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Today was an incredible experience.  Although I didn’t fully conquer my fear of the open water swim (explanation below), I did face my fear and didn’t quit – and to me, that’s all that matters!

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As I explained earlier, this triathlon was very special to me because two years ago, I had a panic attack during a sprint triathlon and quit the race.  All I wanted to do today was redeem myself for that failure.

 

I never sleep well before a big race, but I managed to fall asleep by midnight and clocked a decent five hours before my alarm went off.  I had my traditional pre-race breakfast of toast, almond butter, and a banana.

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And then the Husband and I drove to Moss Park.  I was SO excited when the Husband offered to come to the race.  I’ve done a lot of races so I don’t really expect him to wake up at 5 AM anymore.  :)  It was really nice that he came with me instead of just meeting me at the end.

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I got my bib and my chip, and then we took my gear over to the transition area.  I laid everything out and assured myself that I had everything I needed.  Then, I put on my wetsuit (from Wetsuit Rentals) and we walked to the beach.

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It was a little chilly out, but the water was absolutely frigid.  The race director told us that it was 55 degrees!  Every single athlete had on a wetsuit. 

 

At the start line, I ran into my Dad and Katy.  Katy is an experienced triathlete and gave me a big pep talk about the swim.  She said, “It’s OK to be scared. If you start to panic, just flip onto your back and float.”

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I actually wasn’t scared until I lined up for the start.  The men’s wave went first – there was about 50 men and maybe only 20 women. 

 

I started to take slow, deep breaths, but I could feel myself starting to get really, really scared.  I looked up and down the row of women, and they all seemed so confident and professional.  The race director asked if anyone was doing their first triathlon, and no one raised their hand! 

 me 

And then… the gun went off!  And we all jumped into the icy water.

 

I’m in the middle:

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Within 50 meters of jumping in, the women on the right swam OVER me, and then woman on the left kicked me in the face. 

 

I started to hyperventilate within the first 200 meters.  I’m sure some of you are thinking that an open water swim isn’t that big of a deal, but please understand that swimming in the lake in a HUGE phobia of mine.  I was breathing so fast that I was worried I was going to black out.

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I didn’t even put my face in the water for the first 250 meters.   I tried to swim normally, but the water was so cold, and I felt like I couldn’t breath.  In a panic, I reached back and unzipped my wetsuit, which caused cold water to rush all over my bare back.

 

The swim route involved three buoys in a triangle formation.  The Olympic triathletes had to swim around the triangle twice.   At the end of the first lap, I looked around and realized that I was the last person by about 100 meters.  I didn’t care AT ALL.  I just wanted to be done.

 

At the turn around point, I was about 20 meters from shore.  I could see my Husband, my Dad, and Katy watching me.  They knew I was panicking and thinking about quitting.  I heard Katy scream, “DON’T QUIT.  YOU CAN DO IT!” and that motivated me to keep going.

 

When I turned to do the triangle again, the sun had risen and was right in my face.  It was blinding!

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Since I was the last person and obviously struggling, three lifeguards on kayaks circled around me.  I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to the Buttar Event volunteers and lifeguards because they were SO motivational and helpful.  They asked me what my name was, and then they started to say, “You can do this, Caitlin.  You got it.  You can do this!”

 

I really can’t convey how terrified I was – my breathing was so quick and shallow, and I was having trouble controlling my emotions.  The lifeguards could tell I was freaking out, and one asked me if I wanted a noodle.  I asked him if it would disqualify me if I used the noodle, and he said no, so I took it.  I put the noodle under my arm pits and went back to swimming.  I don’t think it made a huge difference in my buoyancy (probably the same as having sleeves on my wetsuit), but it boosted my confidence.

 

I trudged along, all by myself.

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And suddenly, my feet hit the mud, and I could stand up.  I bolted out of the water as fast as possible and raced to transition.

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I just keep saying to the Husband, “I didn’t quit! I didn’t quit!” Actually… I kind of sobbed it to him hysterically.  I was just SO relieved to be OUT of the water.

 

It total, the 1.5 KM (0.92 mile) swim took me about 41 minutes, and Transition 1 took me about 6 minutes.

 

In T1, I realized I was only 5 minutes behind the other last two females.  This gave me a confidence boost because I knew I could catch them on the bike.

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MAJOR ROOKIE MISTAKE:  I took my chip off from my ankle so I could strip my wetsuit off, and I left it in T1 on the ground! Luckily, I had my Garmin on during the bike, but this means I don’t have an official time.

 

I was extremely excited to be on dry land.  :)

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The bike went REALLY well (generally).  I focused on pedaling hard and managed to pass not one, not two, but THREE women!  I was SO happy each time I passed a "rabbit.”  When someone came into my view, I locked onto their jersey and just pedaled as hard as I could to catch and pass them.

 

The bike, like the swim, involved two laps. Unfortunately, during the turn-around point, I WIPED OUT hard.  I flipped off the left side of my bike, smacked my knee and arm and hit my head on the pavement.  I have awesome bloody road rash on my arm.

 

Milli-seconds before the crash:

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Although I didn’t get a picture of the crash, I do have it on video (it’s INTENSE).  I’ll show it to you later!

 

The rest of the bike went smoothly, and I finished the 22.54 miles in 1:23:06, which is an average pace of 16.3 mph.

 

T2 went smoothly, and I talked to a race official about forgetting my chip during the bike.  He sorted it out!

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The run was AWESOME!  I passed two more women, and I had a lot of fun running through the woods.  :)

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Here are my run statistics:

 

  • Duration:53:24 minutes
  • Distance: 5.64 miles
  • Average Pace: 9:28
  • Mile  1: 9:19
  • Mile 2: 9:13
  • Mile 3: 9:18
  • Mile 4: 9:51 (getting tired!)
  • Mile 5: 9:43
  • Mile 5 – 5.6: 6:01

 

I was SOOOO excited to see that finish line!  My unofficial time is 3:06:07.

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And, ironically enough, I walked away from the event with a plaque!  I got second place in my age group – BUT there were only two women in my age group!  :) 

 

The Buttar Event race director told me that use the noodle technically would have disqualified me, but I told him that the lifeguard said it wouldn’t (I would have NEVER taken the noodle if I had known, and I really don’t think it helped that much), so he gave me the plaque as an honorable mention.   He told me I have to do another Olympic Tri and not use a noodle to really redeem my failed sprint triathlon.  :)  I think it was cool that they were flexible and understood how hard the swim was for me.  Three cheers for a supportive and fun atmosphere from the folks at Buttar.

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After the race, my family and friends showed up, and we tailgated out of the Chevy Traverse.

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Thanks to all my buddies who came out, including Megan, Kelly, and Raya!

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AND MAJOR THANKS to Katy.  I really might have quit the swim if it wasn’t for her loud, booming voice telling me keep going.  I love you, Katy!

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I had a veggie burger with cheese and ketchup on an Arnold Sandwich Thin, chips, and fruit.

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And two beers:

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I came home and had a Pineapple Chobani for protein:

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I really need to eat more – I had three packets of Goo during the race, but I’m definitely not adequately refueled.  Sometimes, I have trouble keeping food down post-intense cardio, so I’m waiting to just get naturally hungry.

 

All in all, it was a really exciting and intense race.  Although I don’t feel like I conquered my fear, I do feel like I faced it.  I didn’t let the fear control me.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared for so long in my life, but I didn’t quit. 

 

I feel like this triathlon just goes to prove that the race is really against YOURSELF.  It’s fun to win and beat other people, but at the end of the day, just try YOUR hardest.   And really – you can do anything you put your mind to!

 

“When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or how fast, it will change your life forever.”

{ 352 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) March 14, 2010, 4:09 pm

    CONGRATS CAITLIN!!!!! (I’ve left so many comments with those 2 words this year) You are a rockstar. I’ve never been more proud of someone I’ve only seen in real life once :) You may not have conquered your fear 110% but you sure fought it and won!

    Reply
  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 14, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I just got chills reading your recap. I can’t imagine being scared in that water and still finishing. I am really proud of you to the point that I am tearing up…and how weird is that since I don’t really know you?? You DID face that fear and I’m sure you will conquer it bit by bit. Congrats to you!! :)

    Reply
    • Sarah March 14, 2010, 5:57 pm

      I just about cried too! You ROCK Caitlin!

      Reply
  • Beth March 14, 2010, 4:11 pm

    Congrats!!!!!!!!!!! You definitely faced your fear, and that’s what counts.

    Reply
  • Babycakes March 14, 2010, 4:11 pm

    awesome, amazing job! You have so much to be proud of! :)

    Reply
  • BethT March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    Yay Caitlin! I would be terrified of an open water swim, too. You’re inspiring!

    Reply
  • Anna March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    You inspire me. To no end. That is all.

    Reply
  • Heather March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    so proud of you, dear. you are such an inspiration to so many of us :) (read: ALL of us.)

    xoox

    Reply
  • amanda @ fake ginger March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    You did it!! You are such an inspiration, even if you aren’t completely satisfied with how you did.

    Reply
  • Jenna March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    You are amazing lady, I started tearing up when reading this post. You should be SO proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing your journeys with the blog world, I think you have helped push many of us to work towards our goals and push ourselves so that we can be more fulfilled people. Again, AMAZING job. :)

    Reply
  • Annie March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    YOU GO GIRL!!! Congrats on pushing through. I can’t tell you how happy I am that your dad, hubby, and friends all came out to support you. That just makes me smile! :D
    Sorry to hear about the fall and a bit of noodle confusion.

    Reply
  • Erica March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    This is awesome…YOU are awesome! Anyone who is facing their fears needs to read this post for may-jah inspiration. Great job, Caitlin! I’m very proud of you!!!

    Reply
  • Meredith @ Sweat Every Day March 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

    so proud of you! you’re my hero today :) who cares about the swim? you’ll get there eventually and the important thing is that YOU DIDN’T QUIT.

    Reply
  • Brie (The Fit Bride) March 14, 2010, 4:13 pm

    GREAT JOB! You’re such a rockstar. I am all teary-eyed!

    Reply
  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story March 14, 2010, 4:13 pm

    You did so great!!! I am proud of you!!! Fantastic job! :)

    Reply
  • Carly @ carlysharec.com March 14, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Congrats! I agree w/ #2, I’m sitting here tearing up and so proud and don’t really “know” you! At least there was no alligator in the recap!! :-)

    Reply
  • Jenny March 14, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Amazing, amazing, amazing… Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you are such an inspiration to me!

    Reply
  • jojo March 14, 2010, 4:14 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS! By the time I got to the part of the recap where you were hysterically crying to your husband, “I didn’t quit!” I was hysterically crying too! I’m so happy for you and proud of you. You are truly an inspiration!

    Reply
  • Alison March 14, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Congratulations, Caitlin!
    I’m so happy for you. As a person with MANY fears, I’m so encouraged by your story today.
    Again, congratulations to you.

