I’m a SkirtSports Ambassador!

AmbassadorStampFour years ago when I began “running,” my biggest fuss was that my shorts would ride up between my legs. I was certainly not going to wear anything tight enough to not ride up, because that showed off my assets a little too much (and what big assets I had!). It just so happened that a girl on a running forum mentioned a sale online for a running skirt and all the girls went wild. Yeah, it was a little like that.  I didn’t have the first clue what they were talking about, but the one thing I learned in life is if you don’t know what someone is talking about, smile and then google the heck out of it when you get back to a computer. Best.google.ever. I discovered SkirtSports! This beautiful piece of athletic wear literally changed my fitness life. I dealt with my issue and had a great way to cover my slowly shrinking assets. I literally wear skirts for every run, walk, bike ride and race volunteer activity I do. There hasn’t been a race or a training season in which someone has not asked about my skirts.

Nothing in moderation...

Nothing in moderation…

When the opportunity to apply for SkirtSports Ambassador came up earlier this year, everyone encouraged me to apply. I am so glad I did it early! They received so many applications that they had to close down the system only a couple of days into the process. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I can’t think of a better company to do this for. Last week, I got the most amazing email – I got it! I might have jumped up and down a little bit in my office and immediately called my running bestie. One of the best perks is getting to share a family&friends discount with all of you! Full disclosure: I don’t receive any sort of financial incentive for your purchases. This is strictly a little gift for you.

So, run right out to skirtsports.com and load up your cart (and use code SSAMB20MW for 20% off your order – it’s good all year)! My favorite has been and always will be Gym Girl Ultra. I have close to thirty of them (hi, my name is Erin and I am a skirt-a-holic). I am planning on using my handy-dandy discount to try out a few others, though, as well as some more of the tops and bras. As I write this, there may be a package sitting on my doorstep… Stay tuned for more…

Dirt in My Skirt: My First Trail Race

“It will be fun,” they said. “You will love it,” Vishal said. This began my foray into trail running. Oh, and the promise of dessert.

Where is my cake? I was promised cake!

Where is my cake? I was promised cake!

Marcy and I decided smartly to begin with a 25K for our first race because, if I had to hear that a 50K was only five more miles than the marathon, I would probably punch someone. The last marathon I ran was traumatic. It was too hot with humidity over 95% and I made every mistake I could have possibly attempted that day. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I know people. 😉

imageMarcy and I, along with hubby and son all signed up for the Millican Trails 25K in College Station, along with a small handful of friends who signed up to do the 10K. I asked probably more questions than I was allowed of some very experienced trail runners and made a list of the trail shoes I would need to get and the best hydration packs. I must have researched the stuff I would need for weeks. I had no idea how to train for running a race on trails. Vishal told Marcy and me to just keep up my base miles on the road and get time on our feet for the trails. Oh, and quit looking at the Garmin.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature dealt us some of the rainiest, coldest, iciest weather in Dallas that I can remember in recent years. I’m no stranger to running in whatever Mom throws at us, but apparently the trails close completely in that kind of weather. So, from December through the first weekend in March, the nearby trails were open a total of four weekends and I had the flu for two of those weeks. I silently thanked our wisdom of choosing to only run the 25K for the first trail race.

To add a wrench to the whole weekend of crazy, Alex (the kiddo), had a track meet Friday night at University of Texas in Arlington. No worries, right? I’ll just send Marcy to College Station early and have her pick up our race packets and we will meet everyone late Friday night. After doing well at the 2 Mile on Friday evening, we made the three hour trek to BCS, arriving after midnight to the hotel. Passing out really is the only way to describe what happened, because 5am was going to come pretty quickly.

Seriously, a beautiful pink sunrise with great friends is the best way to spend a Saturday morning.

Seriously, a beautiful pink sunrise with great friends is the best way to spend a Saturday morning.

Yep, 5am came really fast, but we were all awarded with one of the most stunning pink sunrises out there. Mother Nature threw us a bone after the atrocious winter and the temperature was beyond perfect with no hint of rain. Marcy and I set off and the first 1K was more of a cross-country style run through tall grass. By mile 2, I was pretty proud of myself for staying relatively dry as we crossed the creek beds. I was rewarded with stepping into ankle-high mud with both feet. This could be a long day, but I was proud of myself for packing an extra pair of socks in my hydration pack just in case. We made our way through the first six miles or so enjoying the scenery and talking with everyone else out there. imageThat is definitely a difference between road running and trail running – camaraderie. As we approached a bunch of old cow bones, we just had to take our picture, so two girls offered to help. We laid on the ground to take the picture and texted everyone that the trail was going to kill us. The first aid stop was about 7 miles in and had real food! That alone is enough to give up road racing. Cookies and M&Ms and pickles, oh my! By the way, I discovered that pickles taste awesome seven miles in…

My yellow flower from #fellowflowers for this race with a best friend.

