Five Reasons I love the Redemption Capri (gear review!)

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador. I wrote about it a while back and still love being a part of the movement. In addition to the message it sends women (#RealWomenMove) about getting out there and accomplishing dreams and goals, the products themselves are very well made and fit all body types – and that is pretty awesome! They are made for women, designed by women and the company is great about taking feedback into consideration (they even have a “sewing room” where you can submit ideas and if others like it, you’ll see it made!).

One of my favorite products is actually not even a skirt, it’s the Redemption Capri! Here’s 5 Reasons Why:

1. They are very adaptable – and work for multiple types of sports!
I love supporting and showing off Skirt Sports when I’m outside, but one of the activities I enjoy the most is rock climbing. You can’t wear a skirt climbing, even if there are shorts underneath. Frankly, it’s not safe – the skirt can get caught in so many places – and it looks quite ridiculous when you’re belaying. I CAN wear the Redemption Capris on the rock wall! No risk of fabric getting caught in an ATC (belay device).

Running in them (and other activities) is perfect as well! I am always working and coaching in them.

2. They come in multiple fun patterns
I have the Tantrum and the Safari Print. It also comes in plain black, Frolic print, and Enchanted print. See Skirt Sports to see all their patterns.

3. They slightly compress
I LOVE this about these capris! They aren’t actual compression grade capris, and it could be that I bought too small of a size, but they feel slightly compression-like and  that is great for running!

4. Not too hot and not too cold
I wear these for running when it is between about 40 and 70 degrees. They keep you warm on those chilly runs when it’s not quite cold enough for pants. They are also  lightweight enough for the hotter days. Anything over 70, they are a little too thick to wear and I get overheated. Now, if you’re just wearing them out and about, they are just fine in hot weather. 😉

5. The back pocket comes in handy!
There is a small, zippered pocket in the back. It’s perfect for keys and a credit card/ID. They do have a new product out called the Pocketopia Capri that is almost the same as the Redemption but with MORE pockets. I find my Redemption Capri just fine, in terms of pockets. If I need extra storage, I have a handy-dandy run belt from SLS3.

If you want to check out the Redemption Capri, you can find them online HERE or stop by the store in Boulder, CO!

That one time I met Kathrine Switzer

With all the buzz about the Boston Marathon a couple of weeks ago, and Katrine Switzer running it again, I thought it was about time to publish this post.

It’s probably been about three years since this actually happened, I just never had a chance to write a post. I did have hand-written notes of what I wanted to post in a notebook stuck to a newspaper clipping about this inspiring woman my Grandma had sent me. Then I promptly forgot about it. I still this is a great story to tell.

Indeed, I did meet Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to official register and run in the Boston Marathon. This was before I was a Skirt Sports Ambassador and I had attended one of Skirt Sport’s Ladies Night Out.

Here’s what I wrote on my notebook paper a few days after the infamous night (with comments from today)…

The article my Grandma saved for me


I feel pretty privileged to live in Colorado. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca. It’s perfect for runners and with 300 days of sunshine, a ton of awesome athletic-related companies call Colorado home.

One of those awesome companies is Skirt Sports. A new trend to hit women’s running community is the running skirt (not so new anymore). Skirts Sports is owned and run by Nicole DeBoom. (If you haven’t seen a talk by Nicole, you’re in for a treat. She’s a great speaker, full of energy and a truly inspiring woman with a passion for being healthy, beating your goals, and making other women feel empowered). I have had a lot of exposure to Skirt Sports because they are (were) one of the sponsors for the 3W Ambassador Program (I’m am no longer an ambassador but an employee for 3W Races, a year after this, and Skirt Sports is now a title sponsor of one of our races!). Nicole has come to a lot of our parties/meetings with 3W and her story is awesome. I also have a few friends that work there or are ambassadors (my friends don’t work there anymore and I became an ambassador for Skirt Sports).

Nicole Deboom Talking

About once a month, Skirt Sports hosts a “Ladies Night Out” and has different free clinics, talks, workouts or runs. This week, they featured the amazing Kathrine Switzer.   I hadn’t been to one of these gatherings before, but I made sure to schedule everything around this event as soon as I found out about it. (They still do similar types of events.)

If you don’t know who Katherine Switzer is you need to google her right now (Seriously. I’ll wait. I’m sure most of you probably know who she is).

As you already know (or recently googled) Kathrine Switzer is the first woman to officially, with a bib and everything, run the Boston Marathon. She came to Skirts Sports to tell her story, inspire others and introduce the 261 Fearless Campaign (since this, the 261 Fearless Campaign left Skirt Sports and is with Reebok, I believe. Not a negative thing, just a business move).

