New Balance Factory Experience

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to run a Reach the Beach Relay on behalf of New Balance.  I was part of their blogger team a few years ago and you can read about that experience here, here, here, here and here.  While I was super excited to run the race again, I was just as excited to visit the New Balance Factory again.  Maybe I’m a nerd, but I just love how inspirational it is to visit where baby new balance sneakers are born.  The factory is also super inspirational, there are motivational quotes everywhere, walls of innovation, and you can tell every single employee is proud to work at New Balance–in fact, they will tell you so themselves.  New Balance is hands down my favorite athletic outfitter and they have a level of integrity that is unparalleled in the industry.

photo 3 photo 2 photo 3

Snoopies in sneakers. I die.

photo 2

We got to see how the New Balance 990 is made. It’s so shocking to see just how much work goes into making 1 sneaker.

To make one sneaker it takes:

  • 35 people
  • 2.5-3 hours
  • 50+ individual steps

Every step is 100% guided by a person.  A person makes sure that the holes to lace your shoes are punched in the exact right place.  It’s truly incredible.  As a side note, New Balance makes 100% more of their shoes in the USA than any other major shoe brand.

Here are just a few of the steps that goes into make the NB990…

photo 2

photo 1 photo 3

photo 4   photo 5

photo 4photo 5

After the factory tour we got to see some of the new things coming out of the innovation lab! New Balance is using 3D printing to test out products in amazing ways.  By 3D printing the soles of shoes, athletes and consumers can test shoes much faster and New Balance can make adjustments overnight.

Check out some of these 3D printed shoes…

photo 5

I took these babies out for a job….just kidding, these were made for an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Pretty cool.



photo 2


Then we went to the smash lab where machines put shoes through the ringer to test stability, flexibility, durability and much more.


photo 5 photo 3

Then Carrie got to see her stride in real time using a complex configurations of cameras and sensors on her shoes.




photo 5

Shoes, shoes and more glorious shoes.


photo 4

And here’s the all star team:

Team picture at NB factory


From left to right: Theodora, Caitlin, Carrie, Jess, Gia, Christine, Melissa, Marissa, Alli, Melissa, Lorriane and me.

After the tour, I went to the factory store to pick up gifts for the hubs, plus a few things for myself.  I bought him a pair of his favorite NB sneakers, and he had them on so fast, I didn’t even get to take a picture.  If you live in Boston, I’d definitely recommend taking a trip out to the factory store in Lawrence, MA for some great deals!

Next up, you’ll hear about my 2nd RTB experience.  It was the New Hampshire course, which was very different from the MA course. It was colder, hillier, longer (yes, really), but also much more scenic, IMO! Stay tuned.

A Choosing Raw Dinner

photo 3A month ago I celebrated something truly special.  The cookbook launch party of Gena’s new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat. The idea that I know someone who authored a book is truly astounding to me.  It’s crazy to see Hamshaw on the binding of a book at Barnes and Nobles.  But
Gena is one of the hardest working and most intelligent people I know, so it really all makes sense.  I’m sure everyone is familiar with her beautifully written, thoughtful, insightful blog, the book builds on this and details so much more in one organized guide to a healthful raw foods lifestyle.

To celebrate this remarkable accomplishment, Gena held a gorgeous dinner for her friends, family and colleagues.  She so generously hosted us in the stunning suite three-oh. The feast was elegant and feast for the eyes and the stomach.

Chef Daphne Cheng took recipes from Gena’s book and added a touch of her own inspiration by mixing and matching dishes and sauces in her own unique combinations.

The menu:

photo 1Each dish was paired with the most fabulous complementing wine.

photo 2

photo 3To start, we had a delicious corn chowder with a micro mustards. It was light, yet offered a complex range of textures to really enhance the sensory experience.

photo 2

My favorite course was probably the sweet pea hummus on homemade bread.  One of the most amazing things about Gena’s recipes is how simple they are, this is such an easy recipe with such a rich taste. Hint: it’s on page 156 of the book. Make it. asap.

photo 3

Next up was a raw pasta classic with a Gena twist, zucchini and carrot papparedelle with arugula pesto. This is the kind of raw dish that is hearty enough to satisfy pretty much anyone–even my husband who likes all his meals hot.

