Before a big race, there are three things that I absolutely must do:


  • Lay out all my gear in an organized manner.
  • Eat a satisfying, carb-rich meal.
  • Get a good night’s sleep!


First step:



For a 60-mile bike race, I packed:


  • Helmet
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Garmin 305
  • Sunscreen
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • Air Pump
  • Bondi Band
  • Bike shorts and a jersey
  • Fuel for the ride and double water bottles
  • A change of clothes for the ride home


Of course, and my bike!


I did buy a very cool new bike gadget today!  I went into the shop and found this great mini “purse” that attaches to the stem and crossbar with Velcro.  It’s perfect for a camera and a granola bar! 


I also have a small pack under the seat and my jersey has compartments in the back.


After putting together all of our gear, my Dad, the Husband, and I went to my favorite restaurant… Royal Thai!  It looks a tad creepy and rundown, but the food is amazing.  Fit for a king, as they say!


We split spring rolls… I had two whole rolls.


And tofu Pad Thai with an extra egg for some protein.


And although I begged and pleaded for my Dad NOT to ask the waiters to sing me Happy Birthday, they did anyway.  I am SO embarrassed by Happy Birthday in public places.  Do some people actually enjoy it?!


My birthday isn’t even for another 9 days!  :)  But I thoroughly enjoyed the gesture and a few bites of coconut ice cream.


And when we got home, my Dad surprised me with a fresh baked cake with vanilla frosting and real coconut mixed in.  My Dad has made me a homemade cake for almost every birthday I’ve had!


My piece:


And now… the final piece of my pre-race ritual.  It’s time to get to bed!  I have a very early wake up call again.  🙂


If you’re a racer, what are your pre-race rituals?



  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] April 17, 2010, 9:40 pm

    Your dad is so sweet! You must be a coconut fan : ) Good luck tomorrow, but most importantly have a BLAST!

  • Whitney @ April 17, 2010, 9:42 pm

    Good luck tomorrow…here’s hoping to no face plants! I love me some coconut…those desserts sound like heaven! How sweet is your dad for making you a birthday cake?! It’s adorable.

  • Trish April 17, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Love your dad! How sweet is that?!??! 🙂

  • Jocelyn April 17, 2010, 9:44 pm

    That cake sounds and looks delish! 😀 Good luck tomorrow!

  • Angela (ohsheglows) April 17, 2010, 9:50 pm

    Aww your dad is so cute! 🙂

    Goodluck tomorrow!

  • Shawna @ Balancing Me April 17, 2010, 9:52 pm

    Aww, what a sweet dad! The cake looks delicious!

    Some of the best food comes from creepy restaurants. 🙂

    Wishing you a successful race!

  • Karen April 17, 2010, 9:58 pm

    My rituals are very similar to yours! I am doing a 5k tomorrow and just finished laying out all my stuff! I actually also had Pad Thai with tofu for my carbs today too! So funny! I’m about to get to bed because I need to be up at 5:15 tomorrow for the race!

    Good luck on your race tomorrow! I know you will do great!

  • Evan Thomas April 17, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Yum! that’s so sweet of your dad. Vanilla cake is my favorite 🙂
    Was that coconut milk ice cream or coconut flavored ice cream made with dairy? I’ve had the former, never the latter.
    Lastly, but not leastly, GOOD LUCK! You’ll knock ’em dead 😉

  • Nancy April 17, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Those Bento Boxes (mini purses) are terrific and so very handy while going on rides! You’ll love it!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 17, 2010, 10:02 pm

    What a good dad. Dads do love embarrassing their kids, though! 😉 Have fun tomorrow.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 17, 2010, 10:04 pm

    That is so sweet that your dad bakes you a cake!!

    Good luck tomorrow. 🙂

  • Amy April 17, 2010, 10:07 pm

    Bonus points for your Daddio!

    Rock it tomorrow! 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 17, 2010, 10:08 pm

    Aww I love that your dad bakes you a cake…especially one with coconut 🙂

    I always pick out my outfit, plan breakfast, put anything I need to take in my bag next to the door. And I make sure that I set 2 alarms just in case I don’t hear the first.

  • Katie April 17, 2010, 10:13 pm

    How cute of your dad! Coconut cake?! Yum!

