Building Each Other Up

I met Nicole DeBoom when I stopped in the Skirt Sports warehouse to pick up a Christmas gift for Mer last year, and my girl crush started then. Not because she’s the Ironman winner, a successful entrepreneur, or because she is hilarious, but because she is real. Authentic. I know that word gets thrown around a lot these days, but you know when it’s genuine and when it isn’t. Nicole is the real deal, and so is her message.

At a recent event, she shared a few stories. Stories about how she made her first running skirt an wore it as she won 2004 Ironman Wisconsin, and of her calling to help women change their lives. And in this video, she shared the story of her daughter’s birth, and, trust me, it was one for the books. My sides were aching by the time she finished. She is the cutest.

Earlier this year, she started a Podcast called “Run This World” where she talks with “…visionaries who are creating change in the world”. Nicole and her guests go deep, and they aren’t afraid to be honest about the struggles they’ve had on their journey. They share their stories with us, and in doing so, empower us to tackle our own challenges with grace and self acceptance. This is why I enjoy working with Skirt Sports, because they are genuine in their goal to help women feel feed good in their skin and in life.

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

My favorite episode so far was an interview with Kara Burns titled “From Prison to 26.2”. By the title you can guess what it was about. I was so touched by Kara’s forgiveness of herself and her determination to move on from her past. Kara reminded me that no matter how hard we think something is, it can be overcome with discipline and determination. She was so honest about her mistakes and their consequences, and she didn’t shirk from  the pain she caused those she loves the most. She is a beautiful soul, and I hope to meet her at a Skirt event one of these days. Her positivity and was truly inspiring.

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Every episode has the same root message, love and positivity. We can always use more of that! Nicole and her guests inspire us to pursue our goals and keep sight of what’s truly important.  Next time you go for a run, check her out. Each episode lasts about 45 minutes, so they’re perfect for tuning in while you get in a few quick miles. I highly recommend it!

 

What do you like to listen to while training? What’s your favorite Podcast?

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Race Recap – Vacation Races Elk Double at Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park

I want to let you know that this will mostly be a picture post, because this race is just sooooo pretty. Also, I want to formally declare my love for Vacation Races, and this event in particular. VR, I LOVE YOU. If you’re reading this, pleeeeeeeease let me be an ambassador for your race series. Since I live within driving distance of  six out of nine of your events, I would make an excellent representative because I plan to run them all in the near future. But my first love for your race series will always be the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon.

This was the second year I’ve run the #RMHalf. They even added an extra special challenge this year, the Elk Double, which consisted of a 5k on Friday night, followed by the half marathon on Saturday morning. Three medals for two races means I. AM. IN. Many of my fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador Sisters were also running the races, and created a team. Team WTF? Where’s the Finish? I was so stoked to run with a team; I usually run races all by my lonesome.

packing

Packing for the big weekend and Coach Lily the Pug approves of my outfit selections.

In the interest of transparency, I want to state that in my (limited) half marathon experience, this group puts on the best races with the BEST Medals. Dare I say it, even better than runDisney.

I dared and said it. I retract nothing.

For proof, they had free smores and hammocks at the race expo. They had water, electrolyte drink, and Honey Stinger Gels at EVERY half marathon aid station, and at three of those stations, they also had bananas, orange slices, and porta potties.  VR really takes care of their runners!

smores

I was excited to try my new Skirt Sports skirt with bib magnets built in for the 5k. I was expecting to have to adjust my bib as I ran, but nope! The magnets kept it perfectly in place and I didn’t have to put safety pin holes in my new skirt. I was winning at life!

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5K Outfit: Skirt Sports Race Magnet Skirt, Electric Tank, Injinji socks, NB Shoes

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At the 5k Start

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Spirit of the Rockies: Anglers, Canadian Geese, and runners share the natural beauty!

Geese

Even the geese were cheering for us!

Here in Colorado, they don’t give out medals for 5ks. They just don’t. Not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with the commonly seen “140” oval stickers on cars. I guess folks here don’t really get behind the 5k distance. So, I’m VERY proud of my first and only 5k medal!

5kmedal

Ummm, so on a “related to the Rockies” note…my high school BFF lives a half a mile from the start line for the races, which was awesome, because I stayed at her house and walked to the 5k start. What wasn’t as fun was navigating the bear in the tree a few houses down from said friend’s house. I think he was sleeping, and he had the cutest bear butt. As long as that butt stayed in that tree.

bearbutt

You can see a casually hanging paw and adorable tail.

