Study the Map

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I nearly forget to tell you – I spontaneously signed up for a race!  It’s a 4-miler (which I’ve never done) and is next Saturday.


I’ve been having trouble with my “running MOJO” and, among other motivating tricks, I knew the best thing I could do for myself was sign up for a race!


Per my race-ready suggestions on the How To Get Your Game Face On post, I carefully studied the race map online, and I noticed several things.


First of all, I’m pretty sure the race starts at a slight up-hill, switches to a downhill (sweet), switches back to an uphill, and then finishes strong downhill.  Awesome!  Due to these conditions, my goal is to finish under 35:00 – I’m going to try to run it fast!


Secondly, there is only ONE water stop – FAIL.  This means I’ll definitely be carrying my own water bottle on the course.


Check out my other race-related posts:



Time for breakfast!


I actually created this mix and stuck the whole thing in the fridge last night.  My brother-in-law was sleeping on the couch, and I didn’t want to disturb him.


Nothing like a cold bowl of yogurt + raw oatmeal on a hot day!


My mix contained:


  • 1 serving Trader Joe’s Honey Greek Yogurt
  • Blackberries and blueberries
  • TJ’s Sesame Honey Almonds (so good)
  • 1/2 cup raw oatmeal


Gotta jet! I’ve got a lot of book-launch related tasks to wrap up, and then I’m going to try to squeeze in a run before I show Nick around town!


PS – YES!  The Operation Beautiful book drops on August 3.  PLEASE pre-order your copy and help show the world how strong and big the movement to end negative self-talk is!  Check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Indie Bound… It’s less than $12 a book!


How do you prepare yourself for a race?  Do you drive or run the course? Study the website? Scour the Internet for course reviews?  Or do you like to show up and be surprised?



  • Marieke July 16, 2010, 9:17 am

    Is your book available in the UK as well?

    And yeah, raw oatmeal and yoghurt rocks

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 9:24 am


      i love that you say “yoghurt”

      • Marieke July 16, 2010, 9:55 am

        Hehe, must be my Dutch spelling 😉 I didn’t realise until now that in English it’s actually without the “h”. D’oh!

        • loreejo July 16, 2010, 10:35 am

          aah, but i’ve had “yoghurt” and it’s nothing like american “yogurt” i.e. the sugary gelatinized versions. *shudders*

    • Jenn July 16, 2010, 11:29 am

      Canadian spelling is “yoghurt” too! 😉

  • Nichole July 16, 2010, 9:17 am

    You’d be surprised how many people don’t follow the maps. good for you! You have your voyaged map. Enjoy and have fun.

    Seems like you continue to be nonstop busy, enjoy ever second of the book release.

    Before a race I absolutely check the course and the weather. Then make sure to eat a great pre dinner and breakfast!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 16, 2010, 9:18 am

    You can totally do it in less than 35minutes. I promise you.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet July 16, 2010, 9:19 am

    I love those sesame almonds from TJs. So good!

  • allison @ livingoneday July 16, 2010, 9:20 am

    looks just like my breakfasts all week!!! and eeeeeeeee are you SO EXCITED about the book dropping?!?! that must be exhilarating. very proud of you! good luck on the race. you will knock it out fo sho!

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 9:24 am

      I am very excited but I am also extremely nervous!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg July 16, 2010, 9:21 am

    Any race that ends on a downhill is good in my book! I bet it’ll be a fast one for you!

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans July 16, 2010, 9:27 am

    I LOVE when courses end on a downhill! I usually glance at a map and figure out waterstops, but I also like to be a little surprised on race day!

  • Tina July 16, 2010, 9:29 am

    What a smart idea to check out the course. And a great way to help get that motivation revving again. I think it sounds like a great one.

    I noticed the race is Run for Your Cause. You certainly have a cause you can run for. Helping people to see just how beautiful they are. Can’t wait for your book to come out.

