon training. It’s not always pretty but appreciating the journey is an essential part of being successful.

Monday: Full Body Strength
Today I have a 5 hour dentist appointment appointment so it was a strength training day! I did 2 rounds of my favorite Tone It Up video which was 30 minutes of strength training with squats, deadlifts, planks, and single leg exercises. I also went for an evening bike ride with Al to unwind.
Tuesday: Easy Run- 5 miles, Upper Body Strength
I actually really enjoy runs before work. It just gets my day started off right. I did get tricked into thinking it was cooler than it was so I wore capris and totally regretted it. I did two rounds of my favorite upper body exercises after work.
Wednesday: Hill Repeats- 6 miles
Probably the workout that I dread the most but always feel like a badass superhero when I finish. It’s 1.5 mile warmup to the base of Cat Hill, six 400m repeats up and down (which is just about red light to red light), and then 1.5 mile cooldown. On Wednesday nights I stay in the city so this workout usually works out perfectly. It’s 1.5 miles from work to Cat Hill and 1.5 from Cat Hill to my friend Nicola’s apartment. It’s meant to be!
Thursday: Ocean Ride Spin
A spin class was today’s workout so I tried out the local LB studio Ocean Ride for a 45 minute ride. Check out my review here.
Friday: Rest
Today was supposed to be an easy run but I worked 7am-5pm and by the time I got home I was exhausted. Like I just want to lay down and sleep exhausted. So that’s what I did! So I just swapped workouts with Saturday.
Saturday: Easy Run- 3 miles
It felt amazing to sleep in since last weekend I didn’t get a chance to! I had 3 easy miles on the boardwalk and then spent the afternoon with my PIC. We went Stand Up Paddle boarding in Island Park. We paddled against the wild wind for about 40 minutes, explored the marshes for about 10 minutes, and then made it back in 10 minutes since the wind was to our backs. And then we brunched our little hearts out at Pancho’s.
Sunday: Long run- 17 miles
I was in dire need of a good long run. Last Saturday was a disaster and two weeks ago the heat and humidity were just too much. I signed up for the Three Bridges Run with the NY Flyers. Their organization and execution was on point and it was such a great event. It was still crazy humid but being in a group made all the difference. They have planned water stops along the way with water, Gatorade, and gels. We also went rogue and stopped at a water park for an extra water stop and to cool off in the sprinklers. I joined the 9:30 pace group and our pacers did an excellent job in making sure we stuck with that pace. It starts in Central Park, over to Riverside Park, down the West Side, across to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the Pulaski Bridge, and then finally over the Queensboro Bridge. If you were further in your training they went back into the park to make it a full 20 but my job was done. Overall I was so proud to have hung in there and finished the 17 miles while tackling those bridges.
Total Mileage: 31 miles
10 weeks to go to the big day. I’m running a little slower than last year but I’m still just trying to hang in there and enjoy the journey.
Are any of you training for a fall race?
Xo, Pam