training

#BostonMarathon Runner Story: Lauren Delaney for Massachusetts Fallen Heroes

I only photographed one Boston Marathon runner this year so I thought it was fitting to post her story today, Marathon Monday! Meet Lauren, who I met up with at Forge Pond Park in Hanover, MA. Lauren is running with the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes team and has already raised over $25,000 this year. Amazing!
Name: Lauren Delaney
Location: Hanover, MA
Occupation: Campaign Management Manager 
Number of Marathons Run (including 2016): 5
Boston Marathons Run (including 2016): 4
Why I Run: In general I run to stay in shape and to run for a purpose. I run for charities because it combines my passion for giving back and philanthropy with health and fitness. This year I am running to raise money for Massachusetts Fallen Heroes in memory of my "cousin-in-law," LCpl William J. Donovan, Jr. U.S.M.C. Will was a two time Purple Heart recipient who served in Afghanistan in 2011. He died in a tragic motorcycle accident in September.  I wanted to carry on his legacy by running in his memory and raising money for an organization that meant so much to him and now our family. Through this, I am also hoping to raise more awareness about MFH and the amazing work they do!


Nice job Lauren and good luck today!!!
To read more Boston Marathon runners' stories, visit my website: www.luciewickerphotography.com/bostonmarathon

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)

#Instagram Round-up: July 2015

The way this summer is going it's almost like last winter never happened (almost). I'm so lucky to be able to spend so much time outside, both working and playing, and I'm documenting it every step of the way on instagram. So much time out on the water, training for my first triathlon, taking video at Be Well Studios in Scituate, our pop-up shoot with patientMoon, and watching our bees thrive in the yard! And summer isn't even over yet....

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? 

My Favorite Morning Post-Workout Smoothie Recipe

I don't know where this recipe originated but it's been my go-to for a while now. While I do love a good fruit and berry smoothie every once in a while, this one is more of a cookie batter variety, if you will. It's easy, delicious, and extremely flexible with all kinds of potential add-ins. Plus it has a lot of protein (give or take around 25g). Bonus!

Easy Post-Workout Morning Smoothie

1 handful spinach (around 1 cup. Go nuts, you won't taste it)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (my personal favorite is arbonne but a lot of people like Vega and Perfect Fit too)
1 tbsp peanut butter OR almond butter
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk (more or less, depending on how think or thin you like your smoothies) or other milk of choice

That's it! Blend, pour, drink, enjoy. Need some variations? Here are a few I've tried:

-adding 1 tbsp cacao powder
-subbing 1 tbsp coconut oil for the nut butter
-adding 1 tsp maca powder
-swapping kale for spinach
-adding a tbsp or two of coconut flakes

Let me know what you think! What's your favorite smoothie recipe?


Let's try this again... #MarshfieldDuxburyTri this Sunday

biking in the rain can be fun, it turns out
After the wash-out that was the Cohasset Triathlon I was preparing for in June, I immediately signed up for the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon on August 2 which is now just a few short days away! Training has been trickier since the weather got pretty steamy in July but I have fit in a bunch of good runs, some even long (for me!). When it was too hot to run I did some bike rides along the shore with those ocean breezes keeping me going.


As for gear, I got a sweet new bike helmet-

 and finally purchased my first tri suit which is currently en route from OneTri.com!

Never thought I'd be so psyched for such a thing but I am. It's the same brand I used for the Cohasset Tri which I'd rented (except this one has sleeves - no jellyfish stings this time). Still deciding on an outfit but I'll post it when I have it all squared away.
definitely wearing my New Balance kicks!
What are you training for this summer??

#Instagram Round-up: June 2015

In June I really amped up my fitness game for the Cohasset Tri and also just because it was so damn nice out! Lots of running, biking, long walks with the dog, and general outdoor living. I could get used to this! I also had an awesome time photographing the super duo Caroline Earle and Laura Mucci at the beginning of the month, travelled to Martha's Vineyard to photograph a yoga retreat, and even fit in a pop-up photo shoot at Castle Island with patientMoon (we're doing another this month- details here!). Even with the disappointment of the Tri being rained out, the majority of June was a blast and July is shaping up to be awesome too.

What have you been doing outside this summer?

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!

