Thanks to social media (i.e. a deluge of Twitter and Instagram posts!), you probably know I was down in Berkeley, Calif., this past weekend for the annual LUNA Chix Summit. This event serves as the official kick-off for the Team LUNA Chix season, which runs from April to October.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Terra Castro, a friend from high school who just happens to be a former professional triathlete and current LUNA sponsored athlete, invited me to check out last year’s Summit. Just one day with these incredible women, and I was hooked. I just knew I had to be a part of what they were doing.
Why? Well, there a lot of inspiring (read: bad-ass) athletes in this crew. But — more importantly — as much as they’re into challenging themselves, they’re equally as committed to supporting and motivating other women to get active in a non-competitive environment.
So fast forward one year, and we’re launching a team here in Portland. But it’s not about us, even though we do have our own athletic goals that we’ll be striving for throughout the year; rather, our weekly workouts are about YOU, your goals and providing a platform with which women can connect with one another.
Our goal is to set an example in the community as a running team that supports ALL fitness levels. Regardless of if you’ve never run a step in your life or if you’re a super-seasoned marathoner, we’d love to have you join us and help empower each other to be active, healthy and happy.
Our workouts are Monday evenings from 6:30-7:30 pm, rotating between a few locations (check our Twitter & Facebook pages for details, and — shameless plug — please follow & friend us!). Our first one, though, will take place on April 6 at the Lincoln High School track in Portland. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to share a few highlights from the weekend…
Team leaders arrived Thursday so we could get down to business first thing Friday morning. We chatted about the brand, our goals for the season and best practices from the more established teams.
We also heard from ladies at the Breast Cancer Fund, which is our charity partner. Little did I know, they’re not so much about fighting breast cancer as they are about preventing it. They gave a fascinating talk about how you can reduce your risk by reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation.
By early afternoon we were ready to get out into the sun, so we met outside for an easy four-mile shake-out run.
After we showered up and changed, we headed over to Clif Bar & Company headquarters for a tour and dinner. This company lives and breathes the philosophy that “every day is an opportunity to do something that matters.”
Not only are they working to create a more sustainable food system by being responsible with how they source ingredients for their products, but they also are actively working to reduce their ecological footprint, be it by subsidizing the purchase of hybrid vehicles, using solar power to run the office or incentivizing employees to bike to work.
The food was also nothing short of amazing. Megan, being a Registered Dietitian with her own nutrition company, was particularly impressed with the spread.
I, however, was even more excited about the dessert table with treats from Snickerdoodle Sweets. The owner, Tiffany, talked to us about being a female entrepreneur and pursuing your dreams, and then she lead us in a fun cupcake-decorating competition.
By Saturday morning, our sugar highs had subsided. We started the day with yoga before settling into some more training sessions — this time with the larger group of team leaders and members.
After learning more about team dynamics and tips for new teams throughout the morning and early afternoon, we broke up into categories by sport and prepped for afternoon activities. Of course, I couldn’t resist another workout with Terra, so I headed to the track for her clinic!
We had a blast doing 400’s with the LUNA professional and sponsored athletes. We weren’t running close to what I’d imagine their usual pace(s) to be, but it was thrilling running alongside them in the workout…and it’s that same feeling our team hopes to give to everyone who joins us on runs.
Unfortunately my darn SI joint was acting up again, so I opted out of the aqua jog clinic. Instead, I went to San Francisco Run team leader Dr. Heather Maxwell’s clinic on foam rolling and stuck around after to pick her brain for tips on how to keep strengthening my sleepy glutes.
By then it was time to shower up and head to dinner. Our guest speaker was the President & CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund, Jeanne Rizzo.
She’s as entertaining as she is informative, and her talk was one of the most memorable moments of the weekend, as it was last year.
After Jeanne spoke, we enjoyed watching a series of poignant short films, all of which are featured in this year’s LUNAFEST lineup. LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for and about women — and they did not disappoint; I highly recommend checking it out, if it comes to a city near you!
Sunday morning, we had the choice of easing in with yoga, Pilates or a run mechanics clinic. I opted to pick up some more trip from Terra on exercises to help get your body get into better running form (fingers crossed for those SI issues).
Then it was time for the wrap-up run, so Megan and I decided to sport our new LUNA kits on our six-miler. The tanks were really comfy, and I’m excited to get the rest of the team decked out for our season!
About an hour later, we arrived back at the hotel — drenched in sweat, on a runner’s high and slightly sad that our 2015 Summit time was coming to an end. We showered up and ate lunch with the LUNA athletes and our fellow team members out in the sun before bidding each other goodbye until next year.
The good news, though, is that our enthusiasm coming our of Summit is about a 12 on a scale of 1-10. So get ready, Portland, because it’s going to be an exciting inaugural season as we embark on this adventure together!
Not in PDX? Don’t despair; there’s a good chance LUNA’s got a local team in a city near you, so click here to check.