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IronGirl 15K Race Recap

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This morning’s 15K (9.3 mile) race was a tremendous success!  I beat my September 15K by 5:36 and technically set a new personal record (PR) – but not really.  :)  Wahoo!

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(Very stylish shorts from Lululemon – they were comfortable, too!)

 

The race was in the lovely town of Clearwater, which is famous for its lovely blue ocean and perfect white beaches.

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All races start bright and early, but this one seemed especially bad because Ashley, Kelly, Sara, and I had to drive 2 hours to the west coast of Florida. 

 

My alarm went off at 3:45, and the girls met at my apartment at 4:15.  Before I left, I put together breakfast for the road.  My standard pre-race breakfast:  PB sammie with a banana and coffee. 

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Then we got our drive on…  We only got lost once.  A small miracle!

 

We parked the car and arrived at packet pick-up.  It was very organized and the t-shirts were cute tech t’s.  I loved the pink and flower theme running through the event, even the bib numbers.  Also – GREAT bibs with our names on them!

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We lined up at the start, and we each began to discuss our goals.  I really love running with a group of friends who are at different levels because it gives us all something to cheer for.  Sara is insanely fast (she finished in 1:11) and Kelly was striving to set a new PR (she ended up finishing in 1:18, a PR).   Ashley wanted to shave time off her old 15K as well.  I just wanted to beat September’s disastrous race!

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Right before the start, I ate a packet of Sport Beans.

 

Ready, set, GO!

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My single focus on today’s race was using my Garmin 305 to my advantage, not disadvantage.  Because there’s a GPS inside, I get real-time updates on my average pace.  One of the reasons I burnt out during September’s race was that I paid WAY too much attention to my pace vs. how my body felt.  I also pushed myself too hard coming out of the gate.

 

I focused on having FUN, enjoying the scenery, and paying attention to my body.  I tried not to look down at my watch too often, especially when I felt like I was already pushing myself.

 

I strived to keep a 9:15/mile pace at the beginning, but I began to speed up when I saw the massive causeway right before Mile 2.0.

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Running up the causeway was BEAUTIFUL, but it was KILLER on my legs.  However, I really did not want to stop and draw the experience out any longer than necessary.  I just attacked the incline!  I started out at 9:00/mile and slowed to 9:30 before reaching the top.  Not bad!

 

Coming down the causeway was FUN!  I just leaned slightly forward and tried to use the downhill to my advantage and make up some of the time that I had lost.

 

We then began to run through the beautiful neighborhoods near the ocean,

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There was lots of on-course entertainment, like silly costumes and musicians!

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I did not stop to walk ONCE!  I really felt like I would lose so much momentum if I took any breaks at all.  I even ran through the water stations (with a drink in my hand!). 

 

At the turn-around point near Mile 4, I started to realize the course was long…

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All courses are somewhat longer than the actual distance (I think they are measured on the inside of all the curves), but this race was WAY off the 9.3 mile distance.  As we passed each mile marker, I would look at my Garmin and watch the gap widen from 0.1 to 0.2 to 0.3 difference.  I got a little frustrated because I knew I was going to be VERY close to a PR!

 

We had to make two loops through the neighborhood, which I actually loved because I knew all the hills, turns, and water stops.

 

At Mile 7, we made a left turn and ran back up the causeway!  I knew it was coming and tried to mentally prepare myself for a speedy climb.

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I felt so emotional when finally got to the top!  I actually sobbed a little bit.  There’s something so powerful about pushing yourself to the limit.  I was VERY proud of myself for making it so far, so fast, and without any walking breaks.  I knew I was VERY close to my PR of 1:23:30!

 

At the Mile 8.0 marker (8.3 on my Garmin), I started to really push it, dropping down to a 8:15 to 8:30 pace.  I picked off the women in front of me one by one, passing them each as we turned down the final sprint.

 

At the 15K (9.3 miles), I hit the lap button on my watch and realized that I had technically set a new PR by a full minute – I clocked in right at 1:22:30.

 

But unfortunately, I still had 0.3 miles to go.  I finished STRONG and HAPPY though!  I was just SO pleased to improve my time by 5:36 in just seven months.

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My Garmin stats:

 

  • Distance: 9.6 miles (+0.3 over)
  • Duration: 1:2439
  • Mile 1: 9:04
  • Mile 2: 9:09
  • Mile 3: 8:59
  • Mile 4: 8:53
  • Mile 5: 8:48
  • Mile 6: 9:00
  • Mile 7: 8:52
  • Mile 8: 8:47 (YAY!)
  • Mile 9: 8:27 (DOUBLE YAY!)
  • Mile 9 – 9.3: 2:33 (a 8:15 pace)
  • Mile 9.3 – 9.6: 2:04 (a 7:22 pace)

 

I grabbed my lovely medal:

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And a Gatorade:

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And then I met up with the other girls (who all made their goal times!) on the beach:

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Post-race model sesh:

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And slow-motion Baywatch running.