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day (Formally A La Mode) July 16, 2010, 9:30 am

    I pre-ordered your book and am so very excited to get it!

    Best of luck to you on your race! Have you thought about getting a camelbak instead of carrying a water bottle? It may be too soon to get used to it before the race, but just wondering 🙂

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 9:38 am

      I have one but I actually prefer to hold the bottle for short runs! Camelbaks are great for long runs.

      • Andrea July 16, 2010, 9:59 am

        I have one the kids camelbacks for short runs. Love it!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 16, 2010, 9:33 am

    Yum, that breakfast looks so good! I miss yogurt and that just made it a little worse! I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day Caitlin!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 16, 2010, 9:34 am

    I haven’t done an official race yet , but I love the website “MapMyRun” to find other people route or map my own

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) July 16, 2010, 9:36 am

    wanna hear something “funny”…since you’ve moved to charlotte, I dunno if it’s just your new place but your photos have a “kath” feel to them…maybe it’s all the trees in charlotte? 🙂

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 9:39 am

      it must be!!

  • Evan Thomas July 16, 2010, 9:37 am

    Last night I had raw oats for the first time. I never thought I’d like it except I just wanted to sleep and didn’t care enough to cook them. I couldn’t believe they were actually good! Reminded me of oatmeal raisin cookies

  • Sarah July 16, 2010, 9:38 am

    I love how you eat raw oatmeal in your yogurt…I do it all the time! Before any races, I just try to calm myself down, not drink too much coffee and make sure I don’t drink 1 gallon of water before. I never really check the terrain because the last two races I did had hills at the end and I am so glad I didn’t know they were coming!

  • Janna@Janna's Keeping It Real July 16, 2010, 9:46 am

    I read reviews and check out the coursemap, but I try not to actually drive/run the route prior…it tends to freak me out a bit! weird, I know!

    i love the raw oats idea! i get stoked when a bit of my raw oats sticks to my PB (i pack my oats, banana, pb in the same dish to transport to work, but take the PB out prior to heating), and I get to have a bit of “chew” to my meal…so I imagine I would like this mixture, too!

  • AnneJuliet July 16, 2010, 9:46 am

    probably not the best strategy on my part, but i like to just show up. i take a quick 30,000 foot view of the course so i have a basic idea of turns, mile markers and whatnot, but i find if i look to close, i think to hard about it and then i get stressed. im a data junky and i know my limits:)

  • Rosey Rebecca July 16, 2010, 9:53 am

    I love how you spontaneously sign up for races! It sounds like great motivation. And when I get this ankle thing figured out, I’ll definitely be following in your footsteps!

  • tanya July 16, 2010, 9:58 am

    I eat my oatmeal raw also, I like the texture better.

  • Andrea July 16, 2010, 10:01 am

    I like to be surprised at races otherwise I would over
    analyze things. I pre-ordered the book today! Can’t wait!

  • Allie July 16, 2010, 10:09 am

    Sesame honey almonds sound so good! I will definitely have to try those. Congrats on your book that is so exciting 🙂 I will be ordering a copy!

  • Erin July 16, 2010, 10:09 am

    The 4 miler I did on July 3rd only had one water stop, too! Guess that must be the thing to do for a 4 mile race.

    I’m positive you will break 35 minutes. Have fun!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 16, 2010, 10:10 am

    I usually look at the course online but for my last 10K I went and ran the course just to get a feel for it. I would love to find a 4 mile to do around Toronto.

  • Liza July 16, 2010, 10:13 am

    Hi Caitlyn! My name is Liza and I’m new to blogging but love your blog! And the whole Operation Beautiful movement; it’s really so important.
    Anyway, I’ve been thinking about signing up for a race, what was your first race like? I’d imagine that for me, pacing will be hard when hundreds of people wizz by me! (The competitive nature comes out!)

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 10:17 am

      i think i was so concerned with what i was doing on my first race that i barely noticed other people! just remember its really only about YOU!

