skirt sports

I vaguely remember enjoying going to the mall and visiting store after store to buy clothes, shoes and accessories.

I gave up those fun trips when I had to bring a baby and/or toddler along, instead turning to very-quick trips to one store where I grab a bunch of things that look like they might fit, try them all on and walk away with one item.

Fast-forward a decade and a new hobby and I rarely step foot in a store (except to buy running shoes). After some trial-and-error, here are my most-favorite places to spend a chunk of my salary:

  1. runningwarehouse-logo1Running WarehouseI typically get all of my non-clothes gear from Running Warehouse because they have great prices, free two-day shipping, free return shipping and lots of options. I’ve ordered some clothes from here, too, and everything has worked out great. I always start with their sale items for the best deals.
  2. skirt sportsSkirt Sports. I’m an ambassador captain, which means I represent the company and get a generous discount, but I am telling you that they have the absolute-best running clothes. After saying I would never run in a skirt, that’s all I wear now. They also have tights and capris, plus lots of tops. Why do I love Skirt Sports? The quality and fit. In the you-get-what-you-pay-for category, I wear and wash my gear multiple times per week and it all still looks like new. You can get 20 percent off your next order with the LCR20 code.
  3. playmakersPlaymakers. My local running store is absolutely the best for running shoes for my whole family, plus all of my fuel and my favorite SmartWool socks. This particular store has a 30-day return policy, so you always know you’re going to end up with the best possible fit. The customer service is also fantastic and I often run into runner friends while I’m shopping…bonus!

It’s a short list, I know, but I’ve tried getting some gear at Target (their Champion brand wears well), Marshall’s (I’ve found some Reebok and Nike gear there) and JC Penney (never again; it was super scratchy), but I’ve come to realize that sticking with a few brands works best for me. I don’t have to spend time traveling to the store, browsing and trying on clothes, then getting something that I just didn’t love.

Sticking with a few choice brands has meant I know what size and style will fit properly, plus they’ll last longer.

And who doesn’t like to stalk the postal carrier to see if your package has come in yet? (Or is that just me?)

Today’s topic was brought to you by the Tuesdays on the Run link-up with runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life andMarcia’s Healthy Slice.

What are your favorite brands and the best place to find them?

As evidenced by the fact that I can’t stop talking about them, I’m both a Skirt Sports and Michigan Fitness Foundation ambassador. I’m proud of both of these organizations and all that they stand for.

sponsorship image for PinterestFor the purposes of this week’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice, I’d have to say that my next dream sponsorship would be a tie between Brooks Running and SmartWool.

And not just because my favorite SmartWool socks recently died a horrible hole-y death and I need a replacement. See?

My favorite SmartWool socks have died. RIP.

My favorite SmartWool socks have died. RIP.

It’s because I use their products and have genuinely found them to be the bestest of the best. (If you’re reading this, oh, Brooks and SmartWool marketing reps looking for a brand ambassador, pick me, pick me.)

Here’s why I’m so genuinely enthusiastic about those particular brands: Quality.

The hole in my sock notwithstanding, those socks are super soft, don’t ride up or down and — wait for it — never stink. Never, ever. A product for runners that doesn’t smell is basically magical (think unicorn) and worth every penny.

My Brooks have all survived many, many miles before getting retired with no break-age or breakdown. I currently wear both the Ghost and their trail running cousin, the Cascadia. Both reliable work horses.

Brooks Cascadia worn with SmartWool socks, of course.

Brooks Cascadia worn with SmartWool socks, of course.

And since my big-deal-whoopie goal race this year is a trail ultra, I expect to put a lot of miles on both of those models, which will need replacing.

How about you: What brand would be your dream sponsor?

This week’s dinner menu

by lachicaruns on

I had one of those weeks when I met every single one of my training plan goals. I went out for each of my scheduled runs, even doing a couple of them a bit speedier than usual.

This morning’s eight miler was especially good, starting with what felt like fresh legs, a mostly sunny day and great company with my friend Janet who was sporting her new Skirt Sports Redemption capris in the Tantrum fabric. After seeing the fabric in person, I’m smitten and can’t wait to place my next order in April. As for the Redemption capris, let’s just say some of the other ladies could not stop complimenting how Janet’s, ahem, assets looked. Another win.

tantrum 3_19_16

Really loving the Tantrum print.

We started at Hawk Island Park in Lansing, Mich., heading to Potter Park Zoo before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue at the pedestrian bridge and then running along the river.

river shot 3_19_16

Red Cedar River in Lansing.

It went grrrreat.

tiger 3_19_16

We went out about four miles before heading back, but not before visiting my second-favorite rock in Lansing.

It was a great day to run indeed.

