5 Hacks for Summer Running

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It seems I’ve written running tips/hacks for every season but Summer. Summer running can be really hard, but there are ways to make it at least a little more comfortable.

Fairytales and Fitness

Here are five of my tried and true running hacks for summer:

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Stick that water bottle in the freezer the night before, then top off with cold water before your run. Nothing worse than warm water on a hot run!
  1. Freeze your water bottles. I’ve shared this before, but it’s a good one: fill your water bottle halfway with water and stick it in the freezer. I generally do this as soon as I’ve used a bottle/s, so there’s always bottles ready to go. Top off with refrigerated water right before your run.
  2. Leave the top off your water bottle if . . . you do the freeze your water in the bottle trick above. Otherwise the top can freeze to the bottle and it can be difficult to open initially.
  3. Wear a cooling towel. I really do think they make a difference, and if nothing else, it is something that can wipe the sweat away.
  4. Bring more water than you think you’ll drink. Because that cooling towel can dry out really quickly — you can rewet it on the run. You can also pour a little cold water over your head (if  you’ve frozen those water bottles). I’ve tried wetting my visors — they dry out in a flash.
  5. Use anti chafing gel on bug bites. That’s on bug bites that you already have. So they don’t get irritated when they get rubbed on the run.
Cooling towels help. Rewet with your cold water on the run!

Here’s a few other ways I’ve been changing up my running routine lately:

Insulated bag to keep all that water cold if you drive to your destination
  • I keep a PackIt bag (Amazon Affiliate link here) in my freezer year round. It does a great job of keeping cold things cold (the sides are actually gel packs — no need to add any. I see they now have zip closures — that’s awesome. Mine does not, but it still does a great job. As you can see, I can fit a 21 oz water bottle in there.
  • Usually I like to drink Nuun before and after my runs (not during; I don’t like sweet things on the run). I have to get out so early that I just don’t have time to drink that much. I’ve switched to electrolyte capsules instead.
  • I used to have a fairly long, slow pre run routine when it’s cold (it might just be a form of procrastination). I would do PT exercises, Yoga if I had the time, foam roll, and then a dynamic warmup. Now it’s foam rolling and a 5-10 minute dynamic warmup (depending on how early I started). Those two are the things I think are most important before a run.
  • This isn’t a change; I just thought I’d mention it. I put calendula ointment on the bottom of my big toe and my heels before I put on my socks. It helps the skin stay moist and provides a friction barrier. Often in the Summer the bottom of my big toe would dry out so much that the skin would begin to peel!

What are your Summer running hacks?

Is your pre run routine different in the Summer than it is in the Winter?

Are you enjoying hot runs lately?

GWY Yoga Wrist Warmup

ICYMI: It’s a great idea to warm up those wrists before tackling table top, down dog, and planks. This short video is also a great midday (or anytime) stretch if you’re stuck at a desk — even at home! Especially if you do a lot of typing.  Practice with me in this short video here.

The grass is always greener: Tea/coffee Date July 2020

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date: I’m sharing how I finally used the dogs picking up habits (usually the bad ones) to my advantage this month.

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Better together? Or not?????

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Lola occasionally has gagging/coughing attacks. They’re generally gone within 24 hours. Usually when I notice her having issues, I give her something for allergies, and it seems to help. I forgot to do that with her most recent episode, and paid the price with her waking us up at midnight coughing.

I also have cough medicine for her. Unfortunately she hates it. Even mixed with a little honey. Although apparently mixed with a little tuna works.

The funny part is we were trying to give her some before bed the next day. Bandit was there, tail going. So what the heck, I thought, I’ll give him a little, and sure enough, he liked it. The really funny part was after seeing Bandit eat it, Lola deigned to lick some without me having to try and smear it on her mouth.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you sometimes my Garmin just loses its mind. I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s a bogus heart rate reading. Other times, like last week, it tells me that I’ve climbed 50 flights of stairs. Before noon. Twice! I can assure you I didn’t. My run was a little hilly, but nothing out of the ordinary. I swear it’s possessed some days!

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Sunshine & no clouds — not what I want to see on a Summer run!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you in the Winter I long for sun. In the Summer, I pray for clouds! I can’t tell you how good cloud cover feels when it’s hot and humid outside — and how good sun feels on a very cold day.

