Mer and Cam here! Mer is a recent first time Ragnarian, while Cam is our seasoned pro with more than 10 Ragnars under her belt with her first back in 2012.
While Ragnar PA presented its own unique course and yes, set of challenges, we are both of the opinion that Ragnar is one crazy good time (emphasis on the crazy). Besides the awkward post-race walk and the huge medal, there are a few telltale signs you’re now a Ragnarian.
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
When you used to see white vans, you thought there were strangers that were going to lure you with candy and going to kidnap you.
Now you think that there are strange people that you may have just met who will give you candy… and drop you off in the middle of nowhere to run.
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
You spend the days leading up to Ragnar buying random props and costumes off the internet and practicing your stealthy ninja ways… and fighting off your children from playing with your props. They are NOT toys, people, they are props!
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
If anyone says anything resembling a song lyric, there will automatically be a sing-along.
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
When setting up a ninja star assembly line four hours before you’re supposed to get up to run 200ish miles becomes a priority. Furthermore, when only sleeping four hours before running 200ish miles is the “good” plan.
The early ninja gets the kill!
It seemed like a good idea at the time…
You know you’re a Ragnarian…
When you start sharing toilet paper with your new friends. Also, when you’re moved to tears by the sight of indoor plumbing.
You know you’re a Ragnarian…
When you all of a sudden need not one, but two new Ragnar sweatshirts… in June.
You know you’re a Ragnarian…
When you develop the ability to sleep anywhere because even concrete has to be more comfortable the van.
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
You never see another hill again in your life, you would be a-okay with that.
At least you get an extra medal for running straight up a mountain! Poc-o-nooo he didn’t!
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
Even though you hate them, you can still appreciate those hills because at least it gets you views like these:
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
You can’t help but question your sanity but then you see this sign and it makes it all better.
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
Even after all this, you start planning your next Ragnar because as soon as you’re apart, you miss your relay team.
And even when you’re still together but know you’re going to be apart.
It’s so hard to say goodbye!
You know you’re a Ragnarian if…
You know that you can do anything because, after all, you’ve done a RAGNAR.
Have you done a Ragnar Relay? If you have, what would you add to this list? If you haven’t, does this make you want to do one or have we scared you away? 😉
Since I’ve known Cam, she’s been talking about participating in Ragnar Relays and finally, I was able to join her and 10 of our teammates at Ragnar PA. We’ll be writing about the experience as soon as we get our collective act together, but for now, I need to tell you about Momentum Jewelry’s SPARK Crew.
I’ve been a Momentum Jewelry fan since I first saw their wrap bracelets right around the time we began our blog in 2013. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a brand ambassador.
You will never find me without at least one (usually multiple) pieces of their jewelry somewhere on my person. The company’s mission is to inspire and motivate and encouraging you to “living your passion”; that’s something that the jewelry does for me on a daily basis.
Passion, adventure, friendship? Check, check, and check!
My van mates and I decided that we would morph from Ninjas (our team’s theme) into our SPARK Crew gear just before leg 13 of the race.
It was getting close to dark on the first day and we knew that many people would need an extra boost to make it through the night hours. Our task as the SPARK Crew was simple: to share the SPARK(lets) and encourage our fellow runners.
Donning our bright green shirts, we approached folks left and right, handing out the SPARKlets. At first we all felt a little awkward walking up to people but that quickly dissipated once we saw how well received and excited runners were to get the “you got this” SPARKlets.
We briefly explained our mission and wound up having some great conversations along the way. Some teams even gave us little things in return (not at all what we were expecting!).
Proceeding to the next exchange and we continued to hand out SPARKlets there, along with holding on to a few for when we saw someone struggling or just looking like they needed a boost.
We cheered “you got this” out of our van windows to runners as we drove to our next exchange. It became our van’s mantra as we wound our way from the hills of Lancaster to the hills of the Pocono Mountains. Are you sensing a theme here?
I loved having the chance to make an awesome experience even more awesome for others. When we push ourselves to our limits, that’s when great things happen. Thanks to Momentum Jewelry and of course, my ninjas. Cam and I will be back more with Ragnar thoughts ASAP. And remember… you got this!
