Enjoy your 4th of July holiday, everyone! Race well, train hard, eat all the burgers, and live, laugh, and love! xoxo from all the Scootadoot Chicks!
But it sure did help the bloggers. (That’s how the song goes, right?)
On a rainy June day I was lucky enough to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference in NYC. Remember? You saw me geek out and fangirl over the New Amsterdam theater tour.
Along with the incredible experience of the conference location, there was a lot of information shared at the conference. The speakers were experts, fonts of knowledge; I was able to not only glean valuable nuggets of blogging goodness but now I can share them with you. Win/win!
Let’s talk about pictures and videos. Meet multimedia goddess, Victoria Lim.
This was the second time I’ve had the opportunity to hear Victoria speak and each time has been a pleasure. She’s quite dynamic and knows her stuff when it comes to presenting on social media platforms.
We are very visually driven creatures, gravitating toward pictures rather than text alone. Here, check out these stats on the graphic (wink, wink).
Personally I feel like I’ve got my finger on the pulse when it comes to pictures, or, at the very least I can handle pictures!
Meanwhile, I’ve been working hard on learning the ropes with different video applications. Victoria had some great suggestions of apps to check out and each offers a unique set of qualities.
For example, for a quick little snippet of fun, Instagram video is a great way to record in real time and then automatically share. Check out this one of Jenn dancing during the 2015 Bolder Boulder.
Jenn has enough pizzazz to make that video up there entertaining on its very own.
However, sometimes we want a little bit more like the ability to incorporate pics, jamming music, and storytelling. And in that case, Magisto might be the editor for you.
Plug in your favorites, pick a theme and lickety split, you’ve got a video! The app does all the work for you.
The only thing that I’m not loving about Magisto is that picture placement is random so they might be a bit out of order. Depending on the story you want to tell, this can potentially work against you. (Although I think this one from the 2014 Disneyland 10k is super cute!)
Also a bit of Magisto fabulousness? Give them access to your photos and videos and they’ll randomly make videos for you. Just as a little treat! How cool is that?
Videolicious is perfect if you’re looking to do a voice-over with video. Put pictures where you want to and then warm up those vocal chords (and uh, make sure you know what you want to say. I was rambling a bit). This was my very first attempt and I don’t think it turned out half bad!
We weathered the storm AND survived a 36 hour power outage.
Videolicious allows you to pick a song to enhance your video; I think the one I picked sounds very Harry Potter-ish.
I’m just learning more about Periscope. As in, I was getting texts from Jenn who was learning about it at FitBloggin’. Anyone have any advice for us there?
One of the things I like so much about video is that it’s a way to really connect with others and show your personality! I know it can be a bit daunting to talk to seemingly no one at the moment or not get immediate response but don’t let that scare you away from video blogging.
As a blog reader I can say that I really enjoy when there are video elements within a blog. I gravitate toward them and find that they can really enhance content.
Generally speaking, there are some good habits to have when you’re shooting either pics or video. Fancy cameras aren’t mandatory but clear shots and shooting with intention should be!
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was a free event that I was fortunate enough to be invited to. Other than a magical day, no other compensation was given and all opinions are my very own unless stated otherwise. Thanks to Victoria Lim for the invaluable advice!
In a few weeks, SkirtSports is kicking off their new Speaker Series with none other than Dimity McDowell. I was excited immediately because, well…who wouldn’t want to meet Dimity if given the chance? AND maybe, just maybe, I could get Dimity’s thoughts on your most burning running and mothering questions. Such as does she have any toenails left? Or when is it appropriate to to use your BOB to mow down the walkers in the way? According to retired Chick Brooke, Dimity is very funny and gracious, so I’m sure she would be more than willing to give us some insight into these, and your, burning questions.
The Contest Scoop:
1. Tweet us your questions for Dimity using the hashtag #scootdimity. Tweet as many questions as you like, but tweet them by 7/10/15. After that, the contest ends!
2. We will select the top three questions and announce winners on 7/13/15. I will ask as many of those three as I can at the event.
3. If your question is selected, you’ll win a prize! A fun and awesome prize, no less! Even if I don’t get to ask your question, you’ll still win a prize!