#neversatisfied

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you thankfully our backyard isn’t too buggy, but I got some bites when I visited with my friend last week. On my hip. An area that’s sure to rub.

Then I got a brilliant idea: why not put my anti chafing gel on it? It definitely does seem to help. I swear I only seem to get bites in places that are sure to rub.

Do your furkids imitate each other?

Figured out a new running hack lately (or life hack, I guess!)? 

Do you care about sunshine & cloud cover? 

I am also linking up with:

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Lost & Found: Runfessions June 2020

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There isn’t a whole lot going on in my neck of the woods, so my runfessions aren’t earth shattering. Finding things, losing things, the heat and the things I should do but don’t always are rounding out June’s Runfessions.

Hiding in plain sight

I runfess . . .
Those missing capris were hiding in plain sight. Sort of. As I gathered up Winter jackets to give them one final wash before putting them away, suddenly the capris made an appearance. Now if I could just locate the missing pj bottoms and the top that Amazon tells me I bought last September . . .

I runfess . . .
I often don’t get around to washing my Winter clothes before either putting them away (or just when it gets warm enough so I no longer need them). Part of my workout mid June was getting that done for a change, I swear! Well, some of it. There’s still more to do, but then it heated up and my desire to complete the task dwindled.

I still need sunscreen under this top!

I runfess . . .
I’m generally really careful about my skin, seeking out shade, wearing sunscreen. I have spent a lot of time running in my long sleeve Cool It Tops from Skirt Sports — they help keep me cooler, and they have some UPF protection. But I runfess I’ve skipped the sunscreen when I wear them — not so good (until recently).

I runfess . . .
I was just beginning to think about running at the park. I’m not sure I’m up for the bike paths yet, since they’re so narrow. The paths in the park are narrow, too, but then there’s the whole park you can step over to if need be.

Except now it’s so hot that I need to get out super early and even though the park isn’t far, that’s another 20 minutes (or so) added in the morning when I have to walk/feed the dogs. Mr. Judy does often walk the dogs when I’m out running early, but he isn’t as enthusiastic about feeding them. Although he does that for me when I’m going out early to run my long runs — as I did today!.

Do you give your Winter clothes one last wash before putting them away for the season? 

What do you skip before a run because you’re low on time — even though you know it’s important?

Is heat interfering with your running?

What do you have to runfess from June? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

Get Your Running Mask Here!

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When I asked for running mask recommendations, people pretty much universally said they don’t use one. Spoiler alert: neither do I. I never liked a gaiter around my mouth while running, even in Winter.

I do know there are a few people that run in masks. I also know that they make some pretty cute masks, and even if you’re mostly stay at home like me, you still have to go out sometimes and you still need to mask up sometimes.

So I gathered up a few running mask recommendations — and actually ordered a few too. That will probably have to be a separate review.

Fairytales and Fitness

  • InknBurn here. These sell out fast but they sure are cool! From the Website: We release our Face Masks at 6pm PDT Monday through Friday and at 9am PDT Tuesday through Saturday. If you refresh your browser at 6pm you’ll see what designs are available. Follow us on Facebook and on Instagram to see what designs will be released next.
  • Zensah here. These are plain jane, but I’ve heard good things about them. They have a few colors (often sold out) and a couple of designs other than the basic white and black. Their gaiters are more interesting. I’m intrigued by the copper infused mask and gaiter (which I’ve ordered — they actually arrived last night, so shipping was fast, but choices were slim).
  • Athleta here. I actually ordered these back in the beginning of May. I knew they wouldn’t arrive until June, but it was supposed to be the beginning of June. I’m still waiting. I’m really interested in them because I have a small head and a lot of masks just don’t stay put for me; these have adjustable elastic for the ears.
  • Boco Gear here. Cool designs at a reasonable price, and they appear to be in stock. Yup, I ordered one of these too — it’s supposed to arrive on Monday.
Stocking up. I don’t see masks going away anytime soon.

Masks are here to stay
Love em or hate em, you probably have to spend some time in them. I admit — I really don’t enjoy wearing a mask and yes, I don’t like how it looks — not to mention they seem to irritate my skin (cotton masks, anyway).

