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Getting up this morning was challenge!  I was laying in my cold, dark room when I started to do the old "bargaining" switch — you know, "Five more minutes of sleep and I’ll skip my shower." But then I decided to give myself a good reason to get up — PANCAKES — and sprung to life!


The famously deliciously Hodgson’s Mills InstaBake pancakes.


Plus, syrup and fruit (a banana and strawberries).


Running Hiatus Day 5 Round-Up


I’m officially on Day 5 of the Running Hiatus.  My knees have hurt so much since the Trail Race that is wasn’t very hard to "stop" myself from running — I literally could barely walk up the stairs! 


However, I’ve still felt very lazy all week — except for some at-home strength training sessions, I’ve only worked out once in the last 5 days.   It’s really difficult for me [mentally] to take time off.  I feel grumpy, I feel like a loser, and I feel…. well, bad.


My poor attitude to the last five days got me thinking — why do I only think I’m successful when I’m pushing my body to it’s limit in terms of exercise?  I think it’s because I’m a naturally hard-working person.  At work, with cleaning, in relationships, with running — I don’t think I’m doing enough unless I’m doing it all. 


This all or nothing attitude is very silly.  After all, my knees pop, I can’t walk up the stairs without pain, I go to bed exhausted after a 10.0 mile training run…. Clearly, running 20 – 25 miles a week for three straight years is not good for me.   This break is NECESSARY.


The body requires rest.  The mind requires rest.  Rest is not bad.  A running hiatus is not a punishment.  It’s my way of giving myself a metaphorical hug and saying, "You need a break.  Let’s chill out."   If I don’t accept this hiatus FULLY, my knees will never improve.  I truly believe in the healing power of positive thinking.


I need to stop getting in my own way.



  • sara April 16, 2009, 4:16 am


    I totally understand the “all” or “nothing” mentality. I often find myself stuck, stuck, stuck there. Just try to be kind to yourself and do things in moderation.

    You’ve probably thought of this, but maybe you should try to do some low impact exercises like swimming, I actually don’t even know if that would be great for your knees because of the kicking.. but it is merely an idea! Or maybe hot yoga? I’m sure you’ve already thought of your options so sorry if I’m being repetitive.

    Today’s a new day, be kind to yourself.. I’ll try to let go of my “black” and “white” thinking, if you do 🙂


  • Lauren April 16, 2009, 4:25 am

    Aw, Caitlin,

    I’m so sory you are feeling discouraged. Please don’t let this get to you because you are completely right! Taking care of your body is ESSENTIAL and you are definitely doing the right thing.

    I know that it’s easy to admit it and you know that you are doing it the right way, but I totally understand how it starts to effect your overall state of mind when you have a true passion for it.

    Keep strong girl! You will be healthfully running again in no time!!!

  • Erin April 16, 2009, 4:27 am

    You always have such beautiful meals — I definitely need to invest in some prettier dishes. Maybe that will make cooking at home more fun. 🙂

  • sarah April 16, 2009, 4:27 am

    i’m dealing with my own ‘laziness guilt’ but for me it’s because my work schedule has been (bizarrely) light this week. i know in my own heart that we both need to give ourselves a break. we get so used to pushing that the idea of rest seems wrong . . . but it’s not!

    i hurt my hip earlier this year (reaggravated an old injury) and took a full week off of complete, lying-around rest. it was definitely the best thing i could have done! i followed it with a cross-training week, and then only gra-a-a-dually added back running — and now i am enjoying my routine so much more AND am pain free.

    non-running activities i have enjoyed are yoga, the shred (although i think you are probably sick of that one!), elliptical, biking @ the gym, spinning. i would also love to try swimming but sort of don’t know how to get started!

    anyway — good luck and i hope you can start to enjoy the relaxation! i’ll be working on the same thing.

  • Mica April 16, 2009, 4:47 am

    I’m sorry you’re having a rough time with this hiatus, though I’m impressed that you can step back and realize that it’s, in the end, better for your knees. I’d probably just run myself into injury and THEN complain about it all the time. Props for being mature and introspective!

  • Neely April 16, 2009, 4:50 am

    I think it’s just hard to break a habit. Couple years ago I was so hard on myself I barely missed a day of working out ever, and was very strict about it. I learned to relax and give myself a break and now, while I probably do less than I could (not should, because I think “should” really is just “being active”)… I love my life so much more. I was so scared that something horrendous would happen if I laid off of exercise (silly) and then one day it just dawned on me that I don’t HAVE to do everything full-force.

    Oh, and if I could run a 15 mile trail race you’d better believe I’d be so proud I’d take like, a freaking month off, lol.

    Hang in there!

