race

What I Wore for My First Triathlon

This post is long overdue but hey, better late than never! When I was preparing for my first triathlon this past summer, I did a lot of research online regarding what to wear. There are so many options but I was looking for the bare essentials- what would work well without breaking the bank. Since I found other triathlete's blogs so helpful, I wanted to share what worked for me:
1. Wetsuit: Unless you're competing in the tropics, even in the summer it's a good idea to have a wetsuit (some races require them). For my first triathlon (that got rained out) I rented a suit from Tri Wetsuit Rentals who I'd highly recommend. Quick to respond, good lead time, and you get the suit well before your race so you can try it out a few times. I liked the suit they gave me so when it was time to do the second tri, I bought the same one which is a Zoot Z Force 1.0 Fullsleeve Wetsuit

2. Swim Cap and Goggles: I brought the swim cap I used during my training with Portside Athletics but I wound up using the one given to use at the race which is color coded for the wave they put you in. My race was in August but if it had been in a colder month, I probably would've worn both for warmth.

3. Sports Bra and Shorts: For me, exercising without a sturdy sports bra is not an option so I opted to wear one under my wetsuit as opposed to a swimsuit. Same for the shorts - I wanted something tight but not too short that I could swim, bike, and run in. I found the right pair at lululemon and it's the same style/fabric as my favorite running crops (no longer available! Try these Flow and Go ones, they look just as awesome) from there so I figured they would work well (they did!).

4. Nike/Heartbreak Hill Singlet: I love this singlet - it's light, a little long on me (which I like), and perfect to run in. Plus, Heartbreak Hill Running Company is local and I am happy to support them. Since I was already wearing the shorts, all I had to do was toss this baby on and I was ready to ride.

5. Hat and Hand Towel: I had another towel to dry off with but it was handy having a smaller one to wipe my face off quickly. I always run in a hat so I made sure to have this one ready the second I got my helmet off.

6. Backpack: All of these items fit nicely in my North Face backpack, very handy.

7. New Balance Sneakers: Not Pictured (oops). I wore my brand new New Balance Vazee sneaks and they were awesome. I even had a guy yell from the sidelines "nice sneakers!" during the bike portion of the race. Love them.

I didn't wind up wearing the second pair of shorts in the photo, I just didn't find it necessary. Overall, I'm happy with how I packed - light but I had everything I needed and my transition times were pretty short! I definitely credit the extensive planning ahead, trying out the gear, and being prepped and ready to go the morning of the big day.

Have you done any triathlons? What did you wear for them? 

(note: this post contains affiliate links; however, all opinions are my own)

Falmouth Road Race Recap, @NewBalance, and Caribbean #Video Shoot

After a fairly quiet July, August seemed like a total whirlwind. It started with the triathlon followed quickly by the Falmouth Road Race, a famously awesome race down on Cape Cod that attracts all kinds of runners including Olympians. I was running for the first time and then was hired by New Balance to cover some of the events throughout the weekend and create some social media content-
The race itself was gorgeous although hot (not surprising for August!). My time was less than stellar but I finished strong and enjoyed the crowds and scenery the whole 7 miles. Best part - the people standing in their yards aiming their hoses and sprinklers at the course; I couldn't have done it without them! At least not without feeling way worse...
After the race, I did another shoot for New Balance (with two Olympic rowers! More on that in another post), packed my bags and headed to the Caribbean to shoot video for my friend Sarah for her #FitInParadise project, filling in for her regular videographer, Rachel. Even though it was work, it was really fun; we were in Aruba and Curacao where I had never been or even knew much about. 90 degrees with a constant cool breeze, turquoise water, soft sand beaches, and stunning sunsets - not a bad work week if you ask me-
Aruba Marriott Resort
Curacao Marriott Beach Resort
last night sunset selfie in Curacao
That trip was followed by a family wedding in CT but I'm home now and looking forward to being in one place for a little while! It's hard to believe it's already September.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Recap: My First #Triathlon Experience!

Last Sunday I competed in my first sprint triathlon, the Marshfield-Duxbury Tri, - 1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride, 3 mile run. I had done a lot of training leading up to the day and felt as prepared as I could be which helped my confidence but I didn't sleep that well the night before (damn subconscious anxiety!). I had packed everything I was going to bring the night before which was super helpful. Luckily I still got up on time and made it to the beach by 6:30am. The transition area was already packed with bikes and gear:


The swim was a triangle route where we swam straight out, keeping the buoys on our left and then swam back. Even with the practice, the swim was tough for me but it turns out it was my strongest leg. I even came in the top half for my age group.
You can't tell how slow I'm going! Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
The bike was 11 miles and while I felt totally prepared and confident, it was my weakest event. I came in almost dead last. This made the ride pretty disheartening, watching so many people wiz by. If I heard one more "passing on your left" I thought I'd explode. I'm definitely going to work on biking more and also investigating a better racing bike since mine is just a hybrid/hand-me-down. Better than nothing for my first tri of course!
Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
The run was... well, it went fine but it was 3 miles entirely on the beach. I've never run that far on the beach and even with the packed sand, it was a totally different experience than I'm used to. I always try to pick it up at the end and it was just not possible - the sand was so loose at the finish line, I was tripping all over my feet and just trying not to fall! It was gorgeous and sunny and, I would say, visually entertaining to run on the beach but my time definitely suffered. I refused to walk however, no matter how tempting it was at times.
Throwing myself across that finish line. Photo courtesy of Gameface Media
My overall time was 1:37:42.8, 336 out of 374 overall, and 24 out of 34 in my age division. Like always, somewhere in the first third of the race, I swore to myself "never again" and now I'm already thinking ahead to the next tri I could do. I've heard these things are addictive! Overall, it was a really fun, exhilarating, well-run event (thanks to Streamline Events for this) and I would highly recommend signing up for one if you get a chance.