I found out later that team WTF? finished in FIRST PLACE for the 5k!!!! No thanks to my slow arse which finished in 38 minutes, but yeah! So I got 2, 5k medals and I cannot even. I had to get the gold 1st place medal from my WTF? team mates the next day, but I was stoked!!  Then it was time to rest, fuel, sleep, and get up at 4:30 for the half marathon!

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Flat Me for the Half: Skirt Sports Eclipse top, Cougar (Lioness) skirt in Free Love print, two pairs of socks; Injinji toe and PROcompression.

halfstart

I only smile this early in the morning on race days. Trust.

mist

Mountain valley mist rising as the sun rises in Estes Park

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The weather was perfect, and the course is so gorgeous!

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I saw an Elk whilst doing the Elk Double! Life is complete!

I always love seeing mile marker 6 because it means I’m almost halfway done!

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In the middle of the dreaded looooooong (3.5 miles-ish) low grade hill.

gorgeous

*heart eyes*

thatviewtho

This view is worth the altitude.

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The course takes you right past the most haunted hotel in America!

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Coming up on the finish

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dog

The cutest!

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Just a few more steps!

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Team WTF? Where's The Finish

Team WTF? Where’s The Finish

bling

That bling, tho!

Done

This was my big event for the season and there was no doubt in my mind that I’d enjoy the race, but the fact is I came away with a lot more than I expected. My goal was to push myself and I did. I shaved five minutes off my time from last year. But the best part by far was I got to know my Skirt Sisters better, and together, we placed in the race. That’s because #REALwomenmove. Especially together.

What is/was your big race this season? Do you runs with a team at races? Did you visit a National Park this summer? Let’s discuss below!

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Race Recap – Skirt Sports 13er & Ambassador Retreat

Recently, I got to spend some time getting to know my fellow Skirt Sports Ambassadors as we celebrated a weekend of strong women accomplishing amazing things. At the ambassador retreat, I learned more about the Skirt Sports message of supporting all women in their fitness goals and beyond. I want to tell you more about that in a future post because the message is amazing, and goes much deeper than the cute clothes they make.

My current favorite.

My current favorite.

The retreat was hosted by the company’s Community Outreach Manager, Noelle, at her amazing mountain home near Boulder. We ate all the yummy food  like berries and mangoes, Einstein Bagels, Justin’s Nut Butters, Noosa Yogurt, Bhakti chai & teas, and granola bars Two Moms  in the Raw.

food

After stuffing our faces, we embarked on a short hike and I made lots of new friends. Inspired by the beauty of our surroundings, we moved though the forest and shared stories of how we came to running and fitness, and why we wanted to be involved with the company. Our colorful prints and pink skirts took over the trail, and the air was filled with our laughter and positivity.

Hike 1

These ladies know how to have all the fun. It was great to put faces to names and learn something form everyone I met. I sometimes have a bit of social anxiety, so putting myself out there like this was a big deal for me. Everyone was so welcoming and genuine.

Hike 2

With views like this, we all wanted to move into Noelle’s basement.

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After the hike, we mingled and ate more carbs and then discussed some super secret ambassador-y type of stuff that I’ll be sharing with you later. At the end day I had new friends and a new perspective of what being a Skirt Sports Ambassador means. These ladies are good people, and I’m so proud to be among them!

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The next day was the Skirt Sports 5k and 13er. One of the highlights of the race is seeing the excitement of the Running Start  runners. It’s a mentorship program that matches a seasoned runner with a new runner for training and motivation The new runners train for the 5k and they run with their mentors. The program had been life changing for lots of women in profound ways that go far beyond running shoes and exercise.

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We didn’t get to see them start their 5k since our half started earlier, but we were an excited bunch at the start!

race start

Not far in, I found my pace and two new friends! Anne, (@anniem695) who blogs at Out Running the Fork, and Kim (@kimrunsthistown). We had so much fun together and enjoyed the beauty of the course, which wasn’t as hilly as I expected. The weather was PERFECT, it was overcast which kept it cool, and humidity is something we know nothing about in Colorado. And it was SO PRETTY, you guys!

course1

BoulderPano

They had the best signs out on the course, which was nice, because there weren’t to many folks out on the course cheering with their own funny signs. As we approached the hill, we needed that motivation. However, there were some lovely people out with a tray of gummy worms, which may have to be my fuel of choice going forward.

the hill

We made it to the top of the hill, a.k.a., the bad relationship, and honestly, it wasn’t that bad! I was pretty scared of this hill; it kept me from doing the half last year. It was so gradual that I didn’t notice the incline much at all. (Note: I’m acclimated to the elevation here, always consider the elevation when traveling to a mountain race location.)

