Skirt Sports Blog

Vegan Road Warrior

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/29/2015 01:57:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Testimonials

I took my Vegan Challenge on the road this week from Boulder to Pittsburgh for the Fleet Feet Conference. My goal was simple – I wanted to know how hard it would be to eat vegan in a town that isn’t Boulder. The simple answer is that it's easy, if you are okay eating very limited food choices, many of which don't taste very good. It's hard if you want yummy, easy-to-find, nutritious food.

Let me start with the airport. Your best chance of success is to bring your own non-perishable vegan food options since ther's basically nothing except black coffee and fruit. You might get lucky and stumble across a $12 salad like I did in Denver at Root Down. However, in order to add protein in the form of tofu, my small salad would have cost $19 and I couldn't justify it. On the flip side, it was actually delicious. Of course you can buy bags of nuts and other snacks, but we all know that these cost three times more than they should, so even if you’re not vegan, that’s only recommended if you're desperate or have a few bucks to burn.

Before I visited Pittsburgh, I thought it would resemble Chicago in the 80s. Lots of meat, cheese fries, beer and sports team fanatics. What I found was an incredibly cool, smaller city, socked in by beautiful rivers (okay, they were pretty polluted when you ran up close), gorgeous rolling hills and lots of green trees everywhere. And yes, I did find lots of meat, cheese fries, beer and sports team fanatics!  But there were also great little restaurants and store fronts everywhere I looked. I couldn’t wait to get out there and find some vegan gems.

My first attempt was at the very cute Market Street Grocery near my hotel. I went in with high hopes. The first thing I stumbled upon was a woman sampling various flavors of macaroons. I reached for one and then realized, "Crap – these have eggs! And probably dairy too." So I moved on to the prepared food section. My mouth started watering as I viewed tasty looking scallops, beef, lamb chops, salmon, crab cakes, and more. I asked, "Do you have any tofu dishes?" The answer, "We usually do, but not today." I said, "I’m vegan. Where should I go to dinner?" I got a blank stare and this comment, "I’m pretty sure nowhere in the downtown area." Finally, one of the guys pulled up his phone and suggested thai. Thai! Of course! Tofu, rice, veggies. A vegan’s dream. I then went back and took two macaroon samples declaring that I would now be 98% vegan on this trip!

The next morning, I was lucky to join the Fleet Feet stores to a gorgeous buffet breakfast. It was a vegan dream. I had a huge bowl of steel cut oats, loads of fresh fruit, and I made a special request for soymilk which was "no problem." All I had to do was ask.

The second night, we were invited to a Pirates game. I haven't been to a ballpark in years, so I didn't know what to expect for dinner but I wanted to see how easy it would be to eat a vegan dinner inside PNC Park.

During the 5th inning, I headed to the nearest concession area and perused the menu. Vegan options included water, beer, French fries (but maybe not because who knows what’s in the deep fryer oil – and no one could tell me a decisive answer), and a soft pretzel with two tons of salt. Since I was starving, I opted for the pretzel even though it was probably brushed with butter. I later discovered that if I had time to spare, I could have found some additional options including rice and beans, a California roll and sorbet. Next time…

The next morning I woke up excited to relive my slow-cooked oats experience, only to find that they decided not to include oatmeal, so my only option was fruit and Frosted Flakes. Not cool.

I then complained on Facebook. This was a smart thing to do because I was referred to the Happy Cow app which helps you find your desired food category whenever wherever. Sadly when I typed in vegan, the closest restaurant was 6.2 miles away.

My final night in Pittsburgh was much better. It was a fancy, sit-down dinner for all of the wonderful Fleet Feet franchisees. They set the default option in front of me: beef tenderloin, veggies in cream sauce and potatoes with butter. I flagged down the server and was relieved that they had an extra vegetarian entree; turns out it was vegan, and really good!

So here’s what I learned. Don’t be afraid to say out loud, "I am a vegan," when asking for guidance in a strange town. It is often the only way you will navigate the options. Do however be prepared for the blank stares and looks of pity from people as they ask, "Well what CAN you eat honey?"

