Thursday, October 14, 2010

Running Skirts Bootcamp Night Fun Run

We kicked off our RunningSkirts weekly fun run running group this fall which meets every Thursday @ 6:00 p.m. at the RunningSkirts flagship store in Encinitas. Each week we have a different workout/theme. To celebrate the arrival of our new SkirtCamp Camo Collection, tonight we had "bootcamp" theme. We ran 2 miles to the EZIA Human Performance gym where they lead us through some great core & strength training drills. Then is was another 2 mile run back to the store, where icy Ultima Replenisher and great running skirt prizes awaited. Special thanks to WOLF Studio Massage Therapists for the massage prize donation & EZIA for a great workout! We look forward to many more. What's next week's theme going to be? is October afterall!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where did summer 2010 go?

Wow - where did the summer go?
Aside from a busy travel schedule to Rock n Roll San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco Marathon, Rock 'n' Roll Chicago, Surf Monkey Oceanside, Outdoor Retailer, AFC San Diego, Disneyland Half...., it seems like summer literally sprinted by this year. It doesn't make it any better that we had the coldest summer in something like 40 years!

Now that the leaves are turning, the weather is cooling and the kiddies are back in school (or starting preschool for my little guy), it's time to get caught up with with the blog. So many fabulous running experiences of late, so little time.

It's been a roller coaster ride of a summer with great highs and lows. Our previous warehouse manager Jaimee Baker Renfrow (Christy's niece) tragically lost her battle with cystic fibrosis in August. She was only 23 and a bright shining light in our running skirts world. We will forever miss Jaimee and all that she brought to our lives, but we are also forever blessed with her memory and the legacy of her amazing positive attitude and faith in God.

Jaimee and company at the Reindeer 5k this year

After Jaimee's passing, we quickly assisted in support of a 5k fundraiser "Jaimee's Run" in her memory on her birthday in September. We had an amazing turnout at the inaugural 5k and plan to hold a race in her honor every year on her birthday week. We have since received some very touching customers emails expressing their own intentions to also fund raise for Jaimee's Run foundation in their annual marathon fundraising campaigns and we've also had many runners dedicate their marathons and races to Jaimee. Jaimee is surely smiling down from heaven as her new found friends run and race in her memory.

How about a few of the highlights?!

During our July 4th Holiday Weekend we had the pleasure of registering for an impromptu race in Lake Tahoe. Christy & I opted for the Run to the Beach 10k trail race of the Big Blue Tahoe series. We had only been there for a few days and were struggling just to do easy morning runs at the higher elevation. This was one tough trail race with lots and lots of incline and a few wrong turns resulting in going from being in the front of the pack to the mid-pack on single track terrain. We finished up a respectable 2nd and 4th female overall. On our drive from the race to starbucks, I started experiencing black spots in my vision and numbness in my fingers and arms. It was the strangest sensation ever and I was slowly losing my vision. Christy informed me that I was experiencing an onset of a migraine. (i've only had 2 in my life, but she gets them often). We chalked it up to too much elevation, effort and caffeine at the time.

Over the next few weeks, my runs continued to feel more difficult then usual almost as if I was still running at Tahoe elevation, yet Christy was back to her normal strong running self. After huffing and puffing my way through our easy trail run 5 miler along the San Elijo Lagoon trail, I started to have an idea of what might be going on. Sure enough, one pregnancy test later, my suspicions were confirmed. Our little guy is going to have a sibling. Turns out, the migraine in Tahoe was probably my first clue!

That weekend, I noticed a few raised eyebrows and questioning glances when I changed my SF half marathon entry to the 5k race. I was looking forward to running the 2nd half of the SF marathon and getting the summer's pr for the half, but after the taxing effort during my recent shorter training runs, I decided it would be best to stick to shorter distance races - at least for the remainder of my first trimester.

baby#2 ultrasound at 9 weeks
I've been running every day of the pregnancy so far (at least 3 miles) and hope to continue the streak throughout the pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, I was lucky and able to run all the way to the end (or past it) as the little guy came almost a week late!

Me and "my little passenger" have run several races so far in this pregnancy, more on that in the next post. Wishing you all a wonderful fall racing season!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Outdoor Retailer Running Skirts Knock Your Shorts Off Fun Run

Running Skirts Rock Outdoor Retailer!

Check out the video from this mornings fun run:

What a day! We started with an early rise (up before the sun) to get all set for our Good Morning OR Knock Your Shorts Off Run. After the magic skirt tent was up, Ultima mixed, coffee, bagels and fruit spread in place we started transforming running wardrobes. Surprisingly (or not so much) we had just as many men eager to "Knock their Shorts Off"! What a scenic fun run!

Then it was off to the show...Day 1 of Outdoor Retailer...the show of all shows of everything outdoor! We had a super exciting fun filled day including great meetings with buyers, journalists & skirt-lovers from all over the world. The launch of our new fall/winter collection was met with rave reviews and super excited customers. As we prepare to enter our 6th year in running skirt world - its exciting to present our expanding fitness apparel line (8 different skirt styles now!). Running Skirts aren't just for, paddling, golf, cycling, hiking, climbing, firejumping, scuba diving, weddings....(true we have the new "What do you do in your runningskirt?" video & photos to attest).

