I am so glad to be back home!  I love to travel, but there’s something about sleeping in my own bed that makes me very happy.  However, I’m only home for 36 hours – tomorrow I leave for Pittsburgh!  🙂


I needed GREEN in my life today:


I made a Protein Green Monster for brekkie, which contained:


  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder


We are finally out of the Jarrow’s Brown Rice powder – thank goodness.  It was chalky and bleh.  Now, we’ve moved on this protein powder:


12 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar per 60 calorie scoop – Loved it!  Minimal chalky taste.


Plus, brown rice crispies with rice milk (Guess I reached my rice quota for the morning):


Thoughts on Riding 100 Miles, Part II


Missed Part I?  Check out an explanation of my Century training plan here.


I can’t believe that 72 hours ago, I was just beginning a 9:30 hour long journey to ride 100 miles.  If you missed the race recap, here it is.


A few people asked me to share my thoughts on the Century now that I’ve had some time to decompress.


First of all, the fact that I was minimally sore the day after the ride and felt perfectly normal by Tuesday speaks VOLUMES about:


  • How effective my training plan was… Obviously, I wasn’t super fast – especially on the hills.  I was nervous leading up to the race that I hadn’t done enough, but my plan clearly prepared my body to ride 100 miles.


  • How gentle cycle is on my body compared to running.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always love running.  But after the Disney Marathon, I couldn’t walk (literally) for 4 days.  


Secondly, I had a really good time!  I loved riding with my Dad and with Jenna.  It was fun to experience the Napa countryside with them, and it was really nice to have friends with me when the going got tough.  I would definitely do another Century ride, especially if I had a friend to ride with.  I’m not a fast cyclist (I just don’t have the body to be naturally fast – I’m 5 foot 3 – and I haven’t trained for speed yet), and I wouldn’t want to do it alone because I don’t feel like I could keep up with the regular packs.  Ain’t no shame in going slow! 


Lastly, the race taught me an important lesson about mid-race freak outs.  As I wrote in the recap, I had a total freak-out on the last 1,500-foot climb. 


I tend to cry under pressure, and I’ve definitely had my shares of tears during races.  But I guess I always felt kind of ashamed of my tears and tried to hide them.  It was like I believed crying made me weak and interfered with my ability to perform athletically.  Honestly, when I had the big cry in the middle of the hill, IT FELT SO GOOD.  I just had to get my emotions out about the situation.   My tears only lasted a minutes, but once it was out, I was able to refocus on the task at hand and finish the climb strong. 


Other random cycling lessons learned at Echelon Gran Fondo:


  • If you’re traveling with your bike, bring your tools to the race so you can make last-minute adjustments (my handlebars were loose, but luckily, my Dad had an allen key in his bag).
  • Keep money or a credit card on your person in case you need to buy extra supplies and/or the aid stations close on you.
  • Remember to bring the course map with you in case you get lost (which we did).
  • Learn how to change a flat and pump a tire before attempting a race like this (we stopped and wasted 15 minutes to help this woman who had no idea how to fix her own flat – it was ridiculous).
  • Don’t spend the first 20 miles obsessing about donuts at the aid station because they might not have any.  And that’s sad.  🙁


If you have any other questions about the race, feel free to shoot them my way!


Can you relate to any of my ‘lessons learned’?  Are you a racer crier, too?



  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete May 26, 2010, 9:01 am

    Oh yes, I’m a race crier. I cry more at the end of the race than during. I have to admit though, when I was riding the Tour de Flanders for amateurs and I saw cobblestone coming up for the nth time, I wanted to cry. It hurt so bad, I can’t even stress this enough. It seriously hurt to pee the next day b/c of this. Also, when I saw the nth steep hill w/cobblestone that people were falling off of, I wanted to cry. There is certainly nothing wrong with it, and if you need to get it out, get it out. I’m so proud of you for this race!! You kicked ass!!

  • Jenny May 26, 2010, 9:09 am

    I’m so proud of you for doing this! I can’t even imagine exercising for 9.5 hrs straight! You conquered that bike race and it was an amazing story to follow!

  • Jojo May 26, 2010, 9:09 am

    I would categorize myself as a training crier. I ALWAYS cry during difficult training runs, that make me feel like my race goal is too far out of reach. Just like you, the day after the crying training run is usually one of my best, most rewarding, physically fulfilling runs.

