I am no longer wallowing in the not-so-hot 15K race I had this Saturday.  In fact, I’m turning the disappointing experience into a catalyst for something more:


I normally cut off the D-Chip when I get home, but I’m leaving the timer from Saturday’s race on my shoelaces.  Every time I look down at my feet, I am reminded that I NEVER want to feel or look like this after a race:


I would much prefer to always look like this as I cross the finish line:

Triathalon Relay 031

I’m turning my experience on Saturday into serious motivation to integrate faster short runs into my training.  I do not enjoy speedwork (probably because it’s so hard), but I know it’s worth it in the end.  I KNOW I CAN DO THIS!


Around 10 AM, I took a break from working and did a speedy 4.0- mile run.  Instead of falling into my comfortable pace of 10:00-minute/miles, I picked it up and did 9:00.  Whenever I felt like slowing down, I looked at my shoes, saw that bright orange D-Chip, and picked up the pace!


  • Duration: 36:17
  • Distance: 4.0 miles
  • Mile 1: 9:02
  • Mile 2: 9:04
  • Mile 3: 8:59
  • Mile 4: 9:12


It was hard, but I felt so accomplished at the end!  I KNOW that I can do anything I set my mind to, and trust me–I’m dead-set on improving my pace back to pre-injury speeds.  It’s going to take a little bit of work, but I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge.


I came home and made lunch, which featured some delicious VEGGIES!


As part of the DailySpark Learn to Luv Veggies Challenge, I made stir-fry sugar snap peas and fresh corn:


I also had baked tofu and cous cous:


To make the veggies, I stir-fried the corn and sugar snap peas in a little water, olive oil, and about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic until the corn browned.   These veggies were SO delicious.  I can’t believe I’ve just been steaming veggies…. there are so many great ways to cook them!


Dessert was a handful of dates:


Operation Beautiful


Have you checked out today’s Operation Beautiful notes?  Don’t forget, I’ll be collecting submissions for the book soon — so stay tuned!


Natalie from No No to Yo Yo wrote me today to say:


"I started out on my journey to healthy living a little over 10 months ago.  When I started trying to change I didn’t believe in myself, didn’t think I could do it, and it was ALL ABOUT the "Fat Talk." When I decided to make a change in my life and kick everything negative and unhealthy, I really tried to focus on positive thinking and telling myself things that I didn’t at first think were true


As time went on some of those things started to become easier and easier to say.  I found your blog through Angela’s and then I found Operation Beautiful.  I thought Operation Beautiful was such a great idea, and I knew from what I had been doing the few months before, that this would only add to my progress and help me truly believe in myself. Women are so hard on themselves and do not give themselves the credit they deserve


After posting my first Operation Beautiful note, I felt amazing. I felt strong and I believed what it had said. I knew that I was beautiful and that I did deserve to believe it, and anyone who read what I had wrote should feel the same way about themselves. It was me and only me who had been holding myself back all this time. I was my own worst enemy and I didn’t even know it. 


After I finally believed in myself, my life changed in every single way. 


Operation Beautiful was a stepping stone for me and something I’ll always remember!"


What experiences taught you to believe in yourself? For me, my first 10K was a huge learning experience and gave me a great deal of confidence.  If I could go from sitting on the couch to running 6.2 miles in two months, I could do anything!



  • Julia September 28, 2009, 9:03 am

    What a great way to motivate yourself and to turn a rough run into something good!
    It looks like your starting off the veggie challenge right! Great job!

  • angieinatlanta September 28, 2009, 9:04 am

    I LOVE that you're turning something that could be discouraging into something really encouraging! Very admirable!

    You kick butt, Caitlin, it's as simple as that!

  • platipus329 September 28, 2009, 9:05 am

    Congrats! I definitely had a rough weekend myself but I'm so looking foward to shaking it all off and starting again after my 10 miler this morrning

  • Lauren September 28, 2009, 9:07 am

    Hi Caitlin, I heard this song on the radio today and it reminded me of Operation Beautiful. I think it is a great song! Johnny Diaz "More Beautiful You." Yay for loving more veggies! I actually do like them, but need to eat much more of them-sometimes I don't just out of laziness! I'll join your challenge! 🙂

  • Jessica September 28, 2009, 9:10 am

    You are so inspiring. I love it. Kick some butt.