Speaking of hot, look at this smokin’ couple.  It was so great to meet Stephen!

photo 2

photo 3

Next up was a mouthwatering japanese yam quinoa risotto with cauliflower rice paired  with a smoky yellow pepper sauce. This had so much going for it.  It was creamy, toothsome, crunchy and completely delicious. To top it off, it was paired with the most stunning wine ever–Inman Family Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir 2009. So yummy.

photo 2

And to finish, a sweet ending of raw chocolate ganache tart with a burnt sugar coconut ice cream and a chia pudding. Smashing.

Thank you Gena for such a delicious dinner. You are such a generous, talented and loving person. I’m so honored to call you my friend.




I love summer. So much.   I never want it to end.  Likewise, I’ve got a summer playlist on rotation that I can listen to over and over!  Check it out if you need to power through your next longish run!

  1. Original Don — Major Lazor (I’m loving this type of sound lately!)
  2. Applause — Lady Gaga (pumps me right up!)
  3. Dark Horse — Katy Perry
  4. Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo (silly lyrics, but contagious chorus!)
  5. Turn Down For What? — Lil Jon (Turn down for nothing!)
  6. Fancy — Iggy Azalea
  7. Summer — Calvin Harris (Song of Summer?)
  8. Magic – B.o.B (reminds of an 80’s McDonalds commercial, but I still love it!)
  9. Problem—Ariana Grande (Had no idea who this was until recently)
  10. Pompeii — Bastille (Like this one for the end of a run)

NOLA Part 2

I can’t believe I’m just posting part 2 of our NOLA trip!  Better late than never I guess. It was just too fun not to share! (Here’s the link to part 1)

We woke up pretty early on Saturday and headed out for about an 8 mile run.  We ran from the French Quarter up Esplanade Ave and around City park before making our way back to Bourbon Street.  I wish I had pictures of Esplanade Ave, it had so many beautiful Southern homes. The miles flew by because there was so much to look at! City Park was also beautiful and there was a nice half mile loop around a lake that was great for adding some milage.

When we got back to the Royal Sonesta to get ready for the day.  We spent a few minutes by the pool taking in the sunny morning and then we went in search of the Gumbo Shop, which had been highly recommended.


There you have it–authentic new orleans gumbo.  This seafood based gumbo was surprisingly light. I kicked it up a notch with lots of hot sauce.


After lunch, we enjoyed some jazz in Franklin Square.


Then it was time for MORE FOOD.  We shared an order of barbecue shrimp from  Deanies. Wow, this stuff is INDULGENT.  Really amazing though, it might be my favorite food of the trip–and definitely the messiest.  Sorry I don’t have a picture–how did that happen?  Instead, here’s a picture of Frank looking very serious.


Then, of course, more music at Legends Park.


After some more time around town, we took the street car to Emeril’s Delmonico.   The only other Emeril’s restaurant I’ve been to was Emeril’s in Orlando, which was amazing, so I had high hopes.


Strawberry fig salad–yum


I had a white fish crusted in cornmeal and served with a pineapple slaw and plantains.  It was very different but very good.


Frank’s filet.



After dinner, we headed to Frenchmen’s Street, which was a really fun, hipster area with jazz in every club, coffee shop and restaurant.  It was a nice change of pace from Bourbon Street.

Our last morning, we did a 2.5 mile to the Garden District, where we did a self-guided walking tour of the homes.  For a history and architecture nerd like me, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  While I failed miserably at taking pictures, highlights include Sandra Bullock’s house, John Goodman’s House and the childhood home of Eli Manning. But even the non-celeb homes had really interesting histories. While I’d love to go back and do an expert guided tour of the area, if you’re short on time, I do recommend this free self-guided tour from Frommer’s.