  • megan May 26, 2010, 9:11 am

    ha, love the advice about donuts. 🙂

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 26, 2010, 9:14 am

    i love this….i have never creid but one time when i was riding around lake tahoe we stopped at a gas station in south tahoe-pretty much the half way point of our 80 mile or so journey and i just started to frek out. like oh my god i have to ride 50 miles back and oh my god i am bever gonna make it etc……biking can do this to you. so i just had to get up and go cuz the longer i sat there the more freaked out i became. biking is so mental! you did great and i would love to ride a century with you 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 26, 2010, 9:16 am

    You’re right, there is ZERO shame in being slower than others.. what matters is that you finished, NOT how fast you finished.
    And isn’t it crazy how crying actually HELPS sometimes? I cry at the drop of a hat so I can understand that 😉

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 26, 2010, 9:19 am

    I can totally relate – I’m a race crier through and through!! I cry whenever I get stressed, but I think it’s good to let it out!!
    I really admire your mental strenght though – 9.5hours doing anything is tough!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet May 26, 2010, 9:20 am

    I think it is awesome how much the race taught you. The is no shame in being slow! I am a slower runner and always will be – that is, WHEN I run. I’m sure it would be the same for cycling.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 26, 2010, 9:21 am

    I’ve never cried in a race, but I’ve never done something even as close to as challenging as biking 100 miles! I’ve only participated in running races (5ks, 10ks, and a 10 miler) but I’m sure there would be tears in a race like this!

  • Mindy @ just a one girl revolution. May 26, 2010, 9:23 am

    I am a total crier during races…during the 25K I did a couple weeks ago, I think there were sporadic tears for about the last five miles and a minor freakout moment around like mile 12.

  • Evan Thomas May 26, 2010, 9:23 am

    L.O.L at that last “lesson” 😀

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers May 26, 2010, 9:25 am

    I love how fun & exciting you make cycling sound- I love running but it’s so hard on my body, I’ve been leaning towards the bike 🙂 I haven’t cried in a race, but I’m all for crying if that’s what you feel like- it’s such a release! I don’t think you need to be fast at all- you did 100 miles!!

  • Olivia @ Blissful Runner May 26, 2010, 9:25 am

    Yes! My last post touched on race crying! How funny… I tend to cry after the race though. The combination of relief, pride and sheer exhaustion does me in every time! I sobbed like a baby after my half on Sunday. 🙂

  • Ally May 26, 2010, 9:26 am

    Totally a race crier. Usually I only have my little break downs in half marathons or marathons–never had a breakdown in a 10 or 15k. I’ve got a 20k on Monday, so, let’s hope me tear theory sticks!!

    I think it’s good to have a cry during an event like that–like you said, it gets it all out there and can help you refocus.

  • Gracie (complicated day) May 26, 2010, 9:31 am

    I cried from PAIN once, after a race, and that was miserable. I’m not a big crier ever so if it brings me to tears, it HURTS!

  • Jill May 26, 2010, 9:35 am

    Enjoy the Burgh while you’re here! The weather is supposed to be great for the next few days too. Looking forward to logging on to your blog and seeing photos of familiar places.

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries May 26, 2010, 9:39 am

    Why are donuts so good? Like, really, really good? I haven’t had one in ages, but I’d consider riding 100 miles just to eat one 😉 Totally not healthy living speak! Haha

  • Suzanne May 26, 2010, 9:46 am

    I’m a crier in general. I haven’t cried during a race yet, but the longest I’ve run is a half marathon, so we’ll see what happens during marathon training. You’re right, once you have a good cry, you purge that stress and everything seems so much more managable. It’s just getting through the whole crying in public part that sucks.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please May 26, 2010, 9:48 am

    I’m really impressed Caitlin! I still can’t believe that you were hardly sore the next day!

  • Lauren @ Health on the Run May 26, 2010, 9:48 am

    I’m definitely a race crier!! I’ve cried somewhere around mile 20/23 during two of my marathons (it’s crazy how long and impossible three miles can feel at the end of a marathon!) And I definitely think I felt better after my freak-out. During it was rough, though, since I tend to get an asthmatic reaction when I’m running and crying…which then of course makes me freak out more. But, after I got the pity-party out of the way, I found I had a lot more resolve to finish.

    And I also cry at the end of most big races…but usually they’re happy tears. 🙂

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 26, 2010, 9:50 am

    No donuts?? Travesty. That would make me cry.

