In 8 days, I will be lining up for my first Century bike race (in Napa Valley, California!).  I am really excited…


But I’m really, really nervous as well.


100 miles is not chump change.  I’ve done two Metric Centuries (which is 100K or about 62 miles) and they were not easyNot at all!  Here’s the recap of the one I did in June 2009 and the recap of the one I just completed in April.  I’ve never rode more than 73 miles, and I honestly don’t know how those additional 27 miles are going to go down.  I’m nervous about fueling, I’m nervous about getting too tired, I’m nervous about the hills… I’m pretty much nervous about everything. 


I haven’t experienced pre-race jitters like this in a long, long time.  I’m beginning to dream about the event!


But I’ve always wanted to do a Century, in the way I always wanted to do a marathon.  Just to experience it.  I’m really happy that my Dad (who I did my first two Metrics with) will be in California to do the race with me! And the lovely Jenna and Amanda (+ other awesome bloggers!) will be there, too. 


And my training went pretty well, too.  I could’ve done more in theory (and maybe I should’ve?), but hopefully I’ve done enough.


  • Week 1:  Biked 76 miles; Ran 27 miles (holy hell!!!!)
  • Week 2: Biked 39 miles; Ran 16.25 miles
  • Week 3: Biked 60.75 miles; Ran 9.3 miles
  • Week 4: Biked 78 miles; Ran 10.5 miles
  • Week 5: Biked 38 miles; Ran 8 miles
  • Week 6: Biked 91 miles; Ran 5.35 miles
  • Week 7: Biked 56 miles; Ran 10.1 miles
  • Week 8: Bike 108 miles; Ran 8 miles + whatever I do tomorrow
  • Week 9: Taper Week! (Not really sure what I’m going to do yet).


Plus a few random days of power yoga, elliptical, and swimming.


I noticed that I fell into a sort of pattern of HARD week, EASY week, HARD week, EASY week.  That’s because cycling is really exhausting.  In many ways, it might be harder than running just because of the time commitment on the bike.  In Week 6, I easily worked out for 13+ hours. That’s insane!  As a result, the next week I had to step it back.  I didn’t PLAN to do it this way (I planned for much longer mileage), but I modified my plan as I went to accommodate my body’s needs. 


If I had to do it again (and I’m sure I will!), I would give myself another month or two of training.  I kind of pre-trained for the Century by completing the Olympic Triathlon in March, but I think I just needed more time in the saddle.


I bet you’re wondering…What’s next?  Because there’s always a NEXT BIG RACE on HTP!  But for once, there’s nothing planned in my race future.  The next few months are going to be insane: we’re moving to Charlotte, my book is being released, and we’ll be traveling a lot.  I hope to do a sprint triathlon in August and maybe a few 5K or 10Ks, but unless something really big and fun pops up, I might just relax on endurance events… for now. 


I do have my eye on a big race in December, though!  But it’s a secret for now.  🙂


On that note, today I went for a 30 mile bike ride with Megan.


It must’ve been our lucky day, because she found a dollar on the side of the road!


It took me 2:10 to do 30 miles, which is really great pacing for me! 


Came home and made a post-ride lunch:



Green Monster (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 2 cups spinach), slice of pizza, apple, and a cookie.  Although this was a delicious meal, it’s not enough to refuel from my long ride, and I’ll be rummaging in the kitchen shortly!


Have a wonderful Saturday!



  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 15, 2010, 3:38 pm

    I’d be terrified of doing what you’re doing! But as you say, it’s all for the experience, and just being able to say ‘I did that’ will be SO worth it! As, once said (!), ‘pain is tempoaray, quitting is forever’ – so I suppose if the hills are hard or you’re tired, it won’t be for long, then you’ll have done it!
    And gosh, 13hrs a week – I didn’t realise it was so much! No wonder you want a break after!!
    Have a good afternoon 🙂

  • Camille May 15, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Is that cookie homemade?
    It looks super delicious!

    • Caitlin May 15, 2010, 3:42 pm

      kind of! it’s a kodiak mix.

  • Evan Thomas May 15, 2010, 3:44 pm

    You’re going to do great. Just think about it–there was a time when you had never ran 26 miles before, but you’ve done that a couple times since. I’m still daunted by any running in the teens, but I’m sure I’ll be a marathoner this time next year

  • Amanda (Amanda "Runs") May 15, 2010, 3:46 pm

    yummy cookie! Just keep biking, just keep biking, just keep biking…. Oh look, you’re finished!

