Kara’s Big Moves

Last week, the most famous woman in U.S. distance running made big moves in the professional running world. Kara Goucher, long-time NIKE sponsored-runner and Alberto Salazar pupil, signed an endorsement contract with Oiselle.

Who?

Pronounced "Wa-zel". (Image courtesy of Oiselle)

Pronounced “Wa-zel”.
(Image courtesy of Oiselle)

Oiselle is an Oregon-based female running apparel company started by CEO Sally Bergesen. Their mission is simple and straightforward: help empower female runners of all abilities, encourage healthy habits (the female running world is littered with disordered eating), run hard, run clean, and be a superfan of the brand and each other.

Running far, running fast. Wings out!

Running far, running fast. Wings out!

They sponsor several professional female runners on their Haute Volée team (Lauren Fleshman and Kate Grace being just two of my favorites!), a team of up-and-coming runners called Little Wing, and dozens of everyday Ambassadors across the country.

Just a few of the Oiselle Ambassadors in my world :)

Just a few of the Oiselle Ambassadors in my world 🙂

But why does it matter so much that Kara Goucher has moved on from NIKE to Oiselle? Well, this headline should say it all:

"Upstart" made me laugh. (Image shamelessly stolen from Sally Bergesen's Twitter feed)

“Upstart” made me laugh.
(Image shamelessly stolen from Sally Bergesen’s Twitter feed.
Original from WSJ)

Kara (I just made us on a first name basis–hope you don’t mind, Kara!) wrote about her departure on her blog, was interviewed for Competitor and Runner Space (two parts), and Sally (again, first name basis…oops?) told the story from point of view as well.

She is arguably the most famous female runner in the country. She’s beautiful, gracious, and has a bright career still ahead of her and definitely had her pick of incredibly lucrative, world-famous running shoe/apparel companies kicking her door down to throw tons of money just to get the chance to sponsor her.

She chose Oiselle.

oiselle-signing-kara

Inking the deal.
(Image stolen from Sally at Oiselle.com–sorry, wasn’t there to get my own shots!)

In short, Kara moved back to Boulder (holla, CO!) to train with her college coaches and wanted to get with a team and a sponsor that aligned with how she sees her future as a runner and entrepreneur, as well as a place where she feels at home.

I love this.

Some more Oiselle ladies killin it.

Some more Oiselle ladies killin it.

I love that she took a HUGE pay cut to be with a team she identifies with personally and professionally. I love that she joined a company that actively empowers female runners and business owners alike. I love that she chose to be a part of something she believes in, not just the highest bidder.

Running is still a very male-dominated industry. Male coaches, male superstars, predominantly male-based merchandise. It’s only been in recent years that shoe and apparel companies have stopped jimmy-rigging men’s clothes and shoes to fit women.

I mean, helllllllooooo! Who does more shopping?

Oiselle friends in NYC. Such a great group of women!

Oiselle friends in NYC. Such a great group of women!

And Oiselle is the perfect example of where the future of women’s running is headed. Empowering each other. Cheering each other on. Sharing each other’s awesome ideas (Picky Bars, anyone?). Encouraging each other to go for all of our dreams–family AND a career. Breaking down barriers for women across the board.

I mean, they had a fashion show during Fashion Week in New York City last year, starring their athletes. And then Lauren (can I call you Lauren?) went on her blog to show the world what she really looks like OFF the runway, post-baby.

Now that’s integrity for you. Hero status.

And Kara joining the team throws a huge spotlight on company, yes, but even more so toward the mission statement behind the brand. 

(Courtesy of Oiselle)

(Courtesy of Oiselle)

I, for one, am thrilled to see big moves from a big player and hope that more athletes will follow in her (& Nick Symmonds!) footsteps in taking an active role in shaping the future of our sport for the better, not just for the richer.

I am thoroughly impressed with the fearlessness and integrity with which Kara and Oiselle are leading the pack in female running and business. I hope to do the same in my own career as a runner and a physical therapist.

Thanks for the inspiration, ladies.

Now go out and run.

Things I’m Loving Thursday

There are a few things that are blowing my mind these days. Some are running related, some are absolutely not. So, you know, pick and choose.

1. Minions.

Carl.

Carl.

My sister and I joined forces with our husbands and took Peanut and our cousin’s two kids to see Despicable Me 2. It was so much fun seeing a kid movie with kids. Peanut was sitting in my lap, totally zoned out to the movie the entire time. I, of course, was in heaven snuggling with my favorite 2 YEAR OLD!!!!

