Post-Marathon Body

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The Husband and I took some time out of our work schedules this afternoon to price gyms.

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We were members of LA Fitness until August, and then we quit because I was running outside so much.  Since it looks like I’m being relegated to the pool (details below) and the Husband misses being able to study on the elliptical, we’re going to re-join.   24 Hours Fitness was nice, but I think it’s too far from our house.  We’ll decide tomorrow!

 

For lunch, I made a bulgur, baked tofu, and roasted vegetables mix.

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I drizzled soy sauce on top.  In the veggie mix was parsnips, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.

 

After our gym shopping, I had a bowl of cereal:

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And an orange:

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Post-Marathon Body

 

I can’t believe that marathon training is OVER!  I feel like it consumed my life for more than 21 weeks.  There was a point when I was running more than 35 miles a week – nearly 6 hours of running!  There are three things that I want to talk about:

 

  • My Body
  • My Mind
  • My Injuries

 

The big question for marathoners is “Did you gain weight while training?”  As I wrote back in November, I did not gain weight through the training process.  In the end, I actually lost a pound or two.   But I didn’t just want to take about weight – I wanted to talk about SHAPE!

 

The last time I did “before” and “after” pictures was when I completed the 30 Day Shred Challenge.  I’m going to use those “after” pictures as my “before” marathon pictures, since I consider my post-30 Day Shred body to be my best to date.

 

Before” Marathon: April 2009

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“After” Marathon:  January 2010

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The statistics:

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What do these photographs and statistics mean to me?  Honestly, I believe this shows that you cannot run yourself tone.  I was tighter and more toned after the 30 Day Shred Challenge (I was also doing about 15 miles a week of running at the time or other cardio). 

 

I am 100% sure that I am in the best cardio shape of my life, but I’ve lost muscle definition everywhere except my legs and butt (which are clearly more toned)!  My biceps being smaller is NOT a good thing – it means I lost muscle mass there.  The few pounds I did lose while marathon training probably came from muscle, since I rarely did any sort of strength training in the last four months.

 

I find all of this very interesting (not concerning or anything like that).  I’m excited to get back to strength training, though!

 

The other thing I wanted to talk about was my mental state.  Post-marathon, I feel extremely accomplished and proud of myself.  I’m a marathoner now, and no one can take that away from me!  However, there were DEFINITELY times during marathon training that I thought, “This seemed like a good idea three months ago!”  Training for such a long race is time-consuming, physically challenging, and exhausting.  I’m not sure how willing I would be do to it again.

 

And the last thing is….

 

Injuries!

 

My knees held up very well through the whole process.  Icing my knees truly saved me from having to give up running completely (a discussion on my knee problems is here).  I’m really grateful that I could experience a marathon without hurting my knees.

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However, I injured myself DURING the race.  And when I say “injured,” I mean… I really, really hurt myself.

 

I didn’t realize it was happening at the time, but I’ve screwed up my right foot pretty badly.  There is a tender, swollen bruise anterior to my ankle bone, right were the fourth or fifth metatarsal is located.  I stated the morning after the marathon that I felt “better than expected,” and that was true… at the time.  However, the bruising and pain began to appear about 30 hours after the marathon was over.  It’s so painful that I cannot walk on my foot today at all.

 

I’m no doctor, but I’m educated enough in the human body and injuries (I got into Physical Therapy grad school!) to know that this is not a minor injury.  I’m leaning to a stress fracture, but only time (and maybe a trip to my trusted orthopedic doctor) will tell.   There are other less severe things that the injury could be.  In the meantime, I’m resting, icing, and keeping pressure off my foot.

 

Am I gutted?  Well, of course I prefer to walk without a limp.  🙂 But I’m not in tears.   I actually haven’t cried once.  The marathon is over, I accomplished my goal.  If this is a fracture, I’m thankful it waited until the end of the race to appear, not a week before.  I’m upset, but I’m not freaking out.

 

My experience with injuries has shown me that:

 

  • I don’t lose endurance overnight.  I took two months off running last spring (replaced running with biking) and was fine.
  • Running is not the end-all-be-all.  I like to ride my bike and can probably engage in this activity safely in a few weeks (maybe sooner).
  • I’m not going to gain weight because I’m not running.  As long as I stay active, it’s fine.
  • I’m not going to go stir-crazy without running.  Life goes on.

 

If an injury can ever come at a “good time,” this is it.  I’m looking forward to switching to weight-training (with no weight bearing foot activities, of course), swimming, and biking (when feasible).  I really want to learn how to swim well, and if I have to change my entry for March’s triathlon to an AquaBike, so be it! 

 

Even though I’m injured, I’m so glad I did the marathon.  I think all endurance athletes know that an injury is a possibility when doing a marathon.  I did everything I could’ve to prevent this from happening – I ate well, I ate enough calories, I didn’t overtrain – so I can’t feel bad about it. These things just happen!

 

Onwards and upwards!

{ 121 comments }

 

  • Becka January 12, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Is that the 24 Hour in SODO? If so, I’m a member there and I’d love to be a workout buddy with ya! 😉

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:26 pm

      yes it is! however, i dont think we’re going to join… its so far from me 🙁 did you know that The Biggest Loser twin works out there?

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) January 12, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Great post Caitlin, I really liked reading about your thoughts on your body, mind, and injuries.
    I have to admit though, I checked out your butt and it definitely looks “higher” and more toned.

