The Story of My DQ

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Good morning!! I woke up to a delicious bowl of Gingerbread Oatmeal – YUM!


My Gingerbread Oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup  milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of molasses
  • Toppings: brown sugar and hazelnuts


So delicious!


It truly tasted like gingerbread cookies!


I’ll be making actual gingerbread cookies an hour of so.  I set out the butter to let it reach room temperature.


Caitlin Doesn’t "Do" Triathlons


You guys know I LOVE TO RACE! Racing is my favorite part of running.  I’m always sharing these mostly happy and successful race recaps with you.  But today, I wanted to tell you about a race I failed at.


On New Year’s Eve 2008, I made two resolutions:


  • Run a half marathon (which I did back in October)
  • Compete in a triathlon


This past June, I compete in my first–and probably my last–triathlon.  I entered a Sprint Triathlon event called My First Tri, which is a 0.25 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 2.75 mile run.


I trained for about 6 weeks, sometimes doing two-a-days when I would both run and swim or swim and bike.  I never, ever swam in open water during my training. I always swam in the gym pool.  A lot of people recommended I swim in open water before the race, but I didn’t really see HOW I could swim in open water (as I am afraid of alligators, a serious problem in Florida).


On race day, I felt anxious but excited.  I was sure I could handle the physical rigors of the tri–after all, I except it all to be over in about an hour and a half, which is no big deal for me, cardio-wise.


BOY, WAS I MISTAKEN!  The open water swim is what did me in.


The swim involved going out 0.13 of a mile, turning around a bu0y, and swimming back.  The trouble with tri’s is that everyone is jostling for position in the water.  I looked down and all I could see was muddy water (with gators, probably!!); not a clear, clean bottom of a lovely gym pool.  Within five minutes of the swim, I had a full blown panic attack, flagged a lifeguard on a kayak, and quit the race.




After hanging onto the lifeguard’s kayak for about five minutes, I decided to swim back to shore.  Ironically, Future Husband and my Dad saw me coming out of the water and it looked like I was in the lead (I was too far out to see when I quit).  They were  screaming at me to "RUN, RUN" to the transition area, but I just crawled out of the water with a disappointed look on my face and told him I had been DQ-ed (disqualified).


Future Husband and my Dad taught me an important lesson that day.  Future Husband grabbed my transmitter off my leg and handed it to a race official, and then my Dad pushed me towards the transition area.  Even though I had quit, I was still going to finish!


I hopped on my bike and quickly finished the 12.5-mile bike.


And then I transitioned into the run and pounded out 2.75 miles in good time.


I was really mad at myself by the time I finished.  I had let my mental fears take over my body.  I KNEW that I was strong enough for the swim. It was disappointing, but Future Husband and my Dad were both supportive and didn’t make fun of me for quitting (which was really nice of them!).


It took me a few weeks to get over the disappointment of DQ-ing a race. Now, I refer to the triathlon experience as my dualthon (which is a run + bike) experience, because that’s pretty much what it ended up being (I just got wet first, haha).


So, that’s the story of my first (and probably last) triathlon!  I am signed up for a dualthon when Meghann does her first tri in March, and I’m excited for that race.


In honor of this race’s memory, I DO have plans to do a mini-triathlon tonight at the gym. ๐Ÿ™‚


Have you ever quit a race?  What happened?



  • Meghann December 23, 2008, 8:19 am

    Gingerbread cookies? Umm… can I have some ๐Ÿ™‚

    Are you going to be home around 3:00? I need some girl chat time…. and maybe some cookies….

  • Lindsey December 23, 2008, 8:29 am

    Is it bad that when I saw DQ in the post title, I immediately thought Dairy Queen, not disqualified? I am so ready for the holidays to be over so I can have the mental fortitude to get junk food off the brain!!

  • just me December 23, 2008, 8:32 am

    Mmmm…gingerbread is always tasty.

    I got DQ’d in a cross country race once with a girl whom i had a rivalry with for 3 years for some stupid reason. One year I was just so fed up w/ her stupid games during the race that i full on elbowed her and pushed her into a bush. hahaha…my coach just laughed…i admit, i was a bit rough, but she had done worse to me years before when she punched me in the face. yeah….

  • Mica December 23, 2008, 8:33 am

    Whoa….I never thought about alligators being a problem for Floridian triathletes. That’s intense!

    That’s really great that you finished. I probably would have just sat around feeling bad about my DQ and stuffing cookies in my face.

  • fitforfree December 23, 2008, 8:41 am

    I quit a timed test once when I was on a crew team, because I thought I was gonna puke…. should’ve just pukedรขโ‚ฌโ€I would’ve looked like more of an athlete and less of a wuss ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, though, it taught me that you need to build up slowly; you can’t sprint a hard race if you haven’t built up to it!

