Pro Compression socks review & Giveaway

Comments 61 Standard

I’ve been fan of Compression socks for years so when I was asked by Fit Approach & Sweat Pink to review ProCompression, I was excited to share my passion. I did receive a pair in exchange for my review however all opinions are my own.

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All types of athletes may benefit from compression socks however, they seem to have really taken off in the running community. Why is that? What can they do for you?

In a nutshell: ProCompression socks are meant to “delay muscular breakdown that comes from spending hours on your feet. PROCompression works against gravity by helping your vascular system increase blood flow which relieves discomfort and assists in recovery”. (ProCompression.com)

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“True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.” (ProCompression.com)

 

I personally,  am prone to shin splints and other ankle and shin soreness when I up my running mileage. I have found that wearing compression socks gives me extra support in those areas while on a run. During a long run, I prefer the socks over the sleeves for extra support. I find the “squeeze” I get really helps my legs from fatiguing as quickly.  I was definitely glad that I had them on for a super hilly race last weekend.

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I’ve also been know to sport them around for recovery as well. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful in aiding in my recovery along with stretching, icing and foam rolling.

What doesn't everyone walk around in compression socks all day?!

What? Doesn’t everyone walk around in compression socks all day?!

During the hotter months and on shorter runs I often sport the calf sleeves. They are thin enough not to be hot but strong enough to give me some extra support. When I discovered these Ragnar themed sleeves, I knew they were the perfect for me.

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In addition to the basic colors, they have lots of great patterns and holiday themed socks and sleeves. Want to check them out? Use code:PINK for 40% off

In terms of sizing, I suggest erring on the smaller side. I wear the xs size although according to their chart I would be a S. I like the squeeze and feel more of the benefit with the smaller size.

I’m giving away a pair of XS White ProCompression sleeves ($45 value) enter below for a chance to win.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

If that didn’t convince you this might-LOL

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#KeepitTight #ProCompression #SweatPink

Do you wear Compression Sleeves on a run or for recovery?

 

Aspen Race for Cure 10K-Got O2?

Comments 43 Standard

Today I am linking up with My No Guilt Life, MCM MamaRuns & RunThe Great Wide Somewhere for the weekly, Tuesdays on the run, so please make sure to visit their sites as well.

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I was in Aspen all last week and happened to notice there would be  a Race For the Cure 10k and 5k going on my last day there. How could I not sign up? The race start was 2 blocks from my hotel.

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If you’ve never been to Aspen, CO, it is about 12,000 feet above sea level. If you are not used to it, altitude can really impact not only your cardiovascular performance but also cause numerous other effects. Some people get altitude sickness with headaches and nausea. Hydration is really important. The body is forced to adapt to thinner, less oxygenated air which is believed to take about 7-10 days.

I thought well, “I’ve been here 5 days-I’m in good shape. I run 6 miles all the time”. Ha! Plus it’s for a great cause.

So here I am ready to go

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As you can see it was a perfect weather day -the sun was shining and it was a breezy 55 degrees. There was bike event heading out right before the race and they were off.

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I’ve never seen these pink “Porta Jane’s” before.

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The Aspen race was much smaller and more low key than their races in other cities. The 10k had less than 50 people running. As I lined up the start and chatted up some of the other runners, I learned that the course was not through the town of Aspen as I thought, but rather on the Rio Grande Trail. I started to get a little nervous about it but at that point I was kind of all in. It is always very moving to see so many cancer survivors volunteering to help out and also to walk the 5k course. I met a man at the start who had part of his lung removed due to cancer and was about to run beside me. Then hearing some survivors sing the National Anthem almost had me in tears.

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As you can see the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and makes for quite a distraction while running. Crossing the start line and beginning to run, I could immediately feel how different the altitude felt. My breathing quickly became labored and I could feel my heart beating so fast. I slowed down quite a bit and tried to regulate my breath. About 3/4 mile into the race, I came to a rocky trail going downhill for about 1/2  mile. This was pretty steep and not what I was used to at all. I rounded a corner and then things got tough with a mountainous road going strait up on the Rio Grande Trail. By that point, most of the other runners had passed me, including the guy with a partial lung! I trekked up hill for the next few miles taking a few walk breaks as well.