First, Nicole Deboom gave a talk and introduced Kathrine’s story. Then it was time for Kathrine to talk. She started with how she started running. Originally, she had told her Dad that she wanted to be a cheerleader as she entered high school. Her father told her that she didn’t want to be a cheerleader because cheerleaders cheer for others. “You want people to cheer you! You can do anything,” Katherine retold her father’s words.

From that moment on, I was entranced. That really struck a chord with me as did most of her speech. After those encouraging words from her father, she started running a mile a day and went out for the field hockey team. It wasn’t until college that she started running longer distances. A friend of hers was training for the Boston Marathon and she decided to do it too. Her male friend swore up and down that women couldn’t do it but Kathrine was motivated and kept up with her friend and the training program.

As Boston got closer, she checked and doubled checked the rules. There was no official rule that women couldn’t enter, so she registered with K.B. Switzer, just like she always signs her name, while aspiring to be a journalist. She stated that she wasn’t trying to hide anything, she just wanted to run.

She lined up on Boston morning with the famous 261 bib pinned to her front. She said the guys around her were super excited she was there, telling her they wished their wives would run with them.

It wasn’t until the first couple of miles those famous pictures were taken. The race director jumped out of the bus and tried to pull her off course. He told her she was disqualified.

Here’s the best part: She just kept running. She knew she needed to finish the race. She needed to finish it for herself and for women’s running as a whole. That night, as she spoke, she said, “I started the race as a girl but finished a Woman.”

My favorite story of the night was about her last long run going into Boston. Her and her friend had just finished 26 miles and she encouraged him to add five more to be sure they had no doubts they were ready. After 31 miles she says to her friend something like, “Man, I feel great, don’t you?!” in which he just fell over and passed out.

She went on to continue to empower women through running.  “Training works,” Kathrine said, and she thinks talent is everywhere; “it’s just that the opportunity isn’t always present. The secret to success is to show up, do the work, have a goal, and if you’re lucky, have a buddy.”

Pretty much on the verge of tears the whole speech, I left feeling motivated, spirit rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world (I need to get that feeling back now). Her speech wasn’t just about running. It wasn’t about feminism or equal rights; I’m sure men would get equally inspired as well. It was about following goals, dreams, and passions. To me, it was about life and going out there to achieve whatever I set my mind to. Recently I have been feeling down about a lot of things: career related, relationships, friendships, and running itself.  I have a new view on all of that now. (I don’t know where I was at this point in time with running, but this was before my current full-time job and I remember just having broken up with a boy around this time as well. I was also having a lot of fallings out with friends as well for some reason).

For one, I know I HAVE to run Boston some day (I still want this so bad). Which means I HAVE to qualify – I don’t want to do the charity route. (While this is admirable and honorable to raise money for a charity, I really want to push myself to get faster and stronger and reach that qualifying time) and now I am super motivated.

Also, when it comes to all those other things, I’m ready to go out and do what I love, I’m ready to do what it takes to do that and I’m 100% devoted to being true to myself. (This did actually change in me. I started being way more assertive of what I wanted in all aspects of life and I fought hard to stick up for them.) A lot of that is personal and may sound convoluted, but the important part is it means something to me (true dat).


I bought her book that night (and got it signed) and I still have yet to read it. Maybe it’s time to take it off the shelf….

Get the book for yourself:

Patriot Day 5k – Post Race Recap and Unexpected PR

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Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “post-race recap.” I’ve been running a few races this year but haven’t really taken the time to review them. Since this blog is partly about running, it’s about time that I recap a race of mine.

This past weekend was a “holiday” of sorts to remember and honor those that served our country on that awful day 15 years ago. I was a freshman in high school sitting at my desk in earth science watching the news as the two towers fell down.

I will never forget that day and our country will always remember those that had fallen with the towers. The company I work for, 3W Races, holds a race every year to honor those first responders and military that were there that day and that continue to serve our country. The Patriot Day race started out as a 10k and 5k but this year we only did the 5k. Not being responsible for the production of this race, I decided to run it! Talk about perks of the job!

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This race is in Denver and around a beautiful park in the city, Sloans Lake. Being a super flat course (the most flat of any of 3W’s courses), I wanted to see what my current fitness level is by racing as hard as I could. I didn’t want to wear a watch, I just wanted to go off of feel. After getting this time, I plan on picking some running goals and deciding what I actually want to do with the sport.

