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!