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And beachside yoga.

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Tons of fun!

 

IronGirl was a great event.  It was fun to do a women’s specific event and feel the girl power spirit!  However… I just wish the course wasn’t so off.  Lots of people were complaining at the finish line.  An extra 0.3 mile is a HUGE distance over.  I can’t count this in my heart as a PR because the only time that counts in the one when you cross the finish line.  Ah well – Just an excuse to continue to get faster! :)

 

On a positive note… MAJOR lessons learned at IronGirl:  Trust your body, NOT your watch!  Start off at a comfortable pace, and give it everything you’ve got in the last few miles.  ‘Tis better to finish strong than burn out!  No matter how many races I do, I learn something new at each one.

 

Post race eats:

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Bagel with veggie cream cheese:

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And when I got home, toast with an egg, two Morningstar vegetarian patties, and 1/2 an orange.   More food to come after a nap!

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All in all…

 

Another wonderful day to be alive!  Can’t wait for my next races… I’m doing one every weekend in April.  I  might actually squeeze in TWO next weekend so I can run 26 races before my 26th birthday on April 26! 

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Have a wonderful day!

 

If you do races, too, what lessons have you learned over time?

{ 142 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Kelly April 10, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Looks like so much fun and I love love your outfit! That would be so cool if you could do 26 races before your 26th birthday! I’m turning 26 in June but I’ve only done 2 races so I’d have a bit to do to make that goal haha

    Reply
  • Abby April 10, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Wow! Awesome job, Caitlin. I want to channel your running mojo in all of my races. You are epic :)

    Reply
  • Carrie @ I See Monsters April 10, 2010, 2:44 pm

    Congrats! My mother leaves near that course and it so so beautiful there. I’m sure your view was very inspirational.

    You ROCK, girl.

    Reply
  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) April 10, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!!! I love when you have positive race recaps. My Garmin once ran out of batteries mid run and I was actually able to run according to how I felt. I could really listen to how my body was responding to the terrain rather than push push push and burn out.

    a 5+ min. improvement from September is insane. You rock!

    Reply
  • Danielle April 10, 2010, 2:45 pm

    THRILLED for you!!! I can feel the happiness coming through your words!

    Reply
  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story April 10, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Great job!! Great pictures. :) My “lil sis” did the 5k today, I was so proud of her. :)

    Reply
  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 10, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Congratulations! You should feel absolutely awesome and be so proud of yourself. Plus you have a huge smile on your face and obviously enjoyed the run, the most important thing. :D

    Reply
  • Evan Thomas April 10, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Congratulations! I think the PR counts, but I also think the most important part was the fun, and you rocked that!

    Reply
  • Run Sarah April 10, 2010, 2:47 pm

    I love the positive energy radiating through this recap! Congrats and 26 before 26 sounds awesome! Great PR and I love your outfit – I have been eyeing those Lululemon shorts for awhile now!

    Reply
  • Sarah April 10, 2010, 2:49 pm

    Congrats on finishing the race an improving on your time – even if you didn’t quite technically do so. ;) Like you said, you’re real achievement in this race is in applying what you learnt from your last IronGirl 15K: to listen to your body. So many people say they learn a lesson from something, but still repeat the same mistake next time around. It’s not easy to do what’s right and ignore the stats.
    I’m not a runner, but I love your race recaps – they really motivate me to work out more, and generally take care of my body better. So thank you for these. :D

    Reply
  • Nicole @ Making Good Choices April 10, 2010, 2:54 pm

    Congrats on improving your PR even if you don’t count it :) I love the post race model shots! The course looks so beautiful and inspiring, enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks for the fun recap!

    Reply
  • Midgetkeeper April 10, 2010, 2:54 pm

    Congrats! I love the pictures.

    Reply
  • Krystina (Organically Me) April 10, 2010, 2:54 pm

    I would love to be able to run a race one day, but so far I can just barely run 2 miles. :(

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 2:56 pm

      everyone starts somewhere! when i started to run, i couldnt even run 1/4 without stopping.

      Reply
  • Amanda (The Beautiful Army) April 10, 2010, 2:55 pm

    Whoo! Go Caitlin! I love your outfit and how you decorated your face. I’m happy that you technically improved your time. I don’t speak runner, so I couldn’t really understand your times. Judging by the “yay’s” I think you did well.

    (I saw one post where you had Chobani yogurt. I told my mom to buy some and we’re ADDICTED! Thanks!)

