Fitness Lately: New Balance NBGNO and Turnstyle Rave The Roof

It is August? Whaaaaaaaaaat? I know I sound like a broken record every year, but the summer seems go by quicker and quicker with each year that passes.

I think this year it had something to do with the unexpected move that took over a good portion of June and July, but oh well. Here we are!

There is so much going on in the fitness world right now, and it’s pretty awesome. There are group workouts popping up all over the place, pop-up studios, and some of my favorite studios opening new locations. It really is impossible to stay on top of it all, but the good news is that it gives people so many options, so many opportunities to find the right fitness fit for them!

Gone are the days when all we had to choose from were Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym, now you can probably find anything you want that relates to fitness.

And along these lines, recently, I’ve been to some amazing workouts that I just have to tell you guys about. A couple of weeks ago, I went to yet another New Balance Girls Night Out (NBGNO) event. They are simply the best, and this was no exception — in fact, this was one of my favorites that I’ve been to!

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With a couple of my favorite blog ladies, Athena and Sherri

This event was all about trying new things, and boy did that end up being true. Each NBGNO event has a 3.6 mile fun run around the city, as well as an alternate workout that changes each month. This month, the alternate workout was a Surfset workout with Stefanie Lograsso, and boy was it tough! Tougher than I expected, that’s for sure.

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If you haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t), Surfset is a workout you do on actual surfboards that are basically attached to something like Bosu Balls, meaning that you are wobbling and stabilizing the entire time you are on that board. With all of the lunges, planks, push ups, and even jumps (!) that Stefanie had us doing, I was a sweaty mess by the end, but I had a blast.

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The rest of that evening was just as fun as always, catching up with some real life friends, and some of my favorite Boston Blogger ladies. I love spending time with so many inspirational women at these events, as each one of them motivates me to work even harder in my own life and fitness endeavors.

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The host of this particular NBGNO was Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor, who is always charming, funny, and down to earth. She did a wonderful job hosting and I can’t wait to see her at the next event! As the host, Sherri gave a brief talk to the crowd about what trying new things has meant to her. Her story was awesome, detailing a pretty bad injury that lead her to trying things other than running, and now because of that “set back”, she’s doing more fitness wise than ever before. Pretty inspiring, I’d say!

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Sherri doing her hosting gig… I was OBSESSED with her outfit. How cute is this NB combo?? 

These events are always a blast, so I highly recommending trying one out if you haven’t in the past, or coming back if you’ve been away from the NBGNO scene for a while. I hope to see you at the next one!

Rave The Roof 

The other amazing workout that I attended, actually the night after NBGNO, was put on by my very favorite indoor cycling studio, although a spin bike was nowhere to be found! This was Rave The Roof, an outdoor, roof top bootcamp put on by the team at Turnstyle Cycle.

(I have to apologize for my lack of quality photos for this event… it just didn’t happen!)

Turnstyle just happens to have two of my very favorite instructors in Boston, Laura and Caroline. They are both incredibly energetic, strong, powerful women, and they know how to kick your booty in a workout while making you feel empowered at the same time! I honestly feel lucky to know them and to be able to train with them from time to time — they are both just amazing.

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Caroline showing us some upcoming tricep work! 

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Laura demonstrating at the legs station.

The workout was the kickoff to Turnstyle’s new studio at Ink Block, a trendy new area of the South End here in Boston. Lucky for me, this is much closer to work than their studio in Kendall Sq, so I’ll be able to hit up Laura’s and Caroline’s classes more often now! (#winning).

The theme for this bootcamp was neon, so the outfits were outrageous, and there were many tubes of neon body/face paint floating around the place.

The workout was a station-style bootcamp on the roof deck/pool deck, and I must say, the view was awesome as the sun set, it was so nice to be gazing at the pink clouds in between sets rather than a gym ceiling! The workout was high energy, and each of the Turnstyle instructors that were there put us through some grueling stations. I had so much fun, and as I said am SO excited for Turnstyle to open up the new indoor cycling in this location!

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Check out this view for the workout.. can’t beat it! And that up there is a pool deck… yep, it’s a roof deck AND a pool deck workout. BOOM. 

