Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oiselle Southern Bird Camp Recap

I just know you have all been waiting to hear all about Southern Bird Camp, right?!?!  Oh my goodness, it was the best weekend ever!!  

We had 19 girls from all over the south (and Pennsylvania) arrive in Blowing Rock, North Carolina at ZAP Fitness on Thursday afternoon and the fun began!!  

Packing ALL the Oiselle....

Emily and I got up early and headed out from DC around 7AM Thursday, which got us to Blowing Rock around 1:30 for check-in.  We made excellent time on the road, which was nice.  Upon arrival at camp we noted how much cooler it was up in the mountains!!  This was very much welcomed considering the DC heat indexes near 100 every day we were away!  Everyone got the absolute BEST swag bags!!  Oiselle sent everyone the Bird Machine tank and a new pair of navy roga shorts (one of my faves!!).  Along with a bunch of Nuun and Wild Friends samples, we each also received 2 pairs of Balega socks and a YUMMY nut butter from Big Spoon Roasters!!  All super great stuff!

Once everyone had arrived and we were settled into our rooms, we gathered together for some quick introductions and then headed out for our first run of the weekend!  We went to Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC for a +/- 4 mile run - up to you how much you wanted to run....I stuck with "The Maze" which was right about 3 miles total.  I was definitely on the slower spectrum of most of the girls there!  These girls were machines!!  

Moses Cone Park was absolutely beautiful.  The packed gravel trails were perfect for running...and even though it was pretty hilly, at least it wasn't HOT!!

Beginning and end for run #1
After our run, we headed back to camp for "ZAPpetizers" and orientation, followed by dinner.  I didn't take too many pictures of the food, but OH MY, it was all so tasty!!  The chef had gluten free and vegan options for every meal.  It was amazing.  We discussed they really should make a ZAP cookbook!!

After dinner, our first lecture was on "Building a Proper Training Program," and then we attempted to have a campfire and s'mores before a storm rolled in and we called it a night.

Friday AM kicked off with a light breakfast and then another trip out to Moses Cone Park. This time we ran the "Manor House Loop" which is uphill about 2.5 miles to the Manor House and then downhill about 2.5 miles back to the lake.  We had a great run here again...I was again back of the pack, but really got to know my teammates that were in my same pace group.  Kelly, Tricia and I ended up running all weekend long together.  They are such great women and we had a really fun time!

Typical AM view from our lodge at camp

Uphill trails; such great paths for running!!

Team "Flying" pic at the top of the trail!!
Yay! Time for the downhill!!!

Photo opportunity on the side of the mountain on the way back to camp

Immediately upon arriving back to camp from the run, we had a yoga class.  It was great to stretch out and just what was needed after that hilly run!

After yoga and lunch we had our next lecture "5k/10k Training," followed by "Nutrition for Performance."  I took a lot away from the nutrition talk.  Apparently, I was not getting enough fuel during last year's MCM - now I know!!

The food all weekend was SO great!!

We were supposed to have a hike next, but another thunderstorm rolled through, so we just hung around - chatted, napped, etc., before our next lecture about marathon training.  After dinner, fellow camper and Oiselle Haute Volee/Elite team member, Andie Cozzarelli spoke.  She was great!!  I was so impressed by her.  Such a young girl getting up and speaking in front of all of us!  I am not a fan of public speaking, so I'm always impressed, really, and she did a great job giving us her Top 10 Tips.  Also impressive, is that she is currently training for the Olympic Marathon Trials in February.  The trials will be her first ever marathon!! How crazy is that?  We cannot wait to watch this girl go places!!

Andie giving us her pep talk!
Also-I need those Roga pants, like, yesterday
Saturday AM we headed out to Boone, NC for speed work and video taping.  Yes, they video taped us!  So for speed work (which I have never really done, at all), we started out with a few long strides on the grass...and then did some interval training - a 12 minute warm up, followed by 800m-400m-400m-400m at easy pace, and then repeated at 5k pace - followed by a 5 minute cool down.  The coach I was running with, Montana, said I did well...I didn't really keep an eye on my watch...was just trying to focusing on breathing and speed!  After tiring us out really well, they video taped each runner individually for the afternoon's analysis....I was SO NERVOUS about this!!

Montana and I doing our interval training

After speed work, a nice "birdbath" in the creek!

Watch out for wildlife (aka Oiselle BIRDS!!!)

We got back to camp, ate lunch and split into two groups - one went to a strength training lecture while the other watched their videos (and we later swapped places).  I was in the first analysis group.  

watching me run...
I was super happy to learn that my stride is pretty darn fab!!  Haha!  They said I had "strong feet" and aside from maybe relaxing my arms a bit, wouldn't really suggest much else.  Apparently, I'm pretty quick on my feet too!  Who knew???  

We then had free time.  Some gals got massages, others went into town.  I chose to bum around the lodge and have a one on one chat with Coach Ryan about my goals for the fall.  He really told me nothing I didn't already know - I really need to start taking my training a lot more seriously.  I told him how poorly I felt last year's MCM went, and he said if I really tried, there was no reason I couldn't get even a whole hour off my time!  I suggested I wanted to PR at the MCM 10k in October - he asked why I wouldn't just go do the whole marathon again!!  Ha!  Ryan also gave me some suggestions on stretches to help alleviate some of my sciatica pain, which was super helpful.

After free time, we swapped places and my group went to strength training.  I learned some super easy exercises that I can do at home, with no equipment, to really help my core, glutes and back.  It was very beneficial.  

Next, we had a talk on shoe selection and dinner, followed by a discussion on "Preparing for Competition" and then going into town for ice cream!!  Saturday was a busy, but really educational (and fun!) day.

Sunday AM, we had breakfast followed by the "Prediction Run."  What is a prediction run?  Well, it's not really a race...it's all about pacing!  We each wrote down what time we predicted we would run a 3.2 mile course and the person closest won!!  It was definitely NOT me...but it was certainly a nice last run with my pacing buddies to round out the weekend.  

Team DC!!

Team #SouthernBirdCamp
I'm sure I'm leaving out all sorts of details...but all in all...it was just the best!!  Mary and Allie coordinated the whole thing with ZAP and Oiselle...and made such a memorable weekend for everyone.  I learned something from everyone I encountered and loved hearing everyone's running stories and personal stories!  I met some of the best women out there and each one of you holds a special place in my heart!! 

I wish all my fellow campers the best in their summer/fall training and races!!  Give 'em hell, Oiselle!!

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