    Reply
  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 10, 2010, 2:57 pm

    Awh brilliant recap and super super well done on the PR, and your ankle holding out!!
    It looks like a beautiful race too – all that water and entertainment…wow!! Great photos :)
    Haha, I feel so proud lol!
    And 26 races before your 26th – awesome acheievement!
    I hope the rest of he afternoon goes well :)

    Reply
  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 10, 2010, 2:57 pm

    Congrats girl, that is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Christina April 10, 2010, 2:58 pm

    Congrats!!!

    I love the beach modeling shots :) Looks like you girls had so much fun!

    Reply
  • kirsten April 10, 2010, 3:02 pm

    awesome job!!! I love the race recaps!

    Reply
  • Christie April 10, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I don’t know if I can say this is my fav race recap after reading the tri and the marathon but it definitely looked SO FUN! Especially the jumping pics at the beach :)

    Reply
  • skinnyrunner April 10, 2010, 3:09 pm

    congrats on the race! love the women-specific race.
    the lesson i learned from my last marathon is dont start too fast! start at the pace you’re used to running.

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) April 10, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Congrats Caitlin!!!!!!
    I love that first picture of you – you look so happy!!!!

    Reply
  • whitney dargle @ whitney's blogtastic blog April 10, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I’ve been racing since high school and have learned: Don’t go out too fast! Don’t focus too much on the people around me at the beginning of a race, but heavily focus on passing them as part of a game starting at about the middle of a race.

    Reply
  • Amanda (modernation) April 10, 2010, 3:16 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Those pics by the water are adorable. Sounds like a great day.

    Reply
  • Wendy April 10, 2010, 3:17 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Love the all-girl theme. I (along with several other lovely ladies) am a Girls on the Run coach, and we are all running a half-marathon tomorrow. At our last practice Thurs, the girls gave us an energy award that I’m going to use as my mantra tomorrow, when the going gets tough – super sonic GIRL power!

    As for your last question, I’m too excited about tomorrow’s race to remember anything I’ve learned! :)

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:11 pm

      YAY for girls on the run. they are great!

      Reply
  • Lisa April 10, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Congrats on the race! What a cool story! :)

    Reply
  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) April 10, 2010, 3:20 pm

    Great job Caitlin, and really you should look at it this way: “I set a new PR for this distance, because it was longer than all the other 15k’s I’ve run.” Either way, you’re a rockstar and have great pics to prove it!

    Reply
  • Courtney April 10, 2010, 3:21 pm

    As someone who LOVES to take supermodel pics, I truly enjoy your Baywatch slow mo running interpretation. Made my day! Great job on the race, great recap and pics, and what a cool medal! You got me excited about doing my 10 mile training run tomorrow.
    I’ve learned to pee. Multiple times. BEFORE the race starts!! LOL
    Courtney
    adventures in tri-ing

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:11 pm

      good luck on your training run!

      Reply
  • Gym Belle of Gympressions April 10, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Congratulations!! Looks like you had so much fun!

    Reply
  • Snowflakes and Sunshine April 10, 2010, 3:22 pm

    As per usual I love reading your race recaps! Great job :)

    Reply
  • Kelly April 10, 2010, 3:23 pm

    Congrats on your technical race PR. Looks like it was a beautiful morning!

    Reply
  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 10, 2010, 3:29 pm

    I have never done a race, but I wouldn’t let the race being longer stop me from counting it a personal best. Because it was! Looks like fun, but they just start too early for me.

    Reply
  • corinne April 10, 2010, 3:36 pm

    YAY!! YOU DID IT!!! Congrats girl. oh my I want to say my favorite part of this post (besides the part you ran and finished strong) was the baywatch run action shot! looove it.

    Reply
  • sarah April 10, 2010, 3:37 pm

    Great job on the race!! Long courses are a bear..that’s why I don’t race with a Garmin.
    The best lesson I’m still learning from racing is that if you race them hard, THEY WILL HURT! That’s just the way it works. So I try to tell myself, when the pain starts to set in, that that is perfectly normal and to gut it through. It works maybe…60 percent of the time?

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:12 pm

      haha i always say “this is suppose to be uncomfortable.”

      Reply
  • Terrie April 10, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Congrats on a successful race! Way to go on the PR. Loved the models sesh at the end with the slow mo Baywatch run. Too funny. :)

    Reply
  • Ericka April 10, 2010, 3:49 pm

    Congrats on a great race, Caitlin! I ran a 10 mile race this morning with my brand new Nike+ SportBand, so this was the first race where I’ve been able to watch my pace as I go. I got really excited when I was running faster than my average pace in the middle of the race. I started having visions of an amazing finish time, but then the course had some killer hills at the end and I had to slow down. Lesson learned: I could have been upset with myself as I watched my pace drop at the end, but instead I listened to my body and continued to push as much as I could. End result was a strong finish and overall great time, for me!

    I think watches that show your pace are interesting and can be helpful, but in the end, all that matters is how you feel when you cross that finish line.

