Running Blogs


Ahhh Friday. Friday at Oiselle is all about wasting time on the internet (just kidding Sally!) But perhaps in whatever cubicle you find yourself in this Friday afternoon you may be killing some time peeking at blogs, reading The Onion, tweeting, seeing which celebrity actually wore the dress better, or thinking about your evening run. And for you I present Friday-Blog-Round-Up-Party-Time. I'm still working on the name...

It's a great time to be a runner, not only you can join in the running community in your area, but also stalk talk to runners training all over the world. When I was younger, running in my small town in Massachusetts, I imagined other people were as crazy as me. Somewhere out there, in the cold, the dark, the snow, the heat they were putting in their daily miles. Now I can see them! They are on the internet!

You can follow the journey of all kinds of runners. New runners finding the love for the first time like Sara Ann. Or ask an elite runner like Lauren Fleshman a question. Laugh with fast, funny ladies like Sarah of Washington Ran Here. I personally enjoy her explanation of how many laps an indoor 3,000 is (answer: one million). You can find motivation in ripped, running mamas like MizFit. Seriously there are so many great running blogs to read.

Stop by Oiselle for the quick and dirty tour of the week's running web goodies every Friday. Have a great weekend!

January 21, 2011 — sarah

Strong Hips = Happy Knees


Every runner has their Achilles heel. Some of yours might literally be... your Achilles. Mine are my knees. I had my meniscus repaired twice and finally had a chunk taken out. My tibia is twisted, so my I have one "flippy" foot that really grinds that cartilage. Not much to be done there. I just work with it.

But there are things working against my knees that I can control: the muscles that support healthy knee tracking. One of the main muscles that attribute to a strong, healthy stride are the hip abductors. As ladies the angle between the hip and the knee is often more severe then the dudes. Yes, even little hip ladies.

Every time my knees act up and I seek physical therapy, they tell me to strengthen my hip abductors. After they laugh at how weak they are.

Here are two exercises you can incorporate into your strength training to support your knees.

1. Leg Raises on the Ball: You'll 'feel the burn' on the supporting leg too. Oh, and your hip abductor in Sarah terms would be your 'side butt'.

Sketch by my Physical Therapist, eerily close resemblance.


Another view - I look different from behind

2. Hip Hike: Use a book, a weight, a stack of magazines, a curb... anything 3-4 inches off the ground. Stand on object with one foot, hover other foot next to it, 'drop' hovering hip and hike it back up to hover next to standing foot. You should feel the burn after 5 or so. It's a small movement but you will feel it in the stabilizing leg.

12 x 2 each side.

Learn more: study done by National Assiociation of Sports Medicine shows the correlation between hip abductor weakness and knee angle in women runners.

As a runner what is your Achilles heel? And how do you ward off injury?

January 18, 2011 — sarah

Fashion turn to the left...


I love fashion. From Project Runway to fashion blogs, I like to stay on top of what's current in the sartorial world. Working at Oiselle has finally given me an inside look at the design world. It's fasinating for me to see a trend board become a sketch become a sample become a product in a line that I ship to you. Of course running clothes need to be about that perfect marriage of function and fashion. It's a track not a runway afterall... But that doesn't mean we don't get to have fun with 'the pretty' side of apparel.

For instance the asymmetrical stripe is hot for Spring 11, just skim the pages of your spring 11 fashion magazines. So runners, let's see how a trend goes from runway to track (roads, or trails) ...



Get ready to work it girl!

January 12, 2011 — sarah

Time to celebrate that other Oregon sport


As an unabashed running nerd and Oregon alum, I’ll admit, I think about Oregon like this:

But if you’re in the vast majority of the sports‐viewing public, you think about Oregon like this (shown here giving UW’s Jake Locker…a hug?):

And if you’re a football loving human within twenty yards of a TV tonight, chances are you’ll be watching #2 Oregon duke it out with #1 Auburn as they block, tackle, pass (and yes, run!) their way to the finish of the BCS season. Will I be watching? You bet. I’ll admit I love football (what can I say? I was raised in an all male household). And I’m an Oregon football fan too. Always have been – even when I was at school there and they were better known as the Lame Ducks (and their only bowl game had been a sad and soggy 0‐0 tie against Oregon State that came to be known as the Toilet Bowl).