  • Kath December 23, 2008, 8:45 am

    I am terrified of open water too ๐Ÿ™ And I don’t want to invest the money into all the tri gear like a bike. If someone would just GIVE me all the stuff I need (bathing suit that’s not a bikini, bike suitable for racing, etc.) I would do one!

  • carolinebee December 23, 2008, 8:52 am

    WOW, great job on still finishing and even attempting it..the thought of gators wouldve done me in. That’s so great you have that support, good luck in the dual!

  • VeggieGirl December 23, 2008, 9:02 am

    Gingerbread oats!!! Ooooh….

    I hear ya on the triathlons – but kudos to you on attempting it!!

    I too thought that the DQ was going to refer to Dairy Queen, haha.

  • Erica December 23, 2008, 9:15 am

    Good for you for posting this story. I think its awesome that you finished the running/biking portion of the race! I haven’t really done a lot of races but I plan to set some goals to do some next year!

    I am baking too (while I work ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t wait to see your gingerbread cookies!

  • tfh December 23, 2008, 9:25 am

    Good for you for finishing! And for even signing up…I am really afraid of triathlons because I don’t like being jostled/kicked/elbowed in the water. I would panic even without alligators.

    Gingerbread is my favorite!

  • Halie December 23, 2008, 10:01 am

    Yummers on the oats! I tried gingerbread oats this past weekend, too!

    Thanks for sharing the story of the triathlon. I can imagine the same thing happening to me in the water ๐Ÿ˜ I am a little too susceptible to panic attacks in situations like that – I probably would have gotten one out of the water, just thinking about the fact that I’d get one in the water! But you are so strong to have finished it despite what happened at first! Good for you! What a great sport!

    I actually stopped playing soccer in High School because of the possibility that my team could be disqualified – I moved to one town over and didn’t get a transfer from the new school district, and I didn’t want to risk anything.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Dairy Queen!

    I chuckled reading “just me’s” experience ๐Ÿ™‚ So funny

  • Holly December 23, 2008, 10:06 am

    It’s definitely awesome that you still finished! I grew up a swimmer, and even though I’d never done any open water races before my first triathlon this year, I’d never been afraid of the water and usually try to swim across whatever body of water I come across. But the fact of the matter is, I’ve come to hate swimming as a sport — I’m SO burnt out on it that it’s ridiculous. Luckily, I have some natural talent that doesn’t go away no matter how many workouts I skip (not so with running or biking!) So for my sprint tri (.6 mile swim, 15 .2 mile bike, 4.0 mile run), I did approximately THREE swim workouts before it and came out of the water as the 6th women. But then… I just got passed, and passed again, and passed again and came in 94th! HAHAHAH.

    I have definitely been DQed in a swim meet before, for either a false start or an incorrect turn or something of that nature!

  • Elina December 23, 2008, 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing that story! It’s really amazing that even after the horrible water experience you still biked and ran! Your hubby (well future hubby but close enough) and dad sound like such positive people. Very cool!
    I think it’s also good to understand our own limits and accept them. Now you know that you don’t like swimming races – no biggie, just not your cup of tea (wouldn’t be mine either) doesn’t mean you’re not strong enough! Ok I’ll stop blabbering… ๐Ÿ˜€

  • BOBBI McCORMICK December 23, 2008, 10:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this story, I have never done a tri in open water so I admire you fro trying. I think the best athletes in life are the ones that live, fail, but still get up and try again!

  • Meghann December 23, 2008, 10:56 am

    Yay! I can’t wait to take advantage of all of them! I’ll see you around 3 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • K December 23, 2008, 10:56 am

    Thanks for your story! Glad to hear you still finished it though. Sometimes overcoming the mental aspect of competitive events can be the hardest part!

    I too thought DQ meant dairy queen ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Meg December 23, 2008, 11:14 am

    Definitely have to make that oatmeal! Yum!

  • eatingbender December 23, 2008, 11:41 am

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think that stories like this one are what make the actual victories that much better. Future Husband and your dad were amazing – I am really glad to hear that you finished that race. And I completely understand where you are coming from with the alligators. I can’t even swim in the ocean past my knees because I am so scared of “creatures.”

  • Adi December 23, 2008, 12:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Caitlin. It’s never fun sharing un-fun memories but we can all learn from that!

    I’m also one of your readers who thought “DQ” was referring to Dairy Queen… oops…

  • Caitlin (see bride run) December 23, 2008, 12:56 pm

    hahah i love that everyone thought i was referring to dairy queen. in my mind, DQ = disqualified!! LOL but i do love dairy queen blizzards.

  • Katy December 23, 2008, 1:32 pm


    Thanks for sharing the DQ story … it was my biggest fear when I entered my first triathlon. I understand the swimming thing — the start of open water swims can be NUTS!