We’ve all had some beef (understatement) with the year known as 2016, but some really great things happened as well. So for this post, rather than focusing on the sad, we are doing our best to count our collective blessings and looking forward to what 2017 has in store (and maybe give 2016 a few parting shots, because how can we not?).
This year. Man. I thought it was bad when Alan Rickman died, and then again when Gene Wilder left, and even again when the election happened, but this week? Woof. I feel as though 2016 has just taken my heart and stomped it into tiny little pieces. Carrie Fisher was my first spirit animal and the only princess I ever cared about wanting to be.
But, I digress. This post is supposed to be happy. And in the shit year that shall forever be remember as 2016, the one truly great thing that I can cling to was… getting engaged. And not just for the obvious reasons. Yes, it means that I get to marry the guy that makes my heart the happiest. But, it also resulted in such an outpouring of love and support from our friends and families. Knowing that we have so many people in our corner and on our side as we take the next steps in our lives is so comforting. In all of the (low-grade) stress that wedding planning can bring, at the end of the day, it’s wonderful to be reminded that so many people want to share our special day with us and to wish us well. The whole experience is a constant stream of reminders to be grateful for all of the incredible humans I have in my life.
So, 2016, as shit as you were, thanks a bunch for reminding me that even in the midst of loss and sadness, life goes on and it’s actually pretty great. Suck it, 2016. We’re better than you.
This year has been like an epic space battle in my head: The Optimistic Rebel versus The Tyrannical Cynic. I’ve been floating somewhere between join the rebellion and hide like the old hermit, just trying to emotionally survive until we can find a way to bring balance to the force that connects us all, that bind the galaxy together. Yes, I know my nerd is showing. I don’t even care.
All nerdy musings aside, so many voices were silenced this year; voices of progress and empathy and laughter and hope. We all feel the void. I’m so pissed about a lot of things that are happening in our world right now, and I feel helpless. But like the dandelion that sprouts from a crack in the sidewalk, there is a gift that this shit year has given to those who will receive it.
Thank you, 2016 for some perspective. As a liberal progressive living in California and working in public education, I’ve always recognized that there was more work to be done. I just didn’t realize how much more. 2016 was a year of privilege burdened by the inevitable aftershock of disbelief. Now it’s time to fight. Also, it’s time to unplug and spend more quality time getting to know my kids and my partner again. We go through these daily motions of waking, working, eating, sleeping, and in between, our faces glow from a screen. If 2016 taught me anything, it’s that social media are the donuts of the internet. It’s so good when I take my first bite, but afterward I just to throw up. Lastly, it’s more important than ever for me to do my part to protect our planet. It’s literally the one thing we have that we can’t live without.
So yeah, 2016, you need to GTFO. And fair warning 2017, you’d better watch yourself. I’m in the mood to kick a little ass.
2016 was a great year for me personally, which is weird to say. I kind of feel guilty that I had so much good happen to me in 2016. I went to Disney for the first time, turned 40, bought my dream car, got the best present in the world from my husband; a trip to Space Camp, and ran three half marathons. Some parts of 2016 were fabulous, and I wish I could do them a second time. Although, I do get to love my car and my husband every day. I’m blessed for sure.
I was also heartbroken by the loss of so many of my childhood idols and important voices we lost too young. I honestly can’t start thinking about it or I’ll cry. (The force is one with you, Carrie.) It just hurts way too much. I’m choosing to believe this is what’s happening:
And it’s a little known fact to my fellow Chicks that I’ve always been something of a political junkie. There wasn’t really a need to get riled up during the Obama years because, well, as a progressive liberal from one of the bluest counties in one of the states least affected by the Great Recession, I was in my bubble. And things looked fine in my bubble. Buuuut, I’m also a fan of (or maybe ‘student of’ would be a better term) George Orwell. So for me, 2016 was full of head shaking and fist shaking and local activism. Like Cam, I will be channeling my inner Ellen Ripley and Princess Leia to fight for all that is good in this world under the name 1976_Patriotess. BRING IT, 2017.
You can likely guess what I loved most about 2016… Yep. Baby Joe.
My maternity leave ends in a few days and I’ve cherished my time bonding with my son, born 16 weeks ago. I can hardly believe how fast this time has flown and at times am beyond exhausted. But one gummy grin from my guy and all the challenges melt away.
