Skirt Sports Blog

Locked and Loaded

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/29/2014 04:05:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

I’ve waxed poetic a number of times about the Skirt Sports Happy Girl Skirt. I LOVE those skirts! So, when Skirt Sports reached out to me to try out one of their new running bras, I jumped on the chance.  I love what they do for my thighs, so couldn’t wait to see what they’d do for my "girls".

I’ll admit that I’m cheap when it comes to running bras.  I've been firmly in the uni-boob, smoosh 'em down camp for most of my running career.  When I actually had a rack, thanks to nursing?  I just smooshed them with two bras.  And I was pretty much ok with that.

I have seen the light.

kelly_bra

The first thing to note here is that the bra has shape even when it's not on. It’s very lightly padded with a bit of structure to it and a back closure.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about that once it was on.  After all, I'm used to running in these:

running_bras

Yeah, total lack of structure. Just smoosh 'em down.

Turns out, I had no issues with the structure.  The Kelly Bra was actually extremely comfortable.  In fact, I basically stopped noticing it at all after a few minutes (something I can say about all of my favorite non-running bras).  But, how would it function on the run?  After all, I didn’t feel completely squished.  I was afraid that I’d find myself bouncing around on the run.

Skirt_sports_bra

Nope.  I've now run in the bra three times and washed it three times.  I had zero bounce, there was no chafing at all, and I was comfortable all the time – even on the super sweaty interval run I did in the Virgina heat and humidity.  Even better, the bra still looks like new.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 1.58.06 PM

Would I buy one with my own money?  Yes, but we all know I’ll be waiting for a sale LOL.  I'd really like a couple of white ones.  Why?  Because we all know I am much more likely to exercise when I put on a running bra first thing in the morning. 

cleavage

Look!  I still have cleavage! The Kelly bra actually looks good under 'real' clothes, so I've just increased my likelihood of running on days when I have morning meetings tenfold.

So, yeah, two thumbs up (or is that two boobs up?) for the Kelly bra from Skirt Sports!

Check out Erika's (aka MCM Mamma) Blog here!

 

The Swish of the Skirt

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/27/2014 01:57:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Rebecca S.
Desoto, Kansas

New Year's Resolution.  2010.  Best friend.  It wasn"t even my resolution.  I was talking with my best friend and she had decided that 2010 would be the year to run a marathon.  I questioned her sanity because she hadn’t even run a ½ marathon.  Her theory was to run the farther distance first and then every other shorter distance would be easy.  The rest of the night I tossed and turned trying to decide if I should join her in this challenge.  With the support of my husband and kids, I told my friend that I was in!  

With my pile of books from the library about marathon running and many searches on the internet, I learned that when long distance running, there is an uncomfortable issue many people experience:  Chaffing.  That sounded terrible, so I decided that my old cut off sweats and basketball shorts would not be sufficient for a marathon.  
Compression shorts.  That is what I needed.  But I hated the look of compression shorts no matter how practical they are for running. More internet research.  Finally I came across a little company in Colorado called Skirt Sports.  The skirts were cute and they met my needs of compression plus coverage.  I ordered the basic black, loved them, and completed my first marathon without the dreaded chaffing.  I have moved on from plain black Gym Girl Ultra to a variety of colors and lengths.  How did I ever run in the winter without my Tough Girl Pants?  My husband knows better than trying to give me flowers on our anniversary or my birthday.  It is always a new skirt for me!

Boring story, right?  But my love of running skirts doesn’t end here.  Enter daughter #2 and #3.  2014.  One morning, two of my daughters decided they wanted to start running. Super!  As a lifelong runner, I love when people appreciate my sport.  We started running a few mornings a week together.  Once I saw they were quite serious about running, I popped the big question, "Would you like a running skirt?"  In unison, they shouted, "Yes!"  My girls love their skirts as much as I do.  How do you explain how a skirt can give you confidence?  Is it the swish of the skirt as you run down the road?  With our skirts swishing, we talk about their day, their fears, and their dreams.

