A Fast Five Miler

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Good morning! So sorry for the delay – I was running.  :)  Before I left, I had PB toast:


And then I slathered sunscreen all over myself because I had read a post about skin cancer on Oh She Glows.  I have been really bad about sunscreen on my long runs.  In the past, I’ve been religious about using it, but I keep forgetting lately.  It’s a bad habit I must break!


I wanted to do 5.0 miles as fast I could.  I’m working hard to regain some of my old speed, and longer “short” runs like today’s are perfect for building back my base. 


I aimed to maintain a 9:15-mile pace until the last 0.4 mile, when I simply sprinted my little heart out.  When I try to run fast for a long distance, I strive to disconnect my mind from my body.  It seems weird, but if I think too much about what I’m doing, I freak out and back off the speed.  I usually chant a mantra in my head to help lull myself into a happy disconnect.  🙂


Here are my statistics:


  • Duration: 45:54
  • Distance: 5.0 miles
  • Mile 1: 9:17
  • Mile 2: 9:00
  • Mile 3: 9:19
  • Mile 4: 9:26
  • Mile 5: 8:51 (yay)


And then I came home and ate exactly what I was craving:


Smile! 🙂


An everything bagel with cream cheese + an orange:


Being Healthy on Vacation


A few of you have asked how our Christmas-time trip to England will affect my Marathon Training. Luckily, my marathon is on January 10, so the 10 days I am in England are actually a taper period.


My training plan calls for 5 days of running while we’re in England.  The longest distance I have to do is 5.0 miles.  I’m concerned about running in the cold, but I’ll live.


I worked out or ran 5 out of the 10 days I was on my honeymoon and clocked about 20 miles, if I remember correctly. 


I’ve also gotten a few questions about eating on vacation.  This will be my first vacation as a vegetarian, and I am a little nervous.  Nutrition is very important in the weeks leading up to the marathon, and I hope I can find enough healthy vegetarian meals while abroad.  I’m sure it won’t be an issue in London, but it may be when we go to the countryside.


Do you workout on vacation?  If it’s a short trip, I usually won’t.  But, I actually really love to run on vacation because its an excellent way to see a city!



  • Runningwriter October 13, 2009, 10:12 am

    I think you’ll be fine if you like pasta or goat’s cheese tarts 🙂 I find that most veggie meals here are based around one or the other. I’ll keep my eye out for interesting veggie eats around London for you.

  • Sara @ Activegal October 13, 2009, 10:13 am

    That is an awesome time! How do you pace yourself when you are out running? I have a really hard time keeping a steady pace when I am trying to incrase my spead.

    • caitlin October 13, 2009, 10:13 am

      the garmin 305 is awesome and totally worth the money.

      • Sara @ Activegal October 13, 2009, 10:49 am

        I’ll have to look into that! I just use a simple timer watch to get my overall time but it doesn’t help in letting me know my mile by mile time.

  • haya October 13, 2009, 10:13 am

    i love running in new places when i’m on holiday! plus it makes me feel ok about otherwise being lazy or not eating as healthy as i otherwise might.

    i can’t wear sunblock when i run because even the super sport/waterproof ones melt off and get into my eyes with the sweat. burns 🙁

  • Liz October 13, 2009, 10:14 am

    I’m a vegetarian, too, and I travel a lot. Obviously you know to bring snacks. If you are served and don’t really have any options, you might be a little hungry. You’ll live! Besides, the point of the trip is to enjoy the country and your husband; don’t worry about eating or not eating.

  • Sam October 13, 2009, 10:20 am

    Where abouts are you planning on going in England, besides London? I don’t think we have as many vegetarian-friendly restaurants as you guys do in the US, but most good places will have at least a few healthy veggie options to choose from. I probably eat about a 90% vegetarian diet, and rarely have problems eating out, and I live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere!

    • caitlin October 13, 2009, 10:22 am

      i bet we have indian food like 12 times. LOL. im not sure where else we are going besides redding.

      • Sam October 13, 2009, 10:25 am

        I live about 20 minutes from Reading (and about 30 from London) – we have to meet up! Most the Indian restaurants I go to have great veggie curries and lentil dishes :D.