We wrapped up the afternoon with a wine & cheese happy hour in the Runners World booth for our Running Skirt demo party. Running Skirts were flying as curious customers took our skirts for a test run on the Runners World treadmills. It's so fun to see the reaction of a "skirt-virgins" as they experience our comfy athletic skirts for the first time. After the show we wrapped up the day with another wonderful meal at Wild Grape (one of our SLC faves) with the skirt gang and Dane Rauschenberg (honorary skirt). All in all, a fabulous first day at Outdoor Retailer, can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow - Running Skirts Knock Your Shorts Off Fun Run Version part 2 - meeting in front of the Salt Palace South Plaza area. Can't wait to run that beautiful route again up to the Capital and on the scenic mountain road beyond and then back down the hill along Memory Park....gorgeous. Looking forward to meeting new runningskirt fans tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Next stop on the RunningSkirts whirlwind marathon tour....Seattle!

Here I am in front of the famous Space Needle as we hit the streets of seattle for our morning run. We took in the beautiful sights along the waterfront trail. The first morning in Seattle, we were blessed with a perfect bluebird sunny day and the views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains were breathtaking (unfortunately didn't have the camera in tow that day).

Christy stopping to smell the roses on the morning run through the rose garden on the waterfront.

Had a great fun chat with Meb and his brother Hawi at the expo- great guys. Check out the video clip below of Hawi claiming he was faster than Meb! Super excited about Meg's new book coming out soon - we are hoping to schedule a book signing at the RunningSkirts store. Maybe we can have him lead our fun run....ahahahaha - we'd be able to stay with him for 20 meters at best!

Seattle Rock n Roll expo was awesome. We got to meet a lot of our favorite running bloggers and long-time customers. People always ask us what the best thing is about starting the running skirts business. By far, meeting our customers and hearing their amazing stories of accomplishments in running, goals and overcoming the various challenges is our favorite way to spend Running Skirts time! "Working" expos is so much fun, we laugh that we really call it work at all!

Unfortunately we hadn't signed up in time for this race and were unable to get entries....booo! We'll be running for sure next year though - only hear awesome things about the Seattle race and course.

Here's what Meb & his brother had to say about who's the speedy one in the family:

Thanks Seattle for another great visit & rock 'n' roll event! See you next year!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon San Diego Running Skirts elvis team

Elvis lives!
WE are super excited that Rock 'n' Roll series added a Half Marathon to their San Diego event. What better a way to run the inaugural half marathon course than to rock the elvis look.

Running Skirts joined the rock 'n' roll marathon elvis team. I have to say our white running skirts, performance tank & blinged out accessories were a great lightweight alternative to some of the other costumes out there....we've got to hand it to "spongebob elvis" for running 26.2 in that costume - wow!

Here's the How to on getting the running Elvis look:

solid white Running Skirt or Athletic Skirt....check!
White or gold strappy top.....check!
White performance mesh tank.....check!
Gold lame cape....check!
Gold Sequin belt.....check!
Gold chains, the more the better......check!
Gold rimmed aviator sunglasses - the bigger and bling-ier the better....check!
For the elvis bouffante - craft your bangs into a big bump - snooky style, then put the rest into a pony tail....check

and - voila! running skirts elvis is in the house!

We had a great time running the new half marathon course in costume. For those of you runners who have never run in a costume - we highly highly recommend trying it at least once. It makes for excellent fun along the course, tons more crowd support and commentary. We made a point to channel our inner elvis & respond to each cheer and "go elvis" with a deep-voiced response "Thank you.....thank you very much!

After coming off the 2 marathons in april and trying to recover from our injuries, we didn't really have PRs in mind for this race. I wanted to kick myself for leaving my garmin at home since I would now have to be running "naked" as we commonly refer to running without timing device. With all the fuss in pulling together the elvis costume, I had completely snoozed it and left the garmin on the kitchen counter. This was surely going to be a recipe for disaster pace-wise for me since I'm infamous for going out too fast and paying the piper later in the last miles of the race. As the gun went off and we charged out trying to work our way through the crowded start, I tried to settle into a good, yet comfortable pace. Passing the 2 mile clock in 12:10 was a big "uh-oh" moment for me and I immediately slowed to what I guessed was a better sustainable pace for the running-shape I'm in (or lack thereof).

The costume was my saving-grace as it provided great crowd support and entertainment throughout the course. I was thrilled to hear "Great job - first elvis!" all along the course. As the wheels came off the bus around 9 miles or so and I started losing position one female at a time, I reminded myself that this was merely supposed to be a fun run. I instead turned my goal from a finish time into merely being the first "elvis" to finish. With a few miles to go, I was passed by "steve-0" from our 10 Mile Wednesday group. He shouted some much-needed words of encouragement and off he went. I plodded along trying to keep him in sight as we approached the sea world finish line, all the while, eyeing the occasional runner that passed me to make sure they weren't wearing white polyester or gold lame!

The roar of the crows was amazing as I came down the finish line chute - what a fun way to finish a rock 'n' roll an elvis costume that is. First Elvis! YES! Christy-elvis and Brooke-elvis finished hot on my blue suede shoes and then the other running skirts elvi came sprinting in one by one. We made our way through the finish-line celebration and were thrilled to discover a few of the UPS gear check ladies, sporting Running Skirts - see photo below!