My hope is that when my girls are grown and gone, I will see a new skirt and just know it is their style.  I will order it and mail it to them.  When they receive the package and put on that skirt, they will smile and remember all the times we had together pounding the pavement.  They will be confident young women with the energy to tackle the world.  They will hear that swish and know how much their mom loves them.
Thank you Skirt Sports!

A Winter Plan

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/27/2014 11:49:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

Keeping my fitness focus in the chill of winter- Skirt Sports Ambassador Lisa W., Wheatridge, CO
 
I hate to say goodbye to warm weather. Summer and fall are two of my best friends. We spend a lot of time together, dressed in bright, fun outfits, going for long runs, or leisurely walks. I can put on my favorite Skirt Sports outfit to run races, or meet friends for wine on a tree-shaded patio.  
 
But, when the seasons change, the leaves turn and fall, and the days get short and cold, I find that winter and I have a very different relationship. I don’t enjoy winter's company.  Time spent outside is as fleeting as the daylight hours. I huddle and hide indoors, and I basically pout for the season. My winter wardrobe turns bleak; a puffy palette of grey and black.
 
This season, I hope to turn winter into a friend. Here is my plan: celebrate the small stuff! Genius! I plan to adapt to the cold with shorter, more frequent workouts. I plan on taking more dog walks, running shorter distances, such as '2-mile Tuesday,' or '1-mile Wednesday.' I plan to spend just 10 minutes on the treadmill, perhaps twice a day. I won’t feel guilty for not getting in the longer workouts that summer affords. I will add a fitness class to my week.
 
To beat back the blahs, I am adding more color to my winter wardrobe. I recently poured over the new skirtsports.com website. Among other items, I got the Heartbreaker Skirt in black and Arya, and the Gear Up jacket in Bordeaux, yes, Bordeaux! I hope these small changes will help me look forward to this long, dark season and maintain my fitness focus.   
 
If, like me, winter takes a toll on you, I encourage you to make a simple plan, one that includes small changes to your winter routine, such as short, more frequent workouts, or adding color to your winter wardrobe. Let’s make this winter fun, fashionable, and fearless! I’ll see you out there!

Sometimes you just have to CELEBRATE

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/27/2014 11:37:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Skirt Sports Ambassador Tiff M., Woodbury, MN

Sometimes we need to reevaluate our goals. 

At least that is the situation I found myself in at the end of this race season.  After a sprint triathlon, Olympic triathlon, Tough Mudder, and Half Ironman I couldn’t deny it anymore, I WAS DONE!  Both mentally and physically I was burnt out.  All athletes have a drive, a "fire in the belly" (as I like to call it) and sadly my fire was smoldering.  I needed to regroup and figure out what I was going to do for my next race the Chicago Marathon.  Honestly I had never had this feeling before in all my racing years.  Never had I felt like I didn’t wan to race.  Never had I gone into a race without a clear and precise timed goal in mind, but I knew this would have to be different.  I really had all intentions to race this marathon, but after a long miserable run a few weeks before the race all that changed.  My goals needed to change.  No longer would it be about time.  It would be about fun and CELEBRATION!!!  My new goals were to high five as many kids as possible a long the race course.  To listen to all the music and crowds along the way.  To try and read every sign I could.  To cheer on others that were struggling next to me.  Thank every volunteer I passed.
No watch,no timer,no pacer, no ear buds blaring music for me.  I was going to celebrate every step, celebrate my health, celebrate my life, celebrate being a strong woman, wife and Mom, celebrate a beautiful city with beautiful people, celebrate the very present moment I was in.  

And you know what?  I did!!!  And I loved every minute of that 26.2 miles.

My Virtual (Ultra) 10 on 10

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/27/2014 11:00:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

Last fall my friend Mike Foote asked me if I wanted to do his race. He said, "It’s going to be really hard."  

    Mike Foote is one of the best and toughest ultra runners in the country. When he says "really hard" you know he’s not messing around.

    I made an uncharacteristically sane decision and said no. Then he asked if I wanted to work at an aid station. It took me a nanosecond to say yes.

