Meter Maid

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Hello! :)  I went to the gym this morning to get my swim on, and look who I found in the pool:




She’s such a sweet person.  :) 


I hopped into the lane next to Ryan’s and mentally prepared myself for my longest swim to date… 1,650 meters!  My race distance is 1,500 meters, and the plan Ryan helped me prepare requires that I swim a little bit further (for endurance and confident reasons).


It took me about 500 meters to really warm up, and then I felt excellent until about 1,400 meters.  I could feel myself losing form and started to chant one of my cycling mantras (“Lay the hammer down, lay the hammer down”) to help myself time my strokes and breathing.


Breathing is definitely the HARDEST part of swimming.  My heart rate is naturally pretty high during aerobic activities (it can easily top 190 bpm when running), and as I result, I take LONG, DEEP breaths during cardio… but with swimming, you have to time your breathing.  I tend to breathe every 3 or 4 strokes, which isn’t very efficient.  But I’m a newbie and you do what you have to do! 


You can check out Ryan’s swimming tips on this page!


My final statistics:


  • Duration: 46 minutes
  • Distance: 1,650 meters


Pre-swim breakfast:


I had Pumpkin Yogurt (with non-frozen pumpkin) and 3/4 cup granola.


And post-swim recovery Green Monster, which contained 1 banana, 2 cups spinach, 1 tablespoon flax, and 1 cup rice milk.


Off to get work done – I have a TON of stuff to do, and this evening, I’m going for a bike ride with Megan if the weather holds up.  Two-a-days are growing on me!


Oh, by the way, Maggie has been sitting in her bed on top of our massage table:


She likes being up high (I think it’s a dachshund thing) and is perfectly content not to move off the table all day.  🙂



  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 23, 2010, 9:50 am

    Do you take 2 showers when you workout twice? From one shower-hater to another 🙂

    I worked out twice the other day and showering twice was haaaaard. Well, mostly on my hair.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 9:53 am

      Yes… However, showering twice a day in Florida is not that unusual (or as bad for your skin). It’s so hot here!

      • Gracie (complicated day) February 23, 2010, 10:00 am

        Is this gross? When I work out twice a day I only wash my hair once. The other time I just wash my bangs and the front. Otherwise my hair gets SO dry and unmanageable!

        • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:03 am

          naw sometimes i dont wash my hair after a bike ride because it doesnt get that sweaty 🙂 or so i like to believe

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite February 23, 2010, 9:51 am

    Awesome job on the swim! That’s so funny that you ran into Ryan!

    Glad to hear you’re enjoying your “two a days”

  • Dotsie February 23, 2010, 9:51 am

    Too cute! How does she get up there?

    Two a days can be fun! 😀

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 9:53 am

      I plop her up there in the morning and she stays!

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story February 23, 2010, 9:52 am

    Maggie is so cute! I had a fantastic green monster this morning. I love those things.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) February 23, 2010, 9:52 am

    Good job on the swim! I agree about breathing being the hardest part. I used to be on a swim team in FL, and sometimes I would choke on the water if I wasn’t careful.

    PS- Please give me a massage when I visit lol

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 9:54 am

      Kristien can give you acupuncture while you’re here if you want!

      I inhale chlorine water for breakfast.

  • Evan Thomas February 23, 2010, 9:54 am

    What does your mug say? It looks like it’d be funny to read

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) February 23, 2010, 9:54 am

    Aww, I love Maggie! From being around our two cats, our dog THINKS he’s a cat and will climb up high on our cat tree!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet February 23, 2010, 9:55 am

    I think I’d totally forget to breathe while swimming! You are going to do great with the swim, girl! 🙂

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life February 23, 2010, 9:57 am

    Massage table in your house.. Damnnn girl I am jealous!!! hehe.. Maggie is soo cute.. I want a doggie so bad.. When I move in Nov I am making sure I can have pets in my new home 🙂

  • megan February 23, 2010, 9:57 am

    i am really bad at breathing while swimming…i’m very inefficient. but I don’t plan on racing so I think it’s ok 🙂

    your dogs are really growing on me. i didn’t used to be dachshund fans, but yours are so cute!

