Wednesday, August 27, 2014

oiselle #birdcamp

almost two weeks ago to this day, i had the opportunity to head west to orgeon and participate in the first ever oiselle #birdcamp. i didn't really know what to expect and i was 100% nervous leading up to travel day with the same fears i had as a kid going to camp, "what if no one likes me?" funny how even as adults our core fears and concerns don't change much!

i was lucky enough to carpool with some amazing ladies and that set the tone for a week full of meeting new friends who already had two things in common to bond over: oiselle and running. 

the carpool crew

we made a stop at legendary hayward field in eugene before
driving to bend

i was hoping i would go into bird camp feeling strong and ready to run on trails and challenge myself in the 5k race that we all did on thursday evening.  what i got out of my body, and out of myself was the exact opposite. i was only able to run twice and each of those runs was incredibly difficult. my body wasn't cooperating and i was in pain. if you want to feel badly about an injury, go to running camp where most people are running 2x a day in the most incredible scenery you can imagine. needless to say, i was mentally struggling to keep myself positive. 

luckily, there were experts at camp to provide insight and advice and words of wisdom on all sorts of running, sport and life related topics. i think my favorite thing about camp was listening to elite athletes like lauren fleshman, kate grace, and stephanie howe share stories of their triumphs and their times of struggle. i specifically asked lauren about how she has been able to find the "what's next for me" goal during times of injury. i wanted to know how i could get past my own injury, mentally. she provided some amazing advice that is so simple and yet so hard, "you just have to let it go and accept the reality of the situation. find a new process goal" (that is totally paraphrased by the way, but you get the idea). i spent a lot of time over the course of camp thinking about my goals and how i could let my current september goal go. for me, bird camp was as much mental training as it could have been physical training.

lauren fleshman answering my question and giving out advice

we did a lot of great things at camp; hike smith rock (my first time hiking EVER), explore the beautiful oregon trails, form drills and activation drills, meditation exercises and singing the national anthem as a team (search for it on youtube, lauren led us in song). we also got a sneak peek at what's coming down the line from oiselle and it was pretty neat to see all the different clothing styles on actual bodies. i know that everyone had a long shopping list at the end of camp after getting to see the #flystyle of everyone on the team!

me on top of our smith rock climb

smith rock - gorgeous!!!

if anything, this week solidified for me one thing i have known to be true about running: the community is one of my favorite things about the sport. i spent a little less than a week with 100 amazing women who have conquered amazing feats, who have endured, who have overcome and at the end of camp they had inspired me. even though i was feeling low about my ability as a runner at this time in my life, i could look around me and still have the drive and hunger to chase down my goals because all of these women kept that fire alive for me. they were out winning races and challenging new distances. heck, i am even reconsidering training for a marathon again thanks to leana! even though i couldn't run like i wanted to, i came away from camp knowing how much running meant to me and having a network of supporters to help me keep that fire alive. that is something that i cannot put a price tag on and something i am incredibly grateful for.

my homegirl beth was my bird camp hero!

loved learning from lauren and sally - much respect and love for them!

oregon is ridiculously beautiful

this was just a 3 minute walk from where we stayed!

i'm so glad i stepped out of my comfort zone and went to camp. getting a chance to do something like this doesn't happen often and even though i wish i could have been running fast and strong (or running at all) i am still so glad i made the most out of every moment i had with the oiselle team! check out a few of the other recaps from oiselle, my friend (and fellow spartan) lisa, paulette (my long time goog buddy), ashley (who helped me come up with an idea for my next tattoo), sarah (who has a very thorough recap and has a dog that looks like mine) and sun (who i got to meet for the first time in real life)!

Friday, August 15, 2014

the super run: ann arbor and lansing race entry giveaway!

the super run is a national series of family events, with a super hero theme, of course! this 5k and 1k event partners with local charities to raise awareness and funds for their causes. the run acts as a platform for multiple charities to benefit, instead of having to enter a race for each charity you might want to support. it's a pretty smart idea, really! why haven't we been doing this all along?? 

the super run is coming to ann arbor on september 6th (and lansing on september 27th), and i have a free entry to giveaway for both races! the host charity for both of these events is the lutheran social services of michigan, the largest private foster care agency in michigan (check out their awesome super hero video about being a foster parent). this event will also support the following amazing charities and more:

  • world animal awareness society
  • american association for cancer research
  • children's hospital of michigan foundation

since this is a family fun event, there will also be awesome activities like moon bounces, face painting, magicians, and vendors to check out. overall, it's just an event that is trying to raise awareness for some great causes in a very fun and super way. 