In the photo above is a linen mask from April Marin here (not a running mask). It’s pricey, but there’s a bendable piece so that it actually stays on your nose — I haven’t actually worn it for any length of time, but I think that one will work well for me.

I noted that they’re difficult for older people, too. My mom has gotten increasingly hard of hearing — she tried hearing aids, which didn’t help much. Thankfully she can still hear on the phone (mostly). I noticed she had a hard time understanding us with our masks.

When you wear a mask is it plain or a cool design?

Do you wear your mask only inside when shopping?

Do you have trouble keeping a face mask on?

GWY Down Dog VThumbnail

ICYMI: Last week I shared a short video here to warm up your wrists before a Yoga practice — I suggest you start with that, then move on to this Downward Facing Dog tutorial here. You’ll be spending a lot of time on those wrists, but with breaks between each tip for Down Dog to rest your wrists and your back.

If you’ve struggled with making Down Dog comfortable, I’ve got several tips to help. First we’ll warm up with Cat/Cow and Puppy Dog, then we’ll be practicing Down Dog several times with breaks in Puppy or Child’s pose in between. Catch the video here. You can also see the fountain Mr. Judy made out of the firepit! It’s so cool! I feel like I’m practicing in a spa.

Want more tips for “basic” Yoga poses? Leave me a comment here or on the video to let me know what poses you want to see broken down on my channel.

Running with Intention

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When I made a goal of giving intentions to my runs for this month, Catrina @ Keeponrunning was curious to know why. Here ya go!

Fairytales and Fitness

Intention: the end or object intended; purpose

Synonyms: aim, goal, objective, plan, target

What sort of running intention can you set?
I like to have goals; to have something to work towards. My overall intention for running at present? Maintaining my base. That’s the physical part.

Spiritually/Physically, I continue to work on nasal breathing — although I must say I’m not sure how long I want to keep trying, as even after a couple of months it still seems hard — one of my intentions for staying the course with that is to connect mind and body.

Your intentions for running don’t have to be something big. It could be as simple as getting yourself out of the house. Enjoying the feeling of moving your body. These are great intentions!

Or it can be more elaborate: focusing on getting stronger, running further, improving your form so you can run pain free. There are as many intentions as there are runners, and there can be multiple intentions for one runner — even one run!

Intentions aren’t just for running
I’m sure that’s fairly obvious, but sometimes it’s a good thing to state the obvious. Sometimes we forget. You can set an intention for pretty much everything in your life:

  • What to do when you get up.
  • How to treat others.
  • How you want to feel today.
  • Do more ________ (you fill in the blank — set an intention why you want to do it, and maybe you will actually do it).
  • The clothes you choose. How do you intend to present yourself to the world today?

 

What’s the difference between affirmations and intentions?
I won’t lie — I went looking to other sources, because the truth is that affirmations and intentions are very, very similar. Both are powerful tools, and I suggest that you use both.

Affirmations are a declaration of what you want. You can use them whether or not you believe them to be true — simply by writing them or thinking/saying them to yourself, you are rewiring your brain to believe the affirmations are true. Affirmations should be written as if they are already true.

Some people find affirmations triggering. Some people get frustrated when they don’t come true.

Intentions (by my definition) are bringing mindfulness to everything you do. It’s not what you want, but how you want to feel.

Affirmations are an attempt to change your beliefs. Intentions are to do things with a goal in mind, aka to bring mindfulness to everything you do.

As you can see, there’s a very fine line between affirmations and intentions and this is actually a topic I need to explore more for myself.

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Why set intentions?
Whether you call it a goal, use an affirmation, or set an intention for an action — the truth is you still have to do the work. The intention helps you focus on what you want to work on. What you focus on grows.

Actually set an intention before you run, and notice how you feel after your run. After a week of runs. After a month of runs. Does setting an intention for your run keep you more focused? Do you find that you’re reaching that intention more and more?

If you’re still confused, don’t worry! I admit I’m still not 100% sure of the difference between goals, affirmations, and intentions.

Living a life without intentions is just existing. Living intentionally means living a life full of purpose. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Do you think you want to start setting intentions for runs — or do you already do that?

