If you’re reading this post, I’m busy racing in my first Olympic Triathlon (that’s a 1.5K swim, 40K bike, and a 5.6 mile run).  Hopefully, I am winning my age division.  🙂


I have no doubt this race will be physically challenging.  But I know that it will be a test of my mental endurance more than a test of the power of my legs and the strength of my arms.


The journey to this triathlon began almost two years ago, when I decided to do a sprint triathlon.  I was a newbie when it came to racing – I only had a 10K and a 15K under my belt.


Pre-blog, pre-marriage, pre-marathon, pre-ME as you know ME!

tri 005

I remember standing at the water’s edge and FREAKING out.  The Husband and my Dad tried to calm me down, but there was no stopping the hysteria rising in my chest.  I was breathing way too fast before I even got into the water.


All I had to swim was 0.25 mile, and I couldn’t do it.  Within three minutes of getting into the lake, I had a panic attack and flagged a lifeguard.  I hung on the lifeguard’s kayak for about 10 minutes and then swam back to shore.


I got out of the water feeling absolutely humiliated.  I cannot express in words how embarrassed I was that I was so weak mentally.


My Dad and the Husband urged me to finish the race, so I got on my bike to do 10 miles…

tri 024

And did the 3.0 mile run…

tri 027

I carried that horrible feeling of being a quitter around for the next two years.  I did another 17 races, including three half marathons and a marathon, and nothing ever took away the sting of that failed triathlon.


The worst part of that triathlon was that I quit because I mentally couldn’t handle the pressure.  I would have felt better if I had undertrained and was physically was incapable of doing the race.  Instead, I let fear overtake me, and I got sucked in.  I fed my negative emotions instead of rising above them.


I avoided doing another triathlon for two years.  In January, I decided I needed to face my fear of the water and try again – and this time, in a BIG way!  An Olympic Tri is a great challenge.   I am scared, but at the same time, I feel much more confident than two years ago.


Today’s race is going to be different.


  • I am MUCH stronger physically.
  • I am MUCH stronger mentally.


I CAN DO THIS.   This is my chance for redemption.


Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.  (Dale Carnegie)



  • lz March 14, 2010, 5:18 am

    This post is so profound and inspirational! Best wishes with your triathlon! With all of your positive reinforcement, you will rock it out, no doubt!

  • Samantha March 14, 2010, 5:22 am

    What a wonderful read Caitlin. Wishing you the best of luck on your tri, and surmounting obstacles past. I look forward to waking in the morning and reading all about it! Go get ’em girl!

  • John March 14, 2010, 5:34 am

    By the time you get this it will be post race but wish you the best on your OLY. Hope you get to erase the sting!

  • Jo March 14, 2010, 5:43 am

    What an inspirational read Caitlin, I just know you will do it this time. You really are an inspiration to so many, myself included. I wish you the best of luck xx

  • April March 14, 2010, 6:20 am

    Good luck Caitlin! You can do this–you are amazing!

  • Little Bookworm March 14, 2010, 6:26 am

    Good luck! 🙂

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous March 14, 2010, 6:43 am

    Good luck Caitlin! I’m sure you are going to rock it!

  • Maria March 14, 2010, 6:54 am

    Caitlin, you CAN do this.
    You are such an inspiration to me, and I just know you’ll do well.
    Good luck, sweetie! x

  • christie, honoring health March 14, 2010, 7:05 am

    Good luck Caitlin! You are a rock star in my eyes and you are going to do fabulous!

  • Kendel March 14, 2010, 7:05 am

    Caitlin, I know you are being successful and conquering your fears as I type this. I am so proud of you! Thank you for sharing this experience with us! You are inspiring, strong, and capable! I can’t wait to read your booty-kicking re-cap!

  • ~Jessica~ March 14, 2010, 7:17 am

    This is such a painfully honest post ~ the psychological burden that not being able to complete your last tri has placed upon you shines through your writing and it’s clear how much frustration and doubt it has caused you, despite all of your amazing achievements since.

    I really hope that this race goes well for you, because you deserve to put those demons to rest. No-one is superhuman, and it’s perfectly understandable that you panicked before due to lack of experience.

    You will always be a star and a role model in my eyes, no matter what happens.

    Rock that race!



    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 2:07 pm

      thank you jess! 🙂

  • Juli D. March 14, 2010, 7:17 am

    Sending lots of positive vibes your way this morning!! You can do it!

