Thursday, June 15, 2017

Skirt Sports 13er & Ambassador Retreat 2017

After the amazing time I had at last year's Skirt Sports Ambassador Retreat, I knew I had to make it again this year! In fact, I am so thankful I live within driving distance of Boulder so that I can easily make this happen most years! It's such a fun event, and a whirlwind of a weekend catching up with friends I've met throughout the past three years during my time as an ambassador for this great company. Not only is it a blast, but it is always so inspiring to see how positive and uplifting the women's running community can be!

Skirt Sports once again did a great job organizing such a wonderful weekend of events, complete with some incredibly inspirational speakers! I'm not the best at words (I've said it before and I'll say it again - I started this blog mostly to share pictures - you just got stuck with listening to me blabber along the way!), so I encourage you to check out a fellow ambassador's blog for a more detailed account of some of the awesome speakers we heard at: Rural Running Redhead (I mean, her post's title alone does a much better job describing the awesomeness of this weekend)!

Essentially the weekend consists of three day's worth of activities: a cocktail reception on Friday night, a very full morning of hiking, breakout sessions, and speakers on Saturday, culminating in a 5K/10K/Half Marathon race on Sunday. It's busy, exhausting, but totally worth it!

FRIDAY: Cocktail Reception

Friday actually ended up being much more than just a cocktail reception this year, as I ended up meeting up with Mary, a fellow ambassador and friend that morning for some exploring around the mountains before we made our way to Boulder. It actually worked out perfectly, as she had come out early to stay in Vail for a few days and knew I would be heading right by there on my way to to Boulder! I ended up picking her up in the late morning, and we went and checked out Breckenridge for a bit. She had wanted to see "Vertical Runner" - America's Highest Running Store, and a sister store to her Vertical Runner in Ohio. We also got lunch and then stopped off at a few scenic area's along the way, including Vail Pass and Loveland Pass!

It's definitely still winter at 12,000'!

Of course we had to get a running selfie along the way!

After all of our fun detours, we eventually made it to Boulder around 4:30. This left the perfect amount of time to get a little (or a lot of) shopping in before spending the rest of the evening catching up with everyone, enjoying (and participating in) a fashion show of some of next season's products, and hearing some great speeches by the incredible Nicole (founder of Skirt Sports) and wonderful Noelle (Community Outreach Director...aka the person who helps with all things ambassador related!).

That's a lot of Skirt Love!
Practicing my modeling skills! ;)

SATURDAY: Ambassador Hike & Breakout Sessions

On Saturday I carpooled into downtown Boulder with some friends staying in the Louisville area. We set out first for a hike around Settler's Park / Red Rocks Trail before meeting back up for some breakout sessions which included 4 wonderful speakers, a yoga session, and lunch by Mad Greens. Our speakers for the day were Maria Uspenski from The Tea Spot, the famous Mirna Valerio (her blog FatGirlRunning is very well known - and she's coming out with a book this fall!), Mary Sutter (who I spent Friday with and had excellent Social Media tips), and Dr. James Rouse the founder of Skoop. They were all such great speakers, this day left me feeling so inspired and upbeat!

My hiking group (they had 4 groups of at least this size to tell you how many of us there were!)

Getting a selfie with the famous Mirna!

SUNDAY: Race Day!

Sunday was Race Day... I was one week out from my goal marathon of the year, so I had a set way I wanted to run this. Easy for the first 10 miles, and then pick it up for the last 3. It worked out very well, especially since there is a giant hill from Miles 6-8 (wouldn't want to be going for time up that!). It's also just a beautiful course so I enjoyed taking pictures, chatting with people and just having a good time with it.

I loved this sign that Rural Running Redhead had!

These views though... 

Attempting to get a jumping picture...didn't work out that great!

Surprise: I ended up 2nd in my Age Group!

Distance: Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)
Weather: 60's at the start, into the 70's and sunny
Elevation Gain: 562 Feet
Gun Time: 2:03:46
Chip Time: 2:03:39
Average Pace: 9:26
Overall Rank: 30 of 183
Gender Rank: 30 of 183 (women's only race)
Division Rank (F20-29): 2 of 14
Splits: 10:20, 9:42, 9:12, 9:47, 9:31, 9:03, 9:20, 10:15, 10:59, 9:16, 8:17, 8:36, 7:43

After the race I stuck around for about an hour cheering friends on before deciding to run back to my parents and shower before the post-race brunch! The brunch was new this year and what a perfect way to end the weekend!

Thank you SO much to the sponsor's who helped make our ambassador weekend amazing:

Good thing I had these Skirt pockets to hold all my goodies!

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