Skirt Sports Blog

Thirteener Manifesto

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/18/2014 03:30:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

Thirteener Manifesto

Why the 13.1-mile race should have its own name.

Photography by Jon Jonckers

13er Image by Nate Dyer

Published February 27, 2014;  Running Times


Five miles into what turned out to be, in perfect coincidence, a 13-mile trail run, my friend, Dean, a week after completing a 100-mile race, said, apropos of nothing we'd been talking about, "Why is it called a half?"

And I said, "Right."

Another runner, with the dismissiveness of a speedy marathoner and the crabbiness of the mother of two small kids, said, "Because it's only a half."

Dean and I both said, "No."

We've been having this conversation on trail runs, over strawberry smoothies, and with other people during Dean's birthday celebration where we ran 45 × 200 on an old dirt track by the river in the pouring rain. And this is what we think: It's not half of something; it's a whole thing.

During the short rest periods between 200s, someone suggested finding out what place was halfway between Athens and Marathon. Turns out he hasn't been the only one to propose this. Googling brings you to Team Pikermi and this description: "A Pikermi is a running race of a distance of 13.1 miles, formerly known as a half marathon. The term was coined by a blogger named Pochero in a blog on 'The Loop,' which is a runner's community on the Runner's World website."

Nope, I say, to the more than 1,000 Likers of Team Pikermi on Facebook. We need to unlink it from the marathon. If that's the standard, the race will still be "just" halfway. Plus, no one knows how to pronounce Pikermi.

The crabby runner said, "It's just words. What difference does it make?" Humans think with language; words matter. According to Roger Robinson, the first half marathon was the Route du Vin in Luxembourg. Now, we could call 13.1 miles a "winer," but some people might hear it as the homophone and, well, we don't want to encourage that.

The next race, the first in the U.S., was the Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon in 1964 in Springfield, Ill. Maybe we could call it a "Lincoln," the way rich people and drug dealers call one hundred dollar bills Benjamins. And wouldn't it be great if Lincoln had been the 13th president? But he wasn't. I don't think either Millard or Fillmore would work. Though Fillmore could be used for bad puns.

So here's my idea. I want to change the name and start a movement. I want to lobby race directors to rebrand their events and persuade runners to call the race formerly known as a half marathon something new: a thirteener.

Let's make it quirkily American. Most other distances have a whiff of international fanciness with their kilometer measures. The half marathon is not an Olympic event; the thirteener could be all ours. The name is less precise linguistically than the metric equivalents, more colloquial. It's unpretentious. Like those tall peaks in Colorado, it's something you want to bag.

The thirteener is a beautiful distance. If you're just starting out, it's an achievement. If you're serious, it's not your Sunday morning run. It's a good and difficult distance to race, and you can race many of them well in a season, as Jonathan Beverly pointed out in these pages two years ago when he wondered whether it was time to get over the marathon. So many people are slowly slogging through 26.2-milers just to rack them up. Why not train harder and race, he asked?

Like many of my mile-hoarding brethren, something in me is attached to the mystique of the marathon, but I'm ready to get over that. I've spent enough pre-race dinners hanging my head and saying that I'm "only" doing the 50K, "only" doing the 50-miler when there are multiple races, and I'm opting for the shorter distance. That probably won't change if we shift the name of the half marathon to thirteener. But that's OK. It's a personal inadequacy. I need to grow up, to evolve, to become more secure.

No reason to mess with the distance and start promoting, say, 20Ks. It's easy to mark the course so the event can run concomitant with a, um, longer race.

I want the folks for whom finishing a thirteener is an accomplishment to feel pride in what they've done, and I'd like to see it become a more competitive event by getting serious swag behind it. Now that the Rock 'n' Roll races have stopped offering coin to draw in the rock stars of marathons, maybe they'll consider putting up some dough to lure some talent to their thirteeners.

I am always more interested in both/and than in either/or. Let's let the half marathon be its own event and have it exist alongside the marathon. Let's have it be inclusive to slow folks including–gasp–walkers and make it a chance for fast runners to run really, really fast. Let's give it a name of its own. Thirteener.

Stay on Track this Holiday Season

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/17/2014 02:22:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

5 Tips to Stay on Track this Holiday Season

We all get a little stressed and overwhelmed between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and cooking that we can easily neglect our own health and fitness.

