It has been a year since I joined the Oiselle Volée team and became an official Brobird. I still haven’t had the chance to put on their colors and toe a starting line, so why am I re-committing myself to this team today? Because being apart of a team isn’t about what is spread across your chest as you stride around a track or down the street, it is leaps and bounds beyond that.
Being apart of team is about supporting each other and being supported. Oiselle is the full embodiment of supporting those who support them (and then some). I have always been a huge fan of Oiselle ever since I was first introduced to them a little over 3 years ago when a friend jokingly suggested their Distance short to me (for those that don’t know, Oiselle is a Women’s only athletic closing line). What I learned about the company in my search for the shorts really struck a chord with me. Not only did I find a perfect pair of shorts with more than enough pockets to hold all my belongings needed for a full marathon, I found a company that focuses its energy on driving the needle for Women in track / distance running. There aren’t many groups out there that do this, much less a full company. Most of the people that I look to for inspiration in running and life are fearless Women, something that Oiselle is full of. From our fearless leader Sally, to the professional Haute Volée team we look up to and all the ladies that make up the entire flock, Oiselle Volée or not, you are what make being apart of this team so inspirational.
Oiselle Volée Mission: To create a sisterhood of support at a variety of levels from beginners to professionals, from the roads to the trails to the track. We are committed to fostering a team that challenges, supports and empowers runners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Each of our stories are interwoven into one collective voice and that voice is behind every mile and every individual flight.
I am a Brobird for life because I am proud to be part of something bigger than just a logo on a racing kit and a few message boards. I am proud of the community and the company that is championing for their amazing athletes and all Women in sports. That is why I am making it a point to toe the line this season with the Oiselle kit on my back and race my heart out for the Flock.
These past 12 days have been amazing. I don’t think I can express how transformative it was to witness the greatest athletes compete to represent USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Pictured above are 2 of the highlights of my trip. On the left I was able to meet Alexa Efraimson whom is someone that I have always enjoyed seeing race and looked at for inspiration. After taking a hard fall and fighting back to get into the top 6 of her heat and make it onto the next round she finishes 3rd in the semifinals. It takes more than just strength to do that, you need heart and determination. On the right is one of the most familiar faces in track and field / distance running, Bernard Lagat, who finished 1st at the Olympic trials to become the 5k champion at the age of 41. His love for the sport is unmatchable and I was honored to finally get to meet him and exchange a few words.
Above is Brenda Martinez taking charge and leaving no doubt to the fact that she will be in the 1,500m final. After a horrible fall in the 800m final which was devastating even for the crowd that witnessed it she makes the team the hard way and doubles back to compete in 3 1,500m races. She ended up throwing herself over the line to take 3rd and the last spot on the 1,500m team. This is probably one of the most exciting races I saw and really gave me the urge to get my racing legs back under me. To say that seeing these 3 athletes compete was inspirational would be an understatement. What got me to actually start going to races and push myself was seeing how hard these class-A athletes would push themselves. I won’t be at a Class-A level but I can sure as hell take a cue from them and push myself to my limit.
Last but not least I closed my trip to Eugene with a pilgrimage to Pre’s Rock. This place has a special air about it that cannot be explained. If you don’t know who Pre is you need to start Googling him and have your life changed. He was one of the most influential runners for Track and Field. He continues to have an impact on so many people’s lives and has had an influence on mine since I first found out who he was and how he raced. Just standing here and remembering him lit a fire in me to get back and always give my all.
While in Eugene I went over a few things with my coach and we decided that I should start setting up some smaller goals that will help me track my progress to becoming more consistent and getting back into my racing shape. This 12 day retreat was a perfect time to level set and take a deep hard look at where I was / am / want to go. I’m more fired up than ever to get some new PRs. Here are the short-term goals for all to see so I can be held accountable:
Always use a Garmin to keep better track of my runs
Have 3 straight weeks of running 4+ days
Be more consistent and stay true to my scheduled plan
These shoes have witnessed more miles this year than any others in the past 2 years combined. That isn’t saying much as the past two years I never got out of the double digits for the whole year but it’s a start. Gad to finally be getting out the door and on my feet. Now I’m just hoping that I can keep it up. Yesterday’s run wasn’t a pretty one, in fact most of them haven’t been recently, but right now that isn’t the point. Just getting any kind of miles in is a win in my book.
Have my first track workout coming up and it should be a good one. 10 minute warmup followed by 2 mile of straights and curves. Lately my stamina has been non-existent but I’m not focusing on what I used to be.
(Side note) I also took the plunge and bought myself a pair of Women’s Lululemon tights (Inspire Tight ii (Mesh)). I was looking for Men’s but they didn’t have any in the store. I don’t care what anyone thinks, tights are tights and these felt amazing so if it fits… It was a little weird at the store since I did get nervous and told them they were for someone else so I wasn’t able to try them on but I was glad they fit when I home (phew).
Finally made my way back on the Town Lake trail in Austin after a LONG hiatus. This was the place where I first fell in love with running a few years ago. Today I was reminded why.
There is really nothing quite like retracing your footsteps down a trail that means so much to you after some time away. The Town Lake trail was a place that I used to visit religiously. I would spend hundreds of miles over thousands of days contemplating everything and nothing at all at the same time as I’d push myself further than I ever thought I could around a lake at the center of Austin Texas. It was here where I’d push myself during my first few runs ever to run 3 miles without stopping. From the very first time I stepped foot on the trail all I wanted to do was discover what it had in store for me as I discovered a few things about myself.
Over the past year I haven’t stepped foot on the trail and the year before that I can’t say I’ve spent more than 5 miles on it in total. Until yesterday. I was reminded of a lot of things about myself and why I started running. Some of it was therapeutic but most of it was trying to see how far I could push myself. When it started it was about completing the 3 mile loop, then the 10 mile loop, then trying to see how fast I can do both. I haven’t felt the desire to do this in quite some time and I’m glad to finally have this feeling back.
A lot of you probably haven’t followed me from the beginning of my running journey through my old blog but I used to be this running fiend always thinking of my next running fix. After a short while it all stopped and I am now trying to bring all the pieces together and continue to focus on the drive that I used to have. It is days like yesterday where I see glimpses of it. I stop focusing on what is going on at work or the fact that my miles are 3 minutes slower on average than usual. I even forget that I’ve put on quite a few pounds over the past months and just focus on my breathing and putting one foot in front of the other like the old day. Pushing forward (literally) and seeing how far these crazy legs can take me.
And boy have they flown by. I miss the me above. It’s been extremely hard lacing up and getting out the door lately. Has anyone else felt this way? Every since I was roughed up at the beginning of last year I just can’t see to get my legs under me. I haven’t been running much at all like my old self and that is a little bit of an understatement. It is not due to the lack of me not wanting to run but it is mentally and almost physically impossible to walk out the door and get a run in. I miss the way I felt when I was running, I missed the thoughts I had while on the trail but most of all I miss surprising myself.
I need draw a mental line in the sand and get out there. My racing flats deserve another chance to be out on the road. I owe it to myself to break my half marathon PR. But there is still hope. I have an amazing coach and an awesome team of supportive ladies. I need to remember how far I’ve come. I need to remember that I have a team behind ready to rally me on.
It is not about only feeling the good feelings but feeling the entire spectrum. I am beginning to realize that I am scared of failing more and more each day. It’s been a long time since I ran and I’m scared of finding out just how out of shape I am. I miss running more than ever right now.