One of Skirt Sports Facebook fans, Sue M, sums it up well, "I'm a pastor's wife who is a 'closet vegan' in a very unhealthy part of the country. My all-time favorite moment came from a parishioner who was behind me in a potluck line. When she observed my all-veggie selections, she exclaimed 'Don't tell me you're one of those VEGETARIANS?!' I answered 'Heavens, no!' And thought 'I'm much worse. I'm a VEGAN!'"

Vegan is not hard to do. But it’s harder than I hoped it would be on the road in downtown Pittsburgh. 

The Bad Relationship

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/23/2015 03:06:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Relax, Run, Testimonials

Apparently I'm a sucker for Bad Relationships because I'm pretty sure I love hills! I don't think there are many of us out there, so if you are a fellow hill worshipper, please declare it loud and proud in so I won't feel so alone!

I love joking about how much hills suck and I LOVE the name of "The Hill" at mile 8 of our 13er. It’s "The Bad Relationship" – because you don’t realize how bad it is until you're over it! But I need to be honest here, because let's face it, honesty is the key to a good relationship, isn't it?

I consulted a highly esteemed website to help define what it means to be in a bad relationship – If you ever find yourself doing the following during your hill workout, it's a clear sign that you need to work on your relationship or a breakup may be in your future.

Eye Rolling.

"[Eye Roll]"

Dominance and Power Plays.

"Oh Yah? You think you're so big and intimidating. I’ll show you who’s boss."

Loss of Respect.

"Now that we've become so close I can see all your flaws. You’re really annoying."

Speaking Ill of Each Other.

"You’re uneven and your shoulders are too narrow. You suck, Hill."

Avoiding Conflict and Avoiding Resolutions.

"Oh hey – there's Sally! Sure I’d love a ride. See ya later, Hill!"

Taking Each Other for Granted.

"You never think about my needs. All you do is take take take until I’m so exhausted I have nothing left to give."


"………" (Thoughts in my head, "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.")

So that's what The Bad Relationship looks like. I have to come clean. I think I'm having a Love Affair.

I Love Hills. And I promise I'll never leave you!

Accidentally Vegan

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/23/2015 02:48:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run

Eating vegetarian is a breeze. In fact, I think it may be my calling. I've always gravitated toward fresh, green, crunchy meals. I love veggies. They never make me feel gross the next day. There are infinite options and infinite ways to prepare them. Add in eggs and dairy (which means I'm actually eating ovo-lacto vegetarian-style), and I could live forever without another bite of meat, chicken or fish and be very happy.

But what happens when you eliminate the eggs and dairy and become – God forbid – a weird, hippy, stereotypical Boulder VEGAN!?

I'm going to come right out and say it - eating 100% vegan is not easy. But it's not that hard either.

I implemented a one-week Vegan Challenge during June Vegetarian month. Here's what I have going for me.

  1. I live in Boulder (population 103,166). We have three Whole Foods Markets, one Sunflower Market, one Alfalfa's, one Sprouts, one Lucky's Market, and every big grocery store has a massive natural and organic aisle. I asked someone in Whole Foods to help me find the vegan mayonnaise and he showed me eight different options and explained the differences!
  2. I'm surrounded by a diverse crowd of active people with varied eating philosophies who jumped at the chance to share vegan recipes.
  3. My husband was (semi) willing to join me in this challenge.
  4. I didn't have to travel to places outside of Boulder that may have no idea what veganism is.

But my real ace in the hole has been Skirt team member, Jeanette. Jeanette is a Skirt Ambassador who basically steps in to help whenever we need someone at the last minute. Jeanette has an insanely inspirational story herself. Nutshell: She was a sheriff, living a fairly healthy life, mom of two active girls, eating the Mediterranean diet, pretty-fit, and out of nowhere one day in her early 40s, while she was sitting in her squad car, she had a heart attack. Thankfully she knew what the signs meant and called 911 from her car.