Here are a few of my favorite tips to Stay on Track:

1.Schedule a Spring Race-Having a spring race on your calendar gives you motivation to train through the winter. Write the date on your calendar and devise a training plan to take you through the New Year. You are more likely to stick to your fitness if you write it down.

2. Challenge Yourself- There are a ton of fun challenges this time of year of Instagram, Facebook and blogs to keep you accountable. Tweeting and posting your achievements to your friends and family keeps you on board with you fitness. Plus, many challenges have prizes or medals-bonus!

3. Meal Plan-Planning just a few healthy meals a week helps you make wise food choices when you are rushing around or stressed to get things done.  Creating a shopping list and purchasing the items on the weekend sets you up for a healthier week to come. Cooking soups or casseroles on the weekend and freezing them can be super helpful. Eating a healthy snack or meal before heading out to a Holiday Party can deter you from overeating on the less healthy food.

4. Try Something New- Usually run? Try a spin class or a swim. Fitness clubs and studios often have free trial classes or special events during the holidays and that is a great way to ward off boredom and stay active. Sights like Groupon and Living Social often have fun activities for great prices.

5.  Reward Yourself- Set a goal (be it a certain number of times per week of exercise or healthy eating) and reward yourself with some new exercise wear to show off all of your hard work. I’m loving running in my new Pink Gemini reversible Jacket these days! What are you loving?

For more great tips AND recipes check out Deborah's website!

Celebrate and Eat: The Hungry Runner’s Guide to Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/17/2014 01:01:00 PM | 0 Comments Relax

Let's talk about Thanksgiving. It's my all-time favorite holiday, and yes, it's because I absolutely love food.

But what I love even more than food itself is the experience of enjoying and sharing a meal with loved ones.

Sure, I talk about food as fuel for fitness and sustenance for a healthy body all of the time. But sometimes it's more than that. Sometimes, like on special occasions like Thanksgiving, it’s a means of bringing people together. It provides family and friends with the opportunity to sit down at a table together, converse and just enjoy each other's company.

To me, there's nothing more important than that, and it's one of the things in life to be most thankful for.

Unfortunately, when we hear about it on TV or read about it online, sometimes the above aspects of Thanksgiving aren't the main focus of the holiday. Instead, we're warned against overeating, "unhealthy" foods and the "dreaded" possibility of weight gain.

What I've come to learn, though, is that we don’t need to worry about any of that at all. First of all, like I just said, Thanksgiving is about enjoying time spent with loved ones and giving thanks. The key word here is enjoy. Just enjoy yourself. Even if you have fitness and health goals that you've been working hard towards, one day of stepping outside the lines won’t derail you. In fact, we all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while.
Second of all, and this is something that I've written about at work for The Active Times recently, one day of eating a bit more than you normally would or indulging in extra dessert or some less nutritious foods that you would otherwise pass up isn't going to be detrimental to your health or even cause you to gain weight. (You'd have to eat way more than you could probably even imagine to gain just one pound in the course of a single day.)

In other words, don't let the food-centric aspect of Thanksgiving (and the whole holiday season) stress you out. Just celebrate and eat. That's what this time of year is for and it should be enjoyed; no guilt necessary.

Plus, even if you do end up accidentally gaining a little bit of weight, it's not the end of the world. We've all been there at one point or another (even me); as long as you recognize it and take back control, you'll be just fine. Plus, it will give you a reason to step up your exercise game!

Even with all of that said, I know that for some people it might not be so easy to feel so relaxed and nonchalant when it comes to the whole food aspect of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. If I'm being completely honest, it's not that any of it stresses me out (I'm really good at enjoying my food, winky face), but I do still want to make sure that I don't fall too far off track, because I know how easy it can be to go overboard, too.

And I don’t just mean for one day, I mean for the course of the holiday season. It's important to me that I keep up with my exercise routine and that I still focus on fueling my body with nutritious foods for the majority of the time, and I will fully acknowledge that compared to other times of the year, those are two things that become a little bit more difficult to do around the holidays.

I don't see it at as an excuse, though. I see it as more of a mini challenge to overcome. And on that note I want to finish off by pointing out some tips that can help us all have a healthy, but also enjoyable holiday season. I've done a few stories on this topic for The Active Times over the past few weeks. I talked to several different fitness experts to collect some advice and these were some of the best tips they shared.