What about using intentions in other areas of your life?

Have you ever used intentions before — and did they make a difference in your life?

GWY Yoga Wrist Warmup

ICYMI: It’s a great idea to warm up those wrists before tackling table top, down dog, and planks. This short video is also a great midday (or anytime) stretch if you’re stuck at a desk — even at home! Especially if you do a lot of typing.  Practice with me in this short video here.

Lost dog tails: Tea/coffee Date June 2020

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Thankfully my dog tale/tail had a happy ending!

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date: and I’ll tell you how I’m trying new/old stuff, spending more time outdoors, and finally getting to see (but not hug) my mom.

Enjoying my own herbal tea blends

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you everything old is new again. I have been fascinated by herbs for a long time. I’ve taken a few classes in the past, making some herbal teas I rarely drank. I have come full circle back to that, but now I am drinking my herbal teas. I guess I’m not alone, because it’s been hard to find some of the herbs I want to use!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you even though we have not been that hard hit up here, I’m not up for large groups yet. It’s a personal decision and everyone has to do what they’re comfortable with. It’s not always about one person, sometimes it’s about the people in that person’s life. I am down with one on one in the open air.

The base for the next fountain & an outdoor rug courtesy of our neighborhood

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we are slowly working on making our backyard more of an oasis, although Mr Judy does most of the work. There’s the Yoga platform. I put the Wicker chair I dragged home from a dumpster a few years ago behind the platform; it’s my meditation seat.

Mr. Judy is working on a fountain (all his fountains have been made with things we have at home so far, except for the power sources and pumps). Actually, now he’s working on another fountain with an old fire pit we dragged home this week. We’re planning to move our trellis over there, and I’m planning to hang some wind chimes from it.

Then I found the outdoor rug I’m carrying above — I carried that home about 3/4 mile (with multiple stops). Turns out that it’s pretty stained, but I’m working on cleaning it up and hoping to use it for my Yoga students (they can put their mats on it).

The sad part is that I’m the one that spends all the time out there and Mr. Judy does most of the work!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I walked the dogs last week, and at one point I noticed a dog that I thought was in its backyard. Then I noticed it wasn’t in its backyard. I tried to hustle the dogs along, but that’s when the dog noticed us. He ran over to us, and chaos ensued (if you’ve ever walked two dogs meeting another dog, you’ll understand).

Lola was freaking out and being all reactive, while Bandit was standing patiently and letting the dog sniff him. I felt terrible leaving the dog there, but I couldn’t try to get it into its yard with the way Lola was acting. The dog (who was very sweet) ran after us for a while, then headed back, and I was pretty sure I knew where it lived, but I had to get the dogs home first.

I went back as soon as I dropped the dogs off at home (I was basically far enough away that by the time Mr. Judy could’ve gotten to me, I would’ve been home already). As I was looking for the dog (and saw that indeed, the gate was open at its house), someone called me from across the street and wanted to know if I was looking for a poodle.

We chatted, I told him where the dog lived, and he was going to take it over later (it was still pretty early in the morning). I felt so much better, I’d felt terrible leaving the dog loose, but I couldn’t get him to his home safely with Lola raising such a fuss.

Socially distancing with Mom

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we finally did make the trip to my mom:

  • 4 hours in the car
  • 1.25 hours chatting, socially distanced, outside, with masks
  • 1 pit stop
  • 1 hyper geriatric dog
  • 1 carsick dog

Totally worth it, even though it always makes for a tiring day!

Ever had to wrangle a loose dog to its home?

Have you picked up any new skills while in quarantine? 

Are you working on making your backyard more inviting? 

ICYMI: I’ve got another new Yin Yoga practice to help keep your immune system strong — or possibly help your digestion and breathing — maybe both! It’s a relatively short practice for Yin Yoga, a bit over 30 minutes long. Check it out here.

I am also linking up with:

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

bfridayfairy

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: Runfessions May 2020

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I know people hate to say what we have is the new normal, but I think that’s the truth until a vaccine or treatment is found. You wouldn’t think I’d have much to runfess considering I am not racing, and not running a lot either. Coming clean always feels good, though, doesn’t it? Even if one of my runfessions is about my complete and utter lack of the cleaning gene.