    In its second year, The Rut 50K attracted 500 of the top runners in the world to Big Sky resort in Montana. It was the finale of the World Skyrunning series. For the second year, I spent the day working the aid station at the summit of Lone Peak, essentially a big pile of rocks at 11,000 feet.

    Anyone who’s ever done a hard trail race knows that the experience depends on the kindness of volunteers who are willing to give up their time, energy, comfort, and often warmth, to help runners. When I signed on to work the second edition of the race, I told Mike I wanted to be in charge of the aid station. I have ideas about how these things should go.

    Fans of this niche sport would, I knew, be thrilled to see the rock stars like Killian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. But I wanted those runners who were struggling at the back of the pack to be treated like elites as well. I assembled a team of people who made sure that no one had to refill his or her own water bottle and that each runner was greeted like royalty after running 20 hard miles.

     After the last runners came through, I still needed to get my Virtual 10 on 10 Run in so I’d decided to run the last third of the course.

      It took me 3:18 to run 11.4 miles. According to my GPS watch I started at 11,028 feet, went up 2,055 and down 5,549. My pace for the first two miles was 28 minutes. Each mile. It was like running on dinner plates that slipped and slid and sometimes jumped up behind you and hit you on the calves, butt, or head. As hard as it was, I kept telling myself that the runners in the 50K had to tackle this terrain after they’d already run 20 unimaginably hard miles.

     I caught up to the folks who were dead last in the 50K. First a guy from San Diego who was, not surprisingly, struggling with the elevation of these big Montana mountains. Then I passed two big, strong, athletic, and hot (by the way, all men who run ultras are hot—it’s one of the pleasures of the sport) from nearby Bozeman. I told them they had 45 minutes to go 2.2 miles to get to the next aid station before the cut off.

     On a crazy steep uphill where there were ropes for safety I caught up to Shannon, a civil engineering and environmental studies major from Montana State University. She said she was done. I told her she was wrong. She was moving strongly and she could do it. After that, she picked up the pace and made it to the next aid station fifteen minutes before the cut off. She pointed out geological features of the terrain for the few miles we ran together.

      A guy named Dave was wearing a tee shirt from the Missoula Marathon, my favorite race. I had led the 4:10 pace group there in July. We knew people in common. Montana is a small town. On a nice downhill I met Christian from Atlanta and asked him if he’d ever done the races in Virginia directed by legendary badass, David Horton. We talked about the Mountain Masochist 50 miler and joked that it wasn’t nearly as hard as The Rut 50K. The sport of ultrarunning is a village. Nine miles into my run, 29 miles into his, I fell. Christian helped me up and told me that he was running with a paralyzed diaphragm. He’d gotten amoebic dysentery at a 100K in Nicaragua in 2012 and still didn’t have full lung capacity.

      In the last mile I caught Joel. He had done the race the year before, when the weather was terrible but the course was easier. He’d trained all year to better his time but his knees hadn’t cooperated. He was disappointed. I told him what they say in endurance horse riding: to finish is to win. Sometimes it’s important to remember that.

      When I met up with Tomas from Pittsburgh I asked him how he’d heard about the race. He said read about it in Trail Runner magazine. I said, "Hey, I wrote that piece." It had come out in April. The race was in September. He said, "Yeah, I got in off the waiting list in August. Didn’t have a whole lot of time to train.” At the end, after I watched him finish, he told me that when I’d caught him he was ready to quit. My words of encouragement got him to the finish line. He couldn’t have done it without me, he said.

      I know that’s not true. I’ve led pace groups at many marathons, and have accompanied a number of runners during the last 20-40 miles of 100 mile races and what I know is this: they could of course do it on their own. I also know that something that’s easy for me to give—words of encouragement, help with a water bottle, a bunch of lies ("You look great!" "You can do it!")—can be of incalculable aid.

      A number of years ago I accepted that I was never going to get any faster. That’s the reality of running and of aging. The first time I paced someone at a marathon I learned the cliché that all students who are forced to do community service understand: it feels great to help others.

       As a writer, I think the word "multitask" is ugly, but on September 13 I was able to accomplish a whole bunch of things at once: I spent the morning working with friends to offer aid to runners of The Rut 50K; I got to run beside a half dozen folks who’d already been out there for 10 or 11 hours on one of the toughest courses in the country; and I got to run my Virtual 10 on 10 to celebrate the anniversary of my favorite item of sports apparel.  

