It’s been a while, but it’s good to be back!
First and foremost, olé volée! I am happy to announce that as of this Summer I am running wild for Oiselle‘s amateur (emphasis on “amateur”) racing team aka Oiselle Team aka Volée. I cannot wait to rep the women’s running apparel company that is so much more than that.
Rewind to circa 2011 when I received my first Oiselle tee as a birthday gift from a friend who heard from another friend that this small women’s running apparel brand is the sh*t. I liked the tee featuring “26.2,” but wasn’t convinced that the tee was running material. So, into the pajama drawer it went.
When I joined Twitter that year, I started following Oiselle. I finally realized that my 26.2 tee wasn’t just for sleeping in and I placed an order so I could check out a few other items from their line. Cue falling in love with their freakin’ cute– not to mention sweat-invisibility-cloaking– apparel. Bye, bye old cotton race shirts as run staples!
Beyond Oiselle’s apparel, I was blown away by their general badassery and determination to cultivate a community of runners who encourage each other to “run fast, take chances” and keep their “head up, wings out.” No matter if you are on their racing team or not, it all came down to the love of running. All were welcome in this diverse “come one, come all” club. They were– and still are– creating a new girl’s club.
So, when I heard there were spots opening up on their team last Summer, I clamored to apply… and was super bummed when I received an e-mail about a month later saying that I wasn’t accepted. But! I took the team manager up on her invitation to keep in touch with the hope that the following year would be my year.
A phone call in early May confirmed that this year is indeed my year to join a team of women who inspire me to fly fast every day. (Is this real life?) I am so very honored to get my wings and can’t wait to race in the Oiselle Team singlet!
Joining a racing team begs the question: well, how’s that running thing going? Returning to running after a seemingly interminable calf injury has been rocky to say the least. Ups and downs, progress and setbacks. But, I’ve been working freakin’ hard (we’re talking daily PT exercise routine for 4+ months and counting) and learned a ton about what it takes to build a strong, healthy runner body. My mainstays? Relentless optimism and dwelling in positivity. And a healthy dose of stubbornness.
After months on the AlterG alongside PT, finally getting the OK to run outside, and then returning to the AlterG again, I am happy to report (knock on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, etc.) I am finally starting to run outside FO REALZ. Right now, it’s only 1.5-2.5 mile sloooow runs with two strength training days in between, which translates to about two runs per week. The pain is not completely gone, but has decreased to the point where running short distances is manageable. I’m not going to lie, I do have those days when my calf hurts more than usual and I wonder if this whole recovery has been a wash. But, any running is good running at this point, so I’ll take it!
It all comes down the pure joy of flying, feeling my lungs burning, constantly challenging myself, defying my perceived physical and mental limits. So, here’s my big, scary goal: I’m hoping that with a smart, conservative return to running, I’ll be able to race a 5k in the Fall. It will probably be slow and the recovery of my injury trumps all, but this is what I’m setting out to do. And, after that, who knows? Whatever it ends up being, I’ll always be dreaming of returning to 26.2…
What big, scary goals are you chasing?