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!