After we finished the half we re-convened at mile 20 for our "Rockin Otter Pop Stop". We had a great time passing out icy cold deliciousness to all the marathon runners as they passed by the course on their way to the fiesta island portion of the marathon route.

Check out the video of our Rockin Otter Pop Stop! Congrats to all the Marathon finishers - can't wait for next year! Who's up for joining the running skirts elvis team next year?

Friday, June 25, 2010

CW6 Morning Show San Diego Running Skirts segment

Wow - what an amazing summer it's been so far. I'd like to start this post by singing the praises of Virgin America Airlines.....This airline rocks! Great friendly service, painless check in, leather seats, mood lighting, and internet access and normal power plus under each seat! woohoo - its blog catch up time as we fly home from the seattle rock 'n' roll marathon.

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll marathon will always be one our favorites. Not only is it in our hometown, it was one of our first major marathon expos so it will always be near and dear to our runningskirts hearts!

We kicked the week off with a fun segment on the San Diego local morning show - check out the clip here (you have to search "running skirts" on this video page and click the "running skirts" link (sorry I can't figure out how to link it directly). We had a great time showcasing the new summer collection and talking about some of our "giving back" initiatives including Chelsea's Light foundation (100% of the sales of all orange running skirts go to the foundation), our "skirt camp" camo collection which benefits "Marine's Helping Marines" and our Purple plaid skirts which benefit "Sunshine Kids", the foundation Audrina Patridge was fundraising for when she ran in the 2010 LA Marathon.

We surprised one of the morning show hosts with a cheetah fitness skirt of his own!
After the live show we headed straight to Running Skirts headquarters to start the party preparations for our Skirtacular Summer Party. All the skirthusiasts were on deck to assist with turning our warehouse and back parking lot into a pinkalicious running skirts heaven!

Pink velvet ropes & carpet, carbo-cupcakes served by our male "hosts". Brooke from Ultima Replenisher was there mixing up another fabulous selection of "ultima-tinis" including a delicious cocktail using their new oh-so-yummy grape flavor.

As we approached partay time, the line outside the door and down the hot pink velvet carpet grew and grew down the street and around the corner! We hurried to get the final touches on our special event and were super excited to get to meet a lot of our local running skirt customers. Oh what a night - check out the footage from the party here

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Boston2BigSur Challenge and 2010 Big Sur Marathon

Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge.....2 marathons, 2 coasts, 6 days......check! After our return from Boston on Tuesday, we drove up to Monterey for the Big Sur Marathon expo. We set up the running skirts booth Thursday and had some free time to check out the wharf and cannery row. We brought grandma along this trip so it was great family time!

Booth set up complete so we had time to relax and enjoy an awesome lunch on the Monterey wharf! or "wofe" if you say it like my Thomas the Train obsessed 2 year old. The hubby and I have a fun little game where we make each road trip location a place in his favorite dvds. For example: photo shoot in palm springs was a trip to "radiator springs" from the Disney Pixar Movie Cars. This time the Big Sur trip was a visit to "Sodor Wharf"! After our lunch we took a nice mile walk down the waterfront bike bath to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and did a quick visit before they closed for the day. Check out the jelly fish video!

Christy was back at skirt headquarters in San Diego trying to recover from a boston-induced chest cold before the 2nd marathon in 6 days. She was hoping to recover quickly and drive up Saturday afternoon for the marathon on Sunday. Unfortunately her chest cold and cough grew worse instead of better and she made a smart choice to say home. (boo for me!). She was so bummed I was still planning to run and she couldn't - as was I. During one phone conversation on Saturday a.m., she tried to talk me out of it...."you don't want to hurt yourself or do any permanent damage, maybe you shouldn't run". I'll admit it was a very very very tempting thought to sit out the marathon, but the "challenge" of it all was till hanging over my head and I had to at least try! The thought of doing a "changed my mind", "chickened out" or "dnf'd" video kept me in the game. Nothing like a good full mental & physical challenge!

I was working the booth solo - sans Christy as planned - and it was crazy busy. At one point - I had the hubby in the booth (in a skirt of course) to help "skirt" all the ladies for Big Sur. It was a frenzy, the ladies were laughing hysterically, taking photos and doing some heavy groping! I think he enjoyed it way more than he should of! If any of you have photos - please email em - I'd love some new blackmail material haha!

The 2nd day flew by and the next thing I new I was having my traditional (superstitious) post-race dinner (grilled fish, rice & asparagus) and dreading the 3:45 a.m. alarm clock! I was seriously doubtful that I'd finish the race - hearing the horror stories of all the hills didn't help. I carefully packed my sweat check bag (Arma style) tylenol, salt capsules, gloves, money for cab, blackberry, camera, bodyglide, extra gu, sharkies, kt was bulging at the seams. I wanted to be prepared with it all with the thought in the back of my mind that I might be discreetly leaving the course mid-run to call a cab.

As usual - I didn't get much sleep the night before the marathon. Regardless of the fact that I was absolutely weary and not nervous about getting a certain time, etc. I actually had those wierd dreams over and over again about waking up, getting dressed (making sure I used the restroom) and getting on the bus. AAAAAH! There's got to be a better way to quickly fall asleep before a race - do any of you have any non-pharmaceutical secrets?

