haute volee

Birds of a feather, fly together.

I have had nightmares (some real, some imagined) my whole life about spending extending amounts of time with large groups of women. It was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that I set out for Oiselle's annual bird camp this past Friday-Tuesday to be held in Leavenworth, WA. I was excited to meet and spend time with many of the Nest, Haute Volee and Volee, the majority of whom I have either never met or have only known through social media. But let's be real, I was nervous. Would they like me? Would they accept me? Will I fit in?

Colchuck Lake. Photo credit Oiselle!.

Colchuck Lake. Photo credit Oiselle!.

I kind of chuckle to myself now that I was even nervous because I wouldn't be on this team or a part of this "run family", as Sally calls it, if it wasn't made up of accepting, sweet, strong, beautiful, interesting, badass women who many of the same fundamental principals (all beautifully summed up in the Oiselle Team Manifesto). In fact, the experience didn't just exceed my expectations, it was problem the most satisfying four days in a row I've spent doing anything for a long time. 

It's all fun and trail games until you bust a hole in the side wall of your tire. Lauren Fleshman is one tough chick!

It's all fun and trail games until you bust a hole in the side wall of your tire. Lauren Fleshman is one tough chick!

And these days were not magical because of some over the top production or bought experience. It was the people, the experiences we shared together and the community we got to build and deepen. We got to run with different ladies from all over in extraordinarily beautiful setting, we ate amazing food at our retreat location Sleeping Lady, we enjoyed smart, funny and insightful talks, we got to sit down together as a Haute Volee TEAM and discuss how we continue to grow and support each other across disciplines. I loved being able to spend time with women who inspire me deeply and are my "sister-heros" and connect with women of all abilities, backgrounds and experience. 

Colchuck Lake.

Colchuck Lake.

I walked away from these few days absolutely inspired and happy, having learned a great deal from each and every person I had the pleasure of spending time with. 

This is what I believe. Oiselle makes the most amazing clothing for female runners. Watching nearly 100 women walking around in every stitch the brand makes all weekend really brought this home. We looked fierce, all of us different shapes and sizes, and put together and ready to run, hike, bike, chill or take on the world. We witnessed some design ideas that were so excited I think our minds were all blown. Oiselle's product game is on point. But as a brand, they are much much much more than that. They are trailblazing towards a new paradigm in women's running. They are changemakers, who want to see the sport evolve, grown, deepen and include. They want to build a community that accepts us all, from short to tall, from 100m to 100 miles (or less or more!) to throwing heavy objects or jumping over things, that supports us, that drives this sport in the right direction with passion and love. 

My twin from another mother and soul sister, Dr Dre. Photo Andrea Duke.

My twin from another mother and soul sister, Dr Dre. Photo Andrea Duke.

I don't just believe this, I witnessed this in action this weekend. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of #birdcamp15 and to be a part of the Oiselle run family. I cannot wait to see the heights to which we can soar together.

2015: Finding my wings


Sometime in December, will working on my daily late night baking shift at MHBB, I was listening to Ultrarunner Podcast's Year in Review to fill up the quiet space that fills the bakery. I was catching up on the year in ultrarunning in part because of my inability to participate in ultrarunning and competitive racing in general  during 2014 because of work. I was listening, laughing to myself, saying a few "finally!"s out loud and getting excited about getting back on the scene in 2015.

At one point, host Eric Schranz pondered as he discussed the new sponsors entering the MUT world, "I wonder when we will see our first Oiselle sponsored ultrarunner?" There in the dark, I yelled, "let it be me!!!" And today, I am happy to announce, it is. I have joined the Oiselle family and am stoked to be a part of such an amazing stable of athletes. I look forward to the opportunity to introduce the ultrarunning world more throughly to not only their amazing products, but their approach to supporting the sport of running.

I have been a fan of Oiselle for years, watching the grow, develop their products and build an amazing community around the sport. Witnessing how they have built a culture around their athletes and running has made me want to be a part of the brand. Yes they make great clothing, but I wanted to be a part of the inspiring work all around they are doing in running. I have been following many Oiselle athletes such as Lauren Fleshman and Kara Goucher and hands down I find the way they are telling their story, participating in the running world and fostering a "F' yeah"fan girl feeling about running is absolutely inspiring. Oiselle's approach makes me excited about participating in the running community, it makes me inspired to want to foster that same spirit within the MUT world of which I have been a part of now for 9 years. They have inspired me; I stand at the startline now with Oiselle mantras in my head "Head up, wings out. Go FAST, take chances" and they are there in my head because it resonates with me, it moves me. As I step back into competitive racing, there is no one else I want standing behind me, supporting me and helping me find my wings. I am very excited to see what we can do together, I am so thrilled to be a part of it.

Also in 2015, I will be joining the Julbo team. My pale eyes require almost constant sun protection and Julbos are an absolutely essential part of my running. I am excited to join such a fierce group of mountain athletes!

Sponsorship is just one part of the puzzle for an amazing 2015. Since starting our bakery in 2013, I have both patiently and impatiently waiting for things to settle down and stabilize so that Nathan and I would be able to compete again. I have held back my running goals and dreams and run what I could and tried to compete where I could. I waited, my passion and excitement for races building and building. I am hungry to compete again, I am hungry to discover how good I can be. I look forward to the opportunity to push myself and stretch my limits. 2015 will be a year to challenge myself at the highest level against the best competition. So without further ado; my 2015 schedule.


  • Surf City Marathon-February 1
  • Napa Valley Marathon-March 1
  • Crewing:Gorge 100k-March 28th (Nathan)
  • Two Oceans- April 4
  • Pittsburgh Marathon-May 1 (potential training race)
  • Comrades- May 31
  • White River- July 25th
  • Altitude training CO- mid July- Leadville
  • Leadville 100m- August 22nd
  • Fall 50- October 24

My two big focus races are Comrades and Leadville, all of the other races are secondary and subject to change. Like my much faster, tinnier twin, these two races have absolutely grabbed and inspired me. I am going to do everything in my power to be on those startlines in the best shape of my life. I look forward to the work and the challenge ahead.

The year ahead is exciting. I can't wait to emerge from my little cave where I have been working and toiling away. I am inspired and passionate about my plans, my sponsors and my running. I cannot wait to see what I can do.