For now, definitely check out their schedule to get your booty to one of these amazing roof deck bootcamp sessions — you won’t be disappointed, trust me.

Readers: What awesome workouts have you done lately? Have you noticed the insane amount of groups/studios that are opening up in the Boston area? Were you at either of these events with me?

**All NB pics in this post are courtesy of New Balance. <<< Click on the link to see the rest of the photos from the event!

New Balance Girls Night Out and MyNB

Hello friends!

I just recapped my west coast trip for you last week, and if you’re following along on Instagram, you can see that I’m off on another trip already! This summer was shaping up to be a whirlwind, and then we found out we had to move and things got a little bit TOO crazy. This trip is a welcome escape from the stresses of packing and moving, and although the timing isn’t great I’m going to enjoy every last second of it! I’m currently road tripping to St. Louis with my coworkers/friends, with a few stops along the way. Jersey Shore, Morgantown, WV, Louisville, and then finally on to St. Louis for a conference (the main reason for this trip).

Hopefully as you’re reading this we’re cruising along with no major mishaps, I’m sure you’ll get some stories from the trip at some point!

Anyway, the point of today is to recap an event I went to about a week and a half ago — another New Balance Girls Night Out event. You all know how much I love these, and this one was no different. The theme of this event was Heating Things Up For Summer, with a Booty and Arm workout from the awesome Sarah Kusch. The night was hosted by Rachel of Healthy Chicks, and both ladies did a wonderful job!

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As always, there was a 3.6 mile fun run, but this time I joined the alternate workout, which was a hot and sweaty booty and arm blast from Sarah.

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DJ Brek One killed it on the beats as usual, and the workout was a killer! We ran to a park about a half mile away, blasted our booties with about 10,000 squats (I don’t even think I’m exaggerating here), and then headed back to the store for snacks, cocktails, sparkly tattoos, photo booth fun, and more.

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Guys. This juice was SO GOOD. I don’t know about you, but I love spicy drinks… and is it inappropriate to say that this would make a killer cocktail? 

Although the theme of the night had to do with getting “summer ready”, both lovely ladies stood up and spoke personally about what this means to them. Rachel spoke from the heart about the days when she used to hate summer due to insecurities surrounding shorts, bathing suit weather, etc. She reminded us that we are all “bikini ready” no matter what, and loving ourselves is what is most important. Sarah spoke about the importance of hard work and doing everything you can to take care of yourself, mind and body equally.

Although most of the blogger ladies that I usually see at these events couldn’t make it, I was so excited to be able to meet and spend a little bit of time with the adorable Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor. We chatted for a while, and I can’t wait to see her again at future events. If you haven’t checked out her blog, do it now!

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All in all, it was another awesome girl-power night from New Balance, with a kick-ass workout, a great message, and a pretty great party. I can’t wait for the next one!

I also have another exciting announcement for all of you. New Balance has just launched their signature program, called MyNB, accessible on the NB website, and available as an app download for both iPhone and Android devices.  From New Balance:

MyNB members can earn points through different New Balance activities such as online product purchases, event check-ins, social media interactions, fitness activity within the RunKeeper app, and custom shoe purchases, among others. Points can then be redeemed, at the member’s convenience, for unique reward options that enable consumers to meet their fitness and lifestyle goals. Rewards include free race bibs, product reward certificates, RunKeeper Elite memberships, and TeamNB Meet & Greets.”

MyNB also offers 3 different levels — bronze, silver, and gold, each with their own privileges. You choose which one is best for you and your needs, and start earning those rewards! I don’t know about you all, but I’m definitely going to jump on this. Earn rewards for using a brand I know and already love? Especially since I can earn points for checking in at some super awesome events, like NBGNO. Yes please!

Alright, I’m out. Have yourselves a lovely day!

Every photo on this post except for the juice photo is courtesy of New Balance

Recap: New Balance Girls Night Out – Shake It Up

As I mentioned last week, I was asked a while ago to host the most recent New Balance Girls Night Out event here in Boston. This event took place on Thursday evening, and I must say, it was incredible.

