November 23, 2019 - Greensboro, NC
Our November meetup took place in downtown Greensboro at the Greensboro Half Marathon. Vanessa was running the 5K, Hannah was in town from Charlotte running the half, and Rachel and I were out with our cowbells as the cheer squad.
Vanessa rocked the 5K and we saw Hannah twice crushing the half before it started raining. Rachel and I got our cheer on and cowbelled hard for these ladies but then hit the road once the weather turned. It was a fun morning supporting our teammates and all the other runners out there getting it done. Maybe next year I'll sign up for the race!
Fun times as always- looking forward to our next get together!
November 16, 2019 - Richmond, VA TIME: 2:05:58
Oh man this was such a long time coming. I set my PR for the Half Marathon in 2013. I had trained hard for Disney and then got chewed up for the heat that year, so about 2 months later I tried another half- Nike Women's and crushed it.
Since that day I have tried many times and failed to beat it. In 2017 I trained smartly all winter and spring - but then pulled something in my hip during my spring 5K. I PR'd that race and went on to PR my 10 miler the following weekend. But after that I was hard-cord injured and had to defer my late spring half. Months of PT later, I was finally cleared to run and then BOOM pregnant with twins. Soooooo I have been waiting for this day for a long time.
After the twins were born I started working with Becki Spellman. First to rebuild my core, and then next to train smartly. She got me to a point where I was able to complete my deferred half last October. I did intervals and was so proud of completion 7 months after twins. Then she stuck with me all winter/spring when I was just not into running and my body was NOT cooperating. This past summer she asked me if I was going for any fall races and I told her I was considering Richmond. She made me feel like it was possible. So I registered and committed myself to going all in on training.
I have never had a more successful training cycle than for this race. I worked hard on my speed sessions, took my runs easy when necessary, and lifted weights and did core like never before. I went all in.
And FINALLY FINALLY I did it. I bested that time from 2013 but more than that I proved to myself I could do it. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
So race recap.
My plan going in was to attempt a sub 2 knowing that I would also be happy if I beat my PR. I started with the 2 hour pacer and hung on as long as I could before settling back in a hard but comfortable place. I took my GU around 4.5mi, drank some water and settled in. I was feeling good until about the park when I started having some issues with numbness in my toes. I slowed back a little and tried to curl them as I ran. Then we hit some decent hills that my body just did not want to go over. My slowest miles were here: 10:20, 10:05. Once we got out of the park, I was continuing to curl my toes from time to time to keep them going but we had some decent downhills so I just kept trying to pick up my speed. I took another GU around 9 miles, more water, and told myself to buckle in until the end. From there I counted down each mile, focusing on the one I was in and completing it just a little faster than the last. I'm pretty sure I had a progression run on the back half of the course. I realized about 2 miles away that if I could just keep going I was going to PR. I teared up a little thinking about how much work I put in and how it was finally paying off.
I sprinted downhill toward the finish, careful not to fall because the steepness is real y'all and finally claimed my new PR of 2:05:58. SO FREAKING HAPPY.
October 19, 2019 - Whitsett, NC
After last month's meetup was running based, we decided to make October more of a social affair. We were slightly thwarted by hours changing at the last minute BUT we still had fun at Red Oak Brewery out in Whitsett.
Rachel and I caught up for a bit, and then my neighbor Jen joined us as well. Always a good time talking running and life with my bird ladies.
Our November meetup will be running based with the Greensboro Half weekend- hoping to get a few more people this time around!
September 21, 2019 - Winston-Salem, NC
Rachel and I met up in August to plan out some fun fall events for the Triad NC Volee. A lot of folks live in the triangle area so we're trying to get more people out at our triad events!
First one was at Salem Lake. We met up to do our long runs around the lake. I arrived early to do a loop (7mi) before our meetup since I had 12 to do for the day. Once everyone got together I did another 5 on the heels of some of the fasties in our group! After we all finished up, a few of us headed over to Famous Toastery to grab brunch. Was nice to catch up and meet some other ladies in our area.
Looking forward to October's meetup!
September 1, 2019
My return to running from twin pregnancy has been anything but linear. Last summer I was feeling pretty good as I got back into it, but then this past winter/early spring I felt awful and just couldn't summon up the energy to get it going.
Finally this summer I registered for the Richmond Half Marathon so I guess I have to start putting in more effort. I decided I would run at least 1 mi a day in the month of August to see if I could jump start my love for running again.
Now after 31 days of literally running every day I'm finally enjoying it again and I'm excited to build up for a race. And what's even crazier is that I hit 100 miles for the month. I've only ever done that one other time in all my years of running- and better yet I feel fantastic!
Finally, finally do I feel in a better place with running. I'm hopeful that coupled with weights, HIIT, and yoga I can regain my strength, and muscle, and finally shed the remaining baby weight.
Hopefully I'll have good news to report come November! Wish me luck!
June 2, 2019 - Blacksburg-Christiansburg, VA
So I know I didn't announce it but the Caldwells are shipping out of VA and headed to Greensboro, NC!
Jon accepted a job at UNCG (on a contract that's more than just a year THANK GOD) so we will finally have some stability. We went house hunting in March, made an offer on a house, and close in a week!
In the meantime I've been slowly running and slowly trying to get my legs back and lose the extra weight I gained towards the end of the twins first year. I hadn't been doing really far long runs but decided before we moved I wanted to run our local trail (Huckleberry) in its entirety. They had just finished the upper end connector and I thought why not give it a shot? No time goal and could enjoy it while taking as many pictures as I wanted.
When I got out to the start- the views are beautiful but boy are they hilly!!! I got to run on the new boardwalk section through a marshy area which was fun and then I connected back to where I had run before. This end of the trail is especially hilly... almost to a cruel degree. But I told myself to just get through this and it will slowly get easier along the way. It was a hot, hot day but I got it done. 10 miles, 2 hours, lots of sweat and lots of photos.