That event changed her life, including a huge change to her eating philosophy. Today her entire family is vegan.

Jeanette gave me some great shortcuts including some actual dishes, amazing recipes and a huge grocery bag of all sorts of vegan food. Did I mention she's British and when she talks, it sounds like she’s singing? On Saturday, we were working the Boutique together and she surprised me with this amazing goody bag. As she went through all of the vegan items inside, she said, "And that Nature Valley granola bar is accidentally vegan."

Her message: Going vegan isn't hard.

My message: It's not hard; it just requires planning and constant reminders.

What I've discovered is that eating vegan can actually be very tasty, especially since many of the proteins that are allowed (tofu, beans, quinoa, nuts) do not have vibrant flavors, so you need to get creative with spices which I've been lazy about over the years.

I made Jeanette's insanely good "Non-Chicken Salad" last week and I'm already making it again. IT WAS THAT GOOD! Recipe and photos here:

In the end, I did a 95% Vegan week. I cheated everyday, accidentally or on purpose. I often caught myself right after I had a bite of something that I would never expect to include butter or eggs. Some days I just said screw it, and dug into a leftover piece of Kim & Jake’s cake from our 13er (at least it's gluten-free!). Note: I did not apply the "no honey" rule because I had to draw the line somewhere!

Next up: I'm going to try to extend 95% veganism this week while traveling to the Fleet Feet Conference in Pittsburgh. Let's see how the world outside Boulder reacts to vegan. Wish me luck!

The F Word

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/22/2015 04:25:00 PM | 1 Comments Authors, Inspiration

The first time she said it out loud, I did a double take. Did she just say "F it" or did she mean "Bucket?" Turns out she meant "F it" and she actually used it in context. She was frustrated with her seatbelt.

After I recovered, I told her that is not a nice word and we don't say it. To which she said, "Yes I do." I said, "No we don’t." She said, "Yes I do." I said, "NO – WE DON’T." She said, "YES – WE DO!"

Since she is a 3 year old, this conversation was going nowhere fast so I changed the subject, turned up her Frozen CD really loud and started singing "The snow glows white on the mountain tonight…" Luckily she joined right in and it was over.

For now.

A couple weeks later, Tim and I went on a date and when we came home, the babysitter said, "It was an interesting night. Lots of surprises." Turns out the minute we left, Wilder was "F this and F that" all night long. Our sitter explained that is not a nice word and it's not a word we say. Wilder simply said, "It’s okay. We say it." And the F tirade continued.

Yes she was showing off and yes she's testing her 3-½-year-old limits, but this was a flag for us. The carseat "F" bomb could have been an isolated incident, but this took it to another level.

Tim and I are both pretty big potty-mouthers. We didn’t have a kid until we were in our 40's. We didn't have any reason to censor ourselves, especially at home around the house. If I stubbed my toe on the couch (which I did a couple weeks ago and I think it's actually broken), you better believe I didn't say a simple and appropriate, "ouch, that hurt." Instead I think it went something like this, "S, F, F, F, mother F, that F-ing hurt like a B!!!!!" And yes, I'm sure Wilder was nearby and heard it all and filed it away for future nights to torment babysitters and push my limits.

In the end, I need to be a better role model for my girl and give up a habit that is clearly not a great habit to begin with. I can do it. And I know Tim can do it too. We'll have to keep each other accountable.

But I also feel the beginning of a new era in parenting - the era of Wilder saying all sorts of surprisingly funny, but often inappropriate things. Yesterday she said, "Hey mom, I have to tell you a secret!" She ran over, leaned in and whispered in my ear, "Nationwide is on your side."

Looks like we may need to cut back on some of her shows too.

Kelly G.: #REALwomenmove Scholarship Winner

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/17/2015 02:35:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run, Testimonials

Skirt Sports Real Women Move

I deeply understand the meaning of "Getting Started".  Three years ago I started getting sore and stiff joints, but didn't think much of it. I was fit, I ate healthy, and I was about to start grad school after a few years of baby birthing and breast feeding...It was on and I was about to "Get Started"!