I’ve been wanting to write about his birth (an unexpected c-section after 19 hours of labor), early days of motherhood, the challenges of breast-feeding and other life changes for this first time mom, but it just never happened.
I look forward to an incredible 2017, which will begin with a whirlwind 2 weeks solo parenting, pumping in the office and beginning of daycare. Any back to work advice you can offer me as I leave Joe in the hands of our beloved caregiver, would be greatly appreciated!
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017!
From a personal standpoint, 2016 has been an incredible year for me. I’ve remained injury free, hit personal bests in many of my race distances (5 mile, 10k, 10 mile, and half marathon – WHOA), traveled with my husband, and more. But what really stands out to me as the highlight of my year is that we were finally able to purchase a home that we’ve worked extremely hard for the past 13 years.
It’s always a bit daunting to make such a big life change and my family and I are very much creatures of habit. While moving to the next town over might not seem like a big deal to some, it was huge for us. I’m happy that my children have settled into their new school district and that I’ve been able to make connections with new friends (and some old ones that live here, too!). Additionally, since we’re not far from our old stomping ground, we haven’t left anyone behind!
The 2017 calendar is already filling up with social engagements like parties, weddings, races, and more and I’m looking forward to being with friends and family. I hope it is gentle and kind with all of us, because we could really use a healing year. You’ve gotta have faith.
What has brought you joy in 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017?
On Monday we shared the gifts we gave each other for the holidays. Today we’re sharing the gifts you’ve given us over the past year by highlighting what really spoke to you as readers! (Besides giveaway posts because let’s be real, you guys REALLY like those!)
Kyle took on the ridiculousness of the BMI scale and refused to be defined by it.
Vic’s life had many changes in 2016. Many difficult and many blessings. We can all agree that 2016 has been a helluva year.
Jenn shared her running skirt with pocket waistband tutorial and many readers planned to break out their sewing machines to make their own! It comes in at number one on our most read list for posts of 2016. We want to see your finish products!
Thank you for spending yet another year with Scoot a Doot. As we approach our 4th year of blogging, we are grateful for both the people who have stuck with us since the beginning and those whom we’ve met more recently!
It’s that time again! A time for giving and caring and sharing!
This was our 4th Secret Santa exchange and as always, it was so much fun to see what we got one another. Our parameters were staying within a $20 limit and picking something that we think the recipient will love. We used a website to match us so we would be extra surprised (and some of us didn’t include a gift message so we’re still figuring it out!)
If you need to grab a last minute gift, maybe one of these will inspire you.
I got Kyle, and I chose a hand-thrown mug and lid for her, along with a few of my favorite teas. I struggled with choosing a mug, there were two that I thought she would like. One had a woman turning into a bird in hues of blue and aqua, and the other had lovely music notes and staff. I know her love of music and signing, so I ultimately went with the mug with notes.
Then she messaged me to say that the lid arrived ok, but that the mug had not. 🙁 Sooooo, I’m off to the Celestial Seasonings Factory Gift Shop, and I really hope they have another one with music notes. At least she’ll have some nice peppermint tea to keep her warm while she waits!
Knowing our newest mama chick hasn’t been doing a ton of running lately, but has been playing with her cute kiddo, I wanted to get her a gift that a new mom would appreciate. I reached out to another friend who has also recently had a baby and asked what her favorite mom swag was. As an athlete herself who is trying to get back in the swing of running and working out, her answer was no surprise. She recommended a nursing sports bra – which she touted as not only comfortable, but also easy to use and wear. I knew that while Vic hasn’t been putting the miles in lately, maybe something like this would help that transition when the time comes!
Third time’s the charm! Once again, I was paired with the fabulous Cam. I laughed out loud when I saw my match because I was Cam’s Secret Santa the first two years of the exchange. I hope I nailed it those first two years, but I wanted to do something different without repeating themes or ideas.
Knowing that Cam loves to bake, I got her two themed baking items.
I splurged on ninja cookie cutters since Cam’s Ragnar team is centered around ninjas! These things are adorable!
Cam’s second gift is also to be used in the kitchen, but apparently won’t be delivered until after Christmas. (Thanks for misleading me on that one, Amazon) so I don’t want to say what it is here. I’d rather Cam be surprised when it arrives. Let me just say – it’s out of this world! And I know Cam will enjoy the force it brings to her recipes!