  • Megan July 16, 2010, 10:16 am

    I am sure you will do great on your race Caitlin!!

    I am placing an amazong order today.. which I am happy to say includes two copies of your book!!

    I am going to give one to my mom!

    • caitlin July 16, 2010, 10:17 am

      YAY thank you so much!

  • Lisa @ Early Morning Run July 16, 2010, 10:25 am

    I love 4 mile races. It’s such a great, fun length. You can push yourself hard but it’s a bit longer than a 5k so you need a bit more effort. A lot of NYRR races are 4 miles and they’re so much fun!

    good luck!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 16, 2010, 10:27 am

    i don’t race, but i would definitely be coming to THIS blog for info on how to if i did 🙂

  • Camille July 16, 2010, 10:30 am

    For me, mental preparation is the main thing before a race. I try and amp myself up as much as possible and just get reallly excited! I find that the more excited I am, the better I do!

  • Sarah for Real July 16, 2010, 10:30 am

    I pre-ordered my book from Amazon waaaay back when you first announced it. It’s arriving August 5th! All this talk just makes me want to order a second one so you’ll say how cool I am on twitter 😉

  • loreejo July 16, 2010, 10:33 am

    Pre-order: Done. and Done! and Done!! I picked up one for my dau and my bff too! Thanks for the reminder b/c I’d been meaning to take care of that for a while now.

    • Caitlin July 16, 2010, 10:46 am

      You are epic!!!

  • Kelly July 16, 2010, 10:43 am

    Luckily the only race i’ve run so far was just a straight 10 mile course, no turns no out and back, haha there really wasn’t much to study.

  • Paige @Running Around Normal July 16, 2010, 10:49 am

    I need to sign up for a race here soon too. I’ve been slacking! So far just three this year.
    Glad you found one to run – sounds like it’ll be a good one ‘cept for the lack o’ water!

  • Steff July 16, 2010, 10:51 am

    I ordered the book! But FYI, it’s 17 dollars at and it’s not under 12. I used my 33% rewards coupon. So not sure if it is suppose to be under 12 dollars.

    But I would order book whatever the cost! What a great accomplishment! Can’t wait to read it. I hope you book tour to AZ!

    • Caitlin July 16, 2010, 10:54 am

      It’s cheaper on Amazon! 🙂 Glad you could use your rewards card at Borders! 🙂


  • Britney July 16, 2010, 10:53 am

    I might sign up for a 2.6 mile race for next Thursday! It’ll fit right in as I’ll be finishing C25k with 30-minute runs next week and 2.6 is right around the distance I’ve already been running! Plus, the race is right along the river so it’ll be beautiful.

  • Lizzy July 16, 2010, 10:55 am

    yesterday for lunch i had a big bowl of yogurt and i used your idea of putting raw oatmeal for some texture and a little texture. i LOVED it! such a great idea and good for u!

  • Lauren July 16, 2010, 11:15 am

    You will love the 4 miler race. And the one water stop is positioned in a great spot. This race is a good one for quickness, with some hills!

    RFYL puts on great races and this is a wonderful one! Good luck in it!

  • HTP Dad' July 16, 2010, 11:16 am

    A 4 mile race – even at a 10 minute pace – probably won’t require water. You can easily save a minute and a half by skipping the water station.
    Do the math – around 2% of body weight starts to interfere with performance, about 2 pounds for you, or a liter (one quart). If you go for a 4 mile run w/o drinking, weigh yourself and see how much weight you lose.Sometimes getting faster is looking at what’s needed instead of wanted.
    BTW – as far as getting faster – when HTP Mom and I started running, and trying to go further/faster, we were both convinced we were having heart attacks! What couch potatoes!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 16, 2010, 11:16 am

    Ooh, good luck with the race – and with the book launch!!!

  • HTP Dad' July 16, 2010, 11:17 am

    potatoes???? OMG, I’m turning into Dan Quayle!!!