    Reply
  • Michelle April 10, 2010, 3:50 pm

    that race looks like tons of fun! are you ever worried your garmin is in fact off, not the race course? sounds like it was the course this time since others were complaining, but sometimes my garmin 405 gives me some seriously wrong stats (i.e. running 5 min mile pace when i know i’m averaging 10). does this ever happen to you??

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:13 pm

      no! that’s so weird. do you live in a rural area?

      Reply
  • Anna April 10, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Congrats! What a beautiful course.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the start comfortable and finish fast technique- negative splis are how I prefer to run. I love finishing strong! I ran a 5k yesterday, my first race since the summer, and the lack of miles markers on the course really meant that I had to listen to my body rather than checking my watch all the time. I ended up doing a LOT better than I anticipated and I felt great!

    Reply
  • Emma April 10, 2010, 3:57 pm

    Hey Cailtlin,
    Great job on the 15K! I just started reading your blog and you’ve totally inspired me. I’ve been running for a long time and the longest race I’ve done is a 10K, but I’ve decided to train for a ten miler at the end of the summer and a half-marathon in the fall.
    When did you get your Garmin, and did it help your training? I am considering getting one…

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:13 pm

      a year ago, and yes – definitely. its very motivational! i really love it (buy it from amazon)

      Reply
  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 10, 2010, 3:58 pm

    i totally count that as a new PR :) what a gorgeous race! if i had places like that nearby to race at i might consider racing…MIGHT :) p.s. you’re adorable with your face tattoo :)

    Reply
  • Juli @ blessmyheart April 10, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Great job on your race! You continue to be very inspirational to me. Lord knows I need it now that the hotter weather has come back to the south :)

    Reply
  • Heather (runningwithsass.com) April 10, 2010, 4:02 pm

    looks like it was a beuatiful day! Congrats on doing so well, that’s awesome!

    Reply
  • Bridgette April 10, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Congrats on your race. I had a 7 mile training run this morning and I agree with you about not being a slave to the Garmin. Our body is the perfect machine and it will let us know when we need to make adjustments.

    Reply
  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) April 10, 2010, 4:18 pm

    CONGRATS!! PRs are such a great feeling =D

    xo
    K

    Reply
  • emptynutjar April 10, 2010, 4:20 pm

    When I ran, the long distances were the best. I miss it so much. I hope some day to be healthy again to be able to do more. For now, I treasure my legs to be able to walk. I tip my hat to you.

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:14 pm

      walking is definitely a miracle!

      Reply
  • Kristin April 10, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Way to go! That race looks so beautiful! Question for ya, what type of camera do you use when you run races? I’m assuming you don’t use the SLR. I’m considering buying a decent portable camera. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  • Annie April 10, 2010, 4:29 pm

    “Another wonderful day to be alive!”
    This is what I told myself this morning on a long walk. Ok… another awesome day to be breathing and happy… but close enough ;)

    This race sounds like a blast! Running near the beach looks so dreamy. Glad you were able to set a new record (minus the added bit that was off, darn that!)

    Cheeky guy in a pink monkey suit!! I don’t know how I would finish the race. I’d want to stop and pose with him, talk about his life, etc. haha! Happy Saturday :D

    Reply
  • Megan @ Eat.Scrap.Run April 10, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Great job on the race this morning. I wish I could have stuck around after the 5K to see you guys playing in the water!

    Reply
  • Kayla B April 10, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Great job! Looks like you had fun. I love those shorts. Too cute.

    Reply
  • Alyssa April 10, 2010, 4:39 pm

    Congrats! The weather looks ssssoooo nice there, it makes me really wish I lived in FL instead of MN!

    I don’t run races (not a runner), but in regards to what I’ve learned from setting goals and excelling at what I do, I learned to always trust in yourself because you know what you are capable of. I always compare my self to other people and “judge” how I stand next to them, but I always need to remind myself that I am very talented at what I do and that everyone is different, everyone has their own style and needs. I’m definitely still learning that :)

    Reply
  • bobbie@mymamaruns.com April 10, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Sounds like a great run! woo hoo!

    Reply
  • Lee April 10, 2010, 4:43 pm

    Congrats!

    I’ve learned two important things from racing. One – don’t go out too fast or I’ll burn out and two, don’t drink gatorade or I’ll get gassy. (TMI Maybe?)

    Reply
  • steph April 10, 2010, 4:47 pm

    LOL the baywatch shot. congratulations!!

    Reply
  • lauren @ Eater not a runner April 10, 2010, 4:50 pm

    AWESOME JOB!! I’m running my first 10K tomorrow and am definitely planning the same strategy, save energy for the last few miles!!

    Love those shorts too :-)

    Reply
  • Dee April 10, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Congrats on running a great race Caitlin! I love all the pictures by the water! I laughed out loud at the slow motion baywatch running pic the most. LOL! :)

    Reply
  • Teacherwoman April 10, 2010, 4:56 pm

    Great job Caitlin! Great pics too!

