Still playing the waiting game!


The Husband and I unleashed our nerves on a nice 3.0 mile run this morning.  He’s been running with me a lot more since he dropped his gym membership – and I like it!  It’s a good way to get in conversation time.


One of the topics we discussed on our run was my upcoming sprint triathlon!  Last week’s Open Water Race got rid of my nerves.  Now, I’m just excited (I think).  Thinking POSITIVE THOUGHTS!


The days before a day are SO important.  Here’s my suggestions for getting ready: Get Your Game Face On:  What to Do the Days Leading Up to a Race.  That post covers things like:


  • How to taper your workouts
  • What to check out on the race’s website
  • Why you should test-drive to the race location
  • The Number #1 Rule of Racing


Post-run breakfast was toast, eggs, and a banana:


Tonya Update


Sunday’s race is about much more than me – it’s also about my neighbor, Tonya, who was diagnosed with brain cancer less than two weeks ago.  Tonya is a mother to two little boys and a wonderful wife.  Thanks to your donations, over $16,000 was raised for Tonya’s medical costs.  Please consider donating if you haven’t already.  Just $10 really makes a difference!


Many of you have asked for an update on Tonya.  She had a brain biopsy last week and is awaiting results (it’s definitely cancer, but the results will tell the doctors how to proceed).


She is generally in good spirits and went to a lake house with her family to relax and decompress.  She is planning to get a tattoo on her head (which will soon be bald from the chemo) that says, “Cancer is a blessing.”  Obviously, she doesn’t want cancer but is trying to see the disease in a positive light – it has brought her closer to her family, friends, God, and community… including you guys!  She also says that she hopes the tattoo will encourage people not to be so afraid and talk to her about their own experiences with the disease (like in line at the grocery store).


She’s named her tumor Justine!  The tumor is on the left side of her brain.

photo 1


Please consider making a donation to help Tonya.  Remember – I’m raffling off a Garmin 305 GPS watch, so there’s a sweet prize up for grabs, too!



  • Khushboo June 10, 2011, 9:41 am

    Wow Tonya’s attitude is fantastically inspiring! Perfect example that while we dont have control over what life throws up, we can change our attitude towards it!

    • Khushboo June 10, 2011, 9:42 am

      Throws us**

  • Freya June 10, 2011, 9:45 am

    I can’t get over how awesome Tonya is! SOOO many people would wallow in misery and pain and wouldn’t see the +ive – she is just incredible.
    And 16k! Wow – the power of blogland!!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 10, 2011, 9:47 am

    You’re so, so ready for tomorrow. Go rock it!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 10, 2011, 9:49 am

    Tonya, I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you and your family. Cancer has directly impacted my own immediate family so I know what you are all going through. I hope that you are able to get through it.

    It’s stories like this that make me feel sad that people have to fund-raise for medical care. Shouldn’t that be a right for everyone to have access to regardless of how much money they have? Just a thought.

  • Jen G. June 10, 2011, 9:55 am

    I love that tattoo! I got one on my two-year cancer-versary that says “courage.” Tonya, I want you to know as a reluctant but proud member of the “cancer club,” I’m sending all sorts of good thoughts your way.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 10, 2011, 9:56 am

    Tonya is so inspiring and positive – and just awesome in general!! That’s fantastic that $16000 was raised – it’s amazing what the blogging community can do!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 10, 2011, 10:00 am

    Thanks for keeping us updated on Tonya. I’m so amazed at her positive attitude!

  • Mia June 10, 2011, 10:05 am

    lol. i love the tatoo idea, it’s so important to have a sense of humor and be happy about these kinds of things. When my dad had cancer he was too ashamed to talk about it because (I think) he thought it made him appear weak…but I really wish he had been more honest about the pain he was in 🙁

  • emily June 10, 2011, 10:08 am

    Tonya is such an inspiration! I think the tatoo idea is great.

