RagnarADK and our 12 things you learn & love when running a (Ragnar) relay

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Genevieve, Molly, Relays, Running, Stephanie, Vansome

Just one short month ago, Team Vansome embarked on our third annual relay race, Ragnar Relay Adirondacks. This was a special relay for us, as our team (past and present runners included) contributed to winning a free Ragnar Relay entry. Not just any race entry but an entry to one of the most coveted Ragnar Events, Wasatch Back.

After checking the calendar and knowing the race was only two weeks away from our team winning entrance, I contacted Nordictrack and Ragnar Relay. Luckily after chatting with one of the best relay staffs, our team was allowed to choose any race in 2013 to run. We chose New York: Adirondacks. Running from Saratoga Springs to Lake Placid, in the Fall.. equals dream worthy running routes.

Seven of our original Team Vansome runners were back in action for relay #3. Others were out due to prior engagements and injuries. Our team was filled with almost equal parts newbie relayers and veterans.

Another new addition to this years event for our team was renting a house. Renting a house might add a little more stress to your Captain / Co-Captain but it’s 115% worth it. My biggest stress of the situation was where to rent the house, everything else is a piece of cake! I ended up renting an amazing house in Warrensburg, NY (which happened to be right in the middle of our overnight runs). It was perfect to allow both teams the capability to get back to the house, rest, shower and eat in a warm environment. Some of you might say that takes away from the overnight relay experience and I will have to strongly disagree. If anything, it allowed our teams the proper necessities to run one of the best relays yet. Plus having a house to stay in both before and after the race allowed for an amazing team bonding experience. We all agree that renting a house for the weekend was a great call and it allowed Van 1 & Van 2 to spend time together. The one down fall of a relay is not being able to see your friends in Van 1 or Van 2 throughout the 24-hour experience. This fixes that problem.

I wont review the race leg by leg today.. I have to strongly urge you to just get a team together/ join a team looking for a runner and just experience a relay yourself (especially #RagnarADK). I would feel deeply cheated as a runner if I have never experienced an overnight relay once in my life.

Van 1 (plus El Kaptian); Michael, Dona, Muna, Genevieve, Denise, Amanda, Alex

Van 2; George, Chris, Stephanie, Molly, Maura and Genevieve

Before we get into our 12 things you learn & love when running a (Ragnar) realy!; I have to thank my teammates (past & present). Without you, my dream of keeping a team going each year wouldn’t be possible. Your contribution to making our team a family has filled me with a great feeling of love. Your help each year, especially this year has made it all possible to have a smooth relay experience. I only hope we can continue building our team as the years go on.

Now, here are our 12 things you learn & love when running a (Ragnar) realy:

  1. No, you will not get any sleep. NONE.
  2. It takes no longer than the first hour to feel acclimated into a group that you may not know, AT ALL!
  3. It gets DARK!
  4. It gets REALLY DARK (but you run WAY faster when you’re scared, can anyone say PR?!)
  5. Exchange point one happens at exchange point one, NOT exchange point two.
  6. “No van support” is ALWAYS optional
  7. You will seek comfort in trying to catch the little blinking light ahead of you on your night run, only just to pass them and count them as “road kill” and then wish you stayed back to have someone to run with.
  8. 1am-3am makes you question your life choices.
  9. 3am conversations are hilarious.
  10. Everyone will get a nickname.
  11. You will actually become comfortable using a porta potty on a regular basis, may miss it after.
  12. The pure exhaustion and excitement when your last runner crosses that finish line… and for our team, the drive back to the house for another night together of relaxation, food and drinking games by the fire.
If you feel like you missed out, well…. you did. Join us next year as we head to a soon to be announced relay race for our 2014 schedule!
#RoadKillForever and always,
Did you run #RagnarADK or any relays this year? Let us know your 12 tips for running and love a relay race! @BeFreshFit  #TeamVansome

HACKFit, The Most Active Startup Event on the Planet

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Events, find your fitness, Well-being

Two weekends ago (Sept 20-22), I headed into MIT in Cambridge on a Friday night for a fitness event. Not just any event, HACKFit, The Most Active Startup Event on the Planet.

HACKFit competitions turn early stage fitness-tech concepts into viable businesses. From hacking the latest fitness devices and APIs to pitching in front of investors, we provide the resources for HACKFitters to change the world. But it doesn’t stop there. HACKFit events are supercharged with group exercise sessions that inspire fun, creativity, and camaraderie. competitions turn early stage fitness-tech concepts into viable businesses. From hacking the latest fitness devices and APIs to pitching in front of investors, we provide the resources for HACKFitters to change the world. But it doesn’t stop there. HACKFit events are supercharged with group exercise sessions that inspire fun, creativity, and camaraderie.

