FanGirl’ing Continues–Oiselle Wedding, Oxy, Cleveland

May has turned into #FanGirl month, like for real.

After getting a crash course in triathlon and following along with the Wildflower madness, and camping out with a cowbell and hastily-made poster for hours at the OC Marathon, I headed up to the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half for a whole new kind of race day adventure.

A running wedding.

Seriously.

oiselle wedding santa barbara wine half

pink Newtons + technical tuxedo tshirt, natch

I was planning on going up for the race and expo to see and support one of my Oiselle dealers, Santa Barbara Running Company (and duh, have an excuse to visit wine country) so when I heard JJ and Shanna from Ois headquarters would be down hosting mid-course nuptials, I couldn’t pass up the chance to tag along.

oiselle wedding santa barbara wine half 2

Shanna, excited arms, and on-the-run social media’ette JJ.

p.s. LOOK HOW FUN RUNNING IS

We ran the first six miles with Erika and Keith, playing on-the-run paparazzo, chatting, and yelling at each mile marker “only ___ miles left as a single woman/man!” Some people along the course yelled congratulations, some looked on like whathafuck is she wearing, and eventually the crew peeled off the course and up to the church. After a little freshen up and passing of champagne, the priest went through a quick (race clock still ticking!) and lovely ceremony. They kissed, we cheered, and the whole crew headed back out to finish the rest of the race.

Shanna, JJ, and I did not, because, champagne. Also because I’m not in that kind of distance shape and they needed to be at the finish to capture the big finale.

oiselle wedding santa barbara wine half 3

this + more photos in the “Oiselle Wedding” album on FB

Anyway, it was a really cool and unique way to spend the morning. Not to mention the redesigned “Runaway Bride” dresses look a-freaking-mazing. If I ever go colorblind I hope that purple is the only color in my life. I guess that’d be monocolorblind. Uno-hue. Whatever. If that’s a thing where you can only see one color I hope that’s it.

The fun’s not over though, because Thursday I’m heading up to LA for the Oxy High Performance track meet! Lauren, FastK8, Lauren W, Lauren P, Amanda W, and Amanda M are all racing, along with pretty much every other big name in distance track apparently because HOLY STACKED, BATMAN —> Heat Sheets (I bet there are at least two names even passive running fans would recognize in there) ((you’ll notice my name is not one of them, contrary to what my impeccable steeple form might lead you to believe))

oxy high performance 2014

* USATF.tv will be webcasting the meet if you want to play fangirl/boy from home:

Oxy High Performance LIVE broadcast

My biggest issue right now is not having a fan shirt for the 1500m.

oiselle fan tees

fleshman flyer /// fastk8

THEN – but wait, there’s more! – I’m off to the homestead this weekend to spectate and support at the Cleveland Marathon! Mom and little sis are running the half, and my buddy Dan (remember him from bourbon chase?) is running his first full. I’m so secondhand masochistically excited to see his pained face at mile 20 already.

That’s a solid month of races without actually running one myself. Someday I’ll hop back on the other side of the cowbell…

* * Anybody else going to be at Oxy or Cleveland??

Sarah OUaL

Discovering New Trails, Recovering Old Things*

* Things = Feelings, but that seemed way too melodramatically corny for a title

A significant portion of my daily duress comes from feeling like I’m not making the most of my free time during the day. I know, super spoiled first world problem, right? But one of the main perks of piecing together this hodge podge medley of part-time jobs is being able to hop around town when everyone else is cooped up in offices and meetings. Sunshine! No crowds! You can almost drive on the 405 without hitting your brakes!

This morning after doing some Oiselle sales stuff I stood up, shut down the computer, locked the girls up in a sports bra, and bolted out the door without a single thought about the rest of the stuff on my to do list.

After a 20 minute drive (woulda been 40 in traffic) I pulled up to Quail Hill Preserve with a very vague game plan: explore a few miles of a new trail. I’ve been sticking around 4-5 miles lately, partly because it’s comfortable and partly because I’m scared pushing it any further will flare up my injury again. So anyway, I figured that’s probably what I’d run today.

The trail starts with a pretty gnarly half mile hill, and since I’m in bad anything-other-than-flat shape, I walked that bitch then shuffled into a slow jog once I got to the top.

Luckily in Orange County a lot of our “trails” are really just man-made, un-paved paths, which means there aren’t a ton of road hazards you have to worry about face-planting over if you get a little too caught up taking in the scenery. Which is good, because I did a lot more looking up than I did looking where I was stepping.

shady canyon 1

sweet, sweet dirt, my concrete-abused legs love you

Nothing felt spectacular, not bad or painful, just not OMG LOVE RUNNING GREAT – maybe because I was so preoccupied fretting about all the descending I was doing…

“Uhhh you know we’re going to have to turn around and run UP all these nice little hills, right? Your legs are most definitely not ready for that.”

Shut up, brain.

At mile two where I planned to turn around the trail popped open at Bommer Meadow, with a god-send bathroom and water fountain, which I helped myself to.

shady canyon 2

also a trail map that you can’t see because, hiiiiiii selfie

I decided I’d come this far, might as well explore the meadow trail a little if for no good reason other than prolonging the march back up the hills that brought me here. I’m not sure if it was the bladder emptying or a sudden moment of clarity (or maybe someone was smoking something funky behind the shelter), but I couldn’t stop looking around like, “holy shit is this really Orange County?”

shady canyon 3

shut up, Irvine, get outta here with your cute little bridges

I turned around at 2.5 with an extra pep in my step, ready to tackle the climb back to the car. Another mile beeped on my watch, another hill crested, a nice tailwind joined me and before I knew it I was back where I started, at the top of that ol’ bitch overlooking the parking lot.

