Cowardly or Courageous?

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I REFUSE to get sick.  Do you hear that, immune system?  You cannot quit on me now!


Obviously, I’m not feeling my best.  :(  I don’t feel sick-sick, but I’ve got that nagging sensation in my neck, shoulders, and chest that an illness is coming. 


I’m giving this stuff a shot:


Absolutely no idea if it works, but 1) it’s organic; 2) it claims to help my body heal itself; and 3) it’s natural medicine… which is pretty much Caitlin’s preferred triad of marketing tricks.  So I bought it.  It’s yummy – here’s to hoping it works.




I made yummy veggie soup.  It’s dreary outside, and I needed something to warm me up!


The base:


I boiled carrots, celery, and baby yellow potatoes in water for about 15 minutes, drained the veggies, and then poured in the vegetable broth.  After simmering for another 10 minutes, I had lovely “homemade” soup!


Plus, an orange (for Vitamin C!):


And a whole wheat pita with a smear of Barney Butter:


As far as my workout for this evening goes, it’s kind of up in the air.  If I feel well enough to run and swim, I’m going for it.  Especially if I’m about to get knock-out sick, I want to squeeze in one last decent workout.  I think I caught the illness my uncle has… remember how I took him to the doctor last Monday?  He was so sick he couldn’t drive himself!  Let’s all pray that I didn’t get that disease!


Speaking on running and swimming…


I’m going to submit my entry for the triathlon soon.  I have a decision to make:


  • I could drop down to the WAY easier Sprint Triathlon.  The distances are: 0.5 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, 2.8 mile run. Or…
  • I could sign up as planned for the MUCH scarier Olympic Triathlon.  It’s basically a double sprint triathlon.  The distances are: 1.0 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 5.6 mile run.


I am really, really nervous about the swim.  The Olympic’s bike and run segments wouldn’t be a big deal for me, but the swim is terrifying. I’ve been training for the Olympic distance.  But suddenly I just feel really anxious and scared!  I planned to do the Olympic originally because I want to not only CONQUER my fear, but slap it in the face.


I hardly ever let my fear control me, especially when it comes to sports…. but if you recall, I was disqualified from my first triathlon because I had a panic attack in the water.  I am planning to do an open water swim before the race, which I hope will help.


The race is in 5 weeks!


What do you think?  Should I play it safe or go balls to the wall?  What would you do?



  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life February 9, 2010, 1:38 pm

    GO BALLS to the WALL!!! Why not?? You will do GREAT I KNOW IT!!!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 9, 2010, 1:39 pm

    Haha I totally know all the marketing tricks since I study marketing but I subscribe to them anyways 🙂 They still work on me!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) February 9, 2010, 1:39 pm

    I love your preferred triad of marketing tricks…hahaha

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete February 9, 2010, 1:40 pm

    Balls to wall! I am scared shitless every openwater swim I do, but I’m glad that I do them in the end. 😉

    It seems everyone is getting sick lately! Feel better!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet February 9, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I think you are hardcore, girl. You train with everything in you, and your passion is so evident. You know the line ‘You’ll never regreat a good workout…?’ I don’t think you’d ever REGRET signing up for the harder race. You may dount yourself at times (which is why you have us to tell you that you can do it), but I doubt you would regret it. But you may regret signing up for the easier one.

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 1:41 pm

      what if i drown?!?! i’ll regret it then!!

      • Jessica @ How Sweet February 9, 2010, 1:49 pm

        ahaha you won’t drown. If you don’t drown in the easier one, you’ll wonder what if!? If you do drown, well … you won’t be around to regret it.

        • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 1:50 pm

          what if an alligator bites me and i don’t die?!

        • Julie @SavvyEats February 9, 2010, 4:39 pm

          If an alligator is going to bite you while you’re in the water, what’s the difference between 0.5 mile and 1 mile?

          Though I hope you don’t get bit by an alligator. I’m going to assume that all the people swimming through will scare the gators away.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 9, 2010, 1:41 pm

    you can totally do the Olympic swim! you’re so strong, you should totally do it if you feel like you can push yourself that hard…i believe in you 🙂

  • 'laina February 9, 2010, 1:42 pm

    Sorry you’re not feeling well, but girl!, you tossed all the vitamins and minerals out the window when you poured the water off- next time boil/simmer the veggies in the broth and you’ll have a nutrient-rich soup! Feel better soon!

    • 'laina February 9, 2010, 1:43 pm

      Sorry for all the “!”, it’s one of those days.. 🙂

      • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 1:46 pm

        durr! i didnt even realize i did that! next time i will boil in the broth! thanks!