Obviously, the gift I chose for my Secret Santa was motivated by our upcoming Ragnar adventure. I wanted Meri to have everything she needs for her night run in Pennsylvania this June. I found her a stylish purple headlamp and matching blinky light to guide her way through Amish country. This Ragnar has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to share it with her! Happy Happy Holidays, my sweet friend!
I was paired with Jenn! She and I obviously have some good brain share going on because I sent her a mug as well, knowing that she enjoys drinking her tea. We originally met through our love of books and reading so when I saw this “banned books” mug, I knew that she would appreciate it. Jenn is a non-conformist and she doesn’t follow the rules when it comes to writing. I fully expect to see an update of this mug with a book that she’s authored listed (and we’ll read it anyway because we do what we want).
I also sent her this sweet yoga top that I’ve been eyeing for awhile, just waiting for the perfect time to send to her (this was it!) and a little Whisper sign from My Favorite Sign Company, a small business with whom I work closely. Jenn’s dogs are her world and I knew that she’d be nodding her head with this message.
We hope your holidays are merry and bright. If you’d like to check out our past exchanges, click on the years below.
Did somebody say FALL? Sign us up – we are totally embracing the cozy nights on the couch, the crisp leaves, and the apple picking. We all agree, Fall gets an A+!
As such, we decided to play a little fill in the blank game, and would love for YOU to play too. You ready?
Fall in my area means_______________.
The one fall tradition I never skip is______________.
The best Halloween candy is____________. But I’m not a fan of__________.
Fall in my area apparently means apple-picking, but in the four years that I’ve lived in Virginia, I still haven’t gotten out to an orchard. Ha. So I guess what I mean to say is that Fall in my area actually means Football. Every Sunday. And Thursday Night. And Friday Night. And Saturday. And Monday Night? Jeez. When I put it that way it sounds like all I do is watch football. Which isn’t necessarily wrong.
Taken on a 2013 hike in VT on the Appalachian Trail
The one Fall tradition I never skip? Sorry, not sorry: Pumpkin Spice Latte. Or Americano. But I get at least one every year. Usually just one. But I always have to check that box in the annual welcoming of pumpkin flavor back into my life.
The BEST Halloween candy are Reese’s cups. There was a heavy barter system and black market candy trade in my house when we were kids to see who could get their hands on the most Reese’s. Pretty much any of the chocolate candy is near the top of my list. I’m not, however, a big fan of licorice-flavored anything, though. Keep that vile junk away from me. No. Thank. You.
Fall in my area means weekly trips to the farm stand for freshly picked apples (and seasonal trips to my in-laws’ farm to pick apples and make pies and cider! It’s also time for stunning, vibrant foliage. I seriously can’t get enough of it!
The one fall tradition I never skip is seeking out stunning foliage and making fresh veggies from local farmers. Unfortunately I also can’t skip raking leaves as I have a huge yards with lots of trees. Ah well.
The best Halloween candy are Reese’s PB cups (pumpkins) and Kit Kats. But I’m not a fan of Snickers, candy corn or any sort of black licorice. Ick.
Fall in my areameans pretty much the same as Spring. California doesn’t believe in seasons. Erratic temperatures in the morning that lure you into a false hope that today might be the day you get to wear a jacket. By mid afternoon, you’re cursing the very existence of jackets as the temperatures reach the 90’s. I really love jackets. I hate that California makes me hate them.
The one fall tradition I never skip is apple picking in Oak Glen. Also, trick or treating! We love Halloween! We try to get to Disneyland during the fall, I think the Halloween decor is even better than Christmas!
The best Halloween candy is Kit Kat and Twix. But I’m not a fan of anything shaped like eyeballs.
Fall in my area means yellow aspens and corn mazes (which I avoid like the Red Death). Although I love to write scary stories, I hate reading them, and I certainly refuse to pretend to be in one (cue corn maze). Pardox personified? So much yes. But it also means Halloween, a.k.a the BEST holiday ever. If I’m honest, costuming is the real reason I learned to sew. If only we wore costumes everyday, the world would be a much more interesting and fun place.