    Reply
  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 10, 2010, 4:56 pm

    Great job! Congrats! :)

    Reply
  • Susan April 10, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Bee-yoo-tiful pictures!! Looks like a gorgeous race. And congrats on kinda-PR-ing!! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for women’s only races around these parts, that sounds like a blast :)

    Reply
  • Helen April 10, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Congrats for doing this. I love the fact that you do so many different races and are so passionate about them. Good luck for completing 26 races before your birthday. That will be a great achievement. Fab piccies btw!

    Reply
  • Krista April 10, 2010, 5:21 pm

    Congratulations! I know it can be a downer when the course is long not to get a new PR, but you ran a great race! The biggest thing that I have learned is that I CAN push through the times when I feel tired and just want to give up… if I just keep going I will feel better than if I stop (assuming I’m not injured :)).

    Reply
  • sassy molassy April 10, 2010, 5:26 pm

    You girls rocked it! Love the post race beach photos. And holding back at the beginning of longer races is a tough thing to do, but it’s always nice when it works out in your advantage in the end.

    Reply
  • Mai April 10, 2010, 5:26 pm

    HEY! We have the same birthday!! Ok, so I’m sure I’m not your only reader with the same birthday as you, but I am a reader with the same birthday as you. I too am running a race one (well not on exactly, a week after, May 2nd) my birthday – the Vancouver Half Marathon, hoping for a sub-two hour finish.

    Anyway, the 15k sounds like it was and certainly looked super fun. Congrats on running an awesome birthday.

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:15 pm

      are you turning 26 too!? or are we just both april 26 but different years?

      Reply
  • Theresa@ActiveEggplant April 10, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Great job on the PR – even if you don’t consider it “official”. I missed my PR by 32 seconds :( But still had a great run – it was certainly a great event!
    Also, I’ve read that USATF certified course is measured at its shortest distance (1 foot from the curb on the inside corners) – that may be why your Garmin was showing the distance as much further than the 15k.

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:16 pm

      yea but i tried to hug the curb as much as possible, and i really dont think it couldnt added 0.3. the most i’ve ever seen a certified course be over is 0.15. i spoke to a race official and she said the course was actually long (WTF!!!)

      Reply
  • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 10, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Great job on the race!

    I would say though the race most likely was run on a USATF certified course (most races are), so I wouldn’t say the course was long or off. There is a very set process for measuring a course to ensure it is the correct distance and there is just a wee little bit added by formula to ensure that no runner can run less than the designated distance. I just know this as I direct a race and went through the process of having it certified.

    Here is more info on the race certification process. http://www.usatf.org/events/courses/certification/

    Basically to run the course’s exact distance you have cut every corner perfectly. Plus when it comes to relying on your Garmin, they are not 100% perfectly accurate.

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:17 pm

      see comment #62! sooo annoying.

      Reply
      • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 10, 2010, 7:50 pm

        Not sure why they would knowingly make it longer, however the requirement of a certification is that it is no less than the advertised/stated distance. No race director is perfect though and there are so many issues that come into play with logistics.

        Still there is the issue that Garmins are not 100% reliable. Here is a good discussion on the accuracy of a Garmin http://fastrunningblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=1061.0;wap2 And of course there is the whole running the absolute shortest distance.

        Reply
  • heidi April 10, 2010, 5:40 pm

    cute shorts!!! I have the same ones :) :)

    and congrats on the PR, sounds like it was a fab race!! :)

    Reply
  • Jenn (www.j3nn.net) April 10, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Congrats! That’s one of the most scenic race views I have seen in awhile. Lovely!

    Love the water pictures! :D So much fun!!

    Jenn

    Reply
  • Maggie April 10, 2010, 5:50 pm

    Great job! And it looks like you couldn’t have had a nicer day!

    Reply
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 10, 2010, 5:51 pm

    Congrats girk! What an awesome looking race :) I have learned to run my ‘own’ race over time – and not worry about everyone else!

    Reply
  • Amanda April 10, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Awesome race! The water looked so beautiful. How do you take pictures while you are running? on your iPod?

    Reply
    • caitlin April 10, 2010, 7:17 pm

      i bring a camera in my spibelt!

      Reply
      • Amanda April 11, 2010, 12:38 am

        Hmmm … interesting. I have a spibelt and I tried to take my cellphone in it once, and it just bounced around way too much. Maybe I’ll try it with a small camera sometime though. I love your mid-run pics. :)

        Reply
  • 'Dee April 10, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Congrats! I just love that you’ve been running as long as you have and you still get those “choked up” moments. As someone who still counts herself as a rookie, I get those too and hope the awe I feel never, ever goes away.

