Test Run

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A refresher:  I am signed up for TWO races this weekend – a Half Marathon on Saturday and a 10K on Sunday.  I am running the Half alone, and I am running the 10K with my brother-in-law.  It is Nick’s first race, and I will be pacing with him (AKA I’m not running for time).  However, I am planning to run the Half Marathon for time (goal is under 2 hours).


Last Thursday, I ran 18.0 miles and my ankle/calf felt sore afterwards.  On Sunday, I ran 3.0 miles and could barley finish due to the discomfort.


I am very prone to injuries so I immediately took this entire week off from ANY weight bearing activities (except yoga).  I did not do any form of cardio (which was difficult!).   The single biggest mistake that runners make it “running through” the pain.


This morning, I decided I needed to go on a Test Run to see if I could do the races this weekend.  To ensure I didn’t overdo it this morning, I wore inappropriate running clothes:


(Meaning that I wore a cotton long-sleeve shirt.  I sweat so much that cotton is unbearable after a mile.)


I also didn’t crate the dogs.  They look sweet, but if they are left alone for more than 15 minutes in the house, all hell breaks loose.


These two factors motivated me to just run a LITTLE BIT.  I want to have fresh legs this weekend.


I ran 1.0 mile in 10:30.  I walked the first 0.15-mile and picked it up to race pace (9-minutes) until the very end, when I did a cool-down.  When I came home, I did 6 minutes of ab work per the Whittle My Middle challenge.


The verdict? ….  I’M GOING TO RACE TOMORROW!   Yay!  🙂 🙂 :)  It wasn’t an easy decision to make because I tend to freak out at any twinge when I think I might be injured.  I also know that I tense up the part of my body that is injured, which makes it worse.  I tried to relax and let my mind wander, and then I would ‘check in’ with my ankle every now and then.  I felt good! 


However, I did not feel 100%.  I felt 95%.  I told myself I would do the Half if I was overwhelmingly confident that I was not going to hurt myself, and I do feel confident.  I wish I felt 5% MORE confident, but I think I’m also prone to paranoia because of my history of injuries. 


That is why I am giving myself “permission” to drop out of the Half Marathon if I need to.  I’ve only dropped out of one other race, and while it’s certainly not a great feeling, not being able to run the marathon in January would be worse.


I am SO excited for a race-filled (and injury-free) weekend!


Before my run, I had a glass of milk.  And after my run, I made an easy breakfast:


Just Grape Nuts, almond milk, and raspberries.


In Celebration….


In celebration of my upcoming races, I thought I’d share my Race Diary, which chronicles the first 14 races I’ve completed.  I can’t wait to do another one for this season!


You can read text recaps of all the races here.  And FYI – In hindsight, I should’ve put “Memorable because I screwed up my knees and couldn’t run for 2 months” under Race 14:  Crooms Fools Run 15.4 Mile Trail Race.  🙂




OH PS – For all my Twilight fans, wanna win a cute homemade Twilight tee? You know you do – check this out!



  • Katie November 13, 2009, 8:33 am

    Good luck! LOL At the fact you have to do all of that to not run farther I know how that goes. used to try to limp through 2 or 3 miles when my knees got bad. Finally had to admit defeat and take 4 months off. It kept getting worse! Glad you get to race and don’t push it too hard!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 13, 2009, 8:34 am

    Woohoo!! We’ll be cheering you on!

  • megan November 13, 2009, 8:38 am

    Sounds like a great plan! It’s nice to know you have “permission” to drop out. Hopefully it won’t happen, but like you said – this race isn’t your goal, the marathon is. so keep your eye on the goal and do what you need to do to get there 🙂

  • Leah @ L4L November 13, 2009, 8:41 am

    I think you have made a great decision! You know we will support you no matter what! 😀

  • BethT November 13, 2009, 8:43 am

    Did you see that SNL parody of Twilight…Firelight? Pretty funny…

  • kristen November 13, 2009, 8:44 am

    GOOD LUCK! And have fun.
    One of the ways I once forced myself to do a “test run” was to put a bunch of change in my pocket. I knew there was no way I could stand all that jingling for longer than 10 minutes!