  • Ami October 13, 2009, 10:20 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    I was in England last year too (Manchester, London, Cheshire, etc..) and I’m also a vegetarian. I had no problems finding vegetarian food in England no matter where I was. You shouldn’t worry about it at all. I noticed that when I went to a pub for lunch they usually had at least one vegetarian item. I think it’s cuz there are so many Indians there. A lot of times they would even put an icon next to the veggie items. If nothing else, you can always order the ploughman’s lunch which is bread, cheese, and some onion/pickles. Have fun!

    • caitlin October 13, 2009, 10:22 am

      oh ploughman’s lunches!! forgot about those.

      • Ami October 13, 2009, 10:30 am

        I totally forgot! I’ve been to Reading as well. It’s a great place to shop, but stay away from the TGI Fridays there! The food is soooo much more expensive there. It’s a very cosmopolitan area so you should not have any problems finding decent food. There is supposed to be a really good Thai place there that my future SIL wanted to take us to.

  • brandi October 13, 2009, 10:21 am

    great job on the run!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 13, 2009, 10:21 am

    I like working out of vacation, but try to do something active outdoors. Every year when we go to the beach, my entire family bikes 12 miles each morning. It is very fun!

    I also love everything bagels!

  • Erica October 13, 2009, 10:23 am

    Hey girl! Great job on the run! I am loving fitting in more speedy runs (I did one yesterday too). And love the happy bfast. I try to keep my workout and eating schedule as normal as possible on vacas with room for some indulgences 🙂 (gotta have some treats). I usually run either on the treadmill at the gym or (if the environment outside the hotel allows it) run outside. You’re right – its a great way to discover the city and nearby restaurats you may want to try!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat October 13, 2009, 10:23 am

    I am sure you will do great on vacation. I haven’t taken any long trips but I got through a couple of big city trips being a vegetarian. I have found that many places are more accomodating now but there are still a few holding out!

    Great run 🙂

  • Stacey October 13, 2009, 10:26 am

    Good for you for going running! I hit the snooze button lol. Ever since reading a scary magazine article about skin cancer, I have used sunscreen every single day. Sometimes it’s hard to remember especially if it’s rainy or cloudy out, but I put it right next to my facewash so I won’t forget! Have a good day!
    Oh and I usually do site-seeing as a workout when I’m on vacay 🙂

  • Susan October 13, 2009, 10:27 am

    Ha, I do the same thing when I’m running fast! I just zone out in my head and let my body do it’s thing. I find I’m less likely to notice my lungs may explode that way 😛

    I love exercising on vacation! I find it’s a great way to get in some quiet alone time on holidays, which are usually busy and people filled.

  • Nicole October 13, 2009, 10:30 am

    wow, that toast does NOT have enough pb! lol. I slather mine on.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 13, 2009, 10:31 am

    I typically work out while on vacation – especially if it’s a long one. I’m going through the contemplation for this year’s though. It’s an 8 day cruise. I’m guessing they probably have a gym on the cruise ship, but I’m not sure how fun that will be. I’ll probably end up working out a few days I’m there, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up my running regime on a treadmill the whole time…

    Great job on the quick 5 miler!

  • Liz October 13, 2009, 10:32 am

    I was in England (London and Winchester) during the peak of my marathon training last month (including my 20 miler) and had fantastic runs. In London, I ran in Hyde Park and along the river and in Winchester, on trails through private lands (which I believe are all around the country).
    Also, I’m a vegetarian and had no problems – even the country pubs we went to had at least one good vegetarian option.
    I’m sure your trip will be great!

  • kirsten October 13, 2009, 10:33 am

    Last time I was in London I found an amzing vegetarian restaurant and a Hummus Bar in Soho, I think they were on Wardour St

  • Lauren @ Dragonflies Journey October 13, 2009, 10:34 am

    Luckily a lot of English people are vegetarian. That’s when I stretched out my vegetarian legs and learned how to make it work!

