BOY – A year makes a big different!  Last year, I completed Crooms 15.4 mile trail run feeling utterly exhausted and spent.  The race was the longest I had ever run, and it took every ounce of my willpower to run (not stumble) across the finish line. 


In fact, Crooms 2009 was so rough on my body that it resulted in a 2.5-month running hiatus!


This year, I finished strong, happy, and ready for more


Oh, and ready for a beer.  :)  (MY Bondi Band says “Will Run for Beer.”)


Feeling stronger and more confident at Crooms was so nice.  It’s amazing what another year of dedicated running will do to a girl.  Again – this is my favorite part of being fit and active.  You do see a REAL improvement over time. 


Since Crooms is so far away, Kelly, Ashley, Meghann, and I shared a hotel room.  Our morning started bright and early at 5 AM. 


I had my usual pre-race breakfast:  a bagel, peanut butter, and a banana.  It’s hard to eat such a filling breakfast so early in the morning, but it’s absolutely necessary before a race! I ate 2/3:


And then we packed up our cars and drove to the forest.  We took three cars because Ashley and Meghann were running the ULTRA marathon (31 miles).  Kelly and I were running the 15.4 mile loop and drove together.




I think the ultra marathoners were starting to get a little nervous!  Kelly and I were just excited!

IMG_9573  IMG_9570

IMG_9565 IMG_9571

The event is limited to 250 people each year, so it’s a fun, friendly event.  The gun for the 15 mile and 50K (31 miles or so) groups went off at 7 AM.  The 50 MILER group started an hour earlier.  Can you believe people can run for 50 miles?!  Really, I cannot even fathom that.   If you can do that, you are AWESOME.


The race starts along a packed dirt road.  It’s very pleasant and easy to run on. 


Last year, I had absolutely no idea what the course would be like, and Mile 2 – 4 was a RUDE awakening.   Luckily, I was prepared this year for SAND.


Loose, deep sand!  It is SO hard to run this portion of the course! 


Thankfully, the sand portion passed quickly, and then the course transitioned to packed leaves.  Crooms is VERY hilly and the majority of the race is on a slight incline.



Around Mile 4, I rolled my right ankle.  I wasn’t watching the ground and my foot got stuck in a small hole.  It REALLY hurt when it happened and all I could think was “Omigod I have to run on this ankle for 11 more miles!”  It throbbed and throbbed for a long time.


Kelly led for the first few miles of the race, and then we came up on the first rest stop.  Because it’s a race in the middle of the forest, there are only 3 stops along the 15.4 mile loop, and runners are expected to carry their own water to supplement whatever they get at the aid stations.  We all wore CamelBaks, which are great.


Station 1:


I slammed some water and skipped the food in favor of my own Sport Beans (I had about 150 calories worth).


I took the turn leading the group, and the pack started to thin out at this point.  The trail was pretty worn and obvious, but I also had these markers to help direct me along:


The terrain and scenery changed again – this time to controlled burns.  The forest wasn’t like this last year.  It looked a little creepy, but it smelled really, really good.  I even saw a few smoldering logs!


Station 2 was around Mile 9.  There was lots of CANDY, peanut butter sandwiches (more for the ultra marathoners), salt tablets, and aspirin.  THANK GOODNESS for the aspirin!  My ankle was still hurting, but I took one pill and the pain went away in a few more miles.


I had some gummi bears as well.


And then we were OFF again!


After Mile 10, we started to do a lot of walking/running intervals.  Ashley and Meghann were concerned about burning out (they still had another 20 miles to go!), and the hills were getting steeper and more frequent.


Station 3 came a few miles later, and I grabbed a handful of M&Ms, which did NOT sit well in my stomach (note to self:  do not eat chocolate while running).  I also smeared Vaseline all over my shoulders, which saved me from epic chafing from my CamelBak – everything makes me chafe!