It was a perfect day to run indeed.

And now I’m sitting at a local Biggby coffee shop, hiding from my grocery shopping responsibilities while my favorite 16-year-old takes a test at her high school. Thanks for giving me a legit reason not to go to the store right now when I’d much rather go home and take a nap.

And for doing me that solid, here’s this week’s dinner menu:

What’s on your menu this week? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run asks: You can only wear one running “uniform” for the rest of the year. What will it be?

Why is this even a question? Because this week’s link-up hosts runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice, apparently want to torture us, that’s why.

A “uniform”? How’s a chica to choose in the Michigan tundra where the state motto is “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it’ll change.”

Woe is me, right? OK, fine, I’ll play. For practical purposes, I’ll go with a base layer with a few added items as needed.

SHOES

My Brooks Ghost fo’ sure. They’re super comfortable, accommodate my orthopedic inserts and are work horses. Their trail running cousin, the Brooks Cascadias, rock, too.

My newest Brooks Ghost.

My newest Brooks Ghost.

SOCKS

SmartWools, without a doubt. They work year-round, have never given me a blister and last seemingly forever.

13erBrooks

My favorite SmartWool socks with my favorite shoes.

BOTTOMS

Skirt Sports Lotta Breeze capris. I really appreciate that the bottoms are built in, have a slight compression feel and have a skirt to cover your, ahem, assets. I do represent Skirt Sports as an ambassador captain, which means I get a generous discount, but I can highly recommend these bottoms without any bias.

The skirt doesn’t get in the way at all and the tights have these really nice pockets that fit my iPhone 6 with a Lifeproof cover, plus hold several packets of gels. (You can get a 20 percent discount at Skirt Sports with the code LCR20.)

As I’ve said before, another beautiful thing about the Skirt Sports bottoms is that they don’t shift, won’t give you any chafing issues and also won’t give you a wedgie.

Lotta Breeze Capri in Free Love.

Lotta Breeze Capri in Free Love.

TOPS

I’m not as married to my tops as I am to the bottoms. I am perfectly happy wearing a tech shirt from a race or a Champion T-shirt from Target.

I also have several zip-up hoodies that I like, with my favorite being a Reebok hoodie I picked up almost four years ago at Marshall’s. The thing doesn’t even have pockets, but it’s got a lot of wind resistance, reflective tape all along the zipper, it’s warm and the hood stays put without drawstrings. It also has not absorbed my overpowering stink, a feature I do not take for granted.

My most-favorite Reebok zip-up jacket.

My most-favorite Reebok zip-up jacket.

How about it: what’s your go-to running uniform? Is there an item you buy multiples of in case they aren’t produced anymore?

I’ve recently learned that Skirt Sports has new patterns and I think I’m in love. Or lust. Let’s just say I’m coveting a few of these puppies.

Emerald City Happy Girl

Emerald City pattern.

First, there’s Emerald City. It’s got blues and greens reminiscent of the ocean in a repeating pattern that hints at a kaleidoscope.

One of my favorite skirts (the Happy Girl) and my favorite capris (Lotta Breeze) come in this gorgeous new pattern. There’s also a visor, the Electric Tank top and the Gym Girl Ultra skirt.

I’d like one of each, please.

Speaking of wants, the company has just released a limited-edition pattern called Psyched. If you’re looking for a bottom that will match just about any of your tops, this may fit the bill. It’s got reds, blues, pinks, greens, yellows, purples, oranges, black and white.

Both the Happy Girl and Gym Girl Ultra skirts will be featured in this print starting Sunday. (Psst: Try ordering it tonight, as I saw it on the website.)

Psyched Pattern.

Psyched pattern.

Speaking of colorful patterns, I recently ordered the Lotta Breeze Capri in Free Love. It’s not quite as colorful as Psyched, but it holds its own with lots of blues, greens, pinks and black. I was skeptical of the print until I saw a close-up, ordered it and liked it even more in person.

There are more items in this pattern than the limited Psyched, including the visor, Gym Girl Ultra skirt, the aforementioned Lotta Breeze Capri, Redemption Capri (these are tights without the skirt), Lioness skirt and the Eclipse Tank.

Free Love pattern.

Free Love pattern.

Skirt Sports likes to release patterns and new items each season and I have to tell you that I’m super excited about this spring’s collection. I tended to gravitate toward solid colors (read: black) but these new patterns have me experimenting.

This is where I tell you that I’m a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain. That means that I get new products to try, a generous discount and — bonus for you — a code I can share so you can get 20 percent off regular-priced items: LCR20. All opinions are my own.

So, what’s on your short (and growing?) shopping list as far as gear goes for the coming spring? Please let me know in the comments below.