I met the Founder, Justin via twitter. Which then led to an email, to a phone call to meeting up after a Harvard Stadium November Project workout. (Got to love the Boston fitness community!) I then had an opportunity to pitch an fitness startup idea, join a team or be apart of the event itself.

The event is pretty straight forward. You Hack, Sweat and Launch a startup all in 48 hours.

Friday night I arrived to see all attendees participating in Bolly X;

BOLLYX is a Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography and intensive workouts with upbeat music from around the world.  Our fitness experts and world-class choreographers have designed a workout that will get you moving, sweating, burning, and smiling – all at the same time.

Once the group exercise concluded; attendees were given a break to re-hydrate gather their belongings before the pitches and listen to a man that had once been in all of our shoes; Jason Jacobs, Founder and CEO of RunKeeper. Jason was inspiring to the whole room, he said a lot of things that most of, if not all of the crowd could relate to.

Attendee’s are allowed to make a 60 second business pitch to a room full of people and once all of the pitches are over, other attendees group together with you to carry out your pitch and make it into a real life startup idea that will be launched within 48 hours. Once you form a team you begin the early stages of hacking your startup until 11pm.

For me, September 20th came rather quickly and after bouncing through ideas, doubting myself multiple times. I went up as pitch number 46 and presented my idea! Although my idea was not polished and may have been better off to pitch at next years event, I was happy and proud I took a chance to present. The feedback: GREAT, lots of positive comments and suggestions. Things I will keep in mind with when I continue to move forward with it.

The next day was filled with optional; early morning running group along the Charles River and lead by Olympic Runner Ruben Sanca or Broga Yoga, Climbing (at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville) or CrossFit lead by Commonwealth CrossFit.

The weekend continued… I unfortunately did not join a team and did not participate in any events held on Saturday due to a minor back ache. When I returned Sunday, I was happy to see teams energized and ready to go (due to the fitness breaks and healthy food options provided).

Shortly after the launches began! You were allowed to give a three minute presentation with room for Q&A by the fitness celebrity panel of judges. First prize received $1000 and  Second prize received $500.

The presentations were incredible and the amount of work completed in the short 48 hours was absolutely inspiring. The “celeb” fitness panel of judges dished out questions about revenue, usability, growth and market competition. The teams were all prepared and shot back remarkable research stats, revenue plans and marketing strategies.

I was impressed by the remarkable presentations and the ideas that were created into mini companies.I would easily have used seven or eight of the startups if they move forward with launching..  Taking home the first place prize was Simply Lift, an app that allows those looking to tone up an easy way to log weightlifting work apps, similar to how RunKeeper keeps track of runs.

Second place and $500 went to SKEJ, which functions as an OpenTable for fitness studios, and enables work out junkies to reserve spots at different specialty gyms around town from a singular account.

This was an incredible event that will be spreading to new locations very shortly. I am so happy to have met Justin (Founder and CEO of HACKFit) and couldn’t be more proud of him for putting together such an amazing event for people. He changed his career and went for a startup event that no one else in the industry is doing right now! Great job Justin!! Looking forward to #HFBoston14

What do you think? Did you attend #HFBoston13, do you have a fitness start up idea you could pitch? As always share your comments and feedback via Facebook.com/Befreshfit or twitter @BeFreshFit | @Ferratusco





PUBLIC BODY Free Outdoor Fitness to Benefit Children’s Hospital

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Events

Boston, MA

PUBLIC BODY and South End Athletic Company are teaming up again for a fantastic fall event!  Join PUBLIC BODY’s creator Chad Flahive, SEACs Dan Fitzgerald and a guest team of some of Boston’s hottest trainers as they take you through an energizing workout designed to make you sweat…and smile.


***Oh, so here’s the deal….All we ask is that you bring a small toy (and your free eventbrite ticket) as your “admission” to the workout. After the workout, Public Body representatives will deliver the toys to Boston Children’s Hospital as prizes for kids who must complete an MRI in order to determine their path for treatment.

To read some of their stories, check out “Lilli and the Big Doughnut” (about half way down the link) 


Simply register and print your free ticket. Bring the ticket along with your small toy/prize to South End Athletic Company on Sunday, October 20th at 10:30 AM. From there we’ll head to the parks, complete the workout and do a little good for the community!

Six Week Update

Written by ENorton. Posted in Erin

As of Monday, it has been six weeks since my open heart surgery. Recovery is going well but it is nothing like what I was expecting. Leading up to surgery my doctors told me since I was so young and healthy recovery would be a breeze. It has definitely not been a breeze.