A few months into grad school and the joint pain was still there with added fatigue now. I again brushed it off as part of the woes of going to grad school with young kids, but it soon became apparent that I needed medical care for it.  Flash forward a few months and I began treatment for autoimmune inflammatory arthritis. This was just the news I needed to "Get Started" again and transform my body through fitness and perseverance. I would destroy this disease by pushing myself as hard as I could. I did too. I competed in my first obstacle course race in the fall of 2013. I was strong and fit, but I was a wreck inside. I had pushed myself too far and my health deteriorated for the next year. Everything unraveled and I learned to hate my body again for the first time since I was a teenager. Only this time it was the inside of my body that I loathed. My disease markers kept going up, I was put on nastier drugs, and my thesis was going nowhere because I could not complete the field work. Most days it took ALL my effort to get out of bed and care for my family.  After nearly 2 years of treatment for my inflammatory arthritis, I finally got a diagnosis of Behcet's Disease this past February. It is a rare form of vasculitis that can cause arthritis.  So there I sat. I finally knew what was wrong with me but it made me feel worse instead of better. My thesis was scrapped entirely and I had to make the decision to start new or quit.  So I got started.

Since February, I have developed a new thesis and it is in full swing! I have recently started walking everyday and am doing the best I can with doing some type of strengthening exercises twice a week. I have a long way to go...BUT I am learning to listen to my body and accept that my best today may be worse than yesterday or even better than tomorrow, and THAT IS OKAY!  I am the heaviest I have ever been, I am in the worst shape I have ever been, but I am also the most committed I have ever been.  My husband and I are starting to train for a local obstacle course race for this fall. We plan on not giving a crap about how long it takes, how clumsy we look, or if I can do every obstacle...we just want to "Get Started" and this is our goal.  Everyday I walk I put on my frumpiest clothes, my biggest sunglasses, and I wait until I think all the "beautiful people" are back in their houses before I step out.  I don't want to be that person anymore and I want the confidence and self-love that I am fostering on the inside to show on the outside. I am part of a Facebook group of amazing women that give me the support and courage I need to transform myself everyday on the inside (love my BAWGS!) and I would love for your help in transforming the outside.

June Eating Challenge – Vegetarian with a Vegan Challenge Week

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/03/2015 03:15:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run

We’re about to VEG OUT! Our June eating challenge includes eating lots of colorful foods, and eliminating some not-so-colorful foods that we really like a lot. To keep ourselves on a more structured schedule than April's disastrous "No Dessert After Dinner" month (during which we learned to sneak dessert during the day instead), we created some rules, because as it turns out, vegetarian can mean lots of things.

Why veg? Eating a largely plant-based diet has proven health benefits, namely reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and countless other chronic health problems. I want to clean up. Time to focus on simple foods in a variety of colors. I'm someone who has always craved veggies, so I’m excited that Tim agreed to join me for this one!

Here's what Going Veg means to me. I just researched and discovered that there are 4 accepted categories of vegetarians. We plan to spend 3 weeks in the "lacto-ovo-vegetarian" category. That means we are going to be those strange people at restaurants who say things like, "I’m a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. What can I eat from the menu?" In a nutshell, we can eat eggs and dairy, but no meat, poultry or seafood. The big challenge will be how to consume enough of the nutrients that meat, chicken, and fish provide. I'll need your help here with recipe suggestions below.

But the bigger challenge is our self-imposed "Vegan Week!" Vegans are the fourth and strictest category of vegetarians. They basically don't get to eat much as far as I can tell. The rule of thumb: They eat zero animal products which means we will be cutting out dairy and eggs too. Anyone can do anything for one week, right?

I believe we will thrive in Veggie June with the help and support of our community. I need some recipes – and fast! Please list your fave vegetarian, and especially, vegan recipes. Dinner recipes are most important. Tim and I have actually learned to plan our dinners each week, so we’ll be shopping tomorrow, the last day of May, for our June eating challenge!