  • runnerskitchen September 28, 2009, 9:10 am

    What a great idea 🙂 Speed work WILL help you get faster! If you're normal runs are a bit speedier, then your race pace won't be quite a shock to your body.

    I think adding a little cheese sauce or red chilli pepper to veggies always makes them more enjoyable!

  • Emily September 28, 2009, 9:14 am

    Hi Caitlin! I think your new found running focus is great – I love the use of your shoe tag to motivate you. My boyfriend is an amazing runner and despite having many amazing Boston Marathon times, he only has the certificate for the race that he finished in 4:30:00 hanging up because it motivates him. He actually passed out before the finish, sat for an hour, and then finished. Its that kind of perseverance that pays off, for sure!

    I continue to be inspired by Operation Beautiful! Thanks for your hard work and dedication to such an amazing movement.

  • cookinfanatic September 28, 2009, 9:16 am

    What a lovely post! I actually found Natalie's site today as well after she left me a comment and I can't wait to read more from her 🙂 Congrats on the the stir-fry veggie success too.. all they needed was some flava!

  • Nicole September 28, 2009, 9:17 am

    I definitely need to eat more veggies!!! Your lunch looks great!! I have been sauteing my veggies in olive oil and garlic lately too, and it adds so much flavor!!

  • Runeatrepeat September 28, 2009, 9:20 am

    Shoe tag – great idea!

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life September 28, 2009, 9:22 am

    You are so inspiring Caitlin.. I have changed my whole outlook on life since reading your blog.. WHo know by googling "30 day shred" I could find your blog and then find so many other amazing blogs.. You are so determined and serously I can't wait till your book get published.. You are awesome girl!

  • Amy September 28, 2009, 9:24 am

    Yes, try preparing veggies other ways. Roasting/baking them brings out amazing flavor, and it's really easy!

  • Paige@ Running Around Normal September 28, 2009, 9:27 am

    Great run!! Very fast:) That's great motivator. Speedwork is really hard – and hard on your body, so I can see why you avoided it, but I'm sure incorporating it back in will improve your time. Great way to turn a negative into your motivator.

  • Susan September 28, 2009, 9:29 am

    That's a great reminder to keep going fast! I try to do a speedy 5k every week and it kiiilllls me. But I never regret it after 🙂

    Greens sauteed in olive oil and garlic is a-maaazing. My favourite way to eat spinach and kale 🙂

  • Whitney @ Lettuce Love September 28, 2009, 9:32 am

    That is a great post — I admire you choice to make something that could be discouraging into something motivating. I am very inspired!

    You rock!

  • Whitney@whitsgettingfit September 28, 2009, 9:34 am

    What a motivating post! Your run was awesome, and I totally have faith that your speed WILL RETURN. Hang in there!

  • Meg C. September 28, 2009, 9:48 am

    caitlin, it's so awesome that you're motivated and want to always do your best in races.

    but remember not every race can always be your best and it is okay not to PR, especially when recovering from injury!

    without the crappy runs/races where we don't meet our goals, the great ones wouldn't mean as much.

  • jack+alli September 28, 2009, 9:49 am

    great run! i've been trying to work on my speed as well, it is hard! i read on the runners world website that short, speedy hill runs help improve speed. i'm not sure about florida, but phoenix is f-l-a-t! i'm seeing a treadmill in my future…ick.

    i second what "megan @ megzz wins at life" said!

  • Kristen @ frostingandfroth.com September 28, 2009, 9:55 am

    Great post, Caitlin. Running the Napa Valley Marathon was definitely my big inspirational moment. I lost over 60 pounds over two years through a healthy diet and steady exercise. Running 26.2 miles really made it hit home–I was a healthy, fit, and active person for the first time in my adult life. THAT made me feel beautiful–inside and out. Thank you for the constant inspiration, Caitlin.

  • Leah @ L4L September 28, 2009, 9:59 am

    Yay for veggies!

