My first date with the track


Guest Blog by Oiselle team member Megan Fay.

Megan is a runner, triathlete and over all bad-ass. She just biked from Seattle to Portland (yes, really). She blogs at Daily Sweat, tweets as @dailysweat...follow her for sweat-spiration.


This year I’ve been on a quest – the quest to run faster. I’ve been running for a handful of years now, but this year is the first that I’ve wanted to get faster. I had heard about this thing called speedwork, but I have not come from a running background so I really didn’t know what I should do. I consulted running magazines, blogs and friends, and they all said the same thing – track workouts.

The only time I have ever ran on a track is when I was in middle and high school and they forced me to run a mile, so going back to the track brought all those lovely memories alive. Luckily, I was ready to make some new memories, speedy memories.

My first track workout consisted of a half mile warm up, 8 x 400 meters with roughly 2 minutes rest between and half mile cool down. I calculated my 400 meter pace with the McMillian Running Calculator (1:50-1:55), but since I have never ran that fast, I had no idea what that should feel like. The first lap was way too fast, but was able to adjust the following laps and was pleasantly surprised when I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I hit my goal times each lap. Don’t get me wrong though, by the end of the 6th 400 I thought I was going to puke, my quads were burning in ways I didn’t think possible and I was keeled over panting like a dog.

In hindsight, I probably could have stopped after 6 laps, being that it was my first track battle and I should probably ease into it, but my perseverance got the best of me and I pulled the energy to do 2 more laps out of somewhere then walked my half mile cool down.

I was exhausted after that workout. I had never pushed myself that hard running before and my legs were agreeing with me. Although the soreness set in pretty quickly, I had this proud sense of accomplishment – I just did a track workout! I was so proud that my body stuck with me and hit those crazy fast (for me) paces!

The next day, I was so, so sore. I tried to go on an easy 3 mile run, but my quads were screaming at me. The soreness lasted a couple days, but was able to get in a good run 3 days after-the-fact.

Since that initial workout, I have kept a pretty consistent weekly date with the track and I’m definitely getting a return on my investment in speed workouts. I’ve varied my workouts, doing a variety of 400s, 800s and 1200s and now my easy runs average 15-30 seconds faster per mile than they were before I started going to the track and my legs are able to deal with pushing harder a lot easier. Plus, I now know I CAN run fast, albeit short distances, but just knowing has helped me dig deeper and pull those faster paces out in races.

I’m not a seasoned runner that can give expert advice on starting a speed regime, but I can offer my thoughts on beginning track workouts:

  1. Don't be afraid of the track, no one cares what you're doing.
  2. It will be hard, bu what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
  3. Don't go all out on your first workout. Ease into it, your legs will thank you.
  4. Be consistent with your speed workouts - you'll get faster a lot quicker than you think with regular workouts. And you won't get as sore if you keep them up.
  5. Be dang proud of yourself after every workout.
July 26, 2011 — sarah

What Are Flats?


Guest Blog by Oiselle Team Member Alyssa Godesky.

When Alyssa isn't racing her heart out she's writing about it on her running blog, which you should definitely check out. It's a funny, honest look at the sport of ultra, tri, running and more. Plus there are hilarious videos, illustrations and even a baby mullet!


Six years ago, I became an ultrarunner. In the span of three weeks I signed up, trained for (if you can call one long run training!), and ran the JFK 50 Mile. In three short weeks, I was hooked. Over the next five years I ran over twenty ultra marathons, with a few marathons sprinkled in for training :) I also discovered that triathlons were a great way to cross train and put a few of those under my belt.

This year I took a look at my running and triathlons and decided that to get faster you need to, well, run faster. This would require some work at the shorter distances and really seeing what kind of speed I have in my legs. So, after a 100 miles of beautiful, muddy, rough trails in Hawaii at the HURT 100 in January, I said a goodbye to ultrarunning for the year. My first event after the hundred mile trail race was, quite literally, as opposite as it gets - a 1 mile road race.