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) November 13, 2009, 8:45 am

    good luck with your races, caitlin. you seem to be very on top of injury recovery and are good at listening to your body. i’ve picked up a lot of great advice from you about injuries which is why i’m running a 5K tomorrow. i used to do a lot of long distance running but i hurt my knee/ankle on one leg. i’ve been so hesitant to get “back on the horse,” as it were that i’ve completely stopped running. i know i’m strong enough now, though, and i’m excited to run… even just 3.1 miles. 🙂 good luck tomorrow and sunday!

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 8:47 am

      congrats on your upcoming 5k! maybe instead of long distances you can focus on speed, ya know? have an awesome time crossing than finish line.

  • whitney November 13, 2009, 8:52 am

    AHH!! I’m so jealous you get to run TWO races this weekend. I just ran the OBX half this past weekend and it was probably one of the best days I have had since the last OBX race. There is something about running that can not replace anything else in the world.

    I am glad your taking care of your body that is the most important thing because without our the support from our bodies we would not be able to do 3/4 of the things we do and we put them through so much.

    I wish you the best of luck this weekend!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  • Lindsey @ EatReadRun November 13, 2009, 8:54 am

    Goodluck on your races! The adrenaline will probably help amp you up as well – just be sure it doesn’t push you to run too hard. Also – the firelight skit was pretty funny. Are you going to see New Moon next weekend? A bunch of my girlfriends are going after a bridal shower – we fully expect to be the oldest ladies there, surrounded by screaming teeny bopping Twilighters.

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers November 13, 2009, 8:55 am

    good luck this weekend!!! i ran in a baldwin park race in sept. & loved it. hope you have a great time!

  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) November 13, 2009, 8:57 am

    Giving yourself permission to drop out of the race if needed is such a great idea to take the pressure off. You’re a true bad ass if you pull off running two races. I ran a half last weekend and quiver thinking about strapping on the sneaks the very next day for another race.
    Have you tried the chocolate mint Gu? If not you MUST! It tastes like fudge, not even kidding. Stock up cause its seasonal!

  • Lauren November 13, 2009, 8:59 am

    Good luck this weekend you will do GREAT!

  • Diana November 13, 2009, 9:03 am

    Yay. Good for you Caitlin! I’m sure you’ll do great and that you’ll have lots of fun!

  • Alex November 13, 2009, 9:06 am

    That’s fantastic!!! Congrats on making it through the week – I know it can be So. Hard. to take time off, but it’s almost always for the best in the long run. I hope you get back up to 100% soon! Good luck this weekend!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 13, 2009, 9:06 am

    Good luck, Caitlin — you’ll do great!!! 😉

  • Erin November 13, 2009, 9:10 am

    I loved Grape Nuts as a kid — haven’t had them in years though!

  • Evan Thomas November 13, 2009, 9:12 am

    Good luck! I hope you get out there and beat your goal, but you’ve done so much and this is just one or two races in your whole career so keep safe 🙂

  • Allison November 13, 2009, 9:14 am

    Ha ha, I love your inappropriate running clothes! When I started running, I quickly learned that long sleeve cotton shirts are NOT the solution for cold mornings! 🙂 Good idea for forcing yourself to keep the run short.

  • Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear November 13, 2009, 9:15 am

    Love that video – so inspirational! I am running my second race on Thanksgiving morning – a 5 mile in Austin, TX. Quite a change from Pittsburgh. I am nervous but excited, this just pumped me up! Thanks!!

  • Runningwriter November 13, 2009, 9:18 am

    Good luck!! Dropping out of races is no fun but if it comes to it you are doing it for the right reasons. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to it and you smash your goal time 🙂

  • MelissaNibbles November 13, 2009, 9:18 am

    Good luck this weekend Caitlin! It sounds like you have a great plan.
    Some of the cast members from Twilight were at mall near my town last night. It made me think of you!

  • Matt November 13, 2009, 9:19 am

    Good luck tomorrow!