At Mile 13, my legs were REALLY starting to hurt from stopping, walking, and restarting.  Sometimes it’s best to just power through!  I asked Meghann and Ashley if they minded if Kelly and I raced-raced the last 2.4 miles.  The girls urged us forward, and Kelly and I took off like SPEED DEMONS.


We ran Mile 15 at a 9:23 pace!  Kelly and I positively BOOKED it up a few hills.  Kelly was super motivational, telling me things like, “You can do anything for one mile!  You’ve got this!  Lay the hammer down.”  We ended up passing 10 or so people in the last mile, and tore across the finish line.


Our final statistics:


  • Distance: 15.4 miles
  • Duration: 3:00:19
  • Mile 1: 9:55
  • Mile 2: 11:40
  • Mile 3: 10:32
  • Mile 4: 11:14
  • Mile 5: 12:27 (Station 1)
  • Mile 6: 11:12
  • Mile 7: 11:14
  • Mile 8: 12:36
  • Mile 9: 15:02 (Station 2)
  • Mile 10: 11:23
  • Mile 11: 13:51 (major hills)
  • Mile 12: 12:12
  • Mile 13: 13:11 (Station 3)
  • Mile 14: 10:25 (When Kelly and I began to book it)
  • Mile 15: 9:23 (Hangin’ tough!)
  • Mile 15 – 15.4: 4:02


I finished:


  • in the Top 25 Females for the 15.4 Mile Division
  • 65th out of 115 finishers in the 15.4 Mile division
  • 5th out of 10 in the Female 20 to 29 age group


Because we were the 24th and 25th women across the finish line in the 15.4 mile group, we qualified for a PRIZE!


Check out our DIRTY legs (and our timing chip marks!):


I grabbed an orange slice:


And then Kelly and I cheered on Ashley and Meghann as they passed through to go on to the second loop.  They are animals!  I could NOT imagine doing that loop TWICE!


Kelly and I walked back to my car, stretched out in the grass, and then we drove back to the hotel.  I showered, which made me feel like a new woman.  The water in the bottom of the tub was literally black from dirt – I had dust in my ears!  Isn’t a shower after a long run the BEST feeling? 


We went to Cracker Barrel for brunch:


I ate two Biscuits:


As well as two pecan pancakes with some maple syrup (I didn’t eat that giant slab of buttah!):


And 1 over-easy egg for a little bit of recovery protein:


Kelly and I basked in the glory of our trail run – she felt the same way I did, that the race was so much easier this year and so much more FUN!  As I said earlier, it’s amazing what a year of training does to the body. If you’re struggling with running or whatever your fitness hobby is – trust me, it will get easier.  Stick to it!


Then, we drove home, and Kelly and I said our goodbyes.    When I opened my front door, I discovered an AMAZING surprise!


The “first pass” of my book!  I was SO excited to see it and hold it.  Combined with the fact that pre-order is up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Border, I’m starting to finally realize, “YES!  THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!” 


What a wonderful day!  :)  Thank you for all the e-support through the blog and Twitter.  I really appreciate it and it powered me up those tough hills!


Time to eat more and nap!



  • Evan Thomas April 3, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Congratulations! Wow trail runners are hard core. I like the way they fuel(of course, I’d wish they were sunspires instead of M&M’s but tomato potato). Looks like you gals had fun, too! That’s the most important thing.
    Now go get your beer 🙂

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) April 3, 2010, 3:34 pm

    WOW Caitlin!! You’ve come a long way this past year esp. with injury prevention. It’s inspiring to see how far you’ve come. It also gives me hope that if I train carefully and take preventative measures, perhaps I can run super long distances one day.

    BOOK!!!!! AHHHH!!

  • Anna April 3, 2010, 3:34 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Trail running is my favorite, and you guys looked like you had a blast out there.

    I’ve really been struggling with running lately and this post was extra motivational- thank you! You’re right, no matter how much I struggle I just have ot remember that it WILL get better, I just have to keep at it!

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:52 pm

      you can do it!

