Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Run Like a Diva Retreat 2013

My dream finally became a reality.  The first annual Run Like a Diva Retreat was held in Madison, Wisconsin on May 5, 2013.  I had envisioned this event for the past two+ years and the day at the Goodman Community Center finally arrived!  We gathered more than thirty active women from the Madison-area and beyond for a full day of active and informational session.
It was a hoot to meet people that I had conversed with on RDM, but had never met. It was fun to also meet virtual coaching clients in person.  And, of course to reconnect with former Couch to 5K participants and friends.  We had all levels and abilities attending, just as advertised. 

We started the day off with an overview of how I became a runner and eventually a running coach; which was followed by a wonderful keynote presentation by Jess from Run with Jess (HERE).  She gave some great advice for mothers and non-mothers, that juggle it all.  She also touched on weight-management and staying motivated.  Many of the women commented that the keynote session was the highlight of their day.  You can read Jess' Run Like a Diva Retreat Recap (HERE)
We offered three active sessions throughout the day, followed by a three mile and five mile run at the end of the full day of programming. 
Zumba by Melissa Ganshert
Runner's Yoga by Katie Schwartz
Intro to Bootcamp by Becky Ingebrigtsen from A & B Fitness Concepts (HERE)

Our registration and coffee hour was hosted by Lazy Jane's Café in Madison.
Our breaks throughout the day were hosted by Klarbrunn Water / Wispak and Honest Tea.
Thank you for keeping us hydrated ... and caffeinated!

Over the lunch hour, we offered a "runner's buffet", complete with carbs, Nutella and other healthy runner's favorites.  We also hosted a mini expo over the lunch hour.

There were several informational sessions held throughout the day.
Footstrike / Running Form by Jim Stintzi, UW Track & Cross Country Coach
Speedwork by Jim Stintzi, UW Track & Cross Country Coach
Injury Prevention and Stretching by Dr. Jeff King of LSM Chiropractic
Post-Run Stretching by Kathleen Conklin of Body Conscious
Mid-afternoon we also hosted a fun cupcake party with giveaways for everyone attending.  Everyone went home with something great - race entries, medal hangers, running apparel, spa gift cards, books - you name it!  Everyone went home very, very happy!!

Part of the group stuck around for the group runs at the end of the day.  We ran along the Olbrich path and towards the Wisconsin State Capitol.  It was a nice way to put in a few miles and get to know some of the participants better.

I really had a lot of fun hosting this awesome event with my friends, mentors and supporters - Jim and Gail, the co-owners of Catalyst.  Catalyst is an Activewear store on the near-East side of Madison that specializes in fashionable gear-to-go. I like to describe their store as a hip, runner's boutique for women.  You feel comfortable and welcome as soon as you walk in the door.  They also sell men's active apparel.
All participants also went home with some great swag bags, filled with Run Like a Diva Retreat Bondi Bands, Zym tablets, ChapStick, three pairs of Sof Sole Socks, Luna Bars, Body Glide, My Race Stickers and Nailpolish from Sundara Spa - and discounts galore!!
I learned a lot from hosting an event like this and a lot more about what people hope to learn from a fun-filled day like this.  I was surprised that many people primarily attending, just to meet some other active women in the area.  It was fun seeing them connect at the retreat and afterwards.  I hope that some new running buddy relationships have formed.
We are looking forward to the Second Annual Run Like a Diva Retreat in 2014!!  Stay tuned for more details.  We want your input!!


  1. I plan to sign up for 2014! That looks like so much fun!

  2. Sounds like so much fun!! You did a great job hosting and putting it all together!! Congrats on a huge success! :)

  3. Sounds like this turned out to be everything you dreamed of and more! SO glad it went over so well!! Excited for you!! :0)

  4. Congratulations! I read Jess' recap and thought it looked like a lot of fun!

  5. What a great idea! If I still lived in WI I would have come for sure! :)

  6. I love this idea and wish that there was something similar in my area. What was the most challenging part for you to get this retreat up and running?