  • Therese May 26, 2010, 9:53 am

    Ha! I feel so much better! I totally cry under pressure! It’s terribly embarrassing but also really cathartic like you said. I guess we all have ways that we get through the rough patches!

  • Mary May 26, 2010, 9:55 am

    caitlin congrats! you’re an amazing and strong individual and I admire your perseverance throughout your training and your race. You rock 🙂

  • Allie May 26, 2010, 9:55 am

    i like this recap. i have started to get interested in cycling. i am a long time runner, but after a number of injuries, one pretty bad, i want to do something different but still challenging. you have inspired me to try cycling- i am just kind of scared of the road (i live in a city).

    question about the rice protein- why did you choose rice in particular? i am vegan (so i avoid whey), but i wonder what your thoughts are on the other vegan proteins, like pea, soy, hemp, etc. i don’t particularly want to use soy, but i am curious about rice as opposed to hemp, pea, etc. THANKS!!!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 9:56 am

      I’m just exploring my non-whey options over time. I haven’t tried hemp or pea so I can’t comment on those… We ended up with rice the second time around because the Husband purchased it without consulting with me first 😉 hehe.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 26, 2010, 9:56 am

    How were your knees after this compared to running? I have horrible knees, so I won’t even consider running, but I’m interested in how all this biking has helped you. I just bought a bike and I’m hoping it’s a way I can get exercise without killer knee pain.

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 9:57 am

      they were a little achy in the morning on morning but totally normal by lunch.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow May 26, 2010, 9:57 am

    Love the recap girl! You should be so darn proud. 🙂

    I’m definitely a more emotional gal than not. It’s a trademark of mine. But only very recently have I actually started to let myself experience the emotion. Really “feel” it, let it out, acknowledge it and experience it. It’s amazing how awesome that is and the beauty- you feel so incredible afterwards! It’s as if I’ve finally started to let myself feel the emotions that have been there. Make sense?

  • Erin May 26, 2010, 9:59 am

    Good to hear your recommendation on the rice powder. I hate the chalky-flavored stuff!

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated May 26, 2010, 10:08 am

    You know, I’ve never been a crier, except for at the finish line. I usually well up there, but find that I no longer have the energy to cry, so I just move on. lol This is funny because I have certainly been known to be a crier from time to time in non-athletic situations… I think that many of us learned, somewhere along the way, that crying means we’re weak. I say we take back that horrible misconception and turn it around! It takes real STRENGTH to cry! It takes strength because you’re (we’re/I’m) putting the REAL emotions out there for everyone to see, unapologetically. Then, we pick up and move on and we’re all the better for it. 🙂

  • Bria May 26, 2010, 10:09 am

    Great job, Caitlin 🙂

    I am a big crier too. I just wrote a post on the weekend about how I burst into tears after missing my half marathon goal by 49 seconds. It was a race I decided to do 2 days before, and I PB’d by 9 minutes. I think intense exercise brings out the emotions!

  • Becca May 26, 2010, 10:10 am

    I’m an anything crier. I tend to cry in the middle of training runs sometimes! I think it just means we need to and that’s ok. You are a tremendous athlete with a great attitude and realistic expectations. Cheers to you!

  • Tina May 26, 2010, 10:20 am

    I’m not necessarily a race crier since I’ve never done a race, but I do agree that letting out a good cry can help a lot. How nice of you to help that woman out with the flat. I’m sure she really appreciated it. 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) May 26, 2010, 10:26 am

    even though i don’t race, i totally cry when the going gets tough…but the thing is i know it’ll help me push through! i also love that cycling is more gentle on my body…it’s something i know i’ll be able to do long-term!

  • emptynutjar May 26, 2010, 10:26 am

    Yep, you are amazing. Not much more to say other than that.
    You live life…details aren’t important, u just really seem to be really LIving…inspirational!

  • Sarah May 26, 2010, 10:28 am

    Thanks for the extra recap!

    I always say, never underestimate the power of a good cry. In the heat of my master’s programs, there were times when I would break down and cry – through a study session, through a paper, through the late nights when I was fighting “blinking cursor syndrome”. And it definitely helped!

    Congratulations and enjoy these next couple of months of transition in your life. I know it is a little bit scary, but you have such a realistic, strong and beautiful outlook on life.