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat April 17, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Aww your dad sounds so nice! Pad thai is yummyyyy.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 17, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Oh my goodness I HATE it when people sing Happy Birthday to me, whether in public or not. It is just so embarassing!

  • Rae April 17, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Good luck tomorrow, youll do great!

    PS…if you want to sound cool like a biker chick…that purse is actually called a bento box 😛

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:17 am

      is that just the brand? mine is off brand LOL cause im not cool

  • ashleigh April 17, 2010, 10:20 pm

    Your dad is so sweet! That’s so cute that he baked you a cake. Good luck tomorrow!!

  • Carolyn @ April 17, 2010, 10:20 pm

    There’s a sushi place like that near my house, where it looks a little shady but is AWESOME! 🙂

  • emptynutjar April 17, 2010, 10:22 pm

    u and your dad look so amazing. so nice.

  • Carly @ The Road To Health April 17, 2010, 10:23 pm

    Your dad sounds like such a sweet guy and you guys look SOOOO much alike Caitlin! I have to admit I LOVE being sung happy birthday in a restaurant, I love being the center of attention for my birthday! 😀
    Good luck tomorrow!

  • Kim April 17, 2010, 10:25 pm

    Just curious… do you wear the chest strap with your Garmin 305?

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:17 am


  • jenna April 17, 2010, 10:26 pm

    your dad sounds like such a cool guy-lovin the long hair!

  • Lisa April 17, 2010, 10:29 pm

    Where did you find that bike purse? I’d love to get one for my bike ride on May 15th!

    My pre-race ritual is pretty much the same. I lay everything out and TRY to sleep. I’m usually too excited!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:18 am

      just at the shop. apparently there is a brand of them called bento boxes

  • Megan April 17, 2010, 10:34 pm

    It’s comforting to see and hear others have pre-race rituals! Night before I check the weather and lay out my clothes. Then I make sure I have directions to where I’m going and that the cell is charged– and that both those are by the car keys, race bib, and chip. I’m always amped up so I wake up way before the alarm 🙂 If the weather looks sketchy or I have a ways to go, I’ll often throw a bag with “alternative” gear in the car– especially a different hat or extra socks.

    Hope it was an epic ride!

  • Anne P April 17, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Good luck tomorrow!!! It will be epic, obviously.

  • Merry April 17, 2010, 10:39 pm

    Good luck Caitlin!

    Every race of yours is that much more inspiring!

  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story April 17, 2010, 10:41 pm

    Good luck tomorrow! You will do great and yes it will be #epic! 🙂

  • Michelle April 17, 2010, 10:41 pm

    Good Luck!! I am so excited for you! what an awesome dad to bake you a cake! Fun 🙂

    also, pad thai is a great meal 🙂

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale April 17, 2010, 10:57 pm

    Gotta have cake on your bday! Plus, everyone loves the bday song… it’s fun to sing for the birthday girl! Good luck on your race – you’re going to rock it, I’m sure!

  • Anna April 17, 2010, 11:03 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Good luck racing tomorrow! I’m sure you’ll rock it 🙂
    I have a cycling question for you… I have a 21-speed bike. When I’m biking on flat surfaces, the highest gear is still too “easy” — i.e. I feel like I’m just spinning the wheels and going no where. When I am going uphill a lower gear works fine, but I almost NEVER get down to the lowest seven gears. I’m not ridiculously strong or anything, but I still feel like a hamster on a wheel when biking on flat surfaces. Do you know if there are any alterations to the chain I can make/have made so that my bike’s gear range is more suited to my needs?
    Thanks for you help + have fun with the metric century!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:19 am

      my dad will come back and answer for you!

    • HTP Dad April 18, 2010, 5:27 am

      Hi Anna –
      assuming you’re on a standard bike – not a goofy recumbent like I ride – are you shifting the front gears at all? You have 3 chain rings in front – the small one will pedal really easily (as you describe) and the other two will get progressively harder from the middle ring to the “big ring.”
      If this isn’t it, send Caitlin a picture of your bike from the side with the chain.

      keep pedaling!

  • Lisa April 17, 2010, 11:14 pm

    good luck for your race!!!!!