13.1 Reasons to Go 13.1

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 06/01/2015 11:57:00 AM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run, Testimonials

In 2013, an all-time high of over 2 million people finished a half marathon, 61% of them were women, according to a 2014 Running USA report. So people have actually figured out that running long distance, but not TOO long, is the cool thing to do. The question is why 13.1? How did this become the fastest growing distance, especially for women?

This is especially important to me because Skirt Sports puts on a women's 13.1 event. We even reinvented it in 2015 as the Skirt Sports 13er because after reading (genius) Rachel Toor's "13er Manifesto," we agree that it's not HALF of anything! It’s a full 13.1 miles of fun, challenge, euphoria, good pain, and more.

So I shouted out to a bunch of women to tell me what's so special about 13.1. Here's the word on the street.

13.1 Reasons to Go 13.1

    Sandy S: Because half marathoners are geniuses. I think that every time I do a marathon and see them split off or finish while I still have 13.1 to go.
    Kristen G: 13.1 is perfect as it doesn't require the commitment that a full does. It is fairly reasonable to always be at a place mileage-wise that you could just jump in and survive a race, but is still enough of a challenge that you get that sense of accomplishment once you complete it.
    Rachel T: It usually has the best medals.
    Jenna O: 13.1 is my favorite race distance. I've run 56 of them! I love that I can train for one, without training overtaking my life. They are always a challenge, but with each one, I keep taking off a little time.
    Joy G: I love the challenge of the distance and the fact that in some ways it hurts so much less than a short race like a 5k!
    Aleasha L: 13.1 remains one of my favorite races because I am able to run/race without it consuming the whole weekend for the family!
    Nicole B: 13.1 is my fave because it's a "comfortably fast" run! They go by so quick that I'm often home by lunch and I love that!
    Jennifer L: Perfect for a "race-cation" (say, to CO in June J)
    Erika H: Afterwards, there's still time to sight see and have fun if you are on a vacation (See above!).
    Kim R: The time commitment is perfect for both training and race day. With 2 boys, a full work commitment as a professor and program director, 13.1 is perfect. Even on longer run days, you still have a majority of the day for spending time with family. My goal is 50 halfs in 50 states and when I'm visiting somewhere new, I like to have time to actually explore the area in addition to the run. A half gives you time to run, explore, and fly home that evening if you need to get home in a hurry for a new workday, school day, etc. The accomplishment feels awesome and allowing my kids to see me train for something that requires dedication and see me accomplish each goal and come home with another medal (my youngest thinks I win every race), it also teaches them a little about life too without training so much that I miss spending time with them (like it does for a full).
    Marilou D: Race day is more like "race morning". It's long enough to require dedicated training but short enough to push hard. You feel like a Bad Azz when you're done!
    Shannon C: I love the 13.1 distance. It's both a challenge but at the same time easier to keep trained for than say a full. As long as you keep a base of 6-8 miles, training for a half is not so bad at all. The 13.1 distance is also attainable for anyone to train to run or walk.
    Deborah B: 13.1 is hard enough to give you the sense of accomplishment but still allow you to continue cross training & putting less stress on your body


Anne M: I always decide at about Mile 10 of a marathon that the Half is the perfect distance!!

Let me add some more (very important) reasons from my occasionally twisted perspective. You can walk afterward. It's long enough to allow for at least 3-4 days of serious splurging. You can do more than one every 3-6 months without hurting yourself (which means more splurge days!). You aren't going so long that your friends won't join you. In other words, it's the most social distance!

Please share your reasons here. Let’s get 131 more!

The Aging Athlete series: Get Older… Rest More!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 05/22/2015 04:54:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Celebrate, Inspiration, Run, Testimonials

I’ve been so inspired by stories of women runners in their 50s and older, that I decided to talk to an expert on the concept of fitness after 50. Much of my feel-good research has been anecdotal, so I sought out Debra Atkinson, author of the upcoming book, “The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women.” She has done in-depth research on the concept of age and the effects it has on women athletes.

