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!

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

Happy Anniversary B&B!

Life is about taking chances – chances that force you so far out of your comfort zone. IMG_9086

It’s our 1st Anniversary!

When we took the leap of faith to launch Burpees & Bordeaux a year ago we didn’t know where it would go. We knew we wanted to share our journeys – the highs and the lows, we wanted to share solid research backed information, and we wanted to share our love for fitness (and wine). Little did we know we would connect with some of the most bad-ass women in the industry, grow not only as friends but also fitness professionals, and also expose our most vulnerable selves. We are so grateful for each and every one of you who read our blog and support us in our journey. A special shout out to our friends, our families, and significant others who support us day in and day out! Thank you to our friends at lululemon RF for letting us reach more individuals and all of the Tone It Up- Long Island girls who always come out to support us.

We love you all and can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us!

Xo, Louise & Pam

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

Race Recap: TD Beach to Beacon 2016

For my annual trip to Maine, I adventured to Cape IMG_3249Elizabeth to run the Beach to Beacon 10K race with my friends. This is my second time doing the race and it is definitely one of my favorites to run! It is really beautiful up there- especially in the summer. And starting my Saturday with 6.2 miles of rolling hills really wakes you up! Let’s rewind to a few months ago where I sat anxiously by my computer at 7am to register for this race (which sold out in less than 4 minutes). After seeing that “Congratulations” notification, I was pumped to be returning to Maine to run again. The race itself is very organized considering there are several thousand runners flocking to this small, coastal town.

Friday evening, my grad school BFF, Kim, and I headed to Cape Elizabeth HS for packet pickup and the race expo. Numbers and t-shirts were easy to grab so we wandered around looking at different vendors at the expo. We received free gift cards, entered raffles, snagged some bananas, and had an opportunity to shop around. What a great experience!

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5:30AM on Saturday, my alarm is buzzing and it’s time to get going! Lucky for us, Kim’s parents literally live next to the finish line so we head over there, snap a few pre-race pictures and hitch a ride to Cape Elizabeth HS where shuttle buses will take you to the
start line. Because this is a point-to-point race, the busing, bag check, and organization are clutch (this race has nailed it). 7:30AM we arrived to the starting line where there are refreshments (water, Gatorade) and long porta-potty lines (classic). Herding into the corral is the most challenging part because there are so many people!

A few minutes after 8AM and we are off! My goal for this race was just to finish strong and preferably under an hour since this is my triumphant return to the running world. The course begins near Crescent Beach State Park and winds its way north. As you cruise along the rolling hills, there is an energy about this race. There is never a moment without a crowd to cheer you on! Around Mile 3, two firetrucks proudly display the American flag which you get to run underneath. Each mile marker has a water station and tons of volunteers helping runners. As you approach Mile 5, the ocean comes into view just before you tackle the biggest hills on the course. Mile 5.5 is where Kim’s family stands at the end of the street, waiting for us to high five as we run by 🙂 The crowd keeps growing as you head towards a finish line which seems like it will never come. The course twists and turns into Fort Williams Park and then BAM! Your finish line is in sight with the beautiful Portland Headlight just behind it.

Something you don’t know until you’ve done this race- the biggest hill is after the finish line. And it sucks. After running 6.2 miles, you head up a hill in the park where water, food, and massages await you. But that hill still sucks. My friends and I set our designated meeting spot at the top of said hill then headed to grab waters, bagels, bananas, and fresh Maine blueberries.

Success all around! Everyone finished strong and I came in with a time of 59:19 🙂 Nothing like that painful PR of 54:06 last year, but an enjoyable race. I highly recommend you guys signing up for this one. I’ll see you next August!

❤ Louise

PS: We also may have found a race photographer on our walk back to Kim’s house…

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Fitness Friday: Photo Finishes

Let’s talk about race photos. You either love them or you hate them. I am still deciding. I get excited a day or two after a race when there’s an email saying, “your race photos are ready!” But clearly I was not ready for the camera. While they are a great memory from your race, they’re not always the best shots. All my running friends out there know they have some pretty bad pictures. Take these as an example…

When you see the cameraman, things are a little different. Suddenly you perk up. Oh I love running. Running is wonderful! And you get excited- like arms flailing excited. Hands in the air, giving 2 thumbs up, and a big this-doesn’t-hurt-smile.

Don’t be shy, your friends do it, too!

It’s the ones where you don’t see the cameraman that you need to be careful. Those candid shots will get you! You are focused. An athlete concentrated on making it to the finish line and the seconds are ticking by. Sometimes things get can a little ugly.

Now, finish line photos are a whole different ballgame. You know someone is taking your picture. Somewhere… The race is over and there is water straight ahead. You are happy and relieved and tired and sweaty. Smile, you’re done!

There are the good…

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the bad…

SUFF 2

and the UGLY.

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OMG. THAT PICTURE. My posture… my face… PR’s hurt.

It haunts me. This photo is by far the roughest looking thing I have ever seen. And I just shared it with all of you! That, my friends, is what a PR looks like (a.k.a. death). Which brings me to my point. Since the Beach2Beacon 2015, I have set out on a quest to redeem myself in my race photos. All the pictures above were taken during races I did over the past year. It has been my mission to take a good finish line photo to make up for all the bad ones.

Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of this picture and the opportunity for the ultimate redemption! Stay tuned for my Beach 2 Beacon 2016 race recap next week- complete with photo finish 🙂

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We couldn’t let Pam get away without sharing some race photos!

Think you have a worse race picture??? Share it with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #BBRacePhotoChallenge and tag us @burpeesandbordeaux! You will be entered to win fabulous prizes 🙂 Winner will be chosen next week!

Xoxo, Louise

 

Race Recap: 2016 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon

I crossed the finish line!

I knew I could do it- but that’s not what I had been training to do. I wanted to cross the finish line in less than 2 hours, but that didn’t happen. I finished with a second best time of 2:05:05, and after calling my mom (duh!) and talking with Coach Jared, I’ve stopped beating myself up over it (more on that later).

Let’s rewind for a minute and talk about the race experience! Thursday afternoon, I headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the Pre-Party. At Pier 2, you picked up your race bib, had an opportunity to shop for Brooklyn merchandise, and get your last minute race questions answered. Brooklyn Running Co. set up shop with some cool Brooklyn gear and any last minute essentials (like headbands and Gu) that you may need. There was also a spot to get your race shirt customized! Outside there were swings, giant Jenga, a band stage, and fantastic views of the NYC skyline- the perfect photo op! There were just a few food trucks with some snacks and drinks; honestly, I was hoping for more food options.

Fast forward to race day… traveling from Nassau County to Brooklyn can be aggressive. We decided to hire a car which picked us up on time from my house and dropped us off right at the starting line. Our early wake up call ensured that we arrived in plenty of time to check our bags and get through security. My friend, Javi, was running in Wave 1 and bag check closed at 6:10am… Zzzz… I ate my breakfast while waiting in the corral since Wave 2 started didn’t start until 7:45am. This gave us time to warm up and use the porta potty (which I recommend doing ASAP because the lines became outrageous).

Race time! 7:45 am and the gun went off… funneling to the starting line I was SO READY to go. All that waiting had made me a little bit antsy to get started. The Brooklyn Half course starts with 3 miles outside of Prospect Park with minor ups and downs in the elevation. When you head into the park, it starts off flat and just before Mile 5 comes the biggest hill on the course which is not as steep as some of those Central Park hills, but seems like it will never end (it does, I promise). As you loop around the park, you discover what goes up must come down and get to enjoy a nice downhill as you come through Mile 7 just outside the park. You head to Ocean Parkway with a quick dip down and a steady bump in elevation on the entrance ramp. Think of this as your final stretch to the finish line- I just thought Ocean Parkway would never end. Until this point in the race, I was really feeling strong. The crowd was alive and had some really funny signs! My pace for the first few miles was a little faster than I wanted so I tried to slow myself down a little. I missed the ‘beep’ of my Garmin at Miles 6&7 and was unsure of how fast I was going. Unfortunately, I slowed myself down too much and had trouble picking up the pace again. When I saw my PR slipping away, I mentally checked out of the race, too.

As you’re running South, the Avenues go in order from A to Z then you make a right hand turn onto Surf Avenue and can see the roller coasters up ahead. The end is near! I had been wearing a bracelet with pace times for my 2 hour goal; when I saw the sign that said “800 meters to go,” I ripped it off and just made a strong finish. Crossing that finish line felt so good, but I was sooo disappointed in myself. I knew some of the mistakes I made early on in the race, but I was really mad that I had mentally given up. My jello legs made their way down the boardwalk where I was given my finisher’s medal, took a sweaty photo with it, then finally found some water (it kept everyone moving, but the water was a little bit down from the finish line).

After the satisfaction of crossing the finish line finally set in, now I had to find my friends and party! My legs were mush and I was tired, but I walked down the boardwalk where finishers also received a bag with water, Gatorade, an apple, pretzels, and a PowerBar. (One of the nice volunteers let me trade my bag so that crazy me could have a blue Gatorade- thank you!) Picking up my gear from bag check was a breeze and was also the designated meeting spot for my friends. *Side note: I had read recaps from last year about limited cell phone service. While I didn’t have a problem with my phone, some people had spotty service so make sure you designate a meeting point ahead of time.*

The Post-Race party was so much fun! You head into MCU Park, Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, to find thousands of other runners celebrating with their friends and family. Beers were flowing, hot dogs were cooking, and the band was playing everything from the new JT song to some old school Spice Girls.

Before I left the house at 4am, my mom told me to “just have fun!” I definitely did that 🙂 The Brooklyn Half was a great race with excited runners, spectators cheering the whole way, and a killer finish line party. I will definitely be running this one again! Although I didn’t PR like I had hoped, I know there are more races to come. Coach Jared and I have discussed the idea of an October race… hmm… until then, I’m excited for the Baltimore 10 Miler in 2 weeks where I will be running for fun with my best friends!

Happy Sunday Funday, my loves!
Louise

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A huge congratulations to my friends; Javi, who crushed his goal with a time of 1:29:54 and to Virginia, who finished her first half marathon! 🙂

Race Recap: Broad Street 10 Miler 2016

I love Philly. I have been there a couple times as an adult and it is one of my favorite cities. The food is fantastic, the people are friendly (except I’ve gotten yelled at in the same liquor store on two separate visits. Oops.), and I run some killer times there. Six months ago I had the pleasure of running my marathon PR on the streets of Philly three weeks after cramping up and falling apart during the NYC marathon. The Broad Street 10 miler was on my bucket list of races. My best friend from college Kim and her sister Vic have always coined this one of their favorite races so I knew I wanted in. It is a lottery system so you have to make sure you put your name in before the deadline. PS BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CLICK. The cost of the race is $45 but I some how ended up spending $70. It’s been fun trying to figure out what I bought extra. Apparently I upgraded to a tech tee for $15 but we are still unsure of what my extra $10 went to. I will update you if I find out.

I left for Pennsylvania Friday afternoon. First up, I had a date night with my friend Caitlin in King of Prussia that consisted of dinner and shopping. I arrived to Philly Friday evening and spent the night catching up with friends. Saturday was a full day  of fun doing touristy things like running the stairs of the Art Museum, visiting the Franklin Institute, exploring the race expo, and of course a pre race dinner. We only had about an hour at the Franklin and we spent it in the Sport Zone. This was SO MUCH FUN. You must visit this exhibit on your next trip to Philly. The expo was pretty average and it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The highlight was a Turkey Hill ice cream sample and seeing some of my #tiuphilly girls.

The night before race day consists of checking the weather, laying out my race flat (also known as laying your race clothes in a pretty formation and snapping a picture), charging all of my devices, and lining up my beauty products for the morning including deodorant, body glide, sunscreen, chapstick, and foundation. Speaking of weather,  I watched the weather religiously the days leading up to the race hoping it would change. I complained to Al about it on a nightly basis and this is how our conversation went.

Me: “I can’t believe it is going to rain the entire race.”

Al: “It’s only ten miles.”

Me: “When was the last time you ran ten miles, let alone in the rain.”

Al: “Never.”

*End of conversation”

I used the “it’s only ten miles” for humor purposes the next few days when talking about rain, chafing, porta potty lines, etc.

Race Day. Ahhhh waking up to the sound of rain drops on your window at 6:15am. Sunday was very rainy and cold. Luckily after hours of deliberation and one last minute outfit change, I was ready to tackle Broad Street, rain and 49 degree temps included. I went with my Athleta Relay capris, my Athleta Striped Chi tank, and Asics NYC Marathon jacket. Vic’s boyfriend dropped us off at Subway and we climbed our way North on one of the most packed subways I have ever experienced. I have also never witnessed such a collection of trash bags and ponchos in my entire life. The subway ride was pretty long but I was just thankful to be warm and dry at this point. We arrive to the starting area about 7:45am, we checked our bag with our sweatshirts and rain jackets for post race (more on this later), and we headed towards our corral. We considered the porta potty at this point but you couldn’t even get into that area. So. Many. Bodies. I figured “hey it’s only ten miles” so I can hold it. We also didn’t realize we were in the pink corral so we had to hop the fence to get out of it and continue on our way to the green corral. We never actually made it to green corral because they did a weird configuration where the green corral jutted out to the side instead of staying in line with the rest of them. So we stood and waited and sort of just filed in at the end of the green corral. The positive was right before the start line there were some porta potties and a break in the fence so we darted out for a quick pit stop. No toilet paper of course but it was raining soooooo in the end it didn’t really matter. O the adventures pre race.

Time to get to work. My game plan was to run the first 5-6 miles and a pretty comfortable pace and then pick it up mile by mile. About 1/2 mile into the race, I found out Kim was running with me!!!! This was big news! Kim has always been my running inspiration and the reason I started running marathons to begin with. The fact that we were going to share our first race together (minus a hungover mud run in college) was so special to me. We talked, joked, and pointed out spectators along the way. I was so surprised how strong I felt and the times we were clocking off. I hydrated about every other water station and I took a Huma gel around mile 5.5. Things got a little congested around City Hall but once my Garmin clicked mile 6 I knew it was time to pick it up. My bestie Chelsea was standing around mile 8 so I used that to distract me over the next couple miles. I couldn’t believe how fast the time was passing and that we were over half way finished. Once we gave Chelsea high fives we began to kick it into high gear. Just before mile 9 I told Kim I wanted to go for it. Let’s see exactly what I was made of. There was one point where I was like “ooo dear goodness I don’t think I can do this” but then I told myself “YES YOU CAN”. Our last mile was a 7:36 and our official time was 1:24:11. My Garmin clocked our mileage at 10.05 which means we ran a pretty true course and had an average pace of 8:23. Crossing the finish line holding Kim’s hand will always be one of the most special moments in my running career and I am grateful we got to share my first Broad Street together.

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While it rained the entire race, I was pretty comfortable in the rain and the colder temperatures. Post race was a whole other story. Once you grab your medal and meal bag, the reality of how cold and wet we were really started to settle in. Once we figured out where they were located, we headed to the bus to grab our dry clothes. We found our bus #29 pretty easily but there didn’t appear to be any organization of the bags on the bus. After several minutes (which felt like hours) we got our bag and immediately changed our clothes. Once we met up with Vic and her boyfriend (who we didn’t know was running) we began the journey back home. Then it was time for burgers and champs before heading to the Phillies game to watch them WIN! After the game, it was time to head back to NY. I reflected on my amazing weekend and lucky I am to be living the life I am. ❤

Overall synopsis, Broad Street is an absolute must run and I will be entering the lottery again. Pros: straight shot, mostly flat, and great energy. Cons: 40,000 runners mean crazy porta potty lines and a pretty congested course. We did end up bobbing and weaving throughout the entire course. Especially the last few miles where people were slowing down and we were trying to pick it up.

Did you have any races this weekend? Have you ran Broad Street in previous years? Let me know!

Xo, Pam

 

 

Race Recap: MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon

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Louise: Let me start by saying that as of Saturday, I was only planning on going to brunch after Pam ran this race. I was going to cheer her on and have a mimosa that I totally would not have earned. I spoke with Pam right before going for my long run on Saturday (scheduled to be a 105 minute progression run) and she casually questioned “why not just run the half tomorrow”. With that, Pam somehow convinced me to sign up for Sunday’s race. On Saturday. I think there was a lesson about peer pressure that I missed…

After signing up, I continued with my Saturday plans to venture into the city. First, I picked up our race bibs and t-shirts. The NYRR running annex made this process such a breeze. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes- got in line, grabbed our shirts, scanned both QR codes from my phone, and had the bibs in hand. Next up: WeBleedBlue.com was having a viewing party for the New York Rangers’ playoff game! If you know me, you know I love hockey. Knowing I was using this half as a training race, I continued about my Saturday and maybe didn’t hydrate as I should have. Open bar, need I say more? 

Race Day!!

Bright and early on Sunday morning, we took the train to Manhattan and scooted up to Central Park. The sun had come up and it was going to be a gorgeous day in New York City- the warmest day of spring without a cloud in the sky! We found the bag check and porta-potties with ease and prepped ourselves for our race. Shoes tied, bibs attached, Gu in pockets, music ready. 

Pam: Okay wait let’s talk about the porta potties. Literally I felt like I hit the jackpot. Not only was there not a line but for the first time in my running career I was the first person to use the porta. As in I had to lift the lid up and open the toilet paper (which was unusually tricky and took probably more than a minute to accomplish). This may not seem like an event to celebrate but ask any runner and I am POSITIVE they have some nightmarish stories to tell you. I knew this was a sign that it was going to be a big day.

After Louise signed up on Saturday with promises of free water, a shiny new medal, and tough hills perfect for training, I offered to run the race together. That’s one of the things I love about running, sometimes it’s not about the time on the clock but the experiences you share. I was already treating this as a long training run so the opportunity to run the race with a bestie was too good to pass up. With time no longer a focus, I set other goals for the race. I wanted to 1) pace the hills so that the last one felt as strong as the first (which is why when Louise took off up the first hill I was like “what are you doingggg? we have 10 more of these bad boys today!) 2) fuel appropriately with my water/gu schedule and 3) encourage Louise and have fun. Throughout the race, we high fived after we conquered big hills, she sang me lines from her playlist, and I threw out motivational one liners. Around mile 10, I was feeling the energy of being only a 5k away from the finish line and I knew it was time to pick up the pace a little. At this point, I couldn’t tell if Louise was blocking me out, wanting to kill me for convincing her to do this, or enjoying my motivation. I’m still not sure what she actually was thinking. LOL. With .05 left to go we grabbed each others hands and crossed the finish line together exactly how we had started. I couldn’t be more proud of her and a 2:05 for 2 laps in Central Park  with a best friend is a successful day in my book.

More Half_Map_2016 copy

Louise: Ready for my thoughts! Remember, I signed up for this on Saturday. Luckily, my PIC decided we should run together and I am sooo glad we did! She paced me through the hills of Central Park and encouraged me the whole time. Running it alone would have been pretty tough mentally, but I conquered those hills and can’t wait to take on Brooklyn!

13.1 Thoughts for 13.1 Miles:

  1. Aaaaand we are off! Okay let’s find a rhythm, bob and weave through some people, and I could use some water…
  2. First hill- let’s crush it! Uh-oh, Pam’s yelling at me for picking up the pace there. Don’t wanna die yet!
  3. Pam! Guess what song I’m listening to! *Singing Britney Spears* Cause now I’m stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my wayyyy
  4. Harlem Hill… Okay. You’ve got this. You did it before. Like 2 years ago. It’s going to be fine. So fine. It’s really fine. It’s fine…
  5. Alright, I can roll with these roOoOolling hills.
  6. BOOM. One lap done. And would you look at all these cute guys! I bet none of them have girlfriends. They’re here to cheer me on. I mean, who doesn’t love a marathon on a Sunday morning?!
  7. Pam! Guess what just came on my playlist! …No guesses? *Singing/gasping for air* Stacy’s mom has got it going on, she’s all I want and I’ve waited for so longgg
  8. “Hello Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite”
  9. This hill again… Can we not?! OH. MY. QUAD.
  10. I think I blacked out here… but I was definitely anticipating another lap passed all the cute guys in the park
  11. Oh hi Gianna! Where did you come from? Why are you guys running so fast?!
  12. STACY’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ONNN
  13. Halleluia! This is the most beautiful mile marker I have ever seen! I’m gonna touch it… Oops I missed.

13.1  Hold my hand! Yessss the finish line.

Until next time,

Xo Pam & Louise