      As hard as my Virtual 10 on 10 Run was—and believe me, it was a hard run—I kept in mind my mantra: This is what we do for fun.

      At this point, I no longer have goals for my own races. What I want to do now is help get others to the finish line. And to the start.

Skirting on the Slopes

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/24/2014 05:37:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Jodie Lee, Broomfield, CO

For my 35th birthday, I decided I'd run my first half-marathon as a gift to myself and my border collie who looooooves running with me!  Right after a 10-mile training run on an August afternoon in North Carolina, I popped into my office for a hot minute when my co-worker spotted me thoroughly soaked in my cotton tank top and shorts.  Some of you are shaking your heads, but I just didn't know better!  Honestly, I didn't...
She suggested I try a Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra running skirt and I laughed at her, "I'm soooo not running around town in a skirt!"
Thankfully, she persisted and brought one of her skirts for me to try and I was hooked!!!  I've tried other brands of running skirts since then and they've fallen short of my high expectations: they ride up, they have inadequate storage, they fit poorly, and on and on.  I'm a true believer in Skirt Sports and have been wearing them exclusively since 2009!!!  They make me so happy, I wear them every day.  Shockingly durable as they are, I've never retired one item of my Skirt Sports gear, so I have a vintage collection.  :)

Probably, the most unusual way I skirt is on the slopes, Snowboarding in my Tough Girl Skirt!

In 2011, I took up snowboarding in Colorado and started using my Tough Girl skirt as a base layer under my snow pants.  Rather than leaving the skirt tucked in, I flip it outside my snow pants and this makes me most happenin’ on the slopes!  Guys and gals slide up to me all day long, asking about my skirt!  Where did I get it?  Is it meant for winter sports?, etc.  The Tough Girl skirt keeps my tush warm and happy, even on the lifts!  Best of all, my husband can easily spot me among the masses of people ‘cause I'm the only one wearing a skirt!

I skirt in so many ways, as a Runner (Gym Girl Ultra), Swimmer/Snorkeler/Diver (Rolldown Skirt as a cover-up), Hiker (Ice Queen Jacket), Zumba Instructor (Lotta Breeze Capris), Swing Dancer (Wonder Girl Dress), Errand Runner (Serendipity Dress) and I wear my oh-so-comfy-how-can-it-possibly-be-so-perfect Skirt Sports visor ALL. THE. TIME!!!  

Thank you Skirt Sports for your functional, fashionable, fabulous clothing!!

My Superhero Cape: The Kelly Bra

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/23/2014 03:05:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

I did my first ever 5K in March 2014. I knew I didn't want to do it in shorts (and I really knew jeans and boots wouldn't work!!). I am bit on the, ahem, large size, which explains my disdain for shorts. A friend told me about skirts. A skirt? Really? Isn't that just for tennis? Well, when I went to pick up that first race packet, I wandered around the expo. And there I found the cutest black & white print skirt ever! I now have two Skirt Sports skirts and love them!!

And then there's my Kelly running bra.  My superhero cape. The Kelly Bra was exactly what I was searching for. I ride horseback and have tried sports bras, but I hate the gymnastics required to get them on. Plus, they don't really provide any support. When riding, I just gave up and went back to regular bras. Then I started running.  At age 50, out of shape, and with a few extra pounds - I knew I HAD to have support. So the search began. I had pretty high requirements: good rigid support - and clasp in the back. I believe I heard angels singing when I first discovered the Kelly Bra on the Skirt Sports web site. Of course I had to have Bra Bling (the cute print, interchangeable straps) to match my skirt.... The first time I put it on, I knew I would never wear any other bra for running - or riding again.  It really has become my superhero cape! I can be feeling really crappy with no desire to get outside sometimes, but when I put on my Kelly Bra, Bra Bling and all, then all of a sudden I can't wait to get going!

Oh - and that 5k back in March? It hooked me so good that now I'm training for the Louisiana Half Marathon in January!