  • Freya @ February 23, 2010, 10:01 am

    Congrats on the swim! That must be a relief to go further than you need to 🙂
    2 workouts in one day – impressive! You must be getting so excited about the triathlon now, I know I sure would be 😀
    Btw, what does it say on your Green Monster mug? It’s something British but I can’t work it out and it’s frustrating :p

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:04 am

      It says:

      British Accent Guy: How Speaking the Queen’s English Can Colonize Your Girl.

  • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:03 am

    today is national pancake day!! did you know?

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:04 am

      AHHH I need to have pancakes for lunch now.

      • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 2:14 pm

        yes you do 🙂

  • Morgan February 23, 2010, 10:09 am

    Maggie looks so cute!
    You should read Michael Phelps’ or Dara Torres’ book or Gold in the Water or a swimming book. Or, Swimming to Antarctica. I think it will help pump you up for the swim!

  • Christie @ Honoring Health February 23, 2010, 10:10 am

    Great job on the swim, you are going to rock that race.

    One of my kitties loves to be up high. He sits on top of the fridge all the time.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday February 23, 2010, 10:11 am

    You have a massage table at home?

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:12 am

      yes 🙂 my husband is an acupuncturist.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat February 23, 2010, 10:13 am

    The progress you have made on swimming is phenomenal! I have never even tried swimming like that before so perhaps that can be a challenge for me in the future when I’m looking for something new to do.

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) February 23, 2010, 10:14 am

    Good job on the swim! Seriously Caitlin, you’re inspiring me to try other ways of aerobic activity. Biking, swimming…I can’t wait for summer 😀

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous February 23, 2010, 10:16 am

    Hey Caitlin! I’ve always wondered how many calories a person burns while swimming compared to running.. do you find there is a huge difference? Are your hunger levels around the same or do they vary with the different cardio work out?

    Way to go with a great swim today!

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:26 am

      according to an online calorie burned calculator (which seems accurate based on what i know about cals burned for running), i burned 275 calories swimming this morning. if i ran for the same amount of time, I’d burn about 400 or so. It’s definitely not the same as running, but its still a really good workout.

      I am always hungry!!! No matter what my cardio. But I do find that biking and swimming doesn’t jack up my hunger like running.

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) February 23, 2010, 10:18 am

    You rocked that swim – so awesome! I wish I had access to a pool – I swam a lot my senior year of high school, and really do miss it!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 23, 2010, 10:19 am

    Great job with the swim!!!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 23, 2010, 10:20 am

    Great way to start your morning! I gave swimming a try a few years ago, but I definitely struggled with getting the whole rhythmic breathing down…I always felt like I was gasping for air! Ugh!

  • eliza February 23, 2010, 10:21 am

    Excellent job on your swim. You defintely laid the hammah down 😉 All that makes me think of is sexy MC Hammer.. Yum yum!!

  • Tami February 23, 2010, 10:22 am

    i had my first “brick” workout this morning, run 2.5 then i swam for a bit, I am just learning to swim and I can swim 5 continuous laps-i breath every 4 stroke

    can you bilateral breath? i can’t, just out my right side, I hope there aren’t too many waves in my face…

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:26 am

      yes… left or right, doesn’t matter to me. i’m sure i’m going to inhale lake water regardless BAH.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels February 23, 2010, 10:23 am

    gosh you are so intense . . . you’re going to ROCK that triathlon for SURE!

  • Jenn @ Livewellfit February 23, 2010, 10:24 am

    Maggie is so darn cute! I am dying for some puppy company over here!!!

  • Susan February 23, 2010, 10:25 am

    Loooove starting the day with an early morning swim! Hard to do when it’s cold, but I always felt so great after 🙂 I didn’t even know how to swim with my head in the water when I signed up for my tri! I had to take adult swim lessons at the local YMCA. Agreed, it’s definitely the toughest part. Swimming is all about finding a rhythm, which can be hard to do when you’re struggling to catch your breath.

  • Emily February 23, 2010, 10:26 am

    I still haven’t mastered the perfect form for swimming yet, but way to go!