here are the details:

what: the super run
when: september 6th, 2014
where: gallop park, ann arbor

what: the super run
when: september 27th, 2014
where: hawk island park, lansing

and here are the discounts!
  • get 20% off your super hero gear and costumes at by using the discount code: SUPERRUNFAN  (can anyone say early halloween shopping??)
  • get $5 off an adult race registration for the super run by using the discount code: SRBLOG7

and, if you want a chance for a free entry to the race, make sure you enter my giveaway using rafflecopter below (and let me know which city you'd like to race in)! there will be one winner per location. hope to see you on september 6th in ann arbor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

the splitting of the jeans

last week tried to run me over with the struggle bus.

never mind that i had one blissful day at lake michigan to soothe away my overworked and tired soul... the peace i felt went right out the door when i returned to work the next day. 

this is pure michigan, folks

taking a vacation in my new job is really tough and it adds more stress to my life than if i had just stayed at work. needless to say, having to work for a few hours while i tried to make my way to the lake on my vacation day put me in a pretty sour mood.

and the rest of the week, aside from that blissful 24 hour lake period, followed suit. i had to drop my car off tuesday to the body shop, because some delightful person hit my car in the parking lot and decided not to leave a note. gee, thanks. so i picked up a rental tuesday and felt very thankful that i had insurance to help with all of this. 

enter thursday. my first day back from vacation. our company picnic is scheduled for the afternoon and my day turns into a crap show. i'm not able to go to the picnic because i have to stay at work and clean up messes, so to speak. my first work picnic in 6 1/2 years i've missed. i'm utterly bummed and frustrated. i drive home that night only to notice something in the corner of my eye in the windshield of the rental.

it's a freaking chip. a chip in the windshield of the rental. you've got to be freaking kidding me. insert anxiety attack here. i frantically look through the rental papers and sure enough, there is no chip marked on the damage report when i picked the car up. wonderful.

so now, i have my car in the shop and i will also now be liable for the chip in the windshield of this rental. i thought good karma was supposed to happen to me, not bad???

now it's friday morning. i'm dreading taking the car back to the rental place because i don't want them to say that i will have yet another deductible to pay (that would make for a total of $1,000 in deductibles between the two cars, for the record). who has $1,000 just lying around to flush down the toilet? not me. anyway, i'm getting ready for the day and i grab my favorite pair of jeans. they are my only designer brand jeans, 7 for all mankind, and i got them on clearance in las vegas at nordstrom (i remember all this because i was so excited to find a pair of these jeans on sale and that actually fit. my confidence soared when i bought these jeans). 

i'm tugging them on, as i usually do, because they are skinny fit and i hear, "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip!"

my heart stopped. i'm pretty sure. i didn't want to look down at my jeans, but i did anyway. sure enough, my beautiful, favorite jeans had ripped. 

my poor, beautiful jeans

i flung myself onto the bed and sobbed for a solid twenty minutes. not quiet tears, but full on ugly baby crying tears. if you want to make a woman feel bad about herself and life, this is the way to do it, folks. few things tear at my self esteem than my favorite article of clothing ripping when i'm trying to put it on. i tried to call brandon for emotional support but he couldn't understand me over the sound of my hysterical sobs. that rip in my jeans was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. i had reached my capacity for crap and it was coming out of my body in big, wet tears.

so what's the point of this story, of this post? aside from the relief i get from sharing, this story ends by me deciding to do something different in response to all the crap i felt had been dumped on me. even though i felt that i was at my wit's end (because i was), i decided that i would try to keep it together because there was no sense in letting all of this pull me apart. i had my 20 minute melt down, my 20 minute emotional release and then i needed to pick myself up, find another pair of pants and tackle my day. and that's exactly what i did. yes, i had a chip on my shoulder the entire day (and in the windshield of my rental car). yes, i still was upset and stressed and mad at the world. but i went to the rental car place and dealt with my windshield responsibility. i picked up my car and paid my deductible. i went to work and i managed the crap out of all the things i had to do. and when i got home that night, i looked at my poor pair of jeans and said a very sad goodbye. 

i think part of what makes me a strong person is the ability to have emotion and allow for the release when it is needed, but to also know when it's time to take care of business and not let something drag me down. i spent a lot of my life allowing myself to play the "victim" if you will. but it never got me very far or made me feel any better. by taking charge of my day that friday, i did feel a little more in control and less like a victim of bad things that had happened to me.

i should note that my insurance company ended up waiving my deductible, the rental car place had an amazing manager who saw my distress and only charged me to fill the windshield chip, and i managed to conquer all the craziness at work. when it rains, eventually the sun has to come out again :)