Thursday, August 21, 2014

RUNNING CAMP: A TOP 10 LIST


So, yes, I just went to running camp.  I'm sorry, it's clearly difficult for me to stop talking about it.  It just, well...it's not very often that a 39 year old working mom of 2 gets to head out to one of the most beautiful places in the country (Bend, OR) to meet and run with a ridiculously huge group of women who are all passionate about their sport.  And yet, life moves on.  Back in MA, our high school XC season has officially begun.  It's time to re-focus.  But, before I do, I have one more Birdcamp post.  And this is it.  I promise.  Rather than give you a detailed play by play of each day, which I'm sure many of my teammates will be doing on their own blogs (check out this one by Once Upon (L)ime); I am going to mix it up a bit and give you a tried and true RWM Top 10 List along with some pics from my adventure.  I met some amazing people out there, I laughed a shit ton (is that a real word?),  I learned a boat load and I had a freakin' ball.  It was an experience of epic propotion and I will be forever grateful to the women at Oiselle for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.  The word Oiselle alludes to that feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love. That sense of flight – when the legs go fast and the heart goes free.  As a runner, I don't always have this feeling, though I sure as hell wish I did.  But, as a member of the Oiselle team, my head will always be up and my wings out.


TOP 10 REASONS YOU KNOW YOU'RE AT RUNNING CAMP

1. You find yourself sharing a suite with multiple people that you have never met and you're totally okay with that.

w/ @mellebeth & @hroberts123
#1617 ROCKS (& smells like bacon)

2. Your only modes of transportation are your feet and a Peter Pan bus, which sometimes catches on fire.  Wait...what?

Smith Rock State Park

3. You intend to stay up and hang with your friends at the end of each day but then you're way too tired pull through.

w/ @momonthemove2 & @wotowglass
#birdlove
4. You eat snacks 24 hours a day.

The Snack Table  (mmmm snacks)

5.  All you want to do in your free time is go to the room and take a nap.

With fellow MA Bird, @runonsweetfrie

6.  You determine which pair of socks to put on in the morning based on how good or bad they smell.

7.  When your not running, eating or sleeping your posting photos to Twitter and Instagram...the same photos that all your other teammates are posting.

The Oiselle Flock @ the Deschute Brewery 5K

8. You shower 2 and sometimes 3 times a day. 

9. It's not the least bit weird to discuss whether or not you've gone to the bathroom before your run with someone you've just met.

w/ Lesko on our last night
(we did not discuss our bowel movements)

10. You plan to get home looking re-energized and fit and instead you roll in with an extra 5 pounds and totally exhausted. 

Dessert from the doughnut cart
(yes, that's bacon)

BIRDCAMP 2014: FLY ON

Listen to this:
Sweet Ophelia - Zella Day  

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE 'OISELLE EFFECT'

"I’m gonna let my heart decide if this is real
A thousand pictures can’t describe how I feel
It’s like the world doesn’t exist, but I can still see it
...it’s (the) heart that I’m hearing."
~ Galantis, 'The Heart That I'm Hearing'

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT

This morning, as I was running around looking for shin guards, making breakfast, pounding coffee and getting my girls ready for soccer camp, I suddenly realized I had an ear to ear grin spread across my face.  I also realized that, despite all the stress and chaos of this Monday routine, the smile was just kind of stuck there.  At one point, my 9 year old daughter stopped what she was doing, gave me a strange look and asked me if everything was okay.  "It's all good, Rosie", I told her, "it's just the Oiselle Effect."  She rolled her eyes and mumbled something to the tune of "whatever".  I just laughed to myself, as I continued to get them ready, with the smile still plastered across my face.  Did I look ridiculous?  Probably.  Did I care?  No, I did not.  In truth, I couldn't really help it.  What's the Oiselle Effect, you ask?  I'm so glad you asked.*


THE 'OISELLE EFFECT'

The feeling of 100% pure joy that flows through my body when I think back on my experience at running camp (aka BIRDCAMP) in Bend, OR.  The electric buzz in my head and in my heart that automatically goes off when I conjure up the memory of those four long and incredibly powerful days that I spent running, eating, sleeping and just being with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  That feeling of weightlessness and flight that I knew existed but that I now truly understand.  And, most importantly, the specific feeling that I will do everything in my power to call on next time I am mid-race or hard workout and I want to reset my mind and take it to the place where I soared to new heights as both a runner and a person.  