    Running is definitely great for the legs, and I bet if you incorporated strength training during your rest period/healing you will see results quickly because you have a great athletic body.

    Have fun getting into swimming – I love it and need to do it more often!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet January 12, 2010, 4:27 pm

    My hubby had stress fractures in his feet, ankles and shins after his first marathon. He ran another one 1.5 years later, so I’m sure you will bounce back! 🙂

  • Becka January 12, 2010, 4:29 pm

    really? I did not know that. And sad face. Well if you change your mind let me know. 🙂

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers January 12, 2010, 4:29 pm

    such an interesting post! i think it’s important for people to train for a marathon because they want the challenge… not to lose weight since a marathon is such a mental commitment & this is a great way to inadvertently say that!

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:31 pm

      you took the words out of my mouth!

  • megan January 12, 2010, 4:30 pm

    great post! you have a great outlook on your injury, and on your body and marathon experience.

    and hey, if there’s one thing those before and after pictures should tell you, it’s that you have a much nicer camera now than you had before 🙂

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health January 12, 2010, 4:32 pm

    yeah, girl!! you’re outlook on everything – your body, running the marathon, injuries, etc. – are always so motivating. you’re definitely a “cup is half full” person, and I love it =)

    i’m currently working through the 30 Day Shred and absolutely hating it :/ But I’m determined to finish it! i can’t wait to see the results. would you consider doing the shred again?

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:34 pm

      hmm good question. i really liked the shred, but i HATED the plyometrics. they were really irritating for my knees. i think its a good and effective workout plan though. you will have results.

      • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health January 12, 2010, 5:09 pm

        hmmm I’ve found that it’s tough on my knees as well. I’m only on day 8 of the first level, and yesterday I got a HORRIBLE sharp pain in my right knee. I actually screamed out loud. I can’t say for sure it was from the Shred, but I really can’t think of what else it would have been. That’s something I am concerned about going into level 2 and 3…

        • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 5:12 pm

          i would just skip the moves that irritated me and either jog in place or repeat a previous move. dont do something that hurts you!

  • Mary January 12, 2010, 4:33 pm

    You look great in all of your pictures. I always find that strength training has always taken a back seat in my past training experiences. However, I am beginning to train for Boston in a week or so and I plan to strength train 2 days per week..even if they aren’t hardcore lift sessions. I think that it is so important to do. Sorry to hear about your foot. It looks like you have a good outlook about that. It really is the perfect timing to be injured…if you had to be injured at all that is. I would definitely get it checked out by the doc though. I had severe foot pain in which I could not walk a few months ago…turned out to be very bad tendinitis..no stress fracture. Continue to ice and rest!

  • Erin January 12, 2010, 4:35 pm

    Really great post! My dad and stepmom are both former marathoners who are now just doing shorter runs (under 10 miles) and sticking to the pool after they’ve both become too injured from all the running. A shame but at least they’re older…

  • Courtney January 12, 2010, 4:37 pm

    YAY strength training! I’m glad to hear you are going to get back into it….I swear by it for being the best way to transform a body, not to mention give you a feeling of being strong and capable!
    Curious to know about any mental letdown now that the training and marathon are over…it was a big part of your every day for a long time…any feelings of being blue?
    Courtney
    adventures in tri-ing

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:41 pm

      Naw, I don’t have post-marathon depression. I think that training was hard and time consuming enough that I’m just happy it’s over, to be honest. 🙂

  • Eve January 12, 2010, 4:37 pm

    For a gym, convenience is such a huge factor!!!

    This recap is fantastic. I think it’s so great that you pointed out losing muscle while marathon training. Something I work with all my clients on is making sure they’re doing a combination of cardio, strength & flexibility – for overall physical fitness. So many of my clients use the shred videos and love them!

  • Mica January 12, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I had a similar-sounding injury that showed up a day or so after Chicago. A spot on the outside of my foot, along the fourth or fifth metatarsal, really hurt when I put pressure on it (i.e. walking or jumping). I tried to self-diagnose and even went to student health, where the doctor told me I probably had a stress fracture after looking at some X-rays. However, when I made an appointment at the orthopedist, he told me that it was just some peroneal tendinitis. So don’t always assume the worst. 🙂

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:40 pm

      thanks for telling me this story! i am hoping its just inflammation – we will see!

  • katherine January 12, 2010, 4:39 pm

    Great post – you definitely seem to have a very good mindset about both your current physical shape and your foot injury. Even though I’m sure you’ll find ways to stay active, I hope it’s not a stress fracture, just so you can get out for a run if you feel like it! 🙂

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 12, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I’ve always read stories about people who attempted to train for a marathon as a way to lose weight, and then were SORELY disappointed when they gained instead! I know that running a half is not the same, but I gained a little weight when I trained for my half…pretty sure it’s because I was STARVING all the time! lol

    So sorry to hear about your foot, chicka. Take good care of it!

    Also– 26 inch waist? Yowza! Good for you!!