2. The Sports Gene by David Epstein.

So much information, so little time.

So much information, so little time.

This book looks at about a bajillion studies that search for the true meaning of life: are professional athletes born that way or is it just plain ‘ol hard work? He looks at Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 rule (well, it’s not really HIS, but popularized by him in his book, Outliers) and its significance across the spectrum.

As a science geek, I am eating up this information. As a runner, I am dying to get to the end. The good news so far: yes, it’s genetics and yes, it’s practice.

3. Naturopathica Lavender Honey Balancing Mist, Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Mask, and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye.

'Cuz this face doesn't just happen.

‘Cuz this face doesn’t just happen.

I’m a sweaty girl and the more I sweat, the saltier my skin gets. Solution? This trio. The balancing mist after I wash my face, the mask after long runs (such a treat for my super-dry post-long run skin!), and the eye cream every. single. night. Kiehl’s is a life-saver. Trust me.

4. Oiselle Rogas.

Fly birdie!

Fly birdie!

I am forever in search of the perfect non-compression running shorts. I love the waistband on these and the length is comfy. I’m not sold on the liner but we’ll see how they do on a longer run. So far, I like. Bonus? I dig the company.

5. My CSCS Bible book.

Also doubles as a kettle bell.

Also doubles as a kettle bell.

It’s a monster of a book but honestly, it’s not too bad. Lots of words that are saying all that I know already, which is kind of awesome. It’s reassuring to know that the conclusions I’ve come to are not only valid, but scientifically proven. Yee-haw! Just wish I didn’t have a test looming during my summer “off” time. Boooooooo.

6. 2 x 2 mile workouts.

(No photo cuz I’m not that girl who can take a photo during a hard workout. Too busy trying not to boot.)

So. Hard. I discovered that I could do one of the 2 mile “races” on the track but I absolutely could not do a second 8-lap death march on that oval. I transferred to the East River path for my second 2-miler and felt a world of mental difference. Loved the workout!

And those are latest obsessions! What are yours? Any new running shorts you’ve tried lately? Guys-compression or loose? Ladies-share your skin secrets with me! Running or non-running obsessions alike are welcome.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness Links:

You guys, OMG, Happy Friday!

Play it again, Schroeder. (Image courtesy of Peanuts.com)

Play it again, Schroeder.
(Image courtesy of Peanuts.com)

Friday is my favorite day AND I’m off to work out with my friend. Hip-hip HOORAY! for Friday. Now here’s what’s going on around the fitness world:

  • Good on them: New York Sports Club, Boston Sports Club, Washington Sports Club, and Philadelphia Sports Club gyms will be opening their doors for free whenever the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Speaking of deals, did you hear Revolve Fitness has summer rates? Woohoo! They also have a Spotify account where you can stalk them for new workout tunes.
I am ALWAYS in need of new tunes & affordable classes.

I am ALWAYS in need of new tunes & affordable classes.

 

Me and my friend Jon. I just love volunteering with these athletes!

Me and my friend Jon from Achilles. I just love volunteering with these athletes!

Wings out, y'all. (Image courtesy of Oiselle.com)

Wings out, y’all.
(Image courtesy of Oiselle.com)

Kara's fast, yo. (Image courtesy of EricaSara.com)

Kara’s fast, yo. (Image courtesy of EricaSara.com)

Good news for my slightly underpronating, mostly neutral feet.

Good news for my slightly underpronating, mostly neutral feet.

Did I miss anything? Who did the A to Z survey and didn’t tell me? Who’s racing this weekend? New Yorkers: the Boomer 10K is now a fun run 4-miler, FYI. Anyone else have a race this weekend? Stay safe out there, runners!

Now go out and run.

What I’m Wearing Wednesday

Welcome to Summer.

It is often intolerably hot in New York City during the Summer months. No matter how early you get up, how much you hydrate, or what you’re wearing, it’s STILL intolerable.

Luckily, there are some seriously fabulous companies making some seriously Summer-ready clothing.

Just your average Saturday run. You know, with 30 of your closest running buddies, sweating it out.

Just your average Saturday run. You know, with 30 of my closest running buddies, sweating it out. There’s a whole lotta moisture-wicking attire going on here.
(Image shamelessly stolen from http://thethinksicanthink.com/ or http://enthusiasticrunner.com –I can’t remember which)

So, what am I wearing to sweat it out in these 90 degree temps? Next to nothing.