  • Jill November 13, 2009, 9:20 am

    You’re so cute and so are your pups! Im rooting you on from the midwest! It’s awesome to see someone put their body first instead of “pushing through the pain” your awesome girl!

  • Stacy(Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri) November 13, 2009, 9:21 am

    I just got back from my own little test run. I have a marathon tomorrow but my foot has been killing me all week. I am not sure what happened because it came out of nowhere. After a week of resting and icing, I just got back from a 3.50 mile run and I feel great. Looks like I have to run a marathon tomorrow! : ) Good luck this weekend! I will be thinking of you when I hit the half-marathon point and will totally cross my fingers for your PR.

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 9:22 am

      major kudos on relaxing for the entire week. i hope you feel good during your marathon and have a lot of fun! i will think of you during my race, too. when i am done, you will be halfway there!! 🙂

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 13, 2009, 9:25 am

    Best of luck to you with your race(s) this weekend! I think it’s great that you are making a point of not over doing it. Listening to your body is the best thing you can do!

  • Jenna November 13, 2009, 9:27 am

    glad you are running this weekend! good luck 🙂

  • Ashley November 13, 2009, 9:29 am

    GOOD LUCK 🙂 and also big congrats on being mentioned in twitter by oprah’s mag! ooh i can see it now… operation beautiful on OPRAH SHOW!

  • Madeline @ GreensAndJeans November 13, 2009, 9:34 am

    Best of luck! When I’m really nervous about an injury before a race I usually start making up phantom twinges… Just listen to your body and you’ll be fine!

  • Sana November 13, 2009, 9:35 am

    YAYYYYY! I am soooo happy you are good to go 🙂
    I am the same way abt getting sick 🙁

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) November 13, 2009, 9:43 am

    Good luck this weekend! Best wishes:D
    That says something that you had to “trick” or force yourself not to run longer:)

  • Lizzy November 13, 2009, 9:49 am

    That video was amazing! i love seeing all your races, and i like how each one you mentioned why it was memorable! you are such an inspiration!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 13, 2009, 9:53 am

    I LOVE that video!

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) November 13, 2009, 9:58 am

    Wow, Caitlin!!! I loved the video! Very inspiring! You have accomplished so much- you should be SO PROUD!! What lies ahead?? The world is your oyster, girlie 🙂

    Best of luck, tomorrow!

  • Liz November 13, 2009, 10:11 am

    lol, I find it hilarious that you had to do all these little tricks to make sure that you didn’t run more than 1mile today. Good luck this weekend

  • Erica November 13, 2009, 10:13 am

    Hey 🙂 Caitlin- you do such a great job of listening to your body- I love it. I allowed myself 45 minutes of spinning this morning prior to my 10 miler tomorrow! BEST of luck in both (or just the one ) races! Let us know how it goes. You rock

  • Amber November 13, 2009, 10:23 am

    good luck on your runs this weekend!! Your pictures are looking Ah-mazing! And thanks for the shout out =)

  • emily November 13, 2009, 10:31 am

    I’m so glad you are feeling good enough to go for it!

  • Dayna November 13, 2009, 10:32 am

    Oddly enough I am experiencing the same thing that you are right now (major heel and ankle pain) and am only 3 weeks away from my first marathon. Like most other runners I know, I’ve been pushing through the pain and when I was doing a short run yesterday the pain became so unbearable that I could barely go on. I was thinking when I was running about you taking a break due to the same kind of injury, and how pushing through a short run and possibly making the injury worse is not worth it at all! I am super motivated and goal oriented and usually just tell myself that pain is temporary…not in this case though. I’m really worried that I’m not going to be able to finish this marathon because of the injury, and I’ve been training so hard, I’ve even traveling out of state to run this race! But, as hard as it is I’ve decided to take this week off (unfortunately I have to skip my 20 miler which is freaking me out) and just go right into my taper and hopefully I’ll feel good and be strong on Dec 6 when I run my marathon. Ugggggg. Injuries are so discouraging. I just wanted to share that with you and let you know that your experience definitely had an influence on my decision to just stop training and relax.

