Trail Runner at Heart

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I love a lot of sports, but I think I’m a trail runner at heart.


I love the feeling of exploring a forest, the crunch of leaves under my feet, the smell of trees and bushes and dirt… I love trails!


I got to explore a new trail today in Palm Coast, Florida.  The Husband and I drove 1.5 hours north to the coast to stay with my in-laws for the next few days.  He’s working at their clinic, and I can work anywhere I have my laptop!  My brother-in-law is house sitting our apartment (he lives in the dorms, so a full apartment is a nice change of pace!).


I’ve been eyeing this trail for the last 5 years, but I finally decided to explore it this afternoon.


Since I was running in an unfamiliar area and alone, I brought my cell phone and told the Husband where I was going.  Here are my other tips for trail running!


I knew right away I was going to love this trail.  The scenery was divine, and there was tons of hills and valleys.  The course was so challenging with roots and sand and logs.



I didn’t know how long the trail was, and it was freeing to just run and run and run.  I think I love trail running so much because it’s one of the only times I feel like my mind and body is totally in sync.  For a few moments, all I think about is the run.


Well… for a while, I did fantasize that I was in the Twilight book!  :)  I played the soundtrack and pretended that I was a supernaturally strong and fast vampire.  Rawr!


The meadow?


Edward, where are you!?


In the end, I ran 4.5 miles in 51:37.  That’s much longer than I planned to run, but it was such a good and fun workout!


Before the run, my sister-in-law made me a fresh juice: carrots, apple, and ginger.

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And a piece of toast with PB:

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After the run, I had a few pieces of a fruit salad.


And for dinner, the Husband and I cooked up my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and sister-in-law a delicious feast.

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I made homemade bean burgers for 5 with 1 can drained pinto beans, 1/2 a can of soybeans, a drained and pressed can of chunked tomatoes, whole wheat flour, and 2 egg whites.   I seared the burgers on a hot griddle for 10 minutes and then baked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

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The Husband was in charge of the sides.  He heated up some pre-made sweet potato fries and a vegetable korma with potatoes, carrots, and cauliflowers.

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The burgers were delicious!

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And I had a glass of red wine with dinner.


It’s so late!  Time to crash in bed.  Have a wonderful night!



  • Laura @ Alwaysroom4dessert May 6, 2010, 10:53 pm

    Ohh yum your bean burgers look delicious!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 6, 2010, 10:53 pm

    I’ve actually never run on a trail before, can you believe that?? The “trails” here are mostly just narrow roads specifically for running/biking and are still awesome, but the scenery from your run today was beautiful!

    I love the idea of those homemade bean burgers – yum!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 6, 2010, 10:55 pm

    What great trails! It’s so nice to run in nature, eh?

  • Jenny May 6, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Trail running is so much fun! It’s nice to get outside and enjoy the world:)

  • ashleigh May 6, 2010, 11:01 pm

    Hilarious that you pretend to be in twilight! 😉 Looks like you made an awesome dinner!

  • Ellen Collis May 6, 2010, 11:02 pm

    Mmm, those sweet potatoes look delish! I’ve never done a trail run. I think I’d like it, but I’m scared I’d trip. Every time I run, like on a sidewalk, outside of NYC I totally bite it. I think I’ve been spoiled by Central Park!

  • Mary May 6, 2010, 11:08 pm

    that trail looks awesome!! Its so much better on your knees than pounding pavement 🙂

  • Kacy May 6, 2010, 11:11 pm

    I wish we had trails in Oklahoma. Seems like it would make for very interesting running.

  • Lindsay May 6, 2010, 11:18 pm

    Trail running is yet another reason why I love my homestate of Colorado. We have some AWESOME trails here…the challenge and views of it all. It makes my little heart soar! I’d love to see how the trails differ in various regions of the country! One of these days, I’d like to go to Florida and check out your forests down there. I imagine they’re crazy different from our pine and aspen forests here in the Rocky Mountain region.

    In the meantime, keep on rocking those Florida trails, Caitlin! 🙂

  • Camille May 6, 2010, 11:22 pm

    Ooooh, Sweet Potato fries make my heart pitter-patter with excitement 🙂

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara May 6, 2010, 11:22 pm

    Those burgers look great! Glad you had a fun day.

  • Laura May 6, 2010, 11:28 pm

    You might have answered this in a previous post, but are the husband’s parents and sister vegetarian, too? If not, your dinner proves that even meat eaters can enjoy a fabulous vegetarian dinner!