As we delved into the topic of women runners who continue to see improvement over 50, it became clear that we needed to define HOW these women are running. Debra’s research found that athletes who run at a moderate level, maybe 3 times per week, without following an intense or structured program, but who are instead “self-paced,” fall into the sweet spot for happy running maintenance. They don’t experience as many negative effects (injuries, fatigue and more) that more intense or more frequent runners experience as they age.

But let’s face it, most people in the Baby Boomer generation do not operate this way. This generation especially was trained to subscribe to this mantra, “The harder you work, the better results you get.” Don’t get me wrong, as a Gen-X’er, I too, subscribe to this belief. The problem is in how we define hard work. I think Baby Boomers tend to focus on the “more is better” side of the equation. I have to admit that I do too. This is a tough habit to break, the “I’m out for 6 miles, but I feel good, so I’ll do an extra few” mentality. I succinctly remember a story that Kathrine Switzer (the first official woman finisher of the Boston Marathon in 1967) tells about her Boston Marathon training at 21 years old. She was on a training run with her coach Artie in the dead of winter in Syracuse, NY. They finished 26 miles, and instead of stopping, she said, “Let’s just do another 5 to TRULY prove we will be able to finish this thing!” Talk about more is better!

When you’re young, you can abuse your body and get away with it more often. Youngsters recover quickly. But as you age, the golden ticket to athletic success is the opposite of what we consider hard work – it’s about getting enough rest and recovery. The problem is that there is no standard for how and when to increase your recovery. Wouldn’t it be great if someone said, “Now that you turned 37, you need to add 4 more hours of rest per week into your routine?” But life isn’t textbook.

I asked Debra if we can easily figure out if we are getting enough rest. She suggested monitoring the tangibles and intangibles of our bodies. It’s all about listening to our bodies, and better yet, not ignoring what we hear! We can monitor the intangibles like unexplained weight and appetite changes, mood fluctuations (though mood may be best monitored by someone close to you for utmost honesty!). When you experience sustained crabbiness, you may be in need of additional rest.

But this is not a perfect science, so a better, yet still realistic, way to measure your body is to monitor your heart rate, starting with your resting heart rate. Debra says that if your resting heart rate is elevated by 3 to 5 beats for multiple days, you are not recovering properly. Your body is in a state of fatigue. Well guess what? I’ve been in a state of fatigue since my daughter was born 3.5 years ago, so this is also difficult to monitor perfectly! If you want to get more scientific, you can invest in a heart rate variability monitor and keep a more structured log. Once you start logging, patterns will emerge.

So what happens next? How do you amend your athletic routine to account for an aging body with greater rest and recovery needs? I talked to my husband, Tim DeBoom, about this topic. Tim is a 2-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion, who after more than a decade of improvement, experienced a similar long, slow decline in his performance abilities until the end of his career. He was 21 when he started his triathlon career and he was 41 when he retired. One of the x-factors is that he may not have amended his general workout routine appropriately to account for his aging body (and all those aggregate miles!).

In retrospect, he explained the following concept that probably would have benefitted him in regards to setting up a training calendar. He planned his triathlon training around a 7-day cycle. Mondays were rest days. Tuesdays were brick workouts. Wednesdays were hilly runs. You get the gist. As we age, we can continue to include these all-important workouts in our schedules, but we should lengthen the cycle. By the end of his career, he may have benefitted from stretching his program into a 10-day cycle instead of a 7-day cycle.

The difficult part of this concept is that there is no perfect line in the sand that tells us when we need to add more rest. We have to figure it out on our own, often through experiencing failures and injuries. And more importantly, we need to embrace the fact that more rest and recovery does not mean we are not working hard. In fact, it can often require even more mental toughness to take those rest days!

So the moral of the story is: Keep running. Keep moving. Keep going forward. Just be sure to give your body more rest and recovery as you get older, and the best way to do this is to listen to what your body is telling you.  And my all means, please share your rest and recovery stories– we’d all love to hear!