But it is getting better, and that is what I’m trying to focus on.

I’m off Vicodin completely. I can make it across the street before the light turns. I haven’t puked in more than two weeks a day. I can have visitors without needing a nap afterwards. I can focus enough to read. I can sleep a few hours on my side. The scabs have fallen off my incisions.  I can take a full breath.

Little victories that signal I’m getting better.

Wednesday morning I was able to walk up five blocks of a hill without needing to stop for a break. Little victories.

I know it is hard to do when you’re healthy, but just take a moment to appreciate your health today.

Be good to your body.

And thank you to my BFFs for all your love and support.  You guys are the best!!



Race Recap: Gulf Coast Half Marathon – Milford, CT

Written by CConte. Posted in Crissy, Events, Half Marathon, Running, Vansome

Hey BFF’ers!

It’s been a long long time but I am popping in to give you an epic race recap of my half marathon this weekend.

In other news, I am getting married in 32 days! AH. This race was exactly what I needed and what I wanted as the fine details of wedding planning, honeymoon planning and things in my family life have put me under some serious stress. I know you totally get how running 13.1 miles seems to just make all that melt away, so a few weeks ago I searched half marathons in the area. I needed the following criteria: 1-2 hour travel time to get there, max. affordable. 1/2 marathon distance. sometime in September. I found, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon. Interestingly enough the day after I registered for this race ($60 bux, but early registration would have cost $50), I found out through a friend that there was a 1/2 marathon going on in my hometown of Norwalk on my favorite roads of West Norwalk. I was a little bummed as that race is only $18 , however, now that I have run this 1/2 this past weekend, I have zero regrets. Everything about it was INCREDIBLE.

So I didn’t quite PR, but my fellow running friend Lisa, of Lisa Runs for Cupcakes, (fun fact we went to high school together), did PR, so I am super excited for her! Anyways, let’s start from the beginning:

The race started at 8 am on Saturday morning and I was a little worried at first as it was CHILLY!  The crisp fall air coupled with the race starting on the beach made for really quite the cold start. John, my fantastic cheerleader fiancé, and I arrived at the race around 7:10, and packet pick up closed at 7:30, so I ran over to the table, but really there was no need for a rush. These people are organized. All our bib numbers were posted a few days before on their facebook page so they really had everything together, even cooler, I was number 100 and for some reason I just think this is a cool bib number, so go with it, ok? Another awesome thing about this race is that it is capped at 600 runners. Big enough to feel like a real race, small enough to make it intimate and make you feel like more than just another runner at the finish line.

I decided to hit up the bathroom one more time before the race started and the line was LONG! Counting down the minutes to 8 am, I knew there was no way this race would start on time, or else they would have pissed off about 40 women.  After finally getting through that line, as well as everyone else in line, all the runners were lined up and after a few announcements the horn went off around 8:10 am. I started the race next to Lisa and Brian, another friend from the high school years… well he actually was my high school boyfriend, so it was fun to reconnect a little. I hit mile 1 and looked down at my watch and saw 7:47 and thought, “Oh crap, I am totally going to burn out” so I put myself in check and started being a bit more mindful of my pace. Around mile 3 I heard a “hey” and a tap on my shoulder and Lisa ran up next to me. We gave each other the no pressure go ahead if you want to talk, but we ended up staying together for the rest of the race, and it really was awesome.

A huge part of this race was run along the beach coast, on the board walk, along Silver Sands beach in Milford. Also the roads we ran on were filled with beach home houses, big and small.  A few of them Lisa and I pointed at saying we wouldn’t mind them for ourselves. I do not know if any of this shoreline was affected by Hurricane Sandy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if so as there was a lot of construction going on to many of the homes. The race had water stops at miles 2.5, 4.5, 6.5, 8.5 and 10.5. After 10.5 we were on our own… that was sad because around mile 12 I was really shot. Really I could not have finished this race as strongly if Lisa wasn’t there running next to me. I did zero training (as per usual) and the last 13.1 mile run I had went on was when WE RAN DC. Actually, the last time I even ran more than 7.5 miles was during the DC race, so really… I am just happy I ran this entire half, and I finished 10 seconds over my PR time.

The stops had water, gu (which is not for me, but great for others), and Gatorade. I stuck to the water. The other cool thing about out and back races is that you get to see all the other runners and we ran into Brian who was only about 2 miles behind us, if even. We even ran past another person I went to high school with. I knew she was running and this was her first half marathon so I gave her a quick shout when I saw her. Amanda looked strong, and it was so cool to see her entire family cheering her on at the finish. This race pretty much flew by, and I really didn’t start to feel the burn until mile 10.5/11. That last bit of the race really was rough, but there were some great spectators out there even though few and far between.  There is always one of those signs saying “You paid money to do this?!” out there, and it cracks me up every time. Love those spectators.