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 11:05 am

      i would 100% stop running for the next week or so. if you are 3 weeks out, you are about to enter taper zone anyway for a marathon. seriously, don’t run anymore! hopefully it is something minor (not a stress fracture) but it certainly wont heal by running through the pain. you are fine to stop doing runs right now – try swimming or biking to keep your cardio up.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 13, 2009, 10:32 am

    Wow I’m choked up watching that. It reminds me a lot of my own racing journey and I love that you wrote “be grateful for every mile.” Every day I run I am grateful that I can because I never thought I would be a runner and I’ve had so many set backs that I shouldn’t be a runner still but I love it.

    Congrats on being able to run tomorrow and I hope you do well. 🙂 BTW I love that Maggie and James were you key to taking it easy. I wear layers if I need to take a slow run since I sweat like a pig.

  • brandi November 13, 2009, 10:32 am

    glad you had a nice, easy run this morning 🙂

  • Carolyn November 13, 2009, 10:33 am

    Good luck with the races!

  • Meredith November 13, 2009, 10:34 am

    All I have to say are James + Maggies = adorable and I cannot imagine them causing any destruction/madness in your absence 🙂

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 11:03 am

      ohmigod maggie is a crazy dog. she eats carpet, pisses in shoes, and barks frantically. james once ate the husbands green card while we were gone.

      • Meredith November 13, 2009, 6:09 pm

        Haha! Wow, thats impressive. My dachshund once ate an entire box of girl scout cookies AND puked them back up into my brand new running shoes in the time it took me to pay my rent at the manager’s office and come back.

  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life November 13, 2009, 10:35 am

    Good luck, Caitlin! I love your running recaps video. It’s so inspiring.

  • Janna (Just Flourishing) November 13, 2009, 10:36 am

    Love that video. So amazing, so inspiring.

    It’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.

    Good luck with the race. Your health and not getting injured are the most important things though! NEVER feel bad for looking out for your own safety and well-being.

    Have fun tomorrow!

  • Jennifer November 13, 2009, 10:37 am

    Hey Caitlin, what kind of armband and headphones do you use? My earbuds are driving me nuts!

  • Diann November 13, 2009, 10:37 am

    I love your blog. Thanks for mixing in doggie and relationship reads. Love it!

  • Kristine November 13, 2009, 10:39 am

    I loved that video! Thanks for sharing

    Random question: remember when you had that post a couple months back about a “secret” film crew coming to film you and megan and kelly joined you? Are you about to share that secret yet, or was it about the book deal?! Haha, good readers NEVER forget. 🙂

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 10:45 am

      i recently asked and they said i cannot reveal yet – i want to really badly. 🙁

      • Bernadette November 13, 2009, 5:50 pm

        I’ve been wondering the same thing!!

  • Shelly November 13, 2009, 10:46 am

    Your inappropriate running clothes are too cute! What kind of capris are those? Adidas? I really like them!

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 11:03 am

      yes, adidas! they are old though.

  • Kara November 13, 2009, 10:47 am

    Good job not overdoing it this morning — you have such a great attitude about your running! I especially love all the fail-safes you employed, just to be sure 🙂

  • Courtney November 13, 2009, 10:47 am

    I love Maggie’s little short legs.
    That’s all!

    Adventures in Tri-ing

  • stephanie @ Foodie McFood November 13, 2009, 10:52 am

    I really admire that you can check in with your body like that. I am totally guilty of “running through the pain” and I can’t imagine the amount ot personal strength it takes to really give your body the rest it needs. I have definitely learned something from you, madam!

  • Sarah November 13, 2009, 10:57 am

    Good luck with the races this weekend – I really hope you are recovered enough to run!

  • Michelle November 13, 2009, 10:59 am

    teary eyed over here. I have signed up for two races when I am home (5km each), a 10km in December, tri in Jan, 10km in Feb and Tri in Feb. maybe I’ll get a little video together then…I love the ‘be grateful for every mile’ amen sista.