  • Matt April 3, 2010, 3:36 pm

    Congrats to all of you!

    I secretly love Cracker Barrel pancakes 🙂

  • Crystal April 3, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Congrats on finishing the race! I’ve tried running a few times and it just doesn’t seem to be for me!

    As for your book, how exciting to see the first pass. Your book is also up on and for pre-orders 🙂 I’ve already put my order in and cannot wait to receive the book!!!

  • Ashley April 3, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Congrats on the run AND the book!!! What an exciting day. I HIGHly highllllly suggest reading the book Born To Run. Pretty sure any runner as dedicated as you would find it completely enthralling. 🙂

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) April 3, 2010, 3:42 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!! On everything- the trail run, the book… 😀 Was trail-running easier on your body than a regular race? I’d imagine your joints wouldn’t hurt as much!

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:53 pm

      um, its kind of a give and take. it’s easier because it’s softer, but all the climbing, rocks, jumping, hills, etc makes you use difference muscles. if it was flat, i would definitely say trail running is easier!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 3, 2010, 3:42 pm

    Way to go! You look great! Gotta love that post race feeling:)

  • jen trinque April 3, 2010, 3:45 pm

    Wahoo!!!! That’s so awesome that it was easier this year. Looks like tons of fun.

  • Julia April 3, 2010, 3:47 pm

    Caitlin, you are AMAZING!

    Seriously the race looks terrifying to me right now. I hope that someday I will be in shape enough to do an event like that. It looked really fun.

    I am so excited for your book!

    Wow. . . that’s all I can say about this post.

    Have a great weekend!


  • Jenny April 3, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Amazing run, and CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS on your book! I can’t wait to buy it:)

  • Laura April 3, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Awesome race report. Congratulations on such a fun run! It was inspirational to see you stick with your friends and run your own race at the end! Bravo! How cool for you to return to your book waiting for you…might be better than that after race beer!

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place April 3, 2010, 3:56 pm

    that race looks like it was so much fun! I’d love to do something like that myself someday.

  • Diana April 3, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Awesome! Also, CONGRATS on the book! 🙂
    And damn right, 50 miles is CRAZY.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 3, 2010, 4:04 pm

    What a great re-cap! That race looks and sounds amazing, inredible, and b****y hard work – WELL DONE!! You must be so proud of yourself 🙂 I’d kill to do a race like that!!
    And congrats on the book too, you must be getting excited 🙂

  • ida April 3, 2010, 4:07 pm

    wow-awesome job! the sand sections sound brutal. And congrats on your book progress too. what an exciting weekend!!

  • Robyn April 3, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Where to begin?? You seriously rocked this race. I just did my first 1/2 marathon today and can’t imagine had it been on that type of course. You should be so proud of yourself. Can’t wait to read the book!! I’ll drink a beer for the both of us tonight 🙂

  • steph-exercise physiologist and artist! April 3, 2010, 4:26 pm

    AHHHHHH you guys are so AMAZING!!! this may sound so cheesy and weird but I feel so PROUD of you all!!!

    I am also so excited about your book!! I cant imagine how it felt to see all your hard work in the “flesh” so amazing!!!
    I am sure seeing the positive feedback on that post it felt really rewarding too.

    Hope we can get together sometime soon!
    Congrats again!!

    So many exclamation points!! I cant help it I am stoked for you guys 🙂

  • Courtney April 3, 2010, 4:27 pm

    Congrats!! I can’t imagine running 15.4 miles…at an incline! You guys rock!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) April 3, 2010, 4:28 pm

    What an awesome day! Congrats on the first pass and the 15.4 miles! You are a rockstar today 🙂

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 3, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Congrats on such a great race- it looked like a blast and how awesome you finished so strong!! Congrats on the book too! (I love the new sidebar pic!!)

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 3, 2010, 4:31 pm

    way to go on the race! i’m so glad you guys were able to power through that 15 miles 🙂 and way to NOT eat the slab of butter…i would have! that’s so exciting that you have your book’s 1st pass in your hands…hopefully we get to see a TINY bit more!