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Views like this made it more bearable. I also saw 2 deer dart in front of me. I ended up having to walk up one of the hills and I seriously thought someone might need to give me CPR at some point. Well not that bad of course but it was probably the toughest 6.2 miles I have ever run. The altitude and hills together were a pretty brutal combo for me. I ended up finishing about 10 minutes slower than my usual 10k time. Not too bad I guess? I knew it would be tougher to run here, but I had no idea how tough. I figure it was great training and definitely for a good cause. I understand why so many professional athletes train here and how they must feel like rock stars when they then compete back at sea level. I don’t think I will end up with that feeling on tomorrow’s run back at home but who knows? Maybe!

Post race enjoying my Tex Mex meal with lots of guacamole-my favorite!

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Have you ever run in high altitude? Have you done a Race for The Cure?

 

Hiking Aspen style

Comments 38 Standard

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I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be in Aspen, Colorado this week. Aspen is a unique little town, with lots of personality, nestled in The Rocky Mountains along the Roaring Fork River. There are amazing restaurants, tons of outdoor activities and awesome shopping. It’s kind of known for being the playground for celebs-I haven’t seen any yet though. Sounds like the perfect place right? Aspen is at about 12,ooo ft above sea level so one of the challenges here to visitors is adapting to the altitude. I have had issues before so I have been chugging water by the gallon. So far so good. I was on a mission this week to try new activities and step out of my comfort zone a bit.

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First up: Hiking the Hunter Creek Trail

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Let’s just start by saying that I am not really a “hiker” and neither are my friends and hubby. We were told this was a “not to be missed experience”. My pictures do not do it justice. I wish I was a better photographer. It is absolutely breathtaking to see the mountains, the foliage and the rivers from this trail.  You can see the famous Aspen trees below right. There is something so calming about hearing the water roar by. We set out at a moderate pace to tackle the trail. I was quickly reminded, by my glutes, that we were on a pretty steep terrain. Oh and did I mention the altitude? Being in cardio shape at sea level is quite different than at this height. It is very humbling to be gasping for air and feel your heart beat way faster than you expect. We hiked up a mostly shaded path for about 1 hr and 30 min to reach the top where we took the cut off to Smuggler Mountain to make our descent. We were a little quicker on the downhill and made it back in about 1 hr.  Total hiking time about 2 1/2 hours. Having not done much hiking, I was instantly reminded how cardio intensive this was. Mix in the added altitude and you have quite a workout. According to SparkPeople, I burned over 1,200 calories on this hike. I’d say that chocolate chip cookie I had later was well deserved! Here are some of the amazing sights we saw along the way:

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It was such a gorgeous day and an unbelievable way to see the town. This was certainly way different that my usual workouts and it was a tough one!

Do you like to hike? Have you experienced altitude issues?

5 Goals this Friday

Comments 60 Standard

It’s Friday! So that means I’m linking up with the fabulous DC Trifecta Mar, Cynthia and Courtney

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I am excited about the topic this week- 5 GOALS! We all need to have them and it is the perfect time for me to re-evaluate mine so here goes:

1. I need to be better about stretching. I preach it all the time and do really feel the difference when I stretch before and after runs. Lately, I’ve been slacking off a little and thinking I would just do it later. I know from experience that’s what gets me into trouble and allows little injuries to pop up. Time to focus on the torture devices. I just learned some new fabulous stretches while in Aspen-stay tuned for those coming soon.

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2. Keep working on eating clean(er). I’ve been making a conscious effort to cut out processed foods and be more mindful of my food choices. I feel really good when I eat better. (duh?) It hasn’t been as hard as I thought but does require more planning. On the plus side, I’ve been doing way more cooking and creating more recipes of my own. I’ve also gotten tons of inspiration from Pinterest so thank you all for adding your amazing ideas.

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3. Keep being smart and disciplined about running-I’ve mentioned a few times that I am coming back from my stress fracture injury. It’s so tempting to add extra runs in because my group is going out or there is a special running event or race going on. I know that for me to totally heal and not re-injure myself I have to only run 3 days a week for now. I’ve seen some of my friends make this same mistake of doing too much. I so don’t want to be hurt again so I am sticking to the plan.

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4. Keep trying new things!  I’m on vacation this week and trying to step out of the comfort zone (hard for me to do!) and do some new activities. I did a great TRX class this week and definitely felt some new muscles at work. I have some other fun activities planned for today as well-hope I don’t chicken out.

