2019 Boston Marathon: Spectator’s Edition

Let me start this by giving a shout out to the city of Boston- you are wild. Thank you.

As a New Yorker, we get excited about the NYC marathon each fall. However, you can go about your life without even knowing there is a marathon passing through 5 boroughs. When I arrived in Boston the Saturday before the race, you knew something was up. The hype leading up to Marathon Monday was all over the city! This was both mine and Pam’s first experience spectating the Boston Marathon and it won’t be our last. From starting line weather to finish line photos, the whole weekend was a blast.

We also need to take a step back to appreciate how amazing it is to qualify for Boston. One does not simply run the Boston Marathon, first you must run another marathon fast enough to be eligible to sign up. After marathon number one, it becomes a rolling entry based on your age and race time… and this year you had to be about 5 minutes faster than the BQ time for our age group to even get in. CRAZY. Another quick reminder: I did not run the Boston Marathon and a BQ is not on my to-do list… maybe it’s on Pam’s lol.

Boston is a point-to-point course which can make it challenging to spectate. The NYC course loops through the boroughs and makes it easy to hit our #PamPoints; however, Boston starts 26.2 miles outside of the city in Hopkinton and heads straight back in. After reading other blog posts, perusing the official race website, and seeking advice of friends who have spectated in previous years, we set out to do what some called impossible… see our girl, Kim, at 3 different points along the course. Three #KimPoints?! Seems wild… here are my best tips to see your athletes along the race course!

How to Spectate the Sh!t out of the Boston Marathon.

1. Grab a course map. Know what your runner’s pace is going to be & which wave they are starting in. Match each mile with the time of day they are expected to pass that mile marker.

2. Download the following apps to your phone:

  • Boston MBTA train time- find out when the commuter rail is leaving South Bay station in the morning & also what times it heads back to the city.
  • MBTA ticket app- purchase a $15 Marathon Monday all day pass. Not only will this save you a few bucks, but you won’t lose your ticket.
  • Official Boston Marathon app- track all your runners in one place! You can also see your current location to know when they are getting close to you.
  • Uber AND Lyft – because you may want to compare prices.

3. Here was our plan of attack:

  • Commuter rail pretty much follows the marathon course all the way out. Depending on what time your train is scheduled to arrive/ your stop, you can see the elite men & women cruise past you. We took it out to Ashland which is the 5k mark. The train station is about 1 mile from the race course so plan your walk time in! We had plenty of time to see the elites and ring that cowbell before Kim came cruising through.
  • That morning, we scheduled an Uber to drive us from #KimPoint1 to #KimPoint2 because the trains are fairly infrequent heading back to the city. Basically, these athletes are cruising so you just need to be faster than them. We decided on Wellesley Square (mile 13) based on when the train could pick us up again & get us to Mile 24 before Kim.
  • Take the commuter rail to Landsdowne (right by Fenway Park) then walk back along the course route towards Mile 24 to see our girl! *Disclaimer: the train was delayed and packed at Wellesley Square & we ended up on an extra train which was about 20 minutes behind.

4. Plan your meeting spot. The family reunion area can be a hot mess. Plan with your runner ahead of time where you guys can meet outside of that area to avoid the congestion. Also, make reservations for post race beers and food- you’re going to be hungry after all that cheering!

5. More cowbell. Be prepared, races are BYOC.

 

I want to recap all the details and amazing moments we had over the weekend, but it’s something you just have to experience. Take the time to soak it all in! We went to a baseball game, had pasta dinners, did a shake out run, and met Instagram friends IRL lol! Instead of detailing 3 days of adventures, I will leave you with a slew of pictures which speak for themselves.

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If the Red Sox are in town, catch a game at Fenway Park!

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Go to the Marathon Expo!

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Visit all the fun pop-up shops along Newbury Street

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If @runnerbraids is doing a pop-up, get your hair did, gurrrlll!

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Drink a Sam Adam’s 26.2 … then make your runner a sign!

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Assemble your cheer squad & pack for all 4 seasons in one day!

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Plan a meeting spot away from the chaos!

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Along with empathy carbs pre-race, be sure to enjoy post-race beers together!!