Crystal Mill near Aspen. Picture courtesy of Jenn’s friend, Jen. @espyphoto
The one fall tradition I never skip is pumpkin scones. Mmmmmmmm. I’m not really a fan of the pumpkin spice thing, but mix it with white flour and sugar, and I’m there. By the way, does anyone have a healthy pumpkin scone recipe??
The best Halloween candy is caramel apples. And mini Baby Ruths. And maybe Reese’s Peanut Butter pumpkins. And Smarties. Can I just say all the candy? But I’m not a fan of candy corn. Gross.
Fall in my area means a crazy amount of things to do. And I truly want to do all of the things! In our family in particular it means lots of Cub Scout and Boy Scout meetings/fundraisers/Halloween parties. It means fall racing (and hopefully PRs!) for me. I love the colorful leaves and the cooler temps. I can borrow Cam’s jackets!
The one fall tradition I never skip is something that signifies fall to my family in particular. We have a tin man made out of cans that Jay and I got as a wedding gift. The boys absolutely love our tin man and it wouldn’t be fall without it on our front steps!
The best Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I will gladly take those off anyone’s hands. But I’m not a fan of licorice (Twizzlers doesn’t count, btw).
Okay, now it’s YOUR turn. We want to hear what makes you swoon when it comes to Fall!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
When I walked to the expo and saw this, the fangirl in me GEEKED OUT.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Steampunk Madam Boba Fett & Darth Maul
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!
We made it! And we’re so happy it’s done! Because OUCH.
And look how prettttty!
And then we ordered pizza. and drank beer. And then for dinner, I ate this amazing shrimp po-boy. Because recovery, yo.
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
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!
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.
My first wear…with socks.
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?
On our way to Utah!
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.
Go Ragnar! Gearing up for my last run…sockless.
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!
Sometimes when I run, I also dance.
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.
Because I had SO MUCH to say about my first half marathon experience, I had to break it up into two posts. Mainly because it wouldn’t be fair to push that much excitement on you at once.
You’re welcome, eyeballs.
So here are the top 5 things I learned at the race.
Runners also like to re-fuel. A lot.
I came totally unprepared for the race as far a fuel goes. I’m not much of breakfast girl, and was relying on the advice Mer, Vic, and Cam as far as what was best. Because Cam is the sweetest, she gave me some of her stock; a packet of Gu and CLIF Shot Bloks packet to try out. On race day, I forgot to pack my Honey Stinger and Cam forgot all of her fuel, so I gave her back her Gu and stuck with the Bloks, which, for the record, tasted pretty yummy! By the time we reached the turn in the course, Mer had eaten her Gu and I was busting open the Bloks. At mile 9, we were looking for a station with some fuel because, as we all know, rungry is a very real thing, and it can make for grun-py runners. Perhaps we missed them, but one thing we didn’t see any Gu or fuel at the water/Gatorade stations. The lesson I learned here was to always remember to pack extra fuel. Because we really like, and need, our Gu and Bloks and stuff.
A big, shiny medal is muy importante.
Since this was the very first pretty shiny medal I’ve ever earned, I was pretty stoked to get it no matter what. The fact that it was MASSIVE and BEJEWLED was even better! Everyone was oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over it because it was totally fabulous. Meri said she thought it was the best medal of the race series, and since she is a legacy runner for this race, I took her word for it. Back at her house, she pulled out her past AC medals and sure enough, this year’s was special. They kept it classy and simple and BIG. Thank you AC Race Series!
My first medal ever and it’s soooo purdy!
Legacy Girl Mer’s AC Half Medal Spread
It’s all about the intervals.
As I mentioned, I really had no clue what I was doing. The furthest distance I had run at once was 10k. Yes, I was worried about this, but once again I knew I could rely on my girls to suggest the best plan of attack. Also? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. The initial plan was that Meri, Cam, and I would start together doing intervals of two minutes running and one minute walking. After a few miles, Meri planned to pull away to pursue the PR she wanted. We started off, and before long, I realized that this was going to be unlike any run I had been on yet. I was feeling so fantastic! I stuck with Meri and we stayed with the 2:1 run/walk interval until about mile 10, when we switched to walking for two and running for one. We played cat and mouse with some lovely people who were pursuing their 50 in 50 goal. We teased, and taunted, and toasted with them after the finish. Bonds on the course are quick to form!