  • Kristie Lynn October 13, 2009, 10:36 am

    Nice work putting on the sunscreen! Repetition is key to making it a habit again 🙂

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels October 13, 2009, 10:41 am

    Yes I try to work out on vacation, unless it’s a whirlwind one like my trip to NYC, because I think I walked one billion miles while sight seeing. I had a super hard time eating vegetarian while I was in the Dominican on vacation, but I’m sure England will be a different story, it just might take a little extra effort and a trip to the grocery store.

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) October 13, 2009, 10:43 am

    Mmm, I love post-run bagels! My fav is toasted 12-grain with strawberry jam and cream cheese.

    It’s not ideal, but perhaps you can pack a few clif bars/nuts/dried fruit for your trip. It’s better than being hungry (or eating meat)!

  • Traci October 13, 2009, 10:48 am

    Love working out on vacation, but won’t pressure myself to fit it in. Running in a new location is always great or I’ll even research the area prior to travel to see if I can find a Bikram studio nearby. My Bikram classes always leave me feeling amazing and ready to take on the world! Great run for you this morning.

  • Diana October 13, 2009, 10:51 am

    When I went on vacation I tried to stay active by walking! I usually walked 5k on the beach pretty much every day I went plus all the walking I did when I was sight seeing/shopping/whatever. It was actually the first time I’ve lost weight while on vacation I think ahah

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life October 13, 2009, 10:52 am

    I do try and workout on vacation most of the days.. I last 4 years I have spent my vacation in Orlando (hehe) and the weather is usually so nice their I just want to run outside.. Except when I went in August last year.. Then it was WAYY TOO HOT to run outside..

  • Stephanie October 13, 2009, 10:56 am

    i’m with ya, on short vacations i usually don’t workout or maybe just a quick sesh to keep my body moving… on long trips though its nice to schedule some relaxing exercise time!

  • Gloria October 13, 2009, 10:58 am

    I always make sure to squeeze in exercise while on vacation. Trips to Europe always include miles and miles of walking each day because I avoid using public transportation. This way I don’t need to set aside a separate “workout” time and can see more of the sites!

    I had no problem being vegetarian in London. In fact, I found this amazing vegetarian restaurant in Covent Garden called “Food For Thought”. It’s perfect for lunch and I would definitely recommend checking it out!

  • Erin October 13, 2009, 11:03 am

    Don’t worry — it’s easy being vegetarian in the UK. In London, it’s absolutely a breeze (no different than any major US city). In the country, stews are popular so there should always be a vegetarian option on the menu. Salads are harder to find but potatoes and other veggies are staples in the English diet. 🙂

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) October 13, 2009, 11:09 am

    It depends on the vacation! If my goal is total relaxation, no. A week off the gym is good for your body now and then! But if I’m just traveling for work or another reason I do.

  • Yasmin October 13, 2009, 11:15 am

    I feel that, about disconnecting mind from body when running.
    On my faster runs I feel like there is no “room” in my brain to contemplate.
    Do you start the mantra chanting right at the beginning of the run? It takes me a little while to “train” my mind not to think.

    • caitlin October 13, 2009, 11:21 am

      no, only towards the end/whenever it gets really hard. i too need time to zone out.

  • Kim October 13, 2009, 11:18 am

    It’s silly, but when I’m sprinting hard I make kind of a “tsk” sound with my mouth… and it helps keep me from thinking about the speed. I also focus more on my body and less on my legs – am I running from my abs, am I looking up? Somehow thinking about form and focusing on my breathing makes me less conscious of my speed? I know what you mean though, if I think about how fast I’m going I tend to slow down!

    • Yasmin October 13, 2009, 11:45 am

      Kim, I do a “tsk” thing too, but with my breathing! Doesn’t it scare you that you are able to shut off the ability to think?
      For sure, the stress you put on your body to speed up mediates the shutting off.
      But, in the bigger picture, when I think about lulling myself by chanting (which I do) a mantra (as Caitlin put it), it terrifies me!
      It reminds me of many tragedies in history that have happened by (albeit different) mantra-chantings.

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) October 13, 2009, 11:27 am

    I have never been to England, but I’m sure you will be able to find enough veggie food to keep you satisfied. If I were you, I would bring a nice little stash of bars (Clif, Lara, etc) just incase you get stuck in a situation where there is nothing for you to eat. I bet you can’t wait for your trip!