 

Do you have any tips for cheering on your friends in Boston?! Share them below!!

Xo, Louise

 

Studio Review: FLEX Studios

Nestled in the rolling hills on the North Shore Long Island, you can find a new pilates based studio, FLEX. The studio has been open for a few weeks and recently celebrated their Grand Opening with 4 days of free classes! Naturally I adventured from Long Beach to Woodbury (even in a snow storm- thanks to my Jeep!) to check out some classes.

All you need to bring Is your own water bottle, skid-less towel, & sticky socks- the rest is provided for you (mats, sweat towels, and showers).

First up was FlexIR, a mat pilates class in a hot room which is warmed by infrared panels (we’ll get to that). Taught by Kara, the class targeted total body and utilized a pilates ring, small squishy ball, and a set of 3# dumbbells. As a typical mat pilates class would be formatted, we moved through upper and lower body working one side at a time then finished off with plenty of core – planks, teasers, and crunches – oh my!

About 10 minutes into class, the heat of the infrared panels really started to kick in. The infrared panels warm objects in the room instead of just heating the air. Since the panels heat you up directly, you don’t need time to warm up the room. The FlexIR definitely left me very sweaty!

My second class was a Flex 30/30 class with my friend Dianna 🤗 This total body class combines two workouts in one and is done half with a TRX suspension trainer and the other half on a pilates reformer. We started the first half of class in the TRX studioDianna gave the class a quick intro on adjusting the TRX straps then we got to work. The class was broken up into 3 blocks (upper body, lower, and core) with a burst of cardio in between each round. After we finished our core round, we quickly scooped up our things and headed to the other room in the studio for our pilates session. Fast change into your grippy socks, crash course in reformer anatomy, and we were ready to go! Starting with core this time, then working in a combo of upper and lower body. This studio, more dimly lit, was the perfect atmosphere to cool it all down. The class in total was about 50 minutes long, the same as my previous class, the FlexIR.

This class squeezes a lot of workout into a short period. It’s great if you’re looking to try out both TRX and the Flexformer. I’d love to try a full class of each (which they also offer- FlexTRX and FlexFormer) to get more out of each piece of equipment 💪🏼

Have you tried Flex Studios yet? Share in the comments!! They also have 2 locations in the city (NoHo & Union Square). Check them out here!

Xo, Louise

Recipe: Savory Egg Muffins

Hard boiled eggs again?! Meal prepped breakfast doesn’t have to be boring. Flavor up those eggs by turning them into little egg muffins that you can take on the go. Packed with sautéed spinach and savory chicken sausage, these eggs pack a punch!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chicken sausage
  • 3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper or Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. In a medium pan, heat olive oil then add spinach and garlic. Sauté until wilted.
  2. In a separate pan, cook chicken sausage until browned on all sides. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Spray 6 muffin cups with non-stick spray. *There may be more or less depending on how full your cups are. You can also use more eggs to make more muffins.
  4. Evenly distribute spinach, sausage, and feta into muffin cups.
  5. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, mix in S&P then pour evenly into muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes then remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from pan.

This recipe can even be used as a guideline to make your own creations – maybe try egg whites or switch up the veggies. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Enjoy!!

Xo, Louise

RSVP for lululemon Winter Bootcamp!

B&B is back for another heart pounding, glute burning, sweaty workout class! Our friends at lululemon Roosevelt Field will be hosting us for our February Bootcamp and we can’t wait to sweat with you on Saturday, February 9!

Follow the link below to reserve your spot! The event is free but limited to 25 participants so grab your friends and get your tickets 🎉

Get your B&B February Bootcamp tickets here!

Xo, Louise & Pam

5 Lifesaving Meal Prep Tips

It’s Sunday night and you’re scrolling miles with your thumb through Instagram. You see a friend posted #MealPrepSunday, curiously you click your way into another dimension. This one is filled with beautifully organized Tupperware piled high with grilled chicken and veggies. Ugh how do these people stay so organized?

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be overwhelming! It’s a great way to plan ahead and stay on top of your goals- especially when your weekdays are jam packed. Carving out some of your free time to go food shopping and cook on the weekend is all you need to set up for a successful week!