If I had one gripe about this race, it would be the finish, or rather the last 2/10′s of the race. Ok, it’s not really a gripe but more of a “Are you effing kidding me?”. This race ended on the beach, so the last 2/10s or so was on the sand. Talk about kicking a runner when they are down! I truly think I would have PR’d had there not been sand, but then again the last mile I did totally slow down. Either way, the finish was filled with a cheerful crowd, I spotted John filming Lisa and I running toward the finish line with his phone, and I crossed the line, welcomed a really awesome medal around my neck and a wonderful giant bottle of water, then quickly had a seat on the sand and stopped my Nike+ (which recorded me on a treadmill because I was dumb and forgot to change that at the beginning of the race. FAIL). The final results indicated 1:50:22, an 8:26 pace and the 137th runner to cross the finish line. Considering I really just wanted to de-stress and not care about my pace, I was ecstatic! And Lisa shaved serious minutes off her PR so that was awesome. John found us and we waited for Brian to come in and cross the finish line. We took some post race photos, team Norwalk representing with our bling! While there was post race food by subway, I skipped this option, Brian, Lisa and I said our goodbyes and we headed off to spend the rest of our Saturday with family.

Thank you Shoreline Sharks for such an awesome race! I can hardly wait to do it again next year.

So my next countdown is the countdown to the wedding. I do not have any races on my line up in the near future, and truthfully, I am a baby when it comes to cold running, so I am not sure I will be running a race again until my favorite 5k (the O’Hartford) in March. However, Lisa is training for a marathon, and running with her was awesome, so maybe I will have to join her on some of her local-ish races in the near future!

Free Fitness Community

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in find your fitness, Genevieve

If you’re anything like me, you get overwhelmed with all the free fitness classes being held in Boston over this summer.

Have you ever felt as though fitness these days has taken it to the next level? Do you find yourself wondering when the heck did everyone become ultra human and what the heck is an ultra marathon or iron man?

From regular yoga to bikram and hot yoga. From marathons to ultra marathons! You name it and I am sure its possible to find people like you out there training for the same thing. When you think you’ve reached the hardest level of activity, there’s a chance that someone might be taking it to another level. For me, that only drives me to train harder and get better. I know my goals, I know my body. I’m not training to be a professional athlete but I train for personal achievement and when I meet someone new in the fitness world, I always find that they have tried something I have never even thought about doing.

Now by no means should that discourage you. I’ve been extremely fortunate to live in a state that’s taking the fitness community to the next level.

Two classes I have come across recently through free fitness have expanded my fitness horizons are metabolic effect at SLS Fitness in Lowell and SUPYO or SUPfit.

Soak up the last rays of the summer with free fitness classes. Here’s a calendar for those around Boston. For those outside of Boston, here are some tips to finding free fitness.

1. Look into your local newspaper, is there a health section? Does your state or city encourage healthy living? I find most free classes in Boston are posted on Boston.com and Boston Health Moves along with sites like Hub Health and Boston Fitness Magazine.

2. Look into your local athletic store. Luckily there’s an endless supply of athletic stores. City sports, around Boston had been partnering up with CrossFit studios and offering a free class, plus they usually have group runs scheduled. Marathon Sports has a run club, Athletica & Lucy offer in store yoga or running clubs and one of my favorites Lululemon. Most stores have a calendar or a Facebook page posting events. Their community leaders and educators are out there making those connections for you – and that’s the first step, the next step is you show up and participate in a free fitness class or running club! How cool is that!

3. November Project has expanded to San Francisco, Madison, Wisconsin, Washington D.C and Canada. Check out November-Project.com to see where to meet the new chapters for their workouts or you can look into starting your own chapter.

4. Start your own running club. Go on meet up, or ask a friend who likes to run to meet you weekly. Committing to another person always encourges you to keep the commitment you made to yourself. Use the nice weather to your advantage and let the world be your gym. Run to the park to do sprints, bear crawls, star jumps – you name it. Get that friend and challenge each other by alternating each day who decides what our workout would be.

5. Free trials at a gym. Most gyms want the memberships but what
better way to sell a membership than allowing new client to test the waters. Now I’m not saying gym hop for free. But look around, most of the time local gyms are holding events or giving passes for you to workout for free! What do you have to lose?