    Reply
  • veganlisa March 14, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your race report. Your perseverance is really inspiring. I have done a few half marathons but I am considering training for a tri this year. I really appreciate hearing your story of facing your fear and getting in the lake. I hope that I’ll be able to look back on a completed tri soon.

    Reply
  • Crystal March 14, 2010, 4:15 pm

    You are a huge inspiration! You brought tears to my eyes as I read about you in the water and how you were feeling!!

    Have you thought about doing another Triatholon, or is it too soon to even think about it??

    Congrats on completing the Race :)

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

      heheh let me digest this triathlon first :) i would prob do a sprint in warmer water!

      Reply
  • Laura Georgina March 14, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Wow!! I’m so proud of you, ESPECIALLY because that swim was so hard despite all the practice–and you still made it through and had fun for the rest of the race. What an amazing accomplishment!

    Reply
  • Little Bookworm March 14, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! :D Really inspiring post!

    Reply
  • Brendali March 14, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Caitlin, I read your blog all the time! I absolutely love your writing and you seem like the nicest person!

    I have been so nervous for you in the past weeks thinking about this triathlon! Haha! I felt like I WAS DOING IT! Reading about your fears, and pushing thru it no matter what, even with a noodle (lol) as corny as this sounds, put tears in my eyes! A million and one congratulations and you should be sooooo proud of yourself! I know all your blog readers feel the exact same way!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:23 pm

      thank you so much :) i really appreciate it.

      Reply
  • Karena March 14, 2010, 4:16 pm

    Reading your story brings tears to my eyes — tears of pride, for you. Well done, Caitlin! I’d say you’ve redeemed yourself!

    Reply
  • christie, honoring health March 14, 2010, 4:16 pm

    Wow, Caitlin, what an amazing adventure your Tri was. You are a complete and total rock star in my book and I am so proud of your accomplishment!!

    Reply
  • Megan @ Eat.Scrap.Run March 14, 2010, 4:16 pm

    Congratulations on such a great race and facing your fears! You totally made me cry when I was reading this. You are such an inspiration to me and everyone else.

    I have been debating skipping my triathlon that’s in one month because I don’t feel prepared, but you have totally inspired me to go for it! I know if I really focus for the next month I will be able to complete the race, I just needed that extra kick in the butt to push myself to do it.

    Thanks!!

    P.S. Maybe you will join me – it’s St. Anthony’s Olympic in St Petersburg. The swim is in the bay, which is my opinion is way better than a lake :)

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:24 pm

      i would totally do it if they had a sprint distance – that’s the day before my birthday, too! you will do great. :)

      Reply
    • Katy March 14, 2010, 5:31 pm

      Megan…

      St. Anthony’s is one of the best-known and most impressive events in the country…I’m so jealous! It’s on my triathlon bucket list, so I hope you do it and then I can read all about it!

      Reply
  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly March 14, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Oh my gosh…I am so proud of you!! Truly! I think you are amazing and you did it! You didn’t quit and that, my friend, is worth more anything else! :)

    Reply
  • Kristin (whimsyville) March 14, 2010, 4:17 pm

    You are such a huge inspiration; don’t look back on all the little things today – remember the day as the huge success it was!

    Reply
  • Emmanuelle March 14, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I’m so proud of you Caitlin, I can imagine how hard it was for you to swim in the lake but you did it, congratulations!

    Reply
  • Ryan @ Greens for Good March 14, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I’m so proud of you! I really wish I could have been there yelling right along with Katy! You’re amazing :)

    Reply
  • z March 14, 2010, 4:18 pm

    CB – Katy told me that you were coming out but I didn’t connect the dots until she reminded me at the water front. Your support team told me that you can do the distance but it’s the open water that causes some stress. Let me know if you need help with open water swimming – we can de-stress you.

    Don’t wait for 2 more years for your next tri, you’re in the zone – make 2010 EPIC!
    z

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:25 pm

      THANK YOU!!! BUTTAR SUPPORT TEAM WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  • kt March 14, 2010, 4:18 pm

    That is incredible!! Way to keep going and not let your fear overcome you, I’m so inspired!! =)

    Reply
  • Kathryn March 14, 2010, 4:19 pm

    congrats! What an amazing accomplishment!

    Reply
  • Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Totally just cried reading this. lol. I cannot convey in words how proud I am of you!! Im going to give you a big kiss when I see you!!! You rock.

    Reply
  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 14, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Congratulations!!! What an experience. So amazing! I think the quote at the end says it all :) Great job!!!

    Reply
  • Courtney March 14, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!!!! Enjoyed reading your recap….you did it!!!
    Courtney
    adventures in tri-ing

    Reply
  • Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear March 14, 2010, 4:20 pm

    This story is such an inspiration!! Congratulations on FINISHING – you’re right, in the end it’s about doing just that. I cannot imagine swimming ANYthing, let alone in open water. Sorry you got kicked and swam over!! Your life is most certainly changed and for the better – congrats!

    Reply
  • Robyn @ Bliss in Print March 14, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Thank you for the inspiration you are spreading around!! You have proven you are capable of facing your fears!! You are one brave chica… Congratulations on your finish and most importantly, your journey!

    Reply
  • Caroline March 14, 2010, 4:21 pm

    Wow, major props that you kept going. Open water swimming is so much different from pool swimming…lots of times people who aren’t prepared for the swim can try to use you and end up drowning you…it also requires slightly different technique. i could swim in the pool until the cows come home but i don’t think i could do that open water swim like you did. one day I hope to though!

    what race is on your schedule next? and do you think triathlon training was more toning than marathon training?

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:26 pm

      yes definitely – tri training was awesome for my bod ;)

      hehe my next race is a 15 mile trail run on April 3 and then I have a 15K on April 10, and a Century Bike Race on May 23. Gulp.

      Reply
  • Caroline March 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

    woops I forgot you already mentioned your century bike race. good luck!

    Reply
  • Carrie H March 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! Thanks for always being so real and inspirational for all of us readers. I ran 17 miles this morning (my own personal distance record) and thought of you doing your triathalon a lot. I was sending you good vibes! And I’m glad you celebrated with a beer! :)

    Reply
  • Bridget March 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

    You did it! Congrats Caitlin!! You didn’t let your fear beat you and that’s what counts.

    Reply
  • Susan March 14, 2010, 4:23 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Sorry, it requires caps ;)

    Oh gaaawwwd, your swim experience sounds very similar to mine. I had someone swim over top of me too!! Swimming is all about getting into a rhythm, which is almost impossible to do when you’re in unfamiliar water with people splashing and kicking everywhere. I had to keep my head above the water as well. But hey, at least there were no gators! :P

    Have a great day soaking in that post-race glow! Sooo…Ironman next? I jest, I jest. Go have a beer!!

    Reply
  • Julia March 14, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Congratulations! You did such an amazing job pushing through the fear and then the wipe out on your bike!
    You are such an inspiration to everyone!

    Reply
  • Katie March 14, 2010, 4:24 pm

    What an amazing post. It brought tears to my eyes while reading. You really did a great job facing your fears.

    Congrats on the race and everything you accomplished.

    Reply
  • Joyce March 14, 2010, 4:24 pm

    Caitlyn, Congratulations on your awesome accomplishment! I am very inspired and a bit less fearful of a mountain bike race ( for me, I just want to finish ) that is in two weeks.. Where I live, the snow just melted, so I haven’t been on the bike besides in the gym… I will draw from your strength to help me! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Czabrina March 14, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Caitlin, you are an inspiration – to me and to so many more people! I am so happy for you! Awesome job!

    Reply
  • Ariffa March 14, 2010, 4:26 pm

    awesome job Caitlin! you did it you should be soooo proud

    Reply
  • Alexandra March 14, 2010, 4:27 pm

    YOU ROCK!

    Reply
  • Brooke March 14, 2010, 4:28 pm

    You are AMAZING! I read the whole race recap holding my breath :) I hope you are as proud of yourself as everyone else is. What an amazing emotional and physical journey that will forever leave a mark on who you are and inspire where you go.

    Reply
  • Victoria March 14, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Congrats! That swim sounds utterly terrifying to me. Way to go!

    Reply
  • Karen w March 14, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Yay Caitlin! You did it!!!!!!! My first tri,the bike was my huge issue. I was do nervous getting on, I ran right into a parked escort motorcycle. Sooooo humiliating. I think I kept going just to get out of there! You rocked it- way to go!

    Reply
  • Heather (Heather's Dish) March 14, 2010, 4:29 pm

    HURRAY!!! i’m so glad you finished…and it totally counts that you took the noodle…the lifeguard told you it was OK! i’m so proud of you :)

    Reply
  • Nina March 14, 2010, 4:30 pm

    Caitlin, your recap made me cry! I, along with all of the other commenters/blog readers, am SO PROUD of you!! You are an inspiration to all of us! Yayyyyy, you have completed a triathlon! YOU GO GIRL! Have an EXCELLENT rest of the day! Hope you are celebrating with Hus, friends, and family! :)

    Reply
  • Kristen March 14, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! I think it not only takes courage to face the fear, but also to keep going when you know you’re last and to fight to continue on and to pass people. I hope your road rash isn’t too bad (is it weird that I kind of want to see the crash?)

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:32 pm

      haha no. we watched it like 5 times on our huge television and went OOOO every time. it’s pretty epic.

      Reply
  • liane March 14, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Congratulations!
    It has been such an inspiration reading your posts about the tri training and I got goosebumps reading your recap!
    I got all teary reading about your family and friends cheering you on and motivating you— I love that! :)
    Such an amazing accomplishment & thanks for sharing it with us :)

    Reply
  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 14, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Congratulations girl!!!! I never really thought about how hard that swim would be but after reading your recap, I really do. And on top of that with your phobia, wow. You are a huge HUGE inspiration to everyone!! You really CAN do anything that you set your mind to, if only you work hard enough.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 14, 2010, 4:33 pm

    CONGRATS! I think you totally conquered your fear! And who cares if there were only 2 of you in your age group, you DID IT and KICKED ASS! I am sure you are on cloud 9 today!

    Reply
  • Molly @fuelherup March 14, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Way to go on pushing through your phobia!

    I’ve commented this before, but I actually have a phobia of NOT swimming in open water! I grew up swimming in my family’s creek (it’s basically small river size but technically a creek) so everytime I swim in a pool and I start to feel the water getting in my mouth, all I can think is “Peoples’ body funk is all up in my mouth!” haha. I do occasionally swim in pools, but I get grossed out every time and end up taking a super long shower and brushing my teeth a million times.

    Congratulations!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

      hehe thats funny! what about animal poop?

      Reply
  • Sarah R March 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Way to go lady! I’m sure you on cloud 9 right now :) And for good reason!