    Congrats on a great race!! PS – must hit up Lulu – love those shorts!

    Reply
  • Meredith @ Sweat Every Day April 10, 2010, 6:05 pm

    congrats!!!!!!!!! today must have been a great day for both of us because I cut 3 minutes and 35 seconds off my 5k and won my age group! I also tried not to rely on my garmin too much and it seems to have worked! in my heart, you got a PR, even if you don’t think so :)

    Reply
  • eatingRD April 10, 2010, 6:17 pm

    such a great recap, congrats to all!!! Looks like such a positive experience, I love the action shots on the beach :) I always get emotional when I push myself really hard. Thanks for the tip with the garmin, I’ll have to make sure I don’t look too much.

    Reply
  • Mary (Food Fit & Fun) April 10, 2010, 6:23 pm

    I love all of the races you are doing! You are really an inspiration. I wish I could run a race with you! hahah. That race looks beautiful. THe ocean is so blue!! Congrats on another awesome race! =]

    Reply
  • Carly @ carlysharec.com April 10, 2010, 6:24 pm

    Congratulations! The pics on the beach are gorgeous. I’ve only run two 5Ks, but I would say that so far I’ve learned that racing should be fun, and to roll with the punches. My first race was so great, but my second race was a little disheartening because the course was kinda hilly and I wasn’t prepared for it. So I’ve learned to just go with things and no matter what, keep a smile on my face!

    Reply
  • Ellen Collis April 10, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Awesome job, girl! I haven’t received a medal for anything since I was like 18. It’s a nice feeling though. And I’m so jealous of your friend doing crow pose on the beach! I’ve been trying foreeeever to do it and I just can’t! My upper body is pretty strong, but fear gets the best of me—I’m always scared of face-planting. Owww.

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

    Reply
  • Gina G April 10, 2010, 6:25 pm

    congrats CAITLIN, you did awesome! i love the pictures, it looks like a blast! =)

    Reply
  • Kath April 10, 2010, 6:28 pm

    OMG – 26 races!!!!!!!!!!!!! You MUST!!!

    Congrats on your PR – I think it counts for real! And that looks like SUCH a fun race!

    Reply
  • Salina April 10, 2010, 6:59 pm

    CONGRATS on a great run!!!

    Reply
  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 10, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Once again, you are such an inspirational person!

    I’m running my 2nd 5k next weekend and you have made me really excited for it.

    Great post, I loved the pictures and the commentary :)

    Reply
  • Julie @ Pickley Pear April 10, 2010, 7:03 pm

    What a fun race! I’ve never done a girl specific race. Each race I run, I learn more about my pace, breath and tuning into how I feel (rather than my music or other people). Way to go chicky!

    Reply
  • Wendy April 10, 2010, 7:59 pm

    Fantastic job, Caitlin! You really rocked your race! I think what you learned today is the MOST important thing I learned from running races, too. Start slow and finish strong! With all the adrenaline and excitement at the race start, it’s sometimes a major challenge to hold yourself back, but it is so worth it. I used to use my Garmin all the time, but I have had more than a couple races where it didn’t match the course, and it frustrated me soooo much that I stopped racing with it. Now I just listen to my body and I constantly surprise myself. Keep up the good work- I think your 26 before 26 on the 26th goal is totally cool- I hope you make it!

    Reply
  • meg c. April 10, 2010, 8:00 pm

    that race looks SO FUN. i wanna do it. i wish we had 15ks up here but we don’t seem to.

    congrats on your unofficial pr, too!

    Reply
  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN April 10, 2010, 8:02 pm

    Yeah!!! You are so amazing and quite the inspiration. Thanks for the full recap and loads of pictures. :) I always love stopping by HTP for race recaps, as you do such a great job of making us (the readers) feel as though we were there with you. :D Amazing!!

    Reply
  • Melissa S. April 10, 2010, 8:27 pm

    What a great race lady! I’m so proud of you and all the fun you had! I wish I could have been there!

    Reply
  • mary April 10, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Hey Caitlin, what kind of knee sleeves do you wear? I’ve been thinking of buying some but tried on some random drugstore brand and found them very uncomfortable and stiff…

    Reply
    • caitlin April 11, 2010, 12:27 am

      go to rei.com and search knee sleeves – super comfortable once you get used to them!

      Reply
  • Katherine April 10, 2010, 8:50 pm

    What a great race location! the first picture is adorable! I don’t think I’ve ever mastered the jump-capture

    Reply
  • maria April 10, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Great job! :) Looks like the ocean was a blast, too!

    Reply
  • Kelley April 10, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Congrats on your race! I LOVE your pictures. Super cute medal too. Just curious if you’re still on the Brooks Running team, I noticed you weren’t in their gear anymore. Just wondering.