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It was a great day and this race is inching to the top of my short list of favorites. With views like this throughout the entire course, who wouldn’t want to run this one? I’ll be there next year with  my Skirt Sisters; and you should add this unique women-only race to your list of destination races. Did I mention there’s amazing gluten-free cake at the finish?

What races have you done recently? What races do you have on the horizon? Do you have a community that builds you up? Tell me all about it below!

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Summer Races…and Beyond – The 2017 Caldera Triple

A few weeks ago, I turned forty. Surprisingly, it wasn’t horrible. In fact, it was pretty flippin rad. First, my Subaru that served me well for 11 years decided it didn’t feel like driving anymore. Goodbye, rD magnets.

I loved this car so much.

I loved this car so much.

So I was forced to get a new car.

Hellllooooo, Lover.

Hellllooooo, Lover.

This really was a coincidence. Promise. No for real, though. But in a way, you could say I got a pony for my birthday. (I’ve always wanted to say that!) Since before I had a license, I’ve wanted a classic Mustang. I can’t afford a classic, but my husband agreed to this new one. Because he is the best. (And he liked it a lot, too, truth be told.)

THEN, as if that weren’t enough, my husband (being the absolute best husband on the planet (see above new car)), had arranged a gift for me long before my Subaru died. This was my face when I opened my itinerary to SPACECAMP, something I’ve wanted to do since I was eight.

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They do have an adult program and I will have to get in the Multi-Axis Trainer. They claim it doesn’t make you sick. Ummmm-hmmmmm. Anyway, I work for an aerospace company and I’m a space/sci-fi fanatic, so yeah. I’m SO STOKED I CANNOT EVEN.

But birthdays tend to make me reflect on what I’ve accomplished and what I still want to achieve. My birthday did remind me that at 40, I need to focus on fitness. My biggest fitness goal is to not be frail in advanced age. To keep running, I need races to stay motivated. I’m registered for 3 races this summer that I’m excited for: The Skirt Sports 13er, and the Elk Double Challenge hosted by Vacation Races.

Last year I ran the Skirt Sports 10k at the 13er, but this year I wanted to represent with my fellow skirt sisters and do the half. It will be a whole weekend of strong women supporting each other, and that’s pretty hard to beat.

PR of 1:23:42 and I'm thrilled!

PR of 1:23:42 and I’m thrilled!

I loved the Rocky Mountain Half in Estes Park so much last year that I registered for their inaugural Elk Challenge this year. It’s a 5k on Friday afternoon and a half on Saturday morning. My oldest friend lives in Estes Park, so I’m staying with her that Friday night. SLEEPOVER! Seriously, though, last year’s half was my favorite race to date. Yes, even more than runDisney. I know, but it’s true! It’s still my favorite medal.

Poking around the Vacation Races website,  I made a discovery that will likely be the death of me and my pocket book. It’s called the Caldera Triple  because who wouldn’t want to run in view of the Grand Tetons one week, followed by Yellowstone the next? And a 5k in between?? I SAY BRING IT, NATIONAL PARKS.

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Image Credit: Vacation Races

2 National Parks, 3 races, 4 UH-MAZING medals, and some of the prettiest land in the nation. Who’s with me?

Have you ever done a Vacation Races race? What races do you have planned for the summer, or beyond?

 

Spring Time is Trail Time!

This week, I needed an injection of motivation in my runs. I’m training for the Skirt Sports 13er in June, and I’m super excited for the race. Not so much the training. After talking to Mer about how I don’t take advantage of where I live nearly enough, I decided that it’s finally time to start trail running in earnest. I have every hope that will invigorate me to get in a training groove. I know a lot of you run trails. I see your gorgeous photos on Instagram and am so inspired by the gentle rolling hills and flat, heavily treed forests you run through. I wanted that to be me.

NCAR

NCAR TRAIL

I checked out this trail and put it on the to do list.