Try these 5 simple tips to make meal prepping a breeze!

1. Take inventory as you’re making your shopping list.

Taking an inventory ahead of time will not only save you money, but a second trip back to the store. What’s in your pantry already? Check the fridge, too, as you’re listing ingredients. Incorporate any leftovers you have into next week’s meal prep so it doesn’t go to waste.

2. Plan your meals before going to the store.

I love to turn my week into a big grid. Listing Monday- Sunday across the top then breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in a column on the left. Start with the meals you know need to be packed, i.e. lunch and snacks for work hours. Pencil in any meals you know where you’ll be out to dinner or at an event. Then fill in the blanks! Tonight’s dinner can be tomorrow’s lunch, make 2 batches of overnight oats, grill chicken and serve with sweet potato one day and broccoli the next.

3. Tupperware/ food storage is key

Having smaller containers to pack your food into are great for 2 reasons: grab and go & portion control. Grab and go containers save so much time when packing a lunch box. If it’s a late night at the office or an evening gym session, then your dinner is good to go. Portion control is very important if you are trying to watch your weight- remember that both over eating and under eating can be issues.

4. Pre-chopped vegetables are a time saver

If you’re in a pinch or making a lot of meals at once, pre chopped vegetables are the best meal prep hack. Although they are not always the most cost effective solution, having an already peeled and cut butternut squash or some zoodles can help get things prepped quickly.

5. Freeze the leftovers

Sometime a recipe calls for more than you need- don’t waste your money! Keep the leftovers in a freezer safe container and save them for later. Try putting them in individually portioned containers to take out as you need- then you’re already planning ahead! Chilis and soups will freeze very well and are easy to warm up on cold nights.

What tricks do you use to make meal prep easier? Share them with us below!

Xo, Louise

Workout: Burpees & Brews Bootcamp

Burpees & Bordeaux partnered with our friends at Small Craft Brewing Company to bring you Burpees & Brews!! Last weekend we got to sweat with an amazing crew then followed it up with flights of beer- talk about Sunday Funday 🎉

How-to: This workout is classic B&B style! There are 6 rounds with 3 exercises in each round. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds- repeat each round 3 times before moving onto the next.

All you need is a mat and a timer!

Round 1

  1. Step back lunge left
  2. Step back lunge right
  3. Squat Jumps

Round 2

  1. Low Plank
  2. Ankle Reaches
  3. Thrusters

Round 3

  1. Lateral lunge right
  2. Lateral lunge left
  3. Touchdown jacks

Round 4

  1. Inchworm to Push-up
  2. Inchworm to Shoulder Taps
  3. Hi-Lo Plank

Round 5

  1. Squats
  2. Squat Pulses
  3. Burpees

Round 6

  1. Side plank dips right
  2. Side plank dips left
  3. Hi knees/Mtn Climbers (alternate 10 reps each)

Thank you again to our friends at Small Craft for having us! We can’t wait to come back for another bootcamp 💪🏼

Xo, Louise & Pam

PS: Save the date for February 9th… we will be back at lululemon Roosevelt Field!

Event Recap: NY Fit Fest

Long Beach, New York was home again to the 2nd Annual New York Fit Fest. This event combines beach days with fitness fun – sounds amazing! Workout classes on the beach are exactly our style, so this event was marked on our calendars. All day long there were dozens of classes held right on the beach front by local fitness instructors. There was something for every fitness lover from yoga to spin and pole dancing to boot camps.

An all day pass for this event cost $75. Attendees were able to pre-register for classes which were running all day long, plus you could take as many as you like! Spin classes were held on top of the Allegria Hotel, TRX classes in the sand, and boot-camps trudging through the ocean. The vendor village was set up on the beach with everything from local studios to clothing companies to health food brands. I spent the afternoon hanging out with my BeachFIT Training family where we were hosting atomic push-up challenges alongside our tent neighbors, AMP Training, who had squat and bench press contests going all day long.