    You’re very inspiring! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • caitlin April 11, 2010, 12:27 am

      i TOTALLY forget *oops*

      Reply
  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] April 10, 2010, 9:04 pm

    Congrats on your successful race! I love your goal of 26. It’s almost your GOLDEN b.day! =]

    Reply
  • Holly April 10, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Hi Caitlin:)
    CONGRATS on your race!! Looks like an awesome course!
    I am SO glad that you also noticed that race distances are off- I thought I was the only one! lol!!
    I also have the Garmin & each race I run, I’m like what is going on with this thing??! So, thank you for clearing that up :)

    Reply
  • Lex @ sweettoothlex April 10, 2010, 9:19 pm

    Wahoo!! Nice race & great recap!

    That baywatch pic was fab – seriously fab!

    I’ve just started my race journey …well, in May – and I really want to keep up with it! Sooner or later I want to pass the stage where I’m struggling to find ways to motivate myself to run – I want to WANT to run!! I’m just not there yet – but reading the recaps of you ladies is very inspriational! :)

    Reply
  • GirlonRaw April 10, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Congrats girl. You are very lucky to have some wonderful friends to share it all with. Go you girls!

    Reply
  • Rachel April 10, 2010, 9:52 pm

    Congratulations Caitlin! I am so glad you had an amazing race today and enjoyed yourself. You should be proud and celebrating your success. I think it counts as a PR, but I understand your perspective too ;) I can’t believe you are running a race every weekend in April – you are a beast but 26 by 26 would be pretty awesome.
    I think the pacing thing is the best thing I learned in my swimming races too. Finish strong and pace myself at the beginning!

    Reply
  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 10, 2010, 10:30 pm

    Congrats on a great race!!! It looks like it was a beautiful day to run:) I LOVE those lululemon shorts!!

    Reply
  • Jannie April 10, 2010, 10:31 pm

    Great run!

    Your friend Sara looks super skinny. I’m sure you’re looking out for her, but the picture alarmed me.

    Reply
  • Paige (RAN) April 10, 2010, 10:32 pm

    Your enthusiasm absolutely SHINES through this post. I love it – it’s contagious! I’m running a half marathon on May 1st, and I was beginning to feel a little burn out with working two jobs and training. This post totally gave me an edge :)

    Reply
  • Jessica April 10, 2010, 10:35 pm

    That first picture of you is so cute! I love it. Congrats on your race today.

    Reply
  • Alisha N April 10, 2010, 11:04 pm

    Wow! That’s a really inspiring goal! Good idea!

    Reply
  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com April 10, 2010, 11:07 pm

    Awesome pictures!!! Good job on the race! :)

    Reply
  • Kate April 10, 2010, 11:20 pm

    Congrats lady! :)
    Hahaha I reaaaally love the slow motion baywatch picture. Makes me laugh so much.
    Those shorts are so cute!

    Reply
  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) April 10, 2010, 11:58 pm

    Great job!! And thanks for your comment about it being another great day to be alive…it really made me stop for a moment and be grateful!

    Reply
  • caronae April 11, 2010, 12:20 am

    Congrats on another great race! Love your outfit and the pictures of you guys in the ocean; so cute. I did a race today too! But it was unofficial. I also think one of the most important things is not going out too fast. And since we were doing 34 miles, that was REALLY important. I always feel better at the end when I don’t kill myself in the beginning. Another thing: don’t be afraid of the calories. I probably ate at least 900 calories during this race. Sometimes a little mid-race fuel will go a long way!
    Happy sunday :)

    Reply
  • Amanda April 11, 2010, 12:27 am

    Awesome job! Hows that ankle feeling?

    Reply
  • Steph April 11, 2010, 1:26 am

    amazing job caitlin!!! i am turning 26 on april 26th as well!!!!! :)

    Reply
    • caitlin April 11, 2010, 10:21 am

      Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  • John April 11, 2010, 2:09 am

    Congrats Caitlin! I’d love to be able to PR my HM in May.

    Reply
  • Christie {Honoring Health} April 11, 2010, 6:42 am

    Congrats on the race, Caitlin!!

    Reply
  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries April 11, 2010, 7:54 am

    Congrats, girl. You have no idea how inspiring you are to me. I’m just getting ready to tackle my first 5K in May and the speeds and distances at which you run are just incredible to me. Thanks for the inspiration :smile:

    Reply
    • caitlin April 11, 2010, 10:18 am

      your welcome! everyone starts somewhere – i hope the first 5K is the beginning of a long running career for you!

      Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 11, 2010, 12:55 pm

    I hate long courses. They make me think that I didn’t train hard enough.

    I’ve learned that fueling is key. I need to eat to run.
    I need to enjoy my runs more than pushing sometimes.
    My race is my race and I can’t be mad that I’m not as fast or run as far as others.