Thinking back to middle and high school where I had run a mile for time, I was hoping to go under 6 minutes. A lofty goal for someone coming off of endurance training, but I was also fairly confident in my ability to endure pain. And to be fair, it was a net downhill course :) I arrived at the race and for the first time in years, actually had to complete a warm-up; in ultras it's usually understood the first 5 miles are the warm-up! Then the group I was running with started back to our cars. "Wait," I said "the start line is that way" (pointing in the opposite direction). "No, we have to get our flats," they replied. "Ummmm......what are flats?" I got some laughter in return: they thought I was kidding.

As I neared the start line and found my place near the front I felt like an outsider. I didn't feel comfortable without a hydration pack on my back, or a water bottle in my hand. I didn't have a GU on me and I couldn't fight the impending feeling of doom that it brought. There was no spare set of shoes and shorts waiting for me down in the road in case I decided that mine were uncomfortable.

I ended up running well under 6 minutes that day. But it wasn't my time that I was most proud of. It was the fact that I was willing to break out of my comfort zone, forget about the details, and for a few minutes, just run. Over the past 6 months I have raced a handful of road races in my quest to get faster. Some have been better than others, but the one thing that they all have in common is when I toed the line I truly didn't know how it would end up. There are still many moments when I yearn to be on the trails, running in the middle of nowhere with no second thought of time or distance. But then I flash back to the present, finishing a mile repeat and barely able to speak or even stand up. And I know I'm getting tougher for a time when I'm racing in the mountains again. I know I'll cover the ultra distances faster and stronger than I ever did before.

Breaking out of a running niche that had become my comfort zone was scary and nerve racking, but it has also been strangely empowering and meaningful. It is important to take comfort in not only the peaceful and calm moments that running brings, but also in the chaos and the unknown. Let go of your expectations, and you will end up having some fun. Though, I still haven't brought myself to actually buy a pair of racing flats yet :)

When was the last time you ran out of your comfort zone? What did you learn? Will you do it again?

Love This
July 21, 2011 — sarah

Which Oiselle Classic Running Tee is Your Favorite?


Hooray for Oiselle running t-shirt classics! Vote for your favorite tee today, July 15 - Sunday, July 17th for a chance to win it! If you post (or send a picture) of yourself wearing a classic tee that's worth a bonus entry! Enter in the comments, on Twitter or Facebook.


26.2, Marathon tee

Big Run

Green Tee

13.1, Half Marathon Tee

Oiselle Logo

New Classic - The Start Line Tee

July 15, 2011 — sarah

Classic Oiselle Logo Tee


Today we are launching the classic Oiselle tees in Fall 2011's new colors. A tee that hasn't been available in 2 years is back! The classic Oiselle Logo running tee. Oiselle is the French word for bird. A symbol of flight, and the weightlessness that runners know, love and seek.

This time the logo tee has a surprise on the back! Go Fast. Take Chances. is printed where the Oiselle bird typically is.

July 15, 2011 — sarah

Eat Picky


We l.o.v.e Picky Bars and we want to share the love with you - this month (July) every order will include a delicious Picky Bar! 

All about Picky Bars:

As a runner it's important to have the right fuel. Diet can affect everything! I first learned about Picky Bars because I was enamoured with Lauren Fleshman. There I said it. But the more I found about the bar, the more impressed I was. She set out to create an energy bar with a 4:1 carb/protein ratio, with 25% of the calories coming from healthy fats (think: walnuts, seeds) that was gluten AND dairy free that tasted great. And holy moly did she succeed.

Lauren had help creating the bar. She teamed up with Stephanie Rothstein, when they were both dealing with injuries. Injuries that meant time off the track and time to kill. So they hit the kitchen and perfected the Picky Bar. The (better told) story of Picky Bars' creation can be found on the website.

If you aren't familiar with Lauren, get to know her at She is not just an amazing pro runner, but this multi-faceted ball of energy that you can't help but enjoy following. You can read her 'journal' or ask her a question about running. Her site is informative, inspirational ... I'll just cut to the chase: it's just our favorite blog!

If you're not familiar with Stephanie Rothstein she's a super fast marathoner, holy 2:29:43! Watch her in the coming years - she's getting her legs under her after finally figuring out that she has celiac disease. Gluten gone, fast runner back!