  • Lara (Thinspired) October 13, 2009, 11:29 am

    The cool thing about eating in England (sorry if you know this already, don’t mean to preach) is that all the foods you’ll buy at the store or in shops which are packaged will be marked with “suitable for vegetarians” if they are meatless. It makes it a lot easier to know what you can eat! (I’m not a veggie but I still appreciate it) 🙂

  • Rosie October 13, 2009, 11:41 am

    You guys are going to have such a blast!! Don’t worry about the food, there are tonnes of things to eat for vegetarians. If all else fails, cheese and branston sandwiches from pret.a manger! mmmm.

    i’ll be there, as well. it’s my first time over as a vegan, though. that makes me a bit nervous. but i’ll be in the city, and there’s plenty of hippy shops around. (:

  • Jenna October 13, 2009, 11:45 am

    i have never tried an everything bagel caitlin! yours looks great 🙂

  • karina October 13, 2009, 11:49 am

    I also like running during vacations. Once I went to Seattle, because of jetlag I couldn’t sleep. I ran almost during night or very erly morning. It was a great experience. In Denmark there are not many homeless people, so it was different to me.
    I think it’s a great way to experience a new city or country.
    Your blog is a great insperation to me. I have made 4 marathons, but now I’ve bad knees too… But it gives me hope to see that you are getting there. Good luck

  • angieinatlanta October 13, 2009, 11:55 am

    Awesome run, you speedy girl!

  • Amanda (modernation) October 13, 2009, 11:56 am

    I am working on improving my speed, too. It feel so good when speed training kick in, doesn’t it? I’m just starting to get back there because I took a little time off for a minor injury. London has so many great Indian and Middle Eastern places to eat that are very veg-friendly. My favorite restaurant in the WHOLE world is Levant in London. http://www.levant.co.uk/levant/ It is seriously the best dining experience ever. Highly recommend it!

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 13, 2009, 11:59 am

    I have faith you’ll stick to your training plan while in London – it will be nice to have some new scenery to occupy your mind!
    I’ve heard (although can’t tell you first hand) that at least in London there is tons of great Indian food, so if you guys like that you’ll have plenty of vegetarian options. Can’t wait to hear more about you’re trip!

  • Julie October 13, 2009, 12:09 pm

    Wow, awesome run there, Speedy! I lovebagels and that one looks delish…bagels and cream cheese are my favorite food duo.

    If I’m on a short vacation, like a weekend away I don’t work out. But on a long one I’d like to. My last big vaca was London/Paris 2.5 years ago and my days were so jam packed I didn’t even think about working out. This January I’m going to Dallas to visit family and I hope to get some runs in at least. She lives a healthy life style so I’m hoping I won’t be running alone!

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 13, 2009, 12:13 pm

    Love everything bagels! You’re making me crave that now -lol!

    I work out on every vacation, in some form. If the place I’m staying has a gym, I’ll go there. If I’m at the beach, I’ll bike ride, run or walk. I feel it keeps me from feeling too guilty if I overindulge here and there!

  • Laura October 13, 2009, 12:36 pm

    Fingers crossed that we get a White Christmas this year for you- although I’m not sure what that would do for your running! There are plenty of parks in London- in addition to the large, famous ones like Hyde Park and Regent Park, there are lots and lots of small ones- and Hampstead Heath) although that has some serious hills. If you are staying in Reading (I was born there!), you could run on the uni campus, cross country or by the canal or river is really, really nice (and very English!). Next time you come you should venture North- go and see Stratford upon Avon, Birmingham or Liverpool! You won’t have a problem at all being Vegetarian- only if you were Vegan- (you can even buy Lara bars and the like- look out for Wholebake 9 bars in the supermarkets), although some places might have less ‘healthy’ vegetarian options on the menu (cheese rather than e.g. tofu). Kensington High st has good restaurants, including an Ethiopian one, as does Wardour/Charlotte st, Camden and Soho!! Look out for Leon branches and Planet Organic about 5 minutes from the main shopping street (Oxford). If in doubt, theres always a Pizza Express around the place. Theres also a few great running stores- 2 on Oxford street and one on Parkway in Camden- they have a computer which analyses your running style, giving you tips how to reduce injuries and improve efficiency. Although I’m sure you have much more spangily things in the U.S. Its amazing how much I can write when I’m avoiding doing my anatomy and histology studying… sorry!