    Reply
  • Mama Pea April 11, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Way to PR!!! I’m just catching up on the weekend, but wanted to give you a big congrats for such an awesome race!

    Reply
  • Heather C April 11, 2010, 5:18 pm

    CONGRATS, Caitlin!! It’s such an accomplishment to end a race still feeling strong *and* with a PR (i think this counts as a PR ;) ) I’ve learned a few lessons from running with a Garmin too – it’s So important to start “slow” and go from there, depending on the day and how you feel. It’s tricky tricky to pay tooo much attention to those things – but when you can find a balance and use it to your advantage, it’s SO helpful! My marathon was actually 26.7 – oooof – but it never seems to match up 100%, so I’ve learned to just accept the fact that (despite how much I heart it…) G is not *always* right. ;)

    anyway! Again, Congrats on such a great race :) bask in the glory!

    Reply
  • Theorist April 11, 2010, 7:35 pm

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing your great recap with us. Oh and the baywatch pic is hilarious lol!

    Reply
  • Heather @ For The Health Of It! April 11, 2010, 9:36 pm

    I tried DESPERATELY to love running. Last year I did about 13 5Ks and a 10k within 8 months trying to force myself to love it. I finally accepted that fact that it wasnt for me.

    Today I ran my first 5K in over a year…literally, I havven’t run outside in over a year. No prep, no training, I just signed up and did it. I think I set a PR. I didnt chip time, b/c I was totally expecting to just goof off, but I used my watch to time and I didn’t walk one time. I’ve never ran a whole rce w/out walking atleast a lil in all my previous 5Ks.
    I know 5ks sound wimpy, but for me, it was just getting back out there and doing it. I actually enjoyed it a little..I coulda kept on going. My legs were in full force.
    Don’t get me wrong, I work out all the time. I’m a Body Pump instructor and can be on the elliptical for days, but put me on the ground running, and I’m done. I hope this is a turn around for me on running. I see more races in my future!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 12, 2010, 9:45 am

      I’m glad you’ve found a turning point with running! Sometimes it’s just about the atttiude!

      Reply
  • Anne P April 12, 2010, 9:23 am

    What a fun looking race!! Wish I’d been there :) Congrats on your technical PR – the Cherry Blossom 10 miler was way long, too. SUPER lame!

    Reply
  • Rosalie April 12, 2010, 9:34 am

    Way to go! At least now you know you’ve got a new PR in you, and next time hopefully you’ll be on a course that is measured precisely so you can get a PR official time.

    I had a similarly frustrating experience with a 5k last December where I was on track to blow my goal of 30 mins out of the water but then there was a bottleneck at the end of the race where we went off the big road and onto a very narrow bike path. Since the edges of the path were icy and there were like 1500 other people running about the same pace, I had to slow it down and get basically single-file behind whoever was in front of me. My official time? 30:08! If not for the bottleneck at the end (and a not-as-bad one in the beginning) I would’ve probably come in around 27-28 mins, which is SUPER fast for me. It’s very frustrating when glitches in course management and planning leave you (officially) short of your goal even though you put in sufficient effort and showed you could do it.

    Reply
  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! April 12, 2010, 10:32 am

    I learned that you shouldn’t let “others times or speeds” affect you as everyone is different and as long as you are happy with your time or improved time that is all that matters!!!

    What a great race, I plan to run it next year!

    Reply
  • Caroline April 12, 2010, 10:40 am

    That race looks beautiful! Both the course and all of the decorations.
    I had the same distance problem at Disney’s princess half marathon. Not cool for my first run of that distance ever!

    Reply
  • cara April 12, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Congratulations on the race. Bummer about the extra .3 but who cares really, because you know you rocked it! ;-)

    Reply
  • Erin April 12, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Congrats on your race! That’s amazing that you didn’t walk at all!

    Reply
  • Shannon April 13, 2010, 1:03 pm

    woohoo, great job!! Love the race report! I love that feeling you talked about having at the top of the causeway the 2nd time… feeling so proud for pushing yourself! I was afraid I wouldn’t feel it again after my first half marathon, but it doesn’t wear of :D

    Reply
  • Bethany Herrington April 15, 2010, 4:05 pm

    Way to go! I grew up in Clearwater (moved when I left for college) so it was cool seeing your pictures. I kept looking at the surrounding houses/landmarks to see if I could figure out where you were on the race course. I have a couple friends who did the race last weekend, too.

    Congrats!

    Reply
  • Sara March 8, 2011, 10:23 pm Reply
  • Murtaza Chevel February 25, 2014, 3:10 pm

    I am just starting into Triathelitsm…having registered for my firs Sprint on April 5th in Dubai. I had a couple of quick questions:
    1. Why do you wear knee support? Do they really help?
    2. You have a basic aluminum/carbon fork Giant bike – is that adequate for an Ironman?

    Thanks

    Reply

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