  • jen trinque March 14, 2010, 7:27 am

    You are going to be awesome Caitlin! I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know you! Can’t wait to hear a recap.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs March 14, 2010, 7:27 am

    Caitlin, you are awesome, an incredible inspiration (so is that quotation at the end!) – you are doing AMAZING! And I can’t wait to read the successful recap later on today 🙂 we’re all rooting for you!

  • Melissa S. March 14, 2010, 7:36 am

    You are going to do great beautiful. You attitude is absolutely radiating!

  • Kelly March 14, 2010, 7:43 am

    I have to say, it really was you before we “know” you. I know we are just readers, we do not “know” you in real life, but the “healthy tipping point Caitlin” that I know would NEVER get out of that water. She would run a marathon in temperatures that Florida rarely ever sees, she would bike 60 miles, she will soon bike 100 miles. I really hope that today proves to you that you are not that person anymore and there is no need to be humiliated about that person anymore. It makes you a better blogger, and probably a better person, that everything did not come easily to you. You haven’t always been healthy, you haven’t always been so physically strong or even so mentally strong, and that’s a good thing- because no one is all the time. Can’t wait to read the recap later today!

  • Lisa March 14, 2010, 7:59 am

    I know that you’re doing great on this triathlon and yes, you are an inspiration to your readers. I’m blown away when I read about your accomplishments.

    But, honestly, your post makes me hurt for you, not because you quit a race, but because you’re so hard on yourself. I’m not going to say “it’s just a race” because I know the mental and physical investments involved. I don’t know, maybe you see this as a driving factor to succeeding in this tri but wouldn’t a little more gentle acceptance for your decision, however you view it now, be ok?

    (BTW, I hadn’t read your recap but the fact that you got on the bike and completed the run is probably more than 99.9% would do so I see nothing to be humiliated about, and IMO, the fact that you overcame those feelings to finish the race says more about you than having to get out of the water.)

  • Neely March 14, 2010, 8:06 am

    I bet you are crushing the race right now! Can’t wait to see how you did. Have the best day Caitlin, no matter the outcome. You have inspired me.

  • Nikita March 14, 2010, 8:11 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, YOU are such an INSPIRATION Caitlin! You are going to do great today! Being mentally prepared means that you’ve won half the battle. You are going to rock the tri! 🙂

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com March 14, 2010, 8:17 am

    Good luck!!

  • Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 14, 2010, 8:18 am

    Good luck on your race, I am sure you will do amazing! enjoy the rush you must be experiencing now! (that you have completed it)

  • J March 14, 2010, 8:25 am

    Best of luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  • Joey March 14, 2010, 8:32 am

    Love this post! You will rock this tri…. can’t wait to read your recap! 🙂

  • Julie March 14, 2010, 8:37 am

    Caitlin, you are amazing! You are a racing monster and you will kick this tri’s ass.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) March 14, 2010, 8:37 am

    How inspirational! You CAN do it! Good luck!


  • Lexie March 14, 2010, 9:00 am

    Caitlin, I love reading your blog and it just shows how strong of a person you are for getting back out there! You definitely should not be having to carry bad feelings around with you from that last race. You will do awesome today…Good Luck!!!

  • MegaNerd March 14, 2010, 9:02 am

    You are awesome!! You are so ready for this! 😀

    don’t forget.. “DO epic shit!!” LOL!!!

    <3 you!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) March 14, 2010, 9:08 am

    This is really inspirational. Thank you for sharing. And I know you are kicking triathlon butt right now 🙂

  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie ) March 14, 2010, 9:10 am

    You’re already through the swimming part!! You did it! I SO wish I was there right now but you’re doing it. You’ve already conquered the scariest part. 🙂 You’re awesome!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) March 14, 2010, 9:11 am

    Caitlin, the fact that you still went out and finished that first triathlon by running and biking shows that you are *not* a quitter! There’s no shame in that. You’re strong and can conquer whatever you set your mind to.

    Best of luck on today’s triathlon!!!

  • Allie March 14, 2010, 9:14 am

    of course you can do it, and you will rock it!! but you are never ever a quitter, even if you didn’t finish that first race. you are just evolving into the awesome woman and athlete that you are today. can’t wait to hear about it!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) March 14, 2010, 9:16 am

    i might’ve cried when i read this post…quitting and feeling like a failure are two of my biggest fears. you’re going to do so great, and the truth is you have a huge community of people all over the WORLD that are cheering you on right now! you can do it, and i’m proud of you 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 14, 2010, 9:19 am

    You are amazing! I know you’ve talked about your 1st tri experience before, but I never looked at it as you being a quitter. I’m sure today is completely different. Thinking of you!