Toward the end, we started bargaining with ourselves to run to different landmarks along the Boardwalk like “those apartments” or “that restaurant”. I wanted to run to a particularly tasty looking Gyro shop around mile 11 but we kept on, and averaged a pace of 13:14. I’ll take it for my first half!
A great race partner makes ALLLLLLL the difference
We had our plan and all was set, but sometimes things don’t always work out the way we plan. We got separated from Cam, and I felt badly because I had promised her we’d stick together. Meridith reassured me many times that Cam would want us to run our own races, because she’s awesome like that and friends support each other’s goals. She found a new friend to finish the race with and we went out to escort them to the finish. And this is what I love about running; the love and support of one another is something rare and precious in today’s world, and it’s my favorite aspect of the running community.
Coming to the finish with a new friend. (Photo Credit: Ken Shelton Photography)
It’s been said on Scootadoot many times that Meridith is the best cheerleader and race coach. Seriously, folks, if you have an opportunity to run with this girl, do it. She knew exactly what to do when to do it, what to say and when to say it. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I said we might have been having the most fun of anyone out there. I NEVER thought running could be fun, but with the right partners it always is.
You can do anything with the right attitude.
My only goal for this race was to finish. The clock didn’t matter, I just wanted my first medal. Much more importantly, I wanted to have a great time with friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. The race was really just an activity we would be doing together. Together is what’s important. And fun. Fun is important, too.
That being said, I was curious to find out how I would do at the race. I promised myself, and all of you, that I wouldn’t half ass this race. Even though I didn’t train like I meant to, I was determined to push myself as much as was safe and, of course, fun. I don’t ever get to run with friends so that alone made the race infinitely more fun, and Meri and I laughed and danced and got many compliments on our costumes, which always helps. Before I knew it, the race was ending. Our time of 2:55:15 felt like an hour. I grabbed Meri’s hand to cross the finish together, and it was honestly one of the best feelings of my life.
Aaaaaand we’re done! (Photo Credit, Ken Shelton Photography)
Once reunited, we collected our costume contest prizes, said goodbye to to friends (Bye, Bonnie!) , and left to stuff our faces at the Melting Pot in full costume. Because runger, omg.
Our winnings! Goooo Peaches!
Bye, Bonnie! Until next time!
This was the best race ever. At least, until the next one I get to run with this wonderful friends in this fantastic community we call running.
Last Sunday, a few of us Chicks gathered in New Jersey to run Meridith’s birthday race, the 2015 Atlantic City April Fool’s half marathon. You may have noticed that this has become an annual Chick tradition, so please join us next year! I highly recommend the race, and you can’t go wrong with the company, if I do say so myself.
Coincidentally, it was also my first half marathon, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Training hadn’t been as successful as I would have liked, and my hip decided to be a jerkface the week before the race (I heard and felt something snap when I got out of my car one morning, totally random). So I walked into this race really not know what to expect, or what I was doing, for that matter. One thing I did know is that I would be in fantastic hands, i.e. Meridith, Victoria, and Cam’s hands, and I was determined to see how hard I could push myself while making it as fun as possible.
Sewing Costumes can be time intensive (but oh so worth it!)
Ahhhhh…sewing. Let it be known here and now that I love to sew. I really do. From quilts to handbags to costumes to doggy diapers (aka, bitches britches), I’ve done it all. So when Meridith texted Cam, Vic, and I to say we needed Rockford Peach uniforms, I didn’t bat a lash. Of course we needed to needed Rockford Peach uniforms because HOW CUTE IS THAT, OH MY GOODNESS. Cam and I started researching patterns and fabrics and before long, we had a plan and sewing commenced one week before our flight to Philly.
From start to (almost) finish.
Soooo, what I learned from this particular sewing project is that I need at least one week to make each costume. I started on Victoria’s costume first and then feverishly worked on mine, which gave me some trouble (stupid buttonholes). And that right there my friends is what you need to remember. In my thirty plus years of sewing experience, I’ve learned that every project will hit a snag (or five) and extra time is needed to deal with such annoying delays. I also wish I had sewn in a zippered pocket at the waist seam to hold that pesky inhaler I am forced to carry everywhere. Run and learn, I suppose! The costume itself, made from 100% cotton, was super comfy and not too hot, which was a relief. Vic supplied the PRO Compression socks to top off our outfits (and keep our legs happy), and Cam purchased the red baseball caps for the finishing touch!
