Reach the Beach Part 1: Pre-Relay

In case you missed last Wednesday’s announcement about participating in the Reach the Beach Relay as a member of the New Balance media team, you can read it here!

Oh. Man. Recapping the events of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is going to take 2-3 posts, and I don’t know if I’ll get through it all this week, but I’ll try! So Thursday morning after a quick 30-minute solo spin session, I headed over to the hotel to meet the other eleven bloggers/members of Team Pumped Up Kicks:

I was a bit nervous at first because the only team members I’d already met were Christine (at the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet) and Theodora (at various events). But many of the other girls were in that same situation, and bloggers are certainly good at being friendly and making new friends! It didn’t take long at all to feel comfortable around everyone, especially the fellow members of Van 2 (my van).

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Once we divided into our vans, we hit the road for the New Balance offices/factory in Lawrence, MA!

My group started on the factory floor, learning how the 990 sneaker is made. The process is so involved and labor intensive! Definitely not a 100% automated process. Then we headed over to the testing area where engineers work with athletes, test subjects, and machinery to perfect each shoe and create shoes that will solve athletic problems.

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I got to participate as one of those test subjects, thanks to the fact that I wear a size 8 (most women’s test sneakers are this size). New Balance uses dribble glasses AKA glasses athletes practicing dribbling use (so they can’t look down) to keep testing blind. They’ve found that there’s a lot of bias when it comes to sneaker brands – people are die-hard! So to get more genuine opinions, participants aren’t allowed to see which shoe is on each foot during a test.

Cinderella on the right!

Sharing my thoughts on each sneaker.

Sharing my thoughts on each sneaker.

The dribble glasses truly did work, and I even ended up choosing the New Balance shoe :-)

We also visited development offices and learned how New Balance uses different types of data on both competitors’ shoes and athlete performance to design new footwear. I really loved the look of the offices. The first sneaker actually was modeled using the arch of a chicken’s foot, hence the random chickens one may spot around the office.

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After some visited the factory store (despite the amazing prices I just couldn’t; the last thing I need is more workout gear), we hit the road for New Hampshire! Each van was put up in an adorable townhouse/cabin. I’d love to spend a long weekend at one of these with a group of friends!

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View from the porch!

Intense outdoor Instagramming by Marissa.

Intense outdoor Instagramming by Marissa.

All the New Balance teams met at a nearby ski lodge for dinner – and drinks! The dinner was very nice – chicken, pasta, rolls, mashed red-skin potatoes, salad, and cooked veggies. I had some of all of the above!

9-11-14-rtbrelay4Followed by strawberry shortcake!

(And wine...)

(And wine…)

The two drink tickets each person received ended up not mattering because New Balance kept the bar open. This led to some poor life decisions on my part.

Gia, Theodora, me, and Marissa…AKA the late night crew.

After a little too much food and way too much wine, I went to bed dreading my 5AM alarm. I got a biiiiit caught up, but don’t worry, I woke up on time to get to the start line! I’ll end this for now, stay tuned for part two…

Are you interested in behind-the-scenes of brands you use?

Ever heard of dribble glasses?

What was YOUR last pre-race-day poor life decision? :-P

Relay-ing An Announcement

At the end of Monday’s post I teased an announcement yesterday or today. Well I’m barely making that deadline seeing as it’s almost 8PM in Boston as I write this, but here I am. Time is short because I still have packing to do so I will cut to the chase.

A few weeks back, I was approached by New Balance to run in the Reach the Beach Relay – as part of one of their media teams! The race takes place in New Hampshire – it’s a 200 mile relay race from Cannon to Hampton Beach. Our team is called Pumped Up Kicks (love it, right?!) and consists of two vans of six runners each – twelve runners total. It’s pretty hardcore…24 hours, meaning Friday night I will be sleeping in a van, and I may end up running in the middle of the night. I am a notorious sleep diva, and am probably more nervous about not getting sleep than the running itself.

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The shoes I will be running in – the New Balance 860v4.

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Staying Put is Marvelous

I cannot thank everyone enough for the support I received in response to last week’s post about my doctor’s appointment. It’s weird – sometimes something is weighing on your mind so much that it just has to come out in some way. So I wrote that post. But once I did, I was kind of over talking about it. I am so appreciative of the love I have received, but I also often found myself politely brushing off the subject with an, “I’m doing better!” or a quick change of subject whenever someone checked in on me. I’m glad I put my feelings out there, but now am trying to focus on moving on. What better way of doing that than a Marvelous In My Monday (MIMM) weekend recap?

Link up with Katie if you too are talking marvelous on this Monday.

Marvelous is…STAYING PUT! Every weekend in September except this past weekend I have plans to be away. So I knew I wanted to just stay in Boston. After all, I always can find plenty to do in the city. Starting with Friday night – after-work happy hour with co-workers turned into dinner, dive bars, and a bit of dancing.

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Five Pounds

You may recall the “incident” when I went to a new doctor in Boston in mid-May, and peeked at my weight. I felt relieved at that time, because it wasn’t as high as my catastrophic-thinking-mind had thought it’d be.

Now a little less than four months later it was time to go back to the doctor yesterday morning and check in. And as much as I tried not to look at the scale, I caught a glimpse of my weight on the computer screen after the physician’s assistant had typed it in – and I felt my heart drop into my stomach.

Five pounds. That is how much higher the weight was, after a little less than four months.