    I was a swim coach for years, and if you ever want some tips, I’d be happy to help! And there are some decent swims in O-town that are much more user-friendly, if you ever want to try again. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • HangryPants December 23, 2008, 6:20 pm

    Aw that’s ok. You are such a super person. I love hearing about your ups and downs. I’ve never quit a race because I’ve only ran in one! I can’t imagine swimming in that nastiness.

  • ttfn300 December 23, 2008, 7:00 pm

    impressed that you finished it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am freaked out by the swim as well… i’ve done two and the second was in the ocean. i freaked. good thing there was a current!! but it’s not too hard to stay off to the side or let the crazies go off just a bit ahead before you start. I’m tackling many fears by doing them, but I like the challenge and feeling after completion!

  • Anonymous December 23, 2008, 7:55 pm

    I did my first tri this past June, a sprint tri in open water and the lake was FREEZING in WI June 1! I had a panic attack as I rounded the first bouy and doggie-paddled through the rest of the swim. I was sure I was dead-last, but…no, I wasn’t. I finished the swim in 13 minutes, afraid to put my head in the water since the lake was so murky. But, I got through it – and plan to try (tri?) again this June!

  • Cat Cat December 23, 2008, 11:59 pm

    Do you even have dairy queens in florida? i lived in FL for 7 years and don’t remember a Dq. I have never competed in anything so I have never been disqualified. Congrats on just getting out there and trying something new!

  • lauren December 24, 2008, 1:13 pm

    I am so sorry that happened, but completely understand! I hate swimming! I have done two triathlons, but the open water swim was the scariest part for me. My saving grace was that they had a practice swim a few weeks before my first, so I was able to swim the course and become more comfortable. But, good for you on finishing!

  • thechiclife March 14, 2009, 4:53 pm

    haha…I sound just like you. The potential alligators in the water would have scared the crap out of me. Come to think of it…maybe me + triathlons are not a good combo. I don’t think we have as much a problem with alligators, but what about snakes! Yikes! I’m such a chicken. I think that’s awesome you still finished the rest of the triathlon, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sara March 14, 2009, 9:03 pm

    That’s so great that you still finished the race ๐Ÿ™‚ The open water swim is one thing that keeps me from attempting a triathalon…I probably wouldn’t have even been able to attempt what you did!

  • Alison January 18, 2010, 9:19 pm


    First of all, ever since I came across your blog about a year ago you have been a big inspiration to me to stay fit and eat healthy. Sometimes I get burned out from all this healthiness and just want a Cinnabon but then I’ll read about your fruity and grainy creations and get totally inspired for some oatmeal again!

    But about the quitting thing … your story gave me a lot of comfort. This past September I did my second tri (Olympic distance) in a lake up here in upstate NY. Like you, I do my training in the pool. Although I had done a sprint distance tri before in open water and although there are no alligators in NY, I had a total panic attack in the water and became best buds with the kayak dude. The water was just so DEEP and FREEZING COLD! It was September in NY for heaven’s sake! And I was the only girl NOT wearing a wetsuit!

    Anyway, I held onto the kayak, swam a few yards, held on again, swam again, and continued this for the entire half mile. I was so embarrased. The amazing thing was that I actually finished the swim, continued the race, and came in dead last in my age group. The funny part was that when I exited the water, there was a huge pack of guys behind me – it looked like I was leading all of them! But in fact they were the next wave who nearly ran me downn.

    I really beat myself up about it and have vowed to never swim again because who wants to put herself through all that?? But when I read that you – who is so athletically accomplished – had a panic attack in the water too, I felt so relieved … and there is this little seed of hope inside me that, like you, I might be able to try it again one day.

    Sorry for the hugely long post! Thanks for being you!

    • Caitlin January 19, 2010, 9:08 am

      Panic attacks are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO scary. I’m glad to hear its not just me, TOO! I was the only one who quit at my tri and it made me feel so bad. But the only reason we should feel bad is if we never, ever try again. I said I couldnt try again for about a year, and then recently I realized I was being so silly. If thousands of other women can do it, so can we! And we’ll be better prepared next time, which I think will make a huge difference. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo.

  • Lorena September 19, 2012, 11:40 am

    I dont know why but your story choked me up. I can only imagine that feeling of panic combined with disappointment. But it is so nice your family was supportive.

  • Kathleen June 26, 2013, 10:58 am

    I’ve been pouring through your blog! I am doing my first sprint tri in July and the swim is for sure the scariest part for me… my biggest fear is a panic attack out in the water. I’ve signed up for an open water swim the week before so I can get some kind of idea before race day. Thank you for all your tips and recaps- it’s very, very helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

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