  •     Keep up with your workout routine; even if it means small,15-minute sessions whenever you can fit something in.
  •     Sign up for a race or event that takes place after the holidays so you stay motivated to keep up with your exercise routine.
  •     Prepare healthy snacks, like veggies and hummus, to serve at or bring to parties.
  •     Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated (this is something you should do all of the time, anyway).
  •     Try not to overdo it with alcohol.
  •     Prepare bigger portions of nutritious foods, like green beans and other veggies.
  •     If you have a lot of leftovers, freeze some so you don’t feel obligated to eat them all in the following days, just because they're there. (But definitely save some because leftovers are basically the best part of Thanksgiving.)
  •     Say no sometimes. You don’t have to accept every single holiday treat that comes your way. Aim to only indulge in your absolute favorites.
  •     Engage in active family traditions, like going for a hike or a backyard football game.
  •     And finally, just relax a little. Make time for yourself to unwind every day. Start up a yoga practice or choose some other relaxing activity that will help keep you calm.

And that's that! I have nothing else to say except, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy lots of good food and of course, the company of your friends and family!


(Hungry Runner)

GGR Race Report: Skirt Sports Half Marathon

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/17/2014 12:19:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

From Geek Girls Run July 9th 2013 (edited by Skirt Sports)

One word to describe the Skirt Sports Inaugural Half Marathon: AWESOME!
A second word to describe the Skirt Sports Inaugural Half Marathon: EXHAUSTING! :D

The second weekend in June (2013), I met up with fellow GGR (Geek Girls Run) Ambassadors Janine, Amber, and Michelle in Colorado for the Skirt Sports Inaugural Half Marathon. All of us wear and love Skirt Sports gear, so when we heard about this race we jumped at the chance!

On Friday morning, we stopped by packet pickup, which was at Skirt Sports headquarters. Our race numbers were awesome!


Janine and I completely fangirled over Skirt Sports founder Nicole DeBoom's original running skirt, which was displayed near their front desk:


After we picked up our bibs, we went back to their sale area, where we checked out all their new gear. OMG we are in the Skirt Sports warehouse!


While we were there, we were super excited to meet Nicole DeBoom in person! She’s been such an inspiration to all of us. She was incredibly sweet and even remembered Janine from one of the SkirtChaser 5ks from several years ago. We told her about Geek Girls Run and she was very supportive! Thank you, Nicole!

photo (6)

After we got our goody bags (in a reusable tote from Whole Foods, yay!), we stopped to sign their Wall of Words, which would be displayed at the race:

IMG_4982 . IMG_5092

The race was in Superior, CO, on Sunday morning at 7. Amber was awesome and got us a hotel room that was literally a stone’s throw from the starting line, so all we had to do was roll out of bed, get dressed, and walk right over. The energy around the start-line area and expo was so fantastic!

IMG_5070 . IMG_5071

Janine and I had worn our Thor and Captain America running outfits, and got a great response to them! Here's the four of us, pre-race:


We spotted a guy in a Goofy Challenge shirt, and it turned out to be a friend-of-a-friend, Mike, whom I’d met at Disney World during the Princess! He ran as Vanellope during the Disney Princess Half!


It was definitely a majority-women race, but there were quite a few gentlemen to be spotted. Two of them were even in skirts! You go guys!! (Check out the guy in pink– it was his first half marathon ever! Woooo!)

IMG_5088 . IMG_5119

Okay, so, the race. Well– Janine, Amber, and I are all from the level lands, far far away from mile-high Colorado. (My Runmeter regularly tells me that I'm running *below* sea level!) We knew the altitude was going to be killer, and we were going to be slow. So we just decided to take it easy, not worry about how fast we were going, and enjoy the heck out of the race. And we did! Janine and I sang and danced most of the way, hopefully amusing the other runners we saw along the way. Special props to the woman who sang along to "Living' On A Prayer" when we got to the halfway point!

And the course was *gorgeous*. Absolutely beautiful scenery. We kept having to stop to take pictures!

IMG_5095 . IMG_5136 . IMG_5109 . IMG_5134

There was one absolutely killer hill. Janine and I walked up the entire thing, belting out "Thrift Shop" (our weekend anthem) until we were gasping for breath. Here's looking back down…still not at the top though!