  • Midgetkeeper April 17, 2010, 11:18 pm

    That is so sweet of your Dad! Good luck tomorrow.

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear April 17, 2010, 11:27 pm

    That is SO CUTE that your dad makes you a cake. Very thoughtful, those are the things you will remember all your life 🙂

  • Gracie (complicated day) April 17, 2010, 11:32 pm

    The night before a race I check my ipod charge and dig out safety pins for my race number. Then, like you, I like to set everything out to make sure I didn’t forget something major!
    Good luck tomorrow!

  • Samantha April 17, 2010, 11:48 pm

    I love when you post pics of your dad because he has the most genuine smile. I miss mine so much!

    Best of luck in the metric century and congrats on your fun and enjoyable 8k for a great cause!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:20 am

      thank you darlin!

  • Brittany April 18, 2010, 12:34 am

    Your dad is a sweetheart. I love that he’s made you a homemade cake almost every year.

    Wishing you a restful night a great bike ride tomorrow!!

  • Amy Ramos April 18, 2010, 12:54 am

    My husband hates being sung happy birthday in public. It is embarrassing and he is not 5 yrs old anymore.

    What a great dad and a delicious cake!
    I have the same pre race ritual as you. Have everything laid out, alarms set, coffee ready to go (I set the coffee pot to go on at a certain time).
    I have a 9 mile race next week (exciting!!) and I already packed (it is out of the area).
    Good luck on your race tomorrow! You will rock it!

  • Jessica Lee April 18, 2010, 2:04 am

    Your dad is too cute. You seem like a total daddy’s girl with him making you cake and all 🙂 Good luck tmw girl!

  • Amanda April 18, 2010, 2:30 am

    That is so sweet : ) Have a great race in the morning!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 18, 2010, 2:58 am

    Ah bless your dad, that’s so adorable!!
    I haven’t done enough races to have a specific ritual, but pre-dressage competition, it was always about making lists,packing everything, then making another list and ticking off the stuff that had been packed, learning tests…probably the same kinda thing 🙂


  • ALY April 18, 2010, 5:53 am

    WAY TO GO DAD!! I lay everything out and take a long bath to help me sleep.

    Side note. What blogs do you follow?

    • Caitlin April 19, 2010, 11:06 am

      I also read:

      and loads more 🙂

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 18, 2010, 7:54 am

    What a grat dad!!!

    My pre-race rituals are pretty much the same….I also obsess over the weather and give myself some clothing options just in case. Lots of hydrating too! And of course lots of running to the bathroom 😉

  • Susan April 18, 2010, 8:12 am

    Oooh, I love that bag on the top tube of the bike!! I always struggle with where to put my nutrition in case I don’t want to stop and get off to eat it. Last year, I stuffed dates in baggies and hung them off the handlebars 😛

    That cake looks awesome!!! I lovelovelove coconut cake, and homemade by dad sounds even better. Oh, and the best restaurants are always the worst looking. It’s a rule.

    Good luck todaaaaay!!!!

  • Paige April 18, 2010, 8:22 am

    Homemade coconut cake….looks so moist and delicious! Yum!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 18, 2010, 8:24 am

    lol– I hate getting sung “Happy Birthday” to in public places also. Alas, that’s what parents are for 🙂

    Good luck on your race!!!

  • Amanda (The Shoe Perspective) April 18, 2010, 8:25 am

    I love how you layed out all your gear in organized places! My clothes are splayed all around my room.

    I love how your dad got the resturant people to sing “Happy Birthday”. (I hate that song. Even in my house. I think It’s worse at japanese resturants though)

    My dad loves coconut cake, so he’ll be happy thst your dad made you some. Your dad is so nice! 🙂

    Good Luck at the Metric Century! Happy early birthday! (If I lived near you, I’d put a whole baggie of balloons on your car… maybe it will float away… probably not.. )

  • Shell April 18, 2010, 8:43 am

    Hey there i just wanted to tell you how much i love your blog. Its so unique to theres as it rreally emphasises TRUE healthy eating and a positive outlook on life. Well done!! Also as in regards to the chalky protein powder have you tried the sun warrier protein poowder thats god stuff!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 4:42 pm

      thank you 🙂

      and no but i need to try it!

