The Power of a Team
I started my running career alone on my mom's treadmill in 2007. I ran alone for my first few months before joining my high school's cross country team my senior year. We didn't have a huge team, so most of my runs were still spent alone.
It wasn't until college that I got to experience what it was like to run with a team. I loved it. There's something really special about a group of people out there on the road or track all going after the same goal.
It was when I was alone during summer training that I would struggle. I've talked about my battles with eating disorders in my last post, so not eating much plus pushing myself without anyone around to see that I was either pushing myself too hard or not hard enough was really difficult on me. But then season would start again and I would be surrounded by my team and I'd get that deep connection you can only have with someone after spending long hours training together.
After my college career at ECU I became the Student Assistant Cross Country Coach at SNU and I was able to compete on the track team. Again, being able to run with a new group of people and getting to help coach and train them was so much fun for me. I loved being able to see these athletes achieve their goals and know that I played a small part in their success.
After that year with SNU I began training alone again, and running became more difficult for me. I would get tired of my same old routes and I would get tired of listening to my same old playlists. I ran alone for nearly every run for about two years and I pushed myself too hard, I didn't give myself any breaks, and mentally and physically I was just so drained. Being alone on the road for hours can be so draining. I started to fall out of love with running.
This past August I joined the Oiselle Volée team and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being apart of this team that has so many women all across the world that will see my Oiselle singlet at races and know I am on their team has been a really amazing experience. I was even chosen to co-lead the Oklahoma chapter for Oiselle Volée.
My co-leader Becky introduced me to Christie and Carlee of Wahoo! Running and some of Wahoo's athletes. Since meeting these women in November I have started training with their group of about 8 ladies a few times a week, and when we aren't running together we are texting each other. Each of these women are so strong, they are all mothers and wives and have jobs, but still find the time to run and train to accomplish their goals. Each one of them inspire me so much. There is not another group of people I would get up at 4:30am for to run in 20 degree weather.
I think that it's important to be apart of something bigger than yourself.
When you train with a group of people you become completely invested in their goals, and it helps keep you accountable. The group can use each other for strength, when one teammate is hurting the other can help shoulder the burden, and someone is always there to talk you through rough patches.
The amount of support these women have for each other is so powerful. Since joining this group of women I feel so much stronger, faster, and healthier. When you are tired, there's someone there to help give you that extra push and encouragement to keep going. It's more than just a team, it's a family.
I know this group wants to see me succeed in my running goals and nothing would make me happier than getting to see them achieve theirs. I found these ladies exactly when I needed a team and I am forever grateful for each one of them.
If you would like to be apart of an awesome, super supportive team I would definitely recommend joining the Volée! Oiselle Volée is a sisterhood of support at a variety of levels from beginners to professionals. To learn more about joining Oiselle Volée check out oiselle.com/athletes/volee
If you are needing a training plan that includes some awesome coaching you have to look into Wahoo. Wahoo! Running develops training plans for people looking to run half and full marathons, for more info check out wahoorunning.com