Wednesday I leave for trip to Ireland, Spain and France. I can’t wait! I have some great trips lined up for this summer:

June: Wedding in Ireland, eating and wine tasting in San Sebastian and Rioja, relaxing in Paris.

July: Martha’s Vineyard for 4th of July and Savannah to see Ashley and Bo!

August: Visit upstate to see my family

September: Escape to Miami Sprint Triathlon!

Do you have any exciting travel plans?


30 Minute Equinox Quickie Workout

The last major workout of the 1 Week Beach Ready Plan includes a interval circuit challenge and 10 minutes of stretching and relaxation!



Part 1: Wake up and Move 

This do-anywhere circuit requires nothing but your body, hard work and determination, and is grounded by science to maximize your performance levels.

WARM UP                                         2-3 MINUTES

JUMP ROPE                                      1 MINUTE

BURPEE CHALLENGE                     1 MINUTE



PLANK HOLD                                   1 MINUTE

PUSH-UP CHALLENGE                    1 MINUTE

PLANK HOLD                                   1 MINUTE

BURPEE CHALLENGE                     1 MINUTE

COOL DOWN                                    2-3 MINUTES


Memorial Day weekend tips to loosen travel-tight hips, decompress the spine, enhance overall circulation, deepen the breath and calm your body/mind to fully enjoy your time off…

1. Bridge Lifts: lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides with palms facing down. Inhaling, lift your hips toward the ceiling while arcing your arms up overhead alongside your ears. Exhaling, roll back down your spine while arcing your arms back down to your sides. Repeat eight times. (A Yoga Tune Up(r) pose)

2. Single Apanasana Supine Twist: Start lying on your back with legs extended. Pull right knee into chest. Place left hand on right knee and reach right arm on floor alongside ear. With left hand pull bent knee to floor on the left, rotating the spine, and roll your face in the opposite direction, to the right. Let gravity take over as you exaggerate inhale and exhale in and out of your ribcage. Inhaling, the ribs puff out, exhaling, all your limbs get very heavy, sinking you deeper into the twist. Ten cycles of breath, then switch sides.

3. Savasanap:  Lie on your back and soak in the goodness.  Be still and enjoy watching your breath and your body restore itself.  Feel the air on your skin and imagine the light of the day soaking directly into the cells of your body and giving you instant energy and vitality.  Life is Good.

I hope you have a great memorial day and thanks to Equinox for providing this workout plan!

3 Beach Ready Nutrition Tips

Along with the 1 Week to Beach Ready workout plan, Equinox shared a few easy nutrition tips to help keep my diet in check this week. They are really easy to incorporate and also help monitor alcohol consumption while celebrating memorial day weekend!  Enjoy!


1) The week leading up to Memorial Day, add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps diminish the amount of visceral fat that can build up around your belly. Aim for 10 grams that are found in beans, crunchy vegetables, almonds, whole grains, brown rice and berries, says Lisa Wheeler, Director of Group Fitness Development at Equinox.

2) As sweating and increased urination deplete you of fluids, Sue Stanley, Tier 4 Manager suggest fueling up on electrolytes.H2O and electrolyte-rich snacks will help regulate the body’s temperature, ensure proper muscle function, and slow the alcohol’s absorption into the blood stream, says Stanley. Stick to her suggested order of events—Food, Water, Alcohol, Water, Alcohol—and incorporate some of her favorite sources of electrolytes, including coconut water, bananas, watermelon, spinach, kale, avocado, whole grains, nuts and peanut butter.

3) And for Memorial Day festivities and alcohol consumption…pace yourself!

The body is only able to process one ‘serving’ of alcohol per hour, says Cassie Kippert, Fitness Manager, Tier 4 Coach and Registered Dietician. And while that holds true day or night, an early start can dramatically multiply the hours spent tipping them back. Exceed the 1 per 1 rate of consumption, Kippert says, and you can expect to see rising blood alcohol level, decreasing hydration status, and nose-diving judgement calls. If there is any doubt, one serving of alcohol is equal to 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (a shot) of liquor.