  • Jessica January 12, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Running or not running you are BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • Tammy January 12, 2010, 4:45 pm

    You know what, Caitlin? I could echo almost all of your sentiments…I have actually gained weight in the past training for my marathons, but the last one…the most noticable change was my loss in strength. I had cut my cross training way back because I was afraid of overdoing it and hurting myself, and I was hurting my running by being so sore. My running got better, but I definitely noticed a big drop in strength and muscle definition. Then, after my last marathon and the 2 month bout with tendonitis in my foot, I learned a few things. Yes…I grieved the loss of so much progress and not being able to run, but I was thankful to be able to do anything at all and found my love for cycling and strength training renewed. I tried to look at the injury as a hidden opportunity to grow in other areas, and although I would never have chosen it for myself, some good did come out of it. I also learned just how much I let running and all things associated, consume my life. Don’t get me wrong…it feels amazing to finally be making baby steps back to running again. But I feel somehow empowered that I learned to deal with the setback constructively and that running isn’t “the end all” in my life. I think it has freed me to enjoy it more, because it seems more like a gift! I probably wouldn’t have invested in the cycling and weight training as much otherwise either! I hope the foot heals fast!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete January 12, 2010, 4:47 pm

    If you want to learn how to swim, I seriously recommend Total Immersion. The hubby and I own two copies, and we are always lending them out! That is how popular it is! It helped me turn my stroke around!!

    • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete January 12, 2010, 4:47 pm

      I know you know how to swim, but this book will help you swim more efficiently and faster!

      • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:48 pm

        i am the worst swimmer. ryan from greens for good is going to teach me but i need extra help, im sure!

  • Laura @ FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! January 12, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Great Post! Been waiting for it all day…….=)

    I recommended your blog to my friend who is training for her 1st marathon, she just signed up after a lot of pressure in December and the race is in March so she is a bit nervous.

    She told me she LOVES your blog!

  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 12, 2010, 4:50 pm

    this was amazing to read. i think that most of us think that it’s so romantic (for lack of a better word) to run a marathon, but don’t realize the consequences of putting your body through that stress. i was really thankful to read this recap!

    i hope your foot starts to feel better soon…it’s crazy how little we realize we use a body part til it’s in pain! i’m excited to read more about your strength training and participate!

  • Nate January 12, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Yo HTP – Yeah…sucks to have the stress fracture, but timing could’ve been way worse. I got one after a 20 mile training run and had to bail on Chicago a couple years ago. I’m still a little pissed about that one.

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 4:51 pm

      oh man… you’re totally right!

  • Janna (Just Flourishing) January 12, 2010, 4:51 pm

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your injury. I hope it’s something minor rather than major. But your outlook on it is amazing. Good for you, for not getting too upset. It sucks, but its not the end of the world!

    Second of all, thank you for writing about how marathon running changed your body. I really think it’s imoportant for people to know that training for a marathon is NOT the way to go if you want to lose weight. Obviously, you look fabulous! But you looked amazing before as well 🙂

    I’m only training for a half marathon, but reading everything you’ve written up to now has been so helpful to me in knowing what to expect and how to properly train and prepare myself. Thanks 🙂

  • Marissa January 12, 2010, 4:51 pm

    Wow! Great post! I just picked up some goggles because I want to get more into swimming.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 12, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Thankyou for such an honest and open post. I am really sorry to hear that you are injured, but I am sure it will improve after a little rest. Great work for staying positive … it really IS the best approach and I can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures!

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 12, 2010, 4:52 pm

    wow, thanks for the re-cap!!

    I suffered stress fractures in both of my tibias a few years ago. I knew they were stress fractures because they hurt in a very concentrated area, as opposed to the entire shin. I’m sure you know your own body, but this is one of the ways we figured out I had stress fractures and not just shin splints.

  • Runeatrepeat January 12, 2010, 4:54 pm

    Injuries never come at a good time, but post-mary this is the best case. We should be healing and looking into different forms of exercise for a bit anyways. Hang in there 🙂

  • Laura @ FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! January 12, 2010, 4:55 pm

    P.S. So sorry about the INJURY, but you have the excellent outlook on it and that is so good to see!!! It makes me less scared about running my 1st marathon myself, thank you! =)

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats January 12, 2010, 4:56 pm

    I completely look up to you for all of your hard work and dedication. You are seriously so inspirational and one day I would love to complete a marathon too. I really hope your foot and knees and any other pain you’re in go away soon! Running a marathon is such a big accomplishment, maybe your body just needs a good rest now. Strength training sounds like a good plan! Great job again on the marathon!

  • Karla January 12, 2010, 4:58 pm

    I got a one month membership to 24-Hour Fitness once since it’s close to my parent’s house. If you decide to get it, Costco has a deal I think it’s 2 years for $250 or something… just FYI 🙂

  • Amanda January 12, 2010, 4:59 pm

    The costco deal at 24 hour fitness is amazing. You don’t even need to be a memebr of costoc- you just need a friend who is a member. I lvoe how you are so positive and level headed about your amrthon experience!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle January 12, 2010, 5:02 pm

    I have definitely gotten into the running only rut when marathon training. It seemed hard to balance it all, but it definitely helps and I think its also contributed to me being fairly injury free. Marathons don’t make me skinny! But training for them gives me amazing endurance and a sense of accomplishment.

  • Lainie January 12, 2010, 5:05 pm

    I love your attitude Caitlin. You are so positive and I truly believe that your body will heal faster if you keep a smile on your face and don’t stress out about your injury 🙂
    Congratulations on the marathon; it is an incredibly accomplishment that you can be proud of FOREVER.

