A New Balance Giveaway

Why hello Fall!

Ashley Fall

Even though today’s hazy, warm weather in New York City makes me quickly forget this past weekend’s cool temps and Fall fun, there is no doubt in my mind that Fall running has arrived.  With the arrival of a new running season comes the fun task of switching out my workout drawer. Long sleeve technical tops and jackets replace the tank tops of Summer while I add compression socks to my shorts for just a few more weeks before switching to crops.

Similar to the way I’ve been stalking Loft, Nordstrom and J.Crew for their new Fall trends, I’m also excited to try some new running gear this Fall. In order to help you all with your search for new gear, I wanted to share my five favorite pieces from Reach the Beach weekend with New Balance. When I wasn’t dripping sweat during the hot daytime runs, I was wearing this gear whether relaxing or running at night.


Before this weekend, I wasn’t familiar with New Balance’s gear beyond their shoes, tanks and shorts which I’ve sworn by for years. Most of their items, including these, tend to be more forgiving and comfortable in their sizing which is a pleasant change from some of the tighter, more bootylicious fits which are so popular with other brands. While I was lucky enough to be sent these items by New Balance, I wanted to share my thoughts with you guys as well as let one lucky reader win one item for themselves!

relaxing in new balance gear

These items, except when noted, run true to size or a bit large, which is perfect for Fall and Winter as typically you have multiple layers up top.

New Balance Premium Performance Print Capri – Stripe

I fell head over heels for these tights the first time I wore them. The horizontal stripes unexpectedly flatter me everywhere while the higher waist flatters the waistline.  The DRY technology wicks away the moisture quickly, allowing me to finish a run or Bar Method class fresh and dry versus a sweaty mess.


New Balance Vazee Pace

While these are perfect for all seasons, I can’t help but include these in my five favorites as I’m absolutely in love with these shoes! They weigh in at only 6.5 ounces, far lighter than my other shoes and have resulted in faster paces! The material hugs for feet, providing a fast feel while the sole is responsive. Even though it packs all of this into a light package, the sole and heel are still supportive enough for my 20 Reach the Beach miles as well as this weekend’s 10 mile race. I’m currently running in the grey blue but have full intentions of rewarding myself with the hi-lite color if I can set a new half marathon PR this Fall!

new balance beacon


New Balance Glow Beacon Vest

On sale right now, this vest will become a layering go to this Fall and Winter as the days grow shorter. The bright color keeps runners safe, even in the pitch dark, and there are zip pockets for storing your keys and money as well as smaller, interior pocket. The women’s version is slim cut so keep that in mind when ordering.


New Balance Essentials Plus Classic Sweatpant

It’s straight up embarrassing how much I’ve worn these since they arrived last month.  They combine the comfort of your favorite, worn-in sweatpants with the style of this season’s joggers, scrunching perfectly at the ankles. I have worn these for everything from recovering in the van during Reach the Beach to brunch when styled with Converse and a v-neck tshirt.  When winter comes, I know I’ll throw these on over my shorts or crops for workout classes as well as snuggling on the couch.

impact half zip

New Balance Impact Half Zip

This feminine half zip is perfect to wear to yoga or on a frigid run as it’s made with NB Dry, ensuring that the swick wicks away. I love the ruched detailing and collar notch detail that allows your ponytail to fall over the collar. The rear pocket is large enough to store everything you need for a busy morning of workouts and errands. The $69.99 makes this a great deal and has me tempted to order it in black heather.

Instead of taking my word for it, why don’t you enter my giveaway so you can wine one of the above items in your color and size preference? 

To enter:

1) Leave a comment letting me know what item you would want and why. (Required)

2) Follow @healthyhappier on Instagram and leave a comment letting me know you followed.

3) Follow @healthyhappier in Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you followed.

4) Like A Healthy, Happier Bear page on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you followed.

This giveaway is only open to US residents and will end Thursday at 11:59pm. While my friends at New Balance invited me to join them for Reach the Beach as well as providing me with this wonderful gear, I am providing the prize with my own money and was not compensated for this post. 




NYRR Bronx 10 Miler Race Recap



Not many things, other than running, will get me out of bed at 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning. Luckily the NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Race is one of my favorite NYRR races or else waking up this morning would have been ten times harder. Bo and I woke up while it was still dark outside, and spent the next 45 minute sipping coffee, eating Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread and almond butter and getting race ready.


We had to leave the house earlier than usual since neither of us wanted to brave the Pope and UN traffic and crowds while heading up to the NYRR headquarters on the UES. By 6:30 we were on the subway for the 45 minute trek up to the Bronx.  Due to the small talk we made with fellow runners, the subway ride flew by very quickly.


As soon as we exited the subway station we were greeted by brisk temperatures and sunshine. Even though we were both a bit chilly, we agreed that this was perfect race weather. Though there were more than 9,000 people running the race, New York Road Runners did a phenomenal job this morning. Bib pick up only took a few minutes and the porta potty lines moved very quickly due to the multitude of porta potties. Every volunteer was wide eyed and bushy tailed, happily pointing runners towards the start on the Grand Concourse.


At 7:50 Bo and I slid into the F corral with just enough time to stretch before the 8 AM start and choose our meeting point for the finish. Our plan was to start the race together before running our own races.


