Why I Run: Nicole DeBoom

Nicole at 22 weeks pregnant, rockin' the Skirt Sports outfit

Some of you may know Nicole DeBoom as the creator of the running skirt: She won an Ironman triathlon sporting a skirt. She’s since grown skirts into her beloved company, Skirt Sports.  Nicole is nearly six months pregnant with her first baby—we’re so happy for her and her hubby, professional triathlete Tim DeBoom.

Why I ran then.

When I was in 6th grade, I ran because cross-country was the only sport that 6th graders were allowed to do. In high school, I ran the 800 meters so I could contribute to our 2-mile relay team. In college, I ran for a variety of reasons: to cross-train for my swimming career; for general vanity (I liked how my legs looked when I ran!); and so I could continue my glorious weekend partying ways without gaining too much weight since swimming isn’t really known for keeping the ladies lean!

Nicole looking strong, about to win Iron(wo)man Wisconsin.

After college, I ran whenever I had time to fit in a workout. Some days, I would come home at night from a temp job, throw on a heavy winter jacket with a strap-on reflective vest (just like crossing guards wear!), and go for a nighttime run in the dead of winter in Chicago. I think that’s when I officially fell in love with running; I think that’s when running became a lifestyle to me.

For a while, I ran for a living. I spent six years as a professional triathlete. I thought it was the coolest job I would ever have (I didn’t know that Skirt Sports was just around the corner!). Yes, there were days I didn’t love running, that I simply went out there and got the job done. But for every bad day, I had another that was off the charts. It was during those years when I learned how to push my limits. Running taught me more about my body than anything else I’ve ever done.

Why I run now.

I run because it’s accessible. I throw on my shoes and hit the roads. It’s that easy. No clunky bicycle to lug around the country (for $200 round trip). No hassle to find a public pool with lap swim availability. No expensive health club fees. Just me and the pavement.

I run because it clears my mind. I have my best ideas while running. I also have some of my worst ideas! It was during a run that I had the most life-changing idea of my life so far--I had the idea for Skirt Sports, smack dab in the middle of a dreary mid-winter training run.

Another mother runner after our own heart, looking feminine and fit

Today I run because I’m pregnant with my first baby and my body is like a foreign object. Running keeps me in tune with it. I run much slower (20 pounds will do that to you!). I need more water (dehydration is a big no-no!). I am not a great conversationalist (can’t breathe!). I need to stop more frequently (bladder calls!).  But I can still run. In fact, I feel best when I’m out there shuffling along.

I like to think I’m getting my Baby Girl accustomed to the life of an endorphin junkie. No pressure, she will be free to explore her world on her own terms. My only true hope for her is she finds something as wonderful and meaningful to her as running is to me. And when she finds it, she will feel right at home.

I run to give back to other women (and Baby Girls!), in the hope that they too will find strength, power, and confidence from such a simple act as putting one foot in front of the other.

I run because it’s part of me.

17 responses to “Why I Run: Nicole DeBoom

  1. Nicole, just wanted you to know how much I love, love, love your skirts!!! I have the GymGirl (in pink of course!) and have worn it for all my long runs this summer as I’ve been training for my first marathon. The little pockets are perfect, but the best thing is the length. Just exactly long enough that my thigh chub doesn’t get chafed. Thank you, thank you for the best, most perfect running skirt ever!

  2. Thanks to my pregnant hormones, I’m crying while reading this post! And I just bought my first skirt for my half tomorrow morning. It is the most comfortable thing I ‘ve ever run in (pregnant or not!)

  3. Beautiful post! I ran a bit with my first pregnancy but stopped about half way mostly out of fear. I wish I knew about all of you inspiring prego running mamas then, but at least I will for whenever round two comes along 🙂
    Congratulations! And happy running to you and your baby girl!!

  4. @ shelly, mine too!!! Makes complete sense!! I ran until month 8. He is insanely active and non stop energy!!! He’s 3 1/2 but way more go get um attitude than most. Some times it really drives me nuts , but ya know what I wouldn’t want it any other way!!!

    Hope to get myself a skirt soon!!!! Training for my first half in October and I hope to be sporting one then!!!

  5. Aww, we called our 4 year old “Baby Girl” before she was born as well. Now 16 weeks pregnant with #2 and doing my best to maintain running, so far so good 🙂

  6. I love to run although limited, didn’t start this til later in years. LOVE Skirt Sport clothes, which I started buying for biking. BTW, pulled a muscle in my upper right leg, right where the leg and buttocks meet, still tender after 2-3 weeks, want to start light running again, but painful, any input????

  7. I love that! “…I like to think I’m getting my Baby Girl accustomed to the life of an endorphin junkie.” Now my youngest son’s behavior makes complete sense! I ran through his pregnancy too…a lot. So tonight we he tries to jump off the top of his big sister’s bunk bed, I will remember that I created him that way. He is simply trying to get his endorphin fix! 😉

  8. Thanks for running while pregnant! I was able to run until 25 weeks and exercise until I was 30 weeks! Only 8 more to go to baby girl comes and I am so thankful that I had others out there like you to cheer me on! You go girl!

  9. I am thankful you run, and I’m thankful you get those good ideas when you do. Had you not run that day, we might all be out there running in masculine basketball shorts or sweatpants.

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