Friday, August 22, 2014

Bird Camp Recap Part 2

The Bird Camp adventure continues!

To find out what happened during days 1 and 2, read Bird Camp Recap Part 1.

Day 3
The day started with breakfast burritos in the main conference center. After eating, pretty much everyone boarded buses to head to Smith Rock to run and hike the hilly trails. This is when I had to do my own thing for awhile. I knew I wouldn't be able to run on the trails - seriously, most uncoordinated person alive - but still needed to get some miles in for the day. So I opted to do a road run around the resort by myself.

At first it was kind of lonely and a bit boring as I ran a loop around the resort but then got a bit braver and ventured over to the river trail. From there I ended up on the main highway and took that about a quarter of a mile until I came across a turn into the Deschutes National Forest. 

I followed the road for awhile until I noticed a flat pine-needle covered trail. I know I wasn't supposed to run on the trails during this trip but I really couldn't resist. And this one was basically like running on a road - flat without many things to trip on. I didn't know where I was going and ended up at the river. It was so beautiful with the morning sun above that I had to stop for a few minutes to take it all in.

I tried going back the same way I came but got a bit lost. Also, I kept hearing what sounded like a waterfall so I got a little off track trying to find the source. Sadly I did not find the it but I did find my way back to the resort :)

 Looking for the waterfall!

In the afternoon, there was a yoga session and after my roommates and I went to the pool area for a bit. It felt so wonderful to sit outside and bask in the sun. I felt a tad out of place in my Ralph Lauren swimsuit especially after noticing pretty much everyone was wearing the Oiselle Rizzo Swimsuit. It was so cute and super flattering on everyone - definitely made me wish I had one, too!

After swimming it was time for core work and drills. Lesko led us through the core work - The Dirty Dozen - and Lauren Fleshman and Kate Grace led us through the drills. I think we all worked up a good sweat!

In the evening, we previewed Oiselle's fall line as well as learned more about how items are made. I loved getting this insight and found the design process fascinating. We also learned more about The Flock, Oiselle's newest addition to the family. For those of you who wanted to get in on The Flock in July but weren't able to before membership sold out, there should be more spots opening up in August!

Photo by Kelly Burns Gallagher

After dinner (burgers!) there was an elite running panel featuring Lauren, Kate, Stephanie Howe and Kara Goucher (via Skype). This was one of my favorite evenings at camp. These ladies all had great advice for everything from training and nutrition to getting past an injury and battling through the rough spots during a race. These ladies are all at the top of the sport in their distances and are such great role models!

Because no camp would be complete without a campfire session, we made s'mores that night. Or at least tried to make them. The fire was courtesy of small tealights. Naturally I stuck my marshmallow too far into the flame and it caught on fire. Oops!

Day 4
Shockingly, the things I was most excited about on Saturday were not running related :) Of course, we still managed to get in a few morning miles! Today, there were some other campers that also wanted to hit the road so I ran with them for an 8 mile out and back course. It was pretty easy running and my legs felt fantastic. As I ran the last mile, I made sure to take in the scenery knowing this was the last run in Bend - at least until the next Bird Camp ;)

During our free time that afternoon - which I should add is the ONLY time we wore non-running clothing - we had a few choices - intertubing, SUPing, Brew Fest or shopping. Sheila and I both opted for the shopping. We had a bit of a slow start though. Our first stop was a tea shop. Somehow it ended up taking 30 minutes to get our drinks. Way too long for two impatient ladies. By the time we got out of there, we beelined it to a pastry shop we had passed by on the way to the tea place. This was a bit of a low point for me - scarfing down a coconut shortbread cookie while ordering a chocolate tart. Sweet tooth at its worst! But the pastries were well worth it and just what we needed to regroup before shopping.

While shopping, we ran into Ayesha, Kim and Portia. Kim loves shopping like me - we had too much fun looking in the little boutiques. And it seems birds are mega trendy in Bend - I spotted several necklaces, bracelets, earrings, wall decorations, etc. with birds on them. So cute!