  • Retta @ RunRettaRun March 14, 2010, 9:27 am

    You are so going to rock this!!

  • Sammi March 14, 2010, 9:30 am

    I’m sure you’re doing great Caitlin! I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Aimee March 14, 2010, 9:30 am

    All the best to you today Caitlin. You are an inspiration to many.

  • Di March 14, 2010, 9:41 am

    Good luck! You can do it!

  • Mica March 14, 2010, 9:45 am

    Good luck, Caitlin! I hope you have the triathlon that YOU want to race. 🙂

  • Dani March 14, 2010, 9:53 am

    Good luck, Caitlin!! You can do it! Can’t wait to read the recap 🙂

  • Rachel March 14, 2010, 9:54 am

    I am thinking of you this morning! You are a rock star no matter what happens this morning. You have worked so hard to prepare and overcome physical and emotional barriers. I hope that this race helps you put some of those negative thoughts behind you. You are far better then those demons and don’t deserve the negative thoughts at all. I can’t wait to hear a recap! Thank you for your openness and honesty about preparing for this race.

  • Lo-Jo aka Lauren March 14, 2010, 10:01 am

    I seriously can’t WAIT for the recap!

  • swimsutra March 14, 2010, 10:10 am

    Love reflective race posts like these. Can’t wait to hear the awesome race report! 🙂

  • Emmanuelle March 14, 2010, 10:11 am

    Sending good vibes all the way from Europe, I can’t wait to read
    the recap!

  • Katie March 14, 2010, 10:15 am

    This is a great post! I know (from your friend Katy’s tweets) that you are rocking your tri right now! Yay!!

  • Jenny March 14, 2010, 10:16 am

    Love that quote: “inaction breeds fear”

    can’t wait to hear from ya next!

  • Christy (Desperately Seeking Motivation) March 14, 2010, 10:25 am

    I’m excited for you! You’ll do great!

  • Andrea (canyoustayfordinner.com) March 14, 2010, 10:26 am

    Best of luck, Caitlin!! You can do this!

  • Jen March 14, 2010, 10:26 am

    You’re conquering your fear now, Cailtin! I know you’ll do awesome and it will take that terrible quitter feeling away. Can’t wait to read your “I did it” post 🙂

  • Carrie March 14, 2010, 10:37 am

    You are SO inspiring! I can’t wait to read your post about the race. And then it’s beer time! :)Today will be “epic”, have fun!

    • caitlin March 14, 2010, 2:09 pm

      yay i love the use of the word epic!

  • Bethany @ Not Unless I'm Being Chased March 14, 2010, 10:39 am

    You can do it.
    You will do it.
    You are MORE than you were back then, because the bumps are what you climb on to get stronger.
    We all cannot wait for the recap!

  • LindsayRuns March 14, 2010, 10:40 am

    so proud of you! I am sure you are doing amazing! Way to go!!

  • Elizabeth March 14, 2010, 10:44 am

    Good luck!

  • Heather March 14, 2010, 10:45 am

    You’re going to rock it!! Be proud of yourself. It’s a huge milestone!

  • Caroline March 14, 2010, 10:51 am

    I have no doubt that you are rocking it right now! Good luck!

  • Kara March 14, 2010, 10:55 am

    You’re an amazing lady- I know you can do this!

  • Ali March 14, 2010, 10:58 am

    GO CAITLIN!!!!! you can totally do this! i hope you have an incredible time!

  • gina (fitnessista) March 14, 2010, 11:02 am

    whoo hoo!!! GOOD LUCK! you can do it 🙂

  • Jenna March 14, 2010, 11:08 am

    GOOD LUCK SWEETIE!!!! This was a wonderful post; to even write the words of determination and mental strength you know you now have means you are goings to kick some tri @$$! Can’t wait to hear all about it from the other end. 🙂

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans March 14, 2010, 11:17 am

    You are AMAZING Caitlin! You are going to rock this tri and I can’t wait to read all about it!