I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie and Lauren at Eugene. I was beyond excited. Running is such a cool sport, because you can actually just chill with rediculous athletes. Imagine trying to meet some top football player, not going to happen. (Check out that hand in the back of the photo, going after some sweet Picky goodness)

July 13, 2011 — sarah

Vacation +/- Running = ?


Running is a sport with constant challenges. From the outside people may see ... one foot in front of the other. Not hard, right? But as a runner you know it's doing the right runs at the right pace. Then you find out you have to think about foot strike, nutrition, sleep. You spend the time finding the right energy gel for a long run or marathon, perhaps with some gut bomb fails. You have the right shoes, or no shoes, or shoes with orthotics. You avoid injury with cross training, stretching, rolling, icing, good luck charms and chanting. You find the time to run even with work, chores, errands, kids.

But then comes one really interesting obstacle that separates the running camps: vacation. In the daily grind it seems perfectly natural to find the time to get your workout done. But when faced with vacation whether it involves camping, beach front condos, umbrella adorned drinks, road trips, early flights or (gasp) a group of non-runners it can be a struggle deciding whether running fits.

I choose to see the vacation running as a reward. It gives me a chance to explore. If I'm with a big group, it gives me an excuse to go clear my head. If I accidently enjoyed too much sangria, I get a "reset" sweat session. If I'm training for a specific event it can be tough to get the quality of work in, so I usually pack in the long run or crucial workout before we depart (even if it's 5am on a Saturday, oy). But otherwise I enjoy the adventure. I stress how much I love the run when I get those sideways glances from the non-runners. After a few vacations, they eventually lose interest in your weird runner ways as long as you come back and spend quality time with them


My latest trip was camping in Maryhill Washington for the 4th of July.  I got the long run (11.5) in before we left, and ran a hilly 5 there. How could I resist running to Stonehenge?

What about you? Do you see the vacation run as a reward? Or do you opt out for a break? Does it depend on where you are in the training?...Do tell! Oh, and send pictures - I love seeing other awesome destination runs. (

More pictures at Oiselle's Flickr page.

July 12, 2011 — sarah

sometimes running isn't pretty - and that's okay



Maybe it’s because I need to run fast vicariously, but I always ask our athletes to send us photos from their races. Their efforts inspire and motivate me – and I want to be loud and proud with their accomplishments. A couple of days ago, Oiselle athlete Jen Bigham (Rochester, NY) sent us this pic from the Brighton 5K, where she won (17:12) and PR’d (by 17 seconds). My reaction to the photo was immediate. I love it. Yes, in part because she ran fast and looks fit (um, Jen, can I have your abs?) but also because of the true grit. The obvious pain she had to overcome to meet the challenge. And therein lies one of my biggest running loves: when you train, and toe the line, and get out there to balls-out race, you go to a place that’s not about appearance. It’s not about pretty, or style, or even about gender. It’s about going down, down, down to the very depths of your abilities and finding out what’s there. And that in the big picture of life, traveling that road a lot – as a competitive runner/racer – makes you a stronger more capable person. And THAT is pretty.


Okay, so now we want to see pics from YOU. We’re building a “Painfest” album on Facebook. I’m kicking things off with my own hurt locker pics from the ’07 Portland Marathon. Talk about meet your maker…Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. (Submit yours on our Facebook or by email


July 08, 2011 — sarah

Tee-licious July!


July is here! And so are Oiselle's newest 50/50 tees. Put that together and you get: Tee-licious July! Every week this month we will unveil new tees. And where better to start than on July 1st with the Start Line Tee.

A celebration of popular race distances, from the 'go fast and hold on tight' 5Ks to the 'wow am I still out here?' Ultras. The ultra line had to wrap around the back, of course.

To be the first to hear about the new tees each week, sign up for the Oiselle newsletter here. We'll never spam you, sell you, or annoy you. I hope. It's always news you want, like sales, expos, and new products. You can unsubscribe at any time.