So start thinking and tweeting! The crazier and the funnier, the better. The more genuine and authentic, the better, too.
Let’s show Dimity who the Scoot community is and come up with some doozies for her!
This post and contest are not sponsored by SkirtSports or Dimity McDowell. All prizes are provided by Scootadoot.
Last month, Kyle and Cam were called upon to serve the running community. Their mission? To test run the new Skora Tempo – a beautiful, bright, natural-running shoe that touts “connection + cushioning.” Kyle began marathon training in her pair. Cam ran Ragnar Wasatch Back. These are their stories.
Upon receiving my Tempos in the mail, I immediately tore into the package and stuck the suckers on my feet. I’ve had a love affair with minimalist shoes since I started distance running three years ago and though I’ve moved away from them during my last two marathon cycles, I was excited to welcome them back on to my feet. I’d never run in a pair of Skora shoes before, but I’ve only read good things about them, so I was really looking forward to putting some miles on them.
The first thing I noticed about these shoes was how wide the toe box is – in my excitement to try them on, I didn’t put on socks and they felt really too big in the toe box. But, after putting on a pair of socks, they felt a lot more snug. I loved the lacing – it’s anatomically designed to fit the natural curve of your feet and it allows for a “second skin” like feel.
I took them out for a short test run that day and I was in love. That zero-drop is my jam, tho. Knowing my feet and how they handle long distances, though, I know that these shoes will probably be designated as middle distance kicks – no longer than 13.1 in these babies, because otherwise my feet and knees will be a bit unhappy.
As I tested the Tempos out, I wore them to the gym for my other workouts. The great thing about zero-drop shoes? They make GREAT lifting shoes. These are no exception. You’ve got plenty of cush to make your joints happy, but you’re also totally connected to the ground, which gives you a strong base to lift from. Usually I lift in my New Balance Minimus, the soles of which are made of the same material as the Vibram Five Fingers. I love those shoes, but I’ve been looking for something different and Skora, you’ve come through!
I’ve got a 9-miler on the docket for this weekend and I’m looking forward to another run in the Tempos. I’m still getting used to minimalist running again, but I love how light and unencumbered my feet feel in these shoes. I’m excited to see what my splits look like – even if it’s just in my head, I feel faster when I run in these, and that’s always a good thing!
So you guys know how I feel about Skora, right? I’m pretty much their biggest fan. I’ve had nothing but shoe problems since I began running around 5 years ago. I’ve tried them all and Skora is where my heart is. It’s a very committed relationship. Given the opportunity to try out their new model, I was like a kid in a candy store…or a runner in a shoe store? I don’t know, I was thrilled.
Skora generally are made to be worn without socks. They have this “no sew” construction so you don’t feel all the seams and junk on the top of your foot. The Core is what I’ve worn in the past and just before trying these, I invested in a pair of the Forms. I like that they’re made from genuine leather. They’re soft and mold to your foot. These are a zero drop shoe, meaning they have a 0mm differential between the heel and toe. The Forms I’ve been running in weigh a whopping 6.8 oz and have a 13 mm sole. The Tempo are a little lighter at 6 oz but they have considerably more padding at 22 mm. Socks not needed!!! These shoes are super light, super airy, and super comfy. Plus, they look awesome and reflective, which is must for us night runners.
The first thing I noticed is that they have a bit of an arch, probably undetectable for normal feet but my flat feet noticed immediately. The gave me a bit of soreness in the heel and arch initially, which I haven’t experienced with the Form. Once I’d given them a solid 10 miles, though, they entire shoe was undetectable. And because of the mesh upper, I could feel the breeze on my toes.
I’ve been wearing them for cross training, also. Like Kyle mentioned, they have a huge toe box. Mine were a bit big in the length, even though I ordered my normal size 10. I felt like the material buckled around my toe a bit with lateral movement. If I were to order these again, I’d probably size down a half size. The box is big enough, you don’t have to worry about your toes rubbing against the shoe so sizing up is unnecessary.
At this point, I was already very please with my these new shoes, but I wanted to put them to the real test: Ragnar. Would I still love these shoes after three runs over two days and 15+ miles?