  • Penny March 14, 2010, 11:17 am

    A really great and inspiring post, and not just for athletes. It’a good read for anyone with a goal to achieve.
    You are gonna rock that race. Good luck! 🙂

  • Amber March 14, 2010, 11:21 am

    Awesome, awesome post!

    I just saw on Twitter that you got 2nd in your age group! CONGRATS. You deserve it. Can’t wait for the recap 🙂

  • Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness March 14, 2010, 11:23 am

    You are such an inspiration! You can DEFINITELY do this and I cannot wait to read about how it went <3

  • Erika March 14, 2010, 11:36 am

    Sometimes our failures are what push us through our most powerful and strong moments we face in life. I have no doubt you will rock today’s race and you should enjoy every minute of it. Congrats on tri-ing again 🙂

  • Carly March 14, 2010, 11:37 am

    Good luck, girl. You rawk!!

  • Susan March 14, 2010, 11:41 am

    I totally missed the boat on wishing you good luck, but I know you didn’t need it anyways – just saw the tweet that you got second in your age group. CONGRATS!!! As someone who has been reading your blog for a long-ass time, I am just beaming with happiness for you right now! 😀

  • cassie March 14, 2010, 11:41 am

    We’re cheering you on… wish you all the best.

  • Racahael March 14, 2010, 11:44 am

    Congrats on your accomplishment!! I can’t wait to read your recap 🙂

  • Lee March 14, 2010, 11:48 am

    I hope you’re out there winning.

  • Christie March 14, 2010, 11:50 am

    Heard the news- CONGRATS!!!!!


  • lauren @ Eater not a runner March 14, 2010, 11:51 am

    You are going to rock it! Can’t wait to hear all about it 😉

  • Amy March 14, 2010, 11:54 am

    You are amazing, inspiring, and strong! I am wishing you so much luck–not that you need it. But still. Wishing you a good experience and can’t wait to hear about it. Love ya Caitlin! You go girl 😀

  • Anne P March 14, 2010, 11:59 am

    I know you’re going to be awesome 🙂 xoxoxox

  • Brittney March 14, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Hey, Good Luck Girl! I cant wait for the recap!

  • Fallon March 14, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Good Luck!

  • Fae March 14, 2010, 12:03 pm

    Congrats on placing 2nd in your age group!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Can’t wait for the recap!!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople March 14, 2010, 12:04 pm

    I can not fully express how truly inspiring it is that you are jumping back in there. I personally suffer from panic attacks and anxiety in general and to see someone willingly put themselves in a situation where they have panicked before? That is just amazing to me.

    I can’t wait to read about the whole experience.

  • Sarah March 14, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Hope everything went wonderfully well! But I also hope you realize that you’re not a quitter. During your last triatholon, you finished the run and bike ride, so you technically didn’t quit the whole thing. You still tried your best, although you had difficulty with the swim. That makes you awesome in my book!
    Take care!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 14, 2010, 12:09 pm

    By now, you already know that you not only succeeded in completing the tri, but you’re 2nd in your age division!!! I’m so impressed 🙂 So many people would’ve just given up, but not you!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) March 14, 2010, 12:13 pm

    I love this post. I remember when you first posted about that race. You have come so far since then!

  • Carol March 14, 2010, 12:19 pm

    Caitlin, amazing job!! You are such an inspiration! Congratulations!!!!

  • manda_michelle March 14, 2010, 12:22 pm

    Good Luck!!! i can’t wait to read all about you conquering this race!!!!

  • Julie March 14, 2010, 12:27 pm

    good luck! You have been training so hard .. i know it will pay off!

  • Christina March 14, 2010, 12:35 pm

    This is a very inspirational post, and I’m very happy that you decided to tackle your fear and face it head on!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly March 14, 2010, 12:43 pm

    You are amazing! I hope you are kicking BUTT right now!! Love you girl!

  • Michelle March 14, 2010, 12:50 pm

    I’m so excited to read your race recap!

  • Joanne March 14, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and I am so excited for you to do this tri!!!! You are awesome & you’re going to rock this! Can’t wait to read your recap!

