Kristin Metcalf

While many of you have had a fall focused around training and racing for half marathons and marathons, within our Oiselle community we have a small but growing group of very special trained individuals who are doing things a little bit different..they are building their base or foundation, doing strength work, concentrating on drills and having fun while they gear up for the spring. They are steeple chasers: a unique event that requires toughness, grit, agility, speed and strength. Some of you may ask: What is the steeple chase really? The 3000 meter race includes 28 hurdle jumps and 7 water jumps. The first hurdle begins after the runners pass the finish line for the first time and then there are 5 hurdles in each of the next 7 laps: one of those hurdles over a water pit! If you haven't watch a steeple chase race in person, it is definitely something you will want to see. Currently we have seven steeple chasers on our Haute Volée. Learn a little bit about what they have been up to this fall:

Megan Rolland | Boise, ID


Instagram: @megaxe

Training Group - Idaho Track Club: a post collegiate group of fantastic women: a mix of 1500m/5k specialists and two other steeple chasers as well.

Coach - Pat McCurry, Head Cross Country and Track for College of Idaho. Pat started coaching me three years ago over email and last year I moved to Idaho to be coached by him IRL!

Fall training focus:  My off-season is a long slow gradual buildup that really takes you back to the basics.  After a complete break from running it is important to ease back into the mileage and focus on bringing it back up to max while staying healthy and injury free. We do not add any high intensity work until later in the fall and instead focus on moderate paced runs, drills, weight room and fartlek type workouts.

Favorite fall activity: Fall is such a pretty season in Boise. The weather is perfect and it turns an already beautiful place into a stunning beauty. The trails are endless and I love exploring new ones hiking with my dogs. I also love to curl up in my Oiselle sweatpants with a cup of hot tea and read a good book.

Favorite post long run power meal: Oatmeal jam packed with goodness. I cook a little oatmeal and then throw in a banana, yogurt, a peach, raisins, chia seeds, and anything else that post long run brain thinks looks good.  

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? I have always thought of the water barrier as something really positive: some thing that is propelling me past competitors and using it to my advantage. My coach Pat, introduced me to the NFL video of Bart Scott in his post game interview and told me he wanted me to embody his "can't wait" attitude every barrier I approach. I don't follow the NFL at all, but I do watch this short four second video on repeat before races and imagine shouting "CAN'T WAIT", as I approach the water barrier every lap. Here is the link to the video so you yourself can get pumped for that next barrier in your life! 

Upcoming races: Currently at altitude training for 3 weeks, then Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, Club XC Nationals and US XC in Bend.

Marisa Howard | Boise, ID


Instagram: @marisvanderhow

Training Group - My husband and I occasionally run with the Boise State XC team and some alumni or I meet up with fellow steeple chaser, Megan Rolland for runs when our schedules allow. My best friend is not an avid runner but she will rollerblade next to me some times. So basically, I have a hodge podge of people who train with me.

Coach - Corey Ihmels and Travis Hartke, Boise State University XC/Track coaches.

Fall training focus: September was mostly a build-up month with workouts once a week. As we transitioned into October we ramped things up a bit with two workouts a week. Next, I will be doing longer threshold and fartlek runs and longer repeats. I am excited for this because I have never gotten to do “big workouts” this much in the past because we raced every other weekend in college for cross country. 

Favorite fall activity: I love watching football! I also love getting cozy and reading a book while drinking a chai tea latte from one of our local coffee shops. The chai tea latte at this place is unreal and has ruined all other chai for me.

Favorite post long run meal: My go-to is either sweet-pork tacos from Costa Vida, fajitas from Baja Fresh, or a very large breakfast with eggs, french toast and sweet potatoes!

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take?  A sour patch kid. Sometimes it can be really sweet to you and you can have awesome water jumps and other times it can be really sour and cause you to clip your foot and go swimming in the water pit.  It is definitely a love/hate relationship. 

Upcoming races: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, CA

Collier Lawrence | Bend, Oregon



Training GroupLittle Wing

Coach - Lauren Fleshman

Fall training focus: Lot’s of miles and lot’s of adventures. September we were are on break, so I take that time to go on runs I wouldn't ever do once the intensity starts to build: think lots of wilderness, lots of climbing, lots of awesome, lots of tired. October gets more focused with workouts and mileage/intensity bump. Still adventures into the mountains but by October I'm ready to settle into the good solid comfort of routine.

Favorite fall activity: I've been mountain biking a lot lately. It's a good way to get to trails I never would unless I started doing ultras...probably not.

Favorite post long run meal: I’m a huge fan of second breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? The water barrier is the friend* we all have where you're never sure if they're going to be awesome or a total shit show. It's always entertaining but the entertainment source varies. (note: if you don't have that friend... you're that friend. Embrace it- it makes for incredible stories later.)

Upcoming races: A turkey trot in Seattle this week!

Mel Lawrence | Bend, Oregon


Instagram: @mellawrence29

Training Group - Little Wing

Coach - Lauren Fleshman

Fall training focus: ADVENTURE RUNS! Whenever and wherever. None of the variables matter in terms or how far or how hilly or how intense, etc. All that matters is that we are getting out there and exploring the trails we don't get to on a normal basis. We usually head for the hills to explore the Three Sisters Wilderness area.