  • Olivia May 15, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Kind of going off of how you said you’ve been dreaming about the event….and I’m sure you’ve done this in the past…VISUALIZE how you want it to go down. You’re obviously there physically, (yes it will be tough but you CAN handle it), and the rest is mental! The most I’ve biked is 60 miles and that was with no training (years ago) and you are by far in better shape! I think what helped me is visualizations. I’ve been visualizing how I want my first marathon to play out (May 29th!!) and I feel more and more confident every day. I know it works – case in point today, on my 20 mile run. This is obviously a major run and the last long run before the marathon – all week I’d been doubting myself and just feeling uneasy about it. I did this morning, felt great afterward, and generally ran well, but mentally I just wasn’t there.

    Good luck with with the race! You’re a major fitness inspiration in my life!

    • Caitlin May 15, 2010, 3:59 pm

      This is really good advice… I need to spend a lot of time being positive. Thank you so much!

      And WTG on your 20 miler. Are you doing a marathon!?

  • Olivia May 15, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Yes! Full on May 29th in Traverse City, Michigan – Bayshore Marathon. I’ve been doing it with Team in Training! Only 14 days away!! gaaah! Positive thinking, positive thinking……

    • Olivia May 15, 2010, 4:03 pm

      ergh, i replied wrong. sorry! (also, i’ve been reading for a while…i just never comment!)

  • Katie @ Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Journey May 15, 2010, 4:05 pm

    I wish I had some advice for you but I’ve not ever done a race…

    I’m so glad that you have people with you. (Although I don’t know from personal experience) I’m sure that will make it better!

    You’re going to rock it, I know!!

  • Kate May 15, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I’ve done quite a few reasonably long races, but have never done a century and the thought freaks me out too! For me the hardest things are:
    – Keeping up with hydration/nutrition: so much harder on the bike. Even though it’s easy to eat, I find that I’m much more likely to hit a wall on the bike than on the run.
    – All of the extra soreness- the saddle area, arms, lower back. It just gets soul destroying towards the end!

    I’m hoping to finally tackle a century this year, so am looking forward to your race report!

  • Angela (ohsheglows) May 15, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Thats funny that you say you are dreaming about it now. Last night I had my first triathlon dream in the open-water! gahhh. 😉

    Your training has been amazing and you certainly did all that you could given your time to train for it.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please May 15, 2010, 4:17 pm

    It sounds like you are going to have a good support team with you next weekend, so I’m sure you’ll do great! You’re really an inspiration to get out there and push yourself! Good luck!

  • E May 15, 2010, 4:21 pm

    It’s sometimes easy to just think of what a great, awesome, normal person you are, but you are such a LEGIT ATHLETE. Amazing.

    • Caitlin May 15, 2010, 4:27 pm

      thanks girl!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 15, 2010, 4:42 pm

    caitlin, you are so inspiring! you make me want to sign up for crazy races and truly believe that i can do it! 🙂 i can’t wait to hear how you rock this ride.

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) May 15, 2010, 4:50 pm

    You are amazing! Biking sounds like a lot of fun. Hubby and I were talking about buying new bikes while on our walk today. Maybe we should just go for it.

    We’ll be doing the Reggae Marathon 1/2 in Dec. That would be cool if that was the race you were doing ha ha

    Sounds like you’re going to have a crazy busy few months but it will be a blast I’m sure.

  • Jennifer May 15, 2010, 5:03 pm

    Wow, good for you girlie! I know it is scary, but just think how rewarding it will be when you nail it! xoxo

  • Annie May 15, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Hi Caitlin, this is my first time posting a comment but I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I am so envious of the fact that you can ride your bicycle for so many hours! I used to love riding my bike when I was younger and my Dad actually got really into cycling and has a regular mountain bike and racing bike. He used to come home from work and ride 30-60 miles every night and I always thought that was so awesome for a guy in his 50s. So after talking to my Dad today, who told me he was taking his mountain bike out for a ride, and seeing all the riding your doing in preparation for your race… I actually dug out my mountain bike after reading this post, put it in my trunk, and brought it down to the bike shop for a tune up! I LOVE spin class and I really want to see how riding outside for 10 miles would compare haha I’m sure it’s VERY different from the stationary bike. Just wanted to say thanks for reminding me to get my butt to the bike shop today before it closed… and don’t worry you’ll do amazing on your race =] – Annie

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 15, 2010, 5:14 pm

    I want that pizza 😯

    100 miles is an extraordinary distance. I’m so excited for you, you’re very inspirational. 🙂


  • Julia @ May 15, 2010, 5:17 pm

    YOU CAN DO IT! You have trained sensibly and you will be so proud when you are done. 🙂

    p.s. loving the pink bike handles!!! LOVING them.