    Your breakfast looks so tasty, but I think that pumpkin will make me wish it was fall again (instead of crummy winter). 🙂

  • Kelly February 23, 2010, 10:26 am

    Because of my IT band issues, I’m thinking about trying swimming. I’ve never been very good at it though 🙁

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:27 am

      i wasn’t very good when i started either! just takes practice! it’s really fun.

  • Abby February 23, 2010, 10:27 am

    You have a massage table?! That is AMAZING. I have a friend who gives his wife an hour massage every night and once bought her a table for her birthday. So cool!!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 23, 2010, 10:31 am

    way to go on your swim! that’s so awesome…you’re going to rock that tri later this Spring! also, i was so excited…I finally found some canned pumpkin last night after 3 weeks of searching! woohoo pumpkin yogurt 🙂

  • Matt February 23, 2010, 10:32 am

    Glad you had a good swim!

  • Mika February 23, 2010, 10:35 am

    If you’re really serious about triathlon training, you might want to do a little research into heart rate training. Getting your HR into the 190s during a run is anaerobic — meaning it wears your body down, leads to more injury and easier fatigue. Most triathlon and endurance athletic training is done at lower heart rates. It can seem boring at first, but it’s the best way to go long, perform optimally and stay healthy.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 3:55 pm

      most of my runs are much less than 190 – usually around 140. i have a heart rate monitor (the Garmin 305). if i were always around 190 i think i would DIEEEEE! LOL

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner February 23, 2010, 10:36 am

    Great work on the swim! I swam all through high school and haven’t been back in a pool since, I am impressed with all your progress!

  • Heather February 23, 2010, 10:38 am

    love the sweet puppy!
    good job on the swim!!! I stil ahven’t tried a green monster..but have the ingredients!

  • Laura Smith February 23, 2010, 10:43 am

    do you swim continuously when you swim? (for the full 46 minutes, no breaks) or do you sometimes stop? I’m been using swimming for x-training and am not that great yet, and can’t go that long without dying! how did you build your endurance up so fast??

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:47 am

      i try really hard not to take legitimate breaks (i.e. hanging on the side of the pool) because i can’t do that during the triathlon. when i need to rest, i float on my back and kick my feet (because i can do that during a tri!). i’ve been swimming now for six weeks. i think learning proper form was key (check out those swim tips i linked to). also, i already had the cardio endurance because i came off the marathon. but i think form is key!

  • Stina @ Girl Can February 23, 2010, 10:46 am

    What’s your yogurt to pumpkin ratio? I love pumpkin, but I’m having a hard time mastering the pumpkin yogurt. (I finally got the pumpkin oatmeal down pat.) I’m not sure if I’m using too much pumpkin or not enough, but the flavor just seems off.

    You’re doing really great with the swimming! Keep it up!

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:48 am

      usually just half and half – i kind of eye ball it.

  • Stacey February 23, 2010, 10:47 am

    You make me want to be a better swimmer!! I wish my gym had a pool 🙁 I am terrible at doing laps, I can’t hold my form AT ALL. It’s definitely something you have me wanting to improve! Thanks for the motivation 😀
    PS. I am LOVING all of the Green Monster action lately!

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 10:48 am

      your welcome 😉

      GM’s FOEVER!

  • Samantha February 23, 2010, 10:49 am

    Awww Maggie looks so adorable! I am so jealous of how far you are coming with swimming! I am horrible and absolutely cannot swim but I as well, look forward to doing a triathlon in the future, which obviously requires swimming skills. One day, I too will learn to swim!! Congrats!

  • Michelle @ H.E.R. February 23, 2010, 10:53 am

    Caitlin, my fiance improved his swimming from a blog post on Tim ferris’ blog. He’s obsessed with that blog, but thats a different story. Here’s the link if your interested,

    Feel free to delete if you don’t allow links, I didn’t see your comment policy anywhere.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:01 am

      thanks for sharing this! i ordered a total immersion video but it never came. ;( i should email them.