Favorite fall activity: I love fall. It's my favorite season. I love doing anything that involves fall: going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, apple orchards, corn mazes. Give me all of it but if I have to pick an athletic activity, I would have to say mountain biking.

Favorite post long run meal: Bacon, egg, cheese breakfast sandwich on a bagel with a good cup of coffee. I always crave something savory.

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? This is a really hard question. For some reason I picture the tip of a crocodile's nose. You know, like in Peter Pan when Hook is going to fall into the crocodiles' s mouth: You better get over and out of that thing or it's going to result in some trouble.

Upcoming races: A turkey trot in Seattle this week!

Jess Barnard | Bend, Oregon


Instagram: @jesssbarnard

Training Group: Little Wing

Coach: Lauren Fleshman

Fall Training Focus:  Base, base, base, strength, base. I used to always be injured. Now that I have figured out a lot of things over the last few years I am healthy! And healthy enough to actually get a strong base in which is a major component to successful distance running. So, I am really excited to say the least. Also. getting stronger: Strength helps prevent injury. Core, legs, arms... anything that helps me run more efficiently and gets me ready for racing season.

Favorite fall activity: Fall? What is that? I have lived in LA for too long. I am really enjoying my first real fall in Bend! Aside from weather, I love drinking lattes, trying new recipes, carving pumpkins and working on my photography.  

Favorite post long run meal:  Homemade cinnamon french toast with almond butter, bananas and honey... and a BIG OLE CUP O' JOE. Nothing better.

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? I think I would characterize the water barrier as a jack-in-the-box. Well, that's not a person or an animal but I am going with it! People think I am crazy, but I always forget that the water barrier is even there. I get so distracted by the other barriers and the rest of the lap that when I get around to the water I'm like, oh shit (jack-in-the-box effect), JUMP! I know it sounds silly, but I kind of like it this way. I never over think the water pit. The powerful leap off the barrier sets the tone for the next lap.

Upcoming races: Lauren and I are game planning but I am hoping to jump in the Dana Hills Turkey Trot to start!

Jordan Hamric | Memphis, TN


Instagram: @jhamri12

Training Group – Hallie Portner and Lauren Hagans-Paquette & Rhodes College Men’s XC & Track team

Coach – Sean Cleary, Head XC coach at West Virginia University for the past 7 years!

Fall training focus: In the fall season, we train steady hard. This consists of fartleks, progression runs, and longer interval workouts. My long runs bump up, sometimes even adding tempo at the end. We tend to gear more towards half marathon training to increase my strength, as well as swim doubles 3-4 days a week. This is the time to get fit!

Favorite fall activity: Outside of running, anything involving PUMPKINS! This mostly includes baking and trying out some innovative recipes involving anything and everything pumpkin. Muffins, oatmeal, smoothies, and even pizza crust, my favorite!

Favorite post long run meal: Hallie and I call it “The Oat Pancake”. This started off as a recipe, and we now add in all sorts of random goodness depending on the day. My favorite mixture is rolled oats, egg, unsweetened applesauce, ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried coconut flakes, hemp seeds, and chocolate Garden of Life organic plant protein, topped with sliced banana and honey (and sunflower butter if I’m feeling the sweet and salty vibe).

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? The water barrier, to me, is like a rhinoceros waiting to take charge at his prey. He is large and waiting patiently for the right moment to attack, as is the barrier for the first 4 laps of the steeplechase. As the prey gets closer (the finish line), the rhino takes action and charges with full force towards his soon to be dinner, AKA laps 5-7 when you start to feel the pain. If your training pulls through, you out run the “rhino” and make a dash to the finish line that last 100 meters, winning the battle of steeplechaser vs. rhino.

Upcoming races: Philly Rock-n-Roll Half at the end of November

Shalaya Kipp – Boulder, CO


Instagram: @shalayakipp

Training Group: I train with the Boulder buffalo squad: Kara Goucher, Emma Coburn, Jenny Simpson, and Sara Sutherland.

Coach: I’m coached by the 2014 USATF Coaches of the Year: Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.

Fall training focus: I'm all 'bout the base, 'bout the base! Workouts are fun, but don't over look the base phase of training. This is the time to get the miles in. Late October, we build in strides as well.

Favorite fall activity outside of running: Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cake, pumpkin picking, pumpkin frozen yogurt, pumpkin hunting, pumpkin seeds pumpkin juice, pumpkin syrup, pumpkin pumpkin, pumpkin chocolate, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin carving, pumpkin cider, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin trail mix, pumpkin cereal…

Favorite power meal after a long run: This is the most important meal of the week! I can't choose just one. Waffle tacos, red velvet pancakes, banh mi breakfast sandwiches, waffle iron grilled cheese with bacon, or pumpkin french-toast!

If you had to characterize the water barrier as a person or animal, what shape would it take? It’s a zerba at the watering hole, of course!