Well, it’s definitely that time of the year when on the West coast the leaves are changing colors from green to red to orange, and some are even starting to fall from the trees! This time of the year is very nostalgic for me. For fifteen years I lived and breathed cross-country season as a high school coach. The last part of summer for both my husband and I consisted of re-evaluating our training philosophies, devising a general season plan of training and amidst all of that we could feel that “start of school type excitement” running through our veins.
When I stepped away from coaching, I could still feel those things a part of me as I watched Greg prepare his teams for the season. I love watching him plan their workouts, talk about their long run days, and peruse college cross-country results every weekend.
When I started at Oiselle two years ago, we had 30 some athletes on our team. I began following our women’s race schedules and results. Some of things I grew to love about coaching were also a part of our Oiselle racing team. Who doesn’t love the feeling of a team: when everyone truly cares how each other is doing and finds great joy in each other successes? Today with 250 women on our team I still feel that connection that we all have: the sisterhood that binds us - celebrating the power of running and how it can positively affect all aspects of our lives.
As I began my journey with Oiselle I started to understand a new reality within the running world, one that I had never truly lived before: the marathon world! Wow! What I began to understand as I read team applications each month, kept track of all of our current team members’ race schedules…is that there is a huge community of runners out there that love to run long…26.2 miles worth! This new world outside of 5k/6k cross country was inspiring, amazing, and full of complete bad asses!
My respect for all of these women grew exponentially the first year I worked at Oiselle. These women were putting in some serious miles, spending many hours devoted to their training each week, and at the same time balancing work, some families, and still so extremely dedicated! And here we are in October, the month of the most marathons! 650 marathons are scheduled this year, 119 of them in October! Marathon madness – heck yah!
So what do we have to look forward to in the next several months? Well amongst our athletes, some of the popular meetup’s for marathons are:
10/6 Twin Cities Marathon with Haute Volée Marci Gage.
10/13 Chicago Marathon: Sarah Mac and Melissa Gacek aiming for great races!
10/19 Runner’s World Festival
11/3 New York Marathon: HQ's mama bird Sally B and veteran fastie Susan Empey are leading a #oiselleteam pack!
11/17 Richmond and Rock and Roll Philly
11/28 Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5k: Lauren Wallace with her second race as a pro and veteran HauteVoléer Megan Rolland
12/1 Seattle Marathon/Half Marathon
12/8 California International Marathon: Melissa Gacek will be leading a fast group of Oiselle birds!
And let’s not forget about the Half Marathon! Since 2003 the half marathon has been the fastest growing road race in the United States. In 2012 60% of the US half marathon finishers were females: 1,110,000 female finishers. That’s a record folks!
As we are in the thick of marathon season, I am inspired daily by all of our team women and I can’t wait to celebrate in their joy of crossing that finishing line after putting their heart and souls into their months of training.
So, yesterday Jacquelyn, Sarah Mac and I took off on an easy run. Mac is in tapering mode for Chicago next weekend and Jacquelyn is fine tuning things for Victoria Half the same weekend. Myself? Just completed my fourth workout for Club XC Nationals. Yep! You heard it correctly…I am racing Club XC in Bend, Oregon in December as a masters runner. So, here I am – things have come full circle – XC season again!
To inspire myself for today’s workout, the three of us ran down to Lower Woodland to watch my old team’s home cross-country meet. Most folks who take a jog through Upper Woodland will tell you…this course is legit! It is hilly and hard. So, today, I did my workout on this course, thinking as I worked through my tempo miles of all of those gals I watched yesterday gritting it out, digging deep and forging toward that finish line.
So, there you have it. Not only am I going to love watching all of our women out there training for their marathons this fall, but we are going to have 20+ women out there training for XC in Bend! Stay tuned for more training and racing reports in the next two months!