  • Sean May 26, 2010, 10:30 am

    Aww, I feel bad. I wish we would’ve waited at the first rest stop for you guys. Slow is fine and it would’ve been hilarious to ride with you guys. Figured you wold be crushed when there was no donuts at aid station #1!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 10:33 am

      Yea – you missed me belting out Lady Gaga, cursing at hills, and peeing behind twenty five bushes. It was truly good times!!! LOL

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 26, 2010, 10:47 am

    All great advice! 100 miles is quite an accomplishment, it must feel so good. 🙂


  • Heather May 26, 2010, 10:55 am

    great thoughts! I always feel better after a good cry.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) May 26, 2010, 11:01 am

    I love that you mentioned not obsessing about donuts because they might not have any. :mrgreen:

    I can recall doing this crazy hard hike in the White Mountains, NH and dreaming of ice cold lemonade. It was all I could think about. And obviously there wasn’t any and the hut on top of the mountain was closed (in other words, no water refills or snacks either.) It’s better to stay focused on the current situation and eat whatevers available…or plan ahead for someone to bring something like that. 😉

    Great advice! 😀

  • Kacy May 26, 2010, 11:06 am

    I haven’t cried during a race yet, but I’m a crier in general so I can imagine it will happen. Duly noted not to think about donuts during races 🙂

  • eatmovelove May 26, 2010, 11:08 am

    That is hilarious about the donuts!

    You did great! Enjoy it.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 26, 2010, 11:09 am

    I usually use running to get out my emotions, but sometimes I just need a good cry.

  • kate May 26, 2010, 11:16 am

    Im a race crier 🙂

  • Chrissy (The New Me) May 26, 2010, 11:20 am

    Great advice! I will put these all to use when I ride my first Century in August. (Also, I am ashamed to say that I do not know how to change a flat. Must fix this immediately!)

  • Hedda May 26, 2010, 11:21 am

    Even though I am anything but a long-distance cyclist I enjoy reading your re-caps so much. They just…burst with excitement and positivity- and it is great that you share some valuable lessons.
    I will show these tips to my brother, as he is planning to participate in some races this summer 🙂 I am sure he will find the one about donuts especially useful, haha!

  • Camille May 26, 2010, 11:35 am

    I’m not a race crier, but I can understand how some people are!

  • Angela (ohsheglows) May 26, 2010, 11:47 am

    I cry every race I have done!! It is so emotional for me. Not even into mile 1 I already get watery eyed. I agree, there is no shame in it.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople May 26, 2010, 11:52 am

    I love how much advice you have to share! And you always do it so well. I have learned so much just be reading your recaps.

    I tend to cry out of frustration as well. I try to not let it get to me, but sometimes it does make me feel embarrassed.

  • jenn May 26, 2010, 11:53 am

    The only time I’ve ever cried during a race was when I crossed the finish line at my first half marathon. It was, to the day, my third cancer free anniversary which my husband had sneakily written on my race form. When I came up to the line the announcer called out my name and that I’d been cancer free for three years. Every started cheering and I just burst into tears. I’m a little teary right now thinking about it. Such a girl.

    As for going slowly, I figure the only reason that fast people are fast is that slow people are slow. Fast people need US so that they can win. We’re propping up the whole race. 🙂

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 12:10 pm

      congrats on being cancer free!

      and yes, someone has to bring up the rear!!!

    • Stephanie J May 26, 2010, 5:53 pm

      Oh my gosh! Just reading this is bringing tears to my eyes! What a fantastic story and thoughtful husband.

  • Julie May 26, 2010, 11:55 am

    are you doing any meet ups in pittsburgh? i am in the area and would definitely attend one if it worked out.

  • Lisa May 26, 2010, 11:58 am

    Things I learned from my Reach the Beach ride:
    Have a back up plan in case I get separated from my partner.
    Wear sunscreen and reapply it a LOT!
    Slow doesn’t matter. Finishing matters. 🙂

  • Lindsay May 26, 2010, 12:02 pm

    I just bought that exact same rice protein yesterday! I definitely think it’s a lil bit chalky, but I can live with!

  • Samantha May 26, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Nothing better than a good cry! I tend to cry once I reach the top of the hill. You have inspired me to try 100 miles in this next year. I worry about being too slow though.

  • Ilana May 26, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I’ve never raced, EVER, but I think it’s amazing you even took on 100 miles. It’s not something the average person does regularly, and there’s no reason to feel pressured to reach a certain “speed” when 100 miles in itself is an insane accomplishment!!

  • jenny (green food diaries) May 26, 2010, 1:22 pm

    oh i wanted to try that protein powder… good to know it tastes okay!