  • Allie May 15, 2010, 5:20 pm

    Haha, I live in Charlotte, I have a sneaking suspicion as to the big race in December… However, if it isn’t in Charlotte, then you can totally excuse me while I put my foot in my mouth haha.

    ANYWAY, good luck with training this week :D. It’s sound so so grueling, but massively rewarding :).

    (I also really want that cookie!).

    • Lauren May 15, 2010, 9:40 pm

      I live in CLT when i’m not at school and i think we’re thinking the same race!
      BTW i love your blog, it’s cute!! 😀

      • Allie May 16, 2010, 8:27 am

        Haha, yes. There are only a handful of big races here.

        Thank you so much :D.

  • Angharad May 15, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Just have to say that I’m so impressed by all your training! You work really hard, so no matter what happens next week, you can thank yourself for putting so much leg work in (pun intended. ha). Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  • Tina May 15, 2010, 5:36 pm

    I love how you listened to your body and it naturally gave you the hard/easy/hard/easy rotation. I can understand why you’re nervous, but I know you’ll make it to that finish line. And what a proud moment that will be.

  • Gena May 15, 2010, 5:48 pm

    I appreciate that you’re nervous, C — who wouldn’t be? — but I have 100% confidence in you! You take your exercise so seriously, and your diligent training and fueling through healthful food will help you to coast through.

  • Laura May 15, 2010, 6:07 pm

    Can you go to a local bike store or an online forum to talk to any century riders about their tips+ for them to reassure you… and no matter how you do- you can only do your best- and that is more than good enough- its mainly about raising money for a cancer charity too right? I’m sure you’ve done brilliantly with that. Maybe with these unknown endurance races its a bit like childbirth- scary, unknown, totally uncertain and very, very painful, but somehow you get through it+ it turns out brilliantly! Remember- women were built for endurance 😉

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 15, 2010, 6:26 pm

    I know it’s scary, but 100 miles is just a number! If you don’t focus on it, it won’t be as intimidating. Plus you know you can do it! You’ve worked so hard to train and you’re ready to kill this race! 😀

  • Samantha May 15, 2010, 6:27 pm

    Best of luck on your upcoming event! It’s noble of you to admit your worries, and you’re always so honest about the obstacles leading up to, during and after your events. But no matter what you always share your lessons learned and the bliss of competing! So glad that another generous blogger was able to help you on the shoe front…those things aren’t cheap!

    Enjoy rooting for Ashley! Cheering friends on it always a great time!

  • Charlsie May 15, 2010, 6:32 pm

    I’m taking my maiden voyage (on Long Island) on my bike tomorrow going to do about 6 miles, very exciting! Can’t fathom the idea of 100 miles, maybe someday though, its good to have goals no?

    • Caitlin May 15, 2010, 6:54 pm

      you can do it!!!

  • Joan May 15, 2010, 6:32 pm

    Good for you! You have worked hard to accomplish this! As you always do for everything you work towards…unlike other bloggers, ie, Jenna, who never finishes what she starts. Go you!

    • Caitlin May 15, 2010, 6:51 pm

      Jenna is my friend, and I’m proud of who she is and everything she’s accomplished.

      And she finished a book, which is more than most people can say.

  • Amanda (modernation) May 15, 2010, 7:33 pm

    Can’t believe it is 8 days away. I can’t wait to meet you and for us to rock those 100 miles! You will be great!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 15, 2010, 8:18 pm

    you are gonna rock your 100 miles…you put in the training and you are ready-now just up and be fully recovered! i biked 45 today and it was glorious!

  • Lauren May 15, 2010, 9:37 pm

    I think I might know what the big race in December is….. 🙂 Charlotte running rocks!

  • Carolyn @ May 15, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I am planning on doing a sprint triathlon in July, but I have yet to find a bike. I need a 52-54 cm, but I don’t have a lot of money and it’s not like I can make someone put their used bike up for sale. 😆 Against the advice of experts I may end up buying a new “cheap” bike. Also, my family is TOTALLY against me using/learning bike clips. They’re almost certain I’m going to die. 😕

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] May 15, 2010, 10:02 pm

    Does that mean you gotta ship your bike across the US? That’s so darn expensive…but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Are you staying with Miss Jenna?

  • Sarah (Enjoying One Meal at a Time) May 15, 2010, 10:56 pm

    Impressive training! I’ve done 2 centurys and it feels really good to finish! Your so close towards the end… whats a few more miles in the saddle?! 🙂 8 days… exciting!

  • eatingRD May 15, 2010, 11:12 pm

    oh my gosh girl, I am already starting to get nervous! My tummy’s a churnin’ like you wouldn’t believe lol I think you have trained very very well. I haven’t trained nearly as hard as you, but I am going to go with an open mind to have fun and get ‘er done! Just don’t think about the number and just ride, we’ll be fine! If you think about it there is one good killer hill at mile 60 or so? and then it’s mostly all down hill from there, weeee! It’s going to be great, positive thoughts!

