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!!
RUN: 85.40 miles
SPIN: 67.38 miles
1.5hrs of Arms
2hrs of Buns
3hrs of Core
1.5hrs of Legs
2.5hrs of Yoga
Welp. April gave me some high highs and also a big fat low. :/ I PR'd in both the 5K and 10 Miler in back to back weeks. I also injured my right hip and can't run at all currently.
I was continuing my training exactly as planned- things were going great! I felt good about my progress and really thought I was going to hit my goals. I came pretty close to my A goals both times but with the unfortunate consequence of hip injury. At the BAA5K I pushed it a little too hard at the end and as soon as I crossed the line I realized there was a problem. My hip was really really sore. At the hotel I tried to work it out, rolled and stretched and we walked around a decent amount that day. By the end it felt ok and I was able to go for my long run with Ethan on Sunday with no issue.
Moving into the next week I had a 5 miler scheduled that I took on the treadmill at an easy pace and had some tenderness but nothing bad. On Friday though I was trying to just run a quick 3 mile shakeout and I could barely run 2 miles. NOT GOOD. My big scary goal race was on Sunday and now injury strikes?!?! So frustrating. I iced, elevated, advil-ed all day and most of the weekend trying to rest, stretch and hope for the best. Going into Sunday's race I told myself to just relax out there, enjoy the cool temps and not kill myself. I could feel my hip twinge a little around the 3rd mile and there was constant tightness after that but again nothing unbearable. I finished the race with a new PR but not my original goal. Still incredibly happy since Friday's run had been so bad. But then I had to get in the car and drive for 4 hours.
This was my mistake. My entire body locked up during the drive and I could barely climb out of the car. :( I was so depressed. I had 3 more races on the calendar! One of which being the following Saturday. UGH. I decided to take the week off from running completely, focusing on spin, yoga and other strength workouts. Come Saturday (which a full recap is coming next) I showed up for the race not knowing if I'd be able to run. Thankfully Krysten stuck with me as I hobbled and ran/walked the entire race. One of my worst performances but at least I had good company. After that I knew I needed help and contacted my GP for a PT referral that I started today. Fingers crossed I'll get to the bottom of this and back on the trails for my last two spring races!!
Run: 94.55 miles
Spin: 118.61 miles
4.5 hrs of Arms
4.5 hrs of Buns
4 hrs of Core
4.5 hrs of Legs
2 hrs of Yoga
Wow! Will you look at those March numbers?!?! I'm feeling so much stronger these days. I've made sure to stick to my strict schedule of every-other-day running to get my ankle back on track and I do feel like it is really working for me.
As I'm moving into the last couple of weeks of my training cycle for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler I'm incredibly grateful to my body for not getting injured! Strength training and yoga and things I neglected in every other training cycle I've done. I also only did the spin bike when injured so this entire cycle has been a new and positive experience!
I've continued on the 10% rule for my running, gradually increasing as the weeks have gone on. WK1: 18miles, WK2: 20miles, WK3: 22miles and Wk4: 24miles. April just started toward the end of the week but I just came in at 26.5 this past weekend. WHOA. I'm feeling really good about my pacing and speed work. I've tried to make sure I take my recovery runs nice and slow (very hard for me) and then I have more power and strength when it comes to my speed work. As my mileage has increased my bed times have definitely been earlier- you try fitting in an 8 mile run and an arm workout before getting to work at 8am!! Hello 4:30am- nice to meet you. Some adjustments for sure but I'm happy with my progress and am planning to finish out this cycle strong!
So all things good in March! Really looking forward to what April will bring. I have 3 races on the calendar: BAA 5K with Jon's family and many of the Oiselle team as part of the Boston Marathon weekend [SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS], my planned race: GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (going for a 1:30:00 goal!) and then the Highlander 8K with my SW VA local birds. Going to be a great month for sure!!