What are your ways of finding free fitness? Do you agree with all the free fitness offerings happening now or do you feel that it takes away from small business studios and largely owned gyms? Comment below or on Facebook or send us a tweet




An Incredible Weekend, Newport, Falmouth Road Race & JT / Jay Z

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Events, Genevieve, Race Review, Running

(8.9.13-8.11.13) I ended up having a pretty fantastic weekend. I got extremely lucky to have several can’t say no to events come up.

Friday, I got a last minute spot to participate in my very first SUPYO class in Beverly Harbor. I RSVP’d pretty late since this class filled up quickly but luckily since I had my phone number in my email signature I was the easiest to contact from the waiting list! I won’t repeat any details so you can go to read my blog post about my SUYPO experience here.

Saturday, it was my dear friend Erica’s wedding in Newport, RI. You know when come across a person you were meant to meet? Well that is Erica for me. We not only worked creatively and strategically well together, we have similar inner thoughts and can sit and talk about anything for hours! When she and fiance at the time (now husband) Mike invited me to spend one of their most special days with them and their closets friends, I was more than excited to be there.

When we arrived at the wedding facility, Belle Mer (a venue I’ve kept a close eye on for years because it’s spectacular). We were greeted by romance and elegance. The whole wedding was embodied by everything Erica has dreamed of and every detail was perfect! Food was fantastic, signature drink was my favorite and their band was amazing (Those Guys) they had everyone dancing the night away. Overall it was spectacular, thank you to The Walsh’s for allowing me to share such a beautiful day with you!

Sunday, I woke up and dragged myself out of bed by 6AM to go to the Falmouth Road Race. Surprisingly I had a decent amount of energy and since I moderate what I drink while out, I had no hangover.

Here is a little history about the New Balance Falmouth Road Race
The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for all in its community. Proceeds from the race each year support youth athletic programs in the town of Falmouth and other non-profit community groups.

Runners & Spectators
An estimated 75,000 spectators line the course and finish area to cheer the 12,800 official race entrants.

To register; you have to enter a lottery unless you are a Falmouth Resident. Falmouth RESIDENTS and TAXPAYERS (real estate owners) are allowed guaranteed entry to the New Balance Falmouth Road Race as a courtesy. If you are a resident of Falmouth and haven’t run this race, I ask WHY?! and my I please run as you next year? Other ways to bypass the lottery are; working with the sponsors, runners for Non–Profits, Patrons and Benefactors.

Knowing I was going to have a busy weekend, I took my chances and entered the lottery. I did not get in. Sunday, Aug 3 (just one day post YuKanRun Half Marathon for me). I received and email from Falmouth that they were allowing a LAST CHANCE 2013 entrance, the first 350 to register get in! Seeing that the email was sent 10 minutes prior to me reading it again, I thought I had no chance of getting in. So I took a shot filled out the registration and was a confirmed 2013 runner of the 41st Falmouth Road Race along with Molly and our friends from November Project.

Race Recap
I do believe I found my favorite race. That said, here is the Top 5 reasons why it has become my favorite race.

1. A scenic 7-mile seaside course; okay scenery alone will always make a great run. But for me, 7-miles was perfect. I felt pushed and challenged but did not feel tired or fatigued at any point of this race.

2 & 3. An estimated 75,000 spectators line the course and finish area to cheer the 12,800 official race entrants; usually that size of a crowd makes me want to RUN the other way. Traffic, congestion, the possibility of have no personal space to run….crazy right? Well, this crazy crowded event worked in all the right ways. The “12,800″ runners made it feel like I was being carried along the way.. through a sea of runners (you like that Auntie D?) I kept thinking, this is just a Sunday jog through a beautiful route with tons of new running friends. The crowd was fantastic! At points of a race you find empty areas where there are no cheerleaders. Not here, every step, every mile of this race had spectators. Families cooking out, handing out water and high fives, DJ’s, people with their garden hoses out to cool people down and my favorite was the young rock band in the back of their truck just jamming out giving us (non headphone runners) some music to enjoy.

4. My pace; not yours. I started the race alone and had zero pressure, I set no PR goals and just ran. I carried a 9-930 min mile with a smile on my face the whole time.

5. Once you cross the finish line, you are forced to walk about a quarter of a mile to the finish area. Along the way you pick up water and just follow the road until you get to area. I really liked since considering the week before at the YuKanRun Half, I stopped abruptly and my body was in a lot of pain. Since I was forced to walk (had to meet my group of NP friends) it allowed me to complete my run properly.

