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?