As I was working with the BeachFIT team for the event, I was able to explore within the vendor village, but did not sign up for the all day pass. I asked a long time friend of B&B, Stacy Player (@splayer11), to share about her day taking classes and soaking up the fun. Stacy signed up for CycleBar, Hot Pilates Secret, and more! Read on to learn about the Fit Fest experience.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the NY Fit Festival in Long Beach with three friends, combining two of my favorite things, fitness and the beach.  The morning began with a cycling class on the roof of the Allegria Hotel, taught by a bubbly instructor named Gabby from CycleBar Garden City.  As soon as I walked out onto the rooftop pool deck, I felt like I was at a party, having been greeted by enthusiastic staff members and upbeat music. Before the class started, I couldn’t help but walk over to the ledge of the roof and take in the panoramic views of the ocean.  It was the perfect way to start the day.  After getting settled onto the bike, Gabby introduced herself and the DJ who would be spinning for the class. Once we got pedaling, my glutes and legs started to burn from the sprints, jumps, and hills; but Gabby’s contagious energy and the DJ’s motivating playlist made it easier to push through the burn. Having a DJ right there in class with us was an added bonus, since he was able to manipulate the beat and tempo based on Gabby’s instructions. When the class was over, we headed over to the braid station to get our hair braided by stylists from Red Door Spa. It was a fun break in between classes, where we had the opportunity to relax and walk around to different vendors.

After getting our hair braided, we walked over to set up for our next class, Yoga Pilates. We laid down our mats and sat in the sunshine waiting for the class to begin.  Kaley Young, the instructor, began by introducing herself to the group. Kaley is the owner and instructor at Hot Pilates Secret, which was started by her mother in 2005. In 2012, she lost her mother to breast cancer.  Five days later, Kaley taught her mom’s class and decided, with the support of her father, to continue the journey that her mother began. This past year, Kaley lost her father to 9/11 related illness. Her inspiring story set the tone for a peaceful and self-reflecting experience that Kaley began taking us through. The first half of the class was yoga-inspired, with classic poses, stretching, and breathing exercises. Kaley then transitioned into leading us through pilates-based exercises, with movements such as the double leg stretch, plank leg lift, and the teaser. These exercises engaged our core and helped develop our flexibility and strength. Meditation-style exercises were also infused throughout the class, which helped connect the mind, body and soul. The beach was the perfect backdrop to class, with the ocean air and waves crashing around us.

My third and final class of the day I ended up taking unexpectedly after I was persuaded by one of the instructors. Soccer Shape is a soccer-inspired fitness class developed by professional athletes that have played around the world. It’s essentially a “bootcamp with a soccer twist.” I was intrigued by the concept of the class because I have played sports my entire life, including college, and spent my adolescence at practices doing similar drills to those done during the class. As soon as I saw the agility ladder, cones, and soccer balls, I knew I would be hooked.

We participated in various high paced drills and fun challenges, which incorporated fast feet ladder runs, cone weaves, sprints with soccer balls, and plyometric stations. The dynamic movements and fast pace of the class pushed me to my limits in a good way. We also partnered with a buddy for resistance band exercises.  One particular fun and challenging exercise required us to loop a resistance band around your partner’s chest and hold both ends in either hand. Our partner sprinted across the beach while we held the band and pulled back on it, making it challenging for our partners to run. I happened to be partnered with a very strong guy, who pulled me across the beach so quick, it felt like I was walking a large energetic puppy. When it was my turn to run with the resistance band, the resistance was so strong that I felt as if I was running in slow motion. I jokingly told him that I should get extra points for pulling him across the beach! Doing the exercises in the sand created an extra challenge, as it targeted muscles that I don’t typically use on conventional surfaces.

We ended the class like most team practices do, with a group huddle and a cheer. It caused some of us to say “good job” and high five each other at the end, solidifying a team atmosphere. Soccer Shape was by far the most fun class of the day, as the coaches’ energy and sports-related fitness activities had everyone laughing and cheering each other on throughout the class. I felt like I was back at lacrosse practice, being part of a team again. I also felt like I was on an episode of MTV’s “The Challenge.” (In. My. Dreams) – Stacy Player

Who else attended NY Fit Fest this year?! We would love to hear about your experience! Share in the comments below 🙂

Xo, Louise

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!

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