    Reply
  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs March 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

    WELL DONE CAITLIN!! You totally faced your fear, that’s SO impressive! Crikey,if it’s even possible, I admire you 10 x more cos you completed it despite being so scared than I would if you’d completed it and found it a breeze :D
    You seriously blow me away woman! YOU are my inspiration!
    Big big well done :)
    Have a great evening, you deserve it :)

    Reply
  • Alison @ finnyfinds March 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Caitlin, congratulations! I checked your web site like 4 times today to see when you’d post the results. I’m happy for you that you conquered your fear and DID IT! I left a comment a long time ago how I panicked in the open water during an Olympic Tri in NY but ended up finishing the tri, and your experience so closely reflected mine. It was awesome to read about it. Wonderful job :)

    Reply
  • Becky March 14, 2010, 4:35 pm

    You are a strong, powerful woman, Caitlin! Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment today. I was thinking about you today and couldn’t wait to read the recap. It is an inspiration to me and many others!

    Reply
  • Christie March 14, 2010, 4:36 pm

    I’m sure you can tell but we are all so super proud of you!! I’m glad you finished because you really proved to yourself that you can do it. Great job :)

    Reply
  • Mica March 14, 2010, 4:38 pm

    Congratulations on your accomplishment, Caitlin! I think it’s great that you stuck with it in the open water swim, even if you were thought you were going to panic!

    Reply
  • maren March 14, 2010, 4:39 pm

    congrats caitlin! that’s such a major accomplishment! great job

    Reply
  • Maria (realfitmama) March 14, 2010, 4:39 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I cannot even imagine what it’s like to compete in a triathlon, but it sounds like you did a fantastic job!! To be completely honest, you’ve given me a huge boost for facing my fear. I’m doing my first marathon in October (maybe half maybe full – not sure yet) but am petrified! The most I’ve ever done is a 5k and that was sort of a struggle. I enjoy running, but am not all that “good” at it. I don’t push myself enough. I walk more than I should. I tend to go too easy on myself. This marathon will be the hardest thing physically (next to child birth) that I’ve ever done. Knowing that you were scared and pushed through it gives me hope…Thanks!

    Reply
  • Cecilia March 14, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Congratulations! You are one AWESOME and INSPIRING woman. Keep on rocking!

    Reply
  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 14, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Congratulations! I’m so beyond impressed :) You rocked it!

    Reply
  • Melissa March 14, 2010, 4:43 pm

    OMG this just made me cry. Caitlin you’re so inspiring. I hope you know that. You just motivated me to go for a run haha

    Enjoy the rest of your day! Eat a fun dinner tonight that you wouldn’t normally have!

    Reply
  • Amber March 14, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Congratulations!! That is so awesome, I loved reading this race recap. Since you faced your fear this time next time you will most definitely conquer it ;)

    Reply
  • Sarah March 14, 2010, 4:45 pm

    GO CAITLIN!!! I’m so happy for you! You totally rocked it. You’re amazing. Truly and totally. Well done for not quitting in the swim part of the tri – you conquered it! All that hard work obviously paid off.
    I was wondering: since all your training was in a swimming pool, do you think that it would have made it easier for you to swim in the lake if you’d done some training sessions there before? I know lifeguards might be an issue with that, but maybe you could try open-water swimming elsewhere? I don’t swim much (except in the sea in the summer!) so I’m no expert.

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:53 pm

      yes! i shouldve done a few practice swims in the open water and was planning it, but then i injured my arm and had to take the last two weeks off, which ruined all my plans :( it def would have helped!

      Reply
  • Mae March 14, 2010, 4:47 pm

    It sounds like you did a wonderful job!!!! Congrats!

    Reply
  • kerry March 14, 2010, 4:47 pm

    well done for not giving up!! i know what you mean, i’m scared of water too! xx

    Reply
  • Amanda March 14, 2010, 4:48 pm

    You made me cry! I know you are so proud that you faced your fear! I think you did awesome!

    Reply
  • Nancy March 14, 2010, 4:49 pm

    I know I rarely comment but I read EACH and EVERY day. I wanted to tell you that I am so incredibly proud of you in that swim today. You actually had me tear up (which is difficult for me to do, honestly! I’m not a cryer!) When you said you saw your husband, father and Katy watching you and hearing Katy scream out some motivating words.

    You’re AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 14, 2010, 4:49 pm

    Girl – I am SO SO PROUD of you! I kow EXACTLY how scary open water swims are – and the fact that you kept going was the BEST way to confront that fear :) YOu did such a wonderful job – and should be VERY proud of yourself :)

    Reply
  • Nancy March 14, 2010, 4:49 pm

    You didn’t let the fear conquer you. You’ve accomplished such a feat! Congrats!

    Reply
  • Bella @ Stilettos on the Streetcar March 14, 2010, 4:50 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS, Caitlin! This is a huge accomplishment. Be very proud of yourself.

    Reply
  • Anne March 14, 2010, 4:51 pm

    I completed my first 1/2 Marathon today…longest distance yet. I was already running 5k’s when I started reading your blog, but you helped inspire me to go further! Congrats on completing the tri! I, like you, do well w/running and biking, but it’s the swimming I’m worried about. You are awesome for completing it! Any non swimmer who attempts open water is a hero in my book!!

    Reply
  • Catherine March 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

    CONGRATS! It was very apparent that you were terrified of the open water, but you didn’t let it stop you! That’s a huge accomplishment and you should celebrate it!

    By the way, when you were blogging about your fear of gators, I remember you saying that you’re much more likely to crash on your bike than to have a problem with gators. Jinx? :)

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 4:53 pm

      oh man, TOTALLY JINXED MYSELF

      Reply
  • Linda March 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Caitlin you are a strong and amazing woman! A huge congratulations to you for completing this triatholon and not giving up in the water. So many of us let fear rule our lives and keep us from truly living and you are proof that the right attitude and strength can get you through anything. I am in awe and you are an inspiration. Yeah for you!!!!

    Reply
  • Kelly March 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I definitely think people kicking and swimming on top of you is what makes swimming in a race so difficult.

    During my tri people wiped out on the bikes at the turn around point too! Why do they make them so tight?!

    Anyway, a million congratulations! A lot of people were thinking of you this morning!

    Reply
  • Jess (Fit Chick in the City) March 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Like so many others have said, this race re-cap totally made me tear up. I’m so proud of you for not giving up and for kicking it the rest on the bike and run. You will conquer the swim! Thanks for sharing your race day experience with us.

    Reply
  • Sammi March 14, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! I totally thought you were joking when you told me you might be the last one out! :)That is so awesome you were able to catch up and pass some people later on! You did such a great job! I know it must have been awesome to have so many people cheering you on!
    By the way, I have been checking my google reader all day for this recap! :)

    Reply
  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) March 14, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Congrats on making it!

    xo
    K

    Reply
  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind March 14, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Awesome, Caitlin. KNEW you would keep going!

    Reply
  • Lauren March 14, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Caitlin, your recap got me choked up! Especially the part about you getting out out of the water and saying, “I didn’t quit!” Congratulations! I was thinking of you last night and said a prayer for you. :) You are so inspiring and so real, and we all appreciate that so much!

    Reply
  • Lori (Finding Radiance) March 14, 2010, 4:56 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin. Not giving up on the swim was a huge accomplishment right there and you deserve to be so proud of that! When’s the next one? ;)

    Reply
  • Diane March 14, 2010, 4:57 pm

    I’ve been following your journey and am so proud of you. I too, have a massive fear of open water and have let that hold me back until this very moment when I read about your race. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  • Julie March 14, 2010, 4:58 pm

    “When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or how fast, it will change your life forever.”

    I love this quote!!! And I’m so happy for you! Water that cold takes your breath away even if you aren’t already nervous. Way to go!

    Reply
  • Lexie March 14, 2010, 4:58 pm

    I was reading when you the part where you got kicked and didn’t even realized I gasped out loud until my sister who was next to me was like, “What?”

    Congratulations on such an awesome job! Even with all those obstacles, you overcame your fear and finished! I know you must be so proud of yourself…I would be :)

    Reply
  • christieo March 14, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I’m new here but someone forwarded me your race recap because the people who read my blog know MY fears of open water swimming too! I was all teary eyed reading your recap because I KNOW how awful and debilitating that panic is!! I almost quit my last sprint in October in the swim, I bobbed for a while, while a few waves behind me passed me… I was one of the last out of the water. Anyway, today ironically I faced MY fear too and did an open water swim in the freezing cold water with my tri group and it went really well, it was so good to be able to finish that after my last crappy swim! I think I’ve decided that all we can do with this fear is keep facing it over and over again and maybe one day it just wont be there. that’s what i’m planning to do anyway. I am more afraid of lake swimming than i am of ocean swimming and i am doing an olympic distance lake swim in miami in november (miami-man). i don’t know what will happen, but I know i’m going to at least face it. i’ll see you at fitbloggin by the way, i’m headed up on friday! and i’m also, like one of your commenters, training for st. anthony’s in st. pete in april!! you should come on over!! (i’m in pinellas county.) Anyway – long-winded comment here, CONGRATULATIONS ON FACING YOUR FEAR!!! That IS conquering it. You finished. And that’s what counts. big huge high fives to you!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 5:04 pm

      i cant wait to meet you!!! please come say hi!!

      Reply
  • Kate March 14, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin!
    You’re so inspiring and show such bravery :)

    Reply
  • LindsayH March 14, 2010, 4:59 pm

    awsome job! you should be very proud of yourself. i can TOTALLY understand what you were feeling in the water – i have the same fear of open water. CONGRATULATIONS! you are amazing.

    Reply
  • Run Sarah March 14, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Congrats!! I think you did amazing – I know how that feel of going into the water with a million other people clamouring over you is…it’s totally terrifying, like nothing else!! You did amazing and honestly 45 minutes for 1.5km is a really respectable time and for most 1.5km open water swims I wouldn’t think that would put you last based on swims I’ve done in the past. I think the tri that you chose must have had a disproportionate number of FAST swimmers, seriously!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 5:05 pm

      i think the water was so cold that many less-hardcore people didnt show up. there was suppose to be 8 women in my division and only me + 1 more came :)

      thanks!

      Reply
  • Julie March 14, 2010, 5:02 pm

    I feel like such a weirdo saying this because I don’t know you, but I’m so proud I could cry!! You are amazing! Big big CONGRATS!!!

    Reply
  • Amy (Up and Running!) March 14, 2010, 5:03 pm

    WOW! Congrats!! That is definitely something to be proud of. I feel like completing a triathlon is a huge feat regardless of time or any stats! Yay you!

    Reply
  • Lisa March 14, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Great job finishing it!!! You were faced with a challenge and you did it! :)

    Reply
  • marni March 14, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Congrats on the race! Great race report. Let me know if you need help with your training/racing nutrition. I’d be happy to help. Looks like an exciting race and I’m glad you overcame so much to get to the finish.
    -marni

    Reply
  • beth March 14, 2010, 5:06 pm

    WOO Flippn HOO for you!!!!! So bad ass even with a noodle.In fact I think that makes you 100x cooler! I did the portland Shamrock 15k race today in1:15 and thinking about you made me push myself! Here’s to strangers and motivation!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 5:22 pm

      1:15 is an amazing 15K time, you should be thrilled!