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I showed up to the park pretty early, getting plenty of time to talk with friends and get a warm up in. One friend in particular told me he wanted to PR which would be a sub 25 minute 5k for him. He told me he wanted run with me, or at least keep me in his sights. I figured we could run together since my time would be somewhere around 25 minutes anyway. That’s what I’ve been running in recent races.

The whistle was blown and off we went. My friend and I ran pretty hard from the start line. I have a bad habit of starting off too fast, and even though I tried not to this time, I knew we were running pretty quickly! I don’t know even remember what the time was, but we were both shocked when his watch beeped at the first mile marker. I told my friend that it’s okay, we can still get that PR as long as we hold where we’re at.

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By mile two, he was still on my shoulder; I knew he was set up for a PR. I waved my hand up, holding a “one” on my fingers telling him we only had one more mile left. I pushed it a little harder, still feeling great.

Then, with three-quarters of a mile left, I looked down and saw my shoe untied! I swear I doubled knotted that thing and ironically, I was even thinking about shoes untying while running.  UUURRRGGG. Not stopping, I just became very aware of where I was putting my feet down at.

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I passed a group and they reminded me of the mishap but I still kept going. I passed my friend’s wife on the course and told her he was right behind me. Looking up, the finish line was in sight and I pushed even harder.

Noticing that I was finishing around 23 minutes, my friend was definitely in for PR. I looked back and there he was, flying in for a minute and a half PR! So excited, we high-fived and he thanked “Coach Vestal.”

 

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Feeling pretty good, I started thinking about my PR. I honestly couldn’t remember it, but had my phone with me. Checking my blog, where I record such things, I found that I had beaten my PR as well. I couldn’t believe it. I had not goal of a PR, just a fast race. I have been feeling super slow lately, and not as fit as I used to be, but I had indeed ran my fastest ever 5k! The best part, is I still feel room for improvement!

A PR kind of day, about half a dozen of us gotten PRs! It was awesome! We all got to take turns re-setting the time clock to our times, and took some celebratory pictures then headed to a local brewery for celebratory beers.

1st in my Age Group!

I was also 1st in my Age Group!

“To Be a Runner” – Book Review

PhotoGrid_1470008936201Are you looking for inspiration? How about a unique view about why we run? Or, are you looking for a fantastic reflection on your passion? Look no further! Martin Dugard has you covered!

“To Be a Runner” is amazing. Truly. By far one of my favorite running books. Actually by far one of my favorite books. Period. Written by Martin Dugard who writes professionally for Runner’s World, Sport Illustrated and Esquire as well as true-life novels. He also coaches cross-country and has a lifetime of his own running experience.

I had apparently read this book before, not remembering that fact until I was deep into the familiar words. I found quotes and bookmarks previously highlighted from my first read through and adding more as I read along. I don’t read many books more than once, and even after a second time, I’ll most likely read this again… and probably again….

What’s great about this book is there is a chapter, page or quote that will apply to every type of runner, at any given point in their running life. Reading it a second time, I am finding the previous quotes I highlighted don’t apply and I’m adding new underlines in places that I can relate to now. I’m willing to bet, on my next read through, I’ll highlight even more quotes, a different part of the book speaking to me.

Martin J. Dugard - AuthorI’m guessing the first time I read this book was before I was a cross-country coach. Now, reading through Dugald’s coaching experiences, I am finding excellent sources of  encouragement I intend to pull out and use with my kiddos like, “excuses limit us and prevent us from being the best possible versions of ourselves.

I’m also finding words to describe my love of trail running: “On those trails, nagging riddles and problems have a way of uncomplicating themselves, revealing to me in step-by-step detail how they might be resolved.”

As I read on, I find myself completely lost in this book…. smiling, crying, laughing, shaking my head in agreement. I find myself wishing I too could write like this to describe my life and love of running.

10814907One of my favorites quotes comes from the chapter “Run Date” where the author tells about how he and his wife catch up and get away together on runs: “The loneliness of the long-distance runner in overrated. Like all the best things in life, a great run becomes even more wondrous when shared with someone you love.” This quote is a perfect representation of my boyfriend and I.

I don’t remember quite what I got out this book the first time, but this time, I get the feeling that I’m not quite sure what I want from running. I fell like I’m missing something that the author has. I feel lost, but I want to find it again, that passion, so that I can write like this as well. I get the urge to get outside and find it, right now!

I will leave you with one last quote; this quote being pretty close to how I’ve been viewing the current running world and why I feel like an outsider:

One of the great downfalls of the modern running movement is how anal and joyless some of its leading voices have made it. Think of me as that great voice in the wilderness that says it’s okay to have fun out there.

Throw the logbook away. Stop pausing you watch at stop lights. Go right when you meant to go left.

Wander.”