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: October 2015

So many awesome shoots this month mixed in with some family travel (a cousin wedding in Indiana) and of course a beagle photo or two. After the bad weather earlier in the month cleared up, October turned out to be pretty gorgeous! So far, November has been pretty stunning as well. Knock on wood, we're all enjoying it while it lasts...

Follow me on instagram!

@NewBalance Head of the Charles Photo Shoot

Back in August (on a lovely 95 degree day) I did a quick shoot for New Balance featuring two Olympic rowers modeling attire for NB's Head of the Charles line. The race was a few weeks ago and here are a few of the images that popped up online:

The athletes, Gevvie Stone and Elliot Hovey, were sweltering in the fall-weather outfits but they were good sports about it and we tried to move quickly! It was fun following them up and down the Charles. 

Taste Test: A New (Allergy Friendly!) Dessert

Even though I'm lucky enough to not suffer from any food-related allergies, I know a lot of you out there do. Also, I've noticed when I'm feeling my best, it's with a reduced the amount of dairy (and gluten for that matter) from my diet. That makes finding a quality dessert a little tricky (can't eliminate dessert completely, it's just not going to happen!). 

I'm always intrigued when I see seemingly tasty-looking things at the grocery store with "gluten-free" or "lactose-free" labeling - could they really be as good as they look? From what I've tried, a lot of them tend to fall flat. I still find myself trying them though! I've had some success with coconut ice cream (vegan and lactose-free) so I'm definitely more open-minded whenever coconut is involved. Most recently I picked up two boxes of these guys: 
With so many things "missing" from these desserts, I was skeptical but I love salted caramel anything (and who doesn't love chocolate?) so I gave them a whirl. And they were good! Light but still rich and flavorful, I was pleasantly surprised.

Initially a bit icey when I first tried them, I left them out for a few minutes to thaw and that made the difference- the flavor came out a lot more and were a little more creamy. I especially liked the salted caramel!
Ready to try them out for yourself? I found these at Star Market but check here for availability in your area (and a coupon!): Incredible Innovations

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Incredible Innovationsยฎ. The opinions and text are all mine.

Group Fitness Photography in Boston's South End

It's always fun to photograph group fitness, especially this gorgeous time of year. I recently did a photo shoot with trainer Chris Carreiro at a park where he regularly holds bootcamp-style classes. He brought a whole crew to help him out with the photos and their energy was infectious! Not only were they supporting Chris by being in the shoot but they cheered each other on the whole time I was photographing the exercises. It was a blast! Here are some of the finished results:


 I can't wait to see the final results on the website when it's all put together. Thanks for a great shoot, Chris! You're a lucky guy to have such awesome clients. :)

Trainer: Chris Carreiro
Produced by: patientMoon Wellness Marketing
Location: South End, Boston, MA








#Instagram Round-up: September 2015

 Whoa, September! What a gorgeous month (as opposed to October so far...). I did so many fun things from working on a cookbook in Mattapoisett to photographing some really awesome women (and a few kiddos too!) to doing some hiking to hanging out with friends at the New Balance "Girls Night Out" event in Boston. It was so great to spend so much time outside during these last warm days of fall.
Follow me on instagram! @luciephoto

Photographing Runners and Athletes: My Interview on Point and Shoot

Over the summer I was a guest on a local cable access show, Point and Shoot, hosted by photographer Susan Hagstrom. Susan interviews other photographers in the area, discusses their process with them, reviews some of their work, and then gets video of them in action. We shot the video at the cable studio in Hingham and then on location at my studio and in my yard. It was really fun! I was nervous but I've been told I don't look like I am in the video. :)

Check it out and let me know what you think!

#Instagram Round-up: August 2015

As you probably guessed from my last post, I had a pretty full/colorful/fun August. Here's my Instagram Round-up for the month - a lot of posts for a lot of activities I was eager to document and share. Some gorgeous summer photo shoots in Boston, several fitness goals checked off the list, international travel, and just some relaxing summer activities.
We're in the middle of a heat wave here in Boston so I don't think I'll be posting any fall photos anytime soon. Enjoying it while it lasts!

What are you up to this September?

Follow me on Instagram! @luciephoto

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?