  • Christie {Honoring Health} April 3, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Congrats on an awesome race! I hope your ankle is OK!

    And hoooray for the book!

  • Rika April 3, 2010, 4:36 pm

    my goodness, you’re amazing! so inspiring! i love reading your blog 😀

  • Rika April 3, 2010, 4:36 pm

    p.s best luck on your ankles!!

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner April 3, 2010, 4:37 pm

    CONGRATS! That is so awesome, seeing improvement is such a gratifying experience!

  • Helen April 3, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Congratulations on completing your run. It looked like it was fun. I love running in the woods but maybe not for 15 miles! Also how exciting to get your book on pre-order and a hard copy!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 3, 2010, 4:42 pm

    COngrats to you!!!

  • Hedda April 3, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Woah- you are my superwoman! Reading this post made me feel proud of all four of you, and your mail was the best surprise- so deserved.
    Have an amazing evening and celebrate yourself!

  • Kathleen April 3, 2010, 4:46 pm

    Congratulations! You are amazing! You are a running beast! It’s so cool to hear that this year was a different experience because I remember reading your recap last year and I was amazed because I didn’t expect trail runs to be that different!

    Also, love the sneak peek of the first piece of the book! Go you! I might have to give that book to all my besties, my mother in law to be, my stepmom, my sister in law to be, etc.

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:54 pm

      thank you for reading for a whole year!

  • Heather April 3, 2010, 4:50 pm

    things to tell CaitlinHTP.

    1. the fact that you share how much the last year of training for races and running (and training for a tri!) has improved your EXPERIENCE on this trail is SO encouraging to us newbie runners. I am excited to start running certain races for the 2nd time this fall!

    2. I love Kelly motivating you in the last 2 miles! As I was PDRing on a training run this morning I actualy said OUTLOUD to myself; “You can do ANYTHING for this last half of a mile” so that i could get there. [along with “running is suppose to be hard work. hard work is good for you. – hangrypants heather]

    3. So excited about the book arriving. woot. [in celebration of the book being pre-orderable and arriving, I posted 3 new notes today 🙂 ]

    4. today i noticed that when i first started sending notes this past summer, I saved your email address as “OpBeauty”. This makes me giggle as my gchat now tells me when OpBeauty is away.

    5. QUESTION: my first race this season is a trail run 5K in wisconsin. [one more state to cross of the list :)] how many times do you think I should run on a new york trail before the race? ive never run an actual trailrun before.

    6. congrats. you rock. xo.

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:55 pm

      yay for your trail race. i would definitely try doing at least two or three runs on a trail, more if possible. also, i would just try to be mentally prepared for the trail and the terrain – i was really surprised last for sand and hills!

  • aneta April 3, 2010, 4:51 pm

    omg what a great day!
    congrats on the race and wow what a beautiful book.
    u deserve it al!! 🙂

  • Julie @SavvyEats April 3, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Congratulations on such an awesome run, and major improvement over last year!

    And, can’t wait for Aug 3 to read the book myself 🙂

  • Karen w April 3, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Congratulations! Looks like a fun race 🙂

    what kind of camelbak do you use? I am debating over sizes…

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:56 pm

      ladies fit 1.5 liters.

  • kerry April 3, 2010, 4:59 pm

    what an amazing run! i could not imagine doing that! well done 🙂

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) April 3, 2010, 5:04 pm

    You are a star, Caitlin! I love reading your race recaps. They always motivate me to keep trudging along with my running. Keep the motivation coming because now I just signed up for my first half marathon!

    Congrats on the book, too!

  • Stephanie April 3, 2010, 5:08 pm

    congrats on your accomplishment today, you should be so proud of yourself! enjoy the rest of your day 😀

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} April 3, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Congratulations! I was a dork today and went back and read all your race recaps. They always make me want to run!! This was another excellent one. The ’50 milers’ made me gulp. 50 miles seems like it would last an eternity!!! I wonder how many people actually sign up for that?