  • VeggieGirl April 16, 2009, 4:51 am


    Definitely be kinder to yourself, Caitlin – I’m trying to do the same for myself.

  • Susan April 16, 2009, 4:52 am

    I force myself to take full week of rest every couple months with maybe only a little light exercise. It is so hard!! I swear, sometimes NOT exercising is harder than sticking to a training regimen every day. I think we just have to remember that we won’t turn into a lazy blob if we don’t sweat like maniacs every day, and we’re doing our bodies more good than harm by taking it easy!

    Also, there’s been many a morning where I’ve talked myself out of bed with pancakes 😛 Yum!

  • Kelly April 16, 2009, 5:16 am

    Keep up the positive thinking. Maybe if you keep more active with your lower intensity work outs you will feel better? Do some elliptical or biking. Your knees still haven’t recovered from last weekends race? I hope they feel better soon!

  • MaryBe April 16, 2009, 5:34 am

    You are doing the right thing! Don’t be so hard on yourself!

  • Meg April 16, 2009, 5:47 am

    Sending positive thoughts your way!

    Fluffy pancakes…the best way to start the day!

  • Amanda April 16, 2009, 6:02 am

    Keep up the positive thinking! I truly believe that after a few weeks, you will realize that listening to your body and resting will not cause you to gain significant weight. I think this will be really empowering, and you will no longer feel like you “should” be working out every day. Have you given any thought to trying out yoga again? It has such awesome mental and physical results 🙂

  • Zesty Cook April 16, 2009, 6:04 am

    That is a beautiful meal is rightg! Wow

  • Nicole ( April 16, 2009, 6:04 am

    I can relate to your struggles of taking time off. It’s great that you can identify when you’ve worked too hard and need a break. I’m working on trying new activities other than going to the gym to keep active. I played tennis yesterday and I had a blast and worked up a sweat.

    Hang in there, lady!

  • kirsten April 16, 2009, 6:05 am

    I totally know you feel. I ran about 25 miles per week for an entire year and loved every minute of it, then I started having problems with one knee (runner’s knee) and I had to stop. It was very hard at first and I was constantly jealous of other people who didn’t have knee problems and could continue running. It took a little time but it got much easier. Now that I run only occasionally I can enjoy it without pain. Taking classes (Spin and Bootcamp) really helped me to move past the running and focus on exercise in general. It’s hard because you don’t think you will get that same feeling where you can just totally zone out like you do with running, but there are plenty of other cardio exercises that can give you the same one. I think swimming and biking especially. You shouldn’t be hard on yourself that you are upset about this hiatus, it’s perfectly okay to be upset ! It means you are really committed to your health and wellness. It will get easier with time, I promise! 🙂

  • Tami April 16, 2009, 6:06 am

    i was thinking of you this morning on my 9 mile run. i think it would bother me to take a “rest” or break from running simply because I don’t sweat that much doing other stuff, only spinning. running and spinning i feel are “hard” workouts and that’s what i crave sometimes

  • Danielle April 16, 2009, 6:46 am

    Good job on taking this rest! I know it must be hard but you’ll be thankful you did it!

  • Leila April 16, 2009, 6:48 am

    It’s definitely hard to stop doing something you really do enjoy. You might also want to look at it from a different angle. Instead of taking a break from running, your giving yourself the opportunity to cross train, which in the long run will help you with your running. With cross training (pilates, spinning, etc), you work and strengthen muscles you wouldn’t with running.

    It’s just spinning the idea on it’s head and starting from plus.

  • Dori April 16, 2009, 7:17 am

    I’m the same way about working out. I think my issues have more to do with food and body image than wanting to do everything the best, but the overall idea is the same. Just keep in mind the fact that your knees will thank you, and you live a healthy lifestyle!

  • Beth April 16, 2009, 7:27 am

    I, too took a hiatus from running – last fall, after my last 1/2 marathon. Like you, I had knee pain and the training for that event nearly killed them. I took about 4 months off and also felt like a huge loser. However, I recently returned to running, and realized the break was the BEST THING EVER. My run was not only pain free, but also felt like much less of a chore compared to those days when I was super training to the max.

    I stayed inspired during my hiatus by doing more high intensity (yet low impact) training, similar to the Shred – circuit training in a longer form. I also did interval cardio workouts at the gym. There are ways to push yourself to the max without running.

  • HangryPants April 16, 2009, 7:31 am

    I could tell you to cheer up, but the truth is, I would be the same way and it’s really a horrible mentality. The only thing I can offer is some advice to maybe go to yoga or something. It always makes me feel better to go to a nice yoga class, relax and breathe. Your knees will thank you. 😀

  • tfh April 16, 2009, 7:33 am

    I applaud you for your determination to change your own mind. I’m pretty sure that ceasing regular running has similar effects on the brain as depression. It’s hard to get through and I think you’re doing a great job.

