Middleburg, VA | July 28-31, 2017 | Last year I went to Southern Bird Camp in NC and made some great friends, had a wonderful time, and became a much better runner. This year I’m going in coming off injury, up to the DC area, and looking forward to spending time with old and new friends.
Let’s just say there were highs and lows about this year’s camp. I was super excited to reunite with a lot of the ladies I’ve met at the NC camp as well as through Instagram and up in the DC area. However the housing arrangements were spread so far apart and most of the activities took place up at the main area so it made for some difficultly AND not feeling particularly welcome. (which made me sad considering everything Oiselle stands for and everything I’ve gotten out of it so far).
Anyway, recapping from the beginning. I arrived on Friday in misty rain looking forward to catching up with friends and meeting new ones. I had convinced Wynsor to join the team this past spring and she got a last minute spot into camp! She arrived almost the same time I did. We ended up being in the same cabin and decided to share a bunk bed set. There was an optional first run on the first day that I opted out of. I figured coming off my injury and knowing I’d be running every other day at camp it might be best not to try the first day in the misty rain on slippery rocks. Brooklyn, MaryEllen and Amy arrived and they were staying down in the cabins as well. We all headed up for happy hour at the main lodge, followed by tasty dinner. The evening closed out with a welcome and talk from Haute Volee Becki Spellman. She talked about her story, how she came to run with Oiselle, and offered advice to us novice runners. We were supposed to close out with a bonfire but the weather was nasty so we headed back to our cabin to hang out and head to sleep.
Day 2 started with a quick breakfast at the main house, and then we climbed into cars to head to the W&OD trail in neighboring Leesburg. I ran 5 miles with Casey (a DMV bird from the Eastern Shore of Maryland) who was happy to go my slow pace. We all ran our own mileage and so had grouped up the night before based on our plan. Afterwards we headed to a breakfast place to fill up because we were all starving!! Then it was back for a late lunch at the lodge, showers and we decided to visit one of the local wineries as pool time was cancelled due to rain/cool temps. 😦 We were back in time for a core session with Becki and then it was time for Twilight Polo. I had never experienced this before but it was a literal polo match. We had yummy BBQ and delicious wine while watching the horses. It was fun!
Day 3 it was finally sunny!! We opted for a short run on the grounds as we didn’t want to drive again over to the big trail. Talk about gravelly! Then we got to experience how to do a real warmup with Erika Pierce. I had met Erika at Southern Bird Camp the year prior. She’s a kick ass masters runner and SUPER nice. Then it was time for lunch! Of course we decided to visit another brewery/winery for the afternoon and then got a little pool time in. That evening was full of a trunk show (new Fall/Winter Oiselle) and a gear swap. We grabbed some snacks and headed back to our cabin to hang out before heading to bed.
Day 4 started with a prediction run… that yours truly won!! I predicted my time within 15 seconds. Boom. Mic Drop. Then a last breakfast with everyone, lots of hugs and photos and it was time to get back on the road. Love my Oiselle friends. Can’t wait for the 2018 camp!