Stacy LB.

Houston, TX

 

Enjoyable Running: A Whole New World

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/20/2014 11:46:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

I don't have a "runner's body."  I'm curvy, and overweight.  I'm exactly the person who should be more active. But the athletic apparel companies don't seem to make running clothes that work for women shaped like me. Athletic clothes actually made the whole process more uncomfortable. Running shorts would ride up and leave my inner thighs chafed. Compression shorts under the running shorts prevent chafing, but don't help the issue of the shorts constantly riding up.  I would make it about 20 steps before I had to do some weird side-stepping while I pulled the legs of the shorts back down. Running capris stayed down, but I felt so exposed with skin tight fabric stretched across my ample backside. Slowly trudging down the street when you are learning to run is embarrassing enough without worrying about awkward running clothes.

I tried a few running skirts before I found my Skirt Sports skirt.  I loved the idea of "chafe proof" shorts covered by a skirt, I just couldn't find a style that actually worked. Some [companies] put slip-resistant seams on the shorts, which didn't prevent them from riding up and only added to the chafing.  Others didn't even bother to try to make the shorts stay down.

Running with my first Skirt Sports skirt opened a whole new world of enjoyable running.  For the first time I wasn't fussing with my clothes as I ran. The skirt provided modest cover for real compression shorts that actually stayed in place. The hidden pockets were a bonus that allowed me to do away with the uncomfortable arm band I had been using for my phone and keys. Somehow the designers had even created a waistband that stayed in place without ever feeling like the skirt had a waistband.

My collection of Skirt Sports gear has grown because I won't settle for ill-designed athletic clothes any longer.  I wear my skirts for walking, biking and yoga class. I will even admit to wearing my skirts to the office on days I know I need to wear comfortable clothes -- and they always get positively noticed.

Thank you Skirt Sports.  Your commitment to a quality product has helped make being active comfortable and enjoyable. I still don't have a "runner's body", but I went from being a woman who didn't like running, to a woman planning for her second marathon.

Jennifer V.

Atlanta, GA

Stop Cleavage Chafing - Skirt Sports to the Rescue!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/20/2014 10:13:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

When I won Ironman Wisconsin in 2004, I employed a trick of the trade that I'd utilized many times before. I shoved some gels down my swimsuit - in between my barely-there breasts. I have affectionately named this "special area" Cleavage Alley and I love it for a number of reasons:

  • It's very easy to access.
  • When anchored by a support bra, it is generally a low-bounce area. This applies to all cup sizes, not just A-cuppers like me.
  • It's pretty safe. You can almost guarantee that people will not be sticking their hands down there to steal your stuff.

For years I used Cleavage Alley to stash my energy gels during races. I usually crammed two gels down my swimsuit, and only a few times did they slide all the way down to my crotch!

After I started Skirt Sports, I broadened my athletic horizons and decided to enter the New York Marathon in 2005. It was an awesome event. I wore our original TRIKS Marathon Girl in Shiny Latte (anyone remember that one?!), some performance tee (we didn't make tops in our first year), and a basic jogbra.

I remember 3 things about the race:

  1. I ran my fastest-ever half marathon and it felt easy (I think I went out in 1:26).
  2. I ran my slowest-ever half marathon and it felt like death (I think I came home in 2 hours).
  3. The space between my breasts was chafed raw after the race.

I wasn't worried about the catastrophic bonk. I would surely improve on my marathon result next time. Actually, I later realized that after racing Ironman events for so many years, when I signed up for this marathon, I didn't take it seriously enough. It was "just a marathon" after all, just one little segment of a 10 hour Ironman event! But that's another story.

No, it wasn't the run I cared about. Instead, I was devastated by the condition of my special, sweet, perfect Cleavage Alley. If there's one spot on our bodies that we want to keep pristine, it's right between our treasured breasts. Yes, there are other wonderful spots, but we can't see them as easily, so they don't get as much attention. But our breasts and their beautiful Alleyway are up front and personal, every time we look in the mirror.