        (it’s a !!! kind of day)

    • Sarah February 9, 2010, 2:55 pm

      I was totally going to suggest that too, haha. Also, the ancient immunity trifecta is Garlic, Ginger, and Onion. So next time maybe try a little olive oil in your pan first and brown up some onion, add garlic just until really fragrant (ginger if you want… it’s not my fave). Then add your broth and veggies and be sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. Works magic!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite February 9, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Do the olymipic distance. If you’ve trained for it, go for it 🙂

  • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep February 9, 2010, 1:43 pm

    I don’t think the Caitlin I “know” would take the easy way out of anything.

  • maggie February 9, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I would personally do the sprint tri first! then, once there is a regain of confidence do the olympic! I am sure there will be plenty of triathlons in the spring, so it is not like there will not be another chance. You do not want to be in the water during the olympic tri thinking about the last time you did a triathlon and relive the bad experience you had. But if you do the sprint and do well and then later want to do the olympic you will have a good experience to keep you spirits up! the mental game is the hardest part!…well once you have already trained! 🙂
    but you can do it! good luck making the decision!

    your lunch looks delish. Barney Butter is $9.99 in Georgia!!! outrageous!

  • Kelly February 9, 2010, 1:46 pm

    I think you could conquer your fear with the short distance and then smack it in the face when you gain all the confidence you will from the sprint tri. Just me though, I know you’ll kick butt at either one 🙂

  • peony February 9, 2010, 1:46 pm

    the thing is your feel so good when youve done it! nothing bads going to happen 🙂 plus there will be people swimming around you and so there always there to help xx

  • Alisha February 9, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I think that if you have the guts to do it and you really want to prove yourself that you can do it and go hardcore, then god speed.

    But I personally, in the early stages of my marathon training, I’ve been constantly trying to remind myself that, speed and time, don’t matter – it’s my first marathon. All of the research says this as well.
    Since this is your first actual tri, then maybe you should follow the same advice as you would if you were running your first marathon. Either way, whatever one you choose, it’s going to be hard.
    Good luck 🙂

  • Stephanie February 9, 2010, 1:50 pm

    Balls to the Walls!!!!! You got it girl!!!

  • MegaNerd February 9, 2010, 1:51 pm

    Playing it safe is so un-Caitlin. I say go balls to the wall.

  • shelly February 9, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Can you do an open swim before you decide? That way you’ll be able to gauge how ready you feel to tackle the open water.

  • Marlene February 9, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Hm, your body is ready for the Olympic distance, but your mind is stuck on the sprint distance. From your post, I really got the impression that you had already made up your mind to do the shorter distance.

    So, there are two options: 1. Go for the sprint. You won’t psych yourself out and you will feel confident going into the swim. 2. Spend the next five weeks training your MIND to get it ready for a 1 mile swim. That means lots of visualizations of succeeding, leisure swims in open water, etc.

    the one thing I learned from you: either option is valid, as long as you’re honest with yourself! Good luck!!

  • Freya @ February 9, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Hmmm…I’d be tempted to say the easier one, purely to build up your confidence as your last experience was not good!
    BUT saying that, I’m always one for a challenge – I’m entering my first marathon soon, and I’m going to Washington DC for it (from England!!) – it’ll be my first one, BIG challenge! And I’ve often done it with riding comps too. Cos if it goes well, then you’ll feel AMAZING after. But I’d say ONLY do the Olympic one if your head is in te game too – if you’re not quite sure, play it safe. So much of…well, everything, is in the head! If your head is on your side, you’ll win:D if that makes sense! I’m hungry, I’m not expressing myself well :p

  • Leslie February 9, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I think I am in the minority here, but I say do the Sprint Triathlon. I don’t see this as wussing out. I see this as a first step regaining your confidence. I know that I didn’t jump right into a marathon my first running race. It was something I gradually got to by building on my 5k, 10k, and half marathon races. For me, the mental aspect is just as important as the physical. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for the a “let’s-kick-this-effer-in-the-ass” attitude. But, if I’m going up against a formidable opponent, I want to know I can kick in the ass, not just think I can. With the proper preparation, it can definitely be done.

  • Sara @ ActiveGal February 9, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Go Balls to the Wall FOR SURE!! I think you will regret it if you don’t do it in the future. You will be FINE on the swim, especially since you can do the swim prior to the race too to get a little pracitce!

  • Bernadette February 9, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Well, if it was me I’d do the Sprint first to be sure I could conquer what I didn’t the first time (since I had the same 1st Tri experience you did) but if you are not sure then my recommendation would be to go out and do an open water swim before registering… get a feel for the open water and then decide.