    Your book looks, appropriately, *beautiful*. And that new picture of you in the wildflowers is just stunning.

  • Gena April 3, 2010, 5:18 pm

    First of all, congrats on the race. Second of all, let me be the second editor (yours aside) to CONGRATULATE you on first pass! This is your last chance to make substantive edits, m’dear (not that you’ll need many!), so go to town 🙂

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope April 3, 2010, 5:19 pm

    YOU ARE AWESOME!! I cannot wait to get the book!

  • Molly April 3, 2010, 5:27 pm

    WOOT WOOT, GOOD JOB!! That is quite the accomplishment!

    p.s. 50 miles wow that is NUTS

  • Kim B April 3, 2010, 5:45 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Thank you for your sweet response to my comment yesterday. You’re a true inspiration!

  • Gina G April 3, 2010, 5:45 pm

    way to go Caitlin! you did amazing, im so glad you had a blast and embraced it =)

  • Gina G April 3, 2010, 5:47 pm

    p.s. congrats on the book too! =)

  • Alyssa April 3, 2010, 5:48 pm

    Way to go! It just goes to show how much one can improve and grow at anything with practice and patience 🙂

    I just searched for your book on B&, it must be so awesome to see your book there, I definitely can’t wait to buy it! 🙂

  • Nicole April 3, 2010, 5:53 pm

    First-Awesome job on the race!! Last year when I read your recap on this race, I immediately signed up for a trail race. I’ve only ran one (that one) only because I was so afraid of hurting myself. I’m searching for another one now!
    Second-the picture of you in the pink flower field is awesome. I love both your and Kelly’s pictures.
    Third–your book!! Holy cow time flies! I’m so happy for you!! YOU ROCK!! (I think I tell you that all the time…but it’s so true!!)

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:57 pm

      do another one!

  • Susan April 3, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Aww, I love the new sidebar photo 🙂

    Congraaaats!!! it really is amazing how much we can improve in one year when we just keep doing what we’re doing. I was thinking the same thing today on my run!

    I just calculated that it would take around 8.5 hours to do 50 miles at a 10:00 pace. Ohmygaaahhh. How would you eat?? At least on a bike you can eat solid food…

    Speaking of which, aspirin at a water station is an awesome idea, and I agree from experience that chocolate and running do not mix (as much as I would like it to)

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:58 pm

      they definitely try to eat solid food, but i’m not sure what they do exactly. i would want to eat pancakes in the middle of the race!

  • Heather ( April 3, 2010, 6:01 pm

    glad the race was a lot more fun this year!! congrats!

  • Heather ( April 3, 2010, 6:01 pm

    glad the race was a lot more fun this year!! congrats!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 3, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Congrats!!!! That sounds like so much FUN!!! I want to do a trail run one day so badly. I can’t even believe Meghan did that loop TWICE. Insane but she rocks!
    And yay for the book! I cannot wait to read it!

  • Olivia April 3, 2010, 6:32 pm

    What an awesome race – I’m totally jealous! And congrat on the book’s first pass!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 3, 2010, 6:36 pm

    Congrats to you all! What an achievement 🙂 That race looks like so much fun!!!

  • Midgetkeeper April 3, 2010, 6:37 pm

    Many congrats!

  • Laura Georgina April 3, 2010, 6:38 pm

    Way to go!!!! I’m so glad you had a blast–the pics totally show it!

  • Lin April 3, 2010, 6:59 pm

    Go Caitlin!!!! I’m so glad you did so well on the race! I hateeee running on sand, it’s like for every feet you run forwards, you slide backwards for 1/2 a foot.

  • Ellen April 3, 2010, 7:10 pm

    Gummi bears, M&Ms…sounds like my kind of race! 😉 AWESOME job! I would have FREAKED out about the ankle turn. Way to soldier on soldja!