I’ve had terrible issues with my ankles, so I wrapped and wore compression socks for my first run. These shoes did fabulous. I had no foot pain, which is my main issue when I run. Granted, I have to apply a lot of topical pain relief to my ankle before I run, but my arches felt great. My second run, I ditched the socks and felt the wind between my toes.
My last run was 4.1 miles downhill. And when I say downhill, I mean like 2000 ft elevation loss. I ended up getting huge blisters on the inside arches of both feet and a pretty sore achilles. The extra space in the toe from the shoe being a little big may have had something to do with this. However, I didn’t have knee pain, which I anticipated given this downhill and I didn’t lose a toenail, which happens every Ragnar. I can’t be sure if the blisters were because of the shoe or just a casualty of Ragnar. Historically, by my third leg, I can barely walk, my knee caps feel like they’re about to pop, and ankles are the size of grapefruits. I’d definitely rather just have a couple blisters!
Overall, I really like these shoes. I think they’d be fantastic for someone with more of an arch and the cushion is just unbeatable. I don’t know what they’re using in the soles, but seriously, it’s like marshmallows. I still like my Form the best, but I’ll be adding these to my list of reasons why Skora holds my heart.
Best team name ever.
Now that that’s out of the way, let the race recap begin! I’m still recovering from the epic experience that was Ragnar Wasatch Back. Utah brought all the extremes…heat, cold, elevation gain and loss: this race was no joke. I’m a bit of a Ragnar Veteran, so I thought this weekend would be just another Ragnar. I was prepared for the lack of sleep and the shenanigans. I had hydration under control thanks to the NUUN station at the start line. I had my new Skora Tempo and my Core…just in case. I had brought my biofreeze and compression socks and my DoTerra Blue Rub.
Most of all, I was so very excited to see my friends!
I was not, however, ready for the elevation. Altitude is a real thing, people.
My Ragnar weekend started on Thursday with a 12 hour road trip to Salt Lake City, Utah from Riverside, CA with my fella and teammate, Ian. Yes, it took us 12 hours. Mostly because of the Electric Daisy Carnival happening in Las Vegas. Stop and go from Baker to Vegas surrounded by kids with drugs in 115 degree heat. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but we had a race to get to!
Once we got into Utah, though, the 80 mph speed limit sure brightened things up. All the ninjas had already gathered at our fearless leader, Eric’s, parent’s house, who so graciously let 13 runners take over their house. We didn’t arrive until around 2 am and our wake-up call (or rather violent shake) was scheduled for 4:30 am so that we could get to the start line in Logan, UT by our 8 am start time. And so it begins…
Being in Van 2 has its advantages. Once we kicked off the start with Van 1, we were able to grab some food and prepare aka screw around before our actual legs, which didn’t start until around 1 pm. So we hit up the IHOP and ate all the pancakes, then followed some of the runners of Van 1 to check out their course.
Around this time we also learned that a fellow Ragnarian had collapsed on the course. A 46 year old man from Park City, Utah, Tyler “Ty” Rasch, collapsed and later passed away (more information here). While the cause of death is still unknown, this was frightening news. I didn’t train in the altitude or heat at all and here this guy, who was used to this climate, had just died during this race. It was a very sombering reality check. I take this race stuff for granted. My heart goes out to his family and friends, who were with him during this race and had to watch all this go down. Just terrible.
We met up with Van 1 at exchange 6. El Capitan Eric took over as runner 7 and our van headed out to kick some serious miles. Around this time the temperature was reaching into the 90’s and our elevation was up in the 5000’s. This sea level SoCal girl was definitely feeling the altitude.
I was runner 8, the second runner in our van, which means I got to run and be done. Seriously, having to wait around to run when your van is “on” is torture. My first leg was 7.1 miles of what seems like perfectly nice, flat land.
The first few miles felt like I was drowning. I could not get a hold of my breathing. Once I got into a nice steady breathing pattern, that’s when I realized I was melting. I could not drink enough water. I had my NUUN on hand but my Van had to stop twice to refill my bottle.
The rest of the van had very similar legs, with lots of heat, lots of hills and lots of miles. By the time we handed off to Van 2 for the night runs, we were desperate for rest. Luckily, Eric’s folks were close and we were able to get some food from an actual kitchen, take a shower and use a real toilet, and actually get a little rest in a real bed before our projected early, early morning runs.