    How can you eat that many dates in one sitting?! I think they are too sweet for more than two, unless they are FILLED with Almond Butter! Yum!

  • Tania :) September 28, 2009, 10:01 am

    Yum!!! Those veggies sound good!! What other ways are there to cook them???

  • brandi September 28, 2009, 10:02 am

    great job keeping that chip on your shoe for motivation 🙂

    the veggies look great, too.

  • eatolive September 28, 2009, 10:07 am

    I always did that after races as well! Left my D chip on for a week or so as increased motivation on runs 🙂 and it works!

    Everyone has a bad race now and then, just remember there's always another race to kick butt on! 🙂

  • Jenna September 28, 2009, 10:16 am

    great motivation! glad you loved the veggies 🙂

  • Mrs. LC September 28, 2009, 10:17 am

    I can't believe you've just been steaming your veggies too! lol I would've gotten bored of veggies ages ago.

    Do you like asparagus? Roasted asparagus might be my most favorite type of vegetable ever.

    Also – do you not like combining vegetables? You seem to usually have them separated on your plate, which I also found interesting today since you cooked them together.

  • runninghealthy September 28, 2009, 10:25 am

    good for you for finding motivation instead of wallowing in disappointment. i think that's a lesson we all could learn! the corn looks delicious. just a quick question… how do you cook your tofu? i always have an issue with the texture, so any tips you could give would be great! thanks!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 28, 2009, 10:27 am
  • Liz September 28, 2009, 10:33 am

    Way to stay positive girl! Those are great starts for your 4-miler today!

  • Matt September 28, 2009, 10:55 am

    Nice job motivating yourself for speedwork! Remember to make room for those recovery runs as well. They are just as important for keeping a base.

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance September 28, 2009, 11:04 am

    As always, I love your POSTIVE outlook on things!!! In this day and age you have to think that way in my opinion in order to survive! No matter what happens (or goes wrong in my life), I always try to THINK POSTIVE!!!

    I am training for my 1st ever 10K in November and am just hoping I can finish it without stopping…and with a decent time (12 mins or so is good for me this 1st time)!

    Your post motivated me to work towards that goal just like you are with your Speed Work!

    Thank you! =) Laura

  • robinbb September 28, 2009, 11:06 am

    I wanted to tell you this earlier, but now even more…Don't be so hard on yourself for that race. I don't even think pushing yourself on shorter runs is necessary. You will notice that your speed will get faster as your endurance gets better. When you are training for a marathon, you will naturally increase your miles and the speed will come on its own. You need to go at the correct pace so that you can recover and go make all your runs. If you push too hard, you may be more sore or injure yourself. The speed will come, you need to remember what your goal is. If you want to run fast 5k's then do speed work, but if you want to do a marathon run long and slow. I am so much faster at my races now that I have built up my mileage.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 28, 2009, 11:09 am

    robin – i would normally agree with you, but the speed has not come back after 3 months of training "naturally." i think its going to be necessary to do speedwork if i want to get any faster while marathoning. don't worry, i'll be safe! 🙂

  • Amy September 28, 2009, 11:34 am

    First of all, CONGRATS on the book deal! So amazing.

    Glad you're integrating speed. I struggle with that too. But mile repeats changed my life! I have a 5 mile route I do once or twice a week where I run 1.5 mi to the lakefront, sprint 1 mile on the path, recover & turn around, sprint 1 mile back and run normally home. It has helped so much! Maybe you could try out a similar route with a straight-shot mile?

    Good luck!

  • K from ksgoodeats September 28, 2009, 11:54 am

    One thing I've learned through years of being an athlete is how to turn disappointments into motivation. You can either get wrapped up in the negativity of a bad result or you can pick yourself up and give yourself a serious kick in the ass to get on the right track. It sounds like you're picking the more productive of the two. There's no doubt in my mind that your next race is going to be great – good luck training, you can do it! 🙂

  • Mary Sailors September 28, 2009, 11:57 am

    I love love love! Medjool dates!! They are great if you heat them up a few seconds too!! Great job for bucking up after feeling bad about your race.