      Reply
      • beth March 14, 2010, 6:41 pm

        Thanks–I’m in bed now!!! Not the same as an olympic tri though ;) Your Nickname is Courage Caitlin!

        Reply
  • Nicole March 14, 2010, 5:08 pm

    AWESOME JOB!! Your recap was awesome. I felt like I was there with you. I think it’s awesome that you were able to pass people after being that far behind…you didn’t let it get to you and you kept pushing. You rock girl!! Enjoy the rest of your day!!

    Reply
  • Jo March 14, 2010, 5:09 pm

    I’ve been looking forward to getting home and reading this all day Caitlin, I really felt your emotions from reading this wonderful race report.

    A massive well done to you for facing your fears, you have hundreds of people that feel so proud of you.

    xx

    Reply
  • Evan Thomas March 14, 2010, 5:10 pm

    You are incredible and an inspiration! I’m seriously not even good about swimming in pools, or putting my feet in the ocean. The open water terrifies me. I couldn’t imagine what you had to overcome but you did it!

    Reply
  • lauren @ Eater not a runner March 14, 2010, 5:10 pm

    That is so amazing!!! You totally faced your fear and conquered it ….amazing :-)

    Reply
  • Krissy March 14, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Congrats girl! What an inspiration you are :) I don’t think I could ever get enough courage up to do what you did today :)You should be SO proud of yourself!! xoxo

    Reply
  • Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful March 14, 2010, 5:11 pm

    WOW-what an amazing and inspiring story. I have to admit-I almost got teary eyed (ok well, i did get teary eyed). congrats on such an amazing race!

    Reply
  • ActiveEggplant March 14, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Way to go Caitlin! I did the MyFirstTri yesterday and I TOTALLY understand how you felt in the water. That was absolutely the most terrifying experience of my life! (I ended up doing the back stroke the whole time because I couldn’t bear to put my face in the water.) I can’t imagine getting thru the Olympic distance! AWESOME FINISH!

    Reply
  • Anna March 14, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Congratulations on facing your fear, not an easy thing to do! I literally teared up a little at this post!

    Reply
  • Kara M. March 14, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Wow, Congratulations! That’s really inspiring, my eyes got a little watery while reading about the swim. I’m SO afraid of swimming in open water! My boyfriend keeps offering to teach me, but I won’t let him. Maybe I should reconsider…
    Congratulations again and I hope you’re basking in the glow of you’re success :mrgreen:

    Reply
  • Megan March 14, 2010, 5:13 pm

    you are awesome! i understand 100% how you felt in the water. i did my first (sprint) tri in July and experienced the exact same emotions. the only upside is that now i know exactly how long it takes to doggie paddle 750 meters (12 min!). i was passed by 2 other waves of people – but didn’t give up. it was equally my proudest and worst athletic moment. you are so awesome for sticking it out and getting it done. that water is terrifying and you should be sososo proud of your accomplishment! i am proud of you :-) (for whatever that’s worth!)

    Reply
  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place March 14, 2010, 5:15 pm

    you did AMAZING caitlin!! way to conquer your fears!!!!!!! We were all rooting for you in the blog-o-sphere this morning. way to go!

    Reply
  • Danielle (Coffee Run) March 14, 2010, 5:16 pm

    Congrats!! You should be really proud of yourself for not giving up :D

    Reply
  • Christie March 14, 2010, 5:20 pm

    SO DANG PROUD OF YOU!!!!

    I know I would’ve freaked in the water- especially if I got kicked in the face! What a bad a*s you are!!! WAY TO GO!!!

    ~Christie

    Reply
  • Anna March 14, 2010, 5:21 pm

    I teared up reading your recap Caitlin, because I’m SO proud of you. Yeah, maybe you were still scared in the water and were the last to get out, but you didn’t let that stop you. You finished and you feared you wouldn’t but you DID. You definitely conquered your fears by getting in the water in the first place. You should be so proud of yourself for this!

    Reply
  • Kristin March 14, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I’m like Anna. I teared up reading this. Congrats on finishing and I like the others are so proud that you finished. Fear can be paralyzing and you faced it.

    Reply
  • Jessica Lee March 14, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Congrats Caitlin. One step at a time and this is surely another step. The next swim (and there WILL BE ANOTHER!) will be even better! You should be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you!

    You really make me want to do a triathlon.

    Reply
  • sarah (the SHU box) March 14, 2010, 5:23 pm

    YOU ARE AMAZING! seriously, that took so much courage, and your report is beautiful! CONGRATS AGAIN!!!

    Reply
  • Kristina March 14, 2010, 5:25 pm

    You did great!!!! Rock on for facing your fear, and getting through it!!!

    Reply
  • ida March 14, 2010, 5:28 pm

    You did it-congrats!!! sorry you fell off your bike:( I’m glad you were ok to keep going though. you really persevered throughout the whole race-your a total inspiration.

    Reply
  • Maria March 14, 2010, 5:28 pm

    Well done!
    I realise I don’t know you, but I still feel intensely proud of you for this.
    You’re kinda amazing.
    Again, well done!

    Reply
  • Stephanie March 14, 2010, 5:29 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!! You should be so proud of yourself for conquering your fears today :) I totally understand about the panic/anxiety you have with swimming, as I have the same physical reaction sometimes when driving on the highway. I experience the shallow breathing, heart racing, dizziness, “tunnel vision” – so I can def relate. What I’ve learned is that basically your body perceives the “threat” as an immediate danger and goes into flight or fight response to defend itself from a predator (goes back to our caveman days) and begins to respond even though there may not be any immediate danger in all reality. This then begins the sweaty hands, shallow breath, etc and spirals into full on panic… I’ve done alot of research & working on coping with reactions such as this so let me know if you ever need any advice (bc obviously I couldn’t live my life scared of driving!) :) And by the way, you should NEVER APOLOGIZE for having a fear, it’s not like you asked to react that way! But what you should be is SO PROUD that you stood that fear in the face and kicked its a$$ today! :D

    Reply
  • Shayna @ Cuts and Curves March 14, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Good for you!!! That’s so amazing! I even got a little teary reading this post. Way to not let your fear get the better of you. It’s so inspirational!! Your races can only get better from here :)

    Reply
  • Samantha March 14, 2010, 5:29 pm

    So absolutely amazing Caitlin! Congratulations on getting out there, facing the demons, catching back up, wiping out and getting back on, and muscling through to a stellar finish! You are so humble but you should be proud of yourself, and no doubt this story will inspire many an athlete to try something that intimidates them, or to face something a 2nd (or more) time that has controlled them before. To go terribly 90′s here, YOU GO GIRL!

    Reply
  • John March 14, 2010, 5:31 pm

    Congratulations! You did an amazing job facing your fears.
    It may be to early to answer but do you think you got to a point where you will keep doing tri’s? If you are able to keep at it you will only be better. Sub 3 hour next time I believe.

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 5:34 pm

      i think i’ll do another :) but maybe a sprint. oly was a little intense.

      Reply
  • Hanni March 14, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Wow, congratulations Caitlin! You really are an inspiration… I think this is my first time commenting but I’ve been following along for a long long time now, it’s been awesome to watch you go through the half marathon, the marathon and now this… Is it odd to feel proud of someone I don’t know? Ha, probably. Anyway, you’re making me want to push myself so much more (I had to pull out of my first half marathon today because of illness).

    I’m rambling… Anyway, YAY! Wow on not giving up, and on conquering your fears after all this time. I can’t believe all you went though and you still kept on going to do it!

    I’m smiling lots for you :)

    Reply
  • Katy March 14, 2010, 5:35 pm

    C,

    I love you too, and the comments you’re getting are amazing! You’re such a great example of pushing through mental and physical challenges. I’m so glad you kept going, and I’m so happy that I was able, in a VERY small way, to make a difference. You’re paying it forward here on your blog!

    Reply
  • Amy March 14, 2010, 5:37 pm

    I read so many blogs that I rarely comment, but I just had to say YOU GO GIRL!!! I hope you are darn proud of yourself because you are a true inspiration. Congrats!!

    Reply
  • TheKiwiBex March 14, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Congratulations! You should be incredibly proud of yourself, and now you can use this experience to continue facing and conquering your fear :)

    Reply
  • Fae March 14, 2010, 5:42 pm

    A big CONGRATS!!!!

    Thanks for being so honest with your fears and struggles!!
    You should be very proud of yourself for stepping outside your comfort zone and completing this tri!!!

    Good on you!!!!

    Reply
  • Priyanka March 14, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin!!! You did an awesome job!

    Reply
  • Emilie March 14, 2010, 5:46 pm

    that photo of you in the beautiful water with the kayaker next to you totally undid me. I was getting teary before that, but man! I love stories of people who overcome their fears. you rock. you should be so proud of yourself. Enjoy the post-race high!

    Reply
  • Cyclist Kate March 14, 2010, 5:48 pm

    Yaaaaaaay! I teared up reading your swim recap…SO proud of you and happy for you!!!!

    Reply
  • Sammi March 14, 2010, 5:55 pm

    You’re amazing Caitlin! Congratulations :) I can’t even begin to think about swimming in a lake.. ugh.. i HATE water! You rocked and who cares if you had to use a noodle? Noodles are awesome :)

    Reply
  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) March 14, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Great job Caitlin! I am so proud that you finished and were able to conquer your fear. The number one piece of advice I can give you is to: PRACTICE OPEN WATER SWIMS! Even experienced triathletes, who are fantastic at swimming, freak out and feel totally out of control if they haven’t done any practices in open water.
    You are so awesome! Great job, and you are a wonderful inspiration :)

    Reply
  • Angie All The Way March 14, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Caitlin, I feel so proud of you for this even more so than if you plowed through the swim with no problems at all simply because you FACED it and you DIDN’T give up! You can credit your supporters for being there for you, but girl, you totally rocked it from your heart ;-)

    Way to go rock star!!

    Reply
  • katerina March 14, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Such an amazing post. I teared up reading it. You conquered your fear and good for you!! How amazing you must feel right now I can’t even imagine. (Not to imagine that I can’t imagine doing a Tri, separate thing :) hehe.)

    Oh and the next time someone kicks you in the face, bite her foot :) heheheh.

    Way to go!!!! You inspire me.

    Reply
  • Nicole, RD March 14, 2010, 6:00 pm

    I had no doubt you would do amazing! Such an inspiring re-cap! Makes me think I can tackle a swim in a tri, too! ;) Congrats, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Thirtyandhealthy March 14, 2010, 6:02 pm

    You did so so so well! I had a tear in my eye as I read about you persisting with the swim! You absolutely rock!