  • 'laina February 23, 2010, 11:05 am

    Not sure if someone has already commented on this, but if you defrost (not nuke) your pumpkin cubes in the microwave when you need to use it, it doesn’t get all watery the way defrosting it in the fridge does. I tried pumkin oats for the first time the other day- YUMMY, then froze the rest and haven’t had any issues with texture (as long as I micro-defrost it, once I nuked it and it got all gross). I bet it would be good in your yogurt that way too.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:10 am

      i will try the microwave method!! thank you! 🙂

  • Becky @ flybynyght February 23, 2010, 11:05 am

    hmm… I really like the idea of two-a-days. Wow – I can’t wait until the weather gets a little nicer here (meaning no snow!), then this will be more of a possibility! And I’d love to see what my Shih Tzu does when I’m not home – pretty sure she doesn’t even move!

  • Jenny February 23, 2010, 11:08 am

    For some reason “Lay down the Hammer” made me think of that episode of “The Office” when the CPR instructor tells Michael to do chest compressions to the tune of “Stayin’ Alive” and he starts singing “Respect.” Yes, that was a glimpse into my odd mind.

    I miss two-a-days. I haven’t done many of those since playing Volleyball in college! I really should step it up. Your dedication inspires me daily. Of course, if I had a massage table and someone to give me a massage, that’d help, too…

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:10 am

      hahah this comment made me laugh.

  • katherine February 23, 2010, 11:11 am

    I would kill to be able to do two-a-days. Of course, I guess all I really have to do is sign up for a race that requires it and then the training plan follows, right? 🙂

  • Erin February 23, 2010, 11:16 am

    I kept meaning to ask you about the breathing! I found I had the same problems when I was taking swimming lessons. Long, slow, deep, belly breaths do not really work when swimming! My instructor was stymied, though. He didn’t have any good advice.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:19 am

      i just blow out my nose under water and then do one big open-mouthed inhale every 3 or 4 strokes… hope that works!

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward February 23, 2010, 11:21 am

    I can’t believe that you swam for 46 minutes – that is so impressive! I was a lifeguard in college, and we had to swim 500 meters in under 10 minutes to pass the test. I had to train for that, and I was really nervous about making the time limit. That’s only 10 minutes, you did 46! Awesome job

  • swimsutra February 23, 2010, 11:22 am

    It’s funny that you mention breathing in swimming being a challenge–as a swimmer, when I started running, the breathing was the hardest part. I was always holding my breath or breathing too shallow. It is so true that the two ‘styles’ of breathing are total opposites. Congrats on the big swim though, that’s awesome! 🙂

  • skinnyrunner February 23, 2010, 11:23 am

    two workouts a day? dang girl, you’re on fire!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers February 23, 2010, 11:26 am

    i just have to quote finding nemo on this one: “just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” 😀 great job caitlin!

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) February 23, 2010, 11:28 am

    Great job on your swim! I find swimming to be so hard. I tried practicing laps in my parents’ pool this summer and was surprised how lame my lung capacity was! Something to build up to, I guess!!

  • Tracey @ TropicalHappiness February 23, 2010, 11:29 am

    That’s so interesting about the breathing- my husband doesn’t like to listen to music when he runs because he says he can’t hear himself breath and he needs to focus on his breathing. I don’t have that problem running- in fact, the music motivates me.
    Quick question- I know you try to keep a somewhat normal routine when working from home. What time do you go to the gym in the mornings?
    AWESOME job on your new personal swimming distance! I know it sounds soooooo silly, but have you visualized yourself conquering the swim at the tri? If you only focus on how you might freak out, your brain automatically thinks about freaking out. But if you focus on succeeding (even thought you might be nervous), your brain starts to focus on success and completing the swim.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:49 am

      oh yes i have done lots of visualizations! they are so important.

      i think i got there around 8? i did work before i went to the gym though.

  • Beth February 23, 2010, 11:32 am

    Man, you are so lucky–What I wouldn’t give for a dog who doesn’t move all day!! My yellow lab would be on heavy anti- anxiety meds if he were human. He’s 85 pounds of love and excitement 🙂 I dated a guy with a daschund and that dog loved to burrow under everything! Such cute personalities!

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 11:50 am

      Maggie never moves, ever. She doesn’t even like to be walked. She’s basically a stuffed animal.

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin February 23, 2010, 11:39 am

    Good job on the swim! I wish my gym had a pool… they’re pretty rare here in gyms in Los Angeles! Go figure.