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) January 12, 2010, 5:06 pm

    Awesome recap! I think you did a great job detailing the physical and mental effects of marathon training. And it’s SO true that running a bunch of miles will not tone you. I run upwards of 50 miles a week and I still have a bit of flab on my tum. One of my resolutions for the new year is to do hip strengthening exercises (to prevent injury), mix-up my cardio (more biking, less running), and get buff arms 🙂

  • Tracey @ TropicalHappiness January 12, 2010, 5:07 pm

    First off, love love love your attitude! I think any injury can be difficult, but at least this one came after the marathon, and not after, say, your 22 mile training run! And just see what the doc says. The human body can heal itself pretty well, so if it’s not a stress fracture, you might be back on your foot sooner than you think.
    As for gyms- go for convenience. I go to a smaller, local gym that is under 2 miles from my house. And getting there is super convenient- 4 right hand turns! LOL! I thought about joining an LA Fitness that was a little farther from my house, but nicer. It has a pool, etc. I’m soooo glad I didn’t (besides the psycho sales people turned stalkers), because I know I wouldn’t go half as often if I knew I had a 10-15 minute drive just to get there. At my current gym, there’s no excuse- if I’m dressed, I can be there in literally 3-4 minutes.
    Also, I’m a HUGE believer in strength training. I know that marathon training is so time consuming it’s hard to strength train. But now that you are in such good cardio shape, I’m sure you’ll see great results from weight training.
    And lastly… I must point out that although your numbers vary slightly, I think it’s pretty amazing that your measurements are PRETTY consistent between March of last year and Jan of this year. So many people yo-yo and bounce around. You’ve done a great job of STAYING in shape, which is so healthy! 🙂

  • Jo January 12, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Congrats on the Marathon! I really enjoy your blog, but don’t comment much. BUT I have had some metatarsal issues before. I had 5 (yes FIVE!) stress fractures in my metatarsals at once due to some ill advised hurdling training on asphalt (High school, ay so silly). This summer I started having some pain/swelling that sounds similar to what you have now, I, of course, freaked out and assumed I had a fracture. I eventually went to the doctor and it ended up being just a few strained tendons (walking six miles in flip flops= bad idea). So you may want to visit a doc to check it out, it could be something slightly less serious! Good luck, either way, if you treat it right it will heal up good as new!!

  • Mary @ Fit this girl January 12, 2010, 5:07 pm

    I love the things you have learned about injuries. THey are all so true and we can spend so much time in worry over things like weight and endurance instead of the big picture! Heal fast and nice work!

  • Jason @ Cant-Coach-Desire January 12, 2010, 5:09 pm

    I agree with the previous post that it may not be a stress fracture. I had a similar injury after some hard training runs & too much yoga at the time for my lower right leg to handle. After talking to my training partner who is a rheumatologist, she confirmed I had partially torn a tendon that ran from my lower leg around the ankle connecting over the meta-tarsal. Anyway, I couldn’t walk down stairs the next day and thought I was done for a race coming up in 12 days. Through ART chiropractory, stretching, and plenty of anti-inflammation medication. I ran the 15 mile race(very challenging) with no pain except fatigue in the area.
    Apply the RICE method and re-evaulate after the inflammation sub-sides.

  • alli January 12, 2010, 5:10 pm

    i’ve been checking off and on since morning to see if you posted 🙂
    i feel your pain girl! i was up to running 16 miles when i got a stress fracture in my left foot, right along the 4 & 5th metatarsal bones. it started hurting 3 days after that run. it was more than i had ever ran before which is why i think it happened. from research online, i read that a lot of runners get that type of injury. i ended up going to the podiatrist and got xrays done in which the fracture didnt show up, but it wont until a few weeks later. i had to stop running for 5 weeks (currently im in my 2nd weeks of running post injury!) i also had to wear a boot. like you, i focused instead on strength training and did biking for cardio. i also iced it a lot and tried to not put a lot of pressure on it.
    good luck with your recovery! i am so glad that this didnt happen during your training!

  • Krissy January 12, 2010, 5:11 pm

    I love this post! I think you have such a great attitude towards fitness and lifestyle and I love how no matter what life throws at you, you always find the positive 🙂 Your an inspiration 🙂 Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment Caitlin! xoxo

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) January 12, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Love your attitude- onwards and upwards!

  • Maggie January 12, 2010, 5:14 pm

    google Total Immersion. a triathlete friend of mine used this method to learn how to swim. check it out!

  • Jennifer January 12, 2010, 5:19 pm

    Wow. Your calves in the “after” picture are wicked sculpted! lol. Dang!

    You are such a positive person and I love that you do so much with your husband. That is really important.

    Good luck with the gym!

  • Allison K January 12, 2010, 5:20 pm

    great post! I’m actually training for my first half marathon, and have found that it’s easy for me to relegate strength training to a back seat. I’m trying to make a concious effort to not let it.

    Also, I know it was a few days ago now, but congrats on your marathon! I haven’t read the recap yet, this is the first chance I’ve had to read in a few days!

  • Elaine January 12, 2010, 5:31 pm

    Pre-marathon Caitlin: Hot! Post-marathon Caitlin: Hot! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your marathon, you’ve got me wanting to run the Disney Marathon in the next year or two now too!

    Regarding running… you *must read* “Born to Run.” Your knees shouldn’t hurt, and you shouldn’t end up with a maybe-broken foot after a marathon, especially with all the training you did.