Listen to this:
Surrounded by Your Friends - Hooray For Earth  


*Note: Full blog post on BIRDCAMP to follow once I get this ridiculous grin off my face and my regular life somewhat back to normal.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FRIDAY 5

"So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance.
Dance, I said!"
~ Salt-n-Pepa, 'Push It'

BIRD CAMPERS

As I recently mentioned, I am currently out in Bend, OR hanging with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  We are a colorful group of women from all over the country who are as passionate about running as we are about each other and the company we represent.  Within minutes of our first meal we became one big, happy, crazy, tight-knit family and the energy level borderline electric.  The whole thing is just a big dose of awesomeness.  In light of this (forgive the cheese factor) magical experience, today's Friday 5 will be a group of songs that the women who work and/or run professionally for Oiselle are inspired by at this particular moment.  When I asked them to chime in, a couple of them didn't have to think twice, a couple had to give it a little time, and one of them wanted to use "Happy" but I wouldn't let her, so she went with a song by her current favorite artist.  (Sorry, KMet)  It is an eclectic mix brought to you by a badass group of women who I both admire and respect.  It should be noted that Sally, chief Oiselle bird, threw out the one song that could potentially inspire a late night dance party.  Happy Friday everyone.  Rock on.

 
Runaway Baby - Bruno Mars (Kristin Metcalf, Team Leader)   
Anna Begins - Counting Crows (Sarah Lesko, Corp Dev & Master of Fun)
The Wolf Is Free - Lily & Madeline (Lauren Fleshman, Pro Runner)
Ghost - Ella Henderson (Kate Grace, Pro Runner)
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa (Sally Bergesen, owner of Oiselle)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WHAT IF?

“You see, the what ifs are as boundless as the stars.” 
~ Sally Gardner, 'Maggot Moon'

Queen of the castle...her castle

My younger daughter, Grace (age 7), has a hard time with transition; particularly, when it's something new.  Unlike her sister, Rosie (age 9), little Grace would be more than willing to hang out with me, and only me, every single day.  It's flattering, but let's face it, it's not healthy for either of us to spend that much time together.  This summer, not surprisingly, Rosie went off to sleep-away camp for four weeks. Grace, being 7 and, well, being Grace, was very happy to stick close to home; skipping off to a local camp each day, but then settling back into her own bed at night.  The best of both worlds, really.  Tomorrow, I am headed off to Bend, OR for a few days of "grown up camp" with my Oiselle teammates.  Much to her dismay, I am leaving Grace to hang out with my in-laws (bless them) while she attends a camp near their house on Cape Cod.  Don't get me wrong, she adores her grandparents.  But, the one-two punch of both going to camp solo along with mom and dad leaving her by herself for a week was almost too much for her to handle.  Almost.  As I tucked her in on Sunday night, the tears started to flow.  I did my best to comfort her, but there wasn't much I could say to make the situation more digestible.  She was scared, and she had every right to be.  And, as hard as it was for me to see her in this state, I knew this would be good for her.  She threw out every possible "worst case scenario" and I tried to throw back a realistic, but suppotive response to each one:

Grace: What if I don't know anyone on the bus?
Mom: You might not, Grace.  But, that's okay.  You'll know the counselors and they'll help you.
Grace: What if I don't know anyone in my group?
Mom: You'll make new friends.
Grace: What if there are no girls in my group?
Mom: Grace, come on.  There are always girls at camp.  
Grace: What if I don't know where to go?
Mom: Grace, no one is going to let you get lost.  You will have plenty of help.  I promise.
Grace: What if I can't do it, Mom?
Mom: It might be a little scary, Grace.  But you can do it.  You need to try and be brave here.  It's hard, but I know you have it in you.
Grace: I don't know.
Mom: I do.

I laid with Grace until she fell asleep and then went to bed with my fingers and toes crossed.  What I didn't tell her but thought about as I laid there is how many times I've struggled with my own "what ifs".  As a kid, as a grown up, as a mom, as a runner, as a coach, as a wife, as a friend; I have faced and still face them daily and do what I can with what I have to take them on.

Somehow I managed to get through these:
What if I don't get into a good college?
What if I can't find a job?
What if I don't like what I'm doing?

And I'm still working on these:
What if I'm not making the right decisions as a parent?
What if I'm not able to help my high school runners improve?
What if I crash and burn during my next race?

Turns out, we are who we are because of the "what ifs".  The strength we conjure up to tackle them builds our character and enables us to do what we do and do it well.  And, if it doesn't work on the first shot, to try it again until we get it right.  It's not easy to explain this to a 7 year old.  But, I'm guessing she's going to feel it in her own way.  And the strength that she gains from facing that first "what if" will undoubtedly help her take on the next one.  And the next.  And the next.  Go get 'em, Grace.

Listen to this: 
Walk This Way - Mø (Lido Remix)