My First Flight with Oiselle
When I went to bed Friday night, I pulled it from the drawer where I keep my running clothes. When I woke up Saturday morning it was hanging up in my bathroom, right where I left it. I put my contacts in, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and stared at it. Was today the day? The first day I was going to wear it outside the house?
“It’s just a shirt.”
I told myself that to take the pressure off. But if it’s just a piece of clothing then why in the world do I have such mixed emotions about it?! Finally, I decided. Today is the day. Today is the day that I will wear my Oiselle singlet in a race.
I joined the Volee in October and have run in 2 races since then. I tell myself that I don’t know why I waited until Saturday to actually wear my singlet, but when I really think about it I know. There are so many amazing runners wearing this name. How will I keep up? Who am I to think I can run with these woman who are breaking records (personal records, U.S. records, and world records) every time they step out there? What impact do I have next to other Oiselle women who are destroying stereotypes? Who are tackling 340-mile races together? Who are racing Boston next week?! Who am I on this Oiselle team?
I don’t know what it was, but something about Saturday morning made me feel like it was the day. I signed up for the race at the last minute. I knew there would only be 1500 or so people there so it didn’t feel like a big deal. This wasn’t my goal race either and I think that took the pressure off.
It’s all pressure I’ve put on myself. I want to do the team proud, but mostly I want to do what I set out to do. I’ve never felt like I need to be fast – that’s not what running is about for me. But I do want to do my best. I want to PR every race. I hate finishing a goal race (or anything aside from an easy run) where I didn’t finish on my own terms.
All the things came together for me on Saturday. I don’t know if it was the weather, the fact that my friend Hannah was there with me, or the soft pretzel I ate for dinner the night before, but I was ready.
I was treating the race as a test to see if I could keep my race pace goal for the whole 10 miles. (My goal for the Flying Pig Half is 2:10:00 which means I need to keep a 9:55/mile pace with hills.) I figured 9:55/mile for the 10-miler was a good indication that I’m on track. I decided that the plan would be to stick with the 10:00/mile pacer until we finished 7-8 miles and then see how I felt.
It felt effortless.
I quite literally felt like I was flying.
I kept waiting for the pain. For the hard part. For my mind to start playing tricks on me and telling me that I couldn’t do it. It never came. Every time I even considered slowing down I looked at my best running friend, Hannah, and at my singlet and thought, “I think I can go a little faster.”
After mile 8, we decided to go for it. We passed the 10:00/mile pacer with ease and just slowly kept increasing the pace. I don’t know how, but mile 9 was over in 9:19 and we ran mile 10 in 8:53. That just doesn’t happen for me. Most of my training time is spent pushing a double stroller at a pace between 10:30 and 11:30/mile. We ran 10 miles at an average of 9:44/mile! How in the world did we have enough left to finish that fast?!
A few yards from the finish line I heard “go Oiselle!” from the sidelines and I knew I’d done it. I’d finished exactly how I planned and I know this means great things are possible for my half marathon in 4 weeks.
Who am I on this Oiselle team?
I’m a runner. I’m a wife. I’m a friend. I’m a working mom. I find time to train in the early morning, at lunch, and long after everyone else has gone to bed. I’ve pushed a stroller over hundreds of miles. I’ve run in the rain, snow, storms, and heat. I’ve quit a half mile into a run. I’ve run miles longer than I planned.
Who am I?
I’m a teammate. I’m me. And I fly with Oiselle.