July 01, 2011 — sarah

Running Group or Moai

Sarah Mac

I've been reading The Blue Zones by Dan Beuttner. The Blue Zones are four regions in the world where a high ratio of the population are living well into their 100s. And not just living, they are Living, capital L. Gardening, biking, wakeboarding, holding their great, great, great, great grandkids. National Geographic first ran on article on the phenomenon. Then Dan and a team of super smarties went out to study further. What were these people doing differently? What could we learn from them?

I'm not too far in the book, but watched a TED talk in which he layed out the nine characteristics that these groups of people have in common. (He calls them the power 9. But I refuse.) You can find them all here at The Blue Zones website. The ones I found interesting were: choose the right tribe, move naturally, know your purpose and be sure to drink. Heh. Not so much the drinking one, but it is interesting to know that two glasses of wine a night are encouraged.

At this point you might feel like I'm about to ask you to sign up for a pyramid scheme selling supplements. But I'm not! Promise. Here's where it comes to running: Sally has been running with the same group of women for 15 years! I am honored to join them on Tuesdays now for 'workout day'. Anyway, as we ran our cool down this last Tuesday I started thinking about The Blues Zones and running. Specifically choosing your tribe. And what an amazing tribe a running group can be. You hold each other accountable to move.. naturally. You have a purpose. And of course you're often hashing out the stresses in your life with your group, hello therapy and, in a way, meditation.

In the book Dan describes tribe in the Okinawan word, Moai. Okinawa is a tiny island (part of Japan) and Moai is the word for the group of people who support each other their whole lives. On TED talks they showed a 100 year old woman hanging with her Moai, a group of women that have been together for nearly a centaury. Through loss and triumph, marriages, babies, death...everything.

Around these parts, it's hard to find time to see your tribe. Or find the right Moai. But as runners we are often lucky to have a Moai built into our lifestyle. Maybe you meet on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. But no matter how big or small or when or where, a running group is invaluable. They aren't just adding miles to your running log, they may just be adding years to your life.

June 30, 2011 — sarah

Here Runs the Bride


The Oiselle running wedding dress has been a topic of great interest. Whether people think it's crazy-cool or just crazy, you can't help but love it. We've made a custom dress for a bride in California. And this original dress has seen it's fair share of finish lines. From the NYC Marathon to last weekend's "Here Runs the Bride" put on by The Healthy Bride. Christi Masi is the owner of The Healthy Bride, offering bootcamps to Seattle brides getting in shape for the big day.

Here Runs the Bride looks like a lot of fun, sadly Sally and I were both out of town, but Rose rocked the dress and represented Oiselle. There was a champagne water stop (actually cider) and post race cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. If you are in Seattle and haven't had a Cupcake Royale treat, please stop reading this blog and go out and get one. Ahhhmazing.

June 22, 2011 — sarah

Team Oiselle!


Last Friday was the Fremont 5K and Briefcase Relay. Sally, Sarah and I ran the 5K, full Oiselle style. Rogas do make you run faster - just a tip for anyone racing this summer. It was really fun to race with a team again, I mean no they didn't score teams or anything, but we all warmed up together. Did stride outs and a team cheer. (The team cheer was just in my head, but it was awesome).

Here we are getting photo bombed by Rose Wetzel as Lady Gaga (who went on to win that night). Because in Seattle and the world over, Gaga wins.

June 17, 2011 — sarah

Larisa's Injury Prevention: Stretch the Hammies


We've been lucky enough to have a company and help of one Larisa Manuel at Oiselle for the past few months. Tomorrow she is on her way to her spiritual city, Portland and we'll miss her stories, laugh and blistering pace on the Friday afternoon run. Larisa is one fast lady, running for the Run Portland team. Check out her career bests and biography at Larisa's Run Portland page.

I asked everyone a few weeks ago what their injury prevention go-to was. Mine is stregthening my hip abductors. Larisa's is keeping her hamstrings stretched. Stretching can be tedious for runners, but we all know how helpful it is. Larisa battled out injury this winter with the help of her physical therapist. Below is the proper form of the hamstring stretch he taught her.

With a flat back engage core and reach forward from hips, go as far as you can and hold for 30 seconds, release and repeat.

On a side note, how cute are the distance shorts on L? Good luck in your next adventures Larisa!

June 09, 2011 — sarah