    I’ve had knee problems and had to wear prescription orthotics too… but now I’m convinced that it’s not “running” that’s the problem, it’s *how I run.*

    If you check out Total Immersion for swimming technique, check out Chi Running or Pose Method Running for running technique. I’m going to a Chi Running workshop at the end of the month, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to throw those awful orthotics away by June.

    My fitness goal for 2010 is to be able to run pain-free.

    And, I hope your foot gets better soon. <3 Injuries suck!

  • Sara January 12, 2010, 5:31 pm

    great post! I had the same problem. The only exercise I ever used to do was run. I was great at running but my body was so weak. After i finished racing I started focusing on my body and especially strength building and I feel better than EVER!

  • Lauren January 12, 2010, 5:32 pm

    I’m sorry you’re injured, but it seems like the marathon was such a rewarding experience that I suspect you’ll always be glad you did it. I love the picture of you and your best friend looking so triumphant. That’s a framer for sure!

    Love your blog!

  • Jenna January 12, 2010, 5:35 pm

    Great post!!

  • Mama Pea January 12, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Wow, sorry about your foot! I’ve had stress fractures in my fourth metatarsal twice, and it sounds a lot like what you are experiencing. I had six weeks of no impact, just biking and swimming, but was back to my prior conditioning within a week or two of my return.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about running shape vs. muscle tone. I’m SURE that I am more toned now than I was when I was running 40-50 miles a week. I think weights/resistance training is absolutely necessary to get that “cut” look and that cardio a lot of times just equals “skinny fat.” (I’m not talking about you here in any way shape or form)

    I completely understand the thrill of racing (personally and from a distance), but the fact of the matter is that our bodies just weren’t designed to run 26.2 miles at a time. At least mine wasn’t. But I can still be super fit anyway!!!

    I hope you are able to recover really quickly!

  • Kelly January 12, 2010, 5:39 pm

    I LOVE your attitude on the injury and what you posted about running. I am runner and sometimes I get too consumed with the fact of not running. I am going to bookmark this post as a reminder that running is not the end all be all. I am so proud of you!

  • Megan January 12, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Good luck on the gym choice…i took FOREVER to decide 😀

    I’m so sorry to hear aobut the injury, but congrats on being able to finish the marathon!! I ran too…and I just looked at the pictuers from the race…and I could see a difference in my form (aka hunchback majorrrrly) from it benig so cold!

  • Mandy @ University Cooking January 12, 2010, 5:57 pm

    The changes in your body are definitely interesting. I never thought that you’d get more definition from doing the shred then from running. I guess to be balanced you need to do some core, and some cardio.

  • caroane January 12, 2010, 6:01 pm

    You have such a great attitude towards the physical and mental changes and challenges of the marathon! I’m impressed. In your after pictures, your legs look very strong and powerful. Being injured sucks, but you definitely deserve to feel good about yourself. Good luck working through the injury. Swimming is a great workout, and I know you’ll be fine. Can’t wait to hear about all your post-marathon adventures!

  • Stina January 12, 2010, 6:02 pm

    Love this post! Way to be positive and down-to-earth about the marathon. It’s such a huge accomplishment and I’m glad that your injury doesn’t make you regret it in any way.

    Do you have Mountainside Fitness in FL? It’s the one I joined about a year ago and love it! I can’t run outside because of my shin splints and runner’s knee hurt more on concrete than they do a treadmill and I though I would hate the gym, but I’m surprised how much I enjoy it. But I did a lot of gym-dating before I found the right one 🙂 Good luck choosing the right gym!

  • Mel January 12, 2010, 6:02 pm

    You look beautiful. (: I have problems in the EXACT same spot on my foot. Regardless of whether it’s peroneal tendonitis or a stress fracture, the protocol is essentially the same. Basically, avoid doing painful things. A few things that helped me beyond the typical icing, ibuprofen were to AVOID going barefoot. In fact, try to wear a very supportive shoe at all times that you’ll be on your feet. No flip flops. If it is peroneal tendonitis, a slight heel is even better. Crazy, right? I found that it usually took a good several weeks for the pain to subside. Some cross training will be good for you. (: Good luck hon!

  • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com January 12, 2010, 6:08 pm

    You have a great attitude to your injury!! I’m so sorry you’ve got one 🙁 but it’s great you’re looking atthe positive side to it (more strength training) – yet again, very inspiring!
    Also, OH MY GOSH you have an amazing figure!!

  • Susan January 12, 2010, 6:09 pm

    Wonderfully positive post Caitlin!! I think injuries happen for a reason. My mom always tells me (when I call her in tears because I can’t work out) that it’s just “god’s way of slowing me down.” And I think that’s totally what’s happened to you. Plus, you have at least got to feel a little burnt out from running all the time. I’d miss weight lifting and biking if I went so long without it!

  • Amy January 12, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Great post. I’ve run 4 marathons and while I know physically I could do another, I just don’t have the mental desire to put into the training. Your attitude regarding your injury is great. I hope you find a great swim coach. 🙂

  • Kath January 12, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Sorry about your foot 🙁 That is my worst nightmare for a marathon and the reason my sister always says “YOU should not run a marathon” whenever I bring it up. I am prone to injuries of the foot. Hope it’s better soon, and great job switching to better exercises!