  • Maggie April 3, 2010, 7:14 pm

    Congrats on the great run! I wish NYC had trail runs!

    And, btw, I rocked my half marathon today, thanks for the good wishes yesterday on Twitter.

    • Caitlin April 3, 2010, 11:58 pm

      YAY 🙂 good job!

  • Michele April 3, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Congrats! On both the run and the book!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly April 3, 2010, 7:23 pm

    Congratulations honey…you are amazing!! I <3 You!

  • Lisa April 3, 2010, 7:36 pm

    That looks like so much fun! The trails look pretty flat too. Congrats on your race!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 3, 2010, 7:41 pm

    Great job on the race! Sounds like it was a fun and adventurous time!!! I have yet to do a serious trail race, I’ve only done a 3.5 mile trail run but would love to do a 15K or longer just seems to make it more interesting…. and bad ass.

  • Ashley April 3, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Congrats!! That’s awesome! I hope there is a Fla. trail run closer to my neck of the woods soon!

  • MegaNerd April 3, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Congrats, Caitlin!

    Looks like you girls had so much fun! I wish I could have been there with you all!

  • Tracy April 3, 2010, 7:47 pm

    Congrats on your race! The trail looks beautiful! Just fyi, I don’t think gummi bears are vegetarian since they are made with gelatin (which is derived from animal bones)…I know I was distraught when I found that out a while ago!

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 12:00 am

      i am kind of a ‘bad’ vegetarian because, truthfully, i don’t get super worked up about gelatin or non-vegetarian beer. i guess everyone has to draw the line somewhere… mine does not include gummi bears! hehe

  • Sarah April 3, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Congratulations! You are so inspiring Caitlin!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 3, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Whoo hoo! Way to go. Sucks that you hurt your foot, but so awesome that you made it through!

    I think it’s funny that you say it’s hard to eat such a hearty breakfast. I could not get through the rest of my day without one, even if my whole morning will consist of just sitting at the computer! =)

  • caronae April 3, 2010, 8:17 pm

    Congrats on another great race! Sounds like you conquered one tough trail today! And a year can indeed make a huge difference — in any aspect of our lives. So excited you have the first copy of the book; how awesome 🙂

  • Grapeful April 3, 2010, 8:38 pm

    Just wanted to say I’m really loving all your pictures lately. You’ve become quite the photographer!

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 12:00 am

      thank you!

  • Gwen April 3, 2010, 8:49 pm

    Rockstar! Congrats on a super great race and the first pass of your book!

  • Sassy Molassy April 3, 2010, 9:03 pm

    Wowzers! You took a lot of fun shots during the race. Looks like a beautiful run. I love the new pic w/ your pink tshirt and pink flowers. Looks like you planned your outfit around that field!

  • Katy April 3, 2010, 9:12 pm

    Hey- I saw an article about your blog/Operation Beautiful in The Pitt News last week- I really enjoy reading your blog and learning new recipes! Congrats on the run!

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 12:00 am

      YAY go pitt!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) April 3, 2010, 9:17 pm

    A big CONGRATS! You rocked that race and it looks like you all had a blast.

    All the pics are gorgeous. 😀

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 3, 2010, 9:25 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!!!! Glad to hear today went so well and what a rockstar you are for powering through on a rolled ankle!! Good for you!

  • maria April 3, 2010, 9:34 pm

    I can’t imagine how amazing it must be to see your book coming to life! 🙂

  • Emily Eats and Exercises April 3, 2010, 9:47 pm

    I love reading your race recaps – it always makes me want to go sign up for a race right away. I hope your ankle feels okay in the morning!

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) April 3, 2010, 10:01 pm

    what a perfect day. Amazing job on the run this year and to see your life’s mission in print in your hands?! Must feel surreal. Enjoy your night!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 3, 2010, 10:13 pm

    That is the perfect kind of recovery food. You did an amazing job!