When I got to the finish line, I stalked up on food like they were going to run out. Some how I don’t get the concept of just taking what I need and not extra. I was trying to find some of my friends when I turned around and noticed Sarah from Sarah Fit. She’s one of my favorite fitness bloggers in Boston and is a leader in the YouTube fitness channel and fitness blogging world. I just recently asked her a question via twitter that she answered so I took my chances to be an annoying fan and introduced myself to her. She had just came into the finish area post race and was really kind to have a conversation with me. It was great meeting you Sarah, I hope to bum into you at a few more events around New England!

Closing out the race Molly and I spent the day on the beach with our friends before heading to the Justin Timberlake and Jay Z concert at Fenway Park. I couldn’t think of a better way to close out the weekend then to unwind on a beautiful night listening to two of my favorite performers put on a concert of a lifetime.

Share with me your favorite parts to a busy weekend! Are you a more “relaxed” summer person or do you like to have event-filled summer? Tweet me your thoughts! @Ferratusco | @BeFreshFit




Ashley is running the ING New York City Marathon – help her reach her goals!

Written by GuestBFF. Posted in Marathon

Dear BFF Friends,

Have you ever wondered what you can do to make a difference?

I did, and I found a way: I’m running the 2013 ING New York City Marathon as a member of Team for Kids.
In the past eleven years, Team for Kids members have raised more than $28 million to support running-based fitness and goal- setting programs for thousands of schoolchildren a week throughout New York City, around the country, and in parts of Africa and India. These programs target at-risk kids—most of whom don’t have physical education in their schools. Having steadily grown each year, NYRR youth programs will reach 150,000 children in the 2012-2013 school year!

You can ensure that more kids benefit from NYRR’s Youth Programs by sponsoring my run. You can pledge $1.00 for every mile I run ($13.10 total for a half-marathon, for example) or any amount you feel comfortable with. Every little bit helps! All contributions are tax-deductible and will be immediately acknowledged as such in an e-mail to you from Team for Kids.
Most importantly, all contributions will go toward helping kids lead healthier, more productive lives. The New York Road Runners Youth Programs teach goal-setting, nutrition, fitness and running skills. Knowing how to make physical fitness a habit can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other costly diseases in this population.

Thanks in advance for helping me—and thousands of schoolchildren. You can make an easy and secure online donation toward my efforts here:


See you at the finish line!


SUPYO – Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Genevieve, Studio Review, Yoga

Last week at this time, I was out in the middle of the Beverly Harbor with two other brave souls participating in our very first class of stand up paddleboard yoga. For those of you who do not know what SUPYO is, its exactly how it sounds. You’re doing yoga in the middle of the ocean, lake, some body of water on a paddleboard.

I have to be honest before this SUYPO class, I never once stepped foot on a paddleboard. I heard about it through Lululemon Burlington facebook events. Lululmeon has educators that go out into the community to create classes and new experiences for their customers. I’ve been to several classes for free because of Lululemon and these classes have turned out to be one of my favorites to attend. When I received the phone call that there was an open slot for me, I jumped at the opportunity. The forecast called for rain and clouds which can be a bit disappointing since SUPYO you are on the water and it would make it an even better experience to have a warm sunny day. When I arrived to Beverly Harbor, the rain only seemed to pick up. As long as there was no thunder or lightening, the class was going to be held. Fortunately for me, most of the people registered called to cancel or not show up and since I am very comfortable working out outside in the rain I found this as an opportunity to have a very personal first time SUPYO class.

Our instructor was Jana from SUPYO Boston North, she’s pretty fantastic for taking us out in the rain. We set up our boards in the water and headed out off shore for the class. The water was surprisingly calm which made it easier for balancing, the rain only added more concentration for our poses but added a refreshing / purifying yoga practice.

We started off in a seated crossed legged position, going through all the breathing exercises and warming up our bodies while getting balanced on the board. Jana was very helpful to each student, re-positioning us so we find the perfect balance. We went through all the basic yoga poses focusing on finding our center and engaging our core.

One thing I was not prepared for (although it doesn’t change my mind about SUPYO) was the amount of water that goes onto your board during the practice. For some reason if it was sunny, I was expecting to not get wet. You should prepare and arrive in clothes you don’t mind getting wet and you are able to practice yoga in if they do get wet.

There is about a 10% chance you can fall into the water and an even higher chance if you attempt crows pose or a headstand. Which I did because I wanted to just attempt both poses since I didn’t know when I would have the chance to get on a paddleboard again. I held crow longer than my headstand but enough time for Jana to snap a cool picture of me!