But I didn’t feel like stopping yet.

So I ran down it.

And then I still didn’t feel like stopping, so I ran through the parking lot, past my car, and hopped on the Quail Hill Loop which I thought I remembered from the map down in the meadow was a mile long.

“I can run another mile!”

I picked up the pace a bit, said hi to a guy as I passed him, and my watch beeped for 6 miles. It’s been a while since I’ve run six miles and felt this good.

Half a mile went by and the trail didn’t seem to be looping back towards home anytime soon, but I didn’t care. Chug, chug, chug, my stride finally feels natural and rhythmic instead of forced and choppy. Finally a bend, and around the turn a big ol’ hill. Ok, you ran all those earlier you didn’t think you could, what’s one more? Garmin beeped for 7 miles. Pushed up another hill, and at the top – my car shining down in the distance. Just kidding it’s coated in dirt and sand but I refuse to wash it because we’re in a drought and that seems frivolously irresponsible. Regardless, the finish was in sight.

shady canyon 4

I forgive thee, hill, for I know you’ll make me stronger and because you look like you could belong in ohio

I descended that final hill (the loop was 1.8 miles, ftr) and jogged around the parking lot like that stupid OCD watch-hawker everyone likes to make fun of to clock an even 7.5 miles. The last time I ran that far was December 28th – back when I still thought I was training for Carlsbad, before I’d been diagnosed by Dr AJ or became a regular at my chiro, when I was cursing every mile and my rebelling body but was too stubborn to wave the white flag.

Here I am almost five months later, finally back in a place of pre-run excitement instead of dread, where “ah what the hell let’s keep going!” is a mid-run thought, and the post-run basking is in endorphins, not sorrows or frustrations.

If you’re dealing with burnout or waning enthusiasm towards running, I strongly encourage you to hit up a new scene. Search Garmin Connect or Strava for other users’ routes, poll the locals, or just pull up Google Maps and head towards the first decent-size plot of green you see. It’s amazing what a fresh view can do for your outlook.

Literally and figuratively, I guess.

shady canyon garmin

my garmin connect activity for this run, if you’re interested

Sarah OUaL

Race Cheer Squad for Hire (jk I’ll do it for free)

oc marathon cheer 2014

I’ll be damned if it wasn’t 10x more fun than I thought it’d be.

When my (admittedly short) list of friends all had other stuff to do I considered renegging on my OC Marathon cheer plans. Standing on the side of a road at 6:30am cowbelling by myself seemed slightly less than awesome…

‘But you told all those people you’d be there, at the top of the hill at mile 11.5 to push them through the pain cave! Come on, what else do you have to do? Hey, let’s make a poster! Is CVS still open?’

Lucky for me Kristina ended up being able to come which made it double the fun (and double the noise – sorry Back Bay residents.) We camped our happy non-running asses out on the course for three hours yelling every motivational or funny thing we could think of.

It was a fucking blast.

oc marathon cheer 2014 1

the start of the “parade”

We got to see a ton of familiar faces – Pam, Sarah, Monica, Gisele, Allison, Kat, Caroline, our neighbor friend Kristin, reader Tracy, a few other people who called out (hi again, whoever you were!), strangers wearing Oiselle who I crazy shouted “LOVE YOUR SHORTS/TOP/OISELLE!” at, and about 15,000 other strangers. We yelled “Go ____!” at anyone wearing anything that stood out (superman! tutu! orange shirt! team jake! oakland raiders!), and cycled through the following mantras eight bagillion times, somehow without annoyance:

  • “Way to go, runners!”
  • “Looking goooooood!”
  • “Yeah, you got this!”
  • “Keep it up, you’re doing great!”
  • “Wooo(voice crack)hoooooo!”

We saw a dude run by in full firefighter gear and were too preoccupied yelling how awesome he was at him to get a pic, so after he passed I grabbed my phone and took off on (what felt like) a dead sprint to recreate the moment. Good god you’d think I just finished the marathon myself the way I was aching and groaning. Creeek! Errr! Crack! Trying to move quickly after being upright and essentially immobile other than your cowbell arm for a long period of time is not advised. But I powered through because seriously how cool is this dude? (And good-looking, to boot.)

fireman joe oc marathon

After Instagram stalking, I learned this is Fireman Joe

He ran the full marathon in his fire gear, including a 40 pound air tank (how heavy does your hydration pack feel now?) to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Association. According to this article Sunday was his fourth marathon, and he’s completed two half-ironmans and two FULL IRONMANS in his gear. Amazing, easily takes the cake for the most badass thing of the morning.

* Oiselle Haute Volee teammate Allison winning the half was a very close second. :)

oc half marathon winner allison delancy oiselle

smiling, cruising, rocking the shit out of that elite Oiselle kit to a 2 minute win

Already looking forward to the next race to hold down the sideline at – Kristina and I have a good long list of sign ideas ready…

Once my cowbell blisters heal.

Sarah OUaL