Bing! Bing! Bing! the alarm went of at 3:45 and I quietly got up, quickly dressed in my planned fave skirt (fleurs) tank top & long sleeve with my Boston Hoody and off I went. I had a hard time deciding what shoes to wear Newtons or my heavy Mizuno trainers, and I opted for the trainers in light of the strained plantar.

The bus ride was long, dark & quiet as we made our winding way along Hwy 1 from Monterey to Big Sur. It was a little over an hour drive or so it seemed. As we arrived the sun was starting to rise and I received a warm greeting from the race announcer Rudy. "there's Cindy from Running Skirts getting off the bus to run her Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge!". So much for discretely leaving the course later.

As I made my way to the start line, I had the pleasure of chatting with tons of fellow "skirts" which really helped ease my nerves. I had no idea where to line up for this race, my only plan was to finish, cross the line and get my special medal & jacket! I decided to seed myself around the 3:30 pace group and start off slower.

As the first few miles flew by (mostly downhill) I became really nervous with my nagging sore right quad. All I could think about was the chance I'd cramp up (or "igor" as our friends from 10 mile wednesday fondly call it) later in the race like in Boston. When I caught sight of the Pacific Coastline, I was conveniently distracted by the sheer beauty of the beautiful blue ocean and the vibrant green mountains - it was breathtaking!

The miles seem to fly by quicker than last week in boston! The Big Sur Marathon course is pretty secluded as far as spectator support (they close the roads in the early morning and there is no way to get out there unless you live there), there was plenty of great entertainment along the course. Great school bands, a beautiful harpist, the famous pianist, japanese drummers and many many other great distractions were strategically located along the ever-so-hilly course!

Here's some more footage from the top of the largest incline toward Bixby Bridge above - and here I am below at the top of the hill

the final approach to Bixby bridge did not disappoint - you could hear the beautiful piano over the crashing of the waves hundreds of feet below. You'll never guess what song he was playing as I crossed the bridge.....the theme from Charlie Brown Peanuts! Awesome!

After passing the half way point, I knew the real work was ahead and I was cautiously optimistic that I might actually finish this challenge. I took some more salt capsules at the halfway point and along I plodded. The 3:40 pace group would pass me each time I stopped to take a quick video or photo and then I'd pass them again once I started back along the course.

Here I am at the 20 mile mark, I'll let the videos tell the rest of the story!

Resorting to some brief walk breaks as I climb the hills. Interesting enough, I'd keep passing the same runners as I started back running again - a little proof in the pudding for those wondering about the Galloway Method.

More entertainment along the course welcomed the runners as we approached the finish. Strawberry hill was a wonderful surprise - tables of fresh clean & cut strawberries! Yummy!

the final few miles weren't quite as painful and difficult as I had feared. Actually & suprisingly, they were much easier than Boston. Luckily I teetered on the brink of "igor-ing" but it never happened (thanks to the salt) and I finished fairly strong and with a big smile on my face. The hubby met me as I approached the finish line and ran me in. I think he just might have been more excited than me to see me cross the finish line (he had big doubts too!). It was an amazing finish - stunning race course and a beautiful day - I'll be back next year....with Christy of course! Who's joining us in the 2010 Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge?

Check out the footage of the special Boston2BigSur Challenge & Grizzled Vets finishers tent - posh digs complete with ice cold beer, delicious pastries, fruit and the hard-earned "special special" Boston 2 Big Sur finishers jackets & medals!

Celebrating with other challenge finishers:

Enjoying a refreshing therapeutic salt water soak post-marathon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge 50% complete

FREE Compression socks this weekend - with purchase of $100 or more!
Great for recovery! Compression = happy muscles & legs

Boston Marathon Completed! Recovery underway!
We finished in 3:30 as challenge: finishing the 2010 Big Sur Marathon which will also finish our Boston2BigSur Challenge.

26.2 miles of up & down challenging course in Boston........check!
We are half way done with the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge and headed to Big Sur on some really tired & sore legs. (can't remember legs being this sore from Boston last year....the 3 days of expo legs standing on the hard cement floors of the convention center took it's toll). Boston was amazing, but we both had cramping in the last few miles - it was a struggle at minimum!

We actually emailed Dean Karnazes to see if he could give us some tips on recover! Ice baths, Arnica and compression socks....done, done and done. Still having a hard time walking and bending down to collect things that alwasy seem to drop on the floor after a marathon.

Big Sur is allegedly one "gnarly" course - hillier than Boston. What on earth were we thinking. Our plan is to simply finish - cross the finish line in one format or, walk, crawl...even considered pushing each other in a BOB Jogging Stroller (too bad no strollers allowed).

Off to the expo - swing by and say Hello and let us know if you have any tips for speedy marathon recovery - 48 hours till the gun goes off!

Speaking of recovery - we are running a special at this weekend - FREE Swift Sox Compression Socks with any purchase of $100.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge 2010 underway

We are off! Boston bound...following the boxes and boxes and boxes....of runningskirts gear shipped for the RunningSkirts booth at the 2010 Boston Marathon expo.
We're gonna video blog the journey along the way. Please send us your energy on marathon monday & healing prayers (we are booth battling some minor injuries still).

The first video was after a loooong day in the skirt mines making last minute preparations for Boston.

Packing up & heading out!

Arriving at Grandma & Grandpas!