  • Orla January 12, 2010, 6:17 pm

    Caitlin, surely those tiny quarter inch differences in measurements could be something as simple as dehydration or what week of the month it is? I wouldn’t say you lost tone, I think you showed that consistent exercise helped you maintain your 30 day shred achievements 😀 Ok, so the bicep one might bug you, but a few pushups and you’ll be fine!

    Kudos on 0.5″ off the thighs. I’m the same shape as you and know how hard that is to achieve!! 😉

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 6:19 pm

      maybe! or just tape placement differences.

  • Kellie January 12, 2010, 6:21 pm

    Thank you for this honest post. I was training for a Feb. marathon and injured myself last week after my 18miler. I know it is because I was overtraining. I was so afraid that if I stopped running and gave myself a rest I would gain weight, but now I see that is not true. As dissapointed as I am to have put all the hard work into training and not be able to race, it is good to know that as long as I cross-train and strength train I won’t gain weight. I also learned a valuable lesson about overtraining. Thank you again for your post.

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 6:22 pm

      im sorry you were injured. 🙁 but you’re right – your fitness wont fall to pieces just because you aren’t running. listen to your hunger cues and you’ll be fine.

  • Aggie January 12, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Congrats on completing your race! I had a bunch of “tri-chick” buddies running the Goofy…the fact that anyone ran anything in that cold is unbelievable! Kudos to you and your accomplishment!!

    Sorry to hear about your injury though. 🙁 Hope it starts feeling better soon. If you decide on joining the Y let me know, I would love to help you in the pool! Running and biking are not my strong points…I’m more of a fish! 🙂 Take care!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 12, 2010, 6:41 pm

    You have such a good attitude about this- Thank goodness it came AFTER!!! I hope it turns out less serious than you think-foot injuries stink!

  • Amy January 12, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Congratulations! You are so inspiring!
    Couple words for you: yoga, yoga, yoga!!!! 😉

  • Amber K January 12, 2010, 6:54 pm

    This was a very informative post! I love your attitude towards everything you approach in your life. I couldn’t be more inspired to be the very best I can be!

  • Retta @ RunRettaRun January 12, 2010, 6:57 pm

    I love your positive attitude and it is so inspirational! I could not do the plyometrics w/ the 30 Day Shred either and I don’t have a knew problem. It is hard on the knees for sheezy!

  • Kathleen January 12, 2010, 6:58 pm

    I love the marathon recap! I have been MIA from the blogging world for 4 days and I am trying to get through my iGoogle reader but went straight to the Disney Marathon girls’ pages to read up! Congratulations!!! What an achievement!

    I’m so sorry to hear that you were injured, though! Best of wishes on a fast and smooth recovery!

  • Casey @ SpicyandSweet January 12, 2010, 7:13 pm

    Great post Caitlin! I agree, it’s interesting to note that stuff…sorry about your foot :(. That’s no fun at all. I hope it gets better soon…congrats again on an amazing accomplishment!!

  • Jac January 12, 2010, 7:28 pm

    it’s been ages since i went for a marathon. really miss it!

  • Joanne January 12, 2010, 7:46 pm

    You offer such good information. I was really surprised that increasing your mileage didn’t result in weight loss. I lose weight so easily that I have to be very careful when increasing my running miles.

    Since you are in your 20’s and you suffered such an injury after doing all the right things with your training, doesn’t it make you wonder how these Ultra Marathoners or people who run 4 plus a year do it? It’s beyond me.

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 7:49 pm

      i think some people can just handle the impact more than others. look at deena kastor! she runs like 140 miles A WEEK since she was 11. amazing.

  • Betsy January 12, 2010, 8:04 pm

    Thanks for posting such a raw emotional story!

    Congrats on accomplishing your goal and get well soon!!

  • Kelly January 12, 2010, 8:07 pm

    I’m sorry about your injury but I think it’s great you made it through the marathon and now have new goals in mind.
    I can’t run these days and I didn’t know there were such things as Aqua Bikes, I am DEFINITELY going to look into that now!

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind January 12, 2010, 8:09 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts, Caitlin. It’s informative, honest, and positive. This is why I read! 🙂

  • Erika January 12, 2010, 8:20 pm

    You have no idea how perfect your timing is in this post. Having recently injured myself following a half marathon, I was and am still struggling with feeling a bit down due to not being able to run…however, I am able to do other things and change my focus a bit which is good for me too – plus it will be even that much better when i am able to run…go get that foot x-rayed!!! Sending hugs and get well wishes!

  • Brooke January 12, 2010, 8:21 pm

    Thanks for a great post and congrats on such a wonderful accomplishment. I’m a long time reader but I rarely comment (this could be my first time actually). But this was a wonderful post that I really enjoyed. Thanks for opening yourself up and sharing these experiences.

  • michelle January 12, 2010, 8:27 pm

    Great post! I’ve loved following you through this. I’m on your tails chica! I’m doing Miami on the 31st and getting nervous. Seeing you do this just a few weeks ahead of me keeps me motivated and reminded of what to expect!
    🙂 You’re awesome! I too can’t wait to have time for spinning, strength training, and yoga!

  • Christina January 12, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Great insight! It’s been amazing to follow you through this journey. I’m sorry to hear your ankle is really bad though, but like you said, at least it didn’t happen before your marathon… I hope it heals up quickly!!