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:23 am

      my inlaws are vegetarian but my sister in law is not. however, she likes eating vegetarian foods!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 6, 2010, 11:46 pm

    I’m adding that bean burger recipe to my list to try. I want to make my own now that I’m vegetarian.

  • Sassy Molassy May 6, 2010, 11:58 pm

    AH, I’ve been wanting to make a pumpkin black bean recipe I found somewhere on the internet. Love the creative mixture. And that trail looks beautiful.

  • Bianca King May 7, 2010, 12:10 am

    What did he make those veggies with? they look divine!

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:24 am

      it was a vegetable korma canned sauce.

  • Vaala May 7, 2010, 12:37 am

    Yep, offroad running (and trail running) is awesome! I dread my weekday winter runs where I have to mostly stick to the roads! Actually, my whole life revolves around offroad running and offroad biking (mountain biking)…it’s the only way! You should come check out the trails we have in New Zealand!!!

    Wow, that dinner looks divine especially the burger patties and fries…it’s making me crave the awesome tofu burger down the road from my apartment…I think I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!!

  • Jolene ( May 7, 2010, 12:41 am

    That picture totally looks like it is out of a Twilight movie!!! I have fantasies like that too sometimes 🙂

  • Claire May 7, 2010, 1:11 am

    It has been way too long since I had a nice trail run, this one looks great! The burgers do as well! night lady!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now May 7, 2010, 1:12 am

    I think I’ll try these burgers soon. I’ve been looking for a good recipe!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 7, 2010, 1:14 am

    I’m so paranoid about running on trails. I always bring my cell phone too and tell my roommates approximately when I’ll be back.

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 7, 2010, 1:20 am

    That trail run looks awesome. LOL @ pretending to be in Twilight. That’s awesome! 🙂

    Those burgers look yummy.


  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 7, 2010, 1:58 am

    I love trail running too!! I only tried it for the first time a few weeks ago (after your 15mile trail race) and I never realised how fun it could be!!
    That veg korma meal and the burgers..all looks so lovely!
    Have a good time 😀

  • Wei-Wei May 7, 2010, 2:00 am

    Your dinner looks fabulous! 😀 Trail running sounds fun… at least it would be if I was a runner! 😛

    Have a great night! 🙂


  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 7, 2010, 2:37 am

    I love trail running! It seems like less of a struggle, even though its harder… less of a struggle in that I feel I can kind of just escape into the experience, I don´t have to hit a certain time or goal, just RUN. I love that feeling.

  • Jo May 7, 2010, 2:53 am

    I love trail running too, it’s so peaceful and you are totally right about body and mind being in sync. Sadly, the trail closest to my home is only around 2 miles long but I would love to try out longer trails – something to do a search on I think!

    Your dinner looked amazing 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 7, 2010, 6:38 am

    Your dinner looks so professional that I thought you were at a restaurant at first!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) May 7, 2010, 6:44 am

    I think I could seriously fall in love with trail running…it looks simply awesome. 😀

  • Amanda (Amanda "runs") May 7, 2010, 7:01 am

    yumy burgers! I hope you had fun on that trail run! 🙂

  • Allie May 7, 2010, 7:10 am

    trail running is the best- it is so peaceful. i ran cross country and it was by far my favorite- i felt like i was always on an adventure. but, i am wy too scared to do it by myself. i feel like i need at least a partner just in case.

  • Lauren @ Dragonflies Journey May 7, 2010, 7:22 am

    Your recipes look devine. Oh, and slight note about running. I have been reading your blog religiously because every time I do I feel empowered to run. I never do unless chased. I’ve had ankle injuries and such, so a slight shuffle hurts. But I can never get into it. I don’t know if it’s a mental block or what. Needless to say your blog is highly motivating.

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:33 am

      Hahah. There’s so many other activities to try, too!

  • Kaci May 7, 2010, 7:30 am

    I’m scared to run trails…just cause I’m accident prone. But I need to try it, looks so beautiful.

    Yummy dinner

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 7, 2010, 8:02 am

    That looks like such a pretty place to run. Though I did notice you ran by a swamp. So maybe you should have been thinking about Shrek, not Edward. 🙂

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly May 7, 2010, 8:11 am

    I can’t trail run for the next 2 months! It is rattlesnake season here and my husband and I have already seen 2 while out on the trails. Too risky for us!!