Next post: prepping, what I wore, and race day advice, coming soon.

Have you ever done a triathlon? What did you think? 

Recap: #Cohasset Triathalon 2015, the Tri that Wasn't

Yes, that man behind me ran in his swim cap. It was a good idea, wish I'd thought of it...
After so much anticipating, preparation, and training I was so looking forward to the Cohasset Triathlon on Sunday, as I mentioned in my previous blog post. Unfortunately Mother Nature was against us when torrential downpours, 5-7 waves, and 30 mph wind gusts forced the organizers (Steamline Events, who were amazing!) to cancel both the bike and swim portions of the race. Those of us who were crazy enough to show up and stick around wound up running an incredibly soggy 5k. All of that motivation to get home, showered, and dry definitely kicked in and I happened to run the fastest 5k to date! So it wasn't a total loss and it was definitely an experience.

The good news is there is another tri around the corner on August 2 - the Marshfield Duxbury Tri - so I'm going to sign up for that and keep the training going through the summer. Hopefully that one will be on a less stormy morning!

Have you ever experienced less-than-ideal race conditions? How did you handle it? I'd love to hear your stories!

4 Boston Marathon Handmade Gift Ideas

The Boston Marathon is in 4 days and I could not be more excited to cheer on all 36,000 people running on Monday! With so many Boston Marathon themed items in shops all over the city and online, I wanted to highlight a few handmade goodies I've come across that were inspired by the infamous upcoming race-
This gorgeous 2014 Boston Marathon Print is by my friend Jenn of JHill Design which is part of her Sports Map series. Through April 31, get FREE personalization- just order the personalized print and use code RUN2014 at checkout. Include the year or the runner's time, runner's name and bib number.
Bev Feldman of Linkouture designed this lovely chaimaille bracelet complete with handmade runner charm. Bonus- she's donating 20% of sales of the bracelet to the One Fund!
I discovered this print in a blog post by the designer, Lindsay of Warren Tales, that said she was inspired by my Boston Marathon photo project- I was so flattered! I love the fun font and concept of this marathon route print which she is offering as a 9x16" and as notecards.
Running the marathon? Stop by Old South Church on Boylston Street and get a handmade scarf! The Old South Knitters group started a Marathon Scarf Project this year asking knitters to donate handmade scarves in the BAA yellow and blue for the athletes. As they said on their website, "In this year of Remembrance and Hope, our vision is to wrap each runner in the love poured into stitches of handmade blue and yellow scarves. We promise to wrap runners in your love until all your scarves are distributed."

What are your favorite Boston Marathon finds?

Personal Photo Project: Boston Marathon 2014

Dan Fitzgerald and the South End Athletic Company Run Club
As some of you know by now, I've decided to start a personal project about people from Boston running the 2014 Boston Marathon. It started with the idea of shooting a few of my friends who were running and has expanded to friends-of-friends and people I've connected with through various social networks, all living and training in the Boston area.

While they all run for different reasons- charity, personal goals, health, all of the above- they are all passionate about these reasons and long distance running. Even though the marathon takes place in the spring, obviously a lot of the training goes on during the worst times of the year and I wanted to highlight this (I find this particularly admirable and impressive!). 
Nichole Bukowski; Ian Nurse and the B.A.A. Run Club
Living in Boston, this particular marathon holds a special place in these runners' hearts (and mine too) and even if they have run it in the past, I think this year will be particularly fulfilling. I'm so pleased they have been willing to take the time to tell me their stories and let me photograph them. I'm planning to feature each one of them here on the blog and their collective stories on my website/various other online platforms so stay tuned! Lots of running to come!

Birthday Recap: Urban Raid Boston

I think birthdays are special and should always be celebrated in some way, big or small. I always try to plan something for mine, even if it is just a quiet night out with friends or dinner with the family. This year I decided to try something a little different and definitely outside of my comfort zone- I scraped together a team (which actually turned into two teams) to compete in the Urban Raid, a 5k obstacle course set in the Government Center/Faneuil Hall/Waterfront areas of Boston.
photos courtesy of my dad
We were all a little nervous about actually finishing- none of us have a lot (or any) experience with these kind of races- but I'm happy to say we all crossed the finish line AND had times that we were impressed with. Combined with gorgeous weather and an afterparty at Ned Devine's with Shipyard Brewing Company (we earned those beers!), I really couldn't have asked for a better birthday celebration. We're already looking forward to next year!
Thanks to SurThrival for the action shots throughout the race and getting this one with me and my brother!