But then I got to thinking more about this dual sport leadership for Oregon. Running vs. football. And thinking that it was a bit (ironic? odd? notable? pick your adjective) that Phil Knight, the original running shoe innovator, is partly responsible for driving both the success and vast financial chasm between these two sports. A quick Google search shows that Oregon’s football coach, Chip Kelly, is currently signed on a 5‐year contract for $20.5 million and that Vince Lananna, Oregon’s head coach of Track & Field and Cross Country has an annual compensation of $150K+, depending on performance. One can only assume the budget for games, facilities, travel, media, etc. are separated by equal margins.

But I’m going to stop there. This is not a rant against football programs. Or a plea for the public to love running. It’s simply an observation. Food for thought. Something to think about as we ponder what sports we elevate, and which ones play quietly in the background.

For me, it’s not about the chasm, or even football vs. running.
It’s about go green. It’s about Go Oregon!!!

Circa 1991;me and Dad on our way to Autzen Stadium for a football game.

January 10, 2011 — sarah

Why running friends rule


Ah, running friends. They pick us up. They push us on. They listen to our boring stories mile after mile (do they have a choice? No!)… But who knew they had other skills? Did other things? And yes…wore other clothes? (Well, let’s not be rash.) And who knew they’d even have one iota of interest in jumping into mundane, brain-cell killing task of the dreaded year-end inventory?
Yeah, who knew? But they do and they did. And this is just a Friday shout out to the Oiselle family of staff (okay 3 of us), friends (okay, 2: Larisa and Abby) and pretty much anybody (fellow Green Lake Starbucks patrons?) who came, counted, stacked, and broke boxes like nobody’s business. To you we are thankful, grateful, and ever so well counted. Merci!

Larisa conquers stacks of boxes with nothing more than a tape gun and massively wicked Oiselle outfit.

January 07, 2011 — sarah

On Girls and Grit: Oiselle Youth Team gets 3rd at the 2010 USATF Jr. Olympic Cross Country Championships


This year’s JO nationals felt more momentous than any of the other three years we’ve coached the team. Part of it was their strength…we dominated at regionals, with five runners in the top 20; part of it was the far-flung nature of the event…as we traveled to Alabama for the big day; and part of it was the feeling of closure. As exhilarating as this experience as been, we’re not sure we’ll do it again in the Fall of 2011. The pressures of start-up ville have been so consuming and intense. And yet…connecting with young runners. Isn’t that why we’re doing this?

The race itself was classic cross country. Not so much the terrain…which was dry and gravelly. But rather the race experience and how much it takes, both emotionally and physically, to run strong in this sport. And run strong these girls did. Each and every one gave it their all – even though some didn’t “have their day” in terms of how they felt. The fact that they didn’t give up, and kept pushing, resulted in an astounding 3rd place finish – against 26 teams nationwide!

The finish line was a wild mix of emotions as the runners regrouped. Smiles, tears, laughter, relief…and finally, the news. It was 3rd and they were on the podium. After that, it was all joy, hugs and smiles. What can I say? We’re so proud of them. They worked hard, they trained weekly in Woodland Park where the mud and hills are unrelenting. And they reaped the rewards. Bottom line: these girls will go far, in part because they already have.

See more photos of the meet at Oiselle's Flickr Page.

December 17, 2010 — sarah

Runaway Bride: Wedding Dress Fitting

Sarah Mac

Last Thursday at Oiselle we had our first bride come in for a fitting! Sadly, Sally was already en route to Alabama with the Oiselle junior team for Nationals. But I got to be here at Oiselle headquarters for all the fun. 