I runfess . . .
I am still cleaning more than I used to — not hard to do! — but less than I was in April. We seem to have survived. Knock on wood.

Thumbs up for the Yoga platform & nice weather

I runfess . . .
Part of the reason I have been cleaning less is because we finally got nice weather, and between the tablet, the laptop, and the Yoga platform, I’m spending a lot of time outdoors. Who wants to be stuck inside — doing anything? — much less cleaning.

I runfess . . .
I didn’t really know how prophetic my word for 2020 would be (strong, which you can read about here). I thought it was because of my parents . . . well, we all know why we need to be strong now! In addition to all that, though, I’m taking advantage of no races to run less and try to do more strength training. Literally getting strong — or so I hope.

I runfess . . .
Ok, it’s not a runfession, but yes, my thoughts have already turned to Thanksgiving. I was going to host it again this year, with my father gone. I joked to Lloyd at one point, when we were considering eating the turkey en croute from TJs in our freezer, that that might be our Thanksgiving dinner.

I don’t think that’s a joke anymore. I can’t see my family, and especially my mother, coming here for Thanksgiving. At the moment if my mom leaves for anything other than a doctor’s appointment, she would have to self quarantine for 2 weeks. My sister is also planning to go back to work at Old Navy, so lots of exposure.

I’m trying to hunt down where bathrooms might be so we can make a trip out to see her soon. Yes, there are apps for that — except I haven’t found any that are really terribly useful.

I knew I bought it, and have the photo to prove it. What I don’t know is where it’s hiding!

I runfess . . .
In the perennial problem of I know I have it, it’s big, but where the heck is it, I have had a pair of capris go missing. I know I wore them last year, I have the photos. I’m mostly done with moving the Fall/Winter clothes out and the Spring/Summer clothes in, and yet — it’s hiding. I guess it’s a good thing that we’re now past capri season.

GWY Immunity Yin Yoga

ICYMI: I’ve got a new Yin Yoga practice to help keep your immune system strong — or help you stretch out before or after a run — maybe both! Check it out here.

Did you pick a word? Do you remember what it was? 

Do you find yourself wanting to stay outside all the time, even though you have things to do inside?

What was the last thing you couldn’t find that drove you nuts?

What do you have to runfess from May? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

The Pros of Running at Home

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Always looking for a silver lining (or trying to convince myself of something), so I decided to come up with reasons why it’s good to run in my own neighborhood. Can I come up with five?

Fairytales and Fitness

Less pollution
The photos of the change in places like Los Angeles and Delhi are just mind-blowing. Who knew just 2 months could make such a difference? I wish those changes could stick around. How do we come back together and somehow drive less?

No driving saves time
Even the closest place I drive to run is 10 minutes away, some are 20 minutes. That’s 20 or 40 minutes round trip. Of course this also reinforces Pro #1. Not to mention you don’t have to find someplace for your keys.

More likely to Warm Up
It’s easier to skip the warm up when you’re chatting with friends — or it’s cold out. Easier to do it on your own, and if it’s cold, you can just warm up in your own warm home.

Easy to make pitstops . . .
. . . in a real bathroom. I admit I’ve never had to do this, but knowing that it’s available — there’s peace of mind.

Mailboxes. They’re not just for mail.

Easy to shed layers
Many times when I’ve run in my neighborhood, I step outside and realize I don’t need a jacket or gloves. Sometimes I just leave them on our patio, but there’s also the option to stuff them in the mailbox temporarily, or just leave them inside.

You’re mostly stuck if you want to shed a layer once you’ve driven somewhere, unless you want to go back to your car — but you might want to shed that layer before you can get to your car.

I sometimes put my water bottle in the mailbox when I’m doing strides. You can do that so you could loop around & pick up more water/fuel/whatever it is you’re going to need and don’t want to carry. Because we all know that we don’t want to take more steps than necessary when we’re out there running for our health, LOL!

Do you feel that there are any benefits to running in your own neighborhood?

Do you make use of your own bathroom when you do run in your neighborhood?

What do you stash in your mailbox?