  • Jennifer February 9, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Do more than one open water swim and then decide what to do. Get out of the gym and get to the open water with a buddy. That is the BEST way to prepare for a triathlon swim.

  • Sarah February 9, 2010, 1:59 pm

    ZINC ZINC ZINC! It’s alllll natural and it really works! But you’ve got to start ASAP. Get the lozenges (the nose spray is not good and no longer available I think) and they are a little nasty in texture and you’ve got to read the dosage, because you take them frequently but it really works!

  • Meg @ Be Fit Be Full February 9, 2010, 2:01 pm

    With all the swimming you been doing the past few weeks, I say go for the Olypmic distance! You will rock it. Mind over matter 🙂

  • Stephanie February 9, 2010, 2:03 pm

    I don’t know! It’s definitely a hard decision. If it were me I would go out there and do an open water swim right away to see where I was at mentally and physically and then gauge it from there. Good luck!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 9, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Sorry that you’re feeling sick! Have you ever used Emergen-C? I love that stuff.

    You’ll feel great with either version of the race, and either one will be a HUGE accomplishment. Go with what your heart (and you gut, and your body) tells you!

  • Erin February 9, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Option 2 is now “cowardly”! If you had started out trying to run a marathon, you probably wouldn’t be where you are now! If you and your body are not feeling up to par, or if you have any doubts, then take the “easy” route. You can build your confidence for the next time and really kill it. We all believe in you, so do what you think feels right! And DON’T think of it has cowardly.. it’s a feat either way!

  • Christie @ Honoring Health February 9, 2010, 2:15 pm

    I’d agree with the poster that recommended you try the open swim before deciding. If that isn’t an option, I would just trust your gut instincts but don’t let fear get in the way of listening to what your gut tells you.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

  • Kt F @ ThroughTheFinish February 9, 2010, 2:16 pm

    When I think of playing it safe, I would never think of you!! That being said, in the end, it’s up to you and what you feel comfortable doing. There’s always another chance! (I am spectacularly unhelpful.)

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 9, 2010, 2:16 pm

    I drink that tea a lot. Especially when I’m starting to feel sick. If you read the box, it recommends 5 cups a day. Haha. I don’t drink that much.

  • Erin February 9, 2010, 2:16 pm

    is NOT*

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 9, 2010, 2:17 pm

    The organic meds can’t hurt and can only help, right? I always try to fend off sickness as long as possible. 🙂

  • Ellen Collis February 9, 2010, 2:17 pm

    My first instinct was to say balls to the WALL! But, I agree with other people, follow your gut. You can never go wrong. Either one is a great accomplishment, and you can always do more. With that being said, I TOTALLY have faith that you can do the full triathalon. EASY! 😉

  • Super G February 9, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Based on all your posts, I would say go balls to the wall!!! You’re such a strong person!
    So sorry that you’re sick. Have you tried taking some Zinc or any multivitamins high in Zinc? It helps boost your immune system. 🙂

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) February 9, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Have a glass of wine, and then register for the Olympic.

    That’s how I registered for my marathon. It takes the edge off, and when the buzz goes away you’re stuck doing it or losing the money!

    OR, if you’re hesitating, make the Husband do it for you, so then you can blame it on him!

  • Caitlin in MD February 9, 2010, 2:19 pm

    I would start with the Sprint. I think it’ll give you the confidence you need to finish the Olympic…You can always do that one later! It’ll give you something to work up to.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 9, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Oo hope you feel better!! I normally say balls to the wall!! But you also don’t want to drown 🙂 I would think about how much you’re swimming right now in your training. If it’s anywhere close to the olympic distance- go for it, you can totally do it! If you’re struggling in the pool, go for the sprint- you can still kick you goal in the butt!!

  • Amy February 9, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Swimming in a pool is totally different than open water swimming — I swam competitively for years (in pools) and was totally surprised at the diference at my first tri! In addition to dealing with outside elements (like the bright sun) when OWS and all the craziness of everyone else starting at the same time … you have to get used to not really seeing yourself or anyone else around you, just the buoys.

    Definitely try a couple OWS before the race – ideally, at least once before you register so you can decide. You can always sign up for a longer distance next time!

  • Allison R. February 9, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I’d say balls to the wall!

    But if you are feeling really anxious, maybe you could do the sprint this time with the intentions of signing up for an olympic once you prove to yourself that you CAN DO IT! 🙂

  • Jenn February 9, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Hi Caitlin.
    One thing I wanted to throw out there – I always heard that echinacea interacted badly with birth control pills. That it can decrease their effectiveness. Not sure if that will effect you or not – or if its true, but I just wanted to pass along that tidbit in case it is true. 🙂

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 2:24 pm

      haha a surprise baby wouldnt be so bad!

      but i think it’s st john wart that interact with BC:

      thank you for the heads up though!