Be sure to follow our video journey - see you in Boston & Big Sur!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Womens Running Store San Diego Encinitas Solana Beach

For those of you that couldn't make it to our grand opening skirtacular celebration - check out the video footage! We are thrilled about the recent opening of our flagship in the San Diego area - our new store is located in downtown Encinitas a block west of the new Whole Foods development. Where's Encinitas? Just north of Solana Beach and Cardiff in North County area of San Diego.

Not your average running store, we call it "a unique boutique for the stylish athlete"! Just running skirts? Oh no, we carry Spira Shoes, Newton running shoes, Sweaty Bands non-slip headbands, GU Energy, BOB Jog Strollers, Ultima Replenisher, Bart Yasso's book "My life on the Run", Kathrine Switzers autographed books, The Stick, Feetures socks and more! Our new Run Love summer collection of running skirts, triathlon skirts, tops and compression socks are now in stock!

Boston to Big Sur Challenge

Last weekend Christy and I managed to hobble through 15 of our planned 20+ miler in preparation for Boston! Sadly enough, are both battling injuries right now (Cindy has strained plantar in the left foot and Christy has pain behind her right knee) and have been sidelined from our scheduled speedwork and hill work in prep for 2010 Boston Marathon. We decided to pull the plug on our last long run sunday when we reached 15 miles since we were both in pain at that point and didn't want to risk further injury.

As if our premarathon confidence wasn't already a bit on the low end, what did we get in the mail this week? A beautiful white technical long sleeve tee reminding us of the Boston to Big Sur Challenge that we had registered for months ago. At the time it seems like a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Big Sur Marathon (voted one of the 3 best marathons in America by Runners World magazine!) I guess I should say "we" registered....Christy found about this grand idea in a roundabout way (a registration confirmation email courtesy of me-oops!).

(Photo of the long sleeve tech shirts that arrived in the mail this week.)

Needless to say, when I opened the package to find the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge shirt, I felt a little queasy. With Boston less than 3 weeks away and now battling annoying injuries, the challenge is really living up to its name. Our biggest challenge now is getting healthy and recovered enough to finish boston and toe the line at Big Sur.

Have any of you run Big Sur yet? I hear it is a hilly beast of one amazingly gorgeous course! BTW Running Skirts will be at the 2010 Boston Marathon expo so be sure to swing by the booth and say hello & check our our new surf gold boston color running skirt gear!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Audrina Patridge runs 2010 LA Marathon for Sunshine Kids in purple plaid running skirt

After a whirlwind week of high-mileage Boston marathon training and trying to dig out of the mountainous stacks of our new summer running skirt shipment, we had the pleasure of escaping up north to catch the 2010 LA Marathon on Sunday. We headed to Santa Monica and found a great location right around the 24 mile marker of the marathon. There were lots of running skirts out on the course and everyone seemed thrilled with the brand new marathon course that ended at the beach.

Audrina Patridge of the MTV hit show "The Hills" ran a relay leg of the marathon on behalf of The Sunshine Kids organization. She was rocking the purple plaid skirt. We had the pleasure of meeting Audrina and her running partner Morgan and The Sunshine Kids team prior to their leg of the relay. Audrina has been fundraising to benefit this wonderful organization that helps children in cancer treatment across North America. We are honored to be joining Audrina in these efforts and will be donating 5% of all sales of the purple plaid running skirt Audrina wore in the race to The Sunshine Kids.

Audrina Patridge wore the adorable purple checkered skirt (plaid) and Morgan was sporting the new RunLove floral print running skirt!

Check out the race photos of Audrina & the Sunshine Kids & please join us in support of these wonderful children!

Watch video of Audrina Patridge running LA Marathon relay for Sunshine Kids

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chelsea's Light and Run for Chelsea Take Back the Park

As most of you are probably aware of, the story about the missing teen runner Chelsea King ended in tragedy as her body was found in the park where she ran regularly. As runners and moms of running daughters ourselves here in the San Diego area, this story touched us deeply! Chelsea's family has started a foundation Chelsea's Light in her memory and a local running club 10 Mile Wednesday has organized a "Run for Chelsea - Take Back the Park" on March 20th at Lake Hodges.

In memory of Chelsea RunningSkirts is donating 100% of the proceeds from all sales of our Orange Running Skirts (Chelsea's fave color) to Chelsea's Light foundation. Please join us in hopefully turning this horrible tragedy into hope and the fight against crimes and criminals of this nature.

Our hearts & prayers go out to Chelsea's friends and family in this very difficult time.

In memory of Chelsea King!



(all proceeds donated to Chelsea's Light)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Desert Triathlon, Lake Cahuilla, CA

This weekend was the much-anticipated triathlon debut of "Lance Fallstrong" and "Greg Landswrong" - the running skirts husbands as they tackled their first triathlons.

How did the running skirts husbands garner such clever nicknames you ask? Well, here's the cliff's notes version:
  • Hubbies decided to take on the multifaceted & challenging sport of Triathlon!
  • Hubbies bought themselves shiny fancy-schmancy (lance armstrong and greg lamond worthy bikes for Christmas)
  • Wives purchased hubbies first triathlon entries for hubbies for Christmas
  • Hubbies took several rather embarassing, yet hilarious tumbles while learning to ride new bikes in bike shoes
  • Wifes concocted nicknames "Lance Fallstrong" and "Greg Landswrong" over a glass of vino one night....accompanied with belly aching laughter and happy crying and a post on facebook with their photos in their "dedunt-dedunts" as we affectionately refer to their skin-tight cycling outfits.
Right, now onto the race report!