The second leg of our race started at 1 am and we had some pretty quick runs with elevations in the 6000’s and temps in the 50’s. My second leg was super short and super cold!
There wasn’t a mile marker on this run, though, so the only way I knew it was over, was the mile long back up of vans at the exchange. This race had about 1000 teams! That’s a lot of vans, man. I came into the exchange looking to hand off to Tim, but I couldn’t find him anywhere. I stood there about 10 minutes before we found each other. Turns out, he’d been standing out there the whole time. Doh! Things you miss at 2:30 am.
I was feeling pretty good after my run, so I took on the role of driver. The head honcho, Eric, needed to rest as he was gearing up for the gnarly run up Ragnar Hill in the morning. Traffic was pretty heavy at every exchange and by the time we arrived to handoff to Van 1, I was suffering from severe nap-jerks. Runner 12, Jana, came in around 7 am, and then it was time to fuel! We headed to this really cool diner that seriously had the best breakfast food I’ve ever had.
I’m not quite sure what happened after this. All I know is I was eating and then I was asleep and then it was time to run again. But first we had to support the big cheese, Eric, on this baby:
Yes, that is a 2000 ft. elevation gain over 10.3 miles in 90 degree heat on a few hours of sleep and after already completing 2 grueling legs. This is the shit that legends are made of.
I was up next, so I got to watch these runners come into the exchange after this run. It was the most inspiring thing. I was in awe after watching them grind up this mountain and then cry when they passed on to their next runner. Seriously, the most breathtaking view of the whole course was the determination and then elation on these runners faces. And they got a special medal!
So Eric ran up this mountain, and it was up to me and Tim to run down. This was my last leg. The downhill was really freaking hard on my feet. I hadn’t had any issues at all thanks to my new Skora Tempo, ProCompression socks, biofreeze, and KT Tape (this is my recipe for success, btw), but on this leg, the back of the shoe starting cutting into my achilles and all I could think was PAIN. I also developed big huge blisters on my arches from this leg.
But the view was spectacular!
I was done! Time to relax and take some pictures. Here’s a wrap up of the rest of Van 2’s legs and bringing it home to the finish line. That’s probably the best thing about being Van 2…you’re done at the finish line.
Jana ran us into the Finish Line in Park City after about 30+ hours. Time to celebrate!
And the coolest bling in the race game! All 12 of our medals connect to form one super badass medal. Mine is the one that says “eries”.
Ragnar Wasatch Back was the very first race in the Ragnar series. It is definitely the most difficult Ragnar I’ve ever participated in. What an honor to be among these fine adventurers! I’ve been out of the Ragnar game for a year but the bug is back! I’m thinking Vegas? There’s a double medal series for Utah and Vegas…Saints and Sinners, anyone?
Ever since I started running, I’ve sort of become obsessed with running clothes. The sewist in me wants to understand their construction, function, and style, and then I make them for myself with my own twists. I always have to carry a lot of crap with me on the course. My car key, phone, earbuds, license, cash, and most annoyingly, my stupid, goofy-shaped inhaler that fits into no running waist belt I’ve found yet. I needed something custom made for all my stuff.
Then there’s the costume races where you are making your outfit top to bottom and need to hold a hotel key and extra pixie dust in your Tinkerbell tutu. The struggles are so real, especially as I begin to plan my costumes for the Rebel Challenge. I mean, where/how am I going to attach my lightsaber to my adorable outfit? I know the solution is to craft my own running skirt with a waistband pocket built into it. I practiced this idea with the Flintstones costumes I made for Meri and I, and now I’m sharing the technique with all of you.
YES. MY. FRIENDS. Are you excited? Please say yes because I am SO STOKED to show you this easy pattern. This will take you one afternoon. No joke. Heck, you can even skip adding the skirt and you’ll have a pocket belt that you can wear with anything.
Now, if you’ve sewn before, don’t let the word zipper send you screaming from your computer right now. If you’ve never sewn in your life, don’t let the word zipper send you screaming from your computer right now. This is simple stuff, friends, and if you have to do a zipper, this is the kind of easy zipper install you want to do. Trust. The trick is basting and using an invisible zipper foot, and I’ll get to that in a sec.
