Putting on the Oiselle team singlet for the first time last week made me realize I was part of something bigger. After a year away from my college team and college sports I had began to miss the general team aspect of running. Though I am a member of the Tidewater Striders down in VA Beach, I’ve spent (unwillingly only 3 months in the last year actually in VA).
As most endurance sports are running is one of the most individualized sports out there. Only you can determine how fast you will cross the finish line. You can have a coach or someone pushing you but nobody controls your legs except for you.
That being said I have missed being a part of something bigger than myself. I’ve missed the team atmosphere. I’ve missed lining up with my college team in a box ready to start a race. I’ve missed prerace speeches. Every aspect of collegiate and team running I have missed. Not that every Oiselle teammate could run every race together (I know that I tend to run far more races then the average runner…) but I do know that if I ever see another teammate I can always count of them.
As someone who has been part of a team (with swimming or running), it is finally great to be part of something greater than myself. As I said running is one of the most individualized sports there is. You run the race by yourself. Only you can determine how fast you will run on a given day. You can have people pace you, give you advice, coach, ect. But when the clock starts it’s you and you alone.
But then zoom out of the scope of a road race, cross country race or any other sort of race. Yes, you are running alone but you are running in a community. You are with people also running alone but also running together. Runners are some of the most supportive people both on and off the course.
During the off season of cross country in college (ie: when I was not injured) and after college, I tended to do a lot more road races than the average person. If I lived in an area that had more races then I would still do that. I don’t race often because I expect to PR every time I race, I race because I love the running community. In VA, I loved to see and talk to my friends every weekend. Similar to a giant social gathering in college, for me running road races allowed me to catch up with people throughout the week that lived 45 minutes away.
Since I don’t do a lot of speed work and save money in other areas of my life, racing every weekend is something I love to do. I enjoy that running is such an individualized yet social community. Whether you are on a team (YAY Osielle) or you are not, you are still apart of great community.
So after putting on the Oiselle singlet last weekend and realizing that I was no longer just running by myself, I have come to realize just how much I enjoy the team aspect of running.
Questions for you:
Do you run for a team?
What is your favorite race outfit?
I run for the TrySports Mt. Pleasant team. It is not really based on competitive abilities- you just have to like to run and also promote the store with it (i.e., wear their clothes, contribute to team events and service projects, etc). Really they want a diverse group of people to represent several areas of Charleston, several sports (running/tri, etc).
I wasn’t ever on a team growing up, as I was in band and a more artsy, nerdy person than an athlete… but it’s fun being on my team. Obviously we’re all adults and the relationship is different than a college or high school team but we encourage each other, do group runs together, it is fun to be a part of. There are TrySports stores in NC and SC so occasionally you do see people wearing the Believe Achieve shirts (which are available for anyone to purchase) at races and wearing my singlet I guess I feel a little connected. There was a girl wearing a shirt at my marathon and we chatted, it was neat.
Running with a team is definitely a great connection, I’m glad you’re on the Oiselle team and really enjoying it, you have a great singlet too. Very colorful.
I haven’t been on a team or even participated in any group runs. I wish I would have taken advantage of it more because I think I really would have learned more about running before I got injured. I think, too, it would be great to have the option of running for a team and knowing I just have support in a text message/phone call away. I know running in races puts a whole new light on running – instead smile knowing I’m running with a thousand other people who love it just as much as me; however, having a running group who support you PERSONALLY would be even better.
I’m not a group runner myself as I’m extremely claustrophobic. I think the support is the absolute best though 🙂 .
I like to do races as much as possible also (just 5ks for me) but I often talk myself out of them because of the money, because I usually work on Saturdays, because I won’t PR, for whatever reason. I decided this race “season” that if I want to do it, I’m doing it. I will pay for it, request off work, and run the race. It’s my sport, my hobby, what I like to do, and I’m going to do it as long as it makes me happy. 🙂
I’m glad. That makes me so happy. I’m certainly the same way as far as money right now!
Funny – I run for the exact reason that it IS a solitary sport. I’m not a team player…I never have been. I can understand the appeal, for sure, but I could never cope with the pressure of letting a team down as well as myself if I did badly. I also loathed team sports at school. I guess I don’t get on with people in any social context at all, particularly not a competitive environment such as running. I have so much emotionally invested in running that I would inevitably resent my team-mates for being faster/leaner than I am. I run quite a few more races than average too, but I find the appeal of them very different – I like the chance to compete against other people, but I hate the starts, and I have to focus pretty hard in order not to panic because naturally I’m not comfortable being around large volumes of runners and crowds in general.
I run for me and I guess I enjoy being a selfish runner 😛 The sense of freedom and the hours alone just appeal to me so much that I can’t imagine running with others or going to team sessions.
I do enjoy chatting with some of the other runners after the race, but on a one-on-one basis. I can’t cope with talking to more than one person at once!
My favourite race outfit is, quite frankly, anything that doesn’t chafe! I’m not picky, but I prefer darker colours.
Chafing is the absolute worst. Ever since a half I did early on where I was bleeding I’m so careful. That being said I’ve never chaffed in cotton t’s running…Just that one tank top.
Yes, yes, and yes! Even though I loved high school basketball (and enjoyed college ball to a point, lol), I didn’t realize how much I missed training and competing with a team until I joined my tri team this year. You’re right–on race day, you race alone. (Although I do love seeing coaches and teammates during the race–that always gives me a boost!) But it’s so nice to train with people who will challenge and push you; that’s how you get better.
I have only been in tri suits lately, but I have a favorite pair of workout pants that I just love. I always had special goggles and stuff in swimming!
I do run for a team and I really like the camaraderie. It’s so nice to enjoy the other runners’ victories along with my own, you know? The only problem is, I’m really at my best when i’m self-coached, because I’m very injury prone and yet also very competitive, so if a coach is hyping up the team for speedwork I WILL push hard even if a small voice in my head tells me not to. I WILL sprint the last 200 of an interval so I can pass the girl I know is slower than I am, even if I know I should be sitting back a bit that day. That has ended poorly for me in the past. So I do like team running, but may need either individual coaching or self-coaching instead of the sort done in a group.
I just ordered my first pair of oiselle shorts and arm warmers. I had to have a pair after I saw yours. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the package!
I don’t run for any team but I did go to a “pub run” hosted once a week for the first time and had a blast. I usually run alone and it was fun running with a large group of people not in a race. I plan on going back whenever I can 🙂
Putting on the Oiselle singlet for the first time made me feel the same way too 🙂
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