  • Rachel April 3, 2010, 10:22 pm

    What a fabulous day! Congratulations on both your book and your run. I loved reading your recap and am so happy for you. It is always a great feeling to have hard work pay off.
    I am glad you put the picture of you in the flower field up as your profile pic. It truly is gorgeous.

  • amanda @ fake ginger April 3, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Congratulations on the awesome race AND the book! Sounds like you had an amazing day!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 3, 2010, 10:49 pm

    That is so incredible AND badass! Way to go, girl! 🙂

  • Bridget April 3, 2010, 11:13 pm

    Congratulations on your stellar finish! Woohoo! One year makes a tremendous difference! Love the pictures of the wildflowers!

    When I find out my new address (in a month or so), I will pre-order your book! Can’t wait to show it to some of my girl friends here!

  • Jacqui April 3, 2010, 11:15 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I tihnk this is probably the first time I’ve commented, but I’m wondering if Operation Beautiful will be available in Australia around the same time ?
    Congratulations on the race and the book

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 12:02 am

      we are trying to sell the foreign rights to the book 🙂 hopefully it will be in Australian soon! If you want it, maybe we can work something out with I ship it to you and you pay me through PayPal or whatnot!

      thank you for your supportive!

      • HTP Dad April 4, 2010, 9:15 am

        I’ve bought books from Amazon.UK and had it shipped…

  • Susan @ Journey for Health April 3, 2010, 11:30 pm

    Congrats on a great trail run! And the book 🙂

    I just did (a couple hours ago) a two mile walk and I thought around 3/4 way through that I was going to DIE! I am trying to lose weight and getting into walking as a beginning activity. I’d love to get up to running (and maybe even cycling), especially races.

    Thanks for the inspiration, as always 🙂

  • Ash Bear April 3, 2010, 11:33 pm

    I love the pictures! I can’t wait to read the Ultra recaps but you did a fabulous job. I had the same mentality today as I pounded through my 10k. What is the one thing that you think has made the biggest difference for you over the year? Cross training? Mind set?

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 12:03 am

      just running so much more miles in general, especially with training for the marathon!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit April 4, 2010, 12:11 am

    Congratulations on the race and the book! You are a wonderful inspiration to so many women 🙂

  • Lauren April 4, 2010, 12:23 am

    Congratulations on both the run and the book! So happy for you.
    And thanks for the motivational words…I’m currently trying to build up my endurance so its encouraging to know that all the hard work pays off.

  • Jaclyn April 4, 2010, 1:14 am

    Congratulations, looks like a great run, with great friends and a fun day overal!

  • Jalita April 4, 2010, 2:26 am

    congrats on finishing the race! when you take the breaks at each station is that included in your final time or is that time deducted from your final time?

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 9:16 am

      breaks were included in my finishing time!

  • Lynne April 4, 2010, 5:38 am

    Wow! Congratulations. 🙂

  • Anne P April 4, 2010, 8:28 am

    You are a rockstar!!!! Congrats on the EPIC race 😉

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind April 4, 2010, 8:29 am

    Dude, what an awesome post/day! A race AND the first pass of your book – you’re doin’ BIG THANGS, Caitlin! 😉

  • Sara April 4, 2010, 8:54 am

    WOW! Congratulations on finishing and in the top 25! As a new runner, I’m so impressed by which you are able to recall all the details and the photos. Very cool! This post also has a beautiful ending – I got a little teary! THE BOOK. Congrats on that too.

    FYI – I read something that may interest you in the chafing dept. Haven’t tried it but the source is very credible – “V6 Massage Oil and Young Living Lavender Essential oil before my 20 miler… a couple sprays and i wiped it on my inner thighs, under my arms, and also on the waist line of my shorts which can rub sometimes too– well you prob know where this is going but lo and behold i finished the run with NO Chafing” –

  • gina (fitnessista) April 4, 2010, 9:37 am

    CONGRATS! what an awesome day 🙂
    just in case you didn’t know this already, but you’re a baller. i would love to come home one day after running a thousand miles in the woods and have my book waiting for me, haha 🙂
    amazing! have a great day <3

  • Kath April 4, 2010, 10:02 am

    Congrats on the race Caitlin!!! Looks so fun. I can’t imagine how sore your “little” muscles must be (you know those ones you only use when running on sand or in weird conditions?).

