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.
When I found out I was pregnant I had just started my comeback from my TFL injury. I had cleared PT and was finally starting to get some good running back in. And cue life! Here comes pregnancy and BONUS there's not one but two babies. WHAT?
I knew that whenever I got pregnant I wanted to stay as active as possible. This was incredibly important to me- for the baby as well as for recovery afterwards. Well when I found out I was carrying two babies I wasn't sure what that meant for my fitness plan. My OB told me I could continue running and working out for the meantime. She said I would know when it was too hard/too much and to stop.
I slowed my running down A LOT and just focused on getting out there regardless of time. No real long distances- the most I did was 5 miles. My first goal was to make it to 20 weeks. I thought if I could get halfway that would be fantastic. Then I hit 20 weeks, ran the Richmond 8K, and felt great! I decided then I would keep going and reevaluate each week how I felt.
Weeks continued to pass by and then suddenly it was the end of the year and I was approaching the 30 week mark! Craziness. The belly was quite large at this point and I had shifted to intervals but was still doing some running. I decided I was going to get to 30 weeks and then shift to walking and yoga only for the remainder of the pregnancy.
I ended up with 183.6 pregnancy running miles. Something I'm incredibly proud of. Now to continue staying as fit as I can before the little guys get here!!
2018: The year of the comeback
Now I know I'm starting off the year out of commission but I have big plans to make a comeback as a stronger runner than I was before!
I'm planning to hire a coach to get back into shape. One to help with my body and core strength after pregnancy and two to give me a solid plan to get back to running.
The only real goals I have other than strength and learning to run again are to complete a half marathon by the end of the year.. maybe even hitting last year's goal of a sub 2-hour race, and a sub 26min 5K. Just giving myself GRACE to comeback strong.
Here's to the comeback!
Richmond, VA - November 11, 2017 | Time: 59:31
Pregnant running is no joke!! I took this on at 20 weeks pregnant with twins?! I wasn't sure how it was going to go- but then on the day it went great!!
The weather was ridiculously cold so dressing was harder than expected but I had on my running for three tank over various layers. :) My plan was to run to the mile marker and then walk a couple of minutes (repeat) until I made it to the end. Jon's mom stayed with me the entire time to make sure I made it ok. We ended up finishing in under an hour which had been my tentative goal... I just wasn't sure if I was going to be able to achieve it. But yes.. 59:31!! BOOM. I felt like such a badass afterwards. :)
Jon ran the half and totally rocked it out of the park and his dad ran the marathon and qualified for Boston in 2019!
It was a great weekend with family and I'm so proud of how far I've come with pregnant running. Anything past this point is just icing on the cake!
Middleburg, VA - July 28-31, 2017
Last year I went to Southern Bird Camp in NC and made some great friends, had a wonderful time, and became a much better runner. This year I'm going in coming off injury, up to the DC area, and looking forward to spending time with old and new friends.
Let's just say there were highs and lows about this year's camp. I was super excited to reunite with a lot of the ladies I've met at the NC camp as well as through Instagram and up in the DC area. However the housing arrangements were spread so far apart and most of the activities took place up at the main area so it made for some difficultly AND not feeling particularly welcome. (which made me sad considering everything Oiselle stands for and everything I've gotten out of it so far).
Anyway, recapping from the beginning. I arrived on Friday in misty rain looking forward to catching up with friends and meeting new ones. I had convinced Wynsor to join the team this past spring and she got a last minute spot into camp! She arrived almost the same time I did. We ended up being in the same cabin and decided to share a bunk bed set. There was an optional first run on the first day that I opted out of. I figured coming off my injury and knowing I'd be running every other day at camp it might be best not to try the first day in the misty rain on slippery rocks. Brooklyn, MaryEllen and Amy arrived and they were staying down in the cabins as well. We all headed up for happy hour at the main lodge, followed by tasty dinner. The evening closed out with a welcome and talk from Haute Volee Becki Spellman. She talked about her story, how she came to run with Oiselle, and offered advice to us novice runners. We were supposed to close out with a bonfire but the weather was nasty so we headed back to our cabin to hang out and head to sleep.
Day 2 started with a quick breakfast at the main house, and then we climbed into cars to head to the W&OD trail in neighboring Leesburg. I ran 5 miles with Casey (a DMV bird from the Eastern Shore of Maryland) who was happy to go my slow pace. We all ran our own mileage and so had grouped up the night before based on our plan. Afterwards we headed to a breakfast place to fill up because we were all starving!! Then it was back for a late lunch at the lodge, showers and we decided to visit one of the local wineries as pool time was cancelled due to rain/cool temps. :( We were back in time for a core session with Becki and then it was time for Twilight Polo. I had never experienced this before but it was a literal polo match. We had yummy bbq and delicious wine while watching the horses. It was fun!
Day 3 it was finally sunny!! We opted for a short run on the grounds as we didn't want to drive again over to the big traill. Talk about gravelly! Then we got to experience how to do a real warmup with Erika Pierce. I had met Erika at Southern Bird Camp the year prior. She's a kick ass masters runner and SUPER nice. Then it was time for lunch! Of course we decided to visit another brewery/winery for the afternoon and then got a little pool time in. That evening was full of a trunk show (new Fall/Winter Oiselle) and a gear swap. We grabbed some snacks and headed back to our cabin to hang out before heading to bed.
Day 4 started with a prediction run... that yours truly won!! I predicted my time within 15 seconds. Boom. Mic Drop. Then a last breakfast with everyone, lots of hugs and photos and it was time to get back on the road. Love my Oiselle friends. Can't wait for the 2018 camp!
RUN: 0 miles
SPIN: 21.29 miles
2.5 hrs of Core
30mins of Buns
2 hrs of Yoga
A big old goose egg for running this month. I started physical therapy to fix my hip issue and am taking it REALLY easy right now. Lots of strength training and core while completing all the PT exercises each week.
I had to defer my June half as well as miss the Biltmore Classic race. So frustrating but glad to be healing and working toward a solution with my therapist.
Looking forward to hopefully starting back next month so I can make the deferred race as well as be able to run some at Bird Camp!!