Doing my best to feel naked.

Doing my best to feel naked.

Naked outfit:

  • Run: Swiftly Tech Racerback is as close to being topless as any tank top I’ve ever owned. I size up because it’s super sheer but maybe I shouldn’t because it gets pretty weighed down with my sweat. What do you think?

(Obi-wan, skip the next bullet)

  • Free To Be Bra is not a running bra for the larger than a small B cup so it works for me just fine. I recommend the Energy Bra for my more blessed runner friends.
  • Last summer’s compression shorts aren’t around again but the Run: Fast Track Short is close. It’s about 1 inch shorter than the ones pictured below (along with my favorite hat!) and made of my favorite fabric: luxtreme.
Yes, I wave like a mad woman even when I'm secretly dying inside.

Yes, I wave like a mad woman even when I’m secretly dying inside.

  • Sun Chaser Run Hat keeps my head cool, the sweat out of my eyes, and helps me avoid sunburn. Totally clutch.

**Full disclosure: As a lululemon Ambassador, I do receive clothes from them. No lie. But they are simply the best ones I’ve found and I’ve been wearing them since long before I became an Ambassador and will be wearing them long after my tenure has expired.

My 2nd pair lulu pants from forever ago (2005?) were finally retired last year.

My 2nd pair lulu pants from forever ago (2005?) were finally retired last year.

Other items I’m excited to try (pretty much the entire Oiselle line including, but not limited to):

I struggle with finding shorts I love so I’m really looking forward to giving Oiselle a try, especially seeing as how so many of my friends are loving them. Birdie says they’re right up my alley so OF COURSE I’m buying one of each.

What are your go-to summer clothing items? Compression or loose shorts? Tank top or shirtless? When you lace ’em up for a hot run, what do you avoid like the plague? Am I missing an amazing wardrobe piece? Tell me!

Now go out and run!

 

 

Gift Guide 2012: The Lady Runner

I’m a big fan of holding out til holidays to ask for big ticket items. Then again, I love a stocking stuffer, too.

Ok, I just like presents.

Correction: I like nicely wrapped presents.

And I LOVE Christmastime. It’s my favorite time of year. Everything is prettier in lights, we always get a REAL Christmas tree, gift-giving is almost as fun as gift-getting, and I love getting Christmas cards in the mail. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Speaking of gift-giving, some of you might be wondering what to get the lady runner/athlete in your life. Here are a list of my favorite things. Click on the image to go to the website.

Note: Do not attempt to buy workout stuff for someone who doesn’t already workout or who has not expressed a desire to own workout stuff. This could be extremely insulting and ruin your holidays. Trust me.

1. Garmin Forerunner 10: $129.99

It’s got all the basics for half the cost: pace, time, distance, personal bests. It’s great if you don’t need/want all the stats. And it’s pretty and small!

2. I am in love with my Saucony Kinvara 3s: $100.00

Hello, gorgeous! They’re a great lightweight shoe for those of us with higher arches and, again, SO PRETTY!

3. Race Bib Coasters: $22.00

What a creative way to commemorate a great run! What will those geniuses over at Etsy think of next?!

4. Sugoi Women’s MidZero Tight: $55.95

AKA my favorite winter running tight EVER. Seriously, these are cozy and they breathe. I don’t know how they did that, but they did.

5. lululemon What the Fluff Vest: $158.00

I’m a HUGE fan of a running vest. My arms get freakishly warm in the winter. This one is especially warm and, duh, pretty to boot!

6. Erica Sara Designs Love Note: $78-98

Write your friend/running buddy/wife/daughter a note to take with her on her runs. Erica will engrave it for you (in your handwriting) and put it on a beautiful charm. A good luck charm for the lady runner in your life.

7. Oiselle Indigo Melange Arm Warmers$32.00

The perfect way to stay warm but have options. And they’re so on-trend!

8. Cross-training Gift Cards: The sky’s the limit!

   

It’s cold out there and sometimes even the most dedicated runners want to head indoors! Plus, it’s a great way to stay in good physical health. These are my favorite places to sweat in NYC, in case you are my Secret Santa 😉

There are so many other fabulous gifts out there, if you run into a problem and need a woman’s advice, feel free to holler at me. I love to shop. If all else fails, a day at the spa is always in order.

Get going, everyone! Only a few more hours til Cyber Monday is over.

Now go out and run!