      • Colleen February 9, 2010, 4:52 pm

        HAHAHA, after reading this maybe you should take the easier option. I’m too chicken to try for any race, so you’ll be my hero either way (you already are!)!!

        Okay, I’m committing – I say BALLS to the WALL! Do the hard race, you know you can totally rock it!

  • Jen February 9, 2010, 2:22 pm

    Well – think about it logically. If you had your panic attack at the beginning of the swim in the first race, it doesn’t really matter which race you sign up for. You’ll either panic or not – it doesn’t matter how long the swim is. However, I think that if you sign up for the longer swim, you’ll know that you just have to stick it out. Plus, the longer swim might be better for you mentally because you can get into a really nice rhythm during the swim. Factor in a little panic at the beginning and then just swim it out. Just keep swimming! – Finding Nemo

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 2:23 pm

      good point… i like the way you think.

  • Wendy February 9, 2010, 2:22 pm

    My chiro, who is a big proponent of the body healing itself, recommends olive leaf extract (I think) as an immune booster. I haven’t tried it myself, but I will if the need arises.

    Do you think the fact that you aren’t feeling well is playing into your thoughts & feelings about the tri? I always feel really negative about things when I’m feeling under the weather. If you can put off entering, I think you should wait until you’re feeling healthier to make the decision. But I totally think you’d ROCK the Olympic distance, swim and all!!!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) February 9, 2010, 2:22 pm


    I would play it safe — then you’ll have something to work towards!! you can’t do a marathon AND olympic triathlon so close together! what will have to work towards?

    then again, this is coming from a me, who’s never done either one!

  • Therese February 9, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Show that water who’s boss girl! OLYMPIC!!! There’s no doubt you can do it!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner February 9, 2010, 2:24 pm

    I think you can TOTALLY do it, but you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If the long swim is too much, don’t push it!

    And feel better soon!

  • Island Girl Eats February 9, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Try having a nice hot bath with a cup of Epsom salts put in the water. I swear my this. It will really make you sweat!

  • Juli D. February 9, 2010, 2:26 pm

    You CAN do it. You have been training properly and you are not the same person you were when you were DQ’d. Make sure to get an open water practice swim in there too, it will help calm your nerves for race day. You could always sign up for the Sprint if you really want, but also locate an Olympic tri happening soon after and view the Sprint as a precursor to the Olympic.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 9, 2010, 2:26 pm

    YOu can totally do the olympic one. But if you are really scared then maybe get one sprint distance under your belt without a DQ and you can do another later in the season.

  • Molly @vegandorm February 9, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I would do a sprint triathlon one day as a workout – nice, easy, and relaxed. You can see how difficult it is and estimate how tough it will be race. For me, I know the run would take <25 minutes, the biking <40 minutes, and I'm assuming the swim is somewhere in that range, so 1.5 hours of exercise isn't too huge of a commitment.
    If not, I'd go by how your training is going. How much are you improving every week? How much are you working out?
    If a typical workout is swimming a mile and running 6 miles (or if it will be at the time of the triathlon) you're set!
    If not, go for the sprint. You can always do Olympic in the future!

  • Courtney February 9, 2010, 2:30 pm

    I can’t help but to think that you should maybe complete the Sprint successfully first. I think your training and aspirations are amazing. Once you conquer the swim in the shorter tri, you’ll be ready and psyched to conquer the Olympic.

    That being said, I think you can do it. I think you can do the swim. I think you are training and thinking about it so much more than you did for your last one (from what I have read) and you can do it.

    Bottom line, you have to figure out what to do so you successfully complete the tri. Make this be a positive experience for you! You work so hard, you at least deserve that!!!

  • Teacherwoman February 9, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I think that if you are really feeling like you are not prepared or very nervous for the swim, I would step down to the sprint distance, especially since this is your first triathlon. That way you get a feel for the open water and then can go back and do the olympic distance next time!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! February 9, 2010, 2:38 pm

    YOU CAN DO IT GIRL!!! Go for it!!! =)

  • Karen February 9, 2010, 2:40 pm

    Normally I would be all for the harder option, but I think a confidence boost from the sprint would be best.

    When I was younger I used to swim in competitions so I was a pretty good swimmer. When my family went camping my sister and I would swim across the lake and back. It was a completely different experience from swimming in a pool.

    I really think you need to build up some open water experience. I think it is a big ask to do the olympic swim on maybe your 3rd open water swim.

    As an earlier poster said, you didn’t jump straight into a marathon, I don’t think the smaller swim is giving in to fear. I think it is pacing yourself.