    Reply
  • amanda March 14, 2010, 6:02 pm

    WOW so proud of you!!!!! This is the exact reason why you are my favorite blogger HANDS DOWN- you have a goal and you stick with it. I cannot wait for your book!
    I know how you feel with the water! I once went swimming in lake arrowhead (in california) and once the freezing water touched by chest I begun hyperventilating and I was not even swimming a race like u! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

    Reply
  • Caroline March 14, 2010, 6:03 pm

    Caitlin,
    This recap was amazing and I am so proud of you for facing your fear! I think with some more practice you will be able to fully conquer your fear of open water swimming! But seriously, Kudos for kicking butt in the bike and the run. If I had wiped out I don’t know if I would have just gotten right back up and finished strong, you are an inspiration. I totally got chills and teared up a bit reading about your swim. You must feel soo good right now, soak it in and enjoy the feeling, your hard work as paid off!

    Reply
  • Cindy March 14, 2010, 6:11 pm

    You did it! Go you! :)

    Reply
  • Hannah March 14, 2010, 6:11 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! I’m proud that you were able to stick it out! It’s great motivation for other racers :)

    Reply
  • Jen March 14, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Like others, your recap brought tears to my eyes!

    A lot of people do great races and that’s awesome and everything. But you faced a fear head on and didn’t quit. To me, that is SO much more inspiring than seeing someone just complete a race in a good time. I am so proud and happy for you! I just hope you’re proud of yourself too!

    Reply
  • Mish@SugarWand March 14, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Facing your fears is more powerful than winning..cause you won something that even a plaque can’t give you. I hope that you are able to do another tri. Good on you for doing it. You’ve making me smile with your determination. I am setting out to train and complete my first race over 12km and this just gives me the spring in my step. I love the rabbit trick..I call it laser gunning shoes. Keep up the great work..so what’s up next?

    Reply
  • Syl March 14, 2010, 6:13 pm

    reading your story give me hope that a person can accomplish anything they set their hearts and mind to.
    congrats on your success and thank you for continuing to inspire so many.

    Reply
  • Ali March 14, 2010, 6:14 pm

    I actually teared up a little at your account of swimming and picture. You are amazing! It is almost cliche to keep saying this but you really are an inspiration, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) March 14, 2010, 6:16 pm

    oh my gosh, reading your story made me emotional–esp the part about the lifeguards cheering you on. That must have felt so relieving. Congratulations!! Your poor husband must have been dying with nerves the whole time!

    Now you can breathe.

    Reply
  • Paige @ Running Around Normal March 14, 2010, 6:19 pm

    Caitlin you’re amazing!!! What a wonderful recap. I think this is my favorite one I’ve ever read. What wonderful friends and family you have too :)
    Congratulations, girl. You kicked ass!

    Reply
  • Morgan March 14, 2010, 6:19 pm

    Finishing is Winning.

    Good job pushing through out there! Veni, vidi, vici!!!

    Reply
  • Amy March 14, 2010, 6:21 pm

    Great job! I love that you have such kind, supportive friends and family. Maybe if you do some tris in Charlottesville the swim won’t seem so bad since their lakes don’t have the gators like our Florida lakes. :) As always, I’m impressed with your positive attitude. Thanks for sharing and passing out good vibes.

    Reply
  • Elsa March 14, 2010, 6:22 pm

    Congratulations on your triathlon! Reading this post brought tears to my eyes -seriously – you are inspiring. I know how it feels to face your fear head on, and just….jump in anyway. And man, I’m just really excited for you. Thank you for sharing this with all of us – you rock!

    Reply
  • Kari @ Adventures in Newlywedland March 14, 2010, 6:23 pm

    Congratulations! You are definitely an inspiration in the way you pushed thru and faced your fears. I’m super happy for you!

    Reply
  • Jenny March 14, 2010, 6:24 pm

    congratulations!!! you are an absolute inspiration!!!

    Reply
  • Betsy March 14, 2010, 6:25 pm

    You are SUCH an INSPIRATION!! Congratulations, girl! YOU DID IT!

    Reply
  • Alyssa March 14, 2010, 6:26 pm

    Way to kick ass! Congrats on finishing, it is so awesome you had so much support from family, friends, and the race organizers! :)

    Reply
  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward March 14, 2010, 6:26 pm

    Congratulations!! This post seriously gave me goosebumps. I’m so proud of you! I’m really glad that you didn’t give up – you managed to take control of the situation, got back into the game, and even passed five women. I’m sure it was incredibly difficult to turn around for the second lap of the swim, but you did it! Ahhh I’m so excited for you! :)

    Reply
  • J@framboise131.blogspot.com March 14, 2010, 6:30 pm

    Wow. That was an amazing recap. Congrats on finishing. Hey- at least you have an exciting story :)

    Reply
  • Becky March 14, 2010, 6:35 pm

    Congratulations, Caitlin!! Ditto the last 50 posts – you are such an inspiration, I really did tear up at both of your posts today, and even though I don’t know you, I’m really proud of you! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope March 14, 2010, 6:36 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes, seriously! You are so awesome.

    Reply
  • Erica March 14, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Way to push through it girl! I totally would have quit during the swim if I were feeling that way and I think its amazing that you kept going! Way to pass some of the other ladies during the biking/running portions of the try! Eat lots tonight and get some relaxing in :)

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) March 14, 2010, 6:42 pm

    This nearly brought me to tears. You are such an inspiration. You did it!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Amy March 14, 2010, 6:46 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the race and getting through the swim, especially. If you really did hit your head during your crash, please invest in a new bike helmet! They’re only designed to protect you once and if you fall again it might not do its job of protecting your head!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 6:57 pm

      i definitely will be getting a new helmet!!!

      Reply
  • Anne P March 14, 2010, 6:47 pm

    That is so awesome – YOU DID IT!!! Yes, you were scared, yes, you wanted to quit… but you didn’t. And that’s so impressive!

    Reply
  • Whitney @ whitinspired.wordpress.com March 14, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Congrats!!!!! You did an amazing job and you should be extremely proud of yourself. I experience the same thing when I get into deep water. Doesn’t matter where it is. A pool, ocean, lake, whatever. I panic and experience the same feelings. You truly are an inspiration and it’s awesome that you were able to face that fear.

    Reply
  • Danielle in Australia! March 14, 2010, 6:53 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! I have been reading your blog for quite some time, but this is the first time I have commented. I just want to tell you what an inspiration you are. Since reading your blog I too have become a runner and have set myself a goal to run in the Sydney Running Festival in September (my first ever, so I had to give myself some time to train). Also, you have helped me come to love my body and appreciate how healthy and strong it is. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Chloe March 14, 2010, 6:53 pm

    amazing!

    Reply
  • Erin March 14, 2010, 6:54 pm

    tears in my eyes reading your post…so happy you finished, congrats. I have been scubadiving in VERY cold water 40s and know what trying to focus and not panic is like…VERY hard. So big props to you! love reading your posts every day… you motivate me to live balanced and reach for your dreams.

    Reply
  • Soraya March 14, 2010, 6:57 pm

    You DIDN’T quit! You pushed thru it! You are a ROCK STAR! So proud of you!!!

    Reply
  • kirsten March 14, 2010, 6:58 pm

    Way to go Caitlin! I knew you could do it!! :D Amazing job!!

    Reply
  • Erin March 14, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Caitlin – I have thought about you today and hoped that your race went well. I teared up when I read about the swim and am just SO PROUD OF YOU for this major accomplishment! Thanks so much for sharing your training and your fears – you are such an inspirational woman! Very impressed that you caught those women!! I hope that you feel like a rockstar :)

    Reply
  • Amy @ Running in Pink March 14, 2010, 7:00 pm

    YOU DID IT! YOU ROCK!

    Reply
  • Georgia March 14, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Congratulations! I don’t know you, but I kind of feel like I do because I read your blog everyday! I just want to say that I’m SO proud of you! Way to go!

    Reply
  • Gloria March 14, 2010, 7:04 pm

    Congratulations, that is so awesome that you were able to push yourself to finish! Your struggles make it that much more impressive :)

    I also really love your quote at the end, and it got me thinking about racing. I have been running and swimming off and on for a while now, but I was never motivated to enter a competition. Part of it was laziness and not wanting to push myself more than I had to, but another part was not wanting to compare myself to better runners and swimmers. But you know what? Your quote (and whole post really) made me recognize that it can be a really personal and empowering experience that you do for yourself. So thank you for that! I am going to think about this for a while :)

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 7:06 pm

      i find racing so personally rewarding – try it out!

      Reply
  • maria March 14, 2010, 7:06 pm

    Congrats! Conquering your fears can be tough! It’s trying that really counts!

    Reply
  • lauren l. March 14, 2010, 7:06 pm

    great work caitlin! i can’t wait to see what you conquer next!

    Reply
  • Danielle March 14, 2010, 7:11 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! You are so brave, and I’m so proud of you!

    Reply
  • Stacey March 14, 2010, 7:18 pm

    Congrats, Congrats, Congrats! How awesome that you faced your fear and kicked butt. And what a great race recap! It’s funny (well not funny, but I can’t think of a better word) because I think how terrified you are of water is the equivalent of how terrified I am of the bike! My biggest fear is wiping out, so I think when you post the video and I see you lived to tell about it I’ll feel more at ease. I did a ride today and was excited that I actually reached 18mph. Too bad my avg is still like 11mph! Anyway, thanks so much for posting this, you are TRULY an INSPIRATION!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 7:21 pm

      wiping out REALLY isnt that bad. thats what helmets are for! :)

      Reply
  • Dominique March 14, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Congrats, Caitlin!! I’m so happy to see that you’ve faced your fear! I have a huge fear of large bodies of water–I don’t even know how to swim because of my fear–so you are much braver than I am.

    Reply
  • Jes March 14, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! What a remarkable story! I so very much want to do a triathlon, but it is the swim that has kept me from doing it. I still have not mastered swimming and breathing at the same time. You are an inspiration, and I am not going to quit trying! I hope your injuries were not too bad. You rock!!!

    Reply
  • Erica March 14, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Caitlin, I nearly cried reading about your fears in the open water and your ability to finish the swim. You are such an inspiration! Congratulations to you! I have been waiting to hear about the race all day!

    Reply
  • Danielle March 14, 2010, 7:22 pm

    I have been waiting for this recap all day! I’m so proud of you, Caitlin! Congratulations on facing your fear and not letting it control you. Yea!

    Reply
  • John March 14, 2010, 7:24 pm

    Caitlin,

    Reply
  • John March 14, 2010, 7:29 pm

    Caitlin, I’m so proud of you. I hope you didn’t get hurt when you wrecked the bike. Its great that you have such a large support group cheering you on. We love you!

    Reply
  • Dynamics March 14, 2010, 7:30 pm

    OMG, you are an awesome writer. You made me cry. I felt like I was right there with you the whole way. Congrats on a great job. Way to stick with it.

    Reply
  • AM March 14, 2010, 7:34 pm

    I am honestly teary eyed. You are such an inspiration. Eek!