A horse!!! (There were many horses. Also cows, which we at first mistook for horses. We are city folk for sure.)

IMG_5096 . IMG_5135

Heroic poses were struck!

IMG_5085 . IMG_5086

It was such a nice change to run a small race…there were about 300 people running the half. But we never felt alone! And a HUGE shout-out to the awesome volunteers at all the water stations, who cheered us on and kept us pumped up! They rocked!

And then suddenly, we came across the finish line! (All the mile marker signs after 9 had been stolen, so we had very little idea of where we were!) Both Janine and I felt totally destroyed– it is *hard* to run at altitude! We both agreed that we felt like we'd run a full instead of a half. We picked up our pink finisher skirts– AWESOME– and made sure to thank Nicole for an amazing race before heading back to our room for chocolate milk and a shower. Janine decided that Nicole was worthy to wield the hammer of Thor:


We got back to the finish line just in time to cheer in Amber and Michelle!


Amber gangnam-styled in, crazy girl.

IMG_5103 . IMG_5104

All of us, plus Michelle’s awesome mom, with Nicole, post-race:

IMG_5076 . IMG_5075

Overall verdict: Super fun, super gorgeous race. I had a fantastic time. I would love to run it again, if timing and money stuff works out. Thank you for a great weekend, Skirt Sports!

Thank YOU Geek Girls Run!  We were so thrilled to have your incredibly infectious spirit at the Skirt Sports Half! 

Check out Geek Girls Run, so much fun to be read!

The Training Plan That Helped Me “Own” 13.1 Miles

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/14/2014 04:15:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

Posted on by

Five years ago, I sat in my newly-appointed OB's office and nearly cried as he informed me that being six weeks pregnant meant Absolutely No Running the New York City Marathon in 10 days. No matter that I had trained for it all summer. No matter the three 20-mile long runs under my belt and the weekly track sessions that were supposed to help me run an under-4.

I was looking forward to motherhood. But sob. Would it change running? Forever?

And so for the next three years, it did. Lack of sleep was exhausting. Raising an overly active baby – and then toddler – while working full time was all-consuming. There was no time to train! Hardly any time to run! The few four-mile races I signed up for, I did mostly as an excuse to watch our son do the kids’ runs afterwards. (Too cute!)

All those excuses were later used to justify running a half marathon with no training, then sleeping through the alarm for the next one. I needed a kick in the buttocks like I need those first three cups of coffee in the morning.

That kick came earlier this year, courtesy of those two books: Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother. I don’t remember how I found them, but as soon as I looked over the reviews and peeked at the first pages, I was sold.

The books are funny, inspirational, practical and hold nothing back. Want to know about potty logistics pre-race? Nipple chafing? Periods, pregnancy, post-partum pains? Weight issues? It's all in there — and if I gave myself a dollar for every time I thought "Ha! You too?" while reading, I'd have enough for a new pair of running shoes, full price.

But what really got me excited (and butt-kicked) were the training plans in Train Like a Mother. Specifically, the Half-Marathon: Own It one, which I promptly annotated with dates, then transferred to the family wall calendar, and followed religiously all summer. The result: from a 2:10 half marathon in March 2012 to a personal best of 1:59:00 1:58:58 at the San Jose Rock'n'Roll half! I am now officially as fast as I was eight years ago: pre-child, when all I had to plan, it seemed, was where to do happy hour that day.

Now, without giving away the details — because, truly, $10.19 is too small a price to pay for this book and you should head over to Amazon and buy it for yourself, your friend, mother, sister, girlfriend or wife, right now — let me tell you about the Half Marathon: Own It plan.

It’s challenging. But it’s also never boring. As most training programs, it has one long run a week, two easy runs and at least one rest day. There is also at least one speed or hill workout a week and a tempo run or – fun! – negative splits. There are even a couple of "fun" workouts scheduled, which can be anything from bike riding or dodgeball, to dance class or ice skating. (Sorry, ladies, I refuse to do aqua aerobics. Not before I have my AARP card in my hands.)