So I struck out this week. I chose a pretty famous trail in Boulder, the Chautauqua (pronounced sha-talk-wa) Flatirons Trail, for my first foray. That is when I realized I was sadly unprepared for what I was about to tackle. Here are my lessons learned.

The goal is the top of those pointy things.

The best part of my trail run (read hike) was that everyone was smiling and friendly and happy. In general, people are pretty friendly where I live. We smile at each other as we pass on the street. We hold doors open for one another. We say please and thank you to strangers. But the folks I saw on the trail that day weren’t just wearing polite smiles for the sake of being pleasant. No, no, they were positively radiating happiness. Their smiles said “it’s a gorgeous day and we’re alive and we’re free and LOOK AT WHERE WE LIVE. I love everyone I see!!!” It was marvelous! Nature heals everyone’s spirit. I’m not sure about you, but I can always use more of that kind of energy in my life.

north

Just because I’m a native doesn’t mean I’m a natural. I forgot what “trail” can mean here in Colorado. What some folks might call a trail, others would call a hiking path. Emphasis on hiking. I was out of breath less than a quarter mile into the trail. I’d looked at the trail on a map before heading out, but I didn’t pay too much attention to the elevation change. My bad, lungs.

Oh hai, rocks.

Oh hai, rocks.

Looking at my FitBit later, it said I’d climbed 48 flights, and I didn’t even make it close to the top of the mountain. I realized I’m not at the fitness level I thought I was. It was hard.

elevation

 

That’s when I wondered if I should stick to flat trails on the plains, at least until I get stronger. My rugged pioneer blood deceived me into thinking the hike was no big deal and I could handle it because I’m from this place. My blood lied.  Also, I needed water, which I didn’t bring. That brings me to …

Always wear your CamelPak. Everyone on the trail, errr, hiking path, had a backpack of some sort. Not far in I was wishing I had brought mine, too. Once I was surrounded by trees, the wind died off and I was hot. Having water and a place to store my pullover would have been awesome. In this area, seeing a black bear or a mountain lion is not uncommon. So in the future, maybe some bear spray or a change of underwear in my pack might be helpful. Just saying.  And don’t forget the sunscreen!

carin

Dress Appropriately. Duh. The day I went it was in the mid 60’s and overcast. The mild wind held a crisp bite to it, though, which is typical this time of year at our elevation. I was wearing capris, a tank, a long sleeve tech shirt, and a fleece pullover. Rule numero uno about living in Colorado, dress in layers. The chilly wind was giving me ear aches and I really needed a beanie. I went back to the car for a hoodie I could cover my ears with and then I was sweltering. There was no winning with the gear I had. It was cold in the open spaces and hot in the forest, so layers are uber important.

Brrrrrrrrr!

Brrrrrrrrr!

Be a Good Steward of the Trail I saw lots of baggies of dog poo lying next to the trail. This is great in that people are cleaning up after their dogs, but hopefully they remember to pick their baggie up on the way back down the mountain and toss it in the trash. I read another trail runner say she always tries to pick up at least one piece of litter while on her run. I love this idea. I will be packing a grocery sack in my CamelPack for this purpose in the future!

 

Looking back over Boulder

Looking back over Boulder

There is Nothing more Calming to the Soul than Nature’s White Noise It is essential that when you’re out there, pounding your feet on the soft dirt, that you to actually stop and take a moment to be present. There is an indescribable sound you only hear in the forest of the Rockies. It’s the sound of the wind whispering through the tops of the ponderosa pines, the hum of a hummingbird as it speeds by, the sound of aspen leaves quaking, combined with the rushing swoosh of a distant creek or river. There is the calm stillness in the forest. A place where technology and obligation are far removed from the fallen tree you find yourself sitting on.  Don’t forget to sit. Take big deep breaths. Look around. Be grateful for this time to connect with our environment. You will leave with a more grateful heart and calm center.

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Do you run trails? Where? Which are your favorites? What do you like about trail running that you don’t get out of road running? Tell me all about it in the comments!

 

When the Weather Doesn’t Cooperate: 2016 Atlantic City April Fools Half

There’s a new hashtag circulating for Atlantic City: #thisisAC

After this weekend’s race I would like to add an asterisk that reads #thisisAC *but please don’t base your opinion on the weather this weekend.

This weekend marked my 5th April Fools Half Marathon. Forget about 13, apparently 5 is the unlucky number when it comes to the Atlantic City Race Series.