    • Kelly May 7, 2010, 8:22 am

      Um that would be enough to keep me from trail running ever again!

  • Kelly May 7, 2010, 8:22 am

    Trail running makes me nervous, too many creepy crawly creatures to encounter, haha. Um yeah, see the other Kelly’s comment above mine.

  • PhillyGirlRuns May 7, 2010, 8:32 am

    My husband used to work in Palm Coast — we went up that way once and had lunch at this random little place called Hijacker’s…SUCH good hush puppies.

    When you say “drained and pressed” tomatoes — do you press the tomatoes separately, before you add to the beans, or do you smush the whole thing up together?

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) May 7, 2010, 8:35 am

    I have never been trail running, but it sounds like it would be a blast :-). I do love hiking, so I imagine that if I gave trail running a shot I would love it.

    Oh, and I totally squealed when I saw canned soybeans – I have never seen those here!

  • Julia @ British Bride May 7, 2010, 8:36 am

    Loving the Twilight references!!

    The trail looks great – I far prefer running trails too. I will actually be doing this (albit a tamer trail) this evening.

    British Bride

  • Heather May 7, 2010, 8:38 am

    I am SUCH a scardy cat, I can’t trail run by myself. I also don’t think husband would let me. He knows I am pretty useless and pathetic in a fight. Looks beautiful though!

    • Amy May 7, 2010, 9:10 am

      “pretty useless and pathetic in a fight” cracked me up for some reason. Probably because I’ve never been in one and would be useless and pathetic too! 🙂

  • Lauren @ Health on the Run May 7, 2010, 8:39 am

    I feel the same way about trail running! It really is so freeing to just run without any set route in mind. And I also find that I’m always able to run longer on trails than I’ve planned! Plus, it’s sort of a like a game — there’s so many obstacles to get around! 🙂

  • Gracie (complicated day) May 7, 2010, 8:45 am

    We don’t really have trails near the house, so it’s pavement for me. There is a race here every summer that is a trail/mud/levee/forest mess and sometimes I’ll run that just for the insanity of it! Last time I ran it there was a ladder over a tall fallen tree at mile 2! I certainly never climbed a ladder during a race before.

  • Nichole May 7, 2010, 8:47 am

    Very cool pics. I <3 trail running too. Even if it's the same trail, it's always a little different and you never know what you'll see. Sometimes it's fun to get a little dirty too.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) May 7, 2010, 8:58 am

    That sounds like an amazing run. I ashamedly don’t know hardly anything about trail running. I wouldn’t even know where to find one! We have a lovely running/biking concrete trail that spans about 50 miles, but nothing as far as I know for trail running. There is one in my home town though, called McNoughton park. Plus…I’m a little scared of ticks. They’re thick in this area this year!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 7, 2010, 8:59 am

    Yum, those sound awesome! And let’s face it, red wine makes ALL things better!

  • Amy May 7, 2010, 9:09 am

    I agree -trail running has my heart. It’s such a different pace than road running. I’m slower (not that I’m overly fast on the road) and I don’t care. I stop and smell the wild gardenias, investigate new trails that take me to honey bee boxes, and walk up steep hills without feeling weak. I’m doing a 25KM trail run in CA in June with my mom and a trail marathon in Mongolia in July with my women’s running group. Normally I would stress about these distances, but I know I can hike parts if I need to and can take time to enjoy everything. 🙂

  • allison @ livingoneday May 7, 2010, 9:15 am

    yum those burgers look fantastic. how did you make them? did you just mash everything together with your hands?

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:44 am


  • Shawna @ Balancing Me May 7, 2010, 9:17 am

    I’m afraid to go trail running/walking alone. I don’t know why, I just always think the worst. I hate haunted houses for the same reasons. I always think someone is waiting to get me :/

    I love the looks of those burgers. MUST try them!

    Do you think they’d work on the grill or are they too fragile?

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:45 am

      way too fragile for the grill.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers May 7, 2010, 9:31 am

    I LOVE trail running- it’s so fun! 🙂 It’d be a great thing for people who don’t really love exercising- it’s more of an adventure than exercise!

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 7, 2010, 9:33 am

    oh i love trail running! it makes the time fly and there is so much to look at while you are running. it kind of keeps your mind occupied more that road running. happy weekend!