As usual, you progress from shorter to longer long runs, starting at 8 and peaking at 15 miles for the half. The intensity of speed, hill and tempo runs gets progressively higher. The track workouts are never the same week to week, so you always have something to look forward to. (After a 5+ year hiatus, the first time I set foot on the track this summer and felt the rubbery surface give extra jump to my stride, I nearly cried with joy. I am never staying away from the track that long again. Never.)

If you want to get a better idea of what the TLAM training plans look like, you can actually get their Half Marathon: Finish It plan here, free like the wind. And be sure to read more about their training plans (nine altogether) here.

Mother runners, it turns out, are a tribe. A big, ever-growing, all-supportive, funny and understanding community — and you know what, I bet father runners are equally welcome.

Tis' the Season; Tips to not Tip the Scale

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/14/2014 10:34:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run



Tis the Season... Tips to not Tip the Scale

Halloween is over, candy is out of the house and we are back on track... right? Not a chance!
'Tis' the Season means just that, an entire SEASON of holidays! What comes with those holidays? Potlucks galore, cookie exchanges, dinners, delightful desserts, and don't forget those extra cookies that co-workers, friends, and families share from the previous night.   As this holiday season approaches here are a couple of tips to keep it a healthy holiday season.

  • DRINK WATER!  I know, I know... Everyone knows this, however, these reminders are what will get me through this holiday season.  So, if you are going to a gathering (whether dinner or a work Holiday party) drink a glass of water before you leave and one while you are there. Pass on the juices, sodas, and other high caloric/sugar beverages.  Keep a water with you throughout the day and make sure you drink at least a glass before you eat.
  • SLEEP! It's easy to say don't overbook yourself, get sleep, yada, yada, yada.... The truth is you most likely will find yourself exhausted whether it's from shopping, parties, recitals, or races.  When you do arrive home, turn off the electronics and get some rest.  Make it a point to put your phone/tablet down, and rest.  I don't know about you, but fatigue causes poor eating choices for me.
  • SPICE IT UP! Cinnamon or Cardamom in your coffee rather than creamers. Cayenne, garlic and onion have properties which burn and break down fat.
  • EXERCISE... Be dedicated to your exercise.  Diet is one of the key aspects to staying healthy. However, without exercise we can gain those unwanted pounds,  feel sluggish, and really cheat ourselves out of a good holiday season.  For me, I notice when I haven't been exercising I lose energy, feel sluggish, and get a little snippy.  It becomes a spiral effect until I recognize and readjust.
  • KEEP CABINETS CLEAN... Finally, one last tip: Don't stack your cabinets with junk.  If you have it in your cabinet when you are tired from all the hustle and bustle,  it is more easy to reach into the cabinet than to go to the store.  We eat a 'paleo inspired' diet. I say inspired because I'm pretty sure that the back in that age they didn't have almond and coconut flour, honey was a scarcity, and I'm positive they didn't have Mellow Mushroom's Pizza for celebrations.  Lately, I've been stocking up on Enjoy Life chocolates for cooking and when it comes time to make my varied nut, honey, chocolate extravaganza.... POOF they have disappeared.  Realizing that this has been an item we reach to daily, I've decided to only purchase one pack and only when I'm going to use it ( I may actually need to hide it as well).

There are two key things that will stick with me through this season. One, everything in moderation.  I will enjoy a cookie, piece of pie, and chocolate just not all in one sitting. Two, you can't exercise away a bad diet. 

Tis' the Season to appreciate and enjoy life in it's entirety!


Coach Jenny's Holiday Challenge

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/13/2014 03:58:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

Does anyone know where October went? It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. This brings me joy for several reasons:

  1. It means a long weekend of visiting with family and playing Dance Revolution (I have an awesome sprinkler move).
  2. Pumpkin Pie.
  3. The Holiday Challenge is about to begin!

I started the Holiday Challenge a few years ago hoping there would be a handful of people looking, like myself, for a fun way to stay motivated to move through the crazy holiday season.  The Holiday Challenge is now four years old  and grown to over 3,500 fun, active, supportive participants!    

The concept is simple.  Stay fit and active during the busy holiday season by setting realistic goals and posting to a supportive group.  The goal isn't to run lots of miles and overwhelm yourself, but rather to set realistic goals based on your life schedule week-to-week and stay on track.  For me, sometimes that means running 20-25 miles on a week I'm not traveling, and other times it will mean 10-15 miles.  The key is to set a goal that matches your holiday schedule and use the group to stay on course. Plus, cross-training and other activities are included too!  So if you love to Zumba, spin, do yoga…every ten minutes of activity equals one mile.  