What to Expect: After you’re done with this project, you will have a running skirt with a 4 inch pocket that goes all the way around the waist for maximum storage. I have not yet mastered building in a sport panty, but I will master that for a future tutorial, promise!
Here is what you need for this project:
Tools that make any sewing job easier: Cutting mat, rotary cutter, large plastic ruler, fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk
**These instructions include ½ inch seam allowances.
And here we go!!
Step 1: Read these instructions all the way through at least once before beginning.
Step 2: Measure your waist in inches. Take that number, divide it in half, then add 2 inches. This is your width measurement for cutting your fabric.
Step 3: Fold the fabric lengthwise right sides facing together, so that the selvage ends meet. Cut two pieces, 9* inches x the width measurement you got in step 1.
(*Note: This 4 inch waistband will accommodate an iPhone 5. If you have a larger phone or need a wider waistband, simply increase the number from 9 inches to whatever you need. Just remember that there is one inch built into this pattern for 1/2 inch seam allowances. Example, if you want a 5 inch waistband, 5 x 2 = 10 inches plus 1 for seam allowance, therefore, you would cut your two pieces 11 inches x the width measurement from step 1.)
Step 4: Set one of the two pieces you just cut aside. Lay the remaining piece flat and measure 2 ½ inches from the bottom edge. Mark this line with your fabric pen or chalk. Cut all the way across lengthwise.
Step 5: Position your zipper in the center top edge of the smaller section. Baste the zipper in place with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the fabric.
Step 6: Next, you’ll need to use an invisible zipper foot. You can usually find universal versions of the invisible zipper foot at stores like Joann Fabrics or Hancock Fabrics. Notice the two grooves in the bottom center of the foot. You’ll also notice the hole in the center, that is for needle to pass through.
Position your work under the foot so that the zipper fits into the groove on the left. Make sure the zipper is open, and stitch using a straight stitch.
And when you’re done it should look something like this!
Step 7: Close zipper, remove basting stitches, and repeat Steps 4 and 5 the other side. Make sure to line up your pieces along the zipper edge and the short sides.
Step 8: Repeat step 5, stitching until the zipper’s pull gets in the way and you can’t stitch any further. When you’re done it will look like this:Don’t worry about the gaps on each end, we’re going to fix that next.
This is the trickiest part of this project; first, change your press foot back to a standard foot and stitch from where your zipper ends to the edge, thereby completing the seam and joining the two pieces of fabric all the way across. It may be a little bumpy and jagged around the ends of the zipper, but that’s okay. It will still work just fine!
When you’re done, it should something look like this when you look at it from the right side.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve completed the hardest part of this project! You fricken ROCK! We are seriously SO CLOSE to being done!
Step 10: Remember that other piece of fabric that you cut and I told you to set it aside? Well bust that puppy out and let’s do this! Line it up with the zippered piece right sides together, and pin it along the short sides.
Step 11: Turn the waistband right side out and try it on! Woot woot! If it’s too loose, now is the time to take it in. Simply turn it inside out again and stitch the side seams in a little further from the edges. Repeat that process until the band fits over your hips but also fits your waist. Because you’ve been using a zig-zag stitch where needed, the skirt will stretch. Once you have it fitted, trim off any excess seams/fabric on the inside and turn it right side out.
Pocket Belt Option: If you want to make a pocket belt instead of a running skirt, then this is is your last step. Tuck the two touching raw edges to the inside of the band, making a seam. Essentially, you’re making a tube. Once you tuck the edges and pin in place all the way around the bottom edge of the band, top stitch using a zig-zag stitch. When you’re done, you should have a fabric tube, like a bicycle tire, with a zipper. (Oh my goodness, I hope that makes sense).
Step 12: Using a skirt pattern, cut the front and back skirt pieces following the layout instructions that come with the pattern. Pin the front and back of the skirt together, right sides facing each other. Using a straight stitch, stitch the two sides together.