Overall this was an amazing experience. I don’t know if it was the rain that added that extra “yogi” feeling (whatever that means) but I left just feeling fantastic. This summer I’ve really enjoyed taking yoga and adding it to my workout routine. SUYPO was an amazing core workout with an amazing view. I can’t wait for my next class and hoping that with summer coming to an end I can find myself an inexpensive paddleboard….. (realistic dreams)

Lululemon is hosting another SUP class on MONDAY, AUGUST 19TH at 5:30pm at NARA PARK in ACTON for a SUP fitness class with Jill Link! Class includes a cardio workout on the beach, as well as some time on the board in the water! Spots are limited, so e-mail burlingtonmall-store@lululemon.com to reserve your spot!

What a better time to try out SUP than this summer and for free!! Hope to see you all there!

If you are an instructor or a studio who would like to invite BFF to one of your classes; please email us at befreshfit@gmail.com or find us through social media @BeFreshFit and fb.com/BeFreshFit 



Be Fresh Fit, fitness with your best friends
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YuKanRun Again! Half Marathon 2013

Written by GFerratusco. Posted in Genevieve, Half Marathon, Race Review

This past Saturday, Aug 3 I participated in the YuKanRun Half Marathon (part of theYuKanRun Triple Threat race series). When it came time to sign up again for the half marathon, I didn’t even think twice. Well, I did a little bit… racing during the summer heat is always questionable in my opinion and if this years race was anything like it was last year, I was in for a hot one. Since I’ve been training hard throughout a very sweaty July, I knew this race was going to be a tough one again but worth it.

The YuKanRun Triple Threat is a an race series that offers a 1mile, a 5k and a half marathon. The series includes three beautiful courses along Cape Ann’s scenic coastline. Portions of proceeds will help support The Open Door Food Pantry and The Rockport Elementary Run Club.

As I woke up on Saturday luck was on my side. There was very little humidity, the clouds were out, the breeze was going and the temperature was around low 70s. This in my opinion is perfect running weather. This was my very first half marathon running “alone”. Technically, I knew people at the race; my Aunt Denise (held down her 5k 1st place in her age group) her Core Cardio Fitness gals and fellow November Project friends Amanda and husband Alex were participating in the Triple Threat.

In it’s third year of hosting the race series, the half marathon portion was SOLD OUT! I knew when arriving to Rockport, MA to be prepared for traffic and to park in the recommended lot. I arrived around 9am and the shuttle came pretty quickly. We arrived to the start line just in time for the 5k to pass all arriving runners. I was glad to catch a quick picture of Denise and Edie as they whizzed by.

For the race this year, I was asked to run wearing a Perfect Fuel Chocolate t-shirt. Perfect Fuel is an amazing product I was introduced to at the New England Relay in 2011 where our team met the CEO and Owner of Perfect Fuel, Nick. In 2011 the product was only in it’s prototype, but our team was obsessed with it! By obsessed, I mean Stephanie and Mary hoarded as much as they could and “fueled” up perfectly for their middle of the night legs of the relay.

Perfect Fuel is designed to increase your physical health, performance, and your mental balance while maintaining purity and sustainability. It is recommended that Perfect Fuel Chocolates are eaten in combinations to encourage your healthy lifestyle and performance level. Plus its delicious, did I mention that?

Nick and I reconnected recently at the Newton 10k this past June. When he asked me to run wearing Perfect Fuel t-shirt, I was more than excited. Most of you know, I don’t talk about products unless I truly love or dislike them. PFC is all natural dark chocolate that is certified organic, and sustainably produced. Their dark chocolate is made with coconut palm sugar and high in nutrients and as Nick would tell you “it shaves a minute off your time” – I can safely say I came in a minute faster than my last half marathon this year!

I’m going to jump right into breaking down this half marathon in a different way than I normally race recap with pro’s and cons. I’m going to share what I did for training, pre-race, how I felt during and how I am recovering post race.


It’s been the summer of free fitness classes in Boston for me. My whole training for this half marathon has taken place outside of a gym. I regularly participated in the Wednesday and Friday workouts with November Project. Hitting Harvard Stadium stairs completing a #Frogman1 (total of 50 sections), a #RobotMan3 (That’s a 1/2 tour of the Harvard Stadium from section 37 to 19, done three times with active rest between the three.) Full tour for an almost PR and a 40 section workout. Friday’s I continued to hit the hills regularly sweating out some of the hottest Friday’s in July. On my own, I participated in two 10k races, a free Cross-Fit class and Bikram yoga. While though I did not hit double digits in my miles training, I do feel as though this was one of my most prepared half marathons and overall I was very well trained.