Update: Tri Training! #CohassetTri 2015

Most of us in the Northeast are saying this but it's really true - I'm loving this season so far. Between hanging out in my yard gardening (and beekeeping!) and exercising (running, biking, kayaking), I'm making up for a lot of time stuck inside this winter. One of my major motivations is coming up this weekend! I am participating in the Cohasset Triathlon, my very first one. I've acquired a bike, rented a tri wetsuit, and have been swimming/biking/running like mad so I think I'm ready! I can't wait and will definitely report back here when it's over.
Watch out, sharks
Today was my first day in the ocean with a wetsuit! I rented one from Tri Wetsuit Rentals which sent it in plenty of time to get a few practice sessions in. I've been taking swim lessons with Kate from Portside Athletics but it was very different doing the quarter mile swim in the ocean versus the pool!
The bike portion of the race is 12 somewhat hilly miles so I've been practicing that too. It helps that it is a particularly gorgeous route. 

For running I've just been doing my usual 2-3 miles once or twice a week. I did a speed workout last weekend (one mile warm up, one mile on the track sprinting the straight 100s and jogging the turns, one mile cool down) and it felt great (while also kicking my ass).

It's supposed to rain on Sunday but I'm feeling ready. What are you training for this summer??

#OneBostonDay and More Runners from the Why I Run: 2015 Project

Today Boston will be observing a moment of silence at 2:49pm to honor those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing that took place two years ago. It's a beautiful sunny morning here but I know my mind will be on that day, the victims, and everything that has happened since April 15, 2013.

It seems fitting that I introduce more runners from my Boston Marathon project, including those who were inspired to run 2015 by the events that took place two years ago:
Kendra Campbell was a teacher at the school where Martin Richards and his sister Jane attended. She is running for Team MR8 which was created in memory of Martin.
Kim is running her first marathon for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.
Lauren is running with Team in Training in memory of her father who died of Hodgkin's Lymphoma when she was a baby.
Cassi is an educator and mom of three who is running for Boston Children's Hospital.

Want to read more? Their full stories (and others) can be found at: http://www.luciewickerphotography.com/why-i-run-a-boston-marathon-2015-project

Looking forward to cheering on these ladies and everyone else who will be running in less than a week! Will you be there?

Why I Run: A Boston Marathon 2015 Project in Full Swing

I was so awe inspired by the runners I photographed last year for my Why I Run: A Boston Marathon 2014 Project that while I was looking forward to meeting new runners this year, I did not expect to be blown away by their stories... but so far, I have been! These ladies are amazing for so many reasons and here are a few:
Kate is an attorney and mom of 3 year old twins who runs for Cops for Kids with Cancer
Kate's Fundraising Page: https://www.crowdrise.com/KateRunsBoston2015/fundraiser/katesullivan1
Katie is running her very first marathon in memory of her cousin, Mike Kennedy, who was one of two firefighters who died in the line of duty last year in Boston. 
Sharon is a first grade teacher training for her 17th marathon (12th Boston!). Sharon runs in memory of several close friends and raises money for Dana Farber. 
Adrienne has three children under the age of four, a full-time job, and multiple sclerosis yet she still finds time to train for her 11th marathon (8th Boston)!

Want to read more? Their full stories (and others) can be found at: http://www.luciewickerphotography.com/why-i-run-a-boston-marathon-2015-project

I'll be featuring more runners and their reasons for running this year's Boston Marathon soon! Stay tuned!

Why I Run: A Boston Marathon 2015 Project Has Begun

I'm so thrilled to share the first three participants in the latest installment of my Boston Marathon 2015 "Why I Run" project. These fine ladies braved the elements this weekend to run and pose for me and I'm so grateful! Once again I find myself blown away by these runners' dedication and reasons for doing what they do. I'm still working on collecting their stories but when I do, the will be posted here. Check back soon to see them go up!

Also, I'm still accepting participants for this years' project- if you or anyone you know is living and training on the South Shore, let me know!

Fitness Photography: Personal Trainer Camilla

This shoot with personal trainer, Camilla Cantelli Mortensen, was so cool because she was totally open to the dramatic lighting and had the perfect look for it. The Pinterest board she created as inspiration for the shoot had a bunch of striking poses she wanted to try too. Check out these strong, lean photos of Camilla!

Fitness Photography: Personal Trainer Dan

When I met Equinox personal trainer Dan, he had been training hard. His girlfriend, Laura, had given him a challenge- to step outside his comfort zone. Dan did this by signing up for a Tough Mudder, and following all of the advice he gives to his clients- eating consciously, and increasing his workout intensity. In the end he wound up losing 10% body fat in 12 weeks and Laura added a bonus- a photo shoot to document the result of all of his dedication and hard work. I was honored to capture Dan's progress in these photos: 
 

And of course we had to get a shot of Laura too-

Thanks again Dan and congrats on reaching your fitness goals!