The 1 week exercise plan can be found here! Halfway there!

Beach Ready in 1 Week: Workout Day 2

Hello All!

Just a reminder of the workout for Day 2 of the Beach Ready Workout plan is:

Tuesday’s Workout

45 Minute Indoor Cycling Class (If you are in NYC, I recommend Soul Cycle, Flywheel and Revolve (with Jason or Kira), and of course Equinox has great cycling as well.

Hot Yoga Class (I don’t take hot yoga very often, does anyone have any studio recommendations?).

If you already tried Monday’s workout like me, I’d love to know your thoughts.  The metabolic strength training was tough, but it went by pretty fast! Three 5 minute sets is not too difficult to get through mentally!

I’m so glad I did the interval run because otherwise I would have put off running for a while after the Brooklyn half! It was tough on the quads at first, but 5 minutes in, I was doing fine!


UAE 10k and Brooklyn Half Recap!


For the last 5 years, a fair number of of my spring, summer and fall weekends have included an NYRR race–the last two weekends were true to form.

Last weekend, we ran the UAE 10K.   This race is always fun and festive. When your race has a rich sponsor, you know you are in store for sway–like tech shirts and medals!

It also happened to not start until 9AM, which is always a win!  It was a gorgeous morning for a race.uae

This 6 miler was supposed to be my taper run for the Brooklyn Half, but my training fell off somewhere along the way and it turned into more of a build run to supplement my two longest training runs, which topped off at 8 miles each.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt that I had certainly trained enough to successfully complete a 10K without much effort. Or not.   The gun went off and my legs felt like lead. I’m sure most people know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you start a run and have great fresh legs and sometimes  you feel like you are wearing invisible ankle weights.  I plodded along, around mile 3 things got better for a while.  By mile 5, things were bleak–I was feeling a bit nauseous and the lead feeling had returned.  Somehow I rounded the bottom of Central Park South and the end was in sight–sort of. The 800 meters to go, 400 meters to go, 200 meters to go signs seemed just plain mean.   But finally I finished.

Clearly, I made a rookie mistake–no hill training.  The Great Hill seemed somehow greater and the rolling hills on the west side seemed to never end.

I have to be honest, I left the UAE 10K feeling pretty defeated. I wasn’t sure how I would even finish the Brooklyn Half, as it the distance is more than twice as long.

I like to be over prepared in any given situation.  I cook enough for 20 when 10 people are coming over. I make 14 copies for a meeting with 12 people. I triple check work documents before sending them out. I don’t like to leave room for error.  It causes me a lot of anxiety.  But somehow, come half marathon week, I was struggling to complete a 10K.  While I hate to be unprepared, I also hate giving up.  So after much agonizing (which is always helpful), I decided to try and make it through the BK Half, even if I had to walk most of it.

On Wednesday, I went to pick up my race packet at the Half Pre-party.  It was actually a good way to get in a more positive mindset!

Brooklyn Bridge Park is so cute!

bk half 4

bk half 2

The pre-party was sponsored by New Balance, and they had lots of great promotions going on. There were also other vendors, lots of food trucks, live music and plenty of general merriment to enjoy, which I did. I may not finish the race, but I am going to pre-party with the best of them. Damnit.

bk half 3

Before I knew it, it was the night before the race. I went out to dinner with friends and then went to bed early, as we had a 5:00AM alarm set.

Race day morning was a flurry of activity, but we were out the door in 20 minutes to catch the subway. While it seemed to go by pretty quickly, it took about an hour to get to Prospect Park.  We went through security and got in the corrals.  Each corral had a ton of port-potties, which was a nice bonus.  I was pretty nervous in the corral, but three things helped cheer me up:

1.) A bunch of girls that were wearing shirts that said, “If found, please drag to the finish.”