My yellow flower from #fellowflowers for this race with a best friend.

After thanking the volunteers, we took off again. Most of the race was spent just walking because the trail was extremely technical with lots of tree stumps about an inch and a half high, roots, twists, turns and elevation changes. The most exciting elevation change was a steep descent into a creek bed followed by the equal and opposite reaction that had to include a rope to the base of a tree at the top to help get up to the top. There were a few f*bombs dropped as everyone approached this point in the race. All Marcy and I could do was laugh and go for it. It was a BLAST!!!

We made it to the next aid station about mile 13 and I ate a quarter of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – just what I needed. The last two miles were around a small lake, so we had to take a quick picture before we got back to the finish, where Marcy’s boyfriend, my hubby, Alex and our other friends were waiting and cheering us on. By the time it was over, I had dirt in my skirt and I had sanded off part of my pedicure.

imageVerdict? We have fallen in love with trails and can’t wait to sign up for another race. It was wonderful to not care what the pace was on our Garmin or where we were in our age group. Nothing mattered but being out there to enjoy the day. Oh, and cupcakes. Seriously. I was promised cake.

imageAlthough “fast” is not usually part of my world, my boy did awesome with a 2:17 finish (first in his age group) on his first trail race and only the second time he had ever run on a trail. I, on the other hand, finished with a smile on my face. And in the end, is there any other way to finish a race?

A few of my favorite things, part 1: my running skirt!

As my training group finished our long run this morning, the girls asked about my skirt.  It’s not surprising, I get comments all IMG_4829[1]the time about “how cute that skirt is” or that I always look so perfect when I run.”  My love of the skirt began when I began running.  It’s hot enough in Dallas for long enough that you can’t get away with wearing very much clothing, so capris or long pants were out.  However, being sixty pounds overweight leads to what I affectionately refer to as “chub rub.”  Thighs that rub together with enough friction that, without the addition of all that sweat, I’d probably start a forest fire!  Shorts were just out of the question.  They didn’t cover the necessary body parts and rode up.  Nothing says sexy more than digging shorts out of your crotch while running.

I must have tried every manufacturer of running skirts before it was over with.  Some had shorts that weren’t long enough, some didn’t give enough stretch around the midsection and just looked awful on a body that was changing with every run.  A couple had that annoying glue stuff on the inside of the legs to keep the shorts from riding up.  That would be great, but I spent the whole run messing with the because they felt like they were digging in to my thigh.  Most didn’t include pockets!  They all ended up on ebay before it was over with.

I discovered SkirtSports from an online forum of runners.  I checked it out, bought one and I became an instant convert!  I literally do not go on a run without a skirt now.  I love that the gym girl ultra version hits at the perfect length for my fairly short legs.  It’s not so long that it cuts me in half.  The shorts have just enough compression to stay put and not ride up.  I can wear my skirt for twenty miles and the legs are never a concern for me.  The material of the skirt is stretchy enough that it accommodates the movement of running and is forgiving if I have eaten a cupcake or two and put on a few pounds.  I run with my inhaler without fail because my asthma is no joke, but those inhalers are a pain to run with because they don’t always fit in a pocket of a hydration belt or the pockets in most shorts, but SkirtSport Gym Girl Ultra skirts have a pocket on each leg of the shorts.  The pocket holds my inhaler perfectly and it has never shimmied its way out.  The second pocket I use to hold my iPhone, which has a case that keeps my drivers license, insurance card and a debit/credit card for mid-run emergencies.  It slides right into the pocket and lays flat against my leg so that it doesn’t bounce or swing around and, even better, the skirts come with a small reinforced hole at the hip to thread your earbuds through.

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 The colors and prints for the skirts are bright and fun and include enough variety that you can match almost any top with your skirt.  I will confess to maybe going a little overboard, but I really just love them all and want to get the newest prints, so I may have a few… 😉  That being said, these skirts are also indestructible.  I have had a few skirts for years and they still look new, despite all of the trips through the washing machine.

If cost is a factor, the company is great about sending out discount codes on their facebook page and email list, and a few times a year they mark these beloved skirts down big time!!  You can occasionally find the skirts at local running stores, but I prefer to shop online at skirtsports.com because there is more variety.