  • Brooke April 18, 2010, 8:44 am

    Good luck! I am so excited and will be thinking about you today!

    My pre-race rituals are:

    1. paint my fingernails bright red
    2. attempt a good night’s sleep <—–never happens
    3. wear my grandma's diamond stud earrings

    I paint my nails red in honor of my mom, who since I was 10 years old ALWAYS has red fingernails and I wear my grandma's earrings to honor her memory. These women have been the greatest (positive) influence on my life. My mom is the strongest woman I know as was my grandma when she was alive. She fought cancer with such grace. I draw on their strength when I am racing!

  • MLT April 18, 2010, 8:59 am

    Good luck on your race! Also, every time I see your dad on the blog I’m amazed all over again by HOW much you look just like him! I look a lot more like my dad than my mom, and I always think it’s interesting to see how familiar features can come out looking so different on another gender. Anyway, your dad rocks, and so do you. Good luck!

  • Amanda April 18, 2010, 9:28 am

    I love the close relationship you have with your dad. I wish my dad and I were that way.

    My pre-race rituals include: laying out all of my clothes and gear the night before, charging all my electronics (ipod and garmin), and creating a new playlist.

  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN April 18, 2010, 9:29 am

    Awwww your dad is so sweet for baking you a homemade birthday cake! 😉 It’s the little things in life, huh?

    It looks like you’ve got all the necessities for the big race, and obviously plenty of training time – now go get ’em! 🙂

  • Katie April 18, 2010, 9:37 am

    OMG, your dad is adorable!! I think it’s amazing that you can bond with him through exercise!
    You are a real inspiration to me, and I read your blog daily. I have started doing the couch to 5K program (its on my Ipod Touch) and I’m on week 3! It’s a start!
    Thanks so much for this blog!
    Have a great day!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 4:42 pm

      oh couch to 5k is such a good program! you’ll do great!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 18, 2010, 9:41 am

    My pre race rituals are pretty much the same as yours: I get all my clothes & gear together, get breakfast ready to go or be made easily in the am, and it something hearty but gentle on my stomach for dinner. Then I usually think about the race as I fall asleep. For my first tri, I even went so far as to draw a picture of my transition area haha. I’m such a dork.

  • mel April 18, 2010, 10:15 am

    aww i miss my daddy. you all are so freakin adorable!Good luck today!

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind April 18, 2010, 10:29 am

    Aw I LOVE family rituals like that! You’re dad’s so sweet to make a cake for you.

    Good luck today, Caitlin! I’m sure you’re doing awesome!

  • Amanda (modernation) April 18, 2010, 10:37 am

    Yay! Can’t wait for the recap. I did a metric century yesterday, too – just not a race. My pre-race prep is the same as my pre-ride rituals. I usually always eat pasta, lay everything out, organize my snacks, prep my sports drinks and camelbak. It is a lot of work!

  • Christina April 18, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Can’t wait to hear the race recap! That cake looks yummy =)

  • Anna @ Oats N Boats April 18, 2010, 2:37 pm

    Your dad seems awesome. A little pre-race carb fuel with a birthday touch 🙂
    I would be mortified to have people sing happy birthday to me in a restaurant – luckily I’ve managed to avoid it (or block it out of my memory). The funny thing though, is it makes me happy for whoever is celebrating their birthday when I hear it being sung for other people… with the exception of certain restaurants who do a bit show about it with clapping and fake enthusiasm – cause when you hear it for the 8th time in a night, you know they don’t really care so much. In any case, a genuine happy birthday wish goes more than public attention in my book. Glad you had a great time racing with your dad today.

  • Nicole, RD April 18, 2010, 4:35 pm

    Happy (early!) birthday! I hate being sung happy birthday, too. I don’t know anyone who enjoys it!! Hope the metric went well!

  • diana@mymarblerye April 18, 2010, 4:57 pm

    I love your relationship with your dad. Not only does he support you in your races but he also bakes for you. 🙂 Have a kick ass race today!

  • Holly B April 18, 2010, 5:52 pm

    Your dad is amazing 🙂 he seems way chilled out and cool, too. You have a truly beautiful father-daughter relationship from the looks of it.

  • Jolene ( April 18, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Your dad is awesome! I hate when people sing to me, whether it is in public or not!!

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