On Saturday six of our team members will be competing at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gate is currently the largest 15k in the United States. Four of our runners: Allison Krausen, Deanna Ardrey, Allison DeLancey and Jen Bigham will be scoring for Oiselle in the USATF 15k Championship section of the Gate which includes an incredible field of elites from across the country. Volée member Holly Batchelder and Lynda Trujillo both Jacksonville natives, will also be racing the Gate River Run. The elite women begin at 8:24am with four waves following soon after. I caught up with four of our team members before they fly south for some spectacular racing.
Kristin: Tell us a little bit about your last race?
Krausen: Club XC in December, which was super fun but a disaster of a race--so much so that I walked three different times. I broke my foot last April in Eugene and had some set backs this Fall. So, really didn't get in a solid training block until January. I wish that I had a little more time to prepare for this race, but I'm feeling as strong as I can given the work I've put in.
DeLancey: The TMC Be Women's 5k
Bigham: My most recent race was a 4 miler this past weekend near my hometown. It was a last-minute decision and I'm glad it worked out!
Batchelder: Ortega River Run on March 1st. It's a local 5 miler that's really designed to be a prep run for the Gate.
Kristin: What has been your best workout leading up to Gate River?
Krausen: The first "OMG I might puke" workout was one that at other times I might have found much less difficult. It consisted of: 15 min warmup, 2 sets of mile, 1000, 800, 400, 200 @ half mar pace + 10k, 5k @ mile effort with 2 min. rest and then 10 min cool down. This was on a treadmill due to blizzard conditions. I find that the treadmill takes so much concentration that it is much more difficult than outside. I think that it also really helped me remember how to dig deep and build some speed. Last week I did 7 x 800 outside on the track and was really pleased with how strong I felt!
DeLancey: 6 mile tempo last weekend. The longest and fastest tempo I've run since being injured in 2012.
Bigham: I don't depend on specific workouts to feel ready for any particular race, but instead like to think about my training as a whole. This has been a rough winter for me and for many runners dealing with the extreme weather. I've been battling layers of ice and snow or surviving treadmill runs for the past few months. It's hard enough to get back in racing shape after having a baby (my little guy is 5 months old) and the winter has been trying. I think of my grit, my determination to achieve my goals and all the days I found a way to get the runs done when it was easy to buckle under a million excuses. Those traits and my competitive nature make me mentally strong and feel excited for Gate River Run!
Batchelder: Outside of the Ortega race, I'd have to say the last ladder workout we did on the track. It was a 1x1600, 2x800, 4x400 and 4x200. Being able to hit my target paces and hold them consistently for each aspect of the workout really boosted my confidence.
Kristin: What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
Krausen: A break from the snow and an opportunity to race with my Oiselle teammates! I love that it is both an individual and a team event, and I hope we'll have a chance to work together and to push each other to our own personal best possible performances. When I started setting running goals in 2008, I endeavored to compete at the highest possible level. At this year's 15k Championships, we'll get the opportunity to toe the line with some of the top distance runners in the US, including Shalane Flanagan, Amy Hastings, and Amy Van Alstine.
DeLancey: Meeting my Oiselle teammates and also toeing the line with the best in the country. Being able to run in a championship race while representing Oiselle is an amazing opportunity.
Batchelder: I honestly think I'm as excited (maybe even more) about having so many Oiselle teammates in town/racing as I am about running the actual race. The Gate is the largest race in Jacksonville and the whole city comes out to support it. Last year I did this race as a training run so I'm looking forward to capitalizing on some different training and seeing how fast I can fly this year. I'm also looking forward to the post-race party. I've never seen a post-race atmosphere like the Gate and I can't wait to share the fun, PRS Running Club style, with all the Oiselle ladies!
Bigham: I'm excited about so many things! I get to have another Oiselle Team meet up and hang out with some cool gals who I've only previously known online. I get to see a few other runs friends as well. My husband is coming to race and since running brought us together, it's always fun when we can run the same races. And finally, I might be most excited to toe the line with what is being called the strongest elite field in Gate River Run history!
Kristin: What will be your next race after Gate River?
Krausen: Probably a local tune up race in April: the Cherry Creek Sneak 10 Miler and then the 25k Championships-Third River Bank Run on May 10th.
DeLancey: Carlsbad 5000 on March 30th.
Bigham: I will probably do a few local races. Then my next big race will be the Glass City Half Marathon on April 27th in Toledo, Ohio.
Batchelder: Definitely Corporate 5K in April. I'm considering something else, but that's still in the planning stages right now so stay tuned.
For race day information: "Race day enhancements include live streaming results at jacksonville.com and on WJXT’s news4jax.com, and the addition of the RaceJoy mobile app with access to key race information, instant results, and live tracking" Click here to read more!