Bird Camp

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend Bird Camp hosted by Oiselle. They first announced it early fall last year so I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of camp. I knew it was going to be fun but these Oiselle ladies knocked it out of the park, huge thanks to all the Oiselle ladies that made it happen especially Lesko, Sally and Kristin, JJ (amazing job on food).

I arrived Wed at Portland airport with Ashley and the plan of meeting up with 5 ladies from around the country, renting a van and driving to Bend. I assumed the 3+hour van ride would help us get to know each other. We were officially known as #vanbytherivergirls. Check us out on twitter. We arrived in a heavy rainstorm in Bend around 530pm. Our camp was held at Seventh Mountain Resort right along the Deschutes river. It was absolutely stunning and we had river trails to run on right outside our door.

me at Lauren Fleshman at Bird camp

me at Lauren Fleshman at Bird camp

#vanbytherivergirls

#vanbytheriver

I was concerned about food/meals. Being a gluten-free vegetarian I am not always the easiest person to feed. I love Picky Bars but did not want to eat them the whole trip. I was very pleased to be given a couple large boxes full of foods that accommodated my needs at check-in. Also every meal was labeled and had options I could enjoy. Thanks JJ for making this happen. I have never traveled and had “food” by this easy and abundant. I think I might have gained weight on the trip. One thing I could not resist was the gluten-free chocolate cake Fri night after build your own burger! This was in turn followed by smores (I had to pass, too full).

We were assigned roommates and I got to meet a new friend, Holly, from Jacksonville, FL. One of the best parts of camp was getting to know the 90+ women from around the country and a few from Canada.

We had a jam-packed agenda full of rich quality speakers, activities, runs, workouts, yoga, field trips, etc. Here is a sample:

Thursday

7am breakfast in room

8am Jasyoga meditation

815am activation exercises and run lead by Littlewing

930-11 pt for runners by Jay DiCharry checkout his book http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Runners-Unlocking-Potential-Prevention/dp/1620871599  (I was so thrilled that he was in attendance, I love his book)

11-12 nutrition for runners Stephanie Howe (Western States Ultra Champion, amazing!!!)

12 lunch

1 elite speakers and goal setting with Lauren Fleshman and Kate Grace (could get inspired by them all day long)

230 jasyoga

330-5 free time (I did my pt exercises after being inspired by Jay)

515 report to bus to depart to downtown Bend

7pm Deschutes 5k run outside Deschutes Brewery (free beer afterwards)

8 dinner at Café Yumm (it was yummy)

9 bus back

(we had to awake at 6 the next morning for our field trip to Smith Rock)

 

Smith Rock with Kristine Burgess from Chicago

Smith Rock with Kristine Burgess from Chicago

refreshing dip in the river after hiking Misery Ridge at Smith Rock

refreshing dip in the river after hiking Misery Ridge at Smith Rock

I have not done speed work since March due to injury. I am in base building mode with easy runs, my longest being 8 miles. I was planning to take it easy on the 5k and run a conservative 745 training pace. Well I got really excited with all the Oiselle girls in matching jerseys and wanting to pass a few guys. Ended up running avg pace of 7:11 but felt amazing. My goal was to be able to run every day of camp (it was achieved).

Thursday am 4 miles pm 5k race

Fri 4 mile hike Smith Rock, 4 mile afternoon run

Sat 10 mile run (amazing run along river trail felt awesome the whole way)

Sun 4 mile run (sore but just had to enjoy friends and weather one last time)

Friday we visited Smith Rock which was amazing. There were several choices for hikes and runs. It was pretty steep so I opted for the hike with a run later if I was feeling good. Lauren explained the routes to us and commented that she had hiked Misery Ridge at 8 months pregnant!! Misery Ridge was a beautiful climb followed by a lovely walk along the river. I could not resist a dip in the river! We had a wonderful box lunch picnic in the grass before heading back. The rest of the day was another flurry of activities. Around 10pm I went to my room to take out my contacts and try to gain a bit of energy. I laid on the bed and my phone was lighting up with tweets about the smores by the fire, Lauren playing guitar but I had nothing left and called it a night.

view of river from Smith Rock

view of river from Smith Rock

Saturday after good breakfast we headed on the river trail for a long run. The trail was amazing, rolling hills, shade, dirt path and excellent views.  I was hoping to run a solid 8. I had a great group of runners, Megan, Allie, and Susie. Since they were going farther I decided to add on a bit and then risk having to walk back at the end. I was able to run all 10 miles with no problems. This was amazing!!!! I have not run this long since March. I planned to take a few days off when I got home.

Deschutes river trail

Deschutes river trail

 

 

Nuun hydration break just before I turned back.

Nuun hydration break just before I turned back.

Sat afternoon I went tubing down the river with several girls. It was really fun and relaxing. Also the cold water was amazing on glutes/hips they were getting really sore. There was a dinner, band, dancing planned for us that evening. We rushed back from the river and I showered and changed in 8 minutes flat! The whole weekend was full of rich activities and I did not want to miss a beat so lots of running from here to there!! We had an amazing taco bar catered at Crows Feet with a great band playing. More kombucha on tap (gotta love Oregon). We opened the night with Lauren Fleshman leading us in signing the national anthem, quite moving. We finished dinner and danced under the stars to a great band. There were several men looking on, I am sure very curious about this large group of attractive and fit women!! The band wrapped up and we headed across the street for more dancing. I was getting pretty tired but just soaked it all in.

post race Thursday night with Jude and Christine Babcock. He is so cute.

post race Thursday night with Jude and Christine Babcock. He is so cute.