The weekly goals keep you motivated.  The group support keeps you accountable.  And the love and camaraderie that happens along the way is truly a gift that keeps on giving.  And speaking of gifts, The Holiday Challenge Elves gift away incredible wish-list gifts (including a rockin' Skirt Sports head-to-toe outfit) along the way!  


Every year the program evolves and this year we've extended the program through the end of January and added celebratory Virtual Race!  


If you're sitting there reading this (thank you), and are looking to maintain (or gain) fitness this holiday season, register here.  It’s a simple and easy way to stay fit during the busy holiday season, avoid gaining the "Holiday 5" (pounds), win my favorite Wish-List gifts, and connect with other like-minded runners and walkers.


The Skirt Sports Ambassadors

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/12/2014 02:19:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Relax, Run

Meet the Skirt Sports Ambassadors!

Aleasha L. "Hello!  I'm Aleasha L., 35 happily married with two beautiful rambunctious boys, a one year old and five year old.  I live in Fort Rucker, Alabama.  My middle school and high school years were at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch as one of the first resident girls. Upon graduation, I stayed in the Texas Panhandle throughout college and a little beyond. At 26 years, I joined the military and after training, I was stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska.  Now, when I am asked, I claim Alaska as home.."


Aleks T., "Hello!  I'm Aleks, 36, wife and mom to a 6 year old boy residing in San Jose, California, a city near everything; mountains, beaches, valleys...  I'm originally from Bulgaria, a small country in Eastern Europe what has a little bit of everything; mountains, beaches, valleys..."


Brandess W., "Hello!  My name is Brandess, and I am proud to say that I am not shaped like your average runner! I have great hips and a curvy lower body, but I am also strong and I LOVE that about myself. I may not be built for speed but I AM built for endurance. Over the past 4 ½ years, with persistence and dogged stubbornness, I have lost 106lbs and gone from barely being able to complete a 5K without walking to completing 2 triathlons, 11 half marathons, 4 marathons, and 1 ultra-marathon. I am a testament that running is for anybody and any body."


Sami B., "I'm Sami, 38, one of Skirt Sports Real Woman Models from the Denver, Colorado area. I'm a Muay Thai boxer turned runner and fitness buff. I'm married with 2 girls (9 and 12). By day I'm a 1st grade teacher. By night I transform into Go Go Mountain Girl blogger!  I'm passionate about helping women find their happy place with running, fitness and more.”



Deb M., "Hello!  I'm Deb, I’m 61 having moved to Longmont from the Carolinas almost 19 years ago. I’m married to my best friend, Lee and we enjoy keeping the roads hot in our little red 92 Mazda Miata convertible. I am a paraeducator at Community Montessori in Boulder working with 3,4, and 5 year olds.  My athletic goal is to continue doing, at least, one race (a 10k) a month. So far this year I am right on target."



Deborah B., "Hello!  I'm Deborah B., 45 yrs old, married with 2 teens a boy and a girl!  I grew up in North Virginia area and still live there.  I have Masters in Social Work and worked in the Eating Disorders field (not currently practicing).  I've taught group exercise classes and spin classes and I am currently a chapter leader for  Moms Run This Town in McLean, Va (400 moms in our group).  I'll be taking my Running coach certification course this spring."


Erika H., Hello!  I'm Erika, 44, married (almost 20 years!) with 2 boys ages 9 and 13.  I’m an Air Force brat, so I'm kind of from all over, but most of my family lives in Wisconsin.  I consider myself a Wisconsin girl even though I haven’t lived there since I was 2.  I’ve lived in the DC Metro area for 18 years.  I’m a librarian, but I work as the operations manager for a small marketing company that specializes in helping water conservation groups.  I moonlight at the public library as a reference librarian.  I’m a runner and I’m currently on a quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states.”


Helen D., "Hello!  I'm Helen D, 44 and married originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but currently residing in Collegeville, Pennsylvania!  When I'm not out running and traveling I work for a non-profit healthcare research company.  I’m primarily a runner but I also love cycling and hiking."