GWY Dare to Be Yourself

ICYMI: I let my hair down (almost literally!) and talk just a little bit about being yourself and daring to do the things that scare you. How will you ever know if you like them — or not — if you don’t try?! Catch this short vlog here.

Hydration is good for ________

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Fascia!

Your fascia is just reason #999 to stay well hydrated.

Fairytales and Fitness

What is Fascia?
Fascia is all the rage/buzzworthy right now, but what exactly is your fascia? Short disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, fitness expert, or fascia expert. Fascia gives you shape. I know you think it’s your bones, but your fascia surrounds all your bones, your organs, your muscles. It’s actually what keeps you upright.

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It’s made up of ground substance, and that ground substance has collegen fibers and blood vessels — and a whole lot more. Click herefor a really deep dive into fascia (it’s fascinating!). I also highly suggest watching the Fuzz lecture here.

Your fascia actually gives your body feedback on your the state of your muscles, and is important in proprieception (figuring out where you are in time and space).

Makes sense that taking care of our fascia is important, right?

Ground Substance is thirsty
Ground substance is 70% water. Many liken it to a sponge, as you can see in this post here:

When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient. You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Hydration is important to your fascia, and once you’re dehydrated, it begins to stiffen and stick to itself — and you feel knots and stiffness, too. You can’t completely hydrate your fascia by drinking more, but good hydration is a good first step to keep your fascia happy.

Fascia is also hydrated by movement (this is where foam rolling can come in), although not by repetitive movement — like running — which is why cross training is so important. Running can be good for your fascia — but only running, not so much.

Rest is important too (you know I’m always harping on that!). Tom Myers, an expert on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains (Amazon Affiliate link here),  writes:

The fascia gets temporarily weaker and then comes back stronger after a heavy workout. Always alternate work-outs with periodic rest to allow for maximum integration and strengthening of the fascial network.

You can also check out his YouTube channel here.

Coach Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns is a Fasical Stretch Therapist. Read her post hereabout how FST can make you a better runner (someday we’ll be able to do this again!).

Did you know what fascia is?

Are you more motivated to help your fascia stay happy?

What do you do when you feel stiff in the morning?

gwy postrunstretch2

ICYMI: Feeling in need of a longer stretch after a run? When I shot my postrun stretch  video for the 21 Day Yoga Challenge (sign up here), I went a little long on my first try. Like double the amount of time that short video should have been. When you have time to take more time stretching it out, try out my new Post Run Stretch Video here.

15 Years of Skirt

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A Love Letter

I did not start wearing Skirt Sports 15 years ago — heck, I wasn’t even running 15 years ago. I lived in a different state. I didn’t have dogs yet (although I would get my first dog soon). I was the crazy cat lady who liked to walk, who had a treadmill because I lived in TX and the summers there are brutal.

Running? It was not something I thought about. It was, as they say, the thing I’d do only if there was a bear chasing me.

Fairytales and Fitness

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This was used in a Skirt Sports Ad

Then I started to run
We moved to NY, treadmill in tow, and I slowly began to run (mostly on that treadmill). Slowly being the operative word. I’ve always felt that if you look good, you do good — so the hunt was on for cute running clothes.

I tried running in skirts. Let’s just say I don’t have the lean runner body so many imagine when they hear you’re a runner — and that’s okay — because in truth, there is no “real” runner body. We’re all real runners.

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Touring hot & humid NOLA

As much as I wanted to love skirts for running, the shorties always rode up on me. I tried brand after brand only to be disappointed. Then I bought my first skirt from Skirt Sports, which was a Happy Girl Skirt, by the way, and I was in love. The pockets! The cute patterns!

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Running through hot & humid NOLA to a PR!

It was, as they say, the beginning of a true love story. Forget music being the background of your life — for me it’s been skirt.

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I may not look like your typical runner, but I can do hard things, like run down mountains

I came for the cuteness . . .
. . . I stayed because Skirt Sports is a company that cares. They cared what people thought of their skirts. They didn’t just have Ambassadors (yes, I’ve been an Ambassador for quite a few years) to help market skirt, they really listened to us.

Like any company Skirt Sports had its skirts that knocked it out of the park — and those that were near misses. They included their many Ambassadors in so many decisions: which skirts to put in the line, what patterns to put those skirts in, what new products they should focus on.