We were looking forward to a weekend in the desert with no racing pressure of our own as well the promise of a brand new location for our long runs (don't get me wrong, our rancho santa fe trails are awesome, but after back to back repeated long runs over the last several weeks, new scenery is in order!). We stayed at a family friendly resort in Rancho Mirage called Rancho Las Palmas which was ideal for the kiddos. They had an absolute blast playing in the massive pool complete with sandy beach, winding water slides and a lazy river that ran around the resort. We were all in unanimous agreement that what seemed as a pricey room rate was actually money very well spent as it not only entertained the kids completely and kept them busy swimming and playing (they need their cardio too), but it also brought them to the dinner table each night completely subdued (physically spent) which made for wonderful relaxing poolside days and great relaxing dinners complete with uninterrupted adult conversation and actual enjoyment of a good bottle of vino too!

Early Saturday, before the families woke up, Christy & I scouted out the great "palm desert" trail system and headed out for a 2 hour long run. We made our way along a trail next to a canal and quickly found our way onto the Hopalong Cassidy trail. It was a gorgeous sunny and clear morning and the view from the top of the trails were amazing. We even spotted a few road runners (for real) and quickly attempted to snap a few photos. Unfortunately the road runners lived up to their reputation (and like the classic cartoon) "meepmeep" and they were gone...too fast for our cell phone cams.

Long run done, we made our way back to the resort on weary legs and found the families already poolside having another great time! The hubbies were chomping at the bit to get to the race expo and pick up their packets, etc. The nerves & pre-race jitters were starting to emerge! It was a nice change to be sipping on a pool side refreshment while the guys ran out to pick up the race packets for a chance. We had to chuckle as they departed and looked at us with puppy dog expression and said "are you guys sure you don't want to go to the tri expo (you know how we love our expos) and leave the relaxing bliss of the sunshine warming our poolside bodies behind, we're gonna have to pass on this one". And then they were gone......for hours!

Dinner that night was again more peaceful and relaxing than the previous night and we all headed back to the hotel for an early night's sleep in preparation for the early start of the Desert Triathlon. We headed out at 5:00 a.m. to beat the traffic to Lake Cahuilla. Greg Landswrong (cindy's hubby) was doing the sprint distance and his race started first. It was a crisp cool morning without much wind but had the potential for rain. The Sprint tri went off without a hitch, and the hubby did a great job, out of the swim in the first half of the pack & by the time he got off the bike, we was in the top 20. He lost his position a bit on the run portion, but still finished in the top 30 and took 2nd place Age group - woohoo! As he was finishing the run portion, "Lance Fallswrong" took off in the International distance. He also did awesome! He was in the first 20 out of the water, lost a little positioning on the bike and then rocked the 10k in 38 minutes. .....which brought him in 11th place in the run and completed the entire triathlon in a downpour of rain! Way to go boys!

The Desert Tri was a great event - very well organized! The guys are already plotting and planning their next tris! It's great watching them become motivated to train harder and get faster, but with that said - it can be challenging now that we are juggling training schedules and kiddie patrol. At the same time, we are excited that our children are getting exposed to multiple sports and fitness activities and can't wait to watch them in their first "iron kids" race soon!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

26.2 with Donna Breast Cancer Marathon Jacksonville Beach

I've been super excited about my first visit to Jacksonville, Florida and the 26.2 with Donna - breast cancer marathon. The weekend was filled with tears, laughs & great times! We've been looking forward to participating in this event all year. As an avid supporter of the fight against breast cancer, we were excited to be an participant in this years event. After expo set up on thursday evening, I squeezed in a brief treadmill workout in the hotel gym. While I was hopping on the treadmill in the new hot pink polka dot running skirt, I was greeted by a young woman on the treadmill next to me. She said a quick hello and mentioned that she was in town for the 26.2 with donna event and we chatted about the upcoming weekend. Soon, I learned that she was recovering from a double masectomy from 2 weeks prior! She was so inspired by Donna's story and her perseverance in the fight against cancer, she booked a flight from her current residence in Rochester, Minnesota (she's undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic up there) in hopes of meeting Donna herself at the expo the following day. We had a great "dreadmill" visit, she was walking while I jogged and she told me her story about learning she had breast cancer and being left by her boyfriend immediately after he heard the news. It was very disturbing and even after I returned to my room later that evening, I couldn't get her out of my mind. Meeting her really brought the whole weekend and purpose into perspective, and Donna's race slogan "finish cancer" really hit home!

We had a great time at the race expo! The Smile Stylist stopped by the booth on Saturday with his beautiful family who wholeheartedly embraced the spirit of the race by donning their own pinkalicious plaid running skirts! They guys who participated in this event were amazing, whether it was in honor of a spouse, friend or family member battling breast cancer, we had at least 5 or 6 guys sporting the pink skirts out on the course on race day!

Robin (our Florida sales rep) and myself had a great time working the skirt booth and enjoyed meeting all the runners and hearing their stories and why they were running. The expo was amazing - lots of great girly girl buys to be made, unfortunately for us, the skirt booth kept us too busy to shop!