The normal pleasant conditions that I associate with this race were MIA. With steady rain for the 7k/11k and the gale-like winds for the half marathon on Sunday, racers were not dealing with what we would call “ideal weather”.

And to think when we got our hats, we were worried that we might be too hot in them. Not so much.

And to think when we got our hats, we were worried that we might be too hot in them. Not so much.

Chrissy and I had our normal text conversations going the whole week prior, discussing weather, outfits, changes to outfits because of the weather, plans on what to do if one of us blew away, etc. We had a couple of windy training runs in Atlantic City but nothing that quite prepared us for Sunday’s half.

What did help us prepare for the half was doing those weekly training runs in AC. Honestly, I’m so very glad that we were able to do that because it did help us know our way around the casinos, boardwalk, and gave us an overall idea of what to expect.

However… we were not planning on the heavy winds and really, there’s no way TO plan for something like that.

So you can do one of two things:

1. bail
2. run, smile, and keep a positive attitude (as you’re getting sand in your mouth and pushed all over the course like a rag doll)

We went with option number 2, of course.

#finsup

#finsup

It was a little disorganized prior to the start. I’ve grown accustomed to this; the host hotel has changed more than once over the years and packet pickup is always at a different location from year to year. However, it’s still challenging to figure out exactly where to go. Runners rely on runners and we were all following each other around the Resorts Casino, looking for packet pickup.

Close to 8am, we made our way outside to get ourselves acclimated to the colder air. While heading out I overheard a coordinator saying that they were pushing back the start time 10 minutes.

The blow up start line was not out, due to the high winds. The race director also cautioned us to watch for blown over cones on the course.

The blow up start line was not out, due to the high winds. The race director also cautioned us to watch for blown over cones on the course.

I’m not exactly sure why that happened but the extra minutes went by fast. There was a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and then we were off!

I don’t have many pictures from the course because it was pure survival mode out there. Plus, I was afraid my phone might blow away. But a big highlight was seeing Hollie (FueledbyLOLZ) being escorted with a cyclist as first female. What does it even feel like to run that fast? I’ll never know.

I was on the lookout for music on the course so I could break out a little dance solo, as Jenn has done previously. Click the picture to see her little jig.

With the wind, it made things difficult for musicians to be out there. So I was very excited when, at mile 6 or so, I heard the sweet wail of the bagpipes played by Piper Rick. Chrissy grabbed my phone and I geared up to do my very best bagpiping dance moves. Click the pic to see!

Sadly, you will never get to see my bagpiping dance moves. I’m truly sorry for that.

The winds were not hitting us directly from the front, or pushing us along from the back, but rather coming sideways. Which meant that we were getting literally swept off our feet both out and back along the course.

It was… not fun. There was never a point in the race that I thought, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” It was mostly just gritting our teeth (and the sand in our teeth).

I kept thinking it might get better. Alas, it did not get better. The only better was when we were finally done and we were able to not be in the wind anymore.

But through it all, Chrissy and I stuck together and looked out for each other. The conditions were miserable; we were not happy. But we did it and I’m so glad that we did it together. Once I got home I was ready bed I was looking on Facebook and found that I had shared this image a year ago, to the day.

Thanks Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Via Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

We adjusted our sails yesterday. And while admittedly, it was not perfect, we did it anyway.

Plus, we got some pretty awesome bling.

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It spins!

And also awesome drinks.

drinks

So while yes, #thisisAC, I hope first timers to the race don’t get scared away by the ridiculousness that Mother Nature threw at us this weekend.

Because this is also AC!

This was my first race of 2016 and my thought is when you start with the toughest conditions, it can only get better. Right? Right! A few days later, my body is still hurting although slowly but surely, I’m feeling back to the status quo.

Did you #doAC this weekend? Run another race? I heard Syracuse was brutal (Bonnie had frost on her brows!), and the Philly Hot Chocolate 15k ran out of medals. What races do you have coming up? Next up for me is the Vineyard 5 miler and Broad Street 10 miler!

Races are Coming, And We are Looking CUTE

Race season is upon us. Depending on where you live, it closer for some of us than for others. It’s snowing where I am in Boulder today, so race season is still a little ways away for me. Still, I’m betting many of us are launching into race training and nutrition, and maybe, just maybe planning our race outfits. Or costumes. We know how it is.