I arrived at the store at 5, quickly checked out the bikes being set up across the street in Copley Square (more on that in a bit), and headed into the store. Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a massive sign out front and there was my name, smack dab in the middle of it! I may have loved that sign so much that I kind of wanted to take it home, but alas, I knew Will probably wouldn’t be too happy with a 6 foot tall sign taking up residence in our living room. (What a party pooper, huh?)

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Ok, back to the night. Having gone to a few NBGNO events in the past, I knew what to expect. Being the host though, it was a whole different ball game — we were on a pretty tight schedule and I wanted to make sure that the ladies in attendance had the best time possible! I was super excited to have home friends, Boston friends, work friends, and blog friends in attendance, and was ecstatic to be able to share the night with them. I welcomed the girls first and gave them a little bit of a rundown about what NBGNO is all about. If you’re not familiar, you can read about it more in my previous posts here, here, and here. Basically, Girls Night Out is a new kind of ladies night out, one that brings together fun and fitness with the emerging fitness trends today.

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The theme of this particular event was Shake It Up — with the underlying theme of using dance and music to help motivate and shake up your fitness routine. Each GNO event begins with a workout, which always consists of a run as well as an alternative workout. The alternative workout this time may have just been the best one yet — A spin session in Copley Square with the famed Aly Raymer (New Balance Ambassador and lead spin instructor at B/Spoke studios here in Boston). Aly is famous for providing a “dance party on a bike” in her classes, and boy did she deliver at Girls Night Out!

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Aly CRUSHING it in Copley Square 

A group of girls headed out for a run through Beacon Hill, which I heard was amazing but also TOUGH. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience Aly’s dance party on a bike though, so I stuck with the spin group for the workout portion. Unfortunately, once we got out there and started getting everyone set up, we realized that we were one bike short. I was already feeling pretty spoiled as the host of the event so I gave my bike to another participant so that she could experience this awesome workout. It was too late for me to leave with the run group, but have no fear, I spent the whole time just dancing around the bikes to the live beats being dropped by the incredible DJ Brek.One. Seriously, whether you were on the bike or off, Copley Square turned into a dance party like no other.

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The girls on the bikes worked it, Aly was absolutely amazing, and the views were incredible. I felt so lucky to be a part of such an awesome event — and judging by the crowd we drew, it looked like a lot of other people wanted to be a part of it too!

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Once the workouts were over, we headed back to the New Balance store to continue with the event. Back in the store, we were hydrated by Essentia Water, the leading alkaline balanced and electrolyte infused water on the market. There were also some delicious cocktails, as well as smoothies from Thirst Juice Co., which is a local smoothie and juice bar here in Boston. The smoothies were out of this world, and I can’t wait to get my butt on down to Thirst sometime soon to try some different flavors!

Once everyone was back and settled from the run and spin workouts, Aly and I got to share a little bit with the crowd about what Shake It Up means to us. Aly spoke about shaking up your fitness routine, as well as your location. She talked to the crowd about traveling somewhere warm during the winter to get out of your winter rut and jumpstart your fitness. I can’t say that’s a bad idea — don’t we all wish we could escape every winter?

When I stood up, I talked about “shaking things up” in terms of trying new things and getting outside of your comfort zone. I briefly told the girls about my recent transformation from someone who is in the weight room 100% of the time, to someone who still enjoys lifting immensely, but who also has begun to enjoy running and spin. Last year, I pushed myself extremely far outside of my comfort zone by signing up to run the Falmouth Road Race, a 7 mile race in August. It terrified me and couldn’t be further from what I was used to doing — that is squatting and deadlifting in a power rack. But I took on the challenge because I knew that I was in a rut and needed to “shake things up”. I ended up loving the race, and honestly would love to run it again this year. I’ve found a new appreciation for running, and more recently for spinning.

It’s been interesting to watch myself go through this transformation. Honestly, if you’d told me 2 years ago that I’d be running and spinning regularly, I would have laughed in  your face. At the time, those things seemed like a waste of time for me, the weight room was the only part of training that was important. Now, I really treasure the variety in my training, and feel better mentally and physically than I have in years.