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5. Keep my eye on the prize-I am training for my first Ragnar race in September. I’ve always thought only crazy people did these races and now I am one of them (almost). I am going to stick to my plan and hope to have a great race in 7 weeks. 7 weeks? Gotta RUN!

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Those are some of my goals this week? What are yours?

5 Minute Kale Pomegranate Parmesean Salad

Comments 51 Standard

Super Easy, High vitamin, great tasting salad. Make it today and bring it to lunch tomorrow!

#vegetarian #GF

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It literally takes 5 minutes to make this! Here’s what you need:

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5.0 from 4 reviews
5 Minute Kale Pomegranate Parmesean Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
5 min kale salad
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • -bag of pre cut, pre washed Kale of your choice chopped
  • -2 oz Parmesean Cheese
  • -1 package of ready to eat Pomegranate seeds (approx ½ cup)
  • -3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • -6 Tbsp Champagne vinegar (or sub in a fruit flavored vinegar)
  • -1 Tbsp Agave syrup or honey
  • pepper & kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. -Chop Kale into bite size pieces and put into a large plastic container with a top
  2. -whisk together olive oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper
  3. -pour dressing over kale and place top on and shake to coat
  4. -refrigerate for at least 2 hrs to allow kale to soften
  5. (it won't look like you have enough dressing but you do!)
  6. -when ready to eat sprinkle each salad with parmesean and pomegranate seeds and serve

5 minutes to prep!

What’s your favorite Kale Salad recipe? Do you like Pomegranate seeds?

How to stay Fit & Happy while on vacation

Comments 41 Standard

I’m linking up with April, Patty & Erika for their Tuesday’s on The Run Series. This week I am in Aspen, Colorado with my husband and some friends. If you haven’t been to Colorado in the summer it’s gorgeous! Pictures to come soon. Every time we go on vacation I get a little nervous about keeping up my fitness routine while still having time to enjoy the vacation. I also tend to have some altitude issues here so we’ll have to see how that goes.

I’ve come up with a plan for this week & some tips that might help you as well:

 

1. Do some advance work-I have already checked out the hotel to see what fitness equipment they have. I’ve also checked out a nearby gym and secured a day pass.  Looks like they have a TRX class that will work for me as well as a strength training class. I usually do strength training 2-3 times per week so this will keep me on my schedule.

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2. Try something new- We plan to go White Water Rafting one day which my husband and friends will do with me. It’s a little out of my comfort zone but I’m in. We are also planning a hike later in the week. Not something I usually do but expect it to be a great workout.

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3. Find a Race to hop into-I happened to notice that the Komen Race for the Cure 5k/10k is in Aspen this Saturday. The race start is about a block from my hotel so I pretty much have to run it right?? I typically have some trouble running here with the altitude but I figured why not? If I am slower, who cares? It will be beautiful and it’s for a good cause. It’s always fun to do races when you travel.

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4. Stretch and hydrate- I always travel with my small foam roller so I can keep up with my stretch routine. Doing different activities is great but I need to remember to stretch. Having access to the gym will give me no excuse to skip the stretch. As I mentioned, the altitude here can be rough so I always try to drink more and drink beverages with electrolytes. I am not a big drinker in general but I also limit my alcohol intake to head off any dehydration.

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5. Think about your meals-Knowing that I will be eating out 3 meals a day for 6 days, I need to think about my meals so I don’t over do it. I try to eat my regular breakfast and lunch meals and splurge a little at dinner. My hubby is a big foodie and restaurant guy so I try to go along when we travel.

6. Be flexible-I will try to remember that my friends and family may not be as rigid or structured about their exercise and eating as I am. I may have to alter my usual schedule a little so I am not totally annoying!

7. Cut yourself a break!-This can be the hardest one of all! Remembering that I am on vacation after all so if I don’t get in all of my runs or usual workouts it’s ok. The world will not come to an end. (I think). I am going to try to relax my eating rules a little too. Yes, hubby I did just say that!

 

This is my plan for this week so we’ll see how it goes! How do you plan for vacation fitness?

Battle Rope training for Runners

Comments 18 Standard

Sprint Training for you Arms

You’ve probably seen these ropes on Gatorade or Adidas commercials or in your gym and thought, “wow those look tough-I could never do that!” Well you’re only half right. They are tough but you can totally do them.