The next big race on my calendar is the Skirt Sports 13er on June 12th, and I’d really love some company. You should totally consider running this race with me. I promise, I’m super fun to run with; I dance, I don’t take it too seriously, and it’s really, really pretty here. Plus, there is amazingly yummy gluten free CAKE at the finish. CAKE, PEOPLE. Oooh, ooh, AND I have a discount code! SkirtBrand15 gets you 15% off race registration for the 13er or the 5k. So really, you have no excuses. Gorgeous course + me dancing + cake = best race ever! You can register here.

13er2015

I’m three weeks in to my training program and 2 weeks into a YogaTone challenge at my yoga studio. Oh, my goodness what a butt kicker THAT is.  Think airplane pose with weights. And warrior II, with weights. And crescent lunge with, wait for it… Weights! It hurts SO GOOD the next day. I even learned this fantastic hip strengthening move using a 5 pound weight.

I’ve also been testing out some new running gear. I wore Skirt Sports’ new mesh backed Take Five Tank to hot yoga and it outlasted me. I’d forgotten just how hot hot yoga is. I’m going to have to work up to that again. Maybe not sitting in the room for 15 minutes before class would help too. I wonder…

take5tank

I’m super in love with this skirt in limited edition “psyched” print. I’ve worn it on the treadmill a few times, and to yoga once. My favorite thing about Skirt Sports skirts are the built in shorties with pockets on each thigh. The pockets hold my car key, phone, inhaler, ID and a little cash. They’re pretty perfect.

This print will go with EVERYTHING.

This print will go with EVERYTHING.

I’m ridiculously excited about my next order, a skirt that has race magnets BUILT IN. I cannot even wait to try that out! I think I have officially converted to skirt! If you want to try out some SS gear, this code gets you 20% off, even on sale items (of which there are many on the website right now).

 

SSCodeCollage

Let me know if you give them a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, PLEASE COME RUN WITH ME. Running alone is not too fun. I like fun. And if you can’t run with me, then tell me what you are running and who you’ll be running with this spring. Let the races commence!

 

The Discount Fine Print

20% discount can be applied to sale items and non-skirt gear, such as Flipbelt and Zensah

15% Race Discount Code expires when registration closes, Discounts NOT valid on race day, Codes not valid on virtual events.

2016 SkirtSports Ambassador

My first experience with SkirtSports was last summer when I participated their 13er race event. It was a really fantastic women-only race on a gorgeous course where I got a 10k PR and made a few new friends. How can a race get any better than that? Oh yeah, CAKE. THAT’S HOW. Cake is always going to be the way to my heart.

13ercollage

At that event, I met Noelle, SkirtSports’ Community Outreach head cheerleader. She told me about the monthly clinics and fun runs they hold at their Boulder headquarters and I decided to check it out. Lo and behold, they were a blast! They even let me Periscope a talk Dimity McDowell was giving.

cliniccollage

Before leaving that clinic, Noelle gave me one of their skirts to try out in exchange for an honest review.  I was already crushing hard on the vibe SkirtSports was giving off at their events, but the Lioness skirt turned my crush into full blown twitterpation. The quality was impeccable, and its smart construction and pockets, it definitely helped me get through my toughest half to date.

lionesscollage2

So when I found out earlier this month that I had been chosen to be a 2016 Ambassador Captain for SkirtSports, I was over the moon. I’m learning that this is a fantastic group of inspiring women, and I’m honored to be among them. I am so excited to get to know them and learn their stories. That’s one reason why it was easy for me to put my name behind the SkirtSports brand. There were other reasons, too.

AmbassadorStamp21k

The SkirtSports Message is all about supporting real, everyday women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds pursue and achieve their healthy living goals. Pro triathlete and founder Nicole DeBoom was inspired to start the company after noticing her reflection in a window on a training run. She decided  to find a way to offer flattering performance wear to support all women in being the best version of themselves.

realwomenmove

#REALwomenmove is a social media campaign intended to encourage each other in our fitness activities and achievements.  Who is a REAL woman?  She is proud of who she is. She is confident. She does not judge, but rather, encourages other women. She is comfortable in her own body. She accepts and loves herself as she is. She prioritizes health and fitness in her busy life.
This is a message I can get behind 1000%.

Running Start Program  is designed to pair beginner runners who face barriers to developing fitness goals with Personal Motivators who help them overcome those challenges. Personal Motivators are women who’ve also overcome obstacles to fitness in the past and can share their experience and support. Anyone can apply to join the program.