  • Joanne May 7, 2010, 10:40 am

    What a great run. I love exploring trail and putting myself in a fantasy world. We all need a break from reality.

    Great meal. Is your whole family vegetarian?

    • Caitlin May 7, 2010, 10:46 am

      nope my inlaws are but my sister in law isnt

  • Corinne May 7, 2010, 10:49 am

    hahahhahaa Caitlin I loved that you pretended you were Bella! Looks like you had a perfect day 🙂

  • Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers May 7, 2010, 10:57 am

    I’ve never done trail running. Only realised yesterday (as I did 50 minute run outside) how much I prefer that to treadmill running as I’m outdoors, a part of nature (no matter that cars are whizzing past me)…can feel the sun, wind or rain on my face…I get the feeling that trail running would actually be a blissful experience for me.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) May 7, 2010, 11:03 am

    trail running is the best…it’s gorgeous and makes the time just FLY by! i can’t wait for the trails to dry out here so i can go a couple times a week 🙂

  • Annie May 7, 2010, 11:13 am

    Vegetable Korma – yum! 🙂

  • anne May 7, 2010, 11:15 am

    Haha! Love the Twilight reference!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion May 7, 2010, 11:26 am

    I did my first trail run a few weeks ago. I liked it a lot, but it was a huge challenge. So different than running through the streets of Boston. I enjoyed though. It was a really nice change of pace for this city girl. Those burgers do look amazing!

  • Johanna B May 7, 2010, 11:45 am

    I love unpaved trails, too. Most of the ones around here are paved. Yesterday I found a brochure at our public library showing all the trails around Topeka and it shows that there are lots of trails planned for the future. I’m going to try every one of them.

  • Melissa May 7, 2010, 11:51 am

    I am so with you on the trail running! I love it beyond words! That trail you went on looked so beautiful!
    What a wonderful feast you made too…yum!

  • Lisa May 7, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Trail running is #1 on my list for this summer. It’s pretty nasty weather here in Oregon right now so as soon as the mud dries up a bit, I’m hitting the trails!

  • Raya @ Raya Runs May 7, 2010, 1:02 pm

    I’ve done 2 trail races so far-Moss park, and then a trail race in NC. My favorite one so far was the one in NC (I think it was at Coastal Carolina State Park? Or Carolina Beach State Park? something like that.) We ran through the forest, on dirt, leaves and sand,and along what I think was the intercoastal…It was gorgeous!!!

  • Catherine May 7, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Those burgers look amazing!!!

    I’ve never tried trail running, but it really seems like something I’d love to do. The only problem is living in the middle of NYC…

  • Steph-exercise physiologist and artist! May 7, 2010, 2:31 pm

    You are so lucky to have a health conscious family! 🙂
    When my ex-fiancé’s family used to think that I was a bit obsessive b/c liked to eat mindfully. I always felt a little bad that they felt that way about my lifestyle.

  • Bobbie (mymamaruns) May 7, 2010, 3:14 pm

    That trail run looks awesome. I was thinking the same thing when I read, “Edward, where are you?” Looking at that meadow makes my heart skip a beat! This isn’t normal is it? A 38 year-old woman shouldn’t behave like this over a youth vampire series! lol

  • Helen May 7, 2010, 3:44 pm

    I love trail running too. There’s something so satisfying about exploring somewhere like a forest with the wind in your face, knowing you’re having a good workout.

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle May 7, 2010, 5:01 pm

    I haven’t done a lot of trail running but I do love it when I can. I think they go by quickly because there is always something to focus on other than “hmm does my leg hurt? am I thirsty? what is my pace?” It keeps my mind off the actual running and on the trail.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life May 7, 2010, 7:07 pm

    I hope Laurent didn’t meet you in the meadow! 🙂

    Were those sweet potato fries Alexia brand?

    • caitlin May 7, 2010, 7:18 pm

      hahah no Laurent and yes they were!

  • lisa May 7, 2010, 9:40 pm

    I’d love to get into trail running, but I always worry about tripping over roots and branches. Sometimes when I hike or walk in the woods I’ll get into a run. Good stuff!

  • Kristin May 7, 2010, 9:55 pm

    I am grew up in Flagler County! I know live in Philadelphia but I will be visiting my family in Palm Coast for a week starting Wednesday. How long will you be visiting your in-laws?

    • caitlin May 7, 2010, 9:56 pm

      aww we go back on Sunday!

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