    Reply
  • Erika March 14, 2010, 7:35 pm

    Way to go Caitlin! YOu have much to be proud of….and each future swim, whether it is in open water, a pool, or a lake, will be always easier than what you faced today because you know you can conquer! Way to go indeed!!! Walk tall and smile, you did it :) YIPPPEEEEEE

    Reply
  • Veronica March 14, 2010, 7:37 pm

    WOW! You are SUPERWOMAN. That was an amazing recap and I got a little choked up reading it,especially because I have a HUGE fear of water. But you did it! You are really inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • kalli@fitandfortysomething March 14, 2010, 7:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story Caitlin! I am so damn proud of you! I agree with Veronica-you are a superwoman ;)

    Reply
  • Laura March 14, 2010, 7:42 pm

    As so many of your readers have said, you are such an inspiration! Congratulations! You kicked your fear of open water swimming in the butt! You conquered it girl – so proud of you. Some things we’ll always have fear around, its making sure it doesn’t stop us – if we go past the fear, then we have conquered it! Hope you are taking a well deserved rest! Thank you for inspiring me each and every day!

    Reply
  • Brittney March 14, 2010, 7:45 pm

    Congrats on completing the tri! You should definitely be proud of yourself! :)

    Reply
  • Stacey March 14, 2010, 7:46 pm

    Gah! I am SO PROUD OF YOU :D You are amazing. I was on the edge of my seat reading this whole thing haha. I know I’ve already said it, but I’m so proud of you!!!! Haha :) Now enjoy the rest of your night, you totally deserve it! Way to go!!

    Reply
  • Whit March 14, 2010, 7:48 pm

    Caitlin you are so freaking awesome. Can’t wait to congratulate you IN PERSON this weekend. :D

    Reply
  • Justy2003 March 14, 2010, 7:53 pm

    HUGE congrats on finishing your triathlon and conquering your fear! Now you KNOW you can do it! Awesome job!

    Reply
  • Rika March 14, 2010, 7:55 pm

    so so amazing! you’re one HECK of a WOMAN caitlin! :D

    Reply
  • Gwen March 14, 2010, 7:57 pm

    CONGRATS Caitlin! I am so thrilled for you! And I love the quote at the end – my fiance finished his first race today and I know he felt the rush!

    Reply
  • Susan @ Journey for Health March 14, 2010, 8:01 pm

    Congratulations on completing that Triathlon! I think you did awesome, despite not totally conquering your fear. I think that even if you were still freaking out during the swim, you still were AMAZING. It is totally an inspiration to me that you did what you maybe thought 2 years ago that you couldn’t.

    Good luck on your upcoming races. Can’t wait to hear about them :)

    Reply
  • Karen March 14, 2010, 8:02 pm

    That stinks about those other women who swam over you/kicked you at the start. I’ve heard that is pretty common in tri’s though.

    I think you did a great job and need to give yourself more credit!

    Reply
  • cassie March 14, 2010, 8:08 pm

    congrats Caitlin, so happy you made it, you worked hard for this moment, so enjoy every moment of it.. I swear you inspire me everyday. I am not a runner, but reading your stories makes me want to run.. I’ve tried running but i just have a hard time sticking with it.. get a goods night rest..

    Reply
  • Gina G March 14, 2010, 8:10 pm

    way to go Caitlin!!! i am soooo happy for you! congrats girl!

    Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) March 14, 2010, 8:12 pm

    So proud of you Caitlin! I knew you could do it and don’t worry about panicking you stuck it out.

    You are such an inspiration.

    Reply
  • Amie March 14, 2010, 8:12 pm

    You did fantastic! You finished every part and even got past some who had done it before! Great job!

    Reply
  • Kath March 14, 2010, 8:13 pm

    CONGRATS CAITLIN!! Very proud of you. Looks like a really fun event!

    Reply
  • Julie @ Pickley Pear March 14, 2010, 8:16 pm

    I am so proud of you and you should be EXTREMELY proud of yourself! A triathlon is a major accomplishment. With each one you only make yourself better and more motivated. Way to go girl!!

    Reply
  • Erin March 14, 2010, 8:17 pm

    Wow, congratulations! You really stuck it out through a lot of set backs. You should be very proud of yourself!!

    Reply
  • ari March 14, 2010, 8:20 pm

    you are SO awesome.

    Reply
  • Melissa March 14, 2010, 8:21 pm

    CONGRATS CAITLIN!!

    Reply
  • Ivan March 14, 2010, 8:26 pm

    I gotta tell you, Caitlin, I have only ever been nominally curious about ever doing a tri (I’m a runner) but this post might have been enough to push me into looking into it some more.

    Congrats and I hope you keep fighting the good fight.

    Reply
  • MelissaNibbles March 14, 2010, 8:32 pm

    Congratulations! You did wonderful!

    Reply
  • Joanne March 14, 2010, 8:33 pm

    Way to go, Caitlin! So glad you kept up the fight. You are one of a kind, girl!

    Reply
  • Laura March 14, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin!! You are such an inspiration! I read your blog all the time, but I think this is my first comment. :) You rock!!!

    Reply
  • Lauren March 14, 2010, 8:48 pm

    SO PROUD OF YOU!!! YOU DID CONQUER YOUR FEAR!!! AMAZiNG!!! INSPIRATIONAL!!!

    Reply
  • Tay March 14, 2010, 8:50 pm

    Amazing recap – I am so so proud of you!!!! :-D

    Reply
  • Dani March 14, 2010, 8:50 pm

    That’s awesome!! Congratulations, Caitlin!!! You should be VERY proud of yourself!

    Reply
  • Tricia March 14, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! You must be on cloud nine :-)
    You should be very, very proud of yourself for facing your fear, and conquering it! Great job!

    Reply
  • Aimee March 14, 2010, 9:00 pm

    Amazing! You are truly an inspiration Caitlin.

    Reply
  • Natalie March 14, 2010, 9:03 pm

    congrats on finishing!!! I can totally sympathize with the open swim anxiety! I did swim team for 12 years so I thought the swim would be a piece of cake! I totally hyperventilated in my first sprint tri and have signed up for the duathlon ever since. Finishing an olympic is such a huge accomplishment! You are an inspiration! Congrats!

    Reply
  • Michelle March 14, 2010, 9:14 pm

    I am so excited for you, Caitlin! Great job!

    Reply
  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie ) March 14, 2010, 9:15 pm

    You’re awesome Caitlin, I know you are hearing that lots right now but you are truly AMAZING! You did it! No matter what happened, didn’t happen, could have happened, you completed it!! You’re so inspiring. I want to go race tomorrow!

    Reply
  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances March 14, 2010, 9:24 pm

    Congrats, Caitlin!!! I have really enjoyed following your training and just want to say thank you for taking the time to post, sharing your experiences and thoughts. You are AMAZING in every way – which is weird to say, because I don’t actually know you! – but I feel like I do, and that’s the cool thing about the blogging community. I hope you are feeling so proud of yourself tonight :) and treating yourself to some well-deserved R&R!

    Reply
  • Meghann March 14, 2010, 9:26 pm

    You survived! :) I love my inspirational friend, you didn’t give up and that’s all that counts!

    I’m sorry I wasn’t there to cheer you on! I promise to be there next time.

    Reply
  • Ellen Collis March 14, 2010, 9:27 pm

    Ok, so I’m in Starbucks right now with tears running down my face, receiving awkward glares. I don’t care. Your story moved me SO much! AWESOME JOB!!!

    http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  • Emily Eats and Exercises March 14, 2010, 9:30 pm

    Great job Caitlin! And what a dramatic recap. I know you were injured and skipped your open water practice, but I think next time (and I’m sure there will be a next time :) ) that will help a lot. I’m a confident swimmer (different story with my running) but I felt really panicky during my tri as well. It’s just really different in the open water with all those people kicking you! You kicked butt in the bike and the run though! I hope you decide to do another one – maybe some sprints first?

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2010, 9:33 pm

      hehe sprints would be good.

      Reply
  • Dee March 14, 2010, 9:35 pm

    You GO girl! congrats on completing! you are such an inspiration!

    Reply
  • Dee March 14, 2010, 9:39 pm

    Thank you for keeping it real and honest; being vulnerable and sharing the details of your ups and your downs. I think this is why your blog is so popular! That, and your amazingly cute dogs! The best to you!

    Reply
  • caronae March 14, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin. I am so happy for you and proud of you! I knew you could do it :) It sounds like the swim was still a bit scary, but I bet the next time will be even easier!

    Reply
  • Carolina John March 14, 2010, 9:55 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I’m so proud for you. in my first (and only) oly I did the swim in 43 minutes (I think) and the beach 2 battleship 1.2 mile swim I did in 33 minutes. that’s how much speed you gain swimming with the current and in saltwater at the b2b.

    you’ll clear the fear of open water soon enough.

    once you cross that finish line you’re hooked. a changed girl. just like becoming a marathoner. just remember to keep your chip on next time, huh?

    Reply
  • Lo-Jo aka Lauren March 14, 2010, 9:58 pm

    Wow, I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said! Outstanding job! You finished and that’s all that matters. So…are you already thinkin’ about another one? :)

    Reply
  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) March 14, 2010, 10:03 pm

    The first thing I did this morning was check twitter to see Katy’s tweets from your tri. I am SO happy and SO proud for you – you did it!

    Reply
  • Katherine @ Lipgloss and Spandex March 14, 2010, 10:05 pm

    I am so proud of you! YAY for finishing, and YAY for being so tough! I’m an okay swimmer, but I’m also afraid of swimming in open water, so I have a lot of respect for you for sticking with it and finishing :)

    Reply
  • Badgergirl March 14, 2010, 10:06 pm

    Congrats!

    Reply
  • Kiersten March 14, 2010, 10:10 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Kate March 14, 2010, 10:12 pm

    Way To Go Catlin! The open water swim is definitely not easy at all and you rocked it!

    Reply
  • Emily Eats Clean March 14, 2010, 10:25 pm

    Congrats girl!!!! I’ve done one sprint triathlon, but the swim was in an olympic sized pool……I am dying to do another triathlon and a bigger one, BUT the open water swim freaks.me.out!!!!!!!!!! Glad to see you were able to face your fear, maybe I’ll face mine one day too!!!

    -emily http://emilyeatsclean.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • s March 14, 2010, 10:29 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS, Caitlin!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Emily March 14, 2010, 10:31 pm

    Caitlin–you are beyond inspiring! I’ve been trying (scratch that, FIGHTING) to get to 5K distance for quite a while (a far cry from an Olympic Tri, I know!) I’ve been thinking about giving up running for good and trying another sport, but this post inspires me to keep fighting for it. Thanks, and congratulations!