    Either way I will be sending you tons of positive thoughts on race day. You are amazing whichever you choose.

  • Ashley February 9, 2010, 2:40 pm

    First off. Either way you are COURageous! You have SO many other races planned in the next few months, I would say to maybe just sign up for the sprint. You would be in NO way giving up. I would think too much anxiety about a race might not be worth it. You can always see how you feel after the sprint and go from there on the olympic. I might play it safe with this one…In any case, you are ahhhmazing! =)

  • John February 9, 2010, 2:42 pm

    I think you can do it but if for swimming reasons you step it down it leaves you a goal for the future.So either way will work.

  • Coley February 9, 2010, 2:42 pm

    I have done several triathlons and was orginally a swimmer, but I understand the fear people have of the swim portion. My first triathlon I made sure to sign up for an event that didn’t allow waves to start (large number of ppl running to the water), but instead took each wave and lined up every one individually. Every 3 seconds, someone ran into the water. They then would leave 3 minutes between each wave. You still end up swimming over each other, but the initial start is much more comfortable, and you can set yourself up for the rest of the swim. Are there any options like this?

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 2:43 pm

      they have waves for men and women, but that’s it. i was thinking i could stand in the back and to the side.

  • Brittney February 9, 2010, 2:43 pm

    If I were you, I would probably do the Sprint. I have to agree with some of the other people who said that you didn’t jump into running a marathon. You built yourself up by competing in other races. Also, I don’t think you should see it as cowardly to not do the Olympic one. If you decide to do the Sprint one you’re still doing a triathalon and that’s something to be proud of. Plus, there will always be more opportunities to compete in another triathalon.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision for yourself 🙂 Hope you feel better!

  • Emily Eats and Exercises February 9, 2010, 2:44 pm

    You’re obviously an amazing athlete and will do anything you set your mind to do. I have always thought that you should start out with the sprint distance. You will of course be able to complete that and it will build your confidence. Sign up for an olympic one next!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) February 9, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I say conquer that fear! (But I suggest trying a few open water swims before hand just to make sure you can handle it.)

    At the same time…I am totally freaked out by lake water. It’s so murky and dark that it makes me really scared! I would never hold it against you if you decided to do the sprint.

  • Rae February 9, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I guess the real question is, what do you want out of the race? If you are going for a strong fast race…do the sprint. Since you have “overtrained” you will feel confident in the distance!

    However, if you want to finish regardless of time, do the Olympic. You are trained for it (YES, you ARE!!!) and you are one heck of a strong biker and runner! If you choke during the swim, flip on your back until you get your bearings! Also worth mentioning…if you freak out, they always have kayaks, etc. in the water you can hang off of. And as long as you make no forward progress, it doesnt matter how many times you take a break! Trust me…i had a panic attack last year during my half iron and hung off 5 kayaks before FINISHING the race!!

    Obvi, you know my opionion…but you are AMAZING whatever you do!!

  • tami February 9, 2010, 2:47 pm

    i thought of you the other day, i have been taking adult swim lessons for about a month (before this I just did the doggie paddle!) and i swam 3 lengths of the pool the other day. i was so proud of myself, i am amazing myself and my swimming pals. I signed up for 2 sprint triathlons this year, like you teh bike and the run won’t be the problem it’s the swimming. I also joined a local tri club and that has been so helpful. I plan to volunteer at a lot of races this season just to get a feel for it all. i think the sprint should be your first-comeback triathlon and then go from there. i would hate to see you no do well and feel defeated.

  • Matt February 9, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I would go for the olympic distance! Based on your workouts lately, I think you will be fine 🙂

  • Tara February 9, 2010, 2:48 pm

    Balls to the wall. Remember, its all about your breathing when swimming….if you start to panic, do the breathstroke or float on your back, then get back into it. Everyone always says, you gotta do things that scare you!

  • Stephanie February 9, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Go balls to the wall! you can do it!

  • PippaPatchwork February 9, 2010, 2:50 pm

    I might not offer the most unbias perspective since I just signed up for a triathlon in July which is shorter distances–and I’m terrified! (Well, it’s my first race ever, so I guess that makes sense). I’d honestly do whatever you will enjoy and feel comfortable with. As far as I’m concerned, a triathlon in any shape, form, or distance is pretty badass–but like I said, I’m bias 😉

  • Megan @ Eat.Scrap.Run February 9, 2010, 2:52 pm

    I agree with other people who recommended a practice open water swim first to see how it feels. There are triathlon groups all over Tampa that meet every weekend for open water swims. I bet you can find similiar groups in Orlando. Then you wouldn’t have to just go out by yourself to try it, you could be with other people.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 9, 2010, 2:56 pm

    Eek, I hope you don’t have what your uncle had either. Sounds scary!
    As far as which race to do, do whatever you feel up for. Which I’m going to go ahead and guess will be the hard core race 😉

  • ida February 9, 2010, 2:58 pm

    you’re never going to feel 100% ready(i mean we all feel like we could have done more before race day), but you have been training hard- go for the olympic. you’re going to bike 100 miles-you can swim 1:)

    I bet they’d let you down-grade on race day if really wanted to anyway.