  • skinnyrunner November 13, 2009, 11:11 am

    I’m running 2 races too this weekend! Good luck and way to pay attention to your body! great advice for us all.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) November 13, 2009, 11:16 am

    No matter what happens, we’ll still be rooting you on!!! Good luck with everything! 🙂

  • Jess November 13, 2009, 11:37 am

    I’m so happy for you that you are able to run these races! Love the slide show also!

  • legalstyle November 13, 2009, 11:39 am

    So happy you’re able to run this weekend! I definitely know how stressful it can be when you have your eyes on a full marathon and you’re feeling nervous about a 10k because of injury.

    Just have faith and know that everything works out for a reason. I feel like you’re going to have a beautiful weekend, surrounded by friends and those who love you. Remember that’s what matters.

    Good luck!!!

  • Tammy November 13, 2009, 11:47 am

    How did you cope without being able to run that long? i’m sure you did other exercise…I’m still not running since my marathon two weeks ago, and could be out of it for 6-8 weeks ( Man, I hope not!)…It is pretty frustrating, I worked so hard….

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 11:52 am

      you are used to it. if you’re worried about gaining weight, take comfort in the fact that i actually lost weight by not running. try biking – i got really into it and even did a metric century race.

  • Chrysta November 13, 2009, 11:49 am

    Congrats and Good luck!!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) November 13, 2009, 11:55 am

    I LOVE that you are giving yourself permission to drop out. Then there is no pressure at all. Just keep checking in with your body.
    If its meant to be, it is, and if not, like someone else said…this is the battle but the marathon is the WAR!!!!!!

  • Tay November 13, 2009, 11:57 am

    Yay glad you can race!!!

  • LeanGreenLiving November 13, 2009, 12:07 pm

    Just a “heads-up” in case you don’t feel very good after eating Grape Nuts. After reading how they are made, I now know why I feel lousy after eating them and had to give them up, sob. If raw foods were on one end of the spectrum, Grape Nuts would be on the other. . . they are little bits of, basically, bread crust, which are then re-baked until they are hardened. No life in those!

  • Amy C. November 13, 2009, 12:22 pm

    Good luck this weekend! I think it was in another post but I’m just catching up. Farm Sanctuary (which also has an awesome book about it that I think you and the husband would like) has some great vegetarian recipes for Thanksgiving. Here is the link http://www.adoptaturkey.org/aat/recipes/index.html

    I really enjoyed the book the creator of the farm wrote. I’m sure the library has it if you ever want to read it. Or I can send you my copy to read.

  • Amanda November 13, 2009, 12:51 pm

    Hi Caitlyn! I love your blog, I read it everyday at lunch but this is my first time posting 🙂 I just wanted to wish you good luck tomorrow for your half…and Sunday for your 10K. I hope all goes well! You have been such an inspiration to me in the past few months and so I just wanted to say thanks!

    • caitlin November 13, 2009, 12:58 pm

      thank you so much!!!

  • Amanda November 13, 2009, 12:52 pm

    Sorry, for the mispell on your name! 🙁

  • Susan November 13, 2009, 5:14 pm

    Good call on the test mile! Smart idea to see if you’re ready for the weekend. Although, when I saw you tweet about it, I totally thought you were going for a sub-4 minute mile 😛

  • Andee (LAEasyMeals) November 13, 2009, 5:23 pm

    How funny! I am also doing two races this weekend. Except I’m running a 20 miler Saturday with my training group (we are training for a marathon in December) and I signed up for a Malibu Half Marathon on Sunday. Yes, I am very worried but I’m using this as a training run for the Goofy Challenge in january. Hopefully, I won’t have to do much of these back to back long runs because it is really taxing on my body and knees. Good luck!

  • Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run November 13, 2009, 9:54 pm

    Breakfast looks yum! Good luck tomorrow =)

  • Beth November 13, 2009, 10:02 pm

    Your dogs are so cute, this blog pic makes me laugh : )

    Good luck on the half! Have fun and enjoy it!

  • Anne P November 14, 2009, 9:46 am

    What a great video 🙂 Hope you are rocking out the race today!!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 14, 2009, 6:51 pm

    I love your new profile picture on the side bar!

  • Lexie November 17, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Nice Pitt hat! Haha

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