2.) When the announcer said, “Brooklyn, are you ready?” and several people yelled no.

3.) When the announcer said, “Are you ready to run?” And a guy said, well, we are here, so I guess we have to.

It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only nervous one there! After what seemed like forever, off we went.  My legs didn’t feel great, but they didn’t feel bad.  The first part of the race is an out and back around a round-a-bout. I saw Frank coming back on my way out.  I knew the out and back was almost 2.5 miles of the course, so I was happy when it seemed to go by fairly quickly.  I saw fast runners zooming out of the park as I entered, and soon after I put on my headphones and just decided to enjoy the nice lushness of Prospect Park.  There was a big meadow with tons of dogs frolicking during off leash hours.  My goal was to at least make it through the park before I decided whether I would need to walk.  Fortunately, Prospect Park is pretty flat, and I was still feeling good when we left at mile 7.   While my favorite part of the race is the park, it’s nice to be on Ocean Parkway, so you can finally stop running in circles start to get where you are going–Coney Island.

Around mile 9, I was starting to feel fatigue in my legs.  I decided to walk for 20-60 seconds at every mile marker to give my muscles a chance to lose some tension.  While there were some moments where I thought I would never make it to mile 12, overall I felt way better than I did at the UAE.  Everything was going much better than expected even though I was probably running 12 minute miles.

As we rounded Surf Ave, I could smell the popcorn and hotdogs.  Soon we were on the boardwalk running the last 200 meters on the sandy planks.

For being a large race, the exit area moved really quickly and I soon found Frank in the finisher’s area.

bk half

We enjoyed Coney Island for a bit before taking the long train ride back home.  We went to a great Yankees game in the afternoon and by the time we got home, I was totally spent.

While my only goal for the half was to finish, I was shocked that I actually finished around my usual half time, 2:14. It certainly wasn’t a PR, but I  guessed I had ran it in closer to 2:35, so I was pretty happy to find out I finished 20 minutes faster than my estimate. I was worried about the 3 hour cut off time for nothing!

I’ll definitely run Brooklyn again. I love that it’s flat!

I hope all the other BK half runners had a great race!


Beach Ready Workout Day 1

The first workout of the one week to Beach Ready Workout Plan includes:

From Equinox: Metabolic Strength Session is inspired by Equinox’s Metacon3 workout class. It is based on metabolic conditioning, which  is a system of exercise using the latest understanding of endocrinology, exercise science, and strength and conditioning to fully tax the body’s three major energy systems with the chief goal of maximizing the greatest amount of fat that can be burned both during and after the exercise session.

Equipment: Heavy Dumbbells or Medicine Ball

Athletic Warm-up (5 minutes)


  • Do each exercise for 1 minute with minimal rest in between
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball  (description below)
  •  Renegade Row Pushup to Side Plank with Dumbbell (description below)
  • Wide Squat to Jump Squat with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball (description below)
  • Reach and Twist with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball(description below)
  • Tricep Press & Core Crunch with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball (description below)
  • (Approximately 5 Minutes per Set)
  • REST60 seconds after Set is complete


  • Repeat performing each exercise for 1 min. with minimal rest in between
  • (Approximately 5 Minutes per Set) 
  • REST60 seconds after Set  is complete


  • Repeat performing each exercise for 1 min. with minimal rest in between
  • (Approximately 5 Minutes per Set)
  • REST60 seconds after set is complete


Alternating Reverse Lunges with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball  

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells or medicine ball at sides, with feet together. Keep chest lifted, head up, and knees slightly bent.  Step backward with right leg, landing on the ball of the foot, and bend both knees to lower towards the floor until front thigh is parallel to the ground.  Push off the ground to extend knees and hips and stand back up and return to the start position. Alternate legs with every repetition.