The important thing, and my main point on Thursday night, was that it’s ok to take yourself out of the little box that you’ve put yourself into. Before, I was a weight lifter. Now, I’m a weight lifting, running, spinning fitness enthusiast, and I’ve found the right balance for me at this time in my life. It’s ok to shake things up, and it’s ok (and encouraged!) to try new things every once in a while.

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This is one of my favorite pics because it makes me giggle — could we look any sassier? 

After our mini-speeches, the night continued with Brek.One spinning the beats, a little bit of dance floor action, and more tasty food, smoothies and cocktails. One other great feature of the night was the Instaprint station that New Balance had set up. Just by using the #NBGNO hashtag, Instagram photos would be printed out immediately in the store, so that you could take them home at the end of the night! This was very cool, also something that I think would be PERFECT at a wedding.

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The night finished up with the Swag “bag” giveaway, which were actually Swag Cups this time! The girls were lucky to head out with an NBGNO shaker cup that was filled with treats such as ear buds, a class pass to B/Spoke studios, a flash drive playlist from the amazing Brek.One, and some other awesome goodies. The ladies of this Girls Night Out lucked out, if you ask me!

Honestly, I can’t express how happy I was to be part of such a wonderful event. I am a huge believer in Girls Night Out and everything it stands for, so to be able to play a part and hopefully help the crowd have a great time that night was incredible. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next GNO event, and if you’re in Boston, maybe I’ll see you there! I would also like to give a huge thank you to New Balance for inviting me to host, and also to Aly for providing such a kick ass workout with such amazing energy.

For more pictures, check out the entire gallery HERE. There are some awesome pics!!

Readers: How do you shake up your workout routine? Does music and dance play any role in your fitness program, and how does it motivate you?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for hosting this event, and was also provided items from the New Balance spring and summer collection through my affiliation with Girls Night Out. As always, all opinions are my own. 

HUGE Blog Announcement: New Balance Girls Night Out

Hello friends! Today on the blog I have a HUGE announcement that I have been dying to tell you all! I’ll give you 2 hints:

1. New Balance

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2. Girls Night Out

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[All photos in this post except for the first and last are courtesy of NBGNO]

Do you get it yet? Let’s start out with clue number one. I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing partnership with New Balance for the past couple of years. Not only do I love their apparel and shoe lines, but I love the company as a whole. As a Boston based company, they are very engaged in the local community, and it’s been wonderful to see how much they’ve inspired and contributed to the Boston fitness community over the years.

I’ve been fortunate to work with New Balance for several different blog events and campaigns, including the LaceUp365 campaign promoting the fight against breast cancer, teamed up with them to run the Falmouth Road Race, and have most recently been lucky enough to be a part of their product collaboration with Kate Spade Saturday.

But my absolute favorite events that I’ve been a part of are the new series that NB began last year. It’s called Girls Night Out (here’s where we get to that second clue), and it’s the new kind of night out, complete with fitness, healthy snacks, cocktails, and fun. I was able to make it to a couple of these last year in May and August, and I had in incredible time at each one. They are a great way to combine fun and fitness, all while surrounding yourself with inspirational women. Before we talk more about NBGNO, here’s where we get to my super exciting news:

New Balance reached out a couple of weeks ago to invite me to host their upcoming Boston GNO event on May 7!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this, and how excited I am to get to see some of YOU, my readers at the event!

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Now, let’s talk details:

When and where is this awesome event? 

Thursday, May 7th at 6 pm at the New Balance store on Boylston St (Copley Square) in Boston.

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What will happen at this awesome event? 

NBGNO events always start with a kick-ass workout. This month, there will be a 3.6 mile fun-run, as well as a spin workout led by the amazing Aly Raymer. Rumor has it that this spin workout will take place IN Copley Square, with a live DJ as music. Dance party on a bike in the park? Count me in!!

Following whichever workout you choose, everyone will convene back at the store for some delicious healthy snacks, cocktails, swag bags, a few thoughts from Aly and myself, and more fun stuff that I’m so excited for. Are you getting excited yet?? The theme for this particular event is “Shake It Up”, and we’ll be shaking things up with dance infused fitness and a whole lot of fun! I’m honored to be hosting the event alongside Aly, who is a force to be reckoned with in the Boston fitness world.