Wedding Dress Running

You may have seen our Runaway Bride dress in Runner's World, or the various blogs it's been featured in. Race day weddings are the ultimated destination wedding for running couples. They pause at a point during the race, exchange vows and complete the race as husband and wife. Often the wedding is during a marathon, and of course the Vegas races see the highest number of running weddings. Sally noticed that while the popularity of weddings on the run was rising, there were no real options for brides. So the Runaway Bride dress was born. A stunning techinal wedding dress, that moves with you, wicks sweat, has a pocket for your ring and all the bells and whistles you need for a race AND a wedding.

After the dress was featured in Runner's World we were contacted by bride to be, Kyla. She is getting married in April and as part of the wedding weekend she, her fiance and their guests will be running a group 5k the morning before the ceremony. Kyla met her future husband during a group run in their town. They both describe it as love at first site, or first run. Running brought them together and is an important part of their life together. And what better way to celebrate that meeting and their passion for running (and each other) than with a 5k run/race?!

Kyla Wedding Dress

We've been very excited to meet Kyla and create the dress of her dreams! She flew in from California and met with Carmen, our fabulous seamstress who created the Runaway Bride dress. Kyla was so much fun to work with. She lit up the office with her smile and excitement. Carmen brought a couple test dresses for Kyla to try on. We talked tulle, veils, cut and all the details that will make this dress perfect for Kyla's big day (well big day before the big day). I'm not going to give away too many details, you'll just have to wait and see the final dress. It's going to be beautiful!

Kyla and Carmen Talk Length

To see more photos of Kyla's fitting visit Oiselle's Flickr page. And to read more about Oiselle's wedding dress visit the links below:

Runner's World: Runaway Bride by Oiselle

Nina and Mark renew their vows in 2010 NYC marathon

Seattle Met Fashion Blog: Dashing Bride

To find out how to get your own running wedding dress visit Oiselle Bridal.

December 13, 2010 — sarah

Winter Running Motivation


Winter is here. In the Pacific Northwest that means everything from rain, to snow, to morning thunderstorms(?). And most everywhere it means the days are short and the temperatures are dropping. Add holiday parties, gift shopping and work to this mix, and it can be hard to lace up those running shoes.

I asked our tweeps what got them out the door during these dark, cold (and busy) days. They find motivation in getting to eat dessert guilt-free,  picturing a vacation where they want to be fit, signing up for a race in the spring to give themselves a reason to train, and rewarding themselves with relaxing in warmth afterwards. I pull motivation from all of these! Mmmm and egg nog lattes....and imagining who might be out there pounding the pavement.

But what I find more challenging this time of year is finding the time. I can let days go by with excuses of I need to eat dinner, I am meeting friends, it's too late, it won't be worth it if I can only go for 20 minutes, yada yada. I am breaking the cycle this week by going back to my tried and true method to getting my runs in: planning. I find motivation plus a solid plan eliminates excuses.

This Sunday I planned my week, which days I needed to work early, which nights I have plans with friends, which nights I might have plans, whatever. I make a goal of mileage for the week, and threw in a strength training day. Then I mapped it out and wrote it down. Some days I had to wake up and get my workout in before work, others I could do it after work. After work run days I need an extra afternoon snack, so I don't foil my plan by hitting my front door starving. Of course I have to break the plan sometimes, but I try not to beat myself up too much. Even if I can get 20 minutes in it's better than nothing. I know it's elementary but a week with a written plan gets me out the door. As opposed to a plan floating around in my head.

The holidays is all about maintaining fitness for me, plus winter is a perfect time to rehab any nagging injuries or strength imbalances. But that's a blog for another day.

December 09, 2010 — sarah

Holiday Shopping for Fast Women!


We're excited about the holidays over here at Oiselle. The snow is falling in Seattle, my Charlie Brown Christmas Pandora station is playing and it feels like the holidays are really here! Of course snow also means Seattle completely shut down for a day, but we're back.

So every good shopper knows this weekend is THE shopping weekend of the season. I'm not one for waking up early to shop. I'll wake up early to do most anything else, ski, run, get a root canal. Luckily Oiselle is online, so while we'll be offering some great perks you don't even have to change out of your PJs. Pull up your chair to the warm glow of the internet and check those fast ladies off your list.