Race day started early - had to catch the bus at a jacksonville hotel in the wee morning hours (5:00 a.m.-5:30 a.m.), it was chilly too! I made the mistake of not wearing my cozy warmups or any throwaways, so I was shivering as we stood in line waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the start line. I have to admit though that I was super excited about my pinkalicious outfit - the new pink plaid running skirt paired with our new "love line" long sleeve tech shirt complete with reflective hot pink heart on the sleeve, finished off with my hot pink newton racers of course. I've never been so happy to get on a race bus before...aaah the heat was a heavenly reprieve from the freezing morning temperatures (in the low 30s). The start line area was great - lots of vendors, bag check, coffee, refreshments and booths to keep the runners busy while we all waited for the call to line up. The also walked the runners out to the starting area in a very organized fashion, slower to faster so that the race participants were lined up without corrals. After my group was lead to the front of the starting area, I decided it'd be a good idea to warm up. After about a mile or so of easy jogging, I realized I just wasn't going to warm up in these temps, and found my way back to the starting line. Donna gave a great motivating send off followed by the national anthem and then with a pretty explosion of pink confetti, we were off!

I knew going into this race, my legs were dead tired from a previous week of airplane travel, and standing at the expo booth, so my plan was to go out at medium pace and see how I felt after 3-4 miles. As we approached the 2nd mile I was recognized Joan Benoit Samuelson as she came up beside me. I congratulated her on her amazing half marathon at Toronto International Marathon back in October and we chatted for a mile or two. (She ran 1:22 in toronto - amazing!) I realized as the pace was getting faster, that I'd have to let Joan move on as her pace was going to be too aggressive for my legs this day. I told her so in as many words and wished her a great race and watched in amazement as she sped ahead into the distance.

Now that the sun had reason, it was getting warmer out and it turned out to be a perfectly sunny race day. I was starting to warm up finally, but my legs weren't feeling energetic in the least. I was wondering where I'd bump into the hubby and little guy and promised myself it was going to be a better race than Carlsbad. The course was nice, while presenting a few challenges of the arch bridge and then the 2 miles of running on the sandy beach, fairly flat and scenic. Right as I made the turn onto the beach portion of the run, I spotted the hubby and little guy on the side of the course. I gave them a quick wave as I turned the corner and then I hit the sand. The wheels came off the bus at this point (in hindsight my mile splits were significantly slower in this portion). While advertised as hard packed sand, I found I had a really tough time getting traction in the loose sand I was becoming quite exerted! I think this was the point where I could not longer see Joan's silouette bounding along ahead of me, and now the gap between me and the girl in front of me was increasing. After our sandy stretch, I was so grateful to be making the "half marathon" turn and felt genuinely sorry for the marathon runners that had to continue down the sandy beach further.

As we made the turn and headed back to the start I was feeling ok and holding my pace. I knew we had to get back over that arch bridge and the thought of it was daunting. I tried to stay relaxed and hold my pace and chugged along all the while thinking of my friend on the treadmill and how lucky I was to be blessed with my health and wonderful family. The miles seemed to go by a little quicker on the way back in and before I knew it I was making my way back over the arch bridge and headed down and around the corner to the finish. I was excited to hear from spectators 5th women, as I neared the finish and picked up the pace a bit to hold my position. My legs have never been happier to cross a finish line, wow that last climb over the bridge was brutal! After exchanging congrats with the finisher ahead of me, I caught up with Joan again and learned she had finished in 1:25 - amazing! When I grow up and am running in my 50s I want to be just like her! :o)

Race Results:

Open Women
4155 1 1 W50 Joan Benoit-Samuelson, 52, UsA 45:13 1:25:43 1:25:39 6:32
3014 2 2 W35 Sarah Raitter, 37, Reno, NV 44:21 1:27:59 1:27:56 6:43
3029 3 3 W35 Julie Breuer, 37, Jacksonville, FL 46:03 1:28:20 1:28:17 6:44
3452 4 4 W25 Libby Bergman, 27, Saint Augustine, FL 46:26 1:29:07 1:29:04 6:48
3526 5 5 W35 Cindy Lynch, 38, Cardiff Bythe Sea, CA 46:21 1:29:20 1:29:17 6:49

My splits (all over the place):

More race photos here!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Running Skirts Store Grand Opening

Whew - it's been a crazy busy work week - lots of exciting news in skirt world! All the grand opening prep & festivities provided a much-needed distraction from the less-than-stellar Carlsbad race last week!

Now that we are into our 5th year in the business, it was a natural progression to open a beautiful boutique for our local customers to shop. No longer do our local skirt fans have to maneuver the shipping box mountains and rolling rack obstacles in the "skirt mines" in order to pick out a new skirt, make a quick gift exchange or purchase. With our new expansion and storefront renovation, now there's a pinkalicious fitness boutique we now affectionately refer to in the skirt mines as "the happy place" to shop in.

The grand opening was awesome! Ultima sports drink was on site serving up there oh-so-yummy "ultima-tinis", Bart Yasso stopped by for a book signing, even the mayor was on hand for this skirtactular celebration. One more ultima-tini and we would have had him in a skirt too!

Check out the photos below!

Our guest of honor, Bart Yasso was the first to walk the hot pink carpet....he walked in in jeans!

And came out in a running skirt!