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How do I get into this awesome event? It’s super easy. For more details and to register, just head on over to www.nbgirlsnightout.com (<< Or click HERE), click on Events, scroll on down to the Boston event, and register!

But be warned: These events have filled up very quickly in the past — we’re talking a couple of hours here. So if you want to get your sweat on in Copley Sq, head out for a run around the city, get an awesome NB Swag Bag, and/or mingle with some of the raddest fit chicks that this city has to offer, make sure you register ASAP.

**UPDATE: This event is now full. But don’t worry — there will be more of these throughout the summer, so stay tuned for more to come! 

Ok, I’m registered and I’m PUMPED. Tell me more about NB Girls Night Out!

Girls Night Out was created by New Balance to help women come together and re-define what it means to have a night out on the town. Combining fitness, health, community and fun, these events are anything but your typical happy hour. With events currently planned in Boston, New York and Philly with more locations to come, NBGNO is paving the way in fusing women’s fitness and social lives into one. Now, head on over to register before it’s too late — you don’t have much time! NB Steph2

Can’t wait to see you there!! 

Who will be joining me on Thursday May 7? 

Being Humbled Again: New Balance Girls Night Out #2

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending another New Balance Girls’ Night Out event. If you’ll remember, I attended the first one back in May, and there was a second event in June which I was supposed to go to, but I ended up having to cancel due to personal reasons. So this month, I was excited to be able to make it back for the July NBGNO event. (To read more about what GNO is all about, check out my last post about the May event here.)

The theme of this one was “Self Expression”, basically doing whatever it is that YOU love for fitness — not being tied down by what you think you “should” be doing. There were three workouts offered before the social aspect of the night: a Flywheel Spin class, a signature group class from Equinox (this was a rooftop bootcamp..how swanky!), or a fun-run. Since I have gone to a spin class exactly once in my life, I thought it would be fun to try out the Flywheel class. The fact that it was held on the sidewalk outside of the New Balance Store in Copley Square (one of the busiest parts of the city) was both awesome and terrifying. Being watched by perfect strangers as they walk by on their way home from work? Okay, cool. 🙂

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Here we are, right on Boylston Street during the evening commute rush hour! 

My friend Meg came with me again, and we both decided to do the Flywheel workout along with Athena (of Fitness and Feta — if you don’t read her blog, do it!). Setting up for the class was actually pretty funny — like I said, I am not a regular at spin, and thus had no idea how to set up my bike or where everything was supposed to be. At one point there was one instructor working on my pedals while another was working on my seat.. so… yea, who’s the new kid? Awkward. Anyway, once we got going, I realized that all of the strangers walking by were not only going to see us work out, but they were about to see me get my ass kicked. Big time.

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All smiles with Meg, pre ass-whooping! 

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Getting ready to warm up with Athena! 

I’m not sure if it was the time of day (I’m a morning exerciser and tend to have a harder time with evening workouts), if I was dehydrated, or if I hadn’t eaten enough that day, but it was pretty clear to me immediately that this wasn’t going to be easy.  Did I make it through the class? Yes, just barely, honestly. Every time the instructor told us to bring the bikes to a certain torque level or a certain speed, I felt like I couldn’t physically make myself do either. My legs felt like they were made of cement, and I’m sure I didn’t look too great to anyone walking by! I even found myself getting dizzy and nauseous during the end of the workout and thought for a minute that I might have to get off my bike. Embarrassing, no? The thing is though, I kept smiling through (almost) all of the workout. As much physical torment as I was in, the Flywheel instructor we had, Christina, was absolutely amazing. She had incredible energy and found a way to make even the most torturous 35 minutes seem fun. I would definitely head to the Flywheel studio for more classes just to have her as an instructor — there are certain people that just have motivation and passion in their blood, and she has it.

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See? What did I say..Smiling through my pain 🙂 [Photo Credit: New Balance Back Bay]

After we got off the bikes, we went back inside the store to meet up with the bootcamp group and the run group. As before, the store had basically turned into a party with snacks, drinks, swag bags, a DJ and some great speakers. It was a blast! Again, it was so great to catch up with some Boston blogging friends, as we are all so busy and usually these types of events are the only times we see each other!