Our training has been very different lately and Bo wanted to use this as a diagnostic run while I had a very specific race plan from Jess. The goal of this race was to serve as preparation for Brooklyn RocknRoll half marathon in 13 days. Instead of trying to run a PR today, I focused on executing a race strategy in a race setting.  The goal was 7 easier paced miles followed by 3 tempo miles at the end.

bronx 10 mile course map

One of the reasons that I enjoy this race so much is because it’s very unique course. It is an out and back run that takes you through urban area of the Bronx as you run down the main street, Grand Concourse Boulevard, as well as quieter parks when the out and back diverts before turning you back towards the finish. It is also a great race to practice running hills as is ten miles worth of small, rolling hills. Nothing compares to Harlem Hill in Central Park but after the race my calves felt the combination of hills and running in the lightweight, responsive New Balance Vazee Pace. (elevation map courtesy of  Runner Girl Esq recap)

elevation map bronx 10 miler

I crossed the start line exactly at 8 AM feeling incredible. My legs felt loose after yesterday’s shake out run and the cooler temperature made me excited to run.  Unfortunately, I was so excited that I forgot to start my watch or Nike+ running app. My watch was still in tempo/lap setting which did me no good but luckily within a quarter of a mile I was able to start my Nike app.


I spent the first four miles enjoying the sites and taking in the energy of the people cheering and running around me. Once the lead runners came by I passed the time by watching the runners, hoping to spot Jess or other speedy friends sprinting by me.


I didn’t spot Jess but I did have the chance to say hello to four different blog readers who spotted me on the course! When I dropped the pace, around mile 7, I put my headphones in and jammed out to my Berlin Marathon playlist from last year. While I was certainly burnt out on the playlist a year ago, today I loved the mix of Calvin Harris, Avicci and Macklemore. bronx 10 miler

As you’ll see below, I did a good job not going out too fast and sticking roughly to our plan. My “easy” pace is closer to a 9:30 but the fact that I had enough energy in the tank to drop it to sub 9 for the finish made me feel good. After talking to Theodora and seeing the official NYRR time, I also realize that the Nike Plus app isn’t perfect and seems to be a bit generous. If we assume that and add 5-6 seconds onto each mile, then I was right in the range Jess wanted.


  • Mile 1: 9:22
  • Mile 2: 9:10
  • Mile 3: 9:12
  • Mile 4: 9:20
  • Mile 5: 9:05
  • Mile 6: 9:08
  • Mile 7: 9:15
  • Mile 8: 9:01
  • Mile 9: 9:00
  • Mile 10: 8:51

Nike Plus Avg: 9:07

NYRR: 9:14 

This race has me so excited for the five weeks of running. My plan for Brooklyn is to run with Amy and see how she’s feeling since she’s still making a return to running after having a baby. Savannah will hopefully be a PR race while San Francisco will be all about the fun with Evann, Kristine and friends!

Did you race this weekend? How’d it go? 



New Balance Girls Night Out

Wow, the number of free workout events hosted in New York City never ceases to amaze me! While most people often focus on how expensive boutique fitness classes are in the city, there is also the complete opposite offered on what seems like an almost daily basis.

Thursday night, I joined my friends Zoe and Sashea at New Balance’s Flagship location for Girls Night Out, their version of happy hour.


These evening happy hour events take place a few times per year, each time featuring a great workout, speakers, great swag, and a fun after party including photo booths, drinks and light bites.  Their site features a sign up option which allows people to RSVP for the event, allowing New Balance to cap the number of women who attend each event depending on the venue or workout’s space constrictions.  Not based in NYC? Don’t worry, you can still get in on the fun in the future! On Thursday night over 30 cities hosted Girls Night Out events ranging from Durham, North Carolina to Los Angeles.


The check in process was fast and included a cute swag bag and tank top which we were asked to wear for the evening’s workout. The check in process only took a minute and I was happy to see that they also offered bag check for those people coming straight from work. While people were arriving, New Balance and local partner Juice Generation offered guests fresh coconut water, green juices and bar samples to enjoy while mingling and checking out the latest Fall gear.


FullSizeRender (1)

At 7pm the hostess greeted everyone and explained that we had two options: a fun run or a strength training workout with fitness expert Hollie Perkins.  Those doing the strength workout quickly walked a few blocks to a larger space which could accommodate 100 women for a strength training workout.


Hollie’s energy lit up the room as she greeted our group and prepared us for the workout which would be a mix of cardio and resistance band strength training. She provided tips for making each exercise harder or easier depending on ability and demonstrated each move on the stage so everyone could easily follow along. For the next 40 minutes we lunged, jumped and pumped our muscles until the room was a sweaty mess. Her playlist was so spot on that many of us broke into a dance or busted out a few moves more than once.


After the workout New Balance welcomed us back to the store for cocktails and food, including a delicious green tea vodka cocktail.



If you’re in one of the many cities where New Balance hosts Girls Night Out, I encourage you to grab a few girlfriends and make a date for their next event. While they fill up quickly, they are a fun and free way to break a sweat and enjoy a healthier happy hour. Follow either the corporate New Balance handle or your local New Balance store on social media to get updates on their next event.