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