    Maggie is so cute! My dog won’t stay in one place for more than 10 minutes! Especially if it’s a special bed I bought for her… she’s not a “bed” kind of dog! Ha ha. 🙂

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin February 23, 2010, 11:40 am

    Oh, and my heart rate can easily get up to 190 bpm on some of my runs! Glad I’m not the only one! (even though I know it’s still not a “good” thing…) 😉

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion February 23, 2010, 11:45 am

    Great job with the swim! I looove Maggie pics, she is so adorable!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 23, 2010, 11:47 am

    I think its smart to over plan for the distance since the open water is different.

    I know what you mean about dogs liking to be up high. Peanut will sleep on the arm of the chair all day long and only move for a sip of water.

  • Beth@fatbustermack February 23, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Breathing every 3/4 strokes is actual preferable! I was a competitive swimmer forever and Hated breathing on my right side so I would breath every other stroke. It totally slowed me down…. So Awesome job!

  • Katharine February 23, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Swimming is supposed to be very beneficial to cystic fibrosis patients. I’ve always been scared to try it for fear I’d have a coughing spasm in the water and choke, but I might have to give it a try. It does sound like a great way to work on breathing!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 23, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Sounds like a great swim!! I always loose track of how many laps I swim once I get past like 4 haha

  • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe February 23, 2010, 12:36 pm

    You have a massage table?! Do you also have a live-in masseuse? lol If so I’m movin in!

  • Tara February 23, 2010, 12:52 pm

    When I did synchronized swimming in college, they had us doing hypoxic drills… where you start off breathing every 2 strokes, then every 4 strokes, then every 8 strokes, then back to 4 then 2, or something similar. Synchronized swimmers really need to work to get their lung capacity up! I hated it!

    See if you can do a lap underwater without breathing 🙂 That is always fun. In high school, I got my gym teacher to agree to give me bonus points if I could do 3 laps underwater and I DID IT! My whole body was tingly at the end, but I did it! Mind over matter!

  • Emily Eats and Exercises February 23, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Two swimming questions:
    I agree that at this point breathing whenever necessary is a good idea (I’m still SO much better on my right side) I was wondering how often is ideal to breathe for more experienced swimmers – what is a good future goal?

    Also, do you have any tips to count laps when you’re swimming? I always lose track and get so frustrated.

    Thanks! Great job with your workout.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 3:30 pm

      the way i count laps is that i count each length so i always know one side is an even and the other side is an odd number which keeps me from getting confused. i have to count to 60 for 1,500 meters! ECK.

  • lynn February 23, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Re; Mika’s comment about the HR at 190 being anaerobic…everyone has their own max HR which can only be determined through a max HR test. Easy to do and very accurate. (220 minus your age is not valid.) If someone has a true HR max of, say, 195 (like me), then 190 is quite anaerobic, but if you have a max HR of say, 220, then 190 when you’re working hard might not be a problem. You can’t use numbers generically (like saying “190 is anaerobic”) without having your own actual tested numbers. If you want to know how to find your true max, email me and I’ll tell you.As I said, it’s easy.
    Also, when you become tired or winded, it’s fine to breathe more. Breathe on one side every stroke if you need to…sprinters do it all the time. Get your breath, take your time, and then go back to every 4th stroke.
    You’ll do fine in the swim.

    • Caitlin February 23, 2010, 3:58 pm

      thanks for this info! it was really helpful. i’m glad to know its OK to breathe more… i always feel so confined by the rules of what i ‘should’ be doing but (like heart rate) we’re all different!

  • John February 23, 2010, 5:20 pm

    Here’s a link to your next HIM 🙂 Some day this is one I’d like to try if I can get the time off.

  • Jolene ( February 23, 2010, 7:17 pm

    Wow – what a swim!! And a bike ride too!! You are unstoppable!

  • Tay February 23, 2010, 9:17 pm

    That’s a great swim!! No worries about breathing that often. In fact, it’s recommended to breath every 3 or 5 strokes so that you’re rotating your breaths from side to side and stay more balanced. I’ve always breathed every 3 strokes throughout all my swimming years, it’s no problem! 🙂

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