Jenna O., "Hello!  I'm Jenna O. and I do consider myself an ultra running diva!  A native to Santa Cruz, California but now residing in beautiful Sarasota, Florida.  I'm newly 44 and married with a pre-teen middle school boy!  I worked in the newspaper industry for 14 years, before becoming a stay-at-home mom. For the last 3 years, I've been working at a running store. I started coaching last year and I love it."




Jennifer O., "Hello!  I'm Jennifer O., 35, married with 3 sons and one bonus daughter.  I am a rare native to Colorado, born in Denver and living in Greenwood Village, Colorado.  I have been a hairstylist for over 10 years and I am the Development Specialist at Urban Peak, a nonprofit that provides services for youth experiencing homelessness. I have been running for a little over 5 years thanks to Skirt Sports and the Kick Start program! I love hiking, trail running, obstacle racing and weight training."


Joy G., "I'm Joy a 48 year old Las Vegas, Nevada native who calls Westminster, Colorado home.  I'm  married with a 22 year old son and 27 year old step son...soon to be a grandma!  I've been a Deputy Sheriff since 1992.  I came late to running at age 30 and am currently working on 50 half marathons before 50; currently at #43!"


Lisa W., "Hello!  I'm Lisa Wilson, born in Germany, and now living in Denver, Coloraodo with my husband, and two evil greyhounds. I work in Public Information and design layout."


Marilou D., "Hello!  I'm Marilou D., 53 born, raised and still living in Olympia, Washington and part time in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  I'm recently married with an 18 year old son.  When I'm not running or cycling, I work in Web development."



Nicole B., "Hello!  I'm Nicole B., 32, married to my wonderful husband Greg -two years this past August! He is NOT a runner but knows that running is what makes me tick, and rarely complains! Basically, he is a saint!  I have an 8 yr old stepdaughter named Alyson and she rocks. She gets mad sometimes when I won't take her running with me!   She's a cutie pie and we have a lot of fun together.  I am born, raised and still living in Dracut, Mass.!  My area of expertise... Running. And running shoes. And running clothes! Oh, and I teach Financial Education so I'm kinda good with that!"




Nicole Z., "Hello!  I'm Nicole Z. 42 originally from Philadelphia, PA but now residing in Rhode Island with my husband and 2 children!  I was a flight attendant for 10 years and stopped flying to stay home with my kids.  Now I work a few hours a week in a preschool, volunteer at our church and also my kid's school.  I started running at 39 and thought I would be finished after my first 5k. I was hooked crossing that finish line and never looked back."


Sandra L., "Hello!  I'm Sandra L., 38, married with 2 awesome kids Piper and Brock.  Originally from Villanova, Pennsylvania, I now reside in Monroe, New Hampshire.  My professional life encompasses Social Media Marketing, Blogging, and most importantly Being a Supermom.  I have always had a love for spandex! First it was ice skating and then rowing (in both high school and college) and now running and triathlons."


Sandy S., "Hello!  I'm Sandy S. 45 and married, originally from Marquette, Michigan but now residing in Rochester Hills, Michigan with my husband and new border collie, Kirby.  I'm a retired police officer, now working at Hansons Running Shop I’ve run 30 marathons and 15 ultra marathons, some highlights include two 100 milers and 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 days.  I’m also working on running a marathon or ultra in ever state, I currently have 26 states done."


Shannon C., "Hello!  I've been writing as long as I could hold a pencil. I discovered at a young age that I was gifted with a talent to string words together in an amazing way.  I've since branched out to a love for fitness. Between the end of 2008 and August 2009, I lost 80lbs and later took on running. I hope my love for running, fitness and healthy living can help inspire others."



Tiff M., "Hello!  I'm Tiff M. a 39 (almost 40 YIKES!) Iowa native, but raised in southern Kansas.  I currently reside in the Twin Cities, Minnesota with my husband and 3 kids.  When I'm not on "hockey mom" duty, I'm a Wellness Coach.  My athletic endeavors are to participate in the 2015 Half Ironman Racine AND the 2015 Ironman Wisconsin."







Jennifer G., "Hello!  I'm Jennifer, wife and mom of 3 living in Massachusetts..."