Oiselle Gift Wrap

FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $75. It will be automatically discounted during checkout.

FREE GIFT WRAP. We are primed and ready to get wrapping. Chic and simple brown paper with a satin orange ribbon. Also we have created one-of-a-kind stamped Oiselle cards to write your gift messages on!

FREE KIND BAR with every gift. So if you have 3 seperate gifts just let us know, we'll wrap it all seperate, and top each gift with a delicious KIND Bar.

We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Stay warm, travel safe and good luck in your turket trot!

November 24, 2010 — sarah

The Oiselle Runaway Bride Dress Race Debut: 2010 New York City Marathon


You may have seen the Oiselle running wedding dress in the pages of your October Runner’s World. Perhaps you’ve even seen the video of the Oiselle Running Wedding Dressrunning wedding dress going for a jog around Green Lake Seattle, just steps from the Oiselle office. And maybe you thought to yourself, "Cute, but would someone really get married in a marathon...and in a technical, wicking running wedding dress?" The answer is yes and yes. The Runaway Bride Dress will make its racing debut this Sunday in the New York City Marathon!

Less than two weeks ago we got a phone call from New York. Nina Parks had seen the Runaway Bride dress and wanted to wear it in the NYC marathon on November 7th. She and her husband, Mark, will be renewing their vows at mile 17. Now, this dress is one of a kind. Literally. We just have one right now. There was no time for adjustments or a fitting. Just enough time to send that beautiful running wedding gown off to the big apple to see if it was Nina Park’s Cinderella slipper. Luckily it was! It fit perfectly.

The Bride and Groom
Nina Parks and Mark Taylor were married ten years ago at the 17th mile of the New York CIty Marathon, in front of their Manhattan home and hundreds of marathon spectators. The ceremony was 15 minutes long. The bride wore white running tights and top with a train of tulle flowing from her waist and a veil. The groom wore black  running tights, white wicking shirt, a bow tie and what appears to be a white fanny pack.

The New York City Marathon was the perfect place to say their vows. It’s where they met just one year before while waiting for a race shuttle to take them to the starting line. Mark proposed in September of 2000. They planned their race day dream wedding in just two weeks!

Nina and Mark Marry at NYC Marathon

Now, ten years later they will run the legendary New York City Marathon together to renew their vows. I’m sure Nina will look stunning in her Oiselle running wedding gown. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

There are so many stories that make up a marathon, of hard work, beating the odds, triumph, heartbreak and now, true love. Congratulations on ten years together, Nina and Mark! And here’s to the miles to come!

See more pictures of Nina and Mark's New York City Marathon wedding at our Facebook page and on Flickr.

November 04, 2010 — sarah

Feed Me - Food is Fun!


I will admit it, I love good food. I also love running. Running aids my obsession with food and vice versa. I think of food in many of the same ways I think of running: 1) fun, 2) essential, 3) elemental, and 4) delicious. It is no irony that this spells FEED.

FUN because that is what eating and running are to me. The endless combinations, the guilt-free pleasure I take in it, and the friends and family I share great food and running with. ESSENTIAL in that I can see the big picture-which reveals that food is essential fuel for my mind and body, much like running is essential medication for the two. ELEMENTAL because what is more primitive, basic, or simple as the two? The simple ability to create a dazzling, mouth-watering dish out of basic ingredients or the primitive urge to run-not always away from something but also to smooth the troubled waters we often find in our minds.  Finally, DELICIOUS, as in the roasted red pepper soup and elk steak, avocado and spinach salad I had for dinner. And delicious in the sense of calm and self-confidence that is inevitably found on the run-with the rhythm of your every breath and the response of your muscles, unconsciously answering the request to move in sync. For me, running spells feed. It feeds my mind. It feeds my soul. It feeds my body.

What does running spell for you?

- Andrija Barker 

Love This
October 05, 2010 — sarah