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Catching up with Athena after our serious sweat sesh! 

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Some of the awesomeness in our swag bags.. They were screen printing these towels with whichever slogan you chose! 

 

New Balance has really got a good thing going on with these Girls Night Out events, and I strongly encourage you to check out the website and figure out if there are any of these in your area! Building social connections around fitness events is such a wonderful way to bring women together, and when you follow it up with delicious snacks and cocktails, how can you beat it? The summer Girls Night Out events are over, but I’ve heard word on the street that they’ll kick back up in the fall. I’ll keep you all up to date when there are any more Boston GNO events coming up in the future, but in the meantime, you can always use the Girls Night Out website to set up your own fun runs and group fitness events where you are, no matter where you live.

And I am proud to announce that despite my dismal showing at spin that night, I did show up to my November Project workout the next morning and complete 27 sections of Harvard Stadium with a 15 lb kettle bell in my pack. I like to think I redeemed myself with that one. 🙂

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November Project Pack Day. Excuse my bum. 

So with that, happy Monday everyone! How do you combine fitness with your social life? Or do you keep the two totally separate? Have you ever tried a Flywheel spin class?

New Balance Girls Night Out

Last week, I was fortunate to be invited to what turned out to be one of the most kick ass fitness events I’ve ever been to. New Balance has started a series of events called Girls Night Out that rolled out here in Boston on Wednesday, and will continue throughout the summer here and in other cities across the US. These events will happen once per month, and as the name implies, are for the ladies only.

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I’m not going to lie — when I was first invited to the event, which included a 3.6 mile “fun run” and a party following the run at the New Balance Store downtown, I was a little nervous. Yes, I wanted to attend because we all know how awkwardly in love with New Balance I am, but I was also extremely nervous. Run 3.6 miles? Don’t they know who I am?

I’m pretty sure the last time I ran 3.6 miles straight was.. well… I can’t even remember.

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Well, despite my nerves going into it, it turned out to be an amazingly fun, upbeat, and positive night. My friend Meg came with me, and we started out at the store in Copley Square for a beautiful loop around the Charles River. About halfway through the run, Meg and I bumped into Sarah who was also at the event, so the three of us ran together for the remainder of the run. If I’m totally honest here, there were about 5 times at the end of the run that I really wanted to walk, but then I thought about the fact that Sarah is a rockstar and had already run 4 miles from her house just to get there, so I figured I could probably make it through, if for no other reason than to save my own pride. 😉 So run to the finish I did, and I must admit that for a non-runner, I was pretty proud to finish without walking! I suppose running can be fun after all.

NB 2Ok, so we did make a pit stop for a selfie or two 🙂 

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Post run stretch into the park before heading back to the store for party time! 

Once we got back to the store, there was a full on party, with a DJ, photo booth, passed hors d’ourves, cocktails, and several speakers. The entire night was a blast, everyone had great energy and it was just a really awesome way to spend an evening. While there, I was able to catch up with Sarah from Blonde Bostonian (we did a little catching up during the run, but the chatter stopped as I started feeling like I was dying), and also Caroline from The Trendy Trainer, who was one of the hostesses for the evening. I’m not lying when I say that I left there with a  big smile on my face — and I can’t wait for the next one.

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Sarah, Caroline, and me post run 

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I think the premise of the Girls Night Out is what makes this really special. It’s about bonding with your fellow females over health and fitness, a “new” kind of girls night out, if you will. Unfortunately this time around, many of my friends were unable to register before registration closed, but in the future I think it would be a blast to go to one of these events with a group of your good girl friends. Although having girl time often involves food and drinks (which is A-ok in my book!), it can be refreshing to do something new every once in a while. New Balance has figured it out, and I really think this program is going to be a huge success as they unveil it in more cities around the country.

The sweet swag bag didn’t hurt either 😉 Thanks NB! 

Readers: Do you and your friends do any group fitness activities together? Have you heard of NB Girls Night Out? Were you at the Boston event last week? What did you think?