  • Keri June 10, 2011, 10:12 am

    I am so inspired by your neighbor Tonya. What an example of strength, humor, and light in the face of something seemingly so dark. I keep reading this quote at the end of my yoga classes from Rainer Maria Rilke’s–“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” And look at Tonya–both beautiful and brave, naming her tumor Justine! And….look at you–I bet that water is just waiting to see you swim across it with a smile. Good luck!

    • Keri June 10, 2011, 10:13 am

      ** Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet”

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg June 10, 2011, 10:13 am

    Tonya has an amazing attitude! And I love the tattoo idea.

  • Staci June 10, 2011, 10:16 am

    Oh my goodness, I just got all weepy! Tonya is amazing and I feel blessed just to have this connection with her. WOW.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 10, 2011, 10:17 am

    She has such a good attitude! Love the idea of a tattoo.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 10, 2011, 10:18 am

    I’m continually blown away by Tonya’s optimism and attitude in this. What an amazing woman.

  • Courtney June 10, 2011, 10:30 am

    Such an amazing story! I don’t know if I could ever have Tonya’s attitude. I think and pray for her often.

  • Corrie Anne June 10, 2011, 10:46 am

    Go Tonya!! I love the idea for a tattoo as an effort to not make people feel awkward about talking it. I’ve definitely been in that position, and I just don’t what to say. I can tell that Tonya’s faith and optimism would totally draw you in though. She should write a book!! 🙂

  • HEather June 10, 2011, 10:48 am

    Wow…that’s bizarre. One of my friends, and fellow group fitness instructor, just found out she had a brain tumor last week too! She had a biopsy and luckily, it’s not life threatening, atleast for now. Praying for her and Tonya! Life is short, embrace every second! Good luck!

  • Jaime June 10, 2011, 10:48 am

    just donated to Tonya. Sending her so much love <3

  • Selena June 10, 2011, 10:49 am

    Tonya is quite the inspiration!

  • Justine June 10, 2011, 10:56 am

    Good for her : ) My name is Justine though–I promise I don’t cause cancer!

  • Carolyn L. June 10, 2011, 11:02 am

    Thanks for the update on Tonya. I’ve been rooting for her! Also, good luck on your tri.

  • Michelle@Crazy*Running*Legs June 10, 2011, 11:22 am

    Thanks for the update on Tonya. My thoughts go to her often. I love that she has such a fighting spirit – it goes a LONG way. We should all take a lesson from her!

    Good luck this weekend!

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty June 10, 2011, 11:52 am

    What an inspiration she is! Anyone could only hope to be as graceful as her!

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 10, 2011, 11:58 am

    Wow, this story is so inspirational! I admire Tonya so much and the attitude she has taken towards cancer. It makes you really think about your own life and seriously not to sweat the small stuff. Please keep us updates and I am keeping her in my prayers. Good luck with the race this weeekend, can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) June 10, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Tonya’s positive attitude is contagious… she really helps me to put things going on in my life in perspective!

    Good luck on your swim tomorrow! You’re going to do absolutely fabulous!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 10, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Good luck tomorrow!

  • Lauren @ LaDolcePita June 10, 2011, 12:07 pm

    What a wonderful thing you’re doing for Tonya…she’s continued to be in my thoughts ever since you put up the first post.

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow!! You can do it! I’m awaiting your post telling us about how you completely owned the open water swim 😀

  • Celia June 10, 2011, 12:32 pm

    Tonya, you are so inspirational. Hope my small donation can help in some small way!

    Caitlin good luck in the race!!

  • Kim June 10, 2011, 12:43 pm

    I appreciate the updates on Tonya. Her positivity and strength is amazing.

  • Baking 'n' Books June 10, 2011, 12:48 pm

    I haven’t donated and feel so guility…but I’ve already donated to a few charity’s just this week and know I need to budget…how do you deal with that? On knowing when to “stop” and who to help…and not feeling “bad” for it? 🙁

    On another note – why did your Husband quit the gym??