    Reply
    • Emily March 14, 2010, 10:34 pm

      P.S. I would LOVE to see a reflection post on your first 5K. Sometimes reading these healthy living blogs, achieving small goals like that can seem so unattainable. I mean, look at you! An Olympic Triathlon! And here I am struggling to run my first 5K. I’d love to hear about how it was for you when you decided to change your life to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

      Reply
      • Caitlin March 15, 2010, 9:43 am

        that’s a great idea… i should really do that. you can do it!! have you signed up for a race? nothing motivates you to reach 3.1 miles better than a crowd of people! the couch to 5K program is great, too.

        Reply
  • Lizz @ leadingthegoodlife March 14, 2010, 11:18 pm

    Congrats, Caitlin! Way to hang in there – and way to kick ass!! :)

    Reply
  • Susan - Nurse on the Run March 14, 2010, 11:29 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Way to face your fears and get out there…definitely awesome!

    Reply
  • Amanda March 14, 2010, 11:30 pm

    You did awesome! Really brave. You should be so proud of yourself.

    Reply
  • kristina March 14, 2010, 11:41 pm

    wow caitlin, your story touched me! way to go!! i totally understood how you could have a phobia w. swimming in the lake, i too have a phobia of swimming pools, i had a bad swimming lesson experience when i was little ~ the instructor forced me across the deep end of the pool. it’s weird because i can swim and i know i would never drown, but because of that experience i will always have a strange fear of swimming pools.

    Reply
  • Caitlin March 15, 2010, 12:16 am

    Caitlin, I’m a new blog reader, also named Caitlin and I can’t believe how similar your triathlon story is to mine! I did one in Uganda and the swim was in Lake Victoria and I was TERRIFIED. I was the second to last one to finish the swim (after it started raining in the middle of the swim), also caught up with a few people during the bike and also fell off my bike and still have a scar on my shoulder. I think the only difference between my race and yours is that when I went to shower after the race, I discovered that a little fish (about an inch and a half) had somehow found his way into my bathing suit during the swim and kept me company the for the rest of the race. Congratulations on finishing :-) What an accomplishment!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 15, 2010, 9:44 am

      hahah that is an awesome story :) congrats on finishing your tri! and being named caitlin – its a good name!!!

      Reply
  • Amber K @ sparkpeople March 15, 2010, 12:19 am

    You are so inspiring Caitlin! I am impressed and amazed by your willingness to get back in there and rock it. Life is full of mistakes, but it is well lived when we jump back in there!

    Reply
  • Ashley March 15, 2010, 12:51 am

    Congrats Caitlin! I’m so glad to hear you finished the swim!!

    Having been around water my entire life (grew up on a river, lake, and ocean), I LOVE to swim. I also scuba dive.

    When your ready for the next step, take up diving! You’ll never be afraid to open water swim again.

    Reply
  • Mama Pea March 15, 2010, 1:52 am

    Holy crap, I must love you to scroll down 245 comments to tell you how very proud of you I am and that you should be too! You are SO inspiring!!! And BEER ME.

    Reply
  • Jessica March 15, 2010, 2:20 am

    You are sososososos inspiring! I can’t say it enough. This is probably one of the best race recaps i’ve ever read–and i’m so proud of you for not quitting!! I can only imagine how scared you must have been, especially if its a phobia….but you made it through and totally rocked it!! I’m sure you and your fam are all so proud :)

    But I can’t believe you got kicked in the face right at the beginning! I sware that would have just done me in…. but like I said, you’re amazing!

    Hope the feasting and resting is going well!! You deserve it!! hahaha
    Congrats again!!

    Reply
  • Michelle March 15, 2010, 3:00 am

    Congrats! What an awesome job!!!

    Reply
  • Jessie March 15, 2010, 3:42 am

    I’m a longtime reader who never comments but I just wanted to say I think you’re amazing. Just the thought of a open water swim makes me panic – congrats for pushing through it!!!

    Reply
  • Jessica March 15, 2010, 5:01 am

    I have to admit that I am also TERRIFIED of the water (not pools – only lakes/oceans, etc.), and I know EXACTLY how you felt. I have NO IDEA how you actually swam and finished that. No idea. Even just reading about you doing it made me anxious. I definitely cried reading this post. Being someone with the same fear, I really appreciate what you did and I am SO PROUD OF YOU! From the bottom of my heart. Great job! :)

    Reply
  • Paige March 15, 2010, 7:31 am

    I am so happy for you! I had tears in my eyes reading about your swim, because the SAME thing happened to me in my first open water swim! There were ropes around buoys the whole way out and back, and by the mid-way point, I was pulling myself down the ropes. If it hadn’t been for those ropes, I would not have made it. I was scared to death! Facing your fears is a major accomplishment!!! You are STRONG!!!

    Reply
  • Christina March 15, 2010, 8:36 am

    I almost cried reading this! I’m so glad you didn’t quit!

    ‘pain (fear!) is temporary, quitting is forever’

    Reply
  • whitney March 15, 2010, 8:36 am

    wow. Congrats on everything. You tackled some huge hurdles and had some crazy mishaps and yet still managed to defeat the race that is phenomenal.

    I commend you in so many ways.

    Reply
  • kara March 15, 2010, 8:37 am

    You ROCK Caitlin! Way to go! You did it! Thanks for being such an inspiration to me. Even though I don’t know you I love reading your blog and being inspired! Thanks again and GOOD JOB!!!!!!!! :)

    Reply
  • emily March 15, 2010, 8:56 am

    Add my congratulations to the pile!

    Reply
  • brandi March 15, 2010, 9:14 am

    Congrats!!! I was looking forward to seeing this recap on Monday morning :)

    YOU DID IT!!! Noodle or not. Wipe out or not. You FINISHED and have the plaque to prove it :)

    Reply
  • Carolyn March 15, 2010, 9:16 am

    I think you did fantastic and I can’t wait to see you rock your next triathlon (I’m sure you won’t be able to stay away) even more than this one!! :)

    Reply
  • kat March 15, 2010, 9:35 am

    Way to go Caitlin! You did it!!!

    Reply
  • Laura @ Food For La March 15, 2010, 9:43 am

    Yeah…Definitely sitting in my office at work tearing up a bit because while I don’t know you, I am so proud of you! What an incredible accomplishment. I am so touched at what a strong and brave woman you are, and it is SO hard to face your fears sometimes, but you did it. I am definitely inspired to do something that I’m scared of. Great job :)

    Reply
  • Jordan March 15, 2010, 10:04 am

    Caitlin- Congrats on your finish and sticking it out for the swim! You are such an inspiration for those of us that are too chicken to just get in there and compete- me included.

    Reply
  • Diann March 15, 2010, 10:31 am

    You rock. Congrats on finishing strong in such a challenging race.

    Reply
  • Jenna March 15, 2010, 10:34 am

    You are inspiring!

    Reply
  • DeAnna March 15, 2010, 10:55 am

    Very inspiring. Reading your blog sometimes makes it seem like you have it all together with training and always succeed so reading about how scared you were in the swim AND wiping out on your bike was surprising. Then to hear that you just kept going after both was truly inspiring. Either experience could be enough to make someone quit, congrats on gutting it out. I ran my first 1/2 marathon last fall and although I finished well (for me) I felt like I mentally quit. I’ve been considering another one but slacking in the motivation department, I think this is what I needed to get back into my training to take on 13.1 again. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Chrissy March 15, 2010, 10:58 am

    Congratulations Caitlin! I just started swimming (I already run and bike) in the hopes of doing my first triathlon this summer. I can’t believe how hard swimming is! I have to take rest breaks ever 25 meters. Reading this is inspiring, and I’ve appreciated the details of your training that you’ve shared.

    YOU DID IT! Congratulations!

    Reply
  • Danielle March 15, 2010, 10:59 am

    Hi Caitlin! I’ve never commented on your blog before but I’ve been following it for a bit. I read your triathlon re-cap and I started to cry a little bit when I was reading about your swim, I don’t know why but I was feeling like you were awesome! I train for a race called Great White North, it’s a half ironman, and every single time I get in the open water, no matter what, I panick a bit, so I understand how you were feeling! You’re in such great shape and it sounds like you had an amazing day, congratulations!

    Reply
  • Sophie @ yumventures March 15, 2010, 11:10 am

    Your recap of your swim definitely made me tear up. I was so happy to read how you didn’t give up, no matter how scared you were! I think you did an excellent job, and eventually you will conquer your fear, one step at a time!

    Reply
  • Teacherwoman March 15, 2010, 11:20 am

    Congratulations Caitlin on your first official triathlon. Your swim reminded me a lot of my first open water triatlon. It can be very daunting and super scary. I totally understand what you went through and it is definitely a huge mental game! CONGRATS again!

    Reply
  • Lauren @ Running Examiner March 15, 2010, 11:41 am

    You did a FANTASTIC job! We (all your readers) are so proud of you!

    Reply
  • Kelly March 15, 2010, 11:58 am

    Congrats on finishing and not giving up! Amazing!

    Reply
  • Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers March 15, 2010, 12:15 pm

    Totally inspiring. Way to go!!

    Reply
  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) March 15, 2010, 1:21 pm

    WOW you are truly amazing, Caitlin! I’m so proud of you for finishing the swim part. You are someone who really pushes me to go for things I never though I could do. I am starting my 6th week running ever (really struggling) and hubby and I just signed up last night for the Reggae Marathon (1/2 marathon run/walk) in Jamaica in Dec. and I’m scared to death BUT I’m going to do it no matter how long it takes me.

    You are an inspiration to me in many ways and I always look forward to reading your blog.

    Reply
  • Claire March 15, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Congrats!I just read this at work and am tearing up…very inspirational!!:-)cc

    Reply
  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete March 15, 2010, 1:45 pm

    It honestly made me nauseous to read about your swim! I’m scared too of things eating me in water! You are so amazing! We are all so proud of you, obviously with the 272 comments so far! And you are badass for getting up and finishing once you had your bike crash! I’m so excited to meet such a brave person this coming weekend!

    Reply
  • Mastering Public Health March 15, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Awesome recap! I have no power in my house from the nor’easter so this is the first I’m reading it. Let me be the 300th commenter to congratulate you. You rock! And I <3 Katy too. :)

    Reply
  • Kelly March 15, 2010, 2:28 pm

    You should be very proud of your accomplishment. You did an awesome job! Facing your fears and conquering them. GREAT JOB!!!

    Reply
  • Vaala March 15, 2010, 5:35 pm

    Awesome job girl! Congratulations! I definitely understand that feeling of fear and intense panic. I have those moments in almost every adventure race I do. Luckily I’m racing in a team then so I have support around me. But I know how crippling it is and the effort it takes to overcome it :)

    Reply
  • Amanda March 15, 2010, 7:54 pm

    I teared up reading this! Way to go!

    Reply
  • Salina March 15, 2010, 9:43 pm

    CONGRATS!!!! GOOD FOR YOU, what an inspiration you are!!!