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playroom/home gym

playroom/home gym

As runners, we tend to focus on lower body workouts to increase strength. Most of the cross training we do (elliptical, spinning etc) focus on lower body movement as well. As a result, it’s really easy to overlook your upper body. Women, especially have to work to increase upper body strength to help create a more balanced looking physique.

 

Just saying

Just saying

Why use Battle Ropes?

1. They are fast-you can easily add in an intense rope workout in 5-10 min

2. They are portable-Bring them to the track or trail where you run. Simply loop them around a tree, pole or any sturdy object.  No assembly required.

3.Build muscle and burn fat simultaneously-doing short high intensity bursts with ropes is HITT training in it’s purest form. You are working shoulders, core and biceps while elevating your heart rate.

4. Mix up your routine-I’m all for bicep curls but they get a little old after a while. I like to mix in some new exercises to  keep me interested.

5. It is low impact-As runners, we don’t need more impact just sculpting.

Here is a great 10 min routine with 5 basic exercises. You do each one for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest.  Two times through. Sound easy? It’s not give it a “swing”

(credit Bonnie Lang-You Tube)

 

 

Where can you get a set?

Amazon has many choices ranging from $45-125 and they also go on sale quite often at Sporting Goods stores. 1 1/2 inch diameter ropes are a good place to start.

So tell me what do you think? Have you tried a Battle Ropes workout?

Friday Five-Summertime Favorites

Comments 51 Standard

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up again with the fabulous ladies of the DC Trifecta Cynthia, Mar and Courtney

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I absolutely love summer so this was a fun, easy post for me to write today. Here are some of my favorite things right now.

1. Running and biking outside. After the winter we had this year, I’m loving being outside as often as possible. I know lots of people think of summer running like this:

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I actually love it! I love feeling free with less clothing & love the sun on my back. Yes it is challenging running through humidity and heat but I feel pretty accomplished and bad ass after a long sweaty run. I love biking in the summer-I may not be a fast runner but I feel fast when I fly downhill on my bike. I get a definite adrenaline rush on a good bike ride. Plus it’s a lot easier to do a 2 hour bike ride than a 2 hour run.

I love this feeling!

I love this feeling!

2. My vegetable spiralizer and water infuser

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I added lemon but you can add any fruit

I added lemon but you can add any fruit

These are my 2 favorite gadgets this summer. There is no end to the combinations you can make with the spiralizer and it’s easy to go raw with great summer veggies. I’m addicted to the lemon, cucumber and orange infused water. So easy to make and satisfying to drink.

3. Mac Lip Gloss- I’m a little addicted to Mac Lip gloss and Lip Glass. Ok a Mother Runner has to look good for all of those selfies right?! They last forever in great subtle colors. I’ve been known to sport some on a run too.

Mac "Lipglass"

Mac “Lipglass”

4. Summer Fruit- I could live off of watermelon and cantaloupe all summer. It’s so sweet and juicy and the perfect post workout snack.

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5. Sleeping in- Where we live, the High Schools start at the ungodly hour of 7:15 am so that means early wake ups for me and my teens most of the year. None of us get enough sleep. I am reveling in my slightly later wake ups this summer. What a difference an extra hour of sleep makes. I am much happier!

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What are your Summer Faves? Are you sleeping in?

Foam Fest 5k- Mud, Sweat & Fears

Comments 57 Standard

I was given a fee entry in the Foam Fest 5k in Washington, DC through my association with Fit Approach & Sweat Pink. All opinions are my own.

 

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This was my first “Mud Run” obstacle course race.  I am referring to the Foam Fest as a mud run because it was about 90% mud and 10% foam. I was really excited to this because it is so different than anything I normally do. I knew this would be way out of my comfort zone. I honestly have never been this dirty in my life!! I realized as we were driving there that I got my nails done the day before (ok and a pedicure too) -who does that?! Me!

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Obstacle course races are definitely more fun with friends and I brought 3 from my MRTT group including my co-leader Alex (Lexielovestorun) and my 14 yo son. This race was a little farther away than we thought so we got there just in time to start our wave. The waves were small, about 40 people, which was a plus and we did start by running through a small burst of foam. We were off to tackle 10 obstacles. Because we were told not to bring our phones or cameras along, I don’t have photos of us doing the actual obstacles. These photos are borrowed from the Foam Fanatics website and Pinterest. They had photographers randomly scattered on the course.