    • Sam October 13, 2009, 1:37 pm

      Such good advice! One thing I really noticed when I last went to the states was how easy it was to get tofu in restaurants, cafes, delis, etc. I guarentee you about 95% of the English population have heard of it, unfortunately!
      PS – I’m eating a 9 bar right this second! They’re so good 🙂

  • Mary @ Fit this girl October 13, 2009, 12:44 pm

    What is the mantra you say?? I would love to know, I am huge on affirmations!
    I do workout while on Vacay, it’s actually a nice way to spice it up!

    • caitlin October 13, 2009, 12:53 pm

      i was just repeating ‘disconnect’ LOL to lull myself. it works!

  • Evan Thomas October 13, 2009, 1:16 pm

    My suggestion would be to buy some staples like peanut butter before going to the country side. Obviously you don’t want to be having peanut butter and toast the whole trip, but if push comes to shove and you need a snack at night because you couldn’t fill up at meals it’s better to be nutritionally safe than sorry

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 13, 2009, 1:32 pm

    You are going to have such a good time in England! That’s nice that you get to taper when you’re there.

  • Tay October 13, 2009, 1:40 pm

    I usually try and run on vacation – but just shorter amounts. While I was in London, I went out on 3-4 milers most of the days. I loved running along the Thames and in Hyde Park! It’s just so awesome!! 😀

  • Julie @savvyeats October 13, 2009, 2:06 pm

    I like to work out on vacation, but mix it up from what I usually do at home (sightseeing by bike or going hiking, etc). For our honeymoon, we’re biking through either Greece or Italy!

  • lisa October 13, 2009, 2:11 pm

    I love working out on vacation. It helps balance all the food I eat (even when trying to watch what I eat) and it’s great to keep my energy up. Sometimes I’ll just use the ‘gym’ that is at the hotel but I love running in a new city. I agree with you, it IS a great way to see the sights! There are some companies that specialize in running tours. I wrote about a great one in Montreal recently on my blog (the post is titled “Sneakers in the Suitcase” We had such a great time!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now October 13, 2009, 2:15 pm

    It’ll be so fun to see your trip and live vicariously through you because I want to go to England so badly!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 13, 2009, 6:05 pm

    I need to remember sunscreen more often. I used to be so religious about it too when I ran outside more often. Now that I run inside more I forget the few times I do run outdoors.

    I tend to get in exercise on vacation just because I love it and not because I have too. And Hunni like to go with me too.

  • Barbara (Blood, Sweat and Heels) October 13, 2009, 8:29 pm

    I ALWAYS workout on vacation…even ran treadmill in bad weather on a cruise. THAT was a challenge in not puking:)

    I leave for CA thur and have printed out a sheet of like 100 Crossfit workouts that require no equpment, just body weight. wohooooo easy peasy!

    I can’t wait to see your London trip!!! Awesome!


  • Lauren October 14, 2009, 4:18 pm

    Caitlin- When in England you MUST taste a snakebite while at the pub. Half cider, half lager, with a float of black currant syrup. May sound odd, I know, but it will not disappoint! Also, if you and your husband are looking for a romantic tea time pick-me-up, head to the Orangery, located right in Hyde Park for a memorable afternoon snack. Can you tell I’m really jealous of your vacation plans? 🙂

    • Caitlin October 14, 2009, 4:59 pm

      I have written “drink a snakebite” on my list of things to do 🙂

  • Mandy October 14, 2009, 4:24 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I have to tell you England is WONDERFUL!!! My family is from there and we went back a couple of years ago right after Christmas (over New Years) to see them. THere is so much to do and so little time to do it in. THe weather was cold but actually bearable so you should be fine running. Also, there are tons of veggie options over there. I was a vegetarian while I was over there and even if you have to stop and get fast food…they have the veggie burgers in all the chains (just keep the mayo off…cus there is WAY too much!!!). Take lots of pictures and oh how I envy you and your husband!!!

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