My pre-race routine is pretty basic. Continuing my normal eating habits is a must, I never want to try something new the week before a race. With that said, I’m still not 100% sold on my eating routine, I eat as clean as possible but have a little trouble regulating during summer activities like weddings and parties. So I went into the week before the race cleaning up from a wedding weekend. The night before I stuck to my routine of Italian carb-loaded meal, lots of water and an early night sleep. Since the race was a little later than most, I woke up and continued to hydrate. I ate a banana early and a banana about a half hour before with my ENERGYbits®  and about four small blocks of Perfect Fuel. This in my opinion assured me there would be no serious stomach discomfort.

ENERGYbits®  is one of my favorite additions to my pre-race ritual, a healthy high protein snack that boosts athletic performance and supercharge my run. I tried ENERGYbits®  after meeting them at the Newton 10k this past June and what sold me on the product was one very important fact for most runners I know – it helps keep your stomach calm while running! Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits®  algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab.

If you are interested in trying ENERGYbits® please contact me and I can send you a sample! Or you can go directly to their website ENERGYbits® and enter code VANSOME to save 15% on your order!


Everyone gets nervous before their races right? My nerves come from thinking, will I make it? Will I start off too quickly? Can I beat my PR? All normal feelings, but as soon as the gun went off my nerves were settled. Ever since adding ENERGYbits® I no longer have the fear of my stomach holding me back. I start off the race with an even feeling, with just the right amount of energy and confidence. This is what I trained for!

Knowing the route is something else that comforts me, since running this race last year I was prepared for water stations and mile markers. Little to my pre-race reading knowledge, YuKanRun changed the route! Last year, the route carried us along a lot of beach traffic and although the scenery was beautiful the cars passing by did not make it a comfortable run (lot of head coming off the cars). Having the route changed may have usually thrown me off but this time it was a breath of fresh air (literally). The new route took us all back roads through Rockport, views of the ocean, light houses and little (not so little) beach houses with red trim. If I thought to myself “They just upgraded a beautiful course, to breathtaking.” If they were going for best scenic race in New England, I think they would win it hands down! Although its not a flat course with rolling hill after rolling hill, I reminded myself that this is why I wake up at 4:55 AM on Friday’s and run Summit Ave.. I felt #hillproof

Around mile 10 is where I start to feel my body slow down. I really could have used something other than water and gatorade to refuel. I did not bring anything with me and there was no gel or candy handed out half way through the course. I’ve been trying to run as hands free as possible with the least amount of objects to carry. I did not bring anything! My body could have used an extra pick me up at this time.

Since I knew this course would not be a PR for me (my personal record is my first half marathon in 2010 with 2:09 mins). I pushed hard for another goal – to finish the whole race without walking once. Usually during a half I give myself the option to walk while drinking water or during a steep hill. This time I felt strong enough to take my water while running and to push up those hills while still running.

The last mile was a bit cruel. Due to the course change, the last mile was going up hill! Luckily, my Aunt Denise was waiting for me and really pushed me up that very last steep part of the hill before it flattened out and I crossed the 13 mile marker! Just .1 to go, I thought! I sped up, feeling like Allyson Felix and crossed the finished line at 2 hours 13 mins. Just under my Nike Women Half time.. feeling very accomplished.


I stopped running a little too abruptly, I went straight for the water and gatorade. I should have jogged it out, then slowly walked around. By stopping so quickly my body felt awful. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to sit or stand, stretch or crash.. it wasn’t a great feeling. I started to replenish my body with red gatorade, one after another. I really felt the difference once I got the electrolytes back into my body. Once I started to feel better I walked myself over to the Yasso truck for a Coconut Yasso - frozen greek yogurt. Which really made me feel a lot better once getting the protein back into my body in a cool way.

I continued to stretch post race and rewarded myself with way too much pizza.. On Tuesday I attended a Free Yoga class at Frog Pond in Boston Commons, this outdoor beautiful evening stretch helped me feel at peace and back to normal! And on Wednesday, I started my routine again.

Congratulations again to my Aunt Denise for holding her title down winning 1st place in her age group for the second year in a row! I’m so very proud of you!

I recently asked Alex and Amanda their quick thoughts on participating in the Triple Threat series (1mile, 5k, Half Marathon) and here’s what they said:

Alex ‏@asilbs Beautiful scenery, brutal hills. They did a good job w/ the lag between races, but 17.2 is a LONG way! It’s a GREAT training course for hilly marathons. It’s not a good PR Half course, or “fun run” course

Amanda ‏@MissMass_2009 Agreed! Great for hill training, not to PR. Gorgeous views, not enough police to keep roads safe from cars though.

What do you think? Did you run the YuKanRun race series this weekend? What do you think of all the products mentioned and how do you stay properly fueled? Share your stories and thoughts, leave a comment below or contact us on facebook and twitter @Ferratusco @BeFreshFit !





*professional photos courtesy of Perfect Fuel

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