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Crawling through the bungee cords in the first pic was easy but the second one was a little tricky. It was full of mud and you could not see the rocks underneath. We scraped up our knees and elbows a bit. We continued on the trail through the woods. Obviously each location will vary on the conditions. The DC race was a mostly uneven, wooded terrain something I was not used to at all. It was very muddy and slippery at points and I was hoping not to twist my ankle. People were slipping and sliding quite a bit.

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The log roll was fun and not hard at all. As you can see not much foam.

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The “LILY Pad” was fun but our race was a mud pond that my friend, Louise, and my son fell right into. Hilarious! The wooden boards we had were similar to these but higher off of the ground. Also not too hard but challenging enough to feel like I was working. There was also a cargo net type obstacle which was a little tougher. I wore an old pair of bike gloves and I was glad I did. The ropes and the boards were rough on the hands.

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This was the scariest obstacle for me as I am not that good with heights. This baby was high off of the ground. We had to crawl up the left side grasping at the rungs and then slide down the water slide. I screamed my head off on the way down to the amusement of my son. At the finish line there was another burst of foam to run through.

The Pro’s

-This was a ton of fun to do with friends & family. My son had a blast!

-The obstacles were challenging enough to feel like you got a work out

-It was well organized at the check in

-The waves were small and we did not run into any sort of back up

-1 free Mike’s Hard Lemonade was included for each entrant over 21

-There were hoses to wash off at the end

-Plenty of port a potties and changing area

-They provide free pictures on their website 1-2 weeks after the race

-The shirts and the medals are very nice

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The Cons:

-It is very expensive ($70-90) so this might prohibit families from doing it together

-It really is a mud run and not a foam run

-There were only 2 photographers so we did not get that many pictures of really great times

-They only had water and 1 type of protein bar at the finish. I would have preferred some bananas or another option.

-There is a $10 charge to park in a field

This is our after picture after the hose down

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What might I do differently?

-bring a disposable, waterproof camera to capture the fun stuff

-bring a large trash bag to put our clothes in

-wear a pair of trail shoes for more traction

-I would bring my own water to carry on course-it was a hot day and I could have used more

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

It was a fun, different way to get a workout in. Having my friends and my son with me made all the difference. We had lots of laughs and it was great to step out of my comfort zone (something I don’t do too often!) Oh and I know you are wondering-I made it through without breaking a nail whew!

#FoamFanatics  #Foam5k #SweatPink

Skirt Sports Virtual 10 on 10-Join me!

Comments 18 Standard

Many of you have seen my pics from the last few months and know that I pretty much live in my Skirt Sports running skirts all summer.

this is the new "Jette" skirt my current fave

this is the new “Jette” skirt
my current fave

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It’s been 10 years since Skirt Sports began and launched the first running skirt. To celebrate this milestone they are having a virtual 10 on 10 race. I’m not usually a big virtual race fan but this one is a great deal and for a great cause.

First the details:

10 Year Anniversary 10k or 10 mile Virtual Run

Who: You and your Skirt Sisters
What: 10k or 10 mile Virtual Run
Where: In your home town or run with us in Boulder
When: September 13, 14 or 15, 2014
How: Simply click here to signup

Now the amazing deals:

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And there’s more-you can use this code for another 10% off of the registration price : 10on10ImIN

Register here

 

Plus, your entry gets you some serious Skirt Love including:

  • Skirt Sports gift certificate ($50, $100 or $250)
  • Choice of special finisher’s award (including skirts or a performance tee)
  • Lucky #10 race bib
  • Awesome sponsor swag
  • Weekly training plan & exclusive newsletter from me with tips, advice and other fun stuff!

 

The Cause:

“Kick Start”

A portion of each entry will help to fund their Kick Start Program, where they mentor and support  Skirt Sisters looking to get their run on, many for the first time in their lives. This session they will be taking a few team members from running their first 5k to completing 10k.

Your entry will help to fund one-on-one training, a race-day outfit, free entry, emotional support and more.

You can run anytime between September 13-15th on your own-no need to track-it’s all on honor system. Not ready to take it all on in one day? That’s ok split it up no problem.

Share your success on their Facebook Page using #10ON10 #SkirtSports #RunLifeRun

 

The purple Jette skirt here:

at last week's Girls on The Run 5k

Girls on The Run 5k-May

 So what do you think? Ready to rock your skirt with me virtually?