Sunday morning came way too early. I was determined to squeeze in one more run, despite exhaustion and barely being able to move my legs. I met my running partners at the conference center and spotted some Runenergy to throw in my bottle. Little did I know when I opened it the bottle was empty. Yikes!!

getting duped by the empty bottle of runenergy

getting duped by the empty bottle of runenergy

I think I could write a lot more and post tons of picture but I really want to get this out! All in all camp was amazing. I felt overwhelmed by the awesome women I met. I look forward to staying in contact and hearing about their races!!! Can’s wait for BirdCamp next year.

Sonoran Distance Project Flagstaff Running Camp

It has been a roller coaster few months. I have started seeing a new physical therapist and things are finally clicking (and healing). I prefer to focus on the positive and looking forward rather than back over the last several months of dealing with hamstring/glute injury. I felt as if I was living in the space between doctor visits, mri, x-ray, treatment, etc. and now the grey clouds have lifted. I have been able to run every other day 5-7 miles with no pain for a few weeks now. I was so blessed that Coach John arranged a running camp up at his cabin in Flagstaff for the Sonoran Distance Project Team this summer.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining my Sonoran Distance Project teammates (most of them) at running camp in Flagstaff. He owns a rustic cabin up in the cool pines of Flagstaff at 7000 ft elevation and much cooler temps than Phoenix in the summer. Susan “The Legend” Loken and I drove up together. We arrived just in time for Tanaya’s awesome yoga class. Great way to stretch out after the drive. After yoga we headed out for a quick 4 miler. Meals had been divided up and I have to say we had some awesome food the entire weekend! The cabin has no electricity (gas-powered stove and frig) so we hit the beds pretty early since it was dark before 8.

New meaning to downward dog

New meaning to downward dog

 

 

Hops helping Susan relax and breath.

Hops helping Susan relax and breath

 

 

DSCF7582

 

Saturday we headed out from the cabin for a variety of distances. This would be my first time running 2 days in a row in months. I was excited and nervous. My teammates graciously turned around at 3.5 mile so I could run 7 and hopefully add 1 more around the meadow if I was feeling good. The cool weather was fantastic. There were rolling hills and I could definitely feel the elevation. We were excited to have Janet , 10,000 meter 2012 Olympic team member. She shared her story of coming from Kenya to run in college and her transition into a professional runner. She is an amazing runner and fantastic story-teller. I loved hearing the story of the Vidalia Onion race where she set the course record, won a bag of onions and cleaned out the race organizers collecting the prize money she won. I look forward to watching her progression.

SDP girls with Janet.

SDP girls with Janet.

Janet sharing her story.

Janet sharing her story.

Following Janet’s talk and lunch we had an opportunity to work with the different committees we have set up for Sonoran Distance Project. We are really trying to promote our group and obtain sponsorship as well as give back to our communities. We had some amazing ideas and I look forward to seeing the growth of our team. Our team is very dynamic in many ways: age ranging between 25-51, some former collegiate runners, med students, stay at home parents (that’s me), health coach, nurse, professional runner, and the list goes on. We all have the same collective goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. The school teacher Arianna came out as she whipped out her large poster sheets and smelly markers! All the more fun to create with.

Natalie and I were proud of our poster for the marketing committee.

Natalie and I were proud of our poster for the marketing committee.

Saturday afternoon we had games of skill (or chance). Pull-ups at the horse corral, archery, egg toss. The past year and a half I have battled tendonitis in each elbow and really have not done much upper body strength training. I was shocked to see I could barely muscle up a pull-up. Time to hit the gym! Our pull-up team champion was Natalie (former gymnast of course) and Coach John beat us all. The archery was pretty interesting since most of us have not used a bow and arrow before. I was happy no one shot a person or dog. Autumn shocked us all with her archery skills. Playing the egg toss in the meadow meant we did not have to clean up the mess!! We had a fantastic taco dinner that night. This was  followed by some celebration cupcakes in honor of the newlyweds Amy and Jesse. The evening was capped off with a game of “Would you rather?” we decided we need to make a runner’s version for next summer.

Natalie cranking out the pull-ups!

Autumn looking like a pro.

Autumn looking like a pro.

struggling with my pull-ups.

struggling with my pull-ups.

 

Sunday morning John arranged for us to meet with a group of runners that train in Flagstaff. There are many elite runners training/living in Flagstaff with 7000 ft elevation and good weather much of the year it is ideal. We had an amazing group, wish I had a chance to meet everyone but did talk to a few girls. I was hoping my 3rd day of running in a row would be ok. I was so excited to have a pain-free 6 mile run!!

Flagstaff long run. The best of AZ runners!

Flagstaff long run. The best of AZ runners!

Overall it was a fantastic camp giving us a chance to bond and run together. Did I mention it was about 40 degrees cooler than Phoenix? yeah that was nice too!

Next up: Oiselle Running Camp in Bend, OR August 13. Very excited!!! Running is going well and I can’t wait to visit with all the Oiselle girls!

 

Need a tax donation for this year?? Want to support up and coming elite runners?? Our team has our 5013C status. Click here to make a donation http://sonorandistanceproject.com/

Check out our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sonorandistanceproject and our twitter https://twitter.com/SonoranDistProj

From Joy to the World

LA Entertainment Industry Coverage from a USC Content Creator

Zucchini Runner

Eat clean. Live well. Be active.

The Local Elite

Live/Laugh/Love Running

kerrycamberg

Masters marathoner