Photo Credit: SkirtSports Website

Photo Credit: SkirtSports Website

The Clothes are well made, well priced, and most importantly, adorable! They carry sizes XS to 22, and as a seamstress myself, I’m definitely impressed with the construction of their garments. The prints are super cute and colorful, and they make some of the most practical running clothes I’ve seen. Their phone pockets are a big hit with me, and they are working on the Gotta Go Skirt which will make life much easier for all of us on those long runs when nature calls. Seriously, they’re thinking of everything.

I’m beyond excited to be a part of this program for 2016 and to have the opportunity to share all the good things (and discount codes) with you. These ladies are doing amazing things and spreading an inspiring message of love and support of one another. I know we can all get behind that!

 

Are you a Skirt Sister? Who inspired you to start your running journey? What is one thing you try to do to support others at races? Let’s chat in the comments!

runDisney 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Recap

5K

Last year, after I finished the inaugural Disney Star Wars Half Marathon, I was walking back to the hotel room surrounded by the clanking of medals from Rebel Challenge finishers.  I glanced down at my beautiful, yet lonely, half marathon medal and I vowed that in 2016, I would have all the Star Wars medals.  When the time came to register for these races, I gave all my money to runDisney. I registered for the Rebel Challenge and then signed up for the 5K too.  Because if there’s one race series that I’m going all in on, it’s this one. After all, Star Wars is kind of my thing.

Finally! After all these years…

Finally! After all these years…

The 5K was on Friday morning and I expected the race to be a lot less crowded than previous Disney races.  I’m not sure why, maybe because it was on a weekday at 5:30 in the morning.  Really, I should know by now that Disney races break all the rules.  This race was packed with all kinds of runners!  Especially families.  I was really disappointed I hadn’t signed up my daughter.  I also can’t tell you how excited I was to see so many little girls in their Rey costumes kicking ass in a race whose theme has been marketed as a mainly male franchise.

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Start Line Selfie!

I know this is a big shocker, but I didn’t train as much as I would have liked for these races. I wasn’t too worried about the 5K, but I knew I had those other two, more lengthy races to run in the next few days with Jenn.   I thought of this race as kind of the warm-up.  The course stayed in the two parks and it was exactly what running around Disneyland with a bunch of kids would be like.  I can’t tell you how many times I had dodge tiny Jedi.  I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing this race would be for a kid: getting to dress up like a Jedi and run, literally run, around Disneyland.  It was great to watch these kids finish with their parents and friends.  I can’t wait to force my kids to do it with me next year.

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10K Banner

With the 5K was out of the way, I couldn’t wait to meet up with Jenn to get ready for the first race of our Rebel Challenge.  We eagerly prepared our costumes for Jenn’s first ever trip through Disneyland.  That’s right, my friends, Jenn was a Disneyland virgin! That would explain the virgin alarm…

Perfect costume is perfect!

Perfect costume is perfect!

We weren’t quite sure about choosing a parody costume for this race.  We are both lifelong Star Wars fans; she’s the first person I texted my theories to after watching The Force Awakens!  But we’re also both fans of laughing and when Jenn suggested we dress as the Spaceballs duo of Dot Matrix and Princess Vespa, I just couldn’t get as enthusiastic about anything else.  We weren’t sure if anyone would appreciate the laugh as much as we did, but, man, were we pleasantly surprised.

10K Collage

Jenn’s Dot Matrix was just perfect and all race long we were reminded of our favorite quotes as fellow Spaceballs fans shouted them at us as we passed.  My favorites?  “She doesn’t look druish!” and “How many more dunes?” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to reenact our favorite parasol scene.  We didn’t want to risk it with the new costume rules. Because I will definitely use that parasol for something else someday.

10K Collage 2

The 10K was great fun.  Jenn and I talked Star Wars theories while we ran and we cared not about spoiler alerts, because um, we’re running Star Wars!  We were stopped many times to have our picture taken with other Spaceballs fans.  The cherry on top was meeting Dark Helmet at the finish!  What are the odds?  Also, a DeLorean in the parking lot!  Win, win!

10K collage 3

We hit the park after freshening up. I was so excited to show Jenn around one of my favorite places.  We made lightsabers after Star Tours and rode the wildest ride in the wilderness.  And we shopped, oh, did we shop!  Mickey ears for everyone!

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When I walked to the expo and saw this, the fangirl in me GEEKED OUT.

