Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oiselle Team

Lucky me! I am officially a part of the Oiselle Ambassador Racing Team! 

Joining a running team, post-collegiatelly, has been on my to-do list for too many years now. It was one of those perpetually 'put-off' items that I never quite got around to, likely because it required a commitment that appeared intimidating.  When I made the decision to step away from collegiate racing, it was the right choice at the right time.  Ever since, however, I have done some serious soul searching about how I would reconnect with running and racing, and what that would look like in my life.  I gave coaching a try a few years ago and loved it.  It fulfilled my desire to be surrounded by runners, but I still missed that internal competitive drive that challenged me to dig deep and put my heart out there on the start line every time I raced.  I was always a little nervous to reach out to join a racing team, because that would mean that I would have to buckle down and get serious about my training, set goals and actually race to achieve those goals, and have no excuses about the process.  Thankfully, common sense ruled, and I was reminded how much I was over-thinking this whole team concept and I reached out to join the ranks of the fabulous Oiselle racing team.  I realized that the idea of being surrounded by such incredible teammates was an opportunity that couldn't be passed up, and that it would be well worth the serious training, and lofty goal setting.  Just reading the blogs, the tweets, and the race results of these women has been so incredibly inspiring.

2013 is going to be an exciting racing year.  I've set goals, I have solid races lined up, and I am ready to put my heart out there on the course.  I am excited to meet more Oiselle teammates and I can't wait for the opportunity to wear the Oiselle uniform and support this amazing company.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Being home sick provides lots of time for some good reflection.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am always reminded how of how many blessings I have in my life.  I don't always pause to say how grateful I am for those blessings, so here's a list of 25 things I am most grateful for in my life right now (in no particular order)...

1. My amazing family
2. My supportive friends
3. Good health
4. Running
5. Seattle
6. My opportunities to travel 
7. St. Madeleine Sophie
8. My nieces and nephews
9. My job and my close friends from work
10. J-Crew
11. Greenlake
12. Coffee
13. Evening walks with my mom and the dog
14. Ski trips with my dad
15. Martha's Vineyard
16. My time in Boston 
17. Wine
18. Setting Goals and Dreaming Big
19. Good books
20. My education
21. Intellectual curiosity 
22. Parents who love me, support me, and encourage me
23. The Klingenstein Summer Institute
24. Hard Workouts
25. Being challenged and Taking Risks

Monday, October 29, 2012

Having Grace... and goals.

I have always been captivated by the virtue of grace. By definition, "graceful" means to be elegant and beautiful, poised and dignified. Living life with grace can be simple when things are going the way we hope or dream, however, most often, we find ourselves seeking our hopes and dreams without ever feeling fully satisfied - we often never feel fully accomplished (as we shouldn't - that's part of the drive to always push ourselves to be better).  This thirst to achieve our hopes and dreams to our highest capabilities provides us with numerous opportunities to deal with failure and disappointment.  These are the times I find living with grace the most challenging.  How do we pick ourselves up and live with poise and dignity among our feelings of defeat or failure? How do we continue to push ourselves towards our hopes, our dreams, our greatest desires, even when we don't feel like we have it in ourselves anymore?

I wish I had the perfect answer to these questions.  But I don't... Not even close. Finding ways to live with grace, even amidst disappointment, is really and truly part of my journey in life. I would like to think that I have learned and grown at living more gracefully, but I also know, many of those lessons have come the hard way.

This past weekend I had my first real experience back at racing in quite some time.  It was the first race since I had begun to string together some solid time training; workouts, long runs, 40 mile weeks... I was nervous for the race long before I should have been.  I was hesitant and I doubted my ability. I lacked the confidence I should have had, and I lacked the guts I needed to put it out on the line.  After some honest reflection, I put myself in this frame of mind because I was afraid to be disappointed after so much effort. It's ironic to me because I had literally just finished three days of parent-student-teacher conferences where I looked students in the eye and confidently convinced them that risk and failure create bold opportunities for growth. Why couldn't I follow my own advice?

I approached the start line this weekend with a hesitant enthusiasm. I wanted to be in the game, but I was afraid to step to the line (especially in my newly donned Oiselle jersey... where I wanted to represent the team proudly and successfully). I was afraid to commit. I can honestly say that I pushed myself as hard as I could around Greenlake on Sunday. But when I finished I was discouraged, let down, fatigued, and worn out. I kept wondering how this could happen again. Why did I struggle to find success even when I had been pouring my heart into running 7 days a week? Why was it so hard to race well even when the joy of running was keeping me awake at night sometimes? Why was the one thing I cared about so deeply such a cause of frustration?

.... Because I was afraid to let myself find what I was capable of accomplishing ....

Even though I pushed myself as hard as I could on Sunday, it wasn't my best. By far. It wasn't my best because I wasn't ready to put my best out there yet.  I wasn't ready to let myself feel vulnerable and to set a goal. Even though I have my own personal goals engrained in my head (and I have for years), I wasn't ready to put them out there just yet.

Well... lesson learned - the disappointment came anyway.

Crossing the finish line was hard on Sunday. I knew that I was no where near finishing in a time that I know I was capable of reaching.  But I chose to find my inner grace and cross the line anyways (not that this was ever really a question... but metaphorically speaking). I gave myself five minutes to feel sorry for myself, and then I realized sulking about a bad race wasn't worth it. Rather, I knew I should be celebrating in the joy of my teammate who rocked it on the course and came away with a victory. Fighting the conflict of sulking around or living with grace, I tried to choose grace on Sunday, and I hope I continue to do so throughout my journey.

So... here there are. My running goals: 

- 5k: 19:30
- 10k: 44:00 
- 13.1: 1:29:00 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The journey...

I have tossed around the idea of blogging for quite some time now.  The commitment of writing one's words out felt vulnerable and daunting. While I am not entirely sure why or how, the world of blogging has since won me over and here I am. This particular blog (although, it's not like I have multiple blogs...) is all about the journey. My journey towards seeking greatness in everything I do. Seeking greatness in how I approach all situations. Seeking greatness in the people I interact with or meet. Seeking greatness in all aspects of life.  This desire for greatness is not about achieving an end result, or reaching a destination, rather it is about the journey, the tests and trials of what it means to seek greatness. While I know it won't always be easy, I have faith and hope that it will be fun, exciting and full of adventure. Here's to the journey...