  • Stacey September 28, 2009, 11:59 am

    Great job on the run! You can do anything that you set your mind to girlie 🙂 For me, it was when I won 2nd place at my first 10k trail race, and I wasn't even trying to win it! I even took two walking breaks because my knees were hurting so bad, and I still placed 🙂 It felt great and was definitely a surprise when they called my name. I always think of that when I am lacking motivation

  • runninghealthy September 28, 2009, 12:05 pm

    caitlin- thanks for the recipe! i'll have to give it try.
    – krista

  • Claire September 28, 2009, 12:17 pm

    To me, one of the best ways to cook veggies and enjoy them is to roast them. Just toss them in a little olive oil and season with whatever you want to use. Then cook for 12 minutes or so (until they are tender to your liking) at about 425.

  • Stepfanie September 28, 2009, 12:26 pm

    I'm so happy to hear you liked your veggies today.
    I know you were less than thrilled with your time this weekend, but know that you are among the inspirations for me. I completed my first 5K this weekend (I finished a very hilly course in 28:34), and I'm running another one this weekend. Your blog is such an inspiration to me, and I hope that mine (dailySpark) can inspire you to love your veggies!

  • littlemissminny September 28, 2009, 12:27 pm

    Nice job with the veggies! I hope you make some delicious ones soon!
    Finishing my first year at the uni made me believe in myself. It was a hard stressful year, but I made it, and I made it pretty good actually 🙂

  • Pam (Highway to Health) September 28, 2009, 12:37 pm

    Great idea on motivating yourself.

    The veggies look great! I can't wait to see what else you come up with.

  • Mel September 28, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Good for you for getting your motivation mojo back. (: QUestion…do you do pace-based workouts? In other words, do you plan to do some workouts at an easier pace and others at a fast pace. Smart Coach on runnersworld.com can be a great tool. I have found that running at the same pace all the time hindered my performance. Having 1 day for speed, another for long slow distance, etc. really helped. So much more I could say, but good luck girl. You're doing great. (:

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 28, 2009, 12:48 pm

    mel – i think thats my problem – ive been training all my runs at the same pace! thanks for this info, ill check it out.

  • Mel September 28, 2009, 12:55 pm

    Awesome. (: I'm no pro, but I really think you could make some serious improvements with just a little more planning. AND, training that way will give you a much better idea if your race goals are realistic. Good luck. With your attitude & work ethic, I have zero doubt you'll do whatever you set your mind to.

  • Lizzy September 28, 2009, 12:57 pm

    what a super amazing reminder Caitlin! You seriously have motivation seeping from your veins! I learn so much from you!

    You are awesome girl 🙂

  • Courtney September 28, 2009, 12:58 pm

    That visible reminder of your timing chip is such a great idea! Take that frown and turn it upside down!!! :>

    Adventures in Tri-ing

  • Kate September 28, 2009, 12:59 pm

    Caitlin- please be careful. The last thing you should do after a hard race when you're still recovering from an injury is run hard!!!!

  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie September 28, 2009, 3:21 pm

    I am glad you like the veggies!!! Can't wait to see what else you try!

    I suggest rutabega and asparagus 🙂

  • K September 28, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Caitlin you are so motivating and inspiring! I am a little concerned, though, that you are being too hard on yourself after Saturday's race.

    After running 15K on Saturday, you immediately set out with a harder workout on Sunday and then again, today.

    You do not need to punish yourself (what it seems like you're doing).

    You are so talented and amazing – you can run long distances, period, but also you have created a successful blog, started Operation Beautiful, got a book deal, went back to school to eventually become "Dr. Caitlin," and much more.

    I think you need to stop for a few seconds and really let these great things sink in. Give your hardworking body (and brain) a much-deserved break. After a little rest, then concentrate on setting up a plan that will help you increase your pace.

    Remember – you are beautiful no matter what your pace or final race time was/is in the future!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point September 28, 2009, 5:42 pm

    K- thank you 🙂 tomorrow is a rest day, dont worry! i'm actually NOT sore at all, which is awesome and amazing.

Healthy Tipping Point