  • Kate February 9, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I did my first sprint triathlon last fall. I hadn’t swam since I was a kid before I started training and I did not do an open water swim before the actual event. The swim was my FAVORITE part, BUT, it was in a man made lake 1/2 mile across – not anything serious! I would go for the Olympic distance since you are so strong in the other two areas, but listen to your gut about the swim. Your training so far has seemed to be very good prep for the swim portion, but I would also consider the body of water you are swimming in and how you feel about it. Either way you’ll do great!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople February 9, 2010, 3:14 pm

    In theory I like to say play it safe, but I never seem to actually follow my own advice! I, too, like to get in one more awesome workout.

  • Tricia February 9, 2010, 3:15 pm

    BALLS TO THE WALL GIRL! You know you’ll always wonder if you could have done it if you don’t!!!

  • Jessica February 9, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I live by that tea. I dont know if you are into taking vitamins but Airbourne is something i use when i feel it coming…and it zaps.

    DONT LIVE in WHAT IF?!?!?!?!?

  • Bonnie February 9, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Whenever I feel an illness coming on, I take two Emergen-C’s ( a day until I feel better. I recently had a little cold and I did that, and it only lasted about two days! Usually it takes me forever to get completely over a cold.

    I hope you don’t get sick though! =]

  • Chari February 9, 2010, 3:25 pm

    I think either one would suffice with regard to smacking your fear in the face. It’s not the distance that you’re afraid of, it’s the open water.

    So if it eases your mind [so you can enjoy the experience], then do the shorter one first. Once you’ve gotten that bad boy under your belt, you can kick *ss on the Olympic tri later. 🙂

  • Jacquie February 9, 2010, 3:28 pm

    You’re a tough girl! You can do anything you want, but if you’re completely scared for the swim, what if you did the smaller race first and conquered that and then you’d know you can to the second.
    I’m not saying to push yourself, but sometimes baby steps make more progress than a big leap when you’re so anxious.

  • C February 9, 2010, 3:32 pm

    This is super random but echinacea can affect the birth control pill. Just passing the information along!

  • Christine February 9, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I say trust your body. There’s no shame in backing out, if that’s what you need to do.

    On an unrelated note: I love that your lunches often feature cooked food, as opposed to being take-out or something packed. I guess the reason it’s possible is that you work from home and thus have access to your own kitchen to cook lunch in. I’m usually home at lunchtime, too, and I consider myself so lucky to be able to get creative with food in the afternoon as well as in the evening!

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 3:45 pm

      i love a homecooked meal for lunch too. even when i worked in an office, i would bring similar meals to work! it’s just so much more satisfying.

  • sarah February 9, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I am totally NOT being a downer here, but it might be wise (and still bad ass) to start with the sprint. My first tri, which had a half-mile swim, was AWESOME and still made me feel hardcore. It’s not copping out to start smaller. It’s a frickin’ triatlon! And after you kick the sprint distance to the curb you can do the longer stuff. There are always more tris…even if they are way expensive.

    • sarah February 9, 2010, 3:52 pm

      ok i just realized i infused my comment with a ke$ha line. whoops.

  • Nicole, RD February 9, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Balls to the wall!

  • Mary @ Fit this girl February 9, 2010, 4:00 pm

    I am sure that you know about the elderberry extract for colds? It tastes like syrup and really helps! Otherwise I always make hot toddys: Lemon, ginger and hot water. Add Cheyenne too!

    I say GO for the olympic distance!! You can do it, you have been working and training so hard. You can always do another to improve performance or time, but I feel like you really want to tackle something and the sprint may not just do it. 🙂

  • Kate February 9, 2010, 4:00 pm

    You can do it! Think positive (you will swim the mile easy peasy on race day). Don’t let negative thoughts cloud what you want to accomplish.

  • Chloe @ Project Live Well February 9, 2010, 4:10 pm

    Caitlin I really think you should go for the Olympic triathlon. You’ve been training for the swim at that distance so you can do it. Mind over matter!!! Don’t let that previous triathlon attempt haunt you forever. You seem to have faced your swimming training head on. Go for it girl!!