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Teaching Yoga in Skirt Sports — they don’t care your age or your body type, only your story

They were inclusive in choosing their Ambassadors, too: all sorts of bodies, all sorts of sports — not all Ambassadors were runners!, all ages. No cookie cutter Ambassadors here.

Skirt Sports also tried to help all women benefit from the joys of activity, whether it was their #womenwhomove campaign or their Running Start Program.

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I had such high hopes for this race: the skirt didn’t disappoint, but the weather did

I remember the first half I ran in Skirt
When I first started running in skirt, I chose the Happy Girl Skirt because it covered my legs more. I was self conscious about those non-runner/runner legs. It got me through the brutally, unseasonably hot Heartbreak Hill Half. In fact, at the top of Heartbreak Hill, when they doused me with water, I remember suddenly thinking oh s#@t! My phone’s in my pocket! Both the phone and I survived (me, just barely!).

Eventually, as with many love affairs, I strayed. I cheated. I had gotten over the self consciousness about my legs; all I cared about was being able to run comfortably and having enough pockets. I ran into problems, though — Happy Girl was just a little too long for this petite girl, but I chafed in the more popular Gym Girl Ultra in longer distances.

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My “uniform” for all hot races (and my longest race)

Eventually, though, the ever innovative Skirt Sports team came up with the Cool It Skirt, and for this runner’s body, it was perfection. It was all Skirt Sports, all the time from then on out.

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Who wears short skirts? And Cool It Tops are great in the Summer & transitioning from Winter to Spring

I even began wearing the shorter skirts, the Jettes and the Lionesses — my legs may not be my best feature, but they can carry me 18 miles, and I fell in love with those shorter skirts! I turned many friends onto Skirt Sports, too.

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Will run for chocolate

Skirt helped me tackle trails, too. They got me through my first trail half, which obviously lived up to its name: Mud and Chocolate. Usually you’ll find me running trails with my friends in the Summer, though, and I’m usually looking to cool down, not warm up (the Cool It tops work great for Summer trail running!).

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Skirting through Summer

Skirt for Life
In the warmer months, I live in skirt. In the Winter months (which is about half the year in the Northeast), Skirt Sports gets me through my cold runs.

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Cold, snowy runs — more fun in Skirt Sports & with friends!

I have hiked through many states, and many scenic areas in my own state, in Skirt.

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Kicking it up in the National Parks in UT
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Scenic upstate NY
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Walking with the dogs
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So many walks & hikes with dogs! Those pockets help so much with doggy paraphenalia
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Meeting new Skirt Sisters in Savannah just last year

One of the best benefits of Skirt Sports are the friends I made. I ran into an Ambassador — or a Skirt lover — at so many races across the country. Sometimes by design, sometimes randomly, sometimes more than once!

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There were good times with my parents in skirt, too

Skirt Sports has been there for me, through the good runs, the bad runs, the good times in life — and the bad times in life. Yes, I even wore a Skirt Sports skirt to my parents 70th anniversary celebration — and to my Dad’s funeral service.

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Not a PR, but a rare AG place!

I came to Skirt to run, to race, and I have, indeed, run so many races in Skirt Sports. Good ones, bad ones, the rare ugly one, the PRs. Looking cute and feeling comfortable always gave me that little extra boost.

Final Thoughts
I apologize for the many photos and the length of this post, but those of you who’ve known me for a while via this blog, know that my love of all things Skirt runs deep. I can’t believe there won’t be a #31daysofskirt this July. I can’t believe there won’t be cool new patterns to drool over next year. I can’t believe there will not be new skirts that are even more innovative.

I have had my own business, too, and I understand that there often comes a time when you are ready to move on — and that that moving on isn’t easy. Thank you, Nicole DeBoom, for sharing your dream with me and so many other women. You have made a difference in our lives, and we wish you well wherever life takes you.

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Shop the Skirt Sports Finish Line Sale here

Cute running clothes may seem silly. Until you run or race in them. Cute, functional running clothes? Those can literally change your life.  — Chocolaterunsjudy

No questions today. Just sincere love & gratitude for being a part of the Skirt Sports family.