    Reply
  • Reenie March 15, 2010, 10:25 pm

    Woot Woot!!! Way to go Caitlin=)

    Reply
  • Leana March 15, 2010, 10:50 pm

    Caitlin, I just wanted to say congratulations on your race!!! You persevered and did great. It must have been the best feeling in the world to finish strong like you did. I understand your fear of open water swimming. Swimming at the best of times isn’t my favourite sport. One thing to help you with the shock of cold water is to get in a warm up swim the morning of the race. That way you get in the water, feel the temperature, and hopefully don’t have that same shock of cold. Here’s a great post that can explain things way better than I can:
    http://dcrainmaker.blogspot.com/2008/02/one-big-ice-cube-swimming-in-cold-water.html
    And there is nothing wrong with lining up in the back of the pack to minimize folks swimming over you. Getting punched or kicked in the face is never fun!

    Congrats on your race. I hope you get a chance to race another triathlon again soon. They really are fun!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 16, 2010, 8:13 am

      thank you for those tips!!

      Reply
  • Jasmine (Sweet and Fit) March 15, 2010, 11:48 pm

    oh my! Caitlin! reading this made me cry!! I remember when I first started reading your blog over @ see bride run, you inspired me to get in the healthy living lifestyle and from there I began dreaming of running. As of right now I won’t be running for a long time, I need to master walking first- but I can’t explain how proud of you I am! I really feel like i run *vicariously* through you =) cant wait to meet you!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 16, 2010, 8:14 am

      heheh yay see bride run days! :) i can’t wait to meet you either.

      Reply
  • Sarah March 16, 2010, 4:15 am

    Hi Caitlin, I wasn’t going to comment on here because I thought you’ve got so many comments mine would get lost! Anyway, I’ve been following your blog for a while and I just wanted to say how inspirational you are and this post is. It’s amazing to me that not only did you enter a triatholon but you did it and faced your fear. Amazing. Well done. I have such admiration for you esp. since i’m not athletic at all. The furthest I’ve run is 5k! Thanks for being so honest and strong x

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 16, 2010, 8:14 am

      i read all my comments so they never get lost hehe :)

      thank you so much! don’t downplay a 5K – it’s quite an accomplishment and something most people cannot do!

      Reply
  • Lizzie March 16, 2010, 6:59 am

    Hi Caitlin:

    I’ve been to your web-site a couple of times, but was directed over here by another blogger who mentioned your Olympic Tri . . of course I had to come back and read the recap of your race. Amazing! I mean, seriously . .. the fact that you overcame the challenging swim and then bike spill (not to mention passing other athletes) is . .. . well, you should be very proud of yourself!! 55 degrees would have had me running in the opposite direction!! :) Congratulations!!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 16, 2010, 8:15 am

      thank you! :)

      Reply
  • Gena March 16, 2010, 9:36 am

    Congratulations, Caitlin! A brave and wonderful account of the race. You should be SO proud of yourself for pushing through, even when you were scared. Totally inspiring!

    Reply
  • Meg @ Be Fit Be Full March 16, 2010, 11:32 am

    Just catching up on your blog after being on vacation for a week. CONGRATS on your tri!! You are seriously a rockstar and I envy you :) Hope the string bikini bottoms under your bike shorts worked out!

    Reply
  • Heidi March 16, 2010, 2:34 pm

    I can see you already have a ton of comments on here … but I just can’t read that post without saying something. Reading about your swim experience I actually had tears in my eyes. I can totally feel the fear you were going through. I can’t even face the thought of a tri due to the swim alone, and we don’t have crocs anywhere near here. But you made it through. I think you had a huge success! You should be very, very proud of yourself.

    Reply
  • eatingRD March 16, 2010, 2:59 pm

    I HAD to get caught up on your race re-cap!!! yay!!!! Congratulations, so happy happy happy for you. you seriously rock! I would have freaked out on the swim and broke down after the crash. Love reading your re-cap, very inspirational :)

    Reply
  • Terrie March 16, 2010, 10:09 pm

    Congratulation Caitlin on accomplishing the Tri!!! Awesome. You really pushed through and came a long way in overcoming your fear! Good for you! :) And again, you pushed through after the bike crash. You’re amazing! Keep on moving. :)

    Reply
  • @LastMinuteMandy March 19, 2010, 1:50 pm

    Wow! That is incredible, Caitlin! I love reading a happy ending – especially where a woman conquers her fear and kicked some a$$! :D
    See you at fitbloggin!

    Reply
  • Christine March 19, 2010, 7:34 pm

    My friend forwarded your site to me because she knew I’d identify with this post. I started running 2 years ago and am training for my second marathon. I’d love to conquer a triathlon, but my own fear of the open water has prevented me thus far. I get your sense of panic and had a knot in my throat just reading your account of the race. Congratulations for overcoming what can be such a debilitating fear! I admire your courage and will think of you the day I conquer that same fear. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • caitlin March 19, 2010, 10:31 pm

      good luck on your tri – you can do it!!!

      Reply
  • jessica March 19, 2010, 9:30 pm

    I’ve been following your journey and I am SO proud of you! You rock! Congratulations!

    Reply
  • Michael March 28, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Great race, especially pushing through the tough parts! ANYONE can complete an event that gives you no difficulty!

    You overcame adversity AND you’ll do even better next time, whether of not there are extra challenges. You’re a trooper :)

    Reply
  • Angela April 10, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Caitin ~ Congrats on the Race. I admire your determination to keep going even when it got a little challenging. I am inspired by you! U Rock xo

    Reply
  • Christy May 18, 2010, 9:35 am

    Congratulations! I too have problems with the swim portions of triathlons. Mine is a mental block. The fact that you conquered your fear gives me inspiration that I too can do that olympic distance in a few months. Something I was seriously thinking about not doing!

    Reply
  • MaryAline May 19, 2010, 12:12 pm

    WooHoo! Way to go!!! I just read your blog on SP. I’m not a water person either, but I am starting to work my way into the deep end of the pool.

    Reply
  • Shannon @ Before Sunrise June 25, 2010, 6:34 pm

    I am just reading this now (new to your blog!) and can’t believe your experience – I got choked up at the end. You’re an inspiration and an unbelieavable athelete – congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!

    Reply
  • Abbie July 16, 2010, 6:23 pm

    Well done!

    But now I have a question for you. I am doing my first triathlon in September (500m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and was wondering what on earth do i wear for each section of the race. I know it seems silly but i dont want to be running in a swimming costume or swimming in cycling shorts! please help!

    Reply
    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 7:29 pm

      I swam in a sports bra and bathing suit shorts and then I slipped on bike shorts and untied the side of the bathing suit and pulled it off :)

      Reply
  • lindsay November 10, 2010, 10:05 am

    First time reading this post…congratulations on this race, Caitlin! I was the triathlon manager at Team In Training and I know how scary open water swims can be for people. Good for you for conquering your goal and writing about it to share the experience!!

    Reply
  • FG December 2, 2010, 2:40 pm

    Hi Caitlin — I don’t know if you’ll ever see this so many months later, but I wanted to thank you for this post. I had my first open water triathlon (and first open water swimming experience ever) during a sprint in October, and I found myself paralyzed with panic. I grabbed onto a kayak within the first 100 yards and just tried to calm down and decide what to do. I went on with it, and it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But I was so proud of myself after. I’m hoping to do my first olympic next October, and your post is very inspiring and like a virtual hug from someone who knows how I feel. So thank you!

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 2, 2010, 2:41 pm

      So glad you finished your race, too!

      Reply
  • carol December 12, 2010, 6:43 pm

    Congratulations! I know open water swimming can be terrifying. Good job.

    Reply
  • MathTeachD February 23, 2011, 1:24 pm

    WOW! So I am reading this for the first time from the link in today’s blog. You do a great race report.
    I did my first two triathlon events last summer. Both were shorter than Olympic. I am reading about all your struggles with the water and realizing you might have still been faster than me. We had 3 foot waves (literally) for my first open water swim.

    GREAT RACE REPORT!

    Reply
  • MC August 12, 2011, 7:12 pm

    Hi, great race report. Quick question though, how can this be considered an Olympic tri if the bike and run is short? Doesn’t seem right to list as a PR when it is short distance-wise.

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 7:23 pm

      Is there a standard distance for Oly tris? I think there’s a ‘typical’ distance but I’m not sure there is a standardized one, like an ironman. Could be wrong!

      Reply
  • MC August 12, 2011, 9:10 pm

    I could be mistaken, but I thought there was, as its an International distance race, hence the term “Olympic” and metric measurements. I guess its really the race directors that shouldn’t be calling it that if I am right. Either way, great job on your tris and I enjoy your race reports!!

    Reply
  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl April 20, 2012, 3:16 am

    I just read this recap following your post about Obstacle Races and teared up.. I’m so glad you didn’t quit! I think it is so sweet your husband and friends were there screaming for you… You have an incredible support group.

    x
    Jeanelle

    Reply
  • Deana Peter July 31, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Here it is a few years later and it is still inspiring! I am doing my first Sprint Tri, Iron Girl, on Sunday, August 5, 2012 in Syracuse NY and I keep telling myself “I am ok” but I am not. Reading this post was a definite encouragement for me. Through the tears mind you, I felt like I was you. I did my first open water swim two weeks ago as training and got kicked in the face and tried to keep going but then gulped water and then PANICED! The water was suppose to be shallow so when I put my feet down I couldn’t touch which really threw me into PHYSCO MODE! The kayker came over handed me a noodle and I asked myself, “what in the heck are you doing? Deana, you are WAY over your head doing this” I setteled down and started to swim agin when the pack was thinner. I completed the 400m swim, hopped on my bike did 12 miles and then ran 3.1 miles. My goal for the Iron Girl changed that day. My original goal was to complete it in under 2 hours but I came to a realization that my goal should be, KEEP GOING ! I am so nervous and excited at the same time. THANK YOU for your honesty in your blog and KEEPING IT REAL!!

    Reply
  • Kim September 26, 2012, 12:10 am

    Wow, i don’t normally comment on blogs but I’m so impressed with how you faced your fear head on. I seriously teared up when you were telling you husband that you didn’t quit at the end of your swim…amazing! Thanks for being so real.

    Reply
  • Sara April 4, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Oh my god! I just read this post because you linked to it in today’s post, GREAT job finishing. I am a sap and got teary eyed reading this LOL (I don’t know what it is about sports, overcoming objectives that make me teary eyed, you should see watching the world series or Stanley cup! haha). Seriously though you are making me want to try to do a triathlon. Swimming is my favorite workout, but I would be just like you, scared as hell in the open water! This is great motivation! Thank you for this post!

    Sara :)

    Reply
  • Adele May 27, 2013, 10:32 pm

    Thank you so much for posting your story. I just tried to do the open water swim at Luckys Lake in preparation for a sprint tri in Clermont. I completely freaked when I put my face in the water. I tried and tried but nothing. I couldn’t describe the feeling when talking to my friends. I did go back out and tried again. I got a little further so I know that I will be ok on race day but it’s still scary for me. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply