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!

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!

img_4049

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: 2016 Baltimore 10 Miler

img_2663
B&B headed to Baltimore, Maryland for a weekend trip with our friends. And of course, we signed up for the Baltimore 10 Miler since we were in town! Pam: Baltimore has a special place in my heart. I spent some wonderful years in college there and I love going back to visit. However, Baltimore running has left me broken hearted. I ran the Baltimore Marathon there 2 years ago and it was my least favorite marathon to date. I learned just how hilly Baltimore was so I was ready for this race.

Our amazing friend, Kim, headed to the zoo on Friday and picked up the race bibs for everyone. You were also able to pick up bibs at various Dick’s Sporting Goods around the area which makes it convenient for the local runners. There is no race expo so if you are an expo junkie like Pam, do not get excited.

img_2546

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early after a night of sushi (NOT the best pre-race fuel, for the record) and hopped in an Uber to Kim’s house. The traffic getting to the race was pretty aggressive on the exit ramp and that was still a little bit away from the starting line. Thankfully we were heading to Kim’s so we didn’t hit any traffic at all! Having Baltimore friends made race morning a breeze because we were dropped off just beyond the starting line by Druid Hill Park. Our drop off spot was at the bottom of that awful hill (more on that later), so it was a small hike, but we knew what we were up against come Mile 9. The threat of rain had subsided for race morning but 80 degrees and 85% humidity at 7:30AM is not ideal running weather.

The starting line was overflowing with runners, but we filed in quickly and crossed the starting line. The race course is out and back with a few added street turns in either direction. Mile 1 is all downhill… weeeee. Around the 1st mile marker, we found our Cheer Squad who lined up for high fives 🙂 The course is filled with rolling hills and makes its U-turn for Mile 5 around Lake Montebello. Throughout the race, there were some spots filled with spectators and some stretches without anyone cheering. As we approached Mile 8, we found our Cheer Squad again and another round of high fives was just the power boost we needed! This was also the “Munchkin Mile” with a water station and Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. Louise: I was sooo pumped for munchkins, but when I tried to eat one mid-race, chewing was just not happening and I basically coughed it into the trash. Lesson learned- never try to chew anything in a race. Pam agrees with me.

Just before you hit the marker for Mile 9, Druid Hill starts to climb. It seems like the hill that will never end, then once you reach the top you make a loop and the finish line creeps into sight just around the corner! As we rounded the corner, we found Kim and Matt and gave our last power-up high fives before taking off.

Crossing the finish line was sweet relief! We were handed awesome medals with penguins running across… we still haven’t figured out why though. Anyone know why they chose penguins? Water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, apples, granola bars, chips, pretzels, and watermelon! Yum! Snacks in hand, we walked back to find Matt and Kim, while cheering Chelsea across the finish line. Race complete.

The post-race festival was SO MUCH FUN! We were able to hang out with our friends and enjoy Harpoon Brewery beers and live music from Naked Nation. It definitely made running up those hills worth it! After several hours in the sun with beers in hand, race day was a success! Then it was off to the ballgame!

Have you ran the Baltimore 10 miler? What were your experiences?

Xo, Pam & Louise

img_2696