Sadly, my ingenious cleavage storage compartment strategy had backfired this time. Because I wasn't constantly dousing myself with water (like I did during triathlons), and because my bra actually had an elastic support band (unlike my standard swimsuits), my energy gels with their sharp little edges were trapped in place, constantly rubbing against the insides of my breasts.

After the marathon, while applying Neosporin to my wound, I started brainstorming ways to avoid this horrible disfigurement in the future. It suddenly hit me - a protective fabric barrier!

I immediately started developing a pocket BUILT INTO the shelf bra of our upcoming Triathlon Tank. We officially launched the Skirt Sports Cleavage Alley Pocket in 2007 in our Multi Sport Collection.

Today, you can find Skirt Sports Cleavage Alley pocket in virtually every style we make that has a built-in shelf bra. Don't worry ladies, Skirt Sports has your back - and your breasts!

 

261 Woman: Shannon B.

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 10/15/2014 03:52:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Shannon B.
Dimondale, MI
Homemaker/Mother/Foster Mother/Woman

As with so many runners I began running as a way to take control in an otherwise uncontrollable world.  When I began, I couldn't run a mile.  I could hardly run for 5 minutes straight.  I didn't want to run a marathon, that was crazy!  I thought a few 5k races every summer and I would be golden.  For the first 2 years of my running I was adamant!  There is no way I was ever going to run a marathon.  I am a mother of 10 children, 5 girls and 5 boys, nine of which are adopted.  In addition to my own children I am a foster parent, having over 26 foster children in my home over the years.  I did not have time to take a minute out of my day to spend on myself.  How dare I even think about worrying about myself when I have all of these children to raise?  As the months went on I began to increase my running from a couple minutes to 10 minutes.  The next thing I knew I could run a mile without stopping, then 2 miles, then a whole 5k!  I was unstoppable.  Along the way I realized that I am not taking time away from my family and children.  It is not selfish of me to take care of my physical body.  Being able to run gives my a healthier body and with that body I am able to provide my children with more quality time.  In addition to the physical benefits of running I am gaining mental and emotional strength.  The close friends I have made over the years have helped me run farther and faster.  I am able to go for a run with my friends and that is my time to improve my mind and body.  I am teaching my children that physical and emotional health are an important part of a well rounded person's life. 

As a mother of girls I am also tasked with teaching them to be the best woman they can be.  As women we will not be forced to make compromises.  There is nothing a girl or a woman can not do.  Through running I teach that to my daughters.  I show them that daily I am a priority and I will not accept second class status and if I want something I deserve the right to work hard and achieve that goal.  I am showing my children, especially my daughters that there is nothing you can't do.  It is unfortunate in this sport that there are still people that look at women and girls as second class.  I am not going to see being a woman as second class.  I love being a woman, I love that I can do anything I want.  I can participate in any sport I want and I do so celebrating my womanhood, not hiding it. 

One early morning I was gathering with our local running group ready to put in some miles.  That morning I was wearing my brand new Serendipity dress (even more special because our youngest daughter's name is Serendipity!).  One of the men in the group approached me and asked me why a running skirt wasn't enough?  Why I felt the "need" to wear an actual dress.  I very politely explained to him that I loved my new dress and I was going to run in whatever I felt comfortable to run in.  He has never mentioned any of the women wearing dresses or skirts again.   I proudly wear skirts and dresses almost every time I run or bike.  I do not and I will not allow my feminine side to be hidden.  Being able to show our tough and hardworking side is just as important as being  comfortable and feeling good about yourself.  Wearing a dress shows me and anyone around me that I may be tough and hardworking but I'm also a proud woman.  I do so proudly!   It wasn't long after I decided that there was no way I would run 26.2 miles that I realized that there was no way I was not going to run 26.2 miles.  Not only was I going to run 26.2 miles but I am going to take control of my body and I am going to dictate to my body and environment what I am capable of.  At this point in my running I have run at least 6 half marathons, (was a pace leader for 1 half marathon), 4 marathons, 2 triathlons, 1 50k ultra (wearing my skirt sports dress, the Sexy Back I believe) and 1 40mile ultra.  And I am not stopping there.  And every step of the way I am going to celebrate being a woman!