  • Alison January 12, 2010, 8:58 pm

    you have such a great attitude. im glad your injury didnt occur before the race so u could accomplish your goal.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 12, 2010, 9:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is very interesting! I am going to start running as soon as the snow melts, but I guess I will need to strength train too. I should get on that!

  • Jen January 12, 2010, 9:10 pm

    First of all – Congrats on the marathon. Amazing accomplishment! As for your foot, I’ve had a couple of those injuries. You might want to look into getting ultra-sound done on your foot. As long as it’s not a fracture, it’ll heal MUCH faster! And, don’t swim until it’s healed. The kicking might actually aggravate the injury. Also – you look amazing! It’s awesome that you can post your stats and pics. What a healthy attitude – it’s quite refreshing! Your blog is fabulous and inspiring!

  • Danielle January 12, 2010, 9:11 pm

    This was such a great post! I also agree that strength training is important and wish I would have done more of it while I was training for my marathon back in Oct. Heck, I still need to incorporate it!

    Your injury sounds very similar to where I got my pre-stress fracture. I got a post-surgery boot (after wearing a stiff soled shoe for two weeks…) that I wore for two weeks and it healed and doesn’t bother me at all. Like you, my pain didn’t start until the day after the marathon and I was so thankful that I didn’t have to run in pain.

  • Jamie January 12, 2010, 9:11 pm

    I’m so impressed by your evaluation of your body and mind: I am jealous of your introspection and realistic expectations for yourself! Also, good luck on picking a gym; it’s always fun to start at a new place

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 12, 2010, 9:31 pm

    Wow I am beyond impressed at your attitude. You are an inspiration in more ways than one. And those are important lessons learned. I am going to take some of what you said and print it (like “running is not the end-all-be-all”) because i really need to be reminded of that as i’m having to deal with not running. I have come to that conclusion lately, running should be a PART of my life but not my ENTIRE life. And I think that is something a lot of runners, myself included, struggle with. So to see someone like you, who just completed a marathon and is thankful for having done that and appreciates your body for what it CAN do, is something to attain to.
    But I hope you heal fast and that it’s not a stress fracture 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) January 12, 2010, 10:17 pm

    Losing muscle is my biggest fear about training for longer races. I need muscle to prevent reinjury to my back so I need to make sure I leave time for at least minor weight training. Thanks for being frank about the change.

    And I hope you get the answers you need about your foot to move forward and heal.

  • Julie @savvyeats January 12, 2010, 10:27 pm

    You have such an awesome attitude. Hope your foot/ankle feels better soon, but in the meantime, good luck on the swimming training!

  • Richard January 12, 2010, 11:38 pm

    I’m an occasional reader of your blog, and I loved all the stories and pictures of your recent trip. But I just wanted to leave a comment about the injuries. I’m a “lot” older than you, about double your age. But there came a time (about ten years ago) when I was just doing so much damage to my legs from running that I “had” to quit. Running was giving me a terrific high, mentally, but it really is orthopedically stressful for one’s feet, knees, and other parts of one’s lower torso. When I quit running, I switched to swimming, and I have never been happier. I now try to swim about 2 hours a week, split into four days of thirty minutes each, or three days of forty minutes each. There is something wonderfully meditative about the swimming itself (very much like running, without the pain), and your body develops a leanness that makes you really feel well, both physically and emotionally. I’m truly sorry about your injuries, but there might come a time when you will decide that this was “a blessing in disguise”, and I think that swimming could be a wonderful alternative for you. Good luck, and congratulations on a wonderful blog.

    • Caitlin January 12, 2010, 11:53 pm

      aww im sorry you’ve had injuries, too! i just dont think my body can do long, long distances. i think one mary was enough! i’m excited to learn to swim. 🙂

  • BethAnn January 13, 2010, 12:36 am

    After my 1/2 marathon…I kind of went down hill. I tried to keep up with my normal exercise routine (not training though….that would have been too much) and mentally I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t motivate myself to get outside…I really needed time off where I was doing light workouts like 20 minutes on the elliptical or so with some light strength training. I went to Europe (France, Netherlands) and did pretty much nothing aside from walking and a few elliptical workouts there and now that I’m back I have been braving the frigid New York weather…it’s important, I think to really listen to what you want. I wish that I had slowed down right after the 1/2 because i wound up gaining a couple of lbs by cutting out exercise completely while in Europe…nothing a few weeks on the right path can’t fix though. I’ve been looking forward to workouts after I finally gave myself a break…but if I had slowed down gradually I wouldn’t have had to completely cut it out…get what I mean? I hope that made sense.

    • Caitlin January 13, 2010, 9:24 am

      i feel you! sometimes its important to consider mental burnout as well. easing back in realllly slowly might help.

  • Julia January 13, 2010, 1:04 am

    I had an almost identical injury story (minus the marathon part) unfold just before Thanksgiving. I also felt okay after a long run and then developed a swollen tender bruise on the side of my foot, which was so painful that I went to the ER. The ER doc suspected a stress fracture, but it ended up being a severe sprain from overuse. I am just now getting back to running, but I did get there. It was hard and it hurt, but I made it work, and I hope you can too!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances January 13, 2010, 1:40 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your injury! I hope it is nothing too serious. I’m just curious – why did the injury take so long to appear? Was it because of all the adrenaline pumping through your body, or something else? It’s so interesting that you didn’t notice any pain at the time of injury – and that you were able to finish the race with no idea you were hurt! Our bodies are certainly amazing :).