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Because a long time ago in a decade that has long since passed, I fell in love with this franchise at the age of 4.  So this smile? It’s totally genuine.

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And so is this smile, as I wait with the funnest chick in SoCal, Cam, at the start. Cam’s Chewbacca dress and duct tape bandoleer were a big hit! We strive for adorable, after all.

start

The energy was great at the start, and even though this was my first runDisney experience, I assume they always go big. It was easy to forget we were up so early.

All too soon, we were at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The weather was perfect for running, and the pace of the runners was faster than at the 10k. Cam’s costume was getting lots of love on the course, and we even got a compliment from a fashion teacher on our outfits. The seamstress in me was thrilled!

CASTLE

The World of Color is pretty even in the early morning. The weather was perfect for a race, and so was the company! <3 you, Cam!

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Cam answered the many Wookie calls thrown her way with a throaty GRRRRR as we took our time but were mindful of the balloon ladies. After putting in fourteen miles the day before at the 10k and walking the park, both Cam and I had some tired legs and feet. No matter, though, we were having TONS of fun!

mile 5

I had to dance for Mer. It’s what I do.

There were lots of cheer squads and marching bands from the local high schools out on the course cheering us on. They were so excited to be out there dancing, playing, and high-fiving us, it was great!

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The course support was fantastic during the last 5 miles, too, with some astounding cosplayers cheering us from the sidelines. Seriously, folks, check out these costumes.

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Steampunk Madam Boba Fett & Darth Maul

Steampunk Stormtrooper

Steampunk Stormtrooper

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The balloon ladies snuck up on us. All of the sudden, there they were. There was some confusion about the pace they were keeping versus what our GPS watches were saying our pace was. We had to put a wiggle in it to get the race done. I sprinted at the end, beyond excited to get my hands on those gorgeous medals!

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We made it! And we’re so happy it’s done! Because OUCH.

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And look how prettttty!

medals

And then we ordered pizza. and drank beer. And then for dinner, I ate this amazing shrimp po-boy. Because recovery, yo.

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The next race with this girl can’t come soon enough. You’re the best Cam, the best Disney tour guide, the wittiest running partner, and a good friend. Thanks for everything. Until next time, Princess Vespa! <3

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And maybe by then, my sister’s envy of my medals will lure her to the Dark Side. We’re taking on the Kessel Run in 2018.#jointhescootalliance.

What was your first runDisney race? What’s your favorite part of runDisney events? Are you wondering what the heck steampunk is? Tell us about it in the comments!

Getting pumped for the AC Marathon’s April Fools Half!

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If you’re anything like me you start your race planning way, way in advance. It stands to reason that when you L-O-V-E a race, you register ASAP for the next year.

As it goes with the AC Marathon’s April Fools Half. Registration for their races opens as soon as the current race is over. 2016 will be my 5th consecutive year running the race and I’ve been running since the inaugural year in 2012. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

One of the things that I love most about this race is that I’m never alone! It’s a small race of usually around 2,000 runners and I’m always surrounded by friends and making them along the way.

2012 - Cam's first ever half marathon (I was a seasoned pro as it was my second) and Bec ran the 7k.

2012 – Cam’s first ever half marathon (I was a seasoned pro as it was my second) and Bec ran the 7k.

In 2013 college buddies joined me on the 13.1 trek up and down the boards!

I rocked that Jersey Strong shirt at quite a few races that year!

I rocked that Jersey Strong shirt at quite a few races that year!

In 2014 nearly all of the then current Scoot a Doot chicks were present (we carried a picture of west coast Jess so she was represented) and awesome friends too!

Stunners!

Stunners!

This year brought the Rockford Peaches to the AC boardwalk! We not only rocked the 13.1 miles but the costume contest as well. It was Jenn’s first half and we had an awesome time crossing the finish line together.

Dirt in the skirt!

2015 – Dirt in the skirt!

The past four years have been absolutely incredible! #blessed

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And TODAY, the AC Marathon Race Series shared the medal for the 2016 race. If you’ve been considering this race, this might just be what you need as incentive. You know, besides me being there! 😉

source - Atlantic City Marathon

source – Atlantic City Marathon

source - Atlantic City Marathon

The 7k/11k medal! source – Atlantic City Marathon

Are you a legacy runner of any races? What keeps you coming back for more? Personally, this series is tried and true. It’s my birthday race (yes, I’m an April Fools baby) and it’s one that I really look forward to each year.