Dani Stack is one of our Volée members from the Twin Cities area. Dani raced this winter at the US Half Champs where she ran a personal record of 1:16:07. Shortly before heading out to Jacksonville in March for the USATF 15k Champs, Dani found out she had a stress fracture. To pass some time and keep her mind off of not being able to run, she met up with two other Oiselle Minnesota team members, Hyedi Nelson and Melissa Gacek. When Dani is not running, cross training, or working at the Twin Cities Running Co, she likes to write..so this week Dani is our guest blogger!
While Minnesota or "MinneSNOWta" has experienced its fair share of challenges this winter, cue polar vortex 1-3, blizzards, 60+ days below zero, winter parking restrictions, etc, it hasn’t stopped two tough Minnesotan Oiselle chicks from battling the conditions to fit in some great training. Melissa Gacek and Hyedi Nelson each get a gold star for the winter… and then maybe a few more. Melissa is a current Haute Volee member, and Hyedi is one of Oiselle’s Volee members. Both of them were kind enough to take sometime out of their busy schedules to chat with me and take some BA winter pictures in some of their Oiselle gear. With spring fever having set in, well awhile ago, these two fantastic women provided me with some great insight on buns, birds, and bucking up.
What is one word that describes your relationship with running and why?
Melissa: Therapeutic. Whether it calms me, challenges me, or gives me a social outlet, it's good for the soul, the body, and mind balance.
Hyedi: Therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to burn off some steam or de-stress, I always seem to turn to running and it soothes me.
M: It's cold and snowy here. Makes us tough. Family, community and work also play a part. In the summer, spring and fall, it's awesome. We love living near a lake and having access to cabin getaways...loads of things to do.
H: I came to Minnesota in 2003 and I honestly can’t imagine ever leaving. I like the challenge that the weather brings and the summers here are unbeatable. I love the fact that I can have all of the fun things (like great restaurants and nightlife) that come along with living in a big city but can also totally escape it only by driving a couple of hours. And you can’t beat Minnesota summers!
How has Oiselle made your running experience better?
M: Oiselle not only lets me run in clothes I love to wear, but gives me a family of runners to cheer on or meet. I love the sisterhood connection, and it's also not just a name without faces behind a brand. It's representative of all of us, and the team that runs the show.
H: The Oiselle community is simply amazing. I feel really connected to runners from all over the country and it’s been really inspiring for me and my running. It’s also really cool to both support and be supported by a company that I really believe in – one that’s led by amazing, strong and inspiring women.
If you were to be a bird, which would would you be and why?
M: I didn't know what to say for this, so I asked my husband what he thought, and he says I'd be a loon because they are sleek and strong. I see they carry their young on their back...live on water, can dive 200 feet deep and take off flying from water, feels like me with the baby jogger.
H: I have no idea. Perhaps a hummingbird? I’m also small and like to eat sweet things
What is your go-to shoe and why?
M: Asics Gel Kayano I've been wearing them for 13+ years... love them! I have completely flat feet and wear orthotics so I don't mess around and change them.
H: Right now I alternate between the Mizuno Wave Inspire and Saucony Guide. Still not positive that’s what I’ll be in for the long term, but they’ve worked well for my last couple of training cycles.
The big debate! Running shorts, or spandex?
M: Buns. Depends on what I'm doing. Long runs: Distance shorts. Workouts and low-key races: spandex (Stride shorts). Important key races: Oiselle buns.
H: Spandex. Once I tried it, I became a believer.
What did you do to survive the Polar Vortex this winter?
M: Hide indoors or leave and go to sunny locations. I also bought a Himalayan salt dome that's good for detoxing sore muscles. Just having the deep heat on my feet feels awesome.
H: Bundled up and ran outside for as long as I could. Then, when it was just too cold, I made friends with the dreadmill and took a trip to Southern California! Take that, Polar Vortex!
What is one race you are most looking forward to this spring?
M: Grand Rapids USATF 25k Championships
H: Get in Gear 5K. I run this race every year (typically the 10K) and it's how I kick off the Minnesota racing season!
To prepare for that spring race, what is your favorite workout to get you ready to go?
M: Not sure yet, having just come off a marathon....probably 800's at interval pace but we will see what magic my Coach Ron Byland has up his sleeve.
H: I was enjoying getting back into a regular training schedule after some time off following my fall marathon. I especially liked the speed workouts Coach Kevin Granato had me doing – they were fun and challenging. Then, I found out that I was expecting (due in September!) and so my workouts have changed since my racing goals for the foreseeable future have also changed. So, right now, I'm just enjoying running at whatever pace feels good that day!