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat March 14, 2010, 12:57 pm

    By the time you read this comment you’ll be done! I know you can do this and you should definitely treat yourself afterwards 🙂

  • Kiersten March 14, 2010, 1:02 pm

    I really admire your dedication Caitlin, especially after how hard it was for you 2 years ago. No matter how you do today, you should be proud of yourself for trying! I am sure you’ll do great though!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 14, 2010, 1:12 pm

    You may have had trouble with the swim, but you got up and FINISHED the race. That says loads about your character and your mental tenacity. You will totally rock today’s race- you are SO ready mentally AND physically 🙂

  • Amy @ Running in Pink March 14, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Good Luck Caitlin! The fact you went on to do the bike and run part of your first triathlon makes me so proud of you! A lot of people would have just stepped out of the race but you carried on. In my eyes you were never a failure – once again thank you for sharing about your inner strength, YOUR AMAZING!!!!!

  • Ellen March 14, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I know everyong is saying this, but you are SO inspiring. People like you and stories like this are exactly what I need in my life right now–I feel so motivated when I read your blog. I agree, less talk, more ACTION! I’m afraid of failure, but even if I don’t get to where I want to be (whatever that is?) I’ll at least know I fought like hell for it!


  • Jes March 14, 2010, 1:51 pm

    You are so inspiring! Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. I hope that your race today goes well! I look forward to reading more about your training and continuing to be inspired!

  • Danielle March 14, 2010, 1:56 pm

    You can and you will. GO CAITLIN! 🙂

  • Jessica Lee March 14, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Wow, that’s an inspiring story, as always. Good luck on your race today and you already know you can do it!

  • Hedda March 14, 2010, 2:05 pm

    I think that the fact that you are trying again shows how far you have come, you should feel incredible proud no mather how it goes today.
    You have decided to face your fears, and that deserves respect. This experience will make you even stronger.
    You are such an inspiration with everything you do. Give yourself a HUGE hug tonight, you deserve it!
    Fingers, toes, legs, arms…hmmm…hairstrays crossed for you ^^

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini March 14, 2010, 2:07 pm

    This post actually made me tear up because in many ways it is describing a place I am in my life now. I know now via Twitter that YOU DID IT, which makes me tear up for a whole different reason. Well done and, I know I’m quite new around here, but thank you for being an inspiration 🙂

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope March 14, 2010, 2:31 pm

    hey, it’s 2pm, the day of the race and I’m at work in the ICU wondering how it went all day!! haha, I keep checking your blog during my little moments of spare time. Can’t wait to hear, I know you rocked it.

  • S March 14, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Good luck, Caitlin!!!!!!

  • Annie March 14, 2010, 2:57 pm

    You inspire me! Can’t wait to read the follow up post about your success! xoxo

  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN March 14, 2010, 3:01 pm

    You’ve got this thing, girl! 🙂 I’m sure you’ve already rocked the heck out of that tri!! ((hugs)) You’re so amazing.

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward March 14, 2010, 3:29 pm

    Good luck! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Thanks for writing such a personal post. I’m proud of you for finishing the bike and running part of that first tri – I’m sure it was hard to do that. You’re an inspiration and you’re going to rock this race!!

  • melissa March 14, 2010, 3:29 pm

    you are so inspiring and I hope you are feeling so bad ass right now you can barely contain it!

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear March 14, 2010, 3:32 pm

    I give you so much credit for getting back out and facing your fears! I hope you did great, and most important, had fun!

  • Monica @ Musings of the Granola Girl March 14, 2010, 3:33 pm

    good luck! you are an inspiration!

  • Sarah March 14, 2010, 3:35 pm

    You’ve changed so much since then in terms of your physical and mental strength, I’m sure you’re gonna rock it!
    In all honesty, I never really understood why your mantra ‘pain is temporary, quitting is forever’ means so much to you, now I think I do.

  • Catherine March 14, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I feel so inspired by you for getting out there and throwing yourself back into it – and finsihing that race! Hope today’s race is going well – love Dale Carnegie!!

  • Stacey March 14, 2010, 3:55 pm

    I’ve been reading for a while now and though I’ve never MET you, you seem like you are a stronger person than you were back then (both mentally and physically!)..You can totally do it! We are backing you 100% 😀 And it’s funny that you mention your breathing and heartrate were way high before entering the water..
    sometimes when I am anticipating something too much, my heart does that..I don’t like to workout until it goes back down!

  • Renee March 14, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Caitlin good luck today! You rock girl- such an inspiration! can’t wait to hear all about the TRI:)

  • Jacquie March 14, 2010, 4:26 pm

    You’re absolutely FABULOUS! I can’t to meet you in person next weekend 🙂

  • lori March 14, 2010, 7:58 pm

    great job – I find you to be such an inspiration! you go girl.

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