We Keep Bees



Last fall, Seth got it in his head that it would be cool to keep bees since we have a yard now. He mentioned it to our recently retired neighbor who loved the idea. He proceeded to do all the research and created a plan for beekeeping that we could do together. We agreed and within a few weeks, the bees arrived (by USPS - seriously):
The cage the bees were shipped in!
We're using what is called a Warre Hive. These hives closely resemble the kind of living space a bee would have in nature so they're considered "natural beekeeping" with the idea that bees are happier and more productive in these types of hives.
one of "our girls" carrying pollen back to the hive on her legs
Even though we have bee suits, these bees (Italian) are so docile we barely need them. I was able to get close for these photos without any issue.

We're so pleased with our bees and we've been encouraging everyone who will listen to consider getting a hive of their own (even city dwellers - yes, it's totally possible). They are essential components to maintaining a healthy environment and as we know, the environment could use all the help it can get! Plus, you get some tasty honey. That's a bonus too :)

Interested in reading more? We had an article all about our bee project published in the Cohasset Mariner! I also posted more photos here with captions too.

Have you ever thought about keeping bees?

#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??

Creating a Fantastical Group Photo with @TurnstyleCycle. #MoveDifferent

note: photo is intentionally blurry. keep reading.
It's not every day I receive a proposal like the one Rich Downing of Turnstyle Cycle sent me last winter. He was looking for a group shot of his team (ok, no problem, I can do that)... but with a twist. Here were a few of his ideas:

Tentative Proposal
Team photo of a fantastical scene, with the goal of creating an image that looks more like an album cover for Empire of the Sun than a standard fitness photo. The final product may include a scene with the following elements:

- Cycle instructors riding bikes that are half animal
- TRX instructors swinging TRX straps as if they are weapons (balls and chains)
- The backdrop of an enormous Sun that is eclipsed by Turnstyle's unique "Instructor Halo"

Ummm... ok! I didn't know exactly how this was going to be executed but it sounded like way to much fun to pass up so I said yes. I did some photo illustration back in school which I loved but had not had an opportunity to do since. Rich had seen some of that work and liked it so he knew what I could do (I explained to him that it would not look totally realistic but luckily that was the point!). 

So we set to work. I had to figure out all of the elements needed for the photo and collect them. To get the instructors, we set up a shoot at Turnstyle's location in Kendall Square where I shot them individually on a white seamless. 
Turnstyle's Laura Mucci was both model and make-up artist for our shoot
The animal photos were gathered through stock websites and the background pieces were photos I already had (Swiss Alps!) or I created them in Photoshop (it turns out there are a ton of "Night Sky" Photoshop tutorials online, so freakin' cool). 
custom sky background created in Photoshop
These wolves were a sweet find on iStockPhoto
remember my trip to Switzerland?
It finally all came together and they decided to use the image to help promote the launch of their second location at Ink Block in the South End! Are you ready to see the final non-blurry image?? Just click to their website and let me know what you think :)


#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?

Save the Date - July 31st - #SummerPopupShoot at the Arboretum

Model Credit: Jacqui Mimno
We had so much fun last time we're doing it again - another summer pop-up photo shoot, this time at the Arboretum in Jamaica Plain! This is one of my favorite places to shoot in Boston; it's quiet, serene, and so full of natural beauty all year round. When you're there, it's hard to believe you're actually in the middle of the city. I could shoot there all day! If you've been there, you know what I mean. If you haven't, you will love it, I promise.

Ready for more details and/or to sign-up?! Yay! We've got a few slots left so visit our website: 
Model Credit: Jacqui Mimno

Selling Stock with Aurora Photos (@Aurora_Photos)

www.auroraphotos.com
One area of photography I've always wanted to dive into is stock photography. What exactly is stock? Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer directly. I have so much inventory piling up, why not try to put it out there it so someone can use it?

I'm pleased to announce that this summer I signed with Aurora Photos who specializes in "outdoor adventure, healthy and active lifestyle, natureโ€™s beauty, and remote travel to adventure destinations." Perfect fit, right?! I really admire the photographers' work they have on their site and I'm so psyched to be a part of this collective. 

Want to see more? Here's what I have up (so far!) up at Aurora- Lucie's Photos

More coming soon!!!

#SurferGirl, Photos from Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA

Back in May on a particularly warm and sunny morning, I went to Nantasket Beach with my friend Jackie who invited me to hang out with her while she surfed. At first it looked like there were no waves but we were assured by a guy walking by that they had been there yesterday and would probably be out today.

Luckily he was right and I got some shots of Jackie getting ready to surf, heading into the waves, and even riding quite a few. It was almost as fun to watch as I'm sure it was for her to be out there.



Surfer: Jackie Fornaro
Location: Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA
Wetsuit: Billabong
Surfboard: Robert August



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!