#REALwomenmove: Distractions, Yoga Poses and a 50k

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 05/05/2015 12:44:00 PM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run, Testimonials

Skirt Sports has done it again. As if I didn't already love this company for it's ability to make cute quality workout gear, they go and have this movement that stands for everything I believe! Have you ever noticed the ambassador patch on my blog ?

THAT'S RIGHT!  REAL WOMEN, REAL BODIES, REAL INSPIRATION! So, what exactly does #REALwomenmove mean to me? It means women being active in their own environments, lifestyles, and yes, our own bodies. It incorporates the fact that none of us have to have look like a super model to be on the move in an active lifestyle. What's more it means that you and I have support and get to support one another. We have support from women across the nation who genuinely want us to succeed in our own goals and dreams.  Women who genuinely want you and I to do nothing more than get out and not only move but have fun doing it! Most of all, women who see one another's beauty as it is and not any other way.

#REALwomenmove selfie FAIL!

#REALwomenmove means inspiration from and for others. It means supporting each other through our discouraging times as well as successful.  It means building from each experience and being #FEARLESS to surpass insecurities that have plagued us and develop friendships that are about building each other up and helping one another.  To lighten it up a little I'll be posting some photos that may be a little embarrassing but are real when it comes to learning new yoga poses!

Personally, my challenge to stay active and achieve my goals  in the next year will encompass doing it all while my husband is deployed.  The past few years I have been very fortunate as a military spouse. My husband was able to finish his bachelors degree and then trained to become a pilot.  This means he has not experienced deployments in the past few years.   So, in the next year the #REALwomenmove will be an encouragement and inspiration for me.  Encouraging me to balance my training while being a geographically single mommy. It will mean getting creative and finding ways to train with the boys and while they are sleeping.  Did I mention,  I plan to train my first 50 miler while he's training this summer and run the Bandera 50km/100km while he's deployed!   Stay tuned to read about what training plan, I (cough, cough) intend to follow.   I seem to get easily distracted and like to change training regiments up a lot.


What else does #REALwomenmove  mean to me? It means more miles going to one of my favorite organizations TEAM RWB.  During my training, I will be using the free app Charity Miles.   Charity miles tracks your mileage and gives .25 per mile ran or walked and .10 per mile riding a bike to your choice organization! If you want to join me in donating your mileage, simply download the app go to teams and #REALwomenmove!

Join me in spreading the word ladies! While racing, weight training, yoga sessions, riding, hiking, paddle boating, horse back riding, whatever your mode of activity #REALwomenmove !

#REALwomenmove: From Postpartum Depression to Marathon Maniac

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 05/05/2015 11:58:00 AM | 0 Comments Authors, Inspiration, Run

I wasn't always a runner. I ran occasionally to drop a few pounds, but it was not in any way part of my regular routine.  Then my first son was born. We had a rough start and I ended up struggling with postpartum depression. My mom suggested I go for a run. Suddenly a runner was born. I didn't run far, but 30 minutes, three times a week became my anti-depressant of choice.

It's been 13 years since that moment. Running has become a part of me. I've also fallen in love with racing. I'll never be fast. I very seldom run a race with the expectation of getting a personal record. I run races to be with friends, to challenge myself, to visit new places. I run to see what my body is capable of doing.

This past weekend I ran two marathons in two days to qualify for Marathon Maniacs. It started out as a personal goal to see what I was capable of, but it became so much more. I was surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes and ages, moving at whatever pace they were capable of. What did we all have in common? We were out there doing the best we could with the abilities we had. Even more, these amazing women were lifting each other up throughout the entire race. It was not a competition with anyone but ourselves.

#REALwomenmove. It does not matter how fast you go. It does not matter what size you are or what age. It does not matter if you choose to run or some other movement floats your boat. What matters is that you go. I don't know what my next challenge will be. I just know that there will be one.

Get out there. Embrace life. Push your limits. Move.


Erika H. aka MCMMama

Read more about my journey and success with running and postpartum depression on my blog; TOTR: Running from Depression