    And yay for the book! You must be so excited

  • K April 4, 2010, 10:19 am

    I’m a total lurker but I wanted to say that you are a huge inspiration! I’ve recently started running (up to only 3 miles or so at a time) and I have years-old knee issues, so I really enjoy reading about all of your running adventures. It gives me hope that maybe someday I will be able to run a 10K / Half / Marathon / 15 mile trail race, too. So thank you and congratulations!

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 10:20 am

      thanks doll! did you read that link about icing? it was really helpful with my knee issues!

  • Jes April 4, 2010, 10:37 am

    What an awesome race, congratulations! I was just telling my friend that I wanted to try to start running on trails. Do you know of any good trails in Central FL? Also, do You have different shoes for running on trails? I know I see the advertisements in magazines.

    • Caitlin April 4, 2010, 10:58 am

      Where in Central FL?

      I don’t use different shoes but if I got more into it, I might buy specialized shoes.

  • Jessica April 4, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!! I loved this recap. You’re just so passionate about running but also know when to rest your body, how it works, when to slow down or speed up–you set a great example for other racers!!

    You’re amazing! Basically.
    And now, I’m craving pecan pancakes 🙂

  • John April 4, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! I did 10 miles today so looking forward to reading your next post now.

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats April 4, 2010, 6:47 pm

    Major congrats on everything.. the race and the book! I was hooked reading this whole recap. You girls are some tough cookies! One day I am going to make it up to your fitness level. 🙂

  • jwe April 4, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Caitlin, I’m back home from hospital after having a stroke. Was feeling kinda hopeless – your blog helps me to know I can recover. Thanks.

  • jwe April 4, 2010, 8:41 pm

    98. on Apr 4th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Caitlin, I’m back home from hospital after having a stroke. Was feeling kinda hopeless – your blog helps me to know I can recover. Thanks. I can do it.


    Leave a Comment

  • betsy April 4, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Way to go!

    I had some friends from Boston that ran the 15K and the 50K, looks like it was a great time!

  • whitney dargle @ whitney's blogtastic blog April 4, 2010, 9:47 pm

    BOOM! You are awesome!

  • Tina April 4, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Congratulations on two amazing feats! The race and the book. That must have been a great feeling day.

  • Catherine April 5, 2010, 9:42 am

    Congrats on both the race and the book!!! You’re seriously an inspiration – I love reading your blog!

  • Katie April 5, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Congrats on the crooms! thats awesome! I just ran my first 10k and only ended up running a 5k because I was injured…it was pretty upsetting to know “I Gave up” but I’m not giving up altogether. Thanks for the motivational words on keeping with it!!

  • Jolene ( April 5, 2010, 11:54 pm

    Congrats on the BOOK!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to read it!! That must be so exciting!!

    It is hard to believe that it was a year ago that you ran that race for the first time … seems like just yesterday. You have come so far girl!! Congrats on a great race!

  • Katie April 6, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Oh my gosh, NO I cannot imagine doing 50 miles!! That is crazy. Good for those people who can do it! And good for you for finishing in the top 25!!

    Yaaay for your book!

  • Stephanie April 14, 2010, 3:44 pm

    This is making me want to hit the trail now!

    I gotta ask – how did your Bondi Band hold up? Have been wanting to order from them but wasn’t sure how well it stayed on (I get annoyed at headbands that slip all over). Thanks!

    • caitlin April 14, 2010, 5:20 pm

      Bondi Bands are great! Seriously I never liked another headband before. I’m wearing one now!

      • Stephanie April 14, 2010, 5:27 pm

        Awesome – I’m sold! Thanks for the feedback and I expect to send a lot of business their way.

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