  • Brandi April 16, 2009, 7:34 am

    yummy pancakes 🙂

    I know taking a break will be hard on you since you’re used to running so much each week. Maybe you could focus on things that will make your legs and the muscles around your knees stronger so you’ll be working on strengthening up for when you are ready to start running again. Kind of like stopping in your pit stop – you have to do some maintenance work that’s necessary to keep your machine working 🙂

  • leslie April 16, 2009, 7:41 am


    first of all, you are anything but lazy! you just rocked a 15 mile trail race, had an incredible racing season with tons of prs, and now you’re being intelligent and aware by taking care of yourself and your body. give yourself more credit!

    when i had to take time off, i constantly reminded myself that i would much rather spend the rest of my life running than only be able to run today. in ten years, i don’t want to be in a situation where running simply isn’t an option because i ignored what my body was telling me now. i’d guess you feel the same. 🙂

    try and enjoy the rest, and remember all the good you’re doing your knees!

  • S.I.T.C. April 16, 2009, 7:47 am

    I totally feel you about feeling down when you haven’t worked out in a while- once you get used to working out every day it is really difficult to stop!
    btw- if anyone is looking for a new non-food blog to follow, i recently started a legal blog about family law (and actually, Caitlin gave me some help setting it up when i emailed her w/ q’s!)

    check it out!

  • Help Meghan Run April 16, 2009, 8:06 am

    You’ve gotten some great advice, Caitlin, but just remember that this is what your body needs right now. I understand how you feel about feeling guilty for resting, though. Good luck!

    Check out my blog as I run with Team in Training and raise money for blood cancers!

  • Olga April 16, 2009, 8:48 am

    I just wrote a post about feeling “bad” about not pushing myself so hard! I agree with you, the body does need rest, and so does your mind!

  • runsarah April 16, 2009, 8:57 am

    You are definitely not lazy! I can imagine how the hiatus is hard for you though, I get a bit all-or-nothing with my workouts too, ie sometimes I don’t feel like I really worked out when I did yoga, although I need to remember I am achieving other important things (flexibility, strength) that I don’t get as much on my runs.

  • Anonymous April 16, 2009, 9:14 am

    I think as healthy people we all tend to have this problem. Normally, when I get this way, and need to take a running break, I just focus on another type of exercise. For example, I just started getting really in to strength training, and in the winter, when the thought of the treadmill would kill me, I started doing yoga. Switch it up and make it fun, not a chore.

  • katecooks April 16, 2009, 9:17 am

    taking care of your body is definitely better in the long run!!

    also i love when you make pancakes, i only crave them after i see your pics LOL!

  • redheadedjournal April 16, 2009, 9:20 am

    It’s better to take a little running break now than try and keep running and risk never being able to run ever. When I first had trouble with my knees it was hard to go from running 40 miles a week to nothing. But then I realized a brief break was better than a forever break 🙂

  • Runeatrepeat April 16, 2009, 9:20 am

    I think it’s great that you are taking the proper steps to make sure your body – especially your knees – are getting the treatment they need! Stay positive 🙂

  • Carli April 16, 2009, 10:31 am


    I see myself when you describe how you are feeling. I don’t know you, but I speak for myself when I say that I am a control freak and maybe it is so hard because you cannot control this and you have to give in to the pain. Just know that when you feel 100% better you will enjoy that run again and remind yourself how much you were dreading running…and how it became a chore. Remind yourself of this and see if that will help you. There is no easy way…but I can tell you are an accomplished person so you will accomplish this too!

  • Colleen April 16, 2009, 10:43 am

    Awww, so sorry you’ve been feeling this way! It’s hard to take a break when you’re used to going, going, going. Take gentle care of yourself and your knees will feel fabulous in no time! In the meantime join Meghann for some biking, yoga, and shredding!

  • iowagirleats April 16, 2009, 10:56 am

    I actually JUST blogged about this last night! I always feel like I need to sweat my ass off in order to be getting a good workout – it’s the mental thing that I’ve always got to get past and realize that any movement is good movement!

  • Casie April 16, 2009, 1:55 pm

    I has been so nice to read your blog this week. I have been dealing with knee/ IT band pain for two weeks and decided to take a cardio break to heal. This is such a problem for me!! But I have been reading your blog and feeling better knowing i am not the only one who deals with this!! THANK YOU!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 16, 2009, 5:58 pm

    casie – no THANK YOU! it really helps me too to hear similiar stories. 🙂 so thanks for sharing! i hope you feel better soon.

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