    Hope you feel better soon. Echinachea works for sure. And go crazy over Vitamin C 🙂

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) February 9, 2010, 4:22 pm

    i would play it safe. but you strike me as a balls-to-the-wall type. (that’s a compliment) 😉 so i vote for that.

    i refuse medicine of all kinds. but i always take echinacea at the first sign of illness. i think it helps.

  • Allison February 9, 2010, 4:31 pm

    The shorter distance doesn’t have to be way easier, if you REALLY sprint it. I say do the shorter one with the less intimidating swim so that you CAN go “balls to the wall” and put every ounce of energy you have in to each segment of the race!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 9, 2010, 4:39 pm

    “Sprint” distances have their own challenge – and the are…..appropriately named….quick and intense. I think they are a great way to really find your feet in the sport – without scaring you! My vote is totally for the shorter race first, followed by an Olympic distance later 🙂 Trust me – there will still be some super fast and super competitive people in that race too!

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin February 9, 2010, 4:49 pm

    Ha, I was going to suggest boiling your veggies in the broth, too, but I saw someone else already said that! I think cooking the veggies in the broth makes it taste better, too! The veggies soak up some of that yummy broth flavor. 🙂

    I’d say go balls to the wall!! I love the phrase that’s posted on my yoga studio: “Do something that scares you today.” You’ll feel so proud of yourself afterward!!

    If you decide to do the sprint instead, that’s still an amazing accomplishment! Both sound scary to me! 🙂

  • Miriam February 9, 2010, 4:55 pm

    About the soup, I do not understand why you do not boil your vegetables into the broth… I mean… you are loosing some flavor from the vegetables by getting rid of the water… Is there a reason why?

    About Triathlon I think you should do what you feel (both physicaly and mentally). No need to stress out or to physically drained yourself about something that you must do for the fun of it. I mean, the goal is to feel proud of yourself not to win an olympic medal or win some money at the end. Keep your good spirit 🙂

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 4:56 pm

      well the reason why i boiled in water was i was afraid to boil off too much of the liquid for the soup! but that’s silly – i could’ve added water TO the broth and kept more of the nutrients. doh!

  • Karissa @ CardioFoodie February 9, 2010, 4:56 pm

    You’ve been training for the Olympic, so I say go balls to the wall. You’ll do great on either one@

  • Lesley February 9, 2010, 5:02 pm

    I say go for it!! You are in great shape, have been training right. It’s now or never 🙂

    And we are all rooting for you!

  • Kelly February 9, 2010, 5:03 pm

    GO FOR IT ALL!!! You can do it!!!

  • Alexandra February 9, 2010, 5:05 pm

    YOU ARE CAITLIN! LET’S SEE YOU ROAR! (That means go balls out!)

  • Allison K February 9, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Balls to the wall!~

  • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe February 9, 2010, 5:20 pm

    I think you should go Balls to the Wall! If you’re scared of the water (like I am), it doesn’t matter how far the swim is….it’s just being in it. If you’re going to have to be swimming in it anyway, might as well go for the longer distance. Plus, you’ll feel super accomplished after! 🙂 Good luck on choosing!

  • Catherine February 9, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Do the OLYMPIC!

    Besides if you’re going to get bit by a gator it would probably be during the first .5 mile anyway. They tend to stay in the shallow water closer to land. But it’s highly unlikely that one would be in an area with several swimmers and the crowd of people watching. They don’t want to be around us either!

  • Penny February 9, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Your soup looks really good. 🙂

  • Merry Mary February 9, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Olympic. Do it.

  • KatieTX February 9, 2010, 6:07 pm

    I completed a sprint tri last spring and had never done an open water swim. I didn’t freak out but those 500m felt like foreverrrrrrr. It took me 15min. Most mentally challenging minutes of my life to not do what you did your first time around. Coming from a nonswimmer, I say complete the sprint at an all out effort. Plus the sprint was way way harder than I anticipated it to be. Going full force for over an hour is really challenging. I think you should do a sprint full out and tackle the Olympic after owning the sprint.

  • Tyler February 9, 2010, 6:11 pm

    i did a sprint triathlon before i did the olympic distance. and trust me, a sprint triathlon is an endurance race! depending on the course, a sprint normally takes me around and hour and a half. of course, you just did a marathon, so maybe you would prefer the longer olympic! when i did my olympic, i probably didn’t train as much as i should have, and i still had a good time, so i am confident that you would do well in an olympic tri. but don’t feel wimpy if you want to do a sprint instead b/c it would still be challenging!

  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN February 9, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Get well soon! I’m sure your immune system was exposed to more that it wanted to be with your recent traveling and all. I swear by “Emergen-C” packets… they’re the best!