Step 13: For a pleated skirt look, baste along top edge of skirt. Gather the skirt fabric until it is the same circumference as your waistband, making sure the pleats are evenly distributed all the way around the skirt.
If you want an a-line style skirt, use an a-line skirt pattern or simply skip the gathering step above and adjust the skirt until its waist is the same size as your waistband.
Step 14: Pin the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the skirt with the right sides together. Make sure to match the side seams of the skirt with the side seams of the waistband.
Step 15: Using a zig-zag stitch, attach the skirt to the waistband.
Step 16: Shorten the skirt to desired length and trim off excess. Athletic fabric typically doesn’t fray and won’t need hemming, but if your fabric is fraying you’ll need to hem your skirt. To do that, fold the raw edge to the inside of the skirt 1/4 to 1/2 inch all the way around, and then another 1/4 to 1/2 inch all the way around. Pin in place as you go. Then, top-stitch using a straight stitch.
YOU ARE DONE! HIIIIIIGH FIVE, YOU! You now have a cute, functional running skirt that you made YOURSELF. I’m so proud of you!
Now, I want to see YOUR skirts. So go forth, dust off your sewing machine or rescue one at your located Goodwill, and send me your pics! I’m excited to see what you guys come up with! Share your pics on our Facebook page or tweet me at @Scootadoot or @jenniferspen
I’ve never written out my patterns before. If I’ve utterly confused you, I’m sorry, and I want to fix it! Please email me your questions at Scootadoot@gmail.com with the subject “Skirt Tut” and I will respond to you as soon as I’m able.
**This design did come out of my head, and any resemblances to patterns currently for sale in the market place is purely coincidental. No copyright infringements were intended.
This is going to be part product review, part just me telling you about a totally kickass company. Cool? Cool.
I’ve been fortunate enough in my blogging life to try out some incredible products, and asked to share my opinion on them. And if you know me, you know I love sharing my opinion. (That’s a nice way of saying I’m mouthy.)
So, when I was selected to be a brand ambassador for Taffy Activewear last year, I was stoked. Taffy is this totally adorable line of plus-sized activewear. It’s functional, trendy and well made. Saying yes was a total no brainer. After I’d been a Taffy Ambassador for a couple of months, I started noticing another name in plus-sized activewear around Twitter – Katie K Activewear.
I did a little peeking around (meaning I went straight to the website and started shopping) and realized that Katie K and Taffy were sister companies, both founded by the awesome Katie Kozloff. You can read Katie’s full story here, but in short, when Katie was a personal trainer, she often heard from her plus size clients that they had trouble finding stylish workout wear. And she didn’t just listen, she acted, creating a plus size women’s active line in Taffy, and later, an all inclusive sized line in Katie K.
Basically, Katie is awesome. I love representing this fantastic, female owned business, and I’m thrilled to help spread the word about this brand and show the world how I #definebrave.
Okay, let’s get down to it. The CLOTHES.
For me, activewear needs to be three things; functional, comfortable and cute. Katie K is all of these things. The products are incredibly well made, and vary from pieces that are geared toward performance, like the Signature Capri, to pieces that can easily take you from the gym to running errands.
The latter is a little more my style, and along those lines, I can tell you I am fully in love with the Signature Walking Pant. They’re comfortable enough to wear for a brisk walk or a Zumba class, but they totally work for a run to the mall, too. My fave.
The best parts of Katie K products are in the details. The peek-a-boo opening on the Signature Open Back Tee had me channeling my inner Lynn Stone in the Color Run parking lot. (If you get that reference, you get massive cool points and we should probably hang out). And the Signature Cowl is pretty enough to rock on date night. Add to all that, the entire line features bright colors like coral, yellow and vivid blue.
And for my plus sized ladies, if you want to see the items for you? It’s all of them. The entire store comes in sizes Small-3X. So, if you’re looking for something ALL your friends can wear to a race, you can totally find it here. It’s awesome.
I’m pretty much gushing at this point, I know. I’m just so in love with this company. And because they’re so great, they let me offer you guys 15% off your purchase and free shipping when you use my Ambassador Code (BEC15).
I really hope you ladies will check out Katie K!
P.S. Today is the last day to enter our giveaway for a free entry to Diva Dash. Don’t forget to check it out!