May we present, the Rockford Peaches! (Photo Credit, Ken Shelton Photography)
Annnnd we’re off! (Photo Credit, Ken Shelton Photography)
Our costumes were a BIG hit! Everyone loved them and we heard “dirt in the skirt”, and “there’s no crying in baseball” more times than we can count! We always replied with “but there is crying in running”. No one argued with that! Meridith and I passed an older gentleman who, based on the Navy veteran baseball cap he wore, may have been a WWII vet. When he saw us running toward him in our costumes, his entire face lit up and it was obvious that for a moment, we sparked a memory and made him feel young again. For me, that was definitely a highlight of the weekend!
It is possible to run in full make-up and hair (even false lashes!)
When it comes to costumes, Cam doesn’t mess around #allout
I’ll be honest, running in foundation and mascara seemed like it would be an exercise in futility. I mean, it’s called sweat, and not even Coco Channel could conquer THAT amount of dewy sheen. But sometimes a girl’s gotta sacrifice for the sake of her…costume. After all, one cannot run as a Rockford Peach and NOT have red lips and victory rolls. So I was charged with hair because I’ve been known to rock some rolls from time to time, but realistically, I worried that my handiwork wouldn’t last through the first two miles of running.
Mer and Vic rockin’ some rolls!
We snapped tons of photos before the race (Ken Shelton Photography did an absolutely fantastic job with the race photos), and were SO GRATEFUL that our costumes were judged PRIOR to the start because you and I both know we would be looking a hot mess after the race. Our faces and hair held up so well, I have to give a shout out to our hairspray, TRESemme Mega Firm Hold and lipstick, NARS “Fire Down Below”.
Ready to play ball! (Photo by Ken Shelton Photography)
Altitude really does make a HUGE impact on one’s ability and endurance.
HOLY WOW. This is how running at sea level felt for me.
Seriously you guys, if I could run at sea level all the time, I would be completely, irrevocably, in love with hitting the pavement for miiiiiiles and miiiiiiles. Now I fully understand why Kara Goucher (and numerous other pro/elite athletes) live and train in Boulder. My lungs felt so strong, and my legs didn’t begin to tire until around mile 9.5. Back home, the longest I had run was a 10k. Lesson here is low-landers beware when running at altitude. It’s no joke.
Feeling so great at the halfway point that I was dancin’!
Names on the Bibs
Attention AC Race Series, the Rockford Peaches would like to formally request that runners’ names be on their bibs. Once I ran as She-Ra, Princess of Power, and it was pretty awesome. If given the option this time, I totally would have listed Marla Hooch for my bib name, then I wouldn’t have had to wear make-up. It’s just one of those fun touches that enables us adults to be goofy and silly and, in my case, really nerdy. I will totally run as Princess Leia of Alderan at the Disney Rebel Challenge if I can.
Cool, but could maybe be a teensy bit cooler.
Runners appreciate when the race is well prepared and stocked with goodies.
After last year’s race, I heard faint grumblings about the snacks being gone before all the racers crossed the finish line. I’ll tell you that the thought of that amazing pretzel and popcorn waiting for me at the finish helped me ignore the uncomfortable fact that my thighs were seizing up on me at mile 12. If they weren’t there waiting for me I would have been soooo sad panda. Thankfully there were PLENTY of snacks when we crossed the finish, so much so that they were giving runners two or three helpings to rejuvenate. They had popcorn and amazing pretzels and bagels and water and Gatorade and stuff! WAY TO GO, AC RACES! We don’t have photos of the pretzels. We ate them.
Thanks for hooking us up, AC Races!
Next Tuesday, I’ll be posting part duex; the top five things I learned from the AC (and my first) Half. Until then, here’s a photobomb. Sorry we’re not sorry! Thanks again to Ken Shelton Photography for the amazing race photos!!
Quite a turnout!
We got to see Bonnie S.! What a sweet lady blessed with a beautiful family!
Cam coming around the turn and looking strong!
It takes all kinds to win the race. #NB #Mizuno #Brooks
Vic looking lovely with her shiny new medal!
FYI, If you run this race, a photo with Lucy the Elephant is obligatory.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.