This Saturday (June 21st), six Oiselle ambassadors will step to line at Grandma's Marathon and Half Marathon! Jen Bigham and Kristine Burgess will race the full, while Allison Krausen, Melissa Gacek, Aubrey Moskal and Heidi Greenwood will toe the line at the Garry Bjorklund Half. We're psyched for these birds! Give them a *good luck* shout on twitter and read their goals/race preparation in the Q&A below.  

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Allison Krausen 
Edwards, Colorado



Goal time: A shiny new PR.

Are you training solo or with a group? 
I do a lot of solo training, but am fortunate to have a very fit running partner (and former CU teammate of Kara Goucher), Rachel Foss Viele, who is gracious enough to join me for many long runs and workouts. Also, Oiselle teammates Jen Bingham, Allison Delancey and I planned this race into our schedules together, so have been keeping each other accountable and motivated from afar.

What's your racing mantra to get you fired up?
I am here and I am doing this.

What gets you pumped up stepping to the line? Any nerves?
I do get nervous, so I focus more on staying calm.   I find that relaxed and focused breathing helps when I start to feel nervous and also before the start.  I do a lot of visualization in the nights before the race when I’m restless trying to sleep. I do also listen to the song T.H.E (The Hardest Ever) if I need a little extra boost.

Did you cross train? Take rest days? Do yoga? 
I do strength training twice a week.  Coming back from two years of bone injuries, the build-up in mileage was slow, with weekly rest days.  In this final training block, it has been more relative rest, with a short/easy run on Sunday.

How will you be celebrating post-race? 
I’m thrilled to be racing with so many Oiselle teammates, some who have become close friends, and some who I will get to meet for the first time.  Many of us are staying in Duluth on Saturday night after the race, so I’m sure we’ll find a fun way to celebrate our successes on race day!


Melissa Gacek 
White Bear Lake, Minnesota

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Goal time: Not sharing!

Favorite cheer to hear on the course at mile 20? 
Ok, so that’s with 6 miles to go? Time to race, start to press, stay focused, stay strong.

Toughest training run you've had this training cycle?
Definitely the hilly Ron Daws 25k, which made Goldys Run much more doable (ladder: 16-12-8-6-4-2 repeat 3 times).

How many times have you raced Grandma's 1/2? 
At least 5 or 6 times.

How will you be celebrating post-race? 
Family cabin or pool with my kiddos.

Are you a master of the water stops or will you need practice? Cups?
Master, at least according to MAC…LOL. Although, bottles, it depends on the set-up. At Grandma’s for the full, I’ve had water bottle issues; knocked mine over bc they were stacked in two rows…mine was on the curb side of the table, not the front, making it challenging to grab if you are not gifted with go-go-gadget arms.

Aubrey Moskal 
Morgantown, West Virginia

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Goal time: My training has been going really well this cycle, so I’m definitely looking for a PR in the half! If things fall into place on race day and I’m feeling good my coach and I believe my shape shows a sub 1:15:00

Did you cross train? Take rest days? Do yoga? 
I have never been a big cross trainer! Maybe it’s a good thing, but the only time I have ever cross trained is when I was injured and couldn’t run. I’m a terrible swimmer! Instead of running and doing some type of cross training in one day, I double up on the running a few days a week! Rest days are something I have been “blessed” with not needing very often. I went 344 days without a day off before I slipped on some wet gravel and rolled my ankle the wrong way. While I was disappointed I didn’t reach my one year running streak, I took this as a sign that maybe my body needed some rest after finishing my college career at West Virginia University, training for my first marathon and then training through the terrible winter weather the northeast had, the few days off were good for me!

Favorite cheer to hear on the course at mile 20? 
Since I have only reached mile 20 in a race once (can’t wait to change this!) and the marathon I did was a very small one, I was on some lonely streets when it came to mile 20! So, when I do reach mile 20 in a big race I would simply want to hear someone yell, “Go Oiselle!” Ever since I was in middle school I have been coached to believe that team is the biggest and most important thing when it comes to sports, even running, that is so individualized! Being a member of the Oiselle team and wearing my Oiselle uniform has been one of the greatest gifts and opportunities I have been given since finishing my college eligibility and being apart of a team for the past 12 years! I feel so honored to represent this brand that hearing someone cheer me on and associate me with Oiselle would be a great feeling!