(Story TBA)



Jette across the finish line

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/12/2014 12:15:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

At the Diva expo in Peachtree City, Georgia, I was determined to purchase a running skirt for this race.  I wanted to sport a skirt with my Team RWB (Red, White and Blue) sports bra for so many reasons. To represent women Veterans, to represent determined healthy moms, and to represent me as a strong woman.  As I tried it on at an expo, I felt all my insecurities creep into mind (that was not a part of my big plan).  A lady in the locker room supported me to overcome my limitations.  She said, " you’ve worked for that body- sport it, you earned it."  She had no clue of all my ideas but she was right, I bought the skirt. Between her and my friend who supported me 100%, I bought the skirt and figured at least I have one now.  Silly as it sounds, I had let an insecurity come back into my life. My idea of empowerment became more frightening than I imagined. The women surrounding me helped me to stamp out insecurities and redeem my confidence.  That is not all though… The race began and I felt great. As I continued to run at about mile 8 I realized I hadn’t needed to adjust my attire once and I didn’t feel I was chaffing anywhere!  I reached for my fuel and it was easily accessed again, I did not have to readjust at all.   Most EVERYONE will tell you don’t wear anything new the day of a race, my experience was the opposite of most people.  I finished the race with a personal record, I had no chaffing, and I finished with confidence!  Though I had envisioned not wavering in my empowerment, what happened was much better.  The women around me helped me overcome my own limitations and I found a brand I could wear without worrying about the common small things that really become a nuisance.

Tips for gaining self-confidence. Lessons learned from running.

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 11/12/2014 10:57:00 AM | 0 Comments Run



Find self confidence!
Change your attitude. Change your life.

Last week I did something that I never thought I would be able to do. I was one of the speakers at the Vermont Specialty Food Network Fall Meeting. The topic–Blogging and Social Media and the Specialty Food Niche. As the meeting date moved closer I was informed that there would be 80 people in attendance.  At first this number was immediately anxiety producing.  The first place my mind went was to standing in front of a large roomful of strangers and having them all staring at me and me standing there frozen with fear.  I quickly realized that this attitude was not going to get me anywhere. I can be the queen of self sabotage. The perfectionist within is always trying to hold me back from achieving the goals that I am dreaming of. Now it was time to take the self-confidence that I have learned from running and apply it to my “real” life!

It’s time for an attitude change.

I realized that I had said yes to this opportunity because I knew that I had the confidence to be able to do a fantastic job. I just needed to able to find my inner confidence and allow myself to shine.

Let me share with you what I did differently this time when faced with a challenge and how I found personal success.

Tips for gaining self confidence. Lessons for life learned from running!

  • Train for it!–the preparation of my Power Point and practice of my talk was my “training,” the talk would be the race.
  • Visualize and take deep breaths–This always helps before a race so why not before getting up in front of a group of strangers to talk?
  • Anticipate any bumps in the road–During a race you can encounter problems such as cramps, or dehydration but if you are thinking ahead you can take measures to prevent any problems that may occur. I came to my talk prepared with a hard copy of my talk and a copy on my flash drive.
  • Use the nervous energy for a positive outcome–At the start of the race I always have a rapid rush of adrenaline. The same goes for talking in front of a group of people. I decided to embrace the energy and to use it as enthusiasm and energy for my talk.
  • Warm up– At this speaking engagement I warmed up my speaking muscles by talking to a few people about my blog, what I had prepared to speak about and how I got into blogging. Talking helped me to feel more relaxed and comfortable before I got up to speak.
  • Know the course (or in this course know your audience)–You would never go to a race without knowing the distance or having a general idea of where the course goes. Before speaking I did a little research about the members in the group that I would be speaking too to understand what they might be interested in learning about as it applies to blogging, social media and their specialty food business.
  • Set new goals for yourself and go for them!–When it comes to racing I have let go of fear and take on the challenge of meeting my goals. I decided that there was nothing to lose being a speaker and that I should should embrace the experience and share what I know.
  • Ditch the negative self-talk–How many times have you second guessed yourself at a race? How many times have you told yourself I can’t do it? I am done with negative self-talk.  Changing the words that I tell myself before I go to do something big like a race or a speaking gig completely changes my entire attitude. Positive talk can be life changing and a huge confidence builder. I highly recommend trying it!

How do you build self-confidence? Do you have any tricks that work for you?

Organic Runner Mom