    • Caitlin January 13, 2010, 9:25 am

      i have no idea! that is a good question. i mean, everything (EVERYTHING) was hurting during the marathon. my legs were on FIRE. so, truthfully, my foot could’ve been hurting and i just wouldnt have been able to distinguish that pain from the rest of my normal muscle pain? but it really didn’t start hurting and bruising until 30 hours later. odd.

  • Leo @ cupcakes in Paris January 13, 2010, 2:37 am

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing!

  • Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) January 13, 2010, 3:24 am

    Call me crazy but the before and after look exactly the same to me. Remember Steve Martin’s childhood house in The Jerk? Remember the remodel? The ‘after’ was pretty much the same as the ‘before’…only you are pretty and the house was a dump! 🙂 Glad you did the marathon but bummed about your injury.

    • Caitlin January 13, 2010, 9:25 am

      hahah that fact that i pretty much look the same is the point – you really cannot run yourself toned.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) January 13, 2010, 7:49 am

    i live in a small town so the only gym we have is GHE-TOO. Doorags included!

  • Amy January 13, 2010, 8:20 am

    Caitlin- Thank you for this post — I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the marathon & injuries. Your “whole-perspective approach” was refreshing and inspiring! Good luck with the new training and “racing” goals– and I’m excited to hear your thoughts as you take on swimming 🙂

  • Laura Georgina January 13, 2010, 8:47 am

    What a great post, Caitlin! I’m really glad you wrote about weight loss/gain in relation to training, because it’s important to make the point that no one should run a marathon (or train for one) to lose weight or get thin.

    I’m very sorry to hear about the injury, but I’m sure you’ll get through it with your usual positive attitude, and I can’t wait to hear more about your swimming! I swim three times a week to complement my three runs a week. I loooove swimming as much as I love running and I’m convinced that the combination of the two is what has kept me from being sidelined by injury this past year. So bring on the splashing–I’m sure you’ll love it!

  • S January 13, 2010, 11:50 am

    Oh I’m sorry about your injury! I hope you get better soon and find a good gym! 🙂

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat January 13, 2010, 4:45 pm

    The first time I trained for a half marathon I did like ZERO weight training and it showed. My arms and legs looked like twigs, so not how I wanted.

    So this time around, I’m making sure to get in some weight training at least once a week but your post has inspired me to bump that up to 2, at least. Thanks for sharing! Hope you heal soon 🙂

  • kilax January 13, 2010, 7:17 pm

    Caitlin, I love that you have such a healthy mindset about your injured foot. You are inspiring! I hope you heal soon 🙂

    I injured myself this summer, and ever since then, I have been so grateful for ANY exercise I can do! It is crazy how much my mindset has changed!

  • Jenny January 13, 2010, 7:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey through the marathon with us, as well as your post-marathon thoughts regarding your body and mindset. Very interesting that you are so aware of your “toneness” vs “cardio shape”.

    Glad you are so positive about having a food injury, and I think if history teaches us anything, it’s about how to better handle future trials. Great post 🙂

  • Marie January 14, 2010, 1:39 pm

    I was going to do a marathon, but hurt my legs while training and did a half instead. I did alright, but aggravated my injury and haven’t run since (3 months!) I was instructed by my doctor to come up with a different goal. So, now, rather than running such long distances, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to increase me 5K time first, and then from there I’ll add a mile or two and keep working on speed and endurance rather than length. he said in the long run, it’ll be better for my cardiovascular health as well as my muscle tone, and joint (knees in particular) health.

    Awesome job, however, on the marathon. I couldn’t do it, a half was enough. I’m impressed with all the events you’d taken part in. Way to go!

  • Kate January 19, 2010, 12:48 am

    Caitlin, you make me want to run a marathon! Congratulations and sorry to hear about your foot. I’m going to pick up Total Immersion. Thanks for the recommendation. I just finished Obesity Free Forever. The author Georgene Collins did a major body reshaping, losing 140 pounds with a daily treadmill commitment, journaling and visualization. Don’t wait too long to see your doc. I screwed up my foot by not going soon enough. Grateful I can still walk. Kate

  • The Healthy apron April 26, 2010, 10:22 am

    I love 30 Day Shred. I saw awesome improvements in my arms after I started that workout!

  • Annette August 6, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Caitlin, I am just starting to read your blogs. This post was interesting and inspiring to a beginner runner (5k’s). I’ve suffered from perpetual shin injuries for the past year and a half. I’ve bought new shoes that never really helped. Then finally switched over to another brand of Asics that were better designed for my high arches. They give my shins a little bit more of a break but the pain still seems to creep back in after a week of running on the treadmill! I do not have stress fractures but my shin muscles get so sore. Any advice? Ice and ibuprophen? Do you find that compression leg sleeves help?

  • Hannah @ A Dash of Drivel July 9, 2011, 7:26 am

    This is a great post! I just stumbled upon your blog and love it 🙂 I could spend hours looking at all your running posts and flipping through your recipe section!

    • CaitlinHTP July 9, 2011, 9:01 am

      Welcome to HTP 🙂

  • Hannah @ A Dash of Drivel July 9, 2011, 7:26 am

    This is a great post! I just stumbled upon your blog and love it 🙂 I could spend hours looking at all your running posts and flipping through your recipe section!

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