What was your favorite workout?
My favorite workout building up for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon would have to be my long runs. My long runs are 2 hours and I get to do these with my training partners. My favorite part though is the last 20-25 minutes of these runs. My coach has me go off by myself; usually on this mile long loop I do tempo runs on, and just hammer. He will have me do 10k pace, half pace, marathon pace, or just go by how I feel. I love finishing knowing I had just run for 15 miles at a solid pace and then closed the last 4-5 miles at a difficult pace. It really simulates how it feels to be dead tired at the end of a long race!

Toughest training run you've had this training cycle? 
The toughest training run I have had this training cycle would be a workout I did solo on our “tempo loop.” I am so lucky to still be associated with the WVU track team and have a large group of girls to train with, but it got lonely once outdoor season started and they were away at meets! My coach had me run 1 mile as hard as I could, 4 mile tempo at half pace, and then 1 mile as hard as I could. Those who know my style of running and workouts know I love the steady stuff. Give me a nice long 15 mile tempo and I will enjoy clicking off the even pace. This workout however gives me some work on my weakness and that’s speed! Speed, on top of running a mile as hard as I can up hills on a street was a perfect recipe for the toughest workout I have had this training cycle.

What gets you pumped up stepping to the line? Any nerves?
Everyone gets nervous when they step up to the line, especially when it’s a race you have been training for and thinking about for months! Now that I have moved on to more road racing and the roads are where my strengths are, I get so excited to show my shape! Races are rewards! This is where we get to show everyone, including ourselves how awesome we are! I always tell myself to trust my training and my coach. If my coach didn’t think something good was going to come out of a race, he wouldn’t have me do it and that keeps the nerves away! Again, stepping up on the line in my Oiselle uniform is something that gets me fired up! I love that thing!

Heidi Greenwood 
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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Goal time: 1:16:59

Are you training solo or with a group?
Mostly solo

What was your favorite workout? 
ANYTHING on the track!

What gets you pumped up stepping to the line? Any nerves?
Reflecting on all the work and preparation that you have put in to get to where you are at…to me racing is just displaying all your hard work, dedication, and desire. I don’t like to think of the feelings I get before races as nerves, but rather more as “butterfly excitement.”

How will you be celebrating post-race?
Birthday cake with my niece Audrey who will be turning 4 years old on race day J ….and eventually either a glass of cabernet and a juicy burger or a margarita and a quesadilla. 

What's your racing mantra to get you fired up? 
This is the easy part…just relax.  “Just let it go and see what happens.  Go by feel.  Go by instinct. Free myself to flow naturally.” (Quote by: Terry Orlick, In Persuit of Excellence)

Grandma's Full Marathon

Kristine Burgess 
Mundelein, Illinois

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Goal time: 2:59:59!!!

Favorite #flystyle outfit combo?
For workouts my favorite #flystyle is the Flyte Short with a Strappy Bra or Lesko Bra. My most recent favorite post-workout #flystyle has been the track attack pant with different combos of a strappy bra and tank

Any weird pre-race rituals your teammates should know about? 
No strange pre-race rituals- I do get cold really easily if I am not moving around so pre-race I will probably be jumping around a lot if it is below 50 degrees.

What was your favorite workout? 
During marathon training I look forward to tempo workouts but I still love 400m repeats on the track :)

What are you A, B, C goals? 
A- 2:56, B- 2:58, C-2:59:59

If you could run with a celebrity at Grandma's who would it be? 
Kara Goucher- it would be so much fun to run with her in her hometown!


Jen Bigham 
Pittsburg, PA

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Goal time: No specific time pinned down at this point, but I ran 2:51 when my daughter was 8 months old. My son will be 8 months old for this marathon so I’d like to break my 8 month postpartum record!

How many times have you raced Grandma's Marathon? 
This will be my first time racing Grandma’s!

Toughest training run you've had this training cycle? 
My second 20 mile run of the training cycle was really tough for me. It was a hot day and I was alone and wanted to stop from the first mile! I just kept talking to myself saying things like, “you can do it!” and “you are strong!” I was really proud to push through and finish strong.

What was your favorite workout? 
I really enjoyed racing the Glass City Half Marathon and Pittsburgh Half Marathon. While they weren’t exactly “workouts” these races gave me confidence!

Favorite cheer to hear on the course at mile 20? 
Any encouragement or smile from the crowd will get me pumped up. Well, anything besides “you’re almost there!” because mile 20 is clearly NOT almost there!

How do you fuel up pre-race? 
Three hours before the race I plan to eat 2 Smooth Caffeinator Picky Bars and a packet of Generation UCAN, Lemonade flavor. I’ll also drink about 40 oz of water and maybe 20 oz of coffee. I’ll also take a Vanilla Bean GU about 20 minutes before the race starts.

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Allyson Ely