    • Caitlin June 10, 2011, 1:10 pm

      He HATED the YMCA. It’s not very clean 🙁

      Don’t feel guilty, girl. If you can’t do it right now, you can’t. And honestly, I know that Tonya appreciates prayers just as much, if not more, than cash. So take a moment to pray for her recovery and know that you did something amazaballs.

      • Baking 'n' Books June 10, 2011, 1:21 pm

        Jeez…that response is amazingballs…;) – definitely in my prayers.

        Also – I totally get the dirty thing…I used to feel the same way. Just the bathroom itself is enough to turn you away from a gym sometimes…

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 10, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I love that Tonya is staying so positive 🙂 And that tattoo idea is genius and so empowering!

  • Angela June 10, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Thank you for bringing Tonya’s story to your readers (and thanks to Tonya for being so willing to open up to others). She is truly inspirational. It amazes me how she brings such positivity to something that is positively scary. I will be praying for her.

    Random- Do you have any posts about running first thing in the morning? My work schedule has changed and I think I need to start running in the early AM? Any suggestions? I think it is awesome that you and your husband are able to spend quality running time together. Thanks and good luck on your race!!

    • Caitlin June 10, 2011, 1:16 pm

      I dont think I’ve ever done an AM running post but my biggest tip is to lay out your clothes the night before so you don’t have to waste time getting ready. Also, run in well-lit areas for safety if it’s dark. You’ll also prob want to invest in a reflective vest so cars can see you!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 10, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the Tonya update and it’s amazing that over $16,000 was raised. She is such an inspiration.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 10, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Tonya is really an inspiration. Her spirit is beautiful!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul June 10, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Amazing…I am blessed by her sincere joy and attitude of gratitude. <333

  • Laura B @ My Reason to Run June 10, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Wow!! I can’t get over her positive attitude! My cousin has been battling brain cancer for about a year now. He has much the same attitude. It’s just amazing to see how people react to such horrible life events.

    Good luck Sunday! Im getting excited about it too….although not excited about the 6:30am start!!! We should be in the same wave, if I see u I will try to not be shy this time and say hi!!!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write June 10, 2011, 3:16 pm

    She is so inspiring. I wish I could have given more than I did. I told my mom I wish I could give thousands. Being able to put a real face, a real family to the cause really touched me. I am really pulling for her, and I am so glad you told us about her.

    Do you know how much has been raised so far?

  • Christina June 10, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I’m glad to see that Tonya is in such good spirits! I don’t have a FB page for my blog but I posted the link on my personal page. My family has a huge history of cancer so a lot of my family donates to the cause. Every bit counts! I donated some but I’m hoping to donate a bit more when I get paid. 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 10, 2011, 6:38 pm

    Tonya’s positivity is so inspiring! She’ll be in my thoughts!

  • Justine June 10, 2011, 6:39 pm

    Not a tumor… But inspired now to donate! (Also to comment for the first time ). Good luck tomorrow, caitlin, and lots of prayers for Tonya and family <3

  • Heather @ Dietitian on the Run June 10, 2011, 7:15 pm

    GOOD LUCK on Sunday!! You will not have any trouble in the water. You WILL swim strong! 🙂

    Thanks for the Tonya update – a great reminder! Had to wait to put my donation in (budget, always fun), but it’s there now. What your community has donated so far is amazing! Let that be the thought that carries you when you get tired on Sunday – inspiration to keep movin’ those legs!

  • julie (etsy stalkers) June 10, 2011, 9:50 pm

    I lost my beautiful mother-in-law less than two years ago to a brain tumor. It breaks my heart for her family.

  • Erin June 11, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Caitlin-Love your blog and thanks for sharing Tonya’s story! You are an amazing person!
    Tonya- Sending you strength and hugs! I, too, am a young mother who was given a cancer diagnosis in 2008. I had surgery, chemo, and am currently in remission. Just wanted to share something that I did that helped me to communicate with friends and family during my illness. I started a page on It’s free and keeps everyone in the loop. Just thought you might want to do the same!

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point