  • Annie May 26, 2010, 1:26 pm

    Not being able to walk for a few days would freak me out!
    So cool you and your dad got to participate in the race together.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 26, 2010, 1:26 pm

    For me racing has always been about do I enjoy it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I told myself the second I don’t enjoy it I’ll stop.

    I have a question for your dad about cycling…I had lumbar spinal fusion almost 2 years ago so I can’t use the traditional handle bars because I can’t bend over like that. Is there another option for me or so I just stick to riding for fun on my mountain bike?

  • Christy May 26, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I was wondering how you make your drinks? Do you blend everything in a blender? Curious about the spinach if you juice it prior to blending everything else? By the way, love your blog!! Very inspirational!!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 3:26 pm

      nope, just throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend. no need to juice or anything first.

  • Marci May 26, 2010, 2:56 pm

    Congrats on the race! You rode ONE HUNDRED miles in a day. That is incredible.
    1. I love that you think slow is ok. I tell myself that about jogging! All you bloggers have such fast run speeds though!
    2. Love that you did it all with your dad. My dad and I just did a 10K together!
    3. And I am getting a biking itch to try it. Running is just killing my legs and I need to let them recover properly. And indoor spinning gets boring. but don’t own a bike, and don’t even know if I remembr how to ride a bike!
    4. You were in Houston?! I am a Houston blogger!
    5. I actually liked the Lost finale. Thought it tied things up nicely.

  • Helen May 26, 2010, 2:59 pm

    i can relate to you about the fact that cycling is less harsh on my body than running. Once I’ve got over the initial shock to my bum cheeks (!) I find that I can cycle at least double the distance that I can run and feel fine. Can I just say again that you are awsome for riding 100 miles!!

  • Kate May 26, 2010, 3:15 pm

    I’m a bike crier! Not in races, usually, but when my husband is faster than me 🙁 I’m getting better and less emo!!!

    I don’t think that soreness is a sign of being poorly trained- I’ve been a complete mess after my marathons and my half ironman races. I prepared incredibly carefully for each race, and had a coach for half IM 2, and I think the soreness results more from leaving my whole self on the course than from being undertrained…I know both of those races involve running- but I’ve been damn sore from bike races too!

  • megan May 26, 2010, 3:17 pm

    Hi Caitlin, I’m been trying to find a decent brown rice protein powder for a while. Thanks for your thoughts on the Nutribiotic powder. Have you had Jay Robb before? If so, what did you think? Everyone seems to love it, but I thought it was NASTY! Luckily, my husband is not big on wasting food so he managed to make it through the rest of our enormous container.

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 3:26 pm

      i have not had jay robb, i think everyone just likes his powder because he’s hunky.:)

  • Andrea May 26, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Oh, I’m a huge crier. I cry at work all the time and it’s out of pure frustration and anger. When I let go and just let the tears flow it is SO much better. But, working in a male dominated field (for the military) I feel like I’m so weak. Oh well….it’s part of who I am!

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious May 26, 2010, 6:02 pm

    I’ve never done a race of any sort, but I love cycling and you’ve totally inspired me to train for some sort of cycling event.

  • Wei-Wei May 26, 2010, 6:18 pm

    I think you’re incredibly strong. I’m so so so proud of you. I’ve never done a race so I can’t possibly imagine the pain of the race AND the training! You’re awesome 😀


  • Anne May 26, 2010, 8:09 pm

    Maybe we’ll see some food from the Oakland eateries I miss so much (but aren’t the healthiest)? Fuel and Fuddle? Dave and Andy’s? India Garden?

    Have fun!

    • Caitlin May 26, 2010, 8:15 pm

      yes, yes, and YES!

  • Kath May 26, 2010, 8:15 pm

    I would bike 100 miles with you. I just need a good bike first!

  • Susan May 27, 2010, 8:19 am

    I’m a slow cyclist too. I think it takes a while to build up biking legs. There’s definitely pressure to go fast on a bike, especially in road cycling. But what’s so bad about going at a nice pace and enjoying the scenery??

    Also, if I ever do 100 miles, I’ll remember to bring my own donuts 😉 Great thoughts Caitlin!

  • John May 31, 2010, 5:57 pm

    I had 2 or 3 moments yesterday during my HM where I thought I’d cry and as a guy I definitely couldn’t let that happen! 🙂 I wouldn’t look down on you or anyone else who did though!

    Still impressed with your ride. Think the most I ever did was 50miles.

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