The doctor came in and, while looking over my vitals, commented that my weight looked good. I gave a little snort and she looked at me inquisitively. I said I didn’t feel that it looked that good and she said to me, “Well, you gained weight. Now you’re at the low end of normal BMI. And to be honest, you look better now than you did when I first saw you.”

But I didn’t really care about any of that and none of it made me feel better. The thoughts in my mind told me that the best looking people are not a normal BMI, they are a lower BMI. They have less body fat than what is “healthy”. It’s often hard for me to take compliments that I look “better” or “healthy” or “good” because to me that just screams “NOT SKINNY”.

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Five Things Friday: My Week

I’m glad you all related so much to last week’s Five Things Friday post about aspects of life that have REALLY been making me feel adult-like lately. Those reminders have continued throughout this week, and I also want to give an update on how I’ve been doing since my particularly overwhelming weekend. Then I got to thinking – there are five days in a work week, and it’s Five Things Friday. So I’m going to share how each day of my week went/has been going, in an effort to catch you up on all the things.

Link up with Clare today if you are also rambling on about five things!

1. Monday

I knew all I wanted to do Monday was go to work, go to spin class, and stay in watching the Emmys. One of those things didn’t happen – spin class. Did I not feel well? Did I not have time? No, I just didn’t want to go. I got out of work late and the class was halfway over. I could’ve made it to half the class or gone to the gym to do my own workout, but I was starving. I was exhausted. So i went home, heated up the casserole I’d prepared the night before, popped a bottle of Prosecco (which I ended up not drinking half of and pouring out #singlegirlproblems), and watched approximately 20% of the Emmys. And then I went to bed, because it was absolutely necessary.

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Marvelously Overwhelmed

I had a marvelous weekend, but it was busy, and left me extremely overwhelmed. Like to the point of sobbing on the phone to my mom and not being able to follow through on Sunday’s plans because I worked myself up to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. I seem to always need to re-learn the same lesson, every few months, about over-exerting myself. This summer has been so fun and as much as I’m dreading the colder weather, I think I need fall to get here so that I’ll start slowing down. (Oh but I’m travelling three weekends in September, I’ll try not to think about that for now.)

Link up with Katie today to share your marvelous!

Still, there is plenty of marvelous about this past weekend in CT (yes, another one) to be thankful for.

Marvelous is…meeting my parents at Mohegan Sun for another overnight stay. The fam can’t seem to get enough of the casino lately and I’m not complaining about it one bit!

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Five Things Friday: Adulthood

I really wanted to post yesterday, but when I got home from the gym on Wednesday night, the idea of blogging just did not appeal to me. Probably because I am sooo into Breaking Bad right now and wanted to watch the season four finale. Yes, I’ve finally finished season four! And can I say, holy crap.

Anyone who’s seen the episode will know what I mean here.

Anyway, I’m here on Five Things Friday with a little theme I like to call “adulthood”. This week I keep getting reminders that I am an adult, and while I certainly enjoy being a single lady in her mid-20’s living in Boston, there are some parts of living at home that I’m missing.

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Trade Em Up Tuesday: Where Is Summer?

I would trade…how fast summer has gone by.  Is it really already past mid-August? The air is already starting to get crisp and on Friday night when I went out after work, I felt absolutely frigid. Noooo New England, I’m not ready for my summer to leave yet!

I would not trade…finally finding a dress for Kaitlin‘s wedding! That wasn’t close or anything. I am so so so pumped for the Labor Day weekend rehearsal/wedding festivities, and getting to bring Maria as my plus-one so that she, Kaitlin, and I can FINALLY hang out together (all three of us) in person. Kinda nuts that that hasn’t happened yet. And I have to give a big thank you to Tobi for having a 50% off sitewide sale! I’m not going to post a photo of the dress for the wedding but I will share a photo of another dress I couldn’t help but buy because I know it’ll come in handy come fall…

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Five Things Friday: Currently

I often see blog posts written in the “currently…” style as in, I am currently doing/feeling/loving/eating/insert-verb-ing-here this. I thought I’d mash that up with Clare‘s Five Things Friday and do five “currently…” updates. (And if you missed yesterday’s restaurant post, be sure to check it out – it’s been awhile since I wrote a good old restaurant visit recap!)

Link up with Clare if you are sharing five things on this Friday!

1. Currently snacking on…Sweet & Salty Chex Mix Popped. I was sent a couple of new Chex Mix products (and honestly can’t remember who did so…but thank you to the mystery network/PR company that did so) from the lower-fat Popped line. I opened the bag and thought I was being all smart portioning out a bit to mix into my chocolate pudding…until I instantly became addicted after bite #1. I even got out of bed to get more after I’d finished my first helping. Foiled by crack-like snack products! Screw portion control.

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Seaport Secret: Sam’s at Louis

I received the food and drink in this post free of charge. All opinions of the experience are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

The title of this post is a bit misleading because there are already plenty of Sam’s at Louis fans out there. The patio is hoppin’ in the summertime and the restaurant is located on the water right along Boston’s Harborwalk. But unless you’re looking for it, you’re not likely to drive by. And if you call an Uber from there, you’re likely going to have to go meet your driver out on Seaport Boulevard if you want a chance of him or her finding you. So I’m going to go out on a limb and call Sam’s a bit of a secret – location-wise at least.

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But now that I know where it is, and how WONDERFUL the food and drink are, I’ll absolutely be back. Jeannie and I had dinner there on Tuesday night, and she’s had nothing but great things to say about Sam’s at Louis for awhile now. The food and drink of the Sam’s Instagram feed have been torturing me and I’m so happy I finally was able to go and experience it for myself.

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