  • Wei-Wei May 16, 2010, 12:40 am

    This is crazy! I don’t even know how long 100 miles is! I already think that the mile run is hard. Wait, let me put that in perspective for myself… 1 mile = 4 laps. 100 miles = 400 laps!!!

    OMG. Wow. WOW. I’m awed. KEEP GOING, GIRL! You can do it! 😀


  • Lauren @ Health on the Run May 16, 2010, 8:46 am

    Just wanted to also add my support for your century!! You have trained really hard for the race and I know you will find the energy to pull through those extra miles…just like in a marathon. 🙂

    It’s normal to feel these jitters before any big event, but I hope you can use them to your advantage to propel you forward on race day! I can’t wait to read about how the race goes.

    Good luck…you really are an inspiration!!!! (I know you say biking is really tough and I understand that, but you just have me itching to get back on a bike again! :))

  • Tiffany May 16, 2010, 2:10 pm

    Good luck! You’ll do great! You have trained so hard for this race, and it’s perfectly to feel the pre-race(pre-ride?) jitters.

    But you’ve documented your training, and I have no doubt that you’ll rock out. You have the support of your family, friends, puppies and readers!

    Good luck again, and thank you for being such a continued inspiration (I just ran my first 5k – the Aflac Iron Girl 5k- after I read about your experience). Oh, and thank you for being so awesome and respectful of your readers. You’re truly one of my favorite bloggers =)

  • John May 16, 2010, 2:59 pm

    Your hard week easy week sounds like my Gallaway running plan. I’d be nervous too thinking of that 100 miles to come!
    Hope it goes well for you!

  • Carrie H May 16, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Caitlin, you are going to ROCK! I can’t imagine riding that far — the farthest I’ve road biked is about 30 miles. I think someone else already said this, but try to be positive and excited this week, not nervous or scared! Picture your success at the finish line. And, maybe race day, think of the century as five 20-mile rides or something … like, instead of at mile 40, thinking you still have 60 to go, think, “20 miles to the next landmark!” That kind of thinking helped me in my marathon last week.

    Also — you are so ready for this! Your body, I mean. Sure, you could have trained more (well, maybe, you look like you did a lot!) but you are really well-prepared. Think of the race as the celebration of your training, like that lady told me just before my marathon. That thought REALLY helped take the pressure off and helped me enjoy the event!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 16, 2010, 4:24 pm

    It looks like you did train really well for that. Just try to relax a bit…

  • sarah (the SHU box) May 16, 2010, 8:49 pm

    race in december – thunder road marathon!? i did it last year and it was a wonderful race. highly recommend!

  • Lisa May 16, 2010, 11:33 pm

    Awesome! I did 55 miles yesterday in Reach the Beach!!! It was the best experience ever. I’m going to train for 75 miles next and someday do 100!!

  • Susan May 17, 2010, 8:58 am

    Hahaha, working out for 13+ hours in one week is totally insane. Jeez, I told my boss that I work out for 6 hours a week and he was shocked. Cycling is definitely a loooong time commitment. You’ll get through those 100 miles though 🙂

    I think taking some time off from training will be good for you! Exercising for the love of exercise and not for some looming event is really fun. Actually, probably the reason why I’m not sure if I even want to do any races this year!

  • Lydia May 17, 2010, 9:29 pm

    I have never commented before, but this post struck a chord. And maybe hearing stories of Century success will help! I biked the Michigan Apple Cider Century last fall after biking 30 miles 3 times a week all summer. I was actually not too nervous beforehand, despite not upping the mileage at the end, as I probably should have. And it was a great experience. LOng, but doable. There were apple cider, cookie and granola stops every 20 miles too, which were really helpful for the refueling part. After 60 miles, I got tired in waves (and slowed down a bit), but again, it was always doable. And then the last 20 miles were a lot of ups and downs (= more slowing down). I’m so glad I did it, and am going to do the Hilly Hundred (many more hills, in Indiana) this year!
    Anyway, I hope this helps!

    I think you’ll do great! You seem to use your nervousness to good ends (being really prepared for races) and that’s an inspiration to someone like me, who just jumps in, sometimes overconfidently.

    • Caitlin May 18, 2010, 10:11 am

      thanks lydia! this was really helpful.

  • Lisa May 26, 2010, 11:57 am

    I think having friends doing it with you is a great motivating factor! Having someone train with you and compete with you makes it harder to give up too. 🙂

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