  • Run Sarah July 16, 2010, 11:18 am

    4 miles sounds like a fun distance to run – I haven’t tried it as it’s not as common here I think since the metric conversion isn’t as clear!

  • Wei-Wei July 16, 2010, 11:27 am

    O_O I remember you did an April Fools’ joke that you were running a marathon… 😛 I hope you do great on this race! 🙂


  • Jenn July 16, 2010, 11:30 am

    Icelandic “skyr” is on par with nonfat greek yoghurt. If you ever see it at a specialty store, TRY IT!!!

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 16, 2010, 11:37 am

    I can’t wait for you book to come out! 🙂

    And GOOD LUCK on your race, you are gonna do great!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit July 16, 2010, 11:45 am

    Congrats again on the book! How exciting!! I will definitely order one if I can afford it- my husband has been out of work so $$ is tight 🙂

  • Heather July 16, 2010, 12:20 pm

    I like to show up at races with little knowledge of the course – for me, ignorance is bliss!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 16, 2010, 12:27 pm

    I never do any prep – there’s never any chance to round here!! So I like surprises :p

  • LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils July 16, 2010, 12:51 pm

    Would love to hear how the book sales are going!

    • Caitlin July 16, 2010, 1:18 pm

      I’m not sure 🙂 We’re waiting on one major television spot, and if we get it, things will explode. Keep your fingers crossed!

  • Ellen @FirednFabulous July 16, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I just don’t know how you do the dry oats! It looks pretty, but just so…DRY. 🙂 GOOD LUCK!

  • Caroline July 16, 2010, 12:53 pm

    Good luck! I know you can do it!

  • Julz @ freshman5k July 16, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I always have to check the results from the race last year to scope out my competition! 😉

  • Maura July 16, 2010, 1:05 pm

    Totally pre-ordering your book today! I can’t wait for it 🙂

    I haven’t participated in a race yet :\ which is very un-bloggerish of me (it’s a word, i swear ;)) I should probably jump on that though. I’m kind of nervous about it though…eeek!

    • Caitlin July 16, 2010, 1:19 pm

      THANK YOU!

  • Heather July 16, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Sometimes I’ll check out the course online, but other than that I’ll let it be a surprise! It’s fun to figure it out as I go along.

  • Chinye July 16, 2010, 1:26 pm

    4 miles sounds like a lot of fun. I really need to actually sign up for a race!

  • Katherine July 16, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I like to try and find an elevation map of the course so I know exactly how many hills to expect.

  • Lisa July 16, 2010, 1:33 pm

    I’ve considered running or driving a race route before but I decided I’d rather be surprised.

  • Joanne July 16, 2010, 1:34 pm

    I never paid much attention to the course until this year. For short races, 5 to 10 K’s, I don’t worry about the course.
    For 15K to marathon, I would at least read about it on the race web site. I’d like to bike the marathon course for Oct. but if that doesn’t happen, I’m not worried about.
    End result: Guess I like surprises 🙂
    Good luck with your 4 miler.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) July 16, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I honestly poke around the website for a few minutes and then just show up on race day. Of course where I live most races are at least a 45 minute drive so it isn’t really possible to run the course ahead of time.

    But I have learned some tricks. I bring Hunni with me to hold my stuff. I leave extra early in case I get lost or need to find parking. And I bring my own water because I never know what the water stops will be like.

    I love the 4 mile distance so have fun.

  • Jolene ( July 16, 2010, 4:37 pm

    I have only done 1 race, and I drove the course. I was afraid I would get lost if I didn’t!

  • Kristen J July 16, 2010, 7:29 pm

    summer food- mmm cantaloupe!

  • BroccoliHut July 16, 2010, 9:36 pm

    If you love the sesame honey almonds from TJ’s you should try their sesame honey cashews too!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 19, 2010, 1:45 pm

    Ooh I am sooo excited for your book! I’m off to pre-order right now!

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