That's what happens when you visit Running Skirts - our unique boutique for the stylish athlete! Our super comfy & cute skirts are irresistable!

Meet the San Diego running skirts team!
From left to right (Honorary Skirt Brook (Ultima), Rachel, Louise, Christy, Becca, Cindy, Pam & Katri!)

Be sure to stop by and say hello and check out the new digs @ 676 2nd Street in Encinitas, CA (1 block west of the new Encinitas Whole Foods building). In addition to our Running Skirt line, we are carrying all our favorite running & fitness products... Spira shoes, Newton shoes, Sweaty Bands (non-slip headbands), The Stick and other must-have fitness products like (chocolove chocolate bars). You can even pick up an autographed copy of Kathrine Switzer's book "Marathon Woman"...keep us in mind when you are looking for a great place to pick out a gift for the favorite running or fitness nut in your life. Stop by and say Hi - we promise it will be like no other athletic store experience you've had! Don't forget to check out the "skirt-envy" pinups in our powder room!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carlsbad Marathon, Half Marathon & Kids Mile 2010

Louise, Dave & little Speedy make their way through legoland!

Marathon Madison rocks the keebler kids mile at legoland!

Here's a group shot of the under 4 year old heat of the mile race!

When people ask me to recommend a marathon in San Diego and they've already done' the Rock n Roll race, I always recommend the Carlsbad marathon. It is by far one of the prettiest ocean view courses I've ever run! The last time I ran this half marathon was 2 years ago right after my little one was born and I remember it being one tough welcome back half! I remembered it being pretty hilly and quite challenging. Christy assured me that it would all be different this time since we have been training and in fairly decent half marathon shape. I agreed with her that it definitely would be better this go-round.

We were just coming down from a few back to back high mileage weeks (we had run an 18 miler in the hills of rancho santa fe on sunday) and have been running decent hill runs during our 10 mile wednesday group runs too, so we were pretty confident that the race would go fairly smoothly.

As the gun went off, we took off gunning for our goal paces and charged up the first mile which is mostly uphill. Normally it takes a few miles to get everything warmed up and get into the groove, only this time....that never seemed to happen. By mile three, I knew it was going to be a tough race. The legs felt like stumps. I wasn't really winded or breathing hard, and I felt pretty relaxed and all, but my legs....oh boy were they heavy. I chugged along and slowly counted down the miles: 6:40, 6:22, 6:46, 6:36, 6:48 (uh-oh), 6:45, 6:54 (uh-uh-oh), 6:48, 6:51, 6:56, 7:28 (family stop), 7:04, 6:47! I was hoping to have my splits closer to the 6:30s, but as you can see the hills and my heavy legs just didn't get me at that pace.

One of my favorite boosts (especially during a tough race) is seeing my family on the sidelines. I new the hubby and little guy were out there somewhere and I was looking for them. I missed them the first time around mile 4 or so - but here's a few shots they got. I did hear some great shout outs along the course and spotted the cheering squad from 10 mile wednesdays! Thanks guys! Shortly after I made the turnaround, I spotted Christy and started screaming go go go. She heard me and met my gaze with a blatant thumbs down gesture while sticking out her tongue. I recognized this expression as "don't expect me to be making any PR's today and don't be waiting for me!" (we twins do that you know - read each others minds) Oh no - she was having a bad race too!

At mile 10 on the way back in, I finally spotted the hubby and my little cheerleader. I gratefully met their open arms and scooped up my little grinning & cheering cherub. I gave the hubby a hug and kiss and he pulled me away and looked me in the eye and said "What the heck is wrong with you?!" While he enjoyed the affection, he recognized this as very odd behavior coming from his normal competitive spouse. I told him in as many words "I'm dyin out here!", set down my little man and off I went hoping the little pitstop gave me a little breather and a little more wind in my sails. The wind never came and I found myself walking a few steps through the next few aid stations and wanting to sit down on the curb and rest my sobbing head in my hands paula-style. Honestly, I can say I've never wanted to quit a race until this moment. I was depleted and the roctane gus just weren't working today. While I felt like my pace was slowing by the minute, I counted down the last 2 miles.

With one mile to go and headed up yet another hill, a kind girl came up beside me and said "come on let's go!" I remember thinking to myself...."Hey- those are my lines! I'm normally doing the pep talking and now the pep-ee. I mustered up just enough energy to tuck in behind her and chug my way over the last overpass around the bend and in the final stretch. As we rounded the corner to the finish, I picked up the pace and tried to finish strong. WHEW - thanking God the whole time for getting me there at last!

I waited at the finish line and met Christy and a fellow 10 mile wednesday member "Jimbo" at the finish (Jimbo ran a smoking fast 3 hour-something marathon - superstah!). I put the medal around Christy's neck and we pretty much commiserated about our lousy races all the way to the sidelines. She relayed an almost identical recount of her crappy race and told me how she stopped and picked up my baby and mile 10 and asked my hubby for a ride back to the finish. He looked at her and said "Your sister just said the exact same thing...what's wrong with you guys today?!".

After discussing our race and our training leading up to the half marathon, we concluded that the moderate 18 miles of horse trails in Rancho Sante Fe the week prior probably wasn't exactly condusive to our race plans today. Oh well, live and learn. We've got Surf City Marathon in 2 weeks to hopefully seek a little redemption. Hope to see you there!