Running shorts… and an avian rant

I first learned about Oiselle at the 2013 Penn Relays. My first impression: “Wow, someone didn’t pay attention in French class.” French lesson of the day: you can’t make all nouns feminine by replacing the ‘eau’ at the end with an ‘elle.’ Yes, “oiseau” is actually a masculine noun, but there are obviously female birds in France. They’re still “oiseau.” The website used to have something about how Oiselle is the French word for bird or something. No need to be annoying about it by making it all feminine and stuff. Whatever. B for effort though.

Flash forward to 2014 — I started doing some trail running and track workouts near my house. I usually drive there, and storing my car keys during the run is a pain in the butt. Literally. I have a bajillion pairs of Nike tempo shorts that I got for like $10-15 throughout the years, but the pocket isn’t big enough for my car keys, so I decided to look around for some shorts that have zipper pockets. Alas, I stumbled upon the Nike Rival shorts. I bought two pairs as a splurge for my birthday and am in loveeeee with them.

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But because I wear them so often (already, I know), I ordered a pair of Roga Shorts from Oiselle to add to my shorts rotation. Yay: 1) they have a zip pocket 2) they were on sale. Woohoo.

They arrived today, and they look like this:

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If you’re charging $46 (full price) for a pair of shorts, at least make the quality live up to its price tag. Ugh. In addition to those orphan seams, the shorts felt stiff and scratchy because I’ve been spoiled by my Nike Rival shorts, which were around the same price.

I never liked the Oiselle brand that much from the beginning (can I please just call it Oiseau? GENDER EQUALITY), and getting sub-par shorts didn’t help. I also found out that they have this little exclusive club called “The Flock,” where you basically pay $100 to join, wear their singlet to races, and write hashtag Oiselle, hashtag TheFlock on every social media channel ever. It’s a brilliant idea, really. Get a bunch of wealthy white women to pay to join a cult so that they can continually funnel their money towards the brand. You PAY to market them. Absolutely brilliant. But this is a company that claims to empower women.

If you really want to empower people through running, check out Back on My Feet and Black Girls Run. I know the comparison isn’t completely fair because these two organizations are non-profits, but my point is that buying a pair of $46 shorts is not empowering at all, unless you think that flaunting wealth is empowering…

I personally love running because it’s something that can connect people regardless of age, gender, nationality, income level, heritage, culture, hair color, you name it. You can run a 4 minute mile or a 14 minute mile. It really doesn’t matter because, above all, you’re a runner. It pains me to see a company make this sport seem so divisive and cliquey.

Anyway. I could elaborate more on the last part, but I don’t want to seem so negative. I’m just really disappointed. To summarize: 1) Oiselle is not a French word 2) Oiselle Roga shorts are of mediocre quality 3) Oiselle is the opposite of empowering

As for my new Roga shorts… I’m kinda tempted to keep them for the back pocket, but I’d rather not. Does anyone have suggestions for running shorts that have pockets big enough to store car keys? Or any other creative solutions? 

Race Recap: Variety’s Superhero 5K

I got a complimentary race entry to the Variety’s Superhero 5K through an email list a few weeks ago (my company does volunteer days at the charity so I’ll probably be spending a day there at some point soon. Great cause). I figured why not register and decide later, so I made a deal with myself last night — I won’t do the race unless I wake up by myself without an alarm. I don’t like running in the morning, so if my body naturally wants to avoid it, then I’ll go with it. At around 7am, I woke up without my alarm, figured that it was plenty of time to get to an 8am race. I made some scrambled eggs, microwaved some sausage links, chased my food down with water and boom I was out the door by 7:30am. I got to the race around 7:45am, picked up my bib, and did a super brief warm up.

I wanted to take it at a comfortable pace because I’m planning to do a track workout later today with my bff J.S. Bach (I think Baroque music is the best for 800 repeats). It was also more for mileage purposes because I’m at 15 so far for the week and I’d really like to make that 20. Because of this, I purposefully ran without a watch and kind of just chilled. I don’t know my splits, nor did I know where the mile markers were. I just ran. Took a walk break for water. Sprinted the last 200 meters so that the photographer could get a good action shot of me. Overall, I’m happy with how this race went. I got my miles in and really enjoyed the course.

…And apparently I placed 2nd in my age group with a 29:04 (9:22/mile pace). Wait what?! I didn’t stay for the awards ceremony because I totally did not expect to ever place in anything. Do race directors usually just mail the medals if you’re not there? No clue because this is a new experience for me. Haha.

Oh, did I mention that this race was superhero themed? There were people in superhero costumes, and it was pretty adorable.

I got some sweet swag at the end of the race:
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The comfiest shirt ever. I’m already wearing it.

photo-23Two things I’ve been meaning to try — uber and Vita Coco coconut water. Sweet.

Have you ever done a 5K just for fun? Any big races this fall?