Super proud of myself for getting it done. Check off the bucket list!!
Well- you know how good things were going this summer/fall for me in my return to running? Late fall/winter was NOT my friend. First we were traveling all the time for the holidays, then everyone got sick, then the semester schedule was different and left me no time to workout like before, and then we had to start weaning.
It was really rough. I was not in a good head space. Working out keeps me sane and with no time to fit it into my schedule like before I was feeling the effects. I thought after the holiday/sickness bouts I would be able to get back on track but once Jon went back to work after the holiday break, his schedule was different. Those 30mins that I used to have after the twins ate and before he went to work were gone. Their schedule was evolving and they weren't really sleeping during that time as before. That coupled with Jon's need to leave earlier left me stranded.
So no time to workout made me cranky, plus I was trying to maintain my milk supply until their 1st birthday which was proving to be a struggle. I was eating all the time. So no working out and lots of eating meant weight gain even though I was nursing twins.
I had thought once I started back running everything with my body would slowly go back to normal but instead it's been all over the place. After they were born I immediately dropped all the pregnancy weight and was back to my original size. Then I began running again and was feeling great about my progress. But in the fall my cycle returned and with that my milk supply was all over the place. Thanks hormones. So more eating and then with the inability to workout and run but still eating.... yeah. It's no wonder I've gained back about half of my pregnancy weight.
Their first birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and while I'm incredibly proud of my ability to feed them this entire time- I am very excited about weaning. I'm looking forward to getting my body back and beginning what I consider my real postpartum journey. I realize it's a year after most start but for me it will be when I can finally get myself on a schedule. I can get back to early morning workouts before the twins wake up since I won't need to drain the boobs anymore. I can regulate my diet as I won't have to supply food anymore. It is time. And I am ready.
Postpartum running has been anything but easy but I'm ready to start over again. Let's do this 2019.
October 6, 2018 - Raleigh, NC
First race after babies. I had to use a credit with the race series so at 7 months postpartum I took on a half marathon.
I was not up to racing shape but was looking to prove that I was able to do it. I worked with my coach on a plan that would get me to a good place to complete the race. Of course she had more faith in me than I did- giving me paces for the race that were really scary.
Race morning dawned hot and humid (my nemeses). The race started out on a downhill so I started with the paces Becki prescribed for me. I felt fine for the first few miles but once we hit the greenway section we were shrouded with trees and there was absolutely no air flow. It was like running with a warm blanket on. In that moment I made the decision to slow down and just enjoy being able to run this far again.
It wasn't a super interesting course- a lot on the local greenways. And had it not been 99% humidity I think it would have been really nice. But I kept going knowing I was capable AND that my babies would be at the finish waiting for me. :)
The remaining miles weren't my prettiest but I got through them and pushed on to the finish. And when I was reaching the final turn I saw my parents each holding a twin and cheering for me! It totally made me cry.
But I DID IT. I completed a half marathon at 7 months postpartum. My babies got to see me do something really hard. I was so proud of my body. I'm looking forward at what I can really do with an entire training cycle behind me.
September 2018 - 6 months PP
I know, I know this has been mostly a twin blog for the last few months but I swear I'm getting back into running. As you know I've been working with a coach since May. First we worked on rebuilding my core strength. When they slice your body in half to pull out two babies your abs are suddenly toast. So that has been a long road that I'm still climbing on- and probably will be for awhile to come.
We also started off with lots of run/walk intervals until I was finally feeling good enough to start stringing some miles together. It has been quite the process. I thought by running until I was 30 weeks pregnant and then walking and doing yoga until the twins arrived that I would be in decent shape to start again. But boy, does the nursing, the sleeplessness, the constant worrying, not to mention the surgery and recovery... I had no idea how much it was going to take out of me. Relearning to run has been so much harder than I thought.
But finally I'm getting to a better place. Still pretty slow but we are finally working in little bursts of speed here and there trying to remind my legs of what they used to be able to do.
I had an entry to the 13.1 series that I had to use before the end of 2018. I settled on the Raleigh race in October so I could be with my parents and have helpers while I ran. :) I've got about a month until I take it on. Coach is building me up on the weekend but my only goal for the race is to complete it. I'll be satisfied knowing that at 7 months PP I completed a half.
This year I'm trying to give myself some grace as I learn how to run again. I decided my best option would be to hire a coach to bring me back to life the right way! Plus since I had a c-section I needed to rebuild my entire core.
I knew it was going to take a lot of work and didn't want to try it on my own... so enter Becki Spellman. She is also on the Oiselle team BUT is one of the elites on the Haute Volee. I briefly met her at camp last summer and my real reason for choosing her is because she also has a set of twins! And I knew she worked really hard to rebuild herself to get back to elite running.
The entire time I ran while pregnant I felt very humbled, just happy to be getting in anything at all while my belly grew larger and larger. I thought since I had made it to 30 weeks with running and then continued to walk and do yoga after that I would be in decent shape for my postpartum return to running. This is laughable.
Walking was difficult in the first few weeks, let alone the fact that was entirely too sleep deprived to function. I reached out in April to see if she had any availability and if she would take me on as a client. Because she is awesome she found space for me and we decided on a May 1 start. I was cleared to run at my 6- week appointment (April 12) and tried a couple of days or run/walking but it was SO HARD. It was then that I contact Becki and got everything set up.
I have a whole postpartum core routine that it was way harder than it seems but I know it will put me on the right track as far as rebuilding everything that was sliced in half. And for now I'm working in intervals (run/walk) until I can slowly build up to longer distances and hopefully eventually get working on speed again.
Baby steps people. I'm excited to see where this goes.