Renegade Row Pushup to Side Plank with Dumbbell

Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position forward on balls of feet and hands as if in a push up position .  Keep body straight and extended and hold on to the handles of the dumbbells to support upper body.  Widen feet for more core support. Perform a pushup by bending elbows and lowering body towards the floor. Push back to straight and then continue to push one dumbbell into the floor and row the other dumbbells, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side and bend the elbow, pulling it up to side and past ribs.  Continue pushing the base arm down and reach top dumbbell into the air.  Turn to rotate on feet until body is aligned in a straight side plank line.  Keep core tight and neck and spine aligned.  Return to start and alternate sides/

Wide Squat to Jump Squat with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball

Hold a heavy dumbbell or medicine ball in arms or at shoulders. Place feet shoulder width and lift chest up for starting position. Bend knees and sit back to squat partially down and immediately push off the floor to explode off of the ground, and into the air extending through hips, knees, and ankles. Maintain good posture and keep core tight. Return lightly to the ground, absorbing impact through the legs and continue to repeat.

Reach and Twist with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball

Stand tall and hold a heavy dumbbell or medicine ball in arms.  Begin to sit hips down and back into a full squat position.  Immediately from the full squat position, explode into an upright position pressing dumbbells or medicine ball overhead and simultaneously rotate towards one side to reach dumbbell or medicine ball up towards a diagonal. Be sure front leg stays stationary & back leg rotates, pivoting on toes. Pause and gain control of weight overhead before lowering weight down to starting position. Repeat alternating directions. 

Tricep Press & Core Crunch with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball 

Recline on back with feet on the floor and hold a dumbbells or medicine ball with a narrow grip and lift it over head. Bend elbows, and lower forearms and the dumbbells or medicine ball behind head. Keep upper arms straight with elbows stationary. Press upward, extending forearms back up to the starting position and continue to push dumbbells or medicine ball to the ceiling lifting head chest and shoulders off the floor. Simultaneously contract abdominals to lift legs and pull knees to arms until hips are off the floor and body is in a total body crunch position.  Lower slowly to start and repeat.

Cooldown with the 10 Minute Reset
(10 minutes)

Relax and celebrate—you earned it. move around the environment and stretching or grab a set of therapy balls or a foam roller for some myofascial release/self massage.


1 Week to Beach Ready Workout Plan

Hello Lovelies!

I can’t believe we are only a little over a week away from Memorial Day!  Sadly, I’ll be working most of the weekend, but I still want to feel great–and maybe even  sneak to the beach for a couple of hours.


Equinox offered to send me a Beach Ready by Memorial Day fitness and nutrition plan and, of course, I said yes! It’s a one week plan packed full of workouts and a few tips for optimal nutrition.  It can be hard to commit to long-term workout plans, but 1 week? Sign me up!  I thought I’d share it with everyone, since I’d imagine most people reading this blog love a good fitness challenge.

I’ll share the details of the plan here today, and then I’ll post the individual workouts and nutrition tips throughout the week!  You can either start on Monday to finish the plan on Memorial day or start now and feel fabulous for the well before the start of the long weekend.

Here’s the plan:


  • 20 Minute Interval Run (post to come)
  • 20 Minute Metabolic Strength Session (post to come)
  • 10 Minute Reset


  • 45 Minute Indoor Cycling Class
  • Hot Yoga Class


  • 20 Minute Interval Run
  • 20 Minute Metabolic Strength Session
  • 10 Minute Reset


  • 45 Minute Indoor Cycling Class
  • Hot Yoga Class


  • 20 Minute Interval Run
  • 20 Minute Metabolic Strength Session
  • 10 Minute Reset


  • 30 Minute EQUINOX QUICKIE (post to come)
  • Wake up and Move  (post to come)
  • 10 Minute Reset


  • 50 Minute Nature Walk & 10 Minute Meditation


  • Go to the Beach!
  • outfit-27

Thanks to Equinox for sharing the plan!  If you aren’t familiar with Equinox, it’s an upscale gym with locations in the US, UK and Canada. In addition to their full-service gym and spas, they also own several other popular fitness brands including SoulCycle, Pure Yoga and BlinkPS. I was not compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.