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) February 9, 2010, 6:28 pm

    You know, there’s 4X more Vitamin C in a red pepper than in an orange!

  • Beth February 9, 2010, 6:29 pm

    I say balls. But two weeks ago I came down with a nasty cold and now I am signed up for a 15k with two weeks of no running and an inhaler and antibiotics and wish i had gone for the reasonable 10k instead. So, if you can wait to see if you kick the cold in the butt first, watchful waiting may be good for another week.

  • Run Sarah February 9, 2010, 6:33 pm

    I would do the sprint distance and sign up for an Olympic after!

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind February 9, 2010, 7:15 pm

    I honestly just stared at this question for a full minute…and I still haven’t made up my mind. This is a toughie, Caitlyn. Obviously, I think it would be awesome for you to balls to the wall, but it’s not worth it if it’s going to cause you a lot of unnecessary stress.

    Maybe imagine how you’ll feel a week or so after the event. Say you don’t do the tougher option…will you regret it and be pissed at yourself, or will you be glad you didn’t put so much pressure on yourself in the time leading up to the event?

    Ah! Good luck in your decision!

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 7:16 pm

      that is a good way of looking at it!!!

  • Erica H. February 9, 2010, 7:42 pm

    I’m a lurker, BUT I have to say BALLS TO THE WALL. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, which by no way makes me ‘know’ you lol but I think you may regret not doing the olympic. The real question is if you can physically do it, and it seems you can with all the swimming you’ve done. You have plenty of time to get that mentality 100% confident in 5 weeks (instead of the 70% or so it’s at right now). But I also like cassie’s way of looking at it …

  • Carla February 9, 2010, 7:49 pm

    First of all, I don’t think it is COWARDLY to choose the Sprint distance over the Olympic distance. There are a lot of reasons that people choose the Sprint distance but one is because it is more of a race. The Sprint distance is really about going all out and the Olympic distance is really about endurance. Do you want to race as hard as you can for 80-100 minutes or do you want to pace yourself to finish the longer distance? I don’t think it has anything to do with being brave. There are a lot of people who are extremely brave who choose to compete in the Sprint distance because they feel that it is more challenging.

    You know that physically you can complete either distance. I recommend that you start with the Sprint distance to conquer the swim demon and then move on to an Olympic distance if you feel inclined. Equate it to running – your first race is never a half marathon!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances February 9, 2010, 7:49 pm

    I think you should go for the Olympic Tri :). You have been training so hard and I know you can do it! However, there is absolutely no shame in doing the sprint tri… Both are super hardcore and you will feel awesome regardless.

  • Aimee February 9, 2010, 8:04 pm

    I think you’re framing the sprint distance in a negative light. If you don’t get over thinking it’s COWARDLY or a cop-out, then you’ll be disappointed in yourself no matter how well you finish– if you choose the sprint distance, OWN IT as having its own set of challenges and RACE!

  • neesha February 9, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Echinacea actually does work! Drinking echinacea tea actually shortens the duration of a cold by 3 days when taken near the onset of the cold. It was proven in some German natural foods studies that were peer-reviewed. I drink the tea anytime I think I’m starting to get sick. (I’m a pharmacist)

    • Caitlin February 9, 2010, 8:48 pm

      **frantically sips tea**

  • Jolene ( February 9, 2010, 8:56 pm

    BALLS TO THE WALL my dear. You can DO it.

  • Jenny February 9, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Hope feeling healthy this evening! And I say go for what you feel concerning the race. I mean you’ve already proven to yourself and all of us that you are not afraid of a challenge, I know you CAN do whatever you set your mind to. It’s what you WANT to do that matters here.

  • Paige February 10, 2010, 7:33 am

    I would play it safe if you are still a little uncomfortable with the swim. A mile is a long way (in open water) if you are not used to it. I think if you’re successful at the Sprint, you’ll feel great about doing the Olympic distance next time. Hope you feel better soon!

  • whitney February 10, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I know this is not about the balls to the wall question ( I think you should do it although you already did because your awesome) but Emergen -C vitamin C packets work wonders I swear. They help me with everything. When I feel sick I drink about 4 a day plus try to rest and always play exercise by ear. GOOOD LUCK

  • Fallon February 10, 2010, 5:47 pm

    I would play it safe! Try the small distance first to get the feel of the race and when the next Olympic triathlon comes along sign up for that! My philosophy is I just want to finish and times do not matter. Why push yourself to do the big race, when you’re just scaring yourself. Start off small and work your way to the top! One day you will conquer your fear and will get through it. Right now it all about baby steps and nothing wrong with that in my opinion!

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