February 28-March 1, 2020 - Atlanta, GA
WOW. What an incredible weekend.
Starting at the beginning, I left very early on Friday morning and picked up Rachel J and Rachel B before heading south to Charlotte to grab Cessy. She had a yummy breakfast ready for us, which was great for a little sustenance before we continued on to Atlanta. We made a couple of potty breaks, a lunch stop at Chicken Salad Chick (delicious BTW), before finally getting into town. GPS had to take us a different route due to so much traffic on 85 but we did finally make it.
We dropped me off at my Oiselle leader meeting, and they continued on to our AirBnb to drop off luggage and get race packets for Sunday's race.
The leader meeting was great. I'm not new to Oiselle (obviously) but being chosen as a leader this year is awesome. I've been trying for many years but have always lived in an isolated area until now. Thankfully I was selected! I was able to meet Chief Bird, Sally, our leader Leader, Carolyn, as well as many other leaders from states all over. We learned about plans for upcoming large meetups, items we need to accomplish as leaders this year, and brainstormed in small groups about events we can plan in our respective areas.
The two ladies at my table were Cecilia and Jenn, both from TN, who I've followed online for years but had never met in person. SO wonderful to connect. :) I also met Beth (who I've followed forever) and so many other birds, some I had not been following and others I of course had been. It's so great to meet people IRL that you feel you already kind of know thanks to the internet haha.
After the meeting, the TN ladies and I grabbed an Uber to our dinner party location. So so much fun. Lots of beers, hugs, catching up, and delicious bbq and macncheese made for an awesome evening. I met more ladies on the NC team, met ladies I'd followed for years, and caught up with old friends from previous bird camps. I heart this team so much.
Afterwards, we Ubered back to our Airbnb to settle in for the night. Cessy and Joanna hit the sack early, but the Rachels and I sat up and talked for awhile. We all have 2 year olds currently so you can guess the topic of conversation haha.
On Saturday morning there were a bunch of shakeout runs going on all over Atlanta. We opted to run with Clean Sport Co and Kara Goucher. So many people showed up to run I think they were a little overwhelmed. But we got a decent 3 mile run in, as well as some photos with KG. Then Joanna and I headed back to shower and get ready while the other girls finished out a few more miles. After everyone was ready, we tried to pick up lunch at Corner Bakery but it was a nightmare in there so we cancelled our orders and then walked over to the Oiselle Cowbell Corner. It was very cold and windy. I had on so many layers but was staying pretty warm compared to the other girls. It was such an amazing experience. The elite runners passed us 6 times. We got to cheer for the 24 runners from Oiselle and all the other amazing contenders for the Olympics. So much cheering and cowbelling! The Oiselle corner was deafening. It was awesome.
Afterwards we said goodbye to Joanna, as she had to drive back to Charlotte, and then headed to a nearby brewery/restaurant to eat since we skipped lunch. Pizza and beer had never tasted so good. Then showers and relaxing until it was time to head to the party.
Luckily we were staying around the corner from that location so it was an easy walk over! Again more meetups with ladies I hadn't met in person, a few yummy cocktails, and beers, and I got to meet my coach Becki! We've been working together for almost 2 years so it was nice to meet IRL. Then of course there was the fashion show!! So many lovely items that I can't wait to purchase down the road ... and then we danced our hearts out. Even got to dance with Kara Goucher (NBD). It was an amazing evening!
Oh and then we crashed hard because we were running a race the next day haha. Luckily I had only signed up for the 5K so no pressure. I ran hard, but the hills were brutal so my only goal was to finish under 30mins and I accomplished that. I know I've got a lot more in me- but that was good enough for the time being. :)
After the races were complete, it was quick showers, pack up and hit the road back home. This time around we got to drive 85 which was definitely a shorter distance. We ate a quick Mexican lunch along the way and then one by one everyone got dropped off and I was back in time to help with twin dinner.
WHAT A WEEKEND. One I won't soon forget. <3
February 13, 2020 - Greensboro, NC
We got together for a Galentine's potluck dinner. We had the best turnout of any meetups at this one!!
Madelyn brought a chili, Sara a brussels salad, Vanessa a quinoa salad, Jen brought lasagna, and I made homemade tagalong cookies. We had a little red wine as well.
It was great to see everyone and catch up over a delicious meal. Plus some of these ladies hadn't met each other yet. Great to build more connections in our area.
We had hoped to watch Britney Runs a Marathon- but it got a little late (for a weeknight) so everyone headed home with plans to go out to a restaurant in WS in March. Can't wait!
February 8, 2020 - Winston-Salem, NC
So the NC Volee big meetup for February was scheduled at JDL Fast Track again. Some incredible elite runners were running, as well as one of Oiselle's Haute Volee, Sammy George.
This time it was very packed for the indoor meet. I found a spot along the back, Madelyn joined me to cheer, and we saw Vanessa taking photos in the inner ring. We saw Paul Chelimo and Jenny Simpson kill it in their respective races. It was really cool to witness.
Afterwards we headed over to Foothills Brewing and enjoyed a drink while it snowed outside! Always great to see the Oiselle ladies and experience a fun indoor track meet! Looking forward to our triad meetup later this month!!
January 12, 2020 - Winston-Salem, NC
For January we stepped outside of the normal and attended an indoor track meet. The Southeast Masters (30 and up) was taking place at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem and we had a couple of runners participating so it seemed like an easy fit for our next get together.
Megan Arnold (Raleigh bird) completed the mile and grabbed 2nd in her age group! Super speedy. Vanessa Vila (Triad bird) took on the 400, 200, and 60m. She also grabbed some age group awards. Fastie Birds. :)
This was my first time attending an indoor track meet. As a musician/dancer I didn't participate in school sports. It was honestly a really cool atmosphere and I'm glad I went! Plus it was fun to cheer on some of our local ladies.
Bring it 2020. I felt great toward the end of 2019 so I'm looking forward to what I can do this year.
My main goals are to break 2 hours in the half marathon and to break 26mins in the 5K. I'm currently planning on some spring 5Ks and hope to run a fall half (possibly Myrtle Beach again).
Otherwise personally I'd like to drop the rest of the baby weight (and maybe a little more), get stronger with all my weights, and be kinder to myself. This body has done great things and I need to not be so hard on myself all the time.
I'm also hoping to pick up a hobby this year (maybe cross stitch?) we'll see how the year goes.
Happy New Year and Happy New Me!
December 14, 2019 - 3.34mi 38:44
This was also the December Oiselle meetup for the triad region. Vanessa met up with me to run with her dog Luna. The twins were with me in our double stroller... and let's just say the race was interesting haha.
So this "race" is really more of a fun run through a neighborhood to enjoy the lights. There's no real timing so my mileage and time are based off my watch. There are no corrals but runners do go first while walkers are later. There were A LOT of people. Vanessa and I both decided if we did this again we would NOT bring the kids or dog. A lot of dodging to get around people... as many of the 'runners' were actually walkers.
As for the lights- they were really cool. I think I would rather walk around the neighborhood on my own time on a different day. It was hard to enjoy them while dodging people with the stroller. Ha.
But a solid first stroller race for me. The twins seemed to enjoy themselves and watched the whole time. No crying or anything. And despite the hills I felt I ran pretty well!
It was great to see Vanessa and have company as we circled the neighborhood. So while we may skip this race next year, I'm sure we'll find something else fun to do for December fun.
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!