Eventually we were shopped out and decided to get a drink. We ended up at The Dogwood Cocktail Cabin, which is an adorable spot with the most delicious alcoholic concoctions. Some had beet juice, others had butternut squash. The one I ordered was a mix of rum, port and fig. Being the lightweight that I am, there was no way I could finish this mega strong drink so passed it around the table for others to try. Sharing is caring, right? :)

Happy hour with my fellow birdies!

The Portuguese

Dinner was at an outdoor park space called Crows Feet Common. It was here that we had the hands-down tastiest food yet: street tacos complete with tons of guacamole and donuts for dessert all washed down with chilled prosecco. Yum!

Photo by Sheila

Sheila and I finally worked up the nerve to ask Lauren to take a pic with us - we felt like such stalkers! - and also took a pic with Sally and team manager Kristin!

With the super speedy Lauren Fleshman!

With my newest girl crush, Sally Bergesen!

With the best team manager, Kristin Metcalf!

After dinner, things really got going with ... a dance party! We eventually took things next door to a small bar/club and things got a bit crazy - especially when Beyonce's Run the World (Girls) song came on. Ha, it was like the runner girl's anthem and everyone was going nuts. I took a few rest breaks with Sheila (she couldn't dance because her legs were sore from the morning's run) but eventually she was convinced to come out on the dance floor. It was a super fun, sweaty good time - the perfect way to spend our last night at Bird Camp.

With my roommates before things got too crazy ;)

Day 5
Oh parting is such sweet sorrow. I think everyone was sad to say goodbye during breakfast. And I'm terrible with goodbyes. I actually didn't see my roommates at breakfast - they went for one last run - so I was kind of bummed about that. I was also not very excited about the long day of travel ahead of us. First up was cramming all of the overstuffed suitcases into Becky's trunk. On the way back, we had an extra person joining our roadtrip - Emilia from Run For Your Life - so it was an super packed car! 

 Years of playing Tetris finally paid off! Photo by Ayesha

More goodbyes were said when we arrived at PDX then Sheila and I headed to our gate. On the way, we ran into my roommate Nicole so I got to say goodbye after all. Such a sweetie and I love her blog - definitely check it out!

Final words
I'm so grateful I was able to experience something as wonderful as Bird Camp. I loved Bend - it was so laid back and beautiful and running in a place so unlike Wisconsin was fantastic. I learned so much through all the workshops and I can't wait to apply all the new knowledge to my training. This was really just the thing I needed to stay motivated to train hard during these last few weeks before Lakefront Marathon

I can't say enough about all the wonderful people I met while at camp. Some of these ladies I've followed on Twitter or through their blogs for quite awhile (Danielle, Sarah, Alicia and so many more!) so it was so great to finally meet in person.  Everyone was as I imagined - warm, welcoming, intelligent and so inspiring!

And finally, a huge thank you to Oiselle for organizing and hosting the camp. Sally, Lesko, Kristin, JJ, Katie, Lauren, Kate, Little Wing and everyone else on the team made this the best time. I'm already looking forward to next year's Bird Camp!

My questions for you:
  • Have you attended running camp? If so, what was your experience?
  • If you haven't attended running camp, what things would you look for in one?

- ST


  1. Bird camp sounds AMAZING! So jealous! All the blogs I've been reading about it sound incredible!

    1. It was such fun! I hope more birds can get in on the action next year :)

  2. I loved reading your recap! I was following the pictures on IG all weekend but I love getting to read how truly amazing it was for y'all! I'm glad you had such a great time.

    1. Thank you! Would love to go back to Bird Camp again next year ... and meet even more of my fellow birdies :)

  3. Yay! It was so great to finally meet you!!

    1. Looking forward to following your running/racing/recipe creations on your blog until we hopefully meet again at Bird Camp next year!

  4. That run through the forest looks so pretty! Bird Camp sounds like so much fun! I've been to multiple running camps, but they weren't nearly as organized as this one. It's funny, I read someone else's recap of the camp and they also said they were concerned about what the food was going to be like, but it sounds like you girls had it made! The chocolate tart looks yummy :)

    1. I think we really lucked out with the food - probably the only running camp where it was possible to gain weight ;)

  5. This just sounds